eCommerce is set to increase in popularity and buy-in consumers in South Africa in 2017. This is due to a number of supporting trends of greater variety offered by online shopping sites, the evolution of eCommerce websites offer Android and ISO shopping app's. South African consumers are increasingly turning to compare e-commerce shops when looking for, and purchase a variety of items. 26% of respondents of a recent survey do their first online purchase in June 2015 - a massive recent survey compared to the total number of new online shopping for the period July 2015 - June 2016 (14%). "According to Kevin Tucker, founder of Price Check" The use of mobile devices - such as the smartphones is an important consideration for online retailers in terms of ensuring mobile-friendly online display settings, in presenting the development of mobile applications and the introduction of new payment options. While the majority of the mobile online shopping transactions tend to take place on desktops, shopping programs that are easy and convenient to use on mobile devices is likely to increase in popularity in South Africa this year. In today's app-centric world, research suggests that customers prefer using the mobile web as a place to shop when compared to eCommerce apps. This means that having a high-performing, responsive site is just as important as investing in an app. This data also suggests that: 31% of consumers prefer shopping on the mobile web against the use of a smartphone app. 52% of mobile phone retail turnover is expected to come from the Web in 2017. 62% of smartphone shoppers use to find their mobile for products in online store. 47% of shoppers say they have a mobile website directly against 21% who say they use app a dealer in online shopping. The majority of online retailers under-utilise their chance to sell through a responsive eCommerce website. The big advantage now is that the latest App Technology has the ability to . . .
Around the globe, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make noise for climate change action. This year Earth Hour is at 8:30pm on 25 March 2017. "You can celebrate Earth Hour in a slightly different and completely guilt free way," says Alan Straton from Straton Solar who says that using green energy is the biggest and most visible way to make a noise for climate change. "Celebrate your commitment to our planet and your installation of energy saving solar panels on your roof by shining a light onto them during earth hour with the rest of your property in darkness," suggests Straton. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the parent organisation of Earth Hour and started Earth Hour with teams and partners in Sydney, Australia back in 2007 with a lights-off event. Starting in 2007 as a single-city event, Earth Hour is now celebrated across all continents. In the past decade, as global climate efforts gained momentum, Earth Hour has helped bridge the gap between the grassroots and the corridors of power, taking climate action from conference rooms to living rooms. It has empowered millions to support and participate in critical climate and conservation projects led by WWF and many others, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action. From the shores of Argentina where Earth Hour helped mobilize public support for the creation of a 3.4 million hectare-wide marine protected area, to the heart of Uganda where local communities and businesses helped create the first Earth Hour forest, the movement’s impact has been a game-changer for popularizing climate action. "We started Earth Hour in 2007 to show leaders that climate change was an issue people cared about. For that symbolic moment to turn into the global movement it is today, is really humbling and speaks volumes about the powerful role of people in issues that affect their lives," said Siddarth Das, Executive Director, Earth Hour . . .
PIETERMARITZBURG, KZN, 14 MARCH 2017–This past weekend (11 – 12 March), saw Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlparkplay host to Race #2 of the Toyota Warrior Race, powered by Reebok. The return of the Warrior Race to the heart of the Vaal Triangle attracted over 4000 obstacle course racerslooking to tackle the infamous Warrior Race known for its well-built obstacles and multiple race formats. The Jeep Team athletes performed at optimum throughout the weekend, starting with the Ladies Reebok Sprint and the Team Reebok Sprint - a new, short,high-intensive course spanning 400m with 10 obstacles, a great warm up for the elite Jeep Team athletes. Jeep Team athlete and Top 3 2016 SA OCR Champion, Carina Marx,finished 2nd in Ladies Reebok Sprinton the Saturday, and in the Mixed Team, she raced with Jeep Team SA mates, Thomas van Tonder and Joshua Masudi, finishing 2nd overall. Says Marx,“The Reebok Sprint racing was a first for me. It was a great warm up but also lots of fun. Just had to make sure I didn’t pick up an injury prior to the Black Ops Elite race.Racing with my team mates was good fun, and we picked up 2nd place against some tough competition.” On Sunday saw the tough,world-OCR-benchmark race, Black Ops Elite, featuringsome 30 obstacles over 17km, designed to challenge South Africa’s top OCR athletes in thirty different ways fromendurance, strength and agility, to upper body strength, and carrying and dragging heavy objects for set distances. Jeep Team OCR athleteand 2016 SA OCR Men’s Champion, Thomas van Tonder, finished 2ndin the Black Ops Elite race in 01:30:08, behind eventual winner, Claude Eksteen in 01:29:02, withLouis Smitrounding off the podium in 01:30:43. Says Van Tonder:“I’m super proud of our SA Jeep Team after some solid racing. I’m happy to have finished second in the Black Ops Elite after a rookie mistake. I was so focused on chasing “the Flash” Claude Eksteen,that I got to the end of BreakingPoint and never rang the bell. . . .
Using superior design techniques and quality products, the Decorex SA Trend House will give visitors real-world examples of how the 2017 trends can be transformed into a #livingdream home. To be Featured at the Durban show from 18 to 21 March, the design of the Trend House will artfully connect this year’s inspiring trends with the Decorex SA ‘Make your space your living dream’ theme. “It has been such an inspiring experience carefully analysing each revitalising trend and bringing it to life in various spaces,” explained Anita Bloom, Creative Director: Decorex SA. “The Trend House will be a true representation of the nurturing calm that underscores 2017 with a move away from self-involved technological obsession to a more naturally-inspired, soothing sense that really rejuvenates the body and soul. And, in order to achieve this, we will be using only the best range of South African furnishings and décor, kindly sponsored by a number of exhibitors.” The full installation will be a tangible representation of what’s on offer at the @home stores – including furniture, décor, bar accessories, soft textiles and art - with visitors able to meander through the Trend House, gaining inspiring ideas for the translation of these products in their own #livingdream space. “Decorex is a wonderful platform for professionals in the industry, trendsetters, as well as homeowners who are perhaps upgrading their homes or looking for new ideas and inspiration,” Renee New, Head of Divisional Operations and Commercial: TFG Jewellery and @home. “The Decorex brand comes with authority and credibility, known for always being ‘on point’ with the latest looks. This resonates with the @home brand as we strive to offer our customers a credible value offer of beautifully crafted and ‘curated’ settings, inspired by global trends but accessible to the South African market. Decorex inspires and this is exactly what we want our customers to feel when they visit our stores and engage . . .
Four leading designers will be envisioning the Canvex ‘Conscious Environment’ theme in the form of home-style installations at this year’s Décor District featured at Decorex Durban from 18 to 21 March. Wisty Raleigh Interiors, Redesign Interiors, Even Flow Resources and Mi Africa will be participating in this environmentally responsible feature, sponsored by Canvex, a product of Expand a Sign. Dedicated to environmental sustainability as well as the social upliftment of local communities, Expand a Sign has partnered with Uzwelo in support of the Uzwelo Bags. Each bag – made with waste material – is uniquely crafted by KwaZulu-Natal women living in impoverished areas. The proceeds then go back into the community, feeding and educating the families of these talented individuals. “We want to bring this element of social responsibility through environmental sustainability into the designs of the Décor District,” explained Kirsty Fonzari, Canvex Marketing Manager. “Each designer is encouraged to use locally sourced products, one of which is our locally woven Canvex wall canvas. This same wall canvas will then be recycled into Uzwelo Bags following the show, once again giving back to the community.” Commenting on their involvement with Decorex Durban, Fonzari said the province’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition was the perfect platform to showcase Canvex customised wall canvas and its ease of use. “We are excited to take this opportunity to interact directly with top interior designers and architects in the industry,” she said. Drawing inspiration from the rejuvenating trends of 2017, with a nod towards the Decorex ‘Make your space your living dream’ theme, designers have been given creative space to unearth their inner vision in whichever room they select. Berea-based Wisty Raleigh of Wisty Raleigh Interiors will be combining her philosophy of comfort with style to the environmentally-conscious theme. Her lounge setting installation . . .
The Capital Hotel Group, touted as South Africa’s fastest growing hotel group, with 10 properties in their portfolio, recently took the decision to change their data management and Point of Sale (POS) systems provider, in line with their growth plan and subsequent need for updated and advanced tools to complement their development. Enter, Ankerdata, who supply protel hotel software for hotel operators and owners in Southern Africa, and is the partner of choice to over 14 000 hotels in 70 countries. Commenting on the reasons behind the groups decision to go with the protel MPE hotel software solution from Ankerdata, CEO and founder of The Capital Hotel Group, Marc Wachsberger says, “This is our 5th system since we started in 2008 – over the years our needs have changed so it was necessary to find partners that could compliment those changes and our subsequent growth trajectory.” He found that there were marked limitations to the initial systems they employed and coupled with a lack of innovation and exorbitant fees, led them to take the decision to find a company that could overcome all those shortfalls, and in this instance, not only flexible, professional and on trend with the latest technology, but also open to tailor-made solutions. The protel MPE hotel software solution is hosted by an IT Cloud which delivers Cloud technology and local ownership bringing with it significant savings. Directors, Eben Marais and Ian Lumsden from Ankerdata, say, “You have one system which is able to manage multiple properties - protel MPE hotel software can transform a global hotel chain into a single unit. All connected hotels access the same information from a central database in real time.” Marc adds that the main reason for appointing Ankerdata was firstly to save money, “We feel that we are dealing with a company that is a bit more entrepreneurial, that have an understanding of the reality that we are an up-and-coming hotel group who might need a bit of development, . . .
Should you belong to a professional association? If you want to get ahead in your career, the answer is “yes,” according to Bianca Filmalter, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Office Professionals of South Africa (OPSA). “Association membership has incredible benefits for ambitious, career-oriented businesspeople,” Filmalter said. Solving Career Concerns Filmalter believes that belonging to an association can help members in a variety of ways. “As the saying goes, ‘No man is an island,’” she said. “Business people do not thrive when they are isolated from colleagues. Regular interaction leads to learning, personal growth and career progression.” Filmalter noted that the following career concerns can often be resolved through association membership: Stuck in Limbo: Is your career making little or no progress? Interacting with others in your profession could be the answer. “An association might offer workshops on how to advance in your career,” Filmalter said. “Or, it may be time to seek a new employer. You can make connections through association functions that could lead to a better position with a different company.” No One to Ask: If you are self-employed, or a part of a small department at your workplace, there may be times when you would like to know the opinion of others in your position. “Your employer or clients look to you as an expert in your field,” Filmalter said, “but there are times when even an expert can use some good advice. Many associations have online message boards where members can ask each other questions or discuss various important topics.” Reinventing the Wheel: Are you ever frustrated with ineffective or convoluted processes in your workplace? With time and patience, you might come up with an easier way – but why reinvent the wheel? By talking with peers in an association, you can learn about solutions that others in your industry have already discovered. “An association can provide educational opportunities . . .
To enjoy smooth sailing when the season turns to sweltering, it’s important to look after your boat throughout the year. Extended periods of inactivity can accelerate wear and tear which can lead to breakdowns when you most need your boat. Whether you’ll be providing boating services to holiday-makers or sailing with family and friends, make sure it’s in tip-top condition before the summer season. To keep yourself and your passengers safe, South Africa’s trusted marine battery supplier, Battery Centre, has rounded up some useful tips on how to prepare and maintain your boat and marine battery before you hit the waves: Dust off the dirt: Winter storage means accumulated dust. Before conducting checks, give your boat a wash. Clean the hull, deck, topsides and windows using a mild non-corrosive detergent – and add a fresh coat of wax for protection. To clean the battery, start on top and remove corrosion on the terminals with a steel brush or terminal cleaner. Use a clean cloth to remove dirt from the surface of the battery. Even maintenance-free batteries need a little bit of hands-on cleaning to keep them working perfectly. Setting sail: Before taking off, inspect the engine to make sure all parts are in good condition. Inspect cables and hoses for cracks and check the propeller for signs of damage. Replace leaky or ill-fitting parts. If you feel uncomfortable, seek professional advice. Recharge: No one wants to be stuck with a flat battery. Use a battery tester to ensure your battery has a minimum charge of 12.6 volts. If the charge is below this level, you’ll need to charge it in a well-ventilated area or take the battery to the nearest Battery Centre for a free test. If you’re using an automatic charger, it needs to be connected to sense the voltage and internal current – it’ll switch off when the battery is fully charged. For a manual charger, adjust the voltage and current levels, leave it to charge and remember, you’ll have to switch it off . . .
Thomas Van Tonder, Carina Marx and Jay Jay Deysel at the Beast Challenge Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting PIETERMARITZBURG, 27 FEBRUARY 2017 - On the weekend of the 25th of February, hundreds of OCR athletes participated in Race 8 of The Beast Challenge at the Wedge Outdoor Park in Muldersdrift. Three Jeep Team SA’s athletesraced the relentless top race of the day - theSavage Beast - consistingof 57 obstacles over a 11km trail. They were the 2016 South African Top 3 female OCR athlete Carina Marx who took the women’s title, with 2016 South African Men’s OCR Champion Thomas van Tonder taking the men’s title, and 2016 South African men’s top 3 OCR athlete, Jay JayDeysel take second place. This was both van Tonder’s and Marx’s first race of the season and they have squarely put the hammer down as to their intentionsthis season. Says Marx,“Normally, 11km would take me close to an hour to complete, but with this many obstacles, 57 no less, my time doubled. I viewed the race as a good opportunity to break the ice since it was my first race this year. Thanks to course designer, Jason Friedman, we had a good combo of challenging obstacles and a decent trail. Congrats to my team mates, Thomas van Tonder and Jay JayDeysel, who came 1st and 2nd in the men's Savage Beast Race.” The Beast Challenge obstacle course involves trail running, climbing, crawling, and sliding across various obstacles, which have been designed by professional OCR athletes. Intended to be a challenge to anyone, The Beast Challenge has three racing categories – Tame Beast, a short course ideal for beginners; Wild Beast, a medium-difficulty course for teams and more active individuals; and the Savage Beast, a demanding 11 to 15km course for elite athletes. RESULTS SAVAGE BEAST, 57 OBSTACLESOVER11KM COURSE. MEN: 1. Thomas van Tonder 01:28:39 2. Jay JayDeysel 01:30:39 3. Louis Smit 01:46:34 WOMEN: 1. Carina Marx 01:59:00 2. Michelle Meyer 02:17:25 Other Jeep Team News? Jeep Team SA makes . . .
Centurion, Gauteng, 28 February 2017 – Representatives from Nexia SAB&T and Indyebo, announced today that the two companies will be merging effective 1 March 2017. The business will continue to trade under the Nexia SAB&T brand, to emphasise its ties to the 10th largest international network in the sector, Nexia International. Nexia SAB&T is a top ten audit, accounting and consulting professional services provider, with a history that dates back to the birth of democracy in South Africa, having been founded in 1994. Nexia SAB&T has always strived to reflect the demographics of the country in its ownership structure, while providing a service to its clients that is inspired by a vision to be “Closer to you!” Indyebo is a progressive Black female owned firm that offers assurance, advisory and consulting services and has an outstanding reputation for quality, excellence and integrity. The merger has come about as a natural development out of several projects undertaken by Nexia SAB&T and Indyebo jointly. Nexia SAB&T has long identified Indyebo as a candidate for its enterprise development initiatives and as such shared a long and mutually beneficial shared relationship with Indyebo over the years. With the other Black owned assurance provider firms in the market having experienced growth in the past years, this merger will see Nexia SAB&T solidifying its position among South Africa’s top ten audit firms as well as, as one of the premier Black empowerment firms. Nexia SAB&T is truly a multi-disciplinary professional service provider, with a wide range of services and accreditations in the audit, accounting and consulting fields. These include JSE accreditation for the conduct of audits of listed entities, a national footprint with offices in each of South Africa’s nine provinces and experience in the private and public sector at all levels. Bashier Adam, CEO and founder of Nexia SAB&T explained the new direction of the . . .