Thursday, April 8, 2021
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Should You Invest In Property Right Now?

If you didn’t know this already, there are better and less better times to be buying a house and/or invest in property.

The interest rate is the lowest it has been in a decade in South Africa, does this mean that you should head out and capitalise on the market by investing in property right now?

Due to the economic downturn that Covid-19 brought, the repo rate has been cut with a total of 300 basis points to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and in attempt to assist cash-strapped consumers.

The SARB (South African Reserve Bank) controls the repo rate (repurchase rate); the interest rate at which SARB lends to South African banks. This, in turn, determines the prime interest rate, and then the rate at which banks will lend to its customers. The prime interest rate is the repo rate plus the amount added by the bank to ensure they make a profit on their loans.

The repo rate cut means that banks are bringing down their lending rate, which means consumers will need to pay lower interest on their debt, and that translates into much-needed financial relief.

For those planning to buy a home, the drop in interest rates will now make it easier to qualify for a home loan, because the required household disposable income will be lower. It will also make it easier for new owners to afford their monthly home loan repayments.

This means it’s an ideal opportunity to buy property – either as an investment or as a move up the property ladder. The record-low interest rate opens doors for those wanting to buy property as a long-term investment. Those who wanted to buy in specific neighbourhoods but couldn’t afford the prices; or those who were renting because they couldn’t afford to buy, may very well now be able to consider putting in offers to purchase.

The Caveat

Even though the reduction in interest rates might seem like a golden opportunity to buy a home right now, there has been an unexpected and rapid recovery in the housing market. Experts predicted that the market would fall by between 5 and as much as 14%, but it rose with 1.4%. Not significant by any measure, but opportunists planning on capitalising on a price crash would be disappointed.

This means that while the interests rates lowered, property prices have increased slightly. The good news is that the rise in the price of houses is minor to the drop in rates, still making this the best time to buy in quite some while.

And while nobody can be certain of what’s to happen in the future, it’s highly unlikely that any more cuts will be made, which means that people will capitalise as much as possible at this moment, which in turns means that the price of houses will not fall due to supply and demand being at play.

So, according to us, one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This is by no means financial advice, but one has to assume that this is the best time it has been and will be, for a while. If you are fortunate enough not to have been affected by the pandemic in any way and were thinking to buy property in South Africa beforehand, it’s a fantastic time to pull that trigger.

Can you get a loan after being laid off due to covid-19?

As a result of the lockdown imposed on South Africans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been laid off in an already-struggling economy and a high unemployment rate.

With income streams suddenly and unexpectedly cut, people have to look to other options in an attempt to keep their households afloat during this time, the easiest of which is to take out a loan.

Being employed is the foremost requirement in applying for a loan, though it’s not impossible to qualify for a loan without employment. That said, it might still be extremely challenging to find lenders willing to borrow money to people who do not have a solid income. It’s also worth noting that if lenders should loan to the unemployed, the interest rates will be elevated as there is a higher risk involved.

Nevertheless, there are still two main loan options available for the unemployed.

  1. Secured loans

With the need to provide a form of loan security, secured loans, whether for the employed or unemployed, rely on some sort of collateral from the borrower in order to be granted. Usually, possessions that qualify as collateral for a secured loan include (but are not limited to) your house, your car, your flat, gold and jewellery, luxury watches, or any item with a high value. Lenders need to note that secured loans come with a repossession feature which lenders can activate should a debt fail to be paid off.

The item which money is loaned against is normally kept safe and secure by the lender themselves. Therefore, it goes without saying that the item should be of such a nature that the borrower can do temporarily, and possibly permanently, without.

  1. Co-signer loans for the unemployed

By applying for a loan with a co-signer, you can dramatically improve your chances of being approved for a loan by reinforcing or substituting your ability to pay with someone else’s. Both parties need to understand what they’re getting into though. The co-signer should understand that should the borrower not be in a position to pay the loan back, they will be the one responsible for the repayment. At the same time, the lender should understand their responsibility to pay the loan back.

Therefore, a co-signer can be anyone that you know, whether it’s a family member, relative, or friend. However, a co-signer must have a high credit score to increase the chances of being granted a loan as well as being able to land a lower interest rate.

Although it would be optimal to apply for a loan with employment and proof of income, secured loans, and co-signer loans are still available for those in dire need of financial assistance while they’re unemployed. And while these are viable options for the short term, we urge unemployed people to be taking out a loan if all other options have been exhausted. And whatever you do, stay away from loan sharks.

Keep Your Staff and Your Workplace COVID-Safe with Swipe In

As part of the alert level three lockdown regulations, it’s mandatory for organisations to screen all employees and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19 before their entry to prevent the transmission of the virus in the workplace.

In addition to staff having to adhere to social distancing, the semi-permanent wearing of masks, and regular sanitising measures throughout, to keep the workplace safe from COVID-19, businesses are required to keep an access registry of everyone who enters the workplace, as well.

Many businesses defaulted to using outdated techniques to comply with the regulation, but we believe that there’s a better way…

Introducing Swipe In

Swipe In is designed for business owners to easily comply with the new legislation – by digitalising the sign-in process. The software enables you to easily keep records on who enters your offices or buildings, but more importantly, keep you, your staff, and workplace safe against COVID-19.

The cost-effective and easy-to-use app is the ultimate self-screening solution. Fully functional on any tablet or mobile device with an internet connection, once a company or individual is registered, access is gained to configure the tools to preference. Include in the low monthly fee, registered individuals have free access to the mobile app which allows them to complete the screening questionnaire remotely, before arrival.

The system validates entrants who have completed the questionnaire and had their temperature checked, based on their mobile number. Confirmed entrees will proceed to have access to the establishment in question and further access to all other Swipe In institutions, without additional screening, for 24 hours.

Companies can view and configure all the settings, such as linking employees and viewing full reporting on all entries, date- and timestamped. An additional feature allows one location or building to add multiple companies or divisions for visitors to choose from on entry.

The purpose of Swipe In is two-fold: not only does it simplify the mandatory check-in process for entry to the office, but it also keeps COVID out of it, making it the all-in-one solution for your sign-in registry process.

It’s a must-have for any business operating during this pandemic, get Swipe In today.

How does a Builders Warehouse Cash Loan compare to other banks?

Builders Warehouse Cash Loans

Do you find yourself short of some cash from time to time? Sadly, this happens to us all. Sometimes, unexpected expenses creep up in the middle of the month. Maybe your car broke down, or your geyser burst, or family expenses appear that you didn’t plan for.

Thank goodness for cash loans to receive funds directly and quickly into your account. Borrowed money that alleviate financial hardships or supplement unbudgeted emergencies. But it’s not just to get you out of difficulties, cash loans can also be used for home remodelling, home moving, or making a large purchase such as buying a car.

Builders Warehouse offers cash loans of up to R250 000 to finance everything you need for your home. You can apply online from the comfort of your home or while on the go from your smartphone. Funds get deposited directly into your account within 24 hours of approval. Which is comforting, due to needing the cash as soon as possible. But how do Builders Warehouse’s cash loans compare to other banks?

Here is a comparison when looking at loans to remodelling our house:

Builders Warehouse Cash Loan

You can borrow any amount from R1000 to R250 000 depending on what you plan to do, and how much you need to do it. The repayment terms can be anything from 12 to 60 months at fixed monthly installments. The application process is paperless, which makes it so much easier to apply, and even the statements are received via email or SMS. Customer protection insurance is involved to insure  death cover, temporary and permanent disability, or loss of income. The client also gets the ability to re-advance the funds already paid after a period of time. Builders Warehouse promises a guaranteed never-exceeding maximum interest rate of 27.25%, as described by the National Credit Act.

Example: You borrow R7 500 and plan to repay over 24 months. The annual interest rate is 27.25%, the initiation fee is R936, and the monthly service fee is R69. This brings us to the total amount payable, which is R13 286. Every month’s installment would be R554 for 24 months.

So how do you get these funds? First of all, you must be 18 years or older, like with anything else in South Africa. You should have a valid South African ID or driver’s licence. You should be employed, obviously, because how would you repay the amount borrowed otherwise? With that being said, you should at least earn R2000 monthly, and supply proof of income documentation – payslip, paycheck, statement, etc. It’s probably best to familiarise yourself with the Ts and Cs too.

Absa Personal Loan

Absa promises loans to turn your dreams into reality. They offer a wide range of loans from express loans to personal loans of up to R350 000. We’ll focus on the big one for the purpose of this blog.

Again, you can either apply online or by visiting your nearest Absa branch. Any amount from R3 000 to R350 000 can be borrowed, over any period from 12 to 48 months. A personalised annual percentage interest rate (APR) is applied up to the maximum of prime +17,5%.  For peace of mind and to be prepared for the unexpected, a credit protection plan from Absa Life Limited or any other licenced life insurer, can cover you in case of death, disability, critical illness or retrenchment.

Example: You borrow R7 500 and plan to repay over 24 months. The interest rate could be anything between, the initiation fee is R937.25, and the monthly service fee is R69. This brings us to the total amount payable, which is R11 098.41. Every month’s installment would be R531.43 for 24 months.

What you need: a bank account, a regular monthly income of at least R2000, a valid ID document or smart card, proof of residence and three month’s bank statements. Oh, and yes, of course, you need to be 18 years or older.

Nedbank Personal Loan

Nedbank offers personal loans as stepping stones to better your life. Loans are available from R2 000 to R300 000 with flexible repayment periods from 6 to 72 months. The monthly repayments will automatically be debited from your account at the best possible interest rates they can offer you. Also, an online application and the money will be deposited directly into your account when approved.

Example: You borrow R7 500 and plan to repay over 24 months. The interest rate could be between a minimum of 9.75% and a maximum of 27.25%.  The initiation fee will be R937.25, and the monthly admin fee will be R69. The total amount payable could be anything between R11 129 and R13 034. Which means that every month’s installment could be between R463.69 and R543.09 for 24 months.

To apply you’ll need a South African ID or smart card, be employed and earn at least R3 500 per month, one month’s payslip with a letter of employment, the latest three stamped bank statements, as well as proof of residence.

FNB Personal Loan

FNB offers personal loans of up to R300 000 and you have the freedom to choose any repayment period between 1 to 60 months. The interest rate is personalised and could be as low as 13%. This loan protects you from interest hikes, guaranteeing a fixed monthly repayment amount at a fixed interest rate. Additional benefits to an FNB personal loan are that your eBucks Reward Level gets boosted, you can take a break in January when keeping up with your monthly repayments, a customer credit plan is included, and you won’t be charged extra if you settle your loan account early.

Example: You borrow R7 500 and plan to repay over 24 months. The interest rate could be a minimum of 13%. It’s not clear what the initiation and monthly service fees are, but we assume that it’s similar to the other banks. The total estimated amount payable would be R8 557.53, which means that every month’s installment would be an estimate of R365.56 for 24 months.

To qualify for an FNB loan, you should be between the ages of 18 and 64, be a permanent SA resident, be employed or self-employed, have a SA ID or smart card, provide a recent payslip, proof of residence, as well as bank statements.

Standard Bank Personal Loan

You can apply for a Standard Bank personal loan via internet banking or using their banking app, and instantly get a 2% discount on the interest rate, which could save you up to R407 monthly. With a fixed monthly repayment amount, you can feel comfortable with any amount up to R300 000 with an option of a repayment period between 12 to 72 months. It’s an easy online loan application with an annual percentage rate of prime +17%. When you have enough UCount Rewards, you have the option to cover the monthly installment with it.

Example: You borrow R7 500 and plan to repay over 24 months. The interest rate could be a minimum of 20.50%. The interest and fees would amount to R188. The total estimated amount payable would be R12 000, which means that every month’s installment would be an estimate of R500 for 24 months.

What you’ll need for a Standard Bank personal load is your SA ID number, proof of residence, one month’s payslip, and three month’s bank statements, if you don’t bank with them.

Capitec Loans

Capitec offers loans to help manage your financial life better. Any amount is available, ranging from R1 000 to R250 000 at any repayment period of 1 to 84 months. The monthly repayment installments are fixed at an interest rate from 12.9%. These loans come with affordable credit insurance, including retrenchment and death. Capitec offers an option to consolidate all existing loans for easier monthly repayments as well as easy management from their app.

Example: You borrow R7 500 and plan to repay over 24 months. The interest rate could be a minimum of 12.9%. It’s not clear what the initiation and monthly service fees are, but we assume that it’s similar to the other banks, or cheaper. The total estimated amount payable would be R8 549.08, which means that every month’s installment would be an estimate of R356.21 for 24 months.

Capitec’s requirements to apply for a personal loan are to be 18 years of age or older, have three month’s bank statements or payslips, proof of residence, as well as a SA ID number.

It seems that Builders Warehouse cash loans might be more in monthly repayments compared to the banks, but keep in mind that the annual interest rate is calculated at 27.25%. The option of re-advancement on the capital already paid is also an advantage the banks don’t offer. When applying for a cash or personal loan, make 100% sure about the interest rate applied, as it may be fixed or fluctuating, or personalised. The repayment period will also have an effect on the interest rate used.

Cost-effective Tips on How to Survive Load Shedding.

Cost Effective Load Shedding Solutions

Load Shedding in South Africa – Cost Effective Solutions for Everyone.

Load shedding…now you either have one of two reactions. One, building up steam to get rid of the frustration that life AND Eskom throw at you. Or two, you accepted the fact that we’re living in a world where our energy crisis is kind of the norm these days and you find the memes going around on social media are quite clever and, uhm funny… and you reshare it because why not? South Africans have a good sense of humour, transforming everything serious to something hilarious.

Load shedding is not a new term; it’s been around for over five years now. If you haven’t adjusted to the fact of possible load shedding yet, start now. We’ll take you through alternatives, the benefits and the cost of each.

Daily average household power consumption

Before we dig into the alternatives, let’s clear the confusion of an average household’s daily power usage. If you could guess, what is the average your home consumes daily? (According to Eskom the average daily consumption is 30kWh. Which is ridiculous. Some households consume as little as 3kWh per day! Use the simple method below to calculate your household’s daily energy consumption:

  • Write down the number on your meter at a convenient time.
  • Write down the number again after 24 hours.
  • Subtract the two figures from each other.
  • The total is the amounts of units, kilowatt-hours (kWh), your household consumed in the last 24 hours.
  • This is what the independent solar electric system would need to generate each day.
  • If you keep record of this, you can quickly determine which appliances have the highest consumption and turn them off to see whether it makes a difference.

So, how did they get off the grid? They’ve invested in some, or most, of the following options.

What are the alternative energy options?

There are a couple of alternatives that could be cost-effective, maybe not in the interim but definitely in the long run. Going green and getting off the grid with ecologically savvy decisions is the best way to help with the power outages we experience.

  1. Go solar

This is radiant light and heat generated from the sun and is the most readily accessible resource in South Africa. We’ve got solar geysers, solar lamps and solar cell phone chargers. Solar installations ensure a stable power supply but will cost you hundreds of thousands to get you off the grid. Elements for a comprehensive system will include solar panels, a sun tracker, battery banks, power-tracking systems, a backup generator, chargers and several cables and conduits. Click here to compare prices on solar geysers.

The Tesla Solar Roof is an entire solar roof if you’re not fond of the visually appealing solar panels on the market. It converts and store energy throughout the day and make it available to use when needed during the night. To store the energy, it’s incorporated with an embedded Powerwall battery system. In South Africa, there are other suppliers, such as Smart Energy SA, Solteq, and AM Solar. One supplier points out that the roof could pay for itself in 10 years, depending on the roof size and energy demand. Another supplier claims to generate an output of up to 212 Wp/m² or 93 kW/per day for a 100m² roof. The life span of these roofs is up to 80 years and therefore come with warranties of 40 years or more.

The benefits are great, but the cost of solar roofs is the biggest problem. A 9.45kW Tesla Solar Glass Roof of 173m² will typically cost about R566 500 for the roof, another R157 000 for the Powerwall and R126 000 for roof and site repairs. This amounts to a total of R849 500 at the current exchange rate. Installation costs may increase with obstructions and complex roof designs.

This is very expensive, and not everyone has this kind of finance. Let’s look at the more economical and cost-effective load shedding choices.

  1. Get gas – R250 to R500

Gas stoves are becoming popular and a choice for newly built houses or renovated kitchens. Camping gas stoves are a portable option to quickly boil water if there’s no electricity. Gas braais is another option; they are cheap and easy to operate. A two-plate gas stove can be anything from R500, and a camping gas stove from R250.

  1. Get a generator – R2 000 to R10 000

This is the easiest way to avoid power cuts, but can become somewhat expensive, depending on your needs and budget. Smaller generators run on petrol and give enough electricity to keep the fridge, lights and maybe the TV running. While larger ones could power the entire home. A 650W generator could be from R2 000, which will be able to operate necessary appliances. A 5.5 kW generator can be between R9 000 and R10 000.

  1. Get an inverter – R9 000

An inverter can convert energy from a battery bank to power major appliances. Considering the input and output voltages of inverters is essential – check appliance voltages and choose a sine wave inverter for major appliances. Depending on your needs, inverters can be costly. This Ellies entry-level inverter is R9 000.

  1. UPS it – R700 to R1 500

Uninterrupted Power Supplies can help keep a few devices powered up when the electricity goes out, like computers. It can also help against surges. A 600VA UPS (from R700) can power a standard computer for another 5 minutes, while a 2 000VA UPS (from R1 500) would be able to power 4 to 5 computers for the same period.

  1. Rechargeable lights – R200

Rechargeable lights will give your home enough lighting when load shedding sets in. It is power efficient and relatively cheap. Some of them come with USBs to charge smaller devices with, such as a phone. Rechargeable camping lanterns can be anything from R200, depending on the size you need. Battery-operated lights can also be lifesavers, and it’s less dangerous than candles.

  1. Power banks – R100 to R1 000

Power banks can be used even when there is no load shedding. It’s comfortable for just leaving the house for the day and you know that’ll be out until late. The battery capacity of a standard smartphone is between 2,500mAh and 3,500mAh, and you should ensure that the power bank can charge your phone multiple times before it runs flat. Power banks can range between R100 to R1 000, depending on your needs. Having car chargers will also help with charging your phone or tablet while driving.

Useful links:

The Passing of Popular Gospel Musician Neyi Zimu

Ke Mang

The Passing of Popular Gospel Musician Neyi Zimu 

They say that the good ones go first…the ones that keep the rest of us on the right path. This is definitely the case of Neyi Zimu (born Moses Gcinumuzi). A great father, husband, composer and gospel star has decided to spread his angel wings on Wednesday night, 4 December 2019 at Busamed Hospital in Modderfontein.

Zimu battled with a very rare blood disorder affecting his skin (mycosis fungoides), which was diagnosed two years ago. This severe skin problem developed an itchy rash. Everyone was asked to pray for the Jehova Re Tshepile Wena hitmaker’s recovery after he’d gone for a light therapy followed by a higher state treatment – chemotherapy.

Unfortunately, Zimu’s death left us in sadness and disbelief. He captured the hearts of Christians and encourage those who suffered to trust in Jehova. This inspirational South African gospel singer, worship leader and pastor, was popularly known for belonging to the Spirit of Praise. He touched many souls in ways we can’t imagine. TV presenter and former YoTV star Hulisani Ravele revealed how the singer’s music helped her through her darkest days. She’d put his music on repeat, and it was like he was present with her and ministered to her that better days were to come. She also disclosed that she’d never cried so much about the death of someone she didn’t know personally.

People who knew him personally, such as his wife Nelisiwe Sibisi-Zimu and his children, Zimu was loving, honest and was the best in everything he put his mind to. He was the best gospel artist in South Africa, but also a friend, a leader and a mentor. Even though their hearts are bleeding because of his passing, they’re happy that he’s resting now.

During Zimu’s memorial service, the church was electric as friends, family and fellow worshippers filled the centre to capacity. With the church overflowing, a tent was set up outside with flat screens to display the happenings inside. Everyone paid tribute while singing the best gospel music in SA, Zimu’s songs, along with the choir.

Zimu was laid to rest on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, at House of Treasures Ministries in Johannesburg South. Local musicians, the public, and politicians who included EFF leader Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambo attended. Everyone paid their respects, and kind words were shared about Zimu – “he was a South African musician who ministered God’s word through his music”; “he was an artist of note, a talented musician who composed timeless music.” View Zimu’s funeral video here.

Neyi Zimu, you’ve run your race; now it’s time to rest in peace…

Neyi Zimu Biography

Neyi Zimu, aged 49, was raised on a small farm located in Sebokeng and as a child aspired to become a lawyer and professional football player. However, he started singing at the age of six, and his music career began in high school after being discovered by a late friend. Zimu enjoyed reading the Bible, praying and engaging in fellowship with other famous gospel artists.

Zimu married his wife and have three amazing children – an example of a good Christian family. He raised his children to be respectful towards others and to fear God to be good role models for their children.

He had been in the gospel industry for 13 years and building what he had, had not been easy but rather very long and tough. His work can be traced back to 1996, where he founded Family Factory and Joyous Celebration. In 2001, he released his album Excited which featured Concorde Nkabinde and Jazz duo Tsunami.

Excited was a success and paved the way for other albums: Ena ke Nako in 2003, Message in 2007, I trust in You in 2013, Friends in Praise, Another Level of Worship, and The Waiting is Over in 2017.

He had performed on-stage with well-known musical artists such as late Wendy Mseleku, The Manhattans, Sibongile Khumalo, Vuyo Mokoena, and Rebecca Malope, and shared a stage with Pastor Benjamin Dube as part of Spirit of Praise.

He was part of big projects alongside his mentor, Pastor Dube, such as Healing in His presence. He also featured in the gold-selling, SAMA award-winning, Spirit of Praise 2012 which was a live recording at Carnival City Big Top Arena.

Trending songs that deeply resonate with its listeners include Lamb of God, Lord We Worship You, and Come as You Are. At least Zimu also left us with these top 15 popular songs (with videos) too.

*Image from Youtube.

The Best of South Africa’s Music Legend, Johnny Clegg.

Johnny Clegg Music in South Africa

A musical genius in South Africa – Johnny Clegg.

Johnny Clegg, a name not easily forgotten by South Africans (and French as he had a massive following there too), even though he only passed on in July due to pancreatic cancer. He sure did make an impact as one of the most popular South African artists, with more than 500 000 Google searches during the week of his passing. Tributes to Johnny flooded social media, including “The man who was too white to be black, and too black to be white. The icon, the legend. The white Zulu (or Le Zoulou Blanc).” In my opinion, he was a valuable gem.

This beloved music icon was born in Macup, England on 7 June 1953, and immigrated to South Africa when he was seven years old. At the age of 14 he was sent to buy milk and bread and came across a cleaner, Charlie Mzila, playing on his traditional Zulu guitar and Clegg was fascinated by the sound. Mzila agreed to teach him how to play the instrument as well as the art of Zulu stick-fighting, traditional Zulu dance, and how to compose maskandi music. (A big thank you to you, Charlie!)

His band Juluka (which means “sweat” in Zulu) began as a duo with Sipho Mchunu and was the first white-and-black-man band in the South African apartheid-era. When Sipho decided to take a break from touring and recording to spend time with family, Johnny started recording with Savuka (which means “we have risen”) in 1988, but occasionally reunited with his previous band. His songwriting and performance partner, Dudu Zulu, unfortunately, was murdered during violence between taxi companies in 1992. This was when Johnny decided to go solo. His popular music, that mixed Zulu with English and African music with various Western styles, became some of the best music in South Africa.

I remember hearing one of his songs as a teenager while driving with my father. I can’t remember the specific song, but I could feel the energy carried over from his lyrics to my inner soul. Asked my dad who it was, and he answered Johnny Clegg. I later learnt about his son, Jesse Clegg (they sound somewhat similar), and I treasure his music as well, especially now… My favourite songs from the Cleggs being Great Heart, Cruel Crazy Beautiful World, I Call Your Name and Let It Burn, respectively. Listen to Johnny’s best music tracks here on Spotify. (Sign-up is free).

He sold more than five million albums in a time before Spotify. One of Johnny’s most famous songs, Scatterlings of Africa, made the top 50 charts in the UK in 1983. It was also featured on the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning movie, Rain Man. He never won a Grammy, though, still he produced the best music in SA. He inspired fifty of the best musical artists in SA, including Arno Carstens, Somizi, Ross Learmonth (from Prime Circle) and more, to collaborate in remaking the hit, The Crossing. He was a universal man who bridged worlds and communities and gave people a different angle on stuff that was passed down blindly from generation to generation, accepting different cultures for who they are.

Johnny made a difference everywhere, even at home. Jesse thanked his father on Instagram for the “magical gifts” he has given them and for creating a special place in his heart for his family. Johnny inspired Jesse both as a musician and a man and has given him the tools to a meaningful life. I’m sure that Jaron (Johnny’s other son), honours his father in the same way too. Jaron is a writer-director and scripted and recorded the music video of one of his father’s legendary tracks’, Take My Heart Away. Jaron created stories since the age of 8 years’; listening to movie soundtracks and playing out scenarios with model armies. This led to experiments with stop-animation and storytelling through film. Johnny left his children with a vision…

For the rest of us, we’d undoubtedly remember and miss him for the singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist, and musical activist he was…when his haunting refrain Impi (meaning “Zulu warriors” or “War”) or his song Great Heart from the movie Jock of The Bushveld, echo through South African Rugby stadiums.

At least we still have other great music artists in South Africa. Here’s some insight into South Africa’s 2020 music performances/conferences:

January 2020

February 2020

* Image from Twitter.

Job Openings Near Me

Find a job near me

Here’s how to find the best job in your province

Whether you’re looking for another job as the next step in your career growth or you’re graduating and looking to step into the corporate world, looking for the perfect job can be challenging. South Africa’s unemployment rate sits at 29.1%, and it doesn’t leave us with peace of mind or much faith.  But with effort, preparation and knowing where to apply and what to apply for (aligned with your skills), can help to find the job you need.

Looking for the right job is one thing, but also have to find one that pays at least a good salary for you to cover your monthly expenses, is an added factor to the whole search. You’ll also want to find a job that’s close by and doesn’t require you to travel 60 km or more. If you’re searching on Google or any other search engine, you can type the “industry/job title + jobs near me”, to see if there are any exciting jobs in your area. Another major determinant of salary is your education level. The following industries have the highest growth trajectory for both individuals with and without degrees: IT/tech/telecoms, HR and legal, advertising and marketing, and government and non-profit.

We’ve listed the links to the best job portal in each region with the trending jobs when looking at a monthly salary of approximately R10 225. There are 25 best websites to search for jobs in South Africa, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on Adzuna. Adzuna is a search engine that searches thousands of websites, so you don’t have to. They provide smarter search options and powerful data about the job market, giving you the information you need to take control of your career.

The provinces rank from the province with the most job offerings to the least job offerings.

Gauteng

Johannesburg offers the most jobs in Gauteng. Johannesburg North offers jobs with the most being in Sandton. These jobs are mainly IT, other/general as well as accounting and finance.

Tshwane mostly offers jobs in the heart of Pretoria – Brooklyn, Erasmuskloof and Mamelodi. These jobs are accounting and finance, admin and IT positions.

Ekurhuleni (East Rand) offers jobs mainly in Kempton Park, followed by Boksburg, and then Edenvale. Popular jobs in these areas include other/general jobs, sales jobs, and logistics and warehouse jobs.

Western Cape

The Cape Town region offers the most jobs, followed by Cape Winelands. In Cape Town City Centre the jobs are mainly categorised in IT, engineering, and admin. In Cape Winelands, most job openings are offered in Stellenbosch and focus primarily on hospitality and catering, engineering, and other/general.

KwaZulu-Natal

In the eThekwini region, Durban has the most job openings followed by Umhlanga Rocks and then Pinetown. If you’re looking for a job in Durban, make sure to find an IT job, a general job, or a retail job. When searching in Umhlanga, the hottest jobs are other/general jobs, customer services jobs, or accounting and finance jobs. The most popular jobs in Pinetown are accounting and finance, sales, and other/general.

Eastern Cape

Amatole in the Eastern Cape offers the most jobs, with Nelson Mandela Bay second, and Cacadu third. The most popular roles in Amatole (Buffalo City) include IT, sales, and logistics and warehouse. Employment offered in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) is mainly in IT, general, and sales. In Cacadu admin jobs, sales jobs, and accounting and finance jobs are popular.

Mpumalanga

In Mpumalanga, the Ehlanzeni region (including Mbombela or Nelspruit, Thaba Chweu and Nkomzi) offers the most jobs. Find your next job in either hospitality and catering, accounting and finance or sales. The most popular jobs in Nkangala are in the admin, other/general, and sales sectors. In the Gert Sibanda district, employers offer jobs in the following industries, other/general, admin, and sales.

Limpopo

The Capricorn District in Limpopo offers the most jobs, followed by Waterberg and Mopani. The trending jobs in Capricorn are hospitality and catering, IT, and sales. In the Waterberg region, it’s hospitality and catering, logistics and warehouse, and admin jobs. Mopani also offers hospitality and catering, admin and then accounting and finance.

North West

In the North West most jobs are available in the Southern region, then the Bojanala Platinum district, and very few in Bophirima and Central. The most popular jobs available in the North West are admin jobs, IT jobs, and retail jobs.

Free State

The Motheo District in the Free State offers the most positions spread across Mangaung and Mantsopa. The top jobs are in sales, other/general and IT. Lejweleputswa only offers jobs in admin.

Northern Cape

Frances Baard in the Northern Cape offers trending positions in IT, other/general, HR and recruitment, and healthcare and nursing. The Siyanda region offers jobs in IT, admin, and legal.

To ensure you end up with quality results, use the exact wording of what you’re looking for when searching on Google or any other job-related website or platform. For example, if you want to enter the admin industry in Pretoria, know what kind of admin work you’re interested in (receptionist, admin clerk, personal assistant, office receptionist etc.) and type precisely that – “receptionist jobs near me” or “admin clerk jobs in Pretoria” or “personal assistant in Tshwane”.

How to make the most of your student loan.

Value Student Loan

Getting value from your student loan.

You didn’t agree to pay back all that money for nothing, right? University (or college) is a place of higher learning. So, you want to get the most out of the experience by drawing as much metaphorical blood from stone as you can. This way, you’ll make the most of your student loan.

We have some suggestions for how to best go about imbibing not alcohol, but knowledge. Be sparing with the liquor, you’re here to learn.

Engage with lecturers.

Now is not the time to be shy. Instead, you should engage with the lecturer of your subjects – especially the ones you’ve selected as your majors.

Lecturers tend to be very warm to students, happy to pass on any knowledge they have. Simply go to one after a lecture has ended and speak to them about anything you’re unclear of during the lecture session.

You can also speak to them in their office, especially about course work or even exam preparation. One-on-one sessions, however brief, are excellent ways to pass on knowledge and for you to improve your grades.

Be liberal with your time in the library.

Sure, we live in an age where almost anything is findable on the ‘net. Except that certain works are protected by copyright and aren’t reproduceable on cyberspace. Although it is possible to access these works through academic websites, these papers normally require you to pay for this access.

Where you’ll find all the information you need is the university library. Simply speak to the librarian on duty and they’ll help you locate the associated works you need.

For example, if you’re a Philosophy student struggling with understanding Hegel, you might find comprehensive works by academic commentators who will clarify the subject for you.

In addition, you’ll also be able to use this material for the purposes of referencing your papers. Just remember to attribute! This access to the university library is typically reserved for students. Considering you took out a student loan, make the most of this resource.

Don’t limit yourself to just your subjects.

You can learn a lot from your peers on other subjects of interest. For instance, using the philosophy example again, if you’re a law student, you might find the way philosophy students debate along structured lines to be similar, but complementary, to legal arguments.

By paying attention to them as they debate the nature of free will – for instance – you could learn a lot about how to argue cases for and against a murder accused in a class case study.

Even paying attention to subjects like Classics can teach you a lot about the foundations of Roman Dutch Law.

Then there’s simply the love of learning. Hearing a physics student explain how a glass of water could topple over the edge of a table “on its own” because of the nature of sub-atomic particles and chaos (in the scientific sense) could be enlightening for its own sake.

Take up extramural activities.

Being a student gives rise to the opportunity to do new hobbies and sports. For instance, got a thing for the martial arts? Joining an aikido class could give you a foundation in essential aspects of self-defence… which you may need as campuses aren’t as ideally safe as they should be.

Besides, classes like this help instil a strong sense of self-discipline that will be useful in other areas of your life.

But with so many groups to join, you have a huge pick. Which will help with finding one that fits your personality perfectly. It’s a good way to get more bang for your buck.

Make use of the Computer Room.

Most universities have some sort of computer room. Especially if you come from a less privileged background, the computer room is a perfect way to get acquainted with the power of the Internet.

You can use it to further your knowledge and for writing essays and other course work. It’ll at least put you on equal footing with other, more privileged students.

We hope this has helped.

Your university years are the most important of your life. Be sure to take full advantage of everything the university has to offer and your student loan will end up paying dividends in the long run.

The Student’s Survival Guide to 2020

Student Survival Guide

It can be difficult making the change from high school to university. For one thing, you have a new found freedom. It is an exciting time in your life. You’re between the responsibilities of adulthood and the curtailing of being a teenager. Especially considering you’re taking on the responsibility of a student loan.

However, there are certain pitfalls that can cause this experience to become a nightmare. We want to make you aware of them, so you can enjoy the best years of your life. And so you can make the most of your student loans – that is, graduate without any bugbears.

Partying shouldn’t be parrying predators.

Unfortunately, we live in a county where crime is high and exploitation of a sexual nature is not uncommon. You deserve respect as a human being, so there are certain things to take into consideration. No one, ever, has the right to pressure you into doing anything you’re not comfortable with.

This means being careful whose home you go back to, this means informing your friends about dates you might be going on and having them check in on you.

Most of all, it means being very wary of anyone who is too controlling.

You know you’re in a controlling relationship when the person you’re with demands to know who you are meeting up with, insists on looking at your phone to see messages, and generally tries to manage you and your life.

No matter how much you “like” them, this does not bode well. You deserve better. Worse, these things always escalate – as often seen in the news.

Unfortunately, you can’t trust your own feelings sometimes. Especially as you are in a state of emotional flux, coming from puberty into adulthood.

Stranger danger.

When on a night out, be very careful with your drinks. It is unwise to let someone you don’t know buy you a drink.

It is very easy to slip something into it, which will have the consequence of leaving you vulnerable. And on that note, make use of your friends.

Ensure you all have each other’s back. And that means they shouldn’t let you be “escorted’ out of a bar by someone they don’t trust themselves. Especially when you are unsteady on your feet.

Be careful who you board with.

Normally after the first year, many students decide to do “digs” (or find a house) to share the rent with. That’s all well and good, but normally one person becomes financially responsible for the payment to the landlord. If that’s you, ensure you go into a digs with people you completely trust will deposit the necessary money into your account on time, so you don’t have legal issues when it’s that time of the month to make payment.

Landlords are used to dealing with students, and tend to be very harsh with non-payments. The last thing you want is the stress of making that payment because of some or other excuse offered up by one of your digsmates.

In fact, before agreeing to be the responsible party, it might be a good idea to get the other digsmates to sign a contract ensuring they make their payments on time. Speak to a professor at the law faculty if you have to. They will generally be happy to advise you without the actual expense of consulting an attorney.

Be VERY careful when dabbling with drugs.

We all know some students like to get “high”. We’re not here to judge. We understand that university is a time of experimentation. But this carries risks.

We know we may not be able to convince you not to experiment, but be aware there could be serious consequences for you. With the law, for one. With the university, for another.

And, just as importantly, with your studies. You didn’t take out a large student loan just to fail your exams because you were smoking marijuana the night before.

Marijuana affects your short-term memory functionality, so you will find it harder to recall important information related to your course work.

You could end up dropping out, with no career, but a large loan to repay. The banks don’t care about poor life choices. They want their money.

Always carry protection.

We’re not talking butterfly knives or packing heat. We mean condoms.

There are certain sexually transmitted diseases you really don’t want to get. Such as an unplanned pregnancy.

Always insist your partner uses a condom, and if they don’t, walk straight out the door. No excuses are good enough when it comes to the risk of contracting HIV or other diseases.

You want to leave university with a degree, not a dread disease.

Find your tribe.

It can be difficult in the beginning of university to make the right friends.

But do social events, clubs, and sporting activities – because soon you will find like-minded individuals you’ll form a tight bond with.

And this leads to a circle of friends that could last you a lifetime. More importantly, especially considering your student loan, this could pay dividends in terms of networking and future job opportunities.

Say a friend manages to make it into a prestigious law firm. And they know how good you are at, say, medical negligence law, they might recommend you which leads to an interview… you get the idea. Another side benefit of taking out a student loan and getting into university.

Study, study, study.

That’s what you’re here for, right? It almost goes without saying, but many students drop out in their first year – so intoxicated (sometimes literally) by the freedoms suddenly offered to them by university.

And while it is heady stuff, don’t make the mistake of throwing your academic career away because you keep being carried away by nights out. And carried out of nightclubs while in a state of stupor.

It’s just silly.

Rather plan the occasional big night, be resilient enough to turn down offers for a boys’ or gals’ night out and focus on your course work.

Keep studying, keep on top of things, and you’ll keep a perfect academic record. Your future self will thank you for it. It’ll also make taking that student loan out worth it.

Don’t miss lectures.

They have something called “dawnies”. iThese are the first lectures of the day.

It can be tempting to miss them because the bed you’re in is oh so comfortable. Well, the first step towards adulthood is waking up, cleaning up, and showing up.

No exceptions. Otherwise it becomes a bad habit and you start missing most of your lectures. And not doing course work. Soon you’ll find you’re not even allowed to write exams because you’ve not made tuts.

Don’t do it. You’re too invested with your student loan, your future literally depends on it.

So, the key take out here is: have fun, but be responsible or you will pay the price. Unfortunately, with no money to show for it. Then what was the point to that student loan at all?