Modern Home That Features a Green Roof

This home was recently completed by the firm TheVeryMany, which is led by architect Marc Fornes, in Strasbourg, France. The main challenge was getting a large, luxury home into the rather small plot of available land, but they did it perfectly, with very few sacrifices, and some clever solutions.

The home is called MaHouse and measures 3,659 sq ft (340 sq m). Since the plot on which it was built is quite small, the home is made up of three volumes, which are stacked one on top of the other in an interesting, misaligned way. Each of these volumes also has a green roof. It took about three years to build this four-bedroom home.

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The master bedroom is located on the top floor, while the children’s bedrooms are on the second level, as is the playroom. The kitchen, living room and dining area are all located on the ground floor, while the home also has an underground garage. The different levels of the home are connected by a minimalistic staircase, which also features a slide for the kids to use to get from one level to the other. It’s a nice touch, but, frankly, I would want more side protection on this slide before I would let my children use it.

Squeezing such a large home into this tiny space meant that the neighboring houses are very close to MaHouse, so privacy was a concern. As was installing adequate glazing to let natural light enter the home. The architects solved this by installing Reglit Glass along the staircase, which offers privacy and also glows like a lantern in the dark.

This home is a great example of how clever design solutions can lead to being able to fit even very large structures into small plots.

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Source: jetsongreen

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French Embassy scholarship programme: applications now open

The Embassy of France in South Africa offers scholarships for students from South Africa and Lesotho who wish to do a Master’s degree or a PhD in France.

Launched in 2010, our scholarship programmes form part of the commitment between France and South Africa to establish fruitful partnerships between their universities while building a vast network of academic and professional contacts.

The Embassy allocates around 20 Master scholarships per year for the duration of one French academic year, renewable once. They include the tuition fees, the Schengen visa fees, a monthly stipend towards living expenses, health insurance and the flight tickets.

The deadline for applications is 21 March 2016.

As more and more Master programmes are taught in English, basic knowledge of French is desirable, but not required.

The French Embassy also offers PhD scholarships. The applications for PhD research grants is open permanently.

Our bursary programmes are thematically structured:

- Humanities: SAFeThink scholarship programme

- All other fields of study: French Embassy Master scholarship programme

2015 French government scholarship holders

In 2015, the Embassy of France in South Africa allocated 26 French government Master scholarships for the academic year 2015-2016. 22 students have been allocated a scholarship through the Embassy programme and 4 through the SAFeThink programme, that specifically targets students in social and political sciences. Our scholarships have been allocated as follows: Economics/ management (9 scholarships), engineering and design (5), law (2), political sciences (3), arts management (2), agronomy (1), architecture (1), public health (1) and IT (1). Our 2015-2016 scholarship recipients are studying towards a Master’s degree in Paris, Nantes, Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand and Toulouse.

2014 French government scholarship holders

In 2014, the Embassy of France in South Africa has offered 25 bursaries to South African graduates to pursue their Master’s studies in France from September 2014 – fields include Finance, Economics, Engineering, Public Relations, Media, Business, Journalism, Fashion, International Relations and Political Science, Biology and Sport Science.

Source: ambafrance-rsa

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#ParisAttacks: The effect on SA tourism. Should we be worried?

The terrorist attack in Paris, France on the 13 November 2015 was tragic and a sad reminder of the strife riddled times we live in. More than a 100 people lost their lives as ISIS terrorists launched an attack in the French capital city. Francois Hollande, the French president has already declared this ‘’an act of war’’. The context of Paris right now is similar to the context of New York on September 11, 2001.

The government of France has retaliated by launching air strikes the stronghold of ISIS, namely Raqqa in Syria. The terrorist attack on French soil will have a detrimental impact on both inbound and outbound tourists. Paris is not just one of the top tourist attractions in the world, it is one of the countries that produces outbound tourism for the world.

Tourism is super sensitive to acts of terrorism and such events have a negative impact. In the latest Tourism and Migration, July 2015 France produces 5.4% of the total number of inbound tourists from international countries, representing 8 795 tourists to South Africa. South Africa seeks to increase the length of stay of tourists, increase their expenditure and that they must travel to all corners of the country to achieve shared growth.

South Africa is a ‘’new’’ tourists destination relative to other destinations. South Africa knows the impact of the 1996 bombing of Planet Hollywood in Cape Town, and how the Ebola outbreak had a detrimental impact of tourist arrivals. The relaxation of the visa regulations in South Africa will obviously lead to an increase in the number of tourists to South Africa.

South Africa needs tourism much more as the country is experiencing declining tax revenue, the Rand has depreciated to levels last seen in 2001, the worst drought in more than 20 years, and the current account deficit is widening. There is a social gap that exists between government and the private sector, as there is ‘’uncertainly’’ about the future. The fact that tourism is now adopted as a major economic sector it required more attention especially with the creation of a separate Ministry of tourism in 2009.

Because terrorists always target tourist destinations, the growth of tourism must be supplemented by the growth of pro-active policing and counter-terrorism measures. In addition, one of the challenges of destination South Africa is the low levels of personal safety and security for tourists, which limits tourist arrivals. It must be noted that the current rise in terrorism is linked to many countries in the West leading to regime change in non-European countries for reasons best known to them.

It must be noted that it is these countries of the West that produce the greatest number of outbound tourists. Tourists sites become soft targets for tourist attacks as these tourist sites would be frequented by tourists from the West. In Africa, almost all terrorist attacks happen in sites frequented by international tourists. This correlation means that the tourism industry needs special attention form a safety and security perspective.

In the post-1994 era South Africa has attracted major sporting events culminating in the hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The positive mileage from the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has improved the image of the country. The City ofeThekwini has won the right to host the Commonwealth Games, which will be another major sporting event that will be first on African soil. The country has become not just a tourist mega destination; it is increasingly attracting thousands of tourists to our shores.

The tourism industry has grown in importance as primary industries such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing have been declining in their share of GDP contribution. The terrorist attack in Paris is detrimental to tourists arrivals from the French tourists to South Africa, as the France is in the top 5 inbound tourists markets. The immediate challenge is to encourage the domestic tourism and regional tourism to mitigate against the potential decline in tourist arrivals from France generally and Europe generally

South Africa needs to investigate bottlenecks and red tape that may have a detrimental impact on the experience of regional tourists that wish to visit destination South Africa. The fact that Air China will not operate between OR Tambo and Beijing will add more aviation capacity from this important BRICS country. BRICS countries can be relied on to ensure that South Africa diversified its inbound tourism markets. On 8 September 2015, the United States Diplomatic Mission sent out a Security

Threat to U.S. Interests in South Africa that received information that extremists may be targeting U.S. interests and facilities. This threat was dismissed by the South African government. I hope that the government will monitor what happened in Paris. There was a terrorist attack in North African tourist destinations, and there was an attack on Kenya’ Westgate Mall, all major tourist destinations including South Africa.

In a paper titled List of Possible Terrorists in SA Disclosed by Dennesha Pillay noted that South Africa is already identified as a safe haven for terrorists as it has been used as a base. Tourism is an industry that required peace as a pre-requisite for growth, even a threat of terror can deter tourists. South Africa must prepare for a terrorist attack, it is better for the country to be prepared. South Africa must prepare a tourism crisis management plan so that would be cascaded to each province and each municipality.

Source: biznews

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France can aid SA in growth challenge

I VISITED SA this week to heighten our economic partnership and further strengthen our already rich relationship.

SA is a key player in Africa’s economy, a model for democracy and a major emerging power. We are aware of it, and this is why the rainbow nation is our first economic partner in sub-Saharan Africa.

More than 300 French companies, employing close to 30,000 people, are based here.

Some great successes, such as the Alstom contract with the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, which will create more than 30,000 new jobs, illustrate the dynamics for the greater benefit of our two nations.

France is also represented by its expatriate community. More than 9,000 people strong, it is incredibly dynamic and provides a connection between our two nations.

In various sectors, France can support SA and help it address its development challenges.

The transport sector, one of France’s sectors of excellence, is paramount to South African ambitions regarding urbanisation and sustainable development. There are huge opportunities to strengthen our partnership in that respect.

Energy represents a crucial challenge for the South African economy. France has extensive expertise in this field, especially regarding renewable energies, and French companies are already involved in the South African programme.

The same applies to the nuclear sector, with the Koeberg power plant built by France.

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Agribusiness is a vital sector for both our countries. Our markets must remain mutually attractive and regulations must be relaxed.

Since we can still learn from each other, continuing education is a key factor of our co-operation.

The future creation of a bilateral higher agricultural training institution, F’SAGRI, is an outstanding example of this common will.

Obviously, this co-operation must take place in accordance with South African rules.

Our companies are very committed to the training and broad-based black economic empowerment requirements defended by South African authorities.

Otherwise, our relationship would have no meaning.

But we can still do better and increase our co-operation. It is also the goal of my visit.

France is the world’s sixth-largest economy and represents a dynamic market of close to 70-million consumers. Yet, few South African companies have decided to set up business in France. We must welcome South Africans better.

When we speak of France, we always think of tourism. As the first world’s destination, and second European destination for South Africans, France and especially Reunion Island, so close to SA, are yours to visit. Come and discover it.

Likewise, France is only the fourth European supplier to SA, even though your country is experiencing full economic expansion.

We must do more. During my visit, I participated, with (Trade and Industry) Minister Rob Davies, in a meeting during which French and South African companies shared their commitment and paid tribute to their partnerships.

It is our joint responsibility to continue coming together.

My trip allowed me to reiterate France’s ambitious objectives about climate change in the context of the Conference of the Parties-21, taking place in Paris in December.

Our motivation can only be compared with that of SA, and together we shall join forces to mobilise the international community and obtain an ambitious agreement.

It is my hope that this profitable dialogue between our two countries will strengthen our relationship. Indeed, my coming to SA must be seen as a step, a link in the chain that unites two friendly nations.

Let us work together to consolidate this connection.

Source: BDLive


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‘Significant progress’ for SA’s nuclear programme

The South African government has been holding vendor workshops with countries it could potentially partner with for its nuclear build programme, the Presidency said in a statement on Wednesday. This marks “significant progress” for the government in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendor countries as part of the process towards the implementation of the expansion in the nuclear new build programme, the statement said. Intergovernmental framework agreements have been signed with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the US, marking the “initiation of the preparatory stage for the procurement process”, the Presidency said. Delegations from these countries have presented technology they believe would best suit local conditions at these workshops, held during October and November. The vendor workshops form part of the government’s technical investigation “in preparation for a procurement decision”, the Presidency said.

Future energy mix

Potential vendors have had to show how they would best meet the 9 600MW (9,6 GW) threshold that the South African government has set for the country’s future energy mix.The countries all have pressurized water reactor nuclear technology, which is similar to that used at the Koeberg nuclear power plant in the Western Cape.”South Africa has been safely using this technology for the past 30 years,” Mac Maharaj, the President’s spokesperson, said. Senior technical government officials, representatives from state-owned entities in the energy field, as well as academics involved in nuclear and engineering programmes attended the workshops, leading to “robust and open discussions” with vendors, Maharaj said. Guidelines for the expansion of nuclear power to ensure energy security based on a sustainable energy mix have been set out in the National Development Plan, the Nuclear Energy Policy, the Nuclear Energy Act and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) adopted in 2011. Under the NDP, the government is required to do a thorough technical investigation before making a procurement decision.The Presidency said its commitment to nuclear energy would be accompanied by the commitment to a “procurement process that is in line with the country’s legislation and policies”. “The nuclear new build programme will create a massive infrastructure development, thus stimulating the economy and enabling the country to create thousands of high- quality jobs for engineers, scientists, artisans, technicians and various other professions, develop skills and create sustainable industries, and catapult the country into a knowledge economy,” said Maharaj.

Source: South