Since 2010, the Twitter community in South Africa has been moved by compassion and has engaged the social media platform to collect blankets for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Over the past 6 years, thousands of blankets have been collected in the weeks leading up to winter to provide some relief and, of course, warmth to those in need. “For us as a Twitter community, social responsibility is a serious business,” says Merentia van der Vent, the national co-ordinator and Cape Town host for the Twitter Blanket Drive (TBD). “As winter’s bite fast approaches, we are aware that charities are under a huge amount of pressure to meet the demand for blankets. In today’s digital world, we have the power to make significant change, in the area of social development, harnessing the power of social media.” The TBD started 7 years ago, in 2010, as a single tweet by Melanie Minnaar, as she contemplated the cold winter ahead and in true Twitter style, tweeted the following thought: “what if each person on Twitter donated a blanket?” Since then, the TBD movement has exploded and now has a national footprint with campaign drives taking place in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and the West Coast. Previous years it was also held in Bloemfontein, East London, George, Knysna and Mossel Bay and countries like Zimbabwe & Namibia. This year the official hashtag is #TBD2016. Last year, the Instagram community in South Africa, also supported the #TwitterBlanketDrive and collected blankets on their #Instawalks across the country. South Africans are also asked via Facebook to donate blankets. In today’s fast paced world, using social media to increase community awareness is not only smart, but essential. According to the founder of the campaign, Melanie Minnaar, the Twitter Blanket Drive has injected a true sense of community into the South African Twittersphere, as the number of Twitter users involved with the TBD has grown exponentially since 2010. . . .
“OUTA's campaign in the energy sector has just begun” “As the level of service delivery in South Africa breaks down to levels seen in other African states, it becomes critically important for civil society to mobilise and interrogate the reasons why service delivery is failing” says Ted Blom, energy analyst and advisor to the energy and mining industries and spokesperson for OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse). The organisation recently lost its urgent bid in the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the electricity tariff hike. He adds: “for members of a former functioning society with service delivery working, the adoption of a civil rights activist stance can be most uncomfortable and unfamiliar, but ultimately when Government has become deaf to the needs of its citizens, there is little other alternative if one elects to remain in the country.” Ted Blom says “civil activism is still in its relative infancy in post-Apartheid South Africa. The nature of civil activism is that it is objective driven - people only join an action if it has the likelihood of meeting their need or concern for action”. “OUTA's campaign in the energy sector has just begun” Ted states, “unfortunately with a lost court case, but such is civil action and it will not be deterred by the technical loss of one court case. OUTA is still gearing up its internal capacity, both on the energy desk as well as on the legal side, as it envisages many more legal bids will become necessary.” AfriForum: active communities “Water affects us all and every aspect of our lives and active communities can make a big difference when they act as a united group to hold government responsible and apply the 'do it yourself' principle to prevent pollution and preserve water,” says Marcus Pawson, Head: Local Government at the civil-rights organisation AfriForum. The movement currently has 170 000 members and branches in 125 cities and towns in South Africa. “AfriForum’s Local Government portfolio . . .
KWV has been named as the Highest Ranked South African Wine Brand in Drinks International’s World’s Top 50 Most Admired Wine Brands. This is the fifth successive year that KWV has topped the charts in the prestigious Drinks annual awards and is one of only two South African brands to feature in the top fifty this year. “Being ranked the highest South African brand is a true honour and especially meaningful considering the admiration poll involved over 200 of the world’s top masters of wine who based their scores on quality and brand appeal,” says De Bruyn Steenkamp, Global Sales & Marketing Director for KWV. “This accolade gives us great recognition and we are glad that our ruthless focus on developing the KWV brand as a stamp of quality and heritage and innovation, continues to be recognised globally.” “Not only do we have retail brands such as our award winning KWV Classic Collection, we also produce a boutique wine range in KWV The Mentors using boutique wine making methods,” he explains. “The Mentors range is the pinnacle of our KWV portfolio and is arguably the most awarded wine range from South Africa, and the ethos of the brand is to honour the diversity of terroir that our beautiful country has to offer.” “We also have endorsed ranges in the Guardian Collection, Cathedral Cellar and Heritage Abraham Perold,” he explains. He continues: “To further maintain our position of the proudly pioneering South African wine brand image we will place a huge focus over the next financial year in ‘step changing’ our market share within the South African domestic market. Our brand has very strong latent equity and it is our hope to bolster our distribution and activate our brand at the point of purchase in order to translate brand equity into sales.” In the Global markets KWV is constantly expanding and focusing efforts behind its young direct businesses in Russia and the USA respectively and De Bruyn says they are excited with the growth . . .
Ubique Auctioneers of South Africa are looking to go nationwide and even international with new online timed auctions of exclusive properties. Auctions are a great way for individuals and investors to get great deals on exclusive items. Increasingly auctions are now taking bids online as well as in person, the increasing popularity of this format has led to online exclusive auctions from some of the world’s biggest auctioneers. South Africa’s Ubique Auctioneers is the latest to introduce this format, with unique timed and live online auctions available to bidders worldwide. Ubique will be launching their new format with five impressive properties to bid on this 11th to 15th of April 2016. The first of the property auctions offers an impressive 671-hectares (1658 acres) of prime game reserve, which forms part of the core Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site. On this site, many rock formations can be found resulting from a meteorite which hit the earth two billion years ago. The Rondekop Game Farm has an abundance of game, including 3 Giraffes, 138 different species of birds and no less than 72 species of indigenous trees. The second and third lots are more traditional properties, offering sea views as breath-taking vistas in Kleinmond, South Africa. The fourth lot is a beautiful development property 500m from Kleinmond lagoon, which also offers an unrestricted sea view, while the fifth lot offers a modern vacation home situated in the Parys Gold and Country Estate and is sure to attract a few investors. A spokesperson for Ubique Auctioneers explained, “We are excited to be able to offer these amazing properties exclusively online through our new timed auction format. This enables individuals to place a bid at any time before the deadline, just like they might on eBay, in order to secure the very best deal possible on these amazing opportunities. Our new Ubique Online website will feature some of the very best lots we have available to test the strength of . . .
Blind Institute Renamed Kaleidoscope and Refocus’ as Commercially Viable Entity Cape Town, 7th April, 2016 – The Institute for the Blind (IFB) has changed its name to Kaleidoscope, marking the Institute’s 135-year history and its new focus as a commercially viable entity. It is the first time the Institute, which is the only organisation that has been catering for the all-inclusive needs of visually impaired persons in South Africa since 1881, has changed its name in its 135-year history. “As Kaleidoscope SA’s pay off line ‘Let the blind lead’ emphasizes, the new name change places the focus on visually impaired persons as complete citizens in the community capable of taking the lead in society,” says global adventurer and motivational speaker Hein Wagner, who is Kaleidoscope’s brand ambassador. He continues: “We have chosen the brand name Kaleidoscope to symbolize the unity of purpose for people of varying needs and through the vibrancy of this brand we are united in a Kaleidoscope of colours to spread joy and happiness in Worcester, South Africa and internationally.” Freddie Botha, Kaleidoscope Executive Head comments: “Blind people in the modern world are often unseen, invisible to a sighted society, and we want to change that because the blind have such unlimited potential and so much to offer to the world. Human awareness can be likened to a Kaleidoscope, and we know that with a simple twist of perception so much can be revealed. This is what has led us to the new name for the refreshed, revived Institute for the Blind.” The Institute presently receives only 15% of government aid and is therefore solely responsible for the generation of 85% of the total operational expenses. “It is therefore important that we should strive to become more self- sustainable to ensure a future for our persons who are visually impaired,” Wagner explains. He says that the Institute is setting up sustainable partnerships with local and international business . . .
Whet your palate Celebrate the essence of good living with a food and wine pairing at Maison Estate. The relaxed indoor and outdoor setting is the perfect place to unwind. The tasting room’s décor is sophisticated yet simplistic and invites you to linger in the lounge area or outside amongst the garden. The range of the wine and food pairing offers something for even the most discerning palate and with a variety of six wines you won’t be left disappointed. Indulge in beautifully crafted pairings like duck rilette on sesame crackers and Reserve Chenin as well as white chocolate and almond truffle with Blanc de Noir. Maison’s Straw wine is perfectly paired with dark chocolate and hazelnut truffles, all handmade by the chef. Details: The tasting room is open 7 days a week: 10:00 – 17:00 The premium wine tasting is R120 per person Pairings: Blanc de Noir – with white chocolate and almond truffle Reserve Chenin – with duck rilette on sesame crackers Chardonnay – with creamy blue cheese Shiraz– with our homemade biltong Straw wine – with dark chocolate and walnut truffle Chenin Blanc as a palette cleanser You can now easily book your spot by heading over to maisonestate.co.za or by calling 021 876 2116. Keen to find out more? Visit Maison’s website: http://www.maisonestate.co.za or follow Maison on Facebook: MaisonEstateWines and Twitter @Maison_Estate Photo: Photo: YouTube: CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
South African brandies – neat, mixed and stirred – are associated with growing international acclaim. Loved by celebrities and savored at red carpet occasions such as the recent Urban Brandy and Tsogo Sun collaboration in Cape Town, this long-loved local spirit is being rediscovered by South Africa’s top mixologists. “It is very gratifying to see our brandies being the hero in the very region many of them are produced, says Christelle Reade-Jahn from the South African Brandy Foundation.” Urban Brandy initially started as an experience-based initiative created to educate the public about brandy in its different guises. Within just a couple of years it has already gained a reputation of being associated to the best venues and most memorable events on the social calendar.” One such event hotspot is the prestigious Tsogo Sun Southern Sun Waterfront in Cape Town where premium brandy cocktails are enjoyed from the pool deck. Known for its first class service and culinary skills, Southern Sun Waterfront has been the host to Urban Brandy’s largest annual event for the second year running. “As we are a firm favourite amongst international travellers, it’s always wonderful to see a mix of our fellow Capetonians here enjoying the hotel as well,” says Jeff Rosenberg from Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun Waterfront. “Urban Brandy is one of those partnerships that not only embraces everything home-grown, but also takes guests on a spectacular journey of flavours and fusion.” Showcasing brandy’s versatility, Urban Brandy has been mixing and shaking South Africa’s premium brandies in some of the coolest and most refreshing cocktails to be experienced at well-known cocktail hubs around the country. The Urban Brandy Mixology team constantly research and refine brandy cocktails, using global trends to inspire premium celebratory alchemies. For more information on how to expand your journey into the wonderful world of brandy cocktails please visit . . .
Celebrate National Nutrition Month by making small changes that will lead to big improvements. Groupon have amazing health and fitness deals that won’t break the bank and that will get you on the right track. Have a look here: Cape Town One or Two-Month Studio Gym Membership from R199 with FitKey (Up to 63% Off) FitKey is an app that gives you access to a variety of fitness classes at different gyms and studios such as Yoga, Pilates, Crossfit, and bootcamp. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or iStore using your smartphone. Read more about it here: https://www.groupon.co.za/deals/fitkey-1 Training Memberships for Japanese Sword Fighting from R140 with the South African Kendo Federation (Up to 70% Off) Aspiring fighters choose a dojo and get themselves up to three months of training, two or three times a week, designed to teach them the art of Japanese sword fighting. Martial artists choose from six dojos to complete their training, with class times and schedules varying from dojo to dojo. Read more here: https://www.groupon.co.za/deals/south-african-kendo-federation-2-2 Online Personalised Eating Plan for Weight-Loss, Health and Energy for R150 (74% Off) Get slim with a Personalised Eating Plan for Weight Loss, Health and Wellness, Energy and Vitality. Developed around the key principle of nourishing your body every three to four hours with balanced, nutritious meals, the Eating Plan uses your BMI to create a eating plan to help you lose or maintain weight. Read more here: https://www.groupon.co.za/deals/eating-plans-co-za-3 Johannesburg: One-Month Gym Membership with Personal Training Session from R149 at Elite Personal Trainers (Up to 89% Off) Get fit with a one month gym membership and personal training sessions at Elite Personal Trainers SA. With a choice of one, eight, twelve or sixteen one-on-one personal training sessions per month, clients will be put through the . . .
Digital has given rise to new forms of communication, new possibilities and of course, a new kind of specialist. One such specialist is online marketing company iLead Online, which on 11 March 2016 officially became part of the et al Group, adopting the et al appellation to become iLEAD et al. To celebrate this momentous move, Dr Gustav Puth, the Managing Director of STRATEGY et al, as well as Google’s Country Director, Luke McKend, both shared their vision of the future. Dr Puth highlighted the importance of a good strategy and taking action, because well begun is half done. The strategy behind the joint venture is to take iLEAD et al to the next level, combining the experience of our Google-certified and award-winning team of search engine experts, YouTube maestros and engaging content generators, with all that the rest of the et al Group has to offer…which is quite a lot. Considering the good relationship that iLEAD et al has with Google, Luke McKend was more than happy to share what the future holds for online marketing. He emphasised the importance of using new possibilities to position your brand within your target audience, including the newly updated Search Voice app, which allows you to search for any product or service by using a simple voice command or question. Managing Director of iLEAD et al, Johann Nortje, says this relationship will quickly become a force to be reckoned with. “Together we have a bigger share of voice, vastly improved economies of scale and the ability to cater for every need an advertiser might have. In fact, the term 'through-the-line’ takes on a whole new meaning in the et al Group,” he adds. The et al Group comprises various et al companies that constitute – what could best be described as – a consolidation of specialist marketing services into a single brand platform. In this group is the DIGITAL et al cluster of four companies which, as the name suggests, is the specialised digital arm of the group. With a . . .
What is the reason you don’t feel amazing right now? Is it because you are you tired a lot of the time? Stressed out? Are you overweight? Moody? Battling to get enough sleep? It really doesn’t have to be this way. One of the world’s leading nutritional experts, Patrick Holford, will be presenting in-depth health seminars in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg between 9 and 12 May. He will show you a simple way to get 100% motivated to reclaim your energy, shift that weight for good, reduce stress and feel better than you have in years. From the seminar, you will find out how to: Eat a wide range of delicious foods and still lose weight Regain your energy and zest for life Improve your mood and mental alertness Increase your resilience to stress Break free from anxiety and poor sleep Dramatically decrease your risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet Patrick and his team of zest4life coaches who will help you to find your motivation again, transform your life and take control of your health. Bookings online at https://www.quicket.co.za/events/?search=Patrick%20Holford. For further information, visit http://www.holforddirect.co.za/patrick-holfords-feel-amazing-right-now-tour/. YouTube: https://youtu.be/IeIqZ81jCQs CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .