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NWU Business School first in Africa to receive international BGA accreditation

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The NWU Business School at the North-West University (NWU) is a driving force of business education in Africa. Not only has the international prestigious Association of MBAs (AMBA) renewed the MBA accreditation of the NWU Business School, but the school is also now officially the first school on the African continent to receive international accreditation from the Business Graduates Association (BGA).

This follows after the recent virtual visit to the NWU Business School by panel members of the AMBA, with which the BGA is affiliated. The purpose of their visit was to evaluate the school with the aim of granting it international accreditation. According to Prof Jan van Romburgh, chief director of the NWU Business School, the school managed to also successfully secure another five-year international accreditation for its MBA qualification.

“Business education in general – and the role of MBAs in particular – is going through a fundamental transformation, both globally and domestically. In a fast-changing world and country, business schools must remain relevant by providing business education that critically unpacks their socio-economic environment for successful business strategies.”

Prof Van Romburgh says it is a huge vote of confidence from the BGA that it has accredited the NWU Business School as the first in Africa. “The AMBA accreditation also denotes the highest standard of achievement in postgraduate business education. Only 2% of recognised business schools around the world have AMBA accreditation. We are proud to be one of them. We recognise the big changes across the continent of Africa that excellent business education must help to navigate and manage successfully.”

Who is the AMBA?

Spearheading excellence and trailblazing innovation for more than 50 years, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) has been the impartial authority on postgraduate management education. The AMBA established that vision in 1967, and in a volatile, uncertain world it is as relevant today as it was then. They are committed to raising the profile and quality standards of business education internationally, for the benefit of business schools, students and alumni, employers, communities and society.

The AMBA is the only professional membership association that connects MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools and MBA employers across the world.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation certifies that an institution has the capacity to fulfil a particular function within the quality assurance system. The AMBA’s accreditation is reviewed every five years and is international in scope and reach. They work with senior academics at top global educational institutions to continuously update accreditation policies and maintain their unique, in-depth and detailed approach. Programmes that receive this accreditation reflect changing trends and innovation in the postgraduate education sector. They foster innovation and challenges and encourage business schools to continuously perform at the highest level.

Why is this a big deal?

Students and graduates, business schools and employers alike all recognise the AMBA and BGA accreditation as a gold standard. The rigorous accreditation criteria and assessment process ensure that only the best programmes achieve accreditation. The accreditation bodies look at programmes that demonstrate the highest standards in teaching, learning and curriculum design; career development and employability; and student, alumni and employer interaction.

Employers looking to attract game-changing managers and future business leaders know that graduates from accredited programmes have received the best quality, most relevant management education. To recruit a graduate from an AMBA- or BGA-accredited programme is to recruit top talent.

This accreditation gives our business school worldwide recognition and honour. The AMBA accreditation identifies the best programmes from the thousands available, and the developmental nature of their process helps us spot potential shortcomings. They provide a comprehensive report detailing recommendations for potential future improvements, ensuring that the NWU Business School continues to grow.

What does it mean to the MBA students at the NWU Business School?

Employers are increasingly asking for business graduates who possess a balance between hard and soft skills, innovative capabilities and a mind-set geared towards being more socially responsible. We can guarantee that our students who obtained an MBA or Postgraduate Diploma in Management will bring all these qualities and skills to the table at their workplace and make a viable contribution to their company.

“For our MBA graduates, accreditation offers the opportunity to connect with peers from the best global MBA programmes. Student and graduate membership of the AMBA means alumni can network internationally, knowing that they are connecting with individuals from equally impressive programmes.”

Prof Van Romburgh says through the AMBA they can enjoy career advice and support, a job portal, events, access to the latest research and thought leadership, and selected offers and benefits.

“In short, it opens doors and facilitates opportunities and we are committed to making sure that each and every student receives the best possible education in order to shape executive minds in Africa.”

For more information view:

5 Ways to prepare your business for festive season sales

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The festive season is synonymous with an increase in shopping behaviour and the best way to leverage on all the activity is to be prepared. Even with specials and promotions from other businesses creating tough competition, you can give your business an edge with early preparation.

Below we share tips to help you get the most out of the festive season peak:
  1. Strategise Early
  2. Planning Your Product Offering
  3. Marketing and Promotion
  4. Securing enough Capital
  5. Leveraging Omnichannel Customer Experiences
Strategise early 

The festive season is filled up with many public holidays. From as early as Black Friday, the opportunity for high sales volumes begins. To add to this many retailers start their Christmas promotions from late October into early November.

It’s vital that you factor these, and other seasonal occurrences, into your plan so that you aren’t caught out. The earlier you do this the more time you have to develop specific actions and align your resources to ensure you take full advantage of the opportunities that will inevitably arise.

Planning your product offering

Just because it is a busy shopping time of the year it doesn’t mean that all your products or services will be a hit. Thorough research of your audiences’ requirements, challenges and price points is required to understand the products you should prioritise at this particular time of year. Don’t forget to use the learnings from previous years to help plan your product range. 

Marketing and promotion 

Once you’ve established your plan of action and agreed on the products or services you’ll be focusing on, you can start your marketing and promotional activities. Create enticing offers (not necessarily always discounts) for your customers as often as possible. During the festive season consumer attention is contested for by many businesses so you want to ensure that you stay top of mind.

Choose a mix of marketing channels that best suits your audience and reach out to them in the best way possible. Consider which of the following work best and get creative:

  • Social media,
  • Email,
  • Search Engine Marketing tactics, as well as
  • Traditional offline advertising eg: radio/television, newspapers, and direct mail.  
Securing enough capital 

During the festive season you may need to have more funds readily available to increase inventory, hire more staff or set up promotions and holiday displays. If you don’t have sufficient cash on hand to give the season your best shot, talk to a trusted lender about securing a line of credit or short-term business loan. Lulalend, for instance, offers access to working capital with quick turnaround times, flexible repayment terms and no collateral.

Related: The SME Guide to Managing Business Finances over the Festive Season

Leveraging omnichannel customer experiences    

If you can’t beat them, join them! That’s truly the long and short of digital retail trends. Omnichannel retailing only increases during the festive season. This is driven by people wanting to avoid long queues, needing to receive items at short notice or even having to adapt when load-shedding strikes.

With these factors in mind, having an integrated approach that offers a seamless shopping experience for consumers regardless of whether they are shopping from a desktop, mobile device or physical store is a great advantage. For example, customers might buy online and want to collect in-store later that same day rather than wait 2-3 days for home delivery. You ideally want to have a solution that can cater for all of these moving parts.

The festive season can be a stressful time for a small business, especially with pandemic-related issues still lurking, and load-shedding slowing productivity down.  But with enough planning and preparation, you can make it a truly profitable period for your business.

Related: The SME Guide to Understanding your Financial Health

Apply for Bridging Finance with Lulalend

We have solutions that offer your business a cash flow boost when you need access to funds sooner rather than later. We offer bridging finance that is unsecured, and easily accessible within 24 hours. We also offer the option to settle early without having to worry about penalty fees.

Winners of the inaugural Southern Africa Regional Exporters Awards 2021 recognised at a ceremony hosted in South Africa

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Mr. Will Stevens, Acting Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Cape Town

East London, South Africa, 8 December 2021 – Businesses and trade promotion agencies from across Southern Africa were recognized at the inaugural Southern Africa Regional Exporters Awards 2021 held on 8 December in East London, South Africa. The hybrid virtual and physical event, which was under the theme, “Celebrating the export excellence of Southern African brands”, presented awards in four categories.  

The big winner for the night was Namibia’s Plastic Packaging (Pty), who was crowned Regional Exporter of the Year, ahead of the first and second runners-up Technical Systems Pty Ltd from South Africa and Far East Textiles Pty Ltd from Eswatini, respectively. These three firms were among eight national finalists who beat other worthy contenders to emerge as the Exporter of the Year in their respective countries.  

The awards are part of a collaboration between the U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC). “This partnership with the U.S. Government, has over the past three years, assisted the Eastern Cape companies to utilize the opportunities that are presented by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This includes providing firms with information on the requirements of trading with the United States”, said the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, speaking at the awards ceremony in East London.

The event seeks to incentivize and encourage export firms from the eight participating countries of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia, to explore innovative ways of improving their regional and global competitiveness. The awards, which focused on exports to the United States and South African markets, also awarded three supplementary business categories that offer vital support to these firms to achieve export excellence, despite market access challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nominations were adjudicated by a panel of industry leaders from across the region, representing both the private and public sector, who awarded the winners and runners-up solely on the basis of excellence deserving of recognition in the export industry. They judged the nominations in the areas of sustainable export growth, competitive advantage, value and contribution to the exporting sector, future expansion plans, innovation, commitment to international business, and key positive steps the business has taken towards sustainable trade.

From L-R: Mr. Ayanda Wakaba CEO ECDC, Ms Puseletso Makhakhe Acting General Manager Trade and Investment LNDC, Ms Lizel Maurice Executive Director Border Kei Chamber of Business, Hon. Mlungisi Mvoko MEC: Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Will Steven, Acting Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Cape Town, Cllr Xola Pakati Executive Mayor Buffalo City Metro Municipality, Mr. Simphiwe Somdyala ECDC Board member, Last is Cllr. Mawethu Marata Portfolio Head Economic Development and Agencies.

In the category of Trade Promotion Service Provider of the Year, South Africa’s Wesgro emerged as the winner, with the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council, and Lesotho National Development Corporation, in second and third place respectively. Absa Bank, South Africa, won the Capital Provider of the Year award, with the African Trade Platform, also from South Africa in second place, and Post Bank, Lesotho, in third place. In the final category of Buyer of the Year, African Dream Foods, from the United States, was the overall winner, with Crouching Tiger Ventures (United States) and Moringa Initiative Limited (South Africa), placing second and third respectively.

The event, which had a large virtual audience, had dignitaries from government, the business sector, and the development community in attendance. The Eastern Cape Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Hon. Mlungisi Mvoko recognized that the Southern Africa Regional Exporters Awards Ceremony marks a journey towards regional economic integration as the participating countries have common intentions towards sustainable development of the region. MEC Mvoko added that “We [Southern African countries] should continuously seek to unlock the regional potential and opportunities to effectively address the core issues of unemployment, underdevelopment, and poverty alleviation and contribute fully to the upliftment of our continent.”

Acting Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Cape Town, Will Stevens highlighted the U.S. Government’s continuing commitment to supporting the growth of the private sector across the region. He congratulated all the nominated companies, and encouraged all the nominees to consider themselves as winners whose hard work should be celebrated. 

The organizers and partners of the event are looking forward to the Southern Africa Regional Exporters Awards returning in a bigger and better form next year.                                                          


For more details about the awards, visit:

De Beers Group partners with the International Youth Foundation to create a sustainable economy in the Limpopo Province

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Partnership workshop between De Beers and IYF at Fusion Boutique Hotel in Polokwane.
19 November 2021. Partnership workshop between De Beers and IYF at Fusion Boutique Hotel in Polokwane. (L-R): Gregory Petersen, Patrick Mugumo, Dr Wynand Goosen, Anusha Naicker and Khalil Patel.

De Beers Group has partnered with IYF under its SA Skills for Life (S4L) programme which focuses on strengthening teaching and learning in the public TVET college system in the Capricorn and Vhembe Districts. On Friday, 19 November 2021, the partners held a workshop on Creating a Sustainable Economy in the Limpopo Province at the Fusion Boutique Hotel in Polokwane.

The purpose of the workshop was to initiate and activate sustainable economic growth and economic opportunities for the people of Limpopo through public and private partnerships by establishing a series of guided entrepreneurial programmes with communities at all levels, including Entrepreneurship, Job Skills, Financial and Critical Thinking skills.

S4L Programme Lead, Khalil Patel, who opened the event, emphasised the need for comprehensive stakeholder engagement through which all stakeholders, including public and private corporations, TVET colleges and communities unite under the common objective of improving economic outcomes for the youth.

Anusha Naicker, Country Director for IYF SA, in her organisational overview, stated: “A strong Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system is essential for economic growth and reducing youth unemployment, especially in the Limpopo Province.

IYF, who operates in South Africa under the auspices and supervision of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), invited a group of noteworthy speakers to address workshop participants.

Speakers included Itumeleng Mogale, Social Performance Specialist from De Beers, as MC; implementing partners: Senisha Moonsamy from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Dr Wynand Goosen and Patrick Mugumo of Infomage Rims Group (IRG) as well as Dr Lientjie van Rensburg from the National Institute for the Deaf (NID), and founder of the start-up Nosetsa Africa, Pontsho Moletsane, who shared their methodologies for working together to find new ways to upskill the youth of Limpopo. They also shared examples on how to develop networks and create employment opportunities within the public and private sectors, inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Group photo of the participants who attended the Creating a Sustainable Economy in the Limpopo Province workshop at the Fusion Boutique Hotel in Polokwane.

Gregory Petersen, Group Manager Socio Economic Development at De Beers Group, said: “We continue to explore innovative opportunities and partnerships to support the socio-economic growth of the communities in which we operate. The development of communities through entrepreneurship and skills enhancement is at the centre of our Building Forever sustainability strategy as we continue to strive to Make Life Brilliant for all our stakeholders.


About the International Youth Foundation

IYF® stands by, for, and with young people. Founded in 1990, IYF is a global non-profit with programs directly benefiting 7.7 million young people and operations spanning 100 countries so far. Together with local community-based organizations and a network of corporate, foundation, and multilateral partners, we connect young people with opportunities to transform their lives. www.iyfnet.org | www.iyfsa.org.za.

About De Beers Group

De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers Group employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers Group are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers Group, visit www.debeersgroup.com.

Glencore Ferroalloys joins hands with the DMRE to fight Gender-Based Violence and empower women around their operations

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence inflicted on women and girls in the world. In his latest newsletter address, President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote that Gender Based Violence has become a second pandemic in South Africa and expressed that it is only when we work together to confront this scourge that we can overcome it.

It is against this backdrop that on 26 November 2021, Glencore Ferroalloys in partnership with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), Women in Mining Advisory Committee (WIMAC) and Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) officially launched their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) awareness campaign.

The campaign, which calls for zero tolerance against the abuse of women and children within the South African Mining Industry, is a collective effort from Glencore Ferroalloys and other mining houses in the Rustenburg area to play their part in creating awareness as well as supporting victims of GBVF near their operations.

The launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and Femicide campaign was held at the Hedgehog’s Nest in Rustenburg and was attended by 300 women and men in mining from communities and mining houses in the Rustenburg area. Glencore executives, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Director General (DDG): Mineral Regulation – Adv Susan Malebe, Executive Mayor RLM: Cllr Shiela Mabale – Huma as well as representatives from the National Prosecuting Authority, South African Police Services, Department of Social Development and Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) CEO Dumisani Dlamini were also in attendance.

Government has announced this year’s theme as “Moving from Awareness to Accountability” urging civil society and the private sector to play their part and become activists against GBVF in their homes, communities and work places.

Japie Fullard, CEO of Glencore Ferroalloys

CEO of Glencore Ferroalloys, Japie Fullard said that the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and Femicide is one of the most important initiatives in the country, stating that the campaign should in fact run for 365 days every year because of the grave importance of women and children in society.

“As stated by our president, violence against women and children has become more than a national crisis and it is even more heart-breaking to know that from July to September this year, there were close to 10 000 rape cases reported. That is a 7.1 % increase from the previous year. This is tragic and unacceptable.

“Glencore is committed to fighting this scourge through initiatives such as this campaign. We recently committed R4-million towards the construction of a new Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) at the Dilokong Hospital in Limpopo Province. We have also undertaken to upgrade other TCC centres in the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces to ensure that they are better equipped to support victims. We are committed to continue to raise awareness of this hyperendemic and we do this because we acknowledge that victory will be achieved mainly through the efforts within the communities around us, the forming of strategic partnerships between government and the private sector, and most importantly, the efforts made within our workplaces as well.” said Fullard.

Glencore Ferroalloys also announced support for start-ups founded by women, which we will be mentored at their Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) hub which was launched in 2020 to support local businesses around Glencore’s operations.

Enterprise and Supplier Development Superintendent of Glencore Ferroalloys, Charlin Ntuli said that the women who own the start-up businesses represent resilience and commitment because they have never given up.

“Our aim from the ESD hub is to support recipients and uplift communities. We aim to provide them with the tools they need to equip themselves so they can equip others. Our first step is to work together with the recipients to create a development plan after investigating the needs and shortages within their businesses. We then put them through a programme with an expert in a particular field to mentor them as they develop their skills. We are proud to walk this journey with these women whom we have seen grow from strength to strength and we will continue to hold hands with them to ensure that they reach their full potential.” she added.

On the day, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Director General (DDG): Mineral Regulation – Adv Susan Malebe urged all mining houses to intensify impactful interventions/programmes that will overcome GBVF in South Africa and applauded Glencore for playing their part.

“We as government have developed a National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF in order to provide a multisectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework in response to the crisis of GBVF with pillars and initiatives. In addition to implementing polices, we are also in communication with traditional leaders and church leaders in communities so we can have effective workshops on GBV in the communities. Lastly, we applaud Glencore that has been proactive and has not waited for government to launch initiatives that support the activism against GBV.” she said.

Glencore Ferroalloys also announced the roll out of several site campaigns which started on the 25th of November and will run until the 10th of December to ensure maximum awareness and foster a collaborative effort in dealing with GBVF across all their operations.

Fuel price hike November: Increase fuel efficiency with MyGeotab

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Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for many companies – it often makes it to the top of list of expenses that need tracking. Petrol or diesel is an integral part for fleet management, making up approximately 30% of the total fleet operating costs.

This article discusses the key strategies for increasing fuel efficiency while showcasing fuel tracking features offered through MyGeotab.

Being equipped with the right tools goes a long way in improving the overall performance. The following strategies can be considered for ensuring optimised fleet operations:

Bigger fuel wins? Compare trends

Look at the bigger picture. Ask the following:

  • What has been our last three months fuel and idling trend?
  • What’s our aggressive driving and kilometres driven trend?

Reducing idling, speeding and mileage will reduce fuel consumption. In this way, reviewing trend reports can help track progress. Cross-referencing different metrics provides useful insights and doesn’t separate your data into silos. Examining trendlines can be an indicator of whether programs are working, or not. Fuel usage that increases or remains flat indicates the ideal time to review and adjust the program.

Figure 1: A sample graph showing a trend line for fuel burned over a period of three months.
Kilometres driven

Considering whether drivers are taking the most efficient routes or whether the fleet is dispatching the most efficient people for the call, is a contributor to fuel consumption. Geotab’s solution is ideal for managing km’s travelled, primarily because you will get full visibility into km’s and routes taken. Reducing km’s driven on a daily basis could potentially lead to more customer visits per day, helping you maximise your productivity. Geotab helps you make money while on the road, not spend money.

How Geotab calculates fuel usage

Our calculation: engine reported fuel data, imported fuel data and the GPS-calculated distance travelled. MyGeotab calculates for you the fuel used during a trip for a vehicle by querying the Device Total Fuel Used Metric from the engine. The fuel economy is then reported as the fuel amount used over the distance travelled with the given fuel (L/100 km).

How Geotab captures fuel data? 

Depending on the protocol put in place, information is broadcast through the electronic control module (ECM) for some vehicles, while others require a request for data. In some cases, fuel must be calculated on our end, using other diagnostics like mass air flow.

Engine protocol refers to the language “spoken” by the vehicle’s engine computer module. Protocol is dependent on the vehicle’s make, model and/or year. Geotab supports the three main protocols used across industry (J1708, J1939, OBDII).

Where vehicles have difference protocols, we look at each on a case-by-case basis and use debug data to identify how to capture the fuel data and correctly report it. The accuracy in which we record fuel varies between 0.001L to 0.5L, depending on the protocol and how the engine broadcasts this information. For most vehicles, we can pull different types of diagnostics like trip, idle fuel used, fuel level, water in fuel and more.

Tracking fuel usage in MyGeotab

Fuel consumption is one of the top areas to target if a company is looking for ways to reduce costs. Money saved on fuel can be redirected to other business areas, such as human resources, operations, marketing, training or product development. The features available on MyGeotab fleet management software use processing power to create various dashboards, reporting on fuel usage and other areas of concern.

To learn more, take a look at these tools in MyGeotab. Helping fleets increase fuel efficiency and reduce overall fuel costs.

Fill-Ups report

The Fill-Ups report available can point you to unmatched fuel transactions that need further investigation. Telematics device fill-up data can report on imported fuel transactions. 

Fleets can use their telematics data to validate fuel transactions. A fill-up event is defined as anytime fuel is added to the vehicle. The report will show you a brief summary, including total fuel added and total cost, for the time period you select.

Figure 3: A sample fill-up report featuring fuel data over a particular time period.
How do we match fuel card data? 

At least one of the below referencing fields can be used to match fuel transactions:

  • VIN
  • Device serial number
  • License plate number
  • Device description
  • Device name
  • Comments

MyGeotab accommodates any fuel transaction data, as long as it is in .csv or .xls file format. Fuel card importing is not tied to any specific manufacturer. Fuel transactions can be imported into your MyGeotab database via the Fuel Transaction Import Add-In or by using the API. 

Figure 4: A sample graph depicting diagnostic fuel levels versus fuel added or used for a particular time period.

Geotab works continuously on fuel data output, to optimize accuracy and support for vehicles. Ongoing include support for European models, debug data to assist and develop calculations for non-petroleum vehicles and routine firmware updates containing fuel bug fixes and improved calculations.

Geotab Africa’s plug and play solution makes it easier for you to measure and manage your fuel usage. Identify any overconsumption and make an informed decision.

Seasonality and Small Business: How SA’s SMEs can plan for the festive season

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Although South Africa’s economy has shown some signs of recovery, the true cost of the disruption and violence in July this year must still be calculated. It is against this backdrop that many small business owners are hoping to recover some lost ground during the upcoming festive season.

Many SMEs are torn between needing to end a difficult year on the best possible note by making sure marketing messages hit the mark or investing in capex that will put them ahead of the pack when 2022 starts.

The crux of the matter is whether or not they have access to the required cash reserves to avoid making choices that will set them back in the new year. It is a reality that most South African SMEs cannot set aside funds to make provision for times of need, or when additional expenditure is required.

One way in which to access cash in a cost-effective way is to consider a business funding option that offers a deferred payment option during the year’s busiest times.

“We’ve seen the positive impact that relief measures can have on businesses in need of additional support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Deferred loan payments, commonly referred to as “payment holidays’, are a way to give businesses support, flexibility and stability, says Tom Stuart, chief marketing officer of SME funder, Lulalend.

Deferred payment periods typically cover the suspension of both principal and interest payments for a predetermined time. Lulalend’s 2021/22 Repayment Holiday covers the run-up to- and the festive season from mid-October 2021 to mid-January 2022 and over these months, no interest, monthly admin, or other charges will accrue.

Taking a payment holiday, under South African law, will not affect a business’ credit score, as long as this “holiday” is logged on the provider’s system so that it doesn’t reflect as a non-payment.

“Lending responsibly is key to making a payment holiday work and SMEs who plan to take advantage of it should be in good standing which means being able to service current debt, have a solid credit record and be up-to-date with other loan or credit payments,” says Stuart.

Taking a payment holiday, under South African law, will not affect a business’ credit score, as long as this “holiday” is logged on the provider’s system so that it doesn’t reflect as a non-payment.

It is also critical for a small business owner or entrepreneur to showcase continued growth in their business and how they are planning for it in the future. A plan that involves streamlining operations, improving efficiency and cost effectiveness in the long-term; in addition to plans to increase revenue, will get a business the support it needs.

Mr Munangiwa Tshikovhi of MNT Consulting, reflects on their experience with Lulalend. “Lulalend’s repayment holiday gave us access to the finance we needed to start our project immediately. The deferred repayment period allowed us time to focus on our business and prepare to service the repayments with the income generated from the project. The entire initiative put us streets ahead of the competition as we headed into 2021.”

An accurate and up to date cashflow forecast means creating a rolling 12-month spreadsheet and a commitment to update it every month. In this way, businesses can anticipate cash flow shortages, and be able to plan for times when they’ll have to rely on funders to provide temporary financial support.

Save Our Beach Huts campaign launched to preserve, protect and promote Cape Town’s iconic Beach Huts

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The Beach Huts of Cape Town have been around since the late 1800s. Over their lifetime they have changed significantly, eventually becoming the colourful huts we see today. But, they have always been a feature of our beaches.

These structures have risen to iconic status, outgrowing their practical usefulness. Their true value is being one of South Africa’s most instantly recognisable images and arguably South Africa’s most iconic man-made structures.

They occupy a significant portion of South Africa’s global brand image. The importance of this for attracting tourism to our country cannot be overstated enough. Tourism, a large source of foreign direct income, has an important role to play in alleviating poverty and creating opportunities for all South Africans.

Tourism is everybody’s business.

The Beach Huts have been falling into disrepair for some time. A harsh environment, complex municipal structures and more pressing socio-economic issues have resulted in the near-collapse of this iconic infrastructure. The Beach Huts are as important to South Africa, as the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower is to New York and Paris.

The Save Our Beach Huts campaign, run by The Beach Hut Trust, is a public and private collaborative initiative. The objectives of The Trust are to Preserve, Protect and Promote the Beach Huts, Cape Town’s most iconic structures.

To us, they represent opportunity and hope for South Africa. To the world, they represent a reason to travel here.

We aim to create employment, restore an icon, promote tourism and generate a Beach Huts inspired industry that will sustain them indefinitely.

The opportunities are endless and we are calling on all businesses to see how they can help support the program to #SaveOurBeachHuts.

Credit: A. Gorman Photography

To know more, visit https://beachhuts.org.za/ and the Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/saveourbeachhutsCT/

The future is in Limpopo

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Limpopo Province has comparative advantages in mining, tourism, manufacturing, green energy and agriculture due to its abundant natural, heritage and cultural resources. In order to address the structural rigidity and the legacy of economic exclusion, the provincial government took a bold step to industrialise the economy based on the beneficiation of its mineral wealth, and increased value-added activities aligned to the key sectors of our economy.

The Province has established partnerships with the private sector in tourism, mining, agriculture and the wildlife industry as well as organised business. To strengthen this partnership, the province hosted a Tourism Lekgotla and a Mining Indaba during August and October 2021 and staged an international investment conference in September 2021. The aim of the conference was to market the province as an attractive investment destination and present the abundant opportunities to potential investors.

The Province has developed the Limpopo Development Plan for 2020-2025 with these strategic focus areas:

  • Industrialisation of the economy
  • SMME and co-operatives development and support
  • Revitalisation of township and village businesses
  • Transformation of the economy through procurement
  • Support and build capacity for manufacturing
  • Develop infrastructure for the economy
  • Create a better Limpopo within Africa and the world
  • Sustainable environment and natural resources.

Provincial growth points and industrial clusters have been identified in pursuit of increasing manufacturing. These clusters include Platinum and Chrome (PGM), Metallurgical, Tourism, Agribusiness and Meat, Horticulture and Forestry as well as Logistics.

Some of the flagship industrialisation projects are the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) and Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ. A pipeline of investments in both SEZs has been established. In the MMSEZ the project pipeline is worth R150-billion with the potential of creating over 21 700 job opportunities. The key investment opportunities for the MMSEZ are in energy and metallurgy, agro-processing, logistics and general manufacturing.

The potential value-add for Fetakgomo-Tubatse is R25-billion with a potential to create over 8 000 job opportunities. The total estimated projects pipeline for investment is around R250-billion.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all potential investors to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and untapped natural resources offered by the Limpopo Province.

Southernwood Buy-Back Centre officially launched

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Call-2-Action, a partnership between the Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB), Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), POLYCO and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Development Agency (BCMDA) officially launched the Southernwood Buy-Back Centre on Friday, 1 October 2021 at the St. George’s Park in Southernwood.

This is an initiative that was conceived in 2016, in an effort to curb the ongoing crisis of littering and illegal dumping in the Metro and essentially, clean up the city. The other half of the mandate was to motivate recycling, by offering cash incentives to those who recycle. The Southernwood Centre is the first operational of many future recycling stations in the Metro and was hailed by Executive Director of the BKCOB, Lizelle Maurice, as a step in the right direction towards becoming the cleanest city in the country.

The alfresco launch was attended by various Dignitaries, namely Deputy Minister of Labour and Employment, Ms Boitumelo Moloi, Executive Deputy Mayor of the Buffalo City Metro, Helen Neale-May, Portfolio Head of Waste Management Services, Councillor Nontsikelelo Peter and Ward Councillor of Ward 3, Pindile Miza.

Deputy Minister of Labour and Employment, Ms Boitumelo Moloi delivered a heartwarming speech, focused on how far such initiatives go in garnering the trust of the locals. Moloi acknowledged the littering crisis that the Buffalo City Metro has been facing and is confident that this Centre, being the first of many, will return the City to its former glory. She also commended the Metro for taking charge of a crisis, saying, “we cannot let a good crisis go to waste.”

Mr Drayton Brown, Project Manager at the BKCOB, having been at the foundation of this project, stressed the importance of collaboration, especially by the Public and Private sectors. This public-private partnership is the first of its kind in the country and the Chamber is proud to have spearheaded a project of this calibre. A key aspect of the project is continued funding. Mr Brown stressed that all parties should continue giving to this worthy cause, stating “BCMM needs to set aside a specific budget to contribute to Public Private Partnerships. Another aspect is the Extended Producer Responsibility of manufacturers – as an example, if we used funds from the Plastic Bag Levy from local manufacturers, we wouldn’t need any further funding from additional sources.” 

Amongst the attendants was Ms Patricia Pillay, CEO of POLYCO, also one of the main funders of the initiative who described this collaboration as the first of its kind in the country. “It is through such strategic partnerships that we get to accomplish great things. The right partnerships and focusing on what can be done in the now,” said Pillay.

The audience also heard from Abongile Tyopo of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), another main funder of the Call-2-Action, who elaborated on the role of the MBSA plant in managing the waste in the Metro, as well as all their efforts to stay green. “Mercedes Benz cares about Buffalo City, Mercedes Benz cares about the planet,” said Tyopo.

Executive Deputy Mayor of the BCMM, Helen Neale-May started off mentioning a necessary fight against the vandalism of such structures in our city, as they not only push East London up a notch when it comes to attracting investors but they also provide a source of income for those who recycle. “We acknowledge that the state of cleanliness is not at the desired level yet but we can confirm that we are operating at capacity, to ensure that waste is removed on schedule,” she added. The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality are key stakeholders of the Centre and have expressed great pride in leaving such a significant legacy in the Metro.