Tag: money

The UIF is not a ‘money tree’ – Nxesi

By Jason Felix for News24 

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is not a “money tree” with unlimited resources.

That was the warning from Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, who revealed on Tuesday that the UIF has around R50-billion available.

Nxesi delivered a ministerial briefing in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the measures his department has taken to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through the Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), over R49-billion had been disbursed in benefits in the form of over 11-million payments since the beginning of the lockdown.

Nxesi said R23-billion was disbursed in Gauteng, in five million payments, and R484-million was disbursed in the Northern Cape, in over 100 000 payments.

‘Mass unemployment’

At the same time, R7.5-billion was disbursed in 1.3 million payments in normal UIF benefits.

Nxesi said plans were afoot to ensure the sustainability of the UIF fund.

“We have about R50-billion available. The question we need to answer now is what is the way forward when we have to deal with mass unemployment? This is a serious matter that the UIF board is looking at.

“It is difficult at this stage to determine all the retrenchments. But if the worst comes to the worst, we might see ourselves in the 2008 situation, where we would have to appeal to government,” he said.

Nxesi said, while the UIF was repurposed, it also needed to build in the necessary financial controls.

“I said at the time, ‘we don’t start paying out benefits before controls are in place’.

“This led to initial delays, and complaints from employers that the conditions were too onerous – which, in turn, compromised UIF controls in the rush to get payments out to laid-off workers,” he said.

He also said the UIF was aware of the fraud risks with TERS payments.

Nxesi said:

In September, all Covid-19 TERS payments were put on hold after several allegations of corruption and complaints that employees were not receiving their monies.

Stopping the payments allowed the UIF to implement adequate controls and to mitigate the identified risks.

During the first payment run on 21 September, and after the suspension of the TERS payments, errors were detected and the payments were rejected.

Some of these included the rejection of 193 applications after it was found the applicants were deceased persons.

Nxesi said 1 688 government employees, who applied for TERS were rejected. Also rejected were two applications from inmates and 1 968 applicants with invalid identification numbers.

“The holes are being plugged. The UIF has received the correct master data from the Department of Home Affairs, which is the latest data, so no deceased employee will be paid.

“The risk of inflated salaries by employers has also been corrected as the UIF now verifies with the latest declared salary.
“All under-age ID numbers have been blocked on the system,” he said.

By Marelise van der Merwe for Fin24

South Africa is likely to see long-term economic damage and “deep scarring” on unemployment numbers unless urgent reforms are implemented to attract foreign investment and improve ease of doing business.

This is because there simply isn’t enough money available locally for the country’s recovery to be driven by domestic consumption, according to Dr Morné Mostert, Director of the Futures Institute at Stellenbosch University.

Late in April, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an unprecedented R500 billion support package aimed at mitigating the impact of the coronavirus on South Africa, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni expected to be ready to table his adjusted budget after 24 June. R130 billion of the package will be supported by reprioritising funds from South Africa’s existing budget, while the rest must be funded externally.

That’s for the current year. The next remains to be seen.

In Mostert’s view, the Level 5 lockdown was initially successful, but the lifting of restrictions has been hamstrung by a focus on minutiae at the expense of a long-term recovery strategy. The key to a recovering job market lies in attracting foreign investment and improving ease of doing business, he argues, “not whether we can or cannot buy open-toed sandals”.

South Africa – like countries across the world – has seen job losses and a reduction in working hours since the start of the pandemic. Estimates for April suggested some 20 000 jobs were shed.

But SA is not alone. Elsewhere, there have been similar or even steeper declines. For the past nine weeks, the United States has filed a record number of unemployment claims, erasing the gains of the last decade and bringing the total to over 38 million jobless.

Economies that have historically boasted the lowest unemployment rates are beginning to waver – from Australia to the UAE and Thailand. Canada’s unemployment rate spiked to 13% in April of 2020 from 7.8% in the previous month. Jobless claims in the UK jumped 70% in April. China’s unemployment rate, described by critics as “suspiciously stable”, has been called into question in recent weeks.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that nearly half of the global workforce is in immediate danger of losing their livelihood. That’s 1.6 billion workers worldwide. The first month of the crisis saw an estimated drop of 60% in the income of informal workers globally, while worldwide, over 430 million enterprises faced high risks of “serious disruption”.

This is bad news for South Africa, whose long-term prospects for economic recovery depend to no small extent on its attractiveness as a destination for foreign investment as well as the resilience of its trade partners.

The wellbeing of the US consumer, in particular, has a widespread knock-on effect, says Maarten Ackerman, Chief Economist at Citadel.

“The US is still the biggest economy, and the US consumer is still, to date, the most important consumer. Their consumption spending is significant,” he says. “If they are going to remain sick for much longer, that is going to have a big impact on not only SA, but the whole world.”

China, as a key trading partner for South Africa, has shown some resilience – which is good news, says Ackerman. But South Africa’s trade relationships with its African neighbours are also significant, so the economic recovery of the rest of the continent, as well as implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, remain critical.

As for the US, its sustained job losses are in line with what was seen during the Great Depression, which is bad news for spending power. Moreover, according to Mostert, the strategic response to Covid-19 in the US has also “created havoc”, with global knock-on effects.

A prolonged recession is more likely than a depression, because a major structural shift in employment is unlikely, Ackerman says – meaning jobs will not be permanently destroyed.

But the concern is that comparing cycles – the Depression, the Recession of 2008, and the coronavirus crisis – indicates that while the current decline is extremely steep, during each cycle, recovery has taken longer.

“Getting 50 million people back into the employment sector will take a lot of time,” he says.

Tough times ahead for SA

South Africa faces its own complexities. Its labour market is less flexible, which has its advantages for the consumer, but can also signal challenges for recovery down the road.

“The US has one of the most flexible economies in the world. They very easily fire people, but hire them again when the economy picks up. Companies can get lean and mean very quickly,” Ackerman explains. This is not true of South Africa, which means there may ultimately be fewer jobs lost, but these could be permanent.

“There are a couple of [estimates] but depending on how long the lockdown continues, we could have 3 – 4 million people losing their jobs that will push unemployment close to 50%.

“Unfortunately, in our case, some of that damage will be more structural,” Ackerman says. “It will be difficult to replace those jobs and get those people back into employment. We entered this in a recession and may lose some companies as a result.”

The other difficulty in South Africa is that many of its people are already struggling financially, employed or not. This bodes ill for both individuals and economic recovery overall.

Credit bureau TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Survey has been monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on consumers across the globe. Its latest South Africa Report suggested that while a comparatively smaller percentage of South Africans had, as yet, been impacted by the loss of jobs than in the United States and United Kingdom, their concerns over making ends meet were already even greater.

The South African report for the week of 4 May noted that while the minority of respondents had lost their jobs, the majority (82%) had had their household income impacted. There was an average budget shortfall of R7 542.90 when paying bills or loans, with the average respondent expecting they will not be able to pay their bills or loans in 7.3 weeks due to financial hardship.

Across the country, no province had fewer than 83% of respondents saying they were concerned about their ability to pay their bills or loans. In Limpopo, a staggering 100% were worried about their ability to make ends meet.

In the US, respondents concerned about making ends meet ranged from 45% – 62%, while in the UK, figures came in at 60% – 65%.

Rough ride

For Mostert, this is one more reason to call for urgent reforms: SA will need outside help in order to recover.

“We don’t predict the future, because that depends on what people decide. But if there is no course correction, we are in for a rough ride,” he says.

This “rough ride”, according to Mostert, which includes a very rapid decline and slow recovery; a sharp increase in inequality; “deep” and “unnecessary” scarring on the job market; total erosion of South Africa’s already poor savings track record; and exacerbated damage to unemployment numbers by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the effects of which will be accelerated.

Course correction involves urgently focusing on a more business-friendly environment. Mostert cites South Africa’s sliding rankings on INSEAD’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index; it has also slid in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, dropping from position 32 in 2008 to 84th out of 190 countries in 2019.

“Jobs cannot come from government. That’s impossible,” says Mostert. “What are you left with?

“Business, in all its various forms. Unless you are going to dramatically accelerate a welcoming environment for business, including foreign direct investment, the current future will be utterly undesirable. We need something drastic to attract investment – and it has to be foreign.”

Ackerman agrees. “The trouble is that taxes are drying up, which pushes government into a debt trap. You can only borrow up to a point,” he notes. “It’s totally unsustainable.

“If we can institute some reforms we can start heading for recovery. But if not, then unfortunately we are likely heading for a bailout [from the IMF].”

To survive Covid-19, South Africa ultimately depends on spending and investment from resilient economies, says Mostert. “There is no way SA can pull itself up by its own bootstraps. We can’t do something like inspire consumer spending and hope that gives us a chance. There just isn’t money,” he says.

By Bedros Keuilian for Entrepreneur South Africa

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If Jack is an entrepreneur, it also makes him less effective at building insane wealth.

What’s Jack got to do with you? If you’re a business owner with big plans, every hour of your life matters. Screw around during the day, and you put your bottom line, your lifestyle and your employees’ paychecks at risk. You have to do something useful with your time, even when you’re not in the office. Everybody needs a hobby, and if you pick yours wisely, they’ll all serve your money-making mission.

What hobbies do you need? Here are three that you can’t afford to skip and how they improve your life and support your mission of building an empire.

1. A hobby to make money
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

You’ve certainly heard that quote before, and there’s some real wisdom to it. But tread carefully. Following your passion blindly won’t do you any good. There are plenty of broke people out there who are staying true to their passions. Unless you want to join them, you’ve got to go beyond your passion and into profit. This means finding the angle that lets you turn your passion into financial gain. And if you’re savvy enough, you can find that angle with absolutely anything. Don’t believe me? Look at history. There was a time when people spent their hard-earned money on pet rocks. And today, naked yoga is a thing people pay to participate in.

If you think your passion doesn’t offer the opportunity for dollars to trade hands, you’re wrong. Research some more. Figure out what people with the same passion most want to learn, have, become or achieve. Then develop a product or service tailor-made to fulfill that. Then sell like there’s no tomorrow.

Remember that if what you create helps you, it’ll help others with the same passion. You can sell your product or service by sharing your own story — no sleazy “tricks” needed.

2. A hobby to keep you fit
Science has proven time and again that there’s an intense mind-body connection. In fact, the connection is so strong that you can’t afford to be out of shape.

Work hard in the gym, and you’ll make your body hard and ready to take a beating. At the same time, exercise conditions your mind to do the same. Working out actually develops your brain, building your mental toughness so you can take on any challenges and stresses that come your way.

Let your body go, watch everything else follow.

And don’t think I’m just saying this because of my background in the fitness industry. What I’m saying here applies equally to entrepreneurs and business leaders in all industries, and it cuts both ways.

At my lowest point, even I had gotten inconsistent with my workouts, and I wasn’t pushing myself as hard I should have. This showed in a business that was not only disorganised and losing money, but also on the brink of collapse.

The first thing I did to take back control of my situation was to take control of my health. That meant making my gym time a non-negotiable, so I could rebuild the physical and mental strength I would need to pull my business out of chaos. If you’re in a similar bad place with your business, you can use this same strategy even if you haven’t ever made fitness a priority before.

While I love lifting weights, your hobby doesn’t have to involve a gym. Get outdoors and hike. Swim every day, increasing your speed and distance. Play basketball or racquetball or tennis or volleyball. Just make yourself move and the synapses of your brain will fire faster and bring you more money-making ideas.

3. A hobby to keep you creative
The simplest ideas are the best and easiest to execute, but it takes serious creativity to find simplicity. This kind of creativity isn’t cultivated in an office. It’s developed out and about, where you can take in new stimuli and actively relax.

Find your free place and grab a paintbrush or pen some poetry, master the harmonica or go full force into needlepoint. Whatever you choose, get creative and funky. Don’t be afraid to mess up. That’s where you learn the most about yourself and break down mental barriers. Push yourself beyond your artistic comfort zones and you’ll never plateau.

My creative outlet is drumming. The most physical of instruments, drums give me a way to beat something to a pulp without going to jail. I have a good ear, and through practice, I’ve developed quite a strong rhythm. However, I don’t sit around hitting everything on the quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. I push myself to learn new fills and patterns, tempos and styles that make my brain work in new ways.

To be honest, these growth practices aren’t always a fun start to finish activity. In fact, they can be crazy frustrating. But when everything finally comes together and my feet and my hands go where they’re supposed to go, it’s absolute euphoria!

I don’t leave this attention to detail and commitment to success in the practice room. I take it to work with me. Doing something creative can do the same for you. Make it part of your life and it’ll open your eyes and help you see the world in a different way. You’ll understand how things come together, and you’ll have a fresh perspective on whatever problem is nagging you at work.

And you know what happens when you’re thinking clearly and your creative juices are flowing? Another million-dollar idea crops up with a clear path leading right to it.

So pick your hobbies, and go at them with all you’ve got. You’ll never work a day in your life, but you’ll earn an obscene amount of money.

South African households are under pressure

According to the latest Old Mutual Savings & Investment Monitor report, South African households remain under pressure.

The report is based on 1 000 household interviews among working South Africans living in major metropolitan areas, and shows how consumers are being forced to tighten their belts.

Findings include:

  • A need to to cut back on monthly spending just to make it to the next payday
  • An increase in households under financial stress
  • Middle- and upper-income households are showing strain
  • 42% of respondents said they struggle to make ends meet each month
  • 73% of respondents said they are constantly worried about having enough money
  • 58% of respondents said they do not feel financially secure enough to cover an unplanned emergency
  • 60% of respondents do not feel confident that government will be able to provide for them and their families if they cannot do it themselves
  • Consumers are cutting back on expensive food and clothing purchases
  • Households are cutting back on entertainment and entertaining, reducing how often they go out, or have friends and family over for a social gathering
  • 15% of people indicate they will cutting back on using domestic workers
  • 79% of households indicated they do not employ a domestic worker at all

Government runs out of money

Pay insecurity is on the rise amongst state-owned enterprises and municipalities as it seems the government is running out of money.

A recent Business Tech article illustrates this, listing the likes of Denel, Metrorail, Prasa and the SABC as not having paid staff on time.

Municipalities in trouble

  • 30 municipalities in the country have not paid employees due to lack of funds
  • Employees at the Amahlati municipality in the Eastern Cape were last paid in April
  • The latest report from the auditor general showed a shocking decline in the state of the country’s municipalities over the last year
  • 257 municipalities and 21 municipal entities were audited for the 2017-18 financial year
  • 63 municipalities regressed
  • 22 improved improved
  • Only 18 municipalities obtained a clean audit by producing quality financial statements and performance reports, as well as complying with all key legislation

Big bailouts

A large portion of South Africa’s state companies are currently heavily reliant on the state for bailouts.

  • The SABC is currently waiting on government approval of a R3.2-billion bailout
  • Eskom has a R69-billion guaranteed pledge from the government coming in over the next three years
  • SAA needed over R21-billion from government to fully implement its turnaround strategy, but had to turn to private funding after the government could not meet its needs.

FNB accidentally gives clients free money

On Tuesday it emerged that FNB accidentally gave a number of its clients free money. The extra funds ranged from a few hundred rand to over R3 000.

FNB said that this was due to an error which is being rectified. Recipients of the extra funds will be required to pay it back, as unjustifiable enrichment can be reversed, an attorney told Business Insider South Africa.

The error appears to be due to delayed debit card transactions. FNB says that they have been in contact with clients who received the extra funds.

Retrieving the additional funds will not necessarily be an easy task, as the bank may find it difficult to extract the money from clients who have already spent it.

FNB has not revealed how much extra money was accidentally given away in total, nor how many people in total received money.

PIC has 15 days to recoup AYO billions

By Sibongile Khumalo for Fin24

The PIC says it has appointed Gwina Attorneys to assist it in recovering the R4.3bn capital it invested in AYO Technology Solutions.

The state asset manager confirmed on Tuesday that it was issued a compliance notice on February 21 which requires it to recover the capital investment made to AYO within 15 business days of the date of the notice, and provide the commissioner of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) with confirmation.

According to the notice, it must also recover any interest that may have accrued on the investment within six months.

The CIPC stated that based on the available turnover figures, the PIC did not act in good faith and in the best of interest of the company when “it decided to invest the disproportionate amount of R4.3bn in AYO”.

The watchdog added that the PIC failed its fiduciary responsibility and put the PIC in jeopardy. According to the CIPC, failure to comply with the notice may result in prosecution, with a maximum fine or 12 months imprisonment.

The PIC said it was looking into the matter.

On Tuesday afternoon, AYO said it believed there were no grounds for the CIPC to order the PIC to recoup its investment in the company.

It said it had not seen the compliance notice, but added that it believed the notice was possibly influenced by a disinformation campaign of “media houses and individual journalists”.

In a notice to shareholders on Tuesday afternoon, AYO said: “Both the PIC and AYO should have been consulted and had sight of the notice.”

It added: “AYO further believes that CIPC, by failing to inform and provide it with a copy of the Notice to the PIC, has acted contrary to the provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.”

The CIPC was established under the Companies Act to assist with registering companies, monitoring disclosure of information on business registers, licencing business rescue practitioners, and monitoring compliance with relevant financial legislation, among other things.

AYO is linked to businessman Iqbal Survé, the executive chairman of Independent News Media, who holds an indirect stake in AYO through African Equity Empowerment Investments. Survé once described Matjila as a friend, according to evidence by PIC Assistant Portfolio Manager, Victor Seanie.

Edcon Holdings is making progress toward securing R3-billion in funding need to keep the South African clothing retailer afloat for another three years, according to Business Day.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Africa’s biggest money manager, may provide R1.8-billion to assist the company. In addition,  landlords may contribute another R700-million in reduced rent, and Edcon’s banks about R500m, they said.

Meanwhile, according to an article by MoneyWeb, Edcon aims to take the following steps in a bid to downsize:

  • Reduce the size of its Edgars store in the Johannesburg CBD by a third
  • Close down its big Melrose Arch store
  • Reduce its footprint at shopping centres across the country
  • Reduce regional footprints in centres such as Mall of Africa, Eastgate and Gateway
  • Continue with closing smaller stores across the country (115 have been closed to date)
  • Downsizing several stores
  • Continue to reduce retail space – in 18 months, Edcon has already downsized by 7%
  • Reduce space nationally by 5% – 7% per year over the next few years

Edcon is one of the country’s biggest employers. It has 1 200 stores which employ approximately 30 000 permanent and casual workers.
Over 100 000 jobs are supported by the company when clothing suppliers and other service providers are included.

 

By Paige dos Santos, digital lead at SAP Africa

What would you do if you didn’t need the money? It’s not a question we often give much serious thought to, but it may very well be one that we need to answer in the next few decades. The advent of the internet was expected to result in widespread economic democratisation; instead, it has resulted in increased polarisation of wealth – creating a small number of uber rich. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report for 2017, between 2009 and 2012 the income of the top 1% in the US grew by 31% , compared with less than 0.5% for the remaining 99%.

This trend is likely to become exacerbated as digital concentration continues unchecked. This level of polarisation cannot sustain itself in the long term and could result in social upheaval. The shifting role of organisations in this new paradigm requires many traditional organisations to fundamentally rethink their reason for being and their approach to their employee value propositions, both now and into the future.

Seismic societal shifts

Murmurings of public policy response can already be seen internationally. Over the last few weeks, the United Kingdom announced the introduction of Digital Services Tax, a 2% revenue charge on “specific digital business models,” predominantly targeting tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. However, the situation we find ourselves in might well require action that is a little more radical. Yanis Varoufakis, Greek economist, academic and politician, posits that a new approach is in fact imperative to the stability of civilisation. Enter the Universal Basic Income. Call it an obligation-free dividend if you will. Universal Basic Income is a fixed income bestowed upon each citizen of a country every month – regardless of income, resources or employment status. The World Economic Forum 2018 featured several discussions exploring the concept.

Would such an approach result in sloth-like existences for us all? Will we become the embodiment of the “idle-hands” saying? Perhaps not. Several studies are currently investigating the impact of universal basic income, two of which are underway on the African continent. Studies in Uganda showed that recipients of a basic income worked an average of 17% more hours per day, increased business assets by 57% and reported a reduction in spending on vices such as alcohol and cigarettes. The reason? For the first time, people had hope.

Concurrently to digital economic concentration, our global population is burgeoning rapidly, heading towards what Charles C. Mann points out is biological ‘outbreak’ status. Our beautiful planet has finite resources. If we continue to take these for granted by pursuing linear, consumption-driven economic development approaches, we will only see an acceleration of the difficulties we are starting to face globally: choking pollution, food shortages, extreme weather and more. We urgently need to find ways to preserve our world for years to come by redesigning our processes and economies to conserve and optimise, rather than consume and monopolise.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide highly visible targets around this. These problems are too big for governments alone to solve. Public private partnerships, and responsible corporate citizens, are essential to making this a reality. This is something that SAP is taking very seriously, contributing to the adoption of technology to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Purpose needs to be something indistinguishable from our core business. It should define what we do and why we do it, contributing to a beautiful world for generations to come.

Systemic purpose

Let’s revisit the opening question. In light of our changing society, if you had enough money to cover your basic expenses, what kind of an organisation would you want to work for? One that chased profits above all else, or one that really had a higher purpose? A study undertaken by BetterUp found that workers would be willing to forego 23% of their entire future lifetime earnings in order to have a job that was always meaningful.

Engaging your total workforce around organisational purpose can be hugely beneficial, creating significant opportunity for organic and innovation driven growth. However, this is easier said than done. As organisations metamorphose to perform in the digital age, talent models are changing. The skillsets required are in a constant state of flux, and the gig-economy is booming in response to this. According to Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report 2018, more than 40% of workers in the US are now engaged in alternative work arrangements – contracting or gig working.

With such high percentages of an organisation’s human talent involved in external work arrangements, it’s essential to ensure that they are engaged and contributing to the organisations purpose too. Technology tools are available to assist customers in achieving this level of integrated engagement by approaching workforce management holistically. The SAP SuccessFactors and Fieldglass solutions integrate powerfully to ensure that both your internal and external workforce are striving towards a shared sense of purpose, and that individuals can see the impact of their efforts. At the same time, the solution suite manages the ever-present external workforce risks from a legal, security and privacy perspective.

Interlock – combining intuition and logic

When you are working for a purpose you truly believe in, you want to be able to add as much value as possible to that purpose every day. But as humans, we are fallible creatures. We often believe we are being logical and pragmatic, when the reality is that, according to research performed by Daniel Kahneman and his associates, we are primarily using our automatic intuitive responses rather than our logic-based ones. This is where intelligent systems are providing us with remarkable tools that ensure we get the right insights, at the right time, to equip us to make the best logical decisions for our organisations and minimise heuristic bias.

Consider the recruitment process. SAP SuccessFactors uses in-built machine learning analysis to ensure that job specifications created by managers are worded to equally attract male and female candidates, directly impacting gender diversity in the workplace. If the description contains too many masculine-oriented words, the system will automatically suggest replacing certain words and provide appropriate synonyms. This results in a gender-balanced job specification.

When embarking on new projects, SAP Fieldglass Live Insights enables organisations to identify the best geographic locations for the project, based on critical success factors. The solution scans SAP Fieldglass data on contract workers countrywide to recommend the best location based on resource skill level, availability and cost. Tools such as these enable our employees and organisations to perform at optimal levels, making the best possible decisions for their organisations and in turn, achieving their purpose.

The potential to thrive

If you didn’t have to work, would you choose to spend 18 hours a day at the office, sacrificing your family life and mental and physical wellness? And if by chance you did, would you be performing optimally? In the digital world, human creativity, curiosity and resilience are essential to personal and organisational performance, to achieving the purpose the organisation is driving towards. These characteristics are most evident when employees thrive, which is why special attention needs to be paid to the link between wellness and performance at work.

SAP, in collaboration with Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, has developed a solution that brings these together: SAP Worklife. SAP Worklife combines data on critical health indicators such as sleep, exercise, diet and mental health, with performance, development and employee satisfaction. The insight it provides enables HR professionals and managers to nurture talent to become the best they can be, in every aspect of life. Imagine the impact of unlocking curiosity and creativity across your organisation, and the energy of working with a team who are truly fulfilling their potential, not just as workers, but as human beings.

Universal basic income is just one of many possibilities that may unfold as we journey into exciting new frontiers as a human race. As our natural resources come under increased pressure and our societies start to shift, we need to pay careful attention to the change. Are we stubbornly focused on the immediate time horizon, ignoring the emerging reality of the next five years in order to fight fires for the next six to twelve months? Or are we thinking further ahead?

It’s time to be honest when you answer the question – would your employees still work for you if they didn’t need the money?

Black Friday weekend in numbers

According to an article by Business Tech, online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 exceeded figures for 2017.

BankservAfrica provided Business Tech with the following figures on one of the biggest shopping days of the year:

  • A total of 581 189 online transactions were processed over the weekend
  • 404 594 online transactions were recorded on Black Friday
  • The single most expensive transaction for Black Friday was over R6-million
  • The single most expensive transaction for Cyber Monday was R5-million
  • Black Friday shopping peaked between 08h00 and 09h00
  • Cyber Monday shopping peaked between 10h00 and 11h00
  • The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 695 on Black Friday
  • Transactions averaged at 281 per minute on Black Friday
  • The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 277 on Cyber Monday
  • Transactions averaged at 1251 per minute on Cyber Monday
  • Black Friday saw 55% year-on-year growth in online transactions
  • Cyber Monday transactions were up 36% year-on-year 

The United States, where the trend originated, also saw some big numbers:

  • Cyber Monday sales surged to a record $7.9-billion spent online
  • This is a year-on-year increase of 19.3%
  • Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22-billion in e-commerce sales
  • Transactions on mobile devices were up 55.6% on Cyber Monday, generating $2.2-billion in sales
  • Cyber Monday marked the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history
  • Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined saw the purchase 18-million toys and more than 13-million fashion items

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