DTI moots regular small business census

first_img9 February 2012The Department of Trade and Industry wants to run a regular small business census to help improve its support and funding to the sector as part of a revised policy to boost support to small businesses.Briefing a National Council of Provinces’ select committee in Cape Town this week, the department’s Mojalefa Mohoto said the department would approach the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to run the census.Unlike countries such as India and Malaysia, South Africa does not have a government-run census on small businesses, leaving the government to rely on adhoc reports on small business by the private sector when it wants to access statistics on the challenges facing local small enterprises.Mohoto said a small business census would be important to create a baseline study and defuse confusion about the number of small businesses operating in South Africa.The department is seeking to revamp its 2005 Integrated Small Business Policy and amend the 2005 Small Business Amendment Act by strengthening partnerships, capacity at small business support institutions and by broadening small firms’ access to markets.It also wants to strengthen the role of the National Small Business Advisory Council, which advises the Trade and Industry minister on issues affecting small businesses, promotes the interests of the sector, and monitors the effectiveness of government policies, programmes and institutions designed to develop the sector.Working with business chambersThe department also plans to work more closely with business chambers so that chambers help the government to deliver some of its support programmes, said Mohoto, adding that the department was already looking at improving chambers’ capacity – particularly those in rural areas.Over time, the idea is to delegate certain basic functions to sector associations, Mohoto said.To improve the quality of business mentors, a problem which has long frustrated small enterprises, the department will meet with Business Unity SA (Busa) and the Institute of Business Advisors (IBA) to formulate a national programme to develop and accredit quality business advisors.It is already working with the Department of Higher Education to standardise training for business mentors.Creating more business incubatorsThe department has also mooted the idea of providing SMME support agencies with core funding and getting them to bid for the remainder of their funding by submitting proposals for project funding.It department is further looking at expanding the number of business incubators, from the current 30 to 250 in the next few years. It has already received 20 new proposals for incubators and is working with major companies to bring these to fruition.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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New unit to address HIV, mental illness

first_img17 September 2012 The Lufuno Neuropsychiatric Centre was launched at Tara Hospital in Johannesburg last week to widen the range of care given to patients living with HIV/Aids and mental illness. Patients at Lufuno – which means “love” in TshiVenda – will be given comprehensive care for the management and treatment of HIV and Aids, as well as an integrated outpatient neuropsychiatry service for clients with both mental illness and HIV. Deputy Health Minister Gwen Ramokgopa said that until recently not enough attention had been paid to the issue of the concomitance of mental disorders and HIV. She said the tide was slowly turning as research was being done to understand the phenomenon. Ramokgopa also noted that as the disease load increased, so too did the burden of mental disorders. She was optimistic that the new centre at Tara would go a long way towards helping the country formulate a response to this challenge.‘Centre of excellence’ “We look forward to Tara Hospital as a centre of excellence for mental illnesses and a unit like Lufuno to find solutions for society to not only to deal with clinical matters, but also public outcomes … we need to assure the public that together, we are capable of dealing with things,” Ramokgopa said. Ramokgopa also called on experts to work closely with society to find solutions for the treatment of mental stress. She urged the hospital’s staff to not only work to understand individual patients, but to partner with institutions like the Human Sciences Research Council to broaden the research scope. She also challenged researchers to do more work to understand the impact of the concomitance of HIV and mental disorders. “We need to ensure that research is on-going and knowledge is flowing. We don’t want to base services on situations that are [dated]. We need evidence-based medicine to be practised. “This facility provides us with a possibility of getting to the bottom of the cause of stress and vulnerability to mental illness in South Africa.”Providing an integrated service Tara Hospital chief executive officer, Florence Otiano, said the Lufuno clinic was a unique opportunity to help the hospital become a centre of excellence, providing an integrated service to the very vulnerable population on the one hand, and on the other, training for health professionals and specialists conducting research in the field of neuropsychiatry. “This is an unexplored area in South Africa that will be contributing to evidence based medicine in this field. HIV and Aids has brought a whole suffering to humankind,” Otiano said. “As more people live longer with HIV, the mental illness associated with will increase and this needs to be addressed.” Mafika Mkwanazi, chairperson of Transnet – which is one of the sponsors of the centre – said the centre will play a vital role in the treatment of HIV. “It will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of many patients. One of the motivating factors in supporting this initiative is that it forms an integral part of the governance of the HIV/Aids and STI strategic plan for South Africa. “The primary aim is to reduce the number of new HIV infections. This will go a long way towards achieving these goals,” said Mkwanazi. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Don’t Go Quarters Without Putting Up Points

first_imgThere is something you’ll notice about football (American football). The teams that tend to lose big games have quarters in which they score no points. When you look at all four quarters and the number of points scored by each team, the losing team seems to have taken quarters off. Because they go quarters without putting any points on the board, they find themselves in difficult circumstances later in the game.There are always reasonable excuses not to play full out. At the time of this writing, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, providing the excuse that people will not be at work and not interested in doing anything now. Even though people will be at work, and those that are will likely have more time because some people are missing. Instead of “taking the quarter off,” find people who are around and engage with them.Right after Thanksgiving, we get to the big holidays, including Christmas and New Years. More people will be off work, and those at work are as likely to be checked out for the year, having finished up their work. If they are at work, they’re likely to have already shifted their thinking into their next year’s goals and projects and tasks. What you want to talk to them about is their next year, and the ideas you have that will help ensure their next year is a success.When you take quarters off, you fall behind. In the game of football, when you score, the points are put on the board in that quarter. When it comes to sales—and revenue attainment—the numbers you put up in the quarter are the result of the activity you took in prior quarters. Because there is a lag time between when you do the work of creating opportunities and when you win them, the quarters in which you don’t put up enough points don’t show up until some time in the future, meaning you won’t know you are behind until it is too late for you to do anything about it.Like the game of football, once you fall behind, it is increasingly difficult to catch up. If you have a zero in a quarter, you have to double your goal in a future quarter just to get even. And if it is difficult to reach your goals now, doubling them isn’t going to be any easier. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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2009 ACT Super League

first_imgFour teams will take to the fields in both the Men’s and the Women’s divisions as they aim to take out the 2009 ACT Super League title.The teams competing in 2009 are the Canberra City Bears, Tuggeranong Valley Vikings, UC Otters and Woden Eagles. The competition will run over four weeks, with a double header to be played in the final round on Sunday, 22 November 2009. Finals will be played on Thursday, 10 December 2009. The Men’s competition will commence at 6.50pm, with the Bears up against the Vikings, while the Otters will play the Eagles. The Women’s round one games will be played at 7.40pm, with the same team’s playing each other as in the Men’s division. The Eagles will be out to put back to back titles together in the Men’s Open division, after last year’s grand final win over the Vikings. The Eagles again have a team full of talent, and will remain favourites, with Matt Curran, Scott Naughton and Chris Rawlinson among their best players. The Vikings are also fielding a strong side, with the likes of Nick Keech, Liam Taylor and Dean Taylor, as well as up and coming players Nick Tankey, Rob McCarthy and Joe Powell.Canberra City and UC will also be competitive in the Men’s division, with the Canberra City side including the likes of Steve Callander and Tim Spence as well as Canberra Raiders players Josh Dugan and Josh McCrone. The Otters are seeing some of their hard work over the last few years pay off in developing their younger players. Chris Tarlinton and Dee Prendergast are two of the more experienced players on the team, and will help develop the team’s younger players including Ben Hughes, Steve Meikle, Josh Wilkinson and Matt Atkins. In the Women’s Open division, the Bears will be looking for consecutive premierships in 2009, after defeating the Eagles by one touchdown in last year’s decider. Lining up for the Canberra City team in 2009 include sisters Kelly and Danielle Goodwin, Ash Kara, Carly Hill and Courtney Hinchcliffe. The Eagles will once again have a strong side, including Kate Bradley, Gen Netting, Rohanna Price and Erin Taylor.The Tuggeranong Vikings are beginning to see the benefits of their strong junior program and with players like Amanda and Mel Ingram, Amelia Kent and Shannon Frazer as well as younger players including Bec Beath, Jacinta Williams and Silvia Gonzalez, the Vikings are expected to be the surprise packet of the competition. The UC Otters are back this year after their absence in 2008 and include the likes of Kath Finn, Angi Donaldson and Donna Fraser, along with up and coming talent including Sarah and Jess O’Rourke, Lauren Bersinic and Pip Langford. For more information, please visit the ACT Touch website:www.acttouch.com.aulast_img read more

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