Violent protests and destruction of properties not a solution says North West Acting Premier Sebegoe

North West Acting Premier and MEC for Finance, Paul Sebegoe has called on protestors in Boitumelong and Coverdale Townships near Bloemhof to exercise their constitutional right to protest responsibly and not destroy properties.

Acting Premier Sebegoe’s appeal follows violent protests which saw the torching of Lekwa-Teemane municipal office, community halls, five houses belonging to the Mayor, two councilors and two officials.

“We wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the destruction of private and public property, looting of several tuck-shops belonging to foreign nationals as it undermines the rule of law and the right to peaceful protest,” Sebegoe said in appealing for calm.

Acting Premier Sebegoe said that the provincial government has committed to engage stakeholders and community representatives of all communities adding that there is therefore no need for communities to be misled to participate in illegal matches, burn properties or allow themselves to be used by those who seek to exploit their genuine concerns to create an environment for chaos.

“When communities do not get any joy from local engagements, they should escalate their dissatisfaction to the provincial government for intervention instead of opting for unlawful violent protests,” stressed Sebegoe.

The Acting Premier said that the provincial government is considering the memorandum and reports it has received from officials from the department of local government and traditional affairs who were deployed in the area ahead of engagement with the municipality and affected communities on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to police, 51 people have thus far been arrested in connection with the ongoing violence, looting and destruction of properties in the area.

Two policemen were allegedly injured in the protests.

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What is SASRIA insurance and how does it help protect from riots?

Toyota’s Iconic Hilux Gets the Dakar Treatment

Toyota once again pays homage to the Hilux’s towering achievement in the world’s toughest race – the Dakar Rally - by producing a limited-edition Dakar model.

In Toyota dealerships right now, this celebratory Hilux is available across three engine ranges, all body styles (Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab) and comes with a plethora of exterior and interior upgrades.

There’s a healthy dose of rugged appeal in the form of a nudge bar up front accompanied by a styling (roll-over) bar, matching side steps and a rear step-up bumper – all crafted from polished stainless steel oval tubing. Incidentally the rear step-up bumper incorporates an integrated tow bar.

Smokey grey 17-inch alloys replace the normal metal-finish wheels and, as a finishing touch, all Dakar Editions come standard with a matt black tonneau cover as well as colour-coded (as opposed to chrome finish) mirror covers and door handles.

A rear-view camera linked to the display infotainment centre is now standard equipment on all 3.0- and 4.0-litre Double Cab models (Raider and Dakar variants) as well as the Extra Cab Dakar Editions.

As you’d expect, there are plenty of reminders of the Hilux’s illustrious pedigree courtesy of tastefully re-designed Dakar badging adorning the nudge bar, styling bar, side steps and tailgate of the vehicle.

Move indoors and you’re greeted by a leather-clad cabin (seats and door inserts) featuring black leather with dramatic red stitching.

In terms of kit, the Hilux is already generously endowed, especially the Double Cab Raider models which come with a full suite of luxury and safety accoutrements ranging from automatic climate control and display audio to six airbags and stability control.

Talking about the incredible lineage of this model, Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications for Toyota South Africa Motors says: “Since its inception the Hilux has been pivotal to the success of the brand and has now become an icon in its own right.

“The Dakar Edition is currently the ultimate Hilux and a fitting tribute to the legendary success of this model, both in the sales charts and in this epic rally.”

Pricing (incl. VAT)

Single Cab

2.7 VVTi Raised Body Dakar – R307 100

3.0 D-4D RB Dakar – R351 200

3.0 D-4D 4x4 Dakar – R406 200

Extra Cab

3.0 D-4D RB Dakar – R381 200

3.0 D-4D 4x4 Dakar – R436 400

Double Cab

2.7 VVTi RB Dakar – R386 500

2.5 D-4D RB Dakar – R419 800

3.0 D-4D RB Dakar – R442 700

3.0 D-4D RB AT Dakar – R456 200

3.0 D-4D 4x4 Dakar – R501 000

3.0 D-4D 4x4 AT Dakar – R514 500

4.0 V6 RB AT Dakar – R455 400

4.0 V6 4x4 AT Dakar – R538 600

Ctrack Multi-comms enhances Fleet Communication and Cost Efficiency

Leading vehicle tracking and logistics management service provider Ctrack has introduced an enhancement to its fleet management solution which cost effectively expands its tracking coverage to both land and sea globally. This enhancement puts the customer in control with the ability to configure Ctrack’s wireless communication to exact operational requirements while minimising their data communication costs.

Usually, data is exchanged using GPRS protocols across a GSM network to report vehicle movements along with other telematics information.  Ctrack Multi-comms enables transporters operating across borders to select additional communication channels for this data transfer. The onboard system is able to intelligently switch to satellite communication mode when a vehicle is in an area with no GSM signal coverage or crosses into another country; when at the depot it can switch to Wi-Fi to download low priority data not yet sent over the more expensive channels.

“This new functionality enables seamless and least cost data transfer between the customer’s vehicles and Ctrack’s monitoring centre, providing the most cost effective real time internet tracking and reporting,” says Nick Vlok CEO of DigiCore, supplier of Ctrack.

In the presence of Wi-Fi or an authorised TETRA network, Ctrack Multi-comms automatically selects the lowest cost channel to exchange data, helping to save on third party communication costs. Ctrack’s proprietary least cost routing algorithm gives users the ability to prioritise information based on their operational requirements, reducing communication costs to the minimum possible.

“Many multinationals and large businesses with extensive vehicle fleets often require their valuable mobile assets and specialists to work in remote and harsh environments, or down in open cast mine pits, where there is limited or no GSM network coverage. Multi-comms now makes the tracking and monitoring of expensive and highly specialised assets in extremely challenging locations possible.” says Vlok.

Industries, such as mining, minerals and oil and gas industries, where field service units and heavy duty vehicles require specific safety and security measures will benefit from this exciting technology. “Ctrack Multi-comms allows us to offer customers an even higher level of efficiency, reliability and security for their fleets and assets,” concludes Vlok.

Web link:

Ctrack is part of JSE listed DigiCore Holdings and specialises in vehicle tracking, fleet management solutions and insurance telematics for a global client base. With more than 28 years of innovation, technical and implementation experience, Ctrack is recognised as a world-leading provider of advanced machine-to-machine communication and telematics solutions that adds value to this global base of customers with mobile assets.

Ctrack’s end-to-end research, design, development, manufacturing, sales and support of customised solutions for customers is serviced by a global network of staff and team members in more than 50 countries. The company’s technology and electronic division designs and develops a robust range of asset management and monitoring systems using GPS satellite positioning, GSM cellular communication systems and other advanced communication and sensory technologies. The result is innovative and advanced machine-to-machine communication that provide Ctrack customers with 24x7x365 information and monitoring of their mobile assets that help them to achieve operational efficiencies and cost reduction targets.

Operations span six continents, with over 1,000 employees and more than 800,000 systems sold.

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Fleet Management, Logistics and Road Safety

Bloemhof Police arrest 40 people for Public Violence after houses belonging to the Mayor and two Councillors are stoned

Bloemhof Police arrested 40 people for Public Violence and Malicious damage to properties in Boitumelong location in Bloemhof yesterday night, 02 April 2014. It is alleged that the community stoned the houses belonging to the Mayor and two Councillors.

According to the information, the community also burnt down the municipal office in the location and damaged the community hall. It is alleged that several tuck-shops belonging to the Bangladesh Nationals have also been looted and damaged.

The situation is still tense and the police are monitoring the situation.

Also view:

What is SASRIA insurance and how does it help protect from riots?

Correctional services Minister says imprisonment should be last resort in deterring crime

Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele says across the world, retribution, through imprisonment, has not yielded the results of deterring crime.

Delivering the opening address, at a two-day African Correctional Services (ACSA) Ministerial Consultative Forum (MCF) in Pretoria, today (3rd April 2014), Minister Ndebele said: “Across the world, retribution, through imprisonment, has not yielded the results of deterring crime. Since retribution is narrowly focused on ‘moral reprobation or outrage against criminal conduct,’ it fails to adequately reform offending behaviour and to repair harm experienced by victims of crime. In order for societies to succeed in the fight against crime and eliminate reoffending, victims of crime, offenders, families, and communities need to be active agents. They must be heard in determining the sanctions against offenders, and how offenders can be assisted in righting their wrongs. In the main, the retributive form of justice compounds, rather than alleviates, crime.

“It is for this reason that countries such as New Zealand, Canada and Australia are increasingly making use of restorative forms of justice drawn from their indigenous populations. The UK and United States are also increasingly resorting to restorative justice, and community-problem solving, instead of a parochial focus on imprisonment.
“As ACSA, we need to work together in influencing our courts to use restorative justice, and alternative sentencing, more as a way of dealing with peculiar challenges we face in our facilities. In Mozambique and Zimbabwe, restorative justice seems to have received more attention than here in South Africa. Perhaps, this partly answers the question why South African prisons remain over-populated and far higher than Africa’s most populous country Nigeria. The following quotation by J Ndou (Zimbabwe) in S v Shariwa [2003] JOL 11015 (ZH) is illuminating: ‘The convicted person should not be visited with punishment to the point of being our jurisdiction, there has been a paradigm shift. First, over the years our superior courts have emphasised that a sentence of imprisonment is a severe and a rigorous form of punishment, which should be imposed only as a last resort and where no other form of punishment will do. Second, there have been concerted efforts to shift from more traditional methods dealing with crime and the offender towards a more restorative form of justice that takes into account the interests of both society and the victim, i.e. community service...’

“Overcrowding at correctional facilities is a global challenge. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that, ‘[until] the problem of resolved, efforts to improve other aspects of prison reform...[are] unlikely to have any meaningful impact’. The HSRC argues that, ‘overcrowding is not just an issue of space; it dehumanises prisoners, encourages the spread of communicable diseases (especially HIV/AIDS), minimises the supervision of prisoners, burdens prison staff, and detracts from acceptable levels of hygiene, sanitation and sufficient food’. In the United States, chronic overcrowding is attributed to greater rates of violent crime coupled with harsher sentencing practices. Stern (1998) also shows that, ‘the absence of overcrowding does not necessarily equate to a lack of problems. For example, Japanese prisons are not overcrowded and prisoners live in single cells, but these cells are usually bitterly cold and prisoners spend only half an hour per day outside their cells. In addition, severe restrictions and harsh disciplinary measures are imposed. No talking is allowed, letters are heavily censored and solitary confinement is regularly used’.

“Sarkin (2008) reminds us that Africa’s incarceration rate compares favourably with that of many parts of the world. The continent’s 2005 incarceration rate, of 127 per 100 000, was below the world average of 152 per 100 000. The number of African countries showing an increase in incarceration rates is also lower than the rest of the world. In 2005, the West Africa incarceration rate was 52 per 100 000 people and Southern Africa at 324 per 100 000 people. South Africa leads the continent with the highest number of inmates.  As at 28th March 2014, we had 157 170 people in custody. Of these, 113 458 were sentenced offenders and 43 712 were remand detainees. It costs the taxpayer approximately R9,876-35 per month presently for each inmate. Since 2004, the inmate population has been reduced by 31,000 resulting in a saving of more than R1.4 billion to the fiscus. We have also learnt that one way to manage the inmate population is to utilize technology, such as electronic monitoring, which currently costs the taxpayer approximately R3,379 per month per inmate. Through electronic monitoring, we are able to monitor offenders 24-hours-a-day throughout the country.

“The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) noted that, ‘the conditions of prisons and prisoners in many African countries are afflicted by severe inadequacies including high congestion, poor physical, health, and sanitary conditions, inadequate recreational, vocational and rehabilitation programmes, restricted contact with the outside world, and large percentages of persons awaiting trial, among others’ (ACHPR 1995a).
“In our continent, the number of remand, or awaiting-trial, detainees is a major concern. Various steps have been taken to address this situation. In 1996, the Kampala Declaration on Prison Conditions in Africa, and, in 2002, the Ouagadougou Declaration on Accelerating Penal and Prison Reform in Africa were adopted. Both sought to alleviate the plight of African prisoners. While we agree that a number of our challenges to implement reforms relate to challenges of resources, there is still a lot we can do, as ACSA, to ensure that inmates are afforded the dignity, and humanity, they deserve. We should also bear in mind that corrections is a societal responsibility. We need to find ways of increasing the participation of communities, non-governmental organisations and the private sector in rehabilitation programmes. In Uganda, and Kenya, for instance, we should be encouraged by the The African Prisons Project, which works to restore dignity, and hope, to prisoners.

“In our efforts to rehabilitate offenders, we should also ensure that victims of crime are not neglected or forgotten. It remains a task of Correctional Services to actively facilitate the restoration of relations between offenders, and the communities, where they committed their crimes. We should recall, both as a liberated and pragmatic people, that penal incarceration, as we understand it today, was largely unknown in pre-colonial Africa. As Bah (2003) indicates, ‘redress in pre-colonial Africa tended to be victim-focused, with compensation as the focal point, not punishment of the offender...centralised states  seemed to have had rudimentary prison systems, but again victim compensation was viewed as more appropriate than offender incarceration’.

“Working together, there is a lot we, as ACSA, can achieve for the noble calling of corrections in our continent. We must be the architects of a sustainable correctional system in the continent. While others walk, we must run. In the end, history will judge us according to how we treated the most vulnerable in our society including inmates, children and women. We owe this to all our leaders, who suffered for our humanity in the colonial prisons of the past. We wish the conference every success in its deliberations,” Minister Ndebele said.

Passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles drive growth in vehicle sales numbers for March 2014

Sales Performance Summary – Total by Market Segment (NAAMSA flash includes Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland & Botswana):

Sales Performance Summary – Exports:

Sales Performance Summary – AMH:

General Comments on March 2014 NAAMSA sales:

  • The month of March 2014 experienced 6.9% more sales than February 2014.
  • Month on Month all goods types experienced positive growth apart from Heavy Commercial Vehicles and BUS which had negative growth of -2.5% and 10.4%. Passenger vehicles had the highest growth of 6.9% followed by Light Commercial Vehicles which grew by 6.7%.
  • Year on Year monthly comparison shows a decrease of -0.2% in March 2014 compared to March of 2013. The average sales per day in March 2014 were less than March 2013 by 2,314 to 2,215. (24 – 25 Days).
  • Year to date (January – March 2014) comparisons shows that vehicle sales are down by -3.4% in the first three months of year when compared to last year.
  • All goods types had negative growth year on year apart from Extra Heavy Vehicles and Bus which had 12.3% and 10.8% growth respectively. Passenger vehicles are down -5.0% and Light Commercial Vehicles are down 0.5%.
  • The average number of sales for March since 2007 has been 51,388 (excl March 2014) and on average March has ranked as the best performing month since 2007. March 2014 has exceeded the average by 3,975 more vehicles.

General Macro and Industry Comments:

  • The country’s Q4:2013 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers came in at 3.8% q/q growth. This growth was established off a low base. Q3:2013 had come in at 0.7% (lowest q/q growth since 2009).
  • At this past week’s MPC meeting the governor of the reserve bank chose not raise the repo rate. SA consumers have already seen a 0.50 bps rate hike in the beginning of the year, while economists are still forecasting another rate hike at the next meeting.
  • Headline annual inflation rate (CPI) increased from 5.8% y/y in January 2014 to 5.9% y/y in February 2014. On average, prices increased by 11% between January 2014 and February 2014. Transport index increased by 1.5% of a percent point between Jan 2014 and Feb 2014, this was mainly due to a 39c per litre increase in petrol price. The annual rate increased to 8.0% in Feb 2014 from 7.8% in Jan 2014.SBR forecast for inflation peaks in Q2:2014 at 6.2% and averaging at 5.8% for the year.
  • Fuel prices have risen by 35.3% in petrol (inland) and risen by 30.3% in diesel (inland) since Jan 2012 to March 2014. Further, the price of fuel in the country has gone up by 273.3% in petrol and up by 299.2% in diesel since Jan 2004. Fuel prices have risen by 84% in petrol (inland) and risen by 94.2% in diesel (inland) since Jan 2010 to March 2014. Further, the price of fuel in the country has gone up by 289.8% in petrol and up by 432.8% in diesel since Jan 2001.
  • The rand has strengthened slightly against the dollar after averaging around R10.98 to the dollar in February to R10.76 in March 2014. The rand traded between a low of R10.73 and a high of R10.85.

Standard Bank VAF data:

  • The Average Contract Term continues to rise as consumers search for affordability. This is from 66 months to 66.8 months (February 2013 to February 2014). The Average Term the account is retained in our books is 40 months.
  • The percentage of Deposits to Total Applications has been decreasing, while the percentage of Applications with Residual Values to Total Applications trend is increasing consistently over the past two years. This indicates that the consumer is attempting to manage the monthly repayment amount at the minimum possible, and thereby assisting with the take-up of higher ticket value vehicles.
  • The % of Applications with Deposit has decreased from 37.4% to 30.6% and the % of Applications with RV’s has increased from 9.3% to 14.6% (February 2012 to February 2014).
  • Affordability is one of the biggest factors when it comes to consumers looking to buy cars. These statistics highlight the fact that the consumer have become savvier in order to stretch their affordability and purchase vehicles that they have aspired to own.
  • The general advice for consumers to be cautious and responsible when taking up lending facilities remain increasingly relevant today, as has been the past. Consumers are advised to take up lending facilities that suit their pockets and for which their repayments/instalments still leave room, or cushion for unforeseen cost increases. Lengthening of finance terms and building of higher residual values into vehicle finance contracts aimed at reducing instalments need to be approached by consumers with utmost caution – the structuring of deals in this way may resolve affordability in the short term, but do not necessarily alleviate long term debt commitments that may be impacted by changing economic conditions. 

Impact of Further Rate Hikes:

  • With the prospect of further rate hikes it is expected that this would seriously stretch the consumer’s affordability on what they can afford. If we take the average ticket price of a personal VAF deal which sits at around R262, 806 on the current prime rate (9.0%), monthly instalment sits around R5, 455. With a 0.5% rate hike the monthly instalment would increase by R64 and with a further 0.5% increase the instalment would increase by R128 from the original instalment amount.
  • This increase in monthly instalments may seem minimal to the consumer however if you add it on to the  monthly increases of fuel, April’s fuel levy increase,  as well as other rising inflationary pressures, the impact of further rate hikes may have a much more serious impact on the SA consumer’s affordability.

2014 Vehicle Sales Prospects:

The factors that will have an impact on the sales of vehicles in 2014 have not changed.

Factors that will inhibit growth include the following:

  • Low level of economic growth is expected in 2014, 2.1% for 2014 (Standard Bank Research).
  • High level of unemployment (24.1%) is expected to persist.
  • Rising inflationary pressures will remain a challenge. Food, fuel, above inflation wage settlements, as well as Exchange Rate fluctuations will pose risks to the inflationary outlook.
  • Exchange Rate fluctuations will also have an impact on vehicle pricing. With approximately two-thirds of vehicles sold in RSA being imported (NAAMSA) pricing will be vulnerable to a depreciating Rand.
  • The Bureau of Economic Research retail survey shows Retail business confidence decreased by 9 index points to a level of 40 in Quarter 4 of 2013.
  • The Replacement Cycle may have reached its peak.

Factors that may assist growth:

  • Even with the recent 50 bps increase in the repo rate, the interest rate environment remains favorable for financing of vehicles. However, this is likely to change with the increasing likelihood of upward movement of interest rates in the course of the year.
    • We have seen an increase in new vehicle prices due to the pressure of exchange rate fluctuations. However, prices of vehicles have grown at a lower rate than that of Consumer Price Inflation. New Vehicle Prices have grown by 3.79% for 2013.
      • There is still demand in the second hand market. This bodes well for the new car market as it enables trade-in to be feasible.  2013 experienced a negative growth in used car pricing, ending the year 2.2% down from 2012.
      • The South African vehicle market remains competitive – with South Africans crazy about cars, manufacturers are pushing creative marketing and incentive programmes as they fight for market share.
        • New model introductions, extended warranties, service plans and sales incentive schemes will remain prevalent in a consumer friendly sales environment.
        • The steady growth of the middle class will continue to drive sales growth in the market.
        • [Comments on NAAMSA New Vehicle Sales Report - March 2014  - Sydney Soundy – Head of Standard Bank Vehicle and Asset Finance]

Suspect arrested for hijacking and possession of suspected stolen vehicle in Wolmaransstad

A 28-year-old accused, Mohau Molaeng of Jouberton Township appeared in the Wolmaransstad Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 31 March 2014 on charges of suspected stolen vehicle and car hijacking. The accused is still in custody and will appear again on 7 April 2014 for confirmation of his residential address.

It is alleged that the accused was arrested at Tswelelang Township in Wolmaransstad when he was driving recklessly and collided with other two vehicles. It is further alleged that his passenger fled the scene after the incident and the community members managed to apprehend the driver before he attempted to flee from the scene too.

The police were called to the scene and it was discovered that the vehicle he drove was allegedly hi-jacked in Jouberton.

Also view:

Hijack Prevention Guidelines

10,000 Inmates trained as electricians, plumbers and builders

Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele says the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will produce more artisans to deal with the shortage of critical skills in South Africa.

In 2012/13, almost 10,000 inmates were trained in various trades as part of government’s efforts to develop qualified artisans to support the country’s economy. A total of 9,403 inmates received training in welding, electrical, plumbing, building, carpentry, painting, tiling and chef assistance. In addition to the DCS budget, from April 2012 to March 2014 approximately R50 million was spent from the National Skills Fund to train offenders in welding, plumbing, bricklaying, plastering, electrical, carpentry and agricultural skills programmes.

During 2012/13, 1,515 inmates per day worked in DCS Production Workshops. Qualified artisans transferred skills to offenders in ten wood and steel workshops, 19 textile workshops, one shoe factory, six bakeries and three sanitary towel manufacturing workshops. In addition, 3,110 offenders were involved in agricultural activities each day. Offenders acquired work skills, and experience, in various agriculture projects such as vegetable production, fruits, broiler, egg, dairy, piggery, small stock (goat and sheep farming), beef and agronomy farming.

Minister Ndebele said improving the skills of offenders will enhance rehabilitation. “DCS will produce more artisans to deal with the shortage of critical skills in South Africa. This will also contribute towards government’s Decade of the Artisan programme, with the goal of producing 30, 000 artisans annually. As at March 2013, nearly a quarter (24.99%) of the sentenced offender population was youth. A number of inmates who, while not under 25, are still in the prime of their life.

Children, as young as 17 years of age, have committed serious crimes. The average inmate is a young substance abuser who, has dropped out of school before high school, is functionally illiterate and, more often than not, homeless. Research shows that, at least, 95% of those incarcerated will return to society after serving their sentence. Thus, a focus on rehabilitation, and re-orientation, of offenders is critical. DCS is re-moulding the character, and improving the skills, of offenders so that they return to society with enhanced prospects of success,” said Minister Ndebele.

Love on the line puts power to her pedal | Cape Epic

Absa Cape Epic’s Team Absa rider, Hlubi Mboya, has always said ‘family is everything’ and today that meant much more than just the words on this page.

Mboya, totally exhausted and mentally drained from the past 5 days racing and having nothing in the tank ahead of the toughest Stage day in the Absa Cape Epic today was given a surge of determination that only a loved one can evoke. Mboya’s fiancé, Kirsten Arnold, surprised Mboya on the start line. The picture says a thousand words.

Hlubi is an adventure seeker who revels in the thrills of the outdoors. After conquering and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro on 8th March 2013  on International Women’s Day, Hlubi went in search of a new challenge keeping with the theme of ‘mountains’, and decided to give mountain biking a try. She has only been riding a mountain bike for 8 months and is now riding the world’s toughest mountain bike stage race with Team Absa. This is incomprehensible to the average mountain biker who takes years plucking up the courage to ride in stage races, let alone the Absa Cape Epic.

Hlubi Mboya remarked, “This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Never give up, be your own hero, never quit, never fear failure. To successfully complete this Absa Cape Epic, I think one needs a warrior spirit, a successful training programme, a never-quit attitude and a champion partner”- all of which Hlubi has no shortage of. She is partnered with rally car driver, Gugu Zulu, who is astounded by Mboya’s fighting spirit and immense grit.

Hlubi says she employs positive thinking, hard work, perseverance, a ‘no-pain-no-gain’ philosophy and a ‘train insane or remain the same’ school of thought to get through each day, and now with Kirsten waiting on the finish line, love will bring her home.

Also view:

Mountain Bike Events / Planning and the Safety of Bikers

Mountain Bike Safety and Riding on the Trail

Stransky uses ABSA Cape Epic as IRONMAN Training Ground

No Comments »Written on March 28th, 2014 by jonckie
Categories: Q&A


Cape Town, 27 March 2014 -The ABSA Cape Epic is the untamed ‘Tour de France’ of mountain biking and only the bravest and fittest of cyclists from around the world survive the gruelling 8 days/7 stages.

To give some context, with today’s stage 4/day 5 over, riders, over the past 5 days, have climbed a total elevation of 8430m - Mount Everest is 8848m, and over the total 8 days riders will have climbed a total of 14 930m, nearly twice the elevation of Mount Everest.

What do most of the ABSA Cape Epic riders do when they have finished a hard and incredibly tough day in the saddle? If you look around the quiet race village you will find most have retired to their tents to rest, but that rest does not happen for Team ABSA cyclist and former Springbok Joel Stransky.

For Team Absa cyclist, Joel ‘Stranners’ Stransky, today was just another day at the office, who after an exhausting day in the saddle, swapped his cleats for running shoes and set off on a long trail run in preparation for IRONMAN, taking place a week from now on the 6th April. Joel said today “The only thing missing at this Epic is somewhere for me to have a long swim as well!”

For those who do not know, the only IRONMAN on the African Continent celebrates its 10th anniversary in Port Elizabeth. The full IRONMAN race consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run. Stransky is competing in the full IRONMAN competition only a week after riding the Epic, so when the others are asleep in the afternoon, as part of his continuing training to ensure he is ready, Joel puts on his running shoes for and goes out for brisk run.

Forty-six year old Stransky is currently participating in the ABSA Cape Epic for the 5th time, playing a mentoring role to former Springbok and Sharks rugby player, Stefan Terblanche, who is facing his first Epic. Explains Joel “Five years ago I was challenged to do the Absa Cape Epic for charity by Elana Meyer, and I have been hooked ever since! I found mountain biking an excellent way of staying fit post my professional rugby career and the feeling of crossing the final Absa Cape Epic finish line is absolutely addictive! The Absa Cape Epic has become a way of life for me.”

Stransky is the longest-standing member of Team Absa, second only to the team captain, Ernst Viljoen. He is no stranger to mountain biking and has completed a number of other mountain bike stage races including the Sani2C, Attakwas, PE to Plett, and Ride the Rhino.

“The most important thing you learn from having done the Absa Cape Epic a few times is how to pace yourself in order to survive each day and ultimately finish the 8 day race. If you prepare well physically then you already know how to suffer and your mind will become strong and enable you to survive the ‘dark’ moments mentally.”

That is what you call a Real Epic Man!