Fresh from an impressive performance in the South African Road Championships, teenager Jason Oosthuizen has a chance to confirm his credentials in the Bestmed Berge en Dale road race on Saturday. The 18-year-old Barzani Pro Cycling member underlined his talent when he won the national U23 title in Oudtshoorn earlier this month, while coming third overall in the elite category. Now he faces another challenge in a race which takes place near his own backyard of Krugersdorp in Gauteng. Presented by Optimum Financial Services, the Berge en Dale starts at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift on the West Rand, with the feature race being contested over 103km. Careful not to look too far ahead, Oosthuizen said he would start the race with the mindset of setting out to achieve the best possible result, but was also fully aware of the team's priorities. "I am a proud member of the Barzani Pro Cycling team and I just want to be as beneficial to my team as possible," he said. "Whether that means racing for a personal result or lending a hand to my teammates, I am ready to give it my best shot." Oosthuizen, who will be competing in the Tour of Taiwan next month, has significant knowledge of the route awaiting them on Saturday. "I have done the race twice before, as an open category rider and as a first-year junior in 2016. "I know the start of the race will be hard. Once you are over the climb, it can get windy and it has a tough finish." The young rider added that he was pleased with his performance in the SA champs, but that it had also created a level of expectation. "It was a big build-up to the nationals and achieving something that you have worked for is always a boost for your confidence," he said. "But it also means that you have to keep your game on point to keep succeeding." In his first year in the U23 category he said he was focused on achieving good results, but he also wanted to enjoy the journey. "I don't want to put any . . .
Gauteng’s top Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) 2017 matriculant Esther Shuping had two secret weapons to ensure her success – her mother Puleng Shuping and the brilliant EMSS teachers who helped her secure a clean sweep of straight As. And although Esther begun her B. Pharmacy studies at Wits University earlier this month, she is still chasing her dream of becoming a doctor, and plans to swap to medicine in 2019. Sharing a small informal structure with five other people in Orange Farm made studying difficult, and she had to wait for everyone to go to sleep at night to get some quiet time, but it was worth every minute following her excellent results, says Esther, 18, who attended Leshata Secondary School. Esther beat out more than 70 fellow matrics at the end of last year to take the top spot in Gauteng in the EMSS programme, scoring 93% for science, 83% for maths and 86% for English. Every Saturday during Grade 12 Esther attended the Engen classes, and her advice for the matrics of 2018 is to take advantage of every opportunity for extra learning. “The secret to my success lay in hard work and putting in the extra hours, but also in asking for help and attending those classes. It’s vital to prioritise your time and to sacrifice for your studies if you want to do well,” she says. It is youngsters like Esther that the EMSS programme aims to assist by offering extra classes in English, maths and science. The ultimate goal is not only to see the learners themselves achieve personal success, but also to tackle the bigger issue of helping address key national skills shortages in the engineering, medical and other technical fields. A total of 555 matrics from across South Africa benefited from EMSS extra classes in 2017, achieving an impressive 94% pass rate. The Gauteng centre, one of nine in South Africa and which Esther attended, attained a 99% pass rate. The centre in Cape Town and two others in KwaZulu-Natal boasted 100% pass . . .
It is the month of love – red roses, chocolate hearts and dinners by candlelight. BUT, are you sure that nothing in the world can come between you and your Valentine? These days more and more romantic relationships are on the edge because of debt’s sly interference. Relationships, as well as your finances, need constant attention and care. If the holistic picture is ignored, debt can easily come between you and your partner - causing conflict and arguments. It can, and has, lead to the end of many relationships. According to Matthys Potgieter, debt expert at DebtSafe, it is possible that debt can test and hurt your relationship through the following examples: • Overspending by a partner – buying more than what the couple can afford. • A partner being declared bankrupt – for partners who are married in Community of Property, for example, this can have major consequences. • Putting your loved one’s savings in harm’s way – partners having access to each other’s accounts or by having a communal account. • A lack of communication – by having conflicting views on money or finance management. • One or both partners not taking on any responsibility – having no budget or emergency fund because it is just spend, spend, spend. • Delaying a wedding or having kids – your debt pile is adding up and one partner puts on breaks to clear debt first, while the other desperately wants to continue with life’s major cycles. Potgieter says these examples should not discourage you and that you and your partner should try the following five debt-survival relationship tips instead: 1. Play inspector and stick to your budget If, by now, you still don’t have a budget, get on it. And, if you are not sure where to begin, download DebtSafe’s free template online. This can assist you in structuring you and your partner’s budget plan. A budget gives you clarity on what your finances look like and it also sets up a sense of responsibility on you and your partner’s part by sticking to . . .
Johannesburg, South Africa --February 2018 4% of employees agree blocking out noise increases their productivity.(1) Today, work happens everywhere — in busy open-plan offices and contact centers, at home, even coffee shops. This flexibility is great for business and people, but with it comes a new challenge: noise. Distraction caused by noise reduces productivity and well-being and, in contact centers, detracts from a positive customer experience. Studies show that it takes 23 minutes to recover from distraction(3) and over 58% of employees are distracted multiple times each day.(2) That represents a significant impact on your customers’ businesses you can easily help avert through proven noise reduction strategies and products. Managing Noise: In the Contact Center In the contact center, noise remains the biggest complaint among employees(4) and can negatively impact customer satisfaction.(3) But managing noise effectively can raise productivity,2 improve customer experiences(5) and impact the bottom line.(1) Plantronics creates technologies that manage noise to help contact centers be more effective and businesses be more successful. Let’s look at some common situations: Customer Service Representative (CSR) - Needs to handle urgent requests from customers quickly and efficiently. Key challenge: Hearing and being heard by customers. Help Desk Support - Manages intense, often lengthy, customer calls. Key challenge: Wearing headset all day (comfort, battery issues). Supervisor - Supports CSRs with call assistance and training. Key challenge: Background noise and audio quality on escalated calls. High-Level Support - Guides and supports CSRs on most challenging calls. Key challenge: Mobility within office to help with urgent situations. How do you handle these challenges within your business? Contact Center Solutions Plantronics engineers solutions that help people manage the noise around them so they can be more effective — no matter where . . .
GAUTENG, MIDRAND – This past weekend, 27 and 28 January, Riversands Country Farm in Johannesburg played host to the 2018 season opener of the hugely popular obstacle course racing (OCR) series, the Toyota WARRIOR Series, powered by Reebok. Attracting a huge crowd of approximately 3000 athletes and a few thousand more spectators, the TOYOTA WARRIOR OCR series kicked off with a bang for the Jeep Team OCR Warriors. The TOYOTA WARRIOR OCR series is designed for adventure seekers from all walks of life. With three categories on offer, Rookie, Commando, and Black Ops, this nationwide series has an event for every person, irrelevant of fitness level, wishing to challenge and build themselves up, with thousands of others doing the same, across world-class obstacles. The main event of the weekend was Black Ops Elite. A tough elite athlete course incorporating 35 obstacles over roughly 15 kilometres of trail. These athletes are either climbing, traversing, carrying or gripping from start to finish. It is intense, lung-busting and only the super-fit and OCR-skilled make it to the end. Thomas van Tonder (Jeep Team SA), ranked 2nd in OCR South Africa and three-time Top 10 World Champs finisher, claimed his first victory in this season opener in what was, initially, a close-fought race between South Africa’s top 3 OCR athletes, Bradley Claase, Thomas van Tonder, and 2017 series champion and #1 ranked in SA, Claude Eksteen. The toughest obstacle in the race, Breaking Point, proved to be exactly this as it defeated Eksteen, who eventually finished 34th overall, as van Tonder calmly pulled off a superb strategic win ahead of Claase in second and Jason Friedman in third. Fellow Jeep Team athlete, Jay Jay Deysel, continuing his impressive growth trajectory, finished 6th overall – just 9 minutes behind van Tonder. In the women’s race, 2017 series winner, Trish Eksteen (Team AOT), showed her racing prowess, taking the win ahead of Carla van Huyssteen (Nevarest Team) in . . .
Management consulting company IQbusiness has proudly announced that it has been named a Certified B Corporation®. The purpose of this certification is to recognise businesses across industries and continents for their commitment to driving and inspiring more ethical business practices. “We are excited to have IQbusiness join this growing movement in becoming one of the founding African B Corps,” said Olivia Muiru, Executive Director of B Lab East Africa. What is a B Corporation®? B Corporation certification is to business what Fair Trade and Organic certification is to products like coffee and milk respectively. Essentially, it measures how a company operates holistically, and what its impact is to all stakeholders. How is it measured? Organisations that meet verified higher levels of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability are eligible. Globally, there are over 2,300 Certified B Corporations in over 50 countries across 130 industries. Currently, there are 17 African companies that have met the standard. In South Africa, IQbusiness is the largest of the 5 companies that have been certified. Why did IQbusiness apply to become a certified B Corporation®? “B Corp Certification is all about redefining the concept of business success,” says CEO Adam Craker at IQbusiness, “And that’s always been a big part of what we do and our core purpose, which is to grow people, businesses, and Africa. We are realising our purpose by helping to solve the economic, environmental, and social issues the continent faces.” Craker goes on to say that the decision to apply to become B Corporation® certified was to create conscious motivation to spur on the company’s continued improvement. What sets IQbusiness apart? The organisation’s core business alone has far-reaching social and environmental impacts, often linking businesses to organisations dedicated to making a difference in this industry. However, the IQbusiness CEO points out that . . .
Good news, Gauteng! You can now view the stunning range from South Africa’s leading shutter company, Plantation Shutters®, with their brand-new display – housed inside the most exquisite showroom of The Private House Company. It’s a marriage made in heaven: The Private House Company - where interior designer Yvonne O’Brien sources furnishings from all over the world, as well as carefully selected local pieces, partnered with the classic elegance of Plantation Shutters®. “We’re delighted to be partnering with The Private House Company,” says Briggie Kirchmann, Marketing Director of Plantation Shutters®. “Our design ethic richly complements that of Yvonne O’Brien: understated, refined and personal.” Visit the showroom for a unique shopping experience equal to none! Where? Kramerville Design District 7 Appel Street Kramerville Johannesburg When? Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
For several reasons, a bumper entry is expected for the Bestmed Berge en Dale Championship to be held near Krugersdorp in Gauteng on February 24 and 25. The feature race remains the 107km road classic on the Saturday, but the organisers, ASG Events, have added an attractive complementary programme for cycling enthusiasts. Besides the main event, there will be a 59km road race as well as mountain-bike races over 40km and 15km on the Sunday. The Berge en Dale, presented by Optimum Financial Services, starts at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift and is a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. However, ASG Events chief executive Wynand de Villiers believes the overall offering is fast increasing the popularity of the event, thanks to a number of factors. These include the date, which is three weeks later than in previous years, and the slick organisation that has evolved over the years. "By moving the race towards the end of February, we are giving riders more time to prepare for the event after the holiday period," said De Villiers. "We have already seen a significant increase in the number of entries." A year ago, when the race was held on the first weekend of February, about 4 500 riders entered. This time, because of the later date and the growing popularity of the mountain-bike races, De Villiers expects the number to rise. The organisation of the Berge en Dale had always been at a high level, with everything being done to secure the safety of the riders, he said. "In the past 14 years, our team of organisers have remained largely unchanged. And these people are undoubtedly the best in the business when it comes to carrying out their specific roles." De Villiers also believes economic factors are having an influence. Cyclists tend to enter more readily for races in their own regions. "One cannot overlook the fact that it's not easy to travel long distances to take part in certain events," De Villiers said. "I feel . . .
Domestic Flights South Africa is preparing for a busy 2018. With South Africa being a top tourist destination in Africa and expecting many tourists next near, they are constantly expanding their offerings and have a wide variety of different services available. With the goal to provide the easiest and most cost effective way to find and book the best travel deals at the cheapest prices. Domestic Flights South Africa offers flights, car rental, bus bookings, and accommodation across South Africa. Covering all the main metros including: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, East London and Port Elizabeth When you search for flights with Domestic Flights South Africa, you’ll get results from all the major and low-cost carriers (such as Mango, SAA, British Airways, FlySaFair and Kulula) displayed in one place so that you can compare ticket prices allowing you to book the cheapest price.. You can refine also your results by playing around with various settings such as ‘departure time’ or ‘preferred number of stops’. Once you have decided on the best flight ticket for you, book and pay online in one seamless transaction. This applies to the Car Rental and Hotel booking facilities as well. Currently, Domestic Flights South Africa offers Cheap flights listing from some of the top flight providers and airlines in the world. Some of the notable international airlines include: Arik Air Cathay Pacific Airlines Delta Airlines Ethiopian Airlines Emirates Airlines Etihad Airways Kenya Airways Qantas Airlines Qatar Airways Singapore Airlines Turkish Airlines Virgin Atlantic British Airways Fly Blue Crane Also including some of South Africa top domestic carriers and airlines including; FlySafair Kulula Airlines Mango Airlines SA Airlink SA Express South African Airways Not only have they got an up to date flight section with the top airlines, but they also list a wide range of car rental services from South African car rental . . .
* One small gesture may be the catalyst to a Manganese Ore Free PE Beachfront * Sailors vote for the environment * Turtles-1, Plastic Straws-0 * Surf the wave to Turn the Tide on Plastic The Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth based Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) has banned Plastic Straws and issued a challenge to every consumer and business to say; "No to plastic" as the wave to 'Turn the Tide on Plastic' becomes a tsunami. Inspired by the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, 'Turn the Tide on Plastic, skippered by Britain's, Dee Caffari and after a talk by Sustainable Seas Trust Director Dr Tony Ribbink, the decision to move towards a Plastic Free Zone at ABYC by banning plastic straws was unanimously approved by the ABYC Exco on Tuesday 16 January 2018. "With 350 kg's of plastic being dumped in the ocean every second, it is projected that there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050. This pollution is killing millions of marine animals and sea birds each year, damaging sensitive ecosystems, affecting environmental and human health. Aside from lost opportunities the cost to Africa runs in to billions annually," said SST Director Dr Tony Ribbink at a recent presentation to members and sailors at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. Spearheaded by the ABYC's House Commodore, Frank Atkinson, ABYC has implemented an immediate ban on plastic straws and will move towards a plastic free environment. Frank says; "All my life I have been fortunate to have lived beside the water - either the Zwartkops River or the beaches of Port Elizabeth. Our activities as kids were sailing, swimming, fishing and gathering bait where I was subjected first hand to the horrors caused by carelessly discarded plastic on the marine and wildlife in general. What really hit home however was a recent screening at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club by Dr Tony Ribbink of a film depicting how floating plastic bags were eaten by dolphins who mistook them for jelly fish and a particularly horrifying look at . . .