Putting the “worthy” into roadworthy, do you qualify?

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Roadworthy is a legal requirement, it ensures the safety of your car for everyday use. We’ll give you the facts, the requirements, and helpful information to make sure your car is roadworthy.

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Up to 80% of cars are unroadworthy in the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal, according to a study by the National Vehicle Testing Association. Unroadworthy cars have also been attributed to the cause of up to 9% of all car accidents. Legislation proposed by government and the National Vehicle Testing Association for mandatory “periodic vehicle testing” is currently going through the process to be implemented. These contributing factors make it imperative to understand and maintain your car’s roadworthy certificate, luckily we’ll give you the facts, requirements, and more to obtain the certificate with ease.

Why do you need it?
A roadworthy certificate proves that your car is in full working condition for daily use on the road. You can get this through private or government means but it is essential. If your car is found to be unroadworthy, your car can be impounded by the police. Additionally, your car insurance company will not pay out a claim if your car is unroadworthy.

How often do I need to get the roadworthy certificate?
Legally speaking, you would only require a roadworthy certificate at the sale and purchase of a car. You should also note that it is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure the car is roadworthy. You need to have a valid roadworthy certificate before you transfer the car into your name. You would also need to have your new car tested for roadworthy within 21 days of purchasing the car.


Note, if you use your vehicle as a means of public transport, it’s a legal requirement to have your car tested for roadworthiness each year. Busses need to have their roadworthiness checked every 6 months. Please keep in mind that a roadworthy certificate is only valid for sixty days.


The National Director of the National Vehicle Testing Association, Joy Oldale, said her team had worked tirelessly for eight years to submit legislation to the government to enforce “periodic vehicle testing”. Aimed at increasing road safety and decreasing road fatalities, the proposed mandatory vehicle testing would occur every 24 months. The government and the NVTA are optimistic that the legislation would have a positive impact in South Africa, it has thus made it through the legislative process to public opinion stage.

Where do I go to get my roadworthy certificate?
You can go to one of over 500 testing stations around South Africa. To find your closes motor vehicle testing station, you can go to the National Traffic Information System (eNatis), here http://www.enatis.com/. Your application will be processed on the same day, according to a consultant at Hillstar Vehicle Testing Centre. Depending on the queue of vehicles waiting for the test, the entire process of receiving the application, getting your car tested, and returning for the paperwork can range from an hour to a few hours.

What should I bring?
The Assistant Director of Vehicle and Driver Fitness for the Western Cape listed three things to bring with you. You would need your car’s registration certificate to prove that the car is registered in your name. You will also need to produce a form of identity that is linked to your car’s registration. Please note that only your green South African ID book or your passport will be accepted. You will also need to bring money with you to pay for the application associated fees and fees associated for the actual test. Each province has different yet similar pricing. The prices for the Western Cape, at the time of publishing, for a light motor vehicle are R135 for the application process and R33 for the test. Please note that if you go to a private roadworthy testing station, the government prices will not apply.

What does the testing centre examine?
The roadworthiness test checks the following aspects of the vehicle:
• identification and documentation
• electrical systems
• fittings and equipment (including mirrors, safety belts, etc.)
• braking system
• wheels (including tyre condition)
• suspension and undercarriage
• steering
• engine
• exhaust system
• transmission and driving instruments
• vehicle dimensions

You can see the full roadworthiness testing sheet in the Government Gazette of 23 November 2005 (no 28227), available here: http://www.westerncape.gov.za/other/2005/12/rwt_eng.pdf
You can also read this helpful guide to checking if your car is currently roadworthy: http://bit.ly/1prjQ2v

Useful links:
A private testing station: http://www.dekraauto.co.za/roadworthy
List of government testing stations: http://www.enatis.com/
Government roadworthy information: http://bit.ly/RLYfXq

*Click n Compare is South Africa’s best comparison site featuring Insurance, Mobile, Broadband, Financial Services, and Travel. Check out our website at www.clickncompare.co.za and our social media on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

©Diane Moalem for Click n Compare

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Big brother bullies online privacy

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Vodafone’s revelations added another dimension to show no one can avoid Big Brother’s prying ears, neither online or on your phone. With Big Brother’s ever watchful gaze, is there such thing is true privacy within this surveillance ridden world?

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Last year, Edward Snowden released top secret NSA documents to the world about US and UK surveillance. Ever since then, shocking revelations of spying by international governments spill out more frequently than anyone would like. Vodafone’s revelations added another dimension to show no one can avoid Big Brother’s prying ears, neither online or on your phone. With Big Brother’s ever watchful gaze, is there such thing is true privacy within this surveillance ridden world?

The very notion of Internet privacy refers to Personal Identifying Information (PII) like your name and address or non-Personally Identifying Information (non-PII), which is your behaviour on a website. Whether you can maintain both these types of privacy hangs in the balance. Vodafone’s latest revelations show us how easy it is for governments to obtain phone information as some countries do not require the network operator’s permission to access the data. The network giant spans across 29 countries and over three continents. Vodafone’s report issued last week said “In those countries, Vodafone will not receive any form of demand for lawful interception access as the relevant agencies and authorities already have permanent access to customer communications via their own direct link.” The citizen’s right to privacy is cast aside, not by the network itself but by the government agency. You have to question the citizen’s fundamental right to privacy when a government body can obtain private data without legal means such as a subpoena.

Snowden caused the world to revolt at the concept that their government and foreign governments could spy on their Internet habits, phone calls, and all electronic network use. Yet, as Mike Silber, a telecommunications specialist lawyer told Mail & Guardian in 2013, South Africans suffer this fate every day. Apparently once we go through the legally required RICA process (Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision), our information can be monitored through big data. This is non-PII information, namely, what phone numbers you called, when you called that number, and the duration of your conversation. It should be noted that even though Vodacom is a subsidiary of Vodafone, it is illegal for all networks to disclose whether Rica or any form of government is using customer metadata. Although obtaining this data should be bound by court ordered subpoena, Silber says this is not always the case. This was substantiated in a 2008 ministerial review on intelligence where Silber said that democratic principles were appallingly disregarded by South African intelligence services.

The latest revelations revealed by Vodafone showing the wide extent of Big Brother’s surveillance of citizens across the network’s international reach reveal less about government spying and more about vulnerabilities open to hackers. If the government is able to get their hands on your private information, hackers, who often use malware, will be able to obtain it just as easily. The best rule of thumb, according to TechCentral’s interview with Dominic White, the chief technology officer at an information security firm, SensePost, is that if you don’t want your private information available to anyone online, don’t put it online in the first place. He further warns against what Edward Snowden revealed to be ”dragnet surveillance” where the content of emails, text messages, credit records, phone calls, and webcam recordings were collected en masse by government bodies such as the NSA.

In an age where we as a society share so much online, our governments spy on what we say, where we say it and how we say it, is there still such a thing as “privacy”? The notion of anonymity and the right to keep your own business to yourself dangles at the very edge of a dangerous precipice. Yet, can you really escape Big Brother without becoming a technological recluse? At this point, the average citizen holds little to no power against government organizations and hackers, the only thing one can do is use as many encryption tools as possible to combat this surveillance assault.

You can take proactive steps to protect your information from hackers including basic things such as being more careful where you submit private and personal information. Always make sure your social media and other site accounts have strict privacy settings. Especially take note of the sites where you enter private information such as your address and credit card information. If you think that a website may be unsecured, contact the admin on the page or leave the website. You can use fantastic online anonymity tools like Tor, which boasts over 120 million downloads since Snowden revealed the true nature of electronic network privacy. Encryption tools are becoming increasingly available but it is imperative that you be weary with what you share online.

©Diane Moalem for Click n Compare

 

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Google must face claims over WiFi snooping after Supreme Court refuses to hear Street View appeal

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An interesting turn in the age of snooping across technology, we wouldn’t want our private information sneakily taken by Google.

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In 2010, Google(s goog) revealed that the cars collecting location information for its Street View service were also slurping personal data from unsecured WiFi networks as the vehicles drove through residential neighborhoods. Google soon after apologized and explained that the data had been destroyed, but the company continues to face a nagging lawsuit over whether the cars’ activities violated the Wiretap Act, which forbids intercepting a person’s communications without their consent.

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear Google’s petition that the lawsuit should be thrown out on the grounds that the WiFi information was available to the general public. The refusal means the case will return to a lower court where a judge will determine if the case should qualify to be heard as a class action.

The case drew widespread attention because it involved one of Google’s more notable privacy stumbles, and because the incident helped to define how the Wiretap Act — which was originally…

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Nokia announces an event for June 24: Nokia X2?

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Tech News Blog

Nokia X

In the last Mobile World Congress 2014, Nokia introduced Nokia X family, a number of Android devices that claimed to be the ramp for users gradually migrate to Windows Phone platform by which you really want to bet the company recently acquired by Microsoft. That strategy seems to follow up, and it shows the event June 24 that just announced Microsoft , which is expected to be unveiled a new member of this family: the Nokia X2.

This Nokia X2 just have details. Its existence has been rumored in recent weeks, but have barely known specific data that allow us to get an idea of how would this device. Just the opposite of Nokia X family, which was filtered almost completely in the weeks and months leading up to its presentation at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. An event focused on Nokia X family also could not rule…

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Does Your Cellphone Obsession Make You a Nomophobe?

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Do you get crippling anxiety when you’re without your cellphone? You could have nomophobia, the fear of being without your cellphone. Diane Moalem investigates this new-age phenomenon.

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Nomophobics fear being without their cellphone ©Shutterstock

We have all experienced that rising panic as you reach down to your pocket and realise your cellphone is missing. The sheer dread that fills you in that instant is overwhelming. You feel the panic start to rise, you feel abandoned, isolated, and as if you are having trouble breathing. Nomophobia (NoMobile Phobia), the fear and anxiety of not having your cell phone is a new age affliction that affects more people than you would think with 13 million people, equating to 53% of cell phone users in the UK suffering, according to a survey.

 

Although we shrug this off as something most people have mildly, it has become a legitimate concern for many nomophobic sufferers. We rely on our cell phones, smartphones especially, for almost everything. Our society has become so dependent on these small devices as a connection to the world through the internet, messaging, and obviously through calls. We use these gadgets to check the time, to capture our favourite moments, to entertain us, to control a business, and to keep us company. Smartphones are constantly evolving to become so personalised that they have become an extension of your personality and who you are.

 

Clinical psychologist, Lee-Ann Hartman, a specialist in anxiety disorders explains that losing your cell phone is more than just losing your photos and contacts, it’s losing your connection to people that you hold dear. Patients who suffer from nomophobia show a fear of isolation, disconnection and extreme discomfort. A British survey performed by Stewart Fox-Mills found that over 13 million people suffer from nomophobia, which equates to 53% of mobile users. Another survey in 2012 by Onepoll and SecurEnvoy of 1000 people found 66% of people suffered from a degree of nomophobia. While mostly affecting young people between 18 and 24, more women were found to show symptoms. Nomophobia shares symptoms with other anxiety disorders and includes:

  • Panic attacks
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Chest pain
  • Elevated heartbeat

 

Situations that cause these reactions range from losing or leaving your phone at home, entering areas with no signal, a dead battery, running out of airtime and even voluntarily switching your cell phone off. Hartman adds that you would endure a period of extreme discomfort if you are without your smartphone. You can tell if you are showing signs of nomophobia if you compulsively look at your phone multiple times a day, dubbed “ringxiety”, get anxious about losing network coverage or experience one of the above symptoms when without your smartphone. The advance of fast-paced technology can become addictive as it creeps into more aspects of your life, Hartman says. Smartphones allow us to connect socially, interpersonally, for business and being without it creates a fear of missing out.

 

According to Hartman, smartphone interaction can be a form of reward. We are able to deepen bonds between the people with which you communicate, you can gain social status by who you interact with, what smartphone you have and sharing content, such as images, can provide you with instant gratification from your peers. Instant gratification can become addictive as it reinforces the behaviour associated with using a smartphone. People may develop anxiety once this instant gratification is removed but whether this translates into a phobia remains to be seen. Affected people thus tend to search for the best cellphone deals to ensure they are always connected to avoid their nomophobia at all costs.

 

A journal article written by Nicola Luigi Bragazzi and Giovanni Del Puente was published in 2014 in the Psychological Research and Behaviour Management journal proposing the inclusion of nomophobia as an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Bragazzi and Puente’s article suggests patients would use their cellphones, smartphones especially, in an impulsive way. They could use smartphones as a protective shield, as an object of transition, or even to avoid real-life social communication.

 

Hartman agrees with the inclusion of a new category in the DSM-V for technology-related disorders. She stated that it’s becoming exceedingly important to look at how tech-based disorders have altered the way people express and feel anxiety and the context that causes the anxiety. Hartman says she has encountered several private patients with these symptoms, with Samsung Galaxy smartphones being the biggest cause, but she didn’t have a name for the disorder.

 

Hartman suggested that people are developing nomophobic symptoms because of the current immediacy of tech-culture and information consumption that once people are away from it, they experience an overwhelming fear of missing out, or FOMO. Interestingly, both the Bragazzi journal article and Hartman suggest cognitive-behavioural therapy as a possible treatment for the phobia.

 

In contrast, another Johannesburg-based Clinical psychologist Kevin Bolon, thinks that nomophobia is more of a side-effect of existing anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder. He says that the condition can be explained and incorporated by other disorders that induce crippling anxiety. Braggazi’s journal article and Hartman both echo a degree of Bolon’s sentiment as preliminary research has shown a high comorbidity rate (two disorders occurring at once).

 

Nomophobia has garnered a fair amount of critics yet many believe technological advancements integrated into our lives have created a level of dependency leading to compulsive disorders and anxiety disorders. Whether nomophobia or other technology-related anxiety disorders will be officially recognised in our fast-paced world remains to be seen, but there is certainly mounting evidence for the existence of nomophobia.

Until then, arm yourself with the longest-lasting cheap smartphone battery and LTE.

 

©Diane Moalem for Click n Compare