Robben Island Museum thanks all parties who contributed to successful rescue

On Friday 15 September 2017, Thandi, one of Robben Island Museum’s (RIM) chartered passenger ferries, experienced trouble during its return trip to Cape Town. Once Port Control received the distress call from the ferry, Port Control immediately implemented emergency procedures, along with notifying the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) to get everyone back to shore safely.

“Due to the quick response and effective communication from all parties involved all 64 passengers and five crew members were returned safely to Cape Town. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the NSRI, ER24, V&A Waterfront, all other emergency services and the RIM team for their quick response to the scene and for a successful rescue operation,” says Mava Dava, CEO of RIM.

RIM undertakes daily consultations with their ferry masters as a part of their stringent sea safety protocols. This is done to assess the condition and to make calls to determine whether a ferry should proceed to or from the island. The consultation on Friday confirmed that the forecast for the day was not a reason for concern. However the weather is very unpredictable and the strong winds soon caused unplanned adverse conditions that exceeded that of the forecast.

“We have risk mitigation plans in place that account for critical situations such as this,” says Dada. Once the alarm had been raised all the passengers were informed, fitted with life jackets and directed to the evacuation section on board before being picked up by the NSRI’s rescue vessels. “The success of having no casualties means that our current risk mitigation plans are working,” adds Dada.

“The safety of our passengers has always been a key priority for us. A strict requirement for any chartered ferry to conduct business with RIM is for the vessel to have a maintenance plan or maintenance schedule to ensure all machinery and equipment are always in perfect running condition, they are also required to have all the safety certificates for the vessels,” says Sandresan Thandroyan, Senior Manager Ferry Operations, Robben Island Museum. In addition to strict maintenance requirements all vessels  need to go through RIM’s mandatory safety briefing before carrying passengers to and from Robben Island.

Following this incident RIM have initiated an internal investigation which will determine the cause of the incident. South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) will also be conducting an investigation; RIM will support them throughout the process.

It is business as usual. The trips to Robben Island are continuing.

For more information about the daily tours, please visit

Small business set up for success at the SMME Opportunity Roadshow 2017 in Cape Town

“Building businesses are important; sustaining and moving them forward is even more important.” These were the opening words from Justin Asher, Chief Operating Officer (COO) from Picup Technologies and Programme Director at the SMME Opportunity Roadshow that took place in Cape Town last week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

During this leg of the Roadshow, entrepreneurs from across the Western Cape shared lessons and had an opportunity to network with each other to gain insights on how best to take their businesses to the next level. With successful Roadshows already completed in Gauteng and Port Elizabeth, the next one is taking place in Durban on 15 November.

Keynote speaker, Sihle Tshabalala, Co-Founder and CEO of Quircky 30 NPC and Quircky Innovations (Pty) Ltd enthralled the delegates and had them hanging on his lips with his quick wit as he shared his incredible entrepreneurship story. Tshabalala, a convicted felon, served eleven years in prison for business robberies and heists.  As an incredibly intelligent youngster, having started school at four and matriculated at the age of 16, he had no ambition to further his studies. He got involved in the wrong crowd and so was drawn into the life of crime. His entrepreneurial journey started when he was in prison, where he sold marijuana! He had quite a sophisticated supply chain, he explains. He says, tongue in cheek, that our prisons are full of entrepreneurs. Criminals have a natural talent for hustling, courage to take risks and they know how to network.  They have just chosen crime, which is the wrong product, says Tshabalala. When he was released from prison he taught himself three different computer languages in six weeks. Today he trains youngsters who have dropped out of schools, single moms and others who have no means to further their education how to code.  Tshabalala is now a thriving businessman on the right side of the law.

Other topics during the morning included an explanation of what the Competition Commission does and the fascinating work of the Sheltered Employment Factories who empower people living with disabilities to make furniture for both office and home use.  The support provided to entrepreneurs by the City of Cape Town, The Hope Factory and Thomson Reuters were also topics of discussion. Procurement, tendering, marketing and advertising also added to the dialogue.

“Through this SMME Opportunity Roadshow we are endeavouring to reach out to as many entrepreneurs that we can. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and it is important that we give them as much support and guidance as we can,” says Robert Arendse, Managing Director of Cape Media, organisers of the SMME Opportunity Roadshow. “We are thrilled with the turnout and the networking platform that has been created to link businesses so that lessons learnt can be shared widely,” adds Arendse.

The final leg of the SMME Opportunity Roadshow is taking place in Durban on 15 November at the Durban ICC. For more information, visit or contact Bev | 021 681 7000

If you can’t be at the venue, don’t miss out: watch the live stream on You can also join the discussion on Twitter @SMME_Roadshow #SMME2017 and on Facebook



Mobilising agents of change

 [CAPTION] Adriana Marais, head of innovation at SAP and one of the volunteers to join the Mars One mission in 2025, addressed the delegates during the opening ceremony at the 2017 SABC Education SA Innovation Summit.

“I believe we can harness technology, to create a future that we can be proud of,” said Marais in her opening address at the 2017 SABC Education SA Innovation Summit which took place at the Cape Town Stadium last week. The Summit was an event that saw many influential business leaders, visionaries, and start-ups interacting to share their experiences, demonstrate new technology and discuss co-creating a better future for society.

Following the opening ceremony, breakaway sessions included panel discussions with business leaders, creative master classes, hackathons, inventors demonstrating their prototypes at the Inventors Garage, and start-ups pitching to a panel of potential investors. Start-ups and successful business leaders connected to share advice on how to take an idea to market successfully.

“Innovation happens when you ask ‘Why?’,” said Rob Stokes, Chairperson at Red&Yellow and speaker at the Summit. During his talk “Why Creative Thinking is the most important skill of the 21st Century”, he addressed how we access our inner creative genius to stay ahead of automation and even artificial intelligence.

“What toolkit does one require to start a business?” asked Kieno Kammies during a CEO panel discussion. “One thing that struck me to be essential is to conquer fear, not just conquer it, banish it so that it does not exist; in this way you are just completely focused on your vision,” answered Hannes van Rensburg, founder of Fundamo, the leading supplier of mobile banking and payment solutions.

[CAPTION] Resident artist, James Durno successfully captured the ‘Innovation Revolution’ theme of the conversations taking place at the Summit.

The jam-packed event ended off with the announcement of winners of the various competitions at the event:

  • Winner of the Chivas Regal Venture Pitching Den was Benji Coetzee. Her start-up company EmptyTrips will be off to compete for a US$ 1 million investment prize at the 2018 Startup World Cup grand finale in Silicon Valley. EmptyTrips uses smart algorithms to allow empty transport vehicles on return trips to be used for cargo transport at a lower cost.
  • The Santam Hackathon, a 48-hour hackathon to find solutions to some of South Africa’s most pressing safety challenges, awarded a first prize of R20 000, and incubation support from idea to launch, to MoreEyes. The MoreEyes team proposed using biometric data to track employee and retail visitor behaviour (including movement patterns, body temperature and facial recognition) to help predict and prevent robberies.
  • The Inventors Garage, an opportunity for inventors to exhibit their prototypes, awarded a cash prize of R10 000, as well as R15 000 in services from Adams&Adams, to the winner: James van der Walt with SolarTurtle. The SolarTurtle is an ultra-secure solar energy solution for off-grid use in high-crime areas.

This year’s Summit eclipsed the success of previous years by being a catalyst of real social change. Speakers at this year’s event committed to a change that they will enact and give feedback on over the course of a year, helping to create a greater impact on the economic ecosystem. “The commitment varied from general collaboration in strengthening the innovation and start-up eco system in South Africa, to specific commitments like that of delegate Hammilton Mphidi that committed to creating start-up schools in communities to teach future skills,” explains Audrey Verhaeghe, Chairperson of the Summit. “In his presentation, Pieter De Villiers reminded people that you do not have to be a billionaire to give back: offer your time and effort. Commitments touched on creation, implementation and enablement of new ideas, capacity building, riding the wave of big data and disrupting industries. Thinking big and scaling of businesses from Africa to the World was a golden thread at the Summit.”

“We are incredibly excited about what the year ahead will bring in terms of measurable societal impact,” Verhaeghe concludes. “It is events like these that act as an important source of inspiration for many to take a great idea and turn it into something that will change the world.”

For more information on the 2017 SABC Education SA Innovation Summit, visit

Brand-new Music and Arts Centre for Steenberg High School

Steenberg High School’s brand new Music and Arts Centre will be officially opened today, 01 September 2017. The much-needed Centre was made possible by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages’ (CCPB) generous donation of R2.25 million, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Newlands who contributed to and managed the building project.  The Centre will be a hub for all cultural activities at the school, and will also be used as a dance studio.

As CCPB’s 2017 Corporate Social Investment (CSI) project, the newly built Music and Arts Centre boasts a foyer, office, store room and most importantly, plenty of space for two school orchestras to practice and perform in.

Steenberg High School Headmaster Andre Kraak said it was a dream come true for the school to have their own Music and Arts Centre. Previously the learners would have to squash into a small room for orchestra practice. Now they have their own cultural space.

“We are thrilled to partner with Steenberg High School in providing a dedicated space for music, dance and arts to flourish. This is our big 2017 CSI project and believe it will provide learners with a space to thrive and excel,” says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at CCPB.

For children at the school, many who come from low income communities, playing music has been a significant turning point, says Kraak. “The members of the two Symphonic Wind Orchestras have been transformed. They have developed a positive self-image and have grown in confidence. There has also been a remarkable improvement in their work ethic and academic results,” adds Kraak,

Kraak mentions one specific learner from a gang-ridden area who plays the tenor saxophone. “In Grade 9 she was on the verge of dropping out of school because of bad choices. The orchestra gave her reason to stay at school. She did not feature among the top learners in the junior phase but suddenly appeared as one of the top ten academic students in Grade 10. Her transformation was recognised when the teachers selected her as a prefect in Grade 11 in 2016,” he explains proudly.

The school’s two orchestras are flourishing, and can boast that they have performed at the Baxter, Artscape and at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Some of the most talented musicians are also part of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

“It is a privilege to be so invested in this school and its learners,” says Graham Finlayson, President of the Rotary Club of Newlands. “We look forward to seeing the learners at Steenberg High School flourish.”

Urquhart added: “The level of talent amongst learners at the school is phenomenal and it is wonderful to see children thrive as they perform together. This building symbolises an investment in arts and culture. It is indeed a place that will inspire moments of happiness in the lives of many learners, their parents, the teachers at this school and the wider community.”

For more information about Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB), visit or contact 021 936 5500.

Passionate teacher wins stationery supplies for her school

Mkhomazi Primary School in Breyton, Mpumalanga has received stationary supplies to the value of R16 000 thanks to Grade 6 English Teacher, Thembi Dlamini, who spotted Sea Harvest’s ‘Back to School’ Facebook competition. Little did she know that by winning this competition, she would also be walking away with R1000 for herself!

Mkhomazi Primary School is located in a very small mining town in Mpumalanga where the unemployment rate is 70% and learners are faced with extreme poverty and many social challenges. Grade 6 English Teacher, Thembi Dlamini, is always looking for ways to help improve the situation at her school, whether it is sourcing donations of shoes for orphans in her class or finding more textbooks. Winning the Sea Harvest Back to School Competition was one way that Dlamini could help make a practical difference.

The prize money has been invested wisely into additional resources for the school. The school chose to purchase 50 atlases, 50 dictionaries, pens and pencils with the prize money. Golf shirts that have the school logo embroidered on them were also purchased for the staff members. “The atlases and dictionaries are very helpful for the learners,” explains Dlamini. “They use dictionaries almost every day and across every subject and teaching map work has become so much easier now that we have atlases that the children can reference. The teachers wear their golf shirts every Friday and it gives us all a sense of belonging and purpose at the school,” she says. With the R1000 prize that Dlamini won for herself, she chose to purchase a cell phone.

“We are so glad that the prize money has been put to good use, and that learning will be that much easier for the learners at Mkhomazi Primary School,” says Nazli Philander, Sea Harvest Brand Manager. “Thembi is one of this country’s unknown heroes whose efforts we are pleased to support,” she states.

For more information about Sea Harvest, visit Follow Sea Harvest on Facebook for more competitions, recipes and fun fish facts.

Masakhane Grassroots Educare Centre opens new building

CAPTION: Children and teachers at Masakhane Grassroots Educare Centre in Mbekweni, outside Paarl celebrated the official opening of a new Grade R classroom, kitchen and store room today, 25 August 2017. The much-needed extension to the existing buildings, which cost R800 000, was built by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB) in partnership with the Rotary Club of Newlands.

When Masakhane began in 1998 there were only four teachers and 80 children meeting in a very small room. “When I started Masakhane I never could have imagined how much it would grow in 19 years. At one stage, when we moved to a new plot of land, we had no perimeter fence and the children sat under a tree,” remembers Joyce Mokapane, Founder and Principal of Masakhane.

Despite these challenges, Masakhane has gained a reputation over time as one of the best Centres in the area, providing excellent learning opportunities to little ones before they move on to Primary School. The latest extension of a second Grade R classroom has enabled the Centre to expand capacity yet again. There are now 235 children between the age of 18 months and six years, in six different classes. Feeding 235 children each day is no small task. The new kitchen is a blessing to the staff who have sufficient space to prepare rice, mince-meat, pap, samp, beans, soup and bread for the youngsters.

This is the second time CCPB has invested in a building project for Masakhane. In 2010 three classrooms, an administration office and toilets were built by CCPB at a cost of about R1 million.

“We are thrilled to continue partnering with Masakhane, which is serving a great need in this community,” says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager.

“It is wonderful to see how these buildings are being used. There is no doubt that an investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) projects like Masakhane is an investment in our future.”

The Rotary Club of Newlands has been working with this ECD Centre since 2009. Rotarian John Winship says, “As Rotarians one of the rewards is knowing that these enthusiastic children are being nourished, stimulated and socialised providing them with the valuable grounding to give them a great start in Primary School. Joyce and her team are dedicated to the education and development of these fortunate young children.”

At the opening celebration, the children entertained the dignitaries and guests with joyful singing and dancing. Speaking at the event, Mokapane said that she was thrilled with the new extension adding that the growth of the Centre has also helped her to create jobs. “We now have 13 full time staff at Masakhane,” she said. Never one to tire from a new dream, Mokapane is already talking about her next project, which is to open a school for Grade 1 to Grade 4 for children in Mbekweni.

For more information about Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB), visit or contact 021 936 5500.

Upcycling: waste with new purpose


Upcycling is a fun and creative way to transform old products and packaging into something with a new purpose. According to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)’s Waste Management Hierarchy1, upcycling, which in the most basic sense is ‘reusing’ waste, is the second most preferred waste management option after  ‘reducing’ your waste.

Have you ever used an old glass bottle as a candle holder, given an old pair of jeans new life by turning them into shorts or even turned an old tyre into a pot plant? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you have practised upcycling.

“More people are adopting upcycling at home as it is a fun way to make use of waste, and alleviate some of the pressure on our waste disposal infrastructure,” says Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA.

“A Do It Yourself (DIY) project is always an enjoyable challenge, and by upcycling those items that would have otherwise become waste, you are being environmentally responsible” explains Palm. “Upcycling is different to recycling. Upcycling is the method of reusing waste without destroying it, where recycling is a process of breaking down waste products to extract resources to form a new product,” he continues. According to the DEA, upcycling is a preferred waste management option and is ranked above recycling. The industrial processes used to extract products from recycled waste are most often associated with the release of industrial emissions and an extensive use of energy. Upcycling is, therefore, the more environmentally friendly option to deal with waste.

“You would be amazed at how everyday items, such as plastic and glass beverage bottles can be transformed into the most beautiful decorative elements,” says Palm. “We’d like to encourage South Africans to instil a culture of upcycling in our homes. Next time you see something that you are tempted to buy, use it as inspiration! Embark on a DIY project, using items you already have at home, to make the same product; it’s a great way to add your own unique twist and create a one-of-a-kind item,” he continues.

Collect all of your used straws for example and challenge your children’s creativity; have a look at these interesting projects that are sure to keep them entertained over the weekend.

“Every bit of waste that does not end up in a landfill helps alleviate the pressure on our waste management infrastructure. So, let us all encourage the whole family to upcycle in creative ways,” Palm concludes.

To learn other methods of responsible waste management, have a look at IWMSA’s upcoming training schedule.

For more information on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa visit You can also follow IWMSA on Facebook ( and Twitter (


1Department of Environmental Affairs (2008). National Waste Management Strategy, Waste Management Hierarchy.

Making a positive difference in Saldanha Bay

Pictured above are Sea Harvest staff Belinda Rhode and Donavon Goliath, with children from a local community organisation during Mandela Day celebrations in Saldanha Bay in July 2017.

Best known for its glittering blue sea and bustling harbour, the picturesque west coast town of Saldanha Bay is home to a thriving fishing industry but, like any other town, it faces pressing social challenges, including drug and alcohol addiction, poverty and unemployment. Sea Harvest, which recently announced that it has acquired a new freezer trawler following its successful JSE listing in March this year, has restated its commitment to local area development to help address these challenges.

According to the most recent Socio-Economic Profile of Saldanha Bay Municipality, compiled by the Western Cape Government*, there were over 800 drug related crimes committed in 2015. In addition, almost ten percent of babies are born to teenage mothers, contributing to high drop-out rates amongst learners in secondary school. The report notes with concern that over 4000 households in the area earn less than R400 a month, far below the breadline.


Seafood company, Sea Harvest, which catches and processes Cape Hake, is the single largest employer in Saldanha Bay. The company’s contribution to the local Municipality, in terms of Gross Value Add, totalled R405 million in 2014**. “About nine percent of all employment in Saldanha Bay is as a result of Sea Harvest, be it direct or indirect employment. Over 2800 employees work on our vessels and in our factory at the harbour, so we have a tremendous sense of responsibility to invest in the people of this town who work with us. We want to give back to the community in which we operate and to ensure that their quality of life improves,” says Terence Brown, Sea Harvest Operations Director and Chairman of the Board of the Sea Harvest Foundation.


“Each employee is a breadwinner and considering the high rate of unemployment here, we constantly look for ways to create work, whether on board our vessels, in the factory or indirectly, through the 170 local suppliers we engage with. While it’s important to run a successful JSE-listed business that delivers value to shareholders, job creation is vital to how we operate,” says Brown.


“Education is foundational for development and another priority area for Sea Harvest. At the Foundation Phase, we are building extra classrooms to increase capacity for Diazville Primary School’s Grade R class,” says Brown. Between 2010 and 2015 almost 300 bursaries were awarded to local students. This year, a total of R297 000 was awarded to 31 young people from the West Coast region who will attend tertiary institutions to study courses which vary from law, tourism, consumer science and navigation to commerce, biochemistry and engineering. “Of course, not every bursary recipient will end up working at Sea Harvest, although some certainly will. In fact, we are more interested in seeing many of them working here in Saldanha in the future, as skilled professionals, providing key services to the community,” says Brown.


“Work experience makes a person more employable which means an increase in earning power and economic mobility. We have a role to play in providing such opportunities for graduates through our internship programme, as well as for artisans to obtain trade qualifications through our apprenticeship programme.” Sea Harvest also provides Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) learnerships and through its partnership with the West Coast School for Special Educational Needs, workplace exposure is given to students.


To further develop businesses in the area, the fishing company have partnered with the West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC), which is chaired by Sea Harvest’s Head of Procurement, Valarie Coetzee. Technical and financial support is provided to WCBDC which helps grow small and medium enterprises in the region.


Brown explains that tackling social challenges starts with addressing individual health and wellbeing. “Through our employee wellness programme, we have introduced support groups that have helped our staff manage challenging situations at home.” The Family Enrichment Programme and Substance Abuse Support Groups are run by Social Workers from the Department of Social Development. Sea Harvest covers the rental costs for an office in the centre of Saldanha which is used by Social Workers who assist the community. “Through our collaboration with the Department of Social Development, we have been able to begin to tackle the challenges of teenage pregnancy, foetal alcohol syndrome and addictions,” says Brown.


“To promote a healthy, active lifestyle amongst youngsters who might otherwise be tempted to turn to drugs and alcohol, we partner with 24 low-income school sports teams which receive sports kits and financial donations,” says Brown. Fresh fish donations to the Siyabonga Care Village, Sandveld Hospice and other organisations form another part of Sea Harvest’s ongoing Corporate Social Investment (CSI) activities.


“Last year, we were able to channel almost a million Rand into developing Saldanha Bay, through the initiatives of the Sea Harvest Foundation. We look forward to continuing with these projects which will result in true, long-term socio-economic benefits for all,” concludes Brown.


For more information about Sea Harvest, visit


** The Socio-Economic Impact of Sea Harvest’s Operations at Saldanha. Report compiled by Independent Economic Researchers. April 2016.

New computers for Durbanville reading centre

CAPTION: Children at the Morningstar Reading Centre in Durbanville enjoying the new computers at the Centre, a privilege that few of them would have access to at home. The Reading Centre provides afterschool support for up to 30 pre-primary and primary school children from the Morningstar suburb. Most of them come of their own accord: the only admission criterion is an eagerness to learn. The volunteer teachers, mainly social workers and mothers from the greater Durbanville area, supplement the children’s academics with reading, comprehension and art. The newly installed computers, complete with Edubuntu educational software, provide maths, language and computer literacy support.

The computers were installed by the Rotary Club of Tygerberg with financial assistance from the Rotary Club of Claremont’s outreach programme. “These computers will make a tremendous difference to the lives of the children who attend the centre,” says past President of Rotary Club of Claremont Peter Trebble, who spearheads the Club’s outreach programme. “We are delighted to help make numerous projects like this one possible, by financially assisting other Rotary clubs from Namibia to Plettenberg Bay. Over R 1.2 million has been invested in communities over the past five years. It is an honour and a privilege to be of assistance in communities that need it,” he concludes.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit

2 000 sandwiches and hundreds of litres of soup to those in need

In celebration of Mandela Day, hundreds of South Africans came together to commemorate the life of former President Nelson Mandela. The Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB) team joined hands by preparing 2 000 sandwiches and hundreds of litres of soup to those in need.

Caption: The CCPB South region based in Athlone saw over 200 staff including truck drivers, sales managers and general managers, coming together to prepare 2 000 delicious sandwiches. One thousand of these lunch packs were delivered to the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Heideveld, the Heatherdale Children’s Home in Belgravia, Ekuphumleni Frail Care Centre in Gugulethu and Baphumelele Foundation in Khayelitsha. Local non-profit organisation, Mustadafin Foundation, also received 1 000 sandwiches and fruit packs for distribution to the various projects they co-ordinate.

Caption: CCPB also kept everyone hydrated at the Cape Quarter where they joined celebrity chef and one of SA’s outstanding foodie personalities Jenny Morris, who hosted a Soup Kitchen at the Yumcious Café in Green Point. The Cape Quarter was packed with eager volunteers chopping vegetables while lively music entertained young and old. The soup is for night shelters in the area.

Caption: Giggling gourmet, Jenny Morris (left), Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communication Manager at CCPB (middle), and Lee Corlett (right), hard at work making bread for the less fortunate.

“It is fantastic to see how Mandela Day brings South Africans from all walks of life together to make a difference within their communities. It has been a pleasure partnering with all those involved,” says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at CCPB.

[Photographer: Malick Abarder, Live4ever Productions]