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World’s largest haunted attraction open for Halloween season

first_imgprintCutting Edge customers wait outside.If you’ve been looking for the right haunted house to get you in the Halloween spirit, the answer may be Cutting Edge.The haunted house, a popular Fort Worth attraction, is a re-purposed meat packing plant located on East Lancaster Avenue.Last year it was awarded two Guinness World Records for being the World’s Longest Walk Through Haunted House as well as the World’s Largest Haunted Attraction.This multi-level attraction takes about an hour to complete, though that time is probably closer to two and a half hours if line time is taken into consideration. While timed tickets and speedpass admission are available to cut wait time, the line is where the experience begins.Guests wait in front of a giant skull entrance as a projector plays horror themed music videos.By 8 p.m. actors make their way into the line. Zombies lunge at unsuspecting passersby and crawl across the gravel lot to grab guests’ feet. Clowns will sneak into selfie backgrounds, going unnoticed until the photographer looks back at the picture, or occasionally rev a chainsaw engine by visitors’ ears.A prop bus outside the haunted house.The house itself can be described as an hour long adrenaline rush.The visibility is so low that guests find themselves questioning whether each prop is living and whether it will jump up at them (SPOILER: It probably is, and it probably will).Possibly the most intense part of the experience is saved for last: the bubble tunnel.At first it seems innocent enough but guests may have second thoughts once they enter it. Foam completely envelopes everyone in the 50 meter tunnel, making it nearly impossible to see or breathe. By the time visitors emerge on the other side, they’re completely soaked.Cutting Edge will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from now until Nov. 5.It’s also open on Valentine’s Day and every Friday the 13th.General admission tickets cost $29.99, while speedpasses cost $49.99. Tickets can be purchased online or on location. Linkedin Linkedin ReddIt ‘The Office Gif Club’ GroupMe gives hundreds of students an Office gif a day Twitter Paris Joneshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/paris-jones/ TCU holds fourth annual TCU Gives Day to gather donations for the university Paris Joneshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/paris-jones/ Abortion access threatened as restrictive bills make their way through Texas Legislature Twitter Facebook Paris Joneshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/paris-jones/center_img Previous articlePi Kap Push Week ends on a high noteNext articleMusic Around Fort Worth – CIITY Paris Jones RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Paris Jones Facebook Grains to grocery: One bread maker brings together farmers and artisans at locally-sourced store The University of Houston-Downtown Paris Jones is a senior news and media studies major from Mason, Texas. She serves a managing editor for TCU360.com. One of her proudest accomplishments is her ability to drink a half liter bottle of water in seven seconds. ReddIt + posts Fort Worth set to elect first new mayor in 10 years Saturday Off campus shooting incident ‘not a random act,’ no TCU students involved Paris Joneshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/paris-jones/last_img read more

Preferences & Inclinations Of Child Are Important In Determining Issue Of Parental Custody : Supreme Court [Read Judgment]

first_imgTop StoriesPreferences & Inclinations Of Child Are Important In Determining Issue Of Parental Custody : Supreme Court [Read Judgment] Radhika Roy30 Oct 2020 7:13 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court, in a judgement pertaining to transnational custody of child, relied upon Section 17(3) of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 which states that the Court can consider the preferences of the minor if he/she is old enough to form an intelligent preference. “As per Section 17(3), the preferences and inclinations of the child are of vital importance for determining the… Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court, in a judgement pertaining to transnational custody of child, relied upon Section 17(3) of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 which states that the Court can consider the preferences of the minor if he/she is old enough to form an intelligent preference. “As per Section 17(3), the preferences and inclinations of the child are of vital importance for determining the issue of custody of the minor child. Section 17(5) further provides that the court shall not appoint or declare any person to be a guardian against his will”, the Court observed. This was applied by a 3-Judge Bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit, Indu Malhotra and Hemant Gupta (2:1) while allowing the custody of child to his father who is located in Kenya after conducting a personal interaction with the child in Chambers during the pendency of the proceedings, to ascertain his aspirations and wishes. The Apex Court reaffirmed the principle in the instant case (Smriti Madan Kansagra v. Perry Kansagra) that while exercising parens patriae jurisdiction, the sole and paramount consideration would be to subserve the interest and welfare of the child. Therefore, in order to decide what was in best interest of the child, various factors were to be taken into consideration by the Court. These guiding factors, it was noted, had been laid down in the case of Nil Ratan Kundu v. Abhijit Kundu (2008) and had also been stipulated in Section 17 of GWA.Section 17(3), in particular, states that “If the minor is old enough to form an intelligent preference, the Court may consider that preference”. The Court held that in the present case, the issue of custody of the minor depended on the “overall consideration of the holistic growth of the child, which has to be determined on the basis of his preferences as mandated by Section 17(3)…” Such consideration, the Apex Court observed, could be discerned from personal interaction of the Courts with the minor and the minor’s choice could be of crucial importance in assisting the Court to arrive at a judicious decision on the issue of his or her custody. The Court then proceeded to touch upon the interactions of the Court with the minor child and listed their findings. “We found Aditya to be self-confident and articulate for his age, who was comfortable and at ease in interacting with us. He had great clarity about his interest to pursue education overseas, and was interested to travel to the UK and other places. He revealed deep love and affection for his mother and nani. At the same time, we observed that he had a strong bond and attachment to his father and paternal grandparents”. Placing reliance on the findings of the Family Court, the High Court as well as the Report of the Counsellor, the Supreme Court found that the minor showed more affection towards his father and the bond between the two was genuine. Noting that as per Section 17(3) the preferences of the child were of vital importance for determining the issue of custody of the minor, the Supreme Court arrived at the conclusion that it would be in the best interest of the child to transfer custody to his father as if the preferences were not given due regard, it could have an adverse psychological impact on the child. “In view of the various personal interactions which the courts have had at different stages of the proceedings, from the age of 6 years, till the present when he is now almost 11 years old, we have arrived at the conclusion that it would be in his best interest to transfer the custody to his father. If his preferences are not given due regard to, it could have an adverse psychological impact on the child”, the Court observed.The bench also applied the concept of “mirror order” while allowing the custody to the father of the child located in Kenya(Separate story on that aspect may be read here).Justice Hemant Gupta dissented from the majority judgment to hold that the custody of the child should remain with his mother in Delhi. Case DetailsTitle : Smriti Madan Kansagra v Perry Kansagra (Civil Appeal No. 3559/2020)Coram : Justices UU Lalit, Indu Malhotra and Hemant GuptaAppearances : Senior Advocate Shyam Divan & Advocates P Banerjee and Nidhi Mohan Parashar(for appellant) and Advocates Anunya Mehta and Inderjeet Saroop(for respondent) Click here to download the judgment Next Storylast_img read more

Mr. Boyd Phillip Stewart, Sr.

first_imgMr. Boyd Phillip Stewart Sr., age 74, of Vevay, Indiana, formerly of Madison, Indiana, entered this life on February 8, 1946 in Carrollton, Kentucky. He was the son of the late Edmond C. “Ed” and Rosie Kathryn (Craig) Stewart. He was raised in Kentucky where he attended school. Boyd was united in marriage to Addie W. Bladen and they shared several years together until she passed away on August 25, 1998. Boyd was employed for Bumper Johnson Construction in Madison, Indiana for several years. Boyd resided in Madison, Indiana for several years and later moved to the Vevay community where he resided until his death. Boyd enjoyed fishing and gambling especially poker. Boyd passed away on Saturday, August 29, 2020, at his residence in Vevay, Indiana.Boyd will be missed by his daughters, Addie “Willena” Jackson of Hanover, IN and Linda Coppage of Madison, IN; his son, Boyd Phillip Stewart of Madison, IN; his step-daughters, Shirley Kroger Bailey and her husband, Roger of Harriman, TN, Rose Thompson and her husband, Danny of Akron, OH, Tammy Bentz of Madison, IN and Debbie Kester and her husband, Butch of Auburn, IN; his grandchildren, Bradley Stewart, Tyler Jackson, Heather Jackson, Trevor Humphrey, Brady Humphrey, Sahara Stewart and Santana Stewart; his 4 great-grandchildren and 1 on the way; his 13 step-grandchildren and several step-great-grandchildren; his sisters, Lucille Huffington of Delphi, IN, Wanda Harmon of Milton, KY, JoAnn Durkoff of Hillham, IN and Donna Hughes of Bedford, KY and his several nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his parents, Edmond C. “Ed” Stewart, died October 5, 1981 and Rosie Kathryn (Craig) Stewart, died January 25, 1986; his wife, Addie W. (Bladen) Stewart, died August 25, 1998; his son, James Lloyd Stewart, died in 1976; his step-sons, Randy L. Anderson, died August 3, 2001 and Robert Dale Anderson, died October 13, 1979; his step-daughters, Mary Lemon, died June 15, 2017 and Brenda Jackson, died January 4, 2019; his brothers, Wayne Stewart, died January 26, 1944, Donald Stewart, died May 31, 2002 and Robert William Stewart, died March 5, 2016 and his sister, Barbara Hatchell.Due to COVID-19, masks are required along with social distancing. Friends may call 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, September 3, 2020, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street, Vevay, Indiana 47043.Due to COVID-19, masks are required along with social distancing. Funeral services will be conducted Friday, September 4, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., by Rev. Rod Asher, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street, Vevay, Indiana 47043.Interment will follow in the Vevay Cemetery, Vevay, Indiana.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association. Cards are available at the funeral home or online at www.haskellandmorrison.comlast_img read more

Online ad help for small business

first_imgThere is no restriction on who can use the “Street Browser” initiative. Any small business owner can create a profile on the Kalahari Ads website, using either a mobile phone or PC. (Image: Wikimedia) Artwork for sale on the street in the Western Cape province. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free images, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kisha van Vuuren   Tin Can PR  +27 21 413 7500RELATED ARTICLES• Incentives for BPO in Western Cape • E-commerce now more accessible• Mobile technology for Africa• MTN offers life insurance in Ghana Wilma den HartighThe newly launched Kalahari Ads “Street Browser” initiative is helping emerging small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) establish an online presence.Bronwyn Johnson, head of marketing at Kalahari Ads, an online classifieds portal, says that more than a third of SMMEs do not have internet connectivity. This is a significant handicap, considering there are 3.9-million internet users in South Africa which they could be targeting with their products and services.Johnson says that print classifieds have always been the preferred method of advertising to reach the local market. The next logical step is to complement print advertising with an online presence.According to the 2011 Mobility Research Project conducted by World Wide Worx, 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users are now browsing the internet on their phones.This means that at least 6-million South Africans have internet access on their phones. All these users are potential customers. Taking “Street Browser” to the streetsThe “Street Browser” initiative was launched in early September at the Earth Fair Market in Cape Town, and it will be soon be rolled out nationally at most marketplaces across the country. Teams of Kalahari Ads “Street Browser” representatives have been visiting markets and expos to introduce buyers and sellers to the initiative.Johnson says that putting a face to the campaign is important as some vendors are unfamiliar with online advertising, or its benefits.Many small business owners – whether they are plumbers, fresh-produce sellers, electricians, antiques traders or crafters selling handmade jewellery at a market – don’t think to advertise online.Some people also perceive online advertising as difficult and don’t trust the internet for fear of falling prey to online scams.The new online concept is already working very well in the service industry.Reaping rewards of online advertisingOnline advertising means that a business is always being promoted. It also reduces the need for a business owner to undertake face-to-face marketing.“It makes it easier for the right buyer to connect with the right seller,” she says.Johnson adds that she has already received reports of how well the adverts are working.Advertising online also makes it possible for vendors and small business owners to get access to new markets.If a vendor is selling homemade jams, it could create a bigger demand for the product and expand the opportunity for sales at other markets.Johnson also hopes that their initiative will make it less daunting for South Africans to start small businesses.“If there is someone who has been reluctant to start a small business because he or she didn’t know how or where they could advertise, this is a great platform,” she says.How does it work?“It works in a similar way to a Facebook page, almost like a storefront on the site,” Johnson says. Business owners can promote their products, set up business listings and update their movements between marketplaces.There is no restriction on who can use the “Street Browser” initiative. Any small business owner can create a profile on the Kalahari Ads website, using either a mobile phone or PC. Kalahari Ads is also one of the safest classifieds of its kind as all adverts are read and moderated to ensure safety for users.The standard service will always remain free, but Kalahari Ads plans to introduce premier placed adverts, similar to paid-for advertising that appears on Google.Adverts have a shelf life of 30 days, after which they will expire. Business owners will be notified in advance and given the option to renew or cancel the advert.Helping businesses diversifyAccording to the 2010 SMME Survey, sponsored by the National Youth Development Agency, diversification to sell to a variety of consumer segments is important for business competitiveness.Principal survey researcher Arthur Goldstuck was quoted saying that SMMEs need to diversify more actively if they are to be more sustainable, profitable and resilient to market changes.Johnson says that Kalahari Ads is giving street merchants the opportunity to do just that, with a platform they have never used before or considered using.last_img read more

State of the Nation address by President Cyril Ramaphosa

first_img7 FEBRUARY 2019PARLIAMENT Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete,Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Modise,Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP,Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and esteemed members of the judiciary,Former President, Mr Thabo Mbeki,Former President, Mr Kgalema MotlantheFormer Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Frene Ginwala,Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Max Sisulu,Ministers and Deputy Ministers,Premiers and Speakers of Provincial Legislatures,Chairperson of SALGA and Executive Mayors,Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Lesetja Kganyago,Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions,Isithwalandwe, Ms Sophie De Bruyn,Isithwalandwe, Mr Andrew Mlangeni,Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Ikosi Sipho Mahlangu,Western Cape Khoi San Leader, Prince Jacobus Titus,Kgosi John Molefe Pilane,Chief Aaron Martin Messelaar,2018 CAF Women’s National Team Coach of the Year, Ms Desiree Ellis,Leaders of faith based organisations,Leaders of academic and research institutions,Veterans of the struggle for liberation,Members of the Diplomatic Corps,Invited Guests,Honourable Members of the National Assembly,Honourable Members of the National Council of Provinces,Fellow South Africans, It is a great honour to stand before you today to deliver the 25th annual State of the Nation Address in a free and democratic South Africa. This year, as a diverse people and as a united nation, we will celebrate one of the greatest of human achievements. We will celebrate the triumph of freedom over subjugation, the triumph of democracy over racial tyranny, the triumph of hope over despair. We will celebrate the irresistible determination of an oppressed people to be free and equal and fulfilled. We will use this time to recall the hardship and the suffering which generations of our people endured – their struggles, their sacrifices and their undying commitment to build a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it. We will remember the relief and exhilaration of the day of our freedom, the moment at which we became a nation, a country at peace with itself and the world. During the course of this year, we must and will reflect on the journey of the last 25 years. As South Africans, we will have to ask ourselves whether we have realised the promise of our nation’s birth. We must spend this year, the 25th anniversary of our freedom, asking ourselves whether we have built a society in which all South Africans equally and without exception enjoy their inalienable rights to life, dignity and liberty. Have we built a society where the injustices of the past no longer define the lives of the present? We must use this time to reflect on the progress we have made, the challenges we have encountered, the setbacks we have suffered, and the mistakes we have committed. A year ago, we set out on a path of growth and renewal. Emerging from a period of uncertainty and a loss of confidence and trust, we resolved to break with all that divides us, to embrace all that unites us. We resolved to cure our country of the corrosive effects of corruption and to restore the integrity of our institutions. We resolved to advance the values of our Constitution and to once again place at the centre of our national agenda the needs of the poor, unemployed, marginalised and dispossessed. We agreed that, in honour of the centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, we would devote our every action, our every effort, our every utterance to the realisation of their vision of a democratic, just and equitable society. In our magnificent diversity, and despite our many differences, the people of this country answered the call of Thuma Mina. In their multitudes, South Africans asked not what can be done for them, but what they could do for their country. In ways both large and small, both public and private, South Africans set about building a better nation. Many reached out to other South Africans to lend a hand where others were going through difficulties. Others expressed a willingness to support government in its efforts to turn the country around. Today, as we reflect on the year that has passed, we can attest to meaningful progress. Our people have embraced the renewal that our country is going through and are much more hopeful about a better tomorrow. Our people’s hope is not baseless; it is grounded on the progress that is being made. Over the last year, we have begun to rebuild a durable social compact for fundamental social and economic transformation with key stakeholders as we promised. As social partners, we are restoring the bonds of trust, dialogue and cooperation. We are reaching out to those parts of our society that have become disaffected, disinterested or marginalised through various forms of dialogue and engagement. Our efforts may have been uneven, and we still have much work to do, but we have demonstrated over the last year our shared determination to work together to confront our common challenges. We have focused our efforts on reigniting growth and creating jobs. We have worked together – as government, labour, business, civil society and communities – to remove the constraints to inclusive growth and to pursue far greater levels of investment. We held a successful Presidential Jobs Summit that agreed on far-reaching measures that – when fully implemented – will nearly double the number of jobs being created in our economy each year. Last year, a number of stakeholders raised their concerns about policy uncertainty and inconsistency. We have addressed these concerns. In response to the dire situation at several of our state-owned enterprise – where mismanagement and corruption had severely undermined their effectiveness – we have taken decisive measures to improve governance, strengthen leadership and restore stability in strategic entities. We have also had to deal with the effects of state capture on vital public institutions, including our law enforcement agencies, whose integrity and ability to fulfil their mandate had been eroded in recent years. We have therefore acted to stabilise and restore the credibility of institutions like the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Revenue Service, the State Security Agency and the South African Police Service. We have appointed a new National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Shamila Batohi, to lead the revival of the NPA and to strengthen our fight against crime and corruption. We are implementing the recommendations of the report of the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into SARS and are in the process of appointing a new Commissioner to head this essential institution. On the basis of the report and recommendations of the High Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency, which was chaired by former Minister Sydney Mufamadi, I will soon be announcing a number of urgent steps to enable the reconstitution of a professional national intelligence capability for South Africa. Among the steps we will take to reconstitute a professional national intelligence capability will be the re-establishment of the National Security Council chaired by the President in order to ensure better coordination of the intelligence and security related functions of the State as well as the re-establishment of two arms of our intelligence service one focusing on domestic and the other on foreign intelligence. Work on the reconfiguration of the state is at an advanced stage. We are pleased to note that in the spirit of active citizenry many South Africans continue to show a great interest in the future reconfigured state. During the course of the past year as the Presidency, we have paid particular attention to the violence and abuse perpetrated against women and children in our society. We responded to national concerns and calls by many South Africans by convening a Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide that has provided a firm basis for a coordinated national response to this crisis. We also convened the first Presidential Health Summit in October last year, which brought together key stakeholders from a wide range of constituencies in the health sector. At this Health Summit, the participants dissected the crisis in the health system and proposed immediate, short term and medium term solutions to improve the effectiveness of the health system. We begin this new year encouraged by the progress we have made, working together, in reviving our economy and restoring our country’s democratic institutions. We are determined to stay the course. We are undaunted by the considerable difficulties we have yet to overcome. All of us, as South Africans, should face up to the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead. The task of building a better South Africa is our collective responsibility as a nation, as the people of South Africa. It is at the centre of the work of every department of government, of every agency, of every public entity. It informs every policy, every programme and every initiative. While there is a broad range of critical work being done across government, this evening I want to address the five most urgent tasks at this moment in our history. These are tasks that will underpin everything that we do this year. Working together, we must undertake the following tasks: Firstly, we must accelerate inclusive economic growth and create jobs. Secondly, our history demands that we should improve the education system and develop the skills that we need now and into the future. Thirdly, we are duty bound to improve the conditions of life for all South Africans, especially the poor Fourthly, we have no choice but to step up the fight against corruption and state capture. Fifthly, we need to strengthen the capacity of the state to address the needs of the people. Over the past year, we have focused our efforts on accelerating inclusive growth, significantly increasing levels of investment and putting in place measures to create more jobs. Last year, our economy was confronted by the reality of a technical recession. Government responded with an economic stimulus and recovery plan that re-directed public funding to areas with the greatest potential for growth and job creation. Our approach was not to spend our way out of our economic troubles, but to set the economy on a path of recovery. We introduced a range of measures to ignite economic activity, restore investor confidence, support employment and address the urgent challenges that affect the lives of vulnerable members of our society. We are pleased to report that significant progress has been made in restoring policy certainty on mining regulation and the visa regime, crafting the path towards mobile spectrum allocation, and reviewing port, rail and electricity prices. We also began the process of stabilising and supporting 57 municipalities, where over 10,000 municipal infrastructure projects are being implemented. The focus we have placed on revamping industrial parks in townships and rural areas has brought about discernible change, as industrial parks that have been lying idle are becoming productive again. We have so far completed the revitalisation of 10 out of 16 identified industrial parks, in places such as Botshabelo, Phuthaditjhaba, Garankuwa, Isithebe, Komani and Seshego. The levels of growth that we need to make significant gains in job creation will not be possible without massive new investment. The inaugural South Africa Investment Conference in October last year provided great impetus to our drive to mobilise R1.2 trillion in investment over five years. The Investment Conference attracted around R300 billion in investment pledges from South African and international companies. There was also a significant increase in foreign direct investment last year. In 2017, we recorded an inflow of foreign direct investment amounting to R17 billion. Official data shows that just in the first three quarters of 2018, there was an inflow of R70 billion. This is a phenomenal achievement compared to the low level of investment in the previous years. Our investment envoys – Trevor Manuel, Mcebisi Jonas, Phumzile Langeni and Jacko Maree – as well as InvestSA are closely monitoring the status of the investments announced at the Investment Conference. To prove that our investment conference was not just a talk shop where empty promises were made, as we speak, projects to the value of R187 billion are being implemented, and projects worth another R26 billion are in pre-implementation phase. Drawing on the valuable lessons we’ve learnt, through a more focused effort, and through the improvements we’re making in the business environment, we aim to raise even more investment this year. We will be identifying the sectors and firms we want and need in South Africa and actively attract investors. Based on our experiences over the past year, and to build on the momentum achieved, we will host the South Africa Investment Conference again this year. It is our intention that the investment we generate should be spread out in projects throughout the country. In this regard, I have asked provincial governments to identify investable projects and ensure that we build investment books for each of our nine provinces to present to potential investors. Following our successful Investment Conference, a group of South African business leaders moved by the spirit of Thuma Mina initiated the Public-Private Growth Initiative to facilitate focused investment plans of leading companies across 19 sectors of the economy, from mining to renewable energy, from manufacturing to agriculture. These industries expect to substantially expand investment over the next five years and create a vast number of new jobs, especially if we can enhance demand for local goods, further stabilise the labour environment and improve conditions for doing business. As part of our ongoing work to remove constraints to greater investment, we have established a team from the Presidency, Invest SA, National Treasury and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation that will address the policy, legal, regulatory and administrative barriers that frustrate investors. This is an important aspect of our work to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa, which is essential to attracting investment. This team will report progress to Cabinet on a monthly basis. The World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report currently ranks South Africa 82 out of 190 countries tracked. We have set ourselves the target of being among the top 50 global performers within the next 3 years. It has long been recognised that one of the constraints that inhibit the growth of our economy is the high level of economic concentration. The structure of our economy was designed to keep assets in a few hands. This has stifled growth and enterprise and has to a large extent kept many young South African entrepreneurs and small enterprises out of the economy or confine them to the margins. As part of our efforts to increase investment, and to foster greater inclusion and create more opportunities, I will soon sign into law the Competition Amendment Bill. This will give the competition authorities the ability to address this problem but more importantly it will open up new opportunities for many South Africans to enter various sectors of the economy and compete on an equal footing. To stimulate growth in the economy, to build more businesses and employ more people, we need to find new and larger markets for our goods and services. We will therefore be focusing greater attention on expanding exports. In line with Jobs Summit commitments, we will focus on the export of manufactured goods and trade in services such as business process outsourcing and the remote delivery of medical services. We will also be looking at establishing special economic zones that are dedicated to producing specific types of products, such as clothing and textiles, for example. To improve the competitiveness of our exports, we will complete the studies that have begun on reducing the costs of electricity, trade, communications, transport and other costs. We will focus on raising the sophistication of our exports. The agreement on the establishment of African Continental Free Trade Area offers great opportunities to place South Africa on a path of investment-led trade, and to work with other African countries to develop their own industrial capacity. The agreement will see the creation of a market of over a billion people with a combined GDP of approximately $3.3 trillion. Alongside a focus on exports, we will pursue measures to increase local demand through, among other things, increasing the proportion of local goods and services procured both by government and the private sector. Increasing local demand, and reducing the consumption of imports, is important because it increases the opportunities for producers within South Africa to serve a growing market. Through this we will intensify the “buy South Africa” programme. Given the key role that small businesses play in stimulating economic activity and employment – and in advancing broad-based empowerment – we are focusing this year on significantly expanding our small business incubation programme. The incubation programme provides budding entrepreneurs with physical space, infrastructure and shared services, access to specialised knowledge, market linkages, training in the use of new technologies and access to finance. The incubation programme currently consists of a network of 51 technology business incubators, 10 enterprise supplier development incubators and 14 rapid youth incubators. As part of the expansion of this programme, township digital hubs will be established, initially in four provinces, with more to follow. We expect these hubs to provide most needed entrepreneurial service to small and medium enterprises in the rural areas and townships but more especially to young people who want to start their businesses. Our greatest challenge is to create jobs for the unemployed of today, while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow. The Presidential Jobs Summit last year resulted in concrete agreements between organised labour, business, community and government. These agreements, which are now being implemented by social partners, aim to create 275,000 additional direct jobs every year. We have come up with great plans, platforms and initiatives through which we continue to draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity through initiatives like the Employment Tax Incentive. This incentive will be extended for another 10 years. In addition, we have launched the Youth Employment Service, which is placing unemployed youth in paid internships in companies across the economy. We call on all companies, both big and small, to participate in this initiative and thereby contribute not only to building their business but also to building the economy and fostering social cohesion. Progress is being made in the areas of installation, repair and maintenance jobs, digital and tech jobs like coding and data analytics, as well as global business services. These enable us to absorb more youth – especially those exiting schools and colleges, and those not in any education, training or employment – into productive economic activity and further work opportunities. As government, we have decided that the requirement for work experience at entry-level in state institutions will be done away with. Our young people need to be given a real head start in the world of work. They should not face barriers and hindrances as they seek to find work. We are focusing our attention, our policies and our programmes on the key parts of the economy that are labour intensive. These include agriculture, tourism and the ocean economy. The potential of agriculture in South Africa for job creation and economic growth still remains largely underdeveloped. South Africa still has large areas of underutilised or unproductive land. There are around 250,000 small emerging farmers who are working the land and need support in fully developing their businesses. Agricultural exports are an important source of revenue for our economy, and developing our agricultural sector is key to enhancing our food security and for attracting investment. We are fortunate to have an agricultural sector that is well-developed, resilient and diversified. We intend to use it as a solid foundation to help develop agriculture in our country for the benefit of all. Through an accelerated programme of land reform, we will work to expand our agricultural output and promote economic inclusion. Our policy and legislative interventions will ensure that more land is made available for agriculture, industrial development and human settlements. I wish to commend the many South Africans who participated in the work of the Constitutional Review Committee in the dialogue that ensued through the length and the breadth of the country. I applaud the members of the Constitutional Review Committee for remaining focused throughout this period and sifting through the submissions that were made by ordinary South Africans and their organisations. We will support the work of the Constitutional Review Committee tasked with the review of Section 25 of the Constitution to unambiguously set out provisions for expropriation of land without compensation. Alongside this constitutional review process we tasked the Deputy President to lead the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform to fast-track land reform. An advisory panel of experts headed by Dr Vuyo Mahlathi, established to advise government on its land reform programme, is expected to table its report by the end of March 2019. As part of accelerating land reform, we have identified land parcels owned by the state for redistribution. Strategically located land will be released to address human settlements needs in urban and peri-urban areas. As part of the stimulus package in agriculture, we have invested significantly in comprehensive farmer development support to ensure that restituted and communal land is productively utilised. We will continue to prioritise targeted skills development and capacity building programmes for smallholder and emerging black farmers. In the coming year, we will continue to focus on high value agricultural products with export potential such as our fruit, wine and vegetable industries, as well as poultry and red meat. During SONA last year, we spoke at length about the huge potential that exists for the expansion of the tourism sector. Our concerted efforts to market South Africa as a prime destination for tourists has yielded positive results, with significant annual growth in the number of foreign visitors. In the past year we had 10 million tourists who came to our country. We intend to raise this to 21 million by 2030, targeting, among others, the largest and fastest growing markets of India and China, as well as strong markets on our continent. In addition to direct jobs, this export industry could generate as many as 2 million more jobs in food and agriculture, construction, transport, retail, and the creative and cultural industries by 2030. We will deepen the partnership between government and business to realise this vision. Our highest priority this year will be on the introduction of a world class eVisa regime. This, combined with enhanced destination marketing and measures to strengthen tourism safety, will create the conditions for the growth we envisage, and the jobs and opportunities that will follow. Our beautiful country, South Africa has one of the world’s longest coastlines spanning 3,000 km around the contours of our country from the east to the west. Our mere positioning as a country means we can harness the potential of our oceans to grow the economy. Since the Operation Phakisa on the Oceans Economy in 2014, we have secured investments of nearly R30 billion and created over 7,000 direct jobs. The investments have been mainly in infrastructure development, marine manufacturing, aquaculture, and the oil and gas sector. Expected investment in the Oceans Economy over the next five years is estimated at R3.8 billion by government and R65 billion by the private sector. These investments are expected to create over 100,000 direct jobs and more than 250,000 indirect jobs. Last night I received a call from Minister Gwede Mantashe when he told me that the oil giant Total would be making a big announcement today about a new “world-class” oil and gas discovery off the coast of South Africa. We are extremely encouraged by the report this morning about the Brulpadda block in the Outeniqua Basin, which some have described as a catalytic find. This could well be a game-changer for our country and will have significant consequences for our country’s energy security and the development of this industry. We congratulate Total and its various partners and wish them well in their endeavours. Government will continue to develop legislation for the sector so that it is properly regulated for the interests of all concerned. Over the past five years, we made significant progress with the provision of infrastructure. More than R1.3 trillion has been invested to build hundreds of schools and two new universities, to build hundreds of thousands of new houses, to electrify more than a million homes, generate new electricity and to expand public transport. These infrastructure investments also helped grow our economy and create many new jobs in construction and other sectors. Infrastructure development has been flywheel of the engine of our economy and has yielded tremendous benefits for the country. We must do more. Our infrastructure development has slowed down for a whole number of reasons. We have also realised that our infrastructure provision is too fragmented between the different spheres of government. It does not fully integrate new housing development with economic opportunities and with the building of dams, water pipelines, schools and other amenities. Cabinet has adopted a new infrastructure implementation model to address these problems. It will be underpinned by the new Infrastructure Fund announced in September last year. Government has committed to contribute R100 billion into the Infrastructure Fund over a 10 year period and use this to leverage financing from the private sector and development finance institutions. As a first step, we will expand projects underway already, such as student accommodation. We plan to do things differently, starting with a deeper partnership with our communities in the planning, building and maintenance of infrastructure. Just as we did with the Vaal River, where the SANDF intervened to address a sewage crisis, we will call on all the capabilities of the state and the private sector to address infrastructure challenges. We will strengthen the technical capacity in government to ensure that projects move faster, building a pool of engineers, project managers, spatial planners and quantity surveyors – an action team that can make things happen faster on the ground. The telecommunications sector represents vast potential for boosting economic growth. The Minister of Communications will shortly be issuing policy direction to ICASA for the licensing of the high demand radio frequency spectrum. As a water scarce country, we are confronting water crises in many parts of the country. We are developing a comprehensive integrated nation plan that addresses water shortages, ageing infrastructure and poor project implementation. We are urgently establishing an inter-governmental rapid response technical team, reinforced by specialist professionals, to intervene in areas which are experiencing severe water problems. In one of these areas, Giyani, extensive work is underway to get water to the residents, in the immediate term through the repair of boreholes, and then through the rapid provision of proper infrastructure. The safety of our learners in school is critical for creating a healthy, learning environment. We recall with deep sadness the tragic deaths of Michael Komape, who drowned in a pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo in 2014, and Lumka Mkethwa, from Luna Junior Primary School in the Eastern Cape, who lost her life in March last year. We conducted an audit last year and found that nearly 4,000 schools still have inappropriate sanitation facilities. Given the scale and urgency of the problem, we launched the SAFE Initiative in August last year, through which we mobilised all available resources, including pledges from business, strategic partners, and the building industry to replace all unsafe toilets in public schools. Since we launched the initiative, 699 schools have been provided with safe and appropriate sanitation facilities and projects in a further 1,150 schools are either in planning, design or construction stages. We are determined to eradicate unsafe and inappropriate sanitation facilities within the next three years. This is an outstanding example of collaboration between government and business to address with urgency a great need that impacts on the right of South Africa’s children to safety and dignity in educational facilities. We are making important progress in restoring the integrity and capacity of our strategic state owned enterprises. To restore proper corporate governance, new boards with credible, appropriately experienced and ethical directors, have been appointed at Eskom, Denel, Transnet, SAFCOL, PRASA and SA Express. We have established the Presidential SOE Council, which will provide political oversight and strategic management in order to reform, reposition and revitalise state owned enterprises, so they play their role as catalysts of economic growth and development. We want our SOEs to be fully self-sufficient and be able to fulfil their development and economic role. Where SOEs are not able to raise sufficient financing from banks, from capital markets, from development finance institutions or from the fiscus, we will need to explore other mechanisms, such as strategic equity partnerships or selling off non-strategic assets. As we do all this, we will not support any measures that, in any form, dispose of assets of the state that are strategic to the wellbeing of the economy and the people. We have the task and the responsibility to safeguard, build and sustain these key institutions for future generations. We have sought credible plans from boards to put in place the right skills and expertise to manage these companies so that we can shift the focus from immediate stability to long-term sustainability. We also seek to build a pragmatic and cooperative relationship between government, organised labour and private sector stakeholders, where we can jointly determine a strategic path for SOEs to create jobs, enable inclusive growth and become operationally and financially sustainable. Security of energy supply is an absolute imperative. Eskom is in crisis and the risks it poses to South Africa are great. It could severely damage our economic and social development ambitions. We need to take bold decisions and decisive action. The consequences may be painful, but they will be even more devastating if we delay. In responding to this crisis, we are informed by the need to minimise any adverse economic cost to the consumer and taxpayer. As we address the challenges that face Eskom we will ensure that there is meaningful consultation and dialogue with all key stakeholders. We will lead a process with labour, Eskom and other stakeholders to work out the details of a just transition, and proper, credible and sustainable plans that will address the needs of all those who may be affected. As we address the challenges that face Eskom, we also need to safeguard our national fiscal framework, achieve a positive impact on our sovereign credit rating, and pay attention to the rights and obligations of Eskom’s funders. Eskom has come up with the nine-point turnaround plan which we support and want to see implemented. In line with this plan, Eskom will need to take urgent steps to significantly reduce its costs. It will need more revenue through an affordable tariff increase. We need to take steps to reduce municipal non-payment and confront the culture of non-payment that exists in some communities. It is imperative that all those who use electricity – over and above the free basic electricity provided – should pay for it. Government will support Eskom’s balance sheet, and the Minister of Finance will provide further details on this in the Budget Speech. This we will do without burdening the fiscus with unmanageable debt. To ensure the credibility of the turnaround plan and avoid a similar financial crisis in a few years’ time, Eskom will need to develop a new business model. This business model needs to take into account the root causes of its current crisis and the profound international and local changes in the relative costs, and market penetration of energy resources, especially clean technologies. It needs to take into account the role that Eskom itself should play in clean generation technologies. To bring credibility to the turnaround and to position South Africa’s power sector for the future, we shall immediately embark on a process of establishing three separate entities – Generation, Transmission and Distribution – under Eskom Holdings. This will ensure that we isolate cost and give responsibility to each appropriate entity. This will also enable Eskom to be able to raise funding for its various operations much easily from funders and the market. Of particular and immediate importance is the entity to manage an independent state-owned transmission grid combined with the systems operator and power planning, procurement and buying functions. It is imperative that we undertake these measures without delay to stabilise Eskom’s finances, ensure security of electricity supply, and establish the basis for long-term sustainability. At the centre of all our efforts to achieve higher and more equitable growth, to draw young people into employment and to prepare our country for the digital age, must be the prioritisation of education and the development of skills.  With over 700,000 children accessing early childhood education in the last financial year, we have established a firm foundation for a comprehensive ECD programme that is an integral part of the education system. This year, we will migrate responsibility for ECD centres from Social Development to Basic Education, and proceed with the process towards two years of compulsory ECD for all children before they enter grade 1. Another critical priority is to substantially improve reading comprehension in the first years of school. This is essential in equipping children to succeed in education, in work and in life – and it is possibly the single most important factor in overcoming poverty, unemployment and inequality. The department’s early grade reading studies have demonstrated the impact that a dedicated package of reading resources, expert reading coaches and lesson plans can have on reading outcomes. We will be substantially expanding the availability of these early reading resources across the foundation phase of schooling. Over the next six years, we will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device. We will start with those schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are located in the poorest communities, including multigrade, multiphase, farm and rural schools. Already, 90% of textbooks in high enrolment subjects across all grades and all workbooks have been digitised. In line with our Framework for Skills for a Changing World, we are expanding the training of both educators and learners to respond to emerging technologies including the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence. Several new technology subjects and specialisations will be introduced, including technical mathematics and technical sciences, maritime sciences, aviation studies, mining sciences, and aquaponics. To expand participation in the technical streams, several ordinary public schools will be transformed into technical high schools. In line with government’s commitment to the right of access to higher education for the poor, last year we introduced free higher education for qualifying first year students. Thanks to this initiative, links have been re-established with all institutions, and institution heads and student leaders have played a critical role in communicating with students. The scheme is being phased in over a five year period until all undergraduate students who qualify in terms of the criteria can benefit. Stabilising the business processes of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will also be a priority in the coming year so that it is properly capacitated to carry out its critical role in supporting eligible students. We are concerned about developments on some campuses this week, especially reports of violence and intimidation. Of particular concern, is the tragic death of Mlungisi Madonsela, a student at the Durban University of Technology. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and call on law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident. We call on student representatives and university authorities to work together to find solutions to the challenges that students are facing. We will give effect to our commitment to build human settlements in well-located areas that bring together economic opportunities and all the services and amenities that people need. The Housing Development Agency will construct an additional 500,000 housing units in the next five years, and an amount of R30 billion will be provided to municipalities and provinces to enable them to fulfil their respective mandates. However, if we are to effectively address the substantial housing backlog in our country, we need to develop different models of financing for human settlements. It is for this reason that we are establishing a Human Settlements Development Bank that will leverage both public and private sector financing to aid in housing delivery. We will also be expanding the People’s Housing Programme, where households are allocated serviced stands tp build their own houses, either individually or through community-led housing cooperatives. South Africa has one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching social security nets in the world, providing a buffer between poor households and abject poverty. Every month 17.5 million social grants are provided to South Africans. The Department of Social Development is to be commended for having honoured Constitutional Court’s directive for phasing out the services of Cash Paymaster Services. To date the majority of grant beneficiaries have been successfully migrated to the South African Post Office, and the old SASSA cards replaced by new ones. We have made significant progress in devising a Comprehensive Social Security strategy through NEDLAC. The reforms focus on achieving comprehensive social security and retirement reform that is affordable, sustainable and appropriate for all South Africans. With the assistance of the National Planning Commission, we reached consensus on reforms that include the National Social Security Fund, institutional arrangements, regulatory reforms, improved unemployment benefits, improved social assistance coverage, and active labour market policies for citizens between 18 and 59 years. We will now incorporate this consensus agreement into a policy framework to guide implementation. This year, we will take a significant step towards universal access to quality health care for all South Africans. After extensive consultation, the NHI Bill will soon be ready for submission to Parliament. The NHI will enable South Africans to receive free services at the point of care in public and private quality-accredited health facilities. By applying the principle of social solidarity and cross-subsidisation, we aim to reduce inequality in access to health care. Realising the magnitude of the challenges in health care, we have established an NHI and quality improvement War Room in the Presidency consisting of various key departments to address the crisis in the public health system while preparing for the implementation of the NHI. We have a funded national quality health improvement plan to improve every clinic and hospital that will be contracted by the NHI. By introducing the NHI together with a multi-pronged quality improvement programme for public health facilities, we are working towards a massive change in the health care experience of South Africans. While we have made progress since 1994 in bringing down certain categories of serious crime, communities across the country are still plagued by gangsterism and violence. As part of our concerted effort to make our country safer and more secure, the Community Policing Strategy was launched in October last year. The strategy focuses on building partnerships between communities and the police; making more resources available for policing and better communication between the police and communities about crime prevention strategies. This will enable policemen and women to become more proactive in addressing crime and broader public safety concerns. In addition, we are strengthening the functioning of various specialised units such as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units and improving our administrative and record keeping capacity at all levels. The SAPS has embarked on a restructuring process to shift more policing resources to the local level. Violence against women and children has reached epidemic proportions. Every day, South African women are faced with discrimination, abuse, violence and even death, often by those they are closest to. Over the last year, we have started to address this scourge in a more serious and coordinated way. At the Presidential Gender-based Violence and Femicide Summit, women from all walks of life came together with government and civil society to outline a road map to end gender-based violence, improve coordination of planning, and establish a commitment to resourcing and accountability. Work is underway to implement the decisions of the Summit, including preparing the National Strategic Plan on Gender- Based Violence. This year, we will work with our partners in civil society to implement the decisions of the National Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. We are expanding and dedicating more funds to places of support, such as the Thuthuzela Care Centres and Khuseleka Care Centres. We have been working to ensure the better functioning of Sexual Offences Courts. We will improve the quality of services in shelters and ensure they also accommodate members of the  LGBTQI+ community. We will strengthen the national hotline centre that supports women who experience gender-based violence and ensure it is functional. We have listened to the call to make funds available to combat gender-based violence, and have allocated funding in the current budget to support the decisions taken at the Summit. Government will lead the campaign to include men and boys as active champions in the struggle against gender-based violence. Ending gender-based violence is an urgent national priority that requires the mobilisation of all South Africans and the involvement of all institutions. South Africa has extremely high levels of substance abuse, which feeds crime and violence against women and children, it deepens poverty and causes great hardship and pain for families. As government we continue to roll-out interventions to address social ills tearing our communities apart such as alcoholism and substance abuse. Knowing as we do that there are strong linkages between substance abuse, drug trafficking, crime and insecurity in communities – we are focusing on tackling this problem at its source through prevention programmes targeting vulnerable persons especially our youth. We are resolute that all taverns, shebeens and liquour outlets near school premises must be shut down. We recognise, as do all South Africans, that our greatest efforts to end poverty, unemployment and inequality will achieve little unless we tackle state capture and corruption in all its manifestations and in all areas of public life. The action we take now to end corruption and hold those responsible to account will determine the pace and trajectory of the radical social and economic transformation we seek. The revelations emerging from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture and other commissions are deeply disturbing, for they reveal a breadth and depth of criminal wrongdoing that challenges the very foundation of our democratic state. We commend these commissions for the work they are doing, often under challenging circumstances, to uncover the truth. These commissions need to be able to do their work without any hindrance, and we call on all those people who are in a position to assist them in their investigations to make themselves available. While these Commissions will in time make findings and recommendations in line with their mandates, evidence of criminal activity that emerges must be evaluated by the criminal justice system. Where there is a basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently. To this end, we have agreed with the new National Director of Public Prosecutions, that there is an urgent need to establish in the office of the NDPP an investigating directorate dealing with serious corruption and associated offences, in accordance with section 7 of the NPA Act. I will soon be promulgating a Proclamation that will set out the specific terms of reference of the Directorate. In broad terms, the Directorate will focus on the evidence that has emerged from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, other commissions and disciplinary inquiries. It will identify priority cases to investigate and prosecute and will recover assets identified to be the proceeds of corruption. The Directorate will bring together a range of investigatory and prosecutorial capacity from within government and in the private sector under an investigating director reporting to the NDPP. In the longer term, we will work with the NPA and other agencies of law enforcement to develop a more enduring solution that will strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with corruption. Fellow South Africans, As we grapple with the challenges of our recent past, and as we deepen our efforts to overcome the grave injustices of centuries, it is essential that we do so with our eyes firmly fixed on the future. The world we now inhabit is changing at a pace and in a manner that is unprecedented in human history. Revolutionary advances in technology are reshaping the way people work and live. They are transforming the way people relate to each other, the way societies function and the way they are governed. The devastating effects of global warming on our climate are already being felt, with extreme weather conditions damaging livelihoods, communities and economies. As a young nation, only 25 years into our democracy, we are faced with a stark choice. It is a choice between being overtaken by technological change or harnessing it to serve our developmental aspirations. It is a choice between entrenching inequality or creating shared prosperity through innovation. Unless we adapt, unless we understand the nature of the profound change that is reshaping our world, and unless we readily embrace the opportunities it presents, the promise of our nation’s birth will forever remain unfulfilled. Today, we choose to be a nation that is reaching into the future. In doing so, we are building on a platform of extraordinary scientific achievement. The successful construction in the Northern Cape of the MeerKAT telescope, the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, and the development of the Square Kilometre Array has enabled South Africa to develop capabilities in areas such as space observation, advanced engineering and supercomputing. These skills and capabilities are being used to build HERA, a radio telescope designed to detect, for the first time, the distinctive radio signal from the very first stars and galaxies that formed early in the life of the universe. This is not merely about advancing human understanding of the origins of the universe – it is about responding to the challenges that face South Africans now and into the future. It is about developing the technology and the capabilities that will build a dynamic and competitive economy that creates decent, sustainable jobs. It is about enhanced food security, better disease management, and cheaper, cleaner and more efficient energy. It is about smart human settlements and social development solutions built around people’s needs and preferences. It is about smarter, more responsive, more effective governance. To ensure that we effectively and with greater urgency harness technological change in pursuit of inclusive growth and social development, I have appointed a Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Comprised of eminent persons drawn from different sectors of society, the Commission will serve as a national overarching advisory mechanism on digital transformation. It will identify and recommend policies, strategies and plans that will position South Africa as a global competitive player within the digital revolution space. Building on the work we have done over the last year, we will focus on further strengthening the capacity of the state. We have made progress in examining the size and structure of the state, and will complete this work by the end of this administration. We invite all South Africans to make suggestions on how we can better configure government to serve the needs and the interests of the people. In improving the capabilities of public servants, the National School of Government is introducing a suite of compulsory courses, covering areas like ethics and anti-corruption, senior management and supply chain management, and deployment of managers to the coal face to strengthen service delivery. We will process the operationalisation of section 8 of the Public Administration and Management Act, which strengthens the outlawing of public servants doing business with the state and enable government to deal more effectively with corrupt activities. This provision will see the imposition of harsher penalties, including fines and/or prison sentences for officials that transgress. The Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit will be established to to strengthen management of ethics and anti-corruption and ensure consequence management for breaches of government processes. Fellow South Africans, South Africa has this year taken up a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. We will use this position to advance peace on the continent and across the globe, taking forward Nelson Mandela’s vision of a peaceful, stable and just world. Fellow South Africans, In a few months time, South Africans will go to the polls for the sixth time in our democracy to vote for national and provincial governments. This is an opportunity for our people to exercise their hard-won right to determine the direction of this country. I have engaged with the Independent Electoral Commission and also with the Premiers of all provinces, and intend to proclaim the 8th of May 2019 as the date of the election. We wish to remind all eligible South Africans who have not yet registered as voters that they still have until the proclamation of the election date to register. Fellow South Africans, We are a people of resilience, of determination and of optimism. Despite the worst excesses of apartheid, we did not descend into vengeance when our freedom was won. Our democracy has blossomed and flourished, nurtured by the goodwill of the men and women of this great land, who understand only too well at what cost it was attained. But the road towards true freedom is a long one, and we have seen divisions in our society grow. Between black and white, rich and the poor, between rural and urban, between the sexes, and between language groups and cultures. At times it has seemed that the milk of human kindness that allowed us to reconcile in 1994, had gone sour. But we will not surrender to the forces of pessimism and defeatism. Our society is anchored in the roots of tolerance and co-existence, and we stand firm, resolute and united against all and everything that seeks to divide us or destroy our hard-won gains. They told us building a non-racial South Africa was impossible, and that we would never be able to truly heal from our bitter past. Yet we weathered the storm, and we are prevailing. It was the eternal optimism of the human spirit that kept hopes alive during our darkest time. It is this optimism that will carry us forward as we face a brave new future. It is a South Africa in which every man, woman and child is provided with the opportunity and means to make a better life for themselves. It is a South Africa ready to take advantage of the technological changes sweeping the globe to make our economy grow and create jobs for our people. It is a South Africa whose people have vision, drive and ambition; making it a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise. It is a South Africa that acknowledges the problems of the past, but looks firmly to the future. It is a South Africa whose leaders are bold and courageous, leaders who remain servants of the people – and for whom fulfilling their duty is the highest, and the only, reward. Above all, it is a South Africa of which we are all proud, of what we have achieved and of where we hope to be. The task before us is formidable. Above everything else, we must get our economy working again. I call upon every South African to make this cause your own. Because when we succeed – and of this we are certain – it is the entire nation that will benefit. As government, as business, as labour and as citizens, let us unite to embrace tomorrow. Let us grasp our collective future with both hands, in the immortal words of the Freedom Charter: side by side, sparing neither strength nor courage. This task – of building a better South Africa – is our collective task as a nation, as the people of South Africa. As we approach these tasks and challenges, we should heed the word of Theodore Roosevelt, who said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” We all have a role to play as individual South Africans, faith-based organisations, sports organisations, trade unions, business, students, academics and citizens Let us continue to embrace the spirit of citizen activism in line with the injunction, Thuma Mina, in the onward march towards equality, freedom and prosperity for all. I thank you.last_img read more

London Olympics: Usain Bolt proves he is the greatest

first_imgWhen Usain Bolt arrived on the stage- well, that’s what London’s Olympic Stadium was for the Jamaican Express- the stadium announcer quite appropriately called him the “World’s Fastest Travelling Show”. What else can you call him anyway? On Thursday night, if one needed to see a champion become a legend, Bolt did exactly that as he clocked a season best 19.32 seconds to seal the 200m race. In that process, the Jamaican became the first man to win the 100m and 200m races in two back-to-back Olympics.Focus is what any trainer or coach would tell a runner minutes before an Olympic final. Not Bolt. He had time for everything else.He flirted with a lady carrying his starting block into the stadium; he had a chat with young team-mate and rival Yohan Blake; he then waved as if he was about to make a statement.And then Bolt ran past the field and became a blur.Race over, Bolt stopped, turned around to greet the man coming in second, and showed he still had a lot of gas left in him by doing 10 push-ups. He then kissed the track, grabbed a photographer’s camera and clicked pictures.Next, he decided to go around doing high fives and posed in his traditional style, much to the delight of people with cameras- professionals and amateurs!At the end of it all, as Bolt went up and collected his second Olympic gold medal at the London Olympics and the fifth of his career, the giant electronic scoreboard read:advertisement1. Jamaica. 2. Jamaica. 3. Jamaica.American fans and journalists could not believe it. This big man Bolt and his fellow Jamaicans had blown away a huge tradition that American sprinters had built up over the years.And when Carl Lewis spoke about the ugly dope word, it only reflected the frustration of the Americans, who have only an old legacy to cling to.While retaining the sprint double, Bolt also equalled the 200m time clocked by Michael Johnson in 1996 at Atlanta. But then Bolt took it easy in the last 20 metres, almost to ensure that he didn’t go too far ahead of the rest on Thursday night.The most striking thing about Bolt is his enormous size. At six feet and five inches, each giant stride he makes eats metres of the track and is a treat to watch.Even on the bend, when you would imagine the laws of physics demand the runner slows down or makes adjustments to his running stride, Bolt is very different. And if in the 100m race, his reaction time to the starter’s gun was slow, there was no such trouble for him in the 200m.Most people would wait for the final dash to cover ground, but as this man had already won the race, he actually appeared to slow down! While all this is a sheer delight to watch, the ability to achieve feats like this on a fast track has to stem from sheer confidence.Before the race, Bolt indulged in a bit of showmanship. It’s his own way of confidence boosting, if he needs to do it. From television commentators to men in eighties who have watched former giants such as Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis, the debate has ended.Usain Bolt is now ‘The Greatest’.last_img read more

Warriors series up next as Clippers drop to 8th despite win over Jazz

first_imgLos Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, left, reacts to a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 143-137 in overtime. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — The Clippers won 48 games and made the playoffs without any current or former All-Stars on the roster.Their reward? Getting the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the first round.ADVERTISEMENT “We got a battle ahead of us and it’s about locking in,” said Montrezl Harrell, who scored 24 points to lead seven players in double figures in a 143-137 overtime win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. “We can’t be in awe.”The Clippers snapped a three-game skid to end the regular season, although the losses had already dropped them from the sixth seed to No. 8.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It’s a whole new season,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Time to get going.”Ivica Zubac added 22 points and 11 rebounds and Patrick Beverley had 14 points in his return from injury. View comments MOST READ Read Next LAWLER’S NIGHTRalph Lawler called his 3,229th and last regular season game for the Clippers.They even obliged his trademark Lawler’s Law, which states the first team to 100 points wins.Lawler, who turns 81 on April 21, plans to end his 60-year broadcasting career whenever the Clippers are eliminated from the playoffs. He’s handled their games for 40 years.UP NEXTJazz: Meet Houston in first round of Western Conference playoffs.Clippers: Meet defending champion Golden State in first round.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew “It feels good to get out there and play, and have some success scoring and to feel good about my game and how I’m playing,” Allen said. “It’s something I can look back on a little bit later and see how I improved from the beginning of the year.”The Jazz earned the fifth seed and they’ll play No. 4 Houston in the first round.“When you get an opportunity to play postseason basketball you’re excited, but we’re even more excited because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year,” said Georges Niang, who added 24 points.The Clippers dominated overtime, 17-8. Zubac had back-to-back dunks and rookie Jerome Robinson scored six of his seven points.The Jazz outscored the Clippers 29-24 in the fourth after Los Angeles led by nine. Allen had 14 points in the quarter.His free throws put Utah ahead 126-124, but the Jazz fouled Sindarius Thornwell, who made both to tie it up and force overtime.The Clippers shot 71 percent in the first quarter when they led by 17.TIP-INSJazz: F-C Derrick Favors (back spasms) missed his fifth straight game. … C Rudy Gobert (left ankle soreness), G Kyle Korver (right knee soreness), G Donovan Mitchell (thoracic spasm), G Ricky Rubio (left quad contusion) and G Raul Neto (left ankle soreness) sat out. … They have won eight of 10. … They lost the second game of their final back-to-back.Clippers: Beverley returned after missing the last three games with a right hip pointer. … They lost the season series 2-1. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Nuggets slip past Timberwolves to secure West’s no. 2 spot Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue The Warriors won the season series 3-1, with the Clippers’ lone victory coming in overtime at home on Nov. 12 with some players who are no longer on the team.“The pressure is on them, of course,” Beverley said of Golden State. “Understanding we have to do everything the right way to beat this team.”Rivers joked, “If we could take (Stephen) Curry, (Kevin) Durant and (Klay) Thompson away that would be terrific.”Against the Jazz, the Clippers had seven players in double figures.Grayson Allen led Utah with a career-high 40 points. The rookie made 13 of 14 free throws and five 3-pointers, but was limited to four points in overtime.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more