Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Good morning bloggers! It's Wednesday again - here is your weekly infusion of the workshop. Remember, if you have any queries, please post them or contact me directly.
A.3 Written Procedures.

Even if you don’t have staff working for you just yet (chances are that at some point you will have), it is a good idea to write down how you do things or how you want things done. This will also assist you in doing the admin in the same manner every day, every week and so on. Then when you do hire staff, the manner you want things done will be documented and there can be no misunderstanding on how things must be done. A good way to do this is to write down firstly, what you do every day, (for example – banking) every week (for example bank reconciliations), every month (testing of alarm) and so on. This will give you a good checklist that can be signed off as and when you perform the tasks and ensures that nothing gets left off or left behind, so to speak. Once you have established the tasks that need to be done on a regular basis, it is much easier to then put together a documented procedure on how you want the tasks to be done. Remember to keep it simple and in a logical or chronological order of events.

Once this has been done, you now have a written procedure – the next step is to implement it. This may seem like stating the obvious, but how many manuals have we all got and how often do we actually use them. Think about the manual that comes with the cell phone – how many of us only use a tiny percentage of the capabilities of our cell phones because we don’t ever look at the book and read about all the things that the phone is actually capable of doing.

As a precaution, it may be a good idea to get your Accountant to look over your procedures, just to make sure that you are doing everything that you should be doing, at the very least.

If you are the sole owner and staff member of the company, then you have no problems, but if you have a partner or staff, it is a good idea that your partner be aware of what needs to be done and how – and that your staff know exactly what they have to do and how.

This is very important: particularly in the instances where you have staff. Once they have gone through the document several times and you are confidant, that they know what it is that they are required to do, there can be no mistake about what is required of them and how they are to perform the various tasks. This step safe guards you and the staff member – both of you are protected from each other! It may be a good idea to get the staff to write a simple test to ensure that they do indeed understand what it is that they are doing, vs. what they are supposed to be doing. The results of these tests can be kept in the staff files to evidence that they knew what they were supposed to be doing if ever, disciplinary action needs to be taken in the advent of non compliance to laid down procedures.

Okay so now you have the procedure - it is implemented and the staff member knows exactly what he/she is supposed to do. Human nature being what it is dictates that humans get lazy, or complacent, or just plain bull headed. So lets say that the PAYE, UIF and SDL monies are not paid over to SARS on time, just because the staff member didn’t feel like doing any work on the 7th of the new month – the reality of the situation is that you are going to pay penalties and interest on a late payment, through no fault of your own. That is your consequence, what is the consequence, if any for your staff member? Are you merely going to accept that you now have to pay additional money over to SARS or does the staff member also have a consequence? That is a decision that you have to make. It is therefore very important that each process or the procedure for each task, carries a consequence if that task is not performed correctly or timeously. Understand though, that the punishment must fit the crime – you cannot dismiss someone, nor should you, for not filing a piece of paper on time. The staff also needs to be made aware of the consequences of their actions or inactions as the case may well be.

Understand too, that if you have more than one staff member, you cannot discipline the one for not doing the filing properly and then not discipline another for the same action. Be careful when you don’t discipline for a misdemeanour as you may be setting a precedent, and once set they are extremely difficult to unset. You have to be seen as being fair and just and you have to be consistent.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This is not a new scam, for years now e-mails arrive from all over the world stating that you have won money in a lottery that you have never heard of, let alone bought into.

Then of course there is the e-mail that also comes from somewhere else in the world telling you that you have been chosen to be the recipient of a gazzillion USD or GBP because the sorry individual who has sent you the mail in the first place has perloined it from whatever bank and the person, whose money it was in the first place has died and does not have any dependents!


It is a nice fantasy though, to visualize falling with your bum in the butter for once in your life, because some lost and forgotten relative has moved onto a different planet and/or time zone and left you all of his moola!

Just as long as you remember, that that is all that it is - a fantasy and not reality!

There are enough people after your hard earned money, like SARS etc, without you having to part with it and give it to people who are in fact stealing from you. So take care - if it sounds to good to be true - it usually is!



June 07 2006 at 01:27AM

Police on Tuesday warned the public against letters circulated via email falsely promising large lottery payouts linked to the soccer World Cup. Inspector Percy Morokane said police had received a number of complaints from potential victims of the "SA 2010 World Cup Bid Lottery" scam.
Morokane said victims were notified via email that they have won the lottery. A certificate confirming the prize would then be issued and the victim would be asked to complete a number of forms online, in the process unknowingly disclosing his or her private and confidential details.
The victim would then be informed of the procedure to claim the cash, but an up-front payment would be requested before the rest of the cash was released.

"We strongly warn the South African public and the international community about this and similar scams.
"Morokane urged anyone who had received such emails to call 012-401-3345 or 012-393-1203 or fax 012-401-3369 or 012-393-1202. - Sapa

Monday, January 29, 2007


The quote today comes from Nelson Mandela who says:

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treat's its children."

Oh dear, according to this the 'soul' of the South African society is real trouble! Our children are beaten and abused, raped and dehumanized, starved and left homeless. What does that say for us as a nation!
It is often the same with our businesses in their infancy! The very people, upon who lies the responsibility of growing the economy, these people are forced to the ground by burdens gifted wrapped in 'red tape' and tied up in taxes and laws! The more we give, the more we are expected to give.
It's not all doom and gloom though, because despite the financial burdens that we are expected to carry, many take up the challenge and beat the odds, tear off the red tape, undo the knots of taxes and laws and actually make a success of our business, our lives and in so doing we secure our futures.
It's all about focus, determination and tenacity. It's about not only about recognising the opportunity but also doing something about it - this is the real world and there is no 'fairy godmother' with a magic wand. Business will not fall down like manna from the heavens or claw it's way up out of the ground to land exhausted in our laps! We have to go out there and get it.
So, my challenge to you is this! Don't be a statistic and fall down by the wayside, be a leader, a decision maker and a go getta!
Have a fantabulous week!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Good morning fellow bloggers - hope you all enjoy the Sunday funnies as much as I do posting them. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Allegedly Kulula

Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg.
Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining.
Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"
On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."
On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."
From a Kulula employee: "Welcome aboard Kulula 245 to Calgary. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite."
Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."
"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"
Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."
Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."
Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
A plane was taking off from Durban Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town, The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Well so much for FICA & FAIS and all rules and regulations and Acts that surround Money Laundering and of course corruption! This little piece of information, just highlights exactly how much all the red tape is worth - exactly nothing! Oh goodness, this is absolutely priceless! The next time the bank refuses to allow me to do something, I think I am going to shove this article at them for their 'official' comment!



January 04 2007 at 04:55AM

Sydney - An Australian bank has apologised for issuing a credit card to a cat after its owner decided to test the bank's identity security system. The Bank of Queensland issued a credit card to Messiah the cat when his owner Katherine Campbell applied for a secondary card on her account under its name. "I just couldn't believe it. People need to be aware of this and banks need to have better security," Campbell told local media on Thursday. The bank said the cat's card had been cancelled. "We apologise as this should not have happened," it said in a statement.

Friday, January 26, 2007


The question that is 'begging' to be asked is - how was it "mistaken" for a new phone? It was deliberately re-sealed and re-packaged to look like a new phone! The only mistake of course was that they got caught out!

This now raises a lot of questions in terms of other goods out there that are purchased in good faith, and that are "sealed" on delivery, but always have that 'used' feel about them - now you have got to wonder - were they actually new or were they too "mistaken" as a new item, and then sold as a new?


Lumka Oliphant October 07 2006 at 09:53AM

Cellphone users listen up! The phone that your service provider sells you as new may not be new after all. This is what Liz Collins from Cape Town found out when it was time to upgrade her Cell C contract. Her "new" phone was delivered to her by hand, in a sealed box, but when she switched the phone on, there were somebody else's SMSs as well as a list of names in the phone book. She then phoned one of the numbers on the phone as a way of tracing the "owner". It turned out that the details on the phone were those of John Crawford, who stayed in Johannesburg.

It appeared that Crawford was given the supposedly new phone by Cell C as a replacement phone after he had lost his. Cell C contract customers are insured by the cellphone service provider.
Crawford said he had returned the phone to Cell C because he specifically wanted a phone with a camera and had put his SIM card on that phone to be able to operate it. "I switched the phone on and off again after I found that it had no camera. I returned it immediately the following day," said Crawford.Collins said it was clear that the phone had been somewhere else and she was going to pay for a "not so new phone". She said she was promised a new phone by the service provider - but can consumers trust that they are getting a new phone from Cell C the next time they buy a phone? Vinnie Santu, media liaison for Cell C, said: "This was a highly improbable and isolated incident. The handset returned by Mr Crawford was inadvertently mistaken for a new handset and issued to Ms Collins in error. "It is not our policy to reissue returned handsets on contract and we regret this incident."

This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on October 07, 2006

Thursday, January 25, 2007



A terrible thing happened outside my house last night (24th January 2007). I am seriously angry with the police in the area and have every intention of taking this further!

Let me set the scene

My friend Philip came round for dinner last night and we had just finished eating. My front door was open as I was trying to entice a little breath of cool air into the lounge.

Suddenly there was an ear piercing scream from just beyond my front garden. I ran out onto the patio with my cell phone in my hand and yelled out “Are you in trouble”. A petrified, clearly traumatised young girl yelled back “ He’s attacking me!”.

For those of you who know me and have been to my home, you will know that there is no easy access from my front garden to the street, so I couldn’t, even if I wanted to (which is probably a good thing) go out onto the street to help her. I yelled back “I am calling the police”, which I proceeded to do – the time – around 7.45.

While I was calling the police, someone opened the electronic gate and the youngster entered the driveway. At this point I did not know if she lived in the complex or if someone, understanding her plight had let her in for her own safety.

In any event, I digress – I called 10111 and the phone was answered very promptly, I explained the situation telling the operator that a young girl was being attacked outside of my home. I gave him the address and my name and contact details.

8.05 arrived, but the police hadn’t as yet. The local police station is within walking distance but it would take about 20 minutes to get there, so by car if it takes more than 5 minutes, you’re going very slowly. I dialled 10111 again and as luck would have it, got through to the same operator. I advised him that the police had not yet arrived, he suggested that I get hold of the local police station and gave me the number.

As an Internal Auditor, I pay attention to detail, so I had noted down the time of the calls, who I had spoken to and a reference number. Also, I live in SA and sooner or later someone is going to ask me for detail, so this is second nature to me.

I called the local police station and asked who was in charge as I would like to speak to that person. I was given a name. I asked to be put through to that person – here the fun starts – I was told that that person was not on duty! I took a big breath! I asked again who was in charge and who was there that I could speak to – I was given another name. I asked to be put through to that person – I was told that he had just “stepped out”! I lost it (not a pretty sight) and asked for the name of “a living, breathing person who is at the police station, right now who is in charge”, I was given another name – I asked to be put through to that person – she answered the call – the time 8.10pm (and still no police arrival).

I explained the situation (obviously now in a very agitated state), giving her the details of my 2 x 10111 calls, the name of who I had spoken to, the reference number and the time of the calls and advised her that the police had not yet arrived and I wanted to know a) when and if they would be coming and b) why, after 25 minutes they had still not arrived.

This police woman , who was obviously very skilled in dealing with a member of the public who was clearly agitated told me to “lower the tone of my voice when I speak to her!” For those of you who really know me, will know that I now really lost it! I reminded her that as a member of Joe Public, she should remember that it is me that pays her salary and that clearly tonight, the police are not earning it (amongst other things)! At this point the police arrived outside.

To cut a very long conversation short – the police were supposed to, at some point, come to me as I had originated the call – I am still waiting for them.

I then went off to the unit where all the commotion was taking place, found the policemen there and took their details down. They assured me that they would come and talk to me after they had finished interviewing a very traumatised young girl. At this point I discovered she does actually live in the complex. Again I am still waiting for the police to come and talk to me.

At 9.23pm, I again phoned the local police station, to speak to the police woman who was “in charge” and this time got put through to the policeman, who was actually in charge. I related the whole incident to him, and he told me that 25 minutes is an acceptable and average time for the police to respond. Horrified and disgusted, I asked “would 25 minutes be acceptable to you, if it was your wife or daughter that was being raped and/or attacked” – he agreed that it wasn’t.

The local police station is now blaming the call centre at 10111 for the delay and of course the call centre in Brixton (where the 10111 call went through to) is blaming the local police station. I am not interested in their game of tennis – I want to know how a call to the “flying squad” at 10111 – took in excess of 25 minutes to be responded to, to what could have been a really bad situation (fortunately with all the yelling and screaming, the thug let her go and she was physically unharmed).

Today, I am going to find out who the parliamentarian is that belongs to this constituency. I am going to send this (with all the names of the people that I spoke to) to the DA. I am posting this on every network site that I can lay my hands on. It will go onto my blog. I am going to find someone at the newspaper who will be willing to write the story. I am going to name names and I want an answer!

This type of police complacency has got stop!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Good morning bloggers! Herewith the next instalment of the workshop. Remember, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail me or raise the comment.
Have a great day
A.2. Contracts between you and a partner.

Okay, so you meet someone that you “click” with immediately, or you’ve been friends with someone who you’ve known for years and you trust with your life – that’s great! Trust them with your life – but not your money nor your business. That’s not to say that you have to be suspicious of people and their motives all the time. It doesn’t mean that everyone you know is out to get you either – what it does mean, however, is be aware of what’s going on around you – information is knowledge, knowledge is power!

Why do you need a partner? What are they going to be doing? What are their responsibilities? What are their expectations? What are your expectations? Who gets what? Who does what (segregation of duties)? Who pays for what? Who is paid for what? If the whole venture goes “belly up” how do you get out of it?

These are all questions that need to be asked before you get into bed with a partner! Be clear about what you want out of the deal; be clear about what they want out of the deal. Above all – be fair!

Again, write down (each of you), in your own words what you require and thereafter get the lawyers to put the requirements down in legalese.

Remember, your document should cover the following:

How you put the whole thing together. Who pays for what and how much.

Segregation of duties – what the responsibilities are for each person. For example one person may be excellent on the financial side and the other on the marketing side. This should be stipulated.

Be clear on the money issues. Some of you may feel you are doing more than the other – in this case why not put the whole thing into percentages? Partner A brought in 60% of the business this month and partner B brought in 40%, therefore after expenses partner A should get 60% of the profit and partner B 40% and so on. Make sure you are both in agreement on what expenses the business will cover – petrol, car maintenance, cell phones, etc. Another alternative is, that once the expenses are paid a percentage of the profit remains in the business (say 10% or 15%) and only after that can the partners take out their respective profits. In this way the business will always have some capital and be liquid. Alternatively each partner gets a fixed amount. Whichever way you decide, make sure that all information is documented and that each partner is clear on what is happening to the finances.

Not all marriages are made in heaven: divorce statistics prove this over and over again. So don’t go into this with rose tinted glasses and starry eyes. Take the emotion out of the situation. If the union needs to be dissolved, for whatever reason – document what is going to happen and how and put it into the contract. In this way the business can remain standing and your names credible.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Ok, so where do I start on this topic. Absolutely there is a huge amount of corruption in this country. Having said that, it is not confined to the police, or any one sector of the community, it is rampant everywhere. Everyday in the newspaper there is something about someone somewhere who has accepted a bribe of some sort.

I look around at all the small business owners (and the members of Joe Public for that matter) and how difficult it is to sometimes get the smallest of things done, without spending hours of wasted time and/or huge amounts of money to get whatever it is that we want in place done and I can almost understand why it is often much easier (not to mention cheaper by far) to get something done. But is that the right way to go . . . logic tells me no, because as some point, what-ever it is that has been done illegally, will rise up, like the Phoenix out of the ashes and bite you on the bum! And please believe me, when it bites, it is going to hurt like hell!

Yes I agree that infrastructures need to be improved and legislation needs to be amended to make life easier. Some of the people in power need to have their 'ego' checked in at the door, and some just need to get over themselves. A little bit of power is the same as a little bit of knowledge - they are both very dangerous in the wrong hands! Having said that however, we all need to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem, if we are going to get things sorted out.
So, in closing - ponder on this - don't bribe - if you have done the crime (whatever it may be) you must be willing to do the time (or pay the price). Let's all work together to bring corruption down.
January 05 2007 at 12:14PM

By Miranda Andrew
Corruption among Durban's police forces is alarmingly high. Senior police officers and concerned security analysts agree that corruption is rife in some of the city's bigger police stations. But senior police officers have blamed the public, saying they are encouraging corruption by offering bribes. Experts say that police are so corrupt that most communities would rather trust private security firms than the men in blue.

Durban regional court magistrate Keshore Lalbahadur on Thursday also lamented the plague of corrupt officials. Speaking before taking up his new post as regional court president of the Free State, Lalbahadur said "there are simply too many corrupt officials who are encouraging crime". Everyone had to work together to root out the problems, he said.

The latest soul-searching about police corruption in the city comes after recent reports about alleged corruption at the Sydenham and Phoenix police stations. In December Metro police officers accused some Phoenix SAPS officers of hindering a legitimate police operation against a popular shebeen that has operated illegally for years with seeming impunity. This week the spotlight turned to Sydenham Police Station after a blood sample taken from a drunk driver during a festive season roadblock was allegedly stolen from a secure location accessible only to police officers.

These two cases, and dozens more, are being investigated by the police watchdog, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). "The police are the cornerstone of all communities and if that falls apart, then communities live in fear. That is the situation at present," Koos van Rooyen, chairman of the KZN branch of the South African Security Association (SASA) said on Thursday.
Van Rooyen, a former policeman in the Durban North Murder and Robbery Unit, said there was a big problem in Durban and it would never change unless senior management was held accountable. "The problems will never be changed from the bottom up, changes can only come from the top," he said.
A recent study by SASA shows that the majority of South Africans trust their private security companies more than the police. "And this should never be the case," Rooyen added. "The authorities should keep the public informed about the outcome of corruption investigations. This builds confidence in the system and tells other corrupt policemen that they will not get away with it," he said.Meanwhile, acting provincial SAPS Commissioner Bala Naidoo said that for corruption to take place, there must also be corrupt residents involved. "For every corrupt officer there is a corrupt member of public and that's what people need to understand," said Naidoo.
Metro police spokesperson Supt Alec Wright agreed that the public consents to such corruption by paying bribes. "Unfortunately, a corrupt officer can tarnish the police image, but sometimes the public themselves are found guilty of entertaining the corruption by offering bribes to police," Wright said. He explained that officers who have been found guilty of corruption have been dealt with departmentally and even criminally.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on January 05, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007


The quote this week comes from Judith Sephuma the singer.

"Fly away my heart, don't despair. The world is full of joy. You cry, you smile then you dance."

As business owners, we often despair - despair at the business we don't seem to be able to generate, and when we generate it - the staff who staff let us down and we don't complete it on time or with the quality that we would like, or if we complete it perfectly and on time, the client doesn't want to pay! We despair at all the Government "red tape" that we ae faced with on a daily basis. We sometimes despair at all the challenges we are faced with, and yet . . . we generally survive! Many of us not only survive, but we end up making a pretty decent living not only for ourselves but for our employees too, and when we look back, we often remember the tears and perhaps even the smiles, but the best is the dance - the dance for joy at the people we have become.
Hoping that this week, brings forth "the dance" for all.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Taken off the forum of the Business Warriors (on - as funny as this appears on the surface, it also encompasses the very real challenges that entreneurs face on a daily basis as they try and get their businesses up and running, legitimately.
Irony aside, I hope you have all enjoyed, at least a little smile on this glorious Sunday morning!
In the year 2007, The Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in South Africa, and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and overpopulated and I see the end of all flesh before me.
Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans." He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have six months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights".
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard..... but no ark. "Noah", He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah. "But things have changed. I needed a building permit.
I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a fire detection and sprinkler system.
My neighbours claim that I've violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations.
We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.
Then South African Transport and Eskom demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power, trolley and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark 's move to the sea.
I argued that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.
Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Giant Spotted Owl.
I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls. But no go!
When I started gathering the animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.
As well, they argued the accommodation was too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
Then Kort Broek of Environment Affairs ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many previously disadvantaged individuals I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.
Also, the trade unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark building experience.
To make matters worse, the Customs and Revenue via the Scorpions seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this Ark." Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?". "No", said the Lord. "The South African Government beat me to it!"


Oh dear, I still seem to be on the fireworks "pulpit"! Not only are fireworks bad for pets, but it would appear that they are bad for humans too - albeit that the pets don't have any say in the matter and the humans do. Not withstanding that the humans in this particular story are less than intelligent! Who does stuff like this! Even if you are copying stuff from a movie, surely to goodness, at 22 you are aware that movies are done with stunts and stuntmen who are trained to do the stuff that they do. Surely as a soldier, who had just come back from Iraq, where bombs are flying all over the place, you are aware of what happens with bombs! Surely you understand, even if it is by sight alone, that although the fireworks goes forward, in order for it to do that, something has to come out of the back end!

Good grief man, if you're bored with a fireworks display, find something else to do, like go read a book!



November 10 2006 at 02:03AM

London - A soldier is being treated for his injuries after setting off a firework between his buttocks.The 22-year-old, who told friends he was “bored” with a fireworks display, copied the stunt from the Jackass movie.
He dropped his trousers, and slipped a powerful Black Cat Thunderbolt between his cheeks. A friend set the firework alight and the soldier bent over as the firework exploded in a shower of sparks.
Laughing witnesses at the Sunderland event filmed the episode on a video phone, not realising their friend was badly hurt. The soldier, who had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, ended up in Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he is being treated for a scorched colon and other injuries.
John Woodhead, chairperson of the Firework Association, said that he had never heard of an incident like it in 45 years.Woodhead added: “This sort of thing is beyond belief. We have spent a long time working with the government to create laws that make fireworks safer and better for the public. This incident is very concerning but hopefully an isolated one.” -

Friday, January 19, 2007


How sad, that the very thing that seems to give people such joy during times of celebrations, bring such pain and agony to those that we claim to love so much! Yet, as long as our own satisfaction is guaranteed, we seem to have little if any consideration for the well being of our pets. When we read articles like this, we all nod our heads and frown and mutter words in condemnation of the irresponsible people around us who set off fireworks, at every opportunity, yet not only do we not do anything about it, but we also participate, whether it is by joining in the fun or even setting off a "few harmless bangs" of our own.

I know my own 3 cats all bolted inside and dived into the cupboard, where they hid behind my piles of clothes (a favorite hiding place for them when thunder and lightning gets to scary for them to contemplate). I watched them squirm and shiver and saw how they were stressing at each new bang.

Isn't time we took the stress that these fireworks causes into consideration, and have them banned once and for all - they really do not serve any purpose and there are many other ways in which to celebrate an occasion that does not involve huge noisy sounds?



Fireworks have pets in a frenzy

January 03 2007 at 11:45AM

The New Year's fireworks were hell on Pretoria's animal population with dozens of pets injured. A dog was impaled on palisade fencing and others were hurt when they jumped through windows to escape the noise of the fireworks.

Many were knocked down by cars as they fled their homes. The Pet 911 Emergency Veterinary Clinic in the Moot had to deal with more than 30 cases, five of them dogs that had jumped through windows. "Thirty-three cases are a lot to deal with since New Year's Eve," said Anette van Veenhuyzen, a sister on duty at the clinic last night. She said all five dogs were saved.

"Many other dogs came in with cuts and bruises after being hit by cars. A lot of people also brought in animals that were found wandering the streets," Van Veenhuyzen said.Pretoria's animal rescue organisations were inundated with calls from people whose pets disappeared during New Year's celebrations. SPCA chief inspector for Pretoria Marizda Kruger said they had been involved in the rescue of a fox terrier that had to be extricated from between a garage wall and the wall of his owners' Faerie Glen home. - Staff Reporters

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on January 03, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is happening folks! A colleague of mine had this happen to him over the Xmas period. Fortuately (or unfortuately for the waitron concerned), he know which restuarant and from the transaction, they will be able to pinpoint who the waitron is as well.
Firstly 2 or 3 R1.00 transactions went through the account - this is how they test to see if there is going to be any reaction from the cardholder. Then an amount of R1000.00 went through from a computer shop. Luckily my colleague has the "SMS notification" facility and he was advised of the transactions, and was therefore able to stop them and has not lost any money.
Prevention is still better than cure though and it is always better to be aware of what you are doing and don't trust anyone hanging around the ATM's.
Bhavna Sookha
November 17 2006 at 01:58PM
Crime syndicates are employing new methods to get secret customer information off credit and debit cards for use on fake cards. The criminals are skimming information off the magnetic strips on the back of customers' cards, downloading it on to a personal computer or laptop, before using this information to produce duplicate cards to withdraw money from bank accounts. A man suspected of cloning bank cards using a "skimming" device was arrested in September in Richards Bay. The device seized by police was so small that it could be hidden in the palm of one's hand.
According to Standard Bank's Ross Linstrom "skimming" now accounts for an even greater proportion of cash machine fraud in South Africa than conventional card swapping. Standard Bank security expert Pat Pather said card skimming is now the most frequently used method of ATM fraud being perpetrated across the globe.
Pather said the problem was the easy access to the skimming machines which could be purchased on the Internet. Linstrom said a number of different scenarios were used by criminals. He said the bank had been informed of people posing as bank employees at ATM machines telling clients that they needed to verify their details by swiping their bank cards through this skimming device.
He said the device then sent the customer's information to a computer at a different location. "These people then hang around and 'shoulder surf' to try and get the PIN number from that particular client which is then called through to the person duplicating the card," he said. "A white card or blank card is then used and the client's details transferred on to the magnetic strip." He said in other instances syndicates approached waitrons. "The waitrons are handed the devices which they use whenever a customer makes a payment with their card. "It takes seconds for these people to swipe the card through the skimming device while the customer is waiting at their table," said Linstrom. "At the end of their shift the waitrons hand the device over to a syndicate member who pays them for their services."

This article was originally published on page 5 of Daily News on November 17, 2006

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


As promised, herewith the next instalment of the workshop. Remember if you do not understand something or you need clarity on something - post a comment.
A. 1. Contracts between you and the client.

Make sure that the agreement is not just a handshake, particularly when you are dealing with small, one man businesses. Make sure that you understand (in plain English) exactly what it is you have signed and what the consequences are should either of you renege on the deal. For example some Franchisors insist on this, that you are legally and contractually obliged to register for VAT, irrespective of whether you do the minimum turnover or not. Go through the contract, point by point and if need be, re-write it in simple terms that you understand and are comfortable with. It is often a good idea for you both to write, in simple terms what your requirements, expectations, etc. are and then get a Contractual Lawyer to put the information into legalese.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Once again, the very people who need help the most are not at the receiving end because of fraud and corruption! Perhaps someone should be answerable as to why there were insufficinent internal procedures and controls in place. Who is accountable for that? Surely prevention is better than cure? This is absolutely disgusting!



Sheena Adams
October 17 2006 at 11:12AM

The uncovering of yet more stolen funds is a real possibility, according to senior management at the National Development Agency, already battling misappropriation to the tune of R8,7-million. And NDA chief executive, Godfrey Mokate, has questioned the "lapse on the side of bank" that allowed a former clerk to set up accounts with fictitious details.
The NDA was set up in 1998 to distribute money to organisations serving poor communities, but since its inception it has been plagued by financial scandals. At a press conference in Johannesburg on Monday, where the latest annual report was released, board chairperson Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said a comprehensive review of the agency, which initially uncovered the fraud in June, would start investigating financial accounts from 2004 and before in order to get "a total picture".
So far there is no evidence of other people being involved in misappropriation," he said. Former NDA clerk Sheila O'Reilly stands accused of depositing R8,7-million over a two-year period into the account of an acquaintance, Kafihlwa Morris Dube, who is currently on the run, as well as into business accounts with fictitious addresses. O'Reilly's accounts have been frozen and the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the police have already seized nearly R2,5-million in cash, a double cab bakkie and a Land Rover. O'Reilly last appeared in court on October 5 when her bail hearing was postponed. The Auditor-General gave the NDA a qualified audit for the past financial year, citing insufficient internal controls over the disbursement of nearly R18-million intended for the poor
Another embarrassing blot on the agency's track record was that of a R7,5-million donation it was forced to return to the European Union in recent weeks. Mokate said on Monday the EU demanded the return of the funds after finding that the organisations which benefited from the donation were "very poor institutions with very weak controls" that could not account for the money.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on October 17, 2006

Monday, January 15, 2007


The quote for today comes from Barney Putyana, the politician

"For meaningful human existance, you have to be transcendent, to THINK BEYOND WHAT IS POSSIBLE".

This for me, means "thinking out of the box"! To achieve excellence in what you aspire to be your calling, your passion, your life's work, you have to think differently and act differently to everyone around you, who has the same "calling, passion and/or life's work".

You have to get out there and make your mark. Be seen. Be noted and quoted. You have to "act" on what you believe. You have to make the most of every opportunity that is given to you. You have to learn to let go of the things that don't serve for they will drain off all your energy.

You have to believe in yourself and who you are - but belief is not enough - you have to ACT to make it happen.

Have an awesome week


Sunday, January 14, 2007


I trust that this will bring a smile to a few faces this morning.


Some of the vocal artists of the '60s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers.

They include :

1. Herman's Hermits--- Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker.

2. The Bee Gees--- How Can You Mend a Broken Hip.

3. Bobby Darin--- Splish, Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash.

4. Ringo Starr--- I Get By With a Little Help From Depends.

5. Roberta Flack--- The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face.

6. Johnny Nash--- I Can't See Clearly Now.

7. Paul Simon--- Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

8. The Commodores--- Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom.

9. Marvin Gaye--- Heard It Through the Grape Nuts.

10. Procol Harem--- A Whiter Shade of Hair.

11. Leo Sayer--- You Make Me Feel Like Napping.

12. The Temptations-- - Papa's Got a Kidney Stone.

13. Abba--- Denture Queen.

14. Tony Orlando--- Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall.

15. Helen Reddy--- I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore.

16. Willie Nelson--- On the Commode Again.

17. Leslie Gore--- It's My Procedure and I'll Cry If I Want To

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I am not really sure that anything needs to be added to this article - clearly it says it all!



December 31 2006 at 10:57AM

From the moment the Johannesburg high court heard that Jacob Zuma had called his rape accuser "delicious", it was clear that 2006 was going to be a gastro-political disaster for the ruling party.
With this phrase the trial took on a culinary element, with unsavoury personal and political implications for us all.
But it didn't stop there. In the past 12 months, the ANC kitchen cabinet has dished up a veritable smorgasbord of unappetising offerings.
Clearly the bitterness surrounding the beetroot, garlic and HIV debacle must top the menu. A range of scientific studies have shown that these foodstuffs are ineffective not only in the fight against Aids, but can be harmful to those with impaired immune systems
The raspberry foule that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the health minister, made of herself at the Toronto International Aids Conference in August was merely garnish for a much larger culinary catastrophe that has been stewing for some time.
In her obsession with garlic, onions, olive oil, beetroot and the African potato, the minister is playing, not only with her food but with the lives of other people. Clearly, there is plenty of reason to cry over the milk that has been spilt throughout this putrid debate, and the lives that have been lost while the milk in the pot was boiling over unobserved.
Wastage is always a key consideration in kitchen management. In June, the nation was served the unsavoury spectacle of the R96 000 epicurean extravaganza at Auberge Michel of Paul Mashatile, the Gauteng finance MEC. Mashatile told Justice Malala in the Financial Mail that this taxpayer-funded food fest was intended "to celebrate" the completion of the 2006 budget speech. Since it is his job to give such a speech, it is unclear why he felt the need to celebrate in such a spectacular fashion. And what was he celebrating when The Star reported his having spent R17 183,50 in two previous visits to this five-star Sandton restaurant? In a country where the most recent Statistics SA figures indicate that 4,4 million people are actively looking for work, it might be argued that Mashatile should consider going easy on the amuse bouche for a while. Perhaps he should follow the example of the deputy president.
We have recently been treated to a second helping of opposition outrage care of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's curious preference for ridiculously extravagant "gravy plane" jaunts. Endless column inches have been devoted to jet fuel costs, but I think everyone is missing the central gastro-political point. Of course it is outrageous to spend taxpayers' money on a shopping spree to Dubai, but the woman went all that way and didn't dine at Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant, Verre, at the Hilton Dubai Creek Hotel. This shows an astonishing degree of gastronomic restraint.
I have no idea whether she looked at cranes, but I do know that there was calf's liver with fried polenta and fig vinaigrette on offer, yet The Star reported that she ate takeaways in her room. To follow that up with a second private gravy-plane trip to Edinburgh and not report back to the nation on the glorious Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart, makes her a model of gustatory self-control. Food and food-based analogies have dominated the political scene over the past 12 months. The food critic MKF Fisher once argued that "food, security and love are so mixed and mingled that we cannot think of one without the other". However, any society that has come to associate food with the withholding of essential medicines, sexual assault and extremes of material inequality is in deep trouble.
If anyone needs to contact me, they should call the George V in Paris, where I will be following the example of the Gauteng finance MEC and celebrating the completion of this article. Happy cooking in 2007!

This article was originally published on page 12 of Sunday Independent on December 31, 2006

Friday, January 12, 2007


Good grief! What cowards! This latest onslaught of crime indicates that these people are realy "lazy" and not willing to work too hard for their spoils! They target the weak, the infirm and any other "soft" target that they can. Certainly going for people who are inside a church building, where they would feel safe and secure is as reprehensible and dispicable as targeting someone in a wheel chair! Whatever next! I guess attending church and having security guards standing "watch" outside will soon become the norm!



November 15 2006 at 04:32AM

By Matthew Savides

The congregation at the House of Hope church in Isipingo, south of Durban, was left traumatised after an armed robbery at the church on Monday night. Police Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen said people were attending a church meeting at the building in Postem Road when four armed men entered the premises. "Four men went in with firearms and told everyone to lie on the floor. They told them not to move and then proceeded to take four sets of car keys. They also stole cellphones and money," she said. The men locked the congregation inside the building and fled in the four vehicles - a blue VW Golf, a white Toyota RunX, a champagne Toyota Conquest and a blue Toyota Tazz. A neighbour heard the congregants shouting for help and opened the door.
No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, said Veldhuizen. No arrests have been made and police are investigating a charge of armed robbery.

This article was originally published on page 4 of The Mercury on November 15, 2006

Thursday, January 11, 2007


My heart aches when I read stuff like this, not only for the family of the murdered women, but also for the child who appears to have orchestrated the whole thing, because at 15 that is exactly what he is. What have we, as adults done to the children of this country and indeed this world, that children of this age are actually thinking about murdering people for money. I have tried to think back on what I was doing as a 15 year old and what my thoughts were and in all honesty it was about, meeting my college obligations, studying to get the qualifications that I needed to get where I wanted to be and earning the money with which to achieve these things, when the next party was and what I was going to wear! There was never any thought of "stealing" the money (let alone murdering someone in order to get my hands on the money) to pay for my college studies, it had to be earned and if anything the thoughts were on finding the right part time job, that would be flexible enough, to allow me to earn the money and still attend all the classes that I needed to attend.

Clearly the values that had been installed in me, by my family were strong enough for me to understand what was required of me in order for me to achieve my success. Perhaps that is what is lacking today - parents who do not instil values into their children or even parents who lack the very moral fibre themselves that they should be installing into their children. So many marriages that fail because of a third person in the equation, jails that are over flowing with mothers and fathers, who by their very actions are teaching their children. Teaching them how to lie and cheat and steal and murder.

It is indeed a sad day for us all, when children would rather take the life of someone, for money, than roll up their sleeves and work for it.



January 04 2007 at 04:33AM

By Anna Louw

Police believe a 15-year-old boy masterminded the brutal murder of the wife of a former National Party cabinet minister and then watched while the woman was throttled. Jac Rabie, 68, the minister of population development in the National Party government of FW De Klerk, and his wife Sandra were viciously attacked at their Boksburg home on the night of December 14. Sandra, who would have celebrated her 48th birthday the week after the attack, died at the scene from her injuries.

The boy and two other youths appeared in the Boksburg magistrate's court this week in connection with her murder. Rabie said that the day after the attack, detectives told him that the 15-year-old, whom the politician and his wife both knew well, had mentioned to their neighbour that the Rabies kept a large sum of money in a safe at their home.

"But we did not have any money in the house. My wife took all the money and paid our bills the previous day. There were some documents in the safe, but that was all," Rabie said. Speaking to The Star on Wednesday from his home in the upmarket Boksburg suburb of Windmill Park, Rabie said he had spoken to the 15-year-old during his court appearance. "He said he wanted to explain about my wife's horrible death, but I said 'You can explain it all to the magistrate'," Rabie said

He said 2006 had been his annus horribilis (terrible year). On the wall in the passage where the crime was committed are photos of Rabie and his wife with former National Party cabinet ministers and their wives. There is also an enlarged colour photograph of Sandra pasted onto the mirror of the dressing table in the main bedroom. The security at the house, which is one of the most expensive in the suburb, is tight. Looking emotionally drained, Rabie explained that, on the night of the attack, three gunmen had beaten and pistol-whipped his wife when she returned home at 11pm after visiting a friend. She was overpowered and throttled by the men when she stopped outside their garage. The attackers then entered the house, dragged her around and threw her onto the floor, where she died of her injuries. Rabie said he was asleep when the men brought his wife into the house and pulled him out of bed. He said the attackers struck him on the mouth with the butt of a firearm, bound his feet with a wire coat hanger and dragged him into the passage, where they threw him down next to Sandra. "One of the attackers called out to her, and when she did not move, he fetched some water and threw it in her face," Rabie said. He said an autopsy had shown that the force with which the attackers grabbed Sandra around her throat had broken one of the vertebrae in her neck. But the death blow, according to Rabie, was to her left temple, which may have been inflicted with the butt of a firearm. The couple's adopted teenage son, Diego, arrived home shortly after the attack. The gunmen took him to a bedroom, where he was threatened. Diego then went to his mother's lifeless body, took the key to the safe out of her bra, where she kept it hidden, and handed it to the gunmen, who then tied him up and drove off in the couple's Chrysler. After the men left, the son managed to untie himself and called for help. When paramedics arrived at the scene, Sandra was pronounced dead. A devastated Rabie said the police told him that the 15-year-old boy had allegedly stood at the electronic gate that night and saw his wife being throttled. The boy is being held at a place of safety in southern Joburg. The case was postponed to next week and police are looking for a fourth suspect.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on January 03, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Good morning all!

I trust that you are all in fine fettle this morning. Going forward, this being a New Year and all, I am going to start posting my workshop on my blog. It will come to you as a series of articles written, by myself on all the different aspects of what is required to set up your own business. Once the course has been completed on the blog, I will continue to post useful information, that pertains specifically to the business arena. So from now on - each and every Wednesday will be "the workshop and/or business day". I hope you enjoy and please feel free to ask any questions or comments. Oh yes, before I forget - this would pertain specifically to South African conditions as legislation in different parts of the world are would not always apply here. Basic business administration tips however, would be pertinent, no matter where in the world you happen to be stationed.
So here goes!

This course is designed specifically for people who are just starting out in business. It gives a basic knowledge, of all the requirements for legal (UIF, SDL, PAYE, VAT etc), financial (reconciliations), human relations (letters of appointment etc) that are required.

Some of these may not be a legal or a compliance issue, but they add value to your business, in that they give you more control with a minimum of fuss and bother.

Starting a new business is both exciting and scary. There is so much that we do not know, even if we think we do. There are so many loop holes and legalities attached to running a successful business that it is totally impossible for us to be experts on everything or even have a vague idea of what the requirements are – we all need as much help as we can get and then some. That is one of the reasons for this course, the other of course is to make life easier when people like me come in to do an audit. By that time hopefully, you will be doing all of this and my life will be a breeze. Anything for an easy life! Actually it will probably benefit you a great deal more than it will me. If the truth be told, giving you all this information up front is going to cost me money – especially if you take the advice. Why? Well because if you take the advice it will take me less time to audit you and which means that your costs will be less and the time that you will take to fix up any problem area’s will be less, which will give you more time to do more of the things that make money for you! Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Admin is the most important aspect of any business. If it is well thought out and done regularly, it should not take you any longer than 10 to 15 minutes a day. But postpone it or, don’t do it at all and it could very well be the reason that your business closes down! Those are the simple facts. Often an entrepreneur will create lavish and intricate systems and controls in order to maintain his/her admin and soon after they are implemented they are left by the way side because they’re just too involved, to difficult to maintain on a daily basis or worse yet – they don’t do anything - other than look complicated and involved.

The shortest route between two points will always be a straight line, and the best admin system is the most simplistic one.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Wow! And about time too! I am pleased to see that some of the Insurance Companies are acknowledging the fact that HIV AIDS is not a death sentence any more - well it needn't be!
This is also great for the whole campaign that is currently running "I love you - positive or negative", which is an iniative to try and remove the stigma attached to HIV AIDS.

Well done to the insurance companies that have made the changes!



Aids causes life insurers to take stock

Mariette le Roux Cape Town, South Africa

28 December 2006 04:38
As Aids continues to reap a grim toll among South Africans in their prime, life insurers are being forced to re-evaluate the products and services they offer.
"HIV is not a death sentence anymore," said David Patient, among the first to take out life cover with new company AllLife, which caters exclusively for HIV-positive people traditionally shunned by long-term insurers.
"Thanks to improved access to ARV [antiretroviral treatment], HIV today is a manageable disease like diabetes. HIV-positive people who adhere to their drug regimen should have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years.
"Few companies provided life cover to people with HIV, and those that did charge excessive premiums, said Patient. This meant thousands could not get a home loan, provide financially for loved ones after their death or borrow money to start a business. AllLife co-founder and managing director Ross Beerman said the time has come for a change in the long-term insurance industry.
"Our clients are investing in their future -- buying a house, starting a business, furthering their studies," he told Agence France-Presse. "People are accessing financial-service products they were not able to before. They are investing in themselves."South Africa has the world's second heaviest caseload of HIV/Aids, with about 5,5-million in a population of 47-million infected.
Average life expectancy in the country has dropped 13 years since 1990 to 51. The handful of established South African insurers that offer full life cover to HIV-positive people charged rates up to nine times those of standard policies, but pay out regardless of whether the client was on ARV treatment.
Now new products offered by companies like AllLife and AltRisk, a subsidiary of Hollard, charge rates only about four times higher than standard life cover. In return, however, the policies require adherence to an appropriate treatment regime. "Over the past decade, vast improvements have taken place in the treatment of HIV/Aids," said the Life Offices' Association of South Africa, a grouping of long-term insurance companies.
"Provided there is full compliance with ARV prescriptions it is now considered a chronic treatable disease," it said in a written response to queries. "Therefore, some life insurers are in the process of developing new-generation products that will offer competitive premiums for HIV positive people on an ARV programme."
Insurer Sanlam is one of those not yet offering comprehensive life cover."It is about finding ... the correct business case to give the best return to your shareholders," product actuary Petrie Marx said. Sanlam has only one product for HIV positive clients -- an endowment policy with limited life cover. The policy runs to a maximum of 10 years and coverage is limited to R100 000.
The monthly premiums were "quite expensive", said Marx, adding the company would consider introducing new-generation products in future. "It is a market segment we want to service with the best product we can put on the table. "AllLife was launched a year ago, targeting 5% of a potential client pool of about two million HIV-positive South African residents earning a minimum monthly salary of R2 500. Clients have to commit to treatment once their CD4 count (a measurement of the strength of the immune system) falls below 200, with the company monitoring and encouraging adherence.
Defaulters have their cover slashed. "Unlike traditional insurance companies, your history is almost irrelevant to us. It is how you are going to behave in the future that is important. We tell you exactly what you must do to live a long life," said Beerman. The company's client base, not yet 1 000, includes anyone from domestic workers to directors of companies. Most belong to medical-aid schemes that pay for their ARV treatment. Cover can be taken out for a maximum of R3-million, R450 000 being the average policy size. Monthly premiums average R300 per R100 000 of cover, and can go up to R700 for high-risk clients. "Up to four or five years ago, there was a large amount of truth in the belief that if you were HIV positive you were simply going to die," said Patient.
"It is not the reality today. People on ARVs can live a long life and there is no reason why somebody like me can't get a 20-year mortgage on a property." -- AFP

Monday, January 08, 2007


"Walk with the wise and be wise" - Setswana Proverb

Seems pretty sensible advice to me. Particularly if you take it in the same vein as when you network, you mix with Decision Makers, Business Owners and Directors of Companies who also want to network. It's no good going armed to the teeth to network to your son's afternoon swimming gala, where you are only likely to meet the mothers of the children who are taking part in the gala. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with networking where ever you find yourself and with whomever you find yourself. Someone who is a "natural" networker will find themselves doing that anyway - in fact they just can't help themselves!
Hoping you all have yourselves a fantastic week and remember to network, network, and then network some more.


Sunday, January 07, 2007


I hope you all enjoy your Sunday smile.

Have a good one


Performance Reviews

For everyone who has ever received or given an evaluation, just remember, it could have been worse. These are actual quotes taken from (USA) Federal Government employee performance evaluations...
1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig."
2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."
3. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."
4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."
5. "When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."
6. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."
7. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
8. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
9. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better."
10. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."
11. "A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."
12. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."
15. "He's been working with glue too much."
16. "He would argue with a signpost."
17. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."
18. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
19. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."
20. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."
21. "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."
22. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."
23. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."
24. "He's got two brain cells, one is lost and the other is out looking for it."
25. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."
26. "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."
27. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."2
8. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."
29. "One neuron short of a synapse."
30. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."
31. "Takes him 2 hours to watch '60-minutes'."
32. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead."


Oh well, I can't say that I am in any way surprised! It was only a matter of time before cracks would show. I am heartened to see though, that countries do have a say in the matter regarding who the diplomat is that stays in the country. Too many movies I guess, where the bad guy is a diplomat (or the son of a diplomat) and the police's efforts are frustrated, by the playing of "a diplomat" card. Strange though, in the movies they never seem to be kicked out of the country! Perhaps that will become a story line in another movie at some point!



October 08 2006 at 11:26AM

By Peter Fabricius and Own Correspondent
A top South African diplomat has been kicked out of Britain after allegedly whisking one of his sons out of the country to shield him from a police investigation, according to diplomatic sources.
Another son had earlier been sent home for alleged armed robbery. The senior official at South Africa's high commission in London was given 28 days to leave and is due back in South Africa on October 17, according to sources close to the high commission. The official's name is known to The Sunday Independent but cannot be published to protect the identity of his sons, who are minors.
Ronnie Mamoepa, the spokesperson for the department of foreign affairs, confirmed on Saturday that the official had been recalled "by mutual consent between the British and South African governments. "This was occasioned by the misdemeanours of his sons," Mamoepa said. He added that the recall had nothing to do with the diplomat trying to evade police investigation of his son. "As far as the department of foreign affairs is concerned, the official being recalled is still an official in good standing. "However, according to sources at the South African high commission in London, British authorities asked the South African government last year to send home the diplomat's elder son, aged 17, after police caught him and some of his friends allegedly holding up a youth at knifepoint and robbing him of his MP3 player. These sources said that this year the diplomat's family fell foul of the law again when British police sought his second son, 15, who had been caught at school with a spray gun. This time the diplomat flew back to South Africa with his son before police could question him. When the diplomat returned from South Africa, British authorities asked the South African government to recall him for this alleged attempt to defeat the ends of justice, these sources said. The diplomat confirmed in a telephone interview on Saturday that he had been recalled. Asked to comment on the claims that he was being recalled because he had tried to frustrate the police investigation of his son, he insisted that he had cleared his decision to return his son to South Africa with Lindiwe Mabuza, the high commissioner in London, and Ayanda Ntsaluba, the director-general of foreign affairs.
Asked if the British authorities had taken this into account before acting against him, he said: "I don't know how fair their procedures are. "He then referred all further enquires to the department. Sources at the high commission said that Mabuza had tried hard to stop the diplomat from being recalled. However, a source in the legal section of the department said there was nothing that they could do: "If a country has decided that it doesn't want you, there is nothing much we can do but advise you to pack up and come back home.
"Another senior official in the department said that the alleged offences that Britain presented to the South African government were serious enough that the government had no choice but to agree to recall the diplomat. The diplomat and his sons enjoyed diplomatic immunity from prosecution in Britain but under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a host country may declare a diplomat "persona non grata" and ask his government to recall him without giving reasons. Sources close to the diplomat said he was "utterly devastated because he had been looking forward to returning to South Africa only at the end of 2007 when the term of his boss, Mabuza, also expires".
The diplomat had been posted at South Africa's London mission since 2001. His posting was originally scheduled to end in July this year but had been extended after a strong recommendation by Mabuza, sources said. Some London high commission staff, however, seemed relieved at the diplomat's departure.They alleged he had shown a dictatorial style in his dealings with staff, so much so that he had acquired the nickname "Mugabe".

This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent on October 08, 2006

Friday, January 05, 2007


So it hasn't been my imagination! Let me go back a step or two. My friend *John Doe and I have been having an ongoing discussion about the changing weather patterns. I have been saying that the weather patterns have definitely changed over the last few years and that it is hotter and more humid at the moment here in Johannesburg than it was five years ago. His wife agrees with me, Rick continues to "pooh, pooh" me, insisting that his wife and my perception that it is hotter is due to our respective hormonal changes in life, and not due to anything else! Should have taken a bet on that one!
Seriously though folks - it has become hotter here and where once, we never had humidity (not that I can remember), it certainly has become humid - not just this year, but thinking back it has been over the last 5 years or so that it seems to have crept in.
It feels to me, that as hot as it is, when it rains (it used to bring instant relief) now, it actually becomes even hotter because of the humidity factor.
What can we do as individuals - to make a difference? Anyone out there have any ideas?

* Not his real name for obvious reasons!

January 04 2007 at 02:00AM

By Jeremy LovellLondon -
This year is set to be the hottest on record worldwide due to global warming and the El Nino weather phenomenon, Britain's Meteorological Office said on Thursday. The Met Office said the combination of factors would likely push average temperatures this year above the record set in 1998.
2006 is set to be the sixth warmest on record globally. "This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world," said Met Office scientist Katie Hopkins. The world's 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1994 in a temperature record dating back a century and a half, according to the United Nations' weather agency.
Britain's Met Office makes a global forecast every January with the University of East Anglia, and said it expected the world's average temperature to be 0.54 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 long-term average of 14.0 degrees. There is a 60 percent probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year, 1998, which itself was 0.52 degrees above the long-term average it said in a statement.
Most scientists agree that temperatures will rise by between two and six degrees Celsius this century due mainly to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport. They say this will cause melting at the polar ice caps, sea levels to rise and weather patterns to change bringing floods, famines and violent storms, putting millions of lives at risk. Former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern said in October that urgent action on global warming was vital and that delay would multiply the cost by up to 20 times. The Kyoto Protocol is the only global action plan to curb carbon emissions, but it expires in 2012, is rejected by the world's biggest polluter - the United States - and does not bind booming economies like China and India.
The Met Office said the established moderate El Nino, a phenomenon in the tropical Pacific blamed for disrupting weather patterns, would continue for the first few months of 2007.It noted that as there was a time lag between El Nino and its full effect on surface temperatures, its influence would therefore be felt well into the year. It will coincide with what environmentalists say will be a very busy year for climate diplomacy. Germany, which has an active climate change agenda, has taken over the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union and the year-long presidency of the Group of Eight industrialised nations.Backed by Britain, which has pushed climate change high up the world agenda, pressure is building for the G8 summit in Germany in early June to set out a framework for discussions to take global action beyond Kyoto.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

So when does the punishment fit the crime? It certainly doesn't in this instance. When will people, irrespective of race, creed, colour, social standing or rank all be treated in exactly the same manner. Why is it that people who have "connections" can get away with what they have done, whislt others get to rot in a prison cell? How long are we as South Africans going to tolerate this kind of behaviour? The most frustrating aspect of all of this is - what can we as individuals do about this!

The only comfort that I can offer, is that we need to continue to vote for the opposition, both nationally and also at municiple level. A strong opposition will get a whole lot more results than one that is just a token jesture! We need to back our political parties up and in so doing keep them "honest" as well.

Let's be honest now, of all of us who read this article when it first appeared - who nodded and said "Look what's happening! It's terrible" etc, etc, etc. Yes, I can see all of you nodding your heads in agreement. Now, how many of you actually sent a letter off documenting you disproval? None of you I'll bet. So South Africa, let's make a change - let's do something about it, even if it is just a letter to the newspapers, or to our local representative. If we all take as much time to do something about an issue as we do to moan and bitch about it, we would make such a difference it would probably scare us!

Come on South Africa, let's make 2007, the year that we bring about change! I dare you!



November 13 2006 at 04:28AM

By Karen BreytenbachTony Yengeni threw a party for his friends on Sunday afternoon shortly before the end of his first weekend away from Malmesbury Prison. He left his Milnerton home at 3.40pm in a black Range Rover Sport, followed by an entourage in other luxury cars, despite his check-in deadline of 3pm.
Earlier on Sunday, the former ANC chief whip was photographed, beer in hand, in his garden in the presence of friends enjoying drinks. Parole conditions generally prohibit the use of alcohol.
As glamorous friends arrived in dribs and drabs after lunch, luxury BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and SUVs were lined up in front of the modest cream-coloured house on the corner of Wilmot and Fitzpatrick streets. Guests were seen entering Yengeni's home clutching bottles of Hennessy cognac, whisky and Haute Cabriere wine.
Two of Yengeni's friends came outside to bring the Cape Times a bottle of Fanta. One friend, who identified himself only as Songezo, said: "Please, guys, Tony just wants to enjoy himself with his friends and family. Jail is not a nice place. "Yesterday he enjoyed the meat at Mzoli's Place in Gugs and now he's just relaxing at home. Give us a break. Don't write negative things."
When the Cape Times phoned to find out how he was enjoying his weekend, Yengeni paused and said: "No comment, no comment." In a statement, correctional services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said: "Suggestions of favouritism may either be motivated by myopic political point-scoring or deliberate efforts to play ignorance as the legislative and regulatory provisions are accessible to anyone serious about understanding how a correctional system is run in any country."
Asked on Sunday to say what Yengeni's specific parole conditions were, Wolela said: "Those are operational matters, dealt with by the Malmesbury area commissioner. We are not going to give you the operational details." Wolela then refused to tell the Cape Times who the area commissioner was. "I won't let you hound him," he said. Prison officials said Commissioner Sipho Manqele was not available for comment. Wolela did, however, confirm that Yengeni had to report back to prison at 3pm and that he was not allowed to drink alcohol. He would not say whether Yengeni would be breathalysed at the prison. "If there is evidence (of violation of parole), the area commissioner will follow it up," he said.
The Democratic Alliance and the African Christian Democratic Party on Sunday said Yengeni's treatment created the impression that the ANC was not serious about fighting corruption. James Selfe, DA spokesperson on correctional services, said: "The decision to grant Yengeni a weekend pass, until he is released in early January, sends the wrong message to the South African public and only serves to reinforce the perception that the government is failing to fight corruption." Hansie Louw, ACDP provincial leader, said: "By what ethic does this government live? "Forgive me if I am wrong, but the more I see these people operate, the more it seems to me that they see nothing wrong in stealing, only in being caught out. God help this nation. We are rotten to the bone," said Louw.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on November 13, 2006