Tuesday, May 27, 2008

AUDIT REPORT FINDS NURSING COUNCIL IN CRISIS

Oh for heaven's sake! This is just typical of our wonderful minister of health - she causes chaos where ever she goes. I heard her on the radio this morning responding to something or other saying "you cannot blame government for this - the people must take responsibility - after all we have always said that it is 'government by the people'!"

What a stupid, stupid statement to make - it's this kind of non-sense that the rest of the world hears and then removes it's investment from the country!

It really is time for her to stand down and let someone who knows what they are doing get on with the job at hand!


Audit report finds nursing council in crisis
Johannesburg, South Africa
28 May 2007 08:58


The South African Nursing Council (SANC) is in disarray, according to its deputy registrar, the Star reported on Monday. The SANC is the watchdog of about 200 000 nurses. A KPMG audit report, completed in March last year, found that the council -- tasked with regulating the profession in order to protect the public -- was susceptible to widespread fraud, theft and misappropriation of funds, administrative discrepancies and non-compliance with accounting principles, tax laws and its own policies.
The report found senior staff members approved salary increases without proper authorisation and that there were many administrative "risks" that could have led to fraud, corruption and theft of council assets. The SANC deputy registrar for corporate affairs, Herman Dikobe, joined the council in August. He has placed the blame for the council's problems squarely on the shoulders of former registrar Hasina Subedar and senior council members. Neither Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang nor Director General of Health Thami Mseleku have seen the "damning" report.
According to Dikobe, the department has not received audit reports from the council in the past three years. Subedar, a former nurse, was appointed by Tshabalala-Msimang in 2000. As administrative and financial head she has been accused of being "inactive" in preventing the "calamitous" state of the SANC. Her contract ended in March but she lodged a case of unfair dismissal with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, demanding an extension to her R350 000-a-year contract.
The Department of Health recommended that her contract be extended. Subedar has hit back, saying some council members were conniving against her. Because the council failed to implement a performance agreement according to her contract, it had no basis for not renewing her contract."Throughout my tenure as registrar, the council never formally delegated duties to me. Whenever the council delegated responsibilities, they would be taken away from me immediately," she said.
In a letter to Mseleku, council members have called on the ministry not to extend Subedar's contract because, they claim, she also failed to delegate duties to senior managers and did not implement council resolutions. A total of 123 "concerned" council employees and most council members have signed a circular indicating that they have no confidence in Subedar.
The Department of Health has failed to respond to questions from the Star's sister newspaper, the Pretoria News, on the state of the nursing council and Subedar's contract. -- Sapa

Monday, May 26, 2008

MOTIVATION - TODAY

MOTIVATION – TODAY


By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

My friend Tess Elsen of Tessen Enterprises (www.tessen.co.za) sent this quote to me, I have no idea, however who wrote it.

“Today, I will delete from my diary two days: Yesterday and Tomorrow.
Yesterday was to learn and
Tomorrow will be the consequence of what I can do Today.

Today I will face life with the conviction that this day will not ever return.

Today is the last opportunity I have to live intensely as no-one can assure me that I will see Tomorrow’s sunrise.

Today I will be brave enough not to let any opportunity pass me by, my only alternative is to succeed.

Today I will invest my most valuable resource: my time, in the most transcendental work: my life.

I will spend each minute passionately to make of Today a different and unique day in my life.

Today I will defy every obstacle that appears on my way, trusting I will succeed.

Today, I will resist pessimism and will conquer the world with a smile, with a positive attitude of expecting always the best.

Today, I will make every ordinary task a sublime expression.

Today, I will have my feet on the ground – understanding reality and the stars’ gaze to invent my future.

Today I will take the time to be happy and leave my footprints and my presence in the heart of others.

Today, I invite you to being a new season where we can dream that everything we undertake is possible and we fulfill it, with joy and dignity.

Have a wonderful day today.”

Isn’t it absolutely fabulous the way that the universe gives you exactly what it is that you need, when you need it? Last night I had a bit of a wobbly – my laptop refused to co-operate and I am in the middle of a project, worth a lot of money to me. I felt completely helpless – except for the fact that I had done a back up on Saturday night, so if anything was lost, it would be only one day’s worth of work. Trouble is, that I don’t have time for one day’s worth of work to be reconstructed!

I also finished my rather juicy Jonathan Kellerman book and it was too cold to get myself in front of the bookcase, where I have probably in the region of 300 books to choose from to read, all waiting patiently for their turn! I picked up a book on my bedside table, that I haven’t looked at for months (too busy with the tragic life story of Marilyn Munro and then the Kellerman book I’m sure) entitled “10 Secrets for success and Inner Peace” by Dr Wayne Dryer and opening it where I last left it was a new chapter entitled “The Fifth Secret – Give up your personal History”. It’s all about walking away from yesterday as apposed to dragging it with you everywhere, and then this morning (laptop working perfectly again – go figure!) the first article that I pick up for today’s motivation sends out exactly the same message!

Whilst I am amused at the message and it’s evidently clear – I am also, in all honesty obliged to look at my life of late. I have been dwelling in the past, and also much too far into the future and not really taking any time to live life to the full in the present – in today! The best example for me to give you, is this big project that I am working on – I am so busy worrying about the deadline and will I have everything done in time, that I am not really living in the moment to get it done. Each minute that went by unproductively (and think about it, all I was doing was worrying about it) raised, yet another knot of fear in my heart. You see, it’s not only about the money that I will get for it at the end of the month – there is a huge possibility of a lot more work in the future too. Logically though, spending time worrying about not meeting the deadline was actually preventing me from getting on with the work. If I had spent the same amount of time working on the project as I did worrying about it not getting done, I would have been a lot further on down the line. I was living in the future, instead of in the present.

So, today I will not lose the opportunity to get the work done, to tap into myself and find the answers to the questions that need to be answered for the project and to give it my all – I will succeed!

What about you – are you living today or are you like I was, dragging the past with me where ever I went and trying to live in the future? I know where I would rather be!

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

BEWARE OF EXPERT FORECASTS

Enjoy the funnies - have a spendid Sunday!

Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." -- Dr. Lee DeForest, "Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television."


"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives." - - Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project


"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923


"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949


"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers ." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943


"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957


"But what is it good for?" -- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.[


"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates,1981


"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us," -- Western Union internal memo, 1876.


"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.


"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible," -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp. Fed-Ex)


"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper," -- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."


"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make," -- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.


"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out," -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.


"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible," -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.


"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this," - - Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.


"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy," -- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.


"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." - - Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.


"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value," -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, France.


"Everything that can be invented has been invented," -- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.


"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required." -- Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University


"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by itself." -- the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox.


"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."-- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872


"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon," -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

And last but not least...


"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS PLAGUED BY CORRUPTION

This is Saturday 24th's post
Here we go again. Once more we have an incompetant minister in office and once again our erstwhile president does nothing! When he shouldn't be doing stuff he is all over it and when he should be doing stuff he is conspiculously absent!

As usual it is the average Joe who has to foot the bill and carry the consequence!

Dept of Home Affairs plagued by corruption
Thomas Hartleb Johannesburg, South Africa
04 September 2007 03:59


Corruption continues to be a serious problem at the Department of Home Affairs, its director general said on Tuesday.Speaking after his first 100 days in office, Mavuso Msimang said he hopes to root this out by motivating staff, putting in place better technology and improved facilities.

He conceded that the department continues to be "sick" and that its computer servers are a "disaster waiting to happen". At the moment it takes more than 100 days on average to produce an identity document and there are more than 600 000 of them in backlog. A significant number of these are duplicate applications. "Is home affairs so slow that if people want to get a document they try somewhere else as well?" he asked.
With about 80 people handling an ID from start to finish, Msimang said the largest bottleneck is fingerprint verification, which takes about 27 days. An electronic tracking system to speed up this process and make it less vulnerable to corruption is being rolled out at present. It will also enable people to query the status of their applications via SMS or on the department's website.
Other problems that will be given urgent attention include lack of skills and oversight, poor customer satisfaction, duplication of functions and systems that are not linked to one another. The department's IT system will be upgraded and placed on a single platform to allow systems to be linked. The roll-out will start at the end of September.
Msimang said preparations are under way for the introduction of a national ID card, in line with the upgrading of the home affairs information system. The business case is still being finalised. Glitches such as a white woman's photograph finding its way into the ID book of a black man are hardly surprising given the disorder that reigns in some offices, he said. Msimang showed journalists photographs of a home affairs office where documents were piled on and under desks and on the floor. In an "after" picture, these had been placed in neatly labelled boxes or on shelves.
'Laughing stock'
Msimang said he would put his "neck on a block" and ensure that the following year's financial statements came without a qualified audit. He could not vouch for the upcoming set of statements, however. "We have become a laughing stock because for so many years our financial statements have been qualified," he said.
Turning to risks facing the department, Msimang said 10 had been identified as being either "likely" or "almost certain". The latter included: "Threat of unauthorised and/or malicious system access due to limited controls" and the "threat of accidental or purposeful misrepresentation of financial statements". The "likely" category included a bomb or other threat to a home affairs office due to terrorism or a disgruntled employee. He said there is a "clear lack of capacity" at management level, which is being addressed. "I am very confident that by the end of November we should have accessed some of the skills we are looking for."
On scarce skills needed in the country, Msimang said the department is streamlining the issuing of work permits. A help desk to deal with queries relating to the 35 000 available scarce-skills permits will be fully operational by the end of the month, he said. Despite efforts to reduce the backlog in refugee processing, it has grown by about 30%.
As of April 1, there were about 144 000 unprocessed applications, up from 111 000 on July 1 2005. He said the Zimbabweans streaming into the country illegally are not "clients" of home affairs as they did not meet international definitions of refugees as set out in the Geneva Convention and in African Union and Southern African Development Community protocols.
These define refugees as victims of political, religious and other forms of persecution. He said 27% of refugee applications are rejected outright without the option of an appeal. The Democratic Alliance spokesperson on home affairs said the "real problem" is the department's "absentee minister". "[She] has not admitted to, nor managed to address, any of the very obvious problems since her appointment to the position in 2004," said Mark Lowe. He said her turnaround strategy never bore fruit.
The department has received five qualified audits in a row. An intervention task team set up to investigate the problems in home affairs earlier this year identified the same issues Msimang mentioned. "The government and the president have known this for many years now. Why have they not acted to either force the minister to do her job, or else put someone in her place who will perform?" -- Sapa

WHAT TO DO WHEN .... THERE'S A DISCREPANCY ON THE JOB DESCRIPTION - PART 2

This was Friday 23rd's post.

ARTICLE 5

WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . . There’s a discrepancy on the Job Description

PART 2

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting CC - March 2008.

So now we know what a job description is, let’s have a look at the case study. Before we do that however, let me just say that often the question arises about whether job descriptions should be intentionally general to avoid the situation where an employee is obliged to carry out tasks and/or duties that are not specified in his/her job description. I have been advised that this has been looked at recently by the CCMA at an arbitration – let’s have a look.

Let’s have my favorite protagonists. Mike and George.

Mike owns a fleet of ‘horse and carriages’. These are those huge big trucks that carry containers, sometimes they haul ‘double containers’. We’ve all seen them and I am sure, often been stuck behind one going up a hill! George is one of the drivers of the ‘horse’. Mike’s business is both in the various ports in SA as well as in Johannesburg. Mike’s vehicles transport the containers that are off-loaded in the ports and that must then be transported to where-ever the destination of the importer is, or alternatively from the exporter to whichever port the goods are leaving from for the exporter. There are also times when goods must be transported from the manufacturer to the recipient’s depot.

This particular issue arose when there were no loads to be transported and George was requested to act as a convoy driver.

George refused on the grounds that he was a ‘horse and carriage’ driver and as such his duties were to upliftment and transportation of containers and therefore he was restricted to this. His refusal was supported by SATAWU.

Mike stated that the instruction to act as a convoy driver, was fair and reasonable and therefore within the requirements of the law and that therefore, George had no right to refuse to perform the task on the grounds that it was not specifically stated in his job description.

The CCMA Arbitrator was asked to decide “whether, under all circumstances it is reasonable to instruct horse and carriage drivers to do convoy work, when there are no loads available.”

Next week we will have a look at what the Arbitrator came up with.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za

ALL THAT ORGANISATION FOR NOTHING

This was Thursday 22nd's post.

It's all very well to say "All that orgaization for nothing". They may have gotten away with empty cash canisters, but human beings were hurt during the excercise and damage was done to a man's vehicle. Innocent bystanders had guns waved around at them - how on earth is that 'nothing'? Have we become so desensitised, that these things no longer matter to us?

All that organisation for nothing
April 01 2008 at 07:22AM
By Barry Bateman


A gang of robbers perfectly executed a cash-in-transit heist on Monday, escaping with several cash containers. They were all empty. At about 11.45am several men pounced on a Red Eagle Security van on a service road behind the Bon Accord Spar, shooting one of the guards in the knee.

'I put my foot down and got out of there'
Several of the armed men waited in long grass along the road while three others rammed their stolen green Audi A4 into the cash van. Witness Kobus Stone said he was driving about 20m behind the Audi when it suddenly swerved into the cash van.

"The front and back passengers jumped out and started smashing in the van's windows with their AK-47 rifles." When I drove past, a white Renault Scenic pulled up behind the cash van. "One of the guys jumped out and pointed his AK-47 rifle at me.

'It's a big gun'
"I put my foot down and got out of there," he said. Stone said a vehicle coming from the opposite direction was also chased away by a rifle-wielding suspect. "It's a big gun. I have always heard of the AK, but never seen one," he said. Red Eagle Security owner Hennie Grobler said his guards were only slightly injured.
They were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated. He said the van had just escorted another van to a bank and was on its way back to the company's headquarters in Hammanskraal. "It was an empty vehicle, they got away with empty cash containers," he said. Police spokesperson Captain Jan Legoabe said the men escaped in a white Renault Scenic. Legoabe said the Audi was stolen in Johannesburg in February.
No arrests have been made.
This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on April 01, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 62

Here's Wednesday 21st's post.

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 62

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Dr. Renate Volpe, in her nugget cards entitled “Networking Tips” says:

“Be respectful of the competition. Give credit, where it is due.”

Apart from anything else, this is just good manners! That said, let’s examine why Renate says this.

So, here I am – an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist, working in the SMME arena. Since I am the only one that I know of in this field, doing this particular work – life is a bowel of cherries – I don’t have any competition, my diary is pretty full and life is great.

Then one day as I am going along on my merry way, I meet Jane Doe, who does (yes you’ve guessed it) Internal Auditing and Business Administration! So now I find myself a little corner that I hurriedly rush into to hide from my mortal enemy, who is going to steal all of my business from right under my nose, or I go out on a hell bent type mission to discredit her, trash her name, doing any and all that may be necessary to get her out of business!

Well I guess that there are some folk out there that would do exactly that, but that just seems like too much hard work to me – besides which, whilst I was busy doing all of that, Jane Doe would be working her butt off and getting business and doing really well – so what would I have achieved at the end of the day?

Knowing me, I would probably give her a call and set up a ‘one on one’ meeting. Find out where her strengths and weaknesses are and set about exchanging ideas, material and even clients.

You see, chances are that my weaknesses are her strengths and visa versa, and she has material (like policies, procedures and templates) that I don’t have and visa versa. I may have clients that want a ‘quick’ turnaround and I am strapped for time which means that instead of working through the night every second night, like I did in December, I can actually share the load. Then of course when I want to go on holiday, instead of everything coming to a grinding halt – she could actually keep everything running and I could do the same when she wanted a break!

For me this is a win, win situation and instead of getting myself into a real tizz about nothing, I could turn the whole thing around and work it to my advantage – a far better outcome don’t you think?

Think about it for a moment, exactly where would I have been if I had been disrespectful or bad mouthed her – pretty much in a really horrible place. Competition doesn’t have to be a nasty experience – it can be a real keeper!

For more information on Renate, please visit her website at www.hirs.co.za

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Friday, May 23, 2008

FATHER WHO ALLEGEDLY SODOMISED BABY GETS BAIL

This is just disgusting, and I am not only talking about what this father has done to this child! It is disgusting that the government can sit on this type of stuff, that needs to go through the channels and be put into law.

It seems like the victims have no rights - the perpetrators have all the rights and government seem to be backing the perps!

come on guys, isn't it time to just get it right now?

Father who allegedly sodomised baby gets bail
Siyabonga Mkhwanazi
November 23 2006 at 04:50AM


A man allegedly sodomised his 16-day-old son so brutally that photographs of the infant's anal injuries caused his lawyer to withdrew from the case. Now child rights groups are outraged after the 36-year-old technician was released on R3 000 bail by the Welkom district court on Tuesday because he apparently has a heart condition.
The father argued that his condition was so bad that he needed surgery in the past and the prison could not provide him with his medication while awaiting trial. The groups also raised concern that the man could have been charged with a more serious offence of rape, instead of indecent assault, had parliament fast-tracked the Sexual Offences Bill, which has been stalled for almost 10 years.

'We don't make the law a living reality for children'
The alleged incident took place in February at the house the man shared with his then live-in-lover. At the time, the infant's mother was in hospital. One evening, the man - who cannot be named to protect the child's identity - allegedly sexually molested the child. When the woman was discharged from hospital, the man refused to let her or the housekeeper change the infant's nappies.
The following day, when the man was at work, the mother noticed that something was wrong with her son and took him to hospital. Doctors confirmed the boy had been sexually molested. When the man's previous attorney looked at the photographs depicting the boy's anal injuries, he could not bring himself to represent his client and withdrew from the case.
'It makes a mockery of the 16 days of activism'
After terminating his services, the attorney indicated to prosecutors he did not wish to discuss the case with anyone. The accused's strict bail conditions require that he report to Welkom police twice a week and not leave the magisterial district or contact any of the state witnesses.
The Star understands that the mother and her son, now 10 months old, have since left the Welkom area. Miranda Friedmann, of Women and Men Against Child Abuse, said South Africa's criminal justice system was covered "in the blood of a three-week-old baby... when it granted bail to the (alleged) perpetrator, who is now at home, while his son receives medical attention for pain and injuries beyond our imagination".
She said the government was talking a lot of hot air when it raised issues of victim empowerment and victims' rights because it appeared that the right of an accused were more important. She lamented that government policies relating to victims of rape and abuse were hardly properly implemented.
Lisa Vetten, senior researcher at the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, said it was unacceptable that parliament had delayed passing the Sexual Offences Bill as it redefined rape in cases where children and women were anally penetrated. She said it should generally not be easy to grant bail to people charged with sexual offences. However, she acknowledged that in cases where people were awaiting trial, it was difficult for the department of correctional services to give medication because the accused were not convicted criminals. "If he was a convicted prisoner he would have been given his medication (because a heart condition was life threatening)," she said.
Carrie Shelver of People Opposing Women Abuse said that when it came to considering bail, a number of factors needed to be taken into account - like the extent to which an accused represented a threat to the complainant and society. "This is unacceptable (that the technician was granted bail). His heart condition could not prevent him from sexually abusing the child." Shelver also accused parliament of being too slow in passing the Sexual Offences Bill. "We were told in August last year that the bill would be passed by the end of last year. Now we are told it will be passed by next year. This kind of case has to spur on civil society to hold the government responsible," she said.
Childline's Joan van Niekerk also accused the government of tardiness to pass the bill. She said the law always failed those whom it was supposed to protect. The vulnerability of children was not recognised by the district courts because officials there were not trained like the High Court authorities. "It makes a mockery of the 16 days of activism. We are talking a lot of child protection, we don't make the law a living reality for children," said Van Niekerk. The baby's father is to appear in court on March 22, when he is expected to plead.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on November 23, 2006

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MOTIVATION - THE STRONG MAN

MOTIVATION – THE STRONG MAN


By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Today’s quote appears to have been written anonymously and it says “It takes a strong man to swim against the current; any dead fish will float with it.”

So what does that mean to you - I know what it means to me. Have a look around you at all the entrepreneurs, at all the small business owners and at all the people who have made a success out of their lives. They are all the ‘strong man’ in this story. They have all done, whatever it is that they have done and achieved against many, many odds!

I know from my own experience, that when I decided to go on my own, it was the biggest ‘leap’ of faith that I have ever taken in my entire life. Looking back in retrospect of course, I wonder about the fear and uncertainty that I experienced.

Of course at the time, it was really difficult and had I given in to my fear, or indeed listened to any of the numerous people that were telling me how stupid I was and the rest that goes with that, I would certainly not be where I am today, and this missive would not be in the process of being written. Again, looking back, I cannot understand what was so scary – what I do know however, is that I have grown a very thick skin.

Don’t get me wrong, I will listen to any advice that anyone wants to give me, but I make up my own mind, and do what is best for me and for my business, not what other people perceive as being best for me. I’ve come to realize that other’s people fear of me failing is exactly that – their fear and as such, it’s nothing to do with me and none of my business! I’ve come to realize that when they tell me not to do things, it is because they lack courage to do what it is that they dream of and on some subconscious level they seem to think that they are ‘saving’ me from myself.

How presumptuous! Oh I know that on some level they think that what they are doing is ‘best’ for me – but actually what they are doing is adding to my stress. Instead of supporting me and finding ways to assist me or to help me realize my dreams, they put every kind of hindrance before me.

Oh and I am not alone either! Every single person who has gone out on their own, started their own business or even dared to follow their hearts and their dreams, was in exactly the same space that I was in. They have all grabbed the bull by the horns and followed their hearts. They are all the ‘strong men’ who have swum against the current and who have won the right to live their dreams. They should all be applauded and their courage recognized.

So the next time you have something to say to someone who wants to start a business or follow a dream – instead of telling them what they can’t do, rather encourage them and tell them what they can do, help them, support them, encourage them and watch how successful they become.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

IN THE BEGINNING GOD . . . .

Good day bloggers - South Africans all around the world will enjoy this the most - have a great day!

In the Beginning God.........


In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower andspinach, with green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds so Man andWoman would live long and healthy lives.


Then using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created Dairy Ice Cream andMagnums. And Satan said "You want hot fudge with that? And Man said "Yes!"And Woman said "I'll have one too with chocolate chips".


And lo, they gained 10 pounds.


And God created the healthy yoghurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair.


And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat and sugar from the cane and combined them.


And Woman went from size 12 to size 14.


So God said "Try my fresh green salad".


And Satan presented Blue Cheese dressing and garlic croutons on the side.


And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.


God then said "I have sent you healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them".


And Satan brought forth deep fried coconut king prawns, butter-dipped lobster chunks and chicken fried steak, so big it needed its own platter.


And Man's cholesterol went through the roof.


Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and simple carbohydrates.


Then Satan peeled off the healthy skin and sliced the starchy centreinto chips and deep fried them in animal fats adding copious quantitiesof salt.


And Man put on more pounds.


God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds.


And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels.


And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.


Then God gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.


And Satan created McDonalds and the R5,00 double cheeseburger.Then Satan said "You want fries with that?" and Man replied "Yes, And super size 'em". And Satan said "It is good."


And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest. God sighed ......... and created quadruple by-pass surgery.

And then Satan chuckled and created the Health Department headed by MantoTshabalala Msimang

MOTORISTS CRY FOUL AFTER 'COP SCAM'

This is yesterday's post.

My oh my - I wonder how I would react if something like this had happened to me. Knowing me, I would have insisted on the officers name and badge number - knowing me, I would have contacted the several friends that I have on the force and my friends at the newspaper too. Knowing me . . .

But not everyone knows someone on the police force and not everyone knows someone at the newspaper, so what then.

The general public is being more and more harassed on a daily basis, by scams of all kinds, whether it is the police force being dishonest, or banking scams or beggars on the side of the road. Yet it is those self same citizens who have to carry the cost when these things happen as well as keep up our payments to SARS.

When are we going to start getting value for money? We are being pushed into a 'press' of sorts and squeezed and squeezed some more, and just when we think that we cannot be squeezed for yet another thing - something comes along and squeezes again.

I hope that these scamming, dishonest cops are 'squeezed' just a little by the very same law that they are supposed to uphold!

Motorists cry foul after 'cop scam'
October 07 2006 at 11:19AM
By Fiona Gounden


More than 30 Durban motorists have laid charges after corrupt policemen allegedly took bribes from them after saying their cars had been illegally modified. The motorists, many of whom claim they were harassed and assaulted, are being represented by veteran Durban legal lobbyist Snowy Smith of Fair Civil Law, who says he has received death threats from police. "In the past few weeks I have received about 50 calls. Police have been taking money from motorists and telling them they will be in big trouble if they lodge a complaint because they have recorded their registration numbers.

'He wanted R800 and it would all be forgotten'
"I know that I'm treading on dangerous ground, but I believe that my clients have a strong case. Most of these vehicles were parked on private property and did not have illegal modifications," said Smith. The majority of the incidents have taken place in Phoenix, where SAPS members allegedly demanded R800 and threatened to remove licence discs from vehicles, which would force drivers to have them tested again for roadworthiness if they did not pay up.
Suvesh Haripersadh, 29, of Phoenix, said police wanted to take his VW Golf TDI off the road because of "illegal" modifications. "I was with my friends at a petrol station two weeks ago. A SAPS officer with a marked vehicle came towards me and looked at my car. All I had on the car were 17 inch mags and sports pedals. He did not even inspect the vehicle and said he was going to suspend my licence. The policeman then said he wanted R800 and it would all be forgotten. "I was a bit scared and I did not want to be inconvenienced so I paid the money, which the officer took and put in his pocket."
Krinesh Chetty, 31, had a similar experience. His Honda Civic was parked at the same petrol station. "Two police officers stopped me last Saturday and said I had illegal mags and exhaust system. They asked me for R800. I said I didn't have that kind of cash. One then told me he was going to remove my licence. The officer then removed my disc and said if I had given him the money I would have avoided this inconvenience." I discovered later that the licence had not been suspended. The Licensing Department notified me that when a licence is suspended, it has to be recorded on their system, but their records reveal the licence is still active."
A group of four Phoenix friends said that on Sunday they had been assaulted by police and had since laid charges of assault. Ricky Govender, 28, and his friends Basil Naidoo, 33, Deon Pillay, 19, and Rinesh Ramlall, 20, were seated in Govender's Corolla RSI when they claimed they were assaulted by police. "We were just sitting there outside my home and these policemen in a SAPS van came and stopped beside us. A policeman flung his door open and hit my car. The two officers were drunk and jumped out of the vehicle and demanded money."We said we had no money and they then started to punch us saying our car was illegally modified. They said they were going to take my licence disc away but I quickly locked the vehicle. All I have on my car is mags and a modified exhaust system. They then jumped into their vehicle and sped off," said Govender.
Smith is representing these people and others. "I have found that these policemen are threatening young men in their 20s and 30s. I am representing about 35 people who claim police have harassed, intimidated, wrongfully fined them or suspended their licences."
Smith has also received threats from policemen, but says he won't give up the fight. SAPS spokesperson Terry Murphy spoke out strongly against any officer who took bribes or intimidated motorists. Murphy reiterated that only members of his unit were allowed to remove discs and issue fines for illegal modifications."We belong to the police emergency services and not to a specific station. The officers in our unit have undergone specialised training courses and have obtained certificates."
Murphy warned corrupt officers to clean up their act.

WHAT TO DO WHEN .... THERE'S A DISCREPANCY ON THE JOB DESCRIPTION - PART 1

ARTICLE 5

WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . . There’s a discrepancy on the Job Description

PART 1

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting CC - March 2008.

How many times has one of your staff members moaned about something that you have asked them to do, by saying “it’s not on my job description”? I’m sure most of you can relate to this one, hell I’ve used it myself from time to time!

Let’s start at the very beginning – What is a Job Description? Many of the VSE (Very Small Enterprises) that I have worked with and in over the last five years seem to think that it the description of what the employee does. Wrong, wrong and wrong again! It is the description of the task that is performed. You see in some of the bigger Corporate’s, for example the Switchboard Operator is just that – a Switchboard Operator. In this case his/her duties would revolve only around what a Switchboard Operator does – answering of calls, determining who a call should be put through to and perhaps even taking messages. In a small concern though, where people are many things, one of the duties of a person may be that of a Switchboard Operator. The Job Description remains the same, but the duties differ!

Let me be a little clearer on this. In a small concern there may be one employee who does many jobs or functions. She/he may be the Switchboard Operator, the Receptionist, the Admin Clerk and the ‘walk in’ Sales person. In this instance, she/he would have four job descriptions as apposed to one, because she/he performs the duties to four different jobs.

So in the big Corporate instance – the duties listed on the Letter of Appointment, would be listed as something like “Switchboard Operator and all duties pertaining to this position as laid down in the Job Description . . .” whilst in the small concern – the duties listed on the Letter of Appointment, would be listed something like “Switchboard Operator, Receptionist, Administration Clerk and Sales Person and all duties pertaining to these positions as laid down in their respective job descriptions . . .”

In the big Corporate’s you could have many people using one Job Description – for example you would only have one Job Description for a ‘Sales Person’, yet you have a sales force of several thousand employees. In the VSE you may have many Job Descriptions, but only a few people to perform the tasks and/or duties that pertain to those Job Descriptions.

Next week we will have a look at what could happen if extra duties are given to staff and the consequences thereof.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za

NON-VIRGIN BRIDES FACE 'WHITE DRESS FINES'

This was Thursday 15th post.

Remind me please - exactly what year is it that we are living in? This is just too bizarre! If father Bratu thinks that 'fining' people is going to work, why do we still have prostitution and the like?

Silly, silly man!

Non-virgin brides face 'white dress fines'
December 09 2006 at 12:10PM


Valea Sarii - A Romanian priest says he wants women to pay a 'white dress fine' if they are not virgins when they marry. Father Petrica Bratu, 37, from Valea Sarii says he hopes the fines will stop couples living in sin.
The fines will range between £10 (R138) and £60 (about R780). The average salary in Romania is £100 (R1 380) per month. Father Bratu said: "The fine depends on how intimate a couple have been before they get married."

'Weddings are so expensive already - this is just too much'
Couples who had only just moved in together would pay £10 (about R138) but brides who were pregnant or had children would pay £60 (about R780).The priest asked: "What is the use of the white bridal dress if the bride went from one man to the next, or if she comes into church holding the hand of her child?

"White is a symbol of purity. I want this to stay unchanged. I do not want young people to think that there is no such thing as sacred matrimony." But groom Plamen Baldescu, 27, complained: "Weddings are so expensive already - this is just too much."The priest heard sometimes I was allowed to stay over at my girlfriend's parents' house and suddenly he is demanding large amounts of money as my fiancee supposedly does not deserve to wear white."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 61

Good morning bloggers - heres yesterday's post.

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 61

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

What about the true value of your network? Do you know how to ascertain if the person you are talking to has such a thing? In fact do you know what the true value of your network is?

For me, the value of my network is evidenced by the number of people who talk about me even when I am not there. The members of my network refer me all the time and tell others of how I have referred them and what that has done for them as individuals and for their businesses.

I was at a networking function a couple of weeks ago and Helen Nicholson, who I consider one of the ‘guru’s’ of networking was the speaker. After her speech I grabbed an opportunity to have a quick chat with her and catch up. Her opening statement to me was “I hear that you are extremely busy!” Thinking that she had been talking to one of my friends I asked her who had told her and she relied saying “Everyone I meet with is talking about you, so you must be very busy!”

Here is the true value of my network at work. People are talking about me, referring me, referring each other. This is networking at it’s most powerful.

So tell me about your network, better yet – have a good look at your network. What do you do for them and what do they do for you. What is the value of your network?

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PRETORIA JUDGE SLAMMED FOR 'FAILING' LAW

Apart from the fact that this is absolutely disgusting, I would like to know if this judge is still presiding? I would also like to know how much he got paid to make this ruling.

This is absolutely reprehensible and it makes a complete mockery of o[ur justice system!

Pretoria judge slammed for 'failing law'
Siyabonga Mkhwanaz
October 19 2006 at 04:33AM

A woman whose mother was murdered is fuming at Pretoria High Court judge Justice Ntsikelelo Poswa's decision to grant R1 000 bail to the 64-year-old's alleged killers. Judge Poswa's decision to grant bail to Abram Mabena, 22, and Oupa Frans Bofu, 25, has also been slammed by a full bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), who have just released their reasons for nullifying the bail order last month and reissuing warrants for the men's arrest. The alleged killers, who have a trial date on October 31, are still at large and a police source said it would be hard to recapture the accused, who moved from place to place.

The men are accused of breaking into the home of 88-year-old Nic and Cathy de Lange, of Wonderboom, Pretoria, on November 19 2003 after cutting through their burglar bars.

'The biggest letdown has been the justice system'
According to the indictment, they overpowered the pensioners, bound their necks with wire and cable, stole their property and fled. Mr De Lange survived but his wife died of strangulation. Speaking to The Star on Wednesday, the De Langes' daughter, Desiree Scott, said she was furious about the whole episode. "I'm disgusted. The police were sterling. The biggest letdown has been the justice system," Scott said.
During the men's first bail application in the magistrate's court, which was refused, both accused "readily admitted that they were indeed the culprits, but said they had not intended to kill Mrs De Lange, who, they said, was alive at the time they left the house", said the SCA bench, comprising judges Louis Harms, Piet Streicher and Robert Nugent.

'Justice according to law failed completely'
The case was then postponed several times as an inquiry into the mental state of Mabena - who had a history of epileptic fits - proceeded. When the matter came before court in April last year, Mabena's mother and brother testified that "he had a history of aggressive behaviour for which he appeared to display no remorse".
On September 23 2005, however, the matter came up on the court roll for another postponement. Instead, Judge Poswa demanded to know why the accused could not be released on bail, as the case had been dragging on for a long time.When told that the two had no fixed address, the judge replied: "It is very easy to say of African people who do not have mansions that they do not have addresses, and they get into some holes where they get found all the time, and the police arrest them. They do not get arrested in the air."
Judge Poswa emphasised that he had no sympathy for the state in its opposition for bail, saying: "I do not play games with people's liberty. If others think by doing so I am playing games with justice, so be it. Let them think that way. "Significant dates in the lives of young people, Christmas in particular, New Year, just keep going by and you are in prison... and these delays are not your (the accuseds') fault."
Judge Poswa then ordered that Mabena and Bofu be released on R1 000 bail each, despite their facing serious charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. The state appealed the order and Transvaal Judge President Bernard Ngoepe himself ordered that the men's bail be suspended, pending the outcome of the state's application for leave to appeal. At that hearing, Judge Poswa said Judge Ngoepe had not had all the facts before him when he made his ruling and refused the state permission for leave to appeal his order. He ordered that the men be freed.
In its judgment, written by Judge Nugent, the SCA said the circumstances in which bail was granted to the men were unusual. "It was granted in the course of an inquiry that was under way in relation to the mental state of Mr Mabena, before he and Mr Bofu had been called upon to plead," it said. The SCA also said it was "disturbing" that Judge Poswa had failed to hear state prosecutor, advocate Nombulelo Mahanjana, and that "she was subjected by the judge to a relentless barrage of hectoring questions and assertions".
It said Judge Poswa questioned Mahanjana's integrity and that the prosecutor "showed remarkable resilience and fortitude, in circumstances which she must have found both difficult and humiliating". "Justice according to law failed completely. In the absence of the inquiry that is required by law, the judge had no legal authority to grant bail," the SCA said.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on October 19, 2006

Monday, May 12, 2008

MOTIVATION - GOING THROUGH THE BARRIER'S

MOTIVATION – GOING THROUGH THE BARRIER’S

By Nikki Viljoen of Viljoen Consulting CC

Today’s quote comes from Vincent Van Gogh who says:
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”


Now we all know that Vincent Van Gogh was slightly mad! Anyone who cuts their own ear off has got to have lost the plot at some point. That said look at the beauty of his paintings, so somewhere along the line he had to have gotten it right.


Pause for a moment and think about what his words mean. I know that people who play sport often ‘go through the pain’ and from what I understand it means that when whatever it is that you are doing is painful, you just keep on going and at some point it is no longer painful.


What makes business any different? Why do those particular words just have to pertain to someone’s talent, be that of the artistic kind or the sports kind? Surely that would also apply to ‘talent’ in the business sense of the word too?


There is not a single person who I know, who is in business today who has not at some point in time – just wanted to give up and throw the towel in. There is not a single person who I know, who is in business today who has not thought ‘why does it have to be so hard’?


Well the truth of the matter is that it does not have to be hard, it’s just that as mere humans we tend to loose our way and then we make decisions that have consequences and it’s living up to and with those consequences that is what is hard sometimes.


So the next time you hear the little voice inside of you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is time to book your spot in the nearest mental institution, it could just be your intuition giving you a nudge to make a decision.


What decision will you make?

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

MAHARISHI PHUCKNUCKEL'S GUIDE TO ZEN

Have yourself a fabulous Sunday and remember to smile!

Maharishi Phucknuckel’s Guide to Zen
Remember not to forget that which you do not need to know.
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of
me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either, just fuck off
and leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and
a flat tyre.
3. The darkest hours come just before the dawn. So if you’re going to
steal your neighbour’s milk and newspaper, that’s the time to do it.
4. Sex is like air, It only becomes really important when you aren’t getting any.
5. Don’t aspire to become irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
6. Remember, no one is listening until you fart.
7. Never forget that you are unique, like everyone else.
8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
9. If you think nobody cares whether you’re dead or alive, try missing a couple of mortgage
payments
10. Before you judge someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you judge
them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
11. If at first you don’t succeed, avoid skydiving.
12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and
drink beer all day.
13. Have you ever lent someone a 20 and never seen that person again? It was probably worth it.
14. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
15. Some days we are the flies; some days we are the windscreens.
16. Don’t worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
17. Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.
18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
19. A closed mouth gathers no feet.
20. There are two theories about how to win an argument with a woman. Neither one works.
21. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much if your lips are moving.
22. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
23. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
24. When we are born we are naked, wet, hungry, and we get smacked on our arse. From there
on in, life gets worse
25. The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed.

Friday, May 09, 2008

WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . . STAFF ARE NEGLIGENT IN THE PERFOMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES - PART 6

ARTICLE 4

WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . . STAFF ARE NEGLIGENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES

PART 6

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting CC - March 2008.

So here we are at the very end. Mike the business owner has had his say, George the security guard has had his say and the Commissioner at the CCMA has had his say.

The bottom line is that Mike has to re-employ George and also has to fork out a bunch of money for dismissing George in the first place, even though the Commissioner agrees that George was in fact wrong for not complying with laid down procedures.

So now it is time for me to have my say.

Yes I agree that George’s misconduct deserved a disciplinary. Yes I agree that ultimately George should have been dismissed!

Yes I agree that Mike was in a terrible situation, with serious losses occurring and yes I agree that Mike was well within his rights to have the surveillance equipment installed and monitored.

George’s claim that he had not been trained properly, is as far as I am concerned a load of rubbish – surely after 14 years he should have known what it is that he was doing. There is also documentary evidence that he was in fact trained – Mike has his signature to prove that.

George’s claim that he was transferred against his will is also a load of non-sense, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.

My knee-jerk reaction would be that Mike did everything correctly and the decision should have been in his favour.

That said, and given time to reflect without any emotion, my mind has been changed. In terms of the law, Mike should have held the disciplinary and given George a Final Written warning as well as more documented training. The situation should then have been monitored some more and had George slipped up even once, another disciplinary should have taken place, at which time George should have been dismissed.

This would have shown that Mike had taken steps to correct the matter rather than just get rid of George. The CCMA outcome would also have been very different in my opinion.

The lesson that should be learnt here is always use caution. Make sure that every avenue has been covered. Make sure that you have been ‘seen’ to try and remedy before you just dismiss.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za

Thursday, May 08, 2008

PAEDOPHILES FACE INTERNET CRACKDOWN

Paedophiles face Internet crackdown
06 February 2007 at 10h03

London - Convicted paedophiles may have to register their email addresses and online nicknames with policeunder new laws designed to protect children using the Internet, the British government said on Tuesday.


Keeping closer tabs
British Home Secretary John Reid said child sex offenders should have more details recorded on the Sex Offenders Register in an attempt to stop them from "grooming" children online.


"If they give us false details of their name and addressthey can be punished by up to five years in prison," Reid told Sky News. "What I want to explore is to see whether we can have the same requirement for email addresses and web identities."


A system may be developed that would detect offenders trying to use the registered details to visit websites where they could target children, he said.


Lurking in teenage chatrooms
The dangers of Internet paedophiles were highlighted thisweek when three men were jailed for conspiring to kidnap and rape two girls they hoped to meet in Internet chatrooms.


David Beavan, Alan Hedgcock and Robert Mayers used the Internet to put together their plot to kidnap the two girls, aged 13 and 14, take them to woods and rape them.


They were jailed for a total of 27 years on Monday in what police said was the first case in Britain to use cyberchat as evidence.


Under current laws, sex offenders must register their name, address and national insurance number with police within three days of conviction or release from prison.


They have to confirm their details every year and tellpolice if they plan to travel abroad for more than three days.


Officers are allowed to take a photograph or the fingerprints of sex offenders on the register. - Reuters

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

THE POWER OF NETWORKING - PART 60

THE POWER OF NETWORKING

PART 60

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Who are the people that you connect with? Or perhaps the question should be who are the people that you target, to connect with?

Most people will say that they are people who would complement your business, or who would be able to give you business or would generate business for you. Am I correct? I thought so!

And if I was correct then your answer is . . . . wrong, wrong, wrong!

Look, I know that there are hundreds of people, and probably all the books, telling you to focus on being target driven, but the bottom line is very different and if you never listen to another thing I say – listen to this!

Trust your instinct, connections that you wouldn’t normally give the time of day to, will bring the right people into your life far more often than people who you would expect to connect you. How’s that for a statement?

I know that many of you will be very sceptical about this, but believe me it’s true. Let me give you an example. My friend Paula de Pinho from Europa Investments (www.europainvestments.co.za) imports freeze dried foods for the masses. We were at a networking event a couple of weeks ago and at the table was a young lady, let’s call her Sue, who is a fashion designer. I saw the look on Paula’s face when they introduced themselves because “how could Sue possibly help to get contacts to sell this food to by the container load (and it does come in by the container load” and I am sure that all of you are asking the very same question!

Well I am in the process of teaching Paula how to network and seeing that I am sharing so many of my networking tips with you, I will share this one with you too.

Think about it people.

Ok, here goes – who goes to a fashion designer to have their clothes designed? Certainly not me and probably not you. But the wives of the rich and famous do. And who best to twist the arm of a cabinet member, or a member of parliament or a CEO of a large firm with a big Corporate Social Investment (CSI) budget, if not his loving wife? Suddenly the light bulb goes on, doesn’t it?

On the reverse side, and for Paula to be just as useful to Sue – who is meeting with CEO’s of big corporate companies and ambassadors of foreign countries who have wives who would love to have their clothes designed for them and who on earth would Paula recommend? So another penny drops!

So do not ignore people who have been put into your life, don’t pre-judge. Get to know them, find out what it is that they do and be a ‘giver’, connect them with as many as you can out of your data base and then watch as they return the favour! You see when you give to others you give them a reason to be your greatest advertisers – they will sing praises to you at every given opportunity.

I don’t believe that there is such a thing as coincidence or sheer luck, I believe that you make your own luck. I believe that it is all to do with what you ‘put out there’, it will attract exactly what you need.

Your greatest marketing tool, is you yourself and the people that you connect with. There is no greater or stronger lead than one that comes from a referral.

So go out and connect today – connect with everyone, open your mind to the possibilities that are everywhere.

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

LIVE YOUR LIFE AS SUDDEN DEATH, SAYS BUYS

I am sure that this is not a new concept for many of us, in that this question has been asked of us and to some extent answered.

Perhaps though, the question should be asked and answered on a more regular basis. The question, when I asked it of myself today - made me stop in my tracks. Am I living my life as if today is the last day of my life - the answer is a resounding NO, and that is not good.

Looking back over just the last few days, it is plainly evident that I am just taking a stroll through my life, instead of living it to the full and I have just paused to kick my own backside!

Note to self - check on a regular basis to ensure that my life is being lived to the fullest extent! No excuses will be accepted!

Live your life as sudden Death, says Buys
Lauron Buys

22 May 2007 at 11h00

I woke up on Saturday morning, early, with Friday's headlines firmly on the forefront of my mind: "It's Final!" Well, I guess it is - and now we all know the result of Saturday's game. Yet, what struck me is how one prepares for something that is final.
The players had experienced thirteen matches in which, while each result was crucial, they had some leeway. They didn't expect to win all of the games. If they lost, well, they merely learnt from the game and moved on to prepare better for the next match. Then came the semi-final, and there would be no next week if they lost that game. But there was a next week and then, of course, was the final.
In the semis and the final, how did their mindsets change? Of course, the players couldn't let their emotions run away with them, like most of the fans. In many ways, the players had to approach the final two games in much the same way they had the first thirteen games - focused on their job and doing it to the best of their ability; having the faith that if everyone in the squad did the same thing, then the chance of their team winning was that much greater. Except there was more to it, wasn't there?
There was so much riding on these last two matches they had to do more than that - they had to focus on doing their jobs with a zero tolerance for mistakes, because mistakes would mean sudden death. A more heightened awareness was required but, paradoxically, if they changed their approach too much, failure was likely to follow. I wonder if it is coincidence that I bought an audiobook by a Tibetan Master last week out of interest and to learn more about their philosophies. Now I am a real rookie in this area, but it was interesting how the author dealt with the concept of death upfront.

We, in the West, tend to deal with it last, partly because that's where we believe it comes in our lives, but also because we approach life and death differently. What struck me specifically was that the author said we normally approach every day hoping that it is not our last. He suggested, however, that we approach each day as if it is our last for, as I understand it in my simple terms, with a complete acceptance of death we are able to approach life in a way more likely to be uncluttered with the interferences that we tend to pack into our minds on a daily basis.
Once again it seems as if they sort of play sudden death on a daily basis. They approach every day on the same sudden death basis as players in the Super 14 did during the last two weeks. Now I am not trying to get readers to change the way they think of life and death. What I would like us to do is to think of just how our lives would change if we lived as if we might die at any time (and weren't afraid of this eventuality).
Some of the well-known international speakers use this sometimes - they ask us to imagine we are given six months to live and to consider what we would do with those last six months. What would we change? I guess for most of us, almost everything would. What would we do differently with our loved ones? How would we approach our work? What goals would we set to achieve in our remaining days? How would we start to treat others? How would we start to treat ourselves? What would change for us spiritually? Would these changes make our lives more - or less - meaningful? And if we took up the Tibetan approach and condensed our six month vision into each day? Just what would we put into Life? What's stopping me? What's stopping you?
Lauron Buys is managing member of C-Business Coaching Solutions, who focus on developing leadership and performance in organisations using coaching. Previous articles are on www.cbiz.co.za

Monday, May 05, 2008

MOTIVATION - WITHOUT DREAMS

MOTIVATION – WITHOUT DREAMS

By Nikki Viljoen of Viljoen Consulting CC


Today’s quote comes from Harry Kemp, who says:


“The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream.”


Well this is good news for me specifically, that’s for sure. A great deal of my ‘down time’ is spent dreaming. Sadly though, this is not the case for everyone.


I once had to interview of the staff members, for a client of mine. He had just bought another company out and when the staff of both companies welded together, there were obviously a great number of overlaps. So he needed to ascertain who was best for the job at hand. I did the interviews and checked what they were doing against what the job description was and then against what their CV’s said that they could do and then asked them what they wanted to do – what their passions were.


One chap looked at me quite blankly, when I asked him what his passion was. He really struggled with the question, grappling for an answer. Seeing his dilemma, I asked the question “If you won the lotto and you received R20 million, what would you do?” Sweat broke out on his brow – he was still at a loss. I asked him what car he drove, he told me it was a 1995 Mazda 323 (this interview took place in 2007), so I asked him, if money was not a problem, what car would he like to have. He hung his head as if he had done something wrong. My heart went out to him, it really did.


You see, he was married and his first child had just been born. He came from a background that was extremely poor and his only focus was how to get food on the table, clothes on his back and a roof over his head. When he married, his focus did not change, but now included the notion that he now had someone else to be responsible for, and when his baby daughter arrived it increased the pressure because now he had a family to provide for. He was so busy putting one foot in front of the other that he had not taken the time out to dream!


How incredibly sad is that.


I tried to think how my life would be if I didn’t have dreams and I must admit, I never got it right – I could not imagine my life without the many pictures, video’s and cartoons that flood through my brain at regular interviews. I’d probably be dead and even then considering my spiritual beliefs, I would still be getting those images!


It’s fun isn’t it – to dream about the next house that you will buy, the next car that you will drive, the places that you hope to visit, the businesses that you build? Well I think it is!


My life certainly is much richer for the dreams that I have and for the many dreams, in my life that have actually come true – because it’s not just about dreaming, but also about making those dreams a reality.


So whatever it is that you do today, don’t forget to dream!


Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

10 THOUGHTS FOR 2008!

Good morning bloggers from a very wet and cold Gauteng - enjoy your day!

10 THOUGHTS FOR 2008

Number 10. Life is sexually transmitted.


Number 9. Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.


Number 8. Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.


Number 7. Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.


Number 6. Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.


Number 5. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying Of nothing.


Number 4. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.


Number 3. Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200.00 and a substantial tax Cut saves you $0.30?


Number 2. In the '60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world Is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.


AND THE NUMBER 1 THOUGHT FOR 2008: 'Life is like a jar of jalapeƱos. What you do today, might burn your a$$ tomorrow'.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

POLICE OFFICERS NABBED FOR DRUNKEN DRIVING

Fabulous, so the road carnage is down for the Xmas period or holiday period and police officers have been arrested along with the usual rabble! Now, what about the judge that got caught and our very own Jackie Salebi, when does that put them - or are the lowly officers fodder to take the place of our erstwhile so called leaders?

Police officers nabbed for drunken driving
Johannesburg, South Africa
23 December 2006 07:59


Two police officers were among people arrested for drunken driving in the presence of Transport Minister Jeff Radebe in separate roadblocks on the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, the provincial traffic department said. "The minister joined me in a visit to various roadblocks across the province and we witnessed the arrests of the officers," said KwaZulu-Natal minister of transport Bheki Cele.
"This shows that we show no mercy on offending motorists, irrespective of whether they are police officers." He said hundreds of motorists were issued tickets for not complying with road rules. "We will also be strict on motorists who do not display their registration numbers, especially those who drive fast cars and think they can get away without being detected."
Cele said unroadworthy taxis were among vehicles stopped during the roadblock. "We however commend those motorists who contributed to reducing road deaths by obeying all road rules. We also commend traffic and law-enforcement agencies in the province for their visibility, dedication and commitment to reducing death on the KwaZulu-Natal roads."
He warned that roadblocks would continue, with every measure taken to ensue that "those caught breaking the law face the consequences".
Fewer fatalities
Fatalities on South Africa's roads have decreased but it remains up to road users to ensure that the trend continues, the Department of Transport said on Friday. The death toll stood at 907, down from last year's 1 024 for the same period. "Yes, we can be optimistic that the situation has improved, but we cannot predict what will happen next," said spokesperson Collen Msibi.
"Government has increased law enforcement on the roads. The critical period around Christmas and New Year is when accidents occur in residential areas because of alcohol use, which causes around 60% of the accidents," he said. Speed remains the main cause of fatal accidents on South African roads. "Speed is involved in all accidents: no speed, no accidents. In around 70% of the fatal accidents speed is an essential contributory factor."Speed increases the risk of being involved in an accident, makes it more difficult to avoid an accident and increases the severity of an accident, said Msibi. He cautioned motorists to adhere to the speed limit at all times."Never try to regain lost time due to delays by speeding.
Traffic authorities will not show any mercy to irresponsible behaviour."Pedestrian deaths remained high with 365 fatalities, followed by 287 passenger deaths and 256 drivers.The Gauteng province had the highest number of fatalities with 182, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 178 deaths, the Eastern Cape with 105, and Mpumalanga with 99. The province with the least fatalities was the Northern Cape at 29. -- Sapa

Friday, May 02, 2008

WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . . STAFF ARE NEGLIGENT IN THE PERFOMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES - PART 5

ARTICLE 4

WHAT TO DO WHEN . . . . STAFF ARE NEGLIGENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES

PART 5

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting CC - March 2008.


So here we are, still at the CCMA arbitration and now awaiting the verdict of the Commissioner.

Based on the evidence that was presented at the CCMA Arbitration hearing, the Commissioner rejected both claims made by George. You will remember that George stated that he had not received any training in relation to the search procedures and that he actually objected to his being transferred to this particular post.

The Commissioner said that he agreed with Mike’s rule that the searches should be conducted in a certain and specific way and he said that he thought that this was a valid way in which to perform this task. He approved of this particular rule. The Commissioner also said that he agreed that George had failed in his duty has he had not obeyed the rule. A problem arises later on though, when the Commissioner decides that George only contravened the rule as a mistake – in other words it was unintentional. George did not intentionally fail to adhere to laid down procedures – George made a mistake! But I digress and get ahead of myself – let’s return to the story where it is now.

The Commissioner also took into account Section 188(2) of the Labour Relations Act which states “when a person is considering whether the reason for dismissal is a fair reason, he must take into account the Code of Good Practice – Dismissal.”

Although the Commissioner did consider the Code, he considered, in particular paragraph 7 (of the Code), which states “that when a person determining whether dismissal for misconduct is fair, must consider whether the dismissal was an appropriate sanction.” Herein lies the problem!

You see the Commissioner decided that the right thing to have done, would have been to put George through “progressive discipline”. This meant that Mike should have tried to correct George’s behaviour by putting him through a ‘system of graduated disciplinary measures’. This meant that Mike should have put George through a counseling hearing and then several warnings before dismissing him, thereby indicating that he had really tried, hard, to get George to follow the correct procedure.

The Commissioner also decided that George’s long service record should count in his favour and therefore the George’s dismissal was too harsh a price for him to pay.

The Commissioner said that in view of the fact that the store did not appear to suffer any losses during this period, George had “made a mistake” and that his conduct in not following the correct procedures was ‘unintentional’ and throughout the whole process George had not been dishonest.

The Commissioner further stated that he did not believe that George’s failure to follow laid down procedures, had broken trust in the employment relations.

The bottom line here is that the Commissioner’s decision was to overturn the dismissal and Mike had to re-employ George and he was also ordered to pay George a whole bunch of money.

Not nice hey?

Next week I will be giving you my views on this matter.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za

Thursday, May 01, 2008

SEXWALE: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS A RIGHT


Sexwale: Freedom of expression is a right
Natasha Marrian Johannesburg, South Africa
18 October 2007 07:57


Freedom of expression is a right South Africans should not have to ask for, businessman Tokyo Sexwale told a gathering at the Star’s 120th anniversary celebrations in Johannesburg on Wednesday."You have the right, you don't have to ask for that right ... you have won that right by being citizens of this country," Sexwale told around 100 guests at the Rand Club in Johannesburg.
"Let nobody in this country preach otherwise ... the right was won through many years of struggle."Sexwale said the right to freedom of expression had its roots in the African National Congress (ANC) Freedom Charter. "Let us hold the ANC accountable to this founding statement of freedom of expression."It is important to remind the ruling party that they are not ruling anybody ... you [the ANC] are a servant of the people and not the other way around."
He said the Constitution South Africans had adopted was inspired by the Freedom Charter and that the media were the conscience of society. "If we lose you, we lose," he said. Sexwale also spoke about name changes and about the controversy that arose when name changes were proposed. "It is sad to see some people resist name changes," he said. If all South Africans agreed that apartheid was "fundamentally flawed and wrong" then they should also agree that "those who gave it its genesis cannot be modelled on our streets and our towns", he said. Sexwale said names remnant of apartheid leaders must change and that it was "incumbent on white South Africans" to ensure that these names were removed. He said these apartheid leaders were not heroes and models for South Africa's children.
Sexwale, wearing a dark suit and a pink tie, captivated the audience during his keynote address at the event. Star editor Moegsien Williams said tension between the government and the media was necessary in order for the media to fulfil their constitutional role. Citing ANC policy documents -- which emerged from the ANC's policy conference in June which proposed tighter controls on the media -– and a recent Sunday Times report detailing the possible prosecution of the newspaper's editor Mondli Makhanya as examples, Williams said he did not think these were matters for concern.
"I am not particularly perturbed ... "He also paid tribute to veteran journalists David and Ethel Hazelhurst and handed over flowers and a gift to the couple. David Hazelhurst was described by master of ceremonies and radio personality Redi Direko as the "Mandela of journalism". Guests at the function were welcomed on arrival with a display detailing the newspaper's history since its inception in 1887.Other guests included senior independent newspaper employees as well as Gauteng minister for safety and security Firoz Cachalia. Guests were entertained by Thapelo, who sung renditions of Nat King Cole numbers. - Sapa