Exploring bicycle culture in South Africa

first_imgJohannes van Wyk and his children Chris, Danisha and Sarie not only cycle, but arealso capable bicycle mechanics. Twin sisters Louisa and Johanna Mokoaqoencourage each other’s love of cycling.Marina le Grange prefers to cycle short distances, rather than getting into a car. (Images: Day One Publications) MEDIA CONTACTS • Stan EngelbrechtDay One Publications+27 82 928 6586 RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s first hydrogen bike rolled out • Improving lives with bicycles • Bikes for Africa – from bamboo • School campaign helps change lives• Going green for 2010Wilma den HartighTwo South African friends who share an enthusiasm for bicycles and cycling have started a project that explores South African bicycle culture and commuting on the saddle.The project, called Bicycle Portraits, is the idea of Stan Engelbrecht, a photographer and publisher, and Nic Grobler, a motion graphics designer.The focus of the project is to provide insight into the lives of people who use bicycles for daily commuting, instead of just leisure or exercise. With global warming a concern across the planet, the efforts of these energetic people have the potential to make a big difference.Since early 2010, Engelbrecht and Grobler have travelled across the country, on their own bicycles, to take photographs of saddle commuters and their bikes.“It has been an incredible journey to meet South Africans who rely on two wheels for transport, and also to meet their bicycles,” Grobler says.They have been everywhere, from South Africa’s major cities to the West Coast, from country towns in the Free State to Orania in the Northern Cape.“So many times, when we look at the bicycle and the owner, they just fit together. I don’t know how it works, it is just a weird connection,” Grobler says.South Africa’s diversity of peopleEngelbrecht and Grobler have photographed South Africans of all ages, and from all walks of life. Some of the cyclists they meet along the way use bicycles because they cannot afford cars or public transport. Others just love cycling.Marinda le Grange, from Orania in the Northern Cape, had this to say about her bicycle: “The most enjoyable thing for me on the bicycle is when I become daring enough to ride with no hands, just to pedal and not hold on – then I feel young.”David Mamabolo, from Muckleneuk in Pretoria, said many people want him to sell his bicycle to them. “But I always say no because I really like it. You see, it’s an old one like me.”Chrystl Küstner, from Pretoria in Gauteng, works as a physiotherapist and uses her bicycle to visit patients. “I like cycling with a purpose, not just for the sake of it. I go to the shops and I do my shopping, carrying a backpack and using my carrier. I do all my shopping with the bicycle, or with my feet – I don’t like driving with a car,” she says.Awie Harmse bought a bicycle because he can’t afford a car. Salmon Mojaki says that his bicycle may have an old frame, but it is one of the strongest frames you can get, and his bicycle has been the best transport he’s ever had.Many benefitsEngelbrecht and Grobler are raising funds to publish a full-colour hardcover photographic book early next year of their travels, the people they have met and their stories.The co-founders hope the project and the book will encourage more South Africans to get on to their bicycles and start peddling.Strangely, besides all the benefits one could enjoy from owning a bicycle, commuter cyclists still seem to be a rare breed,” Engelbrecht says. As they spent more time on the road, they realised just how few South Africans use bicycles to commute.They also want to change perceptions about cycling. Given all the benefits, such as independence, health, fitness, cost-effectiveness, and kindness to the environment, more South Africans from all social classes should be encouraged to use bicycles.Many of the cyclists they interviewed told them that cycling was easier on the pocket. Cycling helps them to save money every month by avoiding public transport. However, Engelbrecht says that he’s not exactly sure why so few people don’t own bicycles or cycle.Some of the reasons they have identified include cultural intolerance, stigma of poverty, physical danger and lack of infrastructure. “We’ve noticed that as our major centres develop there still seems to be a trend to make cities more friendly for cars, not people,” he says.If roads were more cycle-friendly and the correct infrastructure was established, owning a bicycle could change the lives of many people. South Africa’s socio-economic climate makes it the ideal location for cycle commuting, Grobler says.For more people to take up cycling, there is a great need for good quality, yet affordable and comfortable bicycles in South Africa.Cheap imported bicycles are another challenge, he says. They have too many gears, smart paint jobs and are poorly made. “Second-hand bicycles can be cheap but simple, robust and easy to maintain. That is what we need,” he says.Inspiring South Africans to cycleThrough the project, Engelbrecht and Grobler also want to empower underprivileged South Africans. Some of their ideas include teaching bicycle maintenance skills and providing cyclists with important cycling gear such as helmets, tyres, tubes and locks.One of their long-term goals is to create a support structure such as a trust funded through a percentage of book sales, or a charity, for people who appear in the book.Grobler says that they have relied on social networking sites such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of the Bicycle Portraits project.This has been very successful and has created an entire community of local and international followers who are interested in the project. Some fans are cycling fanatics, but others are not familiar with bicycles at all.The Kickstarter initiativeEngelbrecht and Grobler decided to raise funds through the Kickstarter social-network pledge-for-a-reward fundraising page.Anyone with a creative idea can pitch it on the Kickstarter website. The way it works is simple: every project must have a funding goal (an amount in dollars) and a time limit between one and 90 days, determined by the creator of the project.Once the deadline is reached, funding will either be successful if it reached the goal, or terminated. If it meets the goal, all pledge amounts are collected at once and the money is handed over to the project creator. In return, the project must be completed as promised.If the project does not meet the funding goal all pledges are cancelled. To encourage people to pledge, each project has to offer a reward as part of the pledge deal. Engelbrecht and Grobler have undertaken that each person who donates US$50 (about R348) or more will receive a copy of the book.Their goal is to raise $35,000 (R243 862) to complete the production of the book. Fundraising has been divided into three pledge drives. The third and final fundraising leg will start in December.In the first phase, they raised more than $15,000 (R104 512) to cover travelling, shooting, writing and preparation of the content for the second phase of the project.In the second pledge phase, $9,000 (R62 707) was collected for design, layout and pre-printing preparations. They hope that the third fundraising phase will raise $12,500 (R87 093) for printing and binding of 3000 copies of the book.Revealing the spirit of South AfricansIn comparison with the rest of Africa, and a country like the Netherlands, South Africa has quite a bit of catching up to do when it comes to cycle commuting. But besides motivating more South Africans to cycle, Engelbrecht says the project has also revealed the character and friendliness of South Africa’s people. Wherever they went, people were big-hearted, eager to share their stories, and truly inspirational, he says.last_img read more

Brand South Africa collaborates with the Market Theatre

first_imgJohannesburg, Friday 13 November – Brand South Africa has partnered with the Market Theatre Foundation to profile South Africa’s arts and culture sector and the role it plays in telling the positive South African story.South Africa is home to one of the most dynamic and eclectic arts and culture sectors, which mirrors the diversity which exists across all facets of South African society. Through the arts, we are able to communicate, amongst others, the tales of forgiveness and triumph that inspire South Africa’s young democracy to heal the divisions of the past and foster national pride.The National Development Plan (NDP) describes arts and culture as open powerful spaces for debate about where a society finds itself and where it is going. Through artistic expression South Africans are able to communicate their reality and profile unique South African values to both international and domestic audiences. The NDP highlights that the creative and cultural industries can contribute substantially to small business development, job creation, and urban development and renewal which in turn improves South Africa’s competitiveness.The arts and culture sector is therefore a critical contributor to the positive positioning of South Africa as a creative and innovative country.The Market Theatre Foundation and Brand South Africa will play their part in recognising the value of this sector in driving social cohesion, pride and patriotism as well as job creation, and have come together to profile South Africa’s dynamic arts industry and positively tell the South African story.This partnership will consist of various elements and events over the next year. The partnership will be launched with a production of James Ngcobo’s Songs From Jazz Town, a musical celebrating great artists of the past whilst incorporating contemporary South African hip hop that speaks to current South African issues.Media is invited as follows:Date: 20 November 2015Time: 19h45Venue: John Kani Theatre, The Market TheatreRSVP: Kelly Davids [email protected] Zokufa [email protected]last_img read more

M-Pesa at 10: How Africa become the leader in mobile money

first_imgM-Pesa, the world’s largest mobile money network, has enabled millions of Africans to gain access to safe and secure banking solutions. The idea has become a pioneering innovation for the continent, and is now used as a model for similar systems around the world.Mobile money markets are hugely popular in Africa, offering easy, secure methods of payment and transfer of funds using simple text-based mobile technology. M-Pesa, a leader in the industry, celebrates 10 years of dominance in countries such as Kenya and Uganda. (Image: Flickr)CD AndersonLaunched by telecommunications group Vodafone/Safaricom in 2007, M-Pesa (“pesa” is Swahili for “money”) has become a way of life for 30 million Africans in 10 countries. More than 80% of Kenyans use the service. The network also enjoys market dominance in Tanzania and Uganda.The ingeniously simple method of money transfers made via cellphone messaging (SMS) has connected many to formal banking systems and enabled opportunities for small business and informal commerce, as well as played a part in helping to eradicate poverty, particularly in rural areas.The system uses simple, text-based technology available on older cellular phones. While more sophisticated mobile banking is the norm around the world, the simplicity of M-Pesa is that customers do not need bank accounts to use the network.The adoption and rise in popularity of mobile money networks in Africa has been steady. M-Pesa and its various competitor networks now not only include money transfers and other standard banking procedures, but also healthcare provision, access to international money markets and long-term lending.Tracking the growth of the mobile money market in Africa over the last 10 years. (Infographic: CNN)In 2016, according to Vodafone, M-Pesa was used in six billion transactions. Additionally, research by Digital Frontiers found a 22% drop in female-headed households living in poverty in areas with access to M-Pesa. The same study noted that the source of income for almost 200,000 women in rural areas shifted from the low-income, labour intensive agricultural sector to more prosperous small business creation. The research also showed an increase in saving and investing money through using the M-Pesa network.M-Pesa transactions are expected to surpass $1.3-billion (R17-billion) in the next three years, according to research by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.Tracking the growth of the mobile money market in Africa over the last 10 years. (Infographic: CNN)The future of mobile money markets presents both growth opportunities and challenges. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told CNN that the network wanted to focus on developing a better user experience, with an eye on increasing the use of smart device technology in Africa compared to standard text-based mobile technology.As with any innovative product, a focus on developing more ground-breaking mobile financial services is also a key objective. “One of the big problems has been the relative clumsiness of using M-Pesa,” Collymore said, adding that new, simpler solutions would work hand-in-hand with better technology, such as the “tap and pay” method and EMV smart chip cards.Another focus is breaking into new markets, the rest of Africa primarily, but also increasing its presence in Asia, Eastern Europe (M-Pesa is used in Romania and Albania, which has a large informal economy, often operating without bank accounts) and the Middle East.M-Pesa was introduced in South Africa in 2010, gaining more than a million users. It aimed to conquer a market of 13 million economically active people who did not use bank accounts. However, because of stricter banking regulations in South Africa, as well as the development of more tech-savvy banking products, the system found little foothold in the country.Tracking the growth of the mobile money market in Africa over the last 10 years. (Infographic: CNN)While more and more competing mobile and smart phone banking systems are aiming to provide services for larger transactions, M-Pesa aims to keep the focus on what made it the dominant, most longstanding player in the market, namely safe, convenient micro-banking (M-Pesa does not transact anything larger than $675 (R8,000).“The banking sector across the world has always ignored the so-called base of the pyramid. We haven’t because we understand that the base of the pyramid needs to be served and there’s also commercial viability in doing that.”Source: CNN, AFKInsiderWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Vapor Diffusion Ports

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Cathedral ceiling assemblies and unvented conditioned attics often suffer from problems with damp roof sheathing. For years, building scientists have been proposing a variety of solutions to these damp sheathing problems. One possible solution (at least in hot climates) is to abandon the practice of installing ventilation baffles under roof sheathing, and instead to promote a new kind of ridge vent called a vapor diffusion port.A vapor diffusion port — also known as a vapor diffusion vent, a diffusion vent, or a vapor vent — is located at the ridge of a gable roof or at the hips of a hipped roof. In some ways, a vapor diffusion port resembles a ridge vent. Like a ridge vent, a vapor diffusion port requires the roof sheathing to be cut back for several inches on both sides of the ridge. Unlike a ridge vent, however, a vapor diffusion port is airtight.After creating open slots near the ridge — by either stopping the roof sheathing short of the ridge, or by cutting back the roof sheathing where necessary — workers cover the open slots with a vapor-permeable material like vapor-permeable roofing underlayment or gypsum-based sheathing. This vapor-permeable material is taped to the OSB sheathing on all sides, ensuring an airtight installation. Finally, the vapor diffusion port is protected by conventional ridge vent flashing.Attics and cathedral ceiling assemblies with vapor diffusion ports don’t need soffit vents. In fact, if you are retrofitting vapor diffusion ports into an older house, you have to seal the soffit vents carefully. The aim is to create a relatively airtight attic.Here’s the theory behind vapor diffusion ports: moisture in attics or cathedral ceiling rafter bays tends to concentrate near the ridge. Whenever the outdoor air is less damp than the air at the top of the attic, a… last_img read more

BlackBerry Z10 Finally To Start Shipping In The United States

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#BlackBerry#Carriers Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … dan rowinskicenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement BlackBerry’s newest smartphone is finally coming to the United States. According to a press release from wireless carrier AT&T, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available to consumers in its store on March 22. Pre-orders for the Z10 will start tomorrow, Tuesday March 12. The BlackBerry Z10 will be available for $199 with a two-year contract.The timing of the release aligns with what the company said during the BlackBerry 10 launch event at the end of January. The first wave of BlackBerry Z10 first hit consumers in the United Kingdom, Canada and United Arab Emirates the week after BlackBerry announced the devices. BlackBerry said that U.S. consumers would see the BlackBerry Z10 “in March.”It is nice to see BlackBerry (the company formerly known as Research In Motion) actually hold to its promises these days. The BlackBerry 10 devices were already pushed back from the company’s original launch dates three times in 2012 before settling on Jan. 30, 2013. Due to complicated review processes that the U.S. carriers impose on new smartphones (which complicates coordinating a single release date on multiple carriers), the U.S. was not part of the first wave of countries to get the Z10. But, BlackBerry said March and it has actually lived up to its word. At least on AT&T. The Z10 will also be available to U.S. consumers on T-Mobile and Verizon. T-Mobile is expected to ship devices starting this week while Verizon has not verified when it will begin selling the smartphone. Sprint is not expected to carry the device. AT&T said that it will also be serving the BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 to its enterprise and government clients. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Who Me? I’m Not a Caregiver!

first_imgThis image was purchased by MFLNMC from iStock.com under member ID 8085767. This image (ID: 11429728) was purchased by MFLNMC from iStock.com under member ID 8085767. Return to article. Long DescriptionAnother strategy is to have the caregiver list the tasks they did before they became a caregiver and comparing it to what they do now.  Doing this provides a visual of exactly what they are doing and validates why they are so tired and overwhelmed.  Next look at the list and discuss possible responsibilities or tasks they really don’t like or feel uncomfortable doing. When working with caregivers I’ve found the tasks they feel most uncomfortable doing are the ones that create stress.  These are not things like caring for a wound or monitoring medications, they are usually something that has an emotional response. Focus on those tasks and try to determine why they are uncomfortable doing those particular tasks.  Often you will find it relates back to their identity—its’ not comfortable for a daughter to do personal care for her father, for a wife to be making major decisions on her own, or for a friend to take over finances. Each of these examples “break” a rule of the individual’s identity. In many families a daughter doesn’t see their father naked, thus when personal care is required they are uncomfortable doing the task.  Friends typically don’t know about each other’s finances thus when they are required to assume the finances it “breaks” a rule.  A couple typically makes major decisions together and when forced to do it alone the spouse feels uncomfortable.  These simplistic examples attempt to illustrate how the task creates an emotional response.  Understanding that the emotional response goes against a rule (often they don’t know they have the rule) that has guided their life.  Their rules come from being in a family, experiences they have had, the communities they are a part of such as a religious group, the military, and even their heritage or culture.Rules and IdentityRules and identity go hand in hand and are complex and unique to each individual.  They create emotional responses when caregivers assume a task or responsibility that goes against their rules. Helping caregivers understand that there are rules which they live by and when these rules are challenged they experience an emotional response. So, the goal is to “teach” caregivers to ask themselves why is what I’m doing making me emotional? What rule am I challenging and where did it come from? The reality is this process takes time and doesn’t have to be done while they are doing the task but can be explored at a later time.  Help them focus on the items that create the most emotional stress and think about how that task can become less emotional for them. Some ways could include having someone else do the task, exploring the rule and determining if the rule is one you want to keep or not, change, throw out or modifying the task and/or rule so it doesn’t create stress.  To learn more about the caregiver identity theory enroll in the free one-hour on-line course, Caregiver Identity Discrepancy and Implications for Practice.ResourcesMontgomery, R.J. V.  & Kosloski. K.  (2009). Caregiving as a Process of Changing Identity: Implications for Caregiver Support. Generations,33, 47-52.Montgomery, R. J. V.  & Kwak. J.  (2008). Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE) process: An evidence-based model for effectively supporting caregivers. American Journal of Nursing, 108. 54-57.Savundranayagam, M.Y., & Montgomery, R.J.V. (2010). Impact of role discrepancies on caregiver burden among spouses.  Research on Aging, 32, 175-199.center_img Return to article. Long DescriptionWritten By: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin – ExtensionSeveral years ago, I was part of a team that conducted focus groups with military family caregivers to hear first-hand what they were experiencing and what types of educational programs they thought would be helpful to them. Our first hurdle was getting caregivers to participate in the focus groups because individuals didn’t identify themselves as caregivers.  They didn’t realize they became a caregiver when notified of their loved one’s injury or long-term medical condition. Their life changed at that moment!  In fact, it is often a professional who they interacted with, while providing care to their service member, that uses the term caregiver when talking with them. Over time they began to accept that they are indeed, a caregiver!  By accepting that they are a caregiver, they take on a new identity.Caregiver IdentityThe caregiver identity comes with expectations, rules, and is sometimes in conflict with their identity as a spouse, parent, sibling, etc. As you work with caregivers explore how they feel about their new caregiver identity which forces them to become an advocate, nurse, and protector while still being a spouse, partner, friend, or parent. Sometimes being a caregiver comes in conflict with their husband, parent, or sibling identity and causes stress. They find themselves asking, “Do I act as the caregiver or do I act as a spouse or partner in this situation?”As professionals we can help these new military caregivers understand the conflict they are feeling when their identifies are in conflict with each other. An example of this conflict is a parent bathing their son who has a prothesis. As a parent and caregiver, the individual understands the need for bathing and why it’s important to have someone help but don’t understand the emotions that surface when they do the task. As a parent the individual is thinking, “I shouldn’t be bathing my adult son” but as a caregiver the individual is thinking “he can’t do it by himself and I’m the caregiver.”  The conflict between parent and caregiver identities make the individual feel uncomfortable.One strategy to help the military caregiver understand the conflicting feelings or emotions is to have them jot down what they feel when it’s time to help bath their service member.  When they put on their caregiver hat, are the emotions different or the same when they have their parent hat on?  Then talk about the emotions and where did they come from?  Past experiences?  Unwritten rules that a parent doesn’t bathe an adult child?  Expectations that adult children take care of themselves? Thoughts about what a parent should or shouldn’t do with their adult children? Family values, culture, etc.? What’s important is to have the caregiver identify their feelings when needing to do a task they feel uncomfortable with and to explore what is causing them to be uncomfortable.Caregiver Taskslast_img read more

November 9 2015Quite a few school groups visit Ar

first_imgNovember 9, 2015Quite a few school groups visit Arcosanti for one to three day stays, with many activities throughout the site.This group is from Pasadena Art Center with their teacher Ramon Munoz. He has brought groups to Arcosanti in previous years. Here they are after their tour and lecture in the Soleri Archives on 10/24/2015.[photo by Sue Kirsch]On 10/27/2015, 70 kids from 6th to 8th grade and 4 teachers from Desert Canyon Middle School came to visit. They were split into four groups and toured the buildings with four different tour guides, and also visited the Soleri Archives. Here they are watching a pour in the bronze foundry.For more information about arrangement of group tours please see our web-site at this link.[photo by Hildemar Cruz]last_img

Rep Hoitenga Focus on roads communities veterans as Michigan budget process continues

first_img Rep. Michele Hoitenga today said she will continue to focus on improving roads and supporting local communities as the process of developing the state’s next budget plan continues.Hoitenga this week voted in favor of a Michigan House plan that continues record-level funding for road improvements and makes other investments to improve the economy while reducing overall spending in state government. The House – along with the Senate and Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration – will continue work toward a final budget plan in the coming months.“What matters most to families in Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties is what matters most to me,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “Fixing our roads, helping people find and keep good-paying jobs, supporting local government services – that’s what I’ll be fighting for as we continue the budget process.”The House plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 includes:Road repairs. Funding will rise to the highest levels in Michigan history as the state addresses one of its most urgent needs. Overall, the state will have pumped more than $2 billion in additional funds into roads and bridges over a three-year period by the upcoming budget year – with more money coming in the future. Hoitenga also supports measures designed to make roads last longer and distribute road money more effectively. ### Veterans services. Support for those who served in the military is enhanced, including funding for grants to counties for local-level services. Local communities. The House plan provides more support to local governments through revenue sharing payments than proposed by the governor. “Revenue sharing helps communities provide services we all rely on,” Hoitenga said. “I will continue to fight for this important funding.” House Bills 5578-9 advance to the Senate as work to finalize the next state budget continues.center_img Categories: Hoitenga News,News 26Apr Rep. Hoitenga: Focus on roads, communities, veterans as Michigan budget process continues Education. The plan increases funding for schools with a focus on workforce training.last_img read more