Category Archive: Uncategorized
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/05/17/the-first-arab-international-public-relations-conference/
by Sizile Mabaso*
Businesses that succeed in difficult times frequently do so because they are determined ‘never to waste a crisis’. It takes a special type of fortitude to seek opportunities when others hold up their hands in despair. But the philosophy often works for embattled companies. Some of our severely under-resourced and neglected government schools may wish to absorb this lesson from the business world. Our media regularly feature the tragedy of inadequate school facilities.
Damning headlines provoke an outcry. Awareness then dies down, only to rise again when another school exposé hits the headlines. Periodic media exposure like this may be the only ‘asset’ these crisis schools have. My advice? Don’t waste it! Awareness can be leveraged into donor funding and transformed into a well-supported socio-economic development (SED) programme. At least, it can for those with the right tools and knowledge of the corporate social investment (CSI) field. Most government schools certainly face a crisis.
The lack of appropriate educational facilities, including science and computer laboratories, libraries and teaching and learning equipment, continues to cripple these schools. Hopefully, some of these schools will refuse to remain victims and will take action to correct the imbalances that threaten the prospects of an entire generation of marginalised schoolchildren. It is generally accepted that school fees and government subsidies in most government schools are insufficient to meet the need for substantially improved facilities. What is the solution then?
A change in mindset at school management level is required and a lot of learning has to be done – by managers, principals, staff and school governing bodies. For example, government schools could learn a great deal from their counterparts, the independent schools. School management and school governing bodies at independent schools are proactive in mobilizing resources to supplement fees and to provide adequate educational facilities for their learners. Is it not time that government schools followed this lead? Some already have.
The number is admittedly small, but some innovative and energetic government schools have already proven that much can be achieved by a strengthened, committed and proactive school management structure. One of the resources that independent and a few government schools have tapped into in raising additional funds for their schools is corporate social investment (CSI). Over the years, these schools have mastered the skills and expertise of liaising with and managing corporate donor relationships. Unfortunately, most of the neediest government schools are not aware of this resource.
They do not even know what corporate social investment is let alone see it as a potential revenue stream for their schools. This is inexcusable. Many of those who have attempted to approach corporate donors have written such poor proposals that they have failed to secure funding. As a result, they feel despondent. They are so disheartened they give up the attempt to secure support from corporate donors. While writing a funding proposal and approaching corporate donors for assistance may seem complex and even daunting for most principals in government schools, there are plenty of tools to assist and guide schools in this regard.
The book by SM Business Consultants titled “A Guide to Managing Corporate Social Investment” is a comprehensive guide aimed at corporate donors and beneficiaries of CSI (e.g. NGOs and schools). For beneficiaries of CSI, the guide provides detailed information on what CSI is and the processes of accessing CSI funds. This guide is just one of the tools available to those who wish to empower themselves with skills that will enable them to engage with donors in a professional manner. Of course, there is no guarantee that those who understand CSI and know how to structure funding proposals will always get funding. However, the chance of securing funds rises considerably once processes and donor expectations are properly understood. One thing is guaranteed, however.
Until school management takes full ownership of the future of their schools, toilets will remain blocked, damaged or simply won’t get built. Leaking roofs will make learning impossible in crowded, run-down classrooms. Additional classrooms may not be built for years. Desks, chairs and books could also remain in short supply. No number of outreach programmes by independent schools will resolve this crisis unless government schools themselves are empowered to lead the campaign to improve the circumstances of their schools. This starts with building and encouraging school management structures at government schools that are proactive, accountable and capable of truly managing an institution of learning. All educators would surely agree with the proposition that knowledge is power.
When encouraging our children to strive for success, educators also emphasise the power of persistence. Persistence pays. . They could usefully apply this same lesson as they try to mobilize the resources their schools so badly need. • Sizile Mabaso is managing director and founder of SM Business Consultants, a leading advisor on socio-economic development programme implementation. SM Business Consultants was established almost six years ago in partnership with Grindrod Financial Services Holdings.
SM Business Consultants
+27 11 459 1881
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/05/13/schools-in-dire-need-of-help-must-not-waste-this-crisis/
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/05/07/johanna-mcdowell-at-the-ipra-presidents-awards-in-lima/
The Mineworkers Development Agency (MDA) has taken on the role of assisting and educating its mineworkers who have lung related diseases and have been retrenched or have retired due to it. They focus on acquiring what is legally owed to the mineworkers through their Silicosis and Asbestosis projects.
The Mineworkers Development Agency (MDA) was created 26 years ago as a job creation wing of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). The MDA also has expertise in job-creation and small micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs), through facilitation of services and project management.
The MDA’s role in the Silicosis project is to carry out the process of identifying potential claimants in Lesotho and advising them about their rights. Once the workers are selected they go through a medical screening process to help diagnose the disease accurately which they can use as proof in their defense, then the workers are registered as Richard Spoor Attorney’s clients.
The project highlights for 2012/2013 have been that 570 mineworkers have been diagnosed with Silicosis which addresses the issue that the project is trying resolve.
“The Silicosis project was created to bring a class action suit against Gold mine Companies on behalf of former mineworkers who have contracted Silicosis while working in the gold mines; we have identified the target group to be Lesotho.” says Sifiso Ndwandwe, CEO of the MDA.
The Asbestos Relief Trust (ART) contacted MDA to facilitate compensation of ex-asbestos mineworkers which have found to have asbestos –related diseases (ARD’s). The project is currently taking part in six districts being Quthing, Mohales’ Hoek, Qacha’s Nek, Mafeteng, Maseru and Berea in Lesotho.
Some of the asbestosis project highlights include 721 workers being registered with the help of the MDA and 545 of the 721 were approved to have a qualifying exposure.
“The compensation has positively changed the living conditions of the recipients by improving their ability to access basic necessities such as food while others invested their money in projects that have the potential to sustain their lives” concluded Sifiso Ndwandwe.
About the MDA
The MDA runs skills, SMME and enterprise development projects to help beneficiaries to obtain the skills and training required for them to begin earning their own money and contributing to the greater societal needs. Many of the beneficiaries live in rural areas which results in the projects focusing on agriculture and farming initiatives.
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/05/03/the-mda-invests-in-the-health-of-its-mineworkers/
Ubank and JB Marks partnership has entered its fourth successive year and is achieving its vision to assist the youth of South Africa to not only achieve higher education goals but also to give them real work experience which will ultimately make them more employable on graduation.
The partnership focuses on assisting students in three ways, financially through the bursary, to obtain work experience through working at Ubank during a vacation, and a support structure through a Ubank staff member who volunteers their time to mentor a student.
“The Ubank bursary programme affords our youth an opportunity to have access to quality tertiary education and relevant workplace exposure. We also pair the students with our employees who act as their mentors to assist them to grow as they learn” says Luthando Vutula, Chief Executive Officer of Ubank.
Since the inception of the Ubank bursary programme twenty-two bursary recipients have benefited and seven graduates have been produced thus far. Out of the seven graduates, three are permanently employed.
In 2013, a further ten bursaries were provided and ten new mentors who all work at Ubank have volunteered to assist students through mentoring and coaching.
“Though it would be a great thing to give every student a bursary, we do not have the resources to do that at this point but organisations like Ubank play a huge role in lending a helping hand in the matter,” concludes Jako Mokgosi the Principal Officer of the JB Marks Trust Fund.
JB Marks Education Trust Fund focuses on providing bursaries for their members and their dependents. The bursaries cover the cost of school and tertiary education to individual bursary recipients. JB Marks has assisted over two and a half thousand bursary recipients, investing in the education of two hundred and fifty new students a year.
The main goal of this project is increase the number of black graduates entering the mining, energy and construction industries.
Ubank has a strong focus on community development and has enjoyed the support of the mine working community for many years. This partnership is an ideal vehicle to give back to this community. Ubank was founded in 1975 and received its banking license in July 2000.
Ubank has a unique structure as it is wholly owned by a Trust whose beneficiaries are the customers of the Bank. Trustees are from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Chamber of Mines.
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/04/29/youth-supported-to-get-education-and-work-experience/
By Govern Matshogo
I grew up in a family of four children, living on the fathers’ minimum salary, a father whose highest qualification was grade 11. The only way to ensure I had stationery and a lunch box as a student; I had to befriend somebody from a better family. Getting school shoes meant that I had to tell my father three months in advance so that he could save towards that. Those same shoes would be for sports, church and they would be worn until I felt my feet touching the ground.
I had to choose a different path after realizing that my dream to one day study at either University of Johannesburg or Wits University might never materialize because my father did not have the money as the sole breadwinner. I wanted to help my family being the second, I felt responsible for my siblings and my entire family.
Little did I know that one day that the solution was right under my nose. The turning point in my life was when my father learnt about the JB Marks bursary scheme offered by his union (National Union of Mineworkers). I applied for it and I was granted the opportunity to study.
The bursary ensured that I was not stressed; my tuition fees, accommodation and books were all taken care of. My only concern was making sure I obtained good marks. Today I work for the same union (NUM) that gave me the chance to have a Peace studies and International Relations degree and I am now studying towards my masters.
I work at the (NUM) head office in the HR Department, my life has been transformed drastically at this rate I even feel that I would be a South African Diplomat. I am supporting my sister who is in Tertiary and this is all thanks to NUM. if I had not been given the JB Marks bursary, I would probably be saying a different story or not even has a voice.
I have learnt that one must take every opportunity that is given to them and utilize it to their full potential.
Govern is currently working for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/04/09/how-the-jb-marks-bursary-changed-my-life/
By Rethabile Witkoei
The final year of high school is supposed to be one of the most exciting years in any students’ life. Where one looks forward to a better life in the hopes that they will go to a University or College in order to improve their status in life. For me it was a different story, I did not know what the future had in store. One thing I was certain of was the fact that my mother would not be able to pay for my tertiary fees.
Being, raised by a single parent who had to stretch her income quite thinly in order to provide for us. My mother worked for St Albert Medical centre as a nurse and we could not afford much at home; just the necessities.
The situation at home made me realize that I had to work a lot harder than an average student. If I was born with everything there would be no reason to aspire for anything. I let my circumstances be my motivator. The hard work that one puts into their studies today will be worth it tomorrow
I decided that I had to work incredibly hard to ensure I had either a bursary or some form of study assistance. I did not know where to even start looking for a bursary.
My mother then came home one afternoon and told me that her union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was offering bursaries.
I then made my research to find out more about what they were offering and I found out that I stood a chance to apply for the (NUM) bursary scheme which is called the JB Mark Education Trust Fund. I sent my application to the JB Marks and it was successful.
The JB Marks Education Trust Fund offered me an opportunity that changed my life. I now not only have a Diploma in Town and Regional Planning but I also have a B-Tech through the University of Johannesburg and I am studying towards my masters at University of Pretoria. I have secured a job with Eskom as a Town Planner and I am so excited about my new post and I cannot wait to start working there.
My emphasis’s is on the importance of dreaming. I strongly believe that if you can dream it, you can be it. Today I am a living proof of that. I look at every situation in life as an opportunity to better myself. The future seemed to be bleak and there were no prospects for studying at a Varsity but I made a conscious decision to change my story and the JB Marks bursary gave me the platform. I set goals and worked out a realistic way to attain them.
I have learnt that hard work does pay. One does not have to be a victim of their circumstances.
Rethabile Witkoei is currently working for Eskom
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/04/09/the-power-of-dreaming/
Now with a totally new look and feel the branch has transformed from being a sales counter operation to full retail operation and focuses more on customer interaction and one on one service.
The branch provides for large bulk or once off purchasing as well as being open and spacious with plenty of displays, giving it a welcoming and relaxed feel.
“Our customers will now be able to explore the branch and its products at leisure and discover the wide range of products and services that the Kit Group has to offer. We want to ensure that they have a better understanding of the industries that we service as well as the availability of stock,” says Sales and Marketing Executive of the Kit Group Charl Cilliers.
“Also our safety and security footwear is displayed in a manner that enables the customer to make educated and informed decisions as to what would best suit their needs,” continues Cilliers.
Contrary to our previous branch, the new branch will have sales staff at hand to help customers and guide them through the purchasing process by providing not only direction but also product knowledge and specifications.
The new concept also offers a comprehensive range of outdoor wear for the farming, hunting, and nature conservation industries. They have also introduced new and innovative technology, making it the first of its kind for the Kit Group and driving the organisation firmly into the future. The branch itself is visible from the highway which makes it easy for customers to locate.
“Our long term goal is to upgrade all our branches to have the same look and feel, with the aim to provide a superior service to our customers,” concludes Charl Cilliers.
About The Kit Group
The Kit Group is South Africa’s leading uniform solutions specialist with over 45 years’ experience in the securitywear and workwear industries. The uniform solutions function offered by The Kit Group includes the conception and design, the manufacture, supply and management of uniforms and accessories using the latest IT software to all industries including: security, industrial ,farming, corporate & leisurewear.
For more information please contact:
011 538 0000
Permanent link to this article: http://hmcseswa.co.za/blog/2013/04/08/the-kit-group-breaks-new-ground-in-polokwane-2/