Commercial farming ‘key to land reform’

first_img14 January 2011The establishment of successful black commercial farmers was key to land reform in South Africa, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told black and white commercial farmers during a visit to a farm in the Free State province.Farmers such as Pitso Sekhoto, owner of the farm Makolobane Farmers Enterprise, had shown that land reform did work and that black farmers could become successful commercial farmers, Joemat-Pettersson said.The farm in Senekal supplies milk to Woolworths retail stores nationally and also apples to fresh produce markets in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg.Sekhoto employs 34 farm-workers who own a 28 percent shareholding of his farm. During the apple harvest, the farm creates employment by hiring 66 additional workers for a three-month period from January to March.During her visit, Joemat-Pettersson tried her hand at apple harvesting. After placing a few apples in a bag around her shoulder while standing on a ladder, while photographers clicked away, she asked: “How many apples does the man want in the bag?”“Hy moet vol! (It must be full),” a choir of farmers answered almost simultaneously.Joemat-Pettersson commended Sekhoto for giving workers shares in his farming enterprise without approaching the government for “equity money”.“If a black commercial farmer can give 28 percent shares to workers and all farmers do that, we would go far in the country.”The minister also commended Sekhoto’s neighbours and the Senekal community for “being one”.“He is a successful farmer. You do not see him as a black farmer.”Senekal farmer Marius de Jaeger described Joemat-Pettersson’s visit as “informative” and a high point for the region.“She shows interest in farming, and it seems not to be another case of being heard but not seen for farmers.”De Jaeger said farmers also had to make a living, and it seemed that the government realised that there had to be people producing food.“People must be kept on farms; I can do nothing else,” he said, adding that the positive air of the minister’s visit towards agriculture was encouraging.Another local farmer, Jess de Klerk, said the minister’s visit was encouraging, especially her calls for white and black farmers to work together.De Klerk said it was good that the government wanted to stop using the term “emergent farmers” and to talk instead about only farmers.“Pitso is ‘n boer in ons gemeenskap (Pitso is a farmer in our community)”, he said, adding that Sekhoto was an example, not just on the farm, but also in the way he got involved in the community.Sapalast_img read more

Dube solar project in time for COP17

first_imgWhen complete, the rooftop solar systemwill be the biggest in Africa.(Image: Dube TradePort)MEDIA CONTACTS • Vincent ZwaneDube TradePort marketing and PR+27 32 814 0000Emily van RijswijckThe first phase of a massive rooftop solar energy project is currently underway in Durban. KwaZulu-Natal. The project was launched just ahead of COP17, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks which began in the harbour city on 28 November.Once both phases are completed in April 2012, the project will be Africa’s biggest rooftop solar installation, generating in excess of 600 kilowatts peak (kWp) – this is sufficient to power two fresh produce packing and logistics facilities.The project is located in the massive new multi-use Dube TradePort development, 30 kilometres north of Durban.About 990 solar panels will be attached to the roofs of two warehouses in the AgriZone, the trade port’s agricultural hub.In the first phase, the project will generate 220 kWp in total, equivalent to supplying 150 households with electricity.“With the completion of the second phase, an additional 400 kWp will be produced, making this the largest roof mounted photovoltaic system in Africa,” confirms AgriZone project executive Mlibo Bantwini.The solar panels have capacity to provide power for all the needs of the energy-intensive fresh produce pack houses. In the first phase alone carbon emissions will be reduced by 294 tons per year.Using the latest solar technology, little or no maintenance will be required other than to clean the panels from time to time.“This system will not require any major further investment for the next 20 years and will bring about considerable reduction in carbon emissions,” says Bantwini.Looking to the futureThe Dube TradePort is a 60-year master development plan consisting of several complementary and interconnected developments.The completed development will comprise the new King Shaka International airport, the Dube TradeZone linked to the Dube cargo terminal, and Dube City, a property development which will serve aviation and local communities. The plan is to make the city into a green precinct.The first phase of the airport, cargo terminal, trade zone and Dube City has been completed and is fully operational.The AgriZone is one of the key components of this multibillion-rand project, and includes the most advanced greenhouse hydroponics facility in Africa. Through its climate controlled greenhouses it already produces 50 000 cucumbers and three tons of tomatoes per week for large retailers.A sophisticated tissue culture facility with the capability to propagate three-million plants per year is also located here.A separate greenhouse for cut flowers and pot plant production will be developed in 2012. The project currently employs more than 100 local people.Aviation and cargo clusterDube City is the first purpose-built aviation orientated city in Africa. On completion, the 24-hectare facility will include a mix of hotels, conference and entertainment venues, retail stores, and company head offices.Speed and turnaround times are key to freight handling. According to Bantwini the Dube cargo terminal has the most sophisticated ramp-handling equipment available in South Africa.A fully automated air bridge conveyer system provides direct access to air freight forwarding companies in the adjacent TradeZone. A major advantage is that Customs, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Port Health, South African Revenue Service and South African Border Police are all housed within the cargo terminal, says Bantwini.“For the first time in South Africa, customs services are fully integrated with cargo terminal operations, providing one-stop regulatory, all-hours service for the convenience of shippers and forwarders.”Addressing challenges of climate changeThe Dube TradePort as a company also views itself as a responsible developer which responds proactively to climate change in all aspects of its business. To realise its vision Dube TradePort is working together with Swedish climate consultancy and carbon offset company Tricorona Climate Partner.“In response to the challenges of climate change and as the host city of COP17, we would like to accelerate our efforts in lowering our climate impact, and develop a more sustainable business model in the aviation and trade port business” says Rohan Persad, Dube TradePort CEO.Rainwater harvesting, recycling and converting green waste into compost are just a few of the strategies to be implemented in the future.“A rehabilitation program over three years will revive 619 hectares of the grounds while the cargo terminal’s paperless trade program has already been initiated, and will in time dramatically reduce its own paper use as well as that of its related customers and service providers,” Bantwini adds.Eskom goes solar In the meantime, Eskom, South Africa’s national power utility has launched the first of its three solar photovoltaic pilot projects at the Lethabo Power Station near Vereeniging in Gauteng. Kendal in Mpumalanga and Eskom’s head office at Megawatt Park in Gauteng will likewise be fitted with solar panels.The entire project will cost about R90-million (US$11-million) and will supply electricity for internal use at the two power stations and at the head office. The expected reduction in the company’s carbon footprint is about 2 845 tons a year.The lessons learned from the pilot projects will support the rollout of these systems across all Eskom’s coal-fired stations over time, the utility confirmed.The total electricity generated from all three solar plants will be about 1.55 megawatts (MW).Eskom was also looking to other renewable sources.“We have undertaken to invest in renewable energy projects and in cleaner coal technologies and these solar panels are an important first step towards that,” said Eskom CEO Brian Dames at the launch of the project.The utility’s Sere Wind Farm near Koekenaap in the Western Cape province will, on completion, generate 100 MW of power, with construction planned for early 2012.last_img read more

All About Attic Venting

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Most homeowners and builders believe that attics should be vented. If you walk down to your local lumberyard and lean on the counter, the employees and nearby customers will offer a variety of opinions about why attics need to be vented. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that the statements you hear will be true.Here are the four most common reasons people suggest to explain the practice of venting attics:Although attic ventilation is sometimes able to contribute in a very small way to addressing the problems on this list, there are much better solutions to all four problems than ventilation.If you plan to install insulation on your attic floor, then most building codes require that the attic be vented. (For example, see Section R806.1 of the 2015 International Residential Code.)The standard code formula requires 1 square foot of net free ventilation area for every 300 square feet of attic floor area, assuming that half of the ventilation openings are located in the lower half of the attic (generally at the soffit) and half near or at the ridge. If a roof has only soffit vents and no ridge vents, most codes require 1 square foot of net free ventilation area for every 150 square feet of attic floor area.Manufacturers of soffit vents and ridge vents usually specify the net free vent area of their products on product packaging or in specifications available online. (Researchers have shown that the net free vent areas reported by manufacturers are exaggerated, but that is a topic for another article.)If you plan to install insulation between your rafters, building codes require that the attic be sealed (unvented). The code allows you to install a ventilation channel between the underside of the roof sheathing and the top of the insulation installed between the rafters if you… This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

The Cloud Ate My Server Vendor

first_imgRemember when “Other” was just a rounding error in market share reports? Now in the server market, it just might be the main event, as Facebook’s Open Compute project, cloud computing, and other trends drive buyers to no-name server vendors instead of IBM, HP, and Dell. Time to short the incumbents?According to new research from Gartner, server veterans like IBM and HP took a beating last quarter, with shipments plummeting 11.5% and 5.9%, respectively, contributing to an overall 0.2% server shipment slowdown. Meanwhile, so-called “whitebox” vendors that make up the “Other” category saw a 22% rise in revenues, and now account for 35.2% of global units shipped. IDC’s market data showed largely the same incumbent malaise, with “Other” pumping revenues 14% year-over-year.It used to be that such whitebox vendors like Quanta Computer, Wistron and Compal Electronics, all based in Taiwan, could be counted on to quietly build products for their name-brand American partners like Dell. No more. As Chris Gonsalves reports, companies like Google and Rackspace have looked to tailor servers to their requirements by going direct to Taiwan’s leading ODMs, which has encouraged these vendors to start selling directly to more traditional enterprise accounts.It’s only going to get worse for the incumbents.Cloud: Friend or Foe?After all, the whole focus of cloud computing is to commoditize the server, making it a compute resource enterprises rent rather than buy. While not all workloads will move to the cloud, a big percentage will. In the cloud, enterprises simply aren’t going to care whose logo sits on a box they can’t even see.And for those who do persist in managing their own datacenters, things like Facebook’s Open Compute project may drive enterprises toward designing in lots of “Other.” While Open Compute may not matter to most mainstream enterprises, as Mark Hachman points out, it’s one more pressure point that incumbent server vendors could do without.(See also The 5 Big Questions Dell Will Have To Answer To Survive.)Ironically, the very thing that most threatens legacy server vendors could also save them, and then ruin them anyway: cloud.IBM just announced it’s getting behind OpenStack in a big way, basing all of its cloud services and software on an open cloud architecture. HP and others have also committed to OpenStack or other cloud platforms. Rather than be cannibalized by the public cloud, these server vendors are trying to extend their brands to private clouds, allowing enterprise customers to rent what they used to buy.The problem, however, is that these vendors might be too successful. A Catch-22 in the CloudWhile public clouds like Amazon’s AWS have been on a tear, they’ve still largely been relegated to test and development workloads. What happens when IBM and HP help make CIOs comfortable with the cloud? It’s possible that those risk-averse CIOs will stick with the tried and true incumbents. But it’s just as possible that once enterprises get comfortable with running mission-critical workloads on a private cloud that carries a shiny Dell logo, they’ll take the next step into the public cloud, projected to be a $131 billion market by 2017, according to Gartner. Amazon has long argued that the real benefits of cloud computing are lost when trying to replicate them in private cloud deployments. While it’s possible that IT will effectively mimic the public cloud, it’s just as possible that developers and line-of-business executives will take their CIOs newfound enthusiasm for the cloud and run with it…straight to Amazon, Rackspace, or another public cloud provider.In so doing, they’ll inadvertently be growing “Other’s” share of the global server market… and legacy server vendors’ desperation to embrace the very thing that may kill them: the cloud. Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Amazon#AWS#CIO#cloud#Compal#dell#enterprise#HP#IBM#Quanta#Rackspace#whitebox#Wistron Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Related Posts Matt Asaycenter_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

Let’s Talk About Why Yahoo Really Bought Tumblr: Native Advertising

first_imgIf we needed an event to wake people up to the power of native advertising, it’s surely Yahoo’s $1.1-billion purchase of Tumblr.We’ll be talking about this a lot at AdNatively, a one-day conference I’m emceeing in New York on Thursday, May 23.So what is native advertising? A quick, simple definition: It’s an ad whose form and delivery is identical to the content environment in which it is served.The opposite, in other words, of interruptive advertising: billboards, takeovers, and big banners that take up space on the page but don’t otherwise relate.Tumblr’s Real ValueSo why did Yahoo buy Tumblr? People talk about the hip, cool vibe of Tumblr’s network of millions of blogs. Or the younger demographic Tumblr has attracted, which Yahoo desperately needs.But Yahoo doesn’t need blogs and young’uns for their own sake: It needs them because marketers need them. And the only way marketers can reach Tumblr users is through Tumblr posts, which advertisers will pay to feature on Tumblr users’ “dashboards” – the stream of posts from accounts they follow.That’s more theory than practice at this point. Yahoo hopes to turbocharge Tumblr’s revenues through its large sales force, which has been itching to have more native advertising formats to sell. Tumblr investor Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures is delivering a keynote address at AdNatively. I’m keenly interested in what he’ll have to say.Wilson is also an investor in Twitter, which has a similar native model: Advertisers can pay to promote a tweet so it’s seen by more people, or on Facebook, where sponsored posts get more prominent play in users’ News Feeds.Fuck Yeah, Native AdsNative advertising is not without its controversies. A big one is the learning curve: Marketers must master each potential advertising environment and learn its intricacies, from Tumblr users’ love for animated GIFs and the phrase “fuck yeah,” to Twitter’s peculiar language of retweets and replies to Facebook’s maddening algorithms.It’s no wonder that some give up and just buy banner ads, which can be bought and sold by machine, almost like stocks. Native-ad environments are catching up, opening up their ads to automated buying and selling through application programming interfaces, but there’s no question that native ads add complexity.Native ads seem inevitable, though, as content consumption goes mobile and social. Back in 1994, when Wired’s HotWired website sold the first banner ad, that little rectangle was arguably a native format adapted to the new medium of the Web. But Web browsing has evolved. If we’re changing how we design interactive experiences for touch interfaces and screens of all sizes, shouldn’t we change how marketers fit in, too?Full disclosure: ReadWrite and its owner and publisher, Say Media, are actively thinking about the native-advertising question. ReadWrite runs ad formats, like sponsored posts, which some observers include in the native-advertising mix. So we’re not just curious bystanders. But I promise you that ReadWrite will do its best to cover native advertising objectively and disclose when we have a stake in the game.The conversation at AdNatively promises to be a rousing debate. If you’re in New York for Internet Week, please join me, Fred Wilson, and others – ReadWrite readers get a 50% discount on attendance.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. owen thomas Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#AdNatively#advertising#Fred Wilson#native advertising#Tumblr#Yahoo last_img read more

NBA stars hog the limelight at London Olympics 2012

first_imgIf you thought star power at the London Olympics is only about putting on the best shows in various arenas, you have to take a look at the US men’s basketball team.From the time they landed in London, the NBA stars have been in focus, though this time it’s not about winning matches for their respective clubs but how they can land America the gold medal again.From 1992, when the ‘Dream Team’ made its huge appearance at the Barcelona Olympics, the American basketball team has a huge aura which no other team has.Look at it in terms of superstar value and the kind of attention these star players get, you will swoon. As a globally televised sport which has a huge connect with the world audience, names of the NBA stars ring a bell for any fan.Yet, when they come to the Olympics, it’s all about keeping egos aside and performing as a team. On Sunday, the Yanks will fight it out against Spain for gold, a repeat of the Beijing final.Even though on the last day of the Olympics the showpiece event is the closing ceremony, the basketball final is truly a blue-chip event with the millionaires of the sport ready for one last fight to glory.Just sample some of the names which play basketball for the USA. Compared to tennis silver medallist Roger Federer who was the second highest paid athlete at the Games ($52.7) million on the Forbes list, the collective value in monetary terms of the basketball players is a huge sum.advertisementSuperstar LeBron James is the fourth overall with $53 million despite a 20 per cent salary cut. And he holds a stake in Liverpool FC through his marketing partnership with Fenway.The true giant in America, whose interviews are so sought after is Kobe Bryant as the Los Angeles Lakers star is currently paid  $52.3million and is sixth overall. He has the highest salary/winnings.Kevin Durant is 34th overall with close to $ 40 million earnings and Carmelo Anthony is 44th overall. He gets a salary of $ 14.9 million and totals $ 22.9 million.Lower down, you have Chris Paul ($13.2 million) and total 19.2 million and Deron Williams 84th but has a salary of 16.2 million.In sharp contrast, you have the seven feet and one inch tall Spaniard Pau Gasol at 95th on the Forbes list for top athletes and you know what the basketball competition is about.Unlike the poorer athletes who live in the Games Village, the American basketball kings live in posh villas like the tennis stars who annually hire places in Wimbledon.It’s a study in contrast when you have at one end of the spectrum normal athletes and those who live classily.Yet, whenever it has come to the Olympics, the NBA stars have always put the country’s interests ahead and the results are there for us to see.On court, they battle it out like a perfect team, though this time around the Argentine side has posed problems for them.The NBA fan like you and me would think that when you put an assembly of giants on the floor, points will be scored easily and matches won.However, the beauty of sport lies in its unpredictability. Just as many people lost money when they bet on Federer for gold at the Olympics, for the American basketball players it has not been a case of taking the opposition for granted.So high was the ticket demand even for their league matches, even the accredited media had to put in early requests.So what is the difference between action in the NBA and the Olympics? I can tell you it is as different as cheese and chalk as in the Olympics, its national fever which runs all through the fortnight.Yet, to forget egos, the kind of money you make as professional athlete and just fight for the country is a very different challenge.Yes, the Yanks crank themselves up in the Olympics basketball arena as the world watches so many giants leap, run and score points.last_img read more