The quick guide to South Africa

first_imgWhat languages do South Africans speak? Is South Africa a democracy? Are there big cities with modern amenities? Are the roads tarred? How far will my money go? You’ve got three minutes to spare? Here’s the lowdown on why South Africa’s going to surprise you.South Africa has more than 51-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterWelcome to the southern tip of Africa. Here, two great oceans meet, warm weather lasts most of the year, and big game roams just beyond the city lights.This is where humanity began: our ancestors’ traces are still evident in fossilised footprints 80 000 years old, and in the world’s oldest rock paintings. Today, South Africa is the powerhouse of Africa, the most advanced, broad-based economy on the continent, with infrastructure to match any first-world country.You can drive on wide, tarred highways all 2 000 kilometres from Musina at the very top of the country to Cape Town at the bottom. Or join the millions of international travellers who disembark at our airports every year.About two-thirds of Africa’s electricity is generated here. Around 40% percent of the continent’s phones are here. Over half the world’s platinum and 10% of its gold is mined here. And almost everyone who visits is astonished at how far a dollar, euro or pound will stretch. Welcome to the Republic of South Africa.Who lives in South Africa?South Africa is a nation of 51.77-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Around 79% are black (or African), 8.9% “coloured” – the local label for people of mixed African, Asian and white descent – 8.9% white, and 2.5% Indian or Asian. Around 280 000 people classified themselves as “other” in the census undertaken in 2011.The majority of South Africans are Christian, the largest church being the indigenous Zion Christian Church, followed by the Dutch Reformed and Catholic churches. Many churches combine Christian and traditional African beliefs, and many non-Christians espouse these traditional beliefs. Other significant religions – though with much smaller followings – are Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.South Africa’s peopleWhat languages do people speak?There are 11 officially recognised languages, most of them indigenous to South Africa. Just under 40% of the population speak either isiZulu or isiXhosa. You don’t speak either? If your English is passable, don’t worry. Everywhere you go, you can expect to find people who speak or understand English.English is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government, of road signs and official documents. Road signs and official forms are in English. The President makes his speeches in English. At any hotel, the receptionists, waiters and porters will speak English.Another major language is Afrikaans, a derivative of Dutch, which northern Europeans will find surprisingly easy to follow.The languages of South AfricaIs South Africa a democracy?South Africa is a vigorous multiparty democracy with an independent judiciary and a free and diverse press. One of the world’s youngest – and most progressive – constitutions protects both citizens and visitors. You won’t be locked up for shouting out your opinions, however contrary.Democracy in South AfricaWhat about apartheid?Up until 1994, South Africa was known for apartheid, or white-minority rule. The country’s remarkable ability to put centuries of racial hatred behind it in favour of reconciliation was widely considered a social miracle, inspiring similar peace efforts in places such as Northern Ireland and Rwanda. Post-apartheid South Africa has a government comprising all races, and is often referred to as the rainbow nation, a phrase coined by Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu.A short history of South AfricaIs foreign business welcome?The “open for business” signs are up. The country offers an investor-friendly environment in which 100% foreign ownership is allowed. Repatriation of profits is liberal. The exchange rate is favourable. And if you’re doing businesses anywhere in Africa, this is the gateway to the continent.South Africa: open for businessWhat’s the weather like?Summery, without being sweltering. In Johannesburg, the country’s commercial capital, the weather is mild all year round, but can get cool at night. Durban, the biggest port, is hot and sometimes humid, a beach paradise.And in Cape Town, where travellers flock to admire one of the world’s most spectacular settings, the weather is usually warm, though temperamental. If you’re visiting from the northern hemisphere, just remember: when it’s winter over there, it’s summer over here. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen; leave the raincoat at home.South Africa’s weather and climateIs it a big country?To a European, yes. The country straddles 1.2-million square kilometres, as big as several European countries put together. To an American, maybe not – it’s an eighth the size of the US. Still, it’s more than a day’s drive down the highway from Johannesburg in the north to Cape Town in the south (if you’re driving sensibly), with the topography ranging across the spectrum from lush green valleys to semi-desert.How is it divided up?South Africa has nine provinces. Gauteng, the smallest and most densely populated, adjoins Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga in the north. The Northern Cape, the largest province with the smallest population, is in the west. The Free State is in the middle of the country. And the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape lie to the south.South Africa’s geographyAre there big cities with modern amenities?There’s more to Africa than lions. Johannesburg, a city of skyscrapers, sprawls wider than London or New York. The lights work, the water flows, there are multi-lane highways and – unfortunately – traffic jams.You can book into a Hilton or a Hyatt or a Holiday Inn and eat at cosmopolitan restaurants serving anything from sushi to burgers to crocodile steaks. Or you can lie back on a couch and choose from five analogue and over 50 digital TV channels.What are the big cities?South Africa has two capitals. Cape Town, the oldest city, is the legislative capital, where Parliament sits. Pretoria, 1 500 kilometres to the north, is the executive capital, where the government administration is housed.Next door to Pretoria, and close enough that the outer suburbs merge, is the commercial centre of Johannesburg, once the world’s greatest gold mining centre, now increasingly dominated by modern financial and service sectors. The second-biggest city is Durban, a fast-growing port on the eastern coast, and the supply route for most goods to the interior.South Africa’s major citiesHow do I get to South Africa?By air – unless you have a boat or rugged overland vehicle. More than 70 airlines and more than 23-million passengers a year move through South Africa’s 10 principal airports, including the three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.Getting to South AfricaYou say the roads are tarred?Yes, even in the smallest towns. The major centres are connected by more than 16 000 kilometres of tarred and regularly maintained national roads, including thousands of kilometres of dual carriageway. The national railway has about 30 000 kilometres of rail track connecting the smallest hamlets.South Africa’s transport networkI’ll be able to phone home?That, and more. With a network that is 99% digital and includes the latest in fixed-line, wireless and satellite communication, South Africa has the most developed telecommunications network in Africa.Almost 13-million South Africans own mobile phones, many using them to access the Internet. Increased capacity and more stable connections, largely as a result of undersea cables, as well as more competitive pricing are helping to grow the South African internet market.South Africa’s telecommunicationsAre there modern banks?South Africa has a world-class, sophisticated financial sector, abreast of all the latest technological trends. From the moment you step off the plane you’ll start seeing banks, bureaux de change and automatic tellers (ATMs) all over. All major credit cards can be used in South Africa, with American Express and Diners Club enjoying less universal acceptance than MasterCard and Visa. Foreign banks are well represented, and you can bank by ATM or internet.How far will my money go?With a favourable exchange rate for many international currencies, you’ll find South Africa a very inexpensive destination. South Africa’s unit of currency is the rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.Banks and foreign exchange in South AfricaCan I drink the water?High-quality tap (faucet) water is available in South Africa’s urban areas, but not all water in rural areas is safe to drink straight from the tap.In some areas, the water is mineral-rich, and you may experience a bit of gastric distress for a day or two until you get used to it. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is readily available in most places.Is it safe to walk around?Like anywhere, yes – provided you don’t go wandering about deserted streets at the dead of night. Yes, there is crime in South Africa. But you don’t need to do more than take the usual sensible precautions.Know where you’re going before you set off, particularly at night. Don’t walk alone or display valuable possessions carelessly in public. Lock the doors at night. And, like anywhere else in the world, know that there are some areas of the major cities where outsiders present a more vulnerable target. It is easy to avoid these areas without lessening your enjoyment of a country and a people who are, with a few exceptions, remarkably warm and welcoming.Is it true that there are robots on the street corners?Yes, there are. In South Africa, traffic lights are known as robots, although no one knows why. A pick-up truck is a bakkie, sneakers are takkies, a barbeque is a braai, an insect is a gogga and an alcoholic drink is a dop.South African English is lekker!Will I get to see wild animals?You won’t have to go far to do so. An hour’s drive from such urban jungles as Pretoria and Johannesburg, you can see lions, elephants, buffalo and hundreds more species in their natural environments.One of the world’s first wildlife conservation areas was South Africa’s Kruger Park, more than a century old. Today it is part of a single broad conservation area that spans private and public game parks and stretches across national borders into neighbouring Mozambique and Zimbabwe.There are other reasons for visiting South Africa too: golden beaches, some of the world’s best surf, spectacular scenery ranging from mountains to deserts, eco-systems found nowhere else in the world, an opportunity to experience African culture first-hand – and one of the least expensive holiday destinations you’ll find.South African travel experiencesWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Africa’s high-tech boom boosts the continent’s competitiveness

first_imgKonza City is one of the largest infrastructure projects planned in Africa. When complete, it will be a major technology hub. (Image: KOTDA)• Miriam RahediManager, Branding, Marketing & CommunicationsKonza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA)+254 20 434 3013konza@konzacity.go.ke Sulaiman PhilipIn Nigeria it’s the Wennovation Hub; Cape Town has CodeBridge, and Zambia BongoHive. Across Africa, from these centres to the ICT Incubator in Mauritius, the continent is alive with tech entrepreneurs.In Nairobi coders and entrepreneurs find one another at the iHub. In Ghana, Mobile Webs’s 300 techies have driven the growth in region-specific apps and technology, showing that Africa’s tech industry has grown quickly and organically; now African governments are looking to harness that success to spur diversity and growth in their economies.Over the next few years two new cities will emerge. Both – one in Ghana and the other in Kenya – are the vision of a new Africa made real.Ghana will spend $10-billion of private and public money over the next three years to build Hope City. Once completed it will provide employment for 50 000, have housing for 25 000, and facilities geared towards encouraging the growth of Ghana’s blossoming IT sector.Designed around a complex of six towers, which will be built to resemble Ghana’s traditional compound housing, the tallest will be a 75-storey, 270m-high colossus, the highest building in Africa. Once completed Hope City will be the largest tech assembly plant in the world, able to manufacture a million products a day.Hope City in Ghana will be home to the tallest building in Africa, once it is completed. (Image: OBR Architects) Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannahs’Roland Agambire, CEO of Ghanaian tech company RLG Communications, has been tapped to run the project. He believes that the lack of research and manufacturing infrastructure is holding back Africa’s ability to diversify its economies and tap into the high-tech boom that is coming to the continent. As he told CNN, “The inspiration behind Hope City is to have an iconic ICT park where ICT players from all over the world can converge to design, fabricate and export software and everything arising from this country.”Over the next 20 years Kenya will spend $14.5-billion to build Africa’s Silicon Savanah 60km from Nairobi. The construction is part of Kenya’s $25-billion infrastructure re-building programme. Money will be spent to improve Kenya’s commuter rail system, increase investment in green energy, and build a world-class sports academy. And it is Konza, with its hoped-for 200 000 jobs, that is the most significant project.The architects envision a network of roads sweeping out from a CBD through residential neighbourhoods, a science park and two tech hubs. Green space will run along the seasonal rivers, and schools and a university, hotels and places of worship will all grow out of the 20km² open savannah.Water pipelines are being laid to supply the 100 million litres a day Phase 1 – predicted to be completed by 2017 – will need. Construction on a new rail link connecting Konza to Mombasa and the port of Malaba has also begun.The Konza Technopolis Development Authority aims to attract software developers, data centres, call centres and light assembly manufacturing industries to the Silicon Savanah. Konza will be a game changer for the ICT sector in Africa, President Mwai Kibaki believes. “We expect to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the ICT sector.” Diversifying African economies through ICTA recent Africa Progress Panel report highlighted the importance of diversifying African economies. The authors argued that governments needed to embrace new technology to help diversify and improve their financial systems. They went on to argue that continued foreign investment was dependent on a skilled labour market and acceptance of new technologies.World Bank economist Hinh Dinh believes that now is the time for projects like Hope City and Konza, large infrastructure projects that show the world that Africa is indeed open for business. “If African countries miss this opportunity, it will take decades to catch up with the rest of the world.”There have been advances and successes in African IT. The face of mobile banking has been changed by M-Pesa. Rwanda is hoping that its investment in digital technology will speed its transition from an agrarian economy to a service one.John Ngumi runs the Konza project and believes steadfastly that the project will create between20 000 and 30 000 jobs by the time the first phase is completed in 2017 and a total of 200 000 by 2030. He believes that Konza will create jobs outside the IT industry as the city evolves to completion.But not everyone is convinced that this top-down idea to build the African IT industry will work. Including local communities for sustainabilityAlex Mukaru is a Nairobi-based IT entrepreneur who argued, to CNN, that the government has both overlooked the challenges of starting a business and misjudged the ability of the sector to create jobs on a large scale. “Getting everything you need to help you compose your project into a working unit is a challenge. You find that you lack the money or resources to move to the next level.”His concerns are grounded as Konza and Hope City have run into problems with local communities.Kenya had to introduce bylaws (recently rescinded) restricting informal settlements to outside a10km exclusion zone and the Hope City site has had to be moved after the developers squabbled with local leaders, who claimed they had angered the ancestors.Professor Vanessa Watson of UCT’s African Centre for Cities writes that cities like Hope and Konza threaten the well-being of the urban poor and, as is happening already, help to mobilise against them.Governments, Watson warns, want to re-imagine African cities as sub-Saharan Dubais or Shanghais without considering the conditions in most African cities. Looking to build legacies politicians disregard the fact that most of the population that will be displaced are extremely poor and living in informal settlements and that those left behind are excluded from the benefits of new developments.“Draped in the rhetoric of ‘smart cities’ and ‘eco-cities’, these plans promise to modernise African cities and turn them into gateways for international investors and showpieces for ambitious politicians. They disregard conditions of urban populations living in deep poverty and with minimal urban services, and could indeed make the situation worse.”Social engineering through grand purpose-designed cities are nothing new. Among the most legendary is the Le Corbusier-designed city of Chandigarh in northern India. Intended to replace Lahore – lost to Pakistan after partition in 1947 – as Punjab’s provincial capital, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to set a marker. Chandigarh was going to represent India’s emergence into a brave new world, free of the yoke of Britain’s colonial rule.The crowning achievement of the Swiss architect’s career, the only city he custom-designed (right down to the manhole covers, door handles and furniture) and built, was meant to be a living experiment, the encapsulation of his theories on urban planning.Its boulevards were designed to accommodate a growing number of cars and its wide open plazas meant as a gathering place for citizens. Designed to house 300 000 people it is now home to a million. It is considered safe, with job opportunities in abundance and lively cultural and educational sectors.Chandigarh is a success not because it was custom-designed, but in spite of this. The administration quarter, the reason for the city’s existence, is surrounded by machine gun nests and barbed wire – because of its proximity to the border with Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir region. The Capitol complex is slowly returning to the forest while the rest of the city is thriving. Chandigarh’s administration centre has been allowed to decay. The pools around the Capitol are dry most of the year. (Image: Dave Morris)The citizens of Chandigarh appropriated their city and made it more blue collar than bureaucratic. Today Konza and Hope City are still jigsaws of trenches encircled by fences. In Konza the water infrastructure is being completed and just the borders of Hope City has been marked out of the bush. It is a long way away before any citizens of these silicon savannahs get to make their cities over in their own image.last_img read more

20190904 ML Brief

first_img Posted on 4th September 2019Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital Marketing20190904 ML Brief The post 20190904 ML Brief appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: 20190904 ML Brief 20190904 ML BriefYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019last_img

Proof That Instagram’s Hyperlapse App Makes Everyone’s Videos Better

first_imgTags:#Amazon Instant Video#hyperlapse#Instagram#PopSugarTech A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts Karlie Kloss coding on a laptop in hyperspeed!And if you need more help getting started, iJustine has got you covered.More stories from PopSugar Tech:How To Stream All The Music You Want, Without Burning DataRingly’s High-Tech Jewelry Gets An Edgy New LookFor Perfect Posture, Wear This Gadget4 Throwback Apps Yo Indulge Your Inner 90’s Kid TiVo Now Has A DVR For TV Antennas The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos The app works wonders with shots of water. You literally can’t lose with a cute dog video. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img hilary white All the little ants are marching. Editor’s note: This post was originally published by our partners at PopSugar Tech.Instagram has been an outlet for photographic and video storytelling since it was first introduced, and though we’ve seen new photo apps to make your Instas shine come and go over the past few years, none have been quite as hyped up as the latest and maybe greatest—Hyperlapse.The user-friedly app from Instagram itself has simplified the process of producing sleek, smooth, and creative high-quality time-lapse videos. Check it out in action below. This is kind of like The Office meets The Maze Runner. Jimmy Fallon tried the app out on The Tonight Show. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

Frustrated Knights focused on own bid amid 3-way tie for no. 4

first_imgMOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ The Knights had the chance to lock up the fourth seed but Napa’s team faltered in the end game against the defending champions.San Beda went on an 11-2 game-closing run to take the victory and deflate Letran’s hopes of an easier path to the semifinals.“Of course we’re frustrated because the players gave it all,” said Napa. “But we’re still positive and we have to win against Benilde.”ADVERTISEMENT Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLetran is in a precarious predicament heading into the Final Four of the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament.After their loss to San Beda, the Knights failed to get a precious edge in the race for a spot in the semifinals as they dropped to 8-9 and tied with Arellano and San Sebastian at the fourth spot.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims And in the event that all three teams win their respective final matches in the eliminations, they would be relegated to playoff games to figure out who gets the last semifinals spot.Knights head coach Jeff Napa, though, is not focusing on the fate of the Chiefs and the Golden Stags.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We don’t care what the other teams will do,” said Napa in Filipino Friday after the 73-68 setback at Filoil Flying V Centre.“All we care about right now is the must win on Tuesday against College of St. Benilde. So let’s see what happens.” Nadal makes Shanghai semis, ties Agassi for wins in Open Era Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groupslast_img read more

Apple Watch goes on sale worldwide amid supply shortage

first_imgThe Apple Watch goes on sale around the world on Friday, the final stage of a protracted launch of Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook’s first new product, capping months of publicity and a frenetic two weeks of pre-orders.Buyers can take the smart watch home from a handful of upscale boutiques and department stores, such as The Corner in Berlin, Maxfield in Los Angeles and Dover Street Market in Tokyo and London, which Apple courted to help position the watch as a fashion item.But the watch will not be sold at Apple stores on Friday. The company is directing people to order online, which should prevent the lines around stores that generally greet new iPhone and iPad launches.The lack of queues at Apple stores will make it hard to judge popular demand for the Apple Watch, which comes in 38 variations with prices ranging from $349 for the Sport version to $10,000 and more for the gold Edition.Apple has not released any numbers since it opened for pre-orders on April 10, but many buyers were told their watches would not arrive for a month or more as supply appeared to dry up.Wall Street estimates of Apple Watch sales vary widely. FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives raised his sales estimate this week to 20 million watches from 17 million, based in part on online order backlogs.”There was a question over whether the trajectory and demand for wearables in the Apple ecosystem was there and real,” said Ives. “But it’s a resounding yes.”advertisementApple itself said on Wednesday that some customers will get watches faster than promised.”Our team is working to fill orders as quickly as possible based on the available supply and the order in which they were received,” Apple said in a statement.The Cupertino, California company previously predicted that demand would exceed supply at product launch.last_img read more