Durbanites do SA proud

By Noloyiso Mchunu

When Westville bowler Gippo Vermuelen left for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, he was just looking forward to the experience. Little did he know he would be bringing home a bronze medal.

Vermuelen, still recovering from jet lag yesterday, said he had had the time of his life at the games. "It was awesome," he said.

He was not the only Durban star at the games. Four former Durban Girls' College pupils took part in swimming and hockey competitions.

Kate Hector, who finished school in 1999, was part of the SA women's hockey team. Melissa Corfe, part of the 2003 class, finished seventh in the 100m backstroke.

Kendra Semple, of the 2004 class, came sixth in the synchronised swimming duet competition, and Shannon Crowder, also of the 2004 class, came sixth in her solo synchronised swimming competition.


   Durban rates could increase by 7,5 percent

by Carvin Goldstone

Water, electricity and property rates could all increase by 7,5 percent if proposals which are to be tabled at Wednesday's eThekwini municipality meeting are approved by councillors.

However, there will also be public hearings and community participation in Durban before any increases are accepted.

A report tabled at the city's executive committee meeting on Monday outlined several factors which played a part in the proposed tariff increase of 7,5 percent on rates and other general municipal services.

Among the factors driving the proposed increase are: the overall increase in the budget for sanitation, cleansing and solid waste by about R105,4-million; a provision of R65-million for the conversion of property values to market valuation in terms of the Property Rates Act, and a Metro housing/hostel deficit of R41,7-million.

'There have not been any increases in the electricity tariff since January last year'
The report supports the proposed electricity tariff increase by noting that the city is facing a 6,9 percent tariff increase for bulk electricity, which is bought from Eskom.

Another factor is that there have not been any increases in the electricity tariff since January last year.

Another factor is that there have not been any increases in the electricity tariff since January last year.

The massive loss of 30 percent of purchased water through distribution, the need for an additional R195-million for operating costs to extend the water service in the eThekwini Municipality and a 4,9 percent increase in bulk purchases from Umgeni Water are some of the factors that have contributed to the proposed increase in the water tariff.

The report said a series of meetings had been held with deputy city managers and heads of the various clusters. Budget strategies and policies in line with integrated development plans had been discussed.

The tariff increases were proposed in line with balancing the budget. Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo, who chaired the first half of Monday's exco meeting, said if the council approved the proposed tariff increases, the city would begin consultation with communities, which would take the form of public hearings in April.

'The municipality's proposed increases were in line with the consumer price index'
"On April 26 we will approve the final budget if accepted by all parties," he said. "We are very much in the draft stages, but there will be a period for community input in the matter."

He said the municipality's proposed increases were in line with the consumer price index. According to Statistics South Africa, the consumer price index (excluding interest rates on mortgage bonds) in January was 4,3 percent.

The IFP leader in the council, Gladwin Ndlela, said his party was waiting for a presentation on the budget to the caucus before commenting.

DA caucus leader John Steenhuisen said the DA would also wait for the presentation. However, at this stage there was concern over outstanding debts and water loss, with the city losing 30 cents on every rand in water.


   Cape Town lads steal the show, and the ladies

By Jo Steele

Good news, Cape Town ladies - we have the most liberal and generally evolved men in South Africa right here in the city.

A new survey reveals the city's men have good dress sense, open doors for women and win hands-down in the romance stakes by regularly buying their girlfriends and wives flowers and romantic dinners.

But they only come second in the good looks department, with Durban men said to be the most handsome.

'I think Cape Town men are generally very good looking'
The survey, by SAB's Sterling Light, surveyed 600 men and women around the country regarding the state of evolution of the modern, South African man.

Results showed women overwhelmingly voted Cape Town men the most modern men in South Africa.

In total, 74 percent of women think that men in this country are evolved, 21st century men while only 26 percent maintain that the men are still stuck in the Stone Age.

The survey found that 54 percent of men's wardrobe purchases are influenced by the opinions of their partners and that men have the best dress sense here in Cape Town.

In the romance stakes, Cape Town men come top, with 55 percent of women saying their men regularly make romantic gestures.

'... tend to treat women as their equals, which is good'
And 92 percent of Cape Town men consider themselves gentlemen, prescribing to customary values such as opening car doors for women.

Well known Cape Town celebrities, Good Hope FM and Top Billing's Jeannie D, and model Minki van der Westhuizen both agreed Cape Town men were good, but they did not entirely agree with the survey results.

Jeannie D said: "I think Cape Town men are generally very good looking, so I don't know if I agree that Durban men are the best."

She said she liked the "old school-type chivalry" in a man and said Capetonian men treated women as their equals, an attractive quality.

"Cape Town men are great. I wish it was true that they are the most evolved of all men, but they are not.

"But I do think Cape Town men are good at conversation. They are more liberal than other provinces and do tend to treat women as their equals, which is good."

Van der Westhuizen said she thought all South African men were courteous and behaved like gentlemen, not just Capetonians.

"I think it is true they are good at opening doors for us and buying us flowers. I think the fact that Cape Town men are so well dressed is because Cape Town women are well dressed and we play a big role in what they wear."


   2006 Billabong Junior Series - Durban event fact sheet


   Baxter wins Mr Price Cycle Challenge

A fairly chilly morning with clear blue skies saw the start of the Mr. Price Cycle Challenge up at the Cato Ridge Airfield. The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX team was present as well as a large Mr. Price/Westville Team. With the added services of Donavan Van Gelder and Lee Muir, Westville were out to try and stop the ongoing success of The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX team.

Westville went on the attack fairly early sending a number of their riders away. All of these small attacks were covered by the SHARKS before they themselves went on the attack with Rowan Tyler riding off the front for about 20km. As Tyler was caught The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX continued to apply pressure this time sending Dean Edwards away. The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX find themselves in a very strong position at around half way when Edwards was joined by Tyler and another three team mates, Matt Goetsch, Shaun Botha and Richard Baxter as well as Van Gelder, Mike Adey and Flip Kruger of Mr. Price/Westville.

The Burghwheeler riders were not happy and managed to bring the eight man break back with the help of Garth Schoenewolf. At 80km out The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX continued to attack and this time sent Matt Goetsch away. He was joined by Westville's Lee Muir and the pair established a gap of up to 2min and looked set to stay away to the finish. The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX riders continued to apply the pressure back in the bunch by using Botha, Edwards and Tyler to attack one by one.

On the 4km Bainsfield climb Edwards went away with Van Gelder while Botha and Baxter set a high pace up the climb. Edwards and Van Gelder were caught over the top and Baxter immediately went on the attack taking with him another Mr Price rider. Baxter drove hard and eventually caught Goetsch and Muir with 10km to go.

With 2 ½ kilometres to go Goetsch attacked but was caught 500m later. Immediately Baxter attacked and the Mr Price riders were not able to respond. Baxter went on to win the 120km race with his trade mark, Robin Hood salute across the line while Goetsch showed he has some sprinting skills and secured 2nd place giving The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX riders their 4th victory on the trot and a well deserved 1st & 2nd .

"We had planned from the start for Richy to win today. He rode patiently in the bunch and stuck to team orders well. When it was time for him to go he did his job really well. Goetsch put in another gutsy performance staying away for over 40km. The guys are learning every weekend how to race together and we are focused 100% for Tour Durban on the 23rd April." said Edwards. When asked what the secret is for The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX riders Edwards said "It must be the pasta at Spiga Doro restaurant, the official food supplier & co sponsor for the The SHARKS / NUTRIMAX Pro Team." Their motto which will be seen on their VW Hoopers sponsored car is "EAT AT SPIGA, RIDE LIKE SHARKS!"


1. Richard Baxter Sharks Cycling Team 3:01:06
2. Mathew Goetsch Sharks Cycling Team 3:01:10
3. Werner Moolman Mr Price Westville 3:01:14
4. Lee Muir Leigh's Cycle Centre 3:01:30
5. Donovan Van Gelder Cybercoach 3:02:08
6. Shaun Botha Sharks Cycling Team 3:02:10
7. Rowan Tyler Sharks Cycling Team 3:03:28
8. Michael Adey Mr Price Westville 3:03:28
9. Garth Schonewolf Cycle lab 3:03:28
10. Allan Gillespie Burg Wheelers 3:03:29


   Durban the epicentre of TB crisis

Mbulelo Baloyi

The Durban metropolitan area and its environs have emerged as the new epicentre of tuberculosis in South Africa, accounting for almost half of all TB cases in four major urban areas of the country.

National Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang revealed this on Friday during the official launch of a national TB crisis management plan at King George V Hospital.

The Durban hospital is the provincial referral institute for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB and complicated TB cases serving the province's 10 health districts and some parts of the Eastern Cape.

The four focus areas for initial implementation of the TB crisis management plan include eThekwini, the Nelson Mandela Metro (Port Elizabeth), Amatola (East London and surroundings) and Johannesburg.

The four areas accounted for 80 percent of the total TB burden in South Africa with 24 198 new cases having been detected in eThekwini in 2004 followed by Johannesburg with 15 323 cases. The Nelson Mandela Metro and Amatola District had 8 115 and 7 906 new cases respectively.

"Tuberculosis is a major problem in our country," said the health minister.

"We had more than 270 000 people suffering from the disease in 2004 and at least 12 percent of TB patients defaulted from treatment."

The main features of the new crisis management plan, said Tshabalala-Msimang, would be to develop stronger service delivery systems and faster interventions.

She said she was also worried about the cure rate because it was below 50 percent nationally. In eThekwini, the cure rate was 32 percent while the default rate was 23 percent. The successful treatment rate stands at 62,9 percent.

"We need to reduce the default rate to 10 percent nationally. As a department we have decided not to be judgmental about the reasons why people default on their treatment," she said.

Patients who defaulted on their TB treatment posed a serious challenge to the department when they resumed their treatment because they tended to develop MDR TB which necessitated other drugs.

"This situation poses a major challenge for the country. The government spends between R400 and R600 to treat every patient with normal TB over a six-month period.

"When these patients default on treatment, they develop MDR TB, which dramatically increases the cost of treatment to R24 000 over an 18-month period because it includes hospitalisation and more expensive drugs."

Tshabalala-Msimang said the department would continue to treat every TB case as just a pure TB case.

"From the word go we agreed that we would treat TB as just TB because if we begin to link it with HIV-Aids, then we will be double stigmatising the people. It was then agreed that TB would be treated as such, but we will simultaneously be observing any possible symptoms associated with HIV-Aids."


   Tennis - Junior Doubles

Durban & County District Tennis Association are holding a junior, doubles round-robin tournament on April 4-5 at Westville Tennis Club for age groups U10 to U16. Entry forms available at Tony Jackson's at Westridge Park or call Rose at 031 266 4710 or June at 031 262 3552.


   Construction of new Durban airport to begin next year

Khulu Phasiwe - Business Day

THE land dispute between Airports Company SA (Acsa) and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has been resolved, paving the way for construction of a new R2bn airport for Durban.

Dube Tradeport, the company established by the province to manage the proposed industrial development zone, said construction of the new airport would begin in the first quarter of next year.

The airport, to be called King Shaka International Airport, was first mooted 35 years ago by the then ruling National Party.

It was initially planned that the airport would be operational by 1981, then 1988, later 2006, and now 2009.

Dube Tradeport CE Rohan Persad said yesterday Acsa had signed a memorandum of understanding with the national transport department and the provincial government.

Acsa committed itself to sell its 206,899ha land to the provincial government, and manage the new airport for the first 10 years of its launch.

The airports operator had the option of buying the airport if it wished, sources close to the project, he said.

Persad said the new airport would be operational by 2009, well ahead of the anticipated influx of thousands of soccer fans who will visit SA during the 2010 World Cup tournament.

“We have reached an exciting phase in the realisation of a dream of a world-class facility on the African continent. More importantly, this project is a catalyst for economic development and sustainable job creation in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.

Last week, KwaZulu-Natal Finance and Economic Development MEC Zweli Mkhize told the Board of Airline Representatives of SA, a body that represents all major airlines operating in SA, that four bidders had been short-listed for the construction of the airport.

The winner will be announced in September and construction is due to start early next year.

National transport department spokesman Collin Msibi said a lot of progress had been made to get the project off the ground.

He said government was negotiating with Acsa over the management of the proposed airport.


   Prestigious girls sporting event for KZN

For the first time in the eight-year history of the First National Bank Girls High Schools' festival the prestigious event will be hosted in KwaZulu-Natal.

Durban Girls' High School (Glenwood) will be the nerve centre for the festival with Danville Park (Durban North) and Westville Girls' High School (Highway) also being utilised.

No fewer than 20 schools will be visiting the province with five codes of sport being played and three cultural activities. The festival runs during the April break (from April 2 to April 5) and will allow four full days of action in events ranging from netball, squash, tennis, chess to hockey and extends to cultural activities like public speaking, debating and one-act plays.

The opening ceremony and registration commences on Sunday (April 2) and is followed by three days of competition, culminating in the final awards on April 5.

Venues will be centred on Durban Girls' High, but will extend to the astroturfs in Durban North at the Riverside club and the tennis courts of Westville Girls' High.

There will be approximately 800 participants from high schools around the country visiting Durban for the festival. Schools participating include Clarendon High School (Port Elizabeth), Danville Park (Dbn), Durban Girls' High School (DBN), Eunice High School (Bloemfontein), Grosvenor Girls' High School (DBN), Kimberley Girls' High School (Kimberley), Kingsridge High (King Williamstown), Mowat Park (DBN), Northlands (DBN), Paarl Girls' High School (Paarl), Parktown Girls' High (Johannesburg), Pietermaritzburg Girls' High School (Pietermaritzburg), Potchefstroom Girls' High (Potchefstroom), Pretoria Girls' High School (Pretoria), Queensburgh Girls' High School (DBN), Queenstown Girls' High School (Queenstown), Rustenburgh Girls' High School (Stellenbosch), Victoria Girls' High School (Grahamstown), Westville Girls' High School (DBN) and Wynberg Girls' High School (Cape Town) - Sports Reporter


   Suburb hit by two heists

Durban - Cash-in-transit robbers struck twice in Westville within six hours on Wednesday, said KwaZulu-Natal police.

A robber was killed in a shoot-out in one of the heists.

The first heist was on the M13, near Westville, at 07:00 when four armed men rammed a security van off the road, said superintendent Phindile Radebe.

The robbers opened fire on the three security guards in the overturned van. They returned fire.

The armed robbers then hijacked a motorist and fled toward the South Coast.

Police later found the vehicle abandoned on the South Coast.

The second heist was in the Pick n' Pay parking lot in Highway Mall at 13:30.

Radebe said two armed robbers opened fire on security guards as they loaded cash boxes into their security vehicle.

The guards returned fire, killing one of the robbers. The other fled.

She said it was not known whether any money was taken in the robberies. It had also not yet been established if they were linked.


   March 26, 2006 - Westville Challenge

Next Sunday's Westville Challenge hosted by Mr Price Westville CC starts at 7am from the Cato Ridge Microlight Airfield. 120km main event, 60km/30km fun rides. Entry forms at retail cycle shops. Call Leon at 083 251 5721 or Kelvin at 082 446 9833.


   Prizemoney boost for Pro Jr men at Lizzard Nandos Pro

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 March, 2006 : - - Winning R12 000 (US$2000) for six heats of surfing has, up until now, been unheard of in South African Junior Surfing, but thanks to the Lizzard Nandos Surf Pro presented by the Weekend Witness, that is about to change.

The 1 Star World Qualifying Series event, which runs from 14- 17 April at Durban’s New Pier, hosts a Grade 1 Pro Junior Mens division, boasting a R30 000 (US$ 5000) prize money purse.

The uniquely South African Surf wear brand Lizzard, set a precedent for growth when they upgraded their event to a 1 Star WQS in 2005. With record sales over the last 12 months, both locally and internationally, the company has been able to take their event to the next level by upgrading their Pro Junior Mens division to a Grade 1 rating.

Chris Hall Jones of Lizzard International explains, “The level of junior surfing in South Africa is rising at a rapid pace and with the majority of International Junior events being held in Australia, we thought it about time the continent of Africa hosted a Pro Junior International of its own. The future lies with our younger surfers and they need this caliber of event to show off their talent.”

The news has sparked major excitement within junior surfing circles and the 2005 ASP Africa Pro Junior Men top seeds have promised a radical display of progressive surfing, in the hope to lay their hands on this small fortune. 2005 Pro Junior Mens Champion and New Pier local Brandon Jackson (Durban North) has all the motivation he needs to dominate this event.

“I can’t get over the prize money, I am stoked that someone has recognised junior surfing’s worth and been able to back it up with the finances, the way the Australian do. I will be gunning for a spot in the finals for sure but it will all depend on the waves New Pier has to offer on the day,” said Jackson, who is coached and mentored by his father former Springbok Surfer Bruce Jackson.

Fellow Pro Junior surfer and 2005 number three seed Josh Schmeltzer (Westville) has also had his fair share of experience in Australian waters and is just as excited at the opportunity to earn a pile of cash without having to travel.

“This is a big step-up for junior surfing, Lizzard have provided a bigger stage for us to compete on and it will push both the level of surfing as well as the number of juniors competing,” said Schmeltzer.

“A huge contingent of junior surfers from both the PST and WQS ranks will be competing and I expect the competition will be tough right from the first round.”

East London Surfer Keegan Nel, who also finished third on the Ratings in 2005, is hoping for the right waves to highlight his classy repertoire of performance surfing.

“The prestige of this event is going to have a major impact on the results. Guys will be taking things a lot more seriously out there, and its going to be about progressive surfing all the way through.”

The Pro Junior Mens division is one of three within this event, including the 1 Star WQS Mens’ division and 2A Rated Womens’ division. The prize money total comes to an incredible R92 000.

Entries closed for the Men today (Thursday 16 March) but remain open until Friday, 31 March 2006 for the Women and Pro Juniors. For entry forms or further information please contact Colin Fitch on tel: +27 (21) 5345738 or fax: +27 (21) 5345738 or e-mail:

The event co-sponsors are Bavaria, Nestle Pure Life Water and Durban Africa.


   Durban hairstylist to set trends for 2007


Terry Scott continues to prove that he's a cut above the rest. The Durban hairstylist is off to Europe tomorrow as the sole SA representative in an exclusive international shoot.

Only six stylists from around the world have been selected to be involved in the Wella TrendVision catalogue.

With a string of successful salons and a number of awards, including the 2005 L'Oreal Colour trophy, it is no wonder Scott is receiving international recognition. After 30 years, he is well-known for the Scott & Wells brand.

While in the German town of Hamburg, the six stylists will set the trends in hairstyling for 2007 that will appear on everything from calendars to posters and billboards, worldwide.

Privy to the predicted trends for the coming year, which will all be kept under wraps until next year, Scott revealed that the themes they would adhere to were techno nature, gothic luxury and real daydream.

Scott said: "This achievement places the focus on South Africa squarely in the international arena and shows everyone our country is a force to be reckoned with."


   All systems go for Durban Film City

The scene is expected to be set for work to start at the proposed Durban Film City on the Natal Command site in the next six months.

A legal problem - an objection - that has held up the development of the beachfront project, is expected to be resolved in the next four to six weeks, movie mogul Anant Singh, who is behind the project, told the Film and Television Indaba at Suncoast Casino on Thursday.

The project, which will cost just under R1-billion, will go up in phases and the first stage, a sound studio, will be ready by December, 2007, Singh said.

A parallel development which will be ready at the same time, will include an area where the public will be able to walk through a movie set - similar to what is available at Universal Studios in America - which will be a "combination of Bollywood and Hollywood and whatever else in between" to get an experience of how movies are made.

'A base for the industry'
They will also be able to "play out" a scene with a trainee actor to find out what it is like to be in a film. And they would be able to take home a souvenir video of their experience. Singh was also considering setting up a film school at the Durban Film City, he told the indaba, which is being hosted by the Durban Film Office, the film promotion arm of eThekwini Municipality.

Interns who studied at the school would also be able to get all-important practical experience at the studio. Singh said he had offered the Durban Film Office a free office at the site. Others in the industry would also be able to hire out offices.

"We want to make this a base for the industry in Durban," he said.

Durban had "tremendous potential" and the film industry had never been in better shape, he said. The 2010 World Soccer Cup would present many opportunities for the industry, he predicted.

Most of the camera people who worked on the recent A1 Grand Prix were from outside the province and "we must change that" to develop our own talents, he said. One delegate, Ayla Rambarran, said: "We have Hollywood and Bollywood. Now it's time for Dollywood."

'It's time for Dollywood'
Another delegate shouted from the back of the hall that she should patent the name. City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe, called on people to put their egos aside to grow the industry and build the skills base.

The problem was that the industry had to import people with even relatively low skills. He then called on allied industries - car hire companies and hotels - "to come to the party" to keep prices down and "not to be greedy."

Talking about the 2010 Soccer World Cup, he said that the expenditure from the city - acting as a conduit for the government - would be R5-billion. A flyover would have to be built in Warwick Avenue to deal with traffic.


   Motoring - Durban Motor Show Time!

The 5-day Durban Motor Show features eight brand new model launches into the SA market - as well as vehicles from a total of 30 different brands, plus custom cars, exhibitions, personalities, and interactive driving experiences.

Held at the Durban Exhibition Centre in Walnut Road, Durban, the Standard Bank-sponsored show opens from 10 am to 9 pm each day, and tickets will cost R40 for adults and R10 for children under 12.

The show opens to the public at 1 pm on Friday March 17 and goes on until 9 pm on March 21.

New models will be launched at the show by Fiat, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Peugeot, Tata and Lamborghini.

Brands on show are Alfa Romeo
  1. Bentley
  2. BMW
  3. Chevrolet
  4. Chrysler
  5. Citroën
  6. Daihatsu
  7. Ferrari
  8. Fiat
  9. Ford
  10. Honda
  11. Hyundai
  12. Jeep
  13. Kia
  14. Lamborghini
  15. Land Rover
  16. Lotus
  17. Maserati
  18. Mazda
  19. Mercedes-Benz
  20. Nissan
  21. Peugeot
  22. Proton
  23. Renault
  24. Rolls Royce
  25. SsangYong
  26. Subaru
  27. Tata
  28. Toyota
  29. Volkswagen
In addition 4x4 personality Kingsley Holgate will attend the show in person during the course of the five days to promote his current African Rainbow One Net One Life Campaign.

He can be found at a mock campsite put together by Jenny Soons of Cooper Tyres.

There will be a King of Custom competition, with entries from as far a field as Despatch and Gauteng. The overall winner will get a trip to the SEMA (Speciality Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas.

You can climb aboard either a Nissan 350Z for a super interactive driving experiences or get into an off-roader at the Nissan Mobile 4X4 Track.

And there are daily performances from Brian Capper of Extreme Motorcycle Exhibitions at 11am and 5pm, while Buell American Motorcycle Stunt Team performs twice daily at 2pm and 6pm.

For kids there's a PlayStage Rig with gaming consoles.
  • The Daily Show Zone features:
  • Friday March 17: Vintage and veteran car display
  • Saturday March 18: Marque (one-make) Car Club Display
  • Sunday March 19: Sound competition sponsored by Jays Auto Care; Show 'n Shine Competition sponsored by Slik Cars
  • Tuesday March 21: Motor sport and performance vehicle display; Harley-Davidson ride-in


   Transnet: 'Trains will run'

Johannesburg - Contingency plans are in place for the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union nationwide strike on Monday.

On Saturday, Transnet's John Dludlu said: "We will activate these to ensure that our operations operate optimally and that disruptions, if at all, are kept to a minimum on the day.

"We will spare no effort to ensure that we move the people who rely on our services and customers' freight."

Dludlu said the restructuring of Transnet is aimed at creating a "solid transport platform" for growing the country's economy.

He said the process was about growth and not about job cuts, or the reduction of conditions of service.

Dludlu said: "First in the transformation process, some companies belonging to us will be transferred to government. And secondly, other units will be sold to the private sector."

He said jobs would be lost as a result of the restructuring, but countered: "On the other hand, the transfer of Metrorail has been on the cards now almost a year.

"It has been delayed already - twice to date. It would be exceedingly unwise to keep on postponing.

"Besides, no cogent reasons have been given to us on why the transfer cannot be done efficiently, sensitively and effectively by April 1, 2006.

"We have yet to be given a case for why a delay would be necessary."

Satawu announced Monday's strike on Friday. About 50 000 Transnet workers are expected to strike.

The union hopes to delay the transfer of Metrorail workers to Transnet.


   Durban's ugly duckling emerges as SA's new swan

Inet Bridge -

The Durban Point Waterfront is rapidly taking shape and promises to soon become one of SA's best addresses
By Suzanne Frost

The Durban Point Waterfront, launched in 2003 on one of the city's most derelict and barren - yet prime - real estate sites, is rapidly taking shape and promises to soon become one of SA's best addresses.

Over the past two years as much as R1bn has been committed to the development of infrastructure and building complexes. This excludes R735m for uShaka Marine World, which opened in May 2004.

When complete it is anticipated that investment in the Durban Point Waterfront will be in the region of R6bn.

Most of the sites have mixed-use zoning and developers are being encouraged to use the ground floor of buildings for retail purposes, entertainment and restaurants that open out onto sidewalks and the canals.

In Phase One, 25 sites (145000m² of bulk), amounting to R146m, have been sold resulting in14 mixed-use developments of residential, offices, hotels and retail outlets - all of which are at various stages of planning and construction.

A breakdown of usages so far shows 67% is residential, 15% hotels, 11% retail and 7% offices and showrooms.

Building is due to start in the next few months on Shaka's Gate - a mixed-use development featuring 1900 parking bays, retail space and more than 220 apartments and offices.

The Durban Point Development Company is planning to release a further 35000m² of bulk valued at R60m during the course of this year. About 75% of the 900 residential units on the market are already sold, with the residential component selling at an average price of R12000/m²-R18000/m².

The first half of this year promises to be exciting for the Durban Point Waterfront with Harbour View Heights being the first new high-rise development to be completed.

A portion of the Victorian row houses of Dock Point are complete with residents due to take occupation shortly.

To date the Durban Point Development Company has spent more than R68m on infrastructures and a further R396m is projected to be spent up to the end of 2012. These costs relate to the upgrade of Point Road, the creation of the canal system, security installations, the small craft harbour and the provision of bulk services.

The legal approvals process for the development of the small craft harbour at Vetch's Pier is also progressing well.

As part of the guiding principles for the small craft harbour a safe swimming and learner surfing area are proposed, as is safe snorkelling around the pier, launching for ski boat clubs and 250 moorings. Public access to the beach will be permitted along the entire sea edge.

A lock system will connects the deep and shallow water canal system to the small craft harbour, which will allow the boats access to the canal system.

The impetus for the development of the waterfront came from the need to reticulate purified water from uShaka Marine World back to the sea via a canal. This led to the idea of creating a unique waterfront city in which the canals form the spine of urban redevelopment where the economic benefits of water frontage are extended throughout the area.

While the overall theme of this quality urban environment is "African Urbanism" with textures, colours and materials that speak of Africa, there is variation in the design of the different apartment blocks as some retain their historical essence.

A management association has already been set up which, in conjunction with private development facilitation companies, will manage all public areas including parks, the beach and coastal dunes, and maintain infrastructure such as roads, storm water, sewerage and lighting throughout the precinct.

A key aspect is security, which is critical to rejuvenating one of Durban's most historic urban areas and entrenching the Durban Point Waterfront as a safe world-class and well-managed environment. A powerful CCTV camera system manned from a central control room with on the ground security staff and radio contact with the police aims to curb crime.

The initiative is not an attempt to extend the city fabric, nor is it intended to transform the area into an extended theme park or tourist resort. Rather, it hopes to develop as an important, well-defined addition to the city and become a sought after place to live, work and play.


   Durban City to launch low-cost Internet

Johannesburg - South Africans in Durban may finally have a solution to the high cost of telecommunications by connecting to the city’s network.

Not only is this likely to attract investment to Durban, as companies attempt to dodge high data costs, but will also offer affordable local phone calls to residents.

City manager Dr Michael Sutcliffe quoted in ICTWorld said hugely discounted access to telecommunications will create a “Learning City”. The hope is that in this way residents will be able to access information more easily thereby bridging the so-called ‘digital divide’.

The city already has an extensive fibre-optic infrastructure and could extend coverage through other technologies like wireless and broadband over power lines.

South African municipalities are increasingly realising the advantages of making Internet access possible with the Cape Town municipality launching free Internet access in all of its libraries. Although South Africa has brilliant
telecoms infrastructure, high costs mean that only 3 million out of a population of 44 million can afford to pay for access.


   Amanzimtoti proudly hosts Baggies Surf Pro PST event

Baggies Surf Pro

3A rated ASP Africa Pro Surf Tour (PST) Pro Men and Pro Women event
Warner Beach, KZN Upper South Coast – South Africa
March 17, 18 & 19, 2006

Toti’ Hosts First Pro Surfing Event of 2006

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 March, 2006 : - - The bustling upper south coast town of Amanzimtoti is proud to be hosting the Baggies Surf Pro, the first ASP Africa Pro Surf Tour (PST) event on the 2006 calendar. Despite Warner Beach being home to some of the country’s finest surfers, it is the first time in the history of the sport that a major event is being staged in the area. The Baggies Surf Pro takes place from 17 to 19 March.

“The Baggies Surf Pro is the product of the initiative taken by local surfers who include Dave Maritz, Sarah Johnston-Maritz and international surfing judge Mark Maritz. The aim of the event is not only to promote the sport on our coastline but it is primarily aimed at marketing the upper south coast (Umkomaas to Durban International Airport). For the past 15 months Amanzimtoti businessmen and the Amanzimtoti Publicity Association have been staging various events to promote the area. Durban City manager Dr Michael Sutcliffe attended school a stone throw away from Baggies Beach where the event is to be held and in a speech last year he advised local business to consider ocean sport and he placed emphasis on surfing as a tourist draw card,” commented event organiser Frank Horn.

The 3A rated surfing contest carries a R30 000 prize purse and has already drawn nearly 80 entries catering for Pro Men and Pro Women. Surfers interested in competing must act fast and contact Colin Fitch on or 082 699 4493; entries close at midnight on Tuesday, March

“ASP Africa and the surfers are happy to see a new contest and a new venue on the ASP Africa Pro Surf Tour in 2006. There are more than 25 surfers from outside of KZN who will be making the trip to Amanzimtoti with the hope of securing some valuable rating points in the first of the men's and women's PST events on the national professional surfing tour,” commented Colin Fitch ASP PST Operations Manager.

The nation’s top five pro men’s surfers have entered. 2005 ASP Africa champion Shane Thorne (Bluff) is the top seed ahead of Gavin Roberts (Scottburgh), local super star Frankie Oberholzer (Warner Beach), Matthew Kruger (Queensburgh) and Simon Nicholson (Berea). Oberholzer, Gary van Wieringen and Clinton Cross will be tough to beat as they have spent years surfing Warner Beach and know the break inside out.

East London surfing sensation Rosanne Hodge (EL) is the top rated female entrant with Salt Rock surfer Tammy Lee Smith the second seed. All eyes will be on local favourite Sarah Johnston-Maritz who finished fourth on the 2005 ASP PST; the petite 23 year old is untouchable at her home break especially in larger surf conditions. Top ranked out of town surfers include Stacey Guy (Melkbosstrand) who will be travelling from the Western Cape, Michelle Hill (St Francis Bay) and East London’s Nikita Robb.

Amanzimtoti is situated on the Strelitzia coast and boasts two world class beach breaks next door to each other at Warner Beach; depending on the wind and swell direction event organisers will utilise the best spot on each of the three days. For more information on Amanzimtoti please visit and to find out more about the city of Durban, South Africa’s playground go to

The Baggies Surf Pro was made possible by Durban Africa, Ferox Investments - the developers of the Blue Bay Winkelspruit shopping complex, South Coast Motors, Sandcastle Guesthouse and the eThekwini Municipality.


   Sell-out for Durban game

The sold-out signs are already up for the fourth one-day international between
Vaughan, Trescothick and Jones, who returned home before the Nagpur Test, have all been ruled out of the ongoing three-Test series. Andrew Flintoff will retain the captaincy for the series.

India have lost just one Test series at home in the last five years but must raise their game to maintain that impressive record.

Captain Rahul Dravid conceded that his bowlers, especially spinners, would have to work harder to keep England on the back foot. "If we need to take 20 wickets, we will have to bowl better in the second Test," he said.

India failed to find match-winning bowlers at Nagpur as neither their seamers nor spinners could keep sustained pressure on the England batsmen.

Leg-spinner Anil Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh may have taken more than 700 Test wickets between them and masterminded many Test wins at home, but performed below their best to take just two wickets apiece.

"It is easy to be critical, but Harbhajan is a proven performer for us and I am sure that before the series is over, he will hopefully have a major role to play," said Dravid.

In contrast, England were well-served by debutant left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, the first Sikh to represent England in Tests. The England spinner will remember for a long time his first three Test victims, Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid and Mohammad Kaif, all excellent players of spin.

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan hopes to celebrate his elevation as the world's top-ranked bowler with a bagfull of wickets in Wednesday's second Test against Bangladesh.

The off-spinner replaced Australian Glenn McGrath in the International Cricket Council's latest rankings released on Monday after his nine-wicket haul in the first Test in Chittagong last week.

Muralitharan's devastating bowling sent Bangladesh crashing to an eight-wicket defeat, their sixth loss in as many matches against Sri Lanka and the 36th defeat in 41 Tests so far.

Muralitharan is the only bowler in history to claim more than 1 000 international wickets. His tally of 1 004 included 593 Test and 411 one-day wickets. - SAPA


   Sell-out for Durban game

The sold-out signs are already up for the fourth one-day international between the Proteas and Australia at Sahara Kingsmead on Friday.

Although South Africa lead 2-1 and have a one-match cushion in their attempt to wrest the series away from the world's number one cricketing nation, they will not want to take it down to the wire on Sunday - the final one-day will be played at the Wanderers.

Prolific run-getter Jacques Kallis has been recalled to the squad to bolster their somewhat erratic top order. However, a final assessment on his fitness to take the field will be made on Friday morning.

Kallis's inclusion to the squad will pose a selection dilemma of who to drop from the squad. AB de Villiers has come good in the last match and although Justin Kemp failed to score last time out, he can be a match winner.

Boeta Dippenaar also has the ability to get among the runs, while Telemachus's blistering at-the-death batting performance over shadowed his mediocre performance as a bowler. - DEENA PILLAY

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Australia have recalled four of the players involved in last year's unsuccessful Ashes campaign for their March 16-April 4 Test series in South Africa.

The selectors recalled specialist middle-order batsmen Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke, while dropping Brad Hodge from their 14-man squad.

They also recalled fast bowlers Shaun Tait and Michael Kasprowicz after dropping Nathan Bracken and Glenn McGrath made himself unavailable while his wife is being treated for cancer.

"We've put together a squad to cover what we believe is going to be a tough Test series in South Africa," Australia's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Under-pressure India go into the second Test against gritty England on Thursday praying their spinners can conjure up the old match-winning magic.

The hosts got a wake-up call in the drawn opening Test at Nagpur when they were upstaged for the better part of the hard-fought match by a depleted England side.

The tourists, missing skipper Michael Vaughan, opener and vice-captain Marcus Trescothick and reverse swing specialist Simon Jones, started as underdogs but gave India a scare before emerging from the contest with heads held high.

Vaughan, Trescothick and Jones, who returned home before the Nagpur Test, have all been ruled out of the ongoing three-Test series. Andrew Flintoff will retain the captaincy for the series.

India have lost just one Test series at home in the last five years but must raise their game to maintain that impressive record.

Captain Rahul Dravid conceded that his bowlers, especially spinners, would have to work harder to keep England on the back foot. "If we need to take 20 wickets, we will have to bowl better in the second Test," he said.

India failed to find match-winning bowlers at Nagpur as neither their seamers nor spinners could keep sustained pressure on the England batsmen.

Leg-spinner Anil Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh may have taken more than 700 Test wickets between them and masterminded many Test wins at home, but performed below their best to take just two wickets apiece.

"It is easy to be critical, but Harbhajan is a proven performer for us and I am sure that before the series is over, he will hopefully have a major role to play," said Dravid.

In contrast, England were well-served by debutant left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, the first Sikh to represent England in Tests. The England spinner will remember for a long time his first three Test victims, Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid and Mohammad Kaif, all excellent players of spin.

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan hopes to celebrate his elevation as the world's top-ranked bowler with a bagfull of wickets in Wednesday's second Test against Bangladesh.

The off-spinner replaced Australian Glenn McGrath in the International Cricket Council's latest rankings released on Monday after his nine-wicket haul in the first Test in Chittagong last week.

Muralitharan's devastating bowling sent Bangladesh crashing to an eight-wicket defeat, their sixth loss in as many matches against Sri Lanka and the 36th defeat in 41 Tests so far.

Muralitharan is the only bowler in history to claim more than 1 000 international wickets. His tally of 1 004 included 593 Test and 411 one-day wickets. - SAPA


   DFO Training Indaba

Key film industry players are to meet in Durban this month at a time of unprecedented growth for the city's film industry. High on their agenda will be thrashing out strategies to take maximum advantage of the boom.

The Durban Film Office (DFO) will host the 2006 Film & Television Training Indaba at Suncoast Casino on 16 and 17 March. The Durban film industry has experienced a phenomenal 41% growth in production activity over the past three years, from big budget Hollywood blockbusters, to a steady stream of local and international commercials and features.

It's clear that Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province’s film friendly reputation is spreading like wildfire. The economic spin-offs have been huge, with hundreds of millions of rands estimated to have been injected into the local economy. Says the DFO’s CEO Mandle Ndimande. "This is a perfect time for key role players to meet and discuss strategies to gain maximum advantage from all the local and international film activity in the region."

The Durban Film Office is the film promotion arm of the eThekwini Municipality.Lively exchanges are guaranteed with topics like the pros and cons of applying the controversial Nigerian film model to the local industry and the ongoing debate over film versus High Definition (HD) formats.

Also sure to come under the spotlight will the perceived gap between Durban training levels and actual skills required on film productions, with national and international standards pushing the bar higher with every production. Related to this is the topic of how to increase the numbers of Durban cast and crew employed on locally filmed foreign and South African productions.

"The office is thrilled by the success of the BAFTA nomination of the short film Lucky. The film was shot entirely in Durban using local crew and cast, some with first time experience, and that has assured the international players of the film industry that Durban is more than capable of handling world class productions,” said Ndimande. But there remains a perception among Cape Town and Johannesburg production companies that Durban lacked experience and skills.

"This not only limits opportunities for the local industry, but also acts as a deterrent to filming in Durban due to the added cost of providing accommodation and travel for Cape Town and Johannesburg production services. We are confident that this Indaba will prove a turning point in Durban's relationship with the wider South African film industry. This is an ideal opportunity for interested and qualified people to make a contribution to the future of film in this city and province," noted Ndimande.


The 2006 Film & Television Training Indaba will provide local production services, training providers and students an opportunity to workshop the issue of skills development with key organizations such as the Commercial Producers Association, National Film & Video Foundation, South African Scriptwriters Association, Association for Cinematographers South Africa and the MAPPP Seta. The Indaba will run for two days and will include presentations from key role-players and panel discussions.

Issues to be discussed include:
  • Skills Development and the National Skills Framework - Upgrading existing skills and addressing past imbalances.
  • Training Providers - Creating a register of existing providers and program's on offer.
  • Skills Diversity - Establishing industry needs in terms of technical training and business skills.
  • Setting the Standard - Accreditation and recognition of acquired skills and knowledge.
  • Access - Focusing on the cost of training.
  • Format - Film vs. HD and the applicability of the Nigerian film model in the Durban context.

The main objective behind the concept is to firstly encourage the local industry to create and maintain a platform from which industry can voice its needs and challenges to local and national government organizations and to address the need for a unified strategy in terms of skills development in the sector. Secondly, to invite key role-players to acknowledge training needs in our local industry within the National context.

The Durban Film & Television Training Indaba aim is to:
  • Further develop and promote the film and television industry and support the growth of and access to the industry on both the local and national platforms.
  • Inspire the local industry (film, television & multimedia) and aspirant youths to learn and make use of available opportunities within the industry.
  • Tackle issues pertaining to the development of the film industry and challenges facing the local film sector.
  • To encourage the provision of opportunities for persons to get involved in the film and television industry, in particular, persons from previously disadvantaged communities.
For programme and registration details, please contact

Toni Monty
Phone 27 31 336 2680
Fax 27 31 336 2633


   New chocolate treats could be good for what ails you

Chocolate lovers wish their favourite indulgence could somehow be healthy for them. Now, chocolate makers claim they have granted that wish.

Next month Mars Inc, maker of Milky Way, Snickers and M&M candies, plans to launch in the US a new line of products made with a dark chocolate which the company claims has health benefits.

Called CocoaVia, the products are made with a kind of dark chocolate high in flavanols, an antioxidant found in cocoa beans that is thought to have a blood-thinning effect similar to aspirin and may even lower blood pressure.

The snacks also are enriched with vitamins and injected with cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from soy.

But researchers are sceptical about using chocolate for its medicinal purposes and experts warn it is no substitute for a healthy diet.

And with obesity already a serious health problem, "the last thing we need is for Americans to think they can eat more chocolate", one said. - Sapa-AP


   Lagerfeld gets into his stride with kinky boots for Coco

Hilary Alexander reports from Paris Fashion Week

Karl Lagerfeld infused the spirit of Coco Chanel with a dose of Englishness at the Paris prêt-à-porter season yesterday.

White "kinky" boots were paired with tweed suits and black lace mini-dresses; punky black streaks decorated blonde hair; and cream lace Victorian-style tunics, with leg-of-mutton sleeves, sported wide, flared pantaloons.

The British music scene was represented, too, with Sting and his wife Trudie Styler in the front row and the Manchester model-turned-singer Karen Elson, on the soundtrack, hitting high C's in an anglicised version of the Jane-Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg classic Je T'aime … Moi Non Plus.

English notes aside, the collection, for next autumn/winter, was once again a master-class by "the Kaiser of fashion" on how to keep a traditional brand alive and in step with the 21st century.

The signature Chanel tweed suit had been tweaked yet again: this time, as a cardigan-jacket elongated to mid-thigh and a skirt hoisted to above the knee.

Long chiffon shirts or jerkins, worn under shorter jackets, tossed another layer into the mix. Meanwhile, frilled shirts added a dandified, Beau Brummel touch, echoed again in fitted riding-coats and frock-coats.

Boots were either white and over-the-knee, or cuffed, pirate-style. The rather sombre colour-scheme of black and white with touches of pink, flesh and brown, was highlighted with "stained-glass" embroidery, which sparkled on the arms, shoulders and bodices of little black dresses, blouson tunics and sweaters.

For evening, Lagerfeld offered ultra-short and skimpy or long, layered and floaty in black ruffled and shredded chiffon and lace. Wound ribbons drew the eye to the area between bust and waist; and gleaming gold gauntlets and buttoned leather armlets replaced sleeves.

This weekend there are shows by, among others, the Japanese avant-garde labels, Junya Watanabe and Comme des Garcons; Antonio Marras for Kenzo; Jean Paul Gaultier for Hermès; John Galliano; and Miuccia Prada, who is showing her Miu Miu label in the French capital for the first time.

Tomorrow night Marc Jacobs, the American designer, brings to a close the autumn/winter 2006-07 series with his collection for Louis Vuitton.


   ANC short of two thirds in Durban

By Carvin Goldstone

The ANC has taken the lion's share of the 200 seats available in the eThekwini Council but has not managed a two-thirds majority. However, it will be able to seek support from a host of council newcomers.

The Independent Electoral Commission seat allocation list, which was made available with results at the weekend, showed that the council would have six new parties for the next term of local government.

This has come at the expense of three smaller parties that will now bid farewell to council after failing to secure seats.

Ecopeace, which was very vibrant and vocal in the run-up to the elections, the National United People's Organisation, which campaigned heavily in predominantly Indian areas, and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, which has a proud struggle history, were all unable to secure enough votes to secure seats in council.

Ecopeace Party convener Alan Murphy said he had not yet analysed the voting figures to see what had gone wrong for his party in the election.

He said he was not sure what would happen now, but he did not see any reason why the party would not continue.

Newcomers to the eThekwini Council are the Truly Alliance, the Independent Democrats and Nadeco, which have each secured two seats, and the United Democratic Movement, the Scara Civic Party and the Azanian People's Organisation, which each secured a single seat.

All the newcomers have secured seats by proportional representation.

None of them was able to secure a ward.

Only one of the 38 independents which contested the elections in eThekwini won its ward.

The Merebank Residents' Association managed to secure a seat in Ward 68 (Merebank).

A large number of ANC defectors who formed independent parties were unable to win votes.


   Angry Aussie's 'surf rage' leads to beach ban

An Australian surfer accused of "surf rage" has been banned from riding the waves at nine Sydney beaches, local media reported on Thursday.

A court heard that John Dunne (34) had mounted a campaign of intimidation against other surfers who dared catch his favourite, world-renowned, breakers at North Narabeen beach.

He allegedly harassed seven people, including a church minister and a local lifeguard, after clashes in the surf, and is facing 29 counts of assault, stalking and malicious damage.

At a first court appearance last month, Dunne was banned from all beaches in New South Wales state, but a magistrate on Wednesday reduced the ban to cover nine Sydney area beaches.

"I think the decision to prevent him going to any beaches is a bit beyond the pale," magistrate Andrew George was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

But the magistrate refused to allow Dunne to visit the beach where his father's ashes were scattered, stipulating that he not go within 100m of any of the nine surfing spots until the court case is completed.

Australian Nat Young (53), four-time world champion surfer, has attributed "surf rage" to the increasing number of surfers searching for quality waves. -- Sapa-AFP


   ANC wins economic hubs in KZN

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has won in all the province's five economic hubs. The party raced to victory in the province's leading cities and towns of Durban, Richards Bay, Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle and Port Shepstone. Few elections have had such a significant bearing on the economic future of the province as last week's poll.

Durban is not only the country's second largest city, but is among the most prosperous and leading cities in Africa. It is also Africa's busiest port. Richards Bay has also become a much sought after place to live and work and has transformed itself into the fastest growing town in Africa.

Going into Wednesday's elections the town was managed by the IFP. The party has also lost to the ANC in Newcastle, an industrial node and the most economically viable town in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. Leading politicians say this can only boost private-public initiatives to develop the province as an industrial, commercial and financial growth point.


   WIN BACK SOME "me time"!

Time management is becoming increasingly hard in our mad, bad modern day world so here are some top tips to allow you to "Take back your time" so you can concentrate on the really important things in life:
  • Make a "To Do" List Every Week
    Put things that are most important at the top and do them first. If it's easier, use a planner to track all of your tasks. And don't forget to reward yourself for your accomplishments.

  • Use Spare Minutes Wisely
    Catch up with friends and family on the phone while you get your car washed or wait for the kids at school and you'll kill two birds with one stone.

  • It's Okay to Say "No."
    If your boss asks you to work on a weekend but you've already arranged a family getaway, realise that it's okay to say no.

  • Find the Right Time
    You'll work more efficiently if you figure out when you do your best work. For example, if you are a morning person get your most important work then and leave the "mindless" stuff for the mid-afternoon slump.

  • Get a Good Night's Sleep
    Running on empty makes the day seem longer and your tasks seem more difficult.

  • Communicate Your Schedule to Others
    If phone calls are proving to be a distraction, tell your friends that you take social calls from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. It may sound silly, but it helps.

  • Become a Taskmaster
    Figure out how much free time you have each week. Give yourself a 'time budget' and plan your activities accordingly.

  • Don't Waste Time Agonizing
    Have you ever wasted an entire evening by worrying about something that you're supposed to be doing? Was it worth it? Instead of agonizing and procrastinating, just do it.

  • Keep Things in Perspective
    Setting goals that are unrealistic sets you up for failure. While it's good to set high goals for yourself but be sure they are realistic.



Be wary! We got word that there have been a few fraudulent e-mails doing the rounds!

Please take note that Visa will never send you an e-mail asking for confidential information such as:
  • account numbers
  • passwords
  • PIN numbers
  • credit card numbers
Protect yourself from fraudulent e-mails claiming to be from a credit card company, bank or other popular Internet web site. Delete unsolicited emails that ask for this type of personal information. If you suspect you've provided confidential information to a fraudulent site, contact the customer service number on the back of your card or from your account statement.

You can report e-mail fraud claiming to be from Visa by attaching the suspicious message to an email addressed to:


   Fashion | Milan round-up

Forget prim and proper, says Hilary Alexander. Milan was about the wilder reaches of fantasy, and a harder urban-warrior style.

Milan Fashion Week this year will go down as the season that banished The Lady to the prim-and-proper archives.

Her neat chic was engulfed by a new, freer dress code, embracing every reference from full-blown fantasy in Empress Josephine gowns to functional urban, wear with the nerd's anorak an alternative to the jacket, and leggings with high heels under skirts and dresses a positive must-have.

The season of change was epitomised by the mood at Prada. "I'm fed up with cocktail dresses," declared the high priestess of iconic style, Miuccia Prada, as she ushered in a complete volte face from bourgeoisie to urban, hip-hop warrior, an angry young woman in sombre black, grey and khaki, aggressive and uncompromising in a parka, voluminous skirt, bra-bodice over her sweater and boots.

Donatella Versace blitzed the glitz in favour of chic understatement and minimal embellishment, and even Roberto Cavalli ditched corsetry in favour of Charlestonesque chemises and velvet chinoiserie robes. DSquared, which can normally be relied on to turn up the volume on vulgarity, was inspired by the Establishment, with variations on equestrian chic, Balmoral plaids and right royal cocktail frocks.

Tartan, another frequent reference, especially in Black Watch, also featured strongly at Moschino and, more bizarrely, as crumpled plaid jackets and full skirts in Thomas Maier's otherwise gently tailored Bottega Veneta collection. Antonio Marras's use of deep-green and black, however, was more Chekhov than Mary Queen of Scots.

At Missoni, the leggings-with-everything concept worked to the house's knit-based advantage, looking youthful under cape-sleeved blouson dresses and striped, hooded cardigans. Cardigans, often fur-trimmed, added a new dimension at Alberta Ferretti and Philosophy.

Consuelo Castiglioni at Marni virtually ignored her signature prints, preferring plain navy, grey and brown, while Gucci offered the complete antithesis to Prada: a sexual vamp in red crystal micro-mini or metallic trouser suit - part David Bowie, part Debbie Harry, very Eighties. Rifat Ozbek at Pollini went back further to a linear Sixties shift with matching coat, boots and bag.

Christopher Bailey, in his Burberry Prorsum collection - marking the heritage brand's 150th anniversary - took the trenchcoat to new heights of luxury in cashmere and lace or trimmed with fox. His collection perfectly captured the eccentric whimsy of thrown-together English style.

It was a season, too, of debuts. Belgian Raf Simons showed his first collection for Jil Sander (sold during the week by the Prada group to a London-based private equity company) and adhered cleverly to the German designer's pure, stark aesthetic in cashmere, silk-velvet and a modernist metallic tweed.

Briton Matthew Williamson made his debut for Emilio Pucci, but, in contrast to Bailey and Simons, treated the heritage with a little too much awe. One longed for a dazzling line-up that fused the brilliant colour-play of both designers.

Similarly, Royal College of Art graduate Clare Waight Keller, in her debut for Pringle, showed luxurious hand-knitted, 10-ply cashmere cardigans, hand-loomed metallic silk skirts and pointelle lace dresses with tarnished, steel beads; fabulous on the hanger, lacking punch on the catwalk.

Dolce & Gabbana offered Milan's most extravagant fantasy with a collection inspired by Napoleon and Josephine. The Empire gowns, beaded by Lesage in Paris to original Paul Poiret 1920s designs, will be virtually impossible to replicate. The brass-buttoned, military jackets - also seen at Daks and Gianfranco Ferre - will prompt overkill in the high street.

Most Wearable of the Week award goes to MaxMara, both for its main collection and the younger SportMax, both full of easy pieces, styled in a manner any woman will covet. MaxMara focused on grey, navy and black with flashes of red and silver; SportMax on a woodsy palette of olive, brown and orange, reflected in a catwalk strewn with moss and autumn leaves.

In both, the silhouette was clear - long over short, loose over fitted, finished with all the season's top accessories: hats, gloves, socks, leggings and boots.


   Durban votes for lots of fun

By Irene Kuppan and Sharlene Packree

Thousands of Durbanites, who either visited their polling stations early or didn't bother to vote, took advantage of the public holiday and hot weather on Wednesday to go shopping or enjoy the beach.

The Pavilion, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, uShaka Marine World, Suncoast Casino and Durban's beaches were a hive of activity from early on Wednesday morning.

Patson Shiseke, duty manager at Gateway, said that more than "90 000 people were at the shopping centre on Wednesday according to the foot count".

In Phoenix, the shopping centres were abuzz with activity
"It's been a full house from the morning. I'm puzzled at the number of people who came through, especially on the day they were supposed to voting," he said.

Shiseke added that most of the shops were opened on Wednesday and that the restaurants were "chock-a-block".

An operations manager at uShaka Marine World said
the water park was particularly busy as people tried to cool off.

"We had about 4 000 people visiting Wet 'n Wild. While we expected it to be busy, we didn't realise that this many people would be here. It was like a normal season day," he said.

He added that there were long queues outside the restaurants and that many of them had been fully booked from very early in the day.

General manager of the Pavilion, Preston Gaddy, said his shopping centre had a "pretty good" day on Wednesday.

"We had a typical public holiday crowd and were relatively busy.

"All the shops were opened until 6pm," he said.

In Phoenix, the shopping centres were abuzz with activity. Stores and restaurants were packed.

Suncoast's public relations officer, Prinella Pillay, said Suncoast was "buzzing" as people flocked to restaurants and the casino.

"There were lots of couples and families streaming into the centre. The sundeck and beach area were also packed as people tried to cool off," said Pillay.

She said they had expected large crowds because there were two lucky draws scheduled to take place.

And those people who were not at the shopping centre or the casino, were soaking up the sun on the beach. By midday, Durban's beaches were packed.

Sipho Gumede, a lifeguard based at North Beach, said people enjoyed cooling themselves off in the water.

He said that even though the beaches were busy, there were no drowning incidents.


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