RAMBLINGS FROM THE GRUMBLER..
What a year 2015 has been, what with the Russia Ukraine crisis, the war in Syria, the flooding of refugees into Europe, the ongoing and escalating problems in the Middle East, the bombings and shootings in Paris, all our political and economic problems here at home, and the list goes on and on.
Sadly we said farewell to one of my heroes this year, Jonah Lomu.
I patted my dog on the head the other morning and said goodbye not knowing it would be the last time; when I got home from work he had passed away.
My youngest daughter is pregnant and I’m going to be a granddad at last. I am one of the luckiest men in the world; I work with both my daughters and get to see them every day.
I think Johnny Clegg had similar things in mind when he wrote the song Cruel Crazy Beautiful World for his son.
You have to wash with the crocodile in the river,
You have to swim with the sharks in the sea,
You have to live with the crooked politician,
You have to trust in things you cannot see.
You have to trust your lover when you go away.
You have to keep believing that tomorrow will bring a better day,
It’s your world so live in it,
One day when you wake up I will have to say goodbye.
Every day you wake up I hope it’s under a blue sky.
So what’s my point; well I think we can all agree the world is in a mess, we have all experienced tough times this year, and we all have an allotted time on this planet. Being depressed and worrying about things we have no control of will help little; we have to make the most of what we have and enjoy them while we have them, live, love and toil with purpose, until we have to say goodbye.
The industry we work in has changed so much over the years and we oldies will often be heard saying that’s not how things were done in the old days. And the truth be told we are quite correct, but everything evolves and that which seems foreign to us oldies and differing to that which we are accustomed to, now becomes the norm to the new generation. We are fortunate enough in our company to have a team that in many ways resembles the All Blacks, a good mixture of youth and experience (Oldies) and the new generation are more comfortable with the way things operate now and so have adapted our companies operating structures to suit the changes.
Those of you who watched the rugby world cup, may or may not concur with my thoughts. To me the All Blacks are head and shoulders above any other team in the world, they are down to earth ordinary blokes with extraordinary talents. You have the oldies like Richie Mc Caw, Kieran Read and Dan Carter who have astounded and amazed the rugby world for so many years that there is little further anyone can say about their talents. But then as has happened so often at the world cup, the toughest test any rugby player can face, a new talent or talents emerge, 1995 Jonah Lomu, 2015 Nehe Milner Skudder, game changers and future stars.
So this year I would like to base my year end ramble about our young talented staff; the Milner Skudders and Jonah Lomu’s of our team; Not the negative things that go on in the world and at home, nor on the things we cannot change; but rather on the things we can, the things that give us hope.
We have been in business recue for just over a year now; it’s been tough but wonderful, progress has been made due to a collective effort from all our staff, yet one person stands out in my mind as the person who saw an opportunity to take a desperate situation and turn it into a better tomorrow. He is our chief operations officer Arn. Arn has taken on an enormous responsibility and his dogmatic approach, clever planning, development, management and leadership skills have played a vital and key role in our successful comeback trail.
Ed took over Arn’s old position as commercial manager, and has been swamped with work, but Ed does not let too much get on top of him and is doing a wonderful job.
Sarah moved into the buying position, and I must say this is a tough job, but she has excelled, and accomplished miracles under some very difficult conditions.
Samantha has run herself ragged attending to the entire construction departments needs and I know everyone in that department is grateful and appreciative for her efforts.
Taylea has taken on the quoting and signage responsibilities, and is doing very well in this pressure position.
Megan has recently come on board as our company legal advisor, and the benefits of having her on board were evident from day one.
Kevin and Wesley are two of our contracts managers and both have done amazing work this year.
Our two technicians Mike and Pieter B have brought a boost of knowledge to our construction department and we wonder what we ever did without these clever chaps who are making a very positive impact to our team.
These are some of our Jonah Lomu’s and Milner Skudder’s that have, in my eyes, stood out this year, these are the people that will take our company through the hardships of BR, and develop our company into what I believe will be a power house of the future. But we are a team and make no mistake although I have only mentioned some of our emerging talent, our entire team has put in a monumental effort this year, I am and will always be very proud of our company and the wonderful people who work here; I pray you always have the sun on your faces and the wind at your back, that you keep believing tomorrow will bring a better day, and that every day you wake up it’s under a blue sky.
So as the festive season approaches and we look forward to a few days off, let’s put the worries of the world aside and celebrate the birth of Christ, spend time with our loved ones and give thanks for everything we have.
Merry Christmas and God bless
Well here we are; silly season has arrived much quicker than we all expected. 2015 has gone by in the blink of an eye. Lots of interesting things have happened in CREC with projects pouring in at a rapid rate from January until now. Having been moved from the Maintenance Department to the Construction Department meant that some of these larger projects landed on my plate keeping me out of mischief for most of the year. I must just say that I enjoyed my time in the maintenance department having made lots of friends in the industry. Roxy took over my position there and has kept our name on the highly recommended list.
My first project was a 132 cable upgrade installation in the midlands for one of the bigger Municipalities. When the job was handed over to me I could see from the onset that I was going to have many a sleepless night. Having to excavate in some places in the middle of busy streets was a nightmare on its own, we only managed to obtain some of the records of the underground services which again was a challenge on its own. Thank goodness my staff that were allocated to me were all committed to finishing this job in the prescribed time.
As mentioned earlier this was not going to be easy. Our first week we hit an MV cable that was only 200mm just below the tar surface. This was the start to many an underground service that we came across that was never marked but thank goodness we only had three bad incidents. We came across quite a few
underground water leaks that were never even known about and let me tell you to get the local Municipal water guys out was a whole new ball game. In a few cases we fixed water leaks just out of guilt due to water restrictions.
The cable drums weighed 15 tons and came in 750mt lengths with a total of 6. 5km of cable to be installed. This was a new ball game to me having to pull 750mt at a time with a trench that in some places had up to 9 bends going from one street to the next and the next, under busy roads where we had large 20mm steel plates over trenches etc. A very sophisticated winch had to be used that had more than enough power to execute the job. The planning that goes into something like this is extremely important but once all our corners were set up it looked so easy. In some instances we were pulling in a 750mt length within 2hrs, breaking all records. Once all the cables were in the trenches then all the backfilling, reinstating and tarring of the roads had to take place. Gee I could write a book about this job.
This project was an excellent learning curve which we can add to the list of hundreds of the most difficult jobs in the industry. Once again thanks to Allan, Doug, Tyron, Lee, all the ground staff and last but not least Pieter DT who was our site manager from the cable manufacturers in Vereeniging; his knowledge was out of the top drawer. Besides a lot of our road signs and barricading being stolen at a rapid rate, we can hold our heads up high that we executed the project. What is always nice about big high speed pressure jobs is that even in the heat of the moment with tempers flaring we are all good friends at the end of the day.
Another cable upgrade installation that I had taken over from Andre, who was moved to a different position in the company, was down the North Coast. This was a 33kV cable that runs for 6.7kms. There were a lot of problems in the beginning when the skies opened up, flooding and destroying trenches making them into lovely wallowing pools for hippos. This cable route took us under the N2 freeway past a quarry and under a river, railway line and three district roads. The challenges here going through sugar cane fields were just as tasking as working in town being the time of the year when all the snakes come out of hibernation. Our staff came across lots of night adders, cobras, puff adders, African rock python and green vine snakes. This kept Marius on the go all the time running from one end of his job to the other making
sure none of these reptiles were injured; where the staff were in danger then unfortunately they had to be killed which thank goodness only happened once. This was in one of our portable toilets. We still aren’t sure if the snake died of a heart attack when it saw our staff member going for a number one.
ALL THE WATER AFTER A CLOUDBURST FLOODED & COLLAPSED TRENCHES
WATER LOGGED TRENCHES
CABLE INSTALLED WITH ANTITHEFT BRACKETS
STEEL CAGES LAYED OVER THE CABLE TO PREVENT THEFT
DRILLING UNDER THE MANY ROADS
My other work for a local Midlands municipality is extremely busy with endless breakdowns happening on a daily basis. We have been awarded cable upgrading projects for the new hospital opening in that area, which will be opening middle of January next year. This will keep our staff busy through the festive season to be on track.
All my vehicles are coming back to our head office workshops for their annual refurbishment and servicing they are all looking over worked and in need of some TLC.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers, directors, top management and especially the hard working staff members below me a fantastic festive season. I hope the well-deserved holiday is going to bring you all back in high spirits for 2016. Don’t forget to drive to stay alive.
Stay safe and enjoy the drive
When holidays come around its good to think about the safety of you and your family.
So to ensure you get to your destinations safely here are a few tips:
Drunk driving – the facts
Drunk driving is a factor in about one in every five crashes where someone loses their life. Of the people who are killed, 88 per cent are men and 75 per cent are under the age of 40. Alcohol affects your driving skills, moods and behaviour. Once it’s been consumed the effects cannot be reversed. The only thing that will sober you up is time. Getting back to zero (sobering up), takes a long time. No amount of coffee, food, physical activity or sleep will speed up the process.
You don’t have to be drunk to be affected by alcohol. You might feel normal but no one drives as well after drinking alcohol. Novice drivers with any level of alcohol in their blood are at a much higher risk of crashing. This is why learner and provisional licence holders are restricted to a zero alcohol limit.
Since the introduction of RBT (random breath testing) in 1982, fatal crashes involving alcohol have dropped from 40 per cent of all fatalities to the current level of 19 per cent.
When setting off on a long trip don’t leave too early in the morning because your body clock believes you should still be asleep. Have a 15 minute rest every 2 hours.
|Keep an eye out for the signs of Driver Fatigue which are:
If towing a trailer or caravan inspect:
- Tyre condition and tyre inflation – including spare.
- Towbar & towing equipment is secure.
- All electrical connections are secure and lights work correctly.
- Trailer brakes work correctly.
- Rear view mirrors are adjusted correctly.
Good driving techniques
Distance between your car & the car in front
It’s a good idea to always keep a minimum three seconds gap between you and the car in front. When it’s raining and/or foggy double the distance to six seconds no matter what speed you’re doing.
Don’t rush into things. Plan ahead when driving. Make early decisions on braking and accelerating. Change gears and brake smoothly to avoid skidding. This will provide a smoother drive for yourself and your passengers while also providing less wear and tear on the vehicle and helping you save on fuel costs.
Keep left unless overtaking
When driving on a dual lane road always keep to the left lane. Use the right hand lane for overtaking, turning right or when road works are being carried out and there is no other choice.
Always indicate when changing lanes, 30 metres wherever practical, to advise other motorists of what you are doing.
Expect the unexpected
Drive with your line of sight parallel to the road not looking down onto it. By doing this you see further into the distance so you can be better prepared if there is a problem ahead. It may even mean you can avoid a crash.
Ensure you have enough room to go past the vehicle you are overtaking and not cut them off. Pick your time carefully as overtaking can be quite dangerous and making the wrong decision may result in a serious crash.
Stopping before the intersection
Always slow down coming to an intersection especially if you are towing a van. Your braking distance will be greater than when you’re not towing, so make sure you allow for this. You must always stop at a stop sign/line.
HUGH COLEMAN – MECHANICAL MANAGER
Driving at night
Driving at night requires more skill & concentration than at daytime due to your restricted vision. Oncoming headlights can obscure your vision and pedestrians can be near impossible to see. Leave a bigger gap between you and the car in front to allow for your reduced vision and reaction time.
Stay relaxed and try not to let other people’s driving skills or decisions worry you. If another driver makes a mistake don’t get angry just concentrate on your own driving skills, behaviour and safety.
If another driver is courteous towards you, then acknowledge the good deed with a wave.
Unbelievable, 2015 is almost over!
The construction crew have put in some serious man-hours this year. Every single employee worked long-hard hours, over weekends and away from their loved ones. Thank you to each and every one of you!
PHOTOS FROM OUR WORK NEAR THE HARBOUR
WESLEY JONES – PROJECTS MANAGER
The results speak for itself, client confidence was assured yet again and next year we will have to push even harder to keep the ball rolling.
There were some challenges throughout projects but with Mr Grobler and Kevin’s leadership and guidance no challenge is ever too big to overcome. I believe the new structure will iron out most of the wrinkles and 2016 will be a year to look forward to.
EARLY WARNING! Every individual must take their well-deserved break and rest properly because the New Year will kick off with a boom.
On a more serious note. A lot of you made plans to go on holiday, spend quality time with family and celebrate the festive season like there is no tomorrow. Please do it in a safe manner, be considerate to others, manage your budgets, use sun screen and never stop giving to the less fortunate even if it is just adviceJ.
Enjoy your holiday and take care.
WHAT IS HIV/AIDS
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight diseases and infection. No effective cure exists for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. HIV is a virus spreads though body fluids that affect specific cells of the immune system, called CD4 cells, or T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and diseases. When this happens, HIV infection leads to AIDS.
HOW IS HIV TRANSMITTED
HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual contract, contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from Mother to Child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding (known as vertical transmission). Some body fluids such as saliva, tears, sweat, urine or vomit do not transmit HIV, unless contaminated with blood. It is possible to be co-infected by more than one strain of HIV – a condition known as HIV superinfection.
Common methods of HIV/AIDS prevention include encouraging and practicing safe sex, needle-exchange programs, and treating those that are infected. There is no cure or vaccine, however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy.
While ARV treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and have side effects. Treatment is recommended as soon as the diagnosis is made. Without treatment, the average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending in the HIV subtype.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
There are three main stages of HIV disease: acute infection, clinical latency and AIDS.
The initial period following the contraction of HIV is called acute HIV, primary HIV or acute retroviral syndrome. Many individuals develop an influenza-like illness or a mononucleosis like illness 2 – 4 weeks post exposure while others have no significant symptoms. Symptoms occur in 40 – 90% of cases and most commonly include fever, large tender lymph nodes, throat inflammation, a rash, headache, and/or sores of the mouth and genitals. The rash, which occurs in 20-50% of cases presents itself on the trunk and is maculopapular, classically. Some people also develop opportunistic infections at this stage. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea may occur, as may neurological symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or Guillian-Barre syndrome. The duration of the symptoms varies, but is usually one or two weeks. Due to nonspecific character, these symptoms are not often recognized as signs of HIV infection. Even cases that do get seen by a family doctor or a hospital are often misdiagnosed as one of the many common infectious diseases with overlapping symptoms. Thus, it is recommended that HIV be considered in people presenting an unexplained fever who may have risk factors of infection.
The initial symptoms are followed by a stage called clinical latency, asymptomatic HIV, or chronic HIV. Without treatment, this second stage of the natural history of HIV infection can last from about three years to over 20 years (on average, about eight years). While typically there are few or no symptoms at first, near the end of this stage many people experience fever, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems and muscle pain. Between 50 and 70% of people also develop persistent generalized lymphadenopathy, characterized by unexplained, non-painful enlargement of more than one group of lymph nodes (other than in the groin) for over three to six months.
Although most HIV-1 infected individuals have a detectible viral load and in the absence of treatment will eventually progress to AIDS, a small proportion (about 5%) retain high levels of CD4 + T cells (T helper cells) without antiretroviral therapy for more than 5 years.
ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is defined in terms of either a CD4 + T cell count below 200 cell per μL or the occurrence of specific diseases in association with an HIV infection. In the absence of specific treatment, around half of the people infected with HIV develop AIDS within 10 years. The most common initial conditions that alert to the presence of AIDS are pneumocystis pneumonia (40%), cachexia
in the form of HIV wasting syndrome (20%), and esophageal candidiasis. Other common signs include recurring respiratory tract infection.
Most people infected with HIV develop specific antibodies within three to twelve weeks of initial infection. Diagnosis of primary HIV before seroconversion is done by measuring HIV-RNA or p24 antigen. Positive results obtained by antibody or PCR testing are confirmed either by a different antibody or by PCR.
Antibody tests in children younger than 18 months are typically inaccurate due to the continued presence of maternal antibodies. Thus HIV infection can only be diagnosed by PCR testing for IV RNA or DNA, or via testing for the p24 antigen. Much of the world lacks access to reliable PCR testing and many places wait until either symptoms develop or the child is old enough for accurate antibody testing.
Consistent condom use reduces the risk of HIV transmission by approximately 80% over the long term. When condoms are used consistently by a couple in which one person is infected, the rate of HIV infection is less than 1% per year. There is some evidence to suggest that female condoms (Femi dome) may provide an equivalent level of protection.
Antiretroviral treatment among people with HIV whose CD4 count is ≤ 550 cells/μL is a very effective way to prevent HIV infection of their partner (a strategy known as treatment as prevention, or TASP). TASP is associated with a 10 to 20 fold reduction in transmission risk. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with a daily dose of the medication tenofovir, with or without emtricitbine, is effective in a number of groups including men who have sex with men, couples where one is HIV positive, and young heterosexuals in Africa. It may also be effective in intravenous drug users with a study finding a decrease in risk if 0.7 to 0.4 per 100 person years.
A course of antiretroviral administered within 48 to 72 hours after exposure to HIV-positive blood or genital secretions is referred to as post-exposure prophylaxis. The use of the single agent zidovudine reduces the risk of a HIV infection five-fold following a needle-stick injury. PEP treatment is recommended after a sexual assault when the perpetrator is known to be HIV positive, but is controversial when their HIV status is unknown. The duration of this treatment is usually four weeks and is frequently associated with adverse effects.
Even though the approaches, assumptions and results may vary greatly in the macroeconomic models employed in estimating the impact of HIV/AIDS on the South African economy, the overriding message that these models convey remains the same: the cost of HIV/AIDS to South Africa will be significant in economic, social and human terms. However, the accuracy of the models and their results can be faulted for various reasons, not least the shortcomings of current demographic projections and the empirical evidence on the microeconomic impact of the epidemic, shortcomings that can be argued to translate int
both under- and overestimation of the likely macroeconomic impacts of the epidemic. More work is also required to quantify the nature of the impact of the epidemic on specific sectors in the economy. In addition, more recent, alternative methodological approaches can also be explored in further investigating the macroeconomic impacts of the epidemic. Finally, models are also constrained by a lack of clarity regarding the key question of how treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS-affected individuals and households are to be financed in South Africa, given that government at times are unclear as to what policies will be implemented to fight HIV/AIDS.
South Africa currently faces one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. The estimated adult prevalence of HIV amongst 15-49 year olds in 2001 was 20.1% (UNAIDS, 2002), while the ASSA2000 model put adult prevalence amongst 20-65 year olds (in the unchanged scenario) at 24.1% (ASSA, 2003). A recent national household survey in turn has put the 2002 estimate of adult prevalence amongst those older than 25 years at 15.5% (HSRC, 2002). Given that HIV/AIDS primarily effects the economically and sexually active population, the epidemic poses a serious threat to economic growth, development prospects and poverty alleviation. In fact, the predicted macroeconomic impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic make light of the macroeconomic targets of GEAR, given the projected decline in economic growth and employment.
Given that these models project the macroeconomic impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic over a 10-15 year period that ranges from 2000 to 2015 and that the HIV epidemic is yet to evolve into a full-scale AIDS epidemic, the emphasis is therefore on the future challenges that HIV/AIDS poses to the South African economy, rather than the challenges during the first 10 years of democracy.
HIV/AIDS epidemic as described in these four macroeconomic models, whilst section 3 and 4 respectively focus on an overview of the assumptions (input) and projected impacts on economic growth, investment, employment, and poverty (outputs) of these four models. The assumptions and projections of these models are critically adjudged at the hand of currently available empirical evidence on the economics of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
In section 5, the implications to the macroeconomic modelling results of recent changes in the responses of government, business, communities and other role players in South Africa to the HIV/AIDS epidemic are discussed. Section 6 concludes, summarizing the main lessons to be learned from the review and the key questions that remain unanswered by current research on the economics of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
CATO RIDGE POLICY
Cato Ridge Electrical recognizes :
- The promotion of equality and non-discrimination between individuals with HIV infection and those without, and between HIV/AIDS and other comparable health/medical conditions.
- The creation of a supportive environment so that HIV infected employees are able to continue working under normal conditions in their current employment for as long as they are medically fit to do so.
- The protection of human rights and dignity of employee’s living with HIV/AIDS is essential to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.
- HIV/AIDS impacts disproportionately on women and this will be taken into account.
- Consultation, inclusivity and encouraging full participation of all stakeholders are key principals of the HIV/AIDS Policy.
CONFIDENTIALITY & DISCLOSURE
All persons with HIV/AIDS have the legal right to privacy. An employee is therefore not legally required to disclose his or her HIV status to CREC or any other employee.
When an employee chooses to voluntary disclose his or her status to the employer (CREC) or to other employee’s this information may not be disclosed to others without the employee’s express written consent. Where written consent is not possible, steps will be taken to confirm that the employee wishes to disclose his or her status.
CREC will strive to encourage openness, acceptance and support for those employees who voluntary disclose their HIV status within the workplace, including :
- Encouraging persons openly living with HIV/AIDS to conduct or participate in education, prevention and awareness programs.
Encouraging the development of support groups for employee’s living with HIV/AIDS.
- Ensuring that persons who are open about their HIV/AIDS status are not unfairly discriminated against or stigmatized.
Under “Section 7” Employment Equity Act, CREC will not require an employee or a job applicant to undertake a HIV test in order to ascertain a status.
CREC may provide testing to an employee who has requested a test as part of a health care service provided in the workplace :
- In the event of an occupational accident carrying a risk of exposure to blood or other body fluids.
- For the purposes of applying for compensation following an occupational accident involving a risk of exposure to blood or other fluids.
Such testing may only take place at the initiative of the employee :
- Within a health care worker, employee/patient relationship.
- With informed consent and “Pre” and “Post” test counseling as defined by the Department of Health’s National Policy.
- Also only with permission of the Labour Court.
CREC ensures that all testing, whether authorized or permissible will be conducted in accordance with the Department of Health’s National Policy on Testing for HIV, and will always be voluntary and anonymous.
CREC will ensure employees understand what the test is, why it is necessary, the benefits, the risks, alternatives and any possible social implications of the outcome.
COMPENSATION FOR OCCUPATIONAL ACQUIRED HIV/AIDS
In terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseased Act, an employee may be compensated if he or she becomes infected with HIV as a result of an Occupational Accident.
A full investigation regards the Occupational Accident will be conducted to confirm employee was infected due to the incident.
CREC will take reasonable steps to assist employees with application for benefits.
Employees with HIV/AIDS will not be dismissed solely on the basis of their HIV/AIDS status.
When an employee becomes too ill to perform their current work, CREC will follow accepted guidelines regarding dismissal for incapacity before terminating an employee’s services.
(Such as: Obtaining permission from the Labour Court for a test.)
CREC will ensure that as far as possible, the employee’s right to confidentiality regarding his or her HIV status is maintained during any incapacity proceedings.
COMPANY, EMPLOYEE UNDERSTANDING.
- CREC will assist employee’s within the above boundaries, who have voluntary disclosed their HIV/AIDS status to the Company.
- The employee must apply for leave to attend any “Program or Clinic” requirements related to the above.
- The “Leave Application” must be made directly to Mr. A. Petersen, closed envelope and must be done timorously.
- Proof of attendance at Counseling or Clinic must be produced.
operational and caused some panic during this period. It was pleasing to note that the 800kVA Generator that CREC installed was in full swing and served its purpose throughout the entire period.
Just something our Maintenance and Construction staff can take note of:
Pub & Diner
11th – breakfast in a cup
A few more weeks until the annual shut down…
WE’VE HAd A GREAT YEAR Filled with FRIENDS AND FAMILY ASWELL AS LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP…J
We are very thankful to everyone that have had their year-end functions with us, they all turned out to be huge successes, thank you to everyone that helped us out J
We will be having more year–end Christmas functions in December for some of our local companies, we are looking forward to seeing all the old faces as well as the new faces, we hope that we make each and every one of you feel comfortable and welcome in our home.
2015 has been an awesome year we hope that 2016 will be just as amazing.
We are looking forward to the New Year, we will be bringing out a new menu as well as new specials. If anyone has suggestions for next year you know where you can find us.
wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year
We were very fortunate to have participated in the 40th Witness Garden Show this year. We had an exhibition garden in the Main Hall, our first time for which we received a Bronze Medal. We also had a commercial stand and did really well.
Below is the article/feedback from the Committee:
The Witness Garden Show 2015
The 40th garden show took place from the 24-27 September 2015 under its new banner The Witness Garden Show, with The Witness on board as naming media sponsors. Despite the hot weather, the number of visitors recorded was 17 160. Several changes to the format of this year’s show were implemented by Tanya Visser and the team from Lonehill Trading as the managing and marketing team, which worked closely with the Royal Agricultural Society on all the aspects of the show. The 150 exhibitors who attended the show have given very positive feedback and many have expressed an interest in participating in the show in 2016. The theme ‘Symphony of Spring’ was an inspired choice as it gave the show an added dimension and allowed the organisers to add an orchestra, jazz band and various other musicians to the mix, to the delight of the visitors. The added element of music is something the organisers would like to continue for future shows.
Some of the changes implemented by the management team saw many of the societies moved to different positions within the Showgrounds and these were positively accepted and worked well.
The Schools element to the show was changed to a one-day event, with 18 schools participating in a Young Garden Designer’s competition in 1.5 x 1.5 m spaces. They had to include a recycling project as part of their designs, using products from ABI, the main sponsor. This event took place on the Tuesday before the show opened so that they could have a separate prize giving on the day. The standard of the school designs was outstanding and they thoroughly enjoyed their day.
The Happy Earth Hall included the schools, the Bonsai Society and, for the first time, the Cycad Society – a busy hall with lots of activities and exhibits under the Happy Earth umbrella.
The Orchid Hall was intended to move to Hall 1, but the Pietermaritzburg Orchid Society chose not to participate in show and so Hall 1 was changed to the Plant Hall. The society’s withdrawal has consequences for the Orchid Conference due to be held next year, but we will be in contact with the committee to find a way forward. In the Plant Hall we had the Plantae Orchid Club display, the Clivia Society display, and sales of bonsai, clivias, orchids, bromeliads, clematis and succulents, which made this a very popular hall for plant enthusiasts.
The Go Green Hall was added at this year’s event for the first time. Gavin Larkin from The Expo Factory paid for use of the space in Hall 4 and negotiated with the exhibitors. He has reported that, apart from the weather, his exhibitors were pleased with the show.
Floriate was divided into 3 halls and 2 commercial halls, as well as being part of the exhibits in the main hall. This added yet another element to the main hall and provided interest in the 2 commercial halls. These exhibits were of an exceptional standard and proved to be popular with visitors.
The Garden Clubs, similarly, were included in the centre of a commercial hall and the 4 garden clubs that participated built excellent gardens as shown by the awards they received:
Silver Gilt – Highway Garden Club
Silver Gilt – Cramond Garden Club
Silver Gilt – Hilton Garden Club
Gold with Laurels – Pot Pourri Garden Club
The Icing Guild remained in the Illovo Hall, the Quilters Guild was moved to Council House and the Art Show was moved to the Grill Room. These organisations produced a very high stand of exhibit and were also popular with visitors.
The societies were judged as a whole by the organisers and did very well:
Clivia Society – Bronze
Plantae Orchid Club Display – Gold
Cycad Society – Gold
Bonsai Society – Gold
Happy Earth Hall – Gold
The Quilting Guild – Gold
Baking and Creating with Illovo – Gold
Floriate Society – Gold with Laurels
The highlight of the show, from the feedback received, was undoubtedly the feature garden exhibits in Parks/Olympia Hall. What the public doesn’t see is the immense amount of planning and implementation that goes into building a feature garden, and the men and woman involved in building these displays are to be commended for their excellent gardens and their dedication to making this show a success. Six of our feature garden designers were new to this event and did an outstanding job in building their first gardens at the show. These included three small landscapers who outdid themselves in the artisanal category. The awards this year are as follows:
Mbombela Local Municipality – Bronze
City of uMhlathuze – Bronze
SANBI – Bronze
Kwadukuza Municipality – Bronze
The Gardener – Bronze
Plantimex (by Bronwyn Jordaan Landscaping) – Bronze
Parklane SUPERSPAR (by Andrew Carr Landscaping) – Bronze
Msunduzi Municipality – Silver
Blackwood Nursery – Silver
Mangaung Metro Municipality – Silver Gilt
Gordon Stuart Landscaping – Fresh-line Flora – Silver Gilt
The City of Cape Town – Gold
Midlands Rose Society – Gold
Gordon Stuart Landscaping – Wilson’s Stone Pots – Gold
The Royal Agricultural Society – Dave Moore – Gold with Laurels
eThekwini Municipality – Gold with Laurels
The Indigenous Gardener (by Anno Torr)– Bronze
Arnfred Nursery (by Mara Petersen) – Bronze
Indigenous Landscaping (by Elsa Pooley) – Silver
Best on Show – eThekwini Municipality
The City of Cape Town – Big Thinker
Msunduzi Municipality – most improved
Kwadakuza Municipality – CEO Award
Indigenous Landscaping – Best first timer
One of the new areas introduced was the Gourmet Food Hall in the Members Dining Room, which spilled onto the terrace overlooking the main arena where the Dog Show was held on the Saturday and Sunday. Adding this extra element in the food hall, as well as the outdoor vendors and the permanent and semi-permanent restaurants, has been a great success this year. As this was the first year for the food hall, there are some changes to be made, but on the whole it was a success, particularly moving the Dog Show to in front of the terrace, which the visitors loved.
Also new was the opening of Hall 10 as the Kids Zone. The children were thoroughly catered for and this is an area that can definitely grow.
The Main Arena included the ever-popular Midlands 4×4 course, cars and classic cars and vintage tractors. This area has loads of potential, which the organisers will be working on for next year, however there is a good basis on which to improve.
The staff of Lonehill Trading, as the newcomers to the show, would like to thank the hard-working staff of the Royal Agricultural Society for their dedication to The Witness Garden Show and for their support to the staff of Lonehill Trading, in particular the mentoring and support from Mr Terry Strachan, the highly regarded CEO of the RAS. There are some very big positives from the 2015 show and some work to be done, and we look forward to the countdown to the next show from the 23-25 September 2016.
This being, our last newsletter for the year, I would like to thank every customer we have had the privilege to do work for. As always, I would like to thank my staff for their hard work this year. We have had some really complicated landscaping jobs to do this year, but they just kept on going strong. Without the continuous support of my family, I would not have been able to succeed as I did. Thank you, Thank you.
Our annual shut down will be from Friday, 18th December to Wednesday, 6th January. I will be on call if anyone needs assistance.
Have a Merry Christmas and all the best wishes to you all for 2016.
ECA AWARDS 2015
Cato Ridge Electrical Construction came second in two categories for the ECA Presidential Awards.
Ghamiet and Raphael attended the Gala Dinner and were given these certificates of Achievement. (Seen in the Picture)
This is a major accomplishment because projects are chosen throughout South Africa and are judged by Price Water House & Coopers who are renowned Auditors.
To be selected from many other contractors is a real accomplishment.
The categories are:
- Best Industrial Installation – Richmond Pump Station
- Best Safety Installation – Natcos
All credit must go to the Managers, Supervisors and staff who worked on site that made this possible.
IN OTHER NEWS
Happy Birthday to the following people:
2nd December – Pierre Coetzee
17th December – John Carter
31st December – Ed Squires
19th January – Sean Kelly
26th January – Derek Ngwira
Word of the Month
CREC – Awards Day 2015
It is said that it is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is standing up and taking action. Today we are celebrating the fact that someone stood up and took that action. Today we are celebrating commitment and sheer hard work.
We are celebrating Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, you see, sets fire to the imagination. It asks “What if?” and “If I did?” “What should I do” and the results depend on the answer to those questions.
Today we are honouring those who asked those questions and committed themselves to finding the answers. We are honouring those who went beyond the call of duty. We are about to present awards to the winners who wouldn’t take “No” for an answer.
They knew that there were answers to be found. They understood that in the long and arduous research trail often there would be obstacles. They discovered that some of the answers they got were not to the questions they actually asked. There were times of frustration and confusion.
Let us be under no delusion about this, those we honour today “HAD” the support and encouragement of family and friends. Without that back-up they could not continue to do what they have done.
Today they can celebrate because they have “HAD” results, they have enriched our knowledge. Today we also thank our Managers and Supervisors for their encouragement and support. These chosen few are given these awards because they know that your work brings the future closer for all of us. They have faith in what you are doing and in what they hope you will continue to do.
Today you have turned disappointment into success. Through your efforts you have found some of the answers we needed.
Finally I want to bring to attention to all, that to succeed in life one can use the acronym of H.A.D.
H– Hard work (To achieve in life one must work hard in all facets of your life).
A– Ambition (Do you have a goal in life. Where do you want to be in 5,10,15 years’ time)
D-Discipline (One must be discipline, to work, study, play, participate etc. etc.).
On the 13th of November we had our year end Awards Day to say thank you to everyone for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year, especially through business rescue. Staff had a chance to vote for who they felt deserved these awards and that’s what the results were based on at the end of the day. The awards were broken into 4 categories as follows:
- Thank You Awards
- Comical Awards
- Prestige Awards
- Top Awards
Thank You Awards
These were given to the 3 staff members who have proved themselves to be the most dedicated, loyal, helpful, selfless, hardworking employees over the years that they have been working at CREC.
These were broken into 3 categories, namely The Lochness Award, The Duct Tape Award and The Wikipedia Award.
Lochness Award: This award is for the person who everyone feels is least likely to be found, whether its in the office or on site. He’s always where he needs to be but he’s never there. This employee is the “Invisible Man”. This award went to Luke Barnard who ironically wasn’t present for the awards day as he had a wedding to attend.
Duct Tape Award: This award is for the person who is able to fix just about anything. This employee always thinks outside the box. This was awarded to Vic Lotter.
Wikipedia Award: This award is for the employee who always has an answer to every question, whether right or wrong. This employee could be described as our very own walking textbook. This was awarded to Arn Petersen (and I think we all can agree that he didn’t look very impressed with this).
All jokes aside, these were the more serious awards.
Excellence of Company: This award is for the employee who knows where everything is and keeps it where you can find it, saving you time and money. For always knowing where to find tools, spares, stock and files. This award was split between three employees as they got equal votes. They were:
Charlmari Kronmöller Marius Coetzee Samantha Erasmus
Leading By Example: This award is for the employee who helps others and improves the organisation by training and collaborating. This was awarded to Michael Jordaan.
Going Above and Beyond: This award went to the employee who is continually looking for ways to improve, puts in the extra hours to get his work done, is hard working and loyal. This was awarded to Ed Squires.
Unsung Hero: This award went to the employee who shows that they do their best without expectations of acknowledgement, this individual works hard and gets things done without praise, is very reliable and goes about their day to day works without complaints. This was awarded to Sarah Petersen.
Marvelous Multi-Tasker: This employee is the “Jack of all trades”, multi-tasker, is diligent, does charitable work, is fearless. They make everything go smoothly, is an excellent teamworker but works well alone too. This employee always has a plan. This award went to Charl Jordaan.
Calm in the Eye of the Storm: This award went to the employee whose planning makes everything go smoothly, they stay calm through “the storm”, they try to keep others calm under pressure. This employee always has a sunny disposition. This award shows appreciation for the employee’s resilience when things are hectic. It was awarded to Wesley Jones.
Overcoming Obstacles: This award goes to the employee who relentlessly works towards a solution, despite obstacles or resistance and is generally confident, determined, they look at the problems and can see a different solution. This employee is never negative. This award went to Pieter Breytenbach.
These were the main awards. They were broken into 3 categories: The “Power of One” Team Award, the Employees Manager Award and the Employees Employee award.
“Power of One” (Team Award): This award recognizes cross-functional groups, task teams or committees who participated in problem solving, used collaboration, consultation and synergy to build relationships within teams and outside of the team, they embraced change as an opportunity for growth and innovation, they planned and implemented strategies that were in the best insterst of CREC and they took proactive approaches to finding long lasting solutions to business challenges. This was awarded to the Richmond Project.
Kevin Sievwright, Michael Jordaan, Pieter Breytenbach, Aubrey Dube, Javen Hlako, Armsy Canham, Ephraim Kwali, Anton Marais, Eric Ndawonde, Innocent Lukhozi, Thulani Chonco, Joseph Dlamva, Terry Vaughan
Employees Manager: For excellent management skills, going the extra mile, customer service, professional development, creativity and innovation, performance excellence, leadership, commitment and flexibility. This is the manager that every employee looks up to. This was awarded to Kevin Sievwright.
Employees Employee: For the employee that does things for others that are beyond their job requirements, performing in an exceptionally coutreous and cooperative manner, makes creative suggestions that save time/money, produces a high quality of work over an extended period of time, is always calm, respectful, positive and a happy influence on others. This is the employee that everyone looks up to. This was awarded to Pieter Breytenbach.
A note from Arn
There are always two sides to a story, two sides of a coin and two ways to face the day, especially when one recollects after a difficult and challenging year.
The year has been a roller-coaster to say the least but amidst the difficult economy there is always opportunities and it is in those opportunities that show what a company’s true strength of armour is. Cato Ridge Electrical Construction’s (CREC) armour has been our dedicated and loyal Staff, Customers and Suppliers, without these three pillars of armour CREC would not be the company we are today.
I am proud of CREC’s accomplishments throughout 2015 and I know that nothing can hold back a motivated company who have an excellent ability to deliver even when the odds are against us. In the months to come, I feel confident that CREC will persevere in a manner that will result in an increase in sales, success and more importantly enhancement of our relations with our customer and supplier base.
I thank all Staff, Customers and Suppliers for your continued support throughout 2015, I trust you will all have a well-rested break during the Christmas period and I wish you all a most prosperous and positive new year.
The outlook for the coming year is brighter than it has been for some time; with a positive and assertive attitude, nothing can stop us!
All the best
Chief Operations Officer (COO)
The next edition of our news will be published on Friday 29th January 2016