The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) broadly supports the move to underpin a proposed repositioning of the Department of Home Affairs via new anchoring legislation. The Department recently gazetted a discussion paper for public comment by 30 September 2017. However, SAIPA Technical Executive Faith Ngwenya says that two important areas warrant closer investigation and deeper discussion. “The Home Affairs mandate to manage and secure identity has always been vital, and is especially critical in the Digital Age, when people transact online and populations are extremely mobile. SAIPA thus supports the repositioning process, and the broad vision as sketched in the discussion paper,” Ngwenya explains. “However, we do feel that a more cautious approach is warranted when it comes to the funding strategy. We also want to express some reservations about the proposed strategy of cadre formation.” Ngwenya says that the move to reposition the Department and enact anchoring legislation should be seen in the context of a long process to create a robust identity custodian for democratic South Africa. A turnaround programme was followed by the huge effort needed to support the World Cup in 2010. Since 2012, a modernisation programme has sought to replace legacy systems with an automated, secure environment managed by professionals. It is complemented by the Moetapele Programme, aimed at improving processes and service delivery via better training of officials. Enable to deliver With these fundamentals in place, the repositioning programme is envisaged as a step change to enable the Department to deliver on its mandate, and to reposition itself as a foundational building block of national economic development and security. It will provide an integrated legislative framework that governs the Department’s work, and addresses key issues like funding, security, systems and capacity. All of this costs money, and the discussion document proposes . . .
Mpact Recycling confirmed that it will be sponsoring the Mrs South Africa pageant, a women empowerment programme, for the third consecutive year. The decision to renew the sponsorship is underpinned by the partnership’s past successes and the paper recycler’s commitment to continued awareness around the importance of recycling and saving the environment. Through the partnership with Mpact Recycling, the Top 25 Mrs South Africa finalists are encouraged to help their selected schools and communities establish themselves in recycling; stimulating job creation around recycling, and educating their communities, schools and the youth on the importance of looking after the environment, whilst also enabling schools and communities to raise funds. South Africa is one of many countries that participate in the traditional annual clean up week which runs from the 11th - 17th September 2017 accompanied by recycling day on the 16th of September. This partnership will run until the crowning of Mrs, South Africa in October, however contestants often continue their recycling efforts in their respective communities long after the crowning has taken place. Mpact Recycling communications’ manager Donna Noble says the company’s empowerment and community upliftment initiatives resonate well with the Mrs SA organisation’s commitment to affecting positive change in their communities. “From past experience, the finalists are sincerely committed to making a difference in the communities in which they live and work. By partnering with Mpact Recycling, we are giving them the opportunity help change the way South Africans think about waste. “They are helping us to encourage and educate the nation that by reducing, reusing and recycling paper, plastic, cardboard and now liquid cartons too, we are not only saving the environment by diverting refuse away from landfill sites but we are all creating sustainable jobs in the process.” Joani Johnson, CEO of Mrs South Africa adds that the . . .
Eleven SAIPA members in Limpopo were recently awarded their Professional Accountant (SA) designation. The candidates hold the various positions such as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), acting CFO and Chief Director in several government sectors, including, but not limited to, the Department of Health, the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, the Department of Social Development, the Limpopo Tourism Agency, the Limpopo Safety and Security and the Limpopo Provincial Treasury. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The growth of a country, and an organisation, not only hinges on strategic goals and long-term vision, but on the youth that will one day populate its halls. The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) recognises the importance of investing in the next generation of accountants and has launched a new student membership platform to support students as they move through university and into careers as professional accountants. To ensure growth and sustainability, it is important to think about the future pipeline and engage with up and coming accountants while they are still at university. Our student membership has been designed to introduce students to the profession so they can grow to understand the landscape, be exposed to what happens in the profession and, most importantly, not have to wait until they qualify to experience the benefits of belonging to a professional body. SAIPA’s student membership has been structured with student needs and limitations in mind. As many are not earning their own income or salary, the fee has been made extremely accessible at only R100 per year. It allows them a full range of membership benefits alongside additional value-added partnerships which have been included specifically for the student market. It is a significant difference in price from the full membership fee paid by a qualified Professional Accountant (SA) which is R5,000 per annum, while still adding immense value to their personal and professional development. The right exposure Students taking advantage of the SAIPA student membership will be exposed to accounting firms that are looking for trainees, giving them opportunities for networking that would have been previously unavailable to them. Many professional members are accountants in practice and often look for article clerks or trainees to do articles, providing students with a chance to flex their skills and grow their portfolios. To become a Professional Accountant (SA), . . .
Eastern Cape, 07 June 2017: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited’s (SANRAL) community development and community access construction roads project – a spin-off programme in support of the N2WCTR - is busy stimulating new construction start-up companies in Mpondoland. It is giving emergent youth business owners a springboard through skills development and guaranteed employment opportunities. The initiative is slowly transforming the socio-economic landscape which typically draws youth into a vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Like many youth in Mbizana, Nombali Hlongwe (27) has had a difficult start in life. We met her for the first time at SANRAL’s training site in Mbizana in a breakaway room where we spoke to her. Nombali has one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear. She is strong, she is humble and above all she knows she is destined for greater things. Her eyes lost their sparkle when we asked her about her life before the SANRAL scholarship. “I was a former finance student of the Durban University of Technology. A lack of financial resources forced me to drop out of studies. I then worked as a call centre agent for a South African cellular network in Durban. However, for personal reasons, I had to resign and return to my family home.” A NEW HOPE: “We need jobs in this area. Most of the youth are unemployed, there are some who turn to alcohol abuse and using drugs because they have nothing better to do.” She invited us to her home to visit her family, a few kilometres away from the training site. She told us she has to get up every morning and leave her home between 06:30 and 06:45 to walk to class and arrive on time at 08:00. Nombali is a single mother and has a four year old son. At home she lives with her parents, her son, grandmother and 12 other siblings in Mbizana’s Ward 23. Her dad, Sandile is a taxi owner and mom, Nofezile is a house wife, who loves to grow her own vegetables. “When I . . .
This year, The South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW) celebrates its 20th anniversary. We look back at the society’s illustrious history and the significant impact it has had in the labour law community in South Africa. The South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW) was established in June 1997 with the humble purpose – as SASLAW National President Shamima Gaibie says – of bringing people interested in labour law together. Since then, the stature of the organisation has grown as has its aim of developing labour law both as a profession and an academic discipline. To accomplish this, SASLAW has four areas of activity: membership benefits, seminars and workshops, an annual conference and the Pro bono project. Continuous learning At the forefront of SASLAW’s strategy is developing and promoting the labour law profession. The society accomplishes this through regular seminars that are addressed by labour law experts and cover pertinent topics such “Monitoring employees' electronic communications - The diminished right to privacy” as well as “Privacy and Social Media”. The highlight of SASLAW’s annual calendar is the annual conference which takes place in the fourth quarter of every year. This year, to mark the society’s 20th anniversary, the SASLAW 20th Annual Conference will take place at Sun City in tandem with the first African Labour Law Society Conference. The African Labour Law Society (ALLS) was established in 2016 to promote the labour law discipline as well as share labour law knowledge in Africa. The conferences will run from 7 – 9 September 2017, with the ALLS conference being held on the 7th. seminar beginning proceedings on the seventh and the SASLAW conference taking place on the remaining two days. SASLAW is honoured to advise that Prof Sandra Fredman, FBA QC, Director at the Oxford Human Rights Hub, United Kingdom, Judge Raymond Zondo of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Professor Dr Manfred Weiss, Goethe . . .
With the world having just celebrated Workers’ Month in South Africa, Rand Mutual (RMA) understands the profound ways in which disability affects individuals’ lives. The personal journey of dealing with the consequences of physical injury is unique to each individual and few organisations understand such challenges better than RMA, which on 1 June 2017 celebrates 123 years of providing caring, compassionate compensation to injured workers. “We were the first institution in South Africa to provide compensation to workers, and RMA has been a pioneer in this field since our inception in 1894. The company’s birth predates the workers’ compensation legislation in this country,” says RMA’s chief executive officer Jay Singh. “As a non-profit mutual assurance company with more than 12 decades of experience, we have continuously strived to not only provide compensation for injured workers but to provide for their needs with sensitivity, caring, and compassion. We consequently feel that we have much to celebrate and take pride in on this milestone 123rd anniversary, which we view as an apt occasion continuing from Workers’ Month commemorations in May,” adds Singh. “In the 123 years our company was founded to administer workers’ compensation, advances in health and safety regulations and industry-driven initiatives have made significant inroads in the prevention of occupational injuries. Even then, accidents do unfortunately still occur from time to time and it is our role to provide medical treatment and compensation, not only in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) but through the extended solutions that we provide for this purpose. “We must acknowledge the foresight of our original founding fathers, the three mining companies in the Witwatersrand in 1894 including Simmer & Jack Mines (Simmers), who identified a need to help care for miners injured on duty. We still have a long-standing relationship with our mining . . .
South Africa has dropped a notch in its overall competitiveness. This is according to The 2017 Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY). For 2017 South Africa has been 53 out of 63 countries surveyed by the IMD. In 2017 South Africa was rated at 52. The challenges cited for this grim performance include lack of sustainable and inclusive growth, high level of structural unemployment and lack of access to quality education. With a measly Real Domestic Product(GDP) growth of 0.3% and Consumer Price Inflation(CPI) hovering at above 6%, South Africa ‘s unemployment rate sits at about 27%. South Africa is ranked last in terms of employment. In 2016 South Africa‘s GDP hobbled to a better 1.3%. The WCY ranking is an annual report on the competitiveness of selected countries and is recognised internationally as the leading Executive Opinion Survey of competitiveness between nations. The rankings are drawn from a combination of hard data and the results of an Executive Opinion Survey. Productivity SA is the information partner for the IMD in South Africa. Despite the decline in economic performance, South Africa was ranked highly in terms of factors such as Cost-of-living index and an effective personal income tax rate. However South Africa dropped 10 places for Government Efficiency with a significant fall from a ranking of 40 in 2016 to a ranking of 50 for 2017. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) rates the ability of 63 industrialised and emerging economies to create and maintain an environment that sustains the competitiveness of enterprises. Country data is evaluated through distinct criteria, grouped into four competitiveness factors, namely: government efficiency, business efficiency, economic performance and infrastructure. Economic performance has declined from 54 in 2016 to 59 in 2017. Government efficiency’s performance suffered a hard knock sliding ten places from 40 in 2016 to 50 in 2017. . . .
(Mthatha) – SOUTH African property development company, Billion Group – known for its development of major malls – on Wednesday evening celebrated its inroads into hotel development with the opening of the four-star, R130-million Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha, adjacent to the company’s R1.4-billion BT Ngebs City regional mall. Billion Group founder Sisa Ngebulana, who grew up in Corana just outside Mthatha, was on hand for the gala opening and ribbon-cutting. Business leaders and dignitaries attending the opening – including the Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle and SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona – saw the 96-room hotel at full capacity for the event. Addressing a packed auditorium, Ngebulana said his vision for the hotel had been simple. “Before Mayfair Hotel, the hotels here were the same ones doing business when I left Mthatha some 30 years ago,” he said. “My aim with Mayfair Hotel was to create affordable luxury – a four-star grading with the look and feel of a five-star establishment.” The three-storey hotel, which opens to the public from Friday (June 2), boasts a luxurious three-room penthouse suite (at R10,000 per night), a two-room presidential suite (R5,000 per night), as well as executive suites (R2,300 per night), normal suites (R1,495 per night) and a several conferencing halls. “When we opened BT Ngebs City two years ago, we brought stores to the region which were only found in larger cities. Now by opening Mayfair Hotel, we bring accommodation which previously was only found in Johannesburg or Cape Town. “Later this year we will bring world-class entertainment to the region when we break ground on a casino and entertainment complex.” The hotel opening launches Billion Group’s phased precinct development around the major South African malls it has developed in recent years. This includes developing the precincts around Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, Forest Hill City in Centurion, and Hemingways Mall in East London. Construction . . .
(Cape Town) – A NEW trend of merging developments with ecologically sensitive building best practice is fast taking root across the country, as businesses see the long-term benefits of “going green” against a backdrop of rising energy costs and dwindling water supplies. Green-rated buildings are putting companies on the map in terms of both physical presence and eco-friendly footprint, while eco-aware architecture is rapidly becoming en vogue, according to one of South Africa’s oldest architectural firms, SVA International. Public and industry perceptions aside, the trend has real financial implications for investors too. Analysts point to the long-term financial savings, saying the average five to 20% greater capital outlay for such developments must be considered against the landscape of electricity scarcity and the energy savings the building will make over time. Additionally, research shows that the developments tend to attract higher-end tenants, and are more pleasant to work in, operate from or live in. According to Ann-Mari Malan of green building consultancy firm AGAMA Energy, the sustainability aspects implemented in green building projects have a positive environmental and financial impact. “Given the high energy costs and water scarcity in South Africa, implementing green building practices sends out a strong message about an organisation’s commitment to sustainability whilst promoting a positive image with stakeholders, customers and employees,” she said. CASE STUDY A recent example of the trend is a three-storey ecologically sensitive development located on the banks of a 32 000m3 rehabilitated wetland. Set against the backdrop of Somerset West’s Helderberg Mountains with sweeping ocean views, The Sanctuary is a work-shop-play, mixed-use retail and office development. Opened in October last year by Abacus Development Company, it was brought to life by SVA International’s Cape Town office. Aptly named, The Sanctuary aims to . . .