What is PDI / HDSA and What Does It Mean In South African Employment?

The PDI (Previously Disadvantaged Individuals) and HDSA (Historically Disadvantaged South Africans) policies in South African employment aim to address historical inequalities.

PDI generally encompasses individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds who were disadvantaged before the end of apartheid in 1994. HDSA specifically targets those who suffered systemic discrimination due to their race during the apartheid era.

In South African employment, adherence to PDI/HDSA policies involves affirmative action measures, diversity initiatives, and economic empowerment programs. Employers are encouraged to prioritize hiring and promoting individuals from PDI/HDSA groups to rectify historical imbalances and promote a more representative workforce. These policies are part of broader efforts to achieve social and economic transformation in the country.


Pros:

  1. Equity: PDI/HDSA policies promote equity by providing opportunities for individuals who were historically disadvantaged due to apartheid.
  2. Diversity: Encourages diversity in the workplace, fostering a more inclusive and representative environment.
  3. Economic Empowerment: Helps in the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities, contributing to broader socioeconomic development.

Cons:

  1. Reverse Discrimination: Critics argue that these policies may lead to reverse discrimination, disadvantaging individuals who are not part of the designated groups.
  2. Skill Disparity: Some contend that a focus on PDI/HDSA may overlook merit-based selection, potentially leading to skill disparities in certain sectors.
  3. Implementation Challenges: Challenges in implementing and monitoring these policies effectively may arise, impacting their success.

It’s essential to consider ongoing debates and changes in policy for the most current perspectives.

Alternative solutions to PDI (Previously Disadvantaged Individuals) and HDSA (Historically Disadvantaged South Africans) policies in South Africa could include:

  1. Merit-Based Selection: Emphasizing a merit-based approach in employment decisions, focusing on skills, qualifications, and experience rather than demographic factors.
  2. Education and Skill Development: Investing in education and skill development programs to uplift all communities, ensuring a more equal distribution of opportunities based on individual capabilities.
  3. Economic Development Initiatives: Implementing broad economic development initiatives that benefit all citizens, addressing poverty and unemployment irrespective of race or historical background.
  4. Transparent Hiring Practices: Ensuring transparency in hiring practices and promoting equal access to job opportunities for all applicants, regardless of their background.
  5. Social Programs: Implementing targeted social programs that address specific challenges faced by marginalized communities, aiming to improve overall socio-economic conditions.
  6. Inclusive Corporate Culture: Encouraging companies to foster inclusive corporate cultures that value diversity, providing equal opportunities for professional growth for all employees.
  7. Community Development: Focusing on community development projects that empower disadvantaged communities, addressing issues such as housing, healthcare, and infrastructure.

These alternatives aim to achieve fairness and equal opportunities without relying on explicit demographic preferences, fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.


SDG8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Progress towards achieving SDG8 has been challenging and the world is far from reaching most of the targets. The lingering effects of COVID-19, cost-of-living crises, trade tensions, uncertain monetary policy paths, rising debts in developing countries, and the war in Ukraine can each significantly set back global economic growth. Combined, these crises are placing the global economy under a serious threat. Global real GDP per capita is forecast to slow down in 2023, putting at risk not just employment and income but also advances in equitable pay for women and decent work for young people. Achieving SDG8 will require a wholesale reform of our morally bankrupt financial system in order to tackle rising debts, economic uncertainties and trade tensions, while promoting equitable pay and decent work for young people.

Progress towards achieving SDG8 has been challenging and the world is far from reaching most of the targets. The lingering effects of COVID-19, cost-of-living crises, trade tensions, uncertain monetary policy paths, rising debts in developing countries, and the war in Ukraine can each significantly set back global economic growth. Combined, these crises are placing the global economy under a serious threat. Global real GDP per capita is forecast to slow down in 2023, putting at risk not just employment and income but also advances in equitable pay for women and decent work for young people. Achieving SDG8 will require a wholesale reform of our morally bankrupt financial system in order to tackle rising debts, economic uncertainties and trade tensions, while promoting equitable pay and decent work for young people.

• Target 8.1: Following a sharp decline of 4.1% in 2020, global real GDP per capita increased by 5.0% in 2021. However, growth in global real GDP per capita is forecast to slow down to 2.1% in 2022 and further to 1.0% in 2023, before recovering somewhat to a growth rate of 1.8% in 2024. The growth in real GDP of LDCs slowed down from 5% in 2019 to just 0.2% in 2020 before recovering to 2.6% in 2021. It is expected that the growth in real GDP of LDCs would strengthen to 4.3% in 2022 and to 4.4% and 5.4% in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
• Target 8.2: After a sharp decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, labour productivity rebounded in 2021 by 2.4%. Productivity growth slowed in 2022, increasing by only 0.5%. However, even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, productivity growth had been slowing around the world. The latest estimates extend the downward growth trend, from an average annual rate of 1.8% between 2000-14 to 1.4% between 2015-22.
• Target 8.3: Globally, 58.0% of those employed were in informal employment in 2022, amounting to around 2 billion workers in precarious jobs, most lacking any form of social protection. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the incidence of informal employment had been slowly declining and stood at 57.8% in 2019. The pandemic resulted in a disproportionate job loss for informal workers, particularly for women, in 2020. The subsequent recovery from COVID-19 has been driven by informal employment, which has caused a slight increase in the incidence of informality.
• Target 8.5: Equal treatment in employment, including fair and equitable earnings, is fundamental for achieving decent work for all. The median gender pay gap across 102 countries is approximately 14%. However, this calculation is only based on average hourly earnings, thus not controlling for characteristics such as the sector or occupation, educational level or amount of work experience.
• Target 8.5: The global unemployment rate declined significantly in 2022, falling to 5.8% from a peak of 6.9% in 2020 as economies began recovering from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite an uncertain global economic outlook, unemployment is projected to increase only moderately, as a large part of the shock is being absorbed by falling real wages in an environment of accelerating inflation. Global unemployment is projected to edge up slightly in 2023, by around 3 million, to reach 208 million, corresponding to an unemployment rate of 5.8%.
 Target 8.6: Globally, nearly one in four (23.5%) young people were not in education, employment, or training (NEET) in 2022. Although this is a slight decrease since 2020, when the NEET rate was at an all-time high, it remains above the 2015 baseline of 22.2% and a long way from the 2030 target.
• Target 8.7: The latest estimates indicate that the number of children in child labour rose to 160 million worldwide at the beginning of 2020 – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years. This translates to almost 1 in 10 of all children in child labour worldwide.
• Target 8.9: The share of tourism in global GDP nearly halved in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 data shows a very modest 6% upturn, indicating that tourism’s economic contribution is on the path to recovery.
• Target 8.10: Accelerated adoption of digital solutions is transforming access to finance. Globally, in 2021, 76% of adults had an account at a bank or regulated institution such as a credit union, microfinance institution, or a mobile money service provider, an increase from 62% in 2014.

Source: SDG.un.org

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