Attention all CREC staff

Re: Year-end Appraisal

It is always a pleasure to write a letter to the staff of the company, especially after a difficult and challenging year.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciated the extra mile all staff went to in this year (2016). I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their efforts throughout the year. The success of our company is built on the efforts of our employees and in this past year we have enjoyed many successes. Thank you for the dedication, loyalty and commitment that each one of you has shown CREC.

We’ve come through a year that was filled with both challenges and victories. It has been very reassuring to know that we can count on all of you regardless of what faces us. On behalf of CREC (BR team, Directors & Management), please allow me to extend my personal and genuine appreciation to each and every one of you for your valuable contributions to this company. Working with you this past year has been a pleasure and we’re proud to have you all with us.

We offer our best wishes and happiness to you and your families.

Here is to another hair-raising, positive and memorable 2017.

Best regards


Arn Petersen


ECA  Awards 2016

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Left: Finalist for Reticulation Contractor of the Year

Right: Arn Petersen (holding the trophy) accepting quite an interesting looking award on behalf of Cato Ridge Electrical Construction (Pty) Ltd (on display in reception)

On behalf of the directors, we would like to congratulate Cato Ridge Electrical Construction (Pty) Ltd on winning not only one, but TWO awards in the annual ECA (Electrical Contractors’ Association) Presidential Excellence Awards. We won First Prize for Industrial Installations, which is the most sought after award in South Africa and Finalist for Reticulation Contractor of the Year. This is an outstanding achievement especially considering the difficulties and obstacles that we as a company have had to face and overcome during the past two years.

We want to really thank all the staff from the bottom of our hearts for all their hard work, support and dedication because without all you amazing people we would not have achieved this accomplishment.

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 Oom Bills Final Farewell

Almost 12 years at CREC.

My 1st interview with Kim was in his office in February 2005, the next one was appropriately in a Pub, employed as Marketing Manager at Specialised Electrical Components, now Voltex MV/LV Solutions.

In my working life of 55 years in the electrical industry some of my best years were at CREC. Each and every day was different, particularly if you were going on a business trip or customer visit with Kim; you never knew where you might end up, or with Andre, getting lost far north in the sugar cane fields.

When I changed to marketing for CREC my travels, mainly with Kim, took me to places such as North Coast, South Coast, East London, Cape Town, all over Durban, PMB, Newcastle, Bloemfontein, Kimberly, Potchefstroom, Ladysmith, JHB & Pretoria where we became, as English speaking Sharks supporters, honorary members of the Cave Pub in a Predominately Afrikaans speaking and Bulls supporting Pub in Pretoria North, some achievement!

International travel was another experience. Travelling to Maseru, flying in a heavy storm to Maseru; Lesotho, Swaziland a few times, where we had no option but to share the honeymoon suite, but that is another story! Mozambique, Maputo, Beira, Dombe, deep in the bush where not even birds existed.

pic-5 Then the trips to Morocco and South Korea, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would visit these countries, All these trips were hard work, but lots of fun as well.


All the trips I had with everyone at CREC was a lot of fun to me, and I ended up in some lovely pubs found along the ways. A cold beer was always required to quench the thirst after many kilometres of travelling. Through all the travelling I met many customers, many who had never heard of CREC, then the best kept secret in KZN and Southern Africa.


(Left)Kim, Rob Harrington & I having supper at the market in Marrachech, Morroco

(Right) The choices available

As time went on age was catching up and I joined Peter assisting with tenders, big and small, putting in plenty of hours compiling these tenders, frustrated by suppliers trying to obtain quotations, but very satisfied when the tender was delivered. Highly satisfied when a tender resulted in an order. Thanks to Sarah, and Charlmari for adding the final mostly “waste of time” documents required. CREC has a reputation of submitting quality tenders keep it up Charlmari and Taylea!

The G Spot, what can I say! Every day was a lot of fun, all the discussions, everything about anything, who can ever forget Jägermeister? The G spot is another story, as is Ja Bru!

As mentioned before some of the best years of my working life were spent at CREC, thanks to the friendship of all. Through the trials and tribulations, always a TEAM. Keep it up!!!!!


 Oom Bill


Yearly rumbles and groans from The Grumbler

December, and the Christmas break has come so quickly this year, it seems as though only yesterday I was writing a year end message for 2015.

2016 has been a horrific year, our economy appears to show no promise of recovery and for that very reason the entire country and its people find themselves under immense stress and pressure to make ends meet.  Daily I see the strain of it on every ones faces and actions.pic-10

Every day I worry and pray for our country and people; as we watch South Africa slide into what appears to be the same pitfalls most African countries have fallen into since gaining their independence.

I see ethics, integrity and compassion wither away, making room only for greed and power. But it is not only us nor the African continent, who are experiencing tough times; the whole world seems to be on a downward spiral.


Yet it is said after the darkness comes light; oh how we hope and pray for the light to come sooner rather than later. My wife has the uncanny knack of seeing the good no matter the situation; so let me attempt to take a page out of her book.

Our large project in Ladysmith has run smoothly this year, and as the plant expands so too does our scope; I believe this proves our staff have impressed the client with their dedication and sound work ethics, and in doing so have given the client the confidence to retain our services.

Many small projects have been undertaken this year and many of them have had extremely tight deadlines which have necessitated an awful lot of extended hours and weekend work in order to meet these deadlines. Our staff have endured these trying conditions without complaint and shown exemplary dedication and commitment in not only completing these projects timeously but also producing very aesthetic installations.

The directors, administration, commercial, procurement, legal, maintenance and tender departments have worked tirelessly keeping the ship afloat and deserve, along with the construction department, an enormous pat on the back and a gigantic and much appreciated thank you for overcoming all the storms and seeing us through some very tough times. I cannot single out any one person for going the extra mile or for outstanding feats in 2016; but can without reservation say each and every member of Cato Ridge Electrical have in their own way achieved outstanding feats and gone the extra mile. It is on that note that I convey my thanks and deep appreciation to every single member of Cato Ridge Electrical, you are a unique and very special group of people.

It is now time to look forward to 2017, with optimism, anticipation, courage and faith that our endeavours will be prosperous that our actions be positive and that our Cato Ridge Electrical emerges triumphant in the coming year. That our personal goals are achieved and our economy and country surface from the darkness into a light so bright that our children’s children can harvest from it in the years to come. We trust our 2017 big generator project in Gauteng will be a resounding success and that our other big promising endeavour for 2017 will be realised later this month, which will give us a wonderful boost in the New Year, and that the new challenges will be relished and undertaken with gusto and enthusiasm.

So in conclusion; I now look forward to a relaxing break over the festive season, enjoying the company of family and friends and my granddaughters very first Christmas. I wish you all a wonderful relaxing festive season, and pray the good lord blesses you all and that you all return safe, invigorated and ready to take on the challenges of 2017.

Best wishes and God bless.

The Grumbler

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CONSTRUCTION & Maintenance

Hi everyone from the maintenance department. Well it certainly looks and feels like it was a blink of any eye and Xmas is upon us. No one can say that this year has not gone by super quickly, it really feels like just the other day we talking about the same thing!

We are trying to wind down for the end of the year festive season but to be quite honest I would love a bit more work to roll in before the year ends. Looking back at the rollercoaster ride that we all experienced this past year we come to realise that it has taken its toll on a lot of us but has made us stronger all at the same time. I must say having too much work instead of too little is a better feeling with regards to the stress level.

My maintenance department has shrunk in numbers with people having left for greener pastures, others having been moved to different departments and Wimpie my mechanic having been boarded due to his badly damaged arm caused from his horrific hit and run motor bike accident. But besides all of this it’s not that bad as we are managing to get all our work done on time. We have had a spate of generator services and repairs that has kept Vic busy. Obviously people are gearing up for their shut down periods when everyone is on leave and there are power failures.

Marius is busy modifying the 12 metre containers that are going to house the 5 new 2000KVA generators for a Johannesburg hospital; these will be the biggest generators that we have built to date. An immense amount of planning has taken place to make sure that this project is synchronised with minimal time delay. I simply can’t wait for these genies to be installed and commissioned; this will be an adrenalin rush of note.

All my vehicles are clocking up thousands of kilometres trying to service our long list of customers every day, we will be going through them all over our shut down period to make sure we have minimal breakdowns and standing time. Don’t forget as the year draws to an end please have your vehicles checked for any faults especially if you are traveling long distances. You and your families are important to us.

For those of you who haven’t decided where to go for you year-end break here are a few options.

Where to go in South Africa

Choosing where to go in South Africa is a bit like selecting which countries to visit on a global tour – each region is that different. From the sparkling city of Cape Town and the bottle-green hills of the Cape Wine lands to the wild reserves of Kruger, Madikwe and the fantasyland that is Sun City, we’ve selected our favourite places of interest in this highly diverse country.

 Cape Town: one of the world’s most beautiful cities

An unbeatable blend of stunning natural beauty and year-round fun makes Cape Town an easy city to fall in love with. For starters there are the beaches – so many you’ll struggle to single out a favourite – and then there’s hiking on iconic Table Mountain, the penguins of Boulders Beach, the ever-popular V&A Waterfront, the nearby Cape Wine lands and picnics and concerts at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Add to this a superb selection of accommodation, award-winning food and wine experiences plus a colourful collection of friendly locals and you’ll soon see why this captivating city was recently voted the “World’s #1 Travel Destination” (Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, 2011).

pic-13Cape Wine lands: vineyard-clad valleys close to Cape Town

  • The green valleys and Alpine-style Mountains of the Cape Wine lands are a treat for both eye and palate: sip, swirl and sample award-winning wines, indulge in gourmet cuisine, or wander down oak-lined streets to local art galleries, all to a stunningly scenic backdrop. Although only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, we guarantee that a night or two in this peaceful patchwork of vineyards and mountains will dissolve any lingering city stress.

Eastern Cape: malaria-free Big 5 safaris

  • For an exciting and stress-free family safari the Eastern Cape is hard to beat: a combination of child-friendly lodges in malaria-free reserveswithin driving distance of the Garden Route means an unforgettable family holiday. But it’s not just families who get to have all the fun in the Eastern Cape: these Big 5 reserves also have a handful of secluded, luxurious lodges that are among our favourites for a romantic safari away from crowds and kids.

Kruger Park: phenomenal Big 5 game viewing

  • South Africa’s largest and best known reserve, the Kruger National Park is home to the country’s greatest diversity of wildlife and includes the super-celebrities of the safari circuit: Africa’s Big 5. Why pick Kruger for your South Africa safari? It’s where to go in South Africa for guaranteed big game sightings, there’s accommodation to suit every style and budget, and being so well connected by air, you can easily round off your Big 5 safari with a few days on Cape Town’s beautiful beaches or even a tropical island off the Mozambique coast.

Garden Route: beaches, forests & seaside towns

  • South Africa’s Garden Route is a natural playground of soft sand, warm sea, shady indigenous forest and laid-back little towns. Families will love the safe swimming beaches around Plettenberg Bay; adventurers can go hiking, horse riding or dolphin spotting; romantics can dine at restaurants overlooking Knysna’s peaceful lagoon (ask for the oysters!) and the wide selection of accommodation caters for everyone.

Sun City: Africa’s premier holiday resort

  • Under three hours from Johannesburg lies South Africa’s undisputed ‘Kingdom of Pleasure’ – Sun City. If you’re looking for true escapism and non-stop entertainment then this is without question where to go – there are championship golf courses and world-class casinos, a slide-filled water park plus nightclubs, shops, restaurants … they’ve even built their own beach! And if that’s not enough, Sun City is right next to the Pilanesberg Big 5 Game Reserve.pic-14

Pilanesberg Game Reserve: great game viewing & close to Sun City

  • Once a volcanic crater, the Pilanesberg Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s best wildlife destinations and is centred around a large hippo and croc-filled lake. Although conveniently close to Sun City, these two top destinations feel words apart: some visitors choose to stay in Sun City and pop across for a half-day safari, but with such great Big 5 game viewing on offer plus a wide choice of excellent safari lodges, we’d highly recommend a night or two in this beautiful piece of African wilderness.

KwaZulu-Natal: beaches, safaris & historic battlefields

  • It’s often said that locals know best, and when South Africans go on holiday their top choice is often the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). From the broad beaches of the sunny KwaZulu-Natal subtropical coast and the luxury accommodation of its big game reserves to its soaring mountain peaks and historic battlefields – KZN is where to go in South Africa for game viewing, bird watching, adventure, history and on-the-beach relaxation.

Madikwe Game Reserve: Big 5 game viewing away from the crowds

  • About a 3-hour drive or short charter flight from Johannesburg lies one of South Africa’s least known large reserves: Madikwe Private Game Reserve. Its Kalahari grasslands and woodlands are surprisingly full of animals and one of the best places to see the highly endangered African wild dog plus the Big 5. What’s more, if you’re looking for a family safari, the great news is that Madikwe lies outside the malarial belt and offers excellent family-friendly lodges as well as romantic retreats and honeymoon suites.

pic-15Johannesburg: restaurants, museums & an electric energy

  • Until recently most visitors to South Africa would whiz through Johannesburg, stopping just long enough to catch their connecting flight. Nowadays, however, Johannesburg (or Jozi as it’s known to the locals) is undergoing a revival and has become a destination in its own right with a fantastic selection of hotels and guest houses, a thriving café culture and thrumming night life. Catch the ultra-modern Gautrain straight from the airport to the heart of Sandton with its shining shopping centres filled with high-end boutiques, and give your credit card a good workout. Finally, for greater insight into South Africa’s recent past we’d highly recommend a visit to the Apartheid Museum – it’s a highly informative and moving experience.

To all our customers, directors, fellow managers and employees at Cato Ridge Electrical I wish you all a fantastic festive season. Let 2017 be the talk of the town with tons of health and wealth coming to all of us.










pic-18Are You Safe or Just Lucky?


pic-19How many times in the past–both on the job and at home–have you said to yourself, “Wow that was a close one?”

No matter what department you work in–production, maintenance, the warehouse, or in the office–accidents can     happen.     That’s why we all need to be reminded from time to time to keep safety first.We are committed to preventing accidents through safe work practices and safety education–not luck.  Think safely in    everything you do.

We are committed to preventing accidents through safe work practices and safety education–not luck.  Think safely in everything you do.

Awareness on the Job

Over 80% of all workplace injury arises from worker behaviour.  We make mistakes, errors in judgement or simply do not have our full attention on the job and something happens.  There is also a tendency to get so focused on getting the job done that we do not recognize the obvious.pic-20E.g.  A few years ago in the main shops there was an incident where a fairly new worker fell into a hole in the floor and required several stitches in his leg.

The opening was well flagged off and the whole affair seemed a mystery.  The post incident interview went something like this:  So, you saw the caution tape? “Yes”. And you do understand what caution tape means?  “Oh, yes.”  And you stepped over the caution tape and fell into the hole?  “Yes, that is pretty much what happened.” Either this guy was a complete moron or there was some other explanation.

On further questioning, it turned out that he was on the end of a tag line at the time.  He was so focused on keeping the plate steady that the consequences of stepping over the caution tape did not register.  At first this seemed unbelievable.  However, some recent research on workplace injury confirmed that focussed concentration on a task reduces the capacity to recognize obvious hazards.  And a significant number of workplace injuries result from this kind of inattention.

This applies directly to vehicle operation such as forklifts or even pickup trucks. There is a felt sense of pressure to get something done, we are driving totally wrapped up in the job and do not even seen the person walking in the path of travel.  Every year there are countless incidents like this.

Are there pressures and intense focus in our jobs?  You bet.  But it is how we deal with the pressure, how we handle the intense focus that is important. Now and again we have talked about the four second reset as a way of attuning ourselves to the hazards around us.

Sometimes all it takes is a big breath when we sit behind the wheel of a vehicle.  In truth, it is some conscious act of getting outside of the pressure or job focus that prevents this type of incident.  How we do this is our individual preference or way of psychologically handling the job demands here.

There is an old story about a man who is riding a very fast horse.  As he gallops past a bystander the person shouts, “Where are you going in such a hurry?” The man answers, “I don’t know.  Ask the horse.” The very same situation happens with many of us at work.  We get caught up in the busy day.  Direct the horse once in a while and you won’t ride over one of your co-workers or fall into a hole.


Have you seen a crucial block lately?  We’re not talking about football, we’re talking about blocking as it relates to safety and your work area.  We’re talking about blocking important elements of the workplace from access.

One of the most common things you can see during a safety inspection are blocking violations if you know exactly what to look for.  What types of things should not be blocked? Below is a partial list of common items in most workplaces, however, there can certainly be others:

  • Emergency Exits
  • Eyewash stations and showerspic-21
  • Electrical panels
  • Electrical disconnects
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Pedestrians aisles

How serious is this issue? Locked and blocked exits were factors in the deaths of 25 and injury of 53 in a 1991 North Carolina

fire that resulted in the owner of the company going to prison. The good news is that blocking is easy to identify and fix.  Consider painting zones around these areas and installing signs to inform people they can’t be blocked.  Regular inspections and emphasis on blocking is the most important element to preventing such issues.  Specifically look for items that “have always been there” as these permanently blocked items need to be addressed.

Even OSHA or other regulatory agencies have rules on blocking such items. They are important and access to these things can be critical in a time of emergency.

Take a look around your work area today when you head out.  See if there is clear access to the electrical panels and fire extinguishers.  Let us know if something is blocking access.  Look to see if any items have been “permanently” blocked by design.

It is certainly better to go 1 metre further for a fire extinguisher than it is to have to move carts, racks or other items just to get to it during an emergency.

Stay safe and don’t depend too much on luck!


Safety Moment: House Fires


(Research in USA, AUS, SA and India)

  • 55% of all DEATHS are due to house fires occurring in developed urban areas
  • 25% of fire deaths occur in developed township areas
  • 18% of fire deaths occur in undeveloped urban areas (squatter camps) (although the number of houses burnt down is much higher)
  • 2% of fire deaths occur in rural areas
  • Reasons: People get trapped by their own SECURITY DEVICES (security gates, locks, window bars, etc.) – most people simply just could not get out!

Causes of house fires

  • 65% of cases are due to COMPUTERS – people leave them on overnight, the fan burns out and the computer overheats and ignites
  • 15% is due to DEVICE CHARGERS in wall sockets (cell phones, games, etc.)
  • 20% is due to washing machines, stoves, ovens and arson

What to do in the case of a fire  pic-22

Remember – humans lose 60-70% of their senses during sleeping. Electricity normally ‘trips’ during a fire ensuring that there are no  lights to move by.  The house becomes filled with smoke and disorientation becomes a reality.

Your number 1 priority is to GET OUT!!

Get down on all 4’s and crawl to the nearest exit (be it a door or window); even if you need to wrap yourself in a blanket/duvet and jump through a closed window – DO IT!!

DO NOT try to go back once you’re out.

Once a fire has started in a room spontaneous combustion of bedding, linen and curtains will cause thick, poisonous smoke.

Temperatures measured at head height during the fire is generally 400-500ºC (heat rises) and about 40 ºC at 30cm above the ground; therefore STAY DOWN AND GET OUT!!

Preventative Measures

  • Fit smoke alarms in your home (Pick n Pay Hyper sells them for +-R100 each)
  • Fit one in each bedroom and one in the passage – they will buy you time (5 minutes can be the difference between life and death)
  • Switch off the gadgets that are not in use overnight
  • Don’t put washing in the machine or tumble dryer overnight
  • Have an exit plan – exercise this plan regularly with your children
  • Have an assembly point in the garden, away from the garage with flammable items

  •   Get 2-3 fire extinguishers (R100-R150 at Midas/Mica) and use them as door stops – KEEP THEM HANDY!


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pic 18Pub & Diner


2nd – Gumbo seafood soup

9th – g-spot pasta alfredo

 A few more weeks till shut down…


G-spot is ever thankful to everyone that have had their year-end functions with us, it has turned out to be a great success,

thanks to everyone that helped us out

G-spot will be having more year–end Christmas functions in December with our local companies, we are looking forward to seeing all the old faces as well as new faces, we hope that we make each and every one of you cosy and heart-warming in our home.

G-spot has had a great year filled with love, laughter, sadness and happiness, it’s been an awesome year and we hope that next year will be even more amazing.We are looking forward to the New Year, g-spot 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.

 G-spot wishes everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year…

Roll Up Party Starters (Roly-Poly)  pic-28

1 Pack Puff Pastry


Bacon (streaky, back, shoulder)

Grated Cheese

  1. Roll out the pastry.
  2. Spread a thin layer of Bovril on the pastry.
  3. Pack a layer of bacon on the pastry on top of the Bovril.
  4. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese over the bacon.
  5. Roll the pastry back up and slice thinly length ways.
  6. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20mins at 180º
  7. Serve while hot.


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 On 25 November 2016 CREC had their 2nd annual awards day. Unfortunately some staff were M.I.A due to a last minute business trip and they certainly missed a ceremony to remember.

Give a round of applause to our winners:

Appreciation Award: This certificate is in recognition of your commitment, dedication & performance for the period 2015/2016 and was awarded to Maintenance – Tom Ndlovu (second from the left); Construction – Shadrack Zwane (far left); Head Office – Arether Mkhize (second from the right)

a1Comical Awards – not to be taken seriously:

Selective Hearing Impairment Award: For always hearing what you want to hear and was awarded to Arthur Du Preez

a2Yackety-Yack Award: For never being at a loss for words – ever. The sound of silence is a foreign concept. This was awarded to Billy Wentzel

Unfortunately Billy was not present for the awards due to a delay in his flight from Ghana.

Mission Impossible Award: For accomplishing the impossible. You are now expected to do this every time. This was awarded to Terry Vaughan


Prestige Awards:

Excellence of Organisation: This employee knows where everything is and keeps it where you can find it saving you time & money – for always knowing where to find tools, spares, stock and files. This was awarded to Aubrey Dube

a4Leading by Example Award: For the employee who helps others and improves the organisation by training and collaborating. This was awarded to Sean Kelly

Unfortunately Sean was not present as he was in Mozambique for business.

Going Above & Beyond: This employee is continually looking for ways to improve, puts in the extra hours to get his/her work done etc. Is a hard worker & is loyal. This was awarded to Sarah Petersen


Unsung Hero: This award goes to the employee who shows that they do their best without expectation of acknowledgement, this individual works hard & gets things done without praise, very reliable & goes about their day to day works without complaints. This was awarded to Nndwakhulu (James) Mabada

a6Marvelous Multi-Tasker Award: ‘Jack of all Trades’, multi-tasker, is diligent, does charitable work and is fearless. Makes everything go smoothly. Excellent team worker & works well alone. This employee always has a plan.

This award was split 3 ways between Alfred Mathonsi (second from left), Taylea Petersen (second from right) & Derick Ngwira (far left)

a7Calm in the Eye of the Storm: This employees planning makes everything go smoothly. Stays calm through ‘The Storm’. Tries to calm others under pressure. Sunny disposition. This award shows appreciation for the employee’s resilience when things are hectic. This was awarded to Kevin Sievwright



Over Coming Obstacles Award: This award goes to the employee who relentlessly works towards a solution, despite obstacles or resistance and is generally confident/determined, who looks at the problems and can see a different solution. This employee is never negative. This award was split 3 ways between Pieter Breytenbach, Hugh Coleman and Sandiso Sitha

a9Top 3 Awards:

Power of One A.K.A the A-Team – For team effort (i.e. a select multiple of staff who performed well as a team): This award recognises 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. Embraced change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. Planned and implemented strategies that were in the best interest of CREC. Took proactive approaches. This was awarded to the Stores Department – Arthur Du Preez (middle back), Joe Mashaba (front right), Scelo Mncwabe (second from left back), Sarah Petersen (front left), Mandla Shelembe (front middle), Ed Squires (back right) & Helene Williams (second from right back)


Employees Manager Award: For excellent management skills, going the extra mile, customer service, professional development, creativity & innovation, performance excellence, leadership, commitment & flexibility. The manager every employee looks up to. This was awarded to Wesley Jones

a11Employees Employee Award: For the employee that does things for others that are beyond his/her job requirements. Performing in an exceptionally courteous and cooperative manner. Makes creative suggestions that save time/money. Producing a high quality of work over an extended period of time. Always calm & respectful. Positive & a happy influence to others. This is the employee we look up to. This award was split two ways between Sarah Petersen and Terry Vaughan

a12Some after party shots with the Potency Girls that were organised by the G-Spot:



 Ghamiets Trip to India

In November Ghamiet took a little trip to India to see some clients. He took a few pictures while he was there so that we can see just how much life differs to our life here in South Africa.





Birthdays November/December/January – Happy Birthday to the following people whose birthdays we missed in November, and to those still to come in December and January:


11.11 – Alfred Mathonsi       birthdays

               14.11- Anton Marais

             27.11 – Luca Petersen 

           02.12 – Pierre Coetzee

         31.12 – Ed Squires

      19.01 – Sean Kelly

     22.01 – Sindi Bhengu

   26.01 – Derick Ngwira     

a19 a20

Ambrose Williams

Word of the Month



The students before one of their many trips to site



A wise man once said drinking alcohol is like borrowing fun from tomorrow. He might’ve been right, but here are a few ways to help you through the hangover!

a23So you got utterly debauched last night didn’t you? Now it’s time to wade through the motions of regret, self-pity and a heavy head. You have foggy memories of how life used to be, and will do ANYTHING to undo this pain.

We can’t promise an instant miracle cure for hangovers, but almost. It depends on what poison you chose and how well your body can cope with seeing it off. We can however offer some very effective tips on becoming human once again.

It’s far easier to prevent a hangover so we’re starting this guide there, but you can skip to aftermath cures if you’re already on the edge.

Before you go out

1. Line your stomach

a24 You’ve probably heard people waffling on about how dangerous it is to go out on an empty stomach, well turns  out there’s truth to that.

Devour a nice greasy meal before drinking, the fat will help to line the walls of your stomach. This slows down the rate of alcohol absorption which means you’ll be less likely to wake up with a splitting headache.

Drinking a pint of milk will also have the same effect, and a shot of olive oil helps too. Yum.


2. Drink LOADS of water

Drinking alcohol blocks the creation of a chemical called vasopressin. This means that your kidneys will send water straight to the bladder instead of retaining it in the body – and is the reason you need so many toilet trips once you ‘break the seal’.






 Drinking booze can expel up to four times as much water, quickly leading to dehydration, the main cause of those dreaded hangover headaches and dry mouths.  Want to wake up feeling fresh (and amazed)? Simply have a glass of water between each beverage.

3. Stock up on the necessary supplies

a26Prepare for the worst. You really don’t want to end up in the black hole of craving a cure but unable to even crawl out the front door to the nearest shop.  So take a note of anything that sounds like it will save you from yourself in tips 11-14 below, and get stocked up in advance! You’ll thank us tomorrow.

4. Keep healthy


Okay, we get that this one’s kind of a long term goal rather than a quick fix,

but you’re much more likely to be affected by hangovers if you’re not fit, active and healthy.

 During the night

5. Keep it light

As you’ve probably already figured from trial and error, different types of alcohol produce different types of hangovers.

This is down to the congeners in the drink – something which is produced when the alcohol is fermented.Basically, the more congeners there are the more rotten your hangover is likely to be.


As a rule, there are more congeners in darker drinks such as red wine, whiskey or dark rum. White wine, vodka and gin on the other hand contain much less, so are a better choice (but may still leave you feeling rough!).

 6.  Don’t overdo it on the dance moves


Now we love a good dance but don’t overdo it or you’ll feel like one of Michael Jackson’s zombies in the morning.  Science tells us that if you totally exhaust yourself, you’ll end up getting even more dehydrated and depleting your energy levels much faster.  No need to be a party pooper though, just don’t twerk too hard.

7. Walk home

a30First off, it’s best not to walk home alone drunk, so find your buddy first. And don’t attempt to walk in heels.

This aside, walking home can help you to sober up and clear your head, making for a much less painful morning time.

8.  Pace yourself.

a31It’s our duty here to remind you that the NHS recommends that guys should not drink more than 3-4 units of booze a day, or 2-3 if you’re a girl. To put this in perspective, a small glass of wine is about 1.5 units and a pint of beer somewhere between 2 and 3.  It takes your body around 1 hour to break down 1 unit of alcohol (basically a shot). Cross this line and your hangover is cooking.

We know that students will probably go over these limits, but it is worth thinking about how much you’re drinking and how to pace yourself.

If you leave a gap between your next drink you’ll give your body a chance to process the alcohol you’re drinking and lessen the hangover effect.

 9.  Keep off the  fizz

a32We all know that pacing yourself and drinking some soft drinks is a smart idea, but be careful what you choose kids. Drinking fizzy drinks will actually speed up the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your system and so rather defeat the point.

And, before you ask, this also applies if the alcoholic drink you’re glugging is fizzy too. So a vodka orange or apple juice would be a better choice than a vodka coke mixer, for example.

10. Avoid Mixing

a33You probably knew this anyway, but mixing different types of alcohol never really ends well in the hangover stakes.

Because different types of alcohol have different level of congeners as well as other chemicals, they’ll all have a slightly different effect on you.

Add it all together and the result is a mixed up mess and a banging headache. Pick your poison of choice and stick to it!


11.  Keep drinking that water

Yea, we know, we mentioned this one already but drinking water while you’re out boogying and a bit when you get back will help to make sure you stay hydrated.The main reason you get headaches is because you don’t have enough water in your system; the other organs in your body will steal supply from your brain causing it to shrink and cause owies and upsets in your head.


Anyway, what’s the point of making sure you’re hydrated beforehand if you’re only going to throw it all away later?

The morning after

AKA Doomsday. Waking up from the night before is something no one looks forward to.  Alcohol can take up to 11 hours to leave your system, but these tried and tested tips will help you to recover faster.

12.  Painkillers

Your first thought will probably be to reach for some painkillers, and it’s not a bad shout as they will help with your headache – just make sure to pick the

right ones.  The most effective is ibuprofen, but only the recommended dose.  Aspirin will do the trick in relieving a headache, but it can soon wreak havoc if you’ve got a sensitive stomach and potentially make you feel sicker.




Ideally, if you’re still functioning before you slump into bed after a big night, knock back an ibuprofen with a cup of water to help you along

13.  Replace lost salts

a36Dehydration is the biggest reason you feel so crap. Water will help, but isotonic drinks like Lucozade Sport and Powerade go another step. These can work wonders on hangovers, as they’re designed to replace sugars and salts quickly. They’ll give you energy and rehydrate you.

If you’re really in a bad way, take a Dioralyte sachet. Yes, we know them for treating diarrhoea (which you may well have) but being hung-over puts your body in a similar position with depleted salts and minerals.

 14.   Eat

Eating, even if it seems like the worst idea in the world, is really important for getting you on the road to recovery. You can’t eat just anything, but there are a few options.

Depending on how bad you feel, a trusty fry-up is always a great option as they help replace fatty acids and break down the alcohol in your liver. Eggs are particular savours here as they contain something called taurine, which has been shown to even reverse liver damage caused by alcohol!

If you’re feeling a bit too delicate to face a fry-up, a safer option to get you going would be some mild flavoured carbohydrates such as wholemeal toast or crackers, which should give you a boost without upsetting your fragile stomach too much.

Drinking too much can also deplete your potassium levels so eating some bananas in the morning will also help (a swift banana before bed is also a great shout if you can remember!).






15.  Drink to restore balance.

No, not more booze.

A glass of fruit juice helps by giving you a sugary kick and energy, as well as getting rid of the toxins in your body whilst replacing some of the essential minerals you’ve lost.

Milk will work well to replace the calcium you’ve lost, while ginger tea(or even just ginger on its own) can help with nausea.

Another option is drinking milk thistle tea, which is said to be a hangover godsend. Boiled water with honey and lemon will also help boost your blood sugar and vitamins.

16.  Distract yourself

a39When you’re in the throes of a hangover it’s easy to let the ground swallow you up in a pit of self-loathing and despair. Unsurprisingly – that doesn’t help.  Distract yourself with something enjoyable but not too taxing, like these lazy students or just looking at pictures of cats.

17.  Don’t drink coffee



Coffee may be the obvious port-of-call for most sufferers, but it’s actually a diuretic and causes your body to lose water quickly. Coffee is also the number one cause of those horrible sweats and heart palpitations we’re all prone to when we’ve had a night on the sauce – our advice is avoid coffee like the plague!

Opt instead for some water (we know, you’re sick of hearing that one), fruit juice, or anything we mentioned before instead and you’ll feel better in the long run, we promise.

18.  Don’t start drinking again

a41Hair of the dog? Forget it! Drinking more might ease your pain for a few hours but it will only make the crash even worse when you get to that point.

It’s also a slippery slope to constant drinking, which is by no means healthy or desirable.

19.  Have a long shower






Freshening up can do wonders for your mind. If you’re not already late for work then jump right on in there with your rubber duck.

Be careful not to make it too hot, otherwise the heat can go to your head and make you nauseous. A great option is to shower with the window open for a bit of fresh air too – bliss!

 20.  Sleep it off

a43One of the other side effects of drinking is the disruption of your sleep cycle, which is one of the reasons you still feel a bit pants even if you did get a decent amount of sleep. Combat this the only way you know how – just sleep some more! If you’re not going to be productive anyway, you might as well just admit defeat, and instead focus on getting the sleep you need to get back on form.

 21.  Exercise


The whole idea that you can “sweat it out” is a little questionable but that doesn’t mean that exercise won’t help you now.Some gentle exercise, with lots and lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated, can boost your endorphin levels and give you a mental kick.

This said, we appreciate this sounds like a lot of effort.

22.  Sunglasses it up

Along with all the other joys of a hangover, you might also find yourself prey to hypersensitivity with things like bright lights or loud music.


Make sure everyone turns it down a notch for the day (or grab some earplugs if you’re worried about this making you unpopular) and if you need to leave the house, put on your best sunnies. No one will even question it (unless it’s raining).


The next edition of our news will be published on Tuesday 31st January 2017