By Penelope Mashego for News24

Telematics company Netstar says in just five days three of its biggest clients lost out on more than 613 000km in delivery trips in due to the recent looting and unrest in the country.

On Wednesday, the company said the lost kilometres are equal to 15 trips around the globe. Between 10 and 16 July, the three clients suffered delays and cancellations of nearly 30 000 delivery trips.

The Altron subsidiary added that the three clients were most affected in KwaZulu-Natal, where 78% of their vehicles were brought to a halt. In Gauteng, the telematics company says the clients were “severely” impacted in the beginning of the unrest, but they have since been able to recover, losing only 15% of their delivery trips.

READ | Riots hit 40 000 businesses, as Ramaphosa admits govt didn’t react fast enough
South Africa has begun its recovery after the spate of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng that resulted in supply chain disruption, stores and factory product losses and shutdowns, as well as national food security concerns.

Some companies have resorted to using private security escorts to move goods around the country and government has deployed 25 000 SA Defence Force personnel to assist in hotspot areas.

Netstar is closely monitoring the developments, said its managing director, Pierre Bruwer.

“Our ground teams and helicopters have been supporting our clients and the law enforcement agencies throughout the crisis. The trucking industry is the lifeblood of our economy as they play a critical role in getting goods to market and keeping the wheels of trade turning. We are hopeful that the situation will return to normal and that drivers can return to work safely,” he said.

 

45 000 businesses affected by riots

Durban has borne the brunt of the ongoing unrest, with 45 000 businesses out of commission and an estimated R16-billion in stolen stock, and damage to infrastructure and equipment. This is according to News24.

The damage so far has been tallied as follows:

  • The unrest had cost the metro R1-billion in terms of loss of stock
  • R15-billion worth of damage to property and equipment
  • 5 000 informal traders had been severely affected by the criminality
  • 40 000 formal businesses, large and small, have been affected also affected, including small business
  • 129 000 jobs are at risk, following the destruction of malls, factories and other businesses

Chaos and looting have prevailed since former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest last week.

Racial tension that has arisen as residents take it upon themselves to protect not only their shopping centres but their own neighbourhoods from looters and vandals.

The SANDF has been deployed to help overrun police in the area.

Mustek building torched

Source: MyBroadband

Looters attacked Mustek’s offices in the North of Durban on Monday, stealing everything of value and leaving the facility wrecked.

On Tuesday evening a video posted online showed that the building had been set ablaze.

Mustek managing director Hein Engelbrecht confirmed that the building in the video was indeed their Durban office, which the company rented.

With this attack and the subsequent arson, criminals have destroyed a key information technology and computer hardware provider in the eThekwini area.

Mustek’s Durban offices handled orders from technology retailers in the area, dispatched goods to clients, and offered after-sales support services. Stock of some items was held on the premises.

Speaking to MyBroadband earlier today, Engelbrecht said that they had thankfully told the few operational staff still working from the offices to stay home on Monday.

“We just had a feeling … we saw the reports of unrest and some of our staff said that they were struggling to get out of their neighbourhoods. So we told everyone to stay home on Monday,” said Engelbrecht.

With South Africa’s adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown in place, all the sales staff that usually work from Mustek’s Durban facility were already working from home.

Only some operational staff who work on dispatch and after-sales support were still working from the office.

Engelbrecht said that when the looters first attacked, their security personnel tried to hold them out but were overrun.

One security guard was hospitalised.

The police soon arrived on the scene and dispersed the mob. While the situation was calm the police were called away to quell unrest in a different location.

Engelbrecht said the police had not been gone for ten minutes before the looters returned in full force and stripped the office bare.

Looters also tore through the property, ripping screens off of walls and damaging company delivery vehicles.

Some vandals then returned on Tuesday and set the building alight.

Engelbrecht could not provide an estimate of the cost of the damage.

“We are busy assessing the damage — I don’t want to guess right now,” he said.

The loss of their Durban offices will cause some service disruption for clients in KwaZulu-Natal, but Engelbrecht said it does not impact their national operations.

He said that as soon as the highway between Johannesburg and Durban re-opens, Mustek can restructure to serve KwaZulu-Natal clients from Gauteng — though he added that this will cost a bit more.

 

The victims of looting and civil unrest in parts of South Africa will be looking to Sasria (the SA Special Risks Insurance Association) – the state-owned entity that provides cover for loss or damage to insured property as a direct result of civil unrest, including rioting, strike action and public disorder – for payouts.

Saria is the only insurer in South Africa to provide this service. It does not conduct business with the public, but is included in most commercial and consumer insurance policies.

Sasria cover is bought through insurance companies which administer the cover. When a loss is the result of some form of civil unrest, insurance companies act as intermediaries and hand over the claim to Sasria.

But some people are questioning the state-owned entity’s ability to settle the claims.

Businesses and homeowners who have Sasria cover will have their legitimate claims met, and in the case of smaller claims, they will be paid out within a week. This is according to a report by The Sowetan.

Asked if Sasria will pay out claims from businesses and consumers relating to looting at this time, MD Cedric Masondo told TimesLIVE that while criminality may be at play in many cases, “the trigger was what we call civil commotion” — so the claims will be honoured.

“Our clients won’t have to go to great lengths to prove that there was a link between their loss and a civil commotion,” Masondo said.

 

 

By Nokukhanya N Mntambo for Jacaranda FM

Some major retail outlets across the country have rushed to close their doors out of fear of being hit by looters.

Several Makro stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been gutted by fire after their shelves were emptied.

The brazen attacks come amid rising tensions in both provinces with some communities coming out in their numbers to rob businesses in broad daylight.

Makro says it has closed its doors until further notice.

Health and beauty retailers Clicks says it will also close some of its stores indefinitely.

“Due to unrest in KZN and Gauteng, some stores will be closed until further notice for the safety of our staff and customers.”

See affected Clicks stores here.

Image credit: ANA

By Sihle Mavuso for IOL

Former president Jacob Zuma was defiant to the end last night, choosing to take control of the manner of his incarceration and not suffer the spectre of being arrested and taken into custody in front of a watching media and South African public.

Just before midnight on Wednesday a convoy of heavily armed police, in double cabs, panel vans and armoured Nyalas, started slowly approaching Zuma’s home in Nkandla.

When they became visible to those outside the home, Zuma’s VIP convoy from the South African Presidential Protection Services lined up near the gate to speed out of the gigantic rural home.

However, their hasty exit was delayed when they found that Zuma’s supporters, led by his son, Edward, had blocked the gates with their vehicles and had formed a shield. A VIP protector shouted at them to open the way and they did.

Instead of going through Eshowe where the police battalion in about 50 vehicles was approaching, the VIP convoy took a different direction heading to Kranskop.

It later transpired, as confirmed by the Jacob Zuma Foundation, that Zuma had surrendered to the police, away from television cameras and media and was later transferred, some 150 kilometres away Nkandla.

Police spokesperson Lirandzu Themba confirmed in a statement that Zuma was in police custody, in compliance with the Constitutional Court judgment.

The Department of Correctional Services said in a separate statement that Zuma was admitted to Estcourt Correctional Centre.

DCS spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said: “The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) can confirm that Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has been admitted to start serving a 15 months sentence at Estcourt Correctional Centre, KwaZulu-Natal.

“Mr Zuma will be taken through all the admission processes as per DCS regulations. Other relevant prescripts pertaining to admitting and orientating newly incarcerated persons will also be followed and executed.

“Details about the appropriate classification, prerogatives and incarceration conditions can only be determined at the completion of the assessment process to be undertaken by relevant authorities within the employ of DCS.

“Keeping inmates in a safe and secure custody remains cardinal to Correctional Services and we remain committed to this cause,” Nxumalo said.

Zuma’s instant jailing drew mixed feelings from a deeply divided South African society. Zuma’s longtime supporters lamented the jailing while others celebrated it as a victory for the rule of law.

Ace Magashule, a long time Zuma supporter who had accompanied him to his numerous court cases, said on social media that Zuma should remain strong and that the worst shall be over soon.

“Be strong now because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever,” he tweeted.

Taking to Facebook shortly after Zuma surrendered, former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede said the jailing marked a dark hour for South Africa.

“The darkest night is just before the light, be strong, be brave together we will rise,” she wrote.

Gumede was not the only one to sympathise with Zuma as many others, mainly in KwaZulu-Natal from where Zuma hails and still enjoy massive political support, threatened to shun the ANC at the polls, saying the party did nothing to shield Zuma from being arrested.

Mmusi Maimane, the former leader of the Democratic Alliance and who now leads his own party, One Movement SA, said the jailing of Zuma was a constitutional victory.

“However difficult this is. My sympathies lie with citizens who tonight are without jobs, healthcare, education due to the unabated corruption that the ANC advanced through Jacob Zuma. SA must rise & uphold its constitution. This too shall pass, we must have constitutional future!”

Edward Zuma, who had previously promised a “bloodbath” when the police came to arrest his father, had not said anything about the matter on Thursday morning.

 

By Jonathan Smit for IOL

With the increased threat of Covid-19, South Africans are being encouraged to stay home and shop online. Over the past year, local retailers have improved the safety and convenience of their e-commerce platforms, allowing customers to avoid exposure via queues and physical contact. Online stores and shopping apps are experiencing record order volumes as a result of the third wave of Covid-19.

To avoid digital payment fraud and scams, here is the list of safety precautions to follow when making purchases through your smartphone or desktop.

Before making any online purchase, your first priority is to verify the legitimacy of the merchant you’re buying from. Doing the research beforehand can save you the trouble of trying to get your money back after you’ve paid, which is considerably more difficult.

Only make purchases through secure websites: Ensure that you are on a secure domain before entering any confidential information such as your payment details. Look out for the ‘S’ in HTTPS at the start of the website’s URL, which is found in the address bar at the top of your browser. Depending on what browser you use, you will see a padlock in the left-hand side in the address bar

Read the returns and refund policy: The merchant is responsible for dealing with your order. If an issue occurs with your order, such as if you decide to cancel your order or it never arrives, you should know what your rights are and how you can expect the merchant to assist.

Read customer reviews: Take a look at comments on the merchant’s social media pages and read customer reviews on Google to ensure that the company has a good history of delivering products as promised. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Check out using secure payment options: Look up reviews on the payment options on offer before committing to checkout. You should always choose to checkout and pay with a payment method that you are familiar with and trust.

Don’t store your credit card information in a browser: When shopping online, you may be prompted to save your card details. This could be either a pop-up message within your browser or when checking out on an e-commerce website. By doing this, you could risk exposing your card holder details to other users of the device or put yourself at risk if the device is stolen.

Save card holder details to Payment Card Industry (PCI) verified merchant websites: Many websites give you an option to save your details with a tokenised ‘single-click’ style payment facility to speed up the checkout process on future purchases. This is considered safe when the site you are using is PCI accredited or if they hand off these requirements to a PCI DSS Level 1 payment processor.

Besides offering a convenient and time-saving way to make purchases, online shopping provides customers with an opportunity to support their favourite local stores without putting anyone at risk. It’s up to us as consumers to play our part in fighting the third wave of Covid-19 – this is one of the simplest ways to do so.

 

Source: IOL

A senior supervisor of a stationery store in the Eastern Cape has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for fraud.

In a statement released on Wednesday, provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said Ntombifikile Kati, 50, was sentenced in the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

She said an investigation into the matter revealed that over a period between February 2013 and July 2019, Kati who was employed as a senior supervisor at the Ink Spot (a stationery store) stole R30,000 (US$2,180) from the company.

Kati was arrested by the Mthatha Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team on November 15, 2019, after they were tasked to probe the matter.

On the day of her arrest she appeared in court and was subsequently released on a warning.

Mgolodela said a series of court appearances saw Kati convicted and sentenced to four years direct imprisonment of which one year was suspended on condition that she does not commit the same offence during the suspension period.

Subsequently, she will be serving three years in prison.

Mgolodela said the conviction and sentencing of Kati comes after her sister, Vuyokazi Kati, 37, was sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment on April 26, 2021 in the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crime Court without an option of a fine for theft to the value of more than R2.3 million.

Vuyokazi was a store manager for the same company.

 

POPI Act comes into effect today

Source: 702

The Protection of Personal Information Act, 4 of 2013 (POPIA) comes into effect today, 1 July 2021.

Consumers and legitimate businesses should welcome the next stage in the implementation of a law to better protect your privacy and to allow legitimate businesses to engage with you on a basis that will make doing business better.

It was first enacted in 2013 with the last of the provisions coming into effect from 1 July 2021. While it will be in force it does not mean that everything will enforced right away as the Information Regulator that oversees the compliance may not be in a position to begin responding to transgressions right away and everyone acknowledges that there is a lot to get done and so many of the lapses will not be intentional or nefarious.

Why do we need it?
The earliest collections of personal information would have been census polls to help nations determine how many people lived in the state. From members of a family, to the residents of a town to the entire kingdom and even the empire if the state included conquered territories.

There was not much need to know the individuals just the numbers, their age and possibly occupation and gender.

In the last century, businesses would have wanted to know more about who they could sell their products to. Advertising would be most effective when directed at people who could both use and want to use your product. The cost to reach them would be offset by increase in sales.

Newspapers were the first to see the value of a model to supplement the cost of the publication with ads from businesses that would like to reach the readers of a particular newspaper. The level of information about the readers would effectively be that they lived in a particular location and had the means to buy and read the paper in question.

Besides business ads, personal ads could also be bought to announce significant events like births, deaths and marriage. You could also buy small ads listing items you had for sale.

As newspapers grew the kind of ads changed too. National newspapers would typically runs ads from companies that were available nationwide, local papers would be favoured for smaller companies that only served one City.

With the introduction of radio, there was a period when no-one knew how to make money from the near instant audio medium. Some of the first large corporate broadcasters were also telephone companies that opted to sell airtime like phone calls, by the minute.

Once again stations with big broadcast areas would cost more and be used by larger advertisers that sold products everywhere, while smaller stations would feature the local businesses.

The model was used again when TV came along and the advertising industry had come of age with many channels and location and audiences to choose from to ensure the greatest return on the money they spent on ads.

The world wide web was supposed to add another layer, instead it brought about the most significant disruption the media and advertising industry had ever experienced, the effects are still being felt and the final configuration is still to be seen.

The attention economy
Print and magazines had physical presence and could be read by multiple people but typically needed to be regularly replaced.

Radio was instant with rich sound to transport you to where the news was happening or create a concert or play in your home, but it was gone just as soon as it arrived. There was no pause or record, instead everything needed to be repeated often.

TV offered images and sound and typically had a very big broadcast area. Initially it also had to rely on repeats to ensure content would be seen or scheduling to put the best content on when people were most likely able to watch.

This is all history, but when the web was still in its infancy, few saw the potential of how it could do everything that print, broadcast and TV could do, but it could be permanent, on demand, local and global all at the same time.

Advertisers saw this as the great way to not only be able to reach everyone, but as it promised you could tell who you were reaching it would be much more effective and much cheaper too.

The first casualty was newspaper classifieds. Websites offering free listings attracted huge audiences and thousands of ads, to make money the site operators would allow you to pay for a bigger ad or one that displayed more prominently.

Not many in the media industry seemed too concerned, smart media owners started building an online presence and slowly began building their content offering online. First to grow the small market with vague plans on how to make as much money online as they did with the traditional mediums.

Search engines, blogs and social media all looked like only minor threats to traditional media companies even as online media began to start learning a lot more about their audience.

Facebook was not the first or only social media, but it did do something that at the time was genius even though it was the spark that lit the online privacy issue.

Most online spaces operated with usernames chosen by the users and then offered you access to people who shared your interests, back then they were typically academic or technical.

Facebook first asked university students and then anyone what their actual name was. They asked where they were studying and where they went to school and who their partners and family were. As more people signed up, Facebook was able to connect them online. Many that you had lost contact with like former colleagues, team mates and school friends.

Initially it seemed like magic that this free service somehow knew who all your friends were and gave you easy ways to say hi and share what you were up to.

It was so popular that many businesses would block Facebook for the amount of time staff would spend on it.

Facebook had built the perfect attention tool using content that its users created. Next it needed a way to make money and that was of course advertising. But because Facebook knew so much about you, advertisers could be very specific about who would see their ads and only have to pay for the ones that were actually seen.

At this point media companies realised the game was changing and their businesses were at risk.

It was not only Facebook, Google’s search engine could find what you were looking for and if that was for a product or service, advertisers could pay to be included in the results.

Data mining and manipulation
In 2007 Apple introduced the iPhone, the web was now in your hand and everywhere you were. Anything you did on your phone could be tracked and we did everything on our phones and the default was to make everything public.

An early YouTube video showed that by turning on the location for posts, you could find users around you. If they had posted recently you could find them still there. In the video the person looks back at previous posts and then introduces himself, mentioning the details of the previous posts. The users’ surprise turns to unease as the stranger tells them about some quite private events in their lives. Once explained that the information was public, the users almost all undertake to change their settings afterwards.

As users did wise up to limiting who else had access they continued to share everything with the likes of Google and Facebook and advertisers could buy that.

South Africa first recognised that personal information required protection in 2009 but did not have much in place to prevent multinational companies from using personal data because at the time, the issue was mobile number abuse and a growing issue with email spam and sms scams.

By 2016, the pushback had started in earnest but not before one of the most audacious and naïve lapses by Facebook to allow political parties and even governments to buy ads targeted at specific communities to sway public opinion.

It is hard to say that Brexit and the election of Donald Trump are thanks to Facebook allowing their users to be manipulated for ad revenue, but the risk was real and something was needed to limit it.

A light at the end of the tunnel
The EU was first to implement the General Data Protection Regulations in 2018 that required companies to take responsibility and accountability of what data they collected and how they used it. Users need to give full consent before data could be used or they could be contacted.

South Africa updated the 2009 regulations in 2013 with more regulations relating to various parts about how data is gathered, used, stored and sold added over the years. The next big roll-out is now and it follows the EU guidelines quite closely.

Express permission must be given to contact consumers so no more unsolicited communication. Hacks might still happen, but besides the data breach and embarrassment, there are now also legal consequences which include big fines and even jail time.

Cookies are the next piece of the web that while perfectly useful and for the most part harmless have been used to follow our every move and subject us to ads that while targeted can have the same effect as that YouTuber pretending to know you.

Initially they tracked what you had done on a website to save on time and server loads. When you see something on a website you want to buy, the click to add it to your cart is stored in a cookie, but so are all the other items you looked at. When you next return they might show them again or offer a discount.

Site publishers would like to know how much time a user spent on the site, what they looked at and how often they returned. This is done via a cookie.

But now you also get cookies that can track you from one site to the next, comparing what you did on social media with what you did on the web. Know not just what you searched for but when you might need it again and even know what you might need the next time you are in a specific place.

On the face of it, it can be very helpful. An alert to let you know there is a clothing sale on at a shop you like that is near you based on your recent search for certain items at that shop online could be great, but if you were not aware all that info was being collected and used and not so subtly trying to get you to act on it thanks to payments from advertisers, it is not so good. The move is slowly moving away from the most intrusive versions and in time should at least be better understood if not always welcome.

For many businesses there will need to be significant effort to become compliant, but in the medium term an easy way for users to find service providers would be to check they are compliant and to simply reject anyone that is not.

Pandora’s box has been opened and we will never return to that innocent anonymous age, but if hope was all that was left in the box, here is hoping that POPI while hated by some, a complete head scratcher to many and a sea of pop-ups clicked and not sufficiently read will still give us a level of protection we have not had online before.

By Brett Venter for Stuff

South African insurance provider QSure was struck by a major data breach earlier this month, one that led to banking information and other sensitive data being compromised. The company hasn’t said how many records were scooped during the intrusion.

Hope they have insurance for this
Company COO Ian du Toit, speaking to TechCentral, said “On 9 June 2021, QSure became aware that it had been subject to illegal and unauthorised access to its IT infrastructure, and immediately isolated its IT network and shut down its systems.”

Du Toit added, “QSure immediately appointed three industry-leading and independent cyber-forensic and security technology firms to conduct a detailed forensic investigation into the cybersecurity incident.” He pointed out that the company has notified insurers, brokers and the relevant regulators with regards to the breach.

Data collected includes “…includes banking details, limited to the account holder name, bank account numbers and bank branch codes”, while “…policyholder identity numbers, credit card details, any form of contact details, or policy content” were not accessed. So it’s not as bad as it could have been, but it’s still… less than ideal.

QSure provides services to the South African insurance industry, including collections and premium handling, so while you may not have heard of them, there’s a chance you’ve come into contact with them at some point. If you’re affiliated with Hollard in any way, you might want to check your emails for communication in this regard.

It’s not a good month for companies. If it’s not ransomware (which is arguably the better option for end-users) then it’s data breaches. This insurance hack is just the latest in a terrible month for cyber-security.

 

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