Summer in KwaZulu-Natal means everybody is heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine – resident snakes included. And while snake encounters are often alarming, local snake rescuers, Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, are just a phone call away, ready and waiting to assist. The British-born couple have found a home in eMdloti, and from this base they venture across Durban and surrounds, rescuing snakes and relocating them to safer environments. Many of these incredible snake rescues have made it to the Nat Geo Wild television show, Snakes in the City, brought to television screens by production company, Earth Touch. While summer is always a time of increased snake activity, Simon explained that the recent rainfall will attract them in greater numbers as they tend to dine out on the frogs and toads commonly found in wet weather. “These amphibians attract several types of snake species, many of them harmless like the herald snakes, or the mildly venomous like the night adders, which aren’t life threatening to humans but can give quite a bad bite, especially to smaller pets,” he explained. “The most dangerous snake that feeds on frogs and toads is the Mozambique spitting cobra, the brown-coloured snake that is very common in and around Durban. It will hood up and spit, or even spit lying down, and should not to be approached.” He said that – as is the case with all snakes – they’d rather not approach humans, however, if someone approaches a snake it will defend itself like any other animal. “The best thing to do is, if you think there’s a snake in your garden, house or even car, is to phone a snake catcher,” he said, adding that while people are scared of snakes, snakes are undeniably much more scared of people. “Snakes will only bite if threatened, or accidentally trod on, which doesn’t happen very often.” Snake season will continue through to May, but because Durban doesn’t get particularly cold, snakes are always around. “They will come out to bask on . . .
In November 2018, the Sishen Iron Ore Company – Community Development Trust (SIOC-cdt) contracted Citizen Surveys to conduct a needs analysis within the five local municipalities in which it operates. This will assist the Trust to update its Community Development Strategy and ensure that it can have a meaningful impact on these Northern Cape and Limpopo communities. Established in 2006 by Kumba Iron Ore Limited to invest in the development of the communities in which the company operates, SIOC-cdt derives dividends from its shareholding in the Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) and has spent over R1-billion so far in community development projects. These projects seek to strengthen the communities surrounding its mining activities and ensure that they are sustainable once these mines close. “SIOC-cdt aims to have a genuine and lasting impact on these communities as a result of its community development projects, rather than relying on metrics such as how much money it has spent or projects it has funded,” says Managing Director of Citizen Surveys, Washeelah Kapery. SIOC-cdt is active in five local municipalities. Four of these are in the Northern Cape and surround the Sishen Mine in Kathu and Kolomela Mine in Postmasburg. These are the Joe Morolong, Gasegonyana, Gamagara and Tsantsabane local municipalities. While the Thabazimbi Mine in Limpopo was recently sold to ArcellorMittal, SIOC-cdt has legacy projects and thus an obligation to communities within the Thabazimbi Local Municipality. “We specialise in large-scale national surveys that investigate the perceptions, needs and experiences of South Africans,” continues Kapery, “and we have invested into developing research systems that enable us to provide strategic insights and solutions.” “SIOC-cdt is in the process of updating its Community Development Strategy for the next five years and wants to ensure that its community development strategies and projects are based on sound research into the needs of . . .
With growing environmental awareness and many people turning their backs on material things as festive gifts, volunteer organisation Bunny Tales Rescue has created a novel alternative for those looking for the perfect gift for animal lovers. “This year we have launched a lucky draw, with the proceeds going towards our efforts to sterilise and rehome the bunnies that we rescue in partnership with other individuals and organisations. For as little as a R30 donation, we will send you a lucky draw ticket for incredible prizes from our generous sponsors,” says Anabel Tout, founder of Bunny Tales Rescue, which operates in Johannesburg, Pretoria and surrounds. Feral rabbits are becoming a problem in parts of Gauteng, as a few escaped domestic rabbits can multiple very quickly. “If people think it is cute to have a resident herd of rabbits in their neighbourhood, they probably do not realise how hard life is for bunnies on the streets with no one to care for them.” “Too often, we find rabbits in the most appalling conditions. They are undernourished, may have fleas or other parasites, and often the areas where they are living are being cleared for construction,” Anabel explains. “We try to catch as many of the bunnies as we can, and arrange for them to be checked by a vet, sterilised and rehabilitated. For anyone looking to adopt a bunny, we offer an re-homing service where we try to match the perfect rabbit to their perfect forever home, where they will be loved, fed and kept safe. “This lucky draw initiative is to help us raise funds to cover the vets bills, cost of food and transport for the work we do. One ticket costs R30, however you can get four tickets for R100. When we draw the prizes on 14 December, the first draw’s ticket holder will get to choose three of the prizes, the second draw winner gets to choose two of the remaining prizes and the third gets to choose one of the remaining prizes. The ticket holders for subsequent draws will be able to . . .
In a bid to boost security in Cape Town, Fever Tree Fencing is focused on improving the standards of electric fencing. Considering it is one of the most reliable fencing solutions around. However, it is also very risky when not installed properly. CAPE TOWN, 5th Dec, 2018 – Security plays a very important role in the development of a country. In South Africa, essential measures have been taken to ensure residents and businesses are protected from burglars and invasion by unauthorized individuals. All the key players agree on the need to maintain high standards of service delivery. Therefore, a lot is being done to weed out unqualified contractors and substandard products. One area that has generated a lot of interest for years is electric fencing. It is not only one of the most reliable fencing solutions, but also risky when not installed properly. Having the government, certified fencing contractors, regulators, and the residents working together means that it is only a matter of time before the industry is streamlined. Mr. Jacques Sherman, the owner of Fever Tree Fencing Cape Town cautions property owners against working with shoddy experts. “The only way you can be assured of getting value for your money is by hiring a certified and experienced electric fencing specialist. Somebody who can be trusted to provide the best installations, thus saving you a great deal of time, money, and other safety risks.” Mr. Sherman who has been in the fencing industry for a minute is very familiar with how things run. In fact, he is at the forefront spearheading the need for improvement in electric fencing services. Together with his accredited employees and other reputable fencing companies, they want to enlighten all consumers around South Africa so that property owners know exactly what to expect. First is to always confirm that whoever you are hiring to do electric fencing installation, repair or maintenance is a certified expert with an updated license from the . . .
Moss Lehlokoa honoured for his commitment to the community Tuesday, 27th November 2018; The DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards, hosted this past weekend, saw leading financial services provider 1Life, award Moss Lehlokoa with the 1Life Life Changer Award. The award, now in its second consecutive year, aims to recognise an individual who is making a real difference within their community, by selflessly committing themselves to giving back. “The selfless nature of giving back often means that these individuals shy away from being celebrated,” says Katharine Liese, Head of Marketing Financial Services at 1Life. “It is with this in mind that we encourage people to nominate those in their communities who they feel deserve such recognition. There is so much great work being done out there and often it goes unnoticed.” Moss is a remarkable individual with a passion for making a real change in the community of Diepsloot, through empowering the youth. Using his profession as a mechanic, he teaches the youth to fix cars and work with what they have. On top of that, he is a mentor and a father to many who he has taken under his wing, keeping them in school and providing for those in need. “Moss simply blew us away and left us speechless. He is so deserving of this award and we feel honoured to be able to acknowledge his commitment, work and active participation in his community. We trust this award will go a long way in motivating Moss to continue his efforts in changing lives and making a difference to those around him,” continues Liese. Although ultimately a tough decision, given that there were so many incredible people nominated in 2018, the judging criteria to select the award winner was based on the impact that the nominee has on their community through their initiative, along with how they addressed a real community need. “We see the value in recognising all these incredible individuals who are playing a larger role in positively changing the lives . . .
Johannesburg, 26 November 2018: Over the last few years, South Africans have been (rightfully) outraged by the fact that many of the country’s schoolchildren are not able to learn at school because they do not have textbooks. Or toilets. And yet, for many disabled children, even going to school or learning to read is impossible because they lack critical assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or hearing devices for children with hearing impairment. According to the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities in South Africa (NCPD), the consequences of having to go without assistive devices severely impacts the quality of life of persons with disabilities. While the National Department of Health is mandated to supply such devices, the NCPD says that its poll of its affiliates shows that there is under-provisioning of assistive devices across all nine provinces by the government healthcare system. “While some persons never receive their assistive devices, others are placed on waiting lists and often have to wait for years to receive their devices,” says Therina Wentzel-du Toit, National Director of the NCPD. “Sometimes these assistive devices are in the form of essential supplies, such as nappies. Children with disabilities going without nappies are deprived of their rights, not only to health and hygiene, but also to freedom of movement, mobility, freedom of association and freedom to socialise. A child without a wheelchair is denied his or her right to mobility, which equates to denying the right to be functional, to play, to socialise, to access school (education), to have optimal independence. An assistive device is essential for living, but the government treats it as if it is a nice-to-have. The very right to life is undermined by not having an assistive device.” In its Position Paper on the Under Provisioning of Assistive Devices for Persons with Disabilities by the State Health Care System, with specific reference to the Northern Cape, the . . .
Early Christmas celebrations for Stellenbosch children - Christmas came early this year for 100 Stellenbosch children when Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Hungry Lion joined hands with Chill Beverages, bringing gifts for The Pebbles Project Santa Shoebox initiative. “I love my gifts! I am so happy to have my own toothpaste and I am going to play with my new truck every day,” said an elated 6-year old at the Christmas celebration. The Pebbles Project aims to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the Winelands farming communities. “We are proud to have local businesses committed to making a difference to the lives of the children in our communities this December. For many children these will be the only gifts they receive over the festive season. The contribution by Hungry Lion and Chill Beverages creates lasting memories of love and joy in the hearts of our beneficiaries for years to come,” says Samantha August, the Community Cluster & Volunteer Manager for The Pebbles Project. Stellenbosch based Chill Beverages is a company built on the fundamentals of giving back to the community. “Initiatives such as the Pebbles Project Santa Shoebox are a proud example of what we need more of in South Africa. Thank you on behalf of Chill Beverages to all those who have made this project a success,” says Brand manager, Dean Teubes. Hungry Lion became invested in uplifting the local community after its head office moved to Stellenbosch earlier this year. Their employees volunteered their time and gift wrapping skills in preparation of the handover of the gifts. “I have always enjoyed giving back to my local community and am so grateful to know that my company shares the same values so that we, as a team, can make a difference in the lives of these children,” says Riana Britton, Hungry Lion Administration Manager. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) recently donated R50 000 to the Initiative for Dedicated Upliftment and Care Centre (IDUC), an organisation that supports rape survivors in Potchefstroom. This donation will assist the organisation in purchasing gowns and sanitary items for rape survivors. The handover also included a generous donation of sanitary pack items collected in honor of Women’s Month by CCBSA employees in Klerksdorp. These care items consisted of items such as toothpaste, sanitary pads, lotion, deodorants, soap that will bring some comfort to the victims who are assisted by this organisation. The Initiative for Dedicated Upliftment and Care centre (IDUC) based in Potchefstroom is dedicated to providing both counselling and support to victims of rape and domestic abuse. To know more about the great work IDUC does for the community, you can view their website http://www.iduc.co.za/ CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
KWAZULU-NATAL – aQuellé recently concluded their “Triple the Joy” campaign which saw the brand travel over 4800 kilometres across South Africa and distribute bottles of water and gifts to children and adults in underdeveloped rural communities. The three-month campaign, which ended in August, followed the #SpreadTheJoySA” summer campaign. That campaign introduced consumers in the major centres of Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth to three limited edition sparkling water flavours – watermelon, granadilla and apple. According to aQuellé managing director Arno Stegen, the public response had been such that all three limited edition flavours rolled out for the campaign had been added to aQuellé’s permanent line-up. “We had intended to choose just one flavour when the campaign ended, but the public voted in favour of keeping all three. In response, we also multiplied our giving back to the community,” said Stegen. The aQuellé new flavour mascots visited non-profit organisations in three provinces, distributing bottled water, meals and donations such as gazebos, playground equipment, schoolbags and stationery to beneficiaries. “The premise behind the community campaign was that joy is meant to be shared. So, we asked the public to share stories on social media about organisations they knew of that deserved a bit more joy. We were really touched by what we heard and selected four to visit,” said Stegen. The campaign kicked off in May with a visit to the Careways Siyanakekela Centre in KwaNdengezi, KwaZulu-Natal. Here intellectually impaired adults meet once a week to learn basic skills and take part in activities that help them to build self-esteem and find their place in the community. In June, the team visited the Goldhill Legends Netball Club in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. The club draws players as young as seven from the impoverished communities of Hanover Park, Lavender Hill, Delft and Mitchell’s Plain, keeping them off the . . .
Engen has boosted fire relief efforts in greater Cape Town to the tune of R500 000, a donation that disaster aid organisation Gift of the Givers says will help them “lend dignity to people who have lost everything.” “While nothing can replace what they have lost, this helps us to ensure we can offer the victims of the devastating fires in Khayelitsha, Kosovo and Vrygrond quality assistance of the highest possible standard,” says Badr Kazi, the organisation’s government and corporate relations manager. The Engen donation follows devastating fires that tore through the three informal settlements during the past week, leaving about 3 000 people homeless, more than 650 of them children. One person died in the Khayelitsha fire on 20 October. The following day about 120 homes were razed in the Kosovo informal settlement, leaving 1 400 people homeless. A few days later, a further 304 homes were left in ruins in Vrygrond in a third blaze, triggering a major relief effort. Engen made one of the largest donations to the Gift of the Givers initiative, according to Kazi, who says they have put together a R2-million aid package to provide hot meals, bottled water, blankets, new clothing, school uniforms, stationery packs, towels, hygiene packs, plastic utensils and building materials to the fire victims. Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, says the company is honoured to play a role in assisting Capetonians who have lost everything. “Those who were affected are already marginalised, living in dire circumstances in informal setttlements. Now the fires have taken what little they had,” she comments. Kazi says substantial donations such as the one from Engen have allowed Gift of the Givers to provide affected residents with breakfast, as well as cooked lunches and dinners every day. “Getting such donations directly affects the quality of the relief we can provide in situations such as this, and these fire victims are getting the . . .