The big blues set to rock the Durban Botanic Gardens International blues maestro Dan Patlansky and acclaimed artist Albert Frost will bring the party to the Durban Botanic Gardens on Sunday, 17 July when the blues meets rock as part of the popular Old Mutual Music at the Lake series Whether you are into blues or rock, the experience is guaranteed to be a sizzling mix of electrifying world-class music, pleasant weather, sub-tropical flora and a great crowd. Dan Patlansky, fresh from his hugely successful European tour with Joe Satriani, has become one of the most respected blues/rock artists to emerge from South Africa and was recently voted as one of the Top Ten best rock guitarists in the world today. Fans will get the chance to hear the maestro play acoustic song versions from his albums, 20 Stones (2012), Wooden Thoughts (2013) and Dear Silence Thieves (2014). They will also be in for a special treat when Dan plays acoustic versions of brand new songs from his latest offering, released in April 2016, as well as classic covers modernised with a touch of blues and rock influences. Albert Frost is a highly accomplished guitarist whose energetic performances have been dazzling audiences for 20 years, as he deftly alternates between rhythm and lead, showcasing acoustic and electric guitars. He has performed with every major artist in South Africa and recorded with Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis, Chris Chameleon and the Blues Broers, among many others. He has also toured with Simple Minds and Rem, and supported the Rolling Stones. Also coming to play is a Cape Town based artist Hezron Chetty, who is best known for performing the violin through a loop station. Bringing a fresh and progressive approach to instrumental music, he has captured the attention of the music scene, both locally and abroad. Exciting as the sounds will be, Old Mutual Music at the Lake is about much more than just music. “Through this series we hope to raise consciousness of our . . .
CashBag, the cash back rewards program for online shopping, recently underwent a tune up. The site in addition to having a new look, now boasts more cash saving deals, more offers from local and international partners and more cash back in the consumers pocket. In July, CashBag launched its CashBag Cash Back Button - A toolbar button that simplifies the process of activating rewards when shopping online. The plugin notifies the shopper each time they visit a CashBag partner website and shows them how much they can save by activating the reward. The CashBag Button also allows shoppers to compare cash back deals right on their Google search results page. Signing up to CashBag is free and opens up a world of money-saving potential. Every time a shopper makes an online purchase through CashBag, CashBag pays a portion of the checkout total back to the consumer in cash. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible to earn money while you shop online, as well as ensure that consumers don’t miss out on any cash back rewards. The CashBag Button notifies you that a cash back reward is available at that particular site, they click on “activate” and continue shopping. It’s that simple, no forms to fill out or points to accumulate,” states CashBag GM, Kirsty Henderson. The company launched in 2012 with the purpose of offering cash back to it’s members for shopping online; the more they shopped the more they’d earn. While the goal hasn’t changed, the consumer has as well as the playing field. Although reward programs are not a particularly new phenomenon they are becoming increasingly popular. According to The 2016 Truth Loyalty Whitepaper there are over 100 loyalty programs in South Africa with accelerated activity in the last 3-5 years. Banks, insurance providers and many large retailers offer a variety of loyalty and rewards programs; cash back rewards, points, incentives, coupons and discounts. CashBag is not encouraging consumers to add to their daily . . .
The global economy has come under strain over the last several years, due to lower commodity prices, a shift in demand as well as services which have all affected South Africa greatly over the last two years. Companies that are weathering the current economic climate are those that operate with strategic efficiency and an eye towards the future. These companies maximise human capital by making sure they keep a skilled and competitive advantage as technology, production and trade develops and changes. Across South African Government the general consensus is that the country must produce more skilled participants in the workforce. The Government has also stated that its economic plocies require HR development on a massive scale. The Human Resources Development Strategy for South Africa (HRDS-SA) – which was adopted by Cabinet in 2001 – highlights that the acquisition of knowledge and skills are necessary to work productively and competitively and furthermore, that improved training and education are fundamental to higher employment and productivity. “The cyclical nature of the resources sector and the impact of the global economic crisis have meant that we have had to find ways of cutting costs and working more efficiently.” Italia Boninelli, speaking on challenges of HR in a recent interview. This year, The Future of HR Summit and Awards are proud to host some of the highest esteemed figures in South African society and the HR industry, including the internationally acclaimed HR specialist, Shirley Zinn. It is also with great pride to announce that Axiomatic will sponsor the Skills Development and Training breakaway session. The most innovative HR strategies, labour regulations, case studies and emerging technologies will be disccused by experts in the field over the span of two days. “In the working world, you have to keep up with the pace of change, and there are many factors that drive change. Technology and innovation will reshape the working world . . .
The first batch of the 2016 regional auditions for the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Scholarships Programme saw ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs and Programmes Coordinator, Rahiem Whisgary make worthwhile pit stops in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Since 2009, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) has been supporting arts students through their Scholarships Programme. The only difference this year, is that there are more scholarships on offer to Grade 12 scholars and first and second year university students than ever before. Supported by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Organisation (DALRO) and the Nedbank Arts Affinity, the 2016 Scholarships Programme will change the lives of dramatic arts, singing, dance and musical theatre scholars and students with scholarships to the value of R800 000. This funding will be split; with R279 000 going towards the winning Grade 12 participants, and the balance being awarded to first and second year performing arts students. “The auditions really kicked off with a bang at the Durban University of Technology’s Courtyard Theatre,” says Whisgary. “Out of the 34 participants we auditioned, 26 were in the Grade 12 category, and wowed us with their singing, dancing and acting performances; though it must be said that acting appears to be the strong suit of Durban’s young performers, with most of the participants presenting powerful, credible and entertaining monologues – some with very strong character work.” Matric scholars auditioning for ACT Scholarships, which will afford them the chance to take up a performing arts course at any accredited South African tertiary institution, are required to demonstrate competence in three disciplines – acting, singing and dancing – with exceptional talent in at least one of the disciplines. Whisgary says the university students, all in their first or second year of undergraduate studies at an accredited South African institution, who auditioned in . . .
5 JULY 2016, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – Canoe king, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team), continued his world-class reign of legendary back-to-back victories to claim his fourth Investec Mauritius Ocean Classic title on Saturday, 2 July 2016. The 26km event, which took place near Black River, Mauritius, also doubled as Round 1 of the 2016 ICF Ocean Racing World Cup, which is a new, three-part series on the world surfski calendar. Paddlers faced rough 25-knot downwind conditions at Saturday’s race, with McGregor commenting that “conditions were pretty wild out there, it was super cool! There were some wide-eyed paddlers.” It was a close race against McGregor (Jeep Team), with Australia’s Cory Hill and Michael Booth, and South Africa’s Jasper Mocké and Barry Lewin (Jeep Team), all battling it out for the title until the final two kilometres where McGregor edged ahead to claim the win in 1h08. Hill finished 2nd in 1h09, followed by Booth in 3rd (1h10), Mocké 4th (1h11m30) and Lewin 5th (1h11m57). Said McGregor, “The final 2km saw us head into the notorious Le Morne Pass, where it’s a hard slog against strong headwinds to the end. I was able to get the lead going into this point, managing to keep it at three hundred metres all the way to the finish. I’m stoked with my fourth win here in a top-class field. The Mauritius Ocean Classic is one of my favourite surfski events as it is a very family-orientated race. This year, my wife Pippa and son Thorsten were here with me, and it was awesome to have their support!” Said Lewin, “I’m stoked with my 5th place finish in Mauritius. Love racing the top guys in the world, and the challenge of a wild ocean. Can't wait for next year.” Round 2 of the ICF Ocean Racing World Cup, the Nelo Summer Challenge, takes place in Portugal this weekend, 8 - 10 July 2016. The third and final event is happening in Tahiti in September 2016. It’s turning into another remarkable year for canoe king McGregor as he proves an unbeatable force in . . .
Bailey Snyman (Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance in 2012) and Nicola Haskins (Ovation Award winning choreographer) of The Matchbox Theatre Collective celebrate 10 years at the National Lottery Fringe in Grahamstown this year. Matchbox Theatre Collective is presenting three works at this year’s National Lottery Fringe in celebration of their 10 year anniversary. If These Bodies Could Speak (choreographed and performed by Haskins and Snyman) and Giftig (performed by Snyman and Micia de Wet) have just returned from rave reviews at the Prague Fringe Festival in the Czech Republic. If These Bodies Could Speak is a digital-dance love story that brings together dance, projection, lights and shadow play to explore the complex relationship of a couple that are struggling to reconnect with each other in a world overwhelmed by social media. Sean Bosman writes of the piece; "If These Bodies Could Speak featuring Bailey Snyman is far more than 'just a dance'. From its projections to shadow-puppetry; the performance serves as a poignant reminder that the impenetrability of the Other is nothing if not augmented by the very desire to make contact and bridge the gap. Not only does it portray bodies interacting with bodies; but bodies with light; bodies with shadows. I saw the Schopenhauerian porcupine problem come to life: how much pain are we prepared to suffer so that we can feel just that little bit of love?" This show will be performed at PJs on 1 July at 21h30, 2 July at 14h00, 3 July at 10h00, and 4 July at 18h00 Giftig (originally conceived by Micia de Wet and Timo Schutte) is an English language physical theatre production that is charged with comedy and emotion. You will laugh and cry, reflect and surrender. A sister waits on the beach for her lover to return from the ocean. A brother waits knowing he will never return. Their parents are lonely together. This two-hander risks the ideals of love, loss and apathy that surrenders to comedy, and touches . . .
My wife and I have been living in Australia for 17 years, and it’s been over 10 years since our last visit to SA. I have a daughter and a granddaughter still living in South Africa. Please note that this is only my personal perspective on how things stand, based on a recent visit to SA in June 2016. Most of the opinions and views I encountered during this visit were those of our ‘white’ South African friends and family so don’t necessarily reflect the majority viewpoint. Overseas and social media certainly paint a grim picture of South Africa, cloaked in out of control crime and corruption. We had also become ‘soft’ having lived in Australia for so long. I am not joking when I say that we were convinced by other family members to first renew our wills before making the trip. We were therefore quite anxious about going back for a visit to say the least, but looking forward to catching up with friends and family. Upon arrival into KZN our fears were fuelled by news of violent strikes taking place in Durban, followed by an armed robbery at the Pavilion shopping centre the next day. These fears were then overshadowed by appreciation for the beautiful beaches of Ballito, where we spent the first few nights, and even more so when we were visited by my daughter and granddaughter and some good friends. Re-uniting with friends and family is priceless. The nostalgia of being back in our country of birth is hard to describe, it’s a combination of sounds, sights and smells that bring back the memories. Some of these were obvious, such as the taste and smell of biltong, boerewors & samosas (yes, we get these all in Oz but they aren’t quite as good) and watching a game of ‘real’ rugby on the big screen with seriously enthusiastic Bok supporters, while other feelings surprised us, such as seeing a troop of monkeys crossing the road, the sound of hadadas in the morning, mole hills on people’s verges, the tribal dance conducted each morning by our hotel staff, . . .
DURBAN, 28 JUNE 2016 – The King of surfski, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team), continues his reign of back-to-back victories, this time winning the FNB Durban Downwind Surfski title in Durban on Sunday, 26 June 2016. This is the first time McGregor has won this title since race inception in 2014. The third edition of the annual race, which doubled as a World Surfski Series title event, took place in flat ocean conditions, testing paddlers’ endurance and stamina as they raced 26km from La Mercy Beach to Addington Beach. McGregor set the pace from the start claiming the FNB Durban Downwind title in 1h44m50. Last year’s winner, Matthew Bouman, placed 2nd in 1h45m54, followed by Mark Anderson in 3rd (1h48m54), Gene Prato 4th (1h49m27) and Jeep Team’s Barry Lewin in 5th (1h50m40). Said McGregor, “I’m stoked to take the win this time around. I narrowly lost it two years ago so it’s nice to win the Durban Downwind for the first time. I was in hospital on Friday so it was a hit and miss whether I was going to race but I’m glad I was able to get out there. Conditions were pretty tough. There was hardly any assistance really so it was a hard slog for 26kms. I managed to get out in front early and then kept the guys behind me for the rest of the race. There weren’t too many tactics involved really.” It’s been a busy month for paddling legend, McGregor, with back-to-back victories across surfski and canoe marathon paddling disciplines. On 29 May 2016, he claimed his third Maui Jim Molokai Surfski Challenge title in Hawaii. This 53km surfski ultra marathon is considered the world’s toughest surfski event. Just days after this victory, and still recovering from jet lag, McGregor won the world’s oldest surfski event, the Illovo Pirates Umhlanga Pirates Surfski Race, which took place in Durban on 5 June. He then swapped his surfski for a canoe to claim the K1 2016 South African Canoe Marathon Championship, which took place in Cape Town on 11 June. This result means he . . .
After two successful sets of courses in KZN, the Investec International Rugby Academy will be returning to St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg these school holidays, adding position-specific courses, for both players and coaches, to the course line-up. The 5-day course aims to provide high school players with the skills and expertise they need by matching them with former national and international players in their position and teach coaches to learn alongside these players. The exciting line-up that attendees can look forward to working with are former Springbok flank Ian MacDonald and utility-back Brent Russell, former Springbok assistant coach Dick Muir, ex-Wallabies kicking coach Braam van Straaten, former Sharks coach Grant Bashford, Sharks forwards coach Ryan Strudwick, Sharks under-19 coach Paul Anthony, Super Rugby referee Archie Sehlako, as well as local coaches Greg Miller, Greig Wegerle and Ryno Combrink. Behind the scenes training is also a feature of the academy and specialists such as Mark Steele (former Springbok conditioning coach) and Ruan Fourie (former Sharks and Lions physiotherapist) will be educating players on conditioning for the season and injury prevention. “The academy affords players the opportunity to meet, interact and learn from the greats of the game. It can only have a positive effect on one’s development,” says former Springbok, Brent Russell. World renown kicking coach, Braam van Straaten, who has been a coach at the academy for the past seven years, is passionate about his role at the academy. “In a week you see boys become men. We get players to function outside their comfort zone,” says van Straaten. Players’ courses on offer in July are the Prestige Players’ Course (aged seven to 10 years), the Intermediate Players’ and Coaches Course (aged 11 to 14 years), the 5-Day Players’ and Coaches Course (aged 14 to 17 years). Former Eastern Province player and GM of the Investec International Rugby Academy, . . .
22 JUNE 2016, SCOTTBURGH, DURBAN – Thursday, the 16th of June 2016, saw Jeep Team’s surfski paddler, Barry Lewin, and his racing partner, Lee Furby, amongst the first six boats to break the 46.5-km Scottburgh to Brighton Surfski race record, which was set in 1998, by some 16 minutes. Lewin and Furby came in 3rd after a nail-biting sprint finish between winners, Matthew Bouman/Wade Krieger, and Luke Nesbit/Gene Prato. Officials were unable to make out a winner between Bouman/Krieger and Nesbit/Prato boats, and unanimously called the race a tie win. Having initially not planned to participate in the race due to its length and level of difficulty, 3rd placed Lewin/Furby came into the race with less-than-desirable preparation, which slowed them down in the first 10km. According to Lewin, he was sore from gym sessions over the two previous days, which saw him take around 10km to loosen up. Said Lewin, “No matter the results, surfski paddling, and specifically, downwind surfski paddling, was the winner. This was all due to the strong community around our sport and the great people I like to call my peers. Thank you, thank you and thank you to all involved in retaining the true essence of why we paddle.” Lewin will be competing in the FNB Durban Downwind on the 25/26 of June. Some of the best surfski racers in the world will converge on Durban this weekend for the 2016 FNB Durban Downwind, setting the stage for another world-class duel as this World Surfski Series title event draws top elite ocean racers to Durban’s idyllic wintery conditions for this 26km clash. With the backing of title sponsor, FNB, the event boasts a R40 000 prize purse across its various age categories and stands as Durban’s premier surfski event. The format for 2016 will be a 26km race between La Mercy and Marine SLC with the course direction dependent on the wind direction on the day. The two-day window period allows organisers the best possible chance of the best conditions over . . .