Casual Day brings joy to ‘our wheelies’

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As National Child Protection Week kicks of today, Casual Day has more good news about the impact that the funds raised by the campaign are having in communities all over South Africa.

Wheelchair swings and a round-about custom-designed for learners in wheelchairs were recently installed at the campus of Basizeni Special School in eMbalenhle, Evander, in Mpumalanga Province, bringing much joy and pleasure to the learners.

They were purchased with the proceeds of last year’s Casual Day donations and are ‘bringing joy to our wheelies’, says Basizeni staffer Mariette Botha. The school was the top performer in the province, raising R115 590 in donations from the public. “A portion of the donations are utilised by the school and the remainder goes to create awareness of persons with disabilities countrywide. We are very proud that not only did we benefit but that we are able to make a contribution to the disability sector nationally. Our contribution was a significant R69 558,” says Botha.

The Casual Day funds have been put towards playground development and the school has already done some upgrades. Says Botha: “I wish I could convey the joy on the faces of the children when they first experience the swings for the first time. As a teacher at Basizeni I feel humbled and privileged to be involved at this school. Our mission is to make a difference. ‘Dis-abled learners’ and

‘Differently abled learners’ at Basizeni School have many challenges, but with our new principal, Mrs Mirriam Rampai at the helm, we are prepared to face them.

“The school is 21 years old and needs maintenance inside and outside. The focus is on developing and creating classrooms, workshops, play-ground and sport environments with the necessary educational equipment, giving each learner the opportunity to develop to his or her full potential.

“Basizeni has positive, enthusiastic staff members and joyful learners. The only obstacle standing in the way of us achieving our vision is funding. We are entering a new phase, revamping the campus and getting a bus,” she adds.

Chairman of the School Governing Body, Louis Botha, adds: “It is a privilege to apply my expertise to improve the lives of young children with special needs. We are committed to improving life skills to provide a space for every learner.”

Find your local Casual Day organisation and see how you can help. To support Basizeni School, call Mariette Botha at 082 459 1009.

The theme is: Up Your Game, so get casual for a cause and help us to change lives one wheelchair at a time!

The funds are raised as a result of a R10 donation for a Casual Day sticker.

Keep abreast of activities at Casual Day on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CasualDaySA

Twitter: @CasualDay_SA
#CasualDay

Man shot during an attempted robbery at his work place in Krugersdorp

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A forty-nine-year-old man has sustained a gunshot wound during an attempted robbery at his work place in Krugersdorp.

Reports from the scene indicate that the incident happened on the M36 in Krugersdorp West.

The exact detail as to what happened will form part of a SAPS investigation and comment.

Netcare911 paramedics  managed to stabilise the wounded man on scene before transporting him to a nearby hospital for further medical care.

This incident happened this morning at about 07h00.

 

8 Practical tips that will save you money and stress when buying a home

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Buying a new home is an exhilarating time, albeit time consuming and a little complex.  It’s likely to be the largest financial transaction you will make and there are many legally binding documents you will need to sign – after the excitement wears off you could find this a little daunting. But with the right checks and balances in place, you should be well on your way to enjoying a brand new chapter in your life and in your dream home.

Before you sign on the dotted line and say “I Do” to what could be a lifetime relationship with your home, consider these helpful tips from Hollard to make sure your home ownership journey is one of joy and not remorse:

  1. Know what you can afford - Find out whether you qualify for a home loan and if you do, what amount you qualify for from your bank. Getting pre-qualified for a home loan saves you time as you know what price range you need to be shopping in and what deposit you’ll need to have available.   Make sure that you can afford the bond repayments plus the extra costs such as rates and taxes, water and electricity, maintenance and the homeowner’s buildings and life insurance cover which the bank will require.
  2. Cover yourself for unexpected extras– Always ask about extra costs, for example if you have an existing bond on a property you need to sell first, check with your bank what the bond cancellation fees are.  Find out from the agent what the transfer duty, bond and registration fees will be. Also, if you do need to sell before you can buy, make sure that any offer to purchase is subject to that condition in writing on your contract.
  3. Research the area you want to buy in – Ask your agent for a list of properties that have sold in the area in the last year and compare price ranges. Is it market-related and what is the resale market like in the area? Contact the local police station and ask about crime statistics – are these acceptable to you?  Check out the local amenities that are important to you, such as schools, retail, healthcare and sports facilities. Speak to the neighbours and get an idea of their experience in the area.  Check traffic flows and noise, including air traffic. Are there open stands in the area which could be a hotspot for crime or property developments?

Try out the routes to work and school in the area during peak hour traffic and ensure that you are comfortable with the time that you will spend in the traffic each day. These are all factors that could impact the future value of your property and importantly your quality of life.

  1. Read the fine print – get a copy of all the agreements you will need to sign from your estate agent and read them thoroughly beforehand.  This will help you know ahead of time what sort of information you will be asked for, what you need to know and the decisions you need to make. If you are buying into a sectional title complex, ask for the financial statements of the body corporate to make sure it’s financially sound and all levies are up to date. Check whether any special levies are planned for the near future.
  2. Contracts must be in writing – make sure all the conditions of the sale are set out in writing.  Specify your occupation date – the date you intend moving into the house and whether occupational rent will be applicable, and if so, at what rate. If no date is fixed, the seller can remain in the house until the house has been registered into your name and the full purchase price has been paid.  In some cases there is very short notice on the transfer date and can make planning very tricky. Agent’s commission is negotiable and should be specified in the contract.
  3. Check building plans for alterations – That granny flat that you love and the extra entertainment area may be deal clinchers for you, but have the alterations got approved building plans?  Check with the local municipality on whether or not any alterations on the property you intend to buy are approved.  If you find out post purchase that the property has illegal alterations, you will be liable to rectify these including the costs of applying to the municipality for approval of the plans.  But if the structure does not conform to municipal regulations, you could even be forced to demolish the structure which not only will cost you money, but reduce the value of the property that you paid for with the alterations.
  4. Protect yourself against historical municipal debt - A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment means that property owners can be held liable for historical municipal debts dating back up to 30 years. If you are buying a property, make sure the seller pays absolutely everything that is owed to the local authority and indemnifies you against any undisclosed debt before taking transfer.  The SCA decision means that any debts owed to a local authority by a property owner are not extinguished when a property is sold to another owner.  This means that a local authority can take legal action against the current owner of any property for any municipal debt incurred by any previous owner over the past 30 years with respect to property rates, refuse and sanitation charges, and three years in respect of electricity and water supply charges. Make sure you enlist the help of your agent and attorneys to find out whether there are historical municipal debts associated with the property you want to buy before you make the offer.
  5. Ask for a Hollard Home Warranty to protect your finances - No matter how much you love a property, no home is perfect!  Make sure that the home you are buying is free of defects, and if anything unexpected does crop up, you’re protected from the financial implications. Hollard’s Home Warranty addresses the issues around defects with a professional property inspection that is coupled to an insurance policy. This protects you as the buyer against the financial ramifications of any hidden defects that may emerge in the property for two years after taking transfer.  When you’re stretched to the max with deposits, bond and transfer costs, municipal deposits, moving costs and so on, the last thing you need is unplanned bills to fix hidden defects. It can also mean that if you do find your dream home albeit with a few minor problems, you won’t end up walking away from a great deal because you overestimate the extent of and cost to fix minor problems. A home warranty will provide a professional inspection report that lists any exclusions or defects, so you know what you are dealing with when it comes to negotiation time. And the cost of the warranty can be covered by the seller – all you have to do is ask for it in your Offer to Purchase!

When it comes to property transactions, making sure the homework is done by professional property inspectors is the first step towards peace of mind.  The next step is transferring the risk of undetected defects to an insurer.  A Hollard Home Warranty should be attached to the ‘for sale’ sign of every well-maintained home for peace of mind and the best possible outcomes for all parties concerned.

Realhelprealfast arrives in Rustenburg

Charne Language, based at ER24 Rustenburg, with two of the vehicles you can expect to see on the road.

Charne Language, based at ER24 Rustenburg, with two of the vehicles you can expect to see on the road.

ER24 is proud to announce that it has opened a branch in the city.

With an experienced regional manager, acting branch manager and highly qualified staff, clients can rest assured that they will be in good hands.

The newly established ER24 Rustenburg branch promises quality pre-hospital care to patients.

Marius Koekemoer, the ER24 Northern Regional Manager, said, “It is an honour to open this new branch. The people of Rustenburg can expect well organised, highly skilled staff that will render the best care possible to all clients. The public can rest assured that their lives are in safe hands. I would like to welcome the new staff to the ER24 family. Without a dedicated and well-oiled team ER24 would not operate as efficiently. We will support staff in their efforts to make ER24 Rustenburg a success.”

Meet Lourens Smit, an Advanced Life Support paramedic, who is part of the ER24 Rustenburg team.

Meet Lourens Smit, an Advanced Life Support paramedic, who is part of the ER24 Rustenburg team.

Johann McDermott, the Acting Branch Manager, has years of experience in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) industry.

He started his career in 1999. He joined the Fire Department as a rookie fire fighter when ambulance services and fire stations were combined. Shortly thereafter, he moved to ambulance services. He had his sights set on becoming an Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic. He reached his goal at the age of 26.

In 2006, he was given an opportunity to do a Critical Care Assistant course and he grabbed it with both hands.

McDermott has been involved in the successful establishment of several ER24 branches and plans no different for ER24 Rustenburg.

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Charne Language, based at ER24 Rustenburg, with two of the vehicles you can expect to see on the road.

“We are out and about. We aim to be visible everywhere and be the first port of call for any emergency in the community. Thus, rendering appropriate emergency care in a realhelprealfast way. You never know when a medical emergency could occur. It could involve you, loved ones or a total stranger. Save the number 084 124 on your phone. Call this number immediately in case of a medical emergency. The time saved may just be what is needed to save a life. Feel free to have a chat to us when you see us as well.”

In his message to staff at the branch, McDermott said, “We have all chosen this career for similar reasons. We all have a passion for people and we should never lose that. Patients always come first. As a team we can always keep that motto a reality.”

Also part of the ER24 Rustenburg team is Lourens Smit, an Advanced Life Support paramedic. Smit said he is excited to have joined the team at the new branch. “Next to creating a life, saving one is the highest calling. I am excited to be part of this initiative. It’s a privilege to be part of the team. We have been busy. We have a really motivated team. We spend a lot of time on the road and at stationary points. I certainly think we have been noticed. We want to be part of the community and I think we are getting there,” he said.

Remember, ER24 can be contacted on 084 124 in case of any medical emergency.

Lourens Smit, an Advanced Life Support paramedic, is part of the ER24 Rustenburg team.

Lourens Smit, an Advanced Life Support paramedic, is part of the ER24 Rustenburg team.

Old Mutual ups the entertainment at 2016 Comrades

OM Comrades Expo stand

An exciting agenda of activities is lined up for runners and supporters at the 2016 Comrades Marathon Expo and during the race itself.

As one of the major sponsors of the Comrades Marathon, Old Mutual has planned a great and memorable event. For example, Comrades watchers can expect a real endurance extravaganza at the 34km mark: a new supporter zone at Inchanga will re-energise runners, while a kids’ zone, big screen TV and various live entertainment acts will add to the fun of the day.

“It’s such a big day, and we’ve gone all out this year to make the experience even more special,” says Karen Thomas, Old Mutual Head of Brand. “The crowd support at the Comrades Marathon is always exceptional, so we are looking forward to adding to the already great atmosphere of the race.”

Returning to the Expo will be the real life version of the Old Mutual Virtual Coach, Norrie Williamson, as well as the hugely popular Oculus Rift virtual reality experience.

The immensely knowledgeable Williamson will be on hand at the Old Mutual stand to answer all your running questions and offer valuable last-minute advice, whether you’re a nervous novice or an experienced athlete.

At the stand you’ll also find Oculus Rift, the leading technology in three-dimensional immersive video. At last year’s Comrades and previous Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathons, ‘the Rift’ wowed runners with video technology that puts you on the route ahead of race day.

A headset uses custom tracking technology to provide 360° head tracking, allowing users to seamlessly look around a virtual world - just as you would in real life.

Every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real time to create a natural and intuitive experience. Old Mutual has filmed Bruce Fordyce on key segments of the Comrades Marathon route, so when you put on the Oculus Rift headset, Fordyce will appear and guide you through the most demanding stretches of the 89km run. Just remember to stand still, because the temptation to chase after the nine-time winner is real.

Occulus Rift at the Comrades Expo

At the Expo, runners will also be able to meet the team from the Wildlands Conservation Trust and the Old Mutual Wild Series.

The Old Mutual Wild Series is a collection of endurance events that enables participants to contribute to the conservation of South Africa’s natural heritage, while experiencing breathtakingly wild and rugged parts of the country, including the natural habitat of several endangered species. You can learn more about the Wild Series events at the Expo.

Another popular innovation at the Comrades Marathon and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon has been OM Live Digital Radio.

This slickly produced, professionally operated digital radio station broadcasts relevant race info, interviews and updates at the Expo and at the finish.  You can also listen anywhere in the world by simply visiting dogreatthings.co.za or downloading the Old Mutual app to your phone.

 

The Comrades Expo:

Thursday, 26th May       Expo      09:00 – 19:00

Friday, 27th May              Expo      09:00 – 19:00

Saturday, 28th May        Expo      09:00 – 17:00

JOIN US AT THE OLD MUTUAL SUPPORTER ZONE AT COMRADES

Old Mutual has set their sights on making the 91st edition of the Comrades Marathon the most memorable yet. To do this, we’ve created the Old Mutual Spectator Zone.

This specially designated area is 34km from the start – at Inchanga – and will be open from 7am to 11am on Sunday, 29 May 2016. Entry is free and easy access can be gained from the N3 highway (from the Hammersdale off-ramp).

To keep runners and spectators alike entertained, the Supporter Zone will show live coverage of the race on a big screen – so you’ll be able to see the winners cross the line. Seating and shaded areas will be provided, as will free and secure parking, food stalls and toilet facilities, while numerous live acts and shows will give runners a boost when they need it most.

Don your supporter outfit, bring your deck chairs and your picnic baskets and watch the 2016 Comrades Marathon in style.

Use the hashtag #Comrades2016 to join the conversation.

The Comrades Marathon:

The Comrades Marathon race will be run on Sunday, 29 May 2016 starting at 05h30 and finishing at 17h30. The race is run from “gun to gun”.

The Comrades Marathon is the world’s oldest and largest ultra marathon run over a distance of approximately 90 km (56.1 miles) between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban.

OM Expo with virtual coach Norrie Williams

Dynamic Truck Rental expands fleet with Hino 500

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The truck rental business in South Africa is extremely competitive. Therefore a company has to be very special in all it does to rise above the rest and grow its business. Dynamic Truck Rental is one of these companies. It was established in 2004 and has had amazing annual growth at an average of 44% year-on-year for the past 11 years and now boasts a fleet of 300 trucks.

It is a mixed fleet with the latest additions being seven Hino  500-Series 1626 freight carriers with tautliner bodies purchased from Hino Oranje in Bloemfontein, which operates from an impressive new facility near Dynamic Truck Rental’s head office and was runner-up in the 2015 Hino Dealer of the Year contest.

The first Hino to go into the Dynamic Rental fleet was a used 1626 freight carrier bought in 2004. The company was so satisfied with its first Hino that it subsequently bought five used Hino 815s with insulated bodies as well as a used Hino 714. Hino Oranje, headed up by general manager Erwin Stolze, is providing outstanding service according to feedback from Dynamic Truck Rental and further orders for Hino trucks are in the pipeline.

Dynamic Truck Rental started in Bloemfontein from very small beginnings in 2004. Bernadette van der Berg, who had been working in the trucking industry since 1999, decided it was time to go out on her own. She was encouraged by a number of her clients. Initially trucks were hired from sub-contractors and she worked from a home office in a Bloemfontein suburb.

The name Dynamic was chosen as Bernadette, or Berns, as she is known, wanted people to know that this was a truck rental company that was driven by passion. She set her standards high and the fact that the company is showing such phenomenal year-on-year growth is a tribute to personal dynamism right from the top in the form of a go-getter managing director.

The first truck was purchased by Dynamic Truck Rental in 2007 but to this day there are several sub-contractors who continue to operate exclusively for the company using their own vehicles.

Dynamic Rental focuses on the corporate business and has contracts with many of the major players. It has a one-stop-shop approach of taking care of all aspects of moving goods in line with the managing director’s extensive experience in logistics.

The head office remains in Bloemfontein where modern new facilities have been built A Johannesburg depot was opened in Pomona three years ago to further improve service levels to the heartland of the SA economy.

All the way on Bernadette’s journey she has had the full support of her husband, Philip, who has an MBA. He is now responsible for the extensive business interests that have grown up around the rental trucks.

Philip is CEO of the Dynamic Group which includes property interests, warehousing, logistics, franchises for forklifts and rental cars besides the truck rental core business. This expansion over the past 11 years is an excellent example of the way a business can grow in the current economy provided it is headed up by dynamic entrepreneurs with firm goals in place.

Bernadette says her success in the truck rental business is all about providing her customers with a comprehensive service, which can even include taking total responsibility for cross-border transport. A recent addition to the Dynamic offering is trailer hire.

“Over the years I have built up excellent relations with my customers and their operations, so I am always looking at ways to lighten the customers work load,” explained vivacious Bernadette. “Our truck fleet is the core of our business and here we do not skimp. The trucks are serviced at the various accredited dealers, fitted with live tracking systems and a separate recovery system, as well as being fitted with bull bars, long range tanks, Diesel Guard and Safestop. The trucks are also refurbished once a year to keep them looking fresh.

“My staff is the vital link in or business and here we do not skimp either. We arrange regular training and team building sessions as well as employing a mentoring and life coach.

“The Dynamic Truck Rental slogan: ‘Powered by Diesel. Driven by Passion’ says it all,” concluded the managing director of the rapidly growing rental company.

Bakkie and truck collide, killing two on the R33 in Albert Falls

Sharing-the-Roads-With-TrucksTwo men were killed this morning when a bakkie and truck collided head-on on the R33 in Albert Falls in KwaZulu Natal.

ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene in the early hours of the morning. A truck and bakkie sat on the side of the road, both sustaining heavy damage.

On inspection, paramedics found the bodies of two men lying a few metres away from the bakkie.

Assessments showed that both men, believed to be in their 30s, had sustained numerous fatal injuries. Unfortunately, nothing more could be done for either patient and they were declared dead on scene.

The driver of the truck was assessed and found to have escaped injury.

It is believed that the driver of the bakkie lost control, causing the vehicle to veer in the path of the truck.

Local authorities were on scene for further investigations.

Russel Meiring

ER24 Spokesperson

Also view:

Truck Safety and Brake &Tyre Watch

2015 report of the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance issued

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The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI) yesterday released her report for the 2015 calendar year. The OSTI is an independent body to whom clients may complain if they feel they have been unduly treated by their insurer regarding a claim.

The OSTI lists, per insurer, some key statistics:

 The ‘referral rate’ shows the number of complaints to the OSTI per 1,000 claims received by the insurer.
 The ‘overturn rate’ shows what percentage of OSTI complaints finalised were overturned with some benefit given to the complainant.

OUTsurance is extremely proud to announce that they have again, for the second year in a row, comfortably beaten the industry averages for both of these key indicators. Of all the typical large short-term insurers, OUTsurance’s referral rate of 2 complaints per 1,000 claims was second only to Zurich Insurance.

When looking at the overturn rate however, OUTsurance was ahead of the pack, with only 13% of complaints overturned in the client’s favour. The product of these two key indicators gives a more complete picture of how fairly an insurer has handled its claims. In this regard, OUTsurance comfortably OUT-performed all its major competitors, with an overturn rate of only 2.3 claims per 10,000 claims processed. This is 38% better than the next major competitor and approximately one third of the average of the major insurers.

“We came out tops for the second year running and I am very pleased. The OSTI report is proof that our company has the right approach to dealing with claims. Fair treatment and awesome service to our clients when they claim is the most important thing we do”, said Ernst Gouws, CEO of OUTsurance.

“A massive thank-you to all of our claims staff for living our company values, and ensuring our clients ‘Always get something OUT’” Gouws concluded.

Also view report on the Outsurance Website

What can we do to prevent the mayhem of a truck crash?

Truck-Safety-and-Brake-and-Tyre-Watch (10)

On the Arrive Alive website we find information on sharing the roads with trucks for motorists - as well as important information and safety advice for our truck operators.  We believe that public private partnerships are important and that the trucking companies and logistics operators have much expertise to offer and share with the traffic authorities.

Only a partnership towards safety will make our roads safer. We would like to share some information kindly provided by Fleetwatch on the need to address vehicle fitness in the trucking industry and how continuous training can contribute towards removing non-roadworthy vehicles from our roads.

Also view:

Truck Safety & Brake and Tyre Watch

Road Safety Checklist for Truck and Buses

Resolve wins R400m contract for Pick n Pay logistics control tower

PnpwebResolve, an Imperial group company, was initially awarded a five-year contract by Pick n Pay for transport managed services in 2012. The engagement was expected to yield significant savings on transport costs, largely as a result of integrated planning of demand and supply of transport services. This service was originally implemented at the major centralised grocery and perishable facilities of Pick n Pay in South Africa.Core to the service are central planning and proactive execution management, ensuring compliance with distribution plans, which in turn improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs. The integrated service model optimises all logistics activities in Pick n Pay’s outbound supply chain, which enables the extraction of maximum benefits from the Pick n Pay strategy of increased centralisation at the distribution centres.

Real-time control

With the contract due to expire in 2017, Resolve and Pick n Pay agreed an extension of the services currently offered to June 2020, as well as new services that include primary transport planning, management and optimisation, and the implementation of an integrated and outbound logistics control tower, enabled by ONE Network technology.

“This commitment by Pick n Pay represents their confidence in our ability to deliver – with R600-million in outbound logistics costs saved thus far, and throughput increased by 16% year-on-year, Pick n Pay sees the value of continuing their partnership with us,” says Heinrich Strauss, Managing Director at Resolve.

The new ONE Network control tower will provide real-time updates across all aspects of the outbound logistics process, including warehouse performance. It will enable exceptions to the plan to be managed at all parts of the outbound process, and for the plan to be adjusted optimally in real-time, making the operation more efficient.

“One of the exciting capabilities of the system is to seamlessly integrate into our ERP system to avoid the manual capture process and the errors that arise from it,” says Cobus Barnard, Group Executive: Retail Office at Pick n Pay. “It will also rationalise the manpower needed to integrate the system, and enable a seamless end-to-end management of the outbound supply chain.”

The system will allow Pick n Pay and Resolve to collaborate with other third-party logistics providers in real-time, meaning better optimisation of labour and reduced labour waste. “It will also provide a forward view of logistics activity and vehicle requirements, enabling everyone involved to improve how they work together,” he says. “Resolve and Pick n Pay will jointly drive continuous improvement projects, and in so doing, improve our skill set in the organisation.”

Looking ahead

“We are excited that we have an opportunity to deploy world class technology to enable our managed services in building this end-to-end solution for Pick n Pay,” says Strauss. “We are also fortunate to have a client like Pick n Pay that is driven to improve and wants to push the envelope, allowing us to implement end-to-end best practice in the supply chain.”

Strauss sees this project as a critical phase in the process of developing a control tower that can incorporate a broader range of aspects of the Pick n Pay supply chain. “Pick n Pay, who has become a valued partner, has invested in us, and in improvement, and we are excited to help provide them with the opportunity to drive industry standards and industry quality,” he concludes. “Once we have proved ourselves in terms of operating their control tower, there is lots of scope for further developments, and we look forward to a long partnership with Pick n Pay.”

Also view:

Logistics, Fleet Management and Road Safety