Winter is coming and all roads will soon lead to the culture bowl of Grahamstown for the 2018 Standard Bank Jazz Festival and other festivities at the National Arts Festival. Whether you take a train, plane, car, or hop on a bus with friends, the first thing you need to do is to plan your trip to this special art-filled town that turns into Jazztown and all things amazing during the National Arts Festival.
You first need to decide what kind of shindig this is going to be. Are you visiting the arts festival on a budget or will you set yourself up in the lap of luxury?
The university town of Grahamstown knows how to receive all types of travellers, which makes planning for the perfect trip easy. You may choose to stay at one of the many dandy B&Bs, hotels or get your digs at the Rhodes University students’ residences, which are highly affordable. Besides, if all you need is a warm bed and shower they don’t come any cheaper and more convenient.
When it comes to clothing, consult your Weather App for a weekly forecast and then be sure to layer. The nights are freezing cold and the days are sunny and mild to warm. The National Arts Festival programme has been announced and you can download it from the festival website and decide which shows you would like to attend.
By purchasing tickets early you can be sure you’ll have a seat in one of the many brilliant shows that will sell out during the festival. Standard Bank card holders qualify for a 20% discount on tickets (subject to terms and conditions), more info is available on Standardbank.com/NAF. When in Grahamstown be sure to visit the Standard Bank Village Green Fair with its top quality crafters, traders and food vendors. You should give yourself a few hours daily to explore and be entertained by the talented street artists that come to Grahamstown each year for NAF. Children will be occupied by activities such as puppet shows and clowning.
The National Arts Festival caters for everyone. The program consists of comedy, popular music, opera, world class jazz, theatre, dance and visual arts. The festival slogan is 11 Days of Amazing and we promise you 11 Days of Amazing it will be!
We’ve just launched a new campaign to help South Africa’s budding entrepreneurs turn their side hustles into their main hustles! My Fearless Next will provide one future mogul with funding equivalent to as much as one year’s salary, so he or she can take the plunge, running their start-up full time without the fear of losing a secure monthly income.
According to Cleo Zwane, Senior Marketing Manager for Business Banking at Standard Bank, a lot of young entrepreneurs work eight-hour-a-day (or even longer) corporate jobs, but run a small business after hours and on weekends. This is because they still rely on their monthly salaries. What Your Fearless Next hopes to do is remove the risk and fear of being without a salary, and provide a platform for young entrepreneurs to take their next step.
South Africans have always had a strong entrepreneurial streak: 73% believe that it’s a good career choice, and roughly half think they’ve got what it takes to start a business. Yet, only 9.2% actually do it, according to the GEM 2015 Global Report. Thing is, many of these side hustles are successful, as shown by an online survey conducted by Moneyweb in 2017. It found that a third of working individuals earn more than R5 000 a month in additional income from side businesses.
As a 156-year-old institution that began life as a start-up, we respect this success. So, we want to participate in an entrepreneur’s journey by providing funding, training and mentorship, while also removing the burden of having to work eight to 10 hours a day for someone else just to get by.
The three-month My Fearless Next campaign launched on 4 June and will run until 29 August. Six contestants will be drawn weekly and sent to a one-day boot camp. One winner will be selected each week and sent to the final round. This process will happen for six consecutive weeks, giving us six finalists at the final round. The overall winner will then be announced at an exclusive event in August and will receive up to one-year’s salary, capped at R1 million, as well as mentorship from Standard Bank’s Entrepreneur Development Programme.
If you’re a young entrepreneur working a nine-to-five corporate job, but run a small business on the side, this is for you; we could be buying you time to focus on your business. To qualify, you must be a Standard Bank accountholder and have a side business that is profitable. Enter via online application from June to July.
“Being a bank that lives and breathes business banking on a daily basis, we believe it’s crucial to help rejuvenate and revive the entrepreneurial spirit in the country with programmes such as the My Fearless Next campaign,” says Mr Zwane.
For more info, go to www.standardbank.co.za/myfearlessnext
It’s no secret that South Africans are over indebted. Every few weeks, headlines scream at us from our cellphones, PCs and newspapers that “South Africa is Drowning is Debt” and “Indebted Consumers Stretch SA to its Limits”. As if we need reminders.
The somewhat good news is that we’re not alone in the world. Households in the US, for instance, together have over USD11 trillion in debt. The reason is as simple as it’s obvious: debt is necessary. In reality, few can get to their Nexts, such as paying for a college degree, without taking out credit – or taking on debt.
Put simply, debt is the repayment of the original amount plus the interest that builds up over time. Think of interest as the cost of “renting money” from your credit provider. The thing is, taking out credit to move forward in your life isn’t a bad thing, it’s essential. Where most of us run into trouble is the management of our debts, and having too much of one kind of debt: “bad debt”.
Types of debt
Did you know there’s “good” and “bad” debt. This may seem strange, because most think that owing money of any amount is bad, but this isn’t actually the case. Allow us to explain:
This is an investment that will grow in value and generate long-term income. Property is a great example, as is a student loan. Compared to other types of loans, student loans have low interest rates. Also, a tertiary education should increase your future potential income.
This is what gets all of us. Bad debt is incurred when you buy something on credit that will lose its value quickly and won’t generate long-term income. A pair of shoes bought with a credit card comes to mind. Speaking of credit cards, the debt on these magic swiping devices usually comes with a high interest rate. To avoid a debt avalanche, make sure to pay your balance in full each month and never, ever miss a payment.
Though media reports are firm that our debt levels are worrying, there’s some positive news: overall indebtedness has decreased a little, and it’s all because of financial institutions and their change in attitude. Neil Roets, Chief Executive of Debt Rescue, says credit providers have realised that fighting with consumers over debt is not productive. Now, they work with them to resolve and even prevent problems.
Today, when you apply for a loan from your bank, they’ll conduct a credit assessment to make sure you can afford it. They’ll look at your income, expenses and other debts. However, this is by no means a guarantee that it’ll be plain sailing; you could lose your job or have to pay for unforeseen medical expenses – life happens and it happens unexpectedly.
That’s okay, there is help. Contact Standard Bank’s Debt Care Centre. With patience and the right advice, you can get your life back on track.
Thulani Sibeko is a man with a mission. Arriving at the bank from competitor Nedbank, where he was group executive: marketing, communications and corporate affairs, he says he was drawn in part to work here because of the group’s continental purpose. "What got my attention was the purpose of Africa,” he says. “I have a strong affinity for Africa beyond South Africa."
He is open that he had certain perceptions from an outsider, “partly informed by the competitive lens that I had about Standard Bank,” he says. Although it’s a bit early to say how his views might have changed since joining, “I think one thing that has been reinforced based on observation from outside and the early observations coming in, is that although the bank is a successful organization, there is no sense of complacency. There is a drive to want to do better, a drive to win despite the competitive threats, both from traditional financial services institutions, and non-traditional ones. That is evident in the passion of the teams, the commitment of the leadership team, so that much is energizing and exciting,” he says.
“It’s a wonderful time to be at Standard Bank, purely because of the journey that the group is in. The choices of focusing on client-centricity, digitisation and the universal financial services organisation are particularly relevant,” he comments. “The most exciting for me are client-centricity and digitisation because I truly believe that the successful organisations are only those who intimately understand clients, empathise with clients – and I say empathise because some companies do understand clients, but they find ways of tricking clients into their solutions, and that is very different from understanding clients, and then saying, ‘what will I do that is in the best interests of the client’. So that, for me, excites. The second one for me is a no-brainer – digitisation. Because we live in a digitised world, we can’t opt out of that one,” he adds.
His impression of marketing and the role it plays is clear. “Marketing is a very interesting subject in corporate in that sometimes it’s taken for granted and at other times it’s most valued, but regardless of where it’s at, marketing does basic, simple things. One, marketing is there to make sure that our brand is famous, it is known. Two, I see marketing as responsible to ensure that the public has positive feelings about our brand, and Three, importantly, is that marketing has a role to ensure that not only are we famous, not only are people feeling positive about us, but we do it in such a way that stands out. The more distinctive we are, we make it simpler for customers to choose us. Whenever we drown in the sea of sameness, then we just get lost among others and reduce our chance of being a brand of choice,” he comments.
Thulani believes that those three functions are important in service of the ultimate goal – “to ensure that the business acquires more clients, and for the clients that we have, we retain as many of them and deepen our relationship, which will be evident in the degree of business that they conduct with us.” A foundational belief is that, “we collaborate internally, and compete externally.”
Reputational concerns have never been more prominent for high-profile companies, something Thulani is mindful of. “It is public knowledge that financial service firms have been under the spotlight in recent years, and what is quite interesting is that the public has shifted in how it perceives and expects from financial services companies. We are mindful that as a corporate citizen indeed we are playing our role in impacting society positively. However, in that contribution, we cannot assume that the expectations of the community are in line with what we are contributing. So, there’s a sense that for our reputation to be intact and to be stronger, we have to be conscious of where our societies are. As a group that is international, the contextual expectations will vary from country to country and it is important that we are closely aligned to the mood, to topical things and ensure that we remain relevant,” he comments. He is upbeat about the bank’s contributions. “In our communication, I like the humble approach that we often take as a group, but I would also challenge that there are instances that we need to be more assertive in communicating a lot of good that this group does. We should be careful not to incur a liability for our modesty. This group does a lot of wonderful things.”
It may be surprising to hear that numbers were Thulani’s passion growing up. As an Accounting graduate, it was only when positions for articles at his preferred firm were unavailable in the year that he intended to join, that he stopped to consider what else he might try his hand at. A position in the marketing department at Gillette was where he found his feet, and the rest, as they say, is history. After 16 years in consumer goods looking after multinational brands like Gillette, Oral B, Pantene, Braun, Vicks and Polaroid, and having worked globally in places as diverse as Cape Town, Boston, USA, London, UK and Geneva, Switzerland, he moved into telecoms at Vodacom, financial services at Hollard and most recently at Nedbank.
As he finds his feet, his priorities are clear. “Firstly, my first goal is to understand Standard Bank business and strategy. Secondly, I would like to understand her people, and related to these two I’m keen to understand how we got here. How did we make our successes over time, where did we make mistakes and what aspirations we have for the future? From that informed context, I hope to add my two cents. I’m respectful of the great things that are in the pipeline, I’m excited by the many workstreams that are underway. Equally, I think I owe it to the organization not to just say, ‘it’s great, it cannot get better’, but to say ‘have you also considered…’.”
He is enthused about what lies ahead. “I love the change agenda and will be a champion and an advocate in the areas that I play a part in to ensure that as a group, those streams deliver the success that we all hope for.”
This winter jazz and art lovers will gather in the culture bowl of Grahamstown for the 2018 Standard Bank Jazz Festival during the yearly National Arts Festival. Here are 5 of the shows you can't miss when it all goes down.
The abundance of great shows on offer will make choosing what to see a difficult feat. This makes having the insigit to buy the hotest ticket a crucial edge. But, don’t sweat it, we’ve put together this list of some shows you cannot miss at the 2018 SBJF to help you along. These are performances unlikely to be repeated elsewhere after their run at the festival. So, be sure to catch them at 2018 SBJF during NAF18 or lose out.
Thandi Ntuli is this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz. Since the release of her debut album, The Offering she has been recognised as one of the pioneering voices of modern South African jazz and the release of her latest album, Exiled which has once again solidified her standing as an artist of significant cultural and musical importance. Over and above her regular bandmates, the young pianist will share the stage with trumpeter, Marcus Wyatt and the inimitable percussionist, Tlale Makhene. They are at DSG Hall, Friday 29 June 17:00
In a rare intertextual creative encounter that traverses music and literature, Percy Mabandu convenes a team of fine musicians who've been touched by the music of Winston Mankunku Ngozi. This is to mark and celebrate 50 years since the recording and release of Mankunku’s seminal record, Yakhal'inkomo. The result is a unique creative project that is as deeply commemorative as it is imaginative. Notably, Mabandu will be accompanied by two of the most exciting contemporary young reed-men, Sisonke Xonti and Linda Sikhakhane along with pianist Andile Yenana who worked with Mankunku. They are at DSG Auditorium, Saturday 30 June 14:00
For one night only, in an extraordinary collection of musical and artistic talent on one stage. This is a two-hour long performance featuring a collaboration of the legendary “King of the Zulu Guitar”, Madala Kunene; a South African performance art ensemble, The Brother Moves On and the new face of Afro-Folk, Bongeziwe Mabandla. This will be one for the ages. It will certainly be spoken of for years to come. The Afropoets are at the Guy Butler Theatre, Monument, Friday 6 July 22:00
It’s already over 10 years since the passing of Michael Brecker and a fitting time to celebrate the memory of this iconic musician. Brecker was one of the most influential musicians of his generation. Despite his early death at 57, Brecker left a huge musical legacy across jazz, rock and fusion in small jazz combos through to guest soloist and over 900 studio recordings. Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre will lead a rare and imaginative take on this legacy with youthful energy for new audiences. The gig is at DSG Hall Saturday 30 June 17:00
This winter jazz and art lovers will gather in the culture bowl of Grahamstown for the 2018 Standard Bank Jazz Festival during the yearly National Arts Festival. Here are 5 of the shows you can't miss when it all goes down.
Hailed by DownBeat magazine for his “quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the-chase sense of narrative logic,” Aaron Goldberg has made his name as one of jazz’s most compelling pianists, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more. The New York based artist is making a rare appearance on a South African stage. It may well be years before you get to see him play with the kind of intimate closeness only possible in Grahamstown, during the Standard Bank Jazz Festival. Goldberg will be accompanied by Matt Penman on bass and fellow New Yorker, drummer Leon Parker, at the DSG Hall on Friday 29 June 20:30
For more information about gig at the 2018 Standard Bank Jazz Festival visit: www.standardbank.com/NAF
Stay in touch with key debates about what’s happening at the 2018 SBJF with the HashTag: #NAF18
If anyone has proof that a CEO took over a behemoth of a company and turned it around in 3 months - I'd want a masterclass with that person. Which is why I'm a bit concerned that people expected Ramaphoria to take effect a mere 3 months after he was elected president. Yesterday, GDP numbers came through lower than expected. Bloomberg consensus had expectations at -0.5% for annualised QoQ numbers and 1.9% for YoY numbers. Instead, we got -2.2% and 0.8% respectively.
The impact was almost immediate. The Allshare took a knock, with Bidvest (-5%) and Barloworld (-5.2%) taking the biggest hits straight after the GDP numbers came out. Later, however, this was muddied by an emerging market sell-off, which resulted in a bigger dip and adverse impact on banks and retailers. Today, South Africa's business confidence numbers came out and that came in two points lower than April's number. This has been the fourth consecutive fall since it hit a two-year high in January.
Looking at these numbers, one gets the sense that reality is finally setting in for South Africans. The economy needs a lot more than mere sentiment to grow and the work is only just beginning.
Sure, it’s disheartening to see the rand soar towards R13.00 after we dipped below R12.00 for the first time since 2015. But such short-term focus on the movement in the market will only end in heartache.
We must take our eyes off day-to-day market movement because we will be disappointed. You can even look away from the economic numbers and focus on JSE trading volumes. For most of May, daily trade volumes stayed well below the average – and that’s indicative of a sluggish environment.
So, with the rose coloured glasses finally off, let’s start focusing on the work that needs to go in to turning this economy around. It will not happen with a simple shuffle in leadership. Concrete steps need to be implemented and, until we are well into this process, hoping that the change will be magical is wishful thinking.
South Africa’s vehicle market continues to show positive growth, with sales expected to reach 2% year on year in 2018 at 568 000 vehicles.
The market is largely being driven by the lower and medium segments, says Cyril Zhungu, Head of Dealer Automotive Retail at Standard Bank. Derick de Vries, Head of VAF and Fleet Management, shares that medium and large commercial vehicle sales will continue to be driven by business sentiment.
These optimistic opinions follow the release of Naamsa’s statistics on Friday, 1 June. Vehicle sales at 42 984 had shown an improvement of 1 022 vehicles, or 2.4%, compared to 41 962 vehicles sold in May last year. May 2018 aggregate export sales at 32 731 vehicles reflected an improvement of 3 982 units, a gain of 13.9% compared to the 28 749 vehicles exported during the same time in 2017.
According to Mr Zhungu, consumers have been able to deleverage their debt in the 10 years since the financial crisis of 2008/9, and debt-to-income has dropped over the same period. At the same time, affordability has improved. Combined with lower price inflation, many South Africans have the confidence to continue participating in the credit market. This confidence has encouraged higher dealer sales, but it’s also notable that exports grew at 13.9% as demand remained strong from export markets.
Stable inflation, low interest rates, and sales incentives from manufacturers, together with improved confidence, underpins the overall positive outlook.
The Naamsa data showed that sales in the low-volume medium and heavy-truck segments of the industry had rebounded strongly with a gain of 17.6% year-on-year. Heavy trucks and busses showed a sharp improvement of 21.1% compared to the corresponding month last year.
Light commercial vehicles saw growth of 3.2% year-on-year, which is in line with expectations and confidence in the sector. However, Mr Zhungu cautions that the recent increase in oil price is a downside risk to the outlook, given the impact on motoring costs to the average consumer.
“Furthermore, the drift in cost inflation caused by oil prices, among others, will filter through into transport costs, which translates into a higher overall cost of living,” he says.
It happens to all of us: emergencies and unplanned events pop up and you find yourself struggling to afford repayments. Often, this causes feelings of depression and stress, but you don’t have to feel this way; you can be proactive and positive when tackling debt. Here are a few tips to get you through tough financial times:
Often, we buy things without even thinking about it. But, is that morning coffee something you really need, or did you buy it, because the café is where all your colleagues meet before work? When you don’t distinguish between wants (things that are nice to have, but that you could do without) and needs (an essential), you might find you get through your income pretty fast.
The day before payday, go through last month’s bank statements. Write down all the swipes on your cheque or savings account, including where and for what it was. Next, write down any amounts of cash you withdrew. Once done, go through each item and determine if you spent on a want or need. If it was a want, try limiting future spend. If it’s a need, perhaps you could get it cheaper elsewhere?
Also remember to analyse your statement for unauthorised debit orders. If you find any, contact your bank to request a cancellation and investigation of a refund.
A budget is the first step to financial security. As before, the day before payday, analyse your bank statement and note your monthly expenses. Total up all expenses on needed items and on repayments to credit providers. Subtract this amount from your income. The amount you’re left with will let indicate how much you have for wants and savings. If you have no money left, it’s time to contact your credit providers, because you could be in financial difficulty.
Your credit rating depends on you making regular payments. Keep in mind that even if you make lump-sum payments every now and then, you’ll still look like you’re struggling if you don’t make up for missed payments in-between.
High credit limits make it easy to overspend. Keep your credit card and overdraft limits relatively low, only using high limits for emergencies.
Avoid having multiple sources of short-term debt. It’s easier keeping track of your spending using an overdraft and only one credit card.
Before buying something on credit, multiply the repayment amount by the number of months you will be paying it. Compare this amount to the cash price. The difference is what you will pay in interest.
For more help overcoming debt, contact our Debt Care Centre; we’ll help you with your financial challenges, so you can get back to focusing on your Next!
The land question is immensely emotional. The issues on both sides must be approached with reverence and careful thought.
A great deal of work went into crafting section 25 of the Constitution. The authors contemplated the three major vectors involved in this debate: redistribution, restitution and security of tenure. They carefully balanced the competing aspirations and rights that have arisen.
Pertinently, any system dealing with the land question, globally, is dependent on a capable state, and clearly defined rules – otherwise chaos results.
In our case, we’ve got the umbrella law – what’s missing is some legislation and most of the capacity required to give proper effect to redistribution, restitution and land tenure rights.
The Kgalema Motlanthe panel report makes these points persuasively, as do a number of other research reports and studies. What also emerges from the Motlanthe report is some of the instruments that SA has in place either don't completely use the funds allocated to them, or the community structures that are allocated land are dysfunctional. Then you’ve got the issue of precarious tenure for farmworkers, rural dwellers and the millions of people who’ve moved from rural areas to live in cities.
The point is: the infrastructure necessary to deal with all this is inadequate.
Then there's “expropriation without compensation”. Section 25 deals with it and nowhere does it say you have to have the willing-buyer-willing-seller principle. So, there could be circumstances in which it’s appropriate not to pay for land.
I’ve read the motion that was passed in Parliament on “expropriation without compensation”, the ANC’s conference resolution, and the president’s comments in Parliament. I believe what people are saying is one of the mechanisms for dealing with the three major vectors should be the acquisition of land on the basis of expropriation without compensation, and authorities must put in place modalities to do that. And they must do that in a way that doesn't damage the economy, the agriculture industry or cause famine. I see no difference between that and what is currently in the Constitution.
So, I'm not panicked. What society is saying, is that SA needs a conversation – again – about redistribution, restitution and land tenure.
In my view, what is needed is engagement between the social partners. We must make sure there is proper justice in the process, for people who don’t own land, as well as for people who do. Both groups contain both black and white South Africans.
The same argument applies to nationalisation. The real issue is that people are concerned about the allocation of society’s benefits and burdens, assets etc., and they’re concerned there are too many poor people and only a small wealthy elite in our country. This isn’t sustainable.
However, nationalisation is not the correct instrument to address inequality; international evidence is clear. Business should engage: let’s find a way to modernise and grow our economy, and how best to allocate society’s benefits and burdens.