Minister of Transport Sibusiso NdebeleThrough the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, we can tell the story of Africa – tell her story because we are proud.At the fourth and final 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ communicators’ conference, hosted today by the National Communications Partnership (NCP), speakers including Minister of Transport, Mr. Sibusiso Ndebele and Dr. Irvin Khoza, Chairperson of the 2010 FIFA Organising Committee called for all South Africans and Africans to come together to ensure that we host an event that will be talked about by generations to come.“As a country and continent, we will need to pull together. The 2010 FIFA World Cup calls for unity of our people because together we can do more,” said Minister Ndebele. Dr. Irvin Khoza said that South Africans must realise the enormity of the opportunities that are being generated through the tournament. The World Cup will be delivered on a far bigger scale than the Confederations Cup. To date, for example over 14 000 applications have been received for the volunteer programme.Dr Irvin Khoza, chairman of the 2010 FIFAWorld Cup Organising Committee According to Khoza, the psychological readiness of the nation is critical. “There is one show on the road at the moment and a psychological adjustment from all South Africans is needed.”Khoza said that South Africans need to be thinking of the World Cup as a 30 day commercial for the country that will be watched by billions around the globe. “The extent to which the tournament changes lives will be largely determined by the degree to which we use the tournament to build up to 2010.”The 11th June 2010, with the opening of the World Cup is arguably South Africa’s next defining moment. Historically, we have successfully hosted Rugby and Cricket World Cups, continental and global football tournaments, global conferences and four peaceful democratic elections, but never anything on a scale that is arguably larger than the Olympics.Khoza affirmed that the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee has a very good understanding of what is needed for next year’s event. “We must be relentlessly positive,” he said. “As South Africans, we have the tendency to be self critical. We should see everything in perspective and importantly, see the positive stories.” He referred to outstanding progress that has been made by 2010 FIFA Organising Committee over the past five years, through the building of six new stadiums in less than four years and the potential legacy that will be generated in terms of job creation, tourism, trade and investment.“We must be proactive and stay ahead of the story – not merely reacting to everything being said,” he added. The 2010 story is one of a continent that is being redefined in a historic way.“We must be Pan-African,” Khoza concluded. “South Africa 2010 must be pan-African in word and deed, as we stage a tournament that inspires all of Africa.” This tournament must ensure that our African teams feel like they are playing at home, as we celebrate Africa’s home-grown heros.” From Cape to Cairo, Khoza reiterated that Africa must stand together as never before – to create a sweet chorus singing the same song in perfect harmony.“This World Cup is the real thing. You must feel that there is something happening in this country. The banners you use must be larger than life. Every street corner must be filled. We must feel that this show is in town,” Khoza concluded. About the International Marketing of South Africa (Brand South Africa) The International Marketing Council of South Africa was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. At that time, the world was unsure about what to think of South Africa, with many different messages being sent out by various sources. This did very little to build the country’s brand and it was evident that to attract tourism and investment there was a need to co-ordinate marketing initiatives to make them more effective. This led to the creation of the IMC, whose main objective is the marketing of South Africa through the Brand South Africa campaign. There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.About the National Communications Partnership Government Communications (GCIS) and the IMC are the custodians of the NCP. This partnership is aimed at forging alignment of communication among government and private-sector marketing and communication specialists.For further information:Margaret DingaloDirector: Stakeholder RelationsInternational Marketing Council of South AfricaTel: +27 11 483 0122
By the time the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and its team of consultants and testers had completed their investigation of problem drywall imported from China during the building boom, the agency had heard complaints about the drywall from 3,905 homeowners in 42 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.The complaints focused on the drywall’s alleged off-gassing of compounds that, homeowners said, caused health problems, including respiratory ailments and headaches, and caused corrosion of metal components in the homes. Many people said the drywall also emitted a sulfurous rotten-egg odor that rendered their homes almost uninhabitable. The CPSC estimates that as many as 6,300 homes are afflicted with the problem product.A final guidance for homeowners, based on a study of 51 homes (41 “complaint” homes and 10 non-complaint homes) and issued by the CPSC on September 15, recommended a few relatively modest actions beyond the obvious – and, in many instances, financially impractical – step of replacing the drywall: (1) replacement of all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; (2) replacement of electrical distribution components, including receptacles, switches, and circuit breakers (but not necessarily wiring); and (3) replacement of fusible-type fire sprinkler heads.No extensive research on possible long-term health problemsOne striking thing about the CPSC investigation is that it never extensively researched homeowners’ claims of health problems related to the drywall. As noted in the CPSC summary released this month, the agency “requested that CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) consider undertaking a comprehensive study of any possible long-term health effects. In February 2011, CDC indicated that the best scientific evidence available at that time did not support undertaking a long-term health study.”An FAQ on the CPSC website acknowledges homeowners’ complaints about health problems, but also notes that because “many consumers report that their symptoms lessen or go away when they are away from their home, but return upon re-entry, it appears that these symptoms are short-term and related to something within the home.”“The staffs of the CPSC and CDC,” the FAQ continues, “agree that the levels of sulfur gases detected in the affected homes in the 51-home study were at concentrations below the known irritant levels in the available scientific literature; however, it is possible that the additive or synergistic effects of these and other compounds in the subject homes could potentially cause irritant effects to consumers.”Hydrogen sulfide and the humidity factorWhatever health problems the off-gassed compounds might or might not have caused, they did in fact corrode more metal surfaces (particularly copper and silver) in the study’s complaint homes than in the non-complaint homes, researchers under the CPSC purview found. Concentrations of hydrogen sulfide were significantly higher in complaint homes, for example, and hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the air were associated with higher dew points for homes with imported drywall. “Hydrogen sulfide was present where the dew point reached typical room temperatures and condensation of water vapor would be expected,” a study summary noted.In addition, the study showed that while hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde concentrations in indoor air were associated with corrosion rates in the study homes, concentrations of aldehydes in the indoor air of both complaint and non-complaint homes did not differ significantly.One positive outcome of all this is that the researchers involved now have ways to identify problematic drywall using a combination of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis. The CPSC also noted that it continues to work with industry standards groups to develop better standards for drywall, and that ASTM International is pushing for a requirement that all drywall sheets be stamped with the manufacturer’s name, the production date, and the source materials.
A kangaroo court in western Assam’s Barpeta district made three people cough up ₹15,000 for stealing lotuses from a wetland.One of Assam’s prime wetlands, with 39 species of indigenous fish, the 91-hectare Kapla Beel has been a major source of income for the villages around it. The wetland is also known for its lotuses that the villagers protect.But the lotuses – as buds or in bloom – kept vanishing for a week before Durga Puja. The villagers formed a vigilante group and on October 4 caught three people from a neighbouring village under Sarthebari police station. The men were let go but on the condition they face a kangaroo court comprising elders of the two biggest villages adjoining the wetland. A couple of days ago, the court decided to penalise the three with a fine of ₹5,000 each for stealing the aquatic flowers. “We did not intervene as the trial did not involve any physical assault or violation of law. The three were flower traders and had been harvesting the lotuses without permission from the stakeholders,” a local police officer said.
Kawasaki Ninja 300The price of sports bike Kawasaki Ninja 300 has been increased by Rs 10,000, making it available for Rs 3.96 lakh (on-road Mumbai). No change in the product has been reported so far to justify the increase.Reasons for increase in price have not been disclosed by Kawasaki. It still comes with the same set of features, colours and body work. For a sports bike priced close to Rs 4 lakh, it is surprising that it does not even come with Antilock Braking System (ABS), which is considered vital for a high speed vehicle. Given that the new KTM RC 390 has been priced attractively, it was expected that prices of Ninja 300 would be reduced, which appears to create doubts on the product.Ninja 300 is powered by a 296 cc four stroke engine with 38 bhp of power and 27 Nm peak torque, mated to 6 speed return type transmission. Its closest rival, KTM RC 390, powered by a single cylinder 373.27 cc engine produced 42 bhp power and and 35 Nm peak torque at 7,000 rpm, also mated to 6 speed gearbox. With the RC 90 priced Rs 1.5 lakh lower than the Ninja, will Kawasaki really be able to sustain itself? To get an answer to this question, keep watching this space for more.