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The Pitstop

Dunlop is one of the most iconic and recognisable tyre brands in the world, with an unbroken history going back over 120 years.

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Match report: South Africa win the World Cup!

Match report: South Africa win the World Cup!

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Preview: The Rugby World Cup Final!

Preview: The Rugby World Cup Final!

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Post-match Report – The Semi-Finals’

Post-match Report – The Semi-Finals’

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Dunlop Tyres SA 27/05/2020

Dear Colleagues, Partners and Stakeholders,

Dear Colleagues, Partners and Stakeholders,

Whilst we all continue to live in these uncertain times, the Global coronavirus pandemic endures to affect people, businesses, communities and our general way of life. However, during this period, we need to remain calm, sensible and rational when dealing with all things COVID-19 related.

Following confirmation last week of four staff that entered Sumitomo Rubber SA (Sumitomo Dunlop), who tested positive with COVID-19, the company conscientiously decided to close operations for seven days. Sumitomo Dunlop has since been working closely with the Departments of Health and Labour who have been guiding and assisting the company in aid of enhancing the established health and safety protocols for all employees.

To that end, the plant will be resuming operations on Monday the 25th of May 2020.

Furthermore, Sumitomo Dunlop have subsequently made the diligent decision to have all employees tested for COVID-19 before operations resume at the Ladysmith Plant. No employee and service contractor will be allowed to enter and work on site unless there is proof of testing being performed with a negative result for the coronavirus.

Sumitomo Dunlop are also conducting compulsory training on site for all Sumitomo Dunlop employees, as well as our service contractors, who are required to perform their duties on our premises.

The health and safety of all remain paramount and we trust that a unified approach will enable both our country and companies to navigate through this pandemic.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Stay Safe!
Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other!

Warm Regards,

Riaz Haffejee

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Dunlop Tyres SA 17/05/2020

Dear Colleagues, Partners and Stakeholders,

In the last week, Sumitomo Rubber SA (Sumitomo Dunlop) received results from the Laverna Medical Centre in Ladysmith of four staff that entered the company who have tested positive with COVID-19. This, after less than two weeks of reopening in Level 4 lockdown status.

In light of this, we worked very closely with the Department of Employment and Labour (DoL) and have come to a decision to close the Ladysmith site for the next seven days. We have begun working on extended measures in our protocols and will do this with the Department of Health (DoH), as we have determined that these cases did not display the common symptoms at the time of testing and screening. Broad prevention of the virus is possible and necessary, however, predicting the virus is near impossible.

Both departments have also been very proactive in their investigations and expressed satisfaction with our response and timing to the incidents.

As much as we have planned screening and prevention methods for what we know about the virus and the transmission, we have found that greater measures need to be taken into account.

As soon as we were notified of all four cases, contact tracing was done and all relevant employees have been self-quarantined, and are undergoing testing. The plant also initiated disinfection and sanitization, with great care being taken to ensure that all hygiene protocols and activities are addressed for further prevention and detection in the factory. This was in addition to the current disinfection and sanitization protocols already implemented.

The current status with our staff in Ladysmith:

  • 4 cases positive;
  • 13 direct contacts in quarantine - (6/13 test results are negative thus far and 7/13 pending).

The company clinic has been very quick and attentive to the situations we have faced and thus far the screening measures have proved effective in identifying where testing is necessary.

In the coming week, we will be working with DoL and DoH to establish the new enhanced measures in order to ensure that the health and safety of our employees remain paramount.

The company has conscientiously closed operations in Ladysmith for the next seven days and will assess its readiness to reopen at the end of the coming week.

In many ways, we have all been affected by COVID-19. Our top priority has always been the wellbeing of our employees, partners, customers and communities.

Safety is one of our five salient ‘Reasons to Believe’ foundational principles. It is a core target for Sumitomo Dunlop and is embedded in all that we do. Therefore, we will always continue to drive our efforts in ensuring the utmost safety for our employees whilst at work; and will continue to take all precautionary measures necessary to curb the spread of the virus at all cost.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Stay Safe!
Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other!

Warm Regards,

Riaz Haffejee

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Dunlop Tyres SA 14/05/2020

Dear Colleagues, Partners and Stakeholders,

We received confirmation from the Laverna Medical Centre in Ladysmith that an employee of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

The employee reported to work on Monday, 11th May 2020 for night shift. During the mandatory daily temperature screening, the employee did not exhibit or declare any symptoms. However, as the shift progressed, he felt ill, reported to the Production Manager and was referred to the site clinic. After a thorough examination, the nursing sister on duty referred him to the Laverna Medical Centre.

Operations started on Saturday, 2nd May 2020, in high prevention mode at our factory in Ladysmith and the sales and services sites are operating under strictly controlled health and safety conditions, to minimise the risk from coronavirus to our employees and their families.?

Therefore, as soon as our colleague exhibited symptoms, we approached the matter with speed and took collective responsibility in ensuring safe transport to the medical centre via an ambulance service. We are pleased that the latest report received from the doctor is that the concerned employee whilst still in hospital is doing better and in good spirits.

We would like to commend our company doctor, Dr Sibiya who has played an instrumental role in providing us with clear recommendations on equipment cleaning and to identify those individuals who have been exposed quickly and the necessary steps required to ensure containment.

To that end, contact tracing has been done and all relevant employees have been self-quarantined, and are subsequently undergoing testing. We have also initiated a disinfection and sanitization with great care being taken to ensure that all hygiene protocols and activities are addressed for further prevention and detection in the factory. This is in addition to the current strict disinfection and sanitization protocols already implemented.

The factory will resume operations on Monday, 18th May 2020, once the disinfection process is completed.

In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces, an investigation is currently being conducted together with further preventative hygiene measures as prescribed by the Directive. Furthermore, we have had invaluable support and advice over the last two weeks from the Department of Employment and Labour, in our efforts to improve our COVID-19 Strategic Health and Hygiene protocols.

Since the incident, consultation and engagements with the Department of Employment and Labour and the Department of Health have taken place to ensure all protocols are followed. Both departments have also been very proactive in their investigation and expressed satisfaction with our response and timing to the incident.

We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 is here to stay. Large-scale social and behavioural changes will be the best defence in tackling the virus.

In response to curb further infections, Sumitomo Dunlop launch the Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other! initiative on 24th April 2020.

The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness and to be mindful that even though the coronavirus, if not controlled may spread rapidly, how we respond and behave towards it really matters.

Respect the virus, it does not discriminate and does not work office hours. We need to develop and live in high prevention mode 24/7.?

Remember the importance of washing your hands with soap and water or sanitizing with alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly, wearing your cloth masks when outside and practicing social distancing at all times to protect You from Me.

Our top priority has always been the wellbeing of our employees, partners, customers and communities. During a time of crisis, the conditions change day by day, and we need to be resourceful and protect each other by continuing to take all precautionary measures necessary to curb the spread of the virus. Furthermore, we will always continue to drive our efforts in ensuring the utmost safety for our employees whilst at work.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Stay Safe!
Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other!

Warm Regards,

Riaz Haffejee

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Dunlop Tyres SA 08/05/2020

Dear Partners and Colleagues,

From Friday, 1st May 2020, KwaZulu Natal has moved to a Level 4 lockdown. As a manufacturer in the Automobile industry, what this means is that we need to be operating with a maximum of 50% of total headcount at all times on site. In addition, the Automotive Manufacturing Sector which is dependent on market demand, services and vehicle maintenance will need to move in a phased start up approach as lockdown starts to become less restrictive.

Currently as we stand coming out of the Level 5 lockdown, we have had zero production and were able to sell approx. 10% of our normal sales for emergency services only. During Level 4 however, we are able to manufacture within limits and our dealers are now allowed to sell tyres to all persons albeit still on an emergency basis. This is great news for us!

In respect of COVID-19, we are aware, this is a new virus for humankind, and we are all at risk of getting this disease. Thus, extra prevention measures are necessary and in the case of SA, we have chosen to be extremely careful to limit the spread.

Sumitomo Rubber SA has fully supported the initiatives and suggested measures put forward by Government. Although there is widespread uncertainty around the world, we have a lot to be thankful for, in that the virus could have had far more devastating results than it has been in our country. Moreover, we have the backing of SRI, our Global company, throughout this period. They will also be sending through 200 000 disposable masks to South Africa to use within our factory and sites to ensure that all employees health and wellbeing is maintained.

Under the COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy – Level 4: Draft Framework, we would like to advise that from Saturday, 2nd May, production in accordance with an implemented shift pattern for both our TBR and PCR plants has commenced. From an office and branches perspective, we will continue to operate on a rotation/remote working structure.

In addition, we are taking care of all COVID-19 strategic protocols under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in particular the Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations governing workplaces in relation to Coronavirus Disease 2019 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This Directive applies to employers and workers in respect of the manufacturing, supply or provision of essential goods or essential services and any workplace permitted to continue or commence operations before the expiry of the Lockdown Regulations.

To that end, it is mandatory for all staff to wear masks and to make sure that desks, equipment, and the like are sanitized every morning and evening. There will also be daily compulsory screening and now, the use of a biometric card to access the building thereby limiting people from using their fingerprints. Provisions of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, a social distancing seating plan and staggered lunches have also been implemented.

Furthermore, while on site, we will continue to monitor all employees who may exhibit symptoms of the virus and impose medical surveillance on them immediately, especially those who are 60 years and older and/or with pre-existing conditions.

Kindly find the published regulations, for ease of reference here:

Finally, as a nation we are fighting an unprecedented virus. Therefore, I would like to reiterate that large-scale social and behavioural changes will be the best defence in tackling the?virus; and together with our families and communities we must protect each other.

Remember, I wash my hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers regularly, always wear my mask and practice social distancing to protect YOU from ME. If you do the same, we will protect each other.

As we know more, we will advise you.

Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other!

Warm Regards,

Riaz Haffejee

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Tyre safety during and post-COVID-19 lockdown

Dunlop Tyres SA 08/05/2020


With the COVID-19 lockdown well underway, you would be forgiven for not having given the condition of your vehicle’s tyres a second thought. If you are not an essential worker and required to leave home for work, it is unlikely you are taking the road very often. As a result, your vehicle may have been standing - perhaps in one place or on an uneven surface - for an extended period of time which may have led to tyre damage/concerns.

“It would be a good plan to start your vehicle every couple of days to ensure that the battery stays charged, but did you know that you should also move your vehicle to prevent tyre damage as a result of long-term standing?” asks Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Dunlop. “We tend to think of our tyres as tough and indestructible, and to a large degree – they are. But standing in one position for long periods, or on an uneven surface, spikes, or broken glass, may cause tyre damage such as flat-spotting or punctures.”

Checking the surface where you park for objects such as nails or rocks, moving your vehicle occasionally and ensuring the tyres are correctly inflated while the vehicle stands, may help to prevent damage.

If you are an essential services worker and your tyres need attention or replacing, you can contact the Dunlop Essential Services Hotline on 0800 258 253 and be connected to a tyre fitment specialist in your area who will assist you during the lockdown.

Haffejee offers the following top three tyre tips for those who will be heading back to the workplace and into rush hour traffic post-lockdown:

  • Check the pressure: Inflating your tyres to the correct pressure, as per the vehicle owner’s manual or the panel on the inside of the driver’s door, will not only extend the life of your tyre, it will assist with the braking and road grip when you get back on the road. Under-inflation can lead to tyre blow-outs and over-inflation reduces traction, so if you cannot check the inflation at home, head to your nearest filling station to have this checked. Inflating your tyres to the correct pressure while your vehicle is standing may not seem important, but it can help to maintain the tyre and prevent the development of flat spots and will ensure that your vehicle is ready for use in the case of an emergency or when the time comes to take the road again.
  • Inspect your tread: Turn your steering to the far right and check the tread on your front tyres. Be sure to do a close inspection of the back tyres too. The tread needs to be above the tread depth indicator, a small gauge set at 1.6mm in the grooves of your tyre, to be legal. When the tread is below, or in line with the indicator, your tyres need replacing and driving with them in that condition will put your safety, and that of other road users, at risk. This would also be a good time to check for any damage that may now be evident as a result of hitting a pothole or pavement/curb when the vehicle was in use.
  • Rotate your tyres: While this step is not possible during lockdown, it is something to note for the future. Rotating your tyres on a regular basis has been shown to increase the tyre lifetime and improve tread wear. This should be done by a professional tyre fitment centre, that will check each tyre for issues such as reduced or uneven wear, sidewall damage or punctures.


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Check that you have not parked on glass or nails
Turn your tyre to the right to check the tread














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Match report: South Africa win the World Cup!

Dunlop Tyres SA 13/11/2019

It was arguably one the finest performances not only of his Bok team at The Rugby World Cup 2019 but of all Springbok teams in their proud history of well over a century. Don’t get me wrong as I am not saying that this is the best Bok team in the history but from a rugby point of view, they were almost faultless on the day. To even try and explain what it meant for me in a personal capacity but more importantly for South Africa as a country would possibly be best understood when attending or watching the trophy tour across South Africa the last week-long may this euphoria last not only on the rugby field but across all playing fields all over South Africa.

I was very fortunate to attend The World Rugby Awards Dinner on the Sunday night in Tokyo after the final with all and especially South Africans still on a high after the demolition job done on a much more fancied England team. Let me just stop and congratulate Eddie Jones and his English team on a wonderful Rugby World Cup campaign and as good as they were against The All Blacks the week before in the semi-final, The Boks matched and more in the final a week later.

When you live in South Africa you have a better understanding as to what sport and in particular rugby means to us as a nation. When you are a foreigner you hear the story but it`s very different as to what rugby represents in your country. The night of the awards dinner in Tokyo, Siya and his team were the last to arrive not that they were late but because it was planned that the World Champions arrive to a standing ovation. The standing ovation was not planned nor staged but a genuine appreciation and congratulations from all attending to this special team. During the course of the evening the MC had to ask guest to stop asking the Bok team for autographs and pictures and give them time to eat and more importantly enjoy the evening. The Boks didn’t shy away from any interaction and time with the guests and it was the most humbling experience for the who`s who of World Rugby.

When Siya received the Team of the Year award on behalf of the whole team and being interviewed up on stage you could hear a pin drop in a room of over 1000 guests. At that moment I believe for the first time ever, the world took notice and realized what rugby in this country means to US. If we think that the victory on the field was big you can multiply that by a thousand the moment the penny dropped in that room.

Arriving back my youngest son Cai, was first to greet me at the airport with his mom. He was quick to tell me that he would no longer liked to be addressed as Cai and that I can call him Mapimpi from now on. What more can I say as this team have not only grabbed the imagination of rugby supporters and followers from around the world but the youngest and dearest in our country who will lead this country in years to come - Mission Accomplished!


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Preview: The Rugby World Cup Final!

Dunlop Tyres SA 01/11/2019

We have really seen it all during this year`s tournament and no one could have predicted the way it eventually would turn out at the start of this tournament. We did say that there are a number of teams who could on their day beat any opposing team and that was at least one thing we got right.

When The Boks lost their opening game against pre-tournament favourites, The All Blacks, many suggested that it might be an easier route, if there is such a thing at a Rugby World Cup. Most of us had no doubt that Ireland would top their pool ahead of Scotland and Japan and that The Boks would face them in the quarters. We all know what happened next and the whole tournament was turned on its head. In saying this I also strongly believe that if Rassie and his coaching team was offered the route The Boks eventually had to follow to make it to the final they would have jumped at the opportunity.

Tomorrow The Boks will face arguably the best team at the tournament thus far. England is a team incredibly well coached and with Edddie Jones at the helm that’s absolutely no surprise. His game plan against The All Black was masterfully planned in the team room and faultlessly executed on the field. Many believe that he will have another few aces up his sleeve but also had doubts that England could play and lift themselves again like they did in the semi-final.

The Boks has an equally astute coach although a lot younger and less experienced in the coaching department. His game plan is very simple, based on a massive pack of forwards and dominance in the set pieces namely line outs and scrums. Throw into that mix a predominantly kick orientated 9 and 10 and a blend of brutal and uncompromising defence and you will recognize the blueprint of a South African national rugby team who for years ruled and terrorized the international rugby scene with just that.

Will Eddie spring a surprise or will Rassie and the team decide to change their plan, play more attacking rugby and to have a go from their own half? We can only really speculate and in doing so we build and add some more fire to a fixture rich in history and some immense battles in the past.

I can say one thing for certain and that’s a fact. In the last 2 years Bok supporters have seen an incredible turnaround in this team. The Boks have gone from no-hopers losing to Italy, to World Cup finalist and currently ranked as the number 2 team in world rugby-strangely enough we are just behind England and I think a fitting end to a wonderful tournament- The Best team in the world playing the second best team to lift The William Webb Ellis Trophy.

For most players and in both teams tomorrow will be the biggest games of their lives and for some it will be a life changing experience. Days like tomorrow are what dreams are made of and the many test matches played in their backyards growing up as kids will tomorrow become a reality.

What more could any avid rugby supporter ask for on a weekend that will no doubt have us on the edge of our seats.

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Post-match Report – The Semi-Finals’

Dunlop Tyres SA 29/10/2019

Who will be crowned this weekend as Rugby World Cup champions 2019

It`s easy to beat the All Black on paper or around the braai, we have all done that many times before but you have to first of all give Eddie Jones, England coach his dues and then take a bow as the team executed an almost flawlessly crafted game plan for 80 minutes. I cannot remember when last and I don’t think ever seen an All Blacks team so outsmart, outmuscled and outplayed. England made one mistake in the 57th minute and that led to The All Blacks only try and 7 points of the game.

The England performance was one of the best from a game plan executing perspective I have ever seen. It can only described as a rugby masterpiece and will form a great part of Rugby World Cup history but what was even more impressive and refreshing was the way in which The All Blacks graciously accepted their defeat. If you wear The All Blacks jersey you win around 77% of all your games since test results been recorded or 590 odd All Black test matches ever played, just to put that into perspective. There was NO moaning about anything other than “Well done England today we were beaten by the better team.” I only have the utmost respect for that!

Most supporters and fans apart from The Welsh had The Boks down to win and most by a slightly bigger margin than the eventual 3 points off Handre Pollard`s boot in the in the 76th minute of play. Semi-final rugby is all about winning whether by 1 or by 100 points, it makes no real difference other than the style and confidence you get as a team by executing the game plan and tasting victory in doing so. The Boks team and in particular Faf De Klerk kicked a fair amount of ball onto The Welsh back three and it`s been a crucial part of The Boks game plan during Rugby World Cup 2019. Damian De Allende had another outstanding test and scored The Boks only try. I mentioned his form last week and the influence of his play in the midfield for The Boks will have to be just as good if not better, to contain the likes of Farrell and Tuilagi on Saturday but more about that later in the week.

Looking back at The Boks results and play over the last 20 test matches one cannot ignore the constant improvement and growth as a team. Fans and supporters want to see results right from the start of a new coach`s reign and it`s no different in any rugby playing country and in fact all team sports. The Boks other than their improved results and improved win ratio has only seen a steady climb in World Rankings and it will be a showdown between the number one ranked England when they take on the 2nd best ranked team in the world ,South Africa come Saturday.

This week will all be about the same again for The Boks with regards to preparation and trying to stick to doing everything as per the last few weeks. I know it is so easy to say but from a players and management point if view it is crucial to stay calm and to relax as much as possible- easier said than done, it is a Rugby World Cup Final week after all.

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Match Preview: The Semi-Finals!

Dunlop Tyres SA 28/10/2019

In fact many of them don’t have their 1st team that they would usually support still playing in the competition but with their tickets bought months and even a year ago in the hope that their teams might lift the William Webb Ellis trophy in 2019 they decided to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the semi-finals regardless.

With only the top 4 teams remaining and everything to play for this weekend it is really the ultimate for any rugby supporter and to watch a semi-final at a Rugby World Cup can only be described as a once in a lifetime experience.

Rugby World Cup 2019 has been a massive success from a new rugby frontiers point of view and many viewership records broken along with revenue raised by World Rugby. It shows that rugby is indeed a very special game and if played in the right manner and for the right reasons, it still grabs the imagination of fans and even people with no previous contact with the game at all.

Before the tournament many would have predicted at least 3 of the teams in the semis to be there. The 2 Southern Hemisphere team, The All Blacks and Springboks were possibly most fans certainties to make it through to where we are today with England the other. It would always be a debate for the 4th team depending on which team you support and Wales and Ireland probably the 2 other teams mentioned. Wales made it through and gives us an even split between 2 teams each from North and South.

The All Blacks will take on England in today`s fixture and The Boks will take on Wales in the Sunday game.

The All Blacks were outstanding against Ireland and played their best rugby of the tournament without a doubt. Many, including myself questioned All Blacks coach and management decision to play World Rugby Player of the year 2018, Beauden Barrett out of position at fullback but he set the game alight in the quarter finals with a man of the match performance-WOW!

England were equally impressive in their quarter finals game with a comprehensive victory over Australia and no one can argue that with the 40-16 score line.

This off course makes for mouth- watering semi-finals between The All Blacks and England. England on any given day can beat the All Blacks but will that day be today.

Wales eventually overcame a 14 men French team and from what we`ve seen this Rugby World Cup is that once a red card comes out teams playing with 14 men have no chance of winning that game. Wales will sorely miss Josh Havili and Liam Williams both out through injury when they take the field on Sunday.

The Boks had to work really hard against the host nation Japan but with their sheer size and brutality in their tackles they eventually wore the hosts down to win their quarter final game. Their game plan paid dividends at the end and I have no doubt that very little will change for the semi-finals. Cheslin Kolbe will be sorely missed but what an opportunity and chance for S`bu Nkosi.

Prediction time and as always it’s a tough call. I will go on from and history to say The All Blacks and then South Africa purely on heart, it is after all a World Cup semi-final and you have to back your team even if they had no chance. Semi -finals in a players career only comes along ever so often and all these players are 2 games away from a life changing experience.

Enjoy the rugby!

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Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy

Dunlop Tyres SA 22/10/2019

Before I look at The Boks I need to mention the Japanese and the joy and excitement they have brought not only to this particular game but to the whole Rugby World Cup. I have no doubt that for the game to grow internationally, more teams need to be able to compete consistently against the top tier rugby playing nations-its just good for the game. Japan have done that during this tournament and with the excellent hosting thereof, they have inspired a whole new generation of young kids across the country to play the game. Well done for being such wonderful hosts and welcoming all rugby supporters to your friendly country.

The Boks got the job done and even though they had an early scare and potential red card review for The Beast, referee Wane Barnes got this particular call 100% correct in my view. Looking at the incident it all pointed to a red card for the big man, right until the point of contact to the ground for the opposition player. It was a split second between yellow and red and in saying this I am also very grateful that I don’t have to get tackled by Beast anymore. Luckily for The Boks the first point of contact was not the head and Beast only spent 10 minutes in the “sin bin”

The Japanese came out as expected very well organized in attack and playing the game at a 100 kilometres per hour. It of course makes for a very entertaining game to watch but the organization of The Boks defence, not letting in a single try in 80 minutes and the brutality in some of their tackles eventually wore The Japanese down and The Boks got the better of them. Together with a very strong scrummaging performance by the pack along with valuable metres made from lineout drives, the big South African pack had just too much firepower for their counterparts.

At lot has been said about the man of the match, Faf De Klerk and his kicking tactics during this game and tournament. He`s been heavily criticized by the South African rugby public but I think rather unfairly so. I am not saying that I approve of kicking the ball so often but these instructions and kicking of the ball will be direct orders from the coaching staff and part of Bok game plan. The management and coaching staff believe that by kicking the ball and using these tactics you can win the Rugby World Cup and I have no doubt that they will stick to those right till then- whenever that may be.

Damian De Allende had a huge game for The Boks at inside centre and it`s wonderful to see him play so well again. During The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England he was one of our best players along with Lood De Jager and he certainly enjoys playing in Rugby World Cups.

We take on The Welsh in the second semi-final of the weekend on Sunday and The All Blacks who demolished Ireland, will take on an English team who totally outplayed an under performing Wallabies side. We have another fantastic weekend of rugby to look forward to and I will give my predictions and previews on all these games later this week.

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Japan

Dunlop Tyres SA 21/10/2019

During the pool stages most games went according to plan and the biggest upset and surprise package has undoubtedly been the host nation, Japan. Full value for their victory over Ireland many thought that it might have been a Springbok Brighton 2015 Rugby World Cup moment but again they delivered again against Scotland during the game of the tournament....SO FAR!!

This weekend we see the top 8 going head to head and again most fans and spectators agree that the results should go according to the bookies and the Favourites, New Zealand, Wales, England and South Africa should progress to the semi- final. Now I would not necessarily disagree with their predictions and after all they are the professionals and to be fair, they are bloody good at it. I just have this strange ,I cant quite put a finger on it feeling that there will be one upset this weekend and that a BIG team or favourite`s tournament will be over- in saying this I do however have absolutely no idea which game and which team will go home on Sunday or Monday night.

Just as a matter of interest and World Rugby only allow the teams knocked out of the tournament a day or 2 grace and then they have to leave the hotel and tournament. I remember beating England in France during the 1999 World Cup quarter finals and as we cross the English Channel back to England for the semis, on arrival we check into the Petersham Hotel waiting at the door for the England team to check out-cruel but part of professional sport.

If we look ahead to the game that most of South Africa will be watching tomorrow (Please ESKOM) most people I talk to seem pretty confident that it will be a comfortable Bok victory. Many believe that Japan played their final last week against Scotland and there is off course merit in saying that. I am of the impression and argument that we should win the game but not entirely confident that it will be comfortable and with a big winning margin. As mentioned previously I attended the Japan vs Scotland game and was blown away with the organization and speed with which the Japanese play. What they might lack in size compared to the traditional rugby playing nations they certainly make up for in speed and what they do with the ball when they get their hands on it.

The Springbok team selection is pretty good and I agree with Rassie`s philosophy of not changing too much in a winning team. A massive pack of forwards that should have enough control of the Japanese 8 and to some degree dominance to allow for good ball to the backs, always on the front foot. What the backline decides to do with that ball is entirely up to them but let`s hope for not too much aimless kicking and a weak kick chase onto an electric Japanese back three.

Hometown advantage will play a massive part come kick off tomorrow night and the 52 000 seater Tokyo Stadium will be packed to the rafters with mostly Japanese fans. Rumour has it that 1 Million Japanese jerseys has been sold so far and I can well believe that as I can`t find one left in the whole of Tokyo to buy for a friend.

As always it`s time to make a call and I think that The Boks will win by just more than one score or less……let`s say by 9 points.

Out of interest I will also say The All Blacks (comfortably), France and England to be the other semi-finalist.


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Earthquakes, typhoons and unbelievable rugby

Dunlop Tyres SA 16/10/2019

For me even the flight to a new country and destination is an experience in itself and too see new places and meet new people is indeed an honour and privilege. Its all been part of my life for a long time but never something like I will ever take for granted.

Japan is an amazing place and I am still trying to find my feet but more importantly trying to get into a sleeping pattern. People often asked if jet lag really affects professional rugby teams and I guess travellers in general -well it certainly does and I am feeling it big time this time round with the 7- hour time difference.

Over the last weekend I also experienced my first and hopefully last typhoon which is a really strong wind that leaves devastation in it`s wake. When we were warned on a number of occasions by authorities and World Rugby not to leave the hotel on Saturday ,I didn’t take too much notice of it and thought to myself as to how bad can it really be. I also thought it would be a great idea to go outside and experience a bit of strong wind and rain. To be the only person in the streets in the centre of Tokyo on a Saturday was unreal and quite spooky, almost like a scene out of a horror movie.

Well needless to say that I was soaked in 2 minutes flat and back in my room in no time. Fortunately for me, we missed the epicentre or eye of the typhoon and on Sunday we had the most beautiful sunny day with millions running and taking kids to the park again. To top the whole extreme weather scenario off we also had an earthquake while in the hotel on Saturday night. I didn’t feel a thing but it was certainly felt by the rest of my team mates and other hotel guests- again I am not quite sure whether to be grateful or not for not having to go through another first , all in one day.

I am off course in Japan for Rugby World Cup 2019 as part of World Rugby Disciplinary panel and we are involved when players are issued with a red card on the field or get cited by the Citing Commissioner for possible foul play after the game. Yes, we are here to watch and to analyse the games in depth but we don’t have to attend all the games and most the reviews are done after the games with the latest technology and a hundred different views and camera angles-quite astonishing.

On Sunday I did attend the must win game for both Scotland and the host nation Japan, at the Yokohama Stadium a short train ride outside of Tokyo and I can honestly say that it was the most amazing and one of the most enjoyable rugby experiences I have ever had the privilege to attend.

Going to any 72 000 seater stadium and feeling the energy and buzz of the crowd is quite something around any rugby stadium in the world but this time it was more than just energy and buzz. It was passion, it was respect for other fans, for the kickers and players on the field, the appreciation of the small things on the field that makes rugby unique, the national anthem and off course the last 30 seconds when the crowd was on its feet counting down the last few seconds together and then the endless cheering and celebration at the final whistle, 28-21 to Japan and their 1st ever qualification for the play-offs in Rugby World Cup history.

I didn’t want to leave the stadium as I just wanted that moment to continue for a while but when we eventually did it was again an experience like no other. I can honestly say that it was the first time ever that stadium staff and volunteers, all perfectly dressed and neat in their Rugby World Cup attire “highfived” me and all the other spectators, saying thank you for watching rugby at their stadium, quite unreal to be honest.

To think that the stadium was only cleared to host the game at 10AM that morning once the weather situation was cleared is indeed amazing and truly remarkable.

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Canada

Dunlop Tyres SA 07/10/2019

I almost got it right in my prediction in one of my last columns as I suggested that Rassie selects his best team for some more game time and fine tuning for the Canada game, get the job done and then bring on the whole bench in the last 25 minutes. He just did it the other way around and I have no doubt that the result and a comfortable win for the Boks will be the same outcome.

At the start of the Rugby World Cup and when Rassie selected his team, most supporters and fans agree on the make- up of the 31man squad bar one or 2 players who could count themselves really unlucky. The young and exciting Western Province flyhalf come fullback, Damian Willemse was one of those players.

Last week Jesse Kriel`s tournament came to an abrupt end with a hamstring injury. The team called up Damian, on loan to Saracens in England and Rassie wasted no time in selecting Damian at fullback and giving him a start against Canada. This will more than likely be his only start but what an opportunity for this talented youngster to play in a World Cup.

I am also super excited but not only about this game but the fact that I am on my way to Japan on Tuesday morning. I have never ever been to that side of the world and for someone who was hyper critical and cautiously nervous about a “non-traditional” rugby playing country hosting a Rugby World Cup, I firstly eat my words and secondly congratulate Japan on a tournament exceeding all expectations up to now.

The Boks will play again tomorrow after a quick 4 day turnaround and demolition job done on Italy albeit against 14 men for more than half hour. After Canada The Boks will have 11 days to recover and get everything and everyone 100% for whoever they will face come the quarter finals on the 19th October. They still don’t know who they will play in that game but that will all be revealed this week.

There are certain things as a rugby team and coach you have some sort of control over and you try to eliminate as many hick-ups and nasty surprises with the way you prepare in the build up to any game.

Right now I believe that The Boks must focus on Canada, get the job done, have a bit of fun along the way, give the whole bench a run and play with some freedom and expression-something you don’t always get in a test match and certainly not at a World Cup. After that the team can rest, forget about rugby for a few days, get some proper recovery and rest under the belt and then start their preparation for whoever awaits them in the quarters.

Prediction time again and I have no doubt that The Boks will win by about 45 points.

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Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy

Dunlop Tyres SA 07/10/2019

If The Boks lose to Canada on Tuesday, which we WON`T, we honestly don’t deserve to advance through the pool stages of rugby`s biggest showpiece at all- so yes we have qualified for the last 8 and it will be in 2nd position behind the All Blacks.

A lot`s been said about where The Boks will finish in the pool and if The Boks finished second it will be an easier route to the final. Let me tell you two things for certain and that’s the fact that no one has any clue as to who will finish first or second in Pool A and no one has a clue either, as to who out of Ireland, Scotland and the host nation Japan will even make it through to the quarter-finals.

This off course doesn’t help The Boks or The All Blacks who will face team 1 or 2 out of Pool A but hey I have said if before and I will say it again- you want to win The Rugby World Cup you have to beat whatever and whoever is in front of you on any given Saturday.

The Boks had a comfortable 14 points cushion when the referee, Mr Wayne Barnes who had an excellent game, blew the final whistle after just 47 minutes. Yes, you know that a rugby game is 80 minutes long but this game was over with just 47 minutes on the clock. I am of course referring to the red card issued to the Italian Number one or loose head, Andrea Lovotti. Again ,I have to congratulate the TMO and match officials who got it absolutely spot on according to the letter of the law and gave Lovotti his marching orders and by doing so declaring it-GAME OVER.

We often talk about red cards in test matches but I am sorry and I will always protect and stand up for the players but in this instance and incident, it was just plain and I quote Italian Coach, Connor O Shea “crash stupidity.” In all test matches we want to see a fair 15 vs 15 men contest but players also know the rules and at some stage must take responsibility for their actions.

I have no doubt that The Boks would have won even if Lovotti stayed on. The game started in the most bizarre fashion with uncontested scrums declared with less than 20minutes played on the clock. I do believe that with a strong Bok scrum and forward pack selected it played into the hands of The Italians but with 2 specialists tight heads injured the referee had no choice but to call for it.

Up until then The Boks did enough to win the game but still there are one or 2 players not hitting their straps. They have one more game against one of the weaker teams in the competition, Canada to rectify this and to make sure they firing on all cylinders come quarter finals time. I have to again mention the play and form of Cheslin Kolbe.

The little maestro is an absolute jewel on the rugby field and certainly put the naysayers about “too small” once and for all to bed. He was lethal on attack scoring 2 tries and defended every time he made a tackle, like his life depended on it.

Italian Mission accomplished, lets have some fun against Canada and go into the quarters brimming with confidence.

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Italy

Dunlop Tyres SA 03/10/2019

For me it is not the end of the world but referring back to my previous views and columns let`s not make any bones and beat around the bush with the enormity of the task at hand, not just for possibly winning the tournament but even making it through to the final on the 2nd of November.

When you lose your opening game of the tournament like The Boks did against the current world champion All Blacks, I am sure Rassie had to reassess the situation and tweaked his plans accordingly-again not a major train smash but change and different approach and in my book mostly to team selection..

In The Boks’ current situation and I don’t refer to this particular situation in a bad way, the one thing that would change for me personally, is team selection. I think it`s clear to see that the team selected by Bok management suggests that The Boks will not take Italy lightly at all and please remember that not so long ago The Boks lost to Italy in Italy. I know The Boks have come a long way as a team since then and again without sounding arrogant but The Boks and Italy should not be mentioned in the same rugby conversation, no disrespect though. When I say this, I merely refer to the fact that with our pool of rugby talent and tradition of rugby in our country, The Boks should always be in the top 3 positions of World Rugby Rankings and a loss to Italy should not even be discussed.

The Bok team selection see Bongi Mbonambi take the place of one of the best players, not only in South Africa but in the world, Malcolm Marx. I agree that he has worked really hard and played well and fully deserves his start, relegating Marx to the bench. The rest of the team and certainly the backline is pretty straightforward even though we would like to see a big improvement in Willie le Roux`s all round skill and play and I would love to see Willie at his best and hitting his straps come quarter final time.

With the Canada game coming up next week I don’t think The Boks can afford to play around with team selection anymore and if this is the best team selected to play Italy, and I believe Rassie should know his best team by now, the same team should be selected come Canada. With the team selection against Italy we see one or 2 changes to the starting line-up compared to the opening game and I don’t believe that the one game against Italy will be enough time for this team to get it 100% right. I would select the same starting team against Canada, give them 60 minutes and with the job hopefully done after 60 minutes, bring on the whole bench and give the reserves a run.

As always, I have to put my you know what on the line and predict a score. I have no doubt that The Boks will win and win by about 20 points. If The Boks win by any bigger margin, it would have been an extremely good performance and excellent result.

P.S. I have a former Team mate and good friend from my Boland playing days, Marius Goosen coaching the Italians along with head coach, Connor O Shea. Expect Marius to pass on some strong words of encouragement and inside info on The Boks to give the Italians some much needed motivation.

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Post-match report: South Africa vs Namibia

Dunlop Tyres SA 01/10/2019

With only 900 registered rugby players in Namibia compared to over 600 000 in South Africa and who knows how many more playing abroad, it should never have been a contest at all. You win the game by 50 or 60 points and supporters and fans agree with my opening statement and if you don’t you just take flack and criticism for not playing and winning better.

If we look at the game we could say and I think agree that we did enough to win and win reasonably well. At one stage early in the 2nd half I honestly thought that The Boks are going to put 80 points passed our neighbours but I guess all the changes, bringing on the whole bench slowed The Boks momentum down , broke their rhythm and forced some errors, typical of the scenario with players coming in and off the bench. We got the bonus point and come the end of the pool stages after 2 more games against Italy and Canada hardly anyone will even remember the score..

Schalk Brits played out of position at eighth man for The Boks and even though I am no supporter and fan of playing any player out of position, let alone at a Rugby World Cup you have to stop and look past that and take into consideration what talented rugby player he really is. Not only did he lead the team but at his age one just have to smile and say well done to the man, not only for his playing ability but also for the manner in which he plays the game-always with a smile on his face even after a punch up with Akker a few months ago.

Rugby is game with some written and some unwritten rules and traditions. Often during the modern and professional games players and even administrators often neglect some of these. Rugby at professional level is very result driven and YES, we have to agree that most fans, sponsors and supporters like to follow and support a winning team.

The point I`m trying to make is that characters and “older” players like Schalk is a rarity but a crucial necessity to pass on these older traditions to a younger professional player. I think Schalk is just the guy to do that and very much like a Bob Skinstad during the successful 2007 campaign in France – every team needs one.

The Bok coach, Rassie Erasmus made plenty of changes for the Namibia game and rightly so. He also welcomed to the team Thomas du Toit, after the tournament ending injury to Trevor Nyankane and wasted no time by sticking him on the bench and giving him a good 25 minutes off the bench to blast out the cobwebs and lack of game time from no rugby in the last 3 weeks.

The Boks are still on target to reach the Quarters and the Irish who we assumed would be their opposition slipped up against Japan, the host nation throwing their pool wide open. The Boks can now face one of three teams, Ireland, Scotland or Japan come Quarter final time. We will still finish second in our pool behind the All Blacks.

All on target for at least 3 more games for now!

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Namibia

Stefan Terblanche 26/09/2019

Let`s all take a long ,deep and soothing breath of fresh air and let`s look ahead of what needs to be done for South Africa to bring the William Webb Ellis back to our country for the third time since 1995.

A lot`s been said over the last few days about the referee and even World Rugby, the governing body worldwide of the game released a statement in which they stated that the referees performances during the opening round of the Rugby World Cup were below par and I quote.

“Following the usual review of matches, the match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019 were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves”

There are always certain elements on a rugby field, players can control to the best of their ability and preparation and the off course there are certain elements players have absolutely no control over- the bounce of the oval ball and the weather.

The referee falls within a category that is really hard to classify when it comes to how much control players and especially the captain of a team have over. Knowing the referee and how much they allow on the field is crucial in the preparation for any test and even more so come Rugby World Cup. We had to mention the referee and some of his questionable decisions during our opening game of Rugby World Cup against the world champion All Blacks as we now look forward to playing our neighbours, Namibia.

World Cup Rugby is all about winning 7 games in a row, or is it? One thing is for sure and that is the fact that every single game is now a knock out fixtures for South Africa-it`s simple and if you Lose you are out.

Without being arrogant and with the utmost respect to our neighbours, The Boks should have no issue winning and winning comfortably against Namibia. We have seen a good few changes and rightly so as all payers will get some game time during the campaign but it will also keep them sharp and match fit should any players suffer any injury during the pool stages.

Namibia will improve their game as it`s not even a written rule but a given that on any matchday when you play against a team ranked so much higher than yourself, you will raise your game by at least 20%. That’s the beauty about the game of rugby and should Namibia lose by 50 points on Saturday they could and I have no doubt they would have given a very good account of themselves. My prediction is that South Africa will be too strong and by 43-50 points.

The importance about this game for South Africa is way more than just a big winning margin. It is about winning and winning well with a very structured approach while creating opportunities and playing what`s in front of you on the rugby field. Good players will play the same whether they are in the own half of the field or on the opposition try line should opportunities present itself.

I again look forward to the game but I am more interested in how the team will bounce back after a very disappointing loss in the opening round.

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The Start to the Rugby World Cup Campaign

Stefan Terblanche 23/09/2019

It wasn’t the best start to the Rugby World Cup campaign and dreams and hopes for The Bok team and the South African rugby public in general. History and historical facts will now have to be made and rewritten for The Bok team to go on and win The William Webb Ellis Trophy. The one fact and significant bit of history I am referring to is the fact that NO team in the history of the 32 -year old Rugby World Cup competition has ever gone on to win the Cup after losing a pool game. England reached the finals twice, in 1991 and 2007 after losing a pool game but lost in the final to Australia and South Africa respectively.

The Boks started really well and had territorial and possessional advantage in the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately they only had 3 points to show for it and a very easy kick ( if such a thing in test rugby) from Pollard hit the upright and within a couple of minutes the All Blacks had a breakaway, Mapimpi made a try saving tackle , conceded the penalty in the tackle for not releasing and the All Blacks were on the score board. After that it was really one- way traffic till halftime and the All Blacks had the 17-3 lead to show for it.

The All Blacks are just one of those teams who can be absolutely nowhere during a game with regards to territory and possession but they find a way of keeping in touch. They play exceptionally well on turnovers have great skill and awareness of space, make good decisions and can score tries from anywhere on the field-they did just that yesterday again. That’s why they are the only team in the world to have won the World Cup three times and won back to back trophies in 2011 and 2015. If we have any doubt about their ability and credentials as serious Rugby World Cup contenders, think again!

Where to for The Boks after a defeat in a game that promised so much in the build up not only this year but ever since the draw was done months back?

The Boks had their opportunities and that’s the encouraging part. The game plan, well is their game plan and not one of us can change it and make them change it, whether we agree with it or not. Game plan is one thing but the most important is the execution thereof. Even when a poor game plan is executed correctly and with believe and conviction it can be effective.

The Boks will have to make history in the next 6 weeks to have any chance of winning the Cup. Many would say that losing will give them an easier route to the final but I don’t agree at all and I`m saying that without even looking at the possible opposition they might face in the next few weeks. Rugby is a sport of confidence for individuals and ultimately the team. You don’t want to lose any games during a tournament as its just breaks your rhythm and confidence. I will rather win all the games in the pool stages and beat whoever I need to beat to lift the Cup come the 2nd of November-most teams and coaches would agree with this.

That said and done I have had a great weekend watching the opening round of games and I am sure we will see and experience some more wonderful rugby and a few upsets along the way.

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Let the Games Begin!

Stefan Terblanche 19/09/2019

I can`t believe that I am actually writing this column with only a few hours to go before the opening of the Rugby World Cup 2019. I can`t believe it for a number of reasons and I will elaborate on that shortly. I have to single out one particular reason and that’s the fact that for the first time ever The Rugby World Cup will be hosted in a non-traditional rugby playing country-that’s right the first time ever since the first Rugby World Cup was hosted in New Zealand in 1987.

I was very pessimistic about the host nation Japan and its ability, not to host an event but to host a Rugby World Cup. In 2015 I attended the Ruby World Cup in the country where rugby was born, England and it just felt right for obvious reasons. Now with the World Cup just around the corner I can hardly contain my excitement firstly about Japan the host nation but also about the most important part, the participating teams.

We have never and I repeat never before seen a Rugby World Cup with so many teams in with a real shout and chance of actually lifting the William Web Ellis Trophy. Usually going into this tournament and especially with The All Blacks dominance and reign as the number one team in the world for the last decade it was The All Blacks and whoever could get a decent draw, the bounce of the ball in the play-offs and some divine intervention along the way as to who would lose to The All Blacks in the final. This year it can end up and any one 7 maybe even 8 teams who could be facing one another come the 2nd of November in Yokohama.

Ireland is Number 1 in the world ,again a first time ever for the country where religion still divides many but not in rugby. Wales spent a few weeks at the top knocking the All Blacks off the top. The All Blacks, well they are the All Blacks and the 3 -time winners certainly knows how to play winning rugby. England is performing well at the right time under Eddie Jones after a very poor 6 Nations showing earlier this year. The Wallabies had their worst year in test rugby history since the 1950`s in 2018 but managed to secure and inflict the biggest ever test defeat of The All Blacks earlier this year during The Rugby Championship. France one can never say anything about and it`s impossible to predict who will arrive on the day and I have no doubt that not even The French can answer that. Argentina been improving constantly over the last few years and will once again cause an upset or 2 on the day at this year`s Rugby World Cup. Scotland can play some decent rugby but just don’t have enough depth to perform any further than just the quarter finals.

We now get to The Boks and what a year WE and I speak on behalf of all Bok Supporters when I say we and wow, what a year the boys and green and gold have had. I have hardly seen such depth, such aggression and urgency on defence and so many players finding form at the right time as what we are seeing right now.

To predict an outright winner right now is almost impossible but I will go with an England, All Blacks and South African flavour in Japan.

To make a prediction for the opening thriller Boks vs All Blacks is just as hard but I believe The Boks will take it by about 5-7 points!

Let the games begin.

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‘Beyond Expeditions’ Team goes Local


Two inspirational BEYOND EXPEDITIONS adventures in the bag, with three more to go! Following on from their BEYOND THE DESERT EDGE (2017) and BEYOND THE RIFT VALLEY (2018) Expeditions, Peter Van Kets and Jacques Marais have their sights set on something brand new and close to their hearts …

“Every year we set of on incredible journeys into far-flung corners of the Mother Continent and the world, but it isn’t often that we get to share these experiences with those closest to us”, explains Van Kets. The two BEYOND EXPEDITION partners both share close bonds with their families, and on both the previous expeditions, they tried very hard to get their partners and children to join them, but logistics and finances made it difficult.

“This year, we made it our priority, and fortunately it plays right into the marketing focus of our key sponsor, ISUZU (SA)”, says Jacques Marais, taking up the story. “Their vehicles, especially the new m-UX and DMAX models, are specifically created to take you safely and efficiently into the great outdoors, and this is where our families come into their own” …

Our XRIDER bakkies – Treva and Noah – underscore a key ISUZU Tag Line: ‘With You For The Long Run’, and as such we can utterly trust them to get us to our destination after two previous successful trips. These trips include their original mission - conjured up over a few beers around a bush fire – BEYOND THE DESERT EDGE.

This world-first desert crank saw the inspirational Van Kets mountain bike all the way from the Angolan border to Swakopmund in Namibia, with adventure photo-journalist Marais joining him on much of the ride while documenting some of Africa’s most remote places.

Their route crossed the uncharted wilderness between the Cunene River up against Angola and the Namibian coast, and they used both fat-bikes and GIANT mountain bikes on their pedal via the inhospitable Skeleton Coast, Kaokoland and Damaraland regions.

Continued sponsorship from DUNLOP and ISUZU – as well as a range of respected outdoor brands – saw them take on BEYOND THE RIFT VALLEY in 2018. This second expedition – in a five-part series of African adventures aimed at highlighting remote African regions under environmental threat took them on a 16 000km road trip into deepest Africa.

Untamed roads and hectic traffic tested their trusty Isuzu X-riders along the edge of Lake Tanganyika and the DRC border, before the ‘Beyond Expeditions’ team took on a number of adventures in remarkable Rwanda. In Nyungwe Forest National Park’s ancient rainforest they tracked chimpanzees and summitted Bigugu Peak, the highest point in the park.

This montane rainforest - set within the watershed between the basins of two river giants - the Nile to the east and the Congo to the west, proved an adventure playground of note. Van Kets bagged a tough 300km MTB ride along the Nile-Congo Trail, conquering steep ascents via the ‘Thousand Hills’ region of Rwanda, before they set course for the renowned Volcanoes National Park, also the setting for the imposing Virunga Mountain ranges. From the park HQ, #BTRV Team set off to summit two volcanic peaks: Bisoke (a caldera peak at 3, 711 m) and Karisimbi (the highest of the Virunga volcanoes at 4,507m.

The latter peak marks the intersection of the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, with legendary views across still active volcanoes bristling within Virunga Nation Park. Severe altitude headaches meant only Van Kets and Marais managed the ascent via the other-worldly giant lobelia forests of Karisimbi and to the inhospitable peak.

Three days of aqua adventure awaited on Kivu, a pristine indigo lake separating Rwanda from the DRC, with the two adventurers paddling the bulk of the 150km shores, rated as one of the ten deepest lakes in the world, all while camping wild on remote islands and surviving epic lightning storms threatening to drive them into dangerous Congo waters.

The final ‘cherry on top’ was an unforgettable trek to interact with the endangered gorillas in northern Rwanda, indeed a Bucket List adventure if ever there was one. The land-locked country of Rwanda proved a revelation to the BEYOND EXPEDITIONS Team. “It’s without a doubt the country with the least crime or corruption anywhere in Africa” ...

All of this may be pretty tough to top, but there is a region in southern Africa that rates as one of the continent’s most exhilarating adventure playgrounds, and this is where the third expeditions will head. The journey will once again take the ISUZU Xriders into challenging desert terrain, but this time, there will be five deserts for the price of one!

That’s not technically true, but here’s the first peek at our BEYOND AUKOEREBIS plan … The Marais and Van Kets clans will meet on the Namaqua West Coast on June 18th, in the process ticking of their first arid paradise. A meandering trip up the coast from Koiingnaas will take them to Port Nolloth for an icy surf before they mission into Richtersveld Proper.

This SANparks national park rates as the oldest mountain desert on the planet, and for the next six days, the two families will set off in search of some of the exhilarating adventures on offer in Desert #2. Fly-fishing for giant yellows, scaling the remote Vandersterr Peak, SUPing the ‘Great River’, white-water kayaking, and billion-star MTB rides under the desert night sky are just a few of the activities lined up.

The Namib-Naukluft (Desert #3) is next on the cards as the BEYOND EXPEDITIONS team travels into Namibia for a few days. A quick trip to the Kolmanskop ghost town and quirky Luderitz Bay is on the itinerary, as is the Fish River Canyon, before the convoy rolls up to Mata-Mata and the vast Kgalagadi National Park.

This ‘Place of Great Thirst’ makes up part of the expansive Kalahari Basin, and will be our ‘4th Desert. Our key destination is the incredible !Xaus Lodge, home to a large swathe of land belonging to the Khomani San people. At !Xaus, we will get to interact with these ancient hunter-gatherer people, tracking the dunescapes, finding medicinal plants, and camping wild on vast desert pans.

Desert #5 is Augrabies, again one of the SANparks Arid Parks’ premier destinations, also known as ‘Aukoerebis’ – or the ‘Place of Great Noise’ – in the Khoi language. One of our key adventures will take place here as we abseil into the granite gorge, and then descend the thundering white-water below South Africa’s biggest waterfall.

The ISUZU Vehicles will once again be equipped by FRONTRUNNER, one of the leading outdoor outfitters, with a full range of vehicle fittings. “We’ve been using FRONTRUNNER tents, hammocks, awnings and #Slimline roof-racks, together with a full range of bomb-proof fittings since our “Beyond the Rift Valley’ Expedition, and nothing comes close to their equipment when you need peace of mind on an adventure into the world’s wildest places”, says Marais, a FRONTRUNNER Ambassador.

Both Kim Van Kets and Karyn Marais are adventurers in their own right, as well, and this adds a fantastic dimension to the BEYOND AUKOEREBIS Expedition. “The fact that they – and of course Beth, Hannah, Robert and Grace - will be able to share in this adventure, really is a dream come true for us”. Feel free to follow the adventures of the Van Kets and Marais families as they set off from the wild Namaqua West Coast on June 18th. They will be tracked by expedition partner SPOT AFRICA, with Live Tracking on their web site

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ATS Motorsport Insider, Episode Five


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New Engen Polo Cup Racing Car Unveiled


This year, the 24 competitors will compete for the championship in the sixth-generation Polo GTI

A few weeks before the official start of the 2018 South African circuit racing season, the new Engen Polo Cup racing car was unveiled in Port Elizabeth.

For the first time in the Engen Polo Cup’s 22 year history, the sixth generation Polo will be a GTI.

The highly competitive Engen Polo Cup Series is a one-make series where performance is kept equal to provide entertaining and close motor racing, teams are limited to chassis setup and tyre pressures and the engine power is also limited.

“We are very excited for the start of the 2018 racing season,” says Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “I am sure that all the Engen Polo Cup competitors are raring to go.”

“The series, which has become known as the School of Champions, is a special one in South Africa and has crowned 16 different national champions. It also an immensely competitive one as only five people have managed to win it more than once,” added Rowe.

The official 2018 South African circuit racing season will kick off on March 24th, when a full field of more than 24 Polo drivers line up for the start of the 2018 Engen Polo Cup at Johannesburg’s Kyalami Race Track.

“New to the line-up of Volkswagen drivers is Raais Asmal, the winner of the 2017 Driver Search competition who will be joining team mate Jonathan Mogotsi, winner of the Rookie of the Year Award last year, in only his first year of racing,” said Rowe.

Competitors will be gunning for victory in eight rounds of the racing season and using a car based on the Polo GTI which will be launched in the second quarter of this year. The car has 2.0L Turbo Charged engine delivering 150KW and 340 NM Torque at 1 bar boost. Transmission is 6 speed manual MQ350 using the same as that of the Golf 7 GTI.

A new feature of the racing cars is Push to Pass, which will give the drivers an extra 20KW for 10 seconds. The Shock absorbers are locally produced SAX units which are sealed and controlled, while coil springs are specified and controlled front and rear. The car is shod with Dunlop semi slicks.

“Volkswagen Motorsport would like to thank Engen for their on-going sponsorship and commitment to what we see as South Africa’s most successful racing formula as well as the competitors who have the confidence in the series to make the change to the all-new car,” concluded Mike Rowe.

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How to #Daycation like a seasoned pro in stunning Cape Town these holidays


Well done! You’ve survived another tough year, and now it’s time to kick back and enjoy your thoroughly deserved holiday. And what better way to take in the wonderful summer air than by treating your family to an exciting day out in Africa’s most beautiful city?

To help readers make the most of their precious free time, we’ve partnered with the #SaferThanSafe team at Dunlop to craft a list of #Daycation tips that’ll have you exploring the southern tip of the continent like a seasoned pro.

OK, let’s go!

An Aerial View of Cape Town Stadium

Tip #1: Cape Town is the crown-jewel of SA tourism for good reason, and with so much on offer, you’ll have to be highly selective when it comes to choosing your top #Daycation spots. Word of mouth is always a great source of information, but so are tourism offices and, of course, the Internet. The more info you have, the more informed your destination choices will be.

Tip #2: Sticking to a budget is about as easy as explaining calculus to your neighbour’s cat. But it can be done. Do your research and enquire about entrance fees and other costs ahead of time. If a particular destination isn’t easy on your pocket, you’re guaranteed to find another option that’s just as awesome.

The Company’s Gardens, the Cable Way and Elegant Cape Dutch Architecture. Images: David Stanely

Tip #3: Ensure that you’re properly informed about operating hours. This one may seem obvious, but if you neglect it, you may find yourself uttering some pretty impolite words through clenched teeth.

Tip #4: Wear sunscreen, and make sure the little ones are well lathered up, too. Speak to your pharmacist about your best options, but remember that even a high SPF (e.g. SPF 50) doesn’t eliminate all UV radiation – which damages the DNA in your one-and-only skin.

Water Sports in Falsebay and Colourful Muizenberg

Tip #5: Driving with rowdy children can be distracting and dangerous. With a constant eye on road safety, Dunlop suggests keeping them well behaved and entertained by playing verbal car games. For example, there’s the classic “I spy with my little eye…” or even the alphabet game. Check out this useful list of tips for keeping kids busy and calm while travelling in the car.

Tip #6: Cape Town is, unfortunately, a highly congested city, so expect that there may be hold ups on your journey. The trick, however, is to research and plan your route well in advance. Google maps’ traffic volume function is exceptionally useful, but advice from locals can also be massively beneficial.

A Sunset View of Cape Town CBD and the Harbour

Tip #7: Whether using your own vehicle or a rental, never assume that everything is in working order. The crew at Dunlop point out that you should always personally check (amongst others): the water and oil levels; that the spare is inflated and that the jack is working; that the tyres are properly inflated and that the tread is safe; that the brakes, brake lights, headlights, reverse lights and indicators are working; that there is petrol in the car, and; that the windscreen wipers are adequate.

Do you have any top notch Mother City #Daycation ideas yet? We certainly hope so. Wherever they may take you, please ensure that you’ll be #SaferThanSafe on our dangerous roads these holidays by visiting your nearest Dunlop Zone, Requesting an Online Quote or by taking advantage of the super awesome Red Hot Rubber Sale.

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Experience Cape Town’s astonishing history on a #Daycation like no other!


Trevor (the hero of our story) has finally decided to treat his wife, Thandi, and young daughter, Luleka, to a whirlwind tour of the beautiful and historically rich Mother City. But with so many important historical landmarks, monuments and museums on offer, where should our travellers begin? Being 100% behind local tourism, and with an eye on the necessity of road safety over the holiday season, Dunlop has asked us to help Trevor out with some fantastic #Daycation ideas.

Here we go!

The Cultural Heritage of an Ancient People

Rock Art at the Iziko South African Museum. Image: Heribert Bechen @

The San and Khoi are the original Capetonians, but unfortunately their intricate and complex culture was tragically marginalised once the first Cape Colony was established. Today, however, much is being done to ensure that these early South Africans have a place in contemporary society. For an unparalleled learning experience, Trevor could either travel 90km north of the city to the !Khwa Ttu, San Culture and Education Centre in Yzerfontein, or visit the Iziko South African Museum, where the fascinating tale of these original peoples is exquisitely exhibited.

Between East and West – The Cape of Storms

The Castle and a Memorial in the Company’s Garden. Images: Heribert Bechen

As is well-known, the Cape Colony first served as a halfway stop for Dutch ships on their way to the “East Indies”. From our present perspective, the project of colonisation is mired in extreme controversy, but knowing that it nonetheless forms an integral part of the South African saga, Trevor is keen to visit the numerous landmarks in Cape Town’s CBD.

The Houses of Parliament near the Company’s Gardens

The Castle of Good Hope dates back to 1666, and is today SA’s oldest functioning building. Within striking distance of the Castle are the Company’s Gardens, replete with colonial statues and even the most ancient pear tree in the country (it has survived since 1652!). Situated close to the gardens are our Parliament buildings, the Slave Lodge Museum, the National Library and the Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium.

Slavery, Oppression, Struggle and Freedom

The (now) Colourful Bo-Kaap. Image: SkyPixels

In stark contrast to the above-mentioned colonial statues are the histories of South Africa’s disregarded and oppressed populations (something close to Trevor’s heart). Going back several centuries, the marks of slavery can be found in the Castle, the Slave Lodge Museum and, indeed, in the (now) colourful and exceptionally vibrant neighbourhood of the Bo-Kaap. As the slave population was imported from Islamic South-East Asia, the Bo-Kaap hosts SA’s oldest and first Mosque (dating back to 1794). The Bo-Kaap Museum is also a must-see as it documents the history of the enslaved Cape Malay population.

The Iziko Slave Lodge Museum. Image: Helen Online

Jumping forward in time to the Apartheid years, the renowned District 6 Museum is a testament to the devastating effects of property dispossession. Of course, no historical Cape Town #Daycation is complete without a ferry trip to Robben Island – perhaps the most iconic representation of Apartheid’s brutal suppression of political opposition.

The Entrance to Robben Island

Enjoy Your #Daycation – And be #SaferThanSafe on the Roads these Hoildays

Wherever his family’s #Daycation may lead, Trevor has ensured that they’ll be #SaferThanSafe on SA’s dangerous roads over the holiday season. Follow in Trev’s sensible footsteps and visit your nearest Dunlop Zone, Request an Online Quote, or check out Dunlop’s phenomenal Red Hot Rubber Sale. Safe travels adventurers!

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A couple’s guide to the most romantic Jozi #Daycation ever!


Meet Dumi. Like so many of us, she’s had a long and difficult year, and the demands on her are ever increasing. Moreover, quality time with her partner, James, has been extremely difficult to come by. But with the festive season nearing, Dumi knows that a romantic day out is just what she needs to escape her everyday stresses and reignite the flame of their relationship.

To help readers like Dumi and James create the perfect setting for their very own #Daycation love story, the sentimental (and always #SaferThanSafe) crew at Dunlop have asked us to put together a short list of Jozi’s most romantic destinations.

A champagne breakfast at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden

The Rose Garden @ Johannesburg Botanical Garden. Image: NJR ZA

Beautiful gardens around the world have seen their fair share of first kisses, first loves, proposals, weddings, and many other blissful moments. In this regard, the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is no different, and it’s an ideal place for our couple to unpack a picnic basket and enjoy a relaxing champagne breakfast in simply gorgeous surrounds.

A gentle trot through the plush hillsides of Muldersdrift

There’s no better way to explore our beautiful Highveld

Next, we’d like to send our couple to the wonderfully green and expansive landscape of Muldersdrift. Whereas romantic horse-rides are usually pictured on a stretch of pristine beach, our gently rolling bushveld will certainly do the trick. If a guided tour on horseback doesn’t excite your imagination, the Hartbeespoort Dam and its much lauded Aerial Cableway are just a stone’s throw away.

Hand-in-hand at the Top of Africa

The night time view from the viewing deck. Image: Roger Gordan

Incredible views of city skylines have long been considered an indispensable motif in romantic films. For our 3rd destination, Dumi and James have travelled into the heart of Jo’burg to experience the buzzing metropolis from an elevated perspective (and by fitting Dunlop tyres they arrived safe and sound). At 50 stories high, and towering above the cityscape below, the Carlton Centre’s glass-encased panoramic viewing deck is without peer on the African Continent. Dumi and James stand hand-in-hand, watching the sun set over Africa’s greatest city.

Dinner and a show – the Jozi way

Images: Adamina and CCFoodTravel

In the evening, our couple’s date night begins in earnest. Dumi and James are perfectly poised to enjoy a magical dinner and catch a movie in true Jozi style. The Maboneng Precinct is an absolute treat on a warm evening, and there are a variety of dazzlingly scrumptious dishes on offer – each of which would impress even the harshest of critics. At our last stop, we’re brought to the culturally vibrant Maboneng Bioscope. Loving the summer night, Dumi and James have opted for an open air screening, relaxing in each other’s arms under the city’s night sky after their best #Daycation yet. (Go ahead James – it’s definitely time for that kiss!)

Be safe on your Jo’burg #Daycation

What are your romantic #Daycation ideas? Wherever they may take you, be #SaferThanSafe on the roads these holidays with Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale. Alternatively, Request an Online Quote or visit your nearest Dunlop Zone.

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Explore some fantastic Jozi #Daycation spots for the kids these holidays


The sun is out, the excitement of the festive season is in the air, and, being an awesome parent, you’re probably thinking about your family’s next thrilling escapade in the City of Gold. Fortunately, Jozi is a spectacular playground just waiting to be discovered by little adventurers.

But, before progressing to our top Jozi #Daycations, the team at Dunlop have asked us to highlight the importance of road safety over this dangerous period. To ensure that your tyres are #SaferThanSafe these holidays, Request an Online Quote or check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale.

OK, let’s jump into it!

Entertaining and educational – Our Arts ‘n Culture #Daycation

Forging a strong connection between fun and learning can be a tricky exercise, but this #Daycation does just that. We start off in Braamfontein, at the People’s Theatre. The theatre specialises in high quality theatrical productions for children, and their colourful current offering, Shrek Jr – the Musical, is guaranteed to mesmerise the little ones.

From Braamfontein, we move to the James Hall Museum of Transport in Newtown, where kids will get a first-hand look at bright red fire engines, shiny busses, beautifully crafted trams, vintage cars and remarkable horse drawn carriages, all from the distant past.

Last on this list is the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. The centre, also in Newtown, is the largest of its kind in Southern Africa. Sci-Bono hosts an incredible variety of tech and science related exhibits, and should definitely inspire your children’s curiosity.

Animal planet – a #Daycation with furry (and some not-so-furry!) friends

The first leg of this #Daycation takes us to the west of the city (Chartwell). The drive will be well worth it, but please bear Dunlop’s request for road safety in mind.

Croc City Crocodile and Reptile Park is home to a large number of jaw-dropping reptile species, including 3m long crocs and 10 of SA’s most venomous snakes. For the brave, there’s also a zip-line over the croc enclosures!

Next we move to Zoo Lake – the perfect spot for a relaxed afternoon picnic. When you have a moment, feed the vocal ducks and chatty geese, or consider taking a gentle row over the lake.

The cherry on top of this #Daycation is its evening offering. The Moonlight Tour at the JHB Zoo is designed to ignite young imaginations, and children can immerse themselves in the exotic and magical species that come to life as the sun sets.

CAn out of city experience – Maropeng #Daycation

It’s not just any 47 000ha of our beloved Highveld landscape that becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so if you’re in GP, The Cradle of Humankind is simply a must-see for children and adults alike.

Start your archaeological expedition by exploring the quiet and tranquil Sterkfontein Caves. Next, get ready to wonder at the fantastic tale of ancient Africa by viewing the absorbing fossil exhibits at the visitors’ centre.

End the day on a breath-taking high by catching a lift on the Hartbeespoortdam Cable Way. There is no doubt that for the little ones, this #Daycation will be the stuff of many happy memories for years to come (and they’ll have a great story to tell the grandparents).

Travel safely – always

Now that we’ve sparked some #Daycation ideas of your own, go out and enjoy a memorable break with your family. Wherever your travels may take your family, please ensure that your tyres are always #SaferThanSafe. For expert advice that you can rely on, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone.

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Have no doubt: our beloved city of Durban is fantastically geared towards accommodating children of all ages in an abundance of enjoyable activities. To ensure that your child-friendly Durbs #Daycation is every bit as awesome as it should be, we’ve partnered with the #SaferThanSafe folks at Dunlop to create a list of amazing destinations that are guaranteed to make you the most popular parent in town!

Travel back in time on the Umgeni Steam Railway

“Maureen” – Transporting South African Travellers Since 1912

Disconnect from the digital overload for a few hours and treat the little ones to a gentle trip on a steam train that dates back more than 100 years. The idea of boarding an old steam train at the Kloof Station and slowly puffing along to the Inchanga Station should sell itself, but so few take advantage of this unbelievable opportunity. Sit back and take in the spectacular views of the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Enthralling and educational – The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Sand Sharks Have Made Waters Just South West of Durban Their Mating Ground

Situated in uMhlanga, the Sharks Board centre is the headquarters of the province’s shark safety and research efforts. The Board is the only institution of its kind in the world, and if this claim to fame isn’t enough, the visitors’ centre houses life size replicas and skeletons of terrifying sharks, graceful rays and other exciting sea life. Kids will be fascinated by the centre’s truly informative audio-visual display and the one-of-a-kind live dissection of a real shark.

Durban at a child-friendly scale – Mini Town

Leave the larger than life urban landscape of this harbour city behind and explore Durban at a more manageable size. Mini Town is certainly worth a visit and has proven to be a fun and popular attraction, especially amongst children. The area is quite exposed to the sun, so take the necessary precautions. Kids are certain to become absorbed by the scale models of well-known Durban landmarks, aeroplanes, and working ships and trains.

Always a winner – Funworld Amusement Park

For kids, no Golden Mile beach #Daycation is complete without a visit to the very affordable Funworld Amusement Park. The park has a variety of exhilarating rides for tiny tots as well as older children. And don’t miss out on the cable car: On a clear day, few views can compare with the sight of endless sun-kissed sands and the astonishingly blue Indian Ocean.

The best ocean side wonderland of them all – uShaka Marine World

A Diver and a Short Tail Ray at uShaka Marine World

This one hardly needs further explanation, and although it isn’t the cheapest destination on our list, the experience is worth every hard-earned Rand. From the brilliant and colourful aquarium, to the dumbfounding acrobatics of Dolphins, to nerve-wracking waterslides, uShaka Marine World is sure to captivate the whole family.

In all the excitement, keep a firm eye on road safety

To be #SaferThanSafe on our dangerous South African roads these holidays, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone, Request a Quote Online or check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale – knowing your options is always empowering. Finally, enjoy your spectacular #Daycation, wherever it may take you!

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Gauteng is less concrete jungle and more African bush than almost any other major metropolitan region on earth, and with the immense range of truly fantastic wildlife #Daycation destinations to choose from, we thought we’d highlight a few popular favourites. Before jumping into our top 4 picks, we’d just like to remind everyone about the importance of road safety over the festive season. To be #SaferThanSafe these holidays, get some expert advice from your nearest Dunlop Zone or check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale.

The Jewel of Gauteng Wildlife – The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Situated on an expanse of 16 000 hectares of untamed Highveld bush, the Rhino and Lion park is widely regarded as a reserve that competes with the best in the country in terms of its mesmerising wildlife. The list of animal attractions is as long as it is impressive: along with lions, white rhinos, rare white and Siberian tigers, cheetahs and wild dogs, one may also spot black wildebeest, gemsbok, springbok, black eagles and Cape vultures. The reserve also offers a chance for children to interact with cubs in an animal crèche. And then there are the simply adorable pygmy hippos…

Walk with nature’s gentlest giants – Elephant Sanctuary Hartebeespoortdam

Elephants have long been an object of hypnotic mystery. Their bodies are colossal and their tusks menacing; but, despite their power, these mammoths are rarely aggressive and seem as inwardly tranquil as they are tender. A chance to walk hand-in-trunk with these majestic creatures should be grabbed with grateful hands. Situated just outside Gauteng to the west of Pretoria, the Elephant Sanctuary specialises in respectful and kind interactions with these gentle giants.

Concentrated brilliance – Pretoria’s Dinokeng Game Reserve

Perfect for a #Daycation, the Dinokeng Game Reserve packs an entire week’s worth of game viewing into just a few breath-taking hours. Situated about 30 minutes’ drive to the north of the capital, the reserve is designed to offer those of us who can’t afford a Kruger trip, a chance to marvel at members of the Big 5. As the game ranges freely across the reserve, there is, unfortunately, no guarantee that you’ll spot all 5 on a given day – but you certainly won’t leave feeling disappointed!

Animal Cities – The Johannesburg and Pretoria Zoos

Viewing animals in a zoo is undoubtedly very different from the game reserve experience. But, for a sheer variety of fauna (including exceptionally rare species viewed in close quarters) there are very few places in South Africa that can compare with the Johannesburg and Pretoria zoos. Of particular note are the evening/night tours conducted by both. At the Jozi zoo, children can observe exotic creatures like glowing scorpions on the Moonlight Tour, while adults on the Night Tour can immerse themselves in magical nocturnal species.

Wherever your #Daycation takes you – drive safely

Once again, road safety over the festive season is of paramount importance, so ensure that you fit only high quality tyres. Take a moment to Request an Online Quote from Dunlop – it’s quick, easy and completely free.

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Durban has a windfall of destinations that offer adventurers the whole package – bright exotic and indigenous bird species, warm Indian Ocean waters teeming with striking fish of all sizes, lushly green reserves replete with a buzzing natural ecology, sun-kissed beaches hosting a truly astounding variety of maritime creatures, and so much more!

So, in the spirit of all things #Daycation, the mad-about-Durban team at Dunlop have asked us to put together a short list of remarkable places that’ll undoubtedly make your day out with the family an absolute winner.

A diamond in the rough – The Umgeni River Bird Park

Witness the artistry of nature at the Umgeni River Bird Park

The bird park is a peerless haven of spectacular avian life. Situated on 3.5 hectares of emerald green sub-tropical landscape in an area that started life as a quarry, the Umgeni River Bird Park has been cultivated over 33 years to house a collection of more than 800 birds from over 200 species. Many of these aeronautical wonders can’t be found anywhere else on the African continent, and, as a cherry on top of everything else, the park presents an exciting free-flight show from Tuesday to Sunday every week.

Discover the pearl of Westville – Palmiet Nature Reserve

The king of the skies – an African Fish Eagle

At 90 hectares, the Palmiet Nature Reserve is, by South African standards, not at all large. But, quality always trumps size, and if you haven’t heard of the reserve before it’s because people keep the best things in life well hidden from others. On self-guided trails, you may hear the clear calls of majestic Fish Eagles or spot playful vervet monkeys, genets, duikers, bushbuck or even porcupines. The stage may be small, but the cast of characters will keep you thoroughly enthralled.

Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens

Paradise on earth. Durban Botanic Gardens

Founded in 1849, the Durban Botanic Gardens has survived tough times, and is today a corner of natural bliss that has managed to keep the urban jungle at bay. With a myriad of indigenous and exotic plant species, and proud trees that are over a hundred years old, the Durban Botanic Gardens is ideally suited to those up for an enchanting stroll before sitting down to lunch in the city’s premier picnic spot.

Durban’s one and only – Mitchell Park Zoo

A cotton-top tamarin and suricate at the Mitchell Park Zoos

Zoos aren’t for everyone; animals in cages can be a difficult sight. But, the Mitchell Park Zoo is leaps ahead in this regard, and the animals are well kept. Spurning the tradition of keeping large animals in small enclosures, the park has instead opted for diminutive faunas like flamingos, cranes, wallabies, small buck, raccoons, suricates, and cotton-top tamarins. Not to be missed are the truly astonishing Aldabra Giant Tortoises.

Be safe on your adventures

Have you made up your mind up about your ideal #Daycation in Durbs? Whatever you decide on, remember to be #SaferThanSafe on the roads these holidays and visit your nearest Dunlop Zone. Alternatively, check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Deal or Request a Quote Online easily and quickly. You may be glad you did!

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Summer in Durbs is undoubtedly a treat. Its world class beaches are a Shangri-La for sun worshippers, and after a hard day relaxing on the Golden Mile, you can reward yourself with a chilled sun-downer at your favourite restaurant. But there is so much more on offer. Having made beautiful KZN their home, and being mad about all things Durban, the road safety experts at Dunlop ask, “why not take an awe-inspiring tour of several exceptional world cultures by simply visiting some of KZN’s most iconic landmarks on your #Daycation?”

Eastern vibrancy – The Indian Quarter

Don’t Miss Durban’s Indian Quarter!

Better known by Durbanites as “Grey Street”, this area of Durban Central houses one of the oldest markets on the continent, and is an awakening of the senses like no other. The Juma Masjid Mosque is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, and with its majestic minarets, is surely the most beautiful. In close quarters with it are the Madressa Arcade Bazaar and the Victoria Street Market. These bustling commercial centres bring the wares of India, Pakistan, China and even Somalia to our shores, showcasing the colourful and fragrant vigour of each country to the full.

Nkwaleni Valley – The proud heritage of the isiZulu

The Passionate War Dance

Take a #Daycation to a destination that unabashedly celebrates life, as it would have been, in a traditional and untouched kraal in precolonial times. Nkwaleni Valley is situated in the heart of Zululand, and interestingly enough, found its genesis in the much-lauded TV biopic, Shaka Zulu. Learn more about how hut building was a sophisticated exercise in sustainable design, how beer was brewed and the role it plays in rituals, and the incredibly rich spiritual beliefs Zulu tribes held (including, crucially, the person of the Sangoma). Before setting out on the drive, though, ensure that your tyres are family-safe with this Red Hot Rubber Deal.

Empire and conquest – insights into colonial times

Detail from “Defense de Rorke’s Drift” by Alphonse de Neuville

The colonial project is, and will always be, a controversial topic. However, it is a part of our history, and the many museums and sites marking its past provide a fascinating picture of the life and struggles of the settler populations. The Durban City Hall is a stunning example of neo-classical architecture, and hosts both the Natural Science Museum and an Art Gallery. The museum is a treat for kids (and curious adults!), and houses a life-size T-Rex, the mummified Peten-Amen, a Dodo skeleton, wildlife displays and the 3rd largest collection of bird specimens in the world. The Art Gallery contains emotive work by Black artists dating back to the turbulent 1970s. In close proximity is the Old Courthouse Museum, which provides another look into colonial life. And not to be missed, if you’re in the area, is the KwaMuhle Museum, which provides a sobering look into more recent South African history.

But remember, safety isn’t just a word

Your Durbs #Daycation should be an awesome experience, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to bring back only the very best of memories from your travels. To ensure that you’re #SaferThanSafe this holiday season, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone or Request a Quote Online – you may be pleasantly surprised!

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Dunlop, long regarded as one of the most iconic and recognisable tyre brands in the world has done it once again, emerging as the winner of the tyres category in the 2017/2018 Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey. The win comes as the fifth triumph since 2011 and is testimony to the loyalty inherent in the South African market in Dunlop as a brand of choice.

 The Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey sources its data from the Target Group Index (TGI), the largest of its kind in South African with 19 consumer sectors, across 163 product categories. Thousands of brands across hundreds of product categories were included in the initial analysis with only 28 Icon Brands identified for 2017/2018.

 Dunlop, which has a strong heritage dating back to over 120 years, has been at the forefront of developing quality products, setting new motorsport milestones, and pioneering ground breaking innovations in vehicle safety and performance.

 The company hopes to retain this status through the support of its retailers - Dunlop Zones and independent distributors alike – who continue to act as the custodians of the brand and drive its success in the marketplace.  

 Maria Petousis, Director of Target Group Index Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, which runs the Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey, said an enumerated area sampling design was employed and the universe includes all communities with more than 8 000 inhabitants over the age of 15.  Over 15 000 consumers were surveyed representing over 25 million adult South African consumers.

“South African consumers vote with their hearts and wallets to select their Icon brands. These are brands that have established a durable and timeless relationship with South African consumers, irrespective of background or living standard.

 “Icon brands are celebrated as they have mastered the complexities inherent in serving emerging and polarised markets. By doing so, these brands have expanded their horizons and in the process have attracted a broad and diverse consumer base,” said Petousis. 

 Yvette Govender, Director Marketing and Business Development at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd (SRSA), parent company of the iconic brand, said it was uplifting to have Dunlop - already a world tyre brand icon – reaffirmed as the winner in the 2017/2018 Icon Brands Survey.

“Earning a nation’s trust is not easy. High standards of quality, affordability and availability have clearly combined to endear the Dunlop brand to South Africans. At a time when cash-strapped consumers are showing less commitment to brands, it is indeed inspiring to see that Dunlop has been able to build loyalty with consumers.” said Govender.

About SRSA

SRSA is owned by Japanese listed company Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), situated in Kobe, Japan, and is ranked the world’s sixth-largest producer of automotive tyres and industrial rubber products and has tyre manufacturing plants in Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, USA and South Africa. The existing South African plant in Ladysmith (founded in 1973) currently produces passenger car, sport utility vehicle and light truck tyres only, which are sold in South Africa and exported across Africa and other countries.

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