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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Johannesburg launch: Wellbeing Economy

Using real-life examples and innovative research, acclaimed political economist Lorenzo Fioramonti lays bare society’s perverse obsession with economic growth by showing its many flaws, paradoxes and inconsistencies.

He argues that the pursuit of growth often results in more losses than gains and in damage, inequalities and conflicts.

By breaking free from the growth mantra, we can build a better society that puts the wellbeing of all at its centre.

A wellbeing economy would have tremendous impact on everything we do, boosting small businesses and empowering citizens as the collective leaders of tomorrow.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 25 July 2017
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville
  • Guest Speaker: Pat Pillai
  • RSVP:, 011 726 7408
    Book Details

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Presenting Own Your Space: The Toolkit For The Working Woman by Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner

Own Your SpaceOwn Your Space: The Toolkit For The Working Woman by Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner will be published by Pan Macmillan next month:

Own Your Space provides practical tools and insights gleaned from workshops held around the world and from interviews with some of South Africa’s most accomplished women to provide you with tried-and-tested techniques, tips and advice to help you boost your career, enhance your confidence and truly own your space on every level.

Own Your Space is the ultimate “toolkit” to unleash your true power. It’s for the woman who wants to take her career to new heights and who is ready to fulfil her true potential.

About the authors:

Nadia Bilchik, President of Greater Impact Communication, is an internationally renowned television personality, professional development communication training expert, author and keynote speaker.

Lori Milner is the engaging facilitator, thoughtleader and mentor known for her insightful approach to being a modern corporate woman. Her brainchild, the successful initiative Beyond the Dress, is the embodiment of her passion to empower women. Lori’s clients include FNB, Siemens, Massmart, Alexander Forbes and Life Healthcare.

Book details

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Business Leaders are Part of the Rot – Onkgopotse JJ Tabane Dissects Corruption in South Africa

Let's Talk FranklyOnkgopotse JJ Tabane is an outspoken political commentator whose latest book, Let’s Talk Frankly: Letters to Influential South Africans About the State of Our Nation, expresses some home truths about the way in which the country is run.

In his recent column for Rand Daily Mail, Tabane takes on big business leaders for allowing corruption to flourish. “It is curious that business leaders have never been seriously critiqued for their role in this downward spiral,” Tabane writes in his introduction.

The author goes on to explain why business reticence and the complacency of business leaders are just as much to blame as the government for South Africa’s inability to sustain a robust economy.

Read the article:

Business leaders often complain about the poor business environment. The changing of BEE laws has been blamed, with lots of resources now required to comply. But the real complaint of business is that their compliance complacency is threatened. It will now be required to do real empowerment as opposed to the fraud that has characterised broad-based BEE practices so far.

Business leaders are also complacent about corruption and don’t speak out when resources are wasted by municipalities and other state entities. This is because they are part of the rot. Consultants, for example, whose public sector bill is in the billions, rip off the public daily, causing the auditor-general to arrive at adverse findings against municipalities. Last year, a measly 10% of municipalities received clean audits, and up to R30bn was ascribed to wasteful expenditure. Few ever interrogate who receives this “wasteful expenditure”. Until we ask the hard questions and investigate possible collusion, we are going nowhere fast in ensuring that the corrupter and corruptee take responsibility. It’s time we spoke frankly about business having proxies in the government for all the wrong reasons, and what this means for the corruptible business leadership we have in this country.

Related links:


Book details

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Ten Years of Game-Changing Headlines: A New Edition of Africa is Open for Business by Victor Kgomoeswana

Africa is Open for BusinessPan Macmillan is proud to present a new and revised edition of Africa is Open for Business by Victor Kgomoeswana:

Victor Kgomoeswana, well known as an African business expert with a profile on radio and television, shares 50 stories of innovation and opportunity behind the business headlines of the last ten years on the African continent. From the introduction of M-pesa in Kenya to changing the image of Nigeria as Africa’s fraud capital, and from Rwandan coffee farmers to Ethiopian Airlines, and other remarkable stories in between, Kgomoeswana criss-crosses the continent to highlight the most fascinating business stories and their impact on the future of Africa.

Africa is Open for Business contains a dynamic and different view of the opportunities available in Africa from those usually portrayed in the news and in other media. Kgomoeswana focuses on the stories behind the headlines as well as sharing his personal experiences of Africa while travelling and doing business in a way that is as entertaining as it is informative.

It’s time for the continent to tell its story to the world, and this book validates and amplifies the message that is slowly, but increasingly, finding resonance with the international community: that Africa is indeed open for business.” – Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

About the Author

Victor Kgomoeswana is an independent consultant who has previously worked as an adviser to and representative of several listed and unlisted multinationals, guiding them in their expansion in the African continent. He presented the weekly “African Business Report” on Talk Radio 702’s The Money Show from July 2007 until 2014, and on SAFM’s AM Live since October 2012. He is currently the anchor of Africa Business News, a weekly show on CNBC Africa, presents Power Hour, a daily show on Power FM, and is a columnist for the Sunday Independent.

Book details

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Dear Uncle Steve Biko, Please Teach Us to Buy Black – An Open Letter by Victor Kgomoeswana

Africa Is Open For BusinessBiko Lives!Let's Talk Frankly

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Is Open For Business, recently wrote an open letter for The Sunday Independent apostrophising Steve Biko, the great Black Consciousness leader who died in police custody nearly 40 years ago.

In the letter Kgomoeswana, says that he wishes Biko, who is the subject of Biko Lives!: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko edited by Andile Mngxitama, Amanda Alexander and Nigel Gibson, had been born later so that he could “help us sort our economic transformation enigma”.

Among the issues Kgomoeswana discusses is the hesitance to “buy black” and the frustrations faced by the Black Business Council is achieving real and effective economic transformation. Kgomoeswana says in this regard and in the country’s tendency to cast blame instead of adopting self-reliance, South Africans need to be rediscover the heart of Biko’s Frank Talk campaign.

Kgomoeswana mentions Let’s Talk Frankly: Letters to Influential South Africans About the State of Our Nation by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, which is a work that speaks truth to power and is titled for Biko’s straight-shooting alias.

Read the letter:

Dear Uncle Steve Biko,

I promise this is the last time I call on you, at least this Heritage Month, lest I am guilty of taking your name in vain; but I need a one-on-one chat with you, straight up.

Everybody needs an uncle in higher places. You and Amilcar Cabral are the two uncles of relevance in September. He was born in 1924 on September 12, the day on which you were assassinated in 1977. Just like you, Uncle Amilcar – who is credited with the liberation struggles of two countries, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde – had been assassinated for his incisive revolutionary thinking by those driven by fear and hate.

Book details

  • Biko Lives!: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko edited by Andile Mngxitama, Amanda Alexander and Nigel Gibson
    EAN: 9780230606494
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • Let’s Talk Frankly: Letters to Influential South Africans About the State of Our Nation by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, illustrated by Sifiso Yalo
    EAN: 9781770104327
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Despite Progress, Things Have Not Gone as Well as They Might Have – An Excerpt from How South Africa Works

How South Africa WorksHow South Africa Works: And Must Do Better by Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst takes a look at what this country needs to do in order to spark growth and reform in its economy.

Rand Daily Mail recently shared an excerpt from the book, in which the authors look at unemployment in South Africa. This is an important problem for a number of reasons, most importantly because the ratio of employed to unemployed people is shrinking and the proportions of government spending that goes into subsidies “have strained a narrow tax base”.

It is in the ANC’s best interests, the authors write, to address this problem as efficiently as possible.

Read the excerpt:

There is much to celebrate from the last 21 years in South Africa.

The systematic, legislated exclusion of the majority of South Africans from sharing the country’s wealth resulted in one of the most highly unequal societies world-wide, where race largely determined life chances. There have been notable improvements in access to education, to public health clinics, and to electricity and clean, piped water. All of these efforts are reflected in absolute poverty levels: only 11 per cent of South Africans experienced hunger in 2011, for example, down from a quarter of the population just 10 years earlier.

Yet, for all of the above progress, things have not gone as well as they might have.

Book details

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A Thank You to Those Who’ve Stood Their Ground: Wayne Duvenage and Angelique Serrao Launch The E-Tolls Saga

Wayne Duvenage and Angelique Serrao

The E-Tolls SagaExclusive Books Hyde Park was packed like a Vietnamese scooter last week for the launch of The E-Tolls Saga: A Journey from CEO to Civil Activist by Wayne Duvenage and Angelique Serrao.

Eyewitness News investigative journalist Alex Eliseev led the discussion between Duvenage, the chairperson of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), and Serrao, investigations editor at The Star.

Eliseev kicked off the discussion by asking Duvenage which was easier, waking up a slumbering civil society and raising money or writing a book and launching it in front of an audience? Duvenage said that the biggest challenge has been dealing with corporate apathy, adding that in the face of trying to raise society, writing the book was easy.

Angelique Serrao, Wayne Duvenage and Alex Eliseev

Duvenage told the story of how it all began, from resigning as chief executive of Avis to becoming the leader of, as Eliseev put it in an article for the Daily Maverick three years ago, “one of the greatest tax revolts in South Africa’s history”.

“By nature I’m a reluctant activist, but it wasn’t difficult to make the transition,” Duvenage said. “It’s been tough but I don’t regret it at all.”

Serrao explained how the e-toll story became one she just couldn’t drop. She started investigating the issue of Sanral’s tolling tariffs back in 2011 and 2012 and found that “every time I wrote a story the reaction was astronomical”.

“That spurred me on. The more I interrogated, the more I thought this doesn’t sound right,” she said, adding that writing the book became a natural transition for her.

Duvenage praised the energy of his team and the people who have stood behind Outa. “We had great people on this journey,” he said. “The more we went down this road the more it felt right. It was right to challenge, to take it on.” He gave credit to Mark Heywood, the executive director of Section 27, for teaching him how to be an activist. Heywood’s advice to Duvenage right at the beginning was: “You get on the train and you stay on it.”

Duvenage didn’t think it would be difficult to get corporate South Africa behind him. “We thought it would be easy; we’d put the appeal out there and money would fall into our coffers.” What he encountered instead was an “absolute fear of being caught out supporting something government wouldn’t approve of”.

“Government doesn’t like its critics,” he said, adding that there are brave corporate organisations out there who did fund Outa.

Laura Hammond and Angelique Serrao
“The book is about encapsulating all these moments we’ve forgotten about,” Duvenage said. Serrao described The E-Tolls Saga as a multi-layered book that tells a personal story while focusing on business and political elements, a story of how ordinary South Africans can encourage each other to stand up against injustice. Duvenage added that The E-Toll Saga is not all “doom and gloom”, but a positive story of how we can move forward together. Serrao agreed, saying that the book is not just about “one person’s journey or a team’s journey but also your journey”. “If you want to live in a democracy you have to take part in it,” she said.

“Journalists in general work hand-in-hand with all sectors of society,” Serrao said. “It’s our job to dig, our job to question.”

Duvenage said in conclusion that “active citizenry will get government to step up and pay attention”. “Outa will become a bigger entity but we can only be helped by public funding,” he said. The E-Toll Saga is “a thank you to the citizens that have stood their ground”.

Ali Gule and "The Armed Swingers"
The evening ended with a book signing, as well as networking and photo opportunities with the authors. Ali Gule designed the placard in the photograph above, which was put on display throughout the evening and will be auctioned off soon in support of the campaign against e-tolls. Gule can be contacted at for more information about the auction.


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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) live tweeted from the event using #livebooks:



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Facebook gallery

Posted by Pan Macmillan South Africa on Monday, 13 July 2015


Book details

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Africa Blames the US, Colonial History, the ICC and Santa Claus Instead of Tackling Problems – Victor Kgomoeswana

Africa Is Open For BusinessVictor Kgomoeswana, business commentator and author of Africa Is Open For Business, recently wrote an article for Sunday Independent about the 25th African Union Summit and the embarrassing facts it highlighted about this continent.

In the article, Kgomoeswana writes about the many issues that Africa should be dealing with on its own. There was a great hullabaloo over Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir flying out of South Africa despite the ICC warrant out for his arrest, and it is an important issue.

But why, Kgomoeswana asks, did it only come to a head because of powers outside of the continent? And why is Africa not “sorting out its problems” when it has proved itself capable of doing so?

Read the article:

To make matters worse, instead of going to the heart of the matter, we blame the West, the US, colonial history, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Santa Claus for not bringing us a sleigh to ride out of our state of underdevelopment.

The AU Summit came to Joburg to discuss matters of crucial importance – the Agenda 2063, how to optimise the resources of Africa, the Burundi crisis, Boko Haram, etc. With matters of such significance, we had no business getting derailed by President Omar al-Bashir. The Sudanese head of state left us nothing but his now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t blues.

Why did we not act on our own?

Book details

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How to Get Around the Impasse in Public Sector Wage Negotiations: Mzukisi Qobo Discusses Current Distrust

The Fall of the ANCMzukisi Qobo, co-author of The Fall of the ANC: What Next?, has written an article for the Rand Daily Mail in which he discusses “tortuously slow negotiations” between government and public service unions.

Qobo writes that the negotiations are characterised by a lack of both trust and clarity. He points to government’s recent whittling down of a signed and agreed upon wage offer, citing their overestimation of inflation as just cause.

Government and unions have many conflicting imperatives to consider during negotiations, but Qobo argues they urgently need to develop a foundation of solidarity.

Read the article:

The impasse in the wage talks between the government and public service unions reflects broken trust between the government and its key stakeholders. This is in addition to the strain between the government and business over policy certainty, compounded by an increasingly gloomy macroeconomic environment.

Any strike by public sector workers would have a potentially disruptive effect on public service delivery and aggravate the macroeconomic condition.

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Victor Kgomoeswana: How Can Africa make Upward Mobility Happen Effectively?

Africa Is Open For BusinessVictor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Is Open For Business and business news anchor, recently wrote an article for The Sunday Independent about upward mobility in Africa, and its link to political development.

In the article, Kgomoeswana speaks about Nigeria’s recent elections and how the result signifies both the potential for positive change and the continuation of old and unwholesome patterns. He refers specifically to “Africa’s new sheriff, China” and what the Asian economic power-house’s tightened grip on Africa means.

He goes on to explore African states in similar financial positions, including South Africa, and what these nations need to do to make life better for ordinary citizens.

Read the article:

Best of luck to Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians did well to ensure the first civilian handover of power from a ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, to the opposition All Progressive Congress went smoothly.

How well Buhari will do will depend on many factors, but Africa has earned a lot of credit for the conduct of Nigerians at the polls this year.

We will now discover if Buhari’s northern Nigerian roots play any meaningful role in somehow containing the threat of Boko Haram.

Book details

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