Monday, September 30, 2013

South Africa’s worst customer service

balancing the scale

South Africa’s worst customer service is to be found from within government agencies and utility providers, according to new research released by contact centre experts, Interactive Intelligence.
Aiming to determine what customers expect from companies in terms of customer service, the surveys looked at customer experiences and expectations when dealing with company contact centres.

The South Africans polled for the global Consumer Survey felt the best customer service came from hotels (61% ranking them among the best, in line with 61% globally), online retail stores (45% vs 51% globally) and banks (41% vs. 45% globally). The worst service came from government agencies (85% ranking them among the worst, vs. 52% globally) and utility providers (68% ranking them among the worst vs. 34% globally).

South Africans still choose a voice conversation with an agent as their preferred means of interacting with a contact centre. They expect an answer in under three minutes and they want agents to have all the relevant information at hand when they call. Customers said a major frustration when dealing with a contact centre agent is a lack of knowledge on the part of the agent (79% in SA and 66% globally), being transferred multiple times before finding the right person to help (89% in SA vs. 66% globally), or having to repeat information at different points of the interaction (64% in SA vs. 56% globally.). Another major frustration South Africans cited when calling a contact centre is not being able to understand the agent when speaking to them on the phone (86% vs. 75% globally).

Friday, September 20, 2013


roof top

The Voortrekker Monument is situated in the northern part of South Africa in the Pretoria (Tshwane) region in a nature reserve. It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner and is situated in a beautiful setting. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country.

Physically, the Voortrekker Monument is 40 metres high, with a base of 40 metres by 40 metres.[citation needed] The building shares architectural resemblance with European monuments such the Dôme des Invalides in France and the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Germany but also contain African influences. The two main points of interest inside the building are the Historical Frieze and the Cenotaph.

the main entranceThe idea to build a monument in honour of the Voortrekkers was first discussed on 16 December 1888, when President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic attended the Day of the Covenant celebrations at Blood River in Natal. However, the movement to actually build such a monument only started in 1931 when the Sentrale Volksmonumentekomitee (SVK) (Central People's Monuments Committee) was formed to bring this idea to fruition.

Construction started on 13 July 1937 with a sod turning ceremony performed by chairman of the SVK, Advocate Ernest George Jansen, on what later became known as Monument Hill. On 16 December 1938 the cornerstone was laid by three descendants of some of the Voortrekker leaders: Mrs. J.C. Muller (granddaughter of Andries Pretorius), Mrs. K.F. Ackerman (great-granddaughter of Hendrik Potgieter) and Mrs. J.C. Preller (great-granddaughter of Piet Retief).
The Monument was inaugurated on 16 December 1949 by the then-prime minister D. F. Malan.[citation needed] The total construction cost of the Monument was about £ 360,000, most of which was contributed by the South African government.
A large amphitheatre, which seats approximately 20,000 people, was erected to the north-east of the Monument in 1949.

The main entrance of the building leads into the domed Hall of Heroes. This massive space, flanked by four huge arched windows made from yellow Belgian glass, contains the unique marble Historical Frieze which is an intrinsic part of the design of the monument. It is the biggest marble frieze in the world

Thursday, September 19, 2013


The Dinokeng Game Reserve is the first free-roaming Big 5 residential game reserve in Gauteng – and probably in the world – next to an urbanized area. It is a private/public initiative for which planning and development started in the early 2000’s. It was officially opened on 22 September 2011 after the introduction of four of the Big 5. The last of the Big 5 to be introduced in late 2012 were the Buffalo and they have settled in well.

The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular and the game viewing – either from a game viewer or from your restaurant table overlooking one of the dams – is diverse.

Close to Pretoria North, just over an hour from Oliver Tambo International and Lanseria airport, and approximately 25 minutes from Wonderboom airport the DGR is accessible for a weekend stay without having to travel too far.

The Wildlife at Dinokeng Nature Reserve is something to experience, and what better way than going on a Game Drive. This is where the appreciation for the bushveld and nature starts, and where breathtaking experiences are captured with photographs.

Animals include

  • Elephants
  • Lions
  • Zebra
  • Rhinos
  • Giraffes
  • Various buck species


precious metals

The impact of a mine’s activities spans decades if not centuries. South Africa is a very good example of how mines have influenced the economic, environmental and social aspects of our country. Even though mining has placed South Africa on the global economic map, the reality is that often the profits are kept in the hands of a few (first with families like the Oppenheimers and now with junior BEE players), the environmental damage is hidden or the responsibility denied, and the fabric of society
destroyed as communities are uprooted, workers poorly paid, and health and safety risks to the workers and communities increased.

South Africa has a comparative advantage in the production of agriculture, mining and manufacturing products relating to these sectors.] South Africa has shifted from a primary and secondary economy in the mid-twentieth century to an economy driven primarily by the tertiary sector in the present day which accounts for an estimated 65% of GDP or $230 billion in nominal GDP terms. The country's economy is reasonably diversified with key economic sectors including mining, agriculture and fisheries, vehicle manufacturing and assembly, food processing, clothing and textiles, telecommunication, energy, financial and business services, real estate, tourism, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade

It is clear that the impacts (both good and bad) of mining begin before a mine is even established and does not disappear with the closure of a mine. The Bench Marks Foundation believes that the mining sector must engage with the communities in which they operate from the inception of a mine to the closure of a mine. It is no longer sufficient to have contact with communities, in close proximity to the mine, only during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) stag

Once again, these facts are hardly new in the world of South African mining. Behind the squalid settlements that surround the mineshafts there are immense profits to be made. In recent years the platinum mining industry has prospered like no other thanks to the increased popularity of platinum jewellery and the use of the metal in vehicle exhaust systems in the United State and European countries. Production increased by 60 per cent between 1980 and 1994, while the price soared almost fivefold. The value of sales, almost all exported, thus increased to almost 12 per cent of total sales by the mining industry.