The future of work: Should Africa resist automation in the workplace? By Devan Moonsamy CEO of The ICHAF Training Institute There has been a lot of buzz about the ‘future of work’ recently. There is major concern over who will become redundant and how this will happen – and rightly so. Wits recently conducted a review of research on the topic and found that most authors studying the issues are in fact negative or at least quite concerned about the impact of technology on employment prospects and society in general. People do benefit from various technologies. We have all experienced how they make our lives better in certain ways, for example, in healthcare. However, redundancy remains a major fear associated with the increased use of technology in the workplace. In Australia and the UK, for example, checkout staff at grocers and other major retailers have almost disappeared. Instead, checkouts at stores like Target (which is much like our Edgars) and Woolworths in Australia (similar to our shop of the same name, but a different company) are self-service. Petrol pumps are also self-service. If South Africa follows suit, this spells doom for many, many workers in these industries, and the majority of them are black and those most in need of employment opportunities. The Edcon group (which includes Edgars, CNA and Jet, among others) has about 39 000 employees, while the Shoprite group (Checkers, House and Home and others) has 147 000 employees, some of whom are in other African countries. We naturally feel afraid of the prospect of any of these people losing their jobs. We need many, many more jobs in South Africa. Fewer jobs is not a viable solution to our economic challenges, and so certain technologies can do more harm than good. If major retailers and petrol companies decide to go the automated checkout route in South Africa, we will likely have massive protests and even boycotts. We could expect that workers themselves – as well as customers – will . . .
Past Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé is Young Winemaker of the Year The title of 2018 Diner’s Club Young Winemaker of the Year awarded to a former protégé of the Cape Winemakers Guild is a feather in the cap of this forerunner of skills development in the South African wine industry. Rudger van Wyk who participated in the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme before joining Stark-Condé as assistant winemaker in 2016, is the Guild’s first past protégé to be crowned Young Winemaker of the Year. Van Wyk earned the title in this well-respected annual competition now in its 18th year, with his Stark-Condé 2016 Stellenbosch Syrah. He was promoted to winemaker at Stark-Condé earlier this year. During his time as a protégé he honed his skills under the mentorship of Abrie Beeslaar at Kanonkop and Bernhard Veller at Nitida. Van Wyk looks back at his days as a protégé with fond memories: ‘Through the programme my wine knowledge increased greatly and it served as a stepping stone to producing fine wine. My internship also instilled a great passion for the wine industry and the work culture of striving to produce a great wine.’ Founded in 2006, the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme has established itself as the most successful skills development programme in the South African wine industry. Driven by the single-minded vision of transformation, the programme has seen a total of 24 talented oenology and viticulture graduates garnering valuable experience while enjoying the rare opportunity of working side by side with members of the Guild. To date there are 20 former protégés pursuing promising careers in the wine industry – from private wine estates to larger corporate companies. ‘The Cape Winemakers Guild is passionate about transforming our industry through cultivating and nurturing young winemakers and viticulturists of excellence. This is an ongoing process that needs to be supported by the wine industry. After twelve years of the Protégé Programme we . . .
Johannesburg , 30 November 2018 - To step into the shoes of another person can be the most challenging thing for any human being, however they will tell you that the experience is almost always a rewarding education. Such is the case in the cleaning profession, which is often times a thankless job for many, particularly in South Africa, where we are accustomed to "getting ‘help’. The cleaning industry is estimated to be worth around R6 - 10 billion and not regulated in terms of policy, save for salaries of the workers. There is however an association, which was constituted as recently as 1987 and which is dedicated to developing and setting appropriate standards for the contract cleaning industry [http://www.ncca.co.za/]. The cleaning industry forms part of the services sector, which employs close to 71.8% of the South African population [https://goo.gl/f3L1d4] and it is a profession that allows for entry level jobs for the most low-level skilled persons. “It is for this reason that Servest has set up its Training Academy, to ensure that new recruits are trained in the do’s and don’ts, particularly ensuring that they understand that the cleaning business is not about a task, but about hygiene in spaces, and health and wellness of people, says George Ndhlovu, Operations Director of Cleaning at Servest. The fact that the training facility is in-house, enables Servest to roll out training at any given time, without the process being hampered by budgetary constraints. “We instil the understanding in our colleagues, that their work is specialised and not just a job - for example in the healthcare sector, the nature of the work is hazardous and in the hospitality environment, it is specialised. In understanding this, it gives integrity to the profession and the person undertaking the task”, he says. In addition to investing in the skills and development of colleagues, Servest’s philosophy is to continuously upgrade its equipment and technology, to that of . . .
It’s a daunting task – marketing your own business – especially when you’ve never done it before and have no idea where to start! Jacqueline Raw, Owner of marketing agency, Ycagel gives five tips to get your business on the map quickly! 1. Be clear on what your potential customer looks like: Loads of small businesses miss this critical step in marketing. They never clearly define what their ideal customer looks like and so they adopt a spray and pray approach to marketing. This is an expensive waste of time. To avoid this pitfall, take the time to clearly define who it is that will benefit from your product or service. Ask yourself questions like who will use your product or service? What are their biggest wants and needs? What do they like to do in their spare time? Do they work for a company full time or are they business owners like yourself? The clearer you are around who exactly your potential customer is, the clearer you’ll be around how to attract them to your business. If you’re already in business and have a customer base, then it would be ideal to ask them these questions and then build a target market based on their feedback (Sell to people who are like the people that are buying from you). 2. Know how to reach your customers: Not everyone is on social media. Similarly, not everyone responds to an email or reads a pamphlet. You’ll need to be clear around which mediums your customers will respond to. The research you’ve done in defining what they look like will help you better understand which channel they will respond to best. Get clear around where you’re going to spend your time and money in order to reach your customers. The worst thing you can do is invest your marketing budget in creating campaigns using channels that your customers just don’t respond to. 3. Generate leads: Once you know who your customers are, where to find them and how best to engage with them; you can start your lead generation process! The key to effective lead . . .
The institution responsible for the grading, accreditation and continuous professional development of Business Advisors, business coaches, and Mentors serving Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) in South Africa has signed a major deal that is destined to create inclusive entrepreneurial growth through innovation. The Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA) has concluded a 3-year agreement with GrowthWheel South Africa, with support from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) under the South African government who signed as witnesses. GrowthWheel are renowned worldwide for providing an online framework used by Business Advisors to empower entrepreneurs and business owners to manage their businesses, grow market potential, mature their concepts and increase operational efficiencies using real-time analytical data. GrowthWheel’s groundbreaking, transformative toolbox is essentially a cloud-based platform that facilitates direct interaction between Business Advisors and clients so that companies can optimize their prospects. Research has shown that businesses grow 70% faster and are sustained for longer when connected to an accredited Business Advisor. The futuristic agreement took place on the side-lines of the 2nd South African Business Incubation Conference (SABIC) held at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, Ekhurhuleni. The conference was called at the behest of the Minister in the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), Ms Lindiwe Zulu. The seminal SABIC 2018 featured the who’s who from the business, development and tech industries who gathered over two days to explore and deliberate on Business Incubation under the following subthemes: • Entrepreneurial EcoSystems • Industry Trends and Innovation • Funding & Commercialisation • Digital Disruption IBASA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Joseph Tshiwilowilo, says, “In terms of the agreement, the parties will be sharing best practices to enable the growth . . .
Plastics|SA, the non-profit company representing all sectors of the South African Plastics Industry (including polymer producers, importers, converters, machine suppliers, fabricators and recyclers), welcomed Mxolisi Khutama as the new Chairman for 2019 at its Annual General Meeting that took place in Midrand recently. Addressing the audience in attendance, Plastics|SA’s Executive Director, Anton Hanekom, acknowledged that the global plastics industry is having to contend with ongoing negative messages and mounting pressure to minimise the environmental impact of plastics packaging. "There is a huge gap between industry telling the positive plastics story and the visible evidence of plastics ending their valuable life in the ocean. Plastics industry leaders believe that plastics play a role in helping save the environment, but it has little to zero impact on the growing sentiment to refuse or even ban single-use plastics. For this reason, it is more important than ever before, for us to be more pro-active in determining the public agenda, taking part in public debates and forming public opinion on plastics as the material of the future. With the appointment of our new Chairman and the support of a strong and energetic Board of Directors, I believe we are up to the task and ready to change the playing field,” Hanekom said. Khutama (BSc Eng, PGDMM, PGDBM) will be replacing Bernhard Mahl as Chairman of the Board, although Bernhard will remain on as Deputy Chair. Khutama brings to the table a wealth of knowledge and expertise in operations, business development and administration gained in both the polymer, healthcare and business environments and currently is the Group Executive: Rigids at Nampak Packaging. Commenting on his new role as Plastics|SA Chairman, Khutama stressed that it is imperative for the industry to engage government if it is to succeed in changing the public’s negative perception about plastic. “The concept of ‘A life without plastics’, . . .
Rockwell Automation provided a ControlLogix-based SIL II compliant burner management system solution for SAPPI’s Chemical Recovery Furnace. In a first for Rockwell Automation South Africa, its SSB division successfully upgraded the burner management system (BMS) at SAPPI’s Ngodwana Mill’s chemical recovery plant in Mpumalanga to SIL II standards using its ControlLogix controllers and I/O modules. The scope of work was to change out the hard-wired BMS to a ControlLogix BMS that complied to SIL II requirements for SAPPI’s chemical recovery furnace – essentially upgrading SAPPI’s BMS to a safer system. The scope included delivery of the architecture, the hardware, and software combined in a single package format with a customisable configuration to integrate it with the rest of SAPPI’s plant’s system. To achieve this, SIL II certified scalable control modules were used with standard ControlLogix hardware deployed in a SIL II configuration and architecture. International collaboration with Rockwell Automation in the UK and France was required to confirm that the project complied with all SIL II standards and requirements. “We used standard SIL II certified blocks within the software architecture,” explains Gareth Freese, Project Engineer, Rockwell Automation and technical lead for this project. “This meant that various control modules, programming blocks, and engineering tools were used to develop the system. The result, from a software perspective, is a well-organised and elegant architecture.” PanelView Plus 7 graphic terminals with dual Ethernet ports, incorporating high levels of integrated diagnostics, were used for operator interfacing and fault finding on each of the four burner boxes. The visualization of the entire start-up process allowed operators to follow it top down, left to right. The software architecture, along with the SIL II combined control modules, interfaces to the rams control module standard using the conventional ControlLogix . . .
Hydraulic and Automation Warehouse (HAW), a Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group Company, has expanded its hose crimper offering with the addition of the Uniflex UG32 grease crimper to its range. With orders ready for delivery in December 2018, the UG32 launch was preceded with the arrival of UG20 grease crimper, which was on display at the NAMPO 2018 exhibition. Both of these crimpers are manufactured specifically for the southern African market by Uniflex-Hydraulik GmbH in Germany. The UG20 grease crimper, which weighs 160 kg, is designed to crimp four-wire hoses from ¼ inch (6.35 mm) to 1. ¼ inch (32 mm) and the 200 kg UG32 is tailored to crimp from ¼ inch (6.35 mm) to 2 inch (51 mm) four-wire hoses. Each crimper comes standard with a quick-die-change tool, facilitating easier changes of the crimpers’ die sets, which is a significant contributor to mass hose production. “We previously supplied crimpers to our clients from opposition companies,” explains Neville Alberts, Johannesburg Branch Manager, HAW, “but due to product demand and our Group’s role in the fluid power market, the decision to supply a crimper that is unique to HAW was made.” Being a German-manufactured product, the associated quality and reliability are a given, and both units are more cost-effective than those offered by competitors. “Another advantage of this unique range,” Alberts points out, “is the fact that our quick-die-change tool is included in the unit price. There is already large demand for these crimpers, as evidenced by the interest shown at NAMPO 2018 held from 12 to 14 September and the number of enquiries subsequently received. Now, with the Group’s drive into Africa, we feel that this demand will increase substantially.” 10 units of each crimper arrived in early December and are available to clients immediately. However, crimpers outside of this stockholding are ordered from Germany and require a four- to six-week delivery period. HAW also supplies greaseless crimpers . . .
November 2018, De Waterkant, Cape Town, Vencasa, The World Leaders in Sleep, held the official and exclusive opening event, unveiling their brand-new store in the urban renewal Media Quarter in De Waterkant. Vencasa, the only home of Tempur, Micro-Tech and Magniflex to name a few, opened their new flagship store in true style. Guests were welcomed into the awe-inspiring, spacious Scandi-style store with a glass of bubble and delectable afternoon snacks. The store was alive with the sound of people talking excitedly about the wide range of mattresses, pillows and accessories. The depth in the variety of choices, range of price-points and premium quality offering longevity, were most commented on. The value of investing in quality sleeping solutions, is indisputable. Greg Smart, CEO of Pharmaline, greeted guests, thanked them for coming and spoke proudly about the new store and their journey to create a space for the world’s best sleep brands. Vencasa has partnered with global and local experts to bring a wide range to the South African market. The Showroom showcases mattresses, headboards, bases and frames, side tables, lamps, occasional furniture, ottomans, linen, pillows and luxurious bedroom accessories, with several price points to accommodate their wide clientele. Vencasa is made for people looking for a high quality, yet affordable range of products, and the store reflects that. “We have seen a need in the market for mattresses that are both quality and affordable. There is currently a gap between expensive sleep solutions and cheap mattresses, the latter having a short lifespan and counterproductive to health.” explains Greg. “Our drive is to fill this gap with premium products, that are priced realistically, with mattresses starting from R 12 999 upwards. Essentially, our value proposition is to provide the greatest sleep products at a practical price. We source the best products worldwide, the best technology to cater to the diverse needs of sleep . . .
Foreign investment has increased in importance during the 1990s, and has subsequently become the single most important component of total capital flows to developing countries. Institutional infrastructure and governance play a critical role in attracting foreign investments, and in turn, the quality of local governance directly affects the level and nature of private investment in a country. Developing countries rely upon private investment as a major determinant of economic growth, and the ability of a country to reduce or alleviate poverty and improve the lives of its citizens. The benefits of foreign investments are boundless, but ultimately, the success of these complex relationships hinges on good governance, which in the South African context, has been tainted by poor ethics behind foreign investments. At this year’s inaugural investment conference, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that several initiatives would be implemented to improve economic growth and that foreign investment is positioned as the key driver of this. Ramaphosa announced that government is working with the World Bank to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa, and also detailed planned initiatives centred around an expansion of existing operations and the establishment of new ones. But, in order to secure successful foreign investment, both public and private sector have to have concise strategies in place to enforce good governance and board-level integrity, and mitigate corruption. According to Alex Roberts, CURA Software’s Regional Director of Sales and Operations, South Africa’s drive for foreign investment means that good governance is a fundamental national asset. “Good corporate governance can enhance the attractiveness of one country’s financial markets relative to another’s. Good governance and good institutions promote investment quality by reducing costs, risks and barriers for both national and foreign investors and by enabling the benefit of a better . . .