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Motor cluster will drive change

first_imgNew Mercedes-Benz cars await export on the docks of the harbour, below the factory. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nomsa Mbovani  ECSECC corporate affairs manager  +27 43 701 3400 RELATED ARTICLES • Automotive boost for Eastern Cape • Two-billion reasons Mercedes chose SA • Motor industry, government talk jobs • SA’s auto industry to turn greenEmily van RijswijckThe Eastern Cape province opened another chapter in its ongoing efforts to improve its regional competitiveness and increase job creation with the formal launch of a dedicated automotive cluster.The cluster will be represented by industry, government and labour.The cluster agreement was signed by Volkswagen Group South Africa, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Mercedes-Benz, General Motors South Africa, the Ford Motor Company of South Africa, the authority of the automotive parts industry (Naacam), the National Union of Metalworkers, Transnet, Eskom, the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the Buffalo City Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.The minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davis, was on hand to get the initiative under way at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on 19 March, just days after the grand opening of the Port of Ngqura outside Port Elizabeth.At the Ngqura launch President Jacob Zuma reiterated the government’s commitment to bringing the Eastern Cape into the economic fold.The province has three ports, each of which plays a critical role in the import and export of vehicles and parts to partners locally and overseas. The Port of Ngqura is already Africa’s major transhipment hub, while the ports of Port Elizabeth and East London continue to focus on clean cargo and automotive exports.Industry’s changing face A robust automotive sector plays an essential role in maintaining the overall health of the province, allowing it to stay internationally competitive, said Andrew Murray, executive director of the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council.“If the industry sneezes, the whole Eastern Cape gets a cold.”The council acts as a link between the government and relevant players in the province and, until now, has been the cluster facilitator. In time, the industry itself will take over the reins.The numbers speak for themselves. With 50% of the country’s vehicles manufactured in the province the Eastern Cape is understandably seen as the automotive heart of South Africa.Four of the country’s seven original export manufacturers are based in the province. They are Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) in Uitenhage, Ford South Africa and General Motors South Africa in Port Elizabeth and Mercedes-Benz in Buffalo City. The sector employs 40 000 workers in 1 500 companies.Globally the automotive sector is in transition and this will bring both threats and opportunities, Murray said. “If we don’t reassess this sector we are going to be found wanting.”This is where the cluster will play an important role, creating a platform for more coordinated efforts and a better aligned industry to face the global challenges, he believes. There will also be regional spin-offs.“The cluster will address the issue of regional competitiveness which will also have positive spin-offs for the rest of the Eastern Cape economy.”The overall objective of the cluster is to maximise job creation, market share and productivity levels, said Murray. Initial efforts will focus on improving logistics, building the skills base of the labour market and assisting with supplier development.It is hoped that the Eastern Cape cluster will tap into the experiences of the Durban Automotive Cluster, a successful initiative which was started in eThekwini in 2002,.In pure numbers South Africa’s automotive industry hardly makes a dent in global markets. With an output of less than 1% of it is considered to be uncompetitive in global terms.Despite this, major opportunities still exist, Murray said – they include emerging African markets as well as markets in South Africa and, more importantly, the Eastern Cape’s strategic location as a transhipment hub, linking the Americas with South East Asia.    Focus areasThe government and Eastern Cape industry partners started talks about forming a cluster almost a year ago.The need to do so became apparent with the introduction of the Automotive Production Development Plan (APDP), which came into effect in 2008. This scheme replaced the Motor Industry Development Programme in order for the sector to fall in line with the trade and tariffs requirements of the World Trade Organisation.The APDP has shifted the emphasis away from export incentives to production and local manufacturing incentives.In terms of logistics, the cluster will look at improving efficiency in the movement of goods and services within South Africa and to global markets.As for skills, an alarming trend perceived in the global automotive industry is the shift away from semi-skilled and unskilled labour to a workforce of highly skilled individuals with sophisticated technical proficiency, Murray said.“These jobs are disappearing, which means the cluster will need to focus on re-skilling, ongoing training and up-scaling apprenticeship programmes.”In pursuit of this aim the cluster will embark on a full-scale needs and skills audit and in time hopes to create a centre of excellence in research and development with the help of the province’s tertiary institutions. This should contribute to addressing the skills shortages in the industry.Suppliers form the backbone of the motor industry. The province has about 80 component manufacturers, which have to help keep the wheels turning by supplying the automotive manufacturers with components that meet international standards.They face their own unique challenges, including access to finance, rising production costs and the availability of raw materials. The cluster will seek to nurture and improve local suppliers by creating various enabling platforms, said Murray.Cluster welcomed The launch of a cluster does not come a moment too soon, industry leaders and cluster partners all agree.  David Powels, straight-talking MD of VWSA and chairperson of Naamsa, said the industry has never faced greater challenges. Despite the fact that last year VWSA broke its production record by 137 000 units there was an urgent need for a dramatic improvement in productivity in the industry. In 2011 VWSA celebrated 60 years in the Eastern Cape and currently produces about 70% of local content. Powels believes the cluster has the potential to make the Eastern Cape more productive and efficient.“The industry has to dramatically improve its competitiveness to be able to compete against low-cost products coming out of low-cost countries. We fully support this effort and will put a great amount of energy, power and support into this,” Powels said.General Motors communications manager Denise van Huyssteen said the company will be an active partner in the initiative. General Motors has been in South Africa since 1926 and continues to invest heavily in the industry, having spent R130-million on skills transfer in the past five years to make the industry more competitive.“We are committed to the Eastern Cape and support the establishment of an environment that is conducive to sustainable economic growth; one that serves as a platform to create jobs and social prosperity.”last_img read more

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Bulls’ Mirotic opts not to have surgery for facial fractures

first_imgJapan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 The Bulls had said he would likely need surgery and miss four to six weeks. Because of the concussion, Mirotic, who was born in Montenegro, did not have the operation right away. Paxson says the bones have started to heal so it’s “best” not to undergo surgery.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe also says Mirotic will resume light activity on Tuesday.Portis was suspended eight games. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Simmons helps 76ers beat Rockets CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIES Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)Chicago Bulls’ Bobby Portis (5) handles the ball during a preseason NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)CHICAGO — Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic has decided not to have surgery to repair the broken bones in his face.Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson tells Chicago’s WBBM-AM 780 that Mirotic decided to let the fractures heal on their own. Mirotic suffered several broken bones as well as a concussion when he got into a fight with teammate Bobby Portis during practice on Oct. 17.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Mel Kiper Jr weighs in on Buckeye draft hopefuls

ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. talked about Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, as well as three former OSU players hoping to hear their names called during the draft in a teleconference on Wednesday. Kiper said he knows what scouts need to see from Pryor in his final season. “Accuracy,” Kiper said. “Throwing the football is the main thing. “He has to throw the ball, and he has to be precise with the football, and he has to do the things from a pure passing standpoint.” Pryor’s final season, however, will be shortened by the five-game suspension he and four of his teammates face. Kiper added that he projects Pryor as a tight end at the next level, citing Pryor’s size, athletic ability and the transitions other players have made over the years. “Did he need to play those five games to prove he can be a quarterback? Yeah, he did,” Kiper said. “I think there is going to be some concern whether he is going to be a quarterback or a position change, like I said, to a tight end spot.” Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, a projected first-round pick, also was a subject of conversation. “Cameron Heyward is a real, real good 3-4 defensive end,” Kiper said. “I think he’d fit the New York Jets and certainly the Green Bay Packers. He would fit the Pittsburgh Steelers … the New England Patriots, any of those 3-4 teams is what Heyward would fit ideally.” The Jets, Steelers, and Packers pick 30th, 31st and 32nd respectively, while the Patriots hold the 17th and 28th overall selections. Kiper said Heyward is not an ideal fit in a 4-3 defensive scheme, but Heyward disagrees. “I think over my four years here I have enjoyed so many different positions and it’s made me more versatile,” Heyward said in a press conference on March 30 after working out for NFL scouts. “I think I can play any position you put me at.” Kiper weighed in on two other Buckeyes entering the draft. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa was projected as a possible third-round selection, and running back Brandon Saine was projected as one of many backs who could be picked on the third day in the fifth, sixth or seventh rounds, based on his pass-catching ability. The 2011 NFL draft will be held April 28–30 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Alex Kopilow contributed to this story. read more

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Ohio State semester switch could benefit Buckeyes athletes

With the switch to semesters approaching, most students have been gearing up for the change by deciding what to pack into their 72-day summer, and planning for the effects of the shorter break. For Ohio State student-athletes, the shorter summer and semester switch bring different adjustments and challenges, but also several advantages and opportunities. Starting Aug. 22, student-athletes in winter and spring sports will be able to begin out-of-season skill and instruction work. Previously, winter and spring athletes had to wait until the quarter started in late September to begin this work. The NCAA will still govern the football team’s and all fall sports’ practice start dates in accordance with NCAA rules. “Under the quarter system, OSU student-athletes in the winter and spring sports could not begin this instruction until the quarter began, leaving them at a considerable disadvantage to other schools, whose student-athletes in those sports were able to start the first day of their fall semesters,” OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig said in an email. Beginning in 2013, the end of Spring Semester will be followed by a four-week May class session. Following this accelerated session, which some refer to as a “Maymester,” there will be a one-week break, and then the regular seven-week summer session will begin, Emig said. There is no May session in 2012. Emig said the “Maymester” period will give many student-athletes an opportunity to participate in several learning opportunities, such as internships, study abroad programs and research efforts that were difficult to fit into their schedules during the quarter system. Steven Fink, the associate executive dean for curriculum and instruction in the College of Arts and Sciences and co-chair of the Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee, said each university department will handle the four-week May session differently, creating several different opportunities for students. “The curriculum is still being developed since it is not beginning until next summer, but we have a number of departments who are already designing courses for it,” Fink said. “I think it’s particularly well-suited for certain kinds of special topics or intensive experiences. A lot of programs are using it for study abroad, service learning, internship experiences or co-ops. Every department is going to decide on its own how it wants to handle that instructional period.” Although the teams will not have any additional or any fewer actual practice days or hours because of the switch, student-athletes may feel the effects of the change most in their free time. This year, fall athletes will begin classes about two weeks after they begin fall camp, as opposed to under the quarter system, where athletes did not start classes until about six weeks after the start of camp. Each OSU sports team has a different schedule and practice routine over the summer break, which bring varying changes depending on each athletic team’s agenda. Grayson Overman, a junior middle blocker on OSU’s volleyball team, said not much will change for him personally, but he’s excited for the switch. “I’m pretty stoked for (the change),” Overman said. “It’s going to be a lot slower pace which will be a break and might make volleyball more exciting.” OSU women’s golf coach, Therese Hession said that although there are no team-oriented events in college golf during the summer, the players are on their own schedule qualifying for tournaments. With the semester switch, the student-athletes will not get much of a rest. “We will just get started a little bit earlier than we normally do,” Hession said. “They’ll be coming right back and jumping into school.” Summer classes begin on June 18 and conclude Aug. 3. Exams will take place Aug. 6 through Aug. 8. read more

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Cristiano Ronaldos future uncertain as he is absent in Real Madrid

first_imgReal Madrid just released the new kits their players will be wearing for the 2018-19 season following their triumph in the Champions League last Saturday but Ronaldo is not seen in the advert.This could be confirming the Portuguese statement after the Champions League match where he told the press that news about his future will be available in days. With this hint from Real, fingers are crossed waiting to know what the star future news will be like with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United keeping tabs on the striker.The 33-year-old striker didn’t even appear on the club’s shop on their website, however, Gareth Bale was also seen in the kit launch alongside Marcelo, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and defender Nacho Fernandez, as they donned the sleek home and away shirts on Twitter on Tuesday.Bale’s appearance comes as a surprise after the Welshman distanced himself from the club and having been heavily linked with Man Utd for a deal after scoring a match-winning brace against Liverpool.Despite being in the advert, Bale is could still leave Madrid unless he is able to secure more playing time under Zinedine Zidane.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Check out the new kit launch advert below: You’re nobody until you create ??? Our new home and away kit by @adidasfootball. ? https://t.co/odfWCbsdVu#HalaMadrid #HereToCreate pic.twitter.com/BInQm2Lw4g— #CHAMP13NS ???? (@realmadriden) May 29, 2018last_img read more

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Carlos claimed that Alli plays like a Brazilian

first_imgThe World Cup in Russia is about to begin and Roberto Carlos is confident that Dele Alli will be one of the biggest stars of England – who are one of the favourites, while Brazil being the biggest ones.The former Brazil full-back claimed that his country will be the biggest favourites of the tournament but everyone will have to count with England as well – especial because of Dele Alli who is playing like he was born in Brazil.The former Real Madrid player spoke about Alli’s qualities as he said that he will the key to success for the Albion, according to Sky Sports:Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“England are one of the favourites after Brazil. But I really like Dele Alli – he’s a lot like a Brazilian player.”“I saw him at the Real Madrid against Spurs game and he was really impressive. He’s tall and has real ability – a very good player.”“He has the swagger that Brazilians have.”last_img read more

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Illuminating lives To make an environmental impact

first_imgWorld Earth Day is celebrated every year as an annual event all across the world on Apri 22. Schools, in particular, celebrate the day in an attempt to spread awareness among students about environment safety, and demonstrate environmental protection measures. In and across Kolkata, many schools set up activities to make this process of learning as much fun as possible for the students this Earth Day.Cheerful students of Akshar, a renowned school headed by Neena Singh, the Executive Director, celebrated Earth Day in the most versatile and innovative way possible. Each class decided to do their bulletin boards on an international or national environmental activist. The students chose various activists and then put up a performances based on them and their history. They were given a span of one week to prepare. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOn April 28, the students showcased it on the stage, highlighting the efforts of the activists who worked hard to make a tangible environmental impact. Some of the activists included were Parvati Barua from India, Steve Irwin from Australia, Winona Laduke and Rachel Carson from the US, among various others. It portrayed a global participation in the conservation of the environment. Although the program lasted for less than an hour, it was a success and highlighted Akshar’s motive and inspiration of being a green hub. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpeaking on the occasion, Navneet Khullar, the Principal of the school said: “It was a great day to impart environmental education, reflect efforts to green the entire school and most importantly engage the whole student community in making a difference.”When asked in what ways can we save our planet, Megha Lahiri, a student of class 7 said, “I mostly avoid using plastic bags and switch off lights and fans whenever I come out of my room because energy conservation is a necessity.” This is an extended program under ‘The young leaders for change project’ where Akshar is collaborating with CEE (Center for Environment Education) and the American Center. Under this project, Akshar has partnered with an Australian NGO “Solar Buddies”. The project undertaken by Akshar is called ‘Illuminating Lives’ and through this project, their students will make and distribute solar lamps to make the environment more sustainable by reaching out to the community at large. It is now imperative to make students understand the importance of conserving planet Earth through various tangible and intangible ways.last_img read more

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