Tag: 2017

What did South Africans google in 2017?

Google has revealed the results of its 2017 Year in Search, offering an overview of the year’s major moments and top trends.

“This year’s trending searches show growing interest in local celebrities and events, with seven of the top 10 trending search terms being local,” said Google.

The results are detailed below.

Top trending South African searches

Dumi Masilela
Cyclone Dineo
Joe Mafela
Karabo Mokoena
Joost van der Westhuizen
Black Friday
Mayweather vs McGregor fight
Fast & Furious 8
Hurricane Irma

Trending personalities

Dumi Masilela
Joe Mafela
Joost van der Westhuizen
Zodwa Wabantu
Mandla Hlatshwayo
Lundi Tyamara
Simphiwe Ngema
Grace Mugabe
Hugh Hefner
Chester Bennington

Top ‘near me’ searches

Pharmacy near me
Dentist near me
KFC near me
Jobs hiring near me
Hardware store near me
Gynaecologist near me
Printing shops near me
Steers near me
Sushi near me
Doctors near me

Top TV show searches

13 reasons why
Games of Thrones
Big Brother Naija
American Gods
Idols SA
Sex in the City
Big Little Lies

Top searched recipes

Oxtail recipes
Sweet potato recipes
Beef stew recipes
Vegan recipes
Creamed spinach recipes
Halal recipes
Prawn recipes
Spaghetti recipes
Cauliflower recipes
Bread recipes

Top five SA workplace trends in 2017

South African offices are changing rapidly as the workplace continues to shift from a utilitarian place where you earn your money from 9 to 5 to a much more people=friendly, welcoming space where we will spend more than 50% of our time during our working lives.

Emma Leith, Interior Decorator at workplace specialists Giant Leap, shares her top five workplace trends in South Africa for 2017:

The end of fixed workspace layouts

Creating multifunctional community space as well as a diverse selection of areas is becoming increasingly important in order to accommodate constantly changing needs; allowing people to have greater fluidity, mobility and flexibility in the workspace.

“This trend can be seen in the form of modular furniture, work benches and sit-stand desks. Communal areas are becoming an important part of the workplace where people can get together for an informal meeting, to simply enjoy a cup of coffee alone or with a college or to collaborate across teams,” says Leith.

The Modern Office: A Home Away From Home

The office fit out is becoming increasingly geared towards creating a more lived in and homey feel.

“It’s a home away from home type of scenario. This is created by providing cosy, welcoming lounges, communal canteens, and comfy break out areas.”

Leith says that this ultimately provides for a better working environment allowing for greater employee satisfaction. This trend interlinks with point one above as people now have the option to work in more relaxed, comfortable environments.

“Residential furniture is another element that is being used more and more to create that warm, never-want-to-leave-the-office feeling,” Leith added.

Private Areas

The growing trend towards the open plan office generates the need for private pods/ areas, as the open plan concept does not always provide for the best working environment.

“Private pods are needed whether it be to have a quiet phone call, meeting or place to work with no distractions.  Therefore a combination of spaces is essential in the modern workplace,” notes Leith.

Private areas can be innovatively designed telephone booths, sound proof quiet rooms and sound proof space dividers. Increasingly, various new “pods” are being installed in the workplace in South Africa.

“Secluded pods allow office workers to meditate, smash things or scream and will be commonplace in two years time,”  Leith notes.

Themed Meeting Rooms To Portray Company Identity

Themed meeting rooms are becoming important areas for companies to portray their identity, values and what they do.

This may be in the form of wallpaper, graphics, furniture, lighting, or colour.

This allows for each meeting room to take on a certain personality, ultimately making them more interesting and inviting spaces to be in, as well as emphasising the firm’s identity.

Play Space

Not just for trendy companies like Google any more or start ups burning through cash.

“Games such as pool and Ping-Pong are also being brought into the communal areas which allow colleagues to interact with other on a more relaxed level as well as help them to relax.

“This trend is growing in South Africa is an effective way to break the office stress cycle and rest the brain, “ Leith concluded.

See your business through 2017

The beginning of the year is the perfect opportunity to give your business insurance portfolio a good review and clean-up. When you’re in the thick of running your business, and tending to day-to-day work responsibilities, it’s easy to leave aspects such as insurance simply to ‘tick’ over, but that could leave you compromised as your business evolves and its needs and exposures change.

Here are 10 important considerations to help get your insurance cover into top shape to take on any challenge that may happen along its path during 2017:

Get cyber savvy
Cybercrime is a very real threat to any business or institution, regardless of size or nature of business. If your business has a network, an internet connection and holds sensitive or personally identifiable data, then your business is at risk. Talk to your professional broker about how to protect your business against cyber hacks.

Vehicle insurance
Whether you run a handful of cars or a fleet network, make sure your vehicle insurance is fit for purpose with sufficient liability cover. From an asset replacement perspective, your business vehicles should be insured at no less than retail value, which is what a car dealer would sell it for taking into consideration age, mileage and condition. Don’t forget to add extras such as tracking systems, tow bars and so on. The inclusion of car hire can also be beneficial.

Business interruption
If your business premises burned down, your assets cover will take care of replacing the lost items, but what happens if you are unable to trade for weeks, even months and your income stops coming in as a result? Business interruption insurance is vitally important to tide your business over in terms of lost income as a result of physical damage, until your business is back to operating as usual. Talk to your broker about this very important cover.

Directors and officers insurance
The main purpose of a D&O policy is to offer financial protection for company executives in addition to providing legal coverage in the event of a claim. The cover that a D&O liability insurance policy provides is an absolute necessity when it comes to the protection of the personal interests of directors, officers and other employees that are 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.

White collar fraud
In the current tough economic environment, fraudsters are becoming ever more creative and syndicates are also at play, which means companies are facing ever increasing risk from white collar crimes in areas such as credit payments, EFT transfers, debtors, petty cash abuse, cash theft, international transfers, payroll fraud (ghost employees) and stock theft. The fundamental solution is a commercial crime framework, incorporating indemnity for losses resulting from employee dishonesty, forgery or alternation, fraudulent transfer instructions and third party computer crime. Talk to your professional Aon broker to tailor covers according to the potential of fraud exposures in your business.

Check your sums insured
Check that the sums insured on your building and contents are sufficient. Have you made alterations to the building and bought new assets such as laptops or machinery that adds to the value you need under the sum insured? Don’t forget to factor in the impact of inflation and the falling Rand exchange rate. Businesses that procure equipment or supplies from international markets are at risk of significant losses if you have not reviewed the impact of the falling Rand on the insured value of property and assets.

Fire insurance
Despite the risk to business continuity, financial security and brand reputation, many business owners remain indifferent to the domino effect that a fire poses to their business sustainability. Make sure you have enough cover to protect you in a worst case scenario in terms of contents, building, business interruption and any liability that may arise due to injuries or loss of life.

Insurance for keys and locks
Advances in technology and security have seen us graduate from standard metal keys to smarter devices, many complete with transponders and programmed microchips. Loss or theft of such keys can cost a lot more than your business bargained for. Check to see whether the sums allowed for replacement of locks and keys is sufficient.

Trade credit
Trade credit insurance indemnifies a seller against losses from non-payment of trade debt arising from insolvency of or delayed/slow payment by a buyer.
It offers protection of accounts receivables against non-payment due to slow pay, insolvency or foreign non-transfer risk. Coverage is designed to prevent disruptive losses, reduce risk of key account concentration levels, and provide risk transfer of bad debt issues. With trade credit in place, companies can also enhance their bank financing in terms of improving the lending relationship, enhance their balance sheet and gain access to more capital at reduced rates.

Employee benefits
Talent retention remains a key objective for South African companies and the best approach is to increase the attractiveness of a position by implementing a comprehensive compensation and benefits solution that is properly communicated to the employee. The support of a professional consultant or broker with experience across the spectrum of benefits will prove invaluable in formalising the benefits program for your business and delivering a structured benefits communications program suited to various levels of employees.

Regardless of size or status, there is no one size fits all approach to business risk insurance. It all depends on the size of the company, nature of its business and its unique levels of exposure. Consulting with a professional Aon risk advisor is an invaluable exercise in protecting your business, reputation, clients, colleagues and bottom line.

Research and market analysis firm Nomura is predicting a relatively quiet first half of the year for South Africa, but expects things to shake up in the second half of the year as the ANC’s elective conference comes into view.

The analysts expect “political war” in December, where a number of shocks can occur, but a number of events still need to take place before then, including the party’s policy conference and consultative conference, and the state of the nation address in November – all while the threat of a cabinet reshuffle hangs in the background.

“All this should keep growth weak, albeit slightly stronger than in 2016,” the group said.

“We see this having little impact on the SARB, unless the currency weakens, though downgrade risk will be an important secondary narrative. South African asset prices should perform ‘ok’, but mainly because there are more negative peers to compare to – Turkey especially.”

Interest rates
There won’t be any interest rate cuts as long as the far end of inflation forecasts remain above 5.0%. The risk of rate hikes rides on any sharp weakness in the rand and deterioration in expectations and wages.

“We think the SARB still views policy rates as accommodative (just), but will only hike rates further if the currency weakens markedly. If not, rates should remain unchanged with no cuts on the forecast horizon as long as inflation is not fully anchored below 5.0% at the long end of the forecast.”

There will be a slow recovery, showing low potential. Private sector investment will be key to any growth this year, but the same old risks remain. The predicted GDP growth for 2017 is forecast at 1.0%.

“We expect a slow fading of the political shocks supressing growth and private sector investment, allowing growth to jump from 0.5% in 2016 to 1.0% in 2017, but this is still negative per capita income growth and the risks are again to the downside on potential political flare-ups.”

There will be a dip in inflation in the first half of the year following effects from the food base, but it is expected to rebound with headline and core inflation remaining near the top end of the 6% targets.

“We expect the SARB to be on hold through 2017 and 2018, though the risks are for a hike if expectations and long-run inflation move higher which could happen on a sharper weakening in the currency.”

The country’s fiscal status will be “okay” in the short run, but medium run risks are mounting and the country’s debt levels are grinding wider, Nomura said.

“The National Treasury remains hopeful that a recovery in per capita income growth will aid fiscal sustainability, but we do not see this and so we expect fiscal consolidation and debt stabilisation to stall.”

The country’s current account will slowly widen back.

“Real net trade should be a contributor thanks to strong exports, but offset by further destocking. Downside risks come from possible Trump protectionism. Put simply, it is hard to see any sources of stronger growth.

There is potential for growth-boosting reforms to be introduced in 2017 but thanks to the political climate, the chances of this happening are very slim, Nomura said.

“The ANC will likely be internally focused on the five-yearly elective conference in December…Zuma is weakened but not weak – he has scope for a reshuffle early in the New Year – though, constrained by his own side, is unlikely to be able to remove the Finance Minister. Overall politics are likely to be a distraction from policy.”

Despite avoiding a cut to junk status in 2016, the risk is still very much alive in 2017, with a mid- and end-year chance to be cut due to slower growth.

However, should finance minister Pravin Gordhan be booted from his position, chances are extremely high that would lead to an instant cut to junk, Nomura warned.

“A 2016 rating reprieve shows agencies unable to decide the direction of growth and reforms and so allowing the benefit of the doubt. This should eventually run out – possibly in 2017 – and result in downgrades.”

Source: www.businesstech.co.za

The rand’s gains after fraud charges against the finance minister were dropped will be short-lived, a poll showed, as concerns about possible credit rating downgrades and an ANC leadership election weigh on the country.

The rand is expected to weaken by about 8% to R14.65 to the dollar in 12 months, according to a Reuters poll taken before prosecutors dropped fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday.

SA’s currency broke on the strong side of R13.50/$ after the news, climbing to its highest in over a month, and such healthy gains may give the poll a bearish edge.

But concerns still cloud SA’s outlook.

“I won’t say I would have changed (my forecast) after yesterday. It was not really based on the short-term developments, but more of an 18-month view,” says KADD Capital economist Elize Kruger, who submitted her forecasts last week.

Gordhan had been due to face charges on Wednesday that he fraudulently approved early retirement for a deputy tax commissioner and rehired him as a consultant, costing the revenue service R1,1-million.

He is still being investigated for his role in setting up a surveillance unit at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) a decade ago.

The rand has been buoyant this year because of a strong appetite for risk in emerging markets, but it has lost out on consistent gains due to a spate of unsettling political news.

“I think we are going to have a lot of volatility and political noise, if the credit downgrade does not happen in December, I think we might not be out of the woods,” Kruger says.

An August Reuters poll, taken days after police summoned Gordhan over a suspected rogue unit in the tax service, suggested SA’s rating, which S&P Global Ratings is due to review in December, would be cut to junk status this year.

“The negative political dynamic is likely to remain until the ANC leadership contest next year and would likely weigh on the rand,” says Rafiq Raji, chief economist Macroafricaintel. “Likely US Fed tightening over the time horizon is also a consideration.”

The ANC is due to pick a successor to President Jacob Zuma as party leader in December 2017 as it prepares for national elections in 2019.

SA’s economy is expected to grow just 0.3% this year, according to a Reuters poll last month. The central bank estimates growth at 0.4% and the Treasury puts it at 0.5%.

KADD Capital said the main challenges remained unchanged.

“SA will have to start do the right things, chasing economic growth and giving political certainty.”

By Vuyani Ndaba for www.businesslive.co.za

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective