All-New Volvo XC90 Launched in South Africa

volvo xc90

. Visually striking SUV Volvo shows the future of Scandinavian car design

. World's most powerful and cleanest 7-seat premium SUV

. A high-tech reinterpretation of the user interface

. World First safety and convenience features

. First car on Volvo Cars' new Scalable Product Architecture

Since the unveiling last August at an event in Stockholm, the XC90 has been attracting a great deal of attention thanks to its stunning design, innovative powertrain program and its redefinition of the connected in-­-car control experience.

"The XC90 represents the future of Volvo Cars. It is the first step in our product renewal plan and reflects our commitment to deliver a new kind of luxury car experience. The XC90 is a result of tireless research and innovation made possible by a substantial investment. We are delighted to see that it has been so well received," said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.

The new face of Volvo

Combining a distinctive and confident face, complete with the updated Volvo Iron Mark and the signature 'Thor's Hammer' headlights, the XC90's connection to Volvo's past and homage to the Swedish lifestyle is entirely evident in the new design language.

"We have focused on the celebration of elegance, space and wellbeing in the design of the XC90. Every detail is thought through - from the uncluttered console and large tablet-­-like touchscreen interface to the handmade crystal Orrefors gear knob in our Twin Engine version. We have focused on creating a new expression of luxury simplicity and digital craftsmanship that delivers a unique and calming experience," said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design.

Strength of character

Taking the best of Volvo's innovative safety systems and adding to that list, the XC90 comes fully equipped with the IntelliSafe package as standard, delivering two world firsts - Run-off Road Protection, and Auto Brake at Intersections.

"We look at real-life accident statistics and study real crash scenes with our Traffic Accident Research Team. We do not develop new safety systems or features to pass tests - we develop them to save lives. This is why we can confidently aim to meet our Vision 2020 goal of having no one killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. We believe we have developed the safest SUV," said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.


Thanks to the efficient performance delivered by Volvo's 4-cylinder Drive-E engine program the XC90 provides a broad range of power options.

"Our Drive-E 4-cylinder engines deliver a wide band of power for the XC90 in both petrol and diesel, front and all-wheel drive configurations. On top of that we are introducing our no compromise Twin Engine technology in the XC90 T8, which delivers 300kW, 470Nm and only 49g CO2/km. It makes the all-new Volvo XC90 the most powerful and cleanest premium SUV on the market," said Dr. Peter Mertens.

The introduction of Twin Engine technology in the XC90, which was developed in cooperation with Siemens, sets a new benchmark in terms of efficient performance in the luxury SUV segment.

Volvo Cars has a long history of electrification - the first hybrid concept car (the ECC) was produced back in 1992. Volvo Cars also introduced the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid in the V60 sportswagon in 2011.


Volvo Cars has developed advanced and engaging ride and handling characteristics for the XC90 in Volvo's new state-of-the-art chassis simulation lab. The results speak for themselves. The new Volvo XC90 delivers a smooth and nimble character in the city, an engaging drive on country roads and a comfortably solid presence on the highway.

"The brief I gave to the chassis team during the development work was to deliver a driving experience that you might call 'Relaxed Confidence'. The XC90 chassis is designed to cater for individual driving styles in all road and weather conditions thanks to the Four Corner Active Air Suspension system we have developed," said Dr. Peter Mertens.

Intuitive Touch

Featuring a complete re-imagination of traditional in-car controls, the XC90 driver interface is based on touch screen technology and an intuitively tiled menu system that takes the effort out of personalisation and interaction.

Volvo's Sensus control system, delivers true connectivity with a range of useful cloud-based applications and services which can be operated via the touch screen, through steering wheel controls, or via the advanced on-board voice control system.

"We have created a premium SUV with thought-through safety and convenience features, true luxurious comfort, solid and adaptable drive settings and stunning Scandinavian design. The XC90 is just the start. Within the next four years we will have replaced every car in our portfolio and the XC90 will then be the oldest car in the Volvo Cars showroom," concluded Håkan Samuelsson.

New trim level strategy

With the all-new XC90, Volvo Cars is introducing a whole new trim level system, which resembles a tree with two branches. Kinetic is the base, followed by the very competitive Momentum level.

Inscription and R-Design form the two branches on the tree. The Inscription package is designed for customers that want an elegant look and a luxurious experience, while R-Design has a sporty and dynamic aura.

The South African line-up will consist of Momentum, Inscription, and R-Design derivatives.

"In principle, we have replaced the previous top level with the Inscription and R-Design versions. Both of them feature an elevated content, carefully chosen to emphasise each of their distinctive individual personalities," said Alain Visser.

Volvo XC 90 2

South Africa

  • On sale from 1 August 2015
  • Initially, the all-new Volvo XC90 will launch with the T6 and D5 derivatives.
  • D4 and T5 derivatives will follow toward the end of 2015.
  • T8 due to arrive in SA during first half of 2016.

All-New Volvo XC90 Awards

Since its launch in August 2014, the Volvo XC90 has been the recipient of many high profile awards, recognising its innovative approach to design, both interior and exterior and its ground-breaking approach to in-car control systems and connectivity features with its Sensus technology.




Award Awarded By Year Country
Most Innovative HMI System Car HMI Concept & Systems 2015 Germany
Best Technological Car Mas Que Coches, TELE 5 2015 Spain
Swiss Car of the Year - Runner up Schweizer Illustrierte 2015 Switzerland
Automotive Launch of the Year AUTO LIDER 2015 Poland
Interior Design of the Year Automotive Interiors Expo 2015 Germany
Best Big SUV Auto Motor & Sport reader poll 2015 Sweden
Best Innovation, Design, Quality and Operating Comfort Plus X Award 2015 Germany
Most Innovative car of the year Automotive Innovations 2015 2015 Germany
Best car of the year Auto Swiat 2015 Poland
Big SUV of the year AUTO LIDER 2015 Poland
Car Maker of the Year TU Automotive 2015 USA
Best Luxury Midsize SUV U.S. News & World Report 2015 USA
Yankee Cup Technology Award New England Motor Press Association 2015 USA
Best SUV of the year Motor-Presse Bohemia reader poll 2015 Czech Republic
Best 4x4 Diesel Car Magazine 2015 UK
Company Car of The Year - Large SUVs Firmenauto/DEKRA 2015 Germany
Best of the Best Product Design Award Red Dot Awards 2015 Germany
Connected Car of the Year 2014 France

Also view:

Vehicle Finance, Car Insurance and Road Safety

Buying and Selling a Vehicle – Informed decisions and the Vehicle Retailer


Emergency services respond to weekend fires at Supermarkets in Bloemfontein

11143416_1096989940314486_3138614955176163905_nEmergency services were called to two fire calls at two different supermarkets minutes apart on Friday evening in Bloemfontein.

In both cases it were ovens that were forgotten on causing heavy smoking, but with only limited damage.

No injuries were reported at any of the scenes.

Stanley Schimper

Trauma Response Africa

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Safety from Fire at Home 

Safety, Prevention and Treatment from Burns




Suspects arrested and stolen jewelry recovered in Krugersdorp


Two suspects were arrested today, 17 July 2015, for House robbery at Krugersdorp North. It is alleged that on Thursday 16 July 2015 at about 16:30 three suspects entered the house and found a woman and a teenage girl inside the house. They tied their hands and the suspects stole jewellery and cell phones. One of the CFP members saw the suspects running and he gave chase and arrested one suspect who was found with jewellery and cell phones.

On Friday 17 July 2015 at about 02:00 the Krugersdorp Trio Task Team traced and arrested another suspect in Soweto were they found him in possession of suspected stolen jewellery. The suspects are between the ages of 22 and 34 and they will appear at Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court soon.

We are appealing to the community who can positively identify some of the jewellery in the pictures to come forward and contact Lieutenant Colonel Viney on 082 822 6882. It is suspected that the jewellery might have been stolen around the Krugersdorp area in the past months.



All-new Toyota Fortuner makes its much-anticipated global debut


Redefining freedom, the all-new Toyota Fortuner makes its much-anticipated global debut. New Fortuner eschews a purely utilitarian presence for cool new styling, an additional helping of luxury features and a refined drive, while still epitomising strength and genuine all-terrain capability.

Fortuner's lineage is an interesting one: the SUV derivative of Hilux began life in 1998 with the introduction of the Hilux Sport Rider which was built in Thailand and initially sold only in selected Southeast Asian countries. In 2005, however, this model went global (selling in 110 countries and produced in 11), started distancing itself stylistically from its Hilux stablemate and became known as Fortuner, earning admiration around the world for its impressive quality, durability, reliability and off-road ability.

The Fortuner name evokes an image that is strong yet active, allowing it to cross borders easily to be accepted by people around the world. Appropriately the newborn Fortuner goes in sale in Thailand on the 16th July 2015. And, in 2016, we will celebrate the long-awaited South African debut of Fortuner's first full-model change.

According to Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Toyota South Africa Motors, the brief was simple: "Design a Fortuner than can compete in terms of style and aesthetics while staying true to its authentic SUV characteristics and genuine 4WD performance.

"I like the analogy used by the Fortuner's Executive Chief Engineer, Hiroki Nakajima, in which he compares the new Fortuner to a well-made suit. The style and quality are clearly apparent on the outside, and this assures you of the fine quality and detail of the lining on the inside, even although you may not be able to see it. In other words, there's nowhere I can't go and nothing I can't do with my Fortuner, but I'm sure going to do it in style!"

The completely redesigned Fortuner enhances driving confidence on every level and in the process, sets a new standard for Sport Utility Vehicles by excelling in four areas:


Toyota has created a new "Solid Fluidity" design language for the Fortuner which expressestoughness and wideness through the high body axis, the bulging wheel arch flares as well as the chunky trapezoidal front bumper.

Sophistication and refinement on the other hand is reflected in the detailing - slender headlight clusters that are scalpeled into the front fenders, the slanted chromed grille with plating extending around the headlamps, the three lines that score the sculpted roof line and flanks as well as the sleek rear combination lamps and license plate garnish that blend with the complex surfaces of the rear body.

Utility and Luxury

Ample cabin space is complemented by superb convenience features, culminating in a sublime driving experience. The new Fortuner's interior exhibits the toughness of an SUV, tempered with the elegance of a premium sedan. A focal point of the dashboard architecture is the vertical center cluster flanked by columns of soft simulated leather upholstery that offer leg support from both sides. In fact soft-touch textures and exquisite chrome detailing liberally pepper the cabin; all beautifully harmonising with the clear blue interior illumination, including an ambient lighting function.

Other innovative touches (model dependent) include a tablet-inspired multi-media, touch-screen display that allows easy operation of functions, a Smart Entry & Start system, an electronic 4WD switch and second-row seats with one-touch operation for ease of folding. The third row seats are equipped with a fixed hook attachment for simple and convenient stowage. There are no fewer than 15 storage areas in the new Fortuner.

On the ride and handling front, an all-new frame bolstered by cross members, side rails and suspension towers that have all been strengthened, enhancing the torsional and bending rigidity of the frame. This not only improves durability, but also drive quality and safety. The suspension uses a double wishbone (front) and a four-link suspension (rear) combination that has been redesigned for optimised comfort. An additional rear stabiliser has been installed to aid on-the-road smoothness and stability.


Newly developed 2.4- and 2.8-litre diesels are highlights of the new Fortuner engine range, supplementing the petrol variants (details to be disclosed closer to launch). Low-speed torque has been greatly improved. In addition to achieving higher power at all engine speeds, the new units boast improved fuel efficiency and cruising range as well as reduced engine noise.

Propping up these efficient powerplants are the newly developed six-speed automatic transmissions with more steps and optimised gear ratios to maximise engine performance. As with new Hilux, stick-shift Fortuners are equipped with the Intelligent Manual Transmission system (i-MT) supporting smooth shifting with rev matching technology.


The fourth pillar of the new Fortuner is safety, therefore the new model comes with a full suite of safety technology including both active and preventative systems such as kneebags and Hill Start Assist, to mention just two of the safety extras on offer.

Please note that the all-new Fortuner launches in South Africa during the second quarter of 2016. Full local range and specs will be disclosed closer to launch timing.

Also view:

Vehicle Finance, Car Insurance and Road Safety

Buying and Selling a Vehicle – Informed decisions and the Vehicle Retailer

Fortuner 2

Jeep Team’s Michael Lord Wins 2015 Big5 Sport Challenge Lite

World Champ Paddler, McGregor, secured pole position for 240km Berg River

World Champ Paddler, McGregor, secured pole position for 240km Berg River

Jeep Team’s multisport superstar, Michael Lord, claimed the 2015 BIG5 Sport Challenge Lite title on Saturday, after competing in five gruelling challenges covering MTB, swimming, trail running, multisport and marathon running over eight days.

Lord’s final tally after the five races saw him earn 346 points – just two points ahead of second-placed Riaan Shaw, with Alan Houston finishing third.

The Big5 Sport Challenge Lite took place from 4–12 July as part of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.

Lord’s challenge began with the 50-km Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Raceon 4 July, where he placed 4th.

He then finished 5th in the 1.6-km Knysna Dragons Lagoon Mile Swim on 5 July and 1st in category in the 15-km Salomon Featherbed Trail Run presented by GU on 7 July.

Two days later, Lord secured his third Totalsports Xterra Lite victory, conquering the Pezula multisport race of 3km Trail Run, 12.5km MTB and 3km Trail Runin an impressive time of 57 minutes and 24 seconds, ahead of Shaw in 2nd and Jamie Riddle in 3rd.

In Saturday’s final event - the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon – Lord finished 41st overall in 1h25m, securing his overall Big5 Lite victory title.

Said Lord, “XTERRA Pezula is one of my big races of the year. I am really happy with my third victory.”

Other Jeep Team results


On Saturday, Jeep Team’s MTB athletes - Thinus Redelinghuys and Pierre Smith – secured top 10 finishes in the Lionman edition of the Gauteng Nissan TrailSeeker MTB Series.

The 70-km route took riders through the Mabalingwe Big Five Game Reserve, which is nestled in deep bushveld vegetation on the edge of the Waterberg Mountain Range.

This was Redelinghuys’ first competitive race since he suffered injury a few months ago, and he managed an impressive 9th place finish in 2h49m44s, while Smith finished seconds ahead of him in 8th (2h49m29s). In the overall 2015 series standings, Pierre Smith is ranked 5th.

Hendrik Kruger claimed the Men’s title in 2h35m42s, with GawieCombrinck 2nd (2h39m35s)   and PieterSeyffert 3rd (2h40m23s).


Today (15 July), Jeep Team’s multiple world-champion paddler, Hank McGregor, begins his assault on the four-day 240km Berg River Canoe Marathon.

McGregor is aiming for his tenth Berg River title and has spent the past week tripping the Berg River in preparation for the race.

The fight for the 2015 title is set to be fierce, with McGregor up against defending champion and new SA K1 champion, Andy Birkett.

The severely-low River causing dangerous hyacinth blockages has forced last minute changes to the route, with race organisers announcing that they have moved the first stage downstream to Hermon Bridge.

Therefore, Day 1, Wednesday 15th July, will see the competitor’s race 60km to Bridgetown on the headwaters of Misverstand dam.

The start on Day 2, Thursday 16 July will be as normal at Zonquasdrif for the second day and all the other days will be the same at Bridgetown for the third day and Zoutkloof for the fourth and final day.

The Prologue Time Trial, which started today at 13:00 (Tuesday 14 July) at Berg River Resort is now even more important in order to secure a good starting position on the narrower stretch of water at Hermon Bridge. Latest news is that McGregor won the time trial by 5 seconds to Birkett.

“I felt good, I felt strong and I was happy with how things went for me,”said McGregor. “It’s been a long build up to this race over the last couple of years and to come back and still have an unbeaten time trial record is great.”

Jeep Team upcoming events

Obstacle Course Racing

Jeep Team’s OCR athletes are ready to roar at Race #5 of the 2015 Jeep Warrior Series, which is being held for the first time in KwaZulu-Natal, at Sugar Rush in Ballito from 18 – 19 July.

Heading into Race#5 (the half-way point of the 2015 series), Jeep Team’s OCR champion, Thomas van Tonder, will be aiming to hold onto his overall Black Ops Elite lead ahead of Hanneke Dannhauser (2nd) and Greg Avierinos (3rd).

Jeep Team’s Jay Jay Deysel (currently 10thoverall) and Dominique D'Oliveira (25th) will also be competing in Saturday’s event.

Jeep Team’s celebrity athlete Hlubi Mboya will be taking on the 10-km Jeep Warrior Commando race.

Sadly, Claudia Richard is out of action for the next few months due to a severe arm fracture sustained last weekend.

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Fast and accurate alcohol and drug testing essential for outsourced medical practitioners

breathalyzer workHealth and safety are a growing concern for many businesses, especially those operating in high-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing and transportation. Ensuring compliance with the Operational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires that all employees have a full medical, including alcohol and drug testing, when they join the company and at least once a year. This requires the services of a nurse or medical practitioner.  However, as many of these businesses cannot justify the expense of such a staff member full time, they are increasingly looking to outsource this service. These outsourced medical practitioners perform an essential service, but are faced with a number of challenges themselves, and expediting the process of testing for drug and alcohol use and reporting on this testing is chief among them. Fast, accurate alcohol and drug detection equipment that assists with the reporting process has become essential to help outsourced medical practitioners maximise value while minimising the time it takes to provide their services.

Outsourcing the on-site clinic function is a trend that is gaining impetus in the South African market for a number of reasons. For many organisations, this is not a full time role, and therefore it is not cost effective to retain a full-time nurse. In addition, many smaller companies are starting up within construction and transportation, which need to adhere to health and safety regulations but which cannot afford a full on-site clinic. Utilising the services of an outsourced medical practitioner or nurse is the ideal solution, as they can be called in when needed for annual check-ups as well as screening of new employees.

For medical practitioners, this growing trend toward outsourcing offers significant opportunity for self-employment. However, their ability to earn is limited by the number of medical assessments and health checks they are able to perform. One of the most time consuming aspects of their role has typically been testing for alcohol and drug use, as not only does the equipment take a long time to provide results, these results then have to be manually captured in a spread sheet for reporting purposes. Written files with records of who was tested and their results are also prone to being lost, which proves problematic as this is often the only copy until information is captured electronically.

Speed and accuracy of drug and alcohol testing equipment is essential, as any delays with the testing can negatively impact an organisation’s productivity and thus the reputation of the outsourced practitioner. In addition, annual testing reports must be delivered timeously. New testing systems for both alcohol and drugs can expedite this process, and furthermore enable data to be stored on the devices themselves and then downloaded later, greatly speeding the process and improving risk management with regard to lost data.

New alcohol testing equipment enables information such as name, surname and ID number to be input into the device after a test, and this information is then stored with test data. All information is therefore kept in one place and can be downloaded onto a computer, automatically generating a spread sheet with names, time and date of test, result and so on. Reports can therefore be generated far quicker and sent to the customer, not only saving time for the practitioner but delivering enhanced service to the customer. In addition, these solutions enable a rapid and highly accurate result to be delivered, ensuring that tests can be conducted quickly, and that false positives are kept to a minimum and confidence in the tests can be maintained.

New drug testing equipment provides similar functionality, by enabling the results of all tests to be saved electronically on the testing device, and printed out directly from the machine. This information can also be downloaded to a computer and placed in a spread sheet, and the practitioner simply needs to add the names and ID numbers of the test subjects, saving significant amounts of time. In addition, these tests use saliva, which is far less invasive for participants and enables a medical practitioner to test employees of both sexes. The test can be used to detect between two and six commonly abused drugs, depending on the configuration required, again providing significant time saving.

Alcohol and drug use are part and parcel of many industries, particularly those that are high risk and stressful. However, these same industries are also the ones that need to adhere most strictly to the OHSA, as judgment-impairing substances are a major contributor to workplace accidents and incidents. All organisations operating in such high-risk fields must conduct at the very least, annual check-ups for drug and alcohol use, and preferably more often. Making use of an outsourced practitioner makes sense in many instances, and those practitioners that leverage the power of advanced drug and alcohol testing technology can ensure fast, accurate results and reporting to help minimise risk.


Rhys Evans


Common car myths explained

No Comments »Written on July 14th, 2015 by
Categories: Car Insurance, Vehicle

auto excellence vehicle maintenance

We all know that servicing your car and keeping it in good condition is important, but there are some things that every car owner should know. When it comes to maintaining your car, there are many misconceptions which, despite even the best intentions, can lead to you spending more than is necessary or even compromising your safety. Here are some common myths about cars:

How often should I change the oil in my car?

The first myth is the one that is the unwritten rule to change the oil in your car every 4 000 - 5 000km. This is in fact untrue – for some cars the oil can last up to about 20 000km. Therefore, you don’t need to stress about oil changes; just follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals. However, do check your oil frequently – in most cars, by the time the ‘low oil’ light comes on, damage can already be done to the engine. Older cars, and high performance vehicles, tend to use more oil and will require more frequent top-ups.

Does the aircon use more petrol?

There has been much debate about whether to drive with the air conditioner on or keep the windows open in order to save petrol. Using the air conditioner does put more load on the engine, but in modern cars there is only a very slight decrease in fuel economy. Opening the windows rather than using the air conditioner has no measurable difference – although driving with open windows increases the aerodynamic drag of the vehicle.

Recharging a flat battery

Another common myth is that if you jumpstart a car with a flat battery, it will recharge the battery immediately. This is unfortunately not necessarily the case. While a sufficient charge to restart the car in the normal way can be built up in 15 minutes or less, there is no rule: it could take several hours of running the engine to restore the battery. Various factors are at play, including the condition of the battery, the temperature, a potential problem with the alternator (which charges the battery) and just how depleted the battery is. If you do have to jumpstart your car, establish what led the battery to deplete. If you are unsure, a test at a service station will help determine the problem.

Servicing the car

This is an important one. The myth that you have to get your car serviced at a dealership is untrue. As long as the maintenance items specified in the vehicle owner’s manual are performed on schedule, the work can be done at any auto-repair shop (as long as the specialist dealer has the correct equipment and knowledge). Be cautious though, as this might impact on the service or maintenance plan of the vehicle, if you have one in place.

Dishwashing liquid to wash your car

It is a myth that dishwashing liquid is a suitable detergent with which to wash your car. Dishwashing liquid can strip off a car’s wax finish, damaging the paint in the longer term. Rather use a car shampoo which is especially formulated to clean a vehicle.

Tyre pressure

Tyre pressure levels are crucial not only for the longevity of your car’s tyres, but also for your personal safety when driving. Check tyre pressures regularly at the petrol station. If you don’t know the correct inflation pressures, look on the inside of the driver’s door jamb or under the fuel filler flap for a tyre pressure chart. If you can’t find one, refer to the owner’s manual.  Always inflate the tyres to the correct pressure for your car’s load situation and tyres. It can be dangerous to deviate from these recommendations, which are optimised for braking, handling and comfort. Correctly inflated tyres also improve fuel efficiency by about 4%.

Brake fluid

You’d think that if the brake fluid in your car is low, topping it up will fix the problem. The answer is no: as brake pads wear, the level in the brake fluid drops slightly, which helps monitor brake wear. If the fluid level drops to or below the low mark, then either the brake pads are worn out or fluid is leaking. Either way, get the brake system serviced immediately. You should also get a routine brake inspection every 10 000km.

For more information on car insurance, visit

MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)


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Vehicle Maintenance, Repair and Road Safety

ER24 medic Rees Webber takes on Mount Kilimanjaro

Rees Webber from the ER24 Joburg West branch proudly waving the ER24 flag on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Rees Webber from the ER24 Joburg West branch proudly waving the ER24 flag on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

He thought climbing to the highest point in Africa was a crazy idea but he woke up one day and decided to do it anyway.

Rees Webber (22), a Wilropark resident and medic at the ER24 Joburg West branch, braved the cold, wind and a number of other challenges and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in June.

The idea of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was sparked following a conversation with his aunt. “My aunt and I were discussing Mount Kilimanjaro and we questioned whether we would ever do the hike. That is where the idea came from. Planning and training began soon after. I did some CrossFit classes and trained at a gym. I found the best thing to do however, was to get out on hiking trails carrying the same weighted backpack that Kilimanjaro requires. I did the Camel Roc Hiking Trail which is situated next to the border gate with Lesotho, the Hennops Hiking Trail and Tswaing crater in Pretoria,” said Rees.

Rees, along with a guide and three other climbers, began the Mount Kilimanjaro hike on June 22. While one climber dropped out, others were determined to reach the summit.

“I had no regrets during the first couple of days of climbing. I loved every minute,” said Rees. But when it came to summit hike time Rees wondered why he decided to take up the challenge.

He said it was mentally and physically challenging. “Day four was the most difficult part of the hike. We hiked about 10 kilometres and then slept for four hours. We started our summit hike at 12am. It was dark and cold. The higher we went the less oxygen we had. This played with my mind and body. I became tired quicker. I started to hate myself for deciding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro but I just kept pushing on.

“It became colder as we went higher up. A warm sleeping bag and beanie helped before but the cold on summit night was unexplainable,” he said.

Explaining just how cold it was, Rees said there were times when water froze in the water pouch pipe while he was trying to drink it even though there was warm water in the thermal cover.

He had to blow the water back in to melt in the bag with the rest of the warm water. “The wind increased closer to the summit. I tried covering up myself as much as possible,” he said.

So what helped him during his climb? “In Swahili they have a saying for Kilimanjaro… ‘pole pole’ which means slowly slowly. It might make your climb longer but it helps. The worst part is your mind… thinking when will it end, how much you still have to hike or how much your legs are burning. However, you use less effort when you take your time. Time also passes quickly when you keep your mind busy on the view or conversation,” said Rees.

Despite the pain and struggles experienced Rees remained determined and it paid off in the end.

“When I got to the top I experienced a rush of emotions. I was emotionally and physically tired but at the same time had a rush of energy and I was ecstatic. I did it. I was at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The pain experienced during the climb up to the mountain ‘disappeared’ and I felt like I could do it all over again,” he said.

Girlfriend Melissa Kalfas was thrilled that Rees achieved what he set out to achieve. “I thought he was crazy but I knew he could do it. He worked hard and prepared for it. There is no way he wouldn't have made it up Mount Kilimanjaro without pushing himself to his limit. I am very proud of him,” she said.

Rees’ Mount Kilimanjaro climb is only the beginning. He has a few new crazy ideas like K2 and one day getting himself up Everest. “I am going to live my life,” he said.

What is the difference between disability and impairment?

disabled drivers parkingAsk anyone what they believe are the most common causes of disability and you’re most likely to hear “car accidents”, “freak incidents” or “injuries at work.”  What you might be surprised to hear is that these aren’t the most common causes of disability.

“Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of disability – such disorders include the likes of arthritis, back pain, spine and joint disorders.  However critical illnesses, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke and diabetes, actually cause the majority of long-term or permanent disabilities (i.e. disabilities that prevent a person from working again) – and these are becoming increasingly prevalent in people younger than 50.

Lifestyle choices and personal behaviours that lead to obesity are also becoming major contributing factors to disability,” explains Ryan Chegwidden, Head of Product & Technical at Hollard Life. “Unsurprisingly, motor vehicle accidents do also contribute significantly to disability rates. Typically, most disability claims caused by motor vehicle accidents occur in men younger than 30, with the next biggest risk group being 41 to 50 year old men.  Estimates from the Road Traffic Management Corporation suggest that there are around 20 disabling accidents on our roads every day,”

Cost of living with a disability underestimated

Think you’re too young for disability cover? Think again. “Imagine a 35-year old executive left partially paralysed by a stroke. Or a twenty-something-year-old permanently disabled in a car accident having to sustain his standard of living for the next 40 to 50 years. While the average young person with no dependents might not have any major outstanding debt in the form of a bond, they’re going to have day-to-day living expenses – these become magnified when faced with the cost of medical care, assistive devices and home and vehicle modifications. This is why disability cover should be a priority for any young person,” explains Ryan.

What types of cover are available?

There are a large range of disability and impairment benefits available from insurers. While many insurance companies do not provide a full range of products, companies such as Hollard cover virtually all possible occupational scenarios in which you could find yourself.  The benefits range from very elementary accident cover, right up to fully comprehensive benefits including extensive cover for both disability and impairment. Importantly, benefits are available on both an income basis (in which you receive a monthly payment to replace lost income) and a lump sum basis (in which all benefits are paid out as a single amount).

But what’s the difference between disability and impairment?

It’s important to have both disability and impairment cover as part of a holistic financial plan, but thanks to insurance jargon and overly technical policy wordings, it can be quite a challenge getting a handle on what the key difference is between the two benefits, and the roles they fulfil.

“Disability benefits aim to compensate you for the future loss of income and costs associated with you being disabled and unable to perform your specific occupation.  Such benefits are specifically linked to your ability to work in your job function.  For example, if you are a computer programmer and you lose your sight due to an accident or illness, you will be unable to do your job - your disability directly prevents you from earning an income as a computer programmer.  You will be covered under your disability benefit.

“But let’s say that you lost the use of your legs due to a spinal injury in a car accident.  Although this would mean you are disabled as you cannot walk or use your legs, it would not actually prevent you from doing your job, which is being in front of a computer and not requiring physical agility. So a disability benefit would not cover you in this instance as you are still able to perform your job as a computer programmer,” explains Ryan.

This is where impairment benefits come in.  Impairment benefits provide cover in the event that you suffer a permanent impairment, but that impairment does not have to have any bearing on your ability to continue working. In other words, impairment cover is not linked to your occupation and ability to earn an income. The impairment claim event is assessed against a list of conditions listed in the policy when you take it out – for example musculoskeletal/spinal injury – and would pay out according to your policy limits.

Ryan Chegwidden, Head of Product & Technical at Hollard Life

Ryan Chegwidden, Head of Product & Technical at Hollard Life

Impairment is equally important as disability cover as it provides cover against unexpected expenses when it is needed most – for example you may still be able to work as a computer programmer, but you now have to meet the costs of a motorised wheelchair and modifications to your vehicle and house to accommodate a wheelchair.  Hollard Life’s range of disability and impairment benefits mean that you can get cover for virtually every potential scenario when it comes to disability and impairment.

“Our entire approach is about delivering holistic insurance solutions where traditional insurance products are unable to meet the needs of a diverse client base and a changing world of work.  When one considers that your life can change in a heartbeat, it’s good to know that with sound financial planning in place and benefits designed to wrap around your specific needs, you don’t have to spend your life worrying about ‘what-ifs’.  There is a whole lot that can go right for you, even if life throws you a curve ball,” concludes Ryan.


Annual SA Innovation Summit to be held 26 – 29 August at Cape Town Stadium

mist in cape town

The 2015 SA Innovation Summit once again invites South African, African and global innovators to come together and showcase their exceptional talents, innovations and ideas, while at the same time enjoying a networking and learning experience par excellence. This conference showcases a pipeline of products and services from concept to implementation.  

Innovation Intelligence

The annual SA Innovation Summit is fast-approaching and promises to be an exciting, awe-inspiring event, jam-packed with debates, discussions, workshops, competitions, talks, presentations and demonstrations. The conference is a place that celebrates local ideas and innovations that are going into the market.

The line-up of speakers includes Dion Chang, who will be discussing trends that cause disruptive innovation, and Gijs van Wulven, who will be presenting his Forth Innovation Methodology, a method that is said to double the effectiveness of the innovation process.

The 2015 theme, ‘Innovation Intelligence’ looks at how new and convergent thinking helps to create a competitive edge in today’s saturated marketplace. This concept will be explored throughout the four-day conference, by various local and international speakers and participants.

SA Innovation Summit Chairman, Dr Audrey Verhaeghe, says the 8th SA Innovation Summit will be bigger and better than ever before, with numerous opportunities to share, learn and network with fellow innovators and investors.

“The Summit seeks to answer questions around innovation trends, challenges faced by entrepreneurs and inventors, policies, support interventions, the secrets to faster growth into a particular market, creating a culture of innovation and protecting an idea or invention,” says Verhaeghe.

Innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors can expect a highly interactive event, which seeks to support them by providing inspiration, tools, know-how, contacts for funding or co-development and an in-depth matchmaking service, facilitated by industry professionals.

Sponsors of the SA Innovation Summit include SABS, City of Cape Town, FNB, PwC, TIA, IDC, GCIP and SAB Foundation.

For more information on the 2015 SA Innovation Summit, please visit, email or call +27 (12) 844 0674.