GLSC introduces new application forms

first_img…as sod turned for new Region 3 officeThe Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) has introduced a new application form for persons desirous of applying for a plot of land – one that will better evaluate the applicants.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon turns the sod for the new structure along with other regional executivesThis was announced on Wednesday as the Commission conducted a sod-turning exercise for a new office in Crane, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).A senior officer at the Commission noted, “We have new application forms, if you go through it and you compare it to the old ones you will see the logic in the questions being asked for you to provide information on the form. We have new application forms for Government agencies as well, which we never had before and we have for businesses so all of the questions are geared towards evaluating the applications properly”.In addition to this, the GLSC also pointed out that a Wide Area Network has also been implemented which will allow inter-region connectivity. This will reduce the time a transaction takes at the Commission as it will allow for the various offices to connect to the head office’s database to access maps, plans and application leases, among others.Usually, a client would have to visit the GLSC’s head office to make queries, or in some cases, visit the regional office where the query can take up to three weeks to be processed.The sod-turning exercise was conducted opposite the present GLSC office in Crane, where the new building is to be constructed to the tune of some $37 million.It was explained that the current structure is in a deplorable state. An officer attached at the regional office said, “We inherited this building in 2001 when we became a Commission from the Regional Administration and it is, if you look over the road, a wooden building and what comes along with that is lots of repairs (due to) rotten woods, leaking roofs and so on”.State Minister Joseph Harmon told the small gathering that he was pleased to see the piece of land, which was once used to house derelict vehicles, be transformed into a green space.Given that Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) generates the most revenue, a Commission was first established in that region to cater for the needs of the people there. Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) falls in second when it comes to generating an income, which led to a structure being erected there to serve residents.The Region Three office is the third office to be set up across the country although more revenue is generated in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).The new structure will include living quarters for its employees.GLSC said it plans to extend its services to other administrative regions in the near future with Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) next on the radar.Following this project, the Commission intends to set up another office in Port Kaituma in Region One (Barima-Waini).In addition, a survey for the district office in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) has been completed which is likely to come on stream by next year.last_img read more

SA, Namibia ‘must push cross-border trade’

first_img8 November 2013 South Africa and Namibia need to prioritise cross-border infrastructure to facilitate an easier flow of goods and services, President Jacob Zuma told the inaugural meeting of the SA-Namibia Bi-National Commission in Windhoek on Thursday. Zuma, who was on a two-day state visit to Namibia, said called for the two countries to push their trade volumes even higher and to explore new, untapped areas of cooperation. “We need to encourage our private sector to forge close cooperation consistent with our strategic desire to increase mutually beneficial economic cooperation between our sister republics.” The semi-arid, diamond-rich country has strong economic ties with Pretoria. South Africa is the destination of 66% of Namibia’s exports and holds approximately 80% of investments in key sectors of Namibia’s economy, including mining, retail, banking and insurance. Zuma said the bi-national forum should be a platform for the two countries to drive for more consistent interaction in key economic sectors, as well as adopt a strategic approach to all cooperation. “South Africa and Namibia share historical, geographical, cultural and fraternal bonds,” Zuma said. “Our relations were cemented during the difficult times of our respective struggles for liberation against colonialism and apartheid. “Ours, therefore, are relations of a special kind, which make it only natural and logical for our two countries to enjoy strong bilateral cooperation.” Source: read more

Nanotechnology to curb water pollution in mining

first_imgThe mining industry has also become far more water conscious and has begun using water-recovery technology on an industrial scale (Image: Brand SA)• Infographic: Mining in South Africa• Mining groups invested in South Africa • Infographic: Mining robot can save lives • Focus on African resources at Mining Indaba • Scientist gets mine drainage patent Sulaiman PhilipThe problem of acid water draining from abandoned mine dumps and shafts has long seemed insurmountable, with some estimates putting the pollution on the Witwatersrand as high as 350 million litres a day. New technology from Dow Sub-Saharan Africa is finally offering a solution.South Africa is the most industrialised and diverse economy in Africa, wealth built on mining. But while mining’s contribution to South Africa’s GDP has fallen, the industrial base built up around the industry has diversified and strengthened.The historical importance of mining has created not just legacy issues – the ecological disaster of acid mine drainage – but has also strained the country’s water supply. South Africa is a water-scarce country, with its limited resources having to be shared between domestic and industrial – agriculture, mining, power generation – users.Mining techniques have evolved since diamonds were discovered in 1867. There are no canaries in the coal mines and improved ventilation and extraction techniques have made South African mining among the safest in the world. The mining industry has also become far more water conscious and, with the help of companies like Dow Chemicals, has begun using water-recovery technology on an industrial scale.Ross McLean, president of Dow Sub-Saharan Africa, says the web of industries in South Africa makes it possible for the company to provide clients with synchronised services.“Power stations need a certain purity of water in the steam turbines. Today, you can set them up with a supply of recycled water from a mine – we have this kind of system in place in a power station in South Africa. We’ve helped with our technology for the purification of waste water from the mine to a standard where that recycled water can be used in the power station. This creates a green linkage from mining to energy, which of course is a critical sector.” Nanotechnology for water filtrationDow’s world-leading reverse osmosis, nano-filtration membranes and ion-exchange resins allows industry to optimise water management. For McLean the future of mining has to be about sustainability, and water management using Dow technology should be at the forefront of any decisions made about operations.  Karen Dobson, Dow’s global business director for mining, adds that the technology has the benefit of being able to, dependent on the system used, produce safe water with zero discharge.  She says Dow technology can play a greater role in removing heavy metals from aqueous tailing discharges. It also has value in the secondary recovery of valuable metals from tailings and waste streams, helping reduce mining’s environmental impact. “The environment and social pressures are becoming more challenging for the mining industry. These are some of the very problems and challenges facing the industry we believe we can contribute to providing sustainable solutions.”More than a century of mining has left South Africa with mountains of waste – tailings dumps – and networks of abandoned shafts. Shafts on the Witwatersrand are veined with pyrite – an iron sulphide known as “fool’s gold” because of its superficial lustre – which reacts with rainwater and groundwater to decompose into sulphuric acid. Pollution in major water sourcesGeologists estimate that acid drainage from abandoned mines on the Witwatersrand could reach 350-million litres per day. This is untreated water that flows into the watershed of the Vaal and Limpopo Rivers, which supply water to millions of peopleIn 2013 the government budgeted R150-million to deal with acid mine drainage. With 6 000 derelict mines in the country, the World Wide Fund for Nature estimates that South Africa would need to spend R30-billion to solve the problem. “The longer we wait to address this issue, the more it is going to cost the South African taxpayer in the long term,” Deon Nel, head of the WWF’s biodiversity division, told the Mercury in 2013.Dow has been actively marketing its nano- and ultra-filtration membranes as solutions to the legacy problems of the mining industry. Not only can the technology remove harmful components from tailing waters, but it has given birth to a secondary industry recovering valuable metals from tailings and waste streams. It can reclaim metals that were otherwise too expensive to recover while reducing the environmental damage done by mine dumps and abandoned shafts.For Dow, investing in technologies that solve problems like acid mine drainage is an investment in the future of the company. “Business will not be sustainable if we do not get that right,” says McLean.“Our solutions, especially in the mining space, can help deal with the legacy issues that remain after operations cease. Sustainability is at the core of how Dow does business. Not just in terms of how we manufacture products but how we take those products to our customers. It is a philosophy that we share with our customers who are looking to adopt best practice around sustainability.” According to Ross McLean an investment in sustainable technology is an investment in future succes. (Image: Dow Chemicals) Investing in AfricaOn average, the African economy is predicted to grow between 6% and 7% over the next two decades. Despite the forecast growth, just $3 of every $1 000 invested by American companies goes into Africa. For most investors Africa is still the dark continent of terrible headlines.But for companies already on the ground in Africa, like Dow, the continent is a thriving marketplace. Dow brings 117 years of expertise to a region with diverse needs and almost unlimited growth potential. In terms of Dow’s global business, sub-Saharan Africa is a relatively small market but, McLean argues, that market will grow more important as Africa industrialises. “In South Africa you would not say industrialisation, you would say it’s a drive to re-industrialisation – which the government is pushing. We see this market as really interesting because of its level of diversification plays to the variety of solutions we offer.” Dow is expanding in Africa, with offices in Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco and Ethiopia.  McLean stresses that it remains a business-to-business company, one that touches most industries in sub-Saharan Africa. The level of diversification in African industry plays to Dow’s strengths and the solutions it can offer as well, McLean says.“Our investment is about putting more people on the ground to bring our technologies to our customers. We have been investing in chemistry, science and technology for 117 years. Deeply embedded in our history is a lot of know-how and technology. We have already invested a lot in the [environmentally sound] solutions and technologies that African industry needs.”McLean admits that each country in which Dow operates in has its unique problems, but the rewards of working in Africa are infinite. “There are some really interesting challenges. But the thing is, companies like us go after opportunities when the opportunity is big enough to warrant the risk. It’s a risk-reward balance; there is no question we see the opportunity for growth. I think we are succeeding.”Dow’s African strategy is the result of eight years of research on business conditions in Africa. And while it conforms to local conditions, the company has adopted a “be local but act global” approach to business. It has created systems to develop African talent and leadership, people who are then immersed in the culture of Dow.“We understand that large multinationals like us can’t really understand African markets until they have feet on the ground. Is Africa challenging?  Yes. You really have to adapt to the situation in each country. You almost need a manual on how to do business in Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa.“Saying that, we do not compromise our standards around health, safety and the environment in Africa,” says McLean.“It would be far more expensive if we did not maintain our standards and got it wrong.  There are costs associated with doing it right, but we absolutely do not compromise. We’d sooner not do the business than break our own rules. If we businesses get that right, they will succeed in Africa.” Follow the Mining Indaba on social media: •  •  •  •  read more

Learning Curve: How to Use a Geared Tripod Head

first_imgIn this video tutorial, we’ll explore the origins of the geared head, when and how it was used, and why filmmakers still use it to this day.When cameras moved to color process in the ’40s, they suddenly became too heavy for conventional friction tripods. So, engineers developed a device called a “geared head” that moved the tripod head on its vertical and horizontal axes via two wheels attached to gears. One wheel controlled the camera’s tilt — the other its pan.Geared Head vs. Fluid HeadSkill with these new geared heads became a requirement for camera operation in Hollywood. Cam ops were eager to show off their skills by such tricks as attaching a piece of chalk to the tripod head and writing their names in cursive.The geared head offered controlled, smooth camera movements at a time when cameras were increasing in size.When smaller cameras came along in the ’60s and ’70s, the fluid head took over from the geared head because it was cheaper to produce and took less specialized skill to operate. However, the geared head continued to be in use because of the smooth, controlled movements it offered.Operation and CostI set out to learn how to use the geared head, never having operated one before. It was initially frustrating, like controlling a camera with an etch-a-sketch, but I was able to gain dexterity after a couple hours.The main limitation to learning the geared head is the availability of a unit to practice with. The industry standard — ARRIHEAD — costs over $20,000 to buy and rents out for around $200 a day. I was able to borrow a cheaper, off-brand unit that I used to familiarize myself with the controls, without spending a ton of money.By attaching a laser pointer to the geared head, you can practice tracking using the wheels.I started by attaching a laser pointer to the unit and tracing a simple square on the wall. Once I could do that successfully, I moved on to the infinity symbol, which took around an hour to trace consistently.Once I had some success, I rented a pro-level geared head for a weekend and tried various shots. After some adjusting to the better, smoother controls, I was able to shoot with the camera and nail shots after one or two takes.It took close to five hours of total practice time to get an acceptable shot on the third take, but this was spread over a couple of weeks. I have no doubt that if someone was serious about operating a geared head, they could develop a professional level of skill pretty quickly.Cover image via ARRI.Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Saint Tropez” by Biba Dupont“Baton Rouge” by Biba Dupont“Lo Fi Highway Night” by Trending Music“Desire” by Trending Music“Retro Dreams” by Jericho Studio“Calling Your Name” by Magnetize MusicLooking for more film and video production tutorials? Check these out.Stylistic Goodies and Grit: A Film Grain Footage TutorialBuilding Your Own Car Rig — Commercial Insider Edition3 Practical Gore Effects for Your Next Horror ShortWhat to Put in Your Short Film’s Mood Board6 Lifesaving Hacks for Cropping Your Footage to a Wider Aspect Ratiolast_img read more

I think India is a world class team: Zaheer Abbas

first_imgAfter Imran Khan dropped out of the Pakistan tour of India this winter for reasons of health, the Pakistani selectors did not have to look very far for a replacement as captain. The man they chose was, of course, star middle order batsman and vice-captain Zaheer Abbas, that elegant scourge,After Imran Khan dropped out of the Pakistan tour of India this winter for reasons of health, the Pakistani selectors did not have to look very far for a replacement as captain. The man they chose was, of course, star middle order batsman and vice-captain Zaheer Abbas, that elegant scourge of Indian bowlers who seems to grow roots whenever he settles down to bat. Abbas, 36, plays for Gloucestershire in the English county cricket league and it is undoubtedly the experience and expertise gained from this most demanding of cricket set-ups that has made him what he is today, the lynchpin of Pakistan’s batting. He is the first Pakistan batsman to score over 4,000 runs in Tests, with 11 hundreds, four of them double hundreds, two against India. He now has 4,073 runs from 56 Tests at an average of over 45 per innings. A devout Muslim, Abbas is married with two children.” We feel that umpires in India make biased decisions in favour of the Indian team and I hope there won’t be any such problem this time.”Abbas is perhaps the first non-controversial captain the Pakistanis have had for a long time. He commands the respect of all the players and it is likely that in his reign there will be little of the petty feuds that have rocked the Pakistan team in the last few years. Asif Iqbal had to contend with the quite vocal criticism of some of his senior players such as Sarfaraz Nawaz. Imran Khan is given to shooting off his mouth: lately he had commented, rather immaturely, that it was more important to beat Australia in Australia than to beat India in India. Abbas, with his low-profile approach, is unlikely to raise the hackles that Imran apparently relishes doing. In effect, he should face few problems both with the team and with his Indian hosts. advertisementLast fortnight, the Pakistan captain spoke to INDIA TODAY Correspondent BONNY MUKHERJEE in London about his team’s prospects on the forthcoming Indian tour. Excerpts:Q. This is your second official tour of India. Are you looking forward to it ?A. I enjoy playing in India but there is always great pressure on Pakistani players when they play in India. Our people expect us to play really well. It is the same for the Indian team when they play in Pakistan. People take the game so seriously.Q. How much difference will the absence of Imran Khan make ?A. We know that without Imran Khan we will not be a strong team. But I will be looking for strong bowlers to make up the team when I go to Pakistan.Q. People are obviously going to make comparisons between you and Imran Khan, both in style and gamesmanship. How do you feel coming in the shadow of such a superb player? A. I am sure people are going to make comparisons but it doesn’t worry me at all.Q. You have made 100 centuries so far but never managed a century while playing India. Can you explain that?A. I don’t really know. Perhaps the conditions have never been right.Q. Whenever the Indians tour Pakistan or the Pakistani team is in India there is always bad feeling about umpires’ decisions.A. Yes, we always have this problem. We feel that umpires in India make biased decisions in favour of the Indian team and I hope there won’t be any such problem this time.Q. How do you feel about the Indian team that won the World Cup ?A. Whoever can win the World Cup is a strong team. I think India is a world class team. They play with tremendous concentration, with full spirit. For myself I can say that I love watching them play.Q. What kind of team do you hope to lead to India ?A. Well, it will not be the best team we can produce because some of the players want to rest so that they can play in Australia later.Q. Why don’t these players want to play in India ?A. I don’t know. Perhaps they feel it’s a better class of cricket in Australia. For me every match is a good game. I take every match seriously.Q. The British sports commentators were not very impressed with the Indian team despite their winning the World Cup; do you think they had good reason ?A. I don’t agree with the British press about that at all. Regarding Kapil Dev I can say that whoever can win the Prudential is best.Q. How do you rate your chances in India ?A. Like in any match the chances are even. But I can tell you this: the Indian crowds are going to love the show our team will put up.advertisementlast_img read more

Goldilocks Takes 183 Pct Share in Gulf Navigation

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license United Arab Emirates-incorporated fund Goldilocks Investment has acquired an 18.3% stake in Dubai-based shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding.The fund, which was launched in 2015 by Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), said that the share includes 4.6% held through a share finance facility, according to media reports.“Goldilocks will be actively collaborating with the management and the board of Gulf Navigation in order to drive an enhanced business performance,” Reuters cited the company, which added that it would also support nomination of new members to the board.The acquisition is the latest purchase by Goldilocks, that has been buying shares in undervalued or financially-struggling companies.Reuters further cited the company as saying that it “continues to be highly active in identifying and securing compelling investment opportunities in the public markets as well as seeking out undervalued companies.”last_img read more

Outstanding transactions at Phoenix pay centre surpass 500000 says minister

first_imgOTTAWA – The backlog of outstanding pay problems faced by federal civil servants has now reached a staggering 520,000, the minister responsible for the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system has revealed in a letter of apology to government employees.That number is expected to grow further, Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said in the letter being circulated to federal civil servants over the next couple of days, which was provided to The Canadian Press.“I am truly sorry that more than half of public servants continue to experience some form of pay issue,” the minister’s letter states. “Too many of you have been waiting too long for your pay.”“Your stories of hardship caused by the backlog of financial transactions keep me awake at night.”The outstanding transactions include non-financial requests from employees, such as changes to banking or home address information.But it also includes 265,000 cases in which government workers have been underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all and have waited beyond what the government considers an acceptable period of time for their issues to be resolved.In the letter, Qualtrough repeated what she and her predecessor in the portfolio have been saying for months — that the situation is “unacceptable.”And she emphasized that anyone working in government who is experiencing financial hardship as a result of pay problems can request an emergency salary advance.One major factor that has prevented the government from reducing the pay issue backlog was the recent need to retroactively adjust the paycheques of government workers after new collective agreements were ratified.So far, roughly 184,000 government employees have seen their paycheques adjusted to the new contracts, the minister said.But another 20,000 collective agreement payments have yet to be processed and the number is expected to grow in coming weeks as more renewed contracts come into force.Qualtrough said dealing with the pay system backlog will continue to be a slow process as the government seeks a “permanent solution” to the Phoenix debacle.But her letter made no mention of a call this week by one of the country’s biggest civil service unions to build an in-house pay system and to scrap the Phoenix system altogether.The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada said earlier this week that IT professionals already working within government can build and thoroughly test a new pay system within a year.The government has so far earmarked $400 million to fix the system and to deal with the existing pay backlog, partly by hiring more pay administrators at centres in Quebec and New Brunswick. But Qualtrough said in an interview aired last weekend that she could not guarantee the amount wouldn’t reach $1 billion.The government hasn’t hired nearly enough people, quickly enough, to deal with the massive backlog of pay cases, the Public Service Alliance of Canada said Thursday.“The government needs to step up its hiring process and expand the compensation capacity both in the pay centres and in departments,” said PSAC national president Robyn Benson.Initiated by the previous Conservative government in 2009, the Phoenix system was meant to streamline the payroll of public servants across dozens of departments and agencies, and save more than $70 million annually.In a joint statement issued Thursday, Qualtrough and Treasury Board President Scott Brison again accused the Conservatives of saddling the government with a “botched” system.“They rushed the design and implementation, did not train staff, all while firing 700 experienced pay advisers who were needed to make sure public servants were paid on time,” said the statement.The Conservatives have denied responsibility for the debacle, saying it was the Liberals, elected in 2015, who ultimately failed to heed warnings from civil service unions that the system wasn’t ready before fully launching it in April 2016.A report from an auditor general’s review of the Phoenix pay system problems is expected to be made public next week.— Follow @tpedwell on Twitterlast_img read more

CARICOM Ambassador Irwin Larocque on the Manchester Bombing

first_img Related Items:#IrwinLarocqueon, #ManchesterBombing, CARICOM Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp UN SG is Special Guest at Opening Ceremony for CARICOM Heads Meeting Wednesday Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppGuyana, May 23, 2017 – Georgetown –The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) strongly condemns the vicious terrorist attack perpetrated in Manchester, United Kingdom, on Monday evening.  The fact that the majority of the victims were children and young people makes this vile action even more heart-rending.The compassionate and helpful reaction by the citizens of Manchester to those in distress after the carnage, exemplifies the qualities of empathy and resilience of the people of the United Kingdom.CARICOM extends its deepest sympathy to the families who lost loved ones and wishes a full and speedy recovery to the injured.  The Community stands in solidarity with the Government and People of the United Kingdom as they confront this latest assault on their nation.#CARICOM#ManchesterBombing#IrwinLarocqueon Bahamas to take 15-member delegation to CARICOM meeting set in Mo’Bay, Jamaica CARICOM Inter-Sessional Meeting discussions conclude on high notelast_img read more