Techpreneur Boitumelo Menyatswe is taking the worry of finding a trusted house or pet-sitter with a new app Minderz, receiving support from Telkom’s InnoTech programme to take her platform to market. Even just a cursory online search for pet sitters reveals a slew of services and organisations, suggesting that, even in South Africa, that minding and walking pets is a boom market. As a matter of fact, such is South Africans’ love for their pets – little wonder that pets now go by the colloquialism fur-kids – that the country’s pet-care market is estimated by some to be worth some R4.6 billion right now, and expected to grow to R5.5 billion by 2021. “People spend a lot of money on their pets,” says Boitumelo ‘Tumi’ Menyatswe, the young and energised young tech entrepreneur with some smart plans to break into that market. Her strategy is built around Minderz (minderz.co.za), an online platform that allows pet-owners to sift through the vetted home & pet-minders featured on the app to find one they would trust with their beloved fur children. On Minderz, they will find an array of services. There are house-slash-pet sitters. There are minders who will take pets into their own homes for overnight stays. There are drop-in visits, and a dog walking service. Owners are also encouraged to meet with the minders – although if the transactions are taken offline, Minderz takes no responsibility if anything goes wrong – and can also make payments on the platform itself. To make sure minders are credible and reliable, Tumi has struck up a collaboration with an online identity verification service that runs a series of checks on those applying, on the platform, to be minders. Not a developer herself, Tumi has recruited other developers to design the system that serves as the backbone for minderz. “I’m a dreamer,” she says. “The kind of person who likes to think that anything is possible, and wants to make that dream come to life.” Those dreams may drive her, but . . .
Tired of the relentlessly negative portrayal of areas like Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha in the media, sisters Michelle and Natasha Talliard have – for starters – launched an online platform through which they want to start rebranding and promoting the positive side of these communities. In the popular media and imagination, communities and townships on the Cape Flats are often portrayed in a mostly negative light, earning renown only as places of deprivation and crime. That inspired sisters Michelle and Natasha Talliard, originally from Mitchell’s Plain. The negative impression, “grossly exaggerated at times by the media”, overlooked the “extraordinary” rich legacies of these communities, they say. And so was born Made in Everywhere, a marketing and brand agency that builds on the sisters’ experience, and on the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of residents. Starting off with an e-commerce platform, the aim of the venture is to highlight and celebrate these “forgotten places”, explains Natasha. “We want to showcase the positive and poignant stories of these previously disadvantaged communities, homing in on the successful entrepreneurs who have risen above their dismal living conditions to achieve and realise their dreams,” she says. “The aim of this idea is to build a platform for these communities to give them an opportunity to showcase their ideas, allowing locals to connect; to create an open space and build interest in developing new places and investing in forgotten ones.” There is much to showcase. Entrepreneurship was commonplace in these communities as residents were forced to earn livelihoods under deprived and difficult conditions. So the e-commerce platform will promote and market local craft producers. In time, the sisters’ plan, this will be followed by Living Legend tours to interact with these crafters, as well as cultural and heritage tours. To live up to its name, the aim is to expand the initiative beyond local communities to . . .
News24 is launching a brand new app called News24 Edge that personalises the experience of News24’s top quality journalism. Users select their interests and with cutting-edge technology, the app brings them all the breaking news first and the lifestyle and sports stories of their choice. Interests can be selected from topics such as sports, finance, motoring, parenting, travel, food, fashion, beauty and entertainment, to name but a few. After selecting interests, the app learns what users are interested in over time, and brings more of it to their home screens. The more they read, the better News24 Edge becomes at providing the most relevant stories to them. News24 is known for breaking news first and quality content that broadens horizons with local stories and news from abroad. News24 Edge offers users information that is personalised, smart and delivered fast to their devices. News24 Edge has been designed with a beautiful and streamlined experience in mind. Clear text and crisp images make content easy to find and read while the app’s navigation takes as few taps as possible to get to a desired story. News24Edge is available for download for Apple and Android phones. iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/za/app/news24-edge/id1161811531?mt=8 Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.news24.edge CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The country’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition – Decorex SA – has announced industry leaders, Kansai Plascon and Caesarstone, will be returning as headline sponsors for the 2017 edition which starts in Durban on 18 March. Because of the quality exhibition put on by Decorex SA every year, top professionals across the décor and design industry continue to participate, attracting numerous consumers to all three provincial events. It’s this unique combination of trade and consumer networking that proves so beneficial to the sponsors, who don’t often get the chance to interact directly with representatives from both sides of the industry. Paint giant, Kansai Plascon – who has partnered with Decorex SA since its inception – is excited to be joining the powerhouse brand once again. Anne Roselt, Kansai Plascon’s Global Colour Manager, said Decorex provides the perfect platform for South Africa’s largest paint manufacturer to reveal the latest colour trends and launch their annual colour forecast, something that is always announced at the Joburg Decorex which forms the final show in the three-part exhibition. “Decorex affords the Kansai Plascon representatives an opportunity to meet and discuss design and colour with the many visitors to the show as well as partners in the design industry,” said Roselt. She went on to explain that Kansai Plascon publishes an annual overview of the latest colour trends in the Colour Forecast. This publication gives insight into interior décor trends, allowing visitors to envision the hues within their own #livingdream. Coming on board for the third consecutive year, kitchen and surfaces’ specialist, Caesarstone, have praised the collaborative relationship that comes from such an impactful exhibition within the design world. “Sponsoring an event like Decorex is about brand positioning,” explained Caesarstone’s Marketing Director, Trevor King. “The Caesarstone brand is synonymous with excellence in design, which . . .
Professional Evaluation and Research (PEAR), a South African-based media monitoring, research, and analysis organisation, is set to take the global market by storm with an innovative way of measuring the value of social media postings. Built using mathematically sound and academically proven algorithms, the tool enables individuals and brands to view, in real-time, how much an update to a social network is worth. The concept is similar to the advertising value equivalent (AVE) metric used by agencies across the world but is built on a unique methodology specifically geared for social media. This factors in such elements as reach, influence, and trust. PEAR aims to give people the ability to quickly and conveniently see the monetary value of any updates posted, irrespective of platform. “The impact social networking has had on individuals and brands the world over has been nothing short of phenomenal. Unfortunately, the biggest stumbling block for communications professionals and companies have been to understand the financial value of these engagements,” says Jaco Pienaar, Chief Knowledge Officer at PEAR. Even though many companies understand the benefits of social media, when it comes time for budget discussions, decision-makers have very little to use as motivation for increased digital spend. Traditionally, online advertising has benefited from this as the metrics for value are easily shown through AVEs while that of social media updates have been more difficult. “Justifying resources on social media campaigns have just gotten a whole lot easier thanks to PEAR. Now, an agency can reliably inform their clients how much a Tweet, Instagram post, or the like is worth when a brand is mentioned. And because the values are determined by global financial markets, users always get a true reflection of the real-time monetary value of their social media AVEs,” says Pienaar. In addition to benefitting agencies and corporate clients, the PEAR offering gives . . .
News24, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, is proud to announce the launch of Project Rise, a new online platform dedicated to facilitating a nationwide debate on what South Africa should look like post-#FeesMustFall. For more than a year now, South Africa has been grappling with issues of free, decolonised tertiary education. While News24 continues to cover the day-to-day happenings on our campuses, the time has come for a national discussion that focuses on solutions, rather than problems. In the coming weeks and months, Project Rise will be the hub of our analysis of the #FeesMustFall movement. It will be an open forum where readers can follow and contribute to the debate beyond the news headlines. “The media are a key component when a country is in crisis and people need a voice. Project Rise is about moving South Africa forward in a productive manner by giving its citizens that voice,” says Adriaan Basson, News24 editor. “It will be a home for balanced conversations and we will start with a focus on education.” Ultimately, News24 will look for answers to the question posed by former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela at the annual Ahmed Kathrada Foundation lecture last year: What must rise? What will rise after fees have fallen? Is free higher education a possibility and at what cost? What does the university of the future look like? Says Basson: “Unemployment, inequality and poverty are our trio of enemies. If we don’t solve these problems together, we will fall. The time has come for a different discourse. We need a discussion that focuses on the future and what we want to become,” he adds. This is your opportunity to write for us if you have an idea or a solution for the future. No views are too radical – as long as they answer the question: what must rise? For correspondence and contributions contact Alet Janse van Rensburg at email@example.com. Contributions should be between 750 and 1 000 words in length and . . .
The National Senior Certificate matric results were released nationally from 5 January and millions of anxious matriculants used News24’s Matric Results Hub to find out how they did. On 5 January, page views numbered 6 785 078 with just over 11 million page views recorded since early December. “We saw an increase of 115% in use of the hub this year. Our search facility is what set us apart from the competitors,” says Adriaan Basson, Editor of News24. “Users were able to drill down and navigate across the hub, giving them access to detailed results info like individual, school, national and provincial results.” Mobile again took the lead with 85% of the traffic, compared to 80% last year. Desktop pulled in 8% of the traffic this year which was down from 12% in 2015. “The mobile results reflect the high use of mobile technology that the hub was designed to accommodate. News24 is known for breaking news quickly and accurately and for those matrics keen to get their results, both accuracy and screen responsiveness were key,” adds Basson. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
2017 has begun with a bang for Pietermaritzburg based public relations agency UrbanHouse Media who welcome not only three companies to their expanding client stable but also a new member to their team. Following two successful years of managing public relations for The Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, the largest and busiest conferencing centre in the southern hemisphere, UrbanHouse Media has been appointed to manage the mega-hotel’s social and digital media marketing strategy in 2017. Further adding to their client base, UrbanHouse Media will also be working with Pietermaritzburg-based, award-winning shop fitting specialists and light steel frame company, Shospec, and also with The Hillcrest Advice Bureau and Bursary Fund (HABandBF) as part of UHM’s CSI portfolio. The HABandBF are a KZN-based NPO providing underprivileged students, wanting to attend university, with financial support. To complement the company’s growth, UHM welcomes Accounts Manager Nicola Chapple to their team. Nicola has worked in the UK as a Digital Communications Manager for nine years and is passionate about effective communication within a fast-paced media industry. For more information about UHM and their clients visit www.urbanhousemedia.co.za. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Fashionable fabrics, inspired interiors and wall-to-wall trendsetting décor will adorn the Cape Town International Convention Centre from the 27th to 30th April 2017 as Decorex Cape Town – co-sponsored by Plascon and Caesarstone – takes over the city. In line with the 2017 theme, ‘Make your space your living dream’, visitors to South Africa’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition will be immersed in natural fabrics, revitalising tones and quality products all centred around a vision of reclaiming a space of sanctuary, disconnected from the relentless noise and distraction of the modern world. Visitors can interact with the country’s top designers where the latest trends will be accessibly featured in a variety of room settings. The Decorex Designer Spotlight will showcase the work of iconic Cape Town designer Dylan Thomaz while stylish living ideas can be picked up at the Decorex Trend House. Anyone looking for a change in hue can visit the Plascon stand where the highly anticipated 2017 colour forecast will be revealed. And for the latest in international-level kitchen products and appliances, visitors are invited to the Franke Kitchen Trend Project where four local kitchen designers will compete to create the ultimate ‘Simplicity in Design’ kitchen. Cape Town, which leads the way in décor excellence nationwide, can expect to see only the highest quality products and décor set to international standard, as well as the country’s most creative designers who will be showcasing the latest trends. For all your 2017 design and décor trends, get to Decorex Cape Town from the 27th – 30th April. Tickets are sold through www.computicket.co.za and at the door. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.decorex.co.za Facebook: Decorex SA Twitter: @decorexSA Instagram: decorex_sa LinkedIn: Decorex SA Pinterest: Decorex SA Blog: www.thebereed.co.za/decorexblog/ Decorex SA details: Decorex Durban: 18 – 21 March 2017 Time: . . .
Scriptwriters will be pleased to hear that PANSA has extended the deadline for script submissions for the Festival of Reading of New Writing – the scriptwriting competition for new, emerging or experienced writers. The 2017 competition was made possible by a grant of R1.8 million from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC). The closing date for competition entries has been extended by two weeks to 12 Feb 2017. The competition is open to all South African based writers and the script must be an original work for stage, not previously produced in any form. The competition rules can be downloaded from www.pansa.org.za/competition The cut-off date for applications to attend the script writing workshops has also been extended. The deadline for workshop applications is now 23 January 2017. The workshops, designed to assist writers to develop and hone their craft, will run at the end of January 2017. If you are interested in attending the workshops, apply in writing before 23 Jan 2017. Workshop application forms are available from www.pansa.org.za/competition All scriptwriters are urged to read the competition rules carefully. Failure to abide by the rules may result in your entry being disqualified. Happy writing and good luck! Prizes and Awards: Regional competitions National competition Best writer - R20 000 Best writer - R20 000 Runner up - R10 000 Subsidy for full production of winning script -R75 000 Honourable mention - R5 000 CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .