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Even though the festive season is over, the National Council of SPCAs wishes to keep momentum going and asks everyone for support. Please see how YOU can assist to improve the lives of animals: – those you live with, those in your neighbourhood and those that the SPCA movement strives to help on an ongoing basis. With your help the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) and the SPCAs country-wide can conduct more investigations, can expand campaigns, increase education and can lessen the suffering of so many animals. The SPCA movement enforces animal welfare legislation and can lay criminal charges against offenders.

The mission of the SPCA is to prevent cruelty to and the abuse of animals, educate the public about animal welfare, and promote awareness of problems of animal cruelty.

Tel: 041 9923016, Address: Schonland Avenue, Cape Road Industrial, Uitenhage.

Keep a lookout for the Uitenhage SPCA’s soon to be launched website http://www.uitenhagespca.co.za/

Audio and Braille books bring joy to the blind

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Sithandiwe Velaphi

In a bid to support the visually disabled community, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, recently launched a free audio and Braille book service at the Elukhanyisweni public Llibrary in KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage.

The project is a joint initiative between the provincial department of arts and culture and the South African Library for the Blind and has been rolled out to eleven public libraries throughout the province.

Elukhanyisweni library is the only one in Nelson Mandela Bay currently offering this service.

According to project coordinator, Pumla Mahanjana, all of the 11 public libraries have been provided with furniture and equipment to aid the visually impaired individuals. Theseinclude audio readers, document readers, computer software, Braille books and other services.

“Not only does this open up opportunities for the visually impaired, it also assists those who are illiterate to benefit from the service,” said Mahanjana.

Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesperson Kupido Baron said staff at each library was trained to assist users of the equipment. Baron said public library workshops were also held for members of the local community in order to train them on the equipment, as well as to raise awareness of the facilities available.

Thembisa Blouw from Khanyisa School for the Blind pupil, , said she was pleased with the new facilities available for the visually disabled community.

“I am excited to use the new equipment at the library. At Khanyisa we make use of such facility and it is good to know that our library has also made provision for us as visually disabled residents,” said Blouw.

Source : thenewage.co.za

SA VW Polo hits one million km

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After a million kilometres of motoring in an SA-built 2004 Volkswagen Polo, veteran

Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa David Powels hands over a new dashboard cluster to Magriet and Gerrie Esterhuizen for their Volkswagen Polo Classic.

salesman Gerrie Esterhuizen has had the question he has been asking for months answered.

“We always wondered what would happen when the speedometer hit the million-kilometre mark,” said 67-year-old Gerrie. 

He was speaking during a visit as a VIP guest to Volkswagen’s plant in Uitenhage to mark the remarkable achievement in clocking up the huge number of kilometres in his Volkswagen Polo, with its original engine and other key parts.

“After 999999.9 kilometres, the speedometer just shows six dashes, although the trip meter carries on working,” Gerrie’s wife of 47 years, Magriet, said. She had been his constant companion in recent years as he traveled as a salesman from their home is Soutpan, near Bloemfontein, over the testing roads of the Free State and parts of the Northern Cape, North West and Lesotho.

“We travel up to 800km a day from our home and back, often spending more than 10 hours on the road and seeing clients, mainly in small towns in our sales territory,” Gerrie said. “These days we average between 8000km and 10 000km a month. In previous years, we drove more than 12 000km a month.”

Gerrie and Magriet, who have three children and five grandchildren, have kept a meticulous record of their million-kilometre odyssey.

“We reckon the Polo used 66 666 litres of fuel to get to the million mark. That’s an excellent figure of about 700km per 50-litre tank, or 15km a litre (6.6l/100km). Working out the cost over the years at an average of R8 per litre, that’s about R533 000 in fuel costs.”

“But the cost of maintaining the car has been so low we can’t calculate that. We have had two new fuel pumps fitted – one at 200 000km and the other at 800 000km – but the engine has never been opened since we bought the car at Alan Hudson Motors in Nelspruit. Its clutch, starter, alternator, exhaust system, radiator and oil pump are all original. We always ensure that genuine VW parts are used when the vehicle goes for service.”

Gerrie, who has been driving Volkswagens for the past 20 years, added: “I have never experienced such outstanding reliability in any other vehicle I have driven.”

The Esterhuizens were presented with a new dashboard cluster by Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, David Powels and their vehicle was given a special overnight paint, dent removal, and general brush-up package under the watchful eye of VWSA’s Production Director Tom du Plessis.

A company spokesperson said it was unusual but not unheard of for Volkswagen products to achieve such high mileage in various parts of the world.  

When asked what their secret is to reaching over a million kilometres, the Esterhuizens replied: “Drive a well-maintained and reliable car like our million-kilometre Polo.”

Source : motoring.iafrica.com

Market on Penford – 4th of August

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Uitenhage Homemade Market Homegrown Penford ChurchLooking to get out of the house and over the winter blues?

Market-on-Penford is a vibrant family market happening in Uitenhage on Saturday 4th August, with plenty to see, eat and buy. 

Market-on-Penford is primarily an outdoor market, and specializes in “Home-made, Home-baked, Home-grown” by hosting hand-picked stalls that sell a variety of arts and crafts, fresh produce, baked goods, dried fruits, preserves, and plants to name but a few.

The market’s vision is to support the local community without compromising on quality products. 

There will be plenty of freshly prepared food to eat for breakfast, brunch and lunch.

You can also treat yourself to an early dessert and cappuccino.

Seating is provided for those who wish to enjoy a meal or just take a break from browsing through the stalls.

The venue is child-friendly with a jungle-gym for children to play and enjoy as well as a number of activities for children. 

The market started in February of this year, and has been running successfully ever since, proving to be a popular community event. 

So make your way to Philadelphia hall, 31 Penford Ave, Uitenhage.

The market starts at 8:00 until 14:00.

Market-on-Penford will take place on the first Saturday of every month. 

For more information or to enquire about a stall, please contact Estelle at 084-651-1865 or market@philadelphia.org.za

You can also search for “Market-on-Penford” on Facebook.

Source : Philadelphia.org.za

Economics, not politics must drive inner cities

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Nelson Mandela Bay business growth inner cities south africaThe development of South Africa’s cities is critical to creating jobs and improving economic growth rates, but without partnerships, finding niches, being uber competitive and technologically advanced, this will not happen, delegates at a development conference heard on the weekend.

An especially big stumbling block would be if politics rather than economics drove the development.

SA has the sub-structure in place to make it work, whereas other sprawling cities like Lagos do not even have that, yet Nigeria is tipped to become Africa’s economic engine.

The local government said it was prepared to support bold, new initiatives and provide funding to worthy projects and partner with the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) on urban renewal projects.

“As a leading city we are investing more and more,” said Deputy Mayor, Nancy Sihlwayi.

She said the government understood the need to benefit from global trade and to provide a stable and competitive economy that competes at a global level. Urban renewal in the metro is seen as a critical plank in this process, but crime, violence and environmental challenges also needed to be addressed.

Professor Nick Binedell, from the Gordon Institute of Business Science, said the pursuit of narrow political interests would hinder this growth, as economics, not politics would be the driver.

Binedell said visionary thinking was needed, as the economy drove the cities, noting that Johannesburg was built in only 20 years, driven by its niche, mining. It became to the world in the 1800’s what Shanghai is to the world today.

“We live in a time of unbelievable change, increasing technical and social complexity and significantly more competition,” Binedell cautioned.

But he said the fight for the future was deeply competitive as the fight for resources was political. “We will compete for our lunch.”

Hundreds of cities are lifting their people out of poverty, and Port Elizabeth is a tiny speck in this sea of cities.

Binedell said technological innovation was a key in the process, and said that a city had to find its own niche. Another part of that was linking in with social change and bringing the young generation into the loop.

This comes as the MBDA is pulling its youth and other interested inhabitants together in an inner city run on Sunday along the new Route 67, that uses art to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 67 years in public life, along the paths walked in the 1994 election.

It is also spending hundreds of millions to boost the inner city and wants a new harbour and beachfront development to drive tourism and jobs. It aims to use the city’s culture and history as its niche and to move past its motor-manufacturing base towards more tertiary sector development and diversified business base.

SA cities have had a rough time over the last couple of years, but infrastructure upgrades can create jobs, reverse brain drains and lead to economic diversification, according to MBDA CEO Pierre Voges.

Port Elizabeth is mainly based on motor manufacturing, while the tertiary sector has not developed over the past 20 years. But the MBDA aims to boost tourism and jobs into the Eastern Cape economy and has already spent R250 million on improving the municipal infrastructure in the CBDs of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.

“We are not trying to be like Johannesburg or Cape Town,” said Voges. The aim is to turn the manufacturing base and working mentality into a positive. He said infrastructure upgrades like those currently taking place in the inner city were already bringing entrepreneurs back into the region.

One stumbling block is seen as an ore terminal blighting the shoreline and creating health concerns.

Voges called the relationship with Transnet Port Terminals as “rocky”, but that far better cooperation was now happening as the port was so important to the region’s economy. The Port Elizabeth port alone has seen a threefold increase in tonnage shipped since 2005.

The 350,000 tonne manganese ore terminal between Kings Beach and the Port Elizabeth Harbour has for years been blamed for upsetting the beachfront aesthetics and potentially causing health problems. A new beachfront development and harbour upgrade is expected to replace the facility once it is moved to either Coega, Africa’s biggest industrial zone development just outside Port Elizabeth, or Saldanha.

source: Business Times

Letting Rex off the lead

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EMPOWERMENT icon Brimstone looks set to cause a flutter among the corporate fashionistas and perennially fashionable value investors.

This week Brimstone signalled an intention to cast off its investment in fashion retailer Rex Trueform (RexTru).

Brimstone acquired an effective 34.6% stake in RexTru in late 2007.

At last count, the empowerment company’s interest in Rextru was spread as follows: 242 654 Rextru ordinary shares and 2.6 million Rextru N-shares as well as 254 126 ordinary shares and 3.7 million N-shares in Rextru’s pyramid holding African & Overseas Enterprises.

That’s a holding roughly worth R50m, but – more importantly – a holding representing a big chunk of a company which cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be regarded as one of the JSE’s most liquid counters.

Despite the canine connotation of Rex – having been schooled in the classics at Muir College in Uitenhage, I do know Rex is actually latin for “king” – the company is no dog. Rextru, which owns the Queenspark fashion chain, has proved a remarkably resilient (and rewarding) business over the years.

Originally, Rextru was to form part and parcel of Brimstone’s longer-term plans to build a fashion brand house around its clothing manufacturing subsidiary, House of Monatic (HoM).

I suspect that plan is no longer on the table. And Brimstone directors admit as much in commentary that accompanies the company’s recently released year to end-December results.

In reference to the Rextru investment, they noted: “Events and developments within the clothing industry and specifically within Brimstone’s clothing cluster have given cause for Brimstone to review its strategy.”

Brimstone unlikely to be panicked

In this regard Rextru is no longer considered strategic, which means Brimstone is “actively pursuing opportunities to extract maximum value” from the Rextru investment.

For those that need reminding, Brimstone’s clothing cluster was dealt a heavy body blow when subsidiary Fifth Element was liquidated after some unsavoury business practices were uncovered in an internal investigation.

In any event HoM – which thankfully does hold some valuable industrial properties – posted a loss of R30m after factoring in write-offs and expenses.

Still, Brimstone probably won’t be panicked into selling Rextru. Indeed the empowerment company, which has a strong portfolio ranging from healthcare to fishing and assurance to insurance, can afford to sit back and collect the dividends from Rextru.

I reckon, though, Brimstone has done a clever thing in “putting out” its intentions for Rextru. It certainly would not surprise me to hear that Brimstone was inundated with polite calls of enquiry from interested parties – probably ranging from larger fashion retailers to private equity specialists.

I even wonder whether former asset manager Hugh Roberts, who already holds a sizeable position in Rextru, might be tempted to harness a bigger stake?

While there should be no shortage of buyers for Brimstone’s Rextru stake, there is a question around price. When Brimstone struck the deal to buy out Old Mutual’s stake in Rextru and Af&Over, the shares were trading at around 800c and 600c respectively on the JSE.

The shares have crept up, but are still – according to my calculations – trading below tangible net asset value. NAV aside, the earnings multiple on Rextru is well below its larger peers like Foschini, Mr Price and Truworths.

In other words, I don’t think Brimstone will be looking at a 1 000c/share offer for its Rextru shares or 800c/share for its Af&Over shares.

The thing is that there is so much potential tucked away in Rextru, more specifically Queenspark, that it seems quite possible that a larger fashion conglomerate or private equity firm could well be willing to fork out a premium.

One has to consider that Rextru, run for generations as a family-controlled business, has always erred on the side of caution.

Quite striking is the fact that at last count Rextru had over R100m in the bank and a chain of around 50 Queenspark stores.

Perhaps the real potential of the business could come to the fore with a chain of 100 Queenspark stores and only R50m in the bank?

source: – Fin24.com

Boxing promoter may buy ailing Bay Utd

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UITENHAGE-BORN businessman, Butityi Konki, may be in the queue to purchase ailing Port Elizabeth-based First Division soccer side Bay United.

Konki, who is International Boxing Federation lightweight contender Ali Funeka’s business manager, said he would not have a problem being the club’s new owner after United owners, Izingwe Holdings’ decision to get rid of the club.

Izingwe Holdings threw in the towel after United’s failure to return to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) next season.

“Izingwe Holdings regrets to announce that Bay United Football Club will immediately cease conducting business while beginning an extensive process that may lead to the sale of the club,” a statement released by the club said.

“I’m going to speak to my legal advisers in Port Elizabeth about whether to get involved at Bay United or not. I could be interested in the club as many people have called asking me to buy it,” said Konki.

Apart from the club’s failure to return to the PSL, the owners say there were other issues that prompted them to give up on Umlilo.

These included the PSL’s imposition of a R1.3 million liability following the club’s retrenchment of players at the end of the 2008/9 season.

Their unsuccessful attempts to get financial and other forms of sponsorship assistance from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the Eastern Cape provincial government and commercial sponsors, also contributed to Izingwe Holdings’ decision. “We will engage with all the creditors of the club, including the players. No final decision will be taken until discussions have been held with all relevant parties.

“We undertake to do our best to resolve this matter in the best interests of all parties,” said club boss Sipho Pityana.

Pityana tried to sell United to Konki after they were relegated from the PSL at the end of last season, but the deal fell through.

Pityana informed Konki last year that he was selling United for R15m, but the Johannesburg-based businessman said he was prepared to part with only R5m. “There was no way that I could pay that kind of money for a team that had just been relegated from the PSL.

“I was only prepared to pay R5m but I got no response after writing to Pityana indicating my interest,” said Konki.


source: Daily Dispatch

Jubilee Park Primary to get a face-lift

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A FACE-LIFT is on the cards for a dilapidated primary school in Uitenhage, teachers and parents heard yesterday.

Members of Bhisho’s standing committee on education yesterday visited Jubilee Park Primary School, where they promised the woes of the school’s plank classrooms would be a thing of the past.

Standing committee chairman Mzoleli Mrara and chief whip Christian Martin highlighted government’s commitment to building new classrooms and erecting a boundary fence.

Mrara, who visited the school for the second time since October, said the situation at Jubilee was unacceptable.

Some classrooms had no electricity and there were holes in the roof, making it impossible to work.

“I have noted it’s like night time on days when it is overcast and this is unacceptable,” he said.

“There is no fence at this school, and I know it is difficult to control discipline and the school is vulnerable to thugs,” he said.

He said Jubilee Park Primary would be on the education department’s priority list.

“It is our responsibility to restore dignity to this school and I am committing myself to ensuring new classrooms are built.”

Jubilee Park Primary principal Lorna Basuman said 20 new classrooms were needed, including a science laboratory and a library.

Former principal Hamilton Peterson said pupils had suffered over the years.

“In winter water comes into the classrooms.

“The place was even named a health hazard by health department officials and the municipality,” he said.

The committee addressed the Chatty Greenfields community in Booysen Park on plans for the establishment of a mobile classroom.

Mrara said work on a plot for a mobile school would begin next week.

He said 275 children who were idling at home because of a shortage of schools in Chatty Greenfields had been registered as part of a plan to establish a mobile school in the area.

The children, predominantly from grades R to 2, will receive classes at the primary school by next quarter.

Mrara said: “Every child must go to school because we are building the future.”

He pleaded with the community to look after the mobile school and the permanent school that was to be built next year.

source: The Weekend Post

Uitenhage’s FET college best in Eastern Cape

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UITENHAGE’S Further Education and Training College has come out tops in the Eastern Cape for leadership and student results.
The EastCape Midlands College beat seven other institutions in the province when it attained the highest scores in an independent assessment for FET colleges.
The study was commissioned by the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills for South Africa (Jipsa), the “systemic audit” rating the colleges on policy and strategy, people resources, partnerships and resources, processes, student results, staff results, society results, key performance results and leadership.
The college was also top of the class for people resources, and for student results and leadership.
Marketing and communications manager Elmari van der Merwe said the college was focusing on giving students the right advice when they enrolled to ensure that its results continued to improve.
“Too many students are guided by what parents or friends tell them rather than by their own interests and abilities,” she said. “In order to provide the right support, 18 of the EMC staff have recently qualified as fully accredited professional career guidance practitioners.
“The standard of the training we provide meets the toughest national and in some cases international standards. It is a college for achievers, and students will only succeed if they are studying the right subjects for them.”
Top marks were also given for the college’s “partnerships and resources”.
As a result, EMC was also the leading FET college in the province in terms of contribution to society, and had received the best overall marks for key performance results.

Thieves mourn the Citi Golf

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Thieves mourn the Citi Golf, It was number one on hijackers’ wanted list’.

Even car thieves have been left with lumps in their throat as the last Volkswagen Citi Golf to be produced goes into retirement at a museum at the manufacturer’s plant in the Eastern Cape town of Uitenhage.

quote I don’t know how many I stole, but the car is a legend quote


Volkswagen punted the Citi Golf as South Africa’s best-selling car, but didn’t mention that it occupied poll position on the “wanted” lists of criminal networks.

Some criminals said the Citi Golf ranked as one of the vehicles most likely to be taken away from its owner – either through theft or by force.

As the curtain comes down on a made-in-South-Africa motoring legend, convicted car thieves shed some light on why Citi Golfs are in high demand by criminals.

“The demand for the Citi Golf is always there in the townships,” said a 35-year-old convicted car thief and hijacker, who asked not to be named, and who is now serving a 15-year term at Durban’s Westville prison.

“I don’t know how many I stole, but that car is a legend. You can customise and do anything you want with it; I think that is why people like it so much.”

His cellmate, a 37-year-old serving 20 years for the same crimes, said: “I stole many cars . BMW 325s, Jumbos [VW Golf mark 2] and VR6s [Golf mark 3]. But the Citi Golf was always the easiest to sell.”

Both men claim that they never shot their hijacking victims.

The 37-year-old said they would go to various Durban suburbs or to the inner city looking for a specific car to steal, but would hijack a driver only if they couldn’t find one parked.

“Hijacking is a more serious crime than theft,” said the 37-year-old.

When hot, a new Citi Golf would be sold for between R6,000 and R8,000.

“Hot” refers to the period shortly after the car was stolen or hijacked and before its identity was changed, he said.

Once the car “cooled down,” thanks to an expert who removed and re-stamped vehicle identity tags and engine numbers – and in some cases re-sprayed it – its value would increase.

“When it had been completely done, we would sell a new Citi Golf for between R10,000 and R15,000, depending on the condition and skill of the person doing it. If you trust that person, and he has worked on cars before that never had problems with the police, then you could charge a good price,” said the 37-year-old.

New Citi owners were outraged in 2007 when a major insurance company refused to insure Citi Golfs assembled between 2004 and 2006 because of the rate at which they were being stolen.

The move affected about 2000 policyholders though the insurance company, Hollard, has since changed its stance and now provides cover for the car.

But not even the threat of parting with the vehicle unceremoniously would deter those who loved the Citi from buying it.

Bank employee Sibusiso Goba, a confessed VW fan, who bought his VeloCiti in 2005, said: “My philosophy is that I will never deprive myself of something that I love because of another person.”

First introduced as the VW Golf mark 1 in 1978, the car was later given a face-lift and re-introduced as the Citi Golf in 1984.

Volkswagen intended to produce it for only five years – but ended up making it for the next 25.

In 1984, available in yellow, blue and red – thanks to some creative input from fashion designer Jenni Button – it proved a hit.

And for decades South Africans were sold on its stylish looks, reliability and economy. Some have even confessed to having had some hanky-panky in a Citi. More than 600,000 of them were sold in South Africa, despite their lack of safety features. But some have wondered what the fuss is all about.

Jeanne Fochessati, owner of a black Citi Rox, said on the car’s farewell website www.goodbyeciti.co.za : “True what they say – if you’ve never owned one, you’ll never understand.”

source: Time Live