Monthly Archives: March 2014

Piotrans, Union in Talks to End Strike

The management of Piotrans Bus Operating Company are locked in a meeting with trade union leaders, representing their striking Rea Vaya bus drivers, to end the strike as a matter of urgency.

This morning, the bus drivers worked from 5am to 8am and then embarked on their strike.

While it is not yet known why the drivers are striking, the City of Johannesburg said the Bus Operating Company is continuing to do all it can to resolve the strike quickly.

The City vowed it will continue to provide regular feedback to passengers through the media as well as via social network such as Facebook and twitter.

The City apologised to passengers for the inconvenience.

SAnews.gov.za

Source : SAnews.gov.za

Education DG to Be Redeployed

Bobby Soobrayan will be moving on from his position as Director General in the Department of Basic Education, Minister Angie Motshekga has announced.

On Monday, the minister said that “after a very long time and painful consideration” she had acceded to the request of Soobrayan to be redeployed to other responsibilities within government. Minister Motshekga wished Soobrayan well, saying he left a fairly stable sector which had already started implementing the goals of the National Development Plan.

“Since 2009 when the minister and DG started working together there have been significant achievements recorded in the sector. The upward trend in the National Senior Certificate results is but one example that can be mentioned,” said the department.

The minister has appointed his former special aiser Panyaza Lesufi as Acting Director-General until end of April 2014. The department announced in February that Soobrayan had been cleared of allegations that he misused funds.

He was accused of signing a collective agreement on behalf of the department without a proper mandate, and misusing funds from the Education Labour Relations Council during April 2012.

Soobrayan was placed on special leave in August 2013 and a disciplinary hearing was held in December, chaired by Judge Willem van der Merwe.

The minister had said she would give details once all reports concerning the Director General were finalised.

She has since received all the reports from the Public Protector, Public Service Commission and from Judge Van der Merwe.

The department said on Monday the reports from Judge Van der Merwe and Public Service Commission had cleared Soobrayan, while Minister Motshekga would seek an audience with the Public Protector.

– SAnews.gov.za

Source : SAnews.gov.za

The Gods Must Be Happy [opinion]

A shared love of food brought Agnes and Jonny together. The very same love has also made their restaurant, Manna Epicure (“heavenly food”), such a success.

For Agnes, who grew up in a food-loving family on the island of Corsica, it’s about French styling and flair. The restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with design that’s simple but elegant. And while certain fine dining establishments turn sophistication into pretentiousness, Manna Epicure’s creamy deacutecor and soft lighting make you feel relaxed and at home.

“I believe a restaurant is a theatre,” Agnes writes on the restaurant’s recently upgraded website. “People yearn to be entertained: they arrive hungry – for food, for joy, for beauty. This is what we love to give our guests. At the start of each new day, I say to my staff: ‘It’s show time!'”

And they certainly perform well! Our waiter, like the rest of his colleagues, was attentive without being overbearing. And I especially like the fact that Agnes despite being the boss took the time to welcome us personally and a number of other guests, as we arrived to fill out the intimate space, and even helped her staff by serving food with a friendly smile.

Every plate is a piece of me

For Jonny, who grew up in the small town of Citrusdal in the Western Cape, it’s about more than just the cuisine. “Cooking is the ultimate self-expressive art form,” he writes. “That’s why every plate that comes out of my kitchen is a piece of me. I believe there is simply no better way to show love than through food.”

To experience the best of what Manna Epicure has to offer, my friend and I decided to order different items for each course, all of which were beautifully presented, delicious, and ideally portioned to leave us satisfied but not stuffed. The breakdown was as follows:

Drinks: Manna Passion cocktail with rye vodka and granadilla (R37) and glass of Alexander Fontein Sauvingon Blanc (R35)

Starters: Smoked salmon trout salad (R75) and cream of slow roast tomato soup (R40)

Main Course: Quail breasts (R90) with a side dish of tender stem broccoli (R25) and shelled mussels cooked in white wine (R95)

Dessert: Manna panna cotta (R35) and Americano coffee (R16)

The total came to just under R450, although the restaurant currently has a few specials, including 50% off all breakfast food items before 9am as well as two- and three-course set menu dinners (at R95 and R120 respectively) from 5pm to 7pm.

An Argentinian twist

The menu at Manna Epicure is primarily about combining French and South African cuisines. But Jonny’s inspiration from acclaimed food scientist Harold McGee (and his passion for world flavours) recently led to the introduction of an Argentinian twist.

Unfortunately, while I was lying in bed and mentally writing this review, I realised that I should have probably opted for one of the Chalmar beef steaks, which include Jonny’s reinterpretation of the Argentinian chimichurri meat marinade as a fresh and versatile sauce. Perhaps this new addition to the menu is something the restaurant should be more vocal about?

Nevertheless, I now have even more of a reason to go back to Manna Epicure again and again. Given the wonderful experience we had (and the consistently high ratings on TripAisor), I suspect that whatever Agnes and Jonny come up with is bound to be another match made in heaven!

Source : Biz-Community

Protecting the Supply Chain

The theft of sensitive data, intellectual property or customer details is happening more and more often. Sophisticated cyber ‘gangs’ are gaining traction, and they have not only the motivation, but the ability and techniques to carry out these attacks, which are happening more and more through a business’ supply chain.

Cyber thieves are coming up with new ways to steal valuable data on a daily basis. An organisation’s supply chain is often the weakest link in the security chain, as many businesses do not actively scrutinise the supply chain for evidence of a breach.

Staggering amount of data breaches

However, more companies are keeping a closer eye on their supply chain, the task is a daunting one, as many businesses, particularly the larger entities, can have hundreds of thousands of suppliers. It is impossible to keep an eye on all these suppliers, so often a business will track only their top few dozen or so. But this is proving inadequate.

The recent breach over the festive season at international retail giant Target, is a prime example of credentials being stolen via a vendor in the supply chain. And attacks of this nature are becoming commonplace.

According to Agiliance, approximately 80% of data breaches start in the supply chain, a staggering figure.

As businesses invest in more and more of the latest security technologies to strengthen their defences against cyber attacks, criminals look for more and more ways to successfully breach them. An organisation might have the best security measures in place, but unfortunately, they are only as g as their weakest link, and too often, this is the supplier. The supplier has become the path of least resistance.

Protect from attacks

This is particularly effective as it is no easy task to conduct a risk assessment across a multitude of suppliers, but that there are ways to protect the supply chain from attacks.

Firstly, be prepared. It is vital to identify your most sensitive and desirable information, your compliance environment and your current ability to protect them. With this knowledge, a company can formulate strategies and tactics to help them address risk based on what is a priority. This can also help to identify what extra awareness or skills might be needed among staff. Formulate your policies around security, and make sure your staff and supply chain are aware of them.

Next, monitor systems and networks for signs of any suspicious or anomalous activity. In addition, keep an eye on emerging trends, the external environment and shifting business requirements. Measure the effectiveness of your cyber security tools and capabilities.

Have a response plan

In terms of protection, formulate and deploy security solutions that address the risk, and ensure the integrity of the sensitive information, but that are not so tight and cumbersome as to disrupt the business. Apply solid engineering processes to the design and development of security measures to ensure they integrate properly with business operations.

Another important factor, which is often overlooked, is response. Having a response plan in place is vital. Without one, it is impossible for a business to gauge its ability to not only contain, but to mitigate and recover from a breach.

Finally, education of staff, as always, is paramount. It is too easy to invest a fortune in technologies, but overlook the human factor. Staff must understand the implications of a breach, and know which information they handle is sensitive. Once staff understand the consequences, and the role they have to play in securing the business, this will go a long way towards keeping risk at a minimum.

Source : Biz-Community

Pressure Cooker Studios Nominated for Safta Award

Daniel Caleb and James Matthes of Pressure Cooker Studios, the music and sound design architects for film and television, have been nominated for a 2014 SAFTA Award for Sound Design on the feature film Sleeper’s Wake, a thriller based on the novel by Alistair Morgan. Directed by Barry Berk, Sleeper’s Wake is produced by Anant Singh and Ken Kaplan for Bioskope Pictures and Videovision.

“The script was a huge influence for us from the start – resulting in the bulk of the music being written before any filming commenced for the feature. Barry, who has a great musical ear, also had a huge part to play. When we received the edit, he had already placed a lot of our music in the film and came to us with a firm idea of what he wanted. He sat with us for weeks going through scenes, talking about sound design and music ideas he had, so we’d like to give him a lot of credit as he had a huge hand in the final product,” said Caleb, co-founder and composer of Pressure Cooker Studios.

A tortured soul and an innocent sweetness

Berk did not want to give a specific brief to Pressure Cooker Studios, as he wanted to see what their initial response from reading the script would be. Caleb explained: “What he kept on saying was that he wanted a sound capturing a combination of a tortured soul and an innocent sweetness that create a conflict of tension and irony. He loved the idea of the sound design putting us inside a baboon’s throat.”

Caleb said that the end result is a sound design-driven score that “will both scare the living daylights out of you and give you goose bumps at the same time”.

The eighth annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) will take place on 5 and 6 April 2014.

Source : Biz-Community