Thursday, May 31, 2007


Oh no! Does anyone in that country ever stop to think for a moment! Think about the fact that their actions could have serious implications!
Elephants are extremely social creatures and they have a very complicated family infrastructure - you can't just kill one elephant or even two and leave it at that, you would need to destroy the entire herd, from the oldest matriach to the youngest baby!
The saying "have a memory like an elephant" is not a myth. If one animal is murdered in the herd the rest know what have happened and it could mean that they will go on the rampage - this in turn would mean that they would 'turn on' humans - not only the ones that did the 'murdering' but also any that they happen to come across. This of course would include farmers, tourists and many more innocent bystanders.
Oh the folly of greed!

Elephants fed to cash crocs

March 11 2007 at 10:41AM

By Eleanor Momberg

Zimbabwe's national parks and wildlife management authority is killing elephants near Lake Kariba to feed to crocodiles at a parks-owned commercial crocodile farm. Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), says the guardians of Zimbabwe's national parks have entered the lucrative crocodile breeding business and have allocated 50 to 100 elephants a year to feed the crocodiles. "They have shot three already. We are looking into allegations that other crocodile farms in the country are being supplied with elephant meat from culls in conservation areas," said Rodrigues.
Geoff Blyth, a Kariba resident, this week sent out an international e-mail appeal to help save the elephants of Lake Kariba, saying national parks had been given the go-ahead to build their own crocodile farm in the Kaburi wilderness area, on the shore opposite two popular tourist attractions. Crocodile farming is a lucrative business, with owners of such ventures earning millions through the sale and export of skins for the manufacture of leather products such as handbags and shoes, as well as the sale of the reptiles' meat, a delicacy among local communities. While Blyth saw nothing wrong with the planned development, he was concerned about the proposal that crocodiles were to be fed elephant meat. He questioned the need to cull elephants in the area, saying they did not have enough to sustain the proposed quota of 50 to 100 pachyderms a year. Also of concern was the fact that most elephants in Kariba were habituated to humans. "If they shoot even 50, that will be the end of our Kariba elephant population," said Blyth's e-mail.
The placing of the crocodile breeding facility would see officials having "direct access to any elephant wandering past, and the remaining buffalo and whatever is left there to feed their crocs". Blyth said an elephant caught in a snare had recently been shot so that officials could determine how many elephants a year would be required to keep their crocodiles fed. "They are destroying everything," said Blyth. "We are researching the matter, because we believe there is a silent cull going on. More and more tourists are complaining they are not seeing any game.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


J.b. Data Capture

2. All source entries should be independently totaled prior to being captured. Why, you may ask – the computer should be able to total these things – surely! Of course it can, but what will you balance to? If you have already totaled these entries, once they have been captured, it is that much easier to ensure that you have balanced, each step of the way, rather than waiting to the end and then discovering that nothing balances back to the Bank statement etc. If the batch totals do not balance, ensure that you investigate the error and rectify same before proceeding onto the next batch of entries. It is easier, and prudent, to correct errors as they happen, rather than waiting until later to sort the problem out, as this can impact on any other batches and entries down the line.

3. It is a good idea to keep a permanent record in a register of these batch totals together with a brief description of the entries that were processed. In this way, if there are any queries, say for example, on petty cash, you know exactly which batch to look at, rather than having to look at all the batches for the period. Record the “manual” batch total of the entries, with the computer batch total to ensure that you have captured the entries correctly. Errors, unless they are “finger errors” should be noted in the register, what steps were taken in order for them to be rectified should also be recorded. Should a pattern emerge, this should also be noted and investigated, as this may indicate that fraud is taking place.

4. All batch print-outs should be retained and permanently filed in sequence. It is always a good idea to have both soft and hard copies on hand.

5. Source documents should be:
a. Sequentially numbered and
b. Sequentially processed.
This will ensure that none of the entries are missing or unaccounted for.

6. The type of ledger account and the type of entry must be very clear: i.e. cash, journal, petty cash, fees etc. If entries get mixed up for whatever reason, it would become a nightmare to try and sort it out – better to spend a few minutes before hand making sure that the correct entries are batched together ready to be posted.

7. It is also important for all the audit trails to be numbered sequentially and they too must be permanently filed in sequence (either all together or according to the nature of the entries). This will assist any audits being done, not to mention for query purposes.

8. All batch printouts must be clearly marked with a heading that indicates the period involved, the nature of the entries and the source of the entries. Again, this is for ease of identification purposes.

9. Lists of the business balances must be extracted at regular intervals: this can be done on a minimum of a quarterly basis, but I would strongly recommend that it be done on a monthly basis. This will ensure that there is proper control of the business and will alert you to any problems that may be occurring prior to them becoming a disaster.

10. The total of these lists should be agreed to the control accounts and should also be kept as part of the computerized system. Again, this is for control purposes and it makes the audit trail much easier and queries can be resolved with a minimum of fuss and bother.

11. The balances on the computer control accounts must be agreed, on a monthly basis, by an independent responsible official with the control accounts in the nominal ledger. If you are doing your own books at home, I suggest that you put together a set of checklists and that this is added onto the monthly one. Attached is an example of what the checklists should look like. (See annexure 26 – Daily Admin; See annexure 27 – Weekly Admin; See annexure 28 – Monthly Admin; See annexure 29 – Quarterly Admin; See annexure 30 – Annual Admin.)

12. A permanent record should be maintained of the monthly balances, as detailed in points 9, 10 and 11 above. This will make it easier for the Bookkeeper/Accountant to keep track of all the balances and assists with year- end functions.

13. The information/data on your computer pertaining to your financials must be kept secure on the computer – if you are doing your own books, make sure that no-one else has access to your computer.

14. Your computerized system must generate an audit trail of the following:
a. transfers between loan accounts and personal accounts,
b. transactions processed to the loan account, personal and business accounts (both debits and credits)

15. The above reports must be reviewed regularly by a senior person and this review must be documented.

16. It must be checked that these reports can be generated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and it is a good idea to ensure that a hard copy of the reports can be regenerated. This is because if the information reported on an audit trail cannot be reprinted at any point in time, there is a risk associated with the loss of such audit trails.

17. It must also be ascertained if the printing or generation of audit reports can be suppressed through a parameter in the application.

18. Programming that is done in-house – the security of the programs must be thoroughly checked, to ensure that it is sufficient.

19. Back-ups of the current versions of the production programs created must be stored in a safe place, in an alternative location. Many people use bank safety deposit boxes or a safe outside of the current office environment.




Craig Harrison says that the reason that Networking may not be working for you is because of the basic 9 mistakes that Networker’s make. I will be going through these over the next few weeks and let’s see if this is what is holding you back.

The second mistake he says is “Poor networkers don’t emphasize the benefits, but the features of what they do. Too many job seekers focus on the features of their work instead of the end results. Employers buy benefits, solutions and outcomes. Speak their language by focusing on what you can do for them, not how you do it. Example: project managers help companies save time and money (two benefits/outcomes) through expertly managing projects and people (features).”

Wow! This is powerful stuff! I attended a networking meeting at the Palazzo Hotel in Fourways last night and thinking back now to all the folk who delivered their ‘speeches’ on who they are and what they do, I can honestly say that about 70% of them are making this mistake. In fact a couple of them are so bad with their ‘speeches’ that I have no idea what it is that they do. Very confusing to say the least.

Remember people cannot help you or refer you if they have no idea what you do. Similarly you have to focus on what makes you different and stand out in the crowd. Taking the above example of Project Managers – there are hundreds if not thousands of these people out there – by saying that you help companies save time and money you are already being different to the rest who will waffle on about what they do to manage the project.

So think carefully about what you say when you are trying to sell yourself and/or your product. You have very little time to make your point and/or make an impression.

To get to know a bit more about Craig Harrison, please visit his website on

Monday, May 28, 2007


Good morning bloggers - the quote today is by - who knows! I got this in a mail from my friend Susan in the States. I couldn't put this any better myself.

Hope you all have a fantabulous day, and that your life begins every day when you awake!

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Hi all, hope you enjoy the Sunday funnies!

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a Woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!

My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago.

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a Note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, ! ! ! "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at
a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit." "And why not, darling?" "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"


Oh what fun! My only concern about this though is how the 'singing artists' get their royalties! ha!

Condoms get high-tech with sound of music

September 28 2006 at 05:32AM

Ukraine - A Ukrainian scientist has invented a condom that plays music during sex, Korrespondent magazine reported on Wednesday. Hryhory Chausovsky developed the birth-control device as a novelty and as an aid for more pleasurable love-making, he said. A miniature loudspeaker and motion sensor implanted in the condom's upper cuff provides a range of musical tones during sex. Music volume depends on intensity of love-making and tone varies based on the sexual position. "(The condom's sound) is directly related to the emotional level of the users," he said. The condom's main limitation, however, is primitive sound quality, similar to tones produced by first-generation cellphones. Testing has shown no danger of electric shock to users of the device, Chausovsky claimed.
Condoms and other birth-control devices are generally unpopular in Ukraine, a country suffering one of the highest HIV-infection rates in the world. Sex novelty items nevertheless have found a small but growing market in recent years among the country's small middle class. - Sapa-DPA
This article was originally published on page 12 of The Star on September 28, 2006

Friday, May 25, 2007


Good Grief! Once again the average Joe is being targeted by unscrupulous cell phone companies! Sometimes I feel that we have to put ourselves under lock and key, just to be able to draw a breath in peace and quiet!

Take care out there - they are all after our hard earned cash!

Cellphone users should study their policy

September 28 2006 at 12:16PM

By Consumer Editor

Cellphone insurance usually gives only very limited protection, so be sure to study your policy carefully to avoid unwelcome surprises when you try to make a claim. The website for the Office of the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance says many cellphones bought on credit, or in terms of a rental contract, include a monthly insurance premium, although it is not always clear when the insurance is a voluntary addition or has to be taken out in terms of the contract. Advice from the ombudsman is to insist on being given a complete copy of the insurance policy, to which you are legally entitled.

Also get the full name and address of the insurance company underwriting the policy, as well as the contact details of any intermediary authorised to deal with you, issue the policy and receive your premiums. Exclusions usually include

If the cellphone is stolen from your car, there will be no cover unless it was kept in a locked cubbyhole or in a locked boot.

There will be no cover unless at the time of the loss the cellphone was being carried on your person.

There will be no cover if the circumstances of the loss show that you "failed to take proper care of the instrument".

There will be no cover unless the theft is immediately reported to the police. After studying the policy, if you have any choice, it could be worth your while to contact your own broker or insurer to try to find a better deal, or to possibly include the cellphone as a specified item on your house-contents policy.

This article was originally published on page 26 of Cape Argus on September 28, 2006


Wow! It is obviously very hard to be a parent! With all the added lurgies out there and all the technology that allows children to really 'get up close and personal'. Am I glad I only have cats!

Can your child find porn on the Internet?

Lee Rondganger

November 08 2006 at 04:38AM

An alarming number of South African school children have easy access to pornography and are actively seeking out such images. This is according to a survey conducted by the Film and Publications Board (FPB), which revealed that seven in 10 Gauteng children admitted to watching pornography and 36 percent of those surveyed said they had watched a porn movie in the previous month. A survey conducted among nearly 1 000 school children between 13 and 17 has shown that 67 percent of them have watched a pornographic film. While 65 percent of the children say they were motivated by curiosity, an alarming 45 percent said they had watched a porn movie more than four times.

The survey - Internet Usage and Exposure of South African Youth to Pornography - was conducted in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape among 934 high school children, who were asked to fill in a comprehensive questionnaire about Internet behaviour.

'He wanted me to send a pornographic picture'The findings of the survey revealed that the majority of children (78 percent) used the Internet for educational purposes. Other uses included downloading songs, pictures and games (50 percent); sending emails to friends or family members (31 percent); while 17 percent of them participated in chatrooms and six percent used the Internet to access porn. Some 23 percent of those who frequented chatrooms revealed that they had been approached by a stranger who made sexually explicit suggestions or requested intimate information. When asked what upset them or made them uncomfortable about such approaches, one teen said: "He wanted me to send a pornographic picture." Another teen said: "He asked me to become a stripper at a club and be naked every day." Another said the predator wanted her to meet him at his house naked.
On a positive note, the survey revealed that the majority of the children (78 percent) did not give out any personal information, while 22 percent admitted giving out information such as their name or address to strangers during online discussions. In Gauteng, where 340 pupils were surveyed, 70 percent - the highest in the country - admitted watching porn. When asked whether they thought it was harmful, one answered: "What we see happens in everyday life. There is no reason to say it is harmful." Another said: "It affects your school work and you can't stop thinking about it."

'He asked me to become a stripper at a club'
The FPB warned that with technological advances and cellphones overtaking functions of the computer, the youth now had greater access to sexually explicit material. "Parents face several dangers. A lot of media attention has been devoted to giving out personal information and 'stranger danger', although it seems that this is neglected by parents. They need to be actively involved and aware of their children's online activity," it said. Patrick Hoar of Kids Online, a website designed to give parents advice on the Internet, said his research had revealed that the biggest users of porn were children aged between 12 and 17. "Many of these kids find these websites by pure accident. My advice to parents is to download a programme like K9, which can block out porn sites and other adult-related sites. It is a free program and will even help parents monitor the sites their children visit."

This article was originally published on page 6 of The Star on November 08, 2006

Wednesday, May 23, 2007



This section deals with computerized accounting and the requirements pertaining thereto. If your books are not being done by a bookkeeper/accountant, there are certain legal requirements as well as many practical requirements as listed and discussed here under. This section ensures that computerized accounting systems are properly controlled to ensure validity, accuracy and completeness of the accounting data. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT SECTION, particularly if you are doing your own books. It is also a good idea to ask these questions of your bookkeeper/accountant to ensure that they have your best interests at heart.

1. There is a huge risk, in terms of confidentiality and fraudulent transactions taking place, not only within your own environment but also within the environment where your books are processed. This should be considered and controls should be in place (in the case of outsourced work) and be put into place should you be doing your own books. Again, I would like to stress the importance of you not doing your own books if you do not know what you are doing – it is the shortest route to financial failure! Getting back to the point in question, control procedures should pertain to both the physical security of the reports and the information resident on the hard drive. In the instances where the computer system is linked through electronic funds transfer with any bank (let’s face it, most of us do internet banking these days), an additional risk is created and adequate security measures should be in place. These are for your own protection and you should take careful note of the following.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007




Craig Harrison says that the reason that Networking may not be working for you is because of the basic 9 mistakes that Networker’s make. I will be going through these over the next few weeks and let’s see if this is what is holding you back.

The first mistake he says is “Bad networker’s mumble. A mumble is a speaking stumble, people mumble their name, their occupation and their titles all the time. Your name is irrelevant if we can’t hear it. You’ve been saying your name all your life so you may be bored with it, yet we may only hear it once. State your name clearly, slowly and in a way you can repeat it and remember it. It’s your lifeline to contact. Take care in stating it.”

This is one that I really struggle with! Over the years and with the help of sinus and other strange lurgies that we all seem to fall prey to from time to time, I have lost some of the hearing, particularly in my left ear. This often makes it difficult to hear, particularly if there are other background noises. Even at facilitated Networking events, I find myself continuously asking people to speak up or start their presentation again or have a need to ask them to state their names again. Often I don’t hear their names or what they do on the second or even third attempt – at this point I usually lose interest.

This is turn makes them feel embarrassed and they lose their place or worse yet, they begin to stutter and stumble even more!

Perhaps it is because people are so busy trying to remember what it is that they want to say that they don’t realize just how softly it is that they are speaking. Why don’t you write everything down clearly and in the order in which you would like to deliver the points that you wish to make. That way you can concentrate on projecting your voice to every single person in the room and ensure that everyone knows exactly who you are, what you do and most importantly why they should be doing business with you or having you in their ‘circle of influence’.

To get to know a bit more about Craig Harrison, please visit his website on

Monday, May 21, 2007


The quote today comes from the Esteemed author Alan Paton.

“If you go on whether you win or lose, then you have something more than success or failure. You keep your soul!

I do know that as Entreneurs, we are often faced with what look like insurmountable problems. We often lose heart. We often feel great dispair and feel that we cannot go on. Yet most of us, somehow manage to get back onto our feet and continue down the path. At the end of the journey we are much better people from having being molded by the lessons that life had to teach us.

My thought for today is that everything changes and in our darkest moments, if we remember that nothing is permanent, then we will get through it.


Hope you enjoy the Sunday funnies!

March 09 2007 at 12:46PM

London - British industry magazine The Bookseller has opened voting for the oddest book title of the year, some of which suggest that nothing is stranger than non-fiction. Readers of the magazine's website are being invited to vote on a shortlist of six non-fiction books in its annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year.The nominations are made by publishers, booksellers and librarians from around the world.The nominees are:
'The only literary prize where the content of the book doesn't matter a jot'
"Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan"
"How Green Were the Nazis?"
"D Di Mascio's Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry - An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans"
"The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification"
"Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium"
"Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence"Joel Rickert, deputy editor of The Bookseller, told BBC radio Friday: "It's the only literary prize where the content of the book doesn't matter a jot."So, there's still hope for Salman Rushdie or Martin Amis if they're worried about the Booker (prize). All they've got to do is give their books an odd title and they're in with a shot. "Last year's winner was "People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves To Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About it" by Gary Leon Hill. The competition has been running since 1978, when the winner was "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice". - Sapa-AFP


Oh wow! One for the good guys. Well done everybody!

January 16 2007 at 10:55AM

By Sharlene Packree
A robber got more than he bargained for when police and good Samaritans banded together to stop him in his tracks. The man came up against two things that he had no answer to on Monday - public anger with everyday crime and a dedicated cop doing the job he's paid to do. For Yasmin Sayed, the brave act by total strangers has restored her faith in humanity.

Public anger with everyday crime
She will never forget the kindness of four strangers who, in an unusual display of bravery, chased after a man who stole her handbag. Sayed was a passenger in a car driven by her son when a smash and grab attacker struck on Durban's Victoria Embankment.

"I bent over to pick up my bag when a man appeared at the window. I heard a smashing sound and realised that the man was after my bag," she said. The traumatised Sayed, an accounts clerk, said that even though she was disorientated, she saw two men leave their cars and chase after the suspect. The daring motorists left their cars idling in the street in rush hour traffic and they ran after the suspect with the stolen bag. "I saw them run after the man who took my bag. I think they chased him into Albert Park. It all happened so quickly that it was hard to keep track of everything," she said. Meanwhile, Metro police's Sgt Ricky Subramoney, who was on his way to work in his private vehicle, saw the commotion and called for back-up."I saw this vehicle parked on the road with a distressed woman standing outside. "I also noticed two men with guns and it appeared that they were chasing after someone," he said. Subramoney said he then saw a man running away from the men with something tucked under his shirt.Subramoney approached the man, who dropped the bag, before running away from him. "I stopped and approached the man who had a black handbag under his shirt. "He said that the suspect fled into Albert Park but a couple walking in the park noticed the suspect and tried to apprehend him."The couple had been on their way to work when they encountered the suspect. "They sprayed pepper spray into his eyes which prevented him from running further. "He said that it seemed that everyone was trying to capture the suspect. "It's amazing how total strangers banded together to help someone. It gives you goose bumps to know that people still care."Sayed said: "I just wanted thank all those kind people who helped me this morning. "I'm extremely grateful and now believe that good people do exist."A suspect is expected to appear in court on Wednesday


Oh dear, talk about avoiding the issue at hand!

ANCWL: succession being made into an issue

February 07 2007 at 01:13PM

By Wendy Jasson da Costa

ANC Women's League (ANCWL) President Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Tuesday accused the media of "running around like headless chickens" as it reported on the succession battle in the ANC. Speaking after the ANCWL's three-day national executive committee lekgotla, Mapisa-Nqakula became uptight when she was asked if she wanted the next president of the ANC to be a woman. Among those punted in the media as a possible successor to President Thabo Mbeki as a future president include Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Mapisa-Nqakula said it was up to the branches of the ANC to make that decision and that all members of the party had the right to make themselves available to stand as the leader.

"It is not an issue for us … for now it's an issue in the media," she said. Mapisa-Nqakula said there was no anxiety in the party over the matter because a leader would emerge. "There will be a leader at the end of the year and there will be no crisis. There may be no reason to contest about the leaders of the ANC because we tend to agree on these matters," she said. She said the problem was with the media who kept on throwing names at the party and who kept on wanting to "give" leaders to the ANC. "Don't push us to give you names … you are really stampeding us. It could be that people have already decided who we want," Mapisa-Nqakula said. She said people enjoyed controversy, but they were not going to get it in the ANC.
Mapisa-Nqakula said the ANCWL would this year continue with its mass campaign to mobilise women to be at the forefront of the struggle against women and child abuse, human trafficking and the struggle for peace, stability and safer neighbourhoods. However, another area of concern was the growing trend of men who were murdered by their female partners. Consequently, it would establish relations with forums dealing with men's issues, she said. Mapisa-Nqakula said there were also "growing allegations" of the abuse of men and although they were concerned about the violence against women and children, equally worrying was the fact that "quite a number of women" had been charged with femicide. "But equally you have women who have murdered men for economic reasons," said Mapisa-Nqakula. The details of its action plan would be available at its national general council to be held in March.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Here we go again, another meeting for the sake of a meeting at the cost of the tax-payer. We must really give them full marks however, to have this number of meetings about a subject that our dear President refuses to even acknowledge exits really does take balls! Whether it is for show or whether some real meaningful ideas and decisions have come out of this, remains to be seen and time will tell. How much time of course will be needed, will necessitate yet another meeting, of that I have no doubt! Then of course, there would be the ardious task of gently explaining to our erstwhile leader, that this is, in fact a problem with crime and that this problem cannot be cured by eating beetroot and garlic . . . or then again, perhaps it can.
ANC demands tougher approach to crime

January 23 2007 at 04:54AM
By Thokozani Mtshali
The African National Congress wants the government to change gear in handling crime, calling for a more "vigorous" and "comprehensive" response to the problem. This follows the party's three-day lekgotla in Johannesburg. The position is in stark contrast to President Thabo Mbeki's assertion in a television interview last week that it was only a perception that crime was spiralling out of control. The lekgotla instead reiterated the position outlined in the party's January 8 statement that it was "critically important, in the interest of safety and security... that both the ANC and the government" should have a practical and specific response to crime.

Party spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said on Monday that, based on a concrete understanding of the reality of crime, the ruling party agreed that the government's response should also be "based on a clear understanding of the causes of crime and the various forms it takes across society". "The response needs to be well considered, effectively co-ordinated and comprehensive," Ngonyama said. He said the party also intended to get its lower structures across the country to engage communities to support the police and work with law enforcement agencies against criminals. He downplayed suggestions, however, that the lekgotla's diagnosis of the crime problem was different from that of the president, saying this was the unnecessary "politicking about the issue of crime which consequently shifted attention from the criminals". But this indicates that crime, along with other pertinent issues such as the eradication of poverty, is set to remain on top of the government's agenda this year. Most issues that form part of the key resolutions of the ANC lekgotla also form the basis of a similar gathering of the cabinet that will map out the government's programme for the year. The cabinet lekgotla, which was due to begin in Pretoria today, also forms the basis for Mbeki's state-of-the-nation address next month. Poverty is also expected to feature as a key element of the cabinet lekgotla and Mbeki's speech.According to Ngonyama, the ANC lekgotla at the weekend highlighted a number of areas, such as social security, housing and health, as well as the provision of basic services, that needed urgent attention at today's cabinet gathering. Without giving much detail, Ngonyama said the ANC lekgotla "focused on some of the steps needed to improve the quality of service provision in all areas and significantly improve the ability of (people) to access such services".
As part of its primary tasks for the year, the ANC also wants to establish what it calls a "broad front for development", bringing various organisations and sectors together in the bid to fight poverty and promote social development. Ngonyama downplayed questions on how such a front, styled on the Mass Democratic Movement of the 1980s, would hold together, given the political differences between the ANC and its alliance partners, the South African Communist Party and Cosatu. He said the three alliance partners could "rise above the current differences and challenges" they faced. Ngonyama added that the provision of a basic income grant to help the unemployed was discussed at the ANC lekgotla, but did not form part of the final decisions to be forwarded for further discussion by the government.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007



This section is to ensure that there is sufficient security over stock of and usage of sensitive stationery. By that I don’t mean your pens, pencils, rulers etc., but rather stationery such as cheque books, receipt books and so on.

1. It is always a good idea to ensure that your pre-numbered stationery is numerically and physically controlled. This would refer to stationery such as:

a. Cheque Books
b. Receipt Books
c. Credit notes.
d. Invoices.
e. Quotations
f. Laybye
g. Appro
h. Repairs

When receiving stock of the abovementioned stationery, it is a good idea to check that the numbers run consecutively and that none of the numbers are in fact missing. It is also a good idea to run a separate register for each of them and to log the new stationery as and when it arrives. In this way you are always in control of what you have and ordering new stock can be effectively handled prior to it running out.

2. The ordering of the printing of controlled stationery, if not done by you, should be done by a responsible officer. This is to ensure that stock is only ordered when required and not just when someone feels like it. It is also not a good idea to have too much stock on hand. The quantities on hand should be in direct proportion of the number of units used per month. Obviously costs need to be taken into account and if it is cheaper to order say 10 000 invoices than say 1 000, then obviously common sense must prevail. However, if you are writing out say 4 cheques a month, it is not a good idea to order 50 cheque books.

3. It is also a good idea, for you (or a responsible officer) to physically check the stock of controlled stationery, in order to ensure that the stocks on hand match the register. This will evidence that stock of controlled stationery has not been misappropriated. Evidence of this check should be made in the register, in the form of a signature and the date that the check was done. This does not need to be done on a daily, weekly or even monthly, I would suggest that once a quarter would be quite sufficient.

4. The controlled stationery should be kept under lock and key, if there is more than one person who has access to same. In the same manner that you would not leave cash lying around the place, so should you not leave controlled stationery lying around.

5. A proper register should be maintained and kept up to date on a regular basis. Again this will give you control over the stationery that you have on hand and will act as a deterrent, specifically in terms of cheques etc. Please see previously mentioned spreadsheet.

6. If the pre-numbered stationery is required by more than one person for processing purposes, it is a good idea to have that person sign for the stationery in a book or even make a space on the register. This will again, give you control as to who took what and will evidence this in instances where this evidence may be required.

7. All issues of the pre-numbered stationery must be issued in strict numerical sequence failure to do so should be investigated to ascertain where the missing numbers are. Again this is just a control to deter theft and it also makes the admin work that much easier.

8. Not everyone should have authorized access to the pre-numbered, controlled stationery. There would be no need for example, for the cleaner to have access to the invoices. Therefore only designated persons (and they should know who they are and what they are responsible for) should be allowed access.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007




Dr Renate Volpe, in her “Networking Tips” cards says “Ask for the attendance list of events up front so that you can identify the people you would like to meet.”

Some of the networking events will be facilitated or even semi-facilitated and when this is the case, it is easy to get hold of the list of people who will be attending.

For example, if you attend any of the Women In Finance Hot Tables Dinners ( the list of hosts is generally e-mailed prior to the function taking place. This ensures that, as a participant, you will be able to decide beforehand which ‘hosts’ you would like to meet and/or engage in.

In Inner Circle meetings however, you will never know who is going to attend up front. In many instances, people who have committed to coming to the meeting either don’t pitch up and/or phone at the last minute to say that they will not be attending. In this instance, although you are present at the meeting, a list of attendees, with their e-mail addresses is mailed to all the participants during the course of the following day. This means that you can contact these individuals, if for some reason you were unable to engage with them during the course of the meeting.

The BizNetwork meetings sadly, are very informal – there is no facilitation what-so-ever and it is up to the individual to engage with whomever they wish. This in my opinion, is just as bad, if not worse than cold calling as you have no idea who the person is or in what field they are.

BNI meetings, although very facilitated, usually engage with the same people on a weekly basis.

As an entrepreneur, it is essential that you actually find the medium that you are comfortable in and which allows you to engage with others, in the most comfortable fashion.

For me these are meetings like Women In Finance and Inner Circle – these are meetings that are semi-facilitated and allow me the freedom to interact with people who I have met and/or been introduced to, at the meeting. BNI meetings for me, are too facilitated and too structured and meetings like BizNetwork are too informal.

Once you have decided on which meeting is best for you, make sure you are armed with enough business cards; there is nothing worse than running out of them, when trying to network.

Should you wish to know more about Dr Renate Volpe and her cards please visit her website on

Monday, May 14, 2007


Todays quote comes from Connie Aluoch - Journalist.

"Life is a journey during which I have learnt to stop dwelling on the past, live for today and have high hopes for the future. "

To many times in our lives, we tend to live in the past, and whilst it is good to retain the lessons learnt there, it is not a good idea to actually live there. Today is where everuthing is happening and if you don't take care of today, it too will become a part of your past that you will tend to live in.
Live in the moment of today!


Good morning bloggers, hope you enjoy the Sunday funnies.
A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?" Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with you every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us." And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you andwho will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."And God said, " I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said,"Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration." And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve. And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings. And Adam and Eve learned humility. And they were greatly improved. And God was pleased And Dog was happy. And Cat didn't give a shit one way or the other.


Oh well done Tom Eaton!

Free and Fair in Exile House


30 March 2007 01:59

Two months had passed since the awful flight from the rooftop of their Harare citadel and the gentle, gilded rhythms of wealth and privilege, ticking over like tumblers in a Swiss vault door, had soothed the Mugabes into something resembling normalcy. Indeed, that very morning Grace had awoken hungry for the first time in weeks and, after a breakfast of condor embryos on a bed of puréed manatee tongue, she had telephoned the ministry of foreign affairs and had been waiting in the lobby when the motorcade arrived to take her shopping in Sandton.
Robert adored his wife, but it had been an oppressive time for them both and it was good to have a morning to himself to shuffle about in the cool marble corridors of Exile House, the sprawling colonial Pretoria mansion whose doors were always open to socialist reformers in need of a sabbatical away from the solidarity of the proletariat, and whose windows were always closed to the prying eyes of accountability fetishists. He tugged on a robe and headed for the Haitian wing. A flight of doves rattled into the sky beyond the old conservatory as the angle grinder sounded again. The renovations had begun yesterday and already the diplomatic grapevine was dripping innuendo and titillation around which African patriot was about to make a hard landing at Exile House, saddle sore or cramped foetal after days nailed into a wooden crate aboard a dhow. Some swore it was Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, on the run since clandestinely selling Khartoum to Belgium in late 2007; however, most insiders were backing King Mswati of Swaziland. It made sense, thought Robert as he swished at a fly with his rolled-up copy of The Guardian: Mswati’s latest decree -- declaring virginity an act of treason punishable by a royal shag -- had not gone down as well as the king had hoped, and he had fled the country in his Maybach sedan, nine brides in the boot, as the mob came for him and his little love-sceptre, brandishing a tiny guillotine designed specifically to cut short the king’s reign by about six inches.
At first Robert didn’t notice Jean-Baptiste Aristide, mistaking Le Petit Prince for a garden gnome in the pretty stand of ferns in the courtyard. When the Haitian hailed him, there was an awkward minute in which he believed he was being spoken to by an undead homunculus, conjured by British witches to rob him of his revolutionary mojo. But soon the mistake was cleared up and the two were ensconced in the deep wicker chairs out on the Sadeck, a wooden deck carpeted with the flags of Africa, on which Mugabe carefully wiped his feet. Aristide swung his little legs gaily over the edge of his seat, sipping noisily on a Steri Stumpi. “I hope you didn’t pay for that,” said Robert. Aristide looked sheepish. “Oh, my dear man! You really are straight off the boat, aren’t you?” He laughed and waved an elegant finger at a nearby door. “The Free and Fair Buffet. Fabulous place. You just take whatever you want and the South Africans declare it free and fair.”“I gather,” said Aristide, serenely ignoring the barb and ruffling open his newspaper, “that the Democratic Alliance in this country wants to target you with smart sanctions. It says here that these sanctions will ‘block much of the subcontinent’ from you.” Mugabe nodded enthusiastically. “Thank God for that! Can’t stand the damn place. Crawling with Africans. Luckily for me, most of my houses are in Cape Town, which technically isn’t part of Africa.”“It’s a protectorate, isn’t it?” asked Aristide. “Have a Boudoir biscuit,” said Mugabe. “Grace calls them Ian Smith Penises. Sort of short and white and crusty.”“And covered in sugar,” mused Aristide.“Well, that’s not really …”“And very more-ish.”“No.”“And when you dip them in custard …”Mugabe slapped Aristide smartly and they sat in silence for a while.
At last the Haitian sighed and turned earnestly to the Zimbabwean.“Why do they tolerate us, Robert? Why do they defend us at every turn?”“God knows,” said Mugabe. “And have you tried getting them to criticise you? Bloody impossible. A case in point: pass me that telephone.” Aristide obliged and Mugabe dialled. “Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, please.” He yawned and winked at Aristide. “They’ve put me on hold. Lovely music. I think it’s Simon and Garf … ... Nkosazana?” He beamed. “It’s Robert. Listen, I know you’re busy, but do you think you could come over and shine my shoes? Twenty minutes? Make it 10 and I’ll give you Liquorice All-sorts. Fabulous.” He winked at Aristide again. “Oh, and this Sadeck is pretty hard, so bring your Nepads.” He hung up and sighed.“The worst part,” he said, “is that they come. They come, and they kowtow, and the more awful you are, the more they refuse to notice. Last week I told her Sarafina II had given me diarrhoea and that I wanted R100-million to write Parafina II, a jolly musical in which schoolgirls burn down the ministry of trade and industry because there’s been another blackout while they were trying to do their homework. And she said she’d table it before Parliament.” Aristide shook his head mournfully. “Quite inexplicable. What is one to think, mon ami?”“To hell with thinking,” said Robert. “They’re not, so why should we?” He reached for the Ian Smiths. FREE

Friday, May 11, 2007


My goodness, seems like there really is a different set of laws for the guys in power! Can you imagine the cries of outrage from the ANC if this were members of say the DP in parliament - they would hung out to dry, drawn and quartered, yet the ANC 's policy seems to mirror Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" policy!

This, in essence is bribery clothed in one of it's many forms! It should not be allowed to continue and the opposition parties should be jumping up and down in rightous indignation!

Drink, drive and walk free

Kwanele Sosibo

12 January 2007 12:00

He was not disciplined by the African National Congress (ANC), but he voluntarily retired from his post to join the 2010 World Cup’s local organising committee as its head of security. Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride, who rolled his car last December while driving on the R511 near Centurion, faces the minor charge of reckless driving despite being described by several witnesses as being “blind drunk” at the scene of the accident. Some witnesses also claimed that McBride’s colleagues, who were operating outside of their jurisdiction when they came to his rescue, threatened and assaulted bystanders and removed evidence from McBride’s car. His blood was not tested for alcohol content.
McBride’s boss, Ekurhuleni mayor Duma Nkosi, defended his metro police chief just hours after the accident, even though police had only begun investigating the incident. Nkosi also failed to confirm whether a breathalyser test had been conducted at the scene, and brazenly claimed that McBride was sober enough to drive, saying it was “unfortunate” that “some people took the view that he was drunk”. The ANC’s lack of disciplinary rigour in its handling of these cases is part of a pattern.
In 1999, ANC senior party adviser and Cape Metropolitan Council (CMC) executive committee member Mzukisi Gaba was convicted of driving under the influence and fined R12 000 or six months in jail. Although the council suspended him after the verdict, the ANC called for his suspension to be lifted immediately, remarking that he had “suffered enough”. He was reappointed to the CMC in 1999.
In December 2005, Eastern Cape ANC legislature member Mike Basopu was arrested for a second time that year on charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol. In both instances, the ANC turned a blind eye. Basopu was nabbed yet again this month for drunk driving. Although he appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court earlier this week, the case was withdrawn pending the result of a blood analysis. He remains the portfolio chairperson for the provincial health committee.
Earlier last year, North West ANC member of the legislature Ndleleni Duma received a standing ovation from his party in a show of moral support ahead of his court case on charges of drunken driving. After a protracted trial he was acquitted on a technicality, when the magistrate found that the route he was said to be driving on at the time of his arrest was not properly noted on the charge sheet.
Duma also pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of R51 000 and was fined R30 000 in the Travelgate scandal. He remains provincial minister for sports, arts and culture in North West.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Well here is one for the history books - the little 'guy' getting a fair deal! Well done the Constitutional Court!

De Lille ordered to pay damages

Belinda Beresford

05 April 2007 11:59

The Constitutional Court has ordered Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille and journalist Charlene Smith to pay damages to three women whose HIV-positive status they revealed in a book without the women’s consent. The three women, identified as NM, SM and LH, were named as having HIV in Smith’s biography of De Lille, published in March 2002. The women, who live in a township near Pretoria, were not contacted about the publication of their names. After 11 months of deliberation, the Constitutional Court ordered De Lille, Smith and their publisher, New Africa Books, to pay each of the women R35 000 for violating their dignity and psychological integrity.
In a majority ruling, the court said De Lille gave the information about the three applicants to Smith for use in the book, while she “knew or ought to have known that the necessary consents had not been obtained”. Smith, who “did a half-hearted check, but soon became tired of the exercise”, went ahead and produced the book without obtaining consent from the applicants. The court found that De Lille and Smith had failed to make sufficient effort to get the applicants’ consent, and could have used pseudonyms in the book without detracting from its authenticity. Justice Tholie Madala said he had no doubt that Smith and De Lille “were aware that they had not obtained the express, informed consent of the applicants to publish their HIV status … It was not a question of publishing breaking news, such as might happen for the purposes of a newspaper.” Madala also disagreed with the grounds given by the high court in awarding damages of only R15 000 to each woman, to be paid by the publisher alone.
Noting the grounds for the decision, that the applicants did not understand English and that there was no likelihood of their being confronted by their community about their HIV status, he said the lower court appeared to have “treated lightly” the indignity they had suffered. “The case of the applicants was reduced to a malady that had befallen ‘lesser men or women’. “They were regarded as poor, uneducated, coming from an insignificant informal settlement, and their plight disclosed in the book was not likely to spread far beyond the community in which they resided.” The women’s circumstances in fact required greater sensitivity, Madala found. Because of the book, one of the applicants was identified as HIV-positive by her boyfriend, who then left her after first burning down her shack.
Before the high court judgement, damages of R35000 had been offered in settlement, but rejected. The Constitutional Court also ordered that each side pay its own costs up to the end of the first day of the high court hearing, over­ruling the latter’s order that the applicants pay the respondents’ costs after that date. The grounds were that the women had failed to accept a settlement offer higher than the amount they were awarded. The women contacted De Lille after becoming concerned about the antiretroviral clinical trial they took part in during 1999/2000. De Lille was given a confidential copy of the investigation, which included the women’s names, and passed it on to Smith. The Constitutional Court found that, as the fault had been wilful rather then negligent, there was no need to further develop common law with regard to invasion of privacy and medical facts. Its majority decision would have no “chilling effect” on freedom of expression in South Africa.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Good morning bloggers - herewith my offerings for the day


The object of this exercise is to ensure that the petty cash disbursements and receipts are properly carried out and supervised. To be quite honest with you, it is known in the retail industry that the first place money will go “missing” is out of the petty cash till. The controls and procedures that relate to this have to combat this and make it all that more difficult for fraud to be perpetuated.

1. If someone other than you is handling the petty cash, make sure that it is not the same person who receipts cash payments or who has anything else to do with bookkeeping functions. The reason for this is that it is very easy to move cash around the place, so if you walk in to check the petty cash and they have been using some of the funds for their own purposes, it is very easy to “borrow” some cash, from a cash payment to supplement the petty cash and make it balance and then as you walk away, put it back into the cash payments! Also remember, this is the “New South Africa”, you have to prove intent! One of my clients discovered money missing out of the till float and the guilty party, admitted that he had “borrowed” the money out of the till for taxi fare. He was then charged with theft and found guilty of same at a disciplinary hearing and summarily dismissed. He appealed his dismissal on the grounds that the Company had not shown his “intent” to steal the money and they had to reverse the dismissal and pay the costs of his CCMA appeal and also pay him back pay from the date of his dismissal, which in this case happened to be about 11 months after he had been dismissed – they were then forced to re-hire him! Costly exercise don’t you think for R50.00 that went missing out of the till! They have since issued a memo, that now forms part of the “Letter of Appointment” stating that any monies taken out of the till for any reason other than Company Business, will be considered as theft, irrespective of what the intention was. It might be a good idea for you to add something similar if you intend to have staff working for you, that work with your money or your stock!

2. The person who is in charge of the petty cash must have exclusive control over the petty cash and therefore the responsibility thereof. It is no good having a dedicated petty cash cashier and you have access to the cash whenever you want it! That defeats the object of the purpose and again will put you at risk as the responsibility is therefore diminished! When cash is given to the cashier, he/she should count and verify it in front of you, and sign for it, thereby indicating that they have received the said amount and they agree that the amount is correct! In this way you can hold them responsible it the money goes missing.

3. All purchases must be supported by properly authorized petty cash slips and vouchers (where applicable). It is a good idea to purchase a book of petty cash vouchers, and then attach the receipts to them. The voucher should describe the nature of the purchase/service and the receipt should evidence the purchase and/or service that was rendered. The receipts should balance back to the voucher. If your petty cash transactions are far and few between, one voucher will do for the month but if there is plenty of activity on the petty cash funds, it is advisable to have one petty cash voucher per day, this will then give you the total amount paid out on any given day – per day and the attached receipts should again balance back to the voucher. Many companies will set limits on what can be purchased out of the petty cash without authorization. This usually refers to purchases such as tea, coffee, cleaning materials, certain stationary and so on. Anything purchased that does not appear on the list would then require authorization prior to the transaction taking place. One of my clients had a staff member (actually the store manager of one of the remote stores) who purchased all her plants out of the store’s petty cash (there had been something like 27 plants purchased) – when the excessive petty cash was queried, she tried to explain that she had purchased the plants to make the store look “pretty”, but there was not a plant in sight and the reply to that was that they had all died! Another example of abuse of petty cash was the store manager who bought cold drinks every day for herself and all of the staff, because it was too hot to drink coffee or tea! Make sure that your petty cash is secure

4. Once the petty cash has been replenished and paid out, all vouchers and receipts should be marked “Cancelled” or “paid” to prevent them from being re-used again. Be aware of the pitfalls out there and the fact that some people are not honest! If you are aware of what can happen, chances are that you will be able to prevent them.

5. Your petty cash float should be set at a reasonable level. This level should be fixed and all replenishments should therefore credit the float back to its fixed level. When fixing your float, you need to take into consideration, what your monthly expenditure is. It is no good fixing the float at say R500.00 a month, but your normal monthly expenditure is around R750.00 as this will necessitate the float being replenished too often. It should only need to be replenished once a month at the end of the month (there will be exceptions to this as emergencies will arise from time to time). Having said that, it is also not wise to have the petty cash too large, for example, having a petty cash of say R2000.00 and your monthly expenses are around R200.00, also does not make any sense. I would suggest a petty cash of your average monthly expenses plus say 20%. This should be a comfortable working arrangement.

6. The petty cash should be counted on a regular “irregular” basis to ensure that the petty cash balances and that the purchases are legitimate and authorized where necessary, by someone other than the petty cash officer. This should be evidenced in the petty cash book so as to indicate that the count has taken place and the regularity thereof.

7. When the float is re-imbursed (both as at month end and also, should this function be required during the course of the month), the petty cash book and vouchers must be presented, together to the cheque signatory. The vouchers must be checked back to the book in order to ensure that the calculations are correct prior to the cheque being signed. If you would like a copy of a Petty Cash Reconciliation Form, these are available at a cost.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007




Dr Renate Volpe, in her “Networking Tips” cards says “Take a long term view. Networking is an investment in a longer term relationship, don’t be overly opportunistic.”

So many times, when I talk to people about networking and how it has changed my business, I get ‘the look’ – you know that look that says it all. Often ‘the look’ is followed by the words – “I hate networking, it doesn’t work for me”.

Upon delving just a little deeper, I often find out exactly what the problem is. The person concerned has been to exactly one networking meeting and the expectation has been that they will walk away from the meeting having sold their widget/service to every single person in the room!

Let’s think about it logically – every person there has gone to the meeting with that exact intention. Let’s face it people – no-one goes to a networking meeting with the intention of buying anything. So you need to change your mindset – yes again!

I always like to say that networking is to building a business relationship as speed dating is to dating! Ok you can stop laughing now, let me explain.

When you go to a networking meeting and/or event, what you are actually doing is meeting the 20 or 30 people there in a very short space of time. If you went out and did the cold calling thing – how long would it take you to physically meet 20 or 30 people? Well at a networking event, especially if that event is facilitated or even semi facilitated, then you will be meeting 20 or 30 people in a matter of 2 to 3 hours.

You have now been introduced and when you make contact with them it is no longer a cold call. Now when you contact them, you have common ground on which to build – you met them at xyz event and you would like to set up a follow up meeting so that you can explore synergies and business opportunities.

You still have to build the relationship mind. Just because you have met them at one meeting doesn’t now make you bosom buddies!

Even at your subsequent meeting, don’t go in with the expectation that you are going to sell them anything – go in with the expectation that you are building a foundation for a solid relationship.

I usually ask the first question (just because I am a natural networker and because I can) and that question is usually – “How can I help you – tell me a bit more about your business and what it is that you do?”

Listen carefully, making notes (it makes it easier for me to remember) on what the person does and what their needs are. Ask questions about who their target market is, or what their expectations are etc and then think carefully about who, in your data base you can match them up to in terms of synergies.

Follow up – always follow up! I usually send a mail to the person that I met giving them the details of who I want them to get in touch with, and a copy to the person that I am introducing them to, with the details of the person that I met. In this way I am effectively introducing them to one another on an e-mail – again it is not a cold call and does away with the awkwardness of such a call.

Don’t expect anything in return – it will come at some stage, and when it comes, it will be in a flood!

Remember it is a relationship that you are building, build it one step at time and build it solidly.

Should you wish to know more about Dr Renate Volpe and her cards, please visit her website on

Monday, May 07, 2007


The quote today comes from Baby Jake Matlala - Boxing Champion.

“Perseverance is the mother of success”.

Let's face it, who should know more about success than a Boxing Champion? He would never have achieved what he has, had he not persevered.
And what about us? How do we as Business Owners and Decision makers, succeed? It surely is by following the same principals. We dig our heels in, put our backs to the grindstone and do whatever it takes to keep us going.
So keep trying everyone, it will pay off - perhaps not today or even tomorrow, but sooner or later, it will pay off.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


And finally todays funnies - I hope you all enjoy! I certainly would be voting for her!

Evita for president
Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya
02 February 2007 11:59

Evita Bezuidenhout hopes to be making bobotie and koeksisters for Cyril Ramaphosa.

If you were to support a faction, which one would it be? Cyril Ramaphosa, although he has denied any ambition to be president, and I appreciate that. Like when he denied he could cook and then dazzled me with his culinary talents. He has great potential for what the country needs. If he decides to be a compromise candidate I will be happy to retire into his kitchen and make bobotie and koeksisters for the new president. If the candidacy does not get the support I am sure it deserves, would you consider aligning yourself with one of the factions?
Factions frighten me because you’re expected to fight. I want to be open and transparent about what I can contribute to the future of my country. Even if it is just to put a smile back on the drawn and frightened faces of the people. The choice of the new leaders is an essential opinion-forming reality for all of us. We must not look away.
Are you an ANC candidate or an independent (I mean the old definition, before Patricia De Lille quit the PAC)?I belong to no party. We have been having too many parties of late and done too little work. As an independent I will invite the best of each party to assist me. There are wonderful talents in the ANC, especially those who have not become too rich too soon. There are some old broeders now in the DA who can help with some old South Africa-style common sense. Even the PAC — I don’t know where they are, but I left a note under a stone in Limpopo. It appears BEE millionaires have been trying to rubbish each other out of the race. Are you not concerned that they may also hang your dirty linen in public? I have no dirty linen. As a mother and gogo I wash my linen as soon as it looks untidy. I wish all politicians would do the same. They all think they can get away with anything because we don’t notice. Make no mistake, when you stand in the sun, you throw a big shadow. In fact, shouldn’t you just be the virtuous one and declare the dirt your opponents might use against you upfront? I will not fight dirty.
My life in politics, even on the sidelines as the wife of an apartheid minister, was always polluted by dirty tricks and lies and treachery. Nothing has changed. Greed is still greed in all 11 languages. Some people may say that being white, female, middle-aged-ish and a former ambassador to a bantustan puts you at a disadvantage in a predominantly black and macho country. Doesn’t that worry you? I am not any of those things. Politic­ians and, it seems, legends are always created by propaganda, spin, lies and rumours. Yes, I am white because I am not black. Yes, I am the most famous woman in South Africa. And yes, I was a member of the old South African diplomatic corps. But in a democracy I have the right to stand up and lead by example. A black macho reputation for our country is like a new Broerderbond. A Butibond? Nee wat, sies! Residents of the Johannesburg suburb with a name similar to yours, Bezuidenhout Valley, call their town “Bez Valley”; will it be okay if we call you Prez Bez? I think it is very funny. Why not? Since I saw Thabo Mbeki and Kofi Annan together I now want to call him Thabo Cappuccino Mbeki!
The only other known presidential hopeful already has a battle song. How do you intend to compete in that regard? Umshini Wami! I will not go into battle asking for my machine gun. I will ask for a packet of sweets for the children, cool drinks for the aged and good advice for the rest. The first decree would be to give Jacob Zuma a job: Ambassador to Somalia. He’ll find enough umshini there. Then I will ban toy guns from the shelves of our shops. If we give our children toys like that they will soon be playing with real ones. How sure can we be that you don’t have outstanding loans that might need to be paid back once you become president? The only outstanding loan I have is the R50 I owe Winnie Mandela. We took a bet that she would become a potential candidate. Sadly, it seems I lost the bet! But I will be happy to include her in my kitchen Cabinet.
Do you think that HIV causes Aids and do you know anyone who has died of the disease?I am now convinced that HIV causes Aids because yes, I know someone who is sick. But he is not going to die because he can afford the ARVs. I now realise that we have a new apartheid in South Africa: those with money will live and those without money will die. No one should be dying any more, but still we lose 1 000 people every day. That will come back to haunt comrade Thabo and his minister of health and beetroots.
I will create a special Minister of Lifestyle who will focus on this pandemic with honesty and compassion. Now I see the politburo are going into a similar denial about crime. It is time for a change. Ek is hier! Don’t you think the men at the African Union heads of state summit might, for some reason, think you are a bit different? I hope so. I don’t want to be a clone of our minister of foreign affairs who looks like a small country when she wafts around in her kaftans. I believe she still travels from Pretoria to Addis via Paris. And how do you intend to charm them into seeing you as one of the “boys”? It has never been a problem charming anyone, as you so sweetly put it. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir managed to hide their talents in warfare. I intend to expose mine in peace.
Yes, if Trevor Manuel can act like a black man and think like a white, I can act like a woman and think like a man. What will change under your presidency? I’ll stay at home.Why should anyone vote for you? No one should do anything. Democracy is based on choice. People can choose. It is a secret ballot. The people must lead and the government can follow. Vukuzenzele!


Here's Saturday 5ths post. I am quite surprised at the reaction from Government over this issue. Whilst it is true that oposition parties have made these results open and available, Government should realize that, it is the general comments from the general population. Whether these individuals voted government in or not, members of Government are responsible for achieving what they have promised. Like all good 'employees', well the truth of the matter is that we as taxpayers employ them to run the country, they should be appraised at least once a year and I believe this is just one of their appraisals.
Good on you DA and FFP.

Cabinet snubs report cards
Cape Town, South Africa
07 December 2006 12:33

The South African Cabinet has dismissed opposition parties' end-of-year report cards on its performance, saying it will not be judged by the wish lists of opposition parties. "The 'silly' season is upon us and with it comes the publication of the so-called 'score cards' by the opposition parties," government communications chief Themba Maseko told journalists after the Cabinet's final fortnightly meeting of the year. "[The] government has a programme of action to improve the life of our people," he said. This programme is based on the mandate the government received from the electorate. "Therefore, we will disregard all these opposition play cards, because our performance must, and will, be judged against our implementation of the programme of action and not the wish lists of opposition parties. "The programme is published on the government website and progress reports are updated regularly in line with two-monthly cluster reports to the Cabinet, so that the public can assess the government's performance based on factual information, Maseko said. Meanwhile, in media statement released on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health rejected the report card of the Democratic Alliance (DA) on the performance of members of Cabinet.
The ministry stated that the DA "should rather be channelling its energies towards evaluating its own leadership, with the aim of finding a capable leader who can undo the damage caused by Tony Leon in opposition politics in the country". "The next leader of the DA faces an enormous task of transforming the party from being a bunch of government-bashers to a constructive player in improving the lives of the historically disadvantaged people of South Africa."
'Admirable realism'
The DA on Wednesday released its end-of-year Cabinet report card, according to which Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel and Minister of Science and Technology Mosibudi Mangena are the government's top 2006 performers. However, it found that Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang continues to languish at the bottom of the class. The document, launched by DA leader Tony Leon at a media briefing in Cape Town, gives Manuel seven out of 10 on its performance scale -- one point down on last year, but high enough to leave him way ahead of many of his colleagues. It credits the finance minister with having the best-run department in government, and pays tribute to the "general sense of balance" it says he has displayed towards his tasks.
Mangena, who also scored seven, is praised in the report for actively seeking new opportunities to develop South Africa's technological capacity. The report gives President Thabo Mbeki a "middling five", for the third year in a row. It says the president has shown little of the strong purposeful leadership required to head off many of South Africa's pressing problems. His deputy, however, earned herself six-and-a-half points, thanks largely, says the DA, to her achievement in "negotiating a turnabout on the government's unforgivable foot-dragging on HIV/Aids". The report says Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has "brought an admirable realism to bear on the issue" of Aids, but warns the jury is still out on her leadership of government's Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative.
The report deals harshly with Tshabalala-Msimang's performance, which Leon described as "a perfect zero". "As with last year, it has proved to be impossible to find anything good to say about Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, and she again scores nought. "The DA can only say that it hopes reports of her side-lining have not been exaggerated, and that by next year we will have a more able appointment to evaluate," it states.
'Dark cloud'
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has scored an average of 30% in the past year -- down from 38% last year -- in the eyes of the average Freedom Front Plus (FF+) supporter, says its leader, Dr Pieter Mulder. On Tuesday, he released the results of his party's annual "report card" of the ANC's performance on the basis of the viewpoint of the average FF+ supporter in key areas. Under crime prevention and clean governance, the ruling party got just one out of 10 compared with four out of 10 last year. "The biggest mishap was most probably the minister of safety and security's statement in Parliament that people who complain about crime should either stop complaining or leave the country.
"There is also a "dark cloud" hanging over Mlambo-Ngcuka and Social Development Zola Skweyiya in the so-called Oilgate issue, the leader charged. The figure for education, however, was the only area where the rating was up -- to four out of 10 compared with three out of 10 last year. -- Sapa, I-Net Bridge


And here is Friday 4ths post.
Well it certainly looks good on paper doesn't it and in all fairness to all concerned, the economy is looking particularly rosy at the moment. However all of that being said, the fact still remains that there are some 4 000 000 odd souls who do not have work and many many more who live below the poverty line - this is not acceptable! More needs to be done to revisit, those who are in desperate need! I am not saying that the Government is not doing enough, I am saying more needs to be done, by both the Government and the Private Sector. A great deal of this will come from the Private Sector in the next four or so years as the new BEE scorecards are realized. But is it enough. . .Is it ever enough and how do we combat it? I suspect that each and every one of us has to play our own part! Let's all "pay it forward".
Manuel has reason to be cheerful
January 7, 2007
By Mzwandile Jacks
South Africa's finance minister, Trevor Manuel, delivering his medium-term budget late last year, was cock-a-hoop as he outlined the country's economic record and outlook and plans for 2007. "The policy choices we made over a decade ago are bearing fruit and we are in the midst of the longest sustained economic expansion," said Manuel. Extravagant brags aside, the minister had reason to be cheerful. In its 12 years in power, the past three years have seen South Africa's arguably centre-right government preside over what many believe has been steady economic growth.
It is the country's performance on jobs that has attracted most attention. Manuel said the robust economic growth had created more than 1 million jobs in the past three years. According to figures released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) late last year, employment grew 5.7 percent in the year to September 2005. Public finances are sound and the government has been able to rebuild its international reserves. Government debts have been brought down to 34.1 percent of the gross domestic product in the financial year 2005/06. Although the value of the rand began to fall last year, affecting the value of exports, foreign direct investment more than covered any deficit this caused.
Strong economic activity and firm enforcement of policies as well as increased tax revenue were instrumental in easing debt, said the IMF. Though the Economist Intelligence Unit claims prospects for the economy remain unchanged for this year, some experts are not totally certain about this. Rian le Roux, the chief economist at Old Mutual Asset Managers, recently said global developments had raised the question of whether the outlook for South Africa was in the process of turning "considerably less rosy". Le Roux said on the global front, policy makers faced a daunting task of blunting inflation risks through policy tightening, without causing a sharp global downturn. "However, even though the risks that things could go wrong have risen, we remain confident that the present global expansion will continue into 2007, albeit at a more moderate pace than has been the case for the past few years."

Le Roux said in South Africa, growth had become increasingly unbalanced as domestic demand continued to boom and a strong rand weighed on producers, particularly exporters. Though he believes it is questionable whether the extent of the currency and interest rate adjustment to date is sufficient to meaningfully improve the foreign trade shortfall, he thought guarding against becoming too pessimistic about the country's current account situation was the way to go. "With South Africa firmly back in the international arena, our economic fundamentals generally healthy and the economy growing at a fairly robust pace, we should be able to continue to attract fairly sizeable amounts of capital inflows," said Le Roux.
On the domestic inflation and monetary policy front, Le Roux said there could be no denying that the forward-looking inflation risks had increased. He said the extent to which interest rates were likely to rise further depended largely on global developments, especially how far and how fast global central banks raise rates during the second half of the year. "While we remain optimistic that a repeat of the previous strong upcycles in local rates can be avoided, the risk that it may not must be factored in by investors, businesses and consumers," said Le Roux. Given the increased uncertainty, he said consumers were well advised to lower their reliance on credit-based spending. He warned that indebted consumers might be hard hit should a more vicious interest rate cycle materialise than was expected. He said that although a short-term setback, higher interest rates and some growth, slowdown was not out of the question. This, he said, could well reinforce a medium- to long-term positive outlook for the economy because "an early strike against inflation may go a long way in keeping inflation in check at the lower levels of recent years, while a softer rand is also welcome from a longer-term growth perspective". - Mzwandile Jacks


Oh dear, I seem to be behind again - here is the post that shouldhave gone up on Thursday.
My, my - seems like everyone has been dipping into the coffers, yet again and as usual things have come back to bite them in the bum!
What with Khutso uncovering all manner and means of "smelly" things, it will be hugely interesting to see just how they manage to get themselves out of this current bout of hot water!

The Bottom Line

Posted to the web on: 06 November 2006
Rob Rose’s Monday Column: Post Office pushes parody envelope with another bid to stifle information

AS AN institution meant to be beavering away to facilitate the free flow of information, the South African Post Office seems to have become a tasteless parody of itself.

What with Maanda Manyatshe (the MD of cellphone company MTN and the former Post Office CEO) locked in a bruising battle with his successor at the Post Of fice, Khutso Mampeule, it says something about the quality of leadership that both tried to gag the press in the past few months.

The war between the two could have further frightening consequences for the Post Office: Manyatshe will meet his lawyers tomorrow to draw up papers for a staggering R100m claim against Mampeule and the Post Office.

Not only would this be one of the largest personal claims yet, it would add to the Post Office’s expanding list of liabilities. (It seems the only way the Post Office could possibly get into any more trouble would be if it merged with the SABC.)

This whole unseemly tussle started over a R100m contract awarded to a company called Vision Design House (VDH) during Manyatshe’s tenure.

After Manyatshe left the Post Office, Mampeule cancelled the deal and laid a criminal complaint against Manyatshe for pushing through the tender with out proper procedure. The allegation, it seems, is that in exchange for the tender, Vision Design VDH would do work on Manyatshe’s house.)

When the Mail & Guardian tried to report on the criminal complaint, Manyatshe tried to gag it - ultimately unsuccessfully. Now it has come full circle: Mampeule went to court on Friday night to get a gagging order to prevent Business Report outlining problems with Mampeule’s plan to extend the Post Office’s financial services through insurance joint venture, Post Sure.

One only has to be reminded of the quality of the institutions that have taken this tack in recent months - Sandi Majali’s Imvume and the SABC Broadcasting Corporation certainly spring to mind - to know that a gag order only fuels suspicion, rather than douses it. Although you can hardly blame the Post Office for being sensitive about its liabilities - especially as its money comes largely from the taxpayer.

The Post Office’s annual report puts its contingent liabil ities at R679m, which includes a R28m tax claim, R41m from "service providers", and a R510m claim by the "unsuccessful tenderers" for the Biometric payment system. These liabilities outweigh its total R486m profit last year, a figure which was in any event boosted by a hefty R389m which came from a surplus in the Post Office’s pension fund.

Last week, Mampeule and his financial officer, Nick Buick, were grilled in Parliament’s
communications portfolio committee on these potential debts. Buick defended the Post Office, saying it had "certainly applied its minds" and disclosed all necessary contingent liabilities.

KM Khumalo, one of the African National Congress’s committee members, noted how the Manyatshe scrap had damaged the Post Office’s brand, saying the consequences could be “too ghastly to contemplate”.

Importantly, Khumalo said if Mampeule’s board failed to deal with its problems, or misled Parliament, the committee would have to call for a “vote of no confidence in management”.
Although the focus was initially on Manyatshe — and certainly the police investigation will be watched closely — all eyes are now on Mampeule, especially after his ill-advised gag attempt.


Hello Bloggers

For some reason or another, this post did not show on Wednesday, my apologies. Here it is again.


Again, I would like to re-iterate, if you are not a bookkeeper or accountant yourself, it is preferable that you use the services of someone who knows what they are doing. That is not to say that you need to give them control of your business – it is to say that they can do your books in a logical manner, which will also allow you the time to concentrate on your business. Leave the expert stuff to experts and you get on with whatever it is that you do best. It is like I always say to my hairdresser – I won’t tell her how to cut my hair if she doesn’t tell me how to audit her business – makes complete sense doesn’t it?

Having said all of that, there are certain bank reconciliations that are required in order to run a business effectively and some of them are also legal requirements. In this section I am going to make you aware of them, so that you have an idea, at least, of what should be happening, (even those of you who use the services of a bookkeeper/accountant) if you are doing your own books.

Bank reconciliations need to be properly carried out on a regular basis – at the very least once a month, but they obviously can be done as frequently as on a daily basis. Most of the big corporate businesses actually do their reconciliations on a daily basis as they move money from one account to another, usually to either decrease their overdraft facilities and/or to place funds in their investment accounts.

1. Bank recons (reconciliations) should be prepared on a monthly basis, on all the accounts. This function should be done by the bookkeeper/accountant (or yourself if you are doing your own books) or in the case of larger firms, but it should be someone who is independent of processing cash receipts or doing the payment function. In this way, fraud is kept to a minimum.

2. Bank statements must be received, unopened, directly from the bank. If your bank statement has been opened, it is a good idea to advise your branch and your post office branch as well. Remember this is confidential information and no-one should have access to it. If you are concerned about the security aspect of your banking information, make arrangements with your bank for you to collect the statements directly from them. Your bank statements are required in order to perform the reconciliation and must be kept secure until the recon has been completed. Your paid cheques should also be kept secure – remember, in some instances they may be required to be presented as “proof of payment” (POP).

3. Your bank reconciliations should include the following:
a. A comparison of paid cheques, with the cash book - this is to ensure that the names of the cheques, dates and amounts have been correctly posted in the cash book.

b. The numerical sequence of the paid cheques should be checked – this will evidence any cheques that have not been presented for payment and at this point, this should be followed up with the cheque recipient as the cheque may need to be stopped and a new one issued (if the cheque has gone missing in the post). The cheque should not take longer than 2 weeks to be presented for payment. Cheques that are outstanding and have not been presented for payment will need to be taken into account and current balance on the account will need to be adjusted to reflect the true value of the account. This can be controlled by means of a bar sheet (see Annexure 44 – Bar Sheet Control).

c. The deposit book also needs to be checked at this time to ensure that all cheques/cash have been deposited into the bank – if you are not performing this function yourself, it is a good idea to check that each deposit has the teller’s date stamp with the date of the deposit on it to evidence that the money did in fact go into the bank. These deposits should also be checked against the bank statement. The date on the statement should agree with the date of the bank teller’s bank stamp – if it doesn’t, there is a problem at the bank and this should be reported immediately to the bank manager! Remember, your account earns interest on a daily basis, so you could be losing interest and it also may be that the teller has used your money for his/her own agenda or it could be something as simple as they have put the wrong date on the stamp – either way, it needs to be investigated as it is outside of the “norm” and against banking laid down policies and procedures.

d. A review of the interbank transfers should be done on a monthly basis and the different bank account statements compared, to ensure that the transfers were done correctly and with the correct priorities.

e. Deposit slips should be tested and compared, to details with receipts and the receipts cash book. In the instances where deposits have been made electronically, these will form part of the banking reconciliation , but in the instances of physical deposits of cash and/or cheques, these need to be compared to the cash book to evidence that the funds have been receipted therein and that they have then been allocated correctly.

4. In the instances where you don’t have a bookkeeper and/or Accountant, but you have staff doing your books, it is important for the bank reconciliations reviews, to be checked and approved by a responsible independent employee on completion of the review. This will be a preventative against fraud taking place. This check should be evidenced by means of a signature and a date so that you can ensure that it has in fact been done – it would be a good idea for this to be included on your monthly checklist.