Human capital constraints in South Africa : a firm level analysis
Labuschagne, Johannes Riaan
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This study examines human capital constraints in the South African economy, and the austerity these constraints have on firms in the country. The first part of the study identifies the main human capital constraints facing South Africa, and explains how these constraints influence an economy. An inadequately educated workforce along with restrictive labour regulations makes out the central components of these constraints. The second part explores all the relevant constraints individually, and determines the cause of their existence. The final part of this study consists of a firm level analysis that describes human capital constraints experienced by firms in South Africa. Regression analysis examines the determinants of increased output per worker in manufacturing firms. These determinants also indicate the cause of growth in output per worker. Human capital aspects such as education, labour regulation, compensation and competition are all shown to have a considerable influence on output per worker. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on the explanatory variables achieved similar results. For this analysis, latent variables that incorporated education, training, region and Sector Education Training Authority (SETA) support and effectiveness explained the highest percentage of the total variance. However, this study found no evidence to suggest that human capital development initiatives like training programmes and SETA support have a positive relationship with increased levels of productivity.