Two young jazz musicians from KwaZulu-Natal will be pulling out all the stops to secure a place in the finals of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition, which will go down to the wire in Johannesburg in mid-August. Saxophonist Linda Sekhakhane and drummer Sidney Rash are two of the six semi-finalists in the Jazz Music category of this illustrious annual music competition, which this year focuses on instrumentalists. Both studied jazz at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and both have their sights set on a R200 000 scholarship to further their music studies abroad. On 18 August 2016, Linda and Sidney will join fellow young jazz prodigies Keenan Ahrends, Justin Bellairs, Siyasanga Charles and Benjamin Jephta to compete before a high-level judging panel during the semi-final round of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition. The six semi-finalists in the Western Art Music category — Matthew Lombard, Sally Minter, Neil Robertson, Tatiana Thaele, Myles Roberts and Dylan Tabisher — will also be going all out to deliver their A-game on the day. Two Jazz and two Western Art Music instrumentalists will then be selected to perform in the final round: a public concert – always an immensely entertaining and highly charged affair – at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown on Saturday, 20 August 2016. The glittering prize all 12 semi-finalists have their sights set on: two R200 000 scholarships from the SAMRO Foundation to further their music studies abroad, plus several additional awards. Linda Sikhakhane is a saxophonist, composer and arranger. He was born in Umlazi, where his love for music, especially jazz, was triggered at an early age. He attended music classes and started performing professionally at the age of 15, before studying jazz at the University of KwaZulu-Natal under Prof Mageshen Naidoo. Now based in Johannesburg, Linda has played with respected South African and international artists such as Barney Rachabane, Brian Thusi, Feya Faku, . . .
Netcare urges fans of popular Pokemon geocaching game to play it safe: With growing numbers of road accidents and pedestrian injuries internationally being attributed to distraction by the popular “Pokemon Go” game, Netcare is urging South African fans of the game to play it safe. “Even though the game has not launched officially in South Africa, many South Africans are already playing it and we fear that some are doing so irresponsibly, putting both motorists and pedestrians at risk,” says Netcare's general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment, Mande Toubkin. Pokemon Go is a mobile geocaching game that was released overseas in the beginning of July. “The game makes use of a player’s physical location and provides hints to the location of ‘caches’, or collectable animated characters, to encourage exploring the surrounding environment,” she adds. The game employs augmented reality technology and a hide-and-seek aspect of play, which creates a particularly immersive experience as it combines elements of the game with one’s real-life surroundings. “This absorbing technology may be part of its appeal, but it could have safety implications if it is not played with due care for the dangers that exist in the real world environment,” Toukin notes. “Numerous studies have shown that people simply cannot effectively multitask while engaging in activities such as driving, because it requires so much brain power and attention. Even a hands-free phone call is cognitively distracting and can impair driving. “According to one US study, a driver’s eyes are taken off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds each time they even glance at their phone, which may translate to travelling the length of a rugby field. Playing an interactive game such as Pokemon Go while driving are likely to greatly increase the time a driver’s eyes are taken off the road and put real people’s lives in danger.” “Whatever the cause of the distraction, which . . .
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa– Samsung Electronics South Africa has vast experience in the development of air conditioning and has long been committed to creating cooling solutions that are both powerful and convenient, thereby ensuring optimum comfort for users. However, what many consumers are unaware of is the fact that Samsung air conditioners are equally effective at warming up a room and they can perform more efficiently than the average heater. Although South Africa is renowned for its long, warm summers, when the winter hits, the cold can really affect internal living spaces. The traditional method of dealing with the cold is to utilise a bar or fan heater, but these products tend to work best as personal heating appliances and are less effective when attempting to warm an entire room. Michael McKechnie, Director of Digital Appliances Group at Samsung Electronics SA, points out that Samsung’s air conditioners may have a reputation for being cooling appliances, but they are just as good when it comes to heating a room. “You simply cannot obtain the same amount of comfort or efficiency in heating from another source, as these appliances are designed to control the entire room’s temperature. Moreover, an air conditioner allows you to maintain your desired room temperature more effectively too,” says McKechnie. “Consumers may be concerned that an air conditioner will use more power, but even this is not necessarily the case. Our products have a built in inverter that sets the appliance to idle once the room reaches optimal temperature, switching on again only if the temperature drops below this level. A heater, on the other hand, is likely to remain on throughout the day in order to keep a room warm, so it clearly draws a lot of electricity.” He adds that another, intangible benefit of using an air conditioner for heat is that by more consistently controlling the temperature of the room, you are less likely to get ill from constant changes in . . .
The past decade has seen camera surveillance technology rapidly evolving. Of significance was the much-anticipated shift from analogue closed circuit television (CCTV) to Internet protocol (IP)-based systems. It is now widely accepted that the benefits of IP far outweigh analogue, but the selection and specify of an IP surveillance system now presents new challenges. Marc van Jaarsveldt, consultant for The Surveillance Factory, a video surveillance system-integrator, says that there are some important aspects to keep in mind when using IP-based technology: “It is not simply purchasing a system, but more about understanding what system and cameras you need, the network design, cabling and viewing requirements. There are many pitfalls to avoid and these could prove costly should you not address the basics adequately.” Van Jaarsveldt offers us the following do’s and don’ts when designing an IP video surveillance system. Do’s: Prepare a detailed site audit report of the site before installing any cameras Always understand the security requirements and the risk environment Consider dark screen monitoring for event-based monitoring to increase operator vigilance Offer offsite monitoring if budget is available Agree on upfront SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) to ensure your surveillance system is always running optimally. This should include software assurance/upgrade packages from the VMS provider Cover basic, but important, maintenance elements such as cleaning lenses and focusing cameras routinely Specify the hardware required properly. This includes, viewing stations, servers, NVRs’s, storage, network infrastructure and network cables Consider doing a shoot-out to compare products Involve a consultant if the project is big enough so you can gain value form their expertise and neutral brand position Specify workstations and separate the recording system from the display machines Lighting is very important because without it, . . .
Tweak your TV settings to ensure an optimised and immersive sports encounter JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 28 July, 2016 – With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games due to take place between the 6th and 21st of August 2016, even the most passing of sports fans will likely find themselves glued to their TVs at some point, supporting the various South African athletes participating. With SuperSport promising six dedicated HD channels, as well as a 24-hour Olympic news channel, watching the biggest sporting event in the world is certainly going to be an entertaining experience. So why not make sure you watch it in the clearest and most vivid manner possible, by optimising your TV to suit the nature of the programme you are viewing? This, of course, is sometimes easier said than done, but it is of vital importance, since even the best TV on the market, if incorrectly setup, may well look worse than a mediocre TV that is properly adjusted. “Since sport broadcasting often happens during the day, watching these in real time means the sun will often be shining through your windows, creating an obscuring reflection. Therefore, to view your chosen event properly, you must compensate for this by adjusting the picture to a brighter setting,” says Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director at Samsung South Africa. Thackrah points out that simply turning up the brightness won't necessarily help. He explains that this setting actually has more to do with the black contrast set-up of the TV. “Thus, setting the brightness too high may result in black colours within the visuals appearing as grey, which could reduce the depth of the picture.” “To fix this, you will have to increase the contrast – sometimes called ‘picture’ - which controls the white level. However, this too should not simply be increased. Ideally, you want to take your time and find a scene with a bright, white image contained in it and then adjust the contrast to the point where the white object is bright, but . . .
July 2016 - First Car Rental's partnership with Good Fellas means its customers are covered by Good Fellas' and can use their services wherever they may be. This is just one way that First Car Rental is putting the fun back into car hire. Good Fellas' chauffeurs are permitted to drive First Car Rental vehicles without prior notification. Good Fellas is a nationwide chauffeur service that provides renters with a responsible and hassle-free alternative to driving under the influence. Good Fellas' chauffeurs meet drivers wherever they are and drive them safely home in their own vehicles so that both renter and vehicle make it home, or back to their hotel, safely, in all of South Africa's major cities - Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit, Durban, Bloemfontein, East London, Port Elizabeth, George and Cape Town. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/firstcarrental CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
DHL Express, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Philip Barnard from GIBB, Candice Booysen from Argility, and Vuma Reputation Management are some of the trailblazers in HR, who have been recognised at the Future of HR Summit and Awards in association with Careers24. These individuals and organisations have implemented strategies and practices that deliver a direct impact on business performance and brought about innovations that set new standards for the HR industry. “In the working world, you have to keep up with the pace of change, and there are many factors that drive change. Technology and innovation will reshape the working world and this affects people greatly. The Future of HR cares about people and cares about making a difference in the HR industry. The time for HR professionals has come!” – Shirley Zinn, the celebrated HR specialist. Through communication, employee engagement and benefits, wellness programmes, planning, learning, development, and training, Rand Water has demonstrated excellence in caring as well as retaining talented employees. The organisation has demonstrated its unique and outstanding position as an employer in South Africa, therefore winning the Employer of Choice in a Public Sector Organisation category, sponsored by Public Sector Manager. Marc Privett, Head of Careers24 said, “It’s been a privilege to be part of this event. The quality of the content of the summit has been world class, and the awards entries of the 2016 Future of iHR is a clear indication that the Future of HR is on the right track.” For Entelect Software, who's focus is really aimed at education, walking away as the winners of the Best HR Industry using Technology award, gives extra emphasis to the great initiatives they are involved in. They have great relationships with the country’s top universities where they guest lecture, sponsor specific courses, and offer bursaries to under privileged students via The Entelect Foundation. “Education is a big focus for . . .
#UnemploymentMustFall: Meeting the Challenges of a Labour Market in Crisis is the subject of the 29th Annual Labour Law Conference (ALLC), taking place at Emperors Palace – the conference’s new home – from 24 to 25 August 2016. With South Africa’s latest available unemployment statistic sitting at around 25 percent, coupled with political turmoil and the economy under threat of a downgrade to junk status, the topic couldn’t be more apt. Jointly organised by the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand and KwaZulu-Natal, and facilitated by The Conference Company, the ALLC is the largest of its kind in Southern Africa attracting some 600 to 800 professionals from around the country annually. Nicci Whitear-Nel, Senior Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Law, said: “This year’s conference includes a heavyweight line up of government leaders, among them Advocate Thuli Madonsela, who will speak on ‘Navigating job creation and corruption’. Other burning issues to be tackled include youth unemployment, challenges facing trade unions, retirement reforms, emerging trends in retrenchments, the national minimum wage and the implications of the water crisis for the labour market.” Labour broking will also be under the spotlight and the conference will include insights into the example of the SA Post Office with an address entitled ‘Short-term financial savings, long-term industrial relations shambles: The experience of using labour brokers in the SA Post Office’ by Prof David Dickinson of the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand. Labour law specialists, trade unions, government officials, HR managers, labour practitioners, lawyers and business leaders will bring themselves up to date on the latest cases in collective labour law, procedural law and individual labour law, and the impact of the 2014 amendments to the Labour Relations Act on job creation. Together they will debate and seek solutions to meet the . . .
Port Elizabeth 18 July 2016: IT is unfortunate that once again some KwaZulu-Natal media reports this past week have framed developments of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road Project Road as a project by “stealth,” the South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL) says. So much has been written by KZN media about the project, most recently after receiving a briefing on it directly from SANRAL at a meeting hosted by the Durban Chamber of Commerce. The claims of secrecy are therefore just that, claims without any substance. “There were strong views by provocateurs in media this week suggesting that the project is being managed in a covert manner. It is a skewed representation of reality,” said Simon Peterson, SANRAL’s Regional Manager for the Southern Region. “SANRAL has always been very open and transparent about the location of the proposed route which includes a section of new greenfields road but also includes extensive upgrading of the existing N2 between East London and Mthatha, and the existing R61 between Mthatha and Port St Johns. “We have been implementing projects along this entire route since receiving the confirmation of the environmental go-ahead after the appeal process in 2011. As one of government’s key national Strategic Infrastructure Projects the project has remained prominently in the public domain since its inception.” Referring to media reports, Peterson said if voices of the community had been incorporated in news reporting, the “overwhelmingly strong currents and groundswell of support,” from local communities and “positive sentiment for SANRAL’s open and transparent engagement processes” could not have been missed. Peterson said “even those who are purporting ro oppose the project are divided and unfortunately misled by people who do not live in the area and do not care an iota about the levels of poverty in the area. SANRAL has received consent and support from the majority of the affected communities along the road. . . .
There is little doubt that South Africa is among the most beautiful countries in the world, with an array of incredible things to offer such as great weather, oceans, mountains, forests and many interesting people and cultures. “We as South Africans are privileged to be able to call this unique and diverse country our home,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Unfortunately there is one negative aspect that plagues so many living in this country and that is the crime.” He adds that the reality is that many people living in South Africa have either been affected by crime directly or at least know of someone who has. “With the high levels of crime experienced in this country, South African home buyers are some of the most security conscious in the world,” says Goslett. “In fact, security has become a major determining factor in where people choose to purchase their homes. As a result properties with top-end security features or those located in security estates are highly sought-after and often fetch a higher price than other types of properties.” According to Goslett, while homes within security estates generally provide a greater return on investment over the long term, these kinds of homes are not affordable to everyone. However this does not mean that home owners have to compromise on their safety and become soft targets. He notes that there are a number of ways in which homeowners can increase their home’s security and deter criminals: Make it as hard as possible to break in Intruders will generally target homes that they perceive as being easy and quick to get into. The more time it will take to break into a property, the less likely it will happen. “It is best not to leave anything lying around that could assist someone to break into the home, such as ladders or gardening tools. Ideally it is also a good idea to keep foliage and shrubs cut back to reduce the number of areas where intruders can hide. If . . .