The impact of HIV/AIDS on eThekwini businesses.
Shongwe, Christian Sibusiso.
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The emergence of HIV/AIDS as an epidemic has affected many aspects of life. The livelihoods of individuals, their families, friends, and their means of survival and betterment of life such as relationships, work, and wealth has been affected. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has affected first world countries as well as third world countries, globally. However, the main aim of the study has been to identify the impact of HIV/AIDS on eThekwini businesses. eThekwini was the main focus of the study because eThekwini is the economic hub of KwaZulu-Natal. The Impact of HIV/AIDS on eThekwini Businesses is a quantitative study which used a questionnaire to solicit responses from managers of profit-making organisations. The study intended to reveal the extent of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the profitability of the organisations and the costs incurred by employers in trying to deal with the disease. The study managed to reveal challenges faced by employers as well employees in an organisation. Employees were faced with the fear of victimisation based on their HIV/AIDS status. The fear of being dismissed and discriminated against because of their HIV/AIDS status forced employees not to disclose their HIV/AIDS status to employees. Employers were equally affected by high rate of absenteeism and deaths and the decline in productivity caused by HIV/AIDS illnesses. The challenges of high absenteeism and deaths led employers to come up with different strategies such as automation in order to increase productivity and at the same time reduce dependency on the labour force. However, knowledge of workplace HIV/AIDS policies was found to be lacking on the part of some of the employers. Recommendation on the findings will assist organisations to deal with HIV/AIDS in a manner that improves an organisation’s operational efficiencies and at the same time be aware of the employees needs in dealing with the effects of HIV/AIDS, so that organisation’s bottom line is improved and both employers and employees come out as winners in the end.