Mercedes-Benz’s “Intelligent Drive” philosophy

merc 1

Stuttgart/San Francisco.  At Mercedes-Benz "Intelligent Drive" stands for the networking of systems, sensors and algorithms for enhanced comfort and safety. The drive system also benefits from the increasing level of intelligence on board vehicles. Following the Mercedes-Benz S-Class
PLUG-IN HYBRID, the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e provides a further example of dynamism and efficiency combined in impressive guise. The anticipatory operating strategy opens up a new dimension in driving. And the autonomously driving research car F 015 Luxury in Motion heralds a revolution in mobility, showing how "Intelligent Drive" might look like in the future.

Numerous new systems and sensors make Mercedes-Benz vehicles even more comfortable and even safer - and even more efficient and dynamic, too, as the intelligent operating strategy of the new Plug-In Hybrid controls the ideal interaction of combustion engine and electric motor in the background. The strategy not only adapts to the battery's charge status, but also anticipates the course of the road or the traffic situation. The enhanced vehicle sensing technology featuring multi-stage radar sensors and enhanced cameras is employed for this purpose. Intelligent innovations such as the so-called haptic accelerator pedal additionally help the driver to save fuel in certain driving situations.

"Every Mercedes-Benz already incorporates a great deal of intelligence. This makes our cars among the safest in the world. And the drive system also benefits from the intelligent sensor technology on board. The anticipatory operating strategy spawns noticeable improvements in the efficiency of plug-in hybrids, for example," says Prof. Dr Herbert Kohler, Head of Group Research & Sustainability at Daimler AG.

Mercedes-Benz will be launching ten new Plug-In Hybrid models until 2017 - on average one new model with this high-tech hybrid drive every four months. After the successful launch of the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, this month will see the
C 350 e, the second model to feature the progressive drive concept, find its way to dealerships. And what might happen next with the strategic hybrid initiative has just been demonstrated by the Concept V-ision e study at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Plug-In Hybrid system is based on the company's modular parallel hybrid system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch integrated between the combustion engine and the electric motor. On the one hand this decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation, while on the other it allows the vehicle to use the combustion engine to move off, drawing on the performance of a wet start-up clutch.

"Intelligent Drive" today and tomorrow

Thanks to "Intelligent Drive", vehicles from Mercedes-Benz are already able to detect many hazardous situations in road traffic and react as the situation demands. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST is on board as standard from the A to the S-Class, for example. This radar-based assistance system warns the driver when a risk of collision arises. And the more advanced COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS system, becoming available over all models from Mercedes-Benz, is even able to carry out autonomous braking: if the driver fails to act when a risk of collision is detected, despite the warning lamp in the instrument cluster and the intermittent acoustic alert, the system will automatically trigger braking.

Beyond this, from the C-Class through to the S-Class there are already Mercedes-Benz models driving semi-autonomously on public roads today, equipped with features such as DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and the Stop&Go Pilot for semi-autonomous traffic jam following. Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC allows automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and end-on spaces.

With its autonomously driving research vehicle F 015 Luxury in Motion, Mercedes-Benz provides an idea of what form "Intelligent Drive" might take in the future. The car's role is evolving from merely a means of transport towards that of a comfortable retreat, too. Drivers can choose at any time whether they wish to drive themselves, with support of intelligent systems or whether the car is to take them to their destination in autonomous mode.

Time spent in the car thus acquires a totally new quality - as a result of the freedom to concern oneself with matters other than steering, accelerating and braking.

Six high-resolution displays are installed along the interior, in the dashboard, the back and sides of the car. The passengers are able to interact with the F 015 by eye-tracking, gesture control or touching the screens. They get information about the environment, use the entertainment system, make video calls or bring virtual worlds into the car. The primary feature of the innovative interior concept is the variable seating system, with four rotating lounge chairs. Through the face-to-face configuration all passengers are able to communicate with each other and enjoy the mobile living space while being driven.

The F 015 also incorporates high-resolution sensor technology which continuously scans the vehicle's surroundings, ensuring effective communication and interaction between the vehicle, the passengers and the world outside. This 'extended sense' enables the vehicle to keep tabs on its surroundings at all times.

The interactive LED fields at the front and rear and the high-precision laser system informs the driver of specific traffic conditions at an early stage. For instance, the F 015 is able to project a virtual crosswalk onto the road surface which lets the pedestrian know the road is clear. The F 015 becomes a reliable and intelligent partner in road traffic.

Merc 2


Axis takes security at Table Mountain Cableway to new heights


Table Mountain in this photo by Peter McKellar

Table Mountain in this photo by Peter McKellar

Landmark tourist attraction gets a digital surveillance upgrade.


Table Mountain is one of the prestigious New 7 Wonders of Nature. With its 3 kilometre plateau and breath-taking slopes, the mountain attracts visitors from all over the world. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (TMAC) has been transporting people to the summit of Table Mountain since 1929. The safety and security of visitors to this World Heritage site is of utmost importance.


The original analogue system installed to monitor the TMAC site was no longer providing the information necessary to effectively secure and manage this landmark tourist attraction. The RFP for the upgrade was overseen by Diversified Security Engineering’s Nigel Versfeld, a veteran of the security industry. After a rigorous bid process, specialist fire and security contractor Meycom was awarded the contract to deploy a more efficient monitoring solution. The extensive product range, superior performance and comprehensive support offered by Axis secured the network cameras for this installation.


The surveillance solution is currently being utilised beyond the initial scope. At the outset, the intention was to review the footage reactively in the event of theft or other incident. Subsequent to deployment, the company decided to employ dedicated staff to proactively monitor the cameras to prevent theft and other unpleasant occurrences. The footage is also scrutinised as a management tool to assist with operational issues such as queue length and traffic control.

Securing a cherished landmark

In a country blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, Table Mountain remains one of South Africa’s most recognisable and popular tourist destinations. Estimated to be approximately 260-million years old, the flat-topped mountain has become an iconic landmark and the central character in many haunting legends and myths that feature apparitions, magical flutes and even gnome-like spirits with poltergeist tendencies.

The mountain also plays a pivotal role in establishing Cape Town as the ultimate Feng Shui city. According to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, Cape Town’s configuration in the shape of an armchair - protection from Table Mountain at the rear, two armrests provided by Lion's Head to the west and Devil's Peak to the east - creates the perfect energy.

For more than 85 years, the TMAC has been providing visitors with a world-class experience. During the past 8 ½ decades over 24 million people have made use of the Cableway to reach the top of this spectacular mountain.

“The high volume of visitors to the site means that operational management has to be exceptional. Traffic control, parking control, queue management, grounds management, security, retail management and food and beverage management all form part of the daily activities of the Cableway,” explains Meycom’s Andrew Briton (Project Director of the system upgrade). “The surveillance solution has to support all of these processes in an integrated and reliable manner.”

Overcoming disparate weather conditions

“There were significant challenges that we needed to consider regarding the environment in which the cameras were to be installed,” says the project’s Technical Director, Roshen Kajie. “Weather conditions at the Top Station are completely different from the conditions at the Lower Station. The Top Station is exposed to both extremely high altitude and the corrosive effect of the salt air. We selected robust network cameras rated for external use for both the exterior and interior of the Top Station.”

The AXIS P3364-VE is an outdoor HDTV fixed dome camera. Its weather-proof and vandal-resistant casing makes it perfectly adapted for harsh environments. It is capable of operating in extreme temperatures that range from -40° to 55° C.

“The Top Station is 1 067m above sea level and the weather patterns in Cape Town are notoriously changeable. It is imperative that our solution hinges on high performance products that persistently deliver – even under extreme conditions,” says Briton.

Defeating darkness

Yet another trial faced by the project consultants was to provide TMAC technical staff with adequate visuals of a control board that is located in a closed shaft at the Top Station.

“The AXIS T90C Fixed Dome IR-LED is an infra-red illuminator for AXIS P33 Network Cameras. It enables the cameras to deliver quality images in complete darkness,” explains Kajie. “Cableway staff now have a live view of the control board and are easily able to monitor the various control indicator lights from the Lower Station, even in these low light circumstances.

Strategically places PTZ network cameras assist with security and traffic and visitor control matters, while compact HDTV network cameras are integrated with the point-of-sale software to ensure the integrity of the retail data.



“This solution has enhanced the experience of visitors to our landmark site. And, best of all, it was successfully deployed with no disruption to our existing operations.” Operations Manager for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, Mike Williams

McGregor maintains Umko domination

No Comments »Written on March 18th, 2015 by
Categories: Business, Insurance Sponsorship

Hank McGregor - HiQ Surfski Challenge

Jeep Team’s multiple world-champion paddler, Hank McGregor, claimed his sixth STIHL Umkomaas Canoe Marathon win on Sunday (15 March 2015) with racing partner and 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon winner, Andrew Birkett.

The potent duo finished the two-day, 67-km race that took place near Richmond, KZN, in a total time of 3h40m, three minutes ahead of second-placed Jacques Theron and Thulani Mbanjwa (3h43m). Dave Hamilton-Brown and Wayne Jacobs finished third in 3h44m.

The Umkomaas Canoe Marathon is one of the world’s toughest K1 and K2 river races, with paddlers needing an A+ river rating to compete. In 2014, McGregor won the K2 race with friend and training partner, Grant van der Walt.

On the Friday evening, McGregor also claimed his seventh 2015 FNB Varsity College Marine Surfski title in the final race of the 10 race series in 33m39s, ahead of Matthew Bouman (second) and Brandon Van Der Walt (third). Two weeks ago, McGregor was declared the overall series winner after winning Race 8, with the latest victory cementing his unbeaten 2015 marine surfski series record.


It was another weekend of double victories for Jeep Team’s Mikaela Jonsson. On Saturday evening, the 2020 Olympic-hopeful outsprinted the province’s best athletes to claim Gold and a personal best in the Junior Women’s 800m at the Track & Field KZN Athletics Championships in Durban. The result means Jonsson has qualified for the National Championships in Bloemfontein next month.

And in true Jonsson style, on the Sunday, she finished 1st in the U19 category at the Cordwalles Aquellé Mudman triathlon, held at Midmar Dam. She completed the 600m swim, 20km mountain bike and 5km trail run in 1h47m12s.

Jonsson was 3rd Women Overall to race winner Hayley Smith (1h45m23s) and second-placed Sarah Gray (1h46m23s).


Thinus Redelinghuys further boosted Jeep Team’s victorious weekend by finishing 1st in the 113-km Bielie Mielie Fiets MTB Race near Reitz, Free State, on Saturday. The Bielie Mielie is considered perfect training ahead of the Old Mutual Joberg2c, which Redelinghuys will be competing in at the end of April.

In Johannesburg, Jeep Team’s 15-year-old Alex Dolman raced against South Africa’s best at Round 2 of the Gauteng Provincial BMX Championships. Racing in the elite men’s category, the young BMX star placed third, second and fourth in the heats and then took fifth place in the final.

Obstacle Course Racing

Jeep Team’s OCR athletes faced a testing weekend of challenges. On Saturday, Claudia Richard finished 4th with her racing teammates Alex Avierinos, PJ Doyer and Andre Cordes in the demanding 120-km Kinetic Gear Double Moon Adventure Race that took place near Mont aux Sources Hotel in the Drakensberg.

The gruelling multi-discipline endurance race saw teams of four athletes take on mountain biking, trekking, kayaking and orienteering challenges over two days.

Also on Saturday, Jeep Team’s reigning Warrior Race champion, Thomas van Tonder, finished 3rd in Race#1 of the 2015 Impi Challenge, which took place at Van Gaalens Cheese Farm, Hartebeespoort Dam, North West Province. Claude Eksteen finished 1st ahead of Greg Avierinos in 2nd.

Also view:

Endurance Sports, Driver Fatigue and Road Safety

Hollard Life Launches New Disability and Impairment Benefits Range

Hollard life

Hollard Life has launched its new range of income protection benefits, coinciding with the changes in tax legislation.  Hollard’s new comprehensive range of disability and impairment benefits provide flexible and cost effective solutions to virtually all occupational scenarios clients could find themselves in.

“The changes in legislation regarding the taxation of income protection policies means that from March premiums will no longer be tax deductible, but benefit payments will be tax free.  This also means that financial advisors should review their clients’ portfolios as clients may now be unnecessarily over-insured and no longer receiving the tax relief on their premiums.  This provides us with an opportune time to introduce our new income protection benefits, which now offer improvements in the type and number of income benefits available, as well as highly competitive premium rates.   In particular we have looked at harmonising the lump sum and income benefit offering – for example consistency in claim event definitions with the option of income or lump sum benefit payments,” explains Ryan Chegwidden, Head Product & Technical, Hollard Life.

Flexible disability and impairment cover options

To cater for the diverse needs of clients, Hollard Life introduced a new continuum structure offering a variety of benefits ranging from very elementary accident cover, right up to fully comprehensive benefits including extensive cover for both disability and impairment.

The disability benefit range is constructed from 3 building blocks:

  • Disability: The client’s inability to perform an occupation.
  • Total Impairment: Specified impairment events of a total and permanent nature where 100% of the benefit amount is paid out
  • Partial Impairment: Specified impairment events of a permanent nature, but not total, where less than 100% of the benefit amount is paid out.

The Hollard Impairment and Disability range

These five benefits are available on both an income and lump sum benefit payment basis to suit clients’ financial needs.  The income benefits include cover for conditions of a temporary nature.  In addition the popular Disability Plus remains available to cover both temporary income needs and permanent lump sum needs in one benefit.

Accident only versions of the Basic Disability and Core Impairment are available.

Various options are available on the all the benefits to allow the advisor to tailor specific cover to meet the specific need of a particular client.

What’s the difference between disability and impairment?

An aspect that many clients have difficulty in understanding is the importance of having both disability and impairment cover.  It’s an important distinction to make for your clients and to ensure that they understand the different roles of the benefits.

“Disability benefits aim to compensate for the future loss of income and costs associated with being disabled and unable to perform an occupation. Impairment benefits provide cover in the event that your client suffers a permanent impairment and need not affect their ability to continue working. The claim event is assessed against a list of conditions stipulated in the policy, and is equally important as disability cover as it provides cover against unexpected expenses when it is needed most,” explains Ryan.

Hollard Life’s new income protection benefits mean that advisors can now cater for virtually every potential scenario that a client could face when it comes to disability and impairment, even for clients who did not previously qualify for occupation-based disability.

“Our entire approach and philosophy is about adopting a holistic approach to managing risk, which has resulted in Hollard Life being one of the most dynamic insurers in terms of product development.  The new income protection benefits are further enhancements in our quest to deliver holistic insurance solutions where the traditional insurance products are unable to meet the needs of a diverse client base.

“There are many potential scenarios that probably worry your clients and keep them up at night.  But it’s important to remind them that with sound financial planning in place and benefits designed to wrap around their specific needs, there is a whole lot more that can go right for them, even if life throws them a curve ball,” concludes Ryan.

Altimax passenger car tyre range key to General Tire expansion in South Africa

General Altimax 2

General Tire has entered the second phase of its relaunch campaign in South Africa with the introduction of the Altimax passenger car tyre range to complement its existing line-up in the light commercial vehicle and 4x4 segments.

The first phase commenced in July 2014 with a focus on the 4x4 category, which features the award-winning General Grabber AT all-terrain tyre, the heavy duty Grabber MT competing in the hard-core mud-terrain category, and the all-new Grabber GT, designed for high-performance sports utility vehicles.

"General Tire has a great reputation in South Africa, having started producing tyres locally in 1949, and consistently offering contemporary, extremely competitive and well-priced products over the past 66 years," says Niel Langner, marketing manager for Continental Tyre SA.

More recently, the General Tire 4x4 range has become the cornerstone of the brand's local market offering, and has been exceptionally well received. The Grabber AT, in particular, has raised the stakes by winning two consecutive local tyre tests and being regarded as the benchmark in the all-terrain 4x4 tyre segment.

"With the launch of the Altimax Comfort and Altimax Sport, we're re-introducing the General Tire brand to the high-volume passenger car category. Both products offer segment-defining new technologies matched to outstanding performance, braking and low rolling resistance," Langner says.

"The expansion of our local range is perfectly timed around General Tire's global 100-year anniversary celebrations. We're proud of the fact that SA has been a central part of that history for almost seven decades."

The launch campaign also signals the official renaming of the brand to 'General Tire', aligning the manufacturing operations, product range, technologies and remarkable heritage to the US tyre company and its landmark centenary after it was founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1915 by William F. O'Neill and Winfred E. Fouse.

General Tire has been owned by Germany's Continental AG since 1987. In SA the brand is manufactured, marketed and sold by Continental Tyre SA.

Continental is positioned as the company's premium product range with a primary focus on the original equipment (OE) market, and is the only tyre brand supplied to all seven local vehicle manufacturers in SA.

Boasting a well-established reputation for reliability, performance and heritage, the General Tire range is aimed at the replacement tyre segment and provides customers with a strong value proposition.

Sophisticated range

General Tire now offers two exciting new tyre ranges for the passenger car segment . The Altimax range was developed based on stringent European demands and standards, and delivers superlative braking and handling performance, combined with low rolling resistance in the interests of improved fuel efficiency.

With its high-performance orientation, the all-new Altimax Sport has been designed to be a top contender in handling and performance, employing the most advanced technologies currently available in the passenger car segment.

Developed to suit a wide range of high-performance cars, the Altimax Sport incorporates a modern silica tread compound that bridges the gap between the dichotomy of grip and wet weather performance on the one hand, and the competing requirements of low rolling resistance and reduced fuel consumption on the other. It is available in nine sizes, ranging from 15 and 16-inch to the popular 17 and 18-inch versions.

The new Altimax Comfort is designed for compact and medium-sized cars, offering high levels of driving safety due to its superb capabilities in terms of wet braking, handling and aquaplaning. The latest tyre compounds and tread design also ensure outstanding low rolling resistance for improved fuel economy. Eighteen popular sizes are available, spanning the 13 to 15-inch range.

Advanced technologies

The Altimax Sport and Altimax Comfort boast some of the most advanced technologies currently available on the market, the most significant of which is General Tire's innovative Monitor Technology that contributes towards improved safety and increased mileage.

The Visual Alignment Indicator (VAI) boasts sipes moulded on either side of the tread at defined points. Within the first 1 000 km of use, drivers are able to monitor the wear characteristics of these markings and easily determine if the vehicle's wheel alignment needs adjustment.

If the VAI disappears unevenly during this initial period, it suggests that the alignment should be checked in order to avoid premature wear of the tyre. This brings commensurate benefits in terms of both increased mileage and lower running costs for the consumer during the entire life cycle of the tyre.

The Replacement Tire Monitor (RTM) represents the latest innovation as far as tread wear indicators are concerned. On new tyres, the inscription 'Replacement Tire Monitor' is visible in the centre rib of the tyre.

As the tyre wears and reaches a tread depth of 3 mm, the inscription changes to 'Replace Tire', thus indicating that it is nearing the recommended tread depth limit and replacement is necessary. This is a major innovation in the interests of improved driving safety and awareness.

Also view:

Tyre Safety and Safety on the Road

General Altimax

Ford introduces New Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect

Tourneo Connect

  • New Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect offer exceptional fuel efficiency, load carrying, durability and flexibility
  • Expands Ford's range of commercial vehicles and people movers, featuring 2014 International Van of the Year - Transit Connect
  • Advanced technologies including 1.0 and 1.6-litre EcoBoost and 1.6 TDCi engines, Ford SYNC®,  Active City Stop and Active Grille Shutter

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 2015 - Van operators and active families stand to benefit from exceptional fuel economy, load-carrying ability, safety and durability of Ford's new Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect models.

The Connect twins - comprising the Transit panel van and Tourneo MPV - are now available in South Africa and come with an esteemed reputation: Transit Connect is the 2014 International Van of the Year in Europe.

"Ford has been expanding its commercial vehicle range significantly over the past two years, starting off with the Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom followed by the two-ton Transit van, chassis cab and Tourneo bus launched last year," says Tracey Delate, General Marketing Manager.

"The new Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect add a third and extremely important range to our portfolio, offering the latest technologies, outstanding flexibility, unrivalled safety and exceptional efficiency in a compact yet extremely versatile package."

Although the compact C-segment panel van and MPV sectors claim a relatively small share of the South African market currently, based on the success of the formula internationally it is expected to become a much bigger player in the future as buyers demand car-like levels of comfort, safety and luxury features, yet with great manoeuvrability and the ability to carry people and goods with ease.

tourneo connect load

Tourneo Connect

Ford's spacious and versatile new Tourneo Connect provides smart, attractive and affordable people movers for families and motorists with active lifestyles. Stylish and eye-catching on the outside, it's just as appealing inside too by offering impressive flexibility from its versatile seating to a wide range of stowage options and dual sliding side doors.

These attributes are combined with outstanding fuel economy and low emissions from highly efficient powertrains, along with advanced safety technologies typically associated with more upmarket vehicles.

The Tourneo Connect is available in a choice of three specification levels and two wheelbase configurations. The Ambiente and Trend use the short-wheelbase (SWB) five-seater platform, while the Titanium derivatives are based on the long-wheelbase (LWB) Grand Tourneo Connect layout in either standard five-seat configuration or optional seven-seat form.

Further enhancing the practical nature of this vehicle, the second and third rows can be folded flat to reveal a massive 2 761 litres of packing space in in the case of the Grand Tourneo Connect, or 2 620 litres for the SWB version

"Whether tackling the school run or participating in sporting activities such as mountain biking or surfing, the Tourneo Connect people movers are great for today's busy, active lifestyles," says Delate.

"These are roomy and economical cars which are kind to the family budget, and offer all the comfort, features and smart technologies which Ford customers have come to expect."

A total of four competitively priced and well-equipped models are offered, starting off with the 1.0 EcoBoost Ambiente in short-wheelbase form. Despite its entry-level status, it is equipped with a high specification level in terms of luxury and safety equipment.

The 1.0 EcoBoost Trend takes the equipment list up a notch further, and is followed by the range-topping 1.6 TDCi and 1.6 EcoBoost Titanium models, both in LWB Grand Tourneo Connect guise.

The 1.0 EcoBoost engine, which has been awarded the International Engine of the Year title for the last three years running, continues to set the benchmarks for performance and efficiency. In this application it produces 74kW of power and an impressive 170Nm of torque.

It is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and consumes a mere 5.6l/100km* in the combined cycle, matched to 129g of CO2 per km*.

The 1.6 TDCi turbodiesel engine combines outstanding pulling power with superb economy, linked to a six-speed manual. With 85kW and a substantial 285Nm on tap, it boasts a fuel consumption figure of 4.9l/100km* and 130 g/km* CO2 emissions rating.

Headlining the range is the powerful 1.6 EcoBoost, which is matched exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. It delivers a maximum output of 110kW and a 240Nm torque peak. Average consumption is rated at 8.0l/100km* and CO2 emissions at 184 g/km*.

Tourneo connect 2

Transit Connect

Ford's new Transit Connect offers exceptional fuel economy, load carrying ability and durability, making it the perfect choice for large fleet operators, businesses of all sizes and entrepreneurs. The Transit Connect was awarded the International Van of the Year for 2014, so is a true trend-setter in this highly competitive market.

"The Transit Connect sets new standards for compact vans and is the ideal partner for a wide range of businesses," Delate states. "Ford has taken the proven toughness and dependability of the Transit range and packaged it in a stylish yet compact, highly versatile and agile vehicle that offers smart load space options, advanced technologies and an impressive array of safety and convenience features.

"We've combined practicality and low cost of ownership with car-like levels of comfort and specification to create a highly manoeuvrable, robust and flexible vehicle with genuine ability that has appealing looks, great features and excellent value."

The primary target market for this compact commercial van includes trade customers, ranging from courier companies and those specialising in deliveries, to traditional tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians. It is also perfect for retailers and businesses in the food, hospitality and related industries.

Available in long-wheelbase panel van configuration and Ambiente trim, the Transit Connect offers a spacious and practical load area with a total volume of 3 222 litres. It is capable of carrying a 1 004 kg payload, and has a maximum towing capacity of 1 200 kg - thereby making it one of the most capable and versatile commercial vehicles in its segment.

A single powertrain is offered, comprising the efficient and economical 1.6 TDCi engine. This punchy turbodiesel engine boasts 85kW of power linked to an impressive 285Nm of torque, giving it exceptional load-lugging ability for its working roles. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

With a combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.9l/100km* and a CO2 emissions rating of 130g/km*, the Transit Connect provides extremely low running costs and total cost of ownership.

The new Transit Connect has been subjected to Ford's ultra-stringent commercial vehicle testing and durability standards. It covered the equivalent of 5-million kilometers in arduous testing, including at least 400 000km in tough real-world fleet conditions with Transit Connect users.

Developed under the One Ford global product strategy at Ford's commercial vehicle development centre in Europe, together with the engineering team of Ford Otosan in Turkey, the new Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect models are produced at Ford's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Valencia, Spain.

Both the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect comes standard with 60 000km service plans (four-year for the diesel and three-year for the petrols), a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty and three-year/unlimited km roadside assistance.

Service intervals are 20 000 km on the EcoBoost petrol models and 15 000 km on the TDCi diesel derivatives.

Transit connect

Hank McGregor named KwaZulu-Natal’s Senior Paddler of the Year

Hank McGregor - IT Works Surfski Challenge2

On Friday evening, Jeep Team’s multiple world-champion paddler, Hank McGregor, claimed his sixth 2015 FNB Varsity College Marine Surfski win, just days after being named KwaZulu-Natal’s Senior Paddler of the Year at the annual KZN Canoe Union Awards.

At Race#9 - the HiQ Surfski Challenge – McGregor was intent on a fifth consecutive victory despite having already secured the overall series title the week previously. McGregor remains unbeaten in the series; every race he has competed in he has won.

McGregor and long-time surfski rival, Matthew Bouman, were racing neck-and-neck for the majority of the challenge, with McGregor’s experience and skill outshining that of Bouman on the final stretch.

Said McGregor, “Winning the overall series is just a bonus and I really just go out there and race as hard as I can whenever I race and Friday was no exception.”

McGregor’s latest victory adds to a fast-growing list of 2015 achievements, including being awarded KZN’s Senior Paddler of the Year at the KZN Canoe Union Awards, which were held in Pietermaritzburg at the end of February.

On the evening, McGregor also walked away with awards for Senior KZN Single Ski, Senior KZN Double Ski and KZN Mixed Doubles River Marathon, and was re-awarded his senior colours for KZN and South Africa.

This past weekend, Jeep Team’s Barry Lewin also walked away with the highly contested KwaZulu-Natal Lifesaving Championship title for Single Surfski.

Also view:

Endurance Sports, Driver Fatigue and Road Safety

Swimming Safely and Advice to Prevent Drowning

Hank McGregor - IT Works Surfski Challenge

Jeep Team rides against world’s best mountain bike riders in Stellenbosch


Jeep Team’s Dylan Rebello and Michael Lord will today be racing against MTB World and National Champions, and some of the top ABSA Cape Epic contenders in the invite-only Aramex Champions Race, taking place in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.

The event, dubbed as the “Unofficial Cross-Country World Championships” forms part of the hype and build-up  to the ABSA Cape Epic, the world’s premier MTB Stage Race, which takes place from 15 to 22 March 2015 in the Western Cape. The starting lineup will see World, Olympic and National MTB stars including multiple world champion Christoph Sauser; Olympic Gold Medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy; World Champions José Hermida and Alban Lakata; and last year’s ABSA Cape Epic winners Robert Menned and Kristian Hynek. The race takes place through the streets of Kayamandi in a bid to raise awareness of

Founded by Kayamandi local Songo Fipaza and Swiss MTB world champion, Christoph Sauser, in 2010, is a Kayamandi-based social development programme that provides sport and educational support to local children.

The Champions Race aims to showcase’s projects to the local community, South Africa and the world, by getting big names in mountain biking to take part.

Find out more by going to

Also view:

Mountain Bike Events / Planning and the Safety of Bikers

Mountain Bike Safety and Riding on the Trail

Endurance Sports, Driver Fatigue and Road Safety


MEC Butana Komphela announced breakthrough in apprehending stock theft criminals

Cows cattleThe MEC for Police, Road and Transport, Butana Komphela announced that the Free State Police made a big breakthrough combatting stock-theft in the province.

The police caught five criminals red-handed on Monday 9 March 2015 when they were trying to steal 23 cattle from the farm of Abraham Smith near Bultfontein. The stolen cattle were already loaded on a truck when police caught and arrested the criminals on the spot. It is also suspected that these five criminals are part of a syndicate that is stealing live stock in the province.

The MEC lauded the police involved in the operation for stopping the criminals. “There is no space for criminals in the province,” says Hon Komphela.

The owner of the animals, Mr. Abraham Smith, is very grateful for the police  apprehending the criminals and returning his life stock. Cattle-theft was not a huge concern in the area but in the past a lot of sheep were stolen and this forces Smith to only farm with cattle.

Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lt. Gen. Thabethe Mpembe, also said that this success is a result of the implementation of the rural safety plan that is now showing positive results.

Police recover stolen items in pub in Observatory


On Thursday, 05 March 2015 at approximately 17:45, members of the Woodstock police arrested two men, age 31 and 39 years old, at a known pub, situated in Lower Main Road Observatory, for being in possession of suspected stolen property.

Police were conducting crime prevention patrols when they received information about suspected stolen property being kept at a bar in Lower Main road Observatory. The officers swiftly responded, and upon entering the premises, they have noticed that the bar manager acted suspiciously. Upon searching behind the bar counter, SAPS members have recovered 4 laptops, 5 cameras, a NEC projector, a white and a silver Ipod, 3 wrist watches, and various different cellular phones. The cellular phones were hidden in various empty steel whisky containers.

Detectives are currently working around the clock to link the items to reported incidents within our precinct.
The two suspects are currently in police custody, facing charges of possession of suspected stolen property and theft, and are due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrates' Court today.

The Woodstock police have appealed to theft victims to come forward and identify recovered stolen goods at the police station, all we need is supporting documentation that will confirm that the item truly belongs to the person who is claiming it. The Investigating Officer may also be contacted: Constable Themba Tobi on 021-486-2860.

Also view:

Tips for increased Safety Awareness and Preventing House Robberies