Daan Groeneveldt: Tribute to a genuine South African


It grieves me to report that Daan died suddenly on Friday 26 June 2015.  We have been good friends for more than 15 years and were due to meet the next day.  He was developing a system to measure fairness in the workplace in the context of remuneration, differentials and proportionality.  He was a  Personnel Manager in the true sense of that expression who had unrivalled practical experience in the field.  He was concerned about all employees and their welfare.  I was introduced to Daan about 15 years ago and immediately knew that he was a humble person who really cared about people and not money.  He patiently taught me about many aspects of personnel management that I did not know about.  He opened my eyes to aspects of labour law that I had not considered before and explained complicated concepts to me.

It has to be appreciated that whilst lawyers have been tasked with ruling on many aspects of industrial and personnel relations we have not been properly trained to know and understand the intricacies of most of those relationships.  In particular lawyers have virtually no understanding of the ‘value exchange’ that is necessary to make enterprises sustainable.

South Africa has now been deprived of the wisdom and experience of a man who worked with Dr Thomas Paterson when he was in South Africa in the early seventies.  Dr Paterson was a scientist and never formulated any ‘plan’ or system of ‘job evaluation’ as such.  He proposed a method of assessing or measuring internal equity and external parity.  It was rational and justifiable.  The Department of Labour has finally moved from six to seven occupational levels in EEA 9.  It is now possible to continue with the task undertaken by Daan of explaining the significance of proportionality and the elimination of ‘disproportionate remuneration differentials’.

Recently on 16 June 2015 and at his suggestion I wrote about the misunderstandings concerning the ‘wage gap’ – Pay differential: proportionality without a wage gap.  Daan checked what I had written and approved it.  We now need to carry on the work that Daan was engaged in and it is essential that what he wanted to achieve in South Africa should not be lost or abandoned.

Daan was a man of many talents who was also interested in all aspects of life, including gardening and sport.  My sincere condolences to his wife Lorraine and family and my thoughts are with them at this very trying time.  They have my assurance that I will do whatever I can to keep Daan’s dreams of a better world alive.  I know there are others who share this vision.

Five basic forms of Authority (Paterson)

Five basic forms of Authority

Æsculapian Authority and the Doctor-patient Relationship

The complete article needs to be read by clicking on the link but here are some extracts from an article by Erik T. Paterson, M.B., Ch.B., D.Obst.R.C.O.G., F.B.I.S (with footnotes omitted) and first published in The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 15, 2nd Quarter 2000

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Creation of unskilled jobs – decentralise & deregulate ? (J Yudelowitz)

“The inability to create unskilled jobs is one of the main barriers to SA’s social and economic viability.   Well-paid pundits’ solutions to this problem are thwarted by their own ideologies, assumptions and politics.

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Collective bargaining: fair pay differential for value of experience (Hillary Joffe)

“What is needed now is a national conversation on public sector pay and national priorities.   And it needs to start as soon as the strike is over, before the battle starts up all over again next year, and before even more advertising is booked in newspapers.

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Employment equity: internal equity & external parity in measuring pay

Measuring ‘external parity’ and ‘internal equity’ is an essential function of management.   Section 27 of the Employment Equity Act of 1988 creates a framework (EEA 9) obliging the management of every designated employer to state the remuneration, including all benefits, in each occupational level of the business, from top to bottom, to ensure there are  proportionate income differentials in the business.

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Public sector settlement agreements: employer accountable to Labour Court

Should an employer in the public sector be held accountable to the Labour Court to explain why it settled a claim of alleged unfair ‘dismissal’ by an 80-year old specialist psychiatrist who had been employed for 40 years ?

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Risk management policies in need of review (Sanchia Temkin – BD)

“South African companies need to revisit their risk management policies in the wake of the global recession, say corporate governance experts”.

“More focus has also been placed on the role of risk management due to the report of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in SA, in which its chairman, Mervyn King, points out that accountability and transparency (of the board) are paramount”.

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Keep paying above market rate and face mass unemployment

MICHEL PIREU: (pireum@bdfm.co.za) has contributed the following words of wisdom in his StreetDogs column in BusinessDay today, being extracts from Planning for Freedom: Let the Market System Work, A Collection of Essays & Addresses by Ludwig von Mises:

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Thomas Thomson Paterson (1909 – 1994)

Thanks to an internet search it is now possible to reproduce Erik T Paterson’s obituary of a remarkable man, his father, emeritus professor Thomas Thomson Paterson BSc(Edin), MA, PhD(Cantab), Archaeologist, Palaeontologist, Geologist, Glaciologist, Geographer, Anthropologist, Ethnologist, Sociologist and world authority on Administration, who died on the 9th of April, 1994, in Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver, after a ten year battle with cancer of the prostate.More... Continue reading