SA suffers from brain drain, low productivity
SA's rankings fell from 38 to 50th out of 55 countries
April 14, 2008, 10:15
South Africa has the world's highest brain drain and worst
skills shortages of 55 countries studied and its
productivity is plummeting. This is according to
Productivity SA and the 2007 World Competitiveness Yearbook.
South Africa also ranked last on infrastructure, internet
costs, health problems, availability of qualified engineers
and life expectancy. Surprisingly enough, its top rating of
number one last year for electricity supply, is likely to
plummet this year.
Liza van Wyk, the CEO of major skills training organisation
BizTech warns that the situation is worsening and load
shedding is exacerbating it. She says managers have failed
to find productive work for staff when lights are off.
According to Van Wyk, this will cut into profits, see job
losses, add to inflationary pressures and see South Africa's
economic ratings fall further.
Overstretched staff, a lack of training and poor management
saw productivity ratings plunge after a decade of sustained
growth - last year SA fell from 38th to 50th out of 55
countries. South Africa also has among the world's most
severe shortages of those with finance skills and senior
management competence ranking 52nd and 51st respectively.
Productivity SA research showed that South Africa had a 3,2%
per annum increase in private sector productivity since 1996
which fuelled international competitiveness. Van Wyk says:
"The more productive a national economy is, the higher the
personal income of workers and the lower inflation. Sending
administrative staff on a two day course like Ultimate
Organisational Skills is a simple and cost-effective way to
rapidly address challenges."
The 2007 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook of which
Productivity SA is a partner institute showed a drop in
South Africa's rankings from 38th position to 50th position
out of 55 countries. Factors contributing include South
Africa's economic performance competitiveness dropping from
40th in 2006 to 54th in 2007, high unemployment and low GDP
"The ratings show we need to relook at labour policies
urgently," Van Wyk said. The rankings showed government
efficiency declined from 25th in 2006 to 35th in 2007.
Weaknesses included discrimination hindering economic
development at 55th, personal security and private property
protection 54th, exchange rate stability 53rd and labour
regulations which hinder business activities 51st.
"The private sector continues to perform strongly but
inefficiencies in government are starting to sabotage the
overall economic outlook," she said. Productivity SA's data
shows that private sector business efficiency was steady at
32nd while productivity and efficiency increased from 56 in
2006 ranking to 44 last year. Stock market capitalization as
a percentage of GDP was at an impressive 4 and adequate
financing to companies from stock markets ranking 17th.
15 countries including South Africa, Indonesia, Italy,
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and France are losing
ground compared to the top league. - Sapa