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Corporates Support Local Schools

16 companies have joined Cyril Ramaphosa in going ‘back to school’.

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Chairman of the Adopt-a-School Foundation, Cyril Ramaphosa walked the talk when he took time out of his schedule to go back to school today in support of the Foundation’s pilot Back to School For a Day initiative.

Ramaphosa first issued the call for a national Back to School For a Day at an Adopt-a-School fundraiser in November last year, where he encouraged corporate South Africa and individuals to play a positive role in the basic education of our youth.

On Friday, 4 May, some 16 companies and hundreds of volunteers heeded that call and descended on 51 selected schools around the country to touch the lives of over 25 000 pupils in what is a pilot of the Back to School For a Day initiative.

Foundation roots

Ramaphosa elected to visit Tshilidzi Primary, the school he attended as a young boy in Soweto. He addressed Tshilidzi’s Grade 7 learners on the importance of learning and getting an education.  Besides being his alma mater, it was a simple request from the Tshilidzi Primary principal many years ago for assistance with a fax machine that ultimately lead Ramaphosa to establish the Adopt-a-School Foundation in 2001.

Run as a project of the Shanduka Foundation, the Adopt-a-School Foundation aims to bring about effective change in education through its Whole School Development model, which involves infrastructure, skills and social development interventions and partnerships between adopters, sponsors, community, government and disadvantaged schools.

Stephen Lebere, executive director of the Adopt-a-School Foundation, was set to visit a number of schools around Gauteng with some of the Foundation’s corporate supporters.

“There is an urgent need for a combined effort from the private sector, NGOs and the public sector to address some of the crippling shortfalls in our education system. This need was recently reiterated by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, at a conference for Mandela Day 2012,” Lebere noted.

Promoting literacy

Ramaphosa confirmed that the theme for the inaugural Back to School day was the Promotion of Literacy and corporates had committed to covering a broad range of elements in their programmes such as health and nutrition, social skills, career guidance, reading and story-telling.

“The companies and their staff joining us across the country today are truly vested in the education of our children. You can see it and feel it in the way they have embraced this day.

“And when an adult walks into a school to offer their time and resources, the students feel recognised. Going back is about giving back and that is what is important about today,” Ramaphosa commented.

“We hope that in future many South Africans will make the first Friday in May the day that they go back to school to transform the lives of young people through the sharing of time, compassion, skills, knowledge and different resources. This is an opportunity to make a lasting impact on learners, particularly at disadvantaged school,” he added.

Who went back to school?

  • Barberton Mines executives and staff are visiting Sibongiseni Primary, the all new school they are currently building in Barberton. The local community, parents, school governing body and learners from surrounding schools will come together to plant trees, clean up the newly built Grade R Facility and enjoy a day of developmental activities.
  • Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages staff volunteers are joining Thabo Tona Primary in Katlehong informal settlement, where they will engage in a host of literacy programmes for all grades.
  • The Deutsche Bank team are visiting Observatory Girls Primary in Johannesburg, to engage with educators and learners in activities designed to add value to the literacy programmes held at the school. Volunteers are donating puzzles, games and books to the school’s library.
  • Digistics, a national multi-temperature warehousing and distribution company, have partnered with the Centre for Psychological Services and Career Development (PsyCaD), of the University  of Johannesburg to visit Emadwaleni Secondary School in Orlando,Soweto to offer support and guidance around subject and career choices and tertiary education options.
  • FeverTreeConsulting is donating new books and educational games to Boschkop Primary, a farm school east of Pretoria. Staff volunteers have adopted the theme “If you want to be smart, put reading in your heart” and through carefully structured activities are looking forward to an outcome that celebrates the power of reading and literacy.
  • Grindrod staff will be visiting their adopted school, King Shaka High, in Umlazi, KZN, where they will engage in HIV/Aids discussions, career guidance and a talk on the importance of maths, science and accounting.
  • The IDC team are donating a furnished Grade R container to Emfundisweni Junior Primary in Alexandra and will spend time practicing reading and writing skills with the learners.
  • Kangra Coal’s staff and executive team will be visiting their adopted School, Vukubone High School in Mpumalanga to share career guidance for the mining industry, engage in motivational and leadership activities for the learners and donate clothing and jersy’s to keep the learner’s warm this coming winter.
  • Lafarge Education Trust has engaged board members, trustees, directors and staff to go back to a number of their adopted schools inNorth West and KZN. In the Bodibe community in North West they are visiting four schools to engage in environmental literacy activities, literacy games, career guidance and life orientation workshops.  Following the morning’s activities, Lafarge are hosting a community awards ceremony, honouring those who have achieved and shown strong commitment to improving education in their community. In their adopted schools in Mzimela, KZN staff and trustees have committed to improving literacy through reading and educator support.
  • Lonmin, in the spirit of supporting critical focus areas in basic education, will be providing workshops and donating technology kits to 28 schools.  Local students from the Technical Preparedness Programme, will join Lonmin in going Back to School to do technology experiments with each school.  Reading books will be supplied to foundation phase educators and all Technology and English educators will be trained on materials supplied.
  • MacSteel’s team of professionals have joined Moses MorenTechnicalSchool in Eikenhof, to share their valuable knowledge and skills of the steel industry and to provide essential advice on how to pursue careers in the technical sector.
  • Merrill Lynch is celebrating their commitment to improving literacy at Elethu Themba Combined School in Eikenhof, through planned activities to engage learners in a fun and meaningful way.  Educational games will delight the younger learners, while high school learners will benefit from career guidance and CV writing skills. LifeLine will provide talks on drug abuse and depression.
  • OMD staff volunteers are visiting Fairsands Primary, in Sandringham,Johannesburg to engage with learners and educators on literacy upskilling across all levels.
  • Sasria staff and partners are giving of their time to motivate, guide and assist learners in making essential career choices at Lodirile High School in Swaneville.
  • Shanduka Coal staff are going back to school at Mkhathini Intermediate to get their hands dirty as they get stuck into improving basic conditions at the school.
  • Shanduka Group and Shanduka Foundation Staff will be assisting the various companies in this pilot programme, sharing their experiences and volunteering their time and resources where it is needed.
  • Werksmans Attorneys are dedicating their time and resources to Igugu Primary School in Soweto, where staff will give the library a mini makeover and assist in improving conditions in and around the school where required.
  • Xstrata volunteers are visiting Mochochonono Primary in Pimville,Soweto, to engage in stimulating games and activities with the youngest learners and creative arts and gardening activities with the older learners to decorate their school’s exterior.

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This Is A Call To The Curious – Applications For The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship Programme Are Open

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is calling on all young, entrepreneurially-minded South Africans to enlist in the most comprehensive and stimulating Fellowship opportunity in Southern African. Applications opened on 22 January 2018.

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The Foundation takes a holistic approach to entrepreneurial development and believes that entrepreneurially-minded individuals with ethical values and strong leadership skills hold the key to change in South Africa and the globe. The Foundation supports entrepreneurs to improve the socio-economic landscape of Southern Africa. Further, it provides youth who demonstrate the highest potential access to education and assists them with cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Fellowship’s entrepreneurial and personal development programme runs throughout the academic year alongside the Candidate Fellow’s university studies. The Fellowship provides access to university education and includes comprehensive tertiary financial support to selected students.

Criteria for Grade 12 Learners

  • Level 5 in Pure Mathematics for Grade 11 final results
  • Level 6 average for your final Grade 11 results (excluding Life Orientation)
  • Completion of the National Benchmark Test by 30 September 2018
  • Under the age of 21 in your application year
  • South African citizens.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

Intention to study towards a degree in Commerce, Science (excluding Medicine), Engineering, Law or Humanities (majoring in Politics, Philosophy or Economics) at the University of Witwatersrand (WITS); University of Johannesburg (UJ); University of the Free State (UF); University of Cape Town (UCT); Nelson Mandela University (NMU), Rhodes University; the University of the Western Cape (UWC); University of Stellenbosch or the University of Pretoria (UP).

What it covers

  • The full cost of university tuition
  • The full cost of university accommodation, meals, books and tutor allowance
  • A monthly living stipend
  • Academic support and access to entrepreneurial and personal development programmes
  • Mentorship from individually assigned Foundation staff as well as business mentors
  • Access to potential postgraduate funding for graduated Candidate Fellows
  • There are no postgraduate contractual obligations with the Foundation.

Related: 9 Top Tips For Young Entrepreneurs

How to apply

Visit www.allangrayorbis.org to download an application form or SMS “Gr12 and your fax number or email address” to 36777. The application closing date is the 11 May 2018.

Watch this video to learn more about the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. More information is available at www.allangrayorbis.org and www.facebook.com/allangrayorbis.

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Facebook Launches A Classifieds Marketplace In South Africa

Facebook has launched Marketplace in South Africa, offering users a single destination on Facebook where they can easily discover and buy and sell goods with other people in their local community.

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Available in 47 countries, with more than 550 million people from around the world visiting Facebook to buy and sell goods each month, Marketplace makes it easier for people to trade with others on Facebook.

Using Marketplace

  • To use Marketplace, tap on the Marketplace icon
  • To find what you’re looking for, search at the top and filter your results by location, category or price
  • To sell something, take a photo, describe your item, set your price and you are done
  • Buyers and sellers can communicate with each other using Facebook Messenger.

Related: 10 Motivational Quotes from Facebook Genius Mark Zuckerberg

Trading Safely

Facebook helps you trade safely on Marketplace by offering safety tips, privacy controls and easy-to-use reporting tools.

Top tips for trading safely on Marketplace:

Commerce Policy

Items, products or services sold on Facebook must comply with Facebook Community Standards and Commerce Policies. Please view the list of items prohibited on Facebook.

Verify the item

When buying an item, examine it carefully for quality, condition and authenticity before paying. For high-value items (watches, luxury bags), consider requesting a certificate of authenticity or proof of purchase.

Related: How You Can Avoid The ‘Facebook Effect’

Be shipping savvy

facebook-shipping-productsIf the seller offers to ship the item rather than exchanging it in person, you may not have the opportunity to verify the item before completing your purchase. You can use a service such as Standard Bank’s Shepherd to arrange safe payment and shipment. Shepherd keeps the money for a transaction in a trust account and releases it to the seller once the buyer verifies he or she has received the correct item in good condition.

Meet in a safe location

Don’t invite buyers or sellers to your home. Meet in a public place like a coffee shop or the mall. Before going, tell a family member or a friend where you will be, bring your cell phone, and consider asking another adult to come with you.

Use cash, COD, or person-to-person payment methods

Buyers and sellers may offer or accept cash or person-to-person (P2P) payments. If you choose to pay electronically using EFT, avoid payment links and log in directly through the payment method’s website. If the value of the item you intend to buy or sell requires a significant amount of cash, you might consider using a person-to-person payment method, such as PayPal or FNB eWallet.

Protect your privacy

Don’t share your financial account information (example: Payment login and password, bank account info) with buyers or sellers. Additionally, make sure your Facebook Privacy Settings are up-to-date. These settings help limit what other people can see (example: status updates, location, photos) on your profile page and what you share on Facebook.

Report someone

If you’re having a problem with someone in Marketplace, you can report them.

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5 Things SME’s Need To Be Thinking About In 2018

In 2018, small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) will be looking for a glimpse of inspiration to chart a new growth path and scale their businesses. This is off the back of a tough 2017 and previous years which have inhibited the growth of local SMEs.

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In 2018, small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) will be looking for a glimpse of inspiration to chart a new growth path and scale their businesses. This is off the back of a tough 2017 and previous years which have inhibited the growth of local SMEs.

Jesse Weinberg, Head of the SME Customer Segment at FNB Business says “Small business success becomes a monumental task when there’s arguably very little to no real economic growth overall. However every challenge presents an opportunity, and in South Africa, not only are we fortunate to consistently have SME development as a key objective on the national government agenda, but most corporates are also  hungry to shift spend to smaller businesses as part of the procurement policies.”

Weinberg says as 2018 begins in earnest, there are some important insights that business owners should consider in order to grow their businesses.

The digital economy is in full swing

SME’s that are comfortably operating without adopting digital technology in their business will likely be outperformed by their competitors unless they adapt to the current reality. Across the globe, consumers and businesses are rapidly migrating services to digital channels for its sheer efficiency, convenience and scalability. This includes basic elements like digitising accounting processes with software, through to using social media to campaign to customers.

If you’re ever unsure where to start, start by observing your customers and listening carefully to how they expect to be dealing with a business like yours – you can’t go wrong by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and then reflecting on your business through their eyes.

Related: 4 Unique Marketing Ideas For SMEs On A Budget

Expect little to no help from the economy

The Word Bank recently predicted that SA will grow at roughly 1.1% in 2018 and while this is not cast in stone, it’s a relatively firm indicator that SME’s will have to do the hard yards to engineer any form of business growth. The focus should thus mainly be on differentiating your business, products or services from your competitors through marketing or even innovation if possible.

Maximise your banking relationship

Banks are investing a lot of time to understand the needs of businesses and have some of the tools to help SME’s run efficiently. The relationship should not be only be limited to just banking. With the multitude of rewards and value-add services offering by most banks, with just a bit of time spent understanding the offerings, great value can be derived for you and your business. Examples of these offered by FNB include eBucks rewards, free Instant Accounting software and CIPC registration services.

‘Think Local, Act Global’

Your business may be based in South Africa but its potential to scale shouldn’t be hampered by your location. In other words, be open to the opportunity of growing your business beyond South African shores, especially if your service or product has universal appeal and relevance. With global marketplaces such as Alibaba and AirBnB, the world market has never been more accessible and easier to do business with.

Related: SchoemanLaw Shakes Up The Legal Industry To The Benefits Of SMEs

Avoid the race to the bottom

Market forces continue to show that consumers aren’t only focused on the cheapest product or service despite the tough economic conditions. These days offering great service will build trust and loyalty with customers and keep them coming back. If you combine this with good quality, accessible products and services you will generally have an edge over your competitors offering the same or similar products and services.

“Even though 2018 is unlikely to come with an SME development boom, a solid homegrown business can still grow sustainably. More than ever, business owners need to arm themselves with as much information and insights as they can to grow their businesses or even reduce the risk of total business failure. With South Africa’s level of unemployment showing little to no signs of reduction, we need to sustain the spotlight on growing our SME sector and offering as much support to it as possible. SME’s represent one of the most effective ways to create employment in local communities, especially if these businesses find ways to trade with customers beyond their normal operating territories.” says Weinberg.

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