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Wed, 24 May 2017
Eskom invites entries for small business competition

Cape Town – The Eskom Development Foundation officially opened entries for the annual Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) and until July 18 2017, registered black-owned small and medium enterprises that have been operating for more than two years, can submit their entries for the competition and stand a chance to win great prizes.

The BIC is Eskom’s initiative aimed at recognising and rewarding small businesses that are contributing to skills development, job creation and economic growth. The competition is open to enterprises operating in the manufacturing, engineering/construction, trade/services, agricultural and agri-processing sectors across all provinces. With R1.3m worth of prizes up for grabs in the competition, South African small business owners are encouraged by Eskom to seize the opportunity to win their share of the prize money and boost their businesses and much more by way of workshops, training and networking.

The BIC has been helping small enterprises grow their operations since it was initiated in 2008. The financial rewards, the business skills and training provided as part of the prizes, are among the key incentives for businesses to enter the competition. The overall winner across all the four sectors receives R150 000, while each sector’s winner takes home R100 000. There are also prizes for first and second runners-up and all the competition’s finalists receive cash prizes as well.

All BIC finalists also get an opportunity to exhibit at the annual three day Small Business Expo (SBE) and the #BuyaBusiness Expo held from August 31 to September 2 at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg. The Small Business Expo is exclusively dedicated to the development and growth of small and medium enterprises by giving them an opportunity to market themselves and interact with some 7 000 corporates, potential investors and customers. The overall winner of the BIC in 2016 was Nomcebo Printers from Lydenburg, Mpumalanga. Nomcebo Printers, owned by Nomcebo Sibanyoni, is a production company which does graphic design, printing, heat press and manufacturing of branded log and invoice books.

“Having gone through the competition, I know the calibre of the companies that compete. I didn’t expect to win at all and it was such a great honour to win this competition. Taking part in it gave me a chance to reflect on my entrepreneurial journey thus far and I can only be proud of my achievements. I encourage all small businesses that qualify to enter and not doubt themselves as they could be pleasantly surprised like I was,” said Sibanyoni. The Eskom Development Foundation’s acting CEO Cecil Ramonotsi says small business owners should not miss out on this opportunity to grow their businesses. “Eskom is giving small businesses a chance to boost their operations through this competition and I would encourage them to enter as soon as possible to avoid last minute disappointments,” said Ramonotsi.



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Wed, 24 May 2017
A promising partnership

Bidvest former CEO and Famous Brands former CEO tie up.

One of South Africa’s most respected business leaders, Kevin Hedderwick, has teamed up with industry giant, Brian Joffe, to create magic out of Joffe’s new business, Long4Life. The former CEO of Famous Brands has been appointed as the COO of Long4Life, which raised R2 billion ahead of its listing in April. The company is yet to make an investment, though talks are under way to acquire the rapidly growing beauty chain, Sorbet.

Late last year Hedderwick announced he would retire from his position as CEO of Famous Brands in February, after 16 years with the group. At the time he made it clear that he was making way for the next generation of leadership, in particular for incoming CEO Darren Hele, with whom he had worked for 12 years. “CEOs all have shelf lives,” he said, “we may not want to believe it, but it’s true.”

Hedderwick will continue as strategic advisor to the group for another six months after which he will assume the role of a non-executive director. “I’ve still got some work to do in terms of completing the loop for myself at Famous Brands, for my shareholders and for our investment community at large. But the business has rhythm and he [Hele] is giving it more rhythm.”

Seeing out his working career as a non-executive on a succession of boards was never going to be enough for a man who describes business as his hobby. “I love business. I love the energy of it. I couldn’t sit around waiting for board-packs.” While he was stepping back from Famous Brands he had no specific plans for his future, but acknowledges that he and Joffe had had ‘a cup of tea’. Joffe outlined his ideas for Long4Life and indicated that they could make a good team. Hedderwick agreed to ‘give it some thought’. As it turns out he had a spinal fusion in December and was forced to spend six weeks on his back. “I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to do.”

He knew deep in his heart that the one thing that gave him most joy – aside from building businesses – was developing entrepreneurs. “I knew that if another opportunity presented itself for me I would certainly look at it. I don’t want to work 18 hours a day, six days a week as I did at Famous, but I need to be energised and keep my mind active.”

What one has in Long4Life is a small, ambitious vehicle run by two men who are essentially in their second careers. “He is a giant in relation to me, but I think we can have some fun and hopefully make some money for a lot of people.” The first item on his agenda is to conclude the Sorbet deal, which has dragged on a bit. “Then it’s a question of looking for wonderful assets in the lifestyle sector where we will look for 100%, controlling or even minority stakes.”  The market loved the news and the share price jumped 6.3% from R5.50 to R5.85 [...]

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Wed, 17 May 2017
New acting Treasury head gives his take on economic transformation...

Cape Town – New acting National Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane gave his definition of radical economic transformation in answer to a question by the Democratic Alliance in Parliament on Tuesday. A delegation from National Treasury briefed Members of Parliament on the Appropriations Bill, which will be debated in the National Assembly shortly and provides for the appropriation of money by Parliament from the National Revenue Fund. During question time, the DA’s Alan Mcloughlin asked National Treasury to clarify the notion of radical economic transformation. “What is going to be so radically different from the past?”

‘This is radical economic transformation’

Mogajane responded that he was not deviating from anything Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had said earlier, but that it means measures such as improving education and skills development, strengthening competition laws, improving governance at state-owned enterprises and overcoming the fragmentation that was caused by apartheid spatial planning, to name but a few. He was echoing Gigaba’s earlier comments about government’s imperative to grow township businesses so that they can become part of the productive economy. “Maybe as a start we need to look at the individual wards of our townships and see what the scale of unemployment is and the type of interventions that are needed.”

Mogajane also said that inclusive growth is no different from radical economic transformation, and the 2017 budget will begin to address some of the challenges. National Treasury on Monday announced that Mogajane will be acting as its director general in the place of Lungisa Fuzile, who officially left his position at the close of business. Mogajane, also deputy director general responsible for the public finance division, started his career at National Treasury in 1999.

‘Mogajane’s appointment an excellent choice’

DA spokesperson for finance David Maynier said Mogajane’s appointment, although in an acting capacity, is an “excellent” one. “He has long experience at National Treasury and has the DA’s full support fighting the state capturers, looters and big spenders.” Gigaba, who was leading the delegation, said the fact that the richest 10% in South Africa own 95% of wealth in the country is an indictment that needs urgent attention if South Africa is to remain stable.

Gigaba repeated previous statements for the need for inclusive growth and radical economic transformation that will change ownership patterns in the South African economy, while at the same time maintaining fiscal prudence. “How will we achieve all of this while we maintain the fiscal framework? We need to be realistic,” Gigaba said, “and bite (off) what we can chew.” He said it’s therefore important to grow the revenue base and the fiscus so that government can do these things on a “gradual basis”.


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