R400m for digital TV subsidies

first_imgOnce the details had been finalised and the scheme was ready to be rolled out, Nyanda said consumers would be informed of the criteria for qualification and the application process. “[The] government has already made a decision to support poor TV-owning households, and we are in the process of finalising the details regarding the implementation of the support scheme,” he said. Source: BuaNews “These features enable the disconnection of stolen boxes and will reduce the possibility of an influx of boxes not manufactured or approved in South Africa flooding the market,” Pule said. Speaking in Johannesburg this week, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda said the Cabinet had approved R400-million to subsidise around five-million households, with subsidised set-top boxes expected to cost around R300. 23 October 2009 The set-top boxes that many South Africans will need to watch television when broadcasting goes digital-only will be available at stores throughout the country in the first half of 2010. The government is expected to subsidise 70% of the R700 cost of the units for poorer households.center_img Deputy Communications Minister Dina Pule said that the set top boxes for free-to-air services would have standardised operating systems prioritising security features, interoperability, addressability and inter-connectability. South Africa is currently in a “dual-illumination” period, with both digital and analogue TV signals available. The digital signal was switched on in November 2008, and the analogue signal is due to be switched off on 1 November 2011. In order to receive the digital signal after that date, households with analogue TV sets will need to purchase set-top boxes that convert digital into analogue signals. Nyanda and Pule were speaking at a two-day summit aimed at discussing a set-top box manufacturing strategy that will pave the way for local companies to manufacture the devices. Standards, security featureslast_img read more

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Oprah’s girls get 100% matric pass

first_imgThe first group of 72 girls to matriculate from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls have achieved a 100% pass rate.(Image: panoramio.com) MEDIA CONTACTS • Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy  +27 16 366 9000RELATED ARTICLES • A hefty boost for conservation • Alice Walker to explore Biko ties • Tackling SA’s education challenges • Education goes mobile with Vodacom • South Africa prioritises quality education Wilma den HartighThe first group of 72 girls to matriculate from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls have excelled in their national senior certificate exams, achieving a 100% pass rate and 188 distinctions.This is a major accomplishment for the relatively new school, which opened its doors in 2007.All the pupils from the Academy’s pioneer matric class will be attending university or enrolling for another form of tertiary education. Some pupils are pursuing admission to colleges or universities in the US.The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a girls-only boarding school in Henley on Klip in the south of Johannesburg, was founded by Winfrey, an internationally renowned talk show host and philanthropist.She established the school as part of her dream to provide educational and leadership opportunities tor academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa.The Academy is making a significant contribution by providing a world class education to the country’s young girls.Teachers at the school share Winfrey’s vision of giving girls the opportunities they need to become future leaders in South Africa and the continent.Since starting with grade seven and eight classes, the Academy has added a new high school grade each year. At the end of 2011, the school expected to have more than 300 girls enrolled from grades seven to twelve.Bursaries and scholarshipsIn a media release, the Academy says that several pupils have been awarded full scholarships that cover university fees and residence.Sharlotte Mkansi received a scholarship from the Department of Mining and Energy and will be studying geology and environmental science at the University of Pretoria.Nonhlahla Kgwedi was awarded the Gallagher Scholarship for a degree in medicine at the University of Cape Town.The Anglo-Coal Scholarship went to Magnolia van Wyk for a BA in accounting sciences at University of Cape Town. Juliet Mantso will be studying medicine at Stellenbosch University.Accounting firm Ernst & Young awarded six scholarships to pupils to cover tuition and residence fees. The company will also provide the recipients with employment on completion of their degrees.Some learners were awarded merit scholarships from universities, based on their Grade 11 results.Sue Norval, the director of university guidance for South African universities, helped pupils from the Academy with the paperwork, admission forms and scholarship applications.Wendy Chang, director of university guidance for the US, assisted pupils who were applying for tertiary institutions based in that country.Innovative curriculum designThe Academy’s approach to learning is distinctive as it encourages pupils to be critical thinkers and nurtures their curiousity about the world.The curriculum includes mathematics, natural science and technology, arts and culture, social economic and management sciences, life orientation and leadership, and languages.Citizenship is an important value and pupils give back to the community through painting schools, reading to disadvantaged children and visiting old age homes.This initiative teaches the girls how to be sensitive to the needs of others.Education South Africa, a monthly educational publication distributed nationwide, featured the Academy in 2011. School head Anne van Zyl said in an interview that ‘servant leadership’ is an important value of the school.“The girls can serve the school from within, in the residences or by leading co-curricular activities such as the computer club, peace group, the library, and community service groups,” Van Zyl said.Recognition in high placesIn 2007, former president Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for her initiative in establishing the school and investing in the education of South African children.Former US president, Bill Clinton featured the Academy in his 2007 book: Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, as an example of how to give back to the world.last_img read more

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Brand South Africa commends Springboks

first_imgJohannesburg, Saturday 24 October 2015 – Brand South Africa commends the Springboks for their well-played game against the All Blacks from New Zealand in 2015 Rugby World Cup.Speaking from Johannesburg, Brand South Africa’s CEO Mr Kingsley Makhubela said, “We commend the Springboks for fighting for South African success in the World Cup. You were brave and fearless and despite the outcome of the game, we thank you for playing your part to put South Africa on the global sporting map.”“We remain proud of your endurance, tenacity and courage,” concluded Mr Makhubela.last_img

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Bengal issues lookout notices for Gurung, Giri

first_img However, Mr Gurung did have an idea of the meeting as he issued a statement prior to the meeting with the Chief Minister. “But what he did not know was the whereabouts of Tamang and Thapa after the meeting,” a GJM official said.After the meeting, on his return to the hills, Mr Tamang gave a call to withdraw the strike till September 12, which is revoked on Friday by Mr Gurung. The party officials clarified that the strike in Darjeeling– which will be completing three months in few days– will continue indicating that the talks between the Bengal government and a section of GJM leaders failed.Mr Gurung also slammed Tamang as a “traitor” who was playinginto the hands of the state government. Following his statement Tamang’s house, meanwhile, was ransacked by pro- Gorkhaland supporters. Posters were pasted in front of his house terming him a “traitor of Gorkhaland”. The party leadership claimed that a woman was killed during lathi charge by police to disperse a crowd that was protesting against the decision to suspend the shutdown. The police, however, denied the allegation. GJM stir escalates in Darjeeling, Tamang removed from post The West Bengal government issued look out notices against the president and secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha [GJM] on Friday. The notices are issued by the Criminal Investigation Department [CID] of the State government and a very senior officer of the CID confirmed it to The Hindu. The notices follow GJM action against party interlocutors Binoy Tamang and Anit Thapa who represented them at the talks with the government. “We have issued them against GJM president Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri,” a senior CID official said.A similar notice was also issued against another activist, Prakash Gurung, the youth wing president of the GJM. The notices are issued in consultation with the officials of the Central government to nab criminals and also to stop them from crossing international borders.Meanwhile, following a meeting of GJM senior office-bearers, Mr. Gurung ostensibly expelled party’s assistant general secretary, Binoy Tamang, who led the team to Kolkata on August 29 to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Another leader of the party Anit Thapa was also apparently expelled. “I am hearing the news that they are expelled,” party’s secretary Roshan Giri told The Hindu. However, he has not confirmed the expulsion.Earlier, Mr Gurung claimed in a statement that a section of their party leaders “have shaken hands with Bengal government … to derail [the] movement” and thus he issued a long and strongly worded statement claiming the struggle for Gorkha homeland will continue.“They [rebel leaders] didn’t inform me about the recent meetings they undertook, they didn’t tell me where the meeting took place, how many times such meetings were held, and I wasn’t even made aware of who would be the Convener of the coordination committee, I only came to know about it after they had done the selections. So I was kept in the dark and they didn’t consult me….[section of the leaders led by Tamang] went to Nabanna [State Secretariat] and sat for a meeting with Mamata Banerjee without consulting me,” Mr Gurung alleged.Also Readlast_img read more

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In a need of a good coach: Team India

first_imgWhatmoreViswanathHopefully when the Indians queue up at Heathrow immigration on their tour of England, they will know who their coach is. What we already know is that Indian cricket is adamantly refusing to move up the evolutionary ladder. Going by the noise, this could be 2000, the first time the,WhatmoreViswanathHopefully when the Indians queue up at Heathrow immigration on their tour of England, they will know who their coach is. What we already know is that Indian cricket is adamantly refusing to move up the evolutionary ladder. Going by the noise, this could be 2000, the first time the Indians hired a foreign coach. The conscientious objectors to the idea have remained the same, their arguments have remained the same, and their choice of alternative candidates does not feature any new names. At least none that have made public.Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with equally capricious Boards, now know how to hunt for coaches. They put out ads, invite candidates. India’s method involves big-name committees, shooting in the dark, Chinese whispers and conspiracy theories.While other countries pick coaches in a planned manner, the BCCI believes in shooting in the darkWhat do the Indians look for when picking a coach? Er, who cares because coaches, apparently, come in only two kinds: Indian and foreign. Other qualities like a track record, the ability to manage men, to work hard, to build trust, are, apparently, built into passports, rather than the men carrying them.Dav Whatmore, as is known, is the front-runner but could be part of a package deal which includes G.R. Viswanath as batting consultant. South African Graham Ford is a late entrant with backers in the team, but more names will be thrown into the meeting for dramatic effect.In 1990, former India batsman Nari Contractor went to England to find a coach for the Mumbai Cricket Association’s bowling scheme. When no one impressed him, he returned and was not satisfied until he ran into former England fast bowler Frank Tyson. Twenty-seven bowlers from that scheme played first-class cricket and one of them, Paras Mhambrey, is a coach himself today. That’s the effect the right man can have in a job.advertisementLike Mhambrey, there are other former players who have committed themselves to cricket coaching like students, rather than gurus. Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad are already with the team. It won’t be long before an Indian heads our support staff. But to push for an Indian for the sake of his Indianness is meaningless.This is no defence of or campaign for What more. But the Sri Lanka-born Australian must be wondering what is it about him that has so incensed two of our luminaries, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar. When asked about Whatmore taking the job he once did (without any great distinction) Kapil Dev responded, “Who is Whatmore? Why do we need to talk about Whatmore?” So often has Kapil paaji replied to questions by asking “Who is…?” in his fabricated earthiness, that he should consider patenting the response to prevent other rent-a-quote artists from making capital out of it.Sunil Gavaskar’s recent newspaper columns have contained a series of sniper attacks on Whatmore. May 23: “While it is no secret that (Habibul) Bashar is not the greatest tactical captain, what was the dressing room doing?” May 26: “Bangladesh’s limited success… is largely a matter of a good team playing them having a bad day… If eyes aren’t opened after this, then we are a myopic nation.” May 28: “What more does it take to prove that they have been plain lucky in their odd oneday wins and have made zilch progress in Test cricket? Nothing more, I guess.” You get the drift.For a columnist, all this is fair game but Gavaskar was also part of the panel to pick the new coach. Couldn’t a candidate believe Gavaskar has it in for him? Didn’t this strident public stance muddy the process? Besides, is any of it constructive? As India staggered into a new season, the search to find a perfect fit for their backroom turned into a battle of wills, a contest of non-issues and an exercise in self-aggrandisement.last_img read more

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FIFA 2014: German team that lifted the World Cup is emblematic of a country that has shed its horrid past

first_imgGerman players celebrate after winning the FIFA World Cup.Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s,German players celebrate after winning the FIFA World Cup.Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s heroine, Maria, thinks she has lost her husband at war, becomes the darling of a victorious American GI, kills him when the husband returns alive from the front, becomes the mistress of a wealthy industrialist as the German economy recovers, inherits his fortune in the 1950s and is set to be reunited with her first husband and about to live a life of luxury when she is suddenly killed in a gas explosion at her home.The explosion is the final scene of the film, and as the credits run one can hear football commentary for the 1954 World Cup final where West Germany won their first championship. ‘Deutshland ist Weltmeister’ screams the delirious commentator-while in the shot we see Maria Braun’s home go up in flames, her short life with all its sad secrets over, a new country reborn which can forget about the sins and complications of the past, rising again on the wings of the Wirtschaftswunder, ‘the German economic miracle’. In Germany, the World Cup is always about much more than just football.Germany first fancied themselves with a shot at the World Cup in 1938. After Adolf Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria excellent Austrian players were incorporated into a ‘Greater Germany’ team (though perhaps the greatest Austrian player of all, Matthias Sindelar, refused to take part in the Hitler-Mannschaft [football team] and went on to commit suicide in 1939). As with other areas of Nazi sports, the German football team had a strong ideological dimension, meant to prove Aryan superiority over inferior races. However, the German team had only managed fourth place in the 1934 World Cup, and were knocked out by minnows Norway in the 1936 Olympics. 1938 was meant to right all this-only for the Germans to draw 1-1 in their opening game against the Swiss in their first game, and then humiliatingly knocked out 4-2 in the replay.advertisementBut the tournament had some solace for fascism: Benito Mussolini’s Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in the final to win their second World Cup on the trot (football was much more important to Mussolini than Hitler, who saw more value in boxing and individual sports).West Germany were barred from taking part in the 1950 World Cup, and the 1954 edition was the first time the national anthem was played at an international sporting event since the War (though the stanza about ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ was cut). In the final, the German team were expected to be defeated by the all-conquering Hungarian team lead by the greatest player of his generation, Ferenc Puskas; the Hungarians had already thrashed them in a qualifying round. But after the Hungarians streamed ahead 2-0, the Germans pulled the game back to 2-2. They had no stars like Puskas but the weather was on their side: it was raining heavily and the Germans had the advantage, thanks to a new type of boot with innovative screw-in studs designed by a little-known company called Adidas. The Germans scored again after the break, and Puskas had a late equaliser ruled out for off-side. In Germany the match became known as the ‘Miracle of Bern’, the triumphant sporting symbol of Germany’s ‘Economic Miracle’. West Germany’s next World Cup Final win came in 1974 when they again managed to get the better of the greatest player of his generation, Holland’s Johan Cruyff, with a tenacious team display. But the most important political game in the 1974 World Cup had actually come in the first round, when West Germany played East Germany in a showdown between Communism and Capitalism. The tournament was overshadowed by the Cold War: the USSR had dropped out after refusing to take part in a match against a Chile where the US-allied General Augusto Pinochet had just ousted the Soviet sympathetic Salvador Allende in a coup d’etat; there was intense security as Germany was terrorised by the ultra left group Rote Armee Fraktion. The West Germans were clear favourites in their game: they were European Champions, with a core from the European Champions Cup-winning team of Bayern Munich, captained by Franz Beckenbauer. But the East Germans managed to frustrate their Western ‘brothers’ and won the match 1-0. Both teams had qualified for the next round by that point-but it was still a great moment for East German pride.advertisementThroughout the Cold War decades the West German team was one of the few ways Germans could confidently express their patriotism without feeling WW II awkwardness, and with Germany essentially barred from the geopolitical scene it became not so much a continuation of politics as its substitution. The West German team that evolved towards the end of the Cold War was everything Germany could never dare to be in diplomacy: Teutonic, powerful, self-confident. They peaked in 1990, in time with the West’s victory in the Cold War, with the man-machine Lothar Matthaus leading a Valkyrian team to beat Argentina: the losers again featuring the world’s greatest player, Diego Maradona, who like Cruyff and Puskas before him, could not conjure a victory against the less spectacular but more united Germans.1990 was the high water mark of West German postwar success. After the two Germanies were reunited, both the economy and the national team were expected to become superpowers: an idea that made many surrounding countries uncomfortable. Were we about to see a re-emergence of bad, bullying Germany? Instead the German economy slowly slumped, dragged down by costs of paying for the East and a burdensome welfare state. The team dwindled too: they reached the 2002 World Cup Final by luck and were easily blown away by Brazil. It was as if a reunified Germany was almost scared of being too successful and overbearing.Slowly, since 2004, a new German team has been reemerging. Except it’s a different type of Germany, not Aryan at all but made good with immigrants like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose. By winning the 2014 World Cup with such a globalised team, the demons of 1938 have been put to bed (though some things never change: again a unified German team beat the world’s best player, Lionel Messi). This globalised Germany is one which the nation can back with no remnants of Nazi hangups, it becomes acceptable to be patriotic as the patria (homeland) becomes less German. And at the same time Germany has re-emerged as the superpower of Europe. Except it’s no longer a case of other countries wanting to hold them back: “I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity,” Radek Sikorski said in 2011, as he hoped for Germany to be more assertive in the Eurozone crisis, and as he no doubt hopes now that Berlin will stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Germany is reclaiming its geopolitical status, but that will mean letting go of some of the benefits of being diplomatically neutral- such as being able to do business with everyone and never thinking of the geopolitical responsibilities (the German business lobby is the most involved in Putin’s Russia, is among his greatest supporters and has been vocal in stopping Berlin from sanctioning the Kremlin). Let’s just hope German Chancellor Angela Merkel is as good at her job as its football team’s coach Joachim Low is at his.advertisementlast_img read more

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