Labour Market Studies

The potential of social grants expenditure to promote local economic development and job creation

Research Report. Centre for Poverty Employment and Growth, Human Sciences Research Council

South Africa’s publicly funded social safety net, which consists of multiple conditional cash grants, has expanded considerably since a child support grant was added to the old age pensions and disability grants in 2002. Jacobs et al draw together local and global evidence on the developmental potential of social grants, including a typology of social…


Policy Options to Leverage the System of Social Grants for Improved Access to Economic Opportunity

by ALTMAN, M. & BOYCE, G, 2008
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

The distribution of social grants in South Africa expanded considerably between 2001 and 2007. However, in a context of high unemployment, there is concern that unemployed household members depend on grants that are meant to target children, the aged or disabled. Thus grants are spread thinly, dramatically reducing their contribution to the intended beneficiaries. Moreover,…


International Experience with Worker-side and Employer-side Wage and Employment Subsidies, and Job Search Assistance Programs: Implications for South Africa

by SMITH, C., 2006
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

Smith summarises international experience with labour market interventions aimed to improve employment, particularly among disadvantaged job seekers. These interventions include firm-side wage and employment subsidies, worker-side wage and employment subsidies, and job search assistance programmes. The review then assesses which policies are particularly relevant to South Africa’s unique labour market situation. Because active support for…


Nursing Attrition and the Work Environment in South Africa’s Health Facilities

by HALL, E.J., 2004
Curationis Nov;27(4):28-36.

Hall assesses shortages of professional health workers in the public health sector. Unsatisfactory working conditions in health facilities were mentioned as one of the key aspects responsible for the shortages. Literature indicates that stress caused by unsatisfactory work environments may play a major role in em ployees’ decision to resign their jobs, in spite of…


International Perspectives and Parallels in Labour markets

by EDGREN, G., 2006
Transformation Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa January 2006, pp.13- 35

The article focuses on the apartheid era which left South Africa as a ‘special case’ in the field of labour market analysis, with large gaps of human development particularly in older generations, a huge degree of under utilisation of its labour force, and difficult tensions in its industrial relations. As if this heritage were not…


Beyond ‘Lean’ Social Democracy: Labour Law and the Challenge of Social Protection

by BENJAMIN, P., 2006
Transformation Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa January 2006, pp.37-57

Benjamin examines three inter-related issues that are central to policy-making on the future direction of labour market regulation in South Africa. The first of these is an examination of the impact of changes in the nature of work and the labour market on the efficacy of labour law. A second concern is to examine the…


Where to for the South African Labour Market? Some ‘Big Issues’

by ALTMAN, M. & VALODIA, I., 2006
Transformation Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa January 2006, pp.1-5

The labour market landscape has changed dramatically over the first decade of democratic governance in South Africa. Of course, the most obvious change is extremely high and rising rates of open unemployment. This was partly caused by restructuring and capital intensification in traditional resource-based industries, without a concomitant growth in manufacturing or services. Historically, South…


The Absence of Gender in South Africa’s New Industrial Policy Framework

by NGANDU, S., 2008
Agenda, 22:78, 199-207

Though the new National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF) is a step in the right direction towards diversifying the South African economy away from its mineral dependency, it is silent on gender issues. South Africa’s industrial policy has never been gender sensitive. This has its roots in early industrialisation that was centred on the mining sector…


Wage Determination in South Africa: What Do We Know?

by ALTMAN, M., 2006
Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa , 60 , 2006, pp. 58-89

Wages play an important role in the broader economy from both efficiency and equity perspectives. This article considers the state of knowledge on wage determination in South Africa. It asks the following questions: Is wage setting appropriate for South Africa’s development needs? Are wages determined in alignment with employment and growth needs to achieve full…