Economy of South Africa
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has approved a 6,5% maximum increase on prices of medicines, announced in a Government Gazette published last week. The earliest that consumers will see price hikes will be at the beginning of May, 16 months after the last round of price increases.
More than 40% of manufacturing companies say HIV/AIDS is biting into profits, according to a survey by the Bureau for Economic Research and the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (Sabcoha). The survey is the largest of its kind to date, reporting on more than 1000 firms in the manufacturing, retail, wholesale, motor trade, and building and construction sectors. Overall 34% of the companies surveyed said HIV/AIDS had cut into profits. Retail was the least-affected sector, with only a quarter of companies reporting a negative effect on the bottom line. Respondents said that labour productivity and increased absenteeism were the greatest HIV/AIDS-related cost, followed by higher employee benefits and lost experience and skills. Companies in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, with more than 40% of companies operating in these provinces saying that HIV/AIDS had lowered labour productivity or led to more absenteeism. Only 20% of Western Cape companies reported such adverse effects, reflecting the province's lower HIV prevalence. (Source: Tamar Kahn: Business Day, 4 February 2004) Link \//\ For more information on the report go to http://www.ber.sun.ac.za/ and click on HIV/AIDS research The PDF copy of the complete SABCOHA report (1.154 KB) is now available http://www.ber.sun.ac.za/downloads/2004/aids/fullreport0204.pdf