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.

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

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.



Why use a Specialist recruitment agent?

Access to the most relevant opportunities in your market, with utmost confidentiality, saving you time and energy, across South Africa’s leading Financial Services organisations.

Market Knowledge-

 Whilst we would never suggest that we know more than a candidate’s specific market experience, we do have a holistic view of the market, and the knowledge of where opportunities exist. Candidates are focussed on their current roles, time is precious, and researching which clients are entering the market, growing, acquiring etc is not a priority. It is a priority for us- it is essential that we are fully aware of what is happening in the Financial Services arena in South Africa and beyond. We would not be a successful agency if we were not. We are able to present these opportunities to our candidates.


 Sending a CV direct to a client could end up in the wrong hands.  We completely understand that confidentiality, when considering new opportunities, is of the highest priority. The South African market is small, especially for front office candidates. We ensure that details are only sent with our candidate’s prior approval and knowing hiring manager details. CV’s will only be sent to relevant line managers, not left sitting on the wrong desk.


 There are a number of areas we can advise candidates on to ensure that any potential move is the right one. We engage with our clients to understand their business strategy, goals and where they want to take their business or area. We also have background- through past experience of where potential opportunities could lead in the future. We advise on salary and total package candidates should expect.  We will also construct CV’s and a cover letters to enhance candidate’s experience. Given our close relationships with our clients we are able to discuss a candidate’s background and personality to secure interviews.

Time saving-

 Applying online or direct is time consuming- our candidates are busy. We act as our candidates eyes and ears, sounding out only the most relevant and suitable opportunities. We arrange all interviews, and requirements needed for an interview or assessment. Candidates may be considering a few options at once, and this is all taken care of by us. 


 With an excellent client reach to top tier domestic clients, Internationals and boutique Financial Services firms, we are able to give our candidates access to the best most suitable opportunities in the Financial Services market. These opportunities may not be presented to candidates that are not registered with us. We will only consider vacancies our candidates are interested in pursuing. Please contact us for a list of the clients we currently deal with.

 To register with us, please upload your CV or email direct to

For a confidential conversation call- 011 666 4542.

 Please note- as a Financial Services specialist, we are only able to consider candidates with experience in this area.

Written by- Brett Duncan, May 2011

Common & difficult interview questions

What makes a great interview question response.

Why should we hire you?

This is a great opportunity for you to once again highlight your abilities, qualifications, experience and personal attributes. This is your chance to stress the added value that you will bring that no other candidate could. Develop a succinct, convincing sales presentation, and do not forget to end on a positive note. Make sure that you use effective interview vocabulary which would refer back to the job description and the qualities desired by the company demonstrating how you have previously expressed them in your prior professional experience. As this is one of the focal points of any interview take your time to rehearse your answer – repeat it out loud and invite an audience of friends and family. Get comfortable with your answer before the actual day of the interview.

 What do you look for in a job?

This is a question that you would need to think about well in advance. You need to be clearly aware what it is that you really want. Making compromises with your employment would only fire back in the future. Think about the perfect job. Think about what you would need on a personal level, as a member in the new team, from your managers and the general corporate culture. Keep your answers to the opportunities at this organization. Talk about your desire to perform and be recognized for your contributions. Make your answer oriented toward opportunity rather than personal security.

Give me your definition of [the position for which you are being interviewed]?

Try to keep your answer concise and task-oriented. Think in terms of responsibilities and accountability. It is important to really understand what the position involves and requires. The recruiter is looking to evaluate your understanding of the job requirements in order to ensure that you will comply with the needs of the position. On the other hand, there is also a great opportunity to ask questions if you are not sure that you completely gasp the content. Ask the interviewer; he or she may answer the question for you.

How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?

Be realistic. Emphasize on the fact that you would expect to meet pressing demands and pull your own weight from the first day. Yet, be honest and give a realistic evaluation of your ability to adapt to a new environment.

How long would you stay with us?

Keep focused on the reasons why you want to stay with this company and build a career there. Once again you need to be very clear about what motivates you to devote your efforts to a company and share that. In the end, it is important, not only that you are a great fit to the job but also that the job is a good fit to you. Unless this is the case you risk finding yourself looking for a new job in the near future. Think in terms of, “As long as we both feel we are beneficial for each other.”

Returning to South Africa?

Are you returning back to your country of birth? Or perhaps just a consideration at this point? If either are the case, you are probably wondering what opportunities exist, and is perhaps your most pressing concern.

At Duncan & Associates we understand your concerns, having lived and worked in London and Sydney before returning back to South Africa. Like us, you would ideally like to have a new exciting opportunityalready confirmed before you relocate back home.

We do not underestimate your concerns and the challenges you and your family will face moving home.

Here are some brief tips:

  1. Make sure you contact the right people who can guide you- those that understand or are in your market.
  2. South Africa is geographical. Are you only considering one city when perhaps your options will be greater elsewhere?
  3. Understand your market. The more you understand your market the easier it will be to focus your efforts.
  4. Be realistic. The markets are different. South Africa will offer great opportunity, make sure you are looking for it.
  5. Understand which qualifications are sort after in the South African market.
  6. Start looking before you leave. Modern technology has made interviewing abroad possible.
  7. Understand salaries. South African companies pay a CTC- “Cost to Company” which includes benefits such as pension, medical aid, car allowance etc. Packages can be mis-leading.
  8. Understand the importance of change in a country like South Africa, and how this will affect your job search.
  9. It is advisable to get permanent accommodation only once employment is secured as traffic can be a real nightmare.

These are a few things which can help you secure that perfect role back home, and you can relax and startto enjoy all those things you have missed for so long. Trust us, we know.

Get in touch by sending us an update CV, as well as your plans and commitments.We are more than happy to help.

Brett Duncan – Managing Partner : Tel: 011 038 8314 / Cell: 0823841953


Tips for Interviews

Tips for interviews

Details:  Make sure you have full details of the interview, ie- number of people in the interview, their titles, time, date and address.

Time keeping:  Make sure you get there on time. Aim to be 15 minutes early. Plot your route, and be aware of heavy traffic times.

Research:  Do as much research on the company as possible. This is very important as it shows that you are interested in the organisation, and will enable you to ask relevant questions. Research the news- has the company been in the news? Have a look at the company’s stock- have there been any drastic movements? Perhaps a new CEO/ CFO etc.

CV:  This may sound obvious, but make sure you know your CV. You must be comfortable with what is on your CV. Some recruiters may change the content or wording somewhat and this may throw you off balance during an interview. Ensure that you have good reasons for leaving all your previous roles etc.

The role: Again this may sound obvious, but make sure you know all you can about the role you are applying for. Take a job spec with you, and make sure you study it before hand. Exploratory interviews are sometimes harder as there is no central point to focus on.

Examples: Always try use workable examples when asked questions. For example: Q: Are you a team player? A: “Yes I believe I am. In fact, just the other day I stayed behind to help a colleague finish an important document.” Using examples will give credibility to your answers. Try think of work situations before the interview, as they may not come to you during the interview.

Strengths and weaknesses: So clichéd- 98% of recruitment companies will tell you “You want to describe your weaknesses as strengths.” I would ask- why are you applying for a job that highlights your weaknesses? Be confident, you have been successful so far, this is due to your strengths, not your weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses, but not necessarily relating to your job.

Questions: Use your research and prepare a list of relevant questions.

Career: Don’t be afraid to ask about career progression. Companies will look for candidates who want to learn and grow. Having said that, companies will not be looking for candidates who are not committed to a role.

Rapport: Rapport is essential and needs to be established from the outset. Smile; be positive and confident in your ability. Use interviewers names- make sure you get them right (keep business cards in front of you).

Conclusion: Most importantly be yourself. You will not get every interview that you attend, however you want to make a good impression and give it your best shot.

Get in touch by sending us an update CV, as well as your plans and commitments. We are more than happy to help.

Brett Duncan – Managing Partner : Tel: 011 301 0905/ Cell: 0823841953/ Fax: 011 301 0944

Deborah Akeroyd – Associate: Tel: 011 301 0919/ Cell: 0760963373/ Fax: 011 301 0944

Asanda Sokutu- Associate: Tel: 011 301 0903/ Cell: 0735931408/ Fax: 011 301 0944