MAY 2017


Vehicle on fire


The recent Ford Kuga fires have hit the headlines and brought the possibility of a modern car going up in smoke under the spotlight. Causes can be categorised into fuel/electrical/exhaust/oil/coolant and brake fires. If you suspect that there may be a fire somewhere in your vehicle, pull over immediately (ensuring you are safely out of the traffic flow), turn off the ignition and quickly get everyone out of the vehicle and a safe distance away (at least 20m). Call emergency services before trying to tackle the fire yourself as specialist skills and fire-retardants might be required.



Parcel scam warning



The SA Post Office has warned of a scam whereby members of the public receive calls, supposedly from its customs division, informing the individual that a parcel is ready for collection, provided they pay money into an account to cover customs duties and courier fees.  Customers are also given a pin to enter before they can "track" the fictitious parcel. However, the post office says that customers are never required to make bank deposits before parcels are released, and when SA Revenue Service (SARS) levies import tax on parcels from abroad, this is paid at the post office when the item is collected.




Traffic going underground?


He’s known for defying boundaries including outer space, and South African-born billionaire Elon Musk is suggesting that going underground might be the way to reduce traffic congestion, starting with Los Angeles. According to his vision, cars would be transported on large, electric-powered ‘skates’ and enter tunnels via elevators, which would eventually return vehicles to the road above. Despite critics who say the scheme is too expensive (LA subways cost about $1 billion per mile), Musk says that we need engineering solutions to reduce costs by narrowing tunnel diameter and increasing the capacity utilisation of tunnel-boring machinery that will also go 14 times faster than currently available systems.



Card fraud on the rise



The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), on behalf of the local banking industry, has released its Card Fraud Stats for 2016 that indicate an overall increase in card fraud for the year. Credit card fraud increased by 13% from R331.4m in 2015 to R374.4m in 2016, with debit card fraud increasing by 3.1% for the same period. SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay, comments that the ever-evolving sophistication of tactics used by criminals is of great concern. Most affected were Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, followed by the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North-West Province.


Business app for spazas


A Durban-based technology company has launched an app for spaza owners that aims to connect them to bulk-buying opportunities and business support as well as allowing them to offer services such as airtime and data sales and insurance and funeral cover to customers. Spazapp is a free Android app that requires traders to register on the app via their cellphones and make an ATM deposit or EFT transfer to an e-wallet to buy and receive goods. Spazapp recently partnered with eThekweni Municipality to grow the city’s micro-businesses through technology.


And the winner is…


The Safire King of the Sea Classic fishing competition was held on 27-28 May at the South Coast, centred around the Pumula Beach Hotel. The organisers of this popular challenge always ensure that there’s plenty to do for every member of the family, adding to its success. This year’s winner was local fisherman Matthew Philippi, with a 28.5kg Couta. Congratulations on a spectacular win!


Crazy congestion

The world’s worst traffic jams might make backlogs experienced during the recent long weekends seem like child’s play. In France in 1980, drivers experienced a 109-mile tailback between Lyon and Paris, caused by Parisians returning from their winter holidays. In Germany ten years later, at Easter, 18 million vehicles waited to cross the East-West border just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The worst traffic story ever? In 2010, a 12-day queue extended for 62-miles on China’s G110 (so-called) ‘expressway’ – thanks to roadworks and high traffic volumes.




Diarise Baynesfield

The Safire Baynesfield Classic MTB race is scheduled for September 17 this year, a little later than its traditional date around Father’s Day in June. Luckily, because one of the original events has fallen away, the Safire Baynesfield Classic will again form part of the 2017 ROAG Series and will be the final race of the Series in 2017. Held at the scenic Baynesfield Estate south of Pietermaritzburg, this family-focused event offers route distances for all levels of riders, from the fast-paced and professional to small fry and first-timers. 




Cybercrime on the rise

Cybercrime refers to any criminal activity that involves the internet, a computer system, or computer technology. According to a PwC report, the 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey covering 232 organisations in South Africa, almost a third (32%) had reported cybercrimes in the last 24 months, on par with the global average.  The report describes cybercrime as the second most reported economic crime affecting organisations. American technology giant Cisco warns that the global cost of cybercrime could reach $6 trillion (R80 trillion) by 2021.


King of the Sea #2



Having successfully taken on the vast Atlantic Ocean, South African surfer and adventurer Chris Bertish must surely qualify for this title! Bertish completed an unassisted and unsupported fundraising journey across the Atlantic from Africa to America on a modified stand-up paddleboard.



500 million – number of Yahoo accounts hacked in 2014, supposedly by a 22-year old Canadian who might have been working for Russian security services.



18 200 – number of millionaires residing in Johannesburg, which includes Sandton, according to the Africa Wealth Report for 2016.



$400 million – amount request by the International Committee of the Red Cross to stave off famine in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia.


118 – number of Japanese companies exhibiting at CeBIT , the largest IT trade show in Europe, where Seiko Epson revealed its Paperlab, a recycling machine that shreds unwanted paper, turns it into pulp and transforms it into paper again.



$1.5 million – amount raised for R&D by Russian company NTechLabs, developers of emotion-recognition software that spots people showing signs of being stressed, nervous or angry, in an attempt to prevent crime.



200 million – amount in litres of radioactive waste stored at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the USA, where a tunnel containing highly contaminated material collapsed. SA’s nuclear plans remain under scrutiny.

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