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Thursday, May 23 2019 @ 05:25 am UTC

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Germany's Bosch powers up hydrogen cells for cars

Hydrogen fuel stations are still are rare sight across Germany.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS - The world's biggest auto parts maker Bosch said Monday it would work with a Swedish firm to develop key components for hydrogen fuel cells designed to power cars, after backing off building electric batteries.

Stuttgart-based Bosch and Powercell Sweden AB - formerly a subsidiary of carmaker Volvo - aim to bring the fuel cells to market "in 2022 at the latest".

Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles could prove winners compared with their battery-driven cousins for some applications.

They offer a longer range and can be refuelled about as quickly as a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.

At the same time, hydrogen cars boast some of the advantages of battery-electric, including powerful acceleration, silent operation and no emissions at the point of use except water vapour.

But a number of technological hurdles remain to be cleared before mass deployment.

Large amounts of electricity are required to produce hydrogen, and there is a very limited network of fuelling stations.

Just sixty refuelling points are available across Germany.

Bosch did not reveal the financial terms of its deal with Powercell Sweden, but the two firms will work together to develop the so-called "stack" - components at the heart of the cell where the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen takes place to produce electricity.

The group last year decided not to compete with existing Asian industry leaders in producing electric batteries for cars, seeing the rivals' technological advantage as too great to catch up.

By doing so, it turned away from supplying German carmakers like mammoth Volkswagen as they gear up to offer dozens of electric vehicles over the coming decade.

Manufacturers have taken the plunge on electric power faced with looming tougher emissions rules in the European Union, loaded with hefty financial penalties if they are breached.

European carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets "can only be reached by electrifying more and more of the powertrain. The fuel cell can play a decisive role here," Bosch said.

At first, "the best opportunities for broad adoption of fuel-cell technology are in the commercial-vehicle market," the firm added, although it expects broader use in passenger cars should follow.

By 2030, Bosch estimates that 20 percent of all electric vehicles worldwide will be powered by fuel cells.


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Contributor Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure. Counting your contents before they’re snatched

Not updating cover properly means that any claim will result in a much lower pay out than you’d expect.

NATIONAL NEWS - Imagine a break-in where your prized possessions are taken from your home, or your geyser bursts and destroys your carpet and an entire storage wardrobe of clothes and keepsakes. Now imagine paying to replace those items or fix any damages from your current income. Could you do it without going into massive amounts of debt, or depleting your savings? Probably not, but fortunately short-term insurance provides protection, so that you can have a financial safety net in place.

Unfortunately, those who are insured often turn out to be underinsured. In this case, imagine how many people (who aren’t insured at all) are at deep financial risk as you read this? You don’t need to be among them.

Focusing solely on motor cover or making sure your new cell phone is covered doesn’t mean your insurance is up to date. Neglecting house contents and building values are common underinsurance traps, but again, don’t need to be.

Home is where the start is

Start with doing an inventory of your contents at home. List everything in each room; where there are cabinets, list shelves and items inside boxes, go through drawers, and don’t forget the garage. There are templates you can download online – or you can ask your adviser or insurer for any templates they might have. Whichever way you choose to prepare the list, be as thorough as possible, noting purchasing costs or estimates per item, if you were to replace the items with new ones.

It still counts

When you purchase something, you insure it at its purchase price at the time. As time passes, the value of an item decreases and you may think reducing cover makes sense, not realising you need to keep replacement cost in line with current costs. Consider the items you have had for years – when last did you think about their cost today?

Items you might not have thought about include pots, pans, clothing accessories and linen. Focusing only on TVs, sound equipment or furniture won’t cut it. Thinking you can self-insure some of the “cheaper” items isn’t advisable either, as an insurer will consider all your contents, and then pay you out proportionately. As an example, if your contents are really worth R1 million, but you’ve only insured them for R500 000, any claim would only qualify for a 50% pay out. The same goes for the value of the actual structure of your home.

A realistic review

Simply having insurance isn’t enough: you need to have enough cover in line with what you own. You can consult a professional to value your goods (from contents to the building itself) if you are unsure, and its highly recommended. Some insurers provide a valuation tool where you can enter all the items and it will calculate the current replacement cost at that specific time for you. Getting a property valuation done is easy to arrange as well.

Hatch a plan for any improvements too
While going through your belongings, you might be struck with inspiration to renovate, or recall that some crucial updates are currently missing in your policy.

Neglecting to incorporate these into your insurance simply means there will be no cover for them. This could be a huge financial loss if the property needs to be rebuilt. If you add any green measures as well, such as a solar geyser, you need to let your insurer know to get proper cover put in place.

Even if you have done nothing new to your home, in order to replace it if a worst-case scenario arose, the rebuilding costs will also be considerably more than when you first bought the home. Be realistic about everything inside your house, as well as the house itself to get the right cover.

Match rising costs with your cover
The rising inflation rate means there’s an increasing gap between the market value for which you insure your home and goods, and their real replacement values. Your policy may take a 10% inflation increase into account, but what happens when this figure rises to 15% or 20% because it costs so much more to replace something in current value? If you bought a couch ten years ago, will it only cost 10% more today? Probably not. Considering the rising costs of property makes this question even scarier.

Not updating cover properly means that any claim will result in a much lower pay out than you’d expect. Conducting at least an annual review is best practice. Working with an adviser can make things simpler too as they will remind you to check your policy, can provide recommendations, communicating any changes needed to your insurer, and can negotiate the best price for what you need.

'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'

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The increase takes the petrol price back towards the record territory reached last year.

Petrol has increased by more than R4 since January.
NATIONAL NEWS - On Sunday, the department of energy revealed that a much-anticipated petrol price increase will be kicking in next month.

The price of both grades of petrol – 93 octane and 95 octane unleaded (ULP) and lead replacement petrol (LRP) – will increase by 54c/l with effect from midnight on Tuesday, the department announced.

Diesel 0.05 percent sulphur will increase by 1c/l, while the price of diesel 0.005 percent sulphur would remain unchanged, the department said in a statement on Sunday.

The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin would increase by 3c/l and the single maximum national retail price (SMNRP) of illuminating paraffin would increase by 4c/l. The maximum retail price for LPGas would increase by 84c/kg.

The department cited international factors, including the rand’s value against the dollar-denominated oil price. They said that the increase was not as high as initially feared.

Petrol has increased by more than R4 since January.

Unexpectedly strong international fuel prices had earlier raised the spectre of an unwelcome fuel price hike for petrol users at the end of April, according to the unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the Automobile Association said earlier this month. They predicted an increase of 56c per litre for petrol.

“The international product price of diesel climbed somewhat in the first half of April, while petrol has made a substantial jump. Diesel’s smaller increase is likely due to variations in international refining capacity, as well as the approaching end of the northern hemisphere winter when demand for diesel fuels for use in peaking power plants and as a heating fuel diminishes,” said the AA.

The price of both grades of petrol – 93 octane and 95 octane unleaded (ULP) and lead replacement petrol (LRP) – will increase by 54c/l with effect from midnight on Tuesday.

“The ground gained by the local currency has cushioned some of the blow, with diesel currently showing a slight decrease. But petrol users are in for a shock. Price stability in illuminating paraffin is welcome as South Africa heads into its own winter, during which many households will be using paraffin as a heating fuel. But the rise in petrol is cause for concern when our economy is already in difficult waters,” the AA concluded.

In their statement, the energy department said: “The settling of contagion risks from emerging markets provided a foundation for the rand’s strengthening trend. This decreased the contribution on the basic fuel price of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by about 13c/l.”


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The lovely building at 125 York Street began its journey 110 years ago, as the First Class Public School for Girls, in 1905. By the Fifties, the facility was of no more use to the rapidly expanding local schools, and the building’s main hall was used as a bioscope (the old film reel projector still lives in the theatre foyer) for a few years. In 1968, a group of entertainment enthusiasts known as the George Society of Arts (founded in 1948) bought the derelict building and set about converting it into a 217-seat theatre. A year later, on 26 April 1969, the George Arts Theatre opened its doors to the public with its first show, The Sleeping Prince. At the time it was the only fully operational, community-run theatre in the triangle formed by Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley.

Since 2014, the generous patronage of the theatre’s neighbour and local company Oakhurst Insurance, new life has been breathed into the heritage building, which is being restored to glory inside and out. The revival of interest in the dramatic arts, and the support offered by the companies and individuals of George as well as the Department of Arts and Culture, has been vital in keeping this important Non-Profit Public Benefits Organisation alive. The George Arts Theatre continues to thrive in serving its purpose of feeding the artistic soul of the community at every level.

Now in its 50th year, the heart of the Oakhurst Insurance George Arts Theatre beats loudly with activity – from the many acts, both amateur and professional, who grace the grand main stage itself and the brand-new Outdoor Amphitheatre, to the daily buzz of the Backstage Lounge Café, the much-loved Wardrobe & Costume Hire facility and the many outreach programmes that touch the lives of local George youth daily.

The theatre is the proud host of many an artistic event and function for the public and private sector in the Garden Route. A number of full-length productions are held throughout the year, as well as concerts and plays featuring both local and international artists. The George Society of Arts’ December pantomime is a proud, popular holiday tradition for many families. The legacy of one of South Africa’s last-standing community theatres continues to grow thanks to the support of the public it benefits through the dramatic arts.


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There are 6 more shows, 6 opportunities to come and watch this good old fashioned theatre production. Be transported back to a time where ankles were not shown, and etiquette was followed. Where love triumphs all, with a heck of a good sense of humor under the perfect guidance of Ilze Tulleken.

More about the play.

The George Arts Theatre is turning 50 this year and we have many wonderful things planned for 2019!

The Theatre opened in 1969 with The Sleeping Prince being the very first show on our stage. As a celebration of this wonderful occasion, we will be bringing this love story back to the stage with the dynamic Ilze Tulleken making her directorial debut.

The Sleeping Prince: An Occasional Fairy Tale is a 1953 play by Terence Rattigan, which was conceived to coincide with the coronation of Elizabeth II in the same year. Set in London in 1911, it tells the story of Mary Morgan, a young actress, who meets and ultimately captivates Prince Charles of Carpathia.

Times: 11-13 April 2019 @18H30
13 April 2019 @13H30

[Due to unforeseen circumstances the show on the 14th April has been canceled]

Prices: R50 Adults
R20 Children


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Source Chas Everitt International

Fourie says tenants will usually not have to worry about the upkeep of ST unit exteriors or common areas
PROPERTY NEWS - One of South Africa's biggest apartment developers has just set up a subsidiary company that will acquire and rent out many of the units it is building, and if more follow suit, there is a possibility that whole blocks of flats will once again be owned and run by single corporate owners - a very rare occurrence since the introduction of Sectional Title (ST)back in the 1970s.

For the time being, however, most tenants in ST apartment blocks or townhouse complexes will still have to deal with the individual owners of specific units (or their letting agents), which means that the terms of their leases will continue to vary from owner to owner and complex to complex, says Tobie Fourie, national rentals manager of the Chas Everitt International property group.

"And this lack of standardisation can be very confusing, so tenants do need to be absolutely clear about who is responsible for what, and what their rent actually covers, before they sign any lease agreement."

Maintenance and repairs
For example, he says, they need to check what is required regarding maintenance and repairs. "In ST schemes, the legal position is that the individual unit owner - the landlord - is responsible for the upkeep of the interior of the unit, and the rent being charged should allow for this. However, the lease agreement might pass on the responsibility for some maintenance and minor repairs to the tenant in return for a reduced rental, and in that case the agreement must also spell out specifically what tenants will be expected to do."

Fourie says tenants will usually not have to worry about the upkeep of ST unit exteriors or common areas. "This is the responsibility of the body corporate and its elected trustees, and it is funded not by rentals but by the monthly levies that the unit owners pay."

Levies and increase
"This does not mean, though, that prospective tenants can forget about levies. They should ask if their landlord plans to increase their rent whenever there is a levy increase - or if they can expect an increase should the body corporate decide to impose a special levy to cover an unexpected expense in the running of the scheme."

Sectional title management
Following on from that, he says, it is vital for tenants to look beyond an individual flat or townhouse and ensure that the ST scheme where they plan to rent is well-managed and in a good financial position overall.

"Otherwise there is the possibility they will end up living very uncomfortably in a complex that cannot be properly maintained for lack of funds, or where the units are about to be attached and sold in execution to meet body corporate arrears."

Municipal services
Tenants need to find out how they will be billed for municipal services. "These days many rental units have prepaid water and electricity meters but if they do not, tenants need to establish whether each unit has separate sub-meters for municipal services, so that they will only be paying for what they actually consume. Alternatively, it is acceptable to rent in schemes where the electricity metres are separate so the tenant pays for his/her electricity usage, but there is only one main water meter and the charges for water are included in the owners' levies according to the participation quotas of the scheme."

Management and conduct rules
Finally, tenants need to check the management and conduct rules that will apply to them. The standard rules contained in ST legislation can be changed by the owners in individual schemes, so prospective tenants should insist on seeing a copy of the specific rules that apply to the scheme before they sign a lease.

These rules generally cover common nuisances such as loud music, noisy parties and littering, but they could also contain provisions that would make a particular scheme unsuitable for certain tenants, such as a prohibition on pets, or a ban on visitors parking inside the security perimeter, or restrictions on when children may use a playground or pool.


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‘Charity starts at home – and this is my home. What you learn along the way is what you can pass on, in every area,’ she says.

Princess Charlene of Monaco at Turffontein racecourse, 9 April during the draw for the HSH Maiden Plate which will take place at Turffontein on Saturday. Photo: Neil McCartney
NATIONAL NEWS - Back when she was still known as Charlene Wittstock, Princess of Monaco, Her Serene Highness Charlene, already knew what race day meant.

“My father has always been involved with horseracing and has been very passionate about it ever since I was born,” the former Olymic swimmer said yesterday at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg.

“I always went to the racetrack with my father, walk in the stables, be close to the horses. The horses are athletes themselves so it was always interesting to see how the horses were trained, and the attention paid to them.”

The Princess of Monaco is in Johannesburg for The Royal Race Day, a racing event that ensures Gugulesizwe and Lesabe primary schools in Benoni each receive R50,000.

After spending a few weeks in South Africa this year with her family, Princess Charlene seems reinvigorated to continue charitable work in the country.

“Charity starts at home – and this is my home. I always felt proud to represent the country [as an athlete]. What you learn along the way is what you can pass on, in every area,” she says.

That’s exactly what has led her to establish Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation in South Africa a few years ago.

Programmes run by the foundation are aimed at water safety and education. “We started with the message that we need to pay attention to children around any aquatic facility … 150,000 people drown every year,” she says. “We’re in a climate where people enjoy being outdoors, and we want to feel safe that our children know what to do and the swimming and water safety is important.”

The foundation also works with many other organisations and government.

“Implementing it means working with city councils, working with town councils or individuals or the swimming school on the corner, just to get that education out there.”

But Princess Charlene is also focused on natural heritage.

“My love for animals started at an early age and certainly now, we have problems where some animals face extinction, we could lose entire species,” she says. “I know that I have a platform not just for helping people and educating children but also conserving and preserving our nature – every animal counts.”

But this week all attention is on equines and another successful The Royal Race Day.

After a busy day where she had to draw the final fields for the day, Princess Charlene had a single-word answer to the one South African thing she would like accessible globally – “biltong”.

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The raising of the Garden Route Dam spillway will start soon. Photo: Alida de Beer

GEORGE NEWS - The construction of the Garden Route Dam spillway is expected to start in May, depending on the finalisation of all contractual documentation.

George municipal manager Trevor Botha said the municipality is cautiously optimistic that, following a more than ten-year process, the raising of the dam would finally start.

"Statutory approvals and contractual processes are in the process of being finalised but the municipality can confirm that local company, Khubeka Construction, has been awarded the contract. Once completed, the dam’s full supply level will effectively be raised by 2.5 metres, which will increase the total storage capacity of the dam by approximately 25%.

“While we are very excited about the long-term benefits, the temporary impact on citizens' access to the dam will be affected. We appeal in advance to all hikers, cyclists and everyone else who uses the space around the dam, to please stay away during construction. The site will be active on many fronts, with major construction and other equipment that can be potentially very dangerous. Signage and communication in this regard will soon commence," said Botha.

The construction activity period is expected to be eight months from time of commencement.

A professional dam engineer registered with the department of water and sanitation (DWS) for a category III dam will oversee the construction works. All designs for the works have been approved by the DWS’s dam safety office.

Once the contractor is on site (within the next few weeks) the Garden Route Dam area will be considered a construction site, at which time the contractors' health and safety plan takes immediate effect. All residents and especially visitors to the area surrounding the dam wall (hikers, runners, cyclists, anglers and day visitors) will not be allowed entry to the dam area due to safety measures.

There will be numerous heavy construction vehicles that will be active around the dam as well as large material delivery vehicles. At the same time bush-clearing along the entire dam flood line will be done and plant debris will be carted to various stockpile areas for further processing. These activities present a considerable safety risk to the public, and the area will be closed to the public. Ongoing safety risk reviews will be carried out and areas will be opened to public access only if it is considered safe for general access.

Special care should also be taken when using the roads surrounding the dam area as large earth-moving machinery and delivery vehicles will be active on the surrounding roads.

The earth-moving plant and equipment will be stored on site but must commute from the MTO side of the dam to the municipal side each night as a safety precaution and these vehicles will be using the surrounding roads. It is expected that over 3 000 heavy vehicle trips will be made in the dam area.

These vehicles will use the narrow MTO access roads that have tight bends and cyclists and hikers are at extreme risk.

"If possible, the area will be made accessible during the 2019/20 December-January holiday period, but this will depend entirely on the safety of the site and the progress of the works being constructed," said Botha.


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Hi-Q George - allways first with the goodies.

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Shani Myburgh.

GEORGE SAKE-NUUS - Martin Botha, die eienaar en oogkundige van Outeniqua Oogkundiges, wil graag vir Shani Myburgh bekend stel aan George.

Shani het in Oktober 2018 by Outeniqua Oogkundiges aangesluit en sal dus al reeds aan van die lesers bekend wees.

Shani het aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat (Kovsies) haar Baccalaureus-graad in optometrie verkry. Sy was die laaste drie jaar werksaam in Somerset-Wes by Colin van Wyk Oogkundiges waarna sy en haar man Marius Myburgh na Rheebok verhuis het.

Shani het veral 'n voorliefde vir kinders en is dus bereid om vir kinders onder die ouderdom van 12 jaar, gratis visuele siftingstoetse te doen.

Dit is om te verseker dat hulle nie agter raak met hulle skoolwerk as gevolg van visuele probleme nie.

Shani is ook baie behendig met laevisie-hulpmiddels vir persone wat sukkel met oogsiektes soos onder andere makulêre degenerasie en gloukoom wat hul visie inkort en waar 'n bril alleenlik nie genoeg is nie.

Outeniqua Oogkundiges het reeds 17 jaar gelede, in Maart 2002, in George tot stand gekom.

Met Shani se aanstelling glo Martin dat die praktyk net van krag tot krag sal gaan en dat die George publiek ook vir haar sal ondersteun soos hulle reeds die afgelope 17 jaar vir hom doen.

Outeniqua Oogkundiges glo daaraan om slegs die beste kwaliteit brilrame en lense te gebruik teen 'n bekostigbare prys. Sodoende word daar verseker dat jy as pasiënt die beste moontlike visie en gemak sal ervaar.

Dit is die praktyk se beleid om die beste moontlike oogsorg aan al hulle pasiënte te verskaf en word hulle oogtoetse 45 minute uitmekaar bespreek.

Die praktyk beskik ook oor 'n fundus-kamera waarmee foto's van die retina geneem word met elke volledige oogtoets. Hierdie foto's is baie noodsaaklik om byvoorbeeld diabetiese retinopatie of makulêre degenerasie te monitor of vroegtydig op te spoor.

Skakel vandag nog 044 871 2931 en maak 'n afspraak vir u volgende oogtoets.