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The Mentorship Challenge – Behind Every Great Leader Is A Great Mentor

With this in mind, Redefine Properties is proud to sponsor The Mentorship Challenge – with Marc Wainer, a weekly television show that unpacks the notion of social upliftment through mentorship.

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In a country facing what is commonly termed a ‘crisis of leadership’, the moment has arrived for business leaders to step into the breach and become aspirational leadership models for future generations. This is the true power of mentorship, which delivers not just a public service, but a significant social intervention.

With this in mind, Redefine Properties is proud to sponsor The Mentorship Challenge – with Marc Wainer, a weekly television show that unpacks the notion of social upliftment through mentorship.

Redefine Properties, a JSE Top 40 Index-listed Real Estate Investment Trust, is committed to delivering sustained value for all our stakeholders. Our people-centric strategy is what sets us apart in the property industry.The Mentorship Challenge is a perfect fit for Redefine, as it demonstrates just how people-centricity translates into social upliftment.

Launching on Wednesday, 4 October 2017 at 20h30 on CNBC (DStv Channel 410), the show will be hosted by the inimitable Marc Wainer, executive chairman of Redefine Properties, and will unpack the notion of mentorship, providing an unparalleled, enabling platform for top leaders to create a legacy through shaping the journeys of the budding business trailblazers of tomorrow.

Related: Servant Leadership – Will You Serve?

Marc is the perfect host for the show, as he embodies the idea that, even when faced with few resources or having tread a less than orthodox path, you can still succeed. In a country where so many eager youngsters simply don’t have access to resources, raw talent, sheer guts and the guiding hand of a leadership guru can carve you a path out of poverty to success.

Armed with a matric and enough confidence to fill a mall, Marc grew from humble origins to the industry giant he is today. But his extraordinary journey to success is not the full measure of the man. His true strength lies in his belief in people and in his passion and generosity in sharing his hard-earned life and business lessons with others. Because, in Marc’s view, what is the point of amassing a wealth of skills and insights, if you are not prepared to pass this on to others, pay it forward and build a legacy? That’s just leadership in a vacuum.

Marc says, “I am passionate about mentorship. The purpose of this programme is to connect as many people as possible with our guests and their associates. The advice, guidance and support that our mentees will receive is priceless, so if you have not yet registered on our website, do so now… It could change your life.”

But The Mentorship Challenge delivers something invaluable for mentors too – an opportunity to give back and make a difference. Thought leaders and captains of industry often work within narrow organisational constraints, inwardly focused on steering the organisation towards growth and sustainability. The Mentorship Challenge remedies this – by taking entrepreneurial insight beyond the boardroom to a place where bright young minds meet seasoned leadership legends in an exchange of ideas and perspectives The Mentorship Challenge provides the perfect platform for thought leaders to share those nuggets of wisdom, insights and lessons learnt on the path to success that you won’t find in any business manual.

Redefine CEO, Andrew König, agrees: “We believe that, in our socio-economic climate, this show is particularly relevant, given the unemployment challenge – especially amongst the youth – in South Africa. The Mentorship Challenge is an innovative way to make a real difference in people’s lives, and demonstrates our commitment to our country and its future leaders. Mentorship serves as a guiding hand out of poverty to success – securing a better and stronger future for all South Africans. The show also offers us, as a responsible corporate citizen, an opportunity to inspire our fellow corporates to take up the mantle of mentorship and give back to communities in a meaningful and sustainable way.”

The mechanics of The Mentorship Challenge are simple

There’ll be a topical conversation with Marc on the pressing issues of the day, followed by a detour of a more personal nature, where Marc will engage his guests on the mentors, moments and chance meetings that moulded them into the titans they are today.

Perfectly positioned to become the most exciting part of the show, Marc – with incomparable charisma – will challenge these mentors to pledge personal time to carefully chosen mentees in their particular areas of expertise. And he’ll also be encouraging his guests to throw down the gauntlet to their peers to match their mentorship pledges.

Related: Seed Academy Making Strides In The Development Of Female Entrepreneurs

The show will be supported by a microsite (www.mentorshipchallenge.co.za), where mentors and mentees will make contact and schedule time together. And these stories of both collaboration and mentorship will be incorporated into the show.

The Mentorship Challenge is a true embodiment of Redefine’s brand positioning – ‘We’re not landlords. We’re people.’ – and our commitment to sustainable social initiatives. We believe The Mentorship Challenge will serve as a catalyst towards creating a culture of mentorship in corporate South Africa, where the mentorship hours accrued will proliferate into an ongoing resource available to all aspiring bright young minds of tomorrow, no matter their background.

about-the-show

In the time-constrained world of business leadership, The Mentorship Challenge provides a bank of beneficial hours to help build future leaders and businesses. And, beyond that, it is mentorship, finally, that is at the heart of good business.

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Government Injection To SMEs Cautiously Welcomed

Mboweni said the Jobs Fund is a vital complement to private sector job creation. “The Fund has disbursed R4.6bn in grant funding, and created well over 200,000 jobs since inception. The allocation to this Fund will rise over the next three years to R1.1bn,” said Mboweni.

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Riversands Incubation Hub has welcomed the allocation of R481.6m of the 2019 national budget to the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) to expand the small business incubation programme, saying this will strengthen co-ordination and partnership agreements with other SME agencies and incubation programmes.

“South Africa’s entrepreneurial economy is built on linkages and networks across industry sectors, and the stronger these are, the higher the chances of SMEs surviving and thriving, which is critical if the economy is to grow,” says Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni also undertook to free entrepreneurs from stifling regulations and complicated taxes, which Retief said would encourage and boost trade in this sector. “The frustrations that many entrepreneurs feel in the current business space, which is overburdened with tax red tape and obstructive labour regulations, will hopefully be alleviated. The sustainability of many early-stage SMEs is significantly dependent on ease of doing business,” says Retief.

Mboweni said the Jobs Fund is a vital complement to private sector job creation. “The Fund has disbursed R4.6bn in grant funding, and created well over 200,000 jobs since inception. The allocation to this Fund will rise over the next three years to R1.1bn,” said Mboweni.

The Government has also allocated R19.8bn for industrial business incentives, of which R600m has gone to the clothing and textile competitiveness programme. This will support 35 500 existing jobs and create about 25 000 new jobs over the next three years.

“It is particularly exciting to see this commitment, because the lack of locally produced textiles is a significant constraint for the local fashion industry. It also offers strong synergies for desperately needed rural development. A counterpart in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform was recently telling me about South Africa’s capacity to produce a superb range of raw materials such as wool – not only from sheep but also alpacas and of course cotton. Building the local textile industry to beneficiate these raw materials offers benefits all round,” comments Retief.

Retief said these injections will stimulate entrepreneurship in sectors that are under-resourced, but that ongoing support is essential to ensuring that these jobs survive. “Business savvy and financial literacy is a road that requires solid guidance along the way. This is where incubation programmes such as ours provide critical value and sustainability,” says Retief.

Retief endorsed the recent call by the Small Business Institute for the Finance Ministry to request an audit of government’s overall financial support to small businesses, to gauge where targets are not being met and equally, where there are success stories. “This will provide a clearer picture of where fiscal priorities should lie going forward,” said Retief.

While the allocation of R69bn towards the plan to unbundle Eskom is laudable, Retief said it remains to be seen whether this will improve the prognosis for Eskom, and by extension, the viability of millions of entrepreneurs and SMEs dependent on consistent electricity flow. “Ongoing load-shedding would be nothing short of disastrous for countless small businesses across the country, so we will be watching the Eskom situation closely in the coming months. Our own business has also been set back by power cuts over the past month,” says Retief.

Mboweni’s emphasis on the private sector as the key engine for job creation was correctly placed, along with his policy actions aimed at ending the uncertainty that has undermined confidence and constrained private sector investment, Retief said. “The devil is in the detail, however, and the sooner entrepreneurs and SMEs feel these differences, the more growth we will see from this vital sector,” she says.

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#Budget2019: But What About Small Businesses?

Where is the focus on growing South Africa’s small business sector?

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That is the overriding question we are left with at the end of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden budget speech. The few mentions the Minister made about Small & Medium Businesses were short on detail at a time when we desperately need to supercharge the growth of this segment.

A highlight of the speech from Sage’s perspective was the Minister’s acknowledgement that we must free small businesses from stifling regulations and complicated taxes because we desperately need them to boost employment and drive competition. This aligns with President Ramaphosa’s pledge to improve the ease of doing business in his State of the Nation Address this year.

However, these pronouncements need to be followed rapidly by concrete policies and regulation. We believe that there are many steps government could take to streamline red-tape for small businesses -from streamlining some SARS processes such as VAT refunds and issuing of tax clearance certificates to increasing the maximum thresholds for turnover tax and VAT registration.

We hope to hear more about such steps after the May general election and in the October Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

One welcome announcement in the speech was the allocation of R481.6 million to the Small Enterprise Development Agency to expand the small business incubation programme. Such programmes can play an invaluable role in helping small businesses to survive the difficult start-up phase and then scale up into larger businesses.

As a software company, we were also pleased that the Minister spoke about using the budget to get our country ready for technology. His focus on the importance of technology in education, his commitment to working with the Minister of Communications to resolve the issue of spectrum licensing in order to drive down data costs, and his mention of FinTech innovation programmes at the Reserve Bank all point to a focus on creating a competitive, digital country that ready for the future.

However, I would have liked to have seen more of a specific focus on innovation as a vehicle for driving economic growth. The fourth industrial revolution and the rise of a digital economy has been a theme of recent government speeches and addresses, and it would be good to see the words matched with investments and policies.

On the whole, Minister Mboweni and the National Treasury have done a good job of negotiating a challenging economic climate. They are to be commended for balancing the books, keeping a lid on government spending, taking steps to put Eskom and other state-owned entities on a more sustainable footing, and committing towards investing in infrastructure.

Such steps could help boost business confidence and create an enabling environment for businesses of all sizes. As the Minister notes, the private sector is the key engine for job creation. Taking policy actions that offer more certainty to the business community will help to reinvigorate investment in the economy and unlock entrepreneurial activity.

Budget2019: Commentary by Rob Cooper

General comments

As expected, this was a conservative budget with no sweeping changes to most forms of taxation. The Finance Minister took advantage of some new revenue sources such as carbon taxes, but, for the most part, continued to stick to the script of limiting bracket creep adjustment, sin taxes and fuel levies to raise more money.

We can but hope that the decision for the government not to take on Eskom’s debt and a reduction of public expenditure by around R50 billion since the October mini-budget will be enough to convince Moody’s not to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign credit rating.

Personal income tax

The Minister and his team have raised income taxes by stealth by choosing not to adjust tax brackets to allow for inflation this year. Unlike previous years, even low- and middle-income earners are not getting much respite. Rebates and the tax threshold are being increased by small amounts to allow a bit of relief from inflation, but most people earning above the tax threshold (raised from R78,150 to R79,000) will feel some pain.  This measure will raise around R12.8 billion in revenue for the tax year. 

National Health Insurance

The Finance Minister decided not to apply an inflationary increase to the Medical Tax Credit, which will allow him to raise an extra R1 billion in revenue for the year. This is not surprising since government is phasing out this credit and gearing up for a wider rollout of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.

What is surprising is that the funds will be allocated to general revenue rather than NHI, as was the case in previous years when below-inflation increase on medical scheme credits were used to fund NHI pilot projects. I am glad that the tax credit is still with us because it helps to make private medical cover affordable for millions of low-income South Africans. We heard no news about how the NHI will be funded and will need to wait for the government to table the bill that includes funding to find out more.

Employment tax incentive

It was heartening to hear that about 1.1 million young people have been employed under the Employment Tax Incentive scheme. The incentive of up to R1 000 can now be claimed for employees earning up to R4,500 per month, up from R4,000, and the remuneration threshold has been increased by R500 to R6,500. This is a necessary and welcome adjustment for inflation.

Bearing in mind that the ETI has been extend for 10 years, I was hoping for an indication in the budget that the policy-makers will be considering changes to simplify the ETI requirements, thereby increasing the take-up by employers.

Tax collection

We can expect to see tax reforms in the years to come, with Minister Mboweni recommitting to improving administration at SARS. Judge Dennis Davis will be assessing the tax gap — the difference between revenue SARS collects and what it should collect. Restoring SARS to a world-class administration machine and improving compliance could go a long way to cushioning compliant taxpayers from tax increases and new taxes in the year to come.

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2019 National Budget Speech: Five Positive, Key Take Outs For Local SMEs

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni today referenced the private sector as the key engine for job creation in his National Budget speech.

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Ben Bierman, MD of Business Partners Limited, fully supports this statement, and says that there are five key take outs that local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from:

1. Falling data costs

Minister Mboweni was adamant that the cost of data must fall, and committed to work relentlessly with the necessary parties to ensure this happens. As data gets cheaper, there will be more opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs to build their business and for new technology businesses to emerge. Making data more affordable and accessible can go a long way in driving economic and SME growth.

2. The R30 billion allocated to build new schools and maintain school infrastructure spend

National infrastructure spend is likely to be a big contributor to SME growth, and will create positive knock-on effects for job creation in the sector. Not only will SMEs be included in the supply stream, but as infrastructure projects are rolled out, economic growth will be positively impacted, having a downstream effect on small business.

3. Relaxed visa requirements

Relaxed visa requirements provide an enhanced opportunity for SMEs operating in the tourism industry, driving growth and the creation of new jobs. As tourism is a substantial contributor to the country’s GDP, the increasing the number of visitors to South Africa is extremely beneficial to the macro environment as well as for businesses operating both directly and indirectly in the tourism sector.

4. Allocation of R3.2 billion to operationalise the small business and innovation fund over the MTEF

The R3.2 billion budget allocation for the small business and innovation fund is a definite positive development for the country’s entrepreneurial eco-system and is anticipated to contribute to the creation of more innovative businesses that can respond to the opportunities presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Also noteworthy is the R481.6 million allocated to the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s incubation programme expected to bolster the creation of new businesses and survival rate of existing businesses.

5. Industrial business incentives

The R19.8 billion allocated to industrial business incentives will not only benefit the national economy as a whole, but it will yield opportunities for local industrial SMEs and create job opportunities.

The R600 million assigned to the clothing and textile competitiveness programme is also a much needed boost to revitalise this struggling sector of our economy that has historically been a driver of economic growth.

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