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minerThe Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) reports that of the almost 50 countries it sampled‚ SA was the fifth hardest working country with workers spending an average of 43.3 hours a week on the job.  

Looking only at jobs in the formal sector‚ the OECD found the mining industry to be in the lead with workers putting in an average of 45.3 hours a week.  Wholesale and retail came in second with an average of 44.7 hours‚ followed by finance and business services at 43.7, and transport and communication at 43.6 hours.  Nearly 12% of the SA workforce spent more than 60 hours a week on the job, despite labour laws prohibiting more than 45 hours a week.  Quoting research from the Bureau for Economic Research‚ the OECD said men worked the hardest.  "SA’s hardest workers are black men younger than 45 in a semi-skilled occupation and lucky enough to have a permanent job in a country with high unemployment."  The study indicated that women were more likely to work shorter hours because they "tend to be more educated and work in the professional sector".  For many women‚ leaving work means the beginning of another task, namely housekeeping.  Working hours were shorter in more economically thriving provinces such as Gauteng and the Western Cape, where there was a high concentration of highly skilled workers.  The Eastern Cape also had some of the lowest working hours‚ but that was because so few people had permanent employment in the impoverished province.

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