South Africa, 09 April 2018 - Durban girl and aspiring leader Kuhlekonke Ntuli is leading the pack as a strong contender on a national TV show, One Day Leader, on SABC 1. A top six contestant, Ntuli beat over 6000 of her peers to secure a spot on the show which develops young leaders by having them tackle and debate real issues facing South African society today, and boasts a viewership of over two million. Born and bred in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, Ntuli is passionate about women empowerment, social development and leadership. She encourages leaders to love people in order to be effective in the work they undertake. “If leaders want to serve people, they need to learn how to love people first,” says Ntuli. She also challenges women to embrace each other in order to build effective relationships and impact society. No stranger to leadership, Ntuli was awarded honours for exceptional leadership at Pinetown Girls High School in matric and is former SRC President of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College campus, where she is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Housing. Since being on One Day Leader, Ntuli has been a strong contender, leading the viewer scoreboard for four weeks in a row and the overall scoreboard for two weeks in a row, with just four weeks left before the end of the show when the winner will be announced. If the scoreboards, her performance on the show thus far and the support she’s amassed on social media are anything to go by, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say Ntuli could bring home the win. One Day Leader airs every Thursday at 9 PM on SABC 1. To keep up with the conversation on Twitter, search #OneDayLeader6 or follow Kuhlekonke at @WatuNtuli. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Given his legendary status, it is not surprising that Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt was the inspiration for rising Nelson Mandela University sprinter Luxolo Adams to take up the sport. Born in Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape, the 21-year-old Bestmed Madibaz club member was more interested in soccer before a video of Bolt competing in the 2008 Olympics made him change track. This has resulted in Adams racing to prominence in South African athletics. He won the 200m title at the national senior championships and beat Anaso Jobodwana in the Athletix Grand Prix meeting in Paarl last month. Jobodwana, the world championships bronze medallist in 2015, is still one of the country's top sprinters, but he watched Adams blaze to victory in a personal best of 20.01 seconds. This might never have happened had Adams, who finished his schooling at Ndzondelelo High and Hill College in Port Elizabeth, not caught a glimpse of Bolt on television a decade ago. "I was more interested in soccer when I was growing up and I was quite a good goalkeeper at first," he said this week. "Later on I became a midfielder and ran non-stop. But then I saw a video of Bolt setting world records in the 100m and 200m at the 2008 Olympics [in Beijing]. "I became so excited because I love sport. So I decided I wanted to do athletics. "Watching Bolt break those records… I just knew if I focused on athletics I may be able to get somewhere." Full of praise for his coach, Gerrie Posthumus, and the Eastern Cape Academy of Sport, who have supported him, Adams said his recent performances had boosted his confidence. "Being the South African 200m champion has shown me that things I only dreamt about are possible. "That includes beating a runner like Anaso twice. It's difficult to put in words what that means to me." Adams, determined to prove himself this season, received another confidence boost when he beat American ace Justin Gatlin for third place in the 150m at the Athletix . . .
Plastics|SA’s Training Division recently hosted a series of well-attended information sharing breakfasts at its regional offices in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Durban with the aim of providing details of exciting new learning programmes that it will soon be offering. Welcoming guests at all four events, Plastics|SA’s Training Executive, Kirtida Bhana, stressed the importance of offering relevant, up-to-date learning programmes that address the changing needs in the plastics industry. “Plastics are an important part of the country’s manufacturing sector. It is therefore critical to ensure that we have the correct skills in place to sustain our growth over the next few years to come,” she said. According to Kirtida, these annual get-togethers offer their current and potentially new customers the ideal opportunity to become familiar with the Training Divisions offering, culture and values, whilst the training teams are on hand to answer any questions they may have regarding accessing funding, course content or tailoring courses to their specific needs. Improving local content input and output During the past financial year, Plastics|SA successfully trained more than 3 000 learners. Whilst the most popular learning programmes are those centred around the actual manufacturing processes (with quality and safety programmes being part of these), the Training Division also launched a National Certificate in Production Technology (NQF2) and Generic Management (NQF5) last year. Another important step forward is being able to run scheduled Pipe and Profile extrusion programmes at each of their regional offices, using their newly acquired extruders. Apart from theoretical grounding, students are now also equipped with much-needed practical experience in extrusion, blow moulding, injection moulding and the various plastics fabrication welding techniques. “We were also in the fortunate position to be able to send some of our trainers overseas to be . . .
SANRAL supports aspiring engineers in iGEMS Water competition Port Elizabeth, ## April 2018: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) supported 45 high school learners in Port Elizabeth as they took part in the iGEMS water engineering competition earlier this week. SANRAL in partnership with Labco, SMEC and the iGEMS programme hosted the one-day competition at SANRAL’s Regional Training Laboratory on Tuesday (3 April) which taught learners the practical civil engineering skills needed to plan, design, construct and operate a water distribution network. The competition created awareness regarding the importance of water conservation in South Africa. It exposed learners to the importance of team work and allowed them to come up with creative solutions to develop infrastructure to provide clean water. It combined the practical application of civil engineering with theoretical knowledge. “This competition taught the kids about water conservation and the importance of water in our communities. It is very important for the kids to learn the practical application of engineering,” said Tronel Strydom, Professional Technologist for SMEC who judged the water competition. The participating schools included Woolhope High School, Linkside High School, Sanctor Secondary School, Douglas Pienaar High School, Douglas Mbopa High School, Newton Technical High school and four other High schools, all from Port Elizabeth. The eleven competing teams compromising of grade eleven and twelve learners were tasked to design a model water distribution network to distribute three litres of water equally between three points on a grid using two different diameter pipes and various connection pieces. They were then judged according to a penalty points system. The teams had approximately one hour to complete the task which consisted of planning, designing, building and operating their network. Woolhope High School learner, Siyanda Mvunyiswa, Daniel Pienaar . . .
Starting today (April 6), SPAR Eastern Cape have declared war on plastic bags as the retailer spearheads a significant step forward in the battle to protect the environment. In a move which has been hailed by environmental groups as a major development, the SPAR EC team are launching an initiative to urge their customers to consider alternative packaging options. With hundreds of millions of shopping bags in circulation, SPAR EC managing director Conrad Isaac said they could no longer ignore their accountability in what was becoming an increasingly harmful situation in the world. "We believe that safeguarding our environment and the future are often spoken about but not much is done," he said. "As the biggest food retailer in the Eastern Cape, I believe we have to take care of the health and wellbeing of the communities in which we operate." He said it had reached a situation where something tangible had to be done. "If we carry on in this way and don't do something about the mess we are creating it can only lead to the eventual destruction of our environment. "So the dream is to clean up the place and to work towards creating a healthy and fresh environment in which we can live." Facing a massive challenge to change the consumer's mind-set, SPAR EC are launching their campaign with a drive today and tomorrow (April 6 and 7) to encourage shoppers to swop plastic bags for paper bags. Over these two days, while stocks last, members of the public will be given a paper bag free of charge for every 10 plastic shopping bags brought to any one of SPAR's Eastern Cape outlets. The plastic shopping bags can be from any retailer, not only SPAR. An initial order of 300 000 paper shopping bags was placed to accommodate the demand. These are wax-lined, waterproof reusable bags, capable of carrying 12kg. Having long been involved in the fight against pollution, Zwartkops Conservancy environmental manager Jenny Rump was full of praise for SPAR . . .
A decision to focus on local clubs proved a masterstroke as it generated an electric atmosphere when the SPAR Nafa Easter Soccer Festival drew to a climax in Port Elizabeth on Monday. This was the view of Northern Areas Football Association media liaison officer Vincent Heynes after Park United defeated Nafa premier league rivals Bloom Callies 1-0 in a tense final. In hosting the 45th edition of the tournament, Heynes said they had decided not to invite out-of-town teams this year, opting to give more local clubs a chance to compete in the popular event. "The local support for the teams was incredible and this is probably the primary reason for the outstanding spectator involvement over the weekend," said Heynes. "In terms of support and atmosphere, this year's event probably ranks as the best in recent times, making it another huge success. "The rebranding of the event as a festival was apt because, besides the soccer, the food stalls and entertainment throughout the weekend contributed to a carnival environment." Heynes said the decision to continue with the age-group competitions from U10 to U20 was another major boost. "Parents and families are very important to Nafa and the inclusion of all the junior divisions attracts so much attention. "The enthusiasm of parents and spectators was clearly reflected in their high level of vocal support. It creates such a buzz and it gives so much value to the entire event." The organising body would continue to look at ways of improving the weekend's offering, he said. "Next year we will look to include a women's section and we also want to add more life-skills programmes for the juniors and more coaching clinics." Heynes added that there had been a big improvement in the standard of play this year. "Teams seemed to have moved up a notch as they appeared to be fitter and stronger. "Although played in windy conditions, the final was a competitive affair between two teams based in close . . .
The second Urban Land Dialogue took place on 27 March 2018 in Port Elizabeth. Informed by the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), which promotes an all-of-society approach to transforming South Africa’s cities and towns, the dialogues are organised in partnership with organisations that carry out urban land work and research, so that all-of-society voices are represented. The robust discussion allowed the airing of diverse and often conflicting views, which brought texture to many of the issues raised at the first dialogue. We also want to walk our dogs on the beachfront! The language used by policy-makers was highlighted, such as reducing spatial transformation to bringing poor black people closer to their places of work. One panellist questioned why black people are seen as mere labourers in the city – black people also want to walk their dogs on the beach or play some golf. The general view was that race and racism still play a major role in settlement decisions in Port Elizabeth. Why are we not learning from Mapangubwe? Prof. Mkhize urged us to move away from the notion that cities are a western construct – Africa has an ancient urban culture and is home to some of society’s earliest cities. Arguing that wherever concentrations of human beings occur, similar pressures and challenges emerge, and so decolonising the city in part means valuing lessons from our own African urban past. For instance, Mapangubwe disappeared when its ecosystem failed. Land and city issues go beyond our recent racial history; they are inherent in the dynamic of dense human settlements – failing to acknowledge this would be failing into the future. When the fire burns, municipalities are the ones that feel it: Municipalities are under immense pressure to deliver urban land transformation. From the first two dialogues, the view is that municipalities are currently failing. Yet, as one non-municipal participant asked, how can a municipality be expected to deal with . . .
Madibaz hockey manager and coach Cheslyn Gie is looking forward to one of the highlights of his career when the Commonwealth Games begin in Australia on Thursday. Taking place on the Gold Coast, the four-yearly sporting extravaganza will see the South Africa men's hockey team competing against some of the world's superpowers, with a place in the top eight as their goal. As has been the case for much of the past year, Gie has been serving as assistant coach and in Australia he will be working with newly appointed head coach Mark Hopkins. Having made his national coaching debut in the international Summer Series in South Africa last year, Gie was also involved in the World League semifinals in Johannesburg and the African Cup of Nations in Egypt during 2017. "It is not a permanent appointment," said Gie before his departure for Australia, "but I will again be involved this year, ending with the World Cup in India in November-December. "Attending the Commonwealth Games is really a major step forward for me as this will be the biggest stage in which I have been involved. "I am really looking forward to the experience of competing in such a prestigious event as this." With the squad having had extensive preparations through three training camps, plus several warm-up games in Australia, Gie said they were prepared to give a good account of themselves. "The bottom line is that we want to finish in the top eight, but we know it is going to be a really tough challenge. "When you have teams such as India and Australia in the competition, you realise what you are up against, but we are excited about this opportunity." Gie said there were a few senior members in the squad, but it was largely made up of young, talented players who would be keen to prove a point. "This is a real chance to show what we can do and a good performance here will be a major boost for the World Cup later this year," he added. Australia are the leading side in South . . .
Plantronics (NYSE: PLT) an audio pioneer and communications technology leader, today announced it has extended the management and reporting aspects of its cloud software solution, Plantronics Manager Pro v3.11, to include Plantronics unified communications (UC) headsets connected to mobile devices running iOS and Android. This extended reach is enabled through the Plantronics Hub mobile application. By deploying Plantronics Manager Pro v3.11 and Plantronics Hub, IT managers can now see, manage and gather valuable insights from the entire line of Plantronics enterprise communications devices that are on the desktop and attach to tablets and mobile phones. “More than 53% of organizations have interest in ear-to-ear diagnostics that would enable IT leaders to manage voice performance from the user perspective, and more than 35% of companies are increasing deployment of mobile UC clients,” said Irwin Lazar, vice president and research director at Nemertes Research. “These realities make it more important than ever to ensure IT and line-of-business managers are equipped with solutions that can help them obtain analytics and actionable insights from across their company’s entire communications ecosystem." Plantronics Manager Pro is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) designed to manage Plantronics communications devices. With its easy-to-use tools, IT professionals and their managed-services partners are able to proactively manage the performance of every supported Plantronics headset across the enterprise, ensuring best user experience by accessing actionable insights. Plantronics Manager Pro is available through authorized resellers in most countries around the world. New offerings in Plantronics Manager Pro v3.11 include: -The ability to see, manage and gain actionable insights from the complete line of supported Plantronics business communications devices, including all Plantronics UC headsets attached to Mac OS and Windows desktops as well Android and iOS mobile . . .
Local bragging rights will be up for grabs when a wide cross-section of Nelson Mandela Bay clubs compete in the popular Nafa SPAR Soccer Festival in Gelvandale, starting tomorrow. Media liaison officer Vincent Heynes said the tournament, now in its 45th year, remained as popular as ever, with a full complement of teams having entered from the U10s to the senior category. Sibanye Electrical will be back to defend their title and Heynes said the organisers believed it would be another high-quality competition over the four days. "There is massive interest from local teams to compete in this festival which has always been a highlight on the calendar," he said. "Port Elizabeth Football Association runners-up NMU will be among the participating teams and all local clubs really make a big effort to be part of the tournament. "The teams are entered on merit and by invitation. With a full complement of junior divisions, interest in the event will be at an all-time high because they always attract plenty of support." This year, Heynes said, they had not invited any visiting teams, preferring to give the local clubs a chance to show their credentials. "Local teams are always well supported and it tends to generate an enthusiastic atmosphere. "With Sibanye Electrical winning the title in their first appearance last year, we believe it will be very competitive as their rivals try to claim the title." Among them will be 2016 champions Westlake, Nafa premier league champions Wolves, Nafa Mayoral Cup champions Glenville and Nafa premier league log-leaders Helenvale. Besides the senior division, the organisers will be hosting teams in age-groups from U10 to U20. In an interesting development, representatives from La Liga [the national Spanish league] will attend the festival for the first time. "They will hand out soccer balls to every junior player, along with other memorabilia," said Heynes. "They will be here for the duration of the event . . .