The term stokvel originated from local stock fairs in the Eastern Cape in which five to 50 members of colleagues, family and friends pooled resources to trade livestock with English settlers. Today, the stokvel acts as a saving society where money is collectively shared in agreed amounts among members belonging to the same shopping basket. A weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contribution makes up a joint investment ‘kitty’ where savings are generated for the benefit of the group. The money is used to pay for everything from burials and celebrations to school fees and groceries. This method has a very effective way of ensuring that low-income consumers are getting bang for their buck and that their hard-earned cash is buying them quality and quantity at the best possible price. Understanding stokvels A stokvel can be started by anyone from the community but members are usually carefully selected by invitation and based on honesty, openness and trust. The underlying thread is conviction that all selected members will reinvest their monies once they have received their pay out. The accumulated money/savings are drawn by members in rotation or in time of need. Stokvels can also act as an informal 'banking industry' where members deposit money into a savings brokerage while still being able to take out loans at an affordable interest rate. Reaching the stokvel market The stokvel market represents a place in which all purchases are made under great scrutiny by opinion leaders who have the buying power and influence to sway the purchasing choices of a larger group of consumers. To get opinion leaders to buy in, marketers need to use (create if necessary) communication channels that respect and incorporate traditional South African thinking and values, reaching consumers on a more personal level. A method that has proven to be very effective to this segment of the market is experiential marketing and/or brand activation; the consumer’s real experience of . . .
Despite having to overcome serious injuries in recent weeks, ex-Springbok rugby star Joel Stransky and teammate Andrew Mclean are determined to be competitive at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race later this month. The pair, who finished third last year, will pit themselves against arguably the toughest field in the history of the three-day event when it starts at the Zuurberg Mountain Village outside Port Elizabeth on May 26. They will go head to head against the likes of TIB Insurance-Momsen's defending champion Andrew Hill, who has partnered with up and coming pro Marco Joubert. Also in the running will be BCX's Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger, who won the three-stage Liberty Winelands MTB Encounter at a canter last month. Ellsworth-ASG's Pieter Seyffert, who triumphed two years ago, will also be back for another stab at the title alongside new teammate Travis Walker. The pair is in good form after winning the seven-day TransCape in February. Imbuko Wines' Chris Wolhuter and Craig Boyes, who won Winelands last year, should be the other in-form team. After getting onto the podium in 2016, Stransky said their aim would be no different. "Knowing Andrew, I'd imagine he's going to want to do better than third." The 1995 World Cup winner has worked his way back to racing condition after he was unable to finish the Cape Epic in March due to a fall that left him with extensive facial injuries, a punctured lung and broken ribs. Mclean was also sidelined after a freak accident shortly before the Epic prevented him from starting the eight-day race. Stransky said they had similar mindsets in that they both tended to push themselves to their absolute limits. "Our dynamic works well because we're very determined and we both want to win," he said. "We laugh at each other and call each other cockroaches because we both suffer properly to try and achieve the best we can. "I know we're both hugely competitive and we'll be giving it . . .
Kingsridge will be back to defend their title when the second regional tournament in the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge takes place in Queenstown on Sunday. The Border Inland event will see eight teams vie for honours when they meet on the astroturf at the Queenstown Girls' High School. Tournament director Bev Forword said the school had again offered to host the event as it was the most central venue. "Many of the teams have to travel a fair distance to play in the competition so this is the best venue for this exciting day of senior hockey." Adelaide High are unable to attend this year and have been replaced by King William's Town school St Christopher's. They will join Burgersdorp, Kingsridge, Aliwal North, Hangklip, Stutterheim, Templeton and Queenstown Girls' High in the battle for the regional title. Forword said she was sure there would be strong competition among the schools. "There has been a lot of excitement this time as schools now know what it is all about," she said. "It is a wonderful tournament for schools who never get to play in major occasions and last year we noted tremendous support from the parents." She said as teams changed from year to year one was never quite sure who would be among the top contenders. "But I know that Kingsridge have just returned from the All Girls' Festival in Pretoria where they did well." She said the sides would compete in two pools with cross-pool semifinals for the top two teams in each section. Further matches, she said, would see the team that ended third in pool A play their counterparts in pool B, while the fourth-placed sides would meet. The winners of the tournament will qualify for the Eastern Cape provincial finals at Woodridge just outside Port Elizabeth on August 12. Union High, of Graaff-Reinet, won the first regional tournament in March, while further events will take place in East London (May 21), George (May 28) and Port Elizabeth (June . . .
6 May 2017 - Former zoo lion, Nelson, and confiscated ‘exotic pet’, Ciam, are today starting new lives in their ancestral home of Africa. Nelson and Ciam travelled from their temporary home in Belgium - via Germany - to Port Elizabeth, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, where they were this morning introduced into their spacious, safe and enriching accommodation at the award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve. With them every step of the way on their more than 10,000km journey was Born Free Foundation Co-Founder and actress, Virginia McKenna OBE, who watched with delight as Nelson and Ciam explored their new surroundings. Virginia said: "The lyric goes 'life is worth living when you're born free' but for the two lions, Nelson and Ciam, who were not born free and never lived free, life is now, at last, worth living. Nelson, after 14 years of imprisonment and about two years at the Natuurhulpcentrum rescue centre in Belgium, and Ciam, bought from a terrible circus by someone who kept him illegally in his back yard, will now have a new life at the Born Free sanctuary at Shamwari. Seeing them take their first steps into their huge natural enclosures was utterly joyful. At last they are free to live where lions belong and will be treated with the care and respect they deserve. How lucky I was to be there to share the moment." The two lions started their journey from Natuurhulpcentrum rescue centre, Belgium, on Thursday 4th May. Born Free Celebrity Patrons, comedian Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) and his wife – model and actress Nancy Sorrell - helped carefully prepare Nelson and Ciam for their journey and have been closely following their progress. They said: “It was wonderful to meet the magnificent Nelson and Ciam at Natuurhulpcentrum and to help the Born Free team prepare them for their journey to Shamwari Game Reserve. Nelson and Ciam highlight the plight of captive wild animals worldwide that are still kept in zoos and circuses or as ‘exotic pets’ just for the . . .
(East London) – Sports car fanatics will be in for a rare treat when over a hundred Porsche vehicles roar into Hemingways Mall for the SA Porsche Club showcase on Monday. The public will be able to see 112 gleaming examples of the iconic motorcar on display at the Pick n Pay rooftop entrance between 10am and 4pm on Workers’ Day. The display forms part of the bi-annual Porsche Club Parade, which will see 220 members of the South African chapter descending on East London for five days of motoring festivities. It has been 10 years since Buffalo City last hosted this event, which changes host cities every two years. Hemingways Mall marketing manager Estee Roos said the shopping centre was delighted to welcome aficionados of the famous “prancing horse” marque and to be part of the Porsche Club programme. “The ‘show and shine’ display fits perfectly with Hemingways’ emphasis on quality and style, and we invite shoppers to come on down and enjoy these classic cars.” Organiser Dave Kirkman said there would be a variety of cars on display, ranging from the older air-cooled 911 models to the most recent GT3 and GT2 and “turbo rockets”. The Porsche Club event starts on Friday with registration at the Blue Lagoon Hotel in Bonza Bay. On Saturday, there will be high-speed driving demonstrations at Bulembu Airport in Bhisho, followed by time-trials at the East London Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday. The Hemingways Mall showcase brings the event to a close on Monday. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
(East London) – Mdantsane residents will have something to celebrate this month as Mdantsane City Shopping Centre gifts shoppers with R30 000 in prizes as part of its birthday festivities. The mall, which marks nine years of trading on April 24, will reward customer loyalty with a series of daily lucky draws throughout its birthday week. “Mdantsane City keeps on growing year after year thanks to the support of our community. So we have put together a great line-up of birthday ‘presents’ to spoil our shoppers,” said centre marketing manager Wendy Zitha. She said the 36 000m2 mall was established almost a decade ago with a vision to bring big brands and a quality shopping experience within easy reach of the local community. “The competition prizes reflect this continued focus on improving our shoppers’ homes and lifestyles. They include everything from fridges and stoves to TV sets and appliances, home décor, and even a garden set. We also have clothing vouchers and gift cards to give away.” To qualify for the competition, Zitha said shoppers needed to spend R100 or more at any Mdantsane City store or food outlet, then write their contact details on the back of the till slip and deposit it in the entry boxes provided at the information desk and centre management office. “If your name is drawn, you’ll be invited to pop a balloon and win a random prize. But choose carefully, because there are also ‘booby trap’ balloons without prizes hidden in between!” The lucky draws take place at 3pm daily from Monday, April 24, to Friday, April 28, with the final draw happening at noon on Saturday, April 30. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
APRIL 2017 - TEAMWORK and great customer service proved to be the secret to success for Kokstad Caltex service station when they brought home the grand prize in the “Every One’s a Winner” competition run by Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer (CECM) for more than 90 retailers in their network across the province. Proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better, father-and-daughter team Owen Peters and Janice Kitching, owner and manager respectively of the service station in the small town of Kokstad, saw off competition from the main centres of the Eastern Cape and were rewarded with the R75,000 grand prize at CECM’s recent annual retailer conference. Kokstad Caltex claimed the prize by beating their targets for fuel sales volume and stock management, maintaining the high standards of site upkeep and cleanliness required of Caltex retailers, and delivering excellent service to their customers in the fast-growing small town and travellers on the busy border between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. “It’s about perseverance and teamwork,” said Janice, looking back on the major revamp in 2015 that saw the site completely rebuilt for improved access and greater convenience, offering additional fuel pumps and a flagship FreshStop store. “We focus on getting every piece of the business right – from making sure the tanks are always full to being there with help and advice for our customers. Getting that right takes teamwork, it can’t be a one-man show, and we definitely have a great team. “We really want to thank all our staff for their hard work in getting us to the top of the competition, as well as our customers because without their ongoing support we will not be able to meet our fuel targets,” she said. The Kokstad Caltex team are working hard to “go green” and make their business more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The prize money would go a long way towards helping with that drive, Janice said, and would be put towards installing solar . . .
(East London) – Families looking for a special Easter holiday treat need look no further than the Easter Festival Market taking place this week. The daily festival, running until Easter Sunday at Hemingways Mall, puts a sweet spin on the holiday period with an indulgent array of confectionery and themed vendors. Market-goers can look forward to mouthwatering baked goods such as Easter-themed biscuits, death-by-chocolate cupcakes, cappuccino slices, milk tarts, and doughnuts drizzled with chocolate and caramel. “Our first Easter-themed market celebrates the sweet life and allows an influx of new and exciting vendors and added entertainment for the holiday period,” said Hemingways marketing manager Estee Roos, adding that those without a sweet tooth could enjoy savoury treats such as spicy curry bunnies and samoosas, and savoury tarts, among the offerings. The mall’s Edgars Court and upper ground walkways have been transformed into a traditional market experience, where shoppers will also find wooden and traditional beadwork, African-inspired clothing and accessories, and other unique handmade pieces. In addition, Roos said there would be a wide variety of daily, free kids’ entertainment to help beat the holiday boredom, including a dedicated play area with activities such as biscuit and Easter egg decorating, sand art and face painting. “Our regular community market forms part of the festival and is designed to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our region. There’s something for everyone, with a variety of stalls, gourmet food vendors, music and entertainment,” said Roos. Children can also have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny over the Easter Weekend, and those who enter the colouring-in competition stand a chance to win a share of R1800 in gift card prizes. The market is open during mall hours – with extended trading until 5pm on Sunday and Family Day. It will be closed on Good Friday. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to . . .
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong Day One – Pollock Beach Small, light onshore but highly contestable conditions met the competitors in the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) World Qualifying Series (WSL) event this morning. After a slight delay, while waiting for the conditions to settle, it was straight into the QS event. Comprising World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for men and women, plus Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 plus points counting towards international and regional rankings lists. Billabong South Africa is the presenting sponsor, and they were in attendance as the best surfers in the country, as well as a contingent of international surfers, gathered for the start. "Billabong is really proud to be kicking off the inaugural Surf City Series in our backyard of Port Elizabeth. It is a fantastic initiative and an awesome opportunity for our local surfers to finally have their own domestic tour. Well done to everyone who made it possible and the best of luck to all the surfers competing," said Chad D'Arcy, Billabong South Africa's Marketing Manager. The QS1,000 rated men’s event features a 64 man field including the cream of South Africa’s surfers. The top seed is Michael February (Kommetjie), currently the country’s highest QS ranked surfer at No. 65, followed by 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Braden Jones (USA). The QS1,000 women’s seeding is headed by Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and Fay Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) with Tayla Hanak (AUS) the only international among the 24 competitors. Reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jake Elkington and Ford van Jaarsveldt are the top four in the JQS1,000 junior . . .
28 March 2017 – Sipelele Msindwana (37), a small business owner of a construction company in Lusikisiki, plans to grow his career and take his business to new heights through the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR). To develop, upskill and empower youth and women-owned SMME’s and start-ups in construction industries in Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, Mbizana Local Municipality and Port St. Johns Local Municipality and simultaneously provide safer roads, SANRAL is rolling out an integrated community development programme valued R120 million. This initiative comprises Learner SMME’s, programme will therefore be provided with National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3, 4 and 5 training, leading to a full learnership which is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Msindwana is one of 30 business owners who have received a full scholarship from SANRAL. Upon completion of theoretical training in 2017, each SMME will have an opportunity to tender for work packages on the community access roads and learn how to apply their theoretical training into practical application. Community access road upgrades are strategic projects linked to the N2WCTR with the aim to improve road safety. Msindwana is a co-founder and co-partner of Nkungu Investments CC. He and business partner Khayakazi Nkungu started the company in 2004. Msindwana says he wants to grow the business in the construction industry, expand to plant hire company and business rental properties. He has 13 years’ experience working in the construction industry, which include eight years managing construction sites. SANRAL’s community development and skills training programme will give him an additional boost to be successful. “Since starting our company we have on average provided work for 25-45 people. But working in the construction industry is not easy,” he says. “It is difficult to find work in the construction industry especially if your company is a CIDB level 1, so we have to . . .