5 things you need to know in SA business today and what 'business casual' really means
1. EFF MPs were thrown out of parliament yesterday after heckling Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan during his budget vote. EFF MP Sam Matiase called Gordhan a “constitutional delinquent” - referring to findings made by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in a report related to the “rogue unit” at SARS. In reference to the interruption, Gordhan told MPs, “We are fighting to undo state capture and what you just witnessed was a defence of state capture through intimidation”.
2. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that a special appropriation bill may be introduced on July 23 to assist Eskom with more financial support for the next two years. Government will also provide more money from its emergency fund to help SAA, Denel and SABC. "Once the annual appropriation bill before Parliament becomes law, there will be funding for SAA, SABC and Denel from the contingency reserve account. I must stress though that this is not a blank cheque and we simply cannot keep going on like this," Mboweni said.
3. Meanwhile, Gordhan announced yesterday that South African Airways’ chairman JB Magwaza resigned.
4. Woolworths share price jumped 8% yesterday after a surprisingly solid trading update for the past year. Total sales rose almost 4%, with Woolworths Food up 7.7%, and the local fashion, beauty and home unit delivering 1.5%. This means that sales picked up in the past six months, because the latter unit saw a decline of 2% in its sales in the first half of the year. However, sales at its David Jones stores and Country Road in Australia were lower for the full year.
5. Oil prices have jumped 5% in the past week as Tropical Storm Barry wreaks havoc on energy output in the Gulf of Mexico. It is on track to hit the US this weekend. Also, worries about Iran have added to concerns. Iran’s apparent attempt to block the passage of a British tanker in the Persian Gulf ratcheted up tension in the oil-rich region, Bloomberg reported.
But thanks to the stronger rand, local motorists should have some cover. The latest estimation from the Central Energy Fund shows that, at this stage, the petrol price is on track to be cut by around 4c a litre at the start of August.
What 'business casual' really means
Reported by Jacquelyn Smith
It's not always obvious what exactly "business casual dress" means.
Generally, Oxford Dictionary defines the term as "a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression."
But what does that mean from a practical standpoint? Fashion and style are subjective, but it's still a crucial distinction to be able to make in the professional world.
If you lean too hard on the "business" aspect, you could find yourself feeling stuffy and overdressed. And, of course, overemphasizing the "casual" part and is hardly ideal, either. You don't want to find yourself embarrassed and looking unprofessional in flip flops or sweatpants.
"It is critically important to be aware of dress codes, understand what they mean, and follow them," said Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.
"Employees are obliged to comply with company standards. Oftentimes, that means maintaining a professional appearance in the office, at client sites, and any business functions."
Price said during her 20-plus years working as an executive coach, one of the most frequent career roadblocks she has observed is inappropriate dress in the workplace.
"Many highly intelligent, well-qualified, capable men and women are often disqualified or dismissed because 'they don't sell for what they're worth'," Price told Business Insider. "They've left the 'business' out of 'business casual' and the lack of professional appearance holds them back. It's frustrating, because clothing certainly does not determine one's actual competence and credibility; it does, however, influence others' perception of those qualities - and that reality impacts career opportunities."
The problem is, most people don't have a clear understanding of the different dress codes today.
For example, there is in fact no general agreement on the definition of the term "business casual."
"It depends on several factors including the industry, size of the company, number of employees, amount of interaction between employees and customers, geography, climate, culture, and average age of the workforce," Price said.
At most companies, however, the "business casual" dress code encourages employees to project a "professional, business-like image while enjoying the advantage of more casual and relaxed clothing," Price explained.
Appropriate business casual dress typically includes slacks or khakis, dress shirt or blouse, open-collar or polo shirt, optional tie or seasonal sport coat, a dress or skirt at knee-length or below, a tailored blazer, knit shirt or sweater, and loafers or dress shoes that cover all or most of the foot.
Below are examples of appropriate "business casual" outfits.
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