Reasons for a dead car battery

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Dead Car Battery?

Dead car battery at the most impossible time?

It’s Monday morning and your car won’t start. That horrible sound echoes in your ears and eventually you just hear click … click … click.

What causes a dead car battery?

The following 10 reasons are the most prevalent causes of finding a dead car battery when you really don’t need it.

1 Headlights

You may have left the headlights on, causing the battery to go flat.

2 Inside Light/s

The car’s inside lights or radio may have been left on and this will also cause a dead battery.

3 Electrical Connection

There may be a loose or damaged Electrical connection.

4 Ignition Switch

A faulty ignition switch may cause the problem.

5 Starter

If your starter is out of order, your battery may appear to be flat and the car won’t start.

6 Coil

A faulty coil will cause problems when trying to start your car.

7 Distributor Cap

If your distributor cap is faulty, the car won’t start.

8 Fuel Pump

Take a look at your fuel pump. If damaged, the fuel won’t be able to flow.

9 Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter will cause problems when you want to start your car.

10 Open door or Trunk

Door or trunk left open and lights burning.

10 Ways to guard against a dead car battery

The best way to guard against a dead car battery is to take the proper precautions. The following precautions will help you keep your car battery charged and in good order:

1 Battery fluid should be maintained at the correct level

2 Check the charging system regularly

3 Keep the battery clean of dirt, grease and build-up

4 Ensure that all internal switches and lights are kept in working order – defective dashboard switches may drain the battery.

5 Ensure that your batter is sealed correctly.

6 Never overcharge your battery.

7 Do not charge your car battery for longer than 12 hours.

8 Remove build-up from your dead car battery by mixing one to two teaspoons of baking soda with two cups of water. Clean  the terminals carefully and charge the battery.

9 Have your battery water checked regularly.

10 Always carry a battery charger lead in the trunk of your car.





This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.


The Best way to find the man of your dreams

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Love is not finding someone to live with it is finding one you can’t live without” Anonymous

What is the best way to find the man of your dreams?

It is a common need to desire a partner that suits us best. Our own uniqueness presents us with different personalities, quirks and habits. Is it possible to make sure the next relationship steers clear of the rocky patches to a peaceful island?  Let’s assume you have had a few relationships and none of them worked out the way you aspired. Your friends have moved on to husbands, long term partners and relationships.  But you are still on the playing field waiting for the home run.

Know yourself               

You have done your homework starting with soul searching; you know your strong points and weaknesses. Psychologists say the way you perceive a potential partner is hugely influenced by your personal preferences, your previous relationships and your expectations of a long term

Your strategy

According to Hannah Fry from TED talk, you can calculate it mathematically.  It might be an odd way at finding your perfect partner but everything is changing and this may be the best way to do it. According to her studies it all comes down to patterns and equations.  Apparently fish do the same thing in finding their mates and if we look at their population, with great success.

For example you started dating at the age of 15 and at 35 years of age you want to get married and settle down.  If you do the math the best possible strategy will be to reject the first 37%. Now after you have rejected all the other guys the next suitable guy that is better than the ones you have dated before will be the best choice for you.

After you have worked out your correct formula according to your own dating timeline will you be willing to take a chance on love the mathematical way or are you still feeling optimistic about waiting for that special connection to come first and going on second and third dates before you make your choice.



This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Author: Suzette Bartlett

Freelance writer available for guest post and articles can be contacted at

Is mentorship for you?

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Mentorship and your future

Mentorship is a concept that in South Africa has been around for many years, but yet many companies have not embraced it for the incredible opportunity and career advancement and indeed nation advancement that it deserves.

You may not be one hundred percent certain of what mentorship is. Wikipedia describes mentorship as being a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The person in receipt of mentorship may be referred to as a protégé or a mentee.

Mentoring in Europe has existed since at least Ancient Greek times. Since the 1970s it has spread in USA mainly in training contexts, and it has been described as ‘an innovation in American management’.

This is not a specialised skill. It involves one person with business knowledge, generalist or specialist in nature, transferring their knowledge on to somebody less experienced. It is about a relationship of trust and knowledge transfer. It has a starting point, and must be governed by guidelines agreed to by both parties, inter alia how long will the relationship last, which party will be responsible for meeting dates, meeting venues etc, what the goals and objectives for each party will be.

Start-up companies and SMMEs in particular can benefit from such a relationship, but so can employees within an organisation, in career advancement and indeed personal development. Managers, CEOs and MDs, in the same vein, can benefit as they learn from those who have been there and done that.

It is not archaic, it is not soft, it is indeed vital! Research this, read more about it, and explore the amazing world of mentorship toady.



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Power Cuts at Home

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How to Cope with Power Cuts at Home

Now that power cuts and loadshedding are almost a part of daily life, we’re all trying to find the best way to cope. It is probably a good idea to learn a few breathing exercises to use when the power is cut – even when it is scheduled. While having a braai with friends or a romantic candlelight dinner is an option for the odd power outage, it is coping on a normal work or school day that is at the top of everyone’s lists. There are some relatively easy steps that you can take without feeling as if you’re preparing for doomsday or a zombie apocalypse.

The sun always shines on… solar panels

If your budget allows you, invest in solar heating, gas appliances or a generator for your home. You must keep in mind that you will be required to use qualified technicians to install these options. Another option is a battery or solar charger for your cellphone and/or laptop.

Watch your batteries

Make sure that your cellphone, laptop or other electronics are always fully or almost fully charged. Carry an extra charger for your cellphone with you if you can. This is especially important when you need your laptop or phone for work. Be sure to unplug all your appliances and electronics when there is a power outage or loadshedding.

Turn a light on

The local camping store is a great place to look for different lighting solutions to suit different budgets. While candles are most probably one of the cheapest ways to light your home during a power outage, you can also use lanterns, solar lights, rechargeable LED lights and torches.

If you do use candles, be sure to keep them away from flammable materials, children, and pets. Don’t leave candles burning unattended. For more illumination, you can put candles in front of a mirror. If work or homework needs to be done, be careful not to get wax on the books – or set them on fire!

Think of Food

Unless you have a gas fridge, generator or solar power, you must keep food storage during a power outage in mind. Food will still be safe to eat if the power was only cut for a few hours, but you should keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as possible. Don’t keep a lot of meat in your fridge, as it can be extremely dangerous to eat meat that wasn’t stored correctly. Do not refreeze meat after it has defrosted. You should also try to keep food in the house that needs no or very little cooking to prepare. You can also keep long life milk in the cupboard to ensure that you have some fresh milk available.

Take a breather

Take the time to dig into your list of “to-read” books, or go and get some books at the local library. If you have speakers that work with batteries, you can also listen to audio books or music. You can always get out some board games (or invest in some), or get crafting with some hobbies you don’t need electricity for. Or you can simply take the time to chat and catch up with everyone. And, if you need to, you can do some more breathing exercises.


Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Your Financial future starts NOW!

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Future is a word that makes you automatically think of a time, far far ahead, when you are old and grey and ‘big’. When you are an ‘adult’. Let me tell you, at 38, I am still not a grown up. In my head. But the reality is that in actual fact I have been working for 20 years. I have another 20-30, and then I am done. And then? Who will support me? How will I earn my salary?

Well, I won’t. And the reality is, me. I have to support me. Most South Africans have no idea just how scary the real amount needed is for retirement. They think if they save a little here, and open a pension fund there, they will be fine. The truth is, you cannot be an ostrich. The amount is huge, and the sooner you start, the better. The more you save, the safer you are.

Financial Advisor

The time is now, not next week, not when you clear an extra R500. It is now. My advice? Get a financial advisor to come and see you. In fact, get a few. Choose who you like the most, as remember this is a relationship that will hopefully span a good few years. Let him be independent, and let him offer you various solutions for YOUR needs.  It doesn’t matter if you earn R10 000 or R100 000 a month, the future is guaranteed to nobody. Financial futures need to be created. They don’t just appear, and the chances of winning the lotto, let’s face it, are slim.

Examine your options, be it unit trusts, RAs, pension funds. Even stashing the money under your Sealy. But start now. Make a decision and commit to your relationship with your future, with your money, and with your security. Don’t delay!


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Get the best from your people

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Get the best from your team

Developing skills to get the best from your people

People are at the heart of any successful organisation. To lead them is a challenge, but there are tools and techniques to develop your people management skills.

Get the best from your people this way:

1. Focus on your integrity and manage the impression.
This is important in closely integrated societies who are inherently part of the social fabric. Reputation remains important as people need credibility to succeed.

2. Create a career plan.
It will help you make educated decisions to get the best from your people, along the way. It is important to plan leverage for rising opportunities.

3. Develop flexibility to cope with delays, challenges and expectations.
Rapid growth and ambitious aspirations in the workforce creates uncertainty, instability and stress, where your own flexibility is the key factor in supporting success and getting the best from your people..

4. The art of coaching to get the best from your people.
Helping people to learn, grow and progress is one of the most gratifying roles of a leader. This is crucial where on-the-job development is important, and with the increasing demographic of Generation Y. They value and thrive in a coaching style of leadership.

5. Influence without formal authority.
Coaxing and convincing people of your ideas, help build your reputation and credibility. The limits of formal authority are known. A true leader has willing followers. Influencing is a critical skill in project-based organisations and to Generation Y, who become responsive and involved through influence rather than dictation.

6. Use good facilitation skills.
Like influencing, as a leader you must efficiently engage others through effective facilitation methods which reveal your thoughts, ideas and perspectives.

7. Know what motivates and demotivates.
Create a working milieu that makes people feel empowered and motivated. This can be very challenging if there are diverse needs and inspirations.

8. Clarify the performance you expect and know what is expected of you.
Clear goals and objectives are crucial to know what the aim is. The key to effective performance management is gathering feedback. Prevent conservation of a quality relationship over confronting a difficult performance issue.

9. Deal with conflict and confrontation.
Innovation is crucial to manage the competitiveness between public sector services and private sector. The conflict in the different perspectives is a key part of the process.

10. Understand relational intelligence.
Effective relationships are an essential currency for successful teams and organisations. Relationships should be valued as little is achieved without it.

11. Recognise resistance of change and the reasons.
Develop methods to deal with the inevitable change that is part of business life. Leaders must be ‘change literate’ to guide their people through constant change.

12. Be aware of potential de-railers.
Derailment is getting knocked off course or not achieving what was expected. Be on the lookout for this and help your team to understand what might go wrong.
Many leaders’ careers overturn because they are not aware that altered skills are required at various stages of their careers.

13. Be appreciative.
Show your appreciation and thank people for contributions. This common courtesy will build your reputation as a leader. Appreciation creates positive energy and engagement. People respond best to optimistic situations.

14. Understand psychology.
Combine this with humility and resilience. It may not be easy, but it will be an interesting journeys.


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Need Credit Information Amnesty?

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What does Credit Information Amnesty mean?

Soon South African consumers will have any undesirable credit information removed from their credit records. This act should not be interpreted as debts written off. It is unfortunate that the word amnesty was used, as it translates to forgiveness which is the wrong perception. Some debtors could now stop repayments of debt.

It is important that consumers understand they are still required to repay any existing debt as no debt is going to disappear. The process of credit information amnesty is not simple which leads to confusion for consumers to understand what information will be removed and what not.

Regulations for Removal of Adverse Credit Information

Information relating to paid up judgments wil be removed. Registered credit bureaus must remove the information relating to a negative credit history within 2 months. When removed the information cannot be recalled on the credit bureau’s register or be given to credit providers during or after the 2-month period from April 1.

From then on credit bureaus are required to remove all information relating to paid-up judgments received by credit providers. Credit providers in turn are not allowed to use negative consumer credit information for any reason, including credit scoring and assessment.

Consumers will not have to go to court to cancel a judgment, once the capital portion of their debt is paid in full. It will be done automatically and consumers will have no excessive legal fees. Their credit record will not reflect the judgment and they will not be negatively affected when applying for a job or rental contract.

Once consumers have paid their debt in full, information on their credit record for late payments, missing payments, or not paying at all, will be automatically removed.

Why Credit Information Amnesty?

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), deems the regulation necessary because, among other things, credit information can harm an opportunity to employment. Consumers whose financial positions have changed will be given the ability to start on a clean slate and maintain a clean credit record in future.

A second chance for all consumers with a bad credit record!



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Trump versus ISIS

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Donald Trump is ready to tackle ISIS

Since the Presidential Race for the 2016 elections in The United States have been underway, one man has been surprisingly effective at gaining good ratings with the public. That man is Donald Trump. With his comb over that has become iconic, and his lack of political correctness, he has won over the hearts and minds of Americans of all ages and all walks of life. He speaks glibly like the Julius Malema of America to people who are all to ready to lap up his every word. The way that Mr. Trump is able to bamboozle his audience with his wild statements can only mean one thing and that is they are eager to believe him, because he is delivering the messages they want to hear. In response to the Paris attacks, Trump made it seem so simple and easy to make an end to the terrorist threat. He simply declared, “they must be stopped.”

Like a Moses, or a man who can create the world with the power of his words, Trump has been able to spin tales of magnificent change that he would be able to bring about should he be given the ability to rule in America. He whips people up about the issues that are sore, and he placates by promising that he will pay all a living wage. The amazing fact is that after more than six months on the campaign trail, Mr Trump is still firmly in the seat of his self proclaimed chariot toward presidency, and all he needs in order to get approval is to promise jobs, and when he speaks about terrorists, to announce that they must be stopped.

Isn’t it wonderful that the military forces of the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance over the past year and a half have made no progress at all towards getting rid of ISIS, but Trump is convinced that he can put a stop to all the murder and mayhem by simply stating that “they must be stopped.” His reading of the current international system and state of warfare is equally simplistic. It seems like Trump’s ability to simplify things is exactly what makes him so popular. Ignorance is bliss and Trump is the candidate that can turn any bad news into a show of his magnanimity and unequaled ability to make everything all right again, just by saying so.


The South African Drought and Food Prices

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How will the SA Drought affect Food Prices?

News24 quoted Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene as saying: “If [the drought is] long, indeed it will have serious impact on the food prices. It will have an impact on economic growth because agriculture is one of our focus areas. It would also have an impact on employment; it would have an impact on our revenues.” He also added “We are bracing ourselves for the worst”.

The drought in South Africa is threatening the agricultural sector and will also impact the production of maize, a staple food in South Africa. Rising food prices will put an even bigger burden on cash-strapped and debt-ridden consumers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Five provinces – KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and the Free State – have been declared drought disaster areas. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, said: “South Africa has declining but sufficient stock levels of white maize until the end of April; yellow maize stocks will be very tight. According to the crop estimate committee, the maize production estimate declined from 14.2 million [tons] in 2013 to 9.8 million tons in 2014, 31% less.”

On 13 November 2015 News24 stated “If rain doesn’t fall in the next few weeks, the crop and livestock prospects for many commodities will be decidedly bleak, with direct and material impact on the earnings of farmers and the companies that support them, and on food price inflation.” The main commodities which are being affected are maize, wheat, sugar cane, and citrus. However, “all commodities and livestock in drought-stricken areas are affected.”

Santam agriculture manager for specialised crop insurance, Johan van den Berg, has stated that the only places where there are no problems are the Eastern and Southern Cape. The next few weeks are crucial for the maize industry as the planting takes place from mid-October to late-December.


South Africa on Forefront of Medical Scene

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Groundbreaking Breast Screening Machine for Grootte Schuur Hospital

Brand new South African born Aceso two-in-one Mammogram/Ultrasound machine was launched at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on 5 November for it’s testing phase. Dense breast tissue poses a challenge in detecting early breast cancers in woman and combining mammography with ultrasound is imperative in these patients. The unit of R30-million is the very first in it’s kind to combine both modalities. This is especially developed by the Cape Ray Company for breast screening, where a significant number of ladies can be screened in a shorter period of time with increased accuracy in dense tissues. Images are produced simultaneously by low-dose X-rays and ultrasound. Ministers Naledi Pandor and Ebrahim Patel attended the launch and are both excited about the impact this could have on better healthcare opportunities, economic development and employment opportunities in our country.

Tribute to the Pioneers

Too many South Africans from all walks of life, backgrounds and races feel our government and public health systems are failing them. One heartbreaking example would be that of the two young work colleagues whose newborn babies both died a day after birth due to alleged negligence. The incidents happened within a two year period at two different state hospitals in Gauteng. Then on the other hand, there are the caring and hardworking unsung heroes of the medical profession, worth their weight in gold. We also have to acknowledge those innovative pioneers striving to make a difference. Naledi Pandor (Minister of Science and technology), Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Deputy Health Minister) and Ebrahim Patel (Economic Development Minister) and Heather Harington (human resources director for the Cosmetic house Estée Lauder) are amongst the active pioneers. Ms Bogopane-Zulu hosted the “Pinkdrive UCT and Groote Schuur research and outreach” from 30 August tot 4 September 2015.

Misguided New US Breast Screening Guidelines

Breast cancer statistics worldwide are shocking, to say the least. One in ten women develops breast cancer, while only 10% have a family history. Even though breast cancer is diagnosed in more and younger patients before the age of 40, the highest incidence is still between ages 50 and 70. A study in London proved though that mammography cuts breast cancer deaths in middle aged woman by 40%. Despite all these hard facts, the American Cancer Society changed their screening guidelines. Previously the ACS guidelines urged women to getting a baseline mammogram at the age of 35 with annual screening mammograms between ages 40 and 70. They now suggest ladies to only start with annual screening mammograms at 45 and from 55 only every two years. This seems to be a “penny wise, pound foolish” approach. Sadly, it mostly all boils down to money.

One Size Does NOT Fit All

Breast screening for ladies with a positive family history for breast cancer cannot be handled in the same way as the rest of the population or even as someone carrying the breast cancer gene as such. Ladies with dense breast tissues should also be handled different than the others. Then there is a significant difference between the breast screening programs of other first world countries such as the USA, UK, Canada and Europe and what happens in South Africa. We simply don’t have the funding, numbers of skilled technicians, radiologists or the resources to deliver a full screening program to all our women. Sadly, annual or bi-annual mammograms are mostly only granted for members of a medical aid or those who can afford the expensive private service at this stage. Even though it might still be a long road, hopefully the new Aceso unit will change it all in time for government institutions.

SA to Manufacture Pneumonia Vaccine

South Africa recently made news with yet another medical accomplishment too. Global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, in partnership with SA Department of Science and Technology and Biovad, a local biotechnology organization, chose South Africa to manufacture the new Prevenar 13, containing no less than 13 different types of pneumococcal bacteria. This impressive pneumonia vaccine will be manufactured in Cape Town during the following five year period, aiming to prevent pneumococcal infections in children age 6 weeks to 5 years, as well as adults from the age of 50. The partnership between public- and private sectors was officially launched by Ms Pandor on 3 November.