Friday, April 27, 2007


Good morning bloggers - my apologies for no blog yesterday, thank you Eskom for no electricity for in excess of 12 hours!

Tisk, tisk! Seems that all the 'big guns' and and all the posturing had no effect on Zuma after all - just a smoke screen to get the rest of us to 'buy into' the concept that something was in fact being done about Zuma's corruption, when in reality - nothing has happened! Shame on you all!

Zuma's claims lambasted by 'big guns'

Jeremy Gordin

August 16 2006 at 05:03AM

The state has brought out the big guns in its battle against Jacob Zuma. The current national director of public prosecutions, a former minister of justice, the former national director of public prosecutions, and the Scorpions' boss have all slammed the ex-deputy president. The four men - Vusi Pikoli, Penuell Maduna, Bulelani Ngcuka and Leonard McCarthy - were replying by affidavit in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to the application made by Zuma and by Thint, a French arms manufacturer, that the charges against them - corruption and fraud against Zuma, corruption against Thint - be struck off the roll.

Zuma and Thint brought their applications on July 31 in response to the state's application for the trial to be postponed. Trial Judge Herbert Msimang ordered, however, that affidavits in support of the state's response to Zuma and Thint be entered into the court file by Tuesday - and that the state respond on September 5 to the Zuma and Thint applications.

Pikoli said he unequivocally rejected Zuma's claims that the charges against Zuma had been fuelled by a political conspiracy; that Pikoli had in some way colluded with the president about charging Zuma; and that Zuma had been dismissed from the deputy presidency because of the charges brought against him by Pikoli. He said he had decided to charge Zuma following the findings in the trial of Durban businessman Schabir Shaik that Shaik and Zuma had had "a generally corrupt relationship". Among the reasons, Pikoli said, for his decision to charge Zuma was that he was aware that the finding in the Shaik trial "might affect the perception of foreign governments (regarding) South Africa and could even impact on the economy".

Pikoli said he was also aware that Zuma had made repeated calls to have "his day in court" - and he therefore thought it fair to oblige him in this regard. Pikoli said he told the president that he had decided to charge Zuma on June 20, 2005 because he felt it was his duty to do so, given that Zuma had been deputy president (until June 14). Pikoli said he had had no discussions whatsoever with the president about Zuma during a trip to Chile from June 6-10. Pikoli said Zuma had "effectively branded President Thabo Mbeki a liar". He said Zuma, by accusing Mbeki of having fired him because Pikoli wanted to prosecute him, and not because of the Shaik trial finding, was saying that Mbeki had lied to the nation on June 14 2005 when he dismissed Zuma. "I challenge Zuma," said Pikoli, "to pertinently state that the president lied to parliament and to spell out whether or not he asserts that the president is also a party to the alleged conspiracy against him."

Maduna said he wanted to deal firstly with a "theme that resonates throughout (Zuma's) affidavit" - that he (Zuma) had been targeted to destroy his reputation and "political role-playing ability". Maduna said this was not true. He said Zuma had offered no facts to bolster his allegation but had relied instead on "rumours, press reports, speculation and innuendo". Maduna said that initially Zuma had blamed him (Maduna) and Ngcuka for being responsible for plotting against him, but later, during his rape trial, blamed Ngcuka and Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils. "This serves," he said, "to demonstrate the opportunistic and squalid nature of (Zuma's) allegations." Regarding Thint, and the claims by its managing director, Pierre Moynot, that he believed that following a meeting with Maduna and Ngcuka in April 2004, Thint would not be prosecuted in connection with the arms deal, Maduna said the approach for a meeting had come from Thint.

Maduna also said he was amazed that Thint had chosen to detail confidential and privileged discussions in its affidavit. Maduna said he had also held confidential discussions with Thint's counsel, Kessie Naidu SC, about the infamous encrypted fax and its author, Alain Thetard. "The contents of the discussion (with Naidu)... were to be strictly confidential and I have to date respected this confidentiality. I am advised (however) that I would be within my rights to divulge the contents of this conversation in the light of the selective disclosure (by Thint). (But) I have decided not to descend to that level." Maduna said that in his view Thetard's second statement regarding the encrypted fax (that it was only Thetard's "loose" thoughts about separate issues) had been a "cynical attempt to sabotage the state's case" - and that if the state had known this was what Thetard was going to dish up, it would never have agreed to drop charges in the Shaik trial.

Ngcuka said Zuma's claim that he was the victim of a political conspiracy was inaccurate and merely a ploy "to deflect (people) from the seriousness of the charges which (Zuma) is facing". "The irony," said Ngcuka, "is that, far from abusing my powers in order to harm Zuma's reputation, I did everything within my powers to protect it". Ngcuka added that, when he was national director of public prosecutions, and heard that the team probing Shaik had uncovered evidence implicating the deputy president in corruption, it had come as an "unpleasant revelation" to him. "The decisions which I was subsequently forced to make were difficult, unpleasant and taken at great personal cost to myself and my family," said Ngcuka.

McCarthy said Zuma's "insults and slurs on the manner in which the state has conducted the investigation and prosecution of this case are scurrilous and utterly unfounded".
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on August 16, 2006

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How to Manage your Accounts

Thanks to new technology (ok, stop laughing – it’s new to me) and my good friend Andrew Timberlake of All Passion Marketing ( , you are all able to watch my interview on Summit TV below.


Good morning bloggers! Please feel free to contact me with any queries that you may have.


This sections deals, specifically with the issuance of Credit Notes – when should a credit note be issued, if the Credit Note has been issued correctly and that controls and procedures are in place to prevent fraudulent Credit Notes from being raised.

1. If you have made a mistake, and I am talking mainly about financial mistakes that are in favour of your client, this is when a credit note should be raised. If you have raised an invoice incorrectly in your favour, logic must tell you that all you need to do is raise another invoice to cover the shortfall. The problem arises when, for example you have charged the client too much, for whatever reason, and you have already sent the invoice to the client before the error is noticed, this is when a Credit Note needs to be processed. The Credit note should be treated in exactly the same manner that the invoice is raised, but in a negative form, as the amount should be shown as a credit and not a debit. The Credit Note should also have its own unique number (but also be raised in sequence). It would be a good idea to follow the same sort of routine that you do with the invoices, but differentiate between the two by using the prefix CN (Credit Note) before the number or before the personalized number.

In the detail section of the Credit Note, it is important to note the details of the invoice that the CN is pertaining to. To further simplify things, it is easier (in basic bookkeeping terms) to simply undo what is wrong and then re-do the invoice in the manner that it should have been done in the first place, rather than just off-setting the one against the other. So if you raised invoice # IA 1234 dated 23/11/02 in the amount of R14 256.78, plus VAT in the amount of R1 995.95 being a total of R16 252.73 for training of 27 people and it should have been for an amount of R13 761.29, plus VAT in the amount of R1 926.58, being a total of R15 687.87 for training 26 people, the following should be done to reverse what is incorrect (undo what is wrong) – raise a CN say CN 0012 dated 1/12/02 in the amount of R14 256.78, plus VAT in the amount of R1 995.95 being a total of R16 252.73 for training of 27 people, not forgetting to record that the credit note refers to invoice # IA 1234 dated 23/11/02 and also remembering to record the new invoice # IA 1250 dated 1/12/02 being the correction thereof. Once that has been done, the new invoice # 1250 dated 1/12/02 in the amount of R13 761.29 plus Vat in the amount of R1 926.58 being a total of R15 687.87 for training of 26 people. Again refer to the original invoice # and the CN # stating that this is the replacement invoice. In this way everyone knows what is happening!

2. CN’s should also be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they run sequentially. In the event that the invoice format (form) is used as a CN this must be recorded correctly in the register. If CN’s are printed separately as separate forms they must be controlled in exactly the same manner as invoices.

3. A register should be in place in the same way for CN’s as it is for Invoices. You can use the same spread sheet as the invoices, just changing the details to that of CN. If you would like a copy of a Credit Note Schedule, these are available at a cost.

4. When a CN is cancelled, for whatever reason – make sure that it is marked cancelled and that you keep all of the copies. If, for whatever reason, you are being audited by the SARS or even for your own accountant/bookkeeper, you have proof that the CN was in fact cancelled and that you haven’t tried to do anything illegal or fraudulent.

5. Check from time to time that the sequence is correct and that nothing has been missed or lost – it will save you a lot of time when you are sending your documents to the bookkeeper/accountant/auditor. Sign off on the spread sheet when you have checked this – this will show you when last it was done and will also prompt you to do it on a regular basis. Again, prevention is always better than cure!

6. For those of you who are in business units and/or a Franchise type agreement, have copies of your CN’s been forwarded to your Head Office by month end. It may be a good idea, just to send them as and when you raise them – why wait until the end of the month?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Self Esteem

Grace Hansen once said “Don’t be afraid that your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin”.

Helen Nicolson says – “You have to believe in yourself enough to believe that you have something of value to offer in any networking relationship.”

If you really think that you are worthless and have nothing that anyone else will want, then that is exactly how other people will see you. If you do not believe in yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to believe in you.

The way that you introduce yourself and your product to people is of the utmost importance. You have to be proud of who you are and what you do – this will show in the manner in which you present yourself. If you are confident in yourself, your abilities and/or your product this will be evident to the person who you are talking to, conversely, if you are not confident in yourself, your abilities and/or your product, this will also be evident.

You have to sell yourself, before you can sell your product. People will have to ‘buy in’ to who you are in order for you to make the sale. Even if you are nervous, act in a confident manner and have something of value to offer. As time goes by, your confidence will improve and pretty soon you will find that you are not so nervous and that it becomes easier each time.

Be friendly, make eye contact and show interest in the other person too.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Today's quote comes from Nido Zubein - author.

"Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets."

Many new business owners kind of "jump right in honey the water's fine!" They have no idea what their targets are, let alone how to achieve them.

Pete Curruthers of Business Warriors ( is currently doing a whole series on Marketing and one of the issues that was identified as being of the utmost importance is the one of targets. What are your targets, do you have a cut off date by which your targets must be met.

Write these down and then formulate a practical plan of action on how to achieve each of these targets, write that down too. You are now more focused than you were at the start of the excercise.

Now go forth and achieve your targets!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


We are still in "April Fool's month" folks, so here are some more of these funnies. I hope you enjoy them.

March 29 2007 at 11:55AM

New York - From television revealing that spaghetti grows on trees to advertisements for the left-handed burger, the tradition of April Fool's Day stories in the media has a weird and wonderful history. Here are 10 of the top April Fool's Day pranks ever pulled off, as judged by the San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes for their notoriety, absurdity, and number of people duped.

In 1957, a BBC television show announced that thanks to a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Footage of Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees prompted a barrage of calls from people wanting to know how to grow their own spaghetti at home.

In 1985, Sports Illustrated magazine published a story that a rookie baseball pitcher who could reportedly throw a ball at 270km/h was set to join the New York Mets. Finch was said to have mastered his skill - pitching significantly faster than anyone else has ever managed - in a Tibetan monastery. Mets fans' celebrations were short-lived.

Sweden in 1962 had only one television channel, which broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert appeared on the news to announce that thanks to a newly developed technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to receive colour pictures by pulling a nylon stocking over the screen. In fact, they had to wait until 1970.

In 1996, American fast-food chain Taco Bell announced that it had bought Philadelphia's Liberty Bell, a historic symbol of American independence, from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Outraged citizens called to express their anger before Taco Bell revealed the hoax. Then-White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale and said the Lincoln Memorial in Washington had also been sold and was to be renamed the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial after the automotive giant.

In 1977, British newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page supplement for the 10th anniversary of San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semicolon-shaped islands. A series of articles described the geography and culture of the two main islands, named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse.

In 1992, US National Public Radio announced that Richard Nixon was running for president again. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." They even had clips of Nixon announcing his candidacy. Listeners flooded the show with calls expressing their outrage. Nixon's voice actually turned out to be that of impersonator Rich Little.

In 1998, a newsletter titled New Mexicans For Science And Reason carried an article that the state of Alabama had voted to change the value of pi from 3.14159 to the "Biblical value" of 3.0.

Burger King, another American fast-food chain, published a full-page advertisement in USA Today in 1998 announcing the introduction of the Left-Handed Whopper, specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new burger included the same ingredients as the original, but the condiments were rotated 180 degrees. The chain said it received thousands of requests for the new burger, as well as orders for the original "right-handed" version.

Discover Magazine announced in 1995 that a highly respected biologist, Aprile Pazzo (Italian for April Fool), had discovered a new species in Antarctica: the hotheaded naked ice borer. The creatures were described as having bony plates on their heads that became burning hot, allowing the animals to bore through ice at high speed - a technique they used to hunt penguins.

Noted British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on the radio in 1976 that at 9:47 am, a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event, in which Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, would cause a gravitational alignment that would reduce the Earth's gravity. Moore told listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment of the planetary alignment, they would experience a floating sensation. Hundreds of people called in to report feeling the sensation.


Sorry no post yesterday people, I wasn't feeling too good!

I love these suggestions, as practical suggestions they rate right up there with 'fantastic', however having said that, it will still be a case of let's see what actually happens. Mbeki and his government have a history of 'talking the talk' without 'walking the walk'!

Mbeki's practical call to action

Vicki Robinson: COMMENT

18 February 2007 11:59

On the one hand President Thabo Mbeki’s State of the Nation address showed a man of steely resolve -- without the characteristic poetry, Bible verses and George Soros references, his speech was concise, pragmatic and resolute.
His marching orders to his Cabinet, “let us roll up our sleeves and get down to work”, set out the blueprint for his final two and half years in office. On the other hand, he seemed unconfident, distracted, subdued. For most South Africans there was a climate of expectation about the speech -- one analyst described it as a “kind of national, sporting spectacle” -- after the debacle surrounding the First National Bank anti-crime campaign and this being the year of the climactic presidential succession battle in the ANC.
The speech was bound to disappoint, and to many it did. Yet the minimalist nature of the address -- this year Mbeki largely steered away from pegging his delivery targets to monthly, quarterly and annual deadlines -- may have been strategic, exactly because of the raging national succession debate. The result was a speech that was remarkable in its technical detail -- it demonstrated his eagle-eyed view of every government department -- but unremarkable in its vision and ability to enthuse the nation to “act in partnership to realise the happiness for all that should come from liberty”.
The speech also lacked the chutzpah to galvanise the parliamentary theme this year: Masijule Ngengxoxo Mzansi,” which means, “let us deepen the debate”. It was a classic business mid-term review -- a frank post-mortem of delivery to date and a bullet-point to-do list for the future. It is unfortunate that it lacked the state-like musing designed to inspire a nation that Mbeki demonstrated in his famous “Get rich! Get rich! Get rich!” Fourth Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at Wits University last year. This is a list of the promises he has made this year.

Review the country’s macro-economic fundamentals, especially the exchange rate, inflation and interest rates, to bolster the non-commodity export market. National industrial policy framework

Intensify implementation and investment in growth nodes, including the business process outsourcing sector, biofuels and chemicals.

Finalise practical programmes for the forestry and paper, clothing and textiles and metals and engineering sectors.

Develop an over-arching strategy to prioritise key interventions in mining, mineral beneficiation, agriculture and agro-processing, the white-goods sector, creative industries, community and social services and pharmaceuticals.

Establish a state diamond trade company that will purchase 10% of diamonds from local producers and sell them to local cutters and producers.

Build a second nuclear power station by 2013 with upwards of 1 000MW strength.

Introduce the regulatory impact assessment system to lower the cost of doing business in South Africa.

Process the Companies Bill as part of a battery of measures to reduce the regulatory burden on SMMEs.

Address the reach of the Apex fund and the agricultural micro-credit fund.

Ensure the proper functioning of the Small Enterprise Development Agency.
Education and skills

Increase the number of youths involved in the National Youth Service by at least 20 000 a month through 18 government departments.

Enrol 30 000 volunteers in community development initiatives.

Employ 5 000 young people in the maintenance of government buildings as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme.

Expand training and employment of nurses and social workers.

Continue the implementation of the remuneration dispensation for medical professionals and provide additional resources to improve the remuneration levels of teachers.
Expedite land redistribution. Start implementing the Communal Land Rights Act to improve economic use of communal land.

Complete the taxi recapitalisation programme.
Continue work on provincial initiatives such as the Moloto rail corridor in Mpumalanga, the Klipfontein corridor in Cape Town and the Gautrain project.
social security

Establish a contributory earnings-related retirement scheme. This will include a wage subsidy for low-income earners.

Speed up the construction of low-cost housing through the establishment of a special purpose vehicle to manage financing.

Ensure that the remaining elements of the much delayed agreement with the private sector are finalised.

Ensure the implementation, “without further delay”, of measures to reduce the cost of medicines.

Intensify the campaign against HIV/Aids and ensure that partnerships built up over the years are strengthened.

Finalise the national comprehensive strategy against HIV/Aids.
Basic services:

Complete concrete plans on the implementation of the final stages of government programmes to meet the targets of universal access to water in 2008, sanitation in 2010 and electricity in 2012.

Eradicate the bucket system by the end of this year (last year government reduced the numbers of those still using it by half).

Define the poverty matrix of South Africa.

Develop a proper database of households living in poverty and identify specific interventions for these households.

Coordinate and align anti-poverty programmes to avoid waste and duplication.
Social cohesion

Finalise the strategy to deal with social cohesion, including the comprehensive and integrated anti-poverty strategy and issues pertaining to national unity, value systems and identity.
Crime and security

Expand police personnel to more than 180 000 within three years.

Ensure optimal use of the police electronic monitoring and evaluation system.

Bring the operations of the department of home affairs to full capacity by filling vacant posts.

Implement the recommendations of the Khampepe Commission.

Start the process of modernising the South African Revenue Service, especially in respect of border control.

Improve analysis of crime trends with regard to both preventing and combating crime.

Improve the functioning of the justice system, especially with respect to increasing the rate of reduction in case backlogs.
Local government

Implement pilot projects for the National Spatial Development Perspective, Provincial Growth and Development Strategies and Integrated Development Plans in 13 district municipalities and metropolitans. Macro-organisation of the state

Strengthen the monitoring and evaluation capacity of all three spheres of government.

Within the next 18 months complete legislation on a single public service.

Conduct capacity assessments and implement interventions in provincial departments responsible for local government.

Roll out the Batho Pele campaign at local government level.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Good Morning Bloggers

Well, we are in for a treat if some solutions are not found aren't we? One of the issues that we have been discussing on the NARDEP blog (, is the vast amount of money that is available for training of which Life Skills is a huge part, something like 3 point something billion and the vast number of Community Developement NGO's, section 21 companies etc, that are struggling to get funds in order to do the training that is so obviously necessary.

One would think that somewhere, someone would make some sort of connection to introduce the two to each other! For all those that are interested, watch the NARDEP blog as it unfolds as members from the Inner Circle ( get together as an advisory committee to assist NARDEP and Babayile in getting funding to do this vital training and facilitating. Watch how we create jobs and bring meaning into the the lives of some who so desperately need it, while creating and assisting entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground.

My these are exciting times and perhaps, just perhaps Government themselves can take a page or two out of our books and learn a lesson too!

Mlambo-Ngcuka: Jobless youth of great concern
Cape Town, South Africa
22 March 2007 06:09

How South Africa's vast army of unemployed, untrained youth can be fitted quickly into the country's economy is of great concern, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said on Thursday. Briefing the media in Cape Town on progress made in implementing the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa), she suggested the situation calls for a rethink."I think the area I'm most concerned about is ... the limited progress around the second economy.
This is an area in which we need to do much more work ... [especially] the situation of young, unemployed able-bodied persons, most of whom have less than 12 years of schooling. "We don't ... have a comprehensive intervention to deal with those people. This is a much bigger number of people, much harder to train. "Of all the things we have done, this is the one I am most worried about. It is also the one that is the most difficult. It is also one of those that lingers on from what apartheid was about."Mlambo-Ngcuka said the Asgisa team needs to go back to the drawing board and develop new strategies when it comes to integrating unskilled workers into the economy.
There is "an army of people we must take care of sooner rather than later", she said. A report by the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition, set for release on Monday next week, is set to focus on this issue. In a foreword to Asgisa's 2006 annual report, copies of which were handed to journalists at Thursday's briefing, Mlambo-Ngcuka said that a year after the initiative was launched -- on February 6 last year -- it is on track regarding key targets. "Current economic trends indicate that South Africa will meet the Asgisa objective for 2004 to 2009 of average growth of 4,5% or more per year. "However, the targets for 2010 to 2014 are challenging. "South Africa's ability to reach 6% average annual growth relies on removing bottlenecks to growth," she said. -- Sapa

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Wow! I am gob-smacked! Whilst an estimated 4 million odd are unemployed and many more live below the poeverty line. People in power are getting 54% increases on what is already a huge monthly salary. How do they justify their earnings - well you see "if they get decent salaries they will not be tempted to be corrupt". What a load of BS! BY giving themselves the kind of salaries that they are they are proving to me exactly how easily corruptable they are. These kinds of salaries for the powers who are supposed to be serving the people is nothing short of obscene. Let's wait and see what happens and who gets what!

Pay boost on the cards for Mbeki

Ben Maclennan

Cape Town, South Africa

30 March 2007 02:13

President Thabo Mbeki should get a 57% pay hike, the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers has recommended. This would add R716 962 to the president's package, bringing it to R1,89-million a year. The recommendation is made in a comprehensive review of the remuneration of public office bearers including Cabinet ministers, MPs, provincial legislators, judges, magistrates and local councillors. The review, the result of years of research, was handed to Mbeki on Thursday, and made public on Friday.
Mbeki's increase, if approved by MPs -- who have been recommended for a 5,4% hike -- will still bring him nowhere near key figures in parastatals such as Transnet boss Maria Ramos. Ramos earned R6,9-million last year. South African Airways chief executive Khaya Ngqula weighed in at R6,85-million, while Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni currently gets R2,8-million. Mbeki has in past years deliberately not taken the full amount of pay he is entitled to.
Commission chairperson Judge Dikgang Moseneke said the main aim of the review, which was distinct from the commission's annual recommendations, was to offer a "fair and transparent remuneration system" for public office bearers. Since the advent of constitutional democracy in South Africa, their roles had changed radically, and structure and levels of pay were now marked by "significant disparities and inequities". "This is the first substantial report that seeks to find an equitable basis for remuneration," said Moseneke, who is also deputy chief justice.
Packages had been benchmarked against the private sector, parastatals, and international practice -- a process that involved fact-finding visits to Australia, Canada and the United Nations headquarters in New York.Asked about the justification for Mbeki's package, he said the primary purpose of the review was not to simply give people more money, but to strengthen key institutions of democracy. In that process, the commission had looked not at individuals, but at the complexity of the job they did. In Mbeki's case, the commission had tried to find a number that was equitable in terms of trends in the market, the public sector and state-owned enterprises.
Moseneke would not be drawn on comparisons between parastatal salaries and those of members of the executive. However, he did say that while public office was "not a place to make profits", for democracy to survive, one had to retain skilled people. "So there has to be a balance," he said. He also said better pay for public office bearers would help combat corruption. He said the commission merely made recommendations, and played no role in actually setting final pay packages.
Parliament determined the salary and benefits of the president, and the president in turn has the power to decide the salaries of MPs. The president and Parliament together set pay for judges. Government communications spokesperson Themba Maseko said Mbeki would decide how the report would be handled."It's his report, so he decides what needs to happen," Maseko said.
The commission has recommended a 5,4% increase for MPLs, 22,35% for premiers, 5,4% for mayors and councillors, 16,6% for High Court judges, 14,8% for magistrates, and a 65% hike for Chief Justice Pius Langa.Moseneke himself is in line for a 50,5% increase, which will bring his total package to R1,54-million. - Sapa

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Good morning bloggers! Here's this week's offering.


This section deals with the invoices that you yourself raise, when you charge your clients. It ensures that invoices are processed correctly and that the proper controls and procedures are in place to prevent fraud from happening. Remember, this is what you send out when you are asking for money, so please make sure that it is professional and that all the figures are added up correctly and the spelling of all the names of transactions and/or services are listed in chronological order – it makes no sense to list what you did on the 5th of the month and then after that list what you did on the 1st! Think carefully about what you are doing – if you are not 100% sure in your head, jot it down on a piece of paper first. It might be a good idea to use your diary to record not only what your movements and/or appointments were but also what you did and for whom – be sure of your facts – imagine how embarrassed you will be if you charge Joe Soap for the stuff that you did for Jo Bloggs! If you have several clients that you are working with simultaneously, it might be a good idea for you to do a monthly schedule for each client, which you need to fill in on a daily basis (while the memory of what you did is still fresh). A copy of a monthly worksheet is available at an additional cost.

1. If you use invoices that are pre-numbered or alternatively have a reference number (other than your own) make sure that all the numbers are there and that they run sequentially. If, for example you are issued with a batch of numbers and one is missing, you will be held accountable for that missing invoice – so make sure that you received it in the first place. If you are using a pre-numbered reference numbered invoice, don’t use that number as your reference number. Have your own unique invoice number, if you want it to reflect only your business – then personalize it – instead of 001 have IA 001 (INTERNAL AUDIT 0001). If you have an accounting package the computer will automatically generate your invoice numbers sequentially.

2. Use a register to help ensure that you do not have any missing invoices (in the case where you are using invoices with a pre-numbered reference number, it will also ensure that you use your own invoice numbers sequentially. A copy of a register is available at an additional cost.

3. When an invoice is cancelled, for whatever reason – make sure that it is marked “cancelled” and that you keep all of the copies. If, for whatever reason, you are being audited by the SARS or even for your own accountant/bookkeeper, you have proof that the invoice was in fact cancelled and that you haven’t tried to do anything illegal or fraudulent.

4. Check from time to time that the sequence is correct and that nothing has been missed or lost – it will save you a lot of time when you are sending your documents to the bookkeeper/accountant/auditor. Sign on the spread sheet when you have checked this – this will show you when last it was done and will also prompt you to do it on a regular basis. Again, prevention is always better than cure!

5. For those of you who are in business units and/or a Franchise type agreement, have copies of your invoices been forwarded to Head Office by month end. It may be a good idea, just to send them as and when you raise them – why wait until the end of the month?

6. On your invoice, record that payment is required within 7 days from the date of the invoice, or COD, or whatever your arrangements may be. It is a good idea to have the 7 day statement on all invoices other than COD ones, as there are many companies who do not necessarily have cheque runs on specific dates and they may very well issue the check on presentation of the invoice – this means that the money could be in your account before the end of the month.

7. When you receive payment for an invoice that you have sent out – record “paid” on the invoice and the date that it was paid, and if you have more than one business account – state the account that the payment has gone into – this will prevent problems when you have a query, especially if the payment has been made months after the invoice has been raised and presented. Update your invoice schedule, so that you can see immediately when there is a problem, if someone hasn’t paid you or if they have paid you short.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007



Part 9

It’s all about integrity and credibility.

Imagine if you will, that you have been running around like a maniac trying to find someone to provide you with a service, let’s call it a handyman (for the purpose of this exercise). Now I am sure that we have all had the same sort of experience here, and if anyone reading this is a handyman and does not fit into this category, I apologise in advance. So you are hunting high and low for a handyman as there are several “little jobs” around the house that require a tad more expertise than you currently have. You find a flyer in your post box, or someone leaves a flyer on your windscreen, advertising their services as a handyman and you rush home to phone and make an appointment. You get an answering machine, you leave a message and . . . nothing! No one phones you back. Or, you get hold of the handyman and he promises to come and have a look, tomorrow, at what needs doing and give you a quote, and you stay at home the whole day waiting for him and . . he doesn’t pitch. Or, he comes round the following day, has a look at everything that need to be done and promises to send you a quote and . . . you never receive one. Sound familiar!

So when you are bemoaning the fact to anyone who will listen, somebody suddenly says, “hey, I’ve got a handyman type person who will come and assist you, his name is Joe Soap and his number is ……”, you are really excited. You see Joe Soap has come recommended. Now that is still only 50% of your problem resolved, because Joe Soap, could very well go the same route as the chaps referred to above, or he could actually be a real business person who actually wants the work.

Herein lies the problem.

First of all if Joe Soap, actually is a real business person, who wants and desires his business to be successful, he will of course pitch up, ascertain what needs to be done, give you a quote and then actually arrive to do the work and finally, he will perform the service in a professional manner. This means now, that you will refer him to all of your friends/colleagues and anyone else who requires anything done around the house and/or the office. His business will grow and he will flourish. You will become regarded as someone who ‘knows’ people and your credibility will become legendary and your business will flourish. Everyone is happy.

But what if . . . and here comes the crunch, what if after delivering you the wonderful service, Joe Soap, suddenly becomes like the rest of the handymen out there and becomes sloppy, doesn’t phone people back, doesn’t pitch up etc. Well not only will Joe Soap’s business die, like the rest of the handymen out there, but also your credibility will be affected – remember you have recommended him.

The moral of this story should now be obvious. If you want people to recommend you, not only is your credibility at stake, but you are putting theirs at risk as well if you do not deliver and/or behave in a professional manner.

Do not give people’s contact details out unless you have received their permission to do so! Not only will they not trust you again but in all likelihood they will not be happy to assist whomever you have given the details to, thus resulting in two people being pretty disgruntled with you.

If you are on the receiving end of getting someone’s contact details as a referral. Treat those details with respect – don’t be spamming them! That’s just rude! If you have received those details, it was for a specific reason, use them for that specific reason and not only will you gain the service/widget/assistance that you were looking for, but you will also gain a valuable contact.

Treat other people’s contact details, with the same dignity and respect that you would want other people to treat yours. I am sure you wouldn’t like to see your name and address and contact details sprawled all over the toilet door, so don’t do that with anyone else’s details.

The Business world in South Africa is a smaller place than you think, people talk, reputations are built up over time, but destroyed in seconds. Always, operate with Integrity and Credibility.

Monday, April 16, 2007


The quote today comes from Totsie Memela - Businesswomen.

"When change happens to us, we must wake up, embrace it and ask, ‘what can I learn from this?’"

Most of us don't like change. We get into our comfort zones, into our routines, and off we go on auto-pilot. Most of the time we don't even stop to smell the coffee, let alone take any kind of notice about what changes are taking place around us. The result of this of course, is that when change happens, it usually slaps us upside the head and we are astounded by what has happened.
Because we hae been unware of what is happening around us, we are angry at these "sudden" changes that are taking place and resist them with everything that we have. Why should we change? Everything was so comfortable as it was. So we resist some more, we moan and groan about what is taking place and dig our heels more firmly into the ground.
As time goes by we are so busy resisting whatever change we are at war with, that we don't notice that life has passed us by, our businesses are no longer profitable, our marriages and/or relationships have ended and we have basically shrivelled up and died inside. All because of change.
The only advice that I can give you at this point is to take life with both hands and live it to the full. Don't be scared of change, embrace it. Understand that with or without your permission, change is going to take place. Don't appose it and suffer the consequences, but rather take it and run, grow yourself and your business with it. Use it in every application of your life - but don't get too comfortable with it, remember change will pay another visit and you want to be ready for that change too.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


If it wasn't for the fact that they are making zillions of rands out of us, this would actually be hillariously funny. Somehow it loses it humour as it hits home just how much we pay for our own money to be in the bank!


By Markas Ferreira

MY BANK is not my friend.
My bank takes MY money.
My bank charges me for taking MY money
My bank uses MY money to make money for itself, not for me.
My bank charges me for taking MY money back.
My bank charges me for giving MY money to someone else.

My bank charges me if I want to know where MY money is.
My bank charges me when I want to know how much of MY money my bank holds.
My bank charges me for everyone of MY account each month, even though my bank does hardly any work on those accounts.
My bank charges me R90/month for using MY accounts via the Internet – then still charges me for using My money in each account.

My bank is one of the richest companies is SA because of MY money.
MY money doesn’t make me rich; MY money makes my bank rich.

My bank is not my friend.
I can choose my friends.
My friends don’t rob me at the end of every month.
My friends don’t charge me for services they don’t perform.
My friends are people I want to see every day.
My bank is not my friend.

With the current fee structures of SA banks, there isn’t much choice but to pay – and they’re smiling all the way, well, to the bank!


Thanks to "EISHkom", I had no power yesterday, which meant no internet etc. Every day this week - hopefully the coming week will mean that it is my turn to have some electricity! Now to the business on hand!

Surely the issue of Whistle blowing, should not only be about protection (which in my opinion is a no brainer) but it should also be incentivised. How else are you going to encourage people to give up the information that they have. Come on guys, look at this thing without the blinkers for a change!

Comment & Analysis

Protect the whistle-blowers

28 March 2007 11:59

Tumi Makgetla suggests that whistle-blowers need better protection (“Fidentia: what took so long?”, March 2). They do indeed. The department of justice was aware of the limitations of the Protected Disclosures Act (PDA) and asked the Law Reform Commission to look into the matter.
Seven years later, the commission is still looking into it -- despite several reminders, the report it is preparing is still under discussion. Fortunately, as always in life, there are more ways than one of skinning a cat, and Mandisi Mpahlwa’s department of trade and industry is riding to the rescue in the unlikely shape of the new draft Companies Act, now open for comment and available on the department’s website.
The draft proposes a number of innovations relating to whistle-blowers in large companies. This would include lifting the ceiling on damages paid to whistle-blowers to the limit of being paid out whatever loss they can show. If they can show that, as a principal provident fund officer, they will never work in their industry again as the result of blowing the whistle on an instant lawn salesperson stealing the money belonging to widows and orphans, they would be entitled under the draft law to payment of their salary and benefits until the age of 65. This is a stark contrast to the current ceiling in the PDA, which would entitle our hypothetical whistle-blowers to two years’ salary, at best.
There is, however, no change in the position of trustees of a pension fund. Under the current PDA, the trustees are not covered by the Act. If they blow the whistle, they are not protected as whistle-blowers, because the Act only covers employees, and so they must turn to other laws for protection. The draft Bill, however, covers only the private sector. The public sector is beyond the helping hand of the department of trade and industry, and must wait on Brigitte Mabandla’s band of merry men to introduce the changes to the law that will save the day for whistle-blowers. I imagine them stirring their tea reflectively, and saying to each other, “You know, we must chat to the Law Reform Commission some time about those proposals to improve the position of whistle-blowers.” It would be a good idea to do it soon -- we wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that the state takes the theft of private-sector money more seriously than the theft of public-sector money.
If between Justice and the Law Reform Commission, each blaming the other for the delay, amendments can be agreed and turned into changes to the law, perhaps the brave individuals who speak out will get the protection they need and deserve. -- Alison Tilley, chief operating officer, Open Democracy Advice Centre, Cape Town

Friday, April 13, 2007


Good morning bloggers and welcome on this glorious Friday 13th. For the record, I am not one of those people who stay in bed on Friday 13th for fear of what might happen - except for - well . . . it would depend on who is in there with me! Ha-Ha!

Ok, now on a serious note! Why wouldn't anyone NOT report crime and corruption. I suppose some would not report it for fear of reprisal and so on. The bottom line is that you want to live "in fear" for the rest of your life, that is what will happen - you will be intimidated, you will be harrassed by thugs and muggers, it is after all the choice that you have made.

So, take the bull by the horns so to speak, stand up for yourself and your fellow citzens. By reporting crime and/or corruption you are telling those that perpetrate these crimes that it is not acceptable and that you will do something about it. If we all did this and (please God, whomever you perceive him to be) the authorities act accordingly, crime and corruption will begin to go in reverse and we will make inroads, hopefully in making it disappear altogether.

Hope you all have a fantabulously great Friday 13th!

Report attacks SA crime and corruption

29 January 2007 07:26

African governments have warned South Africa that growing corruption, rampant violent crime and xenophobia are undermining confidence in the continent's largest economy and threaten the stability of post-apartheid democracy.
The African Union was expected to hand a report on good governance to President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday night that contains wide-ranging criticisms, from the handling of the HIV/Aids crisis to the continued vast poverty gap. Critics also accuse the South African government of watering down the "peer review" -- under which countries rate each other's performance and offer advice on improvements -- by insisting on "editing" the final report.
The report says that because of "creeping corruption" and conflicts of interest proliferating in public life, South Africans "feel betrayed, regarding corruption as a negation of democratic gains after a long period of struggle". A poll released at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week showed that 63% of South Africans think their leaders are dishonest.
The perception of growing corruption, and official tolerance of it, has been fuelled by high-profile cases such as that of Tony Yengeni, the former African National Congress (ANC) speaker of Parliament who was jailed for four years for taking bribes from a weapons manufacturer but released this year after only four months in prison. He was greeted like a hero by ANC leaders.
In another case, South Africa's police chief, Jackie Selebi, is under investigation; he maintained a close friendship with an organised crime boss arrested over the murder of a corrupt mining magnate. The government has also been embarrassed by a swirl of corruption investigations focusing on the controversial £4-billion weapons deal with western arms makers, including an inquiry by British police into BAE's sale of aircraft to South Africa.
The AU report noted that concerns were raised not only about large-scale graft but also corruption in everyday life, such as the provision of housing. It also warns that crime, particularly against women and children, is undermining South African democracy despite an assertion by Mbeki earlier this month that people do not believe it is out of control. The government says there has been a 10% fall in the numbers of serious crimes since the introduction of democracy in 1994. But with murders still running at more than 18 000 a year, or about 50 a day, one survey showed that nearly 60% of South Africans feel unsafe leaving their homes after dark.
The scale of the killings again drew attention at the weekend with the murder of the prominent historian David Rattray, who was shot dead at his home in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Earlier this month, Mbeki told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that fears of crime are exaggerated. "It's not as if someone will walk here to the TV studio in Auckland Park [Johannesburg] and get shot," he said. "That doesn't happen and it won't happen. Nobody can prove that the majority of the country's 40 million to 50-million citizens think that crime is spinning out of control."
One of South Africa's best-known journalists, Max de Preez, told Mbeki his daughter was shot just 100m from the studios during a carjacking. Community leaders near the studios said crime figures show 20 people were murdered in the area last year.
The AU report said the rise in crime is increasingly blamed on foreigners, which in turn spawns xenophobia and more attacks. Nigerians, Zimbabweans and Mozambicans in particular are blamed for drug dealing, armed robberies and burglary. Foreigners are also accused of taking jobs; Somali traders were attacked in Cape Town recently by rival South Africans.The AU calls on the government to "deal systematically, deliberately and effectively with the lingering vestiges of racism" and better ways to end xenophobia. The government said it will wait until the report is released before responding.
At a glance
The prosecution of leading politicians for corruption, the increasingly common demand for bribes by the police, and the massive wealth accumulated by some of those who wield power in post-apartheid South Africa have generated a growing public perception that graft and the abuse of office are increasingly widespread.
South Africa has the world's second-highest murder rate with about 50 people a day being killed. Although serious crime is falling, security analysts say the use of violence in robberies, and rape, are more common.
Growing hostility towards people from other parts of Africa (although not white immigrants) who are blamed for rising crime and unemployment. Attacks are increasingly common. -
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2006

Thursday, April 12, 2007


So let's see where this goes, and in fact if anyone has any "teeth"! So often these issues appear to be brought to light and somehow the light goes out and we don't hear anything else.

In my opinion, these people should be named and shamed!

SA Post Office audit delayed

Johannesburg, South Africa

28 February 2007 07:48

An audit report on corporate governance and management issues within the South African Post Office (Sapo) has been delayed due to "matters needing verification", the Department of Communications said on Tuesday. The report, which follows an investigation into activities of Sapo's management and board members, will be released in March rather than at the end of February as had been expected, spokesperson Albi Modise said.
The investigation was initiated by Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri in November following the suspension of Sapo's chief executive Khutso Mampeule. An independent company, SizweNtsaluba VSP Forensics, was appointed to handle investigations into Sapo's managers and board members regarding Sapo contracts. "The scope of the investigation was to be inclusive of, but not limited to, the allegations of all parties regarding corporate governance issues, as well as management actions," Modise said.
Matsepe-Casaburri received the first draft of the report regarding corporate governance issues last month. She is expected to receive the final report during the first week of March and "apply her mind to recommendations made". Modise said the minister "will waste no time in implementing recommendations made".
At the time of his suspension, Mampeule said he believed he was suspended "in an attempt to divert attention from my concerted effort to uproot corrupt actions" within Sapo. In October, he told Parliament that seven Sapo executives resigned or were axed in 18 months as a result of his anti-corruption drive. - Sapa

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Good morning bloggers - here is your Wednesday offering. Please don't forget to aske questions if you have any.

D.2. Cheque Signing

1. Before the cheque is signed by the authorized signature(s) the cheque requisition must be completed and attached to the relevant invoice/statement etc. The prepared cheque can then be presented for signature together with the cheque requisition form and invoices and the whole history of the payment is together and in one place. If the person signing the cheque is not the person who prepared the cheque, then all the details and the amounts must be checked to ensure correctness thereof, prior to the cheque being signed.

The accountant/bookkeeper should satisfy themselves that these checks are done.

2. Once the cheque has been signed, it should be dispatched and/or delivered to the payee without delay. The invoice/statement should then be marked paid, the date and the cheque # - again this provides an audit trail and makes replies and attending to queries that much less painful.

3. In the instances where there is more than one “partner” in the business, it is advisable that all cheques and/or payments should be signed by all the relevant individuals. In this way no accusations can be made with reference to fraud etc. Prevention is always better than cure.

4. Do not, ever, sign a blank cheque – that is the same as leaving R100 000 (or more) in cash lying around. Don’t do it, you will regret it and you will have no-one but yourself to blame if the money goes missing out of your account!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007



Part 8

I promised to continue this section with some more tips on Networking.

The Art of Listening. My friend Geraldine always says that her mother used to say that “God gave us two ears and one for a reason!”

People as so busy trying to get their 5c worth in, that they don’t listen to the other person, what their needs are and therefore what their requirements are. If you don’t know what they need, how can you effectively sell your skill and/or widget – it might not be what they want at all!

Most people seem to think that you have to be an extrovert to be a good networker. This is often not the case. Most extroverts are usually too busy talking about their favourite subject matter, which usually means that they are talking about themselves.

Introverts on the other hand, seem to be better listeners. They are keen to find out what the possible synergies are, not just for themselves, but also for the people within their own network.

So when you meet with someone, and the purpose of the meeting is to see where there are possible synergies, ask the other people how you can help them. Listen carefully to what it is that they are saying. Encourage them to talk about their business, what it is that they do, take down notes and if you don’t understand, ask questions. You don’t have to know the intricate details of their business and how it works, but you need to have an idea of what it is that they do – remember you should be referring them to people within your network and it’s no good sending them someone to print their business cards, when what they need is someone to design the logo!

Monday, April 09, 2007


Good morning bloggers. Today's quote comes from Kojo Baffoe - Poet and Writer.

"Excellence is about going back to basics and asking, ‘how do I become better at this’?"

We all strive for excellence in our businesses, and this process can be controlled and co-ordinated when the business is small or in the case of so many of us, but how do we attend to a motivate staff as and when the business grows. I guess this is one of those, asking the staff (and yourself for that matter) how they (and you) be better at what they do, will often bring about a huge number of suggestions, many of them will be absolute nonsense, but you might be pleasantly surprised on how many of them actually make good practical sense!
Good luck in your quest for excellence!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Seeing that we are still in the month of "fools" herewith todays funny. Enjoy!
It's amazing - but don't be easily fooled

April 01 2006 at 11:30AM

By Robin Millard
London - Penguins in the River Thames, oak trees in the shape of the queen, the door to 10 Downing Street being repainted red and biscuits being used to resurface roads: could it be April Fool's Day in Britain?
The national press hit the stands with a range of nonsense exclusives on Saturday that, as ever, are sure to have unwitting people ringing the newsdesk hotlines in fury, exasperation and disbelief.
Joining in with the April Fool's Day fun, British newspapers annually run silly stories to catch out gullible readers and leave them shaking their heads in disbelief until some kindly soul points out they've been hoodwinked.
The Sun tabloid pictured a penguin happily waddling about on the south bank of the Thames in central London. "It is believed to be the first time a penguin has been spotted in the Thames - and comes weeks after tragic Wally the Whale got stranded," said Britain's biggest-selling daily. "Experts said the penguin, normally seen at the South Pole, may have been released into UK waters by fishermen who accidentally snared him." A handy map showed the plucky penguin's extraordinary route. "Marine biologist Lil Faroop said: 'It looks like a Jackass. They feed on sprats and fly through the water at five miles (eight kilometres) per hour. They have a donkey-like bray."
The Daily Express tabloid showed assorted biscuits, neatly arranged in lines, being steamrollered into the tarmac, which "amazingly help to make roads 10 percent safer and more durable". "Scientists yesterday revealed that broken biscuits are in fact the perfect material to help resurface roads," the newspaper revealed. "Years of experimental research revealed that crushed-up ginger nuts are the best biscuit for a road's sub-base, as they are more porous and allow water to drain away. "But deeper into the Express, beyond its routine agonising new twist in the tragedy of Diana, princess of Wales, the newspaper admitted that the biscuit story was, well, crackers.Making it crystal-clear, it specified: "And we're sorry, but Professor Garibaldi does not actually exist and the sporting Tarmac company was in on the joke." Phew.
The Daily Mirror tabloid was stunned to find the faces of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip and their first son Prince Charles in a gnarled old oak. It really was a family tree. Lionel Day spotted it as his dog chased a squirrel. "The exact location of the tree in the New Forest, Hampshire, is being kept secret because of fears it could attract druids," the Mirror said.
In a move sure to infuriate unwitting Daily Mail readers, the staunchly true-blue Conservative tabloid showed workmen replacing the traditional black front door of Number 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official residence, with one painted a lurid shade of red, the colour of the incumbent Tony Blair's Labour Party. His lawyer wife Cherie, who has a zest for redecoration, copped the blame.
The Mail said it was a "literally incredible break with decades of tradition". Outraged American tourist Earl Myers said: "I can't believe Mr Blair has changed one of England's most famous landmarks," saying US President George Bush would never jazz up the White House with a Stars and Stripes front door. The Guardian, a left-liberal daily, revealed that Coldplay singer Chris Martin had come out in favour of Conservative chief David Cameron and was to release a now song extolling his virtues.
Cameron, 39, has played up his green, modern-man credentials since taking over the main opposition party in December. Martin, the vegan, fair trade-campaigning husband of star US actress Gwyneth Paltrow, was apparently bowled over by the wind turbine on Cameron's roof. "Dave really cares about the things I care about," Martin told reporter Olof Priol. In the new song, he rails at how recent events have "smashed my illusions about Tony Blair / His shoes, his suits, his terrible hair."
After all, it must be true - I read it in the papers.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


This is going to become a huge problem in South Africa in time to come, if it is not addressed as a matter of urgency! The teachers of our youth, who our leaders of tomorrow need to be acknowledged as being an intrinsic part of who we as South Africans will become.

They should be honoured and revered not dimissed as insignificant. I hope that someone out there takes heed of what is happening with our educational system!

Study: Pay a factor in teacher migration
Cape Town, South Africa
20 December 2006 10:33

Poor pay is a key factor in the decision of many South African teachers to seek work in the United Kingdom, according to a new study. The as-yet-unpublished study, by researchers under the leadership of Oxford research fellow Dr Kimberly Ochs, surveyed 192 teachers recruited from other Commonwealth countries to jobs in the UK.
Ninety percent of the South Africans who responded said they did not consider financial packages at home attractive enough, compared with a figure of just over 60% in Australia. Asked whether their departure had "anything to do with pay", 62% of the South Africans said it did." Interestingly, only 45% of South Africans were in the teaching profession at the time of their departure," the study said.
It also said that virtually none of the teachers in the survey had heard of the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol, a document drawn up by the Commonwealth two years ago to combat the loss of scarce professional skills in targeted countries. Though the protocol is not a legally binding document, it sets out guidelines for recruitment, including orientation and induction programmes, and information on unionisation. -- Sapa

Friday, April 06, 2007


Well now, finally some sanity - a plan on how to! Now of course the next step is to hope that members of the Government actually read the newspapers, with 'eyes wide open' and their blinkers off, and actually try some of the 'tips' on offer, they may even be pleasantly surprised!

My take on this is that the crime didn't happen overnight, and it certainly didn't get worse over night - it was a process. Similarly, to get rid of the crime is also a process and again it won't happen overnight, it will happen one day at a time. Hillbrow, and similar suburbs were not lost to crime overnight, they were lost one building at a time, one street at a time and that is how they will be recovered from crime. One building at a time, one street at a time.

The most important thing however, is like with every journey that is taken it begings with a single step! The road to recovery in terms of the crime situation, begins with a single step and Government needs to take that step visibly! The private sectors need to take their step publically and Joe Public needs to take their step individually. We all need to be seen to be taking the steps in the same direction at the same time!

Have a great Easter guys and gals - and be safe out there!

Ten ways to tackle crime

Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya

19 January 2007 08:45

President Thabo Mbeki this week came under fire when he said that, contrary to popular perceptions “crime was under control”.
This week the South African Institute of Race Relations released statistics that showed Mbeki was right in some areas and wrong in others. Researchers at various institutes that study crime suggest 10 ways in which crime can be reduced.
Political leadership
As with HIV/Aids, government needs to acknowledge that the scourge is real and needs tackling. It should be seen to be preaching a uniform message and act firmly against criminals regardless of where they are found. This will require that the political leaders stop justifying crime and downplaying its seriousness by suggesting, as they often do, that it is declining.
Improve policing skills
There should be no room for functionally illiterate officers in the police service. Even the police agree that detective services, DNA and fingerprint analysis are areas that need urgent attention. Police need more training in the “softer” skills, such as interacting with their communities and with people who present themselves as complainants at police precincts.
More visible cross-border cooperation with neighbouring countries.
You might have seen the bakkie advert in which local authorities and their Mozambican counterparts cooperate to find and destroy arms that move between the countries’ borders. South African police say that many such operations are conducted in the Southern African region. The regional police chiefs have formed the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation but their influence appears too office-bound to deter cross-border syndicates.
Decentralise police accountability and strategies.
There is no use saying police commissioners have control over their jurisdictions when policing priorities are set elsewhere. As a recent Institute for Race Relations study showed, different provinces have different crime problems. A centralised system of setting priorities robs provincial commissioners and local station commanders of the ability to mobilise their resources to fight local challenges.
Improve cooperation and coordination of the criminal justice system
There are too many stories of individuals committing crimes while they are out on bail. Communication between the police, the courts and jails needs to be improved. The speedier the trials, the smaller the prison population, made up mainly of awaiting trial prisoners -- and the greater the chances of those in jail being rehabilitated.
Improve cooperation between criminal justice and the social development clusters of government
One of the pillars of the National Crime Prevention Strategy was “environmental design”. This meant that when planning residential areas, the town planners would ensure there were enough schools, street lighting and that the surroundings were managed so as not to create opportunities for criminals. Abandoned buildings, tall grass and dark streets present such opportunities.
Increase sin taxes on commodities with proven links to criminal action, specifically alcohol
Statistics show that most murders occur when people known to each other are socialising and drinking alcohol. Making alcohol more expensive would reduce the number of people who drink. The knock-on effect is that it will reduce incidents caused as a result of drunkenness.
Faith communities and community organisations must jack up their role
Crime is not purely a policing matter. Communities must start isolating criminals and raising their voices as they did against apartheid. Faith communities also have a role in advancing moral regeneration and reinstilling values that make it shameful to be a criminal or to benefit from the proceeds of crime. As one expert put it: “In 2007 there should not be an excuse for committing crime or disobeying the law.”
Rearranging social values
A society that worships unbridled consumerism without creating equal opportunities for wealth, create a sense of helplessness in those excluded from the boom. Most violence employed in the commission of crime is linked to the desire to own those goods society identifies as a requirement for respect and admiration.
Media must play its role
The media is seen as negative and as concentrating on important but isolated cases to create an impression of things falling apart. One expert said the example that things were actually getting better was that in 1994, there were 26 000 murders in the country and last year the number was 18 000. Just as the media played an important anti-apartheid role, it can play a role in exposing criminals and criminal trends and pushing for decisive action by the authorities.
All the numbers
The South African Institute of Race Relations this week released statistics comparing crime levels in 1994 with those in the past policing year.
Actual numbers in 1994/05: 25 965
Ratio per 100 000: 66,9
Numbers in 2005/06: 18 528
Ratio per 100 000: 39,5
Decrease by 28,6%
Ratio decrease by 41%
Attempted murder
Actual numbers:1994/05: 26 806
Ratio/100 000: 69,1
Actual Numbers in 2005/06 20 571
Ratio/100 000: 43,9
Decrease 23,3%
Ratio decrease: 36,5%
Rape Actual number cases reported in 1994/05: 44 751
Ratio per 100 000: 115,3
Numbers in 2005/6: 54 926
Ratio: Per 100 000: 117,1
Actual numbers increased by 22,7%
Ratio increase: 1,6%
Robbery with aggravating circumstances
Actual Numbers in 1994/05: 84 785
Ratio per 100 000: 218,5
Actual Numbers in 2005/06: 119 726 255
Increase actual numbers: 41,2%
Ratio increase: 16,8%
Burglary at residential and business premises
Actual numbers in 1994/05: 231 355
Ratio/100 000: 596,2
Actual numbers in 2005/06: 262 535
Ratio per 100 000: 559,9
Increase in actual numbers: 13,5%
Decrease per ratio: 6,1%
Car theftActual numbers in 1994/05: 105 867
Ratio per 100 000: 272,8
Numbers in 2005/06: 85 964
Ratio/100 000: 183,3
Decrease in numbers: 18,8%
Decrease per ratio: 32,8%
Commercial crimes
Actual numbers 1994/05: 63 056
Ratio/100 000: 162,5
Numbers 2005/06: 54 214
Ratio/100 000: 115,6
Decrease in actual numbers: 14%
Decrease per ratio: 28,9%
Drug related crime
Actual numbers 1994/05: 45 928
Ratio per 100 000: 118,4
Actual numbers in 2005/06: 95 690
Ratio per 100 000: 204,1
Increase in actual numbers: 108,3%
Increase per ratio: 72,4%Source:
The South African Institute of Race Relations.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Good grief! The man doesn't seem to be able to remember what he has said from one speech to the next! Perhaps it's time for him to get his own head out of his own arse and have a look at reality or pretty soon there won't be a "reality" as he knows it for the ANC. I suppose he is also denying that his own people are getting antsy! Perhaps he should be looking northwards at what is happening to Mugabe - he also had his head up his own arse and now his "reality" is coming into play!

Thabo Mbeki's new age of denial?

Vicki Robinson and Rapule Tabane Johannesburg, South Africa

02 February 2007 07:23

A week before President Thabo Mbeki’s State of the Nation address, his “age of hope”, trumpeted in last year’s speech, is at risk. Despite 96 straight months of economic growth his recent dismissal of concerns about of two of South Africa’s most pernicious social ills -- crime and corruption -- have undercut public confidence in his presidency. An “age of denial”, HIV/Aids, unemployment, crime and corruption now threaten his legacy.
“Where is the age of hope?” asked Florence Nkwashu, a resident from Shawelo, Soweto. “The only hope we have is if the people take things into their own hands. I don’t know where it’s going to end. We are so tired”. In an interview flighted on South African Broadcasting Corporation television three weeks ago, Mbeki said it was just a perception that crime was out of control. “It’s not as if someone will walk here to the [television] studio in Auckland Park and get shot. That doesn’t happen and it won’t happen. Nobody can prove that the majority of the country’s 40-million to 50-million citizens think that crime is spinning out of control,” he said. Asked about recent reports implicating a number of South Africans in a British police probe on corruption between British arms companies and foreign government officials, Mbeki said the bidding process for South Africa’s arms deal was “perfectly correct” and not affected by corruption.
Analysts are divided about whether Mbeki’s recent bout of denials can be equated to his HIV/Aids quackery at the turn of the century in which he fatally refuted the scientific link between HIV and Aids. They agree, however, that his rebuff of crime and corruption combined with South Africa’s recent delay in publishing the African Peer Review Mechanism report, have seriously weakened public trust in his leadership.“He hasn’t been any more of a denialist in this case than any other leader. All leaders defend their record,” said Richard Calland, executive director for the open democracy advice centre at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa. “But any leader who lacks empathy with his or her people [demonstrates] bad politics.”
Xolela Mangcu, a visiting scholar at the Public Intellectual Life Project at the University of the Witwatersrand and a non-resident WEB DuBois Fellow at Harvard University, said Mbeki’s recent comments “add to a whole series of different kinds of denial that have characterised his leadership. They have fed into the belief that he is out of touch with South Africans.”
Presidential gainsay The oddity of the president’s remark about crime is that it came a week after the ANC had issued its January 8 statement vowing to dedicate resources and energies to fight the scourge of crime. “Without decisive action to curb crime, it could undermine our efforts to ensure the country is able to realise its social and economic potential,” the statement said. According to Mangcu: “When Mbeki is not reading from a script, he feels the need to defend the government and its policies. He needs to stick to the script to avoid these kinds of contradictions.”
The anomaly in the furore over Mbeki’s denialist comments is that crime statistics support him. According to the South African Police Service’s crime figures for the financial year ending March 2006, crime levels have consistently decreased over the past three years. The total for the 21 most serious crimes (including murder, rape, house robbery and car hijackings) increased by 7% between 1994 and 2003. Since then, however, overall crime levels have dropped by an average of 6% a year. It is believed that Mbeki circulated a document containing these statistics at the ANC Cabinet lekgotla last month, to demonstrate that, although crime was a problem, it was not out of hand.
Mbeki apparently told the lekgotla that the crime issue was being hijacked by reactionary forces to undermine the democratic movement. The president is said to have expressed his concern about how negative messages about crime were being communicated. It is believed he argued that part of the reason for the uproar about crime was that it was increasing in affluent areas, which had been regarded as safe for many years.
Why the uproar? So why the public uproar over Mbeki’s comments? Centre for Policy Studies analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said it appeared Mbeki wanted to enter into an academic debate about the realities of crime, based on statistics at his disposal, as against perceptions of crime. “What the president is unaware of is steady convergence of opinion on crime, particularly since the Jeppestown shootings last year. Crime is becoming increasingly deracialised as more people become angry over its effects,” said Matshiqi. “It seems to me the president feels that the perceptions of increasing crime are incorrect as viewed against the information he has. But that is significant only for debate. “The reality is that the levels of crime in this country are unacceptably high. That is what the president should be focusing on; giving leadership instead of winning narrow points.”
According to Antoinette Louw, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, “The response of police leadership has left the public with a sense that the government, and the police in particular, don’t care about the problem or its consequences. According to Idasa and Afrobarometer public-opinion surveys conducted last year almost half (48%) of South Africans believe that all or most police officials are involved in corruption. “We feel so pathetic. Our kids come home with stolen goods and what can we say if Mbeki is denying crime?” asks Rebecca Mtimkulu, a resident from Meadowlands, Soweto. “I’ve been travelling with the ANC my whole life and they’ve done nothing [for me].”
Jenny Foden, who lives in Bryanston, Johannesburg, said: “The problem in South Africa at the moment is not so much the crime, it’s that we all feel so alone on the issue of crime. The perception, whether rightly or wrongly, that crime is out of control is fed almost entirely by the denial of the government.”
A besieged nation
Next week Mbeki faces a besieged nation. Only 40% of South Africans think the government is doing enough to reduce crime, according to a Markinor bi-annual government performance barometer survey conducted among 3 500 people in November last year. This has dropped from 51% a year ago. Mbeki prefaced his State of the Nation address last year with a list of surveys that captured the “age of hope”. This year, the same surveys paint a much bleaker picture. Last year, Mbeki quoted a Gallup International survey, which ranked South Africa eighth on a “top optimists” list of 12 countries. This year, South Africa hasn’t made the list. Last year, the Grant Thornton International Business Owners Survey reported that 84% of South African business owners were optimistic about the following year. This year the figure has dropped to 71%. Last year Mbeki quoted First National Bank and the Bureau for Economic Research, which reported that the consumer confidence index was at its highest in 25 years. The same survey released for the fourth quarter of last year showed that while consumer confidence remained at these levels, it was only so among those earning more than R4 000 a month. “Those earning less than R800 per month dropped sharply compared with the third quarter,” the survey noted.
The dampening of economic sentiment in the country in the short term has been caused by increased interest rates, the sharp depreciation of the rand since May and the country’s precarious balance of payments position, but chief economist at First National Bank, Cees Bruggemans, believes that crime could ultimately undermine the positive growth in the country. He argued: “Economic performance ever so steadily becomes undermined, even as the bean counters keep on noticing more economic activity.” Mbeki faces one of his toughest State of the Nation addresses next week -- the price of his denial could cost him his legacy as a strong manager and a good governor.
How to squander a legacy in three steps
Step 1.
Deny Aids. In 2001, President Thabo Mbeki began to question the links between HIV and Aids. He established a presidential advisory panel comprised of the world’s most notorious dissident scientists. The dissidents have found a willing supporter in vitamin salesman, Matthias Raath, who in turn has been fondly received in South Africa. Mbeki does not say anything substantive or persuasive about HIV and Aids.
Step 2.
Gun for Blair. In Davos last weekend, Mbeki fired an unusual broadside at British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair, said Mbeki, was hypocritical for scotching an investigation into allegedly corrupt arms deals involving BAE in Saudi Arabia while allowing an investigation into the South African arms deal to continue. Mbeki has refused to consider new evidence that various South Africans received over R1-billion in commissions and fees from BAE in the course of the arms deal.
Step 3.
Act like the Queen. Mbeki is doing a fine impersonation of Queen Elizabeth (as played by Helen Mirren in the movie, The Queen). He is sticking to the technical detail of the fight against crime and refusing to recognise the fear gripping his nation. This is similar to the way in which the queen completely misjudged the mood of her people after the death of Princess Diana.
In his own words HIV/Aids 2003: Mbeki told the Washington Post: “Personally, I don’t know anybody who has died of Aids. I really, honestly don’t.”
Unemployment:2005: Questioning the figure of four million South Africans actively looking for work, Mbeki wrote on the ANC website, “This is such a large number of people that nobody could possibly have missed the millions that would be in the streets and in village paths actively looking for work in all places of employment.”
Crime:2007: In an interview with Tim Modise on SABC television Mbeki said: “It’s not as if someone will walk here to the [television] studio in Auckland Park and get shot. That doesn’t happen and it won’t happen. Nobody can prove that the majority of the country’s 40-million to 50-million citizens think that crime is spinning out of control.”
Corruption:2007: In the same interview when asked about corruption in the arms deal, Mbeki said the arms deal bidding process was “perfectly correct” and not affected by any corruption.