5 September 2012 South Africa is the highest-ranked African country and third-placed among the BRICS economies in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) latest Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 52nd out of 144 countries surveyed while placing third overall for financial market development. Published on Tuesday, the annual Global Competitiveness Report was first released in 1979 and has since evolved into the prime authority on relative competitiveness among most of the world’s nations. South Africa (52nd) and Mauritius (54th) continue to lead the competitiveness rankings by African countries, followed by Rwanda (63rd), Morocco (70th), Seychelles (76th) and Botswana (79th). China (29th) continues to lead the BRICS group of influential emerging market economies, followed by Brazil (48th), South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th). Switzerland tops the overall rankings for the fourth year running, followed by Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong and Japan completing the list of the top 10 most competitive economies.Strength of institutions, financial markets According to the report, South Africa benefits from the relatively large size of its economy, particularly by regional standards, ranking 25th overall for market size. It also scores well for the quality of its institutions, ranking strongly for strength of auditing and reporting standards (1st), efficacy of corporate boards (1st), protection of minority shareholders’ interests (2nd), efficiency of legal framework (17th), intellectual property protection (20th), property rights (26th), and judicial independence (27th). Particularly impressive, according to the report, is the country’s financial market development, for which it ranks 3rd overall, “indicating high confidence in South Africa’s financial markets at a time when trust is returning only slowly in many other parts of the world”. Contributing to this assessment was South Africa’s high rankings for regulation of securities exchanges (1st), soundness of banks (2nd), availability of financial services (2nd), and financing through the local equity market (3rd). South Africa also shows up well for business sophistication, ranking 38th overall, and innovation, ranking 42nd overall – benefiting in the latter case from good scientific research institutions (34th) and strong collaboration between universities and the business sector in innovation (30th).Weaknesses At the same time, the report identifies weaknesses which South Africa will have to address in order to further enhance its competitiveness. South Africa ranked 63rd overall for infrastructure, and even though this was good by regional standards, it would require upgrading, according to the report. This is something the country has already embarked on, with President Jacob Zuma announcing a massive state-led infrastructure drive in his State of the Nation address in February. The country ranks 113th for labour market efficiency, thanks in large part to “rigid hiring and firing practices (143rd), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (140th), and significant tensions in labour-employer relations (144th)”. The country can also develop its innovation potential by increasing its university enrollment rate, the WEF says, adding: “Combined efforts in these areas will be critical in view of the country’s high unemployment rate of almost 25 percent in the second quarter of 2012.” Other concerns raised by the WEF report include the security situation and the health of the country’s workforce.Sub-Saharan Africa On sub-Saharan Africa more widely, the report notes the region’s impressive growth over the last decade. “Registering growth rates of over 5 percent in the past two years, the region continues to exceed the global average and to exhibit a favorable economic outlook,” the WEF states. “Indeed, the region has bounced back rapidly from the global economic crisis, when GDP growth dropped to 2.8 percent in 2009.” In recent years, according to the report, the region has been improving its competitiveness in specific areas, such as educational attainment and goods market efficiency, “but a persistent infrastructure deficit and health concerns continue to be significant bottlenecks.” As a whole, sub-Saharan Africa continues to lag behind the rest of the world in competitiveness, “requiring efforts across many areas to place the region on a firmly sustainable growth and development path going forward”. SAinfo reporter
2 July 2015The Gibela Rail Transport Consortium (Gibela) is gearing up to start the construction of its R1-billion, 85 000m² factory complex at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. Construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter of this year.Once up and running, it will be building trains at a hitherto unheard-of peak rate of 62 trains a year – and South Africa will have taken a very visible and significant leap into the world of high-tech train manufacturing, according to Gibela. “South Africa’s 40-odd year gap when it comes to train-building technology is about to close,” it says.The factory is part of a contract signed by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) with the Alstom-led consortium in October 2013. Work was meant to start on the factory in the beginning of this year, but delays in securing the site led to delays in construction.The R51-billion contract is to supply Prasa with 600 new trains over 10 years. The first 20 trains are being made in Brazil; the balance will be assembled at the Dunnottar complex. The last train is scheduled for delivery in 2027.This project will, in keeping with the mandate of Prasa, help to restore the viability of South Africa’s commuter rail system, says Gibela. But the expanded fleet of trains is only one of the benefits: others are the skills and technology transfer from Gibela’s French parent company, Alstom, as well as local sourcing of specialised components that will contribute to South Africa’s industrial growth.Job creationTrains are built by people, and once fully operational, the Dunnottar facility employ at least 1 500 people, the majority of whom will be skilled artisans. Recruitment is already at an advanced planning stage for permanent positions, with clear career paths for those selected.Preference will be given to those who have academic qualifications as well as artisanal skills. Most of those recruited will be drawn from the areas adjacent to the manufacturing facility but given the scarcity of the required skills, the net will be cast wider.However, Gibela will undertake training as well in various rail-related skills for possible jobs in the rail industry.At the outset, artisans possessing a range of skills, including leadership, will be selected for intensive training at Alstom’s Brazilian facility where the first 20 of the Prasa trains are being made. They will then be able to pass on their skills to their colleagues back in South Africa on their return.More than 20 Gibela employees, the majority of whom are engineers, are already in France, Italy, Belgium and Brazil, where they are receiving a cross-section of advanced skills that will be critical in supporting a manufacturing rate that will, according to Granger, “test the abilities of the most experienced and large original equipment manufacturer at its best manufacturing unit”.Gibela will ramp up from the current staff complement of 112 to 350 by the end of the company’s March 2016 financial year.Supplier networkParts and components needed to build the modern trains will need to be state of the art. New and established South African suppliers will be brought on board, some of whom will occupy premises at the Dunnottar factory site. A robust, sustainable local supplier base needs to be developed to achieve the company’s 65% local content obligations, it says.To build ties with local suppliers, Gibela has been interacting with local suppliers to leverage the company’s expertise and that of Alstom to equip them with capabilities to be competitive and to manufacture at the required rate and quality. “It is through these relationships and the transparent exchange of information that challenges such as lack of industrialisation and industrial capacity shortages can be overcome and the supply of long-lead items (on time, on budget and in the right quantities) assured,” says Gibela.Work on the first 20 trains in Brazil is well on track, and the first train with its six cars is in the testing phase. Shipment to South Africa is planned in September, with on-shore delivery in November. All six cars of train number two are in the fitting phase and production for the rest is on-going.“We are pleased with the progress made and our Brazilian colleagues are now getting ready to welcome South African artisans and to not only impart skills but also benefit from language and cross-cultural exchanges,” says Granger.SAinfo reporter
SmallHD consistently brings monitors with fantastic sets of features to the market, and with the new FOCUS 7 they’re at it again.The SmallHD FOCUS was a great product. Around here, we use one every single day. The daylight-viewable screen and convenient form-factor was a grand slam from a company that consistently brings great products to market.Now, they’ve announced the FOCUS 7, a similar product to its predecessor but with a few bells and whistles that address absolutely any issues I might have had with the original FOCUS.Aside from the larger screen (which is a big plus for me — I don’t really like to pull focus on a 5″ monitor), there are some really great new features available on the FOCUS 7.1000 Nit BrightnessImage via SmallHD.What is a nit? Well, I’m not sure. However, I hear that you want more nits. The more nits the better. Gimme those nits.All joking aside, functionally speaking, nits are just a measurement of brightness for LCD screens. The original FOCUS monitor was purely daylight viewable, and the FOCUS 7 will be even brighter than the previous monitor. The FOCUS had 800 nit brightness, whereas the FOCUS 7 is up to 1000 nits.What does this mean? It pretty much means that even in the harshest full sunlight, you’ll still be able to see a crystal clear image. I’ve been in some situations with the original FOCUS where things were becoming a little hard to see. I bet the 200 extra nits will take care of that.Full-Size HDMI PortThis is definitely my biggest gripe about the old FOCUS monitor. Anytime I wanted to use that monitor with a full-sized cinema camera and not a DSLR, I had to use an adapter, which was frustrating. Most of the adapters you can find are cheap and poor quality, and they would break in the middle of a shoot, necessitating a quick run to the electronics store. Very frustrating. For DSLR or mirrorless shooters, however, it was nice having that convenience.The FOCUS 7 will have a full-size HDMI port. This will make it a bit easier to use it with bigger cameras.1920×1200 Screen ResolutionAside from all the other great features, the FOCUS 7 has better resolution than the previous FOCUS monitor. at 1920×1200 resolution, you’ll have all the resolution you need to make sure that you get critical focus in any situation.Not to mention, along with that resolution, you get the benefit of their fantastic OS3 software — if you’ve had the pleasure to work with it, you know it’s good. Real-time scopes, waveforms, focus assist, false color, anything you’d want — and especially real-time 3D LUTS.The FOCUS 7 is available now for $699Top Image via SmallHD.Looking for more articles on film and video production? Check these out.Are Quantum Image Sensors the Future for Video Recording?How Documentary Filmmakers Make Synthetic Light Look NaturalIndustry Insights: The Ins and Outs of Real Estate Video ProductionDirecting Fight Cinematography: The Right Way and the Wrong WayFour Reasons You Should Be Renting Your Gear Out on ShareGrid
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 48:29 — 38.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSWhat is greatness?Have you ever thought about it? We look at athletes and leaders and musicians and say they are “great,” but what do we really mean? It has something to do with skill and competence, but there’s more to it than that. It has to do with the character that has enabled that person to achieve the things they have, to attain levels of expertise or knowledge or ability that few others reach. On this episode Lewis Howes talks with Anthony about what it means to be great and what it takes to get there. You won’t hear a better conversation on the subject of greatness, so be sure you set aside the time to listen to this one.Lewis Howes on What Is Greatness and How to Be Great – on this episodeClick To TweetBecoming a great speaker, entrepreneur, and coach.Lewis Howes was a 20-something year old when he walked into an Ohio Toastmasters group where he first met Anthony Iannarino. It was there that Anthony saw Lewis mature into a truly powerful speaker who was aiming at the top – at greatness. The two of them quickly became friends and each think deeply about the subject of greatness – that’s why this conversation is so enjoyable. You’ll hear Lewis talk about his own pursuit of greatness as a speaker, business leader, coach, and athlete – and you’ll get to hear his thoughts on what truly makes a person great in any discipline.What does it take to achieve greatness?When asked the question Lewis Howes gives a few responses. First, in order to achieve greatness Lewis believes that you have to believe that you are worthy to reach the point of being called “great.” If you’re not able to believe that you deserve it you’ll likely never be able to accomplish it – and even if you do, you won’t believe you have. But more so, it has to do with belief in your ability to reach a point of greatness at all. If you want to hear more of Lewis’ insights into the topic this episode is for you.What does it take to achieve greatness?Click To TweetWhat is greatness? How would YOU define it?Naturally, every discipline or area has its own particulars as to what makes someone “great” in the field of competitors or participants. For that reason alone “greatness” cannot be defined by a set of acquired skills. It has more to do with the inner person, the character, discipline, and mindset they bring to the things they do. On this episode Lewis Howes shares his insights about the question, “What is greatness?” by retelling some of the stories and situations from his podcast interview series, “The School of Greatness.”Would you like to attend Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness for $100 off?Since Lewis and Anthony have been friends for so long Lewis was happy to provide a discount to his upcoming event – The Summit of Greatness – to anyone who listens to In The Arena. If you’d like to have $100 off the registration price all you have to do is go to Lewis’ event website mentioned on this episode and enter the code “Be Great” in the discount coupon field. It’s a gift from Lewis and Anthony to you. And by the way, you’ll get to meet Anthony there if you attend.Would you like to attend Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness for $100 off?Click To TweetOutline of this great episode How Anthony met Lewis Howes at Toastmasters. What Lewis does on his podcast and how he came up with the name. Lewis’ top interviews (in his opinion). What is greatness? People Lewis believes demonstrate greatness. Lewis’ book: School of Greatness – dealing with adversity. Dealing with the feelings and dialogue that go on inside. What mindset is necessary for greatness? How the results you produce depends on the energy you have physically. What Lewis is reading right now. The person who’s had the biggest impact on Lewis’ thinking. What job Lewis would be doing if he wasn’t doing what he’s doing now. What Lewis wants to be remembered for. Lewis’ event: The Summit of GreatnessOur Sponsors:Swag IQwww.PreOrder.TheOnlySalesGuide.comResources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.LewisHowes.comwww.SummitOfGreatness.com – use the coupon code “Be Great” for $100 off.The School of Greatness PodcastToastmasterswww.HowToPlanASalesCall.com098233320X 0143038419162336596107432267551938289536187842431900611224160307465357The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeBecoming a great speaker, entrepreneur, and coach ~ with Lewis Howes on this episodeClick To TweetWhat is greatness? How would YOU define it?Click To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels India is on right track in its preparations for next year’s World Cup and resting five senior players to test bench strength in the ODI series against Australia was a right decision taken by the selectors.”The decision to drop five senior players for ODI series against Australia has been a brave one. Sehwag and Gambhir are the best opening duo in the world and Sachin is like old wine, getting better every day. More than the batsmen, the decision to rest Zaheer and Harbhajan will definitely impact the bowling attack. But I am sure this is for a justified cause. Even if India lose the ODI series against Australia, there will be nothing to worry,” Akram said.”Indian cricket is surely on the right track. The Test series win against Australia justified their status as world number one and I must laud the national selectors for doing a good job in picking a balanced side for the two matches,” Akram wrote in his column for ESPN Star Sports.Akram said at a time when Pakistan’s selectors were groping in the dark, their Indian counterparts were taking some wise decisions which will impact the future. “At this stage, all nations must be planning for the World Cup early next year and I think, India seem to be making the right moves,” said the legendary fast bowler.He said India’s bench strength is now well established and because of that the selectors rested five senior players against a strong team like Australia. “India’s bench strength has been well established now and this is a great sign. Even a few years ago, Indian selectors would not have dared to rest five of the best players in the country against Australia,” he added.advertisement”India are by no means a weak side (even without five senior players). Folks like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh are good enough and Australia will not have it easy.”This is a great opportunity for youngsters like Saurabh Tiwari and Shikhar Dhawan to prove themselves. I am sure, at the end of the New Zealand series, the Indian selectors will have a problem of plenty.” Akram felt that Indian cricket board should take quick decisions in the IPL mess so that the Twenty20 league is held without any hitch next year.”The only thing that is worrying me in Indian cricket is the crisis over the IPL. Whatever it is, the BCCI should quickly make its decisions so that the ‘clean’ franchises can plan ahead and make the tournament a success.”NEW CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PAKISTAN PLAYERSThe PCB has introduced a revised code of conduct for its players in line with recommendations made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for stricter implementation of anti-corruption laws.”Pakistan’s squad must sign the new code before leaving for a Twenty20, one-day and Test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates later this month,” manager Intikhab Alam said.The new code has been prepared keeping in mind recommendations made by the ICC. “There is a lot more stress on creating awareness among players about anti-corruption laws and regulations,” Alam said, adding that the new guidelines also encompassed domestic cricket.”We don’t want a repeat of what happened in England. I myself have given a detailed briefing to the players about the code of conduct,” he said.Three Pakistan players — Test captain Salman Butt and pace duo Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif — have been suspended by the ICC while an investigation takes place into allegations they had deliberately arranged for no-balls to be delivered at during fourth Test against England at Lord’s in August.The trio, who has all denied wrongdoing, will attend an appeal hearing in Doha on October 30 and 31.Alam said that he had been given increased authority by the PCB to deal with indiscipline and misconduct.”The board has made it clear in the new code that the manager will waste no time in stamping out indiscipline in the team,” he added.