Vital vehicle checks


The end of the year is always busy but a few basic checks will ensure safe motoring and a stress-free festive season, especially if you are heading off on holiday. Inspect your vehicle’s tyres and replace them if necessary: worn tyres can be a major cause of motor accidents as braking is slower. Install new windscreen wiper blades – summer is the time of heavy rainfall and clear visibility is essential while driving. Don’t forget to top up the aircon gas, it might be hot this summer! Finally, ensure your vehicle insurance is up to date for total peace-of-mind. Happy holidays! Read about other important vehicle checks here…



Roadblock rights



There are generally more roadblocks at this time of year, with the authorities inspecting cars for roadworthiness and monitoring if drivers have been drinking. If you are in the clear there’s no need to be nervous when stopped – have your driver’s licence ready and be polite and helpful. Those manning the roadblock are simply doing their job to keep us all safe on the roads. It is useful, however, to be aware of your individual rights when stopped.




Swiss Re bell


Safire celebrated its 30th anniversary in April this year and to commemorate this major milestone in the company’s history, re-insurers Swiss Re, with whom Safire has had a longstanding and positive relationship, had a beautiful Swiss bell made and engraved. The message reads, “Swiss Re wishes you many more years of continued success” and “30 years Safire – warmest congratulations”. Safire’s Ruth Bezuidenhout travelled to Johannesburg to receive the bell on behalf of Safire from (left to right) Swiss Re’s Rafael Schneider, Deputy Regional Manager Southern Africa, Lovemore Forichi, Head: Agriculture Reinsurance, Africa; and Siggi Busch, Regional Head & Client Executive, Southern Africa (P&C). The bell now stands proudly at Safire House, the company head quarters in Pietermaritzburg.



Safire holiday times



To deliver our customary high standards of service during the festive season, Safire will be open during the usual working hours each day, apart from on Friday 22 December and Friday 29 December when we will be closing at noon so that our hard-working staff can head home early. May we take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and restful holiday season.


Festive season security


While December is the season of goodwill it is also the season of increased criminal activity, since lawbreakers know that people go away and houses are often empty. Always notify your security company, neighbourhood watch and neighbours when you’ll be away, and ask them to check on your house daily. Install motion detector lights and day-night sensor lights at prime positions. Be discreet about who you tell about a forthcoming trip – don’t spread it all over social media. If you treat yourself to an upgrade of electronic equipment, don’t leave packaging on the verge to be collected – it shows off what you bought. Remember to update your insurance cover with details of your new purchases.


Holiday home insurance


Holiday homes are a bigger risk for insurers because they typically stand empty for lengthy periods, making them more likely to be invaded by squatters or preyed upon by thieves or vandals. Also, maintenance issues like burst geysers or weather-related damage such as roof tiles being blown off might go undetected for a long time, with more severe damage resulting than if these issues were discovered straight away. If you let out your house to paying guests, there’s a further risk of damage, as people often don’t care for your property as well as they would their own. They also might not be as strict about security measures such as setting the alarm every time they go out. Find out if you require public liability insurance should a paying guest be injured while staying at your property.


Black Friday

Black Friday is an American retail concept that marks the unofficial beginning of the festive shopping season on the day after Thanksgiving. Its name originates from the theory that this period marks the change between retailers being in the red to being in profit or ‘in the black’.





Paper recycling dates back to 1031, when Japanese shops sold re-pulped paper. Today, only 46% of urban garbage is collected in sub-Saharan Africa and Africa generates about 5% of the world’s solid waste, a figure that’s increasing as consumerism increases.




Money savvy

Ever wondered how visually impaired people know what money they are handling? Each note and coin has identifying features: notes increase in length as they increase in value and coins have rough edges, smooth edges or a combination of both depending on their value.


If at first…



It took them 100 attempts but two French base jumpers in wingsuits managed to leap off the Swiss Alps and into a moving airplane. It’s an incredible stunt. Have a look!



2.5 million – number of passengers moving through ACSA’s nine airports in the third quarter, 5% up from the same period in 2016.



10 – number of automobile manufacturers expected to bring electric vehicles into SA within the next three years.



50 000 – potential number of jobs at Amazon’s second headquarters. US cities are vying to be the site of the $5-billion facility.


6 – additional days’ holiday being granted to non-smoking employees at a Japanese company to compensate them for the time smokers spend away from their desks.



R1, 550 – the average bribe in SA in 2017, according to a survey by The Ethics Institute, down from R2, 200 in 2016.



R10-billion – cost of the Maputo-Ponta do Ouro road that will reduce driving time between Maputo and Kosi Bay to around 90 minutes, opening up significant economic opportunities.

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