Fitter and Faster – Francis ready for 2016

first_imgJamaica’s 400m champion Javon Francis feels he is at his strongest and fastest this year as he hopes to challenge for a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil this summer.The 21-year-old quarter-miler opened his season on January 23, with a 46.19 run at the inaugural McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic at his alma mater Calabar High School in Kingston, cruising home well ahead of the chasing pack.”It was the first time I had opened up so fast, usually I open at the Camperdown Classic (held in February) so I am very pleased with my time,” said Francis, who believes he is now stronger than he was last season when he ran a personal best 44.50.After winning the national championships later that month in 44.70, expectations were high that Francis would have been among the medal contenders at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. He was, however, eliminated in the semi-finals having run 44.77 to be 12th fastest overall. He qualified for the semi-finals with a creditable run of 44.83.Despite some disappointment from his fans, Francis was quite pleased with his performance.At the national championships Francis suffered a groin injury during the 400m finals, and it prevented him from training for three to four weeks. He managed to get fit in time for Beijing, but he was not back at his best.”I never expected to run very fast because I was coming off an injury, so I was very pleased with my performance although I didn’t get a medal, but I benefited from the experience,” said the runner, who would later lead Jamaica to a fourth-place finish in the mile relay with a blistering 43.5-second anchor leg.”Last year people were saying I could go for the national record, but in my mind I always say records come and records go. Every time I go out to perform I go to win a medal,” Francis said.last_img read more

Sterling replaces Bony? Yaya back? Manchester City XI v Dynamo Kiev predicted

first_img 10. Sergio Aguero (striker) 15. Jesus Navas (right wing) Manchester City host Dynamo Kiev in the second-leg of their Champions League last 16 clash on Tuesday night, kick off 19:45 GMT.The Citizens sealed a 3-1 victory in the first-leg, but despite scoring three away goals, their inconsistency suggests that a shock result cannot yet be ruled out. Could Wilfriend Bony drop to the bench after an ineffective display in the goalless Premier League draw to Norwich City at the weekend? Will Yaya Toure return to the starting line up having missed out on the trip with a heel injury?Take a look at talkSPORT’s predicted Ctiy line up v Kiev by clicking the arrow above. 11 4. Vincent Kompany (centre back) 11 7. Raheem Sterling (left wing) 11 11 11 11 5. Pablo Zabaleta (right back) 11 21. David Silva (attacking midfield) 11. Aleksandar Kolarov (left back) 30. Nicolas Otamendi (centre back) 11 11 11 25. Fernandinho (centre midfield) 1. Joe Hart (goalkeeper) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 42. Yaya Toure (centre midfield)last_img read more

Nestlé expands operations in SA

first_imgNestlé is building two new multimillion-rand factories in South Africa. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) Nestlé is building two new multimillion-rand factories in Babelegi, a small town in the North West province, where it will manufacture some of the products it currently imports. Construction of the cereal and Maggi factories has started in Babelegi, Nestlé South Africa’s corporate affairs director Ravi Pillay confirmed in an interview on 3 February 2011.Contractors started ground work on the 16 000 square metre Cheerios and Milo cereal plant after a sod-turning ceremony on 2 February. Both projects are set for completion by mid-2012.Nestlé is investing R505-million in the new facilities and in the upgrade of a newly acquired soya venture in Potchefstroom, also in the North West. This forms part of its expansion drive in South Africa, where the multinational has been operating for decades.“We will continue to invest in South Africa, in line with our long-term commitment to business sustainability and economic development,” said Sullivan O’Carroll, chairperson and managing director of Nestlé South Africa.The cereal factory has been allocated R244-million. Cheerios and Milo, products that Nestlé currently imports to South Africa, will be produced in Babelegi for the first time when the plant is fully equipped.Some R155-million has been set aside for the factory that will manufacture the Maggi range, including instant soups, stocks, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. While some of Nestlé’s Maggi products are imported, most are currently produced in factories located in Gauteng and Harrismith in KwaZulu-Natal.The new plant will ensure that all Maggi products are made in South Africa. “New Maggi products will come through,” said Pillay.Nestlé recently bought the Specialised Protein Products (SPP) company in Potchefstroom. The acquisition of this and upgrades will cost R106-million, said Pillay.Through this new venture, Nestlé will be able to increase production of non-dairy creamers and begin making soya-based products.The multinational has retained 120 employees from SSP.Employment opportunitiesA sizeable number of people have already found jobs in Nestlé’s factory in Babelegi, and more opportunities beckon.“There will be many spinoffs to the local economy of Babelegi due to these investments,” Pillay said.The two new factories in the area will result in the creation of at least 230 new permanent jobs, according to the group. Coupled with the 120 employees from SSP, Nestlé will be responsible for 350 new employees following the expansion project.It said 70 new permanent jobs will be created in the cereal products factory, while the construction process will result in at least 100 contractor jobs.Some 160 permanent jobs are expected to become available at the new Maggi plant and about 200 employment opportunities will be created during that factory’s construction.“A number of our employees will go to factories around the world for manufacturing training,” said Pillay.Stimulating the local economyNestlé enjoys a substantial market share in South Africa. The group has factories and distribution centres in six of the country’s nine provinces, including Mpumalanga, the Western and Eastern Cape and Free State.Its popular products include baby formula milk Nido and Nespray, as well as baby foods like Nestum and Cerelac. Nestlé South Africa ventured into mineral water in 1987 and produces a range of ice-creams as well.Producing locally has a direct impact on prices for both customers and the multinational. “Having products closer to our customers is always affordable,” added Pillay.Local farmers will also score big as Nestlé suppliers. “By manufacturing locally we’ll also be stimulating the agricultural sector,” he said.last_img read more

SA scientist a Forbes ‘power woman’

first_imgA hybrid scientist Mthunzi’s interest in the field developed when she joined the CSIR’s Laser Centre in 2004, as a biochemist. “I didn’t even know what a laser was,” she recalls. “I was encouraged to do a PhD in laser physics, and I found the field very exciting.” She’s always had an interest in various branches of science such as medicine, physics and natural sciences and even zoology. “I see science in everything.” With biophotonics, she can experiment in all these areas, but Mthunzi says the country needs researchers who are experienced in multiple disciplines. “If I only knew biology, I would be limited in what I can do and come up with,” she says. “Some people call me a hybrid because my undergraduate qualification and my Master’s are in biology, followed by a PhD in physics, but I see myself as just a scientist.” Her peers in laser research are mostly physicists and from that perspective her biology background is somewhat unusual. “But it has equipped me perfectly for the job,” she says.Growing biophotonics and science in SA Mthunzi set up a fully functioning biophotonics laboratory at the CSIR and the facility is closely integrated with nearby optical laboratories on the council’s campus in Pretoria. The laboratories are within walking distance of each other, which makes research work much easier. She says South Africa needs more scientists and she enjoys promoting the field. She belongs to the South African Young Academy of Science, an organisation that contributes towards the development of scientific capacity and awareness in South Africa and promotes science at all levels of education. What she would like to see is a greater interest in biophotonics in the country. Mthunzi hopes that in the future biophotonics will become an established discipline locally and be taught as a degree. She says young people also need mentors to inspire them because that’s what helped her achieve her goals. “What helped me as a child is being surrounded by good mentors,” she says. “My aunt was my mentor. She was such a guru. I wanted to be just like her.” The aunt was a teacher and the first person in her family to obtain a Master’s degree.Other South Africans on the list Two other South African women, both prominent figures in the media industry, were also recognised by Forbes Magazine. Yolanda Sangweni is a senior editor at ESSENCE.com, one of the leading publications for black women in the US. She is also the co-founder of AfriPOP!, an online magazine that focuses on contemporary African youth culture, music, fashion and film from an Afropolitan perspective. Journalist, broadcaster and author Redi Tlhabi is the producer of a documentary on the former South African president Thabo Mbeki. She is also a columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper and author of Endings and Beginnings: A Story of Healing, a book based on her childhood experiences. Tlhabi is the host of a new talk show on Al Jazeera English television channel that will focus on politics, culture, music, health and science. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. 11 January 2013 South African scientist Dr Patience Mthunzi has been named on Forbes Magazine’s 2012 list of the 20 “Youngest Power Women in Africa” – women under the age of 45 who are bringing about positive change on the continent through their influence on business, technology, science, policy or the media. Mthunzi, a scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), was recognised for her pioneering work in the area of biophotonics, a field of science that enables microscopic study of biological molecules, cells and tissue using laser. Mthunzi is one of only three South Africans to be listed in the magazine – the other two are both prominent figures in the media industry. She heard about the listing late in December, and says that making it onto the prestigious list was completely unexpected. “I feel so honoured and humbled for being one of the three South Africans to have made it onto this list,” she says.International reputation, accolades Mthunzi is fast gaining an international reputation for her work, and she says although she doesn’t work for accolades, the recognition inspires and motivates her to do more. In April last year, she was honoured by President Jacob Zuma with the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze, one of the country’s highest national awards, for her local and international contribution in biophotonics. This order is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement. She is South Africa’s only senior scientist for the biophotonics research group within the CSIR National Laser Centre, and she is also the first biophotonics PhD graduate in South Africa. As she was unable to study biophotonics at a local university, Mthunzi became the first South African PhD student at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews in Scotland.Developing innovative testing devices Biophotonics is an emerging area of science in South Africa. Mthunzi explains that it is a versatile, multi-disciplinary field that can be applied to find solutions for challenges in areas such as medicine, agriculture, environmental and life sciences. Research conducted under the umbrella of biophotonics involves disciplines such as physics, biology, medicine and engineering. Part of Mthunzi’s job description is to come up with novel ideas, and that is what she loves most about her work. She’s leading a project to determine possible medical applications using laser technology. “The field has applications for any disease,” she says. She is developing an HIV testing device that makes use of lasers to test blood samples. The device will be particularly useful in remote areas of the country and could change the way HIV testing is done. “Often people in rural areas have to walk long distances to clinics to get tested,” she says. “By the time they get there, it is too late to draw blood and send it with a courier to be tested at a laboratory elsewhere.” Mthunzi explains that the testing tool would be based on site at a clinic. She would like to design the device in such a way that it doesn’t require a medical professional to operate it. “It will be possible to get results immediately and will be easy to use, even by volunteer staff who receive some training,” she says. She is also working on introducing DNA and genes into stem cells and finding applications for lasers in the treatment of cancer. “Our cancer research is looking into ways to separate cancerous and non-cancerous cells.”last_img read more

Celebrating the legacy of Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela

first_imgJohannesburg, Tuesday 3 April 2018 – Brand South Africa mourns the passing of Mama Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela, who succumbed to a long illness on Monday 2 April 2018, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape in 1936‚ Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela- Mandela, fondly known as Mama Winnie, was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician. She moved to Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape in Bizana to study social work and in 1957 she met the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela and they were married a year later.As a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician, she held several government positions, including Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. A member of the African National Congress (ANC) political party, she served on the ANC’s National Executive Committee and headed its Women’s League.Madikizela-Mandela retained popular support within the ANC over the years and was known to her supporters as the “Mother of the Nation”.Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela expressed his sadness saying “It is truly with great sadness to have lost the Mother of the Nation. We are forever grateful for the role she played in securing our freedom. We indeed need to celebrate her legacy.”“Winnie Mandela was a target of massive disinformation by STRATCOM, an Apartheid smear campaign machinery, yet she remained true to the ethos of the liberation struggle. Long live the Republic”; further adds Dr Makhubela.Mandela family spokesman‚ Victor Dlamini said, “The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing, we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman”.“As the national government we have declared that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will have a national funeral on 14 April,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa while addressing mourners outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Ntombi NtanziTel: +27 11 712 5071Mobile: +27 81 704 1488Email: ntombin@brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more