OAKLAND — We take a break from the Raiders regularly scheduled program for something completely different.Tellingly, it came with the same result.The Raiders beat the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 at the Coliseum, bringing down the curtain on prime time games in Oakland. They’re 5-4, with upcoming games against Cincinnati (0-8) and the New York Jets (1-7) and no sane person can deny the Raiders have put themselves in position to make a run at the postseason.It wasn’t so much that the Raiders …
The iShack offers a potential solution to South Africa’s housing delivery backlog, increasing urbanisation and the growing number of informal settlements in the country. The high-tech shack was developed to provide township communities with a reliable source of electricity and protection from extreme temperatures. Nosanjo Plaatjie and her three young children live in the iShack prototype in Enkanini, outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. The iShack is equipped with a photovoltaic solar panel capable of producing enough electricity to power three lights, a mobile phone charger and an outdoor motion detector spotlight. For communities living without electricity, access to power through the solar panels is one of the biggest benefits. (Images: Malcolm Worby) MEDIA CONTACTS • Andreas Keller +27 21 881 3196 RELATED ARTICLES • New way to build green homes • Entrepreneur builds internet empire • First CT homes to feed power to grid • Sunlight transforms communitiesWilma den HartighA team of researchers from Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Sustainability Institute have developed an innovative approach to upgrade housing and improve living conditions in informal settlements.The iShack, or improved shack concept, offers a potential solution to South Africa’s housing delivery backlog, increasing urbanisation and the growing number of informal settlements in the country.According to the UN Habitat State of the World’s Cities 2012/2013 report, 62% of the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa lives in slums. Such dwellings are characterised by poor living conditions and inadequate access to infrastructure such as basic energy, sanitation and water services.“Shacks are becoming the new norm – so what can we do today to improve the living conditions of people through energy intervention, lighting, cell phones, communication, upping security?” says Andreas Keller, one of the designers of the iShack.The sustainable housing concept allows people who don’t have brick and mortar houses to upgrade their existing shacks, or install new shacks, by incorporating solar power panels to meet basic energy needs, and ecological design principles to make daily living a little bit more comfortable.Solutions for South Africa’s housing challengesIn 2011, the National Research Foundation awarded a grant to SU to find ways to upgrade informal settlements, focussing on priority areas such as water, sanitation, food security, waste management, energy and general structural upgrades to shelters.The first iShack was built in October 2011. It drew the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was so impressed with the idea that it provided grant funding for a pilot project to determine if the improved shack system can be applied at a large scale.Up to 100 shacks will either be newly built or refurbished, and two lucky families are already testing the first prototypes – one new, one refurbished – in the Enkanini Township just outside Stellenbosch.For one of these residents, Nosanjo Plaatjie, a single mother who works as a domestic worker once a week, and her three young children, the brand new iShack has changed their lives.Keller explains that it is important to test how well the iShack design works in new structures, as well as those that are already standing.What does it look like?If you take a quick look at the newly-built eco-friendly shelter it doesn’t look that much different from any of the other makeshift wooden or corrugated houses in the area. But on closer inspection, the improvements are significant.Keller says the structural modifications using ecological design principles make the dwelling much more comfortable to live in.The large windows are positioned in such a way to achieve better air circulation and sunlight heating during the day. The sloped roof and overhang shades the structure on hot days, but in the winter months residents can also harness this handy feature to harvest rainwater. Solar panels provide more than just electricityKeller says that for communities living without electricity, access to power through the solar panels is one of the biggest benefits.Having electricity means that residents have more disposable income, as they don’t have to spend money on candles and paraffin for lighting and cooking.The iShack prototype is equipped with a photovoltaic solar panel capable of producing enough electricity to power three lights, a mobile phone charger and an outdoor motion detector spotlight, which reduces the risk of crime and helps people feel safer in their homes.Households can access these services on a pay-as-you-go basis, and upgrade the solar infrastructure to run more appliances such as a radio, television or fridge.With electricity residents can also charge their mobile phones at home, a luxury for many people who have to walk long distances to charge their phones elsewhere.Keller explains that a working mobile phone is a lifeline for many South Africans as it enables people to find jobs and earn a better income – as the resident of the second retrofitted iShack prototype discovered.“The man, who relies on casual painting jobs for his weekly income, was able to keep his phone charged and switched on to find more work,” he says.“Mobile phone connectivity is perhaps the greatest example of how the iShack is helping people. We take for granted the ability to be connected all the time.”Using recycled materials“One of the objectives of the project is to use existing materials,” Keller says. This also reduces the overall cost of the iShack.In the pilot houses, the developers have made use of recycled cardboard boxes and old Tetra Pak containers, such as long life milk boxes, for insulation between the exterior zinc surface and the interior.Flame-retardant paint reduces the risk of fires, and inside there are rows of recycled bricks to create a durable floor that can also protect against temperature changes.Maintenance and trainingKeller says one of the most important aspects of the project is training, education and maintenance of solar power systems. Without this, technological interventions in community upgrades often fail.To ensure the iShack concept is successful, local entrepreneurs will receive accredited training in business and engineering principles to help community members maintain the technology in their houses. Technicians will be paid from user fees.“It is important to inform residents about the type of appliances they can use,” he says. “Direct current appliances are more energy efficient and designed to run on solar energy.”“We also have to tell residents about the maintenance of solar panels, because if you don’t clean them often it will reduce their efficiency and the number of solar units you can get out of them.”Keller and his team are also looking to set up energy hubs in the communities where iShacks are built. These facilities will be the base from where trained technicians assist communities and where residents can buy suitable appliances and top up their energy accounts.
13 October 2015Four South African journalists have won CNN African Journalist Awards, held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Kenya, Nairobi. The awards recognised and awarded 32 African journalists, drawn from over 1 400 entries from 39 African countries.The Mohamed Amin Photographic Award went to @hermanverwey, Beeld #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20 pic.twitter.com/AlmXQO5lw8— AfricanJournoAwards (@AfricanJourno) October 10, 2015Photographer Herman Verwey from the Beeld newspaper won the Mohamed Amin Photographic Award for his photos taken during the murder trial of the Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius.“When you look at Herman Verwey’s work, for a second, you can wonder. the characters are so full of life, these pictures really give you a sense of their feelings. Herman’s body of work gives also a proper idea of the high pressure that surrounded this trial, so important for the South African society,’ said the judges of their choice of this year’s winner.The awards were handed out on Saturday evening, 10 October.The Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award went to @sarahemilywild, Mail & Guardian #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20 pic.twitter.com/PEFadJx44N— AfricanJournoAwards (@AfricanJourno) October 10, 2015Sarah Wild from the Mail & Guardian newspaper won the Technology & Innovation Reporting Award for her story, “Robot”, on the environmental testing of the health of the oceans’ “lungs” in relation to effects of global warming.Judges highlighted the article’s intuitive and simple tone in communicating the technicalities of the subject matter, saying: “Sarah Wild delivered an original report on a major innovation in research over global warming, conducted by a South African scientific team. It’s an excellent reminder that there are African-led research programs at the forefront of the climate change issue. Sarah Wild transports the reader into the heart of the project, with the team deploying this new generation of sea-cruising robots.”The IPP Media Features Award went to @JulieLaurenz & #JacquelineJayamaha #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20 pic.twitter.com/mrnV3LJXxT— AfricanJournoAwards (@AfricanJourno) October 10, 2015Freelance documentary-makers Julie Laurenz and Jacqueline Jayamaha won in the Features Award category for their harrowing profile piece, “Viola’s Hope”, for the e-tv channel, about the effects of woonga drug addiction.“Tragic. Educative. Committed. The team that brought us this piece spent over a month putting it together and they stayed with their story which was well-shot, produced and written,” said the judges.CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 is Hyacinthe Sanou, Burkina Faso #AfricanJournoAwards #AJA20 w/ @UKenyatta pic.twitter.com/NYCfaWaXPO— DStv Kenya (@DStv_Kenya) October 10, 2015Burkinabe journalist Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou won the top prize – African Journalist of the Year – for his piece, “Room 143”. Published in the Ouagadougou daily newspaper L’Observateur Paalga, the story covered the ousting of Blaise Campaore, who had ruled over Burkina Faso for 27 years.“My story was about power and how people can fight against it – I’m so proud that the story has been told and will now be remembered,” said Sanou.Uhuru’s speech during 2015 CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards http://t.co/KtM6nB6thX #AfricanJournoAwards pic.twitter.com/4uXdfz0Wvr— The Star, Kenya (@TheStarKenya) October 11, 2015Keynote speaker for the event, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, paid tribute to the hard work journalists did to find the real stories of Africa. He asked that they do their best to continue to find the real “African truths” and reclaim the African story, so that they could tell global audiences of the success stories.Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press newspaper, was this year’s chairperson of the judging panel. She paid tribute to the winners, saying the awards were recognition for a lot of sacrifices that journalists made to get their stories. “Journalism can be very dangerous, lonely,” Haffajee told the gathering.Speaking on behalf of the hosts and sponsors of the event, Deborah Rayner, CNN senior vice-president for international news gathering, TV and digital, said that the winners demonstrated the very best of journalism, from investigative journalism through to stories of hope and change.“I’ve seen tremendously courageous reporting, brilliantly innovative reporting and highly entertaining reporting,” added Tony Maddox, executive vice-president and managing director of CNN. “The awards really do cover the full panorama of all that is good in journalism.”Source: News24
Here’s a little taste of what episode 14 of the Play Your Part TV Series has in store for you this Saturday. This week you get to meet three women who have been working tirelessly to make a difference in their communities.Brand South Africa reporterThe Play Your Part TV series is coming at you again this Saturday, same time at 6pm and same place on SABC 2. Here’s a quick look at what episode 14 has in store for you on 13 January 2018.Nosipho Community FoundationNosipho Ngcobo, the founder of the Nosipho Community Foundation, can often be found strolling along the streets of Durban as a Good Samaritan on the move. Through her organisation, Ngcobo offers a helping hand to the homeless, providing shelter, food and employment opportunities where she can.New Jerusalem Home for ChildrenNew Jerusalem Home for Children just outside Tembisa, Gauteng, recently hosted the South African National Men’s Hockey Team. We speak to Phina Mojapelo, the social work manager for the children’s home, about the experience and what the organisation is all about.El TheosThrough her extensive experience in helping the El Theos organisation, Bijou Bakole, has taken it upon herself to provide support to a few young boys in coping with their challenging domestic circumstances.Tune in and be inspiredThe Play Your Part TV Series airs at 6pm on Saturdays on SABC 2.To get involved in playing your part in South Africa you can:Check out the conversation on Twitter: #GetInvolved; orFind out about initiatives on Play Your Part here.Tell us how you Play Your Part through our social media channels:Follow us on Twitter: @PlayYourPartSA;Follow Brand South Africa on Twitter: @Brand_SA;Like us on Facebook: Official Brand South Africa.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
The Punjab government will not give any compensation to the lawbreakers killed in the Panchkula violence, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Sunday.He was talking to presspersons while touring some areas in the Malwa region which witnessed violence after the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was convicted in a rape case on Friday. He said it was for the Union government to decide on an investigation into the collapse of law and order that led to the violence. He reiterated that the main cause was allowing such a large crowd to gather at Panchkula ahead of the verdict. Captain Amarinder Singh said 23 FIRs were registered and 30 arrests made in connection with the violence. The police seized 62 petrol bombs and recovered a 12 bore gun with a dozen cartridges and a .22 revolver with 28 cartridges, he said.
In a surprise remark, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said he was appointed to the CM’s post for the third term “on popular demand”, as villagers across the State had expressed their opinion in his favour during the 2018 Assembly elections. He said the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi had selected him in view of the strong public sentiments.“Mera Mukhya Mantri banna banta tha… Log chahte the ki Ashok Gehlot hi CM baney (I deserved to become the Chief Minister. People wanted that Ashok Gehlot should become CM),” Mr. Gehlot said at a press conference on the Assembly premises here after presenting the 2019-20 State budget.Mr. Gehlot, whose appointment to the CM’s post was finalised after several days of lobbying by rival factions in the State Congress in December last year, said it was “very clear by name who should become the CM and who should not”. He said he was given the opportunity by respecting the public sentiments in his favour.Mr. Gehlot did not make any reference to Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot, who was perceived to be in the race for the CM’s post and was made the Deputy CM after many days of intense deliberations in Delhi following the victory of the Congress in the Assembly polls.‘Highest priority’While affirming that he remembered the people’s affection for him, Mr. Gehlot said his government would accord the highest priority to sensitivity, transparency and accountability in administration. “The State budget is based on our resolve to provide good governance. We are going to get our rightful share in Central funds,” he said.
BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cignal and Sta. Lucia will have reason to be optimistic when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference opens on Tuesday at FilOil Flying V Centre.Fresh from a training camp in Japan, the HD Spikers are on a high after winning the title in the Invitational Conference.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Cignal coach George Pascua’s confidence comes from his intact roster: The core of the national team, Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga will rejoin stalwarts Honey Royse Tubino, Mylene Paat and Steph Mercado.Meanwhile, after taking a one-conference leave of absence, seasoned mentor Sammy Acaylar will be back to guide the young Sta. Lucia squad to glory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ View comments BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast No more foul trouble as Rhodes finally adjusted to PBA officiating Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.