PACSA – The Professional Administrators’ Conference in South Africa is the premier event for all Secretaries, Personal Assistants and Office Managers to attend.  The event combines hard hitting, practical business sessions with life changing presentations on how to get ahead and be more successful in your profession and is topped by great networking opportunities and a LOT of fun with like-minded people.

This year, it is being hosted in Sun City and offers a line up of top trainers and celebrity speakers to provide delegates with the latest thinking in administrative support as well as key personal development tools.


Professional Administrators & Secretaries Conference in South Africa 2014

Price: Starting from R9, 450 Excluding VAT
Duration: 3 Days
Date: Venue:  
26 – 28 October 2014 Sun City Conference Centre

To enquire further contact SASPA on T: 011 454 5505 or visit


With over 11 million people in South Africa going to bed hungry and cold each night, the local Dell team decided that something needed to be done to address this. At Dell we focus on delivering results that make a positive difference, not only to our bottom line, but to the lives of the people around us. And it’s because of this that over 200 staff members dedicated 67 minutes towards helping the needy this Mandela Day. As part of Dell’s commitment towards such a special day each of our staff members made a delicious and nutritious sandwich, packaged it in a bag with a cosy blanket, and gave it to someone in need on their drive home from work that afternoon.

The quality of being able to add value to everything we do, no matter how small, in order to affect a positive outcome upon the people we employ, the people they in turn depend on, the communities we serve and the nation as a whole is what drives us – here’s to 67 minutes of making a difference every day!

Nine industry sectors, representing more than half the economy, are at risk of becoming non BEE compliant when evaluated against the amended BEE codes that will be introduced on 1 May 2015.

The sectors affected are construction, tourism, transport, forestry, accounting profession, ICT, agriculture, financial andproperty.

Keith Levenstein, CEO of BEE advisory firm EconoBEE, says these industries are waiting for the dti to release amended codes for each sector, but it is unlikely that the deadline will be met.

“If the sector codes are not released in time, businesses will need to follow the amended codes released last October,” he says.

“Even if the sector codes are issued in time, they will be very similar to the current amended codes, meaning that businesses should start adapting the existing amended codes so as to make the necessary adjustments timorously for their updated (annual) BEE certificate.”

It makes business sense to start implementing the new codes well in advance of the expiry date of your current BEE certificate, at least 12 to 18 months before,” says Mr Levenstein.

A company’s BEE scorecard is usually aligned to their financial year end and the certificate is valid for 12 months. Businesses with a BEE scorecard expiring after 1 May 2015 will have their BEE certificate assessed on the amended codes, based on the data and activities carried out in the year prior to verification.

“For example, if your new financial year end started in 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015, the amended codes will need to be followed,” because your financial year ends after 1 May 2015.”

“Based on the new codes, a business currently at level 4 will almost certainly fall to level 6, and possibly even further. Management will need to do additional work and activities to retain their current BEE status. Training spend, for example, needs to be increased from 3% to 6%,” says Mr Levenstein.

“For a company providing training to earn BEE points, it is a long process. A training budget needs to be allocated, staff selected and only then can the training be done. This is usually spread over a period of six to 18 months. The BEE points allocation only accrues after the money isspent. The same goes for procurement, socio-economic development (SED) and enterprise development (ED),” says Mr Levenstein.

“In earning BEE procurement points, your suppliers will become non-compliant if they do not adhere to the amended codes. This will result in your BEE rating, as their customer, being negatively affected.”

“Businesses could be caught with a number of suppliers having lost their BEE rating, resulting in a domino effect of downgraded BEE ratings across all the industry sectors.”


African Education Week – on its last day of show today – will examine the causes and looks for solutions to improve the standard and quality of education, by bringing together over 2,000 education stakeholders from teachers, principals, lecturers, researchers, academics, and policy makers to discuss solutions, new ideas and share hands on real life practical experience through workshops, debates, panel discussions and one on one meetings hence the theme for this year’s event Empowerment for all through quality education.

The 2014 programme has been divided into three tracks focusing on basic education, further & higher education & training, and educational technology, with a strong focus on literacy & numeracy and teacher training & development.

With a large exhibition, attendees can meet face to face with the vendors showcasing the latest curriculum support products and technologies, allowing for hands on experience and demos.

The Imprint Act has been around for some time now.  What many printers do not know is that this act requires that any printer of printed matter with certain exceptions, affixes a legible notice containing the following words:

“Printed by…………….”  followed by his full and correct name and the full and correct address at which he conducts his business of printing.

As you can imagine this can take up very valuable design space.  But there is a solution.

The Act allows a manufacturing printer to register an abbreviated imprint. This imprint does however have to be registered with the Printing Industries Federation of South Africa, the designated administrator for the Imprint Act on behalf of Home Affairs. The registration of an abbreviated imprint only costs R57.00 inclusive of VAT and will ensure that you are fully compliant. Only manufacturing printers may register an imprint and it is an offence to use the registered imprint of another printer.

Exceptions:  Not many unfortunately.
Printed matter not intended for public sale or for public distribution.

Further exemptions published in Notice 932 dated 28 May 1993 exempts the following from requiring an imprint:

Commercial Printing
Labels, stamps, seals smaller than 25 square centimetres
Business cards 11cm x 8cm or smaller
Bags smaller than 17cm x 11cm in size
Letterheads printed, embossed or foiled
Tape-sealing machine strips
Bank notes supplied by the South African Bank Note Printing Company
Fruit wrappers
All bills, Acts, reports, documents, memoranda or minutes of Parliament or any Parliamentary committee that are printed by order of Parliament or any Parliamentary committee or the State President of the Speaker of the House.
All circulars and work printed on duplicating machine and published by and in the name of any State Department of the Republic of South Africa

Personal, professional and private stationery
Notepaper printed, embossed or foiled
Envelopes, Visiting Cards
Invitation and acknowledgement cards
Wedding stationery

Newspapers were included in the Imprint Act via the Imprint Amendment Act 18 of 1994.

Contact our National Office for more information. Register your imprint and comply.

A recent landmark court ruling has ensured that directors can be held personally liable for the environmental damage caused by their companies.  The managing director of clay-mining company Blue Platinum Ventures became the first company director in South Africa to be held personally liable for a mining-related environmental offence. 



According to Aon South Africa, the ruling sets a powerful precedent and strong warning to corporates and office bearers.  “The landmark ruling against the Director of Blue Platinum Ventures is the strongest motivator of the need for increased responsibility and development at board level for environmental, health and safety issues.  It has certainly placed the spotlight on greater awareness for increased liability of directors for impairment caused by the company in which they act and the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment,” explains Michele Ravenscroft, Head: Financial Institutions and Professional Practices at Aon South Africa, risk advisors and insurance brokerage.


The cost of rehabilitation in the Blue Platinum Ventures case was estimated by the court at R6.8-million and gave the director a five-year suspended sentence on condition that the damage was rehabilitated in three months. Both the director and Blue Platinum were found guilty of contravening section 24F of the National Environmental Management Act, after several years of court action by the community which laid criminal charges against the mine and its directors. 


“Strategies and action plans must be put in place to establish where improvements can be made to ensure compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation.  This would apply to all statutory regulations and requirements in which the directors may be exposed, most common in the mining scope.  This is further emphasised in the King Report II which places specific focus on joined sustainability reporting and the importance of integrating safety, health and environmental issues into the policies and procedures of the company and would need to be dealt with definitively at a board level,” explains Michele.


Responsibility for environmental damage encompasses many elements, including liability for clean-up and restoration, compensation and criminal damages. These responsibilities are contained within the ambit of various environmental and criminal laws and in most instances the polluter would be liable for both remediation and financial compensation.  The reality is that liability for damages exists even if the responsible party observed the required principles of caution and care.


Businesses operating in today’s environment are facing ever increasing requirements for better transparency, disclosure, accountability and governance, therefore bringing about increased responsibilities to directors and officers for maintaining compliance with many enactments, corporate codes and best practices. 


The latest judgement provides clear warning that companies and directors have a specific obligation to be aware of the environmental impact of their operations and to take the necessary steps to prevent environmental damage.  In such an environment, the significance of having appropriate directors & officers (D&O) liability insurance in the face of a growing litigious environment cannot be overemphasised.


“Whilst having D&O cover in place, companies and directors need to aware of what exactly their policy may and may not cover.  Terms and conditions may vary from one insurer to another, for example one liability policy may not necessarily extend to cover any awards or clean-up costs, however it may provide defence costs. Liability for compensation will most likely need to be supplemented by additional environmental liability insurance.  


“Other factors to consider under the D&O policy could include extensive press coverage of directors’ faults, including alleged irregularities in which the policy may provide cover for professional public relations and crisis communications expenses.  D&O cover has become an absolute necessity for the protection of the personal interests of directors, officers and other employees charged with supervisory and managerial responsibilities and who can be held liable for wrongful acts which may occur in their day-to-day management activities,” adds Michele.


Communities and regulators are pushing harder that mines in particular have more at stake when it comes to environmental legislation.  There is growing pressure for greater accountability not only for the corporate, but for every single office bearer with decision making capacity that has any bearing on the potential for environmental damage.  In terms of managing risk, all companies are subject to the costs and liabilities of environmental exposures, even those that are not directly involved with hazardous materials or activities. Risk managers in virtually every industry must proactively analyse environmental risk issues to determine vulnerabilities. 


“Corporates should focus on prevention through risk assessment of vulnerable processes, and effective risk mitigation through education and checks and balances, detection through internal reporting and forensic auditing, and early response before problems metastasize.


“Aon provides clients with specialised expertise needed to understand their environmental exposure and its consequences, including how it impacts financial objectives as well as corporate governance, sustainability, and regulatory concerns drawing upon experience in environmental law, environmental remediation and environmental risk management,” concludes Michele.


About Aon South Africa

Aon  South  Africa  is  a  leading  provider  of  risk management services, insurance   and   reinsurance   brokerage,  human  capital  and  management consulting, and speciality insurance underwriting. The company employs more than 1300 professionals in its 16 offices in South Africa with its head office in Sandton Johannesburg. Aon employs over 1800 people on the African continent.


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