Heroes’ welcome for Team South Africa

first_img14 August 2012 There was a hive of activity and a warm display of South African national pride at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International on Tuesday morning as crowds waving flags and blowing vuvuzelas welcomed the country’s Olympic heroes back from the London Games. In true South African style, the supporters broke out in song, singing the national anthem as they met the athletes, who stood in a line with their hands over their chests. Placards displaying messages such as “Welcome back home Team SA”, “Well done incredible rowers” and “Welcome back heroes” could be seen among the hundreds gathered at the airport. Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula Mbalula said there were no words to describe the joy that swept over the nation when Team SA members won medals at the highly contested Games. “Today, we are united … because of your deeds; you’ve inspired a nation and for what you’ve done, you will remain in the archives of history.” Mbalula said Olympic silver medallist Caster Semenya represented what a young African woman could achieve with determination and support. “[Semenya] represents a symbol of a courageous young woman … who toils out of difficulties to become a symbol of success and greatness.” The Limpopo-born runner said although she was somewhat disappointed with her achievement, she tried her best. “I am a little disappointed. At least we’ve won silver and I am now focusing on 2013’s world championship in Moscow,” said Semenya, who also promised South Africans that she would continue to make them proud. South Africa’s two silver medals came from flag bearer Semenya and swimmer Chad Le Clos (who also won gold), while canoeist Bridgitte Hartley won bronze. The three gold medals came from swimming sensations Cameron van der Burgh and Le Clos, and the rowing team comprising Sizwe Ndlovu, Matthew Brittain, James Thompson and John Smith. “When Cameron van der Burgh won the gold medal … South Africans reverberated with joy and blew their vuvuzela to the ears,” Mbalula said. “Even those who were far away could hear that South Africa had arrived.” Le Clos snatched the gold medal from United States swimming legend Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly, before winning silver behind Phelps in the 100m butterfly. South African stalwart Winnie Madikezela-Mandela was among the South Africans who came to the airport to give the Olympic team a warm welcome. Popular Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana supporter Mukwevho said: “I am here to give our heroes a warm welcome because I’m satisfied with their performance. With their performance, I am quite certain that we will do better in the upcoming Olympic Games.” His views were echoed by another well-known football supporter, Sadam Maake. “These athletes made us proud and as a result of their performance, we are well-known the world over, so they deserve a heroes’ welcome.” The team’s chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambane, said: “We’ve done very well as Team SA at the London Olympics compared to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where we were ranked 71 and now we are leaders in Africa. “To the athletes, you are world champions and you must not start to walk tall. You need to stay humble … You are what you are because of the support you received from the nation, family and friends. To the medallists, we salute you. You’ve made us proud.” SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam, who had set a target of 12 medals for Team SA, gave the Olympians hearty congratulations. “I am 100 percent satisfied with the performance and what we’ve achieved. We set the target precisely because we wanted to work towards something. “We tried our best, and in the coming weeks I will give the medallists a programme in preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.” The government also joined in congratulating Team SA. “We join the multitudes of sport enthusiasts in congratulating our athletes for their best performance and grit at the games,” said government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi. “Team SA has emerged as shining stars and are now exemplary to those who want to achieve greatness. Government hopes that these achievements will inspire our local youth to follow in their steps and realise South Africa’s dream.” The medallists were also thanked with monetary rewards. Le Clos received R600 000 for winning gold and silver, while his coach Graham Hill, who was not present to receive the dummy cheque, got R150 000. Van der Burgh got R400 000 and his coach received R100 000. The four members of the rowing team each received R100 000, while Semenya pocketed R200 000 and her coach Maria Mutola got R50 000. Hartley took home R80 000. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

World Record Jet Ski Attempt for Mandela Day

first_imgThe year 2018 is a momentous year for South Africa and the world at large, as it is the centenary year of Nelson Mandela. With special emphasis placed on the month of July as we build up to celebrate the centenary and Mandela Day on 18 July 2018.Mandela Day celebrates Mandela’s life and legacy and urges all citizens, in the country and globally to contribute in making the world a better place through small acts of kindness.Brand South Africa and its Play Your Part programme have collaborated with various stakeholders to encourage citizens to share how they are living Mandela’s legacy.One such citizen through Gift of the Givers is 55-year old Marinus du Plessis, who is commemorating 100 years of Mandela’s greatness. Du Plessis is set to jet -ski his way into the Guinness Book of Records, with a solo 11000km Arctic-to-Athens venture, in honour of Tata Mandela and Mandela Day to raise both awareness about the immense challenges faced by persons with disabilities and vital funds for their care.The epic 40-day jet ski journey is to encourage the public to donate funds to the Gift of the Givers, whilst breaking a world record. This will enhance the organisation’s support for projects dealing with the physically and mentally challenged, including autism. “Disabled children are equally entitled to an exciting and brilliant future” (Nelson Mandela).The Pretoria-based export company owner, begun his record-breaking attempt on Saturday 07 July from Rognan, in Norway. He will jet ski through the rough North Sea, traverse the English Channel, the world’s busiest waterway, before skimming across the Mediterranean to Athens, Greece.Commenting on his record attempt, du Plessis said: “I am a man on a mission. I want to heighten awareness about problems faced by physically challenged and autistic people, and the best way I know how is to tackle an endurance challenge on a jet ski. I do this in honour of Mr Nelson Mandela, my autistic brother and in the memory of a great friend, sadly no longer with us.”Funds raised are to be dedicated by the Gift of the Givers to provide for wheelchairs and to assist Autism South Africa to support affected children. Du Plessis is no stranger to marathon jet ski exploits. In 2003 he and then close friend, Adriaan Marais, completed a 7 000km jet ski trip from Kenya to Cape Town in 57 days.“A tragic diving accident in 2013 claimed Adriaan’s life, leaving me devastated and I gave no further thought to jet ski adventures until recently. A challenge of this nature is about both physical and mental fitness and undertaking a trip with others sounded too normal, so I opted for a solo record-breaking attempt,” du Plessis said.Having had a brother with autism, du Plessis understands the needs and the support shortfalls persons with disabilities face, this led him to committing to use his next adventure in making a difference by creating widespread awareness of the funding needs of disabled communities in South Africa through an endurance challenge the public could follow and support.South Africans will be rooting for fellow citizen, Marinus, hoping that he breaks the record. We are most grateful to him for his daring fund-raising endeavour on our behalf and encourage South Africans of all walks of life to really get behind his adventure. Contact Marinus du Plessis on 082 443 0935.Visit our website: www.arctic2athens.orgLike our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jetski-Arctic2AthensFollow us on Twitter: @arctic2athenslast_img read more

New global initiative to tackle racism in sport

first_img2 June 2014 A new global initiative to tackle discrimination in sport will be launched in Doha, Qatar on Thursday by South African activist, politician and businessman Tokyo Sexwale, Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al Thani of Qatar and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The initiative, named Global Watch: Say No To Racism-Discrimination In Sport, will be co-chaired by Sexwale and Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al Thani, and driven by a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Doha Goals Forum Foundation and the Sexwale Foundation. Sexwale, a former Robben Island prisoner, African National Congress (ANC) leader and South African government minister, is also a member of world football governing body Fifa’s Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination. Speaking at a United Nations forum on racism and football in Geneva, Switzerland in October, Sexwale said that Fifa was planning to create a “barometer” of countries which had problems with racism and discrimination in sport. “The barometer is going to tell … that the conduct of your sporting people is bringing your country down,” Sexwale was quoted by various news agencies as saying. “I don’t think anybody here would like to be low on the barometer.” The Mandela Foundation said in a statement on Friday that Global Watch would “build upon the hard work and long involvement of many organisations, large and small, across the world who on a daily basis are taking a stand against racism-discrimination”. According to the foundation, the new initiative has been welcomed by Fifa, the International Olympics Committee and the UN Human Rights Commission, as well as high-profile leaders such as African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, former US vice-president Al Gore, and former South African presidents Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk. “Leading international television personality Oprah Winfrey and sporting heroes such as renowned football icon Pele, former Bafana Bafana and Leeds captain Lucas Radebe, former Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar, former cricket supremo Ali Bacher and the entire Barcelona Football Club squad, have amongst others added their voices in welcoming the initiative.” The foundation said that further details of the initiative, and of a summit to be held in Johannesburg later this year, would be provided at Thursday’s media briefing in Doha. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

South African app connects job seekers with employment opportunities

first_imgBountly is a local recruitment website designed to service job creation, through incorporating social media elements and the current peer-to-peer economy trend revolutionised by companies such as Uber and Airbnb.Bountly is a South African online platform aimed at helping to solve the unemployment crisis in South Africa by enabling job seekers to establish a trustworthy authority for themselves in the local freelancer marketplace. (Image: Bountly)A beta version of the site was launched in January 2018, focused primarily on job opportunities in the Western Cape. But the site creators hope to provide connections for job seekers in other major centres in the next six months.Bountly connects job seekers, students and people looking for a second income with part-time employment. The vacancies cover a wide variety of jobs, including office administration, dog walking, maintenance work and manufacturing. The site allows interested parties to register and create a CV profile online. Visitors can register to search for potential employees or to place job ads.Job seekers can apply for jobs on the site, or await new opportunities that fit their skillsets.  Registered users are notified about potential job openings, safely connected with the job offering and when the job is completed, are paid through the site’s secure payment portal.Both applicants and work providers can be star-rated, which builds their individual credibility and performance ranking, much like the way Uber rates both drivers and passengers. The ultimate aim for the website designers is to create a vast network of connections countrywide.The website is a collaboration between software engineer Michael Whelehan, public relations expert Carly Jack and entrepreneur Simon Telian.“We want to [be able to] give people equal opportunity, and [give them] a marketplace to create an authority in their chosen profession,” Whelehan told The South African news website.Bountly wants to become the leading South African solution to reliable online recruitment, an area often prone to inconsistent gatekeeping and exploitation of job seekers. The website is free to use for registered users and no services or money is exchanged until all parties and opportunities are verified.“We want to create trust in the workplace, while giving our users the competitive edge,” says Telian, a veteran of several successful entrepreneurial endeavours in South Africa, Germany and Switzerland.While the focus of the website is on temporary, small-scale employment opportunities, the team believe that proper management of a thriving but under-utilised informal job market in South Africa is one of the country’s greatest assets in helping to solve the employment challenges.“Bountly targets the grey area, the undefined and task-related work roles, of which there is an abundance in South Africa,” Jack told The South African.For more information, visit the Bountly website and connect with those behind the idea on LinkedIn and Facebook.Source: The South African website, BountlyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Maharashtra dams are 50% full

first_imgIncessant rains for over a week have filled Maharashtra’s dams to 50% of their capacity, bringing relief to the drought-hit regions. The water levels in Marathwada region, which had dropped to below 1% have now touched double digits. According to information from the Water Resources Department, the water storage in all dams of the State is 51.36% of their total capacity, which is almost equal to the 51.41% of 2018 on the same date. Dams in Marathwada have recorded 11.77% of their total storage capacity as compared to 17.89% last year. Vidarbha’s Amaravati and Nagpur divisions too have recorded an increase in water storage in dams, with 16.82% and 28.22% of their total capacity, respectively. The water levels in Marathwada dams had gone below 1% mark in July due to very less or no rains. An official from the department said continuous rains in western Maharashtra and Konkan region have ensured satisfactory increase in the water levels. “While these parts have benefited with rains, some regions of Marathwada, Vidarbha and central Maharashtra are yet to get rains. But according to Indian Meteorological Department, these parts will get medium to high showers from August 7 to 9,” said the official.He said that the department has predicted flood-like situation in some parts of Marathwada and central Maharashtra for August 9. “Disaster management teams have been asked to be on alert,” he said. Meanwhile, Health Minister Eknath Shinde, said, “As per the initial estimate, a total of 1.14 lakh population is affected due to floods. Diseases spread after the water recedes and medical teams have been kept ready in anticipation.”last_img read more