Your Financial future starts NOW!

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Future is a word that makes you automatically think of a time, far far ahead, when you are old and grey and ‘big’. When you are an ‘adult’. Let me tell you, at 38, I am still not a grown up. In my head. But the reality is that in actual fact I have been working for 20 years. I have another 20-30, and then I am done. And then? Who will support me? How will I earn my salary?

Well, I won’t. And the reality is, me. I have to support me. Most South Africans have no idea just how scary the real amount needed is for retirement. They think if they save a little here, and open a pension fund there, they will be fine. The truth is, you cannot be an ostrich. The amount is huge, and the sooner you start, the better. The more you save, the safer you are.

Financial Advisor

The time is now, not next week, not when you clear an extra R500. It is now. My advice? Get a financial advisor to come and see you. In fact, get a few. Choose who you like the most, as remember this is a relationship that will hopefully span a good few years. Let him be independent, and let him offer you various solutions for YOUR needs.  It doesn’t matter if you earn R10 000 or R100 000 a month, the future is guaranteed to nobody. Financial futures need to be created. They don’t just appear, and the chances of winning the lotto, let’s face it, are slim.

Examine your options, be it unit trusts, RAs, pension funds. Even stashing the money under your Sealy. But start now. Make a decision and commit to your relationship with your future, with your money, and with your security. Don’t delay!


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Get the best from your people

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Get the best from your team

Developing skills to get the best from your people

People are at the heart of any successful organisation. To lead them is a challenge, but there are tools and techniques to develop your people management skills.

Get the best from your people this way:

1. Focus on your integrity and manage the impression.
This is important in closely integrated societies who are inherently part of the social fabric. Reputation remains important as people need credibility to succeed.

2. Create a career plan.
It will help you make educated decisions to get the best from your people, along the way. It is important to plan leverage for rising opportunities.

3. Develop flexibility to cope with delays, challenges and expectations.
Rapid growth and ambitious aspirations in the workforce creates uncertainty, instability and stress, where your own flexibility is the key factor in supporting success and getting the best from your people..

4. The art of coaching to get the best from your people.
Helping people to learn, grow and progress is one of the most gratifying roles of a leader. This is crucial where on-the-job development is important, and with the increasing demographic of Generation Y. They value and thrive in a coaching style of leadership.

5. Influence without formal authority.
Coaxing and convincing people of your ideas, help build your reputation and credibility. The limits of formal authority are known. A true leader has willing followers. Influencing is a critical skill in project-based organisations and to Generation Y, who become responsive and involved through influence rather than dictation.

6. Use good facilitation skills.
Like influencing, as a leader you must efficiently engage others through effective facilitation methods which reveal your thoughts, ideas and perspectives.

7. Know what motivates and demotivates.
Create a working milieu that makes people feel empowered and motivated. This can be very challenging if there are diverse needs and inspirations.

8. Clarify the performance you expect and know what is expected of you.
Clear goals and objectives are crucial to know what the aim is. The key to effective performance management is gathering feedback. Prevent conservation of a quality relationship over confronting a difficult performance issue.

9. Deal with conflict and confrontation.
Innovation is crucial to manage the competitiveness between public sector services and private sector. The conflict in the different perspectives is a key part of the process.

10. Understand relational intelligence.
Effective relationships are an essential currency for successful teams and organisations. Relationships should be valued as little is achieved without it.

11. Recognise resistance of change and the reasons.
Develop methods to deal with the inevitable change that is part of business life. Leaders must be ‘change literate’ to guide their people through constant change.

12. Be aware of potential de-railers.
Derailment is getting knocked off course or not achieving what was expected. Be on the lookout for this and help your team to understand what might go wrong.
Many leaders’ careers overturn because they are not aware that altered skills are required at various stages of their careers.

13. Be appreciative.
Show your appreciation and thank people for contributions. This common courtesy will build your reputation as a leader. Appreciation creates positive energy and engagement. People respond best to optimistic situations.

14. Understand psychology.
Combine this with humility and resilience. It may not be easy, but it will be an interesting journeys.


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Need Credit Information Amnesty?

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What does Credit Information Amnesty mean?

Soon South African consumers will have any undesirable credit information removed from their credit records. This act should not be interpreted as debts written off. It is unfortunate that the word amnesty was used, as it translates to forgiveness which is the wrong perception. Some debtors could now stop repayments of debt.

It is important that consumers understand they are still required to repay any existing debt as no debt is going to disappear. The process of credit information amnesty is not simple which leads to confusion for consumers to understand what information will be removed and what not.

Regulations for Removal of Adverse Credit Information

Information relating to paid up judgments wil be removed. Registered credit bureaus must remove the information relating to a negative credit history within 2 months. When removed the information cannot be recalled on the credit bureau’s register or be given to credit providers during or after the 2-month period from April 1.

From then on credit bureaus are required to remove all information relating to paid-up judgments received by credit providers. Credit providers in turn are not allowed to use negative consumer credit information for any reason, including credit scoring and assessment.

Consumers will not have to go to court to cancel a judgment, once the capital portion of their debt is paid in full. It will be done automatically and consumers will have no excessive legal fees. Their credit record will not reflect the judgment and they will not be negatively affected when applying for a job or rental contract.

Once consumers have paid their debt in full, information on their credit record for late payments, missing payments, or not paying at all, will be automatically removed.

Why Credit Information Amnesty?

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), deems the regulation necessary because, among other things, credit information can harm an opportunity to employment. Consumers whose financial positions have changed will be given the ability to start on a clean slate and maintain a clean credit record in future.

A second chance for all consumers with a bad credit record!



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Trump versus ISIS

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Donald Trump is ready to tackle ISIS

Since the Presidential Race for the 2016 elections in The United States have been underway, one man has been surprisingly effective at gaining good ratings with the public. That man is Donald Trump. With his comb over that has become iconic, and his lack of political correctness, he has won over the hearts and minds of Americans of all ages and all walks of life. He speaks glibly like the Julius Malema of America to people who are all to ready to lap up his every word. The way that Mr. Trump is able to bamboozle his audience with his wild statements can only mean one thing and that is they are eager to believe him, because he is delivering the messages they want to hear. In response to the Paris attacks, Trump made it seem so simple and easy to make an end to the terrorist threat. He simply declared, “they must be stopped.”

Like a Moses, or a man who can create the world with the power of his words, Trump has been able to spin tales of magnificent change that he would be able to bring about should he be given the ability to rule in America. He whips people up about the issues that are sore, and he placates by promising that he will pay all a living wage. The amazing fact is that after more than six months on the campaign trail, Mr Trump is still firmly in the seat of his self proclaimed chariot toward presidency, and all he needs in order to get approval is to promise jobs, and when he speaks about terrorists, to announce that they must be stopped.

Isn’t it wonderful that the military forces of the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance over the past year and a half have made no progress at all towards getting rid of ISIS, but Trump is convinced that he can put a stop to all the murder and mayhem by simply stating that “they must be stopped.” His reading of the current international system and state of warfare is equally simplistic. It seems like Trump’s ability to simplify things is exactly what makes him so popular. Ignorance is bliss and Trump is the candidate that can turn any bad news into a show of his magnanimity and unequaled ability to make everything all right again, just by saying so.


The South African Drought and Food Prices

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How will the SA Drought affect Food Prices?

News24 quoted Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene as saying: “If [the drought is] long, indeed it will have serious impact on the food prices. It will have an impact on economic growth because agriculture is one of our focus areas. It would also have an impact on employment; it would have an impact on our revenues.” He also added “We are bracing ourselves for the worst”.

The drought in South Africa is threatening the agricultural sector and will also impact the production of maize, a staple food in South Africa. Rising food prices will put an even bigger burden on cash-strapped and debt-ridden consumers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Five provinces – KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and the Free State – have been declared drought disaster areas. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, said: “South Africa has declining but sufficient stock levels of white maize until the end of April; yellow maize stocks will be very tight. According to the crop estimate committee, the maize production estimate declined from 14.2 million [tons] in 2013 to 9.8 million tons in 2014, 31% less.”

On 13 November 2015 News24 stated “If rain doesn’t fall in the next few weeks, the crop and livestock prospects for many commodities will be decidedly bleak, with direct and material impact on the earnings of farmers and the companies that support them, and on food price inflation.” The main commodities which are being affected are maize, wheat, sugar cane, and citrus. However, “all commodities and livestock in drought-stricken areas are affected.”

Santam agriculture manager for specialised crop insurance, Johan van den Berg, has stated that the only places where there are no problems are the Eastern and Southern Cape. The next few weeks are crucial for the maize industry as the planting takes place from mid-October to late-December.


South African Drought 2015

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The devastating country-wide drought will affect each one of us

Severe drought is and has always been a problem in South Africa. This particular drought cycle is one of the worst the country had to endure for decades and the potential consequences for each and every one of us are serious. Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Freestate provinces have already been declared as disaster areas, but the situation in the North West Province, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Northern Cape is fast deteriorating. In most of these areas severe water shortages has seen water restrictions being introduced.

Government says that providing aid for farmers is not a priority

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, said that there is no aid for struggling farmers on the table at this time. She said that farmers will simply have to learn to farm differently. She pointed out that a staggering 60% of all water used in South Africa are used by irrigation farmers. “Organised agriculture will have to learn to adapt to changing circumstances” she continued.

Millions without even a drop

The minister said that the government’s main priority is those 6 500 communities in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West province, consisting of more than 2.7 million families that has no water at all. If it does not rain soon more than 11 000 communities will be left stranded without water. Those of us living in the suburbs probably cannot even contemplate the idea of having to walk kilometres to get a single bucket of untreated water.

Let us all act responsibly

It is our responsibility to accept the fact that we live in a country where water will always remain a precious resource. We can all help to improve the situation and it would be wrong to think that one individual or household cannot make a difference. You can!

  • Your garden consumes vast quantities of water. Switch to indigenous plants that require only a fraction of the water needed by exotic species.

  • Pay attention to leaking taps. They waste hundreds of litres every day.

  • Think of ways in which to use your bath and dish-washing water in your garden.

  • Shower and if you have to bath, do not fill the tub!

If we do not all take the drought seriously and if we neglect to do whatever we can to save water we will soon be in a situation that we will all regret. Let us all become part of the solution!​

South African Visa Regulations

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Although the intention of the new regulations instituted by the minister of home affairs was surely not to cause harm to the country or to the tourism industry, there were many negative unintended consequences for the South African economy.


  • Children travelling in and out of South Africa needed to produce an unabridged birth certificate as well as their passports which detail the particulars of both the mother and the father of the child.
  • Foreign travellers seeking to obtain visas to South Africa must apply in person and provide biometric data.
  • The changes extended to the provision of work permits for foreign workers. 


  • According to the South African Reserve Bank, preliminary estimations suggested that travel receipts dropped by 9% in the second quarter of 2015. There was a decline in tourists among visitors travelling with minors.
  • Local airlines have noted a marked decrease in passenger numbers on its regional routes.
  • A study showed an estimated total net loss of R4.1 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product.
  • Some international corporations are reportedly considering basing some of its key personnel in other African countries because it is so difficult to obtain work permits for its management staff. 


  • The demand for unabridged birth certificates to be brought with children coming here is dropped but these will still be necessary when applying for visas.
  • Biometric information will be captured at international airports as they arrive.
  • The department of home affairs will accept visa applications by post in instances where there is no SA mission and biometrics of travellers, including fingerprints and photos will be taken on arrival at ports of entry.
  • South African children travelling out of the country will still have to submit the current child-travel requirements, including parental consent affidavits as a means to protect the minors. 
  • For inbound travellers, the proof of original birth certificates or certified copies would only be required during the application process, as this is in line with practice in many other countries.​

Oscar Pistorius: Correctional supervision conditions

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Oscar Pistorius to be released from jail

Former Paralympian athlete, Oscar Pistorius will be released from jail on Tuesday, 20 October. The Department of Correctional Services have released a statement wherein they confirmed that Pistorius is to be placed under correctional supervision. “The Parole Board considered all submissions‚ including the offender’s profile report‚ the directives of the Parole Review Board and the submission of the victim’s family.”

The Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Supervision Parole also stated: ‘Upon careful consideration of the facts placed before the Parole Board as contained in the G326 (Profile Report) submitted by the Case Management Committee in terms of Section 42 (2)/* 79 of the Correctional Services Act of 1998‚ the Parole Board decided to place Mr. Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision as from 2015/10/20 until 2019/10/20”.

“The Parole Board has also given the offender his correctional supervision conditions which include the directives of the Parole Review Board in respect of continued psychotherapy and prohibitions in line with the Fire Arms Control Act Section 103.”

On Valentine’s Day 2013, the world woke to the shocking news that Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, 29-year old model and law-graduate, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early morning hours. Pistorius claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. He fired several shots through a closed toilet door, hitting Steenkamp.

Pistorius was found guilty in court on an account of culpable homicide. He was handed down a 5-year sentence. Judge Thokozile Masipa found he killed Steenkamp by mistake, although he acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a closed door. Pistorius also received a suspended sentence for an unrelated firearms charge. He served a year of his sentence in the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, and will now be placed under house arrest on Tuesday.

According to an article titled Oscar Pistorius Biography on The website, the double amputee is considered to be the “fastest man on no legs.”



Manifest Destiny: Embrace the Good News

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Change our manifest Destiny

When you read about the South African diaspora, you get the feeling that there is a world of people out there, looking at this young nation with bated breath to see what will happen next. There are countless South Africans abroad who cannot wait for the tide to turn, the economy to improve and jobs to appear so they can come back. Unfortunately when you try to look for news on the country, you only see headlines with the words crime and murder in them. It is time to start seeking out the stories that tell of how great this country still is. When we start to speak of the good news, and we begin to celebrate those day-to-day little victories of kindness in our motherland, we will begin to change our manifest destiny.

Take for instance the stories of South African individuals who started from nowhere and who are now living lives of grace and service. One example of this kind of person is Mpumi Mabiwa. A young person of 22, she has become a motivational speaker who proves to the world that education truly opens doors. The organization Relate, that makes and sells bracelets to help the community is part of her story. She tells of how she has been able to incorporate her own experience of generational care, having been brought up by her grandmother, into now being able to give back time by working on these bracelets alongside other older women. Here is one more example of a woman who has been able to change her manifest destiny.

South Africans have a reputation for being easy going and popular in other countries. We are known for being entrepreneurial and good looking with a sense of fun and the willingness and ability to keep going no matter what. We look on the bright side of life and if it is not there we polish up the dark moments with our sense of humor and a razor-sharp intelligence that puts things into perspective. We are the people who can bring about a different manifest destiny by starting to look for, embrace and celebrate the good news!


Chancellor House, the ANC & Hitachi

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Chancellor House and Hitatchi found red handed in underhanded dealings

The findings of the SEC regulators in the USA that there were corrupt dealings between the international giant Hitatchi and the ANC funding vehicle, Chancellor House, have once again caused scandal and scorn. Once again the South African ruling party has caused the country international embarrassment and added significantly to the widely held opinion that corruption in South Africa, at the highest levels, is rife.

What exactly is the issue here?

  • Chancellor House was set up in 2003 with the sole purpose to serve as funding vehicle for the ANC.

  • In 2005 Chancellor House purchased a 25% share in the local Hitatchi subsidiary.

  • In 2007 the contract to supply steam generators for South Africa’s first new power stations in 20 years was awarded to Hitatchi. The fact that the ANC owned 25% of Hitatchi meant that it had a R3 billion stake in these projects.

  • Valli Moosa, then chair of the Eskom board, presided over the committee that awarded these lucrative contracts. Not much out of order there, but Valli Moosa was, at the time, also a member of the ANC’s fund-raising committee!

  • Up to now both Hitachi and Chancellor House vehemently denied that their relationship is corrupt, that influence was paid for by Hitatchi and that the ANC as a political party has unduly influenced the awarding of lucrative state contracts to its own business partners.

  • Meanwhile, back in the US of A the Securities and Exchange Commission has been busy investigating scaly dealings by Hitatchi. Their report regarding the dealings between Chancellor House and Hitatchi is damning in the extreme. The SEC found that Hitatchi “inaccurately recorded improper payments to South Africa’s ruling party in connection with contracts to build two multi-billion dollar power plants.” So damning is the report of the SEC and so conclusive that Hitatchi fell over its own feet offering to pay a fine of $19 million to try and make the matter go away.

What does the ANC have to day about this matter?

Zizi Kodwa, ANC spokesperson had this to say about the matter: “The ANC finds it difficult to respond to the Hitachi matter because the party has not participated in the said transactions.”