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

NLEX downs Alaska behind Fuller’s 30-20, Alas’ stellar game

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAaron Fuller had a solid PBA debut and NLEX reasserted its dominance over Alaska with a 112-104 win in the 2017 Governors’ Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Fuller notched a double-double with 30 points and 20 rebounds for the Road Warriors, who improved to 3-0 against the Aces this season.ADVERTISEMENT Perlas outlasts UP to stay in hunt for semis spot “It’s a different feeling. We only need one win and we’ll be able to tie our record last conference,” said NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao, whose squad finished at the bottom of the standings with a 2-9 card in the Commissioner’s Cup.“This is a validation of our hard work, but there is nothing to celebrate at this point, it’s just the beginning,” Guiao added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Road Warriors broke loose from a 94-deadlock with six straight points by Fulling, including an emphatic putback dunk, giving his team a 111-99 lead with 50 seconds left.“They’re still a physical, rugged, defensive team. More reason for me to look at this as a good sign because Alaska is not a pushover. Alaska is a contender and if you beat Alaska you know you’re doing something right,” Guiao said. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Kevin Alas was a spark off the bench for NLEX with 20 points and eight rebounds.LaDontae Henton finished with 27 points and nine rebounds while Calvin Abueva posted 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Aces, whose struggles spilled into the new conference.Alaska has now lost nine straight games dating back to the previous conference.NLEX, on the other hand, has won three in a row after ending last conference with back-to-back victories.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Minister Anything could happen if Brexit deal rejected

first_imgLONDON — A senior British Cabinet minister has said that a second referendum or a so-called “Norway-plus” deal could be in the cards if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to win lawmakers’ approval for her Brexit deal.Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd is the first minister to discuss a “Plan B” should May be defeated in a key parliamentary vote scheduled for Tuesday.Rudd, who backs May’s Brexit deal, said “anything could happen” if the government is defeated in Parliament, and predicted a chaotic period.She told the Times on Saturday that while none of the possible alternatives is better than the current Brexit deal, she would prefer a model similar to Norway, which is not an EU member but is part of the European Economic Area.The Associated Presslast_img read more

North Peace Leisure Pool hosting fundraiser for the BCSPCA this Wednesday

first_imgCanned Dog Food.Canned Cat Food.Specialty Food (gastro, critical care, urinary care).Squeaky Dog Toys.Cat Wand Toys. (Can be found at Dollar Stores).Cat Litter Scoops.Clay/Clumping Cat Litter.Paper Towel (Lots of it).Dish Soap.8.5×11 Printer Paper.Thermal Cash Register Rolls (Two 1/4 inch wide x 75 feet).Air Fresheners.Toilet Bowl Cleaner.Residents are also welcome to donate cash if they don’t have listed items. The event is part of the North Peace Leisure Pool’s Pet Week which is dedicated to all our furry and scaly friends.If residents are unable to make the fundraiser they are welcome to drop off donations to the BCSPCA’s North Peace Branch at any time.Pet Week flyer. Photo by Charity Nelson. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Leisure Pool will be hosting a fundraiser for the BCSPCA this Wednesday.The event runs from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and gives residents the opportunity to swim at the pool for just a donation.The SPCA released a list of items needed the most through donation. The list is shown below:last_img read more

Premier Horgan to release Caribou Recovery Programs SocioEconomic Impact Report Thursday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – On Thursday morning, after three weeks since its submission, Premier John Horgan will be releasing the findings from the Caribou Recovery Program’s Socio-Economic Impact Report.The report, prepared and submitted by Blaire Lekstrom, looks at the socio-economic impact that the Caribou Recovery Program could have on communities within the Peace River Regional District.While Lekstrom cannot comment on the content within the report, before the Premier’s official release, he does say that people were sharing their views respectfully during the meetings for this report. “People were tremendous, they brought their views forward, everybody was respectful, and moving ahead, I think that people share the same concerns.”Lekstrom submitted his report on May 27, prior to the May 31 deadline.In April, Lekstrom was appointed as Community Liaison to meet with community members to discuss the draft partnership agreements on caribou recovery following the Government’s announcement to extend the deadline to May 31.last_img read more

Centre justifies law for 10 quota to economically weaker sections

first_imgNew Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday justified in Supreme Court its recent law granting 10-per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), saying it was brought in to promote “social equality” by providing “equal opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status”.The government said the new law will not be covered by the Indra Sawhney versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) of 1992 as provision for reservation was made after amending the Constitution. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”That the Constitution Amendment (103rd) Act 2019 was necessitated to benefit the economically weaker sections of the society who were not covered within the existing schemes of reservation, which as per statistics, constituted a considerably large segment of the Indian population,” an affidavit filed by the Centre said. It said in order to do justice across all weaker sections of the society, “it was therefore considered imperative that the Constitution be appropriately amended to enable the State to extend various benefits, including reservations in educational institutions and public employment to the EWSs of the society who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation…”. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe Centre’s affidavit was filed in connection with a matter where a batch of petitions have challenged the validity of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 on the ground that it is contrary to the decision of this court in Indra Sawhney versus Union of India and violates the basic structure of the Constitution. “It is submitted that the conclusions drawn in Indra Sawhney are inapplicable to the present case as the said judgment was delivered while determining the constitutional validity of certain Office Memorandums issued by the Government of India in the year 1990, which provided for reservations for the backward classes of citizens in services under the State,” it said. The affidavit said the present challenge, however, is in relation to the validity of a constitutional amendment made wherein Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) have been inserted, which did not exist on the book when Indra Sawhney verdict was delivered. “Indra Sawhney verdict and the findings therein can therefore have no application thereafter,” the affidavit said. The Centre contended that merely affecting or impinging upon an Article embodying a feature that is part of the basic structure of the Constitution is not sufficient to declare an amendment unconstitutional. “To sustain a challenge against a constitutional amendment, it must be shown that the very identity of the Constitution has been altered,” it said. The government said the impugned amendment is in conformity with the constitutional principles and therefore does not violates the basic structure doctrine. “That in order to provide reservation to EWS without disturbing the existing reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs, the constitutional amendment has provided for a maximum of 10-per cent reservation for EWSs in addition to the existing reservations. The limit of 50 per cent is only applicable to reservation made under Article 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) and does not apply to Article 15(6),” the affidavit said. It said several committees were set up wherein quantifiable data was collected highlighting the need for having reservation for the economically weaker sections of the society. “Accordingly, the constitutional amendments were necessitated for providing opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status,” it said and added that it was essential that the EWS gets access to these facilities as mandated in the Constitution.last_img read more

Belgium must overcome mental barrier – Martinez

first_imgBelgium boss Roberto Martinez has no doubts over the talent within his squad but insists they must break the mental barrier to win the upcoming World CupWith the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku at the peak of their abilities heading into Russia this summer, Belgium are being heavily fancied as one of the dark horses for the World Cup.However, the Red Devils suffered a shock defeat to Wales in the last eight of the Euro 2016 and were eliminated by Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.“We need to learn how to be a winning team,” Martinez said in a new book Football 2.0: How The World’s Best Play The Modern Game, via BBC.“We’ve got exceptional talent, but talent on its own is not enough to win a major tournament. We’ve never had the direction before.”After reaching the final of the 1980 European Championship and later making the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup, Belgium then suffered a long period of no success with the national side failing to qualify for a major tournament between 2002 and 2014.Raheem Sterling, EnglandTop 5 best players from the international break weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 After a fresh international break just came to an end, we need to talk about the Top 5 best players during this whole weekend.We…Yet, in that difficult period, a new development structure was made which bases itself on young prospects playing in a 4-3-3 system.Nowadays, Belgium have a host of stars playing for some of the biggest clubs in Europe and have become a force to be reckoned with.Now Martinez believes that if they can win a tournament, then they can go on to emulate both France and Spain who both went on to win the European championship after winning the World Cup.“The mentality is the biggest area we have to improve,” Martinez said.“We need to work on the psychology and the mental aspect of being a team. We need the right mentality to get through the difficult moments of a game.“When France and Spain did that, and won, there was a knock-on effect where they went on to win more trophies.”last_img read more

Belgiums victory will motivate next generation

first_imgBelgium’s head coach Roberto Martinez has stated that his aim of winning third place play-off against England, isn’t only to get a good place in the 2018 FIFA world cup, but also to inspire their next generation of Belgium football players.“Belgium football is very strong and the concepts that we have is something we want to inspire in the next generation… You have to be very, very good at what you do in order to win, but for us the way you play is essential… We want to develop the younger players in the same manner that’s why it is essential for us to perform tomorrow in a typical Belgian way and make sure we do that at the high performance [level],” Martinez told journalists as quoted in Four Four Two.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.The Belgium team in the semi-finals lost 1-0 to France on Tuesday leaving them to battle with England for third place of the FIFA 2018. This, however, isn’t their first meeting in this world cup, as they beat England 1-0 during the group stage.“This will be the same tactical game, there are no secrets between the sides, I think there is clarity of how England has been successful in this tournament. I think they are very dynamic, very quick, you can see the pace of players like [Raheem] Sterling, Harry Kane… This will be a challenge for us, we have to have concentration, be able to cope. But I don’t think this will be a surprise [comparing to] the group [stage],” the head coach said.last_img read more

How to prepare for the next earthquake

first_img KUSI Newsroom, AP July 8, 2019 Posted: July 8, 2019 Updated: 3:13 PM KUSI Newsroom, AP, center_img How to prepare for the next earthquake 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsLOS ANGELES (AP) — The powerful Mojave Desert earthquakes that rocked California ended a years-long lull in major seismic activity and raised new interest in an early warning system being developed for the West Coast.The ShakeAlert system is substantially built in California and overall is about 55% complete, with much of the remaining installation of seismic sensor stations to be done in the Pacific Northwest, said Robert de Groot of the U.S. Geological Survey.Areas that have the appropriate number of sensors include Southern California, San Francisco Bay Area and the Seattle-Tacoma region, de Groot said.The system does not predict earthquakes. Rather, it detects that an earthquake is occurring, rapidly calculates expected intensity levels and sends out alerts that may give warnings ranging from several seconds to perhaps a minute before potentially damaging shaking hits locations away from the epicenter.Depending on the distance, that could be enough time to automatically slow trains, stop industrial machines, start generators, pull a surgical knife away from a patient or tell students to put the “drop, cover and hold” drill into action.For alerts to be useful, delivery has to be timely, and that’s a problem with current cellphone technology. For cellphone delivery, the USGS ultimately intends to use the same system that delivers Amber Alerts, sending signals to everyone in reach of cellphone towers in defined areas where damaging shaking is expected.Pilot programs involving select users have been underway for several years. In October, the USGS announced the system was ready to be used broadly by businesses, utilities, schools and other entities following a software update that reduced problems such as false alerts typically caused by a big quake somewhere in the world being misidentified as a local quake.Currently, the only mass public notification is possible through a mobile app developed for the city of Los Angeles and functional only within Los Angeles County.The ShakeAlertLA app did not send alerts for last week’s two big quakes, but officials said it functioned as designed because the expected level of shaking in the LA area — more than 100 miles from the epicenters— was below a trigger threshold.Thresholds for alerting are important because California has daily earthquakes.“Imagine getting 10 ShakeAlerts on your phone for really small earthquakes that may not affect you,” de Groot said. “If people get saturated with these messages it’s going to make people not care as much.”In the Mojave Desert on Monday, rattled residents cleaned up and officials assessed damage in the aftermath of Thursday’s magnitude 6.4 earthquake and Friday’s magnitude 7.1 quake centered near Ridgecrest.It could be several more days before water service is restored to the small town of Trona, where officials trucked in portable toilets and showers, said San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert.Ten residences in Trona were red-tagged as uninhabitable and officials expect that number to increase as inspectors complete surveys. Wert said he’s seen homes that shifted 6 feet (nearly 2 meters) off their foundations.Electricity was restored to Trona over the weekend, allowing people to use much-needed air conditioners as daytime temperatures approached 100 degrees (38 Celsius).Teams will need several more days to finish assessments in nearby Ridgecrest, where the number of damaged buildings will likely be in the dozens, Kern County spokeswoman Megan Person said.Person says officials are bringing in counselors to help residents still on edge as aftershocks rattle the area.“You can’t feel every single one, but you can feel a lot of them,” she said. “Those poor people have been dealing with shaking ground non-stop since Thursday.”In studio with tips on how you can make sure you and your family is ready is Emily Cox from the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more