*Electronic Theses and Dissertations (Masters)

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    The challenges of inclusive industrial development in South Africa's clothing and textile sector
    (2022) Wesi, Boingotlo
    South Africa’s clothing and textile sector has undergone a recovery process form nearly disappearing to reaching a stable condition. Over the years policies have been implemented to aid the sector and make it more competitive. However, the sector continues to be faced with developmental challenged. The study finds that within the clothing and textile sector, industrial policy has played an inadequate role as a tool of development and transformation. Secondly, the political economy of financing has been challenged as a result of pressures from transformational policies such as B-BEE. Lastly, there is a need for a policy agenda shift from competitiveness to transformation in South Africa’s clothing and textile sector.
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    The social and economic relationship between renewable energy (solar) and gendered labour
    (2021) Taylor, Julia
    The world faces a climate crisis due to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels which has supported industrialisation and capitalist expansion. One of the solutions to the climate crisis is to reduce carbon emissions by transitioning from a fossil fuel-based energy system to one based on renewable sources such as solar or wind energy. The just energy transition promises to address unemployment and poverty while reducing the carbon intensive nature of the energy system. However, this energy transition is complex and holds uncertainty and risk for many people, particularly workers and communities who depend on the coal value chain. This research report adopts a feminist political economy lens to explore the relationship between the development of renewable energy and gendered labour. This approach highlights the importance of the economy, the household and the state in the process of social reproduction. It is relevant to debates about a just energy transition because it highlights gender and racial inequalities and the undervalued and unpaid work required for social reproduction which should be addressed in any effort to achieve justice. By analysing the impact of the development of solar power plants on the workers and communities in three towns in the Northern Cape, and focusing on the three components of social reproduction, I find that the energy transition in its current form will not deliver justice for the poor and working classes.
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    The trajectory and determinants of dividends on the Johannesburg stock exchange
    (2022) Sekgosana, Nomasonto
    This study examines factors affecting the decisions of firms to pay dividends using non-financial firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The study uses 1) descriptive statistics to draw trends from the data, 2) logit regression using firm-specific factors as independent variables and a firm's decision to either pay or not pay dividends, 3) and portfolio analysis to check the robustness of the results. There is confirmation that firm-specific factors and propensity can explain the declining number of dividend-paying firms over the sample period. The South African stock market has seen a significant decline in the number of firms paying dividends from 1994 to 2020. Additionally, the pool of JSE firms declined from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. However, the overall number of firms on the JSE has remained stable since 2004 while that of dividend-paying firms continuously declined throughout the sample period. Thus, the shrunk market of the JSE does not seem to explain the drop in the number of firms paying dividends. In pursuit of specific reasons to explain the declining dividend payment trend, the study proposes five hypotheses based on the evidence from the literature. The first four predictions are based on firm-specific factors (profit, size, free cash flow and investment opportunities), while the last one is based on the propensity of firms to pay dividends over the sample period. All three methods of analysis used show either very strong or some evidence that profitability and size play a significant role in the decision of a firm to pay dividends. Although there is evidence regarding a firm’s investment opportunities, the study shows that this would be subject to a particular time frame and the size of the firm. Additionally, the fifth prediction based on the firms ‘propensity to pay dividends was supported by all three methods of analysis. Therefore, firms, in general, were less inclined to pay dividends over time during the sample period irrespective of firm-specific factors. Furthermore, the study incorporates the contribution of certain major economic and regulatory events in explaining the observed declining number of dividend-paying firms.
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    An overview of corporate income tax in South Africa
    (2022) Ramsunder, Julita
    This paper investigates the corporate income tax regime in South Africa in order to determine if it has a comparatively high cost corporate tax regime compared to other jurisdictions. The paper also explores the relationship between corporate income tax and investment, as a higher tax cost relative to other jurisdictions is likely to discourage investment in South Africa. The paper uses three different measures to compare South Africa to other jurisdictions namely: the statutory rate, the backward effective rate and the forward effective rate. South Africa has a relatively high statutory rate, forward and backward effective tax rate which suggests the country imposes a higher corporate income tax cost compared to other jurisdictions in the sample. In South Africa, economic growth is key for driving both corporate tax collections and investment, where certain studies suggest that economic conditions are far more important than the tax structure for investment decisions. Further studies are required to fully unpack the investment and tax regime relationship in South Africa.
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    What fiscal policy measures are associated with higher economic growth in South Africa? With specific reference to spending and taxation
    (2022) Qomoyi, Siyasanga
    This paper investigated fiscal policy measures that impact economic growth by testing variables such as expenditure, personal income tax (PIT), corporate income tax (CIT), government debt and household consumption expenditure from 1994 to 2019. The study employed the Vector Autoregressive Model (VAR) for short-run and the Vector Error Regression Model (VEMC) for long-run models for model 1 and model 2 since there was more than two cointegration in the models. The study employed the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) for model 3 since there was no cointegration. The findings indicated that the variables have varying effects on private investment and economic growth in the short run. At the same time, an increase in debt will likely increase expenditure in the long run. A decreased household consumption expenditure would likely increase economic growth in the long run. There is a significant negative relationship between corporate tax and economic growth and a significant positive relationship between government debt and economic growth. The study further provides recommendations.
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    How to win real-life Monopoly: the roles of tax havens and finance in the monopolisation of multinational corporations
    (2022) Nadarajah, Kristin Dilani
    Much like individual income inequality, there is an increasing gap between top corporations and the rest, in terms of revenue, profits, and power more broadly. This gap is reinforced and exacerbated by the largest corporations’ ability to minimise taxes through the use of tax havens and the offshore system. There has been extensive research mapping the issue of corporate tax avoidance, as well as documenting the rise of market and monopoly power (concentration), however, there is less research combining these two. Monopoly power is thoroughly dealt with in the Monthly Review School tradition with their monopoly capital roots. Recent developments within the tradition have also incorporated finance as a key aspect of the tendency of capital to concentrate and centralise. Nevertheless, tax havens and the system around them have been excluded from this debate. This paper finds that tax havens play a crucial role in the process of concentration and centralisation of capital for three key reasons: (i) they act as a driver of financialisation which in turn accelerates the centralisation process, (ii) they provide cost minimising tools which have become central parts of capital accumulation, and (iii) they contribute to creating more opaque markets and increase the competitive advantages of the giant corporations, allowing them to increase barriers to entry. Tax havens and their usage by multinational corporations (MNCs) must therefore be seen as a systematic issue that plays a key role in not only the financial system, but also in the economy and capitalist system as a vehicle of capital accumulation in the hands of a few.
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    Financial sector development and economic growth in South Africa: role of the banking sector
    (2022) Monareng, Kabelo Precious
    This “study examines effects of the efficiency of the financial sector on economic growth in South Africa through an augmented Solow-Swan growth model using annual data from 1975 to 2020. The financial sector development is characterised by the role of the banking sector in enhancing growth through the productive use of a country’s stock of financial capital. In this study, autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) and instrumental variable (IV) models are used to estimate the derived augmented financial sector induced growth regressions. The ARDL method observes a positive but insignificant effect of financial sector development on economic growth. However, using internal instruments, instrumental variable regression provides joint endogeneity between regressors. The IV estimation results show that financial sector development has a significant positive effect on economic growth, hence, increased efficiency in the banking sector can lead to enhanced growth. In addition, the results observe that the quality of institutions are crucial to the relationship between financial sector and economic growth. To this end, policymakers should continue to improve financial inclusion and the quality of institutions, which could potentially spur economic growth in South Africa.
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    The analysis of ICO and IEO performance in the shortand long-run
    (2022) Matereke, Ngonidzashe N.
    Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) today present themselves as fastgrowing alternatives and innovative ways to raise external financing for entrepreneurial ventures or fintech start-ups through the selling of coins directly to investors. This study analyses both the ICO and IEO in the short-and long-run. Examined are 101 ICOs listed between January 2017 and June 2021, as well as 22 IEOs listed between January 2018 and June 2021. Furthermore, the study explores various ICO and IEO performance determinants using a fixed effects regression model. The variables analysed are proxies for asymmetric information that exists between the issuing firm and investors, size was found to be the only significant variable. More so, the study finds that generally ICO and IEO are over-priced, this eventually results in coins performing poorly following aftermarket performance. Short-run performance seems to play little to no role in determining the long-run performance of newly issued coins. The results of this study suggest that the availability of white paper is not adequate to address the asymmetric information that persists between the issuing firm and investors. Lastly, using a buy-and-hold strategy the study finds that coins underperform in the long-run as given by negative abnormal returns of 35.06% after 3 years.
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    The impact of discretionary taxation on economic growth in South Africa
    (2022) Masipa, Makoto Tryphosa
    This paper considers the impact of taxes on long run growth in the South African context for the period: 1994 to 2019. The Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds test was employed to test the long run cointegrating relationship between the variables. Further, in the study, the long run and the short run models were estimated. The results from the cointegration tests show that there is a significant long run relationship between GDP growth and tax revenue. Supply-side theorists advocate for tax cuts to improve growth; however, the results investigated in this paper are contrary to those espoused by supply-side theorists. Tax revenue can potentially improve growth in South Africa if put to good use. There is a stable long run relationship with high levels of significance between GDP and total factor productivity and between GDP and labour forces. Further, the results show a positive yet insignificant relationship between GDP growth and human capital growth. In the short run, results show that there is a positive and insignificant relationship between GDP and tax revenue as well as between GDP and human capital and labour forces. Finally, the results show a significant and positive relationship between Total factor productivity and GDP. It is recommended that adjustments in the level of government expenditure should be made to promote economic growth in South Africa (Example, invest in education and labour forces for growth).
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    Testing the adaptive efficiency of bitcoin
    (2022) Maredi, Maromo
    This research aims to investigate an alternative view of market dynamics referred to as the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis which posits that an asset’s efficiency will change over time. As such, this research will test whether Bitcoin is time-varyingly efficient. This will be accomplished in three stages. Firstly, whether Bitcoin returns follow a random walk/martingale will be investigated. If they do, that means that they cannot be predicted, thereby providing evidence of the weak-form market efficiency. If they do not follow a random walk, however, the second phase of the investigation turns to whether they can be modelled. The first attempt models the current Bitcoin return as a function of its own lagged values, which is predicated the idea of all relevant information being reflected in historical returns. The inadequacy of this model in its description of the returns generating process, provides evidence that there is private information that historical returns do not reflect which impacts returns. To account for this, the returns generating process is thus modelled using both historical returns and exogenous lagged variables without need to specify the model’s functional form. If the model performs better in some periods than in others, it can be inferred thus that Bitcoin is timevaryingly efficient.
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    The interconnection of the South African, African and BRICS equities markets
    (2022) Kabisoso, Muyamba
    This study aims to find out whether the South African equities market is integrated with the remainder of the BRICS markets and with other selected African markets (Botswana, Nigeria, and Namibia). The sample period used for this study spans from January 2000 – December 2021 for the BRICS markets and February 2004 – December 2021 for the African markets. These periods were chosen to allow for the same number of years before and after the 2008 global financial crisis to be roughly the same without having to separate the two periods. The study makes use of a Vector Autoregression (VAR) model to see whether lagged values of the dependant variable and other variables have some sort of predictive power. The model is used for all the respective market indices as dependent variables. This is then followed by a Granger Causality test, which is used to see in which direction causality flows, or if indeed it flows in both directions (reverse causality). Results point to the existence of interconnection between BRICS markets as there is significant predictive power, with the Russian market appearing to be the most dominant market as it granger causes the majority of markets within the group. Within Africa, interconnection is also present with the Nigerian market showing to be the leader. This all points to the bigger economies leading the groups while the smaller ones follow, with China being an exception within the BRICS group, as it appears to neither significantly affect nor significantly be affected by other markets.
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    A tale of tweets: the influence of Twitter on the technology sector
    (2022) Eltringham, Bradley
    Investor sentiment has emerged to be a very topical subject within the context of behavioural finance. In more recent times textual analysis has emerged to be one such way of attempting to quantify investor sentiment. This study utilises textual sentiment and attempts to examine the predictive power of social media networks with regard to the technology sector during the course of unprecedented market wide volatility as a consequence of a global pandemic. More specifically, this study analyses the association between tweet features (bullishness/sentiment , message volume and overall investor agreement ) and market features (daily trading volume, volatility and raw returns, closing price, intraday high, intraday low) with regard to the 10 current largest technology sector firms by market capitalisation. The study spans over the period of February 2016 to December 2021, which encompasses the COVID-19 pandemic. The first finding of this study indicates that most of the tweet features are observed to be contemporaneously associated to the stock returns of the ten biggest technology firms by market capitalisation. Second, the results show the that for the most part there is no monotonic relationship between tweet features and technology sector stock market returns with exception of the relationship between the magnitude of message agreement and stock returns. Third, there is no evidence that the past values of tweet features contain any useful information that could be used to predict future stock returns. Finally, by comparing the pre-COVID data and intra-COVID data, it is noted that for the most part there is no monotonic relationship between tweet features and technology sector stock market returns. There is however evidence that the use of increased usage of Twitter as an investment tool following an exogenous shock to the market.
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    Local is lekker: cam the Mining Charter III create a new black industrialist class
    (2022) Davids-Green, Larah-Ann
    Despite the vast resource endowment, South Africa has experienced a hollowing out of industrial capabilities and entered into premature de-industrialisation. This research was motivated by the State of the Nation Address on the 16th of February 2019, given by the current President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. He spoke of the government taking action to transform the economy using the mining and manufacturing industry not as a sunset industry, but rather as a sunrise industry. The President highlighted the critical role of the Mining Charter Three would play as “truly an effective instrument to sustainably transform the face of mining in South Africa.” This informed the research objective: to assess whether the Mining Charter Three can successfully foster a new black industrialist class. Qualitative research underpinned the study. Data was collected from five companies which have emerged as BBEE partners to determine whether they are enjoying the fruits of forward and backward linkages in the mining sector. From the data collected, it is evident that the sector is empowering a new breed of black entrepreneurs, hence the sector is acting as a sunrise industry
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    An impact assessment of India's job guarantee: exploring the gap between theory and practice
    (2022) Torma, Clara
    In capitalist economies, unemployment has always been a structural and unresolved problem. In this sense, the study of employment policies represents a contribution to addressing this issue. The Job Guarantee (JG) is a public option for jobs that offers employment opportunities to every citizen ready, willing, and able to work. Focusing on further exploring the JG, this research is structured in two pillars. First, to examine and systematise the theory and underlying impacts of the JG proposition advocated by Pavlina Tcherneva, Randall Wray, and other authors from the Keynesian tradition. Second, to study in detail a real-world JG experience: its context, impacts and challenges, being able to grasp to what extent it corresponds to the theoretically expected impacts of a JG implementation. The Indian case was selected since the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) can be considered one of the largest and most ambitious employment generation programmes in the world. The assessment of MGNREGA’s performance reveals it is still far from what is expected from a JG in the theory. Its performance certainly leaves a lot of room for improvement. More investment in the infrastructure of poor localities is needed to expand the programme’s socioeconomic transformative power in the wages level, unemployment reduction, poverty alleviation, inequalities easing and well-being
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    Addressing the ‘new in the New Development Bank (NDB)’: a mission-oriented institution to finance the BRICS’ ecological transitions
    (2022) Braga, João Pedro Loureiro
    The New Development Bank (NDB) has not yet received the attention it deserves in the development community. As a multilateral development bank (MDB) established by the BRICS in 2014, its mission is to provide the basis for sustainable development cooperation supporting public and private projects through loans, guarantees and equity participation (BRICS 2015a). To address the research gap on the ‘new in the NDB’, this thesis analyses how the bank can position itself as a mission oriented institution to finance just ecological transition in the BRICS countries. The argument in favour of the NDB asserts that it is a demand-driven institution aiming to finance sustainable infrastructure. However, a critical assessment of this argument is needed to shed light on the challenges facing its green finance framework and address the ‘new in the NDB’. This means articulating an analytical framework that critically assesses the NDB’s engagement with sustainability and evaluates its claims of originality to materialise alternative sustainable development strategies for the BRICS countries. To do so, this thesis starts by reviewing the literature on the mission-oriented roles of development banks in climate finance to materialise sustainable development strategies for a just transition. This is followed by an empirical analysis of the BRICS challenge to finance sustainable infrastructure via the NDB, then an qualitative case-study assessment of the bank’s projects and its engagement with the country-specific challenges for a just ecological transition. The conclusions focus on opportunities to address the ‘new in the NDB’ and consolidate it as a full member of the development community by positioning it as a mission-oriented institution to co-finance the BRICS ecological transitions.
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    A discourse analysis of twitter posts on the perspectives of xenophobia in South Africa
    (2022) Makhura, Busisiwe
    Strained relations between locals and immigrants are a long-standing reality in South Africa and often we have seen it become a bloody battle resulting in the loss of life. However, over time we have seen these occurrences make a move into a different arena from (seemingly) purely physical contestations to open and continuous dialogue on public platforms such as social media. In exploring the thought patterns and processes of the participating individuals we believe we may find an explanation of their resultant actions and behaviour feedback into the greater belief systems in society- particularly xenophobic and anti-migrant ideals. Discourse Analysis on Twitter posts related to the #PutSouthAfricaFirst hashtag at two points in time during 2020/2021 is used to get insight into the underlying causes of this ongoing conflict. Sentiment analysis concludes as an attempt to gauge political influence and user sentiment on various themes that appear to be recurrent in these ongoing conversations.
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    An application of a machine learning technique in microeconomics: using a neural network to enhance prediction in the service of estimation in the context of the South African child support grant
    (2022) Wootton, Kyle
    In this study, my aim is to show how machine learning can be used for prediction in the service of estimation in the context of a microeconomic research question: namely, whether the South African Child Support Grant (‘the grant’) improves the nutrition of children who receive it. Specifically, I show how a fully connected artificial neural network can be used as a novel, and potentially superior, approach to constructing an input variable in microeconomic research where the input variable is the result of high-dimension prediction. The hypothesis is that, if a neural network can be used to improve predictive performance when constructing the input variable, the estimation step that relies on this input as a covariate should also be more accurate. The input variable in question is caregiver motivation which is a covariate used as part of the identification strategy when determining the impact of the grant on nutrition. Caregiver motivation is constructed as the standardised difference between predicted application delay and actual application delay. Actual application delay is the number of days between the child becoming eligible for the grant and receiving the grant. Predicted application delay is the expected number of days between a child becoming eligible for the grant and receiving the grant given a set of observable characteristics. When comparing eligible children who receive the grant to eligible children who do not, I find the motivation variable constructed using a neural network results in the grant having a statistically significant impact on child nutrition – a result consistent with theoretical expectations and qualitative empirical evidence. In contrast, the motivation variable constructed using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression finds no statistically significant improvement in child nutrition from the grant – a result contrary to theoretical expectations and qualitative empirical evidence. As a result, I argue the neural network is a better predictor of application delay for the grant than the OLS regression.
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    The determinants of economic diversification from a Sub-Saharan African perspective
    (2017) Masilo, Stanley
    Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is poor even though it has vast natural resources, is a paradox which various scholars have studied from different points of view. Furthermore, this region has a tendency to be highly reliant on narrow natural resource export baskets which are susceptible to external shocks and mineral depletion. Thus, economic diversification is a development path that can propel SSA economies to develop broad export baskets that are not highly dependent on natural resources, in order to mitigate systemic risk that stems from volatile commodity prices and achieve long-term sustainability. The research objectives of this study are twofold. Firstly, it determines the extent of economic diversification of selected SSA economies. Secondly, this study investigates the main determinants of economic diversification. The hypothesis of this study is based on the premise that there is a statistically significant relationship between economic diversification and government quality. Government quality is an important determinant of economic diversification due to its influence on macroeconomic fundamentals, infrastructure development, public goods and services. Furthermore, government formulates national development plans which can create a conducive environment for economic diversification to take place. The main policy recommendations towards achieving economic diversification from a SSA perspective, are encapsulated by the following aspects: structural reform and Group Economics
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    An Experimental test of the endowment effect
    (2017) Cohen, Justin Simon
    In this study, I use a computer game based lab experiment to investigate the existence of the Endowment Effect. Previous empirical evidence has been criticised for failing to adequately account for the effects of transactions costs and other frictions. The structure of the game used in this study allows me to control for these effects, and the results provide evidence in support of the existence of an Endowment Effect. The effect is found to be stronger when transactions costs are present.