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Hiring Patterns, Firm-Level Dynamics and HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Small Firms on the Cape Flats


  • Celeste Coetzee


This paper explores firm-level responses to HIV/AIDS. Case studies of seven small manufacturing firms on the Cape Flats failed to record any reported HIV prevalence or any perceived increases in costs due to HIV/AIDS for any of the firms interviewed. However, an interesting picture of labour practices at the bottom end of the formal job market emerged. Small firms look after their skilled workers, but take on and dismiss unskilled workers at a high rate. Small firms do not pay medical benefits and recruit using a well-developed community network to identify good workers. These companies are thus less likely to incur significant AIDS-related costs on the production side. There is anecdotal evidence that the impact of AIDS will be on the demand side with firms perceiving that customers avoid infected workers in service provision.

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  • Celeste Coetzee, 2003. "Hiring Patterns, Firm-Level Dynamics and HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Small Firms on the Cape Flats," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 052, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:052

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephan Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 2009. "Surviving Unemployment Without State Support: Unemployment and Household Formation in South Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(1), pages 1-51, January.
    2. CN Morris & DR Burdge & EJ Cheevers, 2000. "Economic Impact of HIV Infection in a Cohort of Male Sugar Mill Workers in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 68(5), pages 413-419, December.
    3. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    4. Eileen Stillwaggon, 2000. "HIV Transmission in Latin America: Comparison with Africa and Policy Implications," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 68(5), pages 444-454, December.
    5. Servaas van der Berg, 1997. "South African social security under apartheid and beyond," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 481-503.
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