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Mayikana Consulting: Mbulelo Mayikana

Creative retention strategies make all the difference in retaining equity candidates

Juliet Pitman



Mbulelo Mayikene

We’re 12 years into democracy yet many South African businesses still can’t seem to look affirmative action squarely in the eye and deal with the issues that arise from it. The overt racism that once lurked in the corridors of corporate South Africa is less of a problem than it previously was but, as Mbulelo Mayikana, founder and director of Mayikana Consulting, points out, there are more subtle forces at play that continue to impact organisations’ ability to retain equity candidates.

Mayikana, with his straight-talking, unaffected and direct approach, assists businesses in tackling such issues. Originally from a teaching background, he joined the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) in 1999 and there gained a unique insight into the human capital management problems facing the country at the time. “Even though the cases differed, the bottom line in all of them was the inability to manage staff. I felt that I could make a difference to organisations and it was this that sparked my desire to go into consulting,” he says. Being privy to the changing face of human resources management at such a critical time in the country’s history has stood him in good stead. Mayikana describes a situation many organisations are familiar with: “Companies are experiencing huge difficulty retaining affirmative action talent. Some organisations try to get these employees to stay by offering them huge packages, but they still leave. It’s not a new story, but businesses are still grappling with it.” In his extensive experience, one of the biggest push factors for equity candidates is the fact that they feel their talent is not being used by the organisation. “They don’t believe they are being given the space to contribute and this often leads them to think they are just token appointments,” he says.
“Even if they aren’t, this is their experience of the company and that’s what counts, especially when no one does anything to disprove this perception.” A subtly hostile company culture often puts the last nail in the coffin and, feeling alienated and under-utilised, employees leave. As Mayikana points out, the problem is not new. Yet organisations still haven’t come up with an effective solution. Mayikana Consulting’s approach is comprehensive and long-term but Mayikana picks out a few key solutions for simplification purposes. To his mind, continual engagement with employees is crucial. “I always tell clients that you can never over-communicate on issues of transformation and affirmative action. It’s just not enough to communicate once and leave it at that, or to do a climate survey once every two years, because in the time between surveys, you’ll have lost all your talent,” he says. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all retention strategy and companies have to start getting creative about how they approach retention. “You need to ask yourself what would make certain groups of employees stay with your company and customise your retention strategy to suit different target groups,” Mayikana says. Culture, recognition, utilisation of skills and engagement are key priorities for retaining the equity employee target group. “When companies stop using a one-dimensional approach to affirmative action issues, they will be more successful at retaining these candidates,” he adds.

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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