Energy targets exceeded: Erwin

first_img13 February 2008South Africans are currently saving more than the 10% reduction target in electricity consumption set by the government, and emergency measures will continue over the next six months to ensure a further drop in demand, says Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin.Addressing the media in Cape Town on Monday, Erwin particularly thanked large industrial users, who draw the bulk of the supply from Eskom, for their assistance in meeting the targets.Erwin added that emergency measures to reduce demand in electricity would continue for the next six months, to achieve the short-term reduction targets of between 3 000 megawatts and 4 000 megawatts.In the longer term, he said South Africa would be sitting with a “tight” energy supply situation for the next four years, given the lead time involved in the construction of new power stations.However, Erwin said that all contractual obligations made with investors would be honoured, adding that there would need to be greater planning and coordination when it came to new investments, especially when new projects required connections to the national electricity grid.He added, however, that it would be some time before South Africa gave the go-ahead to new energy-intensive investments such as the aluminium smelter currently planned for the Coega Industrial Development Zone.Increasing reserve marginsErwin pointed out that South Africa was not alone in dealing with a tight energy supply, stating that almost all developing countries – and some industrialised nations – were also facing similar supply constraints.“No one is sitting with an abundance of energy right at the moment,” he said.The intention at the moment was to widen the country’s reserve margin – the difference between potential capacity and that in use at any given time – which currently stands at 8%, Erwin said, adding that more intensive demand-side management programmes could push that margin to 10%.Over the longer term, demand-side efforts and supply-side interventions with a shorter lead time, such as the building of gas-fired turbines, would push the margin up to the 15% standard.While the country was on track to seeing a better reserve margin of between 12% and 15% by 2010, Erwin said the National Energy Regulator called for a reserve margin of at least 16%.He added that the team of “energy champions” announced by President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation address last week would play a key role in explaining the actual situation of the country’s energy supply, especially in and around the major industrial centres, to international investors.Building capacityIn the meantime, Erwin said that South Africa aims to double its overall capacity over the next 20 years by adding another 40 000 megawatts to the system.Half of this additional capacity, he said, would be sourced from nuclear power, using both conventional nuclear power stations and the locally-developed Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) technology.However, Erwin said it would be unlikely that the country would see a conventional power station coming on stream before 2015, though a smaller PBMR plant could be ready by as early as 2013.As part of the country’s drive to source alternative, renewable, energy sources, Erwin pointed out a 100 MW wind-power station was under construction in the Cape, and that the performance of this plant would be closely evaluated to assess the potential contribution of this source of energy going forward.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more


Broadcast hub ready for kick-off

first_imgJournalists will be able to produceprogrammes about the 2010 FifaWorld Cup from the IBC.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)  The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Johannesburg, equipped with top-of-the-range technology, is fully prepared for the thousands of reporters who will converge there to cover the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Journalists were introduced to the facility on 21 May, ahead of its official opening on 2 June by Fifa president Sepp Blatter.The impressive IBC is based at Soccer City, where the opening and closing World Cup matches will be played. It will be the nerve centre of live broadcasts from there and the other nine host stadiums around the country.Some 1 900km of cabling has already been laid to connect the 10 facilities and enable all 64 matches to be broadcast live, in high definition, to 204 countries. It’s estimated that this coverage will reach billions of people around the globe.“It’s very clear that it’s from here [the IBC] that the world will be able to watch the World Cup from South Africa,” said Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke.About 13 000 international journalists and other media personnel have been accredited to use the IBC and some organisations have already set up their studios. A total of 189 media groups have confirmed that they will broadcast from the 30 000m2 centre.The top-rated Host Broadcast Services (HBS) will facilitate live feeds of every match to the licensed television and radio stations. It will use about 32 cameras per match for the live transmissions, an improvement from the 26 cameras used per match during the 2006 Fifa World Cup.“[The World Cup] will be broadcast in more homes than ever before. There will be a lot of television companies in South Africa,” said Fifa TV’s Niclas Ericsson.For the first time in the history of broadcasting the tournament, HBS will use 3D cameras to shoot some of the matches. Fifa said 25 of the 64 matches will produced in 3D.The IBC also boasts 80 interview and presentation studios, and facilities for mobile network operators to produce live broadcasts for mobile phones. South Africa’s MTN announced in 2009 that it will use this service.“We trust that we’ll make broadcast history with Fifa in this World Cup,” said HBS CEO Francis Tellier. “It [mobile phone broadcasts] is one of the innovations that we’ve brought to this World Cup.”Powering the IBCReporters and fans need not be worried about blackouts at the IBC, as organisers have enlisted the services of Aggreko, a reputable international electricity company, to ensure power supply at all times.About 16 diesel-powered generators, each with a capacity of 1MW, will be used to back up Eskom’s national electricity grid.“In every major sporting event there’s a risk for power failure … We’re here to stop that from happening,” said Aggreko’s CEO Rupert Soames.Aggreko believes that their power plan is “as robust as we can technically make it”. The company, which has provided back-up power for major events such as the Olympics and Barack Obama’s US presidential inauguration, will set up 1.5MW-capacity generators at each stadium for broadcasting operations.Aggreko has partnered with Shanduka Group, a leading South African investment company, for the World Cup project. “We’re sure that everything will work smoothly,” said Shanduka’s chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa.Centres for print journalistsPrint media journalists will be catered for in centres called “Media Tribunes” at each host stadium. Telkom has equipped the centres with telephones, fax machines, printers and data ports to make the reporting process as convenient and efficient as possible.Photojournalists will be able to download and send off their images at any time, thanks to Telkom’s advanced equipment.last_img read more


South Africa pays R2.9m for Dewani transfer

first_img9 April 2014 South Africa’s Department of Justice and Constitutional Development took no chances on Tuesday, forking out R2.9-million to transfer honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani from Bristol Airport in the UK to Cape Town International Airport. Dewani arrived at the Cape Town International in a private chartered jet, accompanied by a South African medical doctor, nurse and members of the South African Police Service and Interpol, shortly after 9am on Tuesday. He was then whisked off to the Western Cape High Court, where he was charged with kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice. The case was postponed to 12 May pending a medical examination to determine whether or not he is fit to stand trial. Dewani has been accused of orchestrating the murder of his bride, Anni Hindocha. He allegedly ordered local men to carry out a hit and make it look like a fatal carjacking incident. A substantial amount of money was paid for the hit, which occurred in Khayelitsha in November 2010. Three men have already been imprisoned for the same offence. Xolile Mngeni, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo were convicted of murder between 2010 and 2012. The men were sentenced to life imprisonment, 25 years’ imprisonment and 18 years’ imprisonment respectively. Dewani has been fighting removal from the UK, citing mental health problems, including severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Department of Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the choice of a private aircraft was informed by the fact that Dewani’s medical condition needed to be constantly monitored and attended to. A commercial flight would have had the potential of compromising Dewani, which could have had an adverse effect on his pending medical examination. “We took into account the fact that there was undisputed evidence during the extradition hearing that he had displayed suicidal tendencies, and the South African government did not want to take chances,” Mhaga said. “It was therefore paramount that his return to the country was hazard-free, in order to ensure that he eventually makes that court appearance without hindrance.” Lieutenant Anwa Dramat, national head of the police’s Hawks special investigating unit, said: “We wish Dewani well as far as his health his concerned, in order for him to be able to tell his side of the story. Our investigating team is ready to resume with the trial. We hope the trial will bring closure to both the Hindocha and Dewani families.” Dewani is being detained at Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town, where he will receive psychiatric treatment pending his trial. Source: 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


Government right in taxing Vodafone

first_imgBudgets provoke reactions. The newswallahs look in two directions. Corporate India which is always shining opens its ‘third’ eye at budget time. They also look at politicians who divide into sarcasm or support. No Nani Palkhivala explains the budget at a maidan. The ‘common’ man shrugs and cuts his losses at the ups and downs. On these issues the poor are perpetually kept in the dark. Mamata is au fait. The government is safe. Each magnate thinks differently. More bitumen for increased highways pleases some. But cement manufacturers are down. More on food. Less on MGNREGA. In time, reactions will die out.Principles All budgets are founded on laws yet to be passed. The most controversial legal part of the present budget is the reversal of the Vodafone decision by adding an Explanation as to what the government means, meant and has always meant. The Supreme Court decision in the case meant that although Vodafone acquired the controlling interest in Hutchinson’s joint venture in India, it was absolved from paying Rs 12,000 crores by way of the capital gains tax. This was not because there were no capital gains affected in Indian shareholdings. That there were – whoppingly so. But they were all due to offshore transactions. The Court said we will ‘look at’ what happened in India, not ‘look through’ to see who cheated the revenue. On the face of it, the judgment violates common sense hugely. But, the obvious often evades the Supreme Court!Courts all over the world have always been wary of the disturbing distinction between permissible ‘tax avoidance’ and impermissible ‘tax evasion’. A thorn by any other name does not hurt less. In India, this cap on disguising ‘evasion’ as ‘avoidance’ is called the McDowell (1986) principle; and in England the Ramsay principle (1981). In 2004 Justice Kapadia wrote an article in Volume 6 of the Supreme Court Cases Journal (p. 14 at 16) that he felt Ramsay had been “watered down”. In fact, it is arguable that in Scottish Provident ( 2004), the Ramsay approach was broadened to catch tax evaders – depending on the facts. In Total Network (2008) the House of Lords went further to say that as an option, action lay by way of the tort of conspiracy to retrieve the tax. What seems clear is that Justice Kapadia had a view before he started hearing the case. This does not mean that he couldn’t hear the case. Nor do I believe that his decision was corrupted because some relative not connected with the case worked in a huge company which may have been linked to the case.advertisementPranab Mukherjee’s Budget re-emphasises what seems obvious on a fair reading of Section 9 of the Income Tax Act which speaks of assets or sources of income directly or indirectly in India or which can be deemed to be reasonably attributable to the assessee. The argument that nothing happened in India is also not true. The shareholding of an Indian company in India changed hands without the new shareholders paying tax. Assume there is some ambiguity, the Supreme Court had upset what was understood since 1962 and Pranab Mukherjee now wants it restored.The arguments against the ‘Pranab’ approach is that this will give investors the wrong signal. On the present facts, this is farcical. In 2011, Justice Chandrachud of the Bombay High Court affirmed the settled view. It is the Kapadia judgment which unsettled the law. The ‘Pranab’ amendments only bring back the settled view expounded by the Bombay judges. What the Finance Bill will now do is define ‘property’ to include “any rights in or in relation to a company” and ‘transfer’ as “disposing of or parting with an asset in the property”. This is what parliamentarians have to decide in the Budget debate.Investors The view that investors will stop investing in India, because global hanky-panky with some tax avoidance schemes will not be possible, seems astrological drama. Global investors, even predators, will consider their options. Maybe Vodafone would not have entered into these transactions because the tax bonanza was not available. To go beyond that and argue that the effect of the Budget amendment would horribly depress investability in India is saying what business knows to be wrong. There are many attractive and unattractive reasons for and against investment in India. Corporate India is supposed to make the job easier, not cry out that they are being robbed for not being allowed to rob the revenue.WelfareIndia used to sport a division between pro-socialist and pro-private enterprise judges. In 1988, Justice Mukerjea attacked McDowell : “Unless wastes and ostentations spendings are avoided … no amount of moral sermons will change people’s attitude to tax avoidance”! But is that a reason for avoiding and not paying tax at all? It is losing sight of the responsibilities of India’s welfare state to the half billion people who need food, health, housing, education and work. Who will pay for India’s welfare state? We are well past the stage (if it ever existed) where charity and foreign aid could meet these commitments. India has to find its own resources for all of this; and more.advertisementThere is litigation ahead. Earlier, the onus was on government to seek a review and pay back the money deposited by Vodafone. That was a tall task. Now, the revenue authorities will claim that no refund is to be made due to the change in the law. It is then for Vodafone to challenge the budget amendment and its application to past transactions as well as the Explanation itself, which being declaratory of what was always the law, will be retrospective. The upshot is that, for the moment, Vodafone does not get its money back and must re-litigate by challenging the amendment to get a fresh answer to reclaim its windfall fortune.If Corporate India travels out of looking at just its investment interests, it will find that it can do a lot more for the rest of India.- The writer is a Supreme Court lawyerlast_img read more


Sachin’s Rajya Sabha nomination is Congress’s dirtiest play: Bal Thackeray

first_imgCommenting on the nomination of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar to the Rajya Sabha, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Sunday said it was the “dirtiest play” of Congress.”It is Congress’s dirtiest play…the real Dirty Picture is this”, Thackeray said talking to reporters after he was conferred with a lifetime achievement award by Raipur-based magazine ‘Cartoon Watch’ at a function in Mumbai.Asked how would he draw Sachin’s cartoon, Thackeray, who ran a cartoon magazine before founding Shiv Sena, said that in some cases “a mere photograph is enough” and there is no need to draw a cartoon.Saturday, in the editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Thackeray had said that Congress must have an ulterior motive in nominating Sachin to the upper house of the Parliament.”Crores of Sachin’s fans would have liked to call him ‘Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar’. Alas, he would now only be Sachin Tendulkar, MP”, the editorial said. The Sena chief, however, added that he was proud of Tendulkar.”I feel proud of Sachin. Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Hema Malini, (too), went to the Rajya Sabha. But before going there, one should know whether he has a scope there”, he said.On his stand on the upcoming Presidential election, Thackeray said: “I have not thought about it. Don’t you find one suitable person for the post of President? After every five years this whole thing starts.”Asked if he endorsed Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s recent statement that the next President must be a person without political leanings, Thackeray only reacted, “Don’t tell me about Pawar…he is an unreliable man.”advertisementlast_img read more