Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

Page 1


President Ramaphosa’s 2024 SONA




Lebogang Mulaisi COO, Presidential Climate Commission

TRAILBLAZER Ronald Lamola Minister of Justice


2 0 2 4




Employment probation The do’s and don’ts




Editorial 28 | Beneficial Ownership Registry

Boosting transparency by keeping beneficial ownership records

30 | Aligning qualifications frameworks

What the OQSF Policy transition means for businesses

36 | Top study fields

The search for highly skilled professionals

38 | Agriculture

Agriculture in SA is flourishing and growing the economy

40 | World Wetlands Day

Celebrating South Africa’s wetlands

42 | Dr Luthando Dziba


Leading conservationist appointed to protect Africa’s wild spaces


32 | Corporate Social Investment in SA

Striving for meaningful societal impact

34 | Social Justice and Inclusion in SA

Creating the world we want to live in


10 | Addressing The Nation

Attracting the right skills to grow the economy

12 | Cover Story

The key takeaways and numbers from the State of the Nation 2024

22 | Women in Leadership

Lebogang Mulaisi, Chief Operations Officer for the Presidential Climate Commission

26 | Trailblazer

Hon. Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

44 | In Other News

World cancer awareness campaigns

4 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

32 46 | Regional Focus

Mpumalanga: The place of the rising sun

50 | Legal Matters

Managing the delicate process of termination within the probationary period

52 | Financial Fitness

10 tips to help you save in the new year

54 | Upcoming Events

February is social justice month



he National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) ensures the orderly development of the energy sector, mainly through licensing, setting and approving of prices and tariffs, compliance monitoring and enforcement, and dispute resolution in the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipelines industries. NERSA endeavours to be more innovative and agile in ensuring that we continue to make a valuable contribution to the socio-economic development and prosperity of the people of South Africa, by regulating the energy industry in accordance with government laws, policies, standards and international best practices in support of sustainable development. NERSA is a regulatory authority established as a juristic person in terms of section 3 of the National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004). NERSA’s mandate

Zandile Mpungose Deputy Chairperson

is to regulate the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipelines industries in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006), Gas Act, 2001 (Act No. 48 of 2001) and Petroleum Pipelines Act, 2003 (Act No. 60 of 2003). NERSA’s mandate is further derived from written government policies and regulations issued by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. NERSA is expected to perform the necessary regulatory actions in anticipation of and/or in response to the changing circumstances in the energy industry. The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy appoints Members of the Energy Regulator, comprising Part-Time (Non-Executive) and Full-Time (Executive) Regulator Members, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Energy Regulator is supported by staff under the direction of the CEO.

Muzi Mkhize Full-Time Regulator Member: Petroleum Pipelines

Nhlanhla Gumede Full-Time Regulator Member: Electricity

Fungai Sibanda Part-Time Regulator Member

Thembani Bukula Chairperson

Adv Nomalanga Sithole Chief Executive Officer and Full-Time Regulator Member

Thembeka Semane Part-Time Regulator Member

Nomfundo Maseti Full-Time Regulator Member: Piped-Gas

Kulawula House, 526 Madiba Street, Arcadia, 0083 PO Box 40343, Arcadia, 0007 Tel: +27 (0)12 401 4600 | Fax: +27 (0)12 401 4700 | Email: | Website:



Precious Sibiya Part-Time Regulator Member



52 CREDITS PUBLIC SECTOR LEADERS The Digimag For Leaders In The South African Public Sector Fully Accredited Member of ABC

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6 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

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Letter from the


Welcome to the February edition of Public Sector Leaders (PSL)


Day and in Legal Matters you will find all you need to know about employment contracts and probation. Our bouquet of features includes an overview of wetlands in South Africa and a leading conservationist protecting Africa’s wild spaces.

n his letter to the nation, penned on 11th December, President Cyril Ramaphosa took the opportunity to focus on the necessity of growing South Africa’s skills base in order to grow the economy. “A review report published last year found that South Africa’s available labour supply ‘does not match demand from companies which are essentially looking to employ managementlevel personnel, professionals, engineers, technicians, science and maths educators, as well as IT experts’. This means that, at least in the short-term, many of these high-level skills must be sourced internationally,” – H.E. Ramaphosa. In this February edition of PSL we unpack the key takeaways and highlights of SONA 2024. Our Woman in Leadership this month is COO of the Presidential Climate Commission, Lebogang Mulaisi who firmly believes that “urgent action can turn the tide on the impacts of climate change, to the benefit and the survival of our planet as a whole,” – something we all need to get on board with as is evidenced by the sweltering heat and raging fires currently bedevilling the country. Our Trailblazer is Hon. Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services who has

Staying grounded we focus on the agricultural sector and its contribution to the economy. If you or your business/department are involved in occupational training, then the article on the gazetting of the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF) Policy under the National Qualification Framework will be crucial reading, because the end of June this year will be the last time learners can enrol on the pre-2009 standards, with the cut off date for registration having passed at the end of June 2023. hit the ground running since his appointment on May 29, 2019. He has already visited courts and prisons across the country. Added to his to-do list is driving land reform. We have some great content for you as 2024 gets underway; in our regular slots, the Regional Focus takes a look at the environmentally magnificent Mpumalanga; In Other News we take a sobering look at the realities of World Cancer

From all of us at Public Sector Leaders, we wish you an energised, fulfilling, flourishing new year ahead. We hope you enjoy the read.


February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 9


Attracting the right skills to grow the economy

10 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024


n his letter to the nation, written on 12 February, President Ramaphosa focused on attracting skills that will enable growth and reflected that, to succeed in the fast-paced, ever-changing global economy, South Africa needs people with the appropriate skills

“As a country, we have invested much in producing these skills, from significantly expanding access to higher education, introducing digital programmes in TVET colleges and a shift to a new pay-for-performance approach to skills development. “However, it will take some time before we will be able to produce enough skilled people to enable our country to grow rapidly. “A review report published last year found that South Africa’s available labour supply ‘does not match demand from companies which are essentially looking to employ management-level personnel, professionals, engineers, technicians, science and maths educators, as well as IT experts’. This means that, at least in the short-term, many of these high-level skills must be sourced internationally,” – H.E. Ramaphosa. His Excellency went on to refer to the draft amendments, published last week for public comment by the Department of Home Affairs, on existing immigration regulations

that will significantly boost efforts to attract workers with critical skills to South Africa. The draft amendments deal with two visa categories: a remote working visa and the critical skills visa. “The introduction of a remote working visa responds to the rapidly evolving world of work, where increasing numbers of skilled workers, notably in the tech industry, are attracted by the lifestyle benefits of working from a remote location. It also caters to socalled digital nomads, who are able to work virtually from any location in the world. A remote worker who wants to work in South Africa while being employed by a foreign company will be able to receive such a visa. “The draft regulations propose the introduction of a points system for critical skills visas that will take into account factors such as age, qualifications, language skills, work experience and having an offer of employment, amongst others.

for corporate employers under a ‘Trusted Employer Scheme’, whereby a company looking to employ skilled foreign workers would be vetted and approved in advance to reduce the administrative burden for visa applications. “With South Africa fast becoming an increasingly attractive destination for industries like business process outsourcing and customer experience, attracting more skilled workers will be important. Last year, for example, a leading international strategic advisory firm ranked South Africa second as the most favoured offshore customer experience delivery destination globally. Since 2016, government has invested more than R3-billion towards supporting the growth and expansion of business process outsourcing, and is targeting the creation of approximately 500,000 jobs in the sector by 2030.

“The publication of the new draft regulations is part of our ongoing drive to reform the country’s visa system, making it easier to attract the skills our economy needs and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. An efficient, agile, responsive visa regime is key to attracting business investment and boosting economic growth,” – President Ramaphosa.

“In line with our ongoing efforts to attract higher levels of investment and promote job creation, the new work visa regulations are a milestone. They are part of highimpact structural reforms we are undertaking to improve the business operating environment. They send a clear signal to business that we are committed to attracting skills that meet the demands of a modern, inclusive and growing economy,” – President Ramaphosa.

In October 2023, the Department of Home Affairs released guidelines

Sources: The Presidency

February 2024 Public Sector Leaders | 11


Three decades of progress and the road ahead The State of the Nation Address 2024

12 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024


e have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. This was the message which came out of His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, the last of the 6th administration. This year’s speech comes as the country celebrates 30 years of democracy, reflecting on the successes and failures, examining the weaknesses and acknowledging the strengths. Job creation, economic growth, transformation, solving the energy and logistics challenges, bringing education and healthcare to the masses - these were focus areas of the President’s speech as he gave an overview of the progress made in overcoming the difficulties COVID-19, geopolitical tensions, climate change and natural disasters have presented during his first term.

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 13


“This is the beginning of a new era. We have moved from an era of pessimism, division, limited opportunities, turmoil and conflict. We are starting a new era of hope, reconciliation and nation building.” – Former President Nelson Mandela after casting his ballot in 1994 THE STORY OF TINTSWALO “Over the last three decades, we have been on a journey, striving together to achieve a new society - a national democratic society,” said President Ramaphosa, placing the speech in the context of South African history. He spoke of the last 30 years with an eye on the positive developments but did not waver from acknowledging what still needs to be done, and the stumbling blocks, both locally and internationally. “Just as we cannot deny the progress South Africans have made over the last 30 years, nor should we diminish the severe challenges that we continue to face.” “Much of the task of this administration was to get our country through these great challenges and to work to regain our way,” said the President, after outlining the turbulent events of the past 5 years. “While each of these events has left its mark, our country has weathered every storm. Yes, we have the scars to show. But in every case South Africans have been resolute. We have not only persevered, but we have come back stronger and more determined.” To describe the successes of the last 30 years, His Excellency used the analogy of “democracy’s child”, Tintswalo – which is a Xitsonga name that refers to the gratitude offered to one who has given you a gift. In this instance, the gift is

the fruits of our democracy and the social impact it has had through the various services and opportunities provided to people in post-Apartheid South Africa. Tintswalo’s life begins with the birth of our democracy, with a constitution recognised around the world for the wide nature of its inclusive and transformative philosophical foundations. Here the rule of law and the conception of human rights has opened up a society in which dignity and compassion are at the heart of the state’s mission. In the early years of the country’s democracy, free healthcare, housing, basic water and electricity, free education, social grants, employment equity and economic empowerment became the cornerstones of the government’s approach to fulfilling their mandate. “This is the story of millions of people who have been born since the dawn of democracy. But it is only part of the story. For despite the remarkable achievements of the last 30 years, many of democracy’s children still face great challenges.” 10 KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM SONA 2024 1. The public sector still has a significant role to play in job creation through mass employment

14 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

2. Rooftop solar capacity installed in the past year has more than doubled thanks to tax incentives and financial support from the state 3. The Northern Cape has attracted billions in investment for solar projects 4. We’re making progress in the fight against corruption and the recovery of billions in stolen funds 5. The employment rate has risen above pre-COVID levels 6. The state has embraced renewable energy and strides have been made through public-private partnerships 7. While there has been major investment into the economy, we still need more to make the just transition a reality and to solve our energy and logistics crisis 8. The percentage of executive management positions held by black people is almost five times higher than it was at the dawn of democracy 9. The backlog at the Port of Durban is rapidly declining 10. High speed rail is on the way with Johannesburg-Durban first up Sources: fact-checks/reports/democracyschild-fact-checking-south11. african-cyril-ramaphosas-2024 | za/ | politics/2024-02-09-poll--didthe-story-of-tintswalo-resonatewith-you

SONA IN NUMBERS Job creation

1.6 million

The number of young people who have found opportunities through

1 million

The number of school assistants placed in 23 000 schools

4.3 million

The number of young people engaged in the

1.7 million

The number of work and livelihood opportunities created through the Presidential Employment Stimulus

Fighting crime, corruption and GBV R4.8-billion

The amount of unpaid taxes collected by SARS

R21 --

The amount allocated to implement the National Strategic Plan on GenderBased Violence



The number of state capture related cases being prosecuted

The value of the civil litigation cases instituted by the Special Investigating Unit

285 000

The number of arrests made through SAPS’ Operation Shanela since May 2023

20 000

The number of police officers recruited in the past two years


The amount corrupt proceeds returned to the state

R14-billion The value of freezing orders related to state capture instituted by the Asset Forfeiture Unit February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 15


Health, education and social development

7 690 106

The number of Social Relief of Distress grants paid in March 2023

13 067 314

The number of child support grants paid at the end of 2023


The percentage of persons diagnosed with HIV who know their status


65 years

The pass rate for class of 2023, the highest ever

Life expectancy in 2023 up from 54 years in 2003


The percentage of persons diagnosed with HIV who know their status and are receiving antiretroviral treatment

Solving the energy crisis R240-billion

The value of investment pledges towards the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan


The number of private projects in development

16 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

2 500 MW

The amount of solar and wind power connected to the grid

14 000 km

The scale of transmission lines to be built for renewable energy

Investment and economic transformation R1.5-trillion

The value of new investment commitments

1 000+

The number of black industrialists supported by the state

200 000

The number of workers who have obtained ownership shares


6 million

The number of workers whose wages were raised through the National Minimum Wage

The percentage of farmland owned by black South Africans

39% The percentage of R500-billion

black ownership in mining

The value of investments from the South African Investment Conferences already flowing through the economy

90 000+

The number of workers supported by black industrialists

R120-billion The value of the projects instituted in the past five years for SANRAL’s network

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 17


Motheo TVET College

National Artisan Development Academy


his facility is dedicated to the youth of South Africa, the employed and unemployed who are ready to qualify as artisans.

In a society where access to education and employment opportunities is often limited, the establishment of National Artisan Development Academy at Motheo TVET College is a beacon of hope for out-of-school youth. Spearheaded by our visionary College Principal, Prof Dipiloane Phutsisi, this initiative aims to fast-track the development and provision of artisans in line with the National Skills Development Strategy’s target of producing 30 000 artisans by 2030. Recognising the financial barriers that hinder many talented individuals from pursuing a career in the artisan field, Prof Phutsisi approached the Services SETA board in 2015 to seek funding for this ground-breaking project. The goal was to create an academy that would not only train and qualify artisans but also provide financial support to those

who are unable to afford the exorbitant costs associated with artisan qualifications.

College Principal, Prof Phutsisi, and the support of the Services SETA board.

The concept of the Artisan Academy received widespread support from stakeholders, including the Services SETA board, which committed a staggering R450-million to bring this vision to life. With this funding secured, the site handover took place on 1 October 2015, marking the beginning of a transformative journey for countless aspiring artisans. These funds procured land and buildings.

Motheo TVET College National Artisan Development Academy serves as a hub of excellence, providing state-of-the-art facilities and comprehensive training programmes to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their chosen trade. From electricians to plumbers, welders to carpenters, this academy nurtures talent and produces highly skilled artisans who will contribute to the growth and development of our nation.

Originally scheduled for completion in June 2019, the project faced some delays. However, despite these challenges, the Artisan Academy remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering out-of-school youth. Despite facing some delays along the way, we are proud to announce that the academy is now fully operational as of June 2022. This achievement would not have been possible without the unwavering commitment of our

20 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

The Artisan Academy is not just a physical space; it represents a transformative opportunity for those who have been overlooked by traditional educational pathways. By providing financial support and quality training, it aims to break the cycle of poverty and empower individuals to build successful and fulfilling careers. Total Capacity of ±1450 Learners per sitting.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the individuals and organisations who have played a significant role in realisation of the National Artisan Development Academy. First and foremost, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Free State Provincial Government, especially the late MEC Dr Tate Makgoe, for their continuous support and commitment to education. Their dedication to providing quality resources and facilities has greatly enhanced the learning experience for our students. I would also like to acknowledge the Mangaung Metro Municipality for their contribution. The collaboration with MerSeta has allowed us to have access to cutting-edge computer equipment, enabling our students to develop the necessary skills for the digital age. Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to FASSETA for their valuable support in promoting skills development and training within the financial and information communication

technology sectors and MICTSETA in ensuring that our college remains at the forefront of technology. Their partnership with our college has been instrumental in equipping our students with industry-relevant knowledge and expertise. I would also like to extend my thanks to the former Motheo TVET College Chairperson of the Council, Adv Xuma, and the former Chairperson of Services SETA board, Mr Mhambi, for their guidance and leadership. Their dedication to the advancement of our college has been truly inspiring. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Services SETA Management and Motheo TVET College staff. Their commitment to excellence in education has been the driving force behind our college’s success.

organisations that Motheo TVET College National Artisan Academy is now standing and in operation. Their support has not only contributed to the success of our college but has also empowered our students to achieve their goals and aspirations. Thank you all for your unwavering commitment to education and for making a difference in the lives of our students

Lastly, I would like to express my appreciation to my family for their unwavering support throughout this journey. Their encouragement and belief in me have been invaluable. In conclusion, it is through the collective efforts of these individuals and

OR Tambo Road Bloemfontein Free State

— Prof MDM Phutsisi Principal, Motheo TVET College

051 406 9300

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 21


Lebogang Mulaisi COO, The Presidential Climate Commission

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Lebogang Mulaisi: COO, The Presidential Climate Commission Urgent action can turn the tide on the impacts of climate change


ebogang Mulaisi, COO at the Presidential Climate Commission, is a trailblazer in the fight for environmental justice. As a labour commissioner at COSATU, she championed policy initiatives for a just transition to a low-carbon economy and her blueprint guides workers through this transition via collective bargaining. Her proudest moment came with her appointment to the National Development Agency Board by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2021, which is a testament to the fulfilment she finds in trade union activism—a journey that has not only far surpassed her initial expectations but one she never expected to contribute to society at the scale she does now. Lebogang, currently pursuing a PhD in economics at the University of Johannesburg, emphasises the importance of patience and self-compassion, believing there is no age limit to making a meaningful impact. “Be consistent and show up even when you don’t feel like it — it pays off in the end.”

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 23


In this exclusive interview, Lebogang talks about her role as the COO for the Climate Commission, the Commission’s mandate, and highlights some of its most memorable interventions or projects. THE ROLE As COO, Lebogang spearheads strategic planning for the PCC secretariat, ensuring cohesive alignment with annual plans. She actively manages team performance and facilitates professional development, providing guidance on effective governance. Additionally, she oversees comprehensive reporting to key stakeholders, including the Commission, the Presidency, NEDLAC, Parliament, and other essential entities. THE MANDATE The PCC, established by President Cyril Ramaphosa, operates as an independent statutory body with a multifaceted role in overseeing and facilitating a just and equitable transition towards a lowemissions and climate-resilient economy. The Commission’s key objectives include creating a social partnership for a just transition, defining a vision for this transition, conducting independent analysis on climate change impacts, monitoring progress toward goals, and engaging with diverse stakeholders across government, business, labour, academia, communities, and civil society. THE MOST MEMORABLE INTERVENTIONS/PROJECTS The Komati Recommendations report is Lebogang’s most impactful experience. Interactions

“Adhering to procedural justice is how we ensure fair wages during the transition to a low-carbon economy”

with the Komati community and workers began in January 2022 during the development of the national Just Transition Framework (JTF). These discussions addressed concerns about the closure and repurposing of the Komati Power Station, specifically focusing on the fairness of the process. This led to an investigation into the Komati process by President Ramaphosa, the PCC Chair, with a focus on justice outcomes.

YOUR FOCUS ON ENDING POVERTY THROUGH JOB CREATION IS EVIDENT. HOW DOES THE CLIMATE COMMISSION SUPPORT THIS GOAL, AND WHAT STEPS ENSURE FAIR WAGES DURING THE TRANSITION TO A LOW-CARBON ECONOMY? Lebogang explains that the JTF for South Africa highlights three principles of the just transition (Procedural, Distributive and Restorative justice). “Adhering to procedural justice is how we ensure fair wages during the transition to a low-carbon economy. Procedural justice ensures that through social dialogue with workers and their employers fair wages can be negotiated during processes of collective bargaining.”

“While the closure of the Komati coal power station was primarily due to economic reasons related to its age rather than the country’s decarbonisation agenda, it provides valuable insights for future Just Energy Transition (JET) projects in South Africa.”

THE PCC’S ELECTRICITY RECOMMENDATION SIGNALS A POTENTIAL STRUCTURAL SHIFT IN ELECTRICITY PLANNING FOR SOUTH AFRICA. WHAT COULD THIS MEANFOR LABOUR? The electricity recommendations propose a substantial investment in renewable energy and grid upgrades, emphasising alignment with the JJTF in electricity planning.

ANY ‘AHA’ MOMENTS AS COO? “Yes! My Aha moment culminates from my broad involvement in the Commission more broadly. I have come to the realisation that environmental considerations are going to be part of economic planning moving into the future. This means that entities like the PCC will become increasingly important moving into the future.”

This alignment aims to prioritise job benefits through industrial policy, economic diversification, labour market interventions for skills development, and worker support during the transition. Stakeholder engagements underscored the need for an increased focus on job creation by incentivising green industrial development, economic diversification, and localising key transition value chains,

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particularly in at-risk regions. Additionally, investing in human resource and skills development emerged as a top priority. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION POLICIES AT THE CLIMATE COMMISSION While it is evident that women are empowered to assume leadership roles, Lebogang emphasises that the PCC secretariat fosters a diverse culture with broad inclusion of various population groups. “As a young and vibrant organisation, we consciously recruit young people.” COLLABORATION IS KEY IN ADDRESSING THE CLIMATE CRISIS. CAN YOU SHARE EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIPS YOU HAVE FORMED ACROSS SECTORS TO ADVANCE THE CLIMATE COMMISSION’S GOALS? As a multi-stakeholder body with broad representation from business, government, local government, youth, faith based organisations, labour and civil society, it is the Commission’s mandate to partner with the stakeholders to deliver on a mandate of a just transition.

“It is through these engagements and partnerships, that the Commission is able to develop outputs that have been engaged upon by stakeholders, thus adopting recommendations that take into consideration the voices of stakeholders.” WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE COMING YEAR? “I am looking forward to more stakeholder engagements with the PCC’s broad stakeholder network especially on the just transition implementation plan that is the next step from the JTF.”

It is already with us!” Globally, extreme weather such as droughts and floods, uncertain rainfall and rising sea levels are experienced. “In South Africa we are seeing increasing floods in areas such as Gauteng and KZN. These changes to the climate are a threat to our health, jobs, and livelihoods. Urgent action can turn the tide on the impacts of climate change, to the benefit and the survival of our planet as a whole, “she concludes.

PLEASE SHARE A MESSAGE OF INSPIRATION WITH OUR READERS For Lebogang, climate change is not about changes in the weather in some distant future.

“Be consistent and show up even when you don’t feel like it — it pays off in the end.”

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 25


Hon. Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Driving reform


onourable Ronald Ozzy Lamola is the current Minister of Justice and an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member. He holds a Masters of Law in corporate law and extractive law, both obtained at the University of Pretoria and also acquired an LLM and a post-graduate certificate in telecommunications policy, regulation, and management from Wits.

Minister Lamola enjoys mountain biking, playing football to relax and spending time with his wife and 2-year-old son. He is also the youngest minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet. A LIVED EXPERIENCE OF THE CONSTITUTION “I have practised and lived the Constitution from early in my life

26 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

as an activist in the ANC and in actual practice. The Constitution is new, and all of us are still grappling with its interpretation. I am part of one of the first generations that was taught the Constitution in the current dispensation, so I believe it makes me the perfect candidate. I am also qualified to be a judge of any High Court in this country. I have accumulated enough years of practice, and now I can undergo judge training. If I’m qualified to be a judge, I also qualify to be a Minister of Justice.” And, it is clear that he is considered more than qualified. Over and above being re-elected to a seat on the ANC NEC in December 2022 and re-elected to the NWC in January 2023, two of its

most powerful structures, he was appointed to lead South Africa’s delegation to the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague in a bid to end the genocide currently taking place in Gaza. CAREER-DEFINING CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES Minister Lamola’s journey to becoming one of the country’s youngest Cabinet ministers involved student politics, active participation in the ANC’s youth structures, and a background in activism and radicalism. Despite facing challenges, including a suspension in 2011, Minister Lamola sees his time away as a ‘sabbatical’ during which he earned two master’s degrees in corporate law and extractive law in Africa. Publicly acknowledging his sister’s support, who sponsored his education through ‘black tax,’ he emphasises the importance of preparedness for the political challenges facing the younger generation in the ANC. Upon returning to the political scene, he served as thenDeputy President David Mabuza’s spokesperson, and established his own law firm. His language is measured with a lexicon indicative of a deep understanding and passion for politics, he however, prefers not to label himself a ‘comeback kid,’ emphasising the challenges and adversities he endured in the South African political arena. “It’s not like I’m just falling from heaven. I’ve been tried and tested

in the politics of the youth league, of the ANC and of the mass democratic movement and, in fact, it’s a delayed process. BUILDING POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS Growing up on a farm near Kruger National Park in Bushbuckridge, a remote area, Minister Lamola’s political awareness began in the early ‘90s at age 10. Radio news about Codesa peace talks ignited hope, shaping the future Minister of Justice and Correctional Services. His parents sent him to a small farm school initially, later moving to high school in Bushbuckridge and a pivotal moment came in 1996 when a teacher introduced the Constitution, sparking Minister Lamola’s activism against corporal punishment. AMBITIOUS PLANS Minister Lamola has hit the ground running since his appointment on May 29, 2019. He has already visited courts and prisons across the country. Added to his to-do list is driving land reform, a project he is passionate about due to observing his parents toiling on a farm they did not own while growing up. However, he emphasises that the land question is no longer solely about agriculture; the urban question also needs to be addressed. He bears the responsibility of overseeing the National Prosecuting Authority in his portfolio. His aim is to address the correctional services system and to “overhaul” the court system - a set of mammoth tasks!

Minister Lamola has hit the ground running since his appointment on May 29, 2019

WORDS OF CAUTION FOR A PROMISING FUTURE There are 155 000 inmates countrywide, and while plans are underway to make education compulsory in all prisons, Minister Lamola emphatically believes that prisoners should be equipped to support themselves upon release to prevent reoffending. “Whether you pursue matric, plumbing, or boiler making, we don’t want you to leave and cause chaos in our communities upon release,” he urged. “If I find your parole request, I would reject it if you haven’t equipped yourself because it would mean you are a liability, even if psychologists say you are rehabilitated,” he concluded. He emphasised that this approach also aims to dispel widely held narratives that prisons are breeding grounds for criminality. In response to whether he could one day become president, as some have predicted, he said, “No, I don’t know! I mean, I can’t be prophetic. We will see. Time will tell.” Source |South African Government | News24 | Business Day

February 24 | Public Sector Leaders | 27


On the record Beneficial ownership registry to boost transparency


outh Africa’s greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2022 sparked a wave of ongoing reforms aimed at strengthening the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policies and mechanisms. One of these is an amendment of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, which came into effect in April last year with far-reaching implications.

In effort to bring more transparency and accountability, organisations whether they be profit-making, NPOs or even non-exempt SOEs - are now obliged to file beneficial ownership information with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) as part of their annual returns to avoid de-registration. “Companies and close corporations are required to file Beneficial Ownership Information within 10 business days of its registration, and thereafter as and when such changes occur, but at least once

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a year with its Annual Return filing,” reads the CIPC’s Notice 67 of 2023. In an effort to reduce the likelihood of people holding hidden interests, and to assist law enforcement agencies in their investigations, the CIPC is keeping a record of all people with control over legal entities. “The new regulations empowers [sic] government bodies such as SARS to go through your ownership structures with a fine tooth comb and take you to task,” explains Company Partners, which offers organisations assistance with company registration. “Before these new regulations, companies were not required to disclose their Beneficial Ownership or shareholding information to entities like the CIPC. These issues were treated as confidential matters and were managed internally by the company through its share register, shareholder agreements and the like.”

For both a PTY and a close corporation, anyone holding 5% or more of the shares is considered a beneficial owner. But what is a beneficial owner? According to Company Partners: “A Beneficial owner in respect of a company, means an individual who, directly or indirectly, ultimately owns that company or exercises effective control of that company.” The FATF report found that South Africa scored poorly in several areas, including identifying terrorism financing and reporting on suspicious transactions. Following the report, cabinet established an intergovernmental task team to deal with the identified weaknesses and ensure greater collaboration between law enforcement agencies. The FATF is an international body developing policies to combat money laundering and other financial crimes. The organisation is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. As an inter-governmental body, the FATF sets the international standards for preventing financial crimes and other illegal activities. South Africa is particularly at risk for financial crime due to its position as a regional financial hub for sub-Saharan Africa - particularly for the laundering of both domestic and foreign crime proceeds and terrorism financing. The widespread use of cash is a high risk for money laundering and terrorist financing, including across borders. More than half of South Africa’s transactions still take place in cash. Detecting and recovering cash proceeds of crime remains a challenge for local law enforcement.


Ken Blanchard


Blanchard South Africa The Heart of Human AchievementTM

lanchard® (formerly The Ken Blanchard Companies®), a global leader in the training and development space, was founded in 1979 by Ken and Margie Blanchard and six of their like-minded friends.They all shared a similar vision and focus on making a difference and challenging conventional business wisdom to create a more just and equitable world. In 1982, the company was propelled into the limelight when Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson collaborated on and published their blockbuster leadership book, The One Minute Manager®. Instantly becoming a New York Times best seller, it was eventually translated into 47 languages. From here, the company’s growth was exponential, expanding into Europe in the 1990s. Its solutions range was augmented with new programmes on leadership and coaching.

In 2014, the Blanchard Institute, a non-profit organisation, was born with the vision to use Blanchard’s c ontent and intellectual property to adapt and tailor leadership training programmes and offer them free of charge to middle school and high school students and teachers.

others”. It reminds us that “I am what I am because of what we all are”.

In 2022, Blanchard South Africa was co-founded by Jayson Naidoo and Vivien Katzav, both revered servant leaders with a wealth of experience in learning and development. These two individuals embody the tagline of the company—The Heart Of Human AchievementTM—because people are at the core of everything they do. Blanchard South Africa’s values of being true, being kind, and transforming together form the background of all the training and leadership development programmes the company offers. These values subscribe to the spirit of Ubuntu – an African word meaning “humanity to

Of Blanchard’s many brilliant, robust, and researched-backed products that the South African and African markets can look forward to, SLII®, currently the most widely used leadership training programme in the world, is the company’s flagship solution. SLII® is far more than a powerful leadership training programme. It teaches leaders how to build meaningful connections with coworkers that create exponential impact. When this happens, employees are more productive and engaged. And when the heart of an employee is engaged, both the individual and the organisation excel. In the words of company founder, Ken Blanchard, “Leadership is not something you do to people, but something you do with people.”

For more information, scan the QR code below.

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 29


Roland Innes Group CEO, DYNA Training

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Aligning Qualifications Frameworks

who says, “This creates a dilemma for organisations that had planned to enrol learners in these programmes.” He explains that this misalignment will affect skills development with organisations having to rethink their workforce planning and understand the effect the transition will have on skills development scorecards. “Failure to adapt to the new landscape in time could result in penalties, negatively impacting a company’s overall scorecard and its ability to achieve its skills development goals.”

What the OQSF Policy transition means for businesses


n education circles it’s often said that “qualifications are not jobs” but, as the CEO of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), Vijayen Naidoo explained in the Mail & Guardian last year, “Occupational Qualifications are designed to link directly with the workplace with the explicit intent that “qualifications lead to jobs”’. He was reflecting on the gazetting of the Occupational Qualifications SubFramework (OQSF) Policy, under the National Qualification Framework in late October 2021.

The end of June this year will be the last time learners can enrol on the pre-2009 standards, with the cutoff date for registration having passed at the end of June 2023. The policy has been hailed as a gamechanger. Before 2021, Occupational Qualifications fell under Occupational Certificates. Vijayen explains how the terminology used in the OQSF did not align with other frameworks in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This is no longer the case. “The change is far more than cosmetic, however, as with these changes in terminology come a raft of improvements and optimisations to the occupational training system,” he

writes. This has also opened up room for skills programmes which were part of the education landscape before but more ad-hoc in nature, being driven by the various SETAs. “While they have always carried valuable skills and training, these sorts of programmes have not attracted recognition and were not designed systematically,” says Vijayen. “With the formal incorporation of Skills Programmes into the OQSF, it allows for this type of micro-qualification to be systematically designed, rapidly developed and provided to learners and the labour market, and for these programmes to carry recognition that allows a holder of a Skills Programme to receive recognition towards a full Qualification if they choose to.” These changes actualise the objectives of the NQF, which encompass not only the development of individuals but the country as a whole. BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESSES? The transition presents a few challenges one of which is the disparity between what the NQF offers and the programmes available in the OQSF, as outlined by DYNA Training Group CEO, Roland Innes

Roland stresses that organisations need to focus on finding alternatives, even if they differ from what they’re used to.

“Qualifications lead to jobs” The OQSF Policy transition and what it means for businesses

“The potential tax benefits associated with learnerships remain uncertain and may be subject to changes that organisations will need to track closely. In responding to the transition, training providers must play a decisive role, actively engaging with clients, identifying gaps in qualification alignment, and presenting viable options.” Even with the 30 June 2027 deadline for learnerships to be completed, as Roland says, the time to plan and implement is now. Sources: Mail & Guardian | DHET

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 31


Corporate Social Investment in South Africa Striving for meaningful societal impact


riven by a moral commitment to foster positive social change, South African companies are evolving their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) efforts. The majority of their R11.8-billion corporate social investment (CSI) in 2023 was directed toward supporting nonprofit organisations (NPOs). This marks a significant increase of R0.9-billion (8.26%) from the estimated R10.9-billion spent on CSI allocations in the 2022 financial year.

CSI SECTOR FOCUS: EDUCATION, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND FOOD SECURITY The focus is on achieving systemic impact through collaboration, research, networking, and thought leadership, even in the face of government budget cuts. The primary areas of emphasis in the development sector - education, social and community development, and food security and agriculture have remained consistent.

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Unlike the trends observed in the United States, where 25% of CSI spending is allocated to health and social services on average, South African companies dedicate only 6% on average to the health sector in 2023. Although there has been a slight decrease in support for education, it remains a top priority for local companies, with an increase in average spending.

Education • Support declined from 98% in 2022 to 78% in 2023 • Average spending increased from 44% to 48% Social and Community Development • Supported by 74% of companies • Average allocation is 13% of CSI • Food Security and Agriculture • Supported by 60% of companies • Average allocation is 9% of CSI SECTOR ALLOCATION TRENDS: HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, AND NPOS Social and community development retained strong backing from almost three-quarters of companies, with no change from the previous year, allocating a significant portion of their CSI in this realm. Similarly, food security and agriculture continued to receive notable support from 60% of companies in 2023. Health • South African companies allocate only 6% of CSI • Support dropped from 43% in 2022 to 38% in 2023 • Environmental Causes • Receive 3% of CSI on average • 37% of companies claim support • NPOs • Primary recipients, with 84% of companies directing 63% of their spend to NPOs in 2023

DIVERSE FUNDING CHANNELS: NPOS, INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISES NPOs continued to be vital, with schools, universities, hospitals, and government institutions being the second most common funding channel.

management, with a significant portion opting for a separate legal entity.

• These institutions received allocations from 57% of companies, with an average allocation of 19% of their CSI expenditure • Support for social enterprises has increased significantly, rising from 17% in 2022 to 28% in 2023 • Social enterprises now receive an average of 5% of CSI expenditure

CSI & TECH INTEGRATION AI adoption was limited, with only a small percentage of companies and NPOs investing in AI for core operations and an even smaller proportion incorporating AI for CSI work.

ALIGNMENT WITH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) AND CSI OPERATIONS Many companies aligned their CSI with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an average of 5.6 SDGs. • 63% integrated their CSI with SDGs The prevailing approach for CSI operations was internal

• 71% managed CSI operations internally • 56% opted for a separate legal entity

• 35% of companies invested in AI for core operations • 15% of NPOs invested in AI for core operations • 10% of companies invested in AI for CSI work This holistic overview showcases the dynamic landscape of CSI in South Africa, where companies strive for meaningful and impactful contributions to societal development.

Sources: TheGoodNews | Bizcommunity

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ince 2009, February 20th has been designated as the “World Day of Social Justice” by the UN, focusing on observing and highlighting global social injustices, addressing issues such as poverty, exclusion, employment, gender equity, and access to social well-being and justice for everyone.

UPHOLDING SOCIAL JUSTICE: A CALL FOR ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES AND INCLUSIVE PROGRESS While some progress has been made, South Africa still grapples with challenges related to human rights and discrimination. “From the moment of conception, social justice has been perceived as an anchor for peaceful coexistence. However, the exploration of fairness and justice has not always fully embraced the humanity of all, particularly regarding race, gender, and class diversity, and related equity — which is why we continue to grapple with it.” – Prof. Thuli Madonsela, the Law Trust Chair in Social Justice and Law Professor at the University of Stellenbosch.

Social justice and economic inclusion: Where is South Africa? Creating the world you want to live in 34 | Public Sector Leaders | February 2024

In her keynote address at the Business in Society Conference, Prof. Madonsela, South Africa’s former Public Protector, cautioned against contradictory practices among companies. She criticised companies that engage in charitable acts while simultaneously underpaying workers or overcharging customers, urging businesses to view corporate social responsibility beyond scoring black empowerment points. “The generosity of strangers” displayed in CSI, often life changing, should not be linked to scoring black empowerment points, she said “It should be about creating the world you want to live in.”

“It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that no one is left behind because hungry people are angry people,” Madonsela warned. INAUGURAL SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMIT AND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE In her report on the 2019 Inaugural Social Justice Summit and International Conference, Prof. Madonsela opened with a profound truth: “As long as there is injustice somewhere, there cannot be sustainable peace anywhere.” Delegates, united in pursuing a Musa Plan for Social Justice (Social Justice M-Plan), aimed to leverage the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to eliminate structural inequality and eradicate poverty by 2030 through collaborative focus plans for 2023-4. In her closing remarks, Prof. Madonsela expressed a sincere hope that the report’s contents would contribute to accelerated progress on social justice. POVERTY About 18.2-million people in South Africa lived in extreme poverty in 2023, surviving on R34.84 per day. This marked an increase of 162 859 compared to 2022 and if this trend continues, over 19.1-million South Africans could be living in abject poverty by 2030. URGENT FOCUS ON HUNGER: COLLABORATIVE INITIATIVES BY BUSINESSES AND CIVIL SOCIETY The 5th International Social Justice Conference and Summit in October 2023, hosted by the Centre for Social Justice at Stellenbosch University (SU) under Prof. Madonsela’s leadership showcased global and local initiatives. These

ranged from addressing hunger to advocating for land redistribution and inclusive business ownership. The consensus was that businesses need to shift focus to tackle societal challenges and foster an ecosystem benefiting everyone. Prof. Madonsela stressed that businesses and society’s crucial roles extend beyond Corporate Social Responsibility, affecting core operations and practices, rooted in legal, moral, and strategic obligations, akin to Ubuntu principles. The upcoming year’s focus will be on hunger. Collaborative efforts guided by the Musa Plan for Social Justice, aims to expedite progress towards Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in ending hunger through research, collaboration, and innovation. OUTSTANDING COMPANIES LEADING THE WAY South African companies like Woolworths, for instance, embraced the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles as far back as 2014, promoting gender equality; and, through its advertising, Nando’s champions LGBTQ+ rights and challenges stereotypes. Anglo American prioritises environmental sustainability, labour rights, and community development. Standard Bank, Naspers, MTN, Capitec and Gold Fields have been listed as some of the best ethical companies in South Africa. While acknowledging the positive impact of local companies, there was also a notable surge in foreign direct investment to R53.8-billion in 2023Q2, up from 0.5-billion rand in 2023Q1. This increase was attributed to the

acquisition of local beverage company Distell by the non-resident Dutch brewing firm HEINEKEN (HEIN.AS) in September 2023. HEINEKEN’s entry into the South African market is significant, given its longstanding dedication to social justice and inclusion, evident since its beginning and the merging of their brands. At the heart of this dedication is their worldwide ‘Brew a Better World’ strategy, a fundamental element of the company’s strategic priorities. HEINEKEN strives to create a deep sense of belonging for its 80 000+ global employees, cultivating a network of over 100 inclusion and diversity ambassadors. These ambassadors work closely with local leadership teams to develop action plans addressing specific local challenges, ensuring ongoing progress in areas like culture, race, gender, disability, access, and more. This comprehensive approach extends to their operations in South Africa, covering breweries, offices, and employees across the country. Such collective efforts contribute to shaping a more just and equitable South Africa for all. Nelson Mandela, in his book “A Long Walk to Freedom,” poignantly states, “The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Stellenbosch University | Stats SA | AskTraders| | Grainsa

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 35


The search for highly skilled professionals Top study fields


t the start of each year, a new cohort embarks on a journey to obtain the skills necessary to secure their place in the workforce. Yet despite these young minds entering higher learning opportunities, many South African companies still face a shortage of skills in the workplace.

Estimates suggest that as many as 78% of South African employers have difficulty finding digitally skilled workers. With predictions saying that over 230 million jobs will require digital expertise by 2030, these digitally skilled workers will become increasingly in demand. But the technology sector is not the only one with a skills gap. According to the 2023 South African Salary Survey, published by professional recruitment firm Robert Walters, the landscape for professionals has shifted, with both employers and employees looking for different qualities from each other in a post-COVID world.

Employers are in need of highly qualified professionals and specialist skills, while employees are looking for a workplace that supplies flexible working hours, good pay and strong company culture. The survey found that South African businesses are in dire need of skills across almost every sector. A NEED FOR HIGHLY SKILLED PROFESSIONALS South African businesses have long warned that they struggled with a shortage of IT skills. These skills are in demand globally, and local professionals are often recruited to work remotely for international companies. This shortage in IT professionals comes at a time when many companies are in the process of digital migration, and most employees require education to adapt to increasingly digital workplaces. Among the fields most in demand in the IT space are cyber security, big data analytics, DevOps, artificial intelligence, application development,

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data management, test automation and performance testing, the internet of things, and connectivity. Data science skills are in high demand not only in the technology sector but also in other sectors such as media and entertainment, financial services, and professional services, said Absa. Another report, this one by recruitment group Michael Page, highlights that there is a strong demand for specific professionals, especially as international companies poach local talent. According to the report, in the banking and financial services industry, the most in-demand jobs are internal audit manager, senior trader and senior relationship manager. In the engineering and manufacturing sector, the most sought-after professionals are heads of engineering, project directors, and quality assurance and control managers. The most in-demand jobs for the finance and accounting sector are

Data science skills are in high demand not only in the technology sector but also in other fields

Top 10 Universities in South Africa commercial finance manager and controller, tax-oriented roles and finance manager. The sector is also seeing a need for employees who have both accounting and technical skills, along with regional and African experience. The legal industry is in need of corporate commercial in-house counsel, compliance officers and managers, and lawyers specialising in fintech, IT and ICT. The report found a shortage of skills in the sector has been exacerbated by candidates’ emigration to international opportunities. In the procurement and supply chain sector, there is a need for supply chain, demand and procurement planners, while the sales and marketing sector indicated it most needed business development managers, digital marketing managers and heads of marketing. Sources: Briefly | BusinessTech | ITWeb | News24 | URAP

6 of South Africa’s universities made into the top 500 in the world, according to the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) field rankings for 2024, with another 3 making it into the top 1 000. The URAP ranking system focuses on academic quality, with scores based on several indicators such as current scientific productivity, research impact, research quality, and international acceptance. 1.

University of Cape Town (243) 2. University of Witwatersrand (340) 3. Stellenbosch University (362) 4. University of KwaZulu-Natal (371) 5. University of Johannesburg (467) 6. University of Pretoria (475) 7. North West University (589) 8. University of the Free State (884) 9. UNISA (970) 10. University of the Western Cape (1048)

In URAP’s 2022 field rankings, The University of Cape Town came in for its courses in infectious disease; anthropology; public, environmental and occupational health; human movement and sports sciences; and immunology. The University of the Witwatersrand ranked among the top 100 for anthropology; infectious disease; public, environmental and occupational health; studies in human society; women’s studies. Stellenbosch University scored among the top 100 for infectious disease; public, environmental and occupational health; and zoology, while the University of Johannesburg was placed in the top 100 for anthropology. The University of Pretoria placed among the top 100 for zoology, veterinary sciences and economics, with the University of KwaZulu Natal placing for infectious disease and public, environmental and occupational health.

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 37


Agriculture in SA is flourishing and growing the economy


outh Africa’s agricultural sector has proven to be a robust industry, contributing significantly to the country’s economic performance and employment for a large number of South Africans.

But the sector’s value is more than just employment and GDP figures, as it supports a number of other sectors, such as manufacturing. This means that the success of the agricultural sector is far-reaching: it can increase productivity and employment in several neighbouring industries. SUPPORTING INDUSTRY THROUGH AGRICULTURE The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry increased by 4,2% in the second quarter of 2023, contributing 0,1 of a percentage point to GDP growth. This was primarily due to increased economic activities reported for field crops and horticulture products. The growth in this sector has far reaching impact as it relies on a number of complementary industries – purchasing machinery and raw materials and relying on the logistics and freight industry to transport its produce. In 2022, agriculture had contributed around 2.57 percent to the GDP of South Africa, however if one considers the related sectors (agribusinesses), such as manufacturers, suppliers, processors, distributors, and traders, the contribution could be closer to 7%, according to estimates.

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And as the agricultural sector continues to grow one can expect its impact on related agribusinesses to increase substantially. According to Agricultural Business Chamber Chief Economist, Wandile Sihlobo, “South Africa could have yet another decent summer grains and oilseeds harvest in the 2023/24 production season. The data released this afternoon by the Crop Estimates Committee puts the preliminary area plantings for summer grains and oilseeds at 4,41 million hectares, up by 0,4% y/y (albeit down mildly from 4,48 million hectares of the intended area when the s eason started). This increase is not limited to a few crops but across most summer crops except for soybeans, where plantings possibly fell by 10% y/y to 1,04 million hectares (which is still well above the 5-year average area of 867 240 hectares). The area plantings for other major grains, such as maize and sunflower seed, is also well above the 5-year average. White maize plantings are forecast at 1,56 million hectares, up 2% y/y, with yellow maize planting at 1,08 million hectares, up 2%/y. This places the total commercial maize planting estimate at 2,64 million hectares, 2% more than the 2022/23 production season”. INVESTING IN AGRICULTURE The sales figures illustrate that farmers are still investing in their businesses, and show encouraging

signs that the prices for agricultural commodities were “holding up”. South Africa’s agricultural sector is considered modern, stable, and productive, making it an ideal market to target the 32 000 commercial farmers with agricultural machinery such as tractors. According to the US Department of Commerce, the best prospect for importers lie in the sales of tractors, combine harvesters, drone technology, balers, planters, precision agriculture equipment and technologies, sprayers, and irrigation systems. Farmers are increasingly looking for digital solutions to improve their agricultural yield, and there is growing interest in technology such as data management, machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation, and drone-based applications. South Africa exports almost half of its agricultural produce, but this requires extensive support from processing businesses and transport suppliers. In the last ten years, South Africa’s agriculture and agro-processing exports have averaged more than 10% of all the country’s exports. These goods need to be transported to South Africa’s harbours, and with only around 8% of all transport taking place by rail, the transport sector is a critical partner.

The transport, storage, and communication sector makes up around 10% of the country’s economic activity and is valued at more than R300 billion. Increased agricultural activity is likely to push this value even higher. The agricultural sector is essential for economic growth and recovery, as well as for creating jobs. But it has a far wider impact, helping to grow numerous related industries. Increasing the productivity of the agricultural sector will not only add to food security and reduce employment, but it will also unlock growth in a multitude of related industries.

WHAT PRODUCE DOES SOUTH AFRICA EXPORT? South Africa’s agricultural exports have been estimated at around $3.4 billion. Among the top exported products are citrus, maize, apples, pears, wine, grapes, figs, dates, avocados, nuts, fruit juices, wheat, wool and sugar, among others. Just over a third of all agricultural exports are purchased by African countries, with Asia the second largest agricultural export market at 28%. The European Union was third with 21%. One of South Africa’s key markets is the United Kingdom, which accounts for 7% of South Africa’s agricultural exports.

Source:Agbiz TheConversation | Businessforsa | DailyMaverick | Statista | | Grainsa

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 39


Celebrating South Africa’s wetlands Crucial conservation areas


orld Wetlands Day is commemorated annually on 2 February on the anniversary of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in 1971.

South Africa is a water-scarce country, where both droughts and floods are common. Wetlands are able to reduce the severity of

droughts and floods by regulating stream flow – they also help to purify water which allows for ecosystems, plants, and animals to flourish. Wetlands play an important part in river catchments both directly and indirectly by contributing to flooding control, drought relief, water storage, sediment and nutrient retention, and water purification, among others. RAISING AWARENESS OF WETLANDS South Africa is one of the Contracting Parties to the

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Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention). South Africa signed the Ramsar Convention at its inception. The membership was formalised in 1975 when South Africa became the fifth country to ratify the Convention. One of the obligations of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention is to commemorate World Wetlands Day.

Approximately 300 000 wetlands remain and only around 11% are well protected. Of South Africa’s 791 wetland ecosystem types, 48% are critically endangered, 12% are endangered, and 5% are vulnerable - making wetlands the most threatened ecosystems of all in South Africa. Wetlands are considered one of the world’s most productive ecosystems, which is even on par with rainforests. They provide various foods to several different types of animals and act as a refuge for mammals, insects, fish, amphibians, and birds. South African wetlands are estimated to comprise less than 5% of the country, however they are imperative to the surrounding environment.

IMPERATIVE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL WELLBEING Wetlands are home to 40% of the world’s biodiversity and provide vital connectivity between land and sea. However, wetlands are being lost faster than any other ecosystem. Almost half of South Africa’s wetland ecosystem types are critically endangered, and the country has lost around half of its original wetland area.

NATIONAL WETLAND MANAGEMENT Management Framework To protect these critical ecosystems, the South African government embarked on the development of the National Wetland Management Framework (NWMF) in 2020. The NWMF assists with the conservation, preservation, and management of wetlands at a high level. “The Departments of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment; Water and Sanitation; and Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development are jointly responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the National Wetland Management Framework. The implementation of thematic areas is done in partnership, and with the support from a wide

They are essential to rich biodiversity, playing animportant role in the lives of humans

range of role players, including the South African National Biodiversity Institute, provincial departments and conservation agencies, research institutions and non-governmental organisations. “Since the inception of the National Wetland Management Framework, 213 wetlands have been rehabilitated across all 9 provinces” – Hon. Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, National Assembly, 3/11/2023 Wetlands around the world all have something in common: They are essential to rich biodiversity, playing an important role in the lives of humans and animals, and they are also extremely threatened. We currently have 30 designated Ramsar sites across South Africa (see our Regional Focus on Mpumalanga); here are 5 of them: 1. Langebaan Lagoon on the West Coast 2. St. Lucia System - KwaZulu-Natal 3. Verloren Vallei – Mpumalanaga 4. De Mond Nature Reserve Western Cape 5. Blesbokspruit - Gauteng

Sources: Aquarium| DFFE | Engineering news | SA Gov | IOL | UNEP | I National Assembly

February 2024 Public Sector Leaders | 41


Leading conservationist appointed to protect Africa’s wild spaces

Dr Luthando Dziba, Regional Director for East Africa, Madagascar and the West Indian Ocean, Wildlife Conservation Society.


leading voice in South African conservation has taken on a role on the global stage, working to preserve the world’s wild spaces. Dr Luthando Dziba, the managing executive for conservation services at South African National Parks (SANParks), has been appointed as regional director for East Africa, Madagascar and the West Indian Ocean at the Wildlife Conservation Society. He took up the role as of April 2023 and is based in Kigali, Rwanda.

SAVING WILDLIFE THROUGH EDUCATION Dr Dziba is a renowned conservationist and brings more than 15 years of experience in the conservation and nature-based tourism sectors to the Wildlife Conservation Society. Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places across the globe through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. The Wildlife

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Conservation Society runs a Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 countries as well as five wildlife parks in New York City, which are visited by four million people annually. The Wildlife Conservation Society combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquariums to achieve its conservation mission. Following his appointment Dr Emma Stokes, Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President of Field Conservation, said: “We look forward to welcoming

Dr Dziba to Wildlife Conservation Society’s Global Conservation Program. He brings with him extensive management and conservation leadership experience, along with a passion for science and policy.” Dr Dziba leads a team of Wildlife Conservation Society colleagues across Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. He is looking to strengthen and expand the Wildlife Conservation Society’s conservation impact in the region, added Dr Stokes. The Global Conservation Program leads the organisation’s mission to conserve a portfolio of the world’s largest and most ecologically intact wild places on the planet. These areas provide habitat for more than half of the world’s biodiversity, supporting abundant populations of the world’s most magnificent wildlife, and sustaining over 300 million of the world’s most vulnerable people. Through its regional programmes, Wildlife Conservation Society builds capacity and support via partnerships with indigenous peoples, local communities, local decision-makers, regional stakeholders, and national governments. A LEADING VOICE IN CONSERVATION Dr Dziba joined SANParks five and half years ago to lead the conservation services division. The organisation has described him as “an invaluable member of the SANParks team”, adding that he has been “the voice of SANParks on matters related to conservation nationally and internationally”.

He continues his passion - for conservation at a regional scale and contribute to conservation across the African landscape

At SANParks, Dr Dziba led various programmes, including veterinary services, scientific services, conservation planning, and cultural heritage, which covered a wide range of areas that contribute to SANParks’ core mandate. He also led SANPark’s participation in international agreements such as Transfrontier Conservation Areas. SANParks acting CEO Property Mokoena said: “Dr Dziba’s leadership in SANParks has been felt in our conservation work in all national parks. He and his team have led a number of key initiatives, including rhino and elephant conservation, conservation of large predators, protected area expansion, improved management of cultural heritage, innovative conservation finance and advancing conservation research.” Dr Dziba has also advanced collaboration with stakeholders across various conservation landscapes, said Mr Makoena. He continues his passion for conservation at a regional scale and contribute to conservation across the African landscape and beyond. “He leaves SANParks at a crucial time but his contribution to conservation will continue,” Mr Makoena said. “SANParks is confident that Dr Dziba will continue to make a positive impact and will advance collaboration between South Africa (especially SANParks) and other international institutions that share the duty of conserving biodiversity across African landscapes.”

Before joining SANParks, Dr Dziba managed the Ecosystem Services research area at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), leading a team of more than 50 researchers undertaking cutting-edge research on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Coastal Systems and Earth Observation. Dr Dziba has served as an advisor to South Africa’s delegations to Intergovernmental SciencePolicy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) plenaries, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He serves as the Co-Chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental SciencePolicy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and on the Advisory Board of Witwatersrand University’s Global Change Institute. He brings extensive experience in managing and advising large national and international institutions across the public, private, and academic sectors. Dr Dziba also is a member of various boards, including the Board of Trustees of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and of the National Parks Trust, and the Boards of WWF Netherlands and Leadership for Conservation in Africa. He holds a PhD in Rangeland Science from Utah State University (USU) and an Executive Development Programme Certificate from Wits University Business School. Sources: Bizcommunity | Wildlife Conservation Society

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In other news T World cancer awareness campaigns: Go the extra mile for a cancer-free Africa

he World Health Organisation (WHO) released new estimates of global cancer burden just before World Cancer Day in 2024 on February 4. The latest data from 2022 shows that there were an estimated 20-million new cancer cases and 9.7-million deaths. The estimated number of people who were alive within 5 years following a cancer diagnosis was 53.5-million. About 1 in 5 people develop cancer in their lifetime, approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women die from the disease. Three major cancer types were lung, breast and colorectal cancers. Lung cancer was the most widespread cancer globally, making up 12.4% of new cases with 2.5-million instances. Female breast cancer followed closely at 11.6% (2.3-million cases), Breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the primary cause of cancer death among women, while lung cancer was the most common cause for men.

PROJECTED CANCER BURDEN INCREASE Over 35-million new cancer cases are predicted in 2050, a 77% increase from the estimated 20-million cases in 2022. The rapidly growing global cancer burden reflects both population ageing and growth, as well as changes to people’s exposure to risk factors, several of which are associated with socioeconomic development. Tobacco, alcohol and obesity are key factors behind the increasing incidence of cancer, with air pollution still a key driver of environmental risk factors. CANCER CHALLENGES IN AFRICA: INSIGHTS, TRENDS, AND CONCERNS In Africa, there are about 1.1-million new cancer cases reported each

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year. Resulting in around 700 000 deaths annually on the continent, by 2030, this number is expected to rise to 1-million deaths per year. Notably, 70% of global cancer-related deaths occur in low and middleincome countries, where resources for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are limited. In South Africa, cervical and breast cancer are common among women, while lung and colorectal cancer are prevalent among men. A recent report by StatsSA on cancer from 2008 to 2019 aims to guide cancer treatment and management strategies in the country, especially since the National Strategic Framework for Cancer expired in 2022. RAISING AWARENESS The WHO World Cancer 2024 theme, ‘Close the Care Gap,’ urges collective action. By underscoring that “together, we challenge those in power,” serves as a call for global leaders to prioritise and invest in cancer awareness and initiatives. Without urgent measures, cancer mortality in the region is projected to reach about 1-million deaths per year by 2030, surpassing the global average of 30% in 20 years. Currently, cancer survival rates in the WHO African region average 12%, significantly lower than the global average of over 80%.In South Africa, the rising prevalence of obesity poses a significant public health challenge. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) urges authorities to educate consumers about the health risks of unhealthy products and provide guidelines for healthier alternatives, given the high incidence of colorectal cancer.

By addressing modifiable risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity, individuals can significantly lower their cancer risk. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) emphasises the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. Millions of preventable cancer deaths are linked to unhealthy products and stands ready to assist governments in limiting exposure to tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed foods. Closing the gap in cancer care A global survey by WHO found that only 39% of countries provided basic cancer management in their core health services for all citizens. Additionally, just 28% included palliative care, including pain relief, in their health benefit packages. These findings emphasise the need for greater investment in cancer prevention, treatment, and palliative care services to ensure universal health coverage for all. The equity gap, affecting lives globally, presents barriers for those seeking cancer care. Factors such as income, education, geographical location, discrimination, and lifestyle contribute to disparities. The most disadvantaged groups face increased exposures to risk factors like tobacco, unhealthy diet, or environmental hazards. THE GOAL: HEALTH EQUITY NOW Closing the gap in cancer care is possible. Systems can be reimagined, situations improved, knowledge increased, and access to services made easier. Collective efforts can reduce inequity by: • Educating the public about cancer prevention.

• Equipping healthcare professionals with skills and knowledge about how inequity influences cancer care. • Strengthening primary health care delivered in communities. • Addressing social and economic factors negatively affecting health through policy and programmes. • Increasing resources for cancer research and tracking the national burden of cancer to shape investments effectively. • Implementing country-specific cancer prevention and control plans addressing unique needs and resources. EMPOWERING CHANGE: URGENT CALL TO UNITE FOR UNIVERSAL CARE IN AFRICA WHO urges countries, communities, partners, and civil society to unite for universal access to cancer prevention and care. Stakeholders should prioritise achievable goals, implement proven interventions, and invest in cancer control efforts. Countries should utilise the updated WHO Best Buys tool for cost-effective policies, ensure affordable technologies and therapies for prevention and care, and enhance information systems for better decision-making. This collaborative approach to cancer prevention and care captures the essence of this year’s WHO’s World Cancer Day theme. “Together, we challenge those in power” to go the extra mile for a cancer-free Africa!

Sources: CANSA | StatsSA | The World

Health Organisation | Cancer Research UK | PAHO

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Mpumalanga Place of the rising sun


nown for its stunning natural landscapes with waterfalls, wetlands, forests, and Savannahs teeming with wildlife, Mpumalanga is considered one of South Africa’s most geographically diverse regions. Renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery characterised by the convergence of cascading waterfalls, wetlands, dense forests and Savannahs filled with roaming wildlife, this province is considered as one of the most geographically diverse places in South Africa.

It comes as no surprise then that the De Berg Nature Reserve, situated over 2 300 metres above sea level, the highest-altitude wetlands in the region, was recently crowned as South Africa’s 30th Ramsar site, a wetland site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, administered by UNESCO. Within this grassland biome, the reserve features pristine valleys, wetlands, and mountain streams, supporting a rich variety of plant and animal life, including numerous

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threatened and endangered species. The reserve hosts 878 indigenous plant species, 30 of which are threatened. Among these is a new species of bulbine discovered in the reserve’s valleys; home to 18 frog species, 71 reptile species, 432 bird species, and 120 mammal species, including unique wildlife like Vandam’s girdled lizard, various cranes, and the mountain reedbuck. Rare and vulnerable species, such as flocks of up to 30 southern bald ibis, can be found roosting near Ibis Falls,

662 jobs. The South African National Biodiversity Institute contributes to wetland conservation through research and mapping of these critical sites. Minister Barbara Creecy emphasised the significance of conserving and restoring wetlands and the importance of partnerships to “monitor, protect, and rehabilitate wetlands” keeping them free of litter and invasive alien plant species. Opportunities like this are crucial in Mpumalanga, which recorded the country’s highest quarterly loss (-3.8%) in 2023. EMPLOYMENT CHALLENGES In Q1 2023, employment in Mpumalanga increased by 2.4 percentage points, accounting for 7.0% of South African employment. With 713 361 unemployed, 39.1% were new entrants, and 29.5% had recently lost their jobs. 27.3% of the unemployed in Mpumalanga reported not working for more than five years.

one of the reserve’s ten iconic waterfalls. Although wetlands cover less than 3% of South Africa’s land, they play a vital role in flood control, water purification, and storage. Estuaries, marshes, rivers, lakes, and their biodiversity are essential for health, food supply, tourism, and employment. The Department’s Working for Wetlands Programme, initiated in 2000, has invested over R1.4 billion in restoring 1 873 wetlands, creating 43

47.8% of youth (15-34 years) in Mpumalanga were not employed or in education, highlighting the ongoing unemployment challenge in the province. GLIMMERS OF HOPE FOR JOB CREATION New connection sparks tourism and job creation potential for Mpumalanga Alongside Cape Town, the Kruger National Park (KNP) in Mpumalanga is South Africa’s most popular tourist destination. These two locations, however, are situated in opposite corners, making

travel between them inconvenient and costly. To address this, FlySafair, the low-cost airline, will launch a direct route between Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) starting in April 2024. The new route will offer eight roundtrip flights per month, aiming to boost tourism by encouraging Western Cape residents and international visitors to explore both Cape Town’s urban charm and the KNP wilderness, contributing to the overall growth of tourism in South Africa. Cape Town saw a 76% increase in international tourism from January to July last year. In the first half of 2023, CTIA had a 9% year-on-year growth, welcoming 3.2-million domestic travellers, benefiting local tourist attractions. Airports Company South Africa, CEO Mpumi Mpofu highlights the growth in urban and safari tourism, emphasising the positive impact this route will have on inbound tourism. Matsamo CPA projects ‘a blueprint for land reform Inala Farm, situated in Nkomazi near Malelane, Mpumalanga, was a flagship land reform project. Once a thriving estate with an estimated turnover of R16.4-million, the farm became severely neglected after accumulating over R20-million in debt. Six months ago, Inala was a decaying farm, with banana, mango, and litchi orchards and sugar cane plantations dying. Now, thanks to the Matsamo Communal Property Association (CPA), the 1 300-hectare property is undergoing revival and signs of

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its former glory from a decade ago, when it exported products to Europe and the Middle East, are visible. Matsamo CPA, along with a strategic partner, invested R25-million to clear 300 hectares for sugar cane and papaya. Currently, 131 hectares of sugar cane have been planted as part of this revitalisation effort. As a prime land beneficiary worth over R800-million, Matsamo CPA successfully runs projects without government funding. Engaging in joint ventures, reinvesting profits, and leasing land to agricultural companies, the CPA has paid R8million in annual dividends, offered bursaries, and supported public institutions over the past decade. About 90% of Mpumalanga land reform projects and reform projects, covering about 9- million hectares, have collapsed due to government’s lack of an after-care plan and became unproductive for various reasons, such as squabbles among beneficiaries and a lack of funding. Deputy President Paul Mashatile, after visiting the Matsamo CPA projects, said, “From government’s side, we want to see what they are doing and learn from their experiences because we want to replicate this throughout the country. We have realised that in land restitution and redistribution projects, when people acquire the land they do not use it productively. Matsamo is an example of what needs to be done.” Mbuso Thumbathi, CEO of Phahlane AgriSolutions, emphasised the importance of forward-looking leadership and stable environments for successful investments.

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Matsamo CPA’s strategic partnership with Tomahawk, South Africa’s largest litchi producer and a major producer of citrus, bananas, mangoes, papayas, and sugar cane, that exports to Russia, Canada, China, Singapore, Europe, and the Middle East, showcases success through aligned values and clear conditions. The stability and entrepreneurial spirit of Matsamo CPA members have attracted further investments, including a R62-million state-of-theart packhouse at Tomahawk. This packhouse is set to expand citrus production and increase employment opportunities in the region. However, the CPA runs Laughing Waterfall banana estate on its own as a pilot project. It developed the estate with R5-million raised from leasing other farms and aims to eventually run all its projects similarly when joint venture contracts expire. The success of Matsamo CPA is evident of how land reform projects can contribute to a more resilient future for Mpumalanga. Mpumalanga Green Solutions Challenge The Mpumalanga Green Solutions Challenge, organised by the Mpumalanga Green Cluster Agency in partnership with GreenCape and the UK PACT, invited innovators and entrepreneurs with green economy businesses in Mpumalanga to participate. Held on November 1, 2023, the challenge aimed to support economically viable green solutions for sustainable development in the region. Samanjalo, an Emalahleni-based fly ash beneficiation business converting

coal waste into eco-friendly construction products, and Green Guru, a female-owned local waste management business, emerged as winners of the Mpumalanga Green Solutions Pitch Challenge. They secured cash prizes from Seriti Green (a responsible coalproducing company) and Enertrag (an alternative energy producer). House Harvest Produce, an aquaponics startup selling leafy greens and fish using a circular model of waste management by incorporating Black Soldier Fly, received the youth-focused prize from the Anglo American Foundation. Gugulethu Mahlangu from the 100% black female-owned urban smart farms establishment emphasised that this recognition cements their business idea and gives hope for achieving climate-smart solutions. Judges included representatives from the Presidential Climate Commission, the British High Commission, Grindstone, Untapped Global, the Anglo America Foundation, and Seriti Green. British High Commissioner Antony Phillipson highlighted the UK’s commitment to support funding initiatives. “Mpumalanga’s transition to cleaner forms of energy is integral to helping South Africa meet its climate change commitments. This is why the UK is dedicated to funding initiatives like the Green Solutions Pitch Challenge, where we have the chance to support green innovations in strategic sectors of the province.”

“For me and the Presidential Climate Commission, this marks the start of activating and stimulating green entrepreneurship among the innovative and talented young people in Mpumalanga. Real people, doing real things, for real impact,” emphasised Dipak Patel from the Presidential Climate Commission. Excited about the opportunities it opens up for their team, Stacey Lee Engelbrecht from Green Guru Solutions explained that the implementation of Black Soldier Fly farming for sustainable food waste disposal in Mbombela and surrounding areas marks a significant step forward. An overjoyed Prudence Simelane from Samanjalo, reinforced her belief that, “Winning this challenge is all in the timing, as long as you continue to wake up with hope, give every opportunity your best shot, treat it like it is the first one. “This was the day we needed to remind us of hope.” Opportunities like this highlight the potential for sustainable solutions, promoting a greener and more resilient future. These initiatives not only tackle environmental challenges but also create jobs, boost economic growth, and foster a sustainable and inclusive society. Through innovation and entrepreneurship, they contribute to environmental stewardship while providing meaningful employment and positive community impact. Source: Department of Tourism and Industry / Mining Weekly / Mpumalanga Green Solutions / Engineering News / African Farming

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probation period helps employers assess if an employee is a good fit for a job, enabling informed decisions about ongoing employment. Understanding the legal obligations during dismissals in probation is crucial for both parties.

Employment probation Managing the delicate process of termination within the probationary period

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South African context: Varied probationary durations In South Africa, probation periods, commonly lasting three months, may vary based on the position and employer. The law emphasises determining a reasonable period, considering the nature of the job. Proper procedures must be followed if employers choose not to extend or continue employment at the probation period’s conclusion. Common misconceptions: Dismissing “At Will” Some employers mistakenly believe that during the probation period, they have the right to dismiss employees “at will” without adhering to formal regulations. However, legal and fair dismissals require a correct process. Continuous monitoring, support, and feedback during probation ensure fair assessments, with documented measures protecting both parties during or after termination. Fair dismissal criteria: Labour Relations Act (LRA) guidelines For fair dismissal due to poor performance, guidelines from the Labour Relations Act (Act 66 of 1995, schedule 8) outline specific criteria: • • • •

Evaluating if the employee failed to meet a performance standard. Considering the employee’s awareness of the required performance standard. Ensuring the employee had a fair opportunity to meet the standard. Determining if dismissal was an appropriate sanction for

not meeting the required performance standard. • Understanding and adhering to these guidelines ensures a fair and legally compliant dismissal process. When all necessary steps, including training and support, have been exhausted without resolution, the dismissal process becomes a consideration. Maintaining respect and dignity in this process is crucial for preserving a positive relationship with the employee. A GUIDED PROCESS FOR PROBATIONARY DISMISSALS Assuming a clear work plan with expected outcomes and measures is established, and discussions about areas of improvement have occurred, the following steps are recommended for terminating an employee during the probation period: Documentation of interventions Ensure a documented record of interventions, including the work plan, discussions, and support or training provided to assist the employee. This establishes a comprehensive record for future reference. Verbal communication meeting Conduct a meeting with the employee to verbally communicate the reasons for considering dismissal, backed by evidence of underperformance. Encourage the employee to respond and, if possible, have a neutral party present during the meeting.

Always furnish a written explanation for the dismissal, ensuring that as an employer, a comprehensive paper trail is maintained. Assessment and decision Consider the employee’s response, engage in further discussion, and determine whether termination is still deemed appropriate based on the evidence presented. Written communication of termination Communicate the termination to the employee in writing, outlining the reasons for termination, any prior warnings, or minutes from previous meetings addressing performance issues. Notice period Adhere to labour law requirements, providing at least one week’s written notice of termination for employees on probation. Documentation for legal compliance and fairness Always furnish a written explanation for the dismissal, ensuring that as an employer, a comprehensive paper trail is maintained. This documentation serves as a safeguard in case of claims of unfair dismissal at the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration). Dismissing an employee is always challenging, but approaching it with fairness and respect contributes to a more amicable and dignified process for all parties involved.

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Savings !0 tips to help you save Spending is a reality. Savings is a must.

“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving,” - Warren Buffet.

Cultivating the habit of saving from an early age is crucial for financial security Life is unpredictable, with various challenges that may arise unexpectedly. Although you cannot foresee these challenges, you can prepare for them. Learning the art of saving money is a vital step to equip yourself for life’s uncertainties. Your savings act as a source of empowerment and protection, enabling you to navigate through obstacles and emergencies while enjoying life to the fullest.

Key reasons to save money: Establishing an emergency fund to cover unforeseen expenses like medical emergencies or unexpected home or vehicle repairs Creating a retirement fund to manage day-to-day expenses post-retirement Making investments that generate income surpassing inflation rates Funding your children’s education and weddings Accumulating funds for

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significant purchases, such as a home or other major acquisitions While these are major reasons to save, it is essential to find your own motivations for saving. The bottom line is, saving is a crucial practice that everyone should adopt. Unlocking money-saving strategiesWhile the journey of discovering reasons and methods to save is personal, saving should be a non-negotiable practice.

Budget and track spending: The #1 tip to help you save! Prioritise budgeting and monitoring your money flow by adding it to the top of your to-do list! Numerous apps make this crucial task incredibly easy. Not budgeting and controlling expenses is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. The #2 tip to help you save! Exercise restraint by asking a simple question: Do I really need it? HERE ARE 10 EASY WAYS TO BOOST YOUR SAVINGS: Choose quality over cheap Invest in buying quality products that last and support a circular economy. Be mindful of how items, especially clothing, are made. Regularly purchasing inexpensive clothing not only drains cash flow but also harms the environment. Additionally, strive to reduce your reliance on single-use plastics, opting for reusable alternatives to minimise environmental impact. Prioritise high-interest debt Manage your debt wisely but focus on paying off loans with high interest rates with bigger instalments to save on interest. Build an emergency fund While saving the recommended three times your monthly expenses for unexpected costs may seem challenging, incorporating simple saving habits like cutting down on fast-food expenses, dining out less frequently, and minimising wasteful spending will become evident when you create a budget and track your spending. You will be amazed at how quickly you can help fill up your piggy bank.

Shop smart for big purchases Avoid the last-minute rush for celebration essentials. Stock up on items throughout the year that you know you will need in December. Always look for deals and discounts when making major purchases. Consider using apps and making online purchases to save on fuel costs. Utilise extra income wisely Make smart use of additional income. Save unexpected funds or use them purposefully instead of tapping into your bank accounts. The same applies to gift cards; they all come in the same colour green. Keep tabs on your subscribed services Regularly review your paid subscriptions and cut out unnecessary ones to save money. Despite good intentions and New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself when was the last time you used that gym membership or any other fee-based memberships. Be honest with yourself – if you are not using it, it is money down the drain. Lower cell phone costs In a world where technology evolves rapidly and market competition is intense, consider choosing a device that aligns with your specific needs and budget, rather than chasing the latest trends. Reduce energy usage As South Africans, we’ve mastered the art of load shedding. Why not turn this electricity downtime into a daily habit? Take an hour or

two, even when the lights are on, for electricity-free activities. In our beautiful country, there is no excuse not to unplug and enjoy the outdoors—or perhaps even read a book! Control expenses when dining out or socialising As with all other events, set a budget for these activities. Look for venues with discounts or happy hour specials. Sharing meals with friends can help split the bill, and consider embracing the cost-effective practice of ‘bring and braai’—contribute items or ask guests to contribute to an at-home get-together and social gatherings. Be mindful of impulse spending on extras like desserts or extra drinks. These simple steps allow you to enjoy socialising without overspending. Hunt for discounts and use cash backs Retailers are savvy! It is time to be an equally savvy consumer. While retailers seem to offer a variety of cost-saving deals for the consumer’s benefit, making smart choices by investing only in everyday items that you use is crucial. Additionally, consider shopping at stores that offer cash back promotions and make the most of cash back rewards. Buying 3-for-2 or saving 10% on items you never use is counterproductive. Remember the golden rules: 1. That saving is not just a practice but a way of life. 2. To celebrate in small ways by rewarding yourself for sticking to your saving goals. 3. Most of all –find your reasons to save, but save you must!

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February is social justice month

Championing equality 2 FEBRUARY






World Wetlands Day, observed annually on the 2nd of February, serves as a global reminder of the vital role wetlands, including marshes, swamps, bogs, and mangroves, play in sustaining life on Earth. This year’s theme, “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing,” emphasises the critical importance of prioritising the restoration of these ecosystems, essential for biodiversity, clean water, and climate stability. The day not only provides an opportunity to celebrate their beauty but also serves as a call to recognise their significance to both people and nature. This acknowledgment underscores the intrinsic value of wetland ecosystems and their benefits, contributing to sustainable development and the crucial role it plays in maintaining water quality, mitigating climate change, and providing livelihoods for millions of people worldwide.

Cancer is a growing global problem. With 8.2-million annual deaths, including 4-million celebrated annually, this day offers a unique chance to spotlight the importance of tackling cancer on a global scale. The 2024 theme for World Cancer Day, “Close the Care Gap,” empowers all of us across the world to show support, raise our collective voice, take personal action and press our governments to do more. It serves as a platform to encourage dialogue and promote concrete actions and strategies to address global disparities in prevention, treatment, and palliative care, overcoming challenges associated with the disease.

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To celebrate the achievements and contributions of women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), this day, established by the UN to promote gender equality and encourage more women and girls to pursue careers in science and technology, honours the birthday of pioneering physicist and chemist Marie Curie who made groundbreaking contributions to the fields of radioactivity and nuclear physics. Recognising the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the scientific community, the 2024 campaign theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” underscores efforts to break down barriers and stereotypes that have historically limited the participation of women in these fields.


The theme for 2024, “A Century Informing, Entertaining, and Educating,” casts a broad spotlight on radio’s remarkable past, its relevant present, and the promise of a dynamic future. This day provides an occasion to proudly celebrate the medium’s extensive virtues and ongoing potency, with the opportunity presented by the 100-year-plus milestone of radio in this century deserving to be announced at full volume. It comes at an opportune time, as radio, despite its popularity and trust among the public, encounters growing challenges in audience and revenue due to digital platforms, widespread social media, digital and generational gaps, censorship obstacles, and, for some outlets, heavy debt from consolidation. Additionally, economic hardships are worsened by a slow advertising market.



Social Justice is the pursuit of a fair and equitable society where every individual, regardless of background or circumstance, has the opportunity to thrive. This year’s theme, “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice,” emphasises on implementing the recommendations set forth by the UN to reinforce global solidarity and restore trust in governance. This day underscores the importance of dismantling obstacles preventing equal opportunities and cultivating an environment that fosters justice for all. It serves as a rallying call to address systemic challenges, promote inclusivity, and create a world where everyone can access their fundamental rights and contribute to the betterment of society.

International Mother Language Day promotes linguistic diversity and underscores the importance of preserving and using mother languages globally. The theme for 2023, “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education,” emphasises the critical role of multilingual education in creating a transformative learning environment, particularly focusing on Indigenous languages and diverse linguistic backgrounds. The day serves as a reminder of the value of linguistic heritage, fostering understanding and highlighting the pivotal role of language in education and cultural preservation.

Source: United Nations | UNESCO | South African Government

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Top to bottom: Folorunsho Alakija; Ngina Kenyatta; Hajia Bola Shagaya; Wendy Appelbaum; Wendy Ackerman

Looking at the list of the richest women in Africa, what is striking is that acquiring billionaire status does not happen overnight. Everyone featured here has spent a lifetime investing in, and growing, their entrepreneurial empires. Silver hair and gold in the bank!

TOPPING THE LIST OF WEALTHY POWERHOUSES IN AFRICA IS: Folorunsho Alakija - a Nigerian billionaire Fifty years ago Folorunsho started out in the fashion industry and today her business interests include real estate, oil and gas and printing. She is the owner of several groups of companies including Dayspring Property Development Company Limited, a real estate company which owns properties around the globe, as well as Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions. Folorunsho is also Executive Director of FAMFA Oil, her family-owned oil production company.

THIRD PLACE GOES TO: Hajia Bola Shagaya who also hails from Nigeria With a current net worth of almost a billion US, Hajia Bola started out as an auditor for the Central Bank of Nigeria and then her entrepreneurial verve kicked in! She started an empire by importing Konica photographic equipment for resale. Nearly 40 years later she is CEO of Bolmus Group International with interests in oil, real estate, banking, and photography. Hajia founded Practoil Limited, and in 2005 became its managing director. Today Practoil is one of the largest importer and distributors of base oil in Nigeria today.



Ngina Kenyatta - the mother of current Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta

Wendy Appelbaum is the richest woman in South Africa and the 4th wealthiest on the continent

Nearing her ninth decade Ngina Kenyatta is a billionaire with a portfolio which includes investments, banking, media and the dairy industry. “Mama Kenyatta” has a 24.91% share in the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) – she also owns shares in Media Max, a media company that owns K24 TV, Kameme Radio, and The People newspaper.

Wendy Appelbaum is the daughter of Liberty Group founder Donald Gordon and the owner and Chair of De Morgenzon Wine Estate. Previously, Wendy also served as the DeputyChairman of the Women’s Investment Portfolio Limited (Wiphold Limited), which is a renowned women’s investment holding company that is listed on JSE. Overall, Wendy is also

a director of Sphere Holdings (Pty) Ltd, which is a black empowerment company addressing financial services in mining sectors. In 2015, she was awarded both the Forbes Woman Businesswoman of the Year, and the Forbes Africa Woman of the Year. Wendy Ackerman – FMCG powerhouse Wendy Ackerman is one of the founders and an Executive Director of Pick ‘n Pay Stores. Along with her husband Raymond Ackerman, Wendy has been a tremendous force in building up one of South Africa’s leading FMCG retailers, which, to date, consists of over 450 stores, with the inclusion of 121 supermarkets and 14 hypermarkets. The company extends its food and retail services across South Africa, southern Africa and even Australia, and has employed an estimated 49,000 people over the years. Wendy received an Inyathelo Award for her family’s philanthropic efforts in 2007. A CAUTIONARY TALE For many years Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, topped the list as the richest woman in Africa. Currently in self-imposed exile in Dubai she is embroiled in legal battles while watching her empire implode.

February 2024 | Public Sector Leaders | 57 186 Loop St, Cape Town City, Centre, Cape Town, 8001, 0860009590

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