JUNE 2017


Housebreaking: over 50% of crime


Statistics South Africa reports that over 50% of all crime experienced by households in the country during 2015/16 was housebreaking. However, South Africans are apparently not reporting all cases to the police: a total of 358‚191 incidents were reported‚ while 727‚130 occurred. Out of all housebreaking/burglaries reported to the SAPS‚ an arrest was made in only 19% of cases.



Proposed protection from bank failure



With Moody's having downgraded to negative outlook the long-term local- and foreign-currency deposit ratings of the five largest South African banks (Standard, FirstRand, Absa, Nedbank and Investec), it is perhaps pertinent that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and National Treasury are proposing a privately funded deposit insurance scheme (DIS) to protect South Africans from possible failure of banks.




Compulsory insurance


Foreign tourists will soon have to take out travel insurance before entering Thailand under a proposal put forward by the Tourism and Sports Ministry. The Office of the Insurance Commission would draft details on insurance policies and insurance distribution channels. Thai hospitals often have to cover the cost of medical treatment for injured tourists who are unable to pay their bills.



Deadly drowsiness



Driving when tired can be deadly, according to the American Automobile Association. A study found that drivers who miss two to three hours of sleep a day more than quadruple their risk of having a crash, compared to drivers who sleep for seven hours, and the accident risk from driving when tired is comparable to driving drunk. One-third of drivers reported driving when they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.


Safire Golf Day


On Thursday 15 June, golfers took part in the annual Safire Golf Day at Victoria Country Club in Pietermaritzburg. This event is hosted by Safire to promote networking and relationship building between Safire clients, brokers and re-insurers. The winning four ball left to right was Richard Allan, Dawie Louw, Sean Francis and Mark  Kommer.


Clever bags for school kids


The 2017 Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run was held on 30 April through this sugar cane area south of Pietermaritzburg. Safire sponsored the 40km section, the Safire MTB Classic, which passed through two picturesque game reserves, Gwahumbe Game & Spa and iNsingizi. Some 250 learners at schools in the area were beneficiaries of the event, receiving specially designed school bags, thanks to a voluntary R130 addition to entry fees. Anton Rohrs, Safire Marketing Manager, said, “This is the third MTB race we support, the others being the Safire Berg 100 in March and the Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic on 17 September this year. We really appreciate the level of community involvement in the Mid-Illovo Challenge and are delighted that so many children were able to benefit as well. These bags are cleverly designed by Uzwelo Bags and made from waste textile fabric. They incorporate a poncho so the kids, who often walk long distances to school, stay as dry as their books. Safire is glad to have been part of this project – supporting schoolchildren from disadvantaged backgrounds is a major part of our overall social responsibility programme.”


Goodbye cracked screens

Smartphone screens could soon be self-repairing. Researchers at the University of California Riverside have developed a polymer that could fuse cracks and cover over scratches. The polymer is the first example of a regenerating material that can conduct electricity, meaning that it is suitable for smartphone screens, where electrodes transmit finger taps and swipes during communication.




Flying car for Tokyo Games

Toyota is investing the equivalent of about R5-milllion in developing a three-wheeled flying car in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Dubbed SkyDrive, the manned vehicle uses drone technology to fly and is expected to have a maximum flight speed of around 100km/h while moving some 10m off the ground, and a top land speed of about 150km/h.




Sunny side of the street

The Netherlands town of Krommenie boasts the world's first solar bike path. The “SolaRoad” is made of concrete modules embedded with solar panels covered in tempered glass. The solar cells currently add the electricity onto the national grid, but plans include using the energy to power streetlights, while electric bikes and cars could refuel using contactless charging from the path.


Vehicle vending machine



Used car seller Autobahn Motors has opened a futuristic 15-storey showroom in land-scarce Singapore, billing it as the "world's largest luxury car vending machine", with 60 luxury vehicles on display in individual ‘slots’. Customers choose a vehicle from a touchscreen display, and the car arrives within one to two minutes thanks to an advanced system that manages vehicle retrieval.



100 million – number of people in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) who have a combined spending power of more than $400-million a day.



R75-million – investment by The Foschini Group (TFG) in its upgraded factory in the Western Cape, with a focus on expanding production from the 6 million garments it produces annually.



3 000 – number of new employees to be appointed by Facebook to review reported content, following complaints over the material it allows.


R1-billion – amount set aside by the Land Bank for 2017-2018 to support investment in the agricultural sector by Black entrepreneurs.



17 000 – number of artworks in the Nando’s art collection, with contemporary pieces by about 260 Southern African artists.



2 million – number of electric cars on the road worldwide, only 0.2% of the total number of passenger vehicles currently in use.

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