(Patensie) – With the Nelson Mandela Bay region’s largest supply dam levels dropping rapidly as warmer weather sets in, the Gamtoos Irrigation Board (GIB) is asking residents and farmers to be increasingly vigilant when it comes to water usage. The Kouga Dam, which is managed by GIB, is currently at 63.1% capacity – a level which is likely to drop rapidly as warmer weather sets in over the festive season, the organisation has warned. GIB financial and human resources director Rienette Colesky said that, since its establishment in 1991, the organisation had been responsible for supplying water to 250 farms with a combined surface area of 7 400 hectares. It also serves the Kouga Municipality (Patensie and Hankey) and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. The latter is entitled to 28% of the dam’s water and introduced water restrictions in September in an effort to attain the required 15% reduction in consumption gazetted by the Minister of Water and Sanitation. “Because the water usage from the dam has a direct impact on the economic activities in the Gamtoos Valley, it is vital to find the right balance between consumers’ needs and sustainable food security, development and conservation,” said Colesky. In modern agriculture, she said, responsible water management was essential. “The Gamtoos Valley is known as the pantry of the Eastern Cape. With agri-tourism and farming activities in the valley ranging from citrus and vegetables to dairy and livestock, water is important to everyone and the conservation thereof a priority. The board will fulfill its responsibility in this regard to the letter.” Given that the canal system is the main artery between the Kouga Dam and the consumer, she said it was constantly monitored for water losses and maintained in peak condition. According to Colesky, GIB has become increasingly involved in the Department of Environmental Affairs’ natural resource management programmes since 1999. These include conservation . . .
This year’s Festive Ideas Market at the Simondium’s Country Lodge promises to be a star-studded event for festival goers. From Wednesday, 2 November, until Sunday, 6 November, this distinctive market is celebrating its uniqueness beneath the Southern Cross. Are you looking for that special gift for one of the stars in your life? With more than 100 exhibitors with innovative and originals products of the highest quality, you’ll find the perfect gift for any occasion. Discover designer clothing for all ages, beautiful fashion accessories and hand-made jewellery as well as a sensational selection of pampering products. If you want to spruce up your house, kitchen or garden before the festive season, this market is the ideal place to pick up exceptional decor items such as imported linen, table ware for your festive table ranging from silver cutlery to crystal glasses and antique porcelain – as well as gorgeous Christmas decorations. The Festive Ideas deli is brimming over with the yummiest home-baked goodies to fill up your pantry before the holidays. Spoil your loved ones with mouth-watering biscuits, rusks, gourmet coffees, hand-made sweets, jams, relishes and canned treats as well as fresh farm produce and even speciality fruit cakes. Enjoy the relaxed and festive atmosphere of the elegant old guesthouse and its lush gardens with soothing live music, delectable snacks and a glass of wine, while the kids can play in a specially dedicated kiddies area. The market is open from 09h00 till 17h00 from Wednesday to Saturday, but closes at 15h00 on Sunday. Free parking and security is available. Entrance is R30 per adult, but free for children under 18. Don’t miss the special preview on Tuesday, 1 November, from 14h00. The Simondium’s Country Lodge is easily accessible on the R45 between Paarl and Franschhoek, only 60km from the Cape Town central, 13 km from the Klapmuts turn-off and a quick 15km from Stellenbosch via the Helshoogte Pass. For enquiries, . . .
French acrobats Delphine Lechifflart and Franck Rabilier are sailing down to Port Elizabeth, after their second South African stop in Durban, to perform their acrobatic shows from their sailboat, La Loupiote at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club during November. The couple will use the mast, boom, rigging and other parts of their yacht as stage to exhibit their acrobatics prowess at three shows on 18, 19 and 20 November 2016 on their yacht moored off ABYC. The troupe have performed their show around the world with stops in France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Caribbean Islands, East Canada, Bermudas, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii Islands, West Canada, USA, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia. The Port Elizabeth shows will feature two unusual silent productions inspired by circus, dance and theater on a sailboat. These routines were initially created for the Society of the Old Quays of Montreal (where the couple performed over 150 shows). The first show, 'The Sailors', inspired by Buster Keaton and silents films, is a parody of navigational manoeuvres that poke fun at the mishaps of maladroit navigators. The second show, 'Between wing and island' deals with male-female relationships in a spectacle of aerial choregraphy and acrobatics in a duet that ranges from love, humour and poetry to earth, sea and sky. Lechifflart and Rabilier met in Paris in 1992 through friends while Lechifflart was studying art history at the school of the Musée de Louvre. Rabilier was an engineer and consultant, but his heart lay elsewhere. Rabilier, went to a circus training school as a child in Reims, about 80 miles from France, and caught the performing bug. His parents weren't keen on the circus as a career choice, steering young Franck into engineering instead. But his interest in performing was kindled. After meeting Lechifflart, Rabilier started teaching her acrobatics. At first it was just for fun, but over the next decade they started working at . . .
Those job seekers with a command of far eastern and local indigenous languages have better salaries awaiting them if their work requires the language. Adzuna in South Africa has completed research on which languages bring home the bacon best. Chinese/Mandarin, Japanese, Xhosa and Zulu topped the rankings, while Russian and various European languages made up the rest of the top 10. According to the job aggregator website, being bilingual or knowing a foreign language is a top skill in not only finding a job, but also obtaining work visas when moving to other countries. Some countries also require a certain level of competence in their official language/s. A spokesperson for Adzuna added: “Although many of these positions are for call-center or sales roles, it is interesting to note that South African languages, which were added into the mix researched, showed promising results.” Strong demand for French, Portuguese and German was noted, with the top South African language required being Afrikaans. English was not included in the research results as it was deemed ubiquitous. The least required language measured was Finnish. With a growing international presence and more BPO (business process outsourcing) companies entering South Africa, the demand and salaries for foreign language abilities is set to only move one way: up. Language Job demand Average salary Chinese/Mandarin 203 R335 863 Japanese 27 R335 625 Zulu 421 R332 714 Xhosa 142 R318 923 French 453 R304 378 Finnish 11 R301 236 Portuguese 294 R298 975 Dutch 72 R298 478 Russian 18 R280 531 Swedish 56 R279 872 German 563 R278 064 Norwegian 31 R271 734 Arabic 117 R264 667 Spanish 134 R255 674 Turkish 37 R231 047 Swahili 21 R198 000 Italian 127 R193 976 Afrikaans 4866 R176 992 Chinese tops list of best languages for job seekers by Jesse Green on 19 . . .
Aspire Art Auctions’ inaugural sale on 31 October 2016, which took place in a new venue at The Park on 7 in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, was bursting at the seams with seasoned and new bidders, proving that the market is ripe for top quality art. Viewers complimented the curated selection of works on offer and the museum quality aesthetic of the installation. Alexis Preller’s painting, Profile Figures (Mirrored Image) of 1968, selected by the artist and Dr. Albert Werth, the then-director of the newly built Pretoria Art Museum, to be prominently displayed on Preller’s acclaimed retrospective of 1972, achieved over R7-million. The powerful yet modestly scaled William Kentridge Untitled (Colonial Landscape) achieved over R2-million. JH Pierneef’s unique and breathtaking Karoo near Hofmeyer, painted in 1930, achieved over R1,8-million. Rare gouaches by Irma Stern were snapped up by keen bidders. Her Congolese Woman, 1946, sold for just under R2-million, while young Watussi dancer was one of a series of works on paper capturing the spectacular royal celebrations of the Fête Nationale in Kigali, Ruanda in 1942 fetched just under R800 000. Edoardo Villa’s 1965 Homage to Maillol, achieved the highest price since Villa’s passing in 2011. Contemporary art achieved new records at auction. Athi-Patra Ruga’s impressive tapestry, Convention…Procession…Elevation, achieved over R477 456. Two new records were set for Peter Schütz with African Daphne and Goddess of Transformation each achieving R125 048. Diane Victor’s Abomakgereza almost broke the R200 000 mark, while David Koloane’s Dog with Green Eyes nearly tripled his previous record at R107 996. Previously neglected areas of South African art at auction, including photography, drew enthusiastic bidding. New records were set for Pieter Hugo at R204 624 and David Goldblatt at R159 152. With a lot average of R315 000 and a sell-through rate of 75%, newcomer, Aspire Art Auctions’ results exceed all expectations. . . .
Never before has there been so much information available to businesses and individuals. In January 2015, Google estimated that there were 300 exabytes (that’s 300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-made information in the world. In 2011, there were just 30 exabytes. In just 48 months, the amount of human-made information increased by 1000% and we are now at a point whereby more information has been created in the past few years than in all of human history before. The growing maturity around the Internet of Things, the massively increasing number of connected devices, the explosion of video, social media, user generated content have all resulted in exponential growth in the amount of data at our fingertips. In July 2015, YouTube reported that is was uploading 400 hours of video content every minute. So for every hour of YouTube videos you watch, you’re already 23,999 hours behind – that’s nearly three years! From a business perspective, there are two types of data that need to be analysed, understood and trawled through; structured and unstructured. Analysing the structured data is a well-established business requirement - vast amounts of data stored in well-organised databases can be interpreted and presented with relative ease. The challenge lies with analysing all the unstructured data residing in an organisation - from emails to voicemails, social media, video, contracts, letters. This unstructured information doesn’t clearly display any underlying patterns or trends. We also have to consider context. A contract, for example, is the final output. A negotiated, distilled and agreed-upon entity. But it is really just a snap-shot, a point in time. What about all the information that surrounds the contract, the email discussions the multiple revisions. What was actually meant by the parties negotiating the deal? Historically, the only way to gain insight into a big stack of reports - or see patterns in customer complaint letters or supplier payment issues – . . .
Many will say that South Africa is a strange country. Beset as we are with many interest groups requiring attention even a learn to sail programme on the most basic level is beset with 'ground rules' when money is made available from interest groups with deep enough pockets to sponsor grassroots sport. Experts say that the best way to get 'Cinderella Sports' out into the mainstream is to break into schools. Once you have the support of a school sport programme then your job becomes a whole lot easier. Consider sports that are not able to take place on school grounds - like sailing which is also not strictly a team sport then you will realise the challenges faced by sailing enthusiasts that desperately want to share their sport with younger children. Educational Specialists point to Chess as a vital support skill to learn in support of Maths. Sailing Specialists will go one step further and tell you that not only is sailing 'Chess on the Water' but that it also teaches children responsibility, the consequences of their actions and takes place in a healthy outdoor environment. During the week of 17 to 20 October the Redhouse Yacht Club embarked on a sail training initiative sponsored by Lotto through South African Sailing (SAS). Two schools form part of this pilot project - Herbert Hurd and Parsons Hill Primary - which will see 60 eager youngsters learn how to sail. All available slots have already been taken up. For the remainder of this term and on one designated day per week, each school will travel out to Redhouse with 15 pupils to take part in the training. Part of the Lotto funding goes towards transport costs for each of the two schools. The final 30 school children will complete the programme in the first term of next year. Training is done under the tutelage of Herbert Hurd Sportsmaster, Darryl Garner, who has been sailing for many years and recently completed an Instructor Developer Course which allows Garner to train other sailing . . .
Estonians Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis triumphed on a drama-filled day to win Stage 2 and close in on the overall lead of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Pruus, the European marathon champion and Tarvis, the Estonian marathon champion of Team KOMO/RMW, clocked a winning time of 03 hours 45 minutes 58 seconds for the 99km leg from Mossel Bay to George. They came within 13 seconds of the overall lead, held by Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (NAD Pro), who had to stop on numerous occasions with tyre problems, but still managed to finish a somewhat desperate second in 3:46:53. There was a furious six-rider sprint for the final podium spot between Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized), Konny Looser and Daniel Gathoff (Cape Brewing Co Elite.) and James Reid and Julian Jessop (Team Spur). The Dutch pair of Groen and Boelen were awarded third after the finish-line photo was examined, their time 3:48:03. Looser and Gathoff were fourth and Reid and Jessop fifth, the former pairing still third in the overall contest. “We were going to stay in the group at the beginning, but then we thought maybe we’ll try something on the long climb. But it turned out not to be much of a climb, even going downhill sometimes, so we stayed in the group almost until the third waterpoint, then I rode away with one solo rider,” explained Tarvis. “Then later the other Peeter attacked and he caught me. So we rode together a little bit off the front, but then the NAD Pro team caught us. But they had some problems with their bike and we got away again near the end,” explained Tarvus. “One of our goals was to win a stage at the Cape Pioneer Trek. Now we have achieved that. We are very close to the lead now so we are going to go for the overall now,” said Pruus. “We had some troubles but we chased back multiple times. Each time we got back there were attacks. It was chase, chase, chase! It was one of . . .
Blades are precision made in German factory – delivered on members’ schedule What do you do if you like the shave you’re getting, but you intensely dislike the exorbitant cost of the blades? If you’re Johannesburg residents John Woollam and Chris Irwin, you start by scouring the planet for a factory that makes exceptional blades. You find one in the industrial heartland of Germany that uses high grade steel ground to exacting specifications by superb craftsmen. Then you start a business. Not a conventional business mind you – an online business that actually delivers razor blades directly to the door of South African men on their schedule. With no charge for delivery. In a nutshell, that’s how The Shave Union South Africa was born. “We both wanted the best shave possible, but felt ripped off by the high price of quality razor blades – it’s hard not to. We were determined not to compromise on quality, and because shopping for blades can be a hassle, we wanted to make it convenient for guys.” said Woollam. So what does The Shave Union actually deliver and how much does it cost? Men who sign up will receive four cartridges at a time, each made with 5 blades, for only R42.25. That’s about 40% less than other blades of comparable quality. Guys can decide if they want the blades delivered every 1, 2 or 3 months, and they can cancel anytime. Irwin adds, “You also get a free top-quality razor handle – one of those weighted, ergonomic ones that feels good in your hand. Guys will get a super close, comfortable shave for a low price and can cancel anytime. There’s a lot to like and no risk. We think the whole deal is pretty amazing.” Although razor blade delivery to men’s homes is now common elsewhere in the world, it’s new to South Africa. Will men visit The Shave Union’s website (www.ShaveUnion.co.za) and sign on? “Time will tell”, says Woollam, “We look forward to helping lots of men get a great shave at a low cost. The Shave Union is definitely an idea . . .
There’s a strong European challenge mounted for the 2016 edition of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race, which starts in Mossel Bay on South Africa’s Western Cape coast on Sunday. The seven-day event, which carries International Cycling Union (UCI) status, has seen the overall titles in the men’s race swing back and forth between local and European riders over the past few years. Last year’s edition was won by South Africans Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of SCOTT LCB Factory Racing. Beukes is currently out of action, recovering from a serious fall, increasing the chances of a new winning combination to top the final podium. The most likely title contenders are last year’s podium finishers – runners-up Roberto Crisi and Emanuele Crisi (Italy) and third place finishers, Bram Rood and Gerben Mos (Netherlands). However the team that could well upstage them is the Estonian pair of Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvus. The Rietumu–Delfin pair will be competing in South Africa for the first time, whereas most of their rivals will be familiar with the conditions, which can range from extremely hot and dry to torrential rain across varying terrain. Pruus is the current European marathon champion and he finished second to Tarvus at the 2016 Estonian marathon championships, which confirms the strength of both riders Pruus is hoping for a successful Cape Pioneer Trek in order to further show his ability on a mountain bike. “European Championships was my only real international race on a mountain bike. I didn’t expect to win and was aiming for a medal. But I had a really good day. I would like to do more mountain bike racing and I hope to show my ability, along with my friend Peeter, at the Cape Pioneer Trek,” said Pruus. “I am racing mostly on the road for my team, Rietumu Bank Continental team and don’t get much chance to race big mountain bike events. I did start out as a mountain biker though and I do really enjoy it,” said Pruus, . . .