5 October 2010South African television drama Hopeville scooped a Rose d’Or award for best drama and miniseries in Lucerne, Switzerland last week, beating 10 shortlisted programmes from a total of 85 international entries in the process.The awards, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, are among the most prestigious in the international television industry, celebrating the highest standards in TV productions from around the world.First broadcast on SABC2 in 2009, and since made into a full-length feature film, Hopeville tells the story of Amos, a reformed alcoholic on a mission to forge a relationship with his estranged son Themba.When father and son arrive in the dusty town of Hopeville, they discover a community where apathy, fear and suspicion are the order of the day. When Amos decides to restore the public swimming pool – both for the local kids and for his son’s swimming career – he is met with scepticism and resistance.Through patience, determination and courage, Amos’ act ripples through Hopeville, inspiring others to take action and to do what they know is right.A co-production between Heartlines and SABC Education, Hopeville was produced by Curious Pictures and filmed in the picturesque town of Waterval Boven in Mpumalanga province.The six-episode series was directed by John Trengove, with Harriet Gavshon and Mariki van der Walt as executive producers, and features some of South Africa’s top actors, including Jody Abrahams, Desmond Dube, Leleti Khumalo, Fana Mokoena, Themba Ndaba and Terry Pheto.NGO Heartlines, in partnership with SABC Education, commissioned the series as part of its work of using television and film to help South Africans strive towards the values of humility, compassion, responsibility, perseverance, and other positive goals, in their lives.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
19 March 2013 South Africa has made significant progress in localizing the manufacture and assembly of minibus taxis, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on the weekend. “Some 12 months ago, none of the taxis on our roads were assembled in South Africa. Today about 50 percent of all taxis that are purchased are made or assembled here in South Africa, and we’re moving towards the target of localizing two-thirds of assembly in the taxi industry by 2015.” The government is leading a campaign to promote the local procurement of supplies across all industries in order to boost the economy’s capacity to create jobs. Patel said the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) had been mandated to develop a national localization strategy to guide all spheres of government. He said the labour-absorbing capacity of local manufacturing industries had to be boosted to stimulate job creation and economic growth, adding that a strong local manufacturing sector would have a positive impact on South Africa’s balance of payments. “We are working in partnership with a major manufacturer, Toyota, who has expanded the factory in eThekwini, as well as a partnership with the IDC and a Chinese manufacturer called the Beijing Automotive Works that has started a factory in Gauteng. These companies had already employed 220 people to assemble taxis locally, with the number set to increase significantly by 2015, Patel said. In October 2011, the government, business, labour and community-based organisations signed a Local Procurement Accord committing the parties to work together to increase local procurement as part of South Africa’s plans to create five- million jobs over the next decade. And in December, the government put the buying power of the state firmly behind local manufacturers, with new amendments to the the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act allowing the government to name sectors and products that require a minimum level of local content to qualify for state procurement. Bus manufacturing was among the first batch of sectors designated for local procurement under the amended law, resulting in the local sourcing of 80 percent of all inputs and supplies in the manufacturing of bus bodies for the rapid public transport systems in Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Other products designated in the first batch included power pylons, rolling stock, TV set-top boxes, clothing, canned vegetables, footwear and leather products. In January, the Department of Trade and Industry announced a second batch of designated products, namely electrical valves, manual and pneumatic actuators, electrical and telecommunication cables, and components of solar water heaters. Source: SAnews.gov.za
8 October 2014The Dube TradePort in the South African port city of Durban is now officially an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), joining three other similar economic zones spread out across the country.President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, 7 October, handed over an IDZ operator licence to the Dube TradePort Corporation for the precinct, which has already attracted investments worth nearly R1-billion since it was opened in 2012.The Dube TradePort IDZ is the latest in the nationwide rollout of special economic zones aimed at growing the country’s economy to meet the target of 5% growth by 2019.The first IDZ for Durban, the Dube TradePort IDZ joins similar projects in Port Elizabeth, East London and Richards Bay that have attracted a combined investment of over R5- billion. According to Department of Trade and Industry director general Lionel October more special economic zones will be rolled out across the country as government intensifies its approach to industrialise South Africa’s economy as demanded by the National Development Plan (NDP).Special economic zonesOctober says government has identified IDZs as the most effective way to grow the South African economy and create jobs; “We are suffering with slow growth and we are going to reindustrialise this country. We need to fast-track economic development and the special economic zones are the way of fast-tracking development but also to decentralise development.“Naturally investors want to relocate towards the big centres of the economy like Johannesburg because it’s closer to the market. Through these IDZs we want to attract investors to the new areas like the Dube TradePort, Coega, Richards Bay and the East London IDZ,’ said October.Trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, concurred, and said special economic zones have been shown to be useful tools to promote industrial development and diversification of the economy.“These are the industries that are largely supporting our export markets and are located in ports and around airports. In the life of the last administration we looked critically in what we can achieve from the special economic zones programme. I can say today that the three active IDZs (Coega, East London and Richards Bay) have now attracted investment worth R5-billion in total so the strategy is working.’He said government was setting up a Special Economic Zones Board to advise the minister on implementing special economic zones.Investor tax incentivesDavies said what makes the IDZs unique is that they offer a variety of incentives for investors, including a 15% corporate tax rate.Situated at the heart of King Shaka International Airport, the Dube TradePort IDZ is set to transform Kwazulu-Natal into a central business gateway and a noteworthy player in the global supply chain. Two investment areas – Dube TradeZone, and Dube AgriZone – will be crucial in the IDZ’s success.Industries that will be represented in the IDZ include electronics manufacturing and assembly; aerospace and aviation-linked manufacturing; agriculture and agro processing; medical and pharmaceutical production; and clothing and textiles. Zuma said the Dube TradePort is expected to create more than 150 000 jobs by 2060, by when the development is also expected to have contributed R5.6-billion to the country’s GDP.“We are determined to create an environment that is investor-friendly. We will continue to improve support measures both through the special economic zones and other development tools,’ Zuma said.Source: SAnews.gov
India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final to win their second World Cup titleThe tenth edition of the World Cup returned to the subcontinent after 15 years and was jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Pakistan, who were also scheduled to be a co-host, were stripped off their hosting rights following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009.A total of fourteen teams took part, including ten full members(Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh) and four associate members(Canada, Ireland, Kenya and Netherlands) of the ICC.Pakistan clearly dominated Group A with five wins alongside a rare defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the group stage. Sri Lanka, who won four games, finished second followed by Australia and New Zealand to make the quarter-finals.In Group B, South Africa clinched the top spot with five wins and just one loss. India managed to finish second with four wins alongside one loss and a tie. England and West Indies managed to finish third and fourth in the group to seal their quarter-finals berth.Though England managed to qualify for the knockout stage, their World Cup campaign was jolted by the shock losses to minnows Ireland and Bangladesh in the group stage. On one hand where Ireland pulled off a shock run-chase of a mammoth 327 runs(thanks to 63-ball 113 by Kevin O’Brien) against England, Bangladesh’s fiery bowling attack inflicted the second defeat on Andrew Strauss’ men.advertisementThe first quarter-final saw Shahid Afridi’s majestic spell of 4/30 reducing West Indies to a shambolic 112 runs and Pakistan chasing the paltry total under 21 overs. Riding on Yuvraj Singh’s all-round performance(2/44 & 57*), India knocked out defending champions Australia in the second quarter-final.South Africa looked set to seal their semi-finals berth after reducing New Zealand to a mere 221 runs in the third quarter-final. But, Jacob Oram(4/39) and Nathan McCullum(3/24) ensured the Proteas fell short by 49 runs. In the fourth quarter-final, Upul Tharanga(102) and Tillakaratne Dilshan(108) powered the Lankans to a 10-wicket win over England.Sri Lanka’s five-wicket win over New Zealand and India’s 29-run triumph over arch-rivals Pakistan in the semis ensured the progress of two Asian teams in the coveted final for the first time in the history of the World Cup. It was also the first time since the 1992 World Cup that the World Cup final did not feature Australia.MS Dhoni-led India were clearly the favourites to clinch the World title but Mahela Jayawardene(103) ensured Sri Lanka achieved a competitive total of 274/6 after batting first. In reply, India lost Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar cheaply to Lasith Malinga. But, Gautam Gambhir(97) played the anchor role while skipper Dhoni(91) finished off the game in style.India clinched the World Cup title for the second time in the history of the tournament following their six-wicket win over the Lankans. It was also Sachin Tendulkar’s first World Cup win in six tournament appearances for India.Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was declared the Man of the Series for his 362 runs and 15 wickets in the tournament. Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi(21) and India’s Zaheer Khan(21) were the leading wicket-takers while Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan(500) turned out to be the top run-scorer in the tournament.
The historic Howdy Modi event in Houston and the Modi-Trump meeting and show of solidarity at the mega event in NRG stadium had different dimensions of symbolism to it. Trump’s declaration that the United States was “committed to protecting innocent Indian-Americans from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism”, received a standing ovation from the audience. It was a major boost to India’s own stand against terrorism, especially terror networks and modules emanating from her neighbourhood. This was one major symbolism, that the fight against terror will henceforth be a joint fight. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyPrime Minister Modi’s clear articulation that perpetrators of 9/11 and 26/11 had the same source, same origin, same masters and same benefactors, further bolstered his repeated argument on every multilateral forum that there can be no false distinction between “good and bad terrorism”. Modi’s reiteration coming just before the UNGA at such a public event also indicates that the world is now veering round to a consensus on the major source of international terrorism – the ideological as well as the material source. Except perhaps for China, which has displayed a public reluctance to call out Also Read – The future is here!Pakistan on its role in promoting terror groups, except for a few motivated and agenda-driven human rights body and entities who have repeatedly kept silent on terror outrages and violation of human rights by terror outfits, there is an emerging understanding of the role that a failing state like Pakistan plays in injecting instability across the world. The other message that got the 50,000-plus audience on its feet was PM Modi’s point that Article 370 was given a farewell. Its doing away had heralded a new dawn for people of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh, he pointed out. The overwhelming support that this received from Indians gathered at the NRG stadium, extended the domestic support of the issue among NRIs. This happened in the presence of the US president representing the US administration, and PM Modi, by clearly emphasising the role of the Indian Parliament on the abrogation of Article 370 – the two-day-long debates that Parliament witnessed, the support that the move received across the political spectrum, underlining the fact that his party did not have the requisite numbers in the Upper House – and by calling upon all those who had gathered to give a standing ovation to the Indian Parliament and its parliamentarians, underlined and reiterated the fact that the move was an entirely democratic, parliament deliberated and ratified move, which was completely internal to India’s democratic system. It reinforced the point that the move had the support of Indian lawmakers and will therefore never be on an international high-table for discussion or debate. Non-democratic societies and partisan international agencies, who have made a business out of human rights will continue to be incapable of appreciating this part of the entire exercise. President Trump and his advisors and the larger US intelligentsia would have absorbed the message. The fact that PM Modi had India and Indians behind him in this historic act was evident but Houston proved that the India diaspora was with him as well. The all-out attempts of the Pakistani lobbies, of the Khalistani and ISI propaganda fronts, and the foreign units of the “Tukde-Tukde Gangs” and the “Urban Naxals” failed to dampen or hamper the event. All their vituperative and vicious attempts to do so ended with a whimper. There were no takers of a false narrative, similarly, the communists, Naxals and Congress’s propaganda at home failed to attract any attention as well. The other positive effect of the Howdy Modi event is that the narratives of oppression in Balochistan, in Gilgit-Baltistan, the severe oppression and colonial-style exploitations in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have also come out in the open and spilt onto the international conference and discussion circuits once more. Across the last few weeks, advocacy groups and citizens in exile in the US and Europe have repeatedly drawn the attention of the international community to the severe oppression, human rights abuse, killings and exploitations that Pakistan has unleashed in these regions. The other clear symbolism that emerged out of PM Modi’s speech, was that India is emerging as a responsible global power, conscious of her own strength and capacities. That she rises not to bring about a dis-equilibrium, that she seeks instead to develop her potential and strength and is a willing contributor to the emerging global re-ordering. As he has always said, in Houston too Modi reiterated that India was a society in throes of positive transformation, in which opportunities and possibilities were opening up, in short, a society. As I have argued, the Houston Howdy Modi event was a meeting ground of Indian and American exceptionalism. Modi spoke of why India was unique, why India was exceptional in the manner in which she approached her challenges, kept succeeding in addressing them and of how she now approaches the world as well. I continue to remain an inveterate believer of India’s rise as a civilisational state. The conscious attempt to evolve a long perspective, the effort to weave our rich repositories of wisdom and tradition in our present-day direction and, through these, to also articulate a larger message for the world, the attempt to transform Indian society and also attempt to create a grand narrative of India inspired by her past achievements and her present potential and scope, the effort to make India emerge as a global economic powerhouse – all these have gathered pace in the years since Modi. Dynamic diaspora connect, the reiteration of their role as responsible contributors to their country and society of adoption is another attribute of a civilisational state. In contrast to a rogue neighbour and its unruly disruptive diaspora abroad, the Indian diaspora is being increasingly looked upon as constituents of positive change, as contributors to prosperity and growth. India under Modi also pushes for the emergence of a multi-centred world, in which India aspires to take global initiatives. As Modi spoke to the mega diaspora gathering and the US President listened, these are the dimensions that came to mind. His sharing stage with the US President, facing this huge and unprecedented gathering of the diaspora – all jubilant, confident and brimming with energy also brought to mind the long struggles of past Indians for citizenship rights and the right to live in dignity in the United States. How the likes of Lala Hardyal, revolutionary Taraknath Das to name a few, waged a relentless movement for the dignity of Indians who had decided to come to the US, work or settle down. One recalled Lala Lajpat Rai’s thoughts, while in exile, penned and published from New York in 1919, in a tract titled, ‘The Political Future of India.’ “We are told that the world is going to be reconstructed’, began Rai, “on entirely new lines; that all nations, big or small, shall be allowed the right of self-determination; that the weaker and backward peoples will no longer be permitted to be exploited and dominated by the stronger and the more advanced nations of the earth; and that justice will be done to all…The Indian people also form a part of the world that needs reconstructing. They constitute one-fifth of the human race, and inhabit about two million square miles of very fertile and productive territory. They have been civilized people for thousands of years…” At Houston, on Sunday morning, it became clear that India not only formed a part of but is an active partner in restructuring the new world and the new century – as a driver and leader, not a supplicant or balancer any longer! (The author is Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. The views expressed are strictly personal)