Cygma hands over SACS for outstanding hosting fees

Internet Service Provider,  Cygma has commenced with court action to claim liquidated damages from SHEQAfrica Corporate Services(Pty)Ltd for outstanding hosting fees.

This comes after The High Option Ltd. withdraw their Line of Credit to SACS. THO has been guaranteeing the hosting fees for 12 months and has withdrawn its LOC with effect 21 March 2021. This meant that Cygma no longer has any payment guarantee, and exercised their rights in law.

SACS, owned by a group of Safety professionals, has been a dismal failure since it started.

SACS has also not filed their annual return with the CIPC indicating the company is in dire straits.

SACS CEO, Nitesh Amersi, could not be reached for comment on the latest development.

We will attempt to update this story once we have an official response from Amersi.

SAIOSH Abandons fight for First Aid Providers.

Saiosh Health and Safety Training Advisory Committee (SHASTAC) Chair Person, Graham Pearson has advised that First aid levels 1 t0 3 will be null and void from 1 April 2021.

Any person holding such certificate will not be allowed to practice first aid. Your “qualification” has lapsed. Ask for a refund if you completed yours less than two years ago.

What now?

As First Aid Level 1, 2 and 3 standards were issued and approved by the DEL, these courses will cease to exist after 31 March 2021 in terms of the DEL’s Notice 682 of 2020. In terms of workplace requirements, as directed by GSR 3.4, any certificates issued for First Aid Level 1, 2 and 3 courses from 1 April 2021 will have no legal standing, as DEL recognised training will be dealt with by the QCTO or their QAPs.


“Old” DEL Approved Training Providers

“Old” providers that have not successfully been accredited with the QCTO or SETA by 31 March 2021, will need to stop training as they no longer have approval with the DEL. Close up shop or drastic reduction in income.


“QCTO/ SETA Accredited & DEL approved” Training Providers

Current accredited and approved providers can continue, providing only Skills Programmes/ Unit Standard training only, which include:

• US 119567 – Perform basic life support and first aid procedures.
• US 120496 – Provide risk-based primary emergency care/first aid in the workplace.
• US 376480 – Provide first aid as an advanced first responder.

 

Considering the above approach, there are many challenges such as the excessive expense to providers and employers, the exceptionally long delays in achieving accreditation, the lack of consultation and academic examination of the existing three SAQA Unit Standard’s Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria, the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes.

 

In addition there is the hurdle of the pre-training learner acceptance criteria i.e. Learning assumed to be in place and Recognition of Prior Learning, the convoluted processes of Facilitation, Formative and Summative assessments, the pitfalls of the Learner Portfolio of Evidence submission, the external Assessment, Moderation, SETA Verification, the issuing of the Statement of Results, and total hours required by the learner to achieve the required outcomes prior to a certificate of Competency being issued.

 

Finally, there is no expiry date on SAQA Unit standards as its learning completed. How is the matter of “Refresher” training going to be dealt with?
Hopefully the QCTO and/or DEL will address these questions as time moves on.


APPLICATION AS A QUALITY ASSURANCE PARTNER (QAP).

Saiosh along with IWH will continue trying to apply to the QCTO to recognise our proposed OHS regulatory Skills Programmes / Courses along with being a QAP for these programmes. Thank you for the support received in this regard.
It is going to be very tough on the First Aid Training Industry and employers to meet the GSR 3.4 with Unit Standards, however Saiosh will keep you updated to the further developments.


Graham Pearson
Chairperson: Saiosh Health and Safety Training Advisory Committee (SHASTAC)

For you as employee it means you may die.

Traditionally, first aid training was regarded as the immediate support of life until help arrives.

Prior to this new hogwash requirement anyone with First Aid Level One could perform CPR., the immediate difference between life and death. But as labour is cheap in SA, the government can replace anyone in a manner of months. If you die at work, because nobody could “legally” perform CPR, your family will be taken care of and your job will go so someone else.

This is just another “transformational” requirement in correcting laws that has been working for decades.

SAIOSH received kick in the butt from Government

The South African Institution of Occupational Safety & Health as been rubbed a bit of egg on the face after its application for extension of the March ’22 deadline has been denied.

The Institution applied for an extension of the deadline for First Aid Training Organisations to register with the Department of Higher Education in order to keep their approval with the Department of Employment and Labour.

The Chief Inspector of OHS at DEOL responded that it published the first notice in August 2017, whereby first aid training organizations were informed of the requirement to be accredited with Quality Assurance Bodies for first aid. Thus, for the past three years and more, the first aid training organizations have been aware of this process. It must also be noted that the period has been extended twice already since the first publication.

The engagement between your organization and QCTO is commendable and appreciated, but the Department has no control over that process to guarantee that by March 2022, the discussions will be finalized. Therefore, the request to further extend the period to March 2022 cannot be granted as the issue which you pointed out emanates on the side of the Department of Higher Education and its entities.

We are getting successful applications coming from the QCTO currently. Other administrative matter such as the delay in the uploading of students to the SAQA NRLD is outside the mandate of the Department of Employment and Labour.

Could this be Karma?

When the Development Agency of Safety and Health (DASH) tried the same thing with the Construction Regulations, it was apposed by SAFCEC and Master Builder’s OHS manager at the time.

The picture seems to be a bit bigger than the SAIOSH checklist vision.

The DEOL approves First Aid training in terms of General Safety Regulation 3(4) under the Occupational Safety Act of 1993. The approval is granted based on the fact that any other legislative and quality control requirements imposed on the industry has been met prior to such approval.

When the regulations was first published in 1986 it include the SA Red Cross, ST John’s Ambulance and the First Aid League as approved training providers.

It also provided that “any other organisation approved by the Chief Inspector” can be included in this list. At that time the then Department of Manpower had its own criteria for approving First Aid training providers.

As SA moved into a more open and transformative country many of the laws governing training has changed. And it was these changes that prevented the previously approved organisations from continuing without having to adopt to the changes.

SAIOSH took it upon themselves to tackle this, as it it’s not within their mandate under the profession they represent, to also represent the “soon to be barred” First Aid Training Organisations.

The Chief Inspector did however confirm that they are getting successful applications coming from the QCTO currently. So why extend the deadline any further?

Did SAIOSH do the same for Construction Health and Safety Registration? NO!

In stead they urged their members to get in line or get out of construction. No wonder very few of their executives are registered with the SACPCMP.

SAIOSH now intends, in terms of Section 35(3) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, to appeal against the Chief Inspector’s decision. But if egg on their face is not enough, they now would need to convince the Labour Court that it can make the decision.

The Labour Court does however not have jurisdiction over matters of Higher Education and the appeal will not succeed.

As an alternative SAIOSH may apply for a declaratory order from the High Court to determine if their appeal is warranted. But from the looks of it, SAIOSH is giving its “first aid” members a band-aid and will not achieve anything but to destroy their hope.

Their only other hope is to look at the Constitution, but as this is a matter of balancing of rights, the Institution will be making a bigger ass of themselves than already done.

The Notice SAIOSH is unhappy about was published in June 2020 and stated that all applications for approval from a person or organization who wants to provide First Aid Training approved by the Chief Inspector, as referred to in Regulation 3(4) of the General Safety Regulation published under Government Notice R1031 of 30 May 1986, will only be considered if it is accompanied by a valid accreditation document issued by the Quality Assurance Body that has been delegated the quality assurance responsibilities for First Aid unit standards by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), established in terms of section 261(1) of the Skills Development Amendment Act, 2008, and has been authorized by the Chief Inspector to carry out such accreditation.

Compliance in relation to the Accreditation with the Quality Assurance Bodies as mentioned above is extended until 31 March 2021. This notice is an extension of the previous notice which expired on 31 March 2020.

The second extension was due to the National Disaster Management Act. Yet SAIOSH is still not happy. Perhaps a permanent “Stay of Execution” is more to their liking, but as a professional body representative a group of people all to eager to stop a construction site for an administrative violation this reflects a great deal of hypocrisy.

Afterall, its just an Administrative requirement to get QCTO approval. So get it done or change direction.

10 year contract awarded to SACS for project in Western Cape

Sheqafrica has been awarded a 10 year contract for the provision of Construction Health and Safety Services in Swellendam in the Western Cape.

The contract, which amounts to construction projects of R750 million in total, requires Sheqafrica to appoint Agents, managers and officers for 8 projects over a 1o year period, the first of which is the construction of a R150million private hospital to commence in August 2022.

Sheqafrica will be involved in the latter 5 stages of construction, from Concept & Feasibility to close out and have called on interested persons to submit their fees via private tender. The private tender request did not receive any responses and we were forced to appoint a CSHA via direct sourcing. Two candidates were proposed by the professional team and we are in process to make a final appointment during March 2021.

Kobus Buckle, formally from Neil Miller Construction in Cape Town and Jacques van Graan of Mossel Bay were nominated. The final decision will be made after the client, The Smart Option JV,  has indicated its preference.

Nitesh Amersi, Managing Director of SACS, said, “We are extremely excited. For the first time since we took over Sheqafrica, there is a glimmer of hope that the business will at least make an impact.”

The contract also includes various residential, agri-tourism and retail projects in the Overberg region, and a few housing projects are still planned in the City of Cape Town, including Simons Town and Brackenfell.

SACS will work directly with The Smart Option JV, Pink Helios South Africa and possibly South Cape Resorts in the near future.

On the lack of response from the tenders, Amersi said “If you snooze, you lose!” but he added that the company will be changing its professional procurement strategy from a private tender to a RFQ system, which will allow us to select practitioners from a central supplier database.

More news will be released once the RFQ system is implemented.

SACS buys back the Sheqafrica.com domain name

Sheqafrica Corporate Services (SACS) have bought back its own domain name from the African Society for Health and Environmental Quality for $50, just 10 months after it was sold for $5 000.

If there ever was a case of bad timing, this must have been it because the Society have, like so many others on the planet, suffered severely under the COVID lock-down and have decided to close their doors. Sadly, the lock-down has also devalued the domain name from its original value to a mere $25.

SACS, as part of the Digital Properties Division (DPD) of The High Option Ltd. has made a strategic decision to take a fresh approach to the SHEQ Industry in the “new normal” world of work and will predominantly focus on the occupational risks associated with the fallout of the global pandemic.

Jessica van Zyl, the former editor of the magazine, and Projects Director at THO, confirmed that SACS have had serious logistical difficulties since March 2019.  One of the key issues was the lack of content contributors within the SHEQ fraternity. Many people are highly skilled in OHS but few have the writing skills at publisher level.

SACS sold Sheqafrica.com to the Society but then the lock-down started shortly thereafter. In an email sent two weeks ago, the webmaster was asked to shut down the site as they are closing permanently. They were just waiting for the domain name to expire.

SACS stepped in and bought it back for $50 and while the board is looking for a new jockey, they decided to re-invest in the business by changing the value proposition.

SACS CEO, Nitesh Amersi, has recently been appointed as the Managing Director of DPD and only time will tell if the Phoenix has enough energy to rise for the 6th time in just 4 years.

If there ever was one certainty in life, besides “thou shalt pay taxes”, it must be the fact that there is absolutely no direct return on investment in SHEQ publications focusing on South Africa.

SACS has been a zombie company since it opened, making just enough to pay the rent.

SACS’s shareholders were all too eager to invest in the company but all of them left. Sadly you will not see a single article or comment written by any of the people who owns the magazine.

Mr.  John Williams pulled out when someone told him he never heard the name Sheqafrica.com.

Mr. Cheslyn Koopman, requested a share buy-back six months after the company started, saying its not making money and causing a panic amongst major shareholders. He eventually settled at a discounted buy-back.

Mrs. Diane Swarts, one of the two last remaining shareholders were given the magazine for free, at her own request, and to date has made one contribution in the form of a downloadable Powerpoint Presentation on Hazardous Chemicals.

A few minority shareholders bought one or two shares at R300.

The Board of Directors of THO stepped in and shut down all the SHEQ Operations until SACS can come up with a Turn-around plan.

It sold the Cygma SHEQ brand to Pieter Lotz in Pretoria after the franchise failed to gain traction.

THO investors recently instructed SACS to shape up or ship out. The writing is on the wall and only time will tell if their turn-around strategy will gain the favor of investors.


SACS is the owner of a number of other business units, including Gravity Safety (Not in SA) and Health & Safety Central. Both were planned E-commerce stores in the wake of the COVID crises and will be coming up for sale in the near future.

 

 

Diane Swarts heads up Sheqafrica from October 2020

Durban – South Africa –  The High Option Ltd. as majority shareholder of SHEQafrica Corporate Services(Pty)Ltd, announced yesterday that Pietermaritzburg based SHEQ Consultant, Diane Swarts have been appointed as the General Manager for the business from October 2020.

SHEQafrica Corporate Services owns a number of brand names like The Safety Guys, The Safety Lady, and VeriSHEQ and focuses on Occupational Safety services in the SADC region.

Originally formed as SHEQafrica.com in 2007, the SHEQafrica brand name became well-known in safety circles, but after the founders sold it in 2016, it changed hands a few times in an attempt to turn it into an income generating entity. While it may have been better to turn it into a non-profit, the decision was made to shut it down completely.

Swarts is however hopeful that she would be able to bring the SHEQafrica brandname back into the fold, a vision that can only be achieved by the support of the Safety fraternity through active participation and advertising support.

SHEQafrica.com is no longer part of the business’ portfolio and is operated by the African Society for Health and Environmental Quality, a voluntary association focused on Sustainable Business Management.

THO is launching The Safety Lady in celebrating Women’s Month

Women in Safety can now own their own businesses and become a shareholder in The High Option Ltd.

As part of the company’s Women’s Month campaign, The High Option is donating R6 250 to every woman in Safety that joins their new franchised consulting firm; The Safety Lady.

“In a male dominated profession, with a gender imbalance of 34%, The Safety Lady is the only 100% women only franchise in the SHEQ industry and we are proud to take the lead in promoting our women in safety and the environment by offering female Safety practitioners a share in our business.” said Nitesh Amersi, director at The High Option Ltd. “In preparing for a Post-COVID world of work, it is imperative that we start focusing on paperless, contactless alternatives to Safety solutions, and The Safety Lady will be breaking the ground in developing safer alternatives for Safety Management Interventions.” he said.

The Safety Lady franchises are currently available for R12 500 of which the company will contribute 50% as a share-ownership program in the company and each franchisee will receive 500 shares in the public company.

Franchisees will be allowed to grow their businesses in the 9 provinces of South Africa and earn an income from their network of Safety Ladies while offering mentorship and promotional support to the female practitioners who join the various teams.

The good news for employers is that The Safety Lady will have a national footprint and a standard contract of engagement, which saves time and costs in Safety management services.

When the best man for the job is The Safety Lady!

To take advantage of the Early Bird Offer, visit The Safety Lady’s website for more information.

The Safety Guys are coming to SA!

The High Option Ltd. (THO) has announced a brand new service in South Africa called “The Safety Guys” and will be launching it during September 2020.  THO Director, Nitesh Amersi, made the announcement today, saying that “the safety guy” being a common reference during normal conversations, presented an excellent investment opportunity in the phrase and the company plans to use it as a platform for the quick access to Safety practitioners using a standard search phrase. “It is generally a form of reference when you cannot remember the name of a person or company offering safety services, and we think it is a brilliant way to promote the safety practitioners by allowing them to own their own Safety Guy website.” said Amersi.

This is indeed a novel idea, as Joe, The Safety Guy, or Cindy the Safety Lady,  can now easily be found amidst the myriad of other safety practitioners offering their services on the internet.

Safety practitioners will thus be in a position to create their own online presence using the Safety Guys as a platform and benefit from the exposure it has to offer.

The Safety Guys franchise

Only 9 franchises will be available from 1 October 2020 at the low price of R12 500 and will allow the franchisee to provide The Safety Guy platform to practitioners at a selling price of R3 125.00

A Personalised website

Safety practitioners joining the The Safety Guys will get a 4 page website highlighting their career history, Qualifications & Experience, services offered and a contact page with a personal email address e.g. your name at thesafetyguy.co.za or  thesafetylady.co.za.

Open rates

Professional fees will be determined by the individual but the Safety Guys will publish professional rates based on qualifications, professional designations and work experience as guidance to the public. The company has not indicated what these rates would be, but confirmed their commitment to increase the market value of practitioners in a Post-COVID work environment.

Available in SA only from 1 October 2020

The Safety Guys will be available in South Africa under licence by SHEQ Africa Corporate Services(Pty)Ltd.

Invitation to contribute

While we are back on air, there is still a long road ahead to restore SHEQafrica as the #1 OHS Magazine in Africa. We therefore wish to invite you to become a contributor to our efforts and assist in making this the most loved magazine for the SHEQ Practitioners once more.

On site, we often hear how good the SHEQ person in charge is. There is a lot of bragging going on at conferences and the wands are waved, sometimes with a touch of aggression to prove who is the more advanced and experienced. This is thus a challenge to the experienced professionals out there.

Put your money where your mouth is

Showcase your skill and knowledge, your advanced level or research and your opinion pieces for free on SHEQafrica and allow others to read what and how things should actually work.

There are many practitioners out there who needs your mentorship and guidance and as SHEQ is about “Sharing and caring”, SHEQafrica is the only place where this will be allowed without financial contribution.

Simply send us a message via our contact page and let us know what you want to write about. We will set up an Author profile for you, and you can write to your heart’s content.

What happened to the old Sheqafrica.com?

A reader recently sent us an email and asked “What happened to the world-renowned SHEQ Africa website? Your current website does not even come close to the attention-grabbing must read and follow website for those in the SHEQ environment.”

This is not an easy question to answer, but just as the publishers of SHEQWorld.com and Sheqworld.co.za – two suspended magazines, also realised, is that the short answer would be that the owners ran out of love.

Maintaining the position of a renowned SHEQ website, with thousands of readers looking for information to educate themselves and providing it totally free, takes a serious passion for humanity.

Sadly, when there is no reciprocation, no advertiser support, and professional societies and legitimate bodies driving their own campaigns, one has to make a value determination. Would you spend money to entertain thousands, or would you rather have 100 paying customers?

Since the “professionalisation” of the H&S profession, the supply for “Free” information was  taken over by the likes of the SACPMCP and Saiosh. It was a duty they took upon themselves to keep you informed “for free”.

The website ownership have changed hands a few times, and it became obvious that it is not a financially beneficial undertaking. However, a small group of professionals decided to stick to it and changed it into a closed Society, where they can share information, business ideas, and become an innovation hub.

The Society is not burdened with rules and regulations, other than its member’s need to survive as graduate professionals in an ever-growing labour market where “2-minute noodle” courses makes one “qualified” and eligible for membership / registration.

In 2018 it embarked on a massive inclusion program in an attempt to increase the value of the Sheq profession and, despite the large number of investors, the upkeep of content was left in the hands of a single person, former editor, Jessica van Zyl. The company, Sheqafrica Corporate Services(Pty)Ltd, which took over the magazine at that time, underestimated the cost to maintain a website and for many, R411 a month was “too much” to contribute. So was contributing to content, also “too much” to ask.

Subsequently Sheqafrica.com dropped in value from its 2017 value of $7450 to a mere $18 in August 2020.

Another question one need to ask, is what news do you report on when it comes to sheq? The industry as a whole lacks excitement and aside from the one or two regulations being published once a while, and a new ISO standard every 10 years, nothing noteworthy happened. How do you report on “Free Webinars”? and make it sound like the world cares?

This is why the rebranding and reformat was done. To differentiate the Society from the “freebie” professionals, it has set the stage for innovation and improvement of market share of the professionals. While content is important for Google, Facebook and their likes, and member numbers are important to legitimate bodies to attract more memberships and Free webinars, it serves no purpose in the innovative world of work.

So, to answer the “freebies” of the world, Google is your friend. Sheqafrica.com as your favorite Sheq magazine closed down months ago. It is now aimed at making money for its members and shareholders. It is not a charity or NPO.


Sheqafrica.co.za is back online after a year of inactivity

The struggling SHEQ magazine is back online from Tuesday night 18 August 2020 after it struggled to find a supporting advertiser to keep it going. However, this time their focus is purely to promote an elite group of consultants who has contributed to the upkeep of the magazine since April 2019. Remarkably, information previously published by Sheqafrica.com, has now resurfaced on this platform and dates back to 2007.

So all isn’t lost for the students seeking some exam answers and those who would like to reminisce the feud between the Nay and Yay-sayers during the SACPCMP / Construction Regulations pandemic of 2010 to 2045.

Under the banner of Sheq Consulting Africa, the publication hope to bring new life into the flow of free information amidst its shareholders demanding profits from an industry that is all to keen on insisting that others spend thousands “to save lives” on hogwash compliance requirements without having to spend a cent in return.