Brand SA spotlight on competitiveness

first_img28 September 2012The latest WEF Global Competitiveness Report and its implications for the country came under the spotlight at an experts’ panel discussion hosted by Brand South Africa in Johannesburg on Friday.South Africa’s strengths, weaknesses, competitive risks and opportunities within the Brics and Next11 international political economic environments were the topics at the Wits Club at the University of the Witwatersrand.The panel discussion included Brand South Africa’s research manager, Petrus de Kock; Josephilda Nhlapo-Hlope, senior expert on nation-building at the National Planning Commission; Raymond Parsons, special policy adviser for Business Unity South Africa; and Johan van der Heever, senior deputy chief economist and deputy head of research at the Reserve Bank of South Africa.Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, started the proceedings with some background on the work Brand South Africa does and how the WEF report is a factor in establishing a worldwide reputable brand for the country.Matola said: “We are the custodians of the country’s brand and the issue of reputation is important for South Africa’s competitiveness. The competitiveness report shows us how the country is doing as a brand.”South Africa’s competitiveness consistentThe latest WEF Global Competitiveness Report was released on 5 September 2012 and South Africa is ranked at number 52 out of 144 nations.It is also the highest-ranked African country and third-placed among the Brics economies. In this bloc, China came in first at 36 and Brazil second at 48, while India and Russia came fourth and fifth at 59 and 67 respectively.In terms of Next11 countries, South Africa is only surpassed by Indonesia, Turkey and South Korea.De Kock said: “We view the report as a learning curve and not as a school report card that says pass or fail.“We can only sell the story of South Africa if we know what the world thinks about us.”South Africa’s ranking on the WEF report has been consistent, coming in at 54 in 2010, 50 in 2011 and 52 for this year.The Global Competitiveness Report uses 12 pillars, which are “building blocks to finding out the country’s competitiveness,” said de Kock.They are: institutions; infrastructure; macro-economic environment; health and primary education; higher education and training; goods market efficiency; labour market efficiency; and, technological readiness.De Kock said: “When we look at the pillars we can see where we are excelling and where we have to improve.“We are doing relatively well when it comes to institutions as we were 47 in 2010 and this year we are 43, but health and primary education are challenges – in 2010 we ranked 124 but this year out of 144 countries we are ranked 132.”Expert panel discussionVan der Heever said that South Africa has degrees of freedom in macro-economic policies that are the envy of many countries, but we must use them wisely.“The issue of electricity is one point that must be tackled if we are going to be competitive,” he said.Parsons said that these types of surveys are important, because they act as “reality checks. This particular report is a wakeup call because if you look back six years we have deteriorated quite a bit.”He also said that the country was not exploiting its strengths to their full potential – “there is no universal law. Countries have to adapt certain points to fit with what is happening in the world economy.”In terms of South Africa’s national development plan, which looks forward to 2030, Parsons said that competitiveness should play a major role in guiding South Africa in years to come.“We need to have a long term vision, just like China sowed its seeds 30 years ago and we too need to rally behind the Vision 2030,” said Parsons.Nhlapo-Hlope remarked on the low levels of trust levels in South Africa, explaining that this was because of inequality. This issue had to be addressed in all spheres so people can all work collectively for the good of the country.Another issue raised was that of South Africa’s regulatory environment which, according to Van der Heever, was not conducive for entrepreneurs to start businesses, especially small businesses.“Of course we need regulation but there is no reason for that regulation to not be business friendly. We need smart tape and not red tape,” he said.Van der Heever also said that there was an over-cautious nature in South Africa that limited innovation.Parsons wrapped up the discussion, saying that we need to take workable ideas and translate them into action, while also pushing Vision 2030.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

SABMiller to build Namibian brewery

first_img7 March 2013 SABMiller is to invest US$40-million building a 260 000 hectolitre brewery in Okahanjda, Namibia as part of its African expansion strategy, the firm announced on Wednesday after receiving re-zoning approval on the 7.2 hectares of land selected for the project. Construction is expected to begin in April and it is hoped the brewery will become fully operational in the second half of 2014. The Johannesburg- and London-listed company said the brewery would be designed to accommodate future growth and expansion. It also plans to invest in warehousing facilities and a returnable bottle packaging line. “The local brewery will not only enable us to make more of our key brands available to consumers in the Namibian market, but it will also make a meaningful contribution to the Namibian economy once it is up and running,” SAB managing director Mauricio Leyva said in a statement. SABMiller has operated in Namibia for over 20 years and began by servicing the local market through importing South African beers. SABMiller Namibia was established in 2010 to house all Namibian operations, and is part of SABMiller’s wholly owned South African business, South African Breweries Limited. It is 60% owned by SAB Limited and 40% owned by local Namibian partners – 20% of which is made up of Onyewu Investments and 20% by three charitable trusts. It has an estimated 22% share of the Namibian market, with brands such as Castle Lager, Carling Black Label and Castle Lite. These brands will be brewed at the Okahanjda site. “Jobs will be created, our environmental impact on the country will be reduced as we shift to returnable bottles, and we will build on our existing programmes to uplift the local community,” Leyva said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

How to Organize a Feature Film Edit Like a Pro

first_imgOrganize your feature film edit like the editor of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Eddie Hamilton.Editor Eddie Hamilton has worked his way up the Hollywood blockbuster editing ladder to what has to be the top spot — cutting a summer tent pole franchise hit, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.I recently put together a little round up of some of Eddie’s best interviews on the topic of editing director Christopher McQuarrie and producer/star Tom Cruise’s latest adventure over on my own blog, but I thought it would be a great idea to draw out some of the fine-grain detail of how Eddie organizes his edit in this post.Eddie shared some of his workflow tips in this fantastic interview with PVC writer Steve Hullfish, which provides some of the detail in this post, as well as other interviews with Eddie that I’ve read or heard over the years. Eddie’s essential philosophy is that everything should be so clearly labelled and logically laid out that any other editor could sit down in his chair and quickly find anything they needed.The image above is a screenshot of Eddie’s Avid Media Composer timeline for the first reel of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.Organising a Feature Film EditOrganization of your edit begins at the project level with your Bin structure. In the interview with Steve Hullfish, Eddie walks through his preferred structure which I’ve visualized for you in the above image.So what’s going on? Well, films were traditionally broken down into reels which were about 11 minutes each, due to the practicalities of handling 1000 feet of 35mm film. This is the way in which Eddie breaks the film down into manageable chunks. It also helps everyone keep tabs on which reels have been signed off or need more work. These are stored in the Cutting Copy bin.The cutting copy archive allows Eddie to keep track of every version of the film that’s ever been screened or delivered to someone, organized by date. The scenes are grouped and all of their slates labeled and organized in bins, which will sort in the correct alphabetical order.It should be noted that Eddie cuts in Avid Media Composer, which allows multiple editors to work on the same project with the same media and open and lock specific bins while they’re using them and then update for every editor globally. The image I’ve made above was created in Adobe Premiere Pro.Labelling a Feature Film TimelineIn this screenshot from the image at the top of this timeline you can see how Eddie labels his Media Composer timeline to keep track of what is on each track. The important thing to do when using a naming system like this, is to be diligent with the placement of each element of your sound mix so that everything stays where it should. Something like Roles would achieve the same result in FCPX without having to be careful about where things are physically.The mono dialogue tracks allow Eddie to work with the sound recordists original recordings for that microphone and he prefers to add in the audio keyframes to dip each line of dialogue he uses to create the best sounding version of the film he can in his edit suite. This is instead of using the supplied ‘Editor’s Mix’ from the location sound recordist, which are intended for dailies.One of the most obvious things you get from looking at a picture of Eddie’s timeline is the copious amounts of color coding he does. In the video presentation below, Eddie mentions that he color codes odd-numbered scenes in green and even-numbered scenes in blue so that “when you’re pacing out the movie you can see how long the scenes are relative to each other.”Another timeline tip that Eddie shared was his process for choosing takes. Eddie’s assistant editors create a huge selects timeline of every single line of dialogue and they lay them out in chronological order. Also each camera angle, or presumably multi-camera angle, is then organized by track with all wide shots on V1, all Over the Shoulders on V2, all medium shots on v3 and so on. This allows Eddie to very quickly watch through all takes of a line and pick his favourite. It also makes it very efficient to allow the director to see alternatives if they wish to swap something out.Editing with a Gaming MouseIn this excellent NAB 2012 presentation, Eddie shares some valuable technical tips on how we approached co-editing X-Men First Class with Director Christopher Nolan’s go-to editor, Lee Smith.One of the tips he shares is his use of the Razer Naga Ergonomic Gaming Mouse to speed up his workflow. I’ve pulled out his programmable mouse mapping from the video so you can make it your own. He skips past a couple of numbers so I’ve inserted my own suggestions. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, check out this post on editing keyboards, controllers, mice and more.Think you might incorporate some of these tips into your workflow? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Glimpse of a hero

first_imgI was overwhelmed to read about the way the Indian Army recaptured Tololing (“Taking Tololing”, July 5). It was thrilling to find how Lt. Vijayant Thapar of the Rajputana Rifles managed to keep the morale of his soliders high by playing songs from Border on his Walkman. For some strange,I was overwhelmed to read about the way the Indian Army recaptured Tololing (“Taking Tololing”, July 5). It was thrilling to find how Lt. Vijayant Thapar of the Rajputana Rifles managed to keep the morale of his soliders high by playing songs from Border on his Walkman. For some strange reason, I went through the story again and again. I peered at the photographs closely too and noticed that in the picture on page 29, one of the soldiers sported a name tag “Vijayant” on his chest. Two days later, I was stunned to hear that Thapar and some brave jawans had made the supreme sacrifice for their motherland.Datta S. Bagade, on e-mail from Aurangabadlast_img read more

Aviation experts question security passenger safety after woman left on plane

first_imgAviation experts are raising security and passenger safety concerns after a woman was left sleeping on a parked Air Canada aircraft with the lights turned off and crew gone.A friend recounted Tiffani Adams’s ordeal in a Facebook post, saying she fell asleep during a roughly 90 minute flight from Quebec City to Toronto and woke up a few hours after landing on an empty, dark plane.Adams eventually unbolted a door and was rescued by a baggage cart operator.Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts and a former airline captain, says he’s never heard of such an incident in his roughly four decades of aviation service, and that multiple errors would have to be made to overlook a passenger during disembarking.He says while a cleaning, catering or flight crew would have discovered Adams in the morning had she not been so proactive, it’s possible someone with malicious intent could hide on a plane in this manner and attempt to hijack it.The airline has confirmed the incident happened, but did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment. — With files from The Associated Press Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hyundai Mobis and Yandex reveal 2020 Sonata selfdriving prototype

first_imgEnlarge ImageThe 2020 Sonata already has some… polarizing style, so slapping a bunch of AV kit on the roof barely changes it. Yandex The 2020 Hyundai Sonata isn’t even out yet, but already, one company has created a self-driving development prototype out of one. It’s nice to know people — or, in this case, it’s nice to know the parts and service arm of the greater Hyundai empire.Russian internet giant Yandex and Hyundai Mobis on Thursday debuted their jointly developed 2020 Hyundai Sonata self-driving development prototype. Based on a regular ol’ next-generation Sonata, the vehicle has been fitted with the hardware and software necessary to enable autonomy and continue development on the technology. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to create Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles, and this is the first step towards that end goal.According to Yandex’s Medium post, the company received its first 2020 Sonata at the end of May, just two months after inking the partnership with Hyundai Mobis. Engineers from both companies worked to adapt Yandex’s tech to the Sonata, and the result looks surprisingly sleek. The majority of the car’s hardware looks contained to the pod up top, which sports some recognizable lidar emitters. Cables run to the trunk, where there’s more hardware responsible for crunching all the data its sensors receive. So far, testing has been limited to Yandex’s testing grounds, but according to the company, it’s been operating completely autonomously in that closed environment, coming up against things like simulated weather and traffic. Yandex said its prototype will start operating on public roads in Moscow “shortly.”This is just the beginning for their partnership. Eventually, Yandex wants to have a fleet of 100 development vehicles, a feat it hopes to achieve by the end of 2019. Future prototypes won’t just be based on the Sonata, either. To prove its flexibility, Yandex wants to add its hardware and software to a multitude of Hyundai and Kia vehicles, although it declined to say which ones. 2019 Nissan Altima review: Better dressed with better tech Post a comment 2020 Hyundai Sonata brings an extra dose of style to… More about 2020 Hyundai Sonata More From Roadshow News • 2020 Hyundai Sonata reveals striking new design ahead of New York Auto Show 1:42 Autonomous Vehicles Auto Tech Sedans Hyundai Share your voice 2019 Toyota Camry Review Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Hyundai Sonata first drive: An attractive and compelling midsize sedan Tags Hyundai 0 Preview • 2020 Hyundai Sonata first drive: An attractive and compelling midsize sedan 29 Photos 2020 Hyundai Sonata brings arresting style to New Yorklast_img read more

Africa cyclone death toll surges past 600

first_imgA man cleans up a destroyed house on 19 March 2019 in Chimanimani, as a hundred houses were damaged by the Cyclone Idai. More than a thousand people are feared to have died in Mozambique alone while scores have been killed and more than 200 are missing in neighbouring Zimbabwe following the deadliest cyclone to hit southern Africa. Photo: AFPThe death toll from a powerful cyclone that pummelled swathes of southern African countries, flooding thousands of square kilometres, on Saturday surged past 600 as diseases stalked tens of thousands of survivors.At least 417 people have died in Mozambique, according to government, bringing to 676 the total deaths when combined with those from neighbouring Zimbabwe.Cyclone Idai smashed into the coast of central Mozambique on Friday last week, unleashing hurricane-force winds and rains that flooded the hinterland and drenched eastern Zimbabwe leaving a trail of destruction.Relief and rescue efforts entered a second week in the central parts of the impoverished coountry.The UN, warning of more suffering, stepped up calls for help in Mozambique as aid agencies struggle to assist tens of thousands of people battered by one of southern Africa’s most powerful cyclones.’Situation will get worse’ A week after the storm lashed Mozambique with winds of nearly 200 kilometres (120 miles) per hour, survivors are struggling in desperate conditions — some still trapped on roof tops and those saved needing food and facing the risk of outbreaks of disease such as cholera.”The situation will get worse before it gets better,” UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said Saturday.”Aid agencies are barely beginning to see the scale of the damage,” she adding that “entire villages have been submerged, buildings have been flattened, and schools and health care centers have been destroyed”.The storm wreaked an area about 3,000 square kilometres of land.The World Food Programme late Friday night declared the flood crisis a level three emergency, putting it on a par with crises in Yemen, Syria and South Sudan.”The designation will accelerate the massive operational scale-up now underway to assist victims of last week’s Category 4 cyclone and subsequent large-scale flooding that claimed countless lives and displaced at least 600,000 people,” said WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel.”Now that the world is beginning to grasp the scale of devastation and despair,” he said.More than two million people have been affected in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and in Malawi where the storm started as a tropical depression causing flooding which killed 60 and displaced nearly a million people.Hundreds are still missing in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.’Like Yemen, Syria’ Humanitarian agencies are racing against the clock to help people, many of whom have not had a meal in days.Poor sanitary conditions mean disease is now a real concern.”Already, some cholera cases have been reported in (the port city of) Beira along with an increasing number of malaria infections among people trapped by the flooding,” the International Federation of the Red Cross said in a statement.Even some of those rescued and in shelters are in overcrowded conditions and poor hygiene places them at risk. UNICEF estimates at least a million children have been affected by the storm.Aid group Doctors Without Borders said people were also at risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia.In Buzi, a small town that has reportedly “disappeared” under water, an AFP photographer saw people sleeping outside, under the rain and many coughing.”There are lot of dead (people). We can’t even count,” said Otelea Jose, arriving by boat in Beira.”We are living an unprecedented natural disaster. A disaster that only matches major disasters,” said lands and environment minister Celso Correia.Districts west of Beira resemble an inland lake, and thousands of people are still trapped on roof tops.’Unprecedented natural disaster’ Although water levels are slowly going down, according to the government,the UN humanitarian agency warned of fresh flooding if more rains fall.”The Zambezi (river) is essentially in flood currently, it’s very high .. there is lot of rain in the highlands, the more that flows down to the Zambezi the more likely that is going to break its banks and we will have a second flooding emergency,” said Sebastian Stampa, an OCHA coordinator.Nearly 90,000 people are already in shelters in central Mozambique.In Beira, businessman Ibraimo Masquine counted his blessings. “I can’t believe I’m here. I was scared for my life,” he said clearing debris from his factory, but he also said there was “no clean water to drink, no food”.last_img read more

Man killed in police gunfight

first_imgA Prothom Alo IllustrationA man was killed in what police called a gunfight with them in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar early Sunday, reports UNB.The deceased was Md Hossain, 39, son of late Anu Mia of Hoyaikong in the upazila.Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of Teknaf model police station, said they raided the area around 2:00am acting on a tip-off that a consignment of yaba was brought from Myanmar.The smugglers opened fire as soon as the police team reached the spot, triggering a gunfight. Hossain sustained a gunshot wound in the skirmish.Police took the injured to Teknaf Upazila Health Complex where the physicians pronounced him dead. The body was sent to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital for autopsy.Three policemen were also injured.Police recovered 2,000 yaba pills, two pistols and nine bullets from the spot.OC Pradip said Hossain was accused in six drugs-related cases.last_img read more

Iran executes defence ministry exemployee over spying for USA

first_imgLogo of SuicideIran has executed a “defence ministry contractor” convicted of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency, semi-official news agency ISNA reported Saturday.”The execution sentence was carried out for Jalal Haji Zavar, a contractor for the defence ministry’s aerospace organisation who spied for the CIA and the American government,” ISNA reported, quoting the Iranian military.ISNA said he was convicted by Iran’s military court and that he was executed, at an unspecified time, at the Rajayi Shahr prison in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran.The agency did not say when Zavar was arrested, noting however that his contract with the defence ministry had been terminated during the Iranian year 1389 (March 2010-2011).He was identified as a spy by the defence ministry’s intelligence unit, ISNA said.During the investigation the suspect “explicitly confessed to spying for the CIA” in return for money, ISNA said, adding that “documents and espionage devices were found at his house”.Zavar’s ex-wife was convicted of “involvement in espionage” and is serving a 15-year jail sentence, the agency said.The report comes days after Iran said it had dismantled a “new” US spy network in the country linked to the CIA, amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington.In what it termed a “wide-reaching blow” to US intelligence, state news agency IRNA said on Tuesday that Tehran had carried out the operation in cooperation with “foreign allies”, without naming any state.Tensions between Washington and Tehran flared up after Iran, on Tuesday, said it shot down a US “spy” drone which violated its airspace — a claim the US denies — near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.In response, the US was ready to carry out a military strike against Iran.President Donald Trump said Friday the United States was “cocked & loaded” to strike Iran but pulled back at the last minute as it would not have been a “proportionate” response to Tehran’s shooting down of the unmanned drone.The downing of the drone came after tensions spiked between the two countries following a series of attacks on oil tankers the US has blamed on Iran.last_img read more

Catch a falling Angel

first_imgBonjour India is set to conclude on a high note with the cherubic angels descending upon the earth on 31 March at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The festival in Indo French collaboration had been an exceptional experience across various disciplines in arts, science and academia.The acrobatic artists who performed The Flying Angels show at the London Olympics 2012, will be enthralling the city on the occasion of this grand finale.The enchanting aerial, acrobatics street circus where angels take over the cityscape making the sky best place on earth will be an wondrous experience for the children and would rejuvenate the childhood in adults. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Dressed in white, the angels engage the audience below with special charm, showering feathers.The show, performed by Les Studios de crique is directed by Pierrot Bidon and Stephane Girard.An ancient legend goes that every 500 years angels descend upon the earth to indulge in our worldly pleasures. The French troupe ‘Les studios de cirque’ brings this legend to life. A steel dome is erected, like an arched staircase from heaven and the acrobat-angels are suspended from the dome, flying across it, moving around it and enthralling the people gathered beneath. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAs acrobats leap from one trapeze to another across the steel arches and some others land elegantly on the dome above, all of them dressed in white as angels, they engage the audience below with the special charm only circus artists have. This show will be a wondrous experience not only for children but it will also speak to the child in adults. Come and celebrate with us and enjoy aerial acrobatics that has never been seen before in DelhiDETAILPlace: Jawaharlal Nehru StadiumDate: 31 MarchTime: 7:15 pmlast_img read more