Amanzimtoti is set to showcase the 53rd annual Highland Gathering, featuring thirty-three pipe bands from all over the country, on Saturday, 29 April 2017. This year’s Highland Gathering will be hosted at Hutchison Park. The Gathering was originally adopted by the Amanzimtoti Lions Club in 1976 and it is the primary fundraising event of the club. Over the years, the Club has built up the event’s momentum, and this year it is expected to attract around 12 000 people, making it the largest public event to be hosted by the town. Lions President Carol Botha said, “The Club is overjoyed to be given recognition from the Pipe Band of Southern Africa. Because of the competition being so highly rated in South Africa, it warrants international judges, so the PBASS has awarded international recognition to the event.” “We have the biggest turnout of pipe bands in one single day – anywhere in the world,” she proudly boasts. According to Carol, Ireland’s Terry Tulley will be judging the competition on the day. Last year was the first time the pipe band competition was adjudicated by a judge of international standing. Carol added that Scotland has a week-long tattoo with a high number of pipers, but they don’t all play at one venue on the same day. The Highland Gathering is a complete non-profit event and proceeds are ploughed back into funding local development activities. Institutes and organisations which benefit from the Highland Gathering include Ethelbert Home, Jona Vaughan Home and the Amanzimtoti Child Welfare. Individuals have also received life saving items such as regular diabetes testing, optometrist services, wheelchairs, hearing aids, food and clothing. Whilst the tartan-clad dancers and bands will be displaying their unique skills, visitors will have the opportunity to shop for a variety of foods, arts and crafts at a flea market. There will be a dedicated, genuine crafts section where only bona fide, hand-made crafters will be showcasing their . . .
With an A-grade, 35,000m2 shopping mall being constructed by New Africa Developments in northeastern Mpumalanga, this festive season will see 33,000* households closer to a contemporary shopping destination. Dwarsloop Mall boasts more than 50 stores, anchored by Shoprite & Spar major grocery tenants and includes a selection of national fashion retailers, restaurants and banks. Committed tenants include Pep, Total Sports, Ackermans, Clicks, Sportscene, Markham, Roman’s Pizza, Exact, Cross Trainer and many more. Situated on the arterial R40 between Hazyview and Hoedspruit at the major Thulamahashe intersection, this green fields development is very prominent and has good access for the approximately 150,000* residents of Dwarsloop and Bushbuckridge, in addition to a large percentage of Thulamahashe locals. The R40 ring-road has been budgeted for by the local government in the 2017/2018 financial year, and by effectively bypassing Bushbuckridge will greatly reduce the notorious Bushbuckridge traffic congestion and stimulate tourism in the Lowveld. This will ensure Dwarsloop as the main thoroughfare between Hazyview and Acornhoek, further increasing visibility and shopper convenience. New Africa Developments’ CEO Japie van Niekerk: “This development will act as catalyst for the community, bringing shopping closer than it has ever been”. With the densely-populated surrounds, this market is severely underserviced, and this brand new mall will fill the daily shopping needs of the bulk of surrounding residents, for whom the closest alternative is 6km+ away, situated atop a mountain. Van Niekerk continues: “We’re employing award-winning architects, engineers and service providers to ensure a modern, state-of-the-art centre providing a city-like shopping experience for the local community.” Additional to Dwarsloop Mall, other major investments are planned in and around Dwarsloop, making it the key development node in the region. The 560-bed Mabuleng . . .
Senior Landscape Architect, Lizelle Wolmarans at GIBB, one of South Africa’s leading black-owned engineering consulting firms, presented a paper on child safety in playgrounds at the three-day Congress for the Institute of World Urban Parks (WUP) and Environment and Recreation Management (IERM) in Cape Town last month. Leading parks professionals and parks agencies from around the world resolving to protect and enhance the world’s urban parks and green spaces in the face of looming global challenges was present at this Congress. The paper, titled Risky Play and Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities for Optimal Child Development focused on the construction of playgrounds, safety and safety standards of equipment used in playgrounds as well as the influence it has on physical and mental child development. Play experts such as Environmental Psychologists, Child Development Specialists, Landscape Architects and Educators are advocating a re-assessment of the play environment. While the safety of children should never be neglected, Wolmarans explained the dangers of being over-protective as potentially detrimental to a child’s development. “Our environment is not without risk and therefore, we need to learn how to manage risk continuously as a survival skill. However, where risk is eliminated from playgrounds, challenge is eliminated leading to boredom where children may potentially feel the need to take excessive risk using equipment inappropriately that can cause unintentional injury,” said Wolmarans. South Africa has adopted the international playground safety standards, these standards are not legalised but serve as a guideline to prevent hazardous risks. Locally, our decisions need to be influenced by security, economy and future sustainability. In the case of security, it is a fact that children are living in dangerous environments in their homes and neighbourhoods. Some of the dangers are traffic, kidnapping, crime and drugs. Supervision and . . .
If you think that dagga is a dangerous narcotic, then you have been duped through propaganda. Dagga is as traditional to SA as biltong, boerebeskuit and witblits. It fascinated JV Riebeeck and missionaries extolled its virtues. It grows like a weed, is medicinal in its natural form with a lower potential for harm to self and society than sugar. Supported by science (endocannabinoid system), legal in 24 USA states with 200 million US citizens having access to it as medicine (endocannabinoid system) + populations of 11 other countries. Deaths from opioid overdoses has also dropped by up to 25% in states with legal dagga. The current 'war on drugs' is a broken system. It's a war on people and does little to protect anyone from substance abuse. It's the same mentality that was used to justify enforcing the mixed marriages act, where the offender is also the victim. A perverse incentive to put people into prison. From physical prison to social prison with a subsequent criminal record. You will find plenty of peer reviewed studies, medical professionals (Joycelyn Elders, Andrew Weil, Lester Grinspoon, Deborah Malka, Sanjay Gupta, Abrams, Suzanne Sisley, Denis Petro, Ethan Russo, Uma Dhanabalan, Jeffrey Block, Bonni Goldstein, Juan Sanchez-Ramos..) who support dagga as a therapeutic plant. In SA, the Bobby Greenhash foundation PTY is supplying dagga oil to people suffering with terminal diseases. Their testimonials to the healing power of dagga is worth a read. The SA central drug authority (CDA) has also called for the decriminalization of dagga and a recent study they commissioned, concluded that dagga kills cervical cancer. Vilifying dagga and then using that stance to 'protect our children' is pointless. Rather fact based solutions (science) focusing on harm reduction through healthcare and education, as recommended by the SA substance abuse experts, S Kelley and Quintin Van Kerken. Better that control of dagga is removed from the streets and regulated . . .
21 SEPTEMBER 2016, MPUMALANGA – This weekend, Kwanyoni Lodge in Nelspruit, is the host for South Africa’s top Warriors tackling Round 6 the country’s biggest obstacle races, the Jeep Warrior Series, powered by Reebok, taking place from 24 to 25 September 2016. A mere 16 km from Nelspruit, Kwanyoni Lodge will be packed with thousands of athletes who have entered to race over various course distances packed with obstacles, testing strength, skill and endurance, whilst having the most fun with family and friends. Nelspruit’s Kwanyoni Lodge is a new venue, which won a nationwide vote for new venues to host Jeep Warrior Races. It is described as a hidden jewel in the picturesque citrus valley of Alkmaar and is home to South Africa’s "Big 5". Says Jonathan Hart, Advendurance event organiser and Jeep Warrior Series Course Designer, “The Jeep South Africa #Warrior6 powered by Reebok caters for all fitness levels and age groups. Kwanyoni Lodge is a fantastic venue and offers comfortable accommodation for the entire family. Bring your crew along as there is much fun to be had! There is something for everyone, including a Bratz Race and Bratz child-minding zone. Bring on the weekend!” Warrior Bratz caters for children ages 4 -12 years old, covering a distance of 500 metres; with 8 obstacles aimed at challenging the little athletes. Parents/guardians are welcome to accompany their children through the course, but may not attempt the obstacles themselves. Warrior Rookie is the perfect introduction to OCR for athletes 10 years and older, offering up to 15 fun obstacles over a distance from 5 to 8 km. This race is great for team building as well, plus if you’re unable to complete an obstacle, a 20-burpee penalty will see you on your way. Warrior Rookie Elite is for those that compete for prize money and there are no substitute penalties. All obstacles have to be completed. Warrior Commando is for those seeking a greater challenge and who want to test . . .
13 SEPTEMBER 2016, JOHANNESBURG – It is less than a month until the world’s top OCR athletes fight it out at the third OCR World Championships from 14-16 October 2016 at the Blue Mountain Resort, Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Jeep Team athletes, Thomas van Tonder and Carina Marx, have both qualified and have been in full Warrior mode ahead of the World Championship. Both Van Tonder and Marx were on fire at the recent Battlerush OCR fundraiser, a gruelling OCR Training event designed to push athletes through tough individual obstacles that may be seen at the World Champs; and both won the Savage Beast race at The Beast OCR event this past weekend. To have qualified for OCR World Champs, South Africans need to have achieved a Jeep Warrior Top 20 finish in an Elite category in their gender, or an Impi Challenge Top 20 finish in the Elite division in their gender. Van Tonder, over in the past 12 months, has achieved three 1st places, six 2nd places, and one 5th place. Marx, over the same period, has achieved four 2nd places, four 3rd places and two 5th places. Both athletes are well qualified for the Championships but won’t know how they truly compare against the rest of the world until they are neck deep in mud in Ontario. The OCR athletes selected for Team OCR South Africa to go to World Champs is Thomas van Tonder, Bradley Claase, Michael Joubert and Claude Eksteen (not going) for Men; and Hanneke Dannhauser, Carina Marx and Trish Bahlmann (not going) for Women. Joining van Tonder and Marx in Canada, is fellow Jeep OCR athlete, JJ Deysel, who was not selected for the SA OCR Team, but will compete in other races over the Championship weekend. According to the event organisers, the OCR World Championships will put the world’s top athletes through the ultimate physical and mental challenge across a series of obstacles over a distance of approximately 13km and will marry natural elements with some of the most challenging obstacles in OCR . . .
Samsung underlines its commitment to Europe and unveils new products and partnerships for the European home appliance, visual display and home entertainment markets JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 1 September, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. used its IFA 2016 press conference today in Berlin to demonstrate how it is redefining the consumer experience, showcasing a range of new products and partnerships for the home appliance, visual display and home entertainment markets. “At IFA 2016, we want to show delegates how we are continually striving to revolutionise the Samsung experience for all our customers and partners - and across all our product lines, from television and home audio to home appliances. Everything Samsung creates is borne out of our determination to enrich peoples’ daily lives with innovative technology, based on a deep understanding of what consumers really want and need,” said Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director Samsung South Africa. Committed to Europe’s Potential During the press conference, held in the CityCube at Messe Berlin, Samsung reiterated its commitment to Europe, employing 14 000 people in 34 countries. Samsung’s products are infused with European flair, fashion, design and the finest traditions of manufacturing excellence. With Q2 revenue up five percent year on year, seven out of 10 European households owning a Samsung mobile phone, as well as one in three families watching their favorite shows and films on Samsung TVs, the company believes now is the right time to invest even further in Europe’s potential. In keeping with this commitment, Samsung announced a new partnership with MakerBot, the global leader in 3D printing, which will equip schools, colleges and museums in five European markets with 3D printers, as well as train teachers and students alike in the use of the technology. With more than 100 000 MakerBot printers around the world, it represents the world’s largest 3D printing community and an . . .
The magnificent Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho, located 3050m above sea-level in the Maluti Mountains, has launched a brand new 3-night mountain biking festival weekend from the 27th to 30th October called the CrankChaos Maluti Mountain Bike Festival. This will be the most rad mountain bike festival of its kind on the African continent, revolutionising the way riders interact with the latest bikes, gear and equipment in the mountain bike industry by bringing together the biggest brand names in mountain biking, allowing participants to test and rate bikes in the field they usually compete in. Over the 3 day festival, there will be a variety of events, including five downhill lines, an enduro, marathon, slope-style riding, cross-country, downhill eliminator, plus outrides for the more social riders, all possible across the resorts’ extensive trail network. Riders will also be able to hook up to the T-Bar Lift for a 200m vertical climb, and at the top, choose from a myriad of bike tracks to get down the mountain, testing bikes and equipment to their fullest, ripping terrain like pros. DHI World Champion, Greg Minnaar, will be there, and says, “CrankChaos is what South African mountain bikers have been missing. Similar festivals happen in only a few countries around the world, and this festival will be in that league. It’s a spectacular location, serious fun with family and friends that cannot be duplicated anywhere else, and in a format I love and endorse. It’s the best way to test brands you have always dreamed about, and ride the Maluti Mountains with spectacular views, whilst having the most fun ever, guaranteed.” The weekend also offers live entertainment, all meals, great accommodation, and the traditional world-class Afriski hospitality. Unmissable! Only 200 guaranteed spots are available so this festival is a must. For more information and booking info, go to . . .
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 31 August, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co. recently announced that all of its 2016 UHD TV models have attained the Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV certification from Digital Europe (DE), a collaborative body of European IT and consumer electronics businesses. Comprised of 62 corporate members and 37 National Trade Associations, DE is one of the most influential organisations representing the digital technology industry in Europe. According to Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Consumer Electronics at Samsung Electronics South Africa, Samsung TVs, ranging from the 2016 SUHD TV lineup to the Series 6 UHD TVs, have all met the strict standards set for UHD TV certification as specified by DE. “These products will now carry the European UHD TV certification logo, as well as the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) label. Both certification labels will be on display on Samsung UHD TVs at this year’s IFA exhibition,” he explains. For certification purposes, DE has specifically defined a ‘pixel’ as the minimum picture resolution element capable of rendering the same luminance scale as the entire display. The horizontal and vertical pixel count must be of the complete red, green and blue triple sub-pixel block, while not counting additional non-RGB sub-pixels. Additional criteria listed to earn the DE certification include: Minimum native resolution of the display (e.g. LCD, PDP, OLED) or display engine (e.g. DLP) is 3840 x 2160 in 16:9 aspect ratio. Minimum supported colorimetric is at BT.709 or above. The display-device has at least one end-to-end signal path available to the user that does not render a UHD input at a frame rate or resolution lower than that received over the UHD interface from the source. The display-device has at least one end-to-end signal path available to the user that does not reduce the resolution, nor reduce the frame rate of a UHD input during processing prior to . . .
Promotion offers Samsung consumers the chance to win a trip to the Maldives JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 31 August, 2016 – The majority of South Africans are thankful to note that winter is finally coming to an end and that they can once again get ready to unpack their shorts and sandals. Samsung Electronics South Africa shares this sentiment and has therefore decided to offer consumers a chance to get into the spirit of summer. The company is launching its ‘Kick Start Your Summer’ competition on the 1st of September 2016. Scheduled to run until 30th September 2016; the initiative will see 15 lucky winners win the trip of a lifetime to the beautiful islands of the Maldives. “Entering the competition is quite easy”, says Michael McKechnie, Director of Digital Appliances Group at Samsung Electronics SA. “Consumers simply need to purchase any qualifying Samsung air conditioning product through a recognised retailer, send the unique product serial number to the competition hotline via SMS and wait to see if they are one of the lucky names drawn at the end of the competition. Winners will be drawn on 14 October 2016 and proof of purchase, as well as the serial number will be required to validate wins” he explains. Once validated, the customer will receive an SMS with a winning pin code and the concierge service number to call to book their trips to the island. “The good news for customers is that this is just the first of a number of exciting promotions planned by Samsung over the course of the coming months,” McKechnie adds. “While a number of Samsung products qualify as entry to the competition, the start of the summer season is an ideal time to consider buying an air-conditioner. What better way to kick start your summer than by purchasing a product that could set you up with a dream ticket to the Indian Ocean paradise of the Maldives? So, if you are in the market for an air-conditioner this summer, then look no further than Samsung’s beautifully . . .