No major policy changes: Zuma

first_imgSAinfo reporter and BuaNews “There is therefore no reason why the domestic or international business community – or any other sector – should be uneasy.” Meeting with various business groupings at home and abroad in the lead-up to the ANC’s national conference in Polokwane in December, Zuma made it clear that South Africa needed more foreign and domestic investment, and urging the domestic business community to invest in the economy in order to encourage its international counterparts to do the same. “While encouraging the creation of a conducive environment for investment, we remain cautious not to compromise the national democratic revolution, which is our guiding philosophy in policy formulation and implementation,” Zuma said. 22 September 2008 According to, Zuma said that South Africa’s Cabinet ministers had so far given the party assurances that they would not resign before the 2009 general elections. “Our alliance partners [the Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party] are key stakeholders in policy development and implementation. We will be able to continue to work together as a community, business and labour, to find workable solutions.” This is not the first time that Zuma has sought to allay investors’ fears over the coming change in South Africa’s government. Mbeki announced his decision on Sunday, after being asked to resign by national executive committee of the ruling ANC. He will remain in office until the National Assembly accepts his resignation and determines the date of his departure. ‘Unlikely to rattle local markets’ “The world itself is facing an uncertain future . so it’s going to be a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude amongst investors for the moment,” Weimar said. And in his first public address as ANC president at Polokwane, Zuma said that ANC policies, “including economic policies that have been adopted at this conference, do not indicate a fundamental shift from the policies that the ANC has adopted since it has come into power. Global markets have undergone a period of carnage in the last year, she said, and South Africa has not been spared from this either. The world economy was in the worst shape it had been in since the Wall Street crash of 1929, known as the Great Depression. “There has been no real reaction and very little response on the markets at the moment . I suppose it’s because the markets expected the change,” Weimar said. Leadership change expected Lamberti added that the peaceful manner in which Mbeki was recalled by the ANC also allayed investors’ fears, as the decision was done in a respectful manner within the institutional structures of the ANC. “The implications for South African markets of the rescue package in the US will be bigger than the impact of Mbeki’s departure,” Business Day reports Citigroup economist Jean Francois Mercier as saying.center_img “The next 12 months will be very interesting .foreign investors know what’s going on in South Africa and have a good understanding of the political situation,” Lamberti said. “Leadership change was expected in South Africa within the next seven or eight months anyway, so although the speed of change came as a surprise, investors expected the change,” he said. In addition, the paper says that what financial markets hate the most is uncertainty, and there was now no case for anxiety over a mismatch between the two “centres of power” held by Mbeki and Zuma. ‘South Africa needs more investment’ Nedbank economist Nicky Weimar told BuaNews calm seemed to be prevailing on the markets, as the news came in the wake of a fairly stormy week on global markets. Business Day, meanwhile, reports that Mbeki’s resignation is unlikely to rattle local markets for a number of reasons, including that Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has indicated that he will not resign, nor have there been calls for him to do so; and that local markets are still more worried about the global financial crisis. Econometrix Treasury Management economist Russell Lamberti told BuaNews that while there was a potential for political instability should a leadership vaccum develop, this was being countered by investors being distracted by the US government’s proposed US$700-billion (about R5.5-trillion) bail-out of American companies struggling with bad debt, and the fact that a change in leadership was already expected. Wait-and-see At a press conference in Cape Town on Monday, Zuma said there was no reason for South Africans or overseas investors to be apprehensive. “We will do all in our power to ensure stability is maintained in [the] government and in service delivery,” reports Zuma as saying. He further stressed that South Africa’s economic policies would remain “stable, progressive and unchanged”. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material He also believed that Mbeki’s resignation would be good test of just how stable South Africa’s institutions were, and whether or not the government, in its entirety, was able to function without a designated leader. At the same time, Zuma told the conference delegates that the ANC remained fully committed to black economic empowerment as a means of increasing participation in the economy. “They may underperform a little bit, but I don’t think domestic political news will push markets down.” African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma has moved to reassure investors following Thabo Mbeki’s resignation as President of South Africa.last_img read more

It’s Time to Kick It Up a Notch — Apollos pool with the million dollar view (GC13VNK) —Geocache of the Week

first_imgPart of what makes geocaching so great is the variety of ways to play. As you’ve probably seen in past Geocache of the Week posts, some geocaches are incredible and creative containers, some are epic puzzles, and some—like this week’s—are arduous journeys with big rewards.The pool and the view. Careful, there’s a 200 foot drop off that ledge. Photo by geocacher stretch.kerrAs you might gather from the title, Apollos pool with the million dollar view (GC13VNK) is all about the amazing vista at ground zero. However, to make it to the final location and earn your smiley, you’re going to have to negotiate 4.5 difficulty and terrain ratings. The geocache owner, glyn(the only one), said “The place of the cache was suggested by a good friend of mine Alex who lives close by. He suggested that this would the “ultimate” geocache, given the isolation, difficulty and the stunning place to visit…It’s a real mission to get in and out, hence the difficulty rating.” He goes on to say, “I have a creative streak and want visitors to enjoy my creations or discover the places that I have found in the same way I’ve been enjoying others in lots of locations here and overseas.”Despite the difficulty, the payoff is totally worth it. If the photos aren’t enough proof, just read some of the Found It logs. Geocacher -OGP- said, “One solid bush bash of a slog that took us to a spectacular place. It’s that much more fun with a good group. As the bush was drawing evermore blood I had to keep reminding myself this is fun and part of the adventure. The pool dropoff and view are worth every bit.”When you find the geocache, don’t forget to celebrate. Photo by geocacher keeweechrisAnother awesome part of this geocache is the owner’s dedication to keeping it maintained. He says, “Our local cachers are good at helping maintaining caches and this helps me out. I also spend more time in maintenance than in finding caches myself.” And of course, the positive logs and favorite points help keep him motivated, “I guess I “feed” on the comments that I get back, drives me on.”Some finds are worth celebrating. What’s your favorite (family-friendly) way to celebrate completing a geocaching adventure? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.The pool and the view, again. Photo by geocacher Rumo and Rala Share with your Friends:More SharePrint Related[Chrismod75] US Army base (GC3J2M4) — Geocache of the WeekJuly 23, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Post-Apocalyptic geocaching — Red Sands Fort (GC1DVNY) — Geocache of the WeekJune 11, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”350 miles, all for a smiley. — Munich – Venice (GC1FPN1) — Geocache of the WeekJune 12, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

Stupid Multifamily Construction Tricks

first_imgDamp-spray cellulose insulation is easily dislodgedOne recent project used blown cellulose in walls between units and unconditioned corridors (yes, we can do that in the South). In this particular installation, they installed a wet-spray application, leaving the insulation exposed until drywall was installed. We find that this application is very prone to damage, frequently seeing large sections of insulation falling out or being knocked out by other trades, particularly the drywall loaders and installers. We are coming to the conclusion that all blown wall insulation, except spray foam, should use netting to keep it in place without any damage.One more strange detail was the installation of batts in rim joists before ceilings between floors were to be filled with blown fiberglass. The batts were not carefully cut, leaving gaps between the sheathing and the insulation. Had they not installed them at all, the blown insulation would have filled everything nicely. The wall crews were either instructed to insulate — or, trying to be conscientious, just decided to insulate — the rims. Little thought is given to the decisions made in the field, and in design and specification, to make sure the building envelope is high quality. Let’s not forget that inspectors can also cause some problemsAnother wacky detail was created by the fire inspector on one recent project. As mentioned above, the flat roof was filled with blown fiberglass, to a depth of about 36 inches, with fire sprinklers just above the bottom truss chord. The inspector required the contractor to “tent” all the sprinkler pipes with polyethylene, creating a vapor barrier in the middle of an insulated ceiling, and required them to leave all the space under the poly uninsulated to allow room heat to flow up to the pipes to keep them from freezing.My partner, Abe Kruger, wrote an article on this subject in Home Energy magazine a few years ago. This seems to be a case where the code has not kept up with building science. It seems very unlikely that pipes in Georgia would freeze below about R-60 of insulation, and this application leaves large gaps between the drywall and insulation, again violating the key rule of building envelopes. Interestingly, another project in the same city with the same insulation detail was not required to tent the sprinklers. Blown-in is better but still has its problemsOne popular technique we have seen recently involves blowing the attic under a flat roof full with cellulose or fiberglass. This is far superior to using batts in ceilings, but does still have its issues. Some of the problems with this design are due to the difficulty of filling a 3 foot tall space tightly with insulation — you can only get so far into the space with a hose before you run out of room. The insulation often doesn’t go quite to the roof deck, leaving a small- to medium-size air space. We are not sure of the long-term implications of this, particularly since there is usually rigid insulation on top of the roof deck, but it does leave some gaps in areas such as shafts that need extra attention.Another problem we see with blown ceilings is the use of metal channels below the framing to level out the drywall and avoid any bowing between trusses. This leaves an air gap between the insulation and the drywall, violating one of the key principles of the building envelope: insulation must be in continuous contact with the air barrier. Multifamily Green Building Certification Still Has IssuesPondering the Sorry State of Green BuildingWhat Were They Thinking?Seeking the Elusive Grade 1 Batt InstallationBatt Insulation is Still Making Me BattyInstalling Fiberglass RightShould Batt Insulation Be Outlawed?Grading the Installation Quality of InsulationQuestions and Answers About Air Barriers Marking up the plansOur first task when signing up to provide certification work for a multifamily client is to review the plans, identify building envelope issues, and communicate these issues to the entire team through marked-up plan details. If we’re lucky, we catch most of them before we get on the job site.If we’re very lucky, someone pays attention to my markups and actually figures out how to resolve the problems. Unfortunately, we haven’t been very lucky recently. Air barrier defectsThere are design details that require sheathing walls with drywall for fire ratings before insulation can be installed, since there is no roof on the building. Buildings are designed with all sorts of chases without noting on the plans that they must be insulated and sheathed with an air barrier. Issues such as these are often missed in both design and estimating, ultimately filtering down to the field where the some of the lowest-paid workers — workers who don’t get to sit in a nice comfy office — are left to figure out how to resolve them. RELATED ARTICLES center_img Then there’s the not-infrequent situation where air barriers that are shown in plans are not installed in the field. On one recent project inspection, we discovered that exterior sheathing shown on the drawings between a framed wall and a concrete garage wall was not installed. It was a challenge, but they managed to get it installed before insulation. Does insulation pricing, grading, and installation exist in parallel universes?On all our projects, we schedule a pre-insulation meeting with the contractor and insulation subcontractor. We specifically request that installers attend this meeting to go over proper installation techniques; however, the installers are rarely there. The insulation supervisors promise us that they are capable of Grade 1 installation and agree to all our requirements for doing so.When we are called out for our first pre-drywall inspections, inevitably no one has communicated the grading requirements to the installers, who, typically paid by the piece, are stuffing and jamming as fast as they can. Then they have to come back and redo most or all of their work. We don’t blame them for the problems, as expectations are rarely set with them in advance.We also strongly recommend that installers use blown in cellulose, fiberglass, or foam in stud cavities that are packed with pipes and wires, as it is almost impossible to meet Grade 1 in these areas. This suggestion is usually ignored, and only sometimes followed after numerous reinspections of the same areas. Although I spent most of my construction career working on single-family homes, the primary subject of this great website, I find that my current work involves primarily multifamily projects — mostly low-rise and mid-rise apartments that are seeking green building certification.In these projects, my partner and I continue to see both new and recurring problems that are not resolved in the design phase, only to be pushed down to the field to be figured out — on a tight budget, in a hurry, and often in the cold or rain. Making slow progressOn some projects, the superintendants actually pre-check the insulation and air sealing before we inspect, making sure the work meets the required grade. We do appreciate the effort they make to do this.Unfortunately, on many projects they leave all the quality control to us, requiring multiple return trips on the same job, and often the same floor of a building, to confirm the insulation meets the required insulation grade. Field supervisors need to understand how to critique the installation. Some are getting there, but we are still coming out and finding installations that you can practically tell from across the street are not adequate.We continue to educate, and hope that our message is heard.last_img read more

Women’s wrestling in America brings to India three-time world champion Lisa Moretti

first_imgWomen’s wrestling in America, which has always been proclaimed by organisers as a straightforward triumph of sinew over smut, now brings to India the 5 ft, 5 in powerhouse Lisa Moretti, a.k.a. Ivory, a three-time world champion whose favourite reiteration is, “I am a real woman”.The 40-year-old was a student,Women’s wrestling in America, which has always been proclaimed by organisers as a straightforward triumph of sinew over smut, now brings to India the 5 ft, 5 in powerhouse Lisa Moretti, a.k.a. Ivory, a three-time world champion whose favourite reiteration is, “I am a real woman”.The 40-year-old was a student of public relations, a cheerleader and a Hollywood stunt woman before she got her first break – most likely of her opponent’s femur.Now she’s already a huge draw in India, and according to a Ten Sports survey, about 30 per cent of WWE fans are women.The tickets, hopefully, will carry a warning not to try the stunts at home.last_img read more