13th June 2017, LONDON: The Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, launched in 2013 and led by the UK and US governments to propagate for open data in agriculture and nutrition to scientifically combat world hunger and food security, is the co-host of the Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition and 4th Agritec Africa Exhibition, with the Government of Kenya and Radeecal Communications, taking place on 14th – 16th June at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. Touted as the largest worldwide event to convene business leaders, governments from several G77 nations and at large the Global South, for the singular and unified cause of technologically and scientifically revolutionising agriculture through sharing of vital data which are currently hidden or inaccessible, the Conference will be attended by 1,000 high level participants, led by Ministers for Agriculture from 100 countries, private sector, academia, think-tanks, civil society, youth organisations, research networks and development practitioners, the United Nations and multilateral institutions especially the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and Latin America, the African Union Commission, Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and international organisations. Kenya is a fitting host for the conference, representing Africa, which as a continent has huge potential for Agricultural growth due to its abundance of Land and Water Resource. In Africa, the Agriculture sector employs 65% of the labour force with the sector accounting for 32% of Africa’s total GDP. Yet, land and agricultural productivity are found to be one of the lowest in the world. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa with the agriculture sector contributing 24% in the total GDP of Kenya in year 2011. Periods of high economic growth rates have been synonymous with increased . . .
Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa — A group of between 30-40 unidentified individuals entered and emptied the nonprofit arts house, Mthubi the Hub, in the suburban area of Hatfield early Saturday morning around 8am, damaging property and artwork. Carrying plastic gloves and black bags, but no warrant or court order calling for eviction, the group acted with immunity while four SAPS officers stood watch. With physical assault and intimidation, the group pushed the artist residents from their house. They emptied all the rooms and dumped everything on the dirt outside the front yard, while also looting several items from the Hub’s thrift store, the artist’s personal belongings, and official documents of the organisation. Attempting to identify the organisations responsible for the illegal eviction, Mthubi the Hub executives engaged with those who appeared to be the leaders of the group. These individuals became very hostile, refusing to produce documentation of their authority or identify themselves. They harassed a cameraman, chased him with shovels threatening shouts of “re tla ho bulaya” (sizoku Bulala / we will kill you). They repeatedly manhandled, smacked, assaulted, and pulled the hair of two women leaders advocating for the community arts space. “Three of the men were here a few days before the incident,” says Mthubi the Hub Chairperson Amanda Mjindi, who spoke with them personally. “I showed them around our space, told them about our challenges, so they knew that inside in the front yard there are great things happening. There are young people doing amazing things here, so they were quite aware of this. But they chose to, I mean . . . one artist feels like they stole her dream from her. They completely trashed that. They destroyed so many artists’ work. It was painful.” After the vigilante mob seemed satisfied with their illegal eviction, they left down the street with broken paintings and the NPO turned upside down behind them. “We have taken . . .
Hope against Hunger Challenge raises over R4.8 million for World Hunger Day Add Hope, on behalf of 137 NGOs all over South Africa, is expressing a huge message of thanks to all South Africans who rose to the Hope against Hunger challenge for World Hunger Day and donated over R4.8 million in May. Add Hope will be able to feed more than 120 000 children through sustainable feeding schemes at these organisations, supported by Add Hope. KFC Africa Public Affairs Director, Thabisa Mkhwanazi, says, “We’re so happy that we reached/exceeded our target and we thank you, South Africa, for every donation. They all add up to help children to learn, grow and thrive. World Hunger Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the major hunger related issues we have in South Africa and to let people know that they can really make a difference. The success of the Hope against Hunger Challenge shows that if we all pull together, our contributions add up to have a major impact.“ The Add Hope numbers tell a powerful story and show how Add Hope has been able to go from feeding 40 000 children in 2009, to over 120 000 today through combining donations from customers with KFC’s own corporate social responsibility contributions. “Add Hope has raised over R387 million in customer donations and KFC contributions combined since 2009, with the total donated increasing every year. Customers donated R39 million in 2016, and the KFC contribution, based on a percentage of profits, pushed this to R64 million donated in total. Our target for customer donations in 2017 is R43m and we hope to be able to reach this to feed even more children.” This World Hunger Day, Add Hope shared virtual reality experiences filmed at NGOs for the first time online and in restaurants to inspire South Africans to join the Hope against Hunger Challenge. The Hope Squad, a group of young people whose own lives have been changed by Add Hope, visited KFC restaurants and immersed delighted customers in virtual . . .
Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 June 2017. The aftermath of devastating fires continues to affect the lives of thousands of people in the Southern Cape. The areas most affected are Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Sedgefield and surrounding towns, villages and informal settlements. The fires have been described as the most destructive spread of fire in a built-up area in the province in at least 30 years. They have caused loss of lives, the destruction of homes, and the evacuation of thousands of people. Given the extent of the tragedy, Vuma Reputation Management is calling on all South Africans to stand together and play their part in helping the communities whose lives have been devastated. “This is a national emergency,” says Janine Hills, CEO of Vuma Reputation Management and a member of the board of Brand South Africa. “Fire is a tragic, unexpected and traumatic experience that can leave you without your home, your valuable or sentimental possessions, and even your pets. “Having grown up in the area, I know some of the families and communities affected, and to witness the extent of the destruction is truly heart-breaking,” she says. “It’s at times like these that we have to roll up our sleeves and get involved. We encourage all South Africans to gather together and help the affected communities in whatever way they can.” The Southern Cape fire services and disaster management teams are doing incredible work, but others need to get involved, as displaced fire victims start to rebuild their lives, Hills added. By donating basic necessities such as clothing and household items, everyone can do their bit to help a family get back on their feet. Here are some of the simple ways Hills suggests that ordinary citizens can assist: Take a family in if their home has been destroyed Feed a family Provide people with sandwiches, tea and coffee Offer basics like toothbrushes, facecloths and bottled water Hand out blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothes . . .
JOHANNESBURG, June 8, 2017: A marathon a day through Australia’s Simpson Desert. This 6-day desert race will be David Barnard’s ninth, and the sixth leg of his quest to complete one on all seven continents. For this project, Barnard aims to raise funds for the Hippo Roller, promote its work, and contribute to increased public understanding of water-related issues around the world. David Barnard has been participating in multi-stage desert foot races in remote parts of the world since 2010. From the Kalahari, Namib and Sahara Deserts in Africa, to the Gobi Desert in China, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Grand Canyon in the United States, and the most extreme of them all, The Last Desert Race in 2014 in Antarctica, David is on a quest to complete one of these extreme desert races on all seven continents. “My next desert race is the 250km Big Red Run from 24-29 June 2017 in the Simpson Desert in Australia. It will be my ninth multi-stage desert race, and the sixth leg of my quest to complete one of these races on all seven continents,” said Barnard. “I enter these events both for the physical challenge associated with running self-supported through the deserts of the world, as well as to raise money and awareness for organisations at the forefront of responding to many of the key development challenges facing Africa,” he said. For this project, Barnard aims to raise funds for the Hippo Roller, promote its work, and contribute to increased public understanding of water-related issues around the world. Running for Water Water is a precious resource, a source of life and the basis of all human activities, from drinking to washing to cultivating land and producing food necessary for sustenance. It is also a scarce resource, and its presence and availability is often taken for granted. South Africa is currently recovering from the worst drought in living memory. Though the UN Sustainable Development Goals (launched in 2015) include a target to ensure . . .
Johannesburg – The weather is dropping and the nation’s leading fashion retailer, Edgars, has partnered with celebrities to arm a group of more than sixty (60) underprivileged children from the rustic countryside township of Ga Mohale in Magaliesberg, with key winter wardrobe essentials such as jackets, shoes, beanies, socks and scarves that will enable them to brave the winter blues. “Every year, thousands of children are left destitute by the winter cold. In a bid to help the many children who suffer, we together with celebrities and friends of Edgars joined hands to #BraveTheWinter over the past weekend by donating warm clothing to the children. All of this with the hope that this initiative will inspire communities to step up and support by donating generously to their communities’ needy,” said Brand and Product Marketing Executive, Ms Puseletso Phiri. The Magaliesberg region is usually chillier during the winter months when the mercury drops to 0.6 degrees Celsius, on average, during the night. The Founder and Executive Director of the Project, Ms Janice, said the children from Ga Mohale were ecstatic to receive the warm clothing as they almost never get brand new things. The celebrities and friends of Edgars who helped the children pick their winter items and load the bus with racks of winter gear, were elated to be better able to serve the community of Ga Mohale through the #BraveTheWinter initiative. “It is important for us to make an on-going and meaningful difference and we are proud to be part of this initiative. With all kinds and numbers of communities coming together, the mission to reach the less fortunate with care and warmth is possible,” said Lebo Mashile. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
There are just a few days left to nominate an outstanding young person from South Africa. Junior Chamber International (JCI) South Africa, a non-profit organisation for socially active citizens age 18 to 40 recently announced the launch of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) Awards. The awards recognise young people who have excelled in their chosen fields and created positive change in South Africa. “By recognising these young people, JCI South Africa hopes to raise the important contribution of socially responsible citizens in our country. The personal stories of discovery, determination and ingenuity will hopefully inspire other young people to be better leaders and create better societies,” says Bridgett Majola, Chairman of JCI South Africa. Young South Africans between the ages of 18 and 40, who have excelled in various categories, may be nominated for a TOYP Award. JCI South Africa will appoint a panel of judges to select the 10 most outstanding young persons from the nominations received. The awards will be presented at an awards ceremony later in the year. Nominations will be also submitted to the global TOYP awards, where they stand a chance of being selected as one of the 10 most outstanding young persons in the world. The international awards will take place at the 2017 JCI World Congress to be held in Netherlands in November. “Since 1985, 11 young South Africans have been honoured as one of the Ten Outstanding Young People at the international awards, including Ms. Bongiwe Mlangeni of KwaZulu Natal (2011) and Mr Luvuyo Rani of Cape Town (2014). They were honoured for their efforts in the Business, Economic and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishments category. Honourees selected in the past have represented the height of progress in numerous human endeavours. Many have gone on to even greater achievements, and continued to serve humanity in a variety of ways,” notes Majola. The public can nominate a young South African who is excelling in . . .
Despite various investigative reports on Carte Blanche and general media exposure, private property buyers are still getting caught by non-disclosed defects. Although the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) provides relief to most consumers by ensuring that a seller or estate agent discloses all defects, the CPA does not apply to one-off, private sales. These sellers are still protected by the old voetstoots clause. While a quick walkthrough and a second visit to the property for a spot check of the condition of the home can help buyers sift through their options and narrow down the property they would most like to purchase, it is best to have a professional inspector undertake a thorough check and advise accordingly. Eric Bell of Inspect-a-Home, (a professional home inspection company) warned consumers against signing a disclosure before getting the property checked by an accredited inspector. He said countless buyers nationally were left with extensive repair costs after signing the documents as they gave some consumers a false sense of security. “These documents ask buyers to sign off on a number of key areas, including roofing, geyser condition, and damp problems. Unless you are a structural engineer or qualified building inspector, it is highly unlikely that you or the seller will be able to identify any latent defects. Every day throughout the country we see houses that are painted to make them look good and unsuspecting buyers are then taken to the cleaners with extensive and unexpected repair bills once they have moved in – their dream house becomes a nightmare.” He said sellers were liable for latent defects that existed at the time of the sale but, by signing a disclosure document, buyers were signing away their rights to that claim, effectively making the defects the buyer’s problem. He gave an example of a consumer who bought his home through an estate agent who tried to get him to sign a disclosure document which stated that the house, . . .
Project Dignity’s aim to distribute reusable sanitary pads to young women across the country received a major boost when renowned pharmacy, health and beauty store, Clicks, decided to partner with the organisation for its Girls on the Go campaign. Run by the Clicks Helping Hand Trust, the Girls on the Go campaign will assist with sponsorship of thousands of reusable sanitary packs being donated to disadvantaged communities across the country every two months. “We’ve partnered with Project Dignity from 2015, and for the 2017 financial year, we aim to distribute 10 000 packs of sanitary wear to needy recipients,” explained Germinah Nyikana, Helping Hand Trust Manager. “The decision to partner with Project Dignity was prompted by the organisation’s success in reducing school absenteeism rates. With access to proper sanitary wear, young women don’t have to miss school during their menstrual cycle, as has been happening previously.” Project Dignity forms the non-profit extension of Subz Pants and Pads, an organisation founded by Sue Barnes which seeks to vastly improve the lives of school-going girls by donating sponsored packs of reusable, eco-friendly sanitary pads and accompanying panties. The organisation was established after Barnes learned about the negative educational impact a lack of sanitary products is having on thousands of school children. Developed, designed and manufactured by Barnes, the Subz pads are made of five layers of hydrophilic fabric which makes them extremely absorbent to prevent leakage. Together with the 100% cotton panties, they are patented and have an SABS absorbency approval. “It is so rewarding, having the privilege of meeting with young women and donating something that makes life that much easier, but we cannot meet the need without the help of organisations like Clicks,” said Barnes. “They are truly committed to improving the lives of young South Africans and restoring dignity along the way through initiatives such as . . .
South Africa recently celebrated Human Rights Day. This day certainly deserves celebration; also referred to as Heroes’ Day, the event ignited global awareness of the inhumanities of the apartheid regime and simultaneously signaled the start of a new era of democracy – moving forward with hope. It is only fitting that reference to this day of commemoration instantly brings to mind Chris Bertish’s recent (seemingly impossible) achievement, aimed at raising 20 million ZAR for three life-changing South African charities: The Lunchbox Fund, Operation Smile SA and Signature of Hope Trust. A true modern day hero, Chris completed the first ever solo, unsupported, transatlantic stand-up paddleboard (SUP) Crossing on 9 March, after spending 93 days surmounting the dangers of the open ocean. On 14 March, a motion was put before the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa to congratulate Chris and call on all South Africans to “Dream It, See It, Believe It, Achieve It” (Chris’s motto). As proud title sponsor of The SUP Crossing, Chris and Carrick share a strong drive to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children in Southern Africa. Chris’ mental fortitude and determination resonate with the Carrick ethos – as leaders in wealth and capital management, Carrick Wealth is also driven by the values of integrity, transparency and courage even in the face of adversity. It is not surprising that upon meeting Chris just over a year ago at the company’s annual conference themed “Finding courage” that an official partnership was created and cemented. “Knowing Chris, I’m convinced that he’ll be first to emphasise that while his accomplishments have been vast, he is an ordinary man whose extraordinary dreams have launched him into the public eye, all the result of his burning compassion for the plight of the helpless; his unbreakable spirit and belief in achieving against the odds; and most of all his unwavering courage and grit.”, explains Craig Featherby - CEO, . . .