Daily Archives: March 19, 2018

The Department of Architecture at XJTLU now fully accredited by RIBA

SUZHOU, China, March 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Royal Institute of British Architects has confirmed accreditation of the Masters of Architectural Design programme of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, validating its Department of Architecture as a full architectural school offering comprehensive training in the discipline.

“We can now take a high school graduate and train him or her completely as an architect,” said masters programme director Christian Gänshirt. “We are very proud of our amazing faculty and students for helping us to reach this point with the first graduating cohort.”

Founded in 2011, the Department of Architecture at XJTLU received international RIBA Part 1 validation for its BEng Architecture programme in 2015, a first for a mainland Chinese university. Following a visit by a RIBA board in November 2017 and the final decision of the RIBA Education Committee in February 2018, the Masters of Architectural Design programme has now been unconditionally validated for international RIBA Part 2.

Masters of Architectural Design graduate (above), Xiaohan Chen, praised the strong teaching team at the Department of Architecture

Masters graduate, Xiaohan Chen, now pursuing a PhD with the Department, gave a statement to the RIBA board in which she praised the Department’s strong teaching team, friendly and helpful staff and technicians, international student body, and working environment that is ‘like a second home’.

“The big difference about studying here is how approachable the staff are,” said Xiaohan. “The professors are friendly and really help us a lot,” said Xioahan.

The RIBA visiting board commended the Department’s ‘extensive facilities’, the interiors which were designed by the former Head of Department Professor Pierre-Alain Croset, and the ‘engaged staff and student body’.

“One key aim is to build on previous exchanges and workshops to forge more and deeper connections with other international schools of architecture,” said Christian Gänshirt. “We’re also planning to step up student exchanges with our partner institution, the University of Liverpool, UK,” he said.

Head of Department Professor Gisela Löhlein said: “I want us to be the best architecture department in China. With our diverse and highly-qualified academic staff and excellent facilities we are well-placed to become exactly that.”

Founded in 2006, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is the largest international collaborative university in China, a partnership between Xi’an Jiaotong University and the University of Liverpool.  XJTLU’s vision is to become a research-led international university in China and a Chinese university recognised internationally for its unique features.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/655115/Architecture_RIBA_Xiaohan_Chen.jpg

Three armed robbers busted in Kamesh

UITENHAGE CLUSTER: In a concerted effort to address and deal effectively with serious and violent crimes affecting our communities, members from SAPS Kamesh acted swiftly and apprehended three suspects (ages between 21 and 35-years-old) last night, Sunday, 18 March 2018. It is alleged that three suspects (one armed with a firearm) entered a business in Daku Street, Kamesh at about 18:55 and demanded cash, cigarettes and airtime from the owner of the shop. Suspects fled from the scene with the stolen items on foot and the police in Kamesh were alerted to the robbery.

Resolute Kamesh police officials followed up on various leads and launched a manhunt for the suspects and apprehended all three suspect at 19:20 on Sunday, 18 March 2018, at a residence in Cakatha Street, Mandela Ville, Kamesh. Police confiscated an imitation gun (toy gun) and recovered some of the stolen property. The suspects are due to appear in the Uitenhage Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 22 March 2018 on a charge of business robbery. The acting Uitenhage Cluster Commander, Brigadier Ronald Koll praised the team for the swift arrests and thanked them for working determinedly to ensure that they bring the culprits to book.

The South African Police Service is appealing to the community to be alert and encourage the community to work with the SAPS in reducing crime and they appeal to the community to provide valuable information that will lead to the confiscation of illegal firearms and the arrest of suspects. Let us work together to take #GunsOffTheStreets. Information may be afforded anonymously and voluntarily to Crime Stop 08600 10111 or Crime Line SMS 32211 with information.

Source: South African Police Service

City encouraged by drop in vegetation fires

With the warmer months drawing to a close, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service has noticed a drop in the number of wildfires compared to previous years, but structural fires remain a concern

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service is cautiously optimistic about closing out the warmer months with significantly fewer wildfires.

The period between November and April usually sees an increase in the number of vegetation fires. For the past three years, Cape Town’s firefighters have been kept on their toes attending to thousands of wildfires, including at least one major incident that spanned several days.

There have been no major veld fires this year (up to the end of February) which has contributed to the drop in the number of incidents, as outlined below:

‘We can’t be certain about the reasons behind the drop, although the mild summer we’ve experienced could be a contributing factor. Whatever the reasons, we definitely welcome it especially considering that we are in the midst of a drought crisis. The warmer months are a drain on our resources and in recent years we have very often found ourselves in a Code Red situation, meaning that we were one incident away from completely exhausting our available resources. This is the first year since early 2016 that we haven’t reached that critical point,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

In terms of structural fires, there were increases in a number of categories, as tabled below:

‘The increase in fires in formal homes and several business categories is of concern because it raises questions about the fire safety measures being implemented, or not, as the case might be, by property owners. The number of fires affecting informal dwellings remains in the same range, but it is disappointing that we are not seeing a bigger drop. In terms of residential fires, the last few months have been characterized by incidents affecting only a single dwelling.

We also continue to see incidents where communities sabotage firefighters in the execution of their duties by stoning vehicles or cutting hoses. Such actions are counterproductive and in fact only put more innocent lives at risk. I therefore appeal to communities to support the work of our firefighters and to report those who willfully obstruct their attempts to save lives and property,’ added Alderman Smith.

The City has a long-running fire safety awareness and education campaign that is hosted by the Fire and Rescue Service and the Disaster Risk Management Centre. The two departments conduct nearly a thousand sessions every year in informal settlements, at libraries, old age homes, Early Childhood Development Centres, schools and other institutions of learning and at special events.

Residents are reminded to call 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone at the first sign of a fire, but to also familiarize themselves with the City’s comprehensive list of fire safety tips (and general community safety tips), available here:

Source: City Of Cape Town

Government activities for 19 to 25 Mar

Government has scheduled the following briefings/activities for the week of 19 – 25 March 2018. The activities, which are aligned to the National Development Plan and outlined in the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019, are undertaken to build a better South Africa.

The National Water Week 2018 will be held from 19 to 25 March. The campaign seeks to continue building on the ongoing awareness to ensure the integrity of our water resources and its efficient use within the broader South African community.

On 19 and 20 March, the Department of Higher Education and Training will hold a College Lectures Development Conference which aims to further expand and strengthen colleges into attractive institutions of choice for students seeking Post-School Education and Training. This will be at the Birchwood Conference Centre, Benoni. The two-day Consultative Conference aims to capacitate the TVET colleges and equip lecturers with the needed skills and qualifications.

On Monday, 19 March, the Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele together with the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha, as well as the National Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant-General Khehla Sithole, will hold a press briefing on a significant breakthrough on corruption within the Prison and Home Affairs environment at GCIS Head Office, Tshedimosetso House, Hatfield, Pretoria at 09:30 am. NB: There will be a video link to the Imbizo Media Centre, Parliament, Cape Town

The Department of Labour will be embarking on another national series of roadshows on the National Minimum Wage (NMW), this time focusing on the Bill Exemption process with employers across the country. The Bill, which is set to pave the way for the NMW in South Africa, is currently before Parliament and has been published for the public to make representation by 16 March. The briefing sessions will commence in Johannesburg on Monday, 19 March at Orion Hotel, Orion Building, Braamfontein, and then proceed to Pretoria on Tuesday, 20 March.

On Tuesday 20 March 2018, Deputy President David Mabuza is scheduled to appear before the National Assembly for his first oral question and answer session. Regular question and answer sessions are one of the ways in which Parliament holds the Executive to account.

The Transport Minister, Dr Bonginkosi Blade Nzimande, will officially launch the 2018 Easter Long Weekend Road Safety Campaign aimed at reducing road traffic accidents. The launch will take the form of an integrated law enforcement operation targeting long distance drivers on Tuesday, 20 March at Heidelberg Weighbridge. The Easter road safety campaign launch will be in partnership with the Department of Health, Municipalities and Taxi Associations amongst others. Government calls on all motorists to exercise and abide by the laws of the road in order to avoid the loss of life, injury, loss of income and loss of assets that result from incidents on our roads.

Mineral Resources Minister Mr Gwede Mantashe will on Tuesday, 20 March, brief media on the Mining Charter engagement session with social partners held over the weekend at GCIS Head Office, Tshedimosetso House, Hatfield, Pretoria at 10:00 am. The Minister will further brief media about his immediate plans and priorities concerning the Department and the mining industry. NB: There will be a video link to the Imbizo Media Centre, Parliament, Cape Town

The South African Reserve Bank will on Tuesday, 20 March, release the 2018 March Quarterly Bulletin. Members of the media who would like to have access to the bulletin ahead of publication can attend a lock-up which will run from 07h00 to 09h00. The lock up will be followed by a media briefing. Both the lock-up and the media briefing are covered by the embargo.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe, will launch a tourism incubator in Upington, Northern Cape followed by the hosting of an Enterprise Development Awareness workshop on Tuesday, 20 March. The Deputy Minister, will on Thursday, 22 March, again host an Enterprise Development Awareness workshop for tourism SMMEs in Cape Town. On Friday, 23 March, the Deputy Minister will also host a Hospitality Youth Graduation with a tourism Imbizo in Port Elizabeth.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a South African delegation to the 10th Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda scheduled to take place on 21 March. President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe.

The 2018 National Human Rights Day commemorations will be held under the theme: The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: promoting and deepening a human rights culture across society. The national event will take place on Wednesday, 21 March at George Thabe Cricket Pitch, Sharpeville in Vereeniging. The day is the central activity of a month long campaign which seeks to provide the country with an opportunity to reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights.

On Thursday, 22 March, Deputy President, David Mabuza and the Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi will officiate the World TB Day at Cator Manor Sports Field, Mayville, KwaZulu-Natal Province. It is a day which provides the opportunity for affected persons and communities, government, civil society organisations, healthcare providers, and international partners, to call for further action to reach people who have been infected with TB.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize, will open the Local Government Asset Management Indaba. The Indaba will be held from 22 to 23 March at Southern Sun Elangeni, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in collaboration with Operation SA and Miss Earth ahead of World Water Day, will be hosting a round table discussion on the role of Business in Active Citizenry on Tuesday, 20 March at Cullinan Hotel, Cape Town. The dialogue aims to solicit inputs from various stakeholders and particularly business on its active participation in conserving water. On Thursday, 22 March, the DWS in partnership with the Waterberg District Municipality will engage in a series of water saving activations to celebrate World Water Day.

The district municipality has been affected by the drought. DWS in partnership with Unilever will also embark on a road show to create awareness and educate communities on drought and using water sparingly. DWS will further hold media tours at Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria and Kouga Dam outside Port Elizabeth.

On Thursday, 22 March, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mr Buti Manamela, will participate in a Breakfast Dialogue on providing access to quality education in an equal society at Capital Moloko, 160 Helen Road, Sandton at 08:00 am. On the same day at 17:00 pm, the Deputy Minister will deliver a Public Lecture on Fee Free Education for the poor and working class at Tshwane University of Technology, Prestige Auditorium, and Pretoria.

On Thursday, 22 March, at 11:00 am, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Senzeni Zokwana, will deliver a keynote address at the commemoration of the International Day of Forests at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens Milk Plum Cafe. The International Day of Forests was established on 28 November 2012 by the United Nations Forum of Forests.

On Friday, 23 March, the Minister will also convene the inaugural National Food Security Roundtable at the Pan African Parliament, taking place at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand at 13:00 pm. The main objective of this initiative is to provide a platform where industry, labour and civil society work collectively to have a united and transformed agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector that ensures food security and economic prosperity for all.

All members of the media are advised that the media briefings/activities are subject to change. However, the GCIS will update the media through advisories.

Source: Government of South Africa


JOHANNESBURG– South Africa has been ranked 105th on the World Happiness Report of 2018, which is prepared by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

The report, which draws its results from surveys done between 2015 and 2017 in 156 countries, ranked the countries according to their scores for things such as gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

The 2018 report shows that Finland is the happiest country, followed closely by fellow Nordic nations Denmark and Norway.

Speaking at the Vatican where the report was released last week, the head of the SDSN, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of New York’s Columbia University, said the Nordic countries were holding the lead in the happiness stakes whereas the United States was dropping down the list.

Sachs cited a social crisis of more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government as being the main reasons for the decline in the US, which came in at 18th, down from 14th place last year.

Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.

Burundi is at the bottom of the happiness index.