17737: Your hotline to the President

first_img15 September 2009South Africans can now dial 17737 (toll-free from a landline) to get through to a call centre at the President’s office with questions or gripes about government service delivery. Some callers may even find themselves speaking to Jacob Zuma himself!Callers will have the option of being helped in a variety of languages, and calls will be recorded and logged for quality, tracking and monitoring purposes. A call log will help the Presidency monitor turnaround times and gather information – to tell them, for example, which government department receives the most complaints.The R4-million service is operational between 7.30am and 10pm, and has 21 well-informed hotline agents, backed up by 43 public liaison officers, dedicated to answering inquiries.Each government department and each province has assigned a public liaison officer to help handle inquiries that cannot be solved by the Presidency alone.Speaking to ZumaAnd some callers may be lucky enough to speak to the President himself. Zuma will have a direct link to an online platform where he can take calls directly, depending on his schedule and when he is in his office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.Zuma announced in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year that he intended setting up a public liaison unit, which would include a toll-free hotline to handle public inquiries, as part of the efforts to move towards a “more interactive government”.Deputy director-general in the Presidency Vusi Mona said Zuma had attached a lot of importance to handling each inquiry like it was the only one, and following it through all channels until it received the attention it deserved. “This project is very close to the heart of the President. It’s one of his pet projects,” he said.Mona said the hotline would become a key service delivery improvement instrument and monitoring and evaluation tool, which was of importance to the new administration.“The President has indicated that this is not a public relations exercise, but forms part of the government’s attempts to change the way it operates.”Zuma’s word of adviceZuma visited the centre on its first day of operation, 14 September, to offer a word of advice to the call centre agents.“You may receive calls from very angry people, who would have been provoked by your colleagues from other departments,” Zuma said. “Remain calm, patient and be humane and human. You will solve a lot of problems if you remain human and avoid being technical.”Zuma added that part of the call centre agent’s job was to improve the government’s image. “We want people to be able to tell us what their problems are with service delivery, so that we can assist directly.”He urged the staff to work together to eradicate the stigma that makes people think anything from the government is bad or is of inferior quality.“You are the frontline of government communications and citizen care and support,” Zuma said. “Smile when you take those calls, as people can feel your mood wherever they are.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

22 monuments for 22 years of freedom

first_img15 April 2016The country has a significant number of monuments to peace and freedom scattered across South Africa – not surprising given its long history of struggle against oppression. With April marking the 22nd anniversary of South Africa’s freedom, Media Club South Africa showcases 22 monuments that pay homage to those who made this country great.Read the full article hereThe 22 monuments#22 – The Apartheid Museum, JohannesburgThe Apartheid Museum in Joburg opened in 2001 and has become a must-see for locals and visitors. (Image: Brand South Africa)Read more about the Apartheid Museum #21 – The Unknown Miner, JohannesburgThe Unknown Miner is a casting of the original prototype of The Diamond Diggers sculptor Herman Wald created in the 1950s. This statue stands at Wits University in Johannesburg. (Image: HermanWaldExhibition.com)Read more about the Unknown Miner#20 – The Gallows, Pretoria Central PrisonDescribed by The Saturday Star as South Africa’s ‘factory of death’, the gallows at Pretoria Central Prison saw more than 3 500 hangings. This exhibition at the Apartheid Museum of 131 nooses represents the number of anti-apartheid activists who were hanged there. (Image: Apartheid Museum)Read more about The Gallows at the Apartheid Museum#19 – Mahatma Gandhi statue, PietermaritzburgThe bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Pietermaritzburg was unveiled a century after he was thrown off a train in the town’s station. (Image: Guillaume Cingal, Flickr)Read more about the Mahatma Gandhi statue# 18 – Workers’ Library and Museum, JohannesburgWith the workmen’s quarters housing 396 men, there was no space for privacy. They slept in long rows of hard concrete ‘beds’ next to one another. A wooden platform above the concrete beds accommodated more men. (Image: City of Johannesburg)Read more about the Workers’ Library#17 – Constitution Hill, JohannesburgThe Constitutional Court has become a bastion of South African human rights and culture. (Image: Brand South Africa)Read more about Constitutional Hill #16 – Slavery Emancipation Monument, ElimThe small town in the Overberg was initially a refuge for the indigenous Khoi people until it was taken over by hundreds of slaves. Most its 1 400 residents living there today are descendants of the slaves. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Read more about the Slavery Emancipation Monument#15 – Solomon Mahlangu statue, MamelodiAnti-apartheid activist, Solomon Mahlangu, was just 23 years old when he was hanged in the gallows of Pretoria Central Prison. His remains were only moved to his birthplace of Mamelodi in 1993, after being buried in Atteridgeville for 24 years. (Image: Carnival & Solomon, Tshwane Municipality)Read more about the Solomon Mahlangu statue #14 – The Holocaust Centre, Cape TownThe Cape Town Holocaust Centre was the first of its kind to be opened in Africa. (Image: Robert Cutts)Read more about the Holocaust Centre Albert Luthuli’s memorial pays homage to one of Africa’s most respected leaders. His political activism was so important to the struggle that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960. (Image: KwaDukuza Municipality)#13 – Nkosi Albert Luthuli Statue, KwaDukuzaAlbert Luthuli’s memorial pays homage to one of Africa’s most respected leaders. His political activism was so important to the struggle that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960. (Image: KwaDukuza Municipality)Read more about the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Statue#12 – Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, JohannesburgThe Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum honours those children who lost their lives in 1976. (Image: Brand South Africa)Read more about the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum#11 – Steve Biko statue, East LondonThe Steve Biko statue in East London pays homage to the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement leader who was killed while incarcerated. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Read more about the Steve Biko statue #10 – Freedom Charter Monument, KliptownSouth Africa’s Constitution contains many of the tenets from the Freedom Charter, which was drawn up 60 years ago. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Read more about the Freedom Charter Monument#9 – Diggers Fountain, KimberleyA tribute to Kimberley’s diggers stands in the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens. (Image: Kimberley City Portal)Read more about the Diggers Fountain#8 – Langa Memorial, UitenhageThe Langa Memorial, also known as Heroes Monument, in Uitenhage pays homage to the 20 marchers who were killed by police in 1985. (Image: Department of Arts and Culture)Read more about the Langa Memorial#7 – Bhisho Massacre Memorial, BhishoTwenty-eight marchers were shot and killed by the Ciskei Defence Force in what became known as the Bhisho Massacre. (Image: Buffalo City Tourism)Read more about the Bhisho Massacre Memorial#6 – Mandela House, Soweto, JohannesburgNelson Mandela’s humble first home has become a must-see spot when visiting South Africa. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Read more about the Mandela House#5 – Memorial to the Six Million, JohannesburgMemorial to the Six Million is one of Herman Wald’s many public sculptures that remain a part of South Africa’s cultural landscape. (Image: HermanWaldExhibition.com)Read more about the Memorial to the Six Million #4 – Heroes Park, East LondonHeroes Park in East London incorporates three monuments that remembers our freedom fighters and celebrates the country’s freedom and cultural diversity. (Image: Supplied)Read more about Heroes Park#3 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu statue, East LondonThe statue of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in East London pays tribute to him as a healer. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Read more about the statue of Archbishop Desmond Tutu#2 – Robert Sobukwe Memorial, Graaff-ReinetPan Africanist Congress founder and leader Robert Sobukwe’s last day of freedom was on 21 March 1960. He spent the remaining 18 years of his life either in prison or in exile, always monitored by the apartheid government. He was buried in his hometown of Graaff Reinet in 1978. (Image: YouTube)Read more about the Robert Sobukwe Memorial#1 – Robben Island Museum, Cape TownRobben Island is best known for its prison which held several political activists including Nelson Mandela and Robert Sobukwe. (Image: Brand South Africa)Read more about Robben Islandlast_img read more

Introducing 3, 2, 1 Go!

first_imgDo Adventure finds count? No. As long as you went geocaching and found a cache or attended an Event at least six times from December 11 to January 1 you will be awarded the souvenir as soon as you log all finds online.Share with your Friends:More How can I earn the 3,2,1 Go! souvenir? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! 3, 2, 1 Go! FAQ:  SharePrint Related2020 Geocaching HQ souvenir momentsDecember 10, 2019In “Learn”Out with the old, in with these two new souvenirs!November 25, 2019In “News”Confirmed Geocaching souvenir moments for 2019January 9, 2019In “Community” You can find answers to some of your frequently asked questions below. Yes. Download the Adventure Lab app to find an Adventure near you.center_img 3 weeks: December 11, 2019 – January 1, 2020.2 geocache outings per week: Find a geocache on 2 different days each week. (Note: You can geocache for any six days during the 3 weeks or break it up into two times per week, the choice is yours!) 1 souvenir: Earn a souvenir if you geocache two days per week December 11 –  January 1. Introducing a brand new kind of souvenir challenge. Starting December 11, get ready for a three week challenge of geocaching two times per week to earn one special souvenir! It’s the final countdown to 2020 so finish the year strong! The sooner you start, the more likely you’ll be to succeed. Are you ready? An outing is any single day where you logged a geocache, an Adventure Lab Cache, or attended an Event Cache. 3, 2, 1 Go! requires you to go on at least six geocaching outings between December 11 through January 1. You can go geocaching for any six days during the three weeks, or two times per week, the choice is yours! Do I have to log my finds by January 1, 2020? What is a geocaching outing? Log a geocache, an Adventure lab, or attend an Event Cache on at least six separate days from December 11 through January 1. last_img read more

Pumped Hydro Power Storage

Return to Sender – HVAC Return Pathway Options

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESReturn-Air ProblemsThis New Door Design Solves an Old ProblemPerfect Balance Makes the CutNew Green Building Products — March 2011An Easy Retrofit for Return AirAll About Furnaces and Duct Systems If a forced-air HVAC system is pushing more air into a space or room than return pathways can match, some spaces in the home become pressurized and others depressurized. This imbalance can cause problems: thermal comfort, moisture, and even combustion safety.Types of HVAC returnsIn an ideal world, every supply would have a companion return duct. This approach is called a dedicated return for each supply. But most older and even many new homes have one or maybe two central returns located in common spaces because it is less expensive and difficult to locate and run just a supply to each space. With central returns, here are the ways to provide return pathways: door undercuts, jump ducts, transfer grilles, and the deKeiffer bypass.Door undercutsThis is certainly the easiest and cheapest way to attempt a return pathway but it is rarely sufficient. For most situations, door undercuts need to be greater than 1.5 inches to be sufficient and that amount of undercut is very often not acceptable for aesthetic or privacy reasons. Jump ductsA jump duct is a large insulated flex duct that connects two ceiling grilles, one just inside the door to the supplied room and the other just on the other side of the door in the hallway ceiling. The sharp bend and variegated surface of the interior lining of the jump duct reduces sound transfer without compromising air movement. Since this approach penetrates the ceiling plane, the jump duct must be carefully air sealed if it breaks into an unconditioned space like the attic.Transfer grillesThere are two types of transfer grilles, above-door and high-low offset. The above-door transfer grille simply has two grilles located above the door between the room and common space, one on each wall, with offset baffles to limit sound transmission.The high-low offset is located in an interior wall framing cavity adjacent to the door between the room and common space. One grille is located high on the wall on one side (usually the common space), the other low on the wall (in the room). The offset reduces sound transmission. Note that this interior framing cavity must be clean and without wiring penetrations (or seal these penetrations as you would if it were an exterior wall framing cavity).The de Keiffer bypassAn HVAC engineer from Boulder, CO, Rob deKeiffer of the Boulder Design Alliance, came up with an elegant return pathway: the deKeiffer Bypass. The door trim is spaced off of the wall on both sides enough to create around 23 square inches of free air space connecting the room and the common space. The framing cavity space above the door is sleeved with sheet metal to create a dedicated pathway connecting the two sides of the spaced-out door trim.Armand Magnelli’s (Livable Housing, Inc.) perspectiveAnother approach is to install a product that combines a metal sleeve with an interior baffle and grilles on both sides of the wall, such as the Tamarak Return Air Pathway (RAP). Or one of Halton’s transfer grilles (these more commercial in nature). These products purportedly provide better noise reduction with good air flow and are relatively easy to install. The fit between standard stud spacing in interior partition walls. For an independent analysis of several approaches see the following review by the Building America Program.An advantage of using the products from Tamarak is that they are sized for CFM capacity, an important variable in balancing the airflow between rooms. The issue with the products from Tamarak and Halton is that while they provide an attractive and effective packaged solution it may be difficult to convince local HVAC distributors to stock their lines of products forcing contractors to order them online. Some of the other solutions are fabricated from stock components available at most HVAC distributors.The use of any of these solutions may also improve performance of whole house ventilation systems by enabling better circulation of fresh air from bedrooms at night, a crucial time to deliver fresh air to occupants.Your perspectiveBe great to learn what method you use and why? Weigh in—it’s what GBA is all about.last_img read more

It’s Not Just Coffee: Technology Now Fueling Massive Growth in Seattle

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#AI#Big Data#coffee#Entrepreneur#Growth Hacking#Salesforce#Seattle#startups#technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage John BoitnottCEO, Boitnott Consulting LLC Related Posts A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked at TV, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Venturebeat. Follow the Puck Seattle has long been known for inciting the country’s coffee culture, but now that we’re all sufficiently caffeinated, these days it’s the technology scene that’s causing a buzz. Situated well north of the traditional tech enclave known as Silicon Valley, Seattle has come into its own as a magnet for innovative companies and a supportive community that’s mission-driven to improve the status quo.Seattle’s recent growth trajectory looks something like the Space Needle — tall and lean as it extends quietly into the open sky.Not a city to be pigeonholed, its growth represents a rainbow of industries. According to Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED), the city’s key industries now span from manufacturing, maritime, life sciences, and technology to green energy, music, entertainment, and hospitality. There’s just no way to put on a label on that kind of diversity.Seattle’s Super Sonic Technology According to a 2018 report from CBRE, no city has added more tech jobs in the last two years than Seattle. The greater Seattle area added 33,803 tech jobs in 2017 and 2016, outpacing even Silicon Valley (which came in second at 24,971 jobs added). While some of those numbers represent big firms expanding outside their HQ cities or new compelling jobs, roles and responsibilities within large corporations — the most significant area of growth is in startups and smaller businesses.The level of innovation is growing by the day, and several of these startups have achieved bonafide success — particularly in developing fields such as Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI).One such success story is Validar, an event marketing software company. “Quality data was a constant struggle,” says Validar CEO Victor Kippes. “So we decided to do something about it. Fortunately, the Seattle tech scene was on the rise, so there was some excitement and experience around town. It became the perfect backdrop for our success.”The technology revolution paved the way for other startups, too.Consider Yapta, for example, a travel management site that uses intelligent technology to help consumers streamline travel expenses and save money. Valerie Layman, Yapta’s Chief Product & Services Officer, believes Seattle’s reputation as a laidback city works in its favor: “Seattle’s reputation for being laidback is indicative of our willingness to collaborate and our desire to see others in the community succeed, versus the hyper-competitive edges we’ve seen from small businesses in Seattle is both impressive and inspiring.”Says Enrique Ortegon, SVP of SMB Sales at Salesforce, “Companies are breaking new ground in meaningful ways. It was an easy decision for Salesforce to direct more efforts here.” To that end, Salesforce is hosting one of its acclaimed Growth Camp events in Seattle on May 30 at Block 41. Any startup or small business looking for free help, advice, and resources is invited to attend.Higher Grounds: Escalating Performances Several high-growth startups are truly jolting the national scene. Leading that charge is Groopit, a Seattle-based software company that helps leaders engage teams outside their four walls. After twenty years at Microsoft building products used by hundreds of millions of users, Groopit Co-Founder and CEO Tammy Savage saw a void in how organizations manage indirect people.“The growth of cloud computing in Seattle has been impressive,” says Savage. “But at the end of the day, all this technology needs to help companies engage their networks to tackle the hardest problems that will bring the next wave of progress.” The surge of advancement can be seen in the Groopit app, which lets you manage teams outside your organization and collect the corresponding data.That data might be a corporation identifying the on-the-ground security issues — and a government asking citizens to help them understand a problem.A nonprofit tracking volunteer services has always been an issue for the volunteer and the for the company they’re serving. The community, public, and society want their stats to compare themselves against for self-improvement or productivity. And a company engaging key customers to expand their footprint is a must.Another rising startup is Dreambox Learning, an interactive AI-based student learning tool. Lorenzo Pasqualis, Dreambox’s VP of Engineering, believes the company’s success stems from a combination of two factors: Seattle’s willingness to think beyond what’s possible with new technology, plus its rapidly increasing concentration of engineering talent.Seattle’s savvy talent engineering business talent has the expertise and capacity along with the skills to design and build those necessary solutions.Pasqualis conveys, “At Dreambox Learning, we constantly explore new frontiers of adaptive learning technology designed to personalize every student’s educational journey. Sure, most people see the value that technology adds to a school environment; however, they usually don’t realize how rapidly evolving disciplines such as AI, machine learning, and cloud computing can increase the value students achieve from the limited time they spend using technology.”Seattle’s Best: A New Breed of Empathetic Entrepreneurs But Seattle’s emergence as a technology hotbed isn’t confined to corporate applications and big data. There’s a growing subset of entrepreneurs who are passionate about helping others — and creating businesses to prove it.Among these skilled entrepreneurs is Dani Cone, the founder of Cone & Steiner General and Fuel Coffee. Cone is the chair of the Seattle Entrepreneurship Committee for the Greater Seattle Business Association — the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America. He is passionate about equality and inclusion and believes community is what sets Seattle apart: “Seattle’s such a strong and vibrant city, economically and socially.“At its roots are the people who build everything from airplanes to tech, people who believe that the impossible is possible, and people who believe in community. Community is what drives me each day to create spaces where ideas are shared, and people come together over good food and drink.”Another enviable expert is Saif Hakim, Vice President and Senior Business Lender at Craft3; a regional nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Craft3 extends loans to strengthen the local economies in both Oregon and Washington.After nearly two decades in commercial banking in the Puget Sound Area, Hakim saw the discrepancies in those who are able to achieve funding.Now at Craft3, he’s able to target an underserved population, including startups and growing businesses that are not traditionally ready for bank capital. “It just felt right to move into a more flexible area of lending,” says Hakim. “The Pacific-Northwest is inspiring in so many ways, and Craft3 is really focused on doing everything we can to make this a vibrant, growing area of the country.”Fueling Up: Seattle Runs on TechnologySeattle may be famous for rainy days and coffee, but today’s entrepreneurs and tech startups are working hard to change that association. Is Seattle posed to be the country’s new Tech Town? All signs point to the affirmative. Maybe that free Salesforce Growth Camp conference can help you get in on the action.last_img read more

Not good for democracy: Sena; Opposition supports Raj Thackeray

first_imgSupport poured in for Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday from opposition parties as well as ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena as he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) all of Thursday.MNS workers registered their protest against the government action through the hashtag #ISupportRajThackeray on social media. Late on Wednesday, unknown persons threw pamphlets in Lalbaug and Parel asking why the ED had never questioned BJP leaders. Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said Mr. Thackeray had raised issues against the Central government’s functioning during the Lok Sabha campaign. “Instead of answering, the government sent an ED notice. Anyone who questions the government is either served a notice or termed anti-national. This isn’t good for democracy, this is dictatorship,” said Mr. Thorat.On Wednesday, Mr. Thackeray’s estranged cousin and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had said he does not expect anything concrete to emerge from the ED probe. On Thursday, Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said that despite their political differences, both the Thackerays are brothers. “Uddhavji has made himself clear on this issue. Blood is always thicker than politics,” said Mr. Raut.The Nationalist Congress Party too criticised the action taken against Mr. Thackeray. “If the ED finds the Kohinoor case worthy enough to be investigated, then let them do that. But the timing of the ED summons to Raj Thackeray clearly raises questions,” said NCP’s Mumbai president Nawab Malik.Leader of the Opposition in Council, Dhananjay Munde, said every individual who has dared to ask this government questions has been victimised and is being thrown into the net of enquiries and investigation agencies.last_img read more

Ahead of Messi’s Kolkata game, hoardings show Paraguay team instead of Venezuela

first_imgEven as Kolkata geared up for the much-awaited friendly football match between two South American rivals — Argentina and Venezuela — an embarrassing organisational goof-up has dampened the build-up to the historic game.Hoardings across the city advertising the game carried pictures of the Paraguay team instead of Venezuela. The Paraguay team in the red and white jersey, instead of Venezuela in their all red kit, have been depicted next to the Argentine team.Surprisingly, the organisers — Celebrity Management Group — denied any wrongdoing on their part. They blamed the website from where they downloaded the images. They claimed the official website of Venezuela football carried these pictures so they used them on the hoardings.While the organisers hide behind flimsy excuses, the Venezuelan team were remarkably unruffled by the goof-up.Venezuela coach Cesar Farias said, “It’s a normal situation because we are traditionally called Cinderella team in South America, referring to a team who has less possibilities. Some of these situations where we are not taken seriously are because Argentina are shown a lot of importance.”The Venezuelans might have chosen to overlook the error, but ahead of a football game of such historic importance to India the mistake reflects poorly on a nation looking to improve its standing in the world of football.last_img read more