Rhodes Repository (SEALS)

    An evaluation of IMF structural adjustment programmes : lessons for South Africa

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    The mixed results of International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programmes in less developed countries are a major motivation for this research. Explanations must be advanced as to what may inhibit the success of such programmes. South Africa has often found itself in a precarious position- with a deteriorating balance of payments, a position similar to other countries that have accepted IMF loans. Furthermore, South Africa undertook an IMF loan in 1993. Financial support from the IMF incorporates structural adjustment programmes. These may include measures such as tighter monetary policy, reduction in the budget deficit, exchange rate devaluation and ceilings on domestic credit with increased interest rates (Ferguson, 1988). These policies illustrate the principle of ‘conditionality,’ whereby access to further loans is conditional on certain criteria being met, such as reduced budget deficits and inflation rates. The principle of conditionality has met with a great deal of criticism. Bacha (1987) and Dell (1982) argue that these aggregate demand-reducing conditions more often than not stagnate domestic economies, worsening the balance of payment and result in programme breakdowns. Essentially, they refer to the IMF conditions as ‘unrealistic.’ The IMF denies this, arguing that shortfalls are mainly due to a lack of political commitment to carry out its conditions (Winters, 1994). This issue of conditionality will be examined in detail, using three specific case studies. The aim of this study is to examine the characteristics of Brazil, Mexico and Zambia to see whether or not the IMF programmes were successful. Guidelines will be established for South African policy from these case studies. South Africa is trying to adjust to the competitiveness of the international economy. At the same time, the need for reconstruction and development exerts increasing pressures on the balance of payments. Guidelines are established for a successful economic adjustment for South Africa. The research concludes that South Africa is certainly in line for a successful transformation. The rigidities are not as extensive as has been the case in Brazil and Zambia. Institutionally, South Africa is sound. However there are still challenges in this area, such as export diversification and economic stability to attract foreign investment

    National Economic Development and Labour Council

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    Perceptions of commerce graduates from a selected higher education institution

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    The role of higher education in developing human capital and contributing to economic growth, competitive advantage and societal progress of any country is well documented. The direct link between the economic performance of a country and the level of education of its citizens cannot be repudiated. Furthermore, the demands of a growing economy, governmental pressure and the competitive international business environment have put pressure on South African businesses. This is aggravated by a “skills crisis” and the need to deliver more goods and services to increasingly more diverse customers. There is consensus amongst experts that the shortage of skills and high-level managerial human resources in South Africa constitute a major threat to the country’s future economic development and productivity growth. As the business world becomes increasingly sophisticated and challenging, so does the need to continuously review and assess the business qualifications that equip managers to cope with the challenges facing them. The competencies that come with a Commerce degree are relevant in every corner of society from managing successful private companies, public organisations, for governments to be able to contribute to the greatest good of society, to socially effective not- for- profit organisations. Despite the importance of a degree in Commerce there are some criticisms about the degree and Commerce graduates. The problem statement of this study is therefore vested in the continuum of praise and criticisms of Commerce graduates and the Commerce curriculum and, the reported imbalances between higher education institutions and the needs of the labour market. The question is whether such praise and criticisms are justified and whether higher education institutions specifically meet the requirements and expectations of both the graduates themselves and of business practice. The primary research objective of this study was, therefore, to obtain the opinions of Commerce graduates and Commerce graduate employers on the overall perception of Commerce graduates produced by a prominent HEI in the Eastern Cape Province in South iv Africa. To achieve this objective and based on in-depth analysis of secondary sources, two independent empirical surveys, aimed at two population strata were conducted, namely: • The Commerce graduates with known email addresses (N = 1 870) were extracted from the HEI’s alumni database. A total of 231 usable questionnaires were received from these Commerce graduates. • The employers with known addresses (N = 85) were extracted from the selected HEIs Career Centre database. A total of 47 usable questionnaires were received from the employers of the Commerce graduates. The main findings in this research pertain to aspects concerning core courses in the Commerce curriculum offered by the selected HEI, management skills and traits as required in the work environment, commerce curriculum outcomes and perceived experience as a student in the Faculty of Commerce at the selected HEI and Employer perceptions on the profile of the Commerce graduate. In this regard, the main findings are therefore summarised below: • Both graduates and employers assigned high relative importance scores to seventeen of the 19 core courses, supporting the multi-functionary interdisciplinary approach to the Commerce curriculum. Concerns were expressed by the Commerce graduates with the quality of tuition they had received in most of the core courses. Likewise, employers were not always satisfied with the Commerce graduates’ proficiency in some of the core courses, relative to the importance of core courses for running a business. • The Commerce graduates and employers strongly endorsed and supported the importance of the 43 management skills and traits in the work environment. Commerce graduates expressed concerns about the extent to which their management skills and traits had been developed through tuition. Concerns about the proficiency of the Commerce graduates in all the management skills and traits, relative to the importance in the work place, were conveyed by the employers. • On average the perceptions on the outcome of studies in the Faculty of Commerce were very highly regarded by the Commerce graduates. The highest mean score was for the item “Studying in the Faculty of Commerce contributed to an increase in my knowledge and abilities.”• The perceived experience of Commerce graduates as students in the Faculty of Commerce at the selected HEI was very highly regarded, implying that the selected HEI was meeting the expectations of its Commerce graduates. • Employer perceptions of what would constitute an ideal Commerce graduate were not fully met by the profile of the actual Commerce graduate from the selected HEI

    SACCAWU national organising and bargaining conference 19-21 March 1993: Catholic Renewal Centre Kensington, Johannesburg

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    The problems surrounding SACCAWU'S wages are numerous. On analysis, large disparities are revealed. A clear guide-line in the form of a wage policy is needed. This report contains the findings of research into the problems with wages in the hotel and retail sectors of the economy. All wages used in this report are drawn from AWARD, the Labour Research Service's Actual Wage Rates Database

    St Aidan's College, Grahamstown: a history

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    by Francis L. Coleman ; with two chapters by Tony FarnellIncludes bibliographical reference

    Successes and challenges of the NUMSA Gender Committee

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    This session will try to cover policies adopted at the Congress and Central committee and will be divided in the following sections: collective bargaining, campaigns, gender structures/coordination, education, recommendations for discussion

    Transport and General Workers Union: Congress 1-3 December 1989, Pietermaritzburg: Progress report

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    The last eighteen months have seen tremendous growth in Transport and General Workers Union. Numerically the union has grown from 26 000 signed up members to over 40 000 in the period under review. But it is not only in numbers that TGWU has grown. The period has been one in which new structures of the union have been built, and where new organisational direction has been sought in all sectors. The period has been one during which for the first time in four years, the union has not had to divert its attention to putting into effect complex mergers and transfers of membership. It has also of course been a period charged by major national political developments - from the passing of the Labour Relations Amendment Act in September 1988, to the release of seven ANC leaders from Robben Island in October of this year

    Crossing boundaries: facilitating conceptual development in relation to culture in an English for academic purposes course

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    This research was undertaken as the first cycle of an action research project. The aim was to develop a course within the English Language 1 for Academic Purposes (ELAP) course at Rhodes University, which would facilitate the conceptual development of students in relation to the topic of Culture. The implementation of the course was researched, using students' writing, interviews, staff meeting discussions and video-taping of certain classes. Ten students volunteered to 'be researched'. The types of initial 'commonsense' understandings of culture held by students are outlined and the conceptual development which they underwent in relation to Culture is examined. Students' perceptions of the approaches to learning required in ELAP and the Culture course in particular are explored. The involvement of the ELAP tutors in the course and in the research was a learning experience for them, and this became-another focus of the research. The findings of the research support the argument for using challenging subject matter in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, provided that the learning process is carefully scaffolded. An underlying assumption is that ways of thinking and learning in university courses need to be explicitly taught to students and the study concludes that lecturers of mainstream courses could also learn from the findings of research such as this. The study also shows the potential power of participatory action research to involve practitioners in research and enhance their understandings of aspects of their practice. Finally, it notes the need to value subtle developments in students and to see them as being part of a longer term process

    Transport and General Workers Union: Newsletter June, 1987

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    Impala Coach Tours: TGWU declared a dispute with Impala Coach Tours which runs buses from Jan Smuts Airport, and to Sun City. The dispute concerns Impala's refusal to recognise the union and the dismissal of a worker, Mr Ernest Nelwamando. Ernest was dismissed after a company mechanic hit him with an iron bar when Ernest reported that his bus had faulty gears. Ernest was off work for 3 days. When he returned to work he was hit again by the director's son and then dismissed. TGWU applied for a Conciliation Board, and referred the disputes to the Industrial Court. Workers have reported the company to the Dept, of Manpower as workers the company is operating outside the law around wages and other conditions of work
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