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Tracking your mission



If an organisation is to meet its mission it should concentrate on its critical success factors. Critical success factors (CSFs) are defined as those key variables or conditions that have a tremendous impact on how successfully and effectively an organization meets its mission or its strategic goals or objectives.

In other words CSFs are those features of a product or key issues in a service that need to be in place and working well if the business is to achieve its goals. Businesses must perform the activities associated with critical success factors at the highest possible level in order to achieve their intended objectives and achieve competitive advantage.

To track the achievement of the CSFs an organisation should develop key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help to measure whether the CSFs are working. By using CSFs and KPIs a business will stay focused on the key actions that will keep it on track to achieving its strategic objectives and therefore its mission.

An organisation should therefore develop an effective performance measurement system that enables managers to evaluate and measure the organisation’s performance. To be effective the measurement system should align the organisation’s objective with individual managers’ objectives.
Managers objectives should cascade from the corporate goals. In this way the achievement of the managers goals results in the achievement of the organisation’s goals.

The performance measurement system should also be linked to the company’s compensation plan and career development plan to provide reward and establish training and skills development needs.  Brian Tracy said that “The true measure of the value of any leader and manager is performance.” We can evaluate the leader/manager through the use of the key performance indicators.

KPIs are used by a company or an industry to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting its strategic and operational goals. KPIs vary between companies and industries, depending on their priorities or performance criteria.  A good KPI should be quantifiable, it should motivate a manager to perform well and provide an incentive to a manager to make decisions which are in the best interests of the overall company and should only include factors for which the manager can be held accountable; those he can control.

A good KPI should take into account both the long-term objectives as well as short-term objectives of the organisation.
It’s very crucial that KPIs are tailored to an organisation’s specific circumstances and objectives. They should be linked to the key goals of an organisation.

As from above it is very clear that a company’s KPIs should focus on key business drivers or critical success factors; those areas that determine the overall success of the business. These areas are the ones that add value to customer satisfaction.
Previously, performance measurements were mainly financial. However in recent years, the trend in performance measurement has been towards a broader view of performance, covering both financial and non-financial indicators.

The key financial indicators are those measuring financial risk or the gearing of the business, or those measuring business risk, profitability and liquidity. Financial risk is measured by the financial leverage ratio which is calculated by dividing debt with total capital employed (shareholder’s equity plus debt). This ratio refers to the degree a business uses borrowed money and how it is exposed to risks resulting from having too much debt.
Business risk is measured by the operating leverage ratio which is the total contribution (i.e. sales minus cost of goods sold and other variable costs) divided by fixed costs.

This ratio shows whether a business is generating enough revenue to pay for its fixed costs and cover a return for the owners.
The main profitability ratios are the gross margin, the net operating margin and the return on capital employed. All these ratios look at how profitable a business is.

Liquidity is measured by the current ratio and the quick or acid ratio. These two ratios, current ratio and acid ratio, tell us whether or not the company has enough liquid assets to pay its liabilities for the coming year. As a business grows it also employs more people. Some of the financial indicators can therefore be related to employees. The most commonly-used measures are sales per employee, contribution per employee and profit per employee. These measures can flag up issues that might need attention.

The weakness of the above financial ratios is that they are mainly historical and don’t help us in assessing the future viability of a business. It is therefore important that a company uses non-financial KPIs to assess the performance of an organisation.
The non-financial KPIs should be tailored to the mission of each organisation. The critical area to start measuring is customers. You need to see your business through your customers’ eyes. Acquiring and retaining customers is a crucial task for every business.

If customer service is a strategic priority for your business, which it should be, it could be measured by sales data indicating customer buying preferences, what customers are buying, the number of customer complaints received, the number of items returned or by the time it takes to fulfil an order.

Most customer focused KPIs measure quality and customer service. Performance is useful as long as you compare the organisation’s performance against a certain yardstick. Usually organisations look at the trend of the KPIs over a number of years or benchmarking the business performance and potential with other businesses in the same sector.

If your business is targeting rapid and significant growth it may then choose to compare its performance with an established market leader.
A company can also benchmark internally for instance, comparing absenteeism rates between departments. The critical thing when benchmarking is to focus on the key drivers that drive business success in your particular sector.

Stewart Jakarasi is a business & financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management.
He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.

l For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: or +266 58881062 or on WhatsApp +266 62110062

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LEC to switch off households over debts



MASERU – The Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) will from Tuesday next week begin switching off clients who owe it money.

The LEC issued a seven-day ultimatum to all customers who owe it on Tuesday last week. The deadline ends on Monday.

It is expected that the LEC will begin switching off households that have defaulted.

The state-owned power company, however, is not going to touch any government department or business entities that owe it on grounds that they are in payment negotiations.

The LEC move comes barely two weeks after it cut electricity supplies to the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) thus causing it to fail to pump water to communities countrywide for more than two days.

The LEC says it is owed close to M200 million by government departments, businesses and individuals.

The LEC spokesman, Tšepang Ledia, told thepost that the government and the businesses will not have their electricity cut because they are in negotiations.

“We are in negotiations with the government and businesses and hopefully they will pay,” Ledia said.

“We advise the ordinary people to pay their debts before the 20th of March 2023 or else we cut the services,” he said.

The LEC says it is running short of funds for its daily operations.

In December last year the company increased power tariffs by 7.9 percent on both energy and maximum demand charges across all customer categories for the Financial Year 2022/23.

Last week the LEC boss, Mohato Seleke, said postpaid consumers and sundry debtors owe the company M169.4 million.

He said unless the debtors pay he will be unable to buy electricity from ’Muela Hydropower Project, Eskom in South Africa and Mozambique’s EDM.

This, he said, could cause serious load shedding in the country and could be devastating for businesses.

Seleke said the LEC spends M630 million monthly to buy electricity.

“If postpaid consumers do not settle their debts this could prevent the LEC from being able to buy electricity which can lead the country to encounter load-shedding,” Seleke said.

Seleke said collecting debt from government department ministries was a challenge as there is an understanding that since LEC is a state-owned company, it will continue supplying government agencies with electricity and they will settle their bills when they have funds to do so.

Seleke said the LEC has lost M21 million to vandalism during this financial year.

Relebohile Tšepe

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Bumper payout for former mineworkers



MASERU – AT least 11 316 current as well as former mine workers are set for a bumper payout after Tshiamiso Trust began disbursing the first billion Maloti to workers who are suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis.

The payment comes two years after Tshiamiso Trust began processing claims for the historical M5 billion settlement agreement between mineworkers and six gold mines in South Africa.

Speaking at the payment announcement in Maseru last week, the Trust’s CEO, Lusanda Jiya, said it has been two years since they officially began accepting claims.

“Our people come to work every day with the mission of impacting lives for the better, and the first billion rand paid out to over 11 000 families is just the beginning,” Jiya said.

“We know that there is no compensation that will ever be enough to undo the suffering endured by mine workers and their families,” he said.

“However, we are committed to deliver our mandate and ensure that every family that is eligible for compensation receives it.”

Jiya said the Trust is limited both in terms of the time in which they can operate, and the extent to which they can assist those seeking compensation.

Broadly speaking, the eligibility criteria include among others that the mineworker must have worked at one of the qualifying gold mines between March 12, 1965 and December 10, 2019.

Secondly, living mineworkers must have permanent lung damage from silicosis or TB and deceased mine workers representatives must have evidence that proves that they (the deceased) died from TB or Silicosis.

Tshiamiso Trust has a lifespan of 12 years, ending in February 2031.

Over 111 000 claims have been received to date, through offices in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, eSwatini, and Mozambique.

The Trust is working with stakeholders in these countries and others to mobilise its efforts and expand operations.

The history of silicosis in South Africa goes back to the late 1880’s when the first gold mines began operations.

The gold was stored and locked in quartz, a special rock that contains large amounts of silica.

Crystallised silica particles can cause serious respiratory damage if inhaled.

In the earlier days of gold mining, dust control, health and safety standards and the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) were not as advanced as they are today.

Tshiamiso Trust was established in 2020 to give effect to the settlement agreement reached between six mining companies.

The companies are African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Stillwater and Gold Fields.

The settlement agreement was reached and made after a ruling by the Johannesburg High Court as a result of a historic class action by former and current mineworkers against the six gold mines.

Justice for Miners is a coalition of interested parties in the mining sector launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg in 2020.

The Johannesburg High Court approved the setting up of the Tshiamiso Trust to facilitate payment by the companies to affected miners.

Keith Chapatarongo

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Farmers cry over cost of livestock feed



MASERU – Lehlohonolo Mokhethi is a farmer who has been running a successful poultry business, thanks to a small loan he got from a local bank.

He now has 300 chickens.

He says his vision is to rear 5 000 chickens by 2025 and employ 30 youths. But he is now grappling with a new challenge: the ever increasing cost of chicken feed.

That is threatening the viability of his business.

“The biggest challenge is that food prices increase every day, feeding is expensive,” Mokhethi said.

“It is quite difficult to make profit in business if each and every day food prices increase. Today I am buying a bag of food with a certain amount then the next day the price has increased,” he says.

“Our customers fail dismally to understand that food has increased and the Chinese are taking our market because they sell at a low price thus I run at a loss.”

Last week, a top attorney in Maseru who is also a prominent farmer, Tiisetso Sello-Mafatle, called a meeting for farmers to discuss these challenges.

She says the government must regulate the prices of livestock feed.

That is critical if the farming business is to succeed, she says.

Attorney Sello-Mafatle says farmers must come up with a structure for livestock feed prices which they would present to the government for gazetting.

“We should state our regulations and give them to the government to make everything easy for both parties because we cannot wait for the government to make regulations for us,” Sello-Mafatle says.

She adds that “farmers should be bullish about what they want and never have fear endorsing new things”.

“I will not be challenged or cry (because of) what life throws at me but I will cry when things are not happening the right way,” she says.

Mafatle says farmers need to know who they are and know the capabilities they have.

“This will help a farmer in becoming the best in any field they are in once they are confident about themselves,” she says.

Karabo Lijo, another participant, said they have to influence the cost of inputs in agriculture, especially livestock feed.

“We have to go back to cost-price analysis where as farmers we are able to derive the selling price and the break-even point in our production,” Lijo said.

“We can also derive the stable or constant mark-ups on our products,” he said.

“We need to do research to increase the ability to produce byproducts which are likely to have the longest shelve life,” he said.

The meeting urged farmers to diversify their products by introducing such things as mushroom farming. They said mushrooms can grow very well in Lesotho due to its favourable climate.

The farmers also demanded that there should be regulations on how land can be sold or borrowed in Lesotho.

Tholoana Lesenya and Alice Samuel

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