5 February 2009A major international trade journal with a global readership has rated Wines of South Africa (WOSA) one of the world’s most influential beverage organisations in building public awareness of the environment.WOSA was listed in fifth position, just behind US President Barack Obama (in fourth), but ahead of any other national wine marketing body, on its Green List by The Drinks Business, a specialist beverage publication with an international circulation amongst key decision makers in the beverage industry.The Green List, published in January, identifies the 50 most influential drinks companies, individuals and organisations who have made caring for the environment their priority by focusing on such issues as renewable energy, reducing the use of water, measuring carbon emissions and addressing packaging. It highlights how “even in the midst of an economic crisis, the drinks industry continues to prick consciences and have a strong environmental influence over many consumers”.The first three positions on the Green List were taken by multinational retail giants Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart respectively.Unique positioningWOSA CEO Su Birch said the acknowledgement of South Africa’s role in promoting best-practice in sustainable wine production was helping to still further advance the country’s unique positioning as a producer of highly varied wines and wine styles in a way that celebrates and protects its uniquely abundant biodiversity.The Drinks Business praised WOSA for its involvement in the partnership between the wine industry and the conservation sector in minimising further loss of threatened natural habitat, which had “contributed to sustainable wine production through the adoption of biodiversity guidelines”, and identified the Integrated Production of wine (IPW) which focused on “every stage in the production process from environmental impact studies and the correct preparation of soil to the use of recyclable packaging”.“In the present economic climate, in which consumers are more circumspect when spending their money, they are seeking not only outstanding value, which South Africa is able to offer across all pricing segments and a wealth of styles, but also an affirmation of production integrity,” Birch said.She said South Africa’s eco-sustainable wine production standards were regarded as the most progressive in the wine world. “That we are in the company of the world’s most powerful retail chains, who are able to exercise significant influence, as well as the new and highly popular president of the United States, makes us feel extremely proud.”Birch added that the country’s Variety Is In Our Nature marketing strategy, which had served to set it apart from its competitors, had played an important role in building South Africa’s global footprint.Export growthSouth Africa is now the fastest-growing supplier of wines to the UK market, with a 22% year-on-year volume increase, according to recent AC Nielsen data, she said. The country occupied fifth position by volume with a 10% share of the UK market, which had recently been identified in a Vinexpo-commissioned study as the world’s largest consumer of imported wine with 1.6-billion bottles purchased in 2007.Exports to Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia had also shown substantial growth. South Africa is now the front-ranking New World player in Germany, Holland and Sweden. While final figures are still awaited from SA Wine Information Systems (SAWIS), it is estimated that more than 400-million litres of wine left South Africa’s shores in 2008.“Earlier this decade we set ourselves a goal of achieving annual exports of 300-million litres a year by 2010, a level we managed to reach in 2007,” Birch said. “Now we continue to build our international presence in established and newer markets, such as Africa, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.”Biodiversity and Wine InitiativeBirch also lauded the role of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) in promoting and protecting biodiversity within the Cape Floral Kingdom, where over 95% of the country’s wines originate.“In less than four years, local wine producers, under the auspices of the BWI, have set aside 112 550 hectares for long-term conservation – significantly more than the total national vineyard of 102 000 hectares, and new members are committing to the project on an ongoing basis.”South Africa is the ninth biggest wine producer in the world, with 101 957 hectares cultivated to vine, representing 3% of global output.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
10 January 2014The Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, visited Bafana Bafana at their training camp in the city on Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s kick off of the 2014 African Nations Championships (Chan) at Cape Town Stadium.The teams in the tournament are composed of players that ply their trade in their home countries. South Africa plays in the opening game against Mozambique, with kick off at 6pm, followed by fellow Group A contestants Mali and Nigeria doing battle at 9pm.De Lille personally met each and every player and member of the coaching staff before they began training. She also received a Bafana Bafana jersey from coach Gordon Igesund and captain Itumeleng Khune.‘They represent you and me’“It is always great and an honour to meet our sports stars because they represent you and me. It is even greater that, for the first time ever, we Cape Town are hosting Bafana Bafana for an international tournament,” she told the players.“I want to wish you the best of luck in the Chan competition. The whole nation is behind you, so go out there and do the nation proud.“I would also like to remind football fans around the country, in particular Capetonians, to go get their tickets and come support not just Bafana Bafana but the whole tournament,” she added.The history of ChanThe African Nations Championship has been played twice previously, with the Democratic Republic of Congo winning the first tournament, hosted by the Ivory Coast in 2009, by beating Ghana 2-0 in the final. Zambia finished third after a 2-1 defeat of Senegal.In 2011, in Sudan, Tunisia crushed Angola 3-0 in the final to capture the title. Sudan finished third after edging Algeria 1-0.Chan and Bafana BafanaSouth Africa failed to qualify for the first African Nations Championship finals after losing to Zimbabwe 3-0 on aggregate in the qualifiers.Bafana Bafana, however, made it to the finals in 2011 after seeing off both Botswana and Zambia on 2-1 aggregates in the qualifiers. They then finished top of Group B after wins of 2-1 over Ghana, 2-0 over Niger and 2-1 over Zimbabwe.South Africa’s tournament was ended by Algeria in the quarterfinals, with the North Africans scoring a 2-0 victory.SAinfo reporter and South African Football Association
The launching of ‘Operation Digital Board’ across 15 lakh classrooms in the country in the next four years will change the face of education in the country, said Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar.Speaking at the third edition of Excellence in Education conclave organised by The Hindu group in association with Blue Star here on Thursday, Mr. Javadekar said, “We get valuable inputs from such events to raise the educational standards in the country. The media is not just a loudspeaker but has to critically examine government programmes and come up with new suggestions so that the country is benefitted and enriched.” In his special message delivered via video link, Mr. Javadekar mentioned the initiatives undertaken by the NDA government to harness the digital revolution. “Our government has taken benefit of the digital revolution to educate 15 lakh teachers and making education available online and offline. Education policy today is based on accessibility, accountability, affordability and equity,” he said.He said that the HRD Ministry had unveiled initiatives like SWAYAM and the National Digital Library (NLD) to revolutionise the structure of education in the country.He further said that the granting of complete autonomy to IIMs was a major step towards ensuring excellence in education. The concept of research parks and Atal innovation centres was a major step towards fostering entrepreneurship, he added.State Education Minister Vinod Tawde said The Hindu conclave was “a breakthrough” for thinking about the education system not only in Maharashtra, but in the entire country.“Our educational system still languishes in the industrial revolution era. The conclave will help in providing inputs on how the curriculum can be adapted to today’s digital educational epoch,” Mr. Tawde said.He further remarked on the need to mull about the emotional and spiritual quotients and not merely the intelligence quotient in education.In his keynote address, Maharashtra Education Commissioner Vishal Solanki noted that the three critical issues were digitalisation in 21st century schools, excellence in education and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.“While phrases like ‘Technology is a great leveller’ sounds good to the ears, in reality, a lot needs to be done towards improving digital connectivity in the State’s — and India’s — rural hinterland,” Mr. Solanki said.Observing that while education offered by some establishments was expensive, he questioned whether an ‘Ivy League’ education truly guaranteed quality education or imbibed the right values in moulding children’s characters.“It is necessary to introspect in this digital age if a wealthy education is the sole guarantor of quality? For there is an amazing hunger for education among children in the rural areas as opposed to their privileged urban counterparts. We also have to ask hard questions as to how effective is the vocational training being imparted to students in institutes across the State,” he said.Fondly recalling his eager wait for The Hindu during his days as a civil services aspirant, Mr. Solanki said Pune was an apt place to host the conclave as it had a number of excellent institutions with a 200-year academic pedigree.Commenting on the yeoman service rendered by The Hindu in upholding journalistic values and maintaining literary standards, B. Thiagarajan, Joint Managing-Director, Blue Star, said the conclave symbolised a marriage of two iconic brands in fostering education and an entrepreneurial spirit through knowledge.“For educationists as well as the student fraternity, The Hindu is indelibly associated with high-quality English writing and a judicious choice of informative articles. Likewise, a commitment to providing quality vocational training constitutes a significant part of Blue Star’s CSR initiatives,” said Mr. Thiagarajan.