Dylan Girdlestone sealed his second overall victory in the 151km Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique in a dramatic two-man sprint in the third and final stage at Mbombela in Mpumalanga on Saturday. In the dash to the line, the Westvaal-BMC rider got the better of MTN-Qhubeka’s Ethiopian climber Alem Grmay to steal the stage and overall wins by a single second. After a series of well-timed attacks by Girdlestone, the two broke clear of the group containing the main contenders in sight of the finish at the Mbombela Stadium. The 23-year-old from Pretoria completed the 30th edition of what is believed to be South Africa’s toughest road race in a combined time of 3:43:02. Westvaal’s Nico Bell secured the final step on the podium in 3:43:12. “It feels just as good as the first time I won it,” said an elated Girdlestone. “I’ve always put the Jock down as one of my goal races because it suits me really well. “This year’s route was very much like the old one in that you have a hard final stage with a tough last few kilometres. “The trick is to stay protected and if you’ve had the easiest ride there, you’ll have the most power – which is exactly what happened.” Although Girdlestone’s small five-man outfit was without the services of Tyler and Dusty Day, he said they had raced tactically to be able to compete against the numerically superior teams. “The plan was for my team-mates to have an easy ride in the first two stages. I said, ‘You can drop off, just don’t get eliminated’. “So we went into the last stage all guns blazing.” Team Abantu sprinter Nolan Hoffman took the day’s first yellow jersey when he came out tops in a bunch sprint in the 43km opening stage between Mbombela, formerly Nelspruit, and White River. Hoffman crossed the line in 1:05:08 to edge ahead of MTN-Qhubeka’s Ryan Gibbons and team-mate David Maree. On stage two, a grippy 45km ride from White River to Sabie, Grmay and team-mate Yohans Getachew took advantage of an early attack . . .
Credo - a ground-breaking multimedia oratorio based on the unifying values embodied in South Africa’s Freedom Charter, a musical reflection on the social vision enshrined in that historic document, premieres at UNISA’s ZK Matthews Great Hall in a double-celebration of Mandela’s 95th birthday on 18 July 2013, and UNISA’s 140th anniversary. In planning the recognition of this milestone, UNISA’s anniversary celebrations not only consider and reflect on the institution’s rich history, but also look forward, as the university maps its own future, while also shaping many futures. As the landscapes in which we live change, UNISA acknowledges not only its pioneering spirit as a national treasure and its African roots, but also its global intent and commitment to intellectual development. Story-telling and music make up a large part of the tapestry of our collective histories; and this production provides an opportunity to use creative means to chart a way through our futures. “In partnering with Pina Ya Thari on CREDO, in commemoration of UNISA’s 140 years, we celebrate the cultural, historical and social impact of the Freedom Charter in South Africa’s struggle for liberation; and the important role that this plays in shaping not only our past, but our many futures,” says UNISA’s Prof Mandla Makhanya. The creative team behind Credo is award-winning South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen, novelist Brent Meersman, and multimedia artist Andrew Black. Together they have created a multi-media, Mandela Day-inspired 67-minute production that explores the determined triumph of the human spirit over adversity through a soaring fusion of African lyricism and symphonic tradition. The composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen has written a wide range of music encompassing symphonic work, opera, chamber music and vocal music. According to The New York Times his “delicately made music - airy, spacious, terribly complex but never convoluted - has a lot to teach the Western wizards of . . .
The 30th Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique, presented by ASG, will give riders a painful history lesson as they ascend the misty hights of Long Tom Pass en route to Nelspruit on Saturday, July 20. It is perhaps fitting that this Mpumalanga pass, which takes participants into South Africa's colourful past, forms the highlight of the final leg of the three-stage road tour. Long Tom Pass was named for the 155mm Creusot siege cannons used on its flanks, for the last time, by the Boer commandos against the British in September 1900. Today, just over 20km from Sabie, a replica of one of these field guns stands as a monument to this skirmish during the Second Anglo-Boer War. In a similar vein, 1 500 riders will have to come out with all guns blazing as they muster their reserves for the final fight in SA's toughest one-day stage race. According to race organiser Wynand de Villiers, the last stage starts with the battle up this massive ascent. Much like the MTN Panorama Tour, the Jock traverses the monster climb, for about 8km, at an average gradient of seven percent, and turns towards Nelspruit just before its peak. The summit on the R37, which is one of the highest tarred roads in the country, is situated at 2 150m above sea-level and offers breathtaking views of the Sabie valley below. "The good news is that it's mostly downhill after that," says De Villiers. "The bad news is that there are some serious hairpin bends and the last stage is 18km longer than last year!" Riders who find it tough going should spare a thought for those who forged the original pass with picks and shovels back in the early 1870s. The steep and treacherous track formed the basis of the Transvaal Republic's trade route to Delagoa Bay in modern-day Mozambique. Many who came to seek their fortunes in the gold fields of the Lowveld also crossed this way, including Jock of the Bushveld author Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his faithful canine companion who gives the race its . . .
On Sunday, 21 July runners and walkers can bring their family and friends to “run wild” at Mpongo Private Game Reserve in aid of PAWS (Protect Africa’s Wildlife) to raise funds to support various Eastern Cape game reserves in protecting their wildlife. The 20km and 10km run and 5km walk will take participants through the stunning Mpongo Private Game Reserve. Starting times for the respective runs or walk are 10am for the 20km run, 10:30am for the 10km run and 10:45 for the 5km walk. The entry fee is R70 per person for all entering the walk or races, but free for children younger than five years, accompanied by an adult. The winners of all three races will receive medals and the first 400 finishers will each receive a free T-shirt. To book, register at Totalsports in the Hemingways Mall and Vincent Park Mall or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Gavin at 076 801 6888. “We look forward to once again welcome nature lovers to our reserve to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area while supporting nature conservation,” says Rodney Gerhardt, reserve manager of Mpongo Private Game Reserve, which is part of the Premier Hotels and Resorts group. Anyone interested in staying over for the weekend can book accommodation at the Mpongo Private Game Reserve at the special winter accommodation rate by phoning 043 742 9000 or book online at www.premierhotels.co.za. About PAWS PAWS is a non-profit, non-government assisted organization based in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. PAWS was formed in November 2011 in order to assist in the raising of funds towards the protection of Africa's wildlife. For more information about PAWS, please contact Gavin de Lange at email@example.com or visit www.pawafricawildlifefunds.co.za. For further enquires please contact Gavin at 076 801 6888. URL: http://www.premierhotels.co.za/ Twitter: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/premierhotels YouTube: Author: Naomi Willemse from Premier Hotels and . . .
Sell it in the headline Your headline is the most important—make sure your headline is short, catchy and to the point. Don’t bother trying to be clever in your headline, unless it’s an excellent play on words or a variation of a well-known saying. However, even a play on words (puns, etc.) don’t always work because, let’s face it, your target market may not be as bright as you are. Keep it simple Just like your headline, you should make sure that the body of your text is simple. Yes, talented writers can easily come up with awesome language that will showcase their brilliance and Heaven-given talent, but for a press release, showing your talent means writing for people who don’t necessarily find reading a first hobby. No, so keep it simple and to the point. Save your talent and cleverness for a novel. When it comes to press releases, be sure to write for an audience who will actually read what you write. Ask yourself, “Will my aunt read this?” Make it newsworthy Even if your piece is not newsworthy—and in my experience, most press releases are not newsworthy—you must still try make it newsworthy. Perhaps there’s some political link you can add into the release that will create some newsworthiness to it. It’s really about bringing something new to your reader. So think about your topic and try add a spin on it that seems new and relevant. Throw in little facts If you are writing for a company that sells refrigerators, it can be boring. Throw in little facts and make it sound interesting. For example, if the product sold 500 units in its first day, write it. Give numbers and facts wherever you can. Also, find research that can backup your release. Find unique ways to incorporate a psychological study. Throw in quotes For some reason people trust other people. Add in quotations about your product from other customers. Or give an angle that has a human interest to it—people love stories. Call to action Do not forget the boilerplate – . . .
The Freedom Charter as a Cultural Text forms the topic for a public dialogue to be held on Saturday 20 July at Freedom Park at 18h00. Writer Brent Meersman will chair the panel, with panellists: poet laureate Keorapetse William Kgositsile, composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen, musicologist Ncebakazi Mnukwana, and arts journalist Gwen Ansell. Born in Johannesburg in 1938, Keorapetse William Kgositsile attended Madibane High School. His extensive writing career began in 1961 when he worked as a young writer for the radical anti-apartheid newspaper, the New Age. He is highly noted for the promotion of arts and culture as important pillars of post-apartheid South Africa. Unable to tolerate the oppressive apartheid conditions and under the direction of the African National Congress, Kgositsile left South Africa in 1961. He spent his exile years pursuing his literary, educational, cultural and political interests in countries such as Tanzania, the United States of America, Zambia and Botswana. In 1971 he obtained a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Columbia University in New York. During this period Kgositsile published his first poetry collection, the critically acclaimed Spirits Unchained. Kgositsile has written ten books and published numerous articles, speeches, and other materials. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals including Guerrilla, Journal of Black Poetry, Negro Digest, The New African, Pan African Journal and Urban Review as well as in the anthologies Black Arts, Black Fire, For Malcolm and Poems Now. Worldwide appreciation of Kgositsile is evident by the presentations of his poetry, lectures on writing as a craft, revolutionary ideas on arts and culture and anti-apartheid activism. He was a founder of the Black Arts Theater in Harlem and has been an educator at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, the University of Denver, Wayne State University, the New School for Social Research in New York, the University of California in Los Angeles . . .
In celebration of Mandela Day on 18th July, the Shoprite Mall Centre Management in Port Elizabeth along with their tenants, are giving back 67 minutes to their local community as well as assisting those less fortunate than themselves. Two initiatives are being undertaken on Thursday, one in the Greenacres area and one supporting local street children in Korsten. As the old saying goes, charity begins at home and in this case close to home as the tenants and contractors of the Shoprite Mall will spend 67 minutes of their time cleaning up the area adjacent the taxi rank in Ring Road, Greenacres. Contractors of the mall, including Air-Tek, DMK Enterprize, Khanya Hygiene and Bidvest Magnum, Relay EMS, Wilcote and Werth While Plumbers have donated generously not only of their time but also financially to assist in these worthy causes. Their clean up will take place early in the day, from 09:30 – 10:37, before the team ready themselves for their second Mandela Day project at the ACVV Kamvalethu Drop In Centre, situated in Korsten. Translated the name of Kamvalethu means “Our future” and this is an apt name for a centre that provides not only food and clothing for street children, but sets out to assist them in getting off the streets and securing a brighter future for themselves. Kamvalethu runs daily programmes with the children and this is where the Shoprite Mall team which will include staff from Shoprite, Hungry Lion, OK Furniture, Pep, From the Kitchen, Creative Jewelers, Streetwear, Shoe Styles, Photo Doctor, King Pie, The Matador, Vodacom 4U, Signature Cosmetics, Daks, Wesley’s, 786 Cellular, Capitec, African Bank and Shoprite Mall Centre Management will be able to assist by donating and sharing a meal with the children to celebrate Mandela’s 95th birthday, starting at 13:30. “We are extremely pleased that our tenants and contractors have joined hands to support Mandela Day with us,” commented Marinda Herbst, Property Manager of Shoprite Mall. “We know . . .
Study by South Africa Travel Online reveals attitude towards basing airfares on passenger weight. According to the survey a majority of South Africans aged over 60 think it's acceptable to base airfares on passenger weight, but most South Africans younger than 60 think it's unacceptable. 17 July 2013, Cape Town -- GoAir in India was recently in the news for saying that they're only hiring thin, female flight attendants, in a bid to save money on fuel (they didn't mention whether they'd only hire thin female pilots too!). This follows on from last year when Samoa Air became the first airline in the world to charge airfares according to weight (about R10/kilogram). The most surprising discovery was the difference of opinion between those over and those under 60 years old. While 53% of South Africans older than 60 believe it's perfectly acceptable to weigh-in like a boxer before a flight and be charged accordingly, 64% of younger folk say it's unacceptable. So, who is right - the youngsters or the retirees? On an overall basis, 61% of the 2334 South Africans who participated are against having airfares based on weight. Most of those against a weigh-in reasoned that it would be discriminatory, against the Constitution, that some people have medical conditions whereby they cannot control their weight, and that it would be just plain embarassing. "No way should overweight people be charged extra for their tickets. This is immoral." was a typical response. The SouthAfrica.TO survey demonstrates that here is a substantial minority (39%) who are for airfares based on passenger weight, with reasons varying from it making economic sense (since fuel costs depend on weight) to it encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles (there were even a few who were concerned that heavy people would interfere with the aircraft's avionics!). Certainly there's enough of a minority to make up a market for any airline gutsy enough to implement airfares based on weight. But . . .
On the back of a call for innovative and groundbreaking proposals for its 2014 Main programme, the National Arts Festival today announced “satisfying” attendance figures for this year’s arts showcase which came to an end on Sunday. Overall attendance to the Festival was at 211 701, a marginal 7 000 decrease over the 2012 figure, according to CEO Tony Lankester. “Bearing in mind that 2012 was an all-time record audience for the Festival, coming close to maintaining attendance is a major achievement and points to the quality of work our artists are capable of producing,” he said. The rand value of tickets sold increased marginally, by 1.56%. This figure excludes “donations” received by approximately 108 productions which made up the “Free Fringe”. “Over a 5-year rolling average we have seen audience growth of around 20% since 2009. This is a healthy trajectory for the arts and for the economics of arts,” Lankester said. “Annual spikes and drops in audience would be worrying – organic, steady growth over time is a lot more reassuring and sustainable.” On the Main programme, audiences flocked to a variety of performances. “The list of sold out shows on the Main is long, but includes the Gala Concert, Beautiful Creatures, Asinamali, Woza Albert, The Last Moustache, My Name is Rachel Corrie and Pieter Dirk Uys’ two performances. On the Standard Bank Jazz Festival programme, Gloria Bosman, MiCasa, Jonas Gwangwa, Vusi Mahlasela and Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner Shane Cooper were among those who played to packed houses,” Artistic Director Ismail Mahomed said. A series of talks on the ThinkFest programme by music guru Richard Haslop called Richard Haslop’s Listening Lounge, in which he explored topics as diverse as Bob Dylan, Touareg Blues and the accordion were all sold out. So too was the end-of-Festival Pops Concert featuring the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Cock and featuring Zwai Bala. Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award . . .
The Freedom Charter as a Cultural Text forms the topic for a public dialogue to be held on Saturday 20 July at Freedom Park at 18h00. As Raymond Suttner and Jeremy Cronin comment in their book, 50 Years of the Freedom Charter (UNISA PRESS, 2006), The Freedom Charter (FC) not only articulated the nation’s cultural aspirations, but it has had a lasting impact on our cultural discourse. “The Freedom Charter was not only a political event, it was a major cultural milestone. The Freedom Charter recognises both the desire for unity and the rich, cultural diversity of our country”, they wrote. The public dialogue takes place under the auspices of Credo- a ground-breaking multimedia oratorio, which will premiere at UNISA’s ZK Matthews Great Hall in Pretoria, on Nelson Mandela’s 95thbirthday, 18 July 2013. The 67 minute musical testament to the Freedom Charter is presented in celebration of the 140th anniversary of The University of South Africa (UNISA). Founded in 1873 as the University of Good Hope; UNISA became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively by means of distance education; and throughout its rich history has continued to provide all people – regardless of race, colour or creed – with access to higher education. In line with these ideals, UNISA has facilitated these public dialogue sessions. The first was held in April, at which well-known thought leaders Raymond Suttner, Jabulani Sithole, Dr Essop Pahad and Bridget Mabandla were chaired by Brent Meersman and considered the legacy of the Freedom Charter, asking, whether it was “a living document”. Professor Suttner homed in on the words “we the people” and made the point that it depends to what extent we have succeeded as a country in making “the people” present in a participative democracy. Jabulani Sithole described the FC as an “evergreen document”, a benchmark below which we cannot allow ourselves to perform. Bridget Mabandla, former Minister of Justice, said the . . .