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A re-evaluation of the estimated overcharge by the South African cement cartel
The topic of overcharge estimation regarding cartels is scarce in both the international and domestic regard. This paper aims to re-estimate the overcharge by the South African cement cartel after it was forced to disband following the end of the apartheid regime. In order to avoid the problem of spurious regression results, the time series data are thoroughly analysed for unit roots. To combat the presence of the confirmed nonstationarity, an error correction model is employed in order to yield more accurate estimates. When controlling for nonstationarity, it is found that the price overcharge is higher than that provided by static ordinary least squares regressions and is on par with more recent estimates.
The use and impact of criminal sanctions for environmental law transgressions in industrial facilities in South Africa: Determining the boundaries of overcriminalization
South Africa has many environmental laws that apply to industrial operations, which laws contain numerous criminal offence and penalty provisions. On conviction, criminal liability may be substantial and far-reaching, including maximum prescribed penalties of up to R5 million or R10 million or imprisonment of up to five or ten years, depending on the offence’s nature. The National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 also contains instances where additional criminal liability may be imposed. Writers have described these environmental laws as being ‘littered with new criminal offences’. Criminal law theorists express strong views against overcriminalization, describing it as ‘one of the most serious problems facing criminal law’ because although the criminal sanction should be the state’s ‘ultimate weapon against assaults threatening societal coexistence’, it ‘has become a blunt instrument through its indiscriminate use by legislatures as a tool to ensure obedience’. South African environmental law scholars have considered the criminal sanction in environmental law, but not how the landscape of criminal sanctions has changed over the years, how the criminal sanction is used against industrial facilities that contravene such laws, and what impact this has had on the operation of these facilities or effective enforcement. This research frames these considerations in terms of theories of criminalization and overcriminalization, by establishing a normative framework that can be used to assess what behaviour should be criminalized or what may indicate overcriminalization. This study analyzes changes to four selected South African environmental laws and specific offence categories and considers concluded prosecutions relating to such offences. It reflects the perspectives of 32 participants involved with environmental compliance and enforcement in South Africa, gauging their opinions on themes including criminal law as a last resort, certainty and practicality of the law and its frequent changes, the deterrent effect of criminal sanctions, and challenges in criminal enforcement. These aspects are analyzed within the normative framework to answer the overarching research question- whether the use of criminal sanctions for environmental transgressions in industrial facilities in South Africa has led to overcriminalization and when the use of the criminal sanction is appropriate and effective. The study’s recommendations aim to contribute to the more effective use of criminal sanctions through improved legislative design
An investigation of stakeholder influence on participants’ informed consent in the monitoring and evaluation process
Monitoring and Evaluations (hereafter referred to as evaluations) aid in decision making, come in many forms and have various functions depending on their objectives. The nature of evaluations is such that they are reliant on participation from various individuals, communities, and organizations. Informed consent is the process by which participants are made aware of the potential risks, benefits, and objectives of a study and thereafter formally or informally indicate their consent to take part in the proposed research. Informed consent is required as it contributes to trust amongst stakeholders in evaluations. However, while issues regarding informed consent (both in theory and practice) have a well-documented history, especially in medical journals that centre on developed nations; further insights still need to be garnered. As such, there is a need to understand the informed consent process and its suitability within low-income nations in research and evaluations. Consequently, this research report aims to provide an understanding of stakeholder influence on informed consent on participants in evaluations and how power and pressure mechanisms from stakeholders affect informed consent. The interviews allowed us to better understand the role of stakeholders and their influence in informed consent through the perspectives and lived realities of evaluators, industry experts, researchers, and academics as well as those currently working in organisations that have been evaluated. It is evident from the interview findings that the power dominance, pressure, and influences that occur in Evaluation can be both implied and explicit. There is no consensus on what constitutes true informed consent or what exactly and to what extent should participants be informed within evaluations. Rather the focus is more on the protection and privacy of information and data of the evaluations than participants' consent. The observed and dominant ways stakeholders influence participant informed consent is through information. This study contributes to the existing literature on the relationship between evaluators, participants, and decision-makers as well as the power dynamics experienced practically within evaluations. The researcher proposes that a more deliberate approach needs to be taken during the conception phase of evaluations. Finally, further research looking at participation in Evaluation from the lenses of participants is required. In addition, a deeper look into ethics within evaluations as service providers to their stakeholders.
Inhibitors of digital transformation in a multinational retail bank
This research report investigates the inhibitors of digital transformation strategy in a multinational retail bank with the case of Bank X. The study focuses on this topic from a view of a traditional bank as opposed to new entrants or digital banks as these institutions need to navigate existing operating models between Founding Organisations and Subsidiaries. The focus of this research is on the Southern African context wherein the Founding Organisation is based in South Africa and the Subsidiaries are based in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, eSwatini, and Lesotho, The existing theoretical framework is that multinational organisations need to leverage open resources, linkages, and integration between the Founding Organisation and the Subsidiaries to achieve successful digital transformation. Literature specifies that there needs to be open and effective communication to successfully formulate and implement digital transformation strategy in addition to the deep market understanding that must be provided to customise the strategy for each Subsidiary. The challenge that traditional banks are faced with is factors that must be considered during the strategic process to ensure that the strategy is successful in all their markets. Qualitative research in the form of semi-structured interviews with executive and senior management that is directly involved in the development and implementation of digital transformation strategy of a multinational retail bank was conducted. The population of the study consisted of participants situated in Subsidiaries as well as participants situated in the Founding Organisation with direct involvement into the Subsidiary operations. The study found that there is misalignment in the understanding of what digital transformation entails, and this misalignment is perpetuated by ineffective communication and adoption of strategy by the Subsidiaries. There is siloed development of strategy and implementation of strategy, resulting in nuances among the Subsidiaries not being fully incorporated. It is found that a leadership style similar to transformational leadership is necessary to empower Subsidiary leadership to own the strategy for their market. The conditions of technology regulation and availability in the market as well as organisational culture are important to consider when aiming to successfully implement digital transformation strategy in a multinational retail bank. In order to digitally transform a multinational retail bank successfully, there are recommendations that are made in this study. The recommendations are to align the transformation vision across the Founding Organisation and the Subsidiaries; leverage leadership roles and styles that benefit the transformation journey; understand the regulatory and technological landscapes of the markets that the transformation is targeting; communicate effectively among the Founding Organisation and the Subsidiaries; leverage data for enhanced decision making; decentralise development capabilities for system enhancements; and embrace national differentiation as a strategy.
The perceived impact of entrepreneurial coaching in the decision making of entrepreneurs within South African SMMEs
This research study was undertaken to investigate the effectiveness and perceived impact of entrepreneurial coaching on the decision-making of entrepreneurs in the small, medium, and micro enterprise sector in South Africa. A sequential mixed method study was undertaken. The starting point was the distribution of self-administered quantitative survey questionnaires to 148 participants selected according to probability sampling first, and then purposive sampling in the qualitative section. The data collected was analysed using Correlational Analysis, Regression Analysis and Exploratory Factor Analysis. The second and qualitative phase of the study consisted of two parts: The first, was an action research intervention. It took the form of coaching sessions that were conducted with seven participants from the first larger study. Thereafter, interviews were conducted with coaching participants. The findings of the quantitative phase showed that decision-making positively impacts business growth. In the second phase of the study, the qualitative phase, it was evident that an entrepreneurial coaching intervention enhanced the decision-making of entrepreneurs. The recommendation to those who support SMMEs is to increase the utilisation of entrepreneurial coaching to aid in the arrest of the failure rate of SMMEs; and for the entrepreneur entrepreneurial coaching can deliver numerous benefits, like improved self-efficacy and improved decision-making, which leads to business growth and sustainability.