No turning back for 2010 hosts

first_img2009 promises to be another heady year for South Africa, but in just 12 months, hundreds of millions of people around the globe will be tuning in for the 2010 Final Draw, an event that will kick-start the biggest celebration this continent has ever seen. TNS Research Surveys, which has gauged public confidence levels over preparations for 2010, says every South African stands to benefit considerably from our hosting of this event. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and for South Africa, gearing to host the biggest single-code sporting event on the planet, 2008 has certainly proved to be more than a litmus test. As Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke recently remarked: “There is no turning back.” Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010 Xenophobia, widespread power cuts, the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki and a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe were just some of the distractions organisers of the tournament had to contend with. The grinding machinery tasked with building and renovating stadiums in all 10 host cities as well as numerous other 2010-related construction projects has performed remarkably well. So much so, that both Fifa and the 2010 Local Organising Committee have expressed confidence that South Africa will meet its 2010 requirements ahead of schedule. 24 December 2008 “We need to harness this energy to talk up the event,” the organisation said in a recent statement. “We recall the incredible energy and joy that swept the whole country when the bid result was announced. Negativity risks damaging this energy and can affect our actual ability to do what we know we can do.” In addition, preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup – a key curtain-raiser for the World Cup – are on target, with tickets selling briskly. There was also good news on the crime front, with the launch of the recruitment process for 41 000 extra police officers by 2010 and the acquisition of high-tech security equipment – including helicopters, body armour and high-tech bomb disabling equipment – for the tournament. Apart from the labour disputes, spiralling construction costs and political in-fighting that are part and parcel of preparing for an event of this magnitude, there were plenty of other issues. And yet, there was much to draw hope and inspiration from. What a long, strange year it has been. South Africa’s preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup have been marked by extraordinary highs and lows.last_img read more

Zuma’s promise to Eldorado Park

first_img15 May 2013President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by several Cabinet ministers, took time out on Tuesday to visit the people of Eldorado Park and surrounding Kliptown, south of Johannesburg, where drugs, high levels of crime and violence have resulted in residents living in fear.President Zuma’s visit was prompted by a letter by Eldorado Park resident Dereleen James, in which she documents her struggle to get her 17-year-old son off crystal meth, the drug known locally as “tik”.James’s son, who is now in rehab, will be taken to a place of safety when he comes out to prevent him relapsing.Community’s letter from the heartHis mother’s letter has since gone viral, with community members adding their own stories to it, detailing how a wave of drugs has taken over their lives, with many having lost their children to it.“The term ‘future generation’ is non-existent, meaningless to us,” the letter reads. “Sending our children to school is like sending them to the lion’s den. Drug peddlers parade and sell daily to our kids … Our children in turn sell for them to get a free ‘gage’ or two. Our community is flooded with ‘Lolli lounges’.”The community pleaded with Zuma to set up a special court for drug-related crimes, to help build a rehab centre, to dismiss all corrupt police officers, to have compulsory drug testing at schools, and to develop recreation centres to keep youngsters busy.Amid a heavy police presence, Zuma first held a meeting with the families who wrote the letter, then proceeded to meet with the community.“Mr President, we need your help,” said an emotional James, appealing for action to be taken.Local community leader and pastor Xavier Hendricks said he was afraid that if action were not taken fast, people would take matters into their own hands.Drug-fuelled crime spiralOfficials from a local drug rehabilitation centre told Zuma that a lack of funding complicated the challenge of saving the drug-ridden community.Recovering drug addict, 20-year-old Kelly-Anne, shared her life story about how she used to prostitute herself for a fix, her time in jail for possession of drugs, her struggle as a teenage mother and dropping out of school. She pleaded with the young girls in the crowd not to go down the same route she did.Many children, according to the community, are addicted to nyaope, dagga, cat, tik and alcohol, which are easily available even at schools.A “hit” of nyaope – a mixture of heroine, dagga, battery acid, rat poison, ARVs and other dangerous ingredients – costs about R30. As a result, crime has spiralled as desperate youngsters will do anything to feed their habit.A community member, who only introduced herself as Fatima, told SAnews that it would be a long road before the community won the war against drugs, as police operations only saw individuals getting arrested, and did not get the drugs off the streets.“We know these drug dens but it is difficult to stop them because they are working with the police. It is well known that the syndicates pay the police officers a ‘protection fee’, and that is why they never get arrested,” she alleged.Another visibly frustrated resident said the addicts went to extremes to finance their habit, from stealing metal sheets, taps, copper, electric cables and aluminium, which they exchanged for cash at scrapyards.“They can steal anything – from household items, clothes, food and tormenting their parents and grandparents in the process.”The impassioned man said young girls were mostly found at “Lolli lounges” – rooms where men traded sex with addicts.Most of the community members refused to be on record, saying the dealers had ears all over.‘I will drive the programme myself’Zuma told the residents, some of whom were carrying posters expressing their anger against drug lords, that when he read the letter, he was overcome with shock.“Having listened to your pleas, we understand the situation and we now have to decide what to do with it.”Zuma said the situation called for drastic measures to be taken swiftly. He committed to lead the turnaround strategy for the community himself.He told the crowd that over the next few days, the government would meet with community members to decide on the actions they needed to take.“We won’t make promises and not act. We will act. I will drive the programme myself,” he said, adding that time-frames for the turnaround strategy would be announced soon.He vowed to close down the Lolli lounges, which he referred to as “rotten houses” that were destroying children’s innocence. He said they would work with young people in the community and support initiatives to create employment in the area.“We will work together to stop this rot … Government won’t be acting alone. We will act with the community to save this community.”Zuma was accompanied on his visit by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Relocating rhino to create new breeding populations

first_img24 March 2015Nineteen black rhino were recently released at an undisclosed location in South Africa to create a new breeding population of the critically endangered animals.The animals form the 10th population to be facilitated through WWF South Africa’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project and were made available through the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. Growing rhino populations is part of WWF South Africa’s five-point rhino plan.Black rhino are more at risk of extinction than white rhino due to their low numbers. Since the start of the programme in 2003, around 160 black rhino have been relocated to form new breeding populations, and more than 50 calves have been born on project sites.Management plan“We are extremely proud of the agency’s contribution to the conservation of this species,” said Vuyani Dayimani, CEO of Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. “By doing this the agency is actively contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the national biodiversity management plan for black rhino in South Africa.”One of the key objectives of this plan is to grow the national population as rapidly as possible by harvesting animals from populations that are at or near ecological carrying capacity and using these animals to create new populations. This harvesting stimulates growth in the donor population and also makes animals available for the creation of new populations.“We are really grateful for Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency’s progressive approach to the conservation of black rhino,” said Dr Jacques Flamand, head of the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.Commitment“It requires a genuine commitment to conservation to entrust others with the care of such a large group of these precious animals; but this is for the greater good of the species. Establishing a new population is extremely exciting for us because this is essentially what the project works towards. To see our efforts come to fruition is very encouraging.”The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims to increase the numbers of black rhino by encouraging rapid population growth. It is a vital part of South Africa’s drive to reach a target of 3 000 black rhino. According to Dr Flamand: “South Africa now has significantly more black rhino than there would have been without the project’s intervention.“Founder populations released on to large areas of land have the potential to increase quickly in number. And moving rhinos from our major parks relieves pressure, allowing for more rapid growth both at source and in their new terrain.”SecurityThe Western Black rhino, a subspecies of the black rhino, was officially declared extinct in 2013 after last being seen in 2006.The recent translocation involved WWF and Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency with help from SANParks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Six wildlife veterinarians participated in the project that saw darted animals being airlifted by helicopter to a central loading area where they were loaded into crates and prepared for a road trip to their new home.“The project was kept secret for security reasons and one of the highlights of the operation was the manner in which the different state agencies supported and assisted each other to ensure its success,” said Dayimani.As well as focusing on population growth, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project supports security efforts on major rhino reserves. It is funded by WWF Netherlands and supported by the Ford Wildlife Fund. Founder populations for the project sites have come from game reserves managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.Source: World Wildlife Fund South Africalast_img read more

Mpumalanga playing its part for South Africa’s reputation

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 17 September 2015 – Brand South Africa today took the national agenda to build and profile South Africa’s competitive strengths to Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, during a one-day workshop.The workshop was attended by local government representatives and officials from the Department of Health, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Government Communication and Information System.Robust discussion ensued on what makes South Africa a globally competitive inward destination for investment, tourism and skills and how provinces can play their part.Provincial and city brands are a critical building block of the nation brand, particularly as they often provide the first experience of a country. Visitors and investors experience a country through its provinces and cities and it for this reason that Brand South Africa is taking its programmes to provinces.One of the greatest attributes of the province of Mpumalanga and a significant contribution to the nation brand is its tourism offering and experience which begins at the airport. Discussions at the workshop centered on economic development and potential in the province. This will impact positively on both provincial social and economic development and ultimately South Africa’s reputation.Follow the conversation on #CompetitiveSAlast_img read more

Pepsi North America Cup Amps Up Star Power with K Trevor Wilson

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Mike Ure and Aidan Johnson-Bujold of Buck Twenty will treat the crowd to a rousing live concert. The singer/songwriter duo from Harrow, Ontario, are best known for their single, “Here’s To The Nights,” which received prolific play on Canadian Country Radio. The 2017 CMAO Rising Star Award Nominees take pride in the musical presentation of their live show and most definitely aren’t afraid to bring a surplus of feel good energy to the stage.Guests can enjoy refreshments in the event’s Beer Garden or the exclusive Corona Deck viewing area, as well as samplings of Pepsi Pure Leaf and Colio on site. Contesting, carnival games and driver autograph signings will round out the evening, providing fun for the whole family.This year’s Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers will be the 35th edition of Canada’s richest harness race. It will also be the 12th edition held at the newly renamed Woodbine Mohawk Park.Now the permanent home of Canada’s finest standardbreds and year-round harness racing, the picturesque racetrack in the heart of Campbellville has recently undergone a series of renovations and upgrades. Woodbine Entertainment’s commitment to World Class Horse Racing and providing customers with first-class experiences will be front and centre when the track unveils its new improvements.Post time for the Pepsi North America Cup race card is 6:30 pm. Doors open at 5 pm with the action concluding around 11:30 pm. The event day box office will be open from 4 pm until 10:30 pm and is located at the main entrance.Website: woodbineentertainment.com/mohawkFacebook: facebook.com/WoodbineSBTwitter: twitter.com/WoodbineSBInstagram: instagram.com/WoodbineSBYouTube: youtube.com/WoodbineReplaysABOUT THE MILTON DISTRICT HOSPITAL FOUNDATIONTransforming Giving. Transforming Care. It may surprise you to know that government funding does not support equipment purchases. That means 100% of essential medical equipment required for Milton District Hospital must be funded through donations from our community. The Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF) is proud to work with the community of Milton to support Milton District Hospital. MDHF raises funds to help purchase essential medical equipment and technology, and improve the facilities through annual fundraising initiatives, community events and a combination of various other programs. Together, we are transforming healthcare in Milton now, and for generations to come. Login/Register With: Advertisement TORONTO, April 2, 2018 – The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup returns bigger than ever this year to the newly renovated Woodbine Mohawk Park. The signature race of the 2018 standardbred season will take place Saturday, June 16, with K. Trevor Wilson and Dylan Playfair from Letterkenny and live music from country duo Buck Twenty.center_img Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advance tickets are now available at bit.ly/NACup2018. General admission tickets are $10 for guests aged 18+ and guests under 17 receive free admission. Tickets purchased on site at Woodbine Mohawk Park on opening weekend (April 12) will receive 25% off. The Milton District Hospital Foundation will be the official charity partner for this year’s Pepsi North America Cup, with a percentage of all ticket sales going towards the Foundation.Hosts K. Trevor Wilson and Dylan Playfair from acclaimed Comedy Network series, Letterkenny, will guide guests through the thrilling evening of live racing and are sure to provide some comic relief along the way. Their popular show won the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series and has amassed fans across the country.last_img read more