Editor's column

Calling the ladies - 24 Jul 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] According to the Business Women's Association (BWA) 2012 Women in Leadership Census, women make up 43.9% of the workforce but constitute only 17.1% of all directors. Hence, the BWA reckons that more women are needed at board level. While on the media front, the High court in Pretoria has ruled that the Glynnis Breytenbach disciplinary must be open to the media - and that's good news for transparency. "It is of the utmost importance that the media has access to this disciplinary hearing...‚" Judge Ronel Tolmay ruled. read more

Any way you spin it, it’s a disgrace - 17 Jul 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Professor Mary Metcalfe's report on the Limpopo textbook debacle paints a grim picture of the state of that province's education department. However, the national education department has welcomed her report, saying that it "adequately captures the complexities of the Section 100 (1)(b) intervention in that province and the difficulties experienced by national government in terms of the provision of textbooks to schools in Limpopo". read more

Taxpayer-Gov relationship crucial? You bet! - 10 Jul 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the relationship between the government and the taxpayer is crucial, and we couldn't agree more. Perhaps what many taxpayers would like to see - if the relationship is to be a good one - is a far better use of tax funds not least of which would be achieved through more efficient management, less wastage, and far less corruption. On the consumer front, are you up to speed on returns policies and the CPA? If not, Danie Strachan has some words of advice for you. For all you aspiring learner drivers, and wannabe petrol-heads out there, here's some news of South African tech designed to help get your drivers license faster. read more

One size won’t fit all - 3 Jul 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Cosatu is now reported as wanting a national minimum wage rather than sectoral minimum wages - currently clothing workers have one set for their industry, domestic workers have one set for theirs, and so on. It seems the Cosatu call has "flummoxed" the experts, who reckon a national minimum wage would boost unemployment levels. read more

Hotel plan irks conservationists - 26 Jun 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Apparently the powers-that-be running the Kruger National Park are concerned that 'black diamonds' won't stay in KNP lodges. So the plan is to build a luxury upmarket hotel in the park. read more

What makes a good recruitment ad? - 19 Jun 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] This week in human resources & recruitment, Paul Brand asks what makes a good recruitment advert, and then answers the question with a range of points that contribute to you composing the recruitment ad that is far more likely to attract just the right candidate you need for the position. Brand also points out what you should avoid doing. On the tax front, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has warned that taxpayers are becoming increasingly wary of misuse of their tax monies. Many people would agree with him, but perhaps suggest that he's being too tactful. read more

We launch BizBuy - 12 Jun 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Bizcommunity.com has launched a new service that we reckon you will love - whether you're in business and need a particular product, and/or as an individual, want to get away from it all at a great price, or buy something - at an equally great price. If either cap - or both - fit you, then take a look at our new online shopping portal, BizBuy. By the way, we're also looking for partners who want to offer their products and services to a bigger market - for unbeatable prices. read more

e-tolls are Outa here… or not… - 5 Jun 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] The Treasury has now - not before time - clarified its estimates of the costs of e-tolling and now they are well below those used by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) in its April court application, which relied strongly on the argument that the cost of e-toll collections amounted R20bn. In a bid to soften the blow for regular users, the government had set a cap of R550 a month per user and is quoted as saying: "Our information is that less than 5% of users are reaching that cap. read more

Someone’s not getting the point - 29 May 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] According to the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), the SA government was "appalled and disappointed" that e.tv censored visuals showing Advocate Gcina Malindi breaking down in tears during the South Gauteng High Court proceedings relating to "The Spear" portrait. In its turn, eNews expressed its "grave concern" that GCIS would accuse the channel of bias and selective reporting. read more

Media musings and ‘that painting’ - 22 May 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] The controversial painting of the president "on view" so to speak, has just about everyone talking, so much so that in the smoke of battle it's easy to lose sight of other issues that are perhaps more demanding of our attention. So, while the ANC goes to court today in an effort to have the painting removed from view, Gwede Mantashe says the ANC is basically OK with the Press Freedom Commission report issued yesterday, but he has some thoughts on issues such as "lazy" journalists... read more

Employers, employees, and social media - 15 May 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] According to Johan Botes, director in the employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr business law firm, an employer may be able to fire an employee who has slagged off the company, or an individual or two, on some social media platform. However, employers might be on shaky ground if they demand from an employee, or an applicant for employment, their personal, private usernames and passwords. So, employers need to be aware that legislation protects employees against social media prying, and issues in that area need to be handled with great care. Back in 2010, the DA awarded a tender to advertising agency TBWA/Hunt Lascaris to centralise communications. read more

E-tolling saga: next round - 8 May 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Now that the issue of e-tolling has been put on hold - and let's face it, nothing has really grabbed the public's attention like this whole sorry saga - the DA has asked Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate the Gauteng e-toll collection contracts. Not only that, the DA wants the investigation to include a possible link to suspected arms deal corruption. Adding to Sanral's woes, Pieter Conradie, director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr business law firm, reckons that motorists now have no obligation to buy e-tags and, to add even more to the road agency's woes, Conradie also reckons that those people who have bought e-tags, should be able to return them for a refund. Still on the legal front, Owen Dean says that trade marks are going up in smoke but asks whether the SA government, in proclaiming its intention to emulate the Australian government and prevent the use of brands on cigarette packets by legislation, has thought the matter through properly. read more

Labouring on - 2 May 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] Many observers in business reckon that South Africa's labour laws are too restrictive and actually hamper employment and damage business. Well, be that as it may, the Labour Relations Act is now being amended - this time to address labour broking and child labour (among other things), so it remains to be seen whether its critics are correct as our labour laws set a new course. On the digital TV front, it appears the plans are in place... read more

‘Dear Mr President…’ - 24 Apr 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] With a few days and counting to the imposition of e-tolling, Fedusa has entered the fray - along with a range of other bodies - in an effort to halt what must be ranked as one of the most deeply unpopular moves on the part of government. Fedusa has addressed an open letter to Zuma after, apparently, an earlier letter to him went unanswered - maybe he was busy on those wedding plans. read more

The SKA’s the limit… or not - 17 Apr 2012

[Rod Baker, content director] After much hype and talk that South Africa is the preferred site for the Square Kilometre Array - and incidentally one of the largest investments in this country - it seems the project might end up being 'shared' between SA and Australia. This is despite even more talk from both sides that 'sharing' is not an option - so that comes about, the investment might not be as large as we had hoped, had we won the bid outright. read more

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