APRIL 2017 - TEAMWORK and great customer service proved to be the secret to success for Kokstad Caltex service station when they brought home the grand prize in the “Every One’s a Winner” competition run by Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer (CECM) for more than 90 retailers in their network across the province. Proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better, father-and-daughter team Owen Peters and Janice Kitching, owner and manager respectively of the service station in the small town of Kokstad, saw off competition from the main centres of the Eastern Cape and were rewarded with the R75,000 grand prize at CECM’s recent annual retailer conference. Kokstad Caltex claimed the prize by beating their targets for fuel sales volume and stock management, maintaining the high standards of site upkeep and cleanliness required of Caltex retailers, and delivering excellent service to their customers in the fast-growing small town and travellers on the busy border between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. “It’s about perseverance and teamwork,” said Janice, looking back on the major revamp in 2015 that saw the site completely rebuilt for improved access and greater convenience, offering additional fuel pumps and a flagship FreshStop store. “We focus on getting every piece of the business right – from making sure the tanks are always full to being there with help and advice for our customers. Getting that right takes teamwork, it can’t be a one-man show, and we definitely have a great team. “We really want to thank all our staff for their hard work in getting us to the top of the competition, as well as our customers because without their ongoing support we will not be able to meet our fuel targets,” she said. The Kokstad Caltex team are working hard to “go green” and make their business more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The prize money would go a long way towards helping with that drive, Janice said, and would be put towards installing solar . . .
MARCH 2017 - A SUSTAINABLE BENGUELA Current ecosystem is the lifeblood of the ‘Ocean Economy’ on South Africa’s West Coast – supporting fisheries, tourism and recreation, and thousands of jobs. Like any living system it needs regular health check-ups, and the best way to do this will be examined in Cape Town this week (22 and 23 March, 2017). Scientists, government officials, business and civil society representatives will consider linkages between the diverse “ecosystem services” provided by the ocean and coastal environment, and how best to measure and monitor both their economic value and environmental health. The workshop forms part of a project by the Benguela Current Convention (BCC) to strengthen the ability of member states – Namibia, Angola and South Africa – to monitor the health of the Benguela Current ecosystem in their own countries, as well as implementing an integrated approach to sustainable ecosystem management across national boundaries. The workshop will also aim to identify gaps in current monitoring activities and data, capacity and resource needs, and how to resolve potential conflicting uses in future. “This is vital to maintaining the sustainability of the economic and social benefits to the people who rely on the ecosystem. For South Africa, this is particularly important, given the focus on developing the maritime economy through Operation Phakisa, which has earmarked a number of diverse projects for the West Coast,” project leader Dr Samantha Petersen said. The productive waters of the Benguela Current support the largest portion of South Africa’s commercial fisheries, with increasing activity in small-scale fishing and aquaculture. The West Coast is also a hub of off-shore oil and gas exploration, a focus area for redevelopment of small harbours and coastal tourism, and home to the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone. It also has a number of significant conservation areas, provides shelter for migratory bird . . .
DECEMBER 2016 – THE EAST LONDON cycling community’s fundraising tour de force, Grandads Army, are back in the saddle to tackle another marathon trans-Karoo charity ride from East London to Stellenbosch. The group have committed to a second Rob Burton Memorial Ride, after raising almost a quarter of a million rands last year for much-needed burns surgical equipment for paediatric patients at Frere and Cecilia Makiwane hospitals. The phenomenal success of the first fundraising ride – tinged with the tragedy of another cycling road fatality this year, and growing concern about cyclists’ safety – have prompted the group to tackle the gruelling 1160km relay ride again, getting underway on Tuesday, 6 December. The riders will follow the same stamina-sapping four-day route to Stellenbosch via Middelburg, Willowmore and Barrydale, but with two important distinctions. Such is the enthusiasm for the inspirational initiative that the original Grandads Army ranks have more than doubled, with 17 cyclists already scheduled to take part. And on a much sadder note, this year’s ride will honour both Rob Burton, killed in 2013, as well as original Grandads Army member Arthur Salzwedel, who also died in a cycling accident earlier this year. The ride is organised and coordinated by the East London-based Eyabantwana – For the Children Trust. Riders and support teams cover all their own costs, which means that all proceeds will go fully and directly to meeting pressing medical needs of paediatric surgical patients at the Frere Hospital. With this year’s fundraising target a daunting R500 000, organisers are again appealing to all East Londoners, including local cyclists and the East London business community, to support the ride, either financially or by volunteering their time or assistance. They have also extended grateful thanks to primary sponsor, Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer, who is again sponsoring the support teams’ fuel, to the value of R30 000, as well as . . .
BUILDING bridges and connecting with people were the driving force of business performance for almost 40% over target that propelled a Port Elizabeth Caltex service station to being crowned Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer’s Dealer of the Year. The performance of the Dealer of the Year, George Motors in Struandale, Port Elizabeth, and almost 100 sister Caltex dealers in the Eastern Cape put the region, operated by Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer (CECM), top in volume growth for the brand in South Africa for the third consecutive year. George Motors owner André Rademan said the dealership’s 37% over-target volume growth came down to personal engagement with customers and the surrounding business community in the industrial Struandale area. “I attribute much of my success to my faith. I reach out to people, and go out of my way to introduce myself and my business to members of the community. I believe in building bridges and ensuring a positive human connection with customers and potential customers,” said Rademan, who also recently acquired Amatola Motors in Bethelsdorp. The All-Round Achiever trophy was awarded after a nine-month evaluation of all the Caltex retailers on the Eastern Cape on five criteria: growth on target; customer service; cleanliness and image; commitment to the brand, and compliance to operational procedures. The winners of each of the ten categories in the CECM Ten for Ten competition each received substantial cash prizes – with a rich R100 000 going to the top retailer – with the stipulation that 20% of the prize money must be allocated to forecourt staff teams. CECM chief executive Clive Berlyn said it was important to recognise and acknowledge each team’s critical contribution to the overall success of the businesses. “Cleanliness, convenience and excellent customer care at every touch point are critical predictors of success. These entrepreneurial retailers and their staff – the smiling, welcoming faces who engage directly with . . .
FRIDAY, 19 August 2016 – Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer (CECM), the largest Chevron-Caltex franchisor in Africa, unveiled its single biggest capital investment to date with the launch yesterday (subs: Thursday, 18 August 2016) of the Northcrest Mthatha complex serving the busy north-east gateway on the N2 to KwaZulu-Natal. The R15-million upgrade and re-launch of the flagship service station – incorporating the Eastern Cape’s largest FreshStop development and a range of value-added services for travellers and the Mthatha community – re-affirms the 100% Eastern Cape-owned company’s commitment to investment, job creation and service to motorists in the province, CEO Clive Berlyn said. Yesterday’s (subs: Thursday, 18 August 2016) launch had financial as well as symbolic significance for Berlyn and CECM, as the site’s history is closely interwoven with that of the company, which last year celebrated a decade in business. In that time, the company has almost trebled in size – from an initial investment of R10-million in 34 sites, to 101 sites today and cumulative investment of over R300-million in new sites and ongoing refurbishment of existing sites. Both Berlyn and his founding partner in CECM, the late Richard Ndungane, had operated Northcrest Mthatha at separate times since it was first built in 1985. Ndungane first entered the fuel business when he bought the business from Berlyn in 1996, and in turn transferred it to his wife when the two men entered into partnership to bid for the first Caltex master franchise in a trial of Chevron’s “branded marketer” model. “It was always our intention to knock down and completely remodel this site into a flagship for our company in the Eastern Cape. With the involvement of Novate as site operator we are very proud to see this dream become a reality today,” Berlyn said. Novate invested a further R4,5-million in equipment to ensure the smooth and safe running of the site. Completing the chain of Caltex service . . .
Eastern Cape, August 2 2016: CALTEX EASTERN CAPE Marketer (CECM) CEO, Clive Berlyn, said that the situation in the Eastern Cape is being monitored continuously and measures are in place to address matters as and when required. “We do not anticipate any delivery interruptions from our transporters, as Uzuko Carriers and Crusade Logistics drivers are not affiliated with the same union. We are committed to keep our motorists fueled up and on the road”. Chevron South Africa released the following statement yesterday: Chevron South Africa has prepared for the strike in an effort to reduce the impact on motorists. Refinery operations are continuing and we are doing as much as reasonably possible to maintain the supply of fuel to our national network of Caltex stations. Spokesperson for Chevron South Africa, Suzanne Pullinger, says: “The safety of our employees, the public and the environment are Chevron’s foremost business imperatives. We are monitoring the situation closely and continue to adjust our contingency plans to address the knock-on effects that may arise from the strike. While nothing can be guaranteed, we are doing as much as reasonably possible to ensure an adequate supply of fuel products to our Caltex network.” CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
South African Cultural Observatory CEO Prof Richard Haines at his head office in the Donkin Creative Quarter, is preparing for the organisation’s first national conference in Port Elizabeth from 16-17 May 2016. Role-players in the creative and cultural industries will consider the growing global economic impact of the sector, how to measure and grow its impact, and learn from African and international best practice. With speakers and participants from across the creative and cultural spectrum, including some top African and international practitioners, the conference will play a key role in setting the research agenda for the Cultural Observatory. The Observatory is a new national institute established by the Department of Arts and Culture, and hosted jointly by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), the University of Fort Hare and Rhodes University. The conference takes place at The Boardwalk International Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Michael Sheehan Photography THE IMPACT OF the creative and cultural industries – both as drivers of economic growth and job creation, and nation-building and social cohesion – takes centre stage at the inaugural conference of the South African Cultural Observatory in Nelson Mandela Bay next month. Under the banner “Counting Culture”, the conference will highlight the growing influence of a sector – spanning visual and performing arts, heritage and museums, festivals, architecture, advertising, design and digital media – that is becoming globally recognised for its economic power. The conference will introduce the South African Cultural Observatory – a new national public research institute of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). Cultural Observatory chief executive, Prof Richard Haines, said the conference was essentially populist, even though it emerges from academia and the necessity of research. “Insights from the sector are needed from people on the ground, living and breathing work done in . . .
The Roof of Africa off-road motorbike enduro – billed as “the Mother of Hard Enduro” – came to a thrilling conclusion outside Maseru, Lesotho, this weekend, as British enduro superstar Graham Jarvis toppled defending champion, South African Wade Young, in a race through the rough and rugged Maluti mountains. After three days of riding in the extreme conditions that make the Roof of Africa one of the world’s toughest races – heat, dust and mud; challenging rocky and sandy terrain; and long, physically draining stages – in the end it was a long, technical climb and just over 20 minutes that separated Jarvis on his Factory Team Husqvarna from the rest. The British rider’s solid technical skills saw him peeling away from the pack on the final climb to become uncatchable and win in a time of 6:00:21 to Young’s 6:21:06 on the final day (Saturday, 5 December 2015). Riding for Brother LeaderTread KTM, Young had led for a large part of the three-day race, and fought off his teammate Travis Teasdale and Proudly Bidvest Yamaha’s Brett Swanepoel for second place. Motul-backed rider Swanepoel and Teasdale meanwhile fought an epic battle of their own on the final day’s racing, racing neck-and-neck most of the day with Swanepoel finally coming in just 22 seconds ahead of Teasdale to claim third. “He (Teasdale) was on my tail the whole time. He didn’t give me a chance to make any mistakes, but I finally saw a tiny gap and just took it,” an exhausted Swanepoel said after the finish. Both riders said the final climb had left zero margin for line errors, pushing them to balance caution and speed against sheer exhaustion in the final section of the day. “There were a lot of hard rocks out there,” said winner Jarvis. “I stayed with the group initially, let them navigate, because I knew from last year’s experience that I had to relax and save some energy for those last hill climbs.” Steven Lurie of the race’s official lubricant partner Motul said this year’s shorter but . . .
The Mother of Hard Enduro, the Roof of Africa, kicked off in Lesotho with the Round the Houses and time trial events today, 3 December 2015. The grueling three day race, known as one of the most punishing tests of both man and machine, attracts riders from across the world and is a proving ground for the most skilled as well as those with the sheer determination to endure. This year’s event is shorter than in previous years but was designed to be more technical and, with dry conditions prevailing in the Mountain Kingdom, the dusty tracks through the Maluti ranges will prove a greater challenge than ever before. The event was officially opened by the Lesotho Minister of Laws, the Honourable Motlalentoa Letsosa, at the Avani Maseru Hotel last night. He greeted the conference room, packed with riders in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories, by warning them that the race ahead would “test the endurance of athletes to breaking point” and said that Lesotho was “honoured to host this world class event which added value to the tourism industry and the economic development of the country.” While he wished all the riders well, he had a special message for the local riders and said that he “expected baSotho riders to be amongst the winners.” Downtown Maseru was filled with anticipation from both the riders and the spectators awaiting the the Round the Houses event this morning. The short race, through the streets of the Lesotho capital, brought onlookers from around the world together with locals from across the city. Cheering supporters, young and old alike, lined the streets to witness dozens of off-road racing motorcycles roaring through the usually leisurely-paced city streets. But the the city race was merely a warm up for the time trials which took place in the afternoon. The new time trial course, described as “the hardest time trial ever” by the route director, was well represented by Motul-backed riders with Proudly Bidvest Yamaha’s Jade Gutzeit (01:26:42), . . .
PORT ELIZABETH – October 2015: A WARM round of applause welcomed Rick Budai to the friendly city of Port Elizabeth early last week (subs: Tuesday, 29 September) after completing more than half of his 3 500km cycle tour. For businessman Rick Budai, spending six weeks in the saddle covering 3500km, is a small price to pay if it could save just one life through the early detection of breast cancer. Rick’s wife Carolyn was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in September 2014. “That was the turning point in both our lives,” Rick said. Even though the couple escaped the worst, Rick believes had they found the cancer sooner, it would have made a difference; “If through this initiative I can get even one person to get tested, I would have served my purpose,” he said. Carolyn has since had a single mastectomy, gone through Chemotherapy and Radiology, and today she is cancer-free. Rick was in high spirits after completing leg 29 in almost perfect weather. “Port Elizabeth is known as the ‘windy city’ so based on the previous days’ experience I was quite literally shaking in my cleats when we departed Addo this morning. It was a breeze in comparison to yesterday when I had to battle head-on winds that slowed me down to cycling at a speed of only 5km/h at times. This morning I made such good time that I even had a quick pit stop to photograph the flamingoes along the way” he joked on arrival. Budai’s first stop was at Autorama Motors, the Caltex Service Station in Gelvandale, where he was welcomed by owner Ismail Walters before he mingled with members of the community. Young moms with little ones, local school kids, community workers and even an old man dressed in his finest, shared stories and collected pamphlets to share with friends, neighbours and colleagues that couldn’t make the visit. The visit to Gelvandale was facilitated by Caltex Eastern Cape which came on board as the back-up vehicle’s fuel sponsor for the Eastern Cape leg. Clive Berlyn, . . .