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Fri, 25 May 2018

Cape Town is taking the headache out of paying traffic fines with a new online system.

Motorists whose fines have progressed to warrants of arrest are now able to pay them on‚ rather than sending a cheque through the mail or paying in person. To use the site‚ motorists will have to register‚ then agree to an admission of guilt form. After paying‚ the city will send a receipt and a warrant recall form directly to their email.

JP Smith‚ the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security‚ said Cape Town will be sending out SMS and email messages to those with outstanding fines to notify them of the online system.

“This is a massive step towards increased service delivery and makes things a lot more convenient for offenders who are trying to do the right thing by paying their fines‚ including those residing outside of Cape Town‚” he said.

Smith encouraged those with outstanding fines to pay through the online system‚ noting that it will help them avoid any “unpleasant surprises” when stopped at a roadblock. The warrant recall form can be used as proof for motorists stopped at a roadblock that the warrant has been revoked.


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Thu, 17 May 2018
Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, announce big streaming deals

Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

Cell C has announced that, for the next three months, it will offer all customers free streaming on black, SA’s newest video-on-demand platform. Cell C customers can stream series, movies, music, kids’ entertainment, sport, news, and live TV channels on their mobile devices without being data conscious.

“We know the biggest hurdle to gaining access to streaming content is the data component, and so for the next three months, any existing or new black customer that is also on the Cell C network will not have to have data to be able to download or stream their shows,” says Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Any Cell C customer, whether prepaid or contract, will have access to this promotion, which kicks off on 7 May and will run until Friday, 10 August. There is no opt in required. In other words, browsing the black platform has also been zero rated, so customers looking around to see what is available will also not be charged for data if they are on Cell C. However, clicking through to the betting platform and the ticketing service will be charged according to the customer’s data plan. National data roaming is also not included in this promotion. so black customers that are on other networks will not benefit from the free data promotion.

“Our promise to our customer is the affordability and flexibility to pay what you want; for what you want; however long you want. Go on, sign up for the 7-day free trial, and start binge-ing with black,” says black Chief Executive, Surie Ramasary.

Customers can watch blockbuster movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi; kids’ animated movie Ferdinand; and the comedy-remake, Jumanji, starring Dwayne Johnson. black series include the multiple award winning show The Fixer, starring Kerry Washington.

With flexible packages from R25 per movie rental or R5 per day for a whole day streaming a football club channel, customers have a range of options

For more information on how to sign up for black and take advantage of this promotion, visit or

MTN goes social

MTN has introduced a range of social bundles starting from R1 a day.  The bundles give new and existing customers affordable access to four social media platforms, namely WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Customers can use the social bundle data allocation without affecting their regular in-bundle data. The bundles cover daily, weekly and monthly expiry rates, allowing customers to choose bundles best suited for their specific usage needs and their budgets.

“There’s been a marked increase in the consumption of social media and data services, so these social bundles are designed to meet those changing customer needs,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs: MTN South Africa. “By offering a variety of expiry periods, we put the control in the hands of our customers, so they can choose to buy just for the day or to stay connected for a week or a month.”

Moderate users can stay in touch [...]

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Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Vaping could be leading thousands of teens to start smoking who otherwise w...
Vaping, which involves puffing on vaporized liquid nicotine using an e-cig or vape pen, seems to be healthier than smoking, a deadly habit that involves inhaling burning tobacco. And for some adult smokers, vaping may be somewhat helpful for quitting. But the practice also appears to be creating thousands of new smokers, most of whom are teens whose first exposure to nicotine is via an e-cig or vape pen. Smoking kills. No other habit has been so strongly tied to death.

In addition to inhaling burned tobacco and tar, smokers breathe in toxic metals like cadmium and beryllium, as well as metallic elements like nickel and chromium.

It’s no surprise, then, that much of the available evidence suggests that vaping, which involves puffing on vaporized liquid nicotine instead of inhaling burned tobacco, is at least somewhat healthier. Reaching for a vape pen instead of a conventional cigarette might also be helpful for some adults who are looking to quit smoking, though the evidence for that is somewhat limited.

But vaping also appears to be wildly popular among teens who use e-cigs illegally. In an ironic twist, teens who try vaping are at a far higher risk of becoming smokers compared with teens who don’t.

Still, it has been unclear what all that elevated risk means in real terms. A new study published this month in the journal PLOS One adds some clarity. Using a mathematical model, researchers found evidence that vaping’s popularity translated into as many as 168,000 new smokers in 2015 alone — all teens who otherwise were unlikely to have taken up the habit.

As many as 168,000 new smokers

For their new study, researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University used 2014 census data and surveys to build a mathematical model of the link between vaping and smoking. Their evidence suggests that during 2015, roughly 2,070 smokers successfully quit with the aid of e-cigs.

But within the same time frame, their model suggested that as many as 168,000 young people who’d never previously smoked cigarettes started smoking regularly after vaping for the first time.

“Based on the existing scientific evidence … e-cigarette use currently represents more population-level harm than benefit,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

That said, the study is a model — it’s not a controlled study that looks at actual habits, so the findings are somewhat limited. There’s also no way to know, for example, if the e-cig users in the study who went on to smoke conventional cigarettes might have become smokers anyway, although the researchers attempted to control for that in their model.

Still, the paper’s conclusions jibe with much of the emerging research on vaping.

Why vaping is so popular among teens

At high schools across the country, vaping has become a fad with its own verb.

This is not entirely surprising; aside from e-cigs’ highly addictive nicotine content, the devices possess a handful of qualities that make them especially appealing to young people.

Unlike conventional cigarettes, which have a natural stop mechanism — they burn to the end — e-cigs can be re-filled and reused. Additionally, e-cigs are discrete and sometimes odorless (or have a non-offensive smell). Vaping isn’t universally banned in [...]

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