Maritime cluster for Mandela Bay

first_imgA dedicated maritime cluster in theEastern Cape will boost regional economy.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free images, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Peter Myles  Coordinator: NMB maritime cluster  interim task team  +27 82 556 1680 • Tantaswa Cici  Manager: maritime safety, Eastern  Cape Department of Transport  +27 43 604 7629 or +27 71 673 5171 RELATED ARTICLES • Motor cluster will drive change • Safer seas for PE’s marine life • SA maritime industry set to grow • Aviation, maritime careers for youth • SA harbour chief makes world historyEmily van RijswijckPlans are afoot to create a dedicated maritime cluster for the port region of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) in the Eastern Cape in order to build on and enhance the city’s existing marine activities.The cluster idea is a joint initiative of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber. The first meeting of the partners took place in February in Port Elizabeth and was attended by 80 invited participants, all with a direct interest in the sector.“Port Elizabeth is historically a maritime city and yet for some reason it has never developed a maritime industry,” says Peter Myles, coordinator of the interim task team elected at the inaugural meeting to look into the viability of the venture.Myles is also chairman of the NMB Tourism Industry Association and a lecturer at NMMU in marine tourism and coastal recreation.The interim task team will appoint a steering committee, which will develop the policy, goals, strategy, actions and resources for a cluster framework aligned to the province’s integrated provincial maritime plan, currently under review.The steering committee will start by investigating the feasibility of ship building and other related industries, including the establishment of a maritime university.Port Elizabeth’s harbour, the fifth largest in South Africa, plays an important role in the movement of clean cargo, automotive parts and vehicles. The magnificent Port of Ngqura, now South Africa’s premier trans-shipment hub, lies a mere 20 km to the north.The Bay, as the city is fondly referred to, also has much to offer in terms of marine tourism. It’s home to one of the largest colonies of the endangered African penguin, and the marine section of the Greater Addo Elephant Park shares the bay area with the city.According to Myles, the main conclusion drawn at the first meeting was that the maritime sector could be a leading contributor to a sustainable provincial economy.Benefiting the greater communityThe maritime industry encompasses a vast array of activities and disciplines, among them designing, building and operating vessels; stevedoring and customs brokerage services; fisheries; the marine railways sector and the myriad industries involved in the maintenance and repair of vessels.Coastal and marine tourism and similar enterprises are also included in this sector.Some of these industries, such as stevedoring, are already in place in Port Elizabeth, while others, such as boatbuilding and repairs, are sorely lacking.In addition, Port Elizabeth remains a favourite tourist destination for South Africans, and international tourism numbers continue to grow.Estimates put the number of foreign visitors to Port Elizabeth in 2010 at 250 000 and domestics tourists in the same year at about 1-million, while the combined spend amounted to about R3-billion (US$386-million).Of special interest to potential cluster partners is the role such a combined effort can play in helping small to medium enterprises.“International experience indicates that the level of business formation tends to be higher in clusters,” says Myles. “Start-ups are more reliant on external suppliers and partners, all of which they find in a cluster, so clusters reduce the costs of failure, as entrepreneurs can fall back on local employment opportunities in the many other companies in the same field.”Clusters also encourage knowledge-sharing and innovation and in these areas NMMU has the potential to play a critical role, he adds.“Nelson Mandela Bay is a region where small-scale businesses and disadvantaged coastal communities could largely benefit, improving their job opportunities and their lives through application of a proposed micro-enterprise promotion strategy.”It is hoped that the cluster will stimulate the growth of smaller companies offering services such as boat building and repairs. It could also enhance the existing coastal and marine tourism sector and even, perhaps, encourage the creation of a maritime university.“In a nutshell, the expectation is that a maritime cluster will uncover Port Elizabeth’s competitive advantage and, with collaboration, will assist in the growth of this sector,” says Myles.Other clusters to boost local economyThe announcement of the maritime cluster follows closely on the heels of the recently launched Eastern Cape automotive cluster, which was formally inaugurated by trade and industry minister Rob Davis in March.Globally, clusters have become the norm in the creation of cross-industry linkages and complementary relationships. In Europe, maritime clusters are well established and offer their members a competitive advantage, says Myles.“In less than half a decade cluster development has become a common factor for economic development agencies in over 40 countries around the world. Clusters are the building blocks of a productive, innovative economy.”Port Elizabeth then and nowThe port area of Port Elizabeth is more than 180 years old. Following the arrival of British settlers in 1820 the harbour area became extremely busy, with mohair, wool and ostrich feathers the most common cargo shipped from the port.By 1825 Port Elizabeth was given port status with the appointment of a harbour master and, a year later, of a collector of customs.According to the Department of Transport 80% of the country’s trade is carried out by sea and it has therefore become necessary to prioritise the shipping industry.South Africa is one of the top 15 shipping countries in the world in terms of the tonnage transported to and from its ports.last_img read more

BMW SA expands export programme

first_img5 August 2013BMW South Africa has expanded its export programme to facilitate increased production and will export its BMW 3 Series from Maputo in Mozambique, in addition to shipping from the Durban port.“BMW South Africa has increased its production output with the introduction of a third shift, which was implemented towards the end of last year,” BMW South Africa managing director, Bodo Donauer, said in a statement last week.“Our overall annual production figure will increase from around 50 000 units per year to more than 80 000 units in 2013.The number of vehicles exported from South Africa will also more than double from 33 000 units to over 70 000 vehicles per year.“In line with this increase in volumes, we have had to look carefully at our export logistics and using Maputo in conjunction with our existing export supply chain in Durban makes sound business sense,” Donauer said.About 14 000 vehicles will be exported from the Maputo car terminal each year. Exports through Durban will also increase by approximately 20 000 vehicles – an increase of over 60% on current levels.“We have aligned our service offering of road freight logistics, clearing and forwarding and terminal services with the customs requirements of South Africa and Mozambique to provide an integrated process from the BMW vehicle distribution centre in Rosslyn to on-board the vessel in Maputo,” said Group Business Development executive at Grindrod Freight Services, Walter Grindrod.Grindrod is responsible for BMW South Africa’s road freight logistics, as well as serving as the private operator of the Maputo car terminal concession.“We have run trials to test the system and are confident the export route is sound. Going forward, we expect two shipments per month to take place with these export vehicles destined for markets in Japan and other parts of the East,” Grindrod said.Transport and logistics have long presented a challenge for South African automotive manufacturers, and the use of the Maputo terminal is envisaged to improve existing supply-chain corridors.“To play on a world stage, we need to ensure we are competitive in all elements of the manufacturing process including supply chain and logistics,” Donauer said.“The decision to use Maputo is the first step in ensuring the development of a robust, well thought out and competitive logistics network, which includes access via multiple SADC [Southern African Development Community] ports and can easily incorporate sea, rail and road freight.“The idea of a southern African development community is the ultimate vision for the type of supply chain needed to fully service South African manufacturers,” he said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Young entrepreneurs need big business support

first_imgPolitical economist Siya Biniza emphasises the need for big business to act as mentors for young entrepreneurs.Political economist Siya Biniza believes South Africa’s youth possess great ideas that, with enough entrepreneurial verve, can be turned into thriving businesses. However, the only thing preventing them from chasing their dreams is the lack of support from big business.Speaking at a South African Competitiveness Forum research reference group held at Brand South Africa offices on Saturday, 18 August, Biniza said there is little support for young entrepreneurs in terms of finance and knowledge.Biniza, chief financial officer at Rethink Africa, a youth-led non-profit company that looks for alternative solutions to the continent’s economic challenges, said young entrepreneurs without prior business experience are not easily supported because funders are afraid of taking risks on them.Another factor impeding the growth of young businesspeople is intellectual property. Biniza said old entrants’ ideas are readily patented whereas new and young entrants are hardly considered because of the amount of money backers are risking. This occurs even though most business people know that one of the drivers of economic growth is innovation, he added. Fedusa secretary-general Dennis George says that if youth become active citizens, South Africa’s global competitiveness can be boosted. Despite Trevor Manuel’s efforts in getting youth involved with the National Development Plan (NDP), Biniza believes young men and women have not engaged with it as much as they could. “The youth need to take control of the NDP and make it ours by making leaders accountable.”Guest speaker Dennis George, secretary general of the neutral Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), said if youth become active citizens, South Africa’s global competiveness would be boosted.According to the 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook published by Switzerland’s Institute of Management Development, South Africa’s competitiveness rose slightly in the last year, an indication that its productivity has increased. Its ranking improved from 53rd in 2013 to 52nd this year based on its economic growth.Despite increasing productivity, George said the number of jobs that have been lost in recent years has not been made up.Experience vs youthful enterpriseBiniza said successful entrepreneurs gain experience through making mistakes and learning from them. However, he said experience can hold young entrepreneurs back. “In as much as experience is important, it also inhibits creativity because the more you repeat a task, the more you get used to certain ways of doing things.”The advantage young people have, he added, is they are not “set in a way of conducting business” and have room to be creative; “We do whatever creative thing comes first.”But, he argued, entrepreneurs cannot be innovating all the time; there has to be a point where an idea becomes sustainable. This is when young entrepreneurs need experienced business people and even large corporations to be supportive.“If we are going to start talking about South Africa in 2030, it’s got to be about young people. It does not mean we are cutting big business out. Big business is very important in creating the development capacity of young entrepreneurs through their mentorship and making sure they procure from young businesses.”Biniza said big businesses may generate the most income, but they only employ 10% of the country’s population. Small- to medium-sized businesses, he said, are the backbone of the country’s economy, employing up to 90% of South Africans. In such a situation, small businesses need to access corporate funds for a cooperative form of monetary redistribution to occur.“We can measure the impact of the money you are sending off to smaller businesses,” said Biniza. “And this money can earn you returns if you create infrastructure such as social impact bonds, seed funding and venture capital frameworks. It’s about tapping into that money and having a collaborative approach to redistribution.”last_img read more

Ohioans leading soybean industry at the national level

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmer leaders of the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) are leading the way for all U.S. soybean farmers as they take on executive committee positions with the American Soybean Association, National Biodiesel Board, Soy Aquaculture Alliance and United Soybean Board.Bill Bayliss, OSC board member from Logan County, was recently elected chairman of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA). SAA works to promote research and marketing efforts that will help grow the aquaculture industry in the U.S. Bill previously served as vice chairman of SAA.Amy Sigg Davis, OSC and OSA board member from Warren County, was elected to her first term on the National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) governing board. She will serve with seven other board members to help lead NBB’s efforts to grow the biodiesel industry through education, communication and policy efforts.

Bret Davis, OSC and OSA board member from Delaware County, was elected to his second term on the American’s Soybean Association’s (ASA) at-large governing board. ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on policy and regulatory issues thanks to support from farmer members.John Motter, OSC board member from Hancock County, was recently elected as Vice Chair of the United Soybean Board (USB), which manages national soybean checkoff dollars. USB will soon implement a new long-range strategic plan that will emphasize soybean innovation among other priorities.last_img read more

Hotmail One-Ups Gmail, Takes Facebook Chat Global

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Facebook#Google#Microsoft#web mike melanson According to Craddock, the response to the feature has been good since it was first announced last September. “Since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago, nearly 2.5 more million people connected their Facebook accounts to Windows Live, bringing the total to over 20 million customers,” writes Craddock. “And with three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature, now that it’s available from your Hotmail inbox.”If  you’re a Hotmail user and haven’t yet tried out the feature, all you need to do is connect your Facebook account to Windows Live and check the box for “Chat with my Facebook friends in Messenger.” Hotmail may have three times as many users as Twitter, but it’s looking for something that may not be as easily quantifiable – the cool factor of  Google’s Gmail. That’s something that Microsoft has been working on for a while now, with a full redesign of its email client last year. Today, the company announced that it’s adding another bit of cool to its 350 million member email system – full chatting capabilities with Facebook’s 600 million member network worldwide.Microsoft first announced Facebook chat in Hotmail as a part of a number of updates last September, but the feature was only activated in the U.S., U.K., France, Brazil, Germany, and Russia. Today, the company announced that it would be available worldwide, wherever both Hotmail and Facebook were accessible. Hotmail program manager Dick Craddock the company’s little brother syndrome when it comes to Gmail in the announcement. “While Gmail beat us to bringing their own chat into the inbox,” writes Craddock, “we have now gone a step further and brought both our own chat and Facebook chat into your inbox.” Take that Gmail. Being serious, though, most integrations like this have one exciting thing in common – they’re good for the end-user. The feature lets users on both ends – those logged into Facebook and those on Hotmail – communicate seamlessly with each other. Gmail only has Gtalk and no Facebook. Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

What We Started With

first_imgA leaky shellYou might say that everything above the mudsills was a modest bonus: a decent floor frame in the portion built on site, a ten-year-old roof in excellent condition, and a 12’x24′ deck. Oh, and a buried 250-gallon propane tank, still mostly full of gas.The house had a gas water heater and a gas furnace. The furnace was in a tiny attic-like spot in the 16’x32′ part, and I could see outdoors through the eave vents from the furnace location. The thermal boundary was, like the framing, creative.The blower door number was a tad over 3,100 cfm50 — about 0.63 cfm50 per square foot of shell area. We aim for 0.05 cfm50 per square foot of shell area at South Mountain, and frequently do better. In this project we reduced the leakage ratio 25:1. More on that to come. What Is a Deep Energy Retrofit?The High Cost of Deep-Energy Retrofits Did it make sense to buy a house that needed so much work?A sensible person may ask, Why did we buy this house anyway? We looked at a couple of parcels in West Tisbury (we were clear we wanted to stay in this town) and I felt that I didn’t want to go through the disturbance process that accompanies the development of raw land. I’ve been preaching that we need to fix what we have already built. I can assure you now that I have put my money, far too much of it in fact, where my mouth is.When all was said and done, we paid about $100,000 more for this house than a parcel would have cost, and we got an excellent well, a Title V compliant four-bedroom septic system (this is a good thing: we could expand), two underground electrical services — one 100-amp service for the outbuildings, and one 200-amp service for the house — two funky but useful outbuildings, an excellent concrete foundation housing 1,000 square feet of basement, and a developed site. One section of the house was moved here from EdgartownThe owner learned that there was a house in Edgartown that the property owner wanted to remove, and that the house was available for free if he moved it.The Edgartown house was a stubby L-shaped building, with a 16’x32′ section that contained a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and a 22’x25′ section with living area.What I think happened — this is conjecture on my part — is that, in haste to get the project underway, the new foundation was possibly put into place before the conversation with the house mover occurred. I hypothesize that the house mover looked at the 22’x25′ piece and said it would be difficult/costly/impractical to move. So in the end the 16’x32′ portion was severed from the rest and moved, and the 22’x25′ section was duplicated new on site. RELATED ARTICLES In June 2013, Jill and I moved into our new house in West Tisbury on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.This house has an interesting history. The owner of the place had been living on the lot in a structure that began its life as the body of a box truck. It was 8’x16′ and had a small attached shed that housed the water pressure tank and the water heater. A small gambrel loft had been built on top; I could just barely sit up inside.There was a small gas heater, a 100-amp electric panel, a sink, and some built-ins. No shower. There was an outhouse on the property. You might say this was a tiny house before the Tiny House movement began. Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He writes a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon. Marc teaches a 10-week online Zero Net Energy Home Design course as part of NESEA’s Building Energy Master Series. You can test drive his class for free. The floor plan left a lot to be desiredThe floor plan had only one bedroom and the south side was very modestly glazed, so we knew we were in for an interior gutting project and major re-framing of the exterior openings. Note to self: this is expensive; it’s better to buy a house with a floor plan and orientation you like!Once the drywall and fiberglass were removed, it was clear that some creative structural design had been incorporated. The 16’x32′ portion had no structural ridge or ties across, so it was held up by paint. The rear had three substantial wood ties across at roughly 6 to 7 foot centers, but we needed to remove the drywall to see that each was attached to the wall with a single 1/2-inch-diameter lag screw — about 1/10th of the fastening capacity that the design load would merit. Good thing it hadn’t seen a significant snow load. BLOGS BY MARC ROSENBAUM Solving Our Design ProblemsMoving to a New HouseMinisplit Heat Pumps and Zero-Net-Energy HomesPractical Design Advice for Zero-Net-Energy HomesDuctless Minisplit Performance During Cold Weather All this happened in 2002-2003. I suspect the portion that was moved wasn’t much older than that, as the glass in the Andersen windows was dated 1996 and the walls were framed with 2x6s.The interior finish of the house was no great shakes: green carpet, white vinyl flooring, and inexpensive kitchen cabinets. There were some unpleasant odors, traceable to some rodent activity, and a 140-square-foot patch of basement floor where the water pipe came in from the well and the pressure tank and water heater sat; this area didn’t have a concrete slab, just crushed stone over filter fabric. Smelly soil gases.Plus, the insulation was in the ceiling of the basement, so the basement ran cold, which on Martha’s Vineyard means mold.There was a very creative outdoor shower, complete with clawfoot tub (see photo above). Bathtubs are another tale I’ll discuss in the future.last_img read more