Loyiso Bala, South Africa’s King of R&B, and now a South African UNAids Goodwill Ambassador.(Image: Just Curious)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sade StarkeyOffice Administrator+27 011 465 0005Aneshree NaidooLoyiso Bala may be known as South Africa’s king of R&B, but now the much-loved entertainer has an official title to his name: South African UNAids Goodwill Ambassador.The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) announced his appointment on 21 October. As a goodwill ambassador, 34-year-old Bala will use his public platform to reduce the stigma of HIV infection and fight discrimination against people with HIV. He will also speak out against gender inequality and gender violence.“We are delighted to welcome Mr Bala to the UNAids family here in South Africa,” said Dr Catherine Sozi, the UNAids country co-ordinator in South Africa. “He has a powerful role to play in helping us highlight critical issues in the HIV response.”Bala was quick to tweet his new job: “I’m honoured to announce my appointment as the UNAids Goodwill Ambassador. UNAids is the Join United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids.” The UN-funded organisation works with prominent individuals in the arts, entertainment, sport and other fields of public life, to build awareness of HIV and Aids.Speaking to MediaClubSouthAfrica.com, he said: “The UN is known for its extraordinary good work in South Africa, Africa and the world. To be given the opportunity to be a part of this team is for me a great honour. After all, I don’t sing to only entertain but to also make a difference. Being a UNAids Goodwill Ambassador provides me with the best platform to carry this forward.“I get many opportunities to address young people either through music or through speaking engagements. I will take the opportunity to raise some of the issues surrounding HIV/Aids in our country within my UNAids targets. This will hopefully open a dialogue about this issue in our nation.I believe that the more we can talk about it, the better we can understand it and the closer we will be to defeating it.”Guiding young peopleAccording to the Statistics South Africa May 2013 mid-year population estimate, the number of HIV-positive people in South Africa increased from an estimated four million in 2002 to 5.26 million in 2013. The South Africa 2013 Global Aids Response Progress Report states that while progress has been made in reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination, much needs to be achieved by the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline.The sixth MDG relates to HIV and Aids, with Target 6.A to have halted and begun to reverse, by 2015, the spread of HIV/Aids. The UN reports that new HIV infections continue to decline in most regions. More people than ever are living with HIV as a result of fewer Aids-related deaths and the continued large number of new infections, with 2.5 million people newly infected each year. Comprehensive knowledge of HIV transmission remains low among young people, along with condom use. More orphaned children are now in school because of expanded efforts to mitigate the impact of Aids, it says.Target 6.B of the MDGs is to achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/Aids for all those who need it. The UN reports that while the target was missed by 2011, access to treatment for people with HIV increased in all regions. At the end of 2011, 8 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV. It says this total constitutes an increase of over 1.4 million people from December 2010. By the end of 2011, 11 countries had achieved universal access to antiretroviral therapy.According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2012, the reported number of adults – people aged 15 and over – in South Africa receiving antiretroviral therapy was 2 010 340.Gender inequalityGender inequality is also a major challenge in South Africa, reflected in the preliminary findings of the Human Sciences Research Council National Household Survey recently. Results show that young women and girls between 15 and 24 years old are three times (17.9%) more likely to be HIV-positive than young men and boys in the same age group (5.6%).In light of this, Bala will play a key role in inspiring people – young people in particular – to get tested for HIV. If they know their status they will be more able to make informed decisions about leading healthy and productive lives. HIV testing encourages disclosure and openness about the disease.“I believe passionately in young people and in making a difference in their lives. This new partnership with UNAids provides me with a way to speak to them about issues which affect them. I am where I am today because of the guidance I received from people who loved me and guided me as a young person. I hope I can provide the same inspiration to my audience,” said Bala.Born in Uitenhage, in Eastern Cape, Bala began his career singing in church at just three years old. He trained classically as a schoolboy at the world renowned Drakensberg Boys’ Choir. After completing school, his career rocketed with his family group, TKZee, the famed kwaito outfit. As a solo artist, he is now a multiple award-winning R&B and gospel musician and a triple platinum selling artist.He has performed alongside international artists Elton John, Will Smith, Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend, Brian McKnight and Jamelia, and for dignitaries and celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson. He has been nominated for MTV Awards and has been named You and GQ magazines’ most stylish male in the country.Bala is also an ambassador for the social justice organisation, 46664; the child-focused charity, Smile Foundation; and the charity, MaAfrika Tikkun. He also uses his celebrity status to talk about HIV education in South African schools. He is married to publicist Jennifer Odjidja; the couple had their first child this year.
23 October 2014At a time when South Africa is experiencing sluggish economic growth, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has announced a Medium Term Budget for 2014 which looks to generate growth and reduce poverty in the country.Presenting the medium term budget on Wednesday, 22 October, Nene said South Africa is going through a difficult time, with governments around the world facing difficult choices because the gap between what is required and what can be afforded.During the tabling of the 2014 Budget in February this year, South Africa expected the economy to grow by 2.7% in 2014, according to Nene. However, this has been revised to 1.4% with Treasury projecting that growth will reach 3% in 2017.Weak global environment“This downward revision is partly because of a weak global environment, including the slowdown in Europe, China and other emerging economies. But it also reflects obstacles to our own development: energy constraints, labour market disruptions, skills shortages, administrative shortcomings and difficulties in our industrial transformation,’ said Nene.In addition, South Africa is not making enough progress in raising incomes or reducing poverty. Nene said far too many people in the country are unemployed, deepening inequality and heightening vulnerability. “We import considerably more than we export,’ he said.Government is not collecting enough taxes and government’s debt continues to rise as a percentage of GDP. Nene said the Medium Term Budget seeks restore the balance to the nation’s finances, bolster investment and achieve better value for money in public expenditure.A change of course is needed for South Africa to grow, and this growth has to be aligned to the National Development Plan’s vision to build a more equal and prosperous society. Nene said government’s actions over the next five years to achieve this vision are set out in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). “It highlights the need for a compact between a capable developmental state, a thriving business sector and strong civil society. It identifies employment, education and enhancing the capacity of the state as central policy objectives,’ he said.Medium Term Strategic FrameworkThe MTSF includes programmes aimed at improving South Africa’s competitiveness, particularly in new areas such as oil and gas development, renewable energy and green technology. The framework also recognises the need to support job creation through sector-based interventions, employment incentives, the expanded public works programme and the Jobs Fund.However, there are structural changes that need to be implemented, according to Nene. These shifts should focus on manufacturing, agriculture, the energy sector, mining, transport and communication, and the financial sector.“These are areas of structural transformation, Honourable Speaker, that involve investment and change across the economy as a whole, bringing together the public and private sectors, civil society and local initiatives.2014/15Adjustments AppropriationNene said Treasury has set out the Adjustments Appropriation for 2014/15, and the additional allocations for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure include:R157 million on the Cooperative Governance vote to repair infrastructure damaged by disasters, and R35 million for emergency water and sanitation interventionsR32.6 million for the Department of Health for Ebola control and prevention measures, including support for affected countries andR350 million for International Relations and Cooperation to compensate for the depreciation of the Rand.“The Adjustments Appropriation also includes R620 million for the digital broadcast migration programme, as indicated in the February budget speech,’ said Nene.Adding, Nene said after taking into account the unallocated reserve, declared savings and projected underspending, total expenditure in 2014/15 will be about R6 billion less than the February estimate.Revised revenue estimates“The revised revenue estimate is R956 billion, leaving a deficit on the main budget of R180 billion. Surpluses of the social security funds, provinces and public entities are estimated at R27 billion. This brings the consolidated budget deficit to R153 billion, or 4.1% of GDP, which is in line with the February budget estimate.’Turning to government spending, Nene said government has reached that point where it has to implement drastic measures. In this regard, he said fiscal consolidation can no longer be postponed.Nene said in order to reduce the budget deficit from 4.1% this year to 2.5% over the next three years, the expenditure ceiling will be lowered by R10 billion in 2015/16 and R15 billion in 2016/17.To effect the lower ceiling, national government will:Freeze budgets of non-essential goods and services at 2014/15 levelsWithdraw funding for posts that have been vacant for some time andReduce the rate of growth of transfers to public entities, particularly those with cash reserves.Nene said across national departments, planned expenditure on travel and subsistence, conference venues and catering has been cut. “Advertising and communications budgets have been reduced. Allocations for consultant services have been capped. These steps will contribute savings of about R1.3 billion over the next two years,’ he said.Revenue divisionOn division of revenue, Nene said Treasury proposes a national appropriation of R1.2 trillion in 2015/16 , rising to R1.3 trillion in 2016/17.“The proposed division of revenue allocates 48 per cent to national departments, 43 per cent to provinces and 9 percent to local government over the MTEF period. Allocations to national departments will total R495 billion in the current year and will increase to R585 billion in 2017/18,’ said Nene.SAinfo reporter
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: Man Utd get PSG; Liverpool, Tottenham take on German giants; Juventus vs Atletico Madrid;by Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United will face PSG in the Champions League last-16 after the draw was completed in Switzerland on Monday morning.Liverpool and Tottenham will play Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, respectively, avoiding the likes of Barcelona and Juventus.Max Allegri’s team drew Atletico Madrid, while Barca will play Lyon. In the other matches, defending champions Real Madrid will take on Ajax, Roma face Porto and Manchester City get their reward for finishing top of their group as they face Bundesliga side Schalke.UEFA Champions League Round of 16 drawLiverpool vs Bayern MunichAjax vs Real MadridRoma vs PortoLyon vs BarcelonaManchester United vs PSGTottenham vs Borussia DortmundManchester City vs SchalkeAtletico Madrid vs Juventus
Tottenham boss Pochettino: I don’t care about Man City v Liverpool resultby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed he does not care who wins out of Manchester City and Liverpool on Thursday night.Spurs put themselves into second place, one point ahead of City, with a win over Cardiff City on New Year’s Day.Despite the obvious implications of the result, Pochettino says he will be simply enjoying the “spectacle”.The Argentine said: “In this country all the people are going to watch the game.”But I will be in a neutral position trying to enjoy the game.”I don’t care about the result, I just want to enjoy the spectacle and the game.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Argentina boss Scanoli reveals Aguero not involved in full Man City trainingby Freddie Taylor11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArgentina boss Lionel Scaloni has claimed that Sergio Aguero often sits out of full training at Manchester City.Aguero has been involved in most of City’s games this season, managing eight goals in as many games this term.But he is carrying an injury, according to his international boss.Scaloni spoke about Aguero and said to reporters: “Sergio Aguero is not here because he’s been carrying a problem and has not been training 100 per cent with his club.”It is unclear what injury is troubling Aguero and whether he will be fit for his club’s next Premier League game after the international break.The 31-year-old is still one of the key players at the Etihad Stadium club, and will be needed if City are to catch up on the eight point deficit to Liverpool in the Premier League table.
Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Deadpool and X-Men spin-off movie X-Force to start shooting later this yearJosh Brolin is cashing all those superhero cheques. The X-Men film franchise is expanding (the X-panded Universe, anyone?) with yet another spin-off going into production.First up, there’s Deadpool and its sequel, the horror-themed New Mutants and the TV shows Legion and Gifted… and now X-Force is totally happening too. Production Weekly reports that the film will begin shooting in October, with both Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin returning as the Merc with a Mouth and his mate Cable, respectively. READ MOREDeadpool 2 Spin-off X-Force Starts Production This Fall?According to a new report, the X-Force movie will begin filming sometime in October of this year. X-Force director, Drew Goddard, is currently filming Bad Times at the El Royale and that movie is set to hit theaters on October 8th, which means he’ll be on the promotional campaign ahead of the release and then afterwards as well. If this report ends up being true, Goddard is going to have a pretty busy month of October. Deadpool 2 is wrapping reshoots in Vancouver ahead of its May 18th release date.News of the X-Force movie was announced late last year, and it will see the return of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Josh Brolin as Cable. And as the new report suggests, filming will begin this October. Deadpool 2 will introduce Cable and Zazie Beetz’s Domino character, so it seems likely that Domino will be featured in X-Force as well. Colossus is also a likely candidate to return as well. The official synopsis reads. READ MORE Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment When it was announced The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, had bought up a big chunk of 20th Century Fox, which controls the Deadpool franchise, fans speculated a mash-up movie of all your favorite Marvel characters could be coming.Their instincts were right: a Deadpool and spinoff, called X-Force, will reportedly begin filming this summer, according to Production Weekly.X-Force was originally conceived in 1991 by comic illustrator Rob Liefeld. The team of superheroes was led by Cable in its first appearance in New Mutants. READ MORE Twitter Facebook
REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Avalanche Canada has issued a special public avalanche warning for backcountry users.The warning went into effect Thursday afternoon and will remain in place until Sunday for the following regions: Lizard Range and Flathead, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, North Rockies, South & North Columbia, Cariboos, Sea-to-Sky, South Coast, South Coast Inland and Northwest Coastal. For a map of the regions involved, click here.After a prolonged drought in late November and early December, the province has been hit with a series of storms that have dropped a significant amount of snow. This new snow is not bonding well to the old surface that formed during the drought. “Our main concern is that we are expecting the weather to clear on Saturday,” explains James Floyer, senior avalanche forecaster for Avalanche Canada. “After all this rain in the valleys, backcountry users are going to want to hit the alpine but that’s where the danger is greatest. There’s a very weak layer now buried anywhere between 60 and 150 cm. Any avalanche triggered on that layer will definitely be life threatening.”Avalanche Canada warns anyone accessing higher elevation terrain to be aware of this hazard. This means skiers and boarders leaving ski resort boundaries and snowmobilers riding at or above the treeline. Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe and shovel—and know how to use it. And always check the current avalanche conditions at www.avalanche.ca.
New Delhi/Bhopal: The Income-Tax Department raids against close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others continued Monday with search teams making seizures of documents and cash, officials said. Officials said the searches, on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions during the ongoing poll season, are continuing at various premises in Bhopal, Indore and in Delhi and national capital region as tax sleuths are gathering details and evidences. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details While there is no official word on the exact amount of cash seized, sources said over Rs 10 crore suspected cash has been seized till now. At least half-a-dozen people, linked to alleged hawala dealer Paras Mal Lodha, are being questioned by the department. The department had launched pre-dawn raids at 52 locations on Sunday on people and associates linked to Nath. Sources had told PTI that there is a “strong possibility” of the cash recovered during the operation being used as an election inducement to fund political campaigns and bribe voters in the poll-bound state and in Delhi. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday A preliminary report of the raids was also shared by the department with the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Election Commission in Delhi. A cash van with large-sized trunks has been sent by the department at a location in Bhopal to seize and collect the cash found during the raids, they said. Those searched included Nath’s former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pravin Kakkar, former adviser Rajendra Miglani, Ashwani Sharma and executives linked to his brother-in-law’s firm Moser Bayer and his nephew Ratul Puri’s company. Nath had reacted late Sunday to the development. “The situation about the I-T raids is not clear yet. It would be appropriate to speak on this after the situation is clear. But the entire country knows how the constitutional institutions were used and against whom they were used during the past five years,” he had said. “These institutions were used to scare people. When they do not have anything to say on development and their work, they used this kind of tactics against their opponents,” the CM’s statement had said.
New Delhi: A Delhi court Thursday allowed a senior advocate, who is an accused in the Election Commission bribery case involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader T T V Dhinakaran, to travel abroad.Special Judge Arun bhardwaj permitted Chennai-based B Kumar to travel to the US from April 27 to June 8 to visit his son who is living with his family there. “The apprehension of the prosecution that applicant/accused will flee from justice is not based on any material. No tangible ground is made by the prosecution for not granting permission to applicant/accused to go abroad. Thus, keeping in view the facts and circumstances, the applicant/accused is permitted to travel abroad to the USA,” the judge said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The court also imposed certain conditions which included furnishing additional security in the form of bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh or in the alternative a fixed deposit receipt of the like amount. “The applicant/accused, B Kumar, shall furnish a detailed affidavit disclosing his detailed programme, including his stay at various stations abroad and telephone numbers and residential address before his departure,” the judge said in his order. “The applicant/accused, B Kumar, would be returning during summer vacations. Therefore, the applicant/accused shall inform the IO about his arrival in India within 48 hours of his return and shall surrender his passport to the IO. Thereafter, the IO shall deposit with this court the passport of applicant/accused B Kumar within two days of reopening of the courts,” he said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe court also said that Kumar will not contact or influence the prosecution witnesses. The Delhi Police had earlier filed a supplementary charge sheet against Dhinakaran, Chandrashekhar, Mallikarjuna, a long-time friend of Dhinakaran, and six others in the case. Dhinakaran has been accused of offences under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC, besides taking gratification by corrupt or illegal means to influence public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act).
Tata steelworks Port Talbot, Wales, April 26, 2016.Reuters fileAfter Tata Steel announced that it had tweaked the roles of two of its top executives TV Narendran and Koushik Chatterjee, it is now speculated that the decision was taken in tune with the company’s plans to merge with Thyssenkrupp in Europe.The board of Tata Steel met on Monday, October 30, and promoted managing director, India & Southeast Asia, Narendran to the post of global chief executive and managing director, and group executive director and chief finance officer Chatterjee is now executive director and CFO, reported the Economic Times.It is also being said that though Narendran has now been given a larger role in the firm, things may change once Tata Steel’s merger with Thyssenkrupp is completed. With this, Tata Steel is also aiming to expand its footprints in India and Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran has said that the brand is capable of doubling its presence in the country.Meanwhile, the brand’s merger with ThyssenKrupp was also debated for a while. Even though it had often been said that Tata Steel may not merge with the latter, the two firms signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in September. This deal makes the firms the continent’s second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal.Amid these discussions, Chatterjee had earlier told the business daily that Tata Steel’s merger with Thyssenkrupp depended on quite a few factors, one of which was the pension scheme issue being resolved. “A fair resolution of the pension scheme in the UK will be key to securing Tata Steel’s future prospects in Europe, be it in pursuing a merger with Thyssenkrupp or running a lean and profitable business in high-value steels,” Chatterjee said.The Indian multinational steel-making company had earlier made news for paying bonuses worth £25 million to its top European managers, at a time when UK workers have been taking pension cuts to keep the British business floating.The “retention” bonus was reportedly awarded to about 100 top managers at the UK and Dutch offices. ReutersThe details of the payments made were leaked by a Dutch whistleblower, after which the company admitted that these bonuses had been paid to senior managers, reported the Financial Times. Additionally, the officials at Tata Steel also said that the retention bonus had been paid as per the terms and conditions of the said managers’ contract.When FT got in touch with the officials regarding the payments, the website was shown a letter that Tata Steel’s chairman Andrew Robb had sent to the employees of the company on Wednesday, July 12. The letter said: the company offers “a range of short and longer-term incentives for employees at all levels so we can attract and retain the appropriate skills for the future.”After this, several trade unions had slammed the firm and said that “Tata Steel managers should hang their heads in shame.”The Unite trade union added: “It’s remarkable that bonuses of such kind have been paid out to senior bosses at a time of great upheaval and uncertainty for the company. Workers on the shop floor whose livelihoods have been hanging by a thread and pay frozen will understandably be less than impressed.”