Is Insurance really necessary?

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Is Insurance really necessary?

Is Insurance really necessary

The simple and straight forward answer is – Yes.
Some of you may ask why? The answer to this is also pretty simple – Life is unpredictable.

Below are a few examples of some of the basic, if not most important insurance policies you may need in your personal capacity and for construction/business.

Personal Insurance
The 5 basic insurance policies that everyone should have, although not everyone can afford all of the below, it is a good idea to have them, look at it this way – the cost of insurance is relatively cheap well at least far less than the cost of not having it if something goes wrong.

• Health Insurance
• Car Insurance
• Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
• Life Insurance
• Disability Insurance (Long and short term)

Construction Insurance

Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Committee, says “generally five types of insurable risks generally apply to all construction projects:

Contract Works Insurance (CWI): This deals with the whole works during the construction period including plant and materials, work by specialist contractors, and additional professional fees where damage to the works occurs. Such a policy must be extended to include possible damage to existing buildings during alterations and additions and/or to include adjoining structures;
Supplementary Insurance (SI): Deals with expense or loss caused by events outside the normal control of the parties, including civil commotion, riots, strike action etc. not included in the CWI policy. SI can be obtained from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA) in South Africa, or the Namibian Special Risks Insurance Association (NASRIA) in Namibia. Supplementary to the CWI, SI is not available to the public and needs to be arranged by a broker;
Public Liability Insurance (PLI): Provides indemnity in the event of a death or injury to any person and or accidental loss or physical damage to tangible property;
Removal of Lateral Support Insurance (RLSI): This applies where the execution of the works may cause weakening or damage or interference with the support of land or property on site or adjacent to the site and the consequences thereof; and
Other Insurances (OI): This applies to cover risks in transit of goods imported from overseas specifically for installation in a project.”

The concept of insurance is straightforward but the actual selection of appropriate policies for specific contracts is not.
“That is why it is important to deal only with a broker experienced in construction industry insurance matters: this type of cover is not a do-it-yourself activity and, if dealt with improperly, all claims will be rejected. The insurance must be carefully considered to include and list all identified risks including the location of the works, the type of structure, the method of construction and where existing structures or other site conditions may be at risk,” he explains.

Business Insurance:

From the day anyone starts a business, you are exposed to risks. Before the first employee is hired, a business is at risk. This is why it is so important to have the right insurance policies. A lawsuit or catastrophic event could cripple a small business before it has a chance to get off the ground.
Fortunately, businesses have access to a wide range of insurance types to protect them against these possibilities. Here are some insurance types that a business should have in place as soon as possible.

Professional liability insurance:
Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, covers a business against negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform.

Property insurance:
Whether a business owns or leases its space, property insurance is a must.

Workers’ compensation insurance:
Once the first employee has been hired, workers’ compensation insurance should be added to a business’s insurance policy.

Home-based businesses:
Many professionals begin their small businesses in their own homes. Unfortunately, homeowner’s policies don’t cover home-based businesses, ask your insurer for additional insurance to cover your equipment and inventory in the event of a problem.

Product liability insurance:
If your business manufactures products for sale on the general market, product liability insurance is a must.

Vehicle insurance:
If company vehicles will be used, those vehicles should be fully insured to protect businesses against liability if an accident should occur.

Business interruption insurance:
If a disaster or catastrophic event does occur, a business’s operations will likely be interrupted.

So to end, you can see how necessary having insurance actually is.
You may not want to pay the monthly instalments but you will grateful you did if something ever happens (let’s hope that nothing that requires a claim happens).

Please ensure that you have enough insurance policies in place to cover any event that could affect the running of your business or your life and make sure you or anyone affected is covered.

For Insurance cover or enquiries please contact:
Brad Hutton
brad@surelinkwealth.co.za

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

 

Sources:
Mint
Entrepeneur

About Sally Nell

I joined Leads 2 Business in November 2011. I started in the Daily Tenders department and later moved to the Directory Department in May 2014.

10 Things to Remember When Buying Insurance

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10 Things to Remember When Buying Insurance

There are a lot of insurers out there with different policies, and this can make it overwhelming when looking for a policy that suits you and your needs.

1. Research a Reputable Insurance Company:

Protecting you and your family’s assets and financial well-being is something that you depend on your insurance company to do without question. However, you can’t trust your family’s future to just any company without checking it out first. There are hundreds of insurance providers in the market. It’s important to choose one with a proven track records, from reputation in the market (awards and reviews) to customer service to claims history.

Therefore, gather as much information as possible on both good and bad experiences from others: Speak to friends, browse the web, read forums, you would be surprised at how much information is available if you just ask.

2. Shop and Compare:

Thankfully, insurance comparison shopping is not as difficult a task as it once was, as the internet today can be a valuable source of helpful information. You don’t need to physically go from agent to agent or even online from company to company to find the best value on an insurance policy. By using insurance comparison websites, you can obtain a few quote comparisons in order to compare and help you to make a more informed decision. There are many great insurance comparison shopping websites out there for example www.hippo.co.za and others.

3. Discount Advantages:

Insurance needs can be an expensive undertaking especially in today’s economic climate. Therefore, take advantage of possible common discounts that can help you find the best value on an insurance policy. These could include multi-policy discounts, safe driving discounts, home ownership discounts, discounts for safety devices installed, and many more. There may even be hidden discounts not readily seen on a website or that your agent tells you about, however it is worth enquiring about to save on costs and achieve maximum benefit.

4. Cheaper Is Not Always Better:

Cheaper insurance prices can unfortunately also mean lower customer service and claims, not to mention a lower degree of coverage and payout. Always bear in mind that there is sometimes truth in the saying that you often get what you pay for.

5. Ask the Agent for a Best Offer:

If you are using an insurance agent instead of buying directly from an insurance company, he may be giving you what he thinks is a good deal on an insurance policy. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can get a better price or perhaps a more comprehensive coverage package plan. Independent insurance agents often represent many different companies and would have more quotes for comparison than a “captive agent.” A captive agent is one who only represents one company and will only offer you the policy options from the company he represents.

Once given a final price, if that isn’t good enough, tell the agent so. Your agent may be able to go back to the insurance company and ask if a lower rate is available.

6. Your Agent does not make the Final Decision:

Insurance agents, for the most part, give good advice about the policy and coverage options you need. After all, most insurance agents receive insurance licensing and training that makes them qualified to give sound advice. However, there are abundant resources available to you if you feel you need to research your options further. It is best to make the best choice for coverage options now than to be sorry later when you have a claim and are underinsured and do not have the right coverage. Then it is too late to get the right policy.

7. Upgrade Policy at a Later Stage:

There may be occasions when financial restraints prevent you from getting the coverage options you want and or need. Enquire as to whether, once you are more financially steady, if you can upgrade your policy to include a more comprehensive coverage package, just in case this is a viable option for you at a later stage.

8. Tell the Truth:

Did you realize that an insurance company is not legally obligated to honour your policy and pay claims if you knowingly misrepresented the truth on your application? For example, such as lying about how many speeding tickets or accidents you’ve had in the past. Getting a cheaper premium is not worth the risk of the company cancelling your policy or refusing the cover because you misrepresented the truth.

9. Coverage Is Not Always Automatic:

If you buy a new vehicle or add additional structures to your property, they may be automatically covered for a time. However, there can also be a time limit to this coverage. Normally, you have a specific time frame, perhaps 30-days (this could be more or less depending on your company) to contact the insurance company and let them know of your purchase or addition. The same goes with trading in a vehicle for another one. The coverage will transfer to your new vehicle, but only temporarily, unless you notify your insurance company, and sometimes not at all. Ensure you have investigated and understand all possibilities to avoid any unexpected surprises in the ‘fine print’ later down the line.

10. Re-evaluate Your Coverage:

Life changes come to all. When you have a significant life change, such as a major purchase, a move, getting married, getting divorced, having children, etc.; it is likely that this will affect your insurance coverage and you may need to update your coverage. Even if you’ve had no major life events, it is still a good idea to do an annual policy check-up with your insurance agent and make any necessary changes.

Finding the best coverage to protect you and your family from whatever life may throw at you doesn’t have to be a difficult or confusing process. Use all the tools and resources you can find to make finding the right coverage a smoother process.

A little homework and research will go a long way to giving you and your family the peace and security you deserve.

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
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Source:
The Balance

 

 

About Liesel Du Preez

My journey with Leads 2 Business started in August 2005 in the Africa Tender Department, where I researched and uploaded Africa Tender Notifications. Once the Africa Tender Department had grown I was then promoted to Customer Relations in the IT Department in January of 2010, assisting subscribers and staff with any problems they may encounter or with any queries they may have.

10 Things Successful People do before Breakfast

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10 Things Successful People do before breakfast

There are 86400 seconds in a day, how you use them are critical. The habits you cement on a daily basis create and define the building blocks of who you are. So what differentiates the ordinary from the extraordinary? If you are in the realms of just being comfortable at the bottom, consumed with the day to day humdrum, what should you change it so that success becomes your habit?

Let’s take a look at the common list of things successful people do before breakfast:

1. Wake up early

The dawn always holds the potential for greatness. It is uninterrupted time to focus, it maximises the day and enforces the habit of good sleep to boost productivity, which means a consistent bedtime, something which most of us are guilty of not getting right!

2. Prioritise

Using your mornings to do big-picture thinking helps you prioritise and set a defined trajectory for the day. Equipped with the details of what needs to be achieved you are setting yourself up for a successful and productive day. The important thing is not the paper, GTD app or other software you use, it is the consistency to ensure you do it every day. As you complete tasks, check them off so you know what you have achieved and what is still outstanding.

3. Express gratitude

When I researched this topic I found this fascinating, it did not require too much digging to establish that it’s not just about being thankful or positivity, but also about not being resentful about the things that aren’t perfect. Its often easier to blame a system, poverty or circumstance as a reason for not achieving success. The reality is, it was more about your attitude, determination, and tenacity against the odds. It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not.

4. Connect

Most of us are exhausted at the end of a day’s activities and it is not uncommon for the time to be hastened away between TV or screen time and dinner preparations. This is why many successful people make connecting with their significant other, part of their morning routine. If sex, can make you smarter, boost your income and burn calories, then it might just be another great way to energise your day. It’s not just limited to being frisky, using the time as a couple to talk about your lives, finances, tasks, and week-long plans all serve to build connection and security. All of which promote success.
The all-important connection with others is not just limited to your spouse. Additionally, there are golden time treasures to be found at the breakfast table with your kids, ask them about their day and find out what is happening in their world – it will make you feel more positive about your parenting efforts too.

5. Network

Networking with others appears almost as an extension to connection and supports the mantra of “When you have a million dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.” As human beings, we have a tendency to emulate those around us, so finding innovative minds to spark off of can create the critical element which becomes a catalyst for success.

6. Self-care

Exercise, hydration, and meditation are common threads in the lives of the great. A-Type personalities demand from others as much as they do from themselves, as a result, they find it challenging to disconnect from their mental to-do lists and calm their minds. Exercise and meditation are just two examples of the tools that driven personalities use to help clear their minds, create calm and enhance focus. The benefits of exercise are not exclusive to the physical benefit of a stronger healthier being, it counteracts the effects of high-fat diets, helps to reduce stress and promotes deep sleep! Certainly, a plus if you are getting up early to prioritise your day! Increased hydration boosts your concentration levels, and gives your metabolism a lift.

7. Emotional intelligence

Emotionally Intelligent people are constantly looking for ways in which to add value and contribute to their immediate environment. This skill feeds progressive thinking and stimulates active solutions to unique challenges. Interestingly this quality helps them to inspire others to be successful too.

8. Read

Whether expanding your own knowledge base or aligning yourself with the events of the world from a newspaper. This empowering habit augments your own intelligence and of course, quickens your mind with the task of how it can change the world in all the headlines!

9. Personal Passion Project

Fervor and joy add a certain zing to your day and when you are truly passionate about anything it automatically translates into more enthusiasm and energy. So what are the essentials of identifying this kind of project? A passion Project will be bigger than you – it will extend beyond your own interests, agenda or need for recognition it will push you beyond the call of duty and will be driven by self-motivation in the face of adversity. The secret to this is that it carries passion into their profession. In the words of TD Jakes, “It is your passion that empowers you to be able to do the thing you were created to do!”

10. Make their bed

It amused me immensely that this was something that most successful people do! It may seem mundane and not something that can necessarily cause you to get more work done,  but interestingly this “keystone habit” can spark a chain reaction that helps the formation of other good habits.

I hope that some of these inspire you to greatness. When I read through this list, it is energising, but it does have me wondering what time successful wake up in order to get a task list as long as this done – every single day!

Wishing you every success! Out of curiousity let me know in the comments below how many of these you check the boxes on or is there anything else you believe contributes to success?

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

About Taryn Duckham

I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence. Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.

10 Steps to Customer Service

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10 Steps to Customer Service

I think it would be safe to say that great customer service is the key to any successful business.

When was the last time you received a complaint about customer service? Do you think there is a chance that your customer service might not be up to par?
Looking at the next 10 steps to customer service might just be what your company needs to go from average customer service to impeccable customer service.

1. Communication is key!!

Now that is a statement that I can get behind.
How will you or your staff be able to give your customer impeccable customer service if you cannot communicate with them properly?
Communication has a lot to do with how you well you listen to your customer. It is quite simple actually. When your customer has a complaint listen to them and decide from there what your best way forward will be.
Nothing irritates a customer more than an employee that does not feel the need to listen to them. By listening to your customer you will be able to establish a much clearer line of communication.

2. Know what your customer wants

This is quite simple. If you truly believe in customer service you’ll know that if you listen to the finer details of what your customer is saying, you can figure out what they actually want and need before they have to say it out loud.
Now that will definitely impress anybody and is sure to get you some recommendations and compliments.

3. Make them feel at home

Don’t you just love it when you walk into a store and you instantly feel at home?
Why not do the same for your customers?
Instead of teaching your staff a text book greeting or response to customers teach them that each customer is different. Get to know your customer.
Make them feel comfortable by going the extra mile even if it is with something as simple as helping them carry a bag or asking if they need any extra assistance.

4. Respect

Treating your customer with respect can be the difference between getting return business from them and never seeing them again.
We all want to feel respected when visiting other establishments and even in our own. It is imperative to remember that you cannot expect your customers to respect you, your employees or your business if you cannot show then respect first.

5. Happy & Helpful

Whether you’re greeting a customer or assisting with a problem, always try your best to be as helpful and friendly as possible.
When a customer is faced by an employee who looks like they would rather be anywhere but there it makes them feel that they would also rather not be there.
So remember always smile and go the extra mile wherever and whenever possible.

6. Never delay your response

If your customer approaches you with a problem do your best to resolve it as quickly as you can. Get all the information you can and might need to resolve the problem as best you can.

The quicker the problem is resolved the better the outcome for yourself and the customer.

7. Keep to your word

There is nothing more disappointing than visiting your favourite outlet to discover that the service is no longer as great as it used to be.
It is imperative to deliver the same service at all times, never over promise and under deliver

8. Be more skilled

If you’re going to be selling a product or service, make sure you know all there is to know about it.
If you have all the knowledge there is on that specific product or service you will be able to answer all your clients’ questions and also help them make a better informed decision.

9. Everyone is equal

Treating all your customers the same sends a great message. People like visiting establishments where they know that they will be treated in the same warm and friendly manner as the previous person.

10. You can make a mistake

You are human just like any other person you will make mistakes.
The way you handle those mistakes is what is important. Instead of ignoring the problem or saying that it was not you, try admitting to it. You customer will be more at ease with you once you admitted your mistake and apologized for it.

 

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

Sources
AQ-Services
The Next Web

About Genevieve Smith

Genevieve Smith, I have been working at Leads 2 Business for just over a year now. I work in the Johannesburg office as an account coordinator.

Common Causes of Construction Delays

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Common Causes of Construction Delays

Did You Know?

Common causes of Construction delays
What is construction delay?
In construction projects, as well in other projects where a schedule is being used to plan work, delays happen all the time. It is what is being delayed that determines if a project, or some other deadline such as a milestone, will be completed late.

Construction delays can be very costly and can reduce your company’s turnover, in a worst case scenario your firm could be ruined by liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is a sum of money (agreed-to and written into a contract) specified as the total amount of compensation an aggrieved party should get, if the other party breaches certain part(s) of the contract in this case if a work delay cost your client money. It also gives your company a bad image showing you are disorganized and unprofessional, and the client could even give your company a bad reference and word of mouth travels very fast ruining your company’s name which you definitely do not want.

Your company can try to avoid some type of construction delays by recognizing their most common causes and working to mitigate those factors before they take effect.
Planning is crucial so you better have a good project manager, you’ll also need to depend on analytics and close oversight to determine when things are falling behind and make the right decisions to keep your project on track.

Here are the 5 most common causes of construction delays
Poor Weather
Oh yes mother nature, the weather is something we can predict but it’s not so predictable if you get what I mean. Yes we have a weather forecast to assist with the planning of our projects but it can change at any time.
Unfortunately you won’t be able to use the weather as an excuse if you are busy with indoor renovations and running behind on schedule.
For outdoor projects, however, poor weather like rain or snow can leave you way behind schedule, threatening your already-slim profit margins with each passing day.
Any one want to take a dip?….. In a mud hole that is! If you’re busy with an excavation project and there’s some rain a freshly dug hole can turn into a mud pit ready to swallow an excavator or any other machine you drive into it. Hungry much?
And no high rise construction or roof is going to get done with high winds. Good luck to you if mother nature is very angry, because there’s no end to the delays that can result from flooding, or worse, a Tornado or Hurricane.


You’ll have to build allowances for natural disasters into your contracts to ensure that you don’t end up paying liquidated damages because of a storm. Rescheduling activities like concrete pours in accordance with the weather schedule is also a good idea, and you should always keep water pumps at a job site so you can dispose of any water that accumulates and gets in the way.

Budget and Resource Shortages
No more funds available…..eeeeek
Running out of money is a very bad scenario for a construction firm that’s in the middle of a project, especially when the client has already paid and you’re digging into your own pockets to get the job done.

It is important that construction project managers have access to costing software that will not under cost projects and put a company in the red. One must be well informed about updates on the firm’s financial health in order to ensure that projects don’t eat up the budget.
Banks can also be flexible with providing loans, especially if you’re an established firm with collateral to offer. This last resort works well if you need your hands on some cash to purchase the last materials for a project, pay workers, and avoid a costly delay.

Overbooked Crews
Check your diary ! Over booking projects and firms taking on more than they can chew can end up with projects falling behind as their exhausted employees drive around from job to job each day trying to get everything done.
It’s great to be ambitious about your goals, but everyone has limits, and you may find that hiring more crews lightens the load for everyone, avoids delays, and keeps morale higher throughout your firm.

Unreliable Subcontractors
Time is money.
Workers that waste time on the job are a plague not only in the construction business but any industry.
One may not always be to blame as they may lack the tools, training or experience that’s needed to get the job done efficiently, but on the other, they may spend too much time chatting, on a coffee break or even better a chocolate break and lose focus on the importance of timeliness on the job.

It’s important to invest in full-time employees making sure they know the processes and what’s expected of them, and hold them accountable for producing results on a daily basis. If you set high standards and don’t allow excuses, you’ll see how quickly production increases. You will surely reap what you sow.
Having the right equipment is very important as well, this being said the maintenance of these plant and machinery is imperative.

Unexpected Changes
Unexpected changes are always going to be a part of the construction business. Sometimes a requirement for the project emerges that was different from what was expected, and sometimes the customer asks for something extra and it isn’t possible to say no.

Managing expectations is the crucial skill when it comes to building unexpected changes into your schedule. Let the client know about the change, why it’s needed, and what kind of delay it will cause. If the client requested the change, let them know that a deadline extension will be required in order to make it happen, or suggest a bonus for incorporating the change into the existing work schedule.

 

Sources:
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4
Esub
Wikipedia

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
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About Sharika Raman

I have worked for Leads 2 Business from January 2015 till present. I work for the Leads 2 Quotes Department for Directory and Control List.

Our Mining Heritage

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Our Mining Heritage

The beautiful month of September not only marks the beginning of Spring, it is also the month devoted to Heritage.

A country’s natural heritage is its natural resources and beautiful environment, because they are considered to be so unique that they are internationally respected and protected.

South African heritage, might be anything from famous stretches of coastline in Kwazulu-Natal, to shweshwe fabric, to Bunny Chow or Potjie. But for now lets take a look at our mining heritage and history.

Mining in South Africa was once the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa’s most advanced and richest economy.

Did you know:

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of Chrome, Manganese, Platinum, Vanadium and Vermiculite.

Platinum and Palladium:
South Africa produces more platinum and similar metals than any other country.
In 2005, 78% of the world’s platinum was produced in South Africa, along with 39% of the world’s Palladium.
Over 163,000 kilograms of platinum was produced in 2010, generating export revenues of $3.82 billion USD
Currently Russia and South Africa are the biggest palladium producers in the world.

  • South Africa is the second largest producer of Ilmenite, Palladium, Rutile and Zirconium.
  • South Africa is also a huge producer of Iron ore: In 201 2 it overtook India to become the world’s third-biggest iron ore supplier to China.
  • South Africa has the second-largest reserves of uranium in the world.
    (NUFCOR) (The Nuclear Fuels Corporation of South Africa) started processing Uranium as a by-product of gold mining in 1967.
    Most of the uranium produced is concentrated in the golf fields of the Witwatersrand area.

 

  • South Africa’s production of chromium accounted for 100% of the world’s total production in 2005, and consisted of 7,490,000 metric tons of material.

Chromium is used in stainless steel and for a variety of industrial applications.

  • South Africa is the world’s third largest coal exporter.
    Much of the country’s coal is used for power production as 77% of South Africa’s energy needs are provided by coal.

Gold
Gold was discovered in the area known as Witwatersrand, triggering what would become the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886.
South Africa accounted a percentage of 15% of the world’s gold production in 2002 and 12% in 2005, though South Africa has produced as much as 30% of world output as recently as 1993.
Despite declining production, South Africa’s gold exports were valued at $3.8 billion USD.

  • It was estimated by US Geological Survey in that as of 2002, South Africa held about 50% of the world’s gold resources, and 38% of reserves.

 

“Diamonds are a girls best friend”

Did you know:
Diamonds are valued by weight, colour, clarity and various other factors.
The first diamond was discovered on the banks of the Orange River in 1867 by Erasmus Jacobs.

  • Of “The 10 Largest Diamonds Ever Discovered” – Four are from South Africa!

The Jonker: 726 carats
This giant stone, was found by a settler called Johannes Jacobus Jonker in 1934.
It’s believed the rough diamond was cut into 13 smaller stones, with the largest diamond, the Jonker I, still weighing in at an incredible 142.9 carats.

The Golden Jubilee: 755 carats
The golden Jubilee was discovered in 1985, it was eventually cut and faceted diamond that weighed an enormous 545.67 carats, making it the largest finished diamond in the world.
It is currently owned by the Royal Family of Thailand.

Excelsior Diamond: 995.20 carats
Was Found in 1893 in Jagersfontein Mine, this huge rock was cut into many smaller pieces. The largest gemstone cut from this famous diamond was 69.68 carats.

Cullinan Diamond: 3106.75 carats
The Cullinan, was discovered by a mining superintendent in old Transvaal in 1905.
Also known as the Star of Africa, this is arguably the most famous diamond in the world.
Weighing more than three times the weight of the Excelsior Diamond, it was named after the owner of the mine, Sir Thomas Cullinan.
It was given as a gift to the King of the United Kingdom (Edward VII). Nine large stones and 96 stones were taken from the rough diamond, including the famous Star of Africa (Cullinan I) which is 530.2 carats and is now part of the Crown Jewels, inserted into the Sceptre with the Cross.
The value of the Cullinan diamond has been estimated at $2 billion.

 

We live in one of the most beautiful and most resourceful countries in the world.

As former President Nelson Mandela stated:
“When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”

 

Lets choose to acknowledge, respect, and celebrate our culture and the diversity of beliefs and traditions to rather use this power to promote peace and to build a stronger nation. 

Sources:
Wikipedia
Mining Review

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

About Wendy De Wet

I joined Leads 2 Business as an Account Executive in July 2011 and was part of the dynamic sales team in JHB for 2 years. I relocated to the beautiful city of Durban in 2013 and absolutely love KZN. I am very proud to be part of the L2B family and Legacy!

Precious Gems and Stones in South Africa

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Precious Gems and Stones in South Africa

Not the usual blog you would find in our industry. Just a tad different with interesting thoughts and insights you might not have ever thought about before.

All the bright images of these “bling’s” comes to mind from beauty and great riches for so many centuries.
Come to think about it gemstones have long fascinated the human population. Not only to be used as investments by the rich, who used to show off the red rubies, shiny diamonds or the enormous emeralds to display wealth, status and power owned only by the royalty. People have treasured gems for many reasons throughout history.

Believe it not, the gems and stones inspired myths, curses and has been used as medicine before. Religious symbols, amulets and good-luck charms are one of the most known reasons today. Ancient people believed that certain gems would protect them from misfortune, illness and unhappiness. All the gemstones we so greatly treasure and admire come from various depths and locations in the earth’s crust.

I can write forever and a day about all the different stones and gems and all the superstition symbols of hope, luck, and many more. But can’t help myself to name the most obvious.
The number twelve is common in gem lore. Twelve gems that represented the twelve tribes of Israel were set in the breastplate of Aaron, the first high priest of the Hebrews. Among Christians, symbolic gems represented the twelve apostles.

The Twelve Tribes The Twelve Apostles
1. Levi, garnet Peter, (Jasper)
2. Zebulon, diamond Andrew, (Sapphire)
3. Gad, amethyst James, (Chalcedony)
4. Benjamin, jasper John, (Emerald)
5. Simeon, chrysolite Philip, (Sardonyx)
6. Issachar, sapphire Bartholomew, (Sard)
7. Naphtali, agate Matthew, (Chrysolite)
8. Joseph, onyx Thomas, (Beryl)
9. Reuben, sard James the Less, (Topaz)
10. Judah, emerald Judy, (Chrysolprase)
11. Dan, topaz Simon, (Hyacinth)
12. Asher, beryl Judas, (Amethyst)

In addition, gems have long been associated with the signs of the zodiac and with the sun, moon, and planets.

Signs of the Zodiac
Aries the ram, (Bloodstone)
Taurus the bull, (Sapphire)
Gemini the twins, (Agate)
Cancer the crab, (Emerald)
Leo the lion, (Onyx)
Virgo the virgin, (Carnelian)
Libra the scales, (Chrysolite)
Scorpio the scorpion, (Aquamarine)
Sagittarius the archer, (Topaz)
Capricorn the goat, (Ruby)
Aquarius the water bearer, (Garnet)
Pisces the fishes, (Amethyst)

Did you know that the most expensive gemstone ever sold was the Pink Star Diamond that was sold for $83 million? Also known as the ‘Fancy Vivid Pink’ diamond, this stunning gemstone was mined in 1999 in South Africa, with a weight of 59.6 carats. Because of the selling price of $83 million, this diamond became the most expensive gem ever sold.

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth crown that she has worn for 63 years also has a diamond in from South Africa? Weighing a breath-taking 3 106 carats, this diamond was discovered in 1905 by Pretoria’s Premier Mine inspector, Thomas Wells, who initially mistook it as a piece of glass placed by the miners to prank him.
When its identity was revealed, the diamond was named The Cullinan after the owner of the mine and purchased by the Transvaal government as a gift for King Edward VII. Then plans were made to have the precious diamond shipped to England on a boat, always protected by top security. However, it was later revealed to be an elaborate ruse created to fool any hopeful thieves – the Cullinan was in fact sent to England in the mail, with no security whatsoever.
Did you know in 1867 South Africa’s first diamond, later called the Eureka, was discovered on the banks of the Orange River near Hopetown by 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs. He was playing around on his father’s Northern Cape farm at the time and a pretty transparent rock caught his eye. It was a neighbour, Schalk van Niekerk, who identified this ‘rock’ as a diamond.

So where do gems come from?
Most gemstones are minerals or rocks and occur in favoured sites in the earth’s crust or in the gravels that result from the weathering of rocks. Of the beautifully crystallized minerals that seem useful for gems, only a very few meet the standards and are sufficiently beautiful, durable, rare and large enough to be cut into saleable stones. As a class of natural objects gemstones are exceedingly rare.

About one hundred chemical elements make up the earth. Oxygen and silicon are by far the most plentiful elements in the earth’s crust, and they occur in most minerals. In gemstones, they are major ingredients in amethyst, aquamarine, emerald, garnet, peridot, topaz, tourmaline and zircon. Oxygen is a major ingredient in ruby, sapphire, chrysoberyl and spinel.

As a mineral form, certain atoms attract each other and arrange themselves in an orderly geometric pattern called the crystal structure. All mineral crystals have their atoms arranged in some combination of fourteen basic patterns.

Minerals usually occur as crystalline grains in rocks. Because the grains compete with neighbouring ones for very limited space, there usually isn’t room for complete crystal shapes to form. Time is another important factor in crystal growth. When molten rock cools quickly, natural glass or tiny crystals form. Slower cooling time gives larger crystals time to grow. Large crystals may form whenever conditions are right. They may grow slowly into open spaces in cracks or hollows in the rocks.

Occasionally, near perfect crystals are found. A mineral’s internal atomic structure determines its distinctive exterior crystal shape. Crystal shape often helps identify and distinguish gem minerals from one another.

Today, many gems can be created in laboratories. Synthetic gems have the same chemical composition and physical properties as naturally formed gemstones. A simulated gem may look like a natural gem, but there the similarity ends.
As with other gems, most precious gemstones are minerals. This mineral, however, is a chemical element or compound that forms in nature and possess a unique internal atomic structure, crystal. Minerals usually form because of inorganic processes that occur in rocks.

Furthermore, since mineral deposits can be found all over the world, so can the various gemstones.

In fact, many gems and stones come from South Africa and this is the reason why the industry remains sturdy.
Of some interest is the mining techniques used to procure such brilliant gems.

The following is a list of South Africa gems and minerals listed in our database:

• Chatoyant Quartz
• Enstatite
• Rhodonite
• Grossular Garnet
• Rhodochrosite
• Petalite
• Platinum
• Plasma Chalcedony
• Diamond
• Chrysoprase
• Microcline
• Uvarovite
• Gold
• Zoisite
• Chrysoprase
• Diopside
• Chrysoberyl
• Pyrope
• Phosphophyllite
• Labradorite
• Dravite
• Taaffeite
• Rutile
• Tugtupite
• Lapis Lazuli
• Turquoise
• Sillimanite
• Oligoclase
• Spodumene
• Gypsum
• Tektites
• Shell

 

If you are interested in buying gemstones in South Africa you need to look out for the following:

How to buy gemstones in South Africa
1. Look at the background of the seller!
2. Look at the credentials of the seller!
3. Study the gemstone.
4. Is the gemstone from South Africa or not?
5. Check the integrity of the seller.

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

 

References:
Cape Town Diamond Museum
Rock Hounds
Touch Gemstones
Gemrock Auctions
Cape Town Magazine
Interflora
Gem5
Diamond Portfolio
SAMAA

 

 

 

About Christine Brooks

I started working for Leads 2 Business in June 2015 as an Account Executive until present. Looking after new and existing clients making sure we meet their requirements.

What does Google mean to me?

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What does Google mean to me?

The title made me giggle…it should say “what does Google not mean to me?”

Google is my “go-to person” for EVERYTHING that I am looking for information about, be it something I already know, or want know, or need confirmation about, or to settle an argument, anything and everything, there is pretty much nothing that Google cannot help you with.

The above got me thinking, Google has always just been “there” and I have never really thought about how it got its name, how the information gets there (for me to find) and what it all means…hmmm…this means I get to do some research (on Google of course)….

How Google did gets its name?

Turns out Google was born from a spelling mistake! What? The Grammar-nerd firmly instilled in me was horrified, turns out that Google is a misspelling of a real-life mathematical term, googol.

Back in the late 90’s, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on a search engine and they had called it “Backrub”……thank goodness they were smart (they were grad students at Stanford after all) and went on a brainstorming session to rename their search engine and with the help of a fellow student Sean, came up with the name “Googolplex”.

Googolplex is the name for 10 to the power of googol. Googol is the name used by mathematicians to reference 10 to the power of 100 or the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. (The name googol and googolplex were originally coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of Edward Kasner, a famous American mathematician)
When Sean suggested googolplex, Larry thought that the term googol was better and thought that the definition of the word was a great fit for what they were trying to do which was to index an unfathomable number of Internet web pages.

Sean, not realizing googol was spelled with an ol at the end, searched the Internet to see if the domain google.com was available. Larry liked the new word Sean had accidentally come up with, and voila! Google was named.

How does Google find what I am looking for?
Google has several steps that they take in order to find and collate their information (so that you and I can find it easy-peasy)

1. Spiders/Crawling as much of the web as they can.
SPIDERS!!!! that is just creepy and I had an instant visual of an old movie from 1984 starring Tom Selleck called Runaway that had all these hundreds of little killer robots in the shape of spiders (shudder) running around but thank goodness my Arachnophobia is unfounded, it’s not that type of spider (cue nervous giggle) Google has millions of servers spread out across the globe and these are used to crawl, index and power Google’s search engines and are constantly trying to find new pages and check existing pages for updates. A search engine spider does the search engine’s grunt work: It scans Web pages and creates indexes of keywords. Once a spider has visited, scanned and categorised a page, it follows links from that page to other sites. The spider will continue to crawl from one site to the next, which means the search engine’s index becomes more comprehensive with endless amounts of information.

2. Indexing the information that has been sourced.
Google has an index of 100 000 000 gigabytes (might actually be more by now) and that a LOT of data. On the pages that are indexed, Google will select pages or words which are relevant to the site, this is automated and determined by all kinds of metrics including how often a website is updated, what is the theme of the website etc.

3. Determining how the information should be ranked
Google uses a trademarked algorithm called PageRank, which assigns each Web page a relevancy score. A Web Page’s “PageRank” depends on the following (a) the frequency and location of specific keywords e.g. if a keyword only appears once, this webpage will get a low score for that keyword. (b) How long the web page has existed e.g. hundreds of new web pages are created daily and sadly some of them have a very short lifespan, Google places more value on a page that is active and has an established history. (c) How many other web pages link to your webpage
Well!! It seems that Google is a very, very busy search engine that is constantly looking for new information just to please me….and I am very grateful. My life without Google would be ‘informationless’, boring and unfathomable.

Google Quotes that ‘spoke’ to me:
Google is arguably one of the greatest inventions. The search engines is one of the greatest human inventions – Franklin Foer (I hear you Frankie……Google is the best!)
People at different stages of their lives are doing different things, and they all using Google – Susan Wojcicki (So true Susie, I would be lost without Google)
If it isn’t on Google then it does not exist – Jimmy Wales (Jim, I believe it!)

I found a new love in Google. I’m a Googler now – Alan Mulally (Al, you and me both, been in love with Google for a while now, I’m a Googler too!)

Sources:

Skill Crush
Quora
How Stuff Works
Brainy Quote

About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Awesome Internet Facts

posted in: Did You Know | 0

Awesome Internet Facts

I’ve heard you love fun facts!

Well, here are some of the best! – I hope you will have as much fun reading through them and learning something new as I did while researching materials for this post.

1. A little over forty years ago the internet was invented in a beer garden. In fact, it was founded on August 27, 1976 on a picnic table at Rossotti’s (or Zott’s) Alpine Inn Bear Garden – who says the best ideas don’t come over a drink 😉

2. The name Google was created accidentally. A spelling error was made by the original founders who were under the impression they were going for Googol.

3. The first computer mouse was invented by Doug Engelbrecht and it was carved from wood First Computer Mouse

4. As of 1st January 2018, the total internet users across the world was 4,156,932,140 (that’s over 4 billion users). While the average internet speed across the globe is 5.6Mbps, in the USA it is 18.8Mbps.
The country with the fastest internet speed is South Korea with an average Internet speed of 26.7Mbps!


5. Google is the most popular website in the world. YouTube is second and Facebook is third.

6. The first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006 by Jack Dorsey:


7. Mark Zuckerberg’s original Facebook profile number ID is 4 – https://www.facebook.com/zuck – The first three Facebook accounts were for testing.

8. The first YouTube video was uploaded April 23, 2005. It’s called Me at the Zoo

9. The GIF format was invented by Steve Wilke, an engineer at Compuserve in 1987.

10. Today, the Internet is 10,753 days old. Check How old is the Internet

11. This is what Google looked like in 2004:


12. Google rents out Goats to help cut down the weeds and brush at Google HQ – Google Blogspot

13. The first smiley appeared in 1979, when Kevin McKenzie tried to express his emotions by electronic means. First it look like this -) Three years later, Scott Fahlman added a colon : -) and it took the form we are used to.

14. The first AOL Instant Message was sent by Ted Leonsis to his wife on Jan. 6, 1993. It read, “Don’t be scared … it is me. Love you and miss you.” His wife replied, “Wow … this is so cool!” Leonsis later became AOL’s Vice Chairman.

15. The first sentence uttered on Skype was in Estonian in April 2003 by a member of the development team. It was ‘Tere, kas sa kuuled mind?’ or “Hello, can you hear me?” in English.

16. The very first domain name registered was www.symbolics.com on the 15th March 1958.

17. Domain name registrations were free till 1995.

18. Anthony Greco was the first man ever arrested for sending spam messages in 2005.

19. The first picture ever uploaded on the web was posted by Tim Burners Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) on behalf of a comedy band called Les Horrible Cernettes.


20. The world’s first website is still online – Info.cern

21. The first webcam was deployed at Cambridge University computer lab – its sole purpose to monitor a particular coffee maker and avoid wasted trips to an empty pot.

22. The Internet took just 4 years to reach its first 50 Million Users.

 

It’s amazing how little we know about something we use for more than 10 hours a day! – We’re just scraping the surface when it comes to incredible facts about the Internet, but now you can go and dazzle your friends with your new-found knowledge.

 

Do you know of any other fun and interesting facts about the Internet? If so, let us know about them in the comments!

 

Sources:
Life Hacks
Buzz Feed News
The Fact Site

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

About Chantélle Naudé

I have been with Leads 2 Business for 9 years, working in the Leads 2 Quotes department. Mother to two beautiful daughters.

3D Concrete Printing

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3D Concrete Printing


Wow…so looking at pictures of 3D concrete printing, I was like:

Is this even possible…and yes, it is.
So let’s have a bit more of an in depth look at exactly what 3D Concrete Printing entails.

Definition: 3D Concrete Printing refers to various technologies that use 3D printing as a core method to fabricate buildings or construction components.


So basically, construction units such as walls or columns can be pre-fabricated off site by means of 3D printing. The completed wall parts will then be transported to the construction site, installed on traditional foundations and reinforced with traditional steel structures or cement. The unpolished walls can then be supplemented with different finishes.

There are numerous 3D printing methods used on a construction scale, which include the following main methods:

  • Extrusion (concrete, cement, wax, foam, and polymers),
  • Powder Bonding (polymer bond, reactive bond, sintering)
  • Additive Welding.

3D printing at a construction scale will have a wide variety of applications within the private, commercial, industrial and public sectors.

Advantages of these technologies include:
• Faster Construction
• Lower labour costs
• Increased complexity and/or accuracy
• Greater integration of function and less waste produced
• Could improve the quality of the end product
• Another advantage is the freedom of design, whereby buildings can be tailored to suit customer needs.

Demonstrations of these technologies have included fabrication of housing, construction components, bridges and civil infrastructure. This technology has increased in popularity in the recent years as new companies have emerged onto the market, such as Yingchuang Building Technique (Shanghai) Co. Ltd or Winsun as it is known. Their entry into 3D printing started in 2005, with the intervention of the spray nozzle, one of the main elements of its first 3D printer. The spray nozzle was used to experiment with cement and other materials. Winsun also set up the world’s biggest 3D construction printer, which is 10 metres wide, 6.6 metres high and 150 metres long…pretty awesome hey 
In 2013, Winsun successfully printed a batch of ten 3D residential houses, whereby they used a special ink made of cement, sand and fibre with a proprietary additive. Winsun has increased productivity and made it possible to save costs, a standard house can now be built for plus minus $30,000. Then the increase in the speed of construction is a huge factor as well, for example, the construction of a two-storey 1,100 sqm mansion took one day to print and two days to assemble…yes I know, incredible right!!

Winsun’s technology is also a lot more environmentally friendly. They source 50% of their ink material from construction waste and mining tailings.
The company’s most important showcase project was the company’s first 3D office. It opened in May 2016 in Dubai for the Dubai Future Foundation. The building was printed in Suzhou, cut into pieces for shipping and transported to Dubai. It was assembled and finished within a few weeks.

Now, the main challenge that faces 3D printing is the scepticism of designers, governments, project developers etc. For some it seems just too good to be true. Winsun then realised that they can win clients over by inviting them to their factory to view the prototypes with their own eyes. They are also collaborating with architects such as Cornell Design Institute, Tongji Design Institute and Jiaotong University to educate designers to incorporate the 3D-printed design into their work, as well as training architects with its textbook on 3D printing.
Below are a few amazing 3D buildings that have been built

Europe’s first residential 3D printed house
World’s first 3D hotel

And that is 3D concrete printing as I understand it and a bit of background into one of the world’s biggest 3D concrete printing companies, Winsun.

I hope your mind is as blown away as mine at the moment 😀

Now get cracking on your new 3D printing building.

Sources:
Lifegate
CNET
Wikipedia
Future of Construction

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.

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