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Women’s podium places up for grabs after Stage Two



Photos: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Inanda Dam – The podium in the 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon’s ladies contest is definitely not settled as there was some movement below the podium on the second stage of the race as Jenna Ward used her flat water experience to put pressure on current second place occupant Cana Peek with Laura O’Donoghue extending her advantage at the top to over half an hour with one stage to go.

The consistency of O’Donoghue over the first two stages of the 2015 edition of the three-day epic has meant that she has kept her distance from the chasing girls and the three-time runner up enjoyed keeping the pace with the paddlers around her.

“It was quite nice starting with the guys and I just tried to stay with them and work with them,” she said. “It was nice having a gap because if I got tired or something went wrong I knew that there was time but I still tried to race as hard as I could to keep up with the guys.”

The Euro Steel athlete has been dominant from the start of the race and stage two was no different however she cannot help but feel that the race will be a lot more interesting if a few of the other top lady competitors were there to battle it out for the title.

“It is unfortunate that a couple of the girls are not racing or not racing competitively and people say that it will be easier for me so obviously I want to prove to everyone that I have trained really hard for the race and am here to race well.

“it is unfortunate because I think it would have been an exciting race,” O’Donoghue mentioned.

A lady has never ended in the top 40 of the Dusi in the past and with O’Donoghue nine places outside the top 40 she is not putting too much pressure on herself to re-write the record books when she gets to Blue Lagoonon Saturday

“I think I am 43rd of 44th at the moment and tomorrow will be really tough to keep tht because a lot of the men will be coming through strongly so I am going to paddle as hard as I can to Durban!” an upbeat O’Donoghue exclaimed.

The story of the race so far is Under-18 Cana Peek who continues to surprise as she ended the second stage in second place. The Epworth pupil is still astounded by her achievement and the situation still has not quite hit home.

It was another solid performance from Laura O'Donoghue (Euro Steel)  meant that she extended her lead at the head of the ladies field during the second stage of the 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

It was another solid performance from Laura O’Donoghue (Euro Steel) meant that she extended her lead at the head of the ladies field during the second stage of the 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

“I still don’t really know what I am doing and I am just here to have fun and just enjoy the moment while it lasts, I felt like a celebrity!” a youthful Peek said after the second stage. “I had a few little hiccups today, I got spun out and had a few rudder problems but besides that I had a flawless day and I am still trying to come to terms with the reality that I am still in second place!”

The mover of the day, Jenna Ward, knew that the second stage of the race was going to be her strength due to there being less running and the Under-23 Marathon bronze medallist made a statement when she rose three places to third.

“My paddling definitely helped me today because it is my strongest point so just getting through day one was important and trying to keep the gap as small as possible is what I was trying to aim to do.

“I had to be careful down the rapids because there a lot of places where you can go wrong and I tried to keep it as safe as I could in the rapids and push it on the flat water especially on the dam section,” Ward mentioned.

Saturday’s third and final stage of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Msinsi Resort, Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon, Durban. Racing gets underway at 05h30 however the leaders start at 10h45 and the leading men are expected at the finish around 13h00. More information can be found at 


1. Laura O’Donoghue 3:36.36 6:49.34
2. Cana Peek (U18) 3:51.14 7:21.36
3. Jenna Ward (U23) 3:42.22 7:25.53
4. Jordan Peek (U23) 3:50.25 7:28.36
5. Hilary Bruss 3:50.30 7:32.33
6. Jane Swarbreck 4:06.31 7:47.23
7. Donna Tutton 4:01.58 7:58.10
8. Natasha Bulbring 4:08.27 8:01.55
9. Christie Mackenzie (U16) 4:16.12 8:14.20
10. Marion Young 4:29.49 8:35.06

Under-23 Women
1. Jenna Ward 3:42.22 7:25.53
2. Jordan Peek 3:50.25 7:28.36

Under-18 Girls 
1. Cana Peek 3:51.14 7:21.36
2. Christie Mackenzie 4:16.12 8:14.20
3. Jamie-Lee Robertson 4:37.19 8:45.14

Under-16 Girls
1. Christie Mackenzie 4:16.12 8:14.20

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ZA Fest with KAMERS/Makers A Resounding Success




Under the inviting African sun in the undulating hills of the Manor House in Salt Rock, ZA Fest 2024 with KAMERS/Makers was a spectacular hit, drawing over 9,000 enthusiastic festival goers for the 4-day event. From 14 – 17 June 2024, KAMERS/Makers made their first appearance in KwaZulu-Natal, and apart from the foot stomping performances of the Ndlovu Youth Choir and Johnny Clegg on Saturday 16th June – the artisanal market was a standout feature of the festival.

This bespoke artisanal ‘ZA’ shopping experience enriched the festival with its diverse offerings and showcased a variety of incredibly talented South African artisans. Visitors were greeted with a diverse array of handcrafted goods, jewellery, art, clothing, bags, and more. Jeremy Doveton-Helps from KAMERS/Makers, shared, “We were nervous, we didn’t know what to expect with this being our first foray into KZN and wow! What a great 4 days we had at the Manor House. The ZA Fest organisers were such a great team. We enjoyed the best winter weather you can find in South Africa with great people, smiles, sunshine and shopping. To sum it up in 4 words, ‘we will be back’!”

The festival was blessed with four days of glorious sunshine, boasting an average temperature of 25 degrees in mid-winter. Visual artists displayed some of South Africa’s best talent, featuring vibrant oils, delicate watercolours, ethnic art, and stunning photography. “We were ecstatic about the turnout and the overwhelming support from our amazing KZN community,” said Evan Roberts, ZA Fest co-Founder. “The success of ZA Fest 2024 is a testament to the vibrant spirit of our visitors and the dedication of everyone involved. We’re excited to see how the festival has positively affected the local economy and supported creative spaces around KZN”.

On the 16th of June, the festival featured electrifying performances by Jesse Clegg, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, the talented singer-songwriter Jemma Kate and her troupe of dancers, as well as a captivating performance by the cast of ‘Dream On, A Poppins Tale of Joseph’, featuring talented youths from various schools across the province making up the Young Performers Project (YPP). A notable highlight was the Ndlovu Youth Choir performance. As they took to the stage, their rhythmic dancing and powerful voices resonated deeply with the audience, with the almost 4000 strong crowd being brought to their feet and mesmerised by the ‘ZA’ magic with each song that followed. East Coast Radio presenter Danny Guselli infused the festival with his infectious energy as the Master of Ceremonies, acknowledging the impressive crowd and honouring all father’s at this year’s event. Local musicians, including The Kickstands, Freddy L, the KZN Youth Wind Band, Tara Blake, Matt Davies and Tim Lewis, flew the flag high, keeping visitors entertained throughout the festival.

Adding to the stellar entertainment, ZA Fest partnered with local brands to further enhance festival-goers’ experience. East Coast Radio was the official broadcast media partner, who added to the festival’s dynamic atmosphere with an engaging outside-broadcast by Shaina-Rae on Saturday, 15th June, capturing the excitement and bringing the festival’s vibrant energy to a broader audience. Seaton Estate showed unwavering support to the event as a sponsor and helped to showcase the best of what the North Coast has to offer. An added bonus was the presence of the REMAX hot air balloon which gave locals a chance to enjoy the spectacular Manor House setting from a bird’s eye view as the sun began its decent. Hampshire Hotel sponsored the Ndlovu Youth Choir’s accommodation, providing the charismatic musical troupe with much needed comfort and rest after their electric ZA Fest performance. The festival also featured a South African hand-crafted gin bar where each flavour was an African masterpiece, from the “Wild Blossom” and the “Lost Oasis” gin beverages to the powdery Turkish delight rose salivating taste buds across the festival.

While the festival was a joyous occasion for those who attended it, the tickets purchased also went towards a worthy cause with a percentage of sales being donated to Gift of the Givers and their support relief efforts in the Tongaat area that had been very badly impacted by the recent tornado. “Our commitment to supporting the local community and helping those in need goes beyond what happens on stage,” Roberts reflected. “Seeing the local community and businesses rally together to support our neighbouring community of Tongaat was truly heartwarming. We’re proud to contribute to the relief efforts and assist in rebuilding what has been lost. This is where the saying ‘Ubuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu’ becomes more than just words, but rather a way of life”.

With a perfect blend of world-class entertainment, a bespoke artisanal market, and family-friendly activities, and magnificent KZN winter weather – the ZA Fest 2024 set a new standard for events in the region. The magic of ZA Fest will undoubtedly return next year, promising even more excitement and community spirit – so make sure to save the date for 13 – 16 June 2025. “The infrastructure and staging that our partners, Extreme Events put up was truly world-class without a single security or safety issue reported over the full four days. Furthermore, without the support of Collins Residential through the venue and other funding contributed – we simply could not have achieved an event of this calibre. Festivals like this are powerful unifying moments for South Africans during uncertain times. Art and music, as expressions of human creativity and emotion have the extraordinary ability to transcend language and cultural barriers, resonating deeply within everyone. We are so grateful to all of our partners and each and every person that came out to support this inspiring event,” concluded Roberts.

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I heart Market moves to Ballito’s Sugar Rush Park



In time for the Festive Season KZN’s much-loved I heart Market makes a new permanent home up the North Coast at popular family entertainment venue – Sugar Rush Park in Ballito – with the season dates confirmed for 3, 10, 17 December 2022 and 7 January 2023 from 08:30 to 14:00.

Situated next to Collisheen Estate, Sugar Rush Park is a hive of family-friendly activities. It serves as an activity hub and the base for Holla Trails – a network of biking, running or walking trails that go through the sugar cane fields.

Sugar Rush Park, also has a restaurant -Food Fundi, a kids’ play area, mini-train, the Ndlondlo reptile park, The Jump Park, the Tree Trails obstacle course and Park Run every Saturday morning.

Anna Savage, the market’s owner /manager explains the move, “The I heart Market is a local business hub, and our business is based on the success of small business enterprises. We have an obligation to provide the best sales opportunity for our traders and at the same time create a relaxed, fun day out for everyone.”

“As a result, we have made a  bold decision to move to Ballito, as we needed to find a venue that could provide us with the security of a long-term lease, and a vibrant well-kept venue that has additional family-friendly activities that our customers can enjoy. We have found the perfect venue at Sugar Rush Park. We realize that this move is a big jump in terms of location and that it may be far for some of our regular customers. But we can guarantee a great day out to those who can travel north, and make  a day of it by taking advantage of the other activities available.”

The I heart Market has a reputation for supporting artisanal crafters, artists, and traders, offering fine, handmade goods that include jewellery, accessories, leather goods, ceramics, visual arts, décor, clothing, deli foods bakery goods including breads, pastries, cookies and cakes, and a delicious range of eat in foods. Echoing the market’s name, the goods on offer are made with love, dedication to the craft, and personal integrity.

“Sugar Rush Park is excited to welcome the I heart Market to our activity hub. Celebrating and supporting small creative local businesses is vital to the local economy and has a special role to play post covid.  We invite our customers and Ballito locals to support this initiative and enjoy the fine products.” Nick Jordan, partner at Sugar Rush.

According to Anna Savage, the market will continue to trade throughout the year on the first Saturday of every month. There is secure parking and entrance is free.

For more information, or to enquire about possible trading contact


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Best University in South Africa



Best University in South Africa According to Center for World University Rankings

The best university in South Africa for 2012-2022 was declared by The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). CWUR publishes the only academic ranking of global universities that assesses the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

Top 12 South African Universities

National Rank World Rank University Quality of Education Rank Alumni Employment Rank Research Performance Rank Overall Score
1 269 UCT 180 260 252 77.3
2 292 Wits 190 98 329 76.9
3 435 Stellies 187 455 74.9
4 483 UKZN 491 375 480 74.3
5 580 UP Tuks 778 548 73.3
6 674 UJ 1035 642 72.5
7 924 NWU 879 70.7
8 1163 UFS 1107 69.3
9 1239 UWC 1175 68.9
10 1313 Rhodes 375 900 1269 68.5
11 1416 UNISA 955 1351 68.1
12 1631 NMU 1279 1559 67.1

Center for World University Rankings Methodology

CWUR uses seven objective and robust indicators grouped into four areas to rank the world’s universities:

  1. Quality of Education, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major academic distinctions relative to the university’s size (25%)
  2. Alumni Employment, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held top executive positions at the world’s largest companies relative to the university’s size (25%)
  3. Quality of Faculty, measured by the number of faculty members who have won major academic distinctions (10%)
  4. Research Performance:
    1. Research Output, measured by the total number of research papers (10%)
    2. High-Quality Publications, measured by the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
    3. Influence, measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals (10%)
    4. Citations, measured by the number of highly-cited research papers (10%)

Article shared from CWUR Website

Best University in South Africa’s Websites:

UCT – University of Cape Town

University Websites:

UCT – University of Cape Town
Wits – University of Witwatersrand
Stellies – Stellenbosch University
UKZN – University of KwaZulu-Natal
UP Tuks – University of Pretoria
UJ – University of Johannesburg
NWU – North-West University
UFS – University of Free State
UWC – University of Western Cape
Rhodes – Rhodes University
UNISA – University of South Africa
NMU – Nelson Mandela University

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