Introducing a fraud-fighting first in South Africa

The PWC Global Economic Crime and Fraud survey 2018 South Africa cites that South Africa has the highest level of fraud in the world. PWC’s 2018 Fraud Report estimates that R100 billion was lost in revenue due to fraud.

In our age of all things digital, high value documents can be fraudulently altered within minutes with free PDF hackers, but technology can also provide a solution.

The DigSig from iPLATE Technology is fighting fraud on the front lines. It is the first and only technology that can actively protect businesses against fraud. “Scanners, PDF documents and universal fonts make forging a document child’s play,” says Nicola Tempest, Director at iPLATE. “The solution lies in making information on these documents ‘unalterable’.

Revolutionary anti-fraud technology, a first in South Africa, creates a DigSig, or digital signature, secured in a QR code that is embossed onto a document or encrypted onto a digital platform. The DigSig secures the authenticity of the information by securing the information digitally, thereby protecting the original data and making it immune from alteration.”

The iPLATE DigSig is a revolution in the fight against counterfeit documents like pay slips, proof of payment, proof of accounts, title deeds and academic qualifications.

The cost of proactively preventing fraud pales in comparison to the costs that are incurred to prosecute it. 19% of South African organisations have had to spend between twice and ten times as much on investigations as the original amount lost. (PWC Economic crime survey 2018)

“The DigSig is a digital signature secured in a QR code that is embossed onto a document or encrypted onto a digital platform,” explains Tempest. “The DigiSig secures the authenticity of the information by securing the information digitally, thereby protecting the original data and rendering it immune from alteration or forgery. The authenticity of the information can be checked using the iPLATE app that is easy downloaded from both Apple and Android app stores.”

“Levels of detection are still being outpaced by fraud risk. The rules are changing for businesses, profoundly and irreversibly, with tolerance for corporate and/or personal misbehaviour vanishing. Not only is public sensitivity about corporate misconduct at an all-time high; in some cases, corporations and leaders are also being held responsible for past behaviour, when the ‘unspoken rules’ of doing business might have been more lax. PwC’s 21st CEO Survey underscores this theme, with chief executives citing trust and leadership accountability as two of the largest business threats to growth. All of this points to a heightened risk of incidents of fraud or economic crime occurring, and to a need for organisations to take the lead in preventing it before it can take root”, says the PwC 2018 report on economic crime.

“We’re excited to be bringing this innovative technology into South Africa which is already having significant impact among both small and large businesses,” says Nicola.

Pareto takes outright ownership of the iconic Menlyn Park Shopping Centre

Marius Muller, Pareto CEO - 3

Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited.

The iconic Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria is now wholly-owned by Pareto Limited – South Africa’s premier shopping centre investor and a leading retail property player with landmark assets across the country.

Pareto – which owned a 50% stake in the 125,248m² super-regional mall, last week took transfer of the remaining 50% stake from Old Mutual Life Assurance Company. This follows a landmark asset swap transaction with Old Mutual, announced in January (2015) involving Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and Cavendish Square in Cape Town. It also follows the deal getting approval from the Competition Commission earlier this year.

The two shopping centres have been equally owned by Pareto and Old Mutual for over five years. Together, these assets represent around R10 billion of prime retail property investment.

Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto, comments: “Pareto takes full ownership of Menlyn Park at an opportune time with the centre currently undergoing a major 50,000m², R2 billion expansion and refurbishment. The mega project, which is set to be complete in November 2016, will see Menlyn Park become not just the largest mall in South Africa, but one of the largest in Africa and in the southern hemisphere.”

He adds: “We are delighted to take transfer of the remaining stake of this flagship retail property. It bolsters Pareto’s position as the owner of trophy super-regional shopping centre properties across South Africa. With the major investment into Menlyn Park, it also is in line with Pareto’s strategy of adding value to our assets.”

Menlyn Park’s mega makeover and expansion is progressing well. When complete, it will feature an unrivalled retail and leisure offering of more than 500 stores, restaurants, entertainment and service offerings in SA’s burgeoning capital city.

Menlyn - Pareto 2Muller says: “The investment in Menlyn Park is retailer demand driven and will entrench its dominance as the leading shopping destination in Pretoria. The upgrade and expansion is well-timed to keep Menlyn Park contemporary and add to its mix of world-class retail.”

He adds: “Pareto is looking forward to completing the expansion and refurbishment next year. Menlyn Park will take its place as the flagship directly held supper-regional shopping centre in Pareto‘s portfolio. With Pareto now being the outright owner of Menlyn Park, the management of the centre will now fall under Pareto’s newly former property management company – Mowana Properties.

As South Africa’s premier shopping centre investor and one of the country’s leading retail property industry players, Pareto owns an unmatched portfolio of regional and super-regional shopping centres. Besides being the full owner of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in the East of Pretoria, Cresta Shopping Centre, Southgate Mall and Value Market, and Westgate Regional Shopping Centre, all in Gauteng; it also wholly owns The Pavilion in Durban; and Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein. In Cape Town, Pareto co-owns Tyger Valley Shopping Centre. Pareto also holds 25% of Sandton City and its surrounding assets including three high-rise office blocks, the Sandton Convention Centre and three hotels: Sandton Sun, The InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers and Sandton Garden Court.