Being lost in a foreign country can be very intimidating and most all embarrassing because you don’t even know who to ask and which language to use.The launch of the new generation of the Isuzu D-MAX in South Africa’s Nelspruit, Mpumalanga was nothing but a success story befitting for an outstanding unique new model.
For a long time the Isuzu KB has been a household name in the commercial and leisure vehicle markets in South Africa over the past 40 years and six generations, with a proud heritage built on an outstanding character of reliability, capability, durability and trust.Now, the much- loved Isuzu bakkie range is creating an exciting new chapter as its name changes from KB to D-MAX, bringing it in line with global markets while retaining the proven qualities that have underlined its success – matched to an extensive range, enhanced styling and fantastic new features.
How I got lost
Isuzu invited more than twenty journalists from across Southern Africa to its launch in Nelspruit. On Monday afternoon we all jumped into the cars from Nelspruit to Hazyview an hour drive in a D-MAX experience. As the journey began, everyone was cruising at high speed and enjoying the experience. However, I missed a turn-off at Sabbi and this was the beginning of my encounter with the D-MAX drawing into my emotions driving in no man’s land. I had my GPS set to a wrong destination and my woes continued even further into Phalaborwa.
At this point I was left with no choice but to pull off at the next fuel station and ask for help. A gentleman offered to help and re- set my GPS, I was about 80 km from my destination. I arrived at Casa Do Sol an hour after everyone arrived and everyone was excited to see me arrived after being a spell anxiety. I had the most experience than everyone since I had extended my trip. The following day we took obstacles at Kruger National Park where the D-MAX took it with ease.
“The Isuzu Motors South Africa operation is now fully integrated within the broader Isuzu Motors organisation and, as such, we are aligning our brand and product portfolio with the company’s global product strategy and naming conventions. The adoption of the D-MAX name is a natural next step for us as we launch the enhanced and expanded range for the South African market,” says Craig Uren, Executive Officer – Sales, Service and Marketing.
He says although the name has changed, the same trusted qualities that made the Isuzu bakkie a South African favourite over four decades continue with the wider and even better D-MAX range. “It’s exciting that this happens in the same year that Isuzu Motors Ltd acquired the company’s local operations, and also celebrates 40 years of Isuzu bakkie production in South Africa,” Uren adds.
The D-MAX name originated in Thailand, with the ‘D’ originally referring to the 2000 model year Isuzu bakkie which boasted the flush “Dragon Eyes” headlamp design. It also represents Isuzu’s proud legacy in the production of diesel engines, the use of industry-defining direct injection, as well as ground-breaking design and durability. ‘Max’ signifies Isuzu’s maximum approach to design, size, comfort, technology, performance, safety, durability and line-up.
These qualities are reflected in the latest Isuzu D-MAX range, which boasts an expanded line-up of 30 models for South Africa and 13 models for export markets, all of which are assembled at the Struandale Assembly Plant in Port Elizabeth for the South African market, as well as for export to Sub-Saharan Africa where the D-MAX name has been in use since 2013.
Along with subtle styling changes and an upgraded, more premium interior with enhanced infotainment features, the Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 LX now also incorporates significant drivetrain enhancements with the adoption of a six-speed transmission in both its automatic and manual models, that first debuted in the Isuzu mu-X SUV launched earlier this year.“Although it looks, feels and drives better than ever, the revered Isuzu bakkie range hasn’t changed its stripes in terms of its renowned reliability, durability, capability and overall outstanding comfort which customers have come to trust,” Uren states.
“We believe the new D-MAX range will continue building momentum for the Isuzu brand in the South African market following Isuzu Motors Limited acquisition of the South African manufacturing and distribution operation.Already, Isuzu bakkie sales are up over 8-percent compared to the same period last year, and we expect the launch of the expanded and enhanced D-MAX range to drive our growth even further,” Uren concludes.Isuzu has also refreshed its bakkie range, giving it a new name along with higher levels of specification, quality and efficiency to make its popular light commercial vehicle (LCV) more appealing than ever.
Over the past 40 years of local production spanning six generations, the Isuzu bakkie has been a key player in creating and fostering South Africa’s love affair with the versatile bakkie – both as a workhorse and, increasingly, as an all-encompassing everyday leisure and lifestyle vehicle.Now known as the Isuzu D-MAX, in line with international markets, the Isuzu bakkie range spans an extensive portfolio comprising of 30 models for South Africa and 13 models for export markets, with the top-spec derivatives gaining a more luxurious execution that reflects the more sophisticated requirements of top-end buyers in this segment.
The line-up has been revised and enhanced to make the D-MAX more appealing and competitive than ever, and the high-spec models raise the bar for Isuzu in terms of luxury and quality.“We are also delighted to introduce the all-new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions on the 3.0-Litre LX models that improve overall performance, efficiency and refinement when compared to the previous five-speed units, while building on Isuzu’s proven reputation for reliability and durability,” says Dominic Rimmer, Executive Technical Services.
There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.
Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.
The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.
Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.
In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha. The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…
Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation
“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.
He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event. The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.
This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events. Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.
The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized
Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.
He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.
In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud. When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.
As the creative industry is trying to resurface from the COVID-19 dust, the board chairperson of Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), Bakalanga Mahoko, says the society is considering giving out relief funds to their members who have been hit hard by the COVID -19 induced restrictions. She noted that this will however depend on government’s response to their request for funds.
She told WeekendLife that the society has already written to government requesting funds. Once the request is approved, she says some of the funds will enable the society to embark on road shows across the country to sensitise the general public about COSBOTS. The road shows are designed to run for several weeks before the annual general meeting which is scheduled for May, 28th this year. Among other things, she says part of the money will be used as a relief fund for their members.
“As we are all aware, the industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions and some of our members were unable to raise money for their survival and that alone affected the industry. We anticipate that government will consider and approve our request and once it’s approved our members will smile all the way to the bank as their bank accounts will be credited by the COSBOTS,” she says.
She added that if things go according to plan, this will be the second time that their members would have been assisted through such an initiative. She said at the moment they have registered about 2800 members across the country and the board anticipates that the membership number will increase sharply.
“I am not yet in a better position to divulge the amount which each artist will be given because government has not yet responded to our request, but once that has been approved the society will announce,“ she says.
Mahoko was elected as the board chairperson sometime last year and has also been the first woman to lead such society which she described as “privileged”. “As many will recall, the society was in a mess and there were squabbles among members. There was also mismanagement of funds that resulted in the members, government as well as the public losing trust on the society and that dented badly the image of the society,” she says.
Mahoko further stated since she has been in office for more than a year, things now look much better and promising. The government gave the society a grant and that alone was a sign of trust from government. Recently COSBOTS distributed over P7 million as royalties.
With over 20 years in the business of publishing school books for both primary and high school schools as well as fuelling the imagination and guiding the soul of the youth. Collegium Education Publishers are continuing with their trailblazing mission by launching EBooks.
During the launch of the Ebooks platform recently, Naledi Ratsoma, Author and Founding Director of Collegium Botswana took the audience on a trip down memory lane. She disclosed that after falling out with a local publishing company, she established new ties with a publishing company in South Africa. “The adage don’t get mad, get even worked for us.
We decided we are going to get them, we are curriculum specialists we know what the curriculum is all about and what books should be to support the type of curriculum.” She said deep in thought. “The start-up was not easy, I was the general, manager, tea lady working from 6 am to 10pm. It was sheer determination and hard work that got the company going.
Today I feel honoured and excited, Collegium grew by leaps and bounds. Here we are today. Dare I call Collegium a success story? Yes I do, it is a resounding success story.” She uttered excitedly Looking into the future, Terrence Showa, Collegium CEO was tasked with only one job to do.
That job? Moving Collegium to digitization and joining the rest of the publishing world in transition towards the Fourth industrial revolution and a knowledge based economy. “Today I stay to you quite proud to be the first publisher in the country to launch the prescribed eBooks.” He said.
Showa mentioned; “I was told to come with a cheaper solution for government, after three years with meeting several Information Technology think tanks we came to the conclusion that Snapplify, gurus in providing eBooks and eLearning were in alignment with what we are looking for. Ebooks provide a simple solution for teachers, parents, students to use at their homes.
It will also be 30% cheaper for government to procure the books. An added benefit was the ability to give free content by Snapplify on the side of library service. ” He says the Ebook Platform has been fast tacked by the rural electrification program by government prioritizing the need to digitise books.
When speaking to the WeekendPost on the side after the event, Showa when questioned on matters of piracy which comes with the digital age, he enunciated that “as Collegium the failure of us to regulate the printing and photocopying of our books frustrates us daily. There are institutions who have committed to procuring photocopying machines to make copies of our books.
We are excited about eBooks because the licence procured when buying the book will run for only a year and will limit users to being able to photocopy and take screenshots of the books. One of the reasons Snapplify made sense to us is they know exactly what the challenges that come with digital platforms are. The content will only be downloadable into devices through a profile set up and limit the number of users on the site.”
For their presentation, Stephen Bestbier and Mark Seabrook from the Snapplify Team; the application is accessible everywhere with an offline feature to encourage data saving and reading offline, it is compatible with existing devices be it mobile, tablet and desktop. The simple library management functionality makes it easy to check out books and return them automatically to curb the ancient penalty of paying late return fees as well as avoiding d issues of lost book since it will be on an online platform.
The academic features include; a designated dyslexic friendly font, text to speech functionality, journal, bookmarks. The Elibrary provides for convenience as 24/7 access to learning, materials since the online library does not close like the traditional library. The support platform ‘teacha!’ also reliefs’ teachers in their work by building skills with accredited professional development courses and platform training.
Snapplify are leaders in Pan African educational technology with thousands of institutions across Africa with students and academic staff within the Snapplify ecosystem from primary schools to tertiary institutions.
Snapplify is the best eLearning solution with a comprehensive content catalogue with constant delivery and a proven track record of rolling out large government eLearning projects. Collegium’s vision has indeed come to pass to become market leaders in the provision of high quality teaching and learning materials for institutions in Botswana.