• ‘Positive’ Jamaica U23s hunt berth in CONCACAF Finals

    first_imgSince 2004, Jamaica’s Under-23 men’s football team has not made it to the CONCACAF Final round of the Olympic qualifiers, with the team making early exits against underrated Caribbean opponents on the last two occasions.However, assistant coach Jerome Waite said they are looking for a positive result when they take on Cuba in one Caribbean Football Union (CFU) semi-final this Friday at Stade Sylvio Cater in Haiti for a place in the CONCACAF Final, set for the United States in October.Both CFU finalists will advance to the CONCACAF Final. Haiti and St Vincent & Grenadines will contest the other semi-final. The final is set for Sunday.”We are looking forward to positive results in this semi-final round. The objective is to move past this hurdle and get to the final leg. It will be a challenge, but despite that, the players are up for the challenge,” the Arnett Gardens Premier League-winning coach told The Gleaner yesterday.”We have seen some of the top attacking players out of the Cuban team because they played in the Gold Cup. But the head coach (Miguel Coley) has taken the time to assess the Cuban Under-23 team and we expect they have a strong unit.”They are very fast and they play good football, so we expect a tough game.We don’t expect an easy run like in the first round,” he insisted.There have not been many changes to the Jamaica squad that secured qualification in the Dominican Republic in June and Waite expects the players to continue improving.”The fact that most of these players are the same players who cleared the first hurdle, it will make it much easier because you have less newcomers in the squad,” he explained.”The preparation has been going on well and the players have been responding. They have improved pretty well, although there is room for improvement … and you can see the team is gelling,” he added.SQUAD: Omar Holness (captain), Kereem Manning, Paul Wilson, Junior Flemmings, Amal Monte Knight, Vishinul Harris, Brandon Anderson, Joel Johnson, Kevaughn Frater, Christopher Campbell, Michael Seaton, Cardel Benbow, Haddad Khouri, AndrÈ Morrison, Sean McFarlane, Nico Campbell, Ricardo Oldham, AndrÈ Lewis, Romario Williams, Damion Lowe.last_img read more

  • Nuggets roll to biggest win over Lakers with 117-85 romp

    first_imgGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college UP NEXTLakers: Opens four-game homestand against Indiana on Thursday night.Nuggets: Kick off a five-game road trip at Portland on Friday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tokyo ‘best-prepared’ host city for Olympics – IOC chief LATEST STORIES ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Lakers, who handed the Nuggets their first loss of the season in late October in Los Angeles, struggled to find their shooting touch against Denver’s defensive pressure.The Lakers were outshot 48.5 percent to 39.5 percent and finished just 5 of 35 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range. And for the 10th time this season, the Nuggets held an opponent to under 100 points.“I’ve thought we were a defensive team in my head for a while now but this year it is our identity,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “It speaks to the buy-in and commitment and the fact that our guys realize that regardless of the offense, when we defend, we are a team that can beat anyone. We have done that against really good teams and really good players. Tonight was another example of that.”Up by eight at the half, the Nuggets stretched their lead to 89-71 with a strong third quarter. Jokic started the Nuggets’ third by hitting a pair of 3s and Mason Plumlee’s tip-in just before the quarter ended put Denver in front by 18 points going into the fourth quarter.The Nuggets kept the pressure on in the final period, outscoring the Lakers down the stretch 28-14.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award The 32-point margin surpassed a 29-point win in 1993.“I thought we came out and just took it to them,” Millsap said. “Our halfcourt defense was tremendous. We were not allowing them to get any shots. We could have done a little better job of shutting them down in the paint but overall I think we did a really good job of coming in and establishing what we wanted to do, paying attention to the game plan. And it completely took them out of their game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissNikola Jokic added 14 points and Juancho Hernangomez had 12 for the Nuggets, who won their fourth in a row.Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points for Los Angeles, while LeBron James and Brandon Ingram added 14 apiece. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom “We stayed in it as much as we could, stopped the dam from running over,” James said. “At one point it broke open because we couldn’t make shots.”Denver led 58-50 at the half, getting a boost from Millsap, who converted a three-point play and then hustled down the floor for a soaring block of Ingram’s attempted layup in the last 39 seconds of the second quarter. Millsap had 16 points in the first half.TIP-INSLakers: G Rajon Rondo remains sidelined with a broken right hand. He’s missed the last six games but is making progress. He has been cleared to take part in non-contact basketball activities.Nuggets: G Gary Harris missed a second consecutive game with left ankle soreness. Torrey Craig again started in his place. … Millsap also had 11 rebounds, giving him his fourth double-double of the season. … Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders watched the game from courtside seats.INJURY UPDATELonzo Ball, who had seven points in just over 18 minutes, missed most of the second half after spraining his left ankle earlier in the game.“He sprained his left ankle pretty good but he wanted to give it a go,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “The way he was moving out there, it just didn’t feel right to leave him on the court so we got him out there.”His playing status going forward was uncertain.“We’ll probably get a better idea of what we’re dealing with after this flight and into tomorrow,” Walton added. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James reacts after missing a basket in the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets pm Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 117-85. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER — The Denver Nuggets have never been better against the Lakers.Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley scored 20 points apiece, and the Nuggets rolled to their most lopsided victory ever over Los Angeles, a 117-85 rout on Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

  • Fundraiser at Ballyliffin Hotel next Friday for ‘star on the hill’

    first_imgA fundraiser will take place at the Ballyliffin Hotel on Friday the 11th of November between 12pm and 2:30pm to raise money for the Christmas ‘Star on the Hill’.One of the organisers, Caroline Grant says; “Last year Tidy Towns managed to relight the Star on the Hill facing the village, we were able to achieve this, because of the GREAT generosity and SUPPORT shown by our friends, neighbours and sponsors.”“This year we plan to light the Second Star on the Hill, the one facing Rashenny and the Isle of Doagh.” “As the Afternoon Tea was held in high regard as a social event so we are proposing to host another, to fund the repairs needed. The beacon of light from both stars will be seen in Malin, Culdaff, Urris and the Isle of Doagh.”“Please come along to meet some friends and neighbours over a cuppa, with a few treats.”Alternatively, you can donate baked goods or raffle prizes to any of the committee members on the day.Fundraiser at Ballyliffin Hotel next Friday for ‘star on the hill’ was last modified: November 5th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:ballyliffin hotelCHristmascoffee morningfundraisingstar on the hilllast_img read more


    first_imgIs this Donegal’s unluckiest worker?Seamus O’Donnell leaving court after receiving €20,000 in damages.Engineer Seamus O’Donnell has had eight accidents throughout his life leaving him with a catalogue of injuries. The 28 year old appeared in court after crashing into a truck during yet another accident.He also crashed a quad, tripped, fell through a skylight, suffered a broken jaw on two occasions at work and was involved in three other crashes.Mr O’Donnell of Drumoghill, Manorcunningham appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court in a personal injury claim against Liberty Insurance.Despite all his previous accidents, the court heard that Mr O’Donnell has never taken a claim before the courts previously.The court heard he was driving his brother’s Honda Civic at Brockagh, St Johnston, at 8pm on February 17, 2008.He alleged that a Scania lorry being driven by David Nesbitt, from Ardagh, Lifford, reversed from a side road in front of him and a crash took place.The 28 year old was rushed to Letterkenny hospital to be treated for leg and rib injuries.He continued to suffer pains as a result of the various accidents, he told the courtHe previously played a lot of football but cannot now run as a result of the latest smash.A record of all of the victim’s previous accidents were contained in a file brought to court.They included:• He suffers a chest injury aged just 6 after he fell through a skylight in 1991• In 2005 he suffers a broken jaw at work• He suffers broken ribs in a car crash in February 2006• He suffers another broken jaw in another work accident in September 2007• The suffers leg and other injuries in a car crash in 2008 (current case)• Soft tissue injuries when a car drove into him in Co Donegal in 2009• Further minor injuries when he tripped and fell in Letterkenny in June 2011• A broken bone in his chest when a Quad he was driving overturned on top of him in May 2012.After reviewing the case Judge Mary Faherty said the lorry driver had been fully responsible for the 2008 crash.However she said it was “extremely difficult” to decide to what extent other injuries suffered Mr O’Donnell in other injuries had contributed to his current ill-health.But she said she believed compensation of €20,000 was appropriate and also awarded medical and legal costs in the case.UNFORTUNATE WORKER GETS €20,000 AFTER ANOTHER ACCIDENT was last modified: February 28th, 2014 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:accidentDamagesdonegaldrumoghillLetterkenny Circuit Civil CourtSeamus O’Donnelllast_img read more


    first_imgSHAY Given’s nightmare time at Aston Villa is over – after he was appointed as an assistant to manager Paul Lambert last night.The 37-year-old Donegal man and Gordon Cowans have both been promoted to ‘temporary assistants’ after the club suspended assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary KarsaGiven, who has not made an appearance for Villa since January 2013, was sent out on loan to Middlesbrough on November 28 but returned to Villa Park at the end of February. “As players, it’s important that each and every one of us take responsibility right now and I’m delighted to play my part in helping the manager and the team go and try to win on Saturday,” said Given in a statement on the Midlands club’s website.Villa are currently lie four points above the relegation zone with five games remaining.“I’m delighted to have Gordon and Shay to assist me in preparing the team for Saturday which is what the whole group is focussed on,” said Lambert.  SHAY GIVEN BROUGHT IN FROM THE COLD AT ASTON VILLA AS HE TAKES ASSISTANT ROLE was last modified: April 16th, 2014 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:Aston VilladonegalShay Giventemporary assistantlast_img read more


    first_imgThree Donegal schools have been ear-marked for major development under the five year Building Programme.The announcement comes just weeks after major developments were announced on three other schools in the county including Colaiste Ailaigh, Letterkenny, St Patricks NS, Lurgybrack and Gaelscoil Adhamanain, Letterkenny.The three schools on yesterday’s announcement include Deele College, Raphoe, Educate Together, Letterkenny and the Little Angels, Letterkenny. Senator Jimmy Harte has welcomed the news that six Donegal schools will be included in the 5 year Building Programme” This is a major announcement that will see over €1.5Bn spent in this five-year period on school buildings. It reflects the Programme for Government commitment to prioritise school building projects in a revised national development plan and to bring about greater transparency.“This major schools capital investment in the 5 Year Plan will provide approximately 15,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs over the period of the programme (an annual average of 3,600 jobs).”This is particularily good news for Donegal and it shows the committment to the area There are 275 major projects. Of these, there are: * 106 new schools and 65 extensions at primary leve, * 43 new schools and 49 extensions at second level * 8 new special schools and extensions at 4 further special schools.There are a further 60 schools under construction at present, most of which will be completed during 2012. As these do not form part of the five-year plan, they are not included in these details, but for your convenience, are also attached separately.This investment will result in over 11% of the total school population benefiting from new permanent places delivered during the period 2012 to 2016.This follows on from announcements in recent weeks detailing ?35 million to be spent replacing prefabs in 200 schools this year, as well as the patronage of the 20 new primary schools that will be created over the next few yearsOver €2 billion has been earmarked toward school capital investments over the next five years, of which €1.5 billion is being allocated towards the funding of major school projects, which is today’s announcement. LIST OF SCHOOLS EAR-MARKED FOR WORKDonegal Donegal North-East Gaelscoil Adhamanain, Letterkenny 19971R Primary New School 2012Donegal Donegal North-East Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny 76081F Post-Primary New School 2012Donegal Donegal North-East St. Patrick’s NS, Lurgybrack 16672P Primary Extension 2012 Donegal Donegal North-East Little Angels Special School, Knocknamona, Letterkenny, Co Donegal 19724A Special School Extension 2014/15Donegal Donegal North-East Letterkenny Educate Together NS, Ballyraine Halls, Letterkenny, Co Donegal 20235P Primary New School 2015/16Donegal Donegal South-West Deele College, Raphoe, Lifford, Co Donegal 71230R Post Primary Extension 2014/15SIX DONEGAL SCHOOLS INCLUDED IN FIVE YEAR BUILDING PLAN was last modified: March 12th, 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:School Building ProgrammeSenator Jimmy Hartelast_img read more

  • Church founder accused

    first_imgEL MONTE — The Rev. John Coffield was a hero to many in this community, a rebel who fought to desegregate public schools and government jobs. In 1999 the city had its first “Father Coffield Day” to honor the Irish-born priest, a beloved minister in the El Monte barrios from 1943 to 1955. He had co-founded Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, El Monte’s first Catholic church, on a street that was eventually renamed in his honor. But before Coffield died Feb. 2, he shared with others that he’d been accused of sexual molestation in May 2002. His name was listed among the summaries of the confidential files of 126 priests the Los Angeles Archdiocese posted on its Web site earlier this month. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Coffield, who was 91 when he died, was accused in a telephone message from a 49-year-old adult male who claimed he was molested at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles from 1960 to 1962. On Dec. 24, 2003, the Beverly Hills law firm of Kiesel, Boucher and Larson LLP filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of multiple plaintiffs. Among them is Coffield’s accuser, identified only as Michel C., who claims Coffield gained the trust of his parents and the abuse occurred at different places, including on the school grounds, from about 1959 through approximately 1960. Anthony M. De Marco, an attorney with the firm, said the judge has ordered a halt in the proceedings to allow the discovery period to continue. De Marco said that since the 2003 suit was filed, a second man has accused Coffield of molesting him at the mission when he was a boy. Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the documents released Oct. 11 were from personnel files as they exist today; nothing was changed. Tamberg said there also are confidential files and information stored on databases that complement the recently released files. Coffield was assigned to Dolores Mission in 1955 as an administrator. He was named pastor in 1959 and served in that capacity until he was moved to Ascension Parish in Los Angeles as pastor on Sept. 20, 1961. El Monte resident Ben Campos, 71, said he knew Coffield well and spoke to him about the claims. “He thought the allegations were ridiculous,” Campos said. “He talked about the fact that it couldn’t have happened because he had the evidence (that) he wasn’t where the person said he was.” Campos said Coffield wasn’t upset over the allegations and that he was a positive man with practical senses and clear thinking. El Monte Mayor Ernie Gutierrez defended Coffield and criticized the way the archdiocese is handling itself. “Anyone can accuse anyone of anything. If the allegations were dismissed, it should say that,” said Gutierrez, 70, whose friendship with Coffield dated to 1961. Gutierrez said he never broached the subject with Coffield because he thought it would be insulting. He also said the church should allow the police to sift through the evidence and have the District Attorney’s office determine whether charges are warranted for any accused priest. “That will determine if they were guilty or innocent,” Gutierrez said. “The process the church follows is flawed; it’s a system that makes no sense.” Marianne Love can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108, or by e-mail at marianne.love@sgvn.com.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

  • Abortion is not a solution – 19 Donegal GPs urge ‘no’ vote

    first_imgA group of 19 Donegal-based doctors have asked voters to vote ‘no’ in the eighth amendment referendum.The doctors have come together to give reasons as to why they will be voting ‘no’ on May 25th next.In a strongly-worded statement, the GPs say that “all constitutional protection will be taken away from all babies up to birth” if a yes vote is carried. The statement says “If the eighth amendment is repealed, all constitutional protection will be taken away from all babies up to birth. Our politicians will then be given the power to introduce legislation, as they see fit, governing abortion in this country.“They propose the introduction of unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks and abortion of healthy babies up to 24 weeks (viability) on similar health grounds to the British model of abortion.”The following is the statement in full from the nineteen doctors whose names appear at the bottom of the statement.On May 25th, the people of Ireland will be asked to vote on whether to repeal the eighth amendment from our constitution or not.As doctors, we have a duty of care to our patients. When a pregnant woman presents to us, our duty of care is to two patients, both the mother and her unborn baby.In Ireland, we are privileged and enabled to provide this care within a medical culture that values all human life and affords dignity and respect to all, regardless of age, sex, race or circumstance.Both the Eighth amendment and the medical council guidelines are clear; in all circumstances every necessary medical treatment must be given to protect the life of the mother, even if this unintentionally compromises the life of the baby, while as far as practicable attempting to save the baby’s life.In all circumstances we offer support and strive to deliver the highest standard of medical care to all pregnant women. We offer real compassion and support to women in crisis pregnancies and to those who have been hurt by abortion. We will continue to do so, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.If the eighth amendment is repealed, all constitutional protection will be taken away from all babies up to birth. Our politicians will then be given the power to introduce legislation, as they see fit, governing abortion in this country. They propose the introduction of unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks and abortion of healthy babies up to 24 weeks (viability) on similar health grounds to the British model of abortion. 97% of all abortions in England and Wales are carried out on unspecified mental health grounds, which in practice amounts to abortion on demand. The proposed legislation will also allow for abortion, up to birth, of babies diagnosed with life-limiting conditions.If the eighth amendment is repealed, the Irish people will never again have a say in this issue.We are being asked to remove the most basic of all human rights from our most innocent and voiceless little patients by intentionally ending their lives. Abortion is not a solution no matter how difficult the situation. It is irreversible and final. It reduces a mother’s options and limits her choice.We know from the many women who have been hurt by abortion and who have spoken about their experience, that abortion may have far-reaching psychological, social and emotional consequences. For doctors, abortion contravenes our duty to “first do no harm” and undermines the relationship between a doctor and patient. The vast majority of abortions worldwide end the lives of healthy babies of healthy mothers.We can do better for women, for babies and for families. But this cannot be achieved by voting away the only right an unborn baby has, the right to life. That is why we will be voting NO.Yours,Dr. Murrough BirminghamDr. Kevin BonerDr. Sarah BrennanDr. Brian CallaghanDr. Micheal CookeDr. Anthony DelapDr. Anne Doherty CallaghanDr. Marie DrumgooleDr. Emma GallagherDr. Margaret GilliganDr. Beverly HussDr. Chris KingDr. Ken MulpeterDr. Brian McColganDr. Colette McGroryDr. Marie Therese McKennaDr. Maureen O CarrollDr. Bernadette PowerDr. Dara Scally Abortion is not a solution – 19 Donegal GPs urge ‘no’ vote was last modified: May 11th, 2018 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:abortiondoctorsdonegalnoreferendumvotelast_img read more

  • South Africa leads the pack on the African continent ahead of WEF 4IR Affiliate Centre launch

    first_imgThe South African government is delighted to spearhead an affiliate centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), under the World Economic Forum (WEF) banner. Members of the media and CSIR partners gathered in Pretoria on Tuesday for the C4IR Business Breakfast Consultation ahead of the centre launch, set to take place on the sidelines of WEF Africa, 4 – 6 September 2019.The event created an opportunity for all stakeholders to probe conversation on SA’s state of readiness for the 4IR and also take stock of implementations that need to be put in place. Affiliate centres have already been established in China, Japan and India, with South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Israel next in line.In her address, Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane elaborated on how widespread the impact of the 4IR will be: “The technologies associated with the phenomenon of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have already begun reshaping the way we produce goods and services; how we communicate and interact; how we administer health; how we educate the young; and how we do many other things that determine how we live. It is no longer possible to discuss economic development without factoring in the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the economy as whole. Any effort we make as a country to grow our economy will now largely be shaped by how quickly we are able to embrace and master the technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”Minister Kubayi-Ngubane further said that as a country, we were spectators of the second and third Industrial Revolutions, but this time around government would like to position South Africa as a forerunner.Head of the WEF 4th Industrial Revolution Network, Dr Murat Sönmez presented a talk on WEF C4IR, highlighting aspects of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics, digital trading, data policies and smart cities. “Who gets to benefit from the #4IR? Through affiliate centres like these, we need to come up with policies and protocols that will ensure that the 4IR doesn’t only benefit a select few”, he said.Dr Sönmez also announced that South Africa will have a seat on the WEF C4IR global advisory board.The realisation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is highly dependent on a reinforced collaboration as the world gears up for global transformation.last_img read more

  • Black winemakers to benefit from new agro-processing incentive

    first_imgThe Department of Trade and Industry’s Agro-Processing Support Scheme aims to stimulate investment in the agro-processing sector, and black winemakers in particular are being urged to apply.Ntsiki Biyela, winemaker at Stellakaya cellar. (Image: Rodger Bosch)Small businesses in the agro-processing sector have until 31 January 2018 to apply for financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti’s) Agro-Processing Support Scheme (APSS), for the current application window.The R1-billion grant, which was launched in June 2017 by Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, aims to stimulate investment in South African agro-processing and beneficiation enterprises. From a national development perspective, the agro-processing sector is among the sectors identified by the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and the National Development Plan (NDP) for its potential to spur growth and create jobs, due to its strong backward linkages with the primary agricultural sector.The five sectors that can benefit from the scheme are food and beverage value addition and processing; furniture manufacturing; fibre processing; feed production; and fertilizer production.In particular, the dti is urging black winemakers to apply to the APSS.Giving black winemakers an opportunity to get financial support through this incentive is part of the objective of the dti to change the structure of the economy, said Chief Director: Strategic Partnerships and Customer Care at the dti, Tsepiso Makgothi. “The wine industry remains largely concentrated and entry and active participation [of black winemakers] is limited. They’re now given an opportunity to get into the mainstream of the economy, because the incentives are available as part of transformation.”On why black winemakers did not have access to incentives previously, Makgothi said: “In the past [they] were left out due to barriers to entry, as well as because they were still too small to meet some of the stipulated requirements of the then manufacturing incentives.”However, the APSS funds are not reserved for a single group or sector. “We don’t keep money for one certain group. What if we have money available only for black winemakers, but they don’t apply?”The dti will be identifying specific focus areas annually to drive transformation, Makgothi added.What is the APSS?According to Minister Davies, the APSS “will be a cost-sharing grant towards funding agro-processing projects and it will be capped at R20 million over a two-year investment period, subject to availability of funds”.The scheme will support brownfield and greenfield investments; encourage investment in both upstream and downstream support services; and provide for the expansion of infrastructure to be used by farmers and agro-processors.Benefits of the scheme include:a 20% to a 30% cost-sharing grant to a maximum of R20 million over a two-year investment period, with the last claim to be submitted within six months after the final approved milestone;an additional 10% grant for projects that meet all economic benefit criteria such as employment, transformation, geographic spread and local procurement; andthe maximum approved grant may be utilised on a combination of investment costs such as new machinery and equipment, tools and forklifts; new commercial vehicles; buildings and competitiveness improvement interventions, provided the applicant illustrates a sound business case for the proposed investment activities.An applicant must submit a completed application form and business plan with detailed agro-processing/beneficiation activities, budget plans, and a projected income statement and balance sheet for a period of at least three years. The project/business must exhibit economic merit in terms of sustainability.National awarenessCreating an awareness of the scheme nationally is important to encourage applications.The dti used the Africa Big Seven Food Forum and Saitex, which took place at the Gallagher Conference Centre in Johannesburg in June 2017, to launch the APSS. “We normally identify an activity [or event] that relates to the scheme to host the launch of a new programme. We then explain [the scheme] to the people to build an awareness,” Makgothi said.“We have an awareness programme throughout the country,” Makgothi added. Thus far, she has travelled to the Free State and Mpumalanga to build awareness of the APSS, while other officials have travelled to other provinces.“We work with officials of the Department of Economic Development in every province, together with those of other government departments and provincial agencies,” Makgothi explained. “They are based in the province and know companies that could benefit from the incentive scheme.”Presentations are held by Makgothi and her team nationwide. This is part of the pre-application process aimed at helping companies with their applications. “The companies can ask us questions [during presentations].”In addition, Makgothi said, companies have the opportunity to pitch during the pre-application process. “We correct them if they are wrong in some areas of their pitching; we provide pre-application support. After they have sent in their applications, we can no longer get involved until the application has been evaluated by an Adjudication Committee and a decision communicated to the company.”One of the things the dti looks at during a pitch is the equipment a company has and the type of equipment required to be more competitive.The dti team also “builds capacity within the programme so that [applicants] will have people within the province to assist them when we are not there”, Makgothi added. The department, which is based in Gauteng, has regional offices in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.Farming and the droughtDrought is an ever-present threat to the agriculture sector, so the APSS team works closely with the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPS-SA).The centre, an initiative of the dti, promotes the implementation of Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) methodologies to assist businesses to lower costs through reduced energy, water and materials usage and waste management. It then advises the companies on how they could reduce their cost of business, by implementing these competitiveness improvement interventions.“When a company implements these activities, we can provide funding to them,” said Makgothi.She gave an example of how water can be saved with technology: “Like if you clean vegetables with water, instead of throwing water away, there’s technology that can capture the water for it to be used again. Perhaps the water can be used for crops. Companies become more profitable.”Makgothi said the dti can also give financial assistance to business owners to buy technology that will assist with saving water.Meet MakgothiMakgothi brings a wealth of experience to her work and sees herself as an all-rounder. “Wherever I’ve gone, I’ve learned something new.”Makgothi was employed in the pharmaceutical industry, working on product development, in Germany and quality assurance in Lesotho before coming back to South Africa.In South Africa, she headed up the quality assurance division of Alliance Pharmaceuticals before being drawn back to product development at the dti’s The Enterprise Organisation TEO, now known as the Incentive Development and Administration Division. Three years later, she became Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TEO; six years later, she managed four different schemes as the Chief Director for the dti’s competitiveness cluster.Makgothi began her current role when the last scheme came to an end in 2015 – and is passionate about growing small businesses, watching them get funding, expand their business and even enter the export sector.“It’s very fulfilling when someone comes up to me with gratitude and says, ‘You may not remember me, but I’m so-and-so of this company. You helped my company grow.’”For more information on the APSS and to apply for this incentive, visit the dti website www.thedti.gov.za.Source: the dtiWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more