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As Eskom carries out critical maintenance on its failing units, South African landlords and facilities managers have to implement measures of their own to ensure energy security for their properties. There certainly appears to be no foreseeable end to the current load shedding, and facilities managers now have to factor in rolling blackouts as part of the daily management equation.
As most South Africans eagerly awaited some reprieve from a year of constant and negative bombardment, be this over matters such as a massively contracted economy, rising unemployment, state capture, rising corruption and the threat of expropriation of property without compensation, many had hoped to return from their annual vacation rested, and hopeful to hear some positive news. This did not happen.
Government intervention in the economy simply does not work. It is a mystery, then, why so many otherwise intelligent people keep calling for more of the same. After years of low growth (12 years now) concurrent with government fiscal deficits and various stimulus packages, we are now faced with retrenchments across the economy. The latest of which is Massmart announcing that it is considering retrenching 1,400 people.
Labour unions are undoubtedly the biggest obstacle to any positive reform, not because this particular group of individuals is somehow more evil than the rest of us. It is simply a rational response to the particular set of incentives that union bosses are faced with.
In the first quarter of the year, Eskom and the government committed to developing a workable strategy to stabilise the national grid as capacity is ramped up and maintenance is scheduled. Following a briefing by deputy president David Mabuza on events at the national utility and electricity constraints, a Technical Review Panel appointed by the Eskom board and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan promised a plan by April.
South African Airways’ sometimes-controversial CEO, Vuyani Jarana, has resigned. When the news broke on Sunday, many were caught by surprise, perhaps because it follows only a week after the resignation of another state-owned enterprise (SOE) CEO, Eskom’s Phakamani Hadebe.
Many organisations are reluctant to manage their ethics performance. Why? When leading practice has moved beyond the question of whether ethics can actually be ‘managed’ (taking it as given that it can), and huge efforts are underway getting the ‘how’ of ethics management right as well, it seems perverse to ignore this aspect of organisational life.