The past year was one that Madibaz football captain Cloudius Sagandira took full control of as he shone both on and off the field. Earlier this month, he led the Madibaz football team to victory in the Safa-Nelson Mandela Bay SAB League while graduating cum laude with a master's degree in chemistry. Under his guidance, Madibaz dominated the SAB League to such an extent this season that they secured the title with four matches remaining. Currently in the first year of his PhD degree, Sagandira said his love of the game started at the age of nine when his father gave him his first pair of boots - a black pair of Nike Tiempos. "I scored in my very first match wearing those boots, but I unfortunately missed a penalty kick in the final of the same tournament and we lost," he said. "It's a day I'll never forget." Growing up in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, Sagandira played football throughout his school career but said his academics had always taken preference. In 2011 he left his home town to pursue his academics in South Africa, where he continued to excel in both his sport and studies. After the Varsity Football final in 2013, the striker was made an offer by a professional club, but, with guidance from family and his coach Mark Tommy, he made the decision to turn it down. Tommy, now the Madibaz football manager, was one of many offering his support when the 26-year-old graduated earlier this month. "My family and friends celebrated with me, along with my football family: Mark Tommy, my coach Wayne Iveson and Jayde Howitz." Sagandira gave thanks to those who had been present and said each of them had inspired him in their own way. When it comes to balancing his interests, he said the biggest source of inspiration came from former Madibaz football captain Kurt Duff. "I used to worry that I wouldn't be able to balance football and academics but when I saw him doing well in his studies and sport, I was convinced that I could do the same. "He was a great example to us all, . . .
One of South Africa's most experienced cyclists, Waylon Woolcock, has set his sights on overall victory in the three-day PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race next month. The Stellenbosch professional, who won last weekend's Liberty Winelands Encounter alongside BCX teammate HB Kruger, said he was excited about targeting the Eastern Cape race based at the Zuurberg Mountain Village for the first time from May 26. "The Eastern Cape is one of the areas where I have not mountain biked a lot, although I'm reasonably familiar with the type of terrain," the 34-year-old said in reference to the route that takes in portions of the Addo Elephant National Park. "I have ridden a lot in the Karoo near Oudtshoorn so I have experienced the types of trails we will face." Woolcock said he competed in a host of events around the country and was used to adapting to different conditions and terrain and that Zuurberg, just outside Port Elizabeth, would be no different. Although he said he and Kruger would aim for the top spot on the podium, he acknowledged there would be plenty of competition. "It is always a goal to win an event we enter, but you are definitely seeing more professional teams competing in these types of races. "As a professional doing it for a living we have to try to give back to our sponsors so the greater the exposure we get, the better it is for everyone. "We choose events which suit us and our sponsors, and I think the GZT will be a really good one." Although Woolcock and Kruger swept aside their competition at the Winelands Encounter, he acknowledged one could never be sure of the outcome in mountain bike racing. "I think the GZT will be a really interesting test because there are a couple of good teams in the mix." He said one never knew who might end up on the start list, but felt defending champion Andrew Hill and new teammate Marco Joubert (TIB Insurance-Momsen), as well as TransCape champions Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker (ASG-Ellsworth), . . .
Drought and hot, dry weather effects our gardens far more than we realise. And the effects take their toll for years, especially on trees and large shrubs. We cannot control or prevent drought, however, there are ways to minimize the effects. “Hot and dry conditions affect our gardens negatively,” explains Mimi Rupp, founder of Stone etc. “Some plants will simply wilt, while others may lose their leaves, or at worst, die. Leaves can turn brown or curl up, plants will grow slower or even stop. “Droughts can also make plants weaker, which means they can become more susceptible to disease and insect attacks. Even after a drought, it will take a while for plants to recover, and may even take years for trees.” Plants still require water during drought, and the best advice for gardeners is to give water less often, even skipping a week or two, but watering slightly more when watering. “If the ground gets moisture on a deeper level, it encourages deeper roots as opposed to a smaller, more superficial root system.” Using mulch also have several benefits in drought, the biggest advantage being that it keeps the soil cooler as it prevents direct sunlight on the soil, preventing evaporation from the soil. “Bark, woodchips, and pebbles are also useful as a form of protection,” adds Rupp. Be sure to weed your garden too, as well as de-heading your flowers. “The small amount of water available should not go to weeds or having your plants spending unnecessary energy into producing seeds,” advises Rupp. During drought, it is not recommended to fertilize. The reason being, fertilizing encourages your garden to grow, which requires water. And a salt build up in the soil can be detrimental to plants in times of insufficient water if you do fertilize. When it comes to your lawn, it is advisable to leave your grass a little longer. The extra length protects the roots as well as keeping the soil cooler and preventing unnecessary moisture loss. Certain areas of grass can also be . . .
Employee engagement is a buzz word. Everybody knows it. However, few people know that employee engagement means money. Research shows that companies in the US with engaged employees can outperform those without by up to 202% and have 6% higher net profit margins. And although such South African statistics are lacking, they are sure to look very similar. Unfortunately, the same research shows that only 29% of the American workforce is engaged – and this is without the added stress of economic uncertainty. Today, as South Africa faces an uphill battle out of junk status and faces the impact of the downgrade on business and budgets, employee engagement is at risk and businesses must find ways to address it. “When people are unhappy or insecure or worried, engagement drops immediately,” explains Teryl Schroenn, Chief Executive Officer, Accsys. “Any change plays a role on engagement. A look at the ANC right now – the impact of recent events has left it a disengaged party. In business, the same thing happens – people get nervous, they disengage and they worry about their jobs.” Maintaining employee engagement in complex economic times is an ongoing process, not an event. It has never been more important to have open lines of communication, to build relationships and to ensure employees feel safe. It is a tight rope to walk, especially if the business has been affected and retrenchments are in the pipeline. An active role “Economic difficulty usually translates to corporate belt tightening and employees know it,” says Schroenn. “It is vital that communication is honest and that management works behind the scenes to mitigate the risk as much as they can. It is hard to get the balance right, but it is vital for the long-term success of the business.” Often a dramatic announcement such as South Africa’s plummet to junk, sees people run in different directions, panicking in their attempt to protect themselves and their futures. It’s a fair response, but in the . . .
Top line-up of South African speakers for SA Cultural Observatory Conference APRIL 24, 2017: THE SOUTH African Cultural Observatory has secured a stellar local line-up of academics, researchers and creative practitioners for its National Conference at the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg on May 24 and 25. The conference aims to explore the relationship between the creative economy and development imperatives. The response to the call for papers was substantial the research centre said, receiving close to 100 submissions from across the arts, culture and heritage sectors, the creative and cultural industries, and research institutes and places of higher learning. “There is clearly a demand for greater insight into the South African creative economy – known as our ‘golden economy.’ While our golden economy remains undervalued, underdeveloped and underappreciated, it contributes around 3% to GDP, employs over 440 000 people and keeps many above the poverty line and engaged in meaningful work,” said Njabulo Sithebe, SACO Deputy Director for Research. “This is SACO’s second international conference and will highlight and explore the trends shaping our nascent creative economy.” The draft programme, just released, focuses on policy debates, monitoring and evaluation, skills development and education. It also examines the place of festivals and events, highlights youth perspectives, audience development and provides case studies. The programme is driven by the overarching theme of the conference: The Cultural Economy & Development: Perspectives from Developed and Emerging Economies. There will also be a panel series presented by: Business Arts South Africa on ‘Junk Status – Different Futures, Different Opportunities?’; Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection on ‘New Thinking on the Arts and Development in South Africa’; Human Sciences Research Council on ‘African Development & the Arts’; and The Fort on film, television and . . .
SMSPortal is pleased to announce the launch of its 2017 Software Development Internship Program. Now in its fourth year, the two-week paid internship consistently attracts exceptional students from leading universities across South Africa. This year, SMSPortal expects to receive more than 1,000 applications for four placements in its Cape Town headquarters. During the internship program, which runs over the June/July break, students train with experienced staff who help develop skills and interests beyond university. Interns have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the organisation, get experience in real-world software development, will apply the theory they’ve learnt, and work with the SMSPortal team which specialises in multithreaded highly-scalable services. Charles Stretch, co-founder and MD of SMSPortal says: "We are proud of the reputation that our internship program has earned over the years and of SMSPortal’s ability to attract such remarkable talent. Investing in software development is an important goal of our management committee, and we are committed to providing additional training and educational opportunities for all of our employees. This is an exciting time for SMSPortal, and we are enthusiastic about our role in preparing the next generation of software developers." The internship pays R7,500 for the two weeks, includes free transport to Cape Town and free accommodation near SMSPortal’s Century City offices for the duration of the internship. To apply for an SMSPortal internship, visit: http://www.smsportal.co.za/#!careers CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
South Africa's oldest ocean sailing race - the Vasco Da Gama will see the third and last (for now) running of the race from Durban to Port Elizabeth start on Thursday 27 April in Durban at midday. The straight line distance for this 46th edition of the race is 400 nautical miles (740 kilometres), which can increase somewhat if the wind is against the yachts sailing down the coast. The course for 2018 has yet to be announced. After a large fleet in 2016 it appears that the Cape to Rio race, the Mauritius to Durban race, the economy and the drought has played havoc with the entries this year with 11 entries received and only 7 boats competing after others withdrew for a variety of reasons. The Durban to PE course for the Vasco represents a tough race along the Wild Coast which continues to test the yachts, crews, navigators and skippers all the way to the finish. The larger yachts will go far offshore looking for the extra 4 or 5 knots advantage from the Agulhas Current which sweeps down Africa's east coast. The smaller yachts with smaller crew - like ABYC's lone entry, Wallbanger with four onboard - will zigzag down the coast hoping that the shorter distance and slower flowing current will be just the ticket to beat the other entrants. Flying the Algoa Bay Yacht Club flag on Wallbanger - a Simonis 35 foot Design - will be skipper John Tudehope with crew Alan Straton, Morgan Griffiths and Mark Dawson. For Tudehope and Straton this will be their third Vasco da Gama Race on Wallbanger and they will be aiming to emulate the 2015 race when they won the Dave Cox Memorial Trophy for 1st PHRF over the line. As the only representative of ABYC, Wallbanger are quite confident of receiving the trophy for the 1st ABYC boat on handicap. Point Yacht Club organiser of the Vasco da Gama race, Richard Crockett refers to the race as; "A navigator's race giving many choices of courses coupled with the wind direction and fast flowing Agulhas current presenting unknowns . . .
IFNB-NMMU rugby captain Kevin Kaba said he was looking forward to running out alongside players who, until now, have been his opponents when he fills the number eight jersey for the Varsity Cup Dream Team next week. The Madibaz star was included in the Varsity Cup side when it was announced after the final in Pretoria on Monday. The team will play the Junior Springboks in Stellenbosch on Tuesday. "It meant a lot to me that I was selected for the Dream Team because it was one of my goals when I went into the Varsity Cup tournament," said Kaba, the only Madibaz player in the squad. He added that the team included a number of players he was excited to be playing alongside, including Maties flank Kobus van Dyk and University of Johannesburg backline ace Aphiwe Dyantyi. Van Dyk played Super Rugby for the Stormers last year and Kaba said he was eager to learn from him. "It will be really valuable to play alongside someone of that calibre and with that experience," said the 22-year-old. "Dyantyi has also had a successful season so it will be nice to see what it's like being on his side for a change." In the Madibaz's 36-28 defeat to UJ in the Varsity Cup earlier this year, Dyantyi was named The Player That Rocks for his match-winning performance. A third-year B Com accounting student, Kaba said he was also looking forward to starting behind what he termed a "dominant tight five". "The tight forwards selected for the Dream Team have been incredible this season, so it will be great to be behind such a strong formation. "In general I think the team is amazing and it's a dream to be a part of it." The Madibaz skipper said he was ready for the challenge. "I feel our side have some really good players who could have been Junior Boks themselves, so I think we're in for a real strength versus strength encounter." After returning from a knee injury last season, Kaba said he was happy to have had such a strong comeback. "Last year I had quite a big setback in my rugby . . .
MBDA invites artists to become ‘friends of the Athenaeum’ Port Elizabeth, 21 April 2017 – The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) is inviting artists in Nelson Mandela Bay to join the “Friends of the Athenaeum” group. Members will receive numerous benefits when using Athenaeum building in Central, Port Elizabeth, including free WiFi, 30% discount on room hire fees, 25% discount on theatre hire, a desk which can be utilized as a meeting area or creative space, be invited to creative industry events, early bird bookings for theatre productions, among others. “The Athenaeum is a fantastic hub for the creative sector in Nelson Mandela Bay. The activities that we host here are aimed at making that vision practical,” commented Oyama Vanto, Project Leader: Job Creation & Tourism Infrastructure Development at MBDA. The membership fee is R100, paid once a year for the above mentioned benefits. The Athenaeum forms part of a tourism route known as the Arts Journey in Port Elizabeth and offers venue hire, exhibition hosting and curation, event management services, bar services, marketing and promotion, and service provider management. “We are very passionate about keeping art alive in Nelson Mandela Bay by creating opportunities for artists so they can grow in the industry,” he added. The Athenaeum, declared a national monument in 1980, is located on Belmont Terrace, flanked by historic Port Elizabeth streets, Military Road and Castle Hill in the suburb of Central near the Port of Port Elizabeth. The building is one of the few examples of the classical style of architecture in the city and was designed by George William Smith. The building forms part of a successful submission by the MBDA to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), submitted in July 2009 for funding. It was specifically aimed at upgrading a range of art facilities and promoting projects within the Port Elizabeth inner city. The proposal was called the ‘Arts, culture, environment and . . .
Tournament director Valentine Brink has called the 44th SPAR Northern Areas Easter soccer tournament a massive success and said they were looking forward to an even better event next year. Brink has been involved in the Easter tournament since its inception in 1973 and said the festival of soccer continued to grow from strength to strength. "Even though there was some rain on Friday, thanks to the support of our sponsors, the whole weekend went off very well and we are excited as we look ahead to even bigger things next year," said Brink. He felt one of the features which had made a significant difference was the decision to include an invitation team, Sibanye, who eventually pocketed the title. Made up of players from the ABC Motsepe and SAB Leagues and representing one of the sponsors of the tournament, Sibanye Electrical, they defeated Park United 5-3 on penalties in the final after a 1-1 score at the end of extra time. Brink said the Sibanye team had lifted the playing standard at the tournament, resulting in the teams all raising the level of their play. "It was good to have these sorts of players in the tournament and I feel it is definitely an idea to pursue for the future. "None of the teams were disgraced against them and you could see them all working hard to show they could match Sibanye. "This was proved in the final, with Park United competing all the way and only losing in a penalty shootout. "They certainly helped to produce a high standard of soccer throughout the weekend." Another important feature of the festival, said Brink, was the age-group divisions. "For example, we had 60 U9 players in the tournament and also held an hour-long U9 development clinic on the Sunday morning, with some of the tournament's senior players passing on tips to the children." He said there were also age-groups from U11 to U17, while an U20 category, with eight teams participating, was introduced for the first time. "Having these . . .