Team RoadCover's Bradley Potgieter underlined his sprinting prowess when he surged to victory in the 98km Emperors Palace Classic road race in Johannesburg on Sunday. Potgieter, who stepped into the role after the team's first-choice sprinter and Cape Town Cycle Tour champion Clint Hendricks fell ill in the build-up to the race, outsprinted Team Telkom's Reynard Butler and Nolan Hoffman in the dash to the finish. Having shown good form in the Mpumalanga Cycle Tour this year where he ended on the podium in the first three stages, Potgieter, who grew up in Maritzburg but now lives in Johannesburg, said he was happy to take on the sprinter's role. The 26-year-old paid tribute to a superb team effort from Hendricks, Kent Main, Stuart Fitzpatrick and Gustav Basson, who nursed him home in 2:07:50. "I have put a lot of hard work into my sprinting after returning from a stint in Europe last year," said Potgieter. "I was happy to take on the responsibility and am happy with the balance I have in my life at the moment. Although he races professionally, he has taken a part-time job at a cycling firm. "I feel I have managed to get a nice balance between my riding and my work. And a happy rider is a strong rider." Potgieter said everyone had been nervous going into the race, especially as they had not raced since last month's Cape Town Cycle Tour. "We have very good communications in our team and I sat back with Stuart and Clint at the beginning, while we gave Kent and Gustav free rein to see what happens. "There were a few moves, but on this flat and fast route nothing came to much. "About halfway through we communicated again and knew it would come down to a sprint, so we worked together in the closing stages. "We kicked about 900m out and around the 500m mark I felt I had the legs to go for the victory. "I have been training hard for this and after taking the lead in the sprint I slacked off a bit, kept an eye on the shadows behind me . . .
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. . . .
Former Constitutional Judge Justice Yacoob was at Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Pro Bono event this week to talk about the notion of lawyers acting against government institutions. Justice Yacoob said at the event that law should be used as a weapon in order to achieve greater good in society. He explained that pro bono lawyering began in South Africa during the days of the struggle and the fight for a just society. “In those days, our client was the struggle for democracy. After democracy was achieved, we promised ourselves that the law would always remain a weapon for good. We need a strong civil society and this is the reason why we have a Constitution. Therefore, the client of all pro bono lawyers in South Africa in a real sense is the Constitution of our country,” he said. “The Constitution promises, among many other things, equality, a better way of life for all and that government can be expected to act in terms of the Constitution. In this regard, the government should not be left to its own devices and pro bono lawyers need to ensure that government meets its obligations in terms of the Constitution. “The notion that lawyers should not act against the government is a bad one,” Yacoob said. “If the people’s Constitutional rights are being invaded, it is our duty as pro bono lawyers to do something about it,” he explained. “The other side to that coin is that as lawyers we must not become opportunists. We need to make sure that the highest level of legal ethics is preserved and that we are always acting in the interests of the Constitution as well as our clients,” Justice Yacoob noted. “Pro bono lawyers should also remember that the process of ensuring people become empowered and the process of facilitating government work are important. Before we take on government, we should first try very hard to bring the government to its senses and ensure that cases that can be settled are resolved in this way,” he said. “Working against . . .
Disabled teen benefits from gift of motorised wheelchair Every morning 14-year-old Lindokwakhe Vilakati, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, has had to be carried to his chair at school by his father, where he had to stay until his dad returned from work to pick him up. Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative hereditary disease characterised by progressive weakening and wasting away of the muscles. Lindokwahe’s condition has rendered him completely immobile and proved a considerable challenge for the Vilakati family, who have not been able to afford a wheelchair for the youngster and have always had to carry him to wherever he had to go. This, however, all changed last Thursday with the donation of an electric motorised wheelchair to Lindokwakhe from ’good Samaritans’, Herman and Chantal Sauerman of Johannesburg, whose son Brady suffers from the same debilitating medical condition. After being taught by the Sauerman family how to operate the chair, Lindokwakhe, who hails from Swaziland, was soon whizzing up and down the corridors of Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, where he was admitted last week for treatment for congestive heart failure, which is often a complication of advanced muscular dystrophy. “I don’t think that there was a single dry eye among the doctors and hospital staff who witnessed the handover of the wheelchair to Lindokwakhe,” says paediatric cardiologist, Dr Kenny Govendrageloo, who practises at the hospital and has been involved in the medical care of both boys. “It was an incredibly moving occasion. Lindokwarhe and his mother, Sitakele Vilakati, were delighted with the life-changing donation, which will give the young man much greater freedom of movement and independence.” Dr Govendrageloo explains that Brady Sauerman, who is one of his outpatients, was taken to Netcare Sunninghill Hospital by his parents for a check-up late last week. “At the time I mentioned to Brady’s parents that a boy from Swaziland was also being treated at the . . .
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 . . .
Just when he was showing good form, a severe bout of flu has possibly dashed Clint Hendricks' hopes of scalping another top title when the Emperors Palace Classic cycling race takes place over 98km on Sunday. The 24-year-old Team RoadCover sprinter took the biggest victory of his career when he triumphed in the Cape Town Cycle Tour in a thrilling finish last month. That success came after he finished second in the only sprint stage at the previous week's Bestmed Tour of Good Hope, but he has since been laid low by illness and has been on the recovery path. Having grown up in Paarl in the Boland, he now lives in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, and said he was thrilled with his Cape Town Cycle Tour triumph. "For me it was one of the ultimate goals to achieve," said Hendricks. "You always want to win the big races and for us as a team it was a major achievement. "We sat down before the race and discussed our goals at a meeting and winning was always the objective." Since then Hendricks has literally had to take his foot off the pedal such has been his weakened condition. "I have really been battling, having been on antibiotics for about two weeks, so my form is not that great at the moment. So I have had to take it fairly easily." Hendricks said he would be competing in the Emperors Palace Classic in the role of super domestique to teammate Brad Potgieter. "I will be in there trying to help Brad who has been training well and to see if we can assist him. "I have been off the bike for two weeks and I will see how it goes, but it will probably be a case of helping Brad." Hendricks said they had identified Team Telkom as their main rivals. "They have a good team and did well at least week's SA track championships so they are definitely one of the teams to watch." Hendricks said RoadCover would also be aiming for success in the second leg of the ProTouch Cycling Club National Criterium Series, which is held in conjunction with the feature . . .
The 12th annual Naledi Theatre Awards will see a star-studded selection of performers and presenters entertain and honour stalwarts and spectacular newcomers of the South African stage. Taking place on Tuesday, 19 April at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, the Naledi Theatre Awards promise to be bigger and better this year. “Our entertainment line-up is very special,” says Executive Director, Dawn Lindberg. Special indeed, as Grammy Award winners Wouter Kellerman and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are set to delight the audience. “I’m really looking forward to the Awards and feel very privileged to share my music with the theatre community,” says flautist and composer, Kellerman. “I feel that in music, there is an underlying sense of theatre - and this is a great opportunity to share common themes like storytelling, passion and emotive expression.” But these world-famous artists won’t be the only ones taking a bow on the night. “For the first time we have the full Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company, conducted by Eddie Clayton,” says Lindberg. “All music has been specially arranged for the event and singers will perform to live music.” Other all-star entertainers include Candida Mosoma from Sister Act; Sharon Spiegel Wagner from I’m Playing Your Song; Somizi Mhlongo of Idols fame; Jonathan Roxmouth and Charon Williams-Ros, who will perform a spoof from Sweeney Todd together; and Timothy Moloi who will perform The Impossible Dream. Critically acclaimed and SAMA-nominated recording artist, Timothy Moloi says he is honoured to be performing at the 2016 Awards. “The Naledi Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise excellence in the theatre industry and showcase the amazing work that has taken place over the past year,” he says. “It is also one of the highlights of the local social calendar, when people involved in all aspects of the performing arts get a chance to come together to celebrate the successes of the year gone by.” An esteemed cast of . . .
The final day of the ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference saw creatives from across the country battle it out in the Pitch Perfect session. Groups that were formed prior to, or at, the conference each had three minutes to impress the judges with an interdisciplinary project idea, but only six of them have moved closer to one of the two R80 000 grants. Sponsored by the National Arts Council (NAC), the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, a total of R160 000 will be made available to two innovative interdisciplinary projects that were developed during the BASA Hatchery sessions at the two-day #creativeintersections conference. “It has been close to two decades since the National Arts Council (NAC) was instituted, and in that period, we have seen how the local creative community has come together to form a dynamic industry,” says the NAC CEO Rosemary Mangope. “The NAC’s vision is to promote, through the arts, the free and creative expression of South Africa's cultures. To this end we’re continuously looking for new partnerships and opportunities for collaboration. The NAC is thrilled to be supporting this project, which aims to promote excellence in the arts and strengthen the arts and culture sector in our country,” she concludes. And these partnerships do not go unvalued. “The Arts & Culture Trust is privileged to have passionate partners that share our vision of advancing the creative sector,” says ACT CEO Pieter Jacobs. Jacobs says it’s events like these that offer real benefit to the industry. “The learning and skill sharing platforms offered by the ACT | UJ Conference proactively work towards empowering artists and creative practitioners. And what better way to do this than with practical real-world experiences where stakeholders learn by doing?” There were 17 groups who presented 'elevator pitches' at the conference, ranging from dance and theatre ideas to festivals and cultural exchanges, each group’s spokesperson . . .
The engineering skills gap in South Africa is well documented, but what is not necessarily more widely understood is the loss of engineering professionals as a result of the bizarre way the industry has calculated fee income up until now. Simon Berry, director, Fresh Projects, an online business platform tailor made for South African built environment professionals, says that the industry has, for decades, been at the mercy of an imbalanced playing field with dire consequences: “Built Environment professionals have often under quoted on projects, offering unsustainable discounts, even as much as 70%, to get appointed. The knock-on effect of this is more serious than many realise. With a discount of that magnitude, Berry says that projects then have to try cover costs with as little as 30% of the fee that they should be earning, which is not feasible for any professional team: “This immediately impacts the earning potential for everyone and the long-term viability of a business.” ”In comparison, other professionals such as lawyers, accountants and doctors, charge hourly fees that fundamentally cover their costs, resulting in guaranteed profits for them. There is a disconnect between built environment fee guidelines and the real costs. The fee guidelines are based on value of construction works whereas the true cost to deliver the services is based on the number hours of professional input. So the issue lies in not knowing what the real cost is from the outset, according to Berry. These teams need a better understanding of the actual cost of a project, and how much leverage they have to offer discounts against tariffs, before it compromises the entire project and industry. “The sector has, and continues to, lose talent because the earning potential is reduced so significantly. Talented engineers are in great demand in other sectors and can earn more than what is being offered within the built environment sector, despite the skills shortage,” explains . . .
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. Our society lives by this quote, not purely because it is from the father of the nation and a world renowned leader of his time. Chiefly because from a tender age, the average South African child is taught to aspire towards prestigious educational achievements in order to change his or her life. As a child growing up in this society you become accustomed to phrases such as “education will open many doors for you” and with a childlike faith, you grow up and set out to make this happen. This can be misleading and give people the false impression that every educated individual will be successful upon completing school. Many parents overlook the need to prepare their children adequately for the harsh and disappointing reality of unemployment after graduating from college, university or any other institution of higher learning. When a fresh graduate is faced with such a predicament, it is best to opt for the entrepreneur route. What’s better than waiting tirelessly to find employment, whilst frying your brains in your mother’s house, than starting a business of your own? Bearing in mind every prospective entrepreneur starts a business with the hope that it will flourish and be able to address the societal need of providing employment while making profit. Congratulations to both our nation’s graduates who were fortunate enough to find employment and a big shout-out to those who started their own businesses straight out of varsity. If you are looking to kick-start something along your interests or qualifications this year or just looking for inspiration while weighing your options, let’s delve into some must-have essentials to position your business to prosper in just under a year: An authentic product or service in demand and can satisfy a need or want in your community. Your business offering needs to be first and foremost attractive to people. If you are . . .