5 February 2009International power and automation technology group ABB has won an order worth US$53-million (about R528-million) from South African electricity company Eskom to strengthen its transmission network in the Western Cape province.The installations, which form part of an initiative to increase power capacity in Cape Town and its surrounding areas, will allow Eskom more flexibility and reduce its reliance on the Koeberg nuclear power station.ABB will design, manufacture, install and commission six 765-kilovolt capacitor banks at the Alpha, Beta, Mercury and Perseus substations, with the compensators used in the project being from a family of technologies known as flexible alternating current transmission systems (Facts).“ABB’s Facts technologies allow more power to be delivered more efficiently using existing infrastructure,” ABB Power Systems head Peter Leupp said in a statement this week.“This reduces the need to build additional transmission lines, lowering environmental impact and minimising cost.”Advanced control and protectionThe project includes ABB’s Mach2 technology, which is an advanced control and protection system, and the most widely applied platform for high voltage direct current and Facts solutions, bringing the benefit of fast, flexible, real-time control.ABB is a pioneer in Facts technologies, with the largest installed base in the world. Eskom has awarded ABB a number of contracts in recent years, including a $90-million order to upgrade control systems and instrumentation at the Matla power plant in north-eastern South Africa.This latest order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2008, and is expected to be complete by 2010.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
South Africa’s Orange River is the longestin South Africa, flowing west for some 2 200 km. Along the way it provides hydroelectric power and water for irrigation.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library). South Africa’s major and minor rivers have been mapped and priority areas forconservation have been identified.(Image: CSIR) MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Jeanne Nel NFEPA project co-leader RELATED ARTICLES • SA wine farm invests in biodiversity • New solutions for water conservation • Nedbank invests in water project • Rural community goes greenEmily van RijswijckProtection of South Africa’s renowned freshwater biodiversity has received a boost with the release of groundbreaking scientific data and supporting geo-informatics maps which identify priority areas for conservation.It is the first time that such a tool – which allows freshwater ecosystem and biodiversity goals to become part of the planning and decision-making processes – is available.The National Freshwater Ecosystems Priority Areas (NFEPA) project took three years to complete, with the help of more than 100 specialists in the field.Its aim is to enable better overall and sustainable management of these sensitive, yet economically important areas.The project was a collaboration between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); the South African National Biodiversity Institute; the Water Research Commission; national Departments of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs; the Worldwide Fund for Nature; the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity; and the South African National Parks authority.The available information includes spatial maps with data and metadata, an implementation manual and guidelines.Project co-leader Dr Jeanne Nel, the principal scientist of the biodiversity and ecosystems services at the CSIR, says it should help key decision makers, whose planning will impact on these systems, “to keep these areas in mind when making critical decisions”.The information is also an invaluable research tool to academics and scientists. Valuable water management toolThe NFEPA maps and supporting information is freely available online and is expected to be an excellent water management tool. The maps provide guidance on how many and which rivers, wetlands and estuaries should remain in a natural or near natural condition to support the water resource protection goals of the National Water Act of 1998.Nel says the guidelines do not advise against development, but that they are rather aimed at bringing about development that supports sustainability of the natural environment. The NFEPA project stresses that the health of ecological systems and associated natural capital should underpin social and economic development.The study found that only 18% of South Africa’s water supply areas are formally protected.All inland water bodies, whether fresh or saline, are defined as freshwater systems. This includes rivers, tributaries, lakes, estuaries and wetlands. South Africa’s diverse freshwater ecosystem ranges from sub-tropical areas such as the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, to the semi-arid interior, and the temperate rivers running through the Western Cape fynbos region.The Cape Floral Kingdom is part of this fynbos biome and is so unique in terms of size and number of species found just here, that it was declared a biodiversity hotspot by the UN Environmental Programme, and later received Natural World Heritage Site status. Healthy tributariesThe NFEPA study divided the country into different ecosystems and produced some surprising findings. For example, it revealed that 30% of South Africa’s smaller rivers remain remarkably healthy.Nel believes the findings of the completed study will be critical in ensuring that these ecosystems remain in good shape, because they provide “a flushing potential” for larger ecosystems.She adds: “Our tributaries are in good health and should be seen as critical buffer zones which support the health of our working rivers. They hold great conservation potential.” But not surprisingly, and matching the global trend, over half of the country’s other freshwater systems are threatened. An alarming 57% of rivers are threatened while the figure for wetlands stands at 65 %.A concerning statistic is that of South Africa’s coastal estuaries which shows an 82 % decline. As a unique ecosystem on its own, the highveld region in the country’s north-eastern interior was highlighted as one that was particularly threatened.The study also highlights the importance of conserving the country’s 19 remaining free-flowing rivers. Free-flowing rivers contain no dams and flow undisturbed from their source to the confluence with a larger river or the sea.The report notes that these rivers should receive top priority to retain their free-flowing character as this is a rare feature in the South African landscape and should be seen as part of our natural heritage.Multi-faceted approachThere are several private-public partnership rehabilitation programmes underway to halt decline in various biospheres. Through the Working for Wetlands programme, over 800 of South Africa’s more than 114 000 wetlands have already been rehabilitated since the programme was started 10 years ago. The national Working for Water programme has been clearing invading alien plants since 1995. The programme grew from 20 projects in 1996 to over 300 projects currently.The Thicket Restoration programme is restoring degraded thicket at various areas in the Eastern Cape province, including parts of the Baviaanskloof Mega-reserve. Besides providing additional job creation potential to poor communities in the area, it is estimated that the restoration of degraded land can sequester up to 411 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per hectare.
15 October 2014South Africa is not a corrupt country, but like other nations, it is a country that is fighting the scourge of corruption and other crimes that are a threat to the rule of law, according to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.Speaking at the 35th International Crime Stoppers Conference on Tuesday, 14 October, Madonsela said she is often asked whether South Africa is a corrupt country.“My response is always: No, we are certainly not a corrupt country. Like many other nations, we are a country that has a problem of corruption. I must add that we are a country that is built to fight and is resolutely fighting corruption and other crimes and threats to the rule of law,’ she said in her speech delivered to delegates attending the conference which runs from 12 to 15 October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.South Africa ranks fourth after Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana in terms of the 2014 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance which provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in 52 African countries, according to Madonsela. “This is good and we should build on it, going forward,’ she said, adding that South Africa’s success in this area is a result of a multi-pronged approach to promoting good governance, including combatting corruption.“We have a sound constitutional and legal framework with a complimentary arsenal of anti-corruption safeguards that we have established since the dawn of our 20-year-old democracy.’South Africa’s Constitution lays the foundation for good governance, and lays out the dos and don’ts for those entrusted with public power, Madonsela said. “Constitutional imperatives include open democracy, public accountability, the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.’Regarding legislation, Madonsela said South Africa has the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act, the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, the Financial Intelligence Centre Act and the Public Protector Act, all helping curtail transgressions in the country.Besides the Public Protector, there are other “watchdogs’ like the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also known as the Hawks), the Independent Police Investigation Directorate, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Special Investigating Unit, and the Anti-corruption Coordinating Committee under the Department of Public Service and Administration, among others.“We also have independent constitutional institutions with administrative oversight powers, which include the Public Protector, the Auditor-General and the Independent Electoral Commission and the Public Service Commission. Human Rights bodies such as the South African Human Rights Commission also play a role in fostering integrity by limiting discretion of decision-makers through enforcing human rights,’ said Madonsela.On the issue of corruption per se, Madonsela said this menace is a societal than rather than governmental problem. “I’m sure that it is our common belief that if there was no corrupt individual in society, there would be none in the public sector. There would also be no corruption in the private sector,’ she said.South Africa’s fourth position on the 2014 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance is commendable, but the country can improve on this, according to Madonsela. She said South Africans needs take the following steps:Respect the Constitution and the rule of law, with the understanding that not a single one of us is above the law.Ensure that no one, especially those exercising public power and control over state resources, escapes scrutiny and accountability.Shun and deal with retail or small acts of corruption as it fosters a culture of acceptance of wrong. We need to shun corruption wherever it surfaces.Report corruption.Form a united front against corruptionProtect whistle blowers since they are a critical part of the solution.Madonsela said to succeed against crime all cracks must be closed and one of those cracks is impunity. “If criminals know they can play the system to evade accountability, more will do the same, and before we realize what’s happening the rule of law will be undermined,’ she said.SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rain moves across Ohio today. The we can see a few moderate rains and a thunderstorm or two, but the heaviest action rained itself out off to our west in Indiana going back into last night. Rain totals today will be from .25″-1″. Rain continues Friday and Saturday with a second wave of action coming through. That also has the potential for .25”-1” with 80% coverage. We are dry For Sunday, and we look to be lucky enough to keep that dry pattern through the first half of Monday. Rains return Monday afternoon and last through Tuesday. We can see this turn into a significant rain maker, with a strong low lifting northeast across the state. In fact, we are raising the upper end of our rain totals again today, looking at half to 2-inch potential out of the event. Some models are stronger than others with the storm, but the simple fact is that the low looks impressive coming out of the central plains over the weekend, and it will be moving into a part of the country with a good, moist atmospheric profile…so the seeds will be there. Rain coverage will be over 80% of the state. The map at right shows rain potential over the next 7 days. Dry conditions will follow that system into the state for 5 days, from Wednesday through Sunday. In the extended period, we can see some scattered showers bringing .4” or less next Sunday night the 26th into Monday the 27th. Then a stronger front hits at the end of the moth, with rain and thunderstorms for the 30th and 31st. That front can trigger half to 1.5” of new precipitation. Temperatures for the coming period still look to be near normal. The rains will slow maturity or at least dry down a bit between now and the end of the month.
Geocaching GeoTours are popping up around the world, from a GeoTour of 100 State Parks in the Washington State Park Centennial GeoTour to the Thing Sites GeoTour that explores ancient meeting sites through Northern Europe.GeoTours are specifically designed to turn your next vacation, day trip or geocaching expedition into an extraordinary adventure. Locals in each destination pick out the best places to hide new geocaches, including historic sites, parks, cities and more. Some GeoTours showcase special themes, like the Taking Flight GeoTour, which reveals the wild spaces and bird life of Florida, or the Cateran Trail GeoTour, which takes you along the trail of ancient cattle thieves in the Highlands of Scotland.There are more than two dozen GeoTours online right now and more will deliver geocaching adventures near you soon, including new GeoTours launching in Bermuda and the Mediterranean. Visit the GeoTours page and start planning your next trip today.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint Related
A checklist on where to eat and what to shop for. Restaurant Subs and SandwichesBuilding a taste for the American subs and sandwiches, food connoisseurs in this city are making way for a refreshing alteration of subs offered at Quiznos. They go a step further with rich, lip-smacking meats, sauces,A checklist on where to eat and what to shop for.RestaurantSubs and SandwichesBuilding a taste for the American subs and sandwiches, food connoisseurs in this city are making way for a refreshing alteration of subs offered at Quiznos. They go a step further with rich, lip-smacking meats, sauces and a variety of cheese on their menu. Warm and toasted subs are their USP. They claim that each variety of bread is baked every three hours. One can choose from international favourites like tuna melt, Italian veggie and chipotle chicken. For a desi tweak, you can choose from veggie soya chipotle or lamb shikampuri (mutton kebabs, cheese lettuce, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and mint sauce).Meal for two: Rs 500.At: 123/124, Ground Floor, Ispahani Centre, Nungambakkam.Tel: 30180007.EventsFaces of expressionThe Vinnyasa Premier art gallery plays host to a variety of artists this month. On display are paintings by M. Suriyamoorthy and a range of striking sculptures. Suriyamoorthy’s paintings are a vivacious portrayal of the traditional south Indian culture. Adding to them is a range of sculptures that depict the diversity in art and expression.From: October 13-20.At: 21/11, CIT Colony, 1st Main Road, Mylapore.Tel: 24982515.Musical momentsCatch the famous Carnatic vocalist, Gayathri Girish, performing her enchanting numbers at the Krishna Gana Sabha. The concert is happening as part of the Gokulashtaami series and includes a number of kritis on the goddess Shakti as it coincides with Navarathri.From: October 16.At: Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, 20, Maharajapuram Santha -na Salai, T Nagar.Tel: 28140806.Gastronomic affairEnjoy an exotic spread of cuisines at Azulia, the Mediterranean restaurant in Hotel GRT Grand. With a unique weekend lunch menu, the restaurant takes the food connoisseur on a gastronomic tour of world cuisines. You can either choose from the set menu or customise it to your taste.Cost: Rs 1,400 (adults); Rs 1,000 (children) plus taxes.At: 120, GRT Grand, Sri Thyagaraya Road, T Nagar.Tel: 28150500.GadgetsadvertisementASUS S & F SeriesThe new Asus S Series Ultrabooks, S56CA-XX030R and S56CA-XX056R, are aimed at the budget-conscious buyer. With options of Intel 2nd and 3rd generation iCore processors, the S series Ultrabooks will have a 15.6-inch HD LED Backlight Glare display and a hybrid SSH+HDD storage to ensure instant resume. They also sport a brushed aluminum hairline texture and have a 2.4 kg body weight.Price: Rs 35,999 onwards.Portonics 3D Digital PedometerFor heath-conscious users, Portronics has come up with a digital pedometer that will keep track of your daily step count. Touted as being highly accurate, the device allows users to key in details such as weight and stride distance. The pedometer can count upto 1 million steps with a seven-day memory and includes a built-in clock, calendar and sports timer.Price: Rs 999.Gogear Soundot MP3 PlayerRefreshing its portable music player lineup, Philips has introduced a good looking MP3-player called SoundDot. The music player has an inbuilt clip for convenient and hands free use. It also has a Fastcharge feature where a quick sixminute charge powers up the music player to last for 60 minutes.Price: Rs 1,599.Sony DSC-RX 100Using the imaging features of Sony’s Alpha range of A-mount and E-mount camera families, the DSC-RX100 promises impressive picture quality and comfortable control options in a pocket-sized camera. It is also the world’s first 1.0-type Exmor CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.2 effective megapixels. The sensor area is around four times larger than the 1/2.3-type imager in regular point-and-shoot cameras and hence captures more light for vivid and detailed images.Price: Rs 34,990.Available at Croma store, AA-5, Khanna Building, 2nd Avenue, AA Block, Anna Nagar, Chennai; Reliance Digital, 34, W Block, 3rd Avenue, Opp. Kandaswamy Naidu College, Anna Nagar East, Chennai; Sony Center, Gemini Flyover, Gopalapuram, Chennai.Gadget reviews by India Today G&G www.gadgetsngizmos.in
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Andreas Pereira now feels settled at Man Utdby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira says he now feels settled at Old Trafford.Loan spells in Spain with Granada and Valencia helped Pereira’s development and in the summer he signed a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2023.He said: “I looked up to a lot of players, but especially David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo . I also admired Kaka. Three out of the four were United – but I love United. “I have been here so long now that it’s like my house. I love Manchester – even the rainy weather – and I want to stay here for many years.“But to do that, I know we have to have a winning team. I will never accept losing games. I am used to winning because this is Manchester United.“When I came through here, it was about winning things, about winning trophies and we’re doing all we can to get close to that again.”I am not going to lie – if you are a United player, then you have to play everything to win.“That’s the aim we all have – to get back there, to get back to the top and put the club where it belongs.“We are all working hard on that.”
Man Utd boss Solskjaer confident going to Newcastleby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is optimistic they can win at Newcastle and end their long wait for an away win stretching back to Paris Saint-Germain in March.However, he knows there will be no favours from his former teammate Steve Bruce who is already under pressure after a difficult start at Newcastle.”I do feel it’s going to come,” said the United boss. “There’s no point me talking about it. I’ll get your questions until we do win. If we don’t we’ll get this on Sunday as well.”We are a team that can be set up well to play away from home. Sometimes you can play on the counter. We didn’t really get the counter-attacks as we wanted to (against Alkmaar).”As managers we don’t want to give anyone any favours when we play each other. Brucey’s going to set up a team to win, and I’m going to set up a team to try to win. It’s a great stadium to play at. We’re looking forward to the game, and hopefully we’ve got many players fresh for Sunday.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Dennis Ward Murray OliverAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG – Manitoba’s child-welfare system is in crisis and is a national disgrace for its high apprehension rates, according to critics.Cora Morgan, who is the First Nations children’s advocate, said kids are being taken from their families without proper assessments.She said some mothers have committed suicide out of despair.“We’ve learned of mothers committing suicide because they’re so desperate to get their children back,” said Morgan. “We’ve learned of a young girl who committed suicide while in care. We’ve had the opportunity to witness newborn babies apprehended at the hospital,” she said.Morgan added at least one child-welfare agency has barred her from advocating on behalf of a family.“If there’s such transparency, there’s so much legitimacy to apprehending all these children then why is it you’re not allowing us to be at the table with these families?” Morgan said.Meanwhile, provincial opposition critic Ian Wishart said Manitoba has become a national disgrace with nearly 11,000 kids in care — 90 per cent of them Aboriginal children.“We are by far the worst jurisdiction in Canada and some people will honestly tell you probably the worst jurisdiction in the world,” said Wishart.Manitoba’s Minister of Family Services Kerri Irvin-Ross said changes are being made to the system, but denies children are being placed at undue risk.Irvin-Ross said each particular child welfare agency decides for itself who should be permitted to advise on children in care.And she insists that the NDP government bases its decisions upon concerns for confidentiality and, especially, child safety.“We will never, ever, ever apologize for putting children first,” said Irvin-Rossdward@email@example.com— with files from The Canadian Press
NEW ORLEANS — The company that has failed to end a 14-year-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is suing to challenge a Coast Guard official’s order to design and install a new containment system to capture and remove the crude before it forms slicks that often stretch for miles.A federal lawsuit that Taylor Energy Co. filed Thursday in New Orleans asks the court to throw out Coast Guard Capt. Kristi Luttrell’s Oct. 23 administrative order.The suit claims the Coast Guard’s actions ignored “well-verified scientific conclusions” and were taken in response to “adverse publicity.”Government lawyers recently disclosed a new estimate that approximately 10,500 to 29,400 gallons (39,747 to 111,291 litres) of oil is leaking daily from the site where a Taylor Energy-owned platform toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.The Associated Press