||Issue No. 393 -- 4 December 2006
Letters to the Editor
Quote/s of the Week
Ad Hoc Article/s of the Week
Bits and Bobs
The Legal Beagle
Where are they now?
Club and Other News
Advertising on South Africans Worldwide
Credits and Contact Info
Subscribing and Unsubscribing
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How fortunate we’ve been this week- because we’ve managed to successfully find a affordable, fully equipped furnished house and move in after the usual formalities. Everywhere else in the city we’re now in, owners charge astronomical rentals because of the artificially created housing shortage.
What helped our case was our willingness to render some much-needed TLC to the house after the owners moved to the UK. Houses always require TLC.
So now the Agent is most helpful in assisting with rectifications.
There’ll soon be a electrified fence which has become so “de riguer” these days.
Moving house remains a stressful occasion, but at least we now have a excuse for a“bring & braai “ housewarming get-together with friends.
Our 2 water-loving Labradors love the pool too [ just they did at home in SA]
The garden has turned green within a week of the first seasonal rains and already the grass could do with the attention of the lawnmower, the hedge needs trimming etc.
The owner left dozens of potted plants and from the garden one can see that a love of variety will lead to bright colours as the growing season progresses.
With Christmas now less than a month away, the usual music is evident here, but not much of the tinsel or gifts. The population just don’t have that disposable income to spare here. Spare a thought and a dime to the extremely needy.
‘Till next time.
|Letters to the Editor
No great deed, private or public, had ever been undertaken in a bliss of certainty.
-- Leon Wieseltier, in The New Republic
Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen to them.
-- Shakti Gawain
Human pain does not let go of its grip at one point in time. Rather, it works its way out of our consciousness over time. There is a season of sadness. A season of anger. A season of tranquility. A season of hope.
-- Robert Veninga
Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character.
-- George Santayana
|Ad Hoc Article/s of the Week
DA leader Tony Leon steps down
Tony Leon will step down as leader of the Democratic Alliance in May, he told reporters in Johannesburg on Sunday. He said 13 years in office was "the absolute upper limit of effective leadership".
"There is a danger, over time, that no matter how healthy or vigorous the internal workings of an organisation... that the identity and branding of the party will be almost completely absorbed into the identity and personality of its leader," Leon said. "This is not good for the health of the party — or the nation — and come to think of it, not particularly good for my health either."
Leon said he would remain a member of Parliament and continue writing a book he has been commissioned to publish.
Coega signs R20-billion deal
A R20-billion deal to construct an aluminium smelter at Coega outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape was signed on Friday, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) said.
The Mozal aluminium smelter will be built by the Canadian company Alcan, said IDC spokesperson Dante Mashile.
Construction of the smelter will take place in the Coega Industrial Development Zone and aims to provide 720 kilotons of aluminium a year.
Mashile said the around 6000 jobs would be created during the construction of the primary smelter, with more expected after construction. He added that the IDC would also play a co-financial advisory role and assist with black economic empowerment for the project.
IDC chief executive officer Geoffrey Qhena expressed confidence in the organisation's ability to complete the task successfully.
Aluminium is largely used in the construction of cars to increase fuel economy and reduce harmful atmospheric emissions. It is also a cheaper form of reinforcement than steel.
Fica requirements 'a nuisance'
South Africans have been pressed over the past year to confirm their addresses with a number of institutions. Is this just more red tape, or is there a viable purpose behind the FICA requirements? Legal expert Andy McPherson believes FICA hasn't really made a difference in his business.
Research author and investigative journalist Gregory Mthembu-Salter says in his study for the Institute of Security Studies on the links between property sales and money laundering that few of the attorney's interviewed for his study indicated that FICA requirements had made much difference to their conveyancing businesses. (Cape Times, September 22)
I have to disagree. Our practice has a large property and conveyancing division, and we've found that FICA requirements have been particularly onerous for attorneys who specialise in property law and conveyancing transactions.
In terms of FICA, the attorney as an accountable institution, is required to verify the identity and obtain the requisite documentation in respect of every seller on whose behalf a property transfer registered, as well as every purchaser of property on whose behalf funds are invested.
Attorneys are also required to identity and obtain documentation in respect of every mortgagor for whom they register a mortgage bond. Attorneys' firms who register large numbers of conveyancing transactions are therefore now required to obtain FICA documentation for thousands of individuals and entities each month, requiring vast additional human resources and incurring great additional costs which in most cases are not recoverable from the client.
The requirements become more onerous where, for example, the seller or mortgagor of a property is an entity other than a natural person, such as a company, a close corporation or an inter vivos Trust.
Why you should invest in your bond
As interest rates rise, homeowners have an even bigger incentive to invest in their bonds, as they will be saving even more interest while benefiting from the secondary advantage of a shorter term of repayment.
Identity theft takes its toll on SA
Identity theft was on the increase in South Africa, with hackers becoming more sophisticated — and with the customer likely to lose thousands, even if they are reimbursed, Alexander Forbes has said.
Take steps to protect your money
Christmas season doesn't only mean you're spending more... it also means that fraudsters are working extra hard to get their hands on your money. You need to make sure you're protected — and here's how.
Beware a 2010 'lottery' sc@m
Police warned the public on Tuesday to beware of a so-called 'SA 2010 World Cup Bid Lottery' letter and email fraud.
Some R1m stolen in internet fraud
Port Elizabeth has experienced a drastic increase in internet fraud with over R1-million stolen from private bank accounts in the past month, police said on Thursday.
Is this deal even legal?
Is this timeshare deal a pyramid scheme? And is it legal? My sister joined months ago and paid a lot of money and now she cannot find anybody to join, so it looks like she has lost her money. What now?
Arts dept warns of refund sc@m
The Department of Arts and Culture warned the public on Tuesday of a refund sc@m in which the department's logo is fraudulently used.
Beware this get-rich-quick scheme
I was approached by a company called Network 21 to become a business partner and sell Amway products. I felt uncomfortable during the presentation and got a nasty reply when I rejected the offer. What is the deal with this company?
SARS warns on sc@m
The SA Revenue Service on Thursday issued a warning to taxpayers about a sc@m that solicits money from taxpayers and that has surfaced over the past few weeks.
Beware ATM card skimming
ATM users have been warned to be aware of card-skimming criminals who use sophisticated card scanners to gain access to account details, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said on Friday.
Beware of get-rich-quick schemes - they could cost you your life savings. If you know of a scheme, or if you think you have been caught by a smooth operator, tell us about it.
A virus threatening the health of our democracy
The campaign to ensure that Jacob Zuma succeeds Thabo Mbeki as president of South Africa has produced a virus that threatens the health of many of our key democratic institutions. The executive, the National Prosecuting Authority, the press and the judiciary have all fallen to the attack -- and the coherence of the ruling party, itself a key to the success of our peaceful transition to constitutional democracy, has been shaken.
The latest attack on the judiciary should be cause for a rational contemplation of the reasons for and the effects of this pathology.
Comair estimates Mango's losses at R3m a week
South African listed airline group Comair estimates that South African Airways's new low cost carrier Mango is costing taxpayers over R3-million a week.
Comair joint CEO Erik Venter based these calculations on an all inclusive cost of R60 000 per flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
"With their flights only 50% full, their revenue per flight won't even cover their fuel and maintenance costs," Venter said in a statement on Wednesday.
He went on to question how much SAA's attempt to "nationalise" the local aviation industry was ultimately going to cost South African taxpayers.
Eleven days ago, Comair requested an undertaking from SAA not to put any further capital into Mango following the R100-million that has already been sunk into the project. To date the undertaking has not been forthcoming, the statement said.
Even though Comair was able to run kulula.com profitably from day one, Mango has indicated that it expects a two-year grace period in which to turn a profit, he noted.
Comair runs British Airways in South Africa and kulula.com.
Private companies upbeat about SA
You don't often hear the thoughts of private companies in SA, but new research shows these companies are very cheery about SA's future and its economy. They're particularly chuffed with government spending for 2010, PricewaterhouseCoopers says.
SA is flagging without broadband
Why is Koos Bekker taking time off from Naspers? To learn about YouTube, MySpace, and all those other technologies that South Africa is so far behind in. In fact, we desperately need competition in our broadband industry, because SA is already suffering, Bekker says.
SA's health industry is 'too risky'
Old Mutual is changing the way its health care business works in South Africa; it's going to 'outsource' the business, as it's not keen on risk-taking in SA's already risky health industry.
Esor's Gautrain glee
Esor has positioned itself well for 2010: it's been awarded an R80-million contract for the Gautrain, while its acquisition is in the running for the three football stadia.
GDP grows by 4.7%
Tue, 28 Nov 2006
South Africa's real gross domestic product at market prices on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally annualised and adjusted basis rose by 4.7 percent in the third quarter of 2006 from a revised 5.5 percent in the second quarter of 2006, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Tuesday.
The real growth rate of the South African economy was expected to have increased to 4.6 percent on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis during the third quarter of 2006, according to a consensus of nine economists surveyed by I-Net Bridge.
The main contributors to the increase in economic activity for the third quarter of 2006 were the finance, real estate and business services industry (1.2 of a percentage point); the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants industry (0.9 of a percentage point) and the manufacturing industry (0.8 of a percentage point).
Old Mutuals shifts focus in SA
Tue, 28 Nov 2006
Old Mutual South Africa is shifting its business away from the traditional capital-intensive life assurance model to a lower-charge, lower-capital model based on unit trust products.
This is according to Old Mutual plc chief executive, Jim Sutcliffe, in a conference call on Tuesday.
The South African division is also planning to migrate its healthcare business on to a single platform so that it can build economies of scale to compete in the market.
He added that Old Mutual South Africa continued to put a great deal of effort into building its retail distribution systems, and has been successful in regaining the top spot in the market, although group products and particularly healthcare sales continue to disappoint.
Fuel levy 'can now go national'
Wed, 29 Nov 2006
The approval of the Western Cape fuel levy implicitly makes this instrument available to other provinces, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said on Tuesday.
However, any other province that sought "to employ the provincial fuel tax instrument would have to adhere to the same approval and regulatory requirements imposed on the Western Cape", he added.
He was replying to a question from African National Congress member of the National Council of Provinces Zolile Kolweni.
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The priest was preparing a man for his long day's journey into night. Whispering firmly, the priest said, "Denounce the devil! Let him know how little you think of his evil!" The dying man said nothing. The priest repeated his order. Still the dying man said nothing. The priest asked, "Why do you refuse to denounce the devil and his evil?" The dying man said, "Until I know where I'm heading, I don't think I ought to aggravate anybody." ...
One drink could land you in jail!
If you drive, don't drink, is the simple guideline for this festive season. If you are female and weigh 45 kg, a single glass of wine could have you on or slightly over the legal limit for driving, which is 0,05g/100ml.
'Tis the season to be jolly, but how jolly is a jail cell filled with characters who certainly don't look like the Three Wise Men?
"Speed and alcohol are the big killers on our roads", according to a report issued by the Arrive Alive campaign. "The combination of these two factors takes its toll particularly over weekends, when the lethal speed/alcohol cocktail accounts for more than 60% of the weekly total of crashes."
This was obviously taken into account when the legal alcohol limit was reduced from 0,08g/100ml to 0,05g/100ml over two years ago.
So how much can you drink and still drive?
A unit of alcohol is considered to be one beer (340 ml), one standard size glass of wine or one standard tot measure of spirits.
Other factors to consider are whether your stomach is empty and how much time has elapsed between having the drink and getting in behind the steering wheel.
The table below, provided by the Medical Research Council (MRC), outlines approximate blood alcohol levels according to number of units/drinks, gender and body weight.
This is a generalised chart based on a person who is metabolising one drink an hour. These figures represent blood alcohol levels for up to one hour after alcohol intake. Blood alcohol levels are measured in grams per 100ml of blood.
Tips on reducing the effects of alcohol
You can reduce the effects of alcohol in your body by not drinking on an empty stomach, by eating fatty foods, such as chips and peanuts while you are drinking, and drinking plenty of water in between drinks.
(Susan Erasmus, Health24
See graph at:-
Springbok managers slam use of old SA flag
November 27 2006 at 02:49AM
London - Springbok managers and players have strongly condemned the display of the old South African flag by a few supporters during the two clashes against England at Twickenham over the past two weeks.
Among the thousands of rugby supporters at Twickenham, at least four fans were carrying old South African flags, as Springbok supporters celebrated points scored by the team during Saturday's fixture.
Team Manager Zola Yeye distanced the team from the rogue section of the Bok supporters. "It is disgusting that these people are displaying such unpatriotic behaviour, in the name of the Springboks," said Yeye. "It is all in bad taste, and we do not want to be seen to be condoning such rude behaviour. What does it say of us in a foreign land?"
White stays on as Bok coach
2006-11-29 15:45 Johannesburg
Springbok coach Jake White was on Wednesday given a stay of execution as Springbok coach after a minority of members in the 14 union presidents' council voted in the no confidence motion against White. White arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday morning from London leaving his Springbok team in preparation for their festival match against the World XV to come face the presidents' council after the Springboks suffered two loses at the hands of Ireland and England in two successive weeks.
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