Category: fzhdpycu

West Point BYC Captures Donamisport/YMCA Trophy

first_imgThe West Point Monrovia community League sponsored by DonamiSports/YMCA ended last Saturday, with West Point BYC Jr. defeating Jr. Power Plant All Stars 5-1 at the West Point sports pitch.The match was watched by soccer fans from the community and DonamiSport’s CEO Doc Lawson and his deputy, David Suah.The tournament was part of a group matches began by DonamiSport/YMCA with support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Liberia Football Association to select the best eighteen U14 players for the forthcoming Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup tournament in Dallas this April, in the United States.The coordinators explained to DonamiSport/YMCA representatives at a brief program at the YMCA on Broad Street, Monrovia about the difficulties they encountered to get the young children to participate in the selection process.“Some parents told me that they have heard many stories where others come to lie to their children and so they were not interested in the program,” a representative from New Kru Town told the gathering, as each of the community representatives explained their experiences, during the process.Donamisport CEO Doc Lawson expressed appreciation for the coordinators success despite the challenges and reminded them that their sacrifices were for the children and not for their personal benefits.  “In the end it is what becomes of the children is what we are all after,” he said.His deputy, David Suah said they must consider themselves useful on account of the children, whose future should be their utmost concern, and expressed appreciation to the coordinators for their tireless efforts, since the project was handed to them several months ago.A YMCA representative reminded the coordinators of the importance of the project and urged them to work together.The coordinators meanwhile submitted names of seven talented players from nine communities, after several months of intensive selections. The communities included West Point, New Kru Town, Sinkor, Paynesville, Central Monrovia and others.Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the selected players met at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium and under the watchful eyes and professional expertise of coaches under LFA Technical Director Henry Browne, divided the 52 U14 players in a group of 9, and took them through some of the phases of the final selection.Other coaches present were Thomas Kojo, Raymond Morton, Kervin Sebwe, Hazel Gray, J. Kaetu Smith, Janjay Jacobs, Gabriel Johns and German physical trainer Fabius Maeur.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Guyana’s 1st comprehensive foot care service launched

first_imgIn efforts to share her expertise and sensitise the public on the importance of foot care, a Trinidad-based Guyanese on Sunday launched the country’s first exclusive podology service.The Rovon Home Health Care Inc is the brainchild of Podologist Yvonne Braithwaite-Superville, who original hails from Mahaicony.Persons at the launching of Guyana’s first podology service being treatedPodology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremities. Being a trained nurse, certified master pedicurist, and the holder of a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Podology, Braithwaite-Superville can administer patients with comprehensive foot care. She offers similar services in the twin-island republic, and has decided to expand service to her homeland.Speaking at the launch of her initiative, Braithwaite-Superville noted that the foot is always a neglected part of the body, and she is expecting to change this with the services offered by her company.Sharing on her reason for expanding in Guyana, Braithwaite-Superville said, “Due to my deep ancestral background, it is only fitting for me to return to Guyana to share my expertise and to educate the people on good and safe foot care, especially diabetics.”She also emphasized: “There are too many unnecessary amputations”, in relation to the foot woes of diabetic patients.The Rovon Home Health Care Inc will provide medical overseas consultation, nurse escorts, podology and emergency medical treatment. Specifically, the company is offering treatment services for: diabetic foot care, ingrown nails, corns, heel fissures, onychomycosis, athlete’s foot, verruca and callus. The service will also seek to lessen the number of diabetic patients who amputate their feet.In attendance at the launching ceremony were Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes and her husband, Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes.During brief remarks, Hughes recalled his first encounter with Ms. Braithwaite-Superville some eight months ago, and how he urged her to set up a service in Guyana, having experienced her foot care services.“I think it’s always great when we actually have some of our own come back to Guyana, invest and contribute. I think it’s something that has to be commended,” he concluded.Attendees of the ceremony were treated to foot massages which would be offered by the Rovon entity. Braithwaite-Superville hopes to branch out into other Caribbean countries in the future; she is also aiming to open a podology clinic in Grove Plantation Mahaicony as a means of giving back to her community.The Rovon Home Health Care Inc will operate out of the St Joseph Mercy Hospital on Parade Street, Kingston, and can be contacted on (592) 601-9353 or rovonpodology@gmail.comlast_img read more

Abuse of elderly persons increased in 2018 – ChildLink

first_imgA study conducted by ChildLink in 2018 has found that abuse against the elderly has been on the increase. This was revealed on Tuesday evening at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus, Greater Georgetown, when the findings from the survey were shared with the public.Chairman of the advocacy group, Kosi John, who shared an overview of the report said, “as in those of the low-income group and also among the under aged and very young, abuse of elderly, women and children has been on the increase”.John went further to say that urgent attention must be focused on the plight of the vulnerable group, who are often incapable of defending themselves and breaking out of the abusive environment.The Chairman said he believes that abusive trends are linked to the fact that young people grow up seeing that someone should be hit when they do something that is not pleasing.Murdered: Joyce Lewis“Our young people are nurtured in the crucible of violence. They see in their homes and on the streets, parents hit out at each other in settling disputes and their children in disciplining them,” he said.John added that the trend must be arrested immediately before it consumes the entire population.He noted that while helping victims is important, this may very well not be enough. “We have discovered that helping victims of trauma to find the words to describe what has happened to them is profoundly meaningful, but usually is not enough. The act of telling the story does not necessarily alter the automatic physical and hormonal responses of bodies that remain hyper vigilant, prepared to be assaulted or violated at any time,” the Chairman explained.For real change to occur, the head of the advocacy group believes that those victims must learn that danger has passed which will ultimately help them to live in the present.A huge sensitisation operation he said will be required to help those victims. John stated, “A massive education campaign needs to be embarked upon to educate persons, particularly young people, that violent behaviour is wrong, unacceptable and a breach of one’s fundamental human rights”.Religious and other leaders, he noted, will play a vital role in helping to achieve this objective.ChildLink Chairman Kosi JohnA few months ago, the elderly parents of Ethnic Relations Commission, Commissioner Neaz Subhan were left traumatised after five bandits, two of whom were armed with handguns, broke into their home.Meanwhile, after weeks of delay and professing his innocence, 26-year-old Kevon Alfred in February 2018 admitted to killing 75-year-old re-migrant Joyce Lewis at her home at Lot 3630 Christiani Street, North Ruimveldt, Georgetown.State Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs told the court that Alfred was an unwanted guest, who had entered Lewis’s home, strangled her to death, robbed her home, and used her mobile phone to sell the items to a witness, who was set to testify.Before sentencing him to 23 years in prison, Justice Singh told Alfred that even though he had pleaded guilty, he showed no sign of remorse.According to reports, Lewis’s lifeless body was found in her home by Police and her sister, Veronica Deen, on the morning of March 26, 2014. She reportedly was also found with her underwear pulled to her ankles and dark marks around her neck.Five months after Lewis was killed, Alfred was arrested and charged with the murder. Reports are that Alfred’s fingerprints were among several that detectives had found in the slain woman’s home.On the other hand, the executives at the Georgetown Public Hospital and the Linden Hospital Complex has been complaining of the number of elderly persons being abandoned at the institution. This phenomenon has been linked to the fact that relatives of many elderly persons are unable to cope with the responsibility of taking care of them.last_img read more

Lenders urged to help ease plight of borrowers

first_imgThe banking regulators’ guidance issued by the Fed and the other agencies followed President George W. Bush’s announcement Friday that his administration was putting forward proposals aimed at preventing defaults expected over the next two years as the housing industry goes through a serious downturn. The effort by Bush and the banking agencies is an attempt to deal with growing anxiety as more and more homeowners worry about losing their homes because they can no longer meet the mortgage payments. An estimated 2 million adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled to reset by the end of 2008, going from low introductory interest rates to higher rates. Already there has been a rising number of defaults of subprime mortgages, loans that were extended to borrowers with weak credit histories. Those rising defaults have roiled financial markets in recent weeks as investors have worried about whether the credit markets will be destabilized by a rising tide of bad loans. The problem facing many homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages is that those mortgages are now resetting at higher interest rates that in some cases are causing their monthly payments to double or even triple. The guidelines were aimed at addressing the fact that in many cases the company in charge of collecting monthly mortgage payments is not the same company that originated the loan. The guidance said appropriate strategies to ward off defaults could include modifying the terms of the loan or deferring payments. Those modifications could include converting the loan from an adjustable-rate loan, one in which the interest rate resets at periodic intervals, to a fixed-rate mortgage, which would keep the monthly payments from going higher. Other possible modifications would include extending the length of the loan and rolling the amount of payments that the borrower has missed into the total loan amount that must be paid off. “Reworking these loans will achieve long-term sustainable obligations to provide stability to borrowers, investors and the marketplace,” Bair said. The joint statement also encouraged the mortgage-servicing companies to consider referring borrowers in trouble to qualified homeownership-counseling services. Fed Governor Randall Kroszner said the joint guidance was meant to encourage the companies that collect payments on mortgages packaged into certain debt securities and sold in debt markets to “reach out to financially stressed homeowners.” “Keeping families in their homes is a matter of great importance to the Federal Reserve,” said Kroszner, one of the Fed board members who has taken the lead in dealing with the current mortgage crisis. In addition to the Fed and the FDIC, which insures deposits at financial institutions, the other groups that issued the statement were the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the National Credit Union Administration and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve and other banking regulators issued special guidance Tuesday urging loan-service companies to work with borrowers in danger of defaulting on their home mortgages. The new guidelines are not mandatory, but the regulators expressed the hope that companies that collect payments on mortgages would heed the advice. Sheila Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said mortgage collectors have the authority under existing accounting and tax rules to help deserving borrowers. “More and more consumers with subprime and hybrid mortgage products are facing the very real prospect of losing their homes through foreclosure as their payments reset and become unaffordable,” she said in a statement. “It is vital that mortgage servicers work proactively with borrowers facing much higher payments as their interest rates reset.” last_img read more

To our readers

first_imgTo our readers: Are you in the know? You will be if you read the Daily News’ new KNOW section which starts today. We’ve worked hard to develop a bright new look for the Daily News, from our red flag at the top of the front page through the news and business sections. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The KNOW section will take over the front page of the Business section and run Tuesday through Saturday. It will contain in-depth information about everything from relationships to cars, from issues of faith to the history of the region. We also are expanding our coverage of community life with the Neighborhoods on Page 4 of news. And starting Sunday, with Van Nuys, we will put a different neighborhood of the region In Focus each month with daily stories. We still have full coverage of business, economic and consumer news on B2, but something will be missing: Stock tables. Like nearly every other newspaper, we are cutting back daily stock listings to a market roundup and important local companies. I hope you will find that the Daily News is more informative, useful and fun to read and that you will let us know what you think by e-mailing or calling 818-713-3645. Ron Kaye, Editorlast_img read more

Dump activists surprised by Teamsters alliance

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“Are they looking to have a contract or are they concerned about (the environment)? If they had a contract and were unionized, would the Teamsters still be involved? I don’t think so.” But the Teamsters say the union’s focus on American Waste Industries is part of a new effort to partner with community groups on sanitation, worker safety and environmental issues. The union also has hired attorneys to help community activists in Granada Hills fight Sunshine Canyon Landfill’s plan to merge the neighboring city-county dumps into what would be one of the largest landfills in the nation. “We found it to be a very potent alliance to work with community and environmental groups on issues that impact not only workers but the community they serve,” said David Cameron, who coordinates the national campaigns of the Teamsters and is working on Sunshine Canyon. “We want to demonstrate to any employers that we have a nationwide reach. When we see problems, we want them to know the Teamsters are watching.” With union membership at only 12 percent of the work force, organized labor is increasingly looking to amplify its strength by partnering with community groups on mutually beneficial campaigns, said Kent Wong, director of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. He pointed to the supermarket unions that have teamed up with residents and local business owners to fight non-union Wal-Mart superstores. “Many of the unions are interested in developing allies in the broader community around common interests,” Wong said. “It’s a trend that will continue.” The Teamsters union has focused on the national issue of landfill safety, Cameron said. That’s why the union has joined the North Valley Coalition in seeking a 2016 closure date for Sunshine Canyon, along with more stringent environmental controls at the dump and a long-term insurance policy in case the dump leaks and taints the water supply stored in the nearby Los Angeles Reservoir. The union stance has changed significantly since 2003, when Teamsters Local 396 wrote letters supporting Browning Ferris Industries’ efforts to open the 194-acre Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Granada Hills, saying it met all safety and environmental standards. That project anticipated the eventual merging of the existing county dump with the new city dump into a single landfill with a 90-million-ton capacity. “It’s an issue we have revisited given the size of Sunshine Canyon. The larger the landfill, the greater the chance of collapse and the greater the risk to workers,” Cameron said. Although the workers at the landfill are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Cameron said the Teamsters organization has the financial resources as the largest private union in the nation to take on worker safety issues. The Teamsters Local 396 does represent truck drivers and mechanics employed by BFI. Their contract expires in 2007. North Valley Coalition President Wayde Hunter has tried to close Sunshine Canyon Landfill for more than a decade with only small victories along the way, so he welcomes the Teamsters’ assistance. The union helped hire two high-profile law firms to go head-to-head with BFI. And now a number of national environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, have joined the fight. “He who has the most prestigious person representing them tends to be heard,” Hunter said. “We’re just trying to even the playing field and to have somebody who has a good reputation. Does it help? Yes, I believe it does. Maybe (the decision makers) will do a little more, spend a little more time analyzing what these companies put forth.” In Sun Valley, some residents are more circumspect about the union’s activism. The Teamsters union is leading the fight to get a full environmental study for American Waste Industries, a trash sorting and transfer station that would take up to 700 tons of garbage and food waste each day. Again, the Teamsters brought in two law firms – Los Angeles environmental attorney Jan Chatten-Brown and San Francisco-based labor and environment law firm Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Rubin & Demain. The lawyers helped temporarily block American Waste’s proposed permit at the California Integrated Waste Management Board. American Waste is a small, local, privately owned trash hauler and recycler whose employees are not unionized. However, the company agreed to meet with the Teamsters Local 396 last year after a labor rally outside its gates. Negotiations broke down several months ago after the Teamsters’ representatives attacked the company with “extremely vulgar and explicit language,” American Waste Industries Vice President Hutch Stepanian wrote in a letter to the waste board. He called the Teamsters’ opposition “political games.” “This is an obvious discriminating effort by IBT, considering that they are supporting a proposed new facility (Waste Management), which is four times larger than ours across the street from us,” he wrote. Teamsters Local 396 representatives have testified in favor of the Bradley expansion at several public meetings, saying they don’t want to lose stable, well-paying jobs when the landfill closes. Mackey, with the East Valley Coalition, said International Teamsters organizers did approach her group about partnering, but the coalition is concerned that union is working with Waste Management to drive out smaller, locally owned trash companies. “I don’t want to play ball if it looks like on the surface we have a common goal, when someone is behind the scenes pulling strings,” Mackey said. Waste Management District Manager Doug Corcoran said his company has nothing to do with the Teamsters’ opposition at American Waste. “The Teamsters’ relationships with other companies is between them and the other company. We let them deal with their issues.” That said, Corcoran does want other trash facility projects in Sun Valley to go through the same scrutiny as Bradley. Chatten-Brown said she has heard the community comments about the Teamster’s motives and she investigated to make sure there were valid environmental concerns before she took the union as a client. Those concerns were confirmed during a May 9 hearing in Sun Valley when residents complained of heavy truck traffic in the area, unsafe garbage trucks and rodent problems, which she saw firsthand when a rat scurried out of one of the buildings. “It seems to us there are very, very legitimate issues there,” Chatten-Brown said. “I have been assured that if they reach a contract they won’t drop the issues.” (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After butting heads for three years over the politics of trash in the northeast San Fernando Valley, environmentalists and homeowners now find themselves aligned with the powerful Teamsters union in fighting the expansion of yet another waste facility in Sun Valley. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents truck drivers who haul trash to Bradley Landfill, has been the most outspoken advocate of Waste Management’s plan to expand Bradley and build a 7,500-ton-per-day trash-transfer operation on the site. So local activists were surprised – and wary – when the union joined with them in protesting plans by American Waste Industries to accept 700 tons of garbage and food waste at its Sun Valley construction debris transfer station. “I don’t think we have everybody’s agenda,” said Ellen Mackey of Sun Valley, a member of the East Valley Coalition, which opposes landfill operations in the Valley. last_img read more


first_imgLETTERKENNY AC’s Mark English reached the men’s 800m final on day five of the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Barcelona.English was drawn in the third semi-final with only the top two guaranteed a place in the final. There were also two fastest loser spots up for grabs, which would ultimately prove important for English.The race began with a flourish, as all the athletes bolted from the start line, jostling for a good position. The Kenyan athlete Edwin Kiplagat Melly took control leading through the bell in a quick 52.98, with English in second. The Canadian athlete Brandon McBride subsequently gained the lead with an exuberant burst of speed.In the last 100m, English demonstrated considerable tenacity to cross the line in fourth place (1.47.77). The effort meant he secured his qualification as one of the fastest losers.The race was ultimately won by Kiplagat in a time of 1.47.08, and the Kenyan athlete will consequently join English in the final, which takes place at 6.25pm Irish time tomorrow.There to cheer Mark on were Letterkenny father and son Phil and Antain Boyle from Bomany (pictured above). Earlier in the programme, there was disappointment for Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m hurdles, when she fell at the second last hurdle and failed to finish the race.SUPERB! MARK ENGLISH THROUGH TO 800M FINAL IN BARCELONA was last modified: July 14th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:SUPERB! MARK ENGLISH THROUGH TO 800M FINAL IN BARCELONAlast_img read more

Pete DeBoer pushes back hard on perception Sharks are “lucky”

first_imgST. LOUIS — Sharks coach Pete DeBoer wasn’t having any talk that his team has been lucky at various points in the postseason.“It irks me when you use words like that because this is a team that’s played (four) elimination games,” DeBoer said Thursday. “Not moments, games. Twelve to 15 periods of elimination hockey, against Vegas, against Colorado in Game 7.“I think it’s a ridiculous statement.”The Sharks, 4-0 in games when they’ve faced elimination since the playoffs began, will take a 2-1 …last_img

Africa’s first off-grid bank

first_imgNedbank boasts the first-ever bank branch in Africa that entirely runs on renewable energy. Nedbank Western Cape regional manager, Pedro Rhode, said the new eco-friendly branch is a lesson in sustainability for the bank.(Images: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Mpho Sebelebele Nedbank communications team+27 11 294 4274+27 82 528 3432Janine ErasmusThe sleepy Cape Flats suburb of Lansdowne now boasts an African first – a bank branch entirely off the power grid. The new-look Nedbank branch, in Lansdowne Corner shopping centre, opened at the end of October and, said the banking group’s Western Cape regional manager Pedro Rhode, is an important lesson in greening and sustainability for the bank.“We are extremely proud that this is the first off-the-grid branch in Africa,” he said. “Two years ago we achieved a 30% saving; now we’ve taken it to 100%.”In 2011 the Nedbank branch in the small community of Du Noon in Milnerton, Cape Town, opened with one wind turbine supplying 30% of its power. The Lansdowne branch is powered by a hybrid system of three small turbines and an array of solar panels, making it entirely self-sufficient, although it can draw Eskom power in an emergency.In the months since it opened, Du Noon has prevented the release of 6.8 tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, and the burning of almost seven tons of coal. The Lansdowne branch will top that – it’s expected to offset the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 71 tons a year.There are no plans to convert Du Noon to complete dependence on renewable energy yet. The branch’s turbine was installed for a different reason – to lessen the disruptive effect of power outages in the area.But the Nedbank team hopes the Lansdowne model will serve as inspiration for other businesses around the country, especially in rural areas where access to power is erratic or nonexistent. Decreasing dependence on coalThe hybrid system is so efficient it will sometimes generate excess power, which will be either diverted to the shopping centre for parking lot lighting and security systems, or pumped into the power grid.The system is fitted with a two-way meter that monitors power coming in and going out, instead of a single meter measuring consumption. Since the system went live, Eskom power intake has been measured at exactly 0kWh. It is capable of supplying the branch’s entire annual requirement of 70 000kWh – power enough to sustain six middle-income homes.“We can’t carry on consuming coal,” said Nedbank’s Ciko Thomas, the managing executive for consumer banking. He added that South Africa has to change the “bad reputation” it has from its dependence on coal, and that a greater focus on renewable energy is the solution.“Nedbank is taking responsibility for its energy consumption, and although we are notching up a few firsts in these areas, it’s not so much about the firsts themselves, but rather about being a leader in sustainability.” Using natural energyThe turbines are manufactured by Kestrel Renewable Energy, located in Port Elizabeth.“They’re entirely locally produced,” said James Carpy, technical director at Kestrel.The original plan was for the system to have larger turbines and fewer solar panels. Logistic problems, such as having to install power cables running through the car park, prompted a rethink: there are now three small turbines and a bank of 168 solar panels.The turbines – model E160I, the smallest produced at the Port Elizabeth plant – each produce 600W of power, so 1 800W comes from wind. The solar panels produce 245W of power each, meaning that the total generating capacity of the hybrid system is around 42kW.“The wind is relatively consistent throughout the year, with a peak in July,” said Carpy. “It complements the solar perfectly, as this drops off during the winter months, so this is a very good site for a hybrid system.”There were some problems – ideally a solar system should face due north, to expose it to the maximum amount of sunshine during the day. The roof of the Lansdowne shopping centre is 10 degrees off due north, so in the morning the collection is a little less than ideal, but, said Carpy, in the afternoon the panels collect a little more energy so it evens out.The roof itself was a challenge. It was initially unable to support the weight of all the panels, so specialist structural engineers were brought in to give advice and design extra holding strength.Another snag came from street lights next to the centre, which cast a shadow over a few of the panels.“Because solar panels work in series,” said Carpy, “if a shadow is cast over even one of the panels you lose the whole bank, so the frame had to be moved back a bit.”The installation was planned to take eight to 10 weeks, but because of the unexpected delay with the roof, it took about four months altogether. The total investment into the system was R1.8-million, with an operational cost outlay of about R200 000. This should be recouped within two years, as the annual saving amounts to R121 000. The wind components of the system are designed to last for at least 20 years, and the solar components for 25 years.The launch of the Lansdowne Corner renewable energy system was accompanied by two community sustainability outreach projects involving Belmore Primary and York Primary schools in the surrounding area. They were given vegetable tunnels and rainwater harvesting tanks, as well as sustainability workshops, allowing them to grow their own food.last_img read more

Cape Town launches open data portal

first_img28 January 2015Cape Town’s new open data portal aims to enhance transparency and accountability, as well as improve the competitiveness of the broader economy of Cape Town, Mayor Patricia de Lille said at the launch in the city on Tuesday.The Open Data Portal, which makes public sector data available to the public at no charge and in usable formats, is “another bold stride that we are taking to create an enabling environment which will attract investment that generates economic growth and creates jobs”, De Lille said.“This is a historic day as we join cities such as New York, London and Helsinki that have forged the way for cities to make their data sets available to the public,” De Lille said. “In today’s knowledge economy, access to data is instrumental in becoming competitive.”TransparencyThe portal, which was approved by council at the end of September 2014, will “enable innovation, as entrepreneurs are empowered to use the data to create new applications”, the mayor said. “As a City that believes in transparency, making this data available will empower residents to hold us accountable.”The public can access the portal via a variety of devices, including mobile phones with internet connectivity.So far, 25 data sets have been uploaded. These include the City’s budget data; the location of all district parks, community parks, cemeteries; information on MyCiTi bus stations and routes; and details about tenders that have been awarded.A steering committee made up of representatives from various City directorates would approve data sets for the portal. “We envision that hundreds of data sets will be available over time,” she said.LegacyThe public are invited to request data they would like to see on the portal, as well as to share their “thoughts and experiences” of the portal.De Lille said the portal should be seen as a legacy product of the World Design Capital 2014: “During our tenure as the World Design Capital, we wanted to find a way to use design to make government more transparent. As such, our Open Data Portal is the City’s contribution to the World Design Capital 2014 legacy.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more