The struggle to have a decent team when the South African U23 national football men’s team kicks-off the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) next weekend in Egypt is not over and today SAFA Technical Director Neil Tovey appealed to some Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs to release players.
The post A disgrace for SA to send 14 players to Afcon U23 – Tovey appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..
President Cyril Ramaphosa has met with the Springboks ahead of their Rugby World Cup Final against England on Saturday. Ramaphosa travelled to Japan on Friday to support the national team and express the country’s support.
The post SA getting to the Rugby finals is already a great achievement: Ramaphosa appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..
Alphabet Inc-owned Google will buy Fitbit Inc for $2.1 billion, as the biggest Web search company looks to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches.
The post Google taps fitness tracker market with $2.1 billion bid for Fitbit appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..
JOHANNESBURG – The 2019 Rugby World Cup final kicks off in a few hours’ time. It has been a quite remarkable journey by captain Siya Kolisi and his men to get to this point – a final 80-minute battle with England with world rugby glory on the line.
Coach Rassie Erasmus was brought back to South Africa from Munster in Ireland where he had been coaching less than two years ago to save the Boks after the disastrous 2016 and 2017 seasons, and how he has repaid the faith shown in him.
The Boks were down and out in 2017, hitting an all-time low of seventh in the world rankings; now they are one win away from grabbing the biggest trophy of them all in the game, the Webb Ellis Cup.
A number of people have played significant and telling roles in the Boks reaching the final in Yokohama on Saturday, but it is the squad of players who have sweated blood and tears to fulfil their goals and dreams. And they all have their own personal, and sometimes hard, stories to tell of how they have got to this stage in their lives.
Fullback Willie le Roux was dropped from the Bok team in 2017 and many thought his Test career was over after he’d headed abroad, but he has been Erasmus’ first choice from the off.
Star wing Cheslin Kolbe, who is fit to play on Saturday after missing out in the semi-final last week, was once considered too small for Test rugby so he headed to France to play there, yet he is now an international superstar and nominee for World Player of the Year. Fellow wing, the try-machine Makazole Mapimpi, was playing second tier domestic rugby just four years ago at Border; now he is a national hero.
Defensive organiser and the man with the soft hands in midfield, centre Lukhanyo Am, was also playing for Border four years ago and the Southern Kings just three seasons ago. He is now the first choice No 13 by some distance. His midfield partner, Damian de Allende, one of the Boks’ biggest stars in Japan over the last seven weeks, was so out of form in 2017 he was dropped from the side.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard, who kicked the Boks to victory against Wales last week, almost had his arm amputated three years ago after picking up an infection in hospital following shoulder surgery, while scrumhalf Faf de Klerk was banished from the Boks by former coach Allister Coetzee in 2017 and he, like Le Roux, opted to play his rugby in England.
Duane Vermeulen, who’s also based himself overseas over the last few years, was brought back into Bok picture by Erasmus and what a revelation he has been. Pieter-Steph du Toit, another nominee for World Player of the Year, is now considered one of the game’s leading blindside flanks, but just two years ago he was still a second-row forward.
And then there’s captain Kolisi, who in 2007 when John Smit lifted the Webb Ellis Cup watched the final in a tavern because his family could not afford a television set. Significantly, he’ll wear the No 6 on his back today – the same jersey worn by Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela when the Boks first won the Webb Ellis Cup in 1995.
Locks Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager have had their own personal issues to deal with in recent times; Etzebeth being accused of racism and assault, while De Jager had to fight back from injury just before the start of the World Cup to reclaim his place in the team.
Tighthead prop Frans Malherbe has had to deal with criticism about his place in the team, yet he has anchored the strongest and most stable scrum at the tournament, while loosehead veteran Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira had to leave his family and friends behind in Zimbabwe many years ago to come to South Africa to fulfil his rugby dream. He will bow out of the game today, having become a Bok hero.
Hooker Bongi Mbonambi has also fought against adversity to star for the Boks. Having been schooled in Pretoria, his dream was to play for the Bulls, which he did, but he never got a proper chance playing behind former Bok captain Adriaan Strauss and so moved to Cape Town to play for the Stormers. He stood tall and then also jumped ahead of Malcolm Marx in the Bok queue to earn the No 2 jersey.
Subscribe to the IOL Sport Newsletter!
Marx, a former SA Rugby Player of the Year, hasn’t moped about being demoted to the bench and fulfilled his “bomb squad role” brilliantly, alongside fellow front-rankers Vincent Koch, who got his “first-team” break because of Trevor Nyakane falling out of the squad because of injury. He’s come in from the outside – from Saracens in England. Fellow prop Steven Kitshoff has also had to deal with being “dropped” in recent times after being Erasmus’ first choice loosehead last year, but Mtawarira has again taken over the No 1 jersey.
Locks RG Snyman and Franco Mostert have been outstanding from off the bench – the latter having come good in the last four years, but only after leaving the Bulls because of limited opportunities. At the Lions he became a star and now turns out for Gloucester in England, under Johan Ackermann’s watchful eye. He’s also had to deal with being replaced in the starting team.
Francois Louw, the three-time World Cup representative, has amassed over 70 Test caps, but has never been fully appreciated. Every Bok coach though has rated him and brought him back from Bath in England to play for the Boks.
Back-up scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies wasn’t even in the Bok picture a year ago and few people outside of the Western Cape had heard of him. Yet, he’s been one of the biggest stars for the Boks in 2019 and has been named as one of World Rugby’s nominees for Breakthrough Player of the Year; talk about making it big quickly!
And then there’s the veteran Frans Steyn, who won the World Cup as a 20-year-old in 2007. He’s been criticised, picked, dropped, spoken badly of … and then picked again, by Erasmus, who didn’t hesitate to name him in his World Cup squad. Could he join Os du Randt as the only two Boks to win two World Cup gold medals?
And let’s not forget the other eight (or 10) squad members, who’ve been a part of the Japanese journey, but won’t feature in the final. They have played big contributing roles by motivating their team-mates, keeping them sharp in training, pushing them to higher limits and even by holding tackle bags. They should not be forgotten.
Third-choice hooker Schalk Brits is 38 years old. He’d retired from all rugby last year and was ready to start studying at Oxford, but a call from Erasmus changed his mind and he’d become a Bok captain through the course of this year.
Reserve prop Thomas du Toit, who was a loosehead and worked hard to become a tighthead, could earn a winners medal after replacing the unfortunate Nyakane in the squad, while Kwagga Smith was still a Sevens specialist three years ago. He gave up that game to focus on becoming a Bok, and he, too, could now be a World Cup winner!
Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach played his socks off in the English Premiership to get picked after being overlooked last year, and for many years before, and his hat-trick of tries against Canada will be remembered for a long-time. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies did everything asked of him when picked and he’ll have fond memories of the tournament.
S’bu Nkosi can say he played in a World Cup semi-final, while Warrick Gelant and Damian Willemse, who replaced the injured Jesse Kriel, can say they scored World Cup tries.
Getting to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final has been a big group effort with a number of different individuals having all played their part in the journey.
All that is left now is for the Boks to give it one more push and, who knows, perhaps the glory will be theirs.
TOKYO – Handre Pollard is carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, but the pressure is not a burden.
In fact, he says, he is relishing the prospect of lining up a Rugby World Cup-winning kick, which he has been dreaming of for most of his 25 years.
“I love it,” said Pollard on Friday. “That’s why you train, that’s why you put in the hours. If you imagine from being a little boy in the backyard, thinking to yourself, ‘This kick is in the World Cup final’ and all those scenarios. You’ve basically been preparing your whole life for it.”
South Africa are bidding to win their third RWC title when they play England at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday. Their two victorious finals, in 1995 and 2007, were tryless but Pollard is not concerned that the performance of the kickers may again prove the deciding factor.
As an 18-year-old schoolboy he helped to steer South Africa to the 2012 World Under-20 title. Two years later he was captain when the ‘Baby Boks’ lost 21-20 in the final against an England side led by Maro Itoje.
He believes such experiences helped him stay calm as he slotted the winning late penalty in last weekend’s 19-16 semi-final win against Wales. And that moment, in turn, could prove influential in the RWC 2019 final.
“I guess you could look back at every big game you’ve played in your career, and try to get whatever you can out of it,” said the fly-half.
“It’s going to be pressure, it’s going to be tough. But you’ve got to embrace it, you’ve got to enjoy it. And it’s not just the kicking – it’s the whole game where there is going to be pressure all round.
“Use it in the right way and send it in the right direction, that’s the secret to finals rugby. I’m very excited and I can’t wait to get going.”
The Springboks have insisted that they will stick with their forwards-dominated approach against England, and will not be lured into playing a more attacking style.
The tactic has paid off for Rassie Erasmus’ side, with their opening defeat to New Zealand followed by five consecutive victories over Namibia, Italy, Canada, Japan and Wales.
But Pollard revealed that the Boks are capable of catching England off-guard in the title decider.
“We’ve still got a few things we can throw at them. But they’ve also got a blueprint, it’s pretty obvious. I don’t think it’s a big secret with either side,” he said.
“We’ll come out with a couple of different plays, something that you try and surprise your opponents with.
“But in general, the DNA – what we believe in and what they believe in – is not going to change in a week’s time. It is what it is, and that’s what got us here and what got them here.
“So, we won’t go away from something that’s working. We will have a couple of trick plays maybe. But mostly, everything will stay the same for both sides.”
Ashfak Mohamed is in Japan covering the Springboks for the Rugby World Cup’s Rugby News Service
Cape Town – Because of the time difference, watching parties for the Rugby World Cup in Japan has been all about serving up fabulous breakfasts while enjoying the games.
But with the Springboks ready to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy on Saturday, hosts will need to up their game and leave it all on field.
So gather your team and get ready to scrum. Here’s some food and drink recipes to help:
Mielies with coconut and lime (Serves 4)
4 ears fresh mielies
4 tbs coconut oil
½ cup large unsweetened toasted coconut chips, finely chopped (or 3 tbs toasted unsweetened coconut flakes)
Heat your grill to medium-high. Grill mielies, turning occasionally, until cooked through and lightly charred, 10 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, add mielies to a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.)
Meanwhile, zest the lime. Set aside the zest then cut the lime in half. Cut one half into four wedges and squeeze the remaining half into a small bowl. Stir the coconut oil and half the chopped coconut chips into the lime juice.
Slather hot mielies with coconut oil mixture and season with salt. Sprinkle with lime zest and remaining coconut chips. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.
Roasted Beetroot and Strawberry Salad
2 oranges (zest and juice)
30ml olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
100g Boursin cheese
40g savory trail mix
For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine, orange juice, oil, kosher salt and pepper; shake well to combine.
To roast beets, preheat oven to 180ºC. Wash and trim beets.
Cut beetroot into wedges drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper, with some orange zest. Roast beetroot for 20 minutes or until soft. Once ready chill your beetroot.
Line a large serving platter with the arugula.
Top arugula with beet-dressing mixture; toss well. Top with the strawberries then with Boursin cheese. Sprinkle with savory trail mix. Serve immediately.
Biltong and corn quiche
400g frozen short crust pastry, defrosted or home-made
30ml olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
10ml chopped garlic
250ml grated cheddar cheese
250ml frozen corn
45ml chopped parsley
80g sliced biltong
salt and pepper
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a 22cm quiche pan. Prick the base.
Cover with a sheet of non-stick baking paper, fill with dried baking beans and bake blind at 180°C for 10-15 minutes until pale golden brown. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out the base. Allow to cool.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft.
Cover the base of the pastry with the cheese. Add the cooked onions, corn, parsley and biltong.
Beat the eggs and cream together and season well. Pour into the pastry case and return to the oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes until filling is set.
Cool slightly before serving.
125ml castor sugar
10ml baking powder
2ml bicarbonate of soda
grated rind of 2 naartjies
100g white chocolate chopped
250ml dried cranberries
250ml icing sugar
naartjie juice to mix
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Add the naartjie rind, white chocolate and cranberries and mix well.
Combine the oil, buttermilk and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Spoon the mixture into 12 paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.
Drizzle with icing and decorate with naartjie wedges if desired.
ICING: Add enough naartjie juice to the icing sugar to make a stiff icing.
½ can soda water
½ can lemonade
4 – 6 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Garnish: fresh lemon or lime wedge
Build ingredients over ice, dash with Angostura aromatic bitters, stir, garnish with lime wedge and serve.
Nando’s is one of the biggest exporters of local design – its support for the industry extends to its Hot Young Designer competition, the print magazine Clout.
To enhance its print oeuvre, Clout has brought out a gorgeously curated design compendium of the work and big names most closely associated with the Nando’s brand.
Titled ‘Clout / A heartfelt celebration of South African design’, this 160-page A3 coffee-table book provides a rich visual take on contemporary design culture.
Curated by Tracy Lynch, edited by Malibongwe Tyilo and designed by Jo Skelton, with contributions from Lin Murray it showcases everything from furniture, fashion and the creative processes of designer-makers to the interiors of Nando’s stores around the world.
Editor-in-Chief Tracy Lynch of Studio Leelynch, the Creative Director of the Nando’s Design Programme, says the book will appeal to everyone who is passionate about local design. “It’s a highly accessible, beautifully illustrated book that will speak to everyone who cares about the broader design industry – and its unique features, including a vibrant, embossed fabric cover, make it a collector’s item.”
The book was launched to great fanfare at a garden party hosted by the British Consulate, which took place in Johannesburg during the first week of October.
The up-to-the-minute publication highlights award-winners from Clout Designers’ Industry Days Fired Up By Nando’s, a competition for rising talent and 100% Design South Africa 2019.
South African designers were invited to pitch concepts and prototypes in the hope of having their work selected for inclusion in Portal to Africa and ultimate commissioned for the interiors of Nando’s restaurants around the world.
While 26 extraordinary young designers were shortlisted, only four could win: Glorinah Mabaso of LED Interiors, Rene Forbay of RF Designs, Siyanda Mbele of Pinda, and Khosi Leteba, designer of the Bodulo Collection.
The winners have been given a year-long mentorship from the Nando’s Design Programme as well as a complimentary exhibition stand at 100% Design South Africa 2020, Africa’s leading design trade show.
Lynch believes the book is a rich repository of contemporary South African design. “As part of the SA design community and in collaboration with Nando’s, my commitment has been to showcase South African design as a world-class, notable category,” she explains.
She continues: “Readers will appreciate the emerging aesthetic of contemporary South African design – designers are delving deeper into aspects of identity to resurrect and amplify the crafted poetry of their past.
"This book and the featured designers are sharing an opportunity to tell the beautiful stories we need to remember now so that we can all see the future differently.”
Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern, who viewers will remember as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham in the British drama series and movie, "Downton Abbey", are at the heart of "War of the Worlds", along with French actress Léa Drucker.
Set in present-day Europe, "War of the Worlds" is written and created by the BAFTA award-winner Howard Overman ("Misfits", "Crazyhead", "Merlin") and is based on the H.G. Wells novel.
The sci-fi drama revolves around a war between mankind and extraterrestrial beings from another galaxy, who invade Earth set on destroying its population. Drucker plays Catherine Durand, a scientist working in an observatory in the mountains, studying what’s happening in other planets. She’s a smart woman, a little self-protective and mysterious. And she is passionate about discovering something extraordinary.
On her character, Drucker says: “The journey to this character is what is happening to all the other character of the series. They are living in an extreme emergency, like war. “We travel through war, and suddenly, life gets extremely tense and extremely passionate in a very negative and very positive way. Catherine is self-protective, maybe a loner, someone who is not very opened up to emotions, and suddenly, she is totally overwhelmed by the situation. She must find a way through relationships she has had difficulties with before.”
Does she have a favourite location from the ones used during the shoot?
She reveals: “I like the crash site. There was something very dreamy about it. The site, the location was perfect. You didn’t have to use a lot of imagination, it was there. Although we have been working in the rain and the mud, so it has not been comfortable, but anything that is uncomfortable in the series is good.” Human resilience was an integral part of this doomsday narrative.
Drucker adds: “The series deals a lot with difficulty in relationships. These are very ‘human’ things that we all go through; difficulty in a sister relationship, problems with a mother and son or a mother and daughter. These are very universal. All these characters have grounded stories, and those particular relationships are described in the series, and they are going to be shaken up by what is happening.”
As for how "War of the Worlds" fares with other sci-fi offerings, she shares: “I haven’t seen every sci-fi series, but there is a psychological element here in War of the Worlds.
“There is very intense violence that you don’t see too often, but it is there, and it is very deep, and it is very grounded. It is about how you get attacked by something, by something so unimaginable, it is also the difficulty of being human. All these characters are totally blown away by what is happening, and so they have to reconsider a lot of things. I would say that there’s something very universal in this story, something that I feel very concerned about. It’s not just sci-fi.
“For example, the character of Karim (played by Bayo Gbadamosi), who is a migrant in London. He is in a very dark situation with no food, no family and nowhere to go. Suddenly, everyone in a modern country is in the same situation as a man who is coming from Africa and having difficulty to survive.
“I would also say there is a lot of humanity. It is very humane, but very rough because the world is rough, and it is not just the aliens who are making it so. “The aliens are making us ask ourselves, ‘What are we as human beings?’ This is very shaky and very interesting.”
"War of the Worlds" airs on FOX (DStv channel 125) on Wednesday at 8.45pm.
INTERNATIONAL – Travel times have gotten longer in Asia’s most congested metropolitan area, and they’re expected to get even worse in the run-up to the Christmas holiday, according to Waze Inc.
It took about 4.9 minutes to drive one kilometer in Metro Manila in September, longer than the roughly 3.8 minutes it took in April, data from the Google-owned traffic navigation app shows. The Philippine capital region is set to top Waze’s 2019 ranking of the world’s worst cities to drive in, beating out the likes of Bogota and Jakarta, country lead Sarah Rodriguez said in an interview.
Manila Is Set to Be the World’s Worst Place to Drive In: Chart
Soul-crushing traffic is a regular feature of life in a city whose infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with incomes. It’s now a constraint on the economy, as aging public transport struggles to accommodate a growing population, fueling the take-up of private cars. It will only worsen in the remaining months of the year, Rodriguez said, especially over the All Souls’ Day long weekend when Filipinos typically go out of town, and before Christmas thanks to more frequent trips to restaurants, bars and shopping malls.
Waze expects to see a 16% jump in kilometers driven and a 10% increase in its 1.6 million active users over the peak November and December period, she said. “This is the time of the year when Filipinos travel the most and also spend the most time per drive.”
Movement patterns are also changing in the metro as more vehicles ply the roads and Filipinos opt to drive more. Waze data shows traffic now steadily builds up throughout the day and then peaks at night, Rodriguez said. Filipinos could be choosing to leave later to avoid the morning rush. They could also be squeezing in more trips in-between to make the most out of their drive.
“Two years ago, there were two spikes — morning rush hour and evening rush hour — then in-between there was a dip. Now, it has changed. There’s no more midday dip,” she said.
JOHANNESBURG – When Steyn City first launched in 2015, developers Douw Steyn and Giuseppe Plumari promised residents a city like no other.
Now, as they reveal their Vision 2020, it’s clear that this promise has been brought to fruition.
“We’ve been busy creating the very best lifestyle in the world,” says Giuseppe Plumari, CEO of Steyn City Properties.
He adds that the company’s commitment represents far more than a desire to provide an incomparable home for residents; rather, it’s about heeding the call of South Africa’s leaders, and investing in the future of the country.
It’s a significant investment indeed.
“When Steyn City was first introduced to the market, we invested R6,5 billion in infrastructure to ensure that all facilities and amenities were in place by the time purchasers took up residence. Our investment also went to supporting infrastructure for the greater region, including roads, water and sewerage. This was important to us, because we wanted to show investors what they were buying into, rather than making empty promises. We also told the marketplace that we would be ready to invest a further R5,5 billion at a later date – and that’s precisely what we’re doing.”
This latest investment is the seed of the City Centre; the gem in the Steyn City crown which is now nearing completion, with the first 220 units comprising Phase I ready to be launched next year.
With a total of over 700 apartments and 11 penthouses, this unique and prestigious development boasts a number of facilities so far unseen in South Africa, including a heliport and lagoon.
It’s a highly anticipated addition to a destination which has already become known as a leader and trendsetter.
This is evidenced by the increase in property values, even at a time when high end properties have seen negative growth in a flat market (although industry leaders indicate that they are seeing the start of a recovery). “Buyers who purchased at launch date have already seen their land value appreciate by 15-18%,” says Lambert Bezuidenhout, Steyn City Sales Manager.
He cites the example of one stand which was purchased for R2,85 million, and which recently sold for R3,9 million.
One of the reasons Steyn City remains in high demand (with 1 098 people making it home since 2015) is because of the lifestyle resort’s considerable investment in security, coupled with an unprecedented lifestyle.
Crime is, of course, a major concern for most South Africans, and Steyn City’s cutting-edge measures mean that residents can enjoy the magnificent array of facilities, including 45 kms of promenade to run, walk or cycle with complete peace of mind.
At the same time, developers are making their own efforts to stem the tide of crime by providing employment.
“Our location alongside Diepsloot is not accidental. To the contrary, it was carefully planned,” Plumari says, noting that Steyn’s vision was to ensure that the parkland residence which bears his name holds benefits for all South Africans. To this end, Steyn City has created thousands of employment opportunities for the Diepsloot community through its labour desk. At present, 1 835 people are deployed at City Centre alone, a figure which is increasing weekly as more subcontractors are introduced on site.
“Significantly, our proximity to the community means that people who work do not have high transport expenses. Instead, they can save their salaries for essentials like school uniforms and stationery.”
The development of Steyn City has created other advantages, too, most notably for those who travel through the New North; the hub that connects Pretoria, Midrand and Johannesburg. Steyn City is a significant contributor to the development of R511 (William Nicol); a project which will see this corridor open to the N14.
Phase II of this project will commence in early 2020. Plumari says that the parkland’s unique location is one of the factors contributing to this lifestyle.
“Our choice of this site was deliberate. With infrastructure developments making the area more accessible, we believe that the New North is poised to become Johannesburg’s next CBD – particularly since Fourways is part of the next phase of the Gautrain expansion, and Lanseria is undergoing major upgrades.”
“This all stands in testimony to our determination to creating a new way to live in Africa,” Giuseppe says.
Unsurprisingly, the number of South Africans (including celebrities) eager to take advantage of this vision is on the rise. Chris Froome, four-time winner of the Tour de France, is a case in point.
Chris made Steyn City his second home in 2018. “It’s a wonderful place for my son – he especially loves the parks and all the amazing outdoor activities available. Although we have a pool at the house, he loves meeting up with the other kids from the lifestyle resort at the main pool.” Chris adds that the outdoor lifestyle has been all the more appreciated because Monaco (where he spends nine months of every year) has few parks or lakes. “We’ve relished the sense of freedom that comes with having all of this on our doorstep.”
Of course, Chris couldn’t wait to make use of our cycling track – in fact, he even tucked his son, Kellan, onto the back of his bike. “That’s something we would ordinarily hesitate to do, even in Monaco,” Chris says, noting that the security provided by Steyn City is one of its greatest draw cards, giving the family peace of mind no matter what facilities they’re using.
Louis van Niekerk, businessman and Chair of an international group is another fan of the lifestyle resort. “My wife and I were attracted to the hassle-free, peace of mind lifestyle at Steyn City, as well as the outstanding security, especially since I travel abroad every month. The landscaping and scenery are an added bonus. I spend a lot of time walking through the parklands, and it’s a real privilege to encounter the parkland’s wildlife – I’ve spotted everything from scrub hare to springbok. It really eases life’s pressures. The long-term plans were another draw card. The idea of living in a self-contained city which has its own restaurants, medical facilities, school and every other amenity we could desire is immensely attractive.”
Businesswoman, Mpumi Madisa is similarly enthusiastic. She says that the parkland is a spectacular place to raise children: “Acres to play and ride bikes in a secure environment were a huge factor in our decision to move here. Our eight-year-old already attends Grade 3 at Steyn City School, although we have yet to move into our newly built home. Both my husband and I travel a lot so it’s reassuring for us to know that he can take the school bus home, or walk or ride to school in complete safety. There’s even a holiday club for him to take part in.”
Indeed, it’s the opportunity to access a wide range of lifestyle essentials that has drawn many families to the parkland residence. “Our goal was to create a place where convenience rules out the daily pressures so many of us are subject to,” Plumari says. “When you’re not racing from the school run to a meeting, or worrying about how you’ll cram in a grocery shop on the way home from work, you have so much more time to spend with the people you love, doing what’s most important.”
Hence the establishment of Steyn City School in 2018, a world class campus accommodating learners from Grade 000 to Grade 12 (by year 2021), with a forward-thinking curriculum and design especially formulated with an eye to the needs of the fourth industrial revolution.
The launch of Capital Park, a 14-hectare commercial centre, further facilitates the parkland residence’s work/live/play philosophy. Capital Park offers 10 individually designed three- and four-storey buildings, providing up to 80 000sq m of bulk space. Inspired by the modernist architecture of the 1950s (think white glass, timber cladding and tiles in natural tones), the coherent design of the park makes it an ideal option for a diverse range of tenants, including multinational corporates and those seeking managed office suites.
Steyn City Properties is now ready to break ground on its second commercial building, which offers a total area of 5 077m² spread across ground, first, and second storeys and roof level, as well as 315 parking bays.
This year also saw the introduction of Steyn City’s beautiful 104 on Creek apartments; an ideal option for people seeking the convenience of a lock up and go lifestyle, but still desire the space that only Steyn City’s 2 000-acre backyard can offer.
These impressive offerings set the stage for our most exciting venture yet: the City Centre.
The future is exciting
The City Centre redefines luxury living in South Africa, with design and facilities never seen before at any lifestyle estate or gated community.
“We’ve pulled out all the stops,” Plumari promises. “Steyn City is the only place in South Africa where you can schedule a meeting at the last minute and be there within the hour – thanks to our heliport, which allows you to bypass all traffic by hopping into a helicopter.”
The magic starts with the City Centre itself: picture an entirely pedestrianised city of over 700 apartments and 11 penthouses, spilling down a stepped hillside in the manner of yesteryear’s citadels. Architect Bryan Charters of SCAD (Steyn City Architecture and Design) explains that this has been made possible by building the City Centre on top of a super basement capable of accommodating 2 000 cars.
The apartments are reached from the basement via 18 core lifts, which incorporate design elements such as timber, sandstone, granite and marble.
Each lift core is visually unique, making it easy for users to remember where they’ve parked their car. Charters adds that the basements are nothing like the dingy spaces we’ve become used to. Instead, they have been envisaged as design elements in their own right, featuring light and green spaces to ensure spaciousness, while high roofs provide ventilation and create a sense of volume. “We invested enormous effort in getting the parks and green spaces to fold into the basements. We also cut large openings into the basement roofs to allow for light and ventilation. The result is a basement like none seen before, Charters says.
The City Centre is serviced by a network of tunnels beneath the basement level, which feature refuse shoots leading off each of the core lifts and diverting all refuse and services. This allows for a cleaner environment without visual ‘noise’.
Each apartment features Blu-line kitchens with integrated Gaggenau appliances. “This is one of the largest single Gaggenau installations in the world,” Charters enthuses. Made in Germany, Gaggenau is a manufacturer of high-quality home appliances and is acknowledged as an innovation leader in design and technology. With a history dating back to 1683, the company has revolutionised the domestic kitchen with its internationally acclaimed products. “This is definitely the biggest project for us in Africa. And one of the biggest in the world,” comments managing director, Alper Sengul of Gaggenau.
Kohler fittings and sanitaryware have been installed throughout.
Residents at the City Centre bask in what is best described as one of South Africa’s most beautiful lifestyle hubs. In keeping with Steyn City aesthetic, which places heavy emphasis on the outdoors, the City Centre has a number of parks and green spaces (most of which can be accessed directly from the basement).
The most noteworthy of these is the central park on the City Centre’s lower level, lined with restaurants and boutiques. This park finds its upper-level counterpart in a large piazza, which is located on a canal and, again, is surrounded by a number of high-end stores. According to Charters, these form part of 5 000 sqm of mixed-use retail space, which includes artisanal food merchants, beauticians, hair salons, pharmacies, eateries, florists, and many other service providers whose presence makes life easier for residents – especially since their service typically includes home delivery.
A large rim flow resort pool, complete with heated section, offers yet another option for relaxing and entertainment. Added to this, the City Centre features several residential roof top pools, allowing residents a private space, close to the sun, above the City Centre. Added to this, the penthouses are designed with their own private roof top plunge pools.
In stark contrast to the City Centre’s old-town aesthetic are the amenities which ensure that life can proceed at the pace that modern city dwellers have come to expect. The City Centre functions as a world class, smart city; it is entirely self-contained, and has been fitted with its own water reservoir and generators to protect against disruptions to services.
Each of the luxury apartment homes is connected to the Lagoon, one of the City Centre’s most exciting features. The Steyn City Clearwater Lagoon has been designed and built by GAST Clearwater, a South African company boasting a 58-year track record, while Renico has undertaken the bulk earthworks.
“Residential lagoons are a relatively new concept in South Africa: however, they are one of the highest attracting amenities for residential developments around the world,” comments Kevin Gast, CEO of GAST. It’s not only the size of this feature that warrants mention, at 300m long; also remarkable is the fact that it is entirely chemical free, using GAST’s Clearwater purification process to produce crystalline water.
The lagoon’s incredible features are as good as any of South Africa’s seaside destinations, including a kiddies’ water park, beach areas, volley ball courts, change facilities and a kiosk where you can grab refreshments and rent necessities like umbrellas or sports equipment.
The City Centre’s heliport adds yet another dimension of convenience to life at the City Centre. The heliport’s unique loading bay means a number of helicopters can be loaded simultaneously, so there’s no delay between taxi and take off for a large contingent.
Passengers are invited to wait within the beautiful reception area; with graceful lines inspired by a helicopter’s rotors, this facility is complete with a lounge and TV area, inviting coffee area, office suite and washroom facilities. “This is another way in which we are striving to make life more convenient – again, it’s about saying goodbye to traffic jams as we explore new ways to enhance effectiveness. It’s part of what makes Steyn City unique.”
Although it’s reasonable to anticipate that such facilities would come at a price, Steyn City Properties’ CFO, Christo de Wet says that the company is considering a number of flexible financial options that take into account the current tough economic circumstances. “Our goal to investment in Steyn City is to make it a viable proposition to more South Africans. We’re also making this investment opportunity more accessible to forward-thinking investors, helping them take advantage before there’s major uptake or the market turns.
These options also open Steyn City as an investment opportunity to a market which often finds itself precluded, such as small to medium business owners, self-employed individuals and foreigners.
De Wet explains that purchasers may, for example, consider a rental with an option to buy. This model is based on the establishment of a fixed price upfront, with an eye to buying the home after a specified period.
Pricing for City Centre will be disclosed at the launch in 2020.
“There is nowhere else in the South Africa where you can enjoy the buzz of urban living, yet saddle your horse for a ride in the countryside without leaving the property,” Plumari says with pride.
A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel said on Friday that China was entitled to slap compensatory sanctions on US imports worth $3.579 billion annually for the US failure to remove anti-dumping duties – roughly half the amount China had sought. The decision came as the world’s two biggest economies try to clinch Phase 1 of […]
The post China may impose $3.58 billion in annual trade sanctions on US: WTO panel appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..
Traders and investors are nervously awaiting rating agency Moody’s decision Friday night on whether it will keep the country at investment grade or not.
The post Traders and investors nervously await Moody’s decision appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..
Moody’s Investors Service has changed its outlook on South Africa’s credit ratings from stable to negative but has affirmed the B-aa3 long-term foreign and local currency issuer ratings.
The post Moody’s changes SA outlook to negative appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..