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Wednesday, October 17 2018 @ 11:46 am UTC

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Deaths from bites are rare despite Australia being home to 20 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes
INTERNATIONAL LIFESTYLE NEWS - An Australian nurse has spoken about how he survived a bite from one of the world's deadliest snakes by using medical training to instruct his rescuers as he passed in and out of consciousness.

Christian Wright, 33, was bitten on his foot by a brown snake at the bottom of a gorge in a remote part of Karijini National Park some 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) north of Perth in Western Australia last month.

"I looked at my foot, there was no puncture marks. No blood, no swelling, no nothing," Wright told commercial broadcaster Channel Seven Saturday.

"I started losing my vision. I knew I was going to pass out."

The hospital midwife shouted to his friend Alex Chia, who caught him as he passed out.

"His eyes were rolling back in his head, he was shaking and sweating, and then he went totally limp and heavy," Chia told The West Australian newspaper.

"We were down a deep gorge, 30 metres (100 feet) tall, there was no one in sight. The hardest part was being in front of his lifeless body."

A nearby Austrian couple heard their cries for help and called emergency services with their satellite phone as they tended to Wright's leg using his own instructions.

"I was just coming and going. I started getting really agitated as the neurotoxins started getting to my head, I was writhing all over the place and yelling out from the pain in my head," Wright told The West Australian.

A ranger was the first to arrive at the scene, followed by paramedics and other rescuers.

But Wright's ordeal was not yet over, with the ranger having to enlist the help of 20 nearby tourists to carry the nurse out of the challenging terrain on a stretcher while keeping his head above his legs.

It took more than an hour to carry him to an ambulance before he was driven to a hospital some 75 kilometres away and given anti-venom to counter the poison.

Brown snakes, whose bite is often painless, are known as nervous reptiles that strike with little hesitation.

Deaths from bites are rare despite Australia being home to 20 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes.

According to official estimates there are about 3,000 snakebite cases in Australia every year, with 300-500 needing anti-venom treatment. Only an average of two a year prove fatal.
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How to find a home in a new city

PROPERTY NEWS - Moving to a new city can be an incredibly exciting prospect, but it also comes with its challenges – like finding a place to live. Finding a great property to rent or buy in a place you know well is tricky enough… where do you even start when you’re moving to a city you barely know?

“A lot of South Africans are facing exactly this challenge at the moment, with semigration at an all-time high,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group. “It’s certainly stressful packing up your life and heading into unfamiliar territory, but that’s no reason to be cornered into bad property decisions that could affect you for years to come.”

So how do you make sure your decisions are the right ones? Clarke suggests asking yourself these questions as a start:

Do I want to rent or buy?
“In most cases, a short-term rental while you get comfortable with your new job and a new city is a smart idea,” says Clarke, “but there is a case to be made for buying if you have the financial means to do so.”

According to Clarke, buying an entry-level home in your new city can be a great way to establish a secure home base from day one, with the bonus of becoming an income-earning investment if you rent it out when you’re ready to move on.

“Starter homes and sectional title properties typically appreciate faster than their luxury counterparts, achieve better rental returns and often have lower maintenance responsibilities,” says Clarke. “That makes them ideal as relatively affordable entry-level investments that can double up as a place to live while you get settled in your new city.”

Clarke does warn against buying a home with the intention of selling again in the near future, however.

“You need to be willing to hang on to a property for at least five to ten years to recoup your investment,” he explains. “If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, or are worried that you may not be making a well-informed purchase decision, a rental property is a safer idea.”

Do I need to be close to certain areas for work or school?
Choosing a neighbourhood in an unfamiliar city is always tricky, but Clarke suggests narrowing your options down by charting your likely commute every day.

“If you look at where you’re going to be working, shopping, or sending your kids to school, certain suburbs will likely stand out as particularly central or convenient,” he says. “I’d recommend getting in touch with a few neighbourhood real estate or rental agents who can then advise you on options in your price range, or guide you to alternative areas that better suit your desired lifestyle.”

Clarke also suggests doing an online search of potential suburbs to get information on things like community groups and crime statistics.

“A lot of neighbourhoods have websites or Facebook groups these days, which give fantastic insights into the type of community you’d be joining,” he says. “It’s a great way to get the inside scoop on your potential ‘hood’, and even make a few local friends before the big move.”

Can I trust my estate or rental agency?
“Unless you can afford to spend some time in your new town before you move, you may have to decide where to live based on nothing more than your agent’s recommendations and some photographs of the property,” says Clarke. “If that’s the case, you’ll want to be one hundred percent certain that your agent is reliable, honest, and has your best interests at heart.”

To set your mind at ease, Clarke recommends opting for an experienced agent from a reputable brand, preferably with contactable references in your new city.

“Remember, most national brands can assist with referrals, so you can always pop into your local franchise and ask for recommendations,” he says. “It’s a great way to make sure your new agent is held to the same professional standards that you’ve come to expect from those in your hometown.”
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Shell Kraaibosch's excellent service earns award on global front
Morné Strauss at Shell's Smiling Stars Global event in Dubai with the Shell Global Gold Sites of the Year 2017 award earned by the dedicated Shell Kraaibosch staff.
Sponsored Content

GEORGE BUSINESS NEWS - The Shell Kraaibosch Service Station is elated after being named one of Shell's Global Gold Sites of the Year 2017. Owner Morné Strauss received the award at Shell's Smiling Stars Global event held in Dubai.

This is no mean feat, since 45 000 filling stations take part in the annual judging to determine the top sites. Judging is done by a mystery marker who visits every filling station four times a year to mark them according to international Shell standards. It forms part of Shell's "People Make the Difference Real" programme.

The international award follows Shell Kraaibosch being named (for the third consecutive year) as South African Gold Site of the Year (2017), a title that is granted to the top 10 South African filling stations out of 650.

"We are over the moon to be also one of the top sites internationally. It is a big honour and it motivates everyone in the team to keep up the excellent work," said Strauss.

He said high service levels are prerequisite in order to be considered for a Gold Site award. "We do not know who the mystery marker is and when he or she is coming, so the marks are a true reflection of the service of our employees. They are really dedicated to delivering top-notch service."

24-hour convenience shopping
Shell Kraaibosch is a convenience destination that offers a 24-hour filling station, 24-hour Spar Express with a Bean Tree Café, Steers, and ATMs of all four major banks. The Spar Express offers the same variety as the Super Spar, from quality meat to a large variety of foodstuffs.

Address: Garden Route Mall intersection, Knysna Road

Contact: 044 887 0480

'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'
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“Live in Style with Old School Perfection™"

Classic Paints Opens under New Ownership
Classic Paints new address in 96 Meade Street at the Big Green Building.

BUSINESS NEWS - Supporters and business affiliates attended the opening of Classic Paints (Pty) at their new premises in 96 Meade Street, on Thursday 7 June. The Classic Paints brand was established on 1 March 1985. In 1995 it was decided that the only way to become competitive was to manufacture its own brand of paint.

The name Classic Paints very soon grew into a household name within the Southern Cape area. In January 2018 Classic Paints (Pty) Ltd obtained the intellectual property rights and formulations of the Classic Paints brand and is now continuing the legacy.

Classic Paints (Pty) Ltd. is the manufacturer and retailer of High Quality, Affordable & Reliable paint. This includes, but is not limited to Exterior and Interior paints such as: Satin Sheen, High Cover PVA, Super Acrylic, Roof Paints, Enamel, Classiseal, Classiguard, Wood Varnishes, Lacquers, Industrial Paint and Luxor Driven Automotive Paints.

We offer technical advice as well as colour tinting and matching. With these top quality products, a surface will still look as good as new ten years after it has been painted, saving our the customer time and money. Classic Paints is good value for money.

With Classic Paints now located in George, the brand is sure to go a long way. Contact Classic Paints for all your painting solutions on 044 873 4750 or visit their shop at 96 Meade Street.
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Protest action in Plettenberg Bay has resulted in various road closures.

PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Most of the protest-related fires in the Plettenberg Bay area have been extinguished.

Additional members of the Public Order Police have arrived in Plett to stabilise the situation.

Residents have been protesting in the area since Monday. The protest action is related to housing issues.

The N2 at the footbridge and the entrance to Crags is closed.

Motorists entering or exiting Plett (towards Knysna) have been redirected via Airport Road

According to Bitou Public Safety, the toll gates at Tsitsikamma have been closed. No vehicles - from Port Elizabeth-side or Plettenberg Bay-side - can pass through the toll gates.

Bitou Mayor, Peter Lobese will be addressing the protestors at 13:00 on the N2.
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Visit George


The city of George is nestled in the heart of the Garden Route.

George is the sixth oldest city in South Africa and has a growing population of approximately 190 000. Centrally situated, this one-of-a-kind city lies halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and is a mere stone’s throw away from endless stretches of beautiful and pristine beaches.

Beautiful city
Known for its breathtaking scenery – from the foothills of the majestic Outeniqua Mountains to the indigenous Fynbos forests and sweeping coastline of the Indian Ocean – George is often referred to as one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities. As a preferred holiday destination all year round, George offers a tantalising blend of old world charm, natural beauty and local treasures.

It is believed that this beautiful part of the world was first explored in 1688 in the hope of finding fresh water and food. The city was eventually named after King George III, England’s reigning monarch at the time, and was declared a drostdy by the Earl of Caledon in 1811.

So much to do
George has something for everybody and visitors are always welcomed with open arms by the city’s friendly residents.

A visit to the city would simply not be complete without exploring the treasures of the Montagu and Outeniqua Passes and historical landmarks such as the Pacaltsdorp Stone Church – the oldest church in George - and the ancient slave tree in York Street. Other must-see attractions include the Railway Museum, the ever-popular Hop Route, the Museum – a collection of local gems – and the beautiful greenery of the Garden Route Botanical Garden at the top of Caledon Street.

The Garden Route has a mediterrranean climate with mild to chilly winters and moderately hot summers. During the warmer months - November to March - the cool water of the Indian Ocean is the perfect ending to a long, hot day.

Temperatures generally start cooling down from April. Because of it's mild climate, George is the ideal setting for outdoor adventure. Thrill-seekers can enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities such as hiking, abseiling, canoeing, surfing and hang-gliding throughout the year.

Golfing is a huge attraction in George and annually over 150 000 rounds are played on our beautifully maintained fairways and greens. And with world-class golf courses such as the George Golf Club, Oubaai, Fancourt and Kingswood all within minutes of the city centre, it is not difficult to see why George is the golfing hub of the Garden Route and often referred to as ‘Golfer's Paradise’. George truly offers a golfing experience that is comparable with the very best in the world.

The city of George boasts a sophisticated infrastructure with a host of banks, conference facilites and modern, convenient shopping destinations – including leading chain stores. Top restaurants and coffee shops in and around George will ensure a dining experience like no other while visitors can relax and unwind after a long day’s exploring at one of our many local guest houses, bed & breakfasts or convenient self-catering resorts. The recently upgraded George Airport ensures that George is the ideal platform from which to explore the entire Garden Route.

George is truly the city for all reasons!
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A C T I V E Networking at it's best. Your Invitation.

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For an impoverished ageing pensioner, all they comprehend is a broken promise.

However, the case heard in the Pretoria High Court in 2016, was about exceptions. The objective of an exception is to dispose of the case or a portion thereof in a timely manner.

The exceptions raised by the funds and Transnet were not allowed by the High Court.

Vultures waiting for Transnet pensioners

The pensioners were assured that there would be no change to their pension benefits.
BUSINESS NEWS - This is a brief history of the old, the forgotten, and the dispossessed. Pensioners should be seen and not heard, even if they are struggling, and battling to put food on the table. After all, their lifespan is diminishing. Macabre? This is how the Transnet pensioners have been treated since 2003.

Is this a foreboding of the future – that of looted pension funds, and struggling pensioners? That employees may battle to make promises stick? Is this an indication of how workers are going to be treated when they are no longer economically useful? Or is this merely another example of a state-owned entity behaving badly?

To briefly recap the past – when, in 1990, the SA Transport Services was converted into a company, Transnet SOC Ltd, two defined benefit funds were inherited from the South African Railways and Harbours Administration. These funds were merged into the Transport Pension Fund. In 2000 the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund was created to house the pensioner members of the Transport Fund.

These funds fall under the Transnet Pension Act, and are therefore not subject to the Pension Funds Act, nor are they subject to supervision by the Financial Services Board. It should be noted that guaranteed benefit funds, which fall under the Pension Funds Act, are mandated to distribute any fund surplus to members. This does not apply to these Transnet Funds.

The pensioners were assured that there would be no change to their pension benefits. As they understood it, the annual increase would be 2% plus an increase to take inflation into account. This is what came to be referred to as ‘the promise’. This was kept until 2003, after which the annual increases were no more than 2%. Inflation shot up to 4.82% in 2006, reaching 7.57% in 2007 and 9.35% in 2008. It has remained high, coming down slightly to 4.50% in 2017.

During the years, these pensioners had to make do with paltry 2% increases. “Bonuses” were occasionally dished out, but it has not been possible to quantify the impact.

In 2014 two pensioners, Pretorius and Kapa, were granted the right to represent the pensioners of these two funds in a class action lawsuit against the Transport Pension Fund (TPF) and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Pension Fund (the funds).

The pensioners only achieved a partial victory. Leave to appeal was denied in the High Court and the Supreme Court. This matter was heard by the Constitutional Court in April 2018, and the pensioners were granted the right to appeal the High Court judgment.

The pensioners have made the following claims:

The promise that the funds had failed to keep and that the funds should be ordered to pay the arrear increases taking into account 70% of inflation from 2003. The pensioners also argued that the failure to keep the promise constituted a breach of contract, unlawful state action and an unfair labour practice.
Transnet and the funds raised exceptions to the arguments but the ConCourt dismissed them and ruled that it does not deprive the respondents of the opportunity to raise [arguments] as “substantive defences in their respective pleas”.

The ConCourt also ruled that unlawful state action, unfair labour practice, and the breach of contract are all constitutional matters.

That the legacy debt of R171.8 billion as at April 1 1990, which was actuarially determined, plus interest of no less than 12% per annum as from April 1 1990, should be paid to the funds.
Transnet has failed to pay this amount over to the funds.

The exceptions raised by the funds and Transnet were not allowed by the High Court.

That the donation of 40% of the TPF members’ surplus, in the amount of R309.1 million that was made to Transnet on November 23 2000, constitutes an unlawful donation and is invalid and should be paid back by Transnet.
The exceptions raised by the funds and Transnet were not allowed by the High Court.
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Australian stores limit baby formula as China demand hits stocks
Coles says some stores have moved the milk supplement from isles to behind counters
BUSINESS NEWS - One of Australia's biggest supermarket chains said Wednesday some stores were moving baby formula behind counters and restricting sales as it emerged customers were clearing shelves and selling it online in China for more than double the price.

Coles' decision to take the milk product off aisles follows complaints from worried mothers over supplies and after Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported one kilogram tins bought for up to Aus$35 (US$26) were being resold to Chinese parents for around Aus$100.

"Coles is committed to ensuring that our customers with a genuine need for infant formula have access to this product," Coles said in a statement.

"To make sure we have formula available for customers, in some stores we are keeping infant formula behind the service desk or using specially designed electronic article surveillance lids that can only be removed at the register."

The supermarket giant is restricting sales to two tins per customer and working with suppliers to improve availability.

Woolworths said it had no plans to remove the product from shelves but has also tightened restrictions to two units per customer.

In 2015 an Australian company apologised to mothers after its premium organic baby milk formula was wiped off supermarket shelves ahead of China's Singles Day.

Demand for foreign infant milk products has soared following a series of food scares in China, including a 2008 scandal over locally produced tainted formula that left six children dead and made more than 300,000 ill.

Simon Hansford, owner of producer Milk Powder Solutions said the strong Chinese demand reflected the quality of Australian produce, but also welcomed restrictions to protect local supply.