More and more South African companies are offering retirees some form of financial relief, says Marilyn Hallett, founder and MD of You’ve Earned it (YE!). YE! is an online directory where companies can list – free of charge – discounts or benefits for retirees. The latest Sanlam Benchmark Retirement Survey found that 60% of SA pensioners do not have enough to live on and the trend is getting worse. The survey also confirmed that 97% of all South Africans cannot maintain a decent standard of living during retirement. Hallett says that most retirees have always struggled due to a low savings culture in South Africa, but over the last five to seven years, the situation has been aggravated by the recent recession and the high cost of healthcare, food and petrol. “We are also seeing more of the ‘sandwich effect’ these days. Instead of economically active pre-retirees in their forties and fifties using disposable income to invest for their retirement, they are having to contribute towards sustaining unemployed children on the one hand and parents who cannot survive on their savings or pensions on the other,” says Hallett. The impact of discounts or benefits offered by companies can range from a retiree being able to buy bare necessities or being able to fix a plumbing problem to enjoying a meal at a restaurant or even a weekend breakaway. Hallett says that it’s not about looking for freebies for struggling retirees. “Companies have goods and services to offer which retirees need or would like to buy, but cannot afford to purchase. The market opportunity is significant and it becomes a pricing decision as to whether one would like to reach this market or not. YE! offers a platform,” says Hallett. How big is the market? “There are over 3.5 million South Africans over the age of 60. Granted, they are not all retired so one can discount that number but consider that 97% of whatever number you land at would welcome and support some form of relief . . .
With the residential property market reflecting positive market sentiment, Manja Kritzinger, CEO of Realtors International, says that many estate agents and bond originators or home finance experts are in a much better position today to help buyers manage affordability than ever before. “Homebuyers are—rightly so – more prudent today. A bank’s lending criteria is one thing, but homebuyers should have a finer understanding of their personal cash flows, circumstances and views of the future. For example, more homebuyers are having to make a choice between buying a home or up scaling their vehicle. It is also makes sense to base affordability calculations on an interest rate 3% higher than the rate offered,” says Manja. Kritzinger urges homebuyers to get a prequalified loan certificate and credit report from home finance experts who will conduct a full income and expenditure assessment and run a credit bureau enquiry to ascertain the buyers risk profile. “Homebuyers should embrace the opportunity to understand their credit position as this puts them in charge of the situation when applying for home finance. One scenario is having a clear credit record, but insufficient net surplus income. This is not the end of the world – you’d then either look for a home with a reduced purchase price or look to consolidate or restructure debt to secure a positive net surplus income,” says Kritzinger. Another scenario is where a homebuyer has a positive net surplus income but a poor credit record. In this instance, the answer could involve some form of credit rehabilitation before buying. Kritzinger says that structuring of debt by specialists — especially unsecured debt such as credit cards, retail cards and personal loans — can yield significant monthly savings and can prove the difference between getting home finance at all and buying that dream home without draining your cash flow. “If home finance experts have a clear understanding of the homebuyer’s financial . . .
The relationship between e-tail success and fulfilment As South African consumers become more comfortable buying retail goods online and amidst predictions that e-tail will scale new heights this year, the role of distribution is an aspect that will increasingly differentiate e-tailers and provide them with a competitive edge. “The secret of successful e-tailing is to get the order out quickly and delivered in perfect condition,” says Ryno Bekker, General Manager of On the Dot Contract Logistics. “The courier plays a significant role in providing a positive online shopping experience.” If online purchases are slow on delivery, customers could change their minds and cancel the order. “One of the cornerstones of On the Dot’s offer to our e-tail clients such as Spree, Mr Price, Mr Price Home, is that we’ll leverage our industry understanding and technology to ensure that their customers’ experience results in repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.” Ryno says that online customers are just as discerning as those visiting physical outlets. “E-tailers have to cater for all types of shoppers. You’ll find the ‘fine-planner’ who shops around online and might be willing to wait a few days for their delivery. Or, the last-minute shoppers who demand after-hours delivery during peak shopping seasons. Their expectation defines their experience.” One can understand why a distribution partner or courier would work very closely with the e-tailer. On the Dot believes that the perfect fulfilment experience is very much determined by stock availability and delivering the purchase as soon as possible after the client has clicked the ‘buy item’ button. What happens behind the “buy button” includes well-engineered processes, next-generation technology and performance-driven teams. “The accuracy and complexity of the order is typically determined before stock gets picked from the shelf. Then its packaging and preparing documentation,” explains Ryno. “You do need some . . .
On the Dot have announced their appointment as Mr Price Home and Sheet Street’s e-commerce logistics and distribution partner. With retailers expecting increased trade from online sales this Christmas, e-tail fulfilment specialists On the Dot believes that the same attributes that have made them so successful in media logistics, have placed the company in an ideal position to play a role in shaping e-commerce fulfilment in South Africa. On the Dot already handles e-tail fulfilment for Mr Price’s clothing range. Ryno Bekker, On the Dot’s General Manager for Contract Logistics, says that over the last 12 years On the Dot’s e-commerce division has built an extensive national distribution channel with the fastest response times. “We focussed on developing real-time communications systems which is critical to managing the e-tail fulfilment experience. The other key aspect of an effective e-tailer is the relationship between the retailer and their logistics manager to ensure that the different systems are flawlessly integrated. This is something we’re proud to have gotten right,” says Bekker. According to World Wide Worx: Online Retail in SA 2011/2012, e-tail sales in South Africa is still relatively small compared to ordinary retail sales, but the growth rate in this sector is substantially higher. E-commerce sales has shown a year on year growth of 30% over the last five years. “Better and more effective technology has made it so much easier for the busy consumer to fulfill their need for instant gratification in a comfortable, user-friendly and safe environment. The demand for quick and easy transactions and short delivery times will be the main factor in differentiating between e-tailers,” adds Bekker. “From an e-retailers perspective, faster delivery has real benefits such as increased market share, reduced price-sensitivity and lower inventory costs.” More Info link:: http://www.onthedot.co.za Twitter: Facebook: YouTube: Author: Amelia de . . .
On World Diabetes Day (14 November), members of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) will be offering free diabetes screenings combined with a referral and follow-up service to optimise health outcomes. “Last year our pharmacies screened almost 50 000 patients, collecting extremely valuable data and in the process, helped many people who were not aware of their condition. Overall, our findings confirmed that diabetes is a serious health priority which requires urgent action,” says Jackie Maimin, ICPA’s CEO. “As professionals at the coalface, we’re happy to play a role in identifying high risk patients and advising or referring these patients.” One of every three patients screened tested as high risk, with nearly 18% of the tested patients referred to their doctor for further assessment. “Unfortunately we have no idea whether these patients visited their doctor or not and what the outcome was,” says Jackie. This year, participating ICPA pharmacies will ensure that there is follow-through on high risk patients, whether that’s seeing a doctor or receiving guidelines to make lifestyle changes. “We will be working closely with fellow healthcare professionals to ensure better patient outcomes.” As the largest pharmacy network in South Africa, ICPA pharmacies are in an ideal position to deliver effective results. The combination of the ICPA’s national footprint and clinic services offered makes a national diabetes screening of this nature possible. “By improving the diabetes campaign’s follow up process, independent community pharmacies can help to reduce the huge cost burden on national healthcare,” adds Jackie. The software used by ICPA to capture screenings and patient follow up data is recognised internationally and purpose-built, providing valuable scientific results for both industry and government use. Members of the public can enjoy a free diabetes screening on Thursday, 14 November. Visit www.icpa.co.za for details of . . .
This week, Independent Community Pharmacy (ICP) in South Africa celebrates National Pharmacy Week and specifically “Understanding Generic Medicines”. This includes the official support of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) which represents the largest footprint in South Africa with over 1100 pharmacies serving rural and urban communities. According to the IMS Institute for HealthCare Informatics there is a R1.51 billion cost savings opportunity through generic substitution in South Africa’s healthcare industry. Says Jackie Maimin, ICPA’s CEO: “The IMS stats and feedback from our members confirm that the public is still quite confused about when and where generic medicines can be used. They need to know that generic medicines are good value for money, have been tested and approved and are effective and safe.” “The pharmacist is in the best position to inform the public about generic substitution,” says Maimin. “There is an independent community pharmacy close to you – an accessible and comprehensive source of valuable medicine information who can assist the patient make an informed decision about generic substitution.” If cost savings and effective medication is important to you, ask you pharmacist for more information about generic substitution, whether it would be appropriate for you and if there are any recommendations to help you make an informed decision. To find the independent pharmacy close to you, visit www.greendoorpharmacies.co.za. [End] Issued by: Sherpa Business Communications Media enquiries: Amelia de Milander at 021 912 4071, 083 509 1801 or firstname.lastname@example.org More Info link:: http://www.icpa.co.za Twitter: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherpa.brand YouTube: Author: Amelia de Milander from Sherpa Business Communications . Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. . . .
NATIONAL INTERVENTION TO SMOKERS Love you to stop Today is the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) official World No Tobacco Day – highlighting the health risks associated with smoking tobacco and nicotine addiction. In support of this initiative, South Africa’s largest pharmacy network -the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA), invites non-smokers to join them in a public intervention, motivating loved ones, friends and colleagues that smoke, to take the first step towards a smoke-free life. How do show you care? By “liking” the Love You To Stop Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/loveyoutostop) as a non-smoker declare your support of the Stop Smoking Public Intervention. You can then encourage a family member, spouse, friend or even a colleague, by posting a personal plea to that smoker on the Page. If you were a smoker you can share your story as motivation for others. ICPA and their associates will also post relevant information, interesting facts and motivational tips. ICPA’s chairperson Sham Moodley says: “I think most smokers wish to quit but aren’t sufficiently motivated to stop smoking. Usually, smoking cessation campaigns are aimed directly at smokers. In this campaign, we’d like non-smokers – particularly those who really care for someone who is a smoker, to let their “someone” know that there’s a solid support system behind them should they take the first step to stop smoking.” Share the facts We have heard all the horrific stats: • Tobacco kills one in 10 adults worldwide • The chance that a lifelong smoker will die prematurely from a complication of smoking is about 50% • In South Africa, tobacco smoking ranks third highest as mortality risk factor- approximately 15% of deaths within over the age of 35 • Smoking can also be linked to a number of serious diseases such as cancers of the lung, cervix, pancreas and kidneys, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The ICPA encourages . . .
KENAKO MALL OPENS ITS DOORS And the consumers “like” it. [Cape Town] Judging by the success Kenako Mall enjoyed during the official opening towards the end of April, Pointbreak Investment Management and Kenako’s investors, Shoprite Group and Prima Retail Properties, are confident that this ground breaking development of R195 million will set the tone for future township mall development. The 19 000 m² mall is ideally placed in one of Port Elizabeth’s biggest townships, with a catchment area of more than 340 000 shoppers and an estimated retail potential of R1,2 billion. Besides the 4 000 m² Shoprite, other top brands as tenants include Truworths, Ackermans, Pep, Clicks, Mr Price, Tekkie Town, Capitec, Standard Bank, Hungry Lion, McDonalds, Jet, Edgars Active, Identity, Legit, Fashion IQ, etc. At the opening, Kenako Mall had 88% tenants, with 76% being Nationals and a keen interest in the remaining 12% of the Mall. The opening of Kenako Mall was met with much excitement. The parking lot, with just under a thousand bays available, was fully packed. Following the traditional ribbon cutting, hundreds of trolley-pushing, cheering people streamed into Kenako Mall, most notably into Shoprite. The positive comments and posts on the Kenako Mall Facebook Page, with nearly 7 500 “likes” already, is indicative that the timing and location for Kenako Mall was spot on, filling a need in the community. “The increase in expendable income in townships and rural areas has opened up a new market for national retailers,” says Pointbreak’s Pieter Laubscher. “Kenako Mall gives its target market access to South Africa’s leading retail and fashion brands. In terms of creating a pleasant shopping experience, we invested in a beautiful centre layout and quality finishes.” From an investment perspective, Kenako Mall is setting new standards and creating a good example when it comes to township and rural retail developments. Pointbreak’s John Hamman adds: “This is a long-term . . .
Badly managed workplace stress costs the South African economy billions of Rands each year. It debilitates management and employees alike. Dr Anthony Costandius, Counselling Psychologist, points out that nurturing the emotional strength of people within the company, i.e. utilising effective psychological principles, also found in well-functioning families - can help management and staff to endure and thrive. This gives the company the best chance to survive current and future economic challenges. Stress in the workplace, a universally documented phenomenon, is exacerbated by the current extended global financial crisis. Survivors of cut-backs, retrenchments and corporate restructuring now need to do more with less, whilst still being required to meet the same targets as before. Office and home have become inextricably intertwined, providing little opportunity to recharge. People at risk means that the company is at risk. The impact on the emotional and physical wellbeing of staff is clear. Increased absenteeism caused by chronic headaches, gastric problems, depression, anxiety, strokes and heart attacks, low morale and reduced job satisfaction have become the order of the day. For companies who now have to survive with a reduced and over-taxed workforce, this is very worrying. The above situation can only change if more effective strategies are found to manage and nurture emotional strength in the workplace. Dr Costandius states: "We need to identify people at risk, offer helpful and appropriate interventions and create an environment where people feel safe to say 'I need help!' without the fear of being victimised or given a poor performance review." There is a solution. Dr Costandius believes that, by utilising stress reduction and coping strategies found in well-functioning families, management efficacy and the employer environment can be improved significantly. He adds that, while many of today’s managers have the functional and technical skills to . . .
CONVERT EMPLOYEES’ DEBT INTO SAVINGS With the increasing indebtedness of South Africans and over 2 million garnishing orders in place, employers are being faced with increased absenteeism, low morale and unrealistic expectations come salary increase time. Theuns Hanekom, co- founder of Blue Oak Systems, recently launched RESET. The web-based online application empowers employers to assist employees to – wherever possible - convert debt into improved personal monthly cash flow. “The RESET approach is not about consolidating debt with a maximum loan – that is not always possible and often unrealistic and does not necessarily yield the greatest savings. RESET is however about establishing a debt structure which delivers the maximum monthly savings or improved cash flow for the employee,” says Hanekom. He points out that putting extra money in an employees’ pocket can have a marked effect on morale – thus addressing turnover rates, absenteeism and overall employer – employee wellbeing. Morale has drastically been affected for the worse, as the deterioration in economic conditions have affected employees and employers. Employees are desperate for a salary increase at a time when many companies cannot afford increased costs – and this creates a negative working environment. RESET can often unlock that extra cash flow needed by the employee. The RESET application is very simple and takes a few minutes to complete. “Firstly, RESET is conducted in a secure online environment. It’s convenient and efficient. The employee captures his or her ID number and RESET collects the essential information on current unsecured debt from the Credit Bureau. RESET then calculates what consolidating loan amount the employee would require and which accounts, if settled, would yield the maximum monthly savings – the savings amount is provided to the employee within minutes. If the savings are deemed sufficient, then the employee moves to phase two which involves a specific . . .