Dub Poet, Linton

first_imgAdvertisements RelatedDub Poet, Linton RelatedDub Poet, Linton Dub Poet, Linton UncategorizedOctober 13, 2008center_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Internationally acclaimed dub poet, author, and sociologist, Linton “Kwesi” Johnson, will be the guest lecturer at the third annual Distinguished Lecture Series, to be held in Toronto, Canada.Organised by the Consulate General of Jamaica, under the distinguished patronage of Consul General, Anne-Marie Bonner, the Lecture will be held on Thursday, October 16, at St. Lawrence Hall in downtown Toronto, starting at 6:00 p.m. This year’s topic is: ‘Writing Reggae – Politics, Poetry, and Popular Culture’.Born in Clarendon, Mr. Johnson migrated to London, England, at the age of 11. After completing high school, he attended Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, where he studied Sociology.He has written numerous poems and recorded many albums, beginning with his first poetry collection, ‘Voices of the Living and the Dead’, which he published in 1974 at age 22. His 1985 album, ‘LKJ Live in Concert with the Dub Band’, was nominated for a Grammy Award, and he has written a 10-part radio series on Jamaican popular music called, “From Mento to Lovers Rock,” which aired on BBC Radio One.His other publications include: ‘Dread Beat An’ Blood’, ‘Inglan is A Bitch’, ‘Tings An’ Times’, and ‘Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems’.Consul General, Anne-Marie Bonner, has expressed pleasure in Mr. Johnson’s acceptance of her invitation to be this year’s guest lecturer.“Linton is a fascinating artiste, who has inspired many poets and musicians. His presentation will give the audience much food for thought.”The Consul General also expressed her appreciation to the Jamaica National Building Society’s (JNBS) Toronto Representative Office, which has sponsored the event for the last two years.The Distinguished Lecture Series, was launched by the Consul General in 2006, to commemorate National Heritage Week and Heroes Day. The inaugural Lecture was delivered by former Government minister and parliamentarian, Justice Hugh Small, who spoke on the topic: ‘Heroism and Nation Building’. In 2007, the Distinguished Lecturer was Professor Verene Shepherd, Chair of the Jamaica National Bicentenary Committee, who delivered on the theme: ‘The Archaeology of Black Memory: Reckoning with 1807 in 2007’. RelatedDub Poet, Lintonlast_img read more


Whiplash panel entry rules ‘anti-competitive’

first_imgThe organisation created to run panels of independent whiplash experts is taking legal advice over concerns that the scheme is anti-competitive.Complaints have been registered that the biggest medical reporting organisations are filing multiple registration applications to give themselves a greater chance of being picked through the MedCo allocation system.Solicitor firms running claims can choose from one national provider and six second-tier organisations to carry out whiplash diagnosis.The Gazette revealed last month that the four biggest MROs have each submitted two applications to be top-tier providers.One of the biggest MROs, Speed Medical, has been reported this week to be registering at least 10 entries for the second tier. The company is reported in some forums to be appearing in some form in 45% of searches, although it is important to note this does not breach any existing rules.A spokesman for Speed Medical said it was one of several MROs to make mutiple applications, which were necessary to maintain the existing business.It is understood several complaints have been made to MedCo about anti-competitiveness, and the organisation has now started auditing registered companies to ensure compliance.There are concerns among some MedCo board members that the regulations as set out by the Ministry of Justice are harming the intention of the panels, which was to ensure financial incentives are taken out of whiplash diagnosis and fraudulent or exaggerated claims are reduced.A MedCo spokesman said: ‘The MedCo board recognises that this is a rapidly evolving market and that some behaviours, while currently permitted under the qualifying criteria as set out by the MoJ, may undermine the original policy intention. Processes may be updated in the future to address these concerns and users will be notified.‘The board is currently seeking urgent legal advice on the scope of its authority, within the legal framework set up by the MoJ, to address these emerging operational concerns. It remains for the MoJ to consider whether there is a case for adapting any aspect of the policy framework.’Dan Chesney, group marketing manager for Speed Medical, said the company faced a drop to 10% of its previous volume of medical reqeusts and it ‘needed to act’ to protect the jobs of its 200 employees.He added: ‘We had many customers and solicitors complaining about the service and actions of the other MROs, with appointments in three months’ time, asking for pre-payment of reports and clients being asked to travel distances to see a GP.’We knew that we could replicate the great service that we provide in other companies and give customers the option to receive that great service.’Any claim notification form for an RTA claim must be commissioned from a medical expert or medical reporting organisations sourced through the MedCo website.Medical experts have been required to pay a £150 annual registration fee, while MROs are split into two categories, paying a £15,000 or £75,000 annual fee accordingly per individual registration.Any company which has applied for tier-one status must show the ability to process at least 40,000 reports a year.Doctors Chambers and sister company Bodycare Clinics have each registered as tier-one MROs, Premex is registered along with its sister company UK Independent Medical, while Speed Medical and its sister company MLA will be high-volume providers.last_img read more


Use Dominica’s experience as an example

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share Sharecenter_img LocalNews Use Dominica’s experience as an example by: – June 20, 2018 64 Views   one comment Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Dr. Reginald ThomasPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Reginald Thomas has urged neighboring islands to use Dominica as an example to implement climate change resilient measures.Addressing a three day Post Disaster Needs Assessment Training Workshop on Monday, 18 June 2018, Dr. Thomas said his Ministry is instructing its staff to help them be prepared in the case of an event.He described the workshop, hosted by the Ministry in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as timely since the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season commenced on 1 June and it is important that the country can respond “in the shortest possible time” to any climatic event.“We are just beginning the hurricane season so it is indeed a good time, and it is important that we go through this program to ensure that we get the maximum benefits from it,” Dr. Thomas stated.He noted that in the face of disasters, time is of the essence hence the ability to respond in an effective manner is critical to building resilience and rebounding quickly.“For those of us from the neighboring islands who were spared from Maria, we want for you to go back and put the necessary systems in your country, in the event that you are faced with something similar, so that you can respond and respond in the shortest time,” Dr. Thomas added.last_img read more


Waite waltzes home at Burapha

first_imgWith most of the players playing here for the first time the scores were quite good, well apart from Sel who scored a magnificent 16 point total.  Bob Van Mol took line honours on the day with 35 points ahead of Owen Walkley in second with 32 and third on a count back over Eng was Capt Bob with 31.  There were no ‘2’s.Wednesday, August 20, Green Valley – StablefordWe had six groups playing at Green Valley and looking forward to beating the rain, but alas it was not to be and were forced to make a stopover for a beer at John and Geoff’s drinks stop for about half an hour then out we went to finish the round.We had six ladies playing and as usual they put up a good showing; according to William the two girls who played alongside him and John Aylott were magic around the greens. There were a couple of good scores but I think the rain chased a few players away and we had a few NRs.First place went to Owen Walkley with a fine 38 points, second to Nichawan Khiaophuang with 36, third to Rosco Langoulant on 33 and fourth went to Bill Marsden with 32.There were three ‘2’s coming from Wayne Cotterell, Nichawan Khiaophuang (Sa) and Owen Walkley.Friday, August 22, Burapha – StablefordToday we were at Burapha, which will now become our venue for the first and second Friday of each month.  The course is in great condition and the friendly staff see to your needs with a generous smile.Playing A and B courses, as the C has just been renovated and the greens are not up to scratch as yet, we were joined by Robert Cook from the Bendigo Golf Club on a reconnaissance for the club’s next golfing holiday.  Although he played with borrowed clubs, Robert did acquit himself very well and even took a couple of shillings off Capt Bob.The scores were very good and although we did play from the white tees the course was still long enough at 6,200 yards.  Coming in third was Greig Ritchie with 39 points, his best round for a while but being beaten on count back by his good friend David Hausman also on 39.  Taking the top spot was Phil Waite with an amazing 42 points, well done mate!There were three ‘2’s today coming from Rosco, Phil Waite and Greig Ritchie.Note:  The Billabong Golf bar is situated just off Siam Country Club Road looking straight down Lake Mabprachan.  Call Bob on 082 204 3411 if you are looking for a game. PSC golf from The Billabong Golf BarTuesday, August 19, Siam Waterside – StablefordSiam Waterside was the venue for today and being a Sports Day it was a very good deal.  Everyone enjoyed themselves on this wonderful golf course, well almost everyone as Sel had a day he would rather forget; if he wasn’t in the deep rough he managed to make the bunker, and losing 10 golf balls in one round must set a record I’m sure. The Captain got the tee time mixed up but we got away early anyway for a four hour round, not bad for a Sports Day.  A big thank you for our organizer today Rosco taking time out from his duties at the temple and for setting up the next trip there on the 30th September, which will be the last time at Sports Day rates.Friday’s top three: David Hausman, Greig Ritchie and Phil Waite.last_img read more


State-of-the art mill boosts dairy

first_imgBy DANNY BUTTLER A WORLD-class feed mill was officially opened in Pakenham yesterday. The $12.8 million mill at Ridley AgriProducts’…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img


Wildcats look to build confidence as squad host Kootenay Volleyball Classic — Crowe Hawks, LVR Bombers also in the mix

first_imgThe Mount Sentinel Wildcats finished third overall at the Immaculata Invitational High School Girl’s Volleyball Tournament Saturday in Kelowna.“We played lot (of volleyball) competed with all the teams,” said varsity girl’s coach Joe Moreira.“Our confidence still waivers at times and I suspect that it is attributed to playing without 12’s (nine players  — six Grade 11’s and three Grade 9’s).”Host Immaculata won the tournament. The Kelowna-based school is ranked second in the recent B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball poll.Mount Sentinel is unranked.The Wildcats have a great opportunity to get the ball flying in the right direction when the South Slocan school hosts the annual Kootenay Volleyball Classic beginning Friday at Mount Sentinel gymnasium.The tournament includes to zone rivals, Fernie and Elkford.“We hosting a number of teams this weekend we need to beat to get to provincials in Prince George,” Moreira confessed. “Both (Fernie and Elkford) have most of their player returning from last year.”Also included in the mix are Prince Charles Comets of Creston, J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail, Immaculata, L.V. Rogers Bombers and A.L Fortune of Enderby.Teams play a round robin in their respective four-team pools before crossing over into the playoff round.The final goes at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mount Sentinel [email protected]last_img read more


Nelson rink drops tie-breaker at BC Mixed Double Curling Championships

first_imgThe Nelson rink of Kristina Little and Nathan Small narrowly missed out qualifying for the National Mixed Double Curling at the recent Provincial Championships held recently in Hope.The Kootenay Champs lost out in a tiebreaker King Simpson/Croteau rink. Finishing in a tie for second, with a 5-2 mark, Team Little-Small had chances to win but were unable to complete the shots that would have guaranteed points.“We had a very, very close game with (King Simpson/Croteau) with a missed opportunity in the seventh end to potentially score four points and then in the eighth we had an open shot for the win but weren’t able to get the job done as we missed the target stone on the low side,” Small explained following the championships.Small said both members were extremely proud of the way we played all week.“To finish fifth in the province is an impressive feat, to say the least,” Small said.“We would like to thank our sponsors, especially the local ones, for financially supporting us in being able to compete: Torchlight Brewing, Empire Coffee, Valhalla Realty, and BalancePlus Curling Equipment.”The Steph Jackson-Baier/Corey Chester rink of Victoria defeated city rivals Carley Sandwith/Cameron de Jong 6-3 to capture the BC title Sunday in Hope.last_img read more


Cregmore/Claregalway U16’s Out To Make History

first_img WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Cregmore/Claregalway will hope to make it an historic three from three in WFAI National Cups Finals when their U16 team take on Shelbourne in the Semi-Final at the AUL complex on Sunday at 2pm. Already, their U14 and 18 sides have reached national finals on the 26th of March so the hope is that history will be made as no side has ever had three age groups in WFAI Finals in the same year. Dermot Coll is the team manager and he spoke to John Mulliganlast_img read more


Energia All-Ireland League Fixtures Announced For Corinthians and Galwegians

first_imgSat 5 Oct – 2.30pm Ballina v Galway Corinthians at Heffernan ParkBuccaneers v Queens University at Dubarry ParkGalwegians v Sligo at Crowley Park Fri 11 Oct – 8pm Galway Corinthians vGalwegians at Corinthian Park Saturday 12 Oct – 2.30pm Greystones v Ballina at DrHickey ParkRainey OB v Buccaneers atHat Trick ParkSligo v Belfast Harlequinsat Hamilton Park Sat 19 Oct – 2.30pmBallina v Blackrock atHeffernan Park Belfast Harlequins vGalway Corinthians at Deramore ParkGalwegians v Greystones atCrowley ParkWanderers v Sligo at TheAviva StadiumSat 2 Nov – 2.30pm Blackrock v Galwegians atStradbrookGalway Corinthians vWanderers at Corinthian ParkMalahide v Ballina atEstuary RoadSligo v Dungannon atHamilton Park Sat 9 Nov– 2.30pmDungannon v Ballina at Stevenson Park Galwegians v Malahide at Crowley ParkSligo v Corinthians at Hamilton ParkSat 16 Nov– 2.30pm Ballina v Galwegians atHeffernan ParkGalway Corinthians vDungannon at Corinthian Park Greystones v Sligo atDr Hickey ParkSat 30 Nov – 2.30pmBelfast Harlequins vBallina at Demaore Park Dungannon v Galwegiansat Stevenson ParkGalway Corinthians vGreystones at Corinthian ParkSligo v Blackrock at Hamilton Park Sat 7 DecBallina v Wanderers at Heffernan ParkBlackrock v Galway Corinthians at StradbrookGalwegians v BelfastHarlequins at Crowley ParkSat 14 Dec– 2.30pm Galway Corinthians vMalahide at Corinthian ParkSligo v Ballina atHamilton ParkWanderers v Galwegiansat The Aviva StadiumSat 11 Jan– 2.30pmGalwegians v Wanderersat Crowley ParkMalahide v GalwayCorinthians at Estuary Road Ballina v Sligo at Heffernan Park Sat 25 Jan– 2.30pmBelfast Harlequins v Galwegians at Deramore Park Galway Corinthians RFC v Blackrock at Corinthian Park Sligo v Malahide at HamiltonPark  Wanderers v Ballina at The AvivaStadium Sat 15 Feb– 2.30pmBallina v Belfast Harlequins at Heffernan Park Blackrock v Sligo at StradbrookGalwegians v Dungannon at CrowleyPark Greystones v Galway Corinthians RFC at Dr Hickey Park Sat 22 Feb– 2.30pmDungannon v Galway Corinthians RFC at Stevenson Park Galwegians v Ballina at CrowleyPark Sligo v Greystones at HamiltonPark  Sat 29 Feb– 2.30pmBallina v Dungannon at HeffernanPark Galway Corinthians RFC v Sligo at Corinthian Park Malahide v Galwegians at EstuaryRoad Sat 14 Mar– 2.30pmBallina v Malahide at HeffernanPark Dungannon v Sligo at StevensonPark Galwegians v Blackrock at CrowleyPark Wanderers v Galway Corinthians RFC at The Aviva Stadium Sat 21 Mar– 2.30pmBlackrock v Ballina at StradbrookGalway Corinthians RFC v Belfast Harlequins at Corinthian Park Greystones v Galwegians at DrHickey Park Sligo v Wanderers at HamiltonPark  Fri 27 Mar– 8pmGalwegians v Galway Corinthians RFC at Crowley Park Sat 28 Mar– 2.30pmBallina v Greystones at HeffernanPark Belfast Harlequins v Sligo at Deramore Park Sat 18 Apr– 2.30pm Galway Corinthians RFC v Ballina at Corinthian Park Sligo v Galwegians at HamiltonPark  print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email The Fixtures for All Four Connacht Teams In The Division Are As Follows… The fixtures for the new season of the Energia All – Ireland Leagues have been announced. The New Season will begin on the 5th of October with Galwegians at home to Sligo and Corinthians away to Ballina in two all Connacht Ties. last_img read more


Gary Lineker leads plaudits as Harry Kane breaks August hoodoo at Wembley

first_imgICYMI Harry Kane scored a Premier League goal in August today for the first time in his career!THE STREAK IS OVER!!!— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 18, 2018 Lionel Messi pulls off greatest nutmeg ever… but is it all it seems? Kieran Trippier scores a marvellous free-kick for Tottenham against FulhamLatest football newsLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea news LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Stamford BridgeLive BlogUNITED LIVEMan Utd news LIVE: All the latest updates and transfer gossip from Old TraffordLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea transfer news LIVE: Havertz deal LATEST, Willian move updatesLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordLive Bloggunners newsArsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesAZPI BETTERAzpilicueta reveals turning off phone saved his season after horror startFederico Bernardeschi comes off the bench to score dramatic injury time winner for Juventus against Chievo in Cristiano Ronaldo’s Serie A debutMauricio Pochettino’s side picked up all three points with earlier goals from Lucas Moura and Kieran Trippier.Kane and Trippier combined to show Gareth Southgate’s World Cup heroes are suffering no hangover from their exploits in Russia.Spurs now have six points after winning their first two games.And they are proving a powerhouse up top too with five goals from their opening two fixtures.FINALLY!!HARRY KANE breaks the August curse..#TOTFUL— Ukachi Kelechi Michael (@WICK3D3ST) August 18, 2018 Little studied effect of Global Warming is that Harry Kane can now score in August. #TOTFUL— Tizzy McDizzy (@DerbyDayNYC) August 18, 2018 Harry Kane isn’t even giving the other forwards a months head start anymore. It’s over, @premierleague.— Sean Walsh (@SeanDZWalsh) August 18, 2018 3-1 (77′) Harry Kane scores his first Premier League goal in August, in his 15th PL match in the month. It took him 1,069 minutes to net his first PL August goal.— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) August 18, 2018center_img HARRY KANE HAS SCORED IN AUGUST, THIS IS NOT A DRILL— Luke Rodford (@LukeRodford) August 18, 2018 Tottenham 3-1 Fulham: Harry Kane scores his first August goal as strikes from Kieran Trippier and Lucas Moura complete winHarry Kane scoring in August can only mean one thing 🏆— Odds Watch (@Odds_Watch) August 18, 2018 Harry Kane! Finally! You absolute legend!!!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼#TOTFUL And @OfficialFPL points galore!! 👌🏼🌟— Gail Adcock🌈 (@nonblondie37) August 18, 2018 GARY LINEKER led the plaudits as Harry Kane finally scored in August.The Spurs striker netted the third in the 3-1 win over Fulham at Wembley.1 Harry Kane celebrates after finally scoring in the month of AugustCredit: GettyIt was the first time in 15th attempts that the World Cup Golden Boot winner found the back of the net in the opening month of the Premier League season.And ex-Tottenham man Lineker was among the first to tweet about Kane.He wrote: “Finally. It’s Harry Augustus Kane.”Fellow social media users were quick to jump on the bandwagon too.Finally. It’s Harry Augustus Kane.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 18, 2018last_img read more


Pittsville tops Rib Lake/Prentice

first_imgBy Hub City Times staffPITTSVILLE – Pittsville Panthers had a big win against Rib Lake/Prentice on Aug. 30, in a nonconference game at Pittsville High School.Pittsville had a healthy 44-0 lead by halftime, with Eli Fox scoring on two six-yard runs and Codi Fox on a 17-yard pass from Matthew Kissner in the first quarter.  Kissner scored on a 12-yard run in the second quarter, while Aiden Kolar scored on a four-yard run and E. Fox on a 22-yard run.Kolar added another touchdown in the third with a 23-yard run. With a failed conversion, the game ended with Pittsville on top 50-0.Eli Fox led in rushing; Matthew Kissner led in passing; and Evan Dammann was the top receiver.Pittsville next faces Pacelli at home on Sept. 6.last_img read more


Gordhan: we can do better

first_imgFinance minister Pravin Gordhan arrives at Parliament in Cape Town, ahead of the 2013 budget speech.(Image: GCIS) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jabulani Sikhakhane  Ministerial spokesperson  Department of Finance  +27 12 315 5944 RELATED ARTICLES • Gordhan: Make SA works marter • Team SA to call for investment • SA’s budget most transparent in world • Budget big on education, jobs • SA business gives budget a thumbs-upFinance minister Pravin Gordhan delivered his annual budget speech on 27 February. The national budget gives details of the government’s plans for borrowing, spending and taxation over the next three years.Reaction to the speech, from political opposition as well as financial experts, has been positive overall. The African Christian Democratic Party described it as “conservative”. The Congress of South African Trade Unions said it had hoped for a bolder strategy.“The budget contained no major surprises,” said Old Mutual’s chief economist Rian le Roux. This is because the National Treasury needs to narrow the government budget deficit while maintaining spending on social services and keeping taxation within sustainable limits, he said.Le Roux also commended the government for announcing a lower spending estimate of R10.4-billion less than the previous figure. This is a clear sign that tighter control on government spending is on the cards.Gordhan announced tax relief of R7-billion for individual taxpayers, and the amount a person needs to earn before becoming eligible for taxation has increased.Tim Harris of the Democratic Alliance expressed pleasure that there wasn’t any increase in personal tax.However, excise duty on goods such as tobacco, spirits and wines has increased, as it does every year. The petrol levy has also increased by 23 cents.He announced a continued priority for infrastructure development, with R827-billion allocated for the next three years. This includes R2-billion for the Square Kilometre Array .Visit the National Treasury’s budget page for more information and downloads on the 2013 budget. The full text of the speech follows:Honourable SpeakerI have the honour to present the fourth budget of President Zuma’s administration.Mr President, you said in the State of the Nation address that “we should put South Africa first. All of us have a patriotic duty and responsibility to build and promote our country.” You further said “The National Development Plan provides a perfect vehicle for united action precisely because it has the support of South Africans across the political and cultural spectrum. Leaders in every avenue should be ready to rise above sectional interests and with great maturity, pull together to take this country forward.”This challenge applies to all sections of our society: business, labour, public representatives, activists and citizens in every part of the country.As we pointed out in the 2012 budget, global economic uncertainty will remain with us for some time.South Africa’s economic outlook is improving, but requires that we actively pursue a different trajectory if we are to address the challenges ahead.Under your leadership Mr President, we have opened new channels of communication and built more cohesion among key stakeholders in South Africa. We have taken many steps to create the conditions for higher levels of confidence in our economy and society. Now we are ready to implement the National Development Plan.South Africans have a rich history of acting together for a better future.Thirty years ago, the United Democratic Front brought together people of goodwill and foresight from all corners of the country. Many points of view, many differences in approach, were marshalled around a single cause – building a united and non-racial society. We did the same for the first democratic elections in 1994 which laid the basis for an enduring democracy.The Reconstruction and Development Programme is the foundation on which we build. It said:“It is this collective heritage of struggle, these common yearnings, which are our greatest strength… At the same time the challenges facing South Africa are enormous. Only a comprehensive approach to harnessing the resources of our country can reverse the crisis created by apartheid. Only an all-round effort to harness the life experience, skills, energies and aspirations of the people can lay the basis for a new South Africa.”The schools, clinics, taps and houses we have built since then are testimony to the truth of these assertions. The freedom and democracy we cherish – and the knowledge that these are permanent, inalienable rights grounded in our basic law – are the foundation on which all South Africans can make a contribution.Looking back on the path we have travelled since 1994, we see the importance of a long-term perspective on development and change. It is people acting together for a common vision that connects the past to the present, and makes a better future possible.The challenge for us, honourable members, is that people are asking if we can sustain our “miracle”. They are asking whether we as a nation have the ability, the will and the wisdom to take another leap forward in reconstructing and developing South Africa. They are asking whether South Africans can still show the world how to overcome intractable problems that face the community of nations. In these trying times, South Africans too ask the question, “can we be a winning nation?”.Of course we can!As Benedict Mongalo, a young man from Johannesburg, writes in his tip: “We all acknowledge that unemployment, poverty and inequality are the greatest challenge facing our country… We will not eradicate this problem overnight… This is like manually moving a mountain and the only way to do it, is to move one rock aside and the next generation, or next government, will do the same until this mountain is moved.”Hope and confidence come from energetic involvement and a willingness to make a direct contribution to change. The imperatives of change are not just challenges to government, they confront all of society. A new framework for development is an opportunity to unite around an inclusive vision, and join hands in constructing a shared future.The National Planning Commission has cautioned that our development objectives will take time and hard work to achieve. Measured year by year, district by district, there will be advances and there will be setbacks. But in each five-year term of government we must demonstrate, as we have since 1994, that we can meet more demanding milestones – more jobs, more enterprises, more technological innovation, better housing, progress in education and health.Working together we all know that we can do better. All of us – citizens, taxpayers, public servants, teachers, activists, managers, workers – we all have a shared future, and we have a shared plan to make it work.The Batswana people say, “Sedikwa ke ntšwa pedi ga se thata” – working together we can do more!Overview of the 2013 budgetThe 2013 budget is presented in challenging times, but against the background of a new strategic framework for growth and development. This is a budget in which there is limited room for expansion, yet there are significant opportunities for change.There are signs of improvement in the world economy, though the outlook remains troubled.South Africa’s economy has continued to grow, but at a slower rate than projected at the time of the 2012 budget.The 2013 budget takes the National Development Plan as its point of departure. The strategic plans of government and the medium-term expenditure plans will be aligned to realise our objectives.Government has taken measures to control growth in spending. Spending plans have been reduced by R10.4-billion through reprioritisation, savings and a draw-down on the contingency reserve.Government remains committed to a large-scale infrastructure investment programme.Our path of spending and the recovery in revenue will stabilise debt at just higher than 40% of GDP. The budget deficit will fall from 5.2% of GDP in 2012/13 to 3.1% in 2015/16.A review will be initiated this year of our tax policy framework and its role in supporting the objectives of inclusive growth, employment, development and fiscal sustainability.In the 2013/14 fiscal year, personal income tax relief of R7-billion is granted.A new local government equitable share formula is proposed, providing a subsidy for free basic services designed to reach 59% of households.Further education and training will continue to be extended and enhanced.And following careful consideration of inputs from various stakeholders, a revised youth employment incentive will be tabled in the House, together with a proposed employment incentive for special economic zones.In this budget we continue to invest in education, health, housing, public transport and social development – components of the social wage which add up to about 60% of public expenditure.Global situationThere are signs of improvement in the world economy, though the outlook remains troubled. Growth is still muted in the US and Japan, and much of Europe is in recession.Policy interventions by the major central banks were needed during 2012 to avert new economic and fiscal crises. Yet many advanced economies contracted during the fourth quarter of 2012 and global prospects are expected to improve only marginally, from growth of 3.2% in 2012 to 3.5% in 2013. Emerging markets, particularly China and India, continue to lead global growth, although at lower rates than before.High levels of debt are inhibiting progress in many countries. Yet measures to reduce indebtedness have the effect of holding back growth. Unemployment remains high in many countries, yet technological progress continues to reduce demand for labour in many industries. Around the world, inequality is fuelling discontent.So there are parallels between the global economic discourse and our own policy challenges. In seeking a pragmatic balance between recovery and consolidation, between economic power and social solidarity, between infrastructure investment and human development, between encouraging enterprise and regulating markets – we are grappling with issues that confront many other nations.South Africa’s economic outlookSouth Africa’s economy has continued to grow, but at a slower rate than projected at the time of the 2012 budget. GDP growth reached 2.5% in 2012 and is expected to grow at 2.7% in 2013, rising to 3.8% in 2015. Inflation has remained moderate, with consumer prices rising by 5.7% in 2012 and projected to increase by an average of 5.5% a year over the period ahead.However, our trade performance is holding us back. Exports grew by just 1.1% in real terms last year, while imports increased by 7.2%. The deficit on the current account of the balance of payments was 6.1% of GDP. This means, in simple terms, that expenditure in the South African economy exceeded the value of production and income by about R190-billion last year. This is partly a consequence of the disruption of mining sector activity and the structural reduction in mineral exports due to lower demand.Some of the foundations of faster growth are in place. Strong capital investment by the public sector, the addition of electricity-generating capacity, relatively stable inflation and low interest rates will support improved growth rates over the medium term.But this is not enough. Much more is needed. In particular, a significant increase in private sector investment and competitiveness is needed in the wider economy: agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, communications – every sector has to play its part in expanding trade, investment and job creation.The National Development Plan: a new trajectoryThe NDP, supported by the New Growth Path and other programmes, invites us to look beyond the constraints of the present to the transformation imperatives of the next 20 and 30 years.These imperatives are already apparent in the realities of the social and economic restructuring that is under way.The first reality is our demographic transition – a million young people leave school every year, and we need a package of reforms that will improve education, training and work opportunities for young people.The second is that we are a rapidly urbanising society. This means we need to meet urgent demand for housing, municipal services, schools, clinics, public transport and commercial development, but it is also means we have an opportunity to build an integrated urban landscape, with effective partnerships between municipalities, local businesses and civic associations.A third imperative is economic competitiveness. We need to invest in infrastructure, raise productivity and diversify our economy, to create jobs and raise living standards.Improving the quality of education and training is an essential foundation of a more productive and inclusive growth path.Stronger links with Africa and other emerging economies are needed.We have to adapt to a low-carbon economy, including mobilisation of our renewable energy potential.Finally there is the social solidarity challenge that cuts across all of these, which is to build a more equal and inclusive economy that bridges our racial and other divides.These are themes on which the NDP provides clear guidance, not just about strategic goals and objectives, but also about the practical difficulties and choices we face.There are substantial strengths on which to build – a well-established legal system, secure property rights, an effective tax system, world-class higher education institutions and science councils, established energy, transport, water and communications infrastructure networks, expertise and capacity in many areas – mining, construction, retail, finance, logistics and manufactured exports – and a sound macroeconomic and fiscal framework.While building on these strengths, we have to tackle our weaknesses aggressively. The NDP emphasises key institutional capabilities:The need to professionalise the public service and strengthen accountability,Improved management and enforcement systems to fight corruption,Reinforcement of the education accountability chain, with lines of responsibility from state to classroom,Improved planning and management of strategic infrastructure projects.The NDP also highlights the need to lower the cost of living for households, and to reduce the cost of doing business for small and emerging enterprises.Let me also reiterate the NDP’s emphasis on uniting South Africans around a common vision: it proposes a social compact to reduce poverty and inequality, and raise employment and investment, recognising that progress towards a more equal society requires shared efforts across the public and private sectors.And so the 2013 Budget takes the National Development Plan as its point of departure.It recognises that our medium-term plans are framed in the context of a long-term vision and strategy.It focuses on strengthening growth and employment creation.It prioritises improvements in education and expansion of training opportunities.It promotes progress towards a more equal society and an inclusive growth path.The fiscal framework and long-term sustainabilityNational development must be coupled with fiscal sustainability, which ensures that the progress we make will not be interrupted or reversed. The government relies on resources derived from the wider economy, and the best way to generate resources is to grow the economy faster and increase the tax base.The NDP targets an annual growth rate of more than 5% a year. This would double the resources available to government in the next two decades.The present reality is that growth is more modest. The economic turbulence we experienced in the second half of last year has resulted in a revenue shortfall amounting to R16.3-billion. The deficit is now estimated to be 5.2% of GDP in 2012/13. The growth outlook for the next three years has weakened, and government’s net debt is now expected to stabilise marginally higher than 40% of GDP.In the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, we noted that if the economic environment were to deteriorate, government would reassess its revenue and spending plans to secure South Africa’s fiscal footing. In the circumstances, our approach involves several elements:Additional measures to control spending, reducing real expenditure growth to an average of 2.3% over the next three years, compared with 2.9% signalled in October 2012A reduction in the budget deficit to 3.1% by 2015/16, a level consistent with the stabilisation of debtSteps to reinforce growth, building on the competitiveness enhancement programme introduced last yearInitiation of a tax policy reviewA comprehensive review of expenditure, focusing on both spending controls and value for money in government programmes and agenciesStrengthening the capacity of the state to implement our plans and programmes.Government is committed to remaining within the expenditure ceiling set out in the budget. New policy initiatives over the next three years will be financed from savings, efficiency gains and reprioritisation.Structural increases in spending require corresponding revenue increases if they are to be financed sustainably. If we succeed in driving growth towards 5% a year and government revenue doubles in the next 20 years, major infrastructure projects and new policy initiatives such as national health insurance and expanded vocational education will be affordable with limited adjustments to tax policy. But if growth continues along the present trajectory, substantial spending commitments would require significant adjustments in revenue and reductions in other areas of spending.On Parliament’s request, National Treasury has prepared a report that considers fiscal sustainability from a long-term perspective. The report is currently being considered within government, after which it will be tabled for Parliament’s consideration.Growing the real economyGrowing the economy means expanding business activity. We recognise the key role that private companies play in our economy.In the lead-up to the Budget, we engaged with several business leaders on the investment and development challenges we face. Allow me to share with you some of their plans, which signal growing confidence in the business outlook, despite difficult conditions.Construction and refurbishment by a company in the hospitality sector firm of R2.5-billion in the next 18 months and expansion of R3-billion in the pipelineTwo telecommunications investments amounting to R14-billion this yearCapital expenditure of R3.4-billion over the next three years by a rail and logistics operatorA R2.5-billion expansion and longer-term plans of R15-billion in mining projectsInvestment of R1.4-billion this year by a leading retailer, and plans to open 100 new stores by anotherAn expansion of R1.2-billion this year by a food and beverage sector firmPlans for R28.5-billion in long-term infrastructure investment by a leading industrial company, which will create 10 000 temporary and 4 000 permanent jobs.In recent times, the world has become a more uncertain place for businesses, causing some to build cash reserves rather than invest in new or expanding operations. As government, we wish to encourage businesses to keep investing in our economy, and seize the opportunities around us. We are therefore reinforcing several initiatives that support business development:The Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP), announced in 2012, has received a total of 215 applications with requests for grants totalling R2.3-billion mainly from the chemicals, metals and agro-processing sectors. Applications are expected to increase over the period ahead and funding of R1.5-billion per year has been provided on the budget of the Department of Trade and Industry.The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Programme, also announced last year, has received funding to build world class industrial parks. I am in discussion with Minister Davies on specific tax incentives to enhance this initiative.The Jobs Fund announced in the 2011 Budget has concluded two calls for proposals. In total, 3 614 applications have been received, and 65 projects approved. Grant funding of R3.3-billion has been approved, matched by a further R3.1-billion in funding raised by the private sector.Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) play a key role in the development of the economy and are a significant generator of employment. Financing of SMMEs has been simplified with the creation of the Small Enterprise Finance Agency last year. We have been progressively working to simplify the tax requirements for small business. The turnover threshold will be increased this year and the graduated rate structure will be revised.Regional IntegrationAfrica is our home, and it is our future. It is a market of over one-billion people and it is growing rapidly.The National Development Plan acknowledges the global shift of economic power from West to East, and highlights the rise of Africa.Indeed, we have already begun to see our trade patterns shift from traditional partners in Europe and the United States to new markets in Asia and Africa.Africa now accounts for about 18% of our total exports, and nearly a quarter of our manufactured exports.Over the past five years, the South African Reserve Bank has approved nearly 1 000 large investments into 36 African countries. These are mutually beneficial, as they support development in those countries, and also generate tax revenue, dividends and jobs both abroad as well as in South Africa. To further support the private sector in expanding operations in Africa, I will announce simpler rules that will reduce the time and costs of doing business in Africa.A number of measures are proposed to relax cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements on companies, making it easier for banks and other financial institutions to invest and operate in other countries. Similar measures will apply to foreign companies wanting to invest in African countries using South Africa as their regional headquarters. The outward investment reforms that apply as part of the Gateway to Africa reforms will also pertain to those companies seeking to invest in countries outside Africa, including Brics countries.In addition, substantial direct investments in regional development are underway:We are helping to build infrastructure that will create opportunities for South African companies to expand trade and investment across the border. The DBSA is accelerating investment into the SADC region. We are supporting infrastructure projects in multiple countries, particularly in the key areas of electricity generation and transmission, and in strengthening road links in the region.Investment by the Industrial Development Corporation in 41 projects across 17 countries totalled R6.2-billion in 2012. The bulk of those projects are in mining, industrial infrastructure, agro-processing and tourism.As part of its long-term strategy to help secure energy supply for South Africa and the region, Eskom is considering options for investment in several regional generation and transmission projects.Working with our Brics partnersNext month, we will host the 5th annual Brics Summit, which brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The summit will unveil the work we have been doing with our BRICS partners on the following projects:The possible establishment of a BRICS-led bank is intended to mobilise domestic savings and co-fund infrastructure in developing regionsThe pooling of members’ foreign exchange reserves with the view of using them to support each other at times of balance of payments or currency crisis. Collectively, BRICS countries hold reserves totalling US$4.5-trillion.Work is underway on creating a trade and development insurance risk pool. The aim is to establish a sustainable and alternative insurance and reinsurance network for the BRICS countries.Financing infrastructure investmentThe NDP reminds us that “South Africa needs to invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium- and long-term economic and social objectives.”Over the next three years, R827-billion is planned to be spent by the fiscus and state-owned companies to build infrastructure. The financing for these projects is in place, and is not affected by the spending cuts in the budget.The fiscus has allocated just under R430-billion for schools, hospitals, clinics, dams, water and electricity distribution networks, electrification of over a million new homes, sanitation schemes, building more courtrooms and prisons, and improved bus, commuter rail and road links. Most of the spending falls under provinces and municipalities.Eskom, Transnet and other State-Owned Companies fund a further R400-billion of projects. This will be financed both through own resources and additional borrowing over the next three years, supported by Treasury guarantees.This will pay for the ongoing building of power generation plants and new transmission lines, investment in rail, ports and pipelines, large new water transfer schemes, and various airport upgrades.Of course, we are well aware that there are parts of government that struggle to spend their full infrastructure budgets. It is important to bear in mind that spending programmes have become more ambitious, funding levels have increased, and pressure to deliver has intensified. Records show that government’s ability to spend has been steadily rising from year to year. But it is not yet fast enough.On this challenge, Willie du Preez expresses concern about whether infrastructure investment is actually taking place. He suggests: “As a citizen one should be able to obtain from the treasury website at the end of each financial year what amount was spent on what infrastructure.”Mr du Preez, you can already obtain that information from the treasury website, not just every year, but every month!Investing in Urban DevelopmentOur urban areas make a vital contribution to the national economy, hosting factories and offices and many work opportunities, and will always be attractive to young people seeking a better life. It is little surprise then that the Census 2011 shows that 62% of South Africans are now living in our cities and towns. And that the population of some municipalities grew by over 50% between 2001 and 2011.The challenge we face of highly inefficient, segregated and exclusionary divides between town and township imposes costs not only on the economy and the fiscus, but also on families and communities.A new formula for the local government equitable share will be introduced in 2013/14 that recognises the need to better differentiate assistance to different municipalities, including those in rural areas. Municipal infrastructure grants will also be re-aligned, and go hand in hand with more integrated planning of new developments, so that we can make meaningful strides in overcoming the spatial inequalities of the past.Low carbon economyThe Development Plan further calls on government to send a signal to industry and consumers that we are living in an environmentally stressed world.And so government proposes to price carbon by way of a carbon tax at the rate of R120 per ton of CO2 equivalent, effective from 1 January 2015. To soften the impact, a tax-free exemption threshold of 60% will be set, with additional allowances for emissions intensive and trade-exposed industries. An updated carbon tax policy paper will be published for further consultation by the end of March 2013.To ensure that South Africa produces fuel that is more environment-friendly, support mechanisms for both biofuel production and the upgrade of oil refineries to cleaner fuel standards will be introduced.In addition, government continues to direct spending towards environmental programmes, such as installing solar water geysers, procuring renewable energy, low carbon public transport, cleaning up derelict mines, addressing acid mine drainage, supporting our national parks, and in particular, to saving our rhino population, who remain under threat.We are also encouraging the private sector and smaller public entities to be creative and develop low-carbon projects through the Green Fund. In the first call for proposals, 590 applications were received. The R800-million that was previously allocated is to be topped up with an additional R300-million.The social wageThe NDP recognises that reducing the cost of living is essential for broadening economic participation and eliminating poverty. Alongside the “economic wage” earned through work, the “social wage” provided by government is a steadily rising contribution to the living conditions of working people and their families.Substantial growth in social spending over the past decade has financed a threefold increase in the number of people receiving social grants, a doubling in per capita health spending, construction of 1.5-million free homes and the provision of free basic education to the poorest 60% of learners. The impact is evident in improved living standards, expanded access to basic services and the changing landscape of both urban and rural areas.The social assistance budget has increased by an average of 11% a year since 2008/09, in part due to the extension of the child support grant to the age of 18. Spending on social assistance will rise to R120-billion next year.The old age and disability grants will increase in April from R1 200 a month to R1 260,The foster care grant will increase from R770 to R800, andThe child support grant will increase to R290 in April and R300 a month in October.It is also proposed that the old age grant means test should be phased out by 2016, accompanied by offsetting revisions to the secondary and tertiary rebates. All citizens over a designated age will be eligible for the grant, which will simplify its administration and address the disincentive to save that arises from the present means test.Alongside social assistance, access to health care is a vital element in the social wage. There has been progress in reducing mortality and improving our HIV and TB programmes, and an expansion in medical and nurse training capacity is under way.Pilot national health insurance projects have been initiated this year in 10 districts, and will include improvements to health facilities, contracting with general practitioners and financial management reforms. A new conditional grant is introduced this year to enable the national Department of Health to play a greater role in coordinating these reforms.The initial phase of NHI development will not place new revenue demands on the fiscus. Over the longer term, however, it is anticipated that a tax increase will be needed. The National Treasury is working with the Department of Health to examine the funding arrangements and system reforms required for NHI. A discussion paper inviting public comment on various options will be published this year.Government’s contribution to housing and basic municipal services is a substantial component of the social wage. The budget for housing and community amenities has increased by over 16% a year since 2008.Progress continues to be made in extending access to housing, electricity, water, sanitation and refuse removal services. The main contribution of the national budget to the financing of household amenities is the local government equitable share. A new equitable share formula is proposed in this budget, which will provide a subsidy of R275 for every household with a monthly income less than R2 300, or about 59% of all households.We also recognise that many businesses provide their employees with housing assistance or home loans. However, the current fringe benefit tax is unduly burdensome in cases where an employer transfers a house to a low-income worker at a price below market value. Tax relief is proposed to address this difficulty.The social wage complements employment earnings and contributes to a more equitable and inclusive economic growth path. National health insurance and further steps in social security reform will also reinforce social solidarity and the decent work agenda.Social spending, however, is not a substitute for job creation.One of our most pressing development challenges is to expand work opportunities for young people. There has been extensive debate on how this should be done. The answer is that a wide range of measures are needed, including further education, training, public employment opportunities and support for job creation in the private sector.To complement existing programmes, a tax incentive aimed at sharing the costs of employing young work-seekers will be tabled for consideration by Parliament. It will help young people enter the labour market to gain valuable experience and access career opportunities. A similar incentive is proposed for eligible workers of all ages within special economic zones.Financial services and retirement reformIn last year’s Budget, I indicated the need for South African households to save more. I am now able to announce the following proposals, for consultation before we introduce the necessary legislation later this year:Tax-preferred savings and investment accounts will be introduced in 2015.Retirement funds will be required to identify appropriate preservation funds for exiting members, who will be encouraged to preserve when changing jobs.Retirement funds will be required to guide their members through the process of converting savings into a regular income after retirement, and to choose or establish default annuity products that meet appropriate principles and standards. More competition will be promoted by allowing providers other than life offices to sell living annuities.The tax treatment of pension, provident and retirement annuity funds will be simplified and harmonised.Governance reforms of retirement funds will also be implemented, with measures in place to ensure trustees of retirement funds are trained once they have been appointed. I intend to call up a conference of all trustees this year to take this process forward.We are also considering how to encourage all employers to provide appropriate retirement mechanisms for their employees, as part of the broader social security reforms. In implementing these reforms, the vested rights of current members of retirement funds will be protected.Let me take this opportunity, to confirm that the Government Employees Pension Fund has remained fully funded despite the turmoil in financial markets in recent years. A 6% increase in civil service pensions will be effected in April this year.CreditThere has been rapid growth in unsecured credit in recent years. The share of new mortgage lending has fallen rapidly, and is now less than or almost equal to both new vehicle credit and new personal loans. We will engage with the banking sector to explore how to increase the level and share of new mortgage loans. Small business financing must also be supported to a far greater extent than is being done.We are concerned by the abuse of emolument attachment orders that has left many workers without money to live on after they have serviced their debts every month. We are in discussion with the National Credit Regulator, the Department of Justice and banks, to ensure that the lending market remedies its behaviour. In the meanwhile, all employers, including the public sector, can play a role and assist their workers to manage their finances and to interrogate all emolument attachment or garnishee orders to ensure that they have been properly issued. I also call on the various law societies to take action against members who abuse the system.Tax policyAllow me to turn now to the revenue proposals.We find ourselves in a challenging period, with revenues lower than expected by R16.3-billion compared with estimates at the time of the 2012 budget. This is predominantly due to weak economic growth during the second half of 2012, mining sector disruptions and lower commodity prices. Tax revenues are expected to improve over the medium-term in line with higher economic growth and the stabilization of key commodity prices.Over the past decade, we have steadily broadened the tax base, both through policy reforms and improved revenue administration. This has made substantial tax relief possible, contributing both to household disposable income and a lower cost of doing business.The main tax proposals for 2013 are as follows:Personal income tax relief of R7-billion, together with adjustments to the medical tax credit and other monetary thresholds, amounting to about R350-million.Reforms to the tax treatment of contributions to retirement savings.An employment incentive through the tax system for first-time job seekers.Further tax relief for small businesses, including an increase in the monetary tax thresholds applicable for small business corporations.An overall increase of 23 cents per litre in fuel levies in April, which includes 8 cents per litre in the road accident fund levy.Increases in excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products of between 5.7% and 10%, and • Introduction of the carbon tax in 2015, together with the phasing-out of the electricity levy.A tax review will be initiated this year to assess our tax policy framework and its role in supporting the objectives of inclusive growth, employment, development and fiscal sustainability, amongst other things.The Budget Review outlines various measures proposed to protect the tax base and limit the scope for tax leakage and avoidance. The taxation of trusts will come under review to control abuse; modifications are proposed to the tax treatment of employment share schemes and disability or income-protection policies; outstanding difficulties in the distinction between debt and equity will be addressed; and it is proposed that foreign businesses which sell e-books, music and other digital goods and services should be required to register as VAT vendors, in line with regulations which have been adopted by the European Union and other jurisdictions.Tax administrationMillions of honest taxpayers in our country continue to sustain our growth and development agenda. To them we owe a debt of gratitude and, more importantly, a commitment to spend that money wisely, efficiently and effectively. We thank you!Tax avoidanceWe also owe it to our taxpayers to ensure they are not carrying the burden of those who benefit from our country’s infrastructure and resources without paying their fair share of the costs.Around the world, taxpayers and their governments are challenging large multinational companies that pay little or no tax in the countries in which they operate. Meeting in Moscow earlier this month, finance ministers of the G20 countries were united in supporting an overhaul of international company tax rules to address this issue. The South African Revenue Service is currently engaging with companies that have their base of operations in SA but appear to have shifted a large proportion of their profits to low tax jurisdictions where only a few people are employed. This is unacceptable!SARS is also pursuing schemes identified under the revised general antiavoidance rules following several years’ painstaking work tracing transactions through multiple jurisdictions and entities. These benefits typically accrue to advisors and pre-existing shareholders, rather than new shareholders who were introduced as the ostensible beneficiaries of the transactions.Voluntary disclosureA temporary voluntary disclosure programme was implemented under legislation enacted in 2010 which allowed taxpayers in default to regularise their tax affairs. More than 18 000 taxpayers made use of the programme and tax of more than R3-billion has so far been collected as a result of the programme.From 1 October 2012, a permanent voluntary disclosure programme became effective as part of the Tax Administration Act (2011). Some 700 taxpayers have already come forward. Tax of more than R200-million will be collected before the end of March 2013.Non-complianceSARS is also targeting other areas of non-compliance, including recipients of government expenditure who are not up to date with their taxes. By working closely with Treasury and interfacing with the government payment system, SARS has identified companies who have received payments but have not declared their full income. They are being audited, and others will follow.This intervention will be further underpinned by the reform of the Tax Clearance Certificate process which I announced in October.In the near future, SARS will introduce a single registration process in which companies are able to register once-off in a simple manner for all tax types and customs activities.On this, we can perhaps consider adding the suggestion by Amanda Hayes, who runs a small business in Cape Town. She proposes that a single database of suppliers to government be created out of all the companies that apply to SARS for tax clearance certificates. In addition to reducing the burden on small businesses, Amanda says this database will help reduce corruption because of the tighter national oversight over companies who are registered.Medium-term expenditure framework and division of revenueI have indicated many of the specific programmes and activities of government that contribute to our growth and social development objectives. Allow me to summarise the framework within which these allocations are made.The 2013 Budget provides for continued real growth in spending to support service delivery, and to expand investment in infrastructure. It will also accommodate the costs of the three-year public service wage agreement signed last year.In the past, we have been able to add substantially to medium term spending plans during the budget, but this year is different. Money has been taken away from programmes that are not performing or are not aligned to government’s core priorities and given to programmes that are delivering as planned.The main appropriation provides for R1 055-billion in expenditure next year, rising to R1 226-billion in 2015/16. Debt-service costs will come to R100-billion next year, and R4-billion is set aside as a contingency reserve. This leaves R955-billion to be divided between the national, provincial and local spheres.National departments are allocated 47.6% of available funds in 2013/14.Provinces are allocated 43.5%, mainly for education, health and social welfare. Local government receives 8.9%, primarily for providing basic services to low-income households.Allocations from the contingency reserve will be made later in the year, mainly for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure. Work is in progress to determine funding requirements for reconstruction and rehabilitation following flood damage in Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. An allocation will also be made in the adjustments appropriation for the Dinaledi schools connectivity programme and other broadband infrastructure projects, subject to finalisation of implementation plans.The equitable division of revenue between provinces and municipalities takes into account the 2011 Census, which shows substantial shifts in the distribution and age structure of the population since 2001. The changes to provincial and municipal allocations will be phased in to avoid disruption of services.Allocations to provinces and municipalitiesThe provincial equitable share amounts to R338-billion in 2013/14, and conditional grants to provinces will total R77-billion. Additional allocations have been made to increase employment of social workers and to provide additional support to non-governmental organisations which provide critical welfare services. There is additional funding for teachers in the poorest 20% of schools and grade R classes, and for community library services. Provinces are also funded for an expansion in HIV and Aids programmes and an improved TB diagnosis system.Infrastructure transfers to provinces have increased sharply in recent years, growing from R4.8-billion in 2005/06 to R39.7-billion in 2012/13. To improve the quality of spending, the application process for infrastructure grants is being revised: provinces will be required to submit building plans two years ahead of implementation and will only receive allocations if plans meet certain benchmarks.A total of R85-billion is allocated for transfer to municipalities in 2013/14, rising to R101-billion in 2015/16. Additional allocations are made for municipal water infrastructure, public transport and integrated city development.Consolidated government expenditureThere is considerable detail in the Budget Review and the Estimates of National Expenditure on government spending plans and service delivery targets. I will highlight just a few key points.Consolidated government expenditure is budgeted to increase by 8.1% a year, from R1.1-trillion in 2012/13 to R1.3-trillion in 2015/16.Job creation and labourAllocations for employment programmes increase by 13.5% a year over the next three years.There will be higher funding for employment projects of non-governmental organisations and for Working for Fisheries. The expanded public works programme aims to support 684 800 fulltime equivalent jobs in 2013/14.Additional allocations are also made for the sheltered employment factories of the Department of Labour, and to support the work of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.Health and social protectionConsolidated spending on health and social protection is R268-billion in 2013/14.Health infrastructure remains a priority. In 2012, a total of 1 967 health facilities and 49 nursing colleges were in different stages of planning, construction and refurbishment.Substantial improvements in the social assistance payments system are in progress, providing easier access by recipients to their grants. The cost of social grants payments has been reduced from R32 to R16 per disbursement.Education, sport and cultureSpending on education, sport and culture will amount to R233-billion in 2013/14. Over the period ahead, the basic education sector will focus on improving numeracy and literacy, expanding enrolment in grade R and reducing school infrastructure backlogs. Together with the broader education infrastructure grant, R23.9-billion is available to provincial education departments for infrastructure over the next three years.R700-million has been allocated over the MTEF period for the technical secondary schools recapitalisation grant. This will finance construction and refurbishment of 259 workshops and training of over 1 500 technology teachers.Transfers to higher education institutions increase from R20.4-billion in 2012/13 to R24.6 billion in 2015/16. The total number of students enrolled in higher education institutions is expected to increase from 910 000 currently to 990 000 in 2015. Funding has been allocated for the construction of new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga to commence this year.Economic servicesExpenditure on economic services in 2013/14 will amount to R48-billion, including R5.3-billion for the manufacturing competiveness enhancement programme and R2.9-billion for special economic zones.Additional allocations include R450-million over three years to the Economic Development Department for the Small Enterprise Finance Agency. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will continue its support for smallholder farmers. Additional funding goes to the Department of Mineral Resources to support beneficiation and rehabilitate derelict and ownerless mines.The allocation to the Department of Science and Technology includes R2-billion to support the Square Kilometre Array project.Transport, energy and communicationsExpenditure on transport, energy and communications will amount to R89-billion next year.The allocation to the Department of Transport increases from R42.3-billion next year to R53.4-billion in 2015/16, reflecting increased allocations to the Passenger Rail Agency for its rolling stock procurement programme and further investment in the national road network. Additional funding goes to integrated public transport networks in urban areas, and for provincial road maintenance.The integrated national electrification grant is allocated additional funding to increase the number of new electricity connections by 645 000 over the next three years. The solar water geyser programme will be continued until 2015/16 and Sentech will receive R599-million over the medium term for the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television.Local government, community amenities and housingLocal government, community amenities and housing are allocated R132-billion in 2013/14. The largest increases go to bulk water, water treatment and water distribution projects, and allocations to the local government equitable share.R4.3-billion is allocated to a new grant to be administered by the Department of Water Affairs, providing for water treatment, distribution, demand management and support for rural municipalities. The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency of the Department for Cooperative Governance receives R820-million to provide technical assistance to rural and low-capacity municipalities.Funding for improving human settlements will grow from R26.2-billion to R30.5-billion over the next three years, including R1.1-billion to support the informal settlement upgrading programme in mining towns. Social housing receives an additional allocation of R685-million.General public servicesThe general public services function is allocated R57-billion in 2013/14. This includes the Sars budget of R9.5-billion, which is just over 1% of revenue to be collected.The Department of Public Works reprioritised R464 million over the medium term to fund its turnaround strategy, which focuses on lease and property management portfolios. The Public Service Commission receives R71.4-million to combat corruption and address grievances.Over the MTEF period, the Department of Home Affairs will spend R1-billion on its information systems modernisation programme, which has already led to substantial reductions in the time required to produce official documents.The allocations for defence, public order and safety amount to R154-billion in 2013/14.Provision is made for peace-keeping operations in the Central African Republic, where 400 defence force personnel have been deployed.The Department of Police has reprioritised R2.5-billion over the MTEF to improve detective and forensic capability. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development receives R1.2 billion for the criminal justice sector revamp and modernisation programme. There is increased funding allocated to the National Prosecuting Authority for the Thuthuzela Care Centres. The Public Protector of South Africa receives funding to increase its investigative capacity and additional funds are also made to Legal Aid South Africa and the South African Human Rights Commission.Procurement and combating corruptionLast year I said to this House that we will continually endeavour to increase the value which government receives for the money it spends.Let me be frank. This is a difficult task with too many points of resistance!However, we have registered some progress. In the present system, procurement transactions take place at too many localities and the contracts are short term. Consequently there are hundreds of thousands of transactions from a multitude of centres. There is very little visibility of all these transactions.While our ablest civil servants have had great difficulty in optimising procurement, it has yielded rich pickings for those who seek to exploit it. There are also too many people who have a stake in keeping the system the way it is.Our solutions, hitherto, have not matched the size and complexity of the challenge. As much as I want, I cannot simply wave a magic wand to make these problems disappear. This is going to take a special effort from all of us in government, assisted by people in business and broader society. And it will take time. But we are determined to make progress.The process for setting up the Chief Procurement Office (CPO) in the National Treasury has begun in earnest and I shall soon be able to announce the name of a chief procurement officer. A project team seconded from state agencies and the private sector has identified four main streams of work, involving immediate remedial actions, improving the current system, standardising the defence, public order and safety procurement of critical items across all government and the long-term modernisation of the entire system.Among the first initiatives of the CPO will be to enhance the existing system of price referencing. This will set fair value prices for certain goods and services.Secondly, it will pilot procurement transformation programmes in the Departments of Health and Public Works, nationally and in the provinces.National Treasury is currently scrutinising 76 business entities with contracts worth R8.4-billion which we believe have infringed the procurement rules, while SARS is currently auditing more than 300 business entities and scrutinising another 700 entities. The value of these contracts is estimated at over R10-billion. So far 216 cases have been finalised resulting in assessments amounting to over R480-million being raised. The Financial Intelligence Centre has referred over R6.5-billion for investigation linked to corrupt activities.I fully support Minister Sisulu’s call for appropriate curbs on officials doing business with government. I will complement her initiative by aligning the Public Finance Management Act with the provisions of the Public Service Act.Worldwide, special measures are being taken to oversee the accounts of what have become known as “politically exposed persons” – public representatives and senior officials. I have asked that the FIC should explore how we might bring South Africa into line with these international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering standards.Taxpayers, and indeed all South Africans are understandably impatient for tangible change. A recurring theme in the tips sent to me for this budget was to ensure value for money. Peter Maibelo, aged 24, from Pretoria, summed it up as follows: “Minister I won’t be fancy with words or complicated ideas … my advice for a healthy and sustainable fiscus is to brutally eradicate corruption, then we will be honoured to pay taxes.”Mr Maibelo, I couldn’t agree more. Rooting out corruption requires collective effort from all of us.ConclusionMy sincere appreciation goes to President Zuma and Deputy President Motlanthe for their guidance and support.My appreciation also goes to Colleagues of the Ministers’ Committee on the Budget, for their continuous and vigorous engagement with the challenges that face us, and their bold and steadfast advice to Cabinet.I wish to thank my Cabinet colleagues who collectively own this budget. Their support and understanding for tough measures is highly appreciated.A heartfelt thank you to Deputy Minister Nene, whose vigilant participation and sound advice is invaluable to me.My thanks to the MECs of finance, who play a critical role as guardians of 43% of our spending.Our appreciation also goes to:Governor Gill Marcus and the deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, for their constructive management of monetary policy,Commissioner Oupa Magashula and the staff of the South African Revenue Service for their diligent contribution to fiscal stability – I hope better times return for them soon!The Financial and Fiscal Commission and its acting chairperson, for their contributions,Mr Jabu Moleketi, chairperson of the DBSA and its new CEO, Mr Patrick Dlamini, who are positioning the DBSA to make a greater contribution to infrastructure development,The chairperson of the Land Bank, Mr Ngubane, and CEO Mr Phakamani Hadebe, for their illustrious service to the bank,The leadership of the Public Investment Corporation, the Financial Services Board, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the Government Pension Administration Agency,The managing director of Nedlac, Mr Alistair Smith, and the constituency representatives for their engagements with the Treasury,The Honourable Thaba Mufamadi and Charel de Beer, who chair the Standing and Select Committees on Finance respectively, and the chairpersons of the Appropriations Committees, the Honourable Elliot Sogoni and Tebogo Chaane, who ensure that Parliament remains a vibrant forum for engagement, accountability and public participation,Director-General Lungisa Fuzile (and Mrs Fuzile) for his professionalism, frankness and profound commitment to building credible institutions and advancing government’s objectives,The management team and staff of the National Treasury, whose extraordinary contributions and caring for a better South Africa enhance our country’s standing in international fora,My Chief of Staff, Dondo Mogajane, and the ministry staff for their enthusiastic support,My very supportive family who make my contributions possible.And finally, I must express sincere gratitude to South Africans from all parts of the country who offer words of encouragement – as well as critiques and concerns! This is what keeps us accountable and drives us to constantly improve.The key pillars of this budget are:Global growth is improving, though uncertainty remains.South Africa’s economy must grow faster and more inclusively.Future growth is also dependent on private-sector investment in the economy.The National Development Plan will be implemented by government and budgets will be aligned to it.Government continues to invest significantly in infrastructureWe are taking additional steps to create opportunities for young people.Reduced revenue results in less spending in the years ahead unless the economy grows.There are new opportunities to be seized in Africa and other emerging markets.We have committed to reviewing and assessing our tax policy framework and its role in supporting the objectives of inclusive growth, employment, development and fiscal sustainability.A new local government formula benefits rural municipalities.Honourable Speaker, I table this budget in the hope that as a nation we will be able to rise above our sectional interest, and, as you said Mr President, prevail with greater maturity, pull together and take this country forward.We have said that South Africa is changing. Let us work together to ensure that really, tomorrow, will be better than today.In conclusion, let me remind this House of what former President Nelson Mandela said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead…”I thank you.last_img read more


Navigating the Patchwork of Paid Family Leave Laws

first_imgHR professionals are on the front lines of the need for, and implementing requirements around, paid family leave. Given the uncertainty at the federal level in the policy area of paid family leave (PFL), with a recent proposal being floated that would open up workers’ social security benefits for them to “borrow” against their own federal retirement benefits to fund their current PFL time, it’s no wonder that states are stepping in to fill what they see as a gap in employees’ very real and unmet needs in this area. The results are creating significant business, compliance and human resources challenges in implementing a patchwork of legal requirements across the United States.As we observe the most recent law coming into effect in January of 2018 in New York, it’s important to consider how operationalizing legal requirements for paid family leave is not as simple as it seems. These are some of the challenging issues that must be resolved by HR:Alignment of current paid leave programs such as PTO, short-term disability benefits, FMLA, and sick leave with the state and local requirementsUpdating technological systems such as payroll programs and solutions for those in affected states so that accruals, usage and notifications are compliant with the lawChanging processes, documentation and protocols for leave requests so that legal requirements are fulfilledTraining HR, management and others on new processes and requirementsEnsuring that sufficient staff capacity is available to handle state-based processing requirementsRecognizing the complex situations that arise where state, local and federal law, as well as collective bargaining agreements and other requirements create the potential for complying with one set up requirements but violating another, and coming up with ways to avert this riskBuilding the internal expertise and relationships across siloed departments to effectively handle novel issues that may arise, in a way that treats employees like human beings and not problemsTo continue reading this post, please click here.last_img read more


No Doubt About It – Oprah Brought Lots of New Users to Twitter

first_imgOprah’s well publicizedfirst tweet on Friday was definitely a boon for Twitter. According to Hitwise, 37% of all visits to Twitter last Friday were from new visitors, and Twitter’s overall share of U.S. Internet visits increased 24% on Friday. It is important to note, though, that Twitter, being the new and growing service that it is, usually gets about 32% new visitors every day, which definitely puts these numbers into perspective. Hitwise, however, also notes that Facebook’s ratio of new visitors was only 8% in March. According to Hitwise, the search term “oprah twitter” was the 35th highest search term with the word Twitter in it last week, which doesn’t sound like much, but it is important to note that Hitwise’s search data is weekly and Oprah’s show only aired on Friday.Oprah’s Midas Touch Now that Twitter has received Oprah’s Midas touch, the real question will be to see how many of these new users will stick around. While Oprah devoted a large segment of her show on Friday to Twitter, she did not really explain the service in any great detail. We will have to see if the majority of new users will actually use the service as intended, or if they will just stick to following celebrities like Oprah, Britney Spears (who also now has more than 1 million followers), or Aston Kutcher, whose race with CNN for reaching more than 1 million followers surely also helped to spark the sudden rush of new Twitter users (and we can’t help but wonder whether the effort of a certain group of users to push a fake user account past Kutcher and CNN by creating hundreds of thousands of fake accounts isn’t also reflected in these stats). Tags:#news#NYT#Trends#twitter#web frederic lardinois Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts center_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more


Build more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategy

first_img HomeDigital MarketingBuild more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategy Related postsThe California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019Lytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Consumers are demanding more from brands than ever before – more relevant, consistent and personalized experiences across devices and channels. And as a result, brand marketers are facing increased pressure to understand, anticipate and deliver on these shifting expectations.Just because marketers know where their audience has been online, doesn’t mean they understand what consumers want. Planning a trip to Austin? You Google it once and get retargeted with flight deals for weeks after already purchasing a ticket. Brands can inadvertently alienate customers by relying on old, one-dimensional audience segments and fatiguing them with content they’ve already seen or no longer want.A successful audience management strategy requires fresh, emotionally engaging content. Brands can do this by moving away from traditional segments and toward real-time, individualized data to elevate the digital experience. Here are three audience management strategies marketers can use to supply new and captivating content.Get the full picture of your audienceDeveloping a holistic understanding of your audience – their intent, interests and behavior – is the single most important factor in building more meaningful customer relationships. Create multi-dimensional audience segments using first, second and third-party data sources to achieve a 360-degree customer view and level of hyper-personalization that helps foster lifelong brand loyalty.Using the trip to Austin example, a marketing platform that can ingest multiple data sources would have captured that the flight ticket had already been purchased. As a result, the customer would be best served with recommendations for restaurants and tourist destinations in the Austin area rather than flight deals and rental cars. It’s important to take the personalization even further. For example, if the customer bought just one ticket to Austin, they may be planning a work trip or meet-up with friends, whereas if they had bought four, it’s likely the trip will be more family-oriented. These factors are important to track and analyze as they will inform vastly different experiences.A model is only as good as the data it’s fed and combining multiple data sources (CRM database, analytics data and partner data) will help you build a complete audience profile and surface more intelligent insights that add real value for your audiences.Harness up-to-the-minute insights using a holistic customer viewNow that you have a holistic view of a customer using multiple data sources, you must analyze and act upon real-time audience data to deliver the right content at exactly the right time. Using stale information can lead to content that is overly generalized at best and irrelevant at worst.For example, the customer that had been looking at flights to Austin may have changed their mind — recent visits from a partner’s travel site shows they are interested in Mediterranean food. Updating your audience profiles based on real-time individual behaviors will reveal preference changes as they happen. Then, it’s as simple as updating their profile – or combining (perhaps Austin AND Mediterranean?) – to ensure it is yet again complete, enabling you to send them content that adds value and promotes engagement.Activate your audiencesYour audience segments are only as valuable as the experiences you use them to deliver. Often, brands use different systems for marketing and advertising making it nearly impossible to reach the same audience across channels – and if you do, odds are they could be delivering different messages to the same audience. Plus, many of these systems may have segmentation capability, however, with the systems not connecting to each other, the segments in each system may have overlapping customer data.As a consumer, brands that reward my loyalty with personalized offers are the ones I keep going back to. If a brand gives me points for subscribing, following and downloading their app, I’ll do it…if, and only if, they work to personalize their content. That said, I don’t want to see offers for the same women’s jeans from my favorite department store across every channel. Providing personalized incentives that add value across different touch points are what keep me coming back for more.This isn’t a lesson just for B2C brands. Even B2B software companies are building loyalty by tailoring outreach with relevant content like e-books to the right audience on the right platform at the right time.The best way to reach the same audience across multiple platforms is to build an authoritative definition of your high-value audience segments, and equally important, a seamless way to engage them across channels, from email; to display ads; to social; to voice.Avoid becoming the Monday morning spam by consistently updating your audience management strategy to keep consumers engaged. Churning out fresh, emotionally engaging content personalized to the consumer is essential. To do so, marketers must keep audience profiles updated and informed by multiple data sources to have the best view of the customer. Then it’s as simple as letting the experience drive the loyalty to keep them coming back for more.The post Build more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategy appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: Build more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategy Build more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategyYou are here: Posted on 29th December 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+sharelast_img read more


INRIX pings – then helps you avoid – millions of cars

first_imgTags:#Audi#autonomous vehicles#Autotelligence#BMW#Ford#INRIX#INRIX Traffic#IoT#Lexus#Mercedes-Benz#Porsche#Tesla#Waze Related Posts 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Trevor Curwin IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… INRIX has relaunched a completely redesigned version of its INRIX Traffic app that harnesses a network of over 275 million vehicles and other sensors to make your commute that much easier.Available worldwide today – in both iOS and Android flavors – INRIX Traffic learns your preferences to take the guesswork out of driving. It integrates your calendar and learns your driving habits to create a personalized itinerary that includes automatic alerts, anticipated trips, favorite destinations and preferred routes.INRIX Traffic uses a massive crowd-sourced network of millions of connected cars and devices to generate the most accurate map and best real-time information in the world. It will proactively monitor road conditions to alert drivers of ideal departure times, changes to arrival times and optimal routes to frequent or scheduled destinations based on real-time traffic.“We designed (this) with one specific vision – to help drivers move through their daily lives as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX’s president and CEO. “Users want an app that is accurate, personalized and smart enough to work proactively for them, so we’ve integrated several highly advanced technologies into one all-encompassing app.”The app uses the crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap (OSM) for its map data. By leveraging the power of global user-generated content, OSM quickly adapts to the ever-changing road network, and lets INRIX deliver high-quality mapping and turn-by-turn navigation for free and without ads.INRIX Traffic app showing you the best way home INRIX Traffic adds more data than WazeWhile traffic apps like Waze create a community by allowing users to report of accidents, police presence and road work and allow that data to be used to plan routes, their system can be gamed. If you want to re-route traffic from your street, for example, all you need to do is have enough Waze users report a traffic jam, and the traffic disappears.But the same world-class data technologies INRIX delivers to its automotive customers – including Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Porsche – also powers INRIX Traffic. The firm’s connected-car services include real-time and predictive traffic, off-street parking information and drive-time alerts.The app is built on Autotelligent, the company’s new software development kit and integrated cloud platform that provides machine learning and route monitoring. Autotelligent can be integrated into products in multiple industries such as automotive, enterprise and mobile“Our new app delivers the most cutting-edge technology available in a nav app today,” said Mistele, adding that the firm will continue integrating features from its product portfolio into future versions of the app.At relaunch, INRIX Traffic is available in eight languages in 16 countries across North America and Europe, including Canada, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States, with additional countries coming soon.last_img read more