Open letter to Javier Solana raises press freedom concerns in Colombia

first_img ColombiaAmericas RSF_en News RSF, IFEX-ALC and Media Defence, support FLIP and journalist Diana Díaz against state harassment in Colombia Follow the news on Colombia Reporters Without Borders urges EU High Representative forthe Common Foreign and Security Policy to tackle President Alvaro Uribe Vélez, on a tour of Europe, about the implications of an anti-terror law for the protection of sources and on the impunity with which journalists are killed in his country. News Dear Mr High Representative,Reporters Without Borders wishes to draw your attention to serious threats to press freedom in Colombia, ahead of your meeting in three days time with President Alvaro Uribe Vélez.Our international press freedom organisation is first of all concerned about the effect of the anti-terror law adopted in December 2003 on the protection of sources. It authorises the military, without legal warrant, to make arrests, searches, tap phones and intercept private mail of people suspected of having links with terrorist activities. The absence of any legal control opens the door to abuse. If it is going to be used against journalists covering armed groups, it will threaten the protection of their sources and compromise the neutrality of the press.Reporters Without Borders is also worried about a draft law on an alternative to prison proposed by the Colombian government in the framework of demobilisation of paramilitary groups (AUC). It would offer militia members known to have committed atrocities, the chance to give up their weapons and be put under house arrest or pay a fine. But these armed groups have never stopped viewing journalists as targets. In 2001, head of the AUC Carlos Castaño said, “I cannot accept that journalism should become a weapon in the hands of one of the sides in the conflict.”Paramilitary groups murdered more than half of the 23 journalists who have been killed since 1999. In a country were impunity enjoyed by killers has given rise to repeated violence against the press, such a law will only encourage these murders.Finally, 2003 again saw a heavy toll of attacks on press freedom: five journalists were killed, nearly 60 kidnapped, threatened or assaulted and more than 20 were forced to leave their region, if not the country itself. One journalist has been killed already in 2004 and one of his colleagues kidnapped and tortured. As a result we urge you to press Mr. Vélez to make it his government’s priority to counter impunity for killers so that the country can recover from this spiral of violence.Extra funds should be found to investigate killings and assaults on journalists, not to give special treatment to a particular profession but to protect the people’s right to be informed. Reporters Without Borders considers that Colombia will never know peace, as long as this right is not respected. 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies ColombiaAmericas News May 13, 2021 Find out more RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America to go further Mr Javier SolanaEuropean Union High RepresentativeFor the Common Foreign and Security PolicyBrussels – BelgiumParis, 6 February 2004 October 21, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Reports Organisation Convinced that you will be open to this appeal, I would be very grateful if you could keep us informed about how this interview goes.Yours sincerely,Robert MénardSecretary-general Help by sharing this information April 27, 2021 Find out more February 6, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Open letter to Javier Solana raises press freedom concerns in Colombialast_img read more

Dr. Dre To Donate $10M For High-Tech High School Arts Center In Compton

first_imgAccording to a report in the LA Times, Dr. Dre has pledged to donate $10 million to help build a performing arts center at the new Compton High School in his hometown neighborhood of Compton, Los Angeles. Compton High School students as well as members of the community will have access to the new performing arts center. It will feature state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for digital media production, as well as a 1,200-seat theater. “My goal is to provide kids with the kind of tools and learning they deserve,” Dre said in a statement, “The performing arts center will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future.”Those involved with the Compton school board are overjoyed with the hip hop mogul’s involvement and pledge for the new performing arts center. “The support that Dre has shown to Compton over the years is unwavering and we are so excited that we will now be home to one of the greatest performing arts centers in the country,” said Satra Zurita, president of Compton Unified’s governing board of trustees, to the LA Times. Micah Ali, vice chairman of the district’s board of education, said the new high school will be the most modern public school complex ever built. “We are looking forward to blending both [Dre’s] vision and that of the district to provide opportunities for individuals to both explore and apply their creativity in the arts,” says Darin Brawley, Compton Unified superintendent.The hip-hop mogul and Compton native will be directly involved in raising the remaining funds needed to complete the center, which is expected to break ground by 2020. Dre’s donation to the new Compton High School comes a few years after he promised to donate all the royalties from his last album, Compton, to fund new performing arts and entertainment facility in the city.[h/t – LA Times]last_img read more

Phil Dzick, a part of tradition

first_imgPhil Dzick attended UW-Madison from 1962 to 1969 and began leading his beloved cheers at men’s hockey games in 1981. Now, he’s a Wisconsin legend.[/media-credit]He normally sports a white sweater with a small motion “W” emblem on the left of his chest over a red turtleneck. To any Wisconsin hockey fan, he’s instantly recognizable.He is Phil Dzick. Mostly known simply as “Phil,” he’s been leading cheers at Wisconsin men’s hockey games since 1981.As a long-term student at UW from 1962 to 1969, Dzick was on campus during one of its most notorious times. Between protests against the Vietnam War, the Sterling Hall explosion and, according to Dzick, the unavoidable smell of tear gas hanging in the air, athletics were a nice escape.Phil was admittedly was not a huge hockey follower as a student. During those years, Wisconsin hockey was in an abysmal rut.“The first series [I went to], incidentally was North Dakota playing Wisconsin,” Dzick said, noting the irony in that the Badgers just swept the Fighting Sioux this past weekend. “I had no clue what the students were yelling. I was like, ‘Sieve? What is this?’”“Wisconsin won both games. Next to the victory over Minnesota previously, I take it that was pretty much when Wisconsin stepped into the big time.”In 1966, “Badger” Bob Johnson took over the program and initiated the rebirth of Wisconsin hockey. In the 1969-70 season, its first as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, UW made its way into the NCAA tournament.Phil remembers the evolution of the no-name team into the legendary power it’s known as today.“I drove out to Boston to watch the Badgers play against Denver in the consolation game in ’72,” Dzick said. “There were 1,000 Badger fans, probably give-or-take, and one person with a trumpet who had to persuade the security people to let him go out on the ice and play ‘Varsity.’ The Badgers lost, but Badger Bob came back out of the locker room and he said, ‘Next year, we’re coming back and we’re going to win.’ And they did.”As a student, Phil was not the cheerleader fans know him to be today. He was just learning the game and coming to appreciate a program in the middle of its own renaissance.The cheers didn’t come until a road trip to Potsdam, New York, in 1981.“It was the year of the ‘back-door Badgers’ with Badger Bob and Wisconsin was playing Clarkson in a two-game, total goal series,” Dzick said. “There were probably 25 to 50 Badger fans among the several thousand Clarkson folks. I thought, our guys don’t even know we’re here, and all I could think of was an old cheer from my college days: a ‘Badgers’ spelling out. It worked.”Dzick wasn’t the first to lead the crowd in cheers at hockey games, but after riling the few Badger fans in New York, he felt he needed to try it in Madison.“I thought, well, it worked here, how would it work in our building? But there have been a lot of people over the years who have had roles like that. There was the score count – a guy at the Coliseum used to do that – there were a couple of guys who in the mean time had a winning net/losing net cheer.”Thirty years later, Dzick can be found in the southeast corner of the Kohl Center, waiting to lead the entire arena in a multitude of cheers from “Let’s go red,” to a simple goal count. Rarely – if ever – does he miss a game.Wisconsin athletics have a multitude of traditions, and Phil inadvertently has become one of them.“We picked up a program in the early season,” Dzick said. “I was looking through it and there was a line in there talking about Badger traditions and it said, sieve chant, Phil, the 15 minutes of student dancing in the intermission. I thought that’s about as good of recognition as you can get because most people would say, ‘Who’s that?’”Dzick never had any intention of becoming a part of Wisconsin lore. In fact, he’s even listed underneath Wisconsin traditions and folklore in game programs, right next to the sieve chant.He’s the guy everyone in the Kohl Center calls for once UW nets another goal.“I don’t do it because the camera is going to be on me,” Dzick said. “When the students call me out during the game, it’s like, well now we’re going to do something and there isn’t going to be a guy blathering on about some game we don’t care about or the family of the game – that’s all good stuff – but it doesn’t have anything to do with getting the crowd roused.”As a link between the students and the rest of the Kohl Center, Phil’s cheers help bring the entire arena together, unifying them in a way not apparent in other sports.At football games and basketball games, it’s rare to see the entire crowd chanting the same exact cheer in one unified voice. At hockey games, it’s rare for it not to happen.Phil never meant to gain the fame he currently has – he just wanted to continue to rouse the crowd in support of one of his favorite Badger teams.“There was a long time that nobody knew [who I was], but I didn’t care,” Dzick said. “I wasn’t doing it to be recognized. I was doing it cause it worked.”last_img read more

‘Good platform’ for Junior Boks’ future

first_img26 June 2013Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron believes this year’s squad, which claimed the bronze medal in the IRB Junior World Championships (JWC) on Sunday, has laid a good foundation for next year’s tournament.South Africa lost only one of their five fixtures at the tournament, in the semi-finals against Wales, who won by a single point with a last-gasp converted try.Ruan Steenkamp and his team mates comprehensively outplayed the USA in their first match and defeated England and France in their remaining pool fixtures to finish top of Pool A.The young South Africans then suffered a heartbreak last-minute loss against Wales, which meant they had to battle traditional rivals New Zealand for the bronze medal.They found themselves 0-21 down early in the playoff for third place, but showed plenty of spirit to fight back and win 41-34 against the four-time champions.Very tough assignmentCoach Theron, who is in his third year in charge of the SA under-20 team, rates the JWC tournament as one of the toughest international rugby assignments.“You must play five extremely competitive matches in just 18 days, which is a massive ask,” Theron said.“The standard of play is very high because teams such as SA, New Zealand, England, Wales, Australia and France have a great percentage of players who are professionals.“These players are aspiring to take the next step as senior professionals, and they are being coached by fulltime professional coaches,” he added.Delivering dividendsAlthough the Junior Boks failed to defend the title they won in 2012, Theron said he feels the selection process and system of talent identification aimed at assembling a competitive South African under-20 team are delivering dividends.“Apart from the loss against Wales, we managed to beat New Zealand and England twice in two years, and we defeated France in front of their own fans.The tension during the French game was enormous and the players told me afterwards they could hardly hear the calls because of the amount of noise inside the stadium,” Theron said.“I regard these victories as vital stepping stones for the team, because New Zealand were dominating the competition just a short while ago, while England are so dominant in the Six Nations. I believe we took a big step forward in our approach and method of play against these powerful teams,” Theron said.‘Very good working relationship’“There is also a very good working relationship and understanding between our High Performance and Development Departments, the provincial coaches and the selection.“The next step now would be to increase our level of mentorship of those young players once we have identified them,” he said.A major consideration for the future is to create more playing opportunities for the Junior Springboks before they actually play in the JWC tournament, Theron said.“We definitely need more time together as a playing unit before the start of the JWC. However, I am satisfied that we have laid a good foundation for a new squad team because we will have the likes of Handre Pollard, Aidon Davis, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Jessie Kriel all still eligible for next year.”SAinfo reporter and SA Rugbylast_img read more

State of the Nation Address 2017: full speech

first_imgIn his State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma declared 2017 the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo, who would have been 100 had he lived, and called for unity among South Africans. Read and watch the full address. President Jacob Zuma delivers the 2017 State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2017 in Cape Town. (Image: South African Government, via Flickr)Compiled by Brand South Africa reporterThe Speaker of the National Assembly,The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,Former President Thabo Mbeki, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and all esteemed members of the judiciary,Ministers and Deputy Ministers,Premiers and Speakers of Provincial Legislatures, Chairperson of SALGA, The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders,The President of the Muslim Judicial Council and all Leaders of faith based organisations,The former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Frene Ginwala,Veterans of the struggle for liberation,Members of the diplomatic corps,Fellow South Africans,Good evening, sanibonani, molweni, dumelang, goeie naand, lotshani, riperile, ndimadekwana,Thank you Madam Speaker and Madam Chairperson for this opportunity to address the joint sitting of Parliament.An illustrious son of our country, President Oliver Reginald Tambo, would have turned 100 years old this year, had he lived. This selfless patriot his adult life to a tireless pursuit of the liberation of our country and its people. He left a lasting legacy for all South Africans, and not only for his organisation, the ANC.In his honour, we have declared the year 2017, the Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo. It is the year of unity in action by all South Africans as we move South Africa forward together. We have the pleasure to host members of the Tambo family this evening, Mr Dali Tambo with his wife Rachel, and their son Oliver Tambo Junior.We also fondly remember Mama Africa, Miriam Makeba, who made history when she addressed the United Nations in 1963, appealing for action against the apartheid regime. We extend a warm welcome to her grand-daughter Zenzile Makeba Lee and great-grandson Lindelani.Watch:Compatriots,In this 23rd year of our freedom, our mission remains the quest for a united, democratic, non-sexist, non-racial and prosperous South Africa. Guided by the National Development Plan, we are building a South Africa that must be free from poverty, inequality and unemployment.While the global economic environment remains uncertain, indications are that we have entered a period of recovery. We anticipate an economic growth rate of 1.3 per cent in 2017 following an estimated 0.5 per cent in 2016.However, the economy is still not growing fast enough to create the jobs we need. There are some of our people, including youth, who have not worked for years.It is for this reason that we decided to focus on a few key areas packaged as the Nine Point Plan to reignite growth so that the economy can create much-needed jobs.The focus areas include industrialisation, mining and beneficiation, Agriculture and agro Processing, energy, SMMEs, managing work place conflict, attracting investments, growing the oceans economy and tourism.We also added cross-cutting areas such as science and technology; Water and sanitation Infrastructure; Transport Infrastructure; and Broadband Rollout. I would like to provide a report back on the work done in some of these areas in the past year.The interaction that we started last year between government, business and labour, known as the CEO Initiative, has been most helpful. We were able to address some domestic challenges together. We successfully avoided credit ratings downgrades which would have had significant impact on our economy.Our labour market environment is also showing signs of stability, due to cooperation by social partners. The manner in which parties conducted and carried themselves during the wage negotiations in the platinum sector in particular, must be applauded.Unity in action was also demonstrated again this week with the conclusion of the agreement on the National Minimum Wage and on measures to stabilise labour relations. This follows a call I had made in the State of the Nation Address on 14 June 2014.We congratulate the Deputy President and the team at NEDLAC for this milestone and wish them well for work that still needs to be done.Compatriots,The extension of basic services to the people continued in the past year as we pursued a better life for all. To date nearly 7 million households have been connected to the grid and now have electricity.The successful execution of the Eskom’s build and maintenance programmes helped ensure stability and an end to load-shedding.Work is continuing to ensure energy security. Renewable energy forms an important part of our energy mix, which also includes electricity generation from gas, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro and coal.Government is committed to the overall Independent Power Producers Programme and we are expanding the programme to other sources of energy including coal and gas, in addition to renewable energy.Eskom will sign the outstanding power purchase agreements for renewable energy in line with the procured rounds.Government is working hard to ensure reliable bulk water supply in the various areas of the country to support economic growth whilst increasing access to vulnerable and rural municipalities.In an effort to curb the high water losses which in some municipalities far exceeds the national average which is currently at 37%; about ten thousand unemployed youth are being trained as plumbers, artisans and water agents. More will be recruited this year to reach the total of fifteen thousand. We call upon municipalities to support the War on Leaks programme.We continue to build modern schools replacing mud structures and other inappropriate buildings through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure delivery Initiative, (ASIDI). This gives our children dignity.A total of one hundred and seventy three inappropriate structures have been eradicated since 2011. In total, 895 new schools now provide a conducive learning environment for our children.On Investment promotion, Government has established InvestSA, an investment One Stop Shop nationally and will open provincial centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. The message is clear to the affected government departments. There must be no undue delays and no unnecessary red tape. From issuing licences to visas, we should make it easy to do business in South Africa.CompatriotsPresident OR Tambo was a maths and science teacher. Government will thus prioritise maths and science more than ever before this year, in his memory. We are encouraged by recent international test results.The results in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Southern and East African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality show that the performance of South African learners is improving.Amongst the participating countries, South Africa has shown the largest improvement of 87 points in Mathematics and 90 points in Science. This is very encouraging as we don’t want our children to be left behind.Our investment in science and technology is yielding results. Since South Africa, supported by its eight African partners, won the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array telescope, significant progress has been made in building this mega science project and reaping its benefits.Together with its precursor, the MeerKAT telescope, the SKA project continues to make important contributions to socio-economic development in South Africa.Working closely with the industry, the Department of Science and Technology is implementing a technology localization strategy. This has ensured that the two billion rand MeerKAT telescope is constructed with seventy five percent local content.This has led to job creation in the Northern Cape and diversification of the economy through the creation of artisan and maintenance jobs, and the promotion of science as a career of choice.On road infrastructure, Sanral has started with the planning phase of the 4.5 billion rand project to upgrade the current Moloto road. Sakha umgwaqo kanye nololiwe ku Moloto Road ukuze kuphephe izimpilo zabantu ngoba izingozi sezithathe imiphefumulo eminingi kuleyandawo.During 2016, South Africa also signed a co-operation agreement with the People’s Republic of China to build the Moloto Rail Development Corridor.In 2014 we launched the Operation Phakisa Big Fast results methodology in the ocean economy, health, education and mining sectors. The purpose was to find a few key projects where we could unlock growth in implementing the NDP.All projects are proceeding well.The South African Navy also participates in the Phakisa project and is preparing to host the government garage concept for all state-owned vessels in Simon’s Town, including the maintenance and repair of government-owned vessels, through the newly established South African Navy/ARMSCOR/Denel partnership.We had identified tourism as a key job driver. We are thus pleased that our tourist arrival numbers for the period January to November 2016 increased to nine million, an increase of just over one million arrivals from 2015. This represents a thirteen percent growth in tourist arrivals.Government runs effective poverty alleviation programmes such as the Expanded Public Works Programme. In addition, social grants now reach close to 17 million people, mainly older persons and children. Many families would not be able to put food on the table if it were not for social grants.The Expanded Public Works Programme has since 2014, created more than two million work opportunities towards the attainment of the target of six million work opportunities by the end of March 2019. Of the work opportunities created, more than one million have been taken up by the youth.During 2015/2016, more than sixty one thousand work opportunities were created through the Environmental Programmes such as Working for Water, Working for Wetlands, Working on Fire and Working for Ecosystems. More than 60% of the beneficiaries were young people.Government working with society is fighting social ills that are tearing communities apart such as drugs and substance abuse. From Soshanguve to Rosettenville or KwaMashu to the Cape Flats, communities are in difficulty because of the drugs.Other than law enforcement, the provision of treatment and prevention services is also critical.The Department of Social Development is building new public treatment centres in provinces where there are no such facilities, in the Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Free State and the Eastern Cape.Working together we will save our youth from drugs.On health matters, the National Health Insurance is our flagship project that is aimed at moving South Africa towards Universal Health Coverage. The NHI will be implemented in a 14 year period in three phases. We are in the midst of the first phase which is the preparatory phase, which started in 2012.CompatriotsWe are deeply distressed by the death of so many psychiatric patients in Gauteng.Mentally ill patients are some of the most vulnerable members of society, who need protection from the state itself and society as a whole. I have instructed the Minister of Health to ensure that the Health Ombudsperson’s recommendations are wholly and speedily implemented without any reservations.We welcome the recommendation of the Health Ombudsperson that there is an urgent need to review the National Health Act 2003 and the Mental Health Act 2002 with a view that certain powers and functions revert back to the National Minister of Health.Once more, we extend our heartfelt condolences to all families and relatives of the deceased. Government will provide support so that families do not face this burden alone. The Premier of Gauteng and the Minister of Health have already provided this assurance.A lot more work has been done in the past year in implementing the Nine Point Plan and all our programmes. Ministers will report further on the programmes during the budget votes.Honourable Members,I would now like to speak on our priorities for the year ahead. Political freedom alone is incomplete without economic emancipation.Oliver Tambo spoke clearly about this mission at an SACP anniversary meeting in London in 1981.He said:“The objective of our struggle in South Africa, as set out in the Freedom Charter, encompasses economic emancipation. It is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the country to the people as a whole.“To allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact is to feed the roots of racial supremacy and exploitation, and does not represent even the shadow of liberation.“It is therefore a fundamental feature of our strategy that victory must embrace more than formal political democracy; and our drive towards national emancipation must include economic emancipation.”What do we mean by radical socio-economic transformation?We mean fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female, as defined by the governing party which makes policy for the democratic government.Twenty two years into our freedom and democracy, the majority of black people are still economically disempowered. They are dissatisfied with the economic gains from liberation.The gap between the annual average household incomes of African-headed households and their white counterparts remains shockingly huge. White households earn at least five times more than black households, according to Statistics SA.The situation with regards to the ownership of the economy also mirrors that of household incomes. Only ten percent of the top one hundred companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are owned by black South Africans, directly-achieved principally, through the black empowerment codes, according to the National Empowerment Fund.The pace of transformation in the workplace, the implementation of affirmative action policies as required by the Employment Equity Act, also remains very slow.In terms of the 2015/16 information submitted to the Employment Equity Commission, the representation of whites at top management level amounted to 72 percent whilst African representation was at 10 percent.The representation of Coloureds stood at 4.5% and Indians 8.7%.The report further provides that white South Africans, in particular males, are afforded higher levels of recruitment, promotion and training opportunities as compared, to the designated groups.At the level of gender at senior management level, males remain dominant at 67.6% and females at 32.4% percent.The skewed nature of ownership and leadership patterns needs to be corrected. There can be no sustainability in any economy if the majority is excluded in this manner. In my discussions with the business community, they accepted these transformation imperatives.Today we are starting a new chapter of radical socio-economic transformation. We are saying that we should move beyond words, to practical programmes.The state will play a role in the economy to drive that transformation. In this regard, Government will utilise to the maximum, the strategic levers that are available to the state.This includes legislation, regulations, licensing, budget and procurement as well as Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Charters to influence the behaviour of the private sector and drive transformation.The State spends five hundred billion rand a year buying goods and services. Added to this is the nine hundred billion rand infrastructure budget. Those budgets must be used to achieve economic transformation.As a start, the new regulations making it compulsory for big contractors to subcontract 30 percent of business to black owned enterprises have been finalised and were gazetted on the 20th of January.Through such regulations and programmes, government will be able to use the state buying power to empower small enterprises, rural and township enterprises, designated groups and to promote local industrial development.Two key challenges we face is the high levels of concentration in the economy as well as the collusion and cartels, which squeeze out small players and hamper the entry of young entrepreneurs and black industrialists.The competition authorities have done excellent work to uncover the cartels and punish them for breaking the law.Last year I signed into law a provision to criminalize the cartels and collusion and it came into effect on 1 May. It carries jail sentences of up to 10 years.We are now stepping up our actions to deal with the other challenge, namely economic concentration, where a small grouping controls most of a market.During this year, the Department of Economic Development will bring legislation to Cabinet that will seek to amend the Competition Act. It will among others address the need to have a more inclusive economy and to de-concentrate the high levels of ownership and control we see in many sectors. We will then table the legislation for consideration by parliament.In this way, we seek to open up the economy to new players, give black South Africans opportunities in the economy and indeed help to make the economy more dynamic, competitive and inclusive. This is our vision of radical economic transformation.Compatriots,Government is actively involved in the property sector, having provided more than four million houses since 1994.This sector in our country is valued at approximately seven trillion rand, with the subsidised sector being valued at one point five trillion rand.However, less than five percent of the sector is owned or managed by Black people and Africans in particular. A draft Property Practitioners Bill will be published by the Department of Human Settlements for public comment with the purpose of establishing a more inclusive, representative sector, towards radical economic transformation.Among key priorities this year, Government will also address the increasing delays and backlogs in registration and issuing of title deeds to beneficiaries of housing projects funded by the capital subsidy.Compatriots,We reiterate that radical economic transformation should mean moving beyond share ownership schemes only. We would like to see black people involved directly in business, owning factories. The development of the Black Industrialists programme is thus critical.The programme has from inception supported more than 22 entrepreneurs. Government has further opportunities in the property maintenance projects of the Department of Public Works.The Department will invest approximately one hundred million rand this year on critical capital and maintenance programmes to modernise harbours. They will also continue generating revenue from letting state owned harbours and coastline properties, which will benefit black owned SMMEs.Government will also continue to pursue policies that seek to broaden the participation of black people and SMMEs, including those owned by women and the youth, in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector.We assure the youth that the lowering of the cost of data is uppermost in our policies and plans.Compatriots,Mining has always been the backbone of our economy and an important foreign exchange earner. We welcome the recovery in commodity prices which has resulted in an upswing in mining output. This augurs well for the industry.The Mining Charter is currently being reviewed. The Charter seeks to recognise the internationally accepted right of the state to exercise sovereignty over all the mineral and petroleum resources within the Republic.It is also aimed at helping the country to de-racialise the ownership of the mining industry. This will help ensure the sustainability of this industry. We trust that discussions between government and business on the Charter will yield results so that the process can be finalised.We will continue to pursue direct state involvement in mining. The Mining Company of South Africa Bill will be presented to Cabinet and Parliament during the year.The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill was sent back to Parliament so that issues relating to the public consultation process undertaken by Provincial legislatures can be addressed.We trust that it shall be processed and returned for finalization without much delay so that the concerns relating to uncertainty raised by business can be resolved.Government continues to work with other stakeholders to combat illegal mining to save lives and to prevent the trafficking of precious metals and diamonds.We also continue to place great emphasis on the health and safety of mineworkers which is so crucial to the sustainability of the mining sector. Working with the mining companies we can ensure that lives are protected at all times.The tragic accident that occurred at Lily Mine outside in Mpumalanga earlier in 2015 is the first of its kind that we have experienced since the dawn of democracy. The families are going through immense pain and frustration.Compatriots,It will be difficult if not impossible, to achieve true reconciliation until the land question is resolved. Only eight million hectares of arable land have been transferred to black people, which is only 9.8 percent of the 82 million hectares of arable land in South Africa.There has also been a 19 percent decline in households involved in agriculture from 2,9million in 2011 to 2,3 million households in 2016.We had stated our intention of using the Expropriation Act to pursue land reform and land redistribution, in line with the Constitution. I have now decided to refer the Bill back to Parliament for reconsideration on the basis that the Bill might not pass constitutional master. This is due to inadequate public participation during its processing.We trust that Parliament will be able to move with speed in meeting the requirements so that the law can be finalised to effect transformation.The reopening of land claims is also still on hold because the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, 2014 was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.The Constitutional Court found that the public consultation process facilitated by the National Council of Provinces and some Provincial Legislatures, did not meet the standard set in the Constitution.Going forward, government will continue to implement other programmes such as the Strengthening of Relatives Rights programme, also known as the 50-50 programme.In this programme, the farm workers join together into a legal entity and together with the farm owner a new company is established and the workers and the owner become joint owners.To date 13 proposals have already been approved benefiting 921 farm dweller households at a value of R631 million. We applaud farmers and farm workers for this innovation.Most importantly, we appeal to land claimants to accept land instead of financial compensation. Over 90% of claims are currently settled through financial compensation which does not help the process at all. It perpetuates dispossession. It also undermines economic empowerment.Government has committed itself to support black smallholder farmers. I received a memorandum from the African Farmers Association of South Africa who say the year 2017 must be the year of the commercialisation of the black small holder farmers.Indeed, Government will implement a commercialisation support programme for 450 black smallholder farmers.We encourage more women to consider farming. I have as a special guest today, the 2016 Female Farmer of the Year, Ms Vanecia Janse from Koukamma municipality in the Eastern Cape.Compatriots,Our farmers went through a difficult period last year because of the drought. To date, an estimated amount of 2.5 billion rand was made available for the provision of livestock feed, water infrastructure, drilling, equipping and refurbishment of boreholes, auction sales and other interventions.Furthermore, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Land Bank availed funding of about five hundred million rand to distressed farmers to manage their credit facilities and support with soft loans.Compatriots,President OR Tambo was a champion of women’s rights.We will continue to mainstream the empowerment of women in all government programmes.Government will continue to prioritise women’s access to economic opportunities and, in particular, to business financing and credit.This is the freedom that heroines of the struggle such as the late Dora Tamana of Gugulethu here in Cape Town fought for. I am pleased to have her son Mongezi Tamana as a guest today.Compatriots,In December 2015 university students voiced their concerns about the cost of higher education. They correctly pointed out that accumulated debt and fast rising fees were making it harder and harder for those who come from less-privileged households to enter and stay within the education system until they complete their studies.It is for this reason that when university students expressed genuine concerns about being excluded from universities, our caring government responded appropriately by taking over the responsibility to pay the fee increase for the 2016 academic year. Government also settled all debt owed by NSFAS students and extended the coverage to larger numbers of students than ever before.At the time of tabling the 2016 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, our government announced additional measures aimed at making higher education accessible to more students from working class families.Government has provided funds to ensure that no student whose combined family income is up to six hundred thousand rand per annum will face fee increases at universities and TVET colleges for 2017.All students who qualify for NSFAS and who have been accepted by universities and TVET colleges will be funded. The university debt of NSFAS qualifying students for 2013, 2014 and 2015 academic years has been addressed. In total, government has reprioritised thirty two billion rand within government baselines to support higher education.We are ensuring that our deserving students can study without fearing that past debts will prevent them from finishing their studies.In the remaining years of this administration, our policies will respond directly to the following concerns that the students have placed firmly on the table:Firstly, the students have expressed concern that the NSFAS threshold of one hundred and twenty two thousand rand is too low. We will have to look into this matter with the view to raising the threshold on a phased basis in the period ahead.Secondly, the students have pointed out that the full cost of study at some universities is higher than the subsidy that NSFAS provides. As a result, NSFAS students who study at some universities that charge higher fees end up accumulating debt. Our government-initiated processes are already looking at this issue too.Honourable Members and Fellow South Africans, students and their parents should understand that the needs for services like water, sanitation, early childhood development and good public transport have to also be addressed, alongside access to quality higher education and training.But our commitment to finding sustainable solutions to the funding of the social wage in general, and education, in particular, is unwavering.As the processes that we have set in motion draw to a close, such as the Heher Commission, the Ministerial Task Team, broader engagements with students, university and TVETS leadership and civil society, we will find resources to give expression to our policies.I invite all stakeholders to participate in the processes that are under way so that no view is not heard.No great idea should be excluded. As soon as the broadest sections of our society agree on what to do, our government will take steps to reprioritise resources to implement it on a phased basis.Let us engage to identify the most pressing needs, and allocate our limited resources accordingly. Let us build our self-reliance and move forward in the spirit of unity.Compatriots,The fight against crime is an apex priority. The police will increase visible policing, building on the successful pattern of deployments utilised during the Safer Festive Season Campaign.They will also utilise certain specialized capabilities, such as the Tactical Response Teams and National Intervention Units, to assist in addressing problematic high-crime areas.We received a message from Soshanguve last week that crime is rife in Block L and that hijackings and robberies are high. It is such communities that need to build stronger partnerships with the police to ensure that criminals do not prey on residents.Other measures to fight crime nationally will include the establishment of Specialised Units, focusing on drug-related crime, taxi violence and firearms and the enhanced utilisation of investigative aids such as forensic leads.The Police will also enhance the utilisation of the DNA Database in the identification of suspects. We urge the public to work with the police to ensure safer communities.Compatriots,We welcome the decline in Rhino poaching incidents since October 2015 which is for the first time in a decade. This arises from intensive joint operations by law enforcement agencies.Compatriots,One of the strategies of fighting crime is to ensure that those who are released from prison do not commit crime again.The Department of Correctional Services continues to work hard to turn prisons into correctional centres through offering various services. As a result, compliance levels with parole and probation conditions have improved to reach a historic mark of 98 percent.The country has also made good progress in reducing the numbers of children in correctional centres.Compatriots,The promotion of access to justice was given added meaning last year when the High Court Division in Limpopo was opened in November.The Mpumalanga High Court will be completed during this financial year. The coming into operation of these two high courts means that we have now realised the goal of a High Court in every province of the country.Compatriots,The fight against corruption continues. Within the National Prosecuting Authority, the Asset Forfeiture Unit completed three hundred and eighty nine forfeiture cases to the value of three hundred and forty nine million rand.They obtained three hundred and twenty six freezing orders to the value of seven hundred and seventy nine million rand.A total of 13 million rand was recovered in cases where government officials were involved in corruption and other related offences in the past year.Compatriots,Oliver Tambo set the tone for the country’s foreign policy as early as 1977 when addressing the first Congress of the Angolan ruling party MPLA that:“We seek to live in peace with our neighbours and the peoples of the world in conditions of equality, mutual respect and equal advantage”.South Africa is honoured to chair the Southern African Development Community (SADC) starting from August 2017. We will utilise our tenure to fast-track the implementation of the SADC Industrial Strategy.We are accelerating the integration agenda through the implementation of SADC-COMESA-East African Community Free Trade Area.We will continue with our involvement in our mediation efforts, peacekeeping operations, and peace-making initiatives in Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Somalia and Libya. The SANDF represents the country well in the peacekeeping missions.Furthermore, trade with our traditional partners in the west remains a significant contributor to our economy. We will continue to partner with the United States and work together on issues of mutual interest such as the full renewal of AGOA.We value our relationship with the People’s Republic of China. China is one of South Africa’s most important and key strategic partners. We recognise the PRC ‘as the sole Government and Authority representing the whole of China’.South Africa reiterates its position and commitment to the ‘One China Policy’ and we consider Taiwan as an integral part of the PRC. At continental partnership level, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy remains an important long-term framework for continued cooperation.The Economic Partnership agreement with the EU came into force in September 2016 thus providing new market access opportunities for South African products. Almost all South African products, about 99% will have preferential market access in the EU. About 96% of the products will enter the EU market without being subjected to customs duties or quantitative restrictions.The Southern African Customs Union Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement has also entered into force, providing preferential access to over one thousand tariff lines. This is an agreement that promotes South-South trade.Our cooperative partnerships with other regions are bearing fruits. The BRICS New Development Bank has recorded encouraging progress. We welcome the Goa BRICS Heads of State and Government decision to establish the BRICS Rating Agency so that we can assist each other in assessing our economic paths.We are also pleased with agreements with our BRICS partners in the field of agriculture. We will implement off take agreements on the export of pulses, mangos and pork to India.We will also export twenty thousand tons of beef to China per year for a period of 10 years. We will continue to pursue the reform of the international system because the current configuration undermines the ability of developing countries to contribute and benefit meaningfully.This year marks the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine. The expansion of Israeli settlements undermines global efforts aimed at realising the two state solution and the Oslo accord. We wish to reiterate our support for the Palestinian course.Similarly, we hope that the readmission of Morocco to the AU should serve as a catalyst to resolve the Western Sahara issue.Let me add that South Africa will use Armed Forces Day on 21 February, 2017, to mark the Centenary commemorations of the tragic sinking of the SS Mendi which left 646 soldiers dead in 1917.Compatriots,The Constitution accords equal rights and dignity to all South Africans. The United Nations proclaimed 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day. We should use this day to raise awareness and eliminate the discrimination or harm that compatriots with albinism are subjected to in some areas.Siyagcizelela ukuthi abantu abanebala elimhlophe bangabantu, bafana nabo bonke abantu ezweni. Akuphele ukubahlukumeza. Aziphele nezinkolelo ezingekho ngabo.I have the pleasure to introduce Ms Nomasonto Mazibuko the executive director of the Albinism Society of South Africa, one of my special guests.The sports fraternity tragically lost one of its favourite sons, Joost van der Westhuizen earlier this week. The music industry has lost popular gospel musicians recently Sifiso Ncwane and Lundi Tyamarha as well as maskanda musician Nganeziyamfisa.We extend our condolences on the loss of these public figures who have contributed to the country’s sports and arts.Compatriots,Let us unite in driving radical economic transformation for the good of our country.In the words of President Tambo;“Working together as fellow South Africans, we have it within our power to transform this country into the land of plenty for all, where the nightmare of apartheid will just be a faint memory of the past.“I thank you.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Insulating Mechanical Pipes

first_imgSTEP 7: INSULATING MECHANICAL PIPESCode: N1103.3 Mechanical-system piping capableof carrying fluids above 105°F (41°C) or below 55°F (13°C) must be insulated to a minimum of R-3.What it means to you: Although this might clear up an inconsistency between previously stated requirements of 1-in. insulation (which is approximately R-4), it at least raises the required insulation values from R-2 to R-3 as a compromise. Remember, though, that this code focuses on mechanical pipes, which could carry fluids such as glycol, not potable-water pipes.The 2009 building codes reflect practices that not only increase energy efficiency—air-sealing measures and increased insulation, for example—but also address sustainable building practices, such as moisture control.Other segments of this series:Part 1: Air SealingPart 2: InsulationPart 3: LightingPart 4: Programmable ThermostatsPart 5: Insulating Mass WallsPart 6: Efficient WindowsPart 7: Insulating Mechanical PipesPart 8: Exceeding the Energy CodePart 9: Vapor Retarders 9 Steps to A Greener CodeNew homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive. last_img read more

Rooftop Solar Panels Have Utilities Worried

first_imgThe proliferation of rooftop photovoltaic installations is making some electric utilities nervous, according to a report in The New York Times.Utilities in some states would like to see reductions in net-metering plans, which require them to provide a credit to residential and commercial customers for excess power they generate. Although rooftop installations account for less than 1% of the nation’s electricity supply, utilities are concerned that PV may eventually challenge their long-term ability to maintain the grid.A combination of tax credits and net-metering has encouraged more people to install PV. In California, for example, solar installations increased by 160% a year between 2010 and 2012. The state’s three major utilities estimate they will have to make up almost $1.4 billion a year in revenue, which will come from non-solar customers. If the costs were distributed evenly, that would amount to $185 a year for each customer, according to The Times.“If the costs to maintain the grid are not being borne by some customers, then other customers have to bear a bigger and bigger portion,” Steve Malnight, a vice president at Pacific Gas and Electric, told the newspaper. “As those costs get shifted, that leads to higher and higher rates for customers who don’t take advantage of solar.”California utilities unsuccessfully sought to cut back the net-metering program last year. But the state legislature did order the California Public Utilities Commission to study the implications of rooftop solar for both customers and utilities. Utilities in Arizona and North Carolina have also sought changes in rules covering credits to owners of residential PV systems.last_img read more

Video: Watch Iowa State G Deonte Burton Thrown Down An Awesome Windmill Dunk While Wearing Timberlands

first_imgDeonte Burton dunks in Timberlands.It’s been a pretty good 24 hours for the dunk. There was, of course, Zach LaVine winning the NBA Dunk Contest in spectacular fashion on Saturday night. There was also Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein saying he’s “just going to start dunking on people” and former Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess showing off his athleticism.  There’s also this: Iowa State guard Deonte Burton throwing down an awesome windmill dunk while sporting Timberland boots. That’s just ridiculous. Iowa State (18-6, 8-4 Big 12) is set to play Oklahoma State (17-8, 7-6 Big 12) on Wednesday at 9 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on ESPNU.last_img

One Of These World Cup Hosts Is Not Like The Others

After the arrests of several senior FIFA leaders and widespread evidence of graft, bribery and general corruption at the highest levels of the global soccer conglomerate, FIFA’s selection of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup has come under renewed criticism. The indictments allege that vote-buying occurred in past World Cup host selections, and there have been other allegations that millions of dollars were paid to rig the vote for Qatar in 2010.And when you look at all the World Cup hosts since 1978, it’s clear that Qatar is in many ways an outlier.Compared with other World Cup hosts, Qatar is at the extremes on almost every metric I looked at. The data wasn’t perfect — two of the data sets I used weren’t measured annually when it would have been ideal if they were (the United Nations Development Program’s carbon-emissions reading and Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index). Also, the Press Freedom Index did not exist before 2002, so I used the 2002 mark for the World Cups that came before that year. It’s an estimation, but because that measurement is less susceptible to annual change, I felt safe in using it. And one last thing while we’re here: The Elo and GDP numbers for Russia and Qatar aren’t projections but are the most recent data available.Qatar was definitely not selected for its temperate weather in June, the typical time for the FIFA tournament. There has historically been some variation here — Argentina’s average June temperature is in the low 50s (it being in the Southern Hemisphere and all), and Mexico’s is in the mid-70s. But Qatar’s average June temperature is in the 90s.Perhaps Qatar is a real soccer up-and-comer, then? Not quite! I pulled the Elo rating of each men’s national team on the first game they played the year they hosted the cup1The last game of the previous year for Colombia, which resigned from hosting the 1986 cup and did not play soccer that year, and the most recent game for Russia and Qatar. to get the gist of how good the teams were on the world stage. Qatar has the second-lowest score ever.2Might they improve substantially in the next seven years? Sure, it’s possible. But the point is they’re not an unrecognized powerhouse in the sport at this point in time, and the fact that the host nation gets a free bid may mean they don’t have a ton of incentive to drastically improve.And it’s not like Qatar holds a bulk of the world’s population, either. Typically the country that gets the cup has somewhere around 1 percent to 5 percent of the world’s population, but not Qatar. With a projected population of 2.24 million in 2022, it’ll have a whopping 0.03 percent of the global population within its borders in a few years, not counting the spectators. What’s more, that population mostly comprises people who weren’t born in Qatar — as of 2013, according to the U.N., 1.6 million of the country’s 2.2 million people were international migrants.Although Qatar will be a global hub for sports journalists in several years, FIFA apparently did not select the country to highlight its illustrious human-rights record. Qatar has extreme restrictions on press freedoms that put it in league with Russia (the 2018 host) and Brazil (the 2014 one). They have a very high score on the Press Freedom Index, where a low score indicates a great deal of freedom.It’s also not for the nation’s climate record, either, as it’s by far the highest polluter — measured in metric tons of carbon emitted per capita. And that’s on a list that includes America. That was our category to lose!But Qatar does have one metric by which it is off-the-charts outstanding: gross domestic product per capita. Namely, it’s a small country that makes a whole lot of money. In the chart, we’re looking at the ratio of GDP per capita the year each nation hosted the cup to the United States’ GDP per capita that year, to keep it apples to apples.None of this proves vote-rigging, obviously. But when a country lacks many of the competitive advantages of other countries’ bids, some extra scrutiny is probably worthwhile. read more