Sunday, April 27, 2014

AFDA Durban to host a Open Day May 3 for prospective film students and News of a dinner for Legal Minds

AFDA Durban (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and live Performance) to host Open Day May 3

(Lights, Camera, Action!)

AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) Durban is hosting an Open Day for prospective students on Saturday, 3 May from 10am to 12noon at the Campus in Glen Anil, Durban North
The new campus, which opened in 2013 year, has also recently invested over R 1, 2 million in additional technical equipment and campus facilities. This includes a new Surround Sound Suite has been kitted with the latest sound equipment which enables filmmakers to reproduce everyday sound effects which are added to film, video and other mediums in post-production to enhance audio quality.

An Editing & Visual Effects Suite has been installed, which has the latest equipment for the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments that look realistic, but would be dangerous, expensive, impractical, or simply impossible to capture on film. The Actor’s Studio that has also seen an extension with a new fully equipped stage and additional equipment.

Plus the cinematography department has acquired the latest camera equipment - some of the exciting gadgets include pocket sized cinema cameras, a steadicam and a helicam for overhead filming. 

Exciting times for prospective students as this Open Day will provide them, (and their parents) and guests insights into the AFDA programme, a tour around the facilities, meetings with current students and introductions to the courses given by various AFDA staff.

AFDA has a heavy-weight academic staff complement who have worked in the film and live performance industries. Franco Human, an experiencedproducer and film maker, is Dean, with film-maker Richard Green Head of the Film School, director and academic Lloyd O’Connor, Head of the Live Performance School, scriptwriter and film-maker Janet van Eeden (whose short film A Shot at the Big Time has just been selected for the Cannes Film Festival), as production course administrator and script writing lecturer and Laszlo Bene, a producer and director who has worked on a number of national and international productions as Head of Television.

Prospective students can contact Durban-based Marketing Officer, Milena Gevers for more information or to book an interview for on the day: or call 031 569 2252. For more info about the school go to or on twitter @AFDADurban.

29 May 6pm Bring a Blanket to Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Jozi or Cape Town



Justice C N Patel, Judge President KwaZulu Natal High Court will address you amongst other speakers

TUESDAY, 13 MAY 2014
17:30 FOR 18:00
Chamber Square, Lion Match Office Park
892 Umgeni Road

Sharmala Pillay – 031- 335 1017

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Events around South Africa, Indaba News and a Opportunity for a Photographer and Designers

New expressions on show at FNB Whisky Live Showroom events
Boutique-style tasting events set the scene for the world’s finest whiskies

The FNB Whisky Live Showroom, taking place in Durban, Nelspruit and Cape Town, will introduce fans of the dram to some noteworthy whiskies set to become firm favourites among local palates. 
“This new show dedicated to one of the world’s finest and most popular spirits builds on the successes of previous FNB Whisky Live Festivals, and brings a unique whisky experience to more South Africans,” says Emily Stockden, chief operating officer of Whisky Live Festival.

“There will be a number of exciting new expressions for whisky lovers to taste and purchase, along with a broad range of well-loved and familiar favourites. We have chosen each venue for the FNB Whisky Live Showroom events carefully to provide a truly remarkable experience for every visitor that provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of sampling some of the world’s finest whiskies.”

The 1989 and 2000 expressions of Balblair will be on display, with the brand challenging the way that punters think about whisky.
“Balblair is bucking the current trend of moving away from age statements, with each product in its range not just being of a specific age, but also of a specific vintage,” says Paul laCock of Aficionados, which represents Balblair in South Africa. “This means that each product is a whisky distilled in a specific year – whereas most single malts are made up of whiskies from different years. The year of bottling Balblair is also stated on the bottle, so that the consumer can deduce its age too.”

Ian MacMillan, the master blender behind Scottish Leader, will be on hand at all three Showrooms to introduce visitors to this masterful blend of up to 30 of Scotland’s finest whiskies. Available in more than 60 countries worldwide, Scottish Leader is produced at the Deanston Distillery on the banks of the river Teith, in the historical central Scottish Highlands.
Kavalan will be showcased at the Showrooms, and is produced by the first distillery in Taiwan. The distillery is in a subtropical area, which is much hotter and more humid than conventional whisky-producing areas. The higher temperatures result in a much quicker interaction of the whisky with the wood of the barrels, leading to much quicker maturation – but the higher temperatures cause more rapid evaporation, and the greedy angels take up to 15% of the whisky every year.

Firm favourite Johnnie Walker will be showing its full range of Red, Black, Gold, Platinum and Blue Label blends, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the different expressions in the context of its Flavour Wheel. The Wheel takes the mystery and guesswork out of tasting whisky and then explaining the experience by offering guidelines such as ‘malty,’ ‘dried fruit,’ ‘winey,’ ‘floral,’ and ‘smoky’ among others.

Black Bottle, a daringly bold blend of all the renowned single malts from the Islay balanced by the finest Highland, Lowland and Speyside malt and grain whiskies, will be available for tasting. Originally blended by Gordon Graham, a tea merchant who shifted from blending teas to blending whiskies in the 19th century, Black Bottle is presented in a unique pot-still shaped bottle.
Fans of South Africa’s Three Ships whisky will be able to taste Three Ships 5 Year Old, named the World’s Best Blended Whisky in 2012 at the World Whiskies Awards. Bain’s, Cape Mountain Whisky, another South African whisky masterpiece that was named World’s Best Grain Whisky in 2013, will also be available for tasting.

The FNB Whisky Live Showroom events take place in Durban on 25 and 26 April, in Nelspruit on 16 and 17 May, and on 19 and 20 June in Cape Town. Tickets cost R150 each at and Facebook/FNBWhiskyLiveFestival, or R170 at the door. All ticket prices include a complimentary tasting glass, a 2014 SA Whisky Handbook, a 500ml bottle of Valpré Spring Water, 15 tasting vouchers, and a variety of additional value adds, such as a R200 voucher for all first-time users of Uber’s taxi services (valid in Durban and CT only), R50 off any purchase of more than R500 at the on-site FNB Whisky Live Shop and a 10% discount voucher for purchases on after the event (some terms and conditions apply).

Follow @WhiskyLiveSA on Twitter, ‘like’ the FNB Whisky Live Festival Facebook page at Facebook/FNBWhiskyLiveFestival, or check for regular updates about the events.
The FNB Whisky Live Showroom promotes responsible drinking. No persons under the age of 18 years will be allowed into the Showroom. Designated driver tickets are also available at R95 per ticket. Part of the ticket proceeds will be donated to The Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR).

'The Reals' will perform four unique shows, each with a varied selection of repertoire and themes. Expect to hear original songs, creative covers of their favourite blues and rock artistes and excerpts from their hit tribute shows, including Rodriguez, The Eagles, Woodstock and Dire Straits. The Reals will be presenting in the first half of each show 4 different selections of music – so even if you see all 4 shows, you will be hearing something new at each performance. An opportunity to see some of the musical creations of one of Durban’s Top Bands.
Shaun Dragt will be the guest guitarist for Dire Straits and The Eagles in Durban. The guest guitarist for Dire Straits and The Eagles in PMB – (to be confirmed).
Book at COMPUTICKET, phone or e-mail Roland for bookings:
H 031 205 7602        Cell 082 499 8636   E-mail

Sunday 06 April 2014. Show starts 14:00 - DBN
Sunday 06 April 2014. Show starts 18:30 – DBN

Competition for energy efficient designs

Designers are invited to enter the Eskom Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition with R200 000 worth of prize money.

The competition offers a two-fold opportunity:

- For one, Eskom is inviting high school learners, students and professional designers to think outside the box and submit imaginative lamp designs that not only work, but that are also pleasing to the eye. As the name of the competition implies, it is of major importance that all designs make use of energy-efficient light sources.

- Secondly, professional designers are also invited to submit innovative energy-efficient designs, systems or products that are suitable for residential applications. These may include, for example, a complete lighting system that caters for a low-cost housing development. Once again, the key word is energy-efficiency.

The theme of this year’s competition is: Celebrate 20 years of democracy! and the closing date is 15 August 2014.


Category A: Residential Luminaire Design (Students)
First prize: R30 000
Second prize: R20 000
Third prize: R10 000
Educational institution prize money: R10 000
Top regional finalists (6): Lenovo 7” Android tablet (wifi and 3G enabled)
Total prize value: R85 000

Category B: Innovative Energy Efficient Lighting Design (Professional)
Prize money:
First prize: R40 000
Top regional finalists (6): R5000 each
Total prize money: R70 000

Category C: Most Promising Young Designer (Learners)
Prize money:
Most Promising Designer (Individual): R10 000
Top regional finalists (6): Lenovo 7” Android tablet (wifi and 3G enabled)
Educational institution prize money: R10 000
Total prize value: R35 000

Special Award: Most Promising PDI designer (Individual)
Prize money:
Most Promising PDI Designer (Individual): R10 000
Total prize money: R10 000

Full details are available on the following website:, or from the competition organisers at tel 021 949 7419 / 083 293 2848 or via e-mail at

Market Photo Workshop seeks coordinator
Vacancy: Coordinator: Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (PDP)
To facilitate teaching and learning in the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme (PDP) through logistics and resource management, and to contribute to the development of a curriculum that is relevant to the media sector and contemporary documentary practice.
Job requirements:
  • A relevant qualification (photography, visual arts, media, journalism)
  • Minimum 1 year experience in a junior management or supervisory position within the media, arts and culture industries, non-profit OR minimum 3 years relevant experience in the media, arts and culture, non-profit
  • A good understanding of the needs of photojournalists and documentary photographers in South Africa and the continent as a whole, and also a critical awareness of the nature and role of the media on the continent.
  • Good communication, writing and organisational skills.
  • Excellent computer skills – especially MAC based, good knowledge and understanding of Photoshop, internet research, email
  • Work well under pressure
  • Experience of working at an education and training NGO or similar organisation would be an advantage
  • Compliment the skills set of the Market Photo Workshop
  • Committed to excellence in and relevance of photography education in South Africa
  • Passionate, driven and dynamic
Level of education: Relevant qualification – either in photography, cultural management and/or Media.
Remuneration: R7,500 - R9,000 per month cost to company negotiated according to qualifications and experience. Only applications submitted electronically will be considered and must include:
1. A covering letter: summarise career, explain interest in the position.
2. A comprehensive CV with contactable references.
Manager: HR
Manager: Programmes and Projects

Do business this year at INDABA in the world-class, Premium Lounge
"Think of the Lounge as your office away from the office during INDABA" South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima.
INDABA IS THE single biggest and best opportunity on the African continent for everybody who does business with the African travel and tourism industry.
Based on international trade show best practice, INDABA will this year, for the first time, introduce an exciting new format by launching a new Premium Lounge. INDABA is set to migrate over the next few years from double-storey stands to a beautifully appointed studio configuration.
South African Tourism is directing additional efforts towards the top international travel trade buyers who have expressed or demonstrated their eagerness to make Africa an important and valuable component of their businesses. These influential travel trade buyers have direct responsibility of uncovering products from Africa. The purpose of the new Premium Lounge zone will be to fast-track the focus of INDABA back to deal-making, giving premium exhibitors an area perfectly equipped to accommodate their meetings with buyers.
"Think of the Premium Lounge as your office away from the office," says South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima. "We're locating the lounge in the heart of the International Convention Centre. It will comprise 52 professionally managed office studios that will come equipped with modern furnishings, access to plug points, uncapped high-speed Wi-Fi and regulated branding panels. All these will be designed to make it easy for buyers to find the space of the exhibitor they are scheduled to meet with."
Exhibitors who make use of the Premium Lounge are guaranteed up to 15 meetings with quality, hosted buyers every day. Entry to this zone will be carefully managed to make sure that only people who (literally) mean business are granted access. Hostesses (one per four studio hubs) will be assigned to assist with refreshment requirements. Optimised, managed diaries will give Premium Lounge exhibitors maximum business value and face-to-face meeting time with the best hosted buyers.
Premium Lounge studios will only be available to exhibitors who have already taken up INDABA stands of at least 18 square metres, and therefore already meet the product exhibitor qualification criteria.
Applications for the 52 studios will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. South African Tourism anticipates strong demand for the spaces. To manage this, the application will be available only for 72 hours after it goes live online today at midday (GMT+2).
The cost of a Premium Lounge studio is at a premium as benchmarked against global trade show studio rates. However, in the spirit of partnership, recognizing the transition of INDABA in 2014, and to illustrate tangible support of the trade, South African Tourism will be sponsoring the majority of this cost, for this year only. Premium Lounge exhibitors whose applications are successful will only have to pay the cost of R10,000 ex vat.
Confirmed main exhibitors may apply for a Premium Lounge studio by signing into the Exhibitor Zoneand following the link to the 'Premium Lounge' application form. Complete it, submit it, make payment and the space is yours - provided yours is one of the first 52 applications received, evaluated and verified. The website will give you all the info you need.
"It's that simple," Mr Nzima says, "and it's that easy to secure a beautiful, professionally-equipped space for your INDABA meetings."
South African Tourism and the INDABA team have reaffirmed their commitment to the trade, to craft a revamped groundbreaking travel trade show for Africa. INDABA seeks to showcase best-in-class travel products throughout Africa that optimise the finest experiences that our beautiful continent can deliver, to captivate discerning international buyers. All African exhibitors and international buyer delegates come to INDABA each year to meet, close deals, network, strengthen relationships and plan future business. South African Tourism is dedicated to creating the best possible sales and marketing environment that results in short-term and long-term business to African suppliers.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

News on the FNB Whisky Live Showroom for Durban


If you didn’t know that South Africa makes the best whisky in the world, head to the 2014 FNB Whisky Live Showroom on 25 and 26 April 2014, at Tsogo Sun’s Suncoast Casino in Durban. Here you can taste Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky named World’s Best Grain Whisky at the 2013 World Whisky Awards - competing against the very best from Scotland, the USA and Ireland.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is South Africa’s first single grain whisky and in addition to being named World’s Best it has been awarded gold for the fourth consecutive year at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition, took gold at the  2014 China Wine and Spirits competition and double gold at the 2013 New York International Spirits Competition.

The whisky is inspired by the Cape Mountains and the natural beauty of the area’s magnificent peaks, cool, sparkling streams, wooded valleys and an unmatched wealth of indigenous fynbos. Crafted at the James Sedgwick Distillery situated near the picturesque Bainskloof Pass in Wellington, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain, the pioneering engineer who planned and built the pass in 1853.

Only the finest South African grain is used together with water that flows over 850 million year old sandstone and indigenous fynbos, setting Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky apart from any other whisky produced in the world. The whisky is quite uniquely double-matured and matured for three years in casks previously used for Bourbon, before being re-vatted into a fresh set of casks for a further maturation period that results in its exceptionally smooth and unique taste.

Tickets to the Whisky Live Showroom in Durban cost R150 each when bought online at at, or R170 at the door. All ticket prices include a complimentary tasting glass, a 2014 Whisky Handbook, a 500ml bottle of Valpré Spring Water, 15 tasting vouchers, and a variety of additional value adds.

Visit for more information.

29 May from 6pm
Bring a Blanket a help keep winter chills at bay.
Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Jozi and Cape Town

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A look at Mauritius and Meet Andy Watts in Durban

A luxury lifestyle that makes economic sense

If you’re thinking of migrating to the coast or buying a holiday home at Plettenberg or Camps Bay, think again. For the same money as you’d spend on a modest pad by a chilly sea, you can buy a luxurious apartment, duplex or villa at La Balise Marina in Mauritius with its own private mooring at the end of your garden.

Set in the picturesque Black River district, La Marina Balise sits between a gorgeous backdrop of mountains and warm, turquoise lagoons and Ocean. The trendy town of Black River has every modern amenity, but retains its laid-back charm.

Mauritius is only a four-hour flight away, but it’s a different world completely. It’s almost crime free, boasts year-round sunshine, has excellent schools and medical facilities, a strong and stable economy and a tax rate of 15% for individuals and businesses; making it not only ideal for a holiday, but the perfect place to base your business and your family. La Balise Marina falls under the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS), a government initiative to attract high net worth individuals by granting permanent residency to buyers who spend more than $500,000.

Phase 1 is sold out with all units delivered to their owners and marina infrastructure operational and Phase 2 was launched in March 2014. As Phase 2 is also the last phase of the development, the opportunity to secure a stake in this luxury lifestyle resort is fast becoming limited. Once it’s complete, La Balise Marina will feature 146 luxury units, with 70 apartments, 62 duplexes and 14 villas with a choice of two to five bedrooms. Interior designers on-site can advise you on the décor and furnish everything to your specifications. Cleaning services and fibre-optic internet access are also part of the package. With prices starting at US$700k for an apartment and US$2.6m for a villa (all taxes and fees included), which includes the investor’s right to Mauritian residency for the family (dependents) as long as he owns his property.

With stunning views on the sea and the marina, “Le Sunset” clubhouse features a bar, restaurant, gym, spa, a kids club and an infinity pool, while “L’Estuaire” a small commercial centre is being built with shops and another restaurant. “L’Estuaire” will also be home to the region’s main nautical service providers, offering scuba diving, deep sea fishing, Catamaran cruises and other exciting activities to mention a few.

It’s a sound investment, as La Marina Balise is the only high-end Marina resort on the island with direct water access and fully established marina amenities, creating a unique investment opportunity. Apartments bought for $600,000 three years ago have already been resold for $800,000. Owners not living permanently in the marina will also be able to put their units into a managed rental pool when they are not using them, generating a regular income.

“Mauritius boasts a solid economy, a stable, democratic government and a remarkably low crime rate. With an attractive 15% tax rate, Mauritius is undeniably attractive for anyone who wants a safe and luxurious lifestyle,” says Rob Hudson, MD of South African property development and sales company Hayes, Matkovich & Associates, the marketing company for La Balise Marina.

The project is being developed by a consortium including Investec Bank Mauritius and ENL Group, one of the largest property companies in Mauritius. ENL Group, also being the promoter of projects like Villas Valriche and Bagatelle Mall, the latter being the largest retail centre in Mauritius in which ENL partnered with the SA based Atterbury Group.

The amenities in Mauritius are improving continually thanks to the buoyant economy and forward-thinking government. With first-class health and education facilities, a 92% rate of employment and a vibrant social scene, Mauritius is ideal for a second home or a first-rate lifestyle.


                                                   (Andy Watts) 

Discover the proudly South African Three Ships whisky range and meet Andy Watts, master distiller and pioneer in the South African whisky industry, at the FNB Whisky Live on 25 and 26 April at Tsogo Sun’s Suncoast Casino, Durban.

Andy will share the extraordinary journey of these locally produced whiskies and how they have earned many firsts for the South African whisky industry namely: the first single malt, the first blend of South African and Scotch whiskies, a 100% locally blended whisky and the first South African whisky to take the title as the World’s Best Blended Whisky at the annual Whisky Magazine’sWorld Whisky Awards with the Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old.

Visitors will be able to taste the Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old and Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish, among only seven whiskies from around the world to receive a double gold award at the 2013 New York International Spirits Competition in addition to both taking gold at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge.  The Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish was also named Africa’s Best Spirit at the 2014 China Wine and Spirits Competition. Taste South Africa’s first whisky launched in 1977, Three Ships Select, which received a double gold at the 2014 San Francisco International Spirits Competition.

The whiskies are crafted at The James Sedgwick Distillery in the picturesque Boland town of Wellington. The distillery was established in 1886 and over the past two decades underwent several upgrades which transformed it into a state-of-the-art distillery.

Tickets cost R150 each and can be purchased at or R170 at the door. All ticket prices include a complimentary tasting glass, a 2014 Whisky Handbook, a 500ml bottle of Valpré Spring Water, 15 tasting vouchers, and a variety of additional value adds.

Visit for more information.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The House of Walker is coming to Durban

Experience the House Of Walker at the Whiskey Live Showroom

Discerning whisky lovers and casual enthusiasts alike are set to enhance their whisky knowledge with a House of Walker tasting at the Whisky Live Showroom, taking place at Durban’s Suncoast Casino Sunzone from the 25th to 26th April.

Guests to the Whisky Live Showroom will be able to sample the world’s rarest and most sought-after whiskies, while meeting the stars of the industry. Innovative cuisine and a range of educational and entertaining activities make the Whisky Live Showroom the most engaging way to learn more about this legendary spirit.

The House of Walker stand will host Johnnie Walker’s renowned range of finely crafted whisky, including the historical brand’s Red and Black labels, as well as the prestigious Gold Label Reserve, Platinum Label 18 Year Old, and the coveted Blue Label.

“With the full House of Walker range on offer, guests will be able to truly appreciate the finest whisky that Scotland has to offer – the most awarded blended scotch whiskies in the world with over 195 years of masterful blending experience,” says Paul Madden, Assistant Brand Manager at brandhouse.

The specialised House of Walker tasting available at the stand will offer guests a stimulating insight into the rich heritage of craftsmanship and innovation that underlies the fine whiskies of Johnnie Walker. Led by Alan Schuman, an expert whisky ambassador and member of Keeper of The Qualch Society, this tasting will take guests on an unparalleled journey through the uniquely bold flavours synonymous with Johnnie Walker.

“The House of Walker tasting is a captivating exploration of the iconic flavours that make Johnnie Walker’s whiskies so unique – from the beautifully balanced character of Gold Label Reserve to the complex and powerful notes that lend Blue Label it’s supreme quality,” says  Alan Schuman.   

The Whisky Live Showroom will travel on to Nelspruit and Cape Town on the 16 – 17th of May and 19th – 20th June respectively. Ticket’s are available for R170.00, and include a tasting glass, 15 whisky-tasting vouchers and a 500ml bottle of mineral water for palate cleansing. 

As with anything enjoy the event responsibly.  If you plan on having a party make sure you have a designated driver.

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Join Cindy Pivacic and Lisa Smart-Campos for a Vintage Flair Affair

Aid My Journey-Support and PiNCorg Go Vintage.

Two local NPO founders, Cindy Pivacic of AID MY JOURNEY SUPPORT and Lisa Smart-Campos of PiNCorg (People investing in our communities) have united in raising funds for their non-profit organisations and creating awareness about HIV & Aids and Cancer. The theme of the event is VINTAGE FLAIR AFFAIR which will be held at the Durban Country Club on Friday 06 June 2014 at 19h30.
Cindy Pivacic is a Speaker, Trainer, Counsellor, Author and Activist on HIV & Aids. In 2011 she founded a centre for people living with HIV & Aids to assist them in skills development and knowledge to empower them to get back into the workforce.
Lisa Smart-Campos co-founded PiNC with, Dario Campos in June 2010 to represent five main aspects of raising awareness and socio-economic relevance in South Africa, assisting communities, families and individuals along with various skills developments within KZN and Gauteng. The funds raised from this event will go towards the Computer Skills Initiative for the unemployed and the Bra and Panty drive for underprivileged girls.  
The theme colour for the event is pink and red and the dress code is, vintage. GO BIG! The function will include live entertainment, a fashion show, dancers, raffles and an auction. The evening festivities include a buffet dinner.  Tickets are R 750 pp.
Sponsors for goodie bags, prizes and venue fees are welcome.

For more information contact:
Cindy Pivacic
Cell: 073 739 6044
Lisa Smart-Campos
Cell: 073 953 6771
Cebo Nene

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Funding Database for South African Entrepreneurs

A Powerful Resource For SA Entrepreneurs

Useful link from the Deloitte KZN Funding Fair

This week I attended the Fair and was made aware of a fantastic resource for Entrepreneurs in South Africa.
It is a huge database of funders where you can seek funding for your business idea.  It features details on each fund and contact details and the process.  A great tool for any Entrepreneurs in SA.

To access the Database click on the link below and click on 'Funding Database for DEDT

Funding Database For South African Entrepreneurs

Click on Funding Database for DEDT

(Source - Deloitte KZN Funding Fair)

INDABA Networking Golf Day

9 May 2014
Registration at 9am
Tee-off: Shotgun start at 11am
Where: DCC Beachwood Golf Course
For more info email

This edition by +Fred Felton 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mauritius - An investment destination of choice

Making an investment in Africa is considered to be tricky business, with political instability and economic uncertainty two hurdles that can trip up the unwary. However, Mauritius – Africa’s shining beacon of social and economic stability tops several polls as the safest place to put your finances.
It’s not just the beautiful scenery and balmy tropical sunshine that are persuading entrepreneurs and wealthy foreigners to relocate their businesses or add a villa in Mauritius to their portfolios, but the Ibrahim Index of African Governance hails it as the best run country in Africa the World Bank’s survey of the Best Countries for Doing Business ranked it as the 1st in Africa and 20th globally in 2014.
These economic accolades are backed up by a 92.9% employment rate and 89.9% literacy rate, a 15% corporate and personal tax rateand blissfully little crime. The beautiful beaches, top-notch healthcare system, good flight connections and widely spoken English and French also make Mauritius an easy emigration option.
For businessmen used to dealing with bureaucracy, the Mauritian approach is a breeze. Applications for Occupation Permits or Residence Permits are made through the Board of Investment and are issued within five working days.
These efforts to open Mauritius up to foreign investors were essential after the country’s sugar industry slumped. Sugar now contributes only 1% of GDP, down from 75% in the 1970s.

Further to Sachin Mohabeer, assistant  director at the Board of Investment: “Without investment there won’t be growth or job creation so our strategy is to diversify the economy want to have more investors and high calibre professionals working in the country and more retirees living in the country.”

The strategy to broaden the economy includes capitalising on the natural beauty of the island by allowing high net worth individuals to buy properties in specifically designated areas. Foreigners can invest in property under the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), designed to attract wealthy foreigners and their hard currencies.

The government grants residency to investors who spend at least $500,000 on an IRS home and they can also apply for permission to start a business or find a job. Rob Hudson, MD of South African property development and sales company Hayes, Matkovich & Associates, says South Africans account for 40% to 50% of IRS sales and are often businessmen who want to take some money offshore.

Hayes, Matkovich & Associates is marketing two upmarket IRS resorts, La Balise Marina and Villas Valriche. Villas Valriche boasts the attractive combination of being both a beach resort and a golf estate, with 288 villas. With 146 units, La Balise Marina at Black River is the only IRS resort to feature waterfront access and a marina, making it ideal for wealthy water babies.
Both La Balise Marina and Villas Valriche are developed by the ENL Group, a family-run company listed on the Mauritian Stock Exchange.
Hudson says the IRS policy is incredibly successful in helping to diversify the economy and is also proving a solid investment for the buyers. “You are investing in a stable country with a very low crime rate, an economy that’s doing well and a lifestyle that is hard to match anywhere in the world,” he says.
The first IRS properties to have been resold notched up an average 35% return on investment. Where other international ‘second home’ real estate markets have collapsed in recent years during the financial crisis, Mauritius has stood out with positive growth and continued returns on investment.  With around 40% of investors coming from Europe, this performance in the ‘hard times’ bodes well for when the European investment markets recover.  That said, Hudson does emphasize that Mauritius is a niche market opportunity but not a speculative one and investors should adopt a medium to long term outlook.
Owners can also put their villas into a rental pool, giving them a holiday home of their own that generates a steady income too.
While many South Africans are investing in Mauritius for a holiday home, as a long-term retirement plan, or to base their business there, others see it as a safety net in case South Africa takes a turn for the worse. “It’s a contingency plan for many people,” Hudson says. “You have a wonderful holiday home to enjoy but you also have the option of going to work in Mauritius or running your business interests from Mauritius, where there is an extremely attractive tax rate of 15%.”
The recent slide in the rand has made dollar-denominated foreign homes more expensive, but conversely it is prompting people to take money offshore in case of further deterioration.

And a property in paradise is about as safe an investment as you can make. The Mauritian property laws are strongly in favour of home owners, while the IRS scheme will let you buy a plot now and hold it for up to five years before you build, to fit in with your cash flow.

Prices at Villa Valriche start at $670,000 for a 2-bedroom villa and $800,000 for a 4-bedroom villa, going up to $2.7m. At La Balise Marina, prices start at $700 000 for a 2-bedroom apartment, going up to $3.3m for 5-bedroom villa, all taxes and fees included. Still at La Balise Marina, Duplexes that cost $600,000 to build have already been resold for $800,000.

Mauritius has never been a cheap destination, but with good reason, Hudson says. “It’s a small island and they are not making any more of them,” he says.

* Figures from the Mauritian Ministry of Education

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