(HOWICK) – DESPITE a lagging economy, swimmers at South Africa’s premier open water championship, the aQuellé Midmar Mile, have smashed an ambitious target of raising R3-million for charities nationwide, fundraisers announced on Monday [12 February]. Drawing amateur and serious athletes of all ages, this past weekend’s event saw many swimmers raise funds for causes ranging from cancer to water awareness as Day Zero draws closer in the Western Cape. As of Monday morning, charity organisers announced that more than R3.1m had been raised – a staggering 55% increase on the R2m raised in 2017. And more is expected to flow in in the coming weeks, they say. “Not all EFT’s made over the weekend have come in yet. We’ll also keep fundraising open for a few more weeks to give people a chance to hit their targets. But it’s an impressive number regardless,” said Stan Kozlowski, chairman of the main fundraising initiative, the 8 Mile Club. “I’d imagine by the end of this week the 8 Mile Club alone will have surpassed the R3-million mark. We're currently sitting on R2.98m raised, with the 16 Mile Club having raised R113,000”. Over 13,000 swimmers from across the country descended on Midmar Dam near Pietermaritzburg for the 45th edition of South Africa’s premier open water race. Among them were the 200-plus members of the 8 Mile and 16 Mile clubs. Suzelle Stegen, marketing manager for aQuellé, said the water brand was proud to support such great initiatives. “Helping the community is a key element of our brand. We love the fact that families, clubs and corporate teams can come together and take part in a healthy, water-based activity that spreads the joy and does so much good for many worthy causes,” said Stegen. The 8-Milers – so called for the distance each member swims for charity – each swam the eight-mile-long events on Saturday and Sunday to collect as much money as possible for their seven chosen charities. These included breast cancer charity Pink . . .
While driverless cars steal the “visionary” media headlines, other technologies are already having a profound impact on South Africa’s roads... The technology boom is changing many aspects of life, from how we socialise and share news through to how we drive. In fact, while the concept of driverless cars is gaining considerable traction relating to their impact for future use, existing technologies are already changing the way we think about driving, notes Cartrack South Africa CEO, Andre Ittmann. “South Africa has a high road accident rate and our country’s roads are heavily used by commercial vehicles of all types, which results in driver management becoming an onerous and expensive exercise, with high-risk levels for commercial fleets. However, new technologies are helping companies of all sizes to manage these risks, while simultaneously dramatically improving driver performance.” An example of these technologies is Cartrack’s new product, Live Vision, a flexible, comprehensive and easy-to-use four-camera vehicle video system, that keeps fleet owners in visual contact with their fleets through video event recording and transmission technology offering local and cross border coverage. Through access to real-time footage and tracking tools of vehicle and driver performance on the road, this sophisticated system aids the improvement of driving skills, controls costs and offers protection against legal liability. Footage is instantly accessible instantly via an app or web interface and is also archived for later use if necessary sophisticated system aids the improvement of driving skills, controls costs and offers protection against legal liability. Crucially, as fleet managers enjoy access to a clear video record of an accident and other events, legal confusion and costs are simplified and eliminated in some cases. “The technology allows for better productivity from a vehicle, ensuring that this asset is used to its maximum capacity,” says . . .
01 February 2018: For the second consecutive quarter, new vehicle prices increased below inflation, and have dropped significantly from 9.4% in Q4 2016 to 2.4% at the end of 2017. This was mostly due to a stronger Rand in the second half of 2017, which allowed manufacturers to reduce new price increases. Given this, there is no surprise that we have seen a slight increase in used-vehicle prices, from 3.3% in Q4 to 3.5% in Q4 2017. This increase could be attributed to a higher demand for good quality, and relatively new (less than two years old) used vehicles, contrasted with a limited supply. The VPI report, now in its 14th year, examines the link between the year-on-year increase in vehicle pricing for new and used vehicles, drawing data from a basket of passenger vehicles incorporated from the top 15 volume manufacturers. Data is collected from across the industry and used to create the VPI. “The current market is experiencing the real effects of supply and demand,” said Kriben Reddy, head of TransUnion Auto. “If we look at where we have come from, the weaker Rand saw new vehicle prices increase above inflation in previous reports as input costs were higher. This significantly widened the pricing gap between new and used vehicles and shifted consumer demand more in favour of used vehicles. As we shift out of this market trend we will see a change in consumer behaviour as they take advantage in the drop of new vehicle prices”. This change from used to new vehicle purchases is also evident in the financing statistics. In Q4 2016, banks financed 2.5 used vehicles for every new vehicle, compared with 2.2 in Q4 2017. “We expect this VPI trend to continue into 2018, says Reddy. “Looking forward we will see some exciting new model introductions in 2018 which will fuel the trend in new car sales growth of around 2%. Consumers will continue to place a large emphasis on value proposition when purchasing a new vehicle. Consequently, the less expensive . . .
As we brace ourselves for the full impact of the new water restrictions starting February 1 which limits personal usage to just 50 litres per day; how many of us have included the care for our vehicles in that allocation? On average, per month, we use a minimum of 300 litres of water to keep our cars running. From car washes, to water for windscreen wipers, and radiators, total water usage will now constitute 20% of the new per capita water restrictions. The water crises will pass, but unfortunately damage to our vehicles will remain if we don’t consider alternative ways to care for them during this drought. Water is not a critical component to the care for, or running of, our cars. In fact in many instances, certain alternatives are considered better to use than water. Here AutoTrader share their tips for looking after your vehicle during the Cape water crises. 1) Car washing goes dry Let’s start with the obvious one - car washing. A 10-minute car wash uses on average 380 litres of water. Wash your car once a week, and that’s your total water allocation for the entire month! Not washing your car isn’t an option either. Dirt mixed with rain and other pollutants; bird droppings; and types of sap, can etch your car’s paintwork right off. You’ll not only have to spend money fixing the damage, it will also affect your resale value. Don’t fear, you do have options. There are dry wash facilities around, but they are costly. If you’ve always enjoyed a Saturday morning spent cleaning your car, consider using a water-less car wash liquid and a microfiber cloth. Alternatively, gently wipe your car down each day with a microfiber cloth before the dirt gets too thick. 2) Caring for your radiator A 4-cylinder car requires on average 4 litres of fluid in the radiator. Halve your water use by using a coolant. The ideal mix is 50% coolant and 50% water. Some coolants don’t require a water mix at all; not only will this replace your use of water completely, but it . . .
Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd (SRSA), manufacturer of the popular Dunlop tyre brand, is a finalist in two categories of the 5th Annual South African Premier Business Awards, which will be held in Johannesburg on 30 January 2018 under the theme ‘rewarding business excellence’. The categories are Investor of the Year and Enterprise Development Programme of the Year. “This is a great honour for our business and testament to the hard work we have been putting into programmes that benefit not only our company, but also our clients and communities within the region. We pride ourselves in being a well-rounded corporate citizen and believe that platforms such as this give us an opportunity to demonstrate this. We are looking forward to the main event later in January,” said SRSA CEO Riaz Haffejee. The company’s Enterprise Development initiatives have included the successful and impactful Dunlop Container initiative, developed to formalise the informal township tyre trade business. This has created employment opportunities and driven entrepreneurship in a sector previously unavailable to these business owners, with safety at the core of the programme SRSA is also progressing with its multi-billion-rand investment into its Ladysmith manufacturing plant. The investment is aimed at upgrading and modernising the plant’s capacity, increasing the output of high-quality passenger and sport utility vehicle (SUV) tyres and introducing and manufacturing truck and bus tyres. The South African Premier Business Awards aim to recognise business excellence and honour enterprises that promote the spirit of success and innovation as well as job creation, good business ethics and quality. The Awards are hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in partnership with Proudly South African and Brand South Africa. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Eastern Cape, 23 January 2018: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) would like to notify travellers that controlled blasting is scheduled to take place between Dutywa and Mthatha on Thursday, 25 January 2018 at approximately 12 noon. The blast will take place at approximately 41 kilometres from Dutywa when travelling towards Mthatha in the Mtentu Cuttings. The road will be closed during the blast. The duration of the closure will be kept as short duration as possible, but the road could be closed up to a maximum of two hours. Motorist travelling eastwards, towards Mthatha may consider utilising either of the following two alternative routes by exiting the N2 at Ndabakazi on to the R409 towards Ngqamakwe/ Tsomo or via the R408 at Dutywa towards Ngcobo. Both routes link to the R61 and then re-join the N2 in Mthatha. Similarly, motorists travelling westwards, towards East London may consider using the R61 when leaving Mthatha and then link back to the N2 via either R408 after Ngcobo or R409 towards Tsomo. The alternative route is 60 kilometres longer and may add approximately 40 minutes to your trip between East London and Mthatha. “Motorists are asked to plan their trips accordingly and to use caution when making use of the road,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region’s Manager. SANRAL apologises for any inconvenience caused. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Delmenhorst, January 2018. Tönnjes E.A.S.T. has released a short film on YouTube to present its pioneering IDePLATE technology for automated vehicle identification. There are over one billion cars in the world – and this figure is only set to increase in the future, meaning reliable identification and verification systems are required more than ever. However, automated traffic monitoring requires clear and precise vehicle identification. Tönnjes E.A.S.T. offers an efficient and innovative solution with its electronic IDePLATE, combining forgery-proof licence plates with RFID technology. The number plate contains a chip with an encrypted identification number. Authorised readers are only held by the responsible authorities, enabling them to link numbers with owner data. “We give each vehicle an individual and electronically retrievable number – just like a passport for your car”, explains Dietmar Mönning, the company’s Managing Director. The IDePLATE performs even better with the RFID windscreen sticker, IDeSTIX, which also contains a chip and acts as a vehicle’s ‘third licence plate’. “The reader will immediately detect whether a vehicle is carrying the wrong number plates”, says Mönning. The need for action in this area is underlined by the figures: According to the insurance company, ARAG Versicherungen, around 160,000 number plates are stolen every year in Germany. The IDePLATE system does more than just protect against theft and misuse; it offers a whole range of applications. The IDePLATE system provides the basis for the automation of numerous processes, including access and border controls, standardised toll systems and speed measurements. Visual inspections are still the method of choice in Germany, but Mönning describes this as “outdated and highly prone to errors, which is why the authorities should discuss a safer and more efficient solution”. The system developed by Tönnjes E.A.S.T. is already being used in Europe and the rest of the world, such as . . .
Waterless carwash products distributor PearlSA has thrown down the gauntlet to corporate South Africa to persuade the country’s remaining water-based carwashes to make the switch to waterless polymer-based vehicle cleaning. By joining PearlSA’s ‘Be A Hero’ campaign, companies across the length and breadth of drought-stricken South Africa will be lending their support to PearlSA’s quest to create thousands of waterless mobile carwashes this summer. “Some dams are already down to single digits in terms of their water percentages. In a dry country like ours, no water should be used to clean a car, ever. Even recycled water could be put to much better use,” says Neels Van Greune, Chief Operations Officer of PearlSA. “Water is water, it’s valuable and doesn’t belong on a car.” He continues that PearlSA’s products are used the world over by leading car rental firms, government departments, industrial concerns, and others, and now also by small operators seeing the need for mobile carwashes able to travel to a client’s home or work location. “Our technology is space-age,” Van Greune says. Dirt particles are liquefied and encapsulated by special premium grade polymers and gently ‘lifted and suspended’ away from the vehicle surface. The encapsulated dirt is then trapped by the microscopic fibres of special PearlSA-supplied cloths that are used to complete the vehicle cleaning process. The company’s waterless formulation contains Nano and Carnauba waxes which seal the vehicle’s base metal while coating the paint surface at the same time for double protection. It also repels water, making the surface super slick, shiny and giving it anti-static protective qualities. This helps to prevent dust being attracted to the surface keeping the surfaces cleaner and shinier for much longer than old style traditional washing. Lending its support to PearlSA’s ‘Be A Hero’ campaign will see corporate SA enabling the distribution of thousands of waterless mobile carwash kits . . .
It’s an unfortunate reality that while the festive season in South Africa is generally a time for relaxation and family bonding, this period of the year also witnesses a dramatic increase in the level of crime. Andre Ittmann, the CEO of Cartrack, a global leader in vehicle tracking, fleet management and insurance telematics, notes that vehicle safety is a particular area of concern for families heading for a much-needed annual break. “A lack of predictable structure plays a significant role in increasing vehicular crimes during the holiday season. This trend can be attributed to holidaymakers going out more, resulting in them parking their cars in unsecured areas. This is markedly different to a typical work week, where most vehicles are safely parked at office blocks and homes.” According to Ittmann, the key to managing holiday risk is to be aware of the most important scenarios, and to take simple, relevant safety precautions. Tip #1 – Think about where you park Criminals tend to target vehicles situated in easily accessible spaces, which is often the case during the holiday season, with many vehicles exposed at places such as beaches, sports stadiums and shopping malls. The best way to avoid these scenarios is to avoid parking on the fringes and to rather park more centrally. “The ideal parking place needs plenty of light and must be in full public view, as criminals tend to target vehicles situated in easily accessible spaces. It’s worth spending a few extra minutes searching for a good parking place rather than leaving your car in a vulnerable spot, ” says Ittmann. Tip #2 – Don’t forget the manual check Holiday parking lots are an environment where many people move at high speed, desperate to escape the crowds. These situations creates a perfect environment for a criminal practice known as signal jamming, whereby drivers walk away from their cars while pressing their remote to lock it. However, unbeknownst to them criminals have interrupted . . .
Port Elizabeth, 08 December 2017 -- BAIC South Africa (SA) today announced that the first shipment of vehicle assembly plant equipment for the new BAIC automotive manufacturing facility, currently under construction in the Coega Special Economic Zone, has arrived in Port Elizabeth. The R11 billion car plant - a joint initiative between China’s Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), which is the majority shareholder with a 65% stake, and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – is South Africa’s largest motor investment in nearly 50 years. BAIC SA said the equipment was shipped from Tianjin, located in the Northern Coastal mainland of China, late in September 2017. The shipment comprises components for vehicle assembly, welding and painting plant equipment. BAIC noted that industry standard equipment, on-line-testing, installation service, logistics and consumable items will be locally procured, accounting for 15% of the total equipment value in terms of the agreement with Beijing Industrial Designing & Research Institute Co. Ltd (BIDR) - the engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractor in the construction phase of the BAIC SA plant. Commenting on technical specifications, Gary Yang, BAIC SA Head of Marketing and Planning said: “Under body, main body and body adjustment line will enable manufacturing of both left and right hand drives with 14.5 jobs per hour (JPH).” Yang further noted that welding automation will reach 60% and body transfer automation will be 100%. “The assembly line is flexible to handle various body structure vehicle assembly. Our modular engineering design will accommodate a variety of assembly procedures for different models. “The painting line is also flexible for various models. Painting automation can reach 34.3% with 100% automatic parts feeding function on SKD and CKD models. Painting robots from ABB are employed for 100% automatic exterior painting.” Commenting on the project completion date for the plant, . . .