Interesting Facts about KZN

posted in: General 1

Washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, KwaZulu-Natal, with its subtropical coastline, sweeping savannah in the east and magnificent Drakensberg mountain range in the west, generously caters for just about every taste imaginable.

KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province, is known for its beaches, mountains and savannah populated by big game. The safari destination Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, in the northeast, is home to black and white rhinos, lions and giraffes. Durban is an Indian-influenced harbour city and a popular surfing spot. Cultural villages around the town of Eshowe showcase the traditions of the indigenous Zulu people.

Sardine Run


An extraordinary natural phenomenon, that is witnessed annually on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, during late autumn or early winter is the “sardine run”. Also referred to as “the greatest shoal on earth”, the sardine run occurs when millions of sardines migrate from their spawning grounds south of the southern tip of Africa, northwards along the Eastern Cape coastline towards KwaZulu-Natal, following a path close inshore, often resulting in many fish washing up on beaches along the coast. The huge shoal of tiny fish can stretch for many kilometres and is followed and preyed upon by thousands of predators, including game fish, sharks, dolphins and seabirds. Usually, the shoals break up and the fish disappear into deeper water around Durban.

Economy

Durban is a rapidly growing urban area and is by most measures the busiest port in Africa, with a good rail network linking into Southern Africa. Sugar refining is the main industry. Sheep, cattle, dairy, citrus fruits, corn, sorghum, cotton, bananas, and pineapples are also raised. There is an embryonic KwaZulu-Natal wine industry. In addition to sugar refining, industries (located mainly in and around Durban) include textile, clothing, chemicals, rubber, fertilizer, paper, vehicle assembly and food-processing plants, tanneries, and oil refineries.

There are large aluminium-smelting plants at Richards Bay, on the north coast. The province produces considerable amounts of coal and timber. Majority of the population is black.

Sport – Famous sports events in KZN
  • Comrades Marathon – An annual marathon run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban
  • Midmar Mile – A mile-long swimming race held annually at Midmar Dam
  • Dusi Canoe Marathon – An annual canoe marathon, starts in Pietermaritzburg & ends in Durban
  • Durban July Handicap – South Africa’s premier annual horse racing event at Greyville Racecourse in Durban
  • Gunston 500 – a premier international surfing event hosted in Durban.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site

Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick, KZN, South Africa. Nelson Mandela is the late former president of South Africa. He earned his acclaim based more on his efforts to establish racial, social and political equality and had been ravaged by the harmful effects of the Apartheid regime. The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a cultural and historical exhibition that is situated at the site at which Nelson Mandela was apprehended for his anti-Apartheid activism acts in August 1952.

Big Five Animals in Kwa-Zulu Natal


The Big Five are the five animals originally used by hunters as being difficult to hunt and unpredictable. They comprise the African Elephant, Cape buffalo, African Leopard, African Lion, and the African Rhino.

SA’s Highest Mountain Range is in KZN


The Drakensberg, the main mountain range of Southern Africa. The Drakensberg rises to more than 11,400 feet which is (3,475 metres) & extends roughly northeast to southwest for 700 miles (1,125 km) parallel to the south-eastern coast of South Africa. Rock and cave art several thousands of years old have been found in the range.

Largest Indian Community outside of India

Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal’s largest city is also the city with the largest Indian population outside of India. Indians were brought to KZN via ships in 1860 to work as indentured labourers and brought with them the culinary traditions and culture that contributes to the rich diversity of KZN.

Sources:
Kwazulu Tours
The Capture Site
Show Me


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I started at Leads 2 Business in January 2010 (7 Years ago). I am presently an L2Q Assistant. Started in the Daily Tenders Bills department and worked my way up to the L2Q department working the bills.

Is your BBBEE Grading impacting your Business?

posted in: General 2

Is your BBBEE Grading impacting your Business?

What is the meaning of BBBEE?

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE or B-BBEE as written by the South African government) is a form of economic empowerment initiated by the South African government in response to criticism against narrow-based empowerment instituted in the country during 2003/2004. It has been said that “B-BBEE legislation is the most significant piece of legislation affecting South African business today”.

The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003 affects all business and individuals in South Africa. It is not only vital for the country’s integrated prosperity, but a catalyst for economic growth. It makes sense to ensure that your BEE rating is as high as possible. Government has taken small and medium-sized businesses in consideration with the development of BBBEE legislation.

You have to be BBBEE compliant to be able to do business in South Africa. One of the 7 elements of the BBBEE scorecard is preferential procurement and supplier development. This is the element that carries the most weight (nearly 40%). If you procure from other entities that are BBBEE compliant your BBBEE score increases. One can see the trickledown effect from suppliers to government down to their suppliers. Once again the goal is to try and achieve a level 4 as this gives you 100% contribution towards preferential procurement.

BBBEE makes it possible for the business to get access to contracts.
BBBEE can help the business to achieve its social responsibility towards the community
BBBEE can result in the acquiring of new customers for the business.
BBBEE can lead to new innovative ideas with the input of the empowering partner.
BBBEE makes it possible for the business to invest in affordable skills development for employees.

The challenge is to improve on your B-BBEE activities and score each year. If your annual turnover is between R 10 million and R 50 million you are defined as a Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE).

The Generic Scorecard includes all seven B-BBEE Elements, namely: Ownership, Management Control, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development, Socio-Economic & Sector Specific Contributions.

How is BEE Compliance Expressed and what Level is considered Compliant?

BEE CONTRIBUTION LEVEL SCORECARD POINTS PROCUREMENT RECOGNITION
1 100 or above 135%
2 85 to 99.99 125%
3 75 to 84.99 110%
4 65 to 74.99 100%
5 55 to 64.99 80%
6 45 to 54.99 60%
7 40 to 44.99 50%
8 30 to 39.99 10%
Non Compliant < 30 0%

 

The codes define three types of companies;

EME below R10 million
EME – exempt micro enterprise – a company that has an annual turnover of less than R10 million. These companies are automatically given a BEE score of 65 points (level 4), and if majority black owned, level 2 and if 100% black owned, level 1

QSE between R10 million and R50 million
QSE – Qualifying Small Enterprise – an enterprise with an annual turnover of between R10 million and R50 million. The QSE will need to fill in a scorecard but use slightly easier targets.

Generic above R50 million
Generic – all companies with a turnover above R50 million per annum.

Benefits of B-BBEE for business

Your clients will know that you are doing whatever it takes to stay ahead in your business – that you mean business and that you are look to them to support your efforts.
You will have a clear picture of what types of supplier you have. A rating would give you leverage to be able to negotiate better discounts, etc. Supplier analysis will assist with your procurement policy development.
Your image will be enhanced by your demonstration of leadership in your industry – be perceived as in step with development initiatives.
By focusing on HR development, enterprise development and BEE, you will demonstrate commitment towards the social, educational and economic developments in the community in which you operate.
Attempt to increase your develop your employees’ skills and potential development as well as your BEE ratings enhance fair and progressive employment practices.
Your staff will see what you are doing, which will boost their morale.
The sooner your business is rated, the sooner you will understand how to develop a BEE strategy to increase your annual BEE rating. Your BEE strategy should form part of your company’s overall strategy plan.
BEE can also be a marketing tool. As a client of BEE Empowered, your company’s name will be listed on our website’s BEE directory and will be available to all those searching for BEE-compliant suppliers.

Don’t get left in the dark. 

A level one contributor is the highest achievable status and the lowest level of BEE compliance is level eight. The higher the BEE status level, the stronger a company is in relation to its competition.

 

Sources: BeEmpowered

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About Devika Suresh

I started at Leads 2 Business in January 2010 (7 Years ago). I am presently an L2Q Assistant. Started in the Daily Tenders Bills department and worked my way up to the L2Q department working the bills.

Does Load shedding cost your business money?

posted in: General 0

Does Load shedding cost your business money?

Since the reinstatement of rolling blackouts, businesses big or small, as well as customers, have suffered alike. Most businesses are left handicapped for hours. With Eskom being the supplier of 95% of our power, it has become a prerogative that businesses consider alternative power generating sources. Some places go two days without electricity, where stage 1 blackouts suddenly became stage 2 blackouts.
NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) reported that during the period of 23 days of load shedding in 2008, the SA economy lost an estimated R50-billion, which is almost R2.17-billion per day. With load shedding expected to worsen in years, it is time for businesses to buckle up, especially as small businesses make up a significant percentage of the GDP (Gross domestic product).

According to research, small and medium-sized enterprises make up 91% of formalised businesses. This shows that the survival of our economy rests on the performance of small to medium business enterprises. In order to help prevent the economy from being severely affected by the effects of load shedding, businesses must come up with survival strategies.

There is a serious impact on those industries that need continuous electricity supply for their production.

“It is difficult to cost the financial impact of load shedding ahead of time due to uncertainties about how often it will occur; however the city has identified certain risks in terms of:

– The direct stress on infrastructure elements, such as substations
– The risk of water pumps not being able to provide pressure to higher lying areas, and/or not filling reservoirs adequately, thus risking the availability of water. The cost is lower service to our residents and/or having to spend money on larger pumps and larger reservoirs
– The risk that if sewer pumps are unable to operate there would be overflows into our streets and rivers. The cost is the health risks and clean-up costs, and/or the need to provide standby generators
– Traffic light disruption can cause traffic disruptions if the problem is widespread in a particular area. The direct cost is the economic impact. The other cost is the need to provide uninterrupted power supplies at each intersection.

Furthermore, as people take steps to protect their needs through alternative energy supply, we will see a gradual decline in electricity sales, and therefore a smaller pool of people paying the rates that fund the distribution network’s maintenance.

The cost of maintaining the grid does not decrease in proportion to each customer that converts to alternative energy sources. This could make our current system of electricity supply unsustainable economically.
There are three ways to evaluate if load shedding is negatively impacting your business.
It is important to evaluate how load shedding is affecting your business and how to work towards finding the best solution to keep your business running when the power goes out. When evaluating your business, you will need to look at these three key loss areas; customers, money and time. Puzzled why just these three? Simply because these are your business’ most valuable assets.

Are you turning your customers away?
Most shops have to shut during load shedding – to the detriment of their customers as well as their cash flow. Every time a customer approaches your business and is turned away because you cannot service them, you inconvenience them as a result. Coupled with a decrease in sales, an inability to cater to customers decreases the value of your business. Also, the reason for shut down is the prevention of theft, which causes the business much more loss.

Is your business losing money due to damaged stock?
If you run a business that has machinery or refrigeration to keep produce fresh such as a restaurant, butchery or frozen yoghurt shop, it will be a challenge to not throw out stock due to load shedding. Businesses such as Deli’s amongst many that rely on suppliers for produce; stock delivery is severely impacted as there are serious health hazards and implications involved in delivering stock that is damaged. There is inter-dependency between businesses that are interrupted by power cuts and sums up to major monetary loss. Having alternative power is now a necessity for every business.

Is productivity diminished due to lost time?
In today’s world, many businesses rely on electricity-dependent machines which can be a downfall when customers want to transact with cards. The majority of customers prefer to make use of credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards, it is important that you start thinking of ways to not miss out on these sale opportunities. Mobile payments may help your business to switch from barely breaking even to making as much money as you can during these crunch times. Another time-related issue your business may be faced with is a lack of productivity due to wasted time sitting doing nothing during the scheduled load shedding periods. If your employees are not being productive, lost time will directly impact your profit margins.

On a positive note, your business can be saved.
Start thinking of ways to minimise the effects of load shedding and save your business from major financial risk. These are crunch times for businesses but there is a way out. Thinking smart, creatively and remaining calm can get your business back to where it needs to be; the top. Once you have identified the risks, you will be able to build a load shedding contingency plan specific to your business’ needs and stay powered.

Conclusion:

• Load shedding is greatly destroying the economy.
• Some social factors like aggressiveness in people, restlessness, lack of concentration on work due to load shedding, etc are sometimes dependent.
• Load Shedding is disturbing the normal routine of people, business and causing economic disaster.

 

Sources:
http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Poor-load-shedding-plans-affect-businesses-20150128

What effect will load shedding have on South Africa’s economy?

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About Devika Suresh

I started at Leads 2 Business in January 2010 (7 Years ago). I am presently an L2Q Assistant. Started in the Daily Tenders Bills department and worked my way up to the L2Q department working the bills.

Did you know #DYK – The difference between various road surfaces

posted in: Did You Know 8

The difference between various road surfaces

Asphalt, Gravel, Concrete and Pavers, but many countries use certain material depending on the area conditions and climate, despite concrete roads having some major advantages. Concrete and Asphalt are more commonly used. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the different road paving surfaces in this article.

 

Asphalt:

One of the most popular types of construction ever since its inception in the early 1920’s is asphalt paving. In this construction technique, a layer of asphalt is laid on top of an equally thick gravel base. Advantages of this form of road construction are that the pavement proves relatively easy to repair and maintain as well. However, asphalts is known to be significantly less durable and stronger than most other choices and isn’t the best for the environment either. Polypropylene and polyester geosynthetics have also been used for this purpose and in some northern countries, a layer of polystyrene boards have been used to delay and minimise frost penetration into the subgrade.

Depending on the temperature at which it is applied, asphalt is categorised as hot mix, warm mix, or cold mix. Hot mix asphalt is applied at temperatures over 300 °F (150°C) with a free-floating screed. Warm mix asphalt at temperatures of 200-250 °F (95-120°C), resulting in reduced energy usage and emissions of volatile organic compounds. Cold mix asphalt is often used on lower volume rural roads, where hot mix asphalt would cool too much on the long trip from the asphalt plant to the construction site.

An asphalt concrete surface will generally be constructed for high-volume primary highways having an average annual daily traffic load greater than 1200 vehicles per day. Advantages of asphalt roadways include relatively low noise and relatively low cost compared with other paving methods. Disadvantages are less tensile strength than concrete, the tendency to become slick and soft on hot weather and a certain amount of hydrocarbon pollution to soil and groundwater or waterways.

In 1960’s, rubberized asphalt was used for the first time, mixing crumb rubber from used tires, with asphalt. While a potential use for tires that would otherwise fill landfills and present a fire hazard, rubberized asphalt has shown a greater incidence of wear in freeze-thaw cycles in temperate due to non-homogeneous expansion and contraction with non-rubber components. Also, application of rubberized asphalt is more temperature-sensitive and in many locations can only be applied at certain times of the year. Study results of the long-term acoustic benefits of rubberized asphalt are inconclusive. The initial application of rubberized asphalt may provide 3-5 decibels (dB) reduction in tire-pavement source noise emissions; however, this translates to only 1-3 decibels (dB) in total noise level reduction (due to the other components of traffic noise). Compared to traditional passive attenuating measures (e.g. noise walls and earth berms), rubberized asphalt provides shorter-lasting and lesser acoustic benefits at a typically much greater expense.

 

Concrete:

 

Concrete is another popular choice for roadways, though it is typically only used for local roads and not other types of construction. Concrete surfaces (specifically, Portland cement concrete) are a created mix of Portland cement, coarse aggregate, sand and water. In virtually all modern mixes there will also be various admixtures added to increase workability, reduce the required amount of water, mitigate harmful chemical reactions and for other beneficial purposes. In many cases, there will also be Portland cement substitutes added, such as fly ash. This can reduce the cost of the concrete and improve its physical properties.

The material is applied in the freshly mixed slurry and worked mechanically to compact the interior and force some of the cement slurries to the surface to produce a smoother, denser surface free from honeycombing. The water allows the mix to combine molecularly in a chemical reaction called hydration.

There are three major types of concrete road surfaces – jointed plain (JPCP), jointed reinforced (JRCP) and continuously reinforced (CRCP). The distinguishing feature between the three being the joint system that is used to help prevent cracks from forming. Jointed plain concrete pavements contain joints to control the location of all the expected shrinkage cracks. The concrete cracks at the joints and not elsewhere in the slabs. Jointed plain pavements do not contain any steel reinforcement. However, there may be smooth steel bars at transverse joints and deformed steel bars at longitudinal joints. The spacing between transverse joints is typically about 15 feet (4.6m) for slab 7 to 12 inches (180 to 300mm) thick. Jointed reinforced concrete pavements contain steel mesh reinforcement (sometimes called distributed steel). In jointed reinforced concrete pavements, designers increase the joint spacing purposely and include reinforcing steel to hold together intermediate cracks in each slab.

The original pavement was laid in the 1950’s and has been significantly altered since.

Something to know about:

  • Durability and maintenance free life: Concrete roads have a long service life of forty years, whereas asphalt roads last for ten years. Moreover, during this service life concrete road do not require frequent repair or patching work like asphalt roads.
  • Vehicle consumes less fuel when running over a concrete road, consumes 15-20% less fuel than that on asphalt roads. This is because of the fact that a concrete road does not get deflected under the wheels of loaded trucks.
  • Resistant to automobile fuel spillage and extreme weather: Unlike asphalt roads, concrete roads do not get damaged by the leaking oils from the vehicles or by the extreme weather conditions like excess rain or extreme heat.
  • Greener process: Asphalt (bitumen) produces lots of highly polluting gases at the time of melting it for paving. Also, less fuel consumption by the vehicle running on a concrete road means less pollution.
  • Saving of natural resources: Asphalt (bitumen) is produced from imported petroleum, the reserve of which is becoming reduced drastically. On the other hand, concrete (cement) is produced from abundantly available limestone.

 

Pavers:

A paver is a paving stone, tile, brick or brick-like piece of concrete commonly used as exterior flooring. In a factory, concrete pavers are made by pouring a mixture of concrete and some type of colouring agent into a mould of some shape and allowing to set. They are applied by pouring a standard concrete foundation, spreading sand on top, and then laying the pavers in the desired pattern. No actual adhesive or retaining method is used other than the weight of the paver itself except edging. Pavers can be used to make roads, driveways, patios, walkways and other outdoor platforms.

 

Gravel:

A gravel road is a type of unpaved road surfaced with gravel that has been brought to the site from a quarry or stream bed. They are common in less-developed nations, and also in the rural areas of South Africa. In New-Zealand and other Commonwealth countries, they may be known as ‘metal roads‘. They may be referred to as ‘dirt roads’ in common speech, but that term is used more for unimproved roads with no surface material added. If well constructed and maintained, a gravel road is an all-weather road.

 

Sources:

https://globalroadcom/road-construction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_surface

https://pixabay.com/en/road-asphalt-freeway-route-travel-691127/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hex_pavers_sliding_to_Hudson_W60_jeh.jpg

https://pixabay.com/en/photos/gravel%20road/

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About Devika Suresh

I started at Leads 2 Business in January 2010 (7 Years ago). I am presently an L2Q Assistant. Started in the Daily Tenders Bills department and worked my way up to the L2Q department working the bills.