After seven years of dedicated environmental fundraising and educational initiatives which have unified local communities and empowered the youth, non-profit organisation, Four Elements Conservation NPC will be ending its journey with a final informal and friendly ocean swim in celebration of World Ocean’s Day. Established by Durban’s Olivia Taylor at the age of 14, Four Elements Conservation has met its mandate of providing a platform for community engagement, a voice for the youth and encouraging support and contribution from more than 500 people who’ve participated in the Four Elements Ocean Challenge. “I have been working in environmental fundraising and communication for nearly half my life, starting at the age of 11, raising more than R500 000 for conservation efforts over this time,” said Taylor, now 21. “I set up Four Elements Conservation at 14 during which time, as CEO, I have organised four swimming events, a social entrepreneurship training camp and merchandising, and I have represented the country in a number of international youth and environmental roles. This journey has afforded me immense personal growth, invaluable experience and has acted as a stepping stone for the next phase of my contribution to the environment.” The young social entrepreneur has recently taken on a new role as a member of the United Nation’s World Ocean’s Day Youth Advisory Council. This notable position will see Taylor assisting in expanding the reach of this important day, offering unique perspectives and recommendations for ocean conservation while working with fellow members – represented by more than 100 countries. In addition to this high-profile role, Taylor is currently in her third year at Stellenbosch University, with studies demanding a significant portion of time and energy. She explained the decision to close the Four Elements Conservation chapter of her life was extremely difficult, but she did not view it as an end, but rather a start for new . . .
Attracting thousands of bikers and festival-goers to the seaside town of Margate on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, the South Coast Bike Fest™ 2018 – from 27 to 30 April – is a calendar highlight and visitors are encouraged to pre-register or book tickets online ahead of the event to avoid on-day access delays. Who needs to pre-register? The short answer is – everyone attending the event. Pre-registration online secures access for both the biking and non-biking festival community. What are the costs involved? To welcome the biking community to this gorgeous coastal town, the South Coast Bike Fest™ has provided freeaccess to the entire event precinct for all attending bikers and pillions, provided the online pre-registration is completed at www.southcoastbikefest.co.za The bike licence number and bike driver’s licence sections must be completed to obtain access. This pre-registration also allows access to the main stage headline artist performances including Matthew Mole, the Kiffness, Goodluck, Kyle Deutsche, Springbok Nude Girls and Karen Zoid, among many others. Once pre-registration is completed, all bikers with pillions will be required to access wristband accreditation with the pre-registered www.quicket.co.za printout tickets – with the wristband worn throughout the event for unlimited access. Bikers will also need to present the bike licence and driver’s licence at the Sasol garage in Margate in order to obtain their wristband. Just take note that each biker receives access for his or herself, and one pillion free. Free access is limited to space availability, so it’s vital that all bikers register now. For the non-biking public looking to attend this incredible festival, pre-registration is also required via www.quicket.co.za with tickets to the event precinct available at a cost of R60 per day, subject to availability. This ticket allows the holder access to the main stage, experiential energy zone the Jack Daniels Rock Stage and two other . . .
Scott Bouverie guns for E2 glory. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za After blitzing past the world’s top hard enduro riders for a Roof of Africa podium, bringing home three National Enduro titles, and defending their overall National Cross Country crown for the second consecutive time – it’s safe to say that the Brother Leader Tread KTM team had an exceptional year of riding in 2017. The start of a new season dawns this month, and the unrelenting hunt for championship titles is about to begin again. The rider line up has been confirmed, and fans are rallying up as the 2018 Brother Leader Tread KTM squad prepares to take on one of their biggest seasons yet. Scott Bouverie will lead the way for his team in the National Enduro series. After fighting tooth and nail for the E1 championship last year, a new coveted title has caught his eye. The rider has made the move to the E2 class this year on a KTM 300 EXC TPI: “I wanted to win the E1 last year and I did it, and now I plan to do the same in E2. I'm excited - I've raced this class before, and really enjoyed the bike!” he said. Bouverie will also be doing selected races abroad this year. Having conquered Erzberg Rodeo in 2017, the rider will attempt to finish with a solid overall position this year. He will also be competing in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea To Sky. A determined Dwayne Kleynhans races for the E1 Championship. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate, Dwayne Kleynhans, narrowly fell short of E1 glory when Bouverie beat him to the top step of the podium in 2017. With a laser focus on taking the championship this time around, Kleynhans will once again compete in the E1 class on his KTM 250 EXC-F. “My mindset is to do one thing, and one thing only – win the 2018 National E1 title. I really believe in my abilities and work ethic and don't see why it's not possible,” said Kleynhans. He will also compete in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea to Sky, and comments . . .
The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) released a media statement on Saturday 17 February 2018 stating that the Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) must move out of premises that the nearly 60 year-old club occupies within the Port of Port Elizabeth. The dispute centres around rental, non-payment of rental, assessment of rental far beyond the financial means of ABYC as a voluntary body and irregular rental increases. As in all disputes of this nature the cold hard facts are really around two issues: Who is the landlord? Who has the most money? The answers to both above are: TNPA Any realist will tell you that the person who 'owns' the land and has bottomless coffers will win any legal fight. Now this is where it gets interesting as the ABYC took the complaint over TNPA's unfair treatment to the Port Regulator for a decision rather than turning to the courts. The Port Regulator operates as the Ombudsman for TNPA and has ruled in the past on TNPA's irregular increase on Port Tarrifs, forcing the TNPA to back down and reduce tariffs on more than a few occasions. The path to getting a hearing in front of the Port Regulator has been beset with delaying tactics from the TNPA - the most severe of which being an eviction order accelerated after the ABYC won the first round in front of the Port Regulator. TNPA has been summonsed to appear in the Port Elizabeth, High Court on Friday 23 February at 9:30 am. ABYC first brought the complaint to the attention of the Port Regulator in November 2009. Delaying tactics, legal manouvering and actions like TNPA 'losing' the recorded minutes of the first pre-hearing all contributed to the wearing down of the then Executive Committees. A new Exco in 2014 made the decision to tackle this problem head on and find a solution as the continued friction between ABYC and TNPA was not a happy state of affairs. The continued friction between the parties contributed negatively to TNPA's stature as a caring . . .
The Margate Beachfront Boulevard will play host to some of the country’s top musical acts from 27 to 30 April as the action-packed South Coast Bike Fest™ returns to the KwaZulu-Natal province. This popular biking event is presented by Ugu South Coast Tourism with endorsement and support from Ugu District and Ray Nkonyeni Municipalities. “The South Coast Bike Fest™ 2018 talented line-up has escalated to incorporate a reflective melting pot of genres and colourful array of artists,” said event organiser, Vicky Wentzel. “We have specifically created a rock element of hand-selected bands, voted in by the motorcycle fraternity that will keep the Jack Daniels Rock Stage rocking 12 hours a day throughout the festival. A tremendous amount of detail has been put into selecting a creative line-up across the programme because we truly care about every person who attends the event.” This year, The Carling Black Label Main Beach Stage themes will change daily - opening with an Afrikaans rock session, moving towards the younger base of visitors on the Saturday which includes big-name artists appearing at different festival venues, finishing off the set with a colourfes Bollywood vibe on the final day. Organisers have also arranged for a third line-up of artists set to feature on the jazz and reggae decks. Add street busking, marching bands, street hip hop, dance and even acapella to the mix, and this is truly a not-to-be-missed music festival. A feast of acoustic magic The Jack Daniels Rock Stage and Carling Black Label Main Beach Stage will reverberate with the sounds of South Africa’s finest bands, singers and DJs. Among them are Belville-based Unit 11, a band whose rock with blues undertones has become synonymous with the Jack Daniels name countrywide. ‘Sleeze’ rockers, The Sinners, hail from Durban and find their hillbilly rock musical inspiration in Tarantino Films, card counting and hangovers. Alternative rockers, The Color Blew combine talent and passion to . . .
Johannesburg, South Africa --February 2018 4% of employees agree blocking out noise increases their productivity.(1) Today, work happens everywhere — in busy open-plan offices and contact centers, at home, even coffee shops. This flexibility is great for business and people, but with it comes a new challenge: noise. Distraction caused by noise reduces productivity and well-being and, in contact centers, detracts from a positive customer experience. Studies show that it takes 23 minutes to recover from distraction(3) and over 58% of employees are distracted multiple times each day.(2) That represents a significant impact on your customers’ businesses you can easily help avert through proven noise reduction strategies and products. Managing Noise: In the Contact Center In the contact center, noise remains the biggest complaint among employees(4) and can negatively impact customer satisfaction.(3) But managing noise effectively can raise productivity,2 improve customer experiences(5) and impact the bottom line.(1) Plantronics creates technologies that manage noise to help contact centers be more effective and businesses be more successful. Let’s look at some common situations: Customer Service Representative (CSR) - Needs to handle urgent requests from customers quickly and efficiently. Key challenge: Hearing and being heard by customers. Help Desk Support - Manages intense, often lengthy, customer calls. Key challenge: Wearing headset all day (comfort, battery issues). Supervisor - Supports CSRs with call assistance and training. Key challenge: Background noise and audio quality on escalated calls. High-Level Support - Guides and supports CSRs on most challenging calls. Key challenge: Mobility within office to help with urgent situations. How do you handle these challenges within your business? Contact Center Solutions Plantronics engineers solutions that help people manage the noise around them so they can be more effective — no matter where . . .
(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 . . .