A conceptual framework of the impact of the opening up of the South African economy post 1994 on the competitive strategies of companies active in the chemicals industry in South Africa (2024)

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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

2023 •

Dr Luckson Phiri

Background: The foundry industry plays an important economic role in South Africa and all efforts should be made to sustain the industry. However, the problem is that many foundries are closing down due to economic factors. Aim: The primary research objective was to identify from literature the micro-economic drivers applicable to the sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) of foundries in South Africa. The secondary objectives were to benchmark the perceptions of stakeholders in the most prominent micro-economic drivers identified from literature. Setting: With micro-economic drivers identified, management can then compile a SCA strategy to retain the industry. Foundry representatives from foundries located in all nine provinces of South Africa were invited to participate in the study. Method: An explanatory sequential mixed-methods approach was followed by first employing a quantitative approach, followed by a qualitative approach to identify the most prominent micro-economic drivers. Descriptive data analysis was utilised for the quantitative data and thematic analysis was utilised for the qualitative phase. Results: It was found that the most prominent micro-economic drivers are product quality, the ability to innovate, employees’ skills development, and investment in plant infrastructure. Conclusion and contribution: The article contributes towards the deficiency in literature by presenting the most prominent micro-economic drivers for the South African foundry industry. The article also makes recommendations on SCA strategies for foundries in South Africa based on the four micro-economic drivers. Keywords: South African foundry industry; sustainable competitive advantage; microeconomic drivers, explanatory sequential mixed-method, foundries closing down.

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The Development of South Africa´s Chemical Industry and Its Implications for Chemical Sector Development in Southern Africa

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Problem statement: As a result of disruptive technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), business models are transforming and industry best practices are being recon-figured, leading to multiple speculations about future models and factors for business survival, competitiveness and sustainability. Disruptions in traditional business suggest that new competencies and operational demands are now required Study aim: The study aims to explore elements for developing a competitive business environment in the context of the 4IR and new business models for competitiveness and survival of business in the South African context. Method: The study is qualitative in nature and data was collected following a document analysis technique. Official documents reporting on competitiveness were selected and reviewed. These documents included the Global Competitiveness Report and State of the South African Nation addresses. Results: The study found that the South African busine...

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In South Africa there is a general perception among industries that environmental regulation, and specifically environmental laws, have severe cost implications and may negatively affect the international competitiveness of such industries. These claims are supported by empirical evidence which suggests that several industrialists perceive environmental legislation in South Africa to be either absent, unclear and/or costly to comply with. This article investigates these claims with the view to determining whether the concerns of industry are justifiable from an economic, legal and governance perspective. It also investigates the extent to which legislation either may be improved or alternative measures may be applied in order to address the concerns of industry.

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Possible competitiveness enhancements to the South African passenger vehicle industry

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Harry Teifel

The South African automotive sector and its various role-players are caught in a battle for survival. A variety of national and international challenges are being faced. The international change agents are in the form of globalisation and trade liberalisation. These are forcing the country to open up its previously protected automotive industry and become exposed to global competition. These and other developments are laying bare the reality that South Africa and its automotive industry will, in its current format, not be able to withstand the competitive pressures. South Africa’s national competitiveness is generally weak, with the country exhibiting particular shortcomings in the area of human capital development, human capital deployment, the inability to sustain growth and attract investments, as well as the creation of wealth in general. The local automotive industry is also under significant pressure through global automotive developments as well as its own lack of competitiveness. The lack of competitiveness is mainly due to historic protectionism and disadvantages of a small local market. Survival depends increasingly on a rise in South African automotive exports. This will, however, require that a variety of particular weaknesses are dealt with effectively, such as the poor industrial relations prevalent in the industry and the widespread lack of Best Practices. South Africa has no choice but to transform on a national, industry and organisational level if the automotive industry is to survive or prosper in the new millennium. The local automotive industry is unlikely to survive if the country’s national competitiveness is not significantly improved.

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A conceptual framework of the impact of the opening up of the South African economy post 1994 on the competitive strategies of companies active in the chemicals industry in South Africa (2024)


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