7 July 2008Fixed investment in and exports from KwaZulu-Natal province are set to increase with the completion of the R6.5-billion Dube Trade Port – the largest single government infrastructure investment in the province – to the north of Durban.“The catalytic impact of this project will not be confined to the growth node in the costal area north of Durban, but will reverberate across the entire province and position KwaZulu-Natal as a destination of choice for domestic and international tourists,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele told delegates at the International Investment Council in San Lameer in May.The council, attended by President Thabo Mbeki, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Cabinet members, drew on the insights of distinguished international business leaders on how to meet the challenges of economic growth in South Africa.By the time of its completion ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Dube Trade Port itself will have contributed an estimated R12.4-billion to the economy and created thousands of new jobs.According to statistics, the Durban port is the busiest port city on the African continent and ideally located to access the international shipping routes between East and West. It is also the largest of South Africa’s seven ports.It handles in excess of 31.4-million tons of cargo a year, with a value in excess of R100-billion per annum – approximately 65% of the value of all cargo going through South African ports.According to a report released by Quantec data, KwaZulu-Natal’s top export destinations in 2005 were the United States, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.More than R3-billion has been set aside for investment in Durban port’s infrastructure since 2002 for various improvements that include the construction of cargo terminals, Ndebele said.The province’s second port – Richard’s Bay – is also South Africa’s premier bulk cargo handling port and is one of the fastest growing industrial areas in the province, and the centre of operations for South Africa’s aluminium industry.Trade gatewayNdebele further told delegates that the foreign private companies had invested over R27-billion in the province between 2000 and 2005, enabling provincial economic growth to rise from 1% in 1999 to 5.3% in 2005.Since then, he said, the province had seen further groundbreaking fixed direct investments, while nearly a third of South Africa’s manufactured exports were produced in the province.These include the R2.4-billion expansion of Toyota’s plant outside Durban, a new R2.5-billion plant by United Pulp in Richards Bay, a R2-billion expansion at Sappi Saiccor at Umkomaas, and a R650-million investment by Tata in a steel plant in Richard’s Bay.In addition, an almost R20-billion investment is on the cards in the KwaZulu-Natal north coast for a “city within a city” project, modelled on the Dubai Palm complex in the Arab emirate.“These private investments are particularly encouraging for us and they are aligned to our national industrial policy,” said Ndebele. “KwaZulu-Natal has also recently undergone rapid industrialisation, thanks to its abundant water supply and labour resources.”Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Don “Doc” SandersYou may remember that I’ve written a few times in this column about false claims made against Roundup — namely, that it causes cancer. In my most recent column on the topic, I wrote about how several respected health and environmental organizations have cleared the popular herbicide of these charges, like the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada, the European Food Safety Authority and the German consumer health agency BfR.Now I want to share with you a news report I recently ran across about how a New Mexico dairy operation is being threatened by cancer-causing nonagricultural chemicals that have contaminated the groundwater.The chemicals in question are perfluoroakyl and polyfluoroakyl substances, a group of manmade chemicals that I’ll refer to by their acronym, PFAS. Since 1940 PFAS chemicals have been incorporated into products used all over the world. Some compounds in this group are familiar, such as Teflon, which keeps food from sticking to frying pans. Other PFAS compounds are used in fabrics. Still others, to make carpet waterproof and stain resistant. Some of these substances have been used in food packaging to stop grease absorption.A couple of PFAS chemicals are used in firefighting, as fire retardants, and for fire prevention. There’s particular concern over the adverse human health effects caused by this subset of PFAS compounds. These are the types of chemicals that are putting the dairy farm I mentioned in grave danger.When humans and animals consume certain PFAS in their food, or by coming into contact with them through water, the chemicals accumulate in their bodies over time. Animal studies demonstrate that specific fire retardant PFAS can cause cancer. Human studies demonstrate that PFAS also raise blood cholesterol.There’s a potential goldmine here for the attorneys of Moose & Moose, as PFAS lawsuits have far more merit than legal cases against Roundup. So, don’t be surprised if Moose & Moose starts interrupting more of your favorite TV shows to sign up with them over new cancer alarms.Now, here’s the rest of the story about the dairy farm in New Mexico. The dairy farm is just a couple of miles from Cannon Air Force Base where PFAS fire retardants were used in training firefighters to extinguish aircraft fires, using mock or junk planes. Apparently, this was standard procedure for many years. Consequently, groundwater used by the dairy was contaminated by these PFAS chemicals.A cows’ digestive system protects it somewhat from PFAS. The microflora in the rumen neutralizes some PFAS contamination, which reduces the resulting toxicity of milk and tissue. Yet, PFAS residue has been detected in the milk and tissue of this farm’s cows.The dairyman and his wife also have been tested for PFAs. They have 10 times the considered safe level of PFAs in their bodies.The cows’ milk has been declared unmarketable — as it should be. And the cows are in quarantine with the recommendation that they be euthanized. Can you imagine being in this dairyman’s place? You’ve given your life to your herd and now you’re being ordered to shoot all of them.One of the quandaries is where to dispose the cows, as no one has a clue about the long-term implications of PFAS residues in animal carcasses. I would recommend Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a disposal site. That’s a site designated for disposal of spent nuclear rods and associated radiation waste.And by the way, Congress was mandated to establish rules for Yucca Mountain’s use more than 10 years ago. And guess what? The rules haven’t been written! Until Congress establishes rules for nuclear waste disposal, it has cost taxpayers $24 billion in additional hidden fees over the past 10 years. This does not show up in the budget that Congress fights over every year because Congress doesn’t want to ‘fess up.If the cows were buried in Yucca Mountain, no one would ever know the mountain also contained some dead cows. Certainly, Congress would never admit to it.In the meantime, the government pays damages to the dairyman for his discarded milk. And the dairyman continues to await the government’s final resolution of this sad state of affairs – to euthanize the cows and close the dairy.Dairy farmers are a unique group of people. They’re animal lovers, just like pet owners. Their cows are their mission in life and their source of survival and inner peace.I truly feel for this dairyman and what he and his wife are going through.
Why Your Company’s Tech Transformation Starts W… Tags:#agency#freelancer One key question that many businesses face is deciding whether to hire an agency or freelance talent to take on the task of building their software project. The truth of the matter is that the answer isn’t so cut and dry.The “right” choice, in fact, lies in deciding which option is best suited for your particular situation for the purpose of achieving your specific business goals. There are a few things to consider when deciding on which option is best for your business, and we’ve included six important insights to help guide you along the way.Be clear about your goals.Every company is driven by business goals. What is your goal? It could be a minimum viable product (MVP), developing a mobile-app or complex database optimization. To define your goals, you’ll need to ask yourself questions about your project in order to gain clarity.For example:What is your budget?Do you have a particularly tight deadline?What kind of work is involved?How complex is the process?Regardless of the answer, the solution is never as simple as hiring a front-end guy or back-end guy. By posing questions as such, you can work towards defining what matters most so that you’re able to identify the best option for achieving your company’s strategic goals.One person is not going to solve all of your problems.The truth of the matter is that one developer simply will not solve all of your problems. In order to build a software product, it’s imperative that you have at least some high-level understanding about the software development life-cycle and are well-versed in agile product development and other modern development trends.The bare minimum requirements needed in order to put together for instance, a mobile app, is you, the product person, developers, QA, and DevOps. A diverse skill set is imperative. This is where an agency’s team can have an advantage.Choose the right vendor.Choosing the right vendor is another decision that is going to be vital to the outcome of your project. While budget is of course of paramount importance, focusing on the most cost-effective solution alone will end up costing you more in the long-run.When evaluating vendors, you’ll want to ensure there is a good management structure in place. Do they offer a comprehensive and cutting-edge system? What is the quality of the talent? Do they have a deep level of industry expertise and experience? Does the vendor offer reliable, efficient delivery and take responsibility for timeliness and quality of deliverables? You should view your vendor as a partner of sorts and ensure their capabilities fit well with your demands.Size matters.The size and complexity of your project is also going to be a major determining factor in whether you move forward with an agency or freelance talent for your project. If you only need one small, relatively straightforward project completed, then it may be best to move forward with freelance talent.However, for larger, more complex projects, moving forward with an agency will benefit you more in terms of quality assurance and efficiency and will give you the peace of mind you need regarding your return on investment.Look for fully-managed service.Opting for a fully-managed development service lightens the load for you and your company, enabling you to focus on the core of your business and doing what you do best.A fully-managed service can help ensure that no facet of your business is negatively impacted due to a marked shift in the allotment of valuable human resources. Choosing a fully-managed service also helps shift the responsibility of compliance to the service provider, thus reducing risk regarding any potential security and compliance issues. All-in-all, a fully-managed software development solution is a great option for companies looking to maintain and gain a competitive advantage, and serves to help level the playing field in the midst of fierce competition.Think long-term value.David Tolioupov, CEO of Zensoft, said “Freelancers are cost-effective, can get started quickly and are great options for small projects. As a result, they offer obvious immediate value.However, this value diminishes with increased project. Freelancers are more difficult to manage, tend to be less consistent than their agency counterparts which offer greater reliability and quality control, and as a result, there is a greater deal of ambiguity surrounding the final outcome.Working with agencies may be more expensive, but they offer greater consistency, quality assurance, streamlined workflows, solid-management structures, a proven track-record of success and access to expert talent. Choosing an agency gives you the peace of mind that your dollars are well-invested and offers greater long-term value.”ConclusionMaking the decision to hire an agency or freelance talent to oversee the development of your software product is a tough one. While freelance talent is a viable option for those with small and relatively straightforward projects, agencies provide a plethora of benefits and prove to be a wiser choice for larger, more complex projects. Whatever your situation may be, the truth of the matter is your resources are valuable, so taking the time to weigh the pros and cons relative to your particular situation is going to be essential to your success. Related Posts Building a Workplace for the Next 100 Years tiffanigoldberg How to Avoid Being Part of 90% of Failed Companies Why Your eCommerce Business Should Have a Pop-U…