Chelsea youngster leaves the Bridge for Wolves

first_img1 Chelsea youngster George Saville has joined Wolves, it has been announced.The 21-year-old impressed during loan spells at Millwall and Brentford but was unable to make the breakthrough into the Stamford Bridge first-team.And now he has been allowed to leave the club by Jose Mourinho, signing a three-year deal at Molineux, with the option of a further year.“He’s a very good, exciting, attacking midfield player,” said Wolves boss Kenny Jackett. Chelsea youngster George Saville has joined Wolves last_img read more

QPR man unsure of future

first_imgOut-of-favour QPR striker Rob Hulse says he has not been told whether he will be made available for transfer before the new season starts.Hulse, whose Rangers contract has another year to run, was left out of the pre-season tour of Asia and has dropped further down the pecking order of forwards at Loftus Road.But the 32-year-old has been given no formal indication of the club’s plans for him.He said: “Obviously when you’re not included [in the Asia tour] it’s pretty clear that you’re not part of things.“But the club have said nothing to me and I’m just focusing on getting fit for the start of the season and seeing what happens.“To be honest I’ve not thought too much about my future. My priority is to get a decent pre-season and then take it from there.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Bamboo shoots up in Eastern Cape

first_imgBamboo cultivation and its use in productsranging from furniture to biofuel andbaskets, is set to take off in the EasternCape province.(Image: Wikimedia)Emily van RijswijckIt is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and has a multiplicity of uses, from the manufacture of biofuel to decor accessories, furniture and building materials.A miracle plant? No, just the ordinary bamboo, a plant usually associated with Asia and giant pandas, but one which also proves to be well adapted to the dryer conditions of the Eastern Cape.And it is these qualities – and the potential to alleviate poverty in South Africa’s poorest province – which have convinced the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) to embark on pilot projects for the cultivation and production of bamboo and its related products.Already a one hectare plot at St Albans near Port Elizabeth has been planted with the evergreen grass, with another two, larger projects of five hectares each taking shape in Centani in the former Transkei and at Ndakana near Stutterheim.The three projects are funded by the ECDC for the benefit of the Eastern Cape community and the plants will be harvested according to the market that is available at that time, confirmed Ken Bern, regional head of the East London-based ECDC.“We are hoping to be able to harvest the first shoots for hand weaving in two years’ time,” he said. For hardwood products used in the making of floorboards or furniture, the bamboo shoots would have to be matured to at least five years.Economically viable within five yearsBamboo can grow at an incredible rate. In temperate conditions it shoots up at three to 10 centimetres per day; in ideal conditions by as much as 100 centimetres per day. One hectare can yield anything from 20 to 40 tons of bamboo and can be economically viable within five years of planting.But it is its incredible adaptability to different, often poor soil conditions and its numerous applications which makes it such an attractive crop, especially for the poorer rural communities of the Eastern Cape.Clumps of these plants can be found around the province, showing that it can grow here successfully, said Pelo Gabaraane, MD of SA Bamboo, the company which has been commissioned by the ECDC to manage the Centani and Ndakana pilots.“The plant is regenerative and fast growing, and provides tremendous potential to fight poverty in the province.”Gabaraane and his colleague Nkosinathi William are project managers at the Centani and Ndakana plantations.Five people have already been employed at each plot and will actively be running the project, with SA Bamboo overseeing operations. For the moment the projects will remain small as this provides the ideal conditions for training the community in the aspects of cultivation and processing, said Gabaraane.“For the moment, the projects are not economically viable. It is simply useful as a teaching mechanism,” he confirmed.The bamboo organisation is already in negotiations with the Department of Economic Development to secure funds for the eventual extension of the project in Ndakana to 300 hectares to achieve greater economic viability, said Gabaraane.At least 300 people will be able to find direct employment at a project of this scale. In the meantime, while the bamboo shoots are small, the land will also be used for intercropping with the planting of vegetables between the bamboo rows.Downstream productsThe pilot projects will focus on passing on skills training for the supply of raw materials in three bamboo related products: basket weaving; furniture and building materials; and biofuels.At the moment South African bamboo furniture producers import all their raw materials from oversees. The Eastern Cape community has the potential to eventually tap into this lucrative market once they start to produce their own bamboo crops on large a scale, Gabaraane believes.“It is important to realise that there are two aspects to the pilot projects, both of which provides skill transfer and employment opportunities,” he said. ”These are the actual cultivating of the product and the downstream processing of the product. We want to make sure that the projects bring about real, viable economic benefits to the larger Eastern Cape community in the long term.”The basket weaving project gets going in January 2012 in Ndakana, with SA Bamboo sourcing mature plants from around the province to train five local women in the equipment and weaving processes used. These products will be available in curio shops around the area.“We believe the community has to be involved in the project from the beginning, from the actual planning phases all the way to the growing and processing of the raw product.”A big stalk of grass Genetically speaking, bamboo is just a very big, sturdy stalk of grass: a stalk of grass with amazing properties. It is said to be able to absorb 30% more carbon than trees and has the ability to grow rapidly in diverse conditions.While pine plantations will only be able to yield a harvest in 20 years, producers of bamboo will be able to harvest their bamboo in no more than five years.In South Africa, the Indian species Bambusa balcooa has been completely naturalised and has been around for over 300 years. As a hardwood for furniture and building related applications, it has no equal.South Africa only has one indigenous bamboo species, the hardy Thamnocalamus tessellatus or berg bamboo. This plant grows in its typical clumps all around the colder Drakensberg region in the south-east of the country.last_img read more

Motseng Cultural Village: a place in the sun

first_imgAn Ndebele decorated hut in the village. An Ndebele warrior armed with spear and dressed in traditional gear.(Images: Motseng Cultural Village) MEDIA CONTACTS • Renette Smit   Marketing Manager, Motseng Cultural Village  +27 14 552 5080. RELATED ARTICLES • South Africa’s tourist highlights • Creativity brings economic growth • South Africa’s heritage is world classMusa MkalipiTo experience the cultures of the eight indigenous groups in South Africa, a visit to Motseng Cultural Village in North West province is a must-do. It is a true South African experience that preserves African culture through showcasing and paying tribute to the country’s indigenous cultural groups.Within the cultural village, different peoples share their customs through song, dance, poetry, praise singers and narrators. The Motseng village boma is a traditional gathering place where elders meet to discuss community interests and is also used for cultural evenings and conferences.A visit to the local sangoma, or diviner, offers private readings and discussions about the future and guests are also treated to traditional dancing and guided tours daily from 10:30 to 16:30.Local flavour, old and newThe local Motseng shebeen (bar) serves South African cuisine and umqombothi, a traditional beer made from maize, maize malt, sorghum, yeast and water. Patrons can enjoy the sounds of contemporary music, jazz, and kwaito – a uniquely South African genre featuring a mix of jazz, township sounds and international influences like house music. The lyrics are written in indigenous languages, taking their cue from African praise poetry. The vibey shebeen also hosts pantsula dancers and a disk jockey (DJ) on weekends.The latest addition to Motseng is the Dube Shack, which offers an authentic taste of 1960s township life. Visitors can treat themselves to a South African chisa nyama, the buy and braai practice which started in South African townships; enjoy a meal around an open fire, and play traditional board games.The Motseng curio shop sells African-designed arts and artefacts made by local crafters and guests who buy Jembe drums receive a drumming lesson to make the most of their purchase.The Motseng Cultural Village was officially opened in January 2004, for local and international tourist to experience and enjoy South Africa’s unique cultural diversity. The village has employed locals, improving lives in the area.The village is a living cultural destination housed within entertainment resort Sun City.Sun CitySun City offers visitors a number of attractions including the Butterfly Sanctuary, a land-bound beach – the Valley of Waves – and a Gary Player Golf course. Visitors can choose from four hotels or enjoy short stays attending events at the resort.The nearby malaria-free Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a two-hour drive from Johannesburg and offers spectacular mountain views, hot air balloon safaris and guided wildlife encounters.last_img read more

Leh avalanche: Two more bodies recovered, toll rises to seven

first_imgTwo more bodies were recovered, while three people remained missing on the second day of rescue operation in Leh’s avalanche-hit Khardung La Pass, located at an altitude of 18,380 ft.“After two days of rescue operations, seven bodies have been recovered. Three remain missing, for whom the rescue will resume at the first light on Sunday. The seven bodies are being airlifted to Zanskar on Sunday morning so that they can be handed over to their families,” deputy commissioner of Leh, Avny Lavasa, told The Hindu. The rescue was called off on Friday evening due to inclement weather and was resumed on Saturday morning. High-tech gadgets, including human detectors, and sniffer dogs were used to trace the civilians buried under snow, said an official.Five locals killed in the avalanche were working as porters with the Army. Two vehicles carrying 10 civilians were swept away and buried under the avalanche of approximately 20 ft depth and 800 m length which hit the Khardung La Top-South Pullu stretch on the world’s highest motorable road on Friday morning. The rescue is being jointly carried out by the State police, the Army and the State Disaster Response Force. It is likely to enter a difficult phase on Sunday as the meteorological department forecast more snow in Kashmir and Ladakh in the next three days and possibility of more avalanches in the upper reaches.Fresh avalanche warnings Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Saturday issued avalanche warning for nine avalanche-prone districts of Kashmir division.“The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh,” said Mr. Khan.People living in areas were advised “not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives”.“Deputy Commissioner are asked to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, police and para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident,” said Mr. Khan.last_img read more

New IPL rules a bit confusing, says KKR owner Shahrukh Khan

first_imgThe new rules of Indian Premier League which will be applied from next year have left Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan “a bit confused” and the Bollywood superstar said it would have been “fair for everyone” if all the players are put up for auction in November.”New IPL rules a bit confusing. Two new teams added (good). All players should go into pool to make it fair for everyone. Simple & straight,” Shah Rukh wrote on his twitter page.With the inclusion of two new teams in the IPL — Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi team, the IPL Governing Council proposed a revised structure but it has not gone down too well with some of the franchise owners voicing their concerns publicly.The new rules state that the 10 teams will be divided into two groups and there would be 74 matches in the next three IPL seasons.The eight original franchises will be allowed to retain four players, including a foreigner. Besides the four players, the rest of the squad would be selected through open bidding.It has also been made mandatory for the players retained to be amongst the registered players for the 2010 season. The fee of the players retained would be decided after mutual agreement between the stakeholders.The salary cap of the franchisees has also been raised to USD 9 million. But if any franchisee retains all the four players, it will have USD 4.5 million per year to spend on other players.The new rules have limited the number of players to be 30 for a squad.advertisementlast_img read more