The Southern African Business Review serves as a vehicle for the publication and dissemination of research in the fields of the economic and management sciences. Research contributions should conform to high standards ofscientific scholarly research inquiry. The following should at least be addressed: purpose/objective of the article, sound conceptualisation/theoretical foundation, statement of the research problem or hypothesis, clear research methodology, analysis/discussion of research findings, policy recommendation or implications for industry and conclusion.


The Globethics library contains vol. 13(2009) no.2-23(2019) no.1

Recent Submissions

  • Human Capital Development and Economic Growth Nexus in Zimbabwe

    Abel, Sanderson; Mhaka, Nyasha; le Roux, Pierre (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-11-14)
    This study empirically examined the relationship between human capital development and economic growth in Zimbabwe for the period 1980 to 2015, using time series analysis techniques of co-integration, error correction model, and Granger causality tests. The study was motivated by changes which have characterised the financing of human capital since the country attained independence. A decade after independence, the government was able to adequately finance the social sectors; however, thereafter government financing has been declining since the adoption of the structural adjustment programme. The findings of this study indicate the existence of a short-run and long-run relationship between human capital development and economic growth in Zimbabwe. On the direction and significance of the relationship, the result is mixed. Human capital development, proxied by government expenditure on health, had a significant positive impact on economic growth—both in the short run and the long run—reaffirming that a healthy labour force will be more productive and efficient. Human capital development, proxied by government expenditure on education, was found to negatively impact economic growth in the long run. In conclusion, a positive relationship between human capital development and economic growth in Zimbabwe was found, although the relationship is weak.Keywords: human capital development; nexus; economic growth
  • Drivers of Customer Satisfaction in a Business-toBusiness Market: A Survey within the South African Stainless Steel Industry

    Radder, Laetitia; van Eyk, Marle; Laubscher, Ryno (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-11-14)
    The vast number of competitors and the similarity of products on offer in the South African stainless steel stockist and distributor market force organisations to find alternative means of competing effectively. Customer satisfaction might be one such an example. Whilst research has confirmed the positive outcomes of customer satisfaction, much less is known about the antecedents (drivers) that should act as the foundation of attempts to maximise satisfaction, particularly in a developing country. This study confirms five satisfaction drivers, reports the gap scores between importance and satisfaction ratings by the account clients of a major South African stainless steel stockist and distributor, and shows the relationship between these drivers and overall satisfaction. The analysis of 320 useable survey questionnaires shows a moderate to strong positive relationship with overall satisfaction for four of the five drivers. Reliability is the most important driver and product quality received the highest average satisfaction rating. Drivers with the largest significant gap scores include reliability, service quality and commercial aspects. Management should focus on the important drivers—those with the highest negative gap scores between satisfaction and importance, and those showing a significant relationship with overall satisfaction.Keywords: business-to-business marketing; customer satisfaction; service quality; trust; commitment; product quality; commercial aspects; reliability
  • Using Narratives to Understand the Experience of Career Success amongst Self-initiated Expatriates in South Africa

    Harry, Tinashe; Dodd, Nicole; Chinyamurindi, Willie Tafadzwa (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-11-14)
    Calls have been made within the careers literature for studies focusing on the career experiences of sample groups often neglected in theorising. One could regard self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) as one of these sample groups, especially within the context of a developing country. An interpretivist paradigm, relying on interviews, was adopted for this study using a sample of 25 expatriates working at a South African university. Based on data generated, career success was framed through: 1) quest for career progression; 2) material possessions; and 3) research publication output. Participants deemed factors within the organisation as key to this framing of career success, particularly: 1) the value placed on social networks; 2) the quest for fair remuneration; and finally 3) the availability of opportunities within the organisation. In their endeavours to retain and attract foreign academics, human resources (HR) practitioners can use the findings of this study to inform strategies that assist in developing their staff.Keywords: career success; self-initiated expatriates; academic expatriates; narratives; global careers
  • Bayesian Vector Auto-Regression Method as an Alternative Technique for Forecasting South African Tax Revenue

    Molapo, Mojalefa Aubrey; Olaomi, John Olutunji; Ama, Njoku Ola (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-11-14)
    Tax revenue forecasts are important for tax authorities as they contribute to the budget and strategic planning of any country. For this reason, various tax types need to be forecast for a specific fiscal year, using models that are statistically sound and have a smaller margin of error. This study models and forecasts South Africa’s major tax revenues, i.e. Corporate Income Tax (CIT), Personal Income Tax (PIT), Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Total Tax Revenue (TTR) using the Bayesian Vector Auto-regression (BVAR), Auto-regressive Moving Average (ARIMA), and State Space exponential smoothing (Error, Trend, Seasonal [ETS]) models with quarterly data from 1998 to 2012. The forecasts of the three models based on the Root mean square error (RMSE) were from the out-ofsample period 2012Q2 to 2015Q1. The results show the accuracy of the BVAR method for forecasting major tax revenues. The ETS appears to be a good method for TTR forecasting, as it outperformed the BVAR method. The paper recommends that the BVAR method may be added to existing techniques being used to forecast tax revenues in South Africa, as it gives a minimum forecast error.Keywords: Bayesian Vector Auto-Regression method; Estimation; Forecasting; South Africa; tax revenue types
  • Perceived Risk, Trust and Familiarity of Online MultiSided Pure-Play Platforms Selling Physical Offerings in an Emerging Market

    Carstens, Marelise; Ungerer, Marius; Human, Gert (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-11-14)
    Understanding how customers perceive trust and risk when engaging with online pure-play multi-sided platforms (MSPs), has become critical to the performance of digital marketing strategies. This study explored the relationship between perceived trust, perceived risk and user familiarity associated with MSPs. For the purpose of this study, MSPs are conceptualised as firms that operate only online, that seek to provide transacting services to buyers and sellers, and that sell physical offerings in an emerging market context. Primary data were collected through an online instrument across five MSPs and the study reported the results pertaining to differences and similarities between groups and platforms. The results show that while familiarity drives trust, its impact is moderated by perceived risk. Contrary to common belief, the results show gender differences, but do not confirm age differences in trust and the moderation effect of risk. Moreover, the results also show that the influence of familiarity is not significantly different across MSPs. Keywords: multi-sided platforms; online; South Africa; perceived risk; perceived trust; familiarity
  • Emotional labour among women leaders within the South African consulting industry: a hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry

    Pillay, Reevasha; Flotman, Aden-Paul; Mitonga-Monga, Jeremy (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-08-02)
    The opinion that the workplace should be viewed as a rational environment is being swiftly dismantled by acknowledging and harnessing the power of emotions in favour of individual and organisational outcomes. This study explored the lived experiences of emotional labour among women leaders in the consulting industry in South Africa. A qualitative study was conducted and informed by the hermeneutic phenomenological perspective. Data were gathered through in-depth, unstructured interviews with eight women leaders resident in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. The data gathered were analysed by applying a hermeneutic phenomenological analysis, and interpreted from a work- and personally related emotional labour stance. The empirical findings suggest that these women leaders enjoy very little work-life balance, which is accepted as common practice in this industry. Role complexity and personal life obligations result in role conflict. Their emotional wellbeing is adversely affected, which manifests in guilt, loneliness, loss of identity, alienation, shame and the emotional exhaustion they experience. Furthermore, it seems that adequate organisational support is not experienced by women leaders in this volatile, highly pressured emotional context. This study contributes to the field of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, the literature on emotional labour, as well as human resource practices such as talent management, retention strategies and the career management of women leaders  in the consulting industry by making suggestions for human resource practices and future research.Keywords: deep acting; emotion regulation; emotional labour; consulting industry; commercial value; surface acting; women in leadership
  • Employee wellness amongst middle managers in a South African public sector organisation

    Harry, Nisha; Gallie, Fatima (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-08-08)
    At the heart of the public service sector within a developing country such as South Africa, is the contentious issue of good service delivery. However, numerous budget cuts, high vacancy rates and service delivery demands have an impact on the wellbeing of middle managers. This study investigates: 1) the relationship between sense of coherence, work engagement and burnout; and 2) whether there is a difference in socio-demographic variables. The study employed a quantitative research method, using primary data from a convenience sample (N = 172) of middle managers within a public service organisation. The correlational and inferential statistical analysis revealed a significant statistical relationship between the variables, namely sense of coherence, work engagement, and burnout. Significant differences were also found between respondents in terms of marital status and depersonalisation or cynicism. Overall, the results showed that the respondents experienced high levels of sense of coherence, work engagement and professional efficacy. This study has highlighted the wellbeing of employees within the public sector in a developing country.Keywords: employee wellness; middle managers; public sector; sense of coherence; work engagement; burnout
  • Management practices and activities influencing the effectiveness of organisations in Namibia

    Ngwangwama, Matthias Mpareke; Ungerer, Marius; Morrison, John (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-08-08)
    One of the long-running debates within the research dealing with developing countries’ situations, has been the extent to which management theories and practices rooted in the developed countries’ perspectives can be applied by organisations in the developing countries. To contribute to this debate, this study aimed to discover new insights that could highlight the superseding management practices and activities associated with the effectiveness of organisations in a developing country. The study applied an inductive research approach through data obtained via interviews from 54 key role players and ultra-elites in organisations such as members of the board, management and employees. Qualitative research techniques were used to analyse data. The study findings suggest context-specific management practices and activities, unique from those typically cited in the developed countries, as influencing the effectiveness of organisations in Namibia. Moreover, the study found that management practices and activities related to human fundamentals, such as those embodied in the resource-based view of organisations, appear to be significantly associated with the effectiveness of companies in the Namibian context. The findings of the study have theoretical and practical value for those teaching, consulting and leading organisations in developing countries, especially in African organisations. Also, the findings have value for organisational development and design specialists, human resources professionals, Namibian business practitioners, and expatriates who manage operations and people in Namibia.
  • The South African government vehicle fleet must be local

    Rossouw, Jannie; Weyer, Lourens (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-08-08)
    South Africa is fast approaching a “fiscal cliff” owing to rising government expenditure on civil service remuneration, social security grants and interest payments on government debt. The fiscal cliff is defined as the point where civil service remuneration, social security grants and interest payments on government debt account for 100 per cent of government tax revenue. Currently these three items account for some 70 per cent of the government’s tax revenue. The South African government has already increased the value-added tax (VAT) rate from 14 per cent to 15 per cent, but a reduction in government expenditure must also be considered to avert the fiscal cliff. Unnecessary government expenditure must, therefore, be identified and eradicated. One example where savings can be recorded is expenditure on imported vehicles purchased for the government vehicle fleet at central and provincial government level. These vehicles can easily be substituted by the purchase of locally-produced vehicles. Research in this paper shows that a policy of exclusive purchases of locally-produced vehicles for the government fleet at central and provincial government level would (based on 2017-figures) lead to fiscal relief, higher employment in the automotive manufacturing sector and a once-off positive economic growth impact for the South African economy. This matter has also found some support amongst members of Parliament.Keywords: South African automotive industry; South African government vehicle fleet; economic stimulus; fiscal cliff; trade balance; economic growth
  • The value relevance of aged goodwill: a South African study

    Omarjee, Fatima Zahra; Yasseen, Yaeesh; Mohamed, Waheeda (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-08-08)
    The purpose of this study was to determine whether goodwill, which is measured in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standard 3 (IFRS 3), is value relevant at acquisition and as time progresses, for a period of two years after acquisition. Using the Ohlson model, 126 JSE firm-year observations were tested. It was subsequently found that goodwill was not value relevant at acquisition date but did become value relevant as time progressed. The possible reasons for goodwill not being value relevant at acquisition are attributed to the manner in which IFRS 3 requires goodwill to be measured, the allowance of provisional values under IFRS 3, and the complexities associated with complying with IFRS 3. Goodwill being value relevant as time progresses is attributed to the subsequent measurement requirements of IFRS 3, in particular the annual impairment testing requirement as opposed to the previous amortisation requirements. This study was conducted in a South African context where limited studies on goodwill have taken place. The results are deemed to be useful to investors and standard setters as they hold implications for goodwill accounting practice and changes to goodwill accounting standards.Keywords: goodwill; intangible assets; IFRS 3; Ohlson model; value relevance
  • Exploring dimensions of corporate social performance as a strategy for attracting quality job seekers

    Samuel, Olorunjuwon M.; Mazingi, Aretha (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-08-08)
    The main objective of this paper is to explore job seekers’ perception of an organisation’s corporate social performance (CSP) credentials as a plausible consideration in the employment decision-making process as suggested by existing literature. Similarly, the paper provides a contextual extension of previous studies that were conducted in different cultural work environments. The paper developed a conceptual model based on a literature survey in order to achieve its objectives. A survey of 515 final year undergraduate and postgraduate students in a public university in Gauteng, South Africa, was conducted to empirically determine the relationship between various dimensions of CSP in relation to a job seeker’s attractiveness to an organisation. The economic responsibility dimension of CSP was found to have the greatest influence on organisational attractiveness to job seekers. Previous studies used organisational level as the unit of analysis in arriving at conclusions, without corresponding evidence at the individual level of analysis. Our analysis in this study was conducted at an individual level, thus filling an existing gap in the literature. This paper further extends the work of some previous scholars on job pursuit intention. The study is, however, limited by our assumption that all participants would enter the labour market immediately after graduation, without control for those who may want to pursue further studies.Keywords: recruitment strategy; organisational attractiveness; quality job seekers; dimensions of CSP; employment decision
  • Pricing strategies in pork-based agribusinesses: evidence from Zimbabwe

    Ngarava, Saul; Mushunje, Abyssinia (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-07-08)
    Agribusinesses utilise an array of pricing strategies and practices that may be effective under certain circumstances. Price dictates income, directs the quantity supplied and demanded, provides an indication to customers, and shifts ownership. The objective of the study was to evaluate the current pricing strategies being employed in the Zimbabwean pork industry. The study utilised a cross-sectional survey of 166 pig producers, six pork abattoirs and 24 pork butchers in Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe. A standardised pre-coded questionnaire was the research instrument utilised. Descriptive statistics, MANOVA and multiple linear regression were utilised to analyse the data. The results indicated that agribusinesses were utilising break-even pricing, which is cost-oriented, through a formula price, pursuing profit-oriented pricing objectives, through a one-price policy, aiming for a low-penetration pricing policy, with no discount policy and managing a profit-to-cost ratio between 0% and 4%. The study recommends that the industry be flexible in its pricing mechanisms through utilising sales-oriented objectives and appropriate discount policies to induce “goodwill” within the industry. The industry is also recommended to vertically integrate in order to spread and dilute price risk to allow flexibility in pricing, and to utilise premium pricing.Keywords: Zimbabwe; pricing strategy; pork industry; agribusiness
  • Modelling and forecasting Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals using time series method: a case study of Victoria Falls rainforest

    Makoni, Tendai; Chikobvu, Delson (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-03-08)
    Modelling and forecasting of tourist arrivals at one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls Rainforest, is critical to the tourism industry and economy of Zimbabwe. The aim of this paper is to provide quantitative techniques that will help with accurate tourist arrivals forecasting, shedding light on seasonality and other patterns of tourist arrivals. A time series plot of the monthly tourist arrivals statistics from January 2006 to December 2017 availed by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority shows an upward trend in tourist arrivals with large fluctuations. To tame the variance which is increasing with time, a logarithm transformation is done on the data. A SARIMA (2, 1, 0)(2, 0, 0)12 model fits well to the data and outperformed other SARIMA models and the naïve, seasonal naïve and Holt-Winters exponential smoothing models. A two-year future out-of-sample forecast is done using this model and gives reasonable forecasts that indicate a general rise in tourist arrivals. Investors, tourism managers and the government can make use of such results in order to find effective and efficient solutions to the investment, foreign currency, accommodation, transport and infrastructure development problems and other tourist-related challenges faced by Zimbabweans.Keywords: tourist arrivals; seasonality; time series; SARIMA models; Zimbabwe tourism figures
  • The influence of shopping characteristics and socio- demographic factors on selected in-store buying practices in different socio-economic regions

    Duffett, Rodney Graeme; Foster, Crystal (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-03-08)
    The aim of this paper is to ascertain the usage of price comparisons and avoidance of impulse purchases regarding in-store food-buying practices among consumers who reside in low, middle and high socio-economic status (SES) regions. The article will also focus on the effect of shopping characteristics and socio-demographic factors on in-store food-buying practices. A quantitative consumer intercept survey was conducted among 400 low, 400 middle and 400 high SES region consumers in retail stores. Statistical analysis of in-store food-buying practices was conducted via a generalised linear model analysis of variables, utilising the Wald’s Chi-square statistic distribution. Consumers who live in the low SES region exhibited the largest price comparison usage tendency, whereas the high SES region consumers showed the highest predisposition to make impulse purchases. Several shopping characteristics and socio-demographic factors resulted in significant associations in terms of price comparisons and the avoidance of impulse purchases. Food manufacturers, marketers and retailers should consider implementing the study’s primary results in their marketing activities among consumers in the different SES regions. Additionally, shopping characteristics and socio-demographic factors of in-store food-buying practices require further research to add to the limited theoretical discourse.Keywords: price comparisons; avoidance of impulse purchases; in-store food-buying practices; socio-economic status (SES) regions
  • Assessment of financial conditions of South African municipalities: a unique model for KwaZulu-Natal

    Kleynhans, Ewert P.J.; Coetzee, Clive (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-03-08)
    Most South African municipalities experience significant financial problems. This study investigates the financial conditions of municipalities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). It was found that the most important factors which influence their financial position are unobservable municipally unique factors. The ratio of people of non-working age to the total population is also significant in influencing the financial position of municipalities. This article designed a unique financial conditions measurement framework to evaluate the financial status of local governments. Two independent instruments were developed, first to measure the financial quality of a municipality, and secondly, to identify and examine a number of socio-economic factors possibly affecting the financial condition of these municipalities. The study developed a composite financial condition index (CFCI) and a financial conditions management index (FCMI), and then tested the framework on 51 municipalities in the KZN province from 2009 to 2015. The study used a panel data approach with two financial condition indices as indicators. The findings suggest that, in the absence of individual effects, most of the selected socio-economic variables are relevant in terms of explaining some of the variations in municipal financial conditions. Cross-section fixed-effects do, however, significantly improve the overall performance of the model, suggesting that it is rather the unobservable municipally unique factors affecting municipal financial conditions.Keywords: municipalities; financial conditions; panel data econometrics; fixed-effects; local government; public finance; South Africa
  • The sectoral employment intensity of growth in South Africa

    Mkhize, Njabulo Innocent (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2019-03-08)
    Concerns have been expressed recently about the inability of the South African economy to provide adequate employment for the increasing number of job seekers. This paper investigates how sectoral employment intensity of output growth in the eight non-agricultural sectors of the South African economy has evolved in the period from the first quarter of 2000 to the fourth quarter of 2012, with a view to identifying key growth sectors that are employment intensive. Empirical findings of the study suggest that total non-agricultural employment and GDP do not move together in the long run, implying that jobless growth occurred in South Africa during the period under review. This supports the view that South Africa has become less labour-intensive and more capital-intensive. Results of a sectoral composition confirm a long-run relationship between employment and growth in the finance and business services, manufacturing, transport and utilities sectors. In particular, the results suggest that sectors within the tertiary sector are the best performing sectors in terms of employment intensity of output growth, reflecting the changing structure of the economy and the nature of employment shifting away from primary towards the tertiary sector. Investment in the tertiary sector is necessary to foster new employment opportunities and can assist in improving overall employment intensity in South Africa.Keywords: sectoral output growth; employment; employment intensity
  • Supplier selection problem: A fuzzy multicriteria approach

    Allouche, A.M.; Jouili, T. (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2017-04-11)
    The purpose of this paper is to suggest a fuzzy multi-criteria approach to solve the supplier selection problem, an approach based on the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and imprecise goal programming. To deal with decision-maker (DM) preferences, the concept of satisfaction function is introduced. The proposed approach is applied to a real case, a Tunisian company, in which the DM considers several confl icting objectives simultaneously: maximising the total value of purchases, minimising the total cost of the product, minimising the total number of defective products and minimising the total number of units delivered late. Using a multi-objective mathematical model and LINDO software, the results show that the proposed approach is very useful for selecting the best supplier and fulfi lling DM preferences.Keywords: Supplier selection, multi-criteria decision-making, fuzzy logic, satisfaction function, imprecise goal programming (IGP), fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP).
  • Development support for small and medium enterprises in the fi nancially constrained north-eastern regions of Namibia

    Mukata, C.M.; Swanepoel, E. (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2017-04-11)
    SMEs in Namibia suffer from a high failure rate as the rate of business discontinuation is four times higher than the rate of established business activity, as defi ned by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The purpose of this paper is to identify the type of support that is necessary to develop the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the poorest areas in Namibia and to determine if a signifi cant difference exists in terms of level of support required by SMEs between the two major towns in the north-eastern region of Namibia, Katima Mulilo (in Zambezi) and Rundu (in Kavango East) and between owners and managers. No databases of businesses existed in these two towns. Subsequently, a census of all the businesses (972) was conducted, from which a random sample of 176 businesses was drawn. The Mann Whitney, Goodman and Kruskal’s tau and Kendall’s tau-b tests were used to test for differences in type of support needed between the two towns. Overall the most ‘necessary’ types of support are provision of skills/vocational training, access to market information, a common facility centre, technical advice and assistance with the business plan development (mainly to obtain loans). Significant differences were found between the two towns with regard to type of support needed. In Katima Mulilo, ‘skills/vocational training’ ‘mentoring’ and ‘advice on the organisation of the business’ are the most essential types of support needed, while in Rundu it is ‘market information’, ‘technical advice’ and ‘subcontracting’. This is the fi rst paper which explores development support for SMEs in the remote regions of Namibia.Key words: small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Namibia, Zambezi and Kavango west and Kavango east regions, Type of support needed, owners versus managers, age of business, training
  • The relationship between a black economic empowerment score and shareholder returns in Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies

    Mehta, U; Ward, M (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2017-04-11)
    One of the major initiatives to redress the social and economic injustices of apartheid in South Africa is the black economic empowerment (BEE) legislative framework currently enacted by government. One of the core tenets of BEE is to facilitate the inclusion of previously disadvantaged blacks as shareholders of companies, thereby providing them with a stake in the economy. Since these new shareholders lack the means to acquire shares, existing shareholders devise various mechanisms which, in essence, bestow scrip on the newcomers, and simultaneously open up opportunities for BEE-compliant companies to benefit. Studies into the impact of BEE on shareholders have delivered conflicting findings, with some showing significant benefits to existing shareholders while others contradict this. The present study examines the association between a company’s BEE score/rating and shareholder returns, using an event study methodology and a buy-and-hold portfolio analysis to understand both the short- and long-term effects of a company’s BEE score. The authors observed a positive association between a change in BEE score and abnormal returns in the short term. In the longer term, portfolios which were comprised of companies with better BEE scores generated lower returns than those with worse BEE scores – a surprising phenomenon which may be attributable to the high cost of BEE compliance. Theseresults add weight to the existing body of literature which questions the efficacy of BEE.Keywords: abnormal returns, BEE, black economic empowerment, event study, buy and hold
  • The effects of extended water supply disruptions on the operations of SMEs

    Selelo, L.R.; Madigele, P.K.; Ntaka, P; Moetedi, K (College of Economic and Management Sciences (UNISA), 2018-05-08)
    The objective of this study was to analyse the effects of extended water supply disruptions on SMEs, in relation to returns, profitability and expenditure patterns. It investigated the impact of regular and/ or extended water supply disruptions on the operations of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Maun, Botswana. Various studies on the development of SMEs have focused exclusively on financial access and inclusion, licensing and regulatory requirements, as well as the development of the skills of workers and owners of SMEs. Consequently, there is limited academic literature on the key issue of critical infrastructure and its impact on the operations of SMEs. This study aimed to assess the effect of extended water supply disruptions as an underlying factor in the slowing of the SME growth and development rate. The results show that the majority of the respondents experiencing extended water disruptions reported that their monthly returns and profits had been negatively affected. The results of this study give a better perspective on the impact of infrastructural weaknesses on the operations, growth, competitiveness and profitability of SMEs in developing countries.Keywords: SMEs, water supply, profitability, competitiveness

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