One of the biggest salepersons around moved into South Africa recently. In Solar PV Systems we call that person; "Sir Eskom Loadshedding!" "Phone and web site enquiries have escalated somewhat since the start of loadshedding," says Alan Straton from Straton Solar. "Everyone wants to be free of Eskom and loadshedding and most are of the impression that Solar Power is the magic bullet to do that," explained Alan. The price of Solar Panels has plummeted over the last 8 years and the electricity price per unit (Kw) manufactured from a pure grid tie solar installation is now less than 70c per unit amortised over the 20 year expected life of an installation. On the other hand the price of batteries still needs to reach that tipping point before beginning to plummet. "Batteries are the next frontier in terms of lower price and higher storage capacity," says Straton. Solar PV comes in 3 'flavours: Grid Tie only (here you will still be affected by loadshedding) Grid Tie with Battery Backup, referred to as a Hybrid System (load shedding will not affect you - depending on the size of your batteries) Off Grid - Here you are on your own with no connection to the grid at all. Taking the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality as an example Straton said: A Grid Tie system for a single phase installation may only be a maximum of 5 KW in size. This is good enough for an annual average of 960 units of electricity each month (more in summer, less in winter). The pay back on such a system is around 6 to 7 years. IF the system is installed in a business then the payback is from the time of switching on as Section 12B of the Income Tax allows an immediate 100% depreciation allowance on renewable energy installation. If you do not have mission critical items then Grid Tie only is the way to go. A Hybrid System also operates under the same constraints as the Pure Grid Tie system above. In addition the conversation around batteries is that one must remember . . .
SPAR Eastern Cape and charity organisation Love Story, for the third year running, brought hope and spread festive cheer among some of the impoverished areas in Nelson Mandela Bay this week. Ingredients were donated by SPAR for soup kitchens which were set up in five disadvantaged areas from Monday until today. This year the Festive Feeds took place in Walmer Township and served approximately 100 people. "This is basically just a Christmas meal, to share some love and bring them hope during this season," said Love Story founder Elaine Watson, who added that the donated ingredients were cooked by them and then taken into the communities. As part of the Bags of Blessings initiative, the retail giant donated 250 bags that were sent to families living in poverty that Love Story supports throughout the year. These were also distributed this week and consisted of various non-perishable foods and other items such as maize meal, pasta, toilet paper, soap, samp and canned food. "We've been able to feed hundreds of people over the last two festive seasons," said Watson. "The season is a joy for many, but also a very challenging time for some. "For us to be able to show love and spread hope makes an impact on the lives of the recipients." Watson said SPAR was an "incredibly generous" organisation and always the first to come forward to assist the community. "Having SPAR on board with this initiative has allowed us to touch many people's lives who need it most." SPAR EC sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton felt the initiatives were a way to "give back to the community and reach out to those less fortunate". SPAR EC sponsorships assistant Debadene Baatjies said Love Story helped them in identifying the communities most in need of support. "This initiative is very close to our heart because we're giving back and it shows our support as a SPAR brand for our community. "I'd like to say thank you to all our suppliers who donated products and made this . . .
National player Casey McLeavy will be an important part of the bid by the Madibaz women's water polo team to capture a medal at the University Sport South Africa tournament in East London this weekend. The Madibaz women's water polo team will be aiming to transform a series of competitive results into a medal-winning position at the University Sport South Africa tournament this weekend. The event takes place at the Joan Harrison Complex in East London from Saturday to Monday. Madibaz Sport water polo manager Melinda Goosen said there was a strong thread of commitment running through the squad and they were determined to prove a point on this national stage. "In recent years our women's side have consistently made the semifinals, but we have usually ended fourth overall," she said. "This year our goal is to medal. "There are a number of new faces in the squad, with half the team about to experience their first USSA tournament, but there is a very good work ethic among the players." She said the squad trained twice a day on a regular basis, before 6am and a second session often ending after 6pm. "Being a university side, the academic commitments of the student-athletes play a big role in the availability of our players, especially during the Currie Cup tournament. "But the players are fully committed and have been training up to three times a day in the build-up to the USSA event. "It's crucial for us to do well as we are looking for a major sponsor to come on board to back the water polo club. "We have the players and structures in place, but the team have to organise music trivia evenings and special events to help raise money to compete in the Currie Cup and USSA." Goosen said players such as Meghan Maartens, Casey McLeavy, Charne Keen, Hannah Werth, Kelsey Vaughan, Mirricke du Plessis and Nina Cressey would provide the experience, while their biggest challenge was a lack of tournament match practice. "For example, UCT and Maties . . .
Cape Town, South Africa (November 2018) - A new website is here, dedicated to those looking for special deals on tours and activities in South Africa.Special Tours provides the most comprehensive list of things to do, as well as the best prices offered. Using a simple, clear design, the website brings a South African itinerary to both locals and tourists alike. South Africa is a gem of tourist attractions, and Special Tours aim to highlight this throughout the website. Created with the purpose of being an extensive source of information on the top things to do in South Africa. The website hosts a wide range of content relating to experiences found in SA. Some of the main areas that the website will focus on are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, the Garden Route. With already some interesting listing like boat cruises, paragliding, Cape point tours, Table Mountain activities, helicopter rides, ziplines and safaris. The website is poised to showcase some of the best activities and experiences that South Africa has to offer and allow users to search and pick tours for the best price using the advances compassion features Activities and prices are constantly updated to give users the latest information and best experience. The website also offers helpful guides on the best way to enjoy South Africa and at great prices. Users are able to find the best things to do in each location of SA, activities are separated by area. This feature allows users to plan activities that are near to each other. It also allows visitors to SA to easily view things that they can do around their holiday destination. Details of tours and activities are stated clearly on the website, with a simple button to book each one. The option to review these activities is offered, allowing users to review and to check other reviews before booking. To learn more and use this new website to take advantage of its innovative features, please visit https://specialtours.co.za Get in . . .
A giant Christmas tree the equivalent in height of four stories will light up Port Elizabeth's beachfront when it is officially unveiled tomorrow. An initiative by the Spar head office based in Durban, the tree is moved from region to region each year and this time it is the turn of Spar Eastern Cape, marking 25 years in the region, to celebrate the festive season with a range of activities related to the project. The tree, which is 13 metres tall and seven metres wide, has been assembled by a team from Durban and has been placed in the Bayworld parking area. It will dominate the city's beachfront area for the festive period, being part of the many Molo Summer Festival entertainment options that will be on offer to the public during December. Spar Eastern Cape sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton said they were delighted to have their turn to celebrate this time of the year and would use the occasion to add some fun to the lives of those who are less fortunate. "It's a massive construction which took 4 148 hours [the equivalent of 462 working days] to make and contains more than 74 000 LED light bulbs," he said. "It required 2 000 metres of cable and 110 cans of gold spray paint to complete the construction." He added that the official unveiling of the tree would take place tomorrow evening when they would invite residents from a children's home and an old age home to celebrate the occasion. "There will be Christmas-themed music and we will supply boerewors rolls, cooldrinks and gift packs to our invited guests," said Stapleton. "The function will get under way at 6pm and we will have a sing-a-long before the switching on of the lights at 7.30pm." Stapleton added they were proud that the entire Christmas tree construction comprised solely locally made products. "Everything was locally designed and manufactured and we want to create an opportunity where we can revisit the nostalgia and spirit of Christmas with a beautiful . . .
While many experiences the year ending as a time filled with exciting thoughts of the upcoming holidays' others have an entirely different experience. For some, it’s filled with the dread of being exposed to the hole left by the absence of work while others are confronted with memories of lost loved one and better years. There are many things which can taint our experience of the holidays. Fortunately, all of them can be worked through or managed, and therapy helps. If you have the sense that this might apply to you, then now is the time to plan and set up the support you’ll need. First prize is to have a schedule that ensures you spend time with people who love you and who can be there for you. If this is not available, you need more, or can’t bear the thought of leaning on others; there is still time to arrange professional help. Establishing contact with a therapist is enormously helpful, even if you can’t begin sessions immediately. Merely knowing that you have started looking into a healing process or book a meeting for next year can produce enough hope and relief to carry you through. But where does one find this help? If you have access to private medical care, then you can consider approaching your GP and asking them to refer you to a counsellor or psychologist in your area. Those who don’t have such access can visit their local community clinic and ask the attending sister to please place you on the psychology waiting list or to refer you to a nearby clinic that can provide the necessary help. The very idea of approaching a doctor or sister is often so daunting that some people never take this first step. If this applies to you, you’ll be happy to know that several websites help you find the services you need. TherapyRoute.com is a good place to start. This platform includes informative articles, lists private practices as well as non-profit and community service facilities, automatically displays the services nearest to you and helps you . . .
Months of planning and dedication to the cause came to fruition today when SPAR Eastern Cape ambassador Sarah Ferguson released the first of a series of videos aimed at securing the world's environmental future. A former South African international swimmer, Ferguson joined SPAR EC's fight against plastic pollution when she became an ambassador in the company's Stop Plastic campaign in June. The association with the retail giant was sparked by a presentation Ferguson, who lives in Durban North, gave after a 58km swim in Hawaii, in which she became aware of the dangers of plastic to the environment. "I came to Port Elizabeth for a meeting and they liked what they saw," she said earlier this year. "Equally I was keen to work with them to promote their Stop Plastic campaign." In April this year, SPAR EC took the bold step of trying to limit the use of plastic in their stores by encouraging consumers to make use of alternative packaging options available at all outlets. In particular, they are focused on limiting single-use plastic, which includes items such as plastic bags. Combining her passion for the environment and her swimming talents, Ferguson's first order of business was a six-day, 100km Elephant Coast swim, which took her from southern Mozambique to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The outcome of that is a documentary she and her team have produced highlighting the dangers of pollution to the world's oceans, which will be posted on Facebook for the next six weeks. The videos, which are each two minutes in length, can be viewed on www.facebook.com/BreatheOcean1 and her website www.breatheconservation.org and will be released on Mondays and Fridays at 11.30am. Ferguson said this was a wonderful opportunity to show what dangers the world faced in terms of ocean pollution. "We are super excited to announce that we will be releasing our docu-series from our Elephant Coast swim, starting today," she said. "We cannot wait to show you behind the . . .
Johannesburg , 30 November 2018 - To step into the shoes of another person can be the most challenging thing for any human being, however they will tell you that the experience is almost always a rewarding education. Such is the case in the cleaning profession, which is often times a thankless job for many, particularly in South Africa, where we are accustomed to "getting ‘help’. The cleaning industry is estimated to be worth around R6 - 10 billion and not regulated in terms of policy, save for salaries of the workers. There is however an association, which was constituted as recently as 1987 and which is dedicated to developing and setting appropriate standards for the contract cleaning industry [http://www.ncca.co.za/]. The cleaning industry forms part of the services sector, which employs close to 71.8% of the South African population [https://goo.gl/f3L1d4] and it is a profession that allows for entry level jobs for the most low-level skilled persons. “It is for this reason that Servest has set up its Training Academy, to ensure that new recruits are trained in the do’s and don’ts, particularly ensuring that they understand that the cleaning business is not about a task, but about hygiene in spaces, and health and wellness of people, says George Ndhlovu, Operations Director of Cleaning at Servest. The fact that the training facility is in-house, enables Servest to roll out training at any given time, without the process being hampered by budgetary constraints. “We instil the understanding in our colleagues, that their work is specialised and not just a job - for example in the healthcare sector, the nature of the work is hazardous and in the hospitality environment, it is specialised. In understanding this, it gives integrity to the profession and the person undertaking the task”, he says. In addition to investing in the skills and development of colleagues, Servest’s philosophy is to continuously upgrade its equipment and technology, to that of . . .
The Madibaz cricket teams are determined to make an impact when they compete in the University Sport South Africa tournament in the Western Cape next week. The annual competition takes place in Stellenbosch from December 3 to 7 and Nelson Mandela University will be fielding two teams, Madibaz A competing in pool A (the top eight teams) and Madibaz B in pool B. Madibaz A will be looking to make up for the disappointment of losing to Pretoria University in last year's final. Captain David Masterson well remembers the narrow defeat on that occasion and said the squad were eager to set the record straight. "That was my first appearance at USSA and it was very disappointing to lose in the final by six runs," he said. "Madibaz have had a lot of success at USSA in past years and we are definitely targeting the title in Stellenbosch. The ambition among the players will not allow us to settle for anything less." He added, though, that they knew it would not be wise to look too far ahead. "We do not want to get carried away and so our focus at this stage is purely on our first game against UCT." Despite losing some key players from last year, Masterson said there was still a good spread of experience in the squad, "with more than half the guys playing last year". "I feel one of the biggest strengths is that we have all-round cricketers who offer more than just one skill. "Our spin department is looking promising, with good variety, and our batting lineup is very well balanced." The skipper identified allrounder Tian Koekemoer as one of the players who could be the key to their success. "He is one of four semi-pro cricketers in the squad and I am sure they will be challenging themselves to take responsibility and perform. Tian has been in excellent form for EP and will definitely play a major role with the bat and ball for us." The Madibaz B team, consisting of predominantly players from the George campus, will have a number of new faces . . .
[Johannesburg, Gauteng, 28/11/2018] - PrepaidWealth.com, a South African FinTech Startup, is officially launching a web-based platform for either accumulating discounts in CASH or realizing instant discounts when data or airtime is purchased from the platform. There are two types of accounts that can be opened on PrepaidWealth.com for free; namely, a Group Account or an Individual account. A Group Account accumulates cash for members of the group whereas an Individual account provides instant discounts. A Group Account is ideal for structured groups such as stokvels, friends, families, residential complexes, work departments, WhatsApp groups, etc. The bigger the group, the faster cash accumulates because more people will be accumulating cash when they spend on data and airtime. Members of a group account spend on data/airtime separately according to their personal needs. However, the discounts accumulate collectively. The accumulated cash can be withdrawn from PrepaidWealth.com once the money is more than R200. An Individual Account offers data and airtime at a discount and therefore makes it ideal for a person who wants to sell airtime and data. It is also ideal for a person who wants instant discounts. An individual who wishes to accumulate cash, instead of getting instant discounts, can simply register for a group account and never invite anyone to join the group. The discounts provided vary from 1.5% to 9.5% and therefore one can assume an average discount rate of 5%. The discount rate is used to accumulate cash for a group account. It is also used to offer discounts for an individual account. The data and airtime provided on PrepaidWealth.com is from all mobile service providers; namely, Vodacom, MTN, CellC, Telkom, Virgin Mobile. The platform also provides prepaid electricity services as well as services from Mozambique Vodacom and Econet Mobile. “The Platform is targeted at everyone who buys data or airtime. Stokvels and other formal groups . . .