The industry attractiveness of the South African footwear industry : a productivity perspective

Forster, Eugene Friedrich (2009-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa has been integrated into the global economy since the abolishment of the apartheid era in 1994 through a rapid programme of trade liberalisation. Its footwear industry illustrates the effects of these policies on companies and their real output, employment and wage payments, which are among the most important channels through which the market forces (supply and demand) affect poverty in a developing economy. Exporting has been driven by trade liberalisation, but the restructuring of companies to keep up with technology and the effect of cheaper imports from the East have been the main reasons for a substantial fall in total employment, while manufacturing has stagnated. Labour productivity has increased with better production methods and some innovation, which had a positive effect on wage payments to workers in this labour-intensive industry. South Africa has not been isolated from the world recession that began in 2008, therefore manufacturing – the second biggest sector in SA – has been in free-fall this year, sliding by double digits on a year-on-year basis. The footwear industry’s attractiveness is therefore seen as moderate, but with potential once the economy starts growing again. A factor that needs to be taken into account is the exchange rate of the South African rand, which has gained more than 20 per cent to the dollar so far this year. This has been the main reason why the fall in exports has been larger than that of imports. These lower imports also highlighted weak consumer demand.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Vanaf 1994, met die beëindiging van die apartheidsera, het Suid-Afrika se toetrede tot die wêreldekonomie voortgesnel danksy handelsintegrasie. Die Suid-Afrikaanse skoenbedryf is ’n tipiese voorbeeld hiervan, en maatskappye in die bedryf getuig daarvan deur werklike uitsette, werkverskaffing en loonbetalings wat die belangrikste vorme is om markewewigte (vraag en aanbod) in a onderontwikkelde ekonomie te bevredig. Uitvoere is die gevolg van hierdie handelsintegrasie, maar vele maatskappye het agterweë gebly om tegnologies vooruit te gaan. Tesame met goedkoper invoere uit die Ooste, was dit die vernaamste rede vir werkloosheid in die skoenbedryf terwyl produksie gestagneer het. In sekere gevalle het werkers se produktiwiteit verhoog as gevolg van beter produksiemetodes en innovasie, wat ’n positiewe effek op die salarisse en lone van werkers in die bedryf gehad het. Die wêreldresessie in 2008 het Suid-Afrika ook negatief beïnvloed, veral die tweede grootste sektor, naamlik vervaardiging, wat tot dubbelsyfers gedaal het op ’n jaar-op-jaar basis. Die skoenbedryf word gesien as ’n gematigde bedryf om in besigheid te doen, maar met heelwat potensiaal wanneer die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie weer begin groei. ’n Belangrike faktor is die wisselkoers van die Suid-Afrikaanse rand teenoor die Amerikaanse dollar, wat met meer as 20 persent toegeneem het. Dit is die hoofrede vir ’n groter daling in uitvoere as invoere. Laer invoere beklemtoon ook die swak verbruikersvraag.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/981
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