Waste-wise wisdom for the festive season

It’s that time of the year when many of us go a little crazy giving loads of gifts and indulging in far too much food. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) would like to give everyone some waste-wise advice this festive season, to reduce their environmental impact by looking for ways to minimise the amount of household waste which is eventually diverted to landfill.

“During the festive season we produce a lot of waste from packaging, food wrappers, old decorations and even unwanted gifts. We are also likely to produce far too much food for end of year parties and Christmas dinners, not to mention treats for guests who come to visit. With a fridge stuffed to the brim, that extra party food which is not consumed is often thrown into the garbage bin too,” says Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA. “Unfortunately, Southern Africa is running out of landfill airspace and so we all have a responsibility to be waste-wise by correctly sorting and disposing of our waste. You can be waste-wise this festive season by considering alternative ways to dispose of unwanted gifts and food.”

The IWMSA has identified the best waste-wise tips to get you through the festive season:

  1. Find a charity that is collecting food

Look for a Non-Profit Organisation in your area that is collecting and redistributing food this festive season. A handy website to help you find a charity that is nearest to you is www.giveback.co.za or www.forgood.co.za. “There are many people less fortunate than ourselves who would love to enjoy eating delicious Christmas party leftovers. So instead of throwing it away, call ahead to a charity and ask if they would appreciate receiving your leftover food. You’re bound to feel good when you take time to do this and the simple act of helping others will be most rewarding. The added bonus, is that the extra food doesn’t end up in your rubbish bin,” says Palm.

  1. Give food parcels to homeless people

“There are many people who live on the street, who spend their days begging on the side of the road and often go to sleep hungry. Christmas Day isn’t any different for them. Why not take left over food from your Christmas meal and give it to the underprivileged people in your community?” suggests Palm. “Another alternative is to take your leftover food to the nearest police station or hospital where you can treat the staff who are hard at work over the holiday period. It’s a nice way of thanking them for the valuable work they do.”

  1. Compost your food waste

Create your own compost to spread over flower beds in your garden using uncooked fresh produce like vegetable peels. You can add egg shells, tea bags and coffee granules to your compost bin. “Remember to combine grass clippings and leaves from your garden with the food waste, not forgetting to turn the material to allow air in which will help it to break down quicker. There are numerous benefits to composting organic waste as it produces mulch, soil amendments and organic fertilisers,” explains Palm. You can take composting a step further by building your own worm farm to make the richest organic fertiliser for your garden. Worm farms are odourless and don’t take up a lot of space, and therefore you can keep it inside. For an easy guide to building your own worm farm visit http://bit.ly/2i0ImMa.

  1. Give away unwanted gifts

Instead of throwing away gifts that you don’t want, consider who might enjoy owning them. “Perhaps the trinkets in your Christmas cracker could be given to children who wouldn’t normally receive toys at Christmas? Or perhaps you can donate clothing items you don’t want to a charity,” says Palm.

  1. Return and exchange gifts you do not want

Consider returning gifts to the shop where they were bought and request a refund or exchange. Palm explains, “Set a trend in your family and encourage others to cross out prices on gifts, but leave tags on so that they can be returned if the receiver doesn’t want it, this is a simple way to ensure gifts don’t go to waste.”

  1. Give gifts in gift bags that can be reused

“Using gift bags instead of wrapping paper and sticky tape makes environmental sense, because there’s no need to drop off paper at a recycling depot. A gift bag can easily be folded flat and stored away, ready to be reused next Christmas,” says Palm.

  1. Be ready to collect wrapping paper for recycling

“Everyone has a tradition of opening gifts with friends and family, be it on Christmas Eve, first thing on Christmas Day or when friends arrive at your home to celebrate. Get ready to collect as much wrapping paper for recycling by having a large bag close at hand when the gifts are unwrapped. Encourage the younger children to be Santa’s little helpers and make a game of collecting all the wrapping paper so that all of it ends up in your recycling bin,” says Palm.

“Now is a perfect time to reconsider how we dispose of waste. We encourage everyone to approach this Christmas with the mindset of a Waste-Wise Warrior, by diverting waste away from landfills,” concludes Palm.

To find your nearest recycler, visit www.mywaste.co.za. To find a waste management supplier, visit www.allwastesolutions.co.za.

For more information on the IWMSA, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. The IWMSA is also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa). For more information on recycling and recovery, visit the National Recycling Forum’s website at www.recycling.co.za.

Uncle Willy’s Christmas Parties kicks off with special opening night

[CAPTION]: Carlos the magician entertains children at the first Uncle Willy’s Christmas Party of the season. Photo: Luc Gendron

The first Christmas Party of the season was an extra special evening arranged for children who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to attend such an event. On Thursday last week Uncle Willy hosted 80 children who came from: Bel Porto School for children with intellectual and physical impairments in Landsdowne, Filia School for children with special needs in Goodwood, Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone and St George’s Home for Girls in Plumstead. The children shrieked with delight at each new surprise and left with broad grins, clutching their treasured Christmas presents.

While the rest of the Uncle Willy’s Christmas Parties are a paid-for fun-filled family occasions in a non-commercial environment, they are also a fundraising event arranged by the Rotaract Club of Claremont, and assisted by Rotary Club of Claremont. The first Christmas Party is a charity evening for vulnerable children, many of whom do not live with their parents. The charity evening was facilitated by the Members of the Claremont Inner Wheel Club who organised the transport, prepared a tasty supper for the children and provided the presents which Father Christmas handed out to them at the end of the evening.

Arranging Uncle Willy’s Christmas Parties is no doubt a lot of hard work involving lots of logistics, but certainly also loads of fun for members of Rotaract and Rotary Clubs of Claremont, and the Interactors from local High Schools. The Christmas Parties which are now a firm favourite on the calendar and very often sold out, they raise a significant amount of money for the Rotaract Club. Last year more than a hundred thousand Rand was raised through the parties and allocated to various projects serving the community.

Supporting community projects that make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged is the central focus of the Rotaract Club of Claremont. This group of 18 to 30-year-olds are students or working professionals who commit themselves to goodwill projects in the community. The Rotaract Club of Claremont also seeks to equip members with skills for their own personal development and to address physical and social needs in the community whilst making new friends and having lots of fun.

Should you wish to join the Rotaract Club of Claremont and get involved behind the scenes at Uncle Willy’s Christmas Parties, visit www.facebook.com/claremontrotaractcpt to find out more.

To book tickets for your children to attend Uncle Willy’s Christmas Party visit www.unclewillyschristmas.co.za

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit https://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofClaremont/.

Celebrate International Volunteers Day: volunteers keep the wheels turning at the Cape Town Cycle Tour

[CAPTION]: One of the greatest examples of what volunteers can achieve is the Cape Town Cycle Tour. (High res image Photo credit: Cindy Taylor)

Tuesday 05 December 2017 is International Volunteers Day, a good time to reflect on the incredible sacrifice people make by giving their time and energy to help others, without expecting anything in return.

“Rotary is made up entirely of volunteers and very little would happen without them,” says Rotary Club of Claremont President Elect, Malcolm Dodd. “One of the greatest examples of what a group of volunteers can achieve when they get behind a single purpose is the Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT). Getting over 35 000 cyclists safely over the finishing line of one of the world’s greatest races is no small feat.”

Thirty-five years ago, long before the CTCT became the world’s largest timed cycle race, members of the Rotary Club of Claremont volunteered to act as marshals for the cyclists, and in so doing, raised funds which they used for outreach projects. “Over the years the race has grown, with a longer route and more and more cyclists entering, so we called on Rotarians from other clubs to join in to volunteer their time to help out on the day,” says Dodd.

“In 2018 we will have a record of 485 volunteers from 35 different Rotary Clubs, two Inner Wheel Clubs and six Rotaract Clubs, committing a total of 21 011 volunteer hours prior to and on race day,” says Dodd. In the days before the race, the official route will be checked 20 times by Rotarians looking for potholes and other potential hazards that may threaten to disrupt the smooth running of the event. On race day, in addition to the 1 000 marshals, 30 volunteers will be on the route on motorbikes, assisting cyclists with mechanical problems and lending them tools to patch tyres and fix their bicycles. Rotarians will also manage 30 sweep operations where trucks and trailers are used to pick up riders who have withdrawn from the race. Volunteer managers based at the 16 refreshment stations along the 109-kilometre route will keep in contact with sweep vehicles and Rotarians based at the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) using 120 radios and vehicle tracking software. All marshals and volunteers will receive text messages from the JOC volunteers handling communication on race day. In total 70 000 text messages will be sent out on the day to keep all the volunteers updated regarding the race.

“What is most astounding, is the willingness and enthusiasm from genuine, kind-hearted Rotarians who want to help. Not one person earns any income for the work they do, which involves a very early wake up and a long day out, probably standing in the sun, to direct cyclists and assist those who require help. It is truly magnificent to see what can be achieved when people volunteer their time to help,” says Dodd.

The role of volunteers in the success of CTCT does not end with the event itself. The Rotary Club of Claremont, made up entirely of volunteers, and the Pedal Power Association are equal shareholders of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust which now manages the race. The charitable surplus generated by the race is split between the two stakeholders. In 2017 there were 74 different Rotary projects that received funds allocated from the money raised through the CTCT. Projects range from renovations to libraries, schools and clinics; provision of specialised machinery, educational material and health care equipment; supplying computers to schools; and other educational and sporting initiatives.

“Rotarians know how rewarding it is to volunteer their time to ultimately help those who are less fortunate. It is incredible to play a small role in such a big event and to see lives improved for the better, thanks to the funds raised by volunteers at the CTCT.” Dodd encourages anyone who is interested in joining the Rotary Club of Claremont to find out more by visiting Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofClaremont/.

Feedback on SAMSA’s investigation on the Thandi investigation

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) investigation into the near sinking of the small passenger vessel “Thandi”, on 15 September 2017, has been completed. Robben Island Museum (RIM), who charted the ferry to transport passengers to and from the Island, has commended SAMSA on their detailed and swift investigation.

“The report has helped us evaluate our current safety procedures and to provide an even better and safer experience for all the visitors to the Island,” says Mava Dada, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RIM. “Safety is and always has been our main priority. Based on the learnings highlighted in the report and our own internal assessment, we will be implementing a number of additional safety measures to further improve the current safety protocols,” adds Dada.

One of the key drivers that led to the incident was as a result of the weather conditions. To take even further precautions to the current weather assessment, RIM will install additional wind monitoring equipment on the Island so that actual wind conditions can be monitored in Cape Town and at Robben Island. RIM will also be appointing a Harbour Master for Murray’s Bay Harbour at Robben Island.  RIM will ensure and insist that all ferries are fitted with wind monitoring equipment, which will also be frequently monitored during trips.

As an additional precaution, RIM has updated its systems and processes for the monitoring of weather conditions and weather warnings. Steps have been taken to improve the frequency and quality of reports as well as the interactions with masters with regard to weather conditions. RIM are engaging with Transet National Port Authority to agree on added reporting processes.

Over and above the existing regulatory framework, which RIM already complies with, RIM will carry out additional assessments of all their vessels serving Robben Island; this is to affirm their suitability for continued operations, and to enhance safety measures as well as add to the comfort of passengers and crew.  These additional restrictions will apply to both the current vessels and any future vessels that RIM may engage or operate.

RIM will carry out further investigation into the type and characteristics of vessels that are sustainable, reliable and comfortable to provide a consistent passenger and crew experience in the unpredictable and sometimes severe weather conditions of Cape Town. RIM is determined to ensure that the vessels serving Robben Island are of a type, size and condition that supports the provision of a reliable, safe, comfortable and world class service to visitors.

There are a number of improvements and changes that RIM have already implemented. Visitors to and from the Island are scanned prior to the commencement of every voyage. Each visitor needs to show identification when boarding a ferry, a similar process as to when you board an aeroplane.

“We recognise and commend the recommendations made by SAMSA with regards to the possible changes to the regulations and legislation relating to passenger ferry operations, which will play a significant role in ensuring both higher quality vessels, as well as improved quality of operations.

“We assure visitors to Robben Island that the measures already in place, and the updated safety measures now being implemented are such that visitors are assured of the best possible safety standards on all our vessels,” concludes Dada.

‘’On the 15th September 2017 the small passenger vessel “Thandi”, a third party owned and operated vessel chartered by RIM to ferry passengers, took on water after departure from Robben Island, resulting in difficulties which prompted the master to request urgent assistance from emergency services, with the ultimate safe evacuation of all passengers and crew. All passengers and crew were safely transported back to Cape Town.

Thandi is not currently in commission.

For more information on Robben Island and daily tours, please visit www.robben-island.org.za

“Wake-up this is Your Sub-Conscious speaking”

Caption: Sharon Sinclair, Founder and Chief Executive Operator (CEO) of Chandramala has been working with corporate teams since 2008 helping them to get aligned to the business’ strategic intent using the scientific methodology of Dr Levin.


Sharon Sinclair is a woman carving out a niche in corporate organisational practise across the business spectrum with a unique and highly successful business model. Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chandramala, Sinclair makes use of the scientific alignment methodology, as pioneered by Dr Jeff Levin, an international authority in the field of Energy Medicine.


This principle allows Sinclair and her team to identify the root cause of emotions surrounding internal cognitive thought processes and implement the positive growth into a diverse corporate business framework.


The Cape-Town-based Sinclair boasts a stellar financial background and the synergy using emotional evolution aligned to sound economic principles equates to the formulation of a progressive, empirically proven technique; one that sets Chandramala apart from competitors across the African continent.


A former engineering financial manager, this dynamic businesswoman has seen a gap in the market and provides world class services in the fields of Client Centricity, Customer Service Excellence, Conflict Resolution as well as building and sustaining Client Relationships.


The self-motivated, energetic Sinclair started practising her unique set of skills in 2008, and has developed into a leading edge thinker with an old-school business mentality. Sinclair officially launched her own brand name, Chandramala in 2013 and her distinctive methodology has grown exponentially.


Sinclair has strong ties to the economic market. Over the past decade, the dynamic businesswoman has transformed the traditional standardised practises into a robust fluidity in an ever-changing business landscape.


The alignment process she brings into a business structure allows for effective congruence by tapping into a client’s sub-consciousness; thus freeing up internal roadblocks, augmenting cohesive behaviour and providing a seamless transition. This process allows the employees to express their inner strengths and dilute negative energy.


To survive profitably in an ever-increasing competitive workplace, Sinclair offers an intensive internal system-analysis and paves the way for purposeful action.


The advanced holistic business philosophy is ideal for medium to large companies and brings together a multitude of key business indicators that harness a company’s potential, through a breaking down of cultural barriers and the rebooting of mind sets.


Sinclair’s methodology has helped break down the ‘silo factor’ often seen in business sectors, and her strategic development process identifies means to reconnect and rebuild business alignment.


The advancement of technology often creates an uncertain work-force as every six months rapid expansion makes current systems obsolete. The only way to cope with an ever-changing world is to tap into a self-actualised business model, perfectly suited to adaptability.


“The business world may be growing at an exponential pace and this can be quite daunting but human nature and its ability to adapt and evolve is innate, it is an ingrained part of our psyche, we need only open the door to our subconscious and tap into our limitless ability,” says Sinclair.


Once a business assessment has been made, a specialised and highly trained team of coaches, mentors, consultants and psychologists will formulate a strategic business solution.


The service provides one-on-one or team dialogue and mentoring, detailed reports and a deluge of pertinent information.


“The internal workshop with our team helped us to set an agreed common mission and vision statement for the company. During this session everyone had an opportunity to voice what they thought we did well and what needed attention,” says Gauteng-based Megan Stark Managing Director of CubicIce who has been providing Specialist B2B Digital Marketing Services for the past 30 years. “Having a shared vision has allowed us all to get onto the same page and to have a laser focus of where we are heading to as a company. It helped me to identify some of the not so obvious team dynamics and relationships.” adds Stark


“Human nature is to strive further, carve out a piece of internal paradise and become pioneers in what we do,” adds Sinclair.


Sinclair has a foothold in all the major cities across South Africa and will be looking to grow the business from 80 existing clients to a plethora of opportunities.


Unlocking the psyche of the soul has limitless potential. Tap into Chandramala and take your business to the next level, humanity demands it.


For more information about getting your team onto the same page, contact Sharon Sinclair on sharon@chandramala.com, or visit www.chandramala.com

Share the joy this festive season

Help the Mustadafin Foundation put smiles on the faces of vulnerable children and orphans this festive season.

“Every child deserves a happy, healthy childhood and the opportunity to build a brighter future. Let’s share the blessings by giving special educational gifts to children in need,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, Director of Mustadafin Foundation.

Child poverty is one of the hardest things to observe. When considering the Western Cape alone, orphans and vulnerable children are faced with numerous challenges such as high levels of poverty, living in child-headed households and suffering from trauma associated with drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism and crime. According to statistics*, South Africa has over three million orphans. Mustadafin Foundation has taken up the battle to protect these children by establishing programmes that help reduce the rate of poverty in communities and improve their lives in practical ways.

For the past 31 years, the Mustadafin Foundation has distributed and hosted Christmas lunches for sick children at Red Cross Hospital and for disadvantaged communities in Mitchell’s Plain, Brooklyn, Khayelitsha and many other parts of the Western Cape. This year the organisation will also be helping children from Grabouw, a farming community notorious for its extreme poverty and high unemployment rate.

The Mustadafin ‘Toy and Stationery Drive’ aims to assist 1 000 orphans and vulnerable children this year. By giving toys and stationery gifts to children, it will ease the financial pressure put on poor households to purchase essential school items at the start of the new school year.

“We hope to distribute toys and stationery gifts to 500 children in Tafelsig, 200 in Grabouw, 100 in Khayelitsha, 50 in Hanover Park, 50 in Manenberg and 100 in Delft,” says Johnstone-Cassiem.

Support the Toy and Stationery Drive by donating new, wrapped or unwrapped gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a gift. “Unwrapped gifts will be wrapped and distributed to children between the ages of three and 16 years old. Gifts can be dropped at 30 Turfhall Road in Lansdowne. Arrangements can be made for large quantities of gifts to be collected,” mentions Johnstone-Cassiem.

Gift ideas

  • 0 – 5 years: dolls, teddy bears, baby clothes, bath toys, nursery rhymes, puzzles, action figures, books, colouring sets, pencils, crayons
  • 6 – 9 years: educational toys, stationery (colouring sets, books, pencils, crayons, school sets), puzzles, word searches
  • 9 – 12 years: games and toys, stationery, books, clothing, gloves, scarves, hats
  • 13 – 16 years: books, gloves, scarves, hats, school shirts, toiletries

To partner with this initiative and find out how you can donate or for more information about Mustadafin Foundation, contact 021 633 0010 or WhatsApp on 0795673645 or visit www.mustadafin.org.za


Know where your waste goes

Each piece of waste has the potential to pollute the environment in a different way, which is also the reason why there is no single suitable waste management approach to address all types of waste. The waste management hierarchy1 ranks waste management options in order of preference according to the type of waste, and therefore the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) recognises the importance of putting emphasis on the hierarchy in its upcoming its flagship conference, WasteCon 2018.

“It is important that the cycle of waste, from consumer to final disposal is governed by the internationally accepted waste hierarchy, which through its successful application can have several benefits, such as pollution reduction, resource conservation, and job creation,” says Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA. “The application of the waste hierarchy most often starts in households with consumers,” Palm adds.

Household waste can be separated into three parts: solid waste that can be recycled, organic waste (food and garden), and non-recyclables; each type requiring different recovery, treatment and/or disposal methods. Recyclables are repurposed for commercial use, while organic waste should not be landfilled, but rather used to make compost or biogas. Non-recyclable waste is either landfilled or sent to a Waste-to-Energy (WtE) facility to be thermally treated to produce electricity.

“One of the primary waste management challenges today is ensuring that the different types of waste are adequately sorted so that it can be subjected to the correct recovery, treatment or disposal processes,” says Palm. “By being mindful at home and separating waste into its correct category, you are helping to prevent waste from ending up where it does not belong; contaminating the natural environment,” adds Palm.

Have you ever wondered how good South Africa is at sorting and recycling their waste? Looking at a common consumer item, the plastic bag, which is quickly becoming known as South Africa’s unofficial national flower, is one of the biggest environmental burdens posed on coastal and ocean environments. The Ocean Conservancy’s 2017 Coastal Clean-up report2 indicates that during the 2016 effort to clean-up South Africa’s coastlines, plastic bags ranked as the fifth most picked up item. Four out of the top five items picked up all include plastics (plastic bags, food wrappers, beverage bottles and caps), most of which could have been recycled. “Another challenge is that once these items are picked up off beaches during clean-ups most recycling depots are reluctant to accept them as they are dirty and require further sorting and cleaning before they can actually be recycled,” says Palm.

“As we [IWMSA] continue to monitor the waste situation in our country, I would like to encourage all consumers to prevent waste where possible and to give upcycling a try,” encourages Palm.

The topics of ‘zero waste lifestyle’ and upcycling are trending more than ever on social media platforms nowadays. Living a zero waste lifestyle may seem like a challenge, however it can be a great opportunity to cut out short term use items such as plastic bags and bottles, and replace them with environmentally responsible reusable items. By doing this you have just taken a personal step up the waste management hierarchy.

If you feel like you need some guidance on your waste management have a look at the IWMSA’s training schedule, or register for WasteCon 2018 which will provide a wealth of insight into applying the waste management hierarchy. To submit an abstract to be considered to present a paper at WasteCon 2018, visit the Abstracts page on the WasteCon 2018 website.

For more information on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa visit www.iwmsa.co.za. You can also follow IWMSA on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA).

15 new road bicycles for Masiphumelele youngsters

[CAPTION]: Fifteen avid cyclists from Songezo Jim’s Cycling Academy are excited about trying out the brand new bicycles sponsored by the Rotary Club of Claremont, with helmets and kit from the Pedal Power Association (PPA), on Friday, 03 November 2017. The Academy is run by South Africa’s most famous black cyclist, who hails from Masiphumelele. The new bikes (pictured above) effectively double Songezo Jim’s stock of bicycles which are ridden under his watchful eye by eager young girls and boys who aspire to be like him one day.

“We’ve got really talented kids cycling here in Masiphumelele. They’re already winning league races in Cape Town and want to become professional, they even want to beat me! There is some stiff competition,” joked Jim, whose interest in cycling started when he was a teenage spectator watching cyclists compete in the Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT). Jim turned professional in 2013 and became the first black South African cyclist to compete in a World Tour event, the Vuelta a Espana in 2015.

During the school holidays Jim, together with the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) will run a cycling development programme for young boys and girls from Masiphumelele. The programme, aimed at novice cyclists, will include the basics of learning to ride a bicycle as well as road safety and bicycle maintenance. With such a high level of interest in cycling, Jim says that all bikes at his Academy are used on a rotational basis in order to cater to as many children as possible. The most promising cyclists will be selected to ride the new bicycles in the CTCT next year.

The Rotary Club of Claremont have a long association with cycling in Cape Town, having been involved in organising race day logistics for the CTCT for the past 34 years. The Club, together with the PPA are equal stakeholders in The Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, who are responsible for organising the world’s largest timed cycle race. The charitable surplus from the race, which sees 35000 cyclists compete, is shared between the Rotary Club of Claremont and PPA.

Speaking at the handover event, Rotary Club of Claremont President Elect, Malcolm Dodd said,

“The funds used to purchase these bicycles come from the money raised through the Cape Town Cycle Tour and so it is fitting that we use a portion to invest in enabling even more people to experience the thrill of cycling around the Cape peninsula whilst also learning valuable life skills.”

The 109 kilometre race, which will be held on Sunday 11 March 2018, passes Masiphumelele en route to the finish line in the Cape Town city centre.

“The people of Masiphumelele live along the official route and are often seen cheering cyclists with great enthusiasm on race day. We are thrilled to partner with Songezo in his dream to train youngsters to ride, leading by example and giving them a reason to hope for a better future,” says Dodd.

Last month the Rotary Club of Claremont partnered with PPA, BEN and Qhubeka to supply 20 bicycles to Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele. These bicycles will also be used to teach youngsters how to ride and the basic rules of the road. “We look forward to expanding the footprint of cycling in Masiphumelele and the surrounding Fish Hoek Valley,” concludes Dodd.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit https://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofClaremont/.

If you treasure it, measure it

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” ~ W. Edwards Deming, scholar and teacher in American academia.

Many organisations are daunted by the idea of exposing themselves to reputation research that will give them the cold hard facts. Little do they realise that by validating their ‘gut’ feeling with numbers helps them to put SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) action plans in place to ultimately have a stronger, solid and more balanced reputation. An organisation’s reputation should be nurtured and maintained, and every 12 months may be a good idea to take stock to ensure that the organisation’s reputation is steered in the right direction.

The benefits of conducting research are endless. “Reputation management is like exercising for the Comrades. Unfortunately, you will not finish the race if you haven’t worked on a training programme, geared yourself with the right running shoes or adjusted your diet to make sure that it matches your training and individual needs,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director at Reputation Matters. “It all starts with becoming research fit and assessing what the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses are,” she explains.

A holistic look should be taken at all aspects of the business to determine what is building or breaking down its reputation. Reputation Matters developed a model called the Repudometer® that scientifically measures organisation’s reputations, based on an assessment of ten elements of the business that impacts reputation. These elements include leadership, employees, strategic partnerships, value offering and communication aspects.

“Reputation is all about perceptions. Regardless if the perceptions are based on the truth, they form the realities of your key stakeholders. It is important for organisations to realise that different stakeholders can make different assessments and that not all role players will share the same view of your business’ reputation,” says Le Roux. “When businesses measure their reputations, it shows that they are interested in fostering a relationship with their stakeholders and deem their inputs as important in looking for ways to build even closer, mutually beneficial relationships.”

Le Roux shares three tips for organisational research engagements:

  • Don’t think that reputation research will require you to send yet another survey. Depending on the needs, organisations could consider conducting focus groups or telephonic interviews.
  • If you decide to go the questionnaire route, be smart about it and combine some of the questions from your satisfaction surveys distributed throughout the year as to avoid that stakeholders get too many emails and get survey fatigued.
  • Research does not have to be an expensive or tedious process. Research organisations have different research packages for your needs and to accommodate different budgets. It could also be a painless exercise when working with a company that has a sleek process in place that includes a proper brief to confirm the who, what, where, when, why and how questions.

“With a quantifiable reputation score, you would be able to present figures to your management team that will have a much greater impact than the softer issues that communication management is usually associated with. If you truly treasure your organisation’s reputation, you should measure it and put strategic action plans in place to help take it to the next level,” says Le Roux.

With the Festive Season drawing near, Reputation Matters is offering organisations the opportunity to invest in a Reputation Check, a short check list to determine the health of their reputations, while at the same time giving back to a charity of their choice. “Organisations that invest in the Reputation Check over the November and December period this year will be gifted an additional Reputation Check to give to their registered charity of choice. The results will enable the businesses to help take their reputation to the next level and improve their relationships with their key stakeholders,” concludes Le Roux.

Champions of transformation awarded

These are the best of the best in black business, the champions of transformation in South Africa: the winners of the 2017 Big Time Strategic Group Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) Awards. The 16th instalment of the BBQ Awards, held at Emperor’s Palace, Ekurhuleni on Friday, 20 October 2017 was an extravagant celebration of the men and women who are taking South Africa forward. Pictured above is Fatima Vawda, founder of 27four Investment Managers, receiving the Comair Outstanding Woman in Business Award [High res images available on request; photo credit Julian Cole]..

Attendees at the 2017 BBQ Awards were dressed to impress as they walked the red carpet for the illustrious awards ceremony. Guests had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with A-list celebrities, top business leaders and prominent politicians. Celebrity TV presenter, socialite and radio personality Somizi Mhlonge was the programme director for the evening. “The event is trending at number three [on Twitter]!” said an excited Mhlonge during the festivities. “These are the things that have to trend. Let’s make these successes very cool,” he said.

“The Big Time Strategic Group BBQ Awards are very important for us as a people, as a black nation, as young entrepreneurs, as organisations and organised business, and as a country looking to go all the way into the future,” said Justice Maphosa, CEO of Big Time Strategic Group, naming sponsor of the event. “Today as we meet here, we are saying to those who win the Awards, ‘Thank you for making us proud’.”

Baleka Mbete, Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, emphasised in her keynote address that South Africa must continue to prioritise transformation in all spheres of life, from government to small business, to benefit everyone. “May you progress to even greater heights in your business ventures,” she wished the award nominees. Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, also congratulated each nominee for their exceptional contribution to the world of business and encouraged them to help develop others: “The true value of any award cannot be realised unless the winner contributes toward the development of their own communities. In this regard, I believe the BBQ Awards remain an important endeavour in supporting our business community.”

The winners of the 13 category awards were greeted by uproarious applause:

  • LTE Holdings Best Established Black Business Award: Travel With Flair (a black-owned South African travel management company)
  • Hennessy Businessman of the Year Award: Calvin Mathibeli (CEO of Calvin and Family Group)
  • The Innovation Hub New and Innovative Business Award: Geekulcha (a development platform for South Africa’s leading young tech minds)
  • Comair Outstanding Woman in Business Award: Fatima Vawda (Founder and Managing Director of 27four Investment Managers)
  • Ledwaba Mazwai Attorneys Public Sector Visionary Award: Chief Justice of South Africa, Mogoeng-Mogoeng
  • Emperors Palace Community Builder of the Year Award: Lindiwe Matlali (Founder and CEO at Africa Teen Geeks)
  • Kaya FM Transformation Champion of the Year Award: Coega Development Corporation (State-owned company specialising in industrial development)
  • Topwatch Best Employer of the Year Award: Buna Projects and Consulting (a multi-disciplinary company specialising in engineering and full turnkey projects)
  • KIA Young Business Achiever Award: Emmanuel Bonoko (Founder of Ebonoko Foundation)
  • New Entrepreneur Award: Inga Vanqa (Principal Director at Inga Vanqa Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers)
  • CSI Ubuntu Award: Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development (an organisation that assists youth on their academic, social, entrepreneurship and career paths)
  • Iqhawe Mentorship Award: Felleng Yende (CEO of FP&M SETA)
  • Big Time Strategic Group Platinum Award: Felleng Yende (CEO of FP&M SETA)

The BBQ Awards are South Africa’s longest-running and most prestigious transformation awards. For more information on the 2017 BBQ Awards, visit http://www.bbqawards.co.za/ or follow them on Facebook (@BBQAwards) and Twitter (@BBQ_Awards).