Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will support any investigation into the award of oil blocks under its regime but only if it is being done by a reputable international firm and not the Clive Thomas-led State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA).SARA Director,Dr Clive ThomasOpposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoProfessor Thomas had recently disclosed that the Agency has been looking into the award of the blocks by the Donald Ramotar-led Administration before the 2015 General and Regional elections.According to Jagdeo, however, while they welcome such probes, it cannot be done by SARA.“You need an international organisation that has a well-known record of established transparency and has investigated this sort of thing. So if the Government wants to do that, the Government should hire a solid international firm with a reputation and not have Clive Thomas do this, who is a member of their party… We will support it but hire an impartial group to do it. SARA is pro-Government. All of the people at SARA are (political). You can’t have an impartial investigation,” the Opposition Leader insisted.Jagdeo, who is also the General Secretary of the PPP/Civic, further told reporters at his weekly press conference on Thursday that his party had nothing to hide regarding such a probe.“We have no problem with such an investigation but for any investigations into the award of oil and gas contracts, what took place at the negotiation, etc for that investigation to have credibility, you can’t have SARA do it… Do an impartial investigation, the PPP has nothing to hide and we are willing to defend our track record. We will participate in that… (because) I’m not worried…,” he asserted.On May 22, an article appeared in the New York-based Bloomberg website, in which the SARA Director was quoted confirming that there was a probe ongoing. According to Thomas, the probe was in its early stages and would be centred on the award of blocks and licences to ExxonMobil and Tullow.Thomas was quoted by Bloomberg as saying “we’re investigating the issuance of the licences, for example, and the various blocks. We’re building up a case. This is an area of investigation into how the blocks were allocated and the decisions that were made.”“We’re at an investigatory stage so we can’t libel persons by saying that we found proof of anything. There’s enough evidence for us to want to continue the investigation,” the article also quoted him saying.However, Jagdeo pointed out that for years there was no willingness to probe any other areas that the public and stakeholders were asking for such as renegotiation of contracts, yet suddenly they are investigating what took place under the PPP regime.In fact, Jagdeo further outlined that they had refused too to honour a request by the Transparency International Guyana Inc (TIGI) to recover the US$18 million signing bonus that the coalition Government secretly collected and stashed in an account at the Bank of Guyana instead of the Consolidated Fund as required by law.“Three budgets and the money is not recorded in our revenue statements and (Thomas says that) TIGI’s complaint is going up a “blind alley”. That establishes clearly the partisan nature of SARA. That anything to do with investigating this Government and corruption, it will not do so. So if you want a credible investigation about all of the oil contracts that had been issues, and if that’s what the Government wants it’s fine with us, hire an internationally reputable firm to do so not this tainted SARA,” the Opposition Leader contended.Meanwhile, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry on (GCCI) Wednesday said this investigation being undertaken by SARA can harm Guyana by discouraging potential investors from vying for future oil blocks.At a press conference, head of the GCCI’s Petroleum arm, Charles Ramson, expressed worry over the impact these revelations would have on Guyana’s image especially since the article appeared in Bloomberg, which meant that thousands in the global business community would have read this unsavoury news.“It’s dangerous for our investment climate, destroys investor confidence and it creates that level of uncertainty that we don’t need right now. We haven’t produced a drop as yet. And you already want to send bad signals to the international community? It’s highly improper, irregular and totally disturbing.”Meanwhile, GCCI President Nicholas Boyer decried the haphazard way in which the investigation is being done. He also noted that the investigation is being done at a time when much of the regulatory framework for the industry has not even been set up.“At this point I think we’re shooting in the dark. I think SARA is wasting its time because of the lack of having a petroleum commission in place, lack of policies saying how it’s going to issue future blocks and approach relinquishment.”The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.Meanwhile, the Orinduik oil block administered by Tullow is just a few kilometres from Exxon’s discoveries in the Liza and Payara fields in Stabroek. Tullow had in February announced it was bringing forward its drilling programme from the previously scheduled end of the year to the second quarter.It had announced that the Jethro prospect would be drilled in June.On the other hand, its Carapa prospect in Kanuku will be drilled in the third quarter. It is understood that the net cost of the Jethro well is US$30 million, while the Carapa well will cost US$20 million.Tullow’s partner in the Orinduik block, Eco Atlantic, had announced that drilling on the Joe prospect will begin in mid-July of this year. They had announced that the Stena forth drill ship will move directly to the Joe, after it finishes drilling the Jethro Lobe Well in the Orinduik block.
A warrant signed on January 5th, 2010 to search Weibo Ludwig’s farm was released Tuesday. Other documents released show another search warrant was obtained for phone records. The warrant was for two specific cell phones belonging to Weibo Ludwig and his long time friend Richard Boonstra. Photo: RCMP members get ready to search the Trickle Creek Ranch on Friday January5th, 2010 – Adam Reaburn/Energeticcity.ca __- Advertisement -– For more on why Ludwig was released, Click Here.– For more on Ludwig’s release, Click Here.– For a Friday afternoon update from Inspector Tim Shields, Click Here.– For a statement from EnCana Corp., Click Here.Advertisement Police started searching the Trickle Creek property on Friday January 5th. At the time Ludwig was arrested, but later released after the Crown wouldn’t approve charges. — An ink-jet printer— Computers and electronic storage devices— Red and blue pens— White envelopes with blue privacy printing on the inside— White paper— Canadian flag stamps— Audio and/or video recordings of interviews with police or others in relation to the oil and gas industry— Video or photos of oil and gas sites— Audio recordings of anybody at Trickle Creek— Writings or documents related to the oil and gas industry or bomb making— Explosives, detonators or evidence of either— PVC pipe used to modify or build explosive devices. The warrant also included items like: The warrant obtained by the Vancouver Sun states the RCMP were looking for bomb-making materials, computer and audio/visual equipment and station. A photo in the documents released shows a boot foot print that police say was found near one of the bombing sites. Police also spent time looking for boots that matched the tread pattern. By Energeticcity.ca Staff – For Dawson Creek Mayor Mike Bernier’s take on this developing story, Click Here.– For more on the initial police search, Click Here– Wiebo Ludwig appeared on 100.1 Moose FM’s Issues and Answers in October 2009. Click here to listen to the whole show.
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers could have wallowed in their injuries and given up because both of their point guards Shaun Livingston and Sam Cassell were out. But instead of folding without an experienced floor leader, the Clippers turned in one of their best defensive performances of the season and blew out the Indiana Pacers 87-64 Saturday night at Staples Center. The 64 points also flirted with the lowest total that any NBA team was held this season, coming close to the 62 Houston held Charlotte in December. Indiana was held to 35.7 percent shooting, and in a season in which everything seems unpredictable, the Clippers had a surprisingly easy victory with Daniel Ewing and Will Conroy running the offense. Indiana lost a fifth consecutive game, played the previous night in Phoenix and looked travel-weary. Jermaine O’Neal had a horrible shooting night, going 3 of 13 (23.1 percent) from the field for nine points. But the Pacers were awful all-around, even shooting just 52.6 percent from the free-throw line as a team. “We were fortunate to catch this team on a back-to-back night, coming in from Phoenix last night,” coach Mike Dunleavy said. “But the schedule is what it is, and I won’t take anything from what our guys accomplished. All the way around, our coverages were good. Our double teams and rotations were excellent.” The Clippers moved into the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference past Denver, but that is just by tiny percentage points. Heck, the numbers said that it was not only the best defensive performance of the season, but in franchise history. The 64 points allowed were the lowest in franchise history, supplanting the 65 the team held Seattle on Nov. 18, 1990. “That’s a great record for us, especially at this time in season,” Elton Brand said. “Guys who log in a lot of minutes got to rest. And if we can put that type of intensity and defensive effort into a full game, we’re going to be hard to beat.” Both teams are one game under .500. Corey Maggette had a ridiculously efficient statistical line. He played 21 minutes, went 5 of 6 from the field, 10 of 10 from the free-throw line and finished with 20 points. Brand had a typical type of game with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and around him, his teammates looked especially focused – at least compared to Indiana. Joe Stevens can be reached at email@example.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
BIG PRESENTS UP TOP OFF He continued: “Now what I will say about Spurs is this: They’ve had some amazing players: Klinsmann, Hoddle, Ardilles, Gazza, Lineker, Greaves, Bale, Pat Jennings, Modric.“There have been some great players down the years, they have had big players, but they are not a ‘big club’.“I still don’t think they have that ‘big club’ mentality.“Is there a club that goes a whole transfer window – having not won anything the season before – not improving their squad?“No. Surely not.” Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card “They have never ever been the champions of Europe in the sense they have never won the old European Cup or the Champions League.“I find it very difficult, no matter how big this new stadium is going to be, I find it very difficult to put Spurs in that bracket of a ‘big club’.“You’re putting a lot of unsuccessful teams in that ‘big club’ bracket if you’re including Spurs in there.” What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas “They are NOT a big club” ❌@talkSPORTDrive lays out the reasons why Spurs are not among the biggest clubs in football.Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/V7hnwfpyxb— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 5, 2018 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won gameday cracker How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Latest Tottenham News REVEALED “I accept that it’s not all about winning trophies. I get that,” Durham began.“Being a ‘big club’ is not all about that. It may be part of the debate but there are other factors that come into it. The amount of fans, global presence, the stadium, history, traditions of football club. All of those things can come into it.“But when you have not win a title for 58 years, no FA Cup for 28 years – and Spurs were meant to be the cup side. targets Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Tottenham won 3-0 at Manchester United, but lost 2-1 at Watford six days later possible standings smart causal REVEALED Tottenham issue immediate ban to supporter who threw cup at Kepa 2 Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January no dice Are Mauricio Pochettino’s team a ‘big club’? Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Adrian Durham has explained why he believes Tottenham should not be considered a ‘big club’.The talkSPORT Drive presenter delved into a 90-second breakdown of his point during a show this week, concluding that the side simply don’t have the right mentality. punished 2
THE Government’s austerity measures will see more than 100 teachers axed from Donegal schools, a TD has warned.Figures obtained by Padraig MacLochlainn include a list of the schools affected (a full list is below). They are schools in deprived areas which have extra support teachers under the DEIS policy – Delivering Equality of Opportunity In Schools.The Donegal North East Sinn Féin TD described the decision of Education Minister Ruairi Quinn’s to cut large numbers of posts from DEIS schools across Donegal as “shameful.” Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “The Education Minister’s plan to cut large numbers of teaching posts from DEIS schools in Donegal and across the state is a devastating blow to these schools and communities worst hit socially and economically by the recession.“The Labour Party once vowed to break the cycle of educational disadvantage created by successive Fianna Fáil led government’s yet Minister Quinn’s decision to savage DEIS teaching supports will copper fasten inequality of opportunity for our most deprived kids.“Individual DEIS schools in Donegal will lose up to as many as five teachers. It is completely unacceptable that a county suffering harsh economic and social deprivation would be targeted for such an insidious cut by this Government.“Withdrawing teaching posts under the banner of enhanced educational opportunity is perverse and a claim that no Government should stand over. “Labour and Fine Gael need to be very clear. If they continue to pursue the least well off in society to carry the burden of unsustainable banking debt they will face an almighty battle from the communities affected in Donegal and across the state.”The schools affected are below Scoil MhuireSt. Oran’s RoadCrana CollegeCrana RoadLetterkenny Vocational SchoolWindyhallMulroy CollegeMilfordDeele CollegeRaphoeStranorlar Vocational SchoolMain StreetGairm Scoil Chú UladhBéal an Átha MóirGairmscoil Mhic DiarmadaAn LeadhbgarbhMoville Community CollegeCarrownaffThe Royal and Prior SchoolRaphoeCarndonagh Community SchoolCarndonaghRosses Community SchoolDungloe SN Muire Gan SmalLeithbhearrScoil Naomh ChaitrionaBallyshannonScoil EoghanMovilleClochar Padraig NaofaCarndonaghScoil Naomh Padraig BoysCarndonaghSt Patricks N SMurlogLetterkenny Educate Together NSBallyraine HallsRathmullen N SRathmullenS N Muire Gan SmalArd ArathaNaomh BridhidGlenmakeeScoil AdhamhnainRathbhothS N Naomh BaoithinSc Naomh BaoithinScoil PhadraigDobharS N An Iorball RiabaighBaile Ui GhormainMonreagh N SMonreaghMurroe National SchoolMurroeS N An Droim MorAn Droim MorScoil CholmcilleDubhlin RiabachSN Dun CeannfhaolaidhDun CeannfhaolaidhScoil Naomh MhuireCeann MhalannaSN Arainn Mhor IArainn MorSN Arainn Mhor IIArainn MhorS N An ChillinAn CillinScoil CholmchilleMalinS N Naomh BridNa DunaibhCreeslough N SCreesloughGlenmaquin No 2 N SKnockbrackS N DhubhthaighAnagaireGortnacart N SGortnacartS N Min Na ManrachAn Clochan LiathSN An Leinbh IosaCoxtownScoil RoisinAn Clochan LiathS N An ChoiminClochanScoil Naomh EarnanBaile An TsrathaMin A Ghabhann N SLettermacawardS N AdhamhnainLuinneachS N Na HacraiAilt An ChorrainS N UmlachCarrigartS N FhionnainBaile ChonaillS N Min An AoireAn CharraigScoil Naomh DubhthachMachaire Ui RabhartaighScoil Naomh ProinnseasMagherabegScoil Naomh CholmcilleDrummanSN Baile Nua An PhobailNewtowncunninghamScoil MhuireRathmealltainCraanford N SCraanfordScoil Chartha NaofaChill CharthaScoil CholuimBallyheerinScoil An Aingil ChoimheadaiAn CheididhScoil CholmcilleAn TearmannCroaghross N SPortsalonScoil MhuireDristearnainScoil Treasa NaofaMalainnS N Na Sraithe MoireMin A LabainS N Na CarraigeDun Na NgallHoly Trinity NSDunfanaghyScoil BhrighdeMin A ChladhaighScoil MhuireGlentiesS N Chill CoinnighCill ChoinnighS N Crannaighe BuidheCrannog BuiSN ChonaillMachaire ChlochairS N DuchoraidhDuchoraidhSt Davadogs N STamneyScoil Mhuire B&CDoire BeagaGartan N SGartanS N Loch An IubhairAnagaireScoil Naomh CholmcilleOilean ThoraiSN Na Croise NaofaDunfanaghyS N MhuireBaile An NgalloglachS N Naomh EighneachDiseart EighnighNaomh BodainCuldaffFrosses N SFrossesS N Ceathru CaolKerrykeelScoil MhuireAn CraoslochRaphoe Central N SRaphoeScoil Cuilm CilleBallindraitS N Baile MorDunfanaghy POScoil BhrighdePorthallArdara Mixed N SArdaraS N TaodhbhogAn ClochanS N Naomh ColmchilleDrumoghill NSScoil MhuirePettigoS N An ChaisealGleann CholmcilleSt Riaghans NSDrimnacroshSt ConalsNarinS N Caiseal Na GcorrGort A ChoirceS N Cnoc Na NaomhGort A ChoirceSt Garvan’S N.S.Drum HallaScoil Naomh ColmchilleCraigtownREVEALED: MORE THAN 100 TEACHERS FACE AXE FROM DONEGAL SCHOOLS was last modified: December 14th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DEIS SCHOOLS FACING CUTSDeputy Padraig MacLochlainn
VALENCIA – Specialty Laboratories Inc., newly relocated to Valencia, on Thursday boasted an 11.6 percent increase in revenue for the third quarter. Net revenue was $38.7 million compared with $34.6 in June through September of 2004. Net income was $519,000, compared with a loss of $2.2 million in 2004. Results include $639,000 in expenses primarily related to legal expenses incurred in connection with the merger announced earlier this month between Specialty and AmeriPath Inc. Specialty, a clinical reference laboratory for hospitals, relocated from Santa Monica to Valencia last year. The company has since gone through a management shift, and then came news of the merger. The local operation will continue. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We are pleased with the progress we have made on certain expense-reduction initiatives, which began in the second quarter, and the impact they had on our third-quarter performance,” said David C. Weavil, Specialty’s chief executive officer. “We will continue to maintain our focus on service, selling and profit improvements in the fourth quarter and beyond.” According to the quarterly report, business was up more than 17 percent compared with last year’s third quarter, but down only slightly from the second quarter. Specialty performs highly advanced clinical tests used by physicians to diagnose, monitor and treat disease. The company provides hospitals, laboratories and specialist physicians with testing for nonroutine needs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Laura Bonner is drinking in the success of her latest accolade having secured the Ulster Business Woman of the Year title at the prestigious Graham Norton Gin Inspiring Awards 2019.The Inishowen based entrepreneur behind Donegal premium craft drinks business The Muff Liquor Company said she was extremely proud to be named as one of Ireland’s most inspiring women in recognition of the success of her craft potato Gin and Vodka products that have been taking the drinks industry by storm across the world.The announcement was made on Saturday, October 12th, 2019 at the Clayton Silversprings Hotel when 500 guests took part in the glamorous event hosted by RTE’s Miriam O’ Callaghan and Bibi Baskin. Miriam O Callaghan and Laura Bonner, receiving the Ulster Business Woman of the Year Award at the Graham Norton Gin Inspiring Awards 2019Speaking after the awards ceremony Laura said she was over the moon at securing the award and thanked everyone for their support.“I was in total shock when they read out my name, it was an amazing surprise. I feel so honoured to have won the Graham Norton Inspiring Women Awards, Ulster Business Woman of the Year. To be in league with such amazing women in leadership across the country, only makes me want to strive for further success.”This accolade comes just weeks since the company’s success when they secured the People’s Choice at the Irish Gin Awards. Laura commented: “This award was particularly special to us because it’s the ‘People’s Choice’ and is a real endorsement from our loyal customers. We enjoy great success at blind-tasting competitions, so for the public to vote for us in this hugely significant competition is a real coup. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved since our company was established in early 2017. ”Laura Bonner – Muff Liquor CompanyLooking ahead, Laura says the The Muff Liquor Company is currently in the process of crowdfunding via crowdcube to enable the company to expand the business into the Asian market. “It’s an extremely busy time for us but it’s also really exciting. We are travelling all over the world promoting our products and showcasing our business model to a wider audience and endorsements like the Graham Norton gin awards, really give us the confidence to move our business forward and explore new markets. We are confident that the Asia market will embrace the innovative craft distilled spirits that have taken Ireland and the UK by storm and take us to a new level with our business.”Laura explained: “2019 has been really busy for us at The Muff Liquor Company. It has involved a lot of travelling and attending a lot of showcases and events but we have a fantastic team behind us who are really supportive of our product, our brand and our company ethos.“Being recognised at these awards is very important to us, it is indicative of the work we are doing and the confidence we have in our products. We are very much committed to further developing our plans for our own distillery and creating jobs in the local area but most of all we hope that our customers will continue to support us and enjoy our unique products.“Key to our success to date is testament to the commitment of all our staff and the huge level support from family and friends in making our company a success,” Laura concluded.Muff Liquor Co founder drinking in the success of business award was last modified: October 17th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:business woman of the yearEnterpriseGraham Norton Gin Inspiring Awards 2019laura bonnermuff ginmuff liquor companymuff vodka
5 January 2012 70.2% of the matriculants who sat for the 2011 National Senior Certificate examinations at South Africa’s state schools passed their exams – a 2.4 percentage point increase on the previous year’s pass rate of 67.8%. “I am pleased to announce that the national pass rate for the Class of 2011 is 70.2%,” Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday evening, describing the progress as encouraging. “South Africa congratulates the Class of 2011.” In total, 496 090 candidates sat for their exams in 2011, compared to 537 543 candidates in 2010, while 80 116 part-time students wrote their exams. 24.3% of Grade 12 learners qualified for Bachelors’ studies – an increase from the year before, when the figure was 23.5%. A total of 104 033 matrics passed mathematics and a further 96 441 passed physical science.Improvement in science, concern over maths The department was pleased with the improved performance in science, while remaining concerned about the number of passes in maths, 46.3% compared to 2010’s 47.4%. Motshekga said the department would focus on a strategy to improve the pass rate in science and maths in 2012. There was also a drop in the pass rate for economics, due to learners having difficulty with questions based on contemporary economic issues. The department is also expected to focus on improving the participation of girl pupils and helping schools to improve pupils’ subject choices, working with partners from the private sector. Among South Africa’s nine provinces, the Western Cape registered the highest pass rate in 2011, at 82.9%, followed by Gauteng at 81.1%. The Eastern Cape had the lowest pass rate at 58.1%.‘Still a long way to go’ The minister acknowledged that there was still a long way to go to eradicate inequity, and that the results of the 2011 Annual National Assessments (ANA) were generally unfavourable. She said the department knew where the problems were and would refine the ANA. Learners in grades 1 to 6 and grade 9 will write the 2012 ANA in September, with the national ANA results to be announced in December. “We congratulate the Class of 2011 for a job well done, particularly those who performed exceptionally well,” Motshekga said. “Some of you may be disappointed with your results. There are many options open to you to improve your results. Try again, don’t give up now.” The exams were incident-free and proceeded without significant problems. “This goes to show the maturity of our examination system,” Motshekga said. The department’s director-general, Bobby Soobrayan, said the results were evidence of intervention programmes introduced by the department. “This is evidence of a maturing system; teachers have come to grips with the curriculum,” Soobrayan said. “The Class of 2011 was smaller than the Class of 2010, which shows that it’s a system searching for equilibrium,” Soobrayan added. Source: BuaNews
4 September 2012 South Africa’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) enjoyed its highest ever level of investment in the local economy in 2011, with a record number of funds approved for economic development projects across the country. Announcing the company’s 2011/12 annual results in Johannesburg on Monday, chief executive officer Geoffrey Qhena said the IDC had approved funding worth R13.5- billion, an increase on the R8.7-billion approved the year before. The number of funding approvals also increased from 221 in 2010/11 to 293 in 2011/12. Qhena said the company’s objective was to grow the local economy through the development of industrial capacity, leading to the creation of jobs.‘Driving investment in economic priorities’ Last year, Economic Minister Ebrahim Patel announced that the IDC would make R102-billion available over the next five years to drive investment in the economic priorities identified in the New Growth Path. “We expect the IDC to continue ramping up its performance,” Patel said at the release of the annual results. “As part of the contribution of the IDC to industrial development, we have begun to measure the speed with which it considers and decides on applications. It is making steady progress to improve turnaround times. “I have asked the IDC to consider the cost of its facilities to ensure that it is affordable and provides real support to manufacturers,” Patel said.Contributing to the renewable energy sector A significant part of the IDC’s approvals over the past year have been in the green and renewable energy sector. The IDC participated in funding for 12 of the projects that received preferred bidder status during the first round of the Renewable Energy Procurement Program (REPP). It also launched the Green Jobs report, as well as the Green Energy Efficiency Fund (GEEF) to provide-low cost funding to businesses to implement energy-saving technologies. It has launched a Green Bond to raise finance for renewable sector investments. It has also set aside R25-billion towards the development of green industries over the next five years. “The IDC is emerging as a leader in the development of green industries,” Qhena said. In April, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency was launched – a result of a merger between Khula, the SA Micro Finance Apex Fund and the IDC’s small business lending portfolio. The agency focuses on lending up to R3-million to small, micro and medium-sized businesses. SANews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter
This interview by Charles Leonard with music educator Mignon van Vreden was first published on The Conversation website on 15 April 2016. The popular belief is that classical music is the best tool for early childhood education. Jazz fan, music educator and lecturer Mignon van Vreden was convinced jazz would also work. So she launched a pilot project she called Bejazzled in a township preschool. She explained to The Conversation Africa’s arts and culture editor, Charles Leonard, that there was a bright future for jazz in the classroom.Why did you choose jazz?Researchers have done a lot of work on this. They’ve compared classical music to rock music to heavy metal to jazz. Some researchers came to the conclusion that it’s not really about the style of the music but the type of music, type of instruments, the tempo of the music and the different timbres. So I thought jazz could also work as well, if not better.All over the world people are using jazz for early childhood education. I really think it is evolving but it needs to be expanded in South Africa – people need to be introduced to jazz more.How did the project come about and how did it work?I did my PhD on music integration in Grade R (the South African school year in which pupils turn five), so I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of work in the field – and I’ve been inspired by generalist educators in the field who already teach a lot of music with or without training.From my research, a conceptual model evolved on ways to integrate music – so it’s not so much about the type of music, any music could be integrated into the curriculum. Because I’m a jazz lover I thought I could just as well combine the two and see if it worked. One ofthe questions of this research is: can jazz as a genre be applied in preschool education?I know the organiser of a programme funded by the Bafenyi Trust – it is involved in about 60 schools in the local African township of Ikageng in Potchefstroom (a university town 120km west of Johannesburg). I spoke to her about this vision – to incorporate music into the schools. It includes training the teachers too, so that they can apply the training even if they don’t have any musical background. I planned a six-week cycle including different elements of jazz that I wanted to integrate.Take us into the class.It was wonderful; it was inspiring. I got there and the children were really excited – they wanted to do this. At first I asked them to sing some songs they knew and liked – they sang English songs with the teacher, then they sang Setswana songs. I then introduced myself, the teacher introduced herself and the kids introduced themselves, and I started to sing the song Fly Me to the Moon.I used my own version – just singing it to them so that they could get a better idea of what it sounded like.The kids obviously know the moon. They know what it does and how it works. We spoke about the people who landed on the moon – the Frank Sinatra version of the song was also played for the Apollo astronauts. Then they started to learn the song.I spoke in English and the teacher translated each sentence into Setswana. We started with the singing, finger snapping, hand clapping, stamping their feet, body percussion. After that dance steps – simplified versions of jazz dance moves.Later we made our own instruments – we had containers that we filled with three different things: rice, stones and sugar. So we had three different tone colours. And the kids played different jazz rhythms on these “instruments” and combined that with the singing.What are the benefits for the children?Early childhood learning should always focus on play – that is the main job of a preschooler. The best learning takes place when kids are playing. Music is a very playful aspect that they can use. It helps with musical development and with co- ordination, especially the dancing. Singing in tune develops their inner ear. Rhythms help them to count. Music enriches their lives in many ways.Jazz is also about improvisation – could you apply it in your project?In the last lesson we had a concert – the kids did all they wanted to do on the song Fly Me to the Moon in their own ways. So the improvisation came out not in the way I suspected it would, but it came out in their own way. So it was proper improvisation.What did you want to achieve with it?Seeing that it was a pilot study, I wanted to see if the project could work. It was also to equip teachers without musical training with musical knowledge and skills that they could use in their classrooms, to enrich the learners’ lives with jazz music and to introduce them to jazz.I can say the pilot study was successful in that I could go further with this project.What next?I want to build on the pilot study and find out from the teacher what worked for her, how she experienced it, what she wanted to apply – then work together with her and see where that goes. Then hopefully we can expand the project and get more teachers on board.What other jazz tunes will work when the pilot continues?Pennies from Heaven by Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man and Super Duckby (music educator) Elena Cobb. Their lyrics, simpler melodies, singable rhythms and correct duration for toddlers’ attention span make these songs toddler friendly.Source: The Conversation South Africa