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The Thusong Programme

Together magazine



Know your body language



ON OUR COVER Business and the Youth

Chad and Johan work better together I went to visit the Anchor Testing and Rigging Services Company in Maitland to chat to Chad Harding and Johan Kruger. I wanted to find out from them how the Work and Skills Programme (read more about this on page 7) has changed their lives. Upon meeting Chad, I could tell that this young man was respectful and that he took his job seriously. I asked him how he felt about his work as a rigging and crane inspector and he responded with enthusiasm, “I really enjoy my job. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I am going to begin the Lifting Machinery Inspector (LMI) course soon. This will take five years.” I said that this was quite a long period to be studying, to which he replied, “I like studying and learning. Before my internship I was doing odd jobs but the skills training made me more employable. There are not many people trained as LMIs.” Chad will become one of only a handful of South Africans to study and complete an apprenticeship in this trade. By acquiring these scarce skills he will become an invaluable resource for South African business and can begin to carve out a rewarding career for himself. When I met Johan, he instantly began to sing Chad’s praises. “Chad was very shy when I first met him. But now that he has been with us for a year and a half, you can see the difference in him. Because he has a stable job, he feels more positive about himself and this shows. This job is not only about checking equipment. When Chad works out at sea on an oil rig, he needs to be able to communicate with the Captain, telling him that he is able to solve a problem and that he is able to discuss solutions. Knowing how to communicate is a key element and Chad has developed this talent during his time with us.” Johan is a terrific mentor for Chad. He is passionate about his job and wants to make Chad and the rest of the team as enthusiastic about their work as he is. I believe that he has achieved this. Chad loves his job because he gets to travel the world and hardly ever has to work in the office. He told me that he had just returned from Angola and that he would be off to visit another oil rig soon. I can tell that this young man has a bright future ahead of him and that he has the guts, determination and focus to work hard and become successful in his own right. He has already achieved a great deal for a 21-year-old. A big thank you must go to the Anchor Testing and Rigging Services Company – and Johan and his team – for making the resources and the energy available to enable Chad to be all that he can be. We wish Chad and Johan all the best for the future!

Editor’s Notes This winter seems to be the longest one I have experienced in Cape Town and speaking to colleagues, I hear that most people feel the same. Enough of these dark, chilly days; bring back the early sunrises and late sunsets and may we once again be able to leave home without our coats! As if imitating the bad weather we have been experiencing, the news seems to be full of equally gloomy stories about the state of our nation. How does bad news affect us? As a provincial government, we must view public criticism as part of our work environment. Government officials have to be resilient and focused to be able to persevere with their daily work. Your mindset has to be: I am doing this to make a difference. Yes, people who work for the Government are truly strong individuals.


Better Together Magazine

Dear BT mag

Dear BT mag

Better Together magazine is one of the best magazines I have ever read! I love it because it caters to everyone, young and old. Employees get more information on all sorts of things. I particularly enjoyed reading the article about Customer Care part 1 and why it is so important in our working place. I also love stimulating my mind with the Quick Quiz. I look forward to reading the next issues. Keep up the good work!

I am impressed by the Employee Health and Wellness article in the second issue of the Better Together magazine. The information on the support system that employees can utilise is important as we deal with stress and personal difficulties on a regular basis. The welfare of employees has a direct impact on the success of the organisation. By the WCG providing such services, employees will not only be able to complete their jobs better, but they will have more energy to give to their families and friends after work.

Regards Ziyanda Bomvana

The following are some of the attributes I have found to be most useful as an official:

Dear DG

It is the job of the Better Together magazine to make you feel that your work does matter and to tell you about officials who are dramatically changing people’s lives for the better. There are some true superheroes out there! Only by reading about the hard work that is being done by officials who are working tirelessly to make facilities and programmes available to the public, can we feel that we are making a difference too. We also want to highlight projects that you can use, or partner with, to enhance your own deliverables even more. For instance, you can read all about the Thusong service centres on page 3. This programme provides a terrific opportunity for citizens to learn about government services and it provides every department with an opportunity to convey their message and information directly to the public. This programme gives you the chance to think out the box - grab this service with both hands! We also focus on the Work and Skills Programme. This programme invites all businesses to get involved in sharing their knowledge and training with our youth, and to equip young people with invaluable work experience so that they are able to take the next step in becoming a permanent employee. We hope that you enjoy this issue. Please send us your comments and feedback. We want to hear from you! Regards BT mag

I am an employee for the Western Cape Government, a mother and a wife, and I have found that keeping up a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge as I try to stay productive and professional at all times. I am benefitting greatly from attending the regular gym class held at the Provincial gym from 13:00 till 13:30, Monday to Friday. I have lost 11 kilograms and I feel much happier since starting my training programme as it is fun and I have more energy. I also feel less stressed when I go back to work. However, the time allocated of 30 minutes per day for lunch makes it difficult to go to class, as we have to leave work 10 minutes before the class starts, do the class for 30 minutes and then dash back to the office after changing. Is there any way people who are attending gym can be supported in their gym programme by having the extra time? Perhaps the gym could keep a roster as a record that we are attending gym? I look forward to hearing from you. Yours in anticipation Edwina Louw Dear Edwina Thank you for your letter and congratulations on your weight-loss! I am pleased to inform you that the policy on working hours empowers supervisors to allow employees to make use of an extended lunch break (either 45 minutes or one hour) subject to operational requirements being met. If you make use of the dispensation, with your supervisor’s permission, you will need to start work earlier or end work later in order to make up the time, as employees are expected to work 8 hours per day. I would like to encourage you to keep up your exercise routine towards a healthier lifestyle and I hope many of your colleagues will join you in the gym! Regards Brent Gerber Director-General

Write to us

Icon Key The icon key will be used at the end of each feature story to highlight which values, visions and Better Together philosophies are demonstrated in the article.

Care To care for those we serve and work with.

Responsiveness To serve the needs of our citizens and employees.

Integrity To be honest and do the right thing.

Competence The ability and capacity to do the job we were employed to do.

Accountability We take responsibility.

Keep doing a great job by keeping employees up to date with the latest developments. Best regards WCG Employee

the inner strength to remain true to who you are thick-skinned enough to be able to deflect criticism the adaptability to deal with constant change the ability to listen to critique without taking it personally (not about you) the ability to deal with deadlines in your stride friendly and caring attitude to maintain good relationships with your colleagues the maturity to understand and to empathise with pressures faced by colleagues


Johan mentors Chad

Your Letters

Better Together The Western Cape Government has a duty to provide opportunities. Citizens have the responsibility to make use of them.

THE VISION: Internal Vision To be the best-run regional government in the world. External Vision Open opportunity for all.

We will be awarding R300 to the best letter we receive! You also have the opportunity to write to our Director-General, Brent Gerber.

Ask the D-G anything Do you want to know if we should have bicycle racks outside the building? Or what about the food in the canteen? This is your forum. You can ask the D-G a question or take the opportunity to express your opinion. We can’t wait to hear from you! 2

The Vision

The Thusong Programme-

Everything you need under one roof We all know the feeling of dread when we realise that we have to finalise personal administration. The frustration of having to stand in a queue for hours – only to be told, when you finally speak to someone, that you are missing this or that form and that you will have to come back and go through the entire process again. Now add to this the anxiety of travelling a very long distance (the cost of half your week’s wages), and the knowledge that you might be sent from pillar to post with the probability that you will have to do it all over again. The Multi-purpose Community Centre Programme was initiated in 1999 to avoid these problems. Since its inception, the programme has changed both in functionality and name. Today we know the programme as the Thusong Programme. ‘Thusong’ is a Sotho word which means ‘place of help’. Over the past thirteen years, the Thusong Programme has established itself as a gateway for people living in rural and poorer communities to access essential services and enables people to better understand what they, as citizens, need to do and what government support and benefits they can receive. WHAT IS THE THUSONG PROGRAMME? The Thusong Programme is coordinated by the Dapartment of Local Government and it is divided into five types of services: Thusong service centres, Thu-

the ease with which we can access information, but there are many people who do not have this luxury. Without access to the Internet, you have to phone or travel to find out what you need to know. Fortunately Internet access and training through the exciting new Cape Access Programme is available at some centres.

SARS is available at the Thusong mobile centres.

song mobiles, Thusong zones, Thusong satellite centres and Thusong extension projects. This article will focus on the Thusong service centres and Thusong mobiles and aims to show how citizens and employees of the Western Cape Government can make use of these terrific facilities. THUSONG CENTRES Imagine a place where you can go from one room to the next to get all your administration done instead of having to travel kilometres from point A to point B. Just visit a Thusong centre where you will be assisted by helpful staff who will assist you in any way they can. For

instance, if someone does not know how to go about getting an ID book, the clerks at the centre will explain the process and tell you which documents you need to have. The Thusong centres are built on land owned by the municipality and these are permanent structures which are leased out to government departments and NGOs, who are then able to offer their services directly to the public.

Imagine a place where you can go from one room to the next to get all your administration done instead of having to travel kilometres from point A to point B. Some departmental services have been identified as ‘anchor services’ and the aim is to offer these services at every Thusong centre. These ‘anchor services’ are the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Labour, and the Department of Social Development.

The public has access to many services at the Thusong mobile centres.


Better Together Magazine

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) may also take advantage of the centres. For example, at the Mbekweni Thusong centre in Paarl you can access the Sweden Exchange Programme. There is also the Clothing Bank, an NGO which trains people to repair clothes in order to help them to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs in the future. These days we take the internet for granted and

THE TRAVELLING THUSONG MOBILE Thusong mobiles are when 10 or more government departments travel to areas where there are no government services. The mobiles are set up in sparsely populated areas where they will provide services for 1 to 3 days before they move on to another area.

During the month of August, in celebration of Women’s Month, the Mbekweni Thusong centre held a Women’s Day celebration. Women who had made contributions to their community, such as becoming foster parents or educators, were honoured. Motivational speakers spoke enthusiastically about the future of women. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to network and to feel inspired before tackling anew the numerous problems they face every day.

Where a Thusong mobile goes depends on the needs of communities. Once the location has been decided upon, the Department of Local Government invites all the relevant stakeholders – on national and provincial level – to a planning session. The Department of Local Government plays the role of facilitator and enables other departments to work together under one roof. In the majority of cases, a hall or church in a small community will be hired to accommodate the Thusong mobile and the departments will set up stations within this space.

The Thusong centre is a vital meeting place for the community to discuss local issues as well as being a hub for people to visit for information.

At a Thusong mobile held at Hermanus in July 2012, SASSA, the Department of Home Affairs, the South African Reve-

nue Service (SARS), the Department of Correctional Services, the Public Protector, the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the other provincial departments such as Health, Agriculture and Social Development were present. continued on next page

The Thusong centre is the place to go for any information you need.

How can you, as a government official, take advantage of the Thusong Programme? All the departments of the Western Cape Government have certain messages that they need to convey to the public. The Thusong Programme is the perfect vehicle for departments to use to make a substantial impact and to reach people who need the information the most. All departments can benefit from using these centres. For instance, the Department of Education can use the Thusong Programme to remind parents that they need to register their children at school now for the 2013 school year. And if the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport wants to promote the benefits of literacy and library services, they could set up a section for the children who are waiting with their parents, and provide them with a reading corner in a safe, comfortable environment. Between 1000 to 2000 people pass through Thusong mobiles during the two-day period. These mobiles are also equipped with a microphone system which is used to make announcements. Imagine the reach your message could have at such a venue!

Thusong centres and mobiles are the perfect place for you to promote your services in a unique way to a targeted audience. Speak to the passionate people at the Department of Local Government and find out which platform (Thusong centres or mobiles) is best suited to make your services known. The Thusong Programme offers a cost-effective way for any department to reach the people who need to hear what their government has to offer them so that they and their families can live better lives. For more information about the Thusong centres contact: Danielle Manuel Tel: 021 483 8148 E-mail: For more information about Thusong mobiles contact: Corné Booyens Tel: 021 483 6483 E-mail: 4

Better Together Xhosa Summary following on from page 4

Onke amasebe kaRhulumente weNtshona Koloni anemiyalezo ethile afunayo nalangazelela ukuyigqithisela eluntwini. INkqubo yeThusong iyindlela efanelekileyo ukuba isetyenziswe ngamasebe ukuze abe negalelo elimandla akwazi nokufikelela ebantwini abalufunayo ulwazi. Onke amasebe angancedakala xa esebenzisa la maziko. Umzekelo, iSebe lezeMfundo iNkqubo yeThusong lingayisebenzisela ukukhumbuza abazali abafuna ukubhalisa abantwana babo esikolweni ngeli ixesha belungiselela unyaka wokufunda kwabo ongu-2013. Kananjalo xa iSebe lemiCimbi yeNkcubeko nezemiDlalo belifuna ukukhuthaza ngoncedo lobuchule bokufunda nokubhala kunye neenkonzo zamathala eencwadi, abeli sebe bakwazile ukuba necandelo labantwana abebelindile bekunye nabazali babo, babalungiselela indawana yokuba bafundele kuyo, kunjalo ebonwabisayo nekwakhuselekileyo. Amawakawaka abantu adlula kwiindawana zamalungiselelo eThusong ngexesha eliziintsuku ezimbini. Ezi ndawana zixhotyisiwe ngesandisilizwi ukuze kuvakale xa kusenziwa izaziso. Khanifane niyicingele indlela enokuvakala kakuhle ngayo eluntwini imiyalezo yenu kwindawo enjalo! Amaziko eThusong nee-ofisana zawo ezithuthelwa ezindaweni ayeyona ndawo ifanelekileyo kwicala lenkuthazo yeenkonzo zenu ngendlela eyodwa yokufikelela kwisihlwele ekujoliswe kuso. Khanithethe nabo bangamatsha-ntliziyo kulawulo lweSebe likaRhulumente womMandla (iinkcukacha zabo nizinikiwe apha ngasezantsi), khanifumanise ukuba leliphi na iqonga (elingamaziko eThusong okanye ii-ofisana zokusebenzela ezithuthelwa ezindaweni), angawona akufaneleyo ukwenza ukuba zaziwe iinkonzo enizinikezelayo.

Afrikaans Summary Al die departemente van die Wes-Kaapse Regering het bepaalde boodskappe wat hulle aan die publiek wil en moet oordra. Die Thusong-program is die ideale middel wat deur departemente gebruik kan word om ’n wesenlike impak te maak en mense te bereik wat die grootste behoefte aan inligting het. Die gebruik van hierdie sentrums kan tot voordeel van alle departemente wees. Die Departement van Onderwys kan byvoorbeeld die Thusong-program gebruik om ouers te herinner dat hulle nou reeds hul kinders by ’n skool moet inskryf vir die 2013-skooljaar. En as die Departement van Kultuursake en Sport die voordele van geletterdheid en biblioteekdienste wou bevorder, kon hulle vir kinders wat saam met hul ouers by die sentrum wag ’n leeshoekie inrig in ’n veilige en gemaklike ruimte. Duisende mense besoek die mobiele Thusong-sentrums gedurende die tweedagperiode. Hierdie mobiele sentrums is toegerus met luidsprekerstelsels wat gebruik word om aankondigings te maak. Stel jou voor hoeveel mense jy met jou boodskap by so ’n geleentheid sou kon bereik!

Natasha Poni, who worked at the Thusong mobile, stated that people had been queuing outside the hall in Hermanus since 2:00 that morning and that this was a common occurrence at all Thusong mobiles. During the two days on which a Thusong mobile is offered, thousands of people visit the venue for information, to apply for social grants, to register and file their tax returns, to process and certify their ID documentation, to visit a health practitioner or to speak to a social worker. Nedbank is also present at Thusong mobile venues if anyone needs to open a bank account or make photocopies of their documents. The fact that all of these services are under one roof saves citizens time and money. Now they do not need to travel vast distances at great cost to access services. Can you imagine having to travel 40 km to apply for a social grant only to be told that you need a bank account? This will mean leaving again and spending money and time that you do not have! This vicious circle is prevented by grouping all the services together and offering them at the same time at one venue. The Thusong mobile just makes sense.

CHANGES AND CHALLENGES Provincial Strategic Objective 10 (PSO10) In response to Provincial Strategic Objective 10, the Department of Local Government has been mandated to coordinate and facilitate all aspects pertaining to the implementation of the Thusong Programme. Ntsietso Sesiu, Director of Service Delivery Integration, and her team are reviewing the 26 permanent centres and are evaluating whether the centres are properly located and being used optimally by national and provincial departments. The cost of these centres must be taken into account as Thusong centres that are not achieving their goals are not beneficial to the public. Ntsietso says that through in-depth assessments of the Thusong centres, they are now able to provide services efficiently and at a minimum cost. A project this size is a handful and with so many stakeholders involved, good communication is essential to ensure the success of each centre. New Thusong centres are planned and once locations are identified, municipalities and the Department of Local Government will continue to bring the new centres to more citizens. The Thusong Programme is a terrific example of ‘better together’ – the government is creating the opportunity for the public to access services, and citizens are taking responsibility by taking advantage of these services.

Thusong-sentrums en mobile sentrums is die ideale plek om jou dienste op ’n unieke manier by ’n bepaalde teikengehoor te bevorder. Tree in verbinding met die passievolle mense by die betrokke direktoraat by die Departement van Plaaslike Regering (hul besonderhede verskyn hieronder) en vind uit watter vorm van die Thusong-program (Thusong-sentrums of mobiele sentrum) die geskikste middel is om jou dienste bekend te maak.

Better Together Magazine

Our Better Together Dream Team MEET ILONKA AND LORETTA Ilonka and Loretta come very much as a package deal – even their nomination was made as a team! When we spoke to their colleagues, we were told, “The work done by one of them actually complements and supports the work of the other and together they contributed to the success of the PAY project.” I meet Loretta Cox and Ilonka Stander at the Provincial Training Institute at Kromme Rhee as Loretta is taking a course here. Ilonka has joined us from Elsenburg, where both of our champions work for the Department of Agriculture. Ilonka says, “I have been trying to find out who could have nominated us. This was such a surprise!”

Ilonka and Loretta

partment and I think that it is thanks to our Head of Department, Joyene Isaacs.” Ilonka agrees with Loretta. She adds, “I have worked for the Government for 21 years and I have found my passion at the Department of Agriculture. Our director is caring and since she arrived we feel like a team and a family.”

I want my team to work in such a way that if I am not there, anyone in my team could take over because I have taught them everything I know.

Loretta is a manager and when asked what her work ethic is, she firmly states, “I do my best to pass on my knowledge. I want my team to work in such a way that if I am not there, anyone in my team could take over because I have taught them everything I know. I set high standards for myself and that contributes to the high standard of our service delivery.”

Both work for the Archive and Record Service and they say staunchly that the Department of Agriculture is their home and that they would take on any job to remain there. Loretta says, “There is a culture of self-development in the De-

There is an obvious bond between Loretta and Ilonka. Loretta says proudly, “Ilonke is completing her national diploma in Human Resource Management.” Ilonke nods and says, “It is thanks to my colleagues and their motivation that I

went into Human Resources. I like doing things for other people, even though this means that I can be misused at times. I enjoy people and I feel good about rendering a service.”

I enjoy people and I feel good about rendering a service. These two women are obviously devoted to their jobs and their department. We are looking for the Better Together Champion to be someone who is true to the values of accountability, responsibility, care, competence and integrity. Fortunately, there is no need to choose between Ilonka and Loretta as they were entered as a team and they will go into the finals as a team. Congratulations, ladies! We thank you for your hard work and wish you all the best in the final round next year. Only two finalists left to go!


Citizens seated at a Thusong mobile.



The Better Together magazine would like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a colleague they believe is living the Western Cape Government values. We would especially like to thank the nominator of Ilonka and Loretta for writing such a heartfelt nomination. You managed to capture the essence of what we are looking for in our Better Together Champion – someone who cares, is responsive and who is proud to be a Government official. We look forward to receiving many more nominations and just remember – without the nominators we would have no Better Together Champion. The nominator is the person who has taken the time to share with us the story of someone who they think is remarkable, and for putting someone else before themselves. We say thank you. You are what makes us better together. Find out how you can nominate someone on the back page of the magazine.


The Values

The Work and Skills Programme: Giving our youth the opportunity to succeed All students finish school or tertiary education with the notion that they will find their dream job. This may have been possible a few years ago, but with the job market as congested as it is today, we can only try to provide our youth with the opportunity to build a respectable Curriculum Vitae and a good reputation based on references from former employers. Solly Fourie, the Head of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, stated the following at the launch of the Work and Skills Programme in July 2012: “When my generation left school, we were guaranteed a career with the sureness that when you were 60 or 65 you would retire. Today things are different. Creating jobs is more difficult.”

In a country where there are more people than the number of available jobs, it is more important than ever to find a solution to develop young people and provide them with the opportunities to learn and flourish. In a country where there are more people than the number of available jobs, it is more important than ever to find a solution to develop young people and provide them with

the opportunities to learn and flourish. Worldwide, countries are finding it more difficult to find employment for young people, and with the world economy as muddled as it is, you are fortunate to even have a job. Businesses are struggling to make ends meet and they have to deal with many concerns ranging from increasing electricity tariffs and oil prices, to finding the money to pay their employees. In amongst all this turmoil, our youth stand outside the sphere of employment. Fresh out of school and unable to learn a trade, young people are left with no hands-on experience that they can offer a prospective employer. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism identified this problem and developed the Work and Skills Programme to help bridge the gap between youth and job experience. The purpose of this programme is twofold: to increase alternative career opportunities for skilled learners through skills development and to improve the work readiness of learners by improving occupational skills and employability. HOW DOES THE WORK AND SKILLS PROGRAMME WORK? A database was created on which businesses could register their companies. Applicants who match the businesses’ internship profile are allocated to businesses registered on the database. Internship applicants are registered on a database with various stakeholders like the Department of Labour, Further Education and Training colleges (FETs,


Meet Allan and Joel When Allan Lewis went through the CVs that were sent to him by the Work and Skills Programme, Joel Jenkins was not Allan’s first choice of candidate. However, by the time the interview ended, Allan realised that Joel was the perfect intern to join him at Momentum. He immediately asked Joel to go with him to meet a client at 14:00 and that was the beginning Allan and Joel A true example of being Better Together.

NGOs, Sector Development Agencies (SDAs), etc. Once matches are made between businesses and appropriate applicants, the applicants’ CVs are sent to the business owners. Potential employers then select and interview those applicants they believe are best suited to their businesses’ needs. THE APPLICANT The criteria to join the Work and Skills Programme as an intern are based on the following: Must be unemployed. Must be between the ages of 18 and 35. Must have a national senior certificate or equivalent qualification. Must be a South African citizen. When applicants join the Work and Skills Programme, they are enrolled into a training course where they are taught basic life and job-readiness lessons. In the life skills component of the course, they learn about time management, finances, communication, values and respect. The job-readiness skills prepare learners for what to expect when they are employed, including what their work will entail, clocking in and out, and reporting to work on time. The programme managers have found that a practical session in which interns are shown what work they will actually be performing is crucial. In the past the programme managers found that interns dropped out of the internship if they were hired to do work that they did not want to do. This had an im-

of a working relationship which has grown over the past three years. Joel was fresh out of school, unemployed and still very much into partying by the time he was hired by Momentum. He had plans to become a fire-fighter but when the opportunity presented itself for him to learn about the financial business, he jumped at it. He is now qualified as an Associated Financial Planner and, as Allan says, Joel will have to continue going on courses as the industry is constantly changing. Fortunately, Joel likes studying and he says that he enjoys the work because everyday is differ-

pact on the business that hired the intern, as time had to be spent going through another interview process. In turn, it also affected the Work and Skills Programme, as the money and time that had been spent on the intern, was lost. THE BUSINESS Once an applicant has been chosen by a company, the applicant will work for the business for a period of six months. As an incentive, the Western Cape Government pays each intern R1 200 per month during the six-month period. The best outcome for both the intern and the company is that the company will be happy with the intern and that the intern will become a permanent employee. If, however, the business cannot hire the intern because of financial reasons or their lack of suit-

ent and there are always challenges. “This has changed my life. I now see things from a different point of view. I am more mature,” says Joel. Allan says proudly, “Joel signed up three of our top clients. He took their calls and built a relationship with them. If he had not done his job well by being polite and informed, we could have lost them in the initial phase.” When asked what he looks for most in an intern and employee, Allan said, “I don’t look for people who are highly educated. I want someone who is humble and shows a willingness to learn. I don’t want someone who

a b i l i t y , the intern will then leave the business after the six months with a reference and on-the-job experience. A good reference will serve the intern well when he or she applies for their next job. For businesses, this programme is advantageous because it gives them the opportunity to find the right people for their job requirements. It takes time to get to know an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and a six-month period is the right amount of time to determine whether the right candidate has been found. Businesses realise that they invest money and time in the development of human capital. They realise that it is the employees who help businesses to grow and to maintain strong reputations. Employing the right people is essential.



continued on next page

fights me when I am teaching him or her. Humbleness is the key element.’

I want someone who is humble and shows a willingness to learn. I don’t want someone who fights me when I am teaching him or her. Humbleness is the key element. Allan is a great supporter of the Work and Skills Programme. “This Programme works because it allows

the business to conduct a six-month interview with the intern. This is enough time for them to show their true colours and you have the opportunity to hire the best candidate for the job. The intern can also leave after the six months for another job with a better understanding of what is required of them as employees.” Allan states passionately, ”If Joel stays in the industry, the knowledge he will gain will enable him to become a millionaire someday.” Joel is striving towards this and he has the tenacity to build a very successful career for himself. 8

Employee Bulletin

following on from page 8

OPPORTUNITY AND RESPONSIBILITY The Work and Skills Programme is growing exponentially and the more businesses that come on board, the more opportunities our unemployed young people will have to gain work experience and training. Private businesses are the foundation for the creation of a thriving economy and a productive work force is absolutely essential for our future.

Xhosa Summary


Ulutsha lwethu alukho misebenzini kwaphela. Bephuma ezikolweni bengakwazi nokufunda ngezorhwebo, abantu abasebatsha abawafumani amava okusebenza nabanakho ukuwasebenzisa ezindaweni abaqeshwe kuzo ukuze kucace ukuba bakufanele ukuba ngabasebenzi.

to do your tax

AbeSebe loPhuhliso loQoqosho noKhenketho bayichongile le ngxaki baza baqulunqa iziFundo zemiSebenzi nezezaKhono ukuze kuvalwe isikhewu esiphakathi kolutsha namava okusebenza. Injongo yale nkqubo intlantlu-mbini: kukwandisa amathuba eminye imisebenzi kubafundi abaxhotyiswe ngezakhono ezivele ekuqulunqweni kwenkqubo yokuxhobisa ngazo, nokubeka emgangathweni ophezulu ubuchule bokuwufanela umsebenzi kwabafundi ngokuphuculwa kwezakhono zokusebenza kwanokuqesheka kwabaqeqeshiweyo. Kuqulunqwe uvimba weenkcukacha apho abezoshishino benakho ukubhalisa iikhampani zabo. Abafaki-zicelo ababonakala bekufanele ukuqeqeshwa ngeli xesha besemisebenzini kuloo mashishini, ngabo abafakwayo kuloo mashishini abhalisiweyo kuvimba lowo weenkcukacha. Abafaki-zicelo bayabhaliswa kuvimba weenkcukacha zamaqumrhu achaphazelekayo nahlukeneyo afana neSebe lezemiSebenzi kunye neekholeji zeMfundo eyaNdisiweyo noQeqesho. Abezoshishino xa bebathathele ingqalelo abo bafake izicelo nabathathwa njengabo basenakho ukufaneleka, amaxwebhu abo eNgxelo yamava omsebenzi athunyelwa kubanini bamashishini. Iikhampani ezinakho ukubaqesha ziyakhetha ukuze zibe nodliwanondlebe nabo bafaki-zicelo zikholelwayo iikhampani ukuba bangabona bazifaneleyo iimfuno zamashishini abo.

It is income tax return time again! Thankfully, due to technological updates, doing your tax return will be a doddle this year. The simplest way to file your tax return, is to make use of the South African Revenue Service’s e-filing system. The e-filing system was so successful last year that 99% of all tax returns were completed electronically. Below are a few guidelines to help you to complete your tax return.


Firstly, you have to register for e-filing. If you have used the e-filing system before, you are still registered. Go to and click on the ‘Register’ link.


You need your tax registration number, your Identity Number and your bank account details (an account at a registered South African bank) to register.

Chad at work.

Anchor Testing and Rigging Services is one of the companies that is part of the Work and Skills Programme and Johan Kruger hired Chad Harding a year and a half ago. Johan regularly receives calls from youngsters who want to train but he has to turn them away. He has to ensure that the people he trains are willing to learn. He says, “You can immediately tell which people are here for the wrong reasons: either their parents told them to be here or they are here for the money. I can pick them out by the third day and then I have to tell them to leave the training. It costs thousands of rands to train someone, so we have to make sure the intern is there to learn.” The Work and Skills Programme is an opportunity and responsibility project. Businesses give our youth the opportunity to learn and grow and take advantage of the work that comes their way. But it is very much the responsibility of the young people to use the opportunity given to them and to make the most of it. As in the case of Joel, he never thought of becoming a financial planner but he has found himself in the fortunate position of finding a career he loves. May the youth continue to be given this opportunity and may they grab it with both hands. This is truly a programme that is Better Together. If you wish to find out any further information about the Work and Skills Programme, please contact: Mark Apollis Tel: 021 483 9124 E-mail: 9

Better Together Magazine

Afrikaans Summary Talle jongmense sukkel om opgeneem te word in die arbeidmark. Jongmense wat pas skool verlaat het en nie in staat is om ’n ambag aan te leer nie, beskik oor geen werkervaring wat ’n voornemende werkgewer kan oortuig van hul geskiktheid vir indiensneming nie. Die Departement van Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling en Toerisme het hierdie probleem raakgesien en die Werk-en-vaardighedeprogram ontwikkel as oorbruggingsprogram om jongmense te help om werkervaring op te doen. Die doel van die program is tweeledig: om die getal loopbaangeleenthede vir geskoolde leerders te vermeerder deur hul vaardighede te ontwikkeling en om leerders beter voor te berei vir die arbeidsmark deur hul beroepsvaardighede en indiensnemingsmoontlikhede te verbeter. ’n Databasis is geskep waar sakeondernemings wat aan die program wil deelneem, kan registreer. Internskapaansoekers word ook op ’n databasis, waarvan die Departement van Arbeid en Voortgesette Onderwys en Opleiding-kolleges belanghebbers is, geregistreer. ’n Aansoeker wat aan ’n sakeonderneming se internskapprofiel voldoen, word aan daardie sakeonderneming toegeken. Nadat sakeondernemings en geskikte aansoekers met mekaar verbind is, word die aansoekers se CV’s aan die eienaars van die sakeondernemings gestuur. Die potensiële werkgewer keur en voer onderhoude met die kandidate wat na hul mening die geskikste is om aan die behoeftes van die sakeonderneming te voldoen.




Once you have a login name and password (four digits are added to your login name by SARS), you will be able to login to complete your tax return. As you open the income tax return, you will receive a message that tells you that a return has been generated for you using the latest IRP5/IT3(a) information that SARS received from your employer. If this does not occur, you will need to speak to your employer or contact SARS. The first page of your electronic return is a questionnaire. Once you have completed the questions, the required fields on your form can be filled in. Click on ‘Create form’ to complete the return in the required fields.


Fill in the relevant fields of the application.


Finally, to submit your electronic tax return, open it and click on the ‘File’ button. With this simple action you have completed your income tax for the financial year!

Documents you will need: Your bank account details. The bank account must be in your name and the details must be correct because SARS pays money due to you directly into this account. IRP5/IT3(a) certificates. The certificates that you (and your spouse if you are married in community of property) received for interest-income earned during the year. Financial statements. Medical scheme certificate. Information relating to capital gains. Documentation relating to any other income earned besides your salary. Retirement annuity certificates. Although you do not have to submit these documents with your return, you should keep all supporting information for at least five years. SARS may request these documents from you within this period. Another benefit of e-filing is that you can check the possible outcome of your tax return once you have completed your assessment. This means that you are able to see whether you owe SARS money or if SARS will repay

money to you. Click on ‘Save return’ and then use the ‘Tax calculator’ button. This will generate a tax calculation that will give you an idea of what your assessment looks like. If you feel daunted by the process, visit your nearest SARS branch. Take all the required documentation with you and a SARS employee will go through the electronic tax return with you.

TAKE NOTE: Do your return as soon as possible to avoid penalties, computer jams and queues at the SARS offices. If you earn less than R120 000 per year, you do not have to submit an income tax return.

DEADLINE DATES: Last day for manual, post or dropoff of tax returns:

28 SEPTEMBER 2012 Last day for completing e-filing:

23 NOVEMBER 2012


Self Development

Current News



What you say without saying a word In Part 1 of our customer care article, we focused on how your behaviour and attitude can be interpreted by your colleagues and the public. In Part 2 of this series, we will be looking at the fascinating world of body language.

Take the time to read through the notes about body language below. You may recognise some of your own habits which may be affecting you interaction with other people and which may be holding you back in your career.

Body language is possibly more important than verbal communication. For instance, you could be saying something that is exciting and interesting but if you are looking at your toes while you are talking, nobody will pay attention to what you are saying. Body language is especially important in customer care because non-verbal communication must support your verbal communication. Your body language speaks volumes about your ability to help the person who is requesting your assistance. Picture the following scene: You are meeting a colleague for the first time and when you first see him, he is slouching in his chair, swinging from side to side while chewing on a pen. He does not even change his position when you introduce yourself. Your first impressions of this man will probably be that he is arrogant, unfocused, disrespectful, unambitious and inefficient. You might also suspect that he will not provide you with correct information. It is astounding that within 30 seconds of meeting someone new, we usually build an opinion of the person that is very difficult to change. As the saying goes, ‘First impressions last.’

Lifting of eyebrows, crossed arms and a slouched posture show that you are disinterested.

Fidgeting Twisting your hands, tapping your foot or any other twitch is a sign of nervousness or boredom. This distracts the person who is trying to communicate with you. Slouching can be a sign of boredom or low self-esteem. A straight back makes you appear awake, in control and alert.

Turning your body away from the person you’re talking to This can be perceived as a lack of interest and a need to leave the conversation. When you face people directly, they will know that all your attention is focused on them.

Crossing your arms This is a defensive stance that communicates that you are angry, disinterested and holding yourself apart from the person who is trying to speak to you. This is a tell-tale sign that communication has broken down.

Eye contact Good eye contact is essential as it makes the person you’re speaking to know that you are listening to him or her. If you are speaking at a meeting, try to have eye contact with as many people as possible. This will convey the message that you are speaking to all of them.

Speech Our way of speaking can mean the difference between holding the attention of our audience or boring them. If you are going to speak to a group of people, try this technique to help keep your voice at an optimal pitch: press your lips together and make the sound ‘um hum’ repeatedly. This will relax your voice.

Smile, an everlasting smile


Better Together Magazine

Your Health Matters!

In recognition of Women’s Month in August

How many times have you thought to yourself, “Tomorrow I must do something about these extra kilograms. Maybe I should go to the gym today? No, wait, the kids have something on tonight. Perhaps I will find time over the weekend?” This is the type of conversation we have with ourselves over and over, and in the end that trip to the gym never happens because we are too tired or because our schedules are too hectic. One inspiring woman – who has managed to find the drive and the determination to pursue her weight-loss programme – is Edwina Louw. Her story will make you believe that if you truly desire change and if you are willing to work hard, anything is possible.

Courageous Edwina Louw


Not giving your colleague your full-attention when they need you is not good customer care.

Message to all Women:

Smiling is a terrific solution if you are feeling tense or nervous. Smile at everyone who passes you and everyone who needs to speak to you. Smiling will automatically warm the person to you. And you will immediately feel more cheerful and confident and that, of course, is what we all aim for!

Edwina is an energetic lady who exudes self-confidence and puts you immediately at ease. When I tell her that she looks fabulous, she bubbles with enthusiasm about the Provincial gym and the ‘In it to win it’ competition. She has just won the women’s category of the competition. Of all the entrants, Edwina lost the most weight during the three-month duration of the competition. Edwina confesses, “I would never have been able to lose the 8,3 kg without the support of the trainers at the gym - Olivia, Neil and Ntobs made me work hard. I went for weekly weigh-ins and I received healthy recipes and positive thoughts regularly by e-mail from Olivia. She would go as far as phoning the competitors to make sure we came to gym class!” Edwina has gone through a tough period in her life. After having a hysterectomy at the beginning of the year, she began to put on weight. She told me, “I no longer wanted to walk next to my husband because I was worried he did not think of me in the same way. I was always tired and I did not have the energy to play with my children. You could say I was depressed.” Many women I know can relate to feeling insecure when they do not feel confident about their appearance. Edwina says, “My side of the family also suffers from high cholesterol and this has recently been the cause of the deaths of both my brother and my sister. I was

worried about my health. One day I walked past Olivia and she could tell that I was unhappy and that I had put on weight. She encouraged me to take part in the Provincial gym’s competition and after a visit to my gynaecologist to make sure that I had healed enough, I began the training programme.”

How did she do it? Edwina put her heart and soul into her training and asked Olivia to help her with her meal plan. She says, “These days I am very conscious about what I eat. I have a small steamer which I use to cook my fish and vegetables at lunch time. Before I go to the gym class at 13:00, I have a piece of low-GI bread and cottage cheese and between meals I eat fruit. I no longer eat anything fried!” Happily it is not only Edwina who is living a healthier life. Since cooking more nutritious meals at home, Edwina’s husband has also lost weight and her son and daughter no longer eat unhealthy meals. Of her family, Edwina says, “My children and my husband have been wonderful – they have supported me all the way.”

You can do it too Although it is tremendously important to have the backing of your family and friends, it is only you who can make the decision to make a change in your lifestyle and make the time to exercise. The effort is worthwhile as Edwina explains, “I feel fantastic now! I am full of energy and I have lost another 2 kg. I have 5 kg to go before I reach my ideal weight. I am much happier and my family is proud of me. And most of all, I am proud of myself!” If you would like to join the Provincial gym in Dorp Street, Cape Town, please contact: Olivia Carolisen, e-mail: Neil Naidoo, e-mail: Tel.: 021 483 3979

Make these small changes to a healthier lifestyle: Eat one meat-free meal a week. Park your car a block further away, or get off your bus earlier, and walk the extra distance to your destination. Begin a 30 minute workout twice a week at your gym. Find an exercise buddy. Edwina and her gym friends train together during lunchtime.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LUTHANDO BOTSHOBANA Winner of the male category of the ‘In it to win it’ competition. He lost 9 kg. Well done, Luthando! 12

In Brief

Over mountains, through the rain, our Better Together cyclists get the job done



In a true showing that bicycles are not only used to keep you fit, the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, a few of her brave Ministers and some Western Cape Government (WCG) employees, along with the Bicycle Empowerment Network, set forth on the challenging 500 km Better Together Cycling Tour from Plettenberg Bay to Khayelitsha.

I took this picture one night after working late in Wale Street, Cape Town. You can see the provincial building on the left. There is something so beautiful about the city at night. I wanted to capture the lights of the passing cars to illustrate how busy the city is, at all times of the day.

The main theme of the tour was to inspire citizens to lead healthier lifestyles and linked to this, the handing out of bicycles. The fact that government spends more than R1 billion on preventable illnesses means that the WCG has to focus on encouraging people to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as what we eat and to promote exercise, which keeps our hearts healthy and is also a fantastic way of dealing with stress.

The main theme of the tour was to inspire citizens to lead healthier lifestyles and linked to this, the handing out of bicycles. Putting their bodies through the paces, our Better Together cyclists hit the road in weather that was far from welcoming. It was with sheer determination that our colleagues managed to cycle from one

Anél Jooste Senior Personnel Practitioner, Department of Health town to the next over hilly terrain and icy winds. Nonetheless, where there is a will there is a way, and our WCG employees knew that they had bicycles to hand out. Over the course of five days, from the 17 June 2012, the Bicycle and Empowerment Network in partnership with our Better Together team, handed out 100 bicycles and the new bicycle owners were taught by the Network how to take care of their bikes and given some very important safety tips. Various people were given these yellow bikes,

from children to get to school easier, to community carers who operate mobile chronic medication dispensing units, to neighbourhood watch members, who also received torches and radios from the Department of Community Safety to help them patrol their areas at night.

PHOTO SUBMISSIONS: Photographs can be of any landscapes, landmarks, seascapes, flora or fauna of the Western Cape. You may enter as many photos as you like. Images will be judged on their artistic quality. Entries may either be posted (15 x 10 cm) or e-mailed (electronic images must not exceed 1 MB). Descriptions of the image must accompany the photograph. One winner will be chosen per issue and the winner’s photograph will be published in the following issue of the Better Together magazine. In the sixth issue of the magazine R1 500 will be awarded to the best overall picture.

The Better Together Cycle Tour was a wonderful way to bring across the healthier lifestyle message and to help make people’s lives easier by enabling them to do their jobs more efficiently. Well done to the Better Together cyclists – next the Tour d’France!

Congratulations to our Quick Quiz winner for the July issue:

Marcelle Schreuder Send us your Quick Quiz answers and you could win R500! All correct entries will be entered into a draw and the first entry picked will be the winner. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 13

Better Together Magazine

What is the name of South Africa’s driest province? Which provincial department is the custodian of the Work and Skills Programme? Which country’s national anthem is without lyrics (music without words)? In which country did reggae music originate? What is a rhinoceros’s horn made of? In which country was modern-day golf first played? What is the name of the largest mammal in the world? Who performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky in 1967? Who developed the World Wide Web?

Department of Health

ANSWERS TO ISSUE 2. QUICK QUIZ. 1. English, Xhosa, Afrikaans; 2. Banyana Banyana; 3. 0800 701 701; 4. Leeuwenhof; 5. Gerrit van Rensburg; 6. Approx. 100 miles; 7. Open opportunity for all; 8. Brazil; 9. Botswana Pula

RULES: All nine questions must be answered and spelled correctly to be entered into the final draw. You can e-mail or post your answers to us. Our details are to be found at the back of the magazine. Entries by telephone will not be accepted.


OUR NEXT ISSUE 16 pages full of your stories, competitions and entertainment

World Anti-Corruption Day awareness is key. Get your free disposable self-test breathalyser!

Great investment tips to save your money.

It is the season for givingfind out how you can make a difference. How do you nominate a Champion? There will be a R1 000 prize given to the employee who nominated the winning champion for each issue of the magazine. For every issue, the nominated employees will be assessed and the top three employees will be chosen. The Better Together Awards team will then choose one of the three employees as the Better Together winner for that magazine issue. The winning employee will receive a R1 500 prize and he or she will have their inspirational story featured in the magazine. After the publication of our fifth magazine, one employee from the four finalists will be chosen as the Better Together Champion of 2012 and he or she will receive a R10 000 award. If you want to nominate someone please contact us for a nomination form either via e-mail, post or telephone. The deadline for applications for this magazine is below.

All Better Together Award entries for the September issue of the magazine must be received by us no later than 19 October 2012. All nominations that miss this date will be carried over to the next issue.

Contact the Better Together Magazine team: Telephone: 021 483 3806 Fax: 021 483 8267 Postal address: Better Together Magazine PO Box 659 Cape Town 8000 E-mail:

When sending us post or e-mailing us, please use one of the categories below in your subject line: Categories: • Better Together Champion Award nominations • Your letters (to the D-G and/or to the magazine team) • Quick Quiz entries • Photograph submissions

Please contact us if you wish to regularly receive an electronic version of the magazine. Note that all cash prizes are subject to tax.

Printed on FSC certified paper

Better Together Magazine  

Better Together Magazine - Issue 3

Better Together Magazine  

Better Together Magazine - Issue 3