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And the Spirit of South Africa lives on …

How will South Africa keep up the tremendous spirit of goodwill, ubuntu and patriotism … the morning after?

An avid supporter's car in bright South African colours

Now that the dust has settled after the final match at Soccer City last Sunday, and Spain have emerged victorious as the new world soccer champions, many South Africans are feeling a little bit at a loose end. Like something’s missing. Almost as if your charasmatic best friend has left the country …

But South Africans are definitely ‘a boer maak ‘n plan’ (a farmer makes a plan) type of people. And already resourceful and forward-thinking South Africans are finding creative ways to keep the momentum going.

One of these is “Keep Flying the Flag” - a campaign that launched on Friday 9 July 2010, and already has the support of more than 60 local businesses - from giants like Vodacom, Toyota, Sasol, ABSA and Primedia to smaller alternatives like eBlockwatch (SMS-based community crime prevention) and Dial-a-Nerd (phone-in IT support).

The campaign calls for individuals and businesses to incorporate the Keep Flying logo into their advertising (which can be downloaded from their website - www.keepflying.co.za); buy Keep Flying buttons to hand out to staff, customers, family and friends and a customised email signature to use on your correspondence. A manual is also available on the Keep Flying site - which details how companies, brands and caring South Africans can join in the campaign.

The campaign is the brainchild of advertising agency, Draftfcb South Africa, in an attempt to stave-off any ‘post-World Cup depression’ that has affected other host nations. So far, the site has received over 8 000 hits and they have responded to more than 200 emails from companies wanting to get involved.

As Draftfcb’s Group CEO, John Dixon, said: “I am amazed and delighted by the response our call to action has prompted and can only encourage more and more companies and fellow South Africans to embrace the flag in this manner.

“The FIFA World Cup was our chance to show the world Africa’s potential; now is the time to maintain that momentum, to show them that we can achieve, and will. Let the end of the World Cup be our beginning.”

Another great initiative is the “Fly the Flag Fridays” campaign organised by the International Marketing Council who are also responsible for Brand South Africa site. This campaign calls for South Africans to wear their country’s colours and fly the flag on Fridays. It continues the spirit in a similar vein to their earlier campaign during the build-up to and the duration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Football Fridays” - which called for South Africans to wear their favourite teams football colours (hopefully those of Bafana Bafana!) every Friday. The campaign which was a big hit all around the country - especially with corporates like banks, supermarkets and stores where you’d be sure to greeted by staff sporting Bafana-yellow shirts on Fridays.

Any more ideas you can think of? And c’mon South Africans - keep the flag flying high!

Getting to the World Cup games

It’s a tad confusing for locals - so can only imagine how confusing it is for visitors. But there are a few things common about the transport to the games in all the host centres:

City buses in downtown Johannesburg

* Most of the precincts around the stadiums are pedestrian-only zones - so only accredited and emergency vehicles will be allowed near them - no private cars at all!!
* park & ride facilities offer safe parking with shuttles to and from the stadium
* park & walk facilities offer safe parking with a 2km or less walk to the stadium

NB: Tickets for park & ride/walk facilities MUST be bought beforehand from www.ticketbreak.co.za and www.computicket.com - you won’t be able to get tickets at the facilities!!

* while they are trying to keep these down to a minimum, road closures or restricted access on certain roads will be in effect for the duration of the World Cup - on both match and non-match days
* fans are advised to leave plenty of time to get to the stadiums - especially for the opening game, semis and the final (some are suggesting that you allow four hours to get to the opening game!)

There are so many sites out there offering good info, but there are also quite a few where the info is NOT up-to-date. Scouting around, these are the best/easiest we’ve found:

JOHANNESBURG: 2 Stadiums - Soccer City and CocaCola Park (Ellis Park)

Getting in, out & around in Johannesburg - everything from Rea Vaya BRT to MetroRail to Gautrain to Minibuses to Rental Cars

Fan Parks, public viewing areas and township TVs

Top 10 tips for travellers
Good advice, road and safety tips

Getting to the games
All the info you need about road closures, park & rides, park & walks, transport hubs, Metrorail, Sandton Metrobus, Rea Vaya BRT, traffic maps and parking tickets

CAPE TOWN: Cape Town Stadium, Sea Point

Road closures

Getting around Cape Town by train, bus, taxi, car and by foot

Kulula - a popular budget domestic airline

Park & Ride

Airport Shuttle

Disabled shuttle service

DURBAN: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Foreshore

Getting around: park & ride, park & walk, rail services, airport shuttles, road closures and all you need to know

Also a very detailed transport plan, if somewhat complicated - with maps and signage, covering all aspects of transport and traffic management

Durban Overview

PRETORIA/TSHWANE: Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Travelling to & from Tshwane: distances, airport, shuttles, rail, coaches, metered taxis

Transport to Loftus Versfeld Stadium on match days: soccer trains, park & ride, park & walk, shuttles from Pretoria station

Transport Hub at Pretoria station: open 24/7 for duration of World Cup

Getting around in Tshwane: public & private transport options

BLOEMFONTEIN: Free State Stadium

Transport Overview

Airport-Stadium shuttle service, inner city transport, park & ride, park & walk, fan park and public viewing areas

NELSPRUIT: Mbombela Stadium

Transport Overview

Airport & stadium Match shuttles, inner city transport, park & ride, public viewing areas & road closures

POLOKWANE: Peter Mokaba Stadium

Transport Overview

Stadium/fan park shuttles, park & rides, rail, metrobus, fan park access and road closures.

RUSTENBURG: Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Transport Overview

Stadium shuttle services, event plans, park & ride services

PORT ELIZABETH: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Transport Overview

Airport & stadium shuttles, park & ride, city wide services, fan parks with maps

The best mapping & direction site we’ve found so far is definitely google maps: try the local version maps.google.co.za

Click on the ‘Get Directions’ under the logo - you can also save these or email the links to a friend (or yourself). Next best thing to a GPS. And it’s always better on the ‘big screen’.

Hope it helps.

Of course, if you’re not lucky enough to have scored some tickets, the next best place to be is one of the Fan Fest Parks.


How to play that Vuvuzela

If you’re planning to travel to South Africa for the FIFA™ 2010 World Cup, then best you learn to play that B$@## Vuvuzela!

Colourful vuvuzelas with crafted beadwork in vibrant South African colours

Beautifully crafted Vuvuzelas with beadwork covers in bold South African designs [Photo: Courtesy Vuvuzela.co.za]

Love it … or hate it, the drone of the Vuvuzela is going to be the sound you’ll associate with the 2010 FIFA World Cup - forever!

It’s a proudly South African instrument with a profound and ancient history in tribal lore and music. These humble plastic tubes are fashioned from the original majestic kudu (a type of buck/antelope) horns that were once blown to summon the people to gather for important meetings. (You can still get some plastic kudu-horn shaped vuvu’s - called ‘kuduzelas’, of course).

Blown together in their thousands at stadiums - they sound like a herd of angry bull elephants in mating season. Or like a fleet of furious tugboats blasting their horns in unison. Let’s face it, they’re seriously noisy.

But you’re not going to beat them during this decade. So join them.

It’s like any of those crazes. Yo-yos. Hoola hoops. Bakugan. Rubik’s Cube. They’re highly annoying and irritating items that you scoff at - until you own one. And then, the addiction begins …

The biggest trick about the vuvuzela is how to blow it. The best advice we’ve heard so far is to put your lips to the mouthpiece and make a ‘raspberry’-type sound, similar to playing a trumpet. Relax your cheeks and soften your lips so that they can vibrate. Let the action come from your mouth, rather than your lungs or stomach. Be as melodic as you like (yes, they can play several notes!) and blow as hard or as soft as you like.

The best thing is, the more you blow it, the less you’ll hear all the others around you!

Vuvuzelas are available all over the country - from shops and fashion outlets. They can be priced anywhere from around R20 to R100 (GBP 2 - 10), depending on the colour, cover and detail - some have the team or country colours complete with flags, emblems and badges. Some also have a handy strap so you can sling it over your shoulder on your way to the games.

So go on. You know you want one. Really, you do.

Here’s a quick video link on how to play the vuvuzela

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Table Mountain Cable Way is kiddie-friendly this winter.

From Saturday May 1 until Sunday October 31, there’s a bunch of stuff happening at the Cableway - with fun activities for the whole family.

Table Mountain's Cable Way is offering a family special this winter.For every full-paying adult at R160 (return trip only), 2 x U18 kids go free (normally R80 each so you save R160!).

Offer valid over weekends and public holidays - and both the July & September school holidays ie : from June 10 - July 12 & September 24 -October 3 2010.

Over the unusually long July holidays (courtesy of the 2010 FIFA™ World Cup), there’ll be a special programme for kids. This includes loads of fun activities like a Winter Treasure Trail (maps available from the ticket office), spot prizes, magic shows, face painting and craft activities. Children will be entertained and taken on guided walks by the Table Mountain Cableway characters - Ernie the Explorer, Dale the Dassie and the Yeti. There’ll also be story-telling of the Myths and Legends of Table Mountain.

They also have the chance to win their own Table Mountain Cableway beanie and scarf. (Entry forms on back of the Winter Treasure Trail map).

The Table Mountain Café is also joining in the holiday spirit & will be offering a delicious kiddies menu - at reasonable rates.

The Cableway operates all year round - weather permitting. For more info, visit Table Mountain website & also click through to their blog for the latest news. You can also call +27 (0)21 424 8181 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +27 (0)21 424 8181      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Please, please! Don’t overcharge, South Africa!

Before you double, treble or even quadruple your normal rates for the upcoming 2010 FIFA ™ World Cup, please consider these few points:

South African Rands

* Germany didn’t inflate their prices hectically during the 2006 - especially for accommodation. Many of the visitors would just bus home again after matches so it was never really an issue. Besides, there was never a shortage of accommodation to begin with.

* Host nations experience a boom in tourism in the years immediately after they’ve hosted a FIFA ™ World Cup. This was especially true in Germany in 2007, although tourism slowed down in 2008 with the global economic crisis.

* South Africa - and Cape Town especially - is already perceived by some as ‘overpriced’. While we all know that South Africa is the most beautiful country in the world with the most exceptional, nicest people, potential visitors may easily be swayed by other destinations where they can get top accommodation and great scenery for far less than they’d pay here eg especially destinations like India & Asia. 5-star resorts cost around US$ 400 - 500 whereas a similar 5-star option in Cape Town costs about US$ 700 - 1100 - more than DOUBLE the price?! Surely, a room is a room is a room at that kind of level?

* South Africa is a ‘long haul’ destination - and the largest expense in getting here is the airfare. If people perceive it to be expensive on the ground too, we’re losing the battle!

* South Africans are known as some of the most hospitable people on Earth. Let’s nurture that - rather than become known as the most money-grabbing.

And lastly, please let us not lose sight of what the legacy of tourism can be like AFTER 2010.

The 2010 FIFA ™ World Cup is a once-off, amazing opportunity to give the rest of the world a taste for our rich and diverse smorgasbord of wildlife, scenery, culture, history, adrenalin and adventure.

Let’s do whatever we can to make sure that it makes them hunger for more! Not leave with a bad taste in their mouths …

Making Christmas Matter Campaign

This year, why not get into the true spirit of Christmas? Give gifts that matter - and bring hope to a the millions of South Africans struggling for a better life.

Gifts4GoodIt’s a great idea - and it is affordable. The gifts start from as little as R50 and then R100, R250, R500, R1000 (you can also buy several different ones or several of one kind) - and include a range of items that can make a difference to communities, people personally, education, health and environment. Like compost or seedlings for food gardens, educational toys and soccer balls, HIV tests, family food parcels, crutches and tractors.

Once you’re happy with your gift/s, you can send a personal message to the person you’re buying the gift on behalf of - to let them know you’re making Christmas matter for others - in their name.

It’s that simple. And it feels that good.

And you KNOW it’s helping to make a difference.

“Make Christmas Matter” is an online campaign that lets you choose a range of alternative gifts that make a meaningful addition to the lives of many South Africans - from social development to community upliftment and education.

As Communications Manager for GreaterGood SA, Roxy Mitchell, says through this campaign they want to let people know that there is an alternative way of giving - especially at this time of year.

“Everyone has something to give and many people have the desire to give to those in need, but don’t know where or what to give.”

Mitchell says they chose 4 beneficiaries for 2009 from a shortlist of projects that had passed a strict evaluation process including site visits and peer reviews.

These are:
* an educational toy library for the Mbuba community in rural KwaZulu-Natal
* a food garden, recycling program and conservation field trips for Dargle Primary School in the Midlands Meander area
* new kitchen for the St. Josephs nursing home for chronically ill and disabled children in Cape Town
* mobility canes, signature guides and liquid level indicators for 96 visually impaired people in the Free State.

So far, this annual campaign has contributed over R2 million to 22 social development projects in South Africa since its conception in 2005. According to Mitchell more people are starting to think twice about buying into the commercialism around Christmas, and starting to think about those who have less than themselves.

Go on. Make Christmas Matter - and visit Gifts 4 Good

Summer Sunset Specials

Enjoy the top sundowner spot in Cape Town - at half the price.

The Aerial Cableway at Table Mountain is running its renowned Summer Sunset Special (until Sunday 28 February 2010).

For four months each year, locals and visitors to the Mother City can travel to the highest sundowner spot in Cape Town after 18h00 and pay just half the normal fare. Just R80 each. U18s pay just R40.

Even if you haven’t got much of a head for heights, there’s a thrill in getting to the top of this iconic Cableway at Table MountainCape Town mountain - 1067 metres above sea level. And the cable cars rotate as you go up. If you’re a phobe, grab onto one of the inside poles and ask the operator if you can sit with them - they’re very helpful.

Once at the top, you can explore the top and enjoy all the various views of Cape Town and the peninsula. Dassies on Table MountainYou’re bound to come across some inquisitive dassies too (Rock Hyrax) - small, brown fluffy things that are apparently kin to the largest land mammal, the elephant. You can also get up close and personal with some of the magnificent fynbos (flora) that the Cape is famous for.

The best is to bring a picnic, some good friends and a bottle of the Cape’s finest. (Sure helps with the descent if you’re nervous about the trip … or the ascent, too …)

If you’re feeling lazy, or just in the mood for a treat, there is a restarant at the summit - the Table Mountain Café. Enjoy absolutely amazing views of the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean over dinner.

Need a momento? There’s also a gift shop to stock up on some South African souveniers … or just browse through

Sunset Special tickets can be bought from the Cableway’s Ticket Office from 18h00. The last car down is at 21h30.

There’s also a New Year’s Eve special - the last car up leaves at 22h00 and the last car down is at 01h00.

Please note: The Cableway operates only if weather permits.

For more info visit The Table Mountain Cableway or call (021) 424 8181.

Halloween - what does it do for you?

There’s no way you can begin to compare Halloween in South Africa to Halloween in the USA.

Halloween MoonFor starters, we don’t habitually grow those oversized, pregnant-looking orange pumpkins. If you do get them, they’re usually imported and cost the earth.

And ‘Trick or Treating’ is not really considered a safe practice because of our unfortunate high crime rate.

In one camp, there’re the sceptics who believe that it’s just one more American-inspired commercial rip-off where you’re coerced into buying scary costumes, plastic vampire teeth and kiddie-sized, play-play orange buckets.

In another, there’re the staunch Christians who believe it’s an evil, Satanic celebration and anything to do with Halloween should be avoided at all costs.

But there’s another school of thought: it’s the ONLY day/night of the year where kids are allowed to dress up collectively - AND get sweets. Do me a favour. And they are allowed to be scary! Which kids don’t get shivers of delight down their spines while scaring the pants off each other with ghost-stories after lights out? Or getting their fill of horror and teen-vamp movies when they’re a little older?

Perhaps it all comes down to intent. If you just intend to have some scary, harmless fun with friends and family, hey, what a pleasure.

And some of the complexes and safe, gated communities make a special neighbourhood thing of it - getting all the kids to go off Treak or Treating in safe numbers, while all the parents get together in the common for a bring & braai. Whether they’re in Fourways Gardens or Fancourt.

If you do want to do something this Halloween, there are loads of good happenings - from the usual family stuff at Randburg’s Brighwater Commons and the Johannesburg Zoo to the Horrorfest Film Fest at the Labia in Cape Town to Halloween Balls to Pink Train Rides to hectically horrific house parties.

Check out your local newspapers to see what’s happening in your area or visit What’s On website and search for ‘Halloween’. GOTRAVEL24.com also has a great list of festive Halloween ideas.

So what do you think? Is Halloween cool or ghoul?

Any which way … Happy Halloween!

How YOU can lessen the blow of Eskom price hikes

With all the recent hype about Eskom requesting to increase electricity prices at around 45% a year for the next 3 years (supposedly to prevent a once-off increase of 146%!!!) emails, petitions and outrage have been heating up the airwaves.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d been cc’d on the following email from a good friend who works for City Power in Johannesburg. He was answering the concerns of another mutual friend. The writer’s a dedicated, highly intelligent and thoughtful soul. I say he’s wasted working for the municipality. Evan (my husband) says we should be way thankful that he does.

With minimal editing (for length) & highlighting (my emphasis), I’d like to share it with you as it cuts through the rants and just makes good common sense, offering logical reasonings, ideas and solutions. And a whole lot of stuff we should all be DOING already …

Although this was written for the private house in mind - the principles can just as easily be applied to guest houses, lodges, hotels and so on.

Dear XXX,

Glad to see you’ve decided to take some action instead of the usual South African whinging - we still have the cheapest power in the world and have not realised its true value, nor the environmental benefits of reducing consumption in addition to controlling the electricity bill.

Don’t get me wrong - we are also not happy with Eskom’s suggested increases, but urgent action is required to reduce consumption through investments in energy efficiency, otherwise I predict that by this time next year, we may start to see load shedding, getting progressively worse over the following 3 years. The key is for everybody to invest in energy efficiency measures - not generators - that’s the wrong investment.

I thought most of us, with a fondness for the bush, would realize that to generate one kWh of electricity requires the combustion of almost a kilogram of coal and the evaporation of 1,2 litres of precious fresh water. When you realize that Eskom last year alone burnt more than 200 million tons of coal, which released about 260 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, to generate electricity for our country you would have to be really thick to think that this is not having an effect on the atmosphere and the environment. After all, it only took Mother Nature about a billion years to trap all the prehistoric carbon dioxide into the ground as oil and coal and convert the atmosphere into the oxygen rich one so essential to life as we know it. In another short, 200 years we will have burnt it all and put a lot of the prehistoric CO2 back into the atmosphere. Ironically, we have all seen the strip-mining activities next to the Witbank highway on our way down to the lowveld game reserves - this does not look pretty - have we not made the connection between this and power generation?

The concepts in the power4home scheme you refer to are right, but the prices are exaggerated. Sure, you may pick up a photovoltaic panel for $100 in the States, but unfortunately not in SA just yet. Before you invest in these, rather go for a solar water heater system. We probably have the best sunshine in the world for this, but seem to ignore it completely. The energy yield and offset of your power bill will be much higher than with photovoltaics, even if you build them yourself, which is not as easy as they claim. Solar Water Heater prices are coming down too - a 300 litre system will set you back around R15k at the moment, but will pay for itself in less than 5 years if there are four hot water users in the house - and it’s yours - forever, and free as long as the sun shines.

Starting from zero cost to most expensive, do the following to minimise your electrical energy consumption:

Do this at No Cost:

Change the household’s energy-saving culture - if a room is empty, no lights should be on. If an appliance or computer or computer game or TV set is not currently being used, it must be switched off. This costs nothing, but you may have to keep up the pressure to sustain this ‘energy conscious’ behavior. What puzzles me is that we as South Africans seem to have lost this culture somewhere in the 70s and 80s. We had to make every cent count before then.

If you have a domestic worker, educate him/her about appliance usage. She can play a significant role in energy efficiency, which we often overlook. They are willing to learn too. Irons left on, half loaded washing machines, habitual use of only the hot water tap regardless of the water requirement, over-cooking food and using hot water to thaw frozen food are but a few of the bad energy habits of an uninformed domestic worker. Whatever energy they save can be used more productively by industry to grow the economy.

Get to know which appliances chomp power. The biggest is the geyser, followed by space heating or under-floor heating in winter (air conditioning in summer), followed by swimming pool pumps, then cooking, followed by fridges and deep freezes and lastly lighting. The most obvious is to reduce the time spent using these appliances.

Deliberately make less hot water by turning down your geyser thermostat. 55 to 60 degrees is sufficient. Plumbers (who don’t want call-backs) and housewives (who can never have enough hot water, especially if there are newborns in the house) always want them set to 70 degrees which is unnecessary and runs the risk of scalding unsuspecting people and small children especially. Also the less hot water is used, the less you will need to make - this is so obvious and yet people don’t realize it. Only pour out as much hot water as you need - again this is a culture thing, quite difficult to get people to change their habits without confronting them. You’ve got to be cruel to the humans to be kind to the environment.

In a similar vein, a leaking hot water tap - even just a drip - consumes a lot of energy and wastes water too. These are simple to fix.

Monitor use of space heaters in winter Most heaters - typically the oil-finned type - chew energy. They are left on when nobody is home, and the thermostats are usually set to maximum by default - again kids and skinny women are the culprits. Heaters should be used only to make a house comfortable - to keep warm, simply dress properly. (If it’s your lucky night - well, that’s a different story …)

Use a plug-in timer (R100) to automatically control when the heater is ‘allowed to be on’. This solves the problem of remembering to switch off when rushing to work in the morning.

Look for duplicate appliances and disconnect them. The least thought-about are fridges and deep freezes - many houses have two (of each). Usually the old one is relegated to the garage to keep a six pack of beers cool. What a waste. Old fridges consume way more than modern ones - often 3x more power. Get rid of them - preferably scrap them and don’t sell to the pawn shop - this just passes the problem on to a less affluent person and doesn’t reduce the total load which is what we do need to do.

Only use second geysers for guest rooms when guests are actually staying there. Switch them off otherwise. The trick is to plan things properly. It is a complete fallacy that this action will shorten the life of the element or use more energy to re-heat the water. I’m not convinced that switching off your operational geyser is really worth the hassle if there are more than three people in the household.

Reduce the running time of swimming pool heaters to the minimum required to keep the water clean. Apparently 3 to 5 hours a day should do.

The next lot of interventions will cost you money up front, but will actually pay for themselves in relatively short times:

Insulate at least the first 3 metres of hot water pipes leaving the geyser. If possible, insulate all the hot water pipes. If you go to the right supplier (Air-o-Thene in Langlaagte, Johannesburg) this will cost about R9 a metre for the ‘zip-lock’ pipe insulation which is easy to install. Don’t look for it at the usual hardware megastores, they’ve lost the plot, asking R35 per metre - #**s.

A geyser blanket, if properly installed, will pay for itself (R350) in a year or two, although the saving depends where the geyser is installed. Just think of a hot ceiling in summer, where the heat in the roof void is probably hotter than the water in the geyser - the blanket will stop the heat going into the geyser as well. It solves the problem for us as electricity suppliers in winter though, so we support it.

Replace all old incandescent (hot to touch) light bulbs with energy-saver Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Go through your house and count the number of light fittings you have. It is not uncommon to have more than 30 in an average middle class house. Costs about R500 to replace them all, one of the quickest payback interventions. Tip - write the date on the base with a koki pen when you install them - this way you may be able to return the odd faulty or early failure lamps at no cost. Caution though - for some stupid reason, it is difficult to find the warm-white variety for use inside the house, which have the more cosy look and feel of the old light bulbs. There seems to be a glut of Cool-white (very stark and to some extent unpleasant to the eye, but suitable for security lighting) lamps in our market - perhaps buyers are ignorant of middle income preferences. Also, buy the right base - count how many bayonet fittings vs edison screw type you have before you buy.

The popular downlighters are a problem though. For now, these are best left alone as the CFL or Light Emitting Diode energy efficient replacements are just too costly at the moment.

For outside security lights, get the day/night switched type (R200). You can also get an electrician to install a photocell (R700 - a bit of a rip-off)

Replace your conventional shower head with an aerating, low-flow shower head

(R300 for a good quality one). This feels the same as a regular shower head but uses much less hot water. Good energy and water savings. Avoid the drip type (smaller holes without aerating system) - this will make you unpopular in the household.

Install a gas cooking hob (not oven - electric ovens are still more energy-efficient) which is better than electric. A 2-plate hob will cost about R1400, but you will need a registered gas fitter to install - about another R1500 minimum. An added attraction of this appliance is that you will still be able to cook in the event of future load-shedding.

Install the think pink ceiling insulation (R6000 for the average house). Benefits in winter and summer.

Finally - again - install a solar water heating system (R15 000).

Hope this helps - please pass on to anyone you know.


Will do, Paul, will do!

New Guinness World Record for Cape Town surfers

In the South African Earthwave challenge held at Muizenberg beach yesterday, more then 100 surfers road one wave at the same time at the Earthwave Festival - which breaks the previous record of 100 set by Earthwave Brazil last year.

EarthWave South Africa
103 surfers break the Earthwave Guinness World Record at Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town: photo Lee Slabber

“We estimated that there were more than 120 surfers on the fifth of the seven waves surfed at Muizenberg during Earthwave,’ said Paul Botha of Kahuna Promotions, the founders of the South African Earthwave, an event that uses this world record attempt each year to promote awareness of climate change and a better, more sustainable lifestyle for all.

The downer is that there’s only photographic evidence to show 103 surfers on the same wave. But it’s still enough to top the Brazilian’s record. Pics and videos have to be sent through to the Guinness World Record organisation in London to have the record ratified.

In a pearler of a Cape Town day, with sunny skies, a light offshore breeze and tame 0.5 to one metre waves, 443 surfers of various ages registered for the Earthwave attempt. Herds of spectators and well-wishers stood at the shore, cheering them on.

Visitors and surfers were also treated to talks about climate change, beach clean-ups, fund raisers, prizes and giveaways.

Metrorail also came to the party and helped to reduce carbon footprints and traffic congestion by allowing anyone with a surfboard to travel free on the train to and from Muizenberg on the day. Other visitors could get a 2-for-the-price-of-1 deal on the journey.

Recycling was also a big awareness issue with specially marked bins for sorting and collecting any of the day’s refuse. Another paper-saving idea is to send digital certificates to all participants (instead of traditional paper printed ones).

Other projects and programmes promoted by Earthwave Festival were the Shark Spotters programme, the Save Our Seas Foundation, National Bandana day on 14 October for the Sunflower Fund and Cape Town Tourism’s ‘Live it, Love it, LOUDER!’ campaign for the city hosting the FIFA World Cup next year.

To round off the day, an after-party was held at one of Cape Town’s favourite restaurant/bars - the Brass Bell at Kalk Bay Harbour. (Conveniently close to the station so party goers could spill back on to the train homeward bound!)

To find out more about Earthwave, its aims and objectives, visit Kahuna surf/Earthwave and on Wavescape.co.za, the event’s official digital media partner.