Mentoring of SMEs by big corporate industries as a way of mitigating the negative impact of HIV/AIDS, with particular reference to the Western Cape.

Mzizi, Thandi (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


The impact of HIV/AIDS on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is little known in South Africa. SMEs are arguably the largest employer, nationally, particularly in the Western Cape. Unfortunately, SMEs fall within the profile of businesses that have neither measured the prevalence and impact of HIV/AIDS on their businesses, nor devised a response to it. Realizing the risks and costs posed by HIV/AIDS in their business partners, chief executive officers of Western Cape corporate employers, signed a pledge to mentor SMEs. This paper focuses specifically on the mentorship programme of South African Breweries (SAB), which uses taverns and shebeens as a platform for education and awareness programmes in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This was a comparison study, which measured the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) of trained and untrained tavern owners in four geographical areas to determine how business has responded to the epidemic. A quantitative research approach was used. The study revealed that the experimental group (trained tavern owners) displayed greater basic knowledge and understanding of HIV and AIDS, than the control group (untrained tavern owners). Some of the challenges facing workplace programmes were the involvement in programmes without enough information. The study concluded that without capacity building through methods such as instruction, coaching, providing experience, modeling, advising, training, information sharing and resources by corporates, the negative impact of HIV/AIDS in SMEs will not be mitigated. While the survey results suggest the need for greater involvement by corporates in mentoring programmes, further research on the role of the private sector in HIV/AIDS management is necessary.

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