Brand South Africa welcomes the United Nations’ appreciation of SA’s peacekeeping operations

first_imgJohannesburg, Friday 31 May 2019 – Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes the United Nations (UN) recognition and praise of South Africa’s role in peacekeeping missions on the African continent.Speaking at the 2019 commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held in Bloemfontein, South Africa – the newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in South Africa Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas said that the country’s brave men and women should be celebrated for they put their lives at risk daily in their efforts to bring peace and security in the countries from which they operate. “Many other South African men and women have paid the ultimate price in the service for global peace,” added Bekele-Thomas.Since the advent of democracy in 1994, domestic and international expectations have steadily grown regarding South Africa’s role as a responsible and respected member of the internationally community.“South Africa has come a long way since the days when the sight of its armed forces used to instil fear among the peoples of neighbouring states. Since 1994, South Africa has transformed the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) into a symbol of hope and a defender of defenceless people. South Africa’s armed forces are celebrated today for their critical role in stabilising, reconstruction and development of infrastructure and the training of troops in war-torn countries,” said Brand South Africa Acting CEO, Ms Thulisile Manzini.With a total of more than 1,190 troops stationed in UN Peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, South Africa is considered as the 11th biggest troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping in Africa and the 17th biggest in the world.Testament to South Africa’s efforts is also recognised in the 2018 Good Country Index, which sees the country ranking 3rd out of 163 countries for its contribution to international peace and security. The Good Country Index measures how much each of the 163 countries on the list contribute to the planet, and to the human race, through their policies and behaviours. The Index is a composite statistic of 35 data points mostly generated by the United Nations. These data points are combined into a common measure which gives an overall ranking, and a ranking in seven categories: Science and Technology, Culture, International Peace and Security, World Order, Planet and Climate, Prosperity and Equality, as well as Health and Well-being.Brand South Africa would also like to express sincere congratulations to Ms Bekele-Thomas on her new appointment as a direct representative of the UN Secretariat. Ms Bekele-Thomas’ role includes, but not limited to, ensuring the coordination of all UN operational activities for its development programme in the country and to facilitate the alignment and coherence of UN operational activities for development in line with national priorities and development objectives.//ENDS//Notes to the EditorAbout 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. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all. For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email:tsabengn@brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

Hanley Award Goes to Energy Star’s Sam Rashkin

first_imgArchitect and urban planner Sam Rashkin made the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for Homes program, which he has managed since its launch in 1995, one of the most widely cited standards in the residential construction industry.That accomplishment not only is Rashkin’s alone, it is one of the key reasons he was chosen to receive the third annual Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing, a $50,000 prize that will be presented to him in May during the 2012 American Institute of Architects National Convention, in Washington, D.C.A graduate of Syracuse University, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture, and New York University, where he earned a master’s degree in urban planning, Rashkin also has served on the national steering committees for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes certification program, the National Association of Home Builders’ green building guidelines, and the EPA’s WaterSense labeling program.Previous recipients of the award — which is sponsored by the Hanley Foundation, Hanley Wood, and Builder and EcoHome magazines — include Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, and Alex Wilson, founder and executive editor of BuildingGreen Inc., which is publisher of Environmental Building News.“Sam has done more than anyone to dramatically improve the energy performance of new homes,” Wilson, who served as a judge for this year’s award, said in a recent EBN post. “His perseverance and tenacity in generating builder support for Energy Star Homes has been phenomenal. No one is more deserving of this award than Sam.”last_img read more

Banking regulator sees potential risks in high home prices debt loads

first_imgTORONTO – Stricter regulations aimed at tightening mortgage lending to take some of the risk out of the market will be finalized by the end of the month, the federal financial regulator said Tuesday.Final changes to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ (OSFI) residential mortgage lending guidelines, also known as B-20, will come into force two or three months afterward, its head, Jeremy Rudin said during a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.The superintendent said the “broad thrust” of the changes will be similar to what it proposed in July — the draft of which included a new stress test for all uninsured mortgages, as well as prohibitions on co-lending arrangements that are designed or appear to be designed to circumvent regulator requirements.“We clearly see the potential risks caused by high household indebtedness across Canada, and by high real estate prices in some markets,” Rudin said. “We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults before we act.”The stress test, if implemented, would mean that homebuyers who have a down payment of 20 per cent or more and do not require mortgage insurance will still have to prove they can continue to make their payments if interest rates rise.Rudin’s comments Tuesday come after the Bank of Canada hiked interest rates twice this summer, once in July and once last month, after unexpectedly strong economic numbers.The superintendent told reporters after his speech that these changes are aimed at reinforcing sound underwriting amid the “evolution of house prices,” particularly in major markets. He added that “complacency in the lending community can set in” and there can be an “over reliance” on collateral when a borrower’s ability to carry a mortgage is key.“Nobody can say with any certainty what’s going to happen in the housing markets, or what’s going to happen to housing prices,” Rudin told reporters. “But we do know this. Housing prices are still near their all-time highs and mortgage rates are still near their all-time lows. And while sound underwriting is always important, it’s never been more important than it is now.”He added OSFI’s crackdown on co-lending, or bundled mortgages — in which federally regulated lenders pair up with unregulated providers to finance a property — is aimed at making sure financial institutions adhere to rules that limit how much they can lend.“We think that the system as a whole needs to have a certain integrity,” Rudin said.Rudin acknowledged that the changes to rules followed by federally regulated lenders could potentially push would-be home buyers towards riskier financing options, such as shadow banking.Still, he said the institutions that fall under OSFI’s purview handle about 80 per cent of Canada’s mortgage lending.“We recognize, as I said, that some of the activity might migrate outside the federal sphere,” he said. “And although not an intended nor positive consequence, it doesn’t relieve us from the responsibility to act on our mandate.”The stricter lending rules by the banking regulator comes after the Ontario government moved to cool down the hot housing market with a host of measures in April. Those actions included a foreign buyers tax, similar to one previously handed down in Vancouver with a similar goal.However, the latest figures from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board released Tuesday show that September home sales were up compared with a year ago and the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price was $1,037,300 in September, up 10.9 per cent compared with a year ago.last_img read more

2016 census highlights Indigenous Peoples immigration and housing

first_imgOTTAWA – Statistics Canada released the latest findings from the 2016 census Tuesday, this time focusing on Indigenous Peoples, immigration and housing. Some selected highlights:— The census counted 1.67 million Indigenous people in Canada in 2016, accounting for 4.9 per cent of the total population — up from 3.8 per cent in 2006 for a growth rate of 42.5 per cent over the last 10 years, four times the rate of the non-Indigenous population.— The average age of the Indigenous population was 32.1 years, nearly a decade younger than the non-Indigenous population at 40.9 years. The census counted 145,645 children aged 0-4, 8.7 per cent of Aboriginal people in Canada.— One in five Indigenous people in Canada is living in a dwelling that needs “major repairs,” while one in 10 lives in a household that has a space shortfall of at least one bedroom.— However, 7.3 per cent of Indigenous people in Canada are 65 or older, compared with 4.8 per cent in 2006 — and that proportion could double by the year 2036.— The census counted 145,645 Indigenous children aged 0-4 in 2016.— The number of people who identified as First Nations reached 979,230 last year, up 39.3 per cent over 2006, while the Metis population grew by 51.2 per cent over the same period to 587,545 people. The census recorded 65,025 Inuit, 29.1 per cent higher than in 2006.— Winnipeg (92,810), Edmonton (76,205), Vancouver (61,460) and Toronto (46,315) reported the largest Indigenous populations, while the highest proportion of Aboriginal people were in Thunder Bay (12.7 per cent), Winnipeg (12.2 per cent) and Saskatoon (10.9 per cent).— In 2016, 7.5 million people — about 21.9 per cent of the total population — reported being foreign-born individuals who immigrated to Canada. In 1921, the census reported that proportion at 22.3 per cent, the highest since Confederation. Statistics Canada projects that proportion could reach between 25 and 30 per cent by 2036.— The census counted 1,212,075 new immigrants who permanently settled in Canada between 2011 and 2016, 3.5 per cent of the total population last year.— 60 per cent entered under the economic category, 26.8 per cent to join family already in Canada and 11.6 per cent as refugees. During the first four months of 2016, refugees accounted for one-quarter of all immigrants admitted to Canada, thanks to an influx of refugees from Syria.— Asia, including the Middle East, remains the largest source of recent immigrants to Canada at 61.8 per cent, followed by Africa at 13.4 per cent. Europe — once dominant in this category at 61.6 per cent in 1971 — ranked third at 11.6 per cent.— More immigrants have been settling in the Prairies. The percentage of new immigrants living in Alberta reached 17.1 per cent in 2016, compared with 6.9 per cent in 2001; In Manitoba, it went to 5.2 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent, and four per cent in Saskatchewan, up from one per cent in 2001.— Visible minorities numbered 7.7 million in 2016, 22.3 per cent of Canada’s population. 30 per cent were born in Canada.— In 1921, more than 70 per cent of the foreign-born population reported English or French as a mother tongue, while fewer than 30 per cent reported a different language. In 2016, the precise opposite was true: more than 70 per cent reported a different mother tongue, compared to less than 30 per cent for English or French.— In 2016, nearly 2.2 million children under 15 — 37.5 per cent of all children in Canada — were either foreign-born themselves or had at least one foreign-born parent.— Some 1.9 million people reported being of South Asian heritage, fully one-quarter of the visible minority population. Chinese was the second-largest group at 1.6 million or 20.5 per cent of visible minorities, while blacks — surpassing the one-million mark for the first time — were third at 1.2 million, a share of about 15.6 per cent. Filipinos and Arabs rounded out the top five.— More than 9.5 million of the 14.1 million households in Canada owned their home in 2016, a rate of 67.8 per cent, down slightly from 69 per cent in 2011. However, rates varied widely depending on age: 70 per cent of homeowners in 2016 were aged 35-54, compared with 20- to 34-year-olds at just 43.6 per cent.— Nearly 1.9 million households — about 13.3 per cent — were living in condominiums in 2016, up 1.1 percentage points from 2011. Of those, about 67 per cent were owners, the rest renters.— Condos are most popular in Vancouver, where they comprised 30.6 per cent of all local households. Calgary was second at 21.8 per cent, followed by Abbotsford-Mission, B.C., at 21.5 per cent, Kelowna at 21.3 per cent and Toronto at 20.9 per cent.— In 2016, 24.1 per cent of households — down from 24.4 per cent in 2006 — were spending 30 per cent or more of their average monthly total income on shelter costs, such as rent or mortgage payments, electricity, heat and property taxes or fees. Of those, the highest proportions were in Toronto (33.4 per cent) and Vancouver (32 per cent).— Vancouver homeowners reported an average dwelling value of $1,005,920, compared to $734,924 in Toronto and $366,974 in Montreal. Across the country, the average value was $443,058, compared to $345,182 in 2011, not accounting for inflation.last_img read more

City releases 2017 Annual Report

first_imgThe biggest highlight of the City Manager’s Office was the purchasing of the Condill Hotel, which meant they could tear it down and start their revitalization of downtown.The Community Services Division was pleased to announce that they held 68 special events on civic properties, had 2,670 children participate in Tumble Time as well as the Bouncing Bean Programs, and hosted the U-17 Men’s World Hockey Challenge.Corporate Services reported that Bylaw Officers impounded 115 dogs, issued 1,247 parking metre violations, and responded to 40 noise complaints, while RCMP received 13,217 calls of distress, issued 2,240 traffic tickets/warnings, responded to 1,070 crimes against persons, and responded to 1,937 crimes against property.Public Works and Utilities highlights included recycling 1.5 million litres of effluent, producing 3.1 million cubic metres of potable water, and issuing 92 permits for residential construction.In 2017 the city made $87,253,242 in revenue while having $57,405,960 in expenses. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The city of Fort St. John released its Annual Report for 2017 on Monday.The report reviewed a number of the city’s accomplishments from the previous year. Accomplishments included being named Clean Energy BC Community of the Year, winning the CAMA Environment Award for the city’s Micro Hydro Project, and having a third quality year in Financial Reporting.Included in the report were highlights from the City Manager’s Office, Community Services Division, Corporate Services Division, as well as Public Works Department.last_img read more

ConocoPhillips makes donation to local RCMP detachments DARE program

first_imgSct. Neustaeter, who is trained to run the D.A.R.E., explained that the program is designed for students in Grade 5, giving them tools and strategies to help make wise decisions in dealing with drugs, alcohol, and bullying.He said that the local detachment has provided the program to local Grade 5 and 6 students, and that the detachment appreciated the donation. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The local RCMP detachment got a bit of a surprise donation on Wednesday.Constable Chad Neustaeter with the Fort St. John RCMP said that on Wednesday, two employees of ConocoPhillips stopped by the detachment to make a donation to the B.C. Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E. program.Sergeant Dave Tyreman explained that the company, which is going to be opening a large camp in the Wonowon area in the near future, decided to make the donation as a way of giving back to the local community.last_img read more

DLF’s over Rs 3,000 cr QIP closed

first_imgNew Delhi: Realty major DLF Thursday fixed an issue price of Rs 183.4 per share under its QIP programme that closed Thursday. On Monday, DLF, the country’s largest real estate firm in market value, had launched its qualified institutional placement (QIP) offering up to 17.3 crore shares to investors. In a regulatory filing, DLF said the Securities Issuance Committee has declared the closure of the QIP on Thursday. The panel also approved the issue price of Rs 183.40 per equity share, which is at a discount of 4.98 per cent (i.e. Rs 9.61 per share) to the floor price of Rs 193.01 per share. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAt Rs 183.4 per share, the company would raise Rs 3,172 crore. According to sources, DLF’s QIP issue was oversubscribed by two times, enabling the company to raise around Rs 3,200 crore. Major institutional investors who participated in QIP offer include Oppenheimer, UBS, HSBC, Marshall & Wace, Myriad, Key Square, Goldman Sachs, Indus, Eastbridge, Tata Mutual Fund and HDFC Mutual Fund, sources had said. With an aim to become a debt-free company, DLF had last year announced plans to issue shares through QIP to raise funds and pre-pay loans. This is the third major fund raising from DLF. In 2007, DLF had raised about Rs 9,200 crore through an IPO.last_img read more

3 killed as auto-rickshaw hits divider in New Friends Colony

first_imgNew Delhi: Three persons died after an auto-rickshaw in which they were travelling lost control and hit a divider in South-East Delhi’s New Friends Colony on Friday.According to police, on receipt of information regarding the accident at about 1.15 am, the investigating officer (IO) reached the spot which was Mathura road cut opposite CRRI gate, where a TSR was found lying in an accidental condition. “The injured were reportedly taken by PCR van to an unknown hospital,” said police. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderPolice further added that later information was received from Apollo hospital. Wherein it came to notice that in the accident three persons have expired and the fourth one is injured. “Injured identified as Amar Singh (25), met IO and his statement was recorded, who told that they all use to do the work of catering and all were returning to their room at Nehru Nagar from Jaitpur after completing work in a function,” police said. Police further revealed that the TSR driver was driving at a very fast speed and in a negligent manner. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsWhen they reached near the spot the TSR driver took out a cloth and started cleaning the front glass while driving and due to this he lost control and hit the divider and toppled down. “They all got injured. The driver initially ran away from the spot but was later apprehended,” added police. The deceased were identified as Ashok (18), Devraj (23) and Ram Singh (40). All were residing at Nehru Nagar, Lajpat Nagar. The driver identified as Vijender has been apprehended. A case under section 279/337/ 304A IPC has been registered at NFC police station. In another case, an ITI student was crushed to death after a bus ran over him in Hazrat Nizamuddin area. Police identified the deceased as Honey who along with his friend was going to have food. “While crossing the road, he was hit by a motorcycle. He did not get the time to get up as he was under the tyre of bus,” police said.last_img read more

Opinion Braxton Millers chance to cement legacy potentially ruined by injury

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller lifts the Silver Football, awarded to the Big Ten’s football MVP Feb. 20 at the Schottenstein Center.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhen he announced in early January that he would be returning to Ohio State for one final ride along the banks of the Olentangy, Braxton Miller had a chance.A chance to rush or pass for the 505 yards he needed to become OSU’s all-time leader in total offense.A chance to win 11 games to become the all-time winningest quarterback in OSU’s history.A chance to throw for the six necessary touchdowns to own the record for total passing touchdowns as a Buckeye.A chance to pass for the 2,256 yards he needs to become OSU’s all-time passing yards leader.A chance to score the single touchdown he needed to become OSU’s all-time touchdown leader.A chance to become the most dominant statistical quarterback in OSU history, as evidenced by the very attainable numbers above.After throwing a pass on Monday that left his right shoulder in pain and the future of his football career uncertain, Braxton Miller is awaiting word following a Tuesday morning MRI that will reveal whether or not that chance remains.But as the star quarterback and legions of Buckeye fans await the news, as it stands right now, what does his legacy look like?While all the numbers above might merit placing him amongst OSU’s greatest quarterbacks, there’s one thing that holds Miller back.Art Schlichter, OSU’s quarterback from 1978 through 1981 and the holder of many of the aforementioned career records, won two Big Ten Championships and a Liberty Bowl matchup against Navy.Bobby Hoying, another famed quarterback and holder of the record for touchdown passes at OSU, won a Big Ten Championship and a Holiday Bowl against the BYU Cougars.Joe Germaine, another of OSU’s most legendary passers, won the MVP of the 1997 Rose Bowl when the Buckeyes topped Arizona State.Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy, in addition to the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, all the while leading the Buckeyes to the 2007 National Championship Game against Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators.Thus far, Miller has yet to win a postseason game. He has yet to finish higher than fifth in Heisman Trophy voting. Yes, he’s twice won the Silver Football given annually to the Big Ten’s most outstanding player, but that’s about the extent of the hardware sitting upon Miller’s proverbial shelf.2014 was Miller’s chance to receive some of the hardware he’s worked toward for the past three seasons. It was his chance to become the only three-time winner of the Silver Football. It was his chance to become OSU’s most recent Heisman Trophy finalist.It was his chance to clear that seemingly insurmountable hurdle and win his first postseason game, and maybe more, as a Buckeye.Instead, after committing to another year at OSU, avoiding the lure of the NFL, Miller lies upon a table, machines surrounding him, as he anxiously awaits the fate of his season, his career and his legacy.If the test results end No. 5’s time in scarlet and gray, how would he be viewed amongst the greatest players in Buckeye football lore?I’d say that Braxton Miller never really got a chance. read more

Opinion Where will Buckeyes at the Scouting Combine fall in the 2015

Doran GrantJust a year ago, many Buckeye fans were worrying about how the OSU secondary would improve on a 112th ranked pass defense after losing Bradley Roby to the first round of the draft.Grant not only filled Roby’s shoes, but ran out of them.Grant took on the likes of Tony Lippett and Amari Cooper during the 2014 season and greatly improved his draft stock, which many might say was nonexistent heading into the national title run.The Akron product led a defensive secondary that led the Big Ten in passes defended, as the Buckeyes collected 25 interceptions in 2014, five of which belonged to Grant.Grant earned a first team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, and in the process, also an invitation to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.While he might not go as high as Roby, he will likely give more effort to the team that selects him. OSU then-senior tight end Jeff Heuerman (5) attempts to set a block during the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship against OSU on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. OSU won, 42-20. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorFor four now-former Ohio State football players, the next chapters of their football careers are just around the corner.Tight end Jeff Heuerman, cornerback Doran Grant, wide receiver Devin Smith and defensive lineman Michael Bennett all earned invitations to the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, set to begin Tuesday.Where will these former Buckeyes land? It all starts in Indianapolis. Michael BennettThe anchor in the middle of the national title-winning defense at OSU was once a projected first round pick before sliding down draft boards early in the season.Bennett, who did not record a sack until the fifth game of the year against Maryland, had a breakout game on the big stage in East Lansing, Mich., as he recorded a sack, and two tackles for loss in an upset win over Michigan State.That performance, combined with a dominating two-sack, four-tackle for loss effort against Wisconsin put Bennett back on the map as a dominant force in college football.While it might not be enough to get him back into the first round, his late-season dominance showed many teams that he can have a future at the nest level.Projection: Late 1st, early 2nd round Jeff HeuermanHeuerman, who was tabbed as the second-best tight end prospect by ESPN football analyst Mel Kiper before the 2014 season, might have fallen since that time because of a drop-off in production from the 2013 season.The Florida native, who caught 26 passes for 466 yards and four scores in 2013, caught just 17 passes in 2014 for 207 and two scores.The decline in production could be attributed to nagging injuries, one of which forced him to miss OSU’s third game of the season against Kent State.That being said, Heuerman has shown his ability to run and pass block in coach Urban Meyer’s complex offensive system and not many will argue with his pass-catching ability.If Heuerman can impress in Indianapolis, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be either the first or second tight end off the board. Projection: 4th round Devin SmithArguably one of the best wide receivers to ever play at OSU, Smith soared up draft boards with his performances in the Big Ten title game and the Sugar Bowl.The deep-ball threat not only led the Big Ten in yards per catch, he led the conference in touchdown receptions with 12, four of which came against Wisconsin and Alabama combined.Smith, who became famous in Columbus for his game-winning catch against Wisconsin in 2011, continued to help the Buckeyes win games as OSU never lost a game in which Smith caught a touchdown pass.It would be tough to argue that any player in college football helped his draft stock more than Smith down the stretch, and an impressive performance at the combine could even boost him higher. Projection: 2nd round Projection: Late 1st round read more