Groupon today announced a renewed vision for its South African business which will be led by two of the business’ founding CEOs, Daniel Guasco and Wayne Gosling. Groupon South Africa, one of South Africa’s leading local commerce sites, has become a popular destination to buy experiences, goods and getaways since 2010. With a renewed business model and marketing strategy, Groupon has set a path to fulfil its vision of becoming a true online marketplace. “Our strategy is one that sees Groupon South Africa moving from a business that creates demand, to a demand fulfilment business,” said Daniel Guasco, Groupon South Africa Co-CEO. “We need to connect local commerce to increase consumer buying power and drive more business to local merchants through price and discovery. By building a daily habit for local commerce, we will strengthen our position as the leading online marketplace in South Africa, a place where people can discover amazing things to eat, see, do and buy in their neighbourhood.” In order to achieve this, Groupon South Africa is implementing three strategies designed to accelerate business growth: Streamline business – Measures will be taken to further simplify and streamline operations. Business plans and processes will be aligned to the company’s best performing markets in South Africa in order to improve execution and productivity. Evolve marketing strategy – There will be a core focus and increased investment in marketing to secure new customers and encourage existing ones to spend more. Expand the marketplace – Groupon South Africa will continue to invest in new products and improve the quantity and quality of its supply in order to improve the experience for our customers. With these changes, Groupon South Africa aims to set itself on a path of projected growth. As part of a global organisation, Groupon South Africa has helped Groupon, Inc., its parent company, sell more than 900 million units to date to its customers around the . . .
“An important message to the stakeholders on what is required to be world class.” “For Bokpoort winning the African Community Project of the Year award not only recognises our dedication towards dealing with socio-economic issues in the areas we invest in, but also encourages us to do more. The Bokpoort Project has spent over ZAR1.6-billion in local content through the project alone. This, with the focus on high local employment, has transformed the economy of the area.” - Nandu D Bhula, CEO Acwa Power SolAfrica Bokpoort CSP Power Plant, southeast of Upington, South Africa and winners of the African Utility Week Industry Award for African Community Project of the Year in 2015. This year’s African Utility Week Industry Awards will once again honour pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industry on the continent. The third edition of the awards takes place on Wednesday, 18 May, during the annual African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa at the CTICC in Cape Town. Categories vary from Power Utility of the Year Award, Clean Energy Project of the Year to the Future Leader Award and Power or Water Woman of the Year. These prestigious industry awards will be presented during a gala dinner welcoming 700 of Africa’s most distinguished power and water industry professionals to recognise those that represent a benchmark of excellence for the industry. Entries for nominations for the awards close on 11 March and the public is invited to nominate themselves or colleagues and projects that have made outstanding contributions to the sector. Last year’s winners included City Power’s Sicelo Xulu, who was named Utility Executive of the Year, eThekwini won Municipality of the Year while retailing giant Ackermans won the award for the Clean Energy Project of the Year. The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr Lawrence Musaba, Coordination Centre Manager, Southern African Power Pool in Zimbabwe. Awards focus on achievements Lucy . . .
Cape Town, South Africa, February 2016: The Writers’ Guild of South Africa (WGSA) has announced the nominees for the third annual WGSA Muse Awards. Actor and screenwriter, Benedikt Sebastian, received a nomination in the Animation/Web Series Script category for his entry: ’Sing-A-Gram’. It’s a story about the life of a down-and-out struggling actor, writer and waiter as he tries to make ends meet by working as a performer for a mascot and singing telegram agency with a booker that comically messes up all of his jobs. On hearing of the nomination, Benedikt Sebastian said: ‘It’s great to be recognised by my peers. It’s a good feeling to know that something you created over time has been given an industry nod. Congratulations to all the other nominees.’ Other nominees in the same category are Julia Smuts Louw from Triggerfish for ‘The Case of the Disappearing Daddy and Tracy Eccles for ‘Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Dark.’ The prestigious Awards Ceremony will take place on 2 April 2016 at the Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg. Performance writers in film, television, radio, stage, and new media will be in attendance at the red carpet event. The WGSA Muse Award is the only award of its kind in South Africa to honour the Performance Writer. The WGSA Muse Awards allows the local industry to promote and celebrate the creativity, quality and writing excellence of local writers in content production. Benedikt Sebastian is a well-known actor who has appeared in several recent projects including the upcoming feature film release Blood and Glory (Modder en Bloed); Jongo, a television series - currently on DSTV and soon on e.tv - about the first African superhero; Aladdin, a children’s television series for BBC; as well as forming part of the star-studded theatre cast of industry heavyweight Hennie van Greunen’s new theatre production ‘Pa’ which is an adaptation of French playwright, Florian Zeller’s award-winning play ‘Le . . .
Syntech and Crucial are pleased to announce that they will be rebranding the Crucial Cup to “The Ballistix Masters Cup SA “ as there are plans afoot for a World Wide Ballistix Masters Cup. Details will be launched in April. The Crucial Cup is now in its second year and has shown a positive year on year growth. We are pleased to confirm International exposure for our March/April 2016 Competition from the quarter finals onwards - (European/American coverage – where internationally known caster MiloshTheMedic will be covering some of the matches for battlefield, Milosh is known for being one of the main commentators in most international events and having him cover some of the larger matches within Crucial Cup means that our matches will be streamed to European/American and South African audiences) The Crucial Cup was launched to provide the tools and resources that gamer’s and organizers can use to promote their own team’s skill and also promote growth within the gaming community by having new players enter the competitive scene and exposing new “shout casters” to the public with some amazing gameplay along with a growing following. We at Syntech are excited and encouraged to see how many teams have entered the Crucial Cup. The Crucial Cup 2016 saw registrations come to a close on 10 Feb with a new record of 78 teams registering in total for Battlefield and Dota combined. Compared to the 67 teams we had last year. This is a fantastic and positive growth in the teams registrations. Participating teams are excited to get going and with the attractive cash pool (the biggest cash prize pool ever for an online Battlefield event in South Africa) will see the top Battlefield 4 and Dota teams in South Africa battle it out for the ultimate cash prize sponsored by Crucial/Ballistix to the value of R33 000, along with exciting hardware and peripherals ponsored by Speedlink and Antec. The tournament is being organized by Stephen “xTc-Lang-Slang” de Witt who has . . .
The SA residential housing market will continue to remain attractive to investors, despite the challenges posed by a toughening and uncertain economic environment. This is the upbeat sentiment expressed by Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of Betterlife, SA’s largest mortgage originator, who points out a number of encouraging factors at variance with other current industry perspective. “Despite a number of bleak predictions for both the economy and the residential property market for the year ahead and the somewhat unconvincing plans set out by Zuma in his recent SONA address, savvy investors can look to capitalise on the very real opportunities that current market conditions present,” says Rademeyer, who states that it is often in a challenging business environment, or when stock markets are under threat, that residential property demand flourishes. Both in buoyant times and through recessions, property investment has proven a sound decision for homebuyers and investors he comments. “In fact, as a catalyst for wealth creation, it’s still hard to beat!” The key, he states, as with almost any investment, is still to exercise patience and a long-term view. The fact remains that the country’s housing shortage will continue into 2016 he says, with demand, particularly in the larger metropolitan areas, still far outstripping supply. “Ultimately, there are still more buyers in the market than sellers,” he says, “and what 2016 may well introduce, is a shift from the strong sellers market we’ve experienced in past years to a more balanced market. Whilst the pace of growth is likely to slow, and remain in single digit territory, the fact is it will still grow! “In 2015 it was still a fairly aggressive market, where decisions needed to be made quickly, but with the market tipped to ‘take a breather’ in 2016 this should put less pressure on purchase decision-making and give buyers increased confidence in the property process.” Whilst economists continue to advise South . . .
Lovers of good food and wine will be delighted by the fabulous food and wine offerings during this year’s Ommiberg (Round the Rock) festival on Saturday, 5 March. The fourteen participating members of the Paarl Wine Route have each planned a unique programme with young wine tastings, harvest fun, live music and kids’ entertainment. One of the culinary highlights on the jam-packed schedule is the Chenin Journey at the KWV Sensorium in Paarl Main Road. The food and wine pairing menu costs R80 per person and features five Chenin-driven wines exquisitely paired with delicious canapés that will highlight the diversity of South Africa’s most prolific varietal. Guests will start off with a KWV Cuvee Brut accompanied by a delicate bowl of salmon tartar with fennel, apple and sesame seed salad. This is followed by the KWV Classic Chenin Blanc, which is beautifully complemented by a Cantaloupe melon salsa, Parma Ham and a drizzle of balsamic on butternut and Manchego risotto cake. The Cathedral Chenin Blanc is paired with a salad of baby leaves with goats’ milk cream cheese, fresh figs, seed crumble, sugar peas and orange honey sauce. The flagship The Mentors Chenin Blanc finds a perfect pairing partner in pulled organic duck with caramelised peaches, carrots and toasted almonds in a light crepe. The grand finale is provided by the Full Cream Sherry and a silky smooth chicken liver parfait and beetroot jelly on elegant phyllo pastry cups topped with micro leaf salad. For more gourmet treats, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at Mellasat, venison hamburgers and charcuterie and cheese platters at Nederburg, authentic Italian pizzas at Under Oaks or stop in at the farmer’s market at Windmeul. Visit www.ommiberg.co.za to tantalise your taste buds and buy your ticket online at www.webtickets.co.za for R120 per adult. Tickets can also be purchased at participating venues on the day at R150. Be on the look-out for the Lady in Red to win some awesome prizes. Follow us on . . .
Join The Kitchen at Maison at their First Friday event on 4 March for a memorable evening of food, wine and festive live entertainment. Prepared by acclaimed chef Arno Janse van Rensburg, expect a three course meal that is honest and unpretentious with an emphasis on freshness, flavour and simple combinations of ingredients. Paired with Maison wine and good company we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the essence of good living. Menu Cured fish, bloody Mary, red onion, chipotle. Artisan maison charcurerie, mustard, crackling. Cured duck pineapple Che, coriander prickly pear. Smoked salt baked trout, corn black garlic basil. Chicken, green srirasha, Brussels coriander. Chocolate doughnut, caramel, salt, coconut, peanut. Details Time: 7pm Cost: R400 per person Booking: You can now conveniently book online at maisonestate.co.za or call 021 876 2116 Photo: CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Recycle your bottle caps and give a child a smile Operation Smile has partnered with Fair Cape Dairies and Libraries in the Western Cape to change the lives of children across South Africa who are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. The campaign started in 2015 and we raised enough money to give five children the life-changing operation. On 24, February 2016 the Operation Smile campaign will be launching and will end on World Smile Day in October. Our aim is to double the amount of money raised in 2015. We encourage the public to collect plastic bottle caps from Fair Cape Dairies products as well as any other plastic bottle caps. Each operation costs R5500 and every kilogram of bottle tops collected will be recycled. The fundraising will be independently audited. Bring your bottle caps along this Saturday and you will be entered into a competition to WIN Kirstenbosch Concert tickets. Fair Cape Dairies will be handing over the cheque to Operation Smile for the funds collected in 2015. Look out for collection bins at the following libraries in the Western Cape: Sea Point, Athlone, Somerset West, Strand, Brackenfell, Goodwood, Parow, Fish Hoek, Claremont, Rondebosch, Obervatory, Woodstock, Pinelands, Tableview, Bothasig, Belville. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
‘Haybo Wena Campaign To Kick-Off TB Awareness Month’ Cape Town, 25th February, 2016 – With TB Awareness Month kicking off on Tuesday 1st of March, the Haybo Wena! (Hey You!) Use Your Elbow, initiative launches aimed at driving education in South African on the prevention of airborne TB germ transmissions by using your elbow when you cough. TB remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer with South Africa reporting one of the highest infection rates in the world. It is spread by breathing in air-borne bacteria from people with active infectious TB disease and is preventable. The Haybo Wena campaign is a project realized by Good Business and Saatchi & Saatchi SA with the support of a grant to Good Business from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These three organisations care greatly about the health and wellbeing of the South African public. “We needed to find a way to engage the public in a fun and light-hearted way in order to encourage them to call out others when they see someone coughing to use their elbow rather than their hands,” this according to Michael Joubert, Chairman of South African Family Health Association (The largest health NGO in SA). Joubert explains: “Haybo Wena! (Hey You!) Use Your Elbow! is the phrase we have adopted for the initiative, TB is preventable and by getting people to change their behavior with a simple action like using their elbow opposed to their hand will assist in curbing the spread of this deadly disease and ultimately empower the public to speak out.” “TB germs can survive for up to 24-hours on hard surfaces and are spread through the air when someone who is sick with TB coughs or sneezes,” he adds. “With South Africans commuting in confined spaces and living in cramped housing facilities the disease is rife and a change in behavior through education and empowerment is key to breaking the cycle.” “The campaign is lead by traditional . . .
The Stellenbosch Wine Festival Foundation has once again ensured a brighter future for some deserving local students, when it awarded bursaries to the value of R150 000 during the highly successful three-day festival earlier this month. Over the past three years, the foundation has validated its commitment to youth development and investment in the Stellenbosch community by donating more than R600 000 for tertiary education bursaries. The recipients all have a close connection to the wine industry as their parents are employed in various sectors of the business. The selection process is a joint project between the foundation and WOW (Words Open Worlds) of the University of Stellenbosch. This year, the foundation was able to assist six candidates - three first-year students and three students, who have impressed with their continued commitment and dedication to their studies. First-time beneficiaries are 19-year old Bianca du Toit from the farm Goede Hoop and Wilmien Likwa from Rustenberg Wines, who are both starting their BA Degrees in Language and Culture and Cameron Appolis of JC Le Roux, who will commence his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Bradley Kriel of Eikendal farm will continue with his Language and Culture studies, while Letohre Joseph from Ken Forrester Vineyards is entering her fourth year as a medical student. The foundation’s biggest success story is the dynamic Yvonne Dyum of Muratie, who will be completing her studies in medicine this year. This hard-working student is currently busy doing her clinical blocks and admits that she would not have been able to realise her aspiration of becoming a doctor without the support of the foundation. “I am really enjoying the hospital environment and have just completed my surgical rotation, which has been by favourite to date. The foundation has helped me to chase my dreams and I can’t wait to start my community service year to give back to my community. It takes perseverance, hard work, . . .