Sabinet participated in the National Business Challenge Relay for 12 years running

Our staff participated in the National Business Challenge Relay for the 12th time this year. This event is held every October and every year, we look forward to it with the same, if not more enthusiasm.

We all know the benefits of exercise, and there are indeed many but this event provides a relaxing and social environment in which organisations can compete in other ways outside the strenuous business environment.

What makes the National Business relay great is that it is open to full-time employees of corporations, government departments, private companies or any other employment organisation where people work together. Each company may enter an unlimited number of teams and everyone is encouraged to participate. This type of event encourages teamwork and participation from people of all walks of life; everyone is equal on the track, from the CEO to the driver, competing for their company’s honour.

This year, we entered a total of 7 teams who competed in the two categories of walkers and runners, even though we came to compete, the main focus of the day was to have fun, and that’s exactly what we did. The Sabinet team didn’t disappoint with their team spirit.

This event is organised to promote company involvement and teamwork in the best spirit of competition. All participants are encouraged to wear their company regalia and rally non-competing co-workers to the race site to cheer their team to victory. Thank you to the Sabinet Cheerleaders who cheered our athletes on to the finish line and to everyone involved in making the day the huge success that it was! A special thanks to the sponsors, who even through this tough economic climate still sponsor events like these, thank you @Avis, @Sportsman’s Warehouse, @Athletics Gauteng North and @Magnolia Road Runners.

See you again next year!

Check out our Facebook pages for pictures of the Sabineters doing us proud! Go Team!

Sabinet Provides Support for small Law Firms and Tertiary Institutions in South Africa

Exorbitant operating costs are one of the biggest barriers in starting a small or medium enterprise in South Africa today. Many law firms and tertiary institutions in South Africa have felt this financial pressure, it is impossible for businesses and institutions everywhere to ignore these economic times

Sabinet has been facilitating access to information for more than 30 years. Since 2005, 21 tertiary institutions have been receiving free access to Sabinet’s South African Legislation product (NetLaw) and in 2011, 287 small, less advantaged South African law firms received the same. To date, this sponsorship amounts to nearly R9, 2 million.

“Access to information is our core business“ says Sabinet Managing Director, Rosalind Hattingh, “but more importantly, we understand that costs and reliability can be big factors when choosing a service provider and as an information provider we assure timeous and accurate information to law firms and tertiary institutions in South Africa.” Sabinet, as a company that cares for its community and its people believes that this initiative will contribute to the development and education of South Africans on how to use online legal resources as a simple, valuable and credible source. This initiative, funded by Sabinet, was designed to assist tertiary libraries and small law firms not only with legal information but also to uplift and support legal professionals or prospective law students.

Sabinet’s South African Legislation product (NetLaw) offers updated and consolidated South African principal Acts, Rules and Regulations from 1910 to date. All amendments as published in the Government Gazette are updated as soon as possible. Only the latest version of the Act currently in force is made available to eliminate any potential confusion.

To ensure easy access to the Acts and its Amendments, full-text copies with references are available in HTML format and Amendments in PDF format for easy printing and emailing. Sabinet also offers support to users on how to do searches and use the system effectively.

Appointment of National Librarian

Prof. Rocky Ralebipi-Simela

The Board of the National Library of South Africa announced that Prof Rocky Ralebipi-Simela has been appointed as the National Librarian with effect from 1 May 2014.

She has been the Regional Director of the Limpopo region of the University of South Africa (Unisa) for the past two years. Prof Ralebipi-Simela holds a Masmter’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and a PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Minnesota (USA). She has more than ten years of experience in senior management positions in related fields.

Prof Ralebipi-Simela was a member of the first Board of the National Library of South Africa (2000-2003) and was appointed as Chairperson of the second Board of the NLSA (2003-2006). She was the Chairperson of the National Council of Library and Information services (NCLIS) from 2007-2011. She has served in the business (production and publications of online databases in the USA) and higher education sectors (as a Library and Information professional and academic leader) for 35 years.

Prof Ralebipi-Simela has also served on the Board of Sabinet since 2005. We want to wish her all the very best in her new role and we are looking forward to her contribution to the LIS sector.

Ellen Tise receives Honorary IFLA Fellow award

Sabinet would like to warmly congratulate Ellen Tise, Senior Director Library and Information Services at the University of Stellenbosch, Immediate Past IFLA President and a Sabinet Board Member, on receiving the award of Honorary IFLA Fellow.

The award is in recognition of her leadership at the national, regional and international levels for IFLA and African librarianship. Honorary Fellow is IFLA’s highest award, and is awarded on the basis of merit. The Governing Board confers an Honorary Fellowship on a person who has delivered long and distinguished service to IFLA.

We are extremely proud of her achievement.

Congratulations Ellen!

Shamila Ramjawan graduates with an MBA from UNISA

Shamila Ramjawan, Marketing & Communications Manager at Sabinet graduated last night with an MBA from UNISA School of Business Leadership. She achieved a distinction for her thesis which was second overall for the class of 2011 with her topic being “Identifying marketing tools and strategies to provide a platform to non-users in the use of library and information services”

Shamila RamjawanShamila RamjawanShamila RamjawanShamila after the ceremony

This study covers some of the issues relating to marketing strategies and tools that can be used to attract non-users of LIS and products. The reason for this study arose from the fact that the information services staff of The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), one of the largest research organisations in Africa, had become aware that the names of some senior researchers had not, during the past year appear on the service usage statistics. With having a success rate of 94% in customer satisfaction surveys conducted during the same period, it is apparent that the information supplied by the information specialists was of value to other research staff. The question then was: why were these senior staff members not approaching the CSIR LIS staff for assistance?

The aim of the study was to establish what the reason(s) were and to then, if they are truly non-users, make recommendations regarding strategies to follow to ensure that they are reached.

The research was broken down into three objectives:

  • To identify and recommend tools and strategies that could be used to reach non-users of services and products
  • To equip librarians and information professionals with advice regarding specific strategies to follow within their context
  • To investigate actual reasons for non-use at the CSIR

Shamila’s research project is available on the UNISA Institutional Repository:

Sabinet’s Cape Argus Enthusiast

Written by Marco McKenzie:

A little over three and a half years ago I was awakened by a strong sense of impending doom after realizing that I could barely tie my own shoe laces.  I was officially classified as obese and it didn’t resonate with me. I had to do something!  I started a long and painful journey to shed the extra kilos and managed to shed the obesity title in just over 8 months through a daily 20km cycle regime.

In 2009 I attempted my first Argus in the most atrocious weather conditions not only wrestling winds in excess of 80km/h but I also had to dodge wind propelled human missiles. The notorious Cape doctor almost brought my new found cycling ambitions to an abrupt halt. I however miraculously seemed to find the courage to persevere. However in 2010 the conditions were virtually the same. It left me so traumatised that I vowed never to return to the Mother City ever again. My delusions of grandeur of becoming South Africa’s next Lance Armstrong was literally blown away in an instant. Somehow after the pain and trauma faded I found myself heading to the 2011 Cape Argus Cycle Tour to compete amongst 35000 other kamikazes against the clock. I remember thinking to myself that if we did not get any respite from the weather Gods this year I’m calling it quits forever. To everybody’s amazement the weather was picture perfect: 23 degrees, slight cooling breeze and overcast. Given my previous two Argus experiences I was very sceptical to whether it will hold for the entire spectacle or would the Cape of Storms once again live up to its unpredictable reputation of having all four seasons in one day?

Claustrophobia, sweaty palms, dry throat, self doubt, trauma flashbacks, butterflies are just some of the things you need to contend with as one anxiously awaits the official start. With the traditional “Whoopah” my 500+ strong over zealous fellow lycra wearing compatriots set off at around 6:55. Most of us hesitantly approached the exit area just beyond the ABSA building. I guess we were all still having flashbacks of last year’s domino style crashes where almost all starting groups paid homage to mother earth less then 50 meters into the race.  We were all eternally grateful to Godzilla and Co.  for incarcerating The South Easter in Robben Island this year thus allowing us a graceful and uneventful start.

The climb up Edinburgh road passing University of Cape Town is quickly forgotten as you enter the Blue route hitting speeds of over 70km/h in some parts. Boyes drive is infamous for its stiff gradient but the views through Simonstown and Smitswinkel Bay compensates for the inevitable pain of summiting. By this time my 500+ strong group had disintegrated. My lack of training was beginning to surface but I was hanging in there with all my might. Scarborough, Kommetjie, Ocean View all flashed by. A quick internal systems check showed some serious warning signs but being surrounded by these smooth shaven/waxed testosterone driven egos I was not about to eat anybody’s dust. Just as we glided into Noordhoek my first red light was no longer intermittently flashing but on a consistent fire engine red. At this stage my heart rate was permanently redlining clearly exposing my non-existent endurance levels. The longest rides I took during training was never more than two hours as I was focusing on running this year. I’m still not sure why I didn’t heed the warning signs but I kept on pushing trying to hang on with the big dogs!

By the time I reached Chapman’s Peak I could feel the twitches in my upper legs indicative that it was “crocodile mania (cramping)” time. Every single pedal stroke was now becoming a feeding frenzy for the crocodile invested pond. It wasn’t long before the grandpa crocodile made its unceremonious appearance causing me to virtually grind to a halt. “Just keep pushing man, you are BIGGER than these crocs”, I remember saying to myself!  As I crawled underneath the overhang just before the steepest part of devils peak I looked down onto the Atlantic Ocean looking for some inspiration from below! Finally I had an epiphany: reach for the cramp block in your cycling tops back pockets, Mr. Flash Gordon!!  The bottle cradle somehow had an eagle claw grip on my water bottle. It seemed like an eternity as I struggled to un-holster it and eventually garble down a couple of these crocodile exterminators. Not a moment to soon the screams from the summit’s water point ushered in the descend and my cramps was now a distant memory. Coasting into Hout Bay sucking up the beauty of His creation is a magical experience.

This new found magical bliss was short lived: Suikerbossie was upon me. This is the one hill where you want to look your best as it’s literally lined with thousands of spectators from the bottom right to the top. Crowd support is amazing but its here where I was once again reminded that I left my good legs back in Pretoria. Why would anybody in their right mind give a hill a name as deceptive as Suikerbossie? Was it their way to bring some sweetness to something so horrid; the bitter aftertaste lingers on long after the finish? No matter how they sugar coated it, the only distinct taste in my mouth was as sour as vinegar. A quick internal health check showed major systems failure and imminent shutdown. “Get off and push, you aren’t going win this race anyway dude – just tell me why???” the little voice whispered into my left ear. “If you stop now boy you’ll never get back on… “a deafening voice shouted into my right ear. The crocodiles seemed to have returned with an even greater vengeance than in Discovery’s Crocodile Hunter. I’m sure some people must have thought I was relieving myself as the sweat streamed down my legs giving my bike a long overdue wash. I’m still trying to figure out whether it really was sweat as I lost all sense of control over bodily functions by that time anyway. It felt like I had two detached legs each trying to do a downwards pedal stroke at the same time, completely unsynchronized. I’m not sure whether I was hallucinating but I could have sworn I saw a granddad on a Sedgeway come past me cheering me on: “Looking good sonny boy, catch me if you can”. I tried to utter some less flattering words to express my disdain but somehow I could not get my lips to obey my brains commands. Somehow I managed to stay upright and moving despite every muscle and bone in my body violently objecting throwing their own uncontrollable tantrum. My antics were mistakenly construed as an on bike freestyle dancing show! The rest of my journey to the summit is a blur but I’m sure I was 3kg lighter by the time I reached the top, as my lycra shorts was not a loose fitting skirt.

The last 15km is simply divine and invigorating as one descends into Camps Bay at a fast and furious pace. An internal systems health check showed no signs of any earlier malfunctions or over exertion letting one believe that the instrumentation panels erroneously reported those problems. I easily sustained a 30km average over that last 5km of the route. I was overjoyed to hear the crowd screaming and to see the big finish banner. I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t another hallucination as the lines between reality and fiction was way beyond my comprehension at that stage.

Coming in 3h40 wasn’t exactly the plan but neither was the unbudgeted acquisition of the majority stake in Crocodile Island. All things said and done the weather prevailed, the supporters were awesome, and the camaraderie unheard of and the natural high of finishing is priceless. I probably will be back next year hopefully better prepared to devour The Sugar Coated Crocodile!

Marco McKenzie

Marco McKenzie

Elizabeth Mathosa

Elizabeth Mathosa joined our Marketing Communications team on the 1st February 2011.  She previously worked in the digitization department as a scanner and verifier.

Elizabeth completed her studies with Tshwane North College in Pretoria where she obtained a National Diploma in Public Relations.

Her hobbies are aerobics and she loves dogs.

She believes success does not consist in never making a mistake, but in never making the same mistake twice.

We wish Elizabeth all the best in her new role.