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December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The company that operates a coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana said Tuesday it will close two of the plant’s four units about 30 months ahead of schedule because of the high cost of running them and the unwillingness of its coal supplier to lower prices.Talen Montana said in a statement the older units of the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, whose combined 614-megawatt capacity is co-owned by Talen and Puget Sound Energy, will be permanently retired on Dec. 31. The newer Colstrip units, which generate the bulk of the 2,100-megawatt plant’s output and are owned by six companies, will continue operating although those whose livelihoods depend on the plant worry it also may be shuttered early.The partial closure would be the latest among coal-fired plants that are going offline across the nation as demand for coal drops, the market turns to cheap natural gas and renewable energy, environmental regulations increase coal power costs and states worried about the effects of climate change seek to divest of their power supply that’s generated by coal.The older units had been slated for closure by mid-2022 as part of a settlement in an environmental lawsuit. The decision to retire the units early came after an extensive review and exhaustive efforts to make the units economically viable, Talen Montana President Dale Lebsack said.“Fuel constitutes the bulk of our operating cost, and our repeated efforts to negotiate lower fuel prices with Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, the plant’s sole and only historically permitted fuel supplier, have been rebuffed.” Lebsack said in the statement. “Rather than working with us to keep Units 1 and 2 open, Westmoreland is proposing to increase the units’ fuel cost going forward.”Republican state Sen. Duane Ankney, whose district includes Colstrip, said Tuesday’s announcement doesn’t appear to be a negotiating ploy. “They’re bleeding several million dollars,” Ankney said. “I might be wrong, but if I had to make a bet, I’d say this isn’t a tactic, this is what’s going to happen.”More: Operator: 2 units of Montana coal plant to close this year Talen to close two units at Colstrip by end of 2019last_img read more

October 19, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgTopics : The government also added collective leave on Oct. 28 to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad.“Shifting the collective leave to the end of the year was done in consideration that COVID-19 would be handled properly [by then]. In addition, at the end of the year, children will be on school break and families will have had enough time to plan vacations,” the statement continued.Two of Indonesia’s largest Islamic mass organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, have also advised people against participating in the mudik. The government, however, has not prohibited the mudik due to economic considerations. The government will instead disburse social aid to low-income families in hopes of dissuading people from taking part in the exodus. As of Thursday, the Health Ministry confirmed 3,293 cases of the pneumonia-like illness in Indonesia with 280 fatalities and 252 recoveries. Jakarta, the country’s outbreak epicenter, has confirmed 1,706 cases, with 142 fatalities and 82 recoveries. The government will push back Idul Fitri collective leave to December due to concerns that the annual exodus could cause further transmission of the novel coronavirus.Ramadan is expected to take place on April 23 to May 23. It has become customary for most Indonesians, especially those living in big cities, to visit their hometowns and gather with family during the long holiday near the end of the holy month.center_img The country expects some 20 million people to participate in the yearly tradition, with several having already left the capital for their hometowns despite the warnings of public health experts. While Idul Fitri will be observed, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy has moved the four-day Idul Fitri collective leave to Dec. 28-31, from May 26-29, nearing other year-end holidays.“This policy is a follow up to a directive from the President […] related to the no mudik appeal and the altering of the 2020 Idul Fitri collective leave,” Muhadjir said in a statement on Thursday.Read also: COVID-19: Jokowi considers adjusting Idul Fitri break, orders regions to be obedientlast_img read more

September 24, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgMr. Thomas Eugene Richards, age 32, of Vevay, Indiana, entered this life on July 14, 1984, in Crane County, Texas, the loving son of, Ernest Eugene and the late Janet Arlene (Chambers) Richards. He was raised in Crane, Texas where he was a 2002 graduate of Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. Thomas had resided in the Vevay community for the past year. Thomas enjoyed music and spending time with his family. Thomas will be dearly missed by his loving family. Thomas died at 7:15 am Friday September 23, 2016, at his residence in Vevay, IN.Thomas will be missed by his wife: Emily Rene (Snyder) Richards of Vevay, IN; his father: Ernest Eugene Richards of Aurora, IN; his brothers: Jason Allen Richards of Cincinnati, OH; Ernest William Collins of North Port, FL; his sister: Kimberly Arlene Baize of Snyder, TX; his several nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his mother: Janet Arlene (Chambers) Richards.Services will be conducted at the convenience of the family.Memorial contributions may be made to Thomas Eugene Richards Memorial Fund % Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home. Cards are available at the funeral home.last_img read more

September 23, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgIndiana Forage Council, Inc.Heart of America Grazing Conference$7,600 OrganizationProjectAward Indiana State Fair Foundation, Inc.Celebration of Champions$5,000 Indiana Milking Shorthorn SocietyAmerican Milking Shorthorn National Convention$9,400 Indianapolis, In. — The Indiana State Department of Agriculture awarded more than $70,000 in matching grant funds to 13 projects designed to promote and grow the state’s livestock sector.“Livestock production is a driving force in our economy and critical to so many Hoosier communities,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We are proud to support these projects, as they work to cultivate and strengthen this important industry.”The grants were awarded to non-profit organizations, commissions and associations, who were eligible to receive a 50 percent match by the state. The funding can be used for either promotional or market development purposes, and projects were selected based on those that had the greatest impact on Indiana agriculture.Most of this year’s projects will be used to conduct events and conferences, educational programs and industry studies.“Our food system relies on the work being done by Indiana’s livestock producers,” said Bruce Kettler, ISDA director. “We’re always looking for ways to promote and add value to Indiana’s agricultural products. This grant program helps us achieve that goal.”The following list includes the organizations that received funding for the 2019 grant cycle. Indiana Pork Producers AssociationData Collection Study$15,000 The Indiana Junior Hereford AssociationThe Indiana Junior Hereford Association Preview Show$750 Indiana Beef Cattle AssociationHoosier Beef Congress$5,000 Indiana State Board of Animal HealthTag Trade IN Program$10,100center_img Indiana Milk Quality Professionals, Inc.Indiana Milk Quality Conference$5,750 Illinois Indiana Bison Association2019 IIBA Spring Educational Conference$3,000 Maconaquah Middle SchoolMaconaquah Cattle Company$2,500 Maconaquah FFAProject “Get your GOAT” (Goal Oriented and Analytical Thinkers)$3,000 Franklin County 4-H AssociationFranklin County Open Breeding and Market Sheep Show$2,300 North Putnam Dollars for ScholarsPutnam County Farm to Fork Dinner$1,400 All submitted grant proposals were reviewed by an independent committee of industry representatives to determine the awarded submissions. Details and information regarding the 2020 livestock grant cycle will be available early fall.last_img read more

August 12, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgThe Florida woman who pulled an alligator from her yoga pants during a May traffic stop has dodged a bullet in court.Ariel Machan-Le Quire, 25, was sentenced to probation Thursday after pleading guilty to four counts of illegally possessing wild animals. Michael Clemons, her 22-year-old accomplice in the case, has not yet been sentenced.Machan-Le Quire and Clemons grabbed Internet headlines in May following a traffic stop in Charlotte County.After a sheriff’s deputy found 41 turtles stuffed into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack, he asked Machan-Le Quire if there were any other animals in the vehicle he needed to know about. She responded by reaching into her pants and producing a foot-long alligator.last_img read more

August 4, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgBy Muriel J. Smith RED BANK – They may not all be out there in Santa outfits anymore, but the volunteers and employees of the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign are as diligent as ever in striving to meet this year’s goal of raising $100,000 to support Christmas programs and services throughout the entire year.This year’s Red Kettle Drive was launched by the Red Bank Corps two weeks ago, and kettles can be found at various locations throughout the Monmouth County areas, according to Lt. Brennen Hinzman, Commanding Officer of Red Bank Corps.“The work done here throughout the year cannot be done without your contri- butions this season,” Hinzman said. Staffing the kettles are either an employee or a volunteer, ringing a bell and engaging the shoppers, Hinzman explained. He noted there are individuals and groups who enjoy standing kettles every year and faithfully help the Salvation Army to meet that year’s monetary goal.For both employees and volunteers, the Corps workers can opt for wearing a Santa outfit or identifying themselves in plain clothes wearing the apron or pin synonymous with the Salvation Army. Bell Ringers also can be as individualized as they’d like, within the limits of the places where they are standing. Which means, there might be a bell ringer dancing to a boombox she’s carrying or dancing in front of his Red Kettle tripod, or, like the volunteers in Little Silver, wearing their Santa outfits because they like that the best. “Every area is different,” said Jesabel Cruz, office manager and caseworker in the Salvation Army office at 180 Newman Springs Road.“We love our volunteers because they are committed and give of their time,” the Corps commander said, adding, “but we also enjoy being able to provide temporary seasonal employment, giving people the opportunity to earn some much needed income. Many of the workers have their confidence restored, as they are entrusted with a duty that gives back to their own communities.”One such worker is the newest employee for the Red Bank unit, Joseph Kuca, who can usually be found in front of the ACME store in Lincroft, except on Wednesdays. Kuca wrote a letter to the Salvation Army this Thanksgiving, thanking them for giving him the emotional lift he needed at a difficult time in his life, and praising the Salvation Army members for “allowing me to be a part of your family.”Kuca thanked the Army for resupplying his pantry and said until that time, “I couldn’t remember when I’d had eggs last. You too touched my heart with your kindness.” Kuca thanked every individual member of the Army who welcomed him with warmth, compassion and respect when he came for assistance, and told them “your collective humanity made all the difference to me at a time when I was at my lowest. It buoyed me … up to go forward and to face the storm with renewed courage. As your nineteenth century poster proclaimed, ‘A man may be down, but he’s never out!’ ”Kuca was quick to spread the good will he himself had received by joining the Red Kettle Drive. But even here, he went on, doing the work for the drive “has been truly the single most rewarding experience that I have ever known, truly. The positive response of the public, their sharing of stories of positive, life altering, life affirming experiences, realized through contact with the Salvation Army, in their lives, is most heartening. It warms my heart.”Kuca concluded that while he may never become a soldier in the corps, “but I have always been, and ever shall be, a most devoted advocate and Camp Follower of the Salvation Army. You folks truly change lives!”Marylynn Richner couldn’t agree more. The Red Bank resident has been a bell ringer for more than 50 years, star ting with her mother almost immediately after joining the Army. Practicing Baptists, Richner and her mother picked up her sister who was attending a Salvation Army service, and were so moved by the service Richner immediately wanted to join the Army. She’s been a soldier ever since.Always in Monmouth Mall, placidly sitting in her Salvation Army uniform just outside the mall entrance to Macy’s, Richner says she does the work every year because “I like to do the Lord’s work and He’s given me the strength to do it here.That’s a good enough reason for continuing.”The charming little lady with the soft voice and quick smile is at her post six hours a day, five days a week and loves it. “In fact,” she adds, “I can’t see anything I don’t like about it.” Sometimes, only a few people may come to drop coins or bills in her red kettle; other days she might be saying thank you and “God Bless You” to a 100 or more.Always ready to help someone in need, Richner said she’s also trained at the senior building where she lives to respond to emergencies such as floods or other disasters, assisting the fire or police department. Retired from the McCormick Company in Freehold since the plant closed many years ago, she loves her bell ringing job the most because “I’m able to help families in need.”Last year, over 1,500 people received assistance from the Red Bank Army’s food program, 650 households received holiday assistance for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and more than 500 children received Christmas gifts, which usually including apparel and footwear, from the Angel Tree Tag Program. Additional services included various children’s programs, social services and more than 400 meals provided through the Corps’ Bread of Life Community Kitchen. Funds raised during the Red Kettle Campaign are used to sustain the programs and services throughout the year.The Red Kettle drive started in the 19th century, when Capt. Joseph McFee launched it in San Francisco to provide Christmas dinner for the destitute. Since then it has evolved into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the country.The Salvation Army itself is an evangelical part of the Christian Church established in England in 1865, and has been supporting those in need in this country for the past 130 years. The services of the Army ranged from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance to the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, as well as clothing and shelter for the homeless and opportunities for the underprivileged. Eighty-two cents of every dollar the Salvation Army spends supports these services in 5,000 communities across the country.last_img read more

August 2, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 17, 2016)–Graded stakes winning Toews On Ice heads a field of seven sophomores in Santa Anita’s $75,000 San Pedro Stakes at six furlongs on Sunday. (Originally scheduled for this past Friday, March 11, the San Pedro was cancelled due to heavy rain and re-drawn this morning).TOEWS ON ICE: Trained by Bob Baffert and named for Chicago Blackhawks star center and captain, Jonathan Toews (pronounced TAVES), Toews On Ice was an impressive winner of the Grade III, seven furlong Bob Hope Stakes three starts back on Nov. 14 at Del Mar, but he comes off a disappointing sixth place finish as the 3-5 favorite in the one mile Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park Jan. 18.Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Toews On Ice, who is Triple Crown nominated, was a close second to his highly regarded stablemate Mor Spirit two starts back in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 19. A Kentucky-bred colt by Archarcharch, Toews On Ice has pressed or been on the early lead in all seven of his starts, resulting in three wins and earnings of $245,700.DENMAN’S CALL: Trained by Doug O’Neill, this Kentucky-bred gelding by Northern Afleet has done little wrong in two starts. A stylish 3 ¾ length first-out maiden special weight winner going 5 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 9, Denman’s Call hugged the rail en route to an impressive third place finish behind top Derby contender Nyquist in the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 15–an effort that earned him a lofty 94 Beyer Speed figure. Owned by Gilman Racing, Westside Rentals.com or W.C. Racing, Inc., Denman’s Call is also Triple Crown nominated and could use a win in the San Pedro as a springboard to the Derby trail.THE SAN PEDRO STAKES FIELD IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRACE 8  Approximate post time, 4:05 p.m. PTMt Veeder – Rafael Bejarano – 120He’s a Tiger – Edwin Maldonado – 120Iron Rob – Stewart Elliot – 120Boldly True – Drayden Van Dyke – 120Denman’s Call – Flavien Prat – 120Toews On Ice – Victor Espinoza – 124Gold Rush Dancer – Gary Stevens – 120last_img read more

December 18, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgMinister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile NkwintiWednesday, 28 October 2015 – Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, addressed the media at the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development cluster meeting where he expanded on Jacob Zuma’s nine-point plan that is designed to increase economic growth and create jobs.Download the speechMinisters and Deputy MinistersDirectors-GeneralMembers of the MediaLadies and gentlemenGood morning and welcome to the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development (ESEID) Cluster media briefing.South Africa adopted the National Development Plan (NDP) and Vision 2030 to create a better life for all its citizens in an inclusive society. We are over a year into the implementation of the NDP; on a path to accelerate economic growth and resolve the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.You will recall that President Jacob Zuma announced the Nine-Point Plan to ignite growth and create jobs in his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on 11 February 2015. President Zuma further provided a progress report on the Nine-Point Plan in his Mid-Year SoNA implementation update to the media on 11 August 2015.The Nine-Point Plan, whose priority interventions are the main concern of the Economic Cluster, has been designed to accelerate economic growth and create jobs by, among other things, transforming the economy and increasing investments. The three types of interventions – job drivers, enablers and cost-cutting interventions – have been designed to work in collaboration to grow the economy.A key cross-cutting priority of the Nine-Point Plan is to build stronger and enduring partnerships with the private sector.This media briefing expands on the President’s progress report by providing more detailed information and providing an opportunity for engagement on the implementation of the nine priority interventions.Economic ContextThe global economy continues to face significant headwinds. The global economy grew by 3.4% in 2014. South Africa’s main trading partners have experienced divergent economic growth. The European Union grew by just 0.9% while Japan shrunk by 0.1%. However, Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5% and the United States grew by a robust 2.4%. China’s economy continues to slow down with growth moderating to a still impressive 7.4%. Commodity prices of iron-ore, coal, platinum and oil are still well below their 2008 highs. The substantial drop in the international oil price has brought benefits for South Africa but will reduce growth in oil-producing African countries which are key destinations for South Africa’s manufactured exports.Overall, global outlook is still very uncertain with gross domestic product projections being revised downwards by the International Monitory Fund. South Africa cannot depend on global growth alone to catalyse domestic growth. The uncertain global economic outlook has depressed business and consumer confidence in the domestic economy.South Africa continues to face macroeconomic constraints. However, government is cautiously optimistic that the economy will return to growth largely on the back of a significantly improved electricity supply outlook and intense efforts by government to grow investment levels.Government is also pleased to note the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, which indicates that South Africa has risen seven places to rank 49th out of 140 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index.In August 2015, President Zuma received the Status of Women in the South African Economy report. The report identified the need for an explicit intervention to enhance the economic empowerment of women across the country, starting with the Nine-Point Plan and Operation Phakisa initiatives.The report serves as a baseline to promote socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality, and to advance their human rights.Government has prioritised leveraging private-sector investment in the infrastructure build programme, the manufacturing sector and the Ocean Economy under the auspices of Operation Phakisa.Operation Phakisa is an innovative and pioneering approach to translate detailed plans into concrete results through dedicated delivery and collaboration. Through Operation Phakisa, government aims to implement priority programmes better, faster and more effectively.Update on progress on implementation of the nine-point planGovernment is working towards a reliable energy supply to ensure energy security for now and the future; an enabler for economic growth.On 30 August 2015, President Zuma officially opened one of six generating units at the Medupi Power Station in Lephalale in Limpopo, which contributes about 800 megawatts (MW) to the grid.Medupi Power Station will add 4 764 MW to Eskom’s grid once completed and will be the world’s largest coal-fired power station. This is also the fourth dry-cooled, baseload station to be built in 20 years by Eskom, after Kendal, Majuba and Matimba power stations.The R2 billion Kouga project that has been established will provide renewable energy that can power as many as 50 000 houses, adding to the large new energy capacity that solar and wind energy has brought to the grid. Electricity supplied by 37 approved Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP) projects also continued to increase and supply just over 1 500 MW to the grid. In an effort to influence the increase in local content of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants under the REIPPP – as a first step towards this – the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has established a 100 kilowatt (kW) concentrated solar energy pilot facility with a unique design that uses smaller, smarter and modular heliostats (solar collectors) to overcome cost challenges.More recently, we completed work on the process to select the preferred bidders for the Small Projects Independent Power Producers Programme (1 – 5 MW), which aims to assist small developers to gain experience in project development and raise the necessary funding for similar projects.Recently, 21 284 households were connected to grid electricity and 2 761 connected to off-grid technology.The DST is finalising the bio-energy atlas that indicates the potential energy that may be generated using agricultural/forestry/sawmill residues and organic waste across the country. This policy and investment decision support tool seeks to improve energy security and increase levels of energy access, and will be launched before the end of the financial year. The atlas provides a sense of the proximity of bio-energy resources to energy infrastructure and areas that have limited energy access. It also gives an indication of employment-creation potentials in harvesting and converting biomass to energy.Construction of the two Integrated Energy Centres (IECs) in Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga are at a planning stage and will be completed in March 2016.On average, an IEC can employ up to 30 permanent staff members, complemented with temporary capacity. Temporary and permanent people employed during the building period will all have the opportunity to acquire training that makes them employable in the greater job market.Progress has been made in revitalising agriculture, the agro-processing value chain and land reform.The Agricultural Policy Action Plan has been reviewed to ensure that it becomes a job driver and promotes growth, employment, rural incomes, investment, output, export and African regional development.Work is continuing in the development of 44 Agri-Parks across the nine provinces. One Agri-Park is ready to be launched in North West. Production plans have been developed and are being implemented across the country to ensure increased production in the areas supporting the Agri-Parks. The DST is busy with a feasibility study on agro-innovation hubs that will support the development and dissemination of appropriate technologies to be implemented in Agri-Parks.A total of 12 221 smallholder producers were supported through advisory services, training, technical support and infrastructure from April to June 2015. In addition, 36 additional farms are being supported under the Recapitalisation and Development Programme.The DST is in the process of establishing a wheat-breeding platform to support the development and commercialisation of new breeding technologies for emerging and commercial farmers. Five new cultivars will be produced by 2020 to support increased productivity and food security. The DST also supports the Eucalyptus Genome Project, a local platform for tree genomics research in South Africa. This project focuses on the identification of desirable traits which speed up and allow for more accurate breeding. The project has the potential to increase industry competitiveness based on improved physical and chemical properties of wood and improved disease resistance to support the forest, pulp and paper industry, thus grow the economy and create employment opportunities.The Recommissioning Strategy for the Western Cape forestry exit areas has been approved to put about 22 000 hectares (ha) of state forestry land back into commercial forestry operation. The resultant benefits range from job creation, local economic development and future improvement in timber supply.According to the LHA study that was commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Independent Development Corporation, the recommissioning of Western Cape plantations will employ 350 full-time workers for the five-year period. This number will increase to 1 500 when the plantations are in full production.In an effort to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural sector through research, development and innovation, government – together with the private sector – have invested R104 058 468.78 million to implement innovation programmes for the fresh produce, aquaculture, wine, citrus and forestry sectors.To increase the amount of land under irrigation, a total of 74.6 ha were revitalised during the first quarter of the current financial year and five water-use authorisation licences were issued to previously disadvantaged individuals, amounting to 3.79 million m3 volume of water that will be used for irrigation. Some 15 resource-poor farmers were supported to access water for production.As at 30 June 2015 the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights had settled over 78 138 land claims, which benefitted more than 1,9 million individuals from 385 691 families have benefitted from an award of 3 231 787 hectares of land acquired at the cost of R18.7 billion.  Some beneficiaries opt for financial compensation, to date the Commission has paid over R9.1 billion. An additional R4.1 billion has been awarded to beneficiaries that have opted for land as development assistance.South Africa is advancing beneficiation and adding value to our mineral wealth; a job driver in the economy.Operation Phakisa in the mining industry is designed to unlock investment, enhance the nation’s productive capacity and encourage participation in key mineral value chains.Plans are in place to save jobs and to find alternatives to the threat of job losses in the mining sector. All key stakeholders signed a declaration on 31 August 2015 to save jobs and alleviate the impact of job losses in the industry.The Department of Trade and Industry provided support for a 100kW static fuel cell that runs on platinum and natural gas installed at the Chamber of Mines offices in Johannesburg.Engagements are underway with public and private sectors to promote market development, early adoption of the technology and manufacturing plants in South Africa.Through public-private partnerships, the DST facilitated the deployment of three 5kW hydrogen fuel cell units at three schools in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape and another 5kW hydrogen fuel cell unit at a clinic in Windsor East, Johannesburg, Gauteng. Apart from providing energy access in support of the provision of education and health services, the technology lays the foundation for the growth of a new industry based on South Africa’s platinum resource.We are moving towards more effective implementation of a higher-impact Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).The President announced during the Mid-Term SoNA implementation update to the media that progress was being made on implementing the IPAP, which is one of the job drivers in the economy.Government continues to create a conductive environment to attract both local and foreign investments. This is achieved through industrial financing that includes offering support to enterprises that can create and sustain jobs.Through the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, government approved 161 enterprises for funding and leveraged investment of R5.8 billion with 28 212 jobs sustained.The Automotive Incentive Scheme approved 13 enterprises for funding and leveraged investment of R1.5 billion.Government is committed to transforming the economy by ensuring that previously marginalised groups participate meaningfully in the economy. This has led to the drafting of the Black Industrialists Policy Framework, which has been presented to the ESEID Cluster and the Cabinet Committee in July 2015.Significant progress is being made in terms of attracting investment into the Industrial Development Zones (IDZs). For example, in Coega IDZ, 12 new investors with an investment value of more than R8 billion were signed, five investors with an investment value of more than R140 million were signed in the East London IDZ and the Richards Bay IDZ signed five new investors with an investment value of more than R2.8 billion.Government is playing its part in moderating workplace conflictYou will be aware that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa leads the interface between business and labour to normalise labour relations.Consensus on a working definition of a National Minimum Wage was reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.Other mechanisms to reduce workplace conflict include a Code of Conduct for strikes, lockouts and compulsory arbitration by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.South Africans are generally peace-loving and law-abiding citizens. We must stop all criminal and violent activities during industrial action and labour strikes.I would like to emphasise that peaceful negotiations are the best solution to deal with disputes and problems.Unlocking the potential of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), cooperatives, township and rural enterprises as job drivers in the economy.620 informal traders were trained in all nine were trained through the National Informal Business Upliftment pilot project in partnership with the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA). The training focused on entrepreneurship, marketing your business, customer-care, financial management, purchasing skills, regulatory and by-law compliance, hygiene and food safety, merchandising, and point of sale.489 enterprises and cooperatives were supported through the rural development, environment and tourism sectors’ initiatives. A fresh-produce market has been established in uThungulu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.To support the development of a vibrant bio-economy industrial sector, the Biomanufacturing Industrial Development Centre that was established at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research now supports 17 small and medium high-tech enterprises.To support the development of a competitive mobile innovation industry, a mobile solutions lab (mLab Southern Africa) was established at The Innovation Hub and now supports 11 small and five medium mobile innovation enterprises.As part of facilitating access to finance for SMMEs and cooperatives, the Department of Small Business Development’s Black Business Supplier Development Programme supported 376 enterprises to the tune of over R95 million (R95 821 711.23 million). This has supported 10 399 jobs.The Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) disbursed R344 million to 24 711 SMMEs. It also financed 5 305 youth-owned businesses, 22 296 black-owned,21 940 women-owned, 22 620 SMMEs and cooperatives in priority provinces. It is important to note that 43% of the allocations were in the priority sectors – such as construction, information and communications technology (ICT), mining, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism – as defined in the New Growth Path and IPAP.It is encouraging that 98% of support is towards informal businesses. This is consistent with the Nine-Point Plan announced by the President during the 2015 SoNA. It is important to note that most of the SEFA’s loans are not supported by any form of collateral.The Small Enterprise Development Agency’s network of 48 incubators supports 2 236 clients. A total of 535 permanent jobs were created by incubated small enterprises, mostly in the agriculture and construction sectors.Progress has also been registered in cross-cutting areas to reform, boost and diversify the economy. They were designed to support the other nine priority interventions.TelecommunicationsThe Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has started the process of providing broadband connection services in eight districts in provinces where the National Health Insurance programme is being piloted, including the appointment of a network service provider to connect the facilities. Furthermore, the development of   the connectivity plan of schools in the eight selected districts is underway.380 schools have been connected through Universal Service Obligations imposed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. The process will include classification of schools based on its proximity to existing network infrastructure. A total of 1 938 schools were equipped with facilities and computer rooms, and a further 131 rural communities provided with ICT equipment and services. The roll-out of broadband and ICTs will stimulate local economic development and promote economic opportunities for the youth.Water and sanitation27 200 households recently gained access to safe drinking water. Two water projects funded through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant were completed in Masilonyana Local Municipality in the Free State, and the construction of 15 bulk infrastructure schemes are at different phases.Phase 1 of the Mokolo Crocodile Water Augmentation Project has been completed and has met all short term water requirements in the Waterberg areas. This will contribute in meeting water requirements for the Medupi and Matimba power stations.3 978 households recently gained access to sanitation through the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant and 3 822 buckets in formally established areas have been replaced with proper sanitation services.Transport, rail and roadsTransport infrastructure supports all the other nine priority interventions and is an important enabler for economic growth.The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme is underway, with one of the trains being manufactured in Brazil ready for delivery on 30 November 2015.In an effort to maintain provincial roads, 19.24km have been surfaced, 62km resealed, 18km gravelled, 821km bladed and 227 628 m² potholes patched. The provincial road network is funded through the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant (PRMG). A list of these roads is in Table B5 of the Division of Revenue Act: Provincial Roads Infrastructure projects list funded through the PRMG.Construction of three bridges is at different stages in Mbombela, Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga (reconstruction of flood-damaged bridges).The Bus Rapid Transport System continues to be operationalised in various cities of South Africa:– In Cape Town, MyCiTi is moving an average of 42 522 people against a target of 50 000 per weekday. – Rea Vaya in Johannesburg is moving an average of 33 670 people against a target of 40 000 per weekday. – In Pretoria, A Re Yeng is moving an average of 3 000 people against a target of 10 000 per weekday. – Go George is moving an average of 7 630 people against a target of 10 000 per weekday in George.The construction has continued to expand the coverage of the system in the abovementioned and other cities in accordance with roll-out requirements and available funding.The South African National Roads Agency Limited has begun preliminary designs and other preparatory work for the upgrade of Moloto Road.The feasibility study for the construction of the rail factory in Ekurhuleni has been approved. This factory will produce 580 coaches and generate approximately 33 000 direct and indirect jobs.The development of a cabotage policy to support the Oceans Economy programme of Operation Phakisa is nearing completion.A draft private sector participation framework for ports and railway sectors has been developed and is due for finalisation.The Nine-Point Plan interventions were designed to stimulate the economy in a phased manner over the long term. Each priority intervention does not work in isolation but is part of an integrated national effort. It is a national effort towards inclusive economic growth. The economic empowerment of women is critical in order for South Africa to achieve real economic development and growth. The Nine-Point Plan interventions will yield results over different time frames in the immediate, medium and long term.We are confident that these priority interventions will help to grow South Africa’s economy and address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality if we all work together. The economy is everyone’s responsibility.Together let’s move the country forward.I thank youlast_img read more

December 17, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are making a few drier changes in the forecast this morning. That right off should tell you there are no changes to the immediate short term part of the forecast. We continue to look dry through the weekend. Temps will be climbing a bit more today, and humidity values also are starting to work higher, meaning we should see our conditions be just a little more uncomfortable through the weekend too.  Our next front is still on track to move into the state early next week. We still think the best arrival time will be overnight Monday night through Tuesday. Clouds will be increasing on Monday, but it still will be plenty warm. We are pulling back on rain totals now for the frontal passage, with expected rains from a few hundredths to .5” but will keep coverage at nearly 80% of the state. The front just does not look as impressive, and we think the thunderstorm threat is low. There will be plenty of holes in the coverage too as the front sweeps through from NW to SE. So, we are just making this step this morning to mirror that reality. However, we are leaving the door open to seeing showers linger in eastern parts of Ohio through Wednesday morning, so rain totals may be toward the upper end of the range there more than anywhere else.  Behind the front, we go predominately dry again for the balance of the week through Saturday. Temps remain above normal and our humidity values stay high, and that leads to s bit of instability over the region. Because of that we can’t rule out a few pop up showers in that period, with a better likelihood of that Wednesday into Thursday rather than Friday and Saturday. But, to be clear, we think the majority of the state stays dry for the entire 4 day stretch.  The only other chance of rain we have in the forecast right now comes with another front for next Sunday, the 4th, a system that we are pulling forward one day because of faster development and tracking. This is the system we had penciled in for Monday the 5th in yesterday’s forecast. This front has potential for .1”-.6” rain fall from showers and thunderstorms with coverage at 60% of the state. This front moves through fairly smoothly and will then lead to another push of drier air behind it. The map at right shows rain totals through the 10 day period. These totals are below normal and below what is needed, especially if temps continue to climb, as we expect.  The extended period looks similar to the 10 day pattern. For the week of the 5th, we see mostly partly sunny skies, but humidity and warm air will make it so once again we just can’t completely rule out scattered showers for the Tuesday through Friday period. Coverage remains around 30% (or less) and the better chances still look to come for the Tuesday-Wednesday (6th and 7th) period vs. later that week. We referenced temps above… we will see 90s return to the state later this weekend and early next week, and the behind the frontal boundary passage, we see another surge of warm air later next week into the weekend, with another round of 90s over a large part of the state, coming in from the west and south.last_img read more

October 24, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgUnited Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Jamaica, Robert Fuderich, has charged researchers to spend more time analysing data on child-related issues in an effort to solve the many problems that continue to affect Caribbean children. The UNICEF Representative, who was addressing the opening ceremony of the 7th annual Caribbean Child Research Conference on Tuesday, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, said that there is no shortage of data on child-related matters, pointing to the numerous research, policy and legal documents that have been presented over the years. He argued, however, that what is lacking is the necessary analysis of such data to find out the root causes behind many of the issues that continue to impact children. “The point is that we are aware of the ‘what’ and we do a good job communicating that ‘what’. What I would like to suggest today, is that in the years moving forward, we need to spend far more time exploring, dissecting and sharing the ‘why’,” he stated. Citing the example of teenage pregnancy, he argued that it is not only necessary to collect and communicate data on the issue, but that “we also have a duty to explain why so many of our children are getting pregnant so young”. He cited a recent workshop with teen mothers, where it was revealed that a cohort of girls from one parish had no other aspiration than to become a mother at a young age. “Because of social norms in their communities, these girls felt that they only had value and worth being a mother and a homemaker and the younger they started, the better,” he said. Mr. Fuderich stated that careful analysis of current data is necessary for the unveiling and understanding of such complex and deeply embedded norms and practices in society. These practices, he said, must be “slowly tackled over time if they are ever to be overturned”. In the meantime, Executive Director, Mona School of Business and Management, Paul Simmons, noted that through the conference, young people are being empowered through research and participation. He said this represented a new paradigm “where not only do we wish to hear from children, but we wish to empower them by facilitating their participation in arriving at solutions to issues that affect them”. The two-day conference, which is being held from November 6 to 7, is organised by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) in collaboration with several entities including UNICEF, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) and the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR). The main objectives are: to promote a culture of research among students in high schools in the Caribbean; recognise the work of child researchers in child-related research; and disseminate findings from such research. Other speakers at the event will include: Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna; Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour, University of the West Indies, Maureen Samms-Vaughan; and Professor Emeritus, SALISES, UWI, Neville Duncan.last_img read more