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Task team to explore university funding in South Africa

first_img7 October 2015A task team had been established to explore solutions to short-term student funding challenges, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday following a “fruitful and historical” meeting with vice-chancellors and the leadership of universities in South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.The meeting between the leadership of the country and its tertiary education institutions ties into one of the outcomes of the National Development Plan, namely, Africa’s place in the world. This is an effort to create a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.Meeting with university leadershipThe meeting was held at the request of Universities of South Africa and the University Council Chairs Forum – South Africa. Among other things, the request was necessitated by the recent violence on campuses countrywide.South Africa recognised and supported the right of university students to protest and to voice their opinions and grievances, Zuma said. However, he strongly condemned the violence and destruction of property that had taken place at some universities in the name of student protests over the past year or so. The most recent violent protests have been at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.“This right to protest should be exercised with utmost responsibility, ensuring that the rights of other South Africans are not violated in the process,” he said.While violent student responses had been condemned, university management must open up legitimate channels for discussion and dialogue over matters concerning students, with a view to resolving whatever issues they raised.“We believe that university management must be more proactive and not allow matters to deteriorate to such an extent that students go on a rampage, often due to lack of understanding and knowledge of the situation and spurred by poor communication,” Zuma said.TransformationIssues relating to the transformation of the higher education sector were also discussed, ahead of the second Higher Education Summit, which will take place in Durban from 15 to 17 October.“It was further noted that the current activity on many historically white university campuses by new student movements were related to concerns around the slow pace of university transformation and the demand to open access more effectively and thus change entrenched institutional cultures.“We also discussed some of the real gains in transforming the higher education sector, while acknowledging that there is still much more to be done.”Students protesting for the transformation of institutions, the president stressed, must focus on dialogue and legitimate means of negotiation and protest to bring about change.AfrikaansThe use of Afrikaans as the main medium of instruction on some campuses has been an issue leading to student protests:#SAVarsities: Zuma “the current issues in former Afrikaans Universities are pushed by the snail pace in transformation” @ANN7tv— Neria Hlakotsa (@neriahlakotsa) October 6, 2015#SAVarsities #Zuma says Afrikaans must not be used as a tool of exclusion, if you do so, you problematize it. @KayaNews— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) October 6, 2015#SAVarsities Zuma: Afrikaans is an African language, it must not isolate itself— POWER987 News (@POWER987News) October 6, 2015Financial aidThe focus of the meeting were the key challenges facing universities such as student financial aid, the increasing politicisation of university campuses, and transformation of higher education.“We wish to reiterate government’s commitment to funding poor students in higher education in the context of a constrained fiscal climate,” said Zuma.Funding for poor academically capable students, disbursed though the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), has increased from R441-million in 1997 to over R9.5-billion in 2015.“While funding has increased considerably, it is clearly still insufficient to support all poor and academically deserving students,” Zuma admitted. Processes for improving the disbursement of funds and concerted efforts to root out fraud, as well as sourcing additional funding to support students were being implemented.Shortfalls in financial aid, however, should not be used as a justification for hooliganism and vandalism of state property.The task teamThe task team will be made up of officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Presidency, NSFAS, two vice-chancellors representing the leadership of universities, two student representatives, and other higher education stakeholders.It would make recommendations by the end of November.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Brand South Africa calls on citizens to stand up for human rights as the world commemorates International Human Rights day

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday 10 December 2018 –  Today South Africa joins the international community to commemorate International Human Rights Day which is observed annually on 10 December and marks the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.On 10 December 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and on the same day in 1996, the Constitution of South Africa was signed into law by former South African President Nelson Mandela.Ms Thoko Modise, GM for Communications for Brand South Africa said: “Premised on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, South Africa has included amalgamated human rights in our own Bill of Rights, Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The Bill of Rights widely addresses South Africa’s history of oppression, colonialism, slavery, racism and sexism and other forms of human violations. It embeds the rights of all people in our country as an enduring affirmation of the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.”As the world marks 70 years of the adoption of the UDHR, the UN’s year-long campaign #StandUp4HumanRights draws to a close. Through this campaign, the UN to ‘called on people to take action for greater freedoms, stronger respect and more compassion for the rights of others’.Today also marks the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a campaign that is steered towards the elimination of violence against women and girls.“As Brand South Africa – we encourage citizens and leaders everywhere to heed the call and stand up for all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – and for the values that underpin our hopes for a fairer, safer and better world for all,” concluded Modise.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email:tsabengn@brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 3rd, 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Fieldwork is in full swing in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 2nd. A week of dry, sunny weather helped to speed up crop development. Conditions favored the baling of hay and straw. Wheat harvest neared completion, but quality issues were widespread. Many who sold wheat dealt with low test weights, sprout, and vomitoxin. Spraying of crops continued where fields had enough potential to make economic sense. The biggest concern for corn at this point is the loss of nitrogen, and shallow root systems that developed when moisture surpluses were prevalent. Growers approached the nitrogen issue with novel methods. Ironically, shallow rooted plants will need regular rainfall to reach their maximum potential. Growers in some areas have already noticed adverse effects from prolonged drier conditions.View the complete reportlast_img read more

Speculating and hedging

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCRight now many analysts and advisors are suggesting corn and beans are too cheap and prices should rally. This makes sense because U.S. corn prices are the cheapest in the world, which means exports should increase. Elevator managers that I have spoken with indicate that farmers aren’t selling at these values. The counter side to prices having to rally is farmers are sitting on A LOT of stored corn, which could be keeping prices from increasing the next couple of months. CornMany bulls are also saying corn is growing too fast and yields will be negatively impacted. Some are predicting a 178 or lower average national yield, at which prices should rally. The counterpoint to this is weather has been widely and consistently very good. Arguably it’s the best growing conditions ever for the largest portion of the Corn Belt at one time. Hot temperatures have been balanced with timely rains, and for every low-lying acre hit with too much rain there are probably many hillside acres benefiting. Estimates indicate only around 10% of the Corn Belt is suffering from prolonged drought conditions. Most of which are in the fringe growing areas. The market probably has a 180 yield plugged in today. If yields were higher because of very good growing condition then future prices will likely trade lower than current prices. BeansThere’s been no change in tariff discussions, so no real change in prices. If trade issues were resolved, bean prices should rally significantly and likely pull corn prices higher. Without any tariff changes, I expect prices to remain the same until harvest. It’s very difficult to peg when this issue will be behind us. Spec account vs. hedge accountI continue to see farmers speculating that the market has hit its low for the year. Some are buying back their hedges hoping to bank some profits and waiting for future rallies to sell their grain again.While this may be the correct decision, it is definitely not a guarantee. Generally I discourage speculative trades in hedge accounts for several reasons.Speculating complicates record keeping. I’m a big advocate for keeping detailed notes on the rationale for each trade I make. When farmers start adding in something they bought back and resold, it’s difficult to determine if the trade was speculative or a hedge. It’s difficult to remember if the profits or losses are included in the price that you get for the grain you sold.It’s difficult to determine if you were a good or bad speculator with only one account. I usually recommend farmers speculate in a separate account from their hedge account. That way when the brokerage company sends their year-end statements outlining all profits and losses it is easy to determine how well one did speculating. By keeping it separate, it keeps farmers honest with themselves.Banks usually can’t use spec accounts for asset management. I will start by saying that not all banks are the same but what I have found to be a common theme among most are that banks aren’t fans of speculative trades in hedge accounts because they aren’t fans of gambling. If grain is sold at in a hedge account and the asset (i.e. grain) is stored in a bin or still in the field, they can use the hedge account as an asset. Since speculating has no relationship to production or storage of grain, it could be a liability, not an asset. I’ve worked with banks to help them identify speculative trading verses hedge trades in farmer accounts. Once a farmer abuses a bank’s trust of a hedge account, it hurts not only their relationship with that bank, but it also hurts all of us that use our hedge accounts correctly. I need my banker to trust my hedging program and continue to work with me to keep it fully funded during times of margin call, so it’s important for me to never damage that relationship by gambling or speculating.It’s not that hard to open a spec account. Plus, it allows farmers to only fund the amount of money they are willing to lose, without negatively affecting their farm operation’s main profit center.It’s often easy for farmers to justify speculating. Some do it because they fear missing out on a rally. Others think they know what the market will do. Usually a farmer speculates that prices are going to rise. As a farmer I definitely understand the fear of missing out on a rally, but speculating is not the answer to those fears. Instead, I encourage farmers to consider an alternative perspective. I like to keep mind that I ALWAYS have next year’s crop to sell too. I suspect few farmers have any 2019 grain sold right now. Any upcoming rally will also increase next year’s prices, so farmers can always take advantage of future rallies, it just may require changing the crop year that gets sold first at higher values.I don’t want to try and speculate on when the bottom is coming for either corn or beans. There are many compelling reasons why the market could go in either direction, because there are a lot of unknowns. Yields are a complete mystery and likely the biggest factor for prices. If I was certain the market was going down, I’d sell more, but I just don’t know. I didn’t expect prices to go below $3.80, yet here we are. If the yield is hurt by high temperatures then low yields would result in the market trading back above $4. I’m not entirely convinced the weather has been all that bad this summer. So I continue to wait and look for some kind of opportunity for the corn crop. I’m behind in sales from where I would like to be at this point in the marketing year. I don’t need to speculate further by buying the few sales I have in place back.No one knows how long the unresolved tariff issues will last or how much of an impact it will have on prices in the short term or even long term. I have heard arguments for both sides and I come to the conclusion that nobody really knows. While the tariff issue certainly doesn’t help bean prices a huge supply this year would not help either. I have 100% of my beans sold and I’m going to continue to keep that position in place. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at jon@superiorfeed.com.last_img read more

Blockchain drives Wanxiang’s $30B smart city project

first_imgTags:#Blockchain#electric cars#IBM#IoT#Microsoft#Smart Cities#Wanxiang How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Donal Power How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citiescenter_img Related Posts Another company jumped on the blockchain bandwagon in a big way, with Wanxiang’s $30 billion smart city project. The Chinese electric car maker announced the mega-project at the Global Blockchain Summit.Wanxiang said that it will invest $30 billion in a project that will integrate blockchain technologies with smart city innovations. The project will involve the purchase of 83 million square feet of land in Hangzhou, where Wanxiang is headquartered.Industry pundits predict that blockchain technology could revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT), as it is capable of verifying a device’s every transaction, communication and change.This type of verification will become crucially important in smart cities where increasing numbers of connected devices will begin spouting data from all corners of the urban environment.See also: Outdated thinking on wireless could cripple UK smart cities“We want to use blockchain to manage IoT, and use it help devices to interact with each other,” said Feng Xiao, vice chairman of Wanxiang. “Smart appliances can be managed with blockchain.”In a similar vein, the government of Dubai announced earlier this year that its innovation department will be integrating blockchain into its smart city strategy.How Wanxiang will integrate blockchain with smart city projects is still being formulated, but company representatives are in talks with Microsoft and IBM on future collaboration.The project is expected to develop innovations at the intersection of cars, smart cities and blockchain. One example given was how the cost of electric cars could be reduced by using blockchain to confirm and enforce property rights in urban environments of the future.Wanxiang already launched a blockchain labWanxiang has already proven keen on blockchain technology with its launch of its $50 million Wanxiang Blockchain Labs. As well in $500,000 of ether cryptocurrency was purchased by a Wanxiang subsidiary in 2015.And as part of the project, the company will be actively looking to finance blockchain entrepreneurs who may be developing innovations that will align with Wanxiang’s initiative.“We can’t tackle all the use cases that might arise from the smart city project,” said Feng. “That’s why we’re opening it up to use cases from all over the world.”Wanxiang owns the American electric car manufacturer Karma and is planning to build a $375 million plant for making battery-powered vehicles. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

Assam flood victims to get cash for utensils, clothes for first time

first_imgVictims of flood in Assam are set to get cash for a couple of items they were entitled to but never received for five years.The Assam Disaster Management Manual, 2015, prescribes utensils and clothes for the flood-affected people.Those staying in designated relief camps as well as those marooned and living in camp-like situation will now be given ₹5,000 each for purchasing these items. The payment would be made through direct benefit transfer.“The Deputy Commissioners of the districts have been asked to ensure the immediate transfer of ₹3,800 for purchase of utensils and ₹1,800 for purchase of clothes to the bank account of the head of the flood-affected families,” Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.“This has been in the manual, but will be implemented more or less for the first time,” he added.The Deputy Commissioners have also been asked to ensure distribution of cattle feed and free textbooks to school children in the flood-affected areas besides settling claims for rehabilitation grants for partially or fully damaged houses within one month.Relief and rehabilitation workers have been providing rice, pulses, salt, mustard oil, baby food, bleaching powder, phenyl, tarpaulin and generic medicines. Organisations such as All Assam Students’ Union said the State government has not been providing enough for the victims of the flood that has so far claimed the lives of 57 humans, 523 domestic animals and fowls and 199 wild animals including 17 one-horned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park.last_img read more

10 months ago​Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi: I made my impression in preseason

first_img​Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi: I made my impression in preseasonby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMatteo Guendouzi admits that he took the chances that were given to him in preseason.The youngster arrived from Lorient in the summer, but no one expected that he would make an instant impact on the first team.The 19-year-old has been a key member of the midfield under new boss Unai Emery.And he is happy that he has settled in so quickly.He said in an interview with Sky Sports: “Although it doesn’t feel like I had time to adapt, I did. “The key was when we went on pre-season to Singapore we played friendly matches and I was able to show my qualities to the staff and my team-mates, that time was really precious because when we came back here it was much easier to adapt to the team and the staff.”Everybody has helped me to integrate and be part of the club and for me to play without pressure, which I love to do. Because I started and played well from the beginning that helped me and my confidence for the games that followed.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoLiverpool legend Aldridge dismisses Guardiola Man City claims

first_imgLiverpool legend Aldridge dismisses Guardiola Man City claimsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend John Aldridge has dismissed the claims of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ahead of Thursday’s clash.Guardiola has declared anything but a victory will end their title defence.Aldridge told the Irish Independent: “Are Liverpool title favourites? Maybe we can say they will move into that position if they get a win against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next Thursday, but I still feel there will be a lot of twists and turns in this title story,” says Aldridge.”None of us saw these slips from Manchester City coming and it means Liverpool will head into the crunch game against them on Thursday night in an unexpectedly dominant position.”A draw in that game would ensure Klopp’s side still have a solid lead at the top of the table, while a victory would yield the pressure on a City side that have struggled to cope in the absence of Fernandinho and David Silva in recent weeks.”There is no doubt that Liverpool are in a great position, but this is only the half way point in the season and there is a long way to go, a lot of points to play for.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoChelsea boss Lampard bemoans VAR impact

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard bemoans VAR impactby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard says VAR changes the atmosphere at football matches.The Blues had a goal disallowed in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.”We have to get on with it. It is a sad thing for the celebration and the moment but if we are looking for correct decisions that is where we are at,” Lampard said after the match. “It changes the atmosphere in the crowd, on the pitch. We are slightly deflated and they get a boost. We deserved to be level at that point.” last_img read more

Anukool Lakhina Liberty Global has made a strategi

first_imgAnukool LakhinaLiberty Global has made a strategic investment in Guavus, a provider of real-time big data analytics applications, designed for planning, operations and marketing.Announcing the deal, Liberty said that Guavus’ products allow cable operators to gain a “holistic, cohesive view of network state and business context in real-time.Based on its operational intelligence platform, Guavus’ products are designed to combine operational support systems and business support systems to allow customers to efficiently plan network capacity, improve service operations and deliver a better customer experience.Its big data analytics applications are designed to correlate network events with subscriber data for new offerings, and to provide intelligence to pinpoint network issues at a granular network level before they impact service levels, according to Liberty.“Guavus offers one of the industry’s most innovative operational intelligence platforms and their suite of big data analytics applications are well deployed across service providers worldwide,” said Ankur Prakash, vice-president, Liberty Global Ventures.Anukool Lakhina, founder and CEO of Guavus, said: “We are thrilled to have Liberty Global not just as a customer, but also as an investor and strategic partner. This is a testament to our best-in-class products and innovation in the cable industry. With this partnership we will be able to accelerate our innovation and thought leadership in real time streaming analytics and continue to create industry firsts for enterprises and service providers globally.”Terms of the deal were not disclosed.last_img read more