first_img28 October 2009The South African government aims to save over R27-billion a year by cutting down on wastage and slashing inefficient spending.Presenting his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the first set of savings proposals, for the 2010 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, would involve a R14.5-billion saving at national government level and a R12.6-billion saving at a provincial level.The savings relate mostly to expenditure on non-core goods and services.The steps follow the setting up of a ministerial task team to look into ways in which the government can achieve more with less resources.The task team is headed by Gordhan and includes Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi and the minister in the Presidency responsible for monitoring and evaluation, Collins Chabane.Reducing administrative spendingThe biggest savings are expected to come from reducing administrative spending in departments, which are expected to save the government around R2-billion a year.The government is expected to save about R1.5-billion a year on social development, as a result of increased collections from wrongly paid or overpaid grant beneficiaries, an adjustment of the means test, and as a result of a slower than anticipated uptake of social grants from the extension of the child support grant to 15-year-olds.The government is also expected to save R1.4-billion a year from the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. Some savings have also been realised on the department’s procurement programme, as a result of a more favourable exchange rate.The Department of Trade and Industry is set to save R700-million a year, largely as a result of reductions in transfers and subsidies of certain projects.A further R700-million should also be saved through the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, mainly as a result of a revised foreign exchange rate.Three-phase cost-cuttingThe government’s cost-cutting exercise will involve three phases.The first phase involves changing spending habits, such as cutting costs on unnecessary spending – targeting areas such as consultants, entertainment, travel, luxuries and conferences.Phase two will look at back-office operations to frontline services and reform procurement processes.The third phase will involve a comprehensive expenditure review which will reshape the way in which South Africa’s public services are delivered and resources allocated.Non-performers to be axedIn the latter two phases, the government is expected to terminate non-performing programmes, projects and even entities.The Presidency will conduct a review, together with the National Treasury, of which programmes are working and whether the same services can be delivered at more affordable costs.A review of the ministerial handbook will also take place.A selection of potential saving areas for investigation in the medium term is expected to be finalised by December 2009, while the first set of investigations and recommendations will be completed by March 2010.The review may see spending increase in certain areas, for instance boosting spending on quality education.Crackdown on tender fraudThe government will also crack down on tender fraud to reduce wastage.A working group comprising members of the National Treasury, SA Revenue Service, Financial Intelligence Centre, Auditor-General and police Special Investigations Unit has been set up to look into whether there are leakages in the country’s procurement system, or weak management, causing cost escalations.The working group will report to the minister of finance.The government has already acknowledged that there are some leakages in the government feeding scheme, school construction, and the procurement of office equipment and other goods and services.Intense work has been carried out over the past six weeks to improve compliance with state supply chain management policies and procedures, and a large number of public officials have been identified as suspects in defrauding the state.A range of steps will be taken against these suspects, including criminal sanction, internal disciplinary measures, tax collection and blacklisting.Cutbacks at state IT agencyThe government is also looking at cutting back on IT services procured from the State Information Technology Agency (Sita), in order to allow departments to procure IT services at market-related prices.The government is also looking slashing Sita’s annual spending on temporary and contract workers by 20 percent, from around R400-million to R320-million.It plans to cut annual non-labour operating costs at Sita by 10 percent, from around R428-million to R385-million, while halving the agency’s budget for capital expenditure from R598-million to R300-million.All spending on capital expenditure at Sita will have to be approved by the government’s Capex Review Committee.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgNelson Mandela’s friends and former colleagues do not remember the man for his work as a freedom fighter and statesman, but rather as the good-natured human being that he was. (Image: Shamin Chibba) • Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Watch: Milestones in Mandela’s long walk • How to remember Nelson Mandela on 5 December • Remembering Mandela one year on • Places to visit on Madiba’s journey Shamin ChibbaNelson Mandela may have freed the nation, but his impact was global, with people taking inspiration from his forgiving and compassionate nature. “Our history books will refer to this period as the ‘The Age of Mandela,’” said Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor in her reflections on the former statesman.Pandor was among a host of high-profile dignitaries at a commemoration of his death, held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Thursday, 4 December. They included his wife, Graça Machel, and members of the Mandela family. Today, 5 December, marks one year since the former president died.In her moving speech, Pandor reflected on Madiba not only as a leader of the nation but as a human being. “He had a wonderful sense of humour… in the room with him, there would always be laughter. So when we remember him, let’s also have a sense of lightness, because that is what he would want.”She acknowledged that Mandela, though a servant of the South African people, did not just belong to the nation but to the rest of the world too. “To remember Nelson Mandela a year after his passing, we realised as South Africans that we [could not] solely claim him as our own.”South Africans should keep his legacy alivePandor said each South African should keep Mandela’s legacy alive through their actions. “Instead of bemoaning our inadequacies, we should be asking ourselves, ‘How much have I done to make the legacy live?’ So let us not lament. Let us seek to replicate [Mandela].”Sello Hatang, the foundation’s chief executive, echoed Pandor’s sentiments, saying it did not matter where you were when Madiba died, but where you were today. “What are you doing to preserve Madiba’s legacy?” he asked the audience.He also spoke of the importance Madiba placed on education. It is for this reason that the foundation was running a book drive.The only other country commemorating Mandela’s death was Mauritius, he said. The island has declared this week Nelson Mandela Memorial Week, with a message for each of its citizens to do their bit for mankind and leave a legacy.An effect on the worldSABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) group executive of news and current affairs, Jimmy Matthews, handed over archive radio and video footage of Mandela to the foundation. He remembered standing outside Robben Island prison when Mandela was freed in 1990. Now, he said, he was responsible for broadcasting Madiba’s story.At the time of Mandela’s death, Matthews was in Pietermaritzburg. When he heard the news, he rushed to Johannesburg, he recalled. And when he reached the SABC’s offices in Auckland Park, he became part of the biggest broadcast event in the history of South African television. “The SABC took years to prepare for the eventual passing of Nelson Mandela. But we could not tell what impact it would have.”Just days after his death, Telkom, the SABC and the foundation partnered on a project that gave callers an opportunity to leave messages of condolence and memory in each of South Africa’s 11 official languages. “When you listen to the messages, you become aware of the impact he had on the world,” said Telkom chairperson Jabu Mabuza.Foundation building a centre of memories“Memory is not far away, in the past,” said Njabulo Ndebele, the foundation’s chairperson. “It’s a living thing.”The foundation building was the former president’s office after he left the presidency in 1999. His office remains intact. In it are several photographs of him with global leaders and legends such as Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali, signed boxing gloves from Ali’s daughter, Layla, and numerous other trinkets reflecting his life.Ndebele recalled some of his most memorable Mandela anecdotes that took place in the very same auditorium as the commemoration. In June 2004, when Mandela announced his retirement from public life, “he told the world he was going to retire from retirement”, Ndebele quipped. “And he said ‘Don’t call me, I’ll call you.’”Also in 2004, a touching ceremony took place when a former Robben Island prison guard came to return two notebooks Mandela had kept in prison. The guards had taken these away from him in 1971.One of Ndebele’s clearest and more painful memories was from 18 November 2010. “When [Mandela] left through this door, it was the last time we saw him in this building.”When Mandela established the foundation, he wanted it to promote his legacy through memory. “Our mandate is to do the difficult memory work. His legacy is the future all of us are making and we all have to do this difficult work.”last_img read more

first_imgHow much power do you need on set? Find out how to calculate it so you never run out.If you’re like me when heading to set, you’ll throw pretty much every battery you have in your camera case. But how much are you going to need, and wouldn’t it be great to know how much your camera consumes before you start?Knowing how much power your camera (and all its accessories) consume is as important as knowing how much it weighs. It would be crazy to put your rig on a crane or a gimbal without knowing if you’ll overload it. By the same token, it’s a little crazy to arrive on set hoping that you have enough power instead of simply knowing that you do.CalculateSo, how do you go about doing this? You add up the power consumption of all the devices you’ll use and work out how much power you’ll need. If you’re running the whole system from one power source, like the V-Mount battery system that I use, it’s a simple issue. You could do all this with individual batteries and devices, as well.Cine batteries are rated in watt hours. A 98 watt hour battery will run a 98 W device for one hour. If you’re curious about why it’s 98 and not 100, it’s because the American FAA states that you can only pack batteries of less than 100 watt hours in luggage, so most manufacturers makes them a little less than that for easier travel.Let’s start with the camera body: go to the specs page of the camera, and look at its power page. (I use B&H because they do a good job of finding and posting specs on their product pages.) For the Canon C200, I had to find it on the Canon Europe website. You can just google power consumption and the name of your device.Image via Canon.I see that the C200 is 18w in 4K Raw mode. This doesn’t tell me if it’s recording or standing by, but it’s safe to guess this is the maximum draw. Below, it tells me that the BP30 battery that comes with the camera, which is a 31 watt hour battery, will run the camera for approximately 130 minutes, or just over two hours. So, 31 divided by 18 is 1.7, making that a 130-minute estimate — probably assuming that you’re not going to be recording with the camera the whole time.So, if I power the camera with the 150 WH battery, I’m going to be able to record for eight hours, but that’s before we’ve added any other accessories.Next, we’ll add the TVLogic F7h, which has a power draw of 19 watts. Yes, that’s more than the camera and probably has an at-max brightness of 3600 nits (which I only use in bright sun outside). But, if we calculate the max draw of all these devices, we’ll have a margin of safety.Image via TVLogic.Next, the Teradek bolt with a much more modest 7 watts. If I added a second monitor, or a wireless follow focus motor, I’d add that in as well.Adding 18, 19, and 7 gives us 44, so I’m going to need 44 Watt hours to run the camera for a single hour. Again, that’s at full capacity so you’ll get more run time than this, but it gives you a margin of safety.For a 10 hour shoot, I’m going to need 440 watt hours. I add up the capacity of my batteries and know if I have enough to get through the day.If I’m shooting with two cameras, I’m going to need twice that, and so on. If I have four cameras, and lights that take 100 watts, you can quickly see how you get to a 100 battery set up.Cover image via Janaka Dharmasena.Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Set Tone and Atmosphere by Mastering the Establishing ShotFirst-Time Filmmakers: How Do You Build a Cast Without a Budget?The Four Most Dangerous and Avoidable Accidents on a Film SetOn the Market: Five Great Key Lights for Five Different Budgets10k Vs 100k Vs 500k: Feature Film Budgets Comparedlast_img read more

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now If you were in your buyer’s position right now, what would you do?Would you buy what you are trying to sell them? Do you believe that what you are selling is absolutely, unequivocally going to help your buyer produce the results that they need right now? If you were your buyer, would you be willing to bet the farm on that decision?If you were your buyer, would you trust the advice that you are giving them? Would you believe that the person selling (that’s you) has the business acumen and situational knowledge to know what the best course of action is? Would you believe that they are a subject matter expert with advice worth taking? Would you be 100% confident that you have the right partner in front of you?If you were in your buyer’s shoes, would you believe that the person sitting across from you cares about you and your problem enough to trust them with your business? Would you believe that the solution they put in front of you was exactly what you need, or would you wonder if it was really what they need to sell? Would you worry that the person selling you might disappear after they make the sale?Would you have what you need to justify a decision to buy from you? If asked, would you be willing to defend a decision to buy the solution you recommend and defend the decision to buy it from you? Would you have the evidence you need to justify that decision to challenges from within your company? Would you be defenseless and embarrassed by the fact that you can’t describe the reasons you should choose the salesperson and their solution over all others?last_img read more

first_img‘Bash Brothers’ Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum brought out their full range of shots on Tuesday night to power Brisbane Heat to 9-wicket win against Melbourne Stars.Lynn and McCullum added 101 runs in the first 10 overs as Brisbane chased down the target of 142 in 14.4 overs to take the third spot in the points table.Lynn, who was promoted to open the innings, remained unbeaten on 63 off 46 balls with three sixes and seven boundaries while McCullum smashed 61 from 30 balls, hitting the same number of boundaries and sixes as his opening partner.The Stars would have had Lynn out for a third-ball duck if not for captain John Hastings dropping a sitter at mid-off in the first over.It was a welcome return to form for Lynn, who underwent shoulder surgery in July and is the third-highest run scorer in BBL history.Joe Burns gave good support to Lynn, not that he needed any with the way he was batting, and remained unbeaten on 18 from 12 balls.Earlier, the Stars posted a paltry 141 for 7 on the board after being put into bat with Glenn Maxwell (50), Kevin Pietersen (30) and James Faulkner (20 not out) scoring some runs for the home team.Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson took 3 for 14 from four overs to star with the ball for Brisbane. Those were his best bowling figures in the Big Bash League.Ben Cutting, Yasir Shah and Mark Steketee also got a wicket each for the visitors.Melbourne Stars are languishing in the last spot with three losses from three matches.advertisement”We’re not looking like going anywhere but bottom at the moment,” Stars skipper Maxwell said after the match.”We’re playing terrible cricket. We’re not probably playing together as a team … we were putrid today,” he added.last_img read more