All posts by Arno Hattingh

Arno matriculated from Hoërskool Waterkloof in Pretoria in 2012 and went to study Arts Management at the Western Australian Academy of Arts in Perth. His passion for the arts still remains as he currently works as Logistics Manager at Bakwena Spa in Paarl.

The Flat Tyre Lesson

What’s the deal with vehicle maintenance plans, right? “I’ll deal with it when it happens” – I always said.

That’s until yesterday when Ryno’s car had a burst tyre due to the extreme heat in Paarl the past few days.

Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to replace the tyre at the moment so he’ll just have to drive 60km/h until we do.

This had me thinking that one should really have a separate bank account for vehicle maintenance – even if you just put R200 in it each month. I have a Motorcard (linked to my credit card) for vehicle related expenses, but the problem is just there in brackets… It is linked to my credit card.

So I’ve decided to open a separate savings account for vehicle maintenance. If anyone has any better ideas on how to avoid being caught off guard when having to replace brake pads or tyres, PLEASE let me know.

What a steal!

The buildings that form part of Santè Hotel and Spa, where I work, were auctioned off today for a total of less than R40m.

Here is an article from News 24 summarising the auction;

Cape Town – The Sante Hotel and Spa complex, the last of troubled Fidentia’s assets, went for a steal at a combined R39m under auction on Thursday.

A buyer bought the Sante Hotel, conference centre and resort spa for R25.1m, while the Bayonne spa suites went to another buyer for R2.6m. Three villas on the property were sold to separate buyers for R4.6m, R4m and R2.7m.

The prices excluded VAT and an auction commission fee.

ClareMart CEO Jonathan Smiedt said that, with VAT and fees, the final price tag came to around R42m or 43m.

It was considered a December bargain since the package of properties was currently worth around R80m in terms of a municipal valuation. According to the curators, the entire property was bought in 2004 and 2005 at a price tag of more than R117m.

Smiedt said the group had tried to get the best possible price to contribute “some form of retribution for the Fidentia victims”.

“I am very happy with the result. I hope the person who bought it unlocks the value for Sante because there is a tremendous surge in the Cape Winelands,” he said.

With many out of pocket as a result of the fraud, the curators of Fidentia property holdings had instructed Claremart Auction Group to put the buildings under the hammer.

While those at the auction sipped their complimentary juice and hot drinks, former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was in jail serving an effective 15-year term for two fraud convictions.

‘State of the art facilities’

The charges related to his handling of investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company between 2002 and 2006.

The Western Cape High Court initially handed him a R150 000 fine and a suspended jail term, but this was successfully appealed by the National Prosecuting Authority.

Brown’s appeals to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court had both failed.

Held at the swanky One&Only Hotel at the V&A Waterfront, the auction room was packed to the brim with people in business attire and casual wear.

Some clutched at their booklets and looked around at the competition.

Representatives for telephonic buyers stood on the sidelines, phones at the ready.

The auctioneer touted the properties as a “magnificent investment opportunity”.

The hotel, conference centre and resort spa was sold, together with the trademarks and the right to extend the scheme.

The current tenant, hotel group Orion, would vacate 60 days after confirmation of the sale.

Bidding started off slowly, with a R10m offer, but people soon got into the swing of things.

The booklet described the property as having “a reception area, two exclusive lounges, cocktail bar, billiard room and entertainment facility, with flow to patio and pool, premier restaurant with commercial kitchen and 10 fully fitted luxury suites”. The conference centre had “state of the art facilities”, while the spa was upmarket and fully fitted.

‘Fortunate to have got these prices’

The Bayonne free-standing building had four deluxe spa suites, each with an en suite bathroom, fireplace and patio or balcony.

Two of the villas were four-bedroom, four bathroom. The third was a two bedroom, two bathroom.

John Levine, a co-curator, was impressed with the turnout.

“I am absolutely delighted that after 10 years, we have managed to sell these properties so that we can close down this curatorship, give people this money, and bring this whole tragedy to an end.”

He said Brown had made a habit of overpaying.

“Maybe the curators had wishful thoughts of recovering the money, but we never ever got near those sorts of values. With time the estate has run down so we are very fortunate to have got these prices.”

The net proceeds, along with cash from another source, would go to the four creditors.

The Living Hands Umbrella Trust had the largest stake at 89.6%, with 57 427 beneficiaries largely from the Mineworkers Provident Fund.

Your invitation to a better 2017

I subscribe to the Betterman Blueprint by Erik Kruger and received the following invite this week that I’d like to share:

My friend,

This year is drawing to a close. Many are excited for the upcoming holidays and the opportunity to unwind.

It’s been an interesting year. Trump. Brexit. My discovery that some people believe the world is flat. Did I mention Trump?

Irrespective of how interesting or horrific your year turned out to be. There is room for improvement. It’s wise to understand that there is no clear route to success. Anyone who thinks they can outline the steps needed to achieve such greatness is delusional. But there are definitely steps that you can take that will vastly increase your odds.

Let’s chat about a few easy ways to prepare for an incredible 2017…

1. First up, take stock.
Your current situation is an accumulation of your past decisions and actions. As simple as that. Although we might not have 20/20 clarity when looking at our destination. Hindsight is always crystal clear.

People can often identify the exact moment when things started going wrong. They can pinpoint the second when everything changed. But it’s important to acknowledge the small events that led up to that tipping point.

To get your mind going in the right direction you can ask yourself two focusing questions:

1. What went well this year? Even the worst year has a few bright moments.

2. What could I have done better this year? Admit to failure and incomplete actions.

2. Work on your core-chassis.
I have borrowed the core-chassis idea from P&G. Every product has a core-chassis. For toothpaste it consists of the ingredients that cleans and protect from cavities. From there you can start adding other more interesting elements such as different flavours, whitening etc.

The core-chassis of productivity is:

A sustainable diet
Eating for productivity is different to eating for a ripped body. I wont get into it for now, but your diet in this instance should provide continuous energy throughout the day. No highs or lows. Small, light meals during the day. Stay away from processed foods and white carbs.

A healthy body
Exercise is as important for your mind as it is for your body. You don’t need to look like a cover model. But you should stay in shape.

Enough sleep
This is obvious, and the most neglected. Think you are coping fine with less than 7 hours of sleep? You aren’t. Hit the bed.

A challenged mind
A mind that is just going through the motions everyday accomplishes very little. It needs to be challenged and pushed. Read new things, weird things, and hard things. Look for the relationships between seemingly unrelated areas of life.

3. Accept total ownership.
This life is yours. It’s up to you to make the best of it. Along the way you will find people who will help you to raise your game. But they cannot act on your behalf. They cannot be responsible for your happiness or success.

When you take ownership you start evolving. Something deep in you stirs. A voice starts whispering that no matter what comes your way, you will conquer it. No matter the battles you have to face, you will not allow your tranquility to be disturbed.

This evolution is slow.

So you have to be patient.

But with each passing day you will become so much more.
Acta non verba,

Suburban Spring


I spent some time planting new flowers in our “garden” yesterday. While we live in a complex where the units are wall to wall, we decided to have at least some form of garden. We’re the only ones. I’ve never been fond of gardening – that is Ryno’s department – or getting my hands dirty in any way. But for me this little garden that blooms is a great reward for the bit of effort we put in.

Holiday planning

Ever since we moved to the Winelands, we’ve been complaining that we don’t get enough visits.

You know how you always get so excited when someone moves home to a holiday location, you say things like “now I have a place to sleep when I need a holiday” and “I can’t wait to come visit”…. It doesn’t happen.

BUT this year my dad is coming to visit for Christmas and having my first off day after working 10 days in a row, I decided I’ll spend the day planning the itenerary. As a bonus, which I’m also super excited about, two old friends are also coming to visit during Christmas as part of their Cape tour.

Needless to say I used up all my data. But we’ve now got a lineup of JC le Roux MCC tasting (at the JC le Roux farm of course), lunch at Moyo on Big Bay/Blouberg, a day out at the V&A and, of course, Family Christmas lunch at home for 7. It will be the most guests we have for a meal since moving here.

While the two friends won’t be visiting long enough to join us on all the adventures, I cannot wait to see them again. Ryno bought a new set of linen for the guest bedroom and we’ll be getting guests towels soon. It is the small things that matter. We used to have all of this and so much more before moving South and rebuilding a complete home has been more of a challenge than I initially thought.

Each part of your home is an investment. Every pot and candle and towel is worth money and sentiment and letting go of things used to be my trademark, but I’ve learnt to value each item and be grateful.

60-second pizza dough

Tonight we tried a new recipe that I got from one of my colleagues. She is an all-over-the-place mom of two who has been working 7days a week for the past 4 months while also moving house twice in that time. So this 60 second pizza dough is a life saver in her busy schedule and I thought I’d give it a try. 

You need:

  • A baking tray
  • A mixing bowl
  • 250g plain yoghurt
  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • Non-stick spray
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Do this: 

  1. In the mixing bowl, put the yoghurt and the self raising flour and fold over with a spoon till thoroughly mixed (about 20 seconds)
  2. Rub the oil on your hands (about 5 seconds)
  3. Spray the pan/baking tray with the non-stick spray (about 5 seconds – including opening the kitchen window to avoid choking)
  4. Using your oiled hands, put the dough in the baking tray and press to even out (about 30 seconds)

And there you have a perfect dough for pizza. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spread some mayonnaise, fried chicken fillet with mushroom cut in small pieces, grated mozzarella, herbs and fine grated lemon skin before you pop it in the oven for 20min for a Rarno-favourite. 

I loved this and you will too!

Blue Mondays at Zevenwacht 

I work at the Zevenwacht branch of Bakwena Spa each Monday and I must say it is the best place to recharge and find creative inspiration. The view is simply amazing. Every week when I’m here I absorb every detail of the work our team has put into the design of this unique place. I just needed to share a few pictures of something I’m proud of and grateful for having a part in…