24 August 2012 The National Treasury has welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) assessment, in its latest report on South Africa, that the country has a stable and resilient economy but one that could do much better. The IMF released the outcome of its annual Article IV Consultation with South Africa on Thursday, following a visit to the country by IMF executive board members.Revised growth forecast In its report, the Washington-based lender revised South Africa’s growth forecast down to 2.6 percent for 2012 and to 3.4 percent for 2013. This is marginally below the forecasts – of 2.7 percent for 2012 and 3.6 percent for 2013 – made by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Budget speech in February. The IMF attributes the slowdown to the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, South Africa’s main regional trading partner. The report highlights external risks to South Africa’s outlook, including renewed concerns about the euro area and signs of a slowdown in China that could result in slower demand for South Africa’s exports and a further decline in commodity prices.Domestic risks At the same time, the report also identifies domestic risks, including lingering external competitiveness problems, a growing public sector wage bill, and the need to create more labour-intensive growth. The IMF commends South Africa’s fiscal and monetary policy approach, saying its fiscal stance has provided further stimulus to the local economy given weak external demand and a negative output gap, and that the pace of fiscal consolidation outlined over the Budget horizon is broadly adequate. However, the report identifies the country’s growing public sector wage bill as a concern, arguing that the balance of public spending needs to shifted more in favour of capital spending. The IMF says South Africa’s flexible exchange rate is an important shock absorber, helping to smooth the impact of external shocks. At the same time, the IMF staff found various indicators pointing to continuing problems with external competitiveness as a result of high domestic costs of production, including unit labour costs.High unemployment rate Importantly, the IMF argues that the country needs to take more action to create labour-intensive growth. While welcoming the focus on job creation in the government’s New Growth Path and the draft National Development Plan, the IMF says concrete actions are needed to support this, while suggesting that the structure of local product and labour markets may make it difficult for South Africa to reduce unemployment. “If not addressed, the stubbornly high unemployment rate could become politically and socially unsustainable,” the IMF states. “South Africa needs to build on its many policy successes to expand employment opportunities, secure better education and health outcomes, and build more efficient infrastructure to support inclusive growth, while maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability in a risky global environment. “Active labor market policies can help in the short term, but a sustainable reduction in unemployment seems unattainable without labour and product market reforms.”Financial institutions The report notes that South Africa’s financial institutions are largely unaffected by the crisis in the global financial system, and remain “sound, liquid, and profitable”. The IMF directors “encouraged continued vigilance in monitoring underlying risks, including banks’ dependence on short-term wholesale funding, and their large exposure to home mortgages and highly indebted households”. The Reserve Bank said on Thursday that many of the issues raised by the IMF report “are already reflected in the priorities and outcomes that government has set itself, including work on inclusive growth, policies aimed at accelerating job creation, and measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government spending”.Export competitiveness On external competitiveness, the Reserve Bank noted that the rand exchange rate had, over the past 12 months, depreciated by 13.6 percent against the US dollar and 7.2 percent on a trade-weighted basis, which should have provided a fillip to the country’s exporters. “However, nominal export growth has slowed from an annual rate of 17.5 percent in the second half of 2011 to 6.9 percent in the first half of 2012. “In part this reflects the continuing economic turmoil in Europe and slowing global growth that has sapped external demand,” the Bank said. “Slower export growth also reflects the fact that South Africa’s inflation is higher in relation to our trading partners continues to undermine external competitiveness.” The Bank said that South Africa has long acknowledged the importance of reorienting its exports toward faster growing non-traditional emerging markets. “Recent trade trends indicate that South Africa is starting to take advantage of rapid regional economic growth – the IMF projects Sub-Saharan Africa to grow at an average annual pace of 5.5 percent over the next five years – with nominal exports into Africa growing by 21.7 percent over the past 12 months.” SAinfo reporter
19 May 2014 Madiba: The African Opera – a dramatic musical retelling of Nelson Mandela’s life featuring little-known stories from his childhood – will have its world premiere at the State Theatre in Pretoria on Friday, 23 May. The opera is the brainchild of Mandela’s cousin Unathi Mtirara, a theatre artist and chief executive of Opera South Africa, who wrote the libretto based on history garnered in part from Mandela himself. The music is composed by Sibusiso Njeza and conducted by Johannesburg Chamber Orchestra conductor Kutlwano Masote. The opera will run in Pretoria until 1 June before moving to Mandela’s home village Qunu in the Eastern Cape for a special one-off performance at the Nelson Mandela Museum on 18 July, the late statesman’s birthday. Thereafter, it will run at The Opera House in Port Elizabeth – Africa’s oldest opera house – from 19 to 31 July.Stories of hope Speaking to SAinfo last week, Mtirara said the opera “all started about two years ago, when I was trying to write a book to document the history about my family and the contribution we have played in today’s South Africa. “My great-great-grandfather was among the kings who founded the ANC [African National Congress] in 1912; my great-grandfather raised Nelson Mandela; my grandfather was Nelson Mandela’s first hero, but you don’t hear much about them in his history, so I wanted to highlight those forgotten heroes,” Mtirara said. “The stories I chose of [Mandela’s] life are those that I think should give hope to a young man growing up in a village somewhere. To know that the circumstances of today may not dictate your tomorrow, there was once an icon who grew up in similar conditions to you and he believed that one day the world would be a better place for us all.”‘It must leave a legacy’ Mtirara remembers the times he spent with Mandela: “I always had the best times with him, he would tell me stories of how mischievous they were with my grandfather Justice and what they got up to as young men. One of the things he taught me was that If I involve myself in something or if I agree to do something, it must leave a legacy. I always carry those words around with me.” Mandela was modest, says Mtirara, adding that for him was not about “being related to Mandela – it was always the other way around – he respected tradition and protocol; he is from a [more] junior house than mine, and he always respected that.”Stealing the king’s cows Madiba: The African Opera tells the story of Madiba’s clan and how his family lost its seat in the traditional leadership of the kingdom after his father, Chief Gadla Mphakanyiswa, refused to appear before a white magistrate in Mthatha. After the death of his father, the young Mandela is raised by the Regent King Jongintaba Mtirara along with his cousin, Justice Mtirara. After attending a Wesleyan college, Mandela goes to Fort Hare but is asked to leave after being involved in a boycott against the university’s policies. Back at home, Mandela and his cousin reject arranged marriages proposed by the king, and agree to steal the king’s cows so they can run away to Johannesburg. It is in Johannesburg, where he witnesses a system which forbids black people from owning land, travelling, or voting, that Mandela joins the African National Congress. The story follows the creation of the Freedom Charter, the start of Mandela’s relationship and marriage to Winnie Madikizela, his arrest, the Rivonia trial and the years spent on Robben Island. The opera concludes with his liberation after 27 years in a cell and his inauguration as the country’s first democratically elected president. The role of Mandela in the opera is played by baritone and professional opera singer Thabang Senekal. Mandela’s father Gadla Mphakanyiswa is played by Mziyanda Zitha, his mother Noqaphi Nosekeni by Nonhlanhla Yende, Chief Justice Mtirara by Sipho Fubesi, Winnie Madikizela by Sbongile Mngoma, Chief Albert Luthuli by well-known actor Sello Maake Ka Ncube, and Adelaide Tambo played by Nomsa Mbatha. Mtirara hopes to create more job opportunities for young singers in South Africa, and it is his dream for the opera to be seen internationally. “I would definitely love to take this overseas, and have started communicating with a few companies about that.” SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Greg and Theresa Corcoran of Chillicothe have been appointed to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee for the 2019-2021 term beginning in March.“Dedicated Farm Bureau leaders, such as those selected to serve on national committees, remain the foundation of our grassroots organization,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “We commend them for their willingness to serve and build greater understanding between modern farmers and consumers.”As Ross County Farm Bureau members, both have been very involved in local activities, with Greg serving on the board of trustees. They also have participated in local and statewide Young Agricultural Professionals activities, which are geared toward Farm Bureau members ages 18-35. They are part owners of Corcoran Farms, a multi-generational farm in Pike, Ross and Scioto counties. The farm produces corn, soybeans, popcorn, wheat, hay and includes a Certified Angus feedlot with its own cow-calf operation. In addition, Theresa works as a physical therapist at a skilled nursing facility.Sixteen positions representing all regions of the U.S. comprise the YF&R Committee. An individual or couple may hold each committee appointment. Committee members are responsible for program planning, which includes the coordination of YF&R competitive events during American Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention each January and the Harvest for All program, which is a national hunger relief initiative.The Corcorans were nominated by Ohio Farm Bureau, whose mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.Learn more about the organization and its Young Ag Professionals program at ofbf.org.
SharePrint RelatedThe Depot — Geocache of the WeekFebruary 18, 2016In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”Chraxli’s mini Wonderland — Geocache of the WeekMay 16, 2018In “Community” At Rest At His Master’s Feet…Tokyo public transit crowds with millions of people each day. Under the blur of hurried commuters, one train station holds a story of canine loyalty. “At Rest At His Master’s Feet” (GCMCTM) reveals the story for geocachers on the hunt. Geocaching.com Charter Member Biggles Bear hid the Multi-Cache in 2005. The cache page tells the story of a faithful canine, Hachiko, who would greet his master at the train station.Cachers read, “Hachiko would accompany his master to Shibuya station in the morning, and then meet him again in the evening when he returned from his work at the Imperial University. This routine continued until one day in 1925, when the professor was taken ill at work and later died. Despite this Hachiko continued to make his way to the station and patiently await his master’s return. Hachiko became a familiar sight to commuters as he kept his vigil for over ten years. On March 8, 1935, Hachiko finally went to meet his master. He died on the very same spot he last saw his friend alive.”Cache container for “At Rest At His Master’s Feet…”The difficulty two, terrain one Multi-Cache starts at the memorial for the professor and his loyal dog. To find he final stage with the cache container, adventurers must use information found at the site to deduce the final coordinates.A cacher who logged a smiley on the cache writes, “Seeing Hachiko’s memorial and sharing the story with my two sons was very heartwarming. We battled mosquitoes (might want to prepare yourself with bugspray if you plan to visit) to figure out the calculations.”The cache as received 14 Favorite Points to date.Continue your exploration of some of the most engaging geocaches from around the globe. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.Share with your Friends:More
If you are a passionate traveller, here’s a golden opportunity to earn Rs 35 lakhs–an amount good enough for a lifetime of adventures.Well, you don’t really have to do much because you might have already put in your best efforts by now.Sculpting In Time (SIT) is running a photography contest in association with the Uttar Pradesh government and the same is being promoted by UP Tourism.All you need to do is send in your best travel photographs and hope that they announce you the winner. Well, the prize money is Rs 35 lakhs–and you can use all of that for your dream holiday or for a set of multiple vacations till the time you exhaust it all.Also read: 5 tools every backpacker would love to have in his kit Although the entries will be accepted for six different categories, four of them are Development, Daily Life, Culture & Heritage, and Nature and Environment–all of which are usually captured by travel photographers. The two other categories are General News and Sports.Want to participate? You can send in your entries through emails, share them on SIT’s Facebook page, or simply share through Whatsapp. Entries will be accepted till October 20, 2016. The coordinates are given in the image below, shared by UP Tourism on its Twitter handle:Picture courtesy: Twitter/@uptourismgov The winners will be announced at a grand award ceremony on November 7 at the Janeswar Mishra park in Lucknow. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav and ex-cricketer Anil Kumble will be among the prominent guests who are likely to attend the event.advertisementFor further details, visit www.sculptingintime.in/photocontest
KTM 390 Adventure has been spied testing again in Indian conditions and this time around the much-awaited bike sported camouflaged saddlebags on either side and a top case. At the moment, there is no official word on expected launch date and price of the motorcycle, but there are rumours that the company might introduce it in the later part of 2019.KTM already has RC 390 and 390 Duke in its 390 arsenal and Adventure will be the third addition to it. The company is expected to price the new offering close to Rs 3 lakh (ex-showroom).According to a report by ZigWheels.com, 390 Adventure will get the same engine that comes in 390 Duke — a 373.2 cc, single-cylinder engine producing 43.5 PS of power at 9,000 rpm and churning out 37 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. The engine will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Image Courtesy: ZigWheels.comThe spied image shows the bike having 19-inch front and 17-inch rear alloy whhels with disc brakes on both of them. It might have dual channel ABS. The bike gets a powerful steel trellis frame.KTM 390 Adventure is also expected to have halogen head lamps with LED DRLs and LED tail lights. The company might also give it digital speedometer, trip meter, tachometer, clock and fuel indicator.The new bike will take on the likes of BMW G 310 GS and Kawasaki Versys X 300. While BMW G 310 GS is priced at Rs 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom), Kawasaki Versys X 300 comes in with a price tag of Rs 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom).ALSO READ | Tata Motors makes ABS standard safety feature across all Tiago and Tigor variantsALSO READ | White most preferred colour choice among Indian car buyers in 2018ALSO READ | Suzuki V-Strom 650XT ABS launched in India at Rs 7.46 lakhadvertisement
Excluding Hawaii, the Florida Keys is the answer for those seeking a truly tropical escape without leaving the country, offering tourists year-round sunshine and easy access. Islamorada is indeed a far cry from the trollop-fest of South Beach, yet conveniently only a two hour drive south of Miami and half way along the road to Key West. Once on the Key, a sharp turn off US Route 1 suddenly catapults you into a lush and hushed enclave of greenery that is the Moorings Village Resort.The 18-acre property, purchased years ago and still run today by a welcoming French couple, includes a sexy, 1000-foot, palm-strewn beach and 18 cottages that serve as individual accommodations. With white wooden porches and colored shutters, the cottages evoke colonial Caribbean architecture at its best and range in size from one to three bedrooms, but even the smaller bungalows can fit extra guests on sleeper sofas. Prices fluctuate hugely throughout the year, June to November being Hurricane Season and therefore a bit of a no-go.For lunch and dinner, hop across the road to the opposite coast of the Isla to either Pierre’s restaurant for well made cocktails and a schmoozy dinner or to laid back Morada Bay Beach Café. Whether it’s a mahi mahi sandwich with string fries or a grilled grouper with curried rice, here anything fish based is highly advisable. As for breakfast – you can jolly well make it yourself in your room’s own kitchen – the only pickle we would have to pick with the hotel is the lack of an on site restaurant, however they do provide complimentary kayaks and bicycles – possibly to better pursue alternate dining options with.The resort brochure points out that the Moorings Village is a place where ‘you can do a lot, or if you choose, nothing at all’. The ‘doing a lot’ might entail use of the hotels tennis courts, lap pool, fitness center and spa, but if you crave a little more stimulation just scoot over to the Whale Harbor Marina at the tip of Islamorada where water sport haven awaits; from jet ski to kite surfing to hand gliding. The Most Jaw-Dropping Natural Swimming Holes in the United States The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities Deep Sleep: The World’s Most Incredible Underwater Hotel Rooms Editors’ Recommendations How to Make Sushi at Home 12 Reasons South Dakota Deserves Your Attention
New Delhi: Over 20,000 resident doctors in the national capital on Monday went on mass strike while raising concerns for their security and demanding stringent law and in solidarity with their West Bengal counterparts, leading to postponement of over 4,000 surgeries across Delhi government and civic body-run hospitals, and also left thousands of patients in the lurch with OPD functions being hit.Doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital, as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital were on strike on Monday. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkFifty-eight-year old Kripa Kaur was at the emergency ward in Safdarjung hospital waiting to undergo surgery but the doctors strike left her waiting for second days. Her relatives are puzzled too as the chaos in the hospital after the doctors strike is too hard for them to bear. This is the second day of the doctors strike at Safdarjung hospital and the patients are left with no other option than to suffer. “Is this a hospital? for the past two days our patient has not been attended in the Intensive Cardiac- Care Unit. I just want to know what our fault is. Why are we ignored by the doctors,” said Gurmeet Kaur, sister in law of Kripa Kaur. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsKripa is not alone; there are hundreds of patients who are bearing the brunt of the doctors strike which has entered its second day. Another seriously injured patient Nadeem, 21, has been denied on Monday for any medical treatment at Lok Nayak hospital emergency ward. “I am seriously injured, as I have been stabbed. The police brought me to his hospital but security at the emergency gate did not allow me to go inside the casualty ward,” said patient Nadeem. However, after the Millennium Post intervention, he has given a preliminary treatment at the hospital. However, the patient at the emergency wards at GTB hospital, Mohammed Abraak, who had fractured right upper limb, faces the consequence of the strike. “My operation was scheduled for Monday but It has been postponed,” said Abraak. Another patient at the same ward, Vipin Kumar Dubey, 25, an cab driver, met with an accident and received multiple fractured at his right upper and lower limp, waiting doctors while alleging that doctors have stopped coming to our wards, only nursing staff come to give medicine.
16 November 2007Lebanon’s leaders must place the national interest above their personal and sectarian interests as the country prepares to elect a new president before a constitutional deadline later this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the country. Mr. Ban told reporters in Beirut that the whole world was watching Lebanon, adding that it was imperative that the Parliament be convened to elect a president.He also reiterated that the election, which is supposed to take place by 24 November, must be held on time, in accordance with the constitution and without any foreign interference.Earlier today the Secretary-General held talks with Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir at the residence of the Maronite Church leader. UN spokesperson Michele Montas said the two men discussed the current situation in Lebanon and Mr. Ban commended the Patriarch’s efforts to seek a solution to the political crisis.Mr. Ban also held discussions with Maj.-Gen. Claudio Graziano, the Force Commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), on recent press reports concerning the mission’s continuing presence in the country.The Secretary-General emphasized that UNIFIL will stay in Lebanon as long as is necessary and that the international community remained fully behind the mission and its mandate.In addition to those meetings, Mr. Ban also held talks with other Lebanese leaders, including representatives of the so-called 14 March coalition, Walid Jumblatt, the former president Amine Gemayel, Suleiman Franjieh, Samir Geagea and Mohammad Fneish.Lebanon is the latest stop on an international trip that has recently taken the Secretary-General to Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Antarctica, Spain and Tunisia. He now returns to Spain to participate in tomorrow’s launch of the fourth and final report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Hizbullah also warned that Muslim leaders will not be able to control Muslim youth if Islam continues to be disrespected in the country.Buddha Sasana Affairs and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the Government is looking to resolve the recent issues through dialogue.He said that President Maithripala Sirisena had a discussion with religious leaders this week in an attempt to ensure religious unity. Muslim Ministers today demanded the arrest of a Buddhist monk who had disrespected Islam.Minister Rishad Bathiudeen told Parliament that a police complaint was filed against the monk. He accused some Muslim Ministers of attempting to incite more racial hatred instead of attempting to resolve the issue. (Colombo Gazette) He said that a joint letter by Muslim Parliamentarians raising concerns over threats being faced by Muslims in the country was sent to the President and Prime Minister.He said the Bodu Bala Sena continues to make statements disrespectful to Islam and action must be taken against them. State Minister M. L. A. M. Hizbullah also questioned what action will be taken against the monk. Rajapakshe said that when an attempt is being made to resolve the issue, representatives of the public must support such attempts. However he said the monk continues to be part of discussions being held by the Government with no legal action being taken against him.