SA Business Integrator - Volume 8 l Issue 4

Page 42

R65.00 Incl. VAT 9772411292008 22007 Information | Innovation | Inspiration | Transformation Volume 8 | Issue 4 | October 2022 shifting from being traditional auditors to being tech and digital savvy BDO South Africa –The future of South Africa’s railway sectorThe impact of Inclusive hydrogen economy Remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market COVER STORY: work week for SA? A four-day – an enabler to SA’s economic recovery Top tips for SMEs: ‘localisation initiatives’ on trade & investment
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People. That’s what it all boils down to.

If there is anything that we all should have learned in the past few challenging years, it is that people are at the heart of everything that happens. Yes, technological advancement plays a huge role in our daily life with regards to improving efficiencies, and this trend is set to continue.

But even with technology, people create it – people choose to use it.

Around this time of the year, many organisations are in the thick of the last push. There is a flurry to ensure that things are tied up neatly in readiness for 2023. And, while the past few years have been a rollercoaster for many businesses, it was hoped that 2022 would be the stabilising year, but for some the turbulence has continued.

The reality is that workforces – comprised of people – have changed. Yes, South Africa still retains sky-high unemployment rates, but people are still seeking better opportunities. This is completely normal – costs have risen across the board, load-shedding is back with a vengeance, and people have showed resilience, but for how long?

South Africa has an immense amount of potential, but for some reason while we do see progress here and there, it is not always sustainable. People have started to question more – this is a positive thing, but it also comes with consequences.

It is more critical than ever that businesses and government take heed of the personal aspect. South Africa wants and needs growth for the benefit of all. The year 2022 did bring a level of stability but looking ahead we have to collectively capitalise on this to push developmental initiatives for us to grow as a country.

Tashne South African Business Integrator @SABImagazine
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10 COVER STORY BDO South Africa – shifting from being traditional auditors to being tech and digital savvy 14 The future of South Africa’s railway sector 16 Tackling South Africa’s port challenges 20 Prevention measures crucial to tackling risk of battery fires in shipping 24 Boost for women in logistics, transport and supply chain 26 In a challenging trade environment, proactivity and innovation are essential 30 Impact of unmaintained roads & increasing costs on the road freight and logistics industry 32 Rail policy direction pushes economic advancement 34 SANRAL sorts out SA’s potholes 38 Effective fleet management needed to make roads safer 40 How any business can innovate with what it already has 42 OMRON explains how to achieve sustainable manufacturing 46 Top tips for SMEs: Remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market 50 Technological advancements enable growth for small businesses 52 Significant changes to transformation in the workplace set for 1 September 2023 54 Proximity bias: new threat to gender transformation in the workplace 58 SA retailers need to adapt to the declining middle-class 32 14 26 30 4 CONTENTS



clean energy to climate solutions

for reaching



shoots for eThekwini’s manufacturing

6 72 52 84 94 60 Advertorial: MTN SA Foundation empowers women in digital business 62 Rage against the machine or embrace it 65 Equal pay but unequal taxes – SA women carry a greater tax burden 68 The impact of ‘localisation initiatives’ on trade and investment 72 Should they stay or should they go? 76 Advertorial: Kannaway 78 The four-day work week for SA? 80 Addressing gender diversity challenges to fast track the growth of the renewables energy sector 84 Why businesses are turning to renewables to make a positive impact on the world 86 Inclusive
economy – an
to SA’s economic recovery 90 From
necessary transition
emission targets 94 Green
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Elroy van Heerden


Tashne Singh


Tessa O’Hara


Wadoeda Adams


Anja Bramley

Shaun Mays


Mesela Nhlapo

Bobby Madhav

Gavin Kelly

Tshepo Kgare

Vusi Mona

Adv Johan Jonck

Juanita Vorster


Ronald Ravel

Alan Shannon

Nivaani Moodley

Tarien Zietsman

Maureen Phiri

Dr Rebecca Maserumule

Dominic Goncalves


Elroy van Heerden


Nicholas Botha

Kanak Nathoo

Rene van Heerden


Maurisha Niewenhuys


Jay-Dee van Rensburg


Kyla van Heerden

Ketsia Makola


Shihaam Gyer


Shaun Mays


Justin McGregor


Daniëla Daniels

Cover image: Rozier van Tonder Image credits: A BUSINESS INTERACTION PUBLICATION R65.00 Incl. VAT 9772411292008 22007 Information | Innovation | Inspiration Transformation Volume 8 Issue 4 | October 2022 COVER STORY: – an enabler to SA’s auditors to being tech and digital savvy hydrogen economy rapidly evolving market Remain competitive in a economic recovery on trade & investment South African Business Integrator @SABImagazine
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its agents. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published, the publisher does not accept responsibility for any error or omission contained herein. Consequently, no person connected with the publication of this journal will be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any reader as a result of action following statements or opinions expressed herein. The publisher will give consideration to all material submitted, but does not take responsibility for damage or its safe return. 6 Carlton Crescent, Parklands, 7441 Tel: 021 424 3625 Fax: 086 544 5217 E-mail: Website: DISTRIBUTION PUBLISHED BY A BUSINESS INTERACTION PUBLICATION CTP printers CAPE TOWN Media Support | On the Dot IMAGES 8

BDO South Africa –shifting from being traditional auditors to being tech and digital savvy

BDO South Africa is a company of audit professionals dealing with accounting and assurance matters, information technology, tax matters and complex valuations. Bonga Mokoena joined BDO as CEO in May 2022. He has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, including in transport, financial services, investment and the energy sector. SA BUSINESS INTEGRATOR spoke to him about challenges and opportunities facing the profession.


What made you want to return to the accounting profession?

Based on the challenges our profession is currently facing, I want to be able to contribute.

One of the reasons I returned is to assist in restoring trust. Restoring trust, will contribute to our economy and the wellbeing of our country.

What are some of the key challenges facing the sector?

As I indicated above there are a number of issues, one of the issues is rebuilding trust. There is an expectation within the ecosystem that the audit profession will show up to the expectations of many, by lending credibility through assurance provided to business and the economy. We give assurance to a number of issues that give people confidence and trust in our economy, which is critical from both a local and foreign investment perspective.

The other challenge, is how we attract and retain talent within our accounting and audit profession, in light of what is now commonly referred to as the ‘great resignation and immigration’? All players in the profession face the same challenge to attract and retain talent. I believe the challenges can be overcome by more investment in learning and skills development, including retention through a comprehensive and compelling employee value proposition (EVP).

Challenge number three is how we react to changes and developments related to digital and tech. These areas call upon us to innovate, modify and produce new auditing processes, procedures and tools. We need to adapt to new ways of how we audit with and through tech and digital systems, structures like the metaverse, crypto assets and investments.

Lastly, how do we keep up with the developments that talk to the broader society as encapsulated in ESG? How do we show up as a profession, in terms of our knowledge, technical and professional skills in relation to the matters that pertain to ESG? How can

we contribute directly and/or indirectly on all matters pertaining to ESG that elevate our profession, our clients, our communities and society at large? How do we ensure sustainability broadly and not limit to the "G", which represents the governance aspect of ESG? How do we go beyond governance and contribute to the "E" and "S", which talks to environmental and social aspects respectively?

Those are the four main challenges we are facing as a profession, and we need to respond in a manner that makes a demonstrable impact to show that we are contributing holistically and effectively.

Over the years the accounting and auditing industry has taken a reputational knock. How has BDO fared?

I think we have done exceptionally well, in the sense that up to this point our reputation remains untarnished as we were not caught up in any “eyebrow raising” events, incidences or scandals professionally, ethically and otherwise. We want to keep it that way, hence in terms of our Clarity Charter we want to hold ourselves to the highest standards of independence, ethics, and being quality driven.

What are some of the key strategic interventions you have planned?

As far as transformation goes, I am going to be using every opportunity and avenue to fast track our contribution across the spectrum. This includes a number of aspects in terms of women empowerment, enterprise development, skills development; and especially ensuring appropriate training and exposure for our trainee accountants.

I want more black trainee accountants to have exposure, even in complex areas such as banking and financial services across the spectrum. There is no need to be ‘just’ a chartered accountant; you don’t just need to be a registered auditor, but you need certain accreditations such as those provided by the IRBA, JSE and Prudential Authority based on practical training and exposure. COVER STORY

In those areas we have very few black people especially at the mid-level upwards. The bottom level is overpopulated, and many companies will announce these numbers, but when you start looking closer you see a different picture. This needs to be changed as it would benefit our profession, our economy and the country at large.

To reinvigorate trust, we developed our Clarity Charter at BDO, which represents our peg on the ground on who we are and who we are not. It is the basis and principles upon which we will continue to hold ourselves to a high standard of ethics, independence and integrity. Just knowing who we are and who we are not, and being uncompromising on that position.

How do you envision the company under your leadership impacting progressive and proactive change?

I honestly believe if we do those four things we have touched on, the issue of trust, and authentically addressing issues of transformation – if we authentically work to address all these issues, it will put us on a significant growth trajectory. I would like BDO to grow significantly in being a trusted partner/ adviser in the market whilst still maintaining our independence and professional scepticism.

How do you see the future of the profession unfolding in terms of technological transformation, culture, skills development, legislation?

When I talk about digital tech, that’s the transformation we need. We need to shift from being traditional auditors to being tech and digital savvy, in terms of using the tools but also auditing through tech.

As for the culture, we need to be aware, sensitive and attuned to generational nuances. Number one is market dynamics; two is social-cultural issues; three is the various developmental phenomena; and the fourth is industrial revolution and digitisation.

We need to be attuned to diversity across the spectrum, on all the points I raised – diversity in an untraditional, unconventional manner.

I think skills development falls into my previous points, we need to keep learning. Our skills will be measured by our ability to learn and re-learn. We need to want to learn new skills, un-learn old skills and to be adaptive and agile.

In respect to legislation, policy makers and legislatures are not going to stop evolving and producing new legislation based on the changes. We need to adapt, remain agile and create new tools, processes and procedures that will speak to new legislation. Similarly, to my point above, we need to understand new legislation and adjust to it.

It was reported that a goal you have set for BDO is to emerge as one of the top auditing firms within the next three to five years. Would you say the profession is conservative, or is it ready for change? Historically, the profession has been seen as conservative and may not have been ready for change, but the change we want to see will be determined by us.

What are some of the key elements required to achieve this goal?

It goes back to what I mentioned previously, to embrace diversity, to be open minded, to be aware of the intangibles. There are also tangible issues and developments but also intangible developments, which need people to adapt to look at things with a different set of eyes and have different perspectives of how to respond to things/developments.

How does BDO’s service offerings differ, and how can this be advantageous?

We are at the forefront of having developed some digital and audit tech tools. We will be the leaders of the pack in that I would like for us as BDO to continue being game changers and leaders with


these kind of developments. I am a firm believer of driving holistic organisational development and growth through innovation supported by people skills and tech development.

You previously said, “auditing is about people”. Can you explain this?

At the core of auditing are people, the professionals. Our clients are people. The CEO and the CFO, the chairperson of the audit sub-committee – these are all people meeting in the marketplace to do business.

Confidence is embedded in people, and trust is something you can only get from people and once you trust someone, you can do business with them.

What would you say are the top three characteristics of a leader?

Humility, being able to listen, and emotional intelligence – a quiet sense of wisdom. For me wisdom is being able to express your views while also having the ability to listen. It takes wisdom and humility to be able to sit and listen.

For example, if I sit in a meeting and there is someone there who is quiet, it doesn’t mean that person doesn’t have something to say – in fact the people who are quiet might be the people who potentially have a solution to whatever issue we are discussing.

Your ability to be on the ball, be alert and attentive, and also empathetic is important. Humility goes hand-in-hand with empathy; it comes with a quiet sense of confidence. Giving people a sense of comfort so they can open up is also important. Impactful leaders are leaders who demonstrate a deep sense of showing trust, respect, and empathy.

What would you most want to be remembered for?

How I touched lives and made a difference and an impact. There are many ways you can touch people’s lives, even if it is just with a conversation. 

BDO South Africa specialises in Auditing, Tax, and Advisory services. It has a global footprint in 164 countries and territories and seven offices in South Africa servicing more than 40 JSE-listed companies. With a highly customer-centric focus, BDO is committed to being ethical, independent and quality-driven.

Bonga Mokoena joined BDO as CEO in May 2022 taking over from Mark Stewart at the end of his term. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA), Institute of Directors of South Africa (IODSA) and the Black Management Forum (BMF).

Prior to joining BDO, he held various senior executive and leadership roles at AlexForbes for almost 13 years, which includes Head of Institutional Cluster Businesses, Managing Director/Executive of Actuarial Consulting Solutions & AF Group Public Sector Divisions, CEO of Alex Forbes Emerging Markets (Pty) Ltd and recently, AF Group Executive of Market Development Division.

As a qualified CA(SA), Mokoena spent much of his career as an internal auditor at Nedcor Bank Limited, Metrorail and Transnet before moving on to Old Mutual as an Industry leader in 2005 within Old Mutual Corporate Division. He then joined and worked at Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) as its Chief Executive and Principal Officer for almost 2 years during 2008 and the better part of 2009. He has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, his sector experience also includes transport, financial services and investments.


The future of South Africa’s

railway sector

In March this year the White Paper on National Rail Policy – which outlined plans to revitalise rail infrastructure and enabling third-party access to the freight rail networkwas approved by Cabinet. President Cyril Ramaphosa then directed Transnet to ensure the implementation of thirdparty access to the freight rail network by April 2022.

The current state of rail in South Africa

The National Rail Policy has been gazetted and this means that private sector participation and the transformation of the South African freight rail network is a reality.

The African Rail Industry Association (ARIA) has been instrumental in lobbying the government to develop policies and regulations to enable this important evolution in rail policy. The National Rail Policy stipulates that third-

party access should happen in a way that promotes investments and creates an equal level playing field for all players in the industry. Rail is an enabler of economic growth.

This private sector participation is crucial in assisting the South African economy to expand and to address transformation issues – such as the inclusion of women and youth – in the freight rail industry.


Challenges and solutions

With the proper introduction of the National Rail Policy, 58 million tons of goods can be moved from road to rail immediately. The obvious benefit of such a move is the freeing up of our road network for cars and people transport, rather than massive trucks hauling goods between centres. The damage to the road infrastructure is well documented.

However, the biggest challenge is the fact that Transnet’s preconditions to private third-party access is not in line with government policy. A conversation with government and stakeholders needs to take place to address this.

Transnet’s provisions for 3rd-party access include:

• A demand that bidding parties must belong to the Transnet bargaining council. This is uncompetitive behaviour and there has been no consultation around this issue.

• A voetstoots requirement – if we are to use the infrastructure as is, we need access to the infrastructure to assess the risks private investors will be taking on.

• The two-year contracts offered by Transnet effectively keeps out women-owned and blackowned companies as a short-term contract cannot justify the amount of investment capital needed. It is anti-transformational because it allows only companies with cash to participate.

We have, despite our concerns, advised our members to participate in the process to get more information. So far 19 companies have expressed an interest in bidding for the third-party slots. This does not mean that they (the 19) have all the resources they need to bid. There is no transparency in the process though, and this is of great concern to us.

We believe the challenges can be addressed by having a consultative meeting with Transnet, chaired by the Interim Regulatory Committee, to ensure fairness in the third-party access and to ensure that their terms are in line with government policy –which they are currently not.

You cannot have a government policy on the

one hand, and a government entity on the other hand, come up with a policy that differs from the government’s policy. We need to ensure that this process takes place correctly to attract investment and bring jobs to the country.

There is a R54 billion demand for rolling stock once third-party access is in place, and this can be manufactured locally – bringing in jobs and rebuilding the manufacturing sector.

ARIA’s position is that there must be a directive from the presidency – third-party access is not a suggestion, it’s a remedy to the issues the rail sector faces. We cannot afford to waste any more time. Opening the rail freight sector to private operators will realise the vision of moving freight from road to rail, but this won’t happen if the industry is not talking to each other about it.

It’s really all about the economy Countries all over the world rely on freight rail to provide the efficient transport and delivery of food and goods. A functional rail system needs to be protected to ensure the efficient flow of commerce. Freight rail is a key driver of a nation’s logistics performance, which in turn drives greater economic performance.

Rail reform represents an opportunity for investment, competitiveness, growth, and significant jobs. Early projections by ARIA suggest that additional parties using the rail network rail will create tens of thousands of upstream jobs by enabling industry (like smelters, steel mills, manufacturing, and agri-processing) and mining (new coal, manganese, and iron ore mines, among others) to become internationally competitive.

Similarly, rail corridors into Africa would create cost-effective gateways to take South African goods into these markets.

Private third-party access to, and participation in, the freight rail network’s performance is crucial to South Africa’s economy and the continued growth of our industry.


Tackling South Africa’s port challenges

According to the 8th PwC South Africa Economic Outlook, while there are transient supply chain challenges, South African ports are “beset with operational efficiencies”.

The report further adds: “The recently released World Bank Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) 2021 ranked Durban, Cape Town and Ngqura in the bottom 10 ports out of the 370 locations analysed globally. This is based on the average time spent by a ship in these locations which, in turn, is reflective of factors like the availability and quality of infrastructure, layout of the harbour, and the expertise of the employees, amongst others.”

While the above paints a bleak picture, the report does highlight a level of positivity with respect to the joint initiative by the Presidency and Treasury (Operation Vulindlela) that seeks to create a “competitive and efficient” freight transport system.

“The initiative counts among its successes to

date 1) establishing the National Ports Authority as an independent subsidiary of Transnet, 2) finalisation of the White Paper on National Rail Policy, and 3) corporatisation of the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA),” the report reads.

Some of the progress and projects by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) include:

• TNPA received board approval for its R100 billion KwaZulu-Natal Logistics Hub Programme for the expansion of Durban and Richards Bay ports.

• Goals to reposition Western Region ports to facilitate efficient trade.

• Committing infrastructure investment for Central Region ports.


Durban and Richards Bay

The programme aims to position the Durban Port as an international container hub that has the capacity to handle 11.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and an automotive capacity exceeding 900 000 units. Richards Bay Port is being positioned as a dry bulk and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) hub port.

TNPA has received a greenlight by the board for its R100 billion KwaZulu-Natal Logistics Hub Programme. This follows achieving confirmation from independent experts that both plans are feasible.

Western region

TNPA aims to strategically reposition its Western Region ports to efficiently facilitate trade enabled by a seven-year R16.1 billion capital investment programme for infrastructure development at the ports of Mossel Bay, Saldanha and Cape Town.

The Western region’s capital investment programme has an allocation of R2.2 billion to the Port of Mossel Bay, R8.4 billion to Saldanha and R5.5 billion to Cape Town over a seven-year period.

According to TNPA Managing Executive for the Western Region, Advocate Phyllis Difeto. “Our capital investment plan demonstrates our commitment to the operationalisation of our Reimagined TNPA operating model that was launched in 2021. We are intentional about prioritising capital projects that will create future capacity whilst not neglecting the immediate needs required to enhance port efficiencies.”

TNPA has received a greenlight by the board for its R100 billion KwaZulu-Natal Logistics Hub Programme.

At the Port of Mossel Bay some of the key capital projects include the slipway facility refurbishment and Quay 3 sheet pilling. These key projects form part of the Port of Mossel Bay’s R10.2 million port infrastructure development plan for 2022/23. Projects that are spread across the seven-year PORTS

PORTS period include the deepening of the port and Quay 4 as well as breakwater extension.

The implementation of capital projects planned for the Port of Saldanha for 2022/23 is already underway, which includes the acquisition of a tugboat, installation of perimeter fencing and provision of bulk power. The broader seven-year programme includes the extension of Berth 205, berth construction of the ore expansion phase 2 as well as the refurbishment of the main breakwater and causeway rock revetment.

In the current financial year 2022/23 the Port of Cape Town will see the delivery of a robust R260 million capital programme, comprising the procurement of a helicopter and the replacement of two tugboats. Phase 2 of the Cape Town Container Terminal expansion and the acquisition of ten dry dock cranes form part of the port’s seven-year programme.

Central region ports

A TNPA report stated that a R9.1 billion infrastructure development investment is planned for over a seven-year period for the ports of East London, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura.

In alignment with the Transnet Segment Strategy and the TNPA Reimagined Operating Model, the Central Region ports are being positioned in accordance with critical sectors within the Eastern Cape province ranging from the automotive; liquid bulk; agriculture and tourism sectors.

“We have earmarked the Port of Port Elizabeth for the automotive sector, with in the port of Ngqura being positioned as a trans-shipment and energy hub for the southern hemisphere,” said TNPA Managing Executive for the Central Region, Siyabulela Mhlaluka.

He added that the river port of East London is suited for servicing the broader automotive, industrial and agricultural sectors in the region by enhancing the port’s capability and complementing the East London Industrial

Development Zone. The Port of East London’s grain elevator is a key asset to the province, and this has been emphasised by the diversion of some of the agricultural cargo from Durban to the East London port.

According to Mhlaluka, East London is also strategically positioned for the tourism sector, a strategic objective that will be achieved by transforming the port’s real estate portfolio to integrate with the leisure market such as the Latimer’s Landing Waterfront development.

Northern Cape Region

TNPA has called on port and rail developers to respond to its Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the design, funding and construction of planned port and rail infrastructure in the Northern Cape Province. The RFQ is intended to obtain information to shape the final solution as well as identify and select qualifying developers who can undertake the design, funding and construction of a capitalefficient greenfield, deep-water port and associated infrastructure in the Northern Cape Province.

TNPA Programme Director, Magenthran Ruthenavelu said, “The information sought through the RFQ is necessary for TNPA to chart a way forward in line with our strategic objective to operationalise a port in the region by 2026.”

The development of a port in the Northern Cape Province is a first step towards realising the country’s Green Hydrogen Strategy regarded by the Northern Cape Province as an important driver towards a “Just Energy Transition".

Ruthenavelu said: “Over and above the catalytic effect of new port and rail infrastructure to the local economy, the investment could also provide an additional, cost-effective channel to market for manganese exporters in the province. It will bring much-needed relief to emerging miners who are currently restricted by high road transportation costs and no access to current export channels due to capacity constraints.”


Prevention measures crucial to tackling risk of battery fires in shipping

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are increasingly impacting shipping safety as demonstrated by a number of fires on vessels, such as rollon roll-off (ro-ro) car carriers and container ships.

Given the many difficulties involving in suppressing such incidents, particularly at sea, focusing on loss prevention measures is crucial, whether batteries are transported within electric vehicles (EVs) or as standalone cargo, according to a new report from marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

“Shipping losses may have more than halved over the past decade1 but fires on board vessels remain among the biggest safety issues for the industry. The potential dangers that the transportation of lithium-ion batteries pose if they are not stored or handled correctly only add to these concerns, and we have already seen a number of incidents,” explains Captain Rahul Khanna,


Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting at AGCS.

“Companies should do all that they possibly can to implement, develop and follow robust loss prevention measures, given the growing popularity of electric vehicles means many more vehicles with lithium-ion batteries will be transported by sea in future.”

Hazards and causes

The report Lithium-ion batteries: Fire risks and loss prevention measures in shipping highlights four main hazards:

1. fire: Li-ion batteries contain electrolyte, an ignitable liquid.

2. explosion, resulting from the release of ignitable vapour/gases in a confined space;

3. thermal runaway, a rapid self-heating fire that can cause an explosion; and

4. the toxic gases that these hazards can produce.

The most common causes of these hazards are substandard manufacturing of battery cells/devices; over-charging of the battery cells; over-temperature by short circuiting, and damaged battery cells or devices, which, among other causes, can result from poor packing and handling or cargo shift in

Shipping losses may have more than halved over the past decade but fires on board vessels remain among the biggest safety issues for the industry.

rough seas if not adequately secured.

“Batteries are not only a potential cause of fire if damaged, overcharged or subjected to high temperatures, they can also aggravate other causes of fire at sea and are difficult to extinguish as they have the potential to reignite days or even weeks later,” says Khanna.

“In most shipboard incidents a thermal runaway event can be a significant possibility unless immediate action is taken by the crew, such as suppressing a fire with copious amounts of water over a long period of time. However, this can be extremely challenging due to factors such as early detection being difficult, a shortage of crew members on board, and if the vessel’s firefighting capabilities are inadequate.”

Loss prevention measures for EVs on car carriers and in containers

The primary focus must therefore be on loss prevention and in the report AGCS experts highlight a number of recommendations for companies to consider, focusing on two areas in particular: storage and in transit.

Among others, recommendations to mitigate the fire risk that can potentially result from Li-ion batteries during the transportation of EVs on car carriers and within freight containers include:

• ensuring staff are trained to follow correct packing and handling procedures;

• that seafarers have had Li-ion battery firefighting training;

• checking the battery’s state of charge (SOC) is at the optimal level for transportation where possible;

• ensuring that EVs with low ground clearance are labelled as this can present loading/discharging challenges; and

• checking all EVs are properly secured to prevent any shifting during transportation.

In transit, anything that can aid early detection is critical, including watchkeeping/fire rounds and utilising thermal scanners, gas detectors, heat/ smoke detectors, and CCTV cameras. RISK MANAGEMENT


The report also highlights a number of measures that can help ensure safe storage of Li-ion batteries in warehouses, noting that large-format batteries, such as those used in EVs, ignite more quickly in a warehouse fire than smaller batteries used in smartphones and laptops.

Among others, recommendations include:

• training staff in appropriate packing and handling procedures;

• establishing an emergency response plan to tackle damaged/overheating batteries;

• a hazard control plan to manage receiving, storage, dispatch, and supervision of packaged Li-ion batteries;

• preventing the exposure of batteries to high temperatures and ensuring separation from other combustible materials; as well as

Other relevant findings

Recent incidents in which a battery fire was cited as a possible cause or contributing factor include the March 2022 fire and subsequent sinking of ro-ro carrier Felicity Ace. In the same month, the US Coast Guard issued a safety alert about the risk posed by Li-ion batteries following two separate container fires. In June 2020, a fire on the car carrier Höegh Xiamen in Florida was attributed to a failure to properly disconnect and secure vehicle batteries. In January 2020, a fire on the container ship Cosco Pacific was attributed to the combustion of a Li-ion battery cargo which was not properly declared.

AGCS analysis of over 240 000 marine insurance industry claims over the past five years (with a value of €9.2bn), shows that fire/explosion (from all causes) is the most expensive cause of loss, accounting for 18% of the value of all claims2

The number of fires (from all causes) on

prompt removal of damaged or defective Li-ion batteries.

“If the maritime industry is to improve its incident record related to the transportation of lithium-ion batteries all parties involved in the supply chain must understand the hazards involved, the most common causes and the problems associated with transporting in commerce,” says Captain Randall Lund, Senior Marine Risk Consultant at AGCS, author of the report together with fellow AGCS marine risk consultants, Miguel Herrera and Justin Kersey.

“Regulations and guidance are specific in addressing these batteries to help prevent most incidents, but these can only be effective if they are communicated and enforced. Only through a concerted effort by stakeholders in the supply chain can we hope to reduce the rate of incidents.”

board large vessels has increased significantly in recent years. Across all vessel types, fire/ explosion was the second top cause of the 54 total losses reported in 2021 (8), second only to foundered (12). Over the past decade fire/ explosion ranks as the third top cause of loss overall, accounting for 120 out of 892 reported total losses, behind foundered (465) and wrecked/stranded (164).

Ro-ro and car carriers can be more exposed to fire and stability issues than other vessels. To facilitate carriage of automobiles the internal spaces are not divided into separate sections like other cargo ships. The lack of internal bulkheads can have an adverse impact on fire safety and a small fire on one vehicle or battery can grow out of control very quickly. Vehicles are not easily accessible once loading has been completed. The large volume of air inside the open cargo decks provides a ready supply of oxygen in case of fire.

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Boost for women in logistics, transport and supply chain

International logistics and transport professional body, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport: South Africa (CILTSA) celebrated another milestone with the recent graduation of its second Candidacy Programme for women, funded by the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA). Thirteen women graduated with the International Diploma in Logistics and Transport and the prestigious, globally-recognised “MILT” designation.

“The CILTSA Candidacy programme offers our graduates the opportunity to not only gain an internationally-recognised qualification, but also achieve a portable designation that elevates their standing in the logistics, transport and supply chain industries,” explained Elvin Harris CMILT, President of CILTSA. “Our designations are recognised in the over 40 countries in which CILT operates – and are a differentiator for transport, logistics and supply chain professionals as the drive to professionalise our industry intensifies.”

Women representation in the sector

Commenting on the partnership between CILTSA and TETA, Kgatile Nkala, Executive Manager: Corporate Services Unit at TETA, called on CILTSA and the broader transport industry to expand opportunities to leverage transformation in the sector and expedite the transitioning of women into credible positions in logistics, transport and supply chain.

Nkala highlighted the Quarter One: 2022 Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which indicated that more men were employed in the transport sector, and there was

a higher quarter-to-quarter change amongst female employees (7,4%), but a quarter-to-quarter decrease in male employees (-0,4%). Moreover, while the figures showed a higher year-on-year increase in the number of male employees (33 000), the percentage of the year-on-year increase in female employees (16,6%) was far higher than that of male employees (4,4%).

“This shows that the transport sector has been making a concerted effort to employ more women each quarter, as well as annually,” said Nkala.

Structured learning pathways

The year-long Candidacy Programme funded by TETA, included both theoretical and workplace experience. The Programme was implemented by CILT-accredited training provider Commerce Edge.

International Education Strategy and Business Development Lead for CILT International, Jon Harris FCILT, added that women who choose transport, logistics or supply chain as a profession could use CILT’s programmes to further make themselves competent to take them to any level in these industries.


In a challenging trade environment, proactivity and innovation are essential

As was the case with most countries, South Africa’s trade took a relatively significant knock during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown responses by government. Initially, imports bore much of the brunt of the lockdowns and border closures, but exports soon followed suit.


While border controls and trade restrictions gradually eased during the course of 2021, it was hoped that the imports and exports would quickly recover from the muted activity that characterised most of 2020. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be the case, due for the most part to the massive logistics bottlenecks that were created by the pandemic restrictions, many of which have still not been entirely cleared. Fortunately, these challenges were offset to a certain degree in 2021 by the strong commodities showing in South Africa, with many agri products achieving healthy surpluses and global demand for other South Africa’s commodities keeping prices largely elevated.

Exports worth over R100 billion flowing from SA in 2022

In many ways, this global demand and resulting strong pricing was instrumental in buffering the South African economy against the full impact of the pandemic. And it meant that the anticipated recovery was able to start gaining momentum fairly rapidly as Covid-19 fears dissipated early in 2022. As a result, by the middle of this year,

we saw exports worth over R100 billion flowing from the country.

It's likely, however, that this figure would have been even higher were it not for geopolitical tensions simmering over with the advent of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. While neither country is a very significant trade partner to South Africa, the effects of the global downturn in trade of all commodities as a result of the war has undoubtedly filtered through to this country.

In addition, the conflict created a net shortage of goods that were previously exported to, and imported from, Russia. Historically, the biggest volumes of imports from the Russian Federation have been copper, fertilizer, minerals and oils and to a lesser extent, cereals.

Export volumes to Russia have long been led by citrus and other fruits and vegetables, manganese and ore, as well as machinery. While these import and export volumes have never been at levels that mean these commodities are now at significant long-term trade risk, they are significant enough to require the country to find new markets in order to pick up the slack. TRADE & INVESTMENT

The current global challenges are also a massive incentive for SA to start capitalising more on the many trade opportunities on the African continent.

A challenging scenario of traders

This is always a challenging scenario for traders. For one, establishing new international markets is never an easy undertaking, and it can involve lengthy marketing and negotiation processes. Then, there is the risk of losing any pricing advantage that was previously enjoyed with trade partners in the countries that are no longer available. This is particularly true of the current scenario where there is likely to be a lot of competition from importers and exporters in other countries that are faced with the same need to access new markets.

From a Ukraine perspective, while trade volumes are even smaller than South Africa previously enjoyed with Russia, the potential for Ukraine to become a much more significant trade partner with our country, once the conflict has been resolved, is immense. Ukraine’s wheat production will undoubtedly return to the very significant levels it was previously at, in order to help stimulate the country’s post-war economic recovery.

Add to that the obvious determination of the Ukrainian people to establish their country as a meaningful participant in the global economy, and it’s likely that, barring a worst-case outcome of the war, Ukraine will be actively looking for global trade partners in the future. And that will create an environment that is conducive to shared economic benefit for all parties involved in such trade partnerships.

Of course, there is no benefit to South Africa’s trade sector of waiting in the wings for the Russia-Ukraine conflict to end in order to capitalise on any opportunities that will arise when that happens. It is imperative that we actively seek out new markets now, not only to address the loss, or decline, of trade activity due to the war and the global trade repercussions it has created, but also to mitigate the stellar increases in the costs of transport and logistics, which cannot simply be passed on to consumers indefinitely.

New opportunities increasingly opening up to trade participants in SA The good news is that these new opportunities are increasingly opening up to trade participants in South Africa.

For one, the challenges facing trade in most countries mean that there is the potential to enter into partnerships with overseas countries and regions that have not historically been significant trade partners with South Africa.

Then, the current global challenges are also a massive incentive for South Africa to start capitalizing more on the many trade opportunities right here on the African continent. This has been made a far easier and more compelling proposition thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfTCA) agreement that has removed many of the barriers that have historically discouraged South Africa’s trade parties from actively exploring trade opportunities with their African neighbours.

Ultimately, while it’s likely that the challenges facing both importers and exporters in South Africa appear will continue, and possible even increase, in the coming months and years, there are also many new opportunities to be had. But taking advantage of them demands a proactive mindset and the willingness, and ability, to think outside the box.


South African Civil Aviation

Keeping You Safe in the Sky

The Republic of South Africa, as a signatory State to the global International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is committed to working with the international community to ensure safe and secure skies in accordance with ICAO prescripts. The safety and security of the civil aviation industry is the mandate and the passion of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). The delivery of this mandate is rated in terms of compliance to the ICAO critical elements on safety and security and the number of accidents prevalent in this sector, by complying with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the ICAO, while considering the local context.


It is commendable that South Africa still reflects a zero fatal accident rate in the scheduled airline sector, as it has for over 30 years. South Africa was last audited on-site by ICAO through the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme - Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP CMA) Methodology in 2017. The country achieved an effec tive implementation against the critical elements on safety of 87.41%.

By the end of 2019/20 the SACAA had closed 91,35% of the SACAA specific findings. Following a validation of 12 of the closed findings, ICAO confirmed that eleven of the twelve findings were satisfactorily closed bringing South Africa’s effective implementation. South Africa’s compliance far surpasses the global average levels in both aviation safety and security. The last time that South Africa was audited in terms of aviation security was in 2011 where the State was rated at 81,30% against a world average of 66,34%. Aviation safety and secu rity standards cannot be improved without a collaborative approach with the industry. These results therefore illustrate the high standards maintained by the Regulator in collaboration with the industry.


The SACAA continues to uphold governance principles in that for the eighth (8th) time in the last nine (9) financial years, the Regulator has received clean audits from the Auditor-General. Furthermore, the organisation has reported a 100% achievement in its Annual Performance Plan targets as agreed with the Minister of Transport seven times (7) times in the past ten (10) years.

Having high ethical standards is non-negotiable at the SACAA, and the Board-approved Ethics and Fraud and Corruption annual plans are implemented diligently in building a corrupt-free SACAA and in inculcating a culture of high moral standards amongst the SACAA employees.


As the SACAA, we strive to maintain high ethical standards while we engage all stakeholders professionally. Engagements with stakeholders take place on a continuous basis, such as through forums, virtual as well as hybrid conferences, workshops, and meetings. This includes the involvement of the industry in the development and amendment of any new legislation.


To achieve the target of reducing fatal accidents by 50% in the

general aviation space in the next five years, is an output of one of the SACAA’s strategic outcomes. The entity is implementing a five-year General Aviation Safety Strategy, involving multi-stakeholders.


Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the SACAA continued to ensure compliance with health protocols and new standards as directed by the Minister of Transport, by monitoring implementation and compliance with the Directions, doing physical inspections and assisting with training. Furthermore, the SACAA is busy with the revision of the Civil Aviation Pandemic Preparedness Plan with a view to incorporate lessons learned from the outbreak of Covid-19. This will heighten the preparedness of the South African civil aviation industry for future outbreaks.


Service excellence is of the utmost importance to the SACAA. The Director of Civil Aviation has declared the 2022/23 financial year as the ‘Year of the Client’ and projects such as the SACAA’s modernisation project aims to automate the SACAA’s most frequently used clientfacing business processes and integrate these with existing systems within the SACAA. The industry will witness improvements in the SACAA’s new website which will be launched in the first quarter of the current financial year, an E-Services Portal and automated applications meant to give clients an end-to-end online transaction experience will be launched later in the financial year; thereby enhancing the reliability and integrity of information and give clients a friendly and efficient experience.


The lack of transformation in the aviation industry is a challenge, but transformation is gradually picking up speed with the emergence of a more confident group of young individuals from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and marginalised groups who take advantage of opportunities offered by various entities, such as the bursary schemes and apprenticeship programmes.

One of the SACAA’s long term projects is the implementation of an Outreach Programme aimed at demystifying aviation and building awareness about aviation predominantly to previously disadvantaged communities. The SACAA, as part of the Joint Aviation Awareness Programme, also includes awareness events, such as school visits, airport tours and aviation youth shows

For further information on the South African Civil Aviation Authority, visit The
Authority @SACAA @OfficialSACAA OfficialSACAA South African Civil Aviation Authority – SACAA

Impact of unmaintained roads & increasing costs on the road freight and logistics industry

Everyone will recall the saying “All roads lead to Rome” and the grand idea in the 19th Century of linking the Cape to Cairo (Egypt). Roads have been described as the “lifeblood or arteries of the country”. Napoleon, and later German leaders, spent good amounts from their treasuries to ensure good roads crossed their territories: whilst important in the movement of their armies, roads are also crucial in the everyday movement of goods (trade), people (commerce) and the administration of their territories.

Indeed, the concept that all roads led to Rome gave each and every citizen in the vast Roman Empire the perception that they could, quite easily, travel to the capital to ply their business. A more modern reinforcement of this concept is the “Building South Africa through better roads” dictum of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL).

To date there have been, sadly, numerous reports on the worsening condition of roads in South Africa.

Where operators (transporters) may have got 50 000km out of a tyre in the past, this has dropped to 30 00km...


Until very recently, SANRAL was responsible and accountable for the nationally proclaimed routes (designated with an “N”) and some major regional routes (an example being the R21 in Gauteng) – either directly, or through agreements with concessionaires. These roads have been exceptionally well maintained and facilitate the efficient movement between import and export points, manufacturing and agricultural areas, as well as markets and consumers.

The story of all the “other” roads is not as glowing. Secondary routes, regional roads and local authority jurisdictions are regularly mentioned in the media, when roads have collapsed or are in the process of collapsing. Funding seems to disappear between the allocation and the intended usage thereof, and this is not always due to corruption. Sometimes it is to “save” other failing services such as medical facilities, water and waste treatment, and so the list goes on.

SA’s current road network has created more wear and tear on vehicles

What this does mean, though, is that the road network on which the freight fleet needs to move (or is that really negotiate?) has created more wear and tear on vehicles, especially suspension, tyres and chassis. This means more maintenance, more repairs, more frequent changing of tyres and suspension components: all in all, higher operating costs.

Where operators (transporters) may have got 50 000km out of a tyre in the past, this has dropped to 30 00km (all dependent on which routes are used and how fast these routes deteriorate (or are repaired).

Poor roads also affect delivery times – which impacts on vehicles being able to perform viable transport to and from destinations (the search for paying “return loads” from the primary destination is a huge part of any operator’s life). In some cases, due to the nature of the loads, extra vehicles now ply the same route to ensure perishable goods (especially from the agricultural sector) are not left to rot due to misaligned or delayed logistical arrangements.

Where more vehicles are required to do the work of one, costs increase. Thus, the link is quite simple. Badly maintained roads are directly responsible for increases in our cost of logistics - as a country. This cost is borne by the consumer: it drives inflation, and it pushes our products into a tougher position when competing on the international market.

Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive: The Road Freight Association

Rail policy direction pushes economic advancement

On 26 March 2020, South Africa along with the rest of the world experienced an unexpected apocalypse which came in the form of Covid-19, a virus that claimed the lives hundreds of thousands of people and left the economy in a state of disrepair. While many tried to adjust to what was called ‘the new normal’ whereby employees worked from home, thieves saw the empty streets and rail stations as an opportunity to destroy and pillage. Electric cables, tracks and railings were yanked and stolen from unguarded stations which set the economy back, as millions of rands worth of rail infrastructure was ruined.


The White Paper on the National Rail Policy is aimed at invigorating South Africa’s rail landscape while revitalising what was lost during the lockdown. The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) will be at the forefront of providing the Department of Transport and the Economic Regulator with the necessary support in the digital revolution journey that the sector is embarking on.

Revitalisation of the rail networks is a priority

As the Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, elucidated at the launch of the policy, the White Paper will be a major step towards rehabilitating South Africa’s ailing rail network and it represents a new era and a decisive break with the past, which saw the railways being used as an instrument to segregate society.

To add to the Minister’s call for action in restoring our rail infrastructure, the RSR CEO, Tshepo Kgare, emphasised, “Revitalisation of the rail networks is a priority. There is total devastation of the networks, there is nothing left to steal anymore. It is imperative that we find ways of halting the decline and restore the integrity of rail.”

One of the key components of reforming the network will be the introduction of long distance, highspeed trains between Durban and Johannesburg, “a profitable route that will allow rail to compete with commercial airlines,” said Ngwako Makaepea, Deputy Director-General of the DoT.

Invitation for the private sector to invest in rail will liberate the network

Over and above the White Paper, Transnet is in the process of providing third party access to its freight rail network. With Transnet’s third party open access rolling out, the RSR is looking to cut down the amount of time it takes to issue permits from the time of application, from 90 days to 30, but this will depend on the number of operators who are new current operators.

It is not unusual for multiple users to share rail

networks while regulated by a public regulator that provides oversight. The RSR currently regulates various railway operators including major stateowned enterprises such as Transnet, who also have customers who run on limited areas of the network; typically within the sidings up to the exchange yards.

According to Kgare, the Regulator can oversee multiple operators as well as the customers of Transnet, who will also be issued with safety permits.

“In other words, the current regulatory regime of the RSR can provide adequate regulatory capability in the case of open access to the rail network,” said Kgare.

Both the third party access and the White Paper on the National Rail Policy, will play a significant role in addressing the infrastructure challenges and the backlog in investment and operational inefficiencies in the rail industry.

The White Paper on the National Rail Policy is not only pivotal in the development of South Africa’s economy, but it will also create an efficient transport system that will parallel no other on the continent. The invitation for the private sector to invest in rail will liberate the network while setting us on a path to a more inclusive economic growth. 

Tshepo Kgare, Railway Safety Regulator CEO RAIL TRANSPORT

SANRAL sorts out

SA’s potholes

The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, launched the national campaign to eradicate potholes at the beginning of August. The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), as an agency of the Department of Transport, was appointed to be the implementing agency for this initiative.


SANRAL remains the custodian of the national road network but is working with provincial and local government, considering the magnitude of the pothole problem.

In the main, our national road network of more than 22 200km remains pothole free, partly because of SANRAL’s proactive approach to fixing potholes. SANRAL has a policy of fixing any sign of a reported pothole within 48 hours.

SANRAL has the skills and best practice to assist provincial and local governments maintain their road networks. After all, ours is a unitary state that should encourage best practice and the sharing of skills across all three spheres of government. Provincial and local and roads authorities would still maintain their jurisdictions and pothole repair programmes already committed to in the current financial year.

Several provincial launches

Since the national launch of the Operation Vala Zonke (Nguni) or Operation Kwala Kaofela (Sotho) campaign, we have also had several provincial launches in places such as the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng.

Potholes have remained a problem and have posed a danger to road users throughout the country. Potholes are particularly dangerous at night or when there is rainy weather.

SANRAL has always and will continue to appeal to our people to drive safely on our roads, irrespective of whether there are potholes or not, and we will continue to design and build our roads in a way that is safest for commuters and road users.

The campaign to fix potholes is part of national government’s broader commitment to improve infrastructure development in our country, which is a critical element of South Africa’s economic recovery plan, after the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic recession.

Infrastructure development plan will help to revitalise SA’s economy

Government’s infrastructure development plan will help to revitalise South Africa’s economy and will create many job opportunities. This will, in turn, protect many livelihoods.

The infrastructure development plan was first announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address last year. This plan will see government building critical network infrastructure such as ports, roads, bridges and rail, which are crucial to make South Africa a competitive economy.

For millions of South Africans in rural areas, roads and bridges provide access to markets, employment opportunities and social services. Good roads can impact positively on local economic development. Bad roads, such as ones with potholes, impact negatively on local communities and local economic development.

Fixing the potholes on the country’s roads is a big task, which will take several years, but, at SANRAL, we are determined to tackle the task OPINION

of coordinating this national effort with the confidence and ability that we have displayed when constructing and maintaining our national roads.

This campaign to fix potholes is a directive from the President of the Republic of South Africa, and it is meant to help getting South Africa to work again.

The government is serious about fixing the country’s roads and is implementing the national pothole repair campaign with vigour. It shows that government has a plan in place to maintain South Africa’s infrastructure assets.

This campaign will aid job creation and bring about improved infrastructure and safer roads. Local communities will benefit from the pothole repair project.

It is important to remember that the road network belongs to all South Africans and that, together we can eradicate potholes. Preventative maintenance is key in successfully dealing with the pothole problem.

Overweight loaded vehicles play a significant role in damaging the road network. The freight industry has a role to play in reducing damage to the road network.

Complaints about potholes dominate social media and are a major contributor to negative sentiment towards the government and the country.

Pothole reporting App

We are proud to announce that, as part of this campaign, we have launched a pothole reporting App, which the public can use to report any potholes they might encounter.

The App allows the public to raise any issues (such as uploading pictures, details of the issue and get real-time location of the road where the issue is raised) on an interactive map that will show the owners of the different roads, as well as get status updates on issues raised using a pothole ticketing system.

The reports received through SANRAL’s App will also be used to create an audit report of potholes on national roads, so that we can remain abreast of where problems are and how quickly they are being fixed.

Through this technology, SANRAL will respond to every customer complaint in a way that makes the user feel heard.

Progress to be reviewed in six months

The national battle to eradicate potholes will not be an easy or short-term battle. We will review our progress after six months, but we already know that this project could last many years and we will not be able to deal with everyone’s pothole problems immediately. But we will do our best to react as soon as possible.

The public will play a key role in the success of this campaign. We need everybody to embrace this process and to help get rid of potholes.

Overweight loaded vehicles play a significant role in damaging the road network. The freight industry has a role to play in reducing damage to the road network.

At the same time, we need the public to drive safely, obey the rules of the road and make sure that their vehicles are roadworthy. Road user behaviour is an important contributor to road safety.

At SANRAL, we will manage this project with the diligence that we manage everything else, but we cannot do it successfully without the support of the provinces and municipalities and, most importantly, the public.

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Effective fleet management needed to make roads safer

Recent horrific crashes in KwaZulu-Natal involving trucks have once more firmly put the spotlight on fleet vehicles and our ability to control our drivers and their vehicles. There’s clearly a need to improve safety across South Africa’s logistics fleets. Vehicle crash data suggests that logistics-type vehicles are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes. Are we able to better control the transport of freight and what is needed to make our roads safer?

The main characteristics associated with fleet management are the following:

• Vehicle tracking: This is the most basic function of fleet management and is either GPS based or based on a cellular triangulation platform.

• Mechanical diagnostics: Advanced fleet management systems connected with onboard computers gather information on distance, fuel consumption, etc.

• Driver behaviour measurement: The data provided by the tracking system and onboard computers provides detail on driver behaviour – a valuable tool to enhance safety on the road.

The transport environment has undergone significant changes over the past few years – and so too has the importance of effective fleet management.

Advantages of effective road risk strategies by fleet managers

The advantages of a responsible road risk strategy include the following:

• Effective control over costs such as insurance premiums, fuel bills and repair costs.

• Ability to make informed decisions about purchasing vehicles and training drivers.

• Less time on paperwork, lowered vehicle repair and maintenance bills

• Reduced likelihood of an employee being involved in an


What should be the objectives of fleet safety initiatives?

• Vehicle accident prevention.

• Accident investigation, analysis and reporting.

• Improved safety on the road.

• Driver education and driver alertness.

Technology and the possible impact on fleet management and road safety

Fleet Management companies invest large amounts of research and development, enabling operators to have better control over their fleets. Onboard computers provide fleet managers with detailed reports on the behaviour of both driver and vehicle.

These reports are used to modify driver behaviour and can also be used in accident prevention, accident analysis and reconstruction.

The most important technologies to impact on road safety

The most important traditional technologies are:

The tachograph used effectively in many countries for the commercial transport of goods and passengers. Data recorded include driving time, road speed, distance travelled, engine load, etc. The accident data recorder developed to provide details on the causes of accidents.

Onboard camera technology – a very important tool in crash investigation and keeping drivers aware that any unsafe and reckless actions may have dire consequences. A new generation of smart dashcams is set play a leading role in helping fleet managers improve various key performance indicators – and improve road safety for all

Advantages of effective onboard technology for road safety

• Accident data and analysis provide evidence.

• Accurate reports save time in accident reconstruction and legal proceedings.

• Effective control by the fleet manager.

• Driver behaviour can be monitored, and shortcomings addressed.

• Reduction of liability and maintenance costs.

Driver behaviour, prevehicle inspection and route optimisation are critical contributors to better fleet management, fuel usage and ultimately cost saving. Through effective fleet management transporters are empowered to proactively implement measures that will result in long-term benefits for their company. Ultimately, the company can also reduce costs related to driver mismanagement while simultaneously improving a driver’s skills and their performance on the road. This will indeed make roads safer for all.


How any business can innovate with what it already has

Business leaders must strike a fine balance between keeping existing customers happy and reacting to changes in the environment around them. While being forced to change how we’ve done things in business is never easy, it’s always worth it.

When we look at our businesses differently, we must start at the basics. Have a look at the skills, expertise, equipment, and inventory you already have. You might have used it in one way up to now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it in other ways or for different things.

When trying to find new uses for existing resources, answer these two questions: what will people, companies and governments spend money on right now, and how can we use what we already have to make or offer those things?


External ideas

Imagining how to use things in a different way takes creativity, and it’s hard to be creative when you’re under pressure. It’s therefore important that you don’t go through this innovation journey alone.

Call on people outside of your regular circles. Explain to them in very simple terms what your skills or equipment can do and then ask them what they think you could do with it. The lack of details and their lack of experience doing what you do can make for very interesting ideas.

Think about how children draw things or how they play imagination games; they don’t let reality get in their way, they simply draw what they imagine.

At this stage of your thinking differently about things, that’s exactly what you’re after… just new ideas, whether they make sense or not.

The first rule of this type of brainstorming is to write down all ideas from yourself or others. It is not yet time to decide yes or no or to get into a discussion on why something might not work. Only once all the ideas are on the table then it is time to filter them through the lens of possibility and current reality.

When you look at each idea think about whether you can already do it or learn to do it quickly. If you have employees, ask for their feedback on the ideas, they might have skills that you didn’t even know about that could turn a seemingly crazy idea into the next best thing.

Don’t wait

If you do stumble upon something that sounds as if it is something people will buy right now, and you have the equipment and skills to bring the idea to life, the next thing you need to do is to make a rough prototype or create a rough process model and test it soon as possible.

The new product or new way of doing things doesn’t need to be perfect at the start. If you sit too long on a new idea by trying to make it perfect, others might launch before you do, and they will have the benefit of capturing the market’s attention first.

The new rule of the game is to get it done, get it out, make it better, then make it awesome by continuing to communicate with your staff and customers throughout the growth process.

Change doesn’t mean defeat You might need to change track a few times to find something that really works for you. Give every somewhat feasible idea a good chance and make tweaks as you go along. During the process, you might just discover something unexpected and wonderful.

Most important of all, when you are forced to look at your business, products or services differently is to remember that accepting change isn't giving up what you worked so hard for; it's signing up for taking the value of the lessons learned into the future.

Success doesn't start with a belief that you can accomplish anything, it starts with permission. Give yourself permission to let go, to start something new, to change, and achieve your fullest potential. INNOVATION

OMRON explains how to

achieve sustainable manufacturing

Sustainability in the packaging industry is one of the key aspects of fighting the plastic waste issue and ultimately climate change. The challenges that this presents, require flexible and powerful automation technology.

In times of increasing sustainability efforts, it is essential to find ways to develop more environmentally friendly packaging, conserve resources, and rely on smart and more efficient production lines.

Holistic concepts are needed. Take coffee capsules, for example: On the one hand, consumers want a quick and easy way to prepare a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. On the other hand, the popular disposable capsules represent a huge environmental burden. A more environmentally conscious consumer demands the coffee beans be grown more sustainably and fairly, the capsules to be produced in a more environmentally friendly way, and their recycling to become greener. New sustainable manufacturing approaches are the key.

Pillars of sustainable packaging

Key points to consider for more sustainable packaging: First thing to address is, reducing packaging material – not only in terms of


virgin plastics content in primary packaging but also in the amount of protective secondary and final packaging. Another point to work on is to eliminate the need for single-use packaging. Some strategies to tackle this issue start with increasing the use and scaling of reusable and refillable systems, redesigning the package with alternative packaging materials that facilitate recycling, are biodegradable, compostable, or have a lower impact on the environment if they end up in the landfill. Packaging made from mono materials is another strategy attracting increasing interest in the packaging industry. They have better recyclability but migrating to them could be a challenging process that requires strict process control as many times, packaging equipment needs to be adapted or customised to achieve an advanced form, fill and seal process that ensures the same package quality and performance.

New requirements for production facilities

Looking at one of the strategies for more sustainability in the packaging industry is reducing the amount of plastic, especially if it's virgin. A key tactic to do it is shifting from rigid to flexible packaging. Thinner walls, smaller sizes, narrower seams, and lighter weights are good ways to reduce the amount of virgin plastic used in the primary container. Added to this is the use of nanomaterials already mentioned, paper-based and biopolymers, as well as an increase in the proportion of recycled material in main packaging, protective and transport packaging (primary, secondary and final packaging).

Switch to new materials, ensure quality and safety

If more sustainable materials are used in packaging, it is still of the highest importance to ensure the quality of the product. At the manufacturing line changing to more sustainable materials means avoiding typical problems in the

primary package like material jams or tears, poor quality seals, or incorrect labeling.

What is needed is future-proof manufacturing with automation and robotics technology that can work flexibly with different materials. The following examples show what companies should specifically look for.

1. Challenge: Film jamming

Thinner, recycled films are more sustainable, but can also tangle more quickly. Correct handling with maximum throughput and minimum film consumption is key to overall OEE (Original Equipment Effectiveness). Therefore, if creases are forming in the seal, operators should check for machine errors that are contributing to the film not being fed correctly.

2. Challenge: Film sealing

Thinner film materials offer lower costs and improved aesthetics. However, these materials are more sensitive to heat and susceptible to burning through when using traditional adhesives and sealing technologies. The actual sealing temperature must therefore be constantly and precisely controlled and automatically adjusted to avoid losing productivity or sealing defects that will generate rejects and waste. OMRON addresses this challenge with an AI-based temperature control algorithm synchronised with machine movement and sensor technology that can be placed closer to the sealing bar. Noise is compensated for by an automatic filter adjustment function.

3. Challenge: Quality control of packaging and label

Re-closable packaging or pouches with nozzles are increasingly replacing rigid plastic containers. Flexible packaging with new elements such as resealable closures place different demands on packaging integrity and quality testing. Thinner TECHNOLOGY

films, bio-based materials, or those with a higher recycled content have a different thermal, elongation, and puncture resistance profile. More sustainable materials such as non-laminated or nanomaterials also change shape and can reduce the fidelity or performance of label printing. Reading, checking, or verifying label information on packaging is difficult when the shape is inconsistent, or the print quality changes. OMRON addresses this with its High-Speed Inspection System.

4. Challenge: New adhesives and gluing techniques

Eliminating tapes and minimising adhesives increases the recyclability of cartons. Removing the need for a silicone strip makes it 100% recyclable and biodegradable. To produce and seal cartons, companies are increasingly relying on a strategic and reduced application of adhesives. This requires a high level of precision and continuous quality control. With its automated visual inspection system, OMRON supports the accurate detection of glue patterns. The high resolution and brightness settings allow low-contrast defects to be detected, even in the toughest light conditions or with difficult-todetect materials.

5. Challenge: Multi-material handling

Cardboard boxes made of recycled fibers have higher porosity and are more flexible. Using traditional machines or unpacking and repacking manually, handling boxes made of recycled cardboard without damaging them can be tricky. It is advisable to have an integrated collaborative robot (cobot) solution with dedicated grippers to safely handle a wide range of irregular shapes, porosity levels, and delicate objects.

OMRON offers a complete solution for sustainable packaging line automation that helps companies become more efficient and greener,

utilising their machines for new recyclable materials, and ensuring product quality. Sysmac is an integrated automation platform that provides complete control and management of the automation plant. At the core of this platform, the Machine Controller series supports synchronous control of all machine devices and offers advanced features such as motion, robotics, and database connectivity. This multidisciplinary concept allows to simplify the solution architecture, reduces programming effort, and optimises productivity.

About “innovative-Automation”

As a leader in industrial automation, OMRON has extensive lines of control components and equipment, ranging from vision sensors and other input devices to various controllers and output devices such as servomotors, as well as a range of safety devices and industrial robots. By combining these devices via software, OMRON has developed a variety of unique and highly effective automation solutions for manufacturers worldwide. Based on its reservoir of advanced technologies and comprehensive range of devices, OMRON set forth a strategic concept called "innovative-Automation" consisting of three innovations or "i's": "integrated" (control evolution), "intelligent" (development of intelligence by ICT), and "interactive" (new harmonisation between people and machines). OMRON is now committed to bringing innovation to manufacturing sites by materialising this concept.

For more information visit


Top tips for SMEs:

Remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have always been compelled to find and leverage every opportunity to remain competitive and stay ahead of the curve. Amidst all of the disruption of the past two years, this need has become a business imperative.

The pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, including lockdown and restrictions, meant that many small businesses bore the brunt of the impact, closing their doors for long periods of times, and losing out on revenue as a result. In addition, the shift to remote or hybrid working has often not been easy,

particularly with the added pressure of constrained budgets and a rapidly evolving workforce and technology market.

Here, we look at some top tips to keep SMEs from losing their competitive edge. Let’s start with the most obvious:

46 SMEs

1Accelerate digital transformation

A recent World Economic Forum whitepaper found that SMEs are still at the low to moderate level of technological maturity. Less than a quarter (23%) of SMEs noted that the changes brought on by the pandemic had led to the acceleration of their digital transformation goals.

However, those that do adopt emerging technologies such as AI, and continue moving to cloud-based systems, for example, are seeing a noticeable transformation in productivity and efficiency, thanks to better access to new markets, slicker operations and reduced overall costs.

While small businesses that are slow to digitally transform their operations are trying to keep CAPEX low in the short term, those that are maturing into digitalisation are setting

2Use the right tools

Employee devices are more than just a means to an end. While SMEs should prioritise open discussions around device expectations with employees, employers ultimately also need to consider other core devices functional features like mobility, security, reliability and connectivity, in addition to form factor and design. Hybrid working is here to stay, so providing a degree of freedom through end-user devices is vital. SMEs need to be investing in lightweight and compact, yet powerful and secure devices.

Another thing to consider is regular device refreshes to ensure employees can enjoy the latest technologies and SMEs can avoid any unwanted disparity between personal and workplace technology.

To future-proof their employee engagement strategy and remain attractive to new and existing

themselves up to be more resilient to ongoing changes in the marketplace, thereby future proofing their competitive advantage.

The key to this process is cloud technology, which is crucial for responsiveness and agility. With the right technology vendors, technologies, and expertise, small businesses can accelerate their transformation efforts, to remain better prepared to navigate whatever lies ahead.

talent, it’s vital that SMEs adopt a new model for procuring and provisioning technology, particularly end-user devices, which involves their workforce from the early stages. For smaller businesses, the stakes are high and one of their most important assets is its people – employees are even more so the face and voice behind the business and their productivity propels an organisation forward.

In today’s digital era, enabling employees to choose the technology they want to use is one of the most important ways of retaining talent. Indeed, a recent Gensler Workplace Study found that 76% of employees say that having a choice of technology would positively impact their performance, while 60% also said it would likely affect their job satisfaction. Attracting and retaining talent will ultimately give you the edge over your competition.

Attracting and retaining talent will ultimately give you the edge over your competition. SMEs

3Increase agility and adaptability

Agility and adaptability indicate that a business is able to recognise and maximise on opportunities. This is important. We all know that SMEs don’t have the same resources as larger enterprises, so being flexible can often be the defining factor that ensures they keep pace with an ever-changing technological landscape and growing demand from consumers.

Disruption is a great way to stay ahead of the competition. In fact, research by the McKinsey Agile Tribe shows that agile organisations have a 70% chance of being in the top quartile of

Outsource where appropriate

organisational health – one of the best indicators of long-term performance.

Technologies like AI have the biggest and most positive impact on SME agility today. But it doesn’t end there. Collaboration tools to enable remote working, automation, and analytics to help manage and make sense of customer and employee and data all have a place here. Advanced data analytics in particular, can help key decision makers uncover bottlenecks, improve efficiency, and identify areas for optimisation. For SMEs, digitised operations will generate this kind of data for analysis.

The competitive advantages of outsourcing can be numerous, but this type of strategy has to applied carefully. For example, in growth periods companies may find that they’d benefit from extra staff – but they can’t afford the expense of hiring and supporting more full-time employees.

This slows down momentum and limits growth. For SMEs in this scenario, outsourcing work could be more beneficial. It’s more affordable than

building an in-house team, and a great way to gain access to fresh talent and maintain growth while keeping the core of your team focused on internal tasks. The key advantage of outsourcing is that it means SMEs can refocus and redirect themselves towards their top priority: being competitive. A business’s core is its individuality – what it can offer over and above its rivals. In a competitive landscape, this can be easy to lose sight of, which is why it’s important to remember that some things should not be outsourced. As a rule of thumb, anything which gives an SME its originality and values should remain in-house. Outsourcing should be assigned to back-office tasks that save time and allow businesses to focus on what makes them different.

Every business needs to maintain a competitive advantage to stay relevant and successful. A combination of accelerating technology transformation, using the right hardware, remaining flexible and open to change, and using the right partners to outsource, can make this a simple feat.

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 4

Technological advancements enable growth for small businesses

Are small businesses in South Africa harnessing the power of technology fast enough? The reality is, as the lifeblood of the economy, small businesses must incorporate innovation into their DNA. To stimulate and compete in a challenging economic environment, all companies need to embrace technology to benefit more in business.

50 SMEs

When entrepreneurs and their employees adapt to new technology, the impact on the business can be immensely positive. For one, they are empowered with tools to simplify and streamline various operations and save time, energy and ultimately money. And technology doesn’t have to encompass large, sophisticated tools. An increase in revenue, customer engagement and above-average employee growth can all be achieved with simple

and easily accessible digital tools.

Now is the time to take advantage of systems that can connect with customers instantly. The old saying of ‘location, location, location’ no longer needs to limit business growth. Businesses with storefronts, for example, can create additional online stores to increase their visibility and reach target markets beyond their immediate location and community.

Accelerated shift towards digital banking models

According to the African Digital Banking Transformation Report 2022, there has been an accelerated shift towards digital banking models over the past few years. Encouragingly, 49% of African banks have stated that they have greatly increased the speed of implementing digital initiatives, as the perceived value of business technology has risen. Right now, many small businesses are already relying on technology to help them operate daily. From laptops with internet capabilities and printers to online file storage and web-based applications, technological advances influence small businesses across various industries.

Building on this momentum, Nedbank is squarely focussed on helping businesses reach their full potential by providing value-added services that go beyond banking. We’re happy to be able to grow and nurture South African businesses, especially those who use technology in innovative ways to ensure future success.

We’ve made our national network of dedicated small-business bankers available to provide hands-on assistance and guidance. Additionally, Nedbank’s online banking and app channels come with free features, such as budgeting and invoicing solutions, and our free SimplyBiz network and support platform delivers business tools, inspiration and insights that go far beyond banking. Ultimately, we believe digital inclusion is non-negotiable. Small businesses that are excluded from these benefits will undoubtedly be left behind in the race to survival in challenging economic situations.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing fintech hubs in the world

According to the BCX Innovation Report 2022, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing fintech hubs in the world. With the emergence of innovative digital financial solutions, it’s now up to players in the financial sectors to reduce costs, retain underserved clients and attract the unbanked market.

Upskilling and reskilling are essential to prepare every business to seize opportunities and create a sustainable future within a digitised economy. Small businesses are now relying on the collective insights, creativity and vision of the banking industry. Ultimately, when clients and banks connect digitally, the economy flows more freely, which benefits all.

 SMEs

Significant changes to transformation in the workplace set for 1 September 2023

The Employment Equity Amendment Bill which proposes wide-reaching changes to the regulation of transformation in the workplace will be signed into law imminently, according to the Department of Employment and Labour's Acting Deputy Director-General of Labour Policy and Industrial Relations, with 1 September 2023 as the effective date.

On 31 August 2022, the Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) announced that the effective date for the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (Bill) will be 1 September 2023, only 12 months away. The Bill is currently before the President for assent or, if the President has reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill, he may refer it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration, or to the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of any concerns. However, the recent announcement of the effective date suggests that the Bill will be signed into law soon.

Four of the most significant changes proposed in the Bill include:

1. introducing sector and sub-sector targets;

2. obliging designated employers to comply with numerical sector targets;

3. requiring compliance with such targets and assessing and reporting against these; and

4. requiring that compliance weigh heavily on designated employers' ability to bid for and be awarded State contracts.


According to the DoEL, all sectors have been consulted in respect of numerical sector targets save for mining and quarrying, public administration and defence, manufacturing, information & communication, construction, and real estate.

According to the DoEL, all sectors have been consulted in respect of numerical sector targets save for mining and quarrying, public administration and defence, manufacturing, information & communication, construction, and real estate.

Designated employers in these sectors should acquaint themselves with the provisions of the

Engagements on sector and subsector targets commenced in June 2019 and are set to conclude at the end of September 2022. The sectors that have been identified for this purpose include: education water supply sewerage management & remediation accommodation & food services human health & social work agriculture forestry & fishing wholesale & retail trade repair of motor vehicles & motorcycles administrative & support professional scientific & technical electricity gas steam & air conditioning supply financial & insurance activities mining & quarrying public administration & defence manufacturing information & communication construction & real estate impending Bill and take anticipatory action in preparation for the Bill to avoid attracting penalties or being barred from contracting with the State when the Bill comes into effect. The Webber Wentzel Employment and Employee Benefits team have prepared in-person and online workshops on the key aspects and implications of the Bill.  TRANSFORMATION

Proximity bias: new threat to gender transformation in the workplace

As companies and workforces continue to grapple with the issue of return-towork, fully work-from-home and hybrid work arrangements, care must be taken to ensure that this contemporary workplace challenge doesn’t further erode or even reverse gains made on the gender transformation front, a leadership expert warns.


“Hybrid work trends show that women, who typically carry additional weight on the home front, opt for more time working from home compared to men, who are more likely to return to the office full-time,” says Advaita Naidoo, Africa MD at Jack Hammer Global, Africa’s largest executive search firm.

“Unfortunately, presenteeism and proximity bias have not gone away with the old paradigm of bums-on-seats as a knee-jerk productivity measure. Which means that managers are still inclined to reward the people they see in the office full-time, rather than considering the actual contribution of the workfrom-home or hybrid employees. Additionally, there is also often an unspoken judgment against people who are not in the office.”

... there is also often an unspoken judgment against people who are not in the office.

50% reduced likelihood of the fully remote worker being considered for promotion

Naidoo says this proximity bias is estimated to lead to a 50% reduced likelihood of the fully remote worker being considered for promotion.

“Following the pandemic, domestic circumstances have changed for countless families, including those where both caregivers work fulltime. Divorce, estrangement, and a permanent move to home-schooling for younger children, as well as the loss of support networks that previously helped with children of schoolgoing age, are just some of the examples which have led to women, for the most part, now having to juggle additional responsibilities while at the same time being expected to perform at pre-pandemic levels,” she says.

Furthermore, when promotional opportunities or project lead roles arise, women who are working at or beyond capacity are either passed over by management or are slow to apply because they are already overburdened by their dual career and home responsibilities.

“Naturally, no manager wants to further overload someone that they think is already struggling to cope. However, what is missing from consideration here, is the fact that many career women can and do operate at a level of efficiency and hyper productivity that is comparable to their fulltime office peers.” GENDER TRANSFORMATION

New ways of working disproportionately affect women

The mentioned factors are now adding up to a situation where the already meagre female leadership pipeline isn’t likely to improve anytime soon, which will devastate companies’ ability to effect the gender transformation in senior leadership most of them are trying to achieve, Naidoo warns.

“Companies should therefore urgently assess the degree to which new ways of working could be disproportionately affecting the women in the organisation, and if necessary, draft clear policies to support these women and nurture their ongoing career progress.”

...the already meagre female leadership pipeline isn’t likely to improve anytime soon...

‘Marshal Plan for Moms’

In the USA, author and activist Reshma Saujani leads the ‘Marshall Plan for Moms’ in recognition of the need to support, specifically, women’s economic recovery and empowerment.

It aims to create sweeping changes in three focus areas:

1. Workplaces – organising C-level executives to transform workplaces in recognition of the additional duties placed almost exclusively on mothers on the home front.

2. Culture – through creative campaigns and compelling thought leadership, changing the way motherhood is seen and valued.

3. Government – working in coalition with advocacy partners to campaign for benefits including childcare and direct payments.

“Although the same issues face many South African women, local circumstances will not easily allow for a similar local plan for mothers,” says Naidoo.

“However, that does not mean the impact to companies falls away. Exhausted, overworked and under-appreciated female workforces will have the same negative impact on companies here as abroad, in terms of the bottom line as well as gender transformation.

“The onus therefore is on companies to take the initiative to ensure that those female leaders they previously identified for career progression do not fall off the radar, and that promising young female leaders are actively identified and mentored.

“Much has been done before the pandemic to develop leadership pipelines for both racial and gender transformation, and those efforts should not now be discarded in the rush to return to old ways of working.”



in alliance with • ESG Initiative of the Year African Legal Awards 2021/2022 • Women Empowerment in the Workplace Award (Overall Winner: Southern Africa) Gender Mainstreaming Awards 2021 • Ranked in Band 1 for Environment: South Africa Chambers Global 2021 • Environmental & Renewables Team of the Year: Highly commended African Legal Awards 2020

SA retailers need to adapt to the declining middle-class

From one crisis to the next, consumer habits are changing

Just as the world was returning to some kind of ‘normality’ it didn’t take long for war in Europe, surging inflation, soaring fuel and energy prices, along with severe bouts of load-shedding to cast a particularly dark shadow over the first half of 2022. Now, in an increasingly stressed economy and shrinking middle class, retailers and big businesses will need to re-think their strategies if they want to remain competitive.

This is according to Marilu Smit, Research Director at Red Fox Insight, the consumer research division of Red Fox Group, who says retailers and brands need to sharpen the saw when it comes to their responsiveness to consumers’ changing needs.

“As the world is buffeted by one crisis after another, the resilience that consumers have shown during COVID times is being put to a longer test,” she says. “Keeping tabs on what consumers are putting in their baskets is not enough to understand the drivers as consumers dynamically adjust priorities and shift aspirations in reaction to ongoing disruptions and uncertainties.”


The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), which surveys 2 500 South African households dropped from -13 in the first quarter of 2022 to -25 by the end of the second quarter, suggesting that South Africans may well tighten purse strings even more in the upcoming months. Marketers, faced with increasingly cautious, budget-conscious consumers will be challenged when it comes to sorting knee-jerk reactions from what might become long-lasting behaviours.

Andrew Harrison, Head of Sales at Alpen Foods has been observing consumer patterns of his retail customers over the past months, and says, “Supermarkets are seeing a marked increase in large month-end shops in store, with by far the majority of their revenue being generated between the 25th and 7th of the months. This is the time they need to be sure to have their pricing strategies fully implemented to gain maximum share of wallet. Online shopping is being used for pantry top-ups during the week, to save on fuel and time.”

Harrison further highlights the need for retailers to have excellent e-commerce platforms, a strong digital presence, and efficient delivery systems. “Stores catering to lower-income families have started to act as collection points for SASSA grant recipients. This allows them to increase staff numbers over this time to accommodate the influx of people and offer value through special offers, so they shop at their store once they have received their grant.”

Smit adds that other consumer patterns that have emerged or intensified as a crisis response have endured. For instance, there was an

Brand loyalty has weakened as consumers are increasingly trading down by choosing cheaper own-label brands.

accelerated uptake of online shopping which has now become a preference, highlighting the importance of offering seamless omnichannel customer experiences for both retailers and brands.

Health and wellness became a stronger priority in many South African households. While the current global crises aren’t delivering the same overwhelming threat to our physical health as COVID-19, they are still impacting significantly on mental well-being which has become an important aspect of the health and wellness trend.

In response to sharply rising prices over the past months, South African consumers have been quick to react. Brand loyalty has weakened as consumers are increasingly trading down by choosing cheaper own-label brands. Many report putting their plans to spend on big items on hold, while more South Africans than ever are price-checking and shopping for deals.

At the same time though, consumers’ expectations of both their in-store and online retail experiences are elevated. Nathalie Schooling, CEO of customer experience company, nlightencx says, “Consumers across all markets are embracing the experiential retail concept, and even in these tough economic times, they still want an appealing experience at their local retailer. Customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s an imperative for retailers who want to stay competitive.”

The abilities to be fast, flexible, and agile are underpinning this responsiveness to current consumer needs and priorities. Smit concludes, “This is the big challenge for brands and retailers in these uncertain times. Consumer insights focused on understanding the underlying psychology and need-states can help to identify, and even anticipate fast-changing consumer behaviours.

With consumers in a hyper-cautious mode, being capable of identifying and quickly acting on new opportunities and new emerging gaps can help to drive much-needed business growth.” RETAIL

MTN SA Foundation empowers women in digital business

The future is increasingly digital, yet women are under-represented in this high-growth sector of the economy. To ensure faster progress, sustainability and job creation, young women need support and encouragement to enter the sector, while women already in the sector need strong mentors to inspire them, guide them and push them to bring their ideas to life.

Although women make up 13% of the graduates leaving SA tertiary institutions with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), there is a lack career guidance post-graduation, which is a significant challenge for women pursuing ICT-related careers or entrepreneurship opportunities.

As a consequence, only 23% of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa. Out of 236 000 ICT & Tech roles, women occupy 56 000 of them. This imbalance highlights to need for the industry to help create an enabling environment for women to close the gender representation gap.

R1 million commitment to support female owned SMMEs

Realising that empowerment means not only raising the status of women through education, awareness, literacy and training, but also being open to women’s concepts for services and product provision, the MTN South Africa (SA) Foundation has launched its inaugural 2022 MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge to assist female owned SMME’s on a sure path to success.

With a R1 million commitment, MTN will support 10 less established female-owned small, medium-sized and


microenterprises (SMMEs) by enabling innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation for women in the digital economy.

The MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge forms part of the MTN Group’s commitment to developing ICT SMEs on the continent and is an extension of MTN’s existing SME accelerator programmes. The 10 candidates, who are female graduates and alumni members of the MTN SA Foundation business support programme, will be provided with R100 000 for working capital needs, business development, tangible assets, mentorship coaching and business advancing technology and software.

“Removing the barriers hindering women from entering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields is the answer to South Africa’s enormous information and communications technology (ICT) skills gap and high unemployment rate,” says Angie Maloka, Senior Manager: Education & Community Programmes at the MTN SA Foundation.

“It’s imperative to fill this inequality gap, and for us, this means making a meaningful contribution to improving female-owned businesses in the ICT market.”

Training, business support and mentorship

Each SMME will receive training, small business support and enter a four-month mentorship programme to ensure effective deployment of capital and resources. The aim is to accelerate their business and rate of business success, or the opportunity and tools to create future businesses that are robust, innovative and able to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing landscape.

The finalists of the 2022 MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge programme are prime examples of what can be achieved by women in a competitive industry.

“We can’t wait to see what business ideas and cases our candidates generate at the end of the four-month programme. Our hope is that the outcomes go far to close the skills shortage gap in SA and create long-term career prospects for our candidates and their future employees.

“We look forward to hearing more about them as they help change the operating face of the business in South Africa,” concludes Maloka.

For more information and other MTN SA Foundation programmes, visit ADVERTORIAL: MTN SA FOUNDATION

Rage against the machine or embrace it

Unpacking the implications and opportunities that digital tech and AI bring to South Africa’s BPO Industry.

As digital and AI customer service channels become more sophisticated and widely used and accepted in contact centres, questions increasingly arise around whether machines will replace the human contact centre agent, and what the role of people will be in the BPO provider of the future.

It’s a particularly pertinent question for South Africa’s BPO industry which has risen to the top of the world charts as the most preferred offshoring destination, and one which is favoured precisely because of its ‘humanness’ in terms of the empathy, sincerity and skills quality of the people


working in it. South Africa’s BPO sector is pipped to create 500 000 new jobs in the next five years, but will AI and digital tech prove to be a spanner in the works of these job creation ambitions?

“History has proven that the fears of humans being replaced by machines is a paradox. It’s a paradox because these seemingly contradictory activities have been operating together and alongside each other for decades already. For years, machine learning has been automating certain jobs and functions, including in the call centre. The skills demands – and here I include technical and so-called soft skills – of the 4th Industrial Revolution may be radically different to what they were 10 or 20 years ago – but if anything the need for human EQ and IQ is now heightened. Many, if not most job roles, have been made fundamentally better, more efficient, and meaningful thanks to technology. This is an irrefutable fact in the drive for business operational efficiencies and progress. The pessimism that AI agents, chatbots and digital platforms will make more jobs redundant in the BPO sector and signal the end of human agents is misplaced. If anything, technological advances in the BPO sector have created more jobs and massively improved customer experience by facilitating better human connections and more meaningful depth of engagements between customers and agents,” explains Clinton Cohen, CEO of iContact BPO.

“South Africa’s BPO sector has been growing exponentially and over the last ten years, it has become the top offshoring destination for the UK and US markets notably in retail, telecoms, utility and medical industries. A big driver in the decision to outsource to South Africa is the interplay between our technology and telecommunications infrastructure, and the quality of people in our call centres – in terms of education levels, language proficiency, empathy, EQ, cultural affinity, listening skills, the size of our

skills pool and finally, the labour arbitrage. All of these factors combined make South Africa a true value destination for outsourcing. Technology may be one of the considerations in the outsourcing buying process, but it is by no means the deciding factor,” adds Cohen.

Technology can be overused and misplaced

As one example, chatbots have become the flavour when it comes to customer queries in high volume environments, but for a long time, they were also prone to overuse. While a certain level of automation and filtering is useful, especially on routine, repetitive or informational queries, meaning, and translation are easily lost in a bot’s linear machine reasoning process. If a customer finds themselves stranded in a bot process and unable to get through to a human agent, the door is wide open for an aggravating, lousy experience and irate customer.

“On more complex needs, even the most intelligent chatbot is not going to deliver on your customer needs and experience as effectively as a well-trained agent. Chatbots are very much intended to fulfil a supportive role and to streamline processes in simple transactional and informational conversations where it makes sense to do so and can help guide customers in the right direction, but they are not a replacement for the EQ of an agent.

“The challenge is in striking the balance between both worlds. Purpose and the point of the customer interaction should be well considered. In many instances, when a customer comes through to a contact centre, they may already be agitated – think of someone who has a complaint, or cannot access their account details, is following up on a delayed order, or needs to log an insurance claim as just a few examples. In such scenarios, empathy and EQ are key – and simply cannot be DIGITISATION

expressed by a machine. If a customer is getting through to a chatbot already in an agitated state, and the bot fails to interpret their queries and needs appropriately, the situation is bound to rapidly deteriorate and CX is going to suffer. When it comes to deploying technology in a customer service journey, timing and purpose are everything,” says Cohen.

Lessons learned from the rapid digitisation brought about by the pandemic

The pandemic triggered major shifts in customer expectations driven by the instant gratification that came with the rapid digitisation of virtually every process and transaction in a marketplace under lockdown. These expectations have not reverted to pre-pandemic times. Consumers expect immediate responses so the importance of managing their expectations is vital – whether that contact is through e-mail, whatsapp, chatbots, AI or a service agent.

“This means that offering multichannel, AIdriven client service platforms is here to stay and essential, but should not be a replacement for a service agent. Chatbots, Whatsapp, live chat/ webchat, and other self-service platforms are invaluable in providing scale and resolving simple transactional and repetitive informational queries to reduce volumes, however, they are not an effective replacement for human engagement, EQ and empathy when it comes to complex queries.

“Furthermore, adding more tech and more self-service channels comes with unintended consequences, with meteoric increases in duplicate customer support logs across multiple service channels. BPO providers will need to be clear about managing customer expectations in terms of turnaround times and deploy sophisticated data analytics capabilities to deduplicate multiple logs and avoid wastage of efforts and resources,”

explains Cohen.

BPO providers will be challenged to strike the balance between technology and people, allowing both to do what they do best. It’s not an either/or scenario, but rather a both/and decision that at its core, is about doing what’s best for the customers you serve.

“Ultimately, it’s about fully understanding every touchpoint in your customer’s journey, deploying the right interventions, the right technology and the right agents at the right time. Multichannel customer service using both technology and people is here to stay, and we need to harness the operational efficiencies and service excellence that this puts within our reach,” concludes Cohen. 

About iContact BPO

iContact BPO specialises in inbound and outbound customer service and support, predominantly for international business clients based in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia. iContact BPO is part of the Alefbet Holdings group which owns numerous collections and customer service BPO providers.

For more information go to

Gary Swinson: Head Global Trade, DG Global Forwarding

Equal pay but unequal taxes –SA women carry a greater tax burden

South Africa’s working women have made progress in achieving equal pay for equal work, but the financial scales are tipped against them by the country’s tax system that treats women and men equally, but with unequal results.

Applying affirmative action to tax laws, to redress the disproportionate impact of VAT and personal income tax on women, especially single mothers, would support South Africa’s goal of inclusive economic growth and encourage greater labour force participation and entrepreneurship by women, says Dr Lee-Ann Steenkamp, head of the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning at Stellenbosch Business School and contributor of the 2022 Women’s Report released on 1 August.

“South Africa’s tax statistics[i] tell a story of gender inequality in women’s lower income levels and in discrimination against single-earner households, which carry a far greater tax liability than dualearner households at the same income level. With the high prevalence of households with a female breadwinner only and single mothers carrying the most child-rearing responsibility, this places a disproportionate tax burden on women,” she says.

Steenkamp is one of the authors of the 2022 Women’s Report by the SA Board for People

Practices (SABPP) in partnership with Stellenbosch Business School.

South Africa’s previous discriminatory tax system of the apartheid years, which especially disadvantaged working married women, was repealed post-1994 and the tax laws now treat men and women the same, irrespective of marital status.


Equal treatment has not had equal outcomes

However, Steenkamp says, “equal treatment has not had equal outcomes”.

“Despite the removal of the explicit tax discrimination of the past, the new dispensation intended to treat all taxpayers equally has had unintended consequences due to the realities of society today. By disadvantaging single-earner households, the revised tax system with its unisex tax tables has in fact deepened inequality in taxation between men and women,” she says.

Steenkamp illustrates the point with the example of the tax liability of a dual-earning household with two minor children and a combined income of R204 000 per year versus a single-earner household, also with two minor children and earning the same amount.

Tax disparity in households

annum, the single-earning household only benefits from the rebate once and so pays R20 295 in tax, on the same income.

“Given the fact that nearly one-fifth of South African households consist of a single person, this tax discrepancy warrants closer attention, especially as it has a significant gender bias impact,” Steenkamp comments.

More than 40% of South African households are headed by a sole female breadwinner, while far more children (41.7%) live with single mothers than with single fathers (4.4%), meaning that the added tax liability of single households falls predominantly on women.

Dual-earner household

Working husband (earns R9 000 p.m.)

While both partners in the dualincome household benefit from the primary tax rebate of R16 425, resulting in a total tax liability of R3 870 per

Household composition

Single-earner household

Working single mother (earns R17 000 p.m.)Working wife (earns R8 000 p.m.)

Two minor children

Two minor children

Husband Wife Total Single mother

Taxable income R108 000 R96 000 R204 000 R204 000

Tax at 18% R19 440 R17 280 R36 720

Less: Primary rebate (< 65yr) - R16 425 - R16 425 - R16 425 Income tax liability R3 015 R855 R3 870 R20 295

Difference: R16 425

*This graph represents the tax disparity using the 2023 tax year information

Gender pay gap persists

The SARS tax statistics also illustrate that the gender pay gap still persists – while women make up almost half of taxpayers (46%), a proportion that has been slowly but steadily increasing, they pay only about one-third of total income taxes and are concentrated in the lower tax brackets.

“South Africa’s progressive income tax system, where higher earners are taxed at a higher rate, is designed to achieve wealth redistribution, but they also show that women’s levels of taxable income are still much lower than those of men, with women making up only 14% of the earners in the highest bracket. This disparity is symptomatic of the country’s historical gender pay gap and socio-economic inequalities,” she adds.


Women carry a greater burden of VAT contributions

Steenkamp also analysed the impact of VAT, the country’s second-largest tax revenue stream, and argues that as a consumption tax it falls disproportionately on women.

“As primary caregivers and generally carrying more of the responsibility for collective household needs such as food, health and education, women spend a greater share of their already lower income on these needs, and thus carry a greater burden of VAT contributions,” she says.

She proposes that government consider expanding the zero-rating of VAT on goods and services that support households, as well as incorporating elements of affirmative action in favour of women into the income tax regulations.

These could include higher tax thresholds for women, tax breaks for female-owned businesses, reduced tax rates on property owned by women, and tax deductions for childcare costs.

Child tax rebate should be reintroduced Re-introducing the child tax rebate that was available pre-1994 should be considered, she said, as a form of tax relief for childcare costs. Capping the rebate by income level and means-testing would ensure equitable treatment, ensuring that those in higher tax brackets do not benefit unfairly.

On the government expenditure side, Steenkamp says that under-resourced public services such as health and education often resulted in women and girls having to take on unpaid or low-paid care work. Broadening access to free or affordable healthcare, education, water and social protection, or by way of social payments (grants) for care work, would free up more women to earn a decent income.

“Fiscal policy can, and should, be used to redress gender inequities and support the nation’s broader transformation agenda,” Steenkamp says.

Fiscal policy can, and should, be used to redress gender inequities and support the nation’s broader transformation agenda.

Policies in practice create life-long financial inequality for women

Women’s Report editor Prof Anita Bosch, the research chair for Women at Work at Stellenbosch Business School, said the 2022 report analyses South Africa’s fiscal policies through the lens of gender equity. Although men and women are treated the same “on paper” regarding taxation, retirement funds and social grants, the policies in practice create life-long financial inequality for women.

Bosch says the report provides a deeper understanding of “the myriad balls that women have to juggle, trying to progress while also providing”.

“This edition of the Women’s Report shows that greater consideration of the facts of life in South Africa that hamper women’s advancement is needed in fiscal policymaking. Such an approach, covering tax, social grants, retirement funding and gender-based budgeting, should aim to halt the downward spiral of odds that progressively stack up against women as they navigate life.”

“Without such informed and dedicated action and targeted fairness, addressing the plight of the poorest of the poor and eradicating the cycle of poverty for the current generation of children, will remain merely a noble aspiration,” she adds. TAXES
 REFERENCES [i] SARS (2022). Tax Statistics 2021.

The impact of ‘localisation initiatives’

on trade & investment

‘Localisation’ is a government policy to drive the procurement of locally produced goods and services. In other words, to improve local production and procurement.

Localisation initiatives started to take form in South Africa in 1948 in the form of import substitution. In the new democratic dispensation, localisation has been seen as a lever for industrialisation since 2010 in the New Growth Path Framework and its Local Procurement Accord, which has a heady 75% local procurement target for the public and private sectors.

This culminated in the Preferential Procurement Regulations, in which designation features prominently as a tool for localisation of the production and supply of products and services. The lure of localisation has proven irresistible in the current era of protectionism and has become a focal point of South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP). The


current target is to reduce South Africa’s non-import bill by 20% over the next five years.

Localisation manifests in three sectors, namely, the industrial, trade and government sectors. Each of these sectors consists of various implementation mechanisms for localisation. The latest iteration of localisation is the industry master plans, such as for sugar, poultry and steel.

The legal issues that surround the conclusion of these localisation initiatives can be seen in the guidelines published by the Competition Commission, which attempt to shield the participants in these collaborations that may have broken the rules on collusion between competitors under the Competition Act. Apart from the obvious competition issues triggered by these localisation initiatives, they also will have a trade-restrictive impact that has a bearing on South Africa’s international trade obligations.

The impact of localisation on trade agreements

It is important to evaluate the impact of localisation

on trade agreements since localisation has begun to play such an evident role in the South African economy. A policy initiative like this will most definitely have a ripple effect on South Africa’s trading partners.

Now it seems like trade agreements are the polar opposite of localisation. Trade agreements are, as the word says, trade agreements between countries with the purpose of liberalising trade restrictions in order to improve trade between countries. Whereas localisation is more focused on import substitution, which by its nature restricts trade.

The legal framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is specifically against localisation since it does not enhance trade between countries but rather restricts it. The WTO is built on the principles of non-discrimination, which, on the one hand, requires equal treatment of WTO trading partners, the so-called Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) principle, and equality of treatment of domestic and foreign firms, the National Treatment provision. Localisation falls foul of the National Treatment principle. LOCALISATION

Localisation commitments are barriers to trade agreements, with different industries having local procurement and manufacturing commitments limiting trade with other countries. Localisation can result in other countries imposing similar measures against South Africa, the dreaded race to the bottom. If South Africa is substituting imports through the localisation initiative, we should expect our trading partners to do something similar to us.

A clear example of the impact of localisation on South Africa’s trading partners can be seen within the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The following is a direct quote from the sugar masterplan:

“At least 80% of sugar procurement to be locally produced sugar, rising to 95% locally produced sugar in year 3, such that 150,000 tons rising to 300,000 tons of demand is restored to the local [South African] sugar industry.”

This directly translates to a trading partner like Eswatini needing to forfeit around 300 000 tons of their duty-free sugar exports in favour of South Africa. The localisation policy, therefore, can cause harm to South Africa’s trading partners, who could experience contractions in GDP, trade and revenue.

In contrast, localisation can also have a positive impact on South African trade. Localisation, if implemented correctly, can lead to increased employment, production capacity, local procurement and investment. Increased local production can lead to economies of scale. This allows for increased exports of value-added products into South Africa’s export markets, especially under different trade agreements.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should create more lucrative export opportunities into other African countries. Implemented correctly, South Africa’s localisation initiative will allow increased exports of manufactured goods into the African value chain. The opposite is also true in that localisation can spark the race to the bottom and it may stifle trade.

The effect of localisation on investments in South Africa

Large investments are needed to achieve localisation. Increased local procurement means there should be increased local production. Investments surrounding localisation thus entails investing in industrial capacity, infrastructure, transport and energy, amongst others.

The DTIC’s approach to increasing investment for the localisation policy is by creating investment incentives. These investment incentives commit recipients to achieve localisation objectives set by the Government.

Localisation thus creates multiple local investment opportunities but simultaneously disrupts foreign direct investment. Since localisation is a form of protectionism, it can and will result in an uncertain investing environment within South Africa. This can discourage foreign direct investment, something South Africa’s economy is in much need of.

South Africa should thus really think about the net effect of localisation on the South African economy, whether in the form of retaliation or disrupted trade agreements. South Africa should realise that the positive outcomes localisation can have, if correctly implemented, come at a cost. 

Tarien Zietsman, Trade analyst: Economics at XA Global Trade Advisors

Should they stay or should they go?

Why the ‘stay interview’ is the new ‘exit interview’

With more and more highperforming employees leaving companies for ‘greener pastures’, HR Departments, CEOs, and team managers find themselves desperately seeking out sustainable solutions to combatting “the great resignation”.

According to studies, a high performer specifically, can deliver as much work as up to four “average” employees, and apart from having a direct impact on performance, can have a pivotal knock-on effect of influencing and contributing to your company culture, too. Hence, there should be urgency in retaining your best-in-class talent. But is money the driver for an A-class employee? Not anymore. Aside from the obvious persuasion strategies like salary increases (which is a dwindling solution in the year 2022) and implementing more ‘Casual Fridays/Salad Wednesdays/ Anything-to-Bring-the-Team-Together-Days’, high performers, even the lighter weight employees, are needing more: more voice, more time, more trust, more understanding and more one-on-one attention from their managers.

Cue: The ‘stay interview’

The new ‘exit interview’ that has nothing to do with exiting at all. The ‘stay interview’ is not like an exit interview in its measure of challenges and final truths. Instead, the ‘stay interview’ takes its seat as a pin-drop of vital conversations along the employee’s journey.

It’s an honest, open approach to tapping into all things real and human between employer and employee. It’s personal and it matters – and more and more leaders in business are cottoning onto this method as the bridge that links ‘the more’ with your ‘retention strategy’.

Why is this so important? Because according to studies, 42% of employees plan to change jobs in the next year and replacing an employee can cost an average of 33% of the employee’s salary.

“The ‘great resignation’ is an unpleasant era for all business owners to be experiencing right now, but it also wakes us up to the deeper truth and the underlying needs of our employees,” says Kerry Morris, CEO of leading recruitment firm, The Tower Group.

“Implementing more one-on-one conversations throughout the year, like a ‘stay interview,’ is a wonderful way for the leader to get in touch – not just with an employee but with the company as well,” says Morris. EMPLOYMENT


Here, we round up how the ‘stay interview’ works in light of combatting #thegreatresignation, and guarding against dissatisfied employees, for the longer term.

It can only be the manager

‘Stay interviews’ should always be led by the employee’s direct manager. Research shows that the top reason employees quit is due to a lack of trust in their manager. A ‘stay interview’ helps to cultivate a relationship founded on trust and open communication.

Go for the intel

Focus on interviewing your most high-performing employees first: those who have been with your company the longest and will help you understand what’s kept them coming back. This has a dual effect of learning what is also enticing for new hires joining the company.

3 4

Don’t call it a ‘stay interview’

Rather than calling it a ‘stay interview’ invite your employee to share their perspective on how things are going at work or in the company. Call it a ‘conversation session.’ You want to make your employee as comfortable as possible so they’re more inclined to share honest feedback.

Take it off site

There’s merit in the power of a “coffee meeting.” Step out the office and take them off-site to a favourite coffee shop if you feel it would make them more comfortable; or, at least, give them the choice! This evokes feelings of ease for both employee and manager, and shows a more social interest in their opinion, which goes a long way.

Make it a Pindrop meeting

Aim to conduct your ‘stay interview’ with high-performing employees every six months. This will help you keep an eye on changing attitudes, which may help you intervene more quickly to resolve a rising problem. Schedule them months away from annual performance reviews to keep the goals distinct.

The caveat?

Of course there is always one.

“In order for ‘stay interviews’ to be effective and yield honest feedback, employees need to trust management. ‘Stay interviews’ only work if honest, two-way communication is a core part of your culture. That said, ‘stay interviews’ can go a long way in developing a culture of authenticity, accountability, diversity, empathy, and agility that will, in turn, work towards creating a company where everyone is motivated, engaged and working towards a common goal,” says Morris.

The final s(t)ay

When done correctly, ‘stay interviews’ can have an extremely positive impact not only on retaining your employees but on impacting the overall ‘human connection’ of the business.

The key, however, is to use the information you collect. Failing to act on what your employees have to say will make you appear disingenuous and cheapen the value of that ‘connection.’ 

For more staffing solutions and industry resources visit


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The four-day work week for SA?

The concept of a four-day work week is attracting growing interest in countries around the world, including South Africa.

"Local employers must understand the model, decide if it will work for them, and know how to implement it effectively," says Kirk Kruger, Master Reward Specialist with the South African Reward Association (SARA).

How does it work?

"The four-day work week should not be confused with the so-called compressed work week," advises Kruger. For the latter, employees receive the same remuneration and work the same hours per week. However, they work more hours during on-days to make up their weekly total hours worked.

In contrast, a four-day work week means employees will work one day less in the week but the same number of hours per day as before. They will still receive their full salary and benefits. In essence they are being paid for outputs and not for hours worked.


Why the interest?

Both employers and employees are interested in the model because it promotes a healthier work-life balance, increases motivation and has a positive effect on productivity.

On their in-week off-days, workers can take care of personal, family and lifestyle priorities, resulting in a better quality of life, mental and physical well-being, and more energy.

How does it compare to WFH?

"Since COVID ushered it in, work-from-home has gained momentum and I think it is here to stay" says Kruger. For now, he says WFH will remain the primary focus for employers due to the flexibility and location independence it offers and will overshadow the four-day model. However, as WFH becomes the norm, workers – especially those with scarce skills – may start looking for employers that offer both.

Who will adopt it?

"I don't think South Africa as a country or an economy is ready for this on a large scale and interested employers will want to test the waters before committing," says Kruger.

Potential adopters are more likely to be niche organisations, such as smaller and medium-sized technology companies. Even then, they should take time to investigate its impact on their operations, possibly running a pilot programme first.

Is it a good way to attract and retain employees?

"Absolutely. Research shows a higher level of worker engagement, so there is good reason for employers to consider it as part of their employee value proposition," says Kruger.

It can differentiate them with in-demand and self-motivated candidates who will deliver results whether they work four days or five. And it will help retain those who appreciate the flexibility it affords them.

What do employers need to consider?

It is critical that companies consider the model's impact on operational continuity and customer engagement. This will ensure they don't experience lapses in service delivery during peak hours due to insufficient personnel.

"This requires a high level of engagement with employees to develop effective policies, including structured communication, active change management and collaborative corrective measures," says Kruger.

Reviewing rewards

With careful planning, employers can make the four-day work week a new highlight of their total reward strategy. "They should consult their reward specialist to ensure their leave, overtime, pay and benefits structure aligns with this new way of working" says Kruger.


Addressing gender diversity challenges to fast track the growth of the renewables energy sector

Although women currently account for 39% of the global labour force, representation sits at a mere 22% in the traditional energy sector and 32% in the renewable energy sector.

Widely considered one of the least gender diverse industries, the energy sector needs to urgently address challenges that hinder gender inclusion and make use of all available skills and talents to create a secure, accessible, and sustainable energy future for all. Barriers faced by women in the energy sector are similar to those they face elsewhere in the economy. However, given the pressing need for transformation, growth, and development in the sector to meet South Africa’s growing energy crisis, these challenges must be addressed. The transition to clean energy will demand innovative solutions and business models to be invented and adopted, which will necessitate enhanced participation from a diverse talent pool.


Addressing the growing energy crisis

The energy sector is undergoing a rapid transformation, particularly in renewable energy. To address the crisis of load shedding, President Ramaphosa’s renewable energy procurement programme has been urgently revived. 2205 megawatts (MW) from Bid Window 4 have proceeded to construction. A further 6800 MW of solar PV and wind power is being procured through Bid Windows 5, 6 and 7, which will connect to the grid from late 2023/early 2024. Another 3000 MW of gas and 513 MW of battery storage will be procured through the next bid windows and there is a pipeline of more than 70 confirmed private sector projects under development with a combined capacity of over 5000 MW, several of which will commence construction this year. Changes have been made to the Regulations on New Generation Capacity to allow municipalities to procure power independently and several municipalities are already in the process of procuring additional power.

From an investment perspective, British International Investment plans a 5-year US$6 billion investment program for Africa. This is to bolster several sectors including renewable energies and infrastructure, with a focus on supporting women-owned businesses and climate adaptation projects. In short, there is huge potential that must be maximised if we’re to succeed in overcoming South Africa’s load shedding crisis.

Addressing skills shortages

The skills needed for this type of industry growth and development are scarce. Not only in South Africa, and global reports predict an impending skills gap across sectors as economies retool existing industries and explore new opportunities for job creation. As such, there are skills shortages and a demand for additional training in almost

every area of the energy sector. Skills that are increasing in demand extend to a wide range of different occupations, from engineers and architects and skilled trades to equipment operators, technicians, and construction labourers.

Turning obstacles into opportunities

Although shortages are a challenge to labour supply, they can also be used as an opportunity to train, recruit and upskill women and other minorities that have historically been marginalised in the energy sector. Here, Temporary Employment Services (TES) providers can start bridging the gap by matching employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector with skilled and promising women. Given the ageing workforce, as well as the current brain drain affecting South Africa, it’s unrealistic for industries to expect to continue to fish in the same male-dominated skills pool for much longer. Women are essential to accelerate the pace of a fast-growing industry such as renewable energy because they bring unique problem-solving approaches and business styles to the table.

Promoting awareness of the sector and diversity of occupations

From an education perspective, women are traditionally at a stark disadvantage in comparison to their male counterparts. This information imbalance includes a lack of awareness about the range of occupations, specialisations, and fields available within the energy sector. Many women simply don’t know that there is more to the energy sector than just engineers, research scientists or technical installers. If women were aware that the sector requires expertise and skills from a range of different backgrounds, such as environmental science, ecology, conservation, engineering,


business management, law, public policy, and finance, to name a few, they can better visualise themselves finding a place and doing meaningful work within the energy sector.

Diversity now and for future generations

There are ways to fast track the bridging of the diversity gap. From facilitating direct access to industry insiders or building connections through mentoring to outreach presentations and visits, site tours conducted through student networks and school events, temporary employment placements and the like. This ensures that women are not only represented in the development of new skills but ensures that these skills are transferred in a useful manner that benefits the sector as a whole. The industry itself should play a critical role here, supported by advocacy organisations, training and education sectors and TES providers. Ensuring that training and education in the energy sector is more universally accessible will enable intra-sectoral and intersectoral transferability, which is also a promising strategy for facilitating greater diversity for future generations.

Positively influencing gender diversity

For TES providers specialising in renewable energy and the sourcing of scarce skills, the enhancement of female representation in the sector should be a top priority. By providing equal opportunities to women, TES providers are uniquely positioned to positively influence gender diversity in this space. In addition to being able to source candidates from diverse backgrounds, TES providers are also able to provide training and skills development for women in this sector, with training solutions that are State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Adult Education and Training (AET) accredited. This means that where time is a factor in a renewable energy project, the necessary skills can be developed before the project even begins.

Decisive, inclusive action is necessary

Currently, companies in the energy sector are not doing enough to address gender diversity in their ranks. It’s not enough to participate in roundtable discussions on gender inclusion. It’s not enough to just talk. Organisations need to act. Gender mainstreaming needs to become the order of the day. An approach that facilitates equality in the workplace, while at the same time acknowledging and leveraging the differences between men and women, gender mainstreaming focuses on creating policies and positions within a working environment that is properly equipped to be inclusive. It highlights and creates spaces in which women can showcase their talents in a way that does not perpetuate the existing inequalities or stereotypes. Gender mainstreaming is important, because equality is not about treating everyone in the same way, but it recognises that individual needs are sometimes best met in different ways. Only by addressing gender mainstreaming as a matter of urgency and making the energy sector accessible for all genders, will it be possible to find and tap into the skills, resources, and innovation necessary to solve South Africa’s load shedding crisis and facilitate the necessary transition to cleaner energy. 

Maureen Phiri, Sales Manager at Oxyon


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Why businesses are turning to renewables to make a positive impact on the world

Reduce, reuse, and recycle may seem like a small act, but it can have a massive impact on protecting the environment and helping the planet. Businesses are doing what they can to make a difference by looking at renewable energy solutions and recycling initiatives.

“Renewable energy, such as solar, result in minimal greenhouse gas emissions,” says Murray Long, Managing Director of First National Battery, South Africa's innovative energy solutions provider.

“What’s more, the renewable energy sector is creating much-needed employment opportunities, which is great news for our country."

South Africa has one of the world’s highest solar resource potentials, with more than 2 000 hours of sunshine a year. Long explained

that running out of solar energy is impossible. A correctly specified, quality solar solution will harness as much energy as possible from the sun.

South Africa has one of the world’s highest solar resource potentials, with more than 2 000 hours of sunshine a year.


Three main benefits of solar

Solar power will help keep the lights on and productivity up for businesses while benefiting communities and the environment in the following ways.

air pollution2

Solar panels produce clean, emission-free electricity, and when businesses invest in a solar solution, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint.

“Greenhouse gases cause damage to the ozone layer which is causing devastating climate change,” explains Long.

Improved health2

Solar power is clean energy, reducing the need to burn fossil fuels, which leaves the air cleaner and the long-term health effects from air pollution is reduced.

While some energy sources use massive amounts of water to produce electricity, solar is the opposite. No water is required for maintenance, and solar energy does not pollute our water system.

The heart of all renewable solutions is a robust energy storage solution

At the heart of all renewable solutions is a robust energy storage solution specially designed for solar power. Long recommends that businesses looking to invest in solar make sure they consult with First National Battery and have a site audit done so that the best solution is installed with the most appropriate, reliable, robust, and safe energy storage solutions with enough capacity to power operations and applications for long periods.

“Make sure that your solar battery supplier is committed to recycling so that mining for raw materials is kept to a minimum

precious materials used in the

of batteries are reclaimed and reused,” Long comments.

Few South African companies understand the environmental damage battery solutions can cause if not disposed of correctly, and even fewer are committed to collecting and recycling as many batteries as possible and recycling them responsibly.

While initial installation costs of a solar solution may seem high, it’s an investment that can substantially reduce electrical bills and make the world safer and healthier. It can also attract new customers and suppliers who want to be associated with an organisation committed to sustainability and doing good for the environment.

manufacturing REFERENCES 1. South African Government. Minister Gwede Mantsashe: Solar Power Africa 2022 Conference CTICC.'s%20solar%20 resource%20potential,kWh%2Fm2%20per%20day). Accessed on 21 July 2022. 2. Solar Technologies. Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy. Accessed on 21 July 2022. 3. First National Battery. Renewable Energy Batteries. Accessed on 21 July 2022. 4. United Nations. International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Accessed on 21 July 2022. 5. European Environment Agency. Protecting the ozone layer while also preventing climate change. Accessed on 21 July 2022.
1. Less
3. Use less water2 RENEWABLE ENERGY

Inclusive hydrogen economy –an enabler to SA’s economic recovery

South Africa has a strong industrial background, owing to its history of building infrastructure, such as power stations, oil refineries and railways, which places the country in a unique position to build its green hydrogen economy.


The country has an abundance of natural resources, such as solar, wind energy and minerals that are required as inputs in emerging low carbon technologies. In this regard, South African can leverage its natural resource endowment and innovation capabilities to reindustrialise its economy on the back of the transition to the low carbon economy.

If South Africa develops a domestic hydrogen economy and actively participates in the global green hydrogen supply chain then positive socioeconomic benefits can be realised by the many in society.

Important milestone in the launch of SA’s hydrogen economy

In February 2022, the South African Hydrogen Society Roadmap (HSRM) was published by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), marking an important milestone in the launch of South Africa's hydrogen economy.

The Hydrogen Society Roadmap was developed through a multi-stakeholder consultative process that includes the Department of Science and Innovation, Hydrogen South Africa (HySA), academia, other government departments and industry stakeholders.

It focuses on national ambitions, sector prioritisation, the overarching policy framework and the macro-economic impact of the hydrogen economy throughout South Africa. At the end of the process stakeholders were aligned around a common vision including the role of government which is to create an environment where investment decisions can be made to unlock the socioeconomic benefits that can accrue while supporting inclusive growth that is aimed at reducing poverty and inequality.

Inclusive, sustainable and competitive hydrogen economy by 2050

The vision of the Hydrogen Society Roadmap is an inclusive, sustainable and competitive hydrogen economy by 2050 with the goal of achieving a just and inclusive net-zero carbon economic growth for societal well-being by 2050.

The implementation of the roadmap is laid out in 70 key actions which range from supporting demand creation through to implementing strategic projects. The implementation of the key actions of the HSRM will be enabled by a team of experts from industry, academia and government. The government has established a partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) that will help create a National Hydrogen Energy Centre to institutionalise the implementation of the HSRM and ensure that the country's hydrogen roadmap is clearly laid out.

Importance of implementing small-scale catalytic projects in the short term The HSRM emphasises the need to create an environment for the investments needed to develop an inclusive, sustainable and competitive hydrogen economy by 2050, but also stresses the importance of implementing small-scale catalytic projects in the short term.

Catalytic projects have been identified to stimulate the growth of the Hydrogen Economy in South Africa, in pursuit of the high-level outcomes, whose achievement is expected to contribute towards the economic reconstruction and recovery plan.

To explore opportunities that can promote Hydrogen-related clean emerging technologies in support of emissions reduction, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) commissioned a joint study with Anglo American Platinum (Pty) Limited, Bambili Energy Group (Bambili) and ENGIE on Hydrogen Valley. HYDROGEN ECONOMY


This is expected to stretch approximately 835km from Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals (PGMs) mine near Mokopane in Limpopo Province, along the industrial and commercial corridor to Johannesburg and to the south coast at Durban.

A ‘Hydrogen Valley’ aggregates multiple demand segments along key hydrogen production routes within a specific geographic region. To support South Africa’s net-zero carbon efforts, the proposed ‘Hydrogen Valley’ can be leveraged to kick-start the hydrogen economy, which can lead to cost savings through shared infrastructure investments, improve the cost competitiveness of Hydrogen production through economies of scale, enable a rapid ramp-up of Hydrogen production within a given territory/ region, and can be used as an incubator for new Hydrogen-related pilot projects.

‘Hydrogen Valley’ expected to contribute $3.9 to $8.8 billion to SA’s GDP

In terms of the improvement of the socioeconomic conditions of South Africans, the ‘Hydrogen Valley’ is expected to potentially contribute $3.9 to $8.8 billion to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP, direct and indirect contributions) by 2050 as a result of spending on CAPEX and OPEX for Hydrogen production from offsite renewable energy supply and electrolyser capacity.

In addition, a creation of approximately 14 000 to 30 000 direct and indirect jobs per year by 2030 is also expected. These projections are based on the deployment of renewable energy technologies and electrolysers that can be deployed within the Hydrogen Valley of up to 1.7 gigawatts (GW).

If Hydrogen can become an energy vector it has the potential to decarbonise transport, heavy duty industry, buildings, and the power sector.

... a creation of approximately 14 000 to 30 000 direct and indirect jobs per year by 2030 is also expected.

As a signatory to the Paris agreement, South Africa has planned to reduce carbon emissions with a net-zero target by 2050. While the backbone of its strategy is the IRRP (Renewable energy programme), Hydrogen serves as a vehicle to leverage new green Renewable Energy Systems and decarbonise hard to abate sectors. In parallel, different sectors in South Africa are launching their own green strategies (e.g., Green Steel Strategy, Green Buildings Strategy), which will incorporate Hydrogen as a lever.

Economic growth from a hydrogen economy will be underpinned by job growth Economic growth enabled through the hydrogen economy will be underpinned by job growth along the entire value chain from blue collar through to white collar jobs. Millions of jobs will be available in South Africa by 2050 if we move in the direction of a hydrogen economy.

Technical and Vocational and Education and Training Colleges will be required to be front and centre in the building the skills ecosystem that will be responsible for producing the graduates required for the Hydrogen economy. Private sector will have work hand in hand with government so that together we can turn every hydrogen workplace into a training place as new entrants may be required as early as 2025.


From clean energy to climate solutions –a necessary transition for reaching net zero emission targets

Can switching to renewable energy solve climate change? More than 90% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are now covered under targets set by countries and corporations, after COP21 last year, and more than 700 of the world’s largest corporations have set Net Zero targets.

‘Net Zero’ will require us to address the emissions in everything we produce and everything we consume. Since fossil fuels are the largest form of emissions and since renewable energy is an effective way to largely address these emissions, governments and corporations have focussed on this as a silver bullet, setting bold goals for ‘100% renewables’ and ‘carbon neutral operations.’


However, based on current technology, these targets are currently not achievable economically, and this is sending managers and executives into a tailspin as they try to comply with lofty goals for which financially viable solutions have yet to be invented.

While a significant focus has been on decarbonising electricity generation by switching from fossil fuels to renewables, and from conventional to electric vehicles powered by renewables, this is but one portion and not the full picture of what needs to be done.

Technical and financial analyses have confirmed that we can get to around 25-50% renewable penetration of an energy system, which is in fact cheaper than relying on fossil fuels, and 60% is achievable with batteries.

However, beyond this threshold it starts to get terribly expensive – such oversizing of solar, wind and energy storage facilities is needed to reach 90-100% renewables production that this is neither practical nor viable with current technology.

Environmental impacts

In some cases, natural resources may allow for hydroelectric dams or hybrid solar CSP-PV plants to achieve very high penetrations of renewables. But hydroelectric projects – while good for emissions reduction – can have a negative impact on the environment and climate change mitigation, and can have a negative impact on ESG, as they often require the resettlement of local communities, while damaging local ecosystems.

As such, many corporates and governments

with net zero roadmaps are patchy and vague when it comes to real solutions that would achieve this target. It is possible that new types of batteries and ‘long duration’ energy storage may become commercially available and affordable enough to be deployed en masse, and green hydrogen costs may plummet, resulting in low carbon back-up power for renewables.

However, there is scepticism around how long it will take for these new technologies to be commercially available at scale and economically viable, not least due to recent rising supply chain costs and inflation.

As a consequence, engineers and financiers alike are beginning to embrace the notion that there must be more effective ways of mitigating carbon – while the technology to fully store and dispatch solar and wind – when the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing – is still being made commercially available. From a decarbonisation point of view, or from an affordable low carbon solution point of view, we are likely reaching the end of the road for a certain grouping of technologies and solutions and seeing the emergence of another – a transition from clean energy to climate tech and ‘nature-based’ solutions.

Nature-based carbon sinks Climate technology and climate solutions focus on a wider aspect, looking at reducing emissions by using nature-based carbon sinks, developing regenerative agricultural projects, using digital technology such as software and Artificial Intelligence to reduce emissions. This would enable us to improve our management, OPINION

production, and processes in such a way that we are able to “tread more lightly” on the planet.

Simply put, we need to plant trees. Rewilding, afforestation, reforestation, regenerative agriculture, bamboo farms, mangroves, and multipurpose coral reef facilitation – such projects have the potential to yield highly efficient carbon mitigation. Ultimately, such solutions could prove cheaper with a higher impact than other options, while boosting Environmental, Social and Governance ratings, and often creating sustainable jobs for local communities.

To date, ‘carbon offsets’ have picked up flak, because there have been a number of sketchy projects that have been developed, and the technology and methodology for effectively monitoring and validating the carbon mitigation has been in some cases difficult to prove.

But carbon offsets are a business model to create a currency or value for (typically) naturebased on agriculturally based carbon mitigation projects, not the solution in itself. Corporates and governments have the opportunity to develop their own projects, sometimes using their land, with the objective of rehabilitating or restoring it, in addition to switching from fossil fuels to renewables.

Some climate solutions can thus address social, environmental and emissions challenges for organisations and by value-stacking these benefits, they can solve several challenges at once by linking these solutions.

Renewable energy is the first phase of the net zero journey and has in most cases been the first phase of global corporate response to climate change. But there are many other ways to mitigate carbon, with new technologies and solutions becoming available.

So, as we reach higher levels of renewable energy installation, we also need to look at newer opportunities, and integrate these together with renewables.

Cresco Group’s Decarbonisation Solutions provide clients with up-to-date Net Zero strategies based on advanced financial evaluation and strategic analysis of the latest decarbonisation technologies and solutions. Their expertise is in enabling clients to achieve energy savings and progress on their decarbonisation goals in a structured and responsible manner. They leverage their unique experience to identify the fine line between achieving optimal cost savings and identifying where a client will be confronted with a green premium. This is crucial for clients that are increasingly adopting renewable energy, storage, green hydrogen, and other renewable energy solutions for their Net Zero strategy. They engage deeply with key financial stakeholders, including climate finance, to ease these green premiums and enable clients to truly progress towards sustainable Net Zero pathways, customised for their organisation and specific operations.

Dominic Goncalves, Senior Associate, Decarbonisation Solutions at Cresco Group

Green shoots for eThekwini’s manufacturing sector

eThekwini’s manufacturing clusters unlock growth and deliver jobs.

Since the onset of the pandemic, eThekwini Municipality has been driving the development of the manufacturing sector and now, many of the initiatives are ready to scale and are delivering positive results.

According to Takalani Rathiyaya, Head of the Economic Development Programmes Department at the eThekwini Municipality, supporting the growth of manufacturing is a strategic priority for the City. He says the link between manufacturing and economic growth is critical as manufacturing investments create jobs and inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

“For these reasons, manufacturing has been acknowledged as a powerful employment creator by national, provincial and local government and following this agenda, eThekwini has prioritised the development of the sector,” Takalani explains. “Though we are only a couple of years into our industrial recovery plan, we are seeing the first green shoots in harnessing the industry’s potential to create high-income jobs, boost upstream development of local businesses as well as benefit from the multiplier effect for both formal and informal workers.”

The eThekwini manufacturing sector is well established and KwaZulu Natal is in fact the second largest manufacturing presence in South Africa, contributing 21% to the national manufacturing GDP. The industry is also a force within the eThekwini Municipality GDP and contributed to

the City’s 4.9% growth in 2021 - 73% of which came from manufacturing, finance, business and trade.

“Manufacturing is responsible for 20% of the employment opportunities in eThekwini which translates to 176 000 jobs of which 83% are semi-skilled,” says Takalani. “Unemployment in the City is however sitting at 26% so, through various initiatives, we are striving to deepen the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector to create attractive and high-paying jobs.”

To help deliver its goals, eThekwini has over the past five years established and continues to support four active manufacturing clusters that collectively have over 200 member firms.


Through the Durban Chemicals Cluster, Durban Automotive Cluster, KZN Clothing and Textiles Cluster and the eThekwini Furniture Cluster, the Municipality is supporting a variety of initiatives that are proving to be powerful levers to unlock manufacturing growth. “Through extensive research with the member companies in the clusters, we have been able to identify the key challenges faced by local manufacturers,” says Takalani. “By creating interventions that directly impact Skills and SME development, the sharing of international best practices and promoting transformation through leadership development, we have had some major wins that have supported manufacturing growth and job creation.”

A flagship initiative has been the clusterspecific Business Accelerators. Through these Programmes, a total of 45 black-owned SMEs have established commercial agreements with leading manufacturers, delivering R3,6 million new market opportunities and 250 new jobs.

“Based on the success of our Business Accelerators, we are making step changes so that by 2025 we will be supporting 2 000 SMEs and will have enabled 200 new commercial agreements with the formal manufacturing sector,” Takalani adds.

Another area where the Clusters have been active is in the upskilling of the City’s youth.

“In collaboration with our member companies, we have developed numerous Skills Development programmes to attract new entrants to the sector. With over 400 learners busy with these skillsspecific courses, we are successfully creating a pipeline of new talent,” Takalani adds.

Takalani says that due to the popularity of these programmes, the manufacturing Clusters with their current resources are set to train 1 500 learners over the next three years.

Takalani goes on to say that in addition to the work being done in Skills Development and Transformation, the Clusters are to be commended

Manufacturing is responsible for 20% of the employment opportunities in eThekwini which translates to 176 000 jobs of which 83% are semi-skilled.

for the extensive work that’s been done to bring international best practices to local companies. He explains: “Advanced technologies have been developed to help our member companies identify their weaknesses through benchmarking so they can improve productivity using worldclass manufacturing best practices, giving them the opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.”

As a result of all these initiatives, the manufacturing Clusters are now delivering scalable results. “There is, however, still more to be done to ensure that the sector delivers on its role to provide the City with long-term economic stability and job creation,” Takalani concludes. MANUFACTURING
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Articles inside

Green shoots for eThekwini’s manufacturing sector

pages 96-100

From clean energy to climate solutions – a necessary transition for reaching net zero emission targets

pages 92-95

Inclusive hydrogen economy – an enabler to SA’s economic recovery

pages 88-91

Why businesses are turning to renewables to make a positive impact on the world

pages 86-87

Advertorial: Kannaway

pages 78-79

Addressing gender diversity challenges to fast track the growth of the renewables energy sector

pages 82-85

Equal pay but unequal taxes – SA women carry a greater tax burden

pages 67-69

The four-day work week for SA?

pages 80-81

The impact of ‘localisation initiatives’ on trade and investment

pages 70-73

Advertorial: MTN SA Foundation empowers women in digital business

pages 62-63

SA retailers need to adapt to the declining middle-class

pages 60-61

Proximity bias: new threat to gender transformation in the workplace

pages 56-59

Top tips for SMEs: Remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market

pages 48-51

Significant changes to transformation in the

pages 54-55

Technological advancements enable growth for small businesses

pages 52-53

OMRON explains how to achieve sustainable manufacturing

pages 44-47

How any business can innovate with what it already has

pages 42-43

Effective fleet management needed to make

pages 40-41

SANRAL sorts out SA’s potholes

pages 36-39

Tackling South Africa’s port challenges

pages 18-21

Boost for women in logistics, transport and supply chain

pages 26-27

Impact of unmaintained roads & increasing costs on the road freight and logistics industry

pages 32-33

The future of South Africa’s railway sector

pages 16-17

Rail policy direction pushes economic advancement

pages 34-35

In a challenging trade environment proactivity and innovation are essential

pages 28-31

Prevention measures crucial to tackling risk

pages 22-25


pages 12-15
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