Meet the women who fought the Knysna fires

first_imgIn June this year, devastating fires laid waste to the Western Cape, particularly in the towns of Knysna and neighbouring Plettenberg Bay, where homes were destroyed and residents were displaced. All South Africans responded to the disaster with urgent assistance and much-needed moral support. Meet three brave women who were at the forefront of the firefighting/ relief efforts.Huge fires wreaked havoc along the Garden Route of the Western Cape, particularly in the town of Knysna, in June 2017. Thanks to community leaders, emergency workers and other volunteers, the people affected by the disaster are able to rebuild their lives. President Jacob Zuma visited the area on 15 June 2017. (Image: South African Government Flickr)CD AndersonThe Knysna fires were devastating. Hectares of forest and fynbos were destroyed, while hundreds of homes in the town itself were gutted. Over five days at the beginning of June this year, almost a thousand firefighters, emergency workers and community leaders battled to save the town. Seven people lost their lives, but in the true spirit of ubuntu, South Africans around the country sent aid and assistance to the area, to help residents rebuild their lives.Three remarkable women were at the forefront of efforts, all heroes who responded with courage and compassion in the aftermath. These are their stories.(Left to right) Candace Myers, Knysna community leader, Cwayita Runeli, SANParks ranger and Marlene Boyce, Director of Planning, Knysna Municipality. (Image: Marie Claire SA magazine)Candace Myers, Knysna community leaderA lifelong resident of the area, Candace Myers has seen her fair share of fires in the highly volatile natural environment, but the June fires were something different. She told Marie Claire magazine: “It was like another planet… [over] five days, I’d experienced emotions I haven’t had in 50 years of my life.”Myers acted as a co-ordinator between ground forces and the town council’s disaster management team. “There [have] always [been] fires and we always know that somehow these things are taken care of… but sitting in the ops room with the disaster team that Wednesday afternoon, I felt absolute fear in the pit of my stomach. This fire was out of control and we didn’t have enough firemen and expertise. Our town was in flames,” she said.She co-ordinated communications with rescue workers, making sure the teams could fight the fires on all fronts. “[When cell phone reception] went down and we didn’t have communication with our family or anyone else,” she said, “I suddenly felt sort of alone… but we just had to hold out hope that somehow the people… were getting the help they needed. We spent the whole night helping wherever we could.”Myers also helped the relief work as the fires raged and residents were evacuated. She saw firsthand how devastating the fires were, but also how the community came together to help each other: “Members of the public were helping evacuate residents, everyday heroes pulling together and saving each other.”Cwayita Runeli, SANParks rangerCwayita Runeli is a South African National Parks (SANParks) ranger with firefighting training, and was one of only two female SANParks rangers in the thick of the action during the Knysna fires. There are a number of important nature reserves in the area, which is rich in fauna and flora (including volatile fynbos), and it was important that SANParks did everything in its power to minimise the damage.“I feel scared every time I fight fires,” Runeli told Marie Claire. “Anything can happen.” Though used to seeing out-of-control bush fires, Knysna was a shock to her. “When we were sent to Brenton On Sea (a coastal hamlet outside Knysna), it was my first time in such a huge fire. I’d never seen anything like it.” The fire itself was an ocean, she said, “that’s how the flames moved through the fynbos. Those plants hadn’t burned in over 15 years… even the sound of the fire was like a rumbling ocean. The crashing waves. The sky was dark, the smoke everywhere.”Duty however, was foremost on her mind. “I told myself [that] I have to save these lives. I knew exactly what to do… I know about the fire. I [had] to help them.” And she had something to prove.“People say that ladies can’t fight the fires. But I know that I can do anything the men can do. There is nothing that can stop me. People used to say that my body is too small, I’m too thin – all those things. But I told them that it doesn’t matter what [my] body is like – if [I] did the training, [I] can do the job. If you tell yourself that you can do it, you can. And I did.”While the devastation was immense, Runeli is confident that SANParks did its best to save what it could and is now dedicated to reviving this important natural ecosystem to its former glory.Marlene Boyce, Director of Planning, Knysna MunicipalityAs the Knysna fires raged, South Africans around the country – and indeed the world – did not just stand back and watch. Thousands of donations of food, clothing and other necessities flooded into the town, to be distributed to those affected by the disaster. Marlene Boyce, the director of planning and development in the Knysna Municipality, was in charge of co-ordinating the distribution, making sure the needs of the community were met.In addition, her planning department also compiled vital data needed to begin recovery from the fires and rebuild the area. It’s a job that continues long after the last flames have been put out.The future of the town and its people were foremost on her mind, even in the midst of the confusion brought on by the disaster. “[While] the first night was about rallying our municipal team and communities together to save lives… I couldn’t keep the future impacts out of my mind,” Boyce told Marie Claire.Responsible for spatial, environmental and economic development, Boyce and her team had to assess the damage and begin drawing up a recovery plan: “I had a good idea of what the actual impact would be. Large sections of mature commercial timber plantations were destroyed – what of those employed by the industry? And our tourism industry? All of those people would need assistance. Only after the worst of the fire did my real job start.”Even when her own house was affected, she still had to keep her mind on the important job at hand. “[The community’s] hospitality shown to me… left me feeling inspired about my job ahead. Like many people, I know we have a lot to look forward to, with possibilities to change our town for the better.”Part of Boyce’s role now is to look at new ways to approach nature conservation and community protection. While a national tragedy, the fires were also an opportunity to find alternative means to stimulate growth in the community, create employment and boost the tourism industry.“Knysna has an indomitable spirit,” Boyce said “[We] don’t live in a hopeless town. It is a community where people instantly pull themselves up and put their best foot forward. If there’s one message I think has come out of this, it’s that Knysna cannot be defeated. Like our fynbos, we are ready to flourish after this fire.”Source: Marie Claire, News24Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Amazon Pursues Growth at the Risk of Brand Identity

first_imgRelated Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting It’s a fundamental law of tech business: Grow or die. Few online companies are better examples of that maxim than Amazon, which has made a habit of venturing boldly into new markets. But the online retailer’s recent initiatives have brought challenges, including eroding profit margins and entry into markets where it lacks leadership. Has Amazon’s incessant growth become a liability?For years, Amazon was known as, first, the premier online bookseller and eventually a realiable, low-cost and easy place to buy everything from MP3s to electronics to groceries. The company expanded in a careful, considered way that led to years of slow, steady growth.Even as Amazon dominated those early markets, it moved into new areas. At first, these expansions met with similar success. The company began offering startups access to its formidable tech infrastructure through Amazon Web Services, a business that contributed $1.1 billion to revenue in the first six months of this year.The company moved into hardware with the Kindle ereader. It introduced the device just as smartphones and tablets were gaining popularity. But Kindles sold well, driving sales of Amazon’s Kindle books as well.The past year or so has seen Amazon expand into even more markets, putting it face-to-face with entrenched competitors. It began offering streaming video to its Prime subscribers, taking on Netflix and Hulu. It introduced the Kindle Fire tablet, jumping into a cuthroat market dominated by Apple’s iPad and populated with myriad Android tablet makers. In recent months, it has started offering social games through its recently launched Amazon Game Studios. It’s looking into producing TV shows. It’s setting up storage lockers in 7-Eleven stores to speed deliveries. It may be pushing into mobile advertising to help cover the costs of making Kindles. Most audacious, it seems ready to introduce its own smartphone.Amazon typically doesn’t expand haphazardly. Even when it moves in an unexpected direction, the action is usually related to technology it has already developed. Amazon Web Services opened computing and storage capacity to the public that Amazon had built for its own use. The Kindle was the low-cost platform Amazon created to take advantage of its ebooks. But to position the Kindle Fire as a low-end tablet, priced at $199, Amazon had to eat a lot of the manufacturing costs. That helped push its operating margins down to 0.8 percent last quarter, from 2 percent a year earlier.Indeed, analysts are bracing for Amazon’s first net loss in over nine years. What’s more, the early surge in Kindle Fire sales is slowing significantly this year. And it may taper further now that Google’s Nexus 7, starting at $199, is gaining in popularity. Revenue growth slowed to 29% in the second quarter, compared with 51% a year earlier. And Amazon is bracing for the inauguration of online sales taxes in many states.Yet, Amazon is expanding aggressively in the face of these challenges. Capital spending rose 70% from the first quarter, mostly a result of building infrastructure to support Amazon Web Services.As Amazon expands, it also faces challenges that are less financially measurable but still important. For most of its 17 years, it has led markets that it sometimes created. But the markets it’s pushing into now – streaming video, cloud computing, tablets, games – are established. Here, Amazon’s relentless focus on cost gives it an advantage, but probably not the decisive clout that it enjoys in online retail. Some segments of its business, notably smartphones and tablets, are littered with well-designed and well-financed products that couldn’t compete with leaders like Apple.If Amazon comes to be perceived as an also-ran in many markets, its brand could be affected. The company once known as the world’s premier online retailer could become a tech company with its fingers in too many pots. Tech companies that set agendas, like Facebook and Google, have clear missions and identities.Amazon once had a clear identity. But the more it grows, the more it’s starting to look like its mission is just that: to expand where it can. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Amazon#biz center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market kevin kelleher A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Williams wins at US Open to stay in No. 1 hunt; Konta out

first_imgVenus Williams, of the United States, serves to Viktoria Kuzmova, of Slovakia, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK — Venus Williams stayed in the crowded hunt for the No. 1 ranking — even though she had no idea that she has a shot at that spot.Johanna Konta, a Wimbledon semifinalist just last month, dropped out of that chase with a first-round exit as the U.S. Open got started Monday.ADVERTISEMENT The No. 9-seeded Williams overcame a mid-match lapse to pick up a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium against Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia, a 19-year-old qualifier who is ranked 135th.It was the first tour-level, main-draw match of Kuzmova’s career, and the 967th for Williams, who won the title at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001, in addition to her five Wimbledon championships. Williams is in her 19th U.S. Open; she reached the final in her 1997 debut, about eight months before Kuzmova was born.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I had no idea what she looked like, who she was, anything. But she played amazing. She played well, served well, competed well. Definitely a match I had to earn,” said Williams, who at 37 is the oldest woman in the field. “I definitely wasn’t expecting or planning on dropping sets today. But things happen. That’s why we play the match, because you have to win the match. So it’s just all about regrouping. It’s the first round. You figure out what’s going on.”She was up a set, plus a break in the second at 2-0, when she faltered. Kuzmova broke for 2-1, then pulled at even at 3-all before taking three games in a row to force a third set. But Williams righted herself there, breaking for a 2-0 lead, then digging out of a love-40 hole with five consecutive points for 3-0 and was on her way. Canelo-GGG to MayMac fans: We’ve got a real show for you SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses View comments Konta, who lost to Williams in the Wimbledon semifinals, figured to be Britain’s best chance for a deep run these two weeks, because the country’s top male player, Andy Murray, withdrew on Saturday with an injured hip.Instead, she was among a crop of seeded players on the way out the door at a tournament already missing several top names, including the biggest in women’s tennis: Williams’ older sister Serena, who is expecting a baby.“We always coach each other, pretty much,” Williams said.While the most anticipated matchup of Day 1 was scheduled for Monday night — five-time major champion Maria Sharapova’s first Grand Slam action since her doping suspension, against No. 2 seed Simona Halep — the afternoon was filled with quite a few seeded players joining Konta on the way out.For every victory by someone such as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza or 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, there was a surprise or two.The men’s seeded losers included No. 21 David Ferrer, who was the runner-up at the 2013 French Open, No. 25 Karen Khachanov and No. 32 Robin Hasse. On the women’s side, there as No. 21 Ana Konjuh, No. 24 Kiki Bertens and No. 32 Lauren Davis. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Williams entered the U.S. Open as one of eight women with a chance to rise atop the WTA rankings by tournament’s end.Not that it was foremost on her mind. Indeed, she said she was unaware of that possibility.“I just want to win, and if you get the win, you get the ranking,” said Williams, who was already at No. 1 in 2002.Before the American’s match was over, that number of ranking contenders was reduced to seven, because the No. 7-seeded Konta was bounced by 78th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.“I don’t take anything for granted,” said Konta, who was a semifinalist at Wimbledon just last month. “I think it would be quite obnoxious of me to come in here expecting I have a right to be in second week.”ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

10 months agoLiverpool boss Klopp unhappy with Fabinho after Arsenal rout

first_imgLiverpool boss Klopp unhappy with Fabinho after Arsenal routby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp pulled up Fabinho after their thrashing of Arsenal.After the 5-1 win, Klopp admits he wanted better from the Brazil midfielder.Klopp said: “Fabinho hit two very average passes and he was shaky in the next couple of moments. That can happen – it’s all part of the process.”Football is a game full of mistakes and it’s how you deal with it. “Then we could bring Jordan Henderson on and he was so fresh. Arsenal didn’t have a lot of chances but that allowed us to close all the space in midfield.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Health Ministry Developing New Primary Care Model

first_img The Ministry of Health and Wellness is developing a new Primary Care Model that will address the inadequate integration and standardisation of primary and secondary health services delivery within all four health regions. The Primary Care Model establishes three levels of health centres – community, district and comprehensive – and defines the scope of services that will be provided in each. Story Highlights This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 7. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is developing a new Primary Care Model that will address the inadequate integration and standardisation of primary and secondary health services delivery within all four health regions.This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 7.The Primary Care Model establishes three levels of health centres – community, district and comprehensive – and defines the scope of services that will be provided in each.“Phase one will see the redesignation of 127 health centres into the three named categories and the expansion of services islandwide,” Dr. Tufton said.He noted that there are plans, too, to increase the number of doctors in primary care.“The expansion of the Senior House Officer programme is being investigated to retain the additional physicians for an additional year, post internship. This would ensure that we would be able to add an additional 100 doctors to primary healthcare,” Dr. Tufton noted.Primary care or care through clinics and community health centres is the first point of contact with citizens seeking medical care.Based on the existing structure, 52 per cent of existing primary care facilities provide treatment or curative services, and only 18 per cent offer this service daily.last_img read more

School in Colville Lake has students using buckets for toilets NWT MLA

first_imgAPTN National NewsA small school in the Northwest Territories has been without running water or a proper washroom for the last eight years.That’s according to one MLA who feels that enough is enough.The school in question is in Colville Lake, a remote fly-in community of about 130 residents.Kids attend school in two buildings, both equipped with slop pails in instead of regular toilets.The MLA for the region, Norman Yakeleya, recently brought up the matter in NWT’s legislative assembly.He called the situation unacceptable and compared the school to an episode of the television series, Hoarders.last_img read more

NCAA suspends Posey 5 more games AD Smith calls penalty harsh

Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey has been suspended five games by the NCAA beginning with Saturday’s game at Nebraska, the NCAA announced Friday. Posey must also pay back $720 he received for work he didn’t do from former booster Robert DiGeronimo. The NCAA’s ruling comes after OSU athletic director Gene Smith announced Monday that Posey, along with Dan Herron and Marcus Hall, would be suspended for Saturday’s game at Nebraska, also for being paid for work they didn’t do. “I am extremely disappointed with the NCAA’s decision regarding Devier Posey,” Smith said in a statement released Friday. “This penalty is harsh considering the nature of the violation and the five game suspension already served by this student athlete.” Larry James, Posey’s lawyer, said the NCAA ignored documentation that showed Posey worked proper hours, but said the NCAA had made up its mind, according to a tweet from Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I believe they think he was dirtied by Terrelle Pryor,” he said. “That’s the only thing that could make sense.” Attempts to reach James by phone and email were unsuccessful. Posey’s suspension follows a prior five game suspension for improper benefits in the form of free tattoos. He was scheduled to make his return at Nebraska this weekend prior to the new suspension. The suspension means Posey won’t be eligible to return until OSU hosts Penn State on Nov. 19. The team will finish the regular season by traveling to Michigan the next week, and then could play in the Big Ten Championship and a bowl game afterward, if necessary. DiGeronimo overpaid Posey by $720, being paid for 70 hours of work, despite actually working only 21.5 hours. He also received $102 in impermissible benefits for a round of golf. Herron was overpaid $292.50. He was paid for 104 hours of work, even though he only worked 84.5 hours. Hall was overpaid by $225. He was paid for 66.5 hours of work, despite only working 51 hours. Melvin Fellows and Etienne Sabino were also involved, though Fellows is no longer playing due to a career-ending injury and Sabino has already been reinstated. DiGeronimo has since been disassociated from the university. read more

Clement Lenglet Ill try to adapt as quickly as possible

first_imgNew signing Clement Lenglet is confident he will adapt to the Barcelona’s style of play as he reacts to his latest club’s switch that happened on Thursday.Barcelona activated the £31.7m release clause in Lenglet’s previous contract to complete a deal for a switch.“My style? I’m left-footed and I like bringing the ball out. I try to play hard but without making many fouls, although sometimes I make them! It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, it’s unique, something incredible. You have to get used to Barcelona.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“It’s a style of play totally different from other clubs, so I’ll try to adapt as quickly as possible. Everything will be a little demanding. I don’t know how long it’ll be like that for, but everything motivates me.“It motivates me to play at a stadium like Camp Nou, playing with Messi, in the Champions League and being able to win it, winning La Liga, the Copa. Everything went through quickly and everyone’s happy. I’m at one of the best teams in the world” Lenglet said, according to Sports Mole.Lenglet’s five-year contract at Camp Nou includes a release clause of £265m.last_img read more

Wolves beat rivals to the signing of Chinese teenager

first_imgWolverhampton Wanderers have won the race to sign Dongda He from Notts County.Wolves fought off competition from a Premier League team to sign the Chinese teenager for an undisclosed fee on deadline day. The 17-year-old midfielder is expected to join the club’s academy after completing his move. Wolves beat Southampton and other interested parties to the signature of the teenager.The young starlet was previously a scholar at Notts County and impressed in preseason games this season for the League Two side.Dongda was impressive in the Magpies’ 3-1 win over Basford United, scoring a fantastic goal and also features against Leicester City.Notts County owner Alan Hardy revealed the offer tabled by Wolves was too good to turn down.“First and foremost, we’re very, very proud of Dongda. He’s a player this club has nurtured for many years and to see him get his move to the Premier League is fantastic,” Hardy said, as quoted by BirminghamLive.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“For us, it’s a lucrative deal which will only improve in time.”“Also, invaluably, it sends a clear message to young players – both our own and those who may join us in the future – that Notts County provides a pathway to success.”County striker Jon Stead also told how impressed he was with the young midfielder’s exciting displays before his move.“He was brilliant and a real livewire,” he told the Nottingham Post.“Dongda wants to be on the ball and wants to try things. That is key because sometime young players can play within themselves and be a little shy.”last_img read more

Franck Ribery blasts critics after eating from Salt bae restaurant

first_imgIn series of messages released on social media, Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery, on social media blasts critics after eating a gold-covered Tomahawk steak at the restaurant of the famous Nusret Gokce, called ‘Salt Bae’.The Frenchman received tons of criticism after he ate a steak which cost 1,200 euros, however, Ribery doesn’t give a damn and used his social media accounts to blast those criticizing him.“For 2019, let’s dot the i’s and cross the t’s…,” it began as quoted by Marca.“Let’s start with the jealous, the haters, those only born because a condom had a hole in: f*** your mothers, your grandmothers, and even your family tree. I owe you nothing.RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, Robert LewadowskiMatch Preview: RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 RB Leipzig will have the chance to prove their title-winning capabilities when they host Bayern Munich today at 18:30 (CET).“My success is, above all, thanks to God, me, and my loved ones who believed in me.“For the others, you’re nothing but pebbles in my socks!”Ribery has 26 appearances and eight goals with Bayern Munich. He was ever present with the France under-21 team where he earned his first selection in September 2004 in a 1–0 victory over Israel in qualifying for the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championshiplast_img read more