Nissan, BMW, and Jaguar Land Rover, in conjunction with the Department of Transport and Gauteng Provincial Government, recently took part in a road trip between Johannesburg and Cape Town using electric vehicles to demonstrate the feasibility of the charging grid.
The electric vehicles used on the trip were the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and Jaguar I-Pace. These vehicles use the same charging socket, as they all conform to the same electric vehicle charging standard.
“Nissan’s participation in embracing a safe and reliable mode of transport in October Transport Month is both, a pledge and vision for EVs to one day be a holistic reality to transition to smarter and electric mobility for all South Africans,” says Kabelo Rabotho, Marketing Director, Nissan South Africa.
EVRT Africa embarked on the road trip on October 3 to October 10, on the back of the Smarter Mobility Africa conference which kicked off on October 1 and 2.
The road-trippers embarked from the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria, on 3 October, and headed for Bloemfontein, and then on to Gariep Dam, Graaff-Reinet, Port Elizabeth, Knysna, and Worcester, ending in Cape Town.
The event was opened by Roger Atkins, Founder of Electric Vehicles Outlook (UK), and Azania Mosaka, 702 host and presenter. They were joined by more than 100 experts talking pertinent issues throughout the summit.
For example, Tim Abbott, CEO: BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Jacob Mamabolo, MEC: Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure – Gauteng Provincial Government, discussed how rapid urbanisation has created a need for smarter mobility solutions to address congestion, pollution and traffic accidents.
Rabotho said: “Intelligent transport systems and services form the backbone of smart mobility and a cornerstone of a smart city which works to harness the power of technology in order to improve service delivery and quality of life through the use of sustainable solutions.”
Ben Pullen, CEO at Generation.e said that it is vital for the country to start minimising the challenge of EV drivers not being able to find charging points as it is now more important than ever to start promoting the use of EVs in order to reap the benefits that they provide.
Pullen said: “It is for this reason that South Africa’s first electric vehicle road trip (EVRT), has rolled out EV charging stations powered by ACDC Dynamics, effectively creating a stronger charging network to support the EVRT Africa initiative.”
“These systems and services use technology as a means through which to improve performance, safety, mobility and environmental sustainability. With the correct information and support, the expansion of this industry can create opportunities for local entrepreneurs to develop their skills in a variety of areas such as the manufacture of lithium battery components, the installation of charging stations which can be increasingly powered by renewable energy such as wind and solar.”
One year ago, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande together with his Deputy Sindisiwe Chikunga launched and signed the Green Transport Strategy into law.
Nzimande said the strategy aimed at promoting an environmentally friendly transport system and help boost economic growth as well as creates jobs.
The minister has continued to urge both the public and private sector including the automobile manufacturers to work together with government in reducing the ever-increasing carbon dioxide emissions.
“Through this strategy, we aim to promote green mobility to ensure that the transport sector supports the achievements of the economic growth targets whilst protecting our environment,” says Nzimande. “As we know, transport is the driver of socio-economic development, but of course, our carbon footprint continues to grow at a highly unacceptable level.”
Meet the accountant of the future
The accountant of the future will need a new set of skills, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK, as he meets both the local users and the global creators of Xero accounting software
Meet Buchule and Sivenathi Sibaca. They are not only partners in marriage, but also in a thriving accounting business. Buchule and Sivenathi are, respectively, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of SMTAX, which focuses on tax and accounting services for small businesses in the Western Cape, but includes the likes of Absa and Old Mutual among its clients. It employs 18 people and has 4,500 individual and business customers.
That’s not what makes the outfit remarkable. The startling feature of this business is that it has been structured to be a model accounting firm of the next decade. Even more remarkable is the fact that the couple both hail from rural areas where thoughts of the future tend to be about survival rather than blazing new trails.
Last week, they made their first trip out of the country, to attend Xerocon London 2019. This 2-day conference, hosted by the world’s fastest growing accounting software maker, Xero, attracted more than 3,000 delegates from the United Kingdom, Europe Middle East and Africa. A total of 57 Xero partners and users, mostly from accounting practices or suppliers to accountants, made the trek from South Africa.
“It was really about seeing how other accountants on other continents operate in terms of how they think and where their headspace is at,” Buchule told us during Xerocon. “Also, being our first time out of the country, it was to see the culture of other small businesses outside of South Africa.
“London’s quite different in that regard, but it’s been a really a great learning curve, and we were pleasantly surprised to find elements that look like South Africa, where we can say, at least you’re doing something right. The banking environment is quite unique, as it’s been a really good learning curve in terms of where banking might go to in the future of South Africa if they follow the same trend.”
Buchule comes from the “dusty streets” of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, while Sivenathi grew up on a farm in a deep rural area near Mthatha.
“I had no idea about technology or the rest of the world or how it could impact the economy in general,” she said. The two met at the University of Cape Town, where she was studying to be an actuary, and he completed a Masters degree in tax. She decided to put actuarial science behind her, however, when the opportunity arose to join Buchule’s business. But her skills helped transform the business.
Said Buchule: “When Sivenathi came on board we did the modeling of the business, and we said that in order to in order to automate the whole bookkeeping journey, we would need to turn closer and closer towards ‘x’, meaning fully automated bookkeeping. We looked at the journey of how long it will it take for us to get to time ‘x’. And then we said, OK, once we get there, what then?
“It was a big realization that when we do get to time ‘x’, the most important thing will be the human touch. That will be the differentiator. So we then spent our time developing that.”
Visit the next page to read more about the Xerocon 2019 event.
Takealot reveals startling numbers for Black Friday
Takealot has revealed startling numbers for expected bumper sales this holiday season, beginning next week, and peaking with Black Friday.
South Africa’s leading ecommerce group expects to ship at least one order every second, with roughly 10,000 boxes leaving their warehouses every hour, this shopping season.
Black Friday was first introduced to South Africa by Takealot in 2012, and has since become an important day in South Africa’s annual retail calendar. It has been a record-breaker for both retailers in the Takealot Group: Takealot and Superbalist. Takealot’s Black Friday gross merchandise value (GMV) grew 125% from 2017 to 2018, with orders up 127%. Superbalist’s Black Friday GMV has grown on average around 50%. This year, CEO Kim Reid is anticipating the biggest Black Friday yet, a culmination of months of tech and operational business-wide focus to prepare for increased predicted traffic and shopper volumes.
ABSA bank estimates that two out of three South Africans participated in Black Friday sales in 2018. And FNB reports in 2018, Black Friday transaction volumes grew by 16% compared with 2017 and anticipates a 15% increase in transactions over the sales period in 2019.
Successfully meeting this massive growth in orders has been a key focus for the Takealot Group. CEO Kim Reid says throughout the year they have been working to scale operations across multiple areas within the business. “After expanding our Johannesburg distribution centre (DC), our warehouse storage space now stands at 75 000m2. We house over 3.7 million items at any given time, and have opened 47 Takealot Pickup Points in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga for order collections and returns, with more to open in the coming months.”
Takealot Delivery Team delivers to more South African homes than any other courier company in the country. On a monthly basis, they carry out over 1.6-million deliveries, with this number expected to increase to over 2-million during the shopping season. More than 4,500 drivers currently deliver for the Takealot Delivery Team; a number that is growing every month. The Takealot group anticipates they’ll travel over 4,000 000km from Black Friday until 24 December. “To put that in context, it is the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe over 100 times” says Reid.
Takealot.com’s Blue Dot Sale is a five day sale period which starts on Black Friday (29 November) and sees a range of new deals throughout the weekend as well as on Cyber Monday (2 December) and Takealot Tuesday (3 December), with up to 60% off thousands of items. For the first time, takealot.com will also be giving their shoppers early access to some of its Black Friday deals, starting on 24 November. Fresh new app-only deals will be added daily.
The Superbalist Showdown will run from 29 November to 3 December, with up to 70% off more than 15 000+ items. Superbalist shoppers will also have early access to Black Friday deals on selected days throughout November, with Superbalist’s Black Friday Spoilers – 24 hours to shop deals that they say won’t be beaten on Black Friday.