Tag: companies

Source: BBC

The US government has added a dozen more Chinese companies to its restricted trade list, citing national security and foreign policy concerns.

Washington says that some of the firms are helping develop the Chinese military’s quantum computing programme.

This latest move comes as tensions grow between the US and China over the status of Taiwan and other issues.

Trade was among the items discussed at a virtual summit between the leaders of both countries earlier this month.

Eight Chinese-based technology firms were added to the so-called “Entity List” for their alleged role in assisting the Chinese military’s quantum computing efforts and acquiring or attempting “to acquire US origin-items in support of military applications”.

This entity list has increasingly been used for national security reasons since the previous Trump administration.

The US Commerce Department also said 16 individuals and entities operating in China and Pakistan were added to the list due to their involvement in “Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities or ballistic missile program.”

A total of 27 new entities were added to the list from China, Japan, Pakistan, and Singapore.

Separately, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology was added to the department’s military end user list, although the listing gave no more details other than it had produced military equipment.

The new listings will help prevent American technology from supporting the development of Chinese and Russian “military advancement and activities of non-proliferation concern like Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities or ballistic missile program,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

Potential suppliers to firms on the list will now need to apply for a licence before they can sell to them, with applications likely to be denied.

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was added to the list in 2019 over claims that it posed a risk US national security.

The move cut it off from some of its key suppliers and made it difficult for the company to produce mobile phones.

The Chinese government has previously denied that it takes part in industrial espionage.

By Sentleeng Lehihi for SABC News

The North West Labour Department says the recently Amended Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces cannot be used to force workers to vaccinate.

The department insists that workers who are unfairly dismissed for refusing to vaccinate must report the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) if no internal process is available.

This follows a SABC News report where Tyeks Security Services employees alleged that their employer had informed them that it is mandatory for all workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Last week, a SABC News item highlighted the plight of Tyeks Security Service employees, who raised concern about being forced to vaccinate.

“We received a letter forcing us to get vaccinated whether we like it or not, failing which, you lose your job and the way the president spoke he was clear that the vaccination is voluntary. Vaccination should not be mandatory,” said one of the workers.

“My one question is what will happen to my health when I get vaccinated unwillingly because I always have complications because of my chronic condition,” said another worker.

Labour legislation

While vaccinations remain voluntary, the Labour Department recently released an Amended Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces, to provide guidelines for employers to make vaccinations mandatory.

According to the new directions, while not every employee poses a risk of transmission of severe disease, the employer can determine whether an employee is required to be vaccinated by identifying those employees who pose a risk of transmission or risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death due to their age or co-morbidities.

Vaccination is not mandatory

Provincial Chief Inspector for the Labour Department, Boikie Mampuru says employees have the right to refuse to be vaccinated.

“Any employer obviously wants to make the operation to be efficient. In that sense, he must then develop a risk assessment that will mitigate against COVID-19. What we are saying is that if there is an employer who wants to force people to be vaccinated, the dispute can be handled internally. If there are no dispute mechanisms, the employee has a right to lodge for an unfair dismissal, which normally is handled by one of the entities of the Department of Labour which is CCMA.”

North West Health Department Spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethoane, echoes the same sentiments.

“To date vaccination is not mandatory in South Africa. However, the department encourages vaccination in order to attain population immunity. People who are vaccinated stand a better chance of resisting the severity of the illness if they do contract the virus. The understanding is that even the new occupational health and safety measures do not make vaccines mandatory.”

The confusion created by amended legislation

Labour Analyst, Mamokgethi Molopyane says the ambiguities in the new directions have created more confusion than solutions.

“When there is no clarity and instead of clarity there is ambiguity. Where it is open for interpretation, often what happens is that the employer will simply say that, ‘Well, I am enforcing it as I see fit per my company or my workplace but also in the industry that I work in’. And so that leaves many workers vulnerable to being compelled or forced by the employer to be vaccinated, to show the proof of vaccination.”

Tyeks Security Services’ response to allegations

In a written response, the legal services manager of Tyeks Security Services Jethro Makaye has refuted claims by employees that the directive to vaccinate is a ploy not to renew their contracts. Makaye says their employees are deployed in high-risk environments where they are in daily contact with high volumes of patients visiting facilities for medical attention.

He adds that the company is obliged to provide a safe working environment to employees.

How do you select who to retrench?

Source: LabourNet

South Africa has experienced several negative economic factors including the Covid-19 pandemic that have adversely affected the performance of companies in all industries. Companies have failed to achieve budgeted revenue while significant financial losses over the past few months have increased.

This has led to an increase in employers being forced to reduce the number of staff through retrenchments by following Section 189 and 189A of the Labour Relations Act. Dismissals based on the employer’s operational requirements include the employer’s economical, technological, structural or similar needs.

Employers must ensure that the termination due to retrenchment must be substantively and procedurally fair to avoid spending time and money at the relevant dispute resolution forums like the CCMA, Bargaining Council and the Labour Court. When an employer is forced to enter into retrenchment consultations, the selection criteria used when selecting which employees may be affected falls within the fairness of the dismissal.

The LRA in section 189(2) prescribes that a joint consensus seeking procedure must be followed and further continues in Section 189(2)(b) that an attempt to reach consensus on the method for selecting the employees to be dismissed. Section 189(7) prescribes that the employer must select employees to be dismissed according to a selection criterion that has been agreed between the parties or failing agreement a criterion that is both fair and objective.

This agreement can be agreed upon in the collective agreement between the Union and the employer and could further be agreed upon between the parties during the consultation process.

Should there be no agreement between the parties, the employer should follow Section 189(7)(b), which refers to the fair and objective selection criteria. The principal of “LIFO” last in first out, that refers to the employee’s years of service is the most commonly used selection criteria in the absence of an agreement between the parties. This is however not the only alternative selection criteria that may be used, when an employer is exploring a fair and objective selection criteria the employer should keep in mind that this selection criterion may not discriminate against a certain group of people.

Performance, skills and qualification or a combination of these criterions is frequently used as a selection criteria during retrenchments.

In Oosthuizen v Telkom SA Ltd [2007] 11 BLLR 1013 (LAC) the court found that the dismissal of the applicant was unfair when the respondent made use of skills, suitability and the company’s employment equity policy, without taking into consideration the appellants years of service.

It is important that the selection criteria should be fair and objective, not only one of the above. By pulling employees names out of a hat could be seen as objective, however it could still be seen as unfair should an employee be selected on this basis with significant more years of service than the employee who is not affected unless this was agreed to by the consulting parties.

There are different ways and means for employers to make use of selection criterions when faced with retrenchments. The sustainability of the business going forward is of outmost importance, however the use of the last in first out “LIFO” principal has been accepted and endorsed by the courts.

CEO bloodbath in South Africa

Source: MyBroadband

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have put tremendous pressure on companies, with tough trading conditions and dwindling revenues.

Many industries were prevented from operating or were only allowed limited operations, during alert level 4 and 5 of the lockdown.

In an attempt to stave off retrenchment, many companies introduced salary cuts and short time, but in some cases, it was not enough.

The tough trading conditions, combined with political and economic uncertainty, took their toll on executives.

Since the lockdown started in March, many South African CEOs have announced their resignations.

While many of the resignations are directly linked to the lockdown, others most likely considered it previously and saw the lockdown as an opportune time to step down.

Here is a list of prominent chief executives who have announced their resignations in recent months:

Webafrica CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning
Wyatt-Gunning stepped down on 1 July 2020 and was replaced by Sean Nourse, who has served as MWEB CEO for the past three years. Wyatt-Gunning has been Webafrica CEO since October 2011, and said it was the right time to find a successor with fresh ideas.

Liquid Telecom South Africa CEO Reshaad Sha
In June, Reshaad Sha announced that he had resigned as Liquid Telecom South Africa CEO to head up a new artificial intelligence venture.
Sha was appointed as the CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa on 1 June 2018, where he was responsible for the company’s successful turnaround plan.

Net1 CEO Herman Kotze
In August, Net1 announced that its CEO and director Herman Kotze would step down at the end of September.
Kotze has been at Net1 for over two decades and will consult with the company to ensure a smooth transition.

Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren
Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren resigned on 31 May 2020 following a restructuring of the company.
Janse van Vuuren has been at the company for 12 years and resigned to pursue new interests.

Uber Sub-Saharan Africa GM Alon Lits
Uber Sub-Saharan Africa GM and director Alon Lits announced in July that he is leaving the company after seven years.
Lits was part of Uber’s first venture into Africa in Johannesburg in 2013 and rapidly expanded Uber across 15 other cities in Sub Saharan Africa.

MTN CEO Rob Shuter
In March, MTN announced that its group president and CEO Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract.
In August, MTN said Ralph Mupita has been appointed as president and CEO of MTN Group effective from 1 September 2020, with incumbent CEO Rob Shuter set to step down on 31 August.

Denel CEO Danie du Toit
In July, Denel announced that CEO Danie du Toit will step down on 15 August 2020. It did not give reasons for du Toit’s departure.
Denel, which manufactures aerospace and military hardware, has been struggling financially and had difficulties paying salaries.

Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder
Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder announced in July that he had resigned after working at the company for 38 years. He served as Spur CEO since 1996.
One month later, the restaurant chain announced that its COO, Mark Farrelly, has resigned with effect from the end of August.

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky announced that he would step down for personal reasons on 1 September 2020.
Dushnisky, who is currently with his family in Toronto, said he is available to assist with a smooth handover until February 2021.

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland
Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland announced he will be stepping down in 2021 after leading the company for 13 years.
The company’s Cheryl Carolus said a global search for a suitable replacement will commence soon.

Delta Property Fund CEO Sandile Nomvete
Property Delta CEO Sandile Nomvete and CFO Shaneel Maharaj resigned with immediate effect on 24 August 2020.
The company’s chief operating officer and chief investment officer, Otis Tshabalala, also resigned.

Metair CEO Theo Loock
In May, Metair CEO Theo Loock announced he has decided to take early retirement and will step down on 31 December 2020.
Loock will also step down as chairperson and non-executive director of all Metair subsidiaries and associated companies.

In an EWN article last week, South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Edward Kieswetter said that the number of businesses that would undergo business rescue this year would rise due to the devastating impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Forty-two percent of businesses feel that they cannot operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, 54% of businesses feel that they will not survive between one and three months, and 46.4% of businesses have temporarily closed their doors.”

The following companies have filed for voluntary business rescue in recent times:

  • Phumelela Gaming and Leisure – on 8 May the financially distressed Phumelela entered voluntary business rescue, as the business came under severe pressure from the suspension of horse races since the implementation of the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Afarak Mogale and Afarak South Africa – on 8 May, the alloy producer Afarak Group announced that its South African operation would be going into business rescue, citing stagnation in the economic activities, which has permeated the world economy. Afarak voluntarily filed Afarak Mogale and Afarak South Africa for a business rescue process.
  • SAA –  although the national airline was placed in voluntary business rescue in December and government announced that it would avail R4-billion to the airline to deal with its short-term liquidity problems until 31 January 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic further cemented the airline’s demise. Airlines around the world ground to a halt and the South African government denied a further funding request.
  • SA Express – on 6 February 2020, South Africa Express Airways, a state-owned airline, was placed into business rescue. In March, business rescue practitioners at SA Express said that the airline could not be saved, and moved to liquidate it.
  • Edcon – before SA moved into lockdown at the end of March, the Johannesburg-based company was already under significant strain from a series of structural changes in the retail market as well as an economy that has failed to break through the 2% growth mark for the past five years. On 29 April the 90-year-old retailer went into voluntary business rescue.
  • Comair – the airline announced on 5 May that it is unable to operate given the current coronavirus restrictions in place, and its board decided the best option to ensure the long-term survival of the company is to implement a business rescue plan. The business rescue move is designed to make the airline more “efficient, agile and customer-centric”. It reported a half-year loss of R564-million. The 19-year-old Kulula was South Africa’s first low-cost carrier.

Be wary of recorded conversations

Contrary to popular belief, companies may be within their rights to secretly record conversations with employees and use that information against them in a court of law. However, the reverse is also true.

Nicol Myburgh, Head of the Human Resource Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says this has the potential to significantly change the dynamic in the workplace.

According to Section 4 of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA), it is not illegal to secretly record a conversation you are party to. But it is still illegal to do so as a way of intercepting communications to commit an offence, for example obtaining a person’s bank account information.

“The argument that recording these conversations infringes on an employee’s (or employer’s) right to privacy is outweighed when using the recording in court is in the interests of justice. Of course, there is nothing prohibiting the addition of an explicit clause in employment contracts that mitigates against the risk of having communications intercepted.”

Technology has made it incredibly easy to record conversations without other parties being aware of it. Most smartphones and tablets come standard with audio recording features, making it virtually undetectable when somebody runs the app and puts the phone or tablet out of sight.

“Often, these conversations can be used as evidence in disciplinary hearings and other disputes even before they go to the CCMA or court. Further complicating matters is that courts do not hold privacy rights as absolute. Instead, they take other factors into account that can trump privacy rights.”

An example of this is in Harvey v Niland, where evidence was obtained by hacking into the respondent’s Facebook account. Evidence can therefore be presented in various forms and not necessarily only in the form of an audio recording.

Nevertheless, it remains in the best interests of either party to obtain recordings legally. From an employer perspective, fair process must be followed, with the employee being given an opportunity to respond to the evidence presented against them.

“From a legal perspective, it should also be noted that either party can record a conversation that they are part of. But if you are a third party, you need informed consent from one of the other parties to legally record that conversation. It is often this consent that confuses people into thinking all parties must agree to have a discussion recorded.”

Of course, if the recording is inaudible then it cannot be admissible. Myburgh says that employers or employees therefore need to ensure that the audio can be heard, and that the data is stored in a safe place to avoid it being lost, deleted, or edited in a way that will also make it inadmissible.

“Companies are operating in a dynamic, technology-driven environment. It should always be assumed that any conversation or meeting will be recorded, like assuming all work email will be read by a supervisor. In this way, both the employee and employer can ensure no mismanagement takes place.”

Death by Amazon

By Rebecca Ungarino for Market Insider

A new “Death by Amazon” index released by the investment-research firm CFRA tracks the stocks its analysts believe could be short-seller targets given their vulnerabilities to competition from Amazon.

The index is full of home goods and electronics retailers like Party City and Bed Bath & Beyond, some of which have seen their entire market value wiped out in recent years.

Investors are familiar with the Amazon effect by now.

The e-commerce juggernaut announces that it is preparing to enter into an industry – be it medication, brick-and-mortar grocery, entertainment, or others – and the stocks of companies in the new target market fall as jittery investors are struck with the fear that irreversible disruption is coming.

So the investment-research firm CFRA created a new index, “Death By Amazon,” that tracks the stocks its analysts think are particularly vulnerable to Amazon’s expansion and offerings.

“The equally weighted index serves as a retail performance benchmark and short-selling idea generation tool for our clients,” CFRA analysts Camilla Yanushevsky and Todd Rosenbluth wrote in a report to clients earlier this month.

To pinpoint the 20 constituents the analysts believe are poorly positioned to compete against Amazon’s efforts in various industries, they evaluated the companies’ “Share of Voice” data that comes from web-traffic analytics company Alexa Internet (which is owned by Amazon as its other Alexa-named product).

That measure shows the percentage of searches for a keyword across major search engines in the past six months “that sent organic traffic to the respective site.”

For example, the analysts compared how much traffic was going to a national jewelry retailer’s website when consumers search for the term “jewelry” versus how much traffic was going to Amazon for the same search term.
With this kind of analysis, you get an index full of brick-and-mortar retailers whose products are available on Amazon – and apparently less popular through online searches – from floor tiles to party supplies.

To be fair, it’s not the first Death by Amazon index. Bespoke Investment Group had already created its Death by Amazon index, tracking the same theme.

Here are all the stocks listed, in alphabetical order, with how their “Share of Voice” scores for various products stack up against Amazon:

  1. At Home Group
    1-year performance: -40%
    % below all-time high: -46%
    Share of Voice score for “seasonal decor”: 4.2%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “seasonal decor: 19.6%
  2. Barnes & Noble Education
    1-year performance: -38%
    % below all-time high: -74%
    Share of Voice score for “textbook”: 1.3%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “textbook”: 6.9%
  3. Barnes & Noble
    1-year performance: -0.1%
    % below all-time high: -84%
    Share of Voice score for “books”: 23.2%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “books”: 12.2%
  4. Bed Bath & Beyond
    1-year performance: -16%
    % below all-time high: -80%
    Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 2.4%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 23.3%
  5. Best Buy
    1-year performance: -14%
    % below all-time high: -19%
    Share of Voice score for “electronics”: 1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “electronics”: 8.1%
  6. Big 5 Sporting Goods
    1-year performance: -71%
    % below all-time high: -88%
    Share of Voice score for “fitness equipment”: 0%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “fitness equipment”: 11%
  7. Big Lots
    1-year performance: -6.5%
    % below all-time high: -41%
    Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 0%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 23.3%
  8. Dick’s Sporting Goods
    1-year performance: +15%
    % below all-time high: -43%
    Share of Voice score for “sports deals”: 18.7%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “sports deals”: 24.5%
  9. GameStop
    1-year performance: -31%
    % below all-time high: -87%
    Share of Voice score for “video games”: 7%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “video games”: 17.1%
  10. Kirkland’s
    1-year performance: -49%
    % below all-time high: -81%
    Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 5.4%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 10.8%
  11. Office Depot
    1-year performance: -19%
    % below all-time high: -95%
    Share of Voice score for “office supplies”: 33.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “office supplies”: 9.8%
  12. Overstock.com
    1-year performance: -67%
    % below all-time high: -86%
    Share of Voice score for “dresser”: 1.3%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “dresser”: 9.9%
  13. Party City
    1-year performance: -49%
    % below all-time high: -65%
    Share of Voice score for “party supplies”: 22.5%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “party supplies”: 13.2%
  14. PetMed Express
    1-year performance: -40%
    % below all-time high: -60%
    Share of Voice score for “pet supplies”: 5.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “pet supplies”: 13.7%
  15. Pier 1 Imports
    1-year performance: -65%
    % below all-time high: -97%
    Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 8.3%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 10.8%
  16. Signet Jewelers
    1-year performance: -49%
    % below all-time high: -87%
    Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 3.8% for kay.com, 2.9% for jared.com, and 0.12% for zales.com
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 10.7%
  17. The Michael’s Companies
    1-year performance: -43%
    % below all-time high: -67%
    Share of Voice score for “drawing supplies”: 13.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “drawing supplies”: 24.5%
  18. Tiffany & Co.
    1-year performance: -5%
    % below all-time high: -31%
    Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 6%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 10.7%
  19. Tile Shop Holdings
    1-year performance: -36%
    % below all-time high: -85%
    Share of Voice score for “tile”: 2.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “tile”: 22%
  20. Williams Sonoma
    1-year performance: +7%
    % below all-time high: -42%
    Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 16.7%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 23.3%

Budget: State-owned ICT companies by 2020

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) plans to establish a state IT company and a state ICT infrastructure company by 2020, although the exact functions of these new companies remain a mystery.

The telecoms ministry confirmed the news in the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) document, handed out to coincide with finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s National Budget Speech.

According to the DTPS, establishing these two new entities will involve merging different functions of the State IT Agency, Sentech and Broadband Infraco.

ITWeb first reported on the news of two state-owned ICT companies last year, noting the department had developed a consolidated SOC rationalisation process of key state-owned companies to form a state IT and ICT infrastructure company.

The ENE document says: “The department has submitted proposals for the establishment of these companies to Cabinet for approval and plans to draft their proposed mandates in 2017/18. Draft legislation will be developed for these companies in 2018/19 for submission to Parliament in 2019/20.

“To fund these activities, allocations to the ICT Enterprise Development and Public Entities Oversight programme are expected to amount to R797.4 million over the medium-term.”

Over the medium-term, the department pointed out it also plans to continue with the phased implementation of the 2016 White Paper on National Integrated ICT Policy, which will entail changes to existing legislation and the development of new legislation.

The White Paper was finalised and published in September 2016, and is supposed to replace the separate white papers on telecommunication (1996) and postal services (1998).

According to the department, it has identified that the Electronic Communications Act and the State Information Technology Agency Act require revision, and ICT commission and tribunal, and ICT state infrastructure bills need to be developed to make provisions for the department’s long-term strategic intent.

“To give effect to these activities, spending in the policy, research and capacity development programme is expected to amount to R271.2 million over the medium-term, increasing at an average annual rate of 4%.”

By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba for ITWeb 

Nedbank, Telkom, Discovery and Investec are among top South African listed companies with the most exposure to cybersecurity risks.

This is according to a new research report from the Cyber Intelligence Research Group, the results of which are being released on Monday at CyberCon, a cybersecurity conference in Johannesburg. If you want to protect your applications, use DAST. The Cyber Exposure Index (CEI) was launched in Singapore earlier this month. Over the next few months, indices for eleven major global stock exchanges outside of the US will be released. Following the release of the Singaporean and Finnish indices, the South African index is the third to be published.

In the ICT sector, those scoring a 4 included Telkom, MTN and EOH. Mix Telematics, Vodacom, Huge Group, Mustek, Adapt IT, Blue Label Telecoms and Naspers all scored 3
The CEI scores listed companies on their levels of exposure. South African companies received an average exposure rating of 1.9.

The index aggregates data that is publicly available through the dark and deep Web, or as the result of third-party data breaches. This data is used to identify top listed companies’ vulnerability to hacker group activity, disclosed sensitive information and leaked credentials.

Companies are then scored from 0-5, where 0 indicates no exposure and 5 places a company among the 1% of firms with the most exposure.

While no South African company scored a 5, many household names — from Sasol to Liberty Holdings and from Woolworths to Anglo American — scored a 4.

ICT sector

In the ICT sector, those scoring a 4 included Telkom, MTN and EOH. Mix Telematics, Vodacom, Huge Group, Mustek, Adapt IT, Blue Label Telecoms and Naspers all scored 3. ICT companies scoring at the other end of the scale, with 0, included Alviva Holdings (formerly Pinnacle Holdings) and Labat Africa.

Telecommunications companies have among the highest levels of exposure in South Africa at 13.1%, compared to the global average of 2.4%, according to the researchers.



South Africa’s global relative cyber exposure by industry, according the Cyber Exposure Index

South African companies have received an average exposure rating of 1.9 in the debut results of the Cyber Exposure Index
The company responsible for the index, Kinkayo, is a Singapore-based cyber intelligence organisation founded by professionals in the cybersecurity field. Virtual CISO tackles such problems very efficiently.

The CEI has been developed as a way for companies to gauge their cyber exposure, empower them with the opportunity to identify where their vulnerabilities lie and take decisive action against their risks, it said.

Download the full list here.

Source: Tech Central 

The best places to work in 2016

At a gala event on 16 March 2016, Universum, global leaders in employer branding, announced the results of their largest research sample to date at the Universum Most Attractive Employer Awards 2016.

With the global importance of attracting and retaining top talent of crucial importance to business, the results of Universum’s annual national survey are mandatory reading for business and HR executives and leaders.

Every year Universum Global conducts research across the world and specifically within South Africa in 2015, Universum interviewed over 45,000 tertiary institution students as well as over 21,000 professionals in the following sectors:

  • Business/commerce
  • Engineering/technology
  • Health care / health sciences / sciences
  • Humanities / liberal arts /law

This year’s winners reflect the trends In the research that show that even with fears around economic instability still a concern, (67% of the students are concerned about their prospects of finding a job after graduating), most students are looking for opportunities that include leadership opportunities and professional training and development, with these traits being the most preferred attributes that drive employer attractiveness.

More than simpling announcing a list of top employers, every year Universum also shares critical insights into the wants and needs of South Africa’s top talent – the qualitative insights that drive the rankings.

Universum South Africa Marketing and Activation Manager, David Rachidi explains further, “Universum’s Most Attractive Employer Awards are an important opportunity for business leaders, HR executives and others in related fields to deepen their understanding of the importance of employer branding in recruiting and retaining top talent. At Universum we believe that companies which will further flourish in future are, companies able to understand their talent and retain the best in their fields. The awards play a key role in recognising those companies that have been successful in this regard. The Universum Awards serve as a platform to recognise and award companies across various industries.We want companies to know that they are ranked within the Top 50, with the Top 3 companies in each sector announced at the event on the evening of March 16th 2016″

Top-ranked company: KPMG

Why do you think KPMG has achieved such a high position in the rankings?
Our achievement is owed to KPMG’s continual proactive engagement with Universities and students across the country. We remain committed to our students’ academic success and seamless transition to their personal life because they are an important KPMG stakeholder and the future leaders of our country. We are, therefore, tremendously excited for this recognition as it is encouraging to know that they feel a connection with the KPMG brand.

How has KPMG’s employer brand contributed to this?
Recruiting the best is not a new phenomenon to KPMG as the Firm is always looking to engage with extraordinary individuals. We strongly believe that every student has talent, and it is our commitment to affirm that everyone lives to their full potential. Our purpose at KPMG is to inspire confidence and empower change, similarly, we apply this approach when engaging with students as we continue to instil this philosophy into their lives. As a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, our brand has a solid foundation. It is against this backdrop that students want to associate themselves with a brand that helps them achieve their career aspirations. We seek to engage with students in a meaningful way and continue to have a presence on their campuses, with a focus on building and maintaining relationships with them, as opposed to once-off interventions. Furthermore, KPMG offers vacation work, where we expose them to the real life experience of working in our environment. Through this, they have engaged with KPMG on a personal level.

What does this achievement mean for KPMG?
This ranking reflects our excellence and achievements in promoting higher education. It truly acknowledges the global nature of KPMG as a brand and celebrates the holistic value we bring to Universities through deep academia knowledge, Undoubtedly, future generations are dependent on us being market leaders, collaborators, innovators and influencers, addressing the challenges and needs facing students with courage, agility and integrity. Indeed, young people are the future leaders of our country and KPMG. It is important to attract them because they have energy and innovative ideas. We live in a fast paced world and we need to offer our clients innovative solutions to their ever changing challenges. Having new blood allows us to have this resource to deliver the best results to our clients.

Top three rankings by main field of study


South African Breweries (SAB)



Legal Aid





Webber Wentzel Attorneys
Legal Aid

Source: www.skillsportal.co.za

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