“The credibility of South Africa being ranked as one of the top emerging economies in terms of its ease of doing business has a significant impact on its competitiveness as a country with which investors would want to do business in the future,” he said. Announced by the World Bank in Washington on 4 November, the Ease of Doing Business Index is created by the international financial institution, using empirical research to show the effect of improving regulations on economic growth. Source: Brand South Africa “In contrast to this, South Africa lost ground in areas such as starting a business, registering a company and trading across borders.” Within the World Bank’s latest index, this holds true. In areas such as investor protection, South Africa outperformed the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) averages in all four pillars. This includes extent of disclosure, extent of direct liability, shareholder suits and investor protection itself. Higher rankings indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protection of property rights. Consistent ratings as an investment market as well as a strong ranking against emerging markets – specifically the BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China – underpin South Africa’s performance in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business Index. 18 November 2010 Matola added that South Africa’s role as an emerging market which can compete comparatively with some of the BRIC countries and act as a credible connector to the 1-billion consumers on the continent had been boosted by the recent results, where all four BRIC nations lost ground, and where sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest improvements. “As with other indices issued of late, South Africa has not lost place as a result of declining scores, but rather as a result of other economies improving at a more rapid rate,” Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said following the release of the latest results. Matola said that Brand South Africa would continue to prioritise efforts to promote the country’s reputation as a globally competitive investment destination, guided by indices such as the World Bank’s Doing Business Index and others. Globally competitive investment destination The index is meant to measure regulations directly affecting businesses, and does not directly measure more general conditions such as a country’s proximity to large markets, quality of infrastructure, inflation or crime. South Africa lost two places in the latest index results, and is now placed 34 out of 183 economies. “Our consistent ratings are underpinned by improvements in areas such as closing a business, where we are up three places to 74; as well as in enforcing contracts, where we improved our position to 85 from 86,” Matola said. “Studies and reports such as these are key to our understanding and efforts to position and profile South Africa as a trade, investment and tourism destination of choice.” “It is critical that we align all the recent indices with our own strategic priorities and measure the direct impact of our efforts in these regions on a market-by-market basis,” he said. This article was first published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
Equal Education has taken to the streets, with the support of pupils, teachers and civil society groups who want to see change in South Africa’s schools. (Image: Equal Education) Mud and shack schools have been part of rural areas for a long time. (Image: SouthAfrica.info) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kate Wilkinson Media officer: Equal Education +27 82 326 5353 RELATED ARTICLES • Education in South Africa • A winning open education system • SA prioritises quality education • Education goes mobile with Vodacom • Budget big on education, jobsValencia TalaneBasic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has made a commitment to the promulgation of minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure, just days before a court case relating to the matter – brought by the NGO Equal Education (EE) – was to be heard in the Bhisho High Court.EE chairperson Yoliswa Dwane said an out-of-court settlement had been reached with Motshekga that would ensure that the norms and standards were made available for public comment by 15 January 2013 and finalised by 15 May of that year. The case was to be heard on 20 November 2012.“Equal Education welcomes Minister Motshekga’s decision to take this step,” said Dwane in a statement released on 18 November. “Already, prior to her decision, all nine provincial education MECs and the minister of finance chose not to oppose the court case.”Battle for equalityEE, represented by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in the case, which was first brought to court earlier in 2012, viewed the move as a small victory in the battle to achieve equality in education for South Africa’s poor.The norms and standards prescribe conditions that have to be in place for a school to be able to function reasonably, regardless of the locality of the school or the number of pupils and / or teachers. Basic services such as water, electricity, sanitation, functioning libraries and science laboratories are just some of the requirements put forward by EE.An amendment to the National Schools Act in 2007, which gave powers to the education minister – Naledi Pandor at the time – to adopt the norms and standards, led to the adoption by Motshekga of the National Policy for an Equitable Provision of an Enabling School Physical Teaching and Learning Environment in June 2010.According to the policy, the minister was to promulgate the regulations by March 2011. It was the delay in achieving this goal that prompted campaign action from EE.Reason to celebrateDwane hailed the work of EE members, whom she said “marched, fasted, slept outside parliament and studied long and hard to understand the issues”.“It is also a victory for our legal team,” she said, “of whom the anchor has been Cameron McConnachie of the Legal Resources Centre.”Brad Brockman, the general secretary of the NGO, said the norms and standards took an abstract right to basic education and made it concrete so far as infrastructure was concerned.“Citizens will be able to appreciate that they are entitled to water and electricity in their schools, and thereafter to libraries and computer centres.”
Join us Tuesday, August 28, 11 a.m. ET for the second webinar in the Family Finances series, Financial Planning for Life Events. RSVP here. By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, email@example.comPersonal Financial Management program staff often counsel military families about the financial implications of lifestyle transitions. This includes the decision by service members to get married and merge their financial life with a spouse. When a couple gets married, they usually commingle at least some of their personal finances.Some of the biggest challenges a couple will face include joint goal-setting, establishing accounts at financial institutions, deciding how to pay bills and manage money together, and filing income taxes as a married couple. Both spouses also need to review existing financial documents, such as life insurance policies, IRAs, and 401(k)s, and change the beneficiary designation to their spouse, if desired.Image via Pixabay.com/CC0Marriage is also a good time to draft legal documents such as a will, which stipulates how each spouse’s assets will be distributed. Older couples with substantial funds and/or children from a previous marriage may consider a prenuptial agreement to make decisions in advance about financial matters in the event of death or divorce.Below are six recommendations to share with service members who are about to get married:Set Joint Financial Goals- Make a list of short- and longer- term needs and wants. For example, one spouse may need a new car within a year and, together, a couple wants to buy a house within three years. Determine the cost of each goal and the amount that needs to be saved each month to achieve it on time. As an initial financial goal, plan to save at least 3 months living expenses for emergencies such as car repairs.Develop a Spending Plan– Prepare a spending plan (a.k.a., budget) that includes savings for financial goals. Review and revise it as needed. A simple spending plan includes monthly net income, fixed expenses, flexible expenses, and occasional expenses that are paid less frequently than monthly (e.g., quarterly insurance premiums, college tuition, and vacation expenses).Develop a Cash Management Plan– Decide if and how you want to merge financial accounts (e.g., savings and checking). Some couples prefer one joint account while others prefer two separate accounts or a combination of separate and joint accounts. There is no one “right” way for married couples to handle their finances. Factors to consider include convenience, a desire by each spouse for some personal “spending money,” and the minimum balances required by financial institutions to avoid fees.Develop a Payment Plan-Decide how to divide household expenses. If the incomes of two working spouses are fairly equal, bills can be split 50/50. If there is a substantial difference in earnings, bills can be pro-rated. For example, the spouse who earns 70% of household income would pay 70% of the couple’s expenses. The other spouse who earns 30% of total income would pay the remaining 30% of the bills.Come Clean About Credit– Review each other’s credit reports prior to marriage. If a spouse-to-be has a poor credit history, don’t apply for a joint loan (e.g., mortgage) or credit cards. Keep your credit histories separate until negative information drops off the poor credit report, usually in 7 years (10 years for bankruptcy). If one spouse co-signs a loan for the other, he or she becomes legally responsible. Similarly, if financial accounts are merged, assets of the spouse with a good credit history can be seized by creditors.Adjust Your Tax Withholding– Complete a new W-4 form (available from each spouse’s employer) to reflect your new marital status. Two-paycheck working couples may need to have more tax withheld to cover the higher taxes that may be due on their combined income. Instead of claiming one withholding allowance, one or both spouses may want to claim zero or even have an additional amount withheld so they don’t fall short of what they owe. Conversely, couples with one earner may experience a “tax bonus” as a result of marriage and need less tax withheld than before. This is because they will benefit from the higher dollar amounts on tax brackets for married couples versus singles.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The people with concerns tend to always have concerns. For them, it’s not you, or your company, or your solution that concerns them. They are concerned about almost everything.The people who are grouchy aren’t grouchy because you called them. They were grouchy before you called them, and they’ll be grouchy the next day, and the day after that. They are grouchy people.The people who are cheap aren’t just cheap when it comes from buying what you sell. They’re always cheap, refusing to believe that anything else equals value. When cheap things fail cheap people, they buy the next cheap thing. The thing that makes cheap people is that they are cheap.The people who are skeptical don’t believe what you are saying. They don’t believe what anyone says. To the skeptic, everything is suspect—and so is everyone. The skeptic doesn’t trust you because they don’t trust anyone.The people who already know everything can’t take on any new information. There is no room for new ideas, even if they are valuable. They don’t know everything about their business or your business or some other thing. They know everything about everything. This is what makes them the people who already know everything.The people who are fiercely loyal can always be counted on to be fiercely loyal. They’re not just loyal to your competitor. They’re loyal to all the people to whom they are loyal. You hope someday they are loyal to you.The people who don’t have time now never have time. It’s not that they don’t perceive value in what you are offering to trade for time. They don’t value anything more than being the people who don’t have time.The people who go dark to avoid conflict and fear being sold avoid having to tell people no and choose instead to disappear. You are not the first person they have avoided. They avoid everyone who might require they say yes or no.The people who are perpetually unsatisfied are never satisfied. That’s what makes the perpetually unsatisfied. If they could ever be satisfied, they wouldn’t be who they are.The people who refuse to change even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they need to change. They still have a fax machine next to their desk because it’s worked perfectly well for more than two decades. If they were willing to change, they would not be the people who refuse to change.It’s easy to believe that how a person appears to you is their response to you. But often, maybe most of the time, the person is who they are, and how they appear has nothing to do with you.
Pune: Hundreds of activists, intellectuals, leaders of left parties and common citizens came together in Pune on Wednesday to condemn the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her Bengaluru home on Tuesday night.Carrying handmade posters bearing the legend ‘I am Gauri Lankesh’, the demonstrators gathered near S.P. College on Tilak Road. They blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for fostering a climate of “cultural terrorism”.The protesters also included activists from the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) founded by the late Narendra Dabholkar.During the two-hour protest, members of socialist parties and left-leaning outfits like Lokayat and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) accused the Modi government of deliberately stifling dissent and failing to prosecute agents of intolerance.“The BJP has come to power with the objective of subverting the Indian Constitution … anybody seen opposing the RSS thought and ideology is promptly hounded,” said eminent writer-editor and septuagenarian activist Vidya Bal, remarking that under the present government, women in the country were not safe, and women journalists even less so.Lankesh’s killing is not the murder of an individual, but a violent attack on democracy, said Sambhaji Brigade leader Santosh Shinde.The protesters said the murder echoed the killings of Dr. Dabholkar, veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare and scholar M.M. Kalburgi.“Radical right-wing elements and Hindutva fundamentalists are able to unleash a reign of terror under the Modi government,” alleged CPI (M) leader Ajit Abhyankar. He also accused the BJP government of deliberately dragging their feet in the investigations into the Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi murders.
Just a day after the Chinese received applause for their innovation and precision at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, the tech-savvy Chinese proved they can also be prone to errors.The opening day of the weightlifting competition at the distant Dong Guang gymnasium saw several glitches interrupting the men’s and women’s programmes. Nevertheless, they went off peacefully with the Chinese showing their supremacy in both the sections.But it was not just about the glitches at the gymnasium. Even before that the scribes had to go through some ordeals, including the one-and-half-a-hour ride to the gymnasium. The 88-kilometre trip from the main media centre to the venue was not the only issue. After the two easy group events where the Indians participated, one had to wait for nearly six hours for the other group events before the results could be known.Then, there was the real issue of how to return to the main media centre. With just two trips – one at 1:30 pm and the second at 10 pm – the ordeal of a scribe was complete.To make matters worse, an unnecessary euphoria was created back home just after the Group B results where both India’s V Srinivasa Rao (56kg) and women’s 48kg lifters Soniya Chanu and Sandhya Rani Devi finished atop their respective groupsRao topped Group B Soniya and Sandhya upped the ante so much that there were scores of calls from several Indian journalists covering other disciplines at different venues.The ground reality was, however, different. In fact, the Indian duo was lucky to find themselves in an easy group where they had to contend only with a Vietnamese and a Bangladeshi. Naturally, Soniya did what was expected of her with a total lift of 170kg (75+95) while Sandhya was just behind her with a total lift of 158kg, giving rise to further hopes.advertisementThe status remained static for six hours until Group A lifters emerged on the scene. Without much ado, the Chinese and North Korean lifters in the men’s section finished one-two while Chinese and Taipei lifters took the gold and silver in the women’s section, pushing the Indians way behind.Sandhya perhaps knew the results even before a few of us. “I have done my best and I am happy. But the Chinese and Thai lifters are too good,” she said before disappearing from the scene quickly.- By S. KannanWomen thrash Malaysia 4-0 in opening hockey matchIndias Jasjeet Kaur Handa (left) tackles a Malaysian player during their Group A match in Guangzhou on Saturday.The Indian women’s hockey team outclassed Malaysia 4-0 in their opening Group A match to start their Asian Games campaign on a rousing note at the Aoti Hockey Field in Guangzhou on Saturday. The feature of the victory was that all the strikes were field goals.The 2006 bronze medalists and 1982 gold medal winners led 1-0 at half time before pumping in three more goals in the second period to complete the rout. Thokchom Chanchan Devi (26th minute), Deepika Thakur (43rd), Rani Rampal (53rd) and captain Surinder Kaur (67th) were the goal scorers.India will play Japan in their next group match on November 16. Against Malaysia, India were by far the better side on display under lights as they controlled the game for the entire 70 minutes.After having the better of the play, India took the lead when Chanchan Devi slotted home the ball after receiving a pass from strike partner Rani, who dribbled her way past two defenders to set it up for Chanchan.After the breather, the Indians were right on the attack and kept the pressure on the rival goal through Rani and Deepika. It was Deepika who doubled the lead after receiving a Jasjeet Kaur Handa pass from the baseline. Rani then made it 3-0 10 minutes later after cleverly wrongfooting Malaysia goalkeeper Yahya Farah Ayuni.The Malaysians could have pulled one back but the woodwork came to India’s rescue in the 57th minute off a penalty corner before Surinder sealed the victory for her side three minutes from the hooter.Assistant coach Khalid Modi expressed happiness over the positive start but added that the team management was taking it match by match. “It is a very good start as the Malaysians are very tough opponents. We have crossed our first hurdle, but cannot be complacent,” he said.In the day’s other matches, South Korea drubbed Thailand 5-0 while Japan overwhelmed Kazakhstan 4-1.Indians crash out despite Saina and Kashyap’s heroics Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap’s fine victories came to nought as the Indian women and men’s teams lost to Indonesia and Chinese Taipei respectively in the team championships at the Asian Games on Saturday.advertisementIn the women’s tie, India squandered a 2-0 lead before losing 2-3. It was Saina who gave India a winning start by beating Adriyanti Firdasari 21- 16, 21-17 in the first singles in just 30 minutes. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa consolidated the lead by beating Greysia Polli and Meiliana Jauhari 21-17 17-21 23-21 in 44 minutes. But Aditi Mutatkar’s 10-21,16-21 loss to MF Kusumastuti started the slide.Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant’s 11- 21,11-21 defeat against Liliyana and Maheshwari Nitya Krishinda locked the tie 2-2, after which, Arundhati Pantawane lost the fifth and decisive rubber 9-21, 10-21 to Linda Wenifanetri.In the men’s event, Arvind Bhat fought hard but had to bow to Hsing Yu Hsieh 28-26, 15- 21, 21-13 in the opening match. India desperately needed a win from Sanave Thomas and Akshay Dewalkar in the doubles rubber but they lost 19-21, 17-21 to Chieh-Min Fang and Sheng Mu Lee.But Kashyap kept his team afloat by recording a comefrom- behind win over Hsuan Yi Hsueh. The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist won 18-21, 21-13, 23-21 to give hope to India. However, this hope was stubbed out when doubles pair V Diju and Rupesh Kumar lost 17-21, 20-22 to Hung Ling Chen and Yu Lang Lin. Ministry pulls the plug on equestrian teams The Equestrian Federation of India’s (EFI) claims of everything being alright with its quarantine procedures has already been proved wrong, with Chinese authorities refusing permission for Indian horses to be sent to Guangzhou.Now, even the sports ministry has acknowledged the EFI’s mismanagement, retracting its permission allowing the team to compete at the Asiad. In a letter to the EFI, under secretary SPS Tomar wrote: “It is learnt that horses are yet to leave Bangalore, where they have been quarantined because full clearance from Chinese authorities is still awaited. The government has taken a serious note of the mishandling of the entire matter by the EFI, and under these circumstances, the government is constrained to withdraw the approval for participation of the equestrian team in Asian Games 2010.”Tomar has written another letter to the IOA, withdrawing the approval given to slalom canoeist Vikram Singh Bhandari. As reported by MAIL TODAY, Bhandari’s name was not in the team selected by the SAI, but was cleared after the IOA decided to act on the whims of the de-recognised Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association. This body is being investigated for misuse of funds. Women lose Men win in Tennis openers India had mixed luck in tennis as the team competitions began at the Asian Games on Saturday. In the absence of Sania Mirza, the women’s team lost 0-3 to Indonesia, but the men made up for the disappointment by defeating Qatar 3-0. While it was no surprise that Somdev Devvarman won his singles match 6-0, 6-1 against Shanan Mousa Zayed, comeback man Karan Rastogi warmed up with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Jabor Mohammed al Mutawa.advertisementFrom India’s point of view, Rastogi’s win was a good sign. As one who spent a year out of action following a back injury, he has worked hard on his comeback in ITF events. In doubles, Somdev paired with Sanam Singh to defeat Mubarak Shannan Zayid and Abdul al Hareth 6-0, 6-1.The disappointment of the day came in the women’s team event where India lost to Indonesia. Sania, still recovering from an ear infection, did not play. Rushmi Chakrvarthy should have played the second singles. However, with coach Enrico Piperno opting for Nirupama Sanjeev, it turned out to be a rout.Talking about the decision to drop Rushmi, Piperno said: “My decision backfired. The point is Indonesia was a strong team and we had very little chance.”Speculation is that Sania will pair with Somdev in mixed doubles. Rohan Bopanna, who has failed to qualify for the year-end ATP finals, may arrive to play here.- By S. Kannan India Today (All times in IST) ChessWomen’s Individual Round 3:Tania Sachdev vs Bahar Hallaeva (TKM); Harika Dronavalli vs Nafisa Muminova (UZB) (12.30pm) Men’s Individual Round 3: Sasikiran Krishnan vs Al- Modiahki Mohama (QAT); Surya Shekhar Ganguly vs Darmen Sadvakasov (KAZ) (12.30pm)AthleticsTriathlon: Men’s Individual: D Gurudatta (6.30 am)Cue SportsMen’s 8-Ball Pool Singles Last 16 Match: Sumit Talwar Pin Yi Ko (7.30am) Men’s Snooker Team Quarter-finals: B Damani/AS Mehta vs KK Chan/BC Ang 5.30pm) Women’s 8-Ball Pool Singles Preliminary Match: Indira Gowda vs Al Naser Hend; Neeta Sanghvi vs Akimi Skajitani 2pm)HandballMen’s Preliminary round Group A match: India vs Qatar 1.15pm)JudoMen’s 90kg QF: Sahil Paghania (8.30am) Women’s 63kg QF: Garima Chaudhary vs Yasmeen Al Salem (8am)ShootingMen’s 10m Air Pistol Qualification: Gurpreet Singh, Omkar Singh, Vijay Kumar (6.30am) Women’s 10m Air Pistol Qualification: Heena Sidhu, Sonia Rai, Annu Raj Singh (9.15am)SwimmingMen’s 100m Butterfly Heats: Rehan Poncha, Virdhawal Khade (6.30am) Men’s 200m Freestyle Heats: Rohit Havaldar, Aaron D’Souza (7am) Men’s 50m Breaststroke Heats: Sandeep Sejwal (8.30am)Table TennisWomen’s Team Group B Match: India vs Maldives (7.30am) Men’s Team Group D Match: India vs Vietnam (9.30am)WeightliftingMen’s 62kg: Sarang Rustam, Omkar Otari (10am)
Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda. File PhotoChief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda highly appreciated Awami League during his dialogue with the party.The chief election commissioner expressed his appreciation during his dialogue with AL at the commission on Wednesday.A 21-member Awami League delegation, led by its general secretary Obaidul Quader, joined the talks at the Nirbachan Bhaban.Nurul Huda said prime minister Sheikh Hasina has brought Bangladesh to the highway of development. He said the prime minister has been called ‘mother of humanity’ for tackling the Rohingya crisis diplomatically.KM Nurul Islam said, “The Election Commission is now independent. We have been enjoying more freedom than many other countries. The AL chief facilitated this.”After the statement of CEC, he started a closed-door meeting with the members of AL delegation and the meeting is going on.Earlier, AL leaders said they prepared an 11-point proposal, which will be placed during the dialogue with the EC.He said AL is an old political party. He lauded the dynamic leadership of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Shamsul Haque, Year Ahmed, father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and present successful prime minister Sheikh Hasina.”We jointly liberated the country at the call of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 7 March 2071. The liberation war and independence were achieved through the hands of Awami League. Bangabandhu concentrated on building the nation after his return home in 1972. He also founded the election commission. The national GDP reached a peak by 1974,” Nurul Huda said.”After the killing of Bangabandhu along with his family members in 1975, the black chapter began. Later four national leaders were killed in jail. Shiekh Hasina returned home in 1981. She became the chief of the party and the opposition leader, joining the election in 1986. Under her leadership, the government was formed in 1996. She tried the killers of Bangabandhu. After coming to power in 2008, she tried the war criminals. She has brought Bangladesh to the highway of development.”KM Nurul Islam said, “The election commission is now independent. We have been enjoying more freedom than many other countries. The AL chief facilitated this.”After the statement of CEC, he started close-door meeting with the members of AL delegation and the meeting is going on.Earlier, while meeting with Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the CEC said BNP during its rule did good things. BNP founder Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy, the CEC mentioned, adding that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was the first women prime minister in the country.