Compliment: Thanks to the FNB Smart Spend loan dept. A special thanks to Anthea Freedman and Sthandwa, you guys really give excellent customer service , you go all out to make sure that your clients are happy…really appreciated!
Supplier:City of Joburg
Date of Occurrence: 31 May 2010
Compliment: Rose on 011 375 5555 made calling City Of Joburg quite pleasant today, she was so patient and helped me right till the query was done, thanks Rose !
Supplier:KFC , Commercial Road, Pietermaritzburg
Customer: Alison Walne
Date of Occurrence: 30 May 2010
Compliment: I would like to compliment the staff at this branch of KFC for their incredible service. Shabna at the drive through cashier window is fantastic and the staff at the other driver through window are always great – Thank you.
Compliment: After a burglary the police were at the premises in approximately 10 minutes, the fingerprint unit arrived during the course of the day, and the CID members also visited the premises 1 day later. Great job!!!!!!
Customer: Magdalena J J Page
Date of Occurrence: 24 May 2010
Compliment: Well done – you are excellent. I wish more suppliers would display the efficiency and competency level that you have in dealing with my query/complaint.
As consumers we also have an important role to play in terms of getting customer service in SA up to scratch. In line with the Don’t Complain Campaign, make sure that your voice is heard: give suppliers constructive criticism and compliments directly or via www.getclosure.co.za
I have been banging on this drum for years now here on SA Rocks. It finally seems as though the numbers are growing and the perceptions are changing, slightly. It finally seems as though people want to want, to stay here (ye, that’s a tricky little sentence to write out).
Columnist Chris Moerdyk came out with his latest piece on News 24 today. And what’s it about? Being positive in South Africa and having justifiable cause to feel that way.
Now before all the naysayers jump on to this post and slam the concept, please let me reiterate for the billionth time, I am not denying that SA has troubles, issues and problems. I have merely highlighting the fact that not everything is as bad all the time as many make it out to be. We have a lot to be proud of as South Africans living in SA.
Here are a few facts from Moerdyk’s column:
- “South Africa is probably the leading economy in the world.” (CNBC Europe)
- South Africa’s Rand is the second best-performing emerging market currency of the 26 monitored by Bloomberg in 2009.
- South Africa sold $1.8bn worth of cars to the US last year, putting us ahead of Sweden and Italy as suppliers to the US market.
- The International Monetary Forum’s World Economic Outlook ranks us in the top 10% of countries in respect of Real GDP Growth Projections for 2010.
- In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Survey of Democratic Freedom we rank 31st of of 184 countries.
- South Africa ranks second worldwide in terms of the transparency surrounding its budgets – just behind the United Kingdom, tie with France, and ahead of New Zealand and the United States – according to the Open Budget Index.
- Johannesburg ranks 2nd among countries from Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa in dealing with urbanisation and environmental challenges, in the MasterCard Insights Report on Urbanisation and Environmental Challenges.
Do 2010 has arrived. Some are calling it the beginning of a new decade but I am battling to understand the math on that one. Others are calling it the end of an era – which I tend to agree with. But one thing that many people all agree on is that is going to be one hell of a year for South Africa.
(1) South Africa had another free and fair election (it’s fourth!) without any serious violence and the fourth democratic President was inaugurated soon afterwards.
(2) The government decisively changed direction on HIV/AIDS and President Jacob Zuma appointed a health minister who clearly understands that the problem of HIV needs to be dealt with in a comprehensive manner.
(3) Nkosazana Zuma has begun to change things around at the Department of Home Affairs. A friend of mine received her passport only 4 weeks after submitting her application!
(4) The South African banking system weathered the international financial crisis very well and the SA government did not need to pump billions of dollars into the system as was required by the USA, the UK and some European countries.
(5) A free press and independent electronic media continued to thrive and to present a variety of news, exposes and opinion, sometimes harshly critical of the foibles of the governing party and sometimes singing its praises.
(6) Some members of the tripartite alliance began exposing Julius Malema as the self-serving, headline-grabbing, tenderpreneur that he is.
(7) The selection of a new Chief Justice and four new judges to the Constitutional Court proceeded without unnecessary controversy and several good candidates were appointed to the positions while a certain Judge President were clearly not a serious contender for appointment.
(8) A vibrant civil society continued to thrive and to challenge seemingly unlawful decisions made by the President and y constitutional institutions such as the Judicial Services Commission in various courts across South Africa.
(9) South Africa successfully hosted the Confederations Cup and the various soccer stadiums for 2010 Fifa World Cup were completed on time.
(10) Many South Africans quietly continued to build bridges and build the nation by giving of their time and money to address the poverty and deprivation of fellow South Africans.
These are all great things to comment on and take note of.
From a personal perspective I was extremely proud to vote in yet another democratic election in South Africa. I am also noticing a massive influx of young South Africans returning to SA to make their lives. This bodes well for us I think.
I’m not going to dwell on too much suffice to say that 2010 is going to be an invigorating, busy, crazy, manic, massive and important year for South Africa and South Africans all over the country.
Ed’s note: This post is a guest post from Rich Laburn who has worked extensively in the South African bush and currently at Londolozi Private Game Reserve. This is the first of four posts that Rich will be writing.
There is nothing quite like South African wildlife. It is impressive and has endured long before the first seeds of the country were sown. In South Africa the opportunity to spend uncluttered time with this wildlife is phenomenal because of the accessibility and diversity of game reserves. South Africa hosts many concessions and reserves that provide exclusive opportunities to experience wildlife in its purest form and in uncrowded freedom. Frustratingly though, with so much wildlife around, it’s impossible to experience all of the remarkable encounters that occur every second of every day. Instead, all you can do is pick one animal at a time and give all your energy, thoughts and appreciation to moments spent with that being.
Where I work, at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, the animal that is most frequently picked is the leopard. After 30 years of continual respect, habituation and game viewing, these elusive cats are content to allow us to view them for hours on end. Following them down dry riverbeds and gazing up at them whilst they fall asleep in the cradle of large trees, the leopards viewed by the rangers, trackers and guests are plentiful. From the 17 year legacy of the recently deceased Female leopard to the muscular Camp Pan Male. The Nyeleti female with 3 tiny cubs and the Nottens Female who has just taken over her mother’s territory, these leopards are iconic. They are stars in their own unwitting way, yet still wild animals working with the pure existence of nature for their survival.
For me, there is one leopard that I feel the most affection for. The Maxabeni Young Male, so called owing to the spot pattern on either side of his shiny pink nose. Unlike his more evasive twin brother, this young male is willing to share his journey into adulthood. Cocky and cheeky but still desperately trying to learn where his place in the world is, every moment spent with him is different, interesting and thought provoking. I have watched him hunt his first antelope, leap away in fright from prowling hyenas and how his body language shifts from fear to confidence in momentary flashes. He has taught me lessons of persistence, courage and the value of cutting your losses. He is only a year old, yet he is wise.
This leopard is just one of many different animals that we as South Africans are lucky enough to have on our doorstep in the game reserves throughout this country. I don’t know where else in the world people are granted access to the exclusivity of spending time alone with wild animals, deep in the bushveld. It is here that the madness of the daily grind fades, the pollution of noise and carbon dissipate, and the seamless progression of days into nights into days allow you to just sit, enjoy and possibly learn something small from a moment with that being. It’s moment such as these that make South African wildlife truly rock.
I’m very glad that someone put together a video of expats voting abroad and specifically in London. Glad to see it!
From the Youtube page:
Over 6000 South Africans travelled to the South African House in Trafalgar Square, London to cast their vote on the 15 April 2009. Thanks to a recent verdict from the Constitutional Court South African’s were allowed to vote abroad – the last time South Africans were able to vote overseas was in 1994. For more pics from the day see http://www.flickr.com/photos/frannies… Thanks to Fourmanfilms for loaning me the camera.
I often moan and rant about how globalised our society has become. This is evident in the number of chain food stores that exist all over the world and in SA.
We’ve got many generic foods that crop up, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza this and that and the next thing. But one thing that SA has that I absolutely adore is fantastically local food that seems to be relatively undiscovered by the masses and tourists.
Zoopy.com went in to Soweto to the shopping centre and tried out some local cuisine. Have a look:
Keeping with the blogging of the world posts for the next week I sincerely believe that Lanzerac Hotel needed it’s very own blog post.
Situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands this hotel boasts a five star rating and with very good reason. The service staff is always smiling, seem to really love their job and are absolutely helpful in the true sense of the word absolute. You want something, they deliver.
The first and most astounding thing about the hotel is the vastness of the setting. I can’t tell you how many acres of land it occupies but it appears o be absolutely massive.
The very next thing that you’ll notice is the very old looking victorian-styled design of the hotel. Don’t mistake me, it’s not like the architect thought that the victorian era was a winner. It’s that the hotel is over 300 years old. Yes, that’s right. 300 years. I saw one of the logos on a menu and it had a date printed on it, 1692. I can’t verify if that is the date of building, hotel establishment date or what, but it’s a very old date.
Nevertheless, onwards. The rooms were really something to behold. Massive hotel rooms make for very comfortable living let me tell you. A desk for those who want to work with multiplugs for almost any nations power points to plug in to, a coffee table and two chairs, immaculate bedding tucked, folded and neat just the way I like and ofcourse a television for those of us who were too tired to do anything else.
I was fortunate in a strange way. I had planned to stay up and work at my night at Lanzerac. This took me to about 2am the next morning which meant that I really got to enjoy the magnificent room and setting.
Breakfast the following morning was incredibly laid out and once again supported by smiling and caring staff. The hot breakfast was design, but of course, and the esspresso was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.
Unfortunately that was it. We were literally only in the hotel for 12 hours sadly and had to depart.
I will be returning to this Cape Winelands gem, not for the wine although there is plenty of that.
This post is a few days late but nonetheless deserves to be written as the Rosebank Hotel really is worth visiting if you get the chance.
Working in Rosebank I have, over the past months, driven past men and woman working at a steady rate at rebuilding and developing the renowned Rosebank Hotel. I was pretty excited to see that it was the very first stop on the bloggers tour.
My excitement was not misplaced and the hotel absolutely blew me away. Not cheap I am more than certain but if you have the time, inclination and money this hotel is well worth the night.
If you don’t have a night or the money for a night then I would definitely suggest going for coffee or a drink, sunrise or sunset (jokes).
The rooms are funky and different, the highlight of which is the massive glass shower that looks on to the room or over the view of Johannesburg depending on what side of the hotel you are situated. I love double showers with massive heads that pour water down, I also love it when a hotel recognises that I don’t want to bath at a hotel unless the bath is jacuzzi size. If it isn’t that big, leave it out as the Rosebank Hotel did. Nice moves.
The reception, bar area, conference rooms, entrance and every crevice down to the toilet signage are all decorated to perfection to create a new age African fusion feel to the entire hotel.
In other words do yourself a favour and take the misses for a toot.
It helps to have an event remind you of that occasionally. That reminder came for me yesterday. I was immensely privileged to take a helicopter ride through, around, in between, over and about Cape Town yesterday.
It is definitely one of the most breath-taking and awe-inspiring things that I have done in South Africa. Cape Town truly is one of the most astoundingly gorgeous cities that I have ever traveled to. I am not saying that as a biased South African positiva (that’s not a word, go with me here!) but as a traveled man who has seen many great cities in the world (Sydney, New York, San Francisco, Athens, London, Dubai, Florence, Venice, Paris, Rome). Cape Town is right up there with the best in the world. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the slideshow below.
The Helicopter ride was documented with great detail in video. I want to try and do the thing justice so I’ll be spending slightly more time on it. It should be up sometime today.
It’s Sunday morning and we’re at the Rosebank Hotel. It has recently been redone in it’s entirety. What a pleasure.
So basically the next ten or so days I will be on a whirlwind nationwide tour around SA!
I am blogging on various platforms and have decided to try my best to split up the content according to the platforms that I am writing for. My personal blog, nicharalambous.com will consist of interviews with the 8 or 9 bloggers that are on this tour from around the USA.
I will also be writing on the Bizcommunity blog where I will try to keep things a bit more formal and prim and proper and as business orientated as possible. I will be uploading photos, audio, notes and lots of video content to my Zoopy Profile and cross posting things on to the HCR blog as well.
SA Rocks will be the platform that I make use of to show everyone how incredible South Africa is. We are going to be doing some insane things on this trip and I will be recording everything in widescreen HD and uploading to Zoopy to put on here.