University of Johannesburg students Cheneal Raubenheimer and Isabella da Rocha received some invaluable game time at a high level when they attended a national indoor hockey training camp in KwaZulu-Natal this month where they finished second overall. The camp, which took the form of a round-robin tournament, acted as a selection event for the Indoor Hockey World Cup qualifier in Namibia in June and focused largely on exposing the players to as much time on the field as possible. Despite neither being new to national selection, both girls felt that the camp had much to offer and they walked away having gained insight into both the game and themselves. "The camp was definitely a success for me," said 23-year-old defender Da Rocha. "It was rather tough as we played seven games in three days but I learnt a lot through the whole process." She said each game offered her a chance to observe how the team functioned as a unit. "Every time I go to camp I learn more about the structure of the team and how we should be attacking and defending in different circumstances." Currently studying towards a higher certificate in business management, Da Rocha explained that indoor hockey was a technical sport that required constant fine-tuning of one's skills. She said the guidance she received from coaching staff at the training camp helped her develop as a player. "Our coach Lennie Botha was really helpful in guiding me when I made mistakes on the field. He helped me understand what I should be doing instead. "This really helped me grow as a player and, at this moment, become a better defender." Da Rocha said her focus was now squarely on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup in July in England. Raubenheimer, a third-year retail and business management student who represented the Proteas in 2014 at field hockey, is relatively new to the indoor hockey scene and had some adjusting to do when it came to the pace of the . . .
2017 sees Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) celebrate twenty years of arts business partnerships, with an invigorated focus on growth, research, connectivity and celebration that confirms the organisation’s standing as a leader on the African continent. Conceived in 1997 as a partnership between several South African corporates and the now Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), BASA has evolved over the past two decades to include a wide spread of different stakeholders including 126 business members, the creative sector, organisations within the Southern African region, and a growing slate of project-specific partners. “This is a year of celebration and we’re thrilled to be able to acknowledge those organisations and individuals who have played an integral part in our evolving and changing organisation,” comments BASA CEO, Michelle Constant. “Our vision has always been to elevate the importance of the arts in society, and we are fully focused on that as we prepare for the journey forward.” One of the elements of the year-long celebration is the 20th Annual BASA Awards, in partnership with Hollard. “Our annual awards are always a highlight on the arts calendar – providing a reason to celebrate excellence in business and arts partnerships over the preceding year,” says Andre Le Roux, newly-elected BASA chairman. “This year, however, we will also use the occasion to celebrate all those who have contributed to the growth and success of BASA over the past two decades – our dedicated board members, our founding CEO, Nicola Danby, and Chair Mary Slack, and the pioneering businesses and art organisations that were there from the very beginning. The awards this year will also reveal insights into our strategy for the next five years and so provide a glimpse into BASA’s future.” Celebrating and acknowledging the support of the Department of Arts and Culture will form an important element of a landmark year, which will see BASA focus on four key areas - . . .
With the launch of their 21st instalment this Easter, MTN Joyous Celebration sounds the call for all South Africans and people across the globe to pray for healing. In December 2016, MTN Joyous Celebration joined hands and hearts with The Potter’s House of Dallas, TX, under the leadership of Bishop T.D. Jakes for a memorable and unprecedented recording. This event has given birth to the ensembles’ 21st album, aptly themed “Heal our Land” and comes at a time when our nation and the world at large needs much healing. According to co-founder, Pastor Jabu Hlongwane, the recording and the much-anticipated album is a seed that Joyous Celebration jointly and prayerfully planted together with The Potter’s House. “May it germinate. May it reach every heart across the globe and bear fruits that will bring healing to our land,” he says. “We ask everyone to join us to pray for the healing we so desperately need.” Celebrating over two decades of great, heart-stopping gospel music that has captivated audiences across the world, the internationally acclaimed ensemble will kick off their Joyous 21 tour in Johannesburg, offering a three-night spectacle from 14 to 16 April 2017 at Carnival City Casino. “We are celebrating our 21st anniversary, and there is a lot to be excited about or this year’s tour because we are coming of age. The response we encountered in the USA during the recording and the support, prayers and well wishes from people here at home and across the globe was phenomenal. For this, we are truly humbled and believe that not only will the world receive our latest offering with enthusiasm but will also strongly relate and resonate with the “Heal our Land” message”, states co-founder, conductor and producer, Lindelani Mkhize. “We have come a long way with MTN Joyous Celebration and are proud to be associated with this award-winning ensemble as they come of age with their 21st offering to their multitudes of fans. We have no doubt that this will be the . . .
South Africa has a higher than average rate of overtime fraud owing to limited prevention and detection systems, and a workforce which has become dependent on the financial advantage it offers them. Every year another story revealing extensive overtime fraud hits the media, exposing how easy it is for employees to defraud companies. In February 2017, 283 employees were implicated in the Merafong municipality for committing fraud estimated to be valued at millions of Rands. Overtime fraud is a lot more prevalent than we want to believe. The challenge is that most companies tend to not take the case further than a rap over the knuckles - dismissing the person and making them another company’s problem. The right thing to do is charge them and ensure they get a criminal record. Alongside a clearly defined policy around overtime fraud, or theft of any kind, the threat of criminal action will go a long way towards making anyone think twice before they lie about the hours they’ve worked. It isn’t, however, the only step that must be taken towards effective prevention. Measures of prevention Employees need to realise that overtime fraud can be as little as claiming one or two extra hours a month, not just 200. A lot of people don’t see those little hours here and there as fraud. It is. And it should net them a criminal record. Organisations must educate employees on overtime hours, what constitutes fraud, and what will happen should they be caught committing it. Then, they need to invest in systems which can mitigate fraud overall. One such solution would be to implement an automated clocking-in system. It isn’t infallible, but it does allow for improved control over hours spent working versus hours put down on billing. Another option is to implement controls within payroll, making it the last line of defence. The business must put its overtime policy into play from the start and it must ensure that it is strictly adhered to. It also needs to comply with . . .
Leading IT distributor Syntech – which celebrates its 15th year in business – has signed a deal for new offices in Johannesburg as part of its expansion programme which was outlined in 2011. Syntech's new office building in Midrand Established in 2002, Syntech has continued to source and introduce the world’s leading products, catering for several industries and operating in multiple vertical markets. With the particular focus placed on providing value added service and support to mass retail, niche retail, online retail, Value-added channel resellers, managed service providers, security and surveillance as well as Apple resellers. Syntech has developed a reputation for introducing and building excellent brands in South Africa and developing the market through an innovative approach to business. In 2011, CEO Craig Nowitz quoted: “We are expecting to grow our revenue, and are in the process of embarking on an expansion programme that will see us expand and diversify our product range and market focus, as well as moving into larger premises during the first quarter of 2012.” Not only did Syntech move into new premises in Cape Town, but opened new offices in Johannesburg, Midrand in September 2014. The expansion into Gauteng was in keeping with sustaining Syntech’s significant growth over the past four years and was a necessary step. Two years down the road and the Johannesburg office is now relocating to a larger building – including larger warehouse facilities. Syntech will invest more as it grows, says Nowitz. “Our new Midrand facility will enable us to provide 8X more local stockholding and will be supported with an expanding fleet of delivery vehicles.” Syntech’s headcount in Gauteng has doubled since inception and is expected to grow by a further 20 people in the next 18 months. “Marketing support and reseller focussed initiatives remain a key part of our growth strategy and we look forward to building even closer relationships with our . . .
eCommerce is set to increase in popularity and buy-in consumers in South Africa in 2017. This is due to a number of supporting trends of greater variety offered by online shopping sites, the evolution of eCommerce websites offer Android and ISO shopping app's. South African consumers are increasingly turning to compare e-commerce shops when looking for, and purchase a variety of items. 26% of respondents of a recent survey do their first online purchase in June 2015 - a massive recent survey compared to the total number of new online shopping for the period July 2015 - June 2016 (14%). "According to Kevin Tucker, founder of Price Check" The use of mobile devices - such as the smartphones is an important consideration for online retailers in terms of ensuring mobile-friendly online display settings, in presenting the development of mobile applications and the introduction of new payment options. While the majority of the mobile online shopping transactions tend to take place on desktops, shopping programs that are easy and convenient to use on mobile devices is likely to increase in popularity in South Africa this year. In today's app-centric world, research suggests that customers prefer using the mobile web as a place to shop when compared to eCommerce apps. This means that having a high-performing, responsive site is just as important as investing in an app. This data also suggests that: 31% of consumers prefer shopping on the mobile web against the use of a smartphone app. 52% of mobile phone retail turnover is expected to come from the Web in 2017. 62% of smartphone shoppers use to find their mobile for products in online store. 47% of shoppers say they have a mobile website directly against 21% who say they use app a dealer in online shopping. The majority of online retailers under-utilise their chance to sell through a responsive eCommerce website. The big advantage now is that the latest App Technology has the ability to . . .
An urgent need to provide greater access to funding By Lindani Dhlamini, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SekelaXabiso (SkX) and winner of the AABLA Southern Africa Business Woman of the Year Award in 2016. The right to education doesn’t just mean access to learning – it also means a quality education that adequately prepares students for the journey ahead. The provision of funding to students is a way of strengthening the talent base South Africa so needs to put us on the global map. The education gap I’ve had experience with both private and public schools. Growing up, I attended a government school, while my children have been fortunate enough to attend a private school. They’re worlds apart – and it all boils down to resources. The private school system gives learners critical skills that equip them for later in life. For example, my 10-year-old son is already learning how to put together presentations. The first time I had access to a presentation was at university and I had no clue what I was doing – I had to learn those skills at the age of nineteen, which was daunting and difficult. There’s no doubt the public school system is trying to provide the best they can with what’s available, but it’s a resource issue – until the resources become available, education levels won’t improve and there’ll always be a gap between public and private. This gap, however, should never be perceived as an inhibitor to succeed. Building a future SekelaXabiso (SkX), SA’s leading black-owned professional services firm, has partnered with the St Mary’s Foundation and other schools around the country to fund children throughout their high school education. The ripple effect of this work is phenomenal. The St Mary’s Foundation bursary recipients wouldn’t have access to the opportunities afforded to them at a school like St Mary’s. St Mary’s Waverly, through the St Mary’s Foundation, opens its doors to girls who are academically talented and have the ability to . . .
A major Varsity Cup rugby derby is looming in Gauteng on Monday when in-form teams University of Johannesburg and Wits square up in a televised clash at the UJ Stadium. The home side are in the better position on the log, having risen to third place following four wins in a row, while Wits, with three wins and three defeats, are in sixth place after the seventh round of the competition. UJ coach Werner Janse van Rensburg is preparing his troops for a serious scrap, noting that the last time they played Wits in the Varsity Cup resulted in a narrow win in 2014. "Firstly, we are grateful just to be in our current position and we are obviously excited to be involved in a big derby on Monday," he said. "They are a team at the peak of their powers with a great attitude and intent. They will be solid in all aspects of the game, which will force us to step up a further five per cent from our previous performances." The UJ coach said he would be urging his players not to get ahead of themselves, knowing that anything can happen in this competition. "We have to stay true to what we do because this is a new week and history counts for nothing. "We have to be at our best and, as a unit, have the willingness to go the extra mile." Janse van Rensburg said playing at home would not necessarily give them any major advantage because the nature of the Varsity Cup meant teams had to learn to perform under a variety of conditions. After suffering two losses early in the season, UJ maintained the momentum they had built up from three successive wins with a resounding 40-12 win over UCT in Cape Town this week. It was a result which Janse van Rensburg described as "very enjoyable" after the team executed their game plan to near perfection. "We had a plan of how to approach the extreme wind conditions at UCT which we gradually started to introduce about three weeks ago," he said. "We were grateful that most of it worked effectively on the day and the . . .
More than a quarter of individuals who joined the public service in 2016 also joined the family of South Africa’s largest restricted medical scheme, the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), which is now extending more care to more people than ever before. “With close on 695 000 principal members and 1.83 million dependants by the end of last year, GEMS is looking to build a brighter future by making a positive difference in the health and productivity of the nation,” says Zandile Nqweni-Chamane, Acting GEMS’s Executive: Member Affairs. The Scheme’s focus on the health and wellbeing of its members is reflected in its impressive ratio of non-healthcare expenditure. For every R100 GEMS receives in contributions, R94.90 is spent on members’ healthcare needs. “Our membership profile shows that we are young and healthy, with an average age of 31 years. As our GEMS family is growing, we have had to develop new and innovative ways to keep in touch with our members, their needs and their wants, including through Facebook, our Client Liaison Officers (CLOs), call centre and self-help kiosks,” she adds. During 2016, GEMS’s CLOs, who visit government departments, offices and units throughout the country, provided face-to-face assistance to over 221 449 members in 16 077 site visits. Over 80% of the issues raised during CLO interactions were successfully resolved on site. “We have been using a number of different methods to reach out to members and one of our focus areas is educating the membership about the Scheme and how they can work with us to get the best out of GEMS. To this end, GEMS hosted 6 700 educational sessions. In order for us to better understand the needs of our members, we held 165 focus group sessions,” Nqweni-Chamane notes. “This two-way communication flow has been extremely helpful, and allowed the Scheme to reach out proactively to help empower our members with the information they need to make healthy life choices and maximise their . . .
This year, the need for radical transformation has been highlighted by government, in order to address the country’s vision for an inclusive economy and non-racial, non-sexist society. Transformation and empowerment are part of South Africa’s reality and are necessary if we are truly to address the legacy left by apartheid. The new B-BBEE Codes are part of government’s latest attempts to make sure that transformation of our economy happens in a meaningful yet expedited manner - but, to transform effectively, businesses need clarity of action. Here are three pointers for practical and beneficial transformation: 1. Integrated strategy development and implementation The first step is identifying the approach you want to take to accelerate transformation in your organisation. ‘Transformation’ means different things to different companies - as the leader of a company, you need to decide what it means for yours: organisational restructuring, new products or services, a breadth of diversity (race, age, gender and backgrounds), etc. - and how these aims can best be realised. Vivian Reddy, Founder & Chairman of the Edison Power Group, a catalyst in addressing some of South Africa’s biggest socio-economic problems, created a transformation strategy that has proven a success for more than 2 000 employees. Reddy will deliver a presentation at the 2017 Top Empowerment Conference on the strategic roadmap to transformation success. 2. Innovation and technology A company’s ability to adapt to new technologies is a powerful modus operandi for organisational success and employee growth. In this digital age, emerging technology not only provides value to these organisations but to their customers and stakeholders by extension. Information Technology continues to transform all aspects of both our private and business lives. Investing and training your employees in advanced technology will equip them with the skills and ability to compete on a national or global . . .