Trainer Ian Webster from Simply Communicate Consulting (second left, back) and the group of trainees.

An overview of the HR function, especially at it applies in a small company, was the focus of a recent training session held by Ian Webster from Simply Communicate Consulting at the Pietermaritzburg of Chamber. The course covered policies and procedures, recruiting and selecting, managing discipline, the law (BCEA and LRA) and compliance matters such as EE, BEE, skills development and COIDA

  Today in History  

1962: John Glenn became the first US citizen to orbit the Earth and to lands safely in the Atlantic Ocean, almost a year after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth on April 12, 1961

Today is observed as World Day of Social Justice at a time when humanity can do with a lot more of this all too rare quality.

  News worth knowing  


Total income generated by the food and beverages industry increased by 2.8% in 2018 compared with 2017, according to data released by Statistics South Africa. The largest annual growth rate in December 2018 was seen in restaurants and coffee shops, which contributed 11% and 5.6 percentage points respectively. "In December 2018, total income increased by 5.9% year-on-year. Food sales grew by 7%," the official statistics agency said. While the food and beverages sector showed positive growth, total income for the tourist accommodation industry was flat in 2018 compared to the previous year. In December 2018, total income for the tourist accommodation industry decreased by 2.9% year-on-year. According to the agency, the types of accommodation that recorded negative year-on year growth in income were caravan parks, camping sites, guest houses and guest-farms. The decline in the accommodation and food sector came on the back of low economic growth, which slashed consumer spending. The squeeze on consumers had also been compounded by sustained increases in the price of petrol in 2018, including the impact of the VAT hike. (Fin24)



The government has finalised 30-year leases with 900 farmers to enable them to mobilise funding for agricultural development, president Cyril Ramaphosa says. “These measures are part of the broader effort to unleash an agricultural revolution in SA. The epicentre of this revolution will be in the rural areas of our country,” Ramaphosa said yesterday in his address to officially open the National House of Traditional Leaders. The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies says more than 70% of commercial farms in SA are owned by white farmers. There are about 39 000 white commercial farmers and 5 300 black farmers, according to the African Farmers Association of SA. (BDLive)



The department of public works says it wants to fast-track the release of land under its control for restitution purposes. The state has a property portfolio of more than 93 000 buildings and more than 1.9 million hectares of land under the custodianship of the department of public works. Sasa Subban, a deputy director-general at the department, said 100 properties were targeted for release before the end of the 2019/2020 financial year by all custodians. A further 100 properties should be released in 2020/2021 financial year by all custodians, Subban said. All in all, Subban said there were 261 properties for settled claims, consisting of close to 142 000 ha. A total of 278 properties were earmarked for outstanding claims, comprising about 268 000ha. (BDLive)



National Treasury economist Catherine MacLeod has said then-president Jacob Zuma’s axing of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in 2015 had a significant long-term effect on SA’s economy. MacLeod‚ who was testifying before the state capture inquiry yesterday‚ said political uncertainty had “real costs” and that Nene’s removal had a “long-lasting” impact. Citing from a presentation that the Treasury had compiled‚ MacLeod said the Rand was at R14.59 to the US Dollar on December 9 before Nene was removed‚ had dropped to R15.27 by the next day and was on R15.90 by December 11. “We also saw the price of bonds fall sharply.… One of SA’s most heavily traded bonds went from 8.82% to 9.82%‚ a full percentage point higher,” she said. “Political uncertainty has real costs. Nenegate was a very visible point in the overall state capture project but its impact was long-lasting because of subsequent events as well. SA citizens and taxpayers are worse off as a result of these financial market movements.” (BDLive)



The business rescue practitioners of eight Gupta companies have approached the court to liquidate the family’s Oakbay Investments. In the founding affidavit filed with the Johannesburg high court on Monday, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, which has been in business rescue for a year, said it is owed a total of R3.8 million by Oakbay Investments. Oakbay, a holding company that is owned and controlled by the Guptas, is not in business rescue — a provision of the Companies Act, which provides for the rehabilitation of a distressed entity. (BDLive)



The Association for Mining and Construction Union (Amcu) is threatening to shut the country's gold, platinum and coal mines as a strike at Sibanye-Stillwater heads into its fourth month. The union said yesterday that it would get its members to down tools at platinum, coal and gold mines where it has recognition agreements. This will include members at AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony, Lonmin and Impala Platinum, Amcu president Joseph Matunjwa told reporters. The strike declaration comes after Sibanye-Stillwater announced last week that it would begin section 189 processes to retrench as many as 6 670 people as it plans to close unprofitable shafts at its Beatrix and Driefontein gold mines. SA's platinum producers are due to start 2019 wage negotiations with unions. The existing contracts were signed after Amcu held the longest platinum industry strike in 2014. (BDLive/Bloomberg)



Following a series of reputational knocks relating to government contracts, technology group EOH’s meltdown on the JSE now rivals Steinhoff’s. Thanks to another 16.4% drop yesterday to R14.61, the technology company’s shares have plunged 92% from the highs reached in late 2016. The latest sell-off was sparked by a report from online technology news site TechCentral that Microsoft’s decision to cut ties with the company was linked to an allegedly corrupt contract with SA’s defence department. With the share price now at its worst level in more than eight years, and further declines a possibility, a delisting or a piecemeal break-up of the group could be on the cards, according to Ashburton Investments fund manager Nick Crail. (BDLive)



As the deadline of early March approaches for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to announce whether Eskom will be granted the 15% tariff hike it has asked for, the South African National Civic Organisation has called for "civic activism" to stop the hike. The civic organisation released a statement on Monday in which it rejected Eskom’s request for a 15% tariff hike. The energy regulator held public hearings about the tariff hike between January and February in various provinces around the country. "The 15% electricity hike is rejected and citizens are at this stage called upon to exercise civic activism to stop this unreasonable hike which will leave the poor even poorer," Sanco said. (BDLive)



Nearly 60% of South Africans think the government is not managing the economy well, according to a poll by Ipsos. The “Pulse of the People” report released by Ipsos yesterday shows that 59% do not think the government is doing a good job with the economy. This, however, is a vast improvement from the previous year’s data when only 25% thought the government was managing the economy well. “It is clear that, although the situation is marginally better than a year ago and South Africans are still determined to be optimistic about where they will be this time next year, they are still of the opinion that the issues of service delivery, job creation and a host of other relevant issues need serious attention from the government,” Ipsos said. The Ipsos poll is based on a representative sample of at least 3 500 adult South Africans and was conducted between October 23 and December 4, 2018.  (BDLive)



The known Universe just got a lot bigger. A new map of the night sky published yesterday charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using a telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see. The international team behind the unprecedented space survey said their discovery literally shed new light on some of the Universe's deepest secrets, including the physics of black holes and how clusters of galaxies evolve. More than 200 astronomers from 18 countries were involved in the study, which used radio astronomy to look at a segment of sky over the northern hemisphere, and found 300 000 previously unseen light sources thought to be distant galaxies. (AFP)


Managing Generations in the Workplace

Have you heard employees in your workplace moan about this generation? Saying things like: "they are so entitled, they have no work ethic, they can't get their heads out of their phones..." or have you yourself been frustrated by the exact same thing?  This session is for you.


In this training session you will learn:

  1. How to better manage the generations in your workplace, without losing your mind
  2. 5 ways to get the best out of your Millennials and the next generation now entering the workplace (Generation Z)
  3. What the biggest mistake is, that you are making in dealing with the Millennials
  4. This training course will help you to be aware of ways you can maximise the skills of the generations in your workplace

Date: 27th February 2019 in Pietermaritzburg (venue to be confirmed)
Duration:  4 hours (13:00-17:00)
Cost:  R500 per person or R400 per person for 2 or more
Spaces are limited - so please be sure to book soon.


(Terms and Conditions Apply)

Book Now:  Shan Cade |  | 078 801 0896


Only when the last tree has been felled, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realise that money cannot be eaten.

Chief Seattle

  financial indicators  
Dollar R14.06 - 0.28%
Pound R18.36 - 0.20%
Euro R15.95 - 0.19%
Yen 0.126992  
Repo 6.75  
Platinum $ 818.50 + 0.43%
Gold $ 1314.93 + 0.21%
Oil $ 66.46 - 0.05%
All Share 55194.62 - 0.12%
Prime 10.25  

These rates are correct at time of going to press.