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Wed, 14 Nov 2018

The nominated restaurants were determined by the scores of a panel of anonymous judges, convened by chef Margot Janse, who dined around the country. “A fantastic field of nominees has come out of this year’s judging, with some newcomers and old favourites making up a list that truly represents the best of the best in South African dining today,” said Janse. “As always, these nominees have been nominated for their achievements in excellent dining, innovative menus, ambience and service excellence.” The top 10 restaurants will be revealed on Sunday 18 November 2018 at an awards ceremony at GrandWest in Cape Town.

The nominees, in alphabetical order, are: Camphors at Vergelegen, Somerset West The Chefs’ Table, Umhlanga Chefs Warehouse & Canteen, Cape Town Chefs Warehouse, Beau Constantia Chefs Warehouse at Maison, Franschhoek DW Eleven-13, Dunkeld West Fermier Restaurant, Pretoria Foliage, Franschhoek Foxcroft, Constantia Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort, Constantia Indochine, Stellenbosch Jardine Restaurant, Stellenbosch Jordan Restaurant, Stellenbosch La Colombe, Constantia Le Coin Français, Franschhoek La Mouette, Sea Point La Petite Colombe, Constantia La Tête, Cape Town Marble, Rosebank Nobu at One&Only, Cape Town Overture, Stellenbosch The Pot Luck Club, Woodstock The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Somerset West Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, Elandsfontein The Shortmarket Club, Cape Town Springfontein Eats, Stanford The Test Kitchen, Woodstock Thali The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal, Franschhoek Wolfgat, Paternoster.


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Tue, 13 Nov 2018

The face of Durban’s public transport changed this week with the launch 150 branded minibus taxis in the city centre that will offer commuter an enhanced service as part of the city’s ambitious GO!Durban project.

The eThekwini Municipality’s mini-bus taxi incentive programme, called “Moja Cruise” kicked off on Monday after months of behind the scenes collaboration between the Ethekwini Metro Taxi Council (EMTC) – the leadership body of the mini-bus taxi industry – and the city.

The roll-out of the 150 taxis part of an innovative pilot programme to “test the waters” for improved public transport system. The programme branded “Moja Cruise” was launched in October 2017, and the various stakeholders have been planning and preparing for the “go live” date this month.

Essentially the pilot programme includes 500 mini-bus taxis that will be branded as “Moja Cruise” taxis, with 150 taxis already enrolled in the programme. These taxis will adhere to certain criteria to offer a clean, safe, efficient, customer-oriented service to the public. The vehicles will be monitored to ensure that these criteria are met in order to qualify for the financial incentive. As part of the transformation of public transport, the municipality started the construction of road infrastructure in its efforts to integrate public transport into a network of eight bus rapid transit lanes and a rail route across the City in its GO!Durban programme.

As part of this programme, and prior to beginning construction in 2013, the city leadership, since 2009, has been engaging with the leadership of the mini-bus taxi and bus industry in an endeavour to bring these current public transport operators into a cohesive operation to provide safe, efficient and reliable transport for all.

The aim has always been to ensure that they continue to have a stake in public transport into its transformation.

Speaking at the “go live” launch, which was attended by the leadership of the eThekwini Metro Taxi Council and participants of the programme, the executive committee member and chairperson for the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Mondli Mthembu said that the aim of the programme was to proactively empower the mini-bus taxi industry at all levels, to progress their businesses, and to support the development of the industry towards a more formal and scheduled service structure aimed at providing better levels of services and safety to commuters and improving overall public transport in the city.

Commenting on the EMTC’s collaboration with the city, the chairperson of the eThekwini Metro Taxi Council, B M Nzuza said: “Being experienced public transport operators, we understand and acknowledge the need for a more customer-orientated service that meets the needs of the commuters. By working in collaboration with the eThekwini Municipality, we have been able to offer our expertise and understanding in a consultative and collaborative process, to find positive and workable solutions to the challenges that we face as businesses and they as government. We all look forward to seeing the programme work, and to an improved service and business model for our constituents.”

Giving a keynote address, eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede [...]

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Wed, 31 Oct 2018

The local launch followed the international showing of the powerhouse smartphone held last Tuesday in London. Huawei’s new Mate20 series sent shockwaves across the tech world with the phone’s impressive design, 3 multi-functional cameras, the in screen fingerprint sensor and many others, all powered by their new powerful Kirin 980 chip set.

Akhram Mohamed, Chief Technology Officer at Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa, said, “The Huawei Mate 20 series offers consumers a compelling combination of powerful artificial intelligence (AI), flagship performance, longer battery life, advanced security, a greater videography and photography experience, and more—all wrapped in a sophisticated design. It is the ultimate device made for those who will not settle for anything less than perfection.”

Building on the impressive camera system of the Huawei P20 series, Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro helps you not only see wider when taking a shot, but also closer. The device has a 16mm Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens, which creates a sense of spaciousness and adds a three-dimensional effect to your images. The camera of the Mate 20 series also supports macro distance, which means that you can take crisp, precise photos of objects that are placed as close as 2.5cm to the lens. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is equipped with a 40MP wide angle main camera, a 20MP ultra wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera.

Leveraging its powerful artificial intelligence, the Huawei Mate 20 series also features professional filmmaking skills, making it possible for even novice filmmakers to create blockbusters. One of these is AI Portrait Colour video mode. Using AI, the Huawei Mate 20 Series can isolate and highlight the colours of a subject by desaturating everything else. This feature makes for a stunning visual impact. Some of the preset modes available include Vintage, Fresh, Suspense and Background Blur.

Futuristic design When conceptualising their world-first “flowing design”, Huawei’s engineers attempted to capture the grace of several free-flowing elements of nature. This comes to life on the device’s aerodynamic chassis, which is curved on all eight sides and meticulously engineered to achieve a very low drag coefficient. To ensure there are no needless gaps between the mid-frame and the glass materials, Huawei manufactured its parts precisely, adhering to exacting standards and ensuring the components fit tightly and seamlessly together.

Huawei also incorporated symmetrical design elements into the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and the two-by-two arrangement of the four-point camera system is a prime example. Of the four cut-outs, three are reserved for the new Leica Triple Camera, and one is reserved for the laser sensor and flash. The rules of symmetry are also observed on the front of the devices, which are vertically and horizontally symmetrical. This echoes the theme of harmony and balance throughout the design.

Long battery life The new Huawei SuperCharge, Huawei Wireless Quick Charge and powerful battery work in tandem to provide you with the best battery life. The 40W Huawei SuperCharge gives your phone 70 percent charge in 30 minutes and Huawei’s Wireless 15W Quick Charge is the industry’s fastest wireless charging solution.

“Smartphones [...]

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Wed, 31 Oct 2018

The group lists South Africa as having the 37th highest average net household wealth among the countries assessed, with EUR 7,770 per capita (±R127,300), up from EUR 7,080 in 2017 (±R116,000). In its 2018 report, Allianz focused in on the imbalances that exist between the average wealth held per capita compared to the median wealth per capita, noting that there are more countries (30 in total) in which distribution, based on development of median assets, has improved since the turn of the millennium. This shows an overall improvement in the wealth of any given country – however, South Africa is not one of those. South Africa, Allianz said, is a country with a reputation for distorted wealth distribution, and has shown a very high negative growth differential between average and median wealth – beaten only by the US and Indonesia. If the rankings were listed by median wealth rather than average wealth, South Africa would drop 7 places (to be ranked 44th out of 53), the group said, “an indication of relatively unequal distribution of wealth”. Inequality “To obtain a nuanced picture of national distribution in an international context, the group introduced a new indicator in its report, the Allianz Wealth Equity Indicator (AWEI). “Some of the results are surprising. Along with the ‘usual suspects’ of the US, South Africa, Indonesia and the UK, countries where the distribution of wealth is relatively strongly distorted also include Denmark, Sweden and Germany.”

In Scandinavia this may be primarily due to high debt levels among large parts of the population; in Germany, the country‘s delayed reunification and the general shortage of capital-funded pension schemes play a crucial part, the group said. “On the other hand, those countries where wealth distribution is relatively balanced include many eastern and western European countries, some of which are euro crisis countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece.” Even if the last few years of crisis and austerity may have led to greater inequality in the last two countries in particular, they still have a relatively solid base to fall back on, as assets have traditionally been very widely distributed – not least when it comes to real estate assets. “We should therefore be wary of drawing hasty or generalised conclusions about wealth distribution. Apart from the US, barely any country conforms to the cliché of a wealth distribution that is already extremely distorted but is still getting worse.” This is the global ranking:  



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Wed, 31 Oct 2018

For some, blockchain is a word they hear thrown around from time to time, but they don’t have a clue what it all means. For others, blockchain represents an incredible chance to shake things up, thanks to the opportunities offered by digital currencies and blockchain technology. If you fall into that latter category, you should already have heard about the annual Blockchain Africa Conferences, the first of their kind in Africa, which is now entering its fifth year. To date, they’ve hosted four highly successful and sold-out blockchain conferences in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and have attracted big names such as Vinny Lingham (well-known South African entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Gyft and Civic in the US), Brock Pierce (Founder of Block Capital and early adopter of bitcoin in the US), Andreas M. Antonopoulos (author of several bitcoin and Ethereum books), William Frentzen (Federal Prosecutor with the US Attorney’s Office) and Stefan Thomas (CTO of Ripple in the US).

The annual Blockchain Africa Conferences have attracted international experts and thought leaders in the blockchain arena. These great minds have shared their insights around blockchain technology’s opportunities and challenges, as well as the latest trends seen around the world. The conferences have also provided a platform for attendees to network with like-minded individuals and learn about some of the most interesting blockchain use cases from a range of innovative companies and start-ups. Here at home, the African continent has massive challenges with transactions and doing business that, with the help of blockchain technology, can be transformed into simpler and more efficient ways of working. The Blockchain Africa Conference 2019 will focus on moving Africa forward with the technology. It will discuss how the blockchain can simplify systems and processes to lower costs, reduce fraud, become highly secure and transparent, and remove human error and inefficiencies. There will be two conferences next year – one in Johannesburg from February 28 through to March 1, and another in Cape Town on March 6.

Tickets for both conferences are still available, ranging from the Start-Up Ticket through to the Executive Ticket. In addition, sponsorship opportunities still exist, should your business wish to join the likes of Rand Merchant Bank and Luno. Luno’s co-founder and CEO, Marcus Swanepoel, will also be speaking at the Cape Town conference:

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more authoritative voice on the matter than Marcus. Before co-founding Luno, Marcus worked for Standard Chartered in Singapore, and 3i and Morgan Stanley in London. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and CFA charter holder. Source:

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Thu, 25 Oct 2018

Here are five personalisation tactics written in collaboration with SA’s largest payment gateway, PayU, that you can implement into your sales strategy.

Developing the right personalisation processes will prove that your eCommerce website has mastered the art of delivering value to your customers.

We all know that feeling of walking into a shop and the sales assistant remembers what size shoe you’re wearing, or the waitress at your favourite restaurant already knows what type of sandwich you’re going to order.

If you’re in the eCommerce business, it’s crucial that you also relate to and value each customer in order to reinforce their loyalty to your brand. For an online merchant, this means guiding your audience through the entire shopping journey while helping them to find products based on their unique needs.

One study has revealed that consumers want online brands to understand their individual browsing habits by offering customised product suggestions, marketing messages and online experiences in line with their shopping behaviour.

Product recommendations

Whether a customer is just browsing a specific product page or placing items in their cart, they divulge their interests and preferences to you. With this information at your disposal, you can suggest other products they might want to buy and save them the time and effort it takes to find a suitable product.

For example, you could show Featured Products and Bestsellers on your landing page. If they are trending products, chances are that the visitor came to your site looking for them specifically. Or, after a customer placed a product in their virtual basket, why not recommend a complementary product – yes, sometimes they forget the batteries.

Product recommendations run on information-filtering software that draws on algorithms and data from past sessions to display related merchandise to a shopper. When merchants do product recommendations well, they can lead to a significant increase in conversions and a site’s profitability.

Personalised order delivery dates

Shipping is a key influencer in customers’ purchase decisions, yet many eCommerce stores still fail to meet customers’ demands for flexible delivery options. While faster or same-day shipping has sort of become the new standard for eCommerce order deliveries, there is a possibility that customers may not be available to receive their package on the delivery date set by the eCommerce store and courier.

Instead of just offering standard delivery within five working days, why not let customers choose their own delivery date and time when they make a purchase? The best way to achieve this is by installing a Delivery Date Scheduler plugin. This option would especially be useful to customers who frequently travel for work and may not be home in the days after they have placed an order online. This level of certainty that their package will not be left on the doorstep has the power of persuasion – the customer is more likely to make a purchase when they know they can plan around a delivery date that fits them.

Add a personal touch to your emails

Email marketing presents an excellent opportunity for brands to connect personally with customers. A [...]

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