How many digital devices does you have in use in your business which could represent a risk for loss of personal information? This question is a lot tougher to answer than you might at first think and in this article we will find out why that’s the case.

The most obvious place to start is by looking at the fixed assets register where you record all of the information and communications technology (ICT) devices which you own, manage and depreciate in line with the rules issued by SARS. In times past this would capture most if not all the ICT items a company used: tech used to relatively high value, centrally procured and tightly managed.

That’s no longer the case for several reasons. First, the emergence of the “throw away” tech era. Items are now so low cost that they fall below the minimum limit to be classified as an asset for depreciation purposes and so they never make it on to the fixed assets register in the first place. Second the extensive use in business today of outsourcing or service agreements. Now we can find that the use of service providers may see our fixed assets register entries drop to zero as we no longer acquire assets in the name of our own organisation.

One of the more recent contributors to this is cloud computing, where entire layers of tech can simply disappear (think traditional server rooms) as they are replaced with a service (think offerings from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Dropbox and other home-grown cloud service providers). Having said that, most organisations are still holding a significant inventory of desktop/tower PCs, laptops, servers and so on.

Outside of the corporate asset register the next place to look for digital devices which might represent a risk of personal information security compromises taking place covered under the POPI Act (POPIA) (see Condition 7, Security Safeguards for details) are your service agreements. This is where we need to think broadly, as so much of what we do in business today is digital without being a part of our core operations or production or accounting systems.

Examples are physical security systems such as access control – including biometric-based recognition and authorisation systems – whether used for staff or visitors or service providers. Coupled to tracking physical access through digital logging systems are digital monitoring systems, such as CCTV. Where this used to mean a network of fixed location cameras this is fast evolving as more companies start to use drone-based technology to complement their wired land-based platforms. Then there are the specialist tracking systems using a variety of technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth and RFID to track people as they go about their work, particularly in high hazard job roles as are found in mining and other similar industries.

This can also apply in specialist applications such as health care where bedside monitoring systems track some of the most personal of data relating to health and wellness. Common other examples include multi-function devices such as the print/copy/scan/fax machines or digital switchboard you have on a lease agreement.

One of the largest areas that needs attention has nothing to do with what your organisation manages or pays for, directly or indirectly. It’s what’s become known as BYOD – Bring Your Own Device. As tech has moved into the hands of the consumer and out of the narrow control of the IT/ICT community the use of personally owned and funded devices has mushroomed.

Laptops, tablets, smartphones and smart watches are just some of the devices typically deployed to support directors, management and employees as they go about their daily business. In truth this list is much longer and should include home-based desktop PCs and servers, USB memory sticks (flash drives), CD/DVD disks, digital cameras, external hard drives and digital memory cards and no doubt more that you are probably thinking of right now. Every one of these BYOD devices represents a potential carrier of and therefore potential source of loss of personal information.

Just identifying all these devices can represent a major challenge if not tackled in a formal, structured and consistent way. Remember, POPIA requires (section 19) that the responsible party (the organisation doing the processing, or services providers – called operators in POPIA) takes “reasonable measures” to “identify all reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to personal information in its possession or under its control”.

Clearly in today’s digitally diverse world that must go beyond consulting the fixed assets register. Look at your service agreements. Run a staff survey. Be inquisitive about where the risks are and how to address them. What to do once you have found those devices will be the subject of my next article.

By Dr Peter Tobin, www.popisolutions.co.za 

EFF calls for the nationalisation of our banks

If Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has his way, a “Banks Ownership Act” would be passed by Parliament, ensuring the State nationalise commercial banks in South Africa without compensation.

Introducing a debate on the issue in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Malema said: “There are no banks in South Africa that have meaningful ownership by black people”.

Malema said his party’s manifesto appreciates other forms of ownership are not excluded — including ownership by private individuals, the State and pension funds.

No single investor will own more than ten percent, he said.

“Our view is that the State ownership should be prioritised but should not completely close out other forms of ownership,” the fiery EFF leader said.

“This model of combined ownership, anchored by the State, makes sure banks are democratised…”

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) rejected Malema’s proposal.

ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Adrian Williams said banks would not just surrender their money.

“They are going to force this government to pay back the money,” Williams said.

“South Africa does not exist in a vacuum. When it comes to international finance we are just a cog in the capitalist wheel.”

He cited various examples where the State took over the ownership of banks and failed.

Williams said government would also assume the liabilities and debt, which would have an impact on the fiscus, and would result in poor South Africans and not the rich suffering.

The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) also responded, saying the National Assembly entertaining the debate was “alarming”.

“Any nationalisation of banks will have a direct impact on stability, and will seriously undermine what fragile levels of confidence remain in our economy and society,” BASA said in a statement.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be in a position where we are further undermining the competitive positions that remain because of political expedience.”

BASA called on Treasury to provide certainty about its policy position regarding banks.

By Chantall Presence for IOL 

Absa takes a beating from fake news

From the propagation of Bell Pottinger’s white monopoly capital narrative to the new public protector’s CIEX report, political mischief and fake news have been tough on all the country’s banks — but Absa has taken the hardest beating.

According to the findings of the 2017 South African Banking sentiment index, compiled by BrandsEye, consumers were mostly disgruntled by the controversy around the bank’s purchase of Bankorp, demanding that it pay back the money the Reserve Bank had used to bail out the ailing apartheid-era bank.

The analysis, based on a sample of more than 1.8 million social media posts from about 500 000 unique authors between September 2016 and August this year, showed Absa was the worst performer with a net sentiment of -24.5%.

The posts were distributed to a proprietary crowd of vetted and trained local language speakers before being coded and verified by multiple crowd members, who assessed the sentiments of the posts.

Capitec had the highest net sentiment with 13.5%, followed by Nedbank with a score of -5.8%, Standard Bank with -6% and FNB with -7.6%.

Absa’s score had dropped from -11.3% in 2016, with 32.2% of its negative sentiment attributed to the release of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the Bankorp saga.

Mkhwebane had recommended that Absa pay back R1.125-billion, but Absa maintained that it had met its duties relating to its purchase of Bankorp.

In July 2017 it launched a high court application for the review and setting aside of Mkhwebane’s findings and remedial action, but the damage to Absa’s reputation appears to have been done by then.

Jeremy Sampson, founder of Interbrand and veteran brand specialist, said Absa had fallen victim to a white monopoly capital agenda pushed by the defunct PR firm to the Gupta family, Bell Pottinger.

“The whole Bankorp thing from 20-odd years ago doesn’t seem to go away. I think Absa would argue that it was raised again [this year] by people who are being mischievous,” he said.

The Bankorp issue had been used as ammunition against the bank by people seeking to be “divisive” and “sow dissent”, Sampson said.

“Certainly there is a lot of mischievousness going on at the moment and it’s made that much easier because of social media,” he said.

Patrice Rassou, head of equities at Sanlam Investment Management, said few people properly understood the Bankorp matter but many were willing to drag Absa’s name through the mud online over it.

“For very political reasons the whole thing has been amplified on the internet and people have taken this at face value. It’s not a South African issue, it’s a global issue of fake news,” he said.

“You just have to have one tweet on something and people take it as fact when these things are firstly contentious, unproven and in a court of law [the accuser] is likely to lose.”

Rassou said corporates such as Absa were not equipped to rebut the “guerrilla warfare” seen online in which “the enemy is faceless”.

Overall the banking sentiment index did not find that banks had suffered negative sentiment driven by other matters related to the Guptas, but that consumers were more concerned with good governance than they had been in previous years.

“South Africans are holding their banks to higher standards now. If banks make a claim, and fail to match it, customers will call them out on this,” said Tania Benade, head of analytics at BrandsEye.

But Absa also received many negative complaints when it came to its services, such as the turnaround time on receiving credit cards and its R120 credit card replacement fee.

Absa had 15.6% more complaints related to branches than to online banking.

Included in the sentiment index was the net experience effect metric, which takes the net promoter scores of the banks, based on the likelihood of customers and non-customers to recommend a particular bank to others, to quantify the impact of customer experience on brand opinion. Capitec’s net experience effect exceeded those of the other banks, followed by FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Absa.

Customer experience specialist and researcher Julia Ahlfeldt said that most consumers were unhappy with the basic “hygiene factors”, such as in-branch experience, app bugs and call-centre waiting periods.

“Most of the banks put time and energy into promotions and loyalty programmes but were unable to live up to their brand promise.

“Every time they do that it chips away at people’s perceptions of the brand.”

Ahlfeldt said that the average net promoter score for the industry in the US exceeded that of South Africa’s five retail banks, with the US being a highly competitive market.

But Rassou said that globally, perceptions around banks had always taken a negative slant, with banking services viewed as a grudge purchase by consumers. “Absa was seen as the leader in retail banking if you go back about 10 years ago but has lost a lot of market share to a number of other players, not just Capitec,” he said.
Barclays Africa, which owns Absa, had seen its share price drop 4.06% in the sentiment index’s review period, while Capitec’s grew by 22.78%.

“I think in the case of Absa, they’ve really suffered in terms of very low risk appetite. Absa has got the lowest market share in unsecured lending, which has been the big area of growth,” Rassou said.

Adrian Cloete, a PSG Wealth portfolio manager, said the valuations investors were prepared to pay when they traded in a company’s shares could indicate investor sentiment.

Based on this metric, “market participants are more optimistic about Standard Bank’s and [FNB owner] FirstRand’s future prospects,” he said.

Absa declined to comment without seeing the full index.

Source: 4-Traders

Africa’s largest lender by market value plans to take on Britain’s biggest banks with the takeover of Aldermore Group as growth in its home market stutters.

FirstRand said on Monday it agreed to buy all of Aldermore after winning the backing of the U.K. lender’s board and its largest shareholder. The offer, which values Aldermore at about £1.1bn, will help the Johannesburg-based company diversify away from South Africa, which accounts for about 96% of earnings and where economic growth is slowing to near levels last seen in the 2009 recession.

“There’s plenty of opportunity for a challenger bank to go and keep giving it to the big banks,” Aldermore Chief Executive Officer Phillip Monks said by phone. The company hasn’t received competing offers and will now engage other shareholders after receiving irrevocable undertakings from funds advised by AnaCap Financial Partners, he said. AnaCap holds more than 25% of its stock.

Fast-growing Aldermore is among a group of U.K. banks seeking to challenge the dominance of the nation’s four biggest lenders, which control as much as 80% of the market, by offering faster lending decisions and more personalised customer service. FirstRand is also facing increased competition from smaller banks and financial-technology start ups at home.

FirstRand will create a new division for its UK operations that will be headed by Monks and include both Aldermore and FirstRand’s auto-finance business MotoNovo, the CEO said. It will now “need to sit down” with MotoNovo and “think about the opportunities that we can work out together,” Monks said.

Premium justified

FirstRand is offering £3.13 a share for Aldermore, 22% more than Aldermore’s closing price on October 12. Aldermore rose 2.5% to £3.10 by 14:45 in London on Monday, extending gains since its March 2015 initial public offering to 61%. FirstRand climbed 1.3% to R53.09 for a market value of R298bn.

The premium is justified because “we can accelerate our strategy, the fact that we get access to a banking license with a very well-regarded deposit franchise, the fact that we can get access to a great management team with a track record of delivery,” and the size of the transaction relative to FirstRand’s market value, FirstRand Deputy CEO Alan Pullinger said by phone.

The deal won’t impact the outlook provided when FirstRand released full-year earnings in September, he said, when the lender said it expects return on equity, a measure of profit, to be in the upper end of its 18% to 22% target. “The guidance we’ve given to the market around earnings growth, return profile and dividends will remain intact.”

Surplus capital

The acquisition comes as FirstRand seeks to build offshore funding so it doesn’t need to rely on the South African government’s credit rating. The nation’s local-currency debt is at risk of being downgraded to junk by the end of the year because of political wrangling ahead of the ruling party’s conference to elect a successor to President Jacob Zuma.

“We can fund this entire transaction with existing cash resources,” Pullinger said. “We’ve been building up a lot of surplus capital. We continue to build up excess capital and we think we’ll continue to generate surplus capital post this transaction.”

The lender isn’t allowing concerns around Britain’s decision to leave the European Union to halt its expansion strategy, he said, given that it has become accustomed to operating nine subsidiaries in riskier sub-Saharan African markets. “All of those markets have also got some pretty heavy challenges and some scary political stuff going on,” he said. “We don’t for a moment minimize the concerns around Brexit, but it is a relative issue for us.”

The purchase may limit FirstRand’s ability to make large acquisitions in the rest of Africa, Patrice Rassou, the head of equities at Sanlam Investment Management in Cape Town, said by email. Combining Aldermore and MotoNovo would create a more sustainable business as the “two are complementary,” he said.

‘Glorious’ run

FirstRand needs approval from 75% of Aldermore’s shareholders for the deal to go through, FirstRand spokeswoman Sam Moss said in a text message.

“Aldermore’s pretty glorious two-and-half years as an independently listed company appears all but over,” Ian Gordon, the head of banks research at Investec Bank Plc in London, said in a note. “We assume completion on the agreed terms within four months. We continue to anticipate little likelihood of any counter-bid or ‘sweetener’ to the existing offer.”

Aldermore released an earnings update on Monday that showed an improvement in its tangible net asset value to £1.76 from £1.525 at the end of 2016. That values FirstRand’s offer at 1.78 times, “which we see as reasonable, but hardly over-generous”, Investec’s Gordon said.

By Donal Griffin and Renee Bonorchis for Fin24

Zuma expected to announce shock ‘free education’ plan

President Jacob Zuma is planning to make a shock announcement‚ introducing free education across the board through a controversial funding plan that flies in the face of the findings of the Heher Commission‚ government insiders say.

The plan‚ apparently devised by Zuma’s future son-in-law‚ Morris Masutha‚ would also defy official ANC policy. It could see the cutting back of departmental budgets across government to make R40bn available for the 2018 academic year.

Zuma has been withholding the 748-page commission report‚ in which retired judge Jonathan Heher reportedly found that universal free tertiary education was not feasible.

The announcement is thought to be imminent but the presidency on Monday night said there were no plans by the president for any announcement on Tuesday.

Masutha‚ who is engaged to be married to Thuthukile Zuma‚ the president’s youngest daughter from his marriage to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ referred questions to the National Treasury.

“I think you might want to get input from those respective departments [the Presidency‚ Higher Education and National Treasury).… And not me personally‚” he said.

The Department of Higher Education was not immediately available for comment.

Masutha‚ who has apparently acted as Zuma’s “point man” on the fees issue‚ has made presentations to ANC officials and an inter-ministerial Cabinet committee on his self-devised funding plan‚ which essentially revises the National Treasury’s entire budget.

It is understood that following Zuma’s sudden Cabinet reshuffle last month‚ Masutha was introduced to Higher Education and Training Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and Deputy Minister Buti Manamela‚ as the president’s “adviser”.

Zuma has apparently assigned Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and his director-general Mpumi Mpofu the task of implementing the plan‚ which requires cutbacks in departmental budgets to make funding available. Mpofu‚ who was appointed in July‚ is said to have been working with a team from the Treasury to “find the money for Zuma”.

A government insider said the matter was dealt with directly by the director-general outside of the ordinary work of the department.

If the plan proceeds‚ it is likely to cause chaos throughout the state system as budgets are allocated according to programmes.

It also undermines Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s statements when he presented the medium-term budget policy statement last month. He said a funding shortfall of more than R61bn over the next three years would be created if government were to finance the full cost of study for 40% of undergraduates.

He said further announcements on higher education funding would be made in the February budget.

If Masutha’s plan is adopted‚ it could be an instant trigger for a credit downgrade to junk status by ratings agencies.

But sources say Zuma has disregarded the National Treasury and the Heher Commission’s findings‚ and believes that his future son-in-law has found a solution to the higher education crisis.

Masutha is the founder of the Thusanani Foundation‚ an education nongovernmental organisation (NGO) working on addressing disparities in rural schools.

At his graduation ceremony at the University of Johannesburg‚ where he was receiving his master’s degree in local economic development‚ Masutha held up an ANC T-shirt with Zuma’s face‚ apparently as a statement against white academic staff.

Earlier this year‚ Masutha opined that free university education would come with an estimated cost to the state of between R6.5bn and R7.5bn.

He proposed that the government should foot the bill for tuition fees‚ accommodation‚ meals‚ transport and all study material. “No poor and working class student must be partially funded‚” he wrote at the time.

Masutha wrote that the final report of the presidential commission on higher education funding should come up with an “inclusive and comprehensive higher education funding model for all undergraduate students”. He added that these recommendations should be ready to implement in 2018.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said he did not know of any plans by Zuma to announce free tertiary education.

ANC insiders said they had heard of Masutha’s proposals but did not know whether it would be feasible at all.

By Ranjeni Munusamy, Qaanitah Hunter and Sabelo Skiti for Business Live

The Internet and mobile devices have reshaped the retail environment. With the rise in e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to compete with the depth of the virtual world’s retail offering. This includes the ability to offer a larger variety of categories and products, one-click buy and pay convenience, and the ability to compare prices from multiple retailers, often through the use of price comparison engines.

For many consumer goods categories, e-commerce has all but killed off physical retail sales. However, rather than view this digital revolution as a death knell to their traditional business, retailers should be looking to leverage unique trends that are emerging in physical retail space thanks to technology. As a prime example, in many instances price comparison engines are enriching the physical shopping experience.

A 2016 study from Euclid Analytics looked at the shopping preferences and behaviours of 1,500 US smartphone users. According to the study, 83% of consumers used smartphones while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to help make purchase decisions.

The truth is, despite the hype and the boom in e-commerce, in-store shopping remains the consumer’s preferred form of retail interaction. This was shown recently by local social media ad tech company Popimedia following commissioned research that identified the trend in SA.

Released as the “Digital Influence in SA” study, local research findings were combined with other publicly available research, revealing that 91% of consumers visit a store to make a purchase at least once a week while only 49% of consumers shop online with the same frequency.

Additional research findings suggest that six in 10 Internet users start shopping on one device and continue or finish on a different one – 79% of these consumers use their smartphones for research, but only around 10% make purchases via the device.

What, then, are these consumers doing on their devices? According to the Euclid Analytics study, most consumers use their phones, both in the lead up to a purchase and in store, to compare prices or to look at current promotions. Other uses for mobile devices in the retail environment include taking pictures of products for later reference, checking shopping and to-do lists and reading online product reviews.

Statistics released by Google supports this, showing that 82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence an in-store purchase decision. However, it’s Popimedia’s recent research that proves most compelling in this regard. For instance, the findings show that 85% of consumers compare prices online and 78% read online product reviews before going to a store to make a purchase.

Most importantly, a staggering 93% of respondents use mobile to research and make purchases mostly in store, while 47% of customers check the price of products online while in store before purchasing.

The easiest and most convenient way to compare prices at present is to use price comparison engines. These web-based resources have the capabilities to filter content from a variety of sources to deliver granular search results based on specific criteria, including price, brands, features and product reviews. While the benefit to e-commerce platforms is clear, and most already leverage the technology to drive click-throughs and sales, the benefit to the brick-and-mortar retail environment has been less clear – n until now, that is.

The fact is that prevailing shopping trends suggest consumers aren’t so clear-cut in terms of their preference for e-commerce over physical retail. Many consumers still enjoy the physical retail experience and environment when shopping for specific product categories, but may prefer the convenience of e-commerce for others.

What Popimedia found from its Digital Influence research was that consumers are increasingly blending their “online” and “offline” shopping experiences. It’s a trend we’re also seeing on Phonefinder.co.za. Many of our over 7,000 unique visitors each day use the price comparison engine to identify cellphone contract offers across the spectrum of providers, filtering results according to their phone preferences and contract offers to find the best price with the most data.

In this new “no-line” paradigm, price comparison engines will play an increasingly important role in the modern retail mix as they help to influence and drive in-store purchase behaviour.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

What can SA sell?

A Cabinet committee has changed its tune regarding a plan to sell its full R13-billion stake in Telkom to fund the recapitalisation of South African Airways (SAA) and the SA Post Office, it was revealed at the mini budget last Wednesday.

By selling state-owned assets, Treasury aims to avoid breaching its expenditure ceiling by R3.9bn. This comes after its decision to bail out SAA with a R10bn appropriation and R3.7bn recapitalisation of the Post Office.

The change in tune follows Cabinet’s realisation that the opportunity cost of losing its 39.75% stake in Telkom would be too great.

Now, Cabinet is looking at selling departmental assets and expects a cash windfall from its release of 2.6MHz broadband frequency.

Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane told media on Wednesday that they can’t simply ditch all their Telkom assets. “Telkom is a well-performing share, contributing R900m to R1bn in dividends every year,” he said. “It is important that we hold on to that as much as we can.”

Later, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba revealed in his mini budget speech that government has “decided to dispose of a portion of government’s Telkom shares, with an option to buy them back at a later stage”.

Hang on to Telkom

In an interview with Fin24 following the speech, Mogajane said government owns many assets which are not being used, which can be sold to limit the amount of Telkom shares they sell.

“We are currently looking throughout the whole of government,” he said. “We are engaging with Public Works, we are engaging with the Department of Rural Development in terms of assets that we have.

“Once we have identified all of those, we will make recommendations to the (Cabinet) committee, which will make these hard decisions to sell based on the quantum of what’s needed.”

This Cabinet committee comprises Gigaba, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.

“Our ceiling, as the books indicate, will be breached by R3.9bn, so we will be looking for assets that will clear that by March 31, so that we remain within the ceiling, even for the current year,” said Mogajane.

“For the MTF (medium-term fiscus), we have confirmed that we will not breach the ceiling and that is the commitment we have made.”

Regarding the release of broadband frequency, Treasury said in its mini budget that “the bulk of additional spectrum is ready to be allocated immediately, without requiring the migration of existing spectrum users to digital television”.

“The delay in allocating telecommunications spectrum constrains growth across the economy. Lack of radio frequency limits the ability of businesses to deploy new technologies and contributes to the high cost of broadband,” it said.

“A well-designed spectrum auction can promote transformation and improve competition as new participants enter the market.

“Universal service conditions can improve access for low-income households. And a competitive auction can sharply reduce data costs.”

By Matthew le Cordeur for Fin24

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday that power utility Eskom’s application for a 19.9% electricity tariff hike next year is “unjustified”.

Gigaba was addressing a business breakfast in Umhlanga, north of Durban, organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“To ask South Africans to pay more … when the economy is subdued and the mid-term outlook is as subdued as it is and we have the types of financial and leadership challenges that Eskom is now experiencing, I think that will serve as a perverse incentive,” he said. “We’ve got to be careful what we do.”

Eskom has asked National Energy Regulator (Nersa) to allow it to implement a 19.9% tariff hike for the 2018/19 year. Nersa is currently conducting public hearings into the feasibility of the increase.

Gigaba also called on the power utility to stabilise its finances, saying that public officials needed to be “circumspect” about how they manage public resources.

“All public officials needed to be conscious of the need to fight corruption, irregularities and inefficiencies to ensure that state-owned companies perform well,” said Gigaba.

“That’s why I think that the Eskom application for a higher tariff is unjustified, given the fact that on the other hand we have excess electricity.”

The finance minister told the business breakfast that Eskom must “incentivise” South Africans by improving its governance and employing what he termed “properly qualified executive leaders from CFOs (chief financial officers) to CEOs (chief executive officers) and all other executive directors”.

Mini budget

Gigaba criticised those who said his mid-term budget painted a bleak picture of SA’s economy and failed to boost confidence.

He delivered his maiden mini budget to Parliament in Cape Town last Wednesday.

The minister told the business breakfast that he had to present facts about the state of SA’s economy as they stand. “We gave an honest view of the challenges facing our country. We couldn’t go and spin ourselves to the country knowing all is not well. We couldn’t just go to Parliament and stand before the nation and lie.

“All the things that we said in terms of the country’s economic outlook for the medium-term budget were facts, as they stood before us, when we presented the statement,” he said.

“No minister of finance, worth their soul, would have presented anything different; they would have stated the facts as they are.”

Pay your taxes

Gigaba said everyone needs to pay their taxes, given that SA faces a R50.8-billion tax revenue shortfall.

And with National Treasury expecting GDP growth of only 0.7% this year, Gigaba said that “little social and economic transformation” could be expected without stronger economic growth.

He urged the private sector to join hands with government to boost the economy.

“Economic growth and transformation must become neutrally reinforcing principles. Government is doing its share and will continue doing so,” he said, mirroring what he said in his budget address.

“The private sector must bring something to the table, it must be a give and give situation,” he said.

Speaking of the state’s mounting debt, the finance minister said government doesn’t want to leave future SA generations facing a debt hole they won’t be able to manage.

“We need to give them a growing economy with less debt so that they could begin developing wealth for themselves and grow [the] economy of those who will come after them,” he said.

By Mxolisi Mngadi for Fin24

Oppenheimers given private terminal go-ahead

Fireblade Aviation can operate a private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport, the North Gauteng High Court has ruled.

The ruling, made on Friday, grants permission to the aviation company, owned by the Oppenheimer family, to run a private customs and immigration service at OR Tambo International Airport for business people.

This comes after a court battle launched by Fireblade Aviation in November 2016, against the department of Home Affairs and others.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) and state-owned defence company Denel, from which Fireblade would lease the premises both opposed the application.

The application sought to have the court declare that approval for the terminal – allegedly granted by then-Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba in early 2016 – could not be renounced.

Gigaba, now the minister of finance, previously denied claims by the Oppenheimers that he had approved their application for a port of entry.

“I wish to state categorically that at no stage have I ever approved such application as alleged by the family,” he said in a statement issued by the department in January 2017.

But the judgment indicated that on January 28 2016 Gigaba had, in fact, granted his approval for the business terminal, only to later suspend it “until further notice” on the basis of security concerns by Denel.

This ‘suspension’ was revealed in an internal memo dated 5 February, 2016.

Judge Sulet Potterill ruled that Gigaba’s approval from January 2016 was still in force. According to the judgment the ministerial approval may not be renounced or revoked by the minister without any due cause.

The judgment clarified that Gigaba’s original approval may be “implemented and relied upon” by the applicant, Fireblade.

Lifetime ambition

The Home Affairs department, SARS and Denel are to pay the costs of the litigation. The department of Home Affairs said it would study the judgment and make an announcement on the steps it will take.

In a statement issued on Monday, meanwhile, the EFF condemned the “exclusive access” granted to Fireblade Aviation, and criticised such a port for VVIPs – or Very Very Important Persons – of further driving exclusion and marginalisation.

On its website Fireblade states that the services it provides to clients at OR Tambo include international and domestic arrivals and departures, VIP ground handling services, apron parking, hangar parking, airport fees and refueling.

“Fireblade Aviation is the culmination of the Oppenheimer Family’s lifetime ambition to host a world class facility for business aviation at O. R. Tambo International Airport,” states the website’s landing page.

“We have both a full range business terminal and a charter division that, between them, cater to all your flying needs.”

By Lameez Omarjee for Fin24

Who has SA’s best loyalty programme?

Clicks Clubcard has taken over the top spot as the most used loyalty programme at 67%. The Clicks brand took over the top position from Pick n Pay and their Smart Shopper card system, with Pick n Pay, ranked in second place with 66%.

The third spot belonged to Dischem with a sizeable jump down to 44% who climbed two places compared to last years list.

These are results from the 2017 Truth Loyalty Whitepaper, which is a complete annual look at the loyalty habits of 28 273 adults with a gross monthly income of R10 000 or more.

Loyalty programmes are up 8% compared to 2016 which makes the number of loyalty programme users stand at 79%.

With four out of five South Africans now using loyalty programmes, people view memberships as something that is worth their while.

The CEO of Truth, Amanda Cromhout, said that it has been another tough year for South Africans and political and economic instability always ends up hurting the consumer’s pockets.

Clicks reported that the loyalty programme membership has grown to 6.- million members which make up 77,4 % of sales.

The Edgars Thank U card retains their spot in fourth place but Woolworths fell two places to fifth place this year.

FNB has remained the most used loyalty programme for banking while being ranked in sixth place and Spur at the seventh place is the only restaurant on the list.

Loyalty programme users have increased since 2016. Male loyalty programmes users stand at 74%, a 5% increase since last year and 84% of women are loyalty programmes users, an 11% increase compared to 2016.

Consumers should be selective about the programmes that they join. Cromhout said that her advice to consumers is to focus on the brands you use most often and whose loyalty programmes rates are fairly high. The ideal rate should be between 2-5%.

Some of South Africa’s other loyalty programmes are:

1. Exclusive Books Fanatics
2. Discovery Vitality
3. SAA Voyager
4. Standard Bank UCount
5. MTN 1-4-1

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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