Ray Maota A group of journalists from other Brics countries are learning more about South Africa’s investment prospects and competitive advantages. (Image: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brand South Africa + 27 11 483 0122 RELATED ARTICLES • BRICS a boost to Brand South Africa • New slogan for Brand South Africa • South Africa is Africa’s top nation brand • Gallery: Brand South Africa in DavosSouth Africa is ready to establish itself as a competitive market for investment within the Brics network, while embarking on efforts to make its economy greener and harnessing a successful energy sector.These goals were revealed to a group of visiting journalists from the country’s Brics compatriots, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China by speakers from the departments of trade and industry (DTI) and environmental affairs, as well as business leaders, on 14 August in Pretoria.“Africa is now the second fastest growing region in the world economy after Asia,” said DTI director-general Lionel October.“The continent’s full potential will remain unfulfilled unless we address the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, the limitations imposed by small and fragmented markets, and inadequate diversification of industrial output, all of which are responsible for the low levels of intra-African trade.”South Africa’s competitive edgeAccording to its authors, who are key policy directors within the DTI, the 2012 Industrial Policy Action Plan shows how successful an industry policy can be if its design, resources and communication standards are kept in mind. It is the flagship project of the department for the next two years, defining its direction to attract foreign investments.“Our trade and competition policy is now more strategically aligned with industrial policy objectives,” explained October.He added that tariff-setting standards have improved in favour of better trading operations between South Africa and its trade partners, and campaigns against customs fraud and illegal imports are being scaled up.Not only is South Africa actively involved in the integration of the Southern African Development Community, but that is also the case in the East African Community, which includes countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is another platform where the country participates.“Our efforts in Africa, particularly in Southern Africa, to combine market integration, cross-border infrastructure development and policy coordination to advance regional industrial value chains, have met with some success,” said October.He further mentioned that South Africa’s involvement in the Brics alliance is a key element to the country’s global economic strategy, saying this can best be illustrated by explaining the three pillars on which its engagement strategy is based.These are the member countries’ policies on giving developing countries a greater voice in the global business landscape, strengthening intra-Brics cooperation, and South Africa’s intent to extend Brics’ cooperation in support of Africa’s development agenda.Greening South Africa’s economyGodfrey Nyakhulalini, deputy director for national greening at the Department of Environmental Affairs, spoke on the country’s aims with regard to establishing a green economy.“Our aim towards a green economy cannot be achieved by government alone so the private sector and civil society must play a fundamental role,” he said.Nyakhulalini said the National Treasury has allocated R800-million (US$97-million) over the next two years to South Africa’s Green Fund, which aims to provide finance for high-quality, high-impact, job-creating green economy projects around the country.Investment in South AfricaCandice Holland, associate director at auditing firm Deloitte South Africa, discussed the country’s readiness to draw investment to its shores.“South Africa aims to promote itself as a gateway to Africa, and so its taxation system follows a global best practice,” she said. “It also has a corporate tax rate of 28% which is slightly lower than other African countries.”She added that the country has, over the past couple of years, passed legislation that is protective of consumers and employees.Holland highlighted several acts in South Africa’s regulatory landscape which have been passed to encourage foreign investment, among them the Companies Act, Labour Relations Act, Broad-based Black Empowerment Act, Consumer Protection Act and the Competitions Act.“The Companies Act provides for more self-regulation and codifies South Africa’s constitution to make it easier to do business here,” said Holland.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday urged Governor Ram Naik to “wake up” the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh to the spate of crimes in the State and the political violence faced by his party workers and supporters.Mr. Yadav asked Mr. Naik to direct the Yogi Adityanath government to bring under control the “jungleraj”, and said it was giving a free hand to criminals.The SP chief recalled that while his government was in power, Mr. Naik would refer to the number of Yadavs holding official posts and said that today not a single member of the community was a DM or an SP.“I just want to remind the Governor that he had always woken up the [SP] government on the issue of law and order. I want the Governor to wake this government up too,” Mr. Yadav told reporters after he submitted a memorandum to the Governor.“There is no district where SP workers and supporters were not targeted,” said Mr. Yadav, alleging that the State police followed “repressive policies” to victimise a “specific community.”There were some two dozen such incidents, he said.“Many innocents were killed in encounters,” he said in the memorandum.“Such a bad situation did not ever exist in the state.”
Two toddlers died and eight others were taken ill at a government-run orphanage, prompting the district administration to order a probe. The authorities have taken sample of the milk being fed to children at the Rajkiya Shishu Sadan here, Mathura District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said on Friday. Ten children of the orphanage fell ill on Wednesday, with two of them dying of diarrhoea within the last three days, Mr. Mishra added. Of the ten children, four serious cases were referred to Agra medical college, while the others are being treated at the Mathura district hospital here, he said. He said despite the best possible treatment, two children below one-and-half-years of age could not be saved and they died in Agra. The other hospitalised children are recovering, he added.“ADM (F&R) Brajesh Kumar has been asked to probe the death and illness of the children,” said Mr. Mishra, adding that he has been asked to submit his report within 24 hours.Milk sample taken As children taken ill were normally under one-and-half-years of age and are fed only milk, the milk sample has been lifted for examination, Mr. Mishra said. Though the exact cause of illness would be known only after the probe and forensic examination of the milk sample, it appears the children had an attack of diarrhoea, he added. There are around 50 children in the orphanage, with 30 of them being below two years of age.
Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am believes tech and music are one and the same. Rick Kern/Getty Images Will.i.am is perhaps best known as a musician and lead member of the Black Eyed Peas, but he’s also working to make a name for himself in tech. The singer, songwriter and producer has dabbled in wearables with products like the Puls smartband and the i.am+ Dial smartwatch, and in 2015 teamed up with Gucci to create a luxury phone-free smart band, which never materialized. He’s also launched products like a triangular backpack with speakers and a Foto.sosho iPhone case, and is the founder of i.am+, an AI-centered tech company. Now, Will.i.am is looking toward the future — one he believes will be shaped by tech like augmented and virtual reality. Devices like glasses will augment our world and free up our hands, he says, and technology will be more seamless. He imagines that musicians 100 years from now will have to do more than just write and perform songs. They’ll make VR experiences that audiences can virtually transport to. The future of entertainment is VR and AR. Will.i.am Will.i.am was pensive and enthusiastic about the future of tech when I spoke to him recently at Accenture’s innovation hub at Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. “The future of entertainment is VR and AR,” he said. “You’re creating worlds in VR and enriching environments with AR. I can’t wait for that to be the norm in our entertainment industry.”Ten years from now, he predicts, we won’t be staring at screens. Instead, sleek devices will show content right in front of our faces, eliminating the need for bulky gear resembling a helmet. That’s not to say Will.i.am is looking to create those products himself. His current passion is in artificial intelligence and natural language. His company i.am+ is focused on getting its AI system to be more efficient so that when people talk to a voice assistant, their search takes on a more conversational tone. Will.i.am doesn’t see his passion for music and tech as disparate. In fact, if more people knew how creative tech really is, more kids would want to be scientists and engineers, he says. “It’s the most creative industry in society today,” he told me. “Tech is everything. Music is tech. Our industry was founded on technology. If we saw music and tech as the same and not separate, we wouldn’t have this gap of [tech] jobs that are unfilled.” Now playing: Watch this: 0 4:54 Share your voice Post a comment Microsoft HoloLens 2: A first dive into the future of… Tags Music Tech Industry
Maitri Bridge in Leh-LadakhTwitterMaitri Bridge, the 260-feet long suspension bridge, was built in just 40 days over the Indus river in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh district. It was opened to the public on Monday, April 1.The bridge is situated at Choglamsar village in Leh and is the longest suspension bridge over the Indus river.The name Maitri symbolises the friendship between the military personnel and locals. The bridge was constructed by Combat Engineers of the Sahas Aur Yogyata Regiment of Indian Army’s Fire and Fury Corps in a record time of 40 days. Almost 500 tonnes of equipment and construction material were taken to the location, reports ANI. The bridge will help the residents of Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot, which are said to be the largest villages in the regionTwitterAccording to India Today, the bridge has been constructed to help the residents of Choglamsar, Stok and Chuchot.According to ANI, the bridge was inaugurated by war veterans who were part of 1947-48, 1962, 1971 and 1999 operations in Jammu and Kashmir. They were led by an 89-year-old war veteran, Naik Phunchok Angdus (retd). The opening ceremony was conducted in the presence of Lt Gen YK Joshi, General Officer Commanding, Fire and Fury Corps. Other army veterans, senior army officials and civil administrators were present during the opening of the bridge.Twitter 89-year-old war veteran, Naik Phunchok Angdus (retd) formally opening Maitri BridgeTwitter
US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions on Tuesday reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance of at least $12.41 billion set for the calendar year 2015 despite disruptions to its operations caused by the recent floods in Chennai.The company, which has major operations in India, manages 11 delivery and operations centers in Chennai, which recently witnessed one of the worst floods in the past several decades. Cognizant said in a statement that its business continuity plan largely mitigated the financial impact of the flooding.The IT services provider also maintained its non-GAAP diluted EPS guidance of at least $3.03.Cognizant said all its employees are safe and accounted for and that its comprehensive business continuity plan enabled continuity of critical work for its clients.Last month, Cognizant had announced to spend $40 million (Rs 260 crore) to help flood victims, its employees and business partners in the flood-hit capital city of Tamil Nadu.”In December, Chennai experienced heavy rains that caused unprecedented flooding. During this period, the company’s key priorities were ensuring the safety of its employees and their families, and maintaining continuity of critical operations for clients,” it said.A few Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Wipro have already warned about Chennai floods weighing on their earnings in the December quarter.TCS, India’s largest IT firm, had earmarked Rs 1,100 crore to offer interest free cash advances to its employees in Chennai .