In the long history of big-time competitive sports, program heights and weights have always been relative. In a previous century, Bill Walton insisted his program height be 6-foot-11, because “7 feet is where being a freak starts.”San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh gave orders to list offensive tackle Bubba Paris at 299 pounds even though it seemed clear that Paris tipped the scales north of 300. (Quick aside: Walsh ultimately replaced Paris with Steve Wallace. When asked why, Walsh said, …
18 July 2008Johannesburg is reaping the rewards of South Africa’s Urban Development Zone tax initiative, first proclaimed five years ago, with some R5-billion being invested in designated areas in the country’s largest inner city.Of this amount, investments to the value of R1-billion had already been completed, with various projects contributing to the creation of an estimated 40 000 short- and long-term jobs in the construction industry.“Only two projects have not started, while the rest are under implementation,” said the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality’s acting programme manager for spatial economic development, Lebo Ramoreboli.The tax incentive encourages businesses to refurbish existing buildings or to build new assets in the inner city and to offset the cost of the development against the taxable income of the company through an accelerated depreciation allowance.Another five yearsWhile most of the cities struggled with the complexities of the process and investors complained that the period was too short – leading to the extension – Johannesburg had been able to get the UDZ tax incentive successfully on the road.The municipality officially re-launched the second five-year term of the UDZ tax incentive at Turbine Square in Newtown on 14 July. Turbine Square was one of the first developments to be undertaken by a private investor under the tax incentive. Melding the old with the new, it is one of the most visually pleasing projects in the city.All the municipality’s UDZ partners were invited to the launch, where they were congratulated and thanked for their on their ongoing investment in the inner city and the confidence they had shown in the incentive.Key partners included Afhco Holdings, which has revamped 82 buildings in the inner city to date – the majority for residential purposes – and financial services group Absa, which is developing a whole compound in Ferreirasdorp.The Absa development, according to Ramoreboli, was probably the biggest UDZ development in the inner city so far.The national Treasury originally intended for the tax incentive scheme, which targeted the inner cities of 13 metropolitan areas across South Africa, to run for five years only.Extended boundaryWhile already stretching over 1 800 hectares of high density inner city property – most inner cities in South Africa comprise about 650 hectares of built environment – the metropolitan municipality wants the boundaries of the zone to be further extended.“The initial UDZ areas were selected on the basis of substantial dilapidation. These areas were haemorrhaging because of capital flight [out of the inner cities],” said Ramoreboli.But since the tax incentive was introduced in 2004, the municipality’s economic development department received numerous requests from investors to increase the UDZ boundary – and it is currently negotiating with the National Treasury to do this.Areas that are being pushed for inclusion are Mayfair and Brixton, where residential development will be encouraged, and Booysens and Selby, which already have a strong industrial character and where office development will be encouraged.In the meantime, Newtown, Braamfontein, and City and Suburban are booming; Marshall Town, Ferreirasdorp, Bellevue, Wolhuter and Selby have relatively smaller projects, though these are still sizeable in number; but Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville and Doornfontein are not faring as well.The urban development zone tax incentive now officially expires in March 2014.Source: City of Johannesburg
An all-female music supergroup, made up of some of Africa’s legendary performers, are collaborating to drive gender equality and human rights on the continent.Members of the all-female African supergroup, Les Amazones d’Afrique, include legendary and up-and-coming music stars such as Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Inna Modja, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné. The group’s debut album, Republique Amazone, was released in March 2017. (Image: Real World Records)CD AndersonIncluding such internationally renowned performers as Grammy-winning Angélique Kidjo, world music star Mariam Doumbia (Amadou and Mariam) and pop star Nneka, as well as some of the best up-and-coming female African performers, Les Amazones d’Afrique is a formidable music supergroup singing out against gender inequality and human rights violations in Africa and around the world.All the vocalists and musicians, including session players, are African women from Mali, Benin, Gabon and Nigeria, as well as the wider African diaspora in Europe and the United States.The group’s main collaborators, in addition to Kidjo, Doumbia and Nneka, include Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Inna Modja, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné.The name is taken from both the Dahomey Amazons, the women warriors of Benin, and one of Africa’s first convention-defying all-female pop bands, Guinea’s Les Amazones de Guinée.In March 2017, the supergroup released their debut album, Republique Amazone, following on the success of its first single, I Play the Kora. The song is an impassioned call to arms that blends elements of traditional music of the African countries represented by the women in the group.Significantly, the song’s use of the Kora harp, a traditional West African instrument that for many years was only allowed to be played by men, is a powerful symbol of the group’s overall message.Fighting inequality with musicAbout the group’s origins, French music promoter Valerie Malot – who was responsible for bringing the diverse but similar-minded talents together – said: “The only way to build a group like this is to build it around a cause, an idea: (stopping) violence against women not only on the African continent but also in the rest of the world.”Speaking to the Guardian in February 2017, Malot added: “What we found out was that female repression on the continent and in the world, is something that touches every woman. It’s not a question of colour, or culture. It’s something generic. All women can relate to it.”One of the group’s main focuses is promoting the work of the Panzi Foundation, which has treated more than 85,000 survivors of sexual violence and genital mutilation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Ultimately, the group believe that the only way to combat violence against women and strengthen the cause of human rights around the world is to dismantle the dominance of patriarchy and change traditional chauvinistic thinking.Yet, as Malot was quick to add, the philosophy of the collaboration is not anti-men: in voicing the rights of daughters, sisters and mothers of Africa, the music is also “a love letter to (good) men…(that says) we need more of you”.Bringing together young and old, traditional and modernMembers of the all-female African supergroup, Les Amazones d’Afrique, include legendary and up-and-coming music stars such as Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Inna Modja, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné. The group’s debut album, Republique Amazone, was released in March 2017. (Image: Real World Records)As described by the group’s recording company, Real World Music, the women of Les Amazones d’Afrique not only use music as a weapon in an attempt to address the mentalities that continue to perpetuate disempowerment, but also as a way to bring women together across generations and across continents through a shared love of the rich traditions of African music.Nneka, the 36-year-old Nigerian singer who has a growing popularity across Africa and around the world, calls the group’s collaboration a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an opportunity for young female musicians to listen to and make music with some the continent’s more established, renowned female artists.She told the Guardian: “You are there with people who are talented, who have something to say. Who you can listen to, who you can learn from. Most of them are older women who have had so much impact on their society, or on their hometowns. Just looking at that, it definitely inspired me. It gave me hope as well: I’m not out there alone.”Inna Modja, a 32-year-old Malian-French singer, explained in an interview with Le Point Afrique, how she and other younger singers gave the older women in Les Amazones a more modern musical perspective to the group. “We bring something different, from our generation, which is more open than ever to the world. We grew up surrounded by different types of music.”Critics have been overwhelmingly positive, with Robin Denselow of the Guardian highlighting the group’s imaginative and “exuberant harmonies”, while Le Point Afrique calls the collaboration and its success a case of unapologetically “steely resolve” that gives a global voice to the voiceless.Visit Real World Records for more information about the group and to buy the album.Follow Les Amazones d’Afrique on Facebook and Twitter.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
TORONTO – A spokesman for the Canadian subsidiary of insolvent British construction giant and state contractor Carillion says it’s business as usual in Canada despite the parent company’s collapse on Monday.Cody Johnstone says that Carillion Canada is not in liquidation and its 6,000 employees in Canada continue to be paid, along with its subcontractors and suppliers.He says the Canadian leadership team is looking at how to ensure continuity of operations after the parent company’s decision to go into compulsory liquidation after weekend talks with creditors failed to get the short-term financing it needed to continue operating.In a research note, Raymond James analyst Frederic Bastien says Carillion bought Ontario contractor Vanbots Construction about 10 years ago and won contracts to build the country’s first two private-public partnership hospitals.He says the focus in Canada now is on P3 ownerships, facilities management and other recurring activities such as road maintenance, remote workforce camp operations and power line construction and maintenance.Bastien says Carillion’s Canadian assets, which include equity positions in several hospitals — including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto — would be attractive for a number of large potential buyers in Canada.