YOU MUST SIGN THE AGREEMENT AS IS WITHOUT MAKING CHANGES!!


"Having lunch in a restaurant in Cape Town last week, I overheard bits and pieces of a conversation between two friends.  My interest was tweaked when it was clear that the one friend bemoaned her difficulty in reaching agreement with her new landlord. Her words were something to this effect: "So when I received the lease agreement from the landlord, I made those changes to it, signed it and sent it back to him. Then he said to me I cannot make any changes and must reprint the lease he sent me, as is, without making any changes.  I must just sign it and send it to him."  The friend answered, "I hope you did not do that!"

What is the position when one party wants to make changes to a draft agreement before signing it?  In theory, it is an easy answer: Each party can make such changes as he or she would like to be included in the eventual agreement, and it is only when there is "a meeting of the minds" and agreement on all the provisions inserted by both parties, that a contract is constituted. In other words, a valid and binding agreement in law is constituted when there is agreement on all aspects of the contract between the parties.

In the conversation between the two friends referred to above, the correct answer was therefore that it was definitely open to the tenant to make changes to the draft agreement and then signing it and sending it to the landlord. That would constitute an offer to enter into an agreement. If the landlord accepted the changes, indicated by his or her signature to the document, then a binding agreement is constituted. If the landlord reverted and indicated he did not accept the changes, then there was no agreement. Another scenario is where the landlord accepted the changes but added further provisions to the draft agreement. This would constitute a counter-offer and meant that no agreement was in place yet, unless and until the tenant accepted these further changes affected by the landlord.

Be mindful of the law when negotiating the terms of an agreement – whether it is the lease of immovable property, purchase of a home or investment property, as the devil is often in the detail of the agreement. It is necessary to have clarity on what each party's responsibilities and liabilities are, and for this it is prudent to have your attorney assist you.

Contact Martin Sheard at STBB Claremont on martins@stbb.co.za for assistance.

STBB Claremont

Cardio vs Weights - The Showdown

By Dr Murray McDonald


When people talk about starting to exercise, I genuinely get excited. It’s nothing weird, I just like it when people start taking their health SERIOUSLY for once. But while the first step of simply committing to exercise is very important, it does tend to be followed by the question:

“Ok - now what?”

And fair enough. Should you be lifting weights or doing cardio? Hitting the bench or the road? And the answer, to be frank, depends on what you want. 
Because your body follows the SAID Principle: Specific Adaption to Imposed Demand. 

That means your body only changes to the specific stimulus under which you place it. You run, you get better at running. But running will do almost nothing to benefit your bench press. In fact, running even has limited benefit to your cycling - it’s THAT specific.

Let’s look at the differences between Weights and Cardio:

WEIGHTS
CARDIO
Power
Higher
Lower
Tension/Resistance
Higher
Lower
Muscle Damage
Loaded eccentric* = High
Unloaded eccentric* = Low(ish)
Energy system
Anaerobic i.e. no O2 (mostly)
Aerobic i.e. O2 (mostly)
Fuel
Creatine / Glucose
Glucose / Fat
System targeted
Neuromuscular (more)
Cardiovascular (more)
*’eccentric’ contraction is when the muscle is contracting but lengthening e.g. lowering a weight

So if we know that higher tension, more muscle damage, and ‘the burn’ from short-term fuel sources running out are the main driving forces for the gun show, we can see why weights tend to make your muscles bigger (N.B. cardio also does - just less). 

High oxygen needs tend to cause your heart and lungs to get bigger and better at acquiring it and your muscles more efficient at using it. 
[There is considerable overlap - it’s more of a spectrum - but let’s keep it simple for now.]


So what do you want? Let’s assume you just want to be healthier and live longer (I know - crazy, right?). Which would work the best? With heart and lung disease being a very common cause of poor health, public health organizations have traditionally recommended aerobic (cardio) activity for 3-5 days per week, as it improves cardiovascular risk factors like lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, waist circumference, and fat mass while increasing lung function e.g. VO2 max (a measure of cardiovascular fitness).

Research has shown that as little as 30min walking five days a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 20%. But the important thing to note is that exercise shows what we call a “dose-response” relationship - that means that the more you do it, the better your results. Meaning that walking seven days a week or 30min jogging instead would likely be even better.
But shouldn’t that mean if you exercise constantly that you’ll live forever? Yeah, nice try - there is a ceiling on the benefits: if you exercise so much that your body can’t recover properly, you can end up injured or even become overtrained (“burn out”) which are definitely NOT healthy.

However, many health agencies have recently added some resistance training (weights) for 2 days a week to their recommendations as it shows significantly increased levels of HDL cholesterol (that’s good) and decreased blood pressure & blood glucose. But it also - very importantly - increases muscle mass and bone density, movement stability and quality of life (especially important in older folks). And if resistance training is done with only minimal rest periods between exercises, it can provide a significant improvement in cardiovascular fitness.

So where does that leave us?

Generally speaking:
  1. You should be active (breathing harder) for >30min on at least 5 days of the week
  2. Over time, try to increase how vigorous that activity is
  3. Include some higher resistance (weights, calisthenics*) on at least two of those days
  4. Get your health checked regularly to see the improvements you’re making

Easy peasy.

*calisthenics is basically using your bodyweight as resistance e.g. pushups



Cutting Costs


Think before you swipe that bank card….
When starting a business there are so many things you think you need or want. You go out and register your company, rent that property, buy that big sign board advertising
“We are open for business”.
Stop! What do you need when you start a business or for that matter grow your business?
Every business is different. Each business has its own legalities, and there are fees for those. Some examples are, The Estate Agency needs to register with the EAAB before trading. Bookkeepers, and accountants need to register with SAIT and an Accounting Body, like ICBA. You can’t get away with those fees.

Company Registrations
Ask yourself — Do I need to register as a company? The costs involved are in the thousands. Can I trade as a sole proprietor until my business is strong and on its feet?

To Employ staff or not to Employ
Employees — the costs to keep an employee is high, consider do you need them or not? What value do they or will they bring to your business? What about, instead hire a freelance assistant on a need to basis. There are many people that have taken the opportunity to freelance. They have left the corporate world to be a work from home freelancer or entrepreneur like you. (I don’t miss sitting in traffic for 40 minutes in the morning on the way to work). Pay for what you need, not what you want.

How much is enough stock?
Products. As a startup you are not 100% sure what is going to work, you have done your market research but you still got to market them. So, instead of purchasing in bulk, for that better price. Buy enough at a slighter higher price to test your market, than to sit with dead stock (slow moving stock). Stock that is not only going to cost you the price of the product, but the price to store it. If, you do have slow moving stock, for those growing businesses. Market it with other products as a buy this and get this with it.

Plan to win!
Planning is important. So, plan your startup costs. Plan your stock purchases. If you are a growing business, go back to the drawing board. Have a look at your business plan, and see what works and what doesn’t, and make a new plan. There are many business days in a business life, cost it one day at a time.

These are a few cost savings, for more in depth information,  Contact Us
Cherine Mac Pherson at The Bookkeeping Company.



Be a low-risk borrower

Be a low-risk borrower and better your home loan prospects

If you’ve decided to become a homeowner, the first thing you need to do is find out whether you have a good chance of being approved for a home loan – or whether lenders will consider you too “high-risk”.
“It’s all very well to start looking at online listings or visiting show houses to find your dream home. But you first need to work out how much you can afford to spend, how you plan to finance your purchase, and then whether the banks will even consider you for a home loan,” says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest bond originator.

“Lenders are always on the lookout for low-risk borrowers – that is, consumers with good credit records that show they have be diligent about repaying previous debts; consumers without a too much current debt that will make it difficult for them to afford another monthly instalment; and consumers who have a proven and regular source of income.

“And if you don’t meet these requirements they will put you into a higher risk category, which could mean that you need to put down a bigger deposit before they will agree to give you a home loan, or that they will charge you a higher rate of interest on your loan, or that they will refuse to grant you a loan altogether.”

However, he says, even if you think lenders might consider you to be a “high-risk” now, it is not the end of the road for your home ownership plans. “You don’t have to resign yourself to being a tenant forever. Work with a reputable bond originator like BetterLife Home Loans that can advise you how to become a lower risk prospect, and will then prepare, motivate and manage your application in a way that ensures its best chance of success.”

Rademeyer says some of the most important steps for potential borrowers to take before they apply for a home loan include the following:

  • Pay all your accounts on time – that is, before or on the due date. This may not seem like a big deal but if you are even three or four days late with your rent every month, for example, it will show up on your credit record. That could make it look as though you are struggling to make ends meet and would not be able to cope with any more credit.
  • Clear up any serious defaults and debt judgments and make sure they have been removed from your credit record once you have paid them off. Most lenders will not even consider you for any new loan unless you do.
  • Make sure that you have a clear record of income, supported by pay slips if you are in full-time employment or by bank and financial statements and tax records if you are self-employed. Ask your bond originator to review these and your monthly expenditure with you and help you work out what size home loan you might be able to afford.
  • Pay off as much of your existing debt as possible. If you have a large student or personal loan outstanding, an unpaid tax bill or a big car repayment to make every month, there is a big risk that your income won’t stretch to also cover a home loan instalment every month. So you might want to consider renting a cheaper place, taking on a weekend job or downsizing to a cheaper car – whatever it takes to get that other debt paid off.
  • Save up a sizeable deposit. Once you have an idea of what price home you could comfortably afford, you should aim to have at least 15 to 20% of this amount available in cash before you apply for a loan. Even if you don’t use it all as a deposit, saving diligently will demonstrate to lenders that you are financially responsible. It could also help you secure a loan at a lower interest rate, which would save you many thousands of rands over the life of your loan.


Contact us today and let’s get you into that dream home.

Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
E-mail: anne-marie.bamber@betterlife.co.za




DIY - Upcycled Ombre Drawers

Upcycling is very “in” at the moment and with good reason too; it’s cheaper, it’s greener, and it’s fun to get a little messy and create completely unique pieces that can proudly be shown off in your home. 
I’m going to share with you just how easy it is to create the most gorgeous set of ombre drawers.
Here is what we started with -
And how we turned it into a beautiful key feature for our home:

What you’ll need
  • Sandpaper and electric sander (electric sander is much quicker and easier than doing it by hand)
  • White paint
  •  Colour paint of your choice. Choose a darker shade as you’ll be mixing white in to create the lighter shades. 
  • NOTE: As far as what type of paint, we used a satin finish enamel that was still left over from renovating our house as it has a bit more wear and tear. But oil or water based paint will work.
  • Medium and small paint brushes and a roller (we used a 12cm roller sponge)
  • Newspaper/black bags/outside area you don’t mind getting bit messy


How To
Remove all the drawers and sand down the entire unit, including the drawers, until all old paint is removed. We still had some old paint that wouldn’t budge off the drawer handles but had no problem covering it with a few coats of the new paint. Obviously, it’s better to try get the whole unit as cleanly sanded as possible.

Wipe down your unit with a damp cloth to remove dust and grime.
Paint your unit, excluding the drawers, with the white paint. We used 2 -3 coats to get a nice solid white.

Paint the first drawer with your pure colour, you can decide if you want the ombre top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top drawer.
For your second drawer, mix some of your pure colour with a bit of white to make it a shade or two lighter. I did this by eye and not exact measurements but it might be a good idea to measure an amount of white and just add that amount to your first mixture each time you move onto the next drawer. It’s your project so you can be as creative or calculated as you want!
Paint each drawer a shade lighter than the one before until you have completed all the drawers. Like such:

Use your small paint brushes to paint the handles if they need doing. The other option is to buy some fun handles online or scavenge some from a local antique store to give a totally new look and feel.
Allow everything to dry before reassembling the unit. Don’t forget to clean your brushes, especially if you used an oil based paint!

The end result of our DIY ombre chest of drawers:

Here are some other cool ideas just for fun:
  
  

Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen, who specialises in the Claremont area, regularly shares household tips and handy home hints. For more tips and hints click here.
Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367   |   andre@norgarb.co.za  |  www.norgarbproperties.co.za

Starting a Small Business from Home ~ Part 1

Phone 021 6711387 / Whatsapp 076 5628 151
The best way to start your small business is to do it while you are still working so that you make the transition smoothly within a deadline with savings, training, experience & a plan with a clear vision for work which is suitable for you.

In addition, you need to become very self-motivated, as well as disciplined to achieve your goals. This is definitely not for everyone, as you need to be a calculated risk taker & be able to ride the waves of success & failure while developing resilience on the journey.

I realise now in retrospect, I was constantly discovering my talents & refining my skills as I worked for big companies, before I became self-employed again. I had been previously been self-employed for over 10 years in partnership with my husband before I got divorced.

I disliked working for others even when the salary & perks were substantial. However, I do acknowledge that the training I received while working for two big established companies was exceedingly good.

Both Edgars in Adderley Street & Elna in Cavendish Square were valuable experiences. This was part of the foundation for my own business.



For a decade I was in training for what I would become, during this time while I was working & training full time for a Management position in these companies, at night I was either waitressing or taking training courses to prepare for change.

I knew I was not able to use my full potential for a long time before I actually took the risk, but I began to know that one of my main motivations in life is to be able to constantly be learning and growing.

This understanding of myself made work bearable because I developed the view that whatever I was doing was a stepping-stone to my future, even though I was experiencing dead ends and enduring a glass ceiling at this time.

I did a part time training course in Small Business Development sponsored by a generous boyfriend who recognised my potential. The most valuable gem of wisdom that I received was the need to find and fill an already existing demand in the current market.

I gave myself a deadline of six months in my last job, which ensured I would get unemployment benefits on a good salary to add to my savings. My last working day was the end of August 1990. 

Making my first memorable, self-employed day the 1st day of September (traditionally the first day of spring!)

Now each year I am celebrating my anniversary, and this year this year is my 27th year of successful self-employment!




Patchwork | August in the Garden

Spring is in the air, even though many of us are still wishing for rain! Using buckets of water from showers and sinks has arguably become the best way to water our gardens, regardless of the season.

The temperatures are warming up and that means it's time to start planting. As we head into Spring/Summer, the plant list just gets longer and longer!

This month, here's the plant list:

Basil, Broad Beans, Beetroot, Butternut, Cape Gooseberry, Cauliflower, Carrots, Chard/Spinach, Celery, Chives, Chilli Pepper, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Globe Artichokes, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Corn, Sweet Pepper, Turnip, Tomato, Watercress, Watermelon



Summer is just around the corner!

The anticipation is sweet – so what is going on in our brains when we look forward with anticipation? 

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D. 

Having endured a few cold winter months here in Cape Town (although with some much-celebrated rainy days for our depleted dams), most of us are looking forward with anticipation, predicting that once again we can enjoy those long, warm, sunny days of summer.  Maybe some of us have family or friends planning on holidaying with us, or have businesses that welcome the influx of tourists to the fair Cape!  

It’s interesting to consider what is happening in our brains when we anticipate – or predict - the future, as it can often be more pleasurable to look forward to something than to actually experience it (think of looking forward to a holiday and the speed at which actually being on holiday passes!). Neuroscientists understand that we use our brains all the time to anticipate, or predict our future. When we get our predictions wrong (which happens quite often, believe it or not!) in neuroscience we call this surprise, novelty or prediction error (think about predicting that some fruit you are about to eat tastes sweet, but has turned sour). Our brains are wired to sample, or forage among environmental stimuli for novelty, and reward us when we get our predictions right.  

And when we get things right often enough our brains function unconsciously (remember learning to drive through trial and error, and now after years of experience how intuitive it is).  With all this in mind, let’s consider some brief examples that can be learned from the neuroscience of anticipation for the benefit of our daily lives.

So why is anticipation often pleasurable, and why does it make us feel more aware?  

Consider the anticipation of a first sip of a fine Pinotage Reserve that glows a rich plum-red in a sparkling crystal glass, or a first bite of a delectably moist, rich chocolate cake baked to perfection.  Even the mere descriptions of these examples are laden with pleasurable detail to help us predict our experience of what is essentially a basic activity of drinking or eating.  

And back to the example of planning for a summer holiday – one must mentally consider with patience all of the preparations that need to be made – packing the right clothes, organising transportation to the airport, and the hotel arrangements at the final destination.   

Neuroscientists call the attention to detail involved in anticipating future events epistemic foraging, which means the degree to which we try to validate our knowledge of something for use in the future, by paying attention to our experience of it. If we forage often enough, and our predictions are correct – such as tasting the good wine and cake or taking holidays that always coincide with pleasant, sunny days -  we stop paying attention.  Our brains accept the status quo and we become pleasurably unconscious in accepting our knowledge of the world.


However, surprise, uncertainty and novelty (if not contained within certain, predictable limits) feels less pleasant, because it forces our brains to update our prior beliefs about how we think the world is (think of somebody playing a prank by jumping out from behind a bush to surprise you!).  It only feels pleasant when we successfully predict, or anticipate our future, which is still uncertain until it happens! If we predict that soon we will have summer, but that global warming changes our South African climate to bring more rain – we might feel happy that our dams get filled - but our prediction error will make us feel uncomfortable, and maybe even stressed. 

If our prediction error is high, we pay more attention to our world and to our awareness of it – and as such our consciousness is temporarily higher too (which is energy-demanding for the brain). Prediction errors coincide with unpleasantness until we learn to correctly predict our environment again.  Once we have recalculated our view of the world – and this happens both on a momentary basis as we navigate through our daily lives, as well as on a macroscopic level as we plan for the future - we can return to our comfort zone of knowing what’s what! 


Improving our ability to anticipate or predict what happens in future, improves our attention in daily life.  For example, paying attention to our repetitive, unchanging breathing or our body’s internal state in meditation (which I will write more about next month!) can help us to strengthen the ability to predict a certain (as opposed to an uncertain) sense of self, which ultimately feels calming and pleasurable.  

However, a small level of uncertainty (or stress) is good for us, as it allows us to learn and update our knowledge of ourselves and our environment. Remember, our brains change all the time no matter how young or old we are – in neuroscience we use the term neuroplasticity – and so challenges to our prior beliefs help us to flexibly update our knowledge of the world.   

Human brains cannot help but have much of the learning taking place consigned to unconsciousness  – having much of what we know functioning automatically enables us to conserve energy and move optimally around in the world.  But by patiently observing our prior beliefs, we can become more aware of ourselves and our surroundings, which will ultimately help us to become more flexible and less disappointed when things don’t pan out as expected.  Although, I anticipate that we will have a wonderful summer – I hope with some refreshing rain – this year!





Dr Samantha Brooks is a neuroscientist at the UCT Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction.  For more information on neuroscience at UCT and to contact Samantha, see www.drsamanthabrooks.com.






Use the Winter Months to get your Body Ready for Summer


In the cold days we find natural changes happening to our diet and exercise habits.  We are not as motivated to get up and exercise in the mornings, we want to eat hot soups, warm stews and curries (a salad just won’t cut it!), we often eat larger portions, and we want to enjoy some sherry or red wine in front of a warm fire!  Do you let yourself go in winter months?  Learn to use this winter to prepare your body for the summer. 

Goals
A good starting point is to get your goals organised.  These can be anything from losing weight, not gaining weight, getting fitter, to gaining muscle.  Write them down and hang them in a visible spot.  This will help encourage and motivate you.  Track your progress through the months by regular weighing (for information on your progress – don’t do this if you are too emotional about your number), keeping a food/exercise diary or journal, or having a tick-list of some important daily goals you need to do to achieve the ultimate goal.

Make warm, enjoyable meals
It is harder to eat cold food in winter, but warm food does not need to mean unhealthy food.  It is also important that you make meals that you will enjoy.  Focus on vegetables and lean meats.  Complex, high fibre carbohydrates are also good to use, but are often unnecessary and generally make the meal portions too large.

Soups are a wonderful meal – they are a fantastic way to bulk up your veggie intake.  Stews and curries are two other winter favourites, and if you have ever made them you’ll know that they don’t have to be unhealthy.  Rather add extra veggies to the meal than serve them with rice or other starches.  And if salad is what you feel like, remember that there are some delicious, healthy, warm salad recipes.  See the Warm Roasted Veg Salad recipe below.

Keep high risk foods out of the house or out of sight!
Don’t make life more difficult for yourself – if you stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods you’ll be more likely to choose well when you are hungry.  Have fruit, dried fruit (but be mindful of portions), nuts, biltong, popcorn, high fibre crackers, crudité etc. available.  If you do have chocolates, biscuits or chips etc. in the house make sure they are packed away – as far back in the cupboards as possible – to decrease the trigger to making the inappropriate choice.

Drink your 2 litres of water per day
An important point to remember is that when you don’t drink enough water your body is more likely to send out a hunger signal when it needs fluid.  If you are struggling to drink your 2 litres of water every day because it’s too cold try a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh ginger. 

Eat if you are hungry
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not eating enough during the day and thereby overeating at night.  The longer you don’t eat when your body needs energy the greater your change of overeating later.  Make sure that you tune into your body and listen to when you need energy.  Eating well during the day helps with portion control at night.

For best results, combine a diet change with an exercise routine.  And if you want to see results, you need to realise when you are making excuses.  Don’t give into them!  Plan ahead and be organised so that you are less likely to give into excuses.  Getting into a good habit can only help you get into a healthy routine and have a body you would like to show off as summer starts!

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715


VET VISIT ETIQUETTE


Taking your pet to the vet can be stressful – for you, your pet and your vet!

So here are a few tips for an easier visit to your favourite vet!

Bring your cat in a carrier!

  • If your cat hates going into a cat box try taking the cat carrier out the day before or leave it out so your cat is familiar with it, put in a favourite blanket or toy to make it comfortable and inviting. Or try spraying calming products such as Feliway in or around the box.
  • Make sure you have a cat carrier or other carrier that is secure and won't fall apart when you pick it up!
  • Keep the carrier cover with a blanket and strap it into the car with the seat belt so that the cat isn't thrown around on the journey to the vet.
Bring your dog in on a lead

  • Your dog may be very well behaved and obedient but we really need you to have your dog on a lead in our waiting room.
  • Keep your dog under control  particularly if there are other patients waiting
Make an appointment 

  • Unless it's a real emergency, walk in appointments not only add stress to the veterinarian and staff on duty but is disrespectful to those clients who have scheduled their visit

Try to be on time 

  • If you are going to be late for an appointment try to call us and let us know so that we can reschedule.

 PLEASE

  • Don't answer your cell phone in the consulting room!


Don't be aggressive with our staff
  • We understand that having a sick pet is traumatic and many pet owners feel guilt or anger that their pet is seriously ill. 
  • Please remember that our staff are experienced and there to help. 
  • We all want the same outcome -  a healthy pet!
Tell your vet everything you know
  • If your pet has been vomiting for 1 day or 6 days, if you have been giving medication at home, if you fed a whole lot of bones - tell your vet. 
  • We need to know what is really going on with your pet to make a good diagnosis.
Don't be afraid to talk money 
  • We know you want the best for you pet and so do we. We also understand that disasters can happen at tough times when you are least prepared financially. 
  • Don't tell your vet to do 'everything he can' to save your pet then throw your hands up in the air when you get the bill! 
  • Discuss the cost of various treatments regimes and possible payment plans with your vet. 
  • That way everyone is on the same page and you can get the best treatment for your pet.
Build a positive relationship - Trust your vet!



HIJACKING AWARENESS

There have unfortunately been 2 attempted hijackings in Rondebosch recently. While there is no guarantee what action will prevent a hijacking, the following common-sense techniques could reduce the risk to yourself or your family.

Take Precautions
  • Be familiar with your environment
  • Get to know who belongs near your home or workplace.
  • Keep your eyes open for anything out of the ordinary
  • Ensure all your mirrors are adjusted to give you an optimal all-round view of your surroundings.
How to reduce the risk?
  • When entering your vehicle, have your key ready, but not visible.
  • Ensure that anyone leaving your property can get into their car, start it, lock the doors and be fully prepared to drive off before the gates are opened.
  • If possible, ensure that anyone leaving your premises can do so without having to reverse into the road. Reversing forces one to concentrate on the driving and not what lies outside the gate. It also greatly reduces visibility.
  • If your visitors must park in the street, escort them out on foot and check that the road is clear for them. If you have dogs, take them with you, especially after dark.
  • If you have electric gates and buzzer system, ensure that visitors can reach the buzzer without having to get out of their cars.
  • At home, when someone rings the bell and you have established that the person can enter your property, do not leave them stationary waiting outside for longer than is necessary.
  • Do not hesitate to drive away if you spot a suspicious looking person or vehicle in your immediate vicinity.
  • Be particularly alert if you live in a cul de sac given their single point of entry and exit.
  • Never leave any important documents in your car ie. bank statements, invoices, telephone accounts, credit cards, keys or remote controls or personal post, anything that may provide personal details
  • When parking your vehicle, check rear-view mirror to ensure that you are not being followed.
  • Never sit in a parked car without being conscious of your surroundings.
How should I respond in the event of being hijacked?

No matter how outraged you may feel at the time, your prime objective must be to look after your personal safety and that of your passengers. The preservation of human life must take precedence over material assets.

Do nothing that is going to alarm the hijackers. Never initiate any movement yourself. This may give the hijacker the impression that you are reaching for a gun or panic button.
Remember – the hijackers will be nervous, if not more so, than you! Do not motion with your hands, rather tell them where they can find the items.

Keep your hands clearly visible and as still as possible, ideally at chest level. Do not raise your hands above your head as the hijackers may interpret this as you are trying to attract the attention of a third party.

Answer any questions truthfully especially about firearms. If the hijacker finds out or suspects that you have lied to him, he is more likely to turn violent and unleash his frustrations on you physically,

Even in your shocked and terrified state, try to listen and understand exactly what they want from you.

Try to concentrate on the possibility of identifying your attackers at a later stage.
Remember – this does not mean staring at them, making it obvious that you are looking for a means of identifying them.

If you have a baby sleeping in the back seat which they may not have noticed, tell the hijackers. Ask them if you can fetch your child, do not move towards the car without explicit directive. Tell them that a baby means no harm and is no threat.

Do the same if you have a pet in the car. Do not push the issue to the point where your life may be threatened at the expense of a pet.
(Extracts from Hijacking Awareness Guide – W O Riaan Steenkamp Elsburg SAPS)

Cel: 081 412 6109   E-mail: admin@hvcid.co.za