A French warship, Commandant Ducuing, that has carried out missions in deterrent and maritime operations has arrived at the Freeport of Monrovia.The frigate will be on the shores of Liberia from Oct. 19-21 to conduct maritime cooperation activities with the Liberian Navy and meet with political and military authorities, according to a release from the French Embassy near Monrovia.The warship is heavily armed with a 100mm caliber, two 20mm guns as well as four 12.7mm caliber guns with 96 crew members.The frigate is 80 meters long and capable of leading all kinds of naval operations at sea, on her own and also inside a task group. It is part of 17 warships that are participating in a series of naval operations. She began active service in 1983.Among the frigate’s most frequent missions include deterrent operations inside crisis areas (embargo control, counter-terrorism), and maritime operations (surveillance and defense of maritime approaches against emergent threats such as illegal activities, terrorism, maritime pollution, etc.). Since August, Commandant Ducuing and LHD Dixmude have been patrolling along the Gulf of Guinea and a French operation named Corymbe.Both ships led numerous regional engagements at sea, and will also visit partners including Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. Since the beginning of its deployment, at least 150 seafarers have been trained by Commandant Ducuing’s crew members. In total, 12 countries will be visited by both warships during their missions. The French Navy is a professional naval force that acts to protect legitimate maritime activities and secure the freedom of navigation. Corymbe Operation is a quasi-permanent mission led by the French Navy, which is deployed in the Gulf of Guinea since 1990. It is an enduring force which has demonstrated its long term commitment to the region over many years by taking action against wide spectrum of threats to maritime security. Corymbe’s MissionFrench warships promote security and stability in the maritime environment by conducting regional engagements and capacity building activities with partners. These activities are meant to improve interoperability and to help regional navies to improve their readiness and maritime security capabilities. It is also a way to enhance the cooperation between France and her partners in the Gulf of Guinea region. The numerous ports visits and the annual multinational NEMO Exercise (Navy Exercise for Maritime Operation) are a good example of this cooperation, a release said. Operation Corymbe’s staff and assets stand ready to protect French strategic interests as well as French communities in the sub-region in case of emergency. It is also an alert force, ready to act, when requested, to protect or evacuate French citizens or to support responses to events at sea, including environmental and humanitarian crises. French warships in the sub-region also conduct maritime security operations which complement the security efforts of regional nations against elements that seek to disrupt the maritime environment for illicit activities such as: drug-trafficking; migration; smuggling (weapons, counterfeits); piracy; terrorism and organized crimes and illegal fishing.The Gulf of Guinea area is a vital artery of world trade that includes significant shipping routes and possessing important oil-bearing, fishing and ore resources. From Senegal to Angola, West Africa is a strategic region covering 5,707 kilometers of coast lines and hosting 80,000 French nationals. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Each year, on December 9, the world marks International Anti-Corruption Day. We treat this not only as a means to raise awareness, but also as an opportunity to showcase innovative ways that people and organizations can work together to counter this scourge. Corruption affects each and every one of us: our healthcare suffers when funds for medical equipment are stolen; our education systems are hit when school budgets are illegally siphoned off; and our political institutions are undermined when bribes are paid and kickbacks sought. The transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which the world committed last year, has put efforts to fight corruption in context and has given us a new perspective. Preventing and fighting corruption is an essential investment to the infrastructure that we need to put in place to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Our challenge is to create and sustain effective, transparent and accountable institutions at all levels. The task that we have ahead of us therefore is to develop a new norm – one where corruption is not seen as part of life, or as a part of doing business, or where impunity is accepted.But what can we do to achieve this? Last year, the world’s key policymakers and practitioners dealing with crime prevention and criminal justice gathered in Doha for the 13th United Nations Crime Congress. Over 5,000 people from across the globe attended the Congress which adopted the Doha Declaration, a solemn and robust commitment by the world’s governments to promote peaceful, corruption-free and inclusive societies because they are essential to achieving sustainable development. My office, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, has rolled out a set of concrete actions to help countries build up the institutions and put in place the measures necessary to implement the Doha Declaration and thus prevent and fight crime, including corruption. One of the pillars of this program is the ‘Education for Justice’ initiative, which works with primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions. It looks to prevent crime through education activities and curricula which will help educators teach the next generation to understand and address problems that undermine the rule of law. We believe that the best way to achieve the peaceful, corruption-free and inclusive societies the world needs for sustainable development is to ultimately promote a culture of lawfulness. Building respect for the rule of law, and instilling its core values among the world’s future adults directly complements our activities concerning strengthening today’s legal and institutional frameworks. As the guardian of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, UNODC works with states on a daily basis to devise responses to this crime. The convention is the world’s only legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. With 180 states parties having ratified the convention, it is nearing universal participation and is bolstered by a peer review mechanism, where states parties assess progress towards effective implementation. This International Anti-Corruption Day, let’s work together to build a ‘new norm,’ one of respect for the rule of law and rooting out corruption.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
GHB/Bounty Paper Towel LeagueThe Guyana Hockey Board’s (GHB) Bounty Paper Towel’s developmental second division league has resumed over the past weekend, and after a scintillating start on Saturday the competition got even better on Sunday.The Saint Stanislaus Ground saw matches in both male and female second division that lasted well into the afternoon.The Hikers Cadets who were on a rampage on Saturday, returned with the same determination on Sunday to defeat the Saints Under 19 players. Despite a surprise opening goal from Hilmar Chester to put Saints up by one, the Saints team saw no further success in a match that was dominated by the experienced Hikers. Newcomer Christopher Sumeer and veteran Brian Asregado both of the Hikers Cadets would manage an exhilarating helmet trick (4 goals) while Jerazano BellHiker Cadet Devin Munroe controls the ball against the Old Fort defensescored two and Colonel Heywood added a single. The Cadets were the clear winners, racking up 11 goals compared to Saints Under 19’s one.Another large win of the afternoon came from Old Fort, when they finished off their weekend of play by mauling the Senior Saints 9-2. After opening their account in the fourth minute through Theodore Thierens, Old Fort raced ahead to a 3-0 lead before Saints could get on the scoreboard to make it 1-3 at the half. Whilst Saints would manage only one more goal in the second half, Old Fort accumulated six more to seal the 9-2 finish. Omar Hopkinson with a helmet trick (4 goals) led the table while singles came from his teammates Thierens, Christopher Low-Koan, Warren Williams, Jael Gaskin and John Abrahams. On the other hand, Yonnick Peters and Kwesi Lewis were the scorers for Senior Saints.Over in the women’s division, Saints completed the weekend’s matches with a scintillating win over the Old Fort ladies by 3-0. Tekeisha Deleon was the star of the show with a pair of goals for Saints while her teammate Cherub Autar added a single to the total.Pizza Hut GCC and Saints currently lead the points standing with 7 each while the Bingo Spartans sit in second with 6 points followed by a tie between Old Fort and the Woodpecker Hikers with one point each.The action in the developmental league will continue this weekend at the Saint Stanislaus ground and is expected to run until September 30.
As of earlier this week, drivers will now need a good reason to travel in the left lane on high-speed, multi-lane highways throughout the province of British Columbia.New regulations have come into effect that will clarify rules regarding travelling in the left lane. Drivers on multi-lane highways where the speed is more than 80 kilometres per hour must stay to the right unless they are:Overtaking and passing another vehicle.Moving left to allow traffic to merge.Preparing for a left hand turn.Moving left to pass an official vehicle displaying a flashing light.During periods of congestion, the actual travel speed drops to 50 kilometres per hour or less, drivers are encouraged to use the left-most lane to keep traffic flowing. Police can ticket drivers who should not be travelling in the left-most lane. The fine is $167, with three driver penalty points.- Advertisement -In addition, new laws will allow the ministry to define winter tires, studded tires and traction devices such as chains in regulation.Another change will permit local governments to permit motorcycle parking within six metres of intersections with stop signs or signals, as long as drivers’ views are not impeded. This will allow more efficient use of space that is not large enough for a car.
1 Leeds are not taking legal action against the Football League, according to executive director Paul Bell.Reports on Sunday said United were taking action in a bid to dismantle the collective selling of television rights and instead sell their own games.It was also reported that Monday’s clash with Middlesbrough is only going ahead after the League was forced to take out a legal injunction against Leeds to ensure they honoured the fixture.The club, and in particular owner Massimo Cellino, have been at loggerheads with the League and Sky Sports all season as a consequence of the amount of times they have been shown live on the network.The Boro game will be Leeds’ 12th live game of the season – the last time the cameras turned up at Elland Road for a game against Derby on December 29 they were locked out by Cellino.On that occasion he relented just five hours before kick-off and Sunday’s reports suggested a new rift had developed.But in a statement on Sunday night, Bell said: “Last Thursday I attended a meeting organised by the Football League on behalf of all its member clubs.“The meeting was organised, like all previous Football League club meetings, so that clubs could discuss matters together, privately and confidentially.“It is therefore disappointing to read inaccurate press reports this morning quoting ‘sources’ from within the meeting.“Given the nature of the article, I feel that it is important and necessary to set the record straight.“I would like to make it clear that Leeds United is not seeking, or taken legal action, to dismantle the collective selling of TV rights as has been suggested.“The club has, however, made it clear to both Sky and the League that it opposes the degree of control exercised by Sky over the league fixture list, and seeks transparency as to how these rights have been sold.“Today’s article seeks to position Leeds United as a lone, isolated voice. However, this is far from the truth and there is a growing number of clubs who now understand and share our desire for transparency.”Bell’s statement is unlikely to ease fan dissent against Cellino, though.The Italian – currently appealing a League disqualification for tax evasion – activated his legal team last week when unhappy fans paid for an advert to be put up outside Elland Road calling for him to sell the club.A large number of United supporters are unhappy at the 59-year-old’s running of the club and it is understood further demonstrations will take place ahead of and during the Middlesbrough game.Donations from supporters have tallied up at over £4,000, all of which has been spent on funding the latest protests, although Cellino is likely to be in Italy come kick-off.There has been no comment from the Football League. Elland Road Stadium
STAMFORD, Conn. – General Electric Co. said Friday fourth-quarter profits fell 46 percent as the industrial products, financial services and media giant absorbed nearly $3 billion in losses selling most of its insurance business. While the earnings results met expectations, revenue for the quarter was below what analysts expected. GE shares fell $1.31, or 3.8 percent, to close at $33.37 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have traded in a 52-week range of $32.66 to $34.36. GE said the sale of the volatile insurance business last year and growth in developing markets would help boost the bottom line. The Fairfield-based conglomerate predicted strong profits this year. Total revenue climbed 3 percent to $40.7 billion in the latest quarter from $39.7 billion a year ago. The revenue was about $1 billion less than expected due to fewer asset sales, changes in foreign exchanges and lower plastic volume in the plastics business, company officials said. GE sold most of its insurance unit last year to Swiss Reinsurance Co. for $6.8 billion in cash and stock. The sale completed a strategy to leave a troublesome segment and redeploy cash to investors and faster-growing businesses. During the quarter, NBC Universal was the only segment that did not achieve profit growth of more than 10 percent. NBC had profits of $801 million, down 7 percent from a year ago, as the premiere of the film “King Kong” generated more than $500 million in global box office receipts while the network has coped with the loss of popular television shows in recent years. Profits jumped 25 percent to $769 million in the industrial business, while consumer finance earnings increased 21 percent to $770 million and commercial finance increased 18 percent to $1.28 billion. Infrastructure increased 16 percent to $2.4 billion and health care increased 16 percent to $995 million. Much of the growth is taking place around the world as GE boosts its business in developing countries. During the quarter GE acquired a majority interest in the oldest savings bank in the Philippines, announced the construction of the first desalination plant in Mexico, and reached a deal to sell 300 locomotives in China. GE said it expects earnings per share of $1.94 to $2.02 this year, up 13 percent to 17 percent and a boost of 2 cents on the bottom end from its previous forecast. The consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial is for earnings of $1.98 per share. “We think a driver for the stock would have been a more aggressive outlook going into ’06,” said Robert Schenosky, an industrial analyst with Jefferies & Co. For the year, GE reported net income of $16.4 billion, or $1.54 per share, compared with $16.8 billion, or $1.61 per share, in 2004. Revenue rose to $149.7 billion from $134.5 billion a year ago. GE officials declined to comment on a report in The Wall Street Journal Friday that GE has joined with Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. to make a bid for nuclear-technology company Westinghouse Electric Co. 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 MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “We think we’re on track for an excellent year in 2006,” GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said during a conference call with analysts. Brian Langenberg, managing director of Foresight Research Solutions in Oak Park, Ill., said he is optimistic about GE’s prospects this year, adding that the company is in the right markets and will no longer have to deal with the troublesome insurance business. “It was boring,” said Langenberg of the fourth-quarter results. “People wanted to be overwhelmed on the upside.” The company said net income was $3.06 billion, or 29 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $5.6 billion, or 53 cents per share, a year ago. The results reflected a net loss of $2.7 billion from its discontinued insurance operations. Excluding that, GE’s earnings per share matched the 55 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
GREAT NEWS He was expected to return for training at the beginning of August, but failed to do so, with the former Chelsea player only showing up to join Jack Ross’ side last week.However, Donald, the club’s owner, has revealed Djilobodji did not stick to the regimen outlined by Sunderland to ensure he stayed fit throughout the summer, meaning he is not at the level required to play competitive football.Djilobodji failed to show up at training the next day despite being ordered to report for fitness drills, and Donald doubts whether the 29-year-old will be fit to play for the Black Cats before the transfer window reopens in January.Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, Donald said: “The reality is that they [Djilobodji and Ndong] were supposed to report back in training in July, but they made no secret of the fact they wanted to find other clubs.“We gave Papy Djilobodji permission to not be with us in July, when he said he wouldn’t turn up if we didn’t pay him, so he could find another club. We gave him some guidelines to keep himself fit to make sure he was up with the pre-season standards, but he didn’t turn up in August whilst looking for a move, and with the transfer window shutting neither player managed to find a club. Cardiff and Preston play out stalemate in Championship early kick-off Stewart Donald believes Sunderland should not be forced to continue paying Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong after accusing the pair of breaching their contracts with the Wearside club.Ndong, the midfielder, has not returned to Sunderland since pre-season began in July, while defender Djilobodji reported back after being granted extra leave over the summer to try and engineer a transfer. stalemate Latest EFL news Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack impact REPLY EFL result Bannan penalty helps Sheffield Wednesday strengthen grip on play-off place goalless 2 ROUND-UP No one at Sunderland even knows where Ndong is right now CONFUSION Macclesfield set for further EFL sanctions after Plymouth match is called off Hull defender MacDonald given all-clear after battle with bowel cancer “Papy has returned but in his last conversation said ‘you’ll never see me in Sunderland again’.“So I don’t think either of the two players wants to be here anyway.“The question is, of course, what can they get out the football club? It’s all very well saying they don’t want to be here, but I’m sure the legal advice will say we’ve done something wrong and the players would return etc…“We will see where that goes.“But our view of it is we have done nothing wrong; we haven’t asked them not to turn up, we haven’t asked them to be unfit, we’ve honoured their contracts to point at which they are not breaching it, and to the point they’ve breached it we’ve said ‘enough is enough’.“Just because they now can’t move, we don’t think they behaved well enough for us to turn around and say ‘all right, come back and we’ll pay you’. Never mind play them, because neither of them are in condition to play.” Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Orient chief gives update on manager search after ‘unfortunate’ Fletcher sacking “There’s an obligation on you as a player to turn up in a condition in which you can play football, and the reality of it is that I would probably have beaten his stats when he returned. He was unfortunately way off what everyone else in pre-season turned up in, and then his commitment to us from there was, in the very next training session to get himself fit, he didn’t turn up.“When you’ve not turned up for 72 days and missed eight games of the season, and you come up in a condition which means you’ll probably miss the next 12 games, I think that sort of says you’re not really committed to the contract you’ve got.“That’s the view we’ve taken, but I don’t think the player obviously agrees with that so he will argue his case.“I’m not entirely sure what that case is though.”Donald believes the players’ refusal to honour the obligations written in their contracts means that they are in breach of a legal document – which means Sunderland should not have to continue paying them a wage.He continued: “I think for them to expect us to pay them, when they’ve said they don’t want to be here, when they’re in breach of contract, when they don’t want to turn up…“But then they come back, but they don’t come back in a condition in which they can play football, buy say ‘you can pay us’.“If there’s a rinky-dink somewhere in the law that says we’re obliged to pay them, I don’t think that should be the case. Any right-minded human being would say they have continually breached their contracts and Sunderland should not be paying for that.”While Donald is certain enough has been done by Djilobodji and Ndong to dock the duo’s pay, the Sunderland owner remains unclear on the question of whether they have breached their contracts.“I’m certain we are allowed to fine them for their behaviour, but the question is whether they have done enough to be in breach of their contracts to terminate their contracts and pursue them for wilfully devaluing themselves. That is the question.“But the bottom line is, Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever – we don’t even know where he is. Djilobodji reported back for training more than a month after he was told to 2 Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ ‘close’ Leeds lose at Fulham, West Brom held, Charlton’s winless run continues
Managed viewpoints within the stunning gardens of Harvey’s Point.Last week we chatted about why you should get out & about and visit gardens, profiling the fantastic Ros Ban medicinal gardens in Raphoe, this week we cast our eye further west in the county and chat about the gardens around Harveys Point Hotel, situated in the beautiful Lough Eske area of Donegal.When you visit Harveys Point it’s easy to skip from the car into the hotel without appreciating how much work and effort went into creating, and goes into managing and enhancing the gardens around the Hotel. It’s when you step back and look around that you can see the wonderful job that Head Gardener Pat Murphy has done over the past 9 years.Lough Eske is not an easy place to garden in, you cannot put manners on the Lough Eske landscape, the Lough Eske landscape simply tolerates you. Pat has challenges from the wet poor soil, the exposure, the rock, the wildlife, the flooding and the cold to cope with, add in the extra demands brought on by being a 4 star hotel and you’ve a tough gig! The Hotel gardens are unusual in that they’re not ‘amenity landscaped’ by this I mean that there’s not large drifts of the same types of plants, no large clumps of shrubs but instead it’s a delicate tapestry of individual plants, like what you’d do in your own garden. I can only credit Pat with this attention of detail, treating the 6+ acres of gardens as if it was the garden of a house and not of a multi award winning hotel.Enjoying lunch in a Vinery…as one does 😉Also this approach shows Pats deep understanding of the soils, microclimates and topography of the site, where he has soil he has planted showy perennials, where there is shallow soil he has alpines and such, and where he has pockets of Limestone he has chosen plants to suit, not planted in 10m2 batches for low maintenance, but instead small pockets of key plants to create a wandering interest in the garden.Of course there are ‘Impact’ plants, especially around the entrance where there are dramatic shaped topiary and lined avenues of conifers. Lupins in Harveys Point HotelApart from the above I find the connection between the management of the gardens and the visitor experience of the hotel. For those who know Harveys Point you’d appreciate that there are countless windows all looking to appreciate vistas and views across Lough Eske and this is where Pat shows his brilliance. If you go into the hotel and say take up a reading seat at a window he’ll have the hedges trimmed of the tree canopy thinned to give you that vista across the Lough, its this attention to detail that I adore at Harveys Point.Pat also grows all the bedding plants used on site from seed (in the hotel nursery located nearby), plants all the baskets and window boxes for the hotel and waters all these by hand…..no irrigation system for Pat…he’s a one-man watering machine in the summer!4 week old Rosemary cuttingsWhenever I’m down in Harveys Point I always take time to walk the grounds, and I think that the success of Pats approach can be seen by the amount of visitors who pose for pictures in the gardens, but not taking pictures if the gardens, instead using the gardens as a venue and using Lough Eske as their backdrop….and this is when folks appreciate what Pat has created…a garden to compliment not to detract.This past week the garden at home has been very changeable, with the wet weather weighing down many plants in the garden, so I’ve had to do some staking and supporting to stop the rain from damaging stems. In the Polytunnel the crops are coming thick and fast, with Tomatoes just starting this week and the green beans are just starting to crop now too. Warmth and low winds don’t benefit polytunnels, the plants inside grow fast and as such need carbon dioxide for the whole photosynthesising thing, and where there’s not a great draw of wind through the tunnel plants will stop growing due to carbon dioxide shortage. You can help the equation along by adding a bucket of fresh fruit peeling or a bucket of fresh manure into the middle of the tunnel, there CO2 levels will be lowest, but the first step should be to ensure that your tunnel or glasshouse is well ventilated, open the doors and windows and try whenever possible to leave these open 24/7 at this time of year.On the Outside crops It’s great to see Tayberrys starting to ripen…these are delish!Tayberries from Paddy McCartneys garden in GreencastleNow’s a great time to be taking some cuttings in the garden, cuttings taken now will root quickly and will be ready for potting up in 4-6 weeks and will be ideal for planting next Spring in the garden. Next Week….Is a Polytunnel worth it?, and more gardening tales…Gareth Austin is resident Horticulturist with BBC Radio Foyle, a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulturists and Horticultural Lecturer with the National Learning Network. For more see www.garethaustin.com or join Gareth on Twitter @GardenerGareth .GARDENING WITH GARETH – A GARDEN NOT TO DETRACT AND TOMATO PICKING! was last modified: August 2nd, 2015 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:donegalgardensGareth Austinharvey’s point
9 June 2004A new survey shows a growth in the number of South Africa businesses exporting – despite a levelling out of global trends.According to the International Business Owners Survey 2004 by consulting firm Grant Thornton, the percentage of South African businesses that export increased from 39% in 2003 to 44% in 2004, while the global average remained at a constant 35%.Africa is the most prominent export destination for South African businesses (67% of total exports), with the second most popular destination being Western Europe (28%).According to Grant Thornton, exporting to sub-Saharan countries, as opposed to more northern African countries, is more common due to factors such as geographic proximity, transport infrastructure, similarities in language and culture, and relative political stability and safety.While China grew by 16% as a favoured export destination, the number of South African companies exporting to the US dropped by 9%. At the same time, companies exporting to Canada grew by 4%.According to the survey, in 2003 35% of local business owners reported that a quarter of their revenue was generated from their exports. In 2004, 24% of local business owners, compared to the global average of 38%, made this claim.Very few business owners worldwide, including South Africa, have transferred or plan to transfer their existing operations to other countries in the next two years. Hong Kong is, however, the most notable exception, with 46% of business following this route.The annual IBOS survey involves 6 900 business owners in 26 countries, including 250 business owners in South Africa. It represents a broad range of industry and commercial sectors with 80% of its respondents being privately owned. Grant Thornton: International Business Owners Survey SouthAfrica.info reporter
Former championSouth Africa’s foremost campaigner on the elite Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour, Jordy Smith, has confirmed he will once again compete in the prestigious event. The Mr Price Pro Ballito Champion in 2010, Smith will be looking to win the title again in an event that is close to his heart. The powerful, barreling surf at Willard’s Beach has become a favourite stop for touring professionals, who make their annual pilgrimage from as far afield as the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan and Tahiti to test their skills in its spitting tubes and punchy beach-break ramps. Entries have already begun to stream in with world number 26, Yadin Nicol of Australia, being the first man to get his in. A standout in the large, hollow waves of Hawaii’s notorious North Shore this past season (December 2012), Nicol is well suited to the challenging waves of Ballito. He represents the calibre of surfer anticipated for this year’s event. SAinfo reporter “Ballito is an incredible wave in the wintertime,” Smith said. “It is a special event for me because it’s at home and it means I get to compete in front of my friends and family. I’ve won it before, so I am looking forward to going back to see if I can take it out once again.” The Mr Price Pro Ballito is set to heat up the South African winter when it takes place for a fifth season on the wave-rich KwaDukuza coast in KwaZulu-Natal. A host of the world’s finest surfers will do battle for the title from 1 to 7 July. While the surfers ride the ocean waves by day, spectators will be rocked by sound waves at night as Mr Price once again presents the Free Music Concerts at Salt Rock on 4, 5 and 6 July. As one of just eight Prime events on the ASP World Qualifying Series, and the only internationally rated professional event on the African continent, the Mr Price Pro Ballito offers surfers valuable ASP ratings points, not to mention a substantial R 2.2-million (US$250 000) in prize purse. It is also critical for surfers hoping to qualify for the elite ASP World Championship Tour in 2014. “Opportunities like this enable the foundation to impact the lives of children from our programmes in a different and special way. Their participation in fun activities at the Pro means a lot to them and gives them exposure to international events and opportunities they would never have dreamt of.” “It is my great pleasure to welcome some of the world’s top 96 surfers to our sunny shores. KwaDukuza has been home to the Mr Price Pro Ballito for the past five years and we look forward to sharing with both our international and domestic visitors our position as a world class surfing and holiday destination,” said KwaDukuza Mayor Ricardo Mthembu. FestivalThe Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival will once again run in conjunction with the surfing from 1 to 7 July. It is reputed to be the biggest beach festival on the African continent and in excess of 70 000 people flooded the gates over the seven days in 2012. This year’s Festival is expected to see record numbers once again, with more exciting cultural, retail, lifestyle and sports entertainment in store. For the first time, from 2 to 4 July, the Mr Price Pro Ballito will incorporate a Food and Wine festival, bringing mouth-watering flavours to the beach and adding a new and exciting dynamic to this year’s festival. 19 February 2013 “We are encouraged and excited that the parties involved in the Mr Price Pro have chosen the RedCap Foundation to benefit from the event in various ways,” Smangele Mbeje of the Red Cap Foundation said. Featuring an elite 96-man field, only the highest rated surfers on the ASP One World Rankings qualify for the event, with just a few spots open to local wildcards. Social investmentThe RedCap Foundation has been selected as the event’s Social Investment Programme. It will benefit from this year’s festival, with a number of fun activities aimed at impacting the lives of children in need. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material