Logistics and e-commerce: evolution through technology

21 September 2018

Logistics and e-commerce: evolution through technology

The impacts of technology are widely felt across all sectors. The advancement of technology as it pertains to the logistics sector is detailed in Broll’s recently released 2018 Logistics Report where the evolution of the logistics sector is discussed. It also highlights commercial activity around South Africa’s four main economic hubs: Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The report clarifies the difference between the singular function of a warehouse as compared to the multiple functionality of a distribution centre (DC) and the activities involved in logistics. Holistically logistics comprises services that support the physical movement of goods, trade across and within borders including warehousing, brokerage, express delivery, terminal operations and related data and information management.

“A DC offers value-added services including the likes of cross docking, packaging, product mixing and more. DCs also store products, although generally for a shorter time period in comparison to warehouses, and emphasis is placed on the moving of goods to either wholesalers, retailers or even consumers.”

“With the integration of technology and material handling equipment, cyber security is becoming increasingly important as automation and robots are likely to become the norm,” the report notes.

The report reflects on e-commerce and technological enhancements that bring about adaptations in the sector that respond to the changing demands of consumers. This has resulted in multiple channels in the supply chain.

Following the now well founded “sharing” system around services, there are various apps available for the transportation of goods. These apps connect shippers and carriers and allow for real-time freight tracking, alerts, reports and analytics, upfront rates, quick automatic payments and more. A shipper is able to see trucks which are close by and select only the jobs it wants.

Design
Another aspect of the evolvement is the importance of design with particular attention to green-building compliance. “Factors such as lighting, building insulation, water conservation and solar panels are increasingly sought- after for an increased green footprint, as well as potential cost-saving measures. “

Among the factors listed for consideration in the design are intended use, equipment selection, flow of facility; with one-way found to be the best option.

The report explains the complexities of logistics and its influence over tenants and investors and how they select locations. These include proximity to metropolitan areas, regulatory concerns, demographics, transport infrastructure and the total cost particularly as it relates to supply chain.

Having decided on location, other factors need to be considered. Some of these include layout and amenities; inflows and outflows of goods; the size of the facility; fire safety and security among others.

Regional focus
The report, in highlighting the important logistic nodes, describes Johannesburg as South Africa’s main economic hub contributing about 16% of the country’s GDP. The backdrop to this is the turn in economic tide to one that is knowledge-based, with a focus on technology, e-commerce and financial services.

In Durban the high activity areas are in the southern and northern industrial basins, with the area to the north of the city the most active in recent years.

Durban’s industrial land costs are the highest in the country, the report claims, and, “Developers are having to come up with creative ways of increasing yields on these buildings – for example, placing docking doors and dock levellers at 45-degree angles to the yard traffic flow to lessen required yard space and increase yields.”

In Cape Town one of the two prominent logistics areas is the R300 Corridor which includes the industrial nodes of Brackenfell, Stikland Blackheath, Kuilsriver and Bellville South. According to the report, these nodes are easily accessible off the R300, N1 and N2, making this a preferred location for logistics and distribution.

The Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is Port Elizabeth’s centre of logistics. It offers investors “world-class infrastructure, tax incentives, rebates and a duty-free zone.” Existing tenants include Famous Brands, DSV Sun Couriers, ID Logistics, Digistics, FAW and Vector Logistics.

The report expresses the view that logistics should embrace technological influences, innovate where necessary and align with requirements at the basic level, which include reliable connectivity and technology-based security.

To download the full report go to www.broll.com/publications

 

The importance of efficient supply-chain logistics in Retail

The importance of efficient supply-chain logistics in Retail

A Case Study

Clinton White, Managing Director of CEVA South Africa

Shopping & Retail SA recently met with the world-renowned CEVA Logistics company with a view to gaining insight into this crucial aspect of Retail. Clinton White, Managing Director of CEVA South Africa, provided us with considerable detail around the following recently completed project.

At the outset
This project began some five months ago where an existing CEVA client required assistance with bulk warehousing and forwarding and clearing solutions due to existing operational and planning issues which were imposing serious delivery constraints.

Kraft-Heinz imports a significant volume of products and also manufactures locally at its factories in Wellington and Atlantis in the Western Cape.

In consultation with Kraft-Heinz, CEVA initiated an in-depth supply-chain value assessment – at their own cost – in order to demonstrate to the client what level of improvement, and importantly, cost-savings, could be achieved with a professional forwarding and clearing and warehousing strategy.

“With this approach the client was able to see and interact with our strategic direction, leading up to what is clearly a win-win scenario – one which vastly improved and stabilised their entire logistic scope,” said White.

The objective:
The primary focus points of the project were as follows:
– improve cash flow;
– reduce stock holding;
– operate using the Just-in time- model (JIT);
– get the optimum product mix into the distribution centres (DCs); and
– ensure that the many facets of the project work smoothly and seamlessly together.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The process:
Working in close collaboration with the Managing Director of the Kraft-Heinz Company in Southern Africa, Morné Fourie, the CEVA team of five interviewed over 30 Kraft-Heinz staff, touching on every aspect of the Kraft-Heinz forwarding and clearing operations, warehousing and product distribution.

“Buy in from top management in Kraft-Heinz was as imperative prerequisite for the success of implementation and ongoing smooth operation of the project,” continued White. “During our preliminary confidential interviews with staff operational problems and issues were identified which required to be addressed and overhauled.”

For example the inefficient application of transport between Johannesburg and Cape Town was costing the company dearly, as not only was there an inordinate number of transport contractors – over 30 in all – but also in many instances trucks were returning to or from their delivery destinations empty – resulting in costly futile trips.

The CEVA team focused on the two primary categories of the client’s logistical product supply-chain, namely:
the “ambient” – or non-perishable product line, such as bottled and canned products; and
the “frozen” – or perishable product line, which includes pies, sausage rolls, dough and so on.

The current supply-chain configuration was plotted and analysed, with reverse logistics being applied to establish solution options.

The solution
Within three months CEVA presented a solution which would satisfy and surpass the following criteria:
reduce stock-holding;
focus on specific “final mile” distribution to retail; and
realise measurable cost-savings – this being key to the project overall.

A CEVA manned and operated “control tower*” was put in place at the client’s Western Cape premises to directly manage and operate the following:

– warehousing and distribution centres (DCs)
– forwarding and clearing operations
– end-to-end transport management
– sales and operations planning (S&OP) was to be kept in-house with Kraft-Heinz

* A “control tower” in the logistics sector is jargon for a flat-structured management team, in this instance comprising CEVA specialists working in close collaboration with the Kraft-Heinz Logistics Manager. Globally CEVA runs massive control towers for numerous individual companies.

As the control tower is designed to operate as a separate entity, it is important that is remains totally objective in all its functions. To achieve this, control tower staff and management must – in all their actions – always be consciously unbiased, objective, transparent and aware of the bigger picture. In addition, high visibility of their activities, openness and strong collaboration with the client are also key factors.

The outcome
Two bulk facilities were proposed – which opened up much-needed factory space for Kraft-Heinz. In addition, the number of transport service providers was reduced to 10, enabling an exceptional level of efficiency. Much improved use of available transport and bi-directional loads was achieved together with far greater ease of management of this function.

After five months the Kraft-Heinz logistics function has been overhauled from end to end with all related disciplines now functioning smoothly as one.

As a result significant cost savings have been realised throughout, particularly in transport.

“The importance of a recognised professional external company taking control of the entire logistical chain is an essential element for suppliers and manufacturers for the retail sector,” says Fourie. “What CEVA has achieved for Kraft-Heinz has been remarkable indeed, and one can only look on in awe at the level of professionalism and efficiency they have applied in the roll-out of this project.”

CEVA Logistics makes business flow. As one of the world’s leading non-asset- based supply-chain management companies, CEVA designs and implements industry-leading solutions in both freight management and contract logistics.

Over 42 000 dedicated employees, working in 17 regional clusters around the globe, deliver operational excellence – to provide viable answers to the most challenging supply chain questions.

CEVA applies its renowned operational expertise to provide best-in-class services across its integrated worldwide network, where our focus is equally on general business and the specialist needs of the automotive, consumer and retail, energy, healthcare, industrial and aerospace and technology sectors.

 

Broll reveals state of play in SADC property market

Broll reveals state of play in SADC property market

For a prospective investor or developer who has set their sights on expanding a retail or commercial property portfolio in Southern Africa, or one who is entering the region for the first time, the way forward may appear complex and uncertain. Conflicting reports, dubious statistics and misconceptions can cloud their route. So how can an investor or developer who wants to spread their investment wings in Southern Africa make an informed and strategically sound decision?

Broll Property Group’s latest research report on certain SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries, entitled SADC Market Snippet 2018, is a powerful and invaluable tool, designed to assist with understanding some property market conditions in the region.

Lyttelton Shopping Centre, one of many managed by Broll

The SADC was established in Windhoek in 1992 to grow the economies of Sub-Saharan African states and foster cooperation and peace amongst its members. Broll Research has put a group of SADC countries, where property investment opportunity presents itself, under the spotlight, and has crafted a brief report which looks at:

  • Country facts;

  • Economic indicators;

  • Global rankings on indices e.g. corruption or competitiveness; and

  • Key indicators in the retail, office and industrial property markets.

 

Research that’s key to investment

Broll Research specialises in converting property data into market knowledge, providing clients with decision-making research that spans the retail and commercial property sectors.

Broll’s research teams across sub-Saharan Africa enable the company to add value to clients’ portfolios, by partnering with them to make well-informed decisions and grow the performance of their investments.

In Mauritius average rental yields of 7.75% – 8% are being achieved within the retail market”

The Broll SADC Market Snippet Q1:2018 takes each of the countries in turn and presents an easily readable and accessible six-part picture to guide the investor on property market conditions in each country.

Investors get the big picture

By extracting data such as GDP alongside ease of doing business rankings, as well as office rentals and yields, there emerges an absolutely fascinating picture tailor-made for investors. As an example –

Country

Real GDP Annual Growth Rate (%)

Real GDP per Capita/ US $

Ease of

Doing

Business

2018

(Rank/190)

Commercial Market

Prime Net Achieved Rent (US$/m²/month)

Average Yield (%)

Average Vacancy Rate (%)

Botswana

4.3

7,767

81

10

8-9

N/A

Madagascar

5.0

429

162

14

14

20

Malawi

4.4

492

110

10

9

20

Mauritius

4.0

10,568

25

13

8.5-9

4-10

Mozambique

4.8

528

138

28

9.5

65

Namibia

3.1

5,935

106

15-18

9

2

South Africa

2.0

7,571

82

15-17.5

8-9

5-15

The report is packed with a wealth of critical data for investors and decision-makers. Taking a closer look at a particular country in the report, for example Mauritius, one finds a country of 1.3 million people, rating well on the democracy index, which is managing to keep corruption levels at bay and is high on the best-countries-for- business index. This ranks it as a favourable location in the SADC region in which to do business.

Mauritius with 58.6% of the population urbanised, intense mobile phone usage at 142 phones per 100 people, internet access with 46.2 users per 100 people and a Real GDP annual growth rate of 4.0%, offers potential for investors and developers. Asking rents are being achieved within the retail market with average yields of 7.75% – 8% being evident. The average yield for offices is generally a bit higher at 8.5% – 9% and demand within the market is forecast to be stable with supply increasing over the next 6 months.

The Broll SADC Market Snippet 2018 is an outstanding guide for retail and commercial property investors, packed with useful data and statistics that will make decision-making that much easier.

To download the “SADC Market Snippet 2018” report go to www.broll.com/publications

Tibani Shopping Centre to boost Limpopo economy

Tibani Shopping Centre to boost Limpopo economy

Take 34 000 households that have to walk or, if they are lucky, ride kilometres to the nearest formal retail facilities. Then multiply by five to get the number of people in this predicament. And there you have it – a community of 170 000 people in the catchment area of Tibani in Polokwane, with no convenient access to formal shopping. Then and only then, can one see the positive impact the building of an 11 500m² shopping centre will have on the lives and pockets of its potential customers, while offering an excellent trading opportunity to the retail industry.

Tibani Shopping Centre, which is due to open in August 2018, is being developed by GMI Property Group with Retail Network Services as the retail and leasing specialists to the project.

The centre is situated 70km from Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus) along the R567 near Tibanefontein, one of the villages which forms part of the cluster making up the rural Tibani area. The nearest major town is Polokwane, 60km away.

500 residential stands are planned next to the shopping centre site in Tibanefontein. This project is known as the Juno Demarcation Project and is under the auspices of the Department of Housing. Such a development will greatly facilitate the creation of a prominent node at the proposed site, together with complementary facilities. In addition, a formal taxi rank is located at the junction between the R567 and Main Road, not far from Tibanefontein Village. The rank serves the various villages in the area, thereby creating awareness of and exposure to the shopping centre site.

Tibani Shopping Centre has been designed over one level with 52 shops and close on 400 parking bays.

Shoprite and Cashbuild are the anchor tenants with Shoprite planning a spacious and comprehensive 3 000m² store. The balance of the tenant mix will offer more convenience shopping as well as a selection of popular fast food choices.

Well-known retail brands opening in the centre include Ackermans, Tekkie Town, Furn 4 U, Russells, Sleepmasters, AutoZone, AlphaPharm, Alera Hair, Checkers Liquor, Jet, Pep, Pep Cell and Capitec. Food outlets ChesaNyama, KFC, The Fish and Chip Co and Debonairs Pizza will appeal to the strong youth base in the area.

Employment in the centre’s catchment area is mostly formal thereby ensuring steady incomes derived from the formal sector. The development itself will also provide employment opportunities.

“Tibani Shopping Centre will bring sorely-needed modern retail facilities to people restricted to rural shopping options unless they are prepared to make the long commute to the nearest town,” says Gavin Tagg, CEO of Retail Network Services. “The centre will also provide a safe and pleasant meeting place for the Tibani community.”

For more information please contact Retail Network Services on 
 +27 11 807 6995  |   leasing@rns.co.za  |   www.rns.co.za

Ancora – changing South Africa one youth at a time

Ancora – changing South Africa one youth at a time

Mall of the North West is located along the N14 between the Vryburg CBD and Kuruman. Established nationals and a strong anchor will cement this development as a one-stop destination, servicing all income groups. The centre opens in 2020.

Known as the professionals in unlocking retail potential, Ancora Group has a profound 360 degree retail and leasing capability – and an unusual mission

The story continues…

In our previous discussion with the CEO of Ancora Group, Marianka Victor, in June 2017 Shopping & Retail SA shared the erudite vision of this retail specialist group and its mentor-driven internship programme.

Today we delve even deeper, learning more about the team, its passion to share knowledge and grow people – and we follow the development of the current interns and reflect on the success of the recently ‘graduated’ interns – coupling this to the continued exponential growth of the Group.

The Ancora team
Front Row: Linda Mzana – Office Administrator; Marianka Victor – CEO; Bianca Peens – Retail Leasing Specialist; Bevan Greybe – Retail Leasing Specialist; Samu Khumalo – Marketing Specialist
Second row: Werner Victor – Financial and Operations Director; Aaliyah McKay – Lease Admin Manager; Lesego Kwatlhai – Marketing Intern; Meryl Bessesar – Leasing Executive; Kim van Gils – Legal Advisor
Back Row: Matimba Baloyi – Leasing Intern; Keith van Dyk – Professional Accountant

Background

The Ancora Group, founded by Marianka Victor in 2016, offers its clients in the retail sector a full spectrum service. With the primary focus being on leasing, this 360 degree scope encompasses research and feasibility right through to centre design and collaboration with architects, partnerships with developers, tenant mix selection and placement of national tenants and brands.

The Group is active across the country, from Limpopo to the Western Cape, Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal.

Their team also offers detailed professional advice to potential franchisees and retailers, analysing viability, best location and related market factors.

The staff of the Ancora Group comprises 12 people, all of whom are under the age of 40.

Feasibility

Ancora’s key offering is a one month basic viability study of the development, in which Ancora examines preparation requirements and undertakes market research for a proposed retail development in order to arrive at an implementation strategy. At this point a Go/No-Go decision can be taken. “We can then very quickly tell the property owner or landlord – as well as potential tenants – of the viability or otherwise of the project,” says Marianka.

Test the market before you spend money”

It’s crucial to have a vision for the area,” she continues. “And I travel a lot to see potential retail properties at first-hand, as land only means something to a developer if it is paired with a scheme.”

Research undertaken on each project by Ancora is essential to enable informed decision-making. For example, timing for the project may be favourable for immediate commencement – or research may show that it may be preferred to put the development on hold for up to four or more years before implementation of the scheme.

Ancora will also recommend and collaborate closely with the architects, quantity surveyors and project managers appointed to the development through to project completion.

Ancora also runs a detailed feasibility study on the property in order to understand the yield required to develop a property in the current market. The team will look at various alternative income solutions which increases the bottom line for developers, such as media, fibre and solar. Having fostered strong relationships with national retailers, Ancora understands the rentals per tenant, per demographical area. The client will then have at its disposal all the knowledge required to make a realistic decision on whether the development will be feasible or not as well as actually having tested the market with prospective tenants.

Many little things make projects successful – right down to defining the shopping centre entrances and positioning of stores and restaurants. We bring in national and local tenants and focus on creating strong business opportunities,” explains Marianka.

On the operational side, Finlay Mall Leasing, a division of Ancora Group, manages all aspects of leasing, advising property owners and landlords which tenants are most suited to the region and the centre and how much space should be allocated to each.

As part of its integrated leasing services, Ancora provides expert and professional assistance to clients in facilitating the conclusion of lease agreements on behalf of its clients, including the negotiation of lease agreements with national tenants and the formulation of hybrid lease agreements. In addition, the company also manages acquisitions, including the sale of shopping centres and collaborates closely with a host of well-known national brands.

In addition, Ancora’s Retail Partners division has the depth and capability to negotiate favourable deals for tenants. One of Ancora’s many inherent strengths is building close relationships with its tenants, taking them under its wing by providing ongoing and personal advice and guidance.

Importantly, this division works closely with the developer and tenant in creating a win-win scenario in the lease agreement. To achieve this the developer meets the tenants’ returns, thus encouraging long term occupancy and minimising losses resulting from tenant turnover. The result is deals which are mutually beneficial to both parties, a stable tenant base – and a successful centre.

Nurturing new talent into the retail industry

It is against this strength and background that Marianka operates her youth mentorship programme, in which Ancora selects graduates with a passion for retail and prepares them for a career in retail and leasing management.

First and foremost is my passion to identify young, ambitious talent and nurture them into the real world of retail operations through our internship programme,” says Marianka. “This is achieved through experience in our business which offers the ideal platform, complete with our directors’ and managers’ hands-on mentorship.”

Marianka Victor, CEO of the Ancora Group, is passionate about training up our youth! It’s in her DNA.

Marianka firmly believes that when young professionals learn to be successful and realise their potential at an early age they will continue to be successful in life. She is passionate about training up our youth! It’s in her DNA.

Each year, Ancora’s core staff of five mentor and groom up to seven interns, each on a one-year internship, equipping them to go out into the retail environment with confidence to build their new careers.

This creates very exciting opportunities, not only for the interns, but for new and existing businesses in the retail sector.

Once the interns have completed their intensive 12-month hands-on internship, they have the exposure, capability and expertise that way surpasses that of many other job-seekers.

Our selection process all hinges on attitude, enthusiasm and ambition” explains Marianka. “We look for people who are hungry for success and have a keen drive with the goal of being ’the boss of the business’”.

Many young professionals in the field are over-priced and sometimes do not meet their employer’s expectations in terms of capability. And as there is a limited number of young people entering the market, we choose to groom them from scratch.”

One of our current interns has reached the stage where she is actually running three developments entirely on her own.”

The 50 000 m2 Umlazi Station Mall is positioned in the third largest township in South Africa. Extensive research has shown a high demand for the specific retail needs this Mall provides

The mentorship programme

Our aim throughout this internship programme is to ensure that each intern will be a success for the rest of his or her life. The business and life skills we instil in them are such that this will indeed be the case,” continues Marianka.

There are always at least three interns actively in progress at Ancora at any given time, receiving close guidance from the core team in the leasing, marketing and administration disciplines. The company is presently canvassing for a fourth intern in its leasing division.

Since the inception of this unique mentorship programme, no fewer than four series of interns have already “graduated” through the company.

As a working mother herself, Marianka has earned the respect of the captains of the retail sector, as well as of the staff surrounding her in this exemplary business. “We lead by example,” she says, “and we convey to all our interns that by following your dream you will also be a better parent, especially the moms. It may be hard to do with kids but it is certainly possible and most rewarding.”

Our main objective is to provide our interns with the correct advice and skills to achieve success, and to this end we offer a platform to help our graduates into responsible positions within the industry.

Lesego Kwatlhai – Marketing Intern

Lesego Kwatlhai

As an ambitious and goal-driven young lady who is passionate about marketing design, Lesego is a firm believer in the power of a strong concept with an unexpected execution – challenging herself to explore any given task. Lesego has graduated with a Diploma in Computer-Based Graphic Development in 2016 from Rosebank College, and is a wonderful and fresh new addition to the team.

Matimba Baloyi – Leasing Intern

Matimba Baloyi

As a young professional who works independently, Matimba holds a BSc. Urban and Regional Planning degree from Wits University. He is passionate about new developments, having co-ordinated various projects as a Junior Town Planner and freelancing on property-related projects along the way. Matimba’s interests include career networking, and he loves indulging in his favourite sport and music in his spare time. His personal drive to see a project through to completion is what motivates him to look at creative solutions.

Ancora – a leading SA award winning Group

In 2017 Finlay was nominated for the Standard Bank Top Woman Award and has been nominated again for the same award for 2018.

In 2016 Marianka Victor was announced as the Regional Winner – Gauteng of the SA Women in Property Awards:

  • Young achiever Award: This award highlights the outstanding achievement of a young female professional who has contributed to the organisation’s positive success and performance through innovative strategies and solutions. This is a woman to watch – who has shown great potential to lead, has a proven track record, excellent business acumen, strategic foresight, and will be recognised for her contribution to the economy and growing employment in their enterprise.

Ancora Group comprises the following three companies:

Finlay Mall Leasing: managing all aspects of leasing of developments

Ancora Retail Partners: representing the tenants

Ancora Alternative Income: focuses on generating additional and/or alternative income for property owners

Ancora Group offers developers and retailers comprehensive 360 degree retail solutions – from leasing off-plan developments and existing shopping centres to tenant representation, legal assistance, alternative income solutions and acquisitions. The Ancora team has gained vast experience in the local market, grounded by in-depth knowledge and insight into the retail development industry and the communities they work in. Whether you’re a local or global organisation, landlord, developer or tenant, you can be sure of expert solutions to all your retail property needs.

Following her appointment as Managing Director of Finlay Mall Leasing in 2016, Marianka Victor proceeded to acquire the company and subsequently established the Ancora Group.

Volta Mall in Lenasia has a GLA of 10 000 m2 and opens in October 2019

SA Retail sector under siege

31 May 2018

SA Retail sector under siege

Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee and Anneliese Burgess, author of the recently published book HEIST!
Photo: John Thomé

Consensus is that should cash crime be allowed to continue unchallenged and unabated at present levels there is no doubt that very soon it will begin have a greater and more profound direct negative impact on all aspects of the retail sector – fundamentally changing our daily lives and freedom of movement.

Presently shopping centres and cash points are high profile targets, where heavily armed brazen criminals, often in gangs of up to 15 to 20 strong, raid crowded shopping centres heedless of life or damage to property.

  • Retailers & businesses have a 1 in 4 chance of armed robbery.
  • 72% of retailers have manual cash handling processes
  • Only 28% of retailers have some form of modern automated cash management system
  • Cash in Transit robberies have increased by 43%

There’s been six arrests in one week in what appears to be renewed resolve from the police, who have even apparently compiled an ‘interest list’ of more than 122 suspects. Is the net at last closing in on cash robberies?

Not good enough – said a panel of experts at a press briefing in May. “What’s needed are arrests and successful prosecutions of syndicates, based on intelligence-sourced information and proper co-ordination between investigators, prosecutors and the courts,” said the panel.

Panel members at the recently held cash-in-transit seminar:
Richard Phillips – joint CEO of Cash Connect – Yusuf Abramjee, Anti-crime activist, Anneliese Burgess – author of the recently published book HEIST! and Dr Mahlogonolo Thobane – who did her masters dissertation on CIT robberies
Photo: Brendan Croft

One member of the panel correctly terms this level of cash crime a form of terrorism. “As communities and business we have to become directly involved. These people are known to someone, somewhere and need to be flushed out – their photographs published as wanted criminals. Many of these individuals are actually known to the police,” he continued.

There have been over 140 heists in the past 140 days and retailers have a one in 4 chance of being hit, said Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect, which manages money on behalf of the retail sector. But we shouldn’t ignore other cash robberies – 207 non-residential burglaries every day and 57 armed robberies at retail outlets.

CIT’s should not be seen in isolation – the foot soldiers may change, but the gangsters and syndicates are the same.”

The spectacular nature of CIT heists attracts attention and dominates front page news.

Cash is critical to our economy and cash crime, of which CIT heists form a part, is the real issue here

84 per cent of all transactions are conducted in cash, with R136-billion in circulation at any given time, moving from the Reserve Bank and distributed to the consumer via banks and ATMS on CIT vehicle networks.

There are 59 500 cash collections per day and 2144 armoured vehicles on the road – moving targets and CIT heists aren’t new to the South African criminal landscape.

Dedicated police task teams

There were 467 CIT heists in 2006/7, which were brought under control, thanks to dedicated police task teams. In 2016, the figure stood at 278 and jumped significantly to 378 in 2017.

According to Dr Mahlogonolo Thobane, who did her masters dissertation on CIT robberies, this breed of criminal is at the top of the food chain. They are regarded as heroes and providers in their communities and maintain a certain lifestyle, even boasted on social media. They operate in splinter groups and are recruited for their specific expertise: as drivers, or shooters – known as ‘madubula’ – and ‘off-ramp’ operators who wait nearby and drive the getaway vehicle.

Dr Thobane interviewed 40 cash robbers in prison and said of these only five didn’t consult sangomas, from whom they obtained muthi to become ‘invisible’. Some muthi is hallucinogenic, giving robbers an exaggerated sense of reality. Prison, she said, was no deterrent to cash robbers, merely an interruption to their criminal careers. After being released, most took up where they had left off, which questions the rehabilitative role of prison. Some robberies, she said, are even planned inside prison.

Anneliese Burgess, author of the recently published book HEIST! said very little stolen cash was ever recovered. Of the R465 million taken in the ten heists she details in her book – all of which were prosecuted – only R63 million was recovered and the police stole R14 million of this. Robbers had little fear of being caught because invariably some aspect of the criminal justice system would fail.

The solution, panellists agreed, was not only for cash companies to increase security measures by further reinforcing vehicles, or by finding other innovative ways to guard cash. Although the technology is available, it’s simply too expensive for an industry that needs to balance what retailers can afford with the cost of cash collection and maintenance. Instead policing and crime intelligence needs to improve.

Crime specialist Dr Johan Burger from the Institute for Security Studies said crack police squads, like the Cato Manor Unit in KZN, which had helped bring down armed robberies to an all-time low in the province before it was disbanded in 2012, needed to be reintroduced.

Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said CIT robbers were currently able to run rings around over-stretched police, precisely because there are no dedicated teams to deal with sophisticated criminals. CIT heists are difficult to police because cash is transported over vast distances and there’s no way of knowing where they’ll strike at any given time. One minute there’ll be a heist on a busy Gauteng highway, the next on some rural byway in the Eastern Cape, or Mpumalanga.

Dr Thobane said research from incarcerated robbers indicated that there was no way to commit these cash robberies without inside information and police involvement.

They all have insiders and intelligence from within the industry…they have even used police cars as getaway vehicles because they knew no one would stop and search them.”

Dr Burger pointed out that there had been a sharp increase in all aggravated robbery crimes – ATM bombings; kidnappings and cash heists – but said Police Minister Bheki Cele was taking the right approach by speaking to the right people. With the appointment of a permanent Crime Intelligence head and a new head of the Hawks, things could begin changing.

But the impact will be slow – there’s plenty of ‘internal fixing’ that needs to happen within the police. We need dynamism. We need priority committees to deal with priority crimes.”

Re-establish the Justice Cluster

Minister of Police Bheki Cele, who is widely commended as the “right man for the job”, is meeting the police national management forum on June 4 to make “serious pronouncements” on how police will “turn around the crime situation in this country”. “South Africans soon will be safe,” said Minister Cele.
Image: TimesLive

Phillips agreed: “There are solutions out there, we just need a coordinated response. We are waiting with huge anticipation to find out what plans Minister Cele has to combat cash robberies. But my call is that the Minister should consider the broader issue of cash crime as it affects, Banks, ATMS, Retail and Cash in Transit.

Cash crime, is a crime against the economy and thus the state. In my opinion, the only way to take control is for all components of the Justice Cluster to work together in a coordinated approach. It worked well once in the ’90s and there’s no reason it shouldn’t work again,” he said.

Infographic – Cash & Crime

Into Africa – Choppies ups the ante

Into Africa – Choppies ups the ante

Choppies’ expansion programme in Southern Africa and East Africa is in full swing

Choppies Enterprises Ltd is expanding its presence into new regions as it recently begun operations in Namibia. The grocery retailer is also gaining market share in South Africa. Namibia is the eighth country in the Southern African region where Choppies expanding its operations.

Currently, the group has operations in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya Tanzania and Mozambique. Choppies Enterprises Ltd is listed on both Botswana Stock Exchange and the JSE.

During the six months to end December the group opened 33 new stores, to take its total to 235 stores in the continent, the company said recently. This number is compared to 31 December 2016.

It generates 40% of its revenue in Botswana and it reports in Pula currency. In the results, it reported a 22% increase in revenue to P5.8billion (R7.15bn), while gross profit was up by 23% to P1.1bn.

Despite the subdued economic environment in the country (Botswana), we maintained our market share and continued to improve our efficiencies,” the group said.

In South Africa, the group said significant improvement in the North West stores resulted in like-for-like revenue growth of 43%.

This growth has brought us to profitability in this region and we expect this trend to continue in the second half of financial year 2018.

“Segmental revenue increased by 43% and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITD) was up by 33.5% compared to the corresponding period,” the group said.

In South Africa it is taking on retail giants Shoprite and Pick & Pay, which have also been expanding their presence in the rest of Africa.

In KwaZulu-Natal Choppies acquired a further eight stores effective from November 1, 2017. “Increased benefits of scale and other efficiencies will improve further as we expand our footprint in this region.” The total retail space for the group increased by 17%to 340 973 m².

Zimbabwe also recorded encouraging improvement, and the company said it continues to perform better in that region despite the depressed economic conditions. “Revenue grew by 25%and EBITDA by 12% as compared to last year.

It said overall performance had improved in the other regions, but it had yet to achieve profitability.

The opening of new stores and distribution centres in other regions is in accordance with strategies adopted by the board. In the six-month period, three stores were added in Zambia,” the group said. The group did not declare a dividend as it declares it once a year on annual results.

Food for thought: How big is the Recycling Industry?

Food for thought: How big is the Recycling Industry?

South Africa’s waste industry is massive and diverse covering a wide range of different sectors and industries. Shopping centres, restaurants and all forms of retail are expected to – and indeed are – playing an ever increasing and responsible role in the recycling of food and other waste to international standards.

This article aims to provide our readers with the Bigger Picture of recycling in order to instil a better understanding of the importance of recycling at every level.

In terms of job creation the recycling industry is growing rapidly. A mere twenty years ago there was no recycling industry and now it appears that in terms of employment it will shortly be bigger than the waste management industry.

Few people are aware of the difference between the industries let alone the complex structures involved. The waste management industry collects and transports waste to various locations, usually landfills. It is capital intensive because of the high cost of purchasing or leasing specialized vehicles. On top of that are high maintenance and labour costs. It survives on high volumes and low margins.

In the main, the recycling industry avoids the capital costs and is generally manpower intensive instead. It might be more efficient to use imported equipment but our markets are too small and the distances too great to make it viable. Besides, we have an abundance of labour and a shortage of jobs.

The latest statistics show that the waste management industry employs 29 833 people and generates more than 15 billion turnover per annum*. The recycling industry presently employs fewer people and generates less turnover. But all that is changing.

The formal recycling sector comprises: collectors, wholesalers, traders, processors, consultants, and specialists in every material. This diverse group of people in turn support an industry which builds and maintains equipment such as bins and balers. Financiers and investors are involved as are some lobby groups. Not only is the industry diverse in skills but also in approaches to business which range from government to private to informal.

Some specialist recyclers, like Smart Waste, are expanding their services assisting organizations obtain permits and licences, develop chains of safe custody and design and implement their own recycling programs and waste management plans

Collectors vary from large companies, which recycle on sites and operate recycling facilities, through many smaller companies – often operating bakkies with a few labourers – and include street and landfill pickers. Middlemen operate buyback centres, and large warehouses where cardboard, paper and plastic are delivered by large trucks to be baled and shipped off to factories.

Others re-engineer the materials, recycling old glass into new glass, converting plastic into re-engineered pellets, clothing, tables and chairs and a host of other products. Polystyrene is transformed into roof tiles and picture frames.

Farmers recycle large portions of their product not sold and convert grape seed into oil. The commercial sector is becoming more adventurous in finding ways of disposing of expired products and by-products. Food and engine oil can be reprocessed or converted into bio-diesel. Wood can be repurposed into all manner of articles.

Traders make up an important part of the industry, buying and selling excess waste products. There is an online trading platform which works very well. Researchers collect and analyse data and put out papers. Some events and conferences are aimed solely at the recycling industry.

Steel is the easiest material to collect and recycle and scrap yards require a section for themselves. Having been around the longest, scrap yards operate independently and don’t generally associate with the rest of the recycling industry.

There are areas of specialization: vermiculture (worm farms), composting and pyrolysis. A new comer is fly farming as well as a waste to energy plant. Some people find ways of recycling dog faeces and a myriad other materials.

The majority of the recyclers are already organized into industry bodies and others are in the process of doing so. These bodies offer platforms providing support, information, training and market intelligence to their members and the public.

What makes it difficult to calculate the numbers employed in the recycling sector is the informal sector. This may be defined as those people who are unable to work in the formal sector or who choose not to. Never mind their status they provide a service – not only in SA but in large parts of the world.

With so much innovation and the energy being put into recycling world-wide it makes sense that the government sees recycling as a major opportunity for job creation. The number of jobs as well as the fact that the jobs are suited to unskilled workers and women make it an ideal job creation target.

There are several consultants and lawyers who specialize in the environmental laws, licenses and permits. Some specialist recyclers, like Smart Waste, are expanding their services assisting organizations obtain permits and licences, develop chains of safe custody and design and implement their own recycling programs and waste management plans.

The large number of players raises the question whether the sector is already overcrowded. In some areas it is; too many players chase the same few clients. However, economic cycles aside, the sector is still growing strongly as a result of a growing population, a growing middle class and an awareness that everyone needs to recycle and not waste any more.

Taken as a whole the recycling industry is huge and growing. Watch this space.

*GreenCape Waste Economy Market Intelligence Report 2017

Shopping centres need to buy into compliant fire-prevention strategies

Shopping centres need to buy into compliant fire-prevention strategies

Imagine a fire breaking out in a densely-packed shopping centre. Are you sure you know where the nearest emergency exit is, or even if that particular shopping centre has the necessary equipment and evacuation planning in place? ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk argues that many shopping centres are not compliant in this regard at all.

ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk

With about 13 shopping centre fire-risk evaluations under his belt to date, van Niekerk is well-placed to comment on the regulatory and health-and-safety requirements for smaller shopping centres in particular, such as strip malls. He comments that the main reason that many of these smaller malls are not compliant is either because they were built a long time ago, or have had tenants leave and new ones move in.

The average shopping centre is very much an environment in flux, van Niekerk adds. However, if anchor tenants occupy a space in excess of 2 500 m2, then sprinkler systems have to be installed. Another problem in terms of fire risk is that, with constraints on storage space, retailers often exceed the stacking-height limitation. “We also find that basic requirements such as the correct number of fire hydrants and fire-hose reels are not adhered to.”

The recognition time for a fire in a shopping centre is 30 seconds to five minutes

Even if fire-hose reels have been installed, the length of the hoses themselves is often inadequate, especially if the effective radius of the reel is obstructed by racking and shelving, for example. Proper fire-detection systems are therefore the first, and best, line of defence for shopping centres in terms of fire prevention.

If you do not detect a fire in time, and cannot evacuate people fast enough, it can be a major issue resulting in fatalities,” van Niekerk warns. Shops larger than 250 m2 in area are required to have manual fire-detection systems in place, while shops in excess of 500 m2 require automatic fire detection and emergency evacuation systems. This also needs to be linked to the shopping centre’s building management system, so that patrons and other tenants can be forewarned timeously in the event of any emergency.

Even if such systems are installed, the fire panels are usually either faulty, or the emergency indicators are ignored. This leads to the critical issue of smoke ventilation, which is mandatory for any enclosure larger than 500 m2. It is essential that such smoke is contained to at least 2.5 m above the highest occupied level, in order to allow evacuees to see where they are going, and for there to be sufficient oxygen as well.

Van Niekerk points out that the recognition time for a fire in a shopping centre ranges anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. This means that clearly-demarcated evacuation routes are essential. Buildings without sprinkler systems have to allow for evacuation within 45 m, while the common escape path in multi-storey buildings is 30 m. This escape path increases to 60 m in buildings that are equipped with sprinkler systems.

Many shopping centres do not comply with basic fire protection requirements

Emergency routes have to have concrete floors and roofs and brick walls, with fire doors giving access to these protected thoroughfares. Buildings of more than three storeys require two emergency exit routes. If a designated area has more than 60 occupants, push-bar panic bolts are needed for such fire doors.

Van Niekerk highlights that such emergency doors are often either locked, or protected by additional security doors that themselves are locked, thereby preventing escape in the event of an emergency. It is a legal requirement that such exits remain unlocked or, if they are locked, can be opened with a single movement. Security doors may be installed, but have to be locked in the open position while the building is occupied. Another hazard is that emergency exits are often used as areas for storage overflow, while in-store branding can obscure emergency signage.

We also find that occupants tend to respond better to a verbal command than what to a siren, which means it is an excellent idea for a shopping centre to have a functional public-address system in place,” van Niekerk points out. In addition, it is important that all staff are trained in emergency evacuation procedures, and familiarise themselves with the general layout of the shopping centre so they can assist evacuees in the event of an emergency.

Another regulation is that shops within malls are to be separated by fire walls, which have to extend to the underside of the roof itself. In terms of glass shopfronts, the glass edges have to be separated by at least 1 m to prevent flames from jumping the gap between shops. “Shops often do not comply in this regard because they are simply separated by dry walling, or brick walls that extend to ceiling height,” van Niekerk points out. Any ceiling voids higher than 800 mm require fire-detectors to be installed if the shop is equipped with a fire detection system, as well as void sprinklers if there are sprinklers installed in the mall.

ASP Fire is able to conduct fire-risk assessments and Rational Fire Designs for shopping centres in order to determine whether the actual fire load exceeds the installed fire-protection system design. “We are able to advise a client accordingly, and assist them with a suitable fire-protection strategy and system design to cater for the likely worst-case scenario that could be faced in the course of normal operations,” van Niekerk elaborates. ASP Fire offers turnkey fire protection projects, which means it can also supply, install, and maintain fire-protection equipment in buildings.

Retailing Moonshine: Silver Creek Distillery launches new craft gin duo

Retailing Moonshine: Silver Creek Distillery launches new craft gin duo

This craft spirit exudes the raciness of the 1920’s Prohibition Era

South Africa’s one-of-a-kind Silver Creek Craft Distillery has just launched two new craft gins produced in the same style as gins of America’s notorious Prohibition era.

As with the already-famous range of fine, roof-liftin’ ‘shines, Prohibition Craft Gin and Prohibition Pink Gin are handmade in small batches – distilled to fine spirit from carefully selected grains.

Mark Taverner

Prohibition was a ban imposed on liquor through the campaigns of America’s ultra-conservative Temperance Movement of the early 1900s,” says Silver Creek Craft Distillery founder and chief distiller Mark Taverner. “The ban in 1920 created a very fertile environment for the illegal liquor trade and many entertaining tales of gin-making by the light of the moon and lively underground “speak-easies”. Business flourished for gang bosses and the likes of Al Capone made a fortune during this time. By today’s measure, it is estimated that he would have been worth over R16-billion.

Prohibition only lasted for 13 years, ended by overwhelming objection. As you can imagine, this was time to party and everyone rose to the occasion. To this day, its death knell in 1933 is widely celebrated.

To salute those who fought so gallantly to have the law revoked, our Prohibition Gin is made in the same traditional style as back then,” says Taverner.

We like to think of this particular style of gin as helping folk dance since 1933!”

In setting off on the gin trail, Silver Creek’s distillers put their minds to making a clear craft gin in the New World style – fresh, crisp and happy; not too dry and infused with traditional botanicals of juniper, coriander, lemon, angelica and cinnamon. “These would have been used in the time of Prohibition,” says Taverner.

The resulting Prohibition Craft Gin, bottled at 43% alcohol, is a versatile spirit ideally suited to be further enhanced with botanicals, fresh fruit and herbs and good quality craft tonics. In the glass, Prohibition Craft Gin offers the immediate impression of balance with a fresh, crisp burst of citrus followed by lingering juniper and a hint of cinnamon. Citrus is again prominent on the dry palate, gently supported by the taste of juniper. The finish is defined by a crisp, clean smoothness that lingers with an earthy character.

The Prohibition Pink Gin, also at 43%, is Silver Creek’s Craft Gin further infused with raspberries and blueberries, with a touch of hibiscus flowers and rose water. The result is a refreshing drink that is both aromatic, flavoursome and romantic.

To us, the aromas of Prohibition Pink Gin conjure up images of an exotic eastern bazaar. There’s tantalizing sweet Turkish delight and crushed pepper corns,” says Taverner. On the palate, it offers a fine balance of sweetness, spice and zest that follows through in a long, satisfying finish.

Both new Prohibition Gins are sold in a distinctive traditional bottle, complete with finger-loop for easy carrying.

Tucked away in an old mine building in Gauteng’s Randfontein, the state-of-the-art Silver Creek Craft Distillery does everything by hand – from mashing and fermentation to distillation and bottling. This process allows for extra special care, which is why every bottle is signed by the distiller.

It quickly rose to fame last year with the launch of Silver Creek Distillery’s moonshines, boosted by a five-medal victory at the 2017 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.

The unique Southern Moonshine collection of high-quality sipping drinks is led by the flagship Clear Shine; and, Charred Shine, which is similar in flavour to a good bourbon. Alongside them, there’s a range of flavoured ‘shines: Apple Pie Moonshine; Bon Fire Moonshine, with a zip of hot cinnamon; Salted Caramel Moonshine; Chocolate Moonshine and the all new Margarita Moonshine.

The new Prohibition Gins retail at around R360 a bottle and are available at selected bars, restaurants and liquor outlets around the country.

Silver Creek Craft Distillery founder and chief distiller Mark Taverner knows how to have a good time. Much of his working life has been dedicated to hospitality and it was on this journey that he fell in love with American iconography. During a Harley-Davidson motorcycle tour to the USA in 2014 he noted the rise of craft distilleries and the legal production of moonshine. After two and a half years of study and research – including a stint at Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky – Taverner decided to set up his own craft distillery in Gauteng. And so Silver Creek, its Southern Moonshine and Prohibition Gins were born.