Friday, August 31, 2007

MINISTER SAYS COPS AREN'T UP TO IT

On a personal level, I agree with all that is being said here - however I would like to add that a lot more training should also be thrown into the mix. It is all very well to throw manpower at the situation, but throwing manpower that doesn't have a clue will be detrimental to the situation.

Minister says cops aren't up to it
Christelle Terreblanche
February 18 2007 at 04:57PM


Many police are not up to the job and the police's management is inadequate, Charles Nqakula, the safety and security minister, has confessed. "We must admit that we have not always been astute when it comes to human capital," he said. "The reason is we have looked at people with skills but they were often deployed in positions where they did not fit. They failed. "These admissions of weaknesses in the fight against crime came at the end of a week in which President Thabo Mbeki, government ministers and ANC MPs hit back at those who had accused them of not caring about the victims of crime.

Crime predictably dominated this week's debate on Mbeki's tenth state of the nation speech. The president, ANC MPs and ministers all stressed the link between high crime levels and poverty. Opposition parties made a meal of the controversy though some, such as the Independent Democrats, seemed satisfied with the government's response to the attacks made on it over crime. After the parliamentary debate, Nqakula told the media that the government had never denied that crime levels were high, but he maintained that it was making headway in curbing crime."The question is whether the massive resources [allocated to the fight against crime] are being used effectively," he said.
The minister, who heads the cabinet's crime cluster, admitted that the police's management was weak and that "command and control systems were not as effective as they should be". "Some station commissioners do not know how to deploy the resources available to them," said Nqakula, announcing a raft of new measures to eradicate shortcomings. Mbeki has acknowledged that the reduction of violent crime is not happening fast enough - about 50 people are murdered every day in South Africa - and the abuse of women and children has "continued at an unacceptable level".
As 32 000 letters complaining about crime were being delivered to the Union Buildings, the underlying message from the ruling party was clear - people who "whinge" about crime are not concerned about its causes and should either make a contribution or ship out. In the debate on his state of the nation speech, Mbeki quoted Mosiuoa Lekota, the defence minister, who had said that many of the government's critics on crime were "eloquent spectators speaking from the exaggerated comfort of European cities".
The president described the critics as "forever mocking, forever throwing our inevitable temporary failures at our faces". Lekota's subsequent statement that the critics "should go to Australia" has raised the ire of both the Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front, who have called the remarks racist. But Idasa analyst Steven Friedman said Mbeki's response was appropriate "given the context of a torrent of abuse by a bunch of fairly well-heeled people" over crime. "If we are going to have one have intelligent debate in this country on crime, it needs to be around the fact that crime is disproportionately distributed among the poor, who include by far the most victims," he said. "I wish the president had responded like this before."Mbeki has promised that police numbers will be raised to 183 000, a 50 percent increase in seven years, by 2009.
The budget for safety and security will be increased by 600 percent compared to 1994. Johan Burger, of the Institute for Security Studies, warned that international experience showed that throwing more police at the problem would not do the trick. He agreed that a lack of visible policing had more to do with poor management. Burger, whose book on crime and poverty will be published this week, said that South Africa had one of the highest ratios of police to civilians in the world. He praised Mbeki for being "one of the few people who understood the complexities of crime", including the contributions to it of poverty and related socio-economic problems.
"At the moment, a large part of our crime is generated by socio-economic conditions that are largely unattended to, but the focus is on crime," said Burger. He said that short-term crime-busting actions would not work either."It says clearly in the government's own white papers that crime and its causes are now considered a national security threat." He suggested better co-ordination of old and new initiatives to counter poverty and crime."[Crime fighting] must be based on one single national strategy controlled by a body of people who can hold accountable all the departments involved." In the parliamentary debate, Mbeki took up a suggestion by the United Democratic Movement's Bantu Holomisa that a "national convention" be established in which the people could put burning issues onto the government's agenda and make resolutions.
Mbeki suggested that if parliament took the lead in the convention's formation and asked him to suggest topics for its consideration he would include social transformation, the eradication of poverty and the "reduction and eradication of crime". Nqakula warned: "Even if the entire number of policemen were deployed [183 000], it would not be enough to cover all areas. The call for the mobilisation of our masses [against crime] is not abdicating our responsibilities. Given that crime happens at a local level, and that the communities know the criminals and are affected by the crime, it is important to join hands [with the communities].
"The legislation on community policing forums is to be changed to strengthen the forums, provide for better oversight of the police and to improve the way in which policing priorities are jointly determined by the police and the local community. Nqakula pledged beefed-up police deployment and management, including electronic monitoring of police stations. He said specialised units had been deployed to the areas worst hit by violent crime. He said cash-in-transit robberies had fallen by nearly 25 percent in six months because of a high-tech police operation.
Former members of commando units are to be taken on as police reservists.
published on page 4 of The Sunday Independent on February 18, 2007
This article was originally published on page 4 of Sunday Independent on February 18, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh my goodness and in the meantime costs have gone up and the people are still without homes. Not only should these people face criminal charges, but they should also be liable for the difference in costs and interest etc.
The MEC should rightly, be axed - how can you hand over amounts of money of that magnitude without checking to see what is going on - that in my opinion is "Gross Negligence"!
MEC 'deserves axing' for R58m housing scandal
March 12 2007 at 12:38PM
The latest R58-million housing scandal was reason to fire Gauteng housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday. The Star reported on Monday that a consortium was awarded a R58-million tender in 2004 to build RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme) houses in Evaton, Vereeniging, but to date not a single house had been built.
"That highlights a lack of control and lack of accountability in the department," said DA spokesperson Kate Lorimer. "One has to ask how it can be that there is no effective monitoring for three years of a project costing R58-million."
The newspaper reported that the Bahlodi Consortium was awarded the contract to revitalise Evaton.

RDP houses were to be built, with water sanitation, for the township's 200 000 residents, along with new roads and pavements, as part of the upgrading of infrastructure. However, there was little to show for the R58-million while the housing list had swollen to 14 000. Some residents were still using the bucket system and others had to make do with pit latrines.
A local councillor confirmed that no houses had been built, The Star reported. Mokonyane's spokesperson Victor Moreirane said the Bahlodi contract was terminated a few days ago because it failed to provide "value for their money" in houses, roads, clinics, parks and rejuvenated community centres and sewerage and drains. He told the newspaper that his department had only noticed that the money was not spent when Bahlodi applied for an additional R50-million.
He said the departments had drafted a new three-year plan that would cost R900-million. Lorimer said the department should take legal action against Bahlodi and fast-track the programmes that should have been carried out by the consortium." Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa must then appoint an independent body to conduct a transparent enquiry into who awarded the tender to Bahlodi and the grounds on which it was awarded," Lorimer said. - Sapa

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MBEKI DENIES "BULLYING" BAK OVER CAMPAIGN

Well in view of the fact that the President doesn't think that there is any crime in South Africa, why would he not "bully" the bank into withdrawing the anti-crime campaign! Why would we need an anti crime campaign if there is no crime?

Mbeki denies 'bullying' bank over campaign
February 04 2007 at 11:44PM


The presidency has denied forcing First National Bank (FNB) to withdraw its R20-million anti-crime campaign, SABC news reported on Sunday. The bank cancelled the campaign on Friday, apparently after talks with the government's security cluster and business leaders.
Presidential spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga has denied any intervention from Thabo Mbeki's side. Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has also denied that the government put pressure on FNB to can the initiative."I am not aware that the presidency requested FNB to withdraw the campaign. FNB has got a right to embargo whatever campaign they see fit."Our view though is that we don't think the campaign would have assisted anybody in the fight against crime."

Ratshitanga's statement follows outrage from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the trade union Solidarity. The DA has accused the government of bullying FNB into withdrawing the advertisement. Party spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said the ANC's denial of the extent of crime was damaging democracy and undermining public confidence.
Reacting to the withdrawal, Solidarity announced that it intended sending out thousands of letters from the public to Mbeki asking him to make crime prevention his first priority. - Sapa

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 26

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 26

I was asked the other day, “what my purpose is” when I network. I must confess that I was a little confused by the question, until I realized that I was being asked the question by someone who is used to a completely different style of networking to the one that I tend to engage in.

You see for him networking was usually done as an entertaining social sort of thing, where people chatted genteelly around a table with a cup of tea in one hand and a sticky bun of sorts in the other. Where people smiled politely at one another and made small talk about the weather, the cricket/rugby/soccer, the latest fashion and who was doing what to whom on a regular basis.

This kind of ‘networking’ for me is quite simply, ‘a no go’. You see I am in the Business of Business to make a profit, making money is easy, but making a profit – well that is an entirely different thing altogether (but that is another story for another time). In order for me to make a profit, I need to grow my business – slowly but surely, one step at a time.

For me to grow my business, I need to look for opportunities, and believe me there are an abundance of them all around, it’s just a question of recognizing them and then doing something with them.

For me, the easiest way to search for opportunities, is at a networking event, where people are serious about doing business and who are hungry to find opportunities.

So for me, understanding my purpose for being at a specific type of networking meeting is of the utmost importance.

Therefore the purpose for me attending a networking meeting is to meet people, and build relationships with them. It is to search for opportunities, whether they are for me as an individual, or a possible Joint Venture, or a Strategic Alliance, or even to see an opportunity for a business colleague and/or friend and/or client.

These opportunities and relationships, will allow me to grow my own business, and provide a ‘value add’ to both my clients and my colleagues.

For me, this is a win, win & win again situation.

So now, what was the question again . . . . . .?

Monday, August 27, 2007

MOTIVATION - BRAVERY

MOTIVATION – BRAVERY

The quote today comes from David Hackworth who says "Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid."

In my opinion, one of the bravest acts that I have ever performed is the one where I quit my relatively luscious job and in a ‘leap of faith’ and not much more, I started my own business. That was four years ago.

I remember during the three months notice that I had given, people with whom I worked, coming up to me with looks of concern on their faces, because they thought I was either mad, had lost the plot, had fallen off the path and any other saying that anyone cares to substitute, can be inserted here. I was absolutely steadfast in my reply which became a standard “I am stagnating here, this is my dream and I am going to do it.”

After a while the words just came out by themselves usually accompanied with a fixed smile on my face and eventually even I started believing what I was saying.

Inside though, was a completely different story! I was sick to my stomach and as my body absorbed the additional stress, so it also reacted to it. My hair started falling out, my stomach churned and often spurned whatever I had put in it, resulting in me rushing off to the loo to spew at length. I, who had always had relatively low blood pressure (between 95 – 100/70 – 75), now had to contend with a reading that now soared to 150/100! The noise in my ears sounded like the blood whooshing through my veins and I swear I could actually hear my heart beat.

Every morning when I jumped out of bed to start the new day, with smile firmly fixed in place, I wondered if I had indeed lost my mind along the way – I mean what was I actually thinking?

Yet at the end of every day, when I had survived being in the Business of Owning my own Business, I realized that I was far stronger than I had ever given myself credit for. I realised that, on the surface most people believed in me far more than I believed in myself, but that deep down below, somewhere in that space that we all have, where we instinctively know the truth when we hear it, that I was living my dream. That I could achieve and would achieve anything that I put my mind to, simply by visualizing it and by going towards my goal – one step at a time.

So as I continue on this journey of mine, whenever I get scared of something, I remember the beginning of this particular chapter of my life and I know that I can do it. I pat myself on the back for a job well done (even if it hasn’t been started yet) and start at the beginning, with my smile fixed firmly on my face and the words “this is my dream” on my lips and I know that I will succeed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good morning bloggers - hope you enjoy today's funnies!


Papers report on bold new 'Gauplane' plan
Johannesburg, South Africa
01 April 2007 08:30


The Gautrain project fell victim to April Fool's Day in two Sunday newspapers. The Sunday Times reported in its Business Times section that low budget airline Kulula.com had announced a bold plan to take on the Gautrain by launching a flight service between Pretoria, Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport.
It reported that the flight duration between the three points would be only six minutes and that flights -- using 100-seater jets -- would depart every 15 minutes. The airline also planned to undercut Gautrain rates by between 30% and 40%. "All the hype around the Gautrain really got us thinking and we've come up with a plan to do it quick and cheaper," the report quoted Kulula's joint chief executive Gidon Novick as saying.
The report, written by "Aprile Fule", added that the public would be called upon to suggest names for the new service. Some suggestions so far included "Gauplane", "Op-en-af" and "The no-gravy plane".
City Press reported on its front page that Nelson Mandela's house, the multimillion-rand newly-opened Jabulani Mall and the Hector Pietersen memorial site would have to be demolished to make way for the Gautrain.
The report read that there had been international calls for the Gautrain to be extended into Soweto for the 2010 World Cup.The route through Vilikazi Street would mean that the Hector Pietersen Memorial would have to be moved a few paces sideways or be scaled down to a simple plaque. - Sapa

Saturday, August 25, 2007

MAID RETURNS FROM THE DEAD

This gives a whole new meaning to "raising the dead"!

'Maid returns from the dead'
September 28 2006 at 05:32AM
By Poloko Tau


When he saw his maid standing at his door, Brian Hough thought he was seeing a ghost. On Monday, Hough had received a call informing him that Laureen Sibanda had died in a car accident - but it turned out he was nearly scammed into giving out money towards her funeral while she was still alive. Sibanda had spent the long weekend with her family in Hillbrow and was reporting for her normal Tuesday part-time job at Hough's home in Kensington, Johannesburg.
"A man calling himself Michael called and said he was my domestic's brother, told me he had bad news. He then asked me to call him back as he didn't have enough airtime. When I called back he was crying. He said Laureen was involved in a car accident on her way from a society meeting earlier on Monday. I felt very distraught at the news," he said.

How did he get all the information about him and his maid? The caller then asked Hough to send him some airtime so that he could call other relatives and inform them of the death. R220 worth of airtime was sent to his cellphone number. He then called again later and asked Hough if he would be attending the funeral."He asked me if I would be able to contribute towards funeral costs. I was prepared to do that, but I said I would rather speak to the deceased's husband," Hough said.
This was the last he heard of "Michael". The number he used was off when tried again later. Sibanda, who stays in Hillbrow with her husband and children, works part-time for the Houghs and reports for duty only on Tuesdays. When she did just that she gave her employer the fright of his life."I just froze and looked at her. I mean, she's supposed to be dead," Hough said.
Sibanda said she was surprised at Hough's reaction when he saw her."He stood there like he just saw a ghost. I thought maybe I wasn't supposed to come to work. I didn't know what was going on because normally he would open the gate immediately when he saw me," Sibanda said. When she came into the house Hough told her the story. "She was more surprised than we were. But we were all happy that she was alive," Hough said.
For Sibanda, this was a "bad omen"."It's bad luck. I must pray that nothing happens after all this," she said. But the question is - who called Hough and how did he get all the information about him and his maid? Hough then called the man's cellphone service providers and was told that he was the fourth person who called with the same problem. He said he tried to open a case at Cleveland police station, but was told by the police that the matter did not warrant a case and "they were just not interested".
Johannesburg police believe this could be a scam and confirmed that it was not happening for the first time. "This looks like a scam and the complainant was not supposed to have been turned away. A docket could have been opened with a charge of theft under false pretence. He must go back to the station and they will open a case and investigate," said police Sergeant Sanku Tsunke.
Police urged employers to keep contact numbers of their domestic workers and their next-of-kin in case of emergencies. "The employer shouldn't have bought airtime, but called the number that he would have had to confirm all that. This is the only way this scam can be discouraged," Tsunke said.
The Star reported a similar case in July.
This article was originally published on page 16 of The Star on September 28, 2006

Friday, August 24, 2007

LETTERS TO GOD FOUND WASHED ASHORE

Oh my goodness! How sad is this!

Letters to God found washed ashore
November 03 2006 at 10:48AM


Atlantic City, New Jersey - Some of the letters are comical (a man asking God to let him win the lottery, twice), others are heartbreaking (a distraught teen asking forgiveness for an abortion, an unwed mother pleading with God to make the baby's father marry her). The letters - about 300 in all, sent to a New Jersey minister - ended up dumped in the ocean, most of them unopened.
The minister died two years ago aged 79. How the letters, some dating from 1973, wound up bobbing in the surf is a mystery. "There are hundreds of lives here, a lot of struggle, washed up on the beach," said Bill Lacovara, who was fishing last month with his son when he spotted a flowered plastic shopping bag and retrieved it. "This is just a hint of what really happens.

'A lot of struggle'
"How many letters like this all over the world aren't being opened or answered?" Many of the letters were addressed to the Reverend Grady Cooper, though many more simply said "Altar". According to the text of several of them, they were intended to be placed on a church's altar and prayed over by the minister, the congregation or both. Some were neatly written in script on white-lined paper, others in a feverish scrawl on tattered scraps of paper or note cards.
Many were crinkled from being in the water and then dried out after Lacovara fished them out of the sea. A dog-eared business card inside one of the letters identified Cooper as associate pastor of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Jersey City. A woman who answered the phone at the church office confirmed Cooper once was a minister there, and had died nearly two years ago. The current pastor did not return several calls. Other documents in the bag, including bank statements, listed Cooper's name and an address for him in Jersey City.
A death certificate was issued in 2004 for a Grady Cooper.Lacovara speculated that someone cleaning out Cooper's home found the letters and threw them on the beach in Atlantic City, about 160km from Jersey City."I guess rather than just throw them in the garbage, maybe they thought they'd set them out to sea to bless these people," he said. Lacovara said he is sad that most of the writers never had their letters read. But he hopes to change that soon: He is putting the collection up for sale on eBay. - Sapa-AP

This article was originally published on page 4 of Daily News on November

LATEST IN ADVERTISING: HOGGING THE BLOGS

This would have been yesterday's post. Seems like some of the bloggers out there are pushing the limits. I guess it had to happen at some stage!


Latest in advertising: hogging the blogs
December 23 2006 at 02:30PM
By Laurence Benhamou


The curtain has been pulled on a deceptive new advertising tactic where companies camouflage ads as product praise in online postings masquerading as independent blogs. Several companies have been exposed for launching fake blogs known as "flogs", in a practice that coincides with an increase in the number of real bloggers secretly paid to endorse products.
Blogs, a term derived from "web logs", are rampant on the Internet and are considered to be online journals in which people post personal opinions, musings and more. Online firm Technorati reported this week it was tracking more than 63 suspicious blogs. Wily marketers have infiltrated the blogging world, paying for favourable commentary on products. However, posting product commentary without alerting readers that bloggers were compensated for their opinions is unethical and potentially illegal, according to US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules.
Sony Computer Entertainment America, a subsidiary of Japan-based Sony, admitted last week that it created a bogus blog baptised "All I want for Christmas is a PlayStation Portable". The blog was passed off as the work of an amateur hip-hop musician named "Charlie" who enthusiastically praised the PlayStation. In a short message on the Charlie blog, Sony apologised for being "a little too clever".
The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, came under fire in October for a blog portrayed as an online journal kept by a typical US couple, named Laura and Jim, as they travelled across the US in a motor home. The couple's blog praised Wal-Mart for letting them park their hulking recreational vehicle overnight in store parking lots and told of encountering Wal-Mart workers nationwide who praised their jobs and their employer.
Business Week magazine revealed that the couple's cross-country trip was sponsored by Wal-Mart - a fact unmentioned in the online postings. Companies such as PayPerPost and ReviewMe, which link bloggers and advertisers, are fuelling the phenomenon. PayPerPost, a five-month-old pioneer in the practice, is true to its name regarding favourable online blog postings.
On ReviewMe, bloggers in any language can offer to post their thoughts on products for $500 a review. ReviewMe explains on its site that it cannot guarantee favourable reviews, but most of the posted opinions are positive. Fake "independent" blogs by companies or secretly manipulated by advertisers break US law by misleading consumers, according to federal regulators. The FTC warned this month that "such connection must be fully disclosed" and that its staff "will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to recommend law enforcement actions to the commission".
Faced with the FTC threat, PayPerPost announced this week it would change its service agreement to require bloggers who were being paid to say so in their postings. Many PayPerPost competitors have yet to adopt such a rule, and the torrent of user-generated videos, images and text flooding the Internet has aspiring advertisers navigating uncharted waters.
Attention-seekers from fledgling music bands to major corporations have seen clever online content "go viral" - lingo for being spread for free worldwide by people using e-mail and online links. Both video-sharing website YouTube and teen-oriented social networking MySpace, for example, have become venues for companies to establish promotional pages. - Sapa-AFP
This article was originally published on page 4 of The Star on December 23, 2006

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

KILLER ARRESTED AFTER 10 YEARS ON THE RUN

Killer arrested after 10 years on the run
October 11 2006 at 07:12AM

Whilst I am really pleased that this guy has been caught, I am also really distressed by the fact that he got out in the first place! It must be absolutely soul destroying for policemen who have to, not only try and catch these guys - but also make the charges stick (especially in these trying times when the perception is that the criminals have more rights than their victims), only to have them escape and as such left to commit crimes again. There has to be more accountability within the justice and prison system.

A convicted killer charged with 11 new murders is to appear in the Thohoyandou magistrate's court on Wednesday, police said.
Spokesperson Senior Superintendent Motlafela Mojapelo said the man was re-arrested on Monday.He had been eluding police since escaping in 1996 from Pretoria's Baviaanspoort Prison, where he was serving two life sentences for murder. "We have been hunting this guy for about ten years," said Mojapelo.
The new murders were committed in the past two years. The victims, mostly women, included four children."Some were raped before they were killed," Mojapelo said. - Sapa

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 25

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 25

In her cards on Networking Tips, Dr Renate Volpe says “Your business card should read like a headline that is promoting your business.”

Ain’t that the truth. I can tell you I have seen some strange cards out there. Some really strange shapes and some really strange textures and some that you can only read if you put them against a white sheet of paper!

For me it’s about being able to read the bloody thing!

I hate to admit it, but there are some cards that I have actually thrown away in absolute frustration! It tells me who they are and all the numbers are there, cell, work, fax e-mail – the whole toot. The problem is that the writing is so small that I needed a magnifying glass to actually read them – there are only so many times that I am prepared to go downstairs to fetch the magnifying glass to read a business card – so out it went.

Then of course there are the cards that are so different that they do not actually fit into any kind of card holder. Sure they make an impression, but they also frustrate the hell out of a person – so out they go too.

Please don’t get me wrong – be different, be innovative – make a statement, but for goodness sake make a statement that most people can read and make a statement on a receptacle that we can keep somewhere comfortably.

The card should tell a person, clearly, who you are and what you do and the numbers should be of a size that anyone can actually see (never mind read). Be different, be daring but most of all be BOLD. Your aim at the end of the day is to get someone to contact you – they need to be able to read the numbers on the card in order to do so.

For more information on Dr Volpe, visit her website on www.HIRS.co.za

Monday, August 20, 2007

MOTIVATION - A TRUE LEADER

MOTIVATION – A TRUE LEADER

The quote today comes from Daisaku Ikeda. He says “A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader."

Pretty powerful stuff, I am sure you would agree – but what does that mean to me?

Well on a personal level, it means that irrespective of how badly (or well for that matter) that person uses his or her wisdom to assess my problems in my business, and gives me not only the best possible advice, but also encouragement and motivation.

It’s the person who, without talking down to me, without being smug, without the drama and the emotion, gives me practical advice on “how to” fix up my problem.

It’s the person who points me in the right direction – it’s the person who helps me stay focused on what my goals are.

Are you such a person? Are you a true leader?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

YOU'LL LOSE MORE THAN A HAND IN THIS GAME

How fortuitous is this - today's the 19th! Hope all you Londoners have a great game and many the best err. . . . fig leaf provide the best cover!

You'll lose more than a hand in this game

July 28 2006 at 03:49PM


Dublin - It started as an April Fool's joke but an Irish bookmaker's proposal to hold the world's biggest strip poker contest will become reality next month. Paddy Power floated the idea as a joke but it generated so much interest - and hundreds of requests to take part - that the Dublin-based company decided to organise a contest.
So next month, 200 poker buffs will risk baring all in an attempt to become the first World Strip Poker Champion - and earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The winner will also receive a "Golden Fig Leaf" trophy plus £10 000 (about R120 000) in cash.

"This will be the most fun you can have with your clothes on - or off!" Paddy Power said in a statement for the tournament, which will be held in London on August 19.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

IFP MAN FAILS TO HAVE HIS CAKE AND EAT IT. . .

Oh man this is funny! It produces a video in my head and I can just see the hilarity of it. So called politicians getting all hot and bothered over this fresh cream cake that is starting to melt in the heat of the moment. . . . .

IFP man fails to have his cake and eat it...
November 09 2006 at 04:53AM
By Wendy Jasson Da Costa and Simon Steenhuis

Chaos erupted in the National Assembly as IFP chief whip Koos van der Merwe and Deputy Speaker Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde had a screaming match over a fresh cream cake with a huge candle in the centre. Van der Merwe sneaked the cake into the house to mark the first anniversary of President Thabo Mbeki's inviting him to make an appointment to see him.

Presidency staff have yet to arrange a time. Speaking during debate on the mini-budget, he said: "I think it's a scandal and I want to ask the honourable minister (in the presidency, Essop Pahad), 'Here's your cake, come and eat it! I've waited a year.' And Madam Speaker..."


An exchange between them ensued and ANC deputy chief whip Andries Nel, protesting at the "theatrics", said it was not parliamentary for the country's budget to be reduced to a "circus". Mahlangu-Nkabinde called for order and eventually asked Van der Merwe to leave.

"I'm not going to take this kind of behaviour from yourself. I asked you several times to sit down and I'm now asking you and your cake to leave this house."


This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on November 09, 2006

Friday, August 17, 2007

Up to date at last - let's see how long I can stay like this!

On a positive note, I am proud to be South African - I wonder why I never get asked any of these questions in any of these surveys!

Still, I am very proud to be a South African and I am very excited about the future of this young democracy of ours. There is an abundance of everything available here, for people who are willing to open their eyes and recognise it for what it is.

It's there for the taking - who would like some?

How proud are you to be South African?
April 27 2007 at 01:16AM


Ninety-five percent of South Africans are proud to be South African, a survey by the University of Stellenbosch found."The overwhelming majority of South Africans are proud to be South African, prefer democracy as a governing system and believe that our democratic system will develop positively in the future," said spokeswoman Mari Harris on Thursday, on behalf of Markinor and the university's Centre for International and Comparative Politics.
Harris said the study was conducted on 3 000 randomly-selected South Africans by the university department in November and December 2006. When asked "How proud are you to be South African?", 19 out of every 20 responded that they were either "very" or "quite proud", said Harris.

'How proud are you to be South African?'
"More than nine in every 10, across all population groups, are also strongly committed to the country," she said. Of the 95 percent of respondents proud to be South African, 96 percent were black, 92 percent white, 98 percent "coloured" and 92 percent Indian. "The overall result (95 percent) is on the same level as that measured in the 2001 World Values Survey, although the proportion who are 'very proud' increased from 72 percent in 2001 to 78 percent."
According to the survey, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Free State residents are the proudest. Harris said African National Congress supporters were the proudest at 98 percent followed by Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party supporters both with 94 percent. People were asked to rate the political system as it was under apartheid, the current political system and the political system expected in the future. Researchers found that black South Africans were the most positive about the current and future political systems while whites were the most negative. "However, the views of all three minority population groups about the current and future political systems are more positive than negative," said Harris.
The majority of respondents felt it was "very important" to live in a country that was governed democratically. The results, released on the eve of Freedom Day, were drawn from the World Values Survey - an extensive project conducted every five years. - Sapa

GET A GRIP ON VIOLENCE NOW, SAYS DE KLERK

This is the post that would have been done yesterday.
Not much to say on this one, except of course that our leader still advocates that there is 'no crime in SA'. Shame the poor man lives in a limited reality kind of trance!
Get a grip on violence now, says De Klerk
December 18 2006 at 01:42AM
The political violence in South Africa's history has been replaced by criminal violence, former president FW de Klerk said on Sunday. "The violence of today is as devastating as the violence of the past," he said while speaking on Robben Island off Cape Town at a commemoration of the role played by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa. "Standing here in Robben Island, on this weekend of reconciliation in 2006, I would like to think that Mahatma Gandhi would be pleased with the progress that we South Africans have made since he left us 92 years ago. "Political violence has unfortunately been replaced by criminal violence. Against his wishes we still live in a violent country," said De Klerk.

"We urgently need to continue our quest for a truly non-violent South Africa. I believe that is what Gandhi would have advocated, had he been with us." De Klerk said Gandhi's "spirit of non-violent compromise and accommodation" ultimately triumphed in South Africa's journey toward freedom. "Our constitutional settlement was guided by his view that 'we win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party'." He said the country's challenge was to "uphold the historic agreements" reached and "come to grips with crime". - Sapa

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FRAUDSTER RUNS JOB SCAM FROM JAIL CELL

This is the article that should have been posted on Wednesday 15th August.

Well you certainly have to give this chap 100% marks for iniative! How sad though that the Department of Corrections has absolutely no idea about what is happening within the confines of their prisons. You know that there is a problem when the prisoners - inside are running more successful businesses than the legitimate people on the outside!

Fraudster runs job scam from jail cell
Lee Rondganger
December 18 2006 at 05:09AM


A convicted fraudster is running a scam from his prison cell that is duping hundreds of people - using four legitimate companies and an unwitting law firm. Speta Johannes Molokeng has been operating a money-spinning marketing business from C-section of Vereeniging Prison for the past three years. Better known as prisoner 98531218, he has fraudulently used the names of law firms across the country to place numerous ads in newspapers, hoping to recruit 40 000 matriculant marketers and drivers for his four companies. However, he has not been paying for the adverts, and applicants responding to them were required to pay a fee before they started working.

'When I got there the guys shook my hand and congratulated me'
Molokeng is the owner of the companies - South African National Music Activities Brothers cc, Transport Activities Societies of South Africa cc, Sports Activities of South Africa cc and Taxi Tyre Supplies cc. They are registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office but could not be tracked down as they had only postal addresses.
Molokeng was arrested in 2002 for fraud. He was convicted a year later and sentenced to 12 years behind bars. Since then he has incurred more than R40 000 worth of advertising debt with Independent Newspapers alone. Pieter van der Riet, an attorney at Lionel Murray Schwormstedt and Louw, given the task of retrieving the money owed to Independent Newspapers, said they were surprised when they tracked down Molokeng to prison. "Initially we thought he had placed the ads before he went to prison, but as more of these debts arrived, we realised he was placing them while in prison."

'How can an employee be expected to buy his boss airtime?'
Last month, Molokeng got SPS Associates - a Vereeniging-based law firm - to place two advertisements in the Workplace section of Independent Newspapers, saying he needed 40 000 marketing agents and drivers to work at South African National Music Activities Brothers. The company would provide 90 days of "consultation training", according to the advert. Successful candidates would get a monthly salary of R5 000, plus R2 500 commission.
SPS Associates admitted to doing work for Molokeng's companies but said their relationship was legitimate. Leon Kruger, a senior attorney at the firm, said they had been taking instructions from their client, a Mr PA van der Walt - a representative for Molokeng's companies. Although they checked the status of the companies, Kruger said he was not aware they were owned by Molokeng.
Clement Mmetle, a Johannesburg furniture salesperson, is one person who answered an ad. He said he had received a phone call from SPS telling him that his application was successful and that he was being appointed general manager of Molokeng's four companies. He was asked to visit SPS to receive a letter of appointment. "When I got there the guys shook my hand and congratulated me. I found it a bit strange because not once was I interviewed for the job."
He then got a call from Molokeng, who congratulated him and told him he was in prison. "He told me that I was the right person for the job and asked me to buy him R200 Telkom airtime. "I don't know why, but I bought it for him. However, I became very suspicious when after a few days he wanted me to buy him more airtime. "How can an employee be expected to buy his boss airtime? I then decided that I was not going to take the job."
Mmetle's letter of appointment, on an SPS Associates letterhead, said he would receive a salary of R7 500 plus allowances for a car, hotel room, clothing and phone. But the job was conditional on his recruiting 200 matriculated marketing agents - each of whom had to pay a fee of R364,80 into a trust account managed by SPS.
While the appointment letter said Mmetle would be general manager of all of Molokeng's companies, Kruger said they did work only for Sports Activities Agency. "We have charged fees for work done.. had interviews for the appointment of persons... and confirmed their appointment on our letterhead," said Kruger. "As far as we are aware, the whole matter is legitimate and refers to training people for marketing."
Puleng Mokhoane, spokesperson for the Free State Correctional Services, said they would investigate Molokeng's activities. It was illegal to run a business from prison, she added.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on December 18, 2006

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 24

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 24

One of the most frustrating things, specifically in a facilitated or semi-facilitated networking meeting are the stragglers coming in.

Imagine the scene if you will – a person is standing up, telling everyone about who he/she is and what it is that they do. How wonderful their product/service is and why it is that people should be purchasing said product and/or service from them. Everyone in the room is focused on what this person is saying and hopefully, either deciding that they need the widgit and/or they know of someone who may require the services of the speaker.

In the middle of all of this another person enters the room. So far not a problem I am sure that you would agree. The room is packed though and , said person wants to slink into the only remaining seat which is clear across the room. So there is much “excuse me’s” going on with much bending over and head bobbing, whilst they find the seat that they are looking for and finally settle in.

By this time the speaker has lost their thread and momentum, the rest of the networker’s have lost their focus and have forgotten the questions that they wanted to ask – the moment is lost.

If possible make sure that you can get to the venue on time, if not a little early. Before anyone heaves a huge ‘sigh’ and rolls their eyes heaven bound – I know that no-one intentionally wants to be late, but then for goodness sake, use a little bit of common sense – wait until the person who is talking about themselves is finished and either steps down and/or sits down – there is time enough at this point to dash off to the seat in the corner that you now have had time to see. This will cause the least amount of interruption and allow the speaker to say what it is that they need to.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ABLING YOUR COMPANY

This is the post that should have been done on Monday 13th August.

So you see, the opportunities abound - here is one that w0uld be great for both the person with the disability and for the prospective employer (score cards and things not to mention common decency!)

Hope you are all taking note!


'Abling' your company

This is a great time to give an opportunity to disabled people needing experience

Workplace staff23 July 2007 at 06h00

The first group of learners on a pilot learnership for the physically disabled at Boston City Campus and Business College are ready to move from the classroom to the workplace. According to Yolanda Roelofse, project manager at Boston, the learners have reached the stage where they need exposure to the real world of work before they can continue with their theoretical training.

"Theoretical learning has to be balanced with experiential learning," she says. "Our learners are not only ready but eager to spend some time in a work environment. "The workplace training, however, has to be relevant to the qualification so the learners can complete their portfolios of evidence and receive their NQF level 4 certificate in Business Administration.

The learnership, which falls under the auspices of the Services Seta, is designed for those who wish to become involved in the administrative functions of an organisation.The core component of the qualification offers learners skills in areas such as management of records, business writing, problem solving, project and team work, comprehension of written and verbal texts and business policies and procedures.

Qualifying learners can follow a career in a variety of fields including financial administration and data capturing among others. "Our learners have taken their physical limitations in their stride and have all done well so far," says Roelofse. "We hope that employers can, in a similar manner and with the same level of commitment, overcome their reservations about employing people with physical disabilities." Roelofse believes the benefits of employing a physically disabled person outweigh common reservations. "The national emphasis is on employing the disabled," she says. "Unfortunately, the usual regard that is given to matching people's personality traits and/or skills with the needs of the company is often discarded; this practice is encouraged by the points given to companies calculating their scores on the equal employment opportunity or black economic empowerment score cards." However Roelofse maintains that this needn't be the case. "This learnership provides companies with the ideal opportunity for them to find out what it entails to have a disabled person on their staff; someone whose traits and skills match the needs of the company.


"Should it work well for both parties, the employer can opt to employ the learner full time once he or she completes the qualification. There is however no obligation for the employer to do so." All the learners - there are nine studying in Cape Town and 55 in Joburg - have disabilities that do not prevent them from contributing meaningfully to a business. Some are visually impaired; others are amputees and wheelchair bound. Though they don't have work experience, some of the learners have studied previously and boast degrees in law and psychology.

"Before embarking on this learnership, the learners were evaluated by an occupational therapist," Roelofse explains. "There is a report on each of the learners stating what their special needs are, what assistive devices are required and so forth. Employers who take on learners will know from the outset what the limitations and/or requirements are." She points out that it is easier to accommodate someone with physical disabilities than is often perceived. "At Boston we only needed to make minor alterations to our campus," Roelofse adds. "Besides, the Seta has allocated a budget to assist employers and other institutions to provide for special needs where applicable. "

Both Boston and the Services Seta will provide assessment tools and other relevant assistance to employers who offer workplace training to these disabled learners."The first group of learners will be available from August while the second group will be ready for their experiential training from October.


For more information or to apply to temporarily employ a learner, please contact Yolanda Roelofse at 011-485-2838 or e-mail Yolanda@ boston.co.za

MOTIVATION - PREPARE THE WAY

This is Monday's motivation - Monday 13th August.
This week quote comes from Ralph Marston.
"Prepare the way

On its own, this day is filled with immense value. And in addition, this day gives you the opportunity to prepare for the days and the years to come.

Living this day with purpose, gratitude, love and integrity will provide you with a double reward. Not only do you make this day the most fulfilling it can be right now, you also prepare yourself in the best possible way for the days that follow.

Nothing is more frustrating than to have the opportunity of a lifetime come along when you are not prepared to seize its promise. You don't have to let that happen to you.

For each day is an opportunity to live fully and to prepare diligently. The two go hand in hand.

By making the most of every moment, you are putting yourself in position to fulfill the best possibilities when they open up to you. Always keep in mind that what you do today sets the stage for your tomorrow.

Fill this day with positive purpose, focused effort and all the joy you can give. And you'll prepare the way for an even brighter future."
I am often told that it is important to live, not in the past and not in the future - but in the present. This article just proves that by living in the present, the future will be prepared for!

Having said that however, the fact of the matter is and remains that we still have to make things happen for ourselves. So often we sit around on our backsides and wait. . . wait for God knows what, because all the waiting in the world will not make it happen. We have to do that for ourselves.

So on a daily basis, prepare what you need to do for the day (note that was not 'wait' for the day), do them and watch what happens in the future.

Hope you all have an awesome day.



SOME INTERESTING THOUGHTS!

Good morning all, hope you enjoy what should have been Sunday's funnies - Sunday 12th August.

1. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress, but then I repeat myself........ Mark Twain


2. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle........ Winston Churchill


3. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. ....... George Bernard Shaw


4. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner........ James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)


5. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries........ Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University


6. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys........ P. J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian


7. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else........ Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


8. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it......... Ronald Reagan (1986)


9. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts....... Will Rogers


10. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free....... P. J. O'Rourke


11. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. ..... Voltaire (1764)


12. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you...... Pericles (430 B.C.)


13. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the Legislature is in session...... Mark Twain (1866)


14. Talk is cheap, except when Congress does it...... Unknown


15. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery...... Winston Churchill


16. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians...... Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)


17. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have..... Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

CRIME RATE A JOKE - STRIP CLUB BOSS

This is what should have been posted on Saturday 11th August.
Oh wow! This is a bit rich don't you think? I mean, clearly there are two types of laws in this country (or maybe that should be three). One for us ordinary folk and one for Lolly Jackson (and then of course one for members of parliament and top ended ANC officials!).
Personally, I think he should emmigrate as soon as possible, the country will have lost nothing!
Crime rate a joke - strip club boss
April 25 2007 at 12:42PM
The owner of the Teazers chain of strip clubs, Lolly Jackson, described the crime rate as "a joke" after being robbed at gunpoint for the third time. "The crime rate in South Africa is a joke. Crime is a joke, it is something beyond me," Jackson said on Wednesday.
The Teazers boss was speaking after an incident on Sunday in which he was robbed in Johannesburg's plush suburb of Houghton of his Bentley Breitling watch, cellphone and wallet. Jackson said he was in the driveway of former Miss South Africa Vanessa Carreira's home shortly after 1.30pm. He was there to collect his pink Cadillac, which Carreira had borrowed on Saturday.

'I mean Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest'
"Suddenly a guy held a gun to my head, told me to lie down and he took my watch, cellphone and my wallet," said Jackson. The robber fled in a Mercedes-Benz sedan. Jackson, who had been robbed twice before in 2002 and 2005, said he would emigrate. "I mean Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest whereby people have a braai with their families. Instead criminals are out looking for opportunities."Yes, I am definitely emigrating within the next two years."
Asked about the future of his businesses, Jackson said that his life was more important than his businesses. Jackson said it was unfair that criminals who rob others are released on bail of R100 while he was released on R20 000 bail for speeding. "It is not fair, that is not the way it's supposed to be."
Jackson has laid a complaint at the Norwood police station. "I have opened a case at the police. At the moment I'm just wondering what the 2010 World Cup is going to be like with all this crime," he said. Asked where he would emigrate to, Jackson said: "I don't know, I haven't decided yet." - Sapa

CARD FRAUD FORCES HI-TECH CHANGES

I was away for the long weekend, hence no blogs. So it is back to catching up. This is the blog that would have been posted on 10 August.

The cost of change seems to always go to the consumer, despite the fact that it will be saving the banks millions in stolen money - doesn't seem right does it?

Card fraud forces hi-tech changes
November 05 2006 at 12:11PM
By Eleanor Momberg and Jani Meyer


South Africans are to get new hi-tech credit and bank cards, as well as identity cards to fight rampant fraud. The country's major banks are planning to introduce chip-bearing credit and ATM cards, already available overseas, in the first half of next year, as a further step to protect customers.
Absa group head of payment systems Walter Volker said the introduction of the new cards was the biggest move of its kind ever undertaken on a global scale. The conversion process will involve the issuing of new cards to 16 million users. About 9 000 ATMs and 130 000 point-of-sale terminals will be upgraded at an estimated cost of R1,5-billion to R2-billion over a 10-year period. ATM conversions could cost up to R30 000 each.

'Credit cards are being used to fund other types of crime'
"This is going to be a gradual, phased-in process. Not all new cards will be issued next year," said Errol Smith, for Absa. He said smart cards were already being used by Absa clients receiving social grants from the government. Absa, First National and Standard banks said the cost to the consumer would be kept to a minimum, with the bulk of the expenditure being absorbed by the banks. FNB plans to issue the new cards to customers free. The new cards will be fitted with a microchip containing the cardholder's personal and bank information. It will be possible to store information about more than one account on a single card, which consumers will be able to use even if the banks go offline. Because the cards will no longer have magnetic strips, but microchips, and would operate with PIN codes, they would be more difficult to clone.
The hope is that this would contribute significantly to reducing bank-card fraud. While the police could not say whether card fraud was on the increase, annual statistics for the 2005/06 financial year show that 353 crimes involving counterfeit credit cards, valued at more than R16,8-million, were reported last year. A total of 520 credit cards, with a value of more than R12,6-million were stolen; and 429 crimes involving other bank cards, to the value of more than R20,5-million, were reported.
The South African Card Fraud Forum says credit-card fraud exceeds R50-million a year. Smith said Absa was ready to roll out the new cards, but was waiting for a number of point-of-sale connections to be upgraded, and for other banks to speed up their processes. Smith said the customer's first new card would be a hybrid with a magnetic strip and a microchip, so it could be used in countries not yet on the new systems. South African banks established a Europay, Visa and MasterCard (EMV) Forum in 1999 to co-ordinate the implementation of the new technology. Ben Duminy, project director of EMV, said it had gone mostly according to plan, "with some hitches at terminal (point of sale) level, as can be expected with new technology".
Smith said card fraud was a worldwide concern, but more prevalent in certain geographical areas. "KwaZulu-Natal is giving us headaches at the moment because that is where most of the crime syndicates are operating," he said. Jan Kleynhans, chief executive of FNB card division, said the bank would issue the new EMV cards as old ones expired. Kleynhans said most bank card fraudsters were also involved in other serious crimes. "Credit cards are being used to fund other types of crime. We found in the past year that there was more fraud on customer accounts where clients were victims of bag snatchings and smash-and-grabs." Gilbert Swats, Sabric CEO, said it was expected that EMV chip cards would provide a secure and user-friendly payment method for clients. "A drastic decrease in card skimming incidents, as well as counterfeit card fraud is expected." While the country's major banks are getting their act together with chip-bearing cards, it is unclear when the new ID cards using the same technology, mooted by the government for several years, will be issued.
Following a Special Assignment expose on ID corruption, Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula this week said green ID books must be replaced urgently because they had been contaminated by criminals. She was responding to questions in parliament regarding the apparent ease with which ID books could be obtained fraudulently from corrupt officials in the department. Mapisa-Nqakula's spokesperson, Cleo Mosana, could not say when the new ID cards would be issued.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

IT'S ABOUT CELEBRATING THEIR GIFTS, ACHIEVEMENTS

In keeping with Women's Day here in South Africa - Have a happy one!

It's about celebrating their gifts, achievements
Katleho Khoaele
08 August 2007 at 11h00

Thursday is Women's Day, the day that honours the mothers, women, and nurturers of the country. Women play an essential role in the development of our country, in both society and business. They are the solid foundation of families and communities and society as a whole. So, it is only fitting that we celebrate and acknowledge their achievements in the workplace.
For many years, women have struggled to get leadership roles at work. Many have been turned down for promotion because they are not "man enough" to handle a company. Shirley Zinn, president of the Institute of People Management and head of HR at Nedbank, says Women's Day is an important celebration, recognising significant efforts and contributions that women have made. "This day is a reminder to us of the work that still needs to be done in breaking down the barriers and prejudices facing women in our country, especially in places of work and in communities," she says. Yes, there is so much to celebrate, but we also need to address the challenges that woman are still faced with in the workplace, Zinn says. "There are many barriers and prejudices facing the advancement of women in the workplace."Many people don't realise that behind most women who hold leadership positions lies a struggle. People often see the glory and don't realise how much hardship led to that success."
Zinn is a good example of a woman who knows what she wanted out of life. Struggles and hardships did not keep her from dreaming big. She was born and bred in the Cape Flats, surrounded by gang life. Her family was not financially stable, but she had a good support structure. She managed to build a life for herself, despite her background. "There was very little opportunity for anyone, but particularly not for women, to rise above such circumstances," says Zinn. She is living evidence of what is possible under seemingly impossible circumstances. Being the HR director of a big company is a huge responsibility, and it comes with its challenges.
This is a job where one has to deal with different kinds of people: it is certainly a job that requires a strong-minded person who is not afraid of what comes her way. An HR director has a big influence on many people, but Zinn feels that her job is a calling, and that it is a privilege to be able to have an opportunity to truly make a difference. "Many women still find themselves in junior positions, however, that is slowly changing," she says. "With the government's support, we have slowly witnessed changes that give equal leadership opportunities to both men and women," Zinn says. "This is not entirely reflected in the corporate sphere, where women still have a long way to go."One cannot celebrate Women's Day without referring to the notion of women empowerment. This is a relatively new concept, and it has its challenges.

"We have made strides in the empowerment of women with the help of the legislation," says Zinn, "but we still have a long way to go. We live in a country where there is the problem of skills shortages. "It is not a good idea to ignore the talent that sits with women and the contribution they can make towards relieving the skills shortages." It is also important for business to understand that women have huge spending power, Zinn points out. "You cannot ignore half of your market; your customers must reflect demographics."
Another woman who has made strides in the corporate world is Mona Zwambila, managing director of the Communications Firm, a PR agency."For me, Women's Day is about celebrating women, their achievements and what women have contributed to this country, Zwambila says." The day must, however, be seen against the backdrop of the women still being marginalised in this country. It's about acknowledging what women have always been able to do but, because of circumstances, they have been denied the opportunities to do."Fortunately for Zwambila, the kind of industry that she works in is mainly female-orientated, so most of the leadership roles are occupied by women. This, of course, is a good thing simply because women have been denied such opportunities in the workplace and have been oppressed for too long. Hence, the need to celebrate Women's Day! "The challenge in a female-dominated industry like PR is that women struggle with the balance between being a mother and a manager," Zwambila adds.
While the introduction of BEE legislation has certainly brought about positive changes, there are still challenges, Zwambila believes. "Women empowerment is not being equally applied everywhere and women in the rural areas are being left behind." Another woman business leader, Maria Kok, the marketing manager at Primedia Outdoor, believes one of the issues that still needs to be addressed is cultural differences in the workplace. "People do not always understand why one behaves in a particular way, so they might view that as unprofessional. Women, in particular, suffer because of this." Another challenge relates to the age gap. "Women in leadership roles are often put in charge of colleagues who are older than them. Their situation is made more difficult by this, as some people battle to take instructions from someone younger, and more so if she is a woman. "Women have the innate ability to nurture and sometimes that can be used to their advantage in the workplace, says Kok. "The leadership role requires a person to be firm and strong-minded, and often the more aggressive approach has been encouraged. "Women don't have to imitate aggressive men, but need to use their own unique feminine qualities in the workplace."Women also have the ability to multi-task, Kok points out. "We are better at interpersonal communication skills because we have a soft side," concludes Kok.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

BALFOUR TAKEN TO TASK ON YENGENI PAROLE TERMS

Why is it that the 'Department' or the individual is never 'available for comment at this time', when there has been a major cock up and somebody needs to be accountable?
The reality of the situation is that, like most of the politicians that we have put into positions of power, they enjoy the luxury of the big salary and all the other perks that comes with the job, but they don't seem to think or understand that they are also now accountable to the citizens of this country. They seem to think that they are above the law.
The reality of this is actually true. They are above the law. If we take Zuma's rape trial and then his corruption allegations (that have yet to go to court) and the farce of Yengeni's prison time - not to mention McBrides drunken drive fiasco, what other conclusion can we come to?
Our only hope is that the media, investigative journalism in particular, continues to point these transgressions out to us in the form of newspaper and news reports, and that the opposition parties take these reports and do something about them. If enough interest is shown and enough people make a noise about it, they have to do something! Even if that something is not being 'available for comment at this time'. All that means is that they are formulating a reason to get out of the dark brown smelly stuff - something that our erstwhile government and municipal officials seem to be getting deeper and deeper into on a daily basis!
Balfour taken to task on Yengeni parole terms
April 09 2007 at 01:29PM


Withholding information on fraudster Tony Yengeni's parole conditions amounted to a breach of a promise made by Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour to the public of South Africa, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday. "The rejection of the request [for information] is a breach of the promise that the Minister of Correctional Services made to the public of South Africa that he would ensure that the DCS was open, transparent and accountable in all its dealings," said the opposition party's spokesman on Correctional Services James Selfe. "In addition, DCS [correctional services] is always saying that correctional supervision is a societal responsibility. Society cannot understand its responsibility in respect to Tony Yengeni's conditions unless it knows what the conditions are."

Selfe's statement followed the rejection of an application by the DA to the department for Yengeni's parole conditions.

'A breach of the promise that the Minister of Correctional Services made to the public' The DA's application, through the Promotion of Access to Information Act, was declined by the department saying the request for "record[s] pertaining... to his sentence for fraud" was "too wide", according to the party. Selfe said the department had deliberately misunderstood the request. He said the request was "not a 'wide' concept" rather a "simple request which entails accessing a file".
Yengeni was convicted in 2003 of defrauding parliament by failing to disclose a 47 percent discount on a luxury 4X4 Mercedes-Benz. He failed to win an appeal against his four-year sentence and was sent to the Malmesbury prison in August last year. His time in prison, while brief, was characterised by controversy - he was investigated after he contravened the prisoner code of conduct by consuming alcohol and arriving late back at the prison during weekend parole. He was reportedly given preferential treatment over Christmas when he enjoyed a lavish private meal with his wife. The department was not immediately available for comment. - Sapa

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 23

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 23

In her cards on Networking Tips, Dr Renate Volpe says “Be generous with what you know. Circulate information. Connect people.”

I am often amazed at the absolute generosity of some people (Renate included) and then equally amazed at how some people will not share anything. The mind boggles – well mine does anyway!

Some people hold everything closely to themselves, they will not give out a lead or a referral, but are sure to be in the very front of the queue if they are sure to receive anything! Go figure!

Apart from the fact that there is an abundance of opportunity and work out there, they are so busy keeping everything close to them, they do not see what is right under their very noses – the abundance. They agonise and stress about every little thing and how people are trying to cheat them and the competition is stealing all of their ideas and business is sooo bad because . . . . Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Yet if they had only opened their hands and their hearts and gave something back, they would receive hugely.

My friend and colleague Kevin Foot always says that ‘you have to give to get’. I agree and have found that you actually don’t have to give too much in order to get a whole lot back.

Look, I don’t mean that you have to give the shirt off your back or give out your IP for nothing. Not at all. But put people in touch with one another. Give out referrals and leads. Invite your competition to a networking meeting with you – chances are that you will be able to work together on a big project that neither of you could manage to work on alone (now there’s a thought for you).

Share information – where the next networking meeting is, who is going to be there, opportunities that are not for you but you know someone who is dying to do that sort of thing.

When you are in front of a client or even a prospective client, who you are pitching to, listen to the needs of the client – it may be that the client not only has need of your services, but also the services of someone that you know. On the other hand it may be that the client does not need your services at all, but has need of someone that you know – imagine how impressed they will be when you say “I’m sorry I cannot help you with this as it is not my field, however I can recommend Jane Doe as this is exactly what she does.”

Not only will Jane Doe think you’re great and start looking out for work for you, but the client will also bear that in mind and when they do have work that you can do for them, you will be called in. That kind of generous behaviour tends to stick out in the minds of people.

This is the best value add that you can have.

For more information on Dr Renate Volpe please have a look at her website www.HIRS.co.za

Monday, August 06, 2007

ARE YOU BEING, HAVING OR DOING

On a personal level, I am going to be a 'being' person from now on. What choice have you made?

Are You Being, Having or Doing?
Author: Lady Isis (all articles by this author)
Published on: January 19, 2001


To be. To do. To have. Which one has the most power? BEING! Doing has more power than having, but your main power lies in being. You can control your environment and cause things to come to you by just Being, for then you are really who you are your Self. All your power lies in your beingness. Ask yourself are you into just doing jumping from one thing to another which brings you to the next step of having? Or are you just being, allowing your Self to bring to you that which is needed.

There is a simple key to the game of existence and that is simply to just exist. Just be and have fun at it. That after all is why you came here. Don't dwell on what might be or could be, from someone else's point of view. Don't draw fear into your life. Don't plan for anything that won't bring joy into your life. If you really want something in your life that will bring you happiness, advertise. There is truth in advertising.

Every time you speak you advertise to the Universe your desire for something to come into your life. Be careful what you say you want, someone just may show up with it. And always, but always, say what you want, not what you don't want. Don't let anyone rain on your parade with their tales of doom and gloom. And if someone asks you why you want something, tell them, "You work on that. I'm going to work on getting it." You owe no one an explanation for your Beingness. Be true to your Self.

You will also find that in doing if you do spiritual things first you will be much happier, because you are first and foremost a spiritual being, then a human being. Your Beingness lives and breathes within the body of the Spirit of the Universe the All That Is. You are One with Spirit all life.

You should always keep in mind that this world and all that is in it is not a true reality. All you Star Trek fans out there think of it as a holodeck. A place you are visiting, and when you walk out of it you then enter your "true reality." If you keep that in the uppermost part of your mind then all the tales of doom and gloom will not bother you. You will know that the worst thing that can happen to you is that you will walk off the holodeck.

If you are truly within your Beingness fear will not be a part of your life. If you are 'doing' all the time in order to 'have' something you are not within your true "Beingness." So I ask you once again, "Are you Being, Doing or Having?"
I leave you with love and blessings.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

CHAT ROOMS - LANGUAGE

This was posted by a colleague Tony (Trixo) on the Business Warrior site (www.businesswarriors.co.za).

First came the new language that they used on cellphones when doing the sms thing (I have yet to even try and do the predictive text thing - far too much PT in my opinion) and now we have the 'chat room' language. Takes being be-lingual to a whole different meaning! Although why we would have to reserve, "BTASRTHOS! = Better Than A Slap 'Round The Head On Sunday" for Sunday's only begs the obvious question! What happens if I get the urge to slap you around the head on a Tuesday - would that become BTASRTHOT? And then what would happen if I wanted to slap you on a Thursday?
Or what about "ROTFLPIMK = Rolling On The Floor Pis... In My Kilt". Why would anyone want to roll around the floor peeing in their kilt? Why anyone would want to role around the floor peeing in anything for that matter would be natural question. I guess the youth of today are not sure when it is that they need to pee, so they have to roll around the floor first to find out and then they just pee in whatever it is that they happen to be wearing at the time. What if I was in a mini skirt (not a good idea to get to a mental picture of this, just for the record), I guess that would then become ROTFLPIMMS or my hot pants - would become ROTFLPIMHP!
Just as well I have a case of CRAFT disease (can't remember a fu$*&ng thing) because trying to commit this to my memory would surely cause an overload of sorts, a definite short circuit and a malfunction for sure!
Have fun people!
Since many people aren't used to chatroom speak, I thought I'd publish this little list:

AAAMOF = As A Matter Of Fact
ADN = Any Day Now
AFAIK = And For All I Know
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
AFK = Away From Keyboard
ANY1 = Anyone
A/S/L = Age/Sex/Location
ADDY = Address
AWGAD = And Who Gives A Darn
AWGTHTGTTA = Are We Going To Have To Go Through This Again?
BBAC = By Any Chance
BAG = Busting A Gut (Laughing)
BBFN = Bye Bye For Now
BIAB = Be Back In A Bit
BBL = Be Back Later
BCNU = Be Seeing You
BG = Big grin
BEWG = Big Evil Wicked Grin
BRB = Be Right Back
BRT = Be Right There
BK = Because
BTW = By The Way
BTDT = Been There, Done That
BTA = But Then Again
BWG = Big Wide Grin
BYKT = But You Knew That
B4 = Before
B/C = Because
BTASRTHOS! = Better Than A Slap 'Round The Head On Sunday!
CC = See
CU = See You
CUL = See You Later
CUL8er = See You Later
CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
CRS = Can't Remember Sh*t
CYA = Cover Your A**
CYA = See You
DDIIK = Damned If I Know
DQOTD = Dumb Question of the Day
DTRT = Do The Right Thing
DILLIGAF = Does It Look Like I Give A F...k.
D/L = Download
D/U = Download/Upload (Ratio)
EEOD = End Of Discussion
EOF = End of File
ESOSL = Endless Snorts of Stupid Laughter
EZ = Easy
FF = Female
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
FYEO = For Your Eyes Only
FYI = For Your Information
FU! = F**K You
FWIW = For What Its Worth
G = Grin
GR8 = Great
GGP = Gotta Go Pottie
GGN = Gotta Go Now
GMV = Got My Vote
GMTA = Great Minds Think Alike
GO PRI = Send Private Msg\Mail
GOK = God Only Knows
GTG = Got To GoG2G = Got To Go
HH/A = Hi All
HHTY = Happy Holidays to You
IAC = In Any Case
IC = I see
ICU = I see you ....
ICU2 = I see you tooI
CBW = I Could Be Wrong
ICOCBW = I Could, Of Course, Be Wrong
ILY = I Love You
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO = In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO = In My Opinion
IMV = In My View
IOW = In Other Words
IYSWIM = If you see what I mean
JJ\K = Just Kidding
JOOC = Just out of Curiosity
OKKHYF = Know How You Feel
KEWL = Cool, Fantastic
KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid
L = Laugh
LOL = Laughing Out Loud
LOL = Lost Of Love
LTNS = Long Time No See
LTNT = Long Time, No Type
L8TR = Later (as in see ya later)
L8R = Later (as in see ya later)(Same as L8TR)
LMAO = Laughing My A.. Off
MM = Male
M/F = Male or Female
M8 = Mate
ME2 = Me too
MORF = Male Or Female
MPOV = My Point Of View
NNBL = Not Bloody Likely
NE1 = Anyone
NE = Any
NOYB = None Of Your Business
NP = No Problem
NRN = No Reply Necessary
NTYMI = Now That You Mention It
OODAT = One Day At a Time
OIC = OH, I See
OMG = OH, My God
OAS = On Another Subject
OTOH = On The Other Hand
PPPL = People
PEEPS = People
PITA = Pain In The A**
POV = Point Of View
PMETC = Pardon Me Etc
PZ = Peasey (i.e. EZ PZ easy peasey)
QQL = Cool
QEWL = Cool
RR = Are
RE = Returned, back
REHI = Hi again
ROFL = Rolling on the floor laughing
ROFLMAO = Rolling On Floor Laughing My A.. Off
ROFLPMP = Rolling On Floor Laughing Pis... My Pants
ROTFLPIMK = Rolling On The Floor Pis... In My Kilt
RSN = Real Soon Now
RL = Real Life
RTDM = Read The Damn Manual
RTFM = Read that F...ed Manual
RTFS = Read That F...ed Source
SSAH = Stay At Home
= Smile
SOL = You are Alone or Nobody Can Help You
SOP = Standing Operational Proceedures
STR8 = Straight
SUP = What's Up
S/U = Shut Up
SYS = See You Soon
SYS = System
SN = screen name
TT = Tea
TAFN = Thats all for Now
TCFW = Too Cute For Words
TDM = Too Damn Many
TFT = Thanks for That
TIA = Thanks In Advance
TMI = Too Much Information
TXS = Thanks
THX = Thanks
TY = Thank You
TTBOMK = To The Best Of My Knowledge
TTFN = Ta Ta For Now
TTYL = Talk to you later
TYT = Take Your Time
TYVM = Thank You Very Much
UU = You
UR = You are (or) Your
U/L = Upload
VV = Victory
VFY = Voted For You
VIC = Vicinity
WWAW = Why Ask Why?
WB = Welcome Back
W/B = Welcome Back (Same as WB)
W/E = What Ever
/W = With
/WO = With out
W/F = Where From
What's^ = What's Up
W8 = Wait
WILTY = Would I Lie To You?
WTG = Way To Go
WTF = What The F***?
XXP = Experience (as in my experience)
XTG = Axe To Grind (foul tempered mIRCer)
XTC = Ecstasy (drugs or emotion)
YY = Why?
YABA = Yet Another Bloody Acronym
YMBK = You Must Be Kidding
YMBJ = You Must Be Joking
YAP = Yet Another Ploy
YGLT =You're Gonna Love This
YHTBT = You Had To Be There
ZZ = Sleeping or Bored (obvious zzzZZZZ)
Numbers2 = To, Too or Two4 = For or Four4N = For Now (Used after other Jargons ie AFK4N)4U = For You8 = Ate or Eight
10Q = Thank You
10x = Thanks
10x*e3 = 1000 Times Thanks
Paranoia{ { { nick} } } = Hug the specified nick
:-) = Smile
;-) = Wink
:-( = Unhappy, Sad
:-รพ = Stick your tongue out, use Alt+0222(keypads)
:-P = Stick your tongue out, (If you don't know the ascii Characters)
:-O_~ = To smoke__________________

Saturday, August 04, 2007

CANADA DENIES VISA TO WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA

Oh man, this is fantastic! I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair! Finally, a level of justice is served!


Canada denies visa to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Ottawa, Canada
06 June 2007 07:26


Canada has denied a visa to South African anti-apartheid leader Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was to be the keynote speaker at a fund-raising gala in Toronto on Tuesday, featuring an opera about her life.Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, had packed her bags and was about to set out for the airport when the Canadian embassy notified her that she would not be allowed to enter the country, organisers of the Toronto event said. "No reason was given," said Carole Adrianns, event director for MusicaNoir, an organisation that raises awareness about Africa through cultural projects. "The Mandela family was very, very confident that they were getting the visa," she said.
Immigration officials in Ottawa were not immediately available to comment.Adrianns said she was especially "blown away" by the visa denial because Madikizela-Mandela had just been to New York on May 19 to receive an award for her work on HIV/Aids. "It would just have been such an honour to have her there for us," she said. The 70-year-old Madikizela-Mandela, who rose to heroine status as a fearsome opponent of South Africa's apartheid regime, became a controversial figure because of her 1991 conviction in the death of a 14-year-old activist. She also had a public falling-out with her husband after he formed a new government in 1995. They were divorced a year later. But she still remains a symbol for many because of her battle against apartheid while Nelson Mandela languished in jail for 27 years until his historic release in 1990.
The Toronto event Madikizela-Mandela was to attend will include excerpts from a multimedia opera called The Passion of Winnie, a creation of composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen, and filmmaker Warren Wilensky.

MINISTER AIMS TO DELIVER 500 000 HOMES BY 2008

Sorry no blog yesterday people - thanks to Telkom and an ADSL line that would not work!

Now to the business at hand - can you really see anyone coming forward and saying 'Please sir, I de-frauded the housing subsidy by accepting one and not meeting the criteria to actually qualify for one! " Yeah right! Money is being spent and stolen left right and centre and no-one seems to give a damn!

Minister aims to deliver 500 000 houses by 2008

December 22, 2006

By Roy Cokayne

Pretoria - Housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu aims to have 500 000 low-cost housing units in blocked provincial housing projects completed by the beginning of 2008. Sisulu said the units were at various stages of development and the housing department was negotiating a funding mechanism to allow for their once-off completion by having them project-managed by Thubelisha, a parastatal linked to the housing department."In this way, we could complete all the blocked projects within one year. We've assessed and are attending to the legal problems, and next year we'll be starting. We aim to have them completed by the beginning of 2008," she said.

Earlier this month, an audit commissioned by the nine provincial housing departments, and verified by the national department, found that 346 housing projects across the country, valued at R2.36 billion, had been blocked between 1995 and last year. Sisulu said the blocked projects resulted from two major problems: emerging contractors not having the necessary capacity or knowledge, and some municipalities not having the capacity to manage projects in their care. Sisulu said the government would deal with the municipal capacity problems while court processes would deal with developers who were in contravention of agreements. "We don't want contractors to get away with tardy work. It would be a sad indictment on us if we do," she said.


On the proposed amnesty intended to deal with housing subsidy fraud within the housing department, Sisulu said the department would encourage people to come forward because the monitoring and law enforcement mechanisms could be quite laborious. Sisulu added that the proposed amnesty would enable the state to recover money that had been fraudulently obtained and hopefully also gain insight into how the perpetrators were able to defraud the state. Earlier this year, auditor-general Shauket Fakie released a damning report on the housing subsidy system, claiming that in some instances it did not accurately record beneficiaries and was open to abuse. The report said more than R2.5 billion had been handed out in the subsidy scheme between 1994 and 2004, and it identified irregular applications involving R323 million.

Sisulu said she was unaware of any housing subsidy fraud cases since 2004, despite the housing department creating a special investigations unit, which was being assisted by auditing firm KPMG and the asset forfeiture unit, to follow up leads on housing fraud scams, find any perpetrators and plug gaps created by department officials. She said this initiative had not achieved as much success in uncovering internal fraud as was hoped for because the asset forfeiture unit was weighed down by other cases.