Cape Home Garden (Pty) Ltd, a new company based in Cape Town, offers home staging, real estate photography, and other custom solutions for homeowners and estate agents looking to sell property at top price. “Home staging” is the process of highlighting a property’s features and minimizing its faults to appeal to a wider number of potential buyers. Home staging is new to South Africa, but is well established in the USA, Australia, and parts of Europe. “When it comes time to sell, owners must get in the mind-set that their home is a product to be tailored to the potential buyers’ wants and needs,” says Rebecca Weber, who was certified as an Advanced Home Stager in the United States, and is a co-founder of Cape Home Garden. “At every price point, Capetonians are looking for value right now.” —END— Please contact: Rebecca Weber Home Stager and Co-Founder, Cape Home Garden 061 369 2659 email@example.com www.capehomegarden.com www.facebook.com/capehomegarden Statistics from the international Real Estate Staging Association show that staged houses spend significantly less time on the market that houses that weren’t staged, and typically sell at higher prices. It is almost impossible to see your own house objectively, says Weber. A study released last month shows that 93 per cent of luxury homeowners believe that their house is the best one on their block, according to last month’s study by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. When a house isn’t selling, owners often consider a price reduction—or a new estate agent. A fair asking price and rigorous promotion are essential, but how well a house shows is often overlooked as the missing link to getting good offers. “Cape Town buyers are demanding, and are used to receiving sophisticated marketing messages,” says Weber. “Home staging isn’t decorating—it’s targeted marketing. Most people have a hard time visualizing what a house will look like with different furnishings and colours, but they . . .
Some 104 new, sustainable long-term jobs have been created in the past 12 months (October 2013) in the Western Cape craft and design sector – with more in the pipeline. This good news is the outcome of the first year of the Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI’s) Jobs Fund project. The CCDI was set up in 2001 to promote and grow the economic sustainability of the craft and design sector in the Western Cape. In 2011 the Institute submitted a project proposal in the first Enterprise Development window of the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund programme, being implemented by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The proposal made it through a rigorous evaluation and due diligence process and resulted in the CCDI leveraging an investment of R14,5m towards the creation of 451 jobs, in 44 craft and design businesses, over three years. During the first year of this three-year programme, the CCDI disbursed over R5.5 million to the participating enterprises. The businesses contributed over R1,3 million. (The Jobs Fund covers 80% of new intervention costs, craft enterprises make up the balance.) “Our monitoring and reporting processes show that the vast majority of enterprises have experienced significant growth,” said CCDI Business Support Programme Manager Sarah Polonsky, who has overseen the programme. “Turnover, profits and production volumes have increased and many companies are successfully exporting, with an expanding customer base.” A survey of participants – ranging from ceramics and jewellery producers to makers of high-end furniture and homeware products – showed they invested 39% of funding in equipment and machinery, 21% in marketing and 18% in product innovation. At this stage 18 companies are implementing management skills development, and 19 have introduced workforce development through the CCDI. Some 115 employees are receiving technical or life skills development. In one company, staff attend a weekly aerobics-yoga class, and their blood . . .
Over the past decade, KAMERS vol geskenke has presented South Africa's top handmade creativity in some of the finest venues. Continuing this tradition, KAMERS Stellenbosch will host a creative feast at the picturesque Webersburg Estate (located between Stellenbosch and Somerset West) from 5-10 November. Some 160 enterprises are taking part, under the theme of ‘transformation’. Handmade, originally- designed wares range from jewellery, gourmet food products, ceramics and soft furnishings, to décor accessories, garden gear, designer clothing and accessories. KAMERS will also host Home/Tuis magazine workshops on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 November; live music and Kia vehicle test drives will complement the shopping experience. A cash bar and refreshments will be available. “The KAMERS team is well-known for its sourcing of creative talent and fresh, new product ideas. It is a platform for creative, innovative and upcoming entrepreneurs to showcase unique products that are not readily available in the marketplace,” said KAMERS Finance and Marketing Manager Magdel Kemp. “KAMERS is not into the perfectly made or the mass-produced, it is about high-end true craft, slightly imperfect, timeless and originally designed… that special something that is only found at the shows.” KAMERS will also be giving back to the community, through financial contributions, job creation and teaching support. This year’s beneficiaries include: • Huis Horizon, a residential and sheltered-employment centre in Stellenbosch for people with intellectual disabilities, has received a beautiful garden walkway; • Good Hope Psychological Services and the Cape Craft & Design Institute – Kamers stands; • Elves at Work - KAMERS stand and teaching support; • The Breytenbach Education Centre - job creation opportunity, with women making bags for the Kamers shows; and • The Wheat Trust, which fights domestic violence, will receive a portion of the entry takings and visibility at the . . .
The Minister of Labour, Mildred Olifant, announced on 15th October 2013 that she had directed the Director General to commence a review of the minimum wages and conditions of employment in the contract cleaning industry and the domestic worker sector. “Both these sectors of the economy are subject to sectoral determinations issued in terms of section 51 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The sectoral determinations establish, amongst others, minimum wages applicable to employees working in the applicable sectors,” says Johan Botes, Director in the Employment Practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. Botes explains that employees in areas that are not covered by sectoral determinations do not benefit from a minimum statutory wage. Wages (and other terms and conditions of employment) in respect of these employees are determined individually, between the employee and employer, or through collective bargaining, between trade unions and employers. “Collective bargaining has in recent years broken down in a number of industries, resulting in industrial action and often even violence. The minimum wages set through the sectoral determinations (and subject to increase following the review announced by the Minister) could assist in reducing the level of conflict in certain sectors. However, statutory minimum conditions of employment also limit employers' operational flexibility and add to the perception of labour market rigidity,” he says. “Achieving a balance between workers' need for increased remuneration and employer's desire for greater flexibility to changing market conditions is critically important. Employers, in particular, should thus heed the call by the Minister to make written representations on the proposed review of wages and minimum conditions of employment in these two sectors. Submissions should be forwarded to the Director: Employment Standards Directorate in the Department of Labour. The final date for submissions is 60 days from publication . . .
Performance management, execution and delivery are crucial moments for any organisation, says Helene Vermaak, clinical psychologist and co-founder of The Human Edge. Crucial moments are periods when you experience inappropriate behaviour and if you do the right thing in these moments, it will significantly impact on your results and relationships. Conversations during these moments are sensitive, emotionally charged and risky. Unfortunately, many tend to shy away from having conversations at these times because they are emotionally unpleasant and difficult. But if you don’t have these crucial conversations, you could risk irreparably damaging your organisation… There are two types of crucial moments that we all face – either in our organisations or personal lives: 1. Moments of disagreement: The question we ask ourselves during these is: “Am I going to speak up and speak out because I know that if I don’t speak out I will act out?” 2. Moment of disappointment: During these moments, you need to ask: “How do I deal with those moments of disappointment?” You need to identify these crucial moments because, nine times out of ten, there is a crucial conversation that you need to have when these moments occur. How do you handle crucial conversations in your organisation? There are two ways people handle crucial conversations. They resort to ‘violence’ or ‘silence’: • Violence can be: - Controlling behaviour, - Labelling, i.e. where we put certain labels on people and try to manipulate them through these labels, - Verbal attacks, and - Physical attacks (in extreme cases). • Silence is when you clam up and don’t interact with the person you’re having a problem with. To ensure a successful outcome in a communication situation, all participants in the conversation need to get to a place where they feel safe to let their guard down. In other words, everyone needs to have the same goals in mind for the interaction. It is crucial for everyone to be on the . . .
On 9th October 2013, the Constitutional Court held that a trade union cannot avoid liability for its neglect to prosecute claims by its members merely because the union has a constitutional right to determine its own administration. “In determining its own administration - in accordance with section 23(4)(a) of the Constitution - the union does not have the right to withdraw its representation of its members with impunity; it still had to act in a manner that does not cause prejudice to its members. The judgment in FAWU v Ngcobo NO and Mkhize represents a victory for members against negligent conduct by their trade union representatives,” explains Johan Botes, Director in the Employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. In 2002, the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) agreed to represent two employees of Nestle South Africa (Pty) Ltd who claimed that they were unfairly dismissed. FAWU duly referred a dispute, alleging unfair dismissal of their two members, to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). When the dispute could not be resolved at conciliation, the CCMA issued a certificate confirming this. FAWU was then entitled to refer the dispute for adjudication to the Labour Court within 90 days of the certificate being issued. It advised the two members that it would do so. However, the union did not refer the dispute. "When the two members eventually obtained legal advice,” states Botes, "their attorneys demanded that FAWU refer the dispute to the Labour Court and apply for condonation for the late filing. The union did not respond to the demand. The attorneys issued summons on behalf of their clients." “The High Court awarded the two members consolation payment (solatium) of 12 months' remuneration as being just and equitable. The Court held that the union had an obligation to prevent prejudice to its members where it agreed to assist them,” he explains. Botes notes that FAWU appealed the judgment. “The SCA, in a split . . .
We have a lot of lost potential in our organisations. It is believed that if you direct focus at elements such as your company’s strategy, structures, products, processes and systems you will be able to achieve the results you want in your organisation. However, says Helene Vermaak - clinical psychologist, co-owner and principal consultant of The Human Edge – this couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of what happens in organisations and teams happens below the surface The majority of energy in your organisation and team is drained when your people aren’t engaged and being responsible for the work that they do. To uncover the source of the energy drain and why your people aren’t engaged with your organisation, you must seriously look at the culture of your organisation and identify what factors are causing your employees’ lack of interest in their work. As a starting point, Helene believes that there are four competencies you need to encourage your employees to build before you can expect them to change their current behaviours and become a cohesive team: 1. At a personal level, all your employees need to be engaged in self-directed change. They need to be asking themselves questions such as: • Do I have the ability to understand my behaviour? • Do I have the ability to know what change plan I need to put in place to alter whatever vital behaviours I need to enforce in my life? 2. At an interpersonal level, if you do not have open and honest conversations in your team and organisation, your long-term results will be affected. 3. At a team level, you need to be competent around accountability. “In the last probably 12 – 18 months, all the organisations we have spoken to have said that accountability is a big challenge for them,” says Helene. 4. At an organisational level, we need to become competent in influencing people’s behaviour. Are there people out there who want to change something in their lives? Vital Smarts conducted a . . .
The Revised Codes of Good Practice (RCoGP) will be gazetted by Government on Friday 11 October 2013. Dr Robin Woolley , Executive Director, Transcend Corporate Advisors explains that Minister Rob Davies, of the Department of Trade launched the proposed amendments to the CoGP year ago, in October 2012. “The intention of the Revised Codes was to align Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BB-BEE) more clearly with not only the government’s developmental objectives, but also the tools/initiatives which have been designed by government to achieve these developmental objectives - such as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, the National Development Plan, the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan. The developmental objectives included specific reference to skills development, job creation, localisation, and industrialisation and supplier development,” he says. “The Revised Codes of Good Practice include changes to BEE that will greatly impact on businesses in South Africa, such as new thresholds for Exempt Micro Enterprises, Qualifying Small Enterprises and generics; the automatic discounting of an entity’s level rating where the sub-minimum for Priority Pillars of the scorecard have not been met; and Qualifying Small Enterprises now having to comply with all Pillars of the scorecard, including Ownership.” In this regard, Transcend Corporate Advisors will hold a one-day seminars to unpack the changes in the RCoGP and detail what needs to be done by business to become compliant with the RCoGP. The following topics will be discussed during the seminar: • High level strategic implications of the changes for South Africa as a nation. • A focus on a comparative analysis and pillar by pillar approach, to review the differences of the proposed changes • Understanding the supporting legislation such as the BEE Act changes • Understanding the calculation methodologies • What are the likely process implications for . . .
“It is impossible to gainsay the value of Africa’s creative industries when it comes to jump-starting the continent’s political and economic development. Like a phoenix, Africa is rising from over a century of colonialism followed by phantom liberation to become, potentially, the engine of the planet’s growth until the end of this century and beyond. The continent’s cultural and artistic communities have an instrumental role to play in making the African dream a reality.” This was the message delivered by Dr Israel Kodiaga during his opening address at the launch of the African Creative Economy Conference 2013, which runs at Cape Town’s City Hall until 9 October 2013. Dr Kodiaga, Director: Programmes, Research and Strategic Development, African Centre of International Studies, Kenya, is one of the speakers at the conference, the biggest event of its type ever held on the continent. Attracting around 400 delegates from over 40 countries in Africa and beyond, this is the third African Creative Economy Conference organised by the Arterial Network, a dynamic grouping of individuals, non-government organisations, donors, businesses, festivals and institutions dedicated to building Africa’s creative and cultural sector. The conference implementing agency is the Cape Craft & Design Institute. Previous conferences in Nairobi (2011) and Dakar (2012) have played a leading part in creating markets and raising the profile of Africa’s artistic and cultural industries regionally and internationally. The aim of this year’s conference is to focus attention on how the continent’s creative industries can play a meaningful role in accelerating Africa’s economic growth, while building democracy and human rights. Commenting on the conference format, Korkor Amarteifio, Chairperson, Arterial Network, said: “This will be a conference with a difference. Delegates will be invited to share ideas and research through formal and informal presentations. At the same time, there . . .
South Africa – 20 September 2013 – The path to successful commercialization is almost never straightforward or simple. If it was, we would all be wealthy entrepreneurs. The Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition gives individuals, groups and small businesses the opportunity to have their technology innovations evaluated and assisted with access to support programmes. These include introductions to investors and venture capital funds; consideration for TIA innovation and business support funding and non-financial support; introduction to short or long term mentors relevant to your industry and business; exposure to the range of DTI and DST incentive programmes for emerging and growing businesses; and assistance with selection of and access to incubation facilities. South Africans over 16 with technologically innovative ideas – be it the seed of a thought, design saved on a memory stick, collection of parts or something produced and ready for retail shelves – are reminded that entries into the Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition (www.step-up.org.za) close in just over a week on 30 September 2013. Local innovation alive and kicking Entries to date, says competition manager Martin Feinstein, are inspirational in that 58% are raw ideas, 23% ideas in development and 19% existing innovations – highlighting the fact that South African entrepreneurs are coming up with more new innovation ideas now than historically. As founding CEO of Enablis and former CEO of Proudly South African, Feinstein has vast experience in working with South African entrepreneurs. “What makes the Step-Up approach different, is that we threw the nets wide open for local technology innovation concepts that have commercial application and growth potential, whether in idea form or in a start-up or trading business,” says Feinstein. “We’re not after fancy jargon, buzz words or super-optimistic projections. But time is running out, and we are thus calling on would-be innovators to . . .