Nissan SA – How amazingly stupid!

nissanNissan South Africa have sent out letter to Nissan Lavina owners recalling a number of models because of a potentially faulty airbag …. the letter to the clients do not outline any course of action the client is meant to take, nor who to contact, in short they say ABOLUTELY NOTHING other than they are recalling the model.

It is up to the client to take all the initiative and try to find out how serious the matter is, who to contact, what to do etc …. after numerous, non-returned phone calls to the nearest dealership (in Hermanus) the client was told that the driver’s side airbag has to be replaced in all the models ….. BUT (wait for it) the factory has no stock! Maybe the part will be available in the new year … we will phone you! (better not hold your breath!)


Why do the Municipality keep on ignoring Napier?

Image: W vd Westhuizen

Image: W vd Westhuizen

Patrick Seeton  (Napier Resident’s Association EXCO member) told me yesterday that Neville Cowan had asked of him, “Patrick, what progress on the bridges over the Klippedrift River …?

Patrick goes on to report as follows …

Well I finally got through to CAM’s Director of Technical Services, Norwood Kotze at about midday, the conversation went something like this:
Patrick: “We the NRA committee, have a meeting this evening, is there something I can report concerning Napier, the bridges and so on?”
Norwood: “OK, mmmh, we wanted to do some work there some time ago but you will recall we were delayed by Telkom’s requirements [because of the presence of fibre optic cable on Vanderbyl Street]. We did get a [road] grader from Robertson and this was put to work in Napier over the past two weeks.
“The plan was, when finished with the roads we would move to the bridges [first Trade(r) Street then Vanderbyl Street].
“We have received an answer from Telkom. We must give them a week’s notice before we start work there [Vanderbyl Street].
“We want to do Trade(r) Street [bridge] first – the gravel has already been placed there. We have a meeting tomorrow afternoon [Wednesday afternoon] with my teams and we can then have a timeline but I see that in the next week or so we will definitely start there.”  

The bottom line, folks … nothing of any substance has happened despite promises and platitudes put out by said Kotze on numerous other occasions over a number of years (and for those who are interested we have a VERY THICK file that documents the broken promises, the empty actions and the total NON-DELIVERY of all kinds of issues raised by Napier residents with CAM and Kotze in particular – apparently he’s the “troubleshooter” … we also have him and John Daniels on tape promising things that they never kept to  – if anyone wants the recording feel free to contact me I will gladly send you the unedited MP4 recording of the meeting)

So – I am appealing to all Napier residents and interested people to make their own enquiries of CAM as to when the problems of the roads, broken access routes etc will be fixed … and DON’T be fobbed off with nonsense from Kotze about no funds or Telkom permissions etc … it’s part of the load of exceedingly high pile of bullshit that has been emanating from Cape Agulhas Municipality for years now.

Contact CAM directly:
Municipal Manager: Dean O’Neill
(The so-called-trouble-shooter) Norwood Kotze:
Cape Agulhas Municipality:
Ward 1 Councellor, Warnick October:
Complaints Department:

Oh, and while you’re at it – drop a line to HelloPeter and moan like hell there too, PLEASE mention Kotze’s name because he’s the one who makes and then breaks the promises more than anyone else!

Is your internet browser putting you at risk?

Choose your browser carefully

Choose your browser carefully

There are a lot of warnings being posted around the world today advising people who use the internet to change the browser they use – the warning is specific … DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER.

The reason – it is particularly vulnerable to hackers getting your information!

Read an account HERE then do some other research for yourself if you wish.

So what do you do if you are using Internet Explorer and want to change browsers? … go to one of these recommended browsers to use and download either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome … once either is downloaded, the system will ask you whether you want to make it your “default browser” and you should click on YES … you will NOT lose your bookmarks or other favourites by changing browsers!

More about the Heartbleed bug (thanks, “Lookout” Security)

Lookout securityOn Monday, a serious security vulnerability in OpenSSL – software which two-thirds of the Internet uses to keep connections secure – was announced and nicknamed “Heartbleed.” This vulnerability allows an attacker to steal sensitive data (such as account information and passwords) from various web services and clients.

We want all of our users to know that Lookout’s website was not affected by the vulnerability, however, some of Lookout’s other Internet-facing infrastructure was. We took care to protect our users as soon as possible, patching our systems and replacing all of our SSL certificates within hours of the bug’s public release.

However, because two-thirds of all active websites depend on OpenSSL to communicate securely, some of the other services you use may not be patched yet.

How can you protect yourself?

Look out for communications from the services you use. As companies patch this vulnerability and secure their own systems, some may send emails or other communications to let you know. Not all services will be communicating about this vulnerability, but you can always contact them to ask if their systems are secure.

Get a new password ready. If you receive communications from any of your service providers telling you that their systems are secure, this is the best time to change your password. Changing your password before a system is secure could actually make your new password easier to intercept.

Download Lookout’s Heartbleed Detector. The OpenSSL vulnerability also impacts some Android devices. Although the likelihood that you will encounter an exploit is low, our Heartbleed Detector app will let you know if your operating system is affected by the Heartbleed bug and if the vulnerable behavior is enabled. You can download the app in Google Play now.

To learn more about the Heartbleed vulnerability, you can read our blog post for more details:

(article from information mailed out by Lookout Security)

Apathy by Napier residents after the floods – will it continue?

van der Byl Street (Image: W vd Westhuizen)

van der Byl Street (Image: W vd Westhuizen)

The Napier Residents Association (NRA) sent out a message requesting Napier residents to send information and photos via email about their experiences / damage that they suffered during the recent storms and floods. The notice was sent out to the 50 subscribers to the Napier Incident Alert and the Napier Helping Hands WhatsApp Groups, together with the request to pass on the information to anyone they knew who was also affected.

So far – the NRA has had one, yes 1 …. ‘uno’ … response to their request of 22nd January. So were all the accounts of the people we’d heard who had been effected merely our imagination?

Or is it just the usual “Napier-apathy” kicking in now that the rain has gone and the carpets are dry? … is it just too much bother to actually sit down and write about the experiences or send a few snaps or lift a telephone to tell what has happened?

The reason for the request was so that the NRA could draw up a list that for the Municipality so that it would speed up the process of getting things done with regard to repairs of roads and drains that the rains had caused. The Municipality, like all government departments, has to be pushed, cajoled and “reminded” of things – it seems that they are incapable of acting on their own initiative.

At a meeting on Monday 20th January, convened by the Ward Counsellor Mr Warnick October, CAM officials asked the NRA to draw up a list that they could then identify the most urgent areas to attend to to concentrate on repairing and putting in place drains etc that would lessen the impact of similar rainfall events. Reading between the lines, it is when they get that list that things will start to “get repaired” … in the meantime, they have sent in the grader, which is once again scraping more topsoil away and creating pretty ridges on the sides of the roads so that the water, when it comes again, will be concentrated in the middle of the roads and not be allowed to run off the sides into drainage channels – just like before.

Debris at the bridge (Image: Patrick Seeton)

Debris at the bridge (Image: Patrick Seeton)

And when winter comes around, and the Municipality has done very little – because they weren’t informed – it all happens again.

Oh yes ….winter is 4 months away!

Knowing how slowly Municipal wheels turn, one wonders how much will actually be done by April when the storms start lashing the area and by then the cry from 1 Dirkie Uys Street will be, as it has been for years, “we must wait until summer!”

Napier now has the opportunity to respond to the Municipal invitation for action – is the apathy going to continue?

PLEASE send your information by email to: and if you don’t have email facilities, contact Lindy at the NRA on 028 423 3834 & 084 44 2 2010 and someone from the NRA will assist you in documenting your experiences.

PLEASE pass this information on to anyone who you know who was affected by the storms and may not have seen this – rather tell someone something they have already heard about, than not say anything and they miss the opportunity.

Credit Card Scam / Fraud

Credit CardVery new, very clever credit card scam. (They never give up.) Just when you thought you’d heard it all. This scam is actually very clever. Be very careful out there! This one could easily slip by most anyone – beware of people bearing gifts.

(Checked with SNOPES: this is TRUE)  …. The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim:

Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: “Express Couriers,”(The name could have been anything) he asked if I was going to be home because there was a package delivery for me  that required a signature. The caller said that the delivery would arrive at  my home in roughly an hour, and sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. I was very surprised since it did not involve any special occasion or holiday, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued about who had sent  me such a gift, I inquired as to  who the sender was. The deliveryman’s reply was, he was only delivering the gift package, but allegedly a card was being sent separately… (the card has never arrived!) There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the  gift contained alcohol, there was a R30.50 “delivery/ verification charge,”  providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult of  legal drinking age, and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded  logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that  everything is properly accounted for, and this would  help in keeping a  legal record of the transaction. He added couriers not needing to carry a bunch of cash, would make them less likely targets for robbery.

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled his wallet out of his  pocket with the credit/debit card, and ‘John,’ the “delivery man,” asked my husband to swipe his card on a small mobile card machine. It had a small  screen and keypad where Frank was also asked to enter the card’s PIN and security number. A receipt was printed out and given to us as our copy of the  transaction. He then said everything was in order, and wished us good  day.

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following  Monday, R40,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at  various ATM machines. It appeared that somehow the “mobile credit  card machine,”

which the deliveryman carried now had all the info necessary  to create a “dummy” card with all our card details after my husband swiped our card and entered the requested PIN and security number.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank which issued us a new card, and our credit/debit account was closed.

We also personally went to the Police, where it was confirmed that it is definitely a scam because several households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or  package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package.  Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is. Above all, the  only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!

Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

Flooding and storms … things you can do …

If you were to find any good or advantage to take away from the effects of the recent rains and flooding in the area, it would be this: we now know what has to be fixed! I’m not referring to what the responsibility of the Municipality is, I’m referring to what needs to be done around your own home – things like ensuring drainage ditches are kept clear, that gutters are regularly cleaned, that there is a stock of candles, bottled water and gas to boil a kettle on etc.

Floods Jan 2014These things might seem obvious now and a trifle trite, but those who I have spoken to who DID do these small things, didn’t have as hard a time as some folk, even though they did have some flooding and inconvenience. No events like those that occurred over the last few days can be totally free from incident in spite of being well-prepared, but precautions against the effects of these phenomena can be minimized. The unseasonal storms and excessive water could not be foreseen and thus the shock of its ferocity was even greater – but as we all know, the seasons have changed, things are different with our weather patterns so it stands to reason that there will be other events in the future that may have similar outcomes.

All I’m saying is that to be prepared for the unexpected and to have made some plans “in the event of” it happening again would be wise. Some things may be obvious, some may be considered ridiculous, some may be thought of as being “over the top” …. I submit the following for your consideration:

  • Keep your cell phone charged – and have a list of emergency telephone numbers written in a place where you can find them.
  • Stay in touch with your family and friends – there is nothing more frustrating than people not knowing where you are or what’s happening, but they DO know that something is happening and are aware that you may be in danger. Make a plan to have them phone you at regular intervals (every hour or so) for a short “I’m ok” conversation. Keep it short to prevent your battery going flat – if necessary switch your phone off but turn it on each time you have a scheduled “check-in.”
  • Always keep at least a quarter tank of fuel in your vehicle in case you have to travel unexpectedly.
  • Have a rain suit and “wellies” handy.
  • Pack a suitcase or backpack with dry clothes and toiletries in case you have to move out temporarily – keep it in a dry place.
  • Have a stock of candles, dry matches and a torch with good batteries (check it regularly – every week or so).
  • Keep a stock of basic foods in your pantry – with at least one 5-litre bottle of water (change this once a month, too to ensure you have a fresh bottle). If you don’t have a store of water, if an emergency occurs, fill your bath, if you can, with cold water, to use as a reservoir later.
  • Keep your important documents in one place (a brief case or easy-to-carry box) that you store high up to avoid water damage in the event of a flood.
  • If your place starts to flood, turn off your electricity – move small appliances to higher places if they are threatened. 
  • Take photos from your cell phone as things develop – for insurance purposes.
  • If it’s practical – hook up with friends and spend time together while you sit out the storm. Don’t go driving around on a sight-seeing expedition.

There are many more things one can consider and there will probably be a lot more in the press and on the internet in the days and weeks to come – hopefully this will serve as the start of the process that will ensure that any further events similar to those of the last few days will be minimized.

In the run-up to Christmas and the holidays …

022311-2b.cdrHere’s a thought – why not make your journey part of your holiday? So, with that in mind remember that SPEED KILLS, also that it is better to ARRIVE ALIVE and be a little late if needs be …. and also that DRINKING AND DRIVING is really very stupid!

Rather pull over if the traffic on the road is so busy that it’s starting to frustrate and irritate you. Have regular breaks, yes, I KNOW it messes up your average speed but what’s the rush anyway? Take detours to view sites. Have a picnic at the side of the road – not while you’re driving. Stop to take photos. Stop and explore in small townsavoid the by-pass roads.

There are small businesses all over the country just waiting to welcome you and make you feel special – do them the favour and courtesy of giving them a chance to impress you by visiting them!

Does an extra hour or two onto your travelling time REALLY matter in the greater scheme of things? If you’re in THAT much of a rush to get to your destination, you should have left a day earlier! Happy holidays!

Swim safely in the sea …

NSRI Rip currentThere is an excellent article titled “Beware of rip currents” on the NSRI website that is well worth reading and sharing.


Every year there is news of swimming accidents and tragedies over the holidays – a lot of previous incidents could have been avoided if people had know of some of the dangers or what to do.

Please share this information with family and friends, and especially visitors from inland areas who might not be aware of the dangers of swimming in the sea.

Don’t do it! … DON’T click on the link …

Image: Steve Woods

Image: Steve Woods

Look at the scam email message that I received this morning … 

“Dear Client,
Your online access has been temporarily closed
as we detected an unusual IP address making incorrect
signin attempts with your card number. 
Please confirm your access immediately to show
that you are not currently away and restore it. 
Restore your online access” ……
(this last line is a hyperlink that, when you click on it, takes you to a phishing site that looks genuine … as you type in your login details it clones your information and then, SURPRISE, it doesn’t connect you to your account – but in the background you have compromised your security and technically you have “shared” your details with a third party and if you lose any money it will be an uphill battle to get your bank to refund you!) 

No bank is going to send you an email like this … if your online access REALLY IS closed, you’ll discover it when you try to get on line and then when you can’t you will contact your bank yourself.