Business Schools: Profile – University of Stellenbosch Business School

The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), the first ‘African-born’ school to be triple accredited, is also the first South African business school to offer its MBA in realtime online. What this means is that the physical classroom is transferred to anywhere in the world. Students want the option to pursue an MBA at a reputable business school where they can learn anywhere and not be held back due to their location or work related travel commitments, says USB MBA programme head Martin Butler. He says that advanced technology will ensure that students from around the world can attend classes via live streaming and web-cams either on their laptop or smart phone and join fellow students attending the physical face-to-face in-classroom tuition to participate, raise insights and questions and contribute to group assignments.


“The new technology offers a richer student experience where they don’t simply consume content but interact, co-create and take responsibility for their learning irrespective of their location. This interaction also offers students
a new advanced technology skill set which they can apply in their own careers,” he says. Butler adds that blended learning should not be confused with online learning, which has been successfully implemented over a number of years. “Online offers a platform where the student learns in isolation at their own pace, mostly watching a video where they have the option to review tuition sessions at their own convenience. “USB’s new offering is synchronous
whereby the community of learners, collaborate at the same time when attending the classroom session online.

Our students meet for live sessions, either physically or via video streaming technology, all at the same time. We
call this a ‘glocal’ classroom since it’s simultaneously global and local.” Butler says that the wonderful thing
about the business school is that lecturers learn from the students as much as they learn from the lecturers
and using technology to engage is no different. Prof Piet Naudé, USB director, says an MBA is after all these years still a good qualification, because it is an ‘interesting form of knowledge advancement’.
“We have people from history, drama, accounting and medical backgrounds in our MBA classes. The reason why it
is still a good qualification is probably because it is the best general management orientated degree available,” he
says. And with the new real-time online MBA offering from USB, even more people will be able to gain access to this sought-after degree.

*USB was recently ranked the top school for the fifth consecutive year in the 2016 Professional Management Review ( annual survey of accredited business schools offering MBA and MBL degrees in South Africa.

Business Schools: Profile – University of Stellenbosch Business School

Tasneem Motala: From MBA student to lecturer

 Eugine Yiga

AFTER a few years of working for oil and gas refineries in Durban, Tasneem Motala, a chemical engineering graduate, moved to Cape Town for a new petrochemical industry job. But the real fuel for her career came when she enrolled in an MBA at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). “Engineering is technical and the undergraduate degree doesn’t give you much insight into how business works,” she says. “I wanted to get more exposure to business concepts and more exposure to different fields.” USB was the ideal choice for several reasons.

First, while other business schools insisted on a January intake, USB’s mid-year option meant that Motala could start when she was ready. Second, the Modular MBA, in which two years of classes are presented in nine blocks of one week each, provided the flexibility to continue her full-time work. Third, the International Study Module gave her a once-in-alifetime opportunity to spend a week attending lectures, meeting students, and visiting businesses in Paris. But the biggest benefit USB offered, and one of her main reasons for doing an MBA, was the personal and professional leadership development. Whereas other modules run over a block or two, the leadership module extends over the full duration of the MBA.


“You engage with the leadership faculty and have one-on-one sessions in which they look at the reflections
you’ve done on aspects of your life,” she says. “That emphasis on leadership and a personal touch is what attracted
me to USB.” Getting to reflect on the choices she’d made in her career led her to the realisation that she wasn’t doing what she wanted with her life. Indeed, when she first considered doing an MBA, she had a slight feeling that it might be time for a professional change. “As a child, I always said I wanted to be a teacher,” recalls Motala, who was born in Newcastle (in the KwaZuluNatal Midlands) and raised in Durban. “It was my biggest passion when I was growing up. And while that feeling of  wanting to share knowledge with others was still at the back of my mind, the reflection and journaling pushed it to the fore. That’s when I realised that lecturing might be a career for me.”

Upon completing her MBA, Motala, who had built strong networks with her classmates and among the faculty,
was invited to lecture in one of the programmes last July. A year later, she was appointed as a full-time senior lecturer in Operations Management at USB. She admits that it’s not easy to be on the other side of the lecture hall. But she loves the challenge of putting theoretical concepts into practical context with real-world examples, which is
something her students always appreciate. She also considers it an honour to work with the same professors and
lecturers she admired. “The MBA allows you to speak the language of someone from a different background,” she says. “So when you’re sitting around the boardroom table, you can understand what the finance director or the IT expert is saying. You’ve been introduced to the concepts, understand what their work involves, and can speak the same language at a higher level.

I think that’s the beauty of the MBA from USB. That’s what it gives you and that’s what it added to my life.”

Business Schools: Profile – University of KwaZulu-Natal

 Adriaan Viljoen

Sustainable business begins with local community development. Grow roots in your own environment, expand across South African soil and Africa becomes your hinterland. This conviction propelled the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership of towards a learning institution of recognised excellence and purpose. Award
The annual survey of Accredited Business Schools ranked the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) as among the top five business schools in South Africa, scoring an aggregated total of 7.66 out of 10. In the survey employers rated MBA graduates from accredited Business Schools in the workplace on 19 criteria including academic knowledge, application of knowledge in the workplace and entrepreneurial
skills, capacity and abilities. Dean and Head of the GSB&L prof. Theuns Pelser says the School differentiates itself from other SA business schools particularly by its local, regional and wider continental African focus


A Local Economic Development Partnership
In 2012 the School forged a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DEDTEA) for a Regional and Local Economic Development Capacity Building Initiative (RLEDI). The GSB&L as academic partner offers postgraduate
programmes aimed at promoting local economic research and learning, creates a coordinated and integrated programme of teaching, learning and applied research in Local Economic Development and builds a professional network of empowered graduates. The Department, on the other hand, funds the entire programme.
Prof. Pelser says it has been a winwin initiative. The RLEDI Programme addresses locality-specific development
problems to overcome current gaps in KwaZulu-Natal capacity, and more broadly, in South Africa. Similarly it empowers students with environmentally relevant knowledge and skills.

A Global Award
No surprise this Partnership Project gained the GSB&L another prestigious award. In 2014 it was honoured with the International Partnership Network’s Global Best Award for the best Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Skills Partnership in Africa.

Academic Programmes
The GSB&L offers as flagship programme the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, as well as a Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies degree (MCom), a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Management (PGDLM), Doctoral Business Studies, the Doctorate
in Business Administration (DBA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management Development Programmes (MDP) and an array of short courses and executive programmes.A Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship
empowers aspirant entrepreneurs and SME owners to manage new ventures effectively. The programme
is customised for working professionals in organisational leadership positions required to work in the dynamic and
complex environment of contemporary Africa and its transition agenda.

Other customised programmes grow leadership in the governmental arena, recently promoted managers
and even Leadership in “Turbulent Environments!” Academic learning by GSB&L’s 15 full time lecturers is complemented by practical input from a host of business executives and practitioners, ensuring
a blend of theory and practice in the student learning experience.

GSB&L is a Full Member of the Association of African Business Schools ( and a Member of the South African Business Schools
Association ( Its MBA Programme is internationally recognised and accredited by the Council on Higher Education of South Africa. It has students from several neighbouring states. GSB&L has gained a Three Palmes in the Eduniversal International rankings of business schools, a global higher
education ranking agency.

New Brooms …
Prof. Pelser was appointed Dean and Head of GSB&L as recently as April last year. Previously he was Director of the Graduate School of Business and Government Leadership at NorthWest University, Head of Regenesys Business School (RBS), and also had the benefit of private sector experience as Strategy Manager at Sasol. He holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the Potchefstroom University.

Business Schools: Profile – Milpark Business School

Milpark Business School MBA is ranked number one in the higher education private sector

Relevance; flexibility; tailored solutions; and flexible funding. A handful of the reasons why Milpark Business School offers the number one MBA in the higher education private sector as ranked by in its latest survey on Accredited Business Schools offering this degree in South Africa.


Ranking second overall and first in the private sector in the survey, Milpark Business School scooped a Golden Arrow Award for ranking second overall amongst all the business schools offering MBA in South
Africa. conducts a national survey on an annual basis of accredited public and private business schools offering MBA and MBL degrees in South Africa. Employers rated MBA graduates and students in their workplace on, among other things, academic knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, ethical business conduct, strategic management,
leadership skills and operational management. Dr Cobus Oosthuizen, Dean of Milpark Business School, says “The majority of employers still regard the MBA as a high-value degree and are eager to hire MBA graduates.”

Dr Oosthuizen further elaborates, “Our Distance Learning Online (DLO) MBA students experience constant learning
and support, possibly exceeding that of classroom-learning students, no matter how remotely they might be situated.
This kind of support ensures their 9-to-5 work lives are not interrupted and they remain an asset in their workspace.
It’s our understanding of the daily challenges our MBA students face that has allowed us to develop new
ways of learning that remove the barriers of traffic, location and low engagement.”

Challenging the norm and doing things differently, Milpark Education launched its Distance Learning Online (DLO)
MBA in January 2016, making it the first institution of higher learning in South Africa to do so, and further securing
its position as a leader in DLO. The DLO MBA guarantees high engagement and has been especially developed to
meet the demands of daily life, offering flexible funding and peer-to-peer learning. Milpark offers the first distancelearning MBA in the country with online synchronous and asynchronous contact for interactive support and one lecturer per cohort of 25 students to curate the learning journey effortlessly and seamlessly.

With the addition of DLO to its delivery, Milpark Education has provided students with the choice of classroom based-learning, or a quality interactive learning experience which is flexible enough for students to study at their own convenience, in a manner that is best for them, independently of place and time. Multiple instances of assessment will ensure student progress. Speaking at the DLO launch recently, Arthur Goldstuck, founder of World Wide Worx, noted that usage of the internet was growing rapidly and predicted that by the year 2020 in South Africa, of the 24.6m internet users, 18.5m would be involved in the digital economy. He further observed that “Everyone is connected, every teacher has access to every tool, and every student has access to all information. Yet, much of our education is still based on Business Schools: Profile – Milpark Business School nineteenth-century systems, styles and philosophies.” He praised Milpark Education for introducing initiatives that use digital tools to enhance learning. “This is a vision Milpark is embracing with its approach to Distance Learning Online. Technology is an enabler for learning and we need initiatives to use digital tools and resources to enhance the role of the teacher, rather than replace it. We are currently one of the few pioneers introducing digital tools to create a better learning experience,” says Dr Oosthuizen.

The benefits of completing an MBA through Milpark are not limited to Online only. Selecting the contact learning option for the MBA offers students the face-to-face interaction and immediacy some students prefer. With both Distance Learning Online or Contact Learning options, Milpark offers the MBA in a flexible manner while exposing students to the same subject areas and learning outcomes. The decision of which delivery mode to register for depends on the student’s lifestyle demands. Dr Oosthuizen concludes: “We offer a practical, multi-disciplinary MBA
programme to enhance the potential of present and future business leaders.

Our graduates are known to excel in the marketplace and this reflects positively on the status and credibility of our institution.”


Business Schools: Profile – Mancosa

Mancosa’s new Master of Public Administration Programme fills the skills GAP in the Public Sector

The official launch of MANCOSA’s Master of Public Administration Degree Programme took place on Friday 28th October at the Durban Campus. The programme is specifically designed to target professionals within the public sector and aims to address the skills gap the country is facing. Professor Enslin van Rooyen, welcomed the guests and highlighted that, “The Master of Public Administration Programme remains true to MANCOSA’s programme DNA and finds pertinence in more than once sense, such as:

• This programme is of international standards, yet retains local relevance to the extent that it is congruent with
the millennium development goals, African Union Development imperatives as BRICS’ development agenda;

• The programme design and content attributes, reflect uniqueness by catering for a new generation of students who are eager to extend the boundaries of intellectual discourse;

• The research component requires participants to embark on research commensurate with true masters’ level requirements in terms of methodology. This will enable the graduate to proceed to PhD studies in a seamless fashion.


MANCOSA also invited Fawzia Peer, Deputy Mayor of Etekweni Municipality and MEC of Economic Development,
Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala, as key speakers for the event. The South African public sector is
short of Accounting and Financial skills and even more so in local government. The effects of the countrywide shortage of financial skills has a major effect on many organisations to meet their employment equity targets, as identified by Deputy Mayor, Fawzia Peer. MEC Sihle Zikalala said in his key note address; “The challenge of unemployment is not one that can be addressed solely by government. Equally, government cannot, act on its own to address the skills dearth afflicting our society, particularly the previously-marginalised.



It is due to this acknowledgement of the need for partnerships that we welcome the intervention made by MANCOSA in coming up with a Masters of Public Administration Degree Programme.” Applications for the programme are
now open and further information can be found on our website.

What to do as we wait for the next superhero leader

Recently, I was travelling through the Northern part of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. I could not help but to wonder about the impact of the different leadership models practiced in the various parts of Africa. Speaking to many Americans on my travels, I could hear their concern and some embarrassment when they spoke about the current presidential race in the USA. I remembered the leadership around BREXIT. And of course, the leadership around the “illegal immigrant-crisis” in Europe remains and ongoing challenge.

Much closer to home and ongoing is the vandalism, destruction, intimidation, disruption and violence in the #FeesMustFall protests. What we see on the news, what we read in the papers and on social media, what we experience on campuses as students and what parents of students have to be concerned about are all too familiar. There is an outcry – and sometimes a demand – for leadership… In a moment of feeling despondent about many of the global leaders and the ways they choose to lead, I wondered what happened to the super-heroes.
The Supermans. The Spidermans. The Mr Incredibles. The Elastigirls. Wikipedia describes a super-hero as
a type of heroic character who possesses supernatural or superhuman powers and who is dedicated to fighting crime,
protecting the public, and usually battling supervillains. Reading this description, the face of Adv Thuli Mandosela appeared in my mind – and I realised that we still have super-heroes in our midst.

My mind took me further as I realised how we always look for super-heroes in the ‘world out there’ – seldom looking at ourselves, seldom thinking or believing that we all can be super-hero- leaders: in our families, in our workplace, and in our communities. It does not take a big heroic act – it only takes unlocking and applying the super-powers which are within each of us. We don’t have to unlock all the powers at once – we can do it step by step (or level by level – as in virtual games!). What are the super-powers that we all possess? Let me list a few – and hopefully this will inspire you to unlock our own powers and model them to those around you – inspiring them to
unlock and use their own super-powers. You will find real life super-heroes in the powers that are listed:

1. The Power of Choice
Carl Jung once said I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become. The power to choose is a potent intrinsic motivator. When we use it, we are most likely to embrace solutions and ideas of
our own creation. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning till we close our eyes at night, we are flooded with moments where we have to exercise choice: the choice to get up or not, what to wear, whether to go to work – or not.

This goes further by our choice of whether to make a positive impact or not, to be helpful / kind / supportive or
not. We often do not have a choice inwhat happens to us. However, we always have the power to choose how we are going to respond to what is happening to us. We can choose the lenses through which we see and respond to the world. So, what do we choose? How do the lenses through which we see the world look? How do our choices impact ourselves and the world around us?

2. The Power of Voice
Here I could not help but think of the courageous and inspiring Malala Yousafzai who said: I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. We all have a voice – in some form. How do we use our voice? To criticise? To gossip? To break others down? Or do we use our voice to build, to inspire, to impact and influence for the better?

How do we use our voice at work when we are dissatisfied? Do we use the given channels for positive resolve or do we destroy – actively or passively? Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for using the Power of our Voice is to become a voice for the “voiceless” amongst us: vulnerable children, people kept in modern day slavery (such as trafficked girls and women), animals, nature, etc. How can we use our voice to address the injustices of the world?

3. The Power of Appreciation and Encouragement

How often do we neglect to express our appreciation? How little does it really take to express appreciation: for a job well done, for a small act of kindness, for being considerate, and so the list can carry on. It is an act of noticing or the ability to understand the worth, quality, or importance of something. And here the “trick” is to be specific in our appreciation – to name what we are grateful for.

It was Voltaire who had the insight that appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. It is also in our power to encourage our colleagues, spouses, children and neighbours… The Merriam-Webster dictionary explains encouragement as something or an act that gives hope, determination, or confidence. Most of us know the warm fuzzy feeling when we are down and someone holds out a hand (words) of encouragement to help us up and on the road again. Now it is our turn to do that for others…

4. The Power of Integrity

There is a Chinese proverb that tells us that if we don’t want anyone to find out, to not do it. C S Lewis said that Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. I believe this boils down to I am what I do – not what I say I will do. I am the only person who has the control and the power over what I say and do – walking my talk.

According to Corruption Watch, there is growing public sector corruption where public funds are being diverted
away from the public good towards private interests. Even though this is the example set to us by some of our local government, I have the power of integrity to choose between what is “convenient” and what is right.

5. The Power of Resilience

Resilience is the space and time between disappointment and recommitment, between sorrow and healing, between offense and forgiveness, between setback and picking myself up to carry on again. Resilience is the short and sturdy bridge that connects these spaces. Resilience is about my “bouncing back” ability. We all stumble and fall.
And sometimes when we are down, we wonder if we will ever the energy, will or power to get up again? Sometimes we need a helping hand to help us up, to help us carry on. However, no one can drag us up if we do not want to get up. The power to want to get up is within myself. No one can make that shift for me – I can only make it myself.

One of my all-time favourite quotes on resilience is the one from Joshua Graham who said: I survived because the fire in me burned brighter than the fire around me. Super-heroes bounce back – no matter the struggles that lie ahead. Super-heroes climb back into their roles of fighting crime, protecting the public, and battling supervillains. They have the ability to carry on in spite of opposition, loneliness, despair and self-doubt, setbacks, losses. They have the ability to put on rain boots and bounce in the puddles when life gives them rain Edith Grotberg is a researcher with the International Resilience Project in The Netherlands and she found that resilient people think
about the following 3 lines:

• I Have: strong relationships, structure, rules at home, role models.
o These are external supports that can be expanded.
• I Am: a person who has hope and faith, cares about others, and is proud of myself.
o These are inner strengths that can be developed.
• I Can: communicate, solve problems, gauge the temperament of others, seek and maintain good relationships.
o These are all interpersonal and problem-solving skills that are acquired.

6. The Power of Apology and Forgiveness

Super-heroes choose personal responsibility and accountability above saving face when they make a mistake.
They step up and own up. A specific and sincere apology not only has the possibility of healing where there was hurt, it can also raise credibility and build trust. Apology is the hallmark of integrity.

Apologising and forgiving are acts of kindness to myself. It is using my power to accept that people make mistakes,
to choose to not let mistakes make me bitter, resentful or harbour anger. It was Paul Boese who said that forgiveness
does not change the past – it enlarges the future. Holding on to a grudge or nurturing feelings of wrath or retaliation
only rob me of my life joy. There is the beautiful story of a teacher asking the class what forgiveness was.  A little girl answered: Forgiveness is that sweet smell a flower gives when it is crushed.

7. The Power of Showing Up and Being Present

No one can make me show up if I don’t want to. And therein lies the power… I won’t be able to make a difference or
an impact if I don’t show up. However, showing up is not enough – it is about HOW I show up. Do I show up being
negative, obstinate, listless, irritable? Or do I show up with energy, life zest, willing to make a positive impact?
There is no point in showing up if I am “absent”. What does my presence look like? Am I ready and willing to use my
super-powers for the better of the moment, my workplace, my community, my family? Or is my being present complicated with stress because I would rather be “there” instead of “here”?

Be where you are – otherwise you will miss your life. (Buddha)

8. The Power of Positivity and Optimism

Some of the most draining kind of people to spend time with are those who are constantly negative, who see the problems in every situation, who complain about everything, but do little to change anything. On the other end of the scale there are the positive and optimistic people. They are energising, inspiring and downright great to be with.
Optimism is contagious, but so is pessimism. My power lies in choosing where I want to be on the continuum of pessimism and optimism.

Howard Zinn was an American historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a political science professor at Boston University. He once wrote: To be hopeful in bad times may sound quite foolish or romantic. However, is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our
lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and
there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. I could not have said it better.

9. The Power of Love

At the root of all inspiration you find love: love of country, faith, vocation, people, cause… Super-heroes should have healthy self-love in the first place. Without that, they will be unable to show love to those around them. Love is a verb and should be made visible through behavior. Some of the gifts of love can give include patience, empathy, goodwill
and protectiveness. Indira Ghandi has inspired with this quote: You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

10. The Power of Leaving Behind a Legacy

We will all leave behind a legacy… The challenge is to carefully consider what that legacy would be. Would it be a
legacy of hope, joy, compassion, love, forgiveness? And as super-heroes I am sure we would like to leave behind a
legacy that reminds those left behind that we used our powers to fight crime, protect the public, and battle supervillains…

A Legacy can be described a gift which is handed down or conveyed from one person to another. It is something which comes into another’s possession – something which was inherited or received from a predecessor. Determining the legacy I would like to leave, could serve as a compass to help me move forward with purpose
and determination – even in the most uncertain times. Creating a legacy statement brings with it an accountability
to live my life in line with my higher values and super-powers. A while ago, I read about the concept of Living my life as a “mensch”. A “mensch”, a Yiddish word, describes a person who is decent and honourable, a person of high integrity who has genuine caring for his/her fellow humans. A mensch always looks for an opportunity to do good in life, to be of help to others and to give without regard for anything in return. A mensch doesn’t cut corners
in relationships with people. You always feel safe in the presence of a mensch because you instinctively know that
they will not deceive you, undermine you or diminish you in any way. Being called a mensch is the ultimate compliment anyone can receive.

In living my life as a mensch, I am a modern-day super-hero. We all can be. We only need to unlock our super-powers and use them… And this is what we can do as we wait for the world’s next super-hero-leader…


Source: ALUMNET (25 November 2016)
USB Marketing

Leadership Rush: Scramble For Top Managers Sees Spike in Demand

There has been an increase in demand of more than 100% for senior leaders from South African companies over the past three months, as businesses urgently play catch-up to fill their top posts. Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, CEO of Jack Hammer, rated one of the top 3 executive search firms in the country, says there has been a wave of briefings from across all sectors since September.


“Comparing the months of September to November from 2015 to 2016, it shows that there has been a massive spike in hiring demand at a leadership level, with a year-on-year increase for these periods of just over 100%,” she
says. And although some of the demand is spurred by the need for companies to make key hires in line with their transformation policies, it is not significantly more than usual. Rather, the recent rush can be ascribed to a combination of macroeconomic factors, the local political context, and business imperatives.

“All of these factors of course play a role in general. But the way they have converged in this instance, has led to
an interesting trend in the leadership space,” she says. “Very recently, Statistics SA released the third quarter labour force survey, which showed that unemployment levels in the country now stand at their highest in 13 years, at 27.1%. Many analysts are predicting that the situation is set to get worse, not better. Yet an opposite trend is starting to become evident at senior levels.” Goodman-Bhyat says that despite SA’s ongoing economic woes, there is a greater than ever – and increasing – demand for top leaders across the retail, FMCG, financial services, NGO and education sectors.

“Last year, the commodities crisis and shakiness in China in August 2015 had a bigger impact than expected on the South African economy, resulting in caution and conservatism regarding senior management hiring,” she says.
“This played out in the 3 months following, with a tapering of the demand that had been relatively consistent
throughout 2015. One might have expected this to continue into 2016 given the ructions particularly around the Finance Ministry and Treasury, and SA’s tenuous political and economic situation, however that proved to not be
the case.”
Goodman-Bhyat says that typically, after a lag in hiring at executive levels, a period of catch-up follows where companies rush to fill roles that have remained vacant for some time.

“This correction started early in 2016 and has escalated throughout the year, with a lull only in July during the
local and international holiday period. However even given this consistent growth, the past 3 months has seen a
tremendous spike in search and hiring activity. “Despite tough markets globally and locally, organisations are fully cognisant of the fact that they need key people to drive growth and navigate complexity – to do anything else is to
accept organisational demise. And to postpone critical hiring any further places an already back-footed company
at a significant disadvantage.” Meanwhile, Goodman-Bhyat says that an interesting new and growing presence in the executive search space are companies seeking suitably qualified and experienced leaders in the online education sector.

“A number of local and global companies offering a range of education offerings, from early learning to tertiary,
in digital and online formats are emerging, and we expect to see consistent growth in this sector for the foreseeable
future,” she says.


For further information or comment,
please contact Gwen at Meropa:
021 683 6464 or


KwaZulu-Natal: Profile – Edison Property Group

Edison Property Group – Surfing the Waves from Electricity to Property Development

Adriaan Viljoen

A new diversified conglomerate is taking shape on the South African business horizon. Our top performer in the Electrical Construction and Casino Development Industry is now ex panding into the property development and construction industry, uniquely embracing signature architectural designs and social transformation initiatives.

Serial Award Winner
Edison Property Group, a subsidiary of the Edison Corporation, has been awarded a PMR Platinum Award for best in class in the Construction sector. Edison Power Group is a serial award winner, formerly gaining PMR’s Best Business in Energy & Electricity Arrows for 6 years in succession.

Feet into Construction
Internationally celebrated Entrepreneur Vivian Reddy, chairman and founder of the Edison Power Group (EPG), recognised the closely related nature of the electrical and construction industries, and expanded the company’s focus towards acquisition and development of properties in prime strategically placed locations at rapidly developing nodes throughout South Africa. His first coup was to lure current CEO, Pregan Naicker away from the higher echelons of ABSA, to head the now burgeoning Edison property group. Edison Property Group has developed a number of mixed-use projects that incorporates residential apartments, shopping malls, offices, hospitals and hotels.

Similar to its EPG Electrical parent Edison Property has won several notable awards, including the International Award for the best Mixed-Use Development in Africa and a Recommendation for the Best Mixed-Use Architecture on the continent. They have been nominated for the world prize for the Best Mixed-Use Development Architecture.

A New Generation Conglomerate
Within 35 years The Edison Corporation has become one of the country’s leading new generation conglomerates engaged in a spectrum of sectors from Energy to Smart Metering to Property Development and a range of allied businesses.

Reddy and Naicker started out cautiously, tackling reasonably sized projects until Naicker became convinced they
should aim higher. Naicker proudly re marks, “We now have around R4,5 billion in live projects, and it is absolutely thrilling. Vivian has incredible energy when it comes to seeing a project come alive, and that’s contagious. The passion is to dream something, conceptualise and then build it. It is an incomparable feeling seeing a development materialise.”

Trail Trail-Blazing Initiatives
The EPG Property Brand has become increasingly synonymous with trend setting and trail-blazing initiatives. The spectacular R3,6-billion Oceans Umhlanga Development, the largest private sector investment in development history in KwaZulu-Natal, is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Vivian Reddy and Rob Alexander of EPG and
the Ducatus Property Groups. CEO Pregan Naicker says “The “Dubaistyle” mixed-use development sets new
benchmark in design in South Africa and incorporates two magnificent residential towers with a world class 33 000sqm shopping mall, a luxurious 200-room 5star hotel with helipad and breathtaking infinity pool. The curvilinear lines of the glass buildings have been described as architecturally expressing the best of Dubai, Vegas and Mzanzi combined.” He remarked further, “If you Google the best curvilinear building designs in the world,
Oceans pops up in the top ten” Similarly EPG Property Group was CoDeveloper of benchmark developments such as the R1,5 billion KwaDukuza Mall.

Global Innovation
EPG motivates its staff to scour the international landscapes for a global context of innovation and design that often surpass the best in the world. Locally the company has a rare strategic focus to weave job creation, empowerment and sustainable growth of local communities into the fabric of all EPG initiatives, setting protocols and processes that ensure the widest benefits to the City and its community.

Staff Training
As winning company EPG invests heavily in technical training and skills development. They recruit, employ,
train and develop especially young graduates from the previously disadvantaged sectors. Edison partnered a major R7 million skills development project in Stanger and similar educational projects in secondary schools.

Visionary Vivian
Vivian Reddy believes that tough times present greater opportunities as they open up larger gaps in the marketplace.
By the Award-Winning Oceans Umhlanga Development, for example, Edison bucked all doomsday economic trends
and succeeded in one of the toughest financial climates in recent times. Over many years Mr Reddy has received numerous awards for innovation, entrepreneurship and business excellence. In 2013 his remarkable business
leadership was recognised by Forbes Magazine as One of the Leading Entrepreneurs of Africa and in 2012 he was
invited to become Member of the Bill Clinton Global Initiative. At the tender age of 16 Vivian meticonic astronaut Neil Armstrong who dropped a line into his mind that never left him: “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Vivian has never stopped dreaming. He sees EPG Property growing into a listed community-centred property development enterprise, a local trailblazer in architectural and building trends, and a global visionary.


Well, we have completed 1/12th of 2017 and my sense is business has not really started for the year yet. Most people seem to be wondering what 2017 will be like, and what curve balls we will be dealt with, especially after the shock- ing start to 2016. For me 2016 was a troubling year as I could see people and their businesses struggling. I was also very concerned about the political stability of South Africa. On a positive note, I believe there were several positive outcomes from 2016. This first is that I believe the political turmoil started giving us a common understanding as citizens, of what we want from our leaders and what behaviours we would like to experience from each other. People are speaking up, and this I think is excellent. On the business front, many organisations are starting to look at things afresh, working with their people to create better engaged workforces and using technology to create a better experience for their clients.


Having studied several economic and other outlook trends for South Africa (this means little though), the general belief is that it will be a quiet year with a small and gradual growth in the economy. Many believe that there is a high chance of political volatility towards the end of 2017, given the upcoming ANC conference. My view is that climate change and specifically water shortage will continue to negatively impact the consumer through increased food prices. The rand will remain weak and so the cost of oil and other imported goods will not bring any relief. Pressure on consumers unfortunately links to a number of crime-related problems in society. All of this then spins off as more as pressure on government to bring enabling change to people.

What should businesses focus on in 2017?

Considering the ever increasing pressures on the consumer and the changes in our values (behaviours we expect from each other), consumers  are looking for better value and quality, and wanting to be treated respectfully.

Companies that can provide this will do well, but this requires a substantial shift for many. I still experience too many senior leaders trying to rationalise staff disengagement, sales decline and what their roles are by using old World thinking. The leaders who are really stepping ahead today, tend to have a more humble attitude, open to views from others and use a more facilitative style at times.

To remain relevant, companies should focus on:

1. Relook at what we do and how we do it.

2. Create an aligned and engaged workforce, authoritarian leaders must change or go.

3. Leverage technology to do things better, cheaper and to empower the customer.

4. Break down hierarchy and create a business that innovates, executes and listens.

5. Become future focussed and break down limiting bureaucracy from the past.

6. Develop high performance and aligned teams at all levels.

7. Develop, enable and retain the right skills and talent.

8. Create and live a culture that treats everyone as adults (transparent, honest and respectful)

9. Implementing transparent and consistent performance management systems along with accurate company
performance data.

I think one of the bigger challenges in many businesses is learning to trust, and believing that people are capable of great things without being controlled and micromanaged. To create the shift where people lead themselves is a journey that requires a lot a change and work. South Africa’s Gallup statistic show that on average, only 9% of staff
are truly engaged. Just imagine what could be achieved if the other 91% were also engaged!
I include a short Tedtalk by Ricardo Semler called: “How to run a company with almost no rules”. For me, this is a profound talk that made me think about what I am doing and how I do it. It gave me great insights into how business and societal leaders must rethink how we must structure our educational systems and businesses into the future:

Here is a brief description of the powerful organisational culture Semler built, it has been proven to work for over three decades.

Senior leader’s roles are to ensure their companies Evolve to be sustainable into the future and hence need to build organisations that can flourish without their continual involvement.

How can Evolve Leadership Consulting help you?

From an individual consultation to large scale change, we can help you and your organisation to be a top performer.

• Individual Executing Coaching.
• Leadership Team Development.
• Customized Leadership Development.
• Large scale Culture Change and Business Realignment.
• Organisational Health Diagnostics.
• Strategy Facilitation.
• Diversity Management Workshops and Development
• Organisational Refocus and Design.
• Management Alignment Talks and Seminars.
Paul de Beer: 0833092570


Dr Gerhard van Rensburg

When do we refer to a person as a person of character? Is it not when we see consistency of good qualities in such a person. The more exceptional we feel the person is, the more it is based on inner qualities that shine through in how the person acts, especially in difficult times and especially in the face of temptations. We know that all human beings, as the mythical stories of many different cultures highlight, are vulnerable to temptation. In other words, all human beings experience life as a challenge to act and live according to a higher order than what we see in animals.

A ‘higher order’ would be to behave in a manner that is more than instinctive, heart, and congruent with a spiritual and value system of beliefs. It implies living with certain convictions about what is good. The commitment to those convictions or beliefs forms character over time. Even when we refer to the character of a sports team we acknowledge their steadfastness and continued belief in themselves, their team mates, as well as what they as a team aspire to be and to achieve.

Character gives way when convictions or beliefs are eroded. We appreciate character in nations, communities or organisations when we observe a collective pride in how higher standards of humanity is upheld. It includes how people are taking care of each other, how they are able to trust each other, and how they will stand together in the face of adversity. Character insociety dwindles when the structure of cohesion crumbles and everyone follows only his own desires and struggles with his own fears and insecurities.

The subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, shift that we have observed in recent times, is the shift from convictions with their moral power to personal preferences and the means to create lifestyles according to those preferences.
We are comfortable to talk about values and how they are different for different people. Our values are real and dear to us, but they don’t have a ‘commanding character’. They are exchangeable and they are ours as long as we want them. They don’t bring us to humble acknowledgment of our mortality and submission before a Spiritual Power. They don’t challenge or bother our conscience. They are a framework for actualisation of our own interest.

As we have embraced our freedom and shook off the guilty feelings when venturing into new discoveries, crossing boundaries set by doctrine and religious communities, we have stopped asking ourselves what the purpose of our freedom might be. We do have aspirations, but they are typically first and foremost individual aspirations, focusing on our comfort, pleasure and selfimportance.

And yet, with all roads open to us and all the help available to build selfesteem and confidence, if we still need more, there remain a feeling of hollowness and need for a deeper sense of connectedness, peacefulness and meaning. When we follow the news, see the horrors of what people do with their newly found freedom, the many sad occurrences of highly placed people, supposedly leaders, who succumb to their greed and falseness, we could wonder if we have not totally Character and Values missed the plot as stewards on planet earth.

No-one, I believe, truly wants to relive the past and reinstate the mentality of controlled order and imposed blueprints for all of society according to a select few’s interpretations and beliefs.

However, I do agree with Rolf Jensen (The Renaissance Society) when he says: The spiritual aspect of humanity is coming back to us. We are in need of deeper foundations if character is still, at all, important to us. Our dilemma We are somehow caught between the devil and the deep blue see: ‘We want character but without conviction; we want strong morality but without the emotional burden of guilt or shame; we want virtue but without particular moral justifications that invariably offend; we want good without having to name
evil; we want decency without the authority to insist upon it; we want moral community without any limitations to personal freedom. In short, we want what we cannot possibly have on the terms that we want it.’ (James Hunter)


t: (27) 12 8115317 | m: (27) 834556513