Cape Town gets new nature reserves

first_imgThe Western Cape’s precious flora andfauna is be even better conserved in future,once Cape Town has established its 16new reserves.(Image: Formore free photos, visit the image library)MEDIA CONTACTS • Cliff DorseBiodiversity coordinator: EnvironmentalResource Management Department,City of Cape Town+27 21 514 4189Mark ReidThe City of Cape Town will soon submit an application to the Western Cape provincial government for the proclamation of two new nature reserves in the city, and the expansion of an existing reserve.The news follows a positive reception to the announcement made in early 2011 that Cape Town plans to proclaim 15 new reserves under the Protected Areas Act of 2003. A public participation process followed, which was supplemented with radio interviews and newspaper articles and received a mostly enthusiastic response.According to the new proposal, the Diep River reserve, the Zoarvlei and Rietvlei wetlands and the Milnerton Race Course nature reserve – all located in the city’s northern suburbs – will be merged into one and called the Table Bay Nature Reserve.The existing False Bay Ecology Park on the southern coast has been extended to include portions of the coastline and will become the new False Bay Nature Reserve, while the small 3.6ha Botterblom Park in Durbanville, on the northern boundary of the Cape Town metropolitan area, has already been declared a new nature reserve.Wealth of biodiversityIn a recent press release, Belinda Walker of the mayoral planning committee stated, “In addition to the intrinsic value of Cape Town’s unique biodiversity and open spaces, the city’s nature reserves are economic and social assets for the local community.”Cape Town is world-renowned for its wealth of biodiversity, a major tourist drawcard. The region boasts over 3 250 native plant species and 19 different vegetation types.Urbanisation and other factors have put much of this natural treasure at risk, and 319 species are threatened with extinction, according to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Already 13 plant species are extinct in the wild, so the time to act is now.Biodiversity provides the region with vital benefits like food, shelter and protection against wind, sand and flood erosion. If biodiversity is allowed to deteriorate, the effects of climate change may be severely felt. Cape Town will become a more sustainable city if natural systems in its urban environment are conserved and enhanced.One of the city’s greatest attractions as a tourist destination is its vast open spaces. Currently there are more than 30 nature reserves and natural areas scattered across Cape Town. This network of open spaces provides protection for vulnerable fauna and flora, and also contributes to education, recreation and conservation of natural heritage, as well as job creation.Protecting our natural heritageOn the Cape Town website, a report states that many of the city’s nature reserves do not have adequate conservation protection. Those which do have conservation protection have expanded, but official reserve boundaries have not been adjusted accordingly. Once the boundaries have been officially established, these newly acquired areas will also be protected.Once the proclamations are finalised, city management plans to establish advisory committees to help oversee the reserves. These committees will be made up of representatives of the community parties as well as various specialists. They will facilitate communication between all parties concerned, and will ensure sound management of the reserves in the future.last_img read more

IEC targets 2-million new voters for 2014

first_img7 November 2013 South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has set a target of securing two-million new registrations by the time the voters’ roll closes before next year’s general elections. “Through its registration drive, the IEC hopes to increase registrations to 80% of the voting-age population, in line with levels of previous elections, which would require an additional two million voters to register,” IEC chairperson Advocate Pansy Tlakula told SAnews on Wednesday.Voter registration readiness Tlakula said everything is ready for eligible voters at the IEC’s 22 263 registration stations, which will operate between 8am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. All registration materials have been delivered to eight metropolitan councils and 226 local municipal councils, and will be delivered over the next two days to the registration stations for the opening on Saturday morning, she added. The voting districts represent an almost 7% increase over the 20 859 districts in place for the 2011 local government election. The growth reflects an expansion of voting districts in predominantly rural areas, to reduce the distance required for voters to travel to voting stations. The increases are 15% in the Free State, 10% in Limpopo and 9% each in the North West and KwaZulu-Natal.Registering to vote The Department of Home Affairs has agreed to open its branches on Saturday and Sunday, to coincide with the registration station hours for the collection of ID books, smartcard IDs or temporary identity certificates. Tlakula said a total of 45 795 election officials will be standing by to register new voters, and to verify the registration details of existing voters. To register, eligible voters need to be in possession of a green bar-coded ID book, or a temporary ID certificate, or the new smart card ID. Encouraging students to take time out to vote, Tlakula said: “Our voter registration process is very quick, and I’m sure that even those young people who are preparing for their exams can take a few minutes to visit our registration stations in their respective areas, in order to register for next year’s general elections”. “Almost 30 000 zip-zap [automatic scanner] machines have undergone testing and battery checks to ensure they are ready for the weekend,” she said. “The machines will be in an optimal functional condition as a result of these testing procedures they have undergone.”Registration stations Registration stations are located at a wide variety of premises which are leased by the Electoral Commission for registration weekends and voting days. These include schools (65%), community and civic halls (10%), places of worship (7%) and other community venues. Approximately 7% will use temporary facilities including tents and other temporary structures. There will also be 30 mobile registration stations, which will be used in rural areas. Currently the Free State has the higher percentage of voter registration at 80%, followed by the Eastern Cape (79.6%), Northern Cape (77.6%), Limpopo (77.0%), KwaZulu-Natal (75.0%) and North West (73.5%). The provinces with the lowest registration percentages are Mpumalanga (70.3%), Western Cape (70.3%) and Gauteng (69.2%). Source: read more

Citi works to defend wealthy clients from rival bank poachers

first_imgHit by the massive fraud in its Gurgaon branch perpetrated by its rogue relationship manager Shivraj Puri, Citibank is planning to compensate the victims, even as it moved ‘damage control’ interactions with its High Networth Individual (HNIs) customers into high gear.Puri allegedly diverted over Rs 300 crore of funds from customers and non- customers of Citibank, into personal accounts and had been investing in equities market for over a year.In a statement issued issued on Saturday, Citi said it had been in contact with “impacted customers” and was in the process of reconciling the amounts involved with the customers. It is in the “process of working towards a fair compensation for them,” the bank said.Other banks, meanwhile, have been moving to try and snatch some of Citibank’s HNI customers citing that lack of sufficient risk management systems had led to the fraud.”A couple of days back, I have got a call from Citibank guys asking me to participate in their HNI meet, perhaps to explain their side of the (fraud) story. I am not even a Citibank customer. I see it as an exercise to retain or boost customer base in the wake of the fraud,” said one of the top three executives of a listed broking house, who wished not to be named.Sources said Citi had been responding to a flood of calls on the issue after the scam broke, though the number has been tailing off in recent days.Citibank, however, declined to comment on the issue of rising interactions with HNI customers.advertisementPolice investigation into the issue, revealed that Puri had attracted these funds from some people, including those of Hero Honda promoters, by offering a high returns of two per cent per month. Puri is in police custody for further investigations. About 40 persons or representatives of institutions or companies had walked into the trap laid by Puri.Most of those affected were wealth management customers of Citibank, with high net investible resources. While Citi’s wealth management entry threshold is Rs 36 lakh, it has a far more lucrative private banking business.The entry norms are reported to be much higher – Citi does not divulge details of its private banking business, but banking sources said only clients with minimum investible resources over Rs 5 crore qualified.It offers a range of services to such clients, including Trust Services, Philanthropic Advisory, Art Advisory, Aircraft Advisory and Sports Advisory.Sometimes wealth management involves investment of surplus funds of customer in their bank accounts for maximum returns and releasing funds for specific occasions of the customers like education, marriage and the likes in the customer’s family.Thus, wealth management is driven by returns and trust, which is what other banks want to emphasise and grab Citibank customers away. “This is an opportunity for us to enlist Citibank customers, citing that our bank has better risk management systems and practices compared to that bank,” a relationship executive of another bank, who is not authorised to speak to press, lamented.However, the institutional advisors feel that the Gurgaon fraud of the bank, that raised questions about the customer handling practices followed by banks in general, is unlikely to hit HNI business for them, though ‘sentiment’ has been affected to an extent.An institutional equities head of a listed broking firm said, “It is not a big issue for our business. But sentiment- wise, yes, it has some impact.”SALVAGING GOODWILLCitibank is planning to compensate the victims as it moved ‘damage control’ interactions with its High Networth Individual (HNIs) customers into high gearCiti has been in contact with ” impacted customers” and was in the process of reconciling the amounts involved with the customersOther banks, meanwhile, have been moving to try and snatch some of Citibank’s HNI customers citing that lack of sufficient risk management systems had led to the fraudSources said Citi had been responding to a flood of calls on the issue after the scam broke, though the number has been tailing off in recent daysInstitutional advisors feel that the Gurgaon fraud is unlikely to hit HNI business for them, though ‘ sentiment’ has been affected to an extentlast_img read more

10 months agoBurnley goalkeeper Nick Pope: Great to be back

first_imgBurnley goalkeeper Nick Pope: Great to be backby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is back in action after recovering from shoulder surgery.Pope played in his first match since dislocating his shoulder in July after turning out for the club’s under-23s on Monday.The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of an away clash against Sheffield United, which the Clarets won 3-1.Pope made his England debut in early June and was part of the Three Lions squad for the World Cup in Russia.He said: “It was great to be back, it’s been a long injury spell for myself but to get back and play a real game and 90 minutes was great.“I try to help out where I can, I remember playing those sorts of games when I was their age.“So, it was good to be one of the experienced ones there today, I think that’s part of the experience and part of my job to step down and help the younger lads out.” About the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoMelchiot tells Chelsea striker Abraham: Get nasty like Drogba!

first_imgMelchiot tells Chelsea striker Abraham: Get nasty like Drogba!by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTammy Abraham needs to develop a nasty streak like former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. That is according to ex-Blues defender Mario Melchiot.Abraham has already proven his goalscoring chops, having blasted in seven this season. But Melchiot thinks his game can reach another level.”Tammy Abraham is a real finisher but, as much as I like him as a player, he’s sometimes got to be more of a bad boy,” Melchiot told talkSPORT.”You know why? When you play against players like Virgil van Dijk, the striker has to have a bit of badness in him. A bit of nastiness.”OK, look at the guys I played against, like Ryan Giggs. He was so elegant, he dribbled beautifully, but trust me, if I kicked him he would have got up and either kicked me back or found a way to do it – he was one of the best players I played against.”Tammy needs that too. As cute as he looks, he’s young, fresh and exciting to watch, he needs to have that.”If you look at Drogba, [Jimmy Floyd] Hasselbaink, these guys weren’t cute when you played against them.”Be a little bit of a bad boy! Bring that badness out of you!” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Notre Dame Football’s Version Of “Bad Lip Reading” Is Hilarious

first_imgNotre Dame player laughs after doing bad at "Bad Lip Reading".Any version of “Bad Lip Reading” (video of people talking with their voices dubbed over) is usually ridiculously funny. This rendition, produced by Notre Dame football, is no different.Quarterback Malik Zaire and defensive lineman Jay Hayes are in the studio providing the voice-over work. They are both really, really funny. The footage from the video is from last season. If you’re an Irish fan, you should definitely watch this, but if you’re just a fan of laughing a lot, check it out as well. A little something to brighten up your Monday…Courtesy of Malik Zaire and Jay Hayes.— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) March 21, 2016last_img

Canadian in custody in Belize as police investigate Toronto womans death

first_imgThe Canadian government says a citizen is in police custody in Belize in connection with the deaths of a Toronto woman and her American boyfriend.A spokesman with Global Affairs Canada said Thursday afternoon that consular officials are assisting the family of the detained Canadian and are in contact with local authorities.Police in Belize have said 52-year-old Francesca Matus and her American boyfriend, Drew DeVoursney, died of strangulation.Their bodies were found on Monday in a sugar cane field in the country’s Corozal district.They were last seen leaving a bar around 11 p.m. six days earlier.DeVoursney’s mother said earlier on Thursday that the U.S. embassy in Belize told her two people were questioned in the case and have since been released.last_img

Peace Region forecasted to experience milder winter season

first_imgThis year we will experience a weak El Nino, combined with the Blob ( an area of warmer water temps found in the North Pacific). This means El Nino delivers Pacific air to Western Canada instead of Arctic air (warmer) and the presence of the Blob causes the jet stream to track further north. These two working together give the signal of milder weather.This season, mild Pacific air will be more dominant then cold Arctic air and precipitation should be closer to normal amounts of 190 cm of snow and not the 340 cm received last year.“For the next 7-10 days will be quiet with temperatures going up and down, these are considerably milder days with no severe cold spells as there is a lack of persistent Arctic air,” said Gillham. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This winter season will be milder than normal temperatures, forecasted as a whole for the region.“Compared to the severity of previous winters this winter will be a bit gentler than normal,” said Doug Gillham, Meteorologist for the Weather Network.To forecast weather, Meteorologists use computer models that are designed to simulate dominant jet stream patterns globally for that upcoming season. By looking back to the past for similar patterns and then applying what happened during that winter, comparing the influence of El Nino and La Nina produces weather forecasts.last_img read more