The GSK share price is up 14% in 3 months. Can it keep rising?

first_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. What next for GSK?Fortunately, the shares have since rebounded and closed at 1,353.2p on Wednesday. That’s an increase of over 160p — almost a seventh (13.6%) — in three months. As a long-suffering shareholder, I’m pleased that the GSK share price has bottomed out and bounced back. But what might keep this recent price momentum going?First, GSK needs to reverse the multi-year decline in revenues (down 2% in 2020). With 20 assets in late-stage development, there may be progress in this direction in 2022/23. Second, shareholders would welcome higher earnings per share (EPS). In 2020, adjusted EPS of 115.9p were down 6%, but EPS are also expected to fall in 2021. Of course, declining EPS would usually translate into a lower GSK share price, all else being equal.Third, it would be good to have stronger guidance on the yearly cash dividend of 80p per share. Currently, GSK’s dividend yield is a generous 5.9%, more than two percentage points higher than the FTSE 100’s. But shareholders have already been warned by CEO Emma Walmsley to expect a dividend cut when GSK breaks into two groups (BioPharma and Consumer Healthcare) in 2022. A clearer message on expected future dividends might support and sustain a higher GSK share price.Finally, it might well be time for change at the top. The CEO has sat in the top seat since April 2017, more than four years. I know dozens of GSK insiders feel that it’s time for a new hand on the tiller. Or perhaps a takeover at a premium price might be the best outcome for shareholders and the GSK share price? For now, I’ll just have to wait and see. We think that when a company’s CEO owns 12.1% of its stock, that’s usually a very good sign.But with this opportunity it could get even better.Still only 55 years old, he sees the chance for a new “Uber-style” technology.And this is not a tiny tech startup full of empty promises.This extraordinary company is already one of the largest in its industry.Last year, revenues hit a whopping £1.132 billion.The board recently announced a 10% dividend hike.And it has been a superb Motley Fool income pick for 9 years running!But even so, we believe there could still be huge upside ahead.Clearly, this company’s founder and CEO agrees. Cliff D’Arcy | Thursday, 27th May, 2021 | More on: GSK The Motley Fool UK’s Top Income Stock… Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image: GlaxoSmithKline Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Enter Your Email Address The GSK share price is up 14% in 3 months. Can it keep rising? Learn how you can grab this ‘Top Income Stock’ Report now With a market value of £68bn, GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) is one of the FTSE 100 index’s largest members. Today, it’s the Footsie’s seventh-largest constituent. However, unlike many other blue-chip shares, the GSK share price has declined during 2020/21. Currently, it stands almost £5 below its January 2020 peak. Recently, the shares have bounced back from their 2021 low. So what might give this sickly stock a further shot in the arm?The GSK share price divesThe GSK share price was riding high 14 months ago. On 17 January 2020, it hit its 2020 closing high of 1,846p. A week later, on 24 January, it hit an intra-day high of 1,857p. But it’s been pretty much all downhill since. Despite being the world’s #1 vaccine manufacturer, GSK fell behind its ‘Big Pharma’ rivals in bringing a Covid-19 vaccine to market. Thus, it was well behind the curve when news of several effective vaccines arrived in early November.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…As well as missing the boat on Covid-19 inoculations, GSK’s yearly revenues have shrunk in recent years. With blockbuster drugs and treatments coming off patent, it desperately needs novel drugs and vaccines to inject new life into the business. Hence, the GSK share price saw some fairly steep falls in 2020/21, as disappointed shareholders sold out and moved on.On Meltdown Monday (23 March 2020), the GSK share price closed at 1,374.6p, down more than 470p in two months. That collapse of more than a quarter (25.5%) was a harder fall than for the wider FTSE 100. However, by 27 April, the shares had come roaring back, closing at 1,703p. Unfortunately, over the next 10 months, the stock slumped. Three months ago, on 26 February, GSK stock hit its 2021 closing low of 1,190.8p. Cliffdarcy owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. See all posts by Cliff D’Arcylast_img read more

Romania’s mandatory pension funds manage 3.7% return

first_imgSecond-pillar membership over the year grew by 4.2% to 6.56m, and net assets by 29.1% in Romania leu terms to RON24.7bn (€5.5bn).The contribution rate, which remained unchanged at 5% of gross wages, rose to 5.1% in 2016.Investment remained primarily domestic.There were minor shifts in asset allocation, with the share of government bonds falling by 2.1 percentage points to 65.9%.Investment in municipal, supranational and corporate bonds also declined.Meanwhile, the share of listed equities grew by 0.2 percentage points to 19.2%, that of cash and deposits by 1.1 percentage points 6.5%, and that of mutual funds by 0.5 percentage points to 3.7%.Bobocea told IPE asset picking rather than asset allocation could explain why the funds avoided year-end negative returns.The 10 voluntary third-pillar funds told a similar story, with the annual return falling from 7.45% to 2.54%.Membership grew by 10.4% to 382,318 and assets by 20.4% to RON1.3bn.The investment profile was similar to that of the second pillar – government bonds accounted for 64.9% of the total, other bonds 8.5%, listed equities 19.3% and cash and deposits 4.5%. Romania’s mandatory second-pillar pension funds, as elsewhere in the region, generated lower returns in 2015, although all seven funds managed to produce positive results.According to the Romanian Pension Funds’ Association (APAPR), the annual average weighted returns of the second-pillar funds fell to 3.68%, from 8.71% a year earlier.Mihai Bobocea, adviser to the APAPR board, attributed the fall to a “historically low interest-rate environment and stagnating stock exchange quotations”.In 2015, the turnover of listed companies on the Bucharest Stock Exchange declined by 23% year on year in local currency terms, and there was a dearth of IPOs compared with 2014.last_img read more

Brisbane to lead the nation in house price growth as property market finally heats up

first_imgAnalysts are forecasting big things for Brisbane’s housing market. Photo: Jodie Richter.That’s a phenomenal improvement for a city that saw just 0.3 per cent growth in home values in the past 12 months, according to property researcher CoreLogic.The sunshine state is finally starting to see a boost in interstate migration — particularly from New South Wales — with prospective buyers lured by its comparative affordability.The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Brisbane had the highest internal migration rate of any Australian city during 2016-17, with 10,500 Sydneysiders and more than 6400 Melburnians making the move here. 10 PRICIEST SUBURBS TO RENT IN QLD BIS expects Brisbane house prices to grow around the level of inflation (2—3 per cent per annum) to 2019/20, before stronger growth of six per cent is forecast in 2020/21. “Some green shoots look like they are starting to emerge in the Brisbane market,” BIS senior manager Angie Zigomanis said.“However, any upturn is likely to be delayed until economic conditions pick up and excess stock is further absorbed.” Brisbane house price growth is set to lead the nation in three years, according to BIS Oxford Economics. Picture: Richard Walker.‘PATCHY’, ‘flat’, ‘tepid’ — these are just some of the less than flattering buzz words used to describe Brisbane’s housing market in recent years.How does ‘hot’ sound instead?While the powerhouse property markets of Sydney and Melbourne have been basking in the glory of unsustainable house price growth, the Queensland capital has been waiting calmly in the shadows for its time to shine.And that time has come. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Analysts are forecasting big things for Brisbane’s residential property market, thanks to a slowdown in construction coupled with a boost in interstate migration and economic growth. In its latest report, industry forecaster BIS Oxford Economics predicts Brisbane will experience the highest house price growth of all capital cities over the next three years — jumping 13 per cent, or $70,000, to a median of $620,000. A house for sale in the Brisbane suburb of Stafford. Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoSome areas are set to perform better than others, with the latest CoreLogic-Moody’s Analytics report forecasting a rise in home values in Brisbane’s inner and west markets and a modest decline in the southern suburbs of Carindale, Holland Park and Sunnybank, where values have already run hard — up 40 per cent since mid 2012. MILLIONS CHANGE HANDS DURING HUGE AUCTION WEEK CoreLogic found Brisbane’s middle valued suburbs recorded the strongest growth in the 12 months to March this year, while local prestige real estate agents say 2017/18 has been one of their strongest years ever when it comes to the top end of the market.They’ve noticed more properties selling above $4 million, as Sydney and Melbourne buyers recognise they can get a lot more bang for their buck in Brisbane.center_img This home in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot just sold for $4.25m.BIS Oxford Economic’s analysis follows reports last week where ANZ, Macquarie Securities and UBS issued favourable assessments of the Brisbane residential market, while the global ratings agency Moody’s Analytics declared the worst was over for Brisbane home values.ANZ sent east coast homeowners into a panic last week when it predicted Sydney and Melbourne house prices would likely slump 10 per cent, but it had no such bad news for Brisbane. WHAT QUEENSLANDERS WANT IN A HOME ANZ senior economist Daniel Gradwell said Brisbane’s improving economy and population growth would keep it “insulated” from the impending property correction in its neighbouring cities.“We’re seeing demand is picking up now because Brisbane and the rest of Queensland’s population growth is really improving and confidence is pretty strong and that’s likely to accelerate,” Mr Gradwell said.In good new for property investors, rental vacancy rates are also declining, marking a significant turnaround in Brisbane’s rental market.“We believe that a rise in interstate migration is lifting population growth rates in Brisbane plus the peak in unit completions is creating this turnaround,” SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said.Both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have experienced significantly stronger house price growth than Brisbane since 2012, according to BIS Oxford Economics.That price growth is expected to slow due to rising supply, but BIS still expects house prices to increase another 6 per cent in both markets by 2021.It appears the downturn has finally stabilised in the wake of the mining boom in Townsville, with the median house price on track to rise by 9 per cent over the next three years thanks to an improving unemployment rate and rising tourism arrivals.The Cairns market looks to be running out of steam after steady price growth to 2017, with price growth set to remain flat in the near term.last_img read more

Incomplete journey

first_imgAs I sat marooned by almost as much snow that fell upon Pittsburgh during the blizzard of ‘93, I was certainly not “grooving last Saturday afternoon.” I have come to the realization that in spite of the fact that Barack Obama and first lady Michelle currently occupy the big house, oops I meant White House, my vision is still a tad blurry as I began to calculate the gains that African-Americans have made over the past five decades. The present and the future became clearer and though it may not be what I want it to be, nonetheless, it is what it is. I instantly became humbled and I consider it as one of my many blessings to be a part of the sports writing and reporting lineage of the New Pittsburgh Courier, especially during this, our centennial year. I think about Bill Nunn, the legendary journalist and NFL scout who entered the newspaper business as a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Courier and later rose to sports editor and finally our managing editor. He took the Courier’s Black College All-American team to another level before he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers’ scouting staff part time in 1967 and then full time in 1969. He became a liaison between the Steelers and historically Black Colleges and universities.  After earning five Super Bowl Rings, Bill Nunn is among the most legendary NFL scouts of all time but he still makes time for me. Whenever I telephone him and he says, “son what are you up to,” it never gets old. Chills still run up and down my spine.I also reflected on the late Myron Cope, who wrote a column for the Courier. Myron introduced me to Charles Henry (Chuck) Noll, the Emperor.However, during that blizzard-like day I also reminisced about the Dec. 20 Steelers/Packers game at Heinz Field where I had an unofficial head count of about 14 faces of color (excluding scouts) that graced press row. Overall, there were no more than twenty Blacks seated in a press box that has the capacity to hold in excess of 150 bodies. That memory was not as pleasant.Initially, I thought I might have been hallucinating but the 2006 racial and gender report card of the Associated Press Sports Editors, compiled by the University of South Florida, has an even bleaker statistical view of the situation than my personal experiences can convey. The report states that, White men and women comprised 88 percent of the total staffs of all APSE member newspapers; African-Americans held 6.2 percent, Latinos 3.6 percent, Asians 1.3 percent, and “other” people of color less than 1 percent.Women made up 12.6 percent of total staffs of APSE member newspapers. 94.7 percent of APSE sports editors were White while 90.0 percent were white males; African-Americans held only 1.6 percent; Latinos 2.8 percent and “others” less than 1 percent. There were no Asian sports editors. Whites held 86.9 percent of the assistant sports editor posts in the survey, while people of color made up 13.1 percent. African-Americans were 5.3 percent, Latinos 5.5 percent, Asians 1.6 percent, and other people of color 0.8 percent. Talk about an “ole boys club.” Maybe the Associated Press should be renamed the APP, (All Pals Press) not to be confused with AWB, (Average White Band).The racial makeup of the NFL is more than 75 percent African-American and the Black athletes in the NBA exceed 80 percent. Even when we figure in the coverage of the predominately White NHL and the numbers of Latinos’ and Whites who comprise the majority in MLB, there still remains an unacceptable racial gap when it comes to sports reporting in America.Charles Hallman of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder quotes Bill Rhoden, the New York Times sports columnist as saying, “Until a year ago [2008] I was the only African-American on the sports staff at the New York Times. What you see on press row in 2009 is not too much different than what you saw on press row in 1963.” Dr. Harry Edwards, University of California-Berkeley professor emeritus says that the media row at sporting events such as the NCAA Championships “is still the most segregated area in sports.”The most common excuse that I get when credentials are denied to me is, “sorry you don’t write for a daily.” Well there doesn’t seem to be much room for me, especially when White men and women hold 88 percent of the total slots of all APSE member newspapers. Now I am not a hater when it comes to my European colleagues being employed, but talk about reverse affirmative action gone wild. Whew, you be the judge. After running around the block I have returned to my nice warm dining room, still stranded, not by all of the snow that has fallen, but slowed by “the albatross of reality” that is giving me neck pain just because of having to endure the daily “snow jobs” that I and the majority of African-American sports writers are forced to face when applying for credentials to any sporting event.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected])last_img read more

Broncos a pick-your-poison team in Super Bowl

first_imgDenver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning talks with reporters during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo)EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Denver was walloped 40-10 by Seattle in the preseason with Ronnie Hillman fumbling, Montee Ball stumbling and Peyton Manning grumbling.The Broncos are a much different team now, one that should return to Colorado on Tuesday for a victory parade clutching their third Lombardi Trophy.Chewed out by boss John Elway after that spectacle in Seattle last summer, the Broncos responded with a season for the ages, scoring more points than any team in NFL history (606) with Manning throwing for more touchdowns (55) and yards (5,447) than anyone ever had.They’re not always the prettiest of passes, as Seahawks star talker and cornerback Richard Sherman pointed out, but Manning’s always won with his brain, not his arm.Manning didn’t disagree with Sherman’s assessment that he “throws ducks.”“I do throw ducks,” he said. “I throw for a lot of yards and TD ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.”Manning’s “Duck Dynasty” consists of an unprecedented five players who caught 60 or more passes and scored 10 or more touchdowns: Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno.This could be the difference Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, where the forecast isn’t for weather as frigid as so many feared.The Broncos boast enough pick-your-poison talent in their five-receiver sets to befuddle even the stingiest of secondaries like Seattle’s. Including the playoffs, Manning has thrown for an astonishing 59 touchdowns this season.“I think they had a heck of a season,” Sherman said. “I don’t know if they’re going to score 59 touchdowns in one game. I think that would be a record, too. … We’ve got our own accolades and awards and none of it means anything when you get between those lines.”No, what matters is execution and Manning has had his team on a no-nonsense mission for months and he’s only ratcheted up his focus and his dogged determination during preparations for the biggest game of his stellar career.Manning is the only player in this game who’s won a Super Bowl, and his top target Sunday could even be Jacob Tamme or Bubba Caldwell. He doesn’t discriminate, he distributes. He doesn’t often get duped. He deciphers. He doesn’t force passes, he finds the best matchup.And he’s got time to do it because the Broncos added size and strength to the middle of their line with the addition of right guard Louis Vasquez (6-5, 335 pounds), which moved Manny Ramirez (6-3, 320) to center next to left guard Zane Beadles (6-4, 305).They gave Manning the room to step into all those throws and he’s also quick enough in his recognition and release to usually avoid the edge rushers who might get past tackles Chris Clark or Orlando Franklin.The line’s also opened enough holes for Knowshon Moreno to capitalize on soft underneath coverages to amass 1,761 yards from scrimmage, rendering Ball a fresh-legged cohort and Hillman an afterthought.Ball famously whiffed on Seahawks blitzing linebacker Bobby Wagner in the preseason and Manning had to peel himself off the ground. That ruined his chances of winning the starting job in the Broncos backfield. And Hillman’s fumble at the goal line in that game, which Brandon Browner returned 106 yards for a Seattle score, opened the door for Moreno to become the featured back.Moreno picked up the blitzes and the first downs all season, providing balance to the Broncos’ aerial fireworks.Even though star left tackle Ryan Clady was lost for the season with a foot injury in September, Manning’s jersey hardly needed the laundry as he was sacked an average of just 1.11 times a game, the lowest takedown rate of any quarterback who started all of his team’s games.Even when they stall they don’t usually have to call upon Britton Colquitt, who’s punted just once in the last month, because the Broncos have the strongest, most accurate long-range kicker in football, Matt Prater, who kicked a record 64-yarder in icy conditions in Denver last month.Prater’s 170 points have helped Manning’s prolific offense make up for a defense that lost Von Miller and four other starters but came together down the stretch behind backups and Elway’s free agent jackpot of Terrance Knighton, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Shaun Phillips, Paris Lenon and Jeremy Mincey.Champ Bailey missed much of the season with a foot injury but he’s coming off his best game and playing in his first Super Bowl in his 15-year career.“Things do take time, and I finally got with the right group of guys,” Bailey said. “I played with some great players, but this is definitely the best team I’ve been on.”PREDICTION: Broncos 27, Seahawks 23___AP NFL website:  www.pro32.ap.org___Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapletonlast_img read more

Summer’s Not Over Yet: Beaches Open, Events Planned

first_imgBy Liz Sheehan |The tourists are mostly gone, but Two River area residents can still savor summer this weekend at fairs, beach events, moonlit walks, tours, and a swim at a lifeguarded beach.The annual Monmouth Beach Firemen’s Fair will be held for its 70th year, according to Mayor Sue Howard. The fair, once held behind the firehouse in the town, has relocated to the parking lot of the Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion on Ocean Avenue and will run from Thursday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 10, with a fireworks display on Saturday at dusk.The fair will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 5 to 10 p.m. on Sunday.There will be rides and games for all, as well as lobster dinners, steamers, sausage and pepper sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, and a wine and beer garden. Live entertainment will feature Pam McCoy & Friends on Thursday, West End Dogs on Friday, the Sundries on Saturday and Pez Head on Sunday.On Saturday, Sept. 9, Jersey Shore Skim Camp will host the Sea Bright Skim Bash from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the municipal beach behind Borough Hall. The event is held twice a year in the borough, in June and September. Participants include both professionals and amateurs.There is no fee for spectators, but competitors who register for the event pay $20 for Jersey Shore Skim Camp members, $35 for amateurs, $50 for semi-professionals and $100 for professionals. Sean Stratton, a staff member of the Jersey Shore Skim Camp said the sport is international with participants from countries including the United States, Mexico, Spain and Chile.A little farther north, Gateway National Recreation Area, will hold multiple activities.On Friday, Sept. 8, there will be a Harvest Moon Walk from 7 to 8:30 p.m. beginning at the U.S. Life-Saving Parking Lot between lots D and E. Call 732-872-5970 for reservations.On Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Horseshoe Cove Parking Lot L, there will be guided tours of the Nike Missile Radar Site, a one-time top secret missile site from the Cold War era. Some of the veterans who worked on the Nike system will be there to meet and educate the public. These tours will also be held on Sept. 17, Oct. 7, 15 and 29 and Nov. 4 and 11 at the same time.Lighthouse Tours will continue from 1 to 4:30 p.m. until Oct. 31, while daily tours at History House, Building 1, in Officers Row, a home furnished in WWII-era style will be held from 1 to 5 p.m.Free yoga on the beach will take place every Saturday in September from 9 to 10 a.m. at Lot E Beach.Some beaches will be open with lifeguards this weekend. Monmouth County’s Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch will be fee-free on Sept. 9 and 10. Lifeguards will be at the beach from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Sandy Hook will have lifeguards on the beach but not on lifeguard chairs on the weekend, Daphne Yun, acting public affairs officer for the National Parks Service, said Tuesday. Beachgoers are encouraged not to swim, she said, but would not be prevented from doing so.The Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion will be open on Sept. 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a $9 daily fee for those 12 and over for the beach. Lifeguards will be on the beach there until 5:30 p.m.This article was first published in the Sept. 7-14, 2017 print edition of the Two River Times.last_img read more

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