Giant Flag to bring tourists and jobs to the Camdeboo

first_imgAn artist’s impression of the 66-hectare Giant Flag, with colured desert plants, white gravel road and a field of solar panels. (Image: Giant Flag)Mary AlexanderIn the Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo region of the Eastern Cape, a global online crowdfunded project with huge ambitions is set to transform a community where four of every 10 people don’t have jobs. This is South Africa’s Giant Flag, a development project so big it will be visible from space.Infographic: South Africa’s world-first Giant FlagThe Camdeboo is part of South Africa’s dry and tough Karoo desert, where economic opportunities are limited to sheep and ostrich farming, and not much else. Its major town, Graaff-Reinet, has an unemployment rate of 40%.The Giant Flag aims to turn this around by combining tourism and sustainable green energy with job creation. The plan is to grow a 66-hectare field of desert plants, succulents and cactuses indigenous to the Karoo, in the colours of South Africa’s national flag – red, yellow, blue and green. The white part of the flag will be represented by gravel roads bisecting the cactus fields, and the black by 6.6 hectares of solar panels capable of delivering four megawatts of electricity to 4 000 homes.It is, indeed, a giant project. The flag will take up an area equivalent to 66 football fields, or 660 000 square metres. The full precinct will ultimately include a hotel, conference centre, food gardens and adventure tourism.The flag: excitement and national prideThe flag is the brainchild of Guy Lieberman, the green and social new business development manager at advertising firm FCB. The agency asked Lieberman to come up with a project that would both rekindle the national pride and excitement of South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup and stimulate growth in neglected rural regions. He came up with a Giant Flag of plants to bring colour and jobs to the barren Camdeboo.Read more: Fred Brownell and the creation of the South African flagIt is not a modest project. Over its two-year, three-phase development, is expected to cost something in the region of R180-million. But when its gates do open it will have brought 700 permanent “green-collar” jobs – mostly for women – into a deeply depressed region, and built enormous tourism infrastructure for the Eastern Cape.The first phase, which cost R4-million, is complete. The land has been secured, and the zoning, environmental impact study and business plan have all been approved. The second phase, launched in late October, will cost some R25-million.A visualisation of a satellite image of the town of Graaff-Reinet with the completed Giant Flag. (Image: Giant Flag)Rural tourism key to job creationThe project is supported by three government departments – including tourism – as well as provincial and local authorities, a range of corporate sponsors, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Development Bank of South Africa. The SABC has committed to broadcasting 52 weekly two-minute episodes about its progress. Google has given the flag a permanent monthly advertising grant worth R100 000, and powers its online platform.At the launch in Graaff-Reinet on 23 October, tourism minister Tokozile Xasa said her industry had enormous power to improve the lives of people in rural areas, far from urban centres of economic activity.The Giant Flag project, she said, “dovetails with our department’s National Rural Tourism Strategy that has community beneficiation as is its core. The strategy is aimed at developing rural tourism that can greatly contribute to the alleviation of pressure in areas that are often characterised by poverty and underdevelopment. The strategy illustrates the National Department of Tourism’s commitment to the development of rural economies in general and rural tourism in particular.”Offsetting thousands of tons of carbonThe second phase will see the flag take form. The 2.5-million plants – fire barrel cactus for the red, golden barrel cactus for yellow, blue dan succulent for blue and spekboom for green – will be planted on the 66-hectare site, and the white road laid down.The plants will not only create a stunning display of South Africa’s national flag and help draw tourists to the area. They will also scrub 87 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year – equivalent to the energy used by 7 276 typical American households. They will also bring rich and diverse plant life to this barren desert area.The full site will take up a full 100 hectares, one square kilometre, surrounded by security fencing. In the 34 hectares between the flag and the fence, gardens growing food and medicinal plants will be established.The key to getting the Giant Flag in place is global crowdfunding through the project’s Google-powered website. People anywhere in the world are invited to set up profiles on the site, and purchase units of plants, road or solar panels. The prices range from US$10 for the plants (about R110), $100 for the road (R1 110), and $250 (R2 700) for a unit of the solar field. Registered users are then given the GPS coordinates for the sections of the flag they have bought, and can monitor progress online, in real time.Helping people and the environmentThe third phase of the Giant Flag is where the green development really begins. Starting early next year, construction will begin on the 6.6-hectare solar field, set to cost R100-million. A further R45-million will be spent on a 22 000 square metre canopy structure, a biogas facility, algae plant, civil works and a water reservoir with an 11-million-litre capacity.The solar plant will be the first large, commercial scale solar field in the world to harvest water. The energy it produces will be sold into South Africa’s national grid, and the money – with other profits from the Giant Flag project – will go into endowment and education funds. These will finance micro-loans and skills development for the local community, as well as school upgrades and tertiary education bursaries.The final phase of development will include building a tourism precinct with a conference centre and hotel, which will offer adventure tourism activities such as microlighting and hot air ballooning.“The sky’s the limit,” Lieberman, the mastermind of the Giant Flag, said at the launch. “I see opportunity upon opportunity upon opportunity when I visualise the flag and the communities that live around it.”last_img read more

South Africa’s Western Cape invests in e-learning

first_img23 February 2015Premier Helen Zille and Education MEC Debbie Schafer outlined the details of the e- learning project the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is rolling out across the province.“This is a very exciting initiative that has taken years of planning and has the potential to make a major contribution towards improving the quality of teaching and learning in the province,” Schafer said ahead of the announcement, on 23 February.The strategy includes a number of components that are critical for e-learning in schools, namely:The linking of schools through a high-speed, real-time wide area network (WAN);The provision of local area networks (LANs) in schools;The refreshing of existing computer laboratories and the provision of new laboratories and technology-rich classrooms (smart classrooms);The development and expansion of online digital resources that are made available to all pupils, parents and teachers;Teacher training and development in ICT and the use of e-learning in schools; and,Private sector and donor funding.This follow’s Zille announcement of eight game-changers for the province on 20 February; one of these was the roll-out of e-learning in schools.“E-learning will assist us in tackling some of the problems we face, including increasing access to quality education in disadvantaged communities, providing support for struggling learners, contributing towards teachers’ training and professional development and improving management and administration at schools. It will also provide learners with the skills to participate in our increasingly technology-based economy in the future.”The WCED will invest heavily in this project over the next five years. Without taking into account the Western Cape government’s investment into the WAN, the rollout of the LAN and various infrastructure, equipment and devices, will cost the WCED R1.2- billion over the next five years.The WAN and the LANSchools will be linked through a high-speed, real-time WAN. The provincial government aims to connect as many schools as possible to the WAN by the end of 2016, and 366 school sites have already been surveyed for implementation.It is envisaged that the first schools will go live on the WAN Neotel network in April, while 1 250 schools will be connected to high-speed broadband by July 2016.Once the WAN is up, LANs will be installed, and schools will be fitted with a wireless distributed network (WiFi) for internet and inter-connectivity within a school. The tender for the implementation for the LAN closed at the beginning of February and the bid evaluation is under way. It is estimated that the first delivery and implementation of the LAN will be in August.The WCED aims to roll out the LAN project to 510 schools in Quintiles 1 to 3 and Special Education Needs Schools (LSEN) over the next five years.Lab refreshes and smart classroomsThe department will introduce the Smart School Project, which includes refreshing existing Khanya Laboratories and the provision of Smart Classrooms.High school laboratories will be upgraded in an on-going three-year cycle, and 126 will receive refreshed computer labs this year.A smart classroom is linked to the WAN and the LAN and is capacitated with mobile technology comprising a laptop for the teacher, a data projector, and other technological devices for teaching and learning.This financial year, 3 350 classrooms in 248 schools will benefit from the Smart Classroom Project, focusing on schools in Quintiles 1 to 3 and LSEN, with an invest of R65-million.In addition, the department has developed an online catalogue of digital education resources that can be accessed by teachers, pupils and parents. The catalogue will be launched in the next few weeks and will be regularly updated.It has also begun to roll out a comprehensive training programme to teachers and principals who will be affected by the Smart School Project over the next few months. Training of teachers began in January at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute and will continue to be a primary focus area of the WCED’s teacher training budget in the next financial year.While the provincial education department has budgeted R1.2-billion for the rollout of e-learning in poorer Quintiles 1 to 3 and LSEN schools, the private sector and donors will be encouraged to help get Smart Schools to Quintiles 4 and 5 schools.“This has been a long time in the making, but we believe that our intensive planning and resourcing of the project will ensure its long-term success. This project has the potential to revolutionise teaching and learning in our schools.”Source: Western Cape governmentlast_img read more

Why PayPal Rushed A New Logo To Market

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#David Marcus#e-commerce#logo#Mobile Payments#New PayPal Logo#online payments#Payments#PayPal#PayPal logo Related Posts owen thomas Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting PayPal president David Marcus is in a hurry. He’s got new payments products to roll out—ones that will ease e-commerce, speed up real-world transactions, and spread PayPal’s reach in the apps on your phone.So he’s got a new logo to roll out. Expect to see it a lot of places starting Wednesday—including, for the first time, in your living room, through PayPal’s first-ever American TV advertisements.Hanging Up A New Sign At The StoreWho cares about a new logo, right? It’s easy to see PayPal’s rebranding as an exercise in corporate self-congratulation, the eBay subsidiary breaking its virtual arm patting itself on the back. Admittedly, Marcus has moved quickly on many fronts to fix PayPal’s problems, from its needlessly complex application programming interfaces to its user-surly customer service, as he told the audience at a ReadWriteMix event in January.See also: PayPal’s David Marcus Has A Plan—And It’s So Money 3.0Logos in the digital age aren’t just a matter of the sign at company headquarters, though. Everyone from app developers to online merchants to physical retailers like Home Depot and Jamba Juice to everyday eBay sellers display the PayPal logo to indicate they accept PayPal for payment. As PayPal mounts an aggressive push to refresh existing services and roll out new ones, the old logo was holding it back, Marcus told ReadWrite in an interview.David Marcus greets attendees at the January 2014 ReadWriteMix event at Say Space in San Francisco.“The new in-context checkout experience that we’re rolling out globally [and] a bunch of new experiences across all of our products—as we push all of these experiences out there, we wanted to have a better identity with a new modern design,” Marcus said. “There’s a lot of integration that has to happen at the merchant level as well. We might as well do it at a time when we don’t have to go back to these guys and say, ‘Update your buttons because we have a new identity.’”PayPal = PeoplePayPal’s original white logo got replaced by a blue version in 2007, and was updated with slightly rounder type in 2012. But those changes didn’t address the rise of mobile and the need for a simpler, more compact symbol that worked well on mobile devices, embedded within apps, and on storefronts.The new symbol combines a double-P “monogram” with a modified “PayPal” logotype. The monogram, which Marcus likens to Nike’s distinctive “swoosh,” is meant to allude to people coming together, a major theme of PayPal’s television campaign. It will also become the new icon for PayPal’s mobile app, and appear alone in other contexts as well.“We also wanted to have a shorter form of expression,” Marcus told me. “That gives us a lot more freedom.”PayPal’s thinking here reminds me a bit of the design process Google worked through in 2008 to find a new icon that would display well on mobile phones.Marcus and his team worked with Yves Béhar’s Fuseproject, a design firm that has serviced Jawbone and Nivea, as well as earlier industrial-design projects for PayPal, like its in-store Beacon device and its Here credit-card swiper. The project kicked off in December—a fast timeframe considering the quantity of products and scale of change involved.The new television commercial ads—as well as print, outdoor, and in-store ads—will start running this summer in PayPal’s major markets, including the U.S., Germany and the UK. (It’s not a global first: PayPal had previously run some TV ads in Australia, Turkey and Israel. Australia will also see PayPal’s new ad campaign.)Here’s one of the new commercials:And here’s a visual history of PayPal’s logos:What do you think of the new logo? Take a poll: 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

7 days agoMan Utd chief Woodward: Solskjaer job secure

first_imgMan Utd chief Woodward: Solskjaer job secureby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveEd Woodward says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will remain Manchester United manager no matter what happens against Liverpool on Sunday.Supporters are growing restless after United’s spluttering start which sees them in 12th with nine points from eight games.But Woodward insists the club have a long-term plan that includes Solskjaer at the helm.”Ole has also instilled the discipline back into an environment where we may have lacked it in recent years,” said Woodward in an address to staff at Old Trafford. “He is building a squad that respects the club’s history, in which players work hard and respect their team-mates.”No one is bigger than the club. The changes we saw over the summer have resulted in a very young squad. But it’s also a squad, with the players and the culture, that provides a base camp for us to build and grow from as we start our new journey.”He added: “Ole’s vision maps exactly to the core three football objectives we have: we must win trophies, we must play attacking football, and we must give youth its chance,” said Woodward.”The middle section of last season, after Ole’s arrival, feels most relevant to what we want to achieve and where we want to be, we saw a team playing fast, fluid football, with a clear representation of the style and philosophy the manager wants.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

3 days agoMoyes tells Man Utd ace Pogba to stay put

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Moyes tells Man Utd ace Pogba to stay putby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePaul Pogba should stay with Manchester United, says former United boss David Moyes.The France international revealed in the summer he’s ready for a new challenge elsewhere.Moyes told talkSPORT: “Pogba is still Manchester United’s best midfield player and I think Pogba can play for any team in the world. He’d get a game for any team.“I’m not sure he’s a player who is consistent and makes a difference all the time.“I think for the profile he’s got, you hope he makes the difference. He doesn’t always do that for me.“But I think he should stay at Manchester United.“I don’t think he wins games like Messi does for Barcelona or Ronaldo’s done for Juventus.“He’s a really talented player and he’s got a lot to give.“His best for me was then he was at Juventus. He joined in more and got closer to the opposition box. Pogba is at his best getting near the box and trying to score a few goals.“If you were picking United’s team, I still think that Pogba would be in their midfield.” last_img read more

Video: Watch TCU RB Aaron Green Do LeBron James’ Powder Toss During A Snowstorm

first_imgAaron Green does LeBron-style powder toss with snow.It’s surprisingly snowing quite hard in Fort Worth, Texas, this afternoon. TCU running back Aaron Green is using the rare snowfall to channel one of his favorite athletes – LeBron James. Standing on the Horned Frogs’ campus, Green did the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star’s famed pre-game powder toss, using a snowball in place of the chalk. Check it out:  Well done, Aaron. TCU opens its season Sept. 3 against Minnesota in Minneapolis.last_img

AAC Football’s Official Twitter Account Trolled Penn State

first_imgAmerican Athletic Conference twitter page trolls Penn State.American TweetPenn State made some news yesterday when it was revealed that the team literally buried the game tape of its 27-10 season-opening loss to Temple with a shovel. In the embarrassing defeat, the Nittany Lions surrendered 10 sacks. While Penn State was ready to let that game go, the American Athletic Conference, of which Temple is a member, wants to relish the memory of it . That’s why the AAC’s official football Twitter account dropped a solid troll job on Penn State this morning. Penn State may have buried the game tape, but you can watch all 10 @Temple_FB sacks from Sat on our YouTube page https://t.co/xkp5lidkzS— American Football (@American_FB) September 9, 2015That’s tremendous. This was Temple’s first win over PSU in over 70 years, and they set a conference sack record in the process. The AAC doesn’t have many opportunities to brag about its football accomplishments, so it is understandably proud of the Owls’ performance.last_img read more

Video: Dalvin Cook’s Little Brother Meets Ole Miss’ Football Team

first_imgDalvin Cook celebrating with his helmet off.MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 30: MVP Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates their 33 to 32 win over the Michigan Wolverines during the Capitol One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)Deandre Burnett is a guard on the Ole Miss basketball team. He’s also the brother of Dalvin Cook, Florida State’s top player.Ole Miss and Florida State will hit the field Monday night to open the 2016 season in the Camping World Kickoff. The Seminoles’ best player, running back Dalvin Cook, has a unique connection to Ole Miss: his brother plays basketball for the Rebels.Cook’s brother, Deandre Burnett, will be eligible to play guard for Ole Miss this season after sitting out last year. He’s a transfer from the University of Miami.In this hilarious video released today by Ole Miss basketball, Burnett meets Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly and members of the Ole Miss defense. When he is introduced to the latter, things get interesting.? Our dynamic new guard Deandre Burnett, brother of FSU’s Dalvin Cook, meets Chad Kelly & the @OleMissFB team ??? pic.twitter.com/uGZNdN4y4m— Ole Miss Basketball (@OleMissMBB) September 1, 2016That’s fantastic social media work by Ole Miss. Well-done.Florida State and Ole Miss kickoff at 8:00 p.m. ET Monday night from Camping World Stadium in Orlando. ABC will have the broadcast.last_img read more

New senate study says Indigenous history must be taught before moving forward

first_imgAmber BernardAPTN NewsThe Senate committee on Aboriginal Peoples has released a report on the history between Indigenous people and Canada.The vision of the committee in releasing How did We Get Here?, was to implement parts of the study into the classroom.“So we imagined for instance an audience of high school kids, who may not know a whole lot of Indigenous people, who may be able to pick up this kind of report find it interesting,” said Senator Daniel Christmas.The study looks at an unvarnished account of the development of Canada, to treaties and polices that have affected Indigenous communities.Melissa Campbell Schwartz, department head of First Nations, Metis and Inuit studies at Hillcrest High School, picked up the report for her grade 11 Indigenous Literature course.“The senate report is exciting,” Schwartz told APTN News.“It gives us another piece to move the steps forward.”Schwartz believes educators play a big role in shifting the conversation to include Indigenous perspectives.“As a settler within a colonial structure, I play a really interesting role, trying to change the conversation and trying to get kids to understand their role as a settler.”She says Indigenous history needs to be taught in order to create a better future between Indigenous people and Canadians.The grade 11 Indigenous literature class often starts with a discussion circle, exploring various topics affecting Indigenous people in Canada.Schwartz says her students eagerly participate in the conversation and are passionate about creating a better relationship with Indigenous people.She says some of her students after taking the class begin to challenge negative stereotypes they hear at home and in school.“They see the injustice, they see a simple answer and they want that to happen,” she said.“They become agents for change.”Students enrolled in the Indigenous literature class would like for more Canadians to learn about Indigenous history in Canada.“I think if everyone had this knowledge at a young age, there wouldn’t be any adults like there were in first contact,” said Azan Mubasher, a grade 11 student at Hillcrest High School.Students are hopeful with the Indigenous history they’ve been learning about in Schwartz class.“Knowledge is key and right now we’re taught an in depth knowledge of Aboriginal history, that personally I never knew of,”  Bassant Mohamed said. “It’s definitely going to shift dynamics.”Schwartz hopes the Senate report can be used widely by educators in Canada and is confident her students will create positive change.“When I was reading it (the senate report,) I actually wrote a note to myself that Murray Sinclair had said a couple years ago about education getting us into this problem and education is what’s going to get us out,” she said.“Because I see the education getting us out.”abernard@aptn.calast_img read more

Walmart ends involvement in program for people with intellectual disabilities

first_imgMONTREAL – Walmart Canada has confirmed it is ending its involvement with a Quebec program that provides job training to people with intellectual disabilities and those on the autism spectrum.Company spokesperson Anika Malik confirmed in an email Friday that the program, which was in place in several stores, will be phased out in the coming weeks.“We are pleased to have been able to collaborate over the years with these organizations and to allow program participants to gain new knowledge and opportunities to grow,” she said.“However, after analysis, we had to make the difficult decision to terminate Walmart’s partnership in the professional training program.”She said the decision was made after a review that took into account legislative changes and Walmart’s own policies.Walmart has been facing criticism over the decision since a health agency in the Mauricie region alerted the media to the job losses.While some social media users and organizations representing people with disabilities have denounced the company, others have said it should be commended for having participated for so many years.Malik insisted the decision did not amount to firing the employees, even though they are losing their positions.“These people participated in a voluntary program coordinated by local agencies who partnered with our stores to provide an environment in which they could get involved,” she said.The company would not confirm how many people will be affected by the change.last_img read more