Limerick go in search of a second Munster title in three years when they face Cork at the Gaelic Grounds, in a repeat of the 2011 provincial final.The winners of that one will face Galway in the All Ireland semi finals.Despite fine wins over Clare and Tipperary to date, Limerick corner-forward Peter Casey says nothing can be taken for granted tonight. Kilkenny await the winners of the Ulster final pairing of Derry and Down.Derry have been beaten in the last three Ulster finals, while Down haven’t won since 2004.Both of tonight’s games throw in at 7.30. Photo © Tipp FM
Kupchak has strongly suggested this sentiment throughout the 2014-15 season, mindful that Bryant’s contract that will pay him a league-high $25 million next season in the final year of his contract. But after tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder in late January, Bryant soon said he would not know his future until the end of the 2015-16 campaign. Bryant reiterated his position Friday on Twitter: “My thoughts on next season being my last season are the same as the last time the media asked me last season #nadanew,” he wrote. Last summer, Bryant told some around him he had no intentions in playing past his current contract, according to a source familiar with the discussions.“There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don’t think there will be,” Kupchak said. “A year from now, if there is something different to discuss, we’ll discuss it then.”Lakers coach Byron Scott has held out hope that would not be the case.He argued that Bryant could become enticed to prolong his NBA career depending on a few obvious variables. The Lakers would need to upgrade their roster significantly enough this offseason through the NBA draft and free agency, starting with the No. 2 pick. Bryant would also have to play at an elite level and stay healthy next season, something Scott believes remains possible with a reduced workload and a stronger supporting cast.“He is recovering, running and getting movement and strength in the shoulder,” Kupchak said. “We expect a full recovery. But he’s much closer to the end than he is to the beginning.” That’s why Lakers president Jeanie Buss has spearheaded an effort to honor Bryant with unspecified tributes at home games to commemorate Bryant’s 20th season with the organization.“He will be recognized appropriately with great gratitude,” Kupchak said, “when it is time.”That time could be next season, which explains why Kupchak believes he can offer clarity to prospects and free agents on how the Lakers will rebuild following Bryant’s eventual retirement.“It is clear. He is on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions. And he hasn’t indicated that he wants to continue to play,” Kupchak said. “But having said all that, we’re kind of guessing.”There has also been lots of guessing in recent seasons on why the Lakers failed to attract free agents. After all, the Lakers failed to retain Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in consecutive seasons. The Lakers also could not convince LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony last year to wear a Lakers uniform.Although Gasol and Bryant hold each other in high affection after winning two NBA championships together, Howard had personality and role conflicts with Bryant. Yet, Kupchak strongly dismissed any notion that Bryant would hurt the Lakers’ free-agency efforts.“If somebody doesn’t want to play with Kobe this year or if he decides to come back another year, first of all, he is so much closer to the end than he is at the beginning. But if there is a player out there like that won’t come here for that reason, then we don’t want him,” Kupchak said. “Every great player is demanding and focused, and if you don’t want to play for a guy like him who is driven to do nothing but win championships and work hard, then you shouldn’t be here. You should go someplace else.”Yet, Kupchak said Bryant has hardly been demanding to him about which players to acquire.In an appearance Thursday on ESPN’s “On the Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Kupchak described Bryant as “kind of aggressive eight to 10 years ago with an opinion and wanting to be involved.” That also coincided with Bryant demanding a trade in the 2007 offseason because of frustration with the Lakers’ consecutive first-round exits to Phoenix and doubts about the front office rebuilding into a championship contender quickly enough.But the Lakers refused to trade Bryant, whom Kupchak said has since avoided exerting his influence on how the Lakers assemble their roster.“He said, ‘You guys know what you’re doing,’ which was flattering,” Kupchak told Cowherd. “‘I’m just going to do what I’m going to do this offseason. If you need me, I’ll help recruit. If you want my opinion on a player, give me a call.’”Yet, Kupchak doubts Bryant will have much opinion on the college prospects, noting his expertise mostly relies on watching elite programs like North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.Said Kupchak: “I don’t think he wants to be involved in the draft at all.” So many unanswered questions surround Kobe Bryant and whether he can return and stay healthy for the 2015-16 campaign after suffering season-ending injuries in three consecutive seasons. But Bryant apparently has answered one other looming question.That involves his future, and whether the 2015-16 campaign will mark his last season of a 20-year career.“He’s indicated to me this is it,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday on “SiriusXM NBA Radio” with Rick Fox and Jared Greenberg.• Photos: Lakers roster breakdown: Who stays, who goes? Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
NBA trade rumors: Heat have inquired about deal for Wizards’ Bradley Beal The Cavaliers will likely try to move Tristan Thompson and his contract, according to ESPN.With one season remaining on the five-year, $82 million deal he signed in 2015, the Cavaliers have a good trade piece in the defensive and rebounding specialist. Thompson averaged 10.9 points and 10.2 rebounds this season, but was limited to 43 games because of injuries.With an expiring contract, Thompson gives teams a chance to either pick him up and let him go into free agency or buy him out. Related News The question is only whether he is dealt before the season or at the deadline.Odds are it will come closer to the deadline, but he could be moved during the offseason.Cleveland also reportedly could move John Henson and there’s a possibility Kevin Love is dealt, as well. NBA trade rumors: Grizzlies explore Andre Iguodala market; Rockets, Mavs interested NBA trade rumors: Timberwolves could move Jeff Teague, Robert Covington Henson has one year left on his deal while Love has four years and $120 million left.The team wants to see how Love performs in John Beilein’s system this year before dealing him, though, so that might be a bit of a longshot.The money will also make him difficult to deal, but he is 30 years old so he could have a good future ahead of him.
England Golf has today issued a new governance guide for clubs in the ongoing drive to modernise and grow the game.Key stakeholders across the sport recognise the value of improving the organisation and structures of clubs in order to maximise their potential for profitability and growth.England Golf is committed to inspiring good governance within the game and has joined forces with The British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association (BIGGA), The Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA), The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), The R&A, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf to provide this invaluable resource for all clubs to consider.By co-ordinating a unified approach to good governance and setting this out in an easy-to-read format in the second edition of the guide, clubs the length and breadth of the country will now benefit from a strong template which can either be adopted or adapted to meet needs of individual organisations.The document provides tools, activities, discussion points and best practice ideas for clubs to take on board.It will also provide clear signposting for clubs in order that they may face the future with confidence. Clubs can find pointers on how best to tackle the challenges of an evolving membership structure, constantly-changing legal requirements and all-important safeguarding procedures.A well-run club is a thriving club and the ‘9-holes of Excellent Governance’ feature of the new guide will help clubs to improve sustainability both financially and administratively.In an ever-changing marketplace, clubs can learn to manage resources, effectively recruit for staff and committee positions and meet the needs of members and golf consumers by following the good governance blueprint.Clubs – no matter how large or small their membership, how modern or traditional their facilities – can learn how to set their own standards of excellence to drive improvement and, at the same time, develop the culture of the organisation.The varied case studies from England, Scotland and Wales also provide real-time reference points to demonstrate the practical benefits of adopting good practice at all levels of club management.Richard Flint, England Golf’s Executive Director, said: “Encouraging and ensuring excellent governance has always been a key focus of England Golf.“This is part of a wider strategy to inspire more people to get into golf and enjoy the many sporting and health benefits associated with our sport.“In addition to the resources within this updated governance guide, our delivery team can assist clubs by providing tailored support to meet club needs and help grow their business.”The R&A’s backing for the governance guide underlines their ongoing commitment to the modernisation of golf.“We all have a role to play in growing golf and if we are to achieve that goal then we have to modernise and make the sport more appealing, accessible and inclusive,” commented Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development and Amateur Championships.“Good governance in the running of clubs is a key element of ensuring that golf is attractive both to existing members and potential new members.“This guide is designed to promote best practice in governance and act as a reference resource for clubs to help them continue to improve and develop their management processes.”As part of a strategic plan to grow the game as well as raise levels of accountability and transparency, England Golf – as a long-term signatory to the Code of Sports Governance – is committed to provide support and back-up for all affiliated clubs looking to develop their business.Downloadable PDF formats of the guide are freely available along with templates and other resources to help clubs make changes and improve their practices. These can be found on the governance section of the website – click here Clubs can also gain access to video footage from one of England Golf and the GCMA’s informative workshops as well as a series of FAQs on the issue of good governance.Additionally, on the ground assistance – as a supplement to existing legal and accountancy support – can be provided by England Golf’s delivery team.For support please contact your England Golf Partnership Manager – for details click here 28 Oct 2019 New governance guide will help clubs grow and thrive
by Malik Vincent For New Pittsburgh Courier After an appearance in the City championship last season, the Brashear Bulls have been doing what’s necessary to try to prove they belong back there this year by blowing past all their opposition. However, both defending champs Perry (4-0) and USO (4-1) have looked just as impressive this season.On Oct. 13, the Bulls added winless Oliver to that list with a 33-6 blowout at Cupples Stadium on a crisp Thursday night. TO THE HOUSE—Brashear’s Jawanza Bryant takes an interception 25 yards to the house in the Bulls 33-6 win over Oliver. (Courier Photos/William McBride) The concern at the beginning of the season wasn’t who was going to play at the skill positions, but rather, who would step up and lead Brashear (5-0, 5-1) up front on the offensive line.Brashear coach Rick Murphy mentioned that the freshman and two sophomores that are starting on the offensive line are a part of the school’s Center for Advanced Studies program.“They’re all very smart,” Murphy said. “They don’t have problems with learning what it is that we need them to do and they have the size that it takes to be successful. We’re very proud of the things that our young line has been able to do so far.”Their defense also hasn’t disappointed. Its 71 points-allowed is second in the league to University Prep’s 40.“We’re beginning to win the turnover battle,” Murphy mentioned. “Right now, as a whole we’ve been able to play good team defense. This is giving our offense opportunities to get into good field position and for us to, in turn, put points on the board.”In their most recent win, running back Joell Nesbitt rushed for 116 yards to pace the Bulls offense against the anemic Bears. Quarterback Adam Lynch added to that by completing 7 of 11 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown for Brashear.Quarterback LeAndre Harrison ran Oliver’s offense, as he completed 11 of 19 passes for 160 yards. Shakeem Cox caught five of them for 104.“I see the effort and the competition around the league and it’s been good,” Murphy said. “But we’ve just been lucky enough to win them all.”Other games:USO (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) earned their fourth shutout in five games in a 12-0 blanking of preseason favorite Allderdice on Oct. 13.Jaylen Coleman led the way for the Panthers’ offense as he carried the ball 17 times for 160 yards, which included a score from 46-out in the third quarter.Carrick picked up its first win of the season against Langley, 26-21, on Oct. 14 at Cupples Stadium.Perry edged nonconference Erie East on the road on Oct. 14, 14-12.Westinghouse went down to Morgantown (W. Va.) in a nonconference shootout, 58-36, on Oct. 14.(Follow our continuing coverage of and add your comments to our website at www.newpittsburghcourieronline.com. Malik Vincent can be reached at [email protected])
Facebook19Tweet0Pin0 John Erwin puts his leg up on the desk. The doctor says he has to keep it elevated. His foot is wrapped and there’s a walking boot behind his chair. The forty something Erwin hurt himself playing basketball. He’s also got a fractured hand which makes getting around on crutches difficult.The experience has taught Erwin a valuable lesson. “Make it easy to get around your house,” he says. This is good advice considering Erwin is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). He’s also the owner of a remodeling company which bears his name.A CAPS contractor helps older folks stay in their homes longer by making the home more accessible. This usually consists of small changes like adding grab bars or lowering the curb on showers. Comfort height toilets are a good idea for anyone with mobility problems. These toilets are taller and require less bending. Says Erwin, “if you have a bad knee, ankle, or hip the difference between a regular toilet and comfort toilet makes all the difference in the world.”Erwin tells me a story about trying to feed his dog while nursing an injured hand and foot. The dog food is in his garage at the bottom of some steps. Needless to say he’s thinking about moving everything into the laundry room. There are other easy fixes like putting a shelf next to the front door or switching from knob handles to lever handles. The goal is to improve safety without making your home feel like a hospital or nursing home.For more information about CAPS visit the John Erwin Remodeling website by clicking here or calling 360-705-2938.
Time to rewrite the textbooks again. The story of plant evolution is wrong. Lignin, a chemical that gives wood its stiffness, was thought to be unique to land plants. Now it has been found in red algae, reported Science Daily, with the title, “Billion-year Revision Of Plant Evolution Timeline May Stem From Discovery Of Lignin In Seaweed.” This story illustrates that anything is possible in evolutionary biology these days. According to evolutionists, red algae emerged much earlier than land plants. How are they going to explain a complex molecule, which is manufactured by a complex process, being found in a more “primitive” life form? “Because red and green algae likely diverged more than a billion years ago, the discovery of lignin in red algae suggests that the basic machinery for producing lignin may have existed long before algae moved to land.” But that just seems to restate the problem. The alternative, though, is even harder to swallow: “Alternatively, algae and land plants may have evolved the identical compound independently, after they diverged.” The independent evolution of an identical compound in unrelated lines is tantamount to a miracle. Look what Mark Denny of Stanford said about this: “The pathways, enzymes and genes that go into making this stuff are pretty complicated, so to come up with all those separately would be really, really amazing,”says Denny. “Anything is possible, but that would be one hell of a coincidence.”Paper View: Denny’s statement warranted a further look at the original paper in Current Biology.1 Sure enough, the only two options were evolutionary, and neither was unproblematic. “The discovery of polymerized hydroxycinnamyl alcohols (lignin) within the cell walls of a red alga has major evolutionary implications,” they said in a tone of understatement. Either the ability to synthesize lignin emerged in a single-celled ancestor (with no need for the sturdiness of plant stems), or it emerged by convergent evolution in unrelated lineages. “Because monolignol synthesis is exceptionally complex, it seems unlikely that Calliarthron [the red alga] and terrestrial plants evolved monolignol biosynthesis and polymerization completely independently,” they confessed (see 05/30/2008, bullet 2). Why, then, did the title of their paper say this “reveals convergent evolution of cell-wall architecture”? Perhaps there is a way to get the best of both explanations. “It seems more likely that relevant pathways, such as phenylpropanoid biosynthesis and polymerization by peroxidase-catalyzed oxidation, may be deeply conserved, having evolved prior to the divergence of red and green algae more than 1 billion years ago.” If so, “we may expect to find conserved enzymatic pathways and, potentially, evidence of lignification among the multitude of evolutionary intermediates.” The search is on. Nevertheless, they did entertain the possibility that red algae and land plants converged on the highly-complex lignin pathways independently. For support, they pointed to one other case of convergent evolution in lignin synthesis: “For example, angiosperms and the lycopod Selaginella synthesize S lignin via distinct and independently evolved cytochrome-P450-dependent monooxygenases, and production of S lignin in Calliarthron may reflect a third convergent pathway.” This seems to beg the question that they evolved. Perhaps two improbabilities are better than one, and three better than two. Since nothing but evolution is allowed in the explanation, though, those are the choices. Maybe imagining other uses for lignin in microbes will help:Lignins are thought to have evolved in the green algal lineage as adaptations to terrestrial habitats, facilitating hydraulic transport and contributing to the mechanical stability of upright stems. However, contrary to the current paradigm, our data indicate that H, G, and S lignins exist within a red alga’s calcified cells that lack hydraulic vasculature and have little need for additional support. We speculate that lignin biosynthetic pathways may have functioned in the common unicellular ancestor of red and green algae, protecting cells from microbial infection or UV radiation, and in Calliarthron, lignins may orient the fibrillar scaffolding that guides CaCO3 deposition.While we’re speculating, let’s imagine more with the long leash of evolutionary thinking. There may have been other needs within brainless microbes that provided opportunities for evolutionary invention via “selective pressure.”The presence of G lignin within the secondary walls of peripheral genicular cells may represent convergent evolution of cellular architecture in response to mechanical stress, given that G lignins also concentrate within secondary walls of terrestrial plant fibers. Selective pressures in the marine environment differ from those on land, but the wind-induced drag forces that presumably contributed to the evolution of wood in terrestrial plants are mirrored by flow-induced drag forces on aquatic algae. On land, xylem lends mechanical support to erect stems, and in water, genicula provide mechanical support to Calliarthron fronds. As articulated fronds bend back and forth under breaking waves, bending stresses are amplified within peripheral genicular tissue, which develops thick secondary walls, apparently to resist breakage…. We hypothesize that this putative 3- to 5-fold upregulation of lignin biosynthesis in peripheral genicular cells may be mechanically stimulated by bending stresses imposed by breaking waves. Similar mechanical on/off switches for lignin accumulation have been noted in terrestrial systems: plants grown in microgravity synthesize less lignin, whereas plants grown in hypergravity synthesize more lignin. The mechanical consequences of such minute quantities of lignin on genicular material properties may be negligible. Nevertheless, that genicular tissue contains lignin and is also stronger, stiffer, and yet more extensible than other algal tissues is an intriguing coincidence, and lignin’s potential role in these properties is an area of active research.Their reasoning leaves out a key question. Their evidence refers only to spots where lignin accumulates in response to mechanical stress. How did it get there in the first place? What does accumulation have to do with the origin of the lignin synthesis machinery? They didn’t say. The argument merely hints that an applied stress will somehow produce the goods. Necessity is the mother of invention. Having earlier admitted that lignin synthesis is “exceptionally complex,” it is perhaps surprising to hear them land on the side of convergent evolution in their concluding paragraph. Their last sentence included overt teleological language:Convergent evolution of cell structure and development in Calliarthron genicula and terrestrial xylem may clarify lignin biosynthesis and lend insight into the early evolution of land plants. It is striking that Calliarthron contains lignified cell walls but evolved from calcified ancestors that lacked water-conducting tracheids or vessels. Vascular plants may have realized hydraulic transport by tapping into ancient biosynthetic pathways that initially evolved to fortify unicellular walls and were later adapted to provide biomechanical support.With funding from the National Science Foundation, Patrick Martone (co-author with Denny) is continuing work on this surprising discovery. Science Daily ended, “Martone says the research team has started looking for billion-year-old lignin genes that might be shared among land plants and red algae, and has started exploring whether lignin exists in other aquatic algae and what role it plays in the evolution and function of aquatic plants.”1. Martone, Estevez, Lu, Ruel, Denny, Somerville and Ralph, “Discovery of Lignin in Seaweed Reveals Convergent Evolution of Cell-Wall Architecture,” Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 2, 27 January 2009, Pages 169-175, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.12.031.Darwinism is supposed to be this law-governed, enlightened, mechanistic, scientific theory that gives rational explanations for observed phenomena in nature. Pray tell, what is the difference between their evolutionary explanation and that of a shaman? We have just seen these scientists invoke spirits. They called on the spirit of convergent evolution, the spirit of Tinker Bell, and the spirit of vascular plants tapping into ancient biosynthetic pathways that “initially evolved to fortify” cell walls of microbes. These purpose-driven spirits produced lignin biosynthesis machinery on demand, just because of environmental stress. Miraculous (see 03/25/2003). “Anything is possible,” Denny said. At least Christians have a sufficient Cause when they say, “With God, all things are possible.” When you learn to look past the big words and identify the key passages in a scientific paper, it’s like taking your gaze off the Wizard of Oz act and pulling up the curtain where the charlatan is hiding. A theory that says “anything can happen,” even coincidences that are “really, really amazing” can explain anything. Is this enlightened? Is this progressive? Is this rational? No matter what the observations, the Darwin Party has carte blanche to say “It evolved, because stuff happens” (09/15/2008). To get really disgusted, read how the Astrobiology Magazine spun this finding in to a positive for evolution! “The team’s finding provides a new perspective on the early evolution of lignified support tissues – such as wood – on land, since the seaweed tissues that are most stressed by waves crashing on shore appear to contain the most lignin, possibly contributing to mechanical support, says Martone.” This is why we really need to end the one-party rule in science. The Darwinists have done nothing to stop the rampant, blatant, out-of-control identity theft (05/02/2003) and credit fraud (08/24/2007) that is damaging the public trust (12/18/2002).(Visited 371 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Eskom and its fellow Sapp members are working hard to ensure uninterrupted power for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.) Kendal power station in Mpumalanga. Power utilities across the Southern African Development Community will link to secure a steady source of electricity for 2010. (Image: Graeme Williams,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusFootball fans can rest assured that their 2010 Fifa World Cup experience will be uninterrupted by power cuts, as a group of 11 Southern African countries have pledged to ensure a stable supply of electricity for the world’s biggest sporting event.The Southern African Power Pool (Sapp) has given its assurance that both the World Cup and the upcoming 2009 Confederations Cup will be consistently well-lit. Stadiums will only be plunged into darkness once the last fan has gone home.The power group met in Maputo, Mozambique, at the end of April 2009 to discuss the initiative, which is driven by Eskom, South Africa’s national power utility. Eskom is taking great pains to ensure a steady power supply for the event, especially in light of the spate of power cuts that rocked South Africa in early 2007, causing electricity exports to neighbouring countries to slow and public opinion of the power provider to plummet.The electricity troubles also caused widespread debate and doubt about South Africa’s ability to host a successful football tournament, but Fifa is satisfied that the country is capable and that preparations are proceeding smoothly. A recent Fifa inspection team found no cause for alarm. “For the World Cup we are all on track,” said Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke.Green power tooIn terms of power generation and transmission, customer contributions and demand side management, fans need not worry. And for those whose concerns include the environment, a certain amount of power supplied will be green.Talks are already in progress to secure an extra 400MW of hydropower, primarily from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa, but also from Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.Johnny Dladla, MD of Eskom’s Project 2010 unit, said, “We are delighted with the level of co-operation we are receiving from our Sapp counterparts. This initiative confirms that the 2010 Fifa World Cup is truly and indeed an African event.”Sapp chair Rhodnie Sisala added that the group confidently expected South Africans, the entire Southern African region and football fans from around the world to experience an unforgettable African World Cup.Special planningThe agreement has been reached after several months of planning and negotiation, according to Eskom. It covers key areas such as adequate transmission capacity for the transfer of power to South Africa, preventative pre-event maintenance and cleaning, maximising plant production, energy efficiency initiatives and load curtailment during the events.Individual commercial contracts are still to be concluded between Eskom and the other Sapp members. Dladla said that Eskom hoped to obtain an extra 500 to 1 000MW of electricity from Sapp.Strategies discussed for 2010 include demand-side initiatives, which are techniques aimed at improving the use of electricity by consumers, and the implementation of plans for a constant use of electricity, thus avoiding the peak-time surge in demand that puts so much strain on the national grid.Demand-side management also results in reduced environmental damage, as more efficient use of electricity means that less of it needs to be generated. For every kilowatt-hour of electricity generation saved at a power station, said Eskom, the environment is spared one kilogram of carbon dioxide.Sapp members will be encouraged to produce less power during peak times and more during the quieter periods. While games are in progress, those Sapp members whose plants are idle may take them offline for planned maintenance.Reliable and economical electricityThe Southern African Power Pool is a group of 11 countries within the Southern African Development Community that have come together with the aim of providing economical and reliable electricity to each of its members.The group is made up of power producers in Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, Angola, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Because resources are connected and pooled, some Sapp members have been able to postpone large capital outlays which would have been spent on building new plants. Interconnectivity between SADC countries is an important part of the Sapp strategy.Some of the group’s major challenges include infrastructure limitations and lack of maintenance of existing infrastructure, limited funds, and insufficient generation as was seen in 2007 when Eskom was unable to meet the demand of South African consumers.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesTicketing centres for Confed CupWorld Cup ticket frenzy Uefa praises SA’s 2010 readiness 500 days to 2010 Useful linksSouthern African Power PoolEskomDepartment of Minerals and EnergyNational Energy Regulator of South Africa2010 Fifa World Cup
The first SME Indaba organised by AHI South Africa discussed why big and small businesses should work together.Former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas (left) and AHI South Africa president Bernard Swanepoel. Jonas was a speaker at the SME Indaba on 5 April 2017. He says bringing small and big business together is a powerful tool. (Image: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanPay invoices on time, AHI South Africa president Bernard Swanepoel challenged owners of big corporates, the government and members of his organisation. “Think small [businesses] first. Consider the effects on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”Swanepoel gave the welcoming address of AHI South Africa’s first SME Indaba, held in Centurion on 5 April 2017. The theme of the one-day conference was “Creating jobs against all odds”.Swanepoel’s second challenge was that his members commit this year to creating two entry level jobs. “Take your business and create a job.”He added: “If there is no growth in your business, it will die. You cannot stagnate as a business… Invest in your businesses. Invest in the future of the country.”Businesses, get involvedFormer deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas was the keynote speaker. He said the future of the country was in South Africans’ hands. “We need to strengthen leadership.”There was a need for the business sector to be involved in and to collaborate with government programmes, especially when it came to training emerging entrepreneurs, he said.Jonas also urged businesses to invest in doing research so that relevant training could be given to students. Businesses should go to where students who needed relevant industry training were, in colleges and universities.Members should not underestimate the power of an organisation such as the AHI, he said. “[An organisation like this] can provide a stronger network of enterprises. Bringing small and big business together is a powerful tool.“You can see how you can use the supply chain to promote growth – you enhance growth where there is an organisation of big and small business.”The AHI is a national multisectoral, inclusive business organisation consisting of corporate, medium and small enterprises and affiliated business chambers. It represents more than 100 business chambers, more than 4,000 businesses and has trained 740 entrepreneurs, it says.The AHI’s mission is to promote the economic and business interests of its members and to facilitate networks and interaction between businesses and the government.DowngradeAsked about South Africa being downgraded to junk status by ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on 5 April, Jonas said: “We will bounce back as a country but it will require that we become more robust. We need to boost things such as our agricultural programmes and other programmes that are working.”He added: “We need to do more about scaling.”A national dialogue was needed so we could talk about where we should be going as a country. “I fear that if we don’t have a national dialogue we’ll be replacing the white elite with the black elite. That is not right.”Chief executive officer of AHI South Africa, Dr. Ernest Messina, Prof. Edith Vries of the Department: Small Business Development and Ashraf Adam of the South Africa Local Government Association are panellists discussing “How national and local governments enable or stifle SMEs” at the SME Indaba on 5 April 2017. (Image: Melissa Javan)SMMEs’ challengesBusiness Unity South Africa (Busa) had found the number one barrier for many SMEs was access to skilled staff, said Tanya Cohen, the organisation’s CEO. She spoke about the challenges SMEs faced.Skills training and relevant transformation was necessary, said Cohen. It was important that the South African economy was open to all. “We need to do this; [South Africa must be] inclusive of black people, women, people with disabilities and those living in rural areas.”Cohen also spoke about the country’s minimum wage and its effect on SMMEs. A quarter of small, medium and micro enterprises were able to afford the minimum wage, but three-quarters of SMMEs “are going to struggle to pay [it]”.Negotiations were ongoing to exempt SMMEs from paying the minimum wage. “It’s something that we will have to continue to motivate for.”It was Busa’s mission to secure conditions so that business could thrive, Cohen said. “Our focus is what we can do for business.”Other discussionsEntrepreneurs on the panel “Negotiating the minefield of regulation and bureaucracy affecting SMEs”, had advice for businesses:Paul Marias: “My best investment advice is read, read and read. Also comply with the legislation.”Octavia Motloa: “A lot of people think that if they are a small business they can do mediocre work. No, it shouldn’t be. The quality of your work must be exceptional. As you excel in that it creates opportunities.”Annie Malan: “Continuously ask yourself ‘how do I re-evaluate myself?’ You have to stay ahead [of the game].” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Much nicer air in over the state again today, as our frontal complex exited yesterday. We now are settling into a drier pattern. There is plenty of moisture trying to move across the western, central and northern corn belt, but over the next 2 weeks, it seems to fall apart well before it gets here. An upper level high sitting over the SE should continue to steer this action by to our northwest. Here is our updated outlook this morning.Mostly sunny and pleasant today, Temps near normal, and low humidity. Tomorrow we see an increase in clouds, but no significant precipitation potential. That being said, with the increase in moisture in the atmospheric profile, we cant rule out a few sprinkles from US 30 northward…but those are not a big part of our outlook. We are back to partly-mostly sunny skies on Thursday and stay that way through the balance of the week.Over the weekend, we are largely dry over Ohio, but on Saturday we cant rule out scattered showers in the far NW and SE areas. We are talking a few hundredths to .3″ with only 20% coverage, and the rest of the state just sees a mix of clouds and sun. Partly sunny skies expected in all areas Sunday.Next week we are fully dry Monday through Friday. Temps will be cooler next week, after slowly building some later this week and over the weekend.10 day rain potential