HIV/AIDS Will Have Significant Negative Impact on South African Businesses in Next Five Years, Survey Shows
December 11, 2003
HIV/AIDS has had a "significant" adverse impact on the business practices of 9% of companies in South Africa, and 43% of companies predicted they would feel an impact from the disease within five years, according to the results of an independent survey released on Wednesday, Reuters reports. The South African Bureau for Economic Research and the South African Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS surveyed 1,006 South African companies in October and November and found that approximately 30% of the firms reported higher labor turnover rates, 27% had "lost experience and skills" and 24% amassed recruitment and training costs because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (Reuters, 12/10). The survey, which was conducted among the manufacturing, retail, wholesale, motor trade and building and construction sectors, also found that HIV/AIDS has had a "smaller or less noticeable" impact on the demand side of business, with less than 10% of companies participating in the survey reporting a negative impact on their sales, the South African Press Association reports. According to SABCOHA spokesperson Leighton McDonald, 18% of companies said they predicted appointing extra employees, or "work shadowing," to compensate for the epidemic's impact on productivity, absenteeism and mortality.
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