Uyandiswa Project Management Services Founder and CEO, Amanda Dambuza was awarded the runner-up award at the coveted Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s, Regional Business Achiever Award for 2016 for the Entrepreneur Category. The awards ceremony was held on 28 July at a gala awards event in Johannesburg. The Regional Business Achievers Awards are a set of annual events aimed at celebrating the success of women in business throughout South Africa. The awards actively seek to identify, acknowledge and cultivate entrepreneurs, corporate and professional women leaders in various regions. “The Businesswoman’s Association of South Africa has a proud history of advocating for and honouring remarkable women in business, and to be associated with such an organisation is a privilege,” notes Dambuza. Dambuza founded Uyandiswa Project Management Services – an Adapt IT affiliated company in 2013 with the aim of creating an organisation that helps companies grow their maturity in project management while also educating them about the importance of the discipline. Uyandiswa is a Level 1 B-BBEE majority black women-owned company based in Johannesburg with operations across Southern Africa. Dambuza says her desire to positively contribute towards people’s lives has been the backbone of her professional and personal life. “I wanted to build a platform from which people can fulfil their dreams and those of their children and families,” she adds. Whether it’s through driving initiatives such as the Uyandiswa Graduate Programme, or supporting organisations such as the Model C Foundation, Dambuza actively drives and supports initiatives that empower, develop and motivate individuals. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Donate-A-Piece, an NPO focusing on chess as a powerful educational tool. Donate-A-Piece encourages the participation in chess as a means to develop critical skills, particularly in disadvantaged schools and public spaces. The effects of South . . .
Residents of a retirement village and children of a special needs school in Johannesburg were among the beneficiaries who benefitted from this year’s Rand Mutual Assurance Care Week. Groups of RMA staff members banded together to spread their special blend of caring among no fewer than nine organisations in need of a helping hand and some tender loving care. Two of the teams of staff from Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA) head office presented their donations to the Special Wings Foundation and The Old Age Village following a fundraising drive for the company’s annual Care Week. “The Care Week leading up to Mandela Day is RMA staff members’ way of reaching out to vulnerable members of society and celebrating the legacy of our first democratically elected president and honouring the values he lived by,” says Nomfundo Mcilongo, general manager of sales and marketing at RMA. “Everyone chipped in or lent a hand to make a difference in the lives of others. We all found it deeply rewarding to give back to the community in various ways, in-keeping with our company ethos of care,” she explains. Marinda Vivier, business analyst of operations, led a team that hosted a cake sale to raise funds for the Special Wings Foundation, a charitable organisation for special needs education. “We had a very successful cake sale, with RMA staff selling cakes, samosas, pizza, and all kinds of delicious goodies, and a wildly popular jelly bean raffle as part of our fundraiser towards the children’s schooling costs. “Our team visited one of the schools associated with the Special Wings Foundation, the LUCCA School in Blairgowrie, and brought some tasty treats for the children. We spent some time getting to know the children and participating in their activities. It certainly made some of us feel young at heart to see how they enjoyed the day – especially the doughnuts,” Vivier observed. Christine Sharfoodeen, payroll team leader, led an RMA team that raised money for The Old . . .
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa– Samsung Electronics South Africa has vast experience in the development of air conditioning and has long been committed to creating cooling solutions that are both powerful and convenient, thereby ensuring optimum comfort for users. However, what many consumers are unaware of is the fact that Samsung air conditioners are equally effective at warming up a room and they can perform more efficiently than the average heater. Although South Africa is renowned for its long, warm summers, when the winter hits, the cold can really affect internal living spaces. The traditional method of dealing with the cold is to utilise a bar or fan heater, but these products tend to work best as personal heating appliances and are less effective when attempting to warm an entire room. Michael McKechnie, Director of Digital Appliances Group at Samsung Electronics SA, points out that Samsung’s air conditioners may have a reputation for being cooling appliances, but they are just as good when it comes to heating a room. “You simply cannot obtain the same amount of comfort or efficiency in heating from another source, as these appliances are designed to control the entire room’s temperature. Moreover, an air conditioner allows you to maintain your desired room temperature more effectively too,” says McKechnie. “Consumers may be concerned that an air conditioner will use more power, but even this is not necessarily the case. Our products have a built in inverter that sets the appliance to idle once the room reaches optimal temperature, switching on again only if the temperature drops below this level. A heater, on the other hand, is likely to remain on throughout the day in order to keep a room warm, so it clearly draws a lot of electricity.” He adds that another, intangible benefit of using an air conditioner for heat is that by more consistently controlling the temperature of the room, you are less likely to get ill from constant changes in . . .
Top South African long jumper Lynique Prinsloo had to battle more than just the qualifying criteria to make her Olympic dream come true. Having suffered chronic back pain for three years, the road to her best form and, ultimately, selection for the Rio Olympics team, was a long and winding one. "It took me seven years to be where I'm today. It doesn't just happen overnight," said the 25-year-old who grew up in Springs. "One must never be discouraged. Every setback requires a comeback and one must make sure it's a good one." The University of Johannesburg education student, who has competed for the national team at world and continental level since 2008, said Rio would undoubtedly be the highlight of her career. "My lifetime goal and dream came true. I had to sacrifice so much to be selected for this team, but it made giving up all these things worth it." Prinsloo, who divides her time between Joburg and Pretoria, said she believed she had a good chance of achieving the Olympic benchmark of 6.70m after teaming up with UJ coach Emmarie Fouche this year. She did so in dramatic fashion when she leapt to a season's best of 6.78m on her last attempt at the SA Student Champs in May. Her next goal was now to make the final where she said anything could happen. Prinsloo, who has a PB of 6.81m, admitted that being a student-athlete was not easy. Luckily for her, she said, the university supported both her academic and sporting ambitions. "Being in contact with your lecturers does help a lot, especially when I'm overseas," said Prinsloo, who is majoring in physical education and psychology. Her faith has also stood her in good stead as she sets about meeting her challenges head-on. "God gave me this wonderful ability to jump and, when I do, I feel his presence." CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Tweak your TV settings to ensure an optimised and immersive sports encounter JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 28 July, 2016 – With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games due to take place between the 6th and 21st of August 2016, even the most passing of sports fans will likely find themselves glued to their TVs at some point, supporting the various South African athletes participating. With SuperSport promising six dedicated HD channels, as well as a 24-hour Olympic news channel, watching the biggest sporting event in the world is certainly going to be an entertaining experience. So why not make sure you watch it in the clearest and most vivid manner possible, by optimising your TV to suit the nature of the programme you are viewing? This, of course, is sometimes easier said than done, but it is of vital importance, since even the best TV on the market, if incorrectly setup, may well look worse than a mediocre TV that is properly adjusted. “Since sport broadcasting often happens during the day, watching these in real time means the sun will often be shining through your windows, creating an obscuring reflection. Therefore, to view your chosen event properly, you must compensate for this by adjusting the picture to a brighter setting,” says Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director at Samsung South Africa. Thackrah points out that simply turning up the brightness won't necessarily help. He explains that this setting actually has more to do with the black contrast set-up of the TV. “Thus, setting the brightness too high may result in black colours within the visuals appearing as grey, which could reduce the depth of the picture.” “To fix this, you will have to increase the contrast – sometimes called ‘picture’ - which controls the white level. However, this too should not simply be increased. Ideally, you want to take your time and find a scene with a bright, white image contained in it and then adjust the contrast to the point where the white object is bright, but . . .
As South Africa’s 2016 local government elections draw nearer and South Africans prepare to vote, the need for easily accessible & up-to-date election-specific information is more relevant than ever. News24 is expected once again to be at the forefront of information distribution as they offer users ground-breaking results maps, up-to-the-minute breaking news coverage and top political commentary across mobile, desktop and app. “The success of election reporting, specifically on voting and results days, is defined by how quickly users can access accurate information, wherever they may be. And as this election is all about who runs your ward, municipality and district council, location-based results on-the-go are critical. This is why digital news has become so vital during elections and why we anticipate that News24, with its exceptional app and mobile interfaces, will be the go-to platform for voters looking for registration information, news, results and analysis, as they were in 2014," says Adriaan Basson, Editor of News24. This year, News24 will focus on breaking news, multi-media visuals, user-generated content on voting day, party information, ongoing opinion and in-depth analysis. They will deliver rolling video coverage and live broadcasts from the News24 studios at the IEC Elections Centre from 1- 6 August. Anchored by News24’s seasoned video reporter Erin Bates, analysts Ralph Mathekga (political analyst), Piet Croucamp (controversial ex-University of Johannesburg professor) and Lawson Naidoo (Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution) will give ongoing political commentary and analysis. Once again News24 will have its popular, award-winning live results map which will cover previous results, party popularity changes since last election, and per-party results. Cathryn Reece, Head of Product Development at 24.com, is again heading up 24.com’s efforts. “Every election, we push ourselves to take the innovation one . . .
Non-medical scheme plan provides a flexible savings solution: With South Africa’s household savings rate hovering around 1.1 percent, and average debt as a percentage of disposable income at 76.6 percent, most South Africans would find it difficult to make ends meet if confronted with unexpected healthcare expenses. According to Debbie Valentini, GM of Marketing, Communications and Rewards at Agility Channel, several factors, including the high cost of healthcare and the out-of-pocket expenses that medical scheme members experience, result in many people finding themselves unprepared when confronted with unexpected illness. “Many medical scheme members often find themselves out-of-pocket when it comes to their healthcare, whether it’s running out of savings in the middle of the year, having to cover a procedural co-payment or depleting benefits faster than was expected to name but a few examples. In addition, those who cannot afford medical scheme cover are looking to save for healthcare eventualities at a rate they can afford, and ensure their funds can only be accessed for healthcare purposes, thereby taking away the temptation to spend savings on other items by them or their families.” This is where making adequate provision for healthcare savings becomes key, says Valentini. “The availability of a meaningful medical savings facility that can absorb healthcare costs is becoming increasingly important for medical scheme and non-medical scheme members alike. ” “Our Zurreal Healthcard members, for example, are proving that they take the need for saving towards healthcare seriously. Our statistics show that during the past 12 months each Zurreal Healthcard member was able to maintain R2 346,55 of savings, on average for their healthcare expenses.” Valentini says that individuals and families alike are becoming ever more aware of the additional expenses associated with healthcare. “Health items like vitamins and supplements can quickly add up and if . . .
The Birchwood Hotel’s Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Festival will be bringing South Africa’s finest talent to the fore on August 5 by providing Joburg-locals with a lyrical line-up of artists who aim to motivate, inspire and highlight life’s lighter side through music and comedy. The Birchwood Hotel has selected a new line-up of soul-soothing local artists, including the gifted Ringo Madlingozi, who will be headlining the evening with his inspirational, spiritual rhythms. Supporting Madlingozi is Idols 2015 winner, Mmatema Moremi, whose competition single was second to Adele’s popular hit “Hello” on the iTunes Chart. In association with the City of Ekurhuleni, and the Sowetan and Mail & Guardian newspapers, every month the festival also brings a fresh set of proudly South African talent to perform for Gauteng’s musically-inclined, allowing upcoming local performers a chance to introduce their talent by opening for the hotel’s prominent artists. Hosted by motivational speaker and presenter, Hector Motivator, the August festival will open with upcoming songstress and KZN-local, Sibu R, whose soulful Jazz music have allowed her to work with Thandiswa Mazwai, Lulu Dikane, John Legend and many more. The Birchwood Hotel also highlights the best of South African comedy; Tiny Tools, known for her appearances on the Mzansi Magic show, The Mayor, and SABC’s Bantu Hour, as well as her performances in the SATMA 2014 and Tshwane’s Finest Comedy Festival. Don’t miss out on an evening of soul-food, local talent and a delicious meal shared with friends and family by booking your table of 10 before 31 July to take advantage of the Early Bird Special. The festival starts at 8pm and tickets are R400 per person or R4 000 for a table of 10. For more information or to book contact Dudu Kgomo on (011) 897 0141 or on email@example.com or visit www.birchwoodhotel.co.za. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Author: Rashied Small, Education, Training and Membership Executive, South African Institute of Professional Accountants & Liezl Leleu, Professional Accountant (SA) Many graduates approach the “new chapter in their career” with enthusiasm as trainees/clerks in the accountancy profession, but are often shocked when they encounter the reality and challenges on applying their “knowledge” in practice. These experiences of graduates are a clear indication of the “education-workplace” gap which is not unique to the accountancy profession but is becoming a global concern with numerous questions being raised by industry captains about the value of tertiary education. The reasons for the gap The “education-workplace” expectation gap may be attributed to firstly, the understanding of the workplace requirements by tertiary education leaders. Secondly, the disagreement on the responsibilities of education institutions and industry for the training and development of the learners; and thirdly, the extended process of changing academic programmes which may not accommodate the rapidly changing requirements of the workplace. Other causes include: The mismatch of the academic qualification and the workplace requirement; The focus of the academic learning process on subject content and technical knowledge; The silo approach to knowledge development and assessment; The lack of exposure to the application of technology in the learning process; and The lack of the development of critical skills required for the application of knowledge in a changing business and economic environments. Current approach The short-term solution currently being implemented to address the gap in South Africa is to provide “work readiness programmes”. However, these programmes focus on developing the pervasive and inter-personal skills to facilitate the transition into the working environment. The long-term solution is to review the education and training as a . . .
When it comes to cybersecurity, companies must consider the inside threat as well. By Ettiene Retief, Chairperson of the National Tax and SARS Stakeholders Committees at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants When it comes to cyber-crime, companies are most focused on the external threat from hackers. But given that business is largely digitised these days, and that fraud is so frequently an inside job, cybersecurity must include a strong inward focus. The target for cyber-attacks, internal or external, is usually data. Data thus represents a considerable risk for all organisations, but particularly professionals like accountants, lawyers, bankers and the like, who will hold large amounts of highly sensitive client information. Recent high-profile data hacks, such as HSBC Swiss leak, were the work of insiders, and it’s possible that the anonymous source of the so-called Panama Papers was an employee of the law firm concerned. So, while the external security measures like firewalls and other access control and tracking measures remain of greatest importance, companies need to take specific precautions to protect their data from internal threats. The following six principles will assist: Maintain segregation. As in the paper world, multiple officials must be involved in every transaction to create checks and balances. This can be problematic in smaller companies which lack resources. Whenever one person has too much access there is a potential high risk. Educate staff. At the most basic level, this means ensuring they understand what constitutes a strong password, and how to safeguard passwords. Enforcing regular password changes is advisable. Staff should also be educated about what to look out for, and what the correct company security protocols are. Let not forget that many Trojans or viruses infect networks and spread to other computers from a single source/entry point (which is not only from the internet or e-mail . . .