Sunday, June 29, 2008


Finally caught up here's hoping that you all have a fabulous Sunday and don't foget to smile!

Tower: "DELTA 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"

Delta 351: Give us another hint - we have digital watches.

Tower: TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn 45 degrees.
TWA 2341: Centre we are at 35,000ft. How much noise can we make up here.
Tower: Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?
From an unknown aircraft in a very long take-off queue: "I am fucking bored!!!"
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting identify yourself immediately!!!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was fucking bored not fucking stupid!!!"
Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, eastbound."

United 329: "Approach!!! I have always wanted to say this. I have the little Fokker in my sight!"
A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar , ATC asked: "What was your last known position?"

Student: "When I was number One for take-off!!!"
A DC-10 had come in a little hot, thus had exceedingly long roll out after touch down. Johannesburg International Tower: "American 751 make a hard turn right at end of runway if you are able. If not able take the Gillooly's off ramp exit then make it right back to Johannesburg International Airport."
A Pan Am 727, waiting for start clearance in Munich, overheard the following: Lufthansa {in German} "Ground what is our start clearance time?"

Ground {in English} "If you want an answer you must speak in English." Lufthansa {in English} "I am German, flying a German Airplane in Germany. Why I must speak English?"

Unknown voice from another plane {in a beautiful British accent} "Because you lost the bloody war!!!"
Tower: "QUANTAS 702 cleared for take-off contact departure. On Frequency 124.7."

QUANTAS 702: "Tower QUANTAS 702 switching to departure. By the way after we lifted off we saw Some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."

Tower: "S.A.A. 652, cleared for take off behind QUANTAS 702 contact departure on frequency 124.7.

Did you Copy report on QUANTAS 702?" S.A.A. 652: "Cleared for take off, Roger: Yes, we copied QUANTAS we have already notified our caterers!"
While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air Flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale Made a wrong turn then came nose to nose with B.A. 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 277, where the hell are you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie Taxiway!!!You turned right onto Delta!! Stop right there! I know it is difficult for you to tell the difference between C & D, but get it right. Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was shouting hysterically: God now you have screwed everything up. It will take forever to sort this out!!! You stay right there & Do not move until I tell you!! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour, I want you to go exactly where I tell you ,When I tell you & how I tell you. You got that US Air 277?"

"Yes Ma'am" the humbled crew responded. Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing Of US Air 277. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence & keyed in his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once???"


This is Saturday 28th's post.

How cool is this! No man, not about the global warming bit. About the exotic animals that have been revealed. That's so cool - it could also possibly tell us about previous 'global warmings' (although I am sure that they were not called that before) and/or ice ages and the like. Man this is exciting!

Vanishing ice shelf reveals exotic animals
February 26 2007 at 01:20AM
By Deborah ZabarenkoWashington -

Spindly orange sea stars, fan-finned ice fish and herds of roving sea cucumbers are among the exotic creatures spied off the Antarctic coast in an area formerly covered by ice, scientists reported on Sunday.
This is the first time explorers have been able to catalogue wildlife where two mammoth ice shelves used to extend for 10 000 square kilometres over the Weddell Sea. At least 5 000 years old, the ice shelves collapsed in two stages over the last dozen years. One crumbled 12 years ago and the other followed in 2002.
Global warming is seen as the culprit behind the ice shelves' demise, said Gauthier Chapelle of the Polar Foundation in Brussels. "These kind of collapses are expected to happen more," he said. "What we're observing here is probably going to happen elsewhere around Antarctica." Melting ice shelves are not expected to directly contribute much to global sea level rise, but glaciologists believe these vast swaths of ice act like dams to slow down glaciers as they move over the Antarctic land mass toward the coast.
Without the ice shelves, glaciers may move over the water more quickly, and this would substantially add to rising seas. Since 1974, 13 500 square kilometres of ice shelves have disintegrated in the Antarctic Peninsula. But the collapse of the ice shelves gave the scientists a unique opportunity to see what had been hidden beneath them; before the collapse, researchers could only peer through holes drilled deep into the ice.
Chapelle and other scientists from 14 nations travelled to the area aboard the ice-breaking vessel Polarstern in a 10-week voyage to investigate underwater wildlife along the Antarctic peninsula, the part of the southern continent that curves up toward South America. Looking down 850m into the icy water - a comparatively shallow depth - they found fauna usually associated with seabeds about three times that deep, in places where the creatures must adapt to scarcity to survive.
There were blue ice fish, with dorsal fins like ribbed fans and blood that lacks red cells, an adaptation that makes the blood more fluid and easier to pump through the animal's body, conserving energy at low temperatures. Long-limbed sea stars, some with more than the usual five appendages, mingled with the ice fish, and groups of sea cucumbers were observed moving together, all in one direction.
The explorers also found thick settlements of fast-growing animals called sea squirts, which look like gelatinous bags, which apparently started colonising the area only after the ice shelves collapsed. Among the hundreds of specimens collected, the scientists identified 15 possible new species of shrimp-like amphipods, and four possible new species of cnidarians, organisms related to coral, jellyfish and sea anemones, the scientists said in a statement.
These specimens will be analysed to determine whether they in fact are newly discovered species.





By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting CC.

I promised that we would have a look at the subject of accumulation of leave.

This is not a good idea people – not good for the Business at all! Actually the Letters and/or Contracts of Appointment that I have deals very clearly with this point. Let’s examine why it is not a good idea and then I will let you know how I deal with it in the employee contracts.

So George has been working for Mike now for a period of 17 years. Both George and Mike are very ‘proud’ of the fact that George has not taken a single days worth of leave in that entire time. The perception of course is that George is so dedicated to his work that he will sacrifice himself in order to make sure that the business works . . . well! Seventeen years – that’s a long time not to take leave, in fact it is a whopping 255 days leave that is due to George – almost 9 months worth of leave due! Incredible wouldn’t you say? Well not for me, I would say EEEeeeeeeekkkkk! Houston we have a problem!

Let’s have a look at the real reason that George has not taken leave. You see, personally I don’t believe that anyone could be that dedicated! Even people who own their own Businesses or work for themselves take a break from time to time and there is anyone ‘dedicated’ to what they do, it’s them. Wouldn’t you agree?

One of the biggest frauds that I have come across in my career as Internal Auditor (a career that spans more than 30 years, I might add) ‘popped’ up when we put a stop to all overtime and insisted that people within the organization took their leave. You see, the people who are committing fraud, or who (as in this case) were ‘in charge’ of all the people that they had coerced into committing the fraud, had to be around in case a question or two was asked – so that they could cover their tracks, make the appropriate excuses or make a timeous exit, should the need arise.

That is one of the reasons that the Basic Conditions of Employment Act is quite specific about leave and how it should be taken. Taking a day here or there doesn’t cut it. Your staff need to take their leave in blocks/weeks/chunks or any other way you would like to describe it.

Let’s be reasonable, apart from anything else, everyone needs a break, everyone needs to rest and honestly speaking, you are not doing yourself and/or your business any favour by having people around that are dog tired. Contrary to popular belief, they do not work to their best capacity and neither do you. So let them take their time off and make sure that you do too.

So that’s the first reason that your staff MUST take leave – let’s have a look at some of the others.

Although George has been with Mike for seventeen years now, he has been headhunted by Mike’s rival company. Apart from anything else, they are prepared to give George, double the salary that he is earning right now and they are also going to throw in a car, a petrol allowance and a cell phone. George of course, being the loyal employee that he is turns down the offer! Yeah right! George hands his resignation in so quickly, it’s written and handed in before Mike can even blink!

Think about this one for a moment - Mike now has to “pay out” the 255 days leave that he owes George and get this – it’s not at 15 days at the rate that George was paid in the first year and then 15 days that George was paid in the 2nd year and so on. It is 255 days at George’s current rate of pay! What exactly do you think that this is going to do to Mike’s cash flow, presuming of course that he has one?

This is the kind of stuff that ‘closes’ businesses down – fast.

In the employment contracts that I use, it is stipulated that employees have to take a minimum of 80% of their leave as at 31 December of each year. The balance of 20% may be accumulated until 31 March of the following year and if not taken by then is forfeited by the employee.

As you can see, it is in your own best interests to ensure that your staff take their leave every year – all of it.

Next week, we will look at a whole new topic!
Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or


This is Thursday 26th's post.

All I can say here is that for me, on a logical level, doing alcohol with these energy drinks is a contradiction in terms.

Alcohol for me, is taken when I want to relax and calm down-usually at the end of a long hard day - these energy drinks are usually taken (and I say usually because I don't drink them - they taste disgusting in my opinion) when you are low on energy and need a boost of sorts.

So why you would take them together just doesn't make any kind of sense to me at all.

Think about it people! Think carefully about what it is that you put into your bodies!

'Rape cocktail' warning issued
November 25 2006 at 12:43PM
By Christina Gallagher

Partying young women may be as much at risk from drinking alcohol and caffeinated energy drink cocktails as they are from "date rape" drugs. Women across the country are claiming they have consumed caffeinated energy drinks mixed with alcohol and are finding themselves in strangers' beds - and they don't remember how they got there.
Dr Graham Hutton, director of trauma units in four provincial hospitals in Gauteng, said he has noticed an increase in the number of women coming to the hospitals who are waking up disoriented after consuming as many as seven energy-drink cocktails.

'Nightspots across the country are making millions of rands off these cocktails'
(The energy drinks he referred to are of the caffeinated type, not the "isotonic" fluid replacement drinks like Energade and Powerade.)"It has taken a long time to notice the pattern, but women and some men are coming in every week saying they woke up in a guy's bed and didn't remember how they got there. But when we ran drug tests, there were no traces of Rohypnol [the most common date rape drug]."
Hutton said the mixture of caffeinated energy drinks with vodka or Jugermeister were overstimulating to the body. He added that an estimated 20 percent of people who consume this mixture would, in his opinion, act aggressively, flirtatiously or out of character."With these [date rape] drugs the person becomes unconscious, while with the energy drinks and alcohol mixture the person is fully conscious, but [depending on how much they consume] they might not remember," he said.
In the past two years there had not been one single positive testing for Rohypnol at Sunninghill, Garden City Clinic, Milpark Hospital or Union Hospital, said Hutton. He added: "Labs can test for GHB and ketamine (other common date-rape drugs) but these tests are unreliable and are not legally and medically admissible."However, from the beginning of the new year, a more reliable test for tracing these drugs would be available. Hutton's theory that energy drinks mixed with alcohol are leading to more date-rape occurrences is controversial and untested and, if correct, has major implications because nightspots across the country are making millions of rands off these cocktails, which can cost as much as R40.
Last week, a patient who thought she had been raped came to Hutton. She said she had been drinking a caffeinated energy drink and alcohol with her friends at a bar in Montecasino."She said a guy approached her and told her that her friends had left and that he would take her home. There is video footage of them in the bar and then of them outside on a bench kissing, before they left." But the young woman did not remember any of this.
Hutton said that in many cases he had been informed that security footage obtained from various venues appeared to show that women were "conscious but were acting out of character"."Ladies are shown walking out of bars holding hands with someone, but leave their handbags behind. The next day… they don't remember a thing." Dr Adrienne Wolfsohn, Gauteng's director of emergency medical services, said: "People don't realise that the combination of energy drinks and vodka might affect their neurological system more than vodka and soda."
She said the combination was dangerous because, drunk in substantial quantities, it makes you high and so intoxicated that you do not remember. Superintendent Andre Neethling, Gauteng provincial co-ordinator of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, confirmed that if the Sexual Offences Bill had been passed, it would be legally accepted that someone had been raped if that person was so drunk that she or he was not capable of giving consent to sex.
Responding to questions from the Saturday Star, Christina Sponer, a spokesperson for Red Bull, said it was safe to mix the popular energy drink with alcohol - but that people should not underestimate the effects of alcohol. "Everyone knows that the excessive and irresponsible consumption of alcohol can have adverse effects on human health and behaviour, but it should be clear that this is due to the alcoholic drink, not the mixer - be it cola, orange juice, tonic or whatever else is mixed with alcohol."
Hutton pointed out he did not think that people were necessarily giving others the energy-drink cocktail with the intention of raping them later. "A lot of innocence is involved, and it is ending up in a bad situation for both parties."

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on November 25, 2006

Thursday, June 26, 2008




By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Networking and your competition. Let’s take this discussion a bit further this week.

How do you Network effectively when you are competing with several other companies and businesses that offer the same product and/or services as you do and who operate out of the same area that you do? Clearly you need to stand out ‘head and shoulders’ above the crowd and you obviously should never, and I mean NEVER – put your competition down or malign them in any way. Concentrate rather on what you do and what you do that makes it different.

Let’s focus on what you do need to do – you need to work very carefully on every aspect of your Business, from your Business Presentation to your Business Card, your promotional/marketing items such as pens, to the way that you present yourself as an individual, to your elevator speech.

Your Business Presentation needs to be professional, but also memorable. Going on and on about statistics and the like is extremely boring for the person listening. So if you want to use some statistics, choose one – perhaps put some humour into it (to make it stand out and be memorable) and use it at the end of the presentation where it will make and have the most impact!

You need to know what you want to say to people when you introduce yourself. Fumbling and stammering with lots of ‘Um’s and er’s and, and, and, and’s’ is really not going to cut it for you. Let’s face it – if you don’t know who you are and what it is that you do, how can you expect anyone else to? So take the time and prepare what you want to say to people.

I have written so much about Elevator speeches it really feels like a deje vu moment for me, yet it is of critical importance, especially if you are confined to a limited amount of time in which to introduce yourself and make an impression!

Take the time, invest it in yourself and your business. Make sure that what you are saying is clear and also that it makes sense. Make your statement make people want to contact you and engage with you, even if it is only to ask you what you meant!

For example my elevator speech is “My name is Nikki Viljoen of Viljoen Consulting. I am an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and I prevent loss!” Many people come up to me afterwards and say ‘What do you mean you prevent loss – how do you prevent loss?’ A huge foot in the door for me wouldn’t you say?

The more you work on your Networking, the more your Networking will work for you!

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Wow! How awesome is this? A brand new opportunity seen by a man that clearly sees opportunities. Well done rob Edwards!

No more hijackings?
March 24 2007 at 10:57AM
By Fiona Gounden

A hi-tech device that could make your car hijack-proof and virtually useless to criminals with the touch of a button has been launched in Kwazulu-Natal. Businessman Rob Edwards and insurance broker Glen Harvey, both 55, have launched this unique device.
Called "ResQme", it is fitted in your car and links your cellphone to the vehicle, enabling you to command the car to switch off, lock and unlock doors without the keys, act as a tracking device and a panic button and even to guide you to your destination if you are lost.
Harvey said some people may choose to have just the cellphone panic button installed. In this case, five other nominated people will also have a panic button and they can notify the call centre in the event of danger. The phone can also be tracked down if it is stolen. This service costs R69 a month and installation is free.

However, Harvey said he wanted to take the idea of the cellphone panic button further and link it to the vehicle because of the high rate of vehicle thefts and hijacking. "The cellphone panic button was launched three years ago and I decided to advance it and link it to the vehicle somehow. You can now have an immobiliser and the tracking device fitted to the vehicle linking it to your phone. It works across all cellular networks and phones.
"The installation of this device in the vehicle costs R3 000 and the monthly cost is R89. Harvey said the device makes it impossible for criminals to steal the vehicle. "If criminals have taken the car, there is no need to panic. All you have to do is key in your secret code from your cellphone and press in certain options for the vehicle's engine to cut off in 10 seconds. The car is not able to start until you call again and key in your specific code instructing the car to be able to start again."In addition to this you are able to call the vehicle at any time and check the status, and lock it from wherever you are."Anyone who wants more information on ResQme can call 0860 737 763.

Monday, June 23, 2008



By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

It is said that “we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.”

Well in my book, so do we. We change! We grow and move forward. Sometimes we stop dead in or tracks and need to be kick started to get going again and sometimes something happens and we even go back wards.

Think about it for a moment. As children we learn and as we learn we grow – both physically and emotionally. What was really important to us as children growing up is usually nothing that we get up tight about as teenagers. Our understanding of our immediate environment and the people in it change as we grow.

Then as teenagers, the hormones kick in and we swing like a great big pendulum, going from ecstatic highs to dangerous lows, very seldom spending any length of time, balanced, somewhere in the middle.

Once the hormones settle down and we become more emotionally stable and enter young adulthood, what seemed like a ‘life and death’ situation as a teenager usually becomes nothing more than a slight embarrassment as we think back to what we were so ready to give our very lives for – presuming of course that we can actually remember the incident at all!

Then as adults we grow as we experience day to day life and the trials and tribulations that we set up for ourselves. From each experience we learn (hopefully) and we grow.

As we grow we change, hopefully for the better, and we morph into who and what it is that we want to become.

Friendships that were forged in our youth often do not survive to adulthood and this is because as individuals, we grow at different speeds, and often in different directions.

We expect others around us, our family, our friends and colleagues to accept us for what and whom we are, at any given moment in our lives and yet there appears to be this problem that we have in seeing and accepting the changes that our friends, family and colleagues have also gone through to become what they are.

We all change, whether it is for the better or for the worse – it is entirely up to us. Let us embrace that change both in ourselves and in our friends. Let us accept the changes in both ourselves and in our friends. Let us be all that we can be and accept our friends just as they are.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday and don't forget to smile!


1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. I Work Hard Because Millions On Welfare depend on me!

4. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

5. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

6. Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.

7. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me

8. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

9. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

10. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are missing.

11. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

13. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

14. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

15. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

16. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

17. Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it!

18. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted when I grew up.

19 Procrastinate Now!

21. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

22. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance

23. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

24.They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

25. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.

26. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.

27. Ham and eggs. A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

28. The trouble with life is there's no background music.

29. The original point and click interface was a Smith and Wesson.

30. I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.


This is Saturday 21st's post.

This has got to be the funniest thing that I have heard in a very long time! I wonder if they are this strict on all of those fraudsters and thieves in their ranks that plunder the books and the funds and live off the rest of us?

I wonder how much it cost them to go after this 0.02c! Must be quite a fortune!

What a bunch of absolute idiots!

Council insists on 2c debt
Hanti Otto May 02 2008 at 07:32AM

Not a penny more, not a penny less, exactly 2c. This is what the Tshwane metro council demanded from Elmien Adendorff. The last two accounts they sent stated: "As your monthly payment is behind, it would be appreciated if you could pay it within 30 days to prevent legal (action)." Adendorff wanted to pay her debt, especially after she was twice threatened with legal action. The payment was part of a "renting agreement" regarding her pavement.
In 1998 Adendorff wanted to erect a fence. The council told her it was actually their pavement and she had to rent it. Payment was due once a year. In January she received an account for R214,34. "I paid it, but somehow I made a mistake and only paid R214,32 without realising it."

Adendorff received another account in February, but ignored it, believing she had already paid. When the next account arrived, Adendorff realised she owed the council a whole R0,02. Thinking it would just be added to her next account, she again ignored it. But then she received two accounts threatening her with legal action. But her biggest problem was how to pay off her "enormous debt".
"If I posted the 2c to them, it would have cost me almost 50c. The same with a cheque," she said. She considered phoning the council to ask what she should do, but that too would have cost her money. With no other solution, Adendorff drove to a retail store to pay the debt.
"They told me they did not take such amounts. The same happened at the next store." Finally she went to her bank's information desk. After listening to her plight, Adendorff had to fill in a deposit slip and stand in the queue for half-an-hour. She paid with a 5c, and got 3c change.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on May 02, 2008


Here's Friday 20th's post.




By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting CC.

Ok, here we go – now we have exactly what the Act says, now let’s find out exactly what it means!

Let’s get my favorite protagonists back. George the employee and Mike the employer.

George has been working for Mike for almost a year now and it’s time for him to take some leave. George is reluctant to take leave as he is really in need of some additional finance. The roof of his house in Soweto has blown off and he needs the additional finance to do the repairs. Mike on the other hand, can’t really do without George because he has landed a deal that has stretched his resources really thin. So they come to a compromise – George has requested that Mike pay him out for his leave and since Mike has the new deal he is in a financial position to pay George for the leave that he does not take!

Sounds like a win, win situation doesn’t it? Look again!

Firstly the only person to really win out of this situation is SARS - you see the extra finance in George’s pay packet means that he has gone into the next tax bracket, so he is actually paying more tax out to SARS than the leave pay is actually worth.

Secondly although George now has the additional funds that he needs to repair his roof – the additional work, without him taking a rest, means that his body and his mind is tired and it will be a whole year before he can actually take some time out again. His judgment is slow, his reflexes are slow and he is not only putting himself at risk, but also his work mates because he could actually be the cause of an accident.

Thirdly, although Mike has been able to complete his project on time, George will probably only be half as productive as usual for the rest of the year because he has not had time to rest.

Finally, if the Department of Labour and/or the CCMA found out that Mike had paid George’s leave out – Mike could be in serious trouble and face a huge fine for not obeying the law.

The only time it is legal for Mike to pay George out his leave pay is if George resigns – then all of the leave pay would need to be paid out in full.

Next week let’s have a look at accumulation of leave.

Let’s have a look at what this all means next week.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or


This is Thursday 19th's post.

This is absolutely disgusting! Here we are 14 years into our democracy, with the most democratic constitution in the world and yet here we have it - racisim! Full blown, disgusting rasism!

Clearly we need to sweep in front of our own door steps before we start telling everyone else how to do it!

White journalists fume over forum's Zuma meet
Natasha Marrian Johannesburg, South Africa
23 February 2008 07:55

White journalists expressed their dismay after they were denied access to the "hottest news ticket in town" when barred from listening to African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma at a forum exclusively for black journalists.
Zuma addressed the Forum of Black Journalists' (FBJ) relaunch at the Sandton Sun hotel in Johannesburg on Friday. The ANC president himself saw nothing wrong with white journalists being denied entry to the event, in which he delivered an off-the-record address.
"I saw nothing wrong," said Zuma when asked whether he approved of the exclusion of white journalists. "All of us as South Africans in the 13 years of democracy come from different backgrounds ... there are experiences that people would have that they may want to share."
The ANC president's arrival at the forum after midday spurned white journalists, waiting in the wings outside, into action. He was questioned about why he would address a gathering that excluded journalists on the basis of race. He declined to comment immediately but, after delivering his address to the forum, he agreed to a five-minute press briefing with all the media -- including white journalists -- to explain himself.
Zuma said he has been invited to speak in many different forums and is currently considering an invitation from the Black Management Forum. Asked whether he thought it was constitutionally correct to bar white journalists, Zuma said this was a question for the forum. Earlier, reporter Ben Said from was denied entry to the room. Talk Radio 702's Stephen Grootes was asked to leave after having gained entry. Grootes said he was all for an organisation comprising only black journalists.
"The forum should exist, I understand the need for it ... for me the issue was Zuma," he said. When asked why he had entered the venue knowing it was for blacks only, he said: "I didn't think they would go through with it ... it was wrong for them to deny us access to the hottest news ticket in town because of race."
'Shocking' behaviour
Abbey Makoe, FBJ steering committee chairperson, described his white colleagues' behaviour as "shocking". He accused the white journalists of "stage managing" and causing a "total commotion" prior to Zuma's arrival at the venue. Makoe said the journalists in question were aware they were not allowed inside but gained entry anyway, only to be shown the door before proceedings began.
The FBJ allows African, Indian and coloured journalists to come together to "engage in healthy debate" regarding issues of common interest, Makoe explained. Talk Radio 702's group head of news and talk, Yusuf Abramjee, and another black journalist were vocal about their views on their white colleagues being barred from the event. They subsequently walked out, in solidarity with their white colleagues.
A black journalist attending the event defended the forum, saying it was a platform to redress the damages wrought on the media by the apartheid system. Talk Radio 702 has laid a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) of racial prejudice. The SAHRC confirmed receipt of the complaint and said it will be dealt with through its normal complaints process. Spokesperson Vincent Moaga said: "We can't comment further; we have to give the [FBJ] a chance ... we don't have all the facts."
The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) strongly condemned the exclusion of white reporters, saying this "has no place in South Africa today", adding in a statement: "Our democracy came after a hard-fought struggle at several levels, including the media, and every effort should be made to protect it." -- Sapa

Friday, June 20, 2008


and here's the post for Wednesday 18th June



By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

I left you last week saying that “Networking in it’s purest form and if done properly is so much more.” Let’s take it from there.

Networking, for me is not only a practice (you know the story about practice makes perfect), it is also about the process. Yes it does take practice and the more you practice the better you will become at it and the reason that you will become better at it is because you will have defined your process and what works best for you.

What will work for everyone however is if you understand that networking is something that must be done all the time – it take continuous effort and if you don’t regard it as an essential marketing tool you will be selling yourself very short. Networking done in this way means new business at very little or no cost what-so-ever.

We all see thousands upon thousands of adverts every week. Adverts on bill boards, in neon lights, on TV in the magazines and newspapers – hell you can’t even wait for the robot to change these days without someone shoving something in your face! Yet in all honesty, how many of these actually have any influence on our lives – personal or business for that matter? I know that I use the ad breaks on the telly to switch the kettle on or pour myself another drink!

So why on earth would I want to spend my hard earned cash on advertising? Well my answer of course, is I wouldn’t. Actually, I don’t advertise anywhere. I network! All of my business comes out of Networking!

Referrals from my clients and the people who I network with, have far more impact on prospective clients, than any kind of flyer or flashing neon lights or even a page in the newspaper.

What do you think would work best for you? Let’s have a look at networking and your competition next week.

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or


This is Tuesday 17th post.

I don't think that the Statement "Others have done far worse" actually even gets to the tip of the ice berg. Surely it should be something like . . . and what are we going to do about it?

Why has the President got so much power? Where are the checks and balances that should be in place to prevent him from keeping those that should have left a long time ago and make him keep those that should be kept?

How can this be a truelly democratic society if he plays with a stacked deck and then does not give reasons for doing so? Perhaps these are the questions that need to be asked and answered!

Others have done far worse
Adriaan Basson and Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya
10 August 2007 07:30

President Thabo Mbeki does not have to give reasons for firing his ministers, according to spokesperson Mukoni Ratitshanga. Presumably neither does he have to let the rest of the public in when wearing his ANC hat and getting rid of party officials. For if he was bound to explain himself, he would have to say why a senior minister such as Mosoiua Lekota continues to serve in his cabinet when he failed to declare his directorship of a winery and shares he had in a petroleum distribution company. For his omission, he was found guilty of contravening the Code of Conduct for MPs, given a written reprimand by the Parliamentary Ethics Committee and fined seven days’ pay.
Lekota then investigated why defence force officials spent R4- to R5-million to charter a plane to fly Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to Britain for an official visit. This was after Mlambo-Ngcuka and her family had flown to the United Arab Emirates for a five-day holiday at the end of December in the SA Air Force Falcon 900 jet reserved for VIPs.
Then there’s Linda Mti, the former commissioner of correctional services, whose business links with companies that generously benefited from his department were exposed last year. Mti, a senior member of the ANC and former leader of the party in the Eastern Cape, was not even questioned by Mbeki, who has the power to hire and fire directors general.
National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi has admitted to being friends with Glen Agliotti, a man who freely admits to being part of the murder of Brett Kebble and other dubious characters, yet Mbeki has seen fit to have him lead the police.
Last month, it emerged that Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba had spent taxpayers’ money on personal expenses such as flowers for his wife and his mother-in-law.


I know it's Friday and I am very far behind this week so here is Monday 16th's post!


By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Today’s quote comes from Gita Bellin, who says “People may fail many times, but they become failures only when they begin to blame someone else. Experience is determined be yourself – not the circumstances of your life.”

This for me, is like a kick up the backside! How many times do we not only say the words, but we also hear them – “it wasn’t my fault! It was because . . . .”

Well clearly it was my fault!

You see, I set it up that way and until I take responsibility for my own actions, I will never be able to correct the situation and move forward.

Let me give you an example. I know a lady, let’s call her Jane who is happily married. She has been married to the same man for the last 20 plus years and has had 4 children by this man. She owns her own business and he works in the hospitality industry. Jane is a bit of a control freak – actually she is a hell of a control freak!

When her and her husband first got married (let’s call him John), she set down the ground rules. She would control the finances, the household and everything that went with that. John is a pretty easy going guy and hell if she wanted the responsibility who was he to deny her.

So every month John’s salary got paid into the joint account and Jane paid all the bills – no problem. Then the kids arrived, one by one. Jane managed the children, the household and the finances. Still no problem.

Then some time down the line the children became extremely difficult – school became a huge problem and both the household and Jane’s business began to suffer. The children were all diagnosed with ADD and they were also all dyslexic. Jane really started to take strain.

Instead of Jane asking John for help, she started to pick arguments and fights. She started to nag and complain about everything in general and nothing in particular. The fights extended to the bedroom, where she now started denying John sex as a sort of a punishment. John had no clue what was going on so he did what he always did when there was strife in the home – he went to work, double shifts and on some occasions even triple shifts!

Clearly this situation could not continue and Jane ended up having an epileptic fit.

Jane blamed John for her health, the state of their marriage, the ADD and dyslexia that the children had and I guess even the weather!

Was John to blame? I personally don’t think so. John was doing what he had always done and in my opinion the only thing that he could be blamed for was ‘not noticing’ what was going on around him and then doing something about it!

It was at this point that she and John actually sat down and had a discussion about how to save their marriage, how Jane had to regulate what she did and the amount of stress that she could cope with and John committed to helping out at home more.

Jane had set her life up the way she wanted it to run and when the wheels came off, instead of recognizing that it was exactly as she wanted it, she blamed every thing on everybody else. Jane felt she had failed because John had not “been there” for her or ‘helped’ her in any way.

The moment that she was able to understand that she was the one who was responsible for the mess and that she needed to ask for assistance instead of just moaning and groaning and picking fights, they were able to deal with the problem as a unit.

Don’t get me wrong, the problem has not gone away – the children still all have ADD and dyslexia, but now both Jane and John pick up the strain and deal with it together supporting each other and backing each other.

Jane now feels that she has more control over her own life and John feels like he is more involved with his wife, his children and his family.

It’s like that old saying “be careful what you wish for . . .” Getting what you wish for or how you set something up, carries a responsibility and with that comes accountability.

Part of that responsibility means having to ‘step up to the plate’! Understanding that you have made a mistake and taking ownership of the mistake and the problem and then doing something about it!

Own your mistake, learn from it, do something about it and then move on!

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I know it's Wednesday - but here are the Sunday funnies!

Laws of attraction

ATTRACTION - the act of associating horniness with a particular person.

LOVE AT 1st SIGHT - what occurs when two extremely horny, but not entirely choosy people meet.

DATING - the process of spending enormous amounts of money, time, and energy to get better acquainted with a person whom you don't especially like in the present and will learn to like a lot less in the future.

BIRTH CONTROL - avoiding pregnancy through such tactics as swallowing special pills, inserting a diaphragm, using a condom, and dating repulsive men or spending time around children.

EASY - a term used to describe a woman who has the sexual morals of a man.

PRIG - a term used to describe a woman who wants to stay virgin until married.

EYE CONTACT - a method utilized by a single woman to communicate to a man that she is interested in him. Despite being advised to do so, many woman have difficulty looking a man directly in the eyes, not necessarily due to the shyness, but usually due to the fact that a woman's eyes are not located in her chest.

FRIEND - a member of the opposite sex in your acquaintance who has some flaw which makes sleeping with him/her totally unappealing.

INDIFFERENCE - a woman's feeling towards a man, which is interpreted by the man as "playing hard to get."

INTERESTING - a word a man uses to describe a woman who lets him do all the talking.

IRRITATING HABIT - what the endearing little qualities that initially attract two people to each other turn into after a few months together.

LAW OF RELATIVITY - how attractive a given person appears to be is directly proportional to how unattractive your date is.

NYMPHOMANIAC - a man's term for a woman who wants to have sex more often than he does.

FRIGID - a man's term for a woman who wants to have sex less often than he does, or who requires more foreplay than lifting her nightgown.

SOBER - condition in which it is almost impossible to fall in love.

NAG - a man's term for a woman who wants more to her life with him than just intercourse.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Good morning bloggers - as you can see, I am behind again . . . . *Sigh!* This is Saturday's post

I am not really sure what to write here. Frankly I am disgusted! These women are treated badly enough by their client's and society itself and then to be turned on by the very people that are charged with protecting them is disgusting! What is even more disgusting is that it is clear that many know that it is happening and yet nothing is done - to them I say "Shame on you!"

'Talk to the news and you die'
January 18 2007 at 06:45AM
By Graeme Hosken and Janine du Plessis'

If any of you speak to the Pretoria News, we'll kill you." This is what one of the policemen captured on film by the newspaper while beating a prostitute, 17, into a coma, allegedly told other prostitutes on, hours after the Pretoria News broke the story. A woman, known as Judy, said following publication of the story, police had been out in force in Johann Street where Monday night's attack occurred, threatening to "deal with anyone who spoke to the media". "These cops are serious. They will think nothing of taking us out. They can make us disappear and they will do it," she said.

'He would bliksem' us'
Judy is not the only sex worker running scared."When the police came around today they rounded us up. A policeman who beat the girl on Monday was waving the (Pretoria News) at us, saying that if he found out who spoke he would 'bliksem' us. He said they would beat the living crap out of us and make us regret the day for the rest of our lives," said Nololiso, another prostitute.
Judy said the police did what they wanted when they wanted. "To them you are their property. They own you and if you do not do what they tell you to do they f**k you up." She said police drove in convoys targeting groups of sex workers at the same time.
A Pretoria police clerk, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that she feared for the safety of her daughter, who is a prostitute.
'Forcing them to have sex with them for years'
"I have not heard from her since the attack. I do not know where she is. I cannot reach her on the phone."I have opened numerous cases for her against policemen who have beaten her, but they all just simply disappear because of a lack of evidence." These cops are a mafia. They all work together. They rule the streets with an iron fist and they will think nothing of hurting and maiming these girls."It is no joke. This police brutality has to be stopped," she said.
Lebo, an Arcadia prostitute, said Sunnyside police had been harassing sex workers and forcing them to have sex with them for years. "Before I leave at night, I know there is more chance of me being beaten up by the police than getting a bad client. "We run away from them because we are scared, not because we don't want to be arrested," said Lebo. She said she was often forced to have sex with police, who regularly beat them up.
Lebo said police did not use marked vehicles, but were in police uniform. "They take off their name tags and this is why we can never identify them," she said. "Police have kicked in my door and searched my flat with no warrant. This is an excuse to steal my cellphone and other items."If they can catch us they beat us and always take our money," she said.
Officers also "charged" them R300 not to be arrested, she said. "There are no records of the arrest and we don't sign anything." The retribution is going to be severe, say street social workers and policemen trying to help protect sex workers. "The police are going to be aggressive ... and vicious," said Jane Mashiane, a Lerato House outreach co-ordinator.
Mashiane, who fears for her own safety when she works with the prostitutes on the streets, said: "I am worried. "I've warned the women that police have seen the article and will be more aggressive. I told them to be careful." She said it was sad that these women were petrified of police. A Sunnyside police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said the bribery of sex workers was rife."They bribe with the promise of protection. "They do so because it is easy money and they know there will be no comebacks," he said.
Police from all over Pretoria CBD were involved in the prostitution racketeering industry, he claimed. "It is a small mafia. Often the corrupt policemen and women, who are not only from Sunnyside police station but also Pretoria Central, Pretoria West and Brooklyn police stations, act as pimps."As pimps they provide transport, ensure the women are not arrested if raids are being carried out and protect them if they are being intimidated by other police officers or pimps," the officer said.
A Pretoria Central policewoman said it was common to find police transporting prostitutes. "If we stop them and ask them where they are going they tell us they have arrested them. But more often than not you know that they are being transported to their next client or to a quiet spot to perform a quick trick for that policeman," she said. The policewoman said those members involved in the extortion rackets could make thousands of rands a month as a result of their acting as pimps. "It is an extremely lucrative business with police often demanding more than 60 percent of the prostitute's night takings.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on January 18, 2007





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

Annual Leave and the various requirements, is something that we hear about time after time.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act – Section 20, deals with some of the conditions that apply to annual leave.

The Act says:
(1) An employer must grant an employee: -
(a) at least three calendar weeks (15 days) annual leave on full pay in respect of each 12 months of employment (the ‘annual leave cycle’)
(b) by agreement, at lease one day of annual leave on full pay for every 17 days on which the employee worked or was entitled to be paid, or
(c) by agreement, at least one hour of annual leave on full pay for every 17 hours on which the employee worked or was entitled to be paid.
(2) An employer must grant an employee an additional day of paid leave if a public holiday falls on a day during an employee’s annual leave on which the employee would otherwise have worked.
(3) An employer may reduce an employee’s entitlement to annual leave by the number of days occasional leave on full pay granted to the employee at the employee’s request in that annual leave cycle.
(4) An employer must grant at least three calendar weeks annual leave on full pay in respect of each 12 months of employment (the annual leave cycle) not later than six months after the end of the annual leave cycle or the year in which the leave was earned.
(5) Annual leave must be taken: -
(a) in accordance with an agreement between the employer and the employee; or
(b) if there is no agreement in terms of paragraph (a), at a time determined by the employer in accordance with this clause.
(6) An employer may not require or permit an employee to take leave during: -
(a) any other period of leave to which the employee is entitled in terms of this part of the Sectoral determination; or
(b) any period of notice of termination of employment.
(7) An employer may not require or permit an employee to work for the employer during any period of annual leave.
(8) An employer may not pay an employee instead of granting paid leave in terms of this clause except on termination of employment.
(9) An employer must pay an employee leave pay at least equivalent to the remuneration that the employee would have received for working for a period equal to the period of annual leave, calculated on the basis of the employee’s rate of remuneration immediately before the period of leave.
(10) An employer must pay an employee leave pay: -
(a) before the beginning of the period of leave; or
(b) by agreement, on the employee’s normal payday.

Let’s have a look at what this all means next week.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Oh for goodness sake! If parents cannot control their children and the behaviour of their children, don't blame the internet, cell phones, schools, the government, the ozone layer and anything else that you would like to put in here.

If your children don't do what they are supposed to because they are chatting on phones then take the phones away, until they can behave more appropriately. Having a cell phone should also mean having a responsibility!

Who are the parents (and therefore supposed to be in charge) and who are the children? Parents should do the parenting and not allow children to dictate the rules!

Pupil cell-messaging craze worrying
August 24 2006 at 10:00AM
By Se-Anne Rall

An instant messaging system on smart cellphones that allows you to maintain contact with family and friends around the world has taken South African teenagers by storm. MXit is a communication programme that links via the Internet and can be downloaded on to GPRS/3G cellphones.
One message, which can be up to 2 000 characters in length, costs the user 2c and is billed by the service provider and added to the data cost. Once downloaded, the user is able to communicate with other users and enter virtual chatrooms - and this is where the problem starts.
Exposure to pornography
Parents complain that their children become absorbed with their cellphones, often neglecting their studies. The Film and Publication Board is probing the use of MXit at schools, and early findings suggest that in the Western Cape exposure to pornography on cellphones is worse than on the Internet.
Principals have reported pupils being addicted to MXit and no longer paying attention in class. In KwaZulu-Natal, parents have also expressed alarm at the trend. Mother of two Adele Hayes said her 19-year-old son constantly sat with his phone, even at the dinner table. She had also taken her 15-year-old daughter's phone away once because she had caught her chatting to boys on MXit.
Another parent, Nokwazi Mlambo, said her 14-year-old son "doesn't do his chores and neglects his homework when he is on MXit". Dorothy Koopman, a teacher at Assegai Primary School in Wentworth, said pupils were not allowed to bring their cellphones to school. "But once they leave the school gates, you see them busy on their cellphones."
Designed by South African Herman Heunis, MXit has 1,35 million users. He could not be reached for

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on August 24, 2006

Wednesday, June 11, 2008




By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

This is what I left you with at the end of the Networking tip last week and it is something that I want to re-iterate again!

“Networking is about building relationships. Relationships that are mutually beneficial, that are sustained and worked at. Relationships that will, over time give you returns on your investment (which is the time that you have spent working on those relationships).

Attending a few networking meetings and handing your card out to a few dozen people is not going to do it. You have to meet up with those people, have a discussion, get to know them and what it is that they do – start a business relationship and then work at maintaining that relationship.

Networking for me is a foot in the door – it’s a fast way to meet people, especially like minded people who are as passionate about their business as I am about mine.”

So if attending a few networking meetings and handing your card out to a few dozen people is not going to do it – what will? As a natural networker, for me this is quite simple – I Network where-ever I am.

You see, you are never going to know where your next big deal is going to come from. It might be someone that you have met at a networking meeting, it might be someone that you have met through your social network and more importantly, it might be someone that you have never laid eyes on before, but who has been referred by someone that you have met while watching your son’s soccer match that you very nearly missed because you were ‘too busy’!

Networking is something that must become second nature to you. It must be something that you do without thinking. It must be an automatic response. It must be something that has access to every conceivable part of your life.

Many people who realise the importance of networking, and who actually ‘get it’ come adrift on this point. They see networking as something that only needs to be done at networking meetings, or in a business environment. To them networking is something that they do when they attend a local business event – where they hand out their 30+ business cards and then leave the function thinking that they have done the job well. They could not be more wrong if they tried!

Networking in it’s purest form and if done properly is so much more – stick around for next weeks tip to find out more.

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Whilst this is obviously a concern, I must admit that I am really not shocked at all at what is going on. Actually I am shocked that the writer and obviously the Internal Audit Divisions in all of the below mentioned cases, are so out of touch with reality, that they were not aware of it.

Porn and music downloads are common occurances in most of the workplaces and if you as the Business Owner or the Department head don't control it - it will control you. That's the reality of the situation!

Porn scandal hits Joburg council
November 06 2006 at 06:53AM
By Alex Eliseev

They should be running the city, but an alarming number of council employees - from secretaries to senior directors - are spending their days downloading, watching and distributing pornography.
The Star is in possession of three confidential reports, compiled by the City of Johannesburg's internal audit department, after embarrassing porn scandals last year. Well-placed sources say as many as 200 cases have popped up over the past two years during general checks. At least two cases involving middle managers have surfaced in the past three months.

'80 percent of computers had pornography on them'
The City has had to investigate its workers for possessing child pornography, downloading copyrighted music and movies, and using highly illegal software to cover their tracks. Some have even been spending taxpayers' money on searching the Internet for Russian brides.

In one case, fed-up advocate Karen McKenzie, executive director of the Independent Complaints Directorate, wrote to the city manager (then Pascal Moloi) asking him to take urgent action. "Kindly advise on your commitment in requesting your employees to desist from sending hard-core pornography, child pornography, bestiality, gross violence, chain letters and jokes into my department through the email facility," she wrote.
The letter, and subsequent City investigation in May last year, followed one of its employees using email to distribute pornography. When confronted, the woman, a secretary, admitted to sending the email and was issued with a written warning. In another case, a director in the housing department, whose name is known to The Star, was investigated and found to be in possession of large amounts of porn.
Investigations revealed that he had close to 2 000 pornographic clips and pictures. The director still holds a senior position in the council and, sources say, received nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Gabu Tugwana, director of communications for the City, confirmed the investigation, and said action was taken."(He) was removed from his position and reassigned. He was further denied the right to apply for a citywide projects manager position. It was only after completing six months of the disciplinary action that he was allowed to work in the Metro Centre again.
Also last year, two middle managers resigned before they could be disciplined for spending their time, and taxpayers' money, on porn. The pair (whose names are known to The Star) resigned in the wake of an investigation that found them in possession of hundreds of dirty pictures, video clips and music files. They had surfed websites like,, sexyindian, and Between them the pair had also deleted more than 100 000 files - which investigators managed to partly recover.
A third manager investigated along with them was disciplined and is still employed by the council. In a separate investigation, the workstations of 10 regional managers in Region 11 were scanned, and only two came out clean. It was discovered that the managers had been doing private work for the ANC Youth League, working on private business plans, and some had accumulated up to 600 music files. More than 300 porn pictures were found on one computer.
"Almost every machine touched has porn on it," one source told The Star. "In one department investigated, 80 percent of computers had pornography on them." Not only is taxpayers' money wasted due to unproductive time by council employees, but their actions clog up the City's bandwidth, which slows down operations and results in higher information technology bills.
In most private companies, viewing pornography is an offence which could result in an employee being fired. IT expert Arthur Goldstuck, of World Wide Worx, warned that employees were often not aware of just how much their computer activities were being monitored. "It's amazing how much they (forensic IT investigators) can tell and how ignorant and reckless employees can be," he said.
"A computer network is a company resource. Resources are there for the organisations, not for personal use of employees. But the onus is on the organisation to make the rules clear." Goldstuck said that in the private sector, such abuse was being taken seriously and was a widespread problem dating back about 10 years. Regarding the City's situation, he said: "From a moral point of view it's unacceptable."

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on November 06, 2006

Monday, June 09, 2008



By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Today’s quote comes from our very own Nelson Mandela who says “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have changed.”

I can only imagine how he must have felt as he returned to Robin Island as a free man, and saw again the harsh reality of his prison, still exactly the same as it had always been.

I can only imagine the hurt, the pain, the injustice and the anger that he must have felt all the years that he was a prisoner there.

Yet this man, for me – and I am sure for millions of people around the world, is a living example of what can be achieved, not only on the outside, but also on the inside.

It is within each and every one of us, to grow, to change, to evolve – yet many choose to live their lives in anger and in pain or as victims inside walls that they have put up.

I have made a conscious decision to put the past behind me, where it belongs and live my life in the present. I have made a conscious decision to be all that I can and the best that I can. I have made a conscious decision to make a difference every single day of my life, whether that difference is in my own life, or in the lives of those that touch my life – I will make a difference.

I am growing as an individual because I have chosen to – what about you? Have you changed?

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or


Morning bloggers - here is yesterday's funnies

These are absentee notes from parents (including original spelling) collected by schools all over South Africa .

1. My son is under a doctor's care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.
2. Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.
3. Dear School : Please ekscuse Shadrak being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.
4. Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.
5. Please excuse Blessing from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.
6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face..
7. Moses was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part. 8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.
9. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side
10. Please excuse Justice Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.
11. Please excuse Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the sh i ts. [Words in ()'s were crossed out.]
12. Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.
13. Petros was absent yesterday because he missed his bust .
14. Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.
15. I kept Beauty home because she was to go Christmas shopping because I don't know what size she wear.
16. Please ekxcuse Wiseman for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off verunda, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.
17. Sally won't be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.
18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.
19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well. 20.Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.
21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover.
22. Please excuse Burma , she has been sick and under the doctor.
23. Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.
24. Please excuse little Jimmy for not being in school yesterday. His father is gone and I could not get him ready because I was in bed with the doctor.__________________

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Here is yesterday's post.

Whilst I hear what Mbeki is saying and on some level I agree with him, the fact of the matter is that there should be NO orphans - AIDs or otherwise, that should be going hungry!

South African's pay enough taxes to ensure that all of these children are fed and clothed sufficiently.

I would like to challenge Government to stop corruption and theft from our TAX coffers and there will be more than enough to feed the masses!

Mbeki: no special treatment for Aids orphans
April 04 2007 at 12:15PM

Why should Aids orphans be given special treatment when other parentless children go hungry, President Thabo Mbeki asked traditional leaders in Pretoria on Tuesday. Mbeki also criticised donors for preferentially funding non-governmental organisations looking after children whose parents died of Aids while other orphans are being neglected.
He was reacting to a passionate plea from Inkosi Siphiwe Kunene, a member of the National House of Traditional Leaders that while Aids orphans were being fed at rural centres, other orphans were not being taken care of. Mbeki said this was wrong.
'An orphan is an orphan'
"An orphan is an orphan. You cannot say (these orphans) are special because their parents died from Aids and therefore they require (special treatment). An orphan whose parents died in a car accident is an orphan. We have to respond to the conditions of these children who lost their parents and it is quite incorrect that we should respond to them and say these are special orphans because of Aids."We can't have a situation where there are five hungry children and you take two and go and feed them and leave the other three. It can't be right," Mbeki said.

He was at a debate of traditional leaders in Pretoria. Kunene said there were drop-in centres in villages, specifically to feed Aids orphans. He told a story of five children living in the same house. two of them are Aids orphans who are fed at these centres but the other three go hungry. - Daily News Correspondent
This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on April 04, 2007



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


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

Here we have Mike the owner of the Business with a problem on his hands as George the ‘Horse and Carriage’ driver has refused to do any convoy work, on the grounds that it was not in his job description.

The matter has gone to the Arbitrator at the CMMA and we are about to find out how the story ends.

The bottom line is that Mike had instituted a clear procedure on what was to happen in the event that there was a dispute. George and the Union had failed to adhere to this procedure. There was also a clear history, where previous drivers had done ‘convoy’ work and the Arbitrator could not find any evidence to show that the instruction was unreasonable in any way.

The Arbitrator also found that Mike was entitled to instruct the ‘Horse & Carriage’ drivers to work in the new vehicles (or convoys as they are known), when they were unable to perform their normal duties and/or when there was insufficient work for their ‘Horse & Carriage’ duties, and that the ‘Horse & Carriage’ drivers were not entitled to refuse to carry out such an instruction on the grounds that it was not in their job descriptions.

Although in this particular instance, Mike won his case, it would be advisable to ensure that you have proper job descriptions in place. Since it was the ‘clause’ that won the day, it would also be a good idea to include the clause “should a grievance be felt with regard to any instruction issued, representation may be made to supervision or higher authority by means of the grievance procedure, but in the first instance the instruction shall be obeyed.” Obviously then, you would also need to have a ‘Grievance Procedure’ in place too.

It must also be evident that Job Descriptions are not written in blood or cast in stone, as situations change all the time – so it would also be a good idea to have something like “the functions and responsibilities listed in the job description may be changed at any time, depending upon the operational requirements of the employer, and within the parameters of the post held by the employee.”

As usual though, all procedures, policies and controls and the changes that are made to them, must be made readily available to the staff.

The lesson to be learnt from this case though, is that you must have policies and procedures in place.

Next week we will start on a new case study.
Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or


Good day bloggers - my apologies for being so late with these postings - this is Thursday 5th June's post.

I recently was stuck in traffic (what' new in Johannesburg). There had been an accident involving a truck and several cars and the police were directing traffic, from both directions - using a single lane. Being 'rush hour' traffic, there was no alternative, but to turn the music up and relax until it was my turn to go through the lane.

A car was parked on the opposite side of the road, in full view of the police who were attending to the accident. It was a faded yellow banged up, old Nissan Sentra - dating back to the 1980's. What made me notice it though was that the windows were a very dark black and that every time a pedestrian walked past they were enticed to the car and then spent several minutes in discussion with the occupants. Every now and then something was passed through the window to the pedestrian and then after some more discussion passed back.

Closer inspection, by yours truelly evidenced that it was different cells phones that were being passed around. It was then obvious that the occupants of the car were selling 'stolen' cell phones out of their car, in full view of the police!

I took down their registration number and reported it to the "Highveld's crime hotline" on my return home, but I must admit, I was gobsmacked at the audacity - there they were openly selling stolen phones from their car not mo[re than 100 meters from a huge number of police - not that the police saw anything though!

'It's useless to blacklist your cellphone'
October 28 2006 at 09:07AM
By Sheree Russouw

Having your lost or stolen cellphone blacklisted may be a waste of time - because criminals, often sitting in legitimate cellphone shops, can switch it back on at the touch of a button. Hi-tech criminals in South Africa are using sophisticated computer technology to unlock stolen and lost blacklisted cellular phones - and are then selling them as legitimate to the public.
They are believed to be using computer software downloaded from the Internet. This enables them to change the unique 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number in stolen and lost handsets. In the past week alone, the Johannesburg Metro Police and the SA Police Service have arrested 17 people in Johannesburg and Hillbrow, among them the owners of several cellphone shops, for the possession and distribution of hundreds of stolen cellphones.

But South Africa's three cell networks, which rake in billions of rands in income from the country's estimated 30-million legal and illegal cellphone owners every year, refuse to discuss the matter. Instead, they referred Pretoria News Weekend to a representative of an industry-wide blacklisting initiative introduced last year to deal the illegal cellphone industry a fatal blow. But she demanded the paper write a "positive" story on the issue, and did not provide any further information.
On Thursday, the police's organised crime unit, together with Vodacom, recovered 134 stolen phones. They also seized 19 CDs containing software to unblock blacklisted phones and one hard drive and a laptop from various businesses around Johannesburg.
Gauteng police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Mary Martins-Engelbrecht said those phones were linked to hijackings, armed robberies, housebreaking and thefts."These businesses dealing in stolen cellphones are creating a market for stolen goods. "Criminals rob, steal and murder people for their cellphones and sell them at these shops," she said.
Both police outfits said the recent busts were "the first of their kind" and a "new phenomenon"."It is not known at this stage where and how these suspects get the software and technology used to unblock blacklisted phones," said Martins-Engelbrecht. "We are working closely with the relevant industry representatives to address the problem. "Several intelligence-driven initiatives are under way to clamp down on this practice."
Last April, the national police, cellphone operators Cell C, MTN and Vodacom and Business Against Crime (BAC) agreed to blacklist all cellphones reported stolen and lost."Blacklisting renders the instrument as well as the SIM card immediately useless. But when contacted about this crime trend, Cell C, MTN and Vodacom, as well as the SA Cellular Telecommunications Association, refused to comment. They referred queries instead to the BAC's blacklisting initiative project manager, advocate Simi Pillay-Van Graan, and the police's media liaison offices.
Vodacom spokesperson Mari-Louise Esterhuizen said the issue of bypassing IMEI numbers "was a criminal offence and as such does not lie within the domain of the operators". Pillay-Van Graan of the BAC said it was a "highly sensitive issue" and that writing about the trend would encourage criminals if they knew that this technology was available. She called for a "positive story" indicating that "work was being done" to clamp down on the practice. Yet she did not indicate what that was at the time of going to press, despite promising to do so. But Karl Muller, a member of the managing committee of the Electromagnetic Action Group SA, said cellphone theft was a "huge crime epidemic that should never have existed" because stealing a cellphone should be a very easy crime to track and stop."We are very perturbed by the number of children getting mugged at schools and malls for their cellphones," he said. "It should be possible for an absolute blacklisting of a stolen phone and all these stolen phones can in theory be tracked.
"They (criminals) have ways to fiddle the IMEI number and 'clone' phones, but they (operators) can still track them. They are not doing it."
This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on October 28, 2006

Saturday, June 07, 2008




By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC

Now I am sure that you all know that you need to network. It is vital to ourselves as individuals and it is vital to our businesses to network. So why is it that so few of us network successfully?

One of the biggest challenges in my opinion, is that not everybody understands the most basic but vital rules about networking. Knowing these could help you to unlock a huge amount of opportunities, give you new ideas and help you to nurture new business friendships and relationships.

Many people feel that they invest a great deal of time, effort and even money to network. That said they don’t see any results and are left frustrated and annoyed at what their perception of no end results. To them I say, you are not networking correctly! Change your tactics, change your mindset and you will see a huge improvement in your leads and your business will grow.

Networking is not about giving out your business card to all and sundry. What does that mean? Look at what you do with business cards – chances are that if you have gone to a meeting or even out for an evening with a whole bunch of people and several have just given you their cards (often without you even asking for one), you will turf that card as soon as you get home. Well they are probably doing the same thing!

Networking is about building relationships. Relationships that are mutually beneficial, that are sustained and worked at. Relationships that will, over time will give you returns on your investment (which is the time that you have spent working on those relationships).

Attending a few networking meetings and handing your card out to a few dozen people is not going to do it. You have to meet up with those people, have a discussion, get to know them and what it is that they do – start a business relationship and then work at maintaining that relationship.

Networking for me is a foot in the door – it’s a fast way to meet people, especially like minded people who are as passionate about their business as I am about mine.

Nikki Viljoen is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist and she can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or

HOW TO ACE ANY MEETING - Location, Location

Good day bloggers - my apologies for falling so far behind on my blogs - this is Tuesday 3rd's post.

I am told that a survey shows that sitting in the correct location, when attending a meeting - particularly if that meeting is going expect me to answer questions or even ask them, will assist with alleviating stress.

Apparently a survey that was taken shows that about 65% of us sit next to our closet allies, in a meeting and/or any other type of stressful situations. Whilst this makes sense to most of us, I am assured that sitting opposite them is much better. You see, if you are looking at a friendly face - you will be encouraged and will become more confident and therefore be able to perform at your best ability.

Another tip is to direct at least half of your attention to your immediate supervisor (or whomever it is that you would report into and who is at the meeting) and always sit up straight. You slope backwards or lounge about - the perception is that you have a lack of conviction about what it is that you are saying. Sloping forward, on the other hand indicates aggressivenesss.

Be properly prepared and have your notes in front of you in case you should 'freeze' and or lose your thread.

Good luck on your meetings!


Good day bloggers, my apologies for falling so far behind. This is Tuesday 3rd's post.

Nothing has changed since this article was penned over a year ago - in fact, if anything - the level of violence and lawlessness has all but increased. The recent incidents of Xenophobia has contributed to the problem and the children, our children, our hopes for the future are in serious trouble!

The Government says it is not only their problem, it's everybodys. Whilst I agree with that on some levels I am also forced to ask the question? Why? We, here in South Africa are amongst the most highly taxed people in the world - why is that money not being used effectively to combat crime, to improve the lot of the education for our children and to help alleviate poverty? Is it because our leaders are so busy doing the politicing, and lining their pockets with the fruits of our labour that these things just continue on their downward spiral?

Isn't it time that we, as the individuals who pay the taxes start demanding the services for which we pay so dearly? Isn't it time that we start holding them accountable? Isn't it time for us to stand up and be counted?

'He is better off at home than in the classroom'
Sarah McGregor Johannesburg, South Africa
02 April 2007 11:59

For 16 years, Themba was proud to be a teacher in South Africa, but a wave of violence at her school has proven so nerve-racking that she may leave the profession.
"I feel like a security guard, not a teacher," said Themba, who requested anonymity. "Some mornings I don't bother getting out of bed. Students are out of control and parents do not care. So I ask myself, what am I here to do?"
The school where she works is in Sebokeng, a black township south of Johannesburg. It has become a recruitment base for gangs and a haven for drug pushers. The space seems as grim as during apartheid: smashed windows, splintered wooden desks and an empty computer lab. The only addition is the electric fence that now surrounds the grounds.
In these conditions, almost 75% of students were forced to repeat a grade after failing last year. After 13 years of democracy, the country's education system is still struggling to erase historical inequalities. The class divide has become as noticeable as the changing racial divide. While pupils from black and white middle-class families in formerly white urban areas are afforded a decent education, the majority of black children are still stuck with sub-standard education in the townships and rural areas.
Even though the country's laws promise free education, schools have continued to charge poor parents fees. South Africa, the regional economic giant, was ironically running the risk of being the only country in Southern Africa to miss the Millennium Development Goal of improving access to primary education by 2015.
World Bank figures indicated that primary school enrolment rates for South Africa decreased from 92% in 1998 to 89% in 2004. The government hurriedly introduced a system of "no fees" schools to make education accessible for the bottom half of the population. This has led to some improvement in enrolment figures.
"Universal primary education by 2015 is genuinely achievable," said David Archer, head of education at the international NGO ActionAid. "But there needs to be a significant change in effectiveness, better management and better use of funding."
Increased numbers have not been matched by improvements to the quality of education. South African NGO Institute of Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) concluded in a recent study that 80% of schools offer education "of such poor quality that they constitute a very significant obstacle to social and economic development".
Experts blame the pitiful standard of education on a host of factors. Violence, including rape, is prevalent at schools. Grinding poverty and HIV/Aids have added to the classroom woes. HIV/Aids affects students and teachers alike in a country that has 5,5-million HIV-positive people in a population of 48-million. Meanwhile, high levels of stress and low wages are driving scores of teachers -- like Themba -- from the profession.
There are not enough new recruits to fill the widening gap, according to the IJR. Some people argue that the poor state of schooling is not primarily a money problem. South Africa spends about 6% of its GDP on education, a figure that equals that of rich countries. Jonathan Jansen, dean of education at Pretoria University, applauds the governing African National Congress for more than doubling its education budget since 1994. But he also criticises the lingering "two-school system". "Black schools are in serious trouble and there is little in policy or planning that suggests that this national pattern of a two-school system is about to be disturbed," he recently wrote in a South African newspaper.
Some say the heart of the problem is bad management while others blame teachers for not knowing the basic curriculum used in schools or for lacking the motivation to do their jobs. The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) says it is unfair to find fault with overworked teachers who are given little support to implement a curriculum that keeps changing.
Teachers also feel buried under a mountain of bureaucratic paperwork."We need better training and to get education authorities to start boosting morale," Jon Lewis, spokesperson for Sadtu, said. Education Minister Naledi Pandor has publicly lamented that the current skills shortage could affect future labour productivity and throw South Africa off the path to greater prosperity.
In response, she has announced that under-performing institutions that cannot reverse the rot will be shut down. To address the safety issue, the government may equip state-run schools with more crime-fighting tools, including cameras and other security equipment. Students and parents are fed up with the poor conditions, too. "I can say now I am going to school, but maybe three teachers will show up for six periods," said Nokulunga (20), a single mother who attends a secondary school in Orange Farm township near Johannesburg."If you come to play you can. If you want to learn then it is up to you as the student," said Nokulunga, who declined to give her surname.
Mbongeni Tito said he pulled his 14-year-old son from school to work on the family farm to shield him from the bad influence of peers and to cut off the temptation to use drugs and stir trouble. "It got to the point where I made the decision that he is better off at home than in the classroom," said Tito. -- IPS