Circle of events unfolding!

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 7:20 am
Dear Readers

 In this edition of our electronic newsletter we share many exciting projects and events with you. It almost feels like we just have good news to share amidst the economic situation South Africa is in. Those of you who read some of the previous newsletters will see the full circle of events as it is unfolding now. I think about Steven Densum doing the Argus, and an emerging story of another cyclist Warren Robertson who will cycle from London to Cape Town in our exciting project called “Epilepsy Enduro”. I am also reminded about our star Kai, who will endeavor to climb another mountain this year. Many obstacles will be scattering in our way in 2010.Please read the different articles and identify something that pulls on your heart string, seeing it is the month of Love! Contact us and share in the accomplishment by achieving what we can do together. I hope that each of you will also enjoy an exciting year where all your dreams will come true. We would love to hear from you, receiving your stories about your challenges; an obstacle overcome and dreams you want to come true. Please send these to Drikie Snyman at marketing.no@epilepsy.org.za.Regards
Noëline de Goede

February E-news Contents:

A first for the National Office, by Noeline de Goede (National Director)

A first for the National Office, by Noeline de Goede (National Director)

The National Office of Epilepsy South Africa has never owned its own building. In the light of what I have to announce I want to thank Mr. Ellis Meacham from Kiddies Rides, the owner of our rented office space in Observatory for years of support. The staff number and services rendered by the National Office has more than tripled since 2004 and our rented office space is far to small to accommodate us any longer. We also have a vision to open our own training facility, offering relevant and affordable training to the NPO and Corporate sector and Civil Society. This will not only strengthen the NPO sector but will also provide us with a some income toward being financially sustainable as a NPO.We were introduced to fantastic premises called Syfin House (picture included), of which the ground floor is available for purchase. We will be moving offices on 15 February 2010 and will at first rent the office space. We have until June 2010 to raise the money needed (R3,800,000) to purchase the ground floor of Syfin House. These premises will accommodate all our services and will also allow us to open our training wing. If any person or company can contribute to our building fund, it would be highly appreciated. You are welcome to contact me directly to make a contribution. (Tel. 021 – 447 3014 or E-mail: nationaldirector.no@epilepsy.org.za )


High rollers, High stakes!

High rollers, High stakes!

by Wynand du Toit, Epilepsy South Africa National OfficeHelping people with epilepsy has always been a serious business, but now we have stepped it up to a completely new level:The first ever Epilepsy South Africa Celebrity Poker Challenge will be held at the Grand West Casino near Cape Town during April this year. This exciting tournament will form part of the launch of the new poker facility at Grand West where high rollers will take on celebrities in a battle of brainpower and skill at the poker table.

Proceeds from the challenge will help improve service delivery to people with epilepsy and other related disabilities in South Africa. We are extremely thankful for this opportunity, and for the interest shown.

Now for the really good news:

  • You too can rub shoulders with the big guns at the poker table! Space is limited – only 80 players including the celebrities. Contact me at fundraising.no@epilepsy.org.za for information on how to book your seat and take on some national celebrities at the game! Invite that friend of yours that is always boasting about his poker skills – remember to be quick.

We trust that this will be the first of many opportunities where different types of people will come together. Where they will fuse charitable giving with fun and fame and remember that the stakes for which they are playing is truly high. High in the need of the people who will benefit.

P.S. We need al the help we can get to arrange this sizeable event. If you or your company would like to sponsor one of the celebrities, please contact me at the above address. This will be a great marketing opportunity!


Epilepsy Enduro!

Epilepsy Enduro!

Another dream that we want to come true, is that of Warren Robertson. Warren is a dynamic and very passionate individual who had the dream of cycling from London UK to Cape Town South Africa. He decided to do this trip in aid of Epilepsy South Africa to raise awareness about the condition throughout the countries which he will be cycling through.  This project will also help to raise some funds for more epilepsy awareness and training programmes in South Africa.Warren will start his journey on 10/10/2010. But more information regarding this amazing trip will be unvailed in the months to come. You will definately find an option for you to get involved, as we are currently working on the smaller aspects of activities like:

  • Buy the right to cycle with Warren on stretches of the route
  • Sponsor different sections of the route in Rands, Cents
  • Become a donor on Backabuddy, and support Warren in this effort
  • Support Warren on his route (cheering, waving, food, accommodation etc)
  • Attending the final arrival event in Cape Town

Warren, Epilepsy South Africa thank you for your willingness to take on this huge challenge in aid of epilepsy


Our Champions on Backabuddy!

by Wynand du Toit, Epilepsy South Africa National OfficeDo not forget to go online and view our ambassadors or champions. So far five people chose Epilepsy South Africa as their Cause to Support through the sport they do. You can do this too, or support them and in that way take part in changing the lives of people living with epilepsy and other disabilities.With the Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus cycle tour just 37 days away, we are excited about the opportunity presented to us in a partnership with Steven Densum (a person living with epilepsy), and Novartis (Pharmaceutical Company) in order to get Steven’s dream of cycling the “Argus” fulfilled.  He will cycle the Cape Argus and be joined by three other champions, but it does not stop there – Warren Robertson, stepped forward and offered to cycle from London to Cape Town for epilepsy – as shared in the Epilepsy Enduro article. 

To view their profiles on Backabuddy, click below:

Steven Densum

Warren Robertson

Tim and Caroline de Villiers

Charl van Rooyen

Please help us to see how much these heroes can raise together. Funds will be utilised for increased service delivery to people with epilepsy and other disabilities. Visit the Backabuddy site and make a donation by sponsoring either or all of our cyclists. Challenge the people you know to do the same.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in making a change in people’s lives, whether as a sponsor, donor or volunteer, please contact me so that I can show you how easy it is to become a hero of 2010 yourself


News from Epilepsy South Africa News from Epilepsy South Africa Mpumalanga/Limpopo


Here at the Dullstroom centre we could not have asked for a better start to 2010! We are the very fortunate receivers of a fantastic donation from the Mckenzie Trust – they are repainting our office building, fixing the roof and adding a much needed store room. The work started on 18 January 2010 and has had an infectious impact on all staff resulting in a major clean up opertion. The fundraising office has been cleaned up and cleaned out with a new coat of paint – all made possible by some kind donations from our community in Dullstroom .  This made the office look fresh and friendly. The offices of the community development team are also under going a much needed face lift and this work is being done by the Dullstroom workshop.The month of January also brought training in various skills and programmes, headed up by our director Mariana Holtzhausen. We kicked of with a day of training for all staff involved on a programme for our stimulation group. Two intensive days were spent on communication training with all the centre and sick bay staff. The first Board Meeting was held on 23 January 2010 attendance was good. Planning meetings with the various projects are underway and should all be over and done with by middle February.The tiling of the Dullstroom centre is still in progress and Paul Simon one of the residents at the Dullstroom centre, who is now employed by the organisation is heading up the tiling project.

Thanks to another kind donation the Dullstroom centre will have new table cloths for the dining hall and we have also received bedding and lovely lamps.

The Elandsdoorn centre started the year with an open day for the parents of the residents on 11 January 2010, one of the topics that were discussed was the safety of the residents, also an appeal was made to parents to visit their children/ family members as often as possible. Peter Tjale our Centre manager at Elandsdoorn has also completed all his project meetings and has informed us that the cleaning up of the Elandsdoorn Centre in January was successfully completed.

We are looking forward to a busy year, all our dates for fundraising events and other Epilepsy functions have been set, together the staff of Mpumalanga and Limpopo are committed to make the most of 2010!

Please contact Riette or Elsa at the Mpumalanga/Limpopo Fundraising and Marketing office with any queries on 013 2540161.


Epilepsy South Africa - Western Cape

Epilepsy South Africa – Western Cape

by Anthea Emmanual, Social Development Manager Epilepsy South Africa Western CapeThe year started off with the Social Development Department excitedly planning various activities for the year ahead. Our first announcement is the inclusion of two new employees in our Regional Office family. We warmly welcome Naiemah Williams, social worker and Shireen Rule, social auxiliary worker to our expanding social development department. We look forward to the expansion of our services with the new additions.As our office is growing, so are our services and planned events. In addition to our counselling, public education and empowerment programmes, we have additional exciting plans that we would keep you informed about. The months ahead include a focus on a Healthy Lifestyle day in February which will focus on living a healthy and well balanced lifestyle. The information will be cascaded through a poster campaign which will be visible at Regional Office, Protective Workshops and the Income Generation projects. A Children’s Day event in Athlone in May will focus on celebrating the children’s abilities and educating them on their rights through an activity based programme, a Youth Sensitisation Day in our newly serviced area of Masiphumele in June will focus on merging both special needs and mainstream schools in a day focused on educating the learners about disability and promoting inclusion. An exciting Women’s Day Celebration in August has been planned which focuses on promoting women’s health.

We are extremely excited and motivated in making a success of 2010!


Walking the extra mile for emerging Community Based Organizations

Walking the extra mile for emerging Community Based Organizations

 by Tertius Meyer, Epilepsy South Africa Free State and North West.Epilepsy South Africa Free State and North West took a step beyond our normal line of duty by assisting young and emerging Community Based Organisations to apply for funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. This ‘reaching out’ is based on the principal of UBUNTU. It speaks to the very essence of being human. To give high praise to someone, we say “Wena, u no buntu”; He or she has ubuntu, implying that the person is generous, hospitable, friendly, caring and compassionate and willing to share what he or she has.This reaching out was not just to obtain funding, but we also assist the organizations through skill transfer in matters of financial planning & management, fundraising, networking, and good governance.  Through forming partnerships with these organizations, Epilepsy South Africa has opened new doors in ensuring the community can access high quality services.The organizations we have partnered with come from the Free State and the North West Provinces and are:

  1. Lekgabeng Disabled Centre in Taum, for capital expenditure and running costs
  2. Motheo Crèche in Mokwallo for running costs
  3. Talitha Kumi Luncheon Club in Mokwallo for equipment and running costs

Apart from these organizations we also assisted a young theater group to obtain funding for a festival to take place in March 2010 in Parys. The group is known as Impucuko Theatre Production and consists of you people from the Tumahole area. They have assisted us in the past by using the performing arts to create awareness about Epilepsy and HIV/AIDS. With everything they did for us it was a nice change to assist them in getting the funding they need.

Thanks to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund we are able to make a greater and better impact in the community. The financial injection that was given to these organizations amounts to R 1,072,355. Through these partnerships we have shown that our Branch of Epilepsy South Africa is an organization where action speaks louder than words and where the spirit of UBUNTU is lived!!.


New definition offers more tax relief to people with disabilities

However, Ian Olls, a tax services partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “Although the amended definition does provide tax relief to a wider population of ‘disabled persons’ it is our view that this amendment is unlikely to have a significant impact on the tax collected by the fiscus.”

SA Revenue Service (Sars) spokesman Adrian Lackay said Sars expected the impact to be “tax neutral”, in other words, it would have no impact on the tax take.

“The provisions are being introduced to avoid and reduce the number of tax disputes Sars had to contend with in the past, arising from claims for medical deductions,” Lackay said.

“The provisions are designed to provide certainty and to clarify what people with disabilities can claim for.”

The previous definition was replaced as from March 1, 2009, with a new definition of “disability”, which Bendel said was “in most cases much wider than that of the handicapped person definition”.

He said previously only five disability groups were eligible: people who were blind; deaf; required an artificial limb; required a wheelchair, calliper or crutch; or suffered from a mental illness.

He believes that under the new dispensation, several other disabilities are included, among them diseases of the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, HIV/Aids, diabetes “and many more. Broadly a disability is defined as a moderate to severe limitation of a person’s ability to perform daily activities as a result of a physical, sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment.”

A discussion paper issued by Sars in October last year set out a list of disabilities, which extends to people who have Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions.

But only people with a condition that has lasted or is expected to last for more than a year are eligible for relief. A diagnosis must be made by a registered medical practitioner.

Relief extends beyond medical expenses incurred by the sufferer, according to Bendel.

“Under the new definition, if the taxpayer, his or her spouse or child suffers from a disability then all medical expenses paid by the taxpayer can be deducted for tax purposes. It is not necessary that any expenditure be paid in respect of the disability; the requirement is only that a member of the taxpayer’s family suffers from a disability.”

Bendel said not only could medical expenses be deducted but also expenses incurred as a consequence of the disability, such as school remedial fees and capital expenditure.

Article on 28 February by Ethel Hazelhurst (Journalist for Business Report)A change in the definition of a “handicap” in tax legislation has opened the door to substantial tax relief for people with disabilities in the current tax year, according to tax consultant Eugene Bendel.He estimated that additional claims for tax deductions, including from people suffering from HIV/Aids and cancer, could amount to R5 billion this year.


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