Issue 123 | January

And as we move into 2017 remember - Years are only garments, and you either wear them with style all your life, or else you go dowdy to the grave.

Dorothy Parker quoted in Round-Up, January 2017



South African Weather Service:
SA rainfall in 2015 the lowest on record.

SA Population:
1950 13.6 million, 2015 54.5 million.


Copying all the suburb names into gives us:


When communicating with us please remember to quote your SAARP membership number - which is your South African ID number or your Passport number for non-residents.

We have nearly 90,000 members, many with the same initials and surname.

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Club rules

Membership of SAARP does NOT entitle you to membership of a social club. You have to become a member of that specific club and pay its prescribed annual fee. Clubs are run by committees elected by the members and are free to draw up their own “House Rules”. Some clubs have specific rules for visitors. For example Port Elizabeth West displays the following notice:

According to club rules, visitors may only attend two social
meetings and thereafter will have to join the club to attend
further socials


Database checks

We have just completed the annual database checks where we ask the clubs to compare their records with our CRM database. We are delighted that the accuracy of record keeping at club level has increased markedly. Special mention is made of those clubs who have already returned their databases to us. These are: Alexandra, Amanzimtoti, Bloemfontein, Clarewyn, Constantia, Fish Hoek, George, Helderberg, Hillcrest, Lakefield, Panorama, Pietermaritzburg, Pinelands, Pinetown, Sedgefield, Silvermine and Umhlanga. A special word of praise for Umhlanga where we only had one tiny adjustment to make in terms of an e-mail address.

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The following are examples of discounted off-peak holidays which our Holiday Club has on offer for you and your families. To book phone Renske on 021 592 1279.
Please note:






Kiara Lodge


15-19 May

1 Bedroom


Riverbend chalets


8-12 May

2 Bedrooms


Suntide Margate

South coast

22-26 May

1 Bedroom


Dunkeld country estate


29 May-2 Jun

2 Bedrooms


Drakensberg Sun


19-23 Jun

1 Bedroom


Caribbean estate

South coast

29 May-2 Jun

2 Bedrooms



Bela Bela

26-30 Jun

2 Bedrooms


Season sport & spa


5-9 Jun

3 Bedrooms


Riviera on Vaal


24-28 Jul

1 Bedroom


  • NOTE 1: The above prices include 14% VAT.
  • NOTE 2: The price is for the entire period.
  • NOTE 3: All cancellations must be made 11 (eleven) weeks before check-in date.
  • PAYMENT: Once Renske has CONFIRMED your booking she will submit an invoice containing SAARP’s bank details. Once you have deposited the required amount in SAARP”s bank account, please provide proof of payment using one of the following:

    Fax: 021 592 1284

  • REMEMBER: you need to quote your ID number and name.


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15 Things You Better Know

When Raymond R. Townsend, M.D., was in medical school in the 1970s, the formula for blood pressure was simple. "Doctors were taught that the normal top blood pressure number was 100 plus a person's age. We now know that numbers even close to that high — as you get older — are very dangerous." Research has come a long way, but there's still controversy about optimal levels, the best treatments and even how to measure blood pressure. There's no debate, however, that high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, stroke, vision problems, even dementia. The following are 15 must know facts about high blood pressure that just might save your life.

  1. Hypertension isn't inevitable — but blood pressure climbs as you age.
  2. Even dangerously high blood pressure often has no symptoms.
  3. The top number is the one to watch when you're over 50.
  4. Experts don't agree on what the ideal systolic bloodpressure should be.
  5. The optimum blood pressure target is different for different people.
  6. Healthy lifestyle changes can work as well as a pill.
  7. Coffee makes blood pressure spike — but don't fret.
  8. Breathe deep to bring your number down.
  9. Keeping an eye on salt becomes more important as you get older.
  10. Simple hand-grip exercises can help.
  11. New medicines aren't necessarily better than the older ones.
  12. For many people, one blood pressure medication isn't enough.
  13. Over-the-counter medicines may be raising your blood pressure.
  14. Blood pressure can dip too low.
  15. Sticking with treatment is crucial.

If you are in any way concerned about your blood pressure please look at the AARP website and/or consult your doctor.



Tips to Prevent Heart Disease

  1. Reduce your middle
    If you're shaped more like an apple than a pear, you're at a higher risk for heart disease. The risk rises when waist size goes over 89 cms inches for women and over 102 for men. The best way to reduce your waist size is by losing weight and exercising, but a study published in the journal Lipids noted that dietary supplements with coconut oil may also help shrink belly fat.
  2. Sweat when you exercise
    It's not how much time you spend working out but how hard you're doing it. You need to pump up your heart rate until you're perspiring. Experts advise pushing till you're modestly out of breath. (If you can sing, you're not working out hard enough. If you can't talk, you're overdoing it.)
  3. Stick with your statins
    If you've been prescribed statins, take them as directed.
  4. Rethink that aspirin
    The side effects associated with regular use over a long period of time, including the possibility of gastrointestinal bleeding and a stroke, makes this option not worth these serious risks. The exception to the rule: If you’ve already had a heart attack, and your doctor gives you the go-ahead, continue to take your daily dose.


How to get a good night’s sleep

The following are some tips from MediClinic’s Dr Duma Khutsoane:

  • Avoid any food or drink that contains stimulants – like caffeine.
  • Avoid having big meals at night.
  • Exercising in the evenings, and working or doing other mentally intense activities right before getting into bed can disrupt your sleep.
  • Go to sleep at around the same time every night.
  • The room that you sleep in at night should also be completely dark. (See article on light pollution below)
  • Strive for a quiet environment. (See article on noise pollution below)
  • Finally, a surprising piece of advice: if you’re struggling to sleep at night, don’t try to make up for it with ‘power naps’.

Read More >


Sound advice

Inflammation is certainly a hot medical topic these days, with experts linking it to a variety of serious diseases from joint pain to heart disease to cancer. Here are some of their anti-inflammatory diet rules for those of us of any age:

  • Cut processed foods from your diet. The biggest amount of inflammation — maybe 90 percent — comes from processed foods. If you reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, you will cut inflammation.
  • Slash sugar. If you want a sweet treat, it’s better to eat something homemade than something processed. A homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is going to be better for you than one that comes in a package.
  • Try eliminating one food for at least two weeks. People have different sensitivities. Some are sensitive to tomatoes, or get headaches from broccoli, or diarrhea from dairy, or their skin breaks out. If you think a particular food is bothering you, stop eating it completely for two weeks. If you feel better, you’re probably on to something.
  • Try improving half of your food decisions. You don’t have to be 100 percent perfect. We probably make a thousand food-related decisions a day. If you can improve half of those decisions — more fruits and vegetables, for example — you’ll feel better and your pants will fit better.

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Your familiar environment

Many children often feel that they should persuade their parents to leave their lifelong home and move to a retirement complex etc. This article underscores the belief that it is better to remain in your own environment until the end. Ray

The mind isn’t locked in the brain but extends far beyond it.

They (the researchers) imagine a character, Otto, who has Alzheimer’s disease and uses a notebook to store the information he needs to guide his daily activities. It functions as an external memory (like a flash drive) linked to the rest of Otto’s mind via a perceptual interface. Otto must have it constantly with him, must be able to access its contents easily, and must trust what is written there. As the philosopher of mind Daniel Dennett notes, many elderly people are in Otto’s position, relying on a host of cues around the home to guide them through their daily routines, reminding them of what to do, and when, and how. As their memories fail, they have offloaded work onto the external environment, and taking them from their homes is, as Dennett puts it in Kinds of Minds (1996): "literally separating them from large parts of their minds – potentially just as devastating a development as undergoing brain surgery".

Read More >

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Wash salad, especially from pre-packs

The BBC reported that an E. coli outbreak killed two and infected more than 150 people in the UK. Many of those struck down by the E. coli O157 bug had eaten pre-packed salad, including rocket leaves. The infection can cause bloody diarrhoea and abdominal pain. People usually notice symptoms three to four days after they have been infected, but symptoms can start any time between one and 14 days afterwards and last for up to two weeks. Some people will have no symptoms, but others can develop serious complications and will need medical help.

How to avoid E. coli infection:

  • Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet, before and after handling food, and after handling animals
  • Remove any loose soil before storing vegetables and salads
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits that will be eaten raw
  • Store and prepare raw meat and unwashed vegetables away from ready-to-eat foods
  • Do not prepare raw vegetables with utensils that have also been used for raw meat
  • Cook all minced meat products, such as burgers and meatballs, thoroughly
  • People who have been ill should not prepare food for others for at least 48 hours after they have recovered

Read More >

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What is it?

If your vehicle is subject to a finance agreement and it is either stolen and not recovered or written off following an accident then top-up cover, or credit shortfall insurance, will pay out the difference between what your car is insured for and what you still owe the bank. And it doesn’t add much to your premiums.

There is a comprehensive article entitled "Car policy add-on covers loan shortfall" on the IOL website. It explains what top-up cover is and why you need it. If you are financing a car via credit please do take the time to read this article or else you may be liable for the shortfall in the event of a claim.

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Ten 'must-have' items

that should always be in your car

The summer holidays are here and South Africans everywhere will be hitting the road in one direction or another in search of some well-deserved rest and relaxation. This month we’ve put together a list of things you definitely need in your car should anything happen on your journey.

  1. Your driver’s licence
    A fine for driving without a driver’s license on South African roads is well over R1000 under the current Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) legislation. Always have it with you if you’re driving.
  2. Your cell phone and charger
    Invest in that extra cell phone charger cable for your car. It’ll come in handy on the day you really need to make an emergency call and your battery’s hanging on by a thread.
  3. Spare wheels and tools
    Always make sure your spare tyre is in a good condition. The purpose of a spare tyre is to provide replacement if one of the other tyres is damaged (even if they are run flat tyres). This means it is just as important as the four that are in use. Check your toolkit to see if you’ve got everything you need, especially if you regularly travel long distances.
  4. Emergency contact numbers of insurance company and the police
    If you have an emergency which you’d like to report to Santam you can call 0860 505 911. Other South African emergency contact numbers to store on your phone are:
    • 112
      This is the common emergency number that can be dialled free of charge from any fixed or mobile telephone in order to reach emergency services (ambulance, fire and rescue, police) in numerous European Countries, including all member states of the European Union, as well as several other countries in the world, South Africa included.
    • 10177
      This number can be used in the case of a medical emergency and can be called in conjunction with both the fire and police department respectively, depending on whether or not there are causalities.
  5. Jumper cables
    Every driver should keep jumper cables in their boot and be able to use them if the car stalls or if someone else along the road needs them.
  6. A tow rope
    In the event of a mechanical failure or other (inexplicable) car trouble, having a tow rope is also essential in assisting you to get off the road, out of harm’s way.
  7. A torch
    A torch is one of the most recommended items to have in your car in the event of an emergency, as it will assist you to see in low visibility conditions or at night.
  8. A high visibility vest
    When your car has stalled, you need to get out of the vehicle. A high visibility vest ensures that you are visible to other drivers using the road.
  9. A first-aid kit
    A first-aid kit is one of the most basic items everyone should have in their car. Make sure that it is stocked with the most essential items you will need in any event and always remember to replenish items you may have used on previous occasions.
  10. An emergency instant tyre repair kit
    Changing a spare tyre can be a hassle enough. An emergency instant tyre repair kit can help spare you some of the stress of coping with a flat.


If you need advice on your vehicle insurance, speak to your broker or contact Santam on 0860 444 444.


And phones

Scientists at the University of Sussex found conversations can cause the driver to visually imagine what they are talking about. This uses a part of the brain normally used to watch the road, the University of Sussex study said. The findings made the case for all phones to be banned from cars. Other studies have suggested that phone conversations in a car are more off-putting than listening to the radio or talking to a passenger. A passenger chatting in a car is less distracting because both stop talking when the driver needs to concentrate. Alice Bailey, from road safety charity Brake, said: "We need one clear law. All phones, hand-held and hands-free, need to be banned in cars - the only safe phone is one that is switched off."

Kevin Clinton, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said, "Sadly, people continue to lose their lives on our roads in crashes caused by drivers who are distracted because they use a mobile phone. This can so easily be avoided by all drivers switching off their phones while driving, and only checking messages once they have stopped in a safe place."

Read More >


Dream or nightmare?

Second (or third) marriages later in life can create a variety of challenges so if you’re thinking of walking down the aisle again keep these in mind:

What it’s going to take: It takes some planning to determine how tying the knot is going to affect all your assets.

How long to prepare: You need long enough to make sure you understand how marriage will affect your finances and to discuss how you want things to work.
It's also important to realise that this is the person who usually becomes the default decision maker in the event that you’re incapacitated.

What to do now:

Find out what marriage means in your area: Laws differ in various areas.

Review your pension/government benefits: Depending on where you live and your situation, marrying could affect the benefits you’re receiving.

Consider a prenuptial agreement: This is a document that clearly specifies what happens in case the marriage doesn’t work out. Remember, "If it’s not written and in a legal, binding document, it means nothing."

Discuss estate planning and other wishes: You'll need to modify any estate planning documents already in place to reflect your new family situation, or create new ones.

What to do later:

Revisit your beneficiaries: Once you tie the knot, go back through all of your accounts with beneficiaries and make sure the beneficiaries are still whom you want them to be.

The smart approach:

Sit down with your family: Let your children know what’s happening with the family finances and how your marriage affects them.

Read More >

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Contact numbers

Nationwide Emergency Response


Dial the telephone number 10111 from anywhere in South Africa and a call centre operator will answer and assign the complaint to a Flying Squad patrol vehicle, or the local police station.

Cell phone emergency


For emergencies, you can call 112 from any cell phone in South Africa. You will then reach a call centre and they will route you to an emergency service closest to you.



This number can be used in the case of a medical emergency.

If you don’t have them stored already, we recommend that you put these three numbers on your phone. In fact, you may want to store them all under ‘Emergency’ as follows:


  • Emergency – Ambulance (10177)
  • Emergency – Cell phone (112)
  • Emergency – National (10111)

Read More >

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USB flash drive

This is a small and relatively cheap device which one reviewer pointed out allows you to carry around a bunch of movies, TV series, photos, and PowerPoint presentations in your pocket. I don’t care if I lose those but I care about losing my data files. I’m far more interested in the device as a backup of my data. It is infinitely better that downloading your data to a DVD. And it is as updatable as any file on your computer. You can get them from 4GB to 64 GB and they are inexpensive. For example a 32GB Transcend USB from costs R195. I carry all my current data files on a flash drive which I synchronize with my office PC and my Laptop. One a month I down load my entire Laptop to a backup USB external drive of 500GB. I’ll NEVER fill that. Get a USB flash drive, download your data files and keep them synchronized. Store the Flash drive away from your Computer and if you ever have your computer stolen or destroyed all your data is secure. There is no excuse not to use one.


How to recharge

Charging your smartphone’s lithium-ion battery in short bursts can improve its lifespan, while leaving your phone plugged in once it is 100% charged is bad for the power source.

Don’t keep your phone plugged in when it is fully charged
Leaving it charging keeps the battery under high stress, which wears it down.

Don’t always charge it to 100%
It is better not to fully charge, because a high voltage stresses the battery.

Charge your device regularly
Multiple, short bursts of charging are advised over one long charge.

Keep your device cool
Smartphone batteries must avoid extreme heat to function optimally, and Apple advises users to remove phone cases if they notice their device heating up while charging.

Read More >

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It affects 80% of global population

The population of Singapore, Kuwait and Qatar experience the brightest night skies. Conversely, people living in Chad, Central African Republic and Madagascar are least affected by light pollution. Dr Christopher Kyba, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, said: 'The artificial light in our environment is coming from a lot of different things. Street lights are a really important component, but we also have lights from our windows in our homes and businesses, from the headlights of our cars and illuminated billboards.' A brightness map reveals that 83% of the world's population, and 99% of Europeans and people in the US, live under skies nearly 10% brighter than their natural starry state. About 14% of the world's population don't even use their night-time vision. The night is so bright that they use their colour daytime vision to look up at the sky.

The researchers warn that nights that never get darker than twilight are affecting nocturnal animals, while in humans, the trend has been linked to sleep disorders and disease.

The studies say that while lighting was important for development and safety, technology needed to improve. There are a lot of street lights that are not particularly well designed. They shine light into areas that are not useful - so up into the sky, for example, isn't really useful for anybody. There's a big difference between having a well-lit street, which means everybody can get around really easily and safely, and a brightly lit street, which could mean there's too much light and it's not helping anyone.

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The Cinderella of pollutants

Noise in the environment or community seriously affects people, interfering with the daily activities at school or work and at home and during leisure time. WHO guidelines identify the main health risks of noise:

  • pain and hearing fatigue
  • hearing impairment including tinnitus
  • annoyance
  • interferences with social behaviour (aggressiveness, protest and helplessness)
  • interference with speech communication
  • sleep disturbance and all its consequences on a long and short term basis
  • cardiovascular effects
  • hormonal responses (stress hormones) and their possible consequences on human metabolism (nutrition) and immune system
  • performance at work and/or school

WHO Media Centre e-mail:

In addition Marine scientists are concerned about excessive noise used by oil drills, submarines and other vessels on and inside the ocean. Many marine animals, especially whales, use hearing to find food, communicate, defend and survive in the ocean. Excessive noises are causing a lot of injuries and deaths to whales.

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2017 offer

The REVISED 2017 SAARP offer is valid until 31 December 2017. In order to qualify for this offer, all members need to display their SAARP membership cards. This offer applies to cash and Credit card purchases only, not applicable to Medical aid claims.

What does this OFFER entail?

  • Single Vision Package Deal: R799
  • Bifocal Package Deal: R1189
  • Multifocal Package Deal: R1789

And will consist of the following with 2 ADDED benefits:

  • One consultation, Vision Fields and Intra Ocular Pressure.
  • One pair of Aquity clear prescription lenses.
  • A grey sticker frame - should a member not want a grey sticker or free frame, the member must pay the value of the frame opted for in full.
  • All SAARP members qualify for the normal 2.5% My Own Loyalty similar to all other SpecSavers customers.

In the event of a member not requiring spectacles a consultation fee of R469.00 will apply.



Membership Card

A member writes: "Just a comment on the discount side. I went to the UK in June and my son suggested I use my SAARP card at different places, and they accepted it and I got discounts and even free entry at some places. Definitely worth trying."

This is just one of the many comments on this subject that we have received from members.


For your benefit

Members have saved up to R13 000 per annum on their SAARP policies
Choose from Auto & General, SANTAM or Alexander Forbes

Find one near you at

Get discounted top class holidays at amazing prices.

Choose from Guardrisk or Alexander Forbes.

Funeral insurance at reduced rates.

First Car or Holiday Autos.

Discounted executor’s fees could vary from 20% to 50% off the legal maximum.

Warwick Wealth

Affordable Spectacles.

Your e-mail address guarantees a free monthly e-newsletter.

SAARP, its suppliers, publisher, printer and contributors do not have any intention to provide specific medical or other advice but rather may provide readers with information in terms of its rights under the Constitution of South Africa. Information provided here is not a substitute for professional advice of any nature, more particularly medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment, neither is it designed to promote or endorse any medical practice or treatment, programme or product. It is placed on record that SAARP does not endorse or recommend any product advertised or mentioned in the editorial content of the Bulletin or website or the like. Additionally and similarly, SAARP does not offer professional advice in any area, including, but not limited to, law and finance. In all cases, should readers require advice, they should consult a properly accredited and qualified specialist in the field.

Contact us at SAARP

Tel: 021 592 1279   |   Fax: 021 592 1284

We'll call you back to save your phone bill

E-mail:   |   Or see it all at


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Look out at the churning ocean and ask yourself exactly which whitecap is “sea level.” It’s a pointless exercise at best. At worst, it’s a misleading one.
Dataclysm by Christian Rudder


In 2010 famine and malnutrition combined killed about 1 million people, whereas obesity killed 3 million.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari


I’m not at all a fan of Facebook. As I’ll explain later in the book, I regard the way it manipulates and controls our access to information as dangerous to the health of the Social Organism.
The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life by Oliver Luckett and Michael Casey


The Scene: A friendly get together on New Year’s Eve 2016

The Subject: A snatch of conversation:

“We’ve been married 50 years.”
(Surprised) “Did you get married when you were twelve?”
(Laughing) “I was born in forty-four.”
“What? My mother is seventy-two - and she’s OLD!”


One reason not to mess with children.

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."


"Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions."
Joyce Carol Oates, writer (b. 16 Jun 1938)


"Being black is not a matter of pigmentation - being black is a reflection of a mental attitude."
Stephen Bantu Biko, 1946 to 1977

Ray Hattingh

PS "Knowledge does not dispel mystery. No, knowledge is mystery’s accomplice rather than its antagonist."
Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain

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Contact us at SAARP

Tel: 021 592 1279   |   Fax: 021 592 1284

We'll call you back to save your phone bill

E-mail:   |   Or see it all at: