Join our cybersecurity webinar!

shop-sa, in conjunction with My Office, will be hosting a cybersecurity webinar on Thursday 26 May 2022.

The guest speaker will be Junaid Amra, partner in the Advisory division of PwC South Africa and leader of the Forensics Technology Services practice.
Amra assists clients with digital forensics investigations, incident response and proactive cybersecurity reviews and implementations.
He will speaking on the topic of current cybercrime trends.

Event details:

Time: 10:00
Date: 26 May 2022
Topic: Current cybercrime trends
Cost: Free for shop-sa members; R100 for non-members.

Non-members to please send payment to:

Standard Bank
Acc holder: shop-sa
Acc number 200581082
Current account
Branch code: 004305

Proof of payment to be sent to Wendy on

To RSVP please contact Wendy directly on (012) 548 0046, 082 963 7441 or

16 May is ‘make-a-note’ day!

16 May is international “make-a-note” day.

There are several benefits to taking notes in your own handwriting:

  • Your ability to focus on the topic at hand increases
  • Your comprehension improves
  • You will be able to understand and process more information
  • Your memory will improve
  • It may inspire your creativity
  • It keeps your mind engaged
  • Your attention span is extended
  • Your information will be more organised
  • It is also a form of relaxation when you use a journal.

From diaries to journals

The modern diary has its origins in fifteenth-century Italy where diaries were used for accounting. Gradually, the focus of diaries shifted from that of recording public life to reflecting the private one. Leonardo da Vinci filled 5 000 pages of journals with ideas for inventions and astute observations.

Journalling is an art form that involves the writing down thoughts and feelings in a creative or beautiful way to try and understand them better. It can help you have more control over your emotions, and allow you to cope with stress, depression and anxiety.

Journalling has grown in popularity, with scrapbooking one of the best known methods of journaling. By making your memories or thoughts stand out, you tend to remember better and celebrate life.

Remember, you can get all your journaling or note taking material from a stationery shop near you! Visit our Product Source Guide to find suppliers.

We are stationery addicts and proud of it!

This is why shop-sa has decided to launch our own version of Stationery Week on social media next week! We will focus on trends and craft, innovation and old favourites – and you have an opportunity to help boost this campaign by buying a banner ad (Facebook images are 940 x 788 pixels) for R1 000 ex VAT for any one posting (you can book for all the days) between 16 and 22 May 2022.

Our Facebook page will run articles about the different products as per the list below:

16 May: Make-a-note day

17 May: Pen and pencil day

19 May: World Stationery Day

20 May: Fountain pen Friday

21 May: Stationery shop Saturday

22 May: Send a letter Sunday

Get your brand(s) out there during Stationery Week and let’s get people excited about writing, doodling and drawing!

To take part, please contact Wendy directly on (012) 548 0046, 082 963 7441 or



Durban cargo rerouted due to backlog

With no immediate end in sight to the backlogs at the Durban port in the wake of devastating floods, cargo is being shifted to ports in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. This is according to a recent report by Business Live.

Cargo is being rerouted in an effort to clear the substantial backlog in the wake of KwaZulu-Natal’s devastating floods, with some goods being moved to Ngqura near Gqeberha, and some to Cape Town.

Exporters and importers have to use alternative routes; in some cases, moving exports that had already arrived in Durban to Ngqura by road. This can cost R40,000, Grindrod CEO Andrew Waller told Business Live.

For goods still in Johannesburg, some cargo owners have decided to wait two weeks when congestion is expected to have eased, while others are transporting by road to Ngqura.

Waller said that once in Ngqura, cargo owners have to bid for slots on ships as there are many competing customers. Problems also arise due to the limited time cargo owners have to get their containers to the terminals before a ship is loaded.

Rail is not an option due to damage to the network.

Imported cargo has also built up in the container terminals, although sources told Business Live that it seems the backlog will be cleared reasonably fast.

On Tuesday, Transnet appealed to cargo owners to move imported goods out of Durban port to avoid congestion.


First the big news: as explained in our newsflash last week, the board, together with IT-Online, has decided to reintegrate My Office into shop-sa as of 1 May. To inject new ideas and focus, we have contracted Mrs. Hanlie Delport as COO. We are sure that with your support the association will continue to prosper.

The result of the 21/22 back-to-school survey will be released shortly, providing you, our members, with useful insights following the move back to the classroom.

April, with its many public holidays, caused serious disruptions for business. Add to this the fuel price hikes, the continuing war between Russia and the Ukraine, and the recent flooding in KZN and you have a recipe for negative numbers.

However, with the COVID-19 infections still at manageable levels, we have seen some return to “what was” before the pandemic – and we have several members participating in a consumer show early next month. The Hobby-X Expo is back at Kyalami, and we wish all our participating members a very good show! We will also be focussing on crafts and hobbies in May in our communication, and invite members to share news about products, workshops and other information on offer to crafters and hobbyists.

In May we also celebrate Mother’s Day, and we are looking for interesting gifting ideas that we can share with the market. With shop-sa bringing the magazine and newsletters back home, so to speak, there is also going to be changes in the format of the magazine and newsletters. As they say, watch this space!



Supplied by Sappi

Some 45 000 tons of Sappi’s inventory (including 30 000 tons of dissolving pulp) were damaged due to the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, while the company also suffered lost production of 23 000 tons.

The company expects insurance payouts of around $28 million (around R431 million), which means there will be no material impact on its profit for the year.

There has also not been any material damage to any of its plants.

The Tugela and Stanger mills are fully operational, while the Saiccor Mill will take a few days to ramp up to full capacity.

The company said its immediate focus is on reinstating logistical supply chains for raw materials and finished goods.

“Although the Port of Durban resumed operations, export deliveries could be impacted negatively for a few weeks due to damage to access roads, congestion and limited availability of vessel space,” Sappi said.

Damage to public infrastructure – including rail and road connections – will take time to restore, but alternative transport arrangements have been made, Sappi says.


By Ivan Israelstam, chief executive of Labour Law Management Consulting

There are essentially four state sponsored forums required by the Labour Relations Act (LRA) to carry out labour dispute resolution.

These are:

· The Centres for Dispute Resolution attached to the numerous bargaining councils established in South Africa

· The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)

· The Labour Court

· The Labour Appeal Court

Many employers, via bitter experience, will already be aware that going to any of these forums can be extremely costly. Such employers will be aware that, should things go wrong with a dismissal, they may have to pay the following:

· A settlement amount in order to avoid having to go to court or arbitration

· Legal fees to be represented at arbitration or court

· The legal fees of the employee

· Retrospective back pay to employees who the courts or arbitrators have reinstated

· Compensation to employees who they have been found to have dismissed unfairly.

Most employers will however be unaware that, in addition to the hugely expensive costs listed above, they may also have to pay arbitration fees to the CDR or CCMA).

I will deal with each of these in more detail:

Out of court settlements

The first stage of labour dispute resolution is conciliation. Here a CDR or CCMA commissioner attempts to mediate an out of court settlement between the employee and employer. Especially where the employer comes to realise that it

messed up the dismissal it lands up agreeing to pay a substantial settlement amount to make the problem go away. Due to the fact that such settlements are made by agreement there is no legally prescribed maximum limit to the amount thereof.

Legal fees and the employees legal costs

Should the employer’s case be found to be frivolous and/or vexatious it may have to pay, in addition to its own legal fees, a significant portion of the employee’s legal fees. This may occur when the court/arbitrator finds that the employer was clearly in the wrong and/or defended the case unreasonably.

Retrospective back pay

Where the arbitrator or court finds that the dismissal was unfair it may require the employer to take the employee back and to pay the employee remuneration lost between the date of dismissal and the date of the reinstatement order. (Such back pay is limited to a maximum of 12 months for ordinary unfair dismissals and 24 months for automatically unfair dismissal)


Even where reinstatement is not ordered the employer may be required to pay the employee compensation in recompense for unfairly depriving him/her of his/her job. (Such compensation is limited to a maximum of 12 months for ordinary unfair dismissals and 24 months for automatically unfair dismissal)

Arbitration fees

In terms of the little known section 140(2) of the LRA the arbitrator may charge the employer an arbitration fee where it is found that a dismissal for misconduct or incapacity was procedurally unfair. For example, in the case of Martini and others vs Galata Eksport Chain cc (2006, 8 BALR 836) the employees were dismissed after 20 oriental carpets worth R 800 000 went missing. The arbitrator found that the employer had good reason to dismiss the employees but that, because the employer had failed to give the employees a fair hearing, the dismissal had been procedurally unfair. He/she therefore ordered the employer to pay the CCMA an arbitration fee in terms of section 140(2) of the LRA. It is uncertain what the intension of this fee is. Perhaps it is for wasting the CCMA’s time by failing to follow procedures that every employer ought to be aware of.

In the light of the above employers are advised to:

· Make sure that they know and fully understand all aspects of labour law

· Use that knowledge to comply with the law when dealing with employees.

To attend our 27 May webinar on MANAGING CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE please contact Ronni on or 0845217492.

By Sophie Ireland for CEO World

You can easily find all the digital tools to replace the analog records you maintain. These include calendars, journals, to-do lists, and much more. But there’s a distinct charm of using pen and paper. People prefer receiving a written note instead of a text message. That’s why people still splurge on quality stationery to make beautiful notes and letters. But have you ever considered stationery as potential luxury items?
Here’s our list of the most expensive stationery in the world:

Most expensive eraser: Graf Von Faber-Castell Round Eraser-Platinum
Cost: R2 700
The Graf Von Faber-Castell Round Eraser is round. The central hub of the eraser is coated with platinum. This central hub lets you grip the eraser and use it without a smudge. You can unscrew the hub by rotating it counter-clockwise. That’s how you can replace the eraser when it has been used up. This eraser deservedly comes in a gift box.

Most expensive ruler: Louis Vuitton Ruler
Cost: R2 700
Yes, the international fashion house also makes rulers. It is a 15-centimetre long ruler that is lined with high-quality leather so that the user can use it comfortably. It also has three four-petal flowers that you can use as a stencil. All three are also logos of the brand, and they add something interesting to a simple ruler.

Most expensive stapler: El Casco 23k Gold-Plated Large Stapler
Cost: R6 133
This desk stapler by El Casco is manufactured in steel and then plated with copper, nickel, and 2-karat gold. It can staple up to 25 sheets at a time. You can load up to 100 staples into it. Since this is a 24/6 stapler, it only supports 24/6 staples. Such a beautiful hand-polished stapler would be a great gift for someone who loves bling. That’s why it comes with a gift box.

Most expensive notebook: Hermès Leather Trifold Notebook MM
Cost: R28 890
The notebook is made entirely out of leather. Along with the paper, it can also hold a pen and your mobile device if it is small enough. While the outer surface is made of textured leather, the inner surface is soft and has some rubbing. And you’ll also have to add paper separately as it doesn’t come with any pages.

Most expensive pencil: Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil
Cost: R198 764
The Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil is made with 240-year old olive wood and white gold. It has a built-in eraser and sharpener. Only 10 pieces of this unique pencil have been made. It has 99 different parts that include an extender and an end piece, both made of white gold palladium. You can see three diamonds below the Graf von Faber-Castell logo.

Most expensive ballpoint pen: Montblanc Mystery Masterpiece Fountain Pen
Cost: R11.3-million
French luxury jewellery company Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in 1896. Luxury pen manufacturer Montblanc was founded 10 years later in Germany. And 100 years after Montblanc was formed, they both collaborated to make this exceptional pen. This handmade pen is made mainly of white gold. After the first piece encrusted with rubies was released, the companies released two more versions that had other gemstones.

Most expensive pen: Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi
Cost: R125-million
Florence-based pen manufacturer Tibaldi crafted this magnificent fountain pen using 945 rare black diamonds and 12 rubies. Only one unit of this pen exists in the world. Apart from the precious stones, its design based on the divine proportions of Phi is another reason for its hefty price. This is the 1:1.618 that can be seen in many phenomena in the world. When the pen is capped, the ratio of the pen’s cap to the visible part of the barrel is 1:1.618. It was sold for a whacking $8-million (R125-million) at an auction held in Shanghai in 2010.

Plotters: all you need to know

A simple guide to purchasing the right plotter for your business

Computer plotters are a type of output device commonly used for computer-aided design (CAD) applications. They draw images on paper after receiving a command from a computer.
They are designed to print large, hardcopy vector creations such as architectural blueprints, construction and surveyor maps, engineering drawings, and items such as big posters and billboards for advertising agencies and print shops.
A plotter differs from a traditional printer in that it uses pens to create the pictures. By allowing a pen to move mechanically, plotters are able to draw continuous line art onto the surface of the paper, imitating the vector graphics drawn on a computer.
Although ideal for printing large line art graphics, plotters are not able to reproduce raster graphics (such as is created in Photoshop). For this reason, wide-format inkjet and laser printers have become more popular for printing items such as banners and billboards.

Types of plotters
There are two main types of plotters for printing: flatbed plotters and drum plotters.

Flatbed plotters
Flatbed plotters, also known as table plotters, use a system where the paper is fixed and spread in a flat sheet, and the plotter moves a pen up and down, and left and right to draw the required marks on the paper.
This type of plotter consists of two drawing arms, each with its own set of coloured-ink pens or pencils. The drawing arms move over the stationary sheet of material and produce the desired image.
Typically, the plot size is equal to the area of a bed the paper lies on. This may be anywhere in the region of 6m by 15m.
Flatbed plotters are often used in the design of cars, ships, aircrafts, buildings, highways and so on.
A flatbed plotter operates at a very slow speed when drawing or printing graphs, due to the movement of the mechanical pieces. A large, complicated design may take several hours to print.

Drum plotters
Drum plotters, or roller plotters, move the pen up and down, and the paper left and right by rotating a drum back and forth to reproduce the image.
As a result, drum plotters to have a footprint smaller than the final paper size. Drum plotters can use more than one pen, allowing different coloured lines to be drawn.
The ink pens are held by the robotic drawing arm that moves side to side as the roller, which holds the paper or material, moves back and forth. This results in the production of high quality graphics and imaging.
In this way, a perfect graph or map is created on the paper. Drum plotters are used to produce continuous output, such as seismographs of earthquake activity.

Cutting plotters
Another type of plotter is the cutting plotter. In a cutting plotter, the pen or pencil is replaced with a sharp blade. This allows the plotter to cut vinyl and other thin materials to produce graphics for signs, vehicles and advertising. The plotter may have a pressure control to adjust how hard the knife presses down into the material, allowing designs to be fully or partly cut out.
Cutting plotters are often relied upon for precision contour-cutting of graphics produced by wide-format inkjet printers – for example, to produce window or car graphics, or shaped stickers.
Vinyl sign cutters are used by professional poster and billboard sign-making businesses to produce weather-resistant signs, posters and billboards.
These are made with self-coloured adhesive-backed vinyl film that has a removable paper backing material.
The vinyl can also be applied to car bodies and windows for large, bright company branding. A similar process is used to cut tinted vinyl for automotive windows.
The collection of vinyl on hand will determine the colours that are available.
The vinyl is stored in large rolls to prevent creasing of the material.
Vinyl rolls are typically available in 38cm, 60cm, 91cm and 122cm widths.
Typically, only the upper surface with the vinyl is cut, but the backing surface is not completely cut through.
Completely loose pieces cut out of the backing material may fall out, resulting in a jam in the plotter roll feed or the cutter-head.
The vinyl knife is usually shaped like a plotter pen and is also mounted in ball-bearings so that the knife edge rotates to face the correct direction as the plotter head moves.
Smaller, desktop-size cutting plotters are available for the home market and are used for crafts and other hobbyist applications. Although cutting plotters are still widely used, laser cutters are starting to replace them as unit prices fall. Laser cutters are faster and can cut through a wider range of materials.

Did you know?
Sign cutters are primarily used to produce single-colour line art. Several colours can be cut separately and then overlaid, but the process quickly becomes labour-intensive for more than a couple of hues.
Sign cutting plotters are in decline in some applications, such as general billboard design, where wide-format inkjet printers that use solvent-based inks are employed to print directly onto a variety of materials.
It is becoming more common for large-format wide-carriage inkjet printers to be used to print onto heat-shrink plastic sheeting, which is then applied to cover a vehicle surface with the material and shrunk to fit using a heat gun, known as a vehicle wrap.

Using plotters

In order to use a plotter printer, users need to have CAD software on their computers.
Plotters essentially have two categories: technical plotters and graphic plotters. Both cater for different sections of the market and print in different ways.
Graphics plotters generally use more ink than a technical plotters – largely due to the fact that a higher-quality image is needed for graphics. Multi-colour plotters use different-coloured pens to draw their lines.

Large-format plotters use two different types of inks: pigment inks and dye inks.
Pigment inks are more often used on graphics plotters, but can also be used on technical plotters. Generally speaking, you generally won’t find a graphics plotter with a dye-based system.
Dye-based systems are used on technical plotters because there is not such a high level of quality required.
Some types of plotters use a combination of dye and pigment ink systems.

Plotters are able to work on large sheets of paper, from 0,6m and larger, while maintaining high-quality resolution.
In addition, a plotter may print on a wide variety of materials and thus offer the user many print options.
Materials that a plotter can print on include sheet steel, plywood, aluminium, plastic, cardboard and almost any flat sheet material.
Efficiency, reproducibility, accuracy and speed are all attributes of a plotter.
Patterns and templates can be saved on disk, which eliminates the hassle of having to load the same patterns or templates over and over again.
Additionally, the same pattern can be drawn thousands of time without any degradation.

Although plotters offer many advantages, you may have a difficult time finding the right location for your plotter. They take up more space than regular printers and require a large area for ease of access and use. Furthermore, the price of a plotter may be much higher than the price of printer.

Modern plotter technology
Pen plotters have slow speeds and complex mechanisms, and are only capable of printing line art. Advances in printing technologies have made them somewhat redundant. Inkjet technology has been touted as an ideal replacement. Such technology has a small, self-contained print head that moves across the paper, allowing manufacturers to produce wide format plotters that can print on large paper sizes. Microchip and memory advances enable plotters to perform more processing on-board, allowing for faster printing at high resolutions, with high levels of accuracy.
One big advantage of inkjet technology is the ability to print photo quality graphics, increasing the versatility of the plotter.

Plotter printer checklist

Ask yourself the following key questions before purchasing a plotter:

  • What size do you need to print?
  • What type of quality do you need?
  • What type of volume will the plotter be printing?
  • Is your choice suitable if the business grows?
  • Will you need networking capability?
  • Will your operating system support your printer?
  • Do you need inks that are UV-stabilised and waterproof?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you need good reporting tools to analyse our print costs?
  • Would long-term rental be more affordable?
  • Will you be purchasing an extended warranty?
  • Will your plotter be well-suited to your particular industry?
  • Is there enough space available for the plotter to be properly used?
  • Will you pay someone for set-up and installation?
  • Have you assessed the ongoing running costs (cost per print and total cost of ownership) of your plotter?
  • Do you have adequate after-sales support?


Chairman’s letter – March 2022

We have received a number of returns to shop-sa’s 2022 back-to-school survey!
Thank you to all who have taken time to provide such valuable input. The results of the survey will be released shortly.
Please note that the board of shop-sa will make an announcement in April concerning important changes, critical to the survival and future of your association.
As always we count on you, the members, for support.
Hans Servas

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