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Case
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Reference no. 301-180-1
Published by: Wits Business School - University of the Witwatersrand
Published in: 2001

Abstract

By December 2000, 4.2 million South Africans were infected with HIV. New infections - numbering 1,700 - occurred daily. South Africa had the most rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world by 2001. The most prominent ''scenario planner'' in South Africa, Clem Sunter, and co-author, Alan Whiteside, Director of HIV/AIDS Research at the University of Natal, held the view that action could and should be taken against AIDS and towards the development of a country-wide response. President Mbeki''s stated uncertainty of a link between HIV and AIDS had resulted in a furious debate, which distracted South Africans to the point of paralysis. Meanwhile, the country lost precious time. The development of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS policy that encompassed prevention and treatment for the population remained conspicuously absent. The subsequent failure to act quickly to save lives called into question the South African government''s capacity to protect its citizens. In this context, a critical role had emerged for business to provide education, prevention and health care to employees. Ultimately, business was going to bear many of the costs associated with an infected workforce. The architect of the ''high road, low road'' scenarios for South Africa, Chairman of the Anglo American Chairman''s Fund, and a well-respected figure, Clem Sunter was in a unique position to advocate the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS within companies. He had to determine what strategies would be most successful in convincing the private sector. The teaching objectives are: (1) to engage students/delegates in debate on the business and ethics issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. These include: responsibility to stakeholders, shareholders and employees; identifying the direct and indirect costs of managing or failing to manage AIDS in the workplace, and the need for corporate social responsibility and leadership; (2) to identify the roles that students/delegates can play as current/future business leaders in the management of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; and (3) to enable students to construct workplace HIV/AIDS programmes based on the models and tools provided in the case.
Location:
Other setting(s):
2000

About

Abstract

By December 2000, 4.2 million South Africans were infected with HIV. New infections - numbering 1,700 - occurred daily. South Africa had the most rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world by 2001. The most prominent ''scenario planner'' in South Africa, Clem Sunter, and co-author, Alan Whiteside, Director of HIV/AIDS Research at the University of Natal, held the view that action could and should be taken against AIDS and towards the development of a country-wide response. President Mbeki''s stated uncertainty of a link between HIV and AIDS had resulted in a furious debate, which distracted South Africans to the point of paralysis. Meanwhile, the country lost precious time. The development of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS policy that encompassed prevention and treatment for the population remained conspicuously absent. The subsequent failure to act quickly to save lives called into question the South African government''s capacity to protect its citizens. In this context, a critical role had emerged for business to provide education, prevention and health care to employees. Ultimately, business was going to bear many of the costs associated with an infected workforce. The architect of the ''high road, low road'' scenarios for South Africa, Chairman of the Anglo American Chairman''s Fund, and a well-respected figure, Clem Sunter was in a unique position to advocate the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS within companies. He had to determine what strategies would be most successful in convincing the private sector. The teaching objectives are: (1) to engage students/delegates in debate on the business and ethics issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. These include: responsibility to stakeholders, shareholders and employees; identifying the direct and indirect costs of managing or failing to manage AIDS in the workplace, and the need for corporate social responsibility and leadership; (2) to identify the roles that students/delegates can play as current/future business leaders in the management of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; and (3) to enable students to construct workplace HIV/AIDS programmes based on the models and tools provided in the case.

Settings

Location:
Other setting(s):
2000

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