Brand South Africa reflects on the country’s governance

first_imgJohannesburg, 29 November 2013 – Brand South Africa today hosted a special research seminar reflecting on the results of the 2013 Mo Ibrahim Index with a specific focus the South African governance. Participants included ambassadors and Consul Generals from other African countries resident in South Africa, academics, and representatives of the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA).Participants deliberated on the presentation by Brand South Africa’s Dr Petrus de Kock focusing on the key findings and lessons for South Africa in light of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG).The 2013 study saw South Africa retaining its 5th position in the overall rankings while ranking top of the 52 states in Public Management. The Index looks at 94 indicatorsFor South Africa, the most notable improvements in this year’s index are in the category of Sustainable Economic Opportunity where the country’s overall rank went from 8th in 2012 to 5th in 2013.Improvements in the sub-indicators of this category include: Business Environment (6 to 5 in 2013), Infrastructure (12 to 7 in 2013), and the Rural Sector (22 to 21 in 2013)“The importance of governance in the 21st century can never be underestimated. In the past decade African economies have grown at rates more than 5%. This brings about social change which in turn call on governments to implement more effective governance systems to serve the needs of changing economies and societies,” said Dr De Kock.He further said, “If we look at South Africa’s demographic profile, we are quite unique in the Africa continent in that approximately 60% of our population is urbanized. This implies that governance systems at a local level should be geared to serve the needs of increasing the numbers of people living in the urban areas. However, this also means that the country will have to be responsive to the governance needs of the 40% rural citizens and this is precisely because South Africa’s ranking in the rural sector still has a lot of room for improvement,” concluded De Kock.Brand South Africa has welcomed the IIAG findings and believes that over and above the peer review mechanisms already in place in Africa, independent studies such as these will boost the positive trajectory of the continent as a destination for inward flows of investment and tourism.About the 2013 Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governancehttp://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/downloads/2013/2013-IIAG-summary-report.pdfAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.Follow Brand South [email protected]_SA (https://twitter.com/Brand_SA)Tell us how you Play Your Parthttp://www.playyourpart.co.za/[email protected]#DoBestFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Arahna SinghBrand South Africa CommunicationsTel: +27 11 712 5061 Mobile: +27 (0) 82 491 2332Email: [email protected]:  www.brandsouthafrica.comEndslast_img read more

An Overview of Whole-Home Retrofit Incentives

first_imgThe Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, has long been recognized as one of the most helpful planning tools for homeowners, remodelers, and builders contemplating residential retrofits.But the number and scale of programs listed by DSIRE have grown significantly since 1995, when the Department of Energy-funded service was created by the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. To help put the DSIRE’s offerings in perspective, the National Home Performance Council, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group for whole-home retrofit initiatives, set out to present an overview of the “universe” of programs in the database.By the time NHPC completed its study, in May 2010, it had identified 126 programs that fit the NHPC’s criteria, which include a “whole-home approach to energy conservation by providing access to a whole-house audit, and support for a number of energy efficiency measures including insulation and weather-sealing.” NHPC then parsed the information into several descriptive categories: geographic distribution of programs; program sponsors; program type; type of audit used; auditor qualifications; use of third-party auditors (vs. auditor-contractors); audit costs (free, subsidized or market-rate); available rebate or other incentives; financing options; and on-bill financing options.A step toward discovering what worksNHPC, which released the results of its study in December, does offer some comparative analysis of different approaches to whole-house retrofit enterprise, but also points out it essentially is presenting broad, baseline information upon which more-intensive studies and in-depth analyses of “best practices” can be conducted.The study leaders divided the U.S. into five regions – Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, the Rocky Mountain area, and Pacific West.Among the findings in the region-by-region breakdown: Eight Rocky Mountain states have the smallest number of programs – 12, or 9.5% of the total — although 7 of the 12 were based in Colorado. It also turns out that 14 states in the South have the largest number of programs – 39, or 31% of total programs – reflecting the fact that several states (notably Florida, Texas, Kentucky, and North Carolina) have a large number of utility-sponsored programs, the study notes.The 11 states in the study’s Northeast region have 30 programs, or 24% of the total, many of which also were utility-sponsored programs with state-level coordination. The 12 states in the study’s Midwest region have 24 programs, or 19% of the total, while the five states in the Pacific West region have 21 programs, almost 17% of the total.last_img read more

Cignal, Air Force set up men’s finals duel in PVL

first_imgWhat ‘missteps’? Bryan Bagunas reached higher altitude for Air Force as he unleashes 25 points on the Troopers while Fauzi Ismail and Kim Malabunga added a combined 30 points for the Air Spikers. Lemuel Arbasto had 19 points to lead the Troopers who will now face Sta. Elena for the bronze. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe HD Spikers, meanwhile, had a slightly quicker route to the finals ending the Wrecking Balls in four sets, 27-25, 24-26, 25-16, 26-24. Lorenzo Capate and Peter Torres had a dozen points apiece to lead Cignal while Ysay Marasigan and Edmar Bonono had 11 and 10 points, respectively. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire FILE – Air Force vs Cignal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOPhilippine Air Force and Cignal will duke it out to see who will become the best men’s volleyball club in the country as the two teams meet for the championship of the Premier Volleyball League. The Air Spikers came from behind and subdued Armed Forces compatriot Philippine Army in five sets, 24-26, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-9, in the semifinals Thursday at Philsports Arena. ADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Lonzo Ball works out for Lakers, would love to be no. 2 pick Edward Camposano had 19 points to lead the Wrecking Balls. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games View commentslast_img read more

Bike, car lovers rejoice at Speed Autocar Performance Show 2006

first_imgPOWERPACKED: Chevrolet’s ‘concept’ SRV modelCall it an accelerating need for speed or the Dhoom phenomenon, fast bikes and faster cars are taking over Indian roads. Pace junkies are gunning for more bang for their buck and constantly hunting for ways to pump up their vehicle’s velocity.And the auto industry and,POWERPACKED: Chevrolet’s ‘concept’ SRV modelCall it an accelerating need for speed or the Dhoom phenomenon, fast bikes and faster cars are taking over Indian roads. Pace junkies are gunning for more bang for their buck and constantly hunting for ways to pump up their vehicle’s velocity.And the auto industry and specialists are gearing to whet this craving for speed. So fast cars get faster and smarter with technical and body-work modifications. As ace automobile designer Dilip Chhabaria says, “It is an international trend and Indian customers can’t be far behind. It’s a clear direction that market forces are moving in.”PACE ATTACK: Gautum Singhania’s Lotus EliseIn a reflection of this frenzy, the fastest bikes, cars, and the latest-in-performance accessories and die-hard pace junkies came together in a unique show, Speed Autocar Performance Show 2006 held in Mumbai from November 23 to 26. The fact that the event has grown nearly twice in size since its inception last year is proof that speedometers across the country are ticking.”There is definitely an increase in performance culture in the country. Today, cars are a status symbol. And with better cars and smoother roads being available we will only see a rise in this culture,” says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India. Never-seen before speedsters like the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, Audi Q7, Range Rover Sports, BMW 740Li, Pininfarina-styled Ferrari and the Mugen-tuned Honda were on display at the event.General Motors India flexed its muscles with a ‘concept’ Chevrolet SRV model touted as “India’s first sportback car” valued at Rs 7 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). “It is a supercharged 150 bhp after-market option which we will offer the performanceoriented customer through the accessories route,” said Rajeev Agrawal, manager, National Product Planning, General Motors India. And while this concept model may still not be on sale, the average Aveo can now be fitted with a body kit, starting at Rs 25,000.advertisementFAST AND FURIOUSLamborghini Gallardo Spyder: With a top speed of 315 km, this mean four-wheel drive machine features the Lamborghini V10 engine.Price: Rs: 2.6 crore (approximately)Range Rover Sport: This 2.7 litre V6 diesel is their latest SUV model.Price: Rs 65 lakh upwards (ex-showroom)Audi Q7: This 3-litre TDI V8 diesel SUV has the distinct Audi stamp.Price: Rs 62 lakh upwards (ex-showroom)BMW 740i: This power car with V8 400 cc 303 horsepower engine is absolute luxury.Price: Rs 81 lakh (ex-showroom)The Indian contingent too pulled out all stops. Tata Motors’ Indica Silhouette, a 3.5 litre V6 330 PS formula ‘concept’ car, capable of doing 0-100 km in 4.5 seconds with top speed of 270 kmph, attracted quite a few flashbulbs.J. Anand, managing director, Jayem Automotives, which works with Tata Motors on performance derivatives, says, “The concept car was developed to show the performance capabilities of the Indica. The Silhouette is a sportier version of the more practical Indica. Everything in it is indigenous, so it is great value-for-money.”Mahindra too showcased customised vehicles built on the Scorpio and Bolero platforms while Bajaj launched its 220 dtsi Pulsar and Apollo unveiled its W-speed rated directional tyre, Aspire, at the event.So what if you don’t own a speedster like the Lamborghini or Ferrari, you can soup up your Honda or Skoda and get your self a mean machine. Niche manufacturers like Chhabaria have seen markets grow and car manufacturers are following suit.Mugen powered performance kits for the Honda Civic, City and Accord V6 are available with Linkway Honda (the high performance kit for the Honda City costs approximately Rs 3,65,486). Additionally, you can buy accessories for Skoda’s Octavia, Laura and Superb by German brand Milotec at Trends, a DC Design company with the Laura body kit starting at Rs 18,800.MEAN MACHINE: Lamborghini Gallardo SpyderSpeed enthusiasts and tweaking experts are just getting started. Karanraj Shah of KS Motorsport has seen the business speed up since he started out nearly five years ago. “Earlier, we used to import five filters and had to convince people to get them installed. Now we bring in a container full and the customers are more aware,” he says.Modifications start at Rs 3,000 and go up to Rs 4-5 lakh. Shah’s younger clientele prefers quicker modifications. “Day jobs like simple filters, ignition units that increase spark discharge, fuel management systems and exhausts are very popular,” says Shah. Other changes include adding turbo chargers, nitrous oxide system, replacing Indian engines with Japanese engines etc.VROOM FACTOR: Pininfarina-styled FerrariMineel Chitroda, who runs MKraft Design, a successful business in body kits, concept vehicle interiors and customized paint job with brother Moneet, provides design solutions to clients who want to modify the look of their car.”The market is rapidly growing even in terms of design,” says Moneet, adding that clients are ready to shell out over Rs 2 lakh to give their cars a new look. Even as engines are revved up and body work waxed, car lovers are ready to vroom off in style, secure in the knowledge that potholed roads or not, speed is the king.advertisementlast_img read more