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South Africa’s economy ‘moderately free’ despite rising prices

first_imgDoing business in South Africa is favourable for now, according to a study on economic freedom by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But three Johannesburg businessmen warn that rising stock prices are reducing profit margins and can stifle trade. Small to medium-sized businesses are benefitting from South Africa’s moderately free economy. (Image: Brand South Africa) Shamin ChibbaThe mild-mannered Yusoof Akhalwaya sits in a dimly lit corner of his Akhalz restaurant in Mayfair, Johannesburg, talking about the business’s history. “It started with fish and chips in Lenasia. Solly’s mother, Zulfikah, used to sell fish and chips outside her house.”The restaurant grew from a small take-away to what is now a thriving chain that stretches from Lenasia in south Johannesburg to Laudium in Pretoria, with branches in Sandton City, The Zone @Rosebank, Woodmead and about a dozen more in between.This is thanks to South Africa’s economic freedom, which allows for businesses such as Akhalz to thrive. “South Africa is lenient in terms of business freedom,” says Akhalwaya.The 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, released earlier this year, ranks South Africa 80th out of 186 countries, deeming it “moderately free”, despite slipping eight places from the previous year. It places higher than its BRICS partners.Read Brand South Africa’s analysis of the 2016 Index of Economic FreedomConducted by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, the index covers 10 measures, including property rights, business freedom and monetary freedom.South Africa has improved in four of the 10 measures: freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending and trade freedom. Its financial freedom score has remained stable – ranked 38th – thanks to a gradually evolving financial system and a resilient banking sector.However, the country’s biggest challenge comes from three measures, namely business, labour and monetary freedoms. Of the three, business freedom has taken the biggest knock. Business freedom measures how easy it is for people to start, operate and close a business.There are still challenges to starting a business but the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and even Absa’s one-stop shop is trying to make the procedure less painful.View the interactive graph of the 2016 Index of Economic FreedomStarting a business is easyFor Bangladeshi Kamal Uddin it was easy to open a shop in Johannesburg. He is part owner of a general dealer with his brother. They opened the shop in Mayfair 14 years ago. “It was easy to open up a small shop with the little money we had.”Today, they have extended the store, which has grown to become a central part of the landscape of the suburb, which lies on the western edge of the inner city.While Uddin’s business freedom might be favourable, Akhalz is struggling to regain its monetary freedom – combining price stability with an assessment of price controls – which is restricted by rising food prices.Rising pricesAkhalwaya’s father, Mohammed, opened the Mayfair Akhalz branch in 1990 when the cost of food was low. In 1996, two polony specials cost R19. Today, the same order is R76. “Food has gone up by 80% this year,” says Akhalwaya. “It is getting more expensive. It’s R80 for a bag of potatoes.”The manager of Autostyle, Junaid Mohamed, says his company is also affected by rising prices in the automotive accessories industry. As a result, the shop has had to reduce its profit margins.But the company is no stranger to challenges. Autostyle’s story is of two Mohameds, friends who became business partners when they started Autostyle in Mayfair 25 years ago. “They started out of survival,” says Mohamed. “While in school, one Mohamed was selling broken biscuits door-to-door. The other Mohamed sold hats on the side of the road. They also installed car radios for friends for a small amount.”But their break came when they bought a spoiler through Junk Mail and advertised it in newspaper classifieds. They sold it for a profit and from then on, they did the same for other parts until they bought a small space in Mayfair and opened Autostyle.Community supportIts community of supporters helps Autostyle. It stays in business as it has a community of clients who love its service.The same can be said of Akhalz, whose regular clientele goes far beyond Mayfair and Fordsburg. Originally known as Akhalwaya’s, the chain recently took on the moniker Akhalz, which is somewhat of a salute to its customers, who have been using this shortened version for many years already.“We have to be super grateful for the support from the community. And it’s not just customers from Mayfair. People come from as far as Soweto and Morningside for our food. All our customers have kept us strong,” says Akhalwaya.last_img read more

Introducing the 2017 class of Student FFA Reporters

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net is welcoming five student reporters that will be helping cover the 2017 Ohio FFA Convention May 4 and 5. Stay tuned for further convention coverage.Emily BooklessEmily Bookless is a sophomore at Ridgewood High School located in West Lafayette. She enjoys playing soccer and loves to participate in school clubs such as STATS and FCA. She has been affiliated with FFA for two years now and is currently serving as reporter for the Ridgewood FFA Chapter. She likes CDEs such as Parliamentary Procedure, Ag Sales, and Livestock Judging. Outside of school, she shows hogs and llamas. She is also involved with the Kamelid Kushers 4-H Club and the Coshocton County Junior Fair Board.Kolt BuchenrothKolt Buchenroth is a senior in the Kenton-OHP FFA Chapter and has served as the reporter, president, and is currently the vice president of his chapter. He is also active in 4-H, student council, National Honor Society, and various other school organizations. He raises cattle on his farm in Kenton and stays busy as the ag news director and reporter for WKTN radio. Kolt has also participated in various CDE’s during his time at FFA. After high school, he plans to attend The Ohio State University pursuing a degree in agriculture communication.Abbie Greer is a junior in the R.G. Drage FFA Chapter where has served as the student advisor and is now currently the secretary. Along with FFA, Abbie is also active in 4-H showing beef steers and calves, hogs, turkeys, and broilers. She is currently president of the Washington Twp. Variety 4-H Club and is a three-year member of the Stark County Junior Fair Board. Abbie has participated in a variety of Career Development Events (CDE) such as Food Science, Public Speaking, and General Livestock Judging. After high school, Abbie plans on attending The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute and earning a degree in agricultural business.Madison KregelMadison Kregel is a senior at Otsego High School. She’s a busy student, involved in volleyball, cheerleading, student government (senior class vice president), choir, National Honors Society, and FFA. Kregel is the reporter for the Otsego FFA Chapter and will be competing and presenting an Ag Communications Proficiency at the state convention this year. She has also participated in public speaking CDEs in her past four years in FFA. She’s also very involved in her county’s 4-H and Junior Fair programs, where she was a 4-H Honor Court member, and 1st Runner Up Junior Fair Queen this past year. She is the FFA representative for her county’s Junior Fair Board, where she served as the board news reporter in 2016 and the board secretary this year. Next year, she will be attending Ohio University, where she will be studying broadcast journalism at OU’s E.W. Scripps, College of Journalism. She hopes to someday be a reporter or anchor for The Today Show on NBC.Sydney MaloneSydney Malone is a fifth year FFA member and senior at the Bloom Carroll FFA Chapter. Over the past five years, she has held the offices of assistant secretary, sentinel, and reporter for her chapter, participated in many CDE events, and been growing her Supervised Agricultural Experience of market rabbits and hogs. Outside of FFA, she is an active member in 4-H, the Ohio Duroc Association, and Ohio Pork Council. She’s busy traveling and spreading the word of the agriculture industry as the Fairfield County First Attendant and the Ohio Duroc Queen. After graduation, she plans to join the Marine Corps and serve our country.last_img read more

Engage Pakistan: Mehbooba to Centre

first_imgReferring to the two ongoing anti-militancy operations in J&K, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday called for immediate dialogue between India and Pakistan.“A dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end the bloodshed. I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option,” she said.She said there were security forces personnel who were killed in Jammu’s Sunjwan and Srinagar’s Kara Nagar areas. “If a fidayeen comes to die and kill, there is no foolproof security against such a person. I am not for people dying on borders or elsewhere. We have to engage Pakistan,” she added.last_img

DCT Gdansk Handles Record Container Volume

first_imgzoom Polish Port of Gdansk’s Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) concluded 2016 with an operational result at the level of 1.3 million TEUs, representing a record in the history of the terminal. The record number of containers was driven by a number of factors, including the growing need for directs calls of oceanic container vessels in the Baltic, as well as the visible growth of cargo targeted at Eastern and Central Europe markets.Already in October 2016 the number of containers exceeded the overall result of 1.06 million TEUs seen in 2015, as the second berth at the Gdansk’s DCT was officially opened.Expanding the country’s sole deep-sea terminal to become the largest container hub in the Baltic Sea, Terminal 2 (T2) can accommodate ultra-large vessels of the capacity exceeding 18,000 TEUs which will enter the Baltic Sea through the Danish Straits, the company said earlier.The new 650-meter-long and 17-meter-deep quay doubled DCT’s annual handling capacity from 1.5 million to 3 million TEUs.“With the opening of Terminal 2, we now have the prospect to take it to the next level – use this potential and double in size. DCT Gdansk has proven itself a game-changer for the Baltic, opening the market to direct calls from Asia and providing access for Polish importers and exporters as well as enhanced transshipment access across the Baltic for the Shipping Lines. Our challenge now is to attract new services and to push further into central Europe, whilst retaining and consolidating our position with our existing customers,” Cameron Thorpe, CEO of Gdansk, said.last_img read more

Demonizing Modi all the time wont help Jairam Ramesh warns Oppn

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance model is not a “complete negative story” and not recognizing his work and demonizing him all the time is not going to help, said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. It is time we recognize Modi’s work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over “30 per cent of the electorate”, said Ramesh on Wednesday. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 37.4 per cent of votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The NDA, as a whole, secured nearly 45 per cent of votes. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Ramesh made the remarks while launching a book, “Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India” written by Kapil Satish Komireddi, a political analyst. “He (Modi) talks in a language that connects him with the people. Unless we recognize that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy,” said the Congress leader. “Also, if you are going to demonize him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him,” warned the former Union minister, who held portfolios of Rural Development, and Drinking Water and Sanitation ministries in the Manmohan Singh government. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Ramesh sought to clarify that he is not asking anyone to praise or applaud the prime minister, but only wants the political class to at least recognise the traits he has brought to the governance — particularly the “economics of governance”. “Let me tell you it is not a completely negative story when it comes to economics of the governance, the politics of the governance is completely different,” said the noted economist, adding “the social relations that have been created out of his governance model is also completely different”. To prove his point, Ramesh gave example of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUJ) and how successful it turned out for him. “In 2019, all of us in the political discourse made fun of one or two of his programmes, but it has turned out in all electoral studies that the PMUJ is one single program which has been able to connect him with crores and crores of women and given him the political traction which he didn’t have in 2014,” said the Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka. “Now if we are going to run this down and say this is all hocus pocus and say these are wrong numbers, we are not going to confront this guy,” he cautioned. Stating that something happened in the last decade, which catapulted Modi from a “non-entity in national politics” in the 2009 general elections to someone who won elections back to back, Ramesh said people of the country — right or wrong — are not relating “current distress to his presence”. “We talked about farmers distress through out our entire campaign, people realise there was farmers’ distress but they did not hold Modi responsible for it. You saw what happened in the elections result thereafter. We have to understand what made him respectable,” he said. Dubbing Komireddi’s book as an “angry, absorbing and exceedingly well-written” one, Ramesh said, “It is persuasive in looking at what happened in the last five years and looking ahead as to what we would expect from what has happened in the last five years.” Ramesh, however, also expressed disagreement with the author, who sought to blame the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his family for all the prevailing wrongs in the country. Going 60 years back for something which happened in the last decade does not work out, said Ramesh, questioning the author’s bid to blame Nehru for what ails the country today. Published by Westland, the book claims to “retell and recount the betrayals of India’s republican promise over the last 70 years and retraces the path that modern India has treaded since 1947”.last_img read more

WOMEN BEHIND CANADIAN TV LAINIE KNOX

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Lainie Knox Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The TV Junkies: Can you share some about your background with us? Did you always want to work behind the camera?Lainie Knox: Yes, I think I always wanted to be behind the camera, I just didn’t really know how to go about it. When I was in university I did a double major in communication studies and environmental studies, and I really really wanted to make nature/travel/human rights documentaries. David Suzuki was my hero and I wanted to work on shows like that quite badly. I went to school in Montreal, which was quite economically depressed at the time, and I wasn’t a francophone so I never really imagined myself staying there. I always knew that I would move to Toronto. The industry was busy and the economy was booming. It felt like the place to be. So I moved right after school and did anything I could in the industry. None of it was any actual production and it was actually very challenging to get any experience on set at the time. I just did admin/PA work until I got a job on a TV show as a 2nd assistant editor, logging footage for a kids’ wildlife show.There I got to see how “it” all worked. While doing the job I was hired to do, I made it clear to the producer that I was very interested in camera. The crew came back to Canada and I was hired as the PA, driver, gear humper, slater etc. I worked 18-20 hour days all summer and was happy as a clam doing it. After a season or two with that show, I took The CSC Camera Assistant course — the only course back in the day — and sponged up all the info, met some great people I still know and work with, and learned a lot. I started 2nd assisting for someone I met there on shorts, music videos, low budget shows and then my focus puller went into the union so he was sending me his non-union work to focus pull, so I upgraded myself and taught myself how to do it, quickly. [laughs]Later, I joined the union as a 1st and did about a film a year, but I mainly lived in commercials and music videos. The DPs I worked with were just in that world, which I am grateful for because I think being in those realms can be more creative in many ways. Music videos are/were especially more free and creative. There’s less at stake. All that time I was always working on my own projects and trying to DP/operate more. Then I got a call to operate from a DP I had focus pulled for numerous times. He knew I was driven to operate and he is the one who offered me my first show, Season 1 of Killjoys. Now I shoot 2nd unit on the show for him and I get to play and learn and it’s a lot of fun. Many people are drawn to working in television because of its collaborative nature. Working on a show really can make you feel like a part of one giant family, and since you often have to spend a lot of time and work very long hours with that family, it’s important to like them. That importance of finding good collaborators is a lesson that camera operator Lainie Knox has learned time and again throughout her career.Knox has worked her way up from a PA on set to operating the “A” camera on shows like CBC’s Workin’ Moms. In addition to the comedy series, Knox also just wrapped shooting Season 2 of ANNE and will soon return to Killjoys, where she served as “B” camera operator last season.Knox also recently with The TV Junkies as part of our Women Behind Canadian TV series to further discuss her career. She recalled for us how she has found herself at times as the only female technician on set, but has been lucky to surround herself with supportive colleagues, regardless of gender. She also talked about working on shows with female showrunners and how she thinks more women are getting into tech roles.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook read more