How to enjoy working in a coworking environment

Coworking spaces, shared office spaces that are typically used by the self-employed or those working for various different companies, are soaring in popularity the world over.

“So much so,” said Linda Trim, Director at workplace design specialists Giant Leap, “that working in a coworking space is rapidly becoming the new normal even for those who have traditional 9 to 5 jobs.” 

Trim noted than there are currently 14 411 coworking spaces around the world today making it fastest growing type of commercial property. Globally, shared workspaces have grown at an rapid rate of 200% over the past five years. In global cities like London, New York and Chicago they are expanding at an annual rate of 20%.  

“Coworking places are rapidly becoming the workplace of choice. Globally they are expected to be close on 4m people who will be members of a coworking office by 2020 and that number is expected to rise to over 5m by 2022.” 

Trim added that in South Africa the trend is not as developed as it is in countries like the US, but is quickly catching on. “In major business nodes like Sandton for example, coworking places are springing up all over. For instance FutureSpace is a high end coworking space that is as appealing as WeWork, the hugely successful American coworking company that has offices in 21 countries.” 

Coworking became an attractive concept because when it first started to appear, it countered the negative views of the traditional office of drab interiors with tired people spending their lives in cubicles under harsh neon lights. 

“If we look back to just a few years ago, coworking was considered to be a movement or a trend, with many believing it would fade. But now coworking is a full-blown industry that is disrupting the real estate industry and the way people work. 

They known for offering environments that are conducive to innovation, collaboration, and productivity. These type of workplaces were pioneers in implementing a human approach to design, a trend which is catching up among real estate developers, landlords and of course companies. 

“For now coworking is today’s normal.”  

The extent to which coworking has gone mainstream is evidenced in the fact that large companies are increasingly seeking to enhance the workplace experience as a means to attract and retain talent, and that a significant percentage of workers who have the option to work from home or a coffee shop prefer to work from a coworking space.

“By 2020, we expect 50% of large companies to have some form of shared office space to offer their workers,” said Trim.  

She also noted that coworking spaces were having a very positive impact on people. 84% of people who use coworking spaces are more engaged and motivated while 89% who cowork report being happier. 

“The coworking phenomenon has also spurred companies to make their existing offices much more people friendly and relaxed,“ Trim noted. 

“On many of our briefs now we are told to design something that makes people feel they are in a relaxed environment somewhere between a coffee bar and their lounge at home.” 

She added that the growth in coworking spaces will likely remain strong with a forecasted growth rate of 15% over the next 5 years. 

Source:TimesLiveDate: 2018/04/24

Ramaphosa palace revolt

Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa faced a backlash from former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters in eThekwini, the governing party’s biggest region in KwaZulu-Natal.

Fresh from the mayhem caused by North West residents calling for the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Ramaphosa had to face hostile branch leaders in Durban who were singing songs asking him why Zuma was being persecuted, among others.

So tense was the situation that regional chairperson Zandile Gumede had to plead with the angry leaders to give Ramaphosa an opportunity to address them during a meeting held behind closed doors at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday.

This was Ramaphosa’s first meeting - where some leaders were howled at when speaking - with the branches in KwaZulu-Natal since he was elected ANC president in December. Ramaphosa yesterday, with other members of the national working committee, went ahead with their fact-finding mission in the province.

The ANC leadership held another closed door, day-long meeting, with the provincial leaders at the Coastland Hotel in South Beach. Police and bodyguards were visible on the Dr Pixley Ka Seme Street.

A source and a pro-Zuma supporter said the hall at the stadium was packed with anti-Ramaphosa leaders from various branches.

“We came to the stadium prepared to be defiant against the president, but after he had addressed us we were softened and ended up clapping hands for him,” he said.

“We were impressed when he said he made it clear to British Prime Minister Theresa May (during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) that the land issue will go ahead as per the Nasrec resolution, but it will be done in a way that wouldn’t threaten investment.

“We were also impressed with the way he related to Zandile Gumede (pro-Zuma eThekwini regional chairperson) when he even told her that he supported her leadership,” the source said.

After the meeting at the stadium a pro-Zuma video song was circulated.

“Wenzen’ * Zuma? Wenzen’ * Zuma? Khawuphendule/Wen’ ulawulwa, wen’ ulawulwa yi Propaganda/ Awu sitshele ukuth’ * Zuma wenzeni” loosely translated: “You who are controlled by propaganda tell us what wrong has Zuma done?”

Communication Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC NEC member Zizi Kodwa were among the ANC leaders singing and clapping behind Ramaphosa.

A source said Ramaphosa did not seem impressed by the singing.

It also emerged that some Zuma supporters bombarded Ramaphosa with questions on why Zuma was being persecuted.

“The singing did not go well because we know that they are accusing Cyril of orchestrating Zuma’s prosecution. It was not received very well by the president.

“The atmosphere was very bad, but we expected this because comrades in eThekwini are very hostile against the president,” the source said.

Another pro-Ramaphosa supporter said other speakers who were suspected to be for the President were howled down whenever they tried to speak.

“When Thabani Nyawose stood up to talk the whole hall stood up to howl at him for more than 10 minutes. But he ended up able to raise our usual concerns of gate-keeping and branch executive meetings held without informing all members,” the source said.

“She said we should accept the Nasrec outcome and accept Ramaphosa as everyone’s president,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the ANC NWC has called on Ramaphosa to deal with allegations of rampant corruption in the North West.

Political Bureau

Source:IOLDate: 2018/04/24

Investec chairperson called k-word, feared for safety, court hears

JOHANNESBURG – The Randburg magistrates court has heard how Investec chairperson Fani Titi apparently feared for his safety after being threatened by a friend and called the k-word.

Titi reportedly told the court that its extremely egregious for someone to call another the k-word as it portrays a level of danger.

Peter-Paul Ngwenya, Titi's long-time friend, is facing a crimen injuria charge.

The conflict comes from a business deal between the two that turned sour.

Source:MSNDate: 2018/04/24

SADC summit to specifically look into DR Congo, Lesotho

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the country's delegation to Southern African Development Community's (SADC) Double Troika Summit in Angola.

The summit will discuss a number of issues, including the political and security environment in the region, and preparations for the DRC elections.

Leaders will also deliberate on developments in Lesotho and Madagascar.

Ramaphosa is the chairperson of SADC.

He's accompanied by a number of ministers, including Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu.

Source:MSNDate: 2018/04/24

Sarb urges harmonisation in fintech

Sarb urges harmonisation in fintech


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South African Reserve Bank file photo

CAPE TOWN - The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) said it expects the National Credit Regulator and the Competition Commission to join Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) to harmonise regulation in the financial technology (fintech).

The IFWG currently comprises of National Treasury, the Financial Services Board, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the Reserve Bank.

Deputy Governor of the central bank, Francois Groepe, said South African policymakers and regulators had been following the developments and discourse on fintech very closely.

“Authorities should, therefore, not merely acknowledge or observe innovation, but should actively review fintech innovations with a view to ensuring proportionate and consistent authorising and licensing regime,” Groepe said.

“The Twin Peaks model of financial sector regulation, which is currently being implemented, aims to put in place a regulatory framework that better responds to the dynamic nature of the financial sector, including fintech”. In February, the Sarb announced the establishment of the Fintech Program designed to assess the emergence and regulatory implications of fintech.

The Financial Sector Regulation Act came into effect at the start of this month and promises to bring about a major transformation in the South African financial services regulatory framework, including the move to a Twin Peaks approach to regulation.

New regulators

Two new regulators came into operation - the Prudential Authority (PA) and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Both the PA and FSCA were expected to publish regulatory strategies within six months of their establishment, setting out in further detail their intended regulatory focus areas and work plans over the next three years

Head of advisory at Nedbank, Shabbir Norath, said the need by traditional banks to stay relevant in an increasingly disrupted environment would have them keeping a very close eye on the fintech industry.

“And as the fintech sector grows, and the consumer market it appeals to expands, we can be certain that the number of large, industry-changing fintech mergers and acquisitions in South Africa will increase exponentially,” Norath said.

The EY FinTech Adoption Index 2017 found that South Africa is due for substantial growth in the sector over the next few years. EY forecasts 71percent growth in the fintech industry in South Africa.

An associate at Webber Wentzel, Seshree Govender, said with the knowledge of an impending regulatory regime, the fintech industry was now left in regulatory purgatory.

“The industry now needs to decide whether it should speed ahead in further expanding in the hopes that it will amass a consumer base and, following that, justify its continued operation in a post-regulatory world - or whether it needs to slow down in fear of impending regulations requiring an overhaul of its operations,” Govender said.

Groepe said policymakers and regulators needed to dedicate attention to fintech innovations and be supportive of them.

Meanwhile, the Sarb has agreed to co-operate with the Bank of England (BoE) on training initiatives in the Twin Peaks approach to financial regulation, enhancing macro prudential surveillance and policy frameworks and closer co-operation on fintech.


The Sarb said it had also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance co-operation with the European Central Bank.

Source:IOLDate: 2018/04/24

Suspended Agricultureā€š Forestry and Fisheries DG returns to work

Suspended Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries director-general Mike Mlengana returned to work on Monday after the Pretoria High Court found that his suspension was unlawful.

“According to the order of the High Court it was declared that the Minister lacked the authority to suspend the Director-General‚ that the suspension was unlawful‚ invalid and of no force and effect [and] that the minister lacked the authority to institute disciplinary proceedings against the Director-General and such proceedings were unlawful‚ invalid and were set aside‚” the department of agriculture and forestry said in a statement.

Mlengana was placed on precautionary suspension by Minister Senzeni Zokwana on July 9 2017‚ pending investigations into allegations of gross misconduct.

“The DG faces charges of alleged gross misconduct relating to misappropriation of state funds and failure to comply with the Public Finance Management Act and failing to disclose his business partner’s alleged involvement in certain department tenders. Mr Mlengana also faces charges of alleged insubordination in relation to failing to suspend department officials involved in fraudulent activities; and the contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act‚” Zokwana’s office had said.

Following his suspension Mlengana was served with a provisional charge sheet and informed that a departmental disciplinary inquiry would be held. This‚ however‚ did not materialise. 

Source:TimesLiveDate: 2018/04/24

SA Darling Uys celebrates 40 years of laughter and theatre

His shows have had some interesting titles - from Elections and Erections, to Adapt or Fly or my favourite, The End is N**i. You’d be forgiven for not recognising Pieter-Dirk Uys in the street, even though he is the person behind the most famous white woman in South Africa, Evita Bezuidenhout.

But the man’s work as a political satirist cannot be ignored. He is one of the few people that risked, through comedy, speaking the truth to those in power.

Celebrating 40 years in the business of laughter and theatre, Uys has learnt some valuable lessons. Some, in the importance of freedom of speech, accompanied with the responsibility of knowing history so as to avoid it repeating itself.

His current show, When in Doubt Say Darling, is an exploration of this journey. Uys sits on the stage during the show, surrounded by boxes, and boxes of props that he has used over the years. What struck me about watching the show, is that it feels like Uys is about to take a bow.

When I meet him, it’s over a cup of tea in Melville. For a person who’s performed several times for Nelson Mandela and had something of a pen pal relationship with Nomzamo Winnie Mandela, he comes across as easy going. He’s warm, approachable, polite and funny, without even trying.

An idea that Uys holds dear is the importance of history. He says in his show to the younger members of the audience: “You probably won’t know what the hell I am doing here with this character. 

But you must remember where you come from, so we can celebrate where we are going, and to make sure that the bad doesn’t come back as policy.” This subtle warning prepares you for the wackiest stories about yesteryear’s politicians.

He’s raised this belief in relation to the current conversation around the Expropriation of Land Without compensation, stating: “It’s exactly what the apartheid government did.” An opinion that has not been popular with those who believe in the move as a form of redress. This is what has been the theme of Uys’s career: having strong, albeit, controversial beliefs and using comedy to challenge standing stereotypes.

Now, he faces a different challenge. Of militant, vibrant “born frees” who tell him who and what he can portray in his shows, especially when it comes to re-enactments of black politicians.

The most recent example was when Uys took on the character of former president Jacob Zuma. He explained that presidents have always been important characters in his work since they’ve signed off on some of the most ludicrous decisions.

“Some young people, who seem to have had an irony bypass, have said you can’t do him. And I asked is it because my portrayal of him is that bad? They said no, you’re white. He’s black. My response to that was no, I am a performer. An actor. That’s my job. If I did a tree, would you call me a forest?

“This is the exact thing I faced during apartheid. They said, ‘jy mag nie.’ So I did it there. Then they came again and said, ‘jy mag nie.’ So, I put on a dress and then they didn’t know who to lock up,” he explains with a chuckle.

This is the attitude that has kept him going. The defiance that he feels is lacking in comedy today. “There are some wonderful comedians who could do this, and there are a few of these young people who I really enjoy. I have gone backstage to greet them, to encourage them to take on this form of comedy. I met one comedian who I told he’s the split image of Zuma. He said ‘Nah, I’m not doing politics, I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m 30’,” he said.

With as many brilliant shows and some lukewarm responses, there have also been a plethora of lessons. The most poignant one? To always respect the audience enough to give them a brilliant performance.

“There’s a very bad habit in our modern theatre life where a cast of six people will say; ‘oh we cancel’, or they don’t turn up because there aren’t ‘enough’ audience members. No. You don’t do that because the people that you send home will never come back, and they will tell a thousand people within 24 hours,” he added.

Another trick up his sleeve has been finding ways to be relevant. “I think relevance is the key to the success of what I do. It’s here, now. Even though I bring issues of the past in order to reflect where we are today,” he said.

Politically, Uys has taken his alter ego to the greatest of lengths. From spreading rumours that Pik Botha and Evita were in a relationship, right down to fishing with President Cyril Ramaphosa shortly after 1994. 

He’s also gifted the EFF with stationary and other office supplies when they got to Parliament. The idea behind this, he says, has always been to tackle the hardest of subjects through laughter, but also, the most famous white woman, who happens to be an ANC NEC member in good standing (not), just wants politicians to also lighten up.

Now, in between filling up his days with theatre work, Uys took up the challenge of moving to a city that’s not a metropole. He moved to Darling in the Western Cape almost 22 years ago, where he’s now set up a theatre in the small town. 

The theatre’s made an important change: it’s introduced young people who probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get access to the arts.

Asked if this the legacy that we will one day talk about at his memorial service, he said: “I don’t know, I’ll be dead then! If it happens, it happens.

“What I normally say when asked who’s going to follow in my footsteps, I’ve answered that won’t be easy to do. Because nothing is easy.”

And it’s probably this understanding that’s made Pieter-Dirk Uys the household name he is today.

Pieter-Dirk Uys’s one-man show When in Doubt Say Darling is currently running at the Pieter Toerien Studio Theatre until tomorrow. Tickets available from Computicket.



Source:MSNDate: 2018/04/24

Op-Ed: Lacklustre season for Western Cape agriculture expected

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

The Western Cape province needs to receive intense and persistent rainfall for soil moisture to improve, which will, therefore, add momentum to the planting process. This sort of rainfall is precisely what the South African Weather Service forecasts indicated. One can only hope that it materialises.

The weather is once again a primary focus in the South African winter grain market as the planting period is fast-approaching. This typically starts in May of every year in some regions of the Western Cape province. The province has been saddled with below-normal winter rainfall for the past three years. This intensified in 2017, leading to a dwindling agricultural output.

As I have recently highlighted in my column on Business Day , the 2018/19 production season promises some improvements from the previous drought season. The South African Weather Service recently indicated that between April and June 2018, parts of the south-western cape regions of the country could receive above-normal rainfall.

What has been disappointing, however, are the near-term weather forecasts which present a contrary view. Although the local weather agency suggested that rainfall could start in late April 2018, the near term forecasts from wxmaps , weather and climate data provider from George Mason University, suggests that the Western Cape province could receive light showers of below 30 millimetres between 24 April and 9 May 2018. This could potentially lead to a delay in planting activity.

The Western Cape province needs to receive intense and persistent rainfall for soil moisture to improve, which will, therefore, add momentum to the planting process. This sort of rainfall is precisely what the South African Weather Service forecasts indicated . One can only hope that it materialises.

Higher rainfall will be critical for improving soil moisture content ahead of planting. There is already some optimism from agricultural analysts. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), forecast South Africa’s 2018/19 wheat production at 1.65 million tonnes, up by 8% from the previous season.

The USDA’s optimism is based on expectations of higher yields supported by favourable weather conditions. The yields are forecast at 3.4 tonnes per hectare, up by 10% from the previous season. The USDA expects these higher yields to offset lower area plantings of 480 000 hectares, down by 2% year-on-year.

South Africa’s National Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), will only release their first production estimate for winter wheat at the end of August 2018 . But, we will get an indication of the prospects of the 2018/19 winter crop production on 25 April 2018 when the CEC releases farmers’ intentions-to-plant data.

Contrary to the USDA, the CEC’s forecast could show an improvement in the area plantings from last year, as sentiment is fairly positive amongst farmers. In a conversation with Grain SA’s Western Cape representatives earlier this month, they expressed some optimism, underpinned by the hope that the forecast rainfall for the coming month will materialise.

While the aforementioned developments are welcome, the Western Cape’s agricultural economy will remain lacklustre this year due to the decline in the wine and other horticultural industries.

In a drought policy brief released in February 2018, the Western Cape government and the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy estimated that production of wine grapes, table grapes, pome fruit and stone fruit would possibly decline by 20%, 18%, 9% and 8%, respectively in the 2017/18 season due to the persistent drought in 2017 and earlier part of this year. This will, of course, constrain the province’s agricultural economic growth and labour market participation.

The dial could perhaps turn positive if weather conditions improve in the coming winter rainfall seasons. Only time will tell. DM

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz). Follow him on Twitter ( @WandileSihlobo )

Weather pictures of the month (Supplied by MSN) 

Source:MSNDate: 2018/04/24

Cybersecurity: 8 steps to protect your business

By Mayleen Bywater, senior product manager, cloud security solutions, Vox.

The issue of information security is trending in the news again with multiple instances of hacking and information breaches that have exposed the private details of tens of millions in countries around the globe, including South Africa.

Statistics collected by Fortinet shows that nine million South Africans fell prey to cybercrime in 2016, with up to 40% of ransomware victims that pay up.

Businesses aren’t immune to this risk either: 33% of South African companies were impacted, with 15% experiencing an attack through their website, and they must take the necessary precautions to protect their networks and data.

With malicious intent often underlying these incidents, attacks are directed through multiple areas, including the network perimeter, websites and email, and an integrated security strategy is required to efficiently respond to these threats.

There are eight steps that companies can start off with to improve:

1. Ensure email security has targeted threat protection: statistics show that up to 90 percent of breaches come via email phishing, and proactively screening for potential threats of such nature helps minimise risk.

2. Use a reputable firewall: rather than relying on consumer equipment, businesses should turn to more robust firewall solutions that include advanced functionality including web and email filtering, data loss prevention, and management and reporting features.

3. Backup files regularly: all businesses should backup important information to ensure redundancy in case of data loss through equipment failure, accidental error, data corruption, natural disasters etc. Best practice also calls for data backups to be held offsite, and away from your main network, and turning to the cloud for backup and disaster recovery is one option.

4. Run scheduled tests: actively looking for weaknesses in your network means that you get to close vulnerabilities before they are exploited by hackers. Apart from running a battery of tests including network and port scans (manually or automated through software), companies are turning to hiring ‘white hat’ hackers or even offering the public rewards for finding bugs.

5. Change passwords regularly: A joint study

6. Check policies and procedures: depending on the size of your business, this can range all the way from a single sheet to a comprehensive document that deals with systems and processes around ICT infrastructure, regulatory compliance, and employee awareness and training. This policy needs to be regularly updated to keep up with changes to the business, the technology uses, and new threats emerging.

7. Be cautious about opening unsolicited emails: employees are increasingly being targeted, with hackers using ever more sophisticated methods including ‘whaling attacks’, which are a highly personalised form of phishing that are directed at senior management, aimed at getting them to part with confidential company information.

8. Train your staff: as much as companies can rely on technology to improve data and network security, training employees to be digitally vigilant is vital to ensure that endpoints do not turn into the weakest link the the cybersecurity chain. This is especially important as work concepts such as enterprise mobility and Bring Your Own Device gain in momentum.

This article was published in partnership with Vox.

Source:MybroadbandDate: 2018/04/24

South African Markets - Factors to watch on April 24

The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect South African markets on Tuesday.


- South African central bank composite business cycle indicators. 0700 GMT


- No major company results.


South Africa’s rand slumped to a three-month low on Monday, as emerging market currencies were pressured by a soaring dollar.

Trading on the bourse was mixed as stocks reacted to the weaker rand.


Asian stocks bounced from near two-week lows on Tuesday as investors paused for breath following the heavy selling of recent sessions and waited to see if the dollar’s rally was sustainable.


Wall Street ended mixed on Monday as concerns about soft smartphone demand weighed on tech stocks and pulled the Nasdaq lower while earnings optimism protected against deeper losses.


Gold prices inched up on Tuesday, but stayed near two-week lows as a stronger dollar, rising U.S. Treasury yields and receding geopolitical worries crimped safe-haven demand for the metal.


For the top emerging markets news, double click on

- - - -

Some of the main stories out in the South African press:


- State pension holder PIC rejects move increase investment disclosures

- Tax boss Moyane again rebuffs President Ramaphosa effort for negotiating exit


- Saldanah Bay industrial zone set to attract oil and gas investments worth 2 billion rand

Source:Reuters AfricaDate: 2018/04/24

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