The surrounding communities have benefited from the upgrades too, with well-lit footways from Orlando and Mlamlankunzi stations improving safety and security for commuters and over 2 200 jobs were created with skills in carpentry, bricklaying, plastering and painting being transferred. Construction at Johannesburg’s Orlando Stadium, to be used as a training venue during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, has been completed. The R280-million revamp of the stadium, which began in May 2006, involved kitting out the multi-functional facility with hospitality facilities that can accommodate 120 suites, conference facilities, a gymnasium, fan shop, offices and security facilities. The seating capacity has been increased from 24 000 to over 40 000, and the stadium will be now able to cater to cater to both soccer and rugby matches, as well as community gatherings and music concerts. The new stadium gets its first taste of football action on Saturday, when home team Orlando Pirates play Thanda Royal Zulu in a Premier Soccer League match. This will be followed by Moroka Swallows versus Platinum Stars on Sunday, and locals Kaiser Chiefs against Golden Arrows on 26 November. Community benefits The Johannesburg municipality hopes that Orlando Stadium will in the future represent a change in Soweto’s skyline that will be seen as a reference point for all tourists and soccer lovers. Executive director of the city’s 2010 unit, Sibongile Mazibuko, told reporters that they had been working with the South African Police Service, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department and the city’s disaster management unit to ensure that the weekends PSL games were safe, manageable and enjoyable to all. “When the soccer spectacle has come and gone, there must be something of value that is there for all to see and point at,” Johannesburg council chairperson Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said this week. 20 November 2008 “We will not be filling the stadium to its capacity of 40 000, but will only be allowing about 30 000 spectators due to the fact that this will be the first test for the stadium,” said Mazibuko. Source: BuaNews Safety, security Responding to questions on the role and management of the stadium post-2010, Mayathula-Khoza explained that a public tender had been put out for a company to manage the stadium independently after the tournament.
28 August 2012 South Africa’s economic growth quickened in the second quarter as the country’s mining sector rebounded following months of contraction. South Africa’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices increased by 3.2% in the second quarter, up from 2.7% in the first quarter, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday. This was marginally below the consensus among analysts that GDP would rise to 3.3%.Contributions: mining to the fore Mining registered a 31.2 percent jump in output, coming off a low base of -16.8 percent in the first quarter. Stats SA said mining and quarrying accounted for 1.5 percentage points of the 3.2% increase, while finance, real estate and business services contributed 0.5 percentage points. The wholesale‚ retail and motor trade‚ catering and accommodation industry contributed 0.4 of a percentage point, general government services contributed 0.3 of a percentage point, while the transport, storage and the communication industry contributed 0.2. Negative contributions included manufacturing‚ which subtracted 0.2 of a percentage point, and the electricity‚ gas and water industry, which subtracted 0.1 of a percentage point.Manufacturing contracts Manufacturing output showed negative growth of 1% for the quarter. GDP manager at Stats SA Kedibone Mabaso said this could be attributed to lower production in basic iron and steel as well as in wood and wood products. Mabaso said growth in the mining and quarrying industry reflected higher production of other metal ores including platinum, other mining and quarrying and coal. The unadjusted real GDP at market prices increased by 3% year-on-year, while the unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the first six months of 2012 increased by 2.5% compared to the first six months of 2012. The nominal value added during the second quarter of 2012 was R788-billion. This is R23-billion more than in the first quarter of 2012.Economy ‘to grow at 2.5% for 2012’ Economists at Nedbank said South Africa’s economy was still expected to grow by 2.5% for 2012, adding that mining would come under renewed pressured because of a weak global economy. In the same breath, they predicted that manufacturing would be hurt by weak external demand, while consumer orientated sectors would continue to see growth but at a slower pace, as growth in disposable income moderated due to higher inflation and a stagnant jobs market. “The latest GDP figures were in line with expectations and are unlikely to have implications for monetary policy in the short term,” said Nedbank, adding that the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) was likely to maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance in the months ahead. “With the inflation outlook likely to start deteriorating once the effects of the weaker rand and higher food and oil prices start to filter through, we think that the MPC will keep interest rates on hold rather than ease further. No change is expected until at least the fourth quarter of 2013,” Nedbank said. The committee will hold its next meeting from 18 to 20 September. SANews.gov.za, with additional reporting by SAinfo
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest One of the warmest Mays on record caused one of the fastest starts to the corn growing season. That jump start for the young corn crop may have producers facing a quickly closing post application window with fewer options to choose from. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins finds out more from Bill McDonald from Seed Consultants.
One of the more encouraging developments in the realm of green retrofits is the emergence of municipal programs designed to help homeowners cover the costs of audits and energy efficiency improvements.This spring, we saw Boulder County, Colorado, launch a loan program, called ClimateSmart, that is designed to provide low-cost financing for renewable-energy improvements. Similar programs also have been offered in the California cities of San Diego, San Francisco, and Palm Desert, and in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.As noted in a story published Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal, many states have adopted laws that allow municipal financing for energy efficiency improvements, and the federal stimulus bill removed a restriction that prevented homeowners who participated in local financing programs from receiving full federal tax credits for energy-related work. State tax credits also apply, which means a homeowner taking advantage of all tax credit programs now can reduce the final cost of, say, a solar installation by almost half.Greening a town on the AtlanticOne municipal financing initiative that has been gaining ground is Long Island Green Homes, a program offered by Babylon, New York, in Long Island’s Suffolk County. Participation in the program, which launched in October, is fairly straightforward: prospective participants are asked to fill out a “Self-Check Home Inventory Form,” which details energy-usage data, to determine whether their home qualifies for an energy audit. Audits and subsequent, program-authorized improvements are made by contractors certified by the Building Performance Institute.The cost of the retrofits, up to $12,000, are covered by loans made by the city, which homeowners pay off with most of the savings they’ll see on their utility bills. Loan contracts can be for 10 years or more.An audit program with similar goals, LI Green, began operating in Suffolk County and other parts of Long Island in 2008. LI Green has partnered with Stony Brook University, also based on Long Island, and Suffolk County Government and Bethpage Federal Credit Union to provide home energy audits, help homeowners who receive them contact a contractor (certified by BPI), and provide them with details about securing below-market financing. LI Green technicians also can offer guidance to homeowners who want to do the work themselves.So Long Island is becoming a hotbed of green retrofits. Who knew? Long Island Green Homes’ program director, Sammy Chu, told the Journal that 50 homeowners a month are calling the town to ask for audits, up from 10 to 12 when the program started. Most of those audits lead to work contracts, Chu said, noting that previously only 20% of audits would lead to actual work.