Blatter faces judgement by FIFA ethics court ZURICH (AP): In the waning days of his presidency, Sepp Blatter attempted to save his job yesterday at the FIFA ethics committee that he helped create and whose authority he does not recognise in his case. The suspended FIFA president had been expected to tell four judges that he is innocent of wrongdoing during the hearing at the headquarters of soccer’s governing body, the first time Blatter has entered the building since he was banned for 90 days in October. “Blatter looks forward to a decision in his favour because the evidence requires it,” Blatter’s lawyer, Richard Cullen, said in a statement after the hearing. “The evidence demonstrates that president Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA’s Code of Ethics. This investigation should be closed and the suspension lifted.” With a large bandage on his face, Blatter arrived at FIFA headquarters shortly after 8 a.m. local time in a chauffeur-driven car for a hearing that was scheduled to start at 9 a.m. A spokesman for Blatter, Thomas Renggli, said the Swiss official has had a minor procedure to treat a skin problem on his right cheek. At 5 p.m., Blatter and lead lawyer Lorenz Erni drove away from the building without making any comment. Suarez hat-trick sends Barcelona into final YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP): Luis Suarez made up for the absence of a sick Lionel Messi and injured Neymar, scoring a hat-trick on Thursday as Barcelona beat Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 to advance to the final of the Club World Cup. Suarez put Barcelona ahead just before half-time, hammering in a rebound off Ivan Rakitic’s long-range effort that was parried by Guangzhou goalkeeper Li Shuai. The striker made it 2-0 five minutes after the break when he controlled a pass from Andres Iniesta off his chest and beat Li with a right-footed volley. He put the result beyond doubt with a penalty kick after Huang Bowen took down Munir El Haddadi in the area. Barcelona will face South American champions River Plate in the final on Sunday. Ukrainian club Dnipro faces European ban NYON, Switzerland (AP): UEFA says Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, last season’s Europa League runner-up, faces being banned from playing in Europe unless $1.9 million in overdue payments are settled by next month. The Ukrainian club owes $910,000 to other clubs and $980,000 to staff. Dnipro have until January 31 to make the payments or UEFA will ban the club from the next European competition that they qualify for in the next three seasons. The club has been affected by the political and economic turbulence that has rocked Ukraine.
No-confidence casesAs day two of the arguments on the validity of the No-confidence Motion was heard before the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, Attorney Anil Nandlall submitted that the judges ignore applications made to extend the life of the coalition Government.Nandlall, who is representing Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo in the matter, in his submissions to the court stated that if the honourable judges grants the extension being sought by the Government then they will be directly interfering in the work of the National Assembly, a separate branch of Government, and the political landscape of the country.“If your honours are to accede to such a request, your honours would be falling into conflict with the separation of powers doctrine,” he said in while outlining that the framers of the Guyana Constitution clearly resided that power of extension beyond that three months, by not putting it in the Judiciary.“And that your honour is not coincidental… is not an omission but it placed it in the National Assembly. They put it in the Legislature because it is a political issue and the court must not be dragged into solving political matters that politicians can’t solve. And that’s part of the problem in this case,” he added.Nandlall submitted that the Constitution makes provision for the eventuality that the three months is passed based on a no-confidence vote that the Government and the Opposition should sit down and find a solution by a two-thirds vote in the National Assembly to extend the life of Government.But now with just a few days left before the March 21 deadline for the constitutionally date for election, the attorney said it is clear that that cannot be solved. “There is a political impasse that the politicians cannot overcome. They are trying to drag the honourable Speaker (Dr Barton Scotland)…but with great tenacity he sidestepped. And now the Judiciary is left to fetch this horrible burden.”During his arguments, the former Attorney General told the court that Cabinet and Government are two distinct groups. And in the case where a no-confidence motion is passed successfully, the President and the Ministers must remain in office until elections are held and a new President is sworn in. However, the Cabinet and the President must resign immediately after a no-confidence motion is passed.GECOMAs it relates to the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) role in this matter, Nandlall argued that based on the Constitution, the Commission must always be ready for an election. “It’s a universal position…It is presumed to be ready…GECOM must always be ready,” he stated.The attorney also criticised the move made by the Government team to advocate for GECOM to be given time. “No way in the Constitution provides a consultation before an election,” he said, explaining that GECOM is an independent agency. He asserted that Attorney General (Basil Williams) nor Government have any neither place nor authority to direct or consult with GECOM on elections.Further, Nandlall also accused Williams of trying to create panic when he entered in his arguments that finances totalling $3 billion for the holding of elections can only be granted based on the approval of Cabinet and the National Assembly. Instead, he told the court that the Constitution allows for the finances to be drawn from the Contingency Fund which allows for access for urgent need for expenditure.“If GECOM determines that it needs financial aid to access that…by the Contingency Fund and where the advance is made, as soon as practical a statement to that effect shall be laid in the Parliament so in the next life of Parliament that person (next Finance Minister) will lay it in the House which was accessed from the Fund for GECOM if that is the situation. There is no need to go back to Parliament.”The Opposition Leader’s attorney argued also that when the now Government which formed the Opposition back in 2014, they relied on the 33 seats that they had in the National Assembly to pass a motion of no-confidence. However, they are now claiming that it does not add up to a majority vote.In describing their arguments on the votes as “mathematical gymnastics,” Nandlall reminded the court that these same 33 votes helped the then Opposition to pass bills, defeat and cut budgetary allocations; and even passed yearly budgets. This is before Parliament was pirogue and an election was called in 2015.Nandlall maintained that the Constitution is clear and nothing is ambiguous in it. He said that it contained rules catered for almost any eventuality. However, he said the Government is trying to make the issue more complex and complicated, to remain in office and using the courts in vein. “I think the issues are very clear and the matters will be resolved in favour of the Constitution,” he added.EmpoweredMeanwhile, the attorney representing political commentator Christopher Ram in the no-confidence matter, Kamal Ramkarran, argued that Constitution is the country’s rule book and the court must act to uphold the provisions of the Constitution and ensure that the rule of law is not violated.Ramkarran argued that the court is empowered to determine a timeframe for elections. “In order for that decision of the Court of Appeal to have meaning, the court is empowered to say that elections have to be held forthwith or within a period no later than 31 days from the date of the decision,” he said.The attorney argued that the court is the protector of the Constitution and noted that if elections could not be held on March 21, 2019; there is no extension and no proposed date which would lead to violation of the Constitution and crisis starting March 22, 2019. And unless there is an extension for the holding of election, then the country will have an unconstitutional Government.Ramkarran argued that GECOM was required to take action and is obligated to set a date. “They have the right to do that in order to act impartially, fairness and in compliance with the Constitution. The court cannot stand idly by and allow the March 21 deadline to pass.”He said the court should enquire from GECOM why it did not comply with the Constitution to conduct the elections within 90 days following the passage of the No-confidence Motion on December 21, 2018.The lawyer said, “There was a mandatory duty of the President and GECOM to ensure the elections were held within three months or within such extended period as provided for in the supreme law.”The court was also reminded that while these legal arguments are being made before the Appeal Court, the time for the 90-day period in which the country should have an election is slowly approaching.The defence will continue their submissions today before Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and Justices of Appeal Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory.
Following several delays, the contractors steering major expansion works at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) are confident that they will be able to complete the project by the end of next year.This was disclosed on Friday by Project Manager of the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Carmichael Thorne, who updated the media on theA design preview of the CJIA upon the completion of the worksCJIA Expansion Project during a visit to the construction site.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and Junior Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson were part of the delegation during the site visit along with representatives from the Ministry, the CJIA, China Harbour and the consultancy company. Shadow Infrastructure Minister and Opposition Member Juan Edghill, was also present.The US$150 million project was scheduled to be completed within 32 months of its commencement in 2013; however, Thorne noted that the deadline was extended to December 1, 2017 since the project would have experienced several delays.In 2012, Guyana, under the leadership of former President Donald Ramotar, had secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which the Guyanese Government has injected some US$12This photo shows the point (green hill) up to which the sand filling has to be donemillion.However, when the coalition Government came into power last year, the project was put on hold but following discussions between Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, and the contracting company, China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), it was announced that the project will be continued.At the project update briefing, Thorne noted that of the US$150 million, only some US$37.3 million has been expended to date. In this amount, some US$33 million was spent by CHEC which includes US$1.9 million of local funds put up by the Government of Guyana.As it relates to the works being done, the Infrastructure Ministry’s Project Manager told media operatives that while the initial plan was for the northern end of the runway to be extended, because of difficulties with the terrain a decision was taken to extend the runway from both the northern and southern ends in order to minimise the cost.During the visit to the site, it was pointed out that the contractors are using a technique called ‘vibroflotation’. This is a method of improvement of non-cohesive soils by re-arranging the grain distribution pattern while applying cyclic vibrations which cause the outflow of granular soil. As a result, the compaction of soil and the pore volume reduction are obtained.According to Patterson, this technology is new to Guyana and is being used as it has proven to be less time consuming than the sand filling process. “It’s a common technique outside of Guyana. In Guyana we would pack and pack and then compact but because of the depth and time, we decided to employ this new technique… This magnitude and height (of sand filling) was never done before in Guyana,” he emphasised.At the southern end, Minister Patterson explained that the land needs to be build up to ‘Elevation 29’. A portion is currently built up to ‘Elevation 21’ but by next week, work will commence to take this portion up to the require amount.However, he pointed to a massive area were works are being done at ‘Elevation 17’ level. According to the Minister, these lands will have to be built up to provide the runway end safety area, which will prevent accidents such as the Caribbean Airlines incident a few years ago.Meanwhile, the CHEC Project Manager, Keliang Liu, outlined that they are hoping to have the lands completely sand filled by the end of year to commence actual works on the runway.In relation to the other works to be completed as part of the CJIA Expansion project, Thorne noted that because the objective of the project is to cater for bigger aircrafts landing at the CJIA, the apron needs to be expanded as well to provide parking for the larger aircrafts.With regards to the Terminal Building, he disclosed that they will be constructing a new arrival building while the existing terminal building will be rehabilitated and used for departure only. “So you will have all that space to use for departing passengers,” he remarked.In addition, the Project Manager noted that an important new feature of the project is the boarding corridor and bridges which will be attached to the new arrival building and will lead passengers off of the plane into the terminal building.Moreover, the media was taken around the facility and shown the new Guyana Defence Force Engineering Corps, the Police Outpost and Constabulary, and the K-9 accommodation and Kennel buildings which are mostly completed. As it relates to the other facilities such as utilities relocation and road diversions in the area, works are ongoing.
Emotions run highBy Jarryl BryanSparks flew in the National Assembly on Friday as Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s decision to cut the budget proposals of a number of agencies for varying reasons, was put under the microscope by the parliamentary Opposition.PPP Chief Whip Gail TeixeiraUnder interrogation by the Opposition, Jordan’s refusal to provide detailed justifications or even a macro-economic outlook to justify cutting the constitutional agencies budgets prompted the parliamentary Opposition to move a motion to immediately vote on the Parliament office’s budget request.Leading the motion was People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, who argued that the Minister has been skirting the issue of the dismal economy. She referred to the Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year Report for 2017, which had recorded contractions in several major sectors.A division was eventually called in the House and after a roll call, 33 members of Parliament to 25 voted in favour of the cuts being retained.MP Priya ManickchandWhen they came to the Auditor General’s Office, Jordan repeated that the macro-economic outlook influenced this decision, as well as the absence of budget plans. His statement, however, did not sit well with the parliamentary Opposition.Opposition parliamentarian and former Attorney General Anil Nandlall noted that while the Auditor General’s Office is supposed to exercise oversight, Jordan said that his Ministry reviewed the procurement plans of the Audit office.“It is the Auditor General that has the constitutional responsibility to oversee the Ministry of Finance. The Minister of Finance gave us a lecture just now of reviewing the procurement plan of the Audit Office. One is left confused with which body is overseeing which. The Constitution says the Auditor General has oversight. Then we have the Minister of Finance contemplating oversight,” Nandlall added.IndependenceHowever, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in his rebuttal reminded the Assembly that the Government had moved the agencies under question from statutory to constitutional agencies. Nagamootoo stressed that the law provided for the Finance Minister to have oversight of budget proposals of these agencies.However, PPP parliamentarian Priya Manickchand stressed that the Opposition was indeed fighting for the independence of these agencies. Eventually, the cuts to the Audit Office were also allowed, with the Government side using its majority.Cuts to the Teaching Service Commission and the Guyana Elections Commission were also passed. Both of these entities did not submit a budget plan, the absence of which was used by Jordan to justify previous cuts. But while the Teaching Service Commission was granted its full sum, the budget of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was cut.In the case of cuts to the Supreme Court, Nandlall argued that the infrastructure projects the Judiciary would have to carry out would be crippled by the cuts. This includes the construction of court houses on the East Bank and in the interior. But cuts to the Supreme Court were passed.The fact that the Government was cutting the requested capital sums of $19.9 million to $14 million from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers provoked a firestorm between the Government side and the Opposition. Referencing the recent revelations that Nagamootoo racked up some $19 million in travel expenses in one year, the Opposition vociferously argued for the cuts to be withdrawn. They were unsuccessful.In the same fashion, cuts to the Office of the Ombudsman; Indigenous People’s Commission; the Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Public Procurement Commission were also passed by the House.The sums for the Rights of the Child’s were approved, even though Government acknowledged that there was no commission. It was subsequently clarified that staff at the commission are being paid their salaries despite the absence of a commission.In this way, a total of $8 billion in estimates from 16 constitutional agencies were approved for the 2018 Budget. This includes Capital and Current Expenditure.The recent multimillion-dollar cuts by the Finance Ministry to the budget proposals put forward by these constitutional agencies had not gone down well with the parliamentary Opposition. The Opposition had for some time called for the autonomy of these agencies to be respected by the Government.According to the 2018 annual budget proposals of constitutional agencies which were tabled in Parliament last week, the Audit Office’s request of $844.4 million was slashed to a proposal of $783.8 million. In slashing the amount, it was noted that Budget 2018’s submission did not fulfil certain requirements set out in a budget circular.The need has been expressed for the Audit Office to be as strong as possible when it comes to its audit capacity. This is especially so as Guyana gets ready to enter oil production. In addition, Auditor General Deodat Sharma has already expressed intentions to audit Guyana’s environmental protection systems.Other agencies on the chopping block for 2018 were the Parliament Office, the GECOM, the Supreme Court of Judicature (request of $2.7 billion was reduced to $1.8 billion), the Director of Public Prosecutions chambers (request of $223.8 billion was reduced to $174.2 billion) and the Office of the Ombudsman.
The scene at Manor post office: Pic Copyright Joe Boland North West News PixThree men charged in connection with robbing a Co Donegal post office have been remanded in custody.The men, all from Co Derry, appeared amidst heavy security in handcuffs at Letterkenny District Court today. The three, Noel Lavy, Joseph McMullan and David Knight, are charged with robbery and criminal damage at Manorcunningham Post office on October 3rd last.Solicitor for McMullan, Mr Frank Dorrian applied for bail for his client.He said he had little means, had no passport and could sign on at Burnfoot Garda station just a few miles from his home in Derry.However Judge Paul Kelly refused the application.Knight, is 36 and from 24 Melmore Gardens in Derry, Lavy, is also 36 and from 57 Ballymagowan, Derry, and McMullan, is from Kavanagh Court in DerryHe remanded all three in custody to appear at the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court on April 28th.THREE DERRY MEN TO FACE TRIAL FOR MANOR POST OFFICE ROBBERY was last modified: February 16th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
A Co Donegal man who tortured his neighbours for almost two decades has escaped going to jail because of his poor health.Letterkenny court.John Patterson, 63, subjected his neighbours to a campaign of terror for no apparent reason.Patterson appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with a number of offences which occurred between June and August last year.Patterson, of Meenlougher, Castlefinn, dumped rubbish on his neighbour’s land, attacked his car with a stick and drove his car directly at his neighbour.The charges also included four counts of driving while he was disqualified.Judge Conal Gibbons said he had never before across someone charged with four counts of driving while disqualified.Garda Sinead McLaughlin outlined the series of events to Judge Gibbons.She revealed that on June 19th last year John McMonagle was driving his tractor in the Castlefinn area when he passed Patterson who was sitting in his jeep.Patterson then drove past Mr McMonagle and blocked a junction with his jeep. Patterson then got out of his jeep and struck the tractor with a stick. Mr McMonagle got out of the tractor and took the stick off Patterson, who then threatened that he would get someone to “give him a hammering”.In a second incident on August 2nd Frank Gallagher was driving on the main road approaching Patterson’s yard when Patterson drove out in front of him and Mr Gallagher had to serve to avoid him.On August 8th Mr Gallagher was driving past the home of Patterson and he found him standing in the middle of the road.Mr Gallagher had to stop and then as the drove past, Patterson struck his vehicle a number of times with a stick.On August 19th Mr Gallagher’s daughter Clare was approaching the family home on her way back from a night out at around midnight when she saw a vehicle drive off as she approached home.As she saw Patterson’s vehicle drive off, she found a large amount of litter dumped at the entrance.Documents containing Patterson’s name were found in the litter.On May 27th John Patterson was pulled over and failed to produce insurance and his driving licence after a lawful demand was made.On all occasions Patterson was disqualified from driving.Inspector Michael Harrison said Patterson had previous convictions for assault, careless driving, public order offences and littering, all of which he was convicted of in April 2014.Solicitor for Patterson, Cathal Quinn, said his client had a large number of health issues including psychiatric illness, heart disease and diabetes. He said he has had issues with alcohol but has “been off it for six months”.He said Patterson “went off the rails” in 2013 and 2014 and his marriage broke down. Patterson, he said, had been a substantial farmer and was well respected in the area but he had “developed some time of persecution complex” and imagined some of his neighbours “were against him”.“They were not the acts of a rational being,” he said. Judge Conal Gibbons said his behaviour did not appear to be from “someone who is dealing with issues in particular way”.He said the fact that he has been driving without insurance repeatedly was “appalling”.“It is obvious to me that me he has suffered some sort of illness,” he said. He told Patterson said that if he had not been made aware of the medical issues “you would be on your way to Castlerea at this stage”.The judge said that Patterson’s neighbours had been very understanding.Mr Gallagher, who was accompanied by his daughter and son, told the court “this has nothing to do with his health”. “He has tortured my family for years and this has been going on for 17 years,” he said. “We have been living in hell for 17 years.” He said his and his wife’s health have been affected by the problems caused by Patterson.The judge said the issues “have come to a halt”.“Today is the final day. I wish you and your family well and hope that you don’t have any more difficulty. If you do, talk to the gardaí and they will deal with it.”Patterson was fined a total of €800 plus €180 witness expenses and was disqualified from driving for four years. MAN SUBJECTED NEIGHBOURS TO REIGN OF TERROR FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES was last modified: May 28th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CASTLFINNcourtdonegalJOHN PATTERSONNEIGHBOURSterror
Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue TD says Government proposals to fund 1,000 extra teachers will do nothing to improve the rising class sizes in our schools.Charlie McConalogue TDAccording to media reports at the weekend, Minister Jan O’Sullivan will be allocated funds to recruit more teachers, but the additional posts will not address the increasing pupil-teacher ratios.Deputy McConalogue said that while the move to appoint more teachers is welcome, the Government’s plan is utterly insufficient. “These additional posts, which will be shared out between primary and secondary schools will fail to have any impact on class sizes. The number of students attending school has increased and the allocation of these teachers will only maintain the status quo.“Fianna Fáil has taken a far more targeted approach in addressing the problem in our pre-Budget submission. We aim to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio from 28:1 to 27:1 across the board at primary level. There are too many over-crowded primary school classes and while we acknowledge that the problem cannot be fixed overnight, there needs to be a concerted effort to begin the process of improvement in this budget. By focusing additional teaching resources at primary level we ensure the best possible start for our children.”The Inishowen Deputy said that not only is my party committed to reducing class sizes, they want to go further.“We’re proposing to increase resource teaching hours and provide more guidance counsellors. This Government has eroded many of the positive advances that had been made in education by previous administrations. Former Minister Ruairi Quinn’s brought in a number of regressive measures over the past three budgets, including cuts to guidance counsellors and small primary schools. “Minister Jan O’Sullivan must deviate from the punitive measures implemented by her predecessor and ensure that education is made a priority for this Government. Fianna Fáil has a proud tradition of emphasising education spending, and the Fine Gael-Labour coalition needs to adopt a policy which realises the importance and value of education funding”.GOV EDUCATION SPEND WILL NOT TACKLE KEY ISSUES – McCONALOGUE was last modified: October 13th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Charlie McConaloguedonegalGovernmentteachers
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LITTLEROCK – A 74-year-old woman became the Antelope Valley’s 81st traffic fatality of 2005 when she was hit by a pickup truck while walking across Highway 138 from a restaurant. Juanita R. Cooper of Llano had crossed the westbound lane and was in the eastbound lane of the highway in front of Carol’s Cafe in the highway’s 7800 block when she was hit by the truck about 5:20 p.m. Thursday, California Highway Patrol officials said. Driver Larry Connely, 58, of Littlerock told CHP officers his 2002 Toyota Tundra was traveling about 35 mph when it hit the woman, who was not in a crosswalk, officials said. Witnesses performed CPR on the woman until firefighters arrived, but the victim was pronounced dead enroute to the hospital, CHP officials said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Cooper was at least the 11th pedestrian to die so far this year in the Antelope Valley, records show. The traffic death total of 81 is up about 10 percent from last year, when 74 people died on valley streets, roads and highways. The record for traffic fatalities is 87, set in 2003.
Michael Doughty, whose late father Nigel was Nottingham Forest’s owner, says it was a “really great feeling” to play for QPR at the City Ground on Saturday.Nigel Doughty, a lifelong Forest fan, bought the club in 1999 and took over as chairman three years later. He died suddenly in 2012 at the age of 54.Michael Doughty told QPR Player: “I had a lot of good memories there growing up, a place that I visited a lot with my old man.“So it was a really great feeling to run out at the City Ground, but obviously disappointing that we didn’t win.”Rangers’ 1-0 defeat meant another swift exit from the FA Cup and leaves them still waiting for their first win since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took over as manager.“I felt as if there wasn’t much between the two sides,” midfielder Doughty, 23, said.“In the first half we didn’t really take the game to them but in the second half we really did.“We need to start games much better and need to be a little bit more proactive in our approach to the games.”See also:Forest send toothless QPR out of FA CupQPR boss refuses to discuss Green situationHasselbaink ‘very proud’ of QPR’s second-half displayFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
1 November 2011The phrase “local is lekker” was given a new meaning on Monday when the South African government, business and labour signed a deal to increase procurement of locally manufactured goods to 75 percent.In a landmark agreement signed in Pretoria, the three social partners further committed to identifying steps to ensure that South Africa increases the speed of job creation and regains the jobs lost during the global financial crisis of 2008-09.“The significance of this accord is that decisions will now be taken on buying local goods, and this in the end will go a long way in raising our competitiveness and development of local producers,” Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel told reporters.While it is not clear how this would affect foreign investors, Patel said the initiative had the potential to direct billions of rands to local producers.“This accord is one of a series of agreements in which the social partners commit to work together to achieve the goals of the New Growth Path.” The government’s New Growth Path has targeted the creation of five-million new jobs by 2020.Products made in South AfricaTrade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the government had committed to “significantly” expanding the value of goods and services it procured from local producers, using new regulations that are set to come into effect in December.Davies emphasised that only locally produced goods would be targeted, adding that company ownership would not necessarily qualify individuals for procurement.“The fact that ownership of the company is held by South Africans will not count; we are targeting proudly South African products, meaning products must have been produced in South Africa.”Several products and services will be identified to allow only local manufacturers to produce these. They include railway equipment, clothing and textile and food products.Government departments will adopt an SABS standard to identify and define local content in various categories.SA’s 84 biggest companiesBusiness said it would drive the effort in the private sector to improve local buying by the country’s 84 largest companies.“As business we see this as yet another tool to contribute towards economic transformation … we are now beyond talking action,” said Business Unity SA CEO Nomaxabiso Njokweni.The deal would not only help improve local competitiveness, but would go a long way toward developing new enterprises and boosting existing ones, Njokweni said.Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi described the move as a “milestone in reversing the wrong things that we have seen happening.“I must say it has a potential to reverse the job losses and other things that are happening in the manufacturing sector,” Vavi said. “Our task now is to mobilise ordinary masses of our people to support the initiative of buying local.”Source: BuaNews