The Wright View | Money well spent; but no statues

first_img STROKE OF GENIUS BANNED SUBSTANCES With the current policy of urine and blood samples being kept and subject to retesting over and over again as science catches up with the reported use of banned substances by athletes, erecting statues before retirement is fraught with danger and exercising patience would in no way diminish the effect these statues would have on our people. The erection of statues by nations to honour citizens in the past has had to be seriously reconsidered when information about the honouree came to light years after the statue was erected. There will be nothing lost by waiting until our national treasures have retired from active competition. Usain Bolt has already announced his planned retirement in July next year. Let us wait. Track and field athletes have been the most successful group of Jamaicans in international competition for over 50 years. The Olympics and, to a lesser extent, the World Championships, have been broadcast to an expectant nation in great detail and has galvanised support that transcends class and economic circumstance in a way that has never been seen in our fair island. ‘Beijing’ in Half-Way Tree during the 2008 Olympics revealed the extent of the power of these men and women to affect, in a positive manner the psyche of a nation. We celebrated their victories and cheered and supported them when they lost, highlighting in print and electronic media their struggles, injuries and setbacks. As a direct result of their exploits, the name JAMAICA took on added significance and attracted visitors and investments that have benefited everyone of us, no matter what we feel about sports in general and athletics in particular. These people are national treasures and we owe them. The Government committed in excess of J$82 million in showing our nation’s appreciation of their accomplishments. Part of this sum was allocated to those men and women who participated in the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil. Not only were medallists and finalists rewarded, but most importantly, the non-athletic support group was also rewarded and commended. No longer will those who went to the Olympics to assist and give their expertise in managing the behind-the-scenes activities – that have resulted in the gamut of emotions that we as a nation have experienced whenever these Games are televised and reported on – be satisfied with a meagre per diem and ‘thanks’, but they now have cash to show that we care. The decision to juxtapose these celebrations during National Heroes weekend was indeed a stroke of genius. The celebrations began with a reception hosted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at Jamaica House and this was followed by the Rio gala and awards ceremony at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday. The JN 5K Run/Walk – supported by the Usain Bolt Foundation – and another reception at the Braco Melia hotel in western Jamaica allowed as wide a cross section of Jamaicans to be there to show their appreciation. That is why I believe that the $82 million is money well spent, even though it pales against the $30 million (over three years) pledged by the Minister of Education to assist schools with the expenses surrounding the health and welfare of children at risk during the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-sponsored sporting competitions. In fact, there are several aspects of life in this island of ours that could well do with $82 million. However, let us not forget that, as a people, we owe these men and women. The plan to erect four statues – two in 2016 and two in 2017 – commemorating Jamaica’s top four sprinters in recent years, does not have my support. As I understand it, the athletes to be depicted are Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest athlete; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, double Olympic gold medallist; Asafa Powell; and Veronica Campbell-Brown. Building statues to honour and commemorate our athletes has precedent that never recorded a murmur of discontent from a grateful nation. However, these athletes, who have their likeness recorded on a statue, had long retired and were indeed worthy.last_img read more

Rene Catalan makes case for ONE title shot

first_imgNo.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom ‘The Two Popes’ movie explores depth of faith, frailties of man PLAY LIST 01:28‘The Two Popes’ movie explores depth of faith, frailties of man00:52ONE CEO believes Joshua Pacio won the fight01:57Duterte wants ‘one-on-one’ talk with Joma Sison02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Catalan, who turned 40 this month, believes his time will eventually come.“My goal is to keep on winning until my time to compete for the title comes,” he stressed. “This kind of situation motivates me more. I expect big and favorable things to happen this 2019.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 30, Bucks beat Celticscenter_img Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Catalan, a decorated wushu world champion, thought he had done enough to finally earn a title shot having won five consecutive fights over the last two years, including a second-round stoppage of Chinese prospect Peng Xue Wen last January and a one-sided win over Stefer Rahardian five months ago.“I think my previous performances can vouch for my position as a contender for the belt. I scored five-straight victories against top-tier opponents, which qualifies me to be a title contender,” Catalan said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissDespite waiting for another time to get a crack at the crown, Catalan said he accepts ONE’s decision in choosing Saruta.“I respect their decision for choosing Yosuke Saruta. Of course, there is a reason behind it. I accept it wholeheartedly. It’s not my time yet,” he said. “I am patiently waiting. I know it will come.” Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Rene Catalan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFilipino Rene Catalan felt he was worthy to be the replacement challenger to compatriot Joshua Pacio for the strawweight title in the main event of ONE: Eternal Glory on January 19 in Jakarta, Indonesia.Pacio was initially to defend his title in a rematch against Hayato Suzuki but the Japanese had to withdraw from the fight due to an injury and another Japanese in Yosuke Saruta was put in his place.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

Pres. Weah Defends 5 Months’ Achievements in Office

first_imgPresident Weah speaking at the Mosque during the Thanksgiving Service. (photo: Executive Mansion…Says it surpasses that of any president since 1847With enormous economic and infrastructural challenges facing the country, the Executive Mansion has defended President George Weah five months “achievements” in office, claiming that the Weah Administration’s achievements surpasses that of any other President since the country’s independence in 1847.Even though the promise of connecting all county capitals by paved roads is yet to get into full swing, Weah has already been referred to by his office through a press release as the first sitting President in the country’s decades of existence that has promised to connect the entire country with paved roads.According to the release, President Weah insisted that no government has ever done well in its first five months in office than what his government has done within five months in office.“The President indicated that no amount of criticisms and dissenting public opinions will impede his government’s determination to advance its development agenda, because there are associated economic and trade dividends when the roads are paved,” the Executive Mansion release said.President Weah spoke Friday, July 20, at the Thanksgiving and Intercessory Prayer held at the Lusinee Kamara Mosque in Morris Farm, Paynesville, as part of events marking the 171st Independence Day celebration of Liberia.“Let me say this for all of us, especially the young people. No matter what, once you are there, people will have dissenting views; this is life. If you do well, another person will not appreciate it; you do badly, somebody will not appreciate it. So, no matter what you do in life, there will be critics but what is important is for us to remain focused on what we want to do,” Weah told the gathering of Islamic worshipers as quoted by the press release.Although the Executive Mansion release noted that the statement explains his vows as promised during the campaign period of the overall national development drive the country has ever witnessed since it was founded, the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and the U.S dollar is yet to be stabilized, and the Weah-led administration is yet to make known government’s immediate action on how transaction with both currencies should go.“The President emphasized the urgent need for the people of Liberia to place unity at the front-burner of their undertakings during this period of celebration of the 171st Independence Day of the country,” according to the release regarding the event that took place at the mosque in Morris Farm.The President’s office further noted that national achievement through development does not come amid division and negative criticisms.“We are about to witness our 171st Anniversary; when we were designing our program to know what will be the order of the day, what we will be doing, the first thing that was on our agenda was to unite our brothers and sisters – Liberians,” Weah said, emphasizing his quest for a united Liberia and people.According to him, the situation Liberia faces did not start with his administration, but he stressed his commitment to change it while at the same time encouraging Liberians to watch for an unprecedented pace of development between now and December.“As we are about to celebrate our independence, what is happening today reflects things that will be on the books, but we are criticized for doing the right thing than those that did the wrong one,” Weah said.The President’s office said although fanaticism is considered part of human infrastructure, “Weah feels that it is always good for people to be constructive in their criticisms.”“Liberia will be 171 on July 26 this year since the problem started. Is it in the five months of my administration?” he quipped (joked), and again begged the indulgence of Liberians to exercise a bit of patience, because he has taken the responsibility to fix the numerous problems his administration has inherited.Earlier, Sheik Rashid A. Sheriff delivered the sermon and called on Liberians to unite, give the government a chance, and also desist from negative criticisms.Sheriff urged Liberians to be thankful to Allah (God) for all of the things happening, because that is the essence of our creation. “Unity is always the instrument for the growth of any nation,” he said.To score political marks, politicians are noted for exaggerating and back lashing their predecessors in order to win public sympathy as they perform their side of duty.Weah, whose administration has come to the Presidency through a popular vote, has yet to submit to his people the most talked about Pro-Poor Agenda.It was shocking to the hearing of the masses, during his speech on the state of the crumbling economy recently, when the President promised that an instrument called Pro-Poor Agenda for development will be completed soon and submitted to government’s partners for perusal and later implementation.It may be recalled that in 2006, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf launched the “Poverty Reduction Strategy” (PRS), an instrument that is also noted for desperately failing on its thematic points for the people it was initiated to free from the conundrum (mystery) known as extreme poverty.According to the UNDP’s (United Nations Development Program) latest index on poor countries, Liberia is the third poorest country in the world after Niger, whose GDP per capita is $1,069 (£744), and Burundi whose GDP per capita $951 (£662).Liberia’s GDP per capita stands at US$934 (£652) even though the country is wealthy in natural mineral resources while Malawi’s GDP per capita is $819 (£572); Democratic Republic of Congo’s  GDP per capita is $753 (£525) and Central African Republic, has a GDP per capita of $639 (£445).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

More migrant families receive hampers

first_imgScores of Venezuelan migrant families residing in the Khan Hill community, Region One (Barima-Waini) on Sunday received food hampers in time for the Christmas holiday.The hampers contained basic food items such as canned beans, oil, milk, and biscuits. This initiative was a collaborative effort of the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry; the Civil Defence Commission; the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); the Regional Democratic Council and the Guyana Defence Force.According to the Department of Public Information, Minister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe was on the ground leading the undertaking.The Minister said it was Guyana’s international obligation to make sure that our neighbours were cared for. “We are here to ensure that they have an enjoyable Christmas” Garrido-Lowe added.The Minister said that with the number of migrant children at Khan Hill, she would ensure they receive toys for the holidays.Further, preparations are being made to assist Venezuelan families in other areas in Region One. Last week, a similar exercise was conducted in Kaikan in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) for the migrant families living there.Over the past few months, Guyana has seen an increase in the number of Venezuelans crossing the border to escape the political and socio-economic crisis in their homeland.The Government has been working to ensure that these migrants are documented and vaccinated upon entry and housed in reliable shelters.last_img read more

Germany’s World Cup defeat: five things we learned

first_imgIneffective OzilWhether it was down to a distracting pre-World Cup scandal or the result of an average season at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil was woeful.Ozil and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, who were born in Germany to Turkish parents, drew the wrath of fans after posing for a photo alongside President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.On Sunday, the attacking midfielder offered only token resistance during the build-up to Hirving Lozano’s 35th-minute goal as the Mexicans tore through Germany’s midfield.Head coach Joachim Loew has said Ozil struggled emotionally after being booed by German fans in a warm-up friendly following the Erdogan incident.With fleet-footed Marco Reus in form, Loew may choose to start with a different playmaker against Sweden in Sochi next Saturday.Manuel Neuer is fitGermany midfielder Mesut Ozil was ineffective during their opening Group F defeat to Mexico at the World Cup © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVDespite twice fracturing his left foot in 2017, the world-class stopper was bossing Germany’s penalty area until his defence leaked and Lozano scored.Germany’s captain conceded just four goals in seven games during the successful 2014 World Cup campaign and looked sharp in Moscow despite nine months on the sidelines.Of the problems Loew has to fix, Neuer is not one and he had little to do in the second half as Germany pushed for an equaliser that never came.Germany lack out-field leadershipPhilipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger have retired since the last World Cup but the next generation of leaders failed to calm the situation when Mexico went ahead.When counter-attacks poured through the middle of the German ranks in the first half, experienced defensive midfielders Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira, who was taken off after an hour, failed to stem the flow.With Ozil offering precious little and Thomas Mueller having a rare off-day, Timo Werner, Reus and Julian Draxler — none of whom are World Cup winners — looked like the men most likely to equalise.Loew has been guilty in the past of putting too much faith in his senior players and the German press are bound to raise the issue again.He has a contract with the German FA until the 2022 World Cup and defeat in Moscow is the first serious black mark against his name during 12 years as head coach.Werner needs more timeGermany’s defence was unable to snuff out Mexico’s first-half counter-attacks © AFP / Patrik STOLLARZWerner, the golden boot winner when Germany lifted the Confederations Cup last year, is still a work in progress and it showed in Moscow.The 22-year-old striker could not convert the half-chances which came his way, but with his pace, strength and willingness to help in defence, he deserves another chance against Sweden.Burly Mario Gomez, who came off the bench in Moscow, is an alternative or Loew could push forward Mueller, who scored a hat-trick up front against Portugal at Brazil 2014.Germany lack pace at centre-backCentre-backs Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng initially looked solid in Moscow, snuffing out attacks and clearing danger, but the German defence was badly caught out when Mexico hit the gas.The world champions were torn to pieces when Mexico attacked at lightning speed on the counter, leaving Boateng and Hummels to try in vain to plug the gaps.Boateng could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position.The problems started further up as Kroos and Khedira failed to close the space and the attack failed to press.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Germany’s coach Joachim Loew is under intense pressure after the world champions lost their opening match against Mexico at Russia 2018 © AFP / Yuri CORTEZMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 17 – Germany crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico in their opening World Cup match in Moscow on Sunday.AFP looks at five things we learned on a frustrating night for the reigning world champions at the Luzhniki Stadium:last_img read more

DONEGAL STUDENTS EXCEL NATIONALLY IN ACCOUNTANCY EXAMS – PIC SPECIAL

first_imgETB Presentation. Photo Clive WassonDonegal ETB have been running accounting technician courses on a full time basis for the last 4 years in the training centre in Letterkenny.In the recent second year exams three students excelled nationally.Mairead Murray came 11th and Eamonn Kelly came 28th on a national basis.  Barbara Friel obtained full marks in Integrated Accounting Systems exam.Nationally 1055 students sat accounting technician year 2 exams. Shaun Purcell chief executive of the Donegal ETB recently made a presentation to the students to recognise their success in a national examination in which over 1000 students enrol for.The accounts technician qualification is much sought after by employers and also obtains exemptions from the main professional accounting bodies.Donegal ETB is enrolling for both Year 1&2 courses commencing September 2015.For further information on Accounting Technicians click here:http://www.accountingtechniciansireland.ie/Files/Documents_and_Forms/2014_2015_Student_Prospectus.pdfFor further information please contact Course Recruitment Donegal ETB Training centre on 074 9120500 or email coursesdonegaltc@donegaletb.iePhotos by Clive Wasson.DONEGAL STUDENTS EXCEL NATIONALLY IN ACCOUNTANCY EXAMS – PIC SPECIAL was last modified: August 14th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BusinessFeaturesnewslast_img read more

FATHER PAYS €3,000 TO BAIL SON OUT ON DRUGS CHARGES

first_imgA young man has appeared in court after a Garda drugs operation in Lifford last night.Ben Quinn appeared in court today on drugs offenses. Pic copyright North West Newspix.Ben Quinn appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with three drugs-related offences. Quinn, of Drumleen, Lifford was arrested by Gardai at Lifford Bridge last night.There were further searches of an address at Rosgier, Lifford.The unemployed 23 year old appeared in handcuffs and wearing a tracksuit.He is charged with possession of cannabis and also having cannabis for sale or supply.Garda Derek Connaughton of the Garda Drugs Unit told the court that he was not objecting to bail but it had to be under certain conditions.He asked that Quinn should surrender his passport as he is considered a flight risk and has connections on both sides of the border.He also has to sign on daily at his local Garda station and observe a daily curfew between 9pm and 8am.His father appeared in court with the accused and handed in an independent cash surety of €3,000.FATHER PAYS €3,000 TO BAIL SON OUT ON DRUGS CHARGES was last modified: July 21st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bailBen QuinndonegaldrugsLetterkenny District Courtlast_img read more

GARDAI CALLED AFTER DISCOVERY OF MAN’S BODY

first_imgA man’s body has been found in the grounds of St Conal’s Hospital in Letterkenny this morning.The grounds of St Conal’s Hospital.The discovery was made by staff in the training area of the facility.Gardai have been called and a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the body has been launched. The identity or age of the victim has not yet been released.At this stage it is not thought that Gardai are treating the man’s death as suspicious. GARDAI CALLED AFTER DISCOVERY OF MAN’S BODY was last modified: November 17th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bodyGardailetterkennySt Conal’s Hospitallast_img read more

QPR tipped to table bid for United outcast Berbatov

first_imgQPR want to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United, The Times report.It is suggested that Rangers are preparing a £5m bid for the Bulgarian, who has been widely tipped to leave Old Trafford this summer.Tottenham are considering a £7.5m bid for Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, according to the Daily Mail.The 17-year-old from Harlesden has been linked with a loan move back to QPR, who lost him when he secured a transfer to Anfield in 2010.But it is claimed that Spurs are looking to sign him on a permanent basis.The Mail also say Chelsea are preparing a final offer of £7.5m for Wigan star Victor Moses, having had three bids for him rejected.This page is regularly updated. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

State of the Nation: all eyes on Zuma

first_img13 February 2014All eyes will be on President Jacob Zuma on Thursday night as he delivers the sixth and final State of the Nation address of the current administration. The speech will be delivered to a joint sitting of Parliament in Cape Town at 7pm, and broadcast live on national radio and television.SAnews features editor Chris Bathembu takes a glance at the highlights of Zuma’s previous five addresses.2009It was a cold winter afternoon on 3 June 2009 when Zuma delivered his first State of the Nation speech following the elections of that year. The world economy was reeling from the effects of the recession. More than 900 000 South Africans had lost their jobs between 2008 and 2009, while some companies continued to cut staff due to rising costs of oil and energy.It was not going to be an easy speech for Zuma. Some cringed when he announced that between June and December 2009, the economy would have created about 500 000 job opportunities. The key element to the jobs drive would be the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which had achieved an initial target of one-million jobs by 2009.Zuma also knew that something needed to be done fast to cushion the poor from the aftermath of the most devastating economic crisis since the great depression. He announced the introduction of the training layoff scheme. Though it was met with opposition from Cosatu and the National Youth Development Agency, the plan would help to protect workers who would ordinarily have faced retrenchment. Companies in distress would also be assisted to train inexperienced workers. In the end, these workers would, instead of being retrenched, be kept in employment for a period of time and re-skilled.Zuma also announced that a scaled-up Industrial Policy Action Plan would be developed. The lead sectors in this were to be the automotive, chemicals, metal fabrication, tourism, clothing and textiles, and forestry sectors.This paved the way for the development of the New Growth Path (NGP) a year later. The NGP identified five key priorities, namely education, health, the fight against crime, creating decent work, and rural development and land reform, which would form the focal point for the rest of the five-year term of the current administration.Zuma ended that speech by saying: “Since the implementation of our programme will take place in the face of the economic downturn, we will have to act prudently. No wastage, no rollovers of funds – every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully. We must cut our cloth according to our size.”2010It was 11 February, and this speech was to be delivered in the evening and broadcast on national television, to allow working people to follow it from home. There was much hype around it, as the date coincided with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.As expected, Zuma began his address by reminding South Africans of Mandela’s release, a watershed moment in the country’s history. Then it was down to the business of the day.Zuma reminded the nation that the global economic crisis had cost the economy about 900 000 jobs. He announced that to provide a safety cushion for the poor, the government would extend its child support grant to children over 14 years of age, and over the following three years to children aged 15 to 18 years.More than 480 000 public works job opportunities had been created, he said, which was 97% of the target set the previous year. The jobs were in construction, home and community-based care, and environmental projects.Zuma’s major announcement for 2010 was the R846-billion he said the government would spend on public infrastructure. The New Growth Path, he added, had been adopted as the official framework for economic policy and the driver of the country’s jobs strategy.Zuma also announced that all grade 3, 6 and 9 pupils would henceforth write literacy and numeracy tests that were independently moderated. The government had set a target of increasing the number of matric students who were eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014.Zuma wrapped up that speech by saying: “Inspired by our icon Madiba, it is my honour to dedicate this 2010 State of the Nation address to all our heroes and heroines, sung and unsung, known and unknown. Let us work together to make this year of action a successful one for our country.”2011This speech, delivered on 10 February, was all about jobs. Zuma announced the establishment of a Jobs Fund to the tune of R9-billion over three years to finance new job-creation initiatives. The Industrial Development Corporation had set aside R10-billion over five years for investment in economic activities with high job potential. Up to R20-billion was to go towards tax allowances or tax breaks to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector.Zuma also announced that South Africa had joined the Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) grouping of influential emerging economies.He noted that more than 400 000 additional people had been connected to the country’s water supply the previous year, while about 81% of the country was now electrified, compared to 63% in the year 2000.About R44-million had been recovered from public servants illegally benefiting from housing subsidies. Just over 5-million HIV tests have been conducted since the launch of the testing campaign the previous April.Zuma concluded that speech by saying: “We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.”2012This speech, delivered on 9 February, focused on several key things that government would have to do to grow the economy, introducing the National Development Plan (NDP) as key to the elimination of poverty and inequality over the next two decades.Zuma used this speech to report back on a number of issues. The Jobs Fund, which was announced in 2011, had begun operating and 2 500 applications had been received in the first round. Project allocations of over R1-billion had been committed. In addition, seven projects with an investment value of R8.4-billion had been approved for the R20-billion tax incentive announced in 2011.Transnet would invest R300-billion over seven years in capital projects. Of this amount, R200-billion had been allocated to rail projects and the balance to projects in the ports.Zuma said the state would develop a major new south-eastern node to improve the industrial and agricultural development and export capacity of the Eastern Cape and expand the province’s linkages with the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. In the former Transkei, part of the Eastern Cape, a dam would be built using the Umzimvubu River as the source in order to expand agricultural production.More than 220 000 solar geysers had installed in homes nationwide. The target was one-million solar geysers by 2014-2015.Zuma wrapped up that speech with these words: “I would like to appeal to all our people to join hands as they always do, as we deal decisively with the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Nobody will do this for us, it is in our hands. And we are all equal to the task.”2013Zuma began this speech by referring to the crisis in the Eurozone, which is South Africa’s major trading partner, accounting for around 21 percent of the country’s exports.He also spoke at length about the National Development Plan (NDP), which outlines interventions to put the economy on a better footing. The speech set the target for job creation at 11-million by 2030 – while noting that the economy needed to grow threefold to create the desired jobs. Zuma said that the government would have spent about R860-billion rand on infrastructure since 2009. Various projects were being implemented around the country.The Judicial Commission of Inquiry, led by Judge Ian Farlam, had been appointed to probe the tragedy in Marikana, where more than 44 people were killed during a strike by miners.Investments amounting to R400-million in green economy projects had been approved for municipalities, other organs of state, community organisations and the private sector across all provinces.The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units had secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73%, for crimes against women above 18 years old and 70% for crimes against children under 18 years of age.Zuma ended the speech by saying: “As South Africans, we should continue to have one primary goal – to make our country a truly great and prosperous nation.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more