Granger, PNC woke up in Linden with empty promises, begged for another chance

first_imgDear Editor,Almost five years passed, five budgets presented, more than one trillion dollars squandered, David Granger and his clueless Cabinet and other big officials jetted around the world many times, frequented all the “hot” spots in Guyana, while communities like Linden were ignored and neglected. This past weekend, Granger and his PNC colleagues woke up and discovered that without Linden, they have no chance of winning the March 2 elections. They came, as usual, with empty promises, hoping they can still fool the people.Granger decided to take the PNC to Linden to celebrate the 62nd founding anniversary of Forbes Burnham’s party. They brought supporters from all over the country, generously utilising Government resources for what was essentially the PNC launching its elections campaign. To ensure the presence of enough people, they brought out school children in their uniforms. In the process, Granger appealed to Lindeners to give him a second chance, admitting he neglected them for five years, even if he did not admit it out loud.In his second chance appeal, he promised them, if they give him a second chance, that he will ensure 150 new jobs will be created in 2020 by the establishment of a new call centre at Kuru Kuru. He also promised 500 new house lots if he gets his second chance. He promised them that a Private Sector investor will build an oil refinery in Linden. Clearly, Granger and the PNC recognised that they abandoned people, including their own supporters. Linden has been loyal to the PNC, no matter what form they assumed. When they re-birthed themselves into the PNC/One R, the Linden people stuck with them. When they took on a new name – APNU – the people of Linden stayed with them. When they took on the name APNU/AFC, the people continued to support them.But it has now been almost five years since they have had the power of Government. In those five years, they expended more than one trillion dollars. Yet Linden is no better than they were in 2015, indeed, Linden is worse than they were in 2015. The people of Linden have begun to whisper that they were better off with the PPP. Just as people realised they were deserted by the PNC before 1992, the people of Linden know they were taken for granted by the Granger-led PNC. As they descended mightily on Linden with supporters from around the country to prop them up, in case the people of Linden did not show up, they deliberately left their associates – WPA, AFC and the several others – in Georgetown. Really, it was Granger and the PNC being as devious as they have always been, whispering it was not the PNC that abandoned Linden, it was the WPA and the AFC and all the others.As most people in Linden went about their business, it was pathetic seeing Granger in his ‘not bothered’ pose watching the children sit there into the midnight hours, watching supporters from Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine and other parts of Region 10 being fetched there with Government resources, wondering where the people of Linden were. In his ‘not bothered’ pose, he kept waiting to see Linden turn out to salute him. They did not because in 2018 he told them to “get up and get going” and not wait for Government to make things happen for them. The people of Linden did not forget. They also know elections are coming up and Granger and his bunch, all of whom have been incorporated into the PNC, are back with wild promises.The PNC in the form of APNU/AFC gave up the housing programme of the PPP that brought thousands of house lots and thousands of new homes into Linden. Granger and APNU/AFC had told people before the 2015 elections that they will create thousands of new house lots for thousands of new homeowners, make it easier for them to obtain low-interest mortgages. Now, as we approach 2020, they make the promise of 500 house lots, after delivering none in five years.But the most hurtful promise was the promise of 150 new jobs through a new call centre. In 2015, they promised thousands of new jobs with new call centres. But the first thing they did was a down-scaling of the call centre that was established under a PPP Government. The call centre in Linden that was there in 2015 because of the PPP first reduced its operation under APNU/AFC, and, by 2018, had closed its doors.The ‘not bothered’ Granger did nothing about it. Suddenly, he shows up in Linden and in front of the fetched-in supporters, told Lindeners if they give him a second chance, he will bring 150 new jobs in a new call centre. Sheer hypocrisy and more empty promises.In the meanwhile, other communities across the country that were neglected are making noises. The people of Buxton know they were neglected. The sugar workers across the country know they were neglected. The public servants know they were abandoned. Just yesterday, more than 4000 sugar workers sent a petition to Granger to correct a wrong he personally led – they have not been given a wage increase since the end of 2014. Granger himself led the empty promise campaign in 2015 to fool workers that they would be given an annual increase of 20 per cent. Instead, since Granger and APNU/AFC took the Government, the sugar workers have not been given a cent in increased wages. And the man he promised will build the oil refinery in Linden is the same man he took around the country to promise rice farmers they would be paid $9000 per bag for paddy. Payback time has arrived and the people of Guyana will not be so forgiving, they will not give them another chance for empty promises.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

If There Is God of Vengeance Somewhere

first_imgTHE EARLY MORNING sun felt warm on Gosoe’s face just before he was pushed into the make-shift prison, where he met several women and men. The captives were held by the rebels and on several mornings, one or two would be selected and carried behind some shooting range and they were disposed off.“They took my wife yesterday,” Samson Jardea, who said he was being held because of being a Krahn, told Gosoe. “I’ve been here for three weeks and the soldiers have not hidden their plan to murder as many Krahn people they can get their hands on.”Alfred Gosoe’s head hung below his chest, his eyes filled with tears of defiance. His heart beat faster and in all his life he realized he had never come to experience such a horrible situation. True, the government’s soldiers were doing the same thing, but for most of them he had simply heard them, and those who had reportedly carried out such heinous acts had sworn they never happened. Here he was among people who would not hide their misdeeds, where they boasted openly how men and women were picked up and carried to meet their maker.“What’s become of us, my brother?”Samson’s question did not come as a surprise to Gosoe. He knew that some madness had descended on Liberia and his nation had become a slaughter house. And what was more, there seemed to be no empathy for any Liberian. It was a painful equation really. Young men and women had been drafted against their will by the government and its rebel counterparts, and Gosoe saw in the distance the end of Liberia, if nothing was done to halt the carnage.But who was willing to stop the horror? As far as he was aware, the government in Monrovia was not ready to agree that it had outlived its usefulness, and the rebels, particularly their leader, Charles Taylor, and the defense spokesman, Jucontee Thomas Woewiyou, had not hidden their determination to continue till their objective of running the Liberian president, Samuel Doe from the country, was achieved. He knew that was a long short, for the president was someone not to be intimidated and their unwillingness to compromise in the interest of the future survival of the country would ruin the country that had become a price in their deluded contest.It, therefore, meant more trouble for Liberia.Then he thought about declarations of victory by the rebels when he was back in Monrovia. Their charismatic leader, Charles Taylor, never hid his determination to fight to the end, if it meant Liberia would burn. So, with the president’s unwillingness to agree to abdicate the throne and Charles Taylor’s desire to see to the end of the war, it would then take, Gosoe admitted, the intervention of outside forces to save Liberia.“Maybe the United Nations,” he told Samson, as both men, sat close to each other in the structure serving as a prison. It held nearly fifty persons, which included several women and their children. The structure sat a kilometer away from the center of the small town. Though it might have been a house of a resident, it had been reinforced, and a window on the extreme left corner in the back had been sealed with planks.There were smaller holes deliberately dug on each side of the four-square room, and a door that hung across the entrance that provided the means to get air into the room. Visibility was not really difficult since without ceiling, daylight spilled through the top of the structure, though the door was always locked from the outside. Behind the make-up structure, several rebel soldiers were assigned, as they made their rounds, with occasional but aimless shooting and the explosions of weapons to instill fear in their captives and o reinforce their control and in what they described as the sound of music. It was meant to deter any of the captives who would develop creative ideas for freedom. The rebels’ love for occasional but unnecessary shooting was no news to residents in the areas they held. And that was why it was difficult to imagine if anyone they captured would gamble the chance to escape.Alfred Gosoe sat in there as a prisoner, and counted his days. It had been four days now since he was brought here, and he had not heard from his wife. Though initially he had considered his arrest as a temporary measure since he knew his wife would do all she could to get him out, but four days were enough for him to entertain some doubt of his deliverance. As a Krahn he had willed himself to God, and had expected whatever would happen to him to come at its own time, as he would always say, “If it is the will of God.”With stories he had heard from some his buddies in the Armed Forces about the barbarity of the rebel soldiers; he felt sometimes that death itself could be a relief. He loved life and wanted to live through the carnage that had engulfed Liberia, but just in case he did not make it, well it would mean he tried. How many Liberians had tried and failed? How many of his tribal people had been wasted in the course of the war? What about the other side? The Gios and Manos who had been affected since the infamous year of 1985, when the former general failed to succeed? And Mandingos, too? Wasted, wasted and wasted! Sadly, he knew they too had been wasted and doomed. Perhaps conditions could take a dramatic turn for the better.Gosoe knew it was a tragedy of extreme proportion as one nation set itself up towards self destruction.Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by a loud whooping sound, which he realized was the sound of AK-47 weapon. It was being discharged several feet away behind the prison walls, and he wondered who was being wasted, this time.The captives shrieked with disappointment and the weak among them, particularly the women began to weep.THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION enjoys a reputation among Africans as one of reliability. And in the course of Africa’s unreliable provision of information to its people, the position of the BBC can better be appreciated. It therefore does not confuse the imagination when in a situation of war, it becomes a major source of information, even if it means one side of the conflict will take advantage over the BBC and provide prepackaged information to feed and confuse the already volatile situation. Hence, as Alfred Gosoe considered it, the BBC was instrumental in providing propaganda materials to feed the minds of the Liberian people as the war raged on.“Now that I am on this side,” he told Samson in their eighth day together in this prison, “I see many things are wrong, and they were made true when you heard them on the BBC.”“That sounds like true since many of us thought the rebels are in complete control as they said over the BBC,” Samson commented in undertone, as they hid behind several men and women. There was a feeling of despondency in the room and with the rebels’ penchant to murder those they did not like, or considered from the other tribe, there was the spirit of pessimism in there.“I have no desire for food,” Gosoe told his friend, “my wife and children are on the other side of the village…” His voice broke, and he stared at his friend with open eyes.The other grunted, and Gosoe could see him wiping his face. He felt his friend had a secret about his family he was not prepared to tell. But having been there for eight days, and considering that there was no chance of getting out of there alive, he began to give hints about his family.“I never told you,” Samson said, his eyes downcast, “they killed my wife the day you were brought here.”“Except God intervenes,” Gosoe assured him, “I will not only lose my life but those of my family, too.” His buddy could understand his worry.“I am a Gio and my wife is a Sapoh,” Samson continued, perspiration forming on his forehead, “I loved that woman and we have been together through many difficult times…”“I understand,” Gosoe added, as a way of consolation, “If any group wants to kill me, I will prefer my family must be set free.”Samson remained silent for a brief moment, and giving a deep breath, said, “Sometimes I asked God why should this happen?” The other heard it very clear, but he had had the occasion to ask the very question. But Gosoe knew that in this treacherous world full of unhappiness, it is man’s duty to make his existence comfortable. God is the creator of all mankind yes, but what mankind does is his own doing. To blame God for mankind’s horrible actions against its kind is to say the least, unfair, from Gosoe’s standpoint.The evening breeze came with cold, and the captives huddled behind each other. Some of them had been accompanied to the restroom, directly behind the house or prison where they were held. On a number of occasions, several females had been taken outside by the soldiers, and after nearly twenty to thirty minutes, had been brought back with tears in their eyes.That night, after a couple of the women were brought back to the prison, Gosoe noticed one of them.Josephine Johnson was now twenty two. Her lanky but gracious figure marked her out as one of the beautiful girls at the Barclay Training Center. Her father, a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia, was a legend in Liberian military circles.When the war began in late 1989, though a Krahn by tribe, he had resisted several attempts by the government to turn the crisis into a tribal war, as it was going on now.As a result, his home at the Barclay Training Center was stormed by soldiers, and he was shot point blank. With his five children, only Josephine and the last of her sibling managed to escape that night. In fact, they had spent the night with a cousin of theirs in another location when the soldiers struck.Seeking a safer place for herself and her surviving brother, they managed to leave Monrovia but were arrested at the notorious 15 Gate Check Point, and her brother, just eleven, was taken away. For a time, she became the “wife” or “sex slave” to several of the rebel soldiers and sometime later managed to escape from them. That was her story, as she told it, sometimes in tears, at other times with shame.Alfred Gosoe had known the Johnsons, since they all resided at the BTC together. Now seeing her here and in detention gave Gosoe the creeps. For anything at all Gen. Johnson was a good man who was murdered because of the injustice against the Gios and the Manos that he resisted. How could such a man’s family suffer torment at the hands of the very people he had died for?Gosoe wanted to speak with her but on second thought he felt that would bring the attention of the soldiers who would frequent the prison on them. After all his only or major crime was simply because he was a Krahn, and since the president of Liberia was also a Krahn and Krahn soldiers had been used to cause havoc against the Gios and Manos, they also were paying every Krahn in the same coin.But Gosoe also knew that there was a God of justice somewhere. And that even if either he or Josephine was executed for their tribal affiliation, there was someone who would render justice in the end.EndShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pochettino tells Spurs to face the flak

first_imgIt is a bitter pill for Spurs fans to swallow given it is 56 years since the north London club were last crowned champions of England.But Pochettino has vowed to “change the dynamic” in a bid to get back to winning ways.“It’s true that we struggled against Arsenal and West Bromwich and the performance against Leicester wasn’t the best,” said Spurs manager Pochettino.“Sometimes you need to be more clinical or a little more lucky to win the game.”The Argentinian added: “We are in a period where we need to change the dynamic and start to build our momentum again. It’s a great opportunity to start again, against Watford.“We need to be calm and not take decisions with emotion. It’s important to be right in how you assess the team and why we dropped points in the last few games.“We accept the criticism because when you don’t win it is because something wrong has happened,” he said.“We need to reduce the mistakes, be solid and try to be more clinical.”– ‘Happy with Alli’ –Dele Alli’s recent performances have mirrored the team’s but Pochettino refused to be too critical of the England man, who was the two-goal hero of a 3-1 Champions League victory over Real Madrid at the start of November.“I am so happy with Dele,” he said. “He’s very talented and every game he does unbelievable things. It’s normal for a player to be up and down.“Senior players struggle to keep a level of performance over 10 months and with Dele he is young. It is normal for a young player.”Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama remain sidelined by injury but Harry Winks has recovered from the illness that forced him to miss the Leicester match on Tuesday.Spurs winger Erik Lamela made his long-awaited comeback in that game, having been out for 13 months with hip problems. The Argentina international will be looking for more game time at Vicarage Road, having come off the bench to set up his side’s goal in a 2-1 defeat.Watford will attempt to put a 4-2 loss to Manchester United behind them when they host another of England’s top clubs.Fans of the Hornets were able to breathe a sigh of relief when Everton appointed Sam Allardyce this week instead of Marco Silva, who had been a target for the Goodison Park role.Watford defender Marvin Zeegelaar has revealed that his side, currently eighth, are delighted their head coach is staying, but insists there can be no repeat of Tuesday’s first-half display.“We have another big game against Tottenham now but we must play like we did in the second half otherwise they will punish us,” he said.“We want to win all the games, even against the big clubs. We have shown already that we can do it as we have beaten Arsenal here.”“We want to finish as high as possible,” added Zeegelaar, whose side will kick-off three points behind Tottenham. “We have some good players. So the sky is the limit.”Silva still has a doubt over defender Miguel Britos, who limped out of the 3-0 win at Newcastle United last week and missed the Man United match.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Following defeats at Arsenal and Leicester City, head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs travel to Watford on December 2, 2017, with their hopes of winning the Premier League all but extinguished © AFP / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 1 – Mauricio Pochettino says both he and his Tottenham Hotspur players must “accept the criticism” after dropping to seventh place in the Premier League table.Spurs travel to Watford on Saturday with their hopes of winning the Premier League all but extinguished following defeats at Arsenal and Leicester City either side of a home draw with West Bromwich Albion.last_img read more

ANGER AS SCHOOL TO CLOSE

first_imgTHERE is anger in the Rosses today after a local school was told it will have to close next June.Funding is being withdrawn from Meenamara National School near Crolly.Bernie Ní Dhuibhir, school principal, said the school – which has just seven pupils – had been told to shut up shop next June. “Parents are devastated,” she said today.“This is a great small school and our ambition was to grow it rather than to close it.”The school was 100 years old last month and local politicians had attended the events.“We want to fight this and we think the school can be viable going forward and give good value to taxpayers,” she said.  ANGER AS SCHOOL TO CLOSE was last modified: December 9th, 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)last_img read more

SEÓ HO HO – NOLLAIG SHONA DAOIBH GO LÉIR Ó CHOLÁISTE AILIGH

first_imgBhí Seó na Nollag an-speisialta do na mic léinn agus d’fhoireann ag Coláiste Ailigh, Leitir Ceanainn, i mbliana – cuireadh ar staitse é sa scoil úr nua don chéad uair.Maidin lán le ceol agus céiliúireachta na Nollag a bhí ann agus neart tallinne ar taispeáint sa Halla Mór le grúpa ceoil traidisiúnta den scoth, amhránaí, dráma, bailé, rince Gaelach, filíocht agus cór na scoile.Bhí a lán oibre déanta ag na stiúrthóirí Maria Uí Rois agus Marie Uí Taidhg. Bronnadh níos mó na €300 ar Chumann Naomh Uinseann de Phól.    SEÓ HO HO – NOLLAIG SHONA DAOIBH GO LÉIR Ó CHOLÁISTE AILIGH was last modified: December 19th, 2014 by John2Share 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:CHristmasColaiste AilighLeitir Ceanainn.Nollaig 2014last_img read more

FUBA NBL Final: Fadhili Chuma stars as UCU win game one against Oilers

first_imgAction between UCU Canons and City Oilers in game one of the FUBA NBL finals at the MTN Arena on Wednesday. (PHOTO/FUBA)FUBA National Basketball LeagueUCU Canons 67-59 City OilersMTN Arena, LugogoWednesday, 27-11-2019Fadhili Chuma was once again the star of the show as UCU Canons defeated City Oilers 67-59 in game one of the FUBA National Basketball League on Wednesday night.The Canons captain who played 38 minutes on the night, registered a double double of 11 points and 15 rebounds despite shooting 5-13 from the field.He was one of four UCU players to manage double figures in terms of scoring in the winning effort with Titus Lual posting 15, Fayed Bale 14 and Isaiah Ater 12.It was a game that saw UCU start well and come up with a game-defining third quarter en route to victory.The Canons opened the scoring with a Lual three-pointer off a jump shot and by the end of the first quarter, they led by three (12-09).In the second, Oilers would come in stronger and take it 19-18 to ensure they trailed by just two going into the long break.However, it was in the third that UCU literally won the contest. The Mukono based side scored 21 points and restricted Oilers to 15 to ensure they took an eight-point lead into the last 10 minutes of the contest.The advantage would be maintained in the fourth as either side threw-down 16 points to see UCU win the game 67-59.This was UCU’s second victory over Oilers this season, having defeated the record six-time champions once in the two regular-season contests.Oilers who struggled from distance all night, shooting 23-86 from the field, had a disappointing display from their bench. The substitutes managed just 10 points all night.Like he has been throughout the post-season, James Okello was once again in good form as he managed a game-high 17 points to go with his 9 rebounds on the night.Tony Drileba (15) and Landry Ndikumana (10) were the other Oilers who managed double figures in terms of scoring in the losing effort.The two sides will face off in game two on Friday night at the same venue.Comments Tags: city oilersFadhili ChumaFayed BaleFUBA NBLIsaiah ArterJames OkelloLandry NdikumanaTitus LualTony DrilebaUCU Canonslast_img read more

Conte on Costa contract, Ake, Begovic, Eduardo and sleepness nights

first_imgChelsea boss Antonio Conte was asked about a number of issues at his press conference ahead of Sunday’s home game with Hull City. Here is some of what the Italian had to say.On Diego Costa“He had a training session on Tuesday with the rest of the team and he trained very well. He hasn’t [any] pain in his back – for this reason he’s available.“On Sunday and Monday, he trained with a fitness coach because it is important to prepare his body to have a good session on Tuesday.”On Costa’s future“I think the player wants to stay at Chelsea. He’s very happy to play with us – this idea [a move to China] is far from his mind.“He’s happy to stay here, to play with us. This is the most important thing for us. I don’t see any problem.”On reports of a bust-up with CostaEmbed from Getty Images“After the game against Leicester, I told you the truth [that Costa was injured].“I heard a lot of speculation about Diego, but now the most important thing is that he trained with us this week, he hasn’t any pain in his back, and is available to come back in our squad against Hull City.“Diego is an important player for us. When he stays in a good form, he’s always played. Will he start against Hull? We’ll see on Sunday. I do not want to give an advantage to our opponent.”On whether Costa should get a new contract“I think now it’s better to be concentrated on the present, not the future. It’s important to have these [next] four months in a very strong way, and then we’ll see.“It’s important now to be focused on the present and not to see too far, in my opinion.“Diego is a good player, he is a good person and now he’s only focused on Chelsea and to play with us and to continue to help us.“He missed only one game but now he’s ready to come back with us. I’m sure about his commitment, his will to fight with this team to the end and to try to win the title.”On an offer from Bournemouth for Asmir Begovic“Asmir is an important player for me, on and off the pitch. He knows this.“There is this offer – me and the club, we are evaluating this offer. But it’s important to find the right solution for Asmir, for the club, for me.”On Costa’s possible return to the team“At the moment, for me to make a decision is not easy, because I have four or five players [who are] very strong in that position – I have Pedro, Willian, [Eden] Hazard, Costa and also Ruben [Loftus-Cheek].“It’s not easy because they are in good form, and they give me different options. For sure, I sleep some hours less to make the best decision but it is my task to pick the best players game-by-game.“I have to pick three players [up front] and if someone stays out it’s not for punishment, or for other stories. I like to make choices game-by-game, and also to consider the opponent.”On Nathan Ake“I evaluated his situation, I evaluated our situation and I think it’s a good reinforcement for us because Ake is a player that can play in different positions.“I think in this last two years he has played and improved a lot, and now he’s ready to play with this team, to stay with us and to help us.“This is the second week that he’s working with us – now he’s starting to go into our idea of football. I’m pleased to have him.”On whether Eduardo could replace Asmir Begovic“Eduardo is a great buy for us. He arrived as a third goalkeeper, that position is very clear in my mind.“I’m very happy for him because he is working very well, and he is helping me, helping Thibaut [Courtois] and Asmir a lot and also he is helping [goalkeeper coaches] Gianluca Spinelli and Hilario in their work. For me, he is doing very well.”On Fifa technical director’s Marco Van Basten’s proposed rule changesEmbed from Getty Images“I don’t like this because I think that if you start to change a lot of rules, it’s not good. With these [current] rules, football is very attractive. I don’t like wanting to try to take examples of the other sports. Football is football, other sports are other sports.”On Hull“You have to face this game with great concentration and focus on our target because if you think that these games are easy, you can make a great mistake and you can pay for this mistake at the end of the season.“For me, Hull City are a good team – in the last game they won against Bournemouth. They changed the coach and usually when you change the coach you have a great reaction from the players – we must pay great attention.”   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

GM, Isuzu keep trucking in SA

first_img23 October 2006Japan’s Isuzu Motors and General Motors South Africa (GMSA) are to invest R80-million (R40-million each) in a new joint venture company that will take over the marketing, sales and support of all Isuzu trucks weighing over 3.5 tons in SA and its neighbouring countries.The investment comes on the back of booming vehicle sales and strong economic growth prospects for the country as a whole.South African new vehicle sales hit an all-time record of over 617 000 units in 2005 – up from 480 879 units in 2004 and 381 456 units in 2003 – making the country one of the best performing automobile markets internationally.The year’s sales were driven by in large part by trucks, with light commercial vehicle sales up by 25.9% over 2004, medium commercial sales up a massive 41.8%, and heavy commercial sales up 24.5%.“The South African market scale is likely to grow as big as the Australian market scale,” Isuzu said in a statement on Monday.To date, GMSA has been marketing and distributing Isuzu-make trucks and pickups in South Africa along with its own GM-brand passenger cars.Now, Isuzu and GMSA have agreed to establish Isuzu Truck South Africa (Pty) Limited as a joint venture company capitalised at R80-million – 50% held by Isuzu and 50% held by GMSA – to enable Isuzu to get more involved in the commercial vehicle business in southern Africa.While GMSA will continue to handle distribution of Isuzu’s 1-ton light commercial vehicle range, Isuzu Truck SA will handle the medium and heavy trucks, starting in January 2007 (subject to local competition authority approval).GMSA’s Malcolm Gould told Business Report on Friday that Isuzu Truck SA would spend R350-million over two years on upgrading the current Isuzu truck national retailer network and expanding GMSA’s Isuzu truck assembly capacity at its Kempston Road plant in Port Elizabeth.Isuzu said it plans to grow its market share for commercial vehicles in South Africa from 8% in 2005 (2 307 units) to 13% in 2007 (3 500 units) and 20% in 2010 (5 600 units).Gauld told Business Day that Isuzu Truck SA would operate as a separate entity with offices in Johannesburg and 48 members of staff, including 40 new positions as well as two senior secondments from Isuzu Motors Japan: Masatoshi Kobayashi (MD) and Hiroshi Iizuka (business co-ordination and special projects manager).SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

MTN launches R8.1bn shares scheme

first_imgMTN is implementing Zakhele, its BEE deal. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MTN, the biggest mobile phone operator in Africa, has finally launched its R8.1-billion (US$1.1-billion) broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) shares scheme in South Africa.This is welcome news for current and potential investors, as the deal has been on the cards for two years now and looked set to be plagued by further delays in July 2010, when it was announced there were “severe constraints in financial markets”.The name of the new BEE scheme is Zakhele, which means “built it yourself” in local Nguni languages. It came into effect on 30 August.MTN is inviting share applications from previously disadvantaged black South Africans, which by law includes African, coloured, Indian and Chinese citizens. Individuals and groups can apply for shares.The 4% equity deal will increase the group’s BEE ownership, which currently stands at 29.9% when combined with its other economic empowerment initiatives like the Asonge scheme facilitated by the National Empowerment Fund in 2007.MTN Zakhele is the largest empowerment deal in South Africa’s telecommunications industry history, following Vodacom’s R7.5-billion ($1-billion) BEE scheme in 2008. The Vodacom deal also targeted previously disadvantaged black South Africans and benefited the group’s partners, Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Thebe Investment Corporation.“MTN believes that broad-based BEE participation is important to its future success as a group,” MTN president and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko said in a statement.The group has supported black empowerment since 1994 and will seek to provide long-term and sustainable benefits to black South Africans, Nhleko said.“It is for this reason that we have structured the new MTN BEE transaction through an offer to the black public, acting as far as possible within the letter and the spirit of the codes and empowerment requirements for South African businesses.”Karel Pienaar, MTN South Africa managing director, said in July that the empowerment transaction “will enhance MTN SA’s BEE credentials and supplement other areas of the BEE scorecard such as preferential procurement, skills development, employment equity and enterprise development”.Black investors who qualify for the scheme are being offered shares at R20 ($2.70) apiece. The minimum investment amount is 100 shares, which is worth R2 000 ($270).MTN and the Public Investment Corporation have made 75-million shares available through the Zakhele scheme, which is planned to run for six years.MTN black employees will also benefitThe group said it will offer about 0.1% of its issued share capital to its Employee Share Ownership Plan to benefit BEE-eligible employees. Management and directors of the JSE-listed company will not be allowed to participate in this scheme.MTN is a big player in South Africa and creates stiff competition for other local operators like Vodacom and Cell C. It’s a multinational firm, operating in 21 African countries and the Middle East. In 2006 it had 40-million subscribers, and this number has been growing ever since.last_img read more

World’s mayors gather in South Africa for C40 Cities climate summit

first_imgSome of the 18 C40 mayors who attended the C40 Climate Change summit in Johannesburg this week. (Image: Lucille Davie)• Mike MarinelloDirectorGlobal Communications+1 917 683 8610mmarinello@c40.org• Joburg acts to beat climate change • Megacities to talk climate change in Johannesburg • Cities combat climate change • Exploring Standard Bank’s glass-fronted green buildingLucille DavieMayors and officials from major global cities gathered in Johannesburg this week for the fifth biennial summit of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, to discuss ways urban leaders can tackle the causes – and effects – of climate change.The summit, held in Africa for the first time, brings together officials from 66 cities, representing 600 million people across the world, in a global network to share information on how they can reduce their carbon footprint. These cities produce 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 21% of GDP.The C40 group was established in 2005 and now includes seven African cities: South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Nairobi in Kenya, Cairo in Egypt, and Lagos in Nigeria.The summit saw the release of a new report, Climate Action in Megacities 2, which builds on research from the 2011 C40 summit in São Paulo in Brazil. The 400-page report arms officials with data to help them change the way they run their cities, compare their administration with others, and to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.“While international negotiations continue to make incremental progress, C40 Cities are forging ahead,” said Michael Bloomberg, former three-term mayor of New York, outgoing C40 Cities chair and president of its board. “As innovators and practitioners, our cities are at the forefront of this issue – arguably the greatest challenge of our time.“C40’s emphasis on measurement and reporting helps cities focus resources and spread the most effective solutions – and this report shows that our efforts are bringing powerful results,” Bloomberg said. “By using data to show what works – and what’s possible – cities can inform the global conversation on climate change and contribute to aggressive national targets to reduce emissions.”Autonomous cities do betterBloomberg was recently appointed the United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, where he will work with mayors to increase their climate change-related commitments, and encourage national governments to do the same.He stressed that there is a contrast between what governments do and what cities do. Cities have more diversity, and their leaders more contact with the communities who live there, so there can be different expectations from mayors. “Cities want national government’s money, but don’t want national government’s interference. You find that cities that have autonomy do much better.”He said that to get citizens more involved in tackling climate change it was important to bring the issues down to the here and now, instead of talking long-term plans.Christiana Figueries, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said mayors must raise their voices at a national and international level. “They must actively reach out to their national governments. Mayors need a strong climate agreement.”The mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark, Frank Jensen, said he worked closely with the country’s cabinet, and they were on a “similar mission” on climate change issues. He said half the citizens of Copenhagen used bikes and, between 1995 and 2012, the city had reduced its carbon emissions by 40%. It also treats is waste water so people could enjoy a swim in the inner harbour.The power of mayorsStressing how powerful mayors can really be, C40 executive director Mark Watts used the expression “When mayors rule the world”, saying cities are learning from each other. Overall, global cities’ actions to combat climate change have jumped from 4 700 in 2011 to 8 100 today.“There is a willingness to be bold and innovative – mayors have the power to act,” he said.From installing energy-efficient LED lighting and creating bicycle lanes and bike hire programmes, to introducing bus rapid transit (BRT) systems to cut down on carbon emissions, cities across the world are having an impact on tackling their climate change issues, he said.The new C40 chairperson and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Eduardo Paes, said climate change directly impacts city government. “Ninety-eight percent of city mayors say that climate change presents significant risks to their cities.” He spoke about the power of cities, and their actions making a difference.The C40 has become a global network, he said, citing how BRT systems have caught on, particularly in the southern hemisphere, jumping from 13 in the world a few years ago to 29 now, 16 of them in developed countries.Climate action in megacitiesAnnise Parker, the mayor of Houston in the US, said the city has reduced greenhouse emissions in the last seven years by 26%, and would take that figure down by another 5% in the next five years. And, instead of talking in lofty long-term goals, Houston’s officials tell citizens that by changing 28 000 street light bulbs to LED bulbs, the city has saved $3.6-million. “We talk about bottom lines instead of talking about greenhouse gases.”Another mayor spoke of how they had to teach citizens how to sort waste, with signs and symbols, the latter to include children. And another spoke of how the city invites businesses to help reach emission targets, with a whopping 93% of companies reporting to the city on reaching their targets.Parks Tau, Johannesburg’s executive mayor and host of the summit, spoke of reversing the effects of apartheid planning, which located the majority of citizens on the periphery of the city. His Corridors of Freedom plan would see densification of the inner city, thus reducing carbon emissions. The city’s BRT system has also achieved the same benefits, and by 2020 the city is expected to save 1.6-million tons of carbon dioxide.Tau sees climate change measures as a communal responsibility, involving communities and the private sector.The summit also marks the launch a directors’ programme which will provide dedicated, on-the-ground staff to selected cities. “This significant investment by the organisation in member cities will result in the development of projects and policies to support local sustainability efforts, as well as increase the ability of cities to share best practices through participation in C40 networks,” C40 Cities said in a statement.last_img read more