SAARP Social Services Newsletter - Issue 124 / February 2017

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Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it.


Polly Berrien

WATER IS LIFE

SAVE IT

Boreholes cannot be exempt from restrictions as these potential threats to groundwater show:


Lowering of the Water Table Excessive pumping can lower the groundwater table, and cause wells to no longer be able to reach groundwater.

In this issue:


Notices
Social Clubs
Holiday Club
Health
Food
Finances
Lifestyle
South Africa
Technology
Services
Regulars

Increased Costs As the water table lowers, the water must be pumped farther to reach the surface, using more energy. In extreme cases, using such a well can be cost prohibitive.

Reduced Surface Water Supplies Groundwater and surface water are connected. When groundwater is overused, the lakes, streams, and rivers connected to groundwater can also have their supply diminished.

Land Subsidence Land subsidence occurs when there is a loss of support below ground. This is most often caused by human activities, mainly from the overuse of groundwater, when the soil collapses, compacts, and drops.

Water Quality Concerns Excessive pumping in coastal areas can cause saltwater to move inland and upward, resulting in saltwater contamination of the water supply.

Read More >

LONGEVITY

Our CEO sits on the Board of Transnet Pensioners. They currently have 85 pensioners over 100 years old.


Newsletter

Delivery statistics

If you use Outlook, please put news@saarp.net in your Safe Senders List.

It concerns me that only 20.3% of our readers confirmed receipt of the January e-Newsletter. Of further concern is that 23.8% were bounced (not delivered to the members’ ISP’s). The actual statistics are:

28,307 were mailed
6,437 bounced
5,747 were confirmed as opened

It appears that not only is the Post Office hopeless but so is the electronic world.

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SAARP SOCIAL CLUB NEWS

OUR CLUB MEMBER NUMBERS

BY POSTAL CODE.

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SAARP HOLIDAY CLUB

The following are examples of discounted off-peak holidays which our Holiday Club has on offer for you and your families. To book phone Renske on 021 592 1279.
Please note:

RESORT

AREA

DATE

UNIT

PRICE

Kiara Lodge

Clarens

15-19 May

1 Bedroom

R1567.50

Castleton

Plettenberg Bay

22-26 May

1 Bedroom

R1254.00

Crystal Springs

Pilgrims Rest

15-19 May

1 Bedroom

R1567.50

Royal Wharf

St Francis Bay

5-9 Jun

3 Bedrooms

R2194.50

Tableview cabanas

Blouberg

12-16 Jun

1 Bedroom

R1254.00

Dikhololo

Brits

24-28 Jul

2 Bedrooms

R1254.00

Magaliespark

Brits

14-18 Aug

2 Bedrooms

R1881.00

La Cote d Azur

Manaba Beach

18-22 Sep

2 Bedrooms

R3448.50

Hazyview cabanas

Hazyview

31 Jul – 4 Aug

2 Bedrooms

R2194.50

Hermanus beach
resort

Hermanus

29 May – 2 Jun

3 Bedrooms

R1995.00


  • NOTE 1: The above prices include 14% VAT.
  • NOTE 2: The price is for the entire period.
  • NOTE 3: All cancellations must be made 11 (eleven) weeks before check-in date.
  • PAYMENT: Once Renske has CONFIRMED your booking she will submit an invoice containing SAARP’s bank details. Once you have deposited the required amount in SAARP”s bank account, please provide proof of payment using one of the following:

    Fax: 021 592 1284
    E-mail: renskes@saarp.net

  • REMEMBER: you need to quote your ID number and name.

DO NOT PAY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE CONFIRMATION OF THE BOOKING AND THE INVOICE.

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HEALTH

STROKE

Get smart about stroke

Stroke remains the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It's affecting greater numbers of younger people (about a quarter of all strokes occur in those under 65). And only about 30 percent of victims recognize the symptoms and get to the hospital in time to receive the brain-saving, clot-busting medication.

Know the signs

Balance difficulties
Eyes (vision)
Facial weakness
Arm weakness
Slurred speech

With any of these symptoms be fast and get to a major medical center as soon as possible.

90 percent of all strokes are preventable "If you're eating a good diet, exercising and managing your hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol, you can substantially reduce your risk of having a stroke. In practical terms, the lower you can get your blood pressure, the better; 120/80 is fantastic, but generally speaking, we want to see a range of less than 140/90. For exercise, we recommend an hour five times a week. And it has to be a decent level of activity — a light walk might not be sufficient to get your heart pumping. For alcohol, we're talking about, at most, one glass of red wine, or its equivalent, a day. If you've already had a stroke, you have to be very, very cautious about alcohol."

Read More >

OBESITY

The men who made us fat

The advertising supremos of the Sixties were paid exorbitant amounts of money to get us hooked on sugar and salt.
Look at them, they’re all fat,’ he said. I’d slowed the car to allow four children to cross the zebra crossing. ‘Of course it’s the working classes who get fat first,’ he explained. ‘Eating all that sugar and salt.’ I thought I detected blame and took exception. ‘Well, if anyone is to blame,’ I said, ‘it’s you.’ In the early Sixties some of the most highly educated minds of that rising British generation went into advertising and made an absolute packet. He was one of them. He and his Cambridge mates were handed exorbitant amounts of money to produce lavish and seductive television adverts that would brainwash us all into wanting things we didn’t need or were bad for our health. I watched television all through the Sixties and even today my mental furniture is comprised almost entirely of advertising jingles from that period. ‘P-P-Pick up a Penguin’. Remember that one? That’s another of his. ‘You formed our minds,’ I said. ‘We were like putty in your hands. It’s you and your mates who got us all hooked on industrially manufactured, highly addictive sugar and salt products and made us fat. And then you all retired to your own soft-focus dream images of Tuscany and Provence.’ He has recently been struck by a jab, hook and uppercut combination of three chronic illnesses and was sitting immobile on my leather passenger seat and looking straight ahead. He took the abuse complacently, ‘Well, after a while we did start to feel very uncomfortable about what we were doing, I must admit,’ he said.
Jeremy Clarke

Read More >

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FOOD

FOOD

A lifelong eating plan

  • Build the perfect plate – 50% veggies and fruit, 25% whole grains, 25% meat, poultry or fish
  • Quit the clean plate club. Portions are too big, take half of restaurant meals home
  • Swap refined grains for whole grains. Eat brown rice and whole wheat
  • Avoid solid fats. Avoid fast food outlets. Use butter instead of olive oil. Skip meat fat
  • Limit the booze. A maximum of two glasses of wine per night.
  • Don’t eat dead food. This includes, processed food, fast food and fillers like bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar, chips and soft drinks

AARP Magazine October/November 2016


FREEZER

Power failure

Have you ever come home from being away and noticed your digital clocks flashing the wrong time? You quickly realize that you had a power outage while you were away, but it's basically impossible to tell when it occurred or how long it lasted. It's therefore also impossible to tell just how long the food in your freezer may have thawed, gotten destroyed and then frozen again. Or is it? This trick can tell you if your food went completely bad and just refroze, or if it stayed frozen while you were gone. Put a cup of water in your freezer. Freeze it solid, then put a coin on top of it and leave it in your freezer. That way, when you come back after you've been away, you can tell if your food went completely bad and just refroze, or if it stayed frozen while you were gone. If the coin has fallen to the bottom of the cup, that means all the food defrosted and you should throw it out. But if the coin is either on the top or in the middle of the cup, your food may still be ok. If you don't feel good about your food, just throw it out. The main thing is for all to be safe.

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FINANCE

BUDGET 2017

IN A NUTSHELL

New tax rates

0 - 189 880

18% of each R1

189 881 - 296 540

R34 178 + 26% of the amount above

296 541 - 410 460

R61 910 + 31% of the amount above

410 461 - 555 600

R97 225 + 36% of the amount above

555 601 - 708 310

R149 475 + 39% of the amount above

708 311 - 1 500 000

R209 032 + 41% of the amount above

1 500 001 and up

R533 625 + 45% of the amount above

Rebates

  • The primary rebate will be increased to R13 635 per year (currently R13 500).
  • The secondary rebate which applies to individuals aged 65 to 74 will be increased to R7 479 per year (currently R7 407).
  • The third rebate which applies to individuals aged 75 and older will be increased to R2 493 per year (Currently R2 466).

Tax thresholds The threshold below which individuals are not liable for personal income tax will be increased as follows:

  • For persons younger than 65, it will be increased from R75 000 to R75 750.
  • For persons between the ages of 65 and over, it will be increased from R116 150 to R117 300.
  • For persons 75 years and older, it will be increased from R129 850 to R131 150.

Medical Tax Credits
Monthly medical tax credits will increase in line with inflation from 1 March 2017 as follows:

Monthly medical tax credits for all taxpayers

2016/2017

2017/2018

Member

R286

R303

First beneficiary

R286

R303

Additional beneficiaries

R192

R204

Fuel levies
With effect from 5 April 2017, the general fuel levy on petrol, diesel and biodiesel will increase by 30 cents per litre and the RAF levy increases by 9 cents per litre.

Electricity levies
There is no change in the electricity levy.

Sugar taxes
Over the past year, the National Treasury published a draft policy paper and consulted with interested parties on the proposed sugary beverages tax. The tax will be implemented later this year once legislation is finalised.

Carbon tax
A revised Carbon Tax Bill will be published for public consultation and tabled in Parliament by mid-2017.

Interest exemption
The interest income tax threshold remains the same, which is R23 800 for persons under 65 and for persons 65 and over is R34 500.

Social grants
The following social security grant increases will come into effect on 1 April 2017:

  • War veterans grants will increase from R1 525 to R1 620.
  • Old age, disability and care dependency grants will increase from R1 505 to R1 600.
  • Old age grant for over 75's will increase from R1 525 to R1 620.
  • Child support grants will increase from R350 to R380.
  • Foster care grants will increase from R890 to R920.

QUOTES

Compare apples with apples

Recently one of our insurance staff suggested that she get a quote from company B to compare with my annual increase from Company A, with whom I have been for many years.

Company A premium R1,459-56 per month
Company B quote R1,253-88.

These items are included in my current contract with company A but are all excluded from company B’s quote:

Death Benefit R74-38
Motor breakdown R 32-00
Car Hire R100-00

If I add these to company B’s quote the monthly saving is R9-30.
As far as I’m concerned the three items excluded from the quote are essential to me. I have already used the Car hire twice while a vehicle was in for repair. Without this cover it would have cost me at least R4,000.

But the choice is yours. Insurance is a gamble and you may gamble as much or as little as you like. Ray

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LIFESTYLE

SOUND ADVICE

For the over 65’s

  1. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it.
  2. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself.
  3. Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep.
  4. Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other.
  5. Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life.
  6. Regardless of age, always keep love alive.
  7. Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked.
  8. Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style.
  9. ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying
  10. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction.
  11. Never use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now.
  12. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter.
  13. Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren.
  14. Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones.
  15. Even if you don’t feel like it, try to accept invitations.
  16. Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more
  17. Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them. Try to minimize them in your mind.
  18. If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone - apologize.
  19. If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don’t waste your time trying to convince others.
  20. Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything.
  21. Take no notice of what others say about you and even less notice of what they might be thinking.

Now is the time to be at rest, at peace and as happy as you can be.

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SOUTH AFRICA

ENTERTAINMENT

Why DStv can’t let you choose

There are layers of complexity that make it all but impossible for satellite TV broadcasters to let subscribers choose their own channels. Here are some:

The nature of a broadcast TV service makes it incredibly difficult to let subscribers choose their own channels. The technology is built to place channels into a relatively small number of groups.

If they let each subscriber become their own group, this would place more strain on the system than the bandwidth offered by DStv’s satellites could handle.

For anti-piracy reasons, which are driven by Hollywood studios, DStv constantly has to cycle encryption keys through its decoders.

If they have to generate content encryption keys for each individual subscriber, this would cause a massive amount of signalling traffic. It could take days for a new subscriber to be activated if such individual channel selection were allowed.

Even if the technical challenges are overcome, the larger obstacle to allowing subscribers to choose their own channels is pricing. To explain the model it was compared with a gym where you can’t just pay for the treadmill.

Capital expenditure costs are high, so they have to package things in such a way that they become affordable to as many people as possible.

Not all channels cost the same and some licensing costs decrease as the number of potential viewers’ increases, due to being able to offset content costs with advertising.

By packaging channels in the way they do into predetermined bouquets, they make the services more affordable for more customers

Read More >


GATED ESTATES IN SOUTH AFRICA

normal traffic laws

It is alarming to see that a large number of gated estates in SA wrongly view the roads within the estate as “private” roads and are managing them accordingly, says Arrive Alive.

In many instances the Estate regulatory signage and road markings also does not comply with the requirements of the National Road Traffic Act and is illegal.

Traffic control within the estate is generally viewed only as an internal conduct issue that is normally regulated by estate management through security service providers. This is wrong.

Most, if not all roads within these gated estates are not “private roads” but they are in fact “public roads” in terms of the law and they are regulated by the provisions of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 (NRTA) notwithstanding anything to the contrary that the estate management may state in their rules. Non compliance is still a criminal offence and soon will be regulated by AARTO or the demerit point system.

Read More >

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TECHNOLOGY

FAKE NEWS

Be aware

I’ve commented on this before in Newsletters.

Carte Blanche had a very good program on the subject and it is worth looking at their website to expand on what I reported. Here are some pointers:

  • Check the web address
  • Google the website’s name
  • Check the headlines
  • A picture tells a thousand words
  • Check the sources
  • Visit their social pages
  • Contact them

Read More >


THE TRUTH?

Conflicting “facts”

When I asked GOOGLE a question about dogs and bones the following were the top two verbatim responses:

Feeding Your Dog Bones — Don't Do It, And Here's Why
www.petful.com/pet-health/dont-give-that-dog-a-bone
Video embedded A veterinarian's cautionary tale about how feeding bones to your dog means ... a bone. Last month, a 13-year-old German shepherd that ... content on Petful ...

The Importance of Raw Bones for Dogs and Cats
healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/05/09/bone...
Raw bones provide dogs and cats with nutrients like calcium and ... The ideal total amount of calcium in dog food is 1.0 to 1.8 percent of the dry weight of the ...

Reader (searcher?) beware . . . .


SECURITY

Never do any of the following

  • Give a stranger access to your computer
  • Open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know
  • Use a thumb drive handed out for free from anywhere
  • Conduct private business on a public Wi-Fi site
  • Post anything on Facebook you may live to regret

Frank Abagnale – AARP Fraud Watch, AARP Magazine October/November 2016


SMARTPHONES

Top South Africa sellers

Samsung 49%
Apple 19%
Huawei 9%


COMPUTER FRAUDSTERS

Actual responses

IF YOU RECEIVE A CALL FROM SOMEONE PRETENDING TO BE FROM MICROSOFT AND WANTING TO ACCESS YOUR COMPUTER FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER SIMPLY PUT DOWN THE PHONE. DO NOT ENGAGE WITH THEM AT ALL. SEE BELOW.

One

Caller (American accent), “I’d like to speak to the owner of this computer,”
Julie, “That will be the Minister of Police. Give me your telephone number and I’ll get his private secretary to call you.”
Caller, “Go (expletive deleted) yourself.” Click.

One

A member of the company that looks after our computer maintenance engaged one of these callers in conversation. This is what he was told, “We catch about 150 people a day. You South Africans are so dumb when it comes to computer security.”

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SAARP SERVICES

REVERSE MORTGAGES

SAARP was one of the primary bodies involved in structuring a set of standards, the standards which we were happy to underwrite when structuring SAHERPA (SA Home Equity Release Protection Association).

The primary aims were inter alia:

The protection of senior citizens’ interests as a primary goal.

Making sure SAHERPA supplier members provided a “No negative equity guarantee”. NB This means that, if the balance outstanding at the time of settlement is greater than the value of the property, the mortgagor does not have any claim to recover the excess from the rest of the estate.

Ensuring that there was a built in appeal process which would not cost an arm and a leg.

Making sure only SAHERPA registered and properly qualified marketing people were appointed.

We are most certainly aware of the need to have this product available in the market, because it fulfils a special need of certain categories of retired people who have found themselves in an asset-rich and cash-flow poor situation.

Thanks to the fact that the USA exported massive amounts of their non-viable mortgage loans throughout the world, and the global financial collapse which followed, the industry went into hibernation for period. Although up and running in some overseas countries, this has not yet happened in South Africa, although we are hoping it won’t be long before we are also up and running.

UNTIL THIS COMES ABOUT, WE STRONGLY ADVISE OUR MEMBERS NOT TO ENTER INTO THIS TYPE OF FINANCIAL TRANSACTION UNTIL SAHERPA IS ONCE AGAIN ABLE TO ASSUME A WATCHDOG ROLE ON YOUR BEHALF.

Remember: Tough times are always preferable to a financial disaster.

Paul Rosenbrock, Director


SAARP's SERVICES

For your benefit


SAARP SHORT TERM INSURANCE POLICIES
Members have saved up to R13 000 per annum on their SAARP policies
Choose from Auto & General, SANTAM or Alexander Forbes

SAARP social CLUB
Find one near you at www.saarp.net .

SAARP HOLIDAY CLUB
Get discounted top class holidays at amazing prices.

SAARP MEDICAL INSURANCE COVER
Choose from Guardrisk or Alexander Forbes.

SAARP FAMILY PROTECTION PLAN
Funeral insurance at reduced rates.

CAR HIRE A CHOICE OF TWO COMPANIES
First Car or Holiday Autos.

SAARP DISCOUNTED WILLS WITHOUT DRAFTING OR HOLDING COSTS
Discounted executor’s fees could vary from 20% to 50% off the legal maximum.

FINANCIAL INVESTMENT SERVICE
Warwick Wealth

SPECSAVERS
Affordable Spectacles.

FREE MONTHLY e-NEWSLETTER
Your e-mail address guarantees a free monthly e-newsletter.

SAARP, its suppliers, publisher, printer and contributors do not have any intention to provide specific medical or other advice but rather may provide readers with information in terms of its rights under the Constitution of South Africa. Information provided here is not a substitute for professional advice of any nature, more particularly medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment, neither is it designed to promote or endorse any medical practice or treatment, programme or product. It is placed on record that SAARP does not endorse or recommend any product advertised or mentioned in the editorial content of the Bulletin or website or the like. Additionally and similarly, SAARP does not offer professional advice in any area, including, but not limited to, law and finance. In all cases, should readers require advice, they should consult a properly accredited and qualified specialist in the field.

Contact us at SAARP


Tel: 021 592 1279   |   Fax: 021 592 1284

We'll call you back to save your phone bill


E-mail: info@saarp.net   |   Or see it all at www.saarp.net

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REGULARS

SNIPPETS

One

The first freight train from China arrived in Hamburg in August 2013 after a 15 day journey

China has launched a direct rail freight service to London, as part of its drive to develop trade and investment ties with Europe. It is cheaper than air and faster than sea and can carry hazardous goods not allowed on aircraft.

China is considering a high speed rail link to France which will result in a two day journey.

Two

Horses killed more people in Australia in recent years than all venomous animals combined, research has shown. From 2000 to 2013, horses were responsible for 74 deaths. Bees and other stinging insects were the next most dangerous, causing 27 deaths, followed by snakes, which also claimed 27 lives but landed fewer people in hospital. Spiders were not responsible for any deaths during that time.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Time-Saving Tips

Indecision is nearly always the worst mistake you can make.

The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic and a terrible waste of time.

If your office is typical, roughly three-quarters of the items in your files should have been placed in the wastebasket.

There's a common belief that tension is bad, that quiet and tranquillity are goals for which we should strive. Nonsense. Without tension nothing gets done.

Of all the time-saving techniques ever developed, perhaps the most effective of all is frequent use of the word "no."

Getting Things Done by Edwin C Bliss


SMILE

A blonde man shouts frantically into the phone,

"My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"

"Is this her first child?" asks the Doctor.

"No!" he shouts, "this is her husband!"


THOUGHT

One small positive thought can change your whole day.


QUOTE

"The last of the human freedoms is to choose our attitude in any given circumstance."
Rabindranath Tagore

Ray Hattingh

PS Smile. It makes people wonder what you’ve been up to.

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Visit our Website  |  Online Version  |  Forward this newsletter

Contact us at SAARP


Tel: 021 592 1279   |   Fax: 021 592 1284

We'll call you back to save your phone bill


E-mail: info@saarp.net   |   Or see it all at: www.saarp.net