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Small biz to get new 'home'?
BY NABELAH FREDERICKS
A NATIONAL debate in the small
business community has flared
up following the announcement
last month by African National
secretarygeneral Gwede Mantashe that a
small business ministry might be
introduced after the elections.
spokeswoman, says Mantashe
does not want to comment on
the matter at this stage because
the proposal for the ministry is
still being debated within the
“We realise the importance
of the small business sector and
that there is a need to place more
focus on this sector because they
are the engine of growth of this
economy, but at this stage it is an
internal debate within the ANC,”
says Sangoni. Matashe made the
announcement at a recent South
African Chamber of Commerce
Sacci chief executive Neren
Rau, who was present at the event,
says several challenges faced
by small business owners were
discussed with Mantashe which
culminated in the announcement.
“We will support a ministry
that will enable small businesses.
If the sole purpose of the ministry
is to develop and support small
businesses we will welcome that."
However, he says there is still
a lot of uncertainty on the purpose
of the ministry.
“We will not be excited if
the ministry was just another
regulatory institution that will add
more red tape,” says Rau.
Should this ministry come
into being, business associations
Small Business Connect spoke to,
say they would like to see issues
affecting small businesses receive
closer attention, including access
to finance, a standard definition of
small enterprises and a standard
set of exemption criteria.
Mantashe’s announcement was
welcomed by the Black Business
Council (BBC) who have been
campaigning for small businesses
to have their own ministry.
Sandile Zungu, spokesperson
for the BBC, applauds the
announcement saying the ministry
will provide small business owners
with a "home".
“We have no reason to believe
that this will not happen. We are
pleased that such a commitment
has been made from the secretary
general,” says Zungu.
He says small business owners
will now know exactly which door
to go to.
"Previously they only had a
voice, which was not always heard,
but now there will be a standalone
ministry for small businesses.
Ideally the person heading up
this ministry should be someone
with a passion and history in being
an activist for small businesses,”
executive director for the South
Forum agrees with Zungu.
“The minister does not
necessarily need to have been an
entrepreneur, but he or she should
have a stronghold of people who
have run a business or have been
involved in business support
“There should be a voice for
entrepreneurs so that we can
engage with those in government
She says she remains wary
that such a ministry would add
to the red tape already burdening
The only dusting Lindiwe
Shibambo, owner of
Maid4u, now does
is of the awards in
her trophy cabinet.
Since starting her
business in 2008,
won several awards.
Read more about
her story on
Small Business Connect spoke
to business owners on the possible
creation of the ministry.
Rasheed Hargey, owner of
sensor technology business Uzazi
Technology, says that the ministry
should have been set up years ago.
“I think it is absolutely excellent
Get help subsidising
your business trips
Free internet zones could
be rolled out nationally
Small Business Connect is published for the Department of
Trade and Industry by SA Business Owner and Co cc of 10
Dreyer Street, Claremont, Cape Town and printed by Paarl
Media of 5 Lynx Roads, Paarden Island, Cape Town. Use of
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may be held liable for any loss or damage that may occur as
a result thereof.
New fund launched
to have a dedicated ministry
that will provide small business
owners with enhanced support
and I think that this will stimulate
job creation,” says Hargey.
who owns Siyahluma Nathi
Consultants, says until more
details are released she is staying
“I am not sure whether this is
a good idea," says Molefe.
• What do you say? Should there
be a Small Business Ministry? Go
co.za/Opinion to have your say.
rights in the
page 2 - May 2014 SMALL
Hotline assists thousands
BY VUYO MABANDLA
MORE than 1 200 business
owners have already been
assisted in receiving payments
amounting to R357 million for
government contracts thanks to
the Small, Medium and Micro
Business owners can use the
hotline to apply for help in being
paid timeously for doing business
with the government.
The initiative forms a part
of efforts by the government to
reduce red tape.
Since its launch in 2009
the hotline has received over
20 000 calls from aggrieved
business owners looking to
settle payment processes with
various government departments
Manthule Ngoasheng, the
Hotline national project manager,
says that so far at least 12 000 of
these claims were legitimate nonpayment claims.
The hotline includes email and
fax application processes to make
it easier for businesses to apply
Development Agency (Seda),
which operates the hotline,
is mandated to implement
government's small business
business support to the sector.
Says Beverly Kgame, Seda’s
corporate communications officer:
“Complainants must have had
a service or product that they
have sold to the government in
exchange for cash."
Proof of services rendered to
the state must also be included
in the application form – which
can be downloaded from Seda’s
Some 1 200
This is to help ensure that
claims are valid.
Kgame says that this also
maladministration by businesses.
Through the hotline, payment
processes can be sped up, allowing
businesses to pay their staff,
running costs and other expenses
on time. The plan was to “ensure
the persistence of job creation,
save more jobs and grow the
economy further”, says Kgame.
However, it was important
to note that invoices cannot
be processed if a job has
not been completed unless
To lodge complaints and other
queries relating to non-payment
for services or products sold to
Entrepreneurs can use the Seda hotline to ensure a more efficient payment process for government contracts.
government, businesses can call
the hotline’s call centre between
6 am and 6 pm on weekdays.
At the time of writing,
some 197 applications by small
businesses for an amount totalling
Says Ngoashe: “The process has
also enabled Seda to identify some
of the areas where small business
owners need help, including
administrative weaknesses, such
as putting incorrect details on the
invoice and wrong order numbers
or invoice numbers.”
educating small enterprises on
how the service works is in the
pipeline and will focus on which
documentation is required and the
• Go to www.seda-smme.co.za
for more information.
Medo to help subsidise business trips
BY NABELAH FREDERICKS
FOLLOWING the launch of the
National Trade Programme (NTP),
selected business owners from
across the country now stand
a chance to attend the Smart
Procurement World Conference
to be held in Johannesburg
The NTP was launched by the
Micro Enterprise Development
Organisation (Medo), a business
connects businesses with an
annual turnover of more than
R35 million with emerging small
and micro-enterprises with an
annual turnover of less than
In addition to business
linkages, Medo also launched an
and technology (ICT) incubator
late last year.
The ICT incubator was
the first youth incubator in
the Department of Trade and
Industry’s (DTI) stable of
incubators under its Incubator
Support Programme, which was
launched in 2012.
According to Judy Sandrock,
Medo’s CEO, the NTP will
run throughout the year and
seeks to assist local young
entrepreneurs with opportunities
to conduct business nationally
by subsidising their travel and
Programme beneficiary Nhlanhla Mthembu of Bizdev Concepts
“The goals of this programme
businesses to trade outside their
cities of origin and to remove the
barriers to trade, which usually
relate to the cost of business
travel to prospect and close
sales,” says Sandrock.
development programme, is
funded through sponsors from
the private sector; in turn,
these will earn full supplier
The first sponsors were Tsogo
Sun for accommodation and
Comair for air travel of business
owners who attended the
inaugural Smart Procurement
World conference held in Cape
Town in March.
The programme subsidised
business owners Victor Mazibuko,
the owner of MCC VIC Trading,
Raphael Mohlala of Phakamo
Holdings, Nhlanhla Mthembu
of Bizdev Concepts, Sechaba
Ngwenya of Creditable, and Josias
Motsoeneng of AC Electromech
• For more information, go to
www.medo.co.za or call 010
WITH elections happening
this month and the possible
creation of a ministry for small
businesses, change seems
to be in the air for the small
Whether these changes will
be to the advancement of small
business owners or tie them up
in more red tape, remains to
be seen. Those in the industry,
seem both apprehensive that
the ministry could add to the
red tape and also hopeful that
the ministry would introduce
more policies that favour small
Molefe says, “I am not sure
whether this is a good idea. If
there is too much focus on small
businesses the incentives might
result in small business owners
wanting to stay small just to
access these incentives and
While Rasheed Hargey,
owner of censor technology
business Uzazi Technology,
thinks that this should have
been done years ago. Read
more about this story on our
Staying on the subject of
change, we are also trying to
provide our readers with a
better product. This is one of the
main reasons we ran a reader
survey last month. Our reader
survey feedback via Facebook
included some of the following
comments from you:
Jonas Moisi - “You do a
wonderful job. Your newspaper
will help to grow my business. I
wish you the best.”
Anam Xinwa - “I’d give your
business five stars (out of seven).
Your paper is very informative
and helps my business.”
We have also started the
Small Business Connect Reader
of the Month section. Check out
our inaugural Readers of the
Month - Simpiwe Malotana and
Aubrey Dolweni, founders of
Obsido Interiors – on page 20.
You too can feature here.
All you need to do is send an
email to [email protected]
BusinessConnect.co.za with a
photograph of yourself bigger
than one megabyte, a short
write-up on your business and
how reading Small Business
Connect assists your business.
Alternatively, connect with
us on Facebook. At the time of
going to press, we had 975 likes
on our Facebook page, www.
Share our page with your
Facebook friends and help us
reach a milestone of 1000 likes!
Small Business Connect
087 150 4710
May 2014 - page 3
More space at Cape incubator
BY NABELAH FREDERICKS
LAST month saw the relaunch of
Shanduka Black Umbrellas’ (SBU)
Cape Town office that will now
provide incubation support for up
to 50 small business owners.
The relaunch also co-incided
with the business incubator’s
regional awards evening and
graduation ceremony which was
attended by government ministers
as well as representatives
from big business and small
enterprise development manager
at SBU’s Cape Town office, says
the relaunch was held to celebrate
the organisation’s new office space
which will allow for an additional
20 startups to be accommodated
at the business incubator.
“Startup business owners are
welcome to apply for these spaces
which are still available. They
can go onto our website or come
to our offices for orientation,”
He adds that orientation
owners can workshop their
business ideas with the incubator.
Galant says the most important
thing the organisation looks for
in business owners is whether
they have passion, commitment
Shanduka Black Umbrella's Western Cape regional manager Donovan Goliath with provincial minister Alan Winde, top award-winner Madambi Rambuda
and Shanduka Black Umbrella's chief executive officer, Mark Frankel
They also check whether
applicants have a clear goal of
where they want to go.
“We can take you to success,
but we need you to be active every
step of the way,” he points out.
The qualities Galant mentions
were all evident in the awardwinners, particularly in Madambi
Rambuda, owner of Roswika
Media, who took top honours on
the night when he graduated from
the incubation programme.
Rambuda, who was presented
Company award and Most Jobs
Created award, says he started
his business while studying at the
University of Cape Town.
He jokes that while the rest of
his peers were trying to get into
Tax ombud ready to resolve complaints
BY YOLANDE STANDER
IF early indications are anything
to go by, South Africa’s new tax
ombudsman is going to have his
launched by finance minister
Pravin Gordhan last month, the
office of the South African tax
ombud has been at work since
October last year. It has since
been approached by more than
670 taxpayers for assistance.
“This includes not only
complaints, but also questions
about the process of lodging a
complaint and other related uncertainties,” explains tax ombud
chief executive Eric Mkhawane.
At the helm of the ombud’s
office is retired judge Bernard
Ngoepe who, along with a team of
experts, is dealing with legitimate
complaints by taxpayers.
This includes any grievances
relating to administrative issues,
poor service and procedural
matters that cannot be resolved
through the South African
Revenue Service’s (Sars) usual
The ombud’s office also
facilitates access to a complaint
resolution process and guides
taxpayers according to the
process that needs to be followed.
The tax ombud may, however,
not address any legislative or
Says Mkhawane: “We cannot
get involved in matters before
court. Of the 673 queries we
received, 61 fell within our
mandate and we were able
to finalise 70% of them. The
remaining complaints are still
within our turnaround timeframe
and we are in the process of
He says the ombud’s office
aims to deal with a complaint
within 15 days upon receiving
“There are however situations
where this period is not sufficient,
but we will inform the taxpayers
when this is the case and provide
them with regular feedback about
the process,” says Mkhwanane.
To date, taxpayers who have
made use of the ombud’s services
include individual taxpayers
as well as business owners.
The complaints cover a wide
range of issues from not having
received tax refunds to the
correct Sars processes not having
Spokeswoman for the National
Treasury, Phumza Macanda, says
taxpayers can lodge a complaint
with the tax ombud once they
have followed Sars’s complaint
procedures, which includes first
contacting Sars directly through
a branch or through the Sars
“If the desired outcome is not
reached, the matter should then
be escalated to the Sars Service
Monitoring Office,” says Macanda.
However, Mkhwanane says
there are some cases with
compelling circumstances that
allow taxpayers to contact the
ombud’s office directly before
going through these processes.
“This will only be in case of an
emergency when time is of
the essence and going through
the internal process first could
negatively impact the taxpayer,”
he points out.
The first step to lodging a
complaint is to supply the tax
ombud’s office with the necessary
interested in lodging a complaint
with the ombud need to fill in a
complaint form, which can either
be found on the tax ombud’s
website, or which can be faxed or
sent via email on request.
As well as the necessary
supporting documentation, complainants must also provide their
contact details and information
on the complaint.
Mkhawane believes that now
that the tax ombud has officially
been launched, the number of
complaints will increase.
"Recently Judge Ngoepe was
interviewed on a radio and soon
afterwards, we saw a spike in
The more people know about
the service, the more they will
make use of it," says Mkhawane.
• Go to www.taxombud.gov.za
or call 080 066 2837 to lodge a
complaint with the tax ombud
za to reach the Sars Service
politics he was trying to become a
On accepting the Most Jobs
Created award, Rambuda says, “I
initially planned to make money
alone, but SBU showed me that
I could employ people and share
On a more serious note, he
added that although on paper it
reflects that he created five jobs,
in reality the number is around 30.
This is because he also
employs university students on a
Business partners Zubair and
Wardah Bester, owners of The
HR Mac, clinched the Best SBU
Ambassador award and the third
place for the Most Jobs Created.
“Thank you to SBU for making it
possible to achieve my dream. The
big word here is ‘collaborate’. This
is what has brought our turnover
to R300 000,” says Zubair.
Other winners on the night
were Just Amber Media’s Peter
Nirabritz Nature Guides and
Tours’ Billy Magan and F-Khiva
Consulting’s Fikile Khiva.
Donovan Goliath described the
decision-making process for the
awards as a “tough battle” and
added that because of the good
calibre of businesses vying for
an award the adjudicators were
“splitting hairs” to make sure
the adjudication process was a
Regional winners from Cape
Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and
Durban will now be entered for
the organisation’s national awards
which take place in June.
• For more information on
business support, go to www.
page 4 - May 2014 SMALL
Good lessons from Chile
BY STEPHEN TIMM
INNOVATION is key. That’s what
South Africa can learn from
Chile, where something of an
entrepreneurship revolution is on
In recent years the South
American nation of 17 million has
captured the attention of many
with its Start-Up Chile programme.
Launched in 2010, it offers
the world grants of $40 000
(R415 000), to set up in Chile
for one year. Since 2011 the
programme has also opened its
doors to Chilean participants.
the Chilean government aims
to convert Chile into a hub for
entrepreneurship and innovation.
Up to the end of last year, the
programme had received 10 500
applications from 112 countries,
with 974 startups having taken
part so far.
Although it is not yet clear how
successful the programme has
been in creating successful local
startups, it has been invaluable in
attracting significant interest to
the country and getting Chileans to
focus more on entrepreneurship.
Two years ago, the capital,
Santiago, was listed as one of 20
top startup eco-systems in the
2012 Startup Ecosystem Report.
entrepreneurs. This has spawned
among others Start-up America
and Start-up Brazil.
Even before the programme
began, change has been brewing
in Chile, driven by a growing
economy and declining poverty.
Entrepreneurship has bloomed.
Where, in 2006, a similar
percentage of Chilean adults were
involved in startups as South
African adults are today (10% of
adults), last year almost a quarter
of all Chileans were involved in
starting a business.
In all 80% (versus 67% of
South Africans) start a firm out of
opportunity, rather than necessity,
according to the country’s 2012
Like South Africans most are
young, averaging 37 years.
counterparts, they are more
educated – about a quarter of those
starting out are professionals with
college graduate degrees, which
often means they have better
networks and aspirations, notes
Added to this, more adult
Chileans than South Africans
believe they will employ 20 or
more people over the next five
years – 3% of Chileans versus
1.1% of South Africans, according
to figures from the latest Gem
2013 Global Report, released
It’s clear that a massive
entrepreneurial drive is on the go
in Chile, backed by a number of
More innovation is needed in South Africa in order to meet the global demand for world-class products.
pro-entrepreneurial policies such
as seed-funding, venture capital
and incubators (most of them
linked with universities) to assist
high-growth entrepreneurs with
partnerships. Through privatesector
development agency, was able to
treble available funds to lend to
and assist business owners, and
reach almost three times more
beneficiaries in 2013 than in 2009.
The focus on innovation has
also led to various improvements.
government launched an online
portal which allows business
owners to register a business
in just one day, cutting Chile’s
registration time from the present
Chile has also enacted easier
measures to allow for easier
liquidation proceedings when
closing a business.
One of South Africa’s biggest
challenges is its business failure
rate – which remains one of
This points to why South
Africa has such a low number of
adults running businesses older
than three and a half years (Gem’s
definition for established firms).
Just 2.9% of adults in South
Africans run established firms,
compared to 8% of Chileans.
In South Africa just one fifth
of business owners operate
established firms – in Chile the
figure is a little better at a quarter,
but still below the average of 36%
for emerging economies.
A key shortfall cited by experts
in last year’s Gem report is the
lack of research and development
transfer among small businesses
in South Africa.
South Africa doesn’t have
enough entrepreneurs with new
ideas for products and services.
If they are to survive and thrive
business owners must become
more innovative – by offering a
new product or service that will
help solve any one of a number of
pressing problems in society.
In this, a better education
system as well as faster and
cheaper internet would also help,
as would better linkages between
universities, industry and the
There are signs that things
are improving. The number
of university enrolments have
doubled since 1994, and although
education system has made small
improvements, as demonstrated
by the recent Annual National
The government and private
sector have also begun setting
up incubators at universities
Yet more needs to be done
to inculcate innovation into
everything the country does.
Like this South Africa will be
better positioned to offer worldclass products to meet global
demand. Neglecting to do so will
leave the door open for others like
Chile to step in.
South African global support office opens for business
BY NABELAH FREDERICKS
will soon be able to leverage
off the expertise of their
overseas counterparts after the
International Society for Small
and Medium Enterprises (Issme)
set up shop in South Africa earlier
Issme, which began operating
in South Africa in March, aims to
assist institutions that help small
businesses and to develop a global
association of business owners.
Moses Mwanjirah, the country
representative of Issme for South
Africa, says the organisation was
set up in 2010 with the belief that
all small businesses around the
world face similar challenges.
The first office was opened
in India, with more offices
having since been added in
“We realised that small
business owners need to speak
the same language and that
everyone in the sector needs to
ISSME was first established in India and has now spread globally.
work together,” says Mwanjirah.
He says the aim in South
Africa is to create and provide
a platform for small business
owners where everyone in the
sector works together.
Mwanjirah says he is already
in talks with various government
departments and small business
associations to form partnerships.
He believes that the challenges
faced by small business owners
in the country can be addressed
through working together.
Another key issue his office is
working on is addressing challenges
facing the informal sector.
“I feel that this sector is
not receiving enough attention
and therefore I am working on
creating partnerships to address
these issues,” says Mwanjirah.
Plans are also in the pipeline
for Durban to host the fourth
Small Business World Summit
next year as well as to host the
World Small Business Awards.
As the South African Issme
office becomes more established,
programmes will also be made
available to business owners.
“Currently we are in talks
and setting up round tables
with business associations and
business owners in Gauteng.
We have already had one in
the Western Cape late last year
before we officially launched
and another will take place in
Durban,” says Mwanjirah.
• Contact Moses Mwanjirah on
call 072 263 8427 for more
May 2014 - page 5
Coega helps businesses upgrade status
BY MAX MATAVIRE
Corporation (CDC) has already
invested over R450 000 in a
support programme aimed at
The programme, which is
being co-ordinated by the CDC’s
small business development unit
and is called the Broad-Based
Black Economic Empowerment
(BBBEE) Level One Certification,
assists selected small businesses
in the CDC database by helping
them to get certification on a
higher BEE level.
Helping small businesses
improve their BBBEE scorecards
favourably in tender bidding.
Recently, 100 small businesses
in various sectors ranging
from construction to events
management were upgraded from
Level Four to Level One.
About 80% of these companies
came from the Nelson Mandela
However, the programme
caters for all small businesses
from the Eastern Cape province as
Participants are randomly
selected from the CDC small
participation is free.
Claire Kivedo of Overall Events, Wani Toyana of Otjiwarongo Projects and Ntombekhaya Gunuza of Shadow Bricks with Coega Development
Corporation’s Andile Ntloko.
Participating small businesses
decision-making and various other
aspects of business management.
development unit head, Andile
Ntloko, says: “When you bid for a
state tender, you bid on price and
indicates your BBBEE status.
“We have shown small blackowned businesses how they can
realise their potential and move to
Level One status to competitively
bid for work both on price and
Ntloko says of the 100
participating companies, 65%
were owned by black women.
The Nelson Mandela Bay
Free internet zones to be rolled out for public spaces
BY VUYO MABANDLA
BUSINESS owners may soon
be able to access free internet
following the rollout of pilot
projects in Gauteng late last
year and more recently in the
The free Wi-Fi pilot projects,
first launched in Pretoria, already
provide free internet access to
about 24 000 people, says Tim
Human, project manager at
Stellenbosch-based non-government organisation, Project Isizwe.
encapsulated in its slogan
The organisation seeks to provide
free Wi-Fi access to those across
the country in low-income areas
by assisting local, district and
provincial government in their
plan to rollout and maintain free
A free Wi-Fi network node at
a public access point is known
as a Free Internet Zone (FIZ),
where any user can get free
and immediate access without
needing a password to login.
Says Human: “At the moment,
we work with local government
municipalities to rollout our free
internet zones, so we will cover
municipalities and provinces in a
piece-meal fashion as agreements
are put in place. There is no set
plan for a national rollout as yet.
“Already eight FIZ will be
rolled out at eight low-income
schools in the Western Cape,
with four each in Atlantis and
Human says the first phase
of the Pretoria project is already
in operation, with five Wi-Fi
spots – around Tshwane North
College, Mamelodi Community
Centre and Church Square in the
The second phase of the pilot
project is expected to be launched
in July this year.
To benefit from the offering
business owners need only to
have a wireless connection via
a laptop, cellphone or a custommade device – to tap into the free
However, users will be
governed by a fair usage policy.
This means that each user's
internet access will be capped
to 250 megabytes per device per
day at an average speed of one
Free internet zones have been launched in Gauteng and the Western Cape. megabyte download.
On-net content, which does
Robertson by July this year, also local installers without the not require breakout to the
catering for numerous aspiring traditional excessive mark-ups. internet, has unlimited usage
and growing businesses in the “We facilitate an end-to-end to users.
Network security will be put
service to benefit communities
areas,” he adds.
This follows the organisation’s through education, economic in place to prevent user abuse
social of the service and access to
successful application to assist development
the government in its efforts to inclusion,” he explains.
Although a national rollout is
An anonymous online survey
take free Wi-Fi to the province’s
poor communities, with already on the organisation’s website on not yet on the cards, the second
over 20 000 people expected the free connection reveals that phase of the initiative is expected
the project brings convenience to to see a further 213 free internet
The Western Cape’s pilot reach the daily work routines to those zones rolled out in Soshanguve,
Mamelodi and Atteridgeville.
“has been impressive, there’s it reaches.
These public spaces could
Users responded by saying
been a lot of wireless activity
the service helps them to stay up be around schools, universities,
since the project’s launch”.
Human points out that to date, communicate with people libraries, sports clubs, community
non- and access work related e-mails, centres and parks.
it while some users use it for work • Go to www.projectisizwe.org
for more information.
and purposes such as email.
Municipality councillor responsible
Babalwa Lobishe, who officiated at
the certification function, says the
programme gives small businesses
the competitive edge, which is
required by various industries that
small businesses are involved in.
“We can turn around our city to
become a much better place. The
economy is growing and Coega, in
partnership with our municipality,
is going the extra mile to ensure
that we attract investment,”
Participating business owner
owns Shadow Bricks, which
has branches in Mthatha and
East London, says her company
had been “stuck at Level Three
“This is great. I did not think
my company would be upgraded
to Level One. This will now open
doors for my business. As small
businesses, we are the backbone
of South Africa’s economy and
the future job creators,” says
Gunuza, whose company employs
She says the construction
industry is tough – worse still
when one is a woman, “but with
this new status, I will take men in
the industry head-on.”
Another participant, Claire
Kivedo, who co-owns Overall
Events, says the new Level One
status would make her business
even more sustainable.
“I did not realise that the work
I am doing, along with giving back
to my community, could help boost
my company’s BEE level. It is nice
to know that hard work pays and is
rewarded,” says Kivedo.
Wani Toyana, the owner of
Otjiwarongo Projects, a bulk
company, says: “The upgrading of
my company’s BEE status means
better opportunities in future and
page 6 - May 2014 SMALL
nine and eight
open doors to
BY LAURA CAPITO
A NINE-YEAR-OLD schoolboy
and his eight-year-old friend
recently won an international
creating a mobile application
that shows how open data from
local communities can be made
available to everyone.
Much information is collected
by governments to allow cities and
towns to run smoothly.
This data is currently not
available to citizens to use freely
for easier and more practical
living. But, thanks to the app
William Colglazier, it is hoped that
similar creations will lead to the
wider use of open data.
Colglazier, who now attends
Reddam Preparatory School in
Westlake, Cape Town, came up
with the idea along with his friend,
Alex Glidden (8), for the mobile
app @Me-on-the-move while still
living in the U.S.
received the award at the Data
Day 2014 conference presented
by Smart Cities, an initiative of
Citadel-on-the-move in Ghent,
Belgium in January 2014.
is funded by the European
Commission, aims to use open data
innovatively to benefit citizens.
Geert Mareels, ICT Manager
for the Flemish eGovernment
Authority and Citadel Project
Coordinator, says: “When we set
out, we never dreamed that our
tools would enable a nine-yearold to create an app that works
across three continents. Let alone
in five minutes!”
"We never dreamt
our tools would
enable a nineyear old to creat
mobile app has information about
events in Cape Town, South Africa,
Holyoke and York in the U.S.,
Ghent in Belgium, and Athens
“The app has data on any
events happening in towns or
cities. It has information on sports
events or parking spots you can
use,” Colglazier says.
The idea for the app grew
from Colglazier having dinner
with Glidden and his parents
Glidden’s mother, Julia, works
for Smart Cities, Citadel and asked
Colglazier if he would like to enter
a competition where he could
Colglazier explains how he
went to the Massachusetts town
hall with his mentor, Julia in
Holyoke, to ask for their open data.
“They had absolutely no idea
what I was asking for and told me
to go to their website.
I told them I need the open
data in an Excel spreadsheet for
me to be able to use it,” says
Colglazier’s mother, Melissa
Murphy, says the app was created
by using the open data to get
the information and place it in a
spreadsheet in order for the data
to be manipulated.
The information cannot be
used in any other format.
Colglazier then moved to Cape
Town and continued his mission to
William Colglazier, nine, recently won a global award for his innovative mobile app @Me-on-the-move.
get open data for his mobile app.
“The Cape Town Tourism
Board were incredibly helpful
and gave us all the information,
termed as data sets that specify
event information in Cape Town
for the year,” says Murphy.
This information was then
used for the app.
The app can currently not
be accessed for use, because
the invention was entered into
the competition and belongs to
There was no cost involved in
creating the app. Colglazier used
one of the Citadel-on-the-move
templates to create it.
For now, he plans to learn
Afrikaans and to concentrate on
Perhaps this nine-year-old’s
creation will become a stepping
stone for other entrepreurs.
• For information on how to use
Citadel’s tools for an app, go to
Building a business
one book at a time
BY VUYO MABANDLA
HEMIS Lacala is onto something
good. Not only is he pursuing a
great business idea, but he is also
educating the nation at a fraction
of the usual cost.
This he does through his
online book store, eAfford, which
helps university students save
money by renting out academic
textbooks at low prices.
As a Bachelor of Commerce
student at the University of
Pretoria last year, Lacala recalls
how he and his friends would
“miss out on buying nice things”
because their money would be
spent mostly on expensive books.
Lacala sees eAfford as the
answer to “avoid feeling ripped
off” every time one buys books
from retail stores. A typical
university textbook can cost
anything between R400 and
R700 at a bookstore.
Lacala decided to start a
business that provides buyers
with access to quality books at
half the original price than if they
were bought elsewhere.
“The idea struck me when in
2011 I found myself often without
study material, leisure money
and sometimes even food. The
business was started in August
2013 by a group of students to
help other students save their
hard-earned cash to spend on
whatever they like,” he says.
Along with fellow students
Sheyie Ogunboyale, a graphic
designer, and Jarred Freedberg
who majors in finance at the
University of Cape Town, he put
together a business model based
on combining online technology
The resulting website –
www.e-afford.co.za – lets users
create a personal account online
to place orders for books. The
small enterprise operates under
Dot Ingenious Web Solutions Pty
(Ltd), owned by Lacala.
By simply indicating a book’s
number (or ISBN), the author’s
name, or title, users can indicate
how long they will keep the book
before it is delivered.
“The name eAfford is
a contraction of the words
‘virtualisation’ and ‘affordability’,
based on the founders’ experience
during our studies at university,”
says Lacala, who adds that the
business has grown in the past
from many people, with some
interested in knowing how we
thought up the idea,” he says.
The business has attracted
Hemis Lacala of eAfford is growing his business one book at a time.
over 100 frequent users to date,
all vying to get their hands on
some of the 10 000 books the
business has to offer. To meet
the growing demand, Lacala
and his colleagues buy secondhand books from other students
to increase their stock. They also
source new titles from a local
book supplier with whom they
have an agreement with.
With 65% off on secondhand books and 50% off on new
ones, eAfford is looking to sell a
thousand books by the end of this
year’s first university semester,
with plans to collect 10 000 more
by the end of 2014.
Ogunboyale designed the
website’s online application to
help students plan and revise
their class work. Freedberg, who
manages the business’s cash
flow, says educated students
are the future of South Africa.
Says Freedberg: “eAfford aims
to help these students on their
academic journey, moving our
country forward together.”
Lacala says he feels he’s
a social entrepreneur as the
business is a “springboard for
an alternative, cheaper way of
They plan to use this year to
partner with and seek incubation
in order to get more advice
and experience. They are also
busy developing more online
applications to help connect with
clients across the country and
start employing more people.
• Go to e-afford.co.za for more
May 2014 - page 7
From domestic worker
to industry pioneer
BY NABELAH FREDERICKS
SINCE registering her business in
2008, a Gauteng businesswoman
has created employment for
more than 1 000 women
through her domestic worker
It’s no surprise then that her
business scooped the Most Jobs
Created and Best Performing
Company award at the Shanduka
Black Umbrellas awards in early
2013 and, more recently, the top
SMME award at the second annual
South African Premier Business
Awards. The latter is an initiative
of the Department of Trade and
Industry, Proudly South African
and Brand SA to honour local
she entered the job market as a
domestic worker, not out of choice,
but because that was the only way
she could earn money.
“I needed money to study
and I could cook and clean,” says
Shibambo. Years later she worked
at a bank and was always asked
by colleagues and customers to
refer them to a reliable domestic
worker who could clean and take
care of children.
She says it was only when she
had her child that she realised the
difficulty people faced when trying
to find a reliable person who
could clean and take care of their
children. In three years, she hired
and fired 12 domestic workers.
It was this struggle that led to
the business idea of a domestic
worker placement agency and
Maid4u was born.
Through Maid4u Shibambo
recruits unemployed women in
rural and poverty-stricken areas
with little or no skills and uses her
story as a former domestic worker
to illustrate the success that can
be built from humble beginnings.
She levies a fee of about R200
for placement. For those that
cannot pay the fee an agreement
is made to subtract this amount
from their first wage. Training,
which includes housekeeping and
CPR, is provided free of charge.
Wages from clients are paid
directly to Maid4u, but very little
goes towards the business.
Shibambo says she started
Maid4u while still employed
and only left her job when she
was accepted into Shanduka
“I registered the business
in 2008, but we only went
operational in 2010. With 18
months’ experience working as a
domestic worker I knew what the
challenges were on both sides and
could focus on creating the right
environment for both the worker
and the employer,” says Shibambo.
Shibambo explains that she
has a strict screening process in
place, where all the necessary
checks are carried out regarding
personality, maturity, discipline,
checking for criminal records,
identity documents among others.
She also approached the
Department of Labour to assist
her with learning more about
employment guidelines so that
she could ensure the rights of both
her workers and their employers
A graduate of the Goldman
Sachs 10 000 Women in Business
programme run by the Gordon
Institute of Business, Shibambo
says her business has really taken
off since she started.
“I am trying to contain it
because I don’t have the capacity
and need some funding,” she says
of her business’s growth spurt.
Shibambo says the awards that
she has received have reenergised
her and she plans to continue to
do what she has been doing even
though her revenue remains small.
• Go to www.maid4u.co.za for
07907 Bizspark Collateral - A4 Advert_FINAL_Paths_nc.indd 1
Maid4u's Lindiwe Shibambo, centre, with colleague at the Sapba Awards.
2013/09/13 4:19 PM
page 8 - May 2014
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
Only one password to remember
BY MARCEL OUDEJANS
WHETHER you’re checking your
bank account online, opening
your webmail, logging in to your
computer, or simply unlocking
your smartphone, you’ll need to
remember a password.
In the past, you could get away
with remembering one password
for every website or account. With
the increase in online fraud and
hacking, that’s asking for trouble.
It would be very easy
for a dishonourable person
to take control of your data,
banking and online identity if
he learnt that single password.
It’s long been highly recommended
that you do not use passwords (or
pin codes) that are birth dates,
or anything that could easily
That’s why online security
experts suggest that you create a
unique password for every single
account. This password should
ideally comprise of at least eight
characters, and include lowercase and upper-case characters,
Imagine having to remember
complex passwords like that!
Unfortunately, writing down
passwords or keeping them in
unsecured text files is also a
severe security risk – and you run
the risk of being locked out of your
accounts if you lose your password
to your laptop of a file.
As a result, several applications
have been developed to help
with password management,
such as KeePass (www.keepass.
info) and 1Password (www.
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However, the solution that I
use and recommend is LastPass
(www.lastpass.com) because it
has what I consider to be the best
features, offers peace of mind,
and is highly regarded by experts
In addition, the free version is
quite suitable for the majority of
users (although I personally think
the premium subscription is well
worth the money).
Here are some of LastPass’s
You only need to remember
one password – your master
password – in order to access
and use all your other usernames
and passwords. This single
password must be complex but
that’s the “last pass” you’ll need
The software can generate
and save a complex unique
password for every new account,
and you won’t need to remember
it. LastPass will automatically
create a new account profile and
login the next time you visit that
website or app.
Your passwords are saved
in a super secure “vault” that
cannot be hacked. No one else
will ever have access to your
passwords because the service
offers extremely secure, paranoidlevel security.
You will be able to access your
vault from any online computer
because your vault is saved in
LastPass can do an audit of
your passwords to warn you if
your password is easy to guess, is
frequently used by other people,
or if you use the same password
on another website.
Because LastPass can generate
and save a new unique password,
it makes it extremely easy to save a
better password on your accounts.
LastPass also offers multifactor authentication (like a onetime pin, better known as OTP
from your bank) as an extra layer
The Premium service is
very affordable (about R130
per year) and offers even more
useful features, including mobile
LastPass is perfect for personal
use, but they also offer an
enterprise version that manages
employee passwords and helps
you to protect company data.
changed how I protect my online
data so much that I have installed
it on every family member’s
computer – even my mother-inlaw’s!
• Visit this link www.lastpass.
com/f?3190276 if you’d like to
receive one month free use of
entertainer, keynote speaker
and soft skills trainer. Visit
more advice on balancing work
May 2014 - page 9
Cover your risks
to prevent ruin
in your business
BY YOLANDE STANDER
TOO often, one reads of businesses
burning down, being robbed or
countless other unforeseen losses
that could lead a small business to
ruin if it does not have the right
about insurance cover during the
infancy stages of a business is key
to protecting it against unforeseen
losses that most startups find
unable to absorb.
So say specialists in the
insurance sector and small
“The reason that startups
skimp on insurance is because
they generally have less capital
and free cash flow to absorb
such losses, and will be unable
to continue to operate when
impacted by a loss, says Standard
Bank’s head of small enterprise,
Mutual & Federal commercial,
distribution and Africa executive
Mark Weston agrees. “Many
small businesses are often sole
proprietors. This means that an
owner has heightened financial
liability in case something
“Therefore, it is important to
obtain insurance, because claims
can destroy not only a business,
but the business owner’s financial
health,” he says.
executive, Kevin Hustler, says
small business owners often find
themselves financially constrained
within the first few years of
operation, and that this is when
the temptation to “skimp” on the
seemingly expensive “luxury”
of good business insurance is at
“However, as with any other
decision, business owners must
consider the greater long-term
impact of the decisions they make
in the early days of their business,
especially when it comes to
dealing with financial setbacks
that could otherwise mean the
end of business operations.
“Losses due to theft, the
breakdown of machinery and
damage to premises, for instance,
should be insured against to
provide the necessary protection
in the long run,” says Hustler.
Ensure that your
broker is from
an independent brokerage
Videographer Craig Blewett
equipment was one of the first
considerations he made when he
started his business. “If a camera
Fire damage could put you out of business if you do not have sufficient cover for your losses.
breaks or if I lose equipment due
to theft, I am unable to provide my
services, which in turn means no
income,” Blewett says.
However, he believes that
premiums are becoming very
costly and difficult to afford.
Sarah Dirsuwei, the owner of
The Plantation and The Boma event
venues, says having sufficient
insurance cover is “vital”.
“A single disaster such as a fire
or a client getting injured on your
business property can literally
ruin a small business.
It is virtually impossible to selfinsure to cover all the associated
losses, which are much furtherreaching than just the cost of
the damage – including business
Six tips on how to cut insurance costs
BUSINESS insurance is not always very high up the priority list of a small
business owner, yet it is invaluable. Here are six ways to try to keep
insurance costs down.
Go online, research and
speak to other business
owners to hear what they
have to say about their
Remember, this is a very
competitive market and you
can use this to take advantage
to get the best possible quote.
Change your cover
If your policy has a broad
coverage, you can reduce
your premium by reducing
However, this will also
limit the losses that will be
covered and increase the risk
of you having to cover losses
out of your own pocket.
Insurance companies might be
willing to allow a discount on
your premium if you increase
your excess which will take
some of the pressure off the
insurer in the event of a claim.
Excess refers to the amount
you will have to pay when
ASK FOR A DISCOUNT
As mentioned above, the
industry is very competitive
and your agent might be
more than willing to allow
for a discount should you ask
Instead of making monthly
payments, which is the
norm, rather make annual or
You could save on your
premium by making a onceoff payment.
Credit scores are used to check
the likelihood of potential
claims by clients. This is
because research has shown
that people with good financial
management skills are less
likely to make a claim.
interruption, legal action and loss
“Being in the hospitality
industry, hosting weddings and
functions, we need to manage
our risk comprehensively. This
includes having sufficient public
liability cover, as well as basic
short-term insurance, business
insurance,” says Dirsuwei.
When speaking to brokers and
insurers about the importance of
insurance, they consider business
interruption cover to be critical for
any startup, and one of the first
options to be considered when
looking into business insurance.
“The cover is designed to put
your business back into the same
position, or as close to the same
position, as before the occurrence
of a loss,” says Shehnaz Somers,
the head of Santam’s commercial
However, over and above
finding the best cover for a
business’ individual needs among
the myriad of options available
can be a challenge.
“It is a good idea to go to an
insurer or broker specialising
in your industry, because their
policies are built to cater for the
unique intricacies of that particular
industry,” says Dirsuwei.
of Southsure, says it is also
important to ensure that your
broker is from an independent
brokerage with no vested interests
as well as possibly a member
of the Financial Intermediaries
Association of South Africa (FIA),
which advocates the highest levels
of professionalism and conduct.
According to Weston, a
reputable broker will be able to
evaluate the risks a business may
face and will complete a proper
“We would advise owners
not to accept a generic type of
insurance solution,” he says.
Theuns Hattingh, director
of Commsure, says using a
reputable broker is important,
primarily to establish the nature
of the risk, finding a solution,
and then comparing the different
“The beauty of business
insurance is that it consists of
30 different sections ranging
from fire, business interruption,
to theft and vehicle insurance,”
According to Govender, small
business specific pre-packaged
options can start from about R150
to as high as R950 per month.
According to Weston, the
major costs associated with
business insurance depend on the
risk appetite of the business and
the segment it operates in, as well
as the inherent risks in that sector.
businesses face potentially higher
risks as result of their processes –
some tend to be highly flammable
or dangerous and thus can
represent an increased fire hazard.
Other industries have intrinsically
lower risks, which naturally will
affect the cost of insurance,”
“Build the cost of insurance
into your business plan; at least
an amount providing the most
essential or basic cover that will
help you to continue to operate,
should a loss happen.
understand the cover purchased,
the exclusions, and your specific
requirements. Ask, to ensure
that it covers the loss your
business is most likely to suffer,”
• To find a reputable insurance
broker to speak to, go to www.
page 10 - May 2014
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
trade with ICT
In this month’s incubator focus,
we travel to the technology
incubator of Medo – short for the
Micro Enterprise Development
Organisation. We spoke to
Noluthando Tutani, the project
manager at Medo to learn more
about the incubator’s services.
What is the name of
The incubator is called the
Micro Enterprise Development
Organisation (Medo) Information
Communication and Technology
(ICT) Youth Incubator. Medo will
be rolling out other incubators. All
the incubators are project-specific
and focused. This one is focused
on ICT and internet TV broadcast.
How would you describe
The focus of the incubator is
on the ICT sector. The specific
Precinct – has been chosen to
leverage high speed fibre (FTTH)
bandwidth connectivity to the
internet as commended by Icasa.
The incubator will also host an
internet TV studio to facilitate IP
(internet protocol) utilising high
speed connectivity. The focus is on
supporting young entrepreneurs.
Where are you based and from
which areas do you recruit
We are based in Johannesburg
and in Cape Town. Medo uses a
mobile entrepreneurship incubator
to engage with rural, township
and urban communities all over
South Africa. Trep is an acronym
for the word “entrepreneur” –
we call the mobile incubator
“Treppie”. Treppie is equipped
with 10 computer work stations
with free wireless internet and
a meeting area. Treppie has
a team to assist community
members with basic computer
literacy skills. The community
is invited to apply via the Medo
website for future business
training skills in their area.
Which businesses are best suited
to join? For the ICT incubator,
the best businesses to join are
ICT businesses that use a lot of
technology to deliver their craft.
The incubator houses at least ten
permanent ICT businesses and
also provides virtual incubation.
How do they apply?
Entrepreneurs are invited to
apply via our website at www.
medo.co.za or via our mobile
incubator when it’s in their
area. They are also welcome
Kopano Ntsoane, co-founder of Modern Entertainment
to visit our incubator in the
in your programme?
It depends on the number
of applicants that applied for
a specific programme. In a
Programme there are typically
between 25 and 40 businesses in
a programme at any one time.
How long do businesses stay
in your programmes?
We house entrepreneurs for as
long as they need assistance. We
found that businesses need a lot
of assistance from year one to two.
After year two they don’t need that
much help. However, we monitor
the progress of businesses every
three months. We found that as
the businesses grow, they start
to employ staff and can no longer
operate from the incubator. They
are then able to look for an office
or a bigger space to operate from.
What are the two key elements
of your support that sets you
apart from other incubators?
Entrepreneurs will never pay
for services rendered by Medo.
We will never take equity in their
companies – this is to ensure that
they retain their predominately
black ownership. Medo will assist
entrepreneurs from the beginning
in order to build sustainable
businesses. We have Treppie, our
mobile incubator which goes to
rural communities where help is
likely not to come.
How long have you
Medo has been in operation
since August 2011.
How many businesses have
been incubated with your
support and how many of
them are still going today?
We have ten permanently in
our ICT incubator and the rest of
the entrepreneurs are in virtual
incubation. We have just over 120
How many incubatees are now
What are your fees?
We don’t charge. We secure
funds from corporate spend.
What commitments do
incubatees make before they
enter your programme? And
what commitment do you
make to them?
We ask the entrepreneurs
to commit their time to the
programme and that they are
never late and that they attend
all sessions. They should also
be respectful and assist their
fellow entrepreneurs. Medo ICT
incubator offer these services:
• Free internet access.
• Free telephony.
• Meeting rooms with audio
• Fully-equipped high definition
studio with Cyclorama.
• Shared service facility.
• Mail post box services for
• Shared reception services.
• Networking events.
What is the best thing you
have heard someone say
about your incubator?
The best thing said is the
networking opportunities giv-en
And the worst?
I have not heard anything yet.
What was your biggest
success thus far?
Our biggest success so far
is our Medo/BT International
Trade Programme, run for the
first time in 2012, culminating
in successful business linkages
for trade between the UK and
South Africa. The primary goal
of the programme is to increase
trade between small businesses
in both countries. We have been
able to achieve this thus far and
more than half of the businesses
we send to the UK come back
What is your biggest wish
for improving support to
entrepreneurs in South Africa?
entrepreneurs is to get assistance
in learning how to manage a
business and finance before they
can be given access to funding
or can apply to any funding
• For a list of incubators, go to
Ntsoane, co-founder of Modern
Micro Enterprise Development
Organisation (Medo) Information
Communication and Technology
(ICT) Youth Incubator with
the growth he has seen in his
business in the last four months.
Here’s what he had to say...
How long have you
participated in the incubator
programme and when will
I have been part of the
programme for four months
now, and I plan to exit after 12
months operating in this space.
I estimate that by that time
our revenue structures will be
properly in place.
How much did your turnover
and profitability grow
On joining the incubator, we
began working professionally
with a clear vision in what
we would like to achieve in
2014. This has assisted us in
getting partnerships like Ster
Kinekor, Pitch Black Post and
4Moola which added to our
What are the best benefits
you received from
We have had a number of
opportunities and benefits.
One of which is the great office
space we have with everything
an entrepreneur will need to be
For example, a phone,
internet and a green screen
studio facility. Moreover, they
provide support and mentorship.
We also have the opportunity
to meet other entrepreneurs
from around the country in
What would you suggest be
added or changed to make
the programme better?
I have learnt the most
important principle of business
in the atmosphere that the
incubator offers and that
is networking, networking,
This played a major role
in the profits and progress. of
May 2014 - page 11
Practical tips for starting your business
BY VUYISA QUBAKA
STARTING a business, anywhere
around the world, is a daunting
task. Starting a business in
South Africa, however, is made
incredibly difficult by frustrating
red tape, sometimes enough for
many to give up on their dreams.
In the 12 years that I have
been involved in business, either
as founding entrepreneur or
business partner, I’ve registered
eight businesses (using four
different legal entities – close
corporation, private company,
non-profit organisation and cooperative). Here are some things
to consider if you are about to start
your entrepreneurship journey.
Get acquainted with the
Companies Intellectual Property
Commission (CIPC), because this
is the Department of Trade and
Industry’s agency responsible
for ensuring that companies (and
intellectual property) are legally
registered in South Africa.
The CIPC is really the start
of business compliance in South
Africa. The basic business
familiarise yourself with the
various legal entities that you can
register by going to www.cipc.
co.za), South African Revenue
Service registration (tax clearance
certificates are a requirement
for government tenders and
Broad-Based Black Economic
Empowerment certificate (this can
issued by a registered accountant
or auditor or a South African
National Accreditation System
(Sanas) approved verification
agency via www.sanas.co.za).
Having a compliant business is
itself a critical part of starting and
developing a legitimate business.
These days there are also online
platforms like Enterprise Enabler
that can help you to complete a
very basic business compliance
process at an affordable rate.
I’ve also been involved in putting
together a Business Startup Kit
for South African SMMEs, and you
can learn more about it via www.
Once compliant, it becomes
important to build a sustainable,
profitable business and my advice
is to remind yourself why you
started a business in the first
place: To make profit.
We all start a business because
we spot a gap in the market, and
in most cases, there is someone
willing to pay money in exchange
for the product or service.
The beginning of every
business has delays, setbacks and
miscalculations, but the best way
to limit mistakes is by conducting
extensive market research or if
you’re buying or investing into an
existing business, to conduct a due
diligence. It’s always worthwhile
to test every concept or idea on
a small group, to satisfy yourself
that it works before spending a lot
of money developing or marketing
it to a larger audience.
The journey to prosperity and
profit is also made up of business
financing to either start, or
accelerate or expand and South
Africa has many options, but many
business owners don’t take the
time to fully consider their options
when starting out.
I encourage all South Africans
to join a formal business chamber,
network or forum. You will find one
in every province in this country.
Business chambers, networks
or forums are excellent at providing
a safe space for entrepreneurs
to get support from other
entrepreneurs, get information or
opportunities and meet potential
funders or mentors.
entrepreneur. Connect with him
on Twitter at @vuyisaq.
6 steps to start your journey
Here are entrepreneur Vuyisa
Qubeka’s easy steps to starting
• Idea generation: spot a gap in
research or due diligence.
cover company registration
(Companies Intellectual Property
Commission), tax registration
Service), and Broad-Based
Black Economic Empowerment
• Business finance: find what
you need to start out.
• Networking: join a business
• Sell, sell, sell!
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page 12 - May 2014
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
BY PAUL CRANKSHAW
TRANSPORTING goods is the
life-blood of today’s cities, as
consumers and businesses need
their possessions or products
moved from one place to another.
One area of opportunity in this
sector is removals – helping
customers move home or office.
specialises in packing, loading and
transporting furniture and other
goods from a home or an office.
When starting up, a useful
niche for small businesses to
target may be the homeowner –
the ordinary consumer who does
not have a lot of cash to spend, but
needs help to move large and bulky
items. As a small enterprise, with
low overheads and high efficiency,
you can offer this service at a
As you grow, there could be
opportunities to expand your
services into the corporate market,
where margins could be higher.
COULD I DO IT?
Moving furniture and other goods
is a physically demanding job, with
much lifting and carrying, so you
need to be fit and strong. You also
need to be able work in all weather
conditions – hot, cold or wet – so it
is not for the faint-hearted! Each
job is likely to be different, with
its own challenges – so make sure
that you are practical and patient,
and good at finding solutions that
are efficient and safe.
You must be a good planner
and organiser, keeping to a
schedule, so that you work to your
customers’ expectations. To do
this properly, you should be able
to estimate how long it will take to
load the required goods, and how
much space they will take up.
If you underestimate the work
required, you will lose money
and will probably delay your next
customer; this makes it difficult
to build a good reputation and
get referrals for more work.
Social skills are vital; you must
get on with people from different
backgrounds, and deal with
customers who are stressed.
MY TRAINING NEEDS
This industry is still largely
unregulated, so there are no
compulsory training requirements
for people wanting to start a
removals business, but there is
training available that could make
your business more successful.
The Transport Education and
Training Authority (Teta) accredits
training organisations that provide
good courses to businesses in this
sector. For further information,
contact Teta’s Road Freight
Chamber on 011 781 1280 or visit
the website at www.teta.org.za.
The qualifications they support
include the National Certificate in
Professional Driving. Also look on
the website of transport magazine
Fleetwatch for training providers
About 2.5 million South Africans
move home each year, most are
between 25 and 34; they are
developing their careers and
families, so are usually moving
into larger homes. Not everyone
who moves home uses a removals
service, but your customers will
be diverse and could include
any of these groups: Those
with smaller homes (or moving
somewhere close) could use your
Decorating the truck with your logo and displaying your contact information will project a more professional image.
Customers may also just want
to move one or two large items
and don’t have suitable transport
to do so. Small businesses that
are moving premises could also
use your services. However, some
smaller retailers who cannot afford
their own vehicles use a contractor
instead. Also, large retailers
may use your services if they get
very busy and don’t have enough
transport to deliver. Homeowners
and businesses often need rubble
or rubbish to be removed, usually
during building operations. If
you offer this service, you will
probably need a different type of
vehicle to deal with these loads. If
the material is not too heavy and
the loads are fairly small, you may
manage with a trailer (a cheaper
option than a whole new vehicle).
Here are some ways to get your
Get leaflets and flyers printed
and distribute them in your local
area. Target those households
or businesses that are more
likely to need your service soon.
For instance, drive around and
find homes with a ‘For sale’ sign
outside; people who are planning
to move house will be more
interested in your service.
Advertise regularly in your
local community (or suburban)
newspaper; this is usually one of
the first places people look when
they need a removals service.
For community newspapers in
your area, look on the websites
of the Association of Independent
Publishers (www.aip.org.za) or
Caxton Publishers (www.caxton.
co.za), South Africa’s largest
publisher of suburban weeklies.
You could even set up your
own website, with information
about your services, basic prices,
contact details and testimonials
from previous customers who
were happy with your service.
Decorate your truck with your
logo and business colours, and
display your name and contact
details boldly for people to see.
DON’T BE A COWBOY!
Being ethical, trusted and
respectable can earn you more
customers. Consider joining a
trade organisation such as the
Professional Movers Association
will raise your image and will
make potential customers feel
more confident about your
professionalism. Before you join,
you will need to meet certain
quality standards. As a member,
you can display the association’s
logo on all your publicity material.
• Go to www.cobwebinfo.co.za
for more by Paul Crankshaw.
Black startups to get boost from fund
BY DANIEL BUGAN
STARTUP businesses struggling
to secure funding to take their
operations to the next level
have been flourishing thanks to
millions of rand in investment
funding from the South African
Breweries (SAB) Foundation.
The SAB Foundation launched
the Tholoana Fund three years
ago; it seeks to benefit historically
entrepreneurial development in
Tholoana Fund is a seed grant
programme and provides grants
between R50 000 and R250
000 to qualifying businesses,
depending on their needs.
It is a beneficiary of SAB’s
broad-based black economic
scheme, SAB Zenzele.
Boipelo Nkadimeng, the head
of community partnerships and
enterprise development at SAB,
says the fund was started to assist
small businesses in South Africa
that struggle to secure capital
owing to a lack of collateral and a
poor business track record.
Nkadimeng says the fund
has invested a total amount of
R14.2 million in 136 businesses
since its inception in 2011.
Maloti Mothobi, owner of
company Strato Concept Store,
was one such business owner
who secured investment funding.
She says she needed the money
to buy machinery and office
equipment as well as employ
more staff and acquire marketing
and promotional items.
R247 000 in funding, which she
says has dramatically improved
“I was able to employ an
additional designer, and could
purchase sufficient stock to see
us through our peak periods
and for our soon-to-be-launched
She believes her application
for funding was successful
because she had all her business
documents in place.
While the Tholoana Fund is
open to black-owned and blackmanaged businesses in all sectors,
the business must be a startup
in initial stages of operation.
For instance, the business must
be operational for at least six
months and must be under three
years old. Applications must
demonstrate an enterprise’s
commercial viability and job
creation potential. The business
also needs to be compliant
with tax laws and any other
applicable regulations such as the
The owner must also be
involved in the day-to-day
running of the business.
Preference will be given
to businesses run by women,
young people, people with
disabilitiesand people living in
Applications will be assessed
according to eligibility criteria.
An on-site due diligence will
then be performed to verify
the information supplied by
applicants and to further assess
the enterprise’s viability.
staggered between January and
September. The next two rounds
of application are from 30 April to
30 May 2014 and from 1 August
to 12 September 2014.
• To get an application form, visit
May 2014 - page 13
Good leaders create
safety for their people
“Leaders Eat Last – Why
Some Teams Pull Together
and Others Don’t” by
Simon Sinek, published by
Portfolio Penguin (2014).
WHY is it that in recent times
the world has experienced so
many repetitive market crashes –
when the previous market crash
happened as far back as the so
called Great Depression?
The answer, says Simon Sinek
in “Leaders Eat Last”, lies in the
imbalanced approach adopted by
leaders of the economy since the
last World War.
Imbalances emerge where the
abstraction of data overrides the
needs of people, where individual
gain of executives is more
important than value offered to the
customers the business serves. It
is when leaders “eat first”.
This imbalance, he says, is
best explained by comparing the
business approach to the chemical
balance our bodies create to keep
us happy. These chemicals are
endorphins, dopamine, serotonin
This comparison rings a bell!
In his previous book “Start With
Why”, Sinek explained the “Golden
Circle” of how leaders inspire
action at hand. The structure of
the brain, where the most obvious
and clearest aspects of business
are found in the outer ring of the
circle – the what – while the inner
ring corresponds with the more
fuzzy but meaningful – the why.
In “Leaders Eat Last” he argues
that it is the imbalance between
these four “happiness chemicals”,
as these manifest in business,
that cause the disturbances in the
markets and that leaders should
work at restoring a balance.
In our bodies, endorphins
mask pain so that we keep going;
dopamine creates the good feeling
when we notice that we are
achieving progress and reaching
goals; serotonin creates the feeling
of pride when others recognise
and respect us; and oxytocin
creates the feeling of love and
deep trust with the people closest
to us. In a healthy body, there is a
balance between these short-term
and lasting happiness chemicals.
And in business, Sinek argues, we
should aim for the same balance.
But there is no such balance at
the moment – this explains the
volatility in the world economy.
The analogy of the happiness
chemical with business brings
some interesting insights. While
dopamine offers instant, but shortlived gratification, oxytocin boosts
the immune system and gives a
lasting effect of calm and safety.
Too much “dopamine” would result
in big spurts of empty happiness,
but is it not better to have
gradually increasing and ongoing
happiness from “oxytocin”? This
is what Sinek argues where things
went wrong in the economy – the
“chemistry” is out of balance and
needs to be fixed. Where leaders
achieve such balance, it becomes
possible to create “Circles of
Safety”. Within a Circle of Safety
the people inside an organisation
are inclined to support each other
and work together. When leaders
are focused on creating the safe
space for their people to prosper,
they will eat last.
Trade Opportunities Centre
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through the
Trade Opportunities Centre (TOC), assists South African
companies across sectors to identify international business
opportunities. The TOC is responsible for matching South
African exporters with international buyers seeking to purchase
goods and services.
The TOC offers the following services:
Match-Making - the matching of international
business opportunities to export-ready South African
Trade Lead Bulletins - the weekly publishing and
distribution of international business opportunities to
South African enterprises.
To subscribe to the dti Trade Lead Bulletin
e-mail: [email protected]
For more information, contact:
Percy Ngobeli, Tel: (012) 394 5792 or e-mail: [email protected]
Martha Mahlangu, Tel: (012) 394 1179 or e-mail: [email protected]
the dti, empowering industries and
broadening economic participation
the dti Customer Contact Centre: 0861 843 384
page 14 - May 2014
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
Fund sparks rise in franchises
by daniel bugan
THE launch of a R107 million
fund could see the rise of many
more franchises, especially with
big names like Burger King and
Walmart having opened in South
Africa in recent months.
The Franchise Fund, launched
last month, is an initiative
between Business Partners, the
Development Bank of Southern
Africa and the National Treasury’s
Jobs Fund. The fund’s financing
model requires just a minimum
contribution of 10% of total
financing from the franchisee.
The funding is structured such
that the Jobs Fund finances 50%
of the total financing requirement,
less the franchisee’s contribution,
while Business Partners finances
the remaining 50% portion of the
total financing requirement.
Gerrie van Biljon, executive
director of Business Partners, says
applicants are required to undergo
an evaluation process and training
in order to qualify for funding.
“The evaluation process and
training programme is designed
to ensure that the franchisee has
made the correct decision to start
a business of this nature.
The evaluation process focuses
on the character and personality
of the entrepreneur, while the
training focuses on their ability to
successfully run a business,” says
Only on completion of training
can the franchisee begin operating
Big franchises like Burger King are opening their doors all over the country, providing aspiring franchisees with an array of opportunities to choose from.
Following the training, monitoring of the franchisee begins.
This includes regular mentor
visits to the business premises,
franchisee. In addition to financial
support, a portion of the funds
from the Jobs Fund’s contribution
has been set aside for technical
assistance. No interest is levied on
the funds disbursed for technical
Beneficiaries only need repay
this portion of the funding after
having settled the portion assigned
to financing the purchase of the
Van Biljon says the funding that
an applicant will qualify for under
the Franchise Fund will depend on
the nature of the franchise they
want to purchase.
For some franchises the
path to success
by daniel bugan
WHEN Pieter Matlou wanted to
start his own computer retail
franchise he already had the
experience, the expertise and
the drive – all he lacked was the
finance. But that all changed
when he read an article in a local
Having worked as a technical
manager at a Matrix Warehouse
branch, Matlou had been toying
with the idea of buying his own
Matrix franchise for years, but
acquiring the finance proved a
huge stumbling block.
Says Matlou: “Getting finance
was quite a daunting process.
I had tried several banks but to
One day he picked up a South
African Franchise Warehouse
magazine and stumbled across
a story about a new franchise
funding initiative that had been
launched by Business Partners,
called the Franchise Fund.
The fund, officially launched
last month, is an initiative
between Business Partners, the
Development Bank of Southern
Africa and the National Treasury’s
Matlou immediately realised
that he stood a good chance of
securing a loan under the fund,
as he complied with most of
Namely, experience, attitude
and basic business management
skills that the funding institution
required from its applicants.
In November last year he
forwarded his application to
He did not know that in
the space of just three short
months his life was about to
Franchisee Pieter Matlou received R750 000 from the fund.
In February, he received
Partners that his application for
R750 000 in finance to buy his
own Matrix Warehouse store in
Lakeside Mall, Benoni had been
“I think they (Business
Partners) were persuaded by my
determination and passion as
well as my experience. I was more
than a good enough candidate,”
To secure the funding he put
down an own contribution of 20%
of the total financing.
The fund requires a minimum
contribution of 10% from the
He says what impressed him
most about Business Partners was
the way they assisted him through
the initial application process.
He also appreciated the
business skills training he
received from the business
Business owners interested
in applying for funding from the
franchise fund can go to www.
• Go to www.matrixwarehouse.
co.za for more information on
the computer retail franchise.
Contact Pieter Matlou on
011 918 8130.
capital requirement is less than
R500 000, while for others the
requirement is higher.
Entrepreneurs would only
be able to buy franchises from
franchisors that have been
accredited by the SA Franchise
Warehouse and Business Partners.
comply with certain minimum
requirements, such as
• The provision of proper
• Full membership.
• Accreditation to the Franchise
Association South Africa.
• They will also need to have a
successful track record.
of 10% is
Van Biljon says the SA
Franchise Warehouse will handle
monitoring of the franchisees.
The fund officially began
processing applications at the
beginning of this year.
It has already completed its
first few deals.
• Those interested in buying
a franchise and applying for
funding can enquire online at
franchisewarehouse.co.za for a
list of franchise brands that are
accredited in terms of the rules
May 2014 - page 15
Understanding the psyche of investors
AFTER watching a number of
episodes of one of those “pitch
to the investor” reality shows on
television, I just had to put pen
It’s clear to me that the
featured entrepreneurs did not do
their homework or simply don’t
know how investors think.
They made the common
mistake of valuing their business
ideas at millions of rands.
For instance, one participant
wanted an investment of R5
million to start trading. When the
investors asked what they would
get in return, the entrepreneur
offered only 25% equity in
In the mind of an investor,
what this means is that the
business idea is worth R20 million
– even before it is proven to work!
This puts off investors
and is very likely to close off
opportunities to further engage
them (or their capital).
Entrepreneurs often think their
business ideas are unique and
the best ever and are therefore
unwilling to share much with other
people of what they believe could
be the fortune they will make in
the future from these ideas.
What these entrepreneurs
forget is that a business idea is
worth nothing until it is proven to
work. To prove it, a large sum of
money – which they do not have
– needs to be spent first. No cash,
In the case of a business
that has been trading for a
number of years, its value can
be determined by using various
The common method is to
multiply its annual profit by a
number ranging from 3 to 5. In
some business types (e.g. service
stations), the number is high.
From this valuation, the
investor will determine a fair
equity that his or her investment
should buy in the business.
Loan financing might seem
like a simpler option, because you
don’t have to give away equity
to other parties, you just need to
pay back the loan with interest to
But the challenge here is that
you need to provide collateral
against the loan, which is often
difficult if you require a loan of
R1 million or more.
In this case, finding an investor
seems to be the only option you
have to make your business dream
Personally, the investor option
is the best, because somebody
else is prepared to take the risk
with you, whereas in a loan
scenario, you’re taking the risk
alone – you use your property
to secure the loan and sign an
unlimited suretyship. Provided
that investors are convinced that
your business proposal is viable
and profitable, the language they
understand is risk and return –
the higher the risk, the higher the
Simply put, return is the
profit investors expect to make
on the amount they will invest in
your business over a period to be
agreed upon, usually expressed as
In the private equity and
venture capital space, the
expected return in unsecured
investments averages about 35%,
but it can be more, depending
on the level of risk investors are
exposed to in the business. Think
about it. These people withdraw
their money from secured and
low-risk environments and invest
it in someone else’s dream or
business where there are no
guarantees besides expectations,
and hope for the best. If you ask
me, this is plain crazy.
Why then wouldn’t you want to
share the fortune you will create
from your idea or business with
them? If I had a good business
idea and needed investors, I would
make up to 49% equity available
to them, depending on the return
they want, with an option to buy
back that equity in five years’
time. If that isn’t enough, we
can look at other structures that
could enable them to get to the
My assumption here is that in
five years’ time, the business will
have a good enough track record
to be able to secure a loan to buy
back the shares. If the business
does not go as planned and fails,
I wouldn't start worrying about
losing my belongings, because all
the parties involved were prepared
to take the risk. The key in dealing
with investors is to understand
their game and negotiate all the
way until a fair deal is concluded.
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BY GCOBANI NDABENI
page 16 - May 2014
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
Ten tech terms you should get to know
are a few every business owner
BY PAUL HOBDEN
IT almost always seems like
those in the online world speak
a completely different language
to the rest of us. This often
requires interpretation in order
to fully understand, and to more
importantly realise the impact
the online world can have on
The list of terms is long and
ever growing, but as a start here
Simply put, “the cloud” is the
network of computers on the
internet that can be used together
to provide a service to the enduser. So, rather than housing
an application or storing data
locally, it is stored in the cloud on
computers and servers that exist
across the internet.
SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE
Software as a Service (SaaS)
is a concept where software is
provided to the end-user as a
service, rather than as a piece of
software that is downloaded or
provided on a disc. The provider
takes care of things like the
hosting of the application, storage,
backups and upgrades. The
service can be paid for monthly
or even on a pay-per-usage basis
removing the once-off payment.
VOICE ON THE INTERNET
Voice over IP, or VoIP, is a
technology that allows users
to make phone calls via their
internet connection rather than
via traditional landlines. This is
often much more cost effective
than traditional phone calls and
“on net” calls – calls to other
users on the same network – are
mostly free. VoIP solutions can
be integrated with a PABX or
even a cloud-based PABX system.
Shop with conviction and pride and remember to
check for the Proudly South African mark of quality
and “Label of Origin” to ensure your first choice is local.
Buying local means you help:
Crowdsourcing means getting the
resources required for a project or
piece of work from a wide variety
of people using the internet. As an
example, Wikipedia crowdsources
its information in order to create
the entries on its website and
Creative Commons is a form of
copyright that allows the usage of
work without a fee, provided it is
not for commercial again.
Open source is a software
development methodology which
allows everyone to have access
to the source code without
payment. The idea behind open
source is that the community of
software developers add to and
improve the code base so that all
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
Google is the starting point for
most searches on the internet.
Search engine marketing involves
using Google to increase the
amount of traffic to a website.
There are two main arms of Search
engine marketing – Search engine
optimisation, which affects how
well your site ranks on Google’s
search results, and Paid search
which involves buying traffic from
Google by bidding for keywords
and paying every time someone
clicks on your advert.
As mobile devices have become
more popular for web browsing,
developers have had to consider
how websites appear on a
smartphone. Responsive design
is a method that allows a single
site to appear perfectly regardless
of the type of device – be it a
cellphone, tablet or laptop. The
layout responds to the device and
A payment gateway is an internet
service that allows credit card
transactions to be processed. Sites
that have an online store and allow
users to pay for an item online,
need a means to process the
credit card transaction. Payment
gateways facilitate this transaction
between the merchant, their
bank and a user’s bank. PayU is
an example of a South African
based payment gateway that
allows online retailers to process
Be Proudly South African. Buy local to create jobs.
The term “trending” refers to
an item on the internet that is
currently being mentioned on
social networks most frequently.
This is aided by hashtags (on
Twitter) which help identify a
conversation. Celebrities and
breaking news items are examples
of most likely trending topics.
• Paul Hobden is head of small
business at MWEB.
May 2014 - page 17
rights in the
BY BARNEY JORDAAN
IN a society with diverse religious
beliefs, employers are challenged
not only to be tolerant, but also
to accommodate diversity in
Given employers’ need for
efficiency in producing goods or
providing services, the question
is to what extent employees’
religious beliefs and practices
must be accommodated. What
guiding principles have the
For instance, an employer asks
an employee to work on a Sunday
as required by the employee’s
employment contract, but is
informed that the employee is
a committed Christian whose
beliefs require him to attend
church and to observe the day
as a day of rest. Hence, he
refuses to work as required. May
the employer take disciplinary
action against this employee for
insubordination (refusal to obey a
Or, assume that a Muslim
employee asks for time off on
a Friday afternoon to attend
prayers at the local mosque. This
happens to be the busiest time in
the employer’s shop, and letting
the employee go would result in
a loss of revenue. Accordingly,
the employee still leaves his
workstation to attend prayers. Can
the employee be disciplined for
insubordination or being AWOL?
Another example: A Rastafarian
arrives for a job interview at a
bank. He is an excellent candidate,
but makes it clear, when asked
whether he would be prepared to
cut his dreadlocks to comply with
the bank’s policy on employees’
dress and appearance, that he will
not, because it would offend his
religious and cultural beliefs.
As a result, the bank does not
appoint him. Does this man have
an unfair discrimination claim
against the bank? These and other
interesting questions relating to
religion have recently come before
the courts. The cases involved,
who worked for the Department
of Correctional Services being
dismissed for refusing to adhere
to the department’s policies,
which prohibited the wearing of
Another example was a
case involving security guards
who refused to trim their wild
and long beards, regardless
of the strict rules regarding
maintaining a clean and easily
recognisable appearance in the
Other cases have involved a
Jew and a Seventh Day Adventist
refusing to work on a Saturday.
The starting point in all the
cases is that employees, like any
other citizens, have the right
to freedom of religion. This is
guaranteed by the Constitution’s
Bill of Rights.
It is also provided for in
Chapter II of the Employment
Equity Act, which prohibits unfair
discrimination in any employment
policy or practice, as well as section
187 of the Labour Relations Act,
which prohibits the dismissal of
employees on the basis of their
The right to
However, they have also
indicated that the right to
practice one’s religion, like all
other fundamental rights, is not
absolute. The right to freedom
of religion may be limited by
other rights – in this case, the
employer’s right to freedom of
economic activity (i.e. the right to
However, in the same way
that an employee’s rights are
limited by employers, the reverse
is also true: the employer cannot
ride roughshod over the rights of
employees. When rights clash, a
balance must be struck.
The courts have developed two
principles in striving to achieve this
balance. The first is the obligation
on the employee who feels that his
or her religious beliefs are being
jeopardised or threatened by the
employer’s requirements, policies
or demands, to make his or her
beliefs known to the employer.
When rights clash in the workplace, a balance must be struck.
If the employer is unaware of
the employee’s religious beliefs, it
cannot be accused of insensitivity
towards such beliefs.
requirements must offend an
essential element or tenet of the
employee’s faith. Put differently:
compliance with the tenet must be
compulsory, not voluntary.
If, for example, Sunday
observance is encouraged by the
employee’s faith without it being
compulsory, the employee may not
insist on being treated differently
to other employees who are
required to work on a Sunday.
If these facts have been
established, and the employee
complains to the Labour Court
about unfair discrimination or “an
automatically unfair dismissal,” as
the case may be, the employer will
be required to prove two facts.
First, that the rule is an
“inherent” requirement of the
job. This means that given the
the job cannot be done at all
by that employee. Or that the
job cannot be done according
to the requirements that are
generally accepted as reasonable
in the particular profession or
Second, that the employer
has taken reasonable steps to
accommodate the employee’s
When rights clash,
a balance must
For instance, this might include
attempts to accommodate the
employee whose belief prohibits
Sunday work on a shift that does
not include Sundays. Or requiring
a Rastafarian to neatly tie back his
hair while on duty.
If an employer was unaware of
an employee’s convictions at the
time of, for instance, instructing
him to work on a Sunday, the
employee will not be successful
in challenging the employer’s
decision to discipline or even
dismiss him for refusing to adhere
to instructions. Even if the
employee raises his or her religious
beliefs with the employer, it is not
enough for the employee merely
to say: “Your instruction will be
disobeyed because of my beliefs.”
The employer may insist on
the employee providing some
credible proof (e.g. an affidavit
from a church minister or rabbi) as
to the centrality of the particular
belief to the employee’s religion.
This will not be necessary
where it is well known that certain
religions require strict adherence
to certain practices – for instance,
male Muslims attending Friday
prayers, or (true) Rastafarians
not being permitted to cut their
The balancing of religious
rights in the workplace will remain
a sensitive and emotive matter,
but at least employers have some
guiding principles when making
decisions on how to accommodate
• For more labour advice by
Barney Jordaan, go to www.
Before you go hire a salesperson...
have forgotten the salesperson,
but remembered the company
they were from. In this world,
can you afford for your brand
ambassador not to be A-class?
BY ASHLEY MAMA
IT always surprises me when
businesses have these elaborate
procedures when hiring. Yet,
when it comes to a sales position,
the outlook is a little different
and procedures are not executed
with as much enthusiasm.
Here are three important
factors to consider -before hiring
Salespeople have the biggest
impact on direct revenue in
almost any company. They are
the lifeblood of the business.
Stripping it down to the basic
elements, they keep everyone
employed… No revenue, no
business. No business, no job.
Salespeople are the custodians of
the business’s brand. How these
salespeople conduct themselves
while in your employ, can either
enhance or hurt your business
brand. Consider how often you
Sales people are the direct
communication line between the
consumer and the business. They
spend the most time liaising with
clients and prospective clients.
Information that can improve
service, increase revenue, or
damage company reputation
is delivered to you via this
salesperson. Are you sure you
want to hire a broken telephone.
• Ashley Mama has been an
entrepreneur all his life. Visit
www.xvss.co.za for more
page 18 - May 2014
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
Built as a rigid workhorse
BY WALLACE DU PLESSIS
THE workhorse reborn! Isuzu
bakkies have always been, and
remain, tough little trucks. They
are built to work. The new KB 250
is no exception.
It supplements the existing
common-rail engine Isuzu KB 250
D-TEQ Base and Fleetside model,
but costs around R30 000 less.
The new KB is bigger than
the outgoing model, but appears
smaller than the new competition,
like the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT50,
VW Amarok and Nissan Navarra.
engines are generally very reliable
and economical. Isuzu has received
reports of this older engine logging
over one million kilometres in
normal commercial usage.
The base model is very basic.
It has a split-bench front seat with
reclining mechanism, PVC seat
trim, vinyl floor trim, two 12V
auxiliary power supply points, a
remote fuel flap and is radio-ready,
meaning you have to fit your own
radio, but it has speakers fitted.
Think 1980s bakkie. The
interior is very spartan and basic,
but it does feel solid.
The Fleetside model adds a
higher ride with overslung rear leaf
springs. Engine sump guard 6.5J
X 16 wheels fitted with 205 R16C
tyres, driver and front passenger
airbag, seatbelt pre-tensioners
and a pollen filter. It has a manual
airconditioner and a cup holder.
These bakkies do not have ABS,
brake assist or electronic brake
force distribution. Nor do they
have airbags. Fortunately they do
not go very fast, but unfortunately
they cannot stop very quickly
Out on the road, this KB is not
as good as Ranger or Amarok on
tar, but in the rough, the KB is
still king. It is somewhat skittish
on fast gravel, especially when
unladen, but is as good as the old
KB, which many believed was the
best bakkie for gravel roads.
competition, the ride is a bit
rigid and very truck-like but
comfortable in an old school kind
The low-pressure turbo engine
fitted in the Fleetside and base
models produces 58 kW at 3 800
rpm and 170 Nm from 1 800 rpm
– which is not a lot, but allows for
The " comfortable truck-like" Isuzu KB 250 is not very fast, but it is built to work.
efficient driving characteristics as
well as acceptable pulling power.
Fuel consumption for general
driving should be around 7.8 litres
per 100 km.
Competition includes the GWM
Steed 5 2.2l (R144 900), Mahindra
A car for the people
The Ford Fiesta range comes in a wide variety of models.
what’s happening on the road.
The interiors are very pleasant,
with a number of stowage places,
and it all appears well put
together. And there are some finer
differences such as the the blue
lighting of the control panel.
The rear seat has a 60/40 split
and the front seats are six-way
adjustable, allowing you to set
them up for maximum comfort.
Ford’s synch system lets you
talk to the sound system and your
phone – a bit like a really nifty
hands-free kit – and the Sony
audio system is surprisingly good.
The Fiesta comes standard
with safety features such as
airbags, ABS, EBD, pre-tensioning
seatbelts and so on. Most models
also offer electronic stability assist
and hill launch assist.
Nice touches include followme-home lights, tinted glass, a
rear fog lamp on all models and
front fog lamps on most models.
There are three trim levels to
choose from: Ambiente, Trend
and Titanium. The warranty is for
four years or 120 000 km and the
service plan is for four years or
60 000 km.
Comparative options for those
in this market segment are the VW
Polo, Kia Rio, Honda Jazz, Hyundai
Elantra and Peugeot 208.
• Go to www.wheelswrite.com
for more motor reviews.
The new Isuzu KB 250 Single
Cab models retail for R197 200
(base) and R214 100 (Fleetside),
including VAT, and come standard
with a five-year or 90 000 km
service plan and a five-year or
120 000 km warranty.
Think tax when financing
BY WALLACE DU PLESSIS
TODAY you have many choices
when you need to make use of a
vehicle or other equipment.
ways to acquire your vehicle
instead of buying it. Below
are some important issues to
think about when considering
how you will finance your car.
BY WALLACE DU PLESSIS
FORD has always made great
cars - good for hard-working
small business owners to use as
company cars. Just think about the
history: Model T, Model A, Anglia,
Escort, Cortina, the list goes on…
Our generation is lucky to get
the Fiesta and its slightly cheaper
“little sister,” the Figo. The Figo,
which is actually the previous
generation Fiesta, is slightly
down-specced and made in India,
but with Ford quality control.
Fiesta comes in a wide variety
of models – from the five-door
Ambiente 1.4 at R176 000 to the
sporty three-door ST boy racer
at R267 700. The 1.0 Ecoboost
turbo petrol models range from
R226 000 to R247 300.
The Figo range starts at
R129 800, topping off with the
1.4 TDCi at R139 400. They
are well priced and equipped,
offering great basic wheels with
a touch of finesse. These engines
are ridiculously economical for a
petrol engine and can give fuel
consumption around 5 litres per
100 km, but I got 7 litres per 100
km. Ford claims less than 4 litres
per 100 km on the open road, and
the 1.6 TDCi turbo diesels use
less than 4.5 litres per 100 km,
according to Ford. All the Fiestas
are a real pleasure to drive.
The handling and road-holding
is class-leading and much better
than the older model. Finally,
we get a small car where the
electronic steering lets you feel
Gerio 2.2 CRDe (R66 995),
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 (R179 900),
Ford Ranger 2.5 (R184 000) and
Nissan NP300 (R189 500).
I think the best buy is the Steed
5. It looks a bit like the previous
KB and behaves like one.
This is the new version
of the old hire purchase (HP)
agreements. The vehicle only
becomes yours only once you
make the final payment.
Value-Added Tax (VAT) is
capitalised onto the principal
debt or paid at the start of the
agreement as an initial payment.
Your copy of the agreement can
be used as a VAT invoice, if you
are able to claim input tax. There
are no VAT implications on early
settlement. The asset should
be capitalised according to
Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (GAAP) and the liability
reflected on your balance sheet.
With a financial lease, the
deposit and balloon payments
can be negotiated. You will own
the asset at the end of the lease.
Lease payments are tax
deductible. If an input credit
has been claimed in respect of
VAT paid, tax deductions will
be limited to lease payments.
Your copy of the agreement
serves as a VAT invoice, if you
are able to claim an input tax.
The asset should be capitalised
and the liability reflected on
your balance sheet. There are
no VAT implications at the
end of the agreement period.
This is similar to a lease, but
VAT is not capitalised upfront. It
is added to each rental payment.
Rentals are tax deductible.
If you claim an input credit
for VAT paid in respect of the
rental, tax deductions will be
limited to rentals. There are
no VAT implications at the
end of the agreement period.
An FML has the advantage
of not requiring a deposit and
a fixed monthly cost. VAT is not
capitalised upfront, but is paid
on each rental. The monthly
payments include VAT and are
tax deductible. If you claim
an input credit for VAT paid
in respect of the rental, tax
deductions will be limited to
rentals. The asset is not reflected
on your balance sheet. However,
the rental is shown as an expense
on your income statement.
Financed rental reduces
monthly costs by introducing
a residual value and strict
limitations on the distance
travelled – much like a straight
rental. VAT is not capitalised
upfront. It is added to the rent
every month, including the
initial rental and the book value.
May 2014 - page 19
The Department of Trade
Small Enterprise Finance
Implements most of government’s
business-related policies, including that of
small business promotion
• Industrial and export development through
for instance incentives and grants
• Development of small businesses through
various DTI agencies such as Seda (see
below in the directory)
support to entrepreneurs
through incentive schemes and
• Grants for black-owned businesses as well
as those in manufacturing and exporting
0861 843 384
North West Development
Small businesses of the North
Startup funding for new businesses
General finance for the expansion of
Business advice, mentorship and coaching
Must be registered as a sole proprietor,
close corporation, partnership or company
Must have valid tax clearance certificate,
business profile, business plan and security
in the form of a grant, title-deed, insurance
policy or investment suretyship
018 381 3663
The Business Place (TBP)
Support to entrepreneurs through various
opportunities, relevant business information
Refer clients to the best suited business
development service providers, government
resources and financial institutions
Free internet access for business research
Legal advice, micro-MBA practical
training, business-to-business networking
Free use of the meeting and training rooms
011 833 0340
086 000 7332
Official economic development, trade and
investment corporation for the Free State
Funding, business loans, equity and
Training, coaching and mentoring
Partner support services
Assist with export-readiness and
Premises at affordable rates
Incentives and special discounts for
051 400 0800
Finance to small businesses within the
A range of information sources such as
a quarterly newsletter, monthly information
sheets and occasional booklets
Business support and training services
Non-financial support services
015 633 4700
Community-based investment company
Strives to improve economic well-being
by investing in businesses that will
RBEH teamed up with The Business
Place in Phokeng for small business
support services to startups, very small,
survivalist and micro businesses
Government’s primary small business
Launched due to merger between
agencies such as Khula and Samaf
Direct lending products to small businesses
Wholesale lending products aimed
at intermediaries who have small
Woman-owned and other targeted
Investor Education/NEF iMbizo
Post investment mentorship
Be older than 18 years, the business
must be economically viable and must
not be involved in illegal practices, tobacco
011 305 8000
Supports qualifying businesses and
individuals from Mpumalanga, who’ve
been previously disadvantaged
Funds housing, agricultural de-velopment
and business growth
From R10 000 to R3 million
Valid South African identity document, be
between 18 and 65 years and access to
land or production facilities
013 752 2440
Provide accessible registration services
for businesses intellectual property and
Maintain and disclose relevant information
regarding business entities, business
rescue practitioners, corporate conduct
and reputation, intellectual property rights
and indigenous cultural expression
Increases awareness and knowledge of
Help take the necessary steps to visibly,
effectively and efficiently monitor and
enforce compliance with the laws the CIPC
development support for
Training programmes for startups, cooperatives and franchisees
Sponsor between 60% and 90% of fees of
an approved service provider
Tender advice, networking and business
Export readiness assessment for
Be 18 years or older, able to run the
business on a full-time basis and have a
valid South African Identify Document
086 100 2472
0860 103 703
Supports black South African youth
between 14 and 35 years old with support
Health awareness programmes
Involvement in sport
Business must be economically viable
and cannot be involved in gambling,
tobacco, property development or any
Be 35 or younger and hold greater than
50% of the shares in the company and be
operationally involved in the business
080 052 5252
CIPC helps owner make dreams come true
BY VUYO MABANDLA
MAXWELL Miselo was able to
realise his dream of running a
successful transport and freight
business after he approached
the Companies and Intellectual
Property Commission (CIPC) to
protect his business’s assets.
With only one vehicle to
kickstart his shuttle and trucking
enterprise, Soyisile Transport
Services, Miselo wanted to
formalise his business, protect
property and increase his chances
of getting business support.
He started the business in
2009 after he decided to work
However, he could not apply
for tenders as his business was
not registered. So he turned to
a fellow entrepreneur for advice.
“I had a friend who told me
about the CIPC and together we
visited their office to formalise
my business,” Miselo says.
The CIPC, a merger between
Enforcement and the Companies
Registration Office, is mandated
to formalise small business to
make it easier for companies
to apply for help in funding,
accounting and banking.
Miselo says an assistant took
him through the registration
process by first creating an
account and a password which
he could then use to track the
registration of his company,
which took a few weeks
He was required to have an
e-mail address and a cellphone
number to which he would be
sent updates on registration and
registration, that took about
45 minutes, Miselo was asked
Maxwell Miselo (standing), of Soyisile Transport Services
to present five different names
should the name he had chosen
have already been registered
under someone else’s name.
A fee of R170 was charged for
the registration and five weeks
later, Soyisile Transport Services
commission’s office, Miselo could
now log into the commission’s
online services which range
from tracking annual returns,
receiving tender updates and
Says Miselo: “I was impressed
by the fast and neat process.
My company now stands as a
competent player in the industry.
We are yet to apply for funding or
any form of support but we are
communications specialist for
the commission, says there are a
lot of benefits to formalising an
Since the merger, the
commission has improved its
service delivery by introducing
online registration, allowing
applicants to send documentation
via e-mail, doing away with the
need to queue at their offices to
register a business.
Another option is to use the
CIPC’s self-service terminals,
which allows one to register
a business with a registration
number in place of a name
Using this offering a company
Business owners can continue
to make use of the CIPC’s
services, while opting to pay the
registration fee later.
registration certificate is only
released once funds are available
on one’s virtual account.
The introduction of selfservice
commission’s offices eliminates
the need for middlemen, who
often charge an additional fee for
• Go to www.cipc.co.za for
more information. You can
also call their call centre on
086 100 272.
page 20 - May 2014
DOING BUSINESS WITH...
SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
Contractor ups profit by 50%
BY DANIEL BUGAN
suppliers to conservation authority
South African National Parks
(SanParks) are not only seeing an
increase in their bottom line, but
are also emerging as champions in
combating unemployment in their
Mfundiso Ngetu, owner of
Mfurs Alien Clearing, has been
contracted by the Table Mountain
National Park (TMNP) since August
2012 to clear alien vegetation and
He says since he secured the
TMNP contract his annual turnover
has increased by 50%. This helped
him to buy a brand new bakkie for
his business within three months
of being awarded the contract. He
was also able to put money away,
something which he could not do
Ngetu says his TMNP contract
has also allowed him to help his
community in the township of
“I am able to provide fulltime
work to 12 people which in effect
economically uplifts the lives of
about 50 of their family members.”
Vernon Mitchell, who through
his company, Indigicare, provides
alien vegetation clearing and tree
felling services to all the national
parks in the Western Cape,
says his turnover has increased
significantly since his contract
began in 2004.
SanParks, his staff – who he
sources from his community
Suppliers to the South African National Parks are creating jobs in the local communities.
in Hout Bay – has increased in
number from 10 to 30 people.
Mitchell says he and his staff
have also benefitted from a
number of free training courses
offered by SanParks, such as firstaid training, health and safety
awareness, chainsaw cutting and
life skills training.
He says businesses that
want to approach SanParks for
work under its Expanded Public
Works Programme (EPWP) stand
a better chance of securing work
if they have their own vehicles
and valid driving licences.
Launched in 2004, the EPWP
is a government initiative that
aims to provide employment and
enterprise development training
environment and culture and
Sibongile Ntozini, owner of
Mabuti & Son Construction, says
his annual turnover has increased
by 60% since he was contracted
by TMNP to maintain gravel roads,
trim footpaths, build gabions to
halt erosion and erect boardwalks
in wet areas.
Ntozoni says he started as a
general worker on an EPWP project
in 2004 and was then selected to
attend a contractor’s course. After
completing the course he was
called in for interviews which led
to him qualifying for a contract.
companies that want to become
a service provider to SanParks
must ensure that they have
skilled workers who can deliver
why I secured the contract
Nhlanhla Nkuna, owner of
Mbawazi Trading Enterprise, says
since she secured a contract last
year to supply the Kruger National
Park with towels, her turnover has
increased by six percent.
She says she applied for the
tender after it was advertised in
the City Press newspaper
She advises those who want
Here is how to become a supplier to SanParks
By Daniel Bugan
SOUTH African National Parks
(SanParks) spends millions of
rands each year on procuring
goods and services from small
businesses to help maintain the
20 national parks across the
country under its curatorship.
SanParks’ general manager
of infrastructure and special
projects Antoinette van Wyk
says the conservation authority
makes use of small businesses for
projects under the government’s
The EPWP aims to create
work opportunities for local
businesses surrounding the parks
through the implementation
of alien vegetation clearing
projects, wetland rehabilitation,
waste management and the
establishment of community
tourism projects. All 20 national
parks benefit from the EPWP.
SanParks has nine different
projects. These include the
removal of alien invasive plants,
SanParks supplier Vernon Mitchell.
removal of bush encroachment,
erosion control, rehabilitation
of wetlands, cleaning and
rehabilitation of the coast,
and rehabilitation of redundant
infrastructure and fire prevention
and control services.
Van Wyk says SanParks’
procurement spend on small
businesses under the EPWP for
the 2012/2013 financial year
amounted to R135 million,
55% of the approved budget for
In order to be considered for
projects under the programme,
businesses have to, among other
things, own a vehicle to transport
a team of workers, possess at
least a Grade 12 qualification and
have had previous experience in
available under the programme at
the various parks are advertised
in local community centres, local
municipalities, local newspapers
and at the respective parks.
“The target market is small
businesses local to the area,”
says Van Wyk.
training for those small businesses
involved in the programme
in areas such as business
management, finance and health
and safety requirements. It also
assists businesses to develop
and ensures that they comply
with legal requirements such as
workmen’s compensation and
unemployment insurance (UIF).
Businesses that do not fall
under the labour-intensive EPWP,
such as caterers and transport
companies, can also apply to
become a SanParks service
provider and are encouraged
to register on the SanParks
The main requirements for
inclusion on the supplier database:
An original and valid tax
clearance certificate issued by the
South African Revenue Service
and certified copies of company
A certified copy of a valid
Black Economic Empowerment
banking details issued by the
bank or a cancelled cheque.
A company profile.
Preference will be given
to registered suppliers, but
mean that suppliers who are
not yet registered will be
• Go to wwww.sanparks.org
to access supplier database
to do business with the Kruger
National Park to always keep their
documents such as tax clearance
certificates updated, to attend
tender briefing sessions and to
adhere to the requirements when
tendering for a job.
Rob Peters, owner of sole
proprietor B3 Coaching, is an
example of a supplier who offers
services outside of SanParks’
EPWP. He has been providing
individuals, teams and groups
within SanParks since August
Peters explains how he
secured the contract: “I was
placed at SanParks for fieldwork
after completing my studies. I
was interviewed and then given
permission to request clients.
“SanParks was very receptive and
forward thinking in how I might be
of use. Thus, when the fieldwork
ended I offered my services
as a private practice business.
Having just finished my studies,
getting this business was a dream
He says being awarded this
contract with SanParks has
provided him with credibility
and valuable experience in his
line of work. “SanParks is my
second organisational client and
therefore a main contributor to my
turnover,” says Peters.
His advice for business owners
wanting to supply services to
SanParks: “Know your business
and how it can fit into and benefit
SanParks. Being prepared is
Reader of the month
Aubrey Dolweni and Simpiwe
Malotana of Obsido Interiors.
RECENTLY featured in Forbes
Africa, Simpiwe Malotana, an
avid Small Business Connect
reader who co-owns Obsido
Interiors with Aubrey Dolweni
says he started reading the
print edition of Small Business
Connect. He enjoys reading
the newspaper so much
that he now subscribes to
the Small Business Connect
monthly newsletter while he
continues to regularly access
the latest news via www.
• Go to www.obsidointeriors.
co.za for more information.