Risky business


The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand recently is not the only natural disaster to rock the country, although its effects are the most wide-reaching and dramatic. While residential damage will largely be covered by the government-owned Earthquake Commission, which has an estimated NZ$4,7 billion of re-insurance, insurers in New Zealand are reeling after a spate of other natural disasters in the past few months, including flooding and storms.


Connected cows




An Austrian company is placing connected sensors in cows’ stomachs to transmit health data over Wi-Fi. The sensors track minute-by-minute information about the cow and can predict whether or not a cow is pregnant with 95% accuracy, enabling farmers to take advantage of increased milk production prior to calving. Nearly 350 farms across two dozen countries are reportedly using this technology to monitor livestock.


Home maintenance slump


Home-owners feeling the economic pinch are cutting back on housing maintenance and upgrades, according to the Absa housing review. Apparently building activity on alterations and additions to homes was significantly lower in the first eight months of 2016, and building plans for alterations and additions contracted by 5.7% year-on-year.


16 Days of Activism 




 The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign asks for a 16 day truce on violence against women and children. This is the 16th year that South Africa is taking part in the campaign, which runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.  


Supporting agricultural heroes


Safire co-sponsored the BSC Mangold Trophy Farmers Day, where Tshilidzi Matshidzula of Little Barnet Farm received the award for the best conserved and utilised farm in the Alexandria area. Over 200 farmers attended the event, which was addressed by several speakers including Simon Matthews (Chairman of the Bathurst Conservation Committee), winner Tshilidzi Matshidzula, Prof Mohammad Karaan (Dean of Agriculture at Stellenbosch University), and Annette Steyn (DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture). Seen here are Safire’s Hedley Bertrand (left) and Peter Minnie (right) with winner Tshilidzi Matshidzula.


Mandela Day Safire Challenge


The Salvation Army Joseph Baynes Children’s Home in Pietermaritzburg has challenged Safire as part of the Mandela Day 67 Minutes Challenge 2017 to collect 67 bags of jumble, which will be sold in their thrift shop to raise much-needed funds. We are going to do our best to meet and beat the challenge! Seen here are Safire’s Ruth Bezuidenhout, Wendy James and Cindy Mohabeer with Amanda Doubell from the home.


Toxic kitchens


The latest report by the Global Hygiene Council indicates that bacteria from cross-contamination in the kitchen could pose a major health risk potentially far more dangerous than accidents with sharp blades, boiling pots being knocked over or stove-top fires. According to the report, an average kitchen sink contains about 100 000 times more germs than a bathroom or toilet, while 52% of kitchen taps were found to be contaminated with harmful bacteria including E.coli.




Holiday car checks


If you’re heading off on a long car journey for the year-end holidays, now is the time to do routine maintenance checks to prevent breakdowns and costly repairs. Check all fluid levels (oil, coolant, brake fluid etc), check tyre wear and that you have a jack and quality spare tyre, and inspect the air filter. Ensure windscreen wipers can cope with heavy rainfall. Clutch and power steering fluids are often forgotten, so check these too.




FPA feedback


Graham Wright, Fire Protection Officer of Mkhondo FPA in Mpumalanga reports that a lot of fires were reported “but ground forces stopped the majority before they could escalate. Compared to our neighbours, we had a quiet season and the consensus is that the fuel load was greatly reduced due to the drought, not allowing fires to spread fast and wide. A big word of thanks to Safire for co-sponsoring our year-end function in Piet Retief.”


Stripping in motion


Thieves are so brazen that they steal targeted vehicles in broad daylight, regardless of security systems and tracking devices. Cases have been reported where those in pursuit watch in amazement as pieces of the interior are throw out while the vehicle is being chased as the thieves try to locate the tracking device. This video from the US shows how a car can be stripped in minutes.





1 000 000 – number of people to possibly be included in the proposed youth internship programme devised by the state, unions and business, which Cyril Ramaphosa says will be rolled out in two years.


18 000+ – number of cases reported to the government's national anti-corruption hotline. Since its establishment in 2004, 3,570 civil servants have been charged and almost 1,700 dismissed.


8% - amount of growth in international tourist arrivals recorded in Africa in the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period in 2015.
7000 – approximate number of cases of stock theft reported annually. Only around 3.5% of these go to court. KZN is apparently the worst hit province.


415 million – number of adults living with diabetes globally in 2015. This number is expected to increase to around 642 million or one in ten adults by 2040. November 14 is World Diabetes Day.


15% - number of vehicle accidents that are caused by drivers wearing inappropriate footwear according to recent research in the UK.


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