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Oil and Gas Forum for youths was a poorly staged propaganda exercise
Dear Editor,I would like to express my disappointment with the manner in which young people were treated at the Oil and Gas Forum conducted by the Department of Youth at the Umana Yana on January 12. I am all for educating Guyanese of the opportunities and possibilities that come with our addition of oil production to our economic sector. What we were treated to was an exercise in poorly staged propaganda – an attempt to show new found love for youth by the APNU/AFC.The presentations young Guyanese were treated to were replete with vague language, hyper-inflated figures and esoteric details, “this industry is capital intensive”, “Prosperous people profit from problems”, “Do not chase after the dollar, chase after your dreams”, “USD$680 million spent in 2018 by the oil companies”, “too much oil refineries in the world”. The question on almost every participant’s lip was job related, what jobs were available now? Who would the oil companies have to hire based on local content requirements? Jobs? Jobs? Jobs?The answers were not helpful – with no plan to build a refinery, means very few jobs, I would have liked an in-depth analysis of this position, telling us that Trinidad just closed their 40 year old refinery is not pertinent information; for 40 years Trinidad & Tobago’s refinery was a driving force in a vibrant booming economy, indeed, reports I have read state that it was making profit up to its closure. This was typical of the answers provided, short, uncertain and often vague speculation.There will be another of these thinly disguised APNU/AFC campaign events on the January 19 at the sports hall, and many more young people seeking answers about opportunities in the oil and gas sector will be treated to this song and dance routine.Editor, young people like music, Yes we sing ‘strangle me and tie me up’ but this is not what we mean, more hope was found under the tents of the Movie Towne job fair, a project enabled by the PPP/C for which Winston Brassington has been charged for selling land at $18 million an acre, in part of an area that the PNC tried to sell at $25 thousand per acre, than here at the impressive sounding Oil and Gas forum. This is a Government bereft of vision or knowledge; they cannot shed light on which they themselves do not understand.Yours trulyVickram BharratPPP/C Member ofParliament
Fed-up Guyanese should step up, make voices heard – former President urges
Former President Donald Ramotar believes it is time for all Guyanese to protest what he describes as the “anti-national and anti-developmental moves” by the APNU/AFC coalition Administration. “Guyanese, if you are fed-up, then step-up, make your voices heard!” Ramotar has declared.Donald Ramotar served as President of Guyana from 2011 to 2015His sentiments are expressed in an article he wrote and sent to the Guyana Times for publication. The full text of that article is published below:The recent setting up of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) “to examine all issues and uncertainties surrounding the claims of Amerindian Lands titling; the individual, joint and communal ownership of lands acquired by freed African, and any other matters relative to land titling would be public welfare,” is the latest move by Government, (and it) is creating disunity amongst the peoples of this country.This has caused an uproar in the Amerindian community, as they see that once more this move can push them to the margins of society. They see that all the great gains they made during the PPP/C Administration are going to be eroded by the APNU+AFC government. At the centre of the government, holed up in the Ministry of the Presidency, is Mr Eric Phillips, who seems determined to rewrite the history of this country.It is known that for centuries the Amerindian people not only lived on the land in their specific areas, but they have protected the environment. They managed to understand the laws of nature, and lived within those laws. In so doing, they were able to preserve our forests and our environment, so that today we are one of the foremost countries in relation to protection of the natural environment.The establishment of this CoI, therefore, raises many questions. In the first place, this was done without consultations with the Amerindian community. As it stands now, the Amerindians have legal rights to the land. What should be discussed now (are) the extensions that many have applied for.However, this move by the regime is intended to stop this process. People like Phillips are selling the idea that the Amerindians were not the first people here. This is a clear signal that the regime has probably set this body up to come to the conclusion that the Amerindians should not enjoy the rights that the PPP/C Administration ensured (were) put in law.This regime wants to change the law to the disadvantage of the Amerindians. The regime, by taking that step, is also setting the ground that can lead to disunity amongst the peoples of this country.It is strange that this regime has set up a whole ministry which they claimed is to promote social cohesion. They even named it the Ministry of Social Cohesion. Yet, almost every act they have executed is promoting disunity. This CoI is the latest so far in a long list of measures.They have practised racial and political discrimination in the dismissals from the public service. They have done the same in employment to the public service. We also see the same pattern in the dispossession of farmers of land, and many persons who were allocated turn-key homes and house lots have suffered the same consequences.We have seen discrimination in the awarding of scholarships, and in the admission of students to the law programme at the University of Guyana.By their actions, this regime is doing its best (or worst) to sow discord, disunity; and yes, moving against social cohesion.It is time for all Guyanese to protest these anti-national and anti-developmental moves by this regime. Guyanese, if you are fed-up, then step-up, make your voices heard.This is my view. What is yours?
Trotman’s failure to understand Petroleum Law mind-boggling – accountant
Substantive Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, is being accused of not only a dereliction of his duties when it comes to securing local content for Guyanese labour, goods and services in the development of the petroleum sector, but also a failure to understand the laws of Guyana; a mind-boggling situation since the Minister is himself a trained attorney.Chartered Accountant Christopher RamThese were among the critical sentiments raised on Friday evening when a public discussion was held at Moray House with guest speaker, Christopher Ram.Ram, a practicing attorney, was especially critical of the substantive Minister with responsibility for the sector. The eminent local chartered accountant and civil rights activist told the modest gathering that there is nothing in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act which prevents the Administration from making public the contents of the contract that ExxonMobil had inked with Government.Trotman has in the past pointed the petroleum laws and said the amendments that had been promulgated by the former Administration in fact prevents the disclosure of such information.Ram has argued, however, that nothing in the law speaks to none disclosure of the contract document. According to Ram, the non-disclosure clause in the law speaks only to proprietary information and not the actual contract.He told those in attendance, the amendments that had been brought by the People’s Progressive Party only sought to increase a fine.Pointing to the section which he says “Trotman has such difficulty reading and understanding”, the chartered accountant and lawyer said it ‘boggles’ his mind that Trotman, himself a lawyer, cannot seem to be able to read the law and understand it.Speaking to the regulatory framework in Guyana which governs the local petroleum sector currently, Ram used the opportunity to highlight the section of the Petroleum Law that both Government and the Opposition have been using to bicker over whether or not to publicly release the contract.AmendmentsRam in speaking to the 1997 amendments to the 1986 Petroleum Act, increased the penalties for a breach of prohibition for unauthorised disclosure of information, “it had nothing to do with the prohibition being set in 1997.”He was adamant the provisions had always been in place ever since the 1986 law that was brought into force by the then President Hugh Desmond Hoyte, adding that it was only the penalties that were increased by the subsequent Administration.For the edification of those in attendance, Ram pointed out that the prohibition on the disclosure of information is limited to information supplied by the companies in reports, “it doesn’t say about any contract…where does this cover a contract.”He used the occasion to say too, “Guyanese are not fools, we have been quiet and we behave like fools but I don’t think we are fools.”Ram who has over the years emerged as one of the more critical independent voices in the Guyanese society when it comes to calling out decision makers on their malpractices and missteps, also accused Trotman of a dereliction of his duties as Minister when it comes to protecting local content, even as he dismissed the current attempts by the Administration to formulate a local content policy.According to Ram, it is imperative as Guyana prepares for first oil in 2020, “We have to decide a local content policy bearing in mind that Trotman has been derelict in terms of local content policy.”Local contentSpeaking specifically to local content, Ram explained that in making an application for a Prospecting Licence, an operator is expected to submit proposals with regard the training and employment of Guyanese.Similarly, in applying for a Production Licence following successful prospecting of a locale and having found oil in viable quantities, the applicant must submit a “statement in the application giving particulars of the proposals with respect to employment and training of citizens of Guyana and proposal in relation to goods and services to be obtained in Guyana.”According to Ram, “the law also prohibits the Minister from granting a production licence unless the proposals for the employment and training of citizens of Guyana and for the procurement of goods and service obtainable within Guyana are satisfactory.”Turning his attention to what instead currently obtains, Ram noted “you have the Minister responsible for petroleum saying in a foreword to a policy framework working draft for discussion and input, the local content policy will be developed over time.”He further quoted Trotman, who in his foreword to the proposed local content policy said “at present regulations will not be promulgated but may become necessary as the industry unfolds and expands and impetus is needed to steer the process or to solidify gains.”A visibly livid Ram subsequently questioned “did this man read the legislation”, as he pointed to the fact that even after production licences have been issued which should have contained proposals for securing local content “now we are holding consultations.” According to Ram, “the fact that a production licence has been issued without being satisfied about the local content is unlawful and its dereliction of duty by the Minister of Petroleum under the legislation.”Ram further chided Trotman, saying he still has the “temerity to say we ain’t gonna be providing anything” with regards the regulation to safeguard local content.
All case submissions first sent to AG for vetting – Kissoon
Former Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Kissoon has hit back at Attorney General Basil Williams’s claims that she was incompetent at preparing cases. According to the lawyer, all her cases in fact had to go through the senior counsel himself.Kissoon, who released a statement in response to Williams’s Friday missive that accused her of professional misconduct when representing the state, argued that she has never neglected to provide Williams with her submissions prior to representing the state.Attorney General Basil Williams“Every submission which I have prepared and subsequently presented to any court first had to be submitted to the Attorney General for his consideration well in advance in all matters involving the state.”She added that it was Williams who instructed staff to stop receiving her draft submissions, and as a consequence she began emailing them to him in advance.According to Kissoon, the basis for her termination by the Public Service Commission (PSC) was her leaving the country while on administrative leave.“I have never, prior to commencement of Court proceedings instituted by me against the Attorney General, been accused by the Attorney General or the Public Service Commission of lack of professionalism or dereliction of duty. There is no such charge pending anywhere in the Republic of Guyana. If the Attorney General now finds fault with my submissions, dear Brutus, the error lies not in the stars, but in (us),” she stated, adding a Shakespearean quote.On Friday, the Attorney General’s Chambers had issued a statement defending its decision to seek Kissoon’s head. The Legal Affairs Ministry confirmed that the former Deputy Solicitor-General was targeted in an investigation that lasted from November 2015 to January 2017.“The Ministry contends that the breaches include improper preparation and drafting of legal documents; disobeying instructions; failing to attend court in several critical matters; gross dishonesty in official dealings; improper conduct, and dereliction of duties. Minister Williams blames Kissoon for not being present in court for key cases, as well as misleading him and others over the matters.”Meanwhile, the termination of her employment at the hands of both the Legal Affairs Ministry and the now expired Public Service Commission (PSC) is not the end of the road, as Kissoon is planning to take her fight to the courts.The attorney-at-law, in an interview with this publication, said she had already prepared an appeal to the Public Service Appellate Tribunal. The tribunal is composed of retired Justice Nandram Kissoon, Attorney Abiola Wong-Innis and Winston Brown.“I’ve already prepared an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal, but the Registrar was only sworn in on Thursday. So those documents are already prepared and signed off,” the former DSG told this publication.According to Kissoon, the appeal will be filed against Attorney-General Basil Williams, the Permanent Secretary of the Legal Affairs Ministry, and the Public Service Commission. She noted that she would be seeking a reversal of the decision next week.“The Order of Certiorari to quash the decision of the Public Service Commission will be filed (in the High Court) next week,” she related.Kissoon broke her silence this week as the very public spat between the Attorney General and her came to a crossroads on August 31, 2017.Lamenting the situation, the now former Deputy Solicitor General, in her now public statement, said, “A new PSC will convene and the complaint against the Attorney General, Mr Basil Williams S.C., will never have been addressed.”According to Kissoon, “My good name has been filched, my character assassinated, my career that I worked so hard to build in the public service for the past 10 years (lies) shattered at my feet, but my integrity and ethics are rock solid.” AG vs former DSG… to challenge dismissal in court
A fair swap Give our troops a one-way ticket home from Iraq – now. Give the George W. Bush administration a one-way ticket to Iraq – now. – Bob A. Greene West Hollywood Voter approval It is interesting to note that since the Democrats took over the majority of Congress in January, revelation after revelation has occurred of what has been going wrong in the interest of America since Sept. 11. Hearing after hearing has revealed corruption from the incompetence of the expansion of the Coast Guard, the incompetence of pursuing the war in Iraq to the unknowing-forgetfulness of the current attorney general and other misgivings of this administration. – Martin Schiechl Woodland Hills I believe the new bill voted for by our representatives in Washington to give present illegal aliens citizenship is of such a critical matter to all of the present U.S. citizens, that the issue should be voted upon by all of the legal citizens, and not our representatives in Washington. – Charles Dusheck Chatsworth Hope-full not -less Re: “Mayor’s 4 LAUSD Allies Unite,” Thursday, May 17, 2007 The parents, teachers, and staff of Ninth Street Elementary School object to the use of the adjective “troubled” to describe our school. Our school climate is welcoming, positive and purposeful. Our school culture is collegial and focused on improving the academic achievement and social and emotional well-being of all our students. It is true that 45 percent of our student population is classified as “homeless” by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act. If you come to visit us, you will see happy children and dedicated educators working in old bungalows and eating in an outdoor pavilion because we do not have a cafeteria. You will see parents participating in school activities outdoors because we do not have a multi-purpose room or a parent center. Even though our facility needs improvement, we are proud of whom we are and the work we are doing together. – Lynn Vineyard Assistant Principal Ninth Street Elementary School No smoking SUVs Re “No more smoking in parks” (Simi Valley edition, May 20): If smoking is banned in the parks for health reasons, why allow SUVs? – Peter Wilson Simi Valley Bush’s elephant The enormous American embassy in Baghdad is another white elephant to be added to the collection of white elephants George W. Bush is collecting. Find out the name of the company (or companies) who got the contracts to build that, and that will solve the mysterious need our government had to build another monument to Bush’s greatness. Or perhaps, once we are gone, the monument will benefit 615 Iraqi families who will move in and live (safely, we hope) in that fortress. – Dante F. Rochetti West Hills Not so feel-good Re “City shows its pricey way of life” (May 21): Jon Coupal really hit it on the head when he said that “a lot of the city spending is feel-good spending” Recent examples of “feel-good” expenditures which benefit only a few are the extremely expensive Children’s Museum now close to the $60 million range and climbing, and the L.A. Zoo elephant exhibit estimated at $39 million and climbing. This may make the Los Angeles City Council feel good, but it does nothing to make me feel good about our City Council’s fiduciary responsibility which should be to spend the money where it does the most good for the most people. The Children’s Museum will be a financial drain on the city for years to come since there is no way that admissions can pay back the debt, let alone fund museum operations. – Patricia Bergstrom Calabasas160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
These Liverpool supporters are laughing at rival fans over Salah’s return to form
One season wonder, Mohamed Salah, now has 51 goals in 66 games. That goal was his 17th goal in his last 14 games at Anfield. Keep talking.— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) October 27, 2018 1 latest Salah bagged the winner at Huddersfield last weekend, a brace against Red Star in midweek and then the opener against Cardiff on Saturday.The ‘Egyptian king’ has scored a stunning 51 goals in just 66 Liverpool matches and Reds supporters are starting to brag to rival fans that their star man is back in business.You can read the best of the social media reaction below. ppl calling salah a tap in merchant when he scores and call him a one season wonder when he doesn’t score, jealousy really kills— Vik ⚜️ (@LFCVik) October 27, 2018 Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Liverpool update ‘Champions Wall’ after ending 2019 as European and world champions Last year, Mo Salah swept the individual awards targets RANKED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Latest Liverpool News REVEALED shining Rival fans when Salah doesn’t score: he’s just a one season wonder!Rival fans when Salah scores: lol he’ll leave you for Madrid anyway!— redsfinest. (@THEREDSFINEST) October 27, 2018 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 2 weeks ago: Salah can’t score, one season wonder!Hope that was fun while it lasted 😂 pic.twitter.com/fM0GotLmjF— Jeff Evans (@Jeff_Evans14) October 27, 2018 huge blow Funny seeing rival fans slate salah for scoring tap-ins, they’d do anything for hazard or lukaku to score as many ‘tap-ins’— Jord (@JordannJones) October 27, 2018 The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star TROPHY Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade REVEALED Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Mo Salah is truly back in form having now scored four goals in three games.The 2017/18 Player of the Season had begun to receive criticism after scoring just three goals in eleven fixtures at the start of 2018/19, however the doubters are now starting to be silenced once again. gameday cracker Well, it looks like Mohamed Salah is well on course to be a three season wonder.— Mik (@MikLFC) October 27, 2018 REVEALED Rival fans when they heard Salah scores again pic.twitter.com/tQb9noBNKX— Syzahmd (@syaza_hamid_) October 27, 2018 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT
Donegal schools get the Green Flag of approval
Schools from all over Donegal descended on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny for the annual Donegal Green Schools Awards.A large gathering of pupils and teachers were welcomed by Green Schools Manager, Cathy Baxter, in what was a great day of celebration.Scoil Cholmcille Letterkenny, in particular, were there to be awarded with their 10th Green Flag which is a fantastic achievement marking over 20 years in the Green Schools programme. The Green Schools programme in Ireland is in its 22nd year with 94% of schools participating. Ireland has the highest percentage of awarded flags out of all the participating countries in the world and is seen as an example of best practise by lots of the other countries.In Donegal, there are 195 schools registered with the programme with 164 Green Flags proudly flying. Donegal schools were some of the first schools to get involved in the Green Schools programme when it started 22 years ago, and it is still going strong. Donegal County Council play a very important role in the implementation of the programme within the County.Speaking at the ceremony, Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer, Donegal County Council said Donegal County Council is committed to the Green Schools programme.Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer, Donegal County Council addressing the large crowd at the 2019 Green School Awards.She said “The benefits are tremendous not only are we educating our pupils for the future but the positive environmental impacts each school is making cannot be underestimated”. Green-Schools (known internationally as Eco-Schools) is an environmental education programme and awards scheme developed by FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) and co-ordinated in Ireland by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce- The National Trust for Ireland.Schools receiving their Green Flag were recognised under the following themes –EnergyCrana College – Crana Road – BuncranaDrumfad N.S – Kerrykeel – LetterkennyMoyle N.S. – NewtowncunninghamS.N Glasáin – Creeslough – LetterkennyScoil Cholmcille Drumaweir – GreencastleScoil Naomh Duigh – Anagaire – Leitir Ceanainn – LetterkennyWaterScoil Cholmcille Naofa – Tory Island – DerrybegScoil Naomh Padraig – Drumfries – ClonmanySt Davaddog’s N.S – Tamney – FanadSt. Conal’s N.S – Narin / Portnoo BiodiversityDonagh N.S – Churchtown – CarndonaghGartan N.S – Churchill – LetterkennyKerrykeel N.S – Kerrykeel – LetterkennyS.N. Taobhóige – An Clochán – LeifearScoil an Aingil Choimheadai – Keadue – Burtonport – LetterkennyScoil an Linbh Iosa – Coxtown – Carrigans – LiffordScoil Bhríde – Townparks – Convoy – LiffordScoil Chrannóg Bhuí – Crannóg Bhuí – Loughros Point – ArdaraScoil Colmcille Kilmacrennan – LetterkennyScoil Mhuire – Dristernan – Gleneely – InishowenSt. Eunan’s N.S – LagheySt. Riaghan’s N.S – Drimnacrosh – Kilraine – GlentiesGlobal Citizenship Litter and WasteErrigal College – Windyhall – LetterkennyFaugher N.S – Faugher – Portnablagh – DunfanaghyHoly Trinity N.S – Horn Head Road – DunfanaghyMurroeN.S – Murroe – DunfanaghyScoil an Linbh Iosa – Killymard – Donegal TownScoil Chartha Naofa – Keenaghan – KilcarScoil Naomh Brid – DowningsSt. Colmcille’s N.S – Drumman – Ballyare – RameltonSt. Mary’s N.S – Ballygorman – Carnmalin – Malin HeadSt. Patrick’s N.S– Lurgybrack – Letterkenny Global Citizenship EnergyGleneely N.S – Crossroads – Killygordon – LiffordLittle Angels School – Knocknamona – LetterkennyScoil Cholmcille Ballymena – Glengad – MalinSt. Columb’s N.S – Main St – MovilleSt. Finian’s N.S – Carrowcannon – FalcarraghGlobal Citizenship MarineFintra N.S – Fintra – KillybegsScoil Cholmcille Convent Road – LetterkennyScoil Mhuire – Main St – StranorlarScoil Mhuire Gan Smal – Sentry Hill – LetterkennyScoil na Croise Naofa – Figart – DunfanaghySt. Baithin’s National School – St. Johnston – LiffordDonegal schools get the Green Flag of approval was last modified: May 23rd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:awardsdonegalGreen Flag
Celebrating, empowering SA’s women
4 August 2010South Africa’s public sector is making “steady progress” in securing senior positions for women in the workplace, Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya said at the launch of Women’s Month 2010 in Pretoria on Monday.Although the entire month is dedicated to women, the public holiday on 9 August is particularly significant, as it marks the 54th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, at the time the headquarters of the apartheid government.MediaClubSouthAfricaFree high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. More than 20 000 women took part in this march to protest against racial segregation and the discriminatory pass laws, which restricted the movement of black people within declared “white areas”.This year government will use August to reflect on efforts made since then to empower women in South Africa’s rural areas, townships and cities.Women now occupy about 36% of senior-level jobs in government, Mayende-Sibiya said at the launch. “There is steady progress in the representation of women at senior levels of public services.”According to the minister, there are now more women in decision-making roles than there were in 1994, the year South Africa held its first democratic elections.Up to 44% of members of the legislature, on a national and provincial level, are women – this puts South Africa in third position worldwide for the greatest number of females in Parliament, Mayende-Sibiya said.The number of women ministers and deputy ministers has more than doubled over the past 16 years, growing from 18% in 1994 to 40% in 2010, she added.Transformation slow in private sectorWhile the South African government works hard to empower women and positively influence their role in society, other employers are lagging behind.According to the country’s affirmative action policy, the employment of women and previously disadvantaged individuals should be prioritised, but top private-sector positions are still dominated by white men, the government says.Black, Indian and coloured South Africans fall into the “previously disadvantaged” category.At present, white men hold about 63% of senior management jobs in the private sector, while black, Indian and coloured women only account for 5%.While massive progress has been made in boosting female access to education, South Africa has to “ensure that skills development programmes focus on empowering women”, so they are able to follow “careers that are still male-dominated”, Mayende-Sibiya said.Speeding up transformationThe Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities is planning to introduce a new policy to “enforce gender parity measures across all sectors of society”.The Gender Equality Bill should be tabled by next year, Mayende-Sibiya said.The Bill reflects the government’s realisation that it needs to act decisively to enforce change in the workplace. “Our analysis of various studies available indicates that if we continue at the current pace of transformation, it will take us almost 40 years to attain 50-50 gender parity.“We cannot allow that. Measures have to be taken to hasten the process of gender and racial transformation in our country,” the minister said.Empowerment projects in AugustThe government is planning to launch a number of countrywide initiatives to empower women this August.Mayende-Sibiya said their projects are aimed at tackling challenges facing women, reducing poverty and improving the socio-economic status of women in South Africa.The Gauteng provincial government said it will launch 200 women-only schemes across the province from 9 August.The schemes will take the form of cooperatives offering cleaning and catering services in hospitals, according to Simon Zwane, spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development. “This is part of our agenda to empower women,” he said.Both the public and private sector will support the Take a Girl Child to Work initiative on 19 August, as has been done since the drive was launched in 2003.“To enforce mentoring of girls into various careers, we will all be supporting the campaign,” Mayende-Sibiya said.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
Eskom to tap into US bond market
Even though the National Energy Regulator granted Eskom a tariff increase of 24.8% earlier this year, Dames said the tariffs were insufficient to build up reserves to fund the necessary capital expansion to meet the projected growth of the South African economy. “To this end, we have developed a cash flow, income statements and balance sheet forecast that considers the implication of the build programme and capacity additions to the business over the next seven years,” he said. Dames said it was a relief that the government, as a major shareholder, was also embarking on plans to address the challenges faced by the country’s energy sector. Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg on Monday, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said that while it was expected to take substantial efforts from all stakeholders to overcome the country’s rapidly growing electricity demands, Eskom needed to take a leading role to prevent another gloomy picture of blackouts in the country. “The next seven years will be very tight beginning next year, and this will mean we have to maintain and maximise the efficiency of our existing assets as well as ensuring delivery of build programme,” Dames said. Tariff increases ‘not enough’ Dames said that the sustainability of Eskom, as well as national security of electricity supply over the next seven years, depended on effective management of the funding supply for the current and future build programme. The company has already received loans of R21-billion from the African Development Bank and R28-billion from the World Bank to fund the construction of Medupi, but still needs more funds to ensure that all three power stations are up and running by 2017. South African state company Eskom is to approach the US bond market in a bid to raise funds for its capital expansion programme, which includes two coal-fired base-load power stations – Medupi and Kusile – and the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme. 26 October 2010 Medupi, situated outside Lephalale in the Limpopo province, is expected to be up and running by the end of 2012, while operations at Kusile, being built outside Delmas in Mpumalanga province, may follow four years later. Ingula, currently under construction on the border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, will be fully operational in 2014. This after President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday that the government would spend over R800-billion (including R385-billion for Eskom expansion) on energy infrastructure over the next few years. Source: BuaNews
In-flight wi-fi coming to South Africa soon
South Africans flying between Cape Townand Johannesburg will be able to accesswireless internet from April 2011. (Image: Wired) MEDIA CONTACTS • Carel van der Merwe WirelessG +27 12 676 3001 RELATED ARTICLES • Mobile internet booms in SA • New broadband network to launch • Cheaper internet for SA • Internet revolution for AfricaNosimilo RamelaWirelessG, a local internet company, will soon begin installing wireless internet on South African domestic passenger planes to enable frequent fliers to keep up with their deadlines and the fast-paced world around them.Passengers flying between Cape Town and Johannesburg will be able to access wireless internet through a service called Fli G-Connect from April 2011.Sechaba Mokoena, a DJ from Johannesburg, said he was looking forward to the service. “It’s about time we got wi-fi access on our country’s local planes. I am never on the ground – I travel to Cape Town and Durban a lot for work, so I’m happy I’ll be able to keep up with the social scene while I fly. As a DJ, I need to keep up with what’s happening at all times.”Businessman Ronald de Necker, also from Johannesburg, agrees. He often has to attend meetings in Cape Town and flies there weekly. “This is brilliant. We live in a fast-paced world and we need to have this kind of fast-paced, easily accessible internet on our planes to keep up with deadlines while travelling and not miss out on any economic news or events taking place at any given time around the world.”South African technology research company World Wide Worx said effective internet connectivity is vital for the country’s economy. “We are in a competitive age during which access to information and ease of communication enhances productivity,” said company head Arthur Goldstuck.World Wide Worx estimates that South Africa had 6-million internet users by the end of 2010, and that this will climb to 10-million by 2015.Mango leading the wayWirelessG CEO Carel van der Merwe said local airline Mango would be the first to have the technology installed in its planes, but noted that his company is currently in talks with other airlines as well to roll out the service to as many operators as possible.To access wi-fi while on a flight, South African passengers will need to open a G-Connect account through the WirelessG website – this does not cost anything. Once signed up, users need to buy a WirelessG voucher to secure time online. The concept is much like buying airtime for a prepaid mobile phone.Van der Merwe said passengers will soon be able to get onto a plane, switch on their laptop, smartphone or tablet, enable their wi-fi, and then pick up a signal. “You then put in your G-Connect account credentials, or you purchase a voucher, and Bob’s your uncle, you are on the internet.”“Wireless internet on planes will allow me the chance to do my banking, emailing, and pay bills during the two-hour flights to Johannesburg I have to take every month,” said Catherine Sithole, a public relations executive from Cape Town. “I’m always so busy and prefer everything to be quick and easy – wireless internet is just what I need.”A study conducted by research consultancy Wakefield Research and the Wi-Fi Alliance shows that the availability of wi-fi has become a key factor for many Americans when deciding which airline to fly. According to the findings, 76% of frequent fliers in the US would change their airline to have in-flight wi-fi.Wakefield Research and the alliance predict that airlines which do not offer in-flight wi-fi as part of their service could face a serious decline in customers and ultimately a loss of revenue in the future.