From security guard to CEO

first_img30 June 2003Some 20 years ago, a young Mogwailane Kenneth Mohlala left his rural homestead on the outskirts of Steelpoort in Limpopo Province for the beckoning lights of Johannesburg, City of Gold. Today Mohlala is acknowledged as the man who has made the city lights glow even brighter.His has been a spectacular rise – from a security guard to president and CEO of a company with an annual turnover in the region of R2.5-billion. Since his appointment two years ago as head of City Power, Johannesburg’s electricity utility, the company’s performance has improved dramatically.Mohlala’s achievements have not gone unnoticed. In 2002, the man known affectionately as MK scooped the Impumelelo Businessman of the Year Award and the African ICT Public Service Delivery Achievers Award.In 2001, when he took charge of City Power, Mohlala found staff morale at an all-time low. “There were a lot of inefficiencies in the system in terms of cost management and customer service management,” Mohlala recalls. “There was no expenditure on the network, as the operating and capital budgets were slashed.”With Mohlala at the helm, the company has recorded a dramatic turnaround, from an indifferent performance to a healthy R12-million profit after tax in its first year as a corporatised entity. The company’s capital expenditure in the 2003/2004 financial year is a massive R246-million.Mohlala attributes his success to his “street-wise” management style. “You can’t manage an organisation through textbooks,” says Mohlala. “You must apply your learning to your context. You must think on your feet and be decisive.”There is nothing like consensus management for Mohlala. “Managers fail because they are not decisive.” But he qualifies this: “Of course, you will be working within the rules of the organisation at all times.”Mohlala has also cultivated good relations with employees, and restored staff morale. “When I came in, I made sure that I met each of the 2 000 employees in person. Even today, I eat in the company canteen with the rest of the staff. Trade union leaders know my door is always open.”Mohlala started his working career as a security guard at Eskom College in 1984, where he powered his way through the ranks, reaching the position of customer service regional manager for the North West, Northern Cape and Free State. At the same time, he was studying through correspondence, completing a Bachelor of Administration degree. He is now on the verge of completing his MBA.Mohlala is also a non-executive director of seven companies and a chairman of two others. His activities are not confined to the boardroom, though. He is a gym fanatic, keen golfer and avid reader. “I read a lot of management books and magazines,” he says. He is also a regular speaker at conferences.A religious manOn Saturdays though, Mohlala can be seen clutching a Bible and dressed in a grey designer suit, white shirt and maroon tie – full church uniform – as he makes his way from his home in Glen Vista to the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, west of Johannesburg. This African independent sect advocates strong family values underpinned by polygamy.A profoundly religious man, Mohlala follows the teachings of the church to the letter. “I don’t smoke and I don’t drink.”Quizzed on whether he would consider taking a second wife, his response is categorical. “Absolutely. I believe in polygamy. It is better than cheating. It’s honest. I intend practising it.” But when asked whether he has anyone in mind, he responds with a chuckle: “No, I’m still searching.”According to Mohlala, his wife Melita, a highly qualified entrepreneur in the furniture business, would not object to him taking a second wife.Asked how he manages to juggle his diverse roles, Mohlala waxes philosophical: “If you want to get work done, give it to a busy man.”Changing mindsets at City PowerBut it is City Power that takes up most of his time and energy. “When I arrived, the company was structured as a city department, and the workers thought of themselves as municipal workers. They had a different focus and a different organisational culture.”Mohlala set to work, giving the organisation a corporate look and feel. He notes with pride the progress the company has made.“We have created a key customer section to service 11 000 of our major clients. Our call centre is up and running. There has been a substantial improvement in street lights across the city. We have converted our accounting system from Municipal Accounting to the General Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP). We are also working on activities such as the management of overdue accounts. We have improved our database and the quality of our data management.”The company has also implemented a new billing system called SAP, which has led to revenue collection increasing to more than 95 percent.Proud of empowermentBut it is the company’s empowerment record that is the source of most pride to Mohlala. “We have put new structures in place and successfully positioned the company in relation to the government’s transformation agenda. We comply with the skills legislation and have made affirmative appointments.”He is quick to point out that City Power has exceeded the requirements of the Black Economic Empowerment Commission’s scorecard. According to Mohlala, the company spent R220-million in products and services procured from black companies in the last financial year, an improvement of some R40-million over the previous year.Most of the services engaged were in fields as varied as information technology, power restoration, meter reading and security. Mohlala expresses overall satisfaction with the performance of black companies contracted by City Power.In terms of City Power’s staff profile, Mohlala says 60 percent the staff in senior positions are now black. He expresses regret, however, that women still constitute only 18 percent of management in the organisation.He fiercely defends the virtues of affirmative action. “Oh yes, I’m a product of affirmative action,” he asserts. “I give tribute to those who died so that we can have a better life.”But Mohlala is not about to rest on his laurels. “We must continue to improve service delivery and satisfy customer service.”Mohlala is quick to acknowledge the challenges facing the company. The company loses over R200-million as a result of non-technical losses – losses incurred as a result of illegal connections to the system and cable theft. Defaulting ratepayers also owe some R270-million to City Power, and “a more concerted effort must be made to collect the debt”, Mohlala says.But Mohlala is unfazed by these challenges. “I’m a workaholic and I have a passion for life. But I also make time to be on my own. It helps me to reflect, to take stock of what I do. I only participate in activities that add value to my life.”Source: City of Johannesburg websitelast_img read more

Augmented Reality App Shows Recovery.gov Funding Near You

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#Augmented Reality#news#NYT#web 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… marshall kirkpatrick 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts Want to see who got part of the hundreds of billions of dollars in Recovery.gov funds near you? Now you can point your iPhone 3Gs or Android phone in any direction and see the closest recipients, thanks to the publication of the official data set onto the Layar Augmented Reality platform. Sunlight Labs published the marked-up information and the results are fascinating.This may be the most accessible way to view this information yet. I must confess, I am surprised to see that an auto shop and a Bible college in my neighborhood received a lot more money than the technical college, eco-car company and Native American youth program down the road. Fire up Layar on your phone, search for “Sunlight” and you can see the effects of the funding program on your own neighborhood. This is the kind of thing that standardized data makes possible.As Sunlight explains: “Layar is an application that overlays your view of the real world with waypoints representing your favorite coffee place, the movie theatre you’re trying to find, or in this case, where some of that $787 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going.”Fortunately, the Recovery funding information was published by the Federal government in KML format – making it easy for 3rd parties like Sunlight to mash it up with services like Layar. I wish there was an option in the interface to Google the name of the recipient, not just look up its location. Right now there’s no information made immediately available beyond name, sum and address. Sunlight was deeply critical of the initial release of data by the federal government this Summer. This is a great example of what kinds of things they and other groups can do when they get their hands on data.So how does funding in your neighborhood look?last_img read more

Web Apps Meet Consumer Electronics at CES

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The online music integration in MyFord is one example of the slick smartphone-like functionality becoming available in cars. MyFord will include HD radio with song tagging, which lets users find more information about an artist or song on the Web. MyFord also has a unified music library, which lets users browse music from a variety of onboard audio sources. In December Ford announced that its SYNC-enabled vehicles will become rolling WiFi hotspots – enabling passengers to connect to the Internet when a cellular modem is plugged into the car’s USB slot. At CES, Ford announced it will include a Web browser that displays on the MyFord Touch 8-inch LCD.Web Apps on Your TVThe car is just one of many consumer products being Web-ized. The TV has been a focus of innovation for Internet technology for a few years now. At CES Samsung has announced its new LED 9000 model TV, using Samsung’s Internet@TV technology. This television is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi and is able to hold up to 100 apps. Consumers will receive a handful of free web apps when they buy the TV set. Other apps will be released by vendors and may cost money. An early example is one Napster announced at CES – a free Napster TV widget which provides access to the Napster subscription music service. We know that more and more real world objects are being connected to the Internet – a trend that we track closely called Internet of Things. But this is slightly different. What we’re seeing at CES this year is more and more mainstream consumer items, such as cars and TVs, having web applications integrated. These are apps that we’ve become familiar with in the Web 2.0 world – Pandora, Napster, iTunes and others. Music and entertainment especially is making inroads, but we’re sure to see web apps from other sectors integrated into consumer electronics too. richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Tags:#CES 2010#conferences#NYT#Trends#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The 2010 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gets into full swing today and already we’re seeing a big trend emerging: web applications being ported to consumer electronics, from the technology inside cars to Web-enabled TVs. Yesterday we noted that online music service Pandora will be made available in cars, courtesy of a new Pioneer device that will begin selling in March. The pricey $1,200 device detects users’ Pandora settings via their iPhones. Other evidence of this trend can be found in Ford’s announcement of a new in-car system and Samsung’s latest Internet-connected TV.Web Apps in Your CarThis morning Ford CEO Alan Mulally delivered an opening keynote address at CES, unveiling Ford’s latest car technologies. One of the things he announced is MyFord, an Internet-enabled “cabin tech” system. As reported by CNET, MyFord will include two 4.2-inch color LCDs: one for vehicle information such as engine speed, temperature, and trip data; and the other for audio, phone, and navigation information. A third LCD screen is added if the system is upgraded to ‘MyFord Touch’. Check out the Motor Trend website for more detailed information. Related Posts last_img read more

‘Uganda not to pull out of CWG’

first_imgUpset by the way the Indian authorities handled the situation after three of its officials met with an accident at the Games Village due to a security device malfunction on Wednesday night Uganada is still waiting for a “proper apology” from the government or the organising committee. It has however decided against pulling out of the ongoing Games. The Delhi Police had on Thursday registered a case of negligence, which was welcomed by the Ugandans. But the visitors were still unsatisfied with the response to the incident. Even an apology from Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell and Sports Minister M.S. Gill failed to pacify the Ugandans. Speaking to Headlines Today Uganda High Commissioner Nimisha Madhvani said, “Our athletes have worked very hard for this (CWG) and we will not penalise them for that. But we are still seeking a proper apology from India over the mishap that happened along with adequate compensation for those injured. No one has been to visit them as yet.” Unhappy by the government’s response to the incident, wherein three senior officials were injured, Uganda had on Thursday skipped a dinner party hosted by Gill.last_img read more

Hydro gives update to WAC Bennett and Peace Canyon Dam upgrades

first_imgHUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. – B.C. Hydro says that progress is being made on upgrading the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon Dams.In the two updates, one explained projects to upgrade the two dams’ generating stations while the other goes into detail about upgrades to the facilities’ safety systems.One of the largest projects BC Hydro was undertaking was replacing the rip-rap on the upstream said of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. Hydro can effectively cross that off their list, as the project has been completed. Over the past year and a half, workers replaced a large portion of rip-rap by replacing the original rock with stronger limestone rock to better withstand erosion. Workers finished placement of the required rock for the rip-rap in March, but additional activities like repaving the Dam Crest Road and the reclamation of the Sand Flat Quarry have yet to be complete.Hydro explained that the refurbishment of ten sets of GMS draft tube maintenance gates would commence in late 2018 finish in late 2020. The refurbishment will include reconditioning the gate sections as well as the associated components to ensure they continue to run safely.Hydro announced the same refurbishment for six PCN draft tube maintenance gates as well. Unlike at GMS, the gate segments at Peace Canyon are not disassembled when the gates are not in use. Instead, the complete assembled gate is stored in a gate storage slot. These updates are scheduled from mid-2018 to mid-2020.Thirty GMS 500 kilovolt disconnect switches were also mentioned saying they needed a replacement because of their increased age. The plan to switch the switches will commence from mid-2019 to mid-2021.Photo by B.C. Hydro.last_img read more

The College Football Playoff Pits Two Balanced Teams Against Two Great Defenses

The semifinal games of the College Football Playoff are on Dec. 31. In the video above, FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine breaks down the two semifinal matchups. Share on Facebook

Football Isaiah Prince selected No 202 by Miami Dolphins in 2019 NFL

Ohio State senior offensive lineman Isaiah Prince (59) looks over to the OSU bench in the fourth quarter of the game against Michigan State on Nov. 10. Ohio State won 26-6. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State players continue to hear their names called in the 2019 NFL draft.Former offensive tackle Isaiah Prince was selected No. 202 by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round Saturday.Prince started three seasons for the Buckeyes in his career and 44 games in total.The former Buckeye followed up a third-team all-Big Ten selection in 2017 with a first-team nod in 2018.Prince helped secure offensive lines that aided Ohio State to back-to-back seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally for offensive yards per game, including the No. 2 offense in 2018 (535.7 yards per game).The Maryland product was named a captain ahead of his final season at Ohio State. read more

United lack leaders – Keane

first_imgFormer Manchester United captain Roy Keane says there are no leaders in the current squad and believes that Jose Mourinho has no trust in his players.United have had a poor start to the season, leaving Mourinho and key players under pressure and intense scrutiny.The Red Devils are currently 16 points behind Liverpool ahead of their clash on Sunday and Keane believes the players should take responsibility for their season so far.“In my time at United, when you talk about trophies, you need, obviously, very good players. But I also felt we had really good characters, really good people. People you want to be in the trenches with,” Keane told Sky Sports.“I still can’t figure this United team out. The key, as well, to be a top player, is to do it week in, week out. I see United every few weeks and think, ‘yeah they’re looking not bad’. Then they look disinterested, which is no good for any of the big clubs.“I think they’ve certainly lost their way and I look at the lack of characters, the lack of leaders in the team and you come unstuck, especially in the big games.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“When you’re a manager or working on the sidelines you want to be able to trust most of your players. I don’t think Mourinho has too much trust in a lot of United players.“He made a point against Arsenal last week when they drew and the standard of the game was really poor, he said in his interview after the game his big worry was every time the ball went in the box he felt like they were going to concede.“If you’re the manager sitting on the sidelines watching and you felt you were going to concede every time the ball went in your box, you’re in trouble.“So he definitely doesn’t trust his back four. People say he’s spent money on it, which he has done, but it doesn’t mean to say [he trusts them]. They’ve made mistakes. They’ve got to go and purchase four defenders.“But at some stage, the players have to take responsibility for it. I know people say Mourinho has to get the fellas on side, but we’re talking about a lot of international players here and if you’re on that pitch and you’re not looking after the ball or you’re sloppy in possession that does come down to the player. At some stage, your own pride has got to kick in, as a professional footballer.”last_img read more

Warnock We shot ourselves in the foot

first_imgCardiff City boss Neil Warnock was disappointed with the officials after his team suffered a 3-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.The Bluebirds are three points above the relegation zone, after losing heavily at home to Manchester United and TottenhamHowever, Boss Warnock was dismayed that no action was taken against Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko for a first-half challenge, and he was just as unhappy with the sloppy nature of Cardiff’s early play.“I don’t think it was a game too far, I just thought we shot ourselves in the foot,” Warnock disclosed to RTE.“Man United, it was two-and-a-half minutes, today one-and-a-half minutes.AAIB responds to Sala’s family request to recover the plane’s wreckage Manuel R. Medina – August 14, 2019 The Air Accidents Investigation Branch says they already explained their decision not to recover the plane’s wreckage to Sala’s family and the pilot’s.“You can’t give quality players like that a lift.“We wanted to put them under pressure after their (Wolves) result and really it was a stroll.“I was pleased we didn’t just fold in the second half.“We had to play for pride and, all credit to them, they battled well in the second half when it would have been easy to roll over.”last_img read more

Coronado bridge suicide prevention

first_img June 19, 2019 Updated: 4:52 PM KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO ( KUSI ) – Actions are being taken to prevent suicides on the Coronado bridge. KUSI’s Dan Plante speaks with survivors and more Posted: June 19, 2019center_img KUSI Newsroom, Coronado bridge suicide prevention Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more