May 2, 2021
(Image courtesy National Weather Service) The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch in effect for Ocean City through 7 p.m. on Monday, according to the city’s Office of Emergency Management.People are asked to monitor conditions and be prepared to take immediate shelter for safety. A Wind Advisory also remains in effect through 6 p.m. Monday. Secure loose items on your property and be aware that driving conditions may be hazardous.For Police and Fire Department emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, call 609-399-9111.
December 18, 2019
The speakers at the recent summit were (front, from left) Bafana Mabale, Lefty Mogorosi, Refilwe Thlabanyane, Mojalefa Nale, (back, from left) Miller Matola, Leo Makgamathe and Jaco Viljoen. Opti Chicks manager Jaco Viljoen spoke about his company’s contribution to growth and sustainability in the province. Opti Chicks produces day-old broilers for the local market. (Images: Nicky Rehbock) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brand South Africa +27 11 483 0122 • Opti Chicks +27 71 687 2246RELATED ARTICLES • KZN innovators show how it’s done • South Africa is Africa’s top nation brand • Building a thriving nation brand • EC entrepreneurs in the spotlight Nicky RehbockNorth West, one of the country’s agricultural and mining powerhouses, was the latest province to host a Brand South Africa stakeholder summit. The event, held on 28 November 2011, showcased local poultry operation Opti Chicks and its innovative business model.Taking place in each of the nine provinces, the summits aim to increase provincial participation in the nation-branding effort and encourage active citizenship – which, in turn, will help position the country as a top investment and tourism destination.Each event presents South Africans who, through their work and community initiatives, are already active ambassadors for the country and epitomise the unique characteristics, or pillars, of the South African brand – ubuntu, diversity, sustainability, possibility and innovation.Seizing opportunityHaving identified a gap in the market for day-old chicks over three years ago, Opti Chicks has become one of the leading suppliers in the province. It sells the birds to other poultry companies, which then rear the hatchlings for consumption.The North West is the biggest broiler-growing area in South Africa, and Opti Chicks is ideally placed to make the most of opportunities in such a niche segment of the production chain.What adds value to this company and sets it apart from competitors is the fact that it concentrates solely on producing top-quality day-old birds, whereas most other players in the industry are fully integrated.This means they focus on the entire growing cycle, from breeding chickens and processing their meat to distributing and marketing the end product.“Opti Chicks was started in 2008 by NWK, a 102-year-old agriculture-based business in the province with its head office in Lichtenburg. With an initial investment of R150-million (US$18.4-million), the original plan was to produce 350 000 day-old chicks per week,” says manager Jaco Viljoen.“But after we secured a supply agreement with one of the leading role-players in the industry, and they agreed to buy that number from us, we decided to go slightly bigger and produce 500 000 chicks per week. Other stakeholders in North West also needed day-old chicks, so we decided we could sell the difference to them.”Training and development keyWith the supply contract in place and the production capacity decided upon, Opti Chicks set about building up the business. They bought a 320ha farm between the towns of Ottosdal and Coligny in the province and began recruiting staff.Some 90% of staff were unskilled and knew little about the business when they started – one of the company’s biggest challenges, according to Viljoen.But thanks to rigorous ongoing training and development, Opti Chicks has rapidly amassed skills and boosted competency and efficiency. So far the company has created 182 jobs and plans to double that and its capacity by 2014.“In the beginning, through innovative thinking and planning, we realised that we were able to use our existing incubation equipment to further increase our capacity from 500 000 to 650 000 chicks per week, which amounts to about 34-million birds per year. Our operation now accounts for 3.3% of the total production in South Africa,” Viljoen adds.Hygiene is one of Opti Chicks’ top priorities, as the business is highly sensitive to poultry diseases.“We have a shower facility at the farm gate for all personnel entering the premises, and require them to wear protective clothing. We need to make sure there is absolutely no contamination from the outside.”Viljoen attributes the success of his operation to good management practices, thorough training, proper implementation of systems and not overcapitalising on staff and infrastructure.“Our contribution to North West includes job creation and economic stability and sustainability, meaning that no chicks have to be brought in from other provinces. All our inputs, such as maize for feed and bedding material, are also all sourced from North West, which means we help support other local businesses as well.”Growing its African footprintOpti Chicks is currently looking to buy another farm to accommodate expected capacity expansion.“We currently export fertilised eggs for broiler operations in Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and other states on the continent, and are planning to expand our footprint to the rest of Africa in the next 10 years – we’re now looking for strategic partners for that. We want to be prepared for any growth or new developments when they come our way.”Some 32kg of poultry was consumed per capita in the country in 2010, followed by 17.65kg of beef, 4.58kg of pork and 3.16kg of mutton and goat – indicating that chicken is the biggest protein source for South Africans.In comparison, the per capita poultry consumption in the US in 2010 was 43kg, meaning there’s potential for the local industry to expand by 40% to 50% in the coming years.The challenge here is to ensure that this growth comes from South Africa, as 16% of domestically consumed poultry is now imported – and 73% of this from Brazil.“Because of the strength of the rand and the cost of maize in South Africa, imports increased by 15% between 2009 and 2010. And from January to July 2011, 181 554 tons were imported – this is estimated to increase to 311 235 tons by the end of the year.“If half of that could be produced locally, the potential new jobs in the chicken and feed industry could amount to 10 000,” Viljoen says.
December 18, 2019
27 September 2012Days before Facebook became a public company on 18 May, the hype behind the social network giant went into overdrive. Investors salivated over a rare chance to make quick profits. The 900-million plus fans who had turned Facebook into a global giant wondered publicly what was in it for them.In the event, Facebook’s crowning achievement as a public company was an anticlimax – and even almost turned into a disaster. Yet the flotation showed the twin power of stock markets: an ability to raise capital for business expansion (a massive US$16-billion for Facebook), along with a potential to destabilize economies.With African stock exchanges becoming important sources of investment capital for large corporations, Facebook’s experience has revived the debate on whether exchanges are capable of promoting economic growth. If such practices could happen on the world’s biggest exchanges, critics ask, how can Africa’s fragile economies withstand the whims of markets?The next investment frontierAs European economies struggle with a debt crisis and sluggish growth expected in the US and elsewhere, investors are eyeing Africa as the next frontier, thanks to a surging economy and positive growth estimates. Indeed, Africa “could be on the brink of an economic take-off, much like China was 30 years ago, and India 20 years ago,” says the World Bank.This year, sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is forecast to expand by 5.9 percent, ahead of North Africa’s growth of 4.2 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Seven African countries are expected to be among the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world for the period 2011-2015.Perceptions of Africa among investors “are becoming more distinctly positive over the long-term horizon,” says Ernst & Young, a global business consultancy company, in its 2011 Africa Attractiveness Survey, with capital investments there set to reach $150-billion by 2015.The World Bank reckons that investors looking for opportunities in Africa can expect “some of the highest investment returns in the world”. InvestingInAfrica.net, a website that monitors African stock markets, reports that as of May 2012, six stock markets (Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia) had three-year returns of at least 27 percent in dollar terms.Zambia topped the chart with a whopping 57 percent, thanks to a growing economy boosted by rising commodity prices. It was still up 18.3 percent last year, when Africa’s stock market was hit by the global recession.Today, there are 23 stock exchanges in Africa, up from 18 a decade ago. The newest is the Rwanda Stock Exchange, which officially opened its doors to the public about three years ago.African stock exchanges still smallExcept for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the continent’s biggest in terms of the number of listed companies and market value, African stock markets are still small and often dominated by a handful of large corporations. For example, the conglomerate Dangote Group makes up about 30 percent of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.Trading in shares is less frequent, and when it happens, it is usually limited to a few firms. Many do not have access to reliable and up-to-date information technology; in some, trading is done manually. Lack of liquidity is a major weakness, and in many cases, the general public does not have confidence in the integrity of stock exchanges.These problems, many of them deep-seated, cannot be fixed overnight. They require time and resources. Nor are they the only weak spots – institutional flaws are equally harmful.“The destabilizing effects of introducing stock markets into economies with underdeveloped legal, regulatory and monetary systems can produce economic instability that outweighs potential gains,” noted Michel Isimbabi in a research paper on African stock markets. Without these safeguards, critics charge, traders could use stock markets to gamble and speculate.Yet Isimbabi’s study, published in the US-based Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS Review, concluded that notwithstanding these criticisms, there is strong evidence that a stock market can be an essential part of a developing economy.A number of studies by the IMF also arrived at the same conclusion: if supported by the right policies and reforms, stock markets can help African companies expand operations, in turn contributing to economic growth.Favourable environments taking rootLuckily, environments favourable to the growth of stock exchanges are beginning to take root in Africa. Political stability now exists in many countries – despite recent setbacks in Mali and Guinea-Bissau – even in post-conflict countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.In its latest survey, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a group that supports good governance in Africa, says that “political stability in sub-Saharan Africa has dramatically improved in recent years”.Sound economic policies and accountable institutions too are a must. Along with political stability, the World Bank’s 2012 Global Economic Prospects report attributes increased investment flows to Africa to higher commodity prices and improved macroeconomic stability.Rwanda, for instance, is now one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, thanks to its pro-business policies and a positive investment climate. South Africa – and to some extent Kenya – has a long history of investor-friendly policies.And the continent’s sleeping giant, Nigeria, even in the face of current bombings by the Boko Haram group, is gradually getting its act together, guided by reformist finance minister and former World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.In contrast, countries with high levels of risk, such as weak investment laws or lack of respect for property rights, have learned the hard way. Zimbabwe comes to mind. Uncertainty over the direction of its economic policies has seen the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange – once one of Africa’s biggest and most active – shrink in both size and value.The small size of African stock markets and the absence of liquidity are often cited by foreign investors as the major impediments to investing in the region.Experts have recommended merging them into regional exchanges as one solution. “A regional exchange should mean more liquidity – the lifeblood of exchanges – by making stocks available to a wider range of investors,” argues The Economist, a British weekly magazine.Regional integration effortsBut so far, there has been little progress on regional integration. Cooperation among exchanges is still limited to technical and regulatory issues. The modest market value and size of Africa’s two regional stock exchanges – one made up of five countries in Central Africa and the other representing eight in West Africa, with both sharing common currencies – limit their attraction to investors.The most recent attempt towards regional integration is last year’s partnership agreement between FTSE, the British stock market index, and 16 of the 22 members of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) to launch the FTSE-ASEA Pan Africa Index in 2012.“The index will help to improve the visibility of African stocks and also provides an opportunity for investors to access African equities,” Siobhan Cleary, the JSE director of strategy and public policy, said in response to questions from Africa Renewal.Even with obvious rewards such as a bigger market size, low costs and more liquidity, the conditions for regional integration are yet to mature.According to financial experts, progress would require African countries to harmonize their trading laws and accounting standards, set up convertible currencies and establish free trade among members. Also, nationalism still plays a part: countries tend to treat stock markets as national symbols and therefore are not rushing to relinquish control.True, stock exchanges are not the only entry for investors to buy into African companies, nor are they so far fully up to the task. Yet with the right policies and incentives, African countries can encourage the growth of their stock exchanges to become important vehicles for future Facebooks to raise capital for business expansion.This article was first published in Africa Renewal – produced by the Africa Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Africa Renewal provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today.
October 27, 2019
LEXINGTON, KY – FEBRUARY 28: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team against the Ole Miss Rebels during the game at Rupp Arena on February 28, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)This past Saturday night, immediately following Kentucky’s last-second victory over Notre Dame, it was suggested by TBS sideline reporter Lewis Johnson, in a live interview with UK head coach John Calipari, that Notre Dame was the “toughest test” that the Wildcats had faced all season. Coach Cal emphatically disagreed, leading many to criticize him for failing to give the Irish credit. The clip went viral as a result.Monday, Calipari addressed the situation on the Final Four teleconference. He claims that he didn’t want to lie, given Kentucky’s difficult tests against Ole Miss and Texas A&M – both of which went to overtime. Brett Dawson of Rivals and Kami Mattioli of Sporting News grabbed the quote.Here’s the thing about being at a game: I had no idea there was any social-media flap about Calipari not saying ND was UK’s toughest game.— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonRivals) March 30, 2015Apparently there was, though, as Calipari was asked about it on today’s Final Four teleconference.— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonRivals) March 30, 2015Calipari said he “could have lied” and said Notre Dame was toughest test, but points out UK was lucky to get to OT vs. Ole Miss and A&M.— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonRivals) March 30, 2015Calipari on his postgame comments: “To say that that was by far the toughest game, I could’ve lied and said oh yeah, but it wasn’t”— Kami Mattioli (@kmattio) March 30, 2015While Calipari’s interview may have rubbed many people the wrong way, he did make sure to praise Notre Dame when accepting the Midwest Region trophy afterwards. Kentucky next takes on Wisconsin in the Final Four Saturday night.
October 14, 2019
APTN National NewsA jurisdictional dispute over child welfare is taking place in Saskatchewan.The province wants First Nations child welfare agencies to report to the provincial ministry of social services.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo has this story.
October 12, 2019
Kolkata: Bengal will have Lok Sabha polls in seven phases at 42 constituencies across the state. The dates for the Lok Sabha polls were announced by the Election Commission of India on Sunday. In 2014, Bengal had elections in five phases.The Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, Ariz Aftab informed in a press conference that Cooch Behar and Alipurduar will go to polls in phase 1 on April 11. Three constituencies, namely Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Raiganj, will have elections in the second phase on April 18, while the five constituencies of Balurghat, Malda Uttar, Malda Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad will be having polls in phase 3 on April 23. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayBerhampore, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Burdwan-Durgapur, Burdwan Purba, Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum will go to polls in phase 4 on April 29, while Bongaon, Barrackpur Howrah, Uluberia, Hooghly, Sreerampore and Arambag will go to polls in phase 5 on May 6. In the sixth phase, voting will be held in the eight constituencies of Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, Medinipur and Bishnupur on May 12, while the last phase will have elections in the nine constituencies of Dumdum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar on May 19. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penaltyAs per sources in the CEO Bengal office, the number of electors in the state is 6,97,60,868. “The total number of polling stations and polling premises in the state will be 78,799 and 53,701 respectively. All polling stations will have adequate EVMs and VVPATs,” a senior EC official said. There will be a toll-free helpline (1950), where any citizen can lodge complaints related to the elections. Sources in the CEO’s office said that they will be using vehicles installed with GPS trackers and mobile-based tracking system for transportation of reserve EVMs and VVPATs. An EVM control room will be set up at the CEO’s office and the district election officers’ offices where the movement of EVMs and VVPATs would be monitored through GPS monitors and other related IT infrastructure and applications. In Bengal, the number of polling stations with voice and internet shadow zones are 159 and 1,019 respectively. Sources in the CEO’s office further informed that they will introduce a new ‘M3’-type electronic voting machine (EVM) that can “tamper-detect” and will stop functioning if anyone tries to tinker with it. “If anyone tries to meddle with any part of the machine or try to open any screw or any box, it will become dysfunctional,” an official added.
October 12, 2019
New Delhi: In an attempt to boost organisational morale and the working environment within the Central Bureau of Investigation, the country’s premier investigative agency has started a unique exercise to take note of and deal with issues that employees across the agency might be facing.The move comes in the wake of major reshuffling exercises that CBI undertook during the turmoil that ensued after the removal of former director Alok Verma earlier this year. More than 20 officers were transferred by interim director Nageswara Rao, who was at the helm of the agency until the appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla by a Narendra Modi-led selection committee. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Following the scurrying transfers that were made, reverted, and re-enforced during the Asthana-Verma tussle, several officers were reportedly unhappy with the way leadership in the organisation was pushing them around and some have also filed court petitions in this regard. Sources here told Millennium Post that this new exercise has been put in place so that the “organisational needs and employee needs are met”. Communication lines to CBI Director Shukla, who took charge on February 2, have been opened for all employees to reach out to him. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSources said that now employees will be free to reach out to the Director’s office with issues they might be having, regardless of rank; and that many of them have already done so. They added that Director Shukla meets these employees on Friday every week and that he has already met more than 30 such employees and discussed issues they have been coming to him with. When asked what kind of issues are being discussed during these meetings, sources said that they tend to go over any problem that the employees might be facing within the organisation.
September 28, 2019
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) looks to throw a pass in the second half of the Rose Bowl Game featuring Ohio State and Washington. Ohio State won 28-23. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorDuring the 2018 season, Ohio State had been looked at as a Big 12-type offense. With redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, the Buckeyes were heavily involved in the passing game, finishing second in the country averaging 373 passing yards per game, completing 70.8 percent of pass attempts, No. 1 in the NCAA. In his first few hours as head coach, taking over for Urban Meyer immediately after the Rose Bowl, Ryan Day seemingly wanted that Big 12-type offense to continue in the future, signing former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich to a two-year deal as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Yurcich has a reputation for leading high-scoring and high-profile passing offenses. In his tenure at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys averaged 38 points and 478.3 yards of offense per game. He has led offenses that, in the past eight seasons, have scored 40 points or more in 46.1 percent of the games he has coached in with 15 games with over 50 points scored. Much of that has to do with the last two quarterbacks that have led the Cowboys offense. From 2015-17, Mason Rudolph, selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, completed at least 62 percent of his pass attempts for at least 3,770 yards in his three seasons at starting quarterback. In his final season with the Cowboys, Rudolph posted a career high 4,904 passing yards, throwing 37 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions. Rudolph was never much of a run threat, recording 28 yards in 225 career rushes. However, he was viewed as a threat to score on the goal line, recording a career-high 10 rushing touchdowns his senior season. In 2018, redshirt senior Taylor Cornelius picked up where Rudolph left off, but with a bit more agility. The passing numbers remained, recording 3,978 yards, 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in the passing game, but also added 10 touchdowns on the ground, recording 406 yards on 122 carries. Looking at his tenure at Oklahoma State, Yurcich has had mostly pro-style quarterbacks that have peppered opposing defenses for the past six seasons. But Yurcich offenses do run that same run-pass option that Ohio State thrived in with Haskins and plan to do in the near future with whatever quarterback may be behind center. Day is still in the process of molding his coaching staff, after the hiring of Yurcich and the promotion of wide receivers coach Brian Hartline to a permanent position on Dec. 8. During bowl preparation, the newly-named head coach was quiet about what his timeline would be for creating his staff. With the first two hirings he has made, Day has shown that, much to the credit of his background, the offense will continue to be the priority for Ohio State. That no matter the quarterback that will start the season for the Buckeyes next season, the Big 12 element in the offense will remain.
September 18, 2019
The Newcastle loanee believes he’s now more mature to play in the English Premier League giant and he hopes to prove it with his footballRobert Kenedy Nunes Nascimento, better known as Kenedy, believes he’s now more mature than before to be able to play on English Premier League side, Chelsea.The winger started his professional career in Fluminense, where he played from 2013 to 2015.He was then bought by Chelsea, but he has been loaned three times: once in 2016 to Watford, and then twice in 2018 to Newcastle United.And now, he wants to prove he has grown as a professional.“I hope this year I can make a good season for Newcastle and go back to Chelsea,” he told Brazilian website UOL.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“It is not that I didn’t succeed at Chelsea.”“I arrived at 19, very young. It was good to be loaned to get more playing time. Better than staying at Chelsea and not play,” he continued.“I hope this year I can make a good season for Newcastle and go back to Chelsea to continue. I have a dream to return and to be a champion for the club.”“Just being in the Premier League is already a great achievement. A lot of people come and can’t play. For me, it’s been very good. My dream is to win a major title,” Kenedy explained.“I played at Chelsea with [Jose] Mourinho, he always helped me and showed me what I had to do in training, what he taught me I take as learning with me, and now I’m learning from another great coach, Rafa [Benitez].”