Thozamile Gwanya the CEO of Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) commented around the importance of rural development when he delivered an inspiring speech at the 4th Annual Africa enterprise development & entrepreneurship investment agenda supported by Transnet in Sandton on the 21st and 22nd of June. The ECRDA also partnered and sponsored the event. Thozamile Gwanya unleashed the strategy of the ECRDA regarding rural industrialisation which has become part of the DNA of the organisation through its Enterprise Development programmes that they are running in the region. Rural development is the future of Africa – Yes urbanisation may have worked in other economies such as Europe, USA, China and Japan, however there is always a sentimental value placed to rural homes by Africans. Although they may migrate to urban areas, they still invest in rural areas; there is thus a need to focus more on rural development and industrialising these economies. “The face of development in Africa is different yet we replicate models that have worked for other economies which may not work for Africa” – Thozamile Gwanya commented. Following his comments Thozamile stated that most of the budgets are spent in urban development and rural development is often neglected. ECRDA’s defy all odds and has taken a simple approach as at the heart of its programmes is the furthering of economic potential for rural communities to use their land assets for improved income and wealth generation. Thozamile Gwanya challenged the traditional thinking of rural development which is positioned at the lower end of development planning and stated that it should be a priority for Africa. It is through this realisation that the ECRDA implemented the Rural Enterprise Development Hubs (RED Hubs) a programme with several projects in the Eastern Cape which saw the establishment of several cooperatives in the agricultural sector through partnerships with the private sector. ECRDAs RED . . .
(Oyster Bay) – Children in the Umzamowethu community used art to commemorate the former statesman on Mandela Day and learn about the humanitarian values for which Madiba was universally acclaimed. More than a hundred children from the local community were invited to take part in an initiative by the neighbouring Kouga Wind Farm, which saw them gather for a group art project at the Oyster Bay Community Hall. Guided by well-known Nelson Mandela Bay artists Bretten-Anne Moolman and Dolla Sapeta, the youngsters each received a mystery puzzle piece with basic outlines to colour in and decorate as they saw fit. After spending 67 minutes channelling their creative energies, the young artists signed their pieces and wrote a personal message on the reverse. These were then put together to reveal a large-format image of Madiba, complete with his inspiring words that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Kouga Wind Farm community liaison officer Trevor Arosi said the wind farm had chosen to mark Mandela Bay by “promoting the legacy and ideals that Tata Madiba stood for, such as selflessness and strength in standing and working together.” He said the artwork was a tangible demonstration of the unique part that each individual played in creating “the bigger picture”. “It is extremely important that we teach our children about the founding values of our democracy, so that we can help them build a better future for themselves and South Africa as a whole,” said Arosi. The youngsters were also treated to a short educational theatre production, The Story of Madiba, in which an interactive mix of songs, drumming, dance and storytelling, in Afrikaans and Xhosa, was used to reinforce the message of forgiveness and serving others. Arosi said the wind farm would approach the municipality with a request to hang the artwork in the community hall as a reminder of Mandela’s legacy. The initiative is one of more than R6.5-million . . .
(Mthatha) – The young patients of the paediatric unit at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital will forget their troubles for an hour or two with the delivery of some special treats on Mandela Day (Tuesday, July 18). BT Ngebs City Shopping Centre has partnered with Famous Brands to honour the hospital namesake’s legacy by spending the symbolic 67 minutes bringing cheer and comfort to the more than 200 children in the paediatric, paediatric burns, neonatal, and neonatal high-care wards. BT Ngebs City general manager Lolo Sabisa said two of the mall’s Famous Brands tenants, Debonairs and Mugg & Bean, would join the centre management team in delivering 67 pizzas and 67 slices of cake respectively to the children and nursing staff of the paediatric unit. “Madiba spent 67 years of his life campaigning for social justice, so we have chosen to mark the day by focusing on some of the most vulnerable members of our community, our children. We will use our 67 minutes of community service to brighten their day.” Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, which is situated on the western side of Mthatha, is a government-funded teaching hospital forming part of the Mthatha Hospital Complex. It is the only hospital in the OR Tambo District with a dedicated paediatric unit, and receives referrals from other hospitals and community clinics. Sabisa said the Mandela Day initiative was a small token of recognition for the medical care and services provided to the public. “As the largest shopping mall in Mthatha, we are equally conscious of our role in serving our community and making life a little better for all.” Follow BT Ngebs City on Facebook for more information. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
(East London) – For many East London families battling the twin evils of poverty and HIV, a plate of food represents more than a meal – it represents hope. On Saturday, more than 600 volunteers will descend on Hemingways Mall to join Stop Hunger Now SA’s “Rise4Good Challenge” to pack thousands of nutritious meals, which could play a critical role in supporting effective treatment regimes for people on anti-retroviral medication. The meal packs, which include rice, soya and soup mix as well as a vitamin and mineral supplement, will be distributed via various local feeding schemes and charitable organisations to the city’s neediest residents. Among the beneficiaries of this year’s event will be the pupils and families of the independent charity-run Hope Schools in the Wilsonia area of East London. Together, Little Sparklers Educare and Hope Preparatory School cater for 235 children from Grade 00 to Grade 8 – all of whom have been affected, infected or orphaned by HIV. Many of the pupils are on anti-retroviral medication or have caregivers who are ill, and are dependent on the school’s feeding scheme for their daily dietary needs. According to headmaster Nigel Raw, almost 90% of the pupils are bussed to and from school each day, where they receive two cooked meals, breakfast and lunch, and healthy snacks as part of their daily routine. Raw said the almost 9,000 meal packs received following last year’s inaugural Stop Hunger Now event had been incorporated into their school feeding programme. Each meal pack can feed up to 10 children or a family of six. “We have also been able to provide meal packs to feed the children and their families during the school holidays, when they are at home and not under our care,” he said. Hemingways Mall marketing manager Estee Roos confirmed that Hope Schools would once again be among the beneficiaries for this year’s event. “Because the organisation is entirely reliant on donor funding, this event makes a real . . .
The Red Bull X-Alps 2017 ‘peloton’ swings by the Italian lakes before heading north back into the mountains. The fight for 3rd place heated up today as athletes tagged Turnpoint 5, Monte Baldo, before swinging north into the high mountains again. While Maurer (SUI1) and Petiot (FRA2) are still battling it out at the front. Outters, a top ultrarunner and paraglider pilot, looks to be in strong contention now after clearing Turnpoint 5, Monte Baldo early this morning in 3rd place. Pal Takats (HUN), who had a great run yesterday from the mountains north of Merano to the shores of Lake Garda would also have been in the running, but he now has to serve a 48 hour time penalty for violating an airspace infringement. During this time he is not allowed to move more than 250m from his location. (Evgenii Griaznov (RUS) must also serve his 48 hour penalty from tomorrow.) But after that, it’s wide open with Stanislav Mayer (CZE) and Manuel Nübel (GER2) in hot pursuit. The pair reached Turnpoint 5 shortly before 10am this morning. They were followed about an hour later by Sebastian Huber (GER2) who is now back in the game after a few difficult days. “To the Matterhorn,” he shouted, as he ran from the signboard to the take off. Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) who yesterday fell from 3rd to 7th place was next to arrive. “I’m really pleased to finally reach this turnpoint,” he said. Close behind was Simon Oberrauner (AUT4), Ferdinand van Schelven (NLD), and Pascal Purin (AUT3). The group had a spectacular start to the day with a dawn raid on the Brenta. Purin, Huber, van Schelven, and Oberrauner all launched from a spectacular location at 2,500m next to the Rifugio Pedrotti, in the Brenta Massif. Another athlete enjoying an unstoppable run is Gavin McClurg (USA1). Although he is not where he’d like to be, he’s been slowly clawing his way back, making some good distances in the air and is now in 16th place behind Toma Coconea (ROU) and heading towards Italy. None of the . . .
Young Guns On Fire on Day 4 of Ballito Pro presented by Billabong The young guns on the World Surf (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) were on fire on Day 4 of the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong, ousting the more established stars as they chased the massive 10,000 points on offer in the first QS10,000 rated event of the year.. The day’s action kicked off early in funky one metre (3 foot) low tide waves and light crosswinds, but conditions improved all morning with a bump in the swell and windless, glassy conditions before the customary sea-breeze made it choppy and prompted WSL Deputy Commissioner Travis Logie to put a halt to proceedings soon after lunch. The committed approach by the hungry youngsters was evident from the in the get-go with Keanu Asing (HAW) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) eliminating current Championship Tour (CT) surfers Joan Duru (FRA) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) in the first heat of the day. The same pair won their respective Round of 24 heats later to move into the last 16 . Colapinto, 18, finished ahead of current QS No. 1 Jesse Mendes (BRA) as they ousted 2015 Ballito champion Alejo Muniz (BRA), while Asing, 23, and South Africa’s Michael February put paid to Krystian Kymerson’s (BRA) chances. “I just wanted to pick the right waves and go for big turns, especially against those guys who are both probably going to be on the CT next year,” said Colapinto. “There are only five 10 000’s, so you have to capitalise when you’re in one and I’m stoked to be getting something to go on here.” Despite being bumped off the CT at the end of last year, Asing has a more relaxed approach and after winning a QS3,000 in Barbados earlier this year is looking forward to making more heats in Ballito. “Just coming through that heat was the game plan and I’m trying to work on wave selection and heat management. Once I get on the waves I know it’s going to be a good score,” Asing commented. “It’s an important event, but I don’t know about getting back on the . . .
Jordy Smith Advances to Round 3 of Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Defending Champion Connor O’Leary Eliminated in Tight Decision Jordy Smith (ZAF) opened his campaign in the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong with a workmanlike performance, advancing to Round 3 of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event when he finished runner-up to Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) in his first heat. Smith, the top seed and current World No. 3, stayed very busy trying to find waves with scoring potential and eventually found a running right hander that he ended with an air-reverse that the judges rewarded with 7.73 points out of 10. “Your strategy tends to change every minute, every second of the heat and you just keep reassessing things. I wanted to get the best waves out there, but that didn’t happened in the first five minutes and when others start off with big scores you’ve really got to go to backup strategies and backup waves,” Smith explained. “You couldn’t really tell if it was a good wave so I just figured if I keep getting waves and multiple opportunities one of them would be good. “Obviously I love being in Ballito, this will always be the first real contest that I ever competed in on the international stage, so there’s a lot of history and it means a lot to me. Also, I get to hang out with my friends and family, there’s extremely good waves here, just 30 minutes north or south of Durban, so it’s a great opportunity for me to stay in tune.” Second seed Connor O’Leary (AUS) was not as fortunate. The defending event winner, whose haul of 10,000 QS points at last year’s event saw him qualify among the elite Top 34 on the WSL Championship Tour (CT), struggled to find good waves in the freshening onshore breeze and he was eliminated after placing fourth in the next heat. Organisers then put the event on hold for an hour, and then another hour, in the hopes that conditions would improve. But with the wind strengthening they called the . . .
The first major World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event of the year, the QS10,000 Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, ran through the Round 1 and first four heats of Round 2 in choppy one metre waves at Willard Beach on Monday. With 112 of the world’s best surfers chasing a share of the US $260,000 (approx. R3.3 million) and the biggest ranking points haul available on the QS, the action was fast and furious as the short-period swell provided plenty of waves. “For that heat my strategy was to get two average scores really quick in order just to start the heat. But there were so many waves coming and I didn’t know which one to take so I couldn’t find those waves in the beginning,” said 2014 Ballito champion Alejo Muniz (BRA), who finished runner-up in the last heat of the day to advance to the last 48. “It was really stressful and I was needing a very small score, just a 4, so when there was 5 minutes left I told myself to just wait for a wave with two turns, and I’m happy that I got it!” Jeremy Flores (FRA) has been coming to South Africa for many years and despite contemplating withdrawing from the event due to a recent leg injury, he won the final heat of the day. “The conditions are pretty hard so I think it’s anyone’s game and the one who catches the best wave is going to make the difference,” said Flores. “I’ve injured my leg so I wasn’t even sure if I was going to surf my heat But I told myself it’s only 30 minutes so I toughened up for two waves and I got through, so I’m stoked. It’s good to be back in Ballito, I feel good here, the food is good and the people are amazing and the waves are fun, so why not.” Current runaway QS rankings leader Jesse Mendes (BRA) stayed busy throughout his Round 2 heat, riding 13 waves in the 30 minute encounter. The 23-year-old from Guaruja led throughout but only posted his best two rides, an 8.0 for a pair of vertical backhand bashes and an 8.50 for a high-flying 360 aerial rotation, in the last . . .
(East London) – With just over 20% of Buffalo City residents living below the food poverty line, Hemingways Mall has partnered with Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa to open the organisation’s first shopfront office countrywide. Since early June, the shopping centre has been home to the Eastern Cape headquarters of the non-profit organisation, which coordinates corporate sponsors and individual volunteers to purchase and pack nutritious meals for the needy. Last year, more than a thousand East London residents came together to pack 305,250 meals as part of the mall’s inaugural Mandela Day event. The non-perishable meal packs include rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin supplement and were distributed to beneficiaries via various local feeding programmes. In July, the mall will kick off the 2017 “Rise 4 Good” campaign with its first packing event on July 8, followed by the main Mandela Day event a week later, where Miss World contestants as well as the organisation’s Eastern Cape patron, Mandla Mandela, will be among the special guests. Hemingways Mall general manager Reinette van Tonder said, as one of the high-profile businesses in East London, it was critical that the mall play a visible and sustainable role in improving lives in the surrounding community. Van Tonder appealed to residents, businesses and charities to help them surpass last year’s benchmark. “The concept is very straightforward,” said Van Tonder. “Companies sponsor the costs of a ‘production line’ and their employees, or any other individuals, can volunteer to spend their 67 minutes for Mandela Day by helping to pack meals during one of four sessions throughout the day.” She said the partnership between mall owners Rebosis Property Fund and Stop Hunger Now SA would facilitate a more sustained approach to community development and enable more packing events to take place throughout the year. Stop Hunger Now SA’s chief executive officer Saira Khan described the relationship with . . .
THE COUNTDOWN FOR RED BULL X-ALPS 2017 IS ON! Tension rises: after a long and intense preparation, 31 athletes from 20 nations arrive at the basecamp in Fuschl am See, Austria ahead of the 2017 Red Bull X-Alps race. In the picturesque village of the SalzburgerLand region, the athletes will make their final adjustments and fine-tune their race strategies with the help of their supporters. The route and the unpredictable weather conditions are one of the main topics of the athletes. For Duncan Kotze of South Africa (Cape St Francis), preparation was tough he explains. “I broke some ribs in March, so I was out of training for three weeks and then got back into it; but just very mild training to keep the cardio up.” Kotze learnt to fly in France back in 1999 and says that Europe has much more to offer for paragliders than his local area. For now, his feelings remain mixed; “I’m excited to get going, but nervous of all the people at take-off. We’re not used to that. The pressure is on for a good launch!” USA’s Gavin McClurg knows exactly what it takes to push himself to the limit; he certainly stands in good stead for the imminently approaching race. He says as confidently as ever; “Since we made it to Austria to prepare for the race, we have pretty much been in the air every single day, so it’s been really good.” Nick Neynens from New Zealand has experienced the blood, sweat and tears of Red Bull X-Alps once before and is mostly excited about the route. He says; “I think it’s great that it passes through the Alps so many times. It gives a lot of options and I really like the turnpoints where you can land at high-up points.” If he gets off to a good start this time around, who knows what he will be capable of. So it seems the athletes are well prepared and ready for the challenges that Red Bull X-Alps 2017 will provide. For those at home here’s what you can expect from 29 June, 2017 onwards. We’ve put together all the important details for you . . .