Start collecting bottle caps for a good cause

[Left image] Prof Margaret Cullen and Prof Kobus Jonker with staff and students from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School, Melinda Labuscagne from the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) and Linda Heymans from Timber Solutions with the handover of 25kg bottle caps during Clean-up and Recycling Week in September 2015. [Right image] Part of the 400kg of plastic bottle caps received to date.


Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in partnership with Timber Solutions, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School are encouraging residents to divert plastic from landfill sites. With their innovative ‘Love Earth Bottle Cap’ project, over 400kg of plastic bottle caps have been collected so far – and this is only the start.

Residents of Eastern Cape are motivated to ‘go green’ this festive season by collecting all plastic bottle caps. With various drop-off points in Nelson Mandela Bay, this project aims to empower and instil a sense of environmental responsibility in residents. Timber Solutions, a local green manufacturer specialising in recycled plastic furniture and applications, receives all the collected plastic caps and transforms them into beautiful furniture and planks. For each 2litre bottle filled with caps, the green recycler donates R1 to help shelter women and children affected by domestic violence.

Melinda Labuscagne, Committee member of the IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch says, “To date, over 400kg of plastic bottles caps have been delivered to Timber Solutions, which amounts to approximately 1000 2litre bottles.”

NMMU Business School is actively part of this project. With their new ‘green’ building – the first of its kind in South Africa, the school advocates sustainable practices. There are drop-off points for the students at the Business School and the University’s South Campus.

Other drop-off points for the Nelson Mandela Bay residents include:

  • Lilian Diedericks Building – Govan Mbeki Ave, Ground floor and 13th floor
  • All Nelson Mandela Bay Libraries
  • Richmond Hill SRA – 15 Stanley Street, Richmond Hill
  • Timber Solutions – 134 Kempston Road, B & E Business Centre
  • Walmer West Primary – William Moffet Expressway, Walmer
  • Levyvale Spar – Channer Street, Uitenhage
  • Fairbridge Pharmacy – Aalwyn Drive, Fairbridge Heights Ext, Uitenhage
  • Huis Tevrede – Wernich Street 9, Despatch

The final weigh-in for 2015 will be on 30 November 2015 where Timber Solutions will make the first donation of R1 for each 2litre bottle filled with plastic bottle caps. The project will continue during the festive season into 2016.

“We encourage all residents to be part of this project and help be the change in our community,” concludes Labuscagne.

For more information on the IWMSA, visit The IWMSA is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Non-profit paving the road to non-violence

Women and children from high risk communities in Cape Town participate in empowerment and training programmes provided by Western Cape non-profit organisation, Mustadafin Foundation.


Western Cape non-profit organisation Mustadafin Foundation will be active agents of social change during 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children which starts on Wednesday, 25 November 2015. The Foundation alongside the South African Police Services (SAPS) will raise awareness on domestic violence and health and safety issues to empower women and children in the Delft and Tafelsig communities.

The national theme for this year’s campaign is: ‘Count me in: together moving a non-violent South Africa forward.’ Mustadafin Foundation’s focus is to create awareness on social, health and safety issues. They will also visit community clinics on 1 December 2015 for World Aids Day to discuss issues and raise awareness on HIV and AIDS.

“Together with the SAPS we will distribute pamphlets about rape, child abuse, drugs and human trafficking. There is a rise in rape, disappearance and kidnapping of children and women in the Cape Town communities. The aim of this campaign is to highlight the abuse that women and children face within their homes and communities,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, Director of Mustadafin Foundation.

According to a report published by Women’s Rights Organisation GenderLinks*, 39% of women in the Western Cape have experienced Gender Based Violence at least once in their lifetime and 44% experienced some form of violence in intimate partner relationships (emotional, economic, physical or sexual violence).

“We believe that empowerment and awareness of abuse and violence should not only be during 16 Days; our volunteers and community workers are active throughout the year to assist underprivileged communities where situations are dire,” continues Johnstone-Cassiem.

One such project is the Isibindi project in partnership with the National Association of Child Care Workers in Tafelsig which began in June this year. The project serves to employ local people and supervise and assist vulnerable children. Numerous families have benefited from this project where the majority of youth come from disadvantaged backgrounds and lack parental support.

Stitch by Stitch is another project the Foundation has pioneered which has made a valuable difference in the Tafelsig community. Women who have been victims of domestic violence are taught how to sew and make clothing, enabling them to generate an income and provide for their families.

“Violence against women is becoming an epidemic in South Africa and we all have a role to play in putting an end to this scourge. We encourage community members to seek help and report all domestic and violent crimes to the police,” concludes Johnstone-Cassiem.

For more information on any of the programmes or to donate, please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021-633-0010 or visit their website at Join their Facebook page at


100 days until the Cape Town Cycle Tour

The clock is ticking. This Thursday, November 26 marks the 100 day count down to the largest timed cycling event in the word – the Cape Town Cycle Tour. There are just 100 days left before Sunday 06 March 2016 when 35 000 cyclists will attempt the 109km route around the Cape Peninsula in what is described by many as the world’s most beautiful cycle race.

While physical training is a non-negotiable ahead of race day; keeping hydrated along the route will be key for cyclists, particularly those starting long after the sun has risen who will continue to ride in the heat of the midday summer sun.

Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape) will once again donate all refreshments for cyclists along the route. Preparations are already underway for 2016 race day logistics which will involve 37 trucks delivering at least 100 000 litres of water, 100 tonnes of ice, 51 300 litres of Coke and 49 000 litres of Powerade to water tables stationed along the route.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour and Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (taking place on Easter Saturday 26 March 2015) are the two largest sporting events on Cape Town’s sporting calendar, but by no means the only ones where refreshments are provided, at no cost, by PenBev. “There are about 700 events a year, taking place in the greater Cape Town region where we provide refreshments; 80% of those events are sporting events and all the refreshment, Coca-Cola and water along the route, are sponsored by PenBev,” says Dan Davis, PenBev Marketing Activations Manager.

For more information about PenBev, visit or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook

Tips for parents: Assessing your child’s school report

Just before the school holidays really begin, there is a moment of truth when parents receive their child’s year-end school report card. “Knowing what to look out for when reading a school report is really essential for all parents, regardless of the final mark their child receives,” says Edublox Director of Educational Programmes Susan du Plessis. For some parents, this time has never been a concern because they are confident that their child will be promoted to the next grade, but for others it is a time of intense anxiety.

“The way parents respond to report card results can play an important role in how their children perform in the next school year,” says du Plessis. She encourages parents to set aside quality time to spend with their child discussing their performance in 2015 and setting academic goals for 2016. “Ideally this should not be done at the time when final results are received and not in January when it is too late. There is great peace of mind for parents who know that they have put a structured plan in place to help their child reach their full potential, whether they are scoring an average of 75% and could score 90% or if their goal for the following year will simply be to pass every subject.”

If a child has performed poorly, it is recommended that they have a reading test. Reading tests are as important as eye tests and hearing tests, says du Plessis. “Testing reading is a useful way for parents to find out if their child has a visual or auditory processing problem, which is different from having a problem with sight or hearing. If a child struggles to accurately process what they read, the problem is not in their eyes and cannot be solved with glasses. Equally, an auditory processing problem will not be resolved with a hearing aid. Cognitive skills development is required to improve the brain’s ability to accurately process information.” Typical symptoms of visual or auditory processing problems are reversal of letters, losing one’s place when reading or struggling to blend the individual sounds in a word, such as c-a-t.  “Avoid online and computerised reading tests, search for a thorough reading test that will help you to find suitable, proven intervention strategies to resolve learning problems.”

Extra classes that provide curriculum-based support cannot solve learning problems caused by deficits in cognitive skills, warns du Plessis. “Revising different aspects of a subject can only be done once the deeper problems are resolved through cognitive skills development. Attention, processing, memory and reasoning are foundational skills that need to be in place before any subject can be sufficiently understood.

If your child will start Grade 1 in 2016 you will need to check, not only that they have the correct school uniform and stationary but also if they are ready for this new chapter in their life. “Children going into Grade 1 should have the language skills and a sufficient vocabulary to learn to read and spell. They should be able to interpret directions, be able to copy from the board, follow verbal directions and be able to count well. Fine motor skills, like cutting with scissors, copying simple forms and colouring in are fundamental to writing,” says du Plessis.

Grade 3 is the final year of what is known as the Foundation Phase. “If your child is starting Grade 3 in 2016 this will be the last year for them to really make sure that their reading is up to standard before they begin Grade 4, when the subject load and work load increases substantially, and they have to write formal tests and exams,” says du Plessis. “It’s easier to help a child overcome learning problems in Grade 3 before they reach Grade 4, which is the crucial year for parents to ensure their children have effective study methods.”

Parents whose children pass comfortably should keep in mind that such results are low compared to international standards. “Learners who average 60 to 70 percent in South Africa may not pass the grade in other countries. Domestically your child has had marginal success, however these are local standards which do not match up internationally,” says du Plessis.

In the first few years of Primary School parents are highly involved in their child’s academic development and will spend time listening to them read aloud or helping them to find resources for school projects. In order to allow a child to fully progress du Plessis encourages parents to gradually reduce homework support. By Grade 6 a child should be fully empowered with the right attitude to take responsibility for their own academic success and work independently on school projects. “Any type of learning problem should ideally be resolved by Grade 6 because at this stage children are expected to be independent learners,” says du Plessis.

Parents of children who are high achievers have a role to play too, says du Plessis. “These children require additional challenges and enrichment, not only during term time but also in the school holidays. Chess clubs, spelling bee competitions and reading eisteddfods provide additional stimulation for learners who consistently come top of their class,” concludes du Plessis.

Edublox are leading specialists in cognitive development with 22 reading and learning clinics across Southern Africa. Edublox offers multisensory cognitive training, aimed at developing and automatising the foundational skills of reading, spelling and Mathematics. For more information about Edublox visit or contact 0861-EDUBLOX / 0861 338 256.

Lies and transparency discussed at Reputation Conference

Should one lie to protect a good reputation? This was one of the key questions discussed at the 2015 Reputation Conference which took place at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice in Cape Town last Friday.

The conference, hosted by Reputation Matters, provided stimulating discussion and food for thought for public relations professionals, business leaders, communication specialists, leaders of non-profit organisations and the media in attendance.

Professor Ronél Rensburg, Head of the Communication Division at the University of Pretoria at the University of Pretoria shared results from a study she conducted with 20 communication directors working for JSE listed companies. One of the questions posed was, “Have you ever lied to the media and to other stakeholders to protect your organisation and CEO?” Interestingly, 17 out of 20 answered ‘yes’ to the question, some saying that they are “paid to lie.” Fourteen of the respondents said that they would lie again if they had to. A follow up study of a wider sample of communication professionals will be released shortly, however Rensburg says that results already reflect her original findings.

Multi-award winning Sunday Times investigative journalist, Mzilikazi Wa Afrika sent a clear message to conference delegates in his speech. “I will advise you as executives or PR agents, when you prepare a press statement; be honest, be transparent and whenever you’ve made a mistake admit to it. Admit your oversight, admit shortcomings… don’t lie.” Wa Afrika captivated the crowd with his stories of confronting corrupt politicians who denied allegations put to them and told how he had turned down millions of Rands in bribes to keep quiet as well as a near-death escape while conducting an undercover investigation into human trafficking.

Huma Gruaz, PR and Marketing Executive at Alpaytac in the United States shared examples of organisations that had made communication blunders to the detriment of their organisation’s reputation. She referred to the Black Fish documentary which exposed Sea World and online dating site Tinder’s reaction to an article that reflected negatively on the organisation. Gruaz emphasised the importance of honesty with stakeholders. “The brand needs to be transparent, that is crucial for a reputation.” Reputations improved when organisations were open about making principled decisions, said Gruaz, even if this affected their profits – in most cases these effects were only temporary as stakeholders’ support for the organisation increased because of their transparent and honest approach.

Co-founder and CEO of Argon Asset Management, Mothobi Seseli spoke about the value of trust in building a strong reputation, he said that while investment performance was critical, perceived performance – based on trust and the reputation of a firm – was a major factor in choosing who manages your money. Having started the organisation in April 2005 with zero assets under management, Argon is now a highly regarded firm, with multiple global and domestic awards, consistent top quartile investment performance across its portfolios and ZAR30bn in client assets under management.

International motivational speaker and environmental activist, Braam Malherbe was MC for the day, which started off with an impressive juggling performance by Jason Barnard from Cape Town’s non-profit, Zip Zap Circus School. Regine le Roux, Managing Director at Reputation Matters explained how communication professionals need to keep their eye on the ball, juggling many expectations and requirements at once when it comes to managing a reputation. Le Roux’s book, Reputation Matters, Building blocks to becoming the business people want to do business with, which explains the ten building blocks to a solid reputation was also launched at the conference. “The conference provided communication professionals with stimulating and fresh new perspectives and case studies to inspire and equip them for the challenges they face,” concludes le Roux.

Other speakers at the conference included Andrew Boraine; CEO of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP), Nicole Webb; Founder and Director of Impact Communications in Australia, Norbert Ofmanski; MD of On Board – Poland and Lutz Cleffmann from ECCO International Communication Network in Düsseldorf, Germany.

For more information on the conference, please email Alternatively visit or call 021 790 0208. Reputation Matters is also on Facebook and Twitter @ReputationIsKey.

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Zip Zap marks World AIDS Day with concert in Khayelitsha

Children from the Zip Zap Circus School perform at the 2014 World Aids Day concert in Khayelitsha. Last year’s theme centred on stigma, this year the theme is “My health, your health, our health.” Photo: Irene McCullagh [High resolution image available on request]

Zip Zap Circus School in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will entertain locals at an action packed, free concert on World AIDS Day, Tuesday 01 December 2015 at the O.R. Tambo Hall, Mew Way, Site B. in Khayelitsha from 12:00. The show which promises not to disappoint has become an annual highlight on the local calendar and is now in its eleventh year.

Zip Zap is a not for profit organisation that provides free circus training to children from all backgrounds where they also learn lessons in determination, hard work and healthy lifestyle. Co-founder and Director, Laurence Estève says, “There is something incredible about watching self-confidence blossom in a child that has learnt a new and impressive skill. The World AIDS Day concert is a celebration of this fresh talent and a very proud moment for the children who are the stars of the day instead of victims of the virus.”

The World AIDS Day concert will feature performances on trampolines, trapeze, juggling, without forgetting comedy and acrobatics by children between the age of 8 and nineteen from Zip Zap’s projects in Khayelitsha. There will also be a few other surprise Zip Zap acts to thrill the crowd. Contemporary African dancers from Jazzart and local artists will join the celebration.

Ubuntu, meaning humanity is the name of Zip Zap’s project hosted once a week on the site of the Ubuntu clinic in Khayelitsha next to MSF’s Khayelitsha office. Children attending the clinic are removed from their daily trauma to enter a world of fun and magic through games and circus skills. Once they show dedication they can progress to the next programme, Ibhongolwethu, for more advanced training. Children attend Zip Zap’s Ibhongolwethu project twice a week after school where they receive a meal before preparing this world AIDS day show under the guidance, care and watchful eye of their instructors.

The theme for this year’s show is: “My health, your health, our health,” a call to all young people who find themselves in short or long-term relationships to test for HIV and get treatment if they are positive. Ruth Henwood, Child & Youth Patient Support Manager at MSF says, “Testing for HIV and starting ARV treatment benefits both the individual and whoever their partner may be. Testing for HIV allows the individuals to know their status and take action to protect themselves as well as the health of others, for example by using a condom.”

For more information about Zip Zap or to find out how you can support them, visit Find them on Facebook

Champions of transformation honoured at Motlekar BBQ Awards

Caption: Angela Dick receives the Outstanding Woman in Business Award from Buyani Zwane, Founder and CEO of Breakthrough Development. [Image: Julian Cole. High resolution images available on request]

A celebration of world-class individuals and black-owned and empowered companies and organisations was held at the Motlekar Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) Awards last Friday at Emperors palace in Johannesburg. Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Andries Nel and Mncane Mthunzi, President of the Black Management Forum were among the dignitaries who gathered at the sparkling event.

Five awards were announced in the company category, including DLO Energy Resources, that won the SAASTA Most Innovative Best Established Black Business Award; and health and safety consulting and training firm, Isipho Sempilo HSE Solutions, that won the Innovation Hub New and Innovative Business Award. Winners in the eight individual award categories included Angela Dick, CEO and founder of Transman; Bheki Kunene, Founder and Managing Director of Mind Trix Media; Busisiwe Selesho, Founder and Managing Director at IST Skills Academy and Ghairunisa Johnstone, Founder and Director of Mustadafin Foundation.

Black Management Forum (BMF) President,Mncane Mthunzi gave the keynote address. “The number of black South African CEOs in the top 40 Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies dropped from 15% to 10% over the past three years according to the recent Jack Hammer Executive Report*.” Mthunzi emphasised the need and importance of transformation in the corporate sector through development and upskilling of employees. He encouraged employees to also equip themselves through education as this will lead to appointments based purely on merit. Mthunzi concluded saying South Africans should courageously work together to edify the future generations of leaders in pursuit of a better future for all.

Minister of Women in the Presidency,Susan Shabangu, who was acting President on the evening, summed up the keynote addresses by encouraging peace, stability and prosperity in businesses and in South Africa.

“The atmosphere was of excitement, anticipation and overall contentment amongst the finalists on the night,” shares Greg Penfold, Head of the Events Division at Cape Media. “Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. May they continue changing lives through their influence and successful businesses.”

Qualified medical doctor better known as a stand-up comedian and actor, Riaad Moosa, directed the programme and kept the audience entertained throughout the event. Once the prizes had been awarded and speeches made, the celebration moved to the dance floor as 5FM’s DJ Euphonik kept the party going late into the night.

Motlekar BBQ Awards Winners

Organisation Categories:

1.     SAASTA Most Innovative Best Established Black Business Award:

DLO Energy Resources  

2.     The Innovation Hub New and Innovative Business Award

Isipho Sempilo HSE Solutions  

3.     LTE Consulting CSI – Ubuntu Award

COEGA Development Corporation

4.     Emperors Palace Best Employer Award

Spring Lights Gas

5.     SANRAL Transformation Champion of the year Award

Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA)


Individual Categories:

1.     Outstanding Woman in Business Award

Angela Dick

2.     Hennessy Businessman of the Year Award

Bheki Kunene

3.     Volkswagen South Africa New Entrepreneur Award

Busisiwe Selesho

4.     Mpamba Solutions & Consulting Iqhawe Mentorship Award

Joyce Ndeza

5.     Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council Public Sector Visionary Award

Felleng Yende

6.     Nestlife Assurance Young Business Achiever Award

Sylvester Chauke

7.     Community Builder of the Year Award

Ghairunisa Johnstone

8.     Motlekar Platinum Award

Daphne Mashile-Nkosi

For more on the awards, please visit To view the beautiful event pictures, please visit BBQ Awards Facebook page: and on Twitter:

For more information about the event, please contact Zama Hlekani | Cape Media | | 021 681 7000.


Released by Reputation Matters

Media contact:

Morongoa Mohloba

Mobile: 081 411 6089




Western Cape non-profit grabs Community Builder of the Year Award

Ghairunisa Johnstone (middle) walked away with the highly esteemed ‘Community Builder of the Year Award’ at the annual BBQ Awards for her role as founder and director at Mustadafin Foundation. The ceremony, which took place last Friday (30 October 2015) at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg acknowledges outstanding individuals and organisations.

Ghairunisa Johnstone, winner of the Community Builder of the Year Award has faithfully served the Cape Town community. “At Mustadafin Foundation we inspire people to reach self-efficiency, self-reliance and independence. We are very proud of this award, as it represents exactly what we are aiming for – to build, uplift and grow the communities we operate in,” says Johnstone.

The Western Cape non-profit organisation initially started as a disaster relief organisation in 1986. They now also support 23 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres and feed 15 000 people per day. The Foundation also runs various programmes such as youth interventions, skills development, health care programmes and adult literacy programmes.

If you would like to be part of this change, please make contact with Mustadafin Foundation for volunteer opportunities.

For more information on Mustadafin Foundation, please contact them on 021-633-0010 or visit Join their Facebook page at