McEnroe and Navratilova ask to change the name of the Margaret Court track and investigate them

first_imgJohn McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, two legends of tennis, appeared Tuesday on the 1573 track of the Australian Open with a banner wherein the legend “Evonne Goolagong Area” was handwritten. The reason being that each requested the day earlier than it was modified the name of the discipline that bears the name of former Australian participant Margaret Court, the second in significance of the event after the Rod Laver. The legendary People imagine that it’s not truthful for an individual to criticize homosexuality to be acknowledged in Melbourne Park. Navratilova, married to the mannequin Julia Lemigova since 2014, learn an open letter calling on the authorities to perform the name change and put the Goolagong, an aboriginal former winner of seven Grand Slams and who was primary in the world and is a member of the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame. The US nationalized Czech believes that some manifestations of Court “are extraordinarily dangerous to the LGTBI group” and that the legends of the sport that give name to sure services are often “on the proper facet of the story,” and that “Court doesn’t belong to that class.” It isn’t the first time Martina asks for the elimination of naming of the track, he already did it in 2017, when Court vetoed the Qantas airline as a result of its president was homosexual and supported same-sex marriages.For this conduct, McEnroe and Navratilova are being investigated and might be fined, since the Australian Open, which makes it clear that it helps “the range, inclusion and proper of folks to have their very own imaginative and prescient, in addition to their proper to categorical that opinion,” says the event “has laws and protocols concerning how any fan, participant or visitor can use the services, the occasion and the world situation it affords, to guarantee its integrity. ”last_img read more

Govt to start works on Bartica hospital

first_imgIndia-funded hospital upgrades– awaiting arrival of Indian consultantsAs it awaits the arrival of the Indian consultants to oversee the multimillion-dollar upgrade of three primary healthcare facilities here, the Guyana Government will be going ahead to commence work on the Bartica Hospital which is one of the primary healthcare facilities to benefit from the India-funded project.Public Health Minister Volda LawrenceBartica HospitalPublic Health Minister, Volda Lawrence recently told Guyana Times that the consultancy firm was selected by the National Procurement Tender and Administration Board (NPTAB) and that they are now awaiting the arrival of the consultants.“We have no knowledge of when the consultant is going to be here. We were given a date for late last year – in December – but then we got an excuse that the consultant could not arrive on that date and we will be told when the consultant will be coming but we have not heard [back anything],” she explained.Nevertheless, Lawrence noted that following discussion with Finance Minister Winston Jordan, a decision was taken to go ahead with some of the works at the Bartica Hospital, which is in dire need of attention.“So we will not continue to wait. We will begin to do some work in the Bartica Hospital from 2020… What we are going to start doing is nothing outside of what they would’ve done. So the intent is that we will be able to negotiate an extension in another area. So if we do the theatre, then we will be able to ask them to add something else, like a step-down clinic or so, in place of that,” the Public Health Minister noted.Back in July 2017, Finance Minister Winston Jordan signed the US$17.5 million line of credit (LOC) with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India to refurbish existing facilities and construct new buildings at the Suddie Hospital in Region Two, the West Demerara Regional Hospital in Region Three and the Bartica District Hospital in Region Seven. The line of credit will also be used to procure medical equipment to furnish the new and renovated facilities.Since the Indian Government is funding the project, it is required that the contracts be awarded to companies from that country.This project is an initiative of the coalition Government, which wanted to use funds set aside for the controversial Specialty Hospital Project for the modernisation of the three primary healthcare institutions.However, the Indian Government had committed to providing a separate loan to makeover the three hospitals in exchange for the Specialty Hospital Project to continue. But the Specialty Hospital project fell through.In a recent interview with Guyana Times, former Indian High Commissioner, Venekatachalam Mahalingam, who recently ended his five-year tour in Guyana, expressed his disappointment that the project never took off. However, he noted that such a facility is much needed in Guyana, especially with the upcoming economic development the country is about to experience as a result of the oil boom when production commences early next year.“With the oil coming in and with Guyana’s economy going to develop far better than anyone can imagine, a speciality hospital is required… There will be good demand for such services, and not just for Guyanese,” Mahalingam posited.With a US$18 million line of credit (LOC) from the Indian Exim bank, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration was hoping to create a thriving health tourism industry with the construction of a Specialty Hospital by pulling foreigners and overseas-based Guyanese here.However, the project quickly found itself in a series of controversy, causing the then Government to end a contract with the India-based contractor, Surendra Engineering, in 2014, citing instances of alleged fraud and delays. The Donald Ramotar-led regime subsequently filed a billion dollar lawsuit against the firm for failing to honour its obligations. Guyana is yet to recover close to $1 billion from that company.While in Opposition, both the APNU and AFC had strongly opposed the Specialty Hospital project and upon its assumption to office in 2015, the coalition had decided to scrap the project, which had already expended some US$4.2 million on certain preliminary works, and use the remaining funds to upgrade several public hospitals.However, after some convincing by the Indian Government, the coalition hesitantly proceeded with the project, handing it over to another India-based contractor, Fedders Lloyd, to complete using the remaining US$13.8 million. But a few months later, that company was blacklisted by the World Bank until 2020, forcing the project to a standstill once again.Following this, Government got the US$18 million LOC written off, with the Indian Government taking back the remaining funds and an agreement was signed for Guyana to only pay back the money that was already spent. This paved the way for the new LOC for the upgrade of the primary healthcare system.last_img read more

Gateway Plaza set to open new stores later this year

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Gateway Plaza is set to open some new attractions later this year.Trevor Bolin says there will be the Esso Station which will be Fort St. John’s only full service station, that will open in October.The new building, which is 9,000 square feet, will have Pizza Hut making a return to Fort St. John, Supplement King will be a new store. Sticky’s Candy is the “most northern of the stores” coming, according to Bolin.- Advertisement -Borealis Clothing Company will be offering Women’s fashion. Pita Pit will also be making an appearance.Bolin says the stores are exciting.“These five stores are very anticipated and long awaited in our city. Openings will start in November and continue into the New Year.He says the Gateway Plaza still has 8 more locations to come. Those announcements will be coming in the New Year and going forward.Advertisement The Plaza is expected to employ up to 300 people, says Bolin.last_img read more

UCLA’s Drew off to the NFL

first_img Drew confirmed Friday that he won’t return to UCLA. “Yeah, you can say that,” Drew said. “I’ll make that announcement (today) but yeah, you can say that.” Drew’s durability has been an issue the last two years. Drew suffered a bruised right knee against Stanford, which forced him to miss some of the Arizona game. Last year, he sprained his ankle and missed the better part of three games. If Drew is viewed as a Sproles-type player, he stands to make about $2 million. Sproles was a fourth-round draft pick and earned a $396,000 signing bonus. He signed a four-year deal worth 230,000 the first year and 460,000 in 2008. Sproles returned 59 kickoffs for an average of 24.4 yards per return. Drew exhibited no signs of turning pro until after the Sun Bowl. Drew left that game in the first quarter with a separated left shoulder. He returned for a couple of plays in the second quarter but was a non-factor. Television cameras showed him trying to run back onto the field at one point but Dorrell grabbed him and pulled him back. Drew didn’t look happy. Drew’s roommate, defensive end Kyle Morgan, will attend today’s press conference. Morgan is from the Bay Area, too. Drew’s mom, Andrea, confirmed Drew is leaving and that he’ll explain his reasons why today. “He just made the decision,” Andrea Drew said. “He’ll say why and what played a part in it (today).” Andrea Drew said she filed paperwork earlier to have Drew’s draft status evaluated. If Drew doesn’t sign an agent, he can return to UCLA for his final season of eligibility. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL draft. 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 MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson UCLA coach Karl Dorrell isn’t expected to comment until after today’s press conference. Drew’s departure is a huge blow to the Bruins, who finished 10-2 and beat Northwestern in the Sun Bowl. Drew led the country in punt returns, averaging an NCAA-record 28.5 yards. He had three punt returns for touchdowns this season and four in his career, along with two kickoff returns for scores. He rushed for 914 yards on 186 carries (4.9 yards-per-carry average), scored 13 touchdowns this season and had 2,503 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns in his UCLA career. Drew’s pro career could mimic that of Darren Sproles, who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers last year out of Kansas State. Sproles is a speedy punt returner but not an every down running back. Sproles had eight carries this season. It’s likely that Drew’s gig in the NFL will be as a punt and kickoff returner. Drew is probably considered too small (5-foot-8, 205 pounds) to be an every down back but he’s bigger than Sproles (5-6, 181). This was an unexpected move, since Drew, 21, maintained most of the year that he would return for his senior season. As late as Nov. 26, he told the Press-Telegram: “I don’t understand why people keep asking. I don’t want people to think football is my whole life. That’s one thing I don’t want it to be. If it happens, it happens. If not, I’ll get a degree and go about my day and try to work at a big-time business and try to get to the top of it.” center_img Maurice Drew wasn’t the Los Angeles running back everyone figured was a shoo-in to leave college a year early for the NFL draft. But that’s exactly what Drew will do. Drew, UCLA’s junior tailback and All-American punt returner, will announce his decision to skip his senior season and enter the draft at a 2 p.m. press conference today at Concord De La Salle High School, where he prepped in Northern California. last_img read more

Two years after slaying, family’s pain remains

first_imgCalifornia Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Steiner, 35, heading to his car after testifying in a traffic case at Pomona Superior Court, pauses at a crosswalk as a red Nissan Sentra approaches. The car slows to a stop. Valentino Mitchell Arenas, 16, steps out, his grandfather’s gun in hand. He takes aim and, shouting a gang slogan, fires at least three rounds. One hits the officer in the head. The shooting, two years ago today, shocked the community and has since come to be seen as a watershed moment in Pomona’s struggle against gang violence. POMONA – The scene has replayed itself countless times in the minds of friends, loved ones and law-enforcement officers. Photo Galleries: • CHP officer Thomas J. Steiner • CHP officer Funeral Services • Pomona courthouse shooting In Steiner, he chose a family man and five-year veteran of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs division. The Cal Poly Pomona graduate loved Camaros, Ohio State football and spending time with his son and stepson. Two years after the killing, family members are trying to put the tragic events of that day behind them. “We’re coping,” said his father, Ron Steiner, who lives in Long Beach. “We try not to think about it all the time.” Steiner’s widow, Heidi, who declined through her father-in-law to be interviewed, is still having a difficult time coping with her husband’s death, Ron Steiner said. The couple’s son, Bryan, 5, is in preschool and still talks about his father, he said. Sparks, Steiner’s sister, said it has been heartbreaking to see her nephew and her own youngest child, who is about six months older, deal with death at such a young age. “Every time it rains we’re out there looking for Uncle Tom’s rainbow,” she said. For her part, Sparks said she has slowly come to accept her brother’s passing and no longer thinks about it regularly. Still, there are times when she gets a sudden urge to give him a call, momentarily forgetting he is gone. Family gatherings during the holidays feel incomplete, she said. And the time around his birthday, when the family traditionally made Presidents Day weekend trips to Big Bear, is especially rough. But on the whole, things have gotten better since the court system dealt with his killer. “Once the trial part and the sentencing was over, that was where we started to settle down,” Sparks said. “I feel better in the fact that the person responsible was found, and I was grateful that we didn’t have to sit through a trial and that my parents didn’t have to suffer through all the details.” Arenas, apprehended fewer than 12 hours after the shooting, at first pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges, claiming he ought to face a lesser charge because he was high on methamphetamine at the time of the shooting. He changed his plea in December 2004, realizing that doing so was his only chance of getting out of prison at some point. Nonetheless, after an emotional sentencing hearing on March 10, 2005, a judge gave him life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ron Steiner, who said he has no words left for his son’s killer, is satisfied that justice has been served, he said. “We have no desire for revenge. No hatred. It’s justice,” Steiner said. “We all have choices to make, and we have to live with our choices. He did what he did, and now he has to live with the consequences.” Arenas’ aunt, Cecelia Arenas, said the situation is tragic all the way around. Her nephew, whom she hasn’t seen or spoken with since the sentencing, wasted his future because of what he did, she said. “He’s going to be scarred for life. His heart is going to be scarred for life,” she said. “It’s like we’ve lost him. It’s like he died along with Mr. Steiner.” Arenas’ grandfather, Valentino Arenas Sr., said he has visited his grandson, now 18, in prison and that he is doing “really well.” In the two years since the shooting, steps have been taken to ensure Steiner’s memory lives on. A custom motorcycle designed in his honor was unveiled to the public last May, shortly after the one-year anniversary of his death. The CHP Memorial Chopper is used by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen to raise money for gang awareness and make appearances at anti-gang events. The state Assembly, after waiting the mandatory 18 months, agreed in January to rename a portion of the Pomona (60) Freeway in Steiner’s memory. The stretch through Pomona from Phillips Ranch Road to Reservoir Street, where the officer frequently patrolled, will be known as CHP Officer Thomas J. Steiner Memorial Highway. Family members said they hope Steiner’s death will have a lasting impact on Pomona’s efforts to curb gang violence. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the community responded with outrage, demanding safer streets. Two years later, the city is awaiting the completion of its Youth and Families Master Plan – a blueprint for addressing the risk factors that lure children into gangs. Steiner’s father and sister said they will continue to pay close attention to Pomona’s efforts to steer young people away from gangs. “I would love to see something positive come out of this,” said Sparks, a teacher. “As I tell my kids at school: Words are nice, but actions are better.” (909) 483-9338160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img For More Info AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventFor relatives of Steiner, the past two years have been spent learning to live with a void, coping with emotions that sneak up in quiet moments. Slowly, they are coming to terms with what for so long seemed surreal, said Julie Sparks, Steiner’s sister. “It’s not any easier, it’s just more real,” said Sparks, who lives in Long Beach. “We’re dealing with what we have and not what we want.” The randomness of the killing has made it particularly difficult to recover from. Arenas, who pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Men in Chino, told police he wanted to kill a policeman to impress a local street gang. It could have been anyone wearing a uniform. last_img read more


first_imgAN evil child rapist from County Donegal has been jailed today for 15 years for sickening attacks on his own relatives.The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, was found guilty of a dozens of charges at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin last month.Today the 48-year-old from Inishowen was jailed for 15 years. He was found guilty after trial of 65 counts of rape and sexual assaults. He was found guilty on fifteen counts of sexually assaulting a girl from when she was nine to fifteen.He was found guilty on forty counts of sexually assaulting and raping another young girl when she was nine until she was nineteen. The rapes commenced when she was only ten.The paedophile was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.Mr Justice McCarthy quoted from the woman’s victim impact where she described having “lost her childhood” when the abuse began.“The heartbreak is obvious,” he said, noting that the victim still suffers from overwhelming feelings of guilt, nightmares and panic attacks.In the report, the woman said she spent her childhood “at the hands of a monster”.The woman, now aged 24, said she was sexually assaulted at the age of nine and raped repeatedly from the age of 10, sometimes on a near-daily basis.She said as a child she felt lonely because she had to carry the biggest secret of her life and couldn’t tell anyone.She once planned her own suicide because she felt she couldn’t go on feeling dirty, horrible and unworthy of love.“I can never get away from it, even when I sleep. Every day I fight to get out of bed, to find some chink of light to make life worth living. You destroyed me. You broke my trust in all men,” the statement read.She said the man was supposed to be her guardian and her protector but that instead he was her “abuser and tormentor”, who treated her like a “rag doll” or like an “object to play with” for his own sexual gratification.“I lived with the physical pain every time you raped me, but I live with the emotional pain all my life,” she said.She apologised to the second victim, who was also sexually assaulted by the man.“I feel it’s my fault he abused you. If only I’d spoken out earlier – I’ll never forgive myself for letting it happen to you,” she said.The second victim, now in her late teens, submitted a victim impact report which was not read out in full to the court.In the statement, the girl said she “lost her childhood” as a result of being sexually assaulted. She said she still has nightmares and difficulty sleeping.She is fearful of being left alone in the house and feels guilty for breaking the family apart, although Mr Justice McCarthy said she has “no need” to feel guilty.Garda Paul Forrestal told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that the first victim was aged around nine when the man, who lived nearby, began sexually assaulting her.It started when she was watching TV lying on the couch, and he would place his hand inside her clothes.The assaults also took place in a spare bedroom and in the man’s bedroom.From the age of 10, the man would push or pull the girl towards a bedroom, force her to lie face down on the bed and rape her.The court heard that he used every possible occasion he could to rape the child, and that the rapes were “very, very frequent” when she lived with the man for a time.The second victim told gardaí that the man also started sexually assaulting her at around the age of nine. The court heard the assaults followed the same pattern of abuse as with the other victim but they did not escalate to rape.One specific allegation was made that in the summer of 2007, the man came home after a stag party and sexually assaulted the second victim, then aged 12.15 YEARS BEHIND BARS FOR CO DONEGAL CHILD RAPIST was last modified: March 4th, 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:Inishowenpaedophilelast_img read more


first_imgPadraig Mac LochlainnSinn Féin Justice spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn has welcomed Minister Alan Shatter’s referral of the penalty points issue to the Garda Ombudsman Commission but has however questioned why this decision has taken so long.Deputy Mac Lochlainn said he noted that while it took the Minister 14 months to refer the penalty points issue to the Ombudsman Commission it only took him a handful of days to recommend an investigation into the whistle blower. Speaking this evening the Donegal TD said: “I welcome the fact that Minister Shatter has facilitated this complaint going to the Garda Ombudsman Commission. “However I must question why it has taken so long for this to happen.“There has been a cry for an independent inquiry for well over a year. The Oireachtas Petitions Committee, which I chair, asked for this issue to be referred to the Garda Ombudsman Commission last year and I have called for this on countless occasions in the Dáil.“It is plainly obvious that this issue needed an independent investigation.“It is interesting to note that while it took the Minister 14 months to refer the penalty points issue to the Ombudsman Commission it only took him a handful of days to recommend an investigation into the whistle blower. “Given the attitude of the Garda Commissioner at the Public Accounts Committee last week, and the on-going attempts to discredit the whistle blowers, I would be concerned that the Ombudsman Commission may not get the full cooperation of the Gardaí in its investigation.“This all points to the need for additional strengths and powers for the Garda Ombudsman Commission and I would urge the Minister to consider this seriously.” Mac LOCHLAINN BACKS OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATION INTO PENALTY POINTS SCANDAL was last modified: January 27th, 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:Minister Alan ShatterPadraig MacLochlainn TDpenalty points scandallast_img read more


first_imgThe annual RNLI New Year’s Day Swim takes place at 3pm at the Big Pier, Mountcharles on Thurs Jan 1st. This is a short fun swim from the Boat Slip to the pier steps lasting approx 3/4 mins.The organisers respectfully request a donation of €5 from each swimmer towards funding our 54 RNLI Lifeboat crews around the island of Ireland. The event is weather dependent and the public attend at their own risk.The New Year’s Day Swim has grown from strength to strength and is now a popular local social gathering as well as an important fundraiser for the Lifeboats. The organisers welcome onlookers as well as swimmers.RNLI ANNUAL SWIM TAKES PLACE NEW YEAR’S DAY IN MOUNTCHARLES was last modified: December 30th, 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:donegalMOUNTCHARLESRNLIlast_img read more

Feathered Dinosaur Exhibit Raises Doubts

first_imgCan you trust those fossils on display in your local museum, the ones showing “Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight”?  No less than the respected journal Nature1 is concerned they may have been gathered and sold illegally, and are no more trustworthy than the 1999 Archaeoraptor hoax that embarrassed National Geographic magazine.    The same Utah fossil collectors who sold Archaeoraptor to the world press, Stephen and Sylvia Czerkas, now have a traveling exhibit of presumed feathered dinosaur fossils beginning to make the rounds at American museums.  The exhibit is currently in a seven-month run at the San Diego Natural History Museum.  Other museums, however, like the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, do not want to be involved with questionable specimens, despite Czerkas’ claim that they were obtained legally.    Nature’s concern is concentrated on whether the fossils were smuggled illegally out of China, and that exhibiting them promotes trafficking in illegal specimens.  They mention that Archaeoraptor turned out to be a “forged composite from different species … put together in China to resemble a ‘missing link’ between dinosaurs and birds,” but failed to ask whether any of the current Czerkas specimens might be forgeries.1Rex Dalton, “Feathered fossils cause a flap in museums,” Nature 429, 5 (06 May 2004); doi:10.1038/429005a.Here are all the enticements necessary for hoaxers: money, fame, and gullible customers.  Chinese fossil scavengers know that unusual fossils that look like missing links bring a much higher price on the black market than “more of the same.”  There is the lust for fame to be the first to discover a missing link.  And there is a scientific clientele convinced that birds evolved from dinosaurs.  Add to that the fact that many of these specimens arrived in the west without documentation as to their location and context, and would you believe the exhibit signs?    Both Archaeoraptor and Piltdown Man were good enough to fool the experts. Nature and Science and other reputable journals have already featured artwork of feathered dinosaurs on their covers.  It is only a thin ethical line and the memory of past embarrassment that prevents them from jumping for joy over these fossils.  Extra caution is certainly in order.  These should be considered fakes until proven otherwise.  Paleontologists need to consider only specimens found in situ, excavated with full disclosure under carefully-monitored, rigorously followed standard procedures.    We think the Czerkas fossils should be exhibited – in the art museum.  “Why look, darling; the detail is wonderful, the colors and textures are magnificent.  What an exquisite forgery.  The compositing is so fine it is nearly imperceptible.  Bravo.  It looks so stunning next to the portrait of the red-faced National Geographic editor.”(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa: a brand of active citizens

first_imgTwelve-year-old Bhekimuzi Magagula from Meetse-a-Bophelo Primary School in Mamelodi East is overcome by emotion as he sings happy birthday to Nelson Mandela during an International Mandela Day event at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 18 July 2013. (Image: GCIS)Johannesburg, Friday 17 July 2015 – South Africa and the world commemorate International Mandela Day on Saturday 18 July 2015. On this day the legacy of service emulated by the former Statesman and South Africa’s founding President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is celebrated and honoured.• Download press releaseThis year, International Nelson Mandela Day is commemorated under the theme: Play Your Part and Make Every Day a Mandela Day. This call is made so that all citizens in our country can carry forward the legacy of active citizenship embodied by the former Statesman and contribute to South Africa’s growth and development.South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. A spirit of active citizenship that will drive the implementation of the National Development Plan is critical to national efforts to reduce this inequality. The National Development Plan or Vision 2030 is South Africa’s blueprint for social and economic growth and development. This plan will be successfully implemented only when all stakeholders in the country’s nation building project come together in a common purpose.Ordinary South Africans gather to mourn and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela after his passing in December 2013. (Image: GCIS)A report entitled “I believe I can make a difference” by the Charities Aid Foundation has found that giving and volunteering, which are important expressions of humanity and citizenship, are already widely evidenced across Africa. The report further finds that initiatives like International Mandela Day in South Africa “are illustrative of a concerted interest and effort in cultivating a caring society,” which promotes active citizenship and social cohesion.The findings of this report are echoed by the National Perceptions Audit conducted by Brand South Africa which finds that South Africa’s pride level stands at 80, active citizenship level at 68 and social cohesion level at 73. Fifty-three percent (53%) of citizens surveyed indicated that they would like to contribute to social programmes although they may not have the time and resources to do so which a further 29% indicated that are willing to contribute to programmes that help others.Children wave South African flags during an International Mandela Day event in Danville, Pretoria West. (Image: GCIS)It is with this in mind that Brand South Africa has partnered with the Going the Extra Mile programme (GEM) to develop an app which lists programmes and projects to which people can contribute. Using an app to communicate such projects is an innovate way in which to allow citizens to access information on a platform of their choice, in their own time, at their own leisure. The app is therefore intended to enable greater active citizenship cognisant of the fact that the South African brand is already strongly characterised by a spirit of active citizenship and service to others.Brand South Africa calls on all citizens to continue to play their part to enable growth and development in our country. Let International Mandela Day 2015 be the beginning of 365 Mandela Days.Participate in the conversation on #MandelaDay and #TimeToServelast_img read more