IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLIC SERVICE READY TO EMBRACE GLOBALIZATION: OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH(7)

RESEARCH(7)

South Africa’s competitive position

A country’s international competitive position depends on a number of factors. Apart from the pride of the product, factors such as the quality of the product delivered, customised products, on-time delivery, general good service to the customer, and movements in the exchange rate, all play a role. With regard to the latter, a depreciating currency, as South Africa has experienced in recent years, makes exported products less expensive and therefore more attractive to foreign buyers. The Labour Market Commission argues that the depreciation of the Rand has lowered South Africa’s unit labour costs relative to those of its major trading partners. However, a depreciating currency does not only have disadvantages, but also poses certain threats. For instance, it leads to higher import prices that might increase local inflation and wipe out any benefit of a depreciating currency. Taking account of various factors, South Africa’s competitiveness position compares unfavourably to some countries (Mohamad, 2002:7).

According to Meyer (2004:2), the field of Human Resource Development (HRD) has evolved so rapidly in South Africa and abroad that traditional training is under threat. Meyer (2004:24) observes that where traditionally, training was seen as a tool to give employees knowledge and skills to perform their work more effectively, this view is changing. Nowadays, Public Human Resource Development is used as an important imperative to enhance competitiveness and is employed strategically.

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