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Saturday, February 23 2019 @ 01:12 am UTC

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Jacques Matthee, eienaar van Millies Supermarket en Butchery in Blanco kyk na die brandskade. Foto: Eugene Gunning
GEORGE NUUS - Die brand wat vroeg vanoggend die Millies sakeonderneming in Blanco verwoes het, is onder beheer.

Die oorsaak van die brand by Millies Superette, een van George se oudste en bekendste sakeondernemings, is in die stadium onbekend. By die onderneming is onder meer ‘n bakkery en ‘n slaghuis bedryf.

‘n Woordvoerder van die George-brandweer het aan die George Herald gesê teen 08:00 was die brand reeds onder beheer. Brandweerpersoneel van George en die Garden Route-distriksmunisipaliteit is ingespan om die brand te blus.

Brandbestrydingspersoneel sal op die toneel bly om die situasie te monitor. ‘n Ondersoek na die oorsaak van die brand sal gedoen word.

Tydens die George Herald se besoek aan die toneel het geskokte inwoners gekyk hoe brandbestydingspersoneel die brand blus. Rook het by die dak uitgeborrel en ‘n swaar rookreuk het in die lug gehang.

Onder die aanwesiges was die eienaar, Jacques Matthee en werknemers van die onderneming. In een stadium het hulle in ‘n kring gestaan en ‘n gebed gedoen.

Die wyksraadslid vir die gebied, Jean Safers het ook die toneel besoek. Safers het gesê dit is ‘n groot skok. “Jacques doen baie vir die gemeenskap.”

Matthee het vertel dat die alarm by die onderneming omstreeks 4:20 geaktiveer is. Hy het dadelik daarheen gery. Met sy aankoms, sowat 10 minute later het hy vlamme op die dak gesien.

Volgens hom is die plek totaal verwoes. In die stadium is dit nie seker wat die toekoms inhou nie. Daar is 25 werknemers in diens by die onderneming. Hy het dit as ‘n nagmerrie beskryf. “Ek is geskok.”

Die onderneming bestaan al 50 jaar en hy is die laaste 8 jaar daarby betrokke. Daar sal nou met die eienaars van die gebou gepraat word oor die pad vorentoe.

Hy wou nie spekuleer oor die oorsaak van die brand nie, maar het bygevoeg daar is die moontlikheid dat daar in ‘n inbraak was.


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Dronk bestuurder tref polisiewa van voor
Die polisievoertuig wat in die ongeluk betrokke was. Drie lede van die Openbare orde polisie-eenheid (Pops) is na die hospitaal geneem. Hulle het slegs ligte beserings opgedoen.
Lede van die openbare orde polisie (Pops) het omstreeks 02:30 op Sondagoggend, 16 Desember, 'n noue ontkoming op die N2 tussen Groot-Brakrivier en Glentana gehad toe 'n motoris wat onder die invloed van alkohol was, van voor in hulle vasgery het.

Volgens die Suid-Kaapse polisiewoordvoerder, kapt. Malcolm Pojie, het die verdagte, wat uit die rigting van Mosselbaai gekom het, in die aankomende baan beland en met die Pops-voertuig, wat op pad na Mosselbaai was, gebots.

Die drie Pops-lede is na die Mediclinic George vervoer waar hulle vir ligte beserings behandel is. Die bestuurder van die motor het veelvuldige beserings opgedoen en is na die George-hospitaal geneem. Hy staar 'n aanklag van roekelose en/of nalatige bestuur, asook 'n aanklag van dronkbestuur, in die gesig.

* The driver of a Toyota Yaris has been charged with reckless and / or negligent driving, and also faces a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, after he drove into an oncoming Pops (Public Order Police) vehicle on the N2. The accident happened between Glentana and Great Brak River in the early hours of Sunday morning. Three Pops members were treated for minor injuries at Mediclinic George, while the driver of the Yaris suffered multiple injuries and was taken to George Hospital.

Die bestuurder van 'n wit Toyota Yaris is Sondagoggend omstreeks 02:30 in hegtenis geneem na hy 'n motorongeluk op die N2 veroorsaak het.


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Remember, if a fire breaks out, it will cost so much more if you are underinsured.

PROPERTY NEWS - Countless household goods contain flammable chemicals, while those containing non-flammable chemicals can come in combustible packaging. There are several examples of common chemical-laden products you’ll find in your home. Each carry the risk of fire if not properly handled or stored, and we often forget how dangerous some of these items can be.

We’ve outlined some potentially flammable situations to be aware of, to keep your safety and your insurance in check.

First things first: get certified
Remember that any gas installations on your property must have a compliance certificate, proving alignment with the applicable South African National Standard (SANS) codes and that the installation was done by a registered, competent person.

Spray it safely
Non-stick cooking spray is a common staple in many kitchens. Turn yours over to see the warning label reading: ‘extremely flammable aerosol, do not spray near open flame’ or similar. This should be warning enough. It may seem logical not to spray onto an open flame, but accidents do happen. While some products might not reveal the type of propellent present, it is often the highly flammable DME (dimethyl ether). If you consider how often you spray a pan when your gas stove is already lit, the risk is obvious. On the upside, fires caused by negligent cooking methods can very easily be avoided.

Ever use spray-on deodorant? This product comes with even more warnings on the packaging. Look out for descriptors such as: ‘extremely flammable aerosol’, ‘pressurised container’ or ‘may burst if heated’.

You will also be advised to ‘keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources’ and will be cautioned not to smoke near the product or spray it on an open flame. Flammable ingredients in deodorant can include alcohol, propane, butane and isobutane, so it’s wise to make sure you store and use yours safely.

Therein lies the rub
Furniture polish is another common product found at home. This too requires caution when it comes to where you keep it. Note warnings on these products stating: ‘flammable’ or ‘pressurised container’. You might find that there is no specific propellant mentioned, but take care to store your polish responsibly to avoid a fire that could destroy your furniture altogether.

Stocked up for summer
The garage shelf often houses some of the products needed for outside maintenance. Chemicals for swimming pools are another common safety hazard. These may serve as oxidisers when in contact with other hydro-carbons or tins of paint you might be storing.

Keep in mind that paint cleaning materials such as thinners as well as paraffin and gas cylinders pose large fire risks as well. Many of us store spare gas supply or keep petrol for lawnmowers or power generators in the garage, along with wood.

All of these are risky – even more so if you also store chemicals, such as those for your pool, close by. If your pool products are housed under a thatched roof structure, risks are heightened even further, as thatch is highly flammable. Make sure that any thatched structures are specified to your insurer.

Sparks may fly
As we head into the thick of summer, warmer weather unfortunately brings with it more mosquitos and flies. For many, bug repellent spray is a summer-survival staple. More descriptive warning labels around the flammable, pressurised contents may come standard with this type of product. However, flammable ingredients are not usually revealed on insect sprays, despite the dangers.

Removing insects is often frustrating, but due to the nature of repellents it’s best to be cautious when doing so.

Keep it all in mind
All of this highlights the scary reality of how easily an accident can happen, as these are products many of us use on any given day. It is in your best interest to stay safe at home and to keep your insurance policy up to date. Remember, if a fire breaks out, it will cost so much more if you are underinsured.

What if you have to rebuild your home and replace all of your contents? Don’t let an unnecessary fire burn your budget or spoil your summer plans – chat to your adviser and ‘fireproof’ your insurance cover.


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Gold industry now employs less than a fifth of the number that used to power the apartheid economy.

The nation’s 130-year-old gold industry is locked in the final stages of a decades-long death spiral. Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
BUSINESS NEWS - Back in 1987, President Cyril Ramaphosa - then a 34-year-old labour union leader - led 300 000 black miners in a strike that symbolised resistance to the apartheid regime.

Now, striking gold workers face a less politically charged battle, but one they can’t win.

The nation’s 130-year-old gold industry - which has produced half the bullion ever mined on Earth - is locked in the final stages of a decades-long death spiral.

Most of South Africa’s gold mines are unprofitable at current prices.

Dwindling output has cut gold’s contribution to little more than 1% of the South African economy, down from 3.8% in 1993 — the year before Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress won the country’s first democratic elections. While the industry’s demise won’t reverberate in the way it once would have, the mines minister has criticised Gold Fields’s plan to cut jobs as the ruling ANC seeks to shore up its base before elections next year.

Mines run by Gold Fields and Sibanye Gold have been halted by strikes over job cuts and wages respectively. Both producers cut their output projections for this year.

South Africa’s gold industry now employs just over 100 000 people, less than a fifth of the number that used to power the apartheid economy. The economic and social impact of a further contraction in the industry will be magnified as every gold miner supports between five and 10 dependents, while creating two jobs elsewhere, according to the country’s Minerals Council.

Higher wages and power prices, combined with the geological challenges of the world’s deepest mines, will mean more job losses and less production in the country over the next five years, said Gold Fields chief executive officer Nick Holland.

“When you work out the math, when you keep doing that year after year, you are going to go out of business very quickly,” Holland said in an interview. “The industry will just continue to see a slow death.”

Sibanye, the country’s biggest producer, faces wage strikes at three of its mines. CEO Neal Froneman acknowledges that pressure is building on the miner to resolve its safety problems after more than 20 fatalities this year. If that can be done, he’s optimistic that South Africa’s gold mines can survive a little longer.

“It’s an industry in decline, yes, and if sunset means the sun setting in 10 years or 15 years, that’s still 10 or 15 years away,” he said in an interview last month. “There is still money to be made.’’


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KPMG apologises over scandals, PIC inquiry to look into Steinhoff BEE deal, ex-Necsa board to challenge removal. Eskom still a concern, rand update.

KMPG is looking to start 2019 on a clean slate. Photo: Moneyweb

1. KPMG apologises for scandals
KPMG is looking to start 2019 on a new note. The auditor is apologising for its misdeeds and scandals it was involved in and is asking for a second chance to reestablish its brand. A number of companies have dropped KPMG as its auditor after reports and probes revealed that the firm did work with the infamous Gupta family and after a probe found that it released a misleading report on the South African Revenue Service. The firm’s chairman is seeking to win South Africa’s trust back.

2. PIC inquiry to look into Steinhoff BEE deal
The inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation is going beyond the fund manager and will be investigating a BEE deal which concerns fallen retailer, Steinhoff. The inquiry is seeking to look into the PIC’s R9 billion loan to Lancaster 101. The Business Day is reporting that this is one of nine investigations that the inquiry is looking into.

3. Ex-Necsa board to challenge removal in courts
Members of the axed Necsa board are not taking their removal by energy minister, Jeff Radebe lightly. According to the Business Report, the members of the ex-board are planning to take the matter to the High Court in hopes of the minister reversing his decision. Last week, Radebe removed the board over concerns regarding governing issues.

4. Load shedding on pause – for now
The case of Eskom remains a concern to South Africa, but in the latest, the parastatal announced a temporary cancellation of load shedding after two of its generating systems came online. The temporary cancellation holds no long-term promise as Eskom is still fighting to maintain its stockpiles and to find ways to fund its debt.

Public enterprises minister, Pravin Gordhan expects to halt load shedding completely, ahead of the festive season.

5. Rand update
The holiday period is upon us, and it’s time for giving, receiving and rejoicing. There is hope that the rand also joins into the festive spirit by lifting gains, but for now, it’s not quite there. At 7:58, the rand was at R14.19 to the dollar.


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- IN GENERAL Why Eskom can’t keep the lights

NATIONAL NEWS - Delays in procurement processes to get new coal contracts are behind the latest bout of nationwide load shedding by state power producer Eskom.

The utility’s spokeperson, Khulu Phasiwe, said several power stations were suffering supply shortages as a result of the cancellation of Eskom’s controversial contract with the Gupta-Zuma owned entity Tegeta.

Yesterday, the utility announced stage 1 load shedding as of midday to preserve emergency resources.

“Customers are advised to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom and their municipal website, and to plan on the assumption that load shedding will take place. We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period.

“Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”

The announcement came after an energy analyst predicted the event, warning that Eskom’s stockpiles had declined significantly and the utility was headed towards a supply crisis.

This was despite the fact that the under-construction Medupi Power Station was sitting with a surplus stockpile, which is currently being used to supplement other stations, according to Phasiwe.

“We don’t have a coal problem at Medupi; the problem is at the other stations that were previously supplied by Tegeta.

“There are plans in place to sign 14 new coal contracts and, to date, we have signed 27 contracts in total.

“Hopefully all of these things will be alleviated by then and we are looking at stockpile levels improving by the end of March next year,” Phasiwe said.

Meanwhile, the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) was receiving public submissions after the cash-strapped utility applied for a 15% tariff increase in October, which would last for the next three years.

The utility also applied for retroactive shortfall funding via a regulatory clearing account (RCA) application of R21.6 billion for the fifth year (2017/18) of the MYPD 3 period.

The Nersa MYPD (multi-year price determination) methodology requires Eskom, after financial year end, to submit its RCA application to Nersa, based on efficient and prudent costs reflected.


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Braam van Huyssteen
GEORGE NEWS - Five former Tekkie Town employees want to appeal an interim interdict recently obtained against them by Pepkor. It prohibits them from selling certain footwear that compete with Tekkie Town stock.

According to a media statement from the group, their application for leave to appeal was handed in on Monday 19 November at the Cape Town High Court, which had issued the interdict against them on 7 November.

The group is made up of Tekkie Town founder Braam van Huyssteen, Bernard Mostert, Dawie van Niekerk, Gert Claassens and Michael Brown, all founders of the newly established Mr. Tekkie.

Van Huyssteen says in the statement, "We view the application to appeal to be the responsible avenue to defend ourselves and also the legal system from the vexatious behaviour by Pepkor, Steinhoff and its senior leadership. The list, purported by Pepkor to be 'Annexure A' of the ruling, was indeed not 'Annexure A' but unilaterally produced by Pepkor nearly a week after the ruling was handed down."

He says the "Pepkor-fabricated" list was never placed before the court. "It was never audited or verified and, contrary to Judge Elizabeth Baartman's instruction, was not provided to the respondents or the court before judgement was delivered."


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British minister promotes post-Brexit trade in Israel

Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox in London's Downing Street on November 26, 2018.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS - British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox met Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday as his country prepares to leave the European Union and pursue an independent trade policy.

Britain's exports to Israel already grew by 75 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year, Fox's office said, citing Israeli official figures.

Last year saw more than $9 billion in trade between the two nations, a record high, it said.

"And as we leave the European Union and Britain takes up its place as an independent state of (the World Trade Organisation), we want to push our concept of free trade even further," Fox told Netanyahu ahead of their meeting.

"In a world where the siren calls of protectionism are rising, two free-trade nations like ours need to make the case for global free trade because trade spreads prosperity."

Netanyahu said: "Britain is in fact our largest trade partner in Europe - one of our most important trading partners in the world - and we value the friendship."

Israel is notably an import market for British cars, while Scotch whiskey sales in Israel have increased by 300 percent since 2012, according to Fox's office.

Other leading British exports to Israel have included mineral products and machinery and electrical equipment, as well as chemical industry products, according to the British embassy.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to convince hostile MPs to back her draft deal for future ties with the EU after her country exits the bloc next March. A vote is scheduled for December 11.

Fox arrived in Israel on Monday and met with Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.


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The exams are over... and now we wait
From left are Marguerite Herbst, Luke Hartley, Nicole Moss and Cara Kaboni, saying goodbye to York for the last time.

GEORGE NEWS & VIDEO - It was flowers, balloons, hugs, goodbyes and school shoes in the blue box at York High School on Monday 26 November when the class of 2018 finished writing their last paper, National Senior Certificate English paper 3.

Parents, brothers, sisters and special friends waited outside the school's examination centre for their loved ones to emerge from the hall for the last time.

York High's head girl, Cara Kaboni, just can't believe she's actually finished school. "It has been a long six weeks of exams. Next year I am going to study law at Wits."

York High dux student Marguerite Herbst is pleased the exams are over. "I am going to the Plett rage and then I am off to either UCT or Stellenbosch to study medicine."

Click here for a photo gallery.

Headmaster Francois Moll says the exams were slightly "trickier" than in the past, but trusts the class of 2018 will deliver the goods.


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GEORGE NEWS - The Garden Route Dam level is currently at 77%.

The latest reading was taken by the George Municipality this morning, Wednesday 28 November.

Rainfall since 22 November: 35mm.

The following Section 2B water restrictions currently apply in George and surrounds:

• Handheld watering of gardens using a hose and municipal water: even-numbered households Mondays and Thursdays, 15:00 - 17:00 AND uneven-numbered households Tuesdays and Fridays, 15:00 - 17:00.

• Mechanical irrigation of gardens (sprayers) using municipal water is prohibited.

• Watering sports fields using municipal water is prohibited, except for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches, daily 15:00 - 17:00.

• Filling up of swimming pools using municipal water is prohibited.

• Washing cars with a hose using municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed), except for commercial car washes.

• Cleaning of outside surfaces using a hosepipe with municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed).

• “OWN WATER” signage must be displayed where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials.

• Applications for exemption of some restrictions may be considered on merit.