Mobile: +27 (0)76-190-3659
Fax: +27 (0)86-585-5096
Cape Town, South Africa

Take POPI serious!

Date posted: 07.06.2016 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

A lot of businesses are still not taking the Protection of Personal Information Act POPI serious. A recent survey has raised concern about a lack of awareness among South African organisations about the legal requirements around storing and disposing of confidential data outlined in POPI. Organisations which do not adopt the act after this time could face financial penalties of up to R10m, or a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

More than three-fifths of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) surveyed and a third of larger organisations in South Africa surveyed believe Popi does not apply to their business, according to the first South Africa State of the Industry – Information Security report conducted by research body Ipsos on behalf of information security company Shred-it. Findings of the survey, which was launched on Friday last week, show C-suite executives (70%) are more likely than SMEs (37%) to understand the implications the Popi Act has on their business. Although the act is yet to be fully implemented, once it comes into force businesses are given a grace period of just one year to comply.

There is a worrying gap in knowledge for employees, resulting in personal information potentially being compromised as they are unaware of how to correctly protect, process and securely dispose of data.

Businesses can increase security by implementing a Clean Desk policy, which means all information must be secured, for example in a locked drawer, when an employee is away from their desk, and a Shred-it All policy, which means that all office paperwork is destroyed before being recycled. Some companies have already responded to these security risks, with 80% of C-suites and 64% of SMEs stating that they have a Clean Desk policy in the workplace.

By neglecting to put policies in place, businesses are at serious risk of a data breach which causes significant legal, financial and reputational harm.

The survey results indicate a need for government to take action and help South African businesses understand their information security priorities, with both C-suite respondents (47%) and SMEs (55%) saying government commitment to information security needs improvement.

[Read full article]

Handling poor performers

Date posted: 31.05.2016 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

Handling poor performance is arguably one of the more difficult tasks faced by managers in the modern workplace.

Terminating the service of an employee who was caught with his ‘hand in the cookie jar’ is often easier that letting someone go who really tries hard to get the job done, but fails. We appear to be more comfortable at taking tough decisions where the employee is to blame or at fault than where the employee is unable to perform due to no fault on his part.

In many jurisdictions, employers may fairly terminate the service of an employee where the employee fails to meet the required performance standard. Incapacity due to poor performance is distinguishable from workplace misconduct in that misconduct entails the intentional or negligent breach of the workplace rules or standards. Poor performance, as a form of employee incapacity, occurs where the employee lacks the ability or capability to perform to the required standard.

What is often very difficult for such under-performing employees to appreciate is that they are at risk of termination, notwithstanding their work ethic or commitment to the cause. Poor performers regularly feel disgruntled when taken to task for not performing up the required standard as, in their view, they are trying their utmost to get the job done and cannot be faulted for not achieving the required standard.

Research indicates that managers should take greater care in communicating standards of expected performance to subordinates. Most employees benefit from more regular feedback on their performance and highlighted the need for sound recruitment practices.

[Read full article]

Business debt improves slightly

Date posted: 26.05.2016 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

Business debt index improves slightly in first quarter and businesses are raising prices to offset soaring input costs and weather the depressed growth climate.

This has implications for end-users including consumers, who have to brace themselves to fork out more money for goods. At the same time, businesses are in a slightly better financial position as a result of the move and are able to repay debt, an index suggests.

The Business Debt index, by credit bureau Experian, showed on Monday that the debt profile of South African businesses has improved slightly. In the first quarter, the index recorded a 0.028 reading, compared to 0.005 in the last quarter of the past year. A reading below zero shows that businesses are struggling to repay their debt, while a reading above this level shows that companies are managing their debt load.

Many manufacturers had been trying to claw back margins after the rand went into free fall in December by raising prices faster than previously. Selling prices could rise again if the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) trade expectations index is anything to go by.

Almost 80% of businesses surveyed indicated that selling prices would increase in the next six months. In March, 73% of respondents had expressed this outlook.

[Read full article]

SA most attractive African investment destination

Date posted: 11.05.2016 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

South Africa still ranks as the most attractive economy for investments destined for the continent despite challenges emanating from slow growth, a gloomy ratings outlook and waning perceptions.

SA, the region’s most industrialised and second largest economy, is the most attractive investment destination in Africa in its Africa Attractiveness Index. Morocco, Egypt, Kenya and Mauritius are ranked second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Despite macroeconomic challenges (and a low-growth environment), South Africa still outperforms most other African economies due to relatively high scores across every other dimension (partly a reflection of the fact that the South African economy is more developed than any other African economy.

A weaker rand currency has also hobbled South Africa, although this is a problem that is shared with most regional peers such as the Malawi kwacha and Nigerian naira.

Economic growth in SA is likely to be 0.6% this year, according to the IMF, although South Africa Reserve Bank governor Lesteja Kganyago was quoted on Wednesday by the Financial Times as saying “green shoots” of recovery are beginning to appear.

Botswana is ranked seventh while Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – is ranked fifth. SA’s neighbours, Zambia and Mozambique are ranked 17th and 20th while Botswana is ranked in seventh position.

[Read full article]

« Older posts Newer posts »

Some of our clients…