(HOWICK) – Participants in this year’s aQuellé Midmar Mile will have their sights set on a fundraising target of R3 million for charity when they hit the water for the world’s largest open water swim this weekend. Over 13,000 swimmers from across the country are expected to descend on Midmar Dam near Pietermaritzburg for the 45th edition of South Africa’s premier open water race. Among them will be the 200-plus members of the 8 Mile and 16 Mile Clubs, who have already surpassed last year’s R2-million benchmark for worthy causes in the lead-up to race day. The 8-Milers – so called for the distance each member swims for charity – will swim each of the eight mile-long events on Saturday and Sunday to collect as much money as possible for their seven chosen charities. These are breast cancer charity Pink Drive, Singakwenza Education and Health, Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC), Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, KZN Wildlife for Save the Rhino, Wildlands Conservation Trust and the Cancer Association of South Africa. Former East Coast Radio DJ Brad Ray, 40, now living in Johannesburg, will be completing his fifth 8-Mile challenge. He and his sister, Abigail Ray, will be swimming on behalf of Singakwenza, a non-profit organisation that works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children through early childhood education programmes. “I knew the bigger charities would have support already, and the smaller charities probably need the money more. I am a huge believer in education having the power to change people’s lives for the better, and what Singakwenza does for young children is amazing,” said Ray. Joining the 8-Milers is former Paralympic silver medallist Terence Parkin, who is on a 902km cycle-swim-run journey to raise funds for the Deaf Children’s Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programme. Their 16 Mile Club counterparts will also complete all the events, swimming back to the start after each one to double the distance. All monies raised by . . .
Strand Group Developments (Pty) Ltd is the latest member to have joined the ranks of the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA), the industry body representing the local PVC industry. According to Anton Maingard, Director of the KwaZulu Natal-based company, becoming a member of SAVA was a natural progression for them. “We have been operating in the packaging industry for the past 25 years. Although traditionally our focus has been more on manufacturing our Main-Pak brand of high quality polystyrene foam packaging, we have also recently expanded our service offering to include producing Mainwrap food grade PVC cling film,” Maingard says. Thanks to their experience with similar industry bodies, such as the Polystyrene Association of South Africa, Strand (who is founder member of PSASA) has first-hand experience of the importance and benefits that are derived from belonging to a product recovery organisation. “Belonging to an industry association offers you networking opportunities, access to information and the opportunity to stay on top of industry developments. We believe that being part of a successful industry implies accepting a responsibility towards your fellow role-players who operate in that industry. By joining forces, you get to have a say in important issues that affect your business and your future. It is the right thing to do, and we knew that it would only be a matter of time before we joined SAVA,” he explains. Maingard goes on to say that his company was happy to sign SAVA’s Product Stewardship Commitment (PSC) - a series of achievable commitments that aim to address the PVC industry’s environmental issues through adhering to sustainable manufacturing processes and the use of additives, implementing a closed-loop management system and raising sustainability awareness. “We believe that SAVA has a very important role to play in educating the market about the manufacturing, use and recycling of PVC and that they are keeping the . . .
Sappi invests in a skills centre that focuses on empowering the Umkomaas community with skills that will enable them to seek meaningful employment or create small enterprises that contribute to the economic growth in our country. The centre was officially opened on Thursday 01 February at an event attended by dignitaries from government, local Amakhosi and the community. Sappi’s vision is to develop a learning campus that enriches the lives of its local communities and Sappi employees. This is aptly summarised in the motto for the Skills Centre “Sinikeza Abantu Amathuba Okuphumelela”. The Sappi Skills Centre is part of Sappi’s investment in its communities and is aimed at alleviating poverty and offering sustainable solutions that will empower the youth with basic technical skills. This centre will give youth the opportunity to contribute positively to society. In her speech during the opening of the Skills Centre the Chief Director of District Operations in the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education, Mrs Thembelihle Gumede said, “The department of Basic Education works closely with the Department of Higher Education in order to place the children who pass grade 12 in Universities, Universities of Technology, however there are children who cannot go to those institutions. They are happy that Sappi has created this Skills Centre in Umkomaas that will close that gap. It will allow people to start their own businesses and sustain themselves. This centre will make a difference in people’s lives.” “This centre forms part of our contribution to the country in order to create shared value between Sappi Saiccor Mill and our neighbouring communities. Our goal is to have young people who will be active in the economy by starting and running their own small businesses” said Alex Thiel, the CEO of Sappi Southern Africa. Sappi has spent close to R10 million developing the Skills Centre. This includes the purchase of a farm close to Sappi Saiccor Mill where the centre . . .
The gleaming metal, subtle lines and quality craftmanship of the classic motorbike attracts the deserving attention of even the most unlikely biking admirers. And this year, visitors to the South Coast Bike Fest™ - running at Margate Beachfront Boulevard from 27 to 30 April - will get to see no less than 50 of the province’s best classic motorbikes at the Classic Open Stand. The event is presented by Ugu South Coast Tourism with endorsement and support from Ugu District and Ray Nkonyeni Municipalities. The South Coast Motorcycle and Car Club has once again agreed to lend its support to the show. “We are really excited to be a part of the South Coast Bike Fest™ for a second consecutive year,” said Rod Thomas, chairman of the Classic Motorcycle Club of Natal. “It provides our club with a great opportunity to showcase what we do while also giving the public a chance to appreciate the beauty of these incredible machines.” Although the categories are fairly fluid and tend to differ from country to country, there are essentially three biking terminologies used: Veteran motorbike - built before 1915 Vintage motorbike - built before 1975 Classic motorbike - 20 years or older Motorbike collector and one of the founding members of the Motorcycle Club of Natal, Hank Raatgever, will be featuring two of his classic bikes at this year’s show (from a collection of about 20) – the 1931 Norton and either the 1929 AJS or 1961 Velocette. “In 1965 I rode my Honda 150cc all the way from Rhodesia to Durban,” recalled the Gillitts resident. “I needed to have transport at university and I thought what better way to get the bike to Durban?” A journey of just under 1 700 kilometres on a motorbike sparked a love affair with the machines that has seen the electronics engineer acquire, fix and sell numerous classic bikes over the years. “There is something about being in the open air, exposed to the elements with no visual restrictions that is just so freeing. It’s the . . .
Subz Pants and Pads, the KwaZulu-Natal-based organisation which sells patented reusable sanitary pads, was accepted into the SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Fund and Accelerator programme aimed at fast-tracking social purpose businesses. Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads and its non-profit extension, Project Dignity, said she was honoured to have been accepted into the SABF Social Innovation Accelerator and Fund Programme. “This is a huge injection of knowledge and funding for Subz Pants and Pads to grow and upscale the business,” said Barnes. “I will be guided and mentored through this process, as Subz is on the brink of explosion into the market – not only in South Africa but throughout Africa. The plan is to upscale the business by focusing on empowerment development and employment. I am very excited that Subz Pants and Pads has been recognised as a business to contend with.” This innovative programme was opened up to previous winners of the SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Awards held annually for the past seven years. In 2015 Subz received the award which recognises organisations with workable business solutions to social problems. However, despite the mentorship that accompanies the Social Innovation Awards, the SAB Foundation realised there is very little early stage funding for social innovation companies beyond the competition. “It’s incredibly difficult for these organisations to apply for traditional funding because there is often no compelling business case in the early stages. However, these models are critical to support as they are finding innovative and sustainable ways of solving social problems,” explained SAB Foundation Director, Bridgit Evans. “That is why the Foundation decided to select 12 high-performing award-winners who have persisted in their commitment to social innovation despite the obstacles faced.” Subz Pants and Pads was one of the 12 former winners chosen for the acceleration programme which will support . . .
Domestic Flights South Africa is preparing for a busy 2018. With South Africa being a top tourist destination in Africa and expecting many tourists next near, they are constantly expanding their offerings and have a wide variety of different services available. With the goal to provide the easiest and most cost effective way to find and book the best travel deals at the cheapest prices. Domestic Flights South Africa offers flights, car rental, bus bookings, and accommodation across South Africa. Covering all the main metros including: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, East London and Port Elizabeth When you search for flights with Domestic Flights South Africa, you’ll get results from all the major and low-cost carriers (such as Mango, SAA, British Airways, FlySaFair and Kulula) displayed in one place so that you can compare ticket prices allowing you to book the cheapest price.. You can refine also your results by playing around with various settings such as ‘departure time’ or ‘preferred number of stops’. Once you have decided on the best flight ticket for you, book and pay online in one seamless transaction. This applies to the Car Rental and Hotel booking facilities as well. Currently, Domestic Flights South Africa offers Cheap flights listing from some of the top flight providers and airlines in the world. Some of the notable international airlines include: Arik Air Cathay Pacific Airlines Delta Airlines Ethiopian Airlines Emirates Airlines Etihad Airways Kenya Airways Qantas Airlines Qatar Airways Singapore Airlines Turkish Airlines Virgin Atlantic British Airways Fly Blue Crane Also including some of South Africa top domestic carriers and airlines including; FlySafair Kulula Airlines Mango Airlines SA Airlink SA Express South African Airways Not only have they got an up to date flight section with the top airlines, but they also list a wide range of car rental services from South African car rental . . .
* One small gesture may be the catalyst to a Manganese Ore Free PE Beachfront * Sailors vote for the environment * Turtles-1, Plastic Straws-0 * Surf the wave to Turn the Tide on Plastic The Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth based Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) has banned Plastic Straws and issued a challenge to every consumer and business to say; "No to plastic" as the wave to 'Turn the Tide on Plastic' becomes a tsunami. Inspired by the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, 'Turn the Tide on Plastic, skippered by Britain's, Dee Caffari and after a talk by Sustainable Seas Trust Director Dr Tony Ribbink, the decision to move towards a Plastic Free Zone at ABYC by banning plastic straws was unanimously approved by the ABYC Exco on Tuesday 16 January 2018. "With 350 kg's of plastic being dumped in the ocean every second, it is projected that there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050. This pollution is killing millions of marine animals and sea birds each year, damaging sensitive ecosystems, affecting environmental and human health. Aside from lost opportunities the cost to Africa runs in to billions annually," said SST Director Dr Tony Ribbink at a recent presentation to members and sailors at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. Spearheaded by the ABYC's House Commodore, Frank Atkinson, ABYC has implemented an immediate ban on plastic straws and will move towards a plastic free environment. Frank says; "All my life I have been fortunate to have lived beside the water - either the Zwartkops River or the beaches of Port Elizabeth. Our activities as kids were sailing, swimming, fishing and gathering bait where I was subjected first hand to the horrors caused by carelessly discarded plastic on the marine and wildlife in general. What really hit home however was a recent screening at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club by Dr Tony Ribbink of a film depicting how floating plastic bags were eaten by dolphins who mistook them for jelly fish and a particularly horrifying look at . . .
KZN’s future Actuary Sakhile Njoko and Siyanda Secondary School RCL Secretary bags 7 distinctions. Sakhile has proved it is possible to beat the odds. Having lost both parents at a very early stage, 17-year-old Sakhile has stood on the shoulders of his 4 siblings and people who kept reminding him that he can achieve whatever to put his mind and soul to. Speaking to Sakhile, he mentioned that he was very anxious when the final exams were approaching, He knew he had all in control since he started preparing for Grade 12 while busy with his Grade 11. “I did not start starting only when I got to Grade 12. I started when I was in Grade 11. I would attend Grade 12 sessions whenever there were extra classes. I was introduced to organizing my time when I attended the Columba Leadership Academy when I was in Grade 10. Since my participation in the Columba Leadership Programme, I have been able to set my own goals and work very hard towards achieving them, I am goal driven and focused on my studies.” Said Sakhile Columba Leadership is a peer-driven leadership programme that works with principals, teachers, local community members and corporate partners to engage young people in a programme of leadership development that elicits and unleashes their potential to be agents of positive social change. The relationship between Columba and Siyanda Secondary School started in June 2010 and the school has embraced the programme since then. Sakhile was one of the leaners that went to the Columba Leadership Academy which is a six-day residential which is the ‘activation’ phase of the programme whereby learners and educators are introduced to the values based leadership programme. The residential provides educators with a different perspective of their learners and provides them with alternative methods of engaging youth. Youth are exposed to a different way of approaching their future to motivate them and allow them to start a journey of personal . . .
Regus, the multinational workplace provider, opened their most recent business centre in the Kwa-Zulu Natal capital, Pietermaritzburg on 1 December 2017. This adds to their 3000 locations worldwide and over 55 locally. The new Pietermaritzburg centre which offers fully furnished office spaces, co-working spaces, and meeting rooms, follows a strategic focus to provide world-class workspaces and infrastructure in oft-forgotten areas. Since its expansion into South Africa, Regus has provided co-working and meeting spaces to meet the increasing demand for flexible, technologically advanced, professional work areas. The latest centre will support corporates, small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, students, freelancers and business tourists with a professional place to work and network. As a hub to the aluminium, agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors, and with its proximity to Durban, one of the busiest ports in Africa, Pietermaritzburg is also an ideal platform for expansion into the rest of the province. The location is home to the thriving and active Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, supporting local businesses in the area. The new business centre is also ideally situated in the busy Bird Sanctuary area, with access to banks, local businesses, restaurants and food outlets. Joanne Bushell, Country Manager of Regus in South Africa said of the expansion, “The most recent Regus locations were strategically chosen to support areas in our country integral to the agricultural, manufacturing and services growth, but which often don’t have commensurate support of much-needed technological infrastructure and services. We have seen our business centres boost economic growth in all the locations where we put down our footprint.” With more centres set to open in South Africa in 2018, Regus’ business support footprint is steadily growing to include centres nationwide. For further information on Regus business centres, to find a global working . . .
Nal’ibali, the national-reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has announced 14-year-old Sabelo Khomo from Hammarsdale, as the KwaZulu-Natal provincial winner of its annual storytelling contest, Story Bosso. Chosen from over 6 000 entries collected from across the country and over 1 000 entries in KwaZulu-Natal, Khomo’s winning entry, Ugogo nengane, is a folktale told to him by his grandmother. Each year Nal’ibali hosts its month-long Story Bosso drive in September (Literacy Month), to encourage members of the public, young and old, to get storytelling in their home languages. A simple yet effective method to lay the literacy foundations that children will need to learn to read and write; storytelling is something that anybody can do: anytime, anywhere. The sharing of stories is also part of the collective culture and heritage of all South Africans. This year the talent search attracted a record number of entries and included a provincial road-show with celebrated storytellers, including Gcina Mhlope and Sindiwe Magona, giving special demonstrations of their craft to adults and children in different parts of the country. Driving the initiative at local level, Nal’ibali Literacy Mentors held over 100 audition and entry events in seven provinces to source stories directly from communities and from Nal’ibali’s network of over 1 000 reading clubs. Sanelisiwe Ntuli, Nal’ibali Literacy Mentor says Khomo is a natural storyteller with a strong sense of creativity – he enjoys telling stories and making up new ones from folktales his grandmother shares with him. “Sabelo’s story is my favourite because it has not one, but two elements of storytelling in it: song and education. Him, or the story having music in it, works for him,” commented Mpumy Ndlovu, a Story Bosso judge, actress and storyteller. Khomo is joined by seven additional provincial winners: Java Hoy in the Eastern Cape; Lethuxolo November in Gauteng; Dimakatso Letsoele in Mpumalanga; Annah Gumbi in North . . .