Bolt, Thompson tipped to top RJR Awards

first_imgTrack and field is expected to again dominate tonight’s RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony as the island’s sporting standouts are recognised.Rio de Janeiro 2016 multiple gold medallists Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson are the overwhelming favourites for the top honours at the gala event, which takes place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel at 7:00 this evening.If all goes according to the script, it will continue the sport’s dominance of the awards.Bolt was nominated for his dominance at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the 100 and 200 metres and the 4x100m relay, taking his overall total of Olympic gold medals to nine.Sprint hurdler Omar McLeod won gold in the 110m hurdles event in Rio, the first Jamaican to triumph in the event at the Games. He also became the first Jamaican men’s 60m hurdles champion at the World Indoor Games held in Portland, Oregon, last February.West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels is the third and final in the men’s section, and this is for his top score of 85 not out to guide the West Indies to the ICC World Twenty20 title last April.OLYMPIC DOUBLEElaine Thompson became the first woman to win double Olympic gold in the 100 and 200m sprints since 1988 and took a silver medal as part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team in Rio. She also equalled the national record of 10.70 in the women’s 100m sprint at the JAAA’s National Championships in June and also won the Diamond for the women’s 100m in the IAAF Diamond League in 2016.Last year’s winner, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, had a creditable 2016 after taking bronze in the 100m sprint and silver in the 4x100m at the Olympics, while carrying a toe injury.Alia Atkinson is also nominated for breaking the 50m short-course breaststroke world record in a time of 28.64 seconds at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Tokyo, Japan last October.Shericka Jackson is also nominated for her 400m bronze at the Rio Games, while cricketer Stafanie Taylor has been nominated for leading the West Indies Women’s team to victory in the ICC Women’s World Cup in India in April.The People’s Choice Award allows the public to vote for its favourite performance of 2016 and it includes five entries: Atkinson’s world record swim; Thompson’s 200m Olympic Final gold medal run; Calabar High’s Christopher Taylor’s brilliant anchor leg, which swept his team to victory in the 4x400m relay final at the 2016 Grace Kennedy ISSA Boys’ Championships; Michael Binns’ spectacular goal from 35 yards for Portmore United against Montego Bay United in the Red Stripe Premier League Final; and Yona Knight-Wisdom’s series of dives to qualify for the 3m springboard semi-final at the Olympics.The Victoria Mutual Building Society Youth Award is a new category, and here, nominees will be those considered “new talent”, under 21 years old, and not professional.last_img read more

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Fly Jamaica cancels flight to JFK

first_img…400 passengers affectedFly Jamaica airlines has announced the cancellation of its non-stop flights coming out and going into the John F Kennedy International (JFK) Airport.The airline on Tuesday said as a result of a snow storm, it was forced to make the cancellation.In a notice posted on its website, the airlines said as a result of inclement weather it will waive the charge and airfare for passengers who are scheduled to travel today.Meanwhile, on Tuesday the New York Times reported that an unyielding winter is about to dump yet another major snowfall on the New York region, with forecasters projecting more than a foot of snow just as the calendar ticks toward spring.Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday evening that all public schools in New York City would be closed today.The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning, estimating that snowfall will likely begin early Wednesday and that total accumulations of 12 to 16 inches are expected.“Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including during the evening commute on Wednesday,” the service wrote.last_img read more

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Site C dam moving to public hearing phase

first_imgBrian Murphy, Panel Co-ManagerAdvertisement Tel.: 250- 387-2402Email: brian.murphy@gov.bc.ca  Tel.: 613-960-0286Toll free: 1-866-582-1884Fax: 613-957-0935Email: SiteCReview@ceaa-acee.gc.ca Courtney Trevis, Panel Co-ManagerSite C Review Panel Secretariat160 Elgin Street, 22nd FloorOttawa ON K1A 0H3Advertisement When the public hearings are over, a report will be submitted to the federal Minister of the Environment and the Executive Director of the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office. A more detailed schedule of public hearings and their locations will be released later. Site C Review Panel Secretariat2nd Floor, 836 Yates St.PO Box 9426Stn Prov GovtVictoria BC V8W 9V1Advertisement B.C. Hydro submitted its EIS on August 2, and responded to three subsequent requests for further information to support it. The preliminary hearing schedule includes stops in Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, Prince George, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Peace River, Alberta. They will all be open for public observation. Hydro, members of the public, Aboriginal groups, and governments will be able to present their views on the project and its potential effects on the environment, along with economic, social, heritage and health effects in person to the panel. Other sessions will be held, including general hearing sessions where registered participants can present their views, which will start in January 2014. Experts on specific environmental elements will be invited to take part in topic-specific hearing sessions held in December and January, and more informal community hearings will be held in Aboriginal communties starting in December. – Advertisement -Participants at the general and community sessions can make an oral presentation or file a written submission, or both. Oral presentations at topic-specific session must be accompanied by a written submission.Anyone wishing to participate is encouraged to register soon, with written submissions due by November 25. To register, file a submission for the hearing sessions and schedule a presentation, contact either Panel Co-Manager:Advertisementlast_img read more

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Fully-fit squad in pre-season excites Everton boss Roberto Martinez

first_img1 Everton boss Roberto Martinez is already looking forward to an exciting Premier League campaign as he approaches pre-season with a fully-fit squad.The Toffees dropped below their usual standard for lengths of last season but their crucial summer build-up was limited with a handful of stars – like Romelu Lukaku and Leighton Baines – returning from the World Cup in Brazil fatigued or injured.Now, however, Martinez is preparing to start the upcoming season with a full compliment of players who will be well-drilled in his chosen formation and possession-based style.“Of course, it’s a real advantage,” Martinez said when asked about having a full pre-season with senior stars.“Last season was probably the worst case scenario when you are preparing in pre-season and players are only just coming back from the World Cup.“It’s not just the time you need to allow players to recover and regenerate, it’s the mental fatigue they bring into their club form and then how long it takes to get back to their normal level.” Everton manager Roberto Martinez last_img read more

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Southland’s federal funds at risk

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“He’s trying to overcome a six-year legacy of borrowing money, and I think he’s finding it difficult to have credibility on the issue.” While Bush signed off on a $460 billion defense bill, he vetoed a $150 billion bill funding the Labor and Health and Human Services departments. And he also has set the stage for rejecting a $105.6 billion transportation bill that exceeds his budget by $2.3 billion. But the two measures alone include more than $36 million for pet projects in Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Chief among them: $2.3 million that Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, obtained for Needles Highway improvements; $1 million that Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, secured for the Southern California Regional Rail Authority; and more than $500,000 that Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, got for the Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia. WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush has placed himself squarely between the Southland and millions of dollars for transportation and social services, blocking two appropriations bills in an attempt to rein in spending. Congress is gearing up for a battle, with House Republicans upholding presidential vetoes and Democrats accusing their GOP counterparts of ignoring the poor while suddenly rediscovering fiscal conservatism. But caught in the middle are dozens of Southern California legislators’ pet projects – known as earmarks – for everything from roads and hospitals to job-training programs, museums and after-school groups. “I think the president has decided that politically, it’s better digging his heels in,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, who is on the House Appropriations Committee. Still, every Southland Republican has backed Bush’s veto of the bills, despite the possibility of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own districts. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, is among them. The congressman’s vote against the bills may mean forfeiting about $750,000 he secured for museum and hospital transportation programs, but McKeon said he can’t support rampant overspending. The Labor/HHS measure alone busts Bush’s budget by nearly $10 billion. “A billion dollars is a lot of money, and I think it’s about time we start thinking about it here,” McKeon said. But when Republicans were in the majority, McKeon and his GOP colleagues routinely voted for bloated spending bills, and Bush signed every one of them. For example, the 2005 Labor/HHS measure – the last time the House passed that appropriation – was $3.7 billion over Bush’s request. Asked what makes him more fiscally steadfast this year, McKeon smiled and noted that Democrats made unchecked spending a winning issue in the 2006 campaigns. “We finally learned our lesson,” he said. “I think the president learned, too. I thought the Democrats learned, but it looks like they didn’t.” Not that Republicans are getting the kind of cash they used to reap for pet projects. In previous years, GOP lawmakers like Dreier and Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks, would issue press releases announcing $14 million worth of funding in a single bill. Now – according to a compilation of funded earmarks created by the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense – the average Southland Republican brought home a total of $1.5 million from the 10 House-passed spending bills. But things are very different for Democrats, who for the first time in years are funding with ease projects that they had to fight for under GOP control. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, for example, secured a total of $14 million – including $3 million for Cedars Sinai Medical Center. For his part, Berman obtained $10.4 million, including money for the San Fernando Valley Family Center; and Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, brought in $9 million, including money for gang prevention in Van Nuys and the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda. And few have discovered the privileges of membership in the House Appropriations Committee as much as Schiff. In his first year on the funding panel, the Pasadena congressman brought home $9.7 million for projects in his district and helped secure another $1.9 million with other lawmakers for regional programs. They range from $1 million for California’s gang-reduction program to $350,000 for Glendale Adventist Medical Center for facilities and equipment. Some, he said, are projects that for years he was unable to fund while the House was under GOP control. “It’s nice to be able to help them,” he said. Not every Democrat is awash in funding, however. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, brought in about $1.6 million from solo requests for funding and another $2.4 million from joint requests with other lawmakers. Similarly, Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, secured $1.6 million for her district and another $5.7 million in joint projects. Steven Ellis, vice president of the taxpayer group, said that’s because – despite GOP contentions of vastly overstuffed spending bills – Democrats actually are funding slightly fewer pet projects. “There are fewer earmarks,” Ellis said. “I’m not na ve enough to think that everything was going to change overnight. “It’s really easy to pack on the pounds, but now it’s time to work out and cut some calories and cut some fat.” The Southland lawmaker who most breaks the mold is Lewis, who secured about $126 million for local projects – more than even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who secured a total of $81 million for California. “That’s not right. You had better check your information,” Lewis said, when asked how he, now in the minority party and no longer chairman of the powerful spending committee, managed to secure so much. Yet a close examination of the earmarks – which for the first time now under House rules must be made public along with the lawmaker requesting the money – shows that Lewis is indeed the Southland’s big moneymaker. Not only did he bring in more than Pelosi, he is among the top three pork-bearers in the entire House. Only Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., and Bill Young, R-Fla., brought home more money.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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SHAY GETS ALL CLEAR AFTER KNEE SCARE

first_imgShay Given has helped the nation breath a collective sigh of relief after he revealed that he is fine for Euro 2012.There had been concern the Lifford man was carrying a knee injury and might struggle to start.But Shay tweeted a message to all of his fans saying that the news is good and that he has to just rest for a few days. Given told of the good news via Twitter. The Aston Villa goalkeeper tweeted: “All good news ref my knee. Just gotta rest for a few days and then back training next week. Thanks for all the kind messages #COYBIG”  SHAY GETS ALL CLEAR AFTER KNEE SCARE was last modified: May 24th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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ALL BLACKS LEGEND TO VIEW SHOWCASING OF €1,500,000 DONEGAL RUGBY CLUB DEVELOPMENT

first_imgThe President of the New Zealand Rugby Union will visit Donegal this weekend to view the remarkable new €1,500,000 pitch and clubhouse development a small rugby club has undertaken in partnership with a local GAA team.Legendary former All Black Bryan Williams will unveil a plaque in Dave Gallaher Park on Saturday 3rd November at 1.30pm officially opening the section of the shared rugby/GAA facility that will be home to Letterkenny RFC.Earlier in the day, the former Rugby World Cup coach will take a session involving young players and under-age coaches at Letterkenny RFC. New Zealand-based writer Matt Elliott will also conduct the Irish and UK launch of his new Harper Collins biography Dave Gallaher: the Original All Black Captain at the event.Mr Williams and Mr Elliott will be joined in Letterkenny by the President of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), Billy Glynn, and current coach of the Ulster team, New Zealander Mark Anscombe.Born in the village of Ramelton, five miles from Letterkenny, Dave Gallaher emigrated to New Zealand with his family as a boy. He became the first man to captain a team referred to as All Blacks in 1905 and is credited with helping make rugby the national sport of New Zealand.Dave Gallaher was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011 and, in the same year, was commemorated by a statue outside Eden Park, Auckland ahead of Rugby World Cup 2011. He is commemorated by the Gallaher Shield, the premier annual club competition in Auckland, and the Dave Gallaher Trophy, which was first contested by the All Blacks and France in 2000. Seven years ago, a party of All Blacks led by captain Tana Umaga, visited the undeveloped sports ground and named the rugby club’s pitches after Co. Donegal-born Dave Gallaher. That event, including a pilgrimage to Gallaher’s birthplace in the nearby village of Ramelton, made headlines all over the world, and since then the club have been striving to develop a ground that is worthy of their famous patron.Bryan Williams is currently director of rugby at the Ponsonby RFC, the New Zealand club Dave Gallaher played for more than a century ago and he coached the Samoan team in Rugby World Cup 1999.Mr Elliott said the historic legacy of the Irish sportsman – which was already truly extraordinary – now included an outstanding contribution to revitalising the sport he loved in his birthplace.“The fact that Dave Gallaher is helping to deliver interest in rugby in Letterkenny more than 130 years after he and his family left this area is quite astonishing and reflects the rich legacy – sporting and otherwise – of an extraordinary life,” he added.Chairman of Letterkenny RFC, Michael McGinty told those present that it was appropriate the All Blacks had sent their most senior representative to Ireland for the event. “When we initially asked the NZRU for help in sharing the story of Dave Gallaher with people in Ireland, we explained that we hoped an All Blacks link might also deliver a much-needed boost for a club struggling to promote rugby. Their positive response and the subsequent All Blacks visit delivered on this beyond our wildest expectations.“Since the All Blacks left us seven years ago, we have been working tirelessly to make the most of the legacy they gave us. A new under-age structure exists within our club now and many of these young players were inspired to take up the game by our New Zealand connection.“Thanks in no small part to the partnership with our friends in Letterkenny Gaels, we have been able to put world-class facilities in place at Dave Gallaher Park – including clubroom, changing facilities and two top-class pitches. This will help ensure that any Donegal kid who dreams about being the next Dave Gallaher has the best possible chance to realise their dream,” he added.Part of a pioneering Rugby-GAA joint initiative The development of this sporting facility, at a cost of almost €1,500,000, represents a pioneering partnership between Letterkenny RFC and recently-formed local GAA team, Letterkenny Gaels. The collaboration, which the club believes helped the project attract significant funding from the National Lottery, entails the rugby and GAA teams taking on a role as anchor tenants whilst retaining their own separate identity, playing and training pitches within the campus at the Glebe.Denis Faulkner is a director of Glebe Holdings, the company that contains nominees of both clubs and has overseen the facility’s development. He said the partnership arose after both clubs found they were bidding against each other for land on which to construct playing facilities.“We became aware of this because people involved with the Gaels had also been members of Letterkenny RFC. It made sense to pool resources. The clubhouse has been organised to offer each tenant their own space and respect their distinct sporting identity.“A further development is planned, subject to finance, which will include floodlighting and all weather playing surface. The facilities are also used by other local community sports groups including Letterkenny Athletics Club, Cricket Club, and Archery Club and for social family fun days.”ALL BLACKS LEGEND TO VIEW SHOWCASING OF €1,500,000 DONEGAL RUGBY CLUB DEVELOPMENT was last modified: October 31st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:All BlacksBryan WilliamsLetterkenny RFClast_img read more

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FEARS GROW FOR DONEGAL ASH TREES AS KILLER DISEASE SPREADS

first_imgFEARS are growing over Donegal ash trees as a killer disease which is wiping out plantations across Europe was detected in the North.The deadly Ash Dieback tree disease – caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus was identified in imported young saplings at five sites in Co Down and Co Antrim last night.Statutory notices have been served on owners of the plantations requiring the destruction of about 5,000 affected ash saplings. Other sites are also being investigated as part of an continuing surveillance programme.Similar outbreaks were found in Leitrim just three weeks ago.They were discovered in imported saplings – and 33,000 trees destroyed to prevent its spread.  FEARS GROW FOR DONEGAL ASH TREES AS KILLER DISEASE SPREADS was last modified: November 17th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FEARS GROW FOR DONEGAL ASH TREES AS KILLER DISEASE SPREADSlast_img read more

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NEIL BARRETT’S TEEN FITNESS HUB: LET THEM LIFT WEIGHTS

first_imgNUTRITIONIST, FITNESS COACH & GYM OWNER NEIL BARRETT CONTINUES HIS SERIES ON TEENAGE FITNESS:LET THEM LIFT WEIGHTSJust because your teenage son or daughter hasn’t done sports since national school doesn’t mean they won’t get involved again. Maybe team sports wasn’t for them or maybe it wasn’t the right time or with the right group of  people.Our activity during adolescence shapes our attitude towards activity into adulthood.At Fit-Hub we have seen an increase in the number of teenagers, girls and boys, some involved with sport and some not, trying weightlifting.For the purpose of this article I will use the term weightlifting as a reference to describe resistance training using both bodyweight & external resistance (barbells, dumbells, kettlebells etc.). For decades there has been this myth that lifting weights is bad for teens or children.Let me clarify, if your child is lifting weights unsupervised or supervised by someone who is not qualified or experienced enough to do so then yes, it is dangerous! (This goes for everyone, not just children or teens).However, if your child is in a controlled environment, under expert supervision & working within strict parameters & guidelines, I can think of no better activity than weightlifting.Interestingly, it is also an activity where a 14,15 or 16-year-old can start now.They don’t need to have gone to training sessions since they were in national school. They don’t have to be a member of a team. They don’t have to join in a group. Weightlifting does not stunt growth, it does not have a negative impact on joint health, it does not make you bulky, (I will clarify this point later).It can lead to injury but no more so than any other sport including running, football, basketball, rugby etc……However, the benefits of lifting far outweigh any risk involved.Firstly, assessing this from a physical health perspective. Increasing lean muscle tissue in teens will directly reduce adiposity (body fat %).More lean muscle tissue equals a higher energy demand at rest, therefore metabolic rate (metabolism) is increased.Simply put – one hour of weightlifting 2-4 times per week can have an even more positive effect on body composition than any other type of training in that same time period.Secondly, and this may seem a little off topic but I will get to the point, osteoporosis and related fractures in the elderly is a current health concern worldwide as it has an indirect effect mortality rates.Basically, what this means is that falling and breaking a hip when we get old has a very negative impact on quality of life, and usually marks the beginning of a rapid decline in health.What has this got to do with adolescents?Well we acquire most of our bone mass during childhood & adolescence which is crucial to achieving peak bone mass into adulthood.A higher peak bone mass during adulthood means stronger bones in old age thus significantly reducing our risk of fractures or breaks, leading to a longer, happier life.What has shown to increase our peak bone mass most effectively?? Weight bearing exercises like jumping, running and lifting.Thirdly, weight training improves cardio respiratory health & directly reduces markers for cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders & cancer later in life.The benefits of weight training far transcend just the physical, it also has a hugely positive impact on self-esteem, self-worth & confidence.Teens are faced with so many pressures and unnecessary stress these days, negative body image should not be one of them.We live in a society that has an unhealthy obsession with appearance, you can’t pick up a magazine, newspaper, tablet or phone without being bombarded with sexualised images of females (& males) with perfectly (airbrushed) toned bodies.I must be clear here, I do NOT endorse this superficial view of self-image, but trying to tell an insecure teen that REAL people don’t look like this is an absolute waste of time.Instead give them a healthy focus like weight training that will help them achieve a healthy, lean body & indirectly improve self-esteem without all the associated aesthetic BS.They will thank you for this later.Now I must distinguish between weightlifting for strength & weightlifting for bodybuilding.  Weightlifting for strength does not make you bulky, it will however give the appearance of leanness & have positive effects on almost all aspects of physiological & psychological health.  Bodybuilding on the other hand uses different sets, reps, volume & rest ranges to elicit a hypertrophic effect (muscle bulking).If your teenager is already an athlete, weightlifting is designed to take them to the next level by teaching proper mechanics, recovery and movement patterns.If your teen is not an athlete, weightlifting is guaranteed to help them establish healthy lifestyle habits, and convert them from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active, prolific one.(Whether your teen is looking for a stand-alone strength and conditioning program, or additional training to supplement their sport specific training, Fit-Hub Teens is committed to helping them achieve their goals in a fun, judgement free environment surrounded by their peers & supervised by trained professionals) For more information contact Ruairi on:086 1970 325Email info@fithubletterkenny.comNEIL BARRETT’S TEEN FITNESS HUB: LET THEM LIFT WEIGHTS was last modified: May 21st, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalfitnessNeil Barrettteen fitnesslast_img read more

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Are RED Hubs the answer to sustainable rural development?

first_imgRural Eastern Cape could undergo economic regeneration as the province invests in new agriculture initiatives.President Zuma with Premier Masuelle and MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane at the mealie fields. (Image: Elmond Jiyane,GCIS)Sulaiman PhilipUrbanisation seems inevitable in South Africa as people are drawn to opportunities in cities. The country is the most urbanised in southern Africa, with 64.8% of its 50 million people now living in urban areas.A lack of opportunities in rural areas has sped up the migration to large towns and cities. However, an initiative in the Eastern Cape is hoping to put an end to fertile agricultural land lying fallow and create sustainable rural economies.President Jacob Zuma pointed out at the opening of the newest Rural Enterprise Development Hub (RED Hub) project in late March 2017: “We want all our rural areas to have economic activities so that our people can have jobs and also be able to make a living from the land and from small businesses in rural areas.”President Zuma with Premier Masuelle and MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane interacting with workers at the milling plant. (image: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)The new R53-million maize mill outside the village of Dyifani is the focal point of development in what is the Mbizana RED Hub. The plant will process maize grown by local co-operatives for sale to the community or to be shipped to the shelves of national retail chains.It addresses rural poverty by drawing staff from the local villages and providing an income to more than a thousand co-op members. As the president pointed out, it is impractical for everyone to go to the cities to earn a living. “Our people must make a living from the land, and must also not go hungry when they can produce food from the land.”What are RED HubsThe Dyifani project is one of four RED Hub projects in the Eastern Cape designed to regenerate neglected rural economies. The others — located in Chris Hani, OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo municipalities — were funded by the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA).The ECRDA has invested R190-million to build infrastructure in sorghum and maize growing regions in the province. Provincial investment in Emalahleni, Ncora, Mqanduli and Bizana covers the construction of silos, a milling plant, weigh bridge and farming equipment. By linking production to processing facilities and on to markets, the province expects that dormant assets, namely land, in rural communities will be turned into drivers of economic activity.Investment aims are to develop rural villages as the centre of mega farm operations by linking production, processing and marketing elements. Community produced crops are processed and traded through RED Hubs with income re-invested into the communities.Ongoing developmentMore important than the R25-million budgeted to help with development in the four RED Hubs, the province has harnessed the experience of Xolani Ndzaba, owner of Lethabo Milling. With his assistance the Bizana Mill, in operation for less than a month, has already won contracts to supply chains such as Boxer Supermarkets and Massmart, owners of the Makro and Game supermarket chains.Vusi Ngesi, general manager of the Bizana Mill, believes it has already changed the community for the better. “It has changed the lives of people because there are job opportunities and milling is here and they can get maize meal from our own area. What’s also very important is that people are being skilled in taking soil samples, analysing soil and determining the type of fertiliser to use to get a certain yield.”The Mbizana mill opening drew the attention of a typically rural audience. (Image: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)The RED Hub model has proven to be one of the more successful poverty alleviation programmes in the Eastern Cape. Across the four projects, 30,000 hectares of land that would otherwise be lying fallow is now productive agricultural land producing maize and sorghum and benefitting communities through newly created opportunities.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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