DIY a lifestyle solution

DIY a Lifestyle

What a time to be alive. A time where creativity is our primary functioning tool. Where using techniques and homemade remedies has become essential. Working and studying from home has made people more aware on how they can live a more modest life than before. People are using digital mediums more often to solve homeware, hair, facial, physical and social obstacles the green or natural way.

Instead of the good old fashioned dinner at the restaurants people’s culinary techniques have amped up through Youtube and cooking shows, giving families, individual and couples an experiential “date night”.  

Pipes and drains are blocked?  instead of calling a plumber, Coca Cola and bicarbonate of soda are the new remedies. Skin not glowing?  Sugar and honey scrubs should do the job. It’s quite amazing that solutions that people are now resorting to use have been at our fingertips all along. It took a forced lockdown and a lot of creativity to realise that we don’t always have to rely on other people to solve some of our problems. 

However, what does this do to the business and entrepreneurs that rely on us the customer for their livelihoods? Perhaps, they need to look at what their unique selling preposition is. Add ingredients and ways of doing things that will force their old and new customers to need their services. Make the experience one that we would like to go through and be willing to pay for. At this point, due to the pandemic, I believe people are only willing to spend money on things they deem rewarding, fulfilling and are value for their money. 

So, whilst we wait for service providers to re-strategise we the people will most probably continue consuming the home made remedy videos and articles to make our lives just a little more modest and well more adventurous.

Dealing with Retrenchment

Job Hunting

It has been a tough year for many South Africans due to the effects of Covid-19, with many losing their jobs in the process. The virus has not only threatened our lives but our livelihoods furthermore, its effects will be felt long after it has passed.  

Figures released by Statistics SA in November 2020 showed that the country’s unemployment rate spiked from 23.3% to 30.8% in the third quarter. This is the highest unemployment rate in the country since 2008. 

Retrenchment is an unfortunate situation that you cannot control and, in most cases, has nothing to do with you or your skill, especially during these covid-19 times. You are still capable and marketable and will find another job.  

Below are some tips on how to navigate life after retrenchment.  

  1. Brush up your CV

Now that you are in the job market, it’s time to brush up your resume. Very importantly, you need to include a cover letter to your resume. A cover letter gives you an opportunity to sell yourself to an employer in a narrative way. Your CV will give details of your experience and skills and your cover letter will give you an opportunity to articulate who you are. When it comes to your resume, check the format you’ve used, make sure it is not outdated or it is a format commonly used by many employers and recruiters like PDF or Microsoft Word. Research is important, go online and read up on your field as to avoid using outdated terminology in your resume especially if you’ve been out of the job market for a while. A tip that is always helpful is visiting job portals or career sections of your intended employer and look at the terminology they use to describe certain roles and update your resume according to their jargon. You’ll find that in most cases, different companies use different descriptors for the same roles and the skills required are the same. Don’t make your resume too cluttered, try and keep your resume at least two pages long. Visit some free resume sites online for free templates.  

  1. Apply for Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

To alleviate some of the financial stress you’re feeling, apply for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF); provided you and your employer have been paying into the UIF monthly, the earlier you start this process the better. In most retrenchment cases the retrenched employee will be eligible for twelve months of UIF assistance and for this you will require a formal notice of retrenchment from your employers. There are two ways to apply for UIF, online and going to the Department of Labour branch near you to apply. Visiting a branch has proven to be more effective than online as there are some forms you will be required to submit. It’s better to submit them in person than via email, to put your mind at ease. When visiting a branch, be prepared for long lines, wake up early, wear your mask, bring water and a snack. Should you wish to apply online you will require to have the following: 

  • 13 digit ID number 
  • Email address 
  • Cell phone number

If you opt for visit a Department of Labour branch you will require the following: 

  • ID
  • UI19 form (provided by employer)
  • Salary schedule (provided by employer)
  • Bank form (provided by the Department of Labour)

All forms must be signed and stamped by required parties.  

  1. Inform your credit providers

Contact your credit providers as soon as possible. Unbeknownst to many, some of the loans we have come with insurance to cover us from situations where we cannot earn an income. Find out from your lenders if you have such cover in place to allow you breathing room while you look for new employment. Many credit providers have offered credit relief to people who have been affected by Covid-19 and find themselves temporarily unable to pay back their debts. It’s very important to get in touch and make arrangements as soon as you know of your retrenchment.  

  1. Redesign your budget 

Now that you don’t have a monthly income, structure your budget to reflect all your monthly expenses. Find what you can pay off with the money that you have and remove from your list responsibilities. Cancel subscriptions you can live without, the small amounts add up and use more money that could help you elsewhere. The first month is an adjusting month so don’t be too hard on yourself, keep on working on your budget on a monthly basis until you find a rhythm. Make projections for yourself based on how long you think your current finances will carry you while looking for a new job. As stressful as this may be, it’s important to plan ahead. Read here for tips on how to save money <<link to saving article under business>>

  1. Turn your hobby into a business

While you’re still looking for a job, consider starting your own business. A lot of people fear starting a business because they don’t have capital. However, some businesses can be started with little or no capital at all. Do some research, see how you can turn your hobby or talent into a business opportunity. For example, if you enjoy cleaning, offer these services to friends and family first to start you off for a fee and then expand. Not all our hobbies can be turned into a business however we will never know until we research and then try.  Find an entrepreneur and ask for guidance on how to get started, and what the best practices are to starting your own business.  

In June of 2020, B Mavundza observed that “Although the lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, the pandemic continues to create major economic and financial distress for the South African economy and consumers alike,”  

It is for this reason that we encourage our readers to constantly find ways to manage their finances. Due to household income shortfalls it is advised that working together to ease the financial pressures in the household will assist in stretching the income coming in. 

Tips on How to Spend Wisely

South Africans were under severe financial strain even before the Covid-19 outbreak and are now increasingly cashing in their long -term investments for immediate survival, this is according to a Debt Busters report from the first quarter of 2020. 

It is important for us to be mentally strong, plan ahead, prioritise on what to spend on and using resources efficiently is crucial to the financial stability for many families. 

A few tips on what you can do from the comfort of your home to save:

  • Always write a grocery list and stick to it
  • Join a lift club adhering to the COVID 19 regulations
  • Minimise car travels and find creative activities to do at home
  • Cook at home
  • Avoid unnecessary spending on clothing, shoes, make-up
  • If you must shop keep an eye and ear out for specials or promotions
  • Cancel subscriptions you won’t be using eg: Gym, DSTV etc
  • Move back home and avoid bills 

South Africans are revaluating their bills during the coronavirus crisis. The unpredictable nature of the Government regulations and this virus has left people changing their spending habits. 

In June of 2020, B Mavundza observed that “Although the lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, the pandemic continues to create major economic and financial distress for the South African economy and consumers alike,”  

It is for this reason that we encourage our readers to constantly find ways to manage their finances. Due to household income shortfalls it is advised that working together to ease the financial pressures in the household will assist in stretching the income coming in. 

Unconventional Means To Generate An Income during Covid-19

Opinion Piece

Nowadays, we live in a world where everything has to be instant from noodles to EFT’s. But have we perfected a means to create revenue in an instant as well?

It may be a new year however, the demons of the past still haunt us today. As much as we choose to live our lives, it is difficult to ignore the restrictions we are forced to live under due to legislation passed by the government which constantly changes due to the evolving virus that has plagued the world.

Which forces us to find different avenues to generate an income that will not only sustain our livelihoods but save our lives. A few examples of the ventures we could pursue are:

Sport Betting: If you are a sports fan with no idea of what to do with the knowledge you have garnered over the years and have money to spare, sport betting is the way to go. What makes this an option to consider is that the risk is completely dependent on the user, therefore if the risk is high so is the reward and vice-versa. Another feature is that bets can be customized according to your needs and preference. It is truly worth a shot if you have nothing to lose.

EasyEquities: If you want a stabilized approach to making money, investment in shares is another opportunity you could make use of. There is an app called EasyEquities that allows you to invest in shares either for short term or long term purposes from the comfort of your phone.

What makes investing in shares so attractive at the moment is that due to Covid ravaging through the stock market, most of the shares listed are either underpriced or underperforming and this creates the perfect conditions for you to invest. As they say, when there is uncertainty in the market that is the perfect opportunity for you to invest.

Forex: Another method that involves investment is Forex which is quite renowned for either making money quickly or losing it as quickly. However, as forex is based on investment in currency, it is especially risky on any given day but somehow the risk has heightened due to volatility of the markets caused by Covid-19. Although, volatility could either work for you or against you it just depends on how you maneuver the market. In this case, opportunity arises from chaos.

Youtube Channel: The most commonly used avenue in the world but least used in South Africa. Creating a YouTube Channel is easy, however publishing content that appeals to the masses is much harder than most people think but if you do find your audience, it can also be a rewarding experience. However, with this avenue investment in equipment will be essential to the success of your YouTube Channel. This avenue may take time to establish but once you get the ball rolling, it never stops.

Please be advised that all methods suggested are avenues that can be used to make money in a short amount of time but due to this, the risk increases in proportion.

However, the question we need to ask ourselves is were these methods born from necessity or was it just the natural progression of things to come? Is there really a way to make money instantly or is it just another scam we were taught to believe?

Are there any real contenders for the DSTV PSL title?

DSTV Premiership

Opinion piece

Mamelodi Sundowns is a symbol for South African football in the Champions League, the question is: has their dominance in the DSTV Premier Soccer League over the years rendered the league uncompetitive?

This year’s season hasn’t reached its halfway point but it is crystal clear as to who favorites the are to win the league: Sundowns. They  are always in conversations as one of the favorites with no one questioning their claim after one of the greatest comebacks last season.

This raises the question, are there any real title contenders in the league? And who can stop this force of nature from retaining their title this season?

One of the biggest surprises this season, however is Moroka Swallows whose form has threatened the Champions title reign with their performance propelling them into the Top 3 of the log.  

The most baffling aspect being the season prior, Moroka Swallows were in the National First Division. Could this be another Leicester City miracle waiting to happen?

Supersport United is another promising contender that Sundowns must fend off. They have proven that they can go head to head against the Champions with their last match ending in a draw.  

This season they look like a team with something to prove. Their recent form has ignited this title race into life.

Whatever happens though, Sundowns have set the bar high for the betterment of the league but have also reduced the quality of competitors as powerhouses such as Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have proven how difficult it is to keep up with the log leaders.

Nonetheless, do these current title contenders have what it takes to end Sundowns’ dominance and ignite the competition in the league or will it be another Sundowns triumph?

*Views shared on this article are those of the writer and are not shared by Tshwifi and Ulwembu.

Tertiary institutions Re-opening!

Tertiary Institutions opening

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, has announced that they are on track to commence the 2021 academic year. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, the academic year was disturbed which led to some universities having to complete their 2020 academic year in early 2021. 

“I am pleased to say that all institutions have aligned the start of the 2021 Academic Year for first time entries with the availability of Department of Basic Education National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results. The Department will work closely with institutions in preparing the system for the opening of the 2021 academic year, which, as I have previously reported, will take place between early-March and mid-April this year”, he said. 

Students from various TVET colleges will continue with the existing timetable and will have a staggered return to their institutions from 25 January. 

More details on the reopening of institutions will be shared at a later stage.  

Minister Nzaimande, speaking at a press conference on Monday, 18 January, also mentioned that NSFAS applications window will not be re-opened.

Students were given a four-month period to apply for funding and the minister says the deadline will not be extended.    

The fund received over 750 000 applications for 2021. 

“The evaluation of applications commenced in December 2020 and is well underway, and final decisions for funding are due for completion in mid-February, in time for students registering for the new academic year”, Nzimande said.  

The minister commended students for adapting to difficult circumstances and developing new ways of learning and of coping.

All you need to know about late application!

Late Applications Blog

2020 was a tough year on everyone, dealing with a pandemic and interruptions to the academic year has been exhausting.  One can be forgiven for thinking they still have time to apply for tertiary education.  

If you did miss deadlines for applications, here are a few tips on how you need to prepare for late applications.  

  1. Research: 

By now you should have done your research on the tertiary institution you want to attend and the course you want to study. This will help you prepare for the requirements they want at the institution for that specific course. It’s important to have options and keep an open mind that you might not get into your first choice. 

  1. Documents: 

Ensure that you have all the required documents as per institution. It’s important to have multiple certified copies of each of the following documents:

  1. ID – Always have yours and your parents’ or guardians’ ID with you as well as certified copies. 
  2. Exam Results – Make sure you have all your exam results from Grade 11 and your June matric exam marks in hand. You will need to submit both sets of results to the institution with the application.
  3. Completed application forms – Download the forms from the institution’s website, complete it and have it with you. Forms can often be complicated to complete. Read the forms slowly and make sure you fill in each part of the form carefully. Ensure that you make use of a black pen, this is usually the accepted method for filling in forms. Remember, your parent or guardian needs to sign the forms. 
  4. Others – other supporting documents would include parents’ payslips, affidavits as proof of unemployment of a parent or guardian and proof of residence.
  1. TVET Colleges

Consider looking at TVET Colleges as they have several intakes during the year. You need to hurry as space is limited in these institutions as well. Government has improved the quality of qualifications offered in these institutions and the demand for spaces has increased over the years 

  1. Private higher learning institutions

These are the privately owned institutions. Compare the qualifications and check if you can’t find them in these institutions.  Much like TVET colleges, these institutions have several intakes in a year which will offer you time to do your research properly.  

Wishing all students a better 2021 academic year.  

South African Business’ Thinking Creatively

Creative Business Blog Image

Although the Coronavirus has brought change and uncertainty on how businesses function, it has pushed them to find creative ways sustain their activities and maintaining long relations with existing and new customers. 

Speaking to Sowetan, ICT SMME chamber chairperson, Muzi Makhaye, expressed the positive side of the pandemic saying, “I concur 100% with the view that says the coronavirus has put us all firmly on the digital economy springboard… Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, meetings will, henceforth, be virtual and travel budgets will be directed to online video conferencing facilities, licensing, and training. Planet earth will be a better place for us all if we can travel less than we have become accustomed to in the last few decades. Certainly, business will never be the same, post Covid-19. This is true for big and small business”, 

Restaurants that were dependent on walk-ins have now moved to digital platforms to engage with customers and delivering orders, Television game shows are now linking with audiences and contestants online. Selling of cars has moved online encouraging customers to watch videos designed to describe the cars performance in detail. Psychology and therapy sessions have moved to virtual consultations, as well as school classes and workout sessions. Healthcare is moving to telemedicine, retailers are now contactless and insurers have now created apps that allow self-services. 

Finding alternatives to run businesses has increased employee productivity and the running of the business. The new way of working has given employees more time to focus on tasks and has eliminated the stress of commuting, traffic, loadshedding and water issues.  Organisations are also finding that colleagues are more available for meetings scheduled due to more organised calendars. The effectiveness of the employees has resulted to people logging off on time due to using their time effectively. 

“72% of the CEOs saw benefit from remote working in terms of widening their talent pool. And why wouldn’t it? Many of us have considered a new job prospect in part based on where the job is located, commuting time in South Africa’s increasingly (until recently, at least) congested cities more-and-more an issue”, shares Loos.

The COVID-19 crisis provides a glimpse into a future where digital will become a central way of interaction, forcing both organsiations and individuals to adapt to the new way of living. This is now where digital is becoming the primary and in some instances the sole customer engagement model, a platform with automated processes and becoming the primary driver of productivity.

Edublush Virtual Academy

Edublush Virtual Acedemy is an online portal for live virtual classes for learner from Grade 4-12, as well as students in TVet Colleges, Universities, and Universities of Technology. This portal is run and managed by qualified teachers who have more than 10 years- experience. All the video materials will cover the whole syllabus following the annual teachers plan. We strive to bring the best leaning experience to learners in this current situation and moving forward.