I must admit to being quite discombobulated and confused as I try to begin the analysis of the Reggae Boyz shock defeat at home to lowly Nicaragua in the first game of the 2018 World Cup qualification. There were simply so many things that went wrong for Jamaica heading into and during that game, beginning with the fundamental error that took place well before last Friday night’s game. The decision by the JFF and or the coaching staff not to have played a single game at our home venue for more than two years is as brainless and as naive a decision as anyone could have taken, considering that home advantage is so vital in football generally, but especially in World Cup qualifying. The psychological and physical advantage of playing at home were basically surrendered by that foolhardy decision. Tactically, head coach Winfried Schafer and company must have been stone drunk from the recent Gold Cup performances to have entered the game with such arrogance and naivety. The fact that this is a home-and-away tie against a team that they knew very little about, and with so much at stake, means that the priority must have been to keep your defensive shape, for as long as it would have taken, to assess the Nicaraguans, instead of darting up the field, and like some immature schoolboys, totally losing their shape and discipline. To go three-nil down at home in a World Cup qualifier to a team ranked 80-odd places below us on the FIFA rankings is inexcusable and under normal circumstances would be a dismissible offence by any coach in any self-respecting football jurisdiction. The actual set-up of the team by Schafer and his staff was simply befuddling. The hype surrounding young defender Michael Hector’s recent signing by English Premier League champions Chelsea must have further intoxicated the Jamaican coaching staff. The fact is that this columnist and many other astute football observers have seen that Hector is an awkward liability in the defensive third whenever the ball is at his feet. His first, second, third, fourth, and fifth touches are equally atrocious. Despite the Chelsea buy and the reasons behind it, almost everyone except the Jamaican coaching staff has seen that Hector is an accident waiting to happen, the more he is asked to control, dribble, and pass the football. Yet Schafer and company put him to play as basically the last defender, doing most of the ball handling in that delicate defensive area, easily one of the daftest tactical decisions ever seen at this level of football. Not only is Adrian Marriappa a senior pro compared to Hector, but the Crystal Palace man is much more comfortable with the ball at his feet, while Hector’s strengths are tacking higher up the park, reading and intercepting passes, and winning headers. That logical switch of positions between the two never took place in the entire 90 minutes. I found it very instructive that Schafer hardly moved from his seat on the bench during the game. He was definitely not the Schafer we saw at the Gold Cup, who was so consumed with passion and intensity. On Friday night, with the Jamaica team staring smack down the barrel of a World Cup embarrassment, Schafer remained slumped in his seat for most of the game, with his assistant, Miguel Coley, being the one expressing the requisite concerns. Based on all we saw in that first-leg game against Nicaragua, an embarrassing first-round exit is certainly on the cards. Jamaica will need to win by two clear goals in Managua tonight to avoid that pending disaster. Can Jamaica recover? Most certainly, but it is imperative that the Boyz and especially coach Winfried Schafer be fully awakened from their drunken stupor.
LAS VEGAS — The flashy lights and sounds of the slot machines striking a jackpot can cause visitors to feel a bit lucky, but the A’s approach to winter meetings at the Mandalay Bay has been a more conservative one.After the signing of catcher Chris Herrmann to a one-year deal Tuesday afternoon, the A’s remained silent on Wednesday, and it appears that might be the case until A’s GM David Forst and co. return to Oakland Thursday night. It’s not like the A’s are the only team that’s been …
While it seems … We are mere minutes away from the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.Raiders reporters Matt Schneidman and Jerry McDonald are here to answer your questions from Marshawn Lynch’s replacement to the remote possibility of trading up for Kyler Murray, and anything in between.The Raiders hold three first-round picks, including No. 4. Their biggest area of weakness is a hole where a pass rusher should be, and there are several to choose from early in the draft.
Skills development has been identified as a key requirement for economic growth in South Africa, and for the economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged majority.As a result, the Skills Development Act (1998) provides a framework for the development of skills in the workplace. Amongst other things, the Act makes provision for skills development by means of a levy-grant scheme, and the establishment of 27 sector-specific Sector Education and Training Authorities – or Setas – to administer the scheme’s funds, and manage the skills development process. What is a Seta?The Setas were established in March 2000 and are responsible for the disbursement of training levies payable by all employers in the country. Setas replace and extend the work of the old industry training boards and are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority.Each separate economic sector has one Seta. There are 27 Setas which cover all work sectors in South Africa, including government sectors. The members of Setas include trade unions, government and bargaining councils from appropriate industries.Within its own sector, a Seta must develop and implement a skills development plan, be responsible for quality control and pay out development grants. They are responsible for about R2.5-billion each year.Part of the objective of the Setas is to ensure that the skills requirements of the various sectors are identified, and that the adequate and appropriate skills are readily available. They are required to ensure that training is of the appropriate quality, meets agreed standards as laid out by the national framework, and caters for the training needs of new entrants to the labour market as well as the currently employed work force.The Setas are also responsible for a learnership programme and the implementation of strategic sector skills plans. They have discretionary funds, drawn from their levy income, that can be used for projects designed to assist in the achievement of sector priorities, including the design and implementation of learnerships.The 27 Setas each renew an MoU with the Department of Labour on an annual basis.What do I have to pay?A compulsory skills-development levy was introduced on 1 April 2000, payable by employers who are registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for employees’ tax purposes, or by employers with an annual payroll in excess of R250 000. The levy rate is 1% of the total payroll, and the collection of the funds is administered by SARS.How are the funds disbursed? The levies paid to SARS are put in a special fund. 80% of the money from this fund is distributed to the different Setas and the other 20% is paid into the National Skills Fund. The Setas then pay grants to employers who appoint a Skills Development Facilitator. The National Skills Fund funds skills development projects that don’t fall under the Setas. How do I get my Seta to work for me? Appointing a facilitatorIn order to be eligible for grants, an employer must appoint a Skills Development Facilitator who can be a full-time or part-time employee or contracted consultant.The facilitator is responsible for the development and planning of a company’s skills development strategy. This will include the development and implementation of an annual workplace skills plan and the submission of an annual training report. He or she also serves as a resource to the employer with regard to the criteria required for accreditation of courses, skills programmes and learnership development.Once a facilitator has been appointed, employers can develop the skills of their staff, and reclaim the funds for doing this in three ways:Workplace skills planIn the first year of the levy-grant scheme employers can recover in grants a minimum of 50% of the levy they have paid. The grants, referred to as grants A, B, C and D, have certain conditions that must be adhered to.For the appointment and registration of a Skills Development Facilitator – Grant A – employers will be able to recover 15% of the levy they have paid. The appointment of a facilitator is necessary before applications for Grants B, C and D will be considered.Grant B: An employer will be able to recover 10% of the total levy payment for preparing, submitting and obtaining approval from the appropriate Seta for a workplace skills plan.Grant C: An employer will be able to recover a further 20% of the total levy payment by preparing and submitting an annual training report based on the approved workplace skills plan.Grand D: Each Seta makes available grants to the equivalent of 5% of the total levy payment by the employer for specific sector skills initiatives. The criteria will be made available by the employer’s relevant Seta.Learnerships 140 learnership programmes have been developed by the Setas, ranging from basic entry level to post professional levels. If employers agree to embark on learnership programmes they will be able to access a cash grant from their Seta as well as a tax incentive. Every time an employer signs up a learnership agreement they can claim R25 000 offset against taxable income. When the recognised phase of the learnership has been completed they can claim an additional R25 000 against taxable income.Strategic grantsSetas are eligible to provide additional grants to companies for developmental or special skills training, for example, in the area of HIV/AIDS and adult basic education and training. Tell me more about the National Skills Fund…The National Skills Fund is administered by the department of labour. It is made up of 20% of the total skills levy paid by employers and is used to address significant national skills priorities.Funds are allocated through a range of funding windows. The National Skills Authority provides advice on each window and the criteria to be used to determine the allocation of funds.The principal funding windows deal with strategic projects, social development initiatives, innovation and research, and a bursary programme to support students to study in areas of scarce skills.Nineteen strategic projects to the value of R1.3-billion were approved over a three-and-a-half-year period by the minister of labour in 2002.Where can I find my Seta? The government has contact details for all 27 Setas online.For more see:SA Labour BulletinDept. of LabourParalegal advice websiteBackground documents, regulations and other resourcesSouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this story on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info material.
Rob Davies, minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, launching the Buy Back South Africa campaign in Sandton on Tuesday 20 November.(Image: DTI)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sidwell Medupe, spokespersonDepartment of Trade and Industry+27 12 394 1650+27 79 492 1774Mary AlexanderSouth African consumers and procurement managers at large companies are being urged to fight back against cheap, subsidised imports and help create and save more jobs by buying locally produced manufactured goods, in a new campaign, Buy Back SA, launched by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Tuesday 19 November.The 2008 global crisis hit South African manufacturing hard, and cost the country round 300 000 jobs. In the last few years South Africa has suffered the double whammy of substantially reduced external demand for products and fierce competition from other manufacturing countries. Difficult economic conditions in the US and Europe – South Africa’s principal export markets – have been a severe knock for local manufacturers.The Buy Back SA campaign, announced at the Industrial Development Corporation offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, has been funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Manufacturing Circle, Absa and Proudly South African.A key part of the venture is a video featuring veteran South African actor John Kani urging support of localisation and the manufacturing sector, which will be aired on national television.Watch the Buy Back SA campaign advert:The ad was paid for by both the government and private sector. “This is a clear sign of the close working relationship that is in the process of being built between government and industry, and one that we think can be strengthened and deepened in a number of ways,” Davies said.Festive season spending“We are launching the first phase of this campaign before the festive season because we want to impress upon consumers and stakeholders in the private and public sectors the importance of buying locally manufactured goods and products,” Davies said.South African manufacturers, he said, made products of good quality, available at reasonable prices.“We want to encourage people to buy these products because this has significance in terms of job creation, revenue generation and service delivery improvement.”The South African government has developed a number of policy instruments to support localisation, the minister said. These include local sectors and products – including clothing and textiles, buses, rolling stock and power pylons – the DTI has designated for government procurement under the Preferential Public Procurement Finance Act.“We have also reviewed and put in place a new policy framework for the National Industrial Participation Programme to oblige overseas companies that have benefitted from state contracts above $10-million to invest a percentage of the contract directly into the productive sectors of the economy, wherever possible in the sector in which they are involved,” Davies said.Company procurement is keyThe minister said buying local is not only for consumers.“It is also crucially about companies – especially large retailers with large procurement budgets and supply chains – supporting local manufacturers – not only because this is in the national interest but because there are very often sound commercial reasons for doing so related to total cost of ownership: after-sales service, quick response, security of supply, niche product requirements, quality assurance and so forth.”The Manufacturing Circle represents many big South African manufacturing concerns. About 80% of the country’s manufacturers procure some 40% of their input locally. Coenraad Bezuidenhout, executive director of the body, said at the campaign launch that South Africans had stopped giving preference to local goods.“For manufacturers, the last couple of years have been quite difficult,” he said.After the Manufacturing Circle, Proudly South African and Absa bank contributed the initial funding, Buy Back SA will now need another R12-million to continue the campaign.“I want to appeal to the private sector,” Davies said. “We need to expand this campaign.” He invited companies to register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.International precedentDavies said the Buy Back SA campaign, while a government initiative, was not inappropriate for a free market economy.In the US, the Buy America campaign was an integral part of efforts to rebuild that country’s economy after the 2008 crisis. A close partnership between the government, private sector and further education institutions, Buy America was also an effort to save and create jobs.“The US economy has reportedly created 500 000 new high-quality jobs in the manufacturing sector since 2010, with 50 000 of these directly attributable to those efforts,” Davies said.International and local competitionMany African countries are rich in commodities, but development is held back by an inability to turn those commodities into manufactured goods. The more resources countries take out of the ground and export, unprocessed, to foreign buyers, the more intrinsic capital is lost.Manufacturing creates jobs and skills, and established manufacturing industries create a base of skills, capital and production infrastructure that can cushion country against the often irrational shocks inflicted by the global economy.Other than the 2008 meltdown, the over-valuation and volatility of the rand has also undermined South Africa’s manufacturing competitiveness, as have higher electricity, transport and labour costs, and strike action.Manufacturing has also suffered from local competition. Over the past two decades, the sector’s contribution to the South African economy has been gradually eroded by other industries, particularly the services sector. In 1994, manufacturing’s contribution to GDP at market prices was 20.9%. In 2012 it was 12.4%.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest AUDIO: A Weather Update for January 18th, 2018OH_Ag_Net-1Another chilly day over Ohio today, although not as cold as the past couple of days. South and southwest winds will be in for tomorrow on through the weekend, and that is where we see the big time warming statewide. We should see fully normal to above normal temperatures in over the entire state Friday and Saturday, with 50s likely in most areas for Saturday and perhaps Sunday. We still expect Saturday to be the warmest day of the next several with Sunday a close second. We just feel that better sunshine potential Saturday will give it the edge.Plenty of clouds blanket the state for Sunday with scattered, hit and miss light rains developing and running right on through midday Monday. Moisture totals will be a few hundredths to a tenth or two maximum with coverage of these light spits and sprinkles at 60% of the state. A large part of the coverage will be skewed to the northern half of Ohio. Heavier rains will hold off until later Monday afternoon and mostly Monday evening going through midday Tuesday as our next cold front finally arrives. Rain totals are pegged at .25”-.75” over 80% of the state, unchanged from yesterday’s forecast. Along with the rains, we expect strong south winds averaging 15-30 mph as the front crosses Ohio. The map above is an updated look at potential storm total rains for the Monday-Tuesday period.Colder air comes in behind the front and we can see some lake effect snows linger in northern and especially northeastern Ohio off and on through the balance of Tuesday and most of Wednesday. This will be limited to usual suspect areas, and will not have coverage of any more than 10% of the state. Nothing likely gets south of US 6, and most of the state sees a dry day Wednesday with clouds giving way to afternoon sun. Still, the cool air will take temps back to normal and slightly below normal levels, and a major cold air blast is not likely. We are dry in all areas Thursday and Friday, with clouds increasing late Friday and Saturday.A strong front is making an appearance right at the end of the 10 day window now. We think this is the first wave of a strong storm complex we have been talking about for the period in and around the 28th. So, we look for rain to make a run at far western parts of Ohio next Saturday the 27th. In all reality, though, the bulk of that moisture holds off until Saturday night and goes into the 28th. Rain totals can be from .25”-1” in that period. . Temps look warm enough to have most of this precipitation come as liquid. Then, a second wave may look to arrive later the 28th and holds on through the 29th. That second wave could be worth half to 1 inch of liquid equivalent precipitation, but cold air is marching in too, so we are leaving the door open to some snow from the second part of the system. The rest of the extended period features a clipper near the turn of the month, around the 1st, with some quick hit snow and cold air, and then a cold Canadian high to start off February. So, the pendulum swings wildly on temperatures through the next week or so, but eventually goes to the cold side and stays there a bit longer going into February.
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.