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The HSBC London Sevens tournament will provide the Springbok Sevens with a final opportunity during the current season to showcase their skills and to play together as a team, so they want to deliver a good result.

This is according to regular playmaker Rosko Specman. South Africa face Kenya, Wales, and the USA in Pool A of the tournament, the final one of the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Specman, who proved to be a real talisman for the World Series champions in 2017, appreciates the fact that this will be the last opportunity for this current squad to play together. 

“We have been training since September last year and have been in each other’s company since then, so we have established a wonderful bond,” said Specman.

 “We really are a band of brothers. This tournament will be the last for this group to play together and we want to make it special.”

South Africa clinched the series when they won their fifth tournament in Paris last weekend and will officially be crowned champions on Sunday, another motivation for the team to give it one more push, Specman feels.  Continue reading

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Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk signed a three-year contract with English Premiership side Sale Sharks because his South African Super Rugby Lions team could not match the financial package, the team’s chief executive said on Thursday.

A weak rand currency has spurred a stream of South African players to leave the country for teams in Europe.

“The player made a personal request to be released to further his career abroad and we felt we couldn’t stand in his way while. We also couldn’t match the offer he received,” said Rudolf Straeuli, chief executive officer of the Lions Rugby Company.

Straeuli said de Klerk would move to Sale once the Super Rugby season had concluded.

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It’s been a while since I blogged about anything. I feel I need to add my tiny voice to the topic of the moment. Violence. I’ve never been a fan, I’ve never understood it. I was brought up to defend myself but that doesn’t mean shouting at the other person and especially not becoming physically abusive. As a kid, my sister and I fought all the time. We were kids and we are 5 years apart. The perfect age gap of indifferences. Sometimes our arguments would turn into pushing and shoving and throwing things at one another, as kids do. But one day I shoved my sister that she fell against the wall and cried. She naturally told my dad. This time I didn’t just get a hiding but I was spoken to like an older kid. He said to me, and I will never forget those words, “If you hit your sister now, you will grow up to be a man who will abuse and beat his wife and that is not going to happen, so this stops now!”. It stuck with me throughout my life. I use to have a short fuse and my temper would always be an issue and looking back I remember a boy in my classroom and his parents came to my house one evening and it was reported at school that I hit him in the face. Of course I can’t recall any of this. But I recall the 4 parents having a discussion in our house about it. I also remember picking up a brick while at high school when some boy teased me and I was about to slap him with it when I just put it down and walked away. This could’ve ended differently but thank God it didn’t.

Whichever excuse you want to find, whatever your background, being violent is the dumbest thing in all of the world. I’ve never seen my dad lift a hand towards my mom, they had arguments and disagreements like any other couple but he would just walk away to cool down. In fact they would argue and state their case but no one slammed doors nor threw things around nor broke windows. I did however see my dad fight once with a stranger. It was just how it was and he was defending his family and he did it the only way he knew how.

You see, I may be generalising now but for many of us growing up with a violent culture on the Cape Flats, that is the only way we know how to protect or defend ourselves. Use violence. When my sister didn’t want my nephew at a young age to own a toy gun or sword I was like urhm okay, but I grew up with toy guns and knives and swords and grenades and shields. I quickly understood why she did not want to expose him to it at an early age.

I am by no means an expert in any field nor did I read up on tons of books or do research because sometimes in life it just needs logic. You see, I feel it all has to do with your mindset and also what you’re exposed to. As a coloured male from the Flats I was never taught conflict resolution. I was never taught to argue your point and walk away still being friends. It was not the way in which our society reared us. If you liked a girl but her brother or ex boyfriend didn’t like you and he spread the rumour that he was going to eff you up after school, you would take up the challenge and fight him cos otherwise you would be called all types of derogatory names. And I’ve seen this shit, it happened to close friends of mine. We allowed that nonsense to happen. And don’t misunderstand me, I am not even talking about gangs or gang culture, this is just ordinary boys from the hood who were brought up that big boys don’t cry and you’re a sissy if you don’t stand your man in a physical punch up. What cuc! What utter shit. The skewed mentality we are raised under makes me want to tell the new generation that there is more to this bullshit than is out there. If you have a disagreement with someone that’s ok, and you are both entitled to your opinion, whether you or he wants to admit they are wrong or whether both have valid points, it’s ok, it’s allowed. It does not have to end in a screaming match with swear words and pushing and shoving then punches being thrown, weapons used or worse even, someone losing a life.  Continue reading

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The HSBC Cape Town Sevens was named as Best Live Sports Experience in South Africa at the prestigious Discovery Sport Industry Awards in Johannesburg on Thursday evening.

SA Rugby’s delivery of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens won from among six nominees in the category.

The event, which is held at the Cape Town Stadium in December each year, was praised by judges for its “innovative and creative activations”. They said that the “high-impact and engaging” entertainment meant that the Springbok Sevens team’s defeat in the final “did not detract from the fans’ enjoyment of the experience – a testament to the success of the tournament.”

The event was a 109 000 sell out over the two days and featured numerous music, dance and big-screen entertainments. It was embraced by the audience, many of whom joined in the Sevens tradition of attending in fancy dress.

A multitude of food and beverage options as well as an extensive children’s play area completed the experience.

“An enormous amount of thought and effort went into producing the event and we’re delighted to have been recognised by the judges of the Discovery Sport Industry Awards with this accolade,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby. Continue reading

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Pic: kfm.

Pic: kfm.

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IOL has learnt that Kfm is set for a major revamp with moves that include a new breakfast show host.

Current breakfast show host Ryan O’Connor, who recently won an award for his show and has been presenting the show for almost a decade, is to be moved to a 10am to 1pm slot on weekdays.

Sources have revealed that in another shock move, Kfm’s afternoon drive presenter Rob Vember will also leave the station.

O’Connor will make way for Darren Simpson, aka Whackhead Simpson, to take over Kfm Breakfast from July 3. Simpson will continue to do his 94.7 drive show but will broadcast from Cape Town. The rest of his 94.7 team will be in a studio in Joburg.

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Northern neighbours, the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls, go head to head on Saturday in a big Vodacom Super Rugby derby in Johannesburg which kicks off at 17h15.

Although these sides, on opposite sides of the Jukskei River, are experiencing contrasting fortunes so far this season, their fans can still expect a typical, hard-fought derby.

The Emirates Lions returned home on the back of three straight wins on the road in Australia and they are taking on a Pretoria side who have struggled so far this year.

Johan Ackermann has named a strong line-up and fresh new front row which sees Jacques van Rooyen, Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dreyer coming back into the starting line-up. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk has been named on the bench.

Meanwhile in Pretoria, Vodacom Bulls coach Nollis Marais has named Tuks wing Sibahle Maxwane in what will be the 21-year-old’s tournament debut. Marais also made three other changes to his backline – Maxwane replaces the injured Jamba Ulengo, while Jan Serfontein (centre) and Francois Brummer (flyhalf) were handed starting roles. Jesse Kriel shifts back to fullback. Up front, Springbok lock Lood de Jager moves back into the starting line-up in place of the suspended RG Snyman. Continue reading

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Note to editors: Please find attached a rights-free image of Steval Pumas winger, Ruwellyn Isbell. Please credit Gallo Images.

After taking the game coast to coast and providing some smaller rugby venues the opportunity to experience provincial action first hand, the SuperSport Rugby Challenge returns to some of the big stadiums this weekend.

No less than three of the six matches in Round Five of this exciting competition will be played as curtain-raisers to Vodacom Super Rugby matches, with the benefit of more TV exposure for the provinces this weekend.

The first to benefit from that will be DHL Western Province, who host SWD Eagles in the early game at DHL Newlands on Friday. The home side, still undefeated and dominating the South Section, received a massive boost this week with the inclusion of Juan de Jongh and Rynhardt Elstadt, while the men from George, still winless, will have more than Table Mountain to climb if they want to get a result.

The other South Section match, between the EP Kings and Boland Cavaliers, will also be broadcasted on SuperSport. This encounter, on Saturday in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, could be highly entertaining as both sides boast serious fire power and play rugby with the specific purpose to score tries and then more tries. Continue reading

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Last night, 17 May 2017, the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) received the International Public Transport Strategy Award at the UITP World Summit in Montreal, Canada. 

UITP is the international organisation for public transport authorities and operators and its summit draws mobility professionals from all over the world. The UITP awards recognise successful projects that are implemented around the world which place public transport at the heart of the urban and local mobility system.

The winning projects must be ambitious, innovative and implementable in other cities and regions. The strategies should integrate land use and transport planning, be sustainable, and encourage more residents to shift to public transport.

Last night Melissa Whitehead, Commissioner of the TDA, was presented with the international award for the City of Cape Town’s Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Framework. The TDA was shortlisted in the category ‘Public Transport Strategy’, together with the transport authorities of Chennai, Moscow and Muncher. Continue reading

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The elegant Nomzamo Mbatha and bubbly Jessica Nkosi are set to join the stylish Nandi Madida in the new and improved BET A-List on BET (Channel 129 on DStv) from Thursday 25 May at 19:00 CAT.
The hot trio will combine their star power with Jesse Suntele who moves into a studio role from an insert presenter. The elite foursome will alternate in the anchor seat when the weekly lifestyle and entertainment magazine show moves to its new 19:00 CAT time slot on BET (DStv channel 129).
Ayanda Nhlapo and Leroy Marc will continue their roles of fashion and style correspondents creating an umissable television experience; while model and TV host K. Naomi continues to bring her fresh approach as insert presenter.

And BET A-List has further grown its pan-african reach by adding on two correspondents, Nigerian TV host & producer Illrymz & Zimbabwean TV personality Miss Vimbai, who will be reporting on all the action and entertainment from on the ground in Nigeria.

Monde Twala, Vice President, BET, Youth & Music for Viacom International Media Networks Africa, says: “We are delighted that such big name talent as Nomzamo and Jessica will be bringing their star power to BET A-List. This home-grown show has been hugely successful since its debut last year. We will continue to keep audiences up-to-date on the latest trends on the African continent and abroad. Nomzamo and Jessica are trend-setters. So who better to join the A-List team?”

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Arts lovers and Festival fans are grabbing their coffee, credit cards and calendars because the National Arts Festival’s 2017 programme is now online and open for booking at to the Festival may feel a little overwhelmed by the 700 productions on offer, so this is a short guide to navigating the programme.

The key Festival programme comprises a Main and Fringe programme. The Main Programme showcases works that have been selected by a 21-person artistic committee after a lengthy application and consideration period. Dance, theatre, music, performance art and visual art are all represented in this mix and audiences flock to these popular shows which include the work of the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artists. The Main Programme also features international work and a lot of brand new work from South Africa’s top talent.

The Arena is part of the Main Programme and showcases the work of previous winners of the National Arts Festival’s Standard Bank Ovation Awards as well as international award-winning fringe productions.

The Fringe component of the Festival also sees a mix of works across genres but these are not curated or selected. Anyone with a performance looking for an audience can enter to be on the Fringe and the result is an exciting lucky packet of shows. From bold new work to remakes of the classics, from debuts to familiar faces and everything in between – they are all on the Fringe. The National Arts Festival is part of the World Fringe Alliance and draws on a pool of Fringe talent and talent-spotters to stimulate an exciting and innovative global energy for both performers and audiences.

The Student Theatre portion of the programme is a platform for interesting new work from the universities and colleges of South Africa.  Expect to see young creatives flexing their muscle both on stage and behind the scenes as they receive an invaluable introduction to the experience of performing at the Festival. Continue reading

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