Tag: South Africa

Should my dog be wearing a doggy coat?

Dog owners frequently wonder whether a winter jacket is really necessary for their favourite pooch.  tameTIMES did the research to answer this very question, and the answer is:  YES and NO.


Although some dogs will need a coat for the winter to protect them from the cold, others may be harmed by the extra layer of warmth.  The decision to have your dog wear a coat is often purely an emotional choice. Walking outside with your pet in cold weather makes you feel concerned for your dog and whether it is warm and safe.  Apart from this, the fashion industry is moving into the pet world, with American Pet Products Association reporting R28-trillion spent on pet fashion, collars, leashes, toys and pet tech products, an increase of 7%.  Younger pet owners now move to a “pet parent” approach and in general owners have become more humanistic in their approach to pet care.


Many factors must be considered when deciding on whether your dog should be wearing a coat.  Things to consider include wind chill, the possibility of getting wet, the time of day and whether it is sunny or cloudy outside.  To play it safe, rather use the jacket when it is very cold, you can remove it if your pet seems to be uncomfortable or overheating.  If you are outside in the cold and you see your dog slowing down, acting anxious or distressed, it’s time to go back inside.  The age and health status of your pet also plays an important role in the decision.  Elderly, very young and sick dogs struggle to cope with temperature extremes.


Relatively speaking, a small dog has more surface area through which they can lose body heat and therefore benefit more from a protective winter jacket.  Dogs like Chihuahuas, Toy Terriers, and Miniature Dobermann pinchers falls in this category for example.  Body fat also helps your dog stay warm in cold weather, so thin dogs like Whippets and Greyhounds will definitely appreciate a coat.  Dogs with thick double coats of their own, however, is perfectly suited for cold weather.  Dogs that should not wear a coat includes Huskies, Chow Chows, Pomeranians and Bernese Mountain Dogs.


Although breeds like Pembroke Welsh Corgis, for example, have thick coats, their bellies sit low enough to the ground to brush against wet grass and frost.  Breeds that typically have long hair but are clipped or shorn, like Poodles. Grooming may alter the natural protection of their coats and would need a protective winter jacket.


The next step in the big coat decision is to consider the type of fabric to use.  Certain fabrics can cause allergic reactions in dogs including itching, sneezing, swelling of the facial area, and even diarrhea and vomiting.


Once you have the perfect material you need to decide on the style of the coat.  There is the Reversible Bone Dog Puffer, the Reflective Dog parka, Casual Quilted Jacket, Fleece Cold Weather Coat, Wool and Shearling Dog coat, Padded Coats for smaller dogs, and the Extreme Warmer Dog Coat.


Source: American Kennel Club

A beautiful letter from a teacher to struggling parents.

A beautiful letter from a teacher to struggling  parents.

A teacher from Johannesburg, Tessa MacMurray wrote this heartfelt open letter to all the parents in lockdown.


“Dear Parents,


I see you. In fact, with our recent transition to virtual classrooms and distance-learning, I am seeing you more than ever. I have seen your art, your unmade beds, your pyjamas as you walk past carrying coffee and your misbehaving pets.


I see you exhausted, dishevelled and working in the background whilst your child reads beautifully.

I see your shadow across the screen as you whisper the answers to your child.

I see you play-acting to be wearing pants during parent interviews, even though I can see you are not, and I appreciate you for pretending.


I see you in WhatsApp videos exhausted, chasing after your child as they ride away on their bikes and the dogs surround you, and still I can hear the smile in your voice despite being outnumbered and overwhelmed. This is courage.


I see you second-guessing yourself. You are more than enough, as I am in awe. Your child is smiling on my screen and they have managed some work today, in my book you are winning


I see your cursive writing on your child’s worksheet, pretending to be the work of a seven-year-old boy. Please be aware your son has not learned cursive yet, and it will probably never be that neat! Although if you would like me to assess your writing, please know you are doing very well according to Grade 2 assessment standards.


I see your raised eyebrow because I only own 4 reputable looking jerseys, and I am wearing the blue one again.

I see how happy your child is to be spending so much time with you. Despite the fights. I see your child, years from now, telling people this was on of their happiest times with you.


I see your immense kindness when your child is just not “getting” their Maths. I hear you taking a deep breath and explaining it again, gently and calmly.


I see you having a massive argument with your child because you forgot to turn off the recording and they are sprinting away from you into the garden! I am sitting there wishing your child speed and you luck.


I see you are worried. I cannot take that worry away but know that when we return to the classroom I will do everything in my power to make school feel safe again, encourage laughter and help them to learn as much as humanly possible.


I see your alcohol stores have run low and I am sending you a virtual bottle of bubbly to celebrate you and your child. Please take a sip for every sentence that was read and every sum you helped to completer. I am proud because bravery is contagious and I see it trickling through your child and believe me, I know where it comes from.


I see you baking cakes when I understand your need to relax in front of mindless television.


I see you making your child’s day because you sat down to dinner with them. In their Weekend report, your child mentioned it was the best part of their whole week.


I see the note you helped your child type, to thank me for the video lesson. I saved that note as my screensaver, that encouragement meant more than you know.


I see your fatigue. The time for us to swap roles once again is fast approaching, I will be waiting at the classroom door, watching your sigh of relief with a smile.”


Source: Goodthingsguy

Photo Credit: Unsplash


Ekurhuleni, Covid-19 hotspot of Gauteng

Ekurhuleni Covid-19 hotspot of Gauteng

Ramaphosa has detailed how a team of medical experts will monitor the progress of the 12 problematic districts and metros.

South Africa’s Coronavirus Hotspots include,

  • Tshwane
  • Johannesburg
  • Ekurhuleni
  • eThekwini
  • Nelson Mandela Bay
  • Buffalo City
  • Cape Town
  • West Coast
  • Overberg
  • Cape Winelands
  • Chris Hani District (Eastern Cape)
  • iLembe (KZN)


These coronavirus hotspot regions are now subject to the following interventions:

  • A hotspot is defined as an area that has more than five infected people per every 100 000 people, or where new infections are increasing at a fast pace.
  • SA ‘will have a differentiated approach’ to deal with those areas that have far higher levels of infection and transmission.
  • Specialist teams who assess the hot-spots will include epidemiologists, family practitioners, nurses, community health workers.
  • Each hot-spot will be linked to testing services, isolation facilities, quarantine facilities, treatment, hospital beds and contact tracing


According to IOL, Gauteng Premier David Makura announced that Ekurhuleni is the new Covid–19 hotspot in Gauteng.


Ekurhuleni has the second highest number of cases and deaths in the province after Johannesburg, said Makura


According to Makura’s presentation last week these are the reported cases.


  • Ekurhuleni North 1

(Kempton Park, Tembisa and OlifantsFontein) reported 171 cases


  • Ekurhuleni North 2

(Bedfordview, Boksburg and Edenvale)

reported 119 cases


  • Ekurhuleni South 1

(Alberton, Vosloorus and Germiston)

reported 106 cases


According to IOL, Gauteng Health Spokesperson Kwara Kekana said Ekurhuleni cases were a result of the economic activities happening in the area.


“As part of the economic corridor of Gauteng province, the district has many industries, airports and residential areas. It is a densely populated district.

The cumulative number of cases in the district ( recovered and active) were as a result of aggressive screening and testing in communities, door to door, clinics, hospitals, quarantine sites and in businesses and factories that were functioning in the past few months” she said.


South Africa’s coronavirus hotspots may be told to move back to level 4 or level 5.


“These hotspots will all be monitored, and should it be necessary, these parts of the country may revert to Level 4 or Level 5 if we see a risk of our health facilities being overwhelmed.

However, we’re also aiming to place areas where infections are low to Level 2, or even Level 1 at some point soon.”

Cyril Ramaphosa


Sources: IOL, thesouthafrican

Essential Workers

The Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa

The Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa has urged citizens not to ignore serious health problems in fear of contracting the Coronavirus.  Although South Africans were cautioned about unnecessary trips to the emergency room at the beginning of the pandemic when hospitals and other facilities were in the preparation phase, the intention never was for people to stay at home while they urgently need medical care.  Since lockdown begun, hospital environments have been prepared and equipped to handle both Coronavirus cases, and unrelated cases.  Special attention was given to ensuring that hospitals are safe for individuals with an increased risk of infection with the Covid-19 virus.  As long as the correct procedures, stringent personal hygiene, and all sanitation protocols are strictly followed, patients will be in no more danger than when they go to a supermarket.


Another possible deterrent for patients is the PPE’s (Personal Protective Gear) worn by all staff at a medical facility.  It is imperative to realise that this is first and foremost for the protection of the patients.  You are required to wear a mask when you leave your home, and you will be required to wear a mask if you go to a hospital.  You will be required to disinfect your hands when you enter the facility, which is not something new.  Evidence from around the world have shown that people stay at home when they should be going to the emergency room.  This is very dangerous and possibly fatal, as the help required can only be administered by medical professionals,  Ignoring severe pain or other unusual symptoms that would normally have prompted a visit to the nearest emergency room, will make you sicker.


If you or somebody in your family are suffering chest pain, any signs of a stroke, severe or unusual pain, problems with diabetes or any other medical condition that you are concerned about, you must go to the nearest emergency room and allow medical professionals to help you.  Your risk of contracting the virus at a hospital emergency room is extremely low, whereas the risk of serious complications by ignoring symptoms is very high.


The EMSSA is pleading with South Africans to take care of their health.


“Come into hospital if you need to and we will take care of you and your family.”



Are you having a MEDICAL EMERGENCY?


Go to the Emergency Department!


If you think that you are having a heart attack, a stroke, complications related to diabetes, your child is ill or any other medical problem…



Comair confirms options for holders of unused reservations

Comair confirms options for holders of unused reservations

Comair confirms options for holders of unused reservations: Johannesburg, 22 May 2020; Comair and its business rescue practitioners have confirmed the options for customers, companies and travel agents or groups holding unused reservations.


Persons who have purchased a kulula.com or British Airways (operated by Comair) flight ticket for a departure between 14 March and 31 October 2020 with a ticket number starting with 161, should complete and submit the Customer Election Form available on https://www.comair.co.za/business-rescue, by 17 June 2020.


Persons who have directly purchased their ticket from Comair channels, will have the following options:

  • Keep the value of the un-flown flight booking, such that the value remains valid until 31 October 2021 and can be used to make a future booking with Comair, subject to availability and difference in rates, fares and/or taxes.
  • Become a creditor, such that a claim for the value of the un-flown flight will be dealt with in terms of the business rescue plan, if approved. That is, as a creditor of the Company these persons will enjoy the same rights as set out in section D of the Notice to Affected Parties, in terms of Section 129 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, available under the Statutory Notices section of the website. More information about what this means can be found https://www.comair.co.za/business-rescue
  • Forfeit the value of the ticket, such that any claim for un-flown fights is abandoned.


Where no election is received by the 17th of June, the value of the booking will remain valid until 31 October 2021 and can be used to make a future flight booking with Comair, subject to availability and difference in rates, fares and/or taxes.


Persons who have purchased a kulula.com or British Airways (operated by Comair) ticket for a departure between 14 March and 31 October 2020 from a third party (i.e. a ticket which does NOT start with 161) should direct their queries to the travel agent, British Airways or the airline partner from whom the ticket was initially booked. A list of contact details for Comair’s travel and airline partners is available on the Company’s website; https://www.comair.co.za/business-rescue.


Where an Emirates, Qantas or British Airways International ticket or a hotel booking was purchased with Vitality or a hotel booking with or without extras (such as airport transfers and experiences) was purchased on kulula.com, mtbeds or kulula Holidays, and any of these bookings were cancelled with a refund requested, customers should expect further communication in due course.


Visit www.comair.co.za for more information regarding the business rescue proceedings, including all statutory notices.

Save my Spot aims to help businesses

Save my Spot aims to help businesses

Save my Spot aims to help businesses: Save my Spot was born out of the realisation that without some cash flow, many restaurants, pubs, hotels, hairdressers and other locked-down businesses.

Which employ and uplift a great number of our people (not to mention fulfil an important social and cultural role in their communities) will be forced to shut their doors forever.


From favourite restaurants to borderline-essential hair salons to hotels with sentimental significance, not to mention your local pub, we all have places that are important to us, and all of them face great difficulty under the COVID 19 lockdown.


Save my Spot aims to ensure that the spots that are important to you, and the people they employ, will have the means to reopen when the time comes.

When you buy a Corona Coupon, you won’t just be getting a discount for your favourite hangout,

helping out a small business owner, and keeping others employed, you’ll also be contributing a portion of the

money you spend at Save my Spot to charities that help to uplift and empower South Africans and develop our nation.


It is a “pay-it-forward” type plan to provide services deferred into the post-Covid-19 future, which will secure the future for many.


How it works

The businesses listed on Save my Spot are facing some of the most difficult times in living memory.

Their cash flow has reduced to nearly nothing, if not totally ceased, and they find themselves unable to keep their loyal staff employed, and may not have the funds required to reopen, all while the wider South African society is also in dire need.


Save my Spot gives these small businesses a chance to offer their loyal customers a safe way to support them, while also contributing to worthy charities across the country.


Every time someone buys a Corona Coupon through Save my Spot, their contributions are shared between the business they elect to support, the charity of their choice and Save my Spot’s parent organisation, the Bathurst Development Trust (NPO No. NPO 237-594). A small percentage is also retained to pay the developers of Save my Spot.


You can visit Save My Spot by clicking on the link.



Sources: savemyspot/Goodthingsguy


The New Gold amongst thieves

The New Gold amongst thieves

There is a “New Gold” in Gauteng for criminals, and its masks and PPE equipment which are being flown into OR Tambo International Airport (ORT).


According to IOL, a significant volume of PPE cargo, imported from overseas has not reached its destinations around the country, because of criminals stealing the cargo.


Maria du Preez from the SA Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) said, “The theft situation has been a problem for a long time, but now the emphasis has shifted away from the traditional cargo that they targeted to PPE.”


Betty Maloka, ORT Spokesperson said that Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) was not aware of any cargo theft having been reported at the airport, and that the security services team responsible for the wider Cargo precinct was also not aware of any theft.


Colonel Brenda Muridili, the National Police spokesperson said, “ORT does not have any theft of PPE cases registered”


According to IOL, two men, one of them, an Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department Officer appeared in the Boksburg Magistrates Court on Monday.

They were charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of kidnapping, possession of unlicensed firearms and defeating the ends of justice.


These two accused men, hijacked a truck carrying masks on the N12 highway in Boksburg.


Phindi Mjonondwane, the National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson said the accused officer was driving his official EMPD vehicle, when he stopped the truck, pointed a firearm at the driver and forced him into another vehicle that was driven by accused number two.


“Two further suspects alighted from the EMPD vehicle and went to assist with the robbery.

The suspects drove off in different directions, using both vehicles, while one of them drove the truck.

The police saw what was happening and a chase ensued, “she said.


The accused EMPD officer from Ekurhuleni jumped out of the car while it was still in motion and tried to run, but was apprehended. A firearm without a serial number was found in the car.


The matter has been postponed to Thursday for a formal bail application, which will be opposed.


Source: IOL, The Star




By Natasha Adonis

As South Africans continue to endure the ongoing lockdown, local Chinese communities around the country are doing their bit to help support their neighbours through a countrywide campaign, #WeLoveSouthAfrica. According to The Chinese Association (TCA), the campaign has sparked various acts of kindness around the country, from Gauteng to the Northern Cape, in a show of solidarity in the collective fight against CoVid-19.

The China Mall in Amalgam Johannesburg gathered enough supplies to make up 1125 food parcels, valued at more than R300k. Mall Director, Mr. Robin Xu says that Chinese people living in SA want to play a positive role in the country, especially in times of crisis.

Erwin Pon, Chairperson of TCA says, “Through these campaigns we want to encourage every Chinese living in South Africa to commit to positively contributing to the country in some way. We are part of the community and, as such, we want to be part of its solutions. One of the core lessons we have learned from this pandemic, is that we must work together. And, it is good to see that Chinese people all around SA are heeding the call to lend support to local communities who are struggling the most in this period. These are not one-off events. We are determined to play our part in continuing to assist these communities, as we deal with the impacts of CoVid-19 together.”

Businessman and Director of the China Mall in Amalgam Johannesburg Mr. Robin Xu says that he put out a call to his tenants for contributions towards food parcels for people living in Soweto. “In just a few days, we had gathered enough supplies to make up 1125 food parcels, valued at more than R300k. Through local NGOs, we were able to identify vulnerable communities to share with – such as university students living in residence in Soweto whose lives and livelihoods have been particularly affected by the lockdown,” says Xu.

“The phenomenal response from our tenants is evidence of the camaraderie we feel in South Africa. Chinese people living here want to play a positive role in the country, especially in times of crisis. We love this country, and we are in this fight together. This lockdown has been tough on us all and is  disrupting our personal lives and the economy. This virus knows no borders, but it has been good to see that the worst of times often reveal the best in people!” says Xu. Xu and his team handed over their contributions on Saturday, 9 May in Pimville Soweto.

“We just want to show that the Chinese community cares about the local people and we want to work together with the local society to fight against the virus and to overcome the difficulties it brings, together. This is a very horrible virus and it will take a long time to deal with.  We must be ready to come out anytime, to help the local community,” adds Xu.

Ward Councillor Raynett Moabi, who identified some of the beneficiaries working through NGOs in Soweto says, “As we know, lockdown has brought with it many challenges. Informal traders have been hit very hard, because without the ability to trade, they are unable to put food on their tables at home. We are, therefore, very grateful for this support for our people.”

A number of economically disadvantaged students from Wits University in Johannesburg were also beneficiaries of the food donation. Sthembiso Nhlapo, a student at Wits University who has been affected by the lockdown, says, “We are indeed very grateful for this assistance. During this time, people are scared of the virus and are addressing it in different ways. It is important that, in solidarity, people come together to address problems of food insecurity.”

Another student, Phakiso Masooa says, “I feel very happy today. A lot of families are suffering through this pandemic. This means a lot to me and my family, to be chosen to receive the food parcels.” Student Mbali Mofokeng says that receiving the food parcel means that she can remain focused on her online learning “which requires us to focus and to work hard”.

In the Northern Cape, another Chinese company, Longyuan Mulilo Wind Project, also did its bit to demonstrate #ChinaLovesSA by donating water tanks, portable toilets, personal protective clothing, and cash.

The China Mall in Amalgam Johannesburg gathered enough supplies to make up 1125 food parcels, valued at more than R300k. Mall Director, Mr. Robin Xu says that Chinese people living in SA want to play a positive role in the country, especially in times of crisis.


Through local NGOs, the China Mall was able to identify vulnerable communities in Soweto, whose lives and livelihoods have been particularly affected by the lockdown, to share with.

*Images courtesy of Anna Chen.

South Africans can volunteer for Wits Covid-19 rapid test study

The University of Witwatersrand immunology department needs at least 300 volunteers. They are looking for volunteers who tested positive for the coronavirus or who have been in contact with someone who tested positive.


The study aims to ensure that existing rapid tests for Covid -19 are accurate.


“Qualifying volunteers will need to submit blood and saliva samples for serological testing for Covid-19. This includes the rapid antibody tests and the formal serology assays (an assay is a laboratory procedure to measure quantities).” the institution explained.


Seventy-two South Africans have already volunteered to participate in the study, but the institution needs more.


Dr. Elizabeth Mayne, head of immunology at Wits told News24 on Wednesday, “So far, we have about 70 ( exactly 72 yesterday). So about a quarter of the way there,”


South Africa needs to increase testing for Covid-19 so that infection can be identified, traced, isolated and contained, therefore this study is of vital importance.


If you want to volunteer, this is what you need to know:

  1. Participation is voluntary and consent can be withdrawn at any time without reason. Such withdrawal will have no effect on participants’ diagnosis or treatment.
  2. Participants will not be paid or in any way be financially remunerated for participating.
  3. Participants will not be able to get the results of their tests.
  4. You will be asked questions about your age, any underlying conditions you might have, such as high blood pressure and chronic lung diseases, any medications being taken, when you tested positive, your travel history and whether or not you had any symptoms.
  5. A nurse will be dispatched to your home. The nurse, wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), will extract around eight teaspoons of blood from you, as well as some saliva and some mouth/throat swabs.
  6. These bio-samples of your blood and saliva will be used to create banks of known positive and negative controls, which scientists around the country can use to quickly and accurately evaluate any rapid or serological tests.


If you meet the criteria and wish to participate, email Elizabeth.mayne@nhls.ac.za or

call 082 337 6349 for briefing and enrolment.


Source: news24

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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