Public health emergencies place immense power in the hands of executive leadership. This can pose a risk of creeping authoritarianism. Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller and Dr Benjamin Roberts explore the lessons that can be drawn from the findings of the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council’s online survey on the public’s views on lockdown regulations. 


In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic led President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce a state of national disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act. Strict lockdown regulations instituted under this legislation had a clear bearing on human rights.

While the High Court declared some of the Level 4 and 3 regulations irrational and thus unconstitutional in mid-2020, our survey research demonstrates that ordinary people in South Africa voice unwavering support for the select limitation of their rights as a means of preventing the spread of the virus.

We believe that this partly reflects

Read More

The Master’s Offices which deal with liquidations and deceased estates has been in the media recently over poor management and service delivery. Chief Master advocate Martin Mafojane writes that the Master’s office is confident it has turned the corner


The Master’s Offices are responsible for the administration of liquidations and deceased estates as well as the registration of trusts.

This often translates into us serving the most vulnerable members of our communities – the widowed and children in particular. In recent weeks, many media articles have reflected negatively on the services at Master’s offices around the country, particular those in Johannesburg, Gqeberha and Cape Town.

Some of the articles concentrated on the current Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption against certain officials, but most focused on deceased estates administration, poor management and lack of service delivery by the Master’s offices.

READ | OPINION: Ramaphosa

Read More

Absa Group is in talks to sell part or all of its asset-management business to Africa’s largest insurer, a deal that could create a firm with more than R900 billion in assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

South Africa’s third-largest lender is in discussions with both Sanlam and partner African Rainbow Capital Investments about a deal, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. No decision has been reached and an agreement may not be concluded, they said.

A combination of the Absa business with the Sanlam-owned equivalent would become one of the country’s largest money managers, behind the state-owned Public Investment Corporation. The negotiating parties see room for further growth as the sector is otherwise populated with a number of small players, the people said.

Absa and Sanlam declined to comment. ARC, the investment vehicle of South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe,

Read More

Ready to take the leap into management?

Well, the first thing you should do before having the conversation with your boss is figure out whether you’re actually qualified to lead. And no, I’m not denying that you’re doing a great job now.

It’s just that there’s a big difference between doing well at your current role and being a good boss. And you won’t be surprised to learn that great management really starts with soft skills—a.k.a., the skills you may not work on as much in your everyday job. You need to know how to work with diverse opinions, inspire others to be productive, and handle difficult situations that pop up out of nowhere.

But like anything, soft skills can be learned. You just need to know the right courses to take.

What does SMART stand for? And how can it help you lead a successful team (and prove to

Read More

Management and employee

The best definition of management was created by the American Management Association. “It is the act of getting things done through others and having them do it willingly”. It is a difficult art, not a science, like the computer business or manufacturing. Have you ever bought 10 boxes of performance or three cartons of morale?

These are intangible things that are concepts, yours and your employees, and they don’t always match.   You also have to get things done. You are responsible not just for what you do, but also for the results of others. Accomplishments, results, productivity are all now your responsibility. And now the hard part. You have to accomplish this through others and have them do it willingly.

How to achieve this is in large measure what this series is all about.

How do you become successful supervisor? Supervisors should establish objectives, create the proper work environment, remove

Read More

  • There are international misperceptions about the way SA is handling the coronavirus pandemic, warns Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
  • It is important to clear up these misunderstandings, she said during a briefing about a recovery plan for SA’s important tourism sector.
  • The recovery plan follows from input by the public and private sectors.

There is a growing misunderstanding about how South Africa is managing the coronavirus pandemic – and the perception that there is a “new variant” of Covid-19 in SA has not helped, according to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

“The association of a Covid-19 variant with SA has had a negative impact on the country’s brand and the country has been placed on a travel alert by many countries,” she said during a briefing on Thursday about the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, which Cabinet has approved. 

“We had various engagements with targeted source markets and embassies. What we find is

Read More

The Centre wants the judiciary to keep its hands off the management of the COVID-19 crisis and its “waves/surges”.

The latest 218-page affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court on May 9 informs the judiciary in no uncertain terms that “though it [Centre] is duty-bound to fully assist this Honourable Court… the policy, strategy and steps taken by the Executive, based on expert medical and scientific advice, have to be appreciated in the context of the medical crisis”. It said decisions were taken after “detailed deliberations at the highest Executive level”. Hence, no “interference” is called for in judicial proceedings. In other words, the Centre has asked the courts — Supreme Court and the High Courts — to “leave it open” for the government to discharge its functions in “larger interests”.

However, an examination of the Supreme Court orders from April 30 to May 6 show that the

Read More

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization’s capital and earnings. These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters. IT security threats and data-related risks, and the risk management strategies to alleviate them, have become a top priority for digitized companies. As a result, a risk management plan increasingly includes companies’ processes for identifying and controlling threats to its digital assets, including proprietary corporate data, a customer’s personally identifiable information (PII) and intellectual property.

Every business and organization faces the risk of unexpected, harmful events that can cost the company money or cause it to permanently close. Risk management allows organizations to attempt to prepare for the unexpected by minimizing risks and extra costs before they happen.

Importance

By implementing a risk management plan and considering the various

Read More

A database is a collection of information that is organized so that it can be easily accessed, managed and updated. Computer databases typically contain aggregations of data records or files, containing information about sales transactions or interactions with specific customers.

In a relational database, digital information about a specific customer is organized into rows, columns and tables which are indexed to make it easier to find relevant information through SQL or NoSQL queries. In contrast, a graph database uses nodes and edges to define relationships between data entries and queries require a special semantic search syntax.  As of this writing, SPARQL is the only semantic query language that is approved by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). 

Typically, the database manager provides users with the ability to control read/write access, specify report generation and analyze usage. Some databases offer ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability) compliance to guarantee that data

Read More