Welcome to Megaplex's monthly newsletter! We alert the up-market shopper and social distancer to the new and interesting in Sandton and Bryanston. This month we look at the impending election, vaccination, your POPI problem, and more alleged humour. Please feel free to support our advertisers! To subscribe, see our subscription page.
This is our last "Shopping in Sandton" before the municipal election on Monday 1 November. This is a crucial election for the future of Sandton, Johannesburg, and South Africa. A vote for the ANC is a vote for corruption and the further destruction of our country. President Ramaphosa admitted at the Zondo Commission that he supports cadre deployment, which is the root cause of the incompetence at ANC-run municipalities, most of which are dysfunctional. Meanwhile, the EFF takes as its economic models the failed states of Zimbabwe and Venezuela, and sees no irony in this.
The Democratic Alliance has the track record of good, clean governance in the municipalities and the province where it governs. They have made a few mistakes of late, but nothing like we have seen from the ANC. Smaller parties? Action SA's Herman Mashaba turned a blind eye to the EFF's land invasions while he was mayor (ask the residents of Marlboro) and has shown a dictatorial and xenophobic streak.
Another coalition or minority government in Johannesburg is a recipe for another 5 years of instability. Give the DA a solid majority. Let them show what they can do, as they have done in the best-run municipalities elsewhere!
Did your parents take away your basic human right to die of polio by getting you vaccinated as a child? Not to mention your right to infect others with it, too...?
That's no different to refusing vaccination against Covid-19 now.
Did you "do your own research" as some people recommend?
With respect, that is not “research”. Double-blind trials on a large number of people? Comparing large numbers of scientific papers from reputable journals, checking their sources? Probably not...
Health professionals have sworn an oath to protect you. The anti-vaxx opinions you read on the internet are from people who are making money by exposing you to advertising on their click-baited websites. They are after publicity and income. They don’t give a damn about your health.
If you look at the real scientific research, you will see that the vaccines we are getting are safe. They have been through the most stringent tests ever, and have passed. There is no mechanism whereby they can alter your DNA, and no evidence that they do. There's no reason why anyone would want to do so anyway.
Vaccination has been in use for over a century. It has virtually eliminated formerly deadly diseases like Polio, Smallpox, Tetanus, Hepatitis A & B, and Rubella.
Not being vaccinated is what is dangerous, both for you and everyone you meet. The people who are dying in hospital right now are the unvaccinated. We don’t want a valued reader like you amongst them. Please vaccinate.
"There's a bathroom on the right"
(instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise" in "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival)
New on the Block, Movers and Shakers Back to top
Morning Glen Mall has closed its main entrance off Kelvin Drive for renovations. They have opened a slip road entrance to the upper level for eastbound traffic, further east (higher up the hill) on Kelvin Drive. Westbound traffic would have to make a U-turn in front of the closed main entrance. The Bowling Avenue entrance remains open with access to both levels. That is also the only exit at present, and only from the lower level.
John Steenhuisen, DA Leader, writes:
Voting DA is your best guarantee of an uninterrupted supply of electricity at the lowest cost possible. DA-run municipalities are taking 10 steps to ensure a reliable, cheapest-possible supply of electricity to residents and businesses.
1. Purchasing electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs) to protect residents and businesses from Eskom load shedding.
Through its Energy Resilience Project, the DA is putting in place measures to enable six DA-run municipalities to purchase electricity directly from IPPs. This will protect them from load shedding and ultimately end their reliance on Eskom altogether. These municipalities are Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay and Swartland. Once the model has been perfected with these six “pilots”, we will roll it out to all DA-run governments.
The DA fought hard for five years for this right to purchase power directly from IPPs. Independent producers are incentivised through competition to keep their prices as low as possible, their supply as reliable as possible, and their power as clean as possible. Eskom’s monopoly, on the other hand, has fostered the complacency and failure that has put the utility into its current death spiral.
2. Paying Eskom on time for bulk supply, so that Eskom never cuts supply due to non-payment by the municipality
Municipalities purchase electricity in bulk from Eskom and then sell it on to local residents and businesses. Many ANC-run municipalities keep selling electricity to residents and businesses, but stop paying for it. Eskom eventually responds by cutting off bulk supply to the municipality, plunging even paying households and businesses into darkness, and denying poor households their constitutional right to free basic electricity.
This never happens in DA-run municipalities because DA councils always pay Eskom on time. There has literally never been a single incidence where power has been cut to a DA municipality because of failure to pay Eskom. Where we inherit large debt, such as in Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, we take immediate steps to remedy this.
The situation of non-paying ANC municipalities has become so bad that the matter was challenged in court, with a Concourt ruling this week finally setting a legal precedent that no paying end users may be denied access to electricity due to non-payment by municipalities.
3. Storing low-cost, off-peak energy to avoid load shedding and reduce costs
DA-run Cape Town manages to avoid at least one stage of load shedding compared to the rest of the country through its well-maintained pumped-storage hydropower station at the Steenbras Dam. This city-owned power station can generate electricity during peak periods to make up for supply shortfall from Eskom. During periods of peak demand, water from the upper dam is channelled through turbine generators to the lower dam, to generate electricity. The water is then pumped back up to the upper dam at night using low-cost surplus national generating capacity. This innovation reduces the economic impact of load shedding and saves on the cost of buying electricity at peak rates.
DA-led Drakenstein’s Leliefontein pump-as-turbine station, the first of its kind in SA, uses low-cost, off-the-shelf equipment to generate clean power, using potential energy in their existing infrastructure. The same equipment is used to pump water and to generate electricity by reversing the flow through the pumps.
4. Maximising municipal energy efficiency to minimise costs to residents and businesses
DA municipalities are the most energy efficient, with the highest proportion of municipal facilities, streetlights, and traffic lights using LED bulbs and low-energy appliances. DA-run George Municipality has installed a 300kW solar plant on top of covered parking bays that powers the main municipal building. DA-run Hessequa has the country’s first solar-powered desalination plant.
Cape Town is the most energy efficient city in SA, with over 231 GWH of electricity saved in 10 years, enough to power 35 clinics for 10 years and avoiding 230 000 tons of carbon emissions. The City has retro-fitted energy-efficient lamps in all traffic lights and 34% of streetlights to date. City buildings have over 563 kWp of rooftop solar PV systems installed.
5. Assisting residents and businesses to go off grid and sell their excess power to the grid
Cape Town is incentivising solar PV users to feed power back into the grid, with on of SA’s highest feed-in tariffs.
6. Investing in infrastructure
DA-run governments lead in investing in the bulk electrical infrastructure needed to ensure uninterrupted supply.
7. Supplying poor households with free basic electricity
In Cape Town, 27% of City-supplied households get 60kWh of free basic electricity monthly. This is almost double the Gauteng average of 15.4% and the national average of 16.7%.
8. Addressing cable theft
DA-run Cape Town refuses to simply accept the failure of SAPS, and so has a dedicated Metal Theft Unit to protect infrastructure including electrical lines. It also supports the removal of illegal electrical connections. On Sunday night, the DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, went on patrol with the unit and witnessed it catching three suspects red-handed stealing electrical cable.
9. Connecting more households to the grid
The DA leads in connecting households to the grid. For example, since the DA won the Eastern Cape municipality of Kouga in 2016, 1 791 households there have received access to electricity for the first time. DA-run Cape Town supplies the highest level of access to electricity in SA. 98% of City-supplied informal settlements have access to electricity where it is possible to connect.
10. Rapid resolution of electricity faults for residents and businesses
DA governments lead in the rapid resolution of electricity faults. DA-run Cape Town fixes 80% of electricity faults in under 3.5 hours and 99.9% within national Quality of Service timeframes. DA-run Swartland Municipality attends to 84% of electricity faults within 1.5 hours, almost 3 times more than the NERSA requirement of 30%.
The DA gets things done to ensure reliable, affordable electricity. Take your power back by voting DA on 1 November.
Thought for the Day:
The epitome of the Yiddish word "chutzpah" used to be the boy who murdered his parents and then asked the court for clemency because he was an orphan.
Today, it's an ex-President who hollowed out the National Prosecuting Authority (among other state institutions) and now claims that the NPA is not competent to prosecute him.
Food Lover's Market "R4000" Phishing Scam
There is a phishing scam targeting consumers via a message being shared on WhatsApp. It falsely claims to be a competition in celebration of Food Lover’s Market’s 30th birthday and promises that one lucky entrant may win R4000. This is a scam. We implore customers not to click on this link or share it under any circumstances. If you need further clarity, please see their website here or email Food Lover’s Customer Care.
Crossed the Great Divide: Back to top
Interesting Souf Effrican Customs
It is polite to shout when engaging in conversation. That way bystanders know you are not skinnering (gossiping) about them.
Small Business and POPIA expert, Peter Carruthers, writes...
"The Information Regulator is one of the first victims of not taking prudent measures to protect their data. (They're the team policing how your business guards its data.)
They're part of the Department of Justice. The DoJ didn't protect its systems well enough to stop a ransomware attack. They're not heeding the rules laid down to reach "reasonable" compliance.
Right now, their systems remain compromised. Their email system still does not work.
Ransomware is a special kind of software that stops you from entering your systems. Instead, it displays a screen asking you to pay somebody a lot of bitcoin to get access again.
Even if you pay the ransom, these crooks often ask for more. Some firms never get their systems back.
These hackers are not hobbyists playing in Dad's garage. They're real businesses. They're more interested in money than they are in client service. And they're often a lot better at finding "clients" than we are.
We focus on these kinds of social engineering attacks in our POPIA training courses. (Both for owners and employees.)
Most ransomware lands on systems via spam email containing malicious links.
Around 500 million emails each month contain such links. They look innocent. They may be targeted just at you and your staff. The perp knows your firm will pay millions to get access to its data again. To the perp, it's just a numbers game.
To you and me, it is our livelihood at stake.
Most of us make it much easier by using just one or two passwords for everything. Or we forget to update our operating systems.
The answers are easy and free.
You'll also discover how to reach POPIA compliance easily.
And how to run a much safer business.
The Protection of Personal Information Act went live on 1 July 2021. Here's a free online course that tells you what the law says –in plain English. .
Here's a follow-on course, at a massive discount, that tells you how to get POPI compliant,
must have the laziest rooster in the world."
Your name in print! Would you like to contribute a lockdown tip, a less obscure joke, or something else for this Newsletter? Please e-mail us. You will get full credit (unless you want anonymity). Reach 4,827 shoppers and shop-owners: Advertise in this newsletter! Editor: Rick Raubenheimer.