South Africa’s Public Protector

first_imgThe Public Protector was set up in terms of South Africa’s Constitution to investigate complaints against government agencies or officials.The Public Protector is subject only to the Constitution and the law and is independent of government and any political party. Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane is South Africa’s fourth Public Protector since October 2016. (Image: Public Protector, Facebook)Here’s a comprehensive guide to how the process works, who and what the Public Protector can investigate, and how to lay a complaint.The Public Protector receives and investigates complaints from the public against government agencies or officials, and has the power to recommend corrective action and to issue reports.The Public Protector’s services are free and available to all and, if you lay a complaint, your name will so far as possible be kept confidential.The Public Protector is appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the National Assembly, in terms of the Constitution, for a non-renewable period of seven years.Website: http://www.pprotect.org/The Public Protector is subject only to the Constitution and the law and is independent of government and any political party. No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the Public Protector’s office.How does the Public Protector work?Anyone can complain to the Public Protector, who will then investigate the complaint. Think of the Public Protector as a referee who can look at all sides of a problem. If the Public Protector finds that your complaint is justified, he/she will do whatever possible to find a solution to the problem, which includes recommending changes to the system.The Public Protector can also report the matter to Parliament, which will debate the matter and see to it that the recommendations are followed.Investigations are mostly done informally, but the Public Protector can summons people to give evidence under oath or affirmation when this becomes necessary.Complainants should not fear being victimized for “blowing the whistle” on corrupt or improper practices.All information that comes to Public Protector – including the identity of complainants and their sources of information – is treated as confidential.Who can the Public Protector investigate?The Public Protector is independent of government or political parties and can investigate:Government at any level. This includes central and provincial government, state departments and local authorities.Any person performing a public function. This includes anyone performing any official duty which affects South Africans, for example a state employee such as a policeman or an electoral officer.Corporations or companies where the state is involved, for example Eskom and Telkom.Statutory councils, for example the Human Sciences Research Council or the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.What can the Public Protector investigate?The Public Protector is tasked with investigating improper prejudice suffered by the complainant or another person, for example as a result of:Abuse of power.Unfair, capricious, discourteous or other improper conduct.Undue delay.The violation of a human right.Any other decision taken, or situation brought about, by the authorities.Maladministration.Dishonesty or improper dealings with respect to public money.Improper enrichment.Receipt of improper advantage.What won’t the Public Protector investigate?Complaints outside of the Public Protector’s mandate include:Judgments by judges and magistrates, including sentences imposed by them.Private acts by individuals.Private companies.Doctors or lawyers who are not working for the state.However, the staff of the Public Protector can help by telling you where to complain or what to do in such cases.In certain cases the Public Protector may refer you to a court of law where going to court is the best way to deal with the problem. Since the Public Protector does not act as anyone’s legal representative, you will be referred to a lawyer if the matter must go to court.How do I lay a complaint?Should your complaint be about prejudice, you should try to solve the problem yourself before complaining to the Public Protector, for example by:Speaking to the official(s) involved; or, if that does not helpWriting to the person in charge of the official(s), for example the head of the department, or the chief executive director, or the town clerk.You could also consider approaching your Member of the National or Provincial Parliament. Only then, if you are still unable to solve the problem, should you make a submission to the Public Protector. You can do this by:Toll free line: 0800 11 20 40Customer service line: (012) 366-7142Email: customerservice@pprotect.orgFilling in an online formThe following information should be contained in your submission:The nature of your complaint.The background to your complaint.Reasons why you feel your complaint should be investigated by the Public Protector.Steps you have taken to solve the problem yourself (if applicable). You should mention names of the officials you have been dealing with, on what dates, and what was said. Copies of any correspondence between you and the officials should be attached to your letter.A telephone number where you can be contacted, if you have one.In some instances the Public Protector may require a statement under oath before investigating.If you are unsure whether your problem is something the Public Protector will investigate, or if you cannot write, you can phone the Public Protector’s office on 0800 11 20 40 (toll free), or visit http://www.pprotect.org/ for other numbers. There are trained professional staff members who will listen to your complaint, big or small, and conduct investigations.In some cases the staff can help people to find quick solutions to their problems. The staff can also tell you where to complain if the Public Protector cannot help you.You could also visit the office for an interview or a consultation, if you prefer. It is better to write first and ask for an interview in the letter.Who is South Africa’s Public Protector?Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane became South Africa’s fourth Public Protector in October 2016. She was appointed by President Jacob Zuma, after being recommended by a special parliamentary committee.Mkhwebane is an advocate of the high court and a specialist in refugee and immigration law. She has held positions in the Department of Home Affairs and the South African embassy in the Republic of China. She previously also worked in the Office of the Public Protector as a senior investigator and an acting provincial director for Gauteng. Mkhwebane was also a senior researcher at the South African Human Rights Commission.Mkhwebane replaced Advocate Thulisile Madonsela, who completed her term in October 2016. Madonsela replaced Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, who completed his seven-year term as Public Protector on 16 October 2009. South Africa’s first Public Protector, Advocate Selby Baqwa, served from 1995 to 2002.Updated October 2016Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Wind Energy Hits a High Note

first_imgA record amount of new wind energy capacity was under construction at the end of 2013, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The two main reasons for the wind boom are technological advancements that have lowered costs and a federal tax credit.In an end-of-the-year summary for 2013, the industry group said in Washington on Janury 30 that wind projects with a combined capacity of more than 12,000 megawatts were under construction by the end of the year. Most of that construction, accounting for 10,900 MW, was started in the fourth quarter of the year.One key was the Production Tax Credit, which was extended by Congress in 2013 after being allowed to lapse briefly at the start of the year. The credit, which has been in effect for more than 20 years, is worth 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of the project.The tax credit expired again at the end of 2013, but the industry expects it will be renewed again in 2014, according to an article from Gannett’s Washington Bureau. Tax credit and new capacity go hand in handWithout the tax credit, the industry slows to a crawl. According to the AWEA, when the credit is allowed to expire, wind installations drop off from 75% to 95%, as they did at the start of 2013.Orders placed in the last part of 2013 will keep the industry busy for a while. But the AWEA says that if the tax credit isn’t back on the books by the start of the construction season in the spring, there could be trouble.While the capacity of projects under construction hit an all-time high at the end of 2013, the total capacity that was actually installed in 2013 was quite low — 1,084 MW compared with the record-setting 13,131 MW installed during 2012. The AWEA said that the late extension of the production tax credit and an investment tax credit was to blame.“In the absence of long-term policies, the wind industry should not be left out in the cold while Congress decides the way forward on energy,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan in a prepared statement available on the organization’s website. “The [tax credit] is a highly successful policy and Congress should act quickly to extend it to maintain a stable business environment, so that wind energy can continue to provide more affordable, clean, homegrown energy.”In all, the AWEA said in its report that there are now 61,1087 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States — enough to power 15.3 million homes.last_img read more

Are Smartwatches For Real Or A Head Fake?

first_imgThe road to wearable watches has been long and bumpy, leading some to wonder whether this technology will ever be deployed.The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is “aggressively” hiring team members to work on the so-called iWatch.The company has begun hiring “aggressively” for the project in recent weeks, say people familiar with Apple’s plans for the wearable device, a move that shows it has stepped up development but which raises questions over the ability of its own engineers to develop wearable technology.Meanwhile, The Verge is reporting that Microsoft’s existing smartwatch team is being re-organized into the Microsoft Surface team.Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Surface plans have revealed to The Verge that the company is now prototyping devices directly under the Surface team as the firm moves its wrist-worn device closer to reality.This move is part of Microsoft’s larger reorganization, but it underlines the seriousness with which Microsoft is giving the prospect of a smartwatch project.Clearly, the two tech companies haven’t consulted with our esteemed leader, who has his own objections to the notion of wearable computers on wrists. But beyond the market drivers for wearable computers, the constant buildup and positioning does lead us to wonder if a true smartwatch is even possible.The surge towards wearable computing devices is capturing a lot of attention among the major tech companies, as no one seems to want to be the one to get caught without a decent wearable device. To date, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung seem to be taking the path towards watches, while Google experiments with the Glass device.See also Arm Race: Samsung To Build A Smartwatch TooWhat remains to be seen is whether any of these devices will actually get built. Sometimes the whole “arm race” to launch a smart wrist device has the feel of the end of another arms race, when U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983.SDI, derisively known as “Star Wars,” would be strongly criticized in the Western media, but taken seriously by the Soviet Union as a viable challenge to the centerpiece Mutual Assured Destruction strategy of the Cold War. The USSR would spend billions to try to counter such a project which would supposedly contribute to the military overspending that would lead to the collapse of the USSR.History is unclear whether Reagan was simply bluffing the Soviets, but there is a strong case that he was. Similarly, there is a strong sense of history repeating itself when we see leaked plans for smart watches from companies like Apple. Is the iWatch really on its way, or is this all one big plan to distract other companies from making better progress in the tablet and smartphone sectors?Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Apple#Google#Microsoft#Samsung#smartwatch Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces brian proffittcenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Always ready to get his number called, Nambatac helps save Rain or Shine from elimination

first_imgView comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Nambatac added he can’t afford to relax once Game 7 starts especially with his fourth-quarter performance surely putting him on the Hotshots’ scouting report.“I have to study for this especially that I know I’ll be on the scouting report so I can’t relax,” said Nambatac. “I know in myself that I can help the team when I go to the floor.” ANTIPOLO CITY—Rey Nambatac isn’t Rain or Shine’s usual go to go when the team needed buckets, but with the Elasto Painters’season on the line, the hustling wingman knew he had to produce.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess The sophomore guard out of Letran out delivered in the biggest ways possible, willing the Elasto Painters to a crucial 91-81 Game 6 win over Magnolia in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Ynares Center here.Nambatac had a stellar outing of 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep and 13 of those points came in the payoff period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsRain or Shine held on to a 77-71 lead, a respectable margin but not something that could assure a win, with 5:52 remaining in the game.Sensing his team needed a boost, Nambatac knocked down two straight three-pointers that gave the Elasto Painters a 83-71 with 3:57 to play essentially assuring his team of a Game 7. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated “First of all, I was ready because since the start of the third quarter I wasn’t called to get to the game but my mindset was anytime I can come in,” said Nambatac in Filipino.“So when I did get called, I knew I had to step up which was really needed because our wings were focused on defense and our offense sorely lacked because of it. I then focused on the offensive end.”James Yap was the only wingman for Rain or Shine, apart from Nambatac, to have a productive night finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds while shooting 7-of-14 from the field.Nambatac, who averaged 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds, shot an overall 5-of-9 from the field.Gabe Norwood had a miserable outing on then floor shooting just 3-of-13 but finished with eight points and 10 boards while rookie Javee Mocon shot 0-of-2 from the field but made two of his four free throws.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles 6 doped Kazakh athletes fail to return Olympic medals DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

Happy Day for Turks and Caicos Southwest Airlines marks first flight

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands – November 6, 2017 –  It could easily be described as the happiest moment for the Turks and Caicos, as a country, since hurricanes Irma and Maria when a #SouthwestAirlines 737 touched down at the #ProvidencialesInternationalAirport on Sunday afternoon for the first time.The inaugural flight, with 103 passengers aboard marked a significant milestone and the beginning of a long pursued relationship with America’s biggest airline company.Underscoring the significance of the freshly forged commute between Ft Lauderdale, Florida and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos were three events to mark the milestone.  A welcome reception held Saturday at #iHeartRadio and #SouthwestSoundstage in Miami, Florida where Turks and Caicos, the #DominicanRepublic and #CostaRica were all welcomed to South Florida and introduced as the three newest Caribbean/Latin America flights for the airline.A take off press conference held at the gate of flight 618, the Provo gate within the A terminal, a new Southwest Airlines wing of the #FtLauderdaleHollywoodInternationalAirport.  Conch shells, balloons, interviews, photographs, regional and Turks and Caicos media, and brief remarks punctuated the excitement where the first passenger turning in her boarding pass and entering the flight was Premier, Hon #SharleneRobinson – all smiles, all congratulatory and all thankful. The Premier said Southwest holding to the November 5 start of the flight is a true testament of their commitment and Turks and Caicos’ allure as a destination.  The nation’s leader explained that it would have been understandable had the airline company decided to postponed launch of the route given the seriousness of the September storms, but Southwest is now here and will run daily flights delivering to guests and islanders their no baggage fees and no change fees policies – she called it a happy day for the islands.Tourism Minister, Hon #RalphHiggs said the pursuit of Southwest started some seven years ago, when the airline was flying limited flights only in the US. More seriously, four years ago significant talks began and the deal was inked and now this leading carrier will broaden the options for travelers into the Turks and Caicos.#SteveGoldberg, Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality at #SouthwestAirlines agreed, and said there is a demand for the destination and Southwest is ready to deliver on a unique service; Goldberg also made this first flight in. #JohnSmith, CEO of the Airports Authority attributed the success of securing this airlift to tripartite teamwork; the Turks and Caicos Airports Authority, the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association and the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board were all highly instrumental in making the Southwest connection happen. On board, prizes were given away with the help of the Junior Tourism Minister, #ZariahIngham and each passenger has a miniature TCI flag and gift from the tourist board as a keepsake and reminder that they were aboard the very first flight of Southwest airlines to this leading regional destination.And yes, there was water canon salute for the new Southwest flight as it taxied into the PIA. Related Items:#premiersharlenerobin, #providencialesinternationalairport, #southwestairlinesprovidenciales, #southwestairlinesturksandcaicos, #tciopenforbusiness, #tcistrong PDM Administration moving ahead with crack down on shanty construction NEOC UPDATE AFTER MARIA Recommended for you Editorial: Not decimated but badly bruisedlast_img read more

It wouldve been really nice to face Messi – Alvarez

first_imgAhead of Friday’s friendly match between Mexico and Argentina, El Tri defender Edson Alvarez regrets that Argentina star, Lionel Messi won’t feature in the match.Argentina would usually be the top dog against Mexico but for the friendly match on Friday, where Messi will be absent, Mexican defender feels it’s time for Mexican football shine.“It would’ve been really nice to face Messi,” said Alvarez in a press conference Wednesday, before training in Cordoba, according to ESPN.“But his health comes first. Personally, it would’ve great to play against him.”Speaking in comparison of Mexican’s victory against Germany in the 2018 World Cup and their upcoming match against Argentina, Alvarez continued:“We’ve shown that in adversity when we are the underdogs we step up,”“I like these challenges … what better way to show our quality than now, against a great team in front of their fans? We all want to play the game already.”“The quality and potential is there,”FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).He also encouraged any new coach coming to focus on improving the mentality of the team and gave a little hint about his future.“We’ve missed out more because of mentality. We block ourselves. We showed the world against Germany that we were better than them. Mexican football can move forward.”“Playing in Europe is every player’s dream, at least it is mine,” said Alvarez when asked by ESPN.“There is interest from certain teams and that is the only thing I can say.”On the other hand, the Argentine federation (AFA) president Claudio Tapia believes Messi will soon be back for the national team.“Having the best player in the world gives you a better possibility of doing well and we all want that,” said Tapia on Monday in a news conference.“Now is the time to stop stewing over what happened in the World Cup and I have no doubt that [Messi] will continue [with Argentina]. I haven’t spoken with him because it isn’t time yet but I know his feelings for the shirt.”last_img read more

Bengal to push for GST exemption up to Rs 50 lakh Mitra

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal would try to prevail upon the GST Council for giving exemption to businesses having an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh, the state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra said today. At present, the exemption limit for GST is for businesses having an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh or less. “Let the GST stabilise first. It has not yet stabilised as matching of invoices with vouchers was being done manually,” Mitra said at a meeting of garment manufacturers and traders here. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed He said the implementation of the new tax regime was done in a hurry, and the GST network had not been able to upload the GSTR2 form online yet for matching vouchers with invoices done through the GSTR1 (already uploaded online). “The exemption limit can be raised gradually,” he said. Mitra also announced that requirement of e-way bills for workers within the state was no longer needed. This, he said, would apply to the garment manufacturers in West Bengal. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJP “The state government will help the industry (garment) to get more organised so that better margins are realised,” the minister said. Mitra said the state had already formed a JV with the National Institute of Design (NID) of Ahmedabad for a design centre in West Bengal, and efforts would be made for designing of textiles as well. He stressed upon the need for upgradation of the quality of garments and refrain from using ‘azo-dyes’, which bar the manufacturers from exporting to European countries.last_img read more

Android P Beta 4 is here stable Android P expected in the

first_imgWith Android P expected to release sometime in August, Google released the beta 4 version of Android P. Android P Beta 4 is the last preview before the official launch of Android P platform. Android P beta 4 consists of a release candidate build with updates to final system behaviors and official Android P APIs. Android P is the next major release after Android Oreo released last year in August. With the Beta 4 version of Android P,  Google has provided “everything” that developers need to wrap up their testing. There are different devices such as Google Pixel phones, Oppo R15 pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, etc, on which you can run the latest Android P beta 4.  Here’s a look at key features that Android P will include. The latest release is available for users who have enrolled themselves in the Android Beta program. Android Beta program is necessary to start testing the update which delivers over-the-air (OTA) updates to its user base. With all the APIs and system behavior updates in Beta 4, we might not see any major changes between Android P beta 4 version and the official stable version of Android P. Android P Beta 4, for now, is available for Google Pixel devices, namely, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. Pixel users can get Beta 4 on their phone by using the Factory images and OTA files carrying build PPP5.180610.010 to install the latest Android P Beta on their devices instantly. If you don’t want to install the latest beta version on your Pixel device then there is a new version provided by Google for Android Emulator where you can test out Beta 4. For more information on Android P Beta 4, check out the official documentation. Read Next Top 5 Google I/O 2018 conference Day 1 Highlights: Android P, Android Things, ARCore, ML kit and Lighthouse Google updates biometric authentication for Android P, introduces BiometricPrompt APIlast_img read more