R8bn boost for rural internet access

first_imgThe two companies have signed an R8-billion (US$1.2-billion) deal that will see the roll-out of fast-paced broadband internet to communities in the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces over the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. South African IT firm Mavoni Technologies is collaborating with international satellite company O3b Networks to make internet access possible for rural communities in the country. Chifiwa Makhwedzha from Nkowankowa in Limpopo said the initiative would be a great way to increase productivity in government departments. Mavoni CEO Tinyiko Valoyi said his company wants to focus on providing internet to underprivileged areas of South Africa to help develop them and improve the lives of people living there. Faster internet access Makhwedzha said he is also happy that schools will be getting internet as that should improve the quality of education. He said no contracts have yet been signed with any of the departments and municipalities, but they were looking to get them finalised towards the end of the year. 8 June 2011 First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. Valoyi said his firm is currently talking with various other provincial departments and municipalities which could also benefit from the initiative. “It’s really great news. Most communication is done via the internet these days and people in our areas, especially the young people, need to have good computer skills and a great knowledge of the internet in order to apply for work and be ready for the workplace.” Valoyi added that his company would focus on rolling out internet in schools and government institutions. The first province they would concentrate on would be the Northern Cape where they would provide internet access to an estimated 1 500 schools, which would benefit about 185 000 pupils. “I’m particularly glad about the schools being the first on the list to get connected. Teachers at schools will now be able to get educational material for the subjects they teach through the web. They can then use this material to educate themselves and also to teach the students.” Bandile Thusi, from Nonzwakazi township in the Northern Cape, said he was pleased to hear about plans to bring internet to schools in the province. Mavoni will also partner with the provincial government of Limpopo to bring internet connectivity to more than 500 schools there. These MEO satellites will provide faster internet access and clearer voice communications and video conferencing than standard communication satellites, as they will be four times closer to the earth. “This will help things work faster in some of the state departments here. At times, something that could have been done fairly quickly takes longer because of the communication channels. With internet, it will hopefully be quicker to get assistance at government departments.” “We are ready to advance,” said Nolwazi Zwane from Botleng township in Mpumalanga. “As a community, we are keen for ways to develop ourselves and see progress in our area. Having internet will help us stay connected with what is happening with the world around us, and help educate ourselves further.” According to the agreement, the companies will build a satellite-based global internet backbone with a constellation of eight medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites. ‘Ready to advance’ “We decided to start with the Northern Cape as it is often a neglected area when it comes to connectivity. Limpopo and Mpumalanga are also high priorities. Traditionally, these have been areas where fibre networks have not been able to reach.”last_img read more

Le Clos stuns Phelps, wins Olympic gold

first_imgThe racePhelps took it out fast over the first 50 metres and led Le Clos by 0.09 seconds as they turned. At 100 metres, he had extended his advantage to 0.27 seconds. With 50 metres to go, at the last turn, Le Clos had slipped to third behind Phelps and Matsuda, 0.58 seconds behind the American. South Africa’s Chad le Clos stunned 200 metres butterfly king Michael Phelps in London on Tuesday night, snatching gold to end the American legend’s attempt to win a third successive Olympic title in his signature event. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Anxiously looking towards the scoreboard afterwards, Le Clos saw the amazing result and joyously smashed the water with his fist before letting out a loud yell of triumph. He pointed towards the crowd to acknowledge his mother and father and the South African support. Once the music stopped, Le Clos’ face broke into a wide grin. His father, with a South African flag draped around his head, used it to dab away tears, his mother mouthed: “I love you.” And South Africa celebrated another wonderful victory in the swimming pool at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Phelps, the most successful Olympian in history, with 15 gold medals and 19 medals in total after the evening’s programme (he later won gold in the 4 by 200m freestyle relay), had won every Olympic Games and World Championships 200 metres butterfly title for over a decade. “I can’t believe I beat him in the final. It is something that I’ve lived over in my mind a million times. I’m still shocked that I’ve won. I can’t believe it.” 1 August 2012 In the final, those three men, swimming in the lanes three, four, and five battled it out for the title. The scale of his achievementThen it seemed to hit him as the scale of his achievement began to make sense. Le Clos shook his head in wide-eyed disbelief, holding his head in his hands for a moment. Tears welled in his eyes.center_img For the 20-year-old South African, a dream had come true and he had beaten his hero. Le Clos had entered the Olympics, acknowledging that Rio 2016 would probably be where he would be able to best challenge for Olympic medals. Suddenly, he had beaten the most successful Olympian of all time in that man’s strongest event! “It’s a dream come true. Michael Phelps is an idol to me and he still is,” Le Clos said after the race. ‘WHAT A FINISH!!!’South Africa’s other golden boy, 100 metres breaststroke champion Cameron van der Burgh, who wrote on Twitter before the race: “More nervous for Chad’s race than mine!!! Come on my boy!!!”, followed that posting up with “CHAD LE CLOS!!!!!!! WHAT A FINISH!!!” “It’s crazy!” he added. Le Clos was the second fastest qualifier for the final after setting an African record of 1:54.34 in the semi-finals. Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda, a bronze medal winner in the 200m butterfly in Beijing four years earlier, was fastest in 1:54.25. Phelps, meanwhile, won his semi-final in 1:54.53. Later, standing on top of the Olympic podium, gold medal around his neck, Le Clos struggled to sing the national anthem as tears filled his eyes. No worry, he had plenty of South African supporters singing it full of gusto as they celebrated his superb victory. Phelps came up just short of the wall with his stroke and Le Clos burst past to out-touch him in 1:52.96 to shatter his previous best time, which he had set in the semi-finals. Phelps finished in 1:53.01 and Matsuda in 1:53.21. The chasing pair fought back hard, however, and in the last 25 metres Le Clos and Matsuda closed on the great American with a furious finish.last_img read more

Veteran lensman Kumalo dies

first_imgThe legendary Alf Kumalo captured over six decades of South African history.(Image: Mzansi Magic) Jabu Pereira, the curator of the Alf Kumalo Museum, standing next to a picture of a young Kumalo. Sibusiso Kumalo, his eldest daughter, said that she is pleased that she was able to forge a great relationship with her father towards the end of his life.(Images: Ray Maota)MEDIA CONTACTS• Jabu PereiraAlf Kumalo Museum and School ofPhotography+27 11 985 5958RELATED ARTICLES• Nikon to nurture young photographers• Photos to promote social dialogue• SA student is world photo finalist• The boy who sees in picturesRay MaotaLess than a week before the passing of one of South Africa’s longest serving photojournalists, Alf Kumalo, MediaclubSouthAfrica.com spoke to his eldest daughter Sibusiso, and the curator of the photography museum he founded.Kumalo died at age 82 at the Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg on Sunday 21 October, after struggling with prostate cancer. He enjoyed a long and eventful career spanning over six decades, eloquently capturing South Africa’s progression from apartheid state to a democracy.Sibusiso referred to her father as a people’s person who would always tell stories – generally funny ones – about his work.“I remember him telling me how he was not allowed to take pictures during the Soweto riots of the 1980s,” she recalled, “and he learned to balance the camera on his head so, using a self-timer, he could shoot without using his hands.”Sibusiso was born in 1969 but only lived with her father for nine years until 1978 when her parents divorced.She expressed her gratitude for the time the two of them spent healing old wounds. “I am glad to have had a relationship with him where we ironed out old issues before he was on his death bed.”Tributes pour inPresident Jacob Zuma said in a statement that South Africa had lost an outstanding individual.“He was a meticulous photographer and his work will live on forever as a monument to the people’s resilience and fortitude in the face of colonial oppression and apartheid,” he said.In a tribute issued by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory on Monday morning, spokesperson Sello Hatang reflected on Kumalo’s career, which began in earnest in 1951 and mirrored the rise of Mandela’s own political career.“He was one of South Africa’s most eminent photographers and one who closely documented the life of Nelson Mandela both before and after his imprisonment”, Hatang said.“Bra Alf photographed many of the historic events in which Mandela played a key role, including the Treason and Rivonia trials.”From the time Mandela was sentenced in 1962 to five years in jail and then to life in 1964, he added, Kumalo continued to photograph the struggle against apartheid and, importantly, to visually record the life of Mandela’s family.Former ambassador to the UN Dumisani Kumalo, a cousin of the late photographer, told The Times newspaper that he had not been well for a while.“We lost a hero. We lost a great man and a brother and a pillar in our family,” said Kumalo.Six decades of photographyKumalo is credited with some of the country’s most captivating photography that captured numerous historic events from as early on as the 1950s.It was after he freelanced for Bantu World newspaper – which later became known as The World – and worked for Golden City Post that he began to rise to prominence, and especially during his tenure at Drum magazine in the 1960s.Kumalo entered and won his first photographic competition in 1963, and the announcement reached him while he was in London covering a Mohammad Ali fight.He had entered under his African names Mangaliso Dukuza, because he wanted the judging to be impartial and not influenced by his already-flourishing reputation.Other momentous events captured by Kumalo include the infamous student uprising of 1976, the release of Mandela from prison in 1990, negotiations at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa – often referred to in local media as the ‘Codesa talks’ – and the former president’s inauguration as South Africa’s first black head of state in 1994.A solo exhibition of his life’s work took place at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2004.In the same year Kumalo received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for his contribution to documentary photography and journalism in the country. The award is presented by the president in recognition of South Africans who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism or sport.His work has appeared on international publications including Britain’s Observer, the New York Times and the New York Post and Ireland’s Sunday Independent.Passing on his skillsIn 2002 Kumalo opened the doors to a school of photography, which he operated from what used to be his house in Diepkloof, for the benefit of previously disadvantaged youngsters who aspire to follow in his footsteps. There is also a museum with his works on the premises, where Jabu Perreira works as a full-time curator.“Personally I think his portraits are the best,” he told our journalist. “The good thing about Alf’s work during the apartheid era is that his talent came from inside and his subjects felt relaxed with him behind the lens.”Because of a lack of funds, the school has not been able to enrol new students for several years. It was initially funded by a grant from Movimondo, an Italian NGO involved in the field of photography.“Bra Alf would be invited to events as a VIP, but he would end up taking photos and engaging with the masses instead,” said Perreira.Kumalo’s vision for the museum, which is currently being renovated, was to create an artistic space for people who are in the arts.“We want to host film screenings, exhibitions and seminars on photography to attract an audience to the museum,” said Perreira.last_img read more

Protests ‘point to service delivery successes’

first_img14 February 2014 The recent upsurge in service delivery protests in South Africa had as much to do with the country’s service delivery successes as with its failures, President Jacob Zuma told Parliament on Thursday. Delivering his State of the Nation address in Cape Town, Zuma said the dominant narrative in the case of the protests “has been to attribute them to alleged failures of government. However, the protests are not simply the result of ‘failures’ of government but also of the success in delivering basic services”. When 95% of the country’s households had access to water, he said, the 5% who still need to be provided for felt they could not wait a moment longer. “Success is also the breeding ground of rising expectations.” Zuma expressed concern with the manifestation of violence in some of the protests taking place in the country. “Also worrying is what appears to be premeditated violence, as is the case with the use of petrol bombs and other weapons during protests.” He said the governmented supports the right of citizens to express themselves. “The right to protest, peacefully and unarmed, is enshrined in the Constitution.” However, when protests threatened lives and property and destroyed valuable infrastructure intended to serve the community, they undermined the very democracy that upheld the right to protest.Loss of life during protests President Zuma said any loss of life at the hands of the police in the course of dealing with protests could not be overlooked or condoned. “Loss of life is not a small matter. We need to know what happened, why it happened. Any wrongdoing must be dealt with and corrective action must be taken. Police must act within the ambit of the law at all times.” At the same time, he said: “As we hold the police to account, we should be careful not to end up delegitimising them and glorify anarchy in our society.” Zuma said while the culture of violence originated from the country’s apartheid past, South African leaders had to reflect on what they were doing or failing to do to root out the violence that surfaced during protests. Acts of violence, intimidation and destruction of property were criminal offences, and the police would arrest and prosecute those who commited such acts.Interventions in place In Gauteng province, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has established a high-level task team to probe the violent service delivery protests. Earlier this week, North West Premier Thandi Modise placed the embattled Madibeng municipality under administration following several service delivery protests in Mothotlung, Majakaneng and Hebron. To address issues of service delivery, from 2011, teams from the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation have visited areas around the country to assess and promote service delivery. The government has also been clear that South Africans themselves should participate actively in local decision-making and interact with the government through the available structures in order to fast-track service delivery.Achievements in service delivery Zuma said the government had made remarkable achievements in increasing access to services such as water, sanitation and electricity over the past 20 years. As part of this, the government had begun an intensive programme to eliminate the bucket sewage system countrywide. “Phase one of the programme will eradicate buckets in formalised townships of the Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. Phase two will eradicate buckets in informal settlements in all provinces.” Regarding housing, Zuma said the next administration would focus on promoting better-located mixed-income housing projects. “In housing, about three-million housing units and more than 855 000 serviced sites were delivered since 1994. Nearly 500 informal settlements have been replaced with quality housing and basic services over the past five years.” Some communities still did not have these services, especially in informal settlements and rural areas, he said. However, all spheres of government were working to ensure the provision of these services, especially in the 23 municipalities identified as having the greatest number of backlogs. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Two Congress leaders among three beaten up on suspicion of being child-lifters in MP

first_imgThe Madhya Pradesh Police have arrested five persons on the charge of thrashing three persons, including two local Congress leaders, on July 26 night on the suspicion of being child-lifters. Armed with lathis, 20 residents of Nawal Singhana village, 35 km from Betul town, blocked a road towards Shahpur, waiting for a vehicle approaching from the Chicholi police station area, said Karthikeyan K., Betul Superintendent of Police. “They mistook its three occupants for child-lifters and started attacking them. But, when they realised they were local leaders, they ran away,” he said. Betul district Congress general secretary Dharmendra Shukla, party leader Dharmu Singh Lanjiwar and tribal leader Lalit Baraskar suffered minor injuries, while their vehicle was damaged.Later, they filed a complaint in the Shahpur police station, on which the police registered a case under sections 147 [Punishment for rioting] and 323 [Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt] of the Indian Penal Code. Five persons are yet to be arrested. The police suspect a viral video of a child-lifter at the Itarsi railway station, 90 km from Betul, to be the trigger. “The video is doing rounds in Betul, Harda and Hoshangabad districts. Although the immediate trigger of the incident is not yet known, it occurred after the video became viral,” said Mr. Karthikeyan. To arrest the growing trend of attacking persons on the suspicion of being child-lifters, the Betul police has begun organising jansamvad programmes with residents of five  villages at a time. “We tell them to use the dial-100 facility in case they are suspicious of anyone and not take the law in their own hands. Now, we have started getting more calls, especially between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m..,” said Mr. Karthikeyan. Responding to a call, a dial-100 vehicle visits the spot to ascertain whether the person in question is a child-lifter or not. “Though it may increasing our workload, it is an effective way to control the situation,”he said. The Shahpur police station received 10-15 calls relating to child-lifters every day, the most in the district, he added.last_img read more

Northants openers hammer Indian bolwers, reach 198/0 at tea

first_imgZaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs.Frontline Indian bowlers suffered a humiliating hammering at the hands of Northamptonshire openers as the home side racked up 198 for no loss by tea on the final day of the two-day warm-up game on Saturday.Right-handed Mal Loye (97) and left-handed Niall O’ Brien (85) were not separated at the tea break as the visitors went through their motions in the field.Northamptonshire trail by 154 runs with 10 wickets intact in their first innings. India had made 352 all out in their first innings.Zaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs before he parked himself in the pavilion and did not come out thereafter at all. By the looks, things do not appear too bright for the left-arm seamer ahead of the third Test between India and England at Edgbaston starting on April 10.Loye and Brien batted with authority and imposed themselves on the Indian bowlers even though leg-spinner Amit Mishra would feel that the umpire at his end was particularly hard on a couple of his genuine appeals.Pacers S Sreesanth and Munaf Patel were treated without respect by the Northants openers for 51 runs in their 10 overs each while Mishra conceded 44 runs from 17 overs. Part-timer Suresh Raina was punished for 21 runs from his five overs.As the end of post-lunch session drew nearer, Indians had begun to bowl no-balls and conceding byes off the errant bowling.Northamptonshire’s top order did not have a particularly good time at the crease this season so this success of their openers would particularly rankle the visitors.advertisement- With PTI inputslast_img read more