State boost for small companies

first_img12 November 2007South Africa is to direct as much as 85% of government spending on selected goods and services to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) – and ensure that they are paid out within 30 days, says government spokesperson Themba Maseko.Although the government already procures many products and services from SMMEs worth millions of rands, this is the first time that a specific target has been set.Briefing reporters following a Cabinet meeting last week, Maseko said the spending would be directed at 10 products and services, while the 30-day payment rule for paying small enterprises would be implemented with immediate effect.The 10 selected products and services include advertising, media and communication products and services; interior and exterior cleaning services and cleaning product supplies; clothing and textiles; computer equipment and consumable supplies; interior and exterior furniture and decor; events coordination and management; maintenance, repairs, construction and office space; travel coordination and shuttle services; perishable food supplies and stationery supplies and printing.Government-funded small enterprise support agencies would also provide dedicated financial and non-financial procurement-based support for the selected products and services, which were identified following research by the Department of Trade and Industry.To make sure the 30-day payment rule is applied, Maseko said its implementation would be included in the performance contracts of accounting officers in government departments.In addition, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is to set up a call centre to handle complaints from small business owners about late payment for goods supplied and services rendered.The National Treasury is also to issue guidelines to all national and provincial departments to ensure the implementation, monitoring and reporting on the expenditure targets.Maseko said such moves were necessary to ensure timely payment to SMMEs, as they do not have the large cash reserves to survive long periods without payment.“The only way we will grow small enterprises is by giving them work,” he said, pointing out that SMMEs stood to benefit from hundreds of millions of rands of government expenditure.He said that while the expenditure would be targeted at black-owned enterprises in line with broad-based black economic empowerment guidelines, this would not prevent the government from considering other options, as the initiative was aimed at all small businesses in the country.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

From Sketch to Souvenir: the artist behind Hidden Creatures

first_img SharePrint RelatedInside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 2): Souvenirs, APE cache rediscoveryMay 10, 2018In “Community”An Achiever’s Reflection on the 7 Souvenirs of AugustAugust 27, 2014In “7 Souvenirs of August”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 15): GeoToursJune 18, 2018In “Community” With eight years of Geocaching HQ experience, graphic designer Roxxy is one half of the creative creatures that make up the design team here at HQ! She’s been designing souvenirs, geocoins, art, and more since 2010 and she is the artist behind the mythical beings of Hidden Creatures. We chatted with Roxxy to learn how Geocaching souvenirs come to life!Going back to the beginning, were you always interested in art growing up?Always! I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been drawing. My mom used to give me her old art supplies and a big stack of blank paper, and I’d sit on the living room floor and do nothing but draw. She never stopped encouraging me, so I never stopped drawing.What is the first geocaching souvenir you created?I think it may have been the Arizona souvenir for the US—it was inspired by the kind of post card you’d buy along the side of the highway if you were driving through. We made all of the US souvenirs in alphabetical order, but we released them in order of statehood, so one of the first ones anyone saw might have been Pennsylvania or Georgia…How many souvenirs have you created for geocaching?I’ve lost track, to be honest, but it’s over one hundred by now. I started with about one third of the US states, the Canadian provinces and territories, and the states of Australia (that’s around 36 right there), and after that I’ve lost track. That’s where we start to add souvenirs for more countries, plus promotion souvenirs, and event souvenirs.What is your favorite part of designing souvenirs?When I was designing country souvenirs, I really liked the research. It gave me a reason to learn about a place I haven’t been to, and find out what their customs and traditions were, but also what the fun or silly stuff was about a place that made it unique. Sometimes it was really hard to find just one thing to feature for the souvenir itself, because there were so many wonderful choices. I hope I made good ones.For promotional souvenirs, like Mary Hyde or Mission GC, I really enjoy figuring out the best way to bring the idea to life. For example, during Mary Hyde, I found out that the best way to make something look like a hand-drawn map, torn into four pieces, and then beat up, is to actually make a hand-drawn map, tear it into four pieces, and beat it up! I spent part of an afternoon making stains and rubbing sandpaper on a map I had created (and photocopied, just in case I went too far).I have to say, my favorite part about designing any souvenir, is seeing how people respond to them. I like to make things that make people happy.What is your favorite souvenir to design? (Promotional, Country, Etc)Promotional souvenirs are my favorites, because that’s when I get to try different things. I don’t just design the souvenirs for our promotions, but I often get to design the geocoins and social media images as well. If creating a souvenir is like making a cake, then creating the artwork for a whole promotion is like throwing a party.How did you decide on the different Hidden Creatures?There are so many to choose from, that we had to give ourselves some guidelines just to even get started. We began by narrowing it down to four types of environments—forest, oceans, deserts, and mountains—and then started looking for which creatures could be found there. We also looked at creatures that appear in different cultures and mythologies, and tried to use them whenever possible. Then we tried to pick the 12 most recognizable creatures that didn’t look too similar to each other.It was a lot of research and work, and that was before I even started to figure out what they were going to look like.What was your inspiration behind the World Turtle?I knew I wanted a creature that somehow combined all four of the environments, and I wanted it to be big, so that left me with only a few options. A creature like the World Turtle shows up in a few different mythologies, either as the turtle that supports the world on its back (with the help of four elephants), or as a whole country or island that rests on the back of a giant turtle living in the middle of a lake or ocean. The idea of the World Turtle felt big and wonderful, and I knew we had to have one.What is the process for creating a souvenir?The first step is always research; we need to know what we’re trying to show before we can show it. I often do a little extra research on my own, to make sure I haven’t missed any details, and I’ll gather up some reference as I start to get some ideas. We also figure out the best way to show our souvenir.For Hidden Creatures, I started with sketching—yep, everything starts with a real life pencil on real life paper—and I tried a few different ways of putting something together. It’s easier to explore a lot of different ideas when I can compare them to each other right in front of me at the same time. This is usually the most time-consuming and important step for me, because it’s where most of the idea takes shape.Once I have a sketch done, I’ll scan it into the computer, refine it digitally, and then start to add ink, color, and effects.Which Hidden Creature souvenir is your favorite?I’ve spent so much time with each of them that I can’t pick just one. All of the Hidden Creatures have something about them that makes them my favorite, and that thing is usually something that happened along the way to creating a wonderful, magical creature for you to enjoy. I still think of the moment I got the sketch just right, or the hours it took to get the fur just right, or how I figured out how to paint crystals.I do like finding out everyone else’s favorite. I think it’s always a little surprising! People who I thought would like the Mermaid the best end up falling in love with the Yeti, or someone wasn’t very interested until they found out there was a Kraken at the bottom of the ocean. I like to see how excited people are about finding their favorite.In the end, the best part of bringing a souvenir promotion to life—whether it’s the souvenirs or the storyline—is hearing all of the fun geocaching stories that come out of each adventure. Hidden Creatures starts June 27! Share your favorite mythical creature souvenir with #hiddencreatures on social for a chance to be featured on the Geocaching blog in August!Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

CWG scam: BJP seeks probe on PMO role

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accused certain officials in the Prime Minister’s Office of pushing Commonwealth Games budget despite warnings from former sports ministers.”The role of certain officials in the PMO should also be probed, as they helped increasing the Commonwealth budget despite warnings by former Sports ministers. The BJP wants a probe into the matter,” BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said.Hussain also disagreed with the prime minister’s observation made on Wednesday that his “ministers had ideological differences with each other over the Commonwealth Games”.The BJP leader said, “There was no ideological difference among the ministers. They were warning the PM on the loot in the name of Commonwealth Games.””The former sports ministers had differences over the holding of Commonwealth Games and were warning him about the big loot in the name of Commonwealth Games. Despite such warnings and after ignoring them, the budget for Commonwealth Games was increased instead,” Hussain said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Mumbai rave party: IPL players Rahul Sharma, Wayne Parnell test positive for drugs

first_imgIn a sensational development in the Oakwood party case, cricketers Rahul Sharma and South African cricketer Wayne Parnell, both of whom play for IPL team Pune Warriors, have tested positive for consumption of drugs.Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre Patil said on Friday that 42 out of the 44 whose tests were being awaited have tested positive for drugs. While Nangre Patil did not name Parnell and Sharma, the two had consumed drugs.According to Patil, the two who tested negative for drugs are women. “Only two of the 44 detainees have tested negative and both are women,” said Nangre Patil, refusing to divulge any identities.Police sources said that Sharma has tested positive for the consumption of cannabis. However Nangre Patil refused to confirm it. Police sources said that the reports were sent by the forensic sciences laboratory (FSL) in Kalina on Friday. The samples were taken from the detainees who had been taken to the Bhabha and JJ hospitals.Nangre Patil added that out of the 44, 35 have tested positive for cannabis, three for cannabis and cocaine, while four others for cannabis and MDMA (Ecstasy).Earlier, the police had received the first set of test reports of 46 detainees out of which 44 had tested positive. These included actor Apurva Agnihotri, model and cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi’s son Angad Bedi and fashion designer Rocky S.last_img read more