Transnet Bursaries 2016 : Latest Bursary Programme
Transnet is offering the Latest Bursaries 2016 in South Africa. The Transnet Bursary Programme 2015/2016 is available at different Transnet sections for those candidates who are looking for valuable training and student financing schemes. The Transnet Bursary fundswill be available for the hard working, deserving and talented candidates, so you should avail these 2016 Bursaries at Transnet, South Africa.
You should get the full advantage of the available bursaries 2016 at Transnet. Transnet is one of the most popular group of companies to work for in South Africa, and it can pay for your expenses through the Transnet Bursaries 2016 programme. Interested applicants should download the Bursary Application Form and forward it to the relevant department.
Transnet Bursaries 2016 in South Africa: New Bursary Schemes
Transnet is a focused and integrated freight transport company which is essentially driven by five operating divisions Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet Engineering, Transnet National Ports Authority, Transnet Port Terminals, Transnet Pipelines and specialist units (Transnet Capital Projects and Transnet Property).
Full-Time Bursaries are awarded annually according to the employment needs of the company. All our full-time students are viewed as potential employees – depending on vacancies being available after successful completing their qualifications.
Fields of study:
Electrical (Heavy Current)
The comprehensive Transnet Bursary, covers the following:
Accommodation and meals
Students are allowed to study at a South African University of their choice who offers the relevant fields of study.
Closing date for applications : 31 July 2015
How to apply for Transnet Student Bursaries 2016: Available bursaries in South Africa
If you comply with the minimal requirements or eligibility criteria as mentioned above, you should Click Here and download the application forms and submit to the bursary office:
150 Commissioner Street
Or these may be submitted via Fax on 086 571 63 75
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As public transport increasingly becomes a nightmare in the capital, characterised by congestion and daunting delays, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has engaged an international advisory urban transport consultancy firm – CPCS, in a vigorous exercise to address the problem.
A consultative workshop convened by the ministry to share ideas on strategies to improve the public transport systems of the Greater Gaborone Area, revealed a total of 200,000 trips are made daily between the city and surrounding areas. Despite the consultancy’s optimism, a dark cloud of uncertainty and skepticism engulfed the many operators who convened in Phakalane.
CPCS senior consultant, Amos Ditima, reiterated lack of integration between urban planning, transport planning and land use planning saying it is an eyesore to Gaborone’s public transport sector.
He said an ongoing study, Implementation of an Improved Metropolitan Public Transport System for the Greater Gaborone Area has found that of the over 400, 000 vehicle population nationwide, over 50 percent of these are in the city.
“There are 200, 000 daily trips between Gaborone and surrounding towns and villages, 97 percent of these are within Gaborone,” said Ditima.
The vehicle composition of these daily trips reveals that 86 percent are through light vehicles, with cars taking up a sizeable 60 percent, while vans constitutes 26 percent and taxis made up one percent of the traffic.
Buses, on the other hand, made up a mere eight percent, while minibuses composed of the small percentage and no large buses recorded in this daily traffic mix. Adding into the poor integration in planning, Ditima said the study found the city’s public transport system sub-optimal, as it does not deliver an organised system. Though the city council provides and maintains the necessary infrastructure, he said the sector is burdened by unregulated informal free market system of minibus and taxi operators providing uncoordinated and poor quality service.
Currently, existing operators operate mostly as individuals except for long distance buses, which are represented by an association. Moreover, he said the permit system is inadequate for economic regulation, and over-supply of permits in the market.
CPCS therefore says there is a need to restructure existing institutions, open up the transport markets to the private sector, corporatise ministry and commercialise publicly owned transport bodies.
“A central feature of regulation is to support the market and to control abuse of monopoly power. There are four major options: administered public monopoly, regulated private monopoly, unregulated market, and regulated competition,” Ditima said.
He added that it is important for the success of the new system to take on board those operators who are currently offering public transport services, however, in a more organised manner, with the necessary training and infrastructure provided.
“The new system will only be considered to be successful if it delivers the required outcomes which are; faster journey times, significant modal shift from cars to public transport, reduced congestion, less waiting time, and easier through movements,” he opined.
To this end, members of the Gaborone Taxi Association have been on a benchmarking exercise in George in South Africa, where the municipality is said to have succeeded in enhancing the public transport efficiency through merging independent operators into one company.
The chairperson of the association, Gopolang Tlhomelang, is optimistic that with government subsidies the same model can achieve results in Gaborone. “George has a population of 150 thousand, and we are 100 thousand more than they are. I believe if our permits are to be valued and shareholding is determined based on the value of the permits like they did, and all existing employees in the sector are incorporated in the new entity, then we can have a success model as well,” he said.
The workshop was attended by road transport operators, academicians, and government officials to promote the system, which is widely accepted as the fundamental component to contain road traffic congestion, environmental pollution and other externalities of transport.
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To forge a research-intensive university that would be the best in South Africa was a publicly declared goal of Professor Malegapuru Makgoba when he became vice-chancellor of the University of Natal, then poised to merge with the University of Durban-Westville (UDW).
Given the higher educational landscape at the time, he faced scepticism. For some, the new institution’s dual aspirations of social transformation and scholarship seemed to be in conflict with each other. For others, it was simply too audacious an ambition to be realistic.
But two years before the end of his second term of office, the University of KwaZulu-Natal was able to announce its position at the top of the Department of Higher Education and Training’s list of research-led and publicly funded universities. This is a position the institution held for a second consecutive year and is hoping to maintain.
“This is the achievement of which I am most proud,” Makgoba said, speaking from his parents’ home in rural Sekhukhune, Limpopo, where the crowing of roosters filters down the line and where he is building a home – “The Nkandla of Limpopo”, he quips, “but without the fire pool, chicken run and amphitheatre.”
“To create an institution at the top of the ladder in South Africa in an era of extremely tough global competition is what I strived for from the start, and it fits my personality as an individual.”
Such a personality, Makgoba explains, is characterised by a drive to give his best and be judged on what he can deliver.
“From my days as a schoolboy, I have wanted to be at the top, to achieve excellence, and this attitude followed me everywhere, from the Natal medical school to Oxford and the National Institutes of Health – I’ve been competing all my life.”
Makgoba said his international experience had impressed upon him the importance of research in academia.
“I was taught to aspire to originality, not imitation, to develop ideas so they added value to knowledge. And this approach is the foundation for teaching in a university.”
When Makgoba took over as vice-chancellor of the then-University of Natal, he perceived that the institution and UDW were dogged by an inferiority complex and were content to play “second fiddle” to other South African universities in scholarship. At the same time, staff, certainly of the old University of Natal, sought jobs at institutions such as UCT, which were seen as being more prestigious.
But, from the start, Makgoba was “fixed” on his goal of a globally competitive university.
He understood that there would be positive spin-offs in attaining such a goal.
“I refused to negotiate on this goal and I also knew that, on that particular score, I was not going to be challenged by any self-respecting academic.”
Makgoba and his team set about implementing a string of related strategies to improve research output and productivity.
These included an emphasis on academic qualifications – all academics were required to hold a PhD – greater productivity among individual academics (all academics were expected to start producing research papers and to supervise larger numbers of postgraduates) and a PhD programme to nurture a future generation of African academics.
“Really, the question was not whether we could do it, but whether people were ready for it.
“There was some resistance at the outset – it seems to be a uniquely South African phenomenon that you should hold an academic position without the requisite qualifications – but most came around to the idea, even if reluctantly.”
At the same time as he was pushing for new levels of scholarship, Makgoba was determined to transform the university demographics, to create staff profiles that were more representative of the race, gender and age profiles of South Africa.
“Across all divisions and colleges and at all levels, including the deanery, heads of schools and directors, the university is now well-represented by women, Africans, Indians and whites.
“We’ve managed to capture the mix very well and enrich the institution through diversity.”
Makgoba is also proud that UKZN has become an institution of young people – 72 percent of the academics are under the age of 50.
Another of his goals was to give substance to the constitution’s recognition of indigenous languages. He oversaw the development of the university’s language policy and plan, a process that culminated in the historic introduction last year of a compulsory Zulu language module for all undergraduates.
“IsiZulu is the most widely spoken language in South Africa, let alone KZN,” he said.
“Not only was the move aimed at providing young professionals with vital communication skills, but the university is at the forefront of developing isiZulu as a language of science and technology.”
All achievements were led by teams with a common purpose – to develop an institution of academic excellence. “They were not the product of individual effort.
“I was able to create and identify a team of people – it was never an accident that I worked with the people I did.
“I do not publish or do research. All I could do was inspire others to do so. That inspiration multiplies if you have disciples to take the message through.”
The leadership at UKZN, particularly at the level of the executive and the deans, distinguished themselves by showing consistent courage in translating the shared vision of the university into reality.
Unique among South African universities is the devolution of power through the institution’s structure.
“As vice-chancellor, I was conscious of the need to devolve my powers to others in order for them to be able to express their own leadership strengths. In this way one gives space for more diverse creativity in the institution.”
Also critical was the support of the council – the university’s highest governing body.
“One of the pleasures of working at UKZN was derived from the quality of leadership at council (level). We faced criticism as an institution, but we stuck to our strategy and we had the support of all chairs of council and the executive, all of whom understood that we were living in a new country with new values and different emphases.”
Does Makgoba have any regrets about any aspects of his tenure as vice-chancellor? Not really, he says.
“There were obviously limitations in time, capacity and resources that affected what I could realistically achieve. I adopted a focused approach aimed at research because I knew it would translate into a number of positive spin-offs for the institution.
“But if I were to be analytical, I think I could have spent more time promoting the development of sports. At this point, it’s easy to identify this gap, but at the time there were a number of issues competing for my attention.”
According to Makgoba, UKZN’s establishment and development was underpinned at a fundamental level by good governance.
“Governance structures set the tone and environment in which universities operate – and a robust, transparent governance structure is an absolute necessity. All our council chairs have driven this approach.”
Another bonus was that the new university was able to leverage large sums of money from international foundations for the development of world-class research facilities such as the Africa Centre, the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, and the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa, or Caprisa.
“During this period, the government also actively supported the merger and gave us resources,” said Makgoba.
For example, the R90-million Biological and Conservation Sciences building was the product of a Department of Higher Education and Training grant, and the UNITE School of Engineering “green” building was funded through a R20m grant from the Department of Science and Technology.
Makgoba said he was happy that UKZN had avoided the kind of anguish and upheaval over symbols and transformation experienced more recently at other universities.
“We are fortunate at UKZN to have embraced change early on,” he said. “What you see at universities around the country reflects the nature of our society’s development… You can’t have Africans pretending to be anything other than African. They are what they are and they will bring their social values into the university.”
Makgoba ascribes the poor level of transformation at institutions to poor leadership.
“Academics love vice-chancellors who do nothing, say nothing and are nobody. They love vice-chancellors who lack clarity of vision, are ambiguous, wishy-washy in their manner of speaking and have no courage… because this allows for privilege, poor performance, the status quo, mediocrity and pervasive corruption.
“Clarity of vision, integrity and courage are needed to transform and overhaul this archaic, race-riddled and underperforming system.”
Without giving away too many details, Makgoba says he will be taking up an important job at a “national level”.
In the meantime, he is writing a chapter for the Oxford Textbook of Medicine on research in resource-constrained countries. He is serving as a health expert on the Defence Force Service Commission for five years and is a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Leadership and Research Policy Unit. He will also continue chairing the oversight committee for transformation at public-funded universities.
“For the moment, I’m enjoying being in the countryside and spending time with my parents. My siblings have been popping in and out and my first month of retirement has been peaceful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have served and led the university and for what the university did for me.”
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It’s been said that South Africa has some of the best environmental legislation in the world … in principle. However, the vagueness in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Nemwa) in terms of reporting requirements for contamination levels puts industry between a rock and a hard place.
At a recent client workshop on contaminated land, held by global environmental engineering consultancy Golder Associates, Kenneth Cameron, a director at MacRobert Attorneys who heads the Environmental and Mining Division, said, “‘Contamination’ has a very specific definition in the Act. If we lose sight of that definition, we lose sight of what we’re trying to achieve and the risks inherent in reporting.”
‘Contaminated’ in Nemwa Part 8 of Chapter 4 is defined as: … “the presence in or under any land, site, buildings or structures of a substance or micro-organism above the concentration that is normally present in or under that land, which directly or indirectly affects or may affect the quality of soil or the environment adversely”.
Section 36(5) requires an owner of land that is “significantly contaminated”, or the person undertaking “an activity that caused the land to be significantly contaminated” to notify the Minister of Environmental Affairs and the MEC.
However, government doesn’t appear to have given clarity on what either ‘normal concentration’ or ‘significant’ contamination is. Also, there is seemingly no protection afforded to companies that disclose contamination information under Section 36(5).
“Proceed with extreme circumspection – that’s the message,” says Cameron. “When you consider reporting in terms of section 36(5), the governance red flags must go up … and you have to think very carefully about what you want to achieve as opposed to what you may achieve unwittingly.”
He says that effectively, when reporting in terms of section 36(5), you’re declaring that “the contamination on my property or where I operate exceeds the concentration of what would be considered ‘normal’ for that property or operation. In fact, given the wording of the section, you inherently also report that you exceed that mark by a significant margin.”
“What is normal for that area? Would that be a benchmark? What if the baseline value of your property is already high? Or if it’s been elevated since before you started operating?” Cameron asks.
Industrial operations also require any number of environmental authorisations before they may begin operations, which may include water and waste management licences, environmental management programmes among others.
Cameron questions whether elevated levels of contaminants invariably translate to ‘contamination’ as defined. A water use licence for effluent storage, for example, may state the concentrations of contaminants that need to be monitored and includes the limits that must not be exceeded, even some distance from the dam or earth-cell.
“Is that not a localised norm that has been set? Should I now report that I have contaminated land merely because I know there are elevated levels of monitored substances in the surrounding soil, when I’m still in compliance with the norms set by the licence?” he asks.
Norms or normal values for a property are also not necessarily explicit. Would an ‘Industrial 1’ zoning or a mining right not carry an implicit acknowledgement that an undefined quantity of contaminants may infiltrate topsoil on high activity areas? “Is the site norm not established by all these factors?” he asks. “There is to my mind a substantial difference between ‘contamination’ in the ordinary sense, and the ‘significant’ exceeding of ‘normal’ values.”
He suggests companies also consider the criminal, financial and personal liability implications of reporting under section 36(5).
Criminal offenses and extended personal liability
Cameron points out that certain provisions in the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 attach criminal liability to contamination, such as sections 49A(1)(e) and (f). These provisions virtually mirror the definition of ‘contamination’ in the Nemwa.
He adds that reporting under section 36(5) is an apparent acknowledgement of the significant exceeding of whatever could be deemed acceptable for that site. Such a report therefore arguably also alludes to negligence on the part of the operating entity in principle.
It is also important to note that these violations are part of the suite of transgressions in terms of which directors, managers and employees can be held personally liable for the transgression of the operating company.
“The state therefore created an offence, but defined the offence so subjectively and vaguely that it’s most often virtually impossible to determine whether you’ve committed this offence. Then it imposes a requirement to notify the authorities when you’ve committed the offence. This notice not only exposes the company to substantial potential criminal and financial liabilities, but extends those liabilities to its directors, managers and employees in their personal capacity”.
Yet, it is also a criminal violation not to report in terms of section 36(5), “in spite of the Constitutional right against self-incrimination. Therefore, if you elect not to report for fear of unsubstantiated self-incrimination, the company runs the further risk of criminally liability for not doing so in any event, based on the same vague and subjective parameters. This liability risk is likewise also extended to directors, managers and employees in their personal capacity in terms of section 34 of the Nema,” he says.
Subsequent to a notice in terms of section 36(5), the Nemwa provides that the owner or operator is required to have a site assessment conducted “by an independent person, at own cost, and to submit a site assessment report to the Minister or MEC within a period specified in the notice”. Cameron states that this report may subjectively (and possibly incorrectly) come to a conclusion that the site is ‘contaminated’ for purposes of the Nemwa. It becomes virtually impossible to retract an acknowledgement under section 36(5) once a site assessment has been completed.
Under section 40, the ‘contaminated’ property may not be transferred without informing prospective buyers that land is contaminated. One can hardly provide a contamination notification under section 36(5), but fail to notify a potential buyer. Since the obligation to report under section 36(5) falls on both the landowner and the impacting occupant equally, the interplay between landlord and tenant becomes tricky, he says.
If a property is declared a remediation site (a likely consequence of reporting under section 36(5)) the Registrar of Deeds is required to register the property as a remediation site in terms of the Deeds Registries Act. This has substantial implications for the financing industry in respect of secured loans, not to mention instances where the financier also has equity exposure.
Remediation orders must also be executed before property is transferred – as such, any commercial transactions in play are at risk, says Cameron.
Why Part 8 ‘fails’
“In my opinion, Part 8 of the Nemwa is fundamentally flawed,” Cameron says.
“Firstly, it arguably violates the Constitutional right against forced self-incrimination. Other than similar provisions elsewhere, no indemnification is offered in the Nemwa. It simply does not make sense to have to risk compounded criminal sanctions as a direct consequence of assisting the authorities to address environmental issues.”
“Secondly, it fails the test for legality. It is established law that if one cannot determine what, when and how you need to act in terms of legislation with a reasonable degree of certainty, then that legislation could, and should, be set aside. That test is even more pronounced when the provisions carry criminal penalties.
“Environmental legislation is seldom taken on review, because clients want to engage with government in a positive manner. But you can see that in not doing so, we also perpetuate certain risks. In the meantime, we have to deal with the legislation as it stands,” he says.
What is to be done?
“Although dealing with the challenges of Part 8 is not simple”, Cameron says, “I do not propose non-reporting simply because the legislation is vague and confusing. However, proceed with substantial caution and diligence.”
Different owners and industries have different circumstances, risk profiles and risk appetites. As such, there are varying factors to bear in mind when reporting in terms of Section 36(5) is considered. Cameron puts forward the following considerations:
- Understand with “a reasonable degree of certainty what’s going on in the properties in question”;
- Obtain advice on the natural background values inherent to your area or property;
- Whether you’ve exceeded a “norm” and whether that contamination is of legal significance, is a much broader question than can be ascertained by a physical site assessment alone;
- Shareholders and management should be well advised of the potential consequences of both reporting and not reporting. This include criminal implications as well as knock-on personal liability risks in both instances;
- If you suspect that the use of the property in question may fall within the legal norms and boundaries set by authorisations, zoning and other site specific considerations, consider a highly contextualised communication that highlights the conceptual uncertainties of the definition and section 36(5) itself;
- Consider the implications for the occupier or owner and any lease, sale or other legal instrument attached to the use, ownership or financing of the property.
“In any event, obtain legal advice. Be specifically aware that if you obtain legal advice from the relevant authorities, that advice may not protect your company or its directors and managers if it is inaccurate. An environmental specialist that does not appreciate the conceptual and legal challenges of Part 8, will also not do you any favours,” says Cameron.
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The Amsterdam offices of smartphone manufacturer Fairphone were created inside a former industrial building – and informed by the same sustainable design principles the company uses for its products.
(Fairphone aims to make its Android devices from ethically sourced materials, following a modular design that allows users to swap and replace defunct components rather than buy a new phone.) …[S]tandalone rooms, which provide meeting spaces and Skype booths, have glazed walls made using reclaimed window frames from the building’s previous tenants.
The other sides are clad with old floorboards made from rubberwood – a light-coloured, medium-density tropical hardwood that is harvested as a waste product of the latex industry once the rubber trees have been stripped of their natural polymers.
Cape Town – Cape Town Stadium should be converted into a hi-tech sewerage plant so the city can stop discharging about 50 million litres of untreated effluent in Hout Bay, Camps Bay and Green Point daily.
“A lack of suitable space on which to build a new sewerage treatment plant seems to be one of the biggest headaches for the municipality… but many people now want to know about the possibility of converting (Cape Town) stadium into a hi-tech sewerage plant,” said Afriforum’s provincial co-ordinator Stefan Pieterse.
The proposal has been echoed by the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance in a letter to several national government departments. The alliance refuted the city’s argument that it did not have land to build alternative sewage disposal facilities.
“In Green Point, there is a huge piece of land where the stadium presently stands, and in Camps Bay the city owns plenty of land around the Glen Club,” said Len Swimmer, deputy chairman of the alliance, that represents 160 civic groups and ratepayers’ associations.
The city last week applied for a permit to discharge sew age from its three coastal outflow pipes, as per legislation that came into effect in 2009. The applications are available for public comment until July 10.
Photographs of plumes of sewage and effluent floating along the coast, close to Blue Flag beaches, has sparked concern that the city’s outflow systems are unable to cope with the increased demands for waste disposal.
But Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services, said the outfalls were properly designed and functioning and did not pose a risk to the environment or beachgoers. The city had other pressing needs, such as securing water resources, and building a second treatment facility at these sites was not a priority.
Swimmer said Hout Bay in particular was a “double jeopardy environmental crime”.
In a letter to the departments of health, forestry and fisheries, tourism and trade and industry, Swimmer said: “The fact is that Hout Bay is a bay within a bay – it is part of the larger bay stretching as far as Kommetjie.” The new coastal regulations prohibit sewage outfalls from being pumped into a bay, he said. Hout Bay needed a proper sewerage plant.
“Councillor Sonnenberg defends the outfall method as the most cost effective way to deal with the problem of sewage disposal, but we really need to interrogate whether it is so – and this we ask you to consider for the benefit of all the people in Cape Town.”
Pieterse said: “Cape Town cannot flush away its sewage problem in the ocean, or simply apply for a permit to legalise it. This is a challenge the municipality must look square in the eyes some time or another and bring forward some innovative solutions.”
Afriforum has launched an online petition in a bid to get 20 000 objections that can be submitted to the city before the public comment period closes.
“It is not only the sewage that is causing a major upset, but thousands of litres of hazardous chemicals that are pumped into the ocean every month,” said Pieterse.
Dr Jo Barnes, lecturer in epidemiology and community health at the University of Stellenbosch, said the effluent contained “many” disease-causing organisms, chemicals, disinfectants and pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics and personal care products. There were also “emerging pollutants” such as hormones, anti-inflammatory drugs, caffeine, fats, oils and greases.
Barnes said the city did not have a back-up plan if the system failed or the bay became too polluted.
Tourists, celebrities and locals stream to Mzoli’s in Gugulethu to enjoy a great vibe and some of the best meat in Cape Town.
Every Sunday crowds of people head to Gugulethu carrying their drinks, crockery and cutlery, to sample some of the best braaied (barbecued) meat in Cape Town.
Gugulethu is a black township in the heart of Cape Town, and Mzoli’s Meat, also known as Mzoli’s Butcher, is owned by Mzoli Ngcawuzele. Mzoli’s has largely been responsible for putting the township on the tourism map.
To say that Mzoli’s is a butcher that sells fresh meat is accurate, but it is an understatement. Over the years it has become a place where politicians, tourists, locals and celebrities (including celebrity British chef Jamie Oliver) hang out. Every Sunday NY115 (the name of the street) in Gugulethu is filled with people carrying their drinks and plates to sample the meat at Mzoli’s.
Many have tried, and all have failed, to get Ngcawuzele to share the ingredients in his secret spices and sauces, which are slathered on the meat before it hits the sizzling hot coals. There is nothing fancy about the venue – round and trestle tables are covered in thick red plastic, and pap (similar to polenta) is served in large enamel bowls.
“I can’t get enough of the food at Mzoli’s; the meat is fresh, well braaied and tastes delicious. I wish I could get my hands on that spice,” says Capetonian Lynne Cloete, who has been a regular at Mzoli’s for about five years. “I go as often as I can, and whenever my friends from out of town come to visit, we go to Mzoli’s,” she says.
Writing on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, Bdevries1988 of Pijnacker in the Netherlands says: “Was a amazing experience, great food, great music and a lot of amazing people. Order meat at the butcher than walk to the braai and 30 minutes later you will be eating amazing food with lovely people dancing around!”
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A solar-powered plane took off from Japan early Monday to attempt a five-day flight over open water to Hawaii, the eighth leg of its bid to fly around the world without fuel.
SEE ALSO: Solar-powered plane cancels plans to begin Pacific crossing due to weather
Its long wings lighting up the night sky, the Solar Impulse 2 departed at 3:03 a.m. after an unscheduled, month-long stop in Japan because of unfavorable weather.
The flight to Hawaii, by far the longest of the journey so far, is risky because there are few if any places to land in an emergency.
Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is flying solo. The plane, which started in Abu Dhabi on March 9, is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells on its wings that recharge its batteries. From Hawaii, it is to continue on to Phoenix, then hopscotch across the United States and the Atlantic to Europe, before returning to Abu Dhabi.
Borschberg originally left Nanjing, China, for Hawaii on May 31, but diverted to an airport in Nagoya in central Japan on June 1 because a cold front threatened to block his way. After a wing repair, he and team members waited in Nagoya for the right conditions to depart.
The project is meant to demonstrate the potential of improved energy efficiency and clean power, though solar-powered air travel is not yet commercially practical.
Solar Impulse 2 is dependent on the right weather conditions, and organizers waited about nine hours after takeoff for the plane to pass what they called “the point of no return” before officially announcing that it was aloft.
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THE RECENT outrage levelled against Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom and his department over the new visa regulations has conveniently shifted the focus away from a critical issue facing our country – the failure by the government to promote and expand domestic tourism in South Africa and hit its own targets.
Domestic tourism figures across South Africa are on the decline as South Africans simply cannot afford to travel within their own borders. South African Tourism’s Annual Report for the 2013/14 financial year shows that one of the department’s strategic objectives was to increase the number of domestic travellers to 15 million.
Its actual achievement was only 12 million domestic travellers over this period, which was 20 percent below target and a drop of 500 000 domestic travellers when compared with the 2012/13 season.
Domestic tourism in South Africa is shrinking. When the international trend is tourism growth, why are our citizens doing less travel?
The Department of Tourism is clearly aware of the main reason behind this decline. Its Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy 2012-2020 states that the biggest inhibiting factor to domestic tourism is the perception that travel is not affordable.
Tourism and travel for South Africans are just too expensive. For example, a family of four would end up paying R920 for a trip to Robben Island. Robben Island has announced that it will be increasing its ticket prices.
What an insult
This is reprehensible. A critical piece of our people’s history will cost a South African citizen almost R1 000 to visit as a family. This will put it out of reach for many average South African families. Where is the national pride in that? What an insult to our reconciliation as a nation.
In order to maximise the gains arising from entry fees to various government-owned facilities and not restrict their local population from experiencing and connecting with its own heritage, many countries have introduced a dual pricing system. Dual pricing, whereby foreign visitors are asked to pay different fees than domestic visitors, means that South Africans, whose tax money already funds these attractions, get major discounts to visit them. Now that sounds attractive.
While implementing a two-tier pricing system might be difficult, certain attractions such as Table Mountain already make it possible for locals to visit for free, simply by presenting their South African ID on the day of their birthday. Another example is the Kruger National Park with its dual pricing system for South Africans and foreign visitors.
Therefore these models already exist in South Africa. We need more of these models throughout the entire country to boost tourism in untapped rural areas.
Price attractions for high-volume, not for low-volume will follow, leading to the surrounding economy thriving. It is without doubt that tourism can be used as an effective tool to create jobs, provide opportunities for small businesses, promote livelihoods for communities and bring South Africans together.
The solution is the introduction of a campaign titled, “Experience My South Africa”, which will focus specifically on encouraging South Africans to get out and explore our country, while addressing affordability issues and limited geographic spread.
This initiative would allow for all South Africans to gain free or discounted entry to government-owned national parks, forests, reserves, museums and the like, on non-religious public holidays in the country.
It is our belief that this “Experience My South Africa” campaign will help to stimulate domestic tourism growth and open up South Africa to be experienced by our locals. This in turn should also help to stimulate job creation and economic growth within surrounding communities.
Currently, there are a number of examples of poorly developed and maintained government-funded tourist attractions that remain sorely underused. In response to my parliamentary question, I was informed that an audit has been conducted, which identified approximately 700 resorts that are being underutilised.
Again, the solution is to establish partnerships with the private sector to convert these resorts into affordable “budget” holiday destinations, which if implemented, would go a long way in boosting domestic tourism figures. We need real measures to ensure that tourism is made affordable. If we get this right, more employment opportunities and more emerging small businesses will be created.
I will submit my proposals to Parliament’s tourism portfolio committee for inclusion in the Tourism Sector Strategy and Departmental strategic objectives.
Tourism has proved that it is a labour intensive sector and continues to create a substantial number of direct and indirect jobs. In 2013 the tourism sector created 144 000 jobs, which is equivalent to 12 percent of all jobs created in South Africa.
The National Development Plan recognises tourism as one of the main drivers of the country’s economy and employment. The plan envisages the promotion of South Africa as a major tourist destination, with unique features, to boost tourist numbers and enable tourism to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. The job creation index indicates that the tourism industry is responsible for 1 in every 25 jobs in South Africa, while one job is created for every 12 tourist arrivals.
Domestic tourism can specifically be used as an effective tool to break down barriers in South Africa and open up this country to be explored by a large portion of the population who are currently excluded from enjoying this experience.
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Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) announced Karl Bremer Office Block in Bellville, Cape Town, is the first project to achieve a Socio-Economic Category (SEC) Pilot rating in Africa as part of its 5-Star Green Star SA rating, achieved at the same time. The office block is a project of the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works.
The Socio-Economic Category Pilot is a world-first for rating tools. The GBCSA has taken the lead in developing a set of socio-economic criteria for green building rating tools. Simultaneously it has developed an International Socio-Economic Framework for the World Green Building Council, which can be used by other green building councils to apply to their rating tools.
Socio-economic factors are particularly relevant in developing countries such as South Africa, and extend green buildings to encompass not just environmental sustainability but also socio-economic sustainability.
The Socio-Economic Category allows the socio-economic achievements of new buildings and major retrofits, new buildings and major retrofits to be recognised and rewarded under Green Star SA tools. It is a separate optional category for which projects can be rated alongside their standard Green Star SA certifications. The development of the rating tool category was sponsored by Old Mutual Property. The socio-economic category is in its pilot phase and being tested before it is converted into a ‘version one’ rating tool category.
Brian Wilkinson, CEO of GBCSA, says: “Our property sector is truly becoming a growing force for good in South Africa, not only for the environment but also for people and business too. Societal challenges such as poverty, unemployment, lack of education and skills, and health can all be addressed, at least to some degree, through the way we design, build and operate buildings.”
He adds: “We encourage property owners, developers and designers to use the Socio-Economic Category to assess, improve and certify their project’s socio-economic features. Social and economic factors are important to address broader sustainability issues in our communities and businesses.”
The design for the Karl Bremer Office Block has achieved a 5-Star Green Star SA Office V1 Design rating. It is on the Karl Bremer Hospital site, on the corner of Mike Pienaar Boulevard and Frans Conradie Avenue. The Department of Transport and Public Works, Provincial Government Western Cape owns the building under construction, which will be occupied by the provincial Department of Health.
The Green Star SA Accredited Professional on the project is Nick Gorrie from Agama. He says: “Karl Bremer Office Block is developing into an exciting and innovative project. On one hand, there are multiple innovations and sustainable designs that have been incorporated into the base building. On the other hand the entire Project Team is dedicated to achieving a Socio-Economic Category rating. It has been a challenging project so far but, with the commitment and drive of the whole team, it is aiming for a positive result.” A building that previously stood on the site was demolished and the new offices are under construction for completion in mid-2016.
The new building is designed to have a footprint of 1,927m2 and gross floor area of 7,520m2 on a site area of 14,046m2. It’s landscaped area, including a 98m2 roof garden, covers 4,761m2, or 32% of its total site area. It comprises a north and south wing, connected by a common core, with a single security-controlled access point. It has a basement, as well as offices and meeting rooms on its ground to fifth floors, and a mechanical plant on its roof.
Head of Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, Jacqui Gooch, says the building fits in with the Western Cape Government’s 110% Green initiative, launched on World Environment Day 2012. Gooch explains 110% Green calls for a paradigm shift to connect environmental preservation and economic growth. She adds it aims to be a catalyst to build a critical mass of activity that puts the Western Cape well on the road to becoming Africa’s Green Economic Hub.
“The Department of Transport and Public Works is 110% committed to ensure the properties we build are in line with the 110% Green Initiative. We aim to provide a platform that stimulates people and organisations to build an innovative and dynamic green economy and this project is an example of our commitment,” says Gooch.
There are seven possible credits for the Socio-Economic Category to recognise achievements across a priority set of factors. They are: employment creation, economic opportunity, skills development and training, community benefit, empowerment, safety and health and – only applicable to multi-unit residential projects – mixed-income housing.
For Karl Bremer Office Block, its employment creation targets at least 10% or more of total labour employed during the construction to comprise of disadvantaged people who are collectively from the target groups of youth, women or disabled people. It will measure this by percentage cost of the contract value.
When it comes to economic opportunity, it targets three main impacts. The first is a minimum contract participation goal of 5% of the total project value on selected contracts to be undertaken by joint-venture partners or sub-contracted to developing contractors that are also beneficiaries of enterprise development support from the main contractor.
The second is a minimum 30%, or 25% of contract value, of the procurement of project-specific goods and services during the construction phase from any SMEs or SMEs that are either black owned or black women owned respectively. Third, the project is targeting a minimum of 70% of the contract value for materials, products and services produced or generated within South Africa.
The project’s skills development target is to be compliant with Construction Industry Development Board Standards of Developing Skills through Infrastructure Projects. It aims to do this by providing different types of workplace opportunities and mentorships for learning and skills development over the project period, which lead to recognised qualifications.
For safety and health, the project aims to improve the primary health of construction workers and promote better safety practices. Besides standard construction regulations, the project’s contractor will have to conduct full medical screening tests and basic health awareness programmes for all construction-related employees. The Karl Bremer Office Block design team also conducted Hazardous Identification Risk Assessments of their designs.
As the starting point for its positive impacts, the project’s design delivers green benefits that are good for the environment. These include zero discharge to sewer through a blackwater treatment plant and re-use of treated blackwater for supply to HVAC cooling towers. It will also have zero storm water discharge to municipal storm water infrastructure through multiple Bioretention areas.
Wilkinson says, “We applaud the Karl Bremer Office Block development team for committing the project to the Socio-Economic Category Pilot and achieving the first pilot project certification. Projects such as this are set to have a hugely positive impact in South Africa.” Wilkinson adds the GBCSA hopes to issue many Socio-Economic Category certifications in the future. “We are confident the Socio-Economic Category will not only acknowledge leadership in social and economic upliftment but also inspire more and more positive socio-economic impacts and benefits in the property sector.”
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