News to go further TurkeyEurope – Central Asia News Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Follow the news on Turkey Help by sharing this information April 28, 2021 Find out more News Organisation May 20, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Key testimony from secret witness at 13th hearing in Hrant Dink murder trial April 2, 2021 Find out more April 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News Important testimony was given at the 13th hearing in the trial of Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink’s alleged killers in Istanbul on 10 May. A witness, whose identity was not revealed, identified three of the defendants as being at the scene of Dink’s fatal shooting outside his newspaper on 19 January 2007.Testifying that the main suspect and alleged shooter, Ogün Samast, was not alone, the secret witness said Yasin Hayal (one of the alleged masterminds) and his brother, Osman Hayal, were also there and that Osman Hayal also fired shots at Dink. The trial’s attention is now focused on these three men.The witness said he saw a man aged around 40-45 approach Dink and address him briefly, holding him by one hand. He then saw two other men approach and surround Dink. After giving a fairly detailed physical description of one of the men, the witness said he saw that he was holding a gun and appeared to be under the effects of drugs.“This person fired two shots at Dink, I remember it clearly,” he said. “I noticed that the other person was Ogün Samast. He also then fired two shots and shouted at the journalist, using the word ‘Armenian’.”Samast and Yasin Hayal dispute this testimony, saying it is not credible. Samast said he committed the murder on his own, insisting that: “Everyone knows that Yasin Hayal was somewhere else that day.”Two of the defendants were released after this testimony. Only three of the defendants are still in custody. They are Samast, Yasin Hayal and Erhan Tuncal, a police informer in Trabzon, Samast’s home town.Dink’s window, Rakel, was present at the 13th hearing as she has been at all of the previous ones, accompanied by her lawyers. Lawyers from the Paris bar association and a parliamentary representative of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) also attended the 10 May hearing.Reporters Without Borders welcomes the latest signs of progress in the trial but regrets that the court refused to hear testimony from foreign intelligence chief Sabri Uzun, who recently said he had not been told about the threats to Dink’s life as he had not been given the case files. He added that, if the proper procedure had been respected, Dink would still be alive. Uzun would not have been able to identify the killer, but his testimony would have drawn attention to the problems within the Turkish security services, which should have been able to protect Dink. RSF_en
The Latest: SEC pessimistic about spring football practices March 18, 2020 The league also says it will pay the second instalment of an 800,000 euro ($862,000) solidarity fund to amateur clubs to help them cushion the economic weight of the pandemic.___1:35 p.m.AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimović has set up a fundraiser to help Italian hospitals in the center of the coronavirus outbreak.According to the website accepting donations, Ibrahimović has donated 100,000 euros ($109,000) to the fund. It quickly raised a further 10,300 euros ($11,300). The site states that all the money raised will be “directly donated to Humanitas to help strengthen the intensive care and emergency units of Milano, Bergamo, Castellanza and Torino’s hospitals.”Italy has been the second hardest hit country with more than 31,000 cases of the virus.The 38-year-old Ibrahimović rejoined Milan in January from the Los Anegles Galaxy. He has also played for Italian clubs Inter Milan and Juventus.___1:20 p.m. Sankey says on a conference call with reporters that “practically that window’s pretty narrow.” The SEC and other conferences have canceled championships for spring sports and spring football games, and suspended athletic activities until at least April 15.“That doesn’t mean we’ll be back to normal practice activities April 16,” Sankey said.He also cited federal recommendations limiting the size of gatherings.___4:20 p.m. 8:50 a.m.The Western Athletic Conference has canceled all competition and championships for the remainder of the academic year.The WAC had previously suspended all competition, but the conference’s board of directors voted Tuesday to cancel all spring sports. The decision falls in line with the NCAA’s cancellation of its winter and spring championships.The WAC’s decision affects men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, softball and baseball.___ The Austrian soccer league is making plans to extend its suspension until May and take advantage of UEFA’s decision to postpone the European Championship.The Austrian Bundesliga says its clubs agreed they could restart in early May and play until the end of June.The league says “should the situation in general ease and make a resumption of play possible, the clubs will immediately consult about concrete start dates and draw up an alternative schedule.”UEFA moved the European Championship to 2021, freeing up space for European leagues to finish seasons disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak before many players’ contracts expire on June 30.___ Spanish soccer team Alavés says 15 people in its club have become infected with the coronavirus: three players, seven members of its coaching staff and five other employees.The club had already reported that two members of its staff were infected.Valencia and Espanyol said earlier this week that their clubs have also been hit by the virus.Valencia said Monday that 35% of its squad and coaching staff are infected, while Espanyol said on Tuesday that six members of its squad and staff have it.All three clubs say their infected members are in good health. 3:40 p.m.Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora says the country’s top soccer league is likely to resume on May 3.Spadafora says “then we will evaluate whether it’s open to the public or not.”Italy was one of the first countries to suspend its soccer leagues because of the coronavirus outbreak.Italian soccer federation president Gabriele Gravina says starting on May 3 should allow the league to finish by June 30 but if that’s not possible “there must be a change in format.” The season was due to start on the weekend of April 3-4.The clubs say in a statement that their decision is supported by broadcasters, fans and the country’s main supporters’ union.The clubs say “work remains on establishing a new plan for the year and sorting out the exact dates for the start and other rounds.”___3:30 p.m. Associated Press Gravina also says “a salary cut for soccer players can not be a taboo in this period of emergency.”___3:35 p.m.Clubs in the top two soccer leagues in Sweden say they do not want to start the new season until the beginning of June because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Swedish soccer association must now decide whether to accept the clubs’ request. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):12:36 p.m.Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey hasn’t ruled out the prospect of holding some spring football practices, but he’s not all that optimistic. Premier League team Chelsea is making a hotel located on the grounds of its Stamford Bridge stadium available free of charge for London’s medical workers during the coronavirus outbreak.The club says Russian owner Roman Abramovich will cover the costs of providing the accommodation for staff of the National Health Service who “will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes.”Chelsea says the offer is initially for a two-month period and will be reconsidered depending on circumstances.The entire hotel will be given up for medical workers if necessary.___ ___3 p.m.All training sessions at Belgian professional soccer clubs have been suspended until at least April 5 because of the coronavirus outbreak.Belgium’s national security council earlier said all gatherings, cultural, social, festive and sporting activities have been prohibited until the same date.The league says it will decide which matches can be rescheduled once training has resumed. 1 a.m.Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and pop star wife Ciara have announced they are donating 1 million meals through Seattle’s Food Lifeline to help provide meals for those in need during the coronavirus outbreak in the region.“Everything we do together makes a difference,” Ciara said in a video posted to her Twitter account. “And together we will conquer this tough time that we’re going through.”According to Food Lifeline’s website, the organization provides the equivalent of 134,000 meals daily and had 58 million pounds of food sourced last year.___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
Tom Buchy of Kimberley is off to represent the Kootenay Zone at the BC Mixed Curling Championships after sweeping past the James McKenzie rink of Castlegar 2-0 in the Mixed Finals Saturday at the Nelson Curling Club.Buchy, third Lori Buchy, second Dave Toffolo and lead Robyn Toffolo, defeated McKenzie by scores of 8-2 and 7-1.Buchy now advances to the BC Mixed Championships March 2-5 in Parksville.
TRIPLE CROWN CHAMP AMERICAN PHAROAH JOGS, TWO-TIME ECLIPSE CHAMPION MARE BEHOLDER GALLOPS THIS MORNING AT SANTA ANITA ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2015)–Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah and multiple Eclipse Champion Beholder each went through their morning paces this morning at Santa Anita Park.With trainer Bob Baffert at the annual Keeneland Sales, “Pharoah” came on the main track at 8:20 a.m. and backtracked one mile before heading back to Baffert’s Barn 5.American Pharoah Link: https://youtu.be/vELLbDTvOYQBeholder, out before sunrise at 6:30 a.m., came on the track in the quarter mile chute, jogged straight off and galloped a crisp seven furlongs, according to Xpressbet’s Millie Ball. The 5-year-old Henny Hughes mare, fresh off a smashing win versus males in the Grade I Pacific Classic Aug. 22, is being pointed by trainer Richard Mandella to the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26.Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Beholder exited the main track via the Grandstand tunnel adjacent to the finish line and walked through Santa Anita’s paddock area en route to Mandella’s Barn 4.Beholder Link: https://youtu.be/fPbRgRTHSlQ
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2016)–Unbeaten Smokey Image, in his first try around two turns, annihilated six California-bred rivals en route to a 8 ½ length win in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Derby at Santa Anita. Ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza and trained for the first time Carla Gaines, the California-bred colt by Southern Image got a mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.49 and no-doubt stamped himself a ticket to the Kentucky Derby trail in his next start.Breaking from post position two, Smokey Image easily out-footed Glory Bound to the first turn and set comfortable fractions of 23.49, 47.48 and 1:11.63.“He reminds me of California Chrome!” said Espinoza. “I was expecting him to run a big race today. I worked him the other day and he worked unbelievably. I was very impressed. For me, I don’t look at it like Cal-bred or not. I just look at him and ask where he has potential…The way he ran today, he showed me that he can go the distance and he showed me that he can run with any horse, Cal-bred or not…Hopefully, I can get my next (fourth) Kentucky Derby.”Off at 2-5, Smokey Image paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10.“It looks like he did two turns well, right?” said Gaines, who took over training Smokey Image from Northern California-based Greg James following his most recent win at Del Mar on Oct. 30. “My first impression was that he was just a very, very nice horse. You know what? Greg James and his assistant, Mary, did a tremendous job with this horse. Really, I just took over the reins.”Owned by Betty Irvin’s Irvin Racing Stable, Smokey Image, who is out of the Free House mare, Special Smoke, notched his perfect sixth win and picked up $137,500 for the win, increasing his earnings to $435,100.“We’ll evaluate the calendar and see what he’s ready for, but certainly his performance today indicated we might have something more special,” said Irvin’s daughter, Diane Irvin, who serves as her racing manager. “After my dad passed (last year), I took over.”Tough It Out, who was ridden by Santiago Gonzalez, rallied from last to be second, finishing 6 ¼ lengths in front of Xingontothebone. Off at 8-1, Tough It Out paid $5.40 and $3.80.Xingontothebone, who was caught four wide going into the first turn, finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of Glory Bound. Ridden by Martin Pedroza, “Xing” paid $4.80 to show.
David Lopez711361218%44%$384,858 Peter Eurton32510516%63%$223,160 ASHLEY’S SASSY TAKES TO TURF IN FILLY & MARE SPRINTAshley’s Sassy makes her grass debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint for older fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs, and if breeding means anything, the chestnut filly should take a liking to the greensward.“It’s her first time down the hill and she seems to like grass,” trainer Peter Eurton said of the 4-year-old daughter of Decarchy out of the Urgent Request dam Ashley’s Folly.“She’s from an all-grass family, that’s for sure, with her mother and Decarchy.”The field: Yana, Agapito Delgadillo, 30-1; My Fiona, Fernando Perez, 20-1; Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Chati’s On Top, Santiago Gonzalez, 5-1; Heaven’s Stairway, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Sheer Pleasure, Tyler Baze, 8-1; Velvet Mesquite, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Singing Kitty, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Jenna’s Faith, Drayden Van Dyke, 30-1; Light One, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Qiaona, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Ashley’s Sassy, Alonso Quinonez, 12-1; and also-eligibles Nite Delite, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1 and Princess Bertrando, Abel Lezcano, 30-1. Jeff Mullins1133027%55%$95,980 Mark Glatt3442112%21%$133,420 Martin Garcia4755711%36%$349,884 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Kristin Mulhall1642125%44%$154,310 Steve Knapp1431221%43%$97,570 Tyler Baze9711171111%40%$556,202 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Bob Baffert4276817%50%$463,740 J. Eric Kruljac2032515%50%$75,200 RUN LIKE THE BOSS SHOULD FANCY TURFJoe Talamo has ridden Run Like the Boss twice, winning once, and hopes to add to his success in Saturday’s $200,000 Xpressbet California Cup Oaks for three-year-old fillies scheduled for one mile on turf.“She won first time out and ran third at Del Mar coming off a layoff,” said Talamo, who has been working the gray daughter of Scat Daddy at San Luis Rey Downs for Peter Miller, trainer of Run Like the Boss for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison.“I think she’ll love the distance, and even though she hasn’t run on turf, her breeding indicates she can handle it,” Talamo said. “All the Scat Daddys seem to like it.”The Oaks lineup: Just Google Me, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Patriotic Diamond, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Hurricaine Callie, Santiago Gonzalez, 15-1; Run for Retts, Tyler Baze, 20-1; Roo’s Valentine, Martin Pedroza, 4-1; Run Like the Boss, Joe Talamo, 12-1; Pacific Heat, Flavien Prat, 9-5; and $25,000 supplemental nominee Cheekaboo, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1. Philip D’Amato47981019%57%$558,210 Robertino Diodoro1234125%67%$96,090 William Spawr1664138%69%$146,914 Rafael Bejarano751614821%51%$810,130 John Sadler323539%34%$176,470 DRINKS ON BOOZER IN $250,000 TURF CLASSIC?SUNDAY RULES VS. MALES IN VALPREDO SPRINTTOUGH IT OUT SET FOR RICH CAL CUP DERBYTALAMO’S FILLY ‘REAL BOSS’ IN CAL CUP OAKSASHLEY’S SASSY IN FILLY & MARE TURF SPRINTMOR SPIRIT DRILLS FOR ROBERT LEWIS STAKES Patrick Gallagher1642225%50%$265,008 ‘GOOD TRIP’ CRUCIAL FOR BOOZER IN TURF CLASSICBoozer makes his second attempt to win the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic presented by City National Bank Saturday when the son of Unusual Heat trained by Mark Glatt for Al and Saundra Kirkwood runs in the mile-and-an-eighth race for four-year-olds and up.The six-year-old gelding is usually on the pace or close to it. Last year, he missed winning the Classic by a neck after leading most of the way under Gary Stevens, who is back aboard Saturday.“It looks like there’s speed in the race and hopefully he’ll relax behind it,” Glatt said. “If he gets a good trip, he’ll be close and we’ll see if we can hang on this year.”The Turf Classic, one of five stakes races worth a total of $1 million for California-bred or sired horses on Sunshine Millions Day: Tamarando, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; G.G. Ryder, Santiago Gonzalez, 4-1; Unusually Green, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Image of Joplin, Agapito Delgadillo, 15-1; defending champion Alert Bay, Martin Garcia, 7-2; Grazen Sky, Tyler Baze, 12-1; $25,000 supplemental nominee What a View; Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Soi Phet, Alonso Quinonez, 15-1; Something Unusual, Iggy Puglisi, 12-1; Poshky, Flavien Prat, 9-2; Boozer, Gary Stevens, 10-1; Awesome Return, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; and also-eligible Cowboy, Jose Verenzuela, 50-1. Edwin Maldonado66126818%39%$392,460 Agapito Delgadillo2945314%41%$119,554 Mike Smith444369%30%$466,320 Brice Blanc222069%36%$214,020 Mario Gutierrez80915911%41%$481,444 Abel Lezcano3031210%20%$133,620 Alex Solis930233%56%$174,634 Richard Baltas4475316%34%$463,934 Karen Headley530060%60%$127,700 (Current Through Sunday, Jan. 24) Joseph Talamo8010121013%40%$489,564 Tiago Pereira442525%20%$156,962 Martin Pedroza3952113%21%$94,440 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Jerry Hollendorfer5545107%35%$292,022 Drayden Van Dyke5267612%37%$368,634 Peter Miller4873415%29%$256,720 Kent Desormeaux3447512%47%$330,220 Doug O’Neill67891212%43%$407,902 Brayan Pena1520013%13%$36,170 Fernando Perez70841111%33%$424,876 Vladimir Cerin1441229%50%$112,690 TOUGH IT OUT READY TO GO IN CAL CUP DERBYTrainer Phil D’Amato also has Tough It Out entered in the $250,000 California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles for owner/breeder Nick Alexander.A gray son of Grazen, Tough It Out was third behind Found Money in the one-mile King Glorious for state-breds last Dec. 12 at Los Alamitos.“He’s doing really well,” D’Amato said. “He lost a lot of ground in the King Glorious. He ran an extra sixteenth of a mile. Saturday, we’ve got the rail and (leading rider) Santiago (Gonzalez). The horse is ready to go.”The Derby field: Tough It Out, Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1; Smokey Image, Victor Espinoza, 4-5; Record Highs, Joe Talamo, 10-1; Demonslayer, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Glory Bound, Edwin Maldonado, 4-1; Xingontothebone, Martin Pedroza, 8-1;and Loyalist, Flavien Prat, 12-1. Victor Espinoza302617%30%$276,880 Alonso Quinonez403738%33%$162,860 J. Keith Desormeaux2040620%50%$101,170 Steven Miyadi2336413%57%$120,184 Jack Carava1432121%43%$70,360 Jeff Bonde1242033%50%$94,260 George Papaprodromou1932216%37%$79,030 Gary Stevens2342017%26%$496,930 SUNDAY RULES TACKLES MALES IN CAL CUP SPRINTSunday Rules has been entered to face males in Saturday’s $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for older horses at six furlongs.It would mark a first for the five-year-old Tribal Rule mare trained by Phil D’Amato for owner/breeder Nick Alexander.“She’s one-for-one on grass and four-for-four on the main track at Santa Anita, so it’s hard to ignore her dirt record,” said D’Amato, the meet’s leading trainer through 19 days with nine victories from 47 starts. He also has eight seconds and 10 thirds.“The field was coming up on the smaller side, so I hoped we’d draw well and sure enough we drew the outside. It’s a good post, she’s ready to go and we’ll give it a shot.”The Sprint field: San Onofre, Alex Solis, 4-5; Solid Wager, Victor Espinoza, 10-1; Old Man Lake, Tyler Baze, 30-1; Richard’s Boy, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Raised a Secret, Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1; Sunday Rules, Edwin Maldonado, 9-5; and Pay the Fine, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1. Flavien Prat721141315%39%$556,488 FINISH LINES: California General and VIP packages are available at santaanita.com/events for Saturday’s Sunshine Millions & Wine Festival, which will offer food from some of the best local wineries and food vendors. First post time is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. . . Mor Spirit worked five furlongs in company Thursday morning in 1:00.20 for his three-year-old debut a week from Saturday in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. The winner of the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity had jockey Martin Garcia aboard for the drill. Stablemate Latest Craze was clocked in 1:01.60 . . . Multiple graded stakes winner Om, prepping for the Grade II Arcadia Stakes on Feb. 13, worked five furlongs for Dan Hendricks with Gary Stevens in the irons in 1:00.80 . . . Champion Songbird continued to advance for her three-year-old debut in the Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 6 with a seven furlong workout Wednesday in 1:26.60 . . . The first offspring of stakes-winning turf sprinter Lakerville was born Jan. 25 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. A chestnut filly out of the mare Craven Cottage owned and bred by Bob Huston and Barry Abrams is a half-sister to stakes winners of more than $1.5 million. Appropriately, she was named The First One . . . Jockey Abel Lezcano has been suspended three days (Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 4) for causing interference aboard Mr. Count On Me in Saturday’s sixth race, resulting in a disqualification of his mount from first to third, while Edwin Maldonado has been banned the same days for failure to maintain a straight course on Xerxes after the start of Saturday’s third race . . . Also given “days” were jockeys Abel Lezcano (Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 4) for causing interference on Silent Movies in Saturday’s fourth race, and Bruno Panicucci (Feb. 7, 11 and 12) for interference on Icona in Sunday’s second race . . . Joe Carr, whose British-based Duralock Equestrian is the manufacturer of Santa Anita’s newly installed temporary rail, was a race-day visitor on Thursday. Duralock Performance Fencing, renowned for safety and for its ease of installation and movement, is currently in use at racetracks and equestrian venues throughout the world, including New York’s Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course…Horse player and Thoroughbred owner Bob Carper and Dudley Osborne, agent for jockey Agapito Delgadillo, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens at 10:50 a.m.; Saturday and 11:20 a.m. on Sunday. Santiago Gonzalez10722141021%43%$801,468
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Warriors took a flyer on Omari Spellman last summer. This week will serve as a performance review of sorts, conducted in public view.Thursday is the deadline for the Warriors to exercise their option on Spellman’s contract. Spellman is signed through this season, but if the Warriors want to lock him up for next season, they must do so by Oct. 31.“You’d almost like another month or two to see him in actual games,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You have 30 days to …
5 July 2012 South Africa could create at least 5 000 jobs by providing ship and oil rig repair and maintenance, Transport Minister Ben Martins said in Cape Town on Wednesday. Addressing the 2012 South African Maritime Industry Conference, Martins said a re-invigorated maritime industry could become a key driver of economic growth and job creation in the country. One of the biggest opportunities that had been identified in the maritime sector was that of positioning South Africa as a centre for ship and oil rig repair and maintenance. Cape Town’s harbour is already involved in the repair of a number of rigs each year, but this could escalate, with 250 oil and gas explorations set to take place off the coast of West Africa in the next five years. “Repair work driven by the expected explorations could create about 4 000 to 5 000 direct jobs and a further 1 000 indirect jobs,” Martins said. He said the government had developed a draft Green Paper on maritime shipping, which would be tabled before the Cabinet shortly. Research was done on South Africa as a hub for the oil industry through the marketing of cargo, logistics and passenger shipping. A draft policy on making ports more competitive was also being compiled, Martins said. He said one consideration was to set up a transhipment hub in a special economic zone (SEZ) to carry out re-labelling and container repairs. Over the next three days, delegates at the conference – which is hosted by the SA Maritime Safety Authority – are expected to debate how to make the maritime industry more competitive, including taking lessons from the Philippines and Nigeria. Martins said over the next two weeks, his department would be talking to the chief executives and boards of the 12 public entities that report to the department to discover what improvements were needed. Source: SANews.gov.za
With drought an ever present threat, the City of Cape Town has approved plans to build a plant to turn salty sea water into potable water.The City of Cape Town is building its first desalination plant in the V&A Waterfront to deal with the ongoing drought. (Image: Construction Review)Sulaiman PhilipVisitors to Cape Town this festive season will arrive as the Mother City struggles through the worst drought in living memory. At present dams supplying the city stand at 35% capacity, but without any rains the levels will be closer to 25% by December.Minister of local government‚ environmental affairs and development planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, says the province has been managing drought conditions in some parts of the region since 2010. “Three years of below-average rainfall have exacerbated the situation and despite proactive measures like the implementation of water restrictions and programmes to clear the Berg River of alien vegetation‚ the reality is we are faced with a dire situation.”Inspired by the Target 140 Campaign implemented in South East Queensland, Australia, Cape Town embarked on reducing water usage. So far residents’ water usage has dropped below 100 litres per person per day, making the City’s Water Conservation and Water Demand Management Programme one of the most successful water conservation projects globally – a fact recognised at the 2015 C40 Cities Awards in Paris.Mayor Patricia de Lille thanked Capetonians and commended them “for rising to the occasion to save more water in our City because we are determined that we will not allow a well-run City to run out of water”.The mayor told the media the City will run out of water by March next year, at current usage levels. Despite water restrictions and the water savings achieved, Cape Town still needs 450 megalitres of water a day.With no end to the drought in sight, the City has approved plans to build a desalination plant to turn salty sea water into potable water.Construction will begin in December at the V&A Waterfront, the first approved site. By February the plant will feed two million litres of water into municipal networks.The harbour site will allow the City to draw water from the harbour and pump the salt brine residue into the ocean. As David Green, V&A Waterfront chief executive officer, explained: “At peak we have about 7m tidal waves, which means that there is no issue in terms of marine life, the brine is cleared immediately.”The V&A plant is the first of a possible eight the City wants to build. Down from an original 17, the other sites include Dido Valley‚ Granger Bay, Harmony Park, Hout Bay‚ Monwabisi, Strand and Strandfontein.The plants will have a working life of two years and, it is hoped, will supply the City with up to 15 million litres of usable water a day. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
On Sunday 26 March Brand South Africa, Constitution Hill and other stakeholders including the Gauteng Legislature and the City of Joburg took part in We, the People Walk event. Its aim is to promote constitutional awareness and reinforce unity and ubuntu.Weaving through the streets of Johannesburg, the crowd spread the message of tolerance and unity at We, the People Walk event on Sunday 26 March 2017 at Constitution Hill. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Mathiba MolefeDespite the cold weather on Sunday morning 26 March, We, the People Walk event got off to a lively start with people of all ages and nationalities arriving at Constitution Hill.Brand South Africa together with Constitution Hill and a host of other stakeholders including the Gauteng Legislature, City of Johannesburg, the Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARN SA) and SAFM, brought the fourth annual We, The People Walk event to life.This partnership forms part of Brand South Africa’s ongoing effort to promote the nation brand along with its values of constitutional awareness, unity and ubuntu.“Today is very significant for us as the custodians of the nation brand,” said Toni Gumede, the strategic relationship manager for government at Brand South Africa.“The values of the nation brand include tolerance, and that is what today is about. It also includes unity in diversity.”People of all ages and Nationality converged on Constitution hill to encourage constitutionalism in all who call South Africa their home. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)The walk, a demonstration of unity amongst all that live in South Africa, was aimed at promoting tolerance amongst everyone who calls the country their home and serves as a call to eliminate xenophobia.“Today we want to stand together and say, we affirm this constitutionalism and that everybody has a part to play,” Gumede explained.Following a quick warm-up and opening remarks by MC and actor, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, the crowd set off on a walk through Johannesburg’s inner city.People then branched off on the various routes: a one kilometre, a five kilometre or an eight kilometre for those felt like taking in more of the city’s scenery.This year’s walk was the fourth instalment of the annual event and was attended by more than 2 000 people looking to celebrate diversity and to promote tolerance amongst everyone living in South Africa.People brave chilly weather on Sunday 26 March 2017 at Constitution Hill to take part in We, the People Walk event. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Jeanny Morulane, the general manager of marketing and communications at Constitution Hill, said that she was very pleased by the number of people who attended the event.“This is a very important event,” Morulane said. “Because we’re remembering our Constitution, we’re celebrating our Constitution at a very relevant space here at Constitution Hill.“We were very pleased with the turnout. It was a mix, a representation of all of South Africa, all races, all colours, all nationalities. So it was a really nice gathering for everyone.“It’s showing that our democracy is indeed getting firmer.”South Africa’s Constitution, considered by many as one of the most progressive in the world, values freedom of choice and encourages us all to strive for greatness while respecting and valuing cultural and linguistic diversity.In order for South Africa, and indeed Africa as a whole, to fulfil its extraordinary potential we all need to come together and work towards a common goal. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Stand up and be counted “It’s about you, it’s about myself, it’s about your neighbour, it’s about every single person playing their part to do the right thing,” Gumede said.“Today is really about doing the right thing and embracing that which is the foundation, not only of our democracy, but the foundation on which the South Africa of today was built.”In order for South Africa, and indeed Africa as a whole, to fulfil its extraordinary potential we all need to come together and work towards a common goal.It is for this reason that Brand South Africa calls on everybody living in South Africa to play their part in maintaining a society that values the rights of those who call the country their home.“Unity becomes more meaningful and more powerful when we acknowledge our differences,” Morulane said.“Our differences are what make us such a beautiful collective.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.