7 October 2002What South African words would you include in an English dictionary designed for the region?There are words one hears every day in South Africa: ubuntu, for example, that Nguni word meaning humanity. There are lekgotla (Sesotho) and bosberaad (Afrikaans) – both strategy planning sessions, usually called by government or organisations.Some South African words have entered world usage – “fundi’, from the isiNdebele umfundi (an expert, a teacher) and “trek’, from South African Dutch (a long or arduous journey). Others, perhaps, deserve elevation into “World English’: babelaas (hung-over), from the isiZulu ibhabhalazi; and for those who get themselves into that state, dof, or stupid, from Afrikaans.The South African Concise Oxford Dictionary is the newest in a range of regional dictionaries – there are Canadian, Australian and Indian editions – and the editors had some difficult choices to make. They settled on 1 500 examples of South African English, including words specific to the country as well as those which have meanings in South Africa different from their definitions overseas.“Madam’, for example, might be “a polite form of address for a woman’ elsewhere, but here it’s “the mistress of a household, usually a white woman’, or “an affluent urban white woman’. A “bond’ in South Africa is a “mortgage’ in the US and the UK. And perhaps the best-known example: a South African “robot’ is not a steel-plated humanoid but a traffic light.Less known, but also important, is the use of the comma in figures. The second, South African usage entry under “comma’ is “a mark representing a decimal comma: two comma five metres’ – presumably where many other countries would say “point’.Choices were made by The Dictionary Unit for South African English, a not-for-profit unit affiliated to Rhodes University in Grahamstown and financed partly by the Pan South African Language Board, established by the South African Constitution to promote the country’s 11 official languages as well as other languages used in the country.The unit had a head start: set up in the 1960s by linguistic academics Jean and William Branford, it could rely on their 1978 Dictionary of South African English and the unit’s massive 1996 Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles.The new dictionary is intended, say the publishers, for the average adult, the student and the professional. It veers from politics (Nepad, Black Consciousness, Gear) to food and drink (witblits, mebos, skottel) to agriculture – or, anyway, a particular crop. “Ganja’ was there already (origin: from Hindi gamja), but the South African edition has added dagga (origin: from Khoikhoi dachab) and “Durban poison’ (cannabis of a particularly potent variety, originating in KwaZulu-Natal, or so says the dictionary).The preference for Mandrax among South African substance abusers – more than in any other country – is also reflected in the dictionary, with one of the definitions of “button’ being “South African informal: a Mandrax tablet’.There is a nod to youth culture, or at least its music. There is nothing especially South African about hip hop (it is, says the dictionary, of US black and Hispanic origin) or rap (of US origin) or kwasa kwasa (“a lively erotic dance originating in central Africa’ as well as “a genre of popular African music’).But kwaito is distinctly home-grown. It is defined as “a style of popular dance music featuring rhythmically recited vocals over an instrumental backing with strong bass lines’. So now you know – and the origin of the name, if not the style, goes deep into Johannesburg culture. “Kwaito’, says the dictionary, comes from the Amakwaito, a group of 1950s gangsters in Sophiatown – and they, in turn, derived their name from an Afrikaans word for angry or vicious: kwaai.Traditional South African culture is highlighted in the new dictionary, with many words from official languages, especially Nguni, included. An imbizo – traditionally “a gathering called by a traditional leader’ but also “a meeting or workshop’ – comes from the isiZulu biza, “call, summon’.Makoti is in (“a young married woman, a bride’, from isiZulu), and indoda (“a man, especially one who has undergone traditional initiation’, from isiXhosa and isiZulu). So are imbongi (a praise singer) and inyanga (“a traditional healer who uses herbal remedies. Compare with sangoma’), as well as sangoma (“a traditional healer or diviner, from isangoma‘).And traditional culture of a different kind is included as well, with many words from Afrikaans, among them deurmekaar (“confused, disorganised’ – like many words, rather more evocative in original than in translation), boeremusiek and boerekos, and everybody’s favourite, lekker, which the dictionary helpfully defines as “tipsy’ as well as “good’ and “pleasant’.Anyone seeking an illustration of the interweaving and interdependency of different South African cultures need look no further than the language.Tsotsitaal, for example, is “an Afrikaans-influenced township patois . typically spoken in Gauteng. Origin from tsotsi + Afrikaans taal ‘language”). And the word tsotsi? It’s “a black urban criminal’, says the entry, and its origin is “perhaps a Sesotho corruption of zoot suit, with reference to the flashy clothes originally associated with tsotsis’. 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Alors que les societes a travers le monde qui repondent a une pression sur l’efficacite et les prix de plus en plus grande, l’Afrique du Sud devient un emplacement international de choix pour la sous-traitance de processus commerciaux.La sous-traitance des processus commerciaux (BPO) est une tendance mondiale importante et le secteur, estime peser 130 milliards de dollars par an, presente un taux de croissance attendu d’environ 50% pour les cinq prochaines annees.Le BPO implique de delocaliser certains processus commerciaux qui sont habituellement realises en interne par une societe au profit d’un fournisseur de services tiers comme un service clients ou des centres d’appel pour prester des services pour le compte de la societe concernee.Identifie comme un secteur cle au sein de la strategie du gouvernement pour accelerer le taux de croissance economique du pays et creer des emplois, la sous-traitance des processus commerciaux devrait creer 25 000 emplois directs et 75 000 emplois indirects en Afrique du Sud et contribuer jusqu’a 95 milliards de rands a l’economie nationale d’ici 2009.La sous-traitance des technologies d’information (TI) est aussi une activite end developpement en Afrique du Sud grace a la diversite du marche, un savoir-faire de classe mondiale et au contexte d’un pays en voie de developpement qui en font un laboratoire de test ideal pour les innovations.La sous-traitance TI represente plus d’un tiers des 30 milliards de rands du marches des services TI d’apres une etude de 2008 de la societe d’etude et de conseil IDC qui represente la plus grosse part des categories de services de TI.Gartner, le groupe d’etude international, classe l’Afrique du Sud parmi ses 30 destinations de sous-traitance de developpement de logiciels, l’etude de 2007 la mettant a egalite avec Israel dans la region Europe, Moyen Orient et Afrique et proche de l’Australie et de l’Inde au niveau mondial.Appeller l’Afrique du SudD’apres Business Day, le secteur local des centres d’appel a progresse d’environ 8% par an depuis 2003. Il emploie environ 54 000 personnes et contribue a 0,92% du produit interieur brut (PIB) de l’Afrique du Sud.Un programme de financement de BPO appuye par le gouvernement, lance en 2007, vise a ameliorer la competitivite de l’Afrique du Sud et comprend un budget d’incitations aux investissements de 1,1 milliard de rands. Le programme est axe sur:Une strategie marketing au sens large.Un programme de financement public qui comprend une subvention d’investissement et des subventions de formation.Un cadre de tarification en developpement pour les telecommunications.De avantages concurrentielsL’Afrique du Sud presentent de nombreux facteur favorables, comme:Des niveaux de services de rang mondial du personnel des centres d’appel.Une large base de connaissances en matiere de fournisseur de services et de gestion, associee a des connaissances en matiere de services financiers, surtout en matiere d’assurances, d’hypotheques et de traitement et collecte de prets.Un fuseau horaire partage avec l’Europe.Un niveau d’anglais courant eleve associe a de accents anglais neutres qui sont facilement compris sur les marches occidentaux.Un taux de change favorable.Un fort soutien public.Encouragements publics, comme des subventions pour les start-up et les expansions et des prix reduits des telecommunications.Un secteur des telecommunications moderne et en developpement.Le gouvernement prend des mesures pour garantir une capacite haut debit plus disponible qui permettra des appels telephoniques internationaux moins chers. De gros projets sont aussi en cours pour installer des cables de fibre optique sous marins le long des cotes est et ouest de l’Afrique afin d’augmenter la connexion du continent avec le reste du monde.Le monde en un seul paysLes societes internationales qui ont deja choisi l’Afrique du Sud comme destination de BPO comprennent IBM, Fujitsu Siemens, Lufthansa, Virgin, Sykes, Avis et Car Phone Warehouse.L’engagement de l’Afrique du Sud a l’egard du secteur BPO a ete souligne en 2007 par la decision de construire un centre d’appels de 125 millions de rands et 1 500 places dans la zone de developpement industriel de Coega en dehors de Port Elizabeth dans la provinde d’Eastern Cape.Le Parc BPO s’etend sur cinq hectares dans le quartier des services commerciaux de Coega et comprend des lieux de formation et un espace de loisirs. La societe de gestion a declare que l’espace etait conçu pour prevoir differents scenarios et pourrait accueillir differents investisseurs.Les autres investissements recents sont : En mai 2008, la multinationale petroliere Royal Dutch Shell a ouvert un centre d’appels au Cap. Le centre offrira des services aux clients de Shell en Belgique, au Luxembourg et aux Pays-bas, avec des operateurs afrikaans natifs qui seront formes au neerlandais et au flamand. En novembre 2007, le geant de sous-traitance de processus commerciaux base aux USA TeleTech a commence la construction d’une nouvelle usine en dehors du Cap, sa premiere base sur le continent africain. Derniere mise a jour de l’article : Septembre 2008SAinfo reporter. Sources (sites en langue anglaise) :South Africa YearbookBusiness Process Enabling South AfricaDepartment of Trade and IndustryCoega Development CorportationBusiness Day
Lions and other regional carnivores now have added protection through the efforts of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Golden Lions Rugby Union.(Image: Luke Harwood) MEDIA CONTACTS • Hayley Komen Communications manager, EWT +27 11 486 1102• Krystle Geach PR and media manager, GLRU +27 11 402 2960 x130 RELATED ARTICLES • EWT making tracks in conservation • West African lion linked to Asiatic cat • Raggies to help shark conservation • World’s largest nature area, in Africa • Lions return to Great KarooLyndon JafthaThe Gauteng-based Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) has teamed up with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to boost conservation efforts in 2012. This makes the Lions the first professional rugby team to formally enter into a conservation project.According to GLRU public relations manager Krystle Geach, the main focus will be on saving South Africa’s carnivores, but the team will also give prominence to the protection of rhinos.The venture, announced in October, is expected to give extra impetus to the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) efforts, and bring the concept of conservation to a whole new audience.The GLRU, which also undertakes social responsibility projects such as developing rugby facilities in townships, was approached by the EWT and wasted no time in agreeing to the partnership.Vanessa du Plessis of the EWT said that the project would communicate the NGO’s mission and vision powerfully and efficiently, and because there are so many sports fans in South Africa, the message will be spread far and wide.It is hoped that the partnership will increase conservation awareness through the GLRU’s website, its social network sites Facebook and Twitter, and the newsletter that is sent out fortnightly during the rugby seasons.In addition, the EWT will keep fans up to date on their projects and events via the Lions magazine, which is distributed five times a year to ticket holders and is also available in various retail outlets.And to drive the message home, EWT news will appear in match day programmes, while announcements and images will also be displayed on the big screen in stadiums on match days.Sustaining our diversityThe EWT was established in 1973 with the aim of promoting a healthy planet and a world that values and is able to sustain its diversity of life. The organisation’s mission is to protect threatened species and ecosystems in the Southern African region.Through some 80 projects across the region, the EWT is helping to preserve wetland ecosystems, reduce conflicts between humans and wildlife, and more.Current projects include the Airport Wildlife Programme which aims to increase aviation safety by reducing bird strikes; and the Healthy Rivers Programme, which focuses on the conservation of freshwater species and ecosystems throughout Southern Africa.One of its most important projects is currently on many minds locally and abroad – the rhino poaching crisis. In addition to working in the field and with like-minded organisations, the EWT, through its partner Afrika Force, has produced a fashionable beaded bracelet that is sold at a number of retail stores around South Africa.The bracelets provide an easy way for people to support rhino conservation, and bring in an income for the men and women who make them.There is also the precarious situation of endangered carnivores, such as the African wild dog, whose population in South Africa now numbers less than 400 individuals. At the same time, the lawful and unlawful trading of leopard and cheetah is negatively impacting on the existence of these big cats.The EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme aims to conserve predators by securing new habitats, conducting vital research, and addressing important problems such as the trade and illegal killing of these threatened animals.
Vertebra from the newly discovered dinosaur species Aardonyx celestea. This fossil has helped scientists to learn more about how early dinosaurs walked.(Image: Cathy Findley PR) Prof Bruce Rubidge shows visitors a large crocodile-like reptile skull, Erythrosuchus, believed to be one of the most distant ancestors of dinosaurs.(Image: Wilma den Hartigh) The large hand of a Gorgonopsian clearly illustrates the hunting capabilities of these flesh-eating mammal-like reptiles.(Image: Cathy Findley PR) Massospondylus eggs and fossiled embryo.(Image: Cathy Findley PR) The fossils on show reveal important information about the development of mammal-like reptiles, which over hundreds of millions of years gradually evolved into mammals.(Image: Wilma den Hartigh)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nicolle Kairuz Cathy Findley Public Relations+27 11 463 6372Wilma den HartighA rare collection of original fossils that evolved over a period of 120-million years, dating back even further than the discovery of early hominids, is on display at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.The new exhibition is a collaboration between Maropeng and the Bernard Price Institute (BPI) for Palaeontological Research at Wits University, to celebrate the university’s 90th anniversary.The fossils on display, which offer an extraordinary glimpse into what came before dinosaurs, are a small selection of pieces from the institute’s prized original fossil collection.At a glance the items on display might look like nothing more than pieces of rock, but a closer inspection reveals that they are palaeontological finds with great significance.These fossils are helping scientists piece together the puzzle of human and mammal evolution.Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, BPI director Prof Bruce Rubidge explained that the fossils on show reveal important information about the development of mammal-like reptiles, which over hundreds of millions of years gradually evolved into mammals.“All fossils displayed here are our ancestors,” says Rubidge.What scientists saw in their study of these fossils is that over time our primitive reptilian ancestors gradually acquired more mammal-like features. “This means we can trace the entire evolutionary development of mammals,” he explains.Rubidge explains that about 300-million years ago, when terrestrial ecosystems started to develop, the only animals with backbones were fish and amphibians.The Karoo region records a long period of geological ancestry of three groups of reptiles that gave rise to tortoises, dinosaurs, lizards, snakes and small mammals. “This whole evolution is encapsulated in these rocks in the Karoo,” he says.SA’s rich fossil heritageThis collection of fossils is even more noteworthy because of its origins in rocks in the Karoo region, dating back 180- to 300-million years ago.“What is amazing about South Africa’s Karoo rock is that it is an almost continuous sedimentary record of palaeontological history for a period of 120-million years,” explains Rubidge.“It is the only place in the world with such an extensive and continuous record.”What’s on show?Visitors can see parts of Aardonyx, a vegetarian dinosaur from the early Jurassic period. This fossil, approximately 195-million years old and estimated to be seven metres long, has helped scientists to learn more about how early dinosaurs walked.According to Dr Adam Yates, the primary investigator and a palaeontologist at the BPI, this particular species is important as it was close to the common ancestor of the gigantic sauropod dinosaurs.Sauropods, also known as brontosaurs, were the largest backboned animals to walk on land with their long necks, tree-trunk legs and whip-like tails. Aardonyx probably walked on its hind legs, but could also drop onto all fours.There is a large crocodile-like reptile skull, Erythrosuchus, believed to be one of the most distant ancestors of dinosaurs.The large hand of a Gorgonopsian clearly illustrates the hunting capabilities of these flesh-eating mammal-like reptiles.The showpiece of the collection is the 195-million-year-old clutch of dinosaur eggs – the oldest fossilised dinosaur eggs in the world, discovered in a cliff at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State province.This site previously yielded the oldest known embryos belonging to Massospondylus, a relative of sauropods.The discovery of the clutch of eggs, which made international headlines, revealed important clues about the evolution of complex reproductive behaviour in early dinosaurs.Speaking about this discovery in an earlier news report David Evans, curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, said even though the fossil record of dinosaurs is extensive, there is very little information about their reproductive biology, particularly for early dinosaurs.The newly-discovered dinosaur nesting ground is believed to be more than 100-million years older than previously known nesting sites.At least ten nests have been discovered at several levels at the Golden Gate site, each with up to 34 round eggs in tightly clustered clutches.The distribution of the nests in the rock indicates show that early dinosaurs returned repeatedly to this site, a process known as nesting site fidelity.A palaeotourism route for SAThe fossils found in Karoo rock add to the country’s already extraordinary fossil record. “South Africa has had an enormous impact on the field of palaeontology,” Rubidge says.He says there is great potential to develop a palaeotourism route in South Africa, and that there’s no reason why such an initiative couldn’t be as successful as the country’s wine route. South Africa has one of the richest fossil records and collections in the world and the industry could create many jobs.Sites to include on the route include the Cradle of Humankind, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus, known as Mrs Ples, was found in 1947; Nieu-Bethesda’s Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre, famous for its early dinosaur and reptile discoveries; Golden Gate, the site of the oldest fossilised dinosaur eggs in the world, and Langebaan on the West Coast, where fossilised human footprints dating back 117 000 years were found, the oldest known footprints of an anatomically-modern human.Langebaan is home to the West Coast Fossil Park, about 150km northwest of Cape Town, where the oldest woodpecker in Africa was recently discovered and named after former president Nelson Mandela. It lived during the Pliocene era, which extended from about 5.3-million years to 2.6-million years ago.The park contains many well-preserved examples of animals that roamed the land about five million years ago and is described as possibly the most diverse collection of fossils of that age.• The fossil display will run until the end of October 2012.
27 June 2014 South Africa’s new immigration regulations are being scrutinised by the Department of Tourism to ensure that they do not negatively influence tourist arrivals, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said in a statement on Wednesday. The department had received representations from tourism stakeholders on the possible “unintended consequences” of some of the provisions brought into effect by the new Immigration Act signed into law on 2 June, the minister said. Hanekom said that while the regulation of immigration matters was the constitutional responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs, “any matter that could have a detrimental impact on international tourist arrivals” to South Africa was a concern. Industry representatives say they are concerned about two specific provisions in the new regulations: the requirement for minors to travel with unabridged birth certificates, and the collection of biometric data (fingerprints and photographs) – which must be done in person at visa offices. Industry stakeholders told Hanekom they believed these measures could influence the competitiveness of South Africa as a tourism destination. Hanekom acknowledged that while the new regulations reflected South Africa’s commitment to combating child trafficking, that the prospect of “unforeseen and unintended negative consequences” should be taken seriously. “Like many other destinations, we have a dual imperative: we have to combat child trafficking by aligning our approach to global efforts, while limiting damage to our competitiveness as a tourism destination.” The minister said his department and industry stakeholders were studying global best practice on these broader policy challenges as well as on the practicalities of implementing such measures. Officials from the Department of Tourism were in “urgent discussions” with their counterparts in Home Affairs to clarify any misperceptions and to find appropriate solutions. Hanekom said he would meet Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to follow up on these discussions if required. “I want to assure our trade partners and other industry stakeholders that as government, we understand the value of travel and tourism, which has grown so impressively over the past few years. “We will carefully consider any negative impacts of well-intentioned measures on international tourist arrivals and the attractiveness of our destination.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
Standard residential construction in much of the country is 2×4 framing with fiberglass insulation, achieving a paltry R-10 or so in the walls. If insulation is installed at all on the foundation walls, it’s rarely more than an inch thick, and insulation is almost never put under slabs. In Vermont, we typically do a lot better. Act 250, enacted nearly four decades ago, required developers to improve energy performance and that led to a widespread switch to 2×6 framing in home building.But 2×6 wall construction is still woefully inadequate in my book. A well-built 2×6 frame wall insulated with dense-pack cellulose or fiberglass will achieve only about R-17 or R-18 (accounting for the “thermal bridging” through the more conductive wood studs). If we want to have a chance of achieving the carbon-emission-reduction goals that climate scientists tell us will be needed—80% reduction by 2050, or even sooner—we will have to start insulating houses much better.So what’s a reasonable target?Building science expert Joe Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., of Building Science Corporation in Westford, Massachusetts, argues that for any house north of the Mason-Dixon Line we should follow the “10-20-40-60 rule” for R-values: R-10 under foundation floor slabs; R-20 foundation walls; R-40 house walls, and R-60 ceilings or roofs.Getting to these insulation levels is a challenge, but it’s far from impossible. Here are a few ways in which the 10-20-40-60 insulation goals can be achieved:R-10 under concrete slabs. This can be achieved with 2″ of extruded polystyrene or XPS (for example, Dow Styrofoam), 2-1/2″ of high-density expanded polystyrene (EPS), or 2″ of spray polyurethane foam put in by a skilled insulation contractor. In cold climates like Vermont’s I think sub-slab insulation levels should be boosted even further—to about R-20, with 4″ of rigid foam.R-20 foundation walls. This can be achieved with either interior or exterior foundation insulation or with insulated concrete forms (ICFs). With exterior insulation, most common is XPS, but I’m a big fan of rigid mineral wool, such as Roxul Drainboard, which provides R-4.2 per inch and comes in thicknesses up to 2-3/8″ (so two layers of their thickest product will get you to the R-20 goal). If insulating on the interior, a reasonable approach is to add a 1″ or 2″ layer of rigid insulation against the foundation wall then add a 2×4 or 2×6 frame wall with cavity-fill cellulose or fiberglass insulation. With ICFs, many products are available with at least 2″ of high-density EPS on both the interior and exterior faces, so that the R-20 goal can be achieved fairly easily.R-40 above-grade house walls. Achieving R-40 in walls is a challenge. Here are several options that get you pretty close to that: a 2×6 frame wall with dense-pack cellulose plus three inches of foil-faced polyisocyanurate foam on the exterior; a double 2×4 wall separated by at least 3″ with the resultant cavity filled with dense-pack cellulose or high-density fiberglass batts (at least 10″ overall thickness); and a structural insulated panel (SIP) system with 9″ or 10″ panels.R-60 ceiling or roof. Such a high insulation level in the ceiling (unheated attic) can be achieved with 16″ to 18″ of cellulose insulation or high-density fiberglass batts—you may need somewhat more to achieve the recommended R-value after settling. If the roof is being insulated (above a cathedral ceiling), getting to R-60 will typically require a combination of cavity-fill insulation in the rafters or trusses and rigid insulation on top of the roof sheathing.Combining these insulation levels with a compact design, modest passive solar features, triple-glazed low-e windows, and high-efficiency lighting and appliances should get the energy consumption of new homes to less than a quarter that of standard new homes. The energy requirements for such homes should then be low enough that most, if not all, of the remaining energy needs could be satisfied (now or in the future) with photovoltaic (solar-electric) panels to achieve net-zero-energy or carbon-neutral performance.Over the coming weeks, I’ll examine various issues relating to extremely well-insulated houses as well as what can be done with existing houses—the concept of “deep-energy retrofits.”
Patrolling in the Satkosia Tiger Reserve is set to be strengthened as two trained elephants would be deployed there shortly.Trained elephants will help ground-level forest guards patrol deep in the forest where jeeps cannot go.The two elephants are being brought from the Similipal Tiger Reserve.“We are mobilising a few trained elephants as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The elephant deployment in STR at present has no connection with the possible release of tigress Sundari, imported from Madhya Pradesh, from the special enclosure set up inside Satkosia,” said Sandeep Tripathi, Principal Chief Conservator Forest (Wildlife).Sources in the Forest and Environment Department said the authorities did not want to leave any stone unturned before approaching the NTCA for resuming the ambitious tiger reintroduction programme in Satkosia.The tiger reintroduction programme in STR had run into rough weather following the death of India’s first inter-State translocated tiger last year.The Odisha government had planned to bring six tigers (three male and three female) from Madhya Pradesh to increase the feline population in Satkosia. Last year, one pair of big cats was brought to Satkosia.However, the programme did not go as per plan. While the tiger T1 reportedly died after falling into a poaching trap, there was huge discontentment among villagers residing in the buffer areas over the frequent straying of the tigress into human habitation. As the situation went out of control following a human kill, the tigress was captured. Subsequently, the programme was put on hold.