In the next chapter, we’ll introduce you to a number of South Africa’s
leading employers. However, we also want to present you some other
5 options that exist after you graduate. You can, for example, go abroad,
work for a charitable organisation or start your own business.
5.1 Starting your own business
If you decide to start your own business, there are several practical and legal matters that you must attend to. For example, you need to draw
up a business plan, organise finance and select the most appropriate structure for your company.
Choosing a company structure
Before establishing your business, you must decide which ownership structure will suit you best. The most common options include the sole
proprietorship, the general partnership, a close corporation and the private company, both with limited liability. Your choice will depend on your
personal (financial) situation.
Sole proprietorshipA sole proprietorship is established and led by one person who is responsible for the business. As the owner, you can employ staff. The establishment of a proprietorship is not prescribed by regulation. It is therefore not necessary to draw up a deed and no capital contribution is required. As the owner of a sole proprietorship, you are liable for the debts of the enterprise. The creditors of the enterprise may seek recovery against your private assets if your business assets are insufficient to cover your debt.
The general partnershipUnder a general partnership, you own a business with one or more partners under a common name. The objective is to achieve material gain. To achieve this objective, you and your (business) partners bind yourselves together by contributing money, property, labour and goodwill (or a combination of these) to the general partnership. As a result, the general partnership has so-called ‘separate assets’. In principle, every partner can bind the general partnership and so create liability for the other partners. The partners are each ‘severally liable’ for the debts of the general partnership. This means that each partner is liable against his private assets.
Close Corporation (CC)This unique legal form is best suited for new start-ups. The capital is divided up into members’ contributions, in which each of the members participate according to what they contribute in terms of money, assets or work responsibilities. Members are limited to a maximum of 10. The most important benefit of a CC is that it is seen as its own legal entity, ultimately distinguishing the company from its members (owners). This differs from a partnership in that, if the CC is unsuccessful, the creditors cannot claim against the members’ assets. The added advantage of a CC is that it is very easy to start up: your first step is to reserve a name at the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) using a CK7 document. Next, you’ll need to register a founding statement for the reserved name with a CK1 document, also at Cipro. You can do this online.
CC’s are also easy to administer, as your accounting officer needs to submit the company’s annual returns (financial statements) only once a year. This helps to save costs and time. However, there is one disadvantage: all members of the CC are held liable for any debts it incurs.
The private company with limited liabilityA private company with limited liability (‘private company’) can be established by a person operating alone or with up to 50 others. To establish a private company, you will have to approach a notary to draw up a deed of incorporation and a memorandum of agreement. The
deed of incorporation contains the articles of association (ground rules) of the company. You must also register it at Cipro. The private company is an independent
Top 10 pitfalls for the new
legal person with the capital divided up into shares, in which each of the partners
participate. The company is ‘private’ because the possibility to acquire shares in such a company is restricted. The shares in a private company are registered by
1. Finances. Invoice immediately on deliv-
name. The shareholder can, but does not have to, be a director of the company.
As with a CC, the shareholders and directors are not severally liable for what is
done in the name of the company. Creditors of the company can therefore, in
2. Administration. Late invoicing and re-
principle, only lay claim to the assets of the company and not to the private assets
minders are the result of sloppy admini-
stration. Keep your administration up to date on a daily basis. You can also en-
The final analysis
Weighing up the pros and cons of the above ownership structures, it would appear
3. Order portfolio. Having several small cli-
that the CC offers the most advantages, because it has limited liability and low
ents is better than one big client. Make
running costs. That said, the transferability of private companies’ shares makes it a
sure that your quotations look neat.
very flexible structure; a plus if you need your company to cooperate with other
4. Sales. Draw up a sound marketing plan.
organisations. In contrast, a CC can only have natural persons as members. General
partnerships, meanwhile, terminate by operation of law when one of the partners
dies or resigns. Likewise, with a sole proprietorship, separate arrangements have to
5. Preparation. Your business plan is very
be made in the event of a death or any transfer to a third party. If this is not done,
important to get a material and finan-
the heirs can claim their inheritance and demand part of the business assets. All
factors considered, the CC still currently remains the best option for a start-up.
6. Staffing. Estimate the number of staff
you think you will need. Staffing is an ex-
5.2 Going abroad
pensive cost item.
7. Premises. Find out the best location for
If you already know that you want to work in another country after you graduate, it is a
your business. Bear in mind its accessi-
good idea to prepare for this while you are studying. If the culture of a particular country
bility for your clients and suppliers.
has already grabbed you, then searching for a job in that country is the logical next step.
8. Social dimension. You will be required to
Job seeking via multinationals or government
work long hours in your business, which
There are several routes you can follow if your goal is to work in another country.
means you will have less time for socia-
Multinationals which have their head offices in South Africa regularly offer jobs
lising. By joining a club for entrepre-
allowing you to gain international experience. Although you will usually have to start
your career in your home country, it may not take long before you are offered an
exciting opportunity elsewhere. The central government also posts employees
9. Unclear agreements. Things don’t a
abroad; either at embassies or within international organisations.
ways go according to plan and it is therefore advisable to record your
Looking for vacancies yourself
You can, of course, take the bold step of finding your own job vacancy overseas.
10. Tax. Keep money aside for the tax return
Job websites allow you to access thousands of vacancies for international jobs.
by transferring it to a separate account.
Alternatively, your career advice centre may have information about international traineeships, job market orientation and advice.
‘The experience that has established me and left its imprint on me, has been the opportunity to work overseas and see the different offices and cultures.’– Meryl Folb, Global Head of Graduate Programmes,
Once you have decided to apply for a job abroad, you have to let various people in South
The Department of International Relations and
Africa know that you are leaving, such as SARS. It is unnecessary to continue paying tax
Cooperation, also known as the Department of
in South Africa as you will be paying taxes in the country where you work and live.
Foreign Affairs, provides an overview of
Companies usually take care of your insurance and residence permit, but if you are going
vacancies on its website. The department has
to work for a foreign company you often have to sort out everything yourself regarding
your personal matters. It’s a good idea to appoint a trusted representative who can deal
portal called ROSA (Registration of South
with any administrative matters that may arise after your departure.
Africans Abroad) which offers a voluntary registration service for South African citizens that
5.3 The charitable organisation
are travelling or residing abroad. This service is provided in the event there is a need to contact
Charity is increasingly becoming a two-way process. While charitable organisations mainly
you to offer urgent advice on a natural disaster
used to want things from us – donations, free time – these days, the roles are reversed.
or civil unrest or a family emergency.
People increasingly seek meaning from their careers, which is why the demand for jobs with charitable organisations is growing, especially at well known organisations such as
Visit www.nqf.org.za to see the equivalence
War Child, Doctors Without Borders and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
of diplomas and/or how well regarded your
Job vacancy websites
qualification is locally and internationally. You can also get career advice and see all the
Checking for vacancies is a good way to start your charitable career. That way, you get a realistic impression of what is going on in the world of charitable organisations.
professional bodies registered in South Africa.
By regularly studying job requirements, you will be better prepared for what is expected of you. Remember that most organisations have implemented professional
Have your diplomas evaluated
processes and, far from being grateful that someone is interested in working for
Every country has its own rules and regula-
them, they have their pick of capable, experienced candidates.
tions in relation to diplomas, so your qualifica-tion may have a different value in a different
Preparing for a career with a charitable organisation
country. To verify your qualification, e-mail
Just as you would prepare for applying to work at a multinational, there are steps
your ID number and full name to verifica-
you can take to make yourself an attractive candidate for a charitable organisation.
email@example.com. You will receive a tran-
1. Choose the right elective subjects.
Are you able to do relevant electives during
script of all the information on your learning
enrolments and achievements contained on
2. Voluntary work.
If possible, volunteer your services in an area that has relevance
the National Leaders’ Records Database.
to the organisation you would like to work at. This will increase your understanding of the world you will be dealing with.
For verifications concerning a third party, an
Most universities have their own organisations where you can network
agreement needs to be signed first. Email veri-
and play a role in bettering your local communities.
firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the
An (international) traineeship with social engagement offers you insight
agreement. In South Africa, foreign quali-
into the world of charitable organisations, and will stand you in good stead when applying
fications are evaluated by the Directorate:
for a job. Visit NgoPulse.org for an overview of organisations offering traineeship, as well
Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory
as numerous vacancies in the sector. NgoPulse also has a NGO Management Vacancies
Services (DFQEAS) which is located within the
portal for experienced professionals who may wish to take up management positions or
South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
assignments in charitable organisations requiring specific expertise.
Prodder.org.za is another useful website, providing a comprehensive directory of NGOs and development organisations in South Africa.
‘The orange day is a way for GSK to give back to the community… It is the one day that is organised and where all employees participate.’ – David Gichuhi, Managing Director, GSK Southern Africa (GSK)
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