(click image for full story online)
PetroSA has been in the news along with other state linked organisations regarding excessive and in some cases illegal purchases of World Cup tickets.
PetroSA expenditure of R 12 500 000 for 1 000 tickets is amazing!
And its not that this is the press exaggerating – the information is from a parliamentary answer to a question by Mr S C Motau, that is available online.
The Minister of Energy notes that half the tickets were for PetroSA staff members and the other 500 were be used “to engage, build and strengthen relationships with targeted local and international stakeholders”
Looking in a bit more detail, the 1000 tickets referred to by the minister would have cost R 12 500 each. Given that the most expensive tickets for the final are R 6 900, PetroSA have either been ripped off or the amount is for other costs such as transport and accommodation. If 500 tickets are for staff at say R 400 each and the other 500 are tickets for a member of staff and say 2 visitors, then assuming a ticket price of R2 800 (best tickets for a quarter final) the extra cost per visitor is R32 700 – maybe a business class ticket and a few nights in a hotel? It is finally instructive to think of the logistics, with the assumptions above and assuming tickets were given for all games it would mean an average of 10 to 11 visitors per game – how this was handled in terms of the accompanying PetroSA staff is interesting.
However this kind of calculation could be misleading, so I am going to take this up with PetroSA to get the real information.
In a time when severe food shortages are threatening sub saharan Africa, this is a read desperate story.
Some 300 000 bags of aflatoxin contaminated maize are expected to be bought from farmers in Kenya. This is necessary to protect consumers from the short and longer term toxic effects of aflatoxin.
The contamination of the maize was apparently a result of insufficient drying along with poor harvesting and storage practices.
A pity that food has to go to waste when the technology to minimise the risk is simple, cheap and available, so long as on the field drying is not made impossible by the weather.
Again Apple is publishing misleading advertising on its South African website. The clips below shows all the things supposedly available through iTunes.
But as the following image shows if you register in South Africa and you can’t do much else because you need a bank account with an in country address when you try and register for an account in another country. Yes the options are App Store & iTunes U only! And thats not even to mention that there is no games acatagory in the App Store!
So when can we expect Apple to advertise honestly and more importantly, give up proper access!
I have often complained about Apple, iTunes and the App Store in South Africa.
We pay more for our iPhone and get practically nothing! We are unable to communicate easily with Apple and it seems like the local representatives are not much better informed.
This clip of the countdown to 1 billion apps downloads really illustrates the point well, at least on the App Store side!
Yes that’s right the most downloaded free application in South Africa is bubblewrap! and Powerboat Challenge the most downloaded paid app. Not because of the limit of our dexterity or intellect but because we do not have a games category in the App Store!
We also don’t have any other iTunes content – only the crippled app store and the 8GB 3G iPhone costs US$ 540! I sometimes wonder why they manage to sell!
This is highlighted by a recent post by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) from Cameroon, which reports on a suspect arrested by game rangers who was found to be carrying 353 parrot heads and 2000 tail feathers. The suspect stated that he had collected the material for a witch doctor who was treating his mentally ill brother.
The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is a medium-sized parrot, endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. The birds are highly valued for their beauty and ability to mimic humans – they cost a minimum of US$ 500 each.
Between 1994 & 2003 more than 450 000 parrots were captured and exported under controls that required a permit from a national authority to certify that the export was not detrimental to the species in the wild. However, this trade along with illegal capturing, exceeding of quotas and other demands resulted in considerable stress on the African Grey populations. As a result and following investigation, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) recommended zero export quotas for several range states and decided to develop regional management plans for the species. In particular it recommended a two-year ban on the export of African Grey Parrots from Cameroon. It is interesting that the United States and the EU have banned the import of wild caught parrots since 1992 and 2007 respectively.
This introduction of regulated trade does not effect the illegal export of African Grey Parrots, which is apparently quite well established although very inefficient. For example, it is believed that about 15,000 birds are taken out of the Lobeke region of Cameroon every year but that almost half of these die in transit due to poor handling.
The constraints on the movement of live parrots has probably contributed to this even more threatening trade in heads and feathers, which are more easily stored and transported. The market for these products in not yet understood. Balla Ottou, a leader in Cameroon’s wildlife management, thinks the heads are probably mainly exported to India and China and the tails to Nigeria. This needs to be clarified so that the authorities can develop counter strategies
Unfortunately this kind of trade is likely to flourish as the financial difficulties of the world bite deeper and the unemployed poor in Africa become more and more desperate.
Interestingly a search of ebay, shows that there is a substantial trade in the red feathers of the African Grey. The feathers appear to be used for craft and fly fishing. On 24/01/2009 there were 16 auctions for feathers with one seller parrotinthegarden having 125 feathers on auction, supposedly molted by his African Grey Pandora! These feathers sell for from 50c to just over a dollar each. Another person sells African Grey Tail feathers as “Pluma De Loro Africano” for religious purposes at US$ 7 each!
Another in the series which simply links to the websites of Food Processing Companies in Africa. It is hoped that the industry can benefit from a knowledge of who’s doing what – either through the establishment of new businesses or through trading.
Moriba is African based in the materials (bisap, tamirand, cashew, African herbs) and recipes it uses in its products, but manufacturing and retail is based in France. I am following up with them to understand what opportunities there are for other products eg Marula and for the retail business in the rest of sub Saharan Africa.
It seems that the only way to make initial contact with Moriba is through imbedded emails on their website.
The Deputy Security Minister of South Africa recently made a number of stunning statements
The disturbing thing about this is that it shows a fundamental disregard for the constitution that has been previously hinted at by other actions/statements of the department.