The growing need to have one’s assets regularly and accurately valued for insurance and market purposes and, more particularly the wish to know the latest fair value of one’s business or assets which goes hand in hand with tough economic times and political uncertainty has, says Marc Cloete, Financial Manager of The Valuator Group, enabled the Group to achieve an unprecedented 58% increase in turnover in the 2015\2016 financial year which ended in February 2016. Gavin Commins, who since November 2014 has been CEO of the Group, said that the growth had been greater than anticipated and was a fitting reward for a year, which his team had found to be “intensely exciting”. If current trends continue, he said, a similar growth is possible in the 2016\2017 financial year, as The Valuator has seen an unprecedented increase in enquiries in the first quarter of this year. There has, said Commins, been a significant change in the types of valuation requested. “In our previous year 70% of our valuations involved ascertaining replacement values (usually for insurance purposes) and only 30% were to obtain the market values of assets—including business operations. This year, the ratio was very close to 50\50. We are inclined to think that SA’s political and economic issues have led to a certain lack of business and general confidence which, in turn, has resulted in some clients wanting to know the current market values of their assets should they decide to sell up—which very few so far have actually done.” The current outlook for South African businesses is, however, not all “gloom and doom”, said Commins: The Valuator Group is also witnessing an influx of clients cautiously optimistic about the country’s prospects and looking to buy into businesses, especially those available at discounted prices because their owners are now feeling the pinch. Such investors, he said frequently say that SA appears to be reaching a turning point in its affairs. They believe that within . . .
A full-strength University of Johannesburg cricket squad will aim to transfer their league form to the Momentum national club championship, which gets underway in Pretoria on Friday. Under the guidance of captain Neels Bergh and coach Richard das Neves, UJ emerged as the Gauteng premier league champions this season and the club trophy will be the cherry on top. There will be no easy route to the final as their section is littered with previous winners such as NMMU and Tuks and quite rightly qualifies as the "pool of death". UJ, themselves, are among the former champions, having first won the tournament in 1998 when still known as RAU. They followed up with successive titles in 2006 and 2007 and were runners-up to NMMU in 2011. KwaZulu-Natal's Crusaders are the current titleholders after defeating Maties by one wicket on the Duckworth-Lewis method last year. UJ cricket manager Karel Mouton said they were well prepared and keen to make an impact, despite league cricket having ended last month. "We have a full-strength squad and have had some good preparation against the Strikers." However, he said they were in a tough pool and singled out Tuks, NMMU and Kempton Park as their main rivals. Mouton said they were highly motivated as the tournament played a key role in the development of their club players. "We feel it is very important for club cricket and a key objective in any club player's career." Cricket South Africa general manager Corrie van Zyl said the championship was the culmination of the affiliate club championships around the country and featured the cream of their amateur players. "As such it is one of the most important windows to showcase the talent coming through our pipeline structures." He said club cricket played many important roles. "The obvious one is to identify talent that has not been picked up at youth level and to make sure that it takes the next step." The tournament concludes with the final on April . . .
Established experiential brand activation agency, The Zinto Marketing Group (Zinto), has been in operation for more than 15 years. The brand is embracing change and embarking on a rebrand by refreshing its identity on its company website and logo design. In previous years, Zinto promoted the business components separately rather than communicating the elements in their entirety. The idea behind the rebrand is to present a consistent look and feel and application of the brand that is identifiable to the target audience and that communicates an integrated message. All communications will be adapted to develop a visual language that captures and expresses the brand essence – ‘All Things Brand’. Zinto is a full service below-the-line agency that specialises in brand activation and experiential marketing at the bottom of the pyramid in South Africa and in Africa. The company develops campaign ideas and concepts including; gig rigs, talent management, youth development, consumer engagement and community events and entertainment, stage lighting and sound, brand encounters, brand concerts, brand character creation and management and workplace (industrial) theatre. The marketing manager of Zinto Miguel Correia comments, “Our simplified website has been rebuilt in order to incorporate the latest technological trends and mobile innovations in the digital space. Our intention is to launch an exciting interactive platform that creates conversations with our clients by offering a captivating brand experience in a specialised format.” The marketing industry is connected at all times and expectations have increased along with the new capabilities of technology. Brands need to rise to the challenge and deliver on those expectations. Rather than telling people about the features of a product or service, individuals can connect with the brand and make informed decisions via the website. Correia continues, “To reach target audiences and enhance the brand experience, . . .
Irene Farm Villages offers “incomparable lifestyle” Although house price inflation in Gauteng province has slowed in past few months, homes in well-run and well-situated residential and golf estates continue to show impressive growth. This is according to Pam Golding Properties’ regional executive, Pretoria and Centurion, Retha Schutte, who says there remains a strong demand for properties within a number of popular residential ‘hot spot’ estates across the greater Pretoria region, where property prices are at a premium. “Higher income earners within the Pretoria region are tending to seek properties which offer a secure lifestyle in leafy surroundings combined with maximum possible convenience,” observes Schutte. “They want to live closer to nature, but at the same time be able to enjoy the conveniences of modern life.” According to Schutte, it is these kinds of needs and desires that continue to drive ongoing demand for homes in residential estates in areas such as Blue Valley, Midstream, Country Lane and Cornwall, where property investments remain remarkably ‘recession proof’. Situated further south is Irene Farm Villages, which was rated third top performer in the Pretoria region in the 2015 Financial Mail national property survey. Irene Farm Villages has shown a five-year house price appreciation figure (2010-2015) of 158 percent. “This is a most impressive mid-term capital appreciation, and there are a number of good reasons for it,” notes Schutte. “These include the fact that the estate offers a secure lifestyle, is well situated and run, and residents greatly appreciate its village-type atmosphere of old. “The net result is that house-proud residents tend to hang on to their properties, and there is ongoing demand for homes in the estate. According to property research company Lightstone, only 22 percent of the properties in the estate have been owned for five years and less, which indicates a high level of stability.” Pam Golding . . .
GEMS gets behind Human Rights Walk On Sunday, 24 April 2016, hundreds of South Africans will take to the streets of Johannesburg for the Human Rights Walk at Constitution Hill, in celebration of twenty years of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. For the third year running, Constitution Hill is hosting the five-kilometre and eight-kilometre Human Rights Walk in partnership with the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) and the City of Johannesburg. The rich history of Constitution Hill, its achievements as a national heritage site, and all those who served in the struggle for our constitutional democracy will be honoured in the event, which is expected to draw a lively crowd, all walking in the name of human rights and freedom. The Human Rights Walk is titled the ‘We, The People Walk’, from the preamble of The Constitution, and takes place in and around the bustling and trendy area of Braamfontein this coming Sunday, three days before Freedom Day, from 8am to 12.30pm. Catering for children under 12, there is a special ‘We, the Children Walk’, which promises a full day of family fun. “Apart from being a healthy, and fun-filled family activity, which we support wholeheartedly, it is also a symbolic and meaningful occasion for the people of Johannesburg and surrounding areas,” says Executive of Communications and Member Affairs of GEMS, Liziwe Nkonyana. “With the walk we aim to honour the people who were integral in the development of our Constitution during the formative years of our young democracy. We also celebrate the establishment of Constitution Hill, which has become so much more than just an important landmark.” Nkonyana adds that GEMS is proud to be part of what is a highly significant event commemorating 22 years of democracy and 40 years since the June 16 student uprisings and Freedom Day. “At GEMS we are focused on the unique needs of our members and are mindful that healthcare is one of the basic human rights . . .
An exciting mix of new faces and established performers. Johannesburg: The principal event in the Gauteng theatre calendar came to a dazzling climax on Tuesday, April 19, when the winners of the prestigious Naledi Theatre Awards were announced to a packed audience at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City. For the first time in the Awards 12-year history, the same actress has won the Best Lead Performance in a Play (Female) for two different plays. Fiona Ramsay, one of South Africa's most prominent performers, received her award for her roles in Miss Dietrich Regrets and Doubt. Her co-star in Doubt, Janna Ramos-Violante, won the Best Supporting Actress award. Another exciting 'first' for the Naledi’s was the overwhelming success of Moagi Modise's Lepatata. It won the Best Ensemble category, making South African theatrical history in the process as the first Setswana play to win a major theatre award. The play was directed by Makhaola Ndebele. Another innovation this year by Naledi's Executive Director, Dawn Lindberg, was the Lesedi Spirit of Courage Award which went to Gaynor Young, who was seriously injured during a production of the musical, Camelot at the SA State Theatre some years ago. On winning the awards, she says: "I am overwhelmed! I am humbled at being awarded the very first Lesedi Spirit of Courage Award. Courage! That is such a noble and powerful word suggesting bravery and fearlessness. I possess neither! I am simply taking part in this wonderful thing called life. Like everyone, I have experienced downs as well as ups. I am unbelievably fortunate in that my life is surrounded by love. And that has made all the difference." Top honours this year went to Lara Foot's magnificent staging of Fishers of Hope (4 awards), including Best Production of a Play. The dark musical Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street won three awards, and Nataniël's innovative musical After Animals took home five awards. Janice Honeyman's effervescent musical Sister Act . . .
Johannesburg, South Africa — ASUS has announced specification updates for its award-winning ZenBook Series, a family of premium ultraportable laptops renowned for combining style and elegance with outstanding mobile performance. The top-selling ZenBook UX305, the multi-coloured ZenBook UX303 and the high-performance ZenBook Pro UX501 are all now available with the latest 6th-generation Intel® Core™ processors (‘Skylake’), with ZenBook UX305 also offering the option of a 6th-generation Intel Core M processor. ZenBook Pro UX501 is now updated with the latest high-performance DDR4 RAM, and introduces ultra-fast 40Gbps Intel Thunderbolt™ 3 technology, via a single USB Type-C port that also supports DisplayPort and 10Gbps USB 3.1 connections for unrivalled flexibility. ZenBook UX305UA and UX305CA The best-selling ZenBook UX305 is now powered entirely by 6th-generation Intel ‘Skylake’ processors, with the option of up to an Intel Core i7-6500U processor for the UX305UA model, or up to an Intel Core M7-6Y75 processor for the UX305CA. These latest processors make the ultra-slim and ultra-light UX305 family — UX305CA weighs just 1.2kg and is only 12.3mm thin, while UX305UA weighs 1.3kg and is 16mm thin — the perfect choice for those looking for a take-anywhere laptop with outstanding performance. The 13.3-inch ZenBook UX305 offers ultra-sharp up to QHD+ (3200 x 1800) IPS displays, with a touchscreen option available for ZenBook UX305CA. Coming in 2016 is an IR-enabled webcam option for UX305CA, with support for biometric login using Windows Hello. ZenBook Pro UX501VW ZenBook Pro UX501VW is designed for users who demand the ultimate performance with the ultimate style. With the introduction of the 6th-generation quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, performance is boosted even further. Coupled gaming-grade NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ 960M graphics and the latest Windows 10, ZenBook Pro UX501VW provides desktop-class performance for discerning users. The ultra-fast up to . . .
Integration between the two most common and active systems in a security environment, video management systems (VMS) and access control systems (ACS), will soon offer security managers a powerful tool to incorporate ACS access and biometric data with video surveillance footage. Currently, there are integration options available, but not all solutions offer a seamless link-up of the traditional ACS data with the IP network. This is according to Marc van Jaarsveldt, consultant, The Surveillance Factory, a video surveillance system-integrator. “There are some convincing implementations locally, where the integration is solid and results are positive. We have no doubt that the integration will improve over time, but for now users need to be aware of the pitfalls,” says van Jaarsveldt. What is making a difference and an impact on the ACS market is the continued growth and acceptance of IP networking as the de facto standard for video management systems. “We have seen that several access control (AC) vendors have started to offer IP interfaces with their hardware because of the prevailing nature of the network-based security technology. Some examples are Suprema, which produces biometric units with IP interfaces and Genetec that offers an end-to-end AC plus VMS system, including hardware and full integration. Van Jaarsveldt explains that typically the AC unit (a car or fingerprint reader)) is IP enabled and uses a UTP network cable to allow communication with the LAN, but it still retains traditional signaling interfaces like Wiegand or RS485, which need to be wired in via an IP enabled controller. Examples of these devices are made by Axis, a market leader in network video. In some cases the IP link-up happens where the main AC controller resides, but door units are still wired the traditional way: “Even though there are various levels of integration, the ability to incorporate AC data with video surveillance footage has changed the game plan somewhat for ACS . . .
Exciting new infrastructure development has drawn a significant number of new buyers to Eye of Africa. As the only golf estate in Johannesburg’s southern suburbs, Eye of Africa has always been considered an enviable address. However, Kent Gush – who heads up sales at Eye of Africa – informs that the estate has become a “hive of activity”, with contractors rushing to complete not only 240 new freehold homes, but also new bulk infrastructure, roads and sewerage at its recently launched suburbs and villages. It’s not surprising, then, that the estate – now offering a healthy array of recreational facilities and amenities – has attracted 200 new land sales in the past twelve months. Gush outlines the new amenities available to residents: The estate highlight – the Greg Norman championship golf course – has now been augmented with a practice facility catering to golfers of all abilities. Golfers are also able to relax after the game or indulge in a superb meal at the Green’s Grillhouse, wine bar and terrace. Alternatively, they can enjoy a workout of a different sort at the new gym, complete with changing facilities. Other new additions to Eye of Africa include two new floodlit tennis courts, a basketball court and a resort pool which is currently under construction. Gush maintains that it is not only the R100 million investment in infrastructure that has helped to create hype around Eye of Africa. The selection of the estate as host of the PGA Championship for the next five years has also boosted its public profile. The inaugural tournament held earlier in the year between 25-28 February 2016 won by Jaco van Zyl put the development under the golfing spotlight. He is quick to add that Eye of Africa will have even more to offer potential purchasers within the coming months, as the estate gets ready to present its freehold cluster development, Stone Quarter. This is the ideal choice for buyers seeking convenience within the magnificent country-style . . .
KZN, MPUMALANGA AND WESTERN CAPE RACES STILL TO COME JOHANNESBURG, 13 APRIL 2016 – It’s time to unleash the inner warrior. If you can imagine speeding down giant water slides, swinging from ropes and bars, belly-crawling through mud, running through nature, climbing up and over walls and getting covered head to toe in mud, then hurry and book your spot at the Jeep Warrior Obstacle Course Race, 23-24 April 2016, at Hobby Park, Krugersdorp, Gauteng. Says Jonathan Hart, Jeep Warrior Series Course Designer, “Obstacle course racing is really rewarding for all sorts of people with varying fitness levels because each race combines a little of everything. Even for first timers, there’ll be obstacles they’re good at, which make them feel great, and there’ll be some that they’re not so good at because they’ve never done anything like that before, which spurs them on to come back for more, trying harder the next time.” Says Shane Howarth, Head of Sponsorship at Jeep South Africa, “What truly makes obstacle course racing unique compared to all other sports is the comradery generated at every event. This is a festive sport celebrating life. Every event is full of opportunities to lend a hand or get a boost up yourself. Once you’re talked someone into jumping off a 6m high tower into water, the effect can be eye opening – you’ll see that most people are there for the fun and camaraderie. It’s at that point you realise you’ve found your fitness tribe.” Every Jeep Warrior Race takes place in a stunning outdoor arena and includes three distances that increase in difficulty and intensity. All courses feature a combination or trail running, climbing, jumping, swinging, crawling, carrying heavy stuff and wading through mud, but the exact obstacles change at every event, adding to the sense of surprise and unexpected adventure that keeps people coming back for more and more. Says Hart, “For the next Jeep Warrior race in Krugersdorp at the end of April, we’ve reworked the . . .