Labour Relations Amendment Act

Please be advised that the Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2014 has been signed into law by the President. The date on which the amendments will become effective is, however, yet to be announced, and will be fixed by proclamation in the Government Gazette.

Some of the changes in the Amendment Act relate to Organisational Rights, Strikes & Lock-outs (but excluding the controversial topic of pre-strike ballots), Dispute Resolution and Dismissals.

Importantly, the Amendment Act introduces significant changes to the regulation of a-typical forms of employment, namely temporary employment services, employees employed on fixed term employment contracts and part-time employees. The Amendment Act provides additional protection to employees in these categories who earn an amount equal to or less than the earnings threshold determined by the Minister of Labour from time to time (currently R205,433.30 per annum).

Will update ss soon as we receive a copy of the Act.

Foreign direct investment

Minister of home affairs announces financial or capital contribution for business

A foreign national who intends establishing a business or investing in a business that is established within the Republic of South Africa will need to obtain a certificate from an accredited chartered accountant which verifies that an amount prescribed by the Minister of Home Affairs (Minister) is available. On 15 July 2014, the Minister announced the financial or capital contribution to be a minimum of R5 million.

A foreign national who intends establishing or investing in such a business will be eligible to apply for a business visa or permanent residence permit, provided that the foreign national is able to demonstrate possession of at least R5 million. In addition, a foreign national who is successful in obtaining a business visa will need to ensure that they employ or prove that at least 60% of the business’ total staff compliment are South African citizens or permanent residents.

We also note that under the new regulations, no business visa will be issued or renewed to a foreigner who intends to establish or invest in a business that is listed as an ‘undesirable’ business undertaking. The Minister is yet to publish a list of such business undertakings that are considered to be ‘undesirable’. Therefore, foreign nationals who intend establishing a business or investing in a business that is established within the Republic of South Africa will need to show possession of at least R5 million and any foreign national who is successful in obtaining a business visa will need to prove that at least 60% of the business’s staff are South African citizens or permanent residents.

Our Human Capital Risk Solutions- HCRS- team is well positioned to assist companies with staffing requirements and manage their Human Capital Risk in the South African Labour environment. We are able to give our clients access to the most suitable and qualified staff in South Africa, helping them achieve their goals and growth within South Africa and the greater African region.

Please get in touch with a specialist HCRS consultant to find out how we can help your business grow.

Thanks for all your help

Thanks for all your help at Duncan & Associates.
I will definitely recommended you guys to people I know who are in the market for new positions.
You were truly helpful and professional.

Yours sincerely,

I cannot fault you in any way

“I wish to thank you and your team for being extremely professional during this entire process.  You have kept me informed at each turn and I cannot fault you in any way. “

Excellent Service and Great Leadership- 2013

Good Day Brett

I trust that you are well, I would love to give you feedback on my experience with Duncan & Associates.

Shantal Ramlakan – I would like to compliment Shantal on her excellent service and her leadership in finding me a great job.

I have had so many disappointing experiences with various recruitment agencies that were so de-motivating for me, but ever since I met Shantal for an interview at Duncan & Associates my experience has been awesome. I received regular feedback via e mail or phone contact to keep me up to date with the process.

The best part of it all was when I received a call from Shantal this morning to advise me that I got the Job!!! Just after I went for the interview yesterday.

I couldn’t have done it without her help and guidance when we went through the interview process, and see I was successful. Shantal keep up the good work you are a big asset to Duncan & Associates.

Teamwork and great leadership

Dear Brett

Although I have not had the opportunity to meet with you, I have been engaging with your team in possible vacancies since the beginning of the year.

Shantal Ramlakan has been my key contact and I would like to compliment her on the continuous feedback and general participation in my career change. I have been in the Petroleum Industry for the past 24 years and have only had the opportunity to work with agencies from a recruitment point of view. Knowing that the interest in people is continuously practiced with such respect is a welcoming feeling. Thank you.

I can only conclude that teamwork and great leadership practiced at your agency has contributed to the high level of service I received.

Once again, Thank You

Investors in scramble to buy $1,5bn of SA bonds

Treasury says oversubscribed sale signals investor confidence in the government’s economic policies

SA HAS sold $1,5bn of 12-year international bonds in a deal that was twice oversubscribed, underlining investor confidence in the government’s economic policies, the Treasury said yesterday.

The sale came at a significantly lower cost than the sovereign debt of cash-strapped southern European countries.

The bond was priced to yield 4,66 %, which is the interest payment that the bondholders receive between when the bond is issued and when it matures.

That represents a spread of 270 basis points over US Treasuries and compares favourably with comparable spreads for Spanish debt, which stand at 372, Italian debt at 531, and Irish debt at 636 basis points.

“The success of the transaction reflects investor confidence in SA … amid concerns about economic developments out of Europe,” the Treasury said.

“The government also sees the success of the transaction as an expression of confidence in the country’s stable political environment, sound macroeconomic policy framework and prudent fiscal management.”

Moody’s changed the outlook on its credit rating for SA to negative from stable last November, largely because of perceptions of rising political risk.

The agency said populist pressure and tension within the ruling African National Congress, and between it and its alliance partners, could undermine the Treasury’s commitment to low budget deficits and debt targets.

Thuto Shomang, head of asset and liability management at the Treasury, said yesterday the money raised by the bond sale should be used to meet the country’s foreign currency commitments — through repaying or refinancing existing debt. SA has a $1bn issue maturing on April 24 this year. Early last year it issued $750m of a 2041 bond.

Mr Shomang said the new bond was aimed at “pre-funding” a bond issue planned for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins in March. The issue was launched ahead of time to take advantage of good market conditions, he said.

“Investors are back and we have seen other emerging markets issuing so far this year.”

Mexico, the Philippines and Indonesia have all tapped international markets since the year began.

SA’s bond is bigger than the R7,66bn of foreign issues that the Treasury had planned for the fiscal year 2012-13.

“We felt the bond needed to be a benchmark for liquidity in trading purposes, to accommodate a diverse investor group, and allow for a small allocation to hedge funds,” Mr Shomang said.

Brait economist Colen Garrow said yesterday that the favourable pricing for the bond was good news, but it was important for SA to keep in check its ratios of debt to gross domestic product (GDP). The Treasury has said the ratio would rise to 41,1% of GDP in the coming fiscal year, up from 39,3% in 2011-12.

The Treasury forecasts a slight increase, to 42,2% in 2013-14 and 42,4% in 2014-15.

The country’s ratio of foreign debt as a portion of total debt is set to decline to 7,8% next year, from 8,7% this year, and decline further to 6,8% in 2013-14 and 6,1% in 2014-15.

Moody’s Investors Service has given SA’s foreign currency debt an A3 rating, with a negative outlook, while Standard & Poor’s rates South African debt BBB+, with a stable outlook.


Basel threat to cost of capital — banks

THE cost of capital for South African banks could rise by as much as 30% if they were to adopt the tougher Basel 3 regulations in their existing form, a leading banker has warned.

Increases in capital-raising costs could force banks to lower their appetite to lend, or make borrowing more expensive.

Under the Basel 3 rules, new global regulatory standards on bank capital adequacy and liquidity will be phased in between this year and 2019. Banks will have to hold higher capital buffers so they can absorb unexpected losses or shocks to the financial system.

Banks will have to hold capital equal to at least 7% of their assets, adjusted for risk, but the biggest banks are being threatened with an additional capital surcharge of 2,5%, which they are resisting as unnecessary.

The CEO of Standard Bank SA, Sim Tshabalala, said this week that while the rationale for strengthening capital buffers was accepted, the Basel 3 proposals could cause more harm than good for local banks. He said there was concern that the proposals could weaken the ability of SA’s big banks to compete across borders, and dent profits.

“Within SA, the proposed increases in regulatory capital due to the changed rules on over-the- counter derivatives and securitisation, in conjunction with potentially higher capital adequacy ratios, could result in an increase in the cost of capital to banks by an estimated 20%-30%,” he said.

SA’s new banking regulator, Rene van Wyk, was considering the level of discretion he would allow locally without breaching principles of global standards.

Local bankers, however, said SA’s big four banks already exceeded the Basel 3 capital ratio requirements, with core tier 1 capital ratios of more than 10%.

But they fall short on the liquidity coverage ratio, which requires them to hold easily traded assets to quench a hypothetical one-month sustained run on deposits.

They also come short on the proposed net stable funding ratio, which is intended to ensure that banks have the ability to fund their operations with more stable and longer-term funding — which is not available due to SA’s low savings rate.

Nedbank CEO Mike Brown said he hoped there would be greater clarity next year from the Reserve Bank on the national discretion to be applied to South African banks.

“(Next year) is a particularly important year for SA’s banks as the Reserve Bank will provide more guidance on its Basel 3 overlays and, in particular, its requirements on liquidity (and) funding ratios,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Tshabalala said the Basel 3 liquidity requirements could be even more challenging because of SA’s weak long-term savings.

“If the proposed liquidity requirements were imposed without local modification, we expect that this would severely affect the cost and availability of credit to the South African economy,” Mr Tshabalala said.

Standard Bank remained confident that the Reserve Bank would apply the new rules in a way that would continue to ensure the stability of SA’s financial system, which was crucial to promote job creation and growth, he said.

“To this end, we have the utmost faith that the Reserve Bank will exercise its national discretion in implementing Basel 3 in order to ensure that (local) banks remain internationally competitive and able to lend in support of the domestic economy,” Mr Tshabalala said.

Source- business day-

Unemployment rate eases to 25% in third quarter

Total number of unemployed people stood at 4,442-million in the three months to September, from 4,538-million in the second quarter

South Africa’s official unemployment rate eased to 25% of the labour force in the third quarter of this year, from 25,7% in the second quarter, a report showed on Tuesday.

In its latest quarterly Labour Force Survey, Statistics South Africa said the total number of unemployed people stood at 4,442-million in the three months to September, from 4,538-million in the second quarter.

Total employment grew 1,5% in the third quarter — the highest increase since 2009 — with trade and finance the main sectors that created jobs.

Mandla Maleka, economist at Eskom, said: “The number is still fairly elevated at 25% from 25,7%. Perhaps one can say that it is encouraging, but it does not really alleviate the problem itself.”

He added: “At 4,4-million people who are unemployed it is still very high, but it is encouraging that it came down by 0,7 percentage points.”

Employment in the formal sector had increased by 238000 jobs, while in the informal sector it had decreased by 53000 jobs. Employment in agriculture rose by 26000 jobs and fell by 19000 in private households.

There were 96000 fewer unemployed persons in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, while the number of discouraged work seekers fell by 3000.

Compared with a year ago, employment increased by 343000, or 2,6%; unemployment rose by 46000, or 1%; the number of discouraged work seekers rose by 171000, or 8,4%; and the “other” sector (not economically active) fell by 78000, resulting in a net increase of 93000 among the overall category for those not economically active.

The expanded employment rate went down by 0.9 percentage points from 36,9% in the second quarter to 36% in the third.

The government has singled out unemployment as a major challenge for Africa’s biggest economy, after about a million jobs were lost in 2009 during the country’s first recession in nearly two decades.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma , speaking at a business breakfast, said the probability of another global economic downturn did not bode well for South Africa’s commitment to growing the economy and creating jobs.


Job Interview First Impressions

Are first impressions really that important?

When the decision comes to hire a new employee, the candidates that are chosen almost always will share similar educational backgrounds, skills and experience. Because of this, it can be the small things that make the difference between getting the job or not. A lousy handshake or dirty shoes can be all it takes to lose out on getting the job.

Top tips to make sure that your first impression counts!

Dressing appropriately

A person who looks professional portrays the image of being professional. A person who looks sloppy portrays an image of being sloppy. If two people walk into an office and candidate one is perfectly dressed with clean shoes a shirt tucked in and brushed hair, and candidate 2 walks in looking like they just woke up, it goes without saying which candidate will more likely get the job. Before even discussing their skills, the hiring manager’s first impression about professionalism has already been made.


As a hiring manager, I can tell you there is nothing more off putting than interviewing a candidate with bad hygiene. No matter what job you are applying for, bad breath or lack of hygiene is not going to help you to get ahead. There is a fine balance between wearing the right amount of perfume/aftershave or too much. If the interviewer can smell your perfume from across the table you are probably wearing too much!

Addressing the interviewer properly

Showing respect toward the interviewer is paramount. Remember the interviewer is not your best friend who you have known for many years. Using slang or shortening their name is not the correct way to make a good first impression.


A great mistake you can make in the interview is to speak too much and not answer questions. Interviewing is a 2-way process. Not only do you need to directly answer the interview questions, but you need to listen to what the interviewer is saying. Unless it is a direct yes or no answer, always provide examples and evidence to support what you are saying. Make sure you leave the interviewer with no doubts that you are the right person for the job.

Handshake and Smile

When you walk into the interview, a solid handshake and smile will go a long way to building rapport with the interviewer and will also leave a positive memory in their minds after the interview has finished. Typically the person who is interviewing you will often be your boss, and therefore they will want to know that not only do you have the skills required to do the job, but that they are going to want to work with you on a daily basis.