It is with great pleasure to announce that Rosendal Winery & Wellness Retreat's wine delivered yet again at the 17th Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2013! "The Michelangelo competition offers value to their entrants," said Lorraine Immelman, founder and owner of the Awards, adding that "it provides a platform for local wines to be judged by a panel of international judges on local soil, and to compete against entries from other countries." This year's international entries were received from Chile, Italy, New Zealand, France, Argentina and Canada. Since the competition's inception in 1997 more than 160 international wine experts from 37 countries have served on the judging panel, which is why this competition is unique in South Africa - judges are unbiased, professional experts with international experience in wine adjudication. This year a panel of 16 wine and brandy specialists from 15 countries judged the entries from the 12th to 17th of August at Romond Vineyards in Somerset West. In accordance with the rules of the Michelangelo International Awards only 30% of entries may be awarded a medal which adds to the prestige of a wine bearing a Michelangelo Medal. The 2013 results were announced at a glittering gala luncheon on Friday, 6 September, where Rosendal's Barony August Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 won a Gran D 'Or Medal and a Gold was awarded to the Rosendal Hilltop Merlot 2011. On receiving the great news, Rosendal's acclaimed and multiple award-winning winemaker, Therese de Beer, commented that she is “extremely proud of both of these wines! The Michelangelo International Wine Awards is one of the leading competitions in the country, so this is a great feather in our cap! This just shows again that Rosendal’s wines are of superior quality!” Geir Tellefsen, owner of Rosendal Winery & Wellness Retreat, said that "It is a great honour to receive these awards and I would like to thank our amazing team for all your hard work. Therese you . . .
This week the Property Poser experts assist a reader who is withholding her rental payment in an effort to force her landlord to effect repairs to the property. The tenant explains that she rented a house at the beginning of this year but the agent representing the landlord didn't conduct an inspection of the property to check for defects or problems. One month after taking occupation, the reader sent through a "snag list" but to no avail. Since then, nothing has been repaired despite considerable time having passed. She explains that one of the rental conditions was the payment of one and a half months' rental. Presumably in desperation and in an endeavour to make the landlord effect the necessary repairs, the reader decided to withhold payment of her rental, thus "eating into" her deposit. The result of this move is that the landlord, via his agent, has now formally demanded payment and restoration of the deposit and has also threatened the tenant with eviction should she not timeously comply with his demands. The reader has tried e-mailing the contact person listed on the correspondence that was sent to her but has not received any response. When considering a problem such as this, two aspects are important: the lease between the parties and the Rental Housing Act, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town. "The lease may require a deposit to be paid, which was duly done in this case." Van der Merwe says the deposit serves a specific purpose, which is to provide the landlord with peace of mind that a fund exists to enable certain repairs once a tenant vacates the property. "The Act requires the parties to inspect the dwelling concerned before a tenant takes occupation." This is to determine the extent of any repairs that may be required and also the landlord's responsibility to make the necessary repairs, says Van der Merwe. "Where there are defects that won't be addressed, they will merely be . . .
Sesli Textiles, manufacturers of domestic and corporate blankets, is introducing an exciting range of high-end good quality luxury blankets, with an opulent touch and feel imported from Turkey. The blankets are available from baby to queen size and can be machine washed on a cold water gentle cycle. Sesli manufactures top-quality blankets by using the best imported and local materials since 2000. Sesli has a wide product range with blankets that are recognised for their superior quality, aesthetic design and extreme comfort. CEO of Sesli Textiles, Mr. Mustafa Sesli, says; “Many of our customers wanted a blanket with a new touch and feel. Something new and exciting. Sesli Textiles then sourced a blanket from Turkey that is of good quality and has a feel of luxury and found the Sparkle and Colourful blanket. We have imported these blankets to test the market and see what the response would be, ideally to start the manufacturing process at our Johannesburg plant.” The local blanket range includes home décor, sports, corporate, church, hotel and grey recycled blankets which is assembled from acrylic yarn that is not only moth proof, but also allergy resistant, anti-bacterial and non-flammable. Sesli boasts the latest technology of weaving looms in the weaving department. About Sesli Textiles Sesli owes its success to decades of experience as well as their integrity, professionalism and dedication to superior standards of manufacturing at our high-tech factory. Sesli supports a number of charitable initiatives in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Sparrow Village, CANSA and The Muscular Dystrophy Foundation. The Sesli difference As we are all aware the Chinese exports blankets to South Africa at a very low cost, which in turn allows them to sell the product at a low cost. Many South Africans are unaware that the blankets are manufactured with hazardous materials and is of very poor quality. The poorly manufactured Chinese imported . . .
Eco-conscious wine lovers should not miss the opportunity to taste Boland’s popular eco-friendly Flutterby range and more at the Mercury Wine Week. The Flutterby range was launched to great acclaim in 2011 with a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc showing rich tropical tones and a Merlot with lusciously soft and subtle oak undertones to complement the fruit. The slender, 750ml PET bottles have been a hit with eco-conscious consumers and outdoor enthusiasts. The lightweight and easily transportable range with its convenient screw cap is the perfect picnic partner and offers a varietal for every taste, each sporting its own unique butterfly label. The unique PET packaging technology presents a significant reduction in the manufacturing carbon footprint as the material is 100% recyclable. Boland Cellar consistently offers consumers great value and quality across their wide-ranging wine portfolio and will also have a selection of award-winning wines from the flagship Boland Five Climates range on offer. Grapes for the Five Climates range are received from five diverse climate zones within the Paarl region and capture the fine expressions of regionality through the masterful blending. The Boland Five Climates Chenin Blanc is on offer at Mercury Wine Week. Winter is also the perfect time to try Boland Cellar’s Cappupinoccinotage. The name is a mouthful, but so is the wine. This full-bodied Pinotage captures the quintessential earthiness and sweet red berry flavours of South Africa’s indigenous cultivar and delivers seductive notes of mocha and ground coffee. Festival goers will also be able to sample Boland Cellar’s Sixty 40 Red and White blends. The Mercury Wine Week 2013 opened yesterday and is open today and tomorrow (Friday, 30 August) from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Tickets cost R100 and are available at Computicket and at the door. Five of Boland Cellar’s wines will be included in the 2014 edition of the Best Value Wine Guide - Cellar Five Climates Chardonnay 2013, . . .
A tenant has asked the Property Poser panel for guidance in retrieving her deposit, which the rental agency is withholding, despite her having paid the landlord directly in recent months. It appears that the reader and her landlord became friends over time, then discovered that, despite her paying her rental promptly on the first of each month, the agency only paid it over to the landlord much later. The tenant was subsequently advised by the agency that the rental should be paid directly to the landlord, which she did until deciding to vacate the property prematurely. This was done with the consent of the landlord, as a replacement tenant had been secured. The reader's problems started when she attempted to recover her deposit, paid at the inception of the lease, from the agency. Despite the fact that the agency had not been acting for the landlord for some time, it still held the deposit and the landlord insisted that it was the reader's responsibility to recover it. After struggling to make contact with anyone at the agency, an employee there advised that the reader would be refunded 30 days from the date on which they were made aware of her move. Some time elapsed and no monies were paid to the reader. She battled to get further clarification, and then received an e-mail from someone at the agency stating that they had spoken to the landlord and would get back to her regarding the refund date of her deposit. No one did and since then she has been unable to reach anyone at the agency. The reader now asks for some advice as to what she could try next to recover her deposit. It is quite usual for a deposit to be paid to a rental agency, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town. "But it's important to note that the deposit should be placed with a financial institution in an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the tenant." Van der Merwe says events seem to have taken their natural course as the . . .
This week, the Property Poser experts assist a reader who is struggling to get final approval from the homeowners' association for his newly built home in a security estate. Without it, the local council will not issue a certificate of occupancy. The reason given by the HOA for withholding approval is that landscaping needs to be completed, including putting grass down. The reader argues that the road in front of his house is still under construction and that he will sort out the landscaping issue once this road has been finalised. Despite not having the letter of occupancy in hand, the reader still proceeded to move into the property and, shortly thereafter, the electricity was disconnected. The HOA directed correspondence to the reader, via an attorney, that he must remove all his furniture from the property because he does not have the required occupancy certificate. In terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, an occupation certificate is compulsory for every building before occupation, says Sean Radue of Radue Attorneys in Port Elizabeth. "This is to ensure that certain relevant building requirements have been met and thereby safeguard the owner and other occupants." Radue says the requirements before such a certificate may be issued include approved building plans, a completion certificate from a registered structural or civil engineer, a roof truss certificate, an electrical certificate of compliance and a glazing certificate. "The list continues, but what is clear is that the most important aspect is whether or not the building complies with basic safety standards, not whether or not the aesthetics of the dwelling are pleasing." Radue says the reader has not supplied further information about whether there are any other potential issues with the property. "However, a requirement that the landscaping and laying of grass be completed doesn't appear to be proper and sufficient grounds upon which to . . .
A reader has asked the Property Poser panel for help in extracting himself from a property he jointly owns with his brother. He writes that the situation is potentially tricky as the house is bonded and the mortgage bond is registered in both the reader and his brother's names. According to Sean Radue of Radue Attorneys in Port Elizabeth, there are two primary considerations for the reader to ponder. "This first is the legal relationship between the two brothers regarding joint ownership of the property." The second is the reader's position regarding the mortgage bond to which he is a party, says Radue. "Joint ownership in a property means, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, that each owner owns an undivided half share in the property." Radue says this refers to the fact that the actual portion of the property owned by one brother or the other cannot be identified or delineated. "For the reader to extricate himself from the partnership, the brothers could agree to terminate the partnership with, ideally, certain agreed consequences." The reader does not mention whether he and his brother have a formal agreement regarding their conduct in relation to the property or what his ideal outcome would be, says Radue. "The simplest solution would be for his brother to acquire full ownership." At this point, says Radue, the issue of the mortgage bond would become a consideration. "It would either need to be settled or our reader's brother could seek to take over the full bond obligation." Of course, the sibling would have to satisfy the requirements of the bank concerned and the National Credit Act, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town. "The dissolution of the partnership would not automatically release our reader from his bond obligations." If his brother does not wish to take over the ownership of the full property or is not in a position to qualify for the full bond, another . . .
This week, a reader has sought the Property Poser experts' advice about a suspensive condition on an offer to purchase a fixed property. She seems to have signed an offer that contained a suspensive condition relating to the successful acquisition of bond finance. The finance was approved but the reader applied for a further loan to cover the additional costs, including transfer duty and legal fees. The reader explains that the bank rejected her application for the additional sum and wants to know whether the seller would be able to sue her for breach of contract if she cannot afford to go ahead with the transaction. Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town, says an offer to purchase is simply a contract between a seller and potential purchaser. "When the offer is accepted by a seller, it becomes a binding contract between the two parties." In this instance, the contract contained a suspensive condition regarding the financing of the property but didn't address any further costs, says Van der Merwe. "A suspensive condition should be worded in such a way that it is specific about the purchaser's requirements." As the offer is made by the purchaser, Van der Merwe says it should be personal to his or her circumstances. "It should address the extent of the financing required, which is typically expressed as a percentage of the full bond, and any additional amounts needed to be in a position to purchase the property." The bank is not a party to the contract and must abide by certain requirements, in particular the National Credit Act, when considering whether an applicant is to be successful in securing bond finance, says Van der Merwe. According to Sean Radue of Radue Attorneys in Port Elizabeth, a contractual stipulation that could give rise to a financial penalty is not a consideration for a bank in approving additional finance. "Unless there are additional suspensive conditions that remain . . .
JOHANNESBURG: While problems experienced within call centres are addressed by a host of solution providers and vendors in the industry, an entirely new approach is required when call centres, in and of themselves, feature at the top of the consumer complaint list. The list is seemingly endless, varying from ‘it takes too long to get through, or ‘nobody seems to understand my problem’. Then there are those never-ending series of numbers, on complex menus, that have to be pressed - without results, while ‘not having complaints resolved due to a lack of knowledge by call centre agents’, as well as the unsuccessful escalation of calls to supervisors and managers, add to the levels of consumer irritation and unhappiness with the industry. A few months ago, Tilly Davies, CEO of Call Centre HUB, decided to do something about changing the negative perception the consumer has of the industry. The first step was to use her more than 30 years experience in the call and contact centre industry, to establish Call Centre HUB SA (Pty) Ltd, through which existing solutions and resources for the call centre industry are harnessed. This includes call centres, contact centres, help desks, tele-services and any other customer service initiatives, as well as the suppliers, vendors and service or solution providers to the industry. Call centres require readily available, easy to access and find, as well as relevant information, with which they can improve their day-to-day operations. Improvement leads to growth and more opportunity for the businesses of these customer initiatives; and especially for businesses that provide recruitment, training and products, as well as services and solutions to the customer service industry. Tilly has put together a dedicated and already highly efficient and successful web-portal, which allows all role players to buy into a collaborative effort with which to address the problems within the industry, and has employed experts in their fields to . . .
The Property Poser experts have received a rather interesting tax-related query from a reader who rents out his home to officers from the diplomatic services from time to time. When their property is occupied, the reader and his wife go and live on a camping site, which is admittedly less comfortable than their own home but far less expensive. In this way they are managing to save a bit of money for their later years. There is still a small bond on the property and while they know that they can deduct the interest portion of this bond from the rental income, the reader would like to know whether they can deduct the expenses incurred from their camping expeditions as these are "necessary costs" in renting out their property. When calculating the tax liability owed to the South African Revenue Service, all income must be declared, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town. "Thereafter, certain expenses that are specifically mentioned in the Income Tax Act and other general expenses incurred in producing the income may be deducted." As a general rule, Van der Merwe says expenses that were incurred in improving the property cannot be deducted as these are of a capital nature. "But should they wish to sell the property one day, these expenses could be taken into account when determining any potential capital gains." Van der Merwe says the reader correctly mentions that the interest portion of his bond payment could be claimed as a deduction. "The fact that our reader and his wife choose to rent out their property and in the process have to find alternative accommodation doesn't necessarily mean that these accommodation expenses can be claimed." Sean Radue of Radue Attorneys in Port Elizabeth says the more relevant deductible expenses would be expenses directly related to the rental property. "These include commissions paid to rental agents and electricity, water and rates or levies over the period that . . .