Archive | January, 2012

R1 Billion new Cobalt Catalysts plant for Sasol

SASOLBURG. – Sasol Synfuels International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sasol Group, announced the inauguration of Sasol’s first 100%-owned cobalt catalyst manufacturing facility situated in Sasolburg.

The R1-billion facility is the first of its kind in South Africa. It is estimated the plant will create 50 permanent jobs. At the peak of construction activity, close to 700 local contractors were on site each day. Opportunities were also created for numerous third party suppliers of goods and services.

Sasol’s proprietary cobalt catalyst is at the heart of the technology that makes its gas-to-liquids (GTL) process possible. As Sasol accelerates its GTL growth around the world, this South African facility will be instrumental in supplying a vital ingredient to ensure the success of those ventures. Initially, the plant will be supplying cobalt catalyst to Sasol’s projects in Qatar, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.
Speaking at the inauguration Lean Strauss, Sasol senior group executive, emphasised Sasol’s commitment to its South African roots.
“As Sasol’s growth takes us around the world, we remain firmly rooted in South Africa and continue to make significant investments in growth opportunities at home, as well as in the Southern African region,” Strauss said.
“Our total capital-spend in South Africa over the past years has been R42-billion and with the pipeline of projects in the region, we are looking at spending an additional R40-billion over the next three to four years. Given that South Africa was the country in which Sasol’s proprietary Slurry Phase Distillate™ process was developed, it is a significant milestone to have the ‘heartbeat’ of the GTL and CTL process on South African soil for the first time,” he added.

In addition to this plant Sasol, in partnership with BASF, also produces cobalt catalyst in De Meern in the Netherlands. Strauss thanked BASF for their assistance over the years in helping Sasol reach this milestone. He also congratulated the operations team for commissioning the plant without a single recordable safety incident.

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Middelklas-esel se rug gaan knak

Die Onderwysdepartement se opdrag aan verskeie Vaaldriehoekse skole wat reeds vol is, om volgende jaar plek te maak vir kinders wat nie uit hul voedingsgebied kom nie (lees minderbevoorregte kinders wat nie skoolfonds sal kan bydra nie) maak opslae.
Die departement se tydsberekening is verdag. Waarom is die nuus enkele dae voor die vakansie eers aan die hoofde oorgedra? Hoop die departement om konflik te vermy deur die onderwyskorps eers op vakansie te stuur om te gaan afkoel voordat hulle in die nuwe jaar moet rondval en planmaak uit dié chaotiese situasie uit?

In die vroeë 1990’s, kort na sy vrylating, het oud-president Nelson Mandela die skoolopleiding wat swart mense in die Apartheidsjare gekry het, as minderwaardig en ‘n misdaad teen Suid-Afrika se jeug bestempel. Nou, aan die vooraand van 2012, kan ‘n mens terugkyk en vra: hoe het sake in die afgelope twee dekades verander? Die antwoord is dat die opleiding wat tans in meeste staatskole aangebied word, steeds minderwaardig is, met die verskil dat nie net ‘n gedeelte van die jeug nie, maar  álle kinders nou daardeur geraak word.

In ‘n poging om standaarde hoog te hou, betaal ouers van leerlinge by voormalige model C-skole ekstra skoolfonds om bykomende onderwysers op eie koste in te huur. Vir sulke ouers wat reeds ekstra betaal, beteken die akkommodering van nóg kinders uit minder gegoede gebiede dat hulle nou selfs meer sal moet betaal om die nuwelinge te subsidieer. Beheerliggame se magte om ‘n hoë opvoedingspeil in ‘n chaotiese stelsel te probeer handhaaf, word nou verder ingekort.
Op die oog af kan dit maklik lyk na rassediskriminasie; asof die skole kapsie maak omdat die bykomende leerlinge nie wit of nie Afrikaanssprekend is nie. Dit is egter nie die geval nie. Die hartseer van die huidige situasie is dat etniese politiek van die Apartheidsjare nou plek gemaak het vir ‘n klassestelsel.

Aan die een kant is daar ‘n groeiende getal verarmde swart, wit en bruin mense met min voorregte omdat hulle min geld het. Aan die ander kant is daar ‘n relatief klein swart, wit, bruin en Indiërgroep wat ‘n middelklas vorm en duur betaal om die groeiende groep minderbevoorregtes te subsidieer.

Die regering besef óf nie dat die middelklas besig is om dood te bloei nie, óf dis ‘n doelgerigte poging om die middelklas te ontmagtig en ons skoolopleiding verder te verlam. Dis na alles makliker vir ‘n klein groepie bevoorregtes in die regering om in beheer te bly van verarmde, magtelose burgers met min potensiaal om vir opstand te mobiliseer. Dis tyd dat middelklasmense – die altyd gewillige pak-esels – sê NEE, ons word nie verder geboelie nie! Die esel se rug én geduld is by breekpunt.

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Travel and First Aid – What you should know

With the Festive Season on our doorstep it is almost certain that people will travel to holiday destinations across South Africa to explore our beautiful country.

Unfortunately there could be a wrinkle in your travel plans if you are not prepared. A minor medical incident can spoil a fun-filled holiday without proper action being taken. ER24 paramedics want to know if you are ready to help.
Almost everyone will need to use a First Aid kit at some time and you need to make sure that you are prepared. First Aid kits range from a very basic to a comprehensive bag, depending on your travel destination. Obviously what you will need depends on your medical training and level of expertise.

ER24 paramedics give the following advice on what to pack in your travel First Aid kit: tweezers, scissors, safety pins, First Aid dressings, two or three rolls of bandages, eye-pad, triangular bandage, gauze swabs, plasters, antiseptic cream, burn dressing, antiseptic wound-cleaner, latex gloves (if you are allergic to latex, use non-latex gloves), CPR mouthpiece, personal medication, sunscreen and personal information. Although this is very basic, you can still add your own items to the bag.

It is important to know that, should you pack your personal medication in your First Aid kit, you should label it as personal medication. Do not dispense your prescription medication to anyone, even if they use the same medication. If you are faced with an emergency, you can follow easy steps to ensure that you provide the best possible assistance.
Always ensure your safety first. Do not touch any blood or other body fluids if you are not wearing medical gloves. If you do not feel you can help safely, rather ask another person for help or contact the local emergency services. Some of the most common injuries sustained while on holiday can range from a minor scrape to a deep cut.
Should you be faced with a situation where a person sustained a deep cut and it is bleeding profusely apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or bandage and seek medical help.

Do not pour any liquid or cream into the wound. You can rinse the wound with clean water if needed. Burn wounds are also very common and it is advised that you only use an approved burn dressing.
Do not apply any cream, butter, toothpaste or any other substance onto the burn. Rinse the affected area with cool clean water.

Should the burn be severe and form blisters, or where the skin is peeling, seek medical help immediately.
Be prepared and know the number of the local emergency service or speed-dial should you stay in a hotel or lodge. You can find out from the reception what the local emergency number is.

Should you be faced with any medical incident where you are unsure of what to do, you can contact ER24’s National Emergency Contact Centre on 084 124 from any telephone or cellular phone and ask the Emergency Call Taker for advice. The medical team will evaluate the situation and give you advice on what to do or dispatch the closest ambulance to you. You can also buy a First Aid kit from ER24 or from your local pharmacy.
* For more information visit ER24’s website at – André Vermaak (ER24).

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Jack needs no little white gloves

Organised by local DA MPL, Solly Nkhi and the party’s councillors, Bloom says that his stopover is part of his tour into neglected and forgotten communities, which saw him also visiting other areas in the Gauteng province.  After travelling for the better part of the day, Vaal Weekly caught up with the DA man at the Sonderwater shack settlement near the Golden Highway.

Bloom met and spoke with residents about their challenges.  One of them, Puseletso Mofokeng (54) says that they struggle to get water as there are only four taps in the area, which are shared by the entire population.  “We don’t have electricity and many people living here are old and unemployed and this makes life very difficult,” says Mofokeng. Whilst interacting with Sonderwater dwellers at one of the tap stations, Bloom commented that life in the area is a lot like the dark ages, the 19th century.  He says, “I witnessed many distressing conditions on my tour yesterday. The most scandalous was the lack of water at the aptly named informal settlement of Sonderwater.”
Listing his concerns to this publication, Bloom noted the following:
1. A long ditch full of rubbish in Bophelong Ext 5 which children from the Ikokobetseng Primary School find difficult to cross. Ten people have been murdered at night near or in this ditch in the last few years.
2. RDP houses in Boitumelo which should never have been built there as there is underground water that frequently floods.
3. At Lengweleng in Small Farms, residents applied for RDP houses as long ago as 1994, but claim that other people were moved into the RDP houses that they were promised.

4. At Mnqiniso squatter camp at Bophelong, residents also say they had applied for RDP houses in the mid-1990s.
5. In Zone 7 Sebokeng there is a community with only 3 taps and 3 pit toilets for 150 people.
6. Dangerous open wires on street lights outside the Noordhoek Laerskool in CD4 Vanderbijlpark that DA Councillor Ntombi Mhlongo has been trying to fix.
7. At Boiketlong informal settlement where I spent the night there are only four taps, rudimentary pit toilets and no electricity.

Following a long day of stop and go trips in the Vaal, Bloom made his last stop at Boiketlong where he spent the night in Mathapelo Mothabe’s shack.  Mothabe is a 90-year old blind resident of Boiketlong and lives in the shack with her grandson.  “It seems to me that informal settlements need to be upgraded rather than promises of RDP houses that are never met,” concludes Bloom.

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No one can argue

In Cape Town recently are Esther Kgongwane and Balekaofela Mphuthi (Meyerton High) and Sadé, Pieterson and Noxolo Ntaka (OWLAG)
Sadé Pietersen (17 years old) and Noxolo Ntaka (17 years old) learners from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), together with their teammates Balekaofela Mphuti and Esther Khongwane from Meyerton High, won first place at the South African Model United Nations International competition.
This prestigious event had more than 500 SA schools participating (at the provincial level).�
At the national event 23 schools competed. Each province’s team competed (i.e. 9 teams, all consisting of a twinning between a ‘resourced’ school and an ‘under-resourced’ school, a total of 18 schools. In addition, the UK, Nigeria & Kenya (3) sent delegations. 

 All four team members (Noxolo Ntaka and Sadé, Pieterson from OWLAG together with Meyerton High pupils Esther Kgongwane and Balekaofela Mphuthi) will represent South Africa at the annual conference next year in the US.
The Head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Anne van Zyl is extremely proud of how well the team performed. She says, “The volume of work was considerable and time consuming, requiring personal sacrifice.
The maturity and confidence demonstrated by the team is exemplary.” The competition is called the ‘Model United Nations SA’ because it simulates United Nations debates, with each participating team being pre-allocated a country, which they then represent as delegates at the conference.

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