Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil After a slow first half that only saw them lead by five, 26-21, the Soaring Falcons turned on the jets at the start of the third quarter with a methodical 14-5 run to take a 40-26 lead after Jerrick Ahanmisi’s free throw line jumper.NU managed to fight back late in the fourth quarter cutting the lead down to three, 58-55 after Dave Ildefono’s layup with less than a minute remaining.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissPapi Sarr, however, scored on a strong layup and Sean Manganti followed it up with a split from the free throw line for the Falcons’ 61-55 buffer with 20.3 seconds left.“NU had a good preparation for us so I anticipated that those guys would come out strong,” said Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren. “We’re lucky to survive this ambush, and we made a lot of mistakes making it difficult on our part.” Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum View comments NU’s Troy Rike says he was detained by BI for being an ‘illegal alien’ LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “Our defense kept us afloat so we were able to hold NU down to 58 points and we’re not the type of team that can outscore any team.”Adamson’s stingy defense held the Bulldogs to a 32.39 shooting clip, 23-of-71, while the Falcons, for their part, converted 27 of their 63 attempts.Manganti had a team-high 14 points with four assists and two steals for the Falcons while Sarr had 11 points and 10 boards.Ahanmisi also finished with 11 points for Adamson while Simon Camacho scored all eight of his points in the fourth.Ildefonso led NU with 14 points while Troy Rike added eight points and 11 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Adamson University remained immaculate late in the first round after holding off National University, 63-58, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Soaring Falcons remained atop the league with a perfect 5-0 record while the Bulldogs dropped their third straight win and fell to a tie with University of the Philippines at the seventh seed.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ
National team coach James Salinsa Debbah will call up at most 40 overseas players and at least 24 from the domestic league for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.The CHAN competition is organized for players who feature in the local league, while the AFCON tournament is for both foreign based and local players.Coach Debbah, in an interview at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium yesterday, said players would be used rotationally for both tournaments.He divulged that the final choice of the local cream players would be climaxed this weekend by a kick off of practices on Monday, April 20, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.The delay in the selection of domestic players was owing to the stoppage of the domestic championship, explained Debbah who however revealed that his pick was based on visitations to club practices in and around Monrovia.“I’m going to start on Monday with the players I have and basically there would be 22 and 23 players,” said Coach Debbah.For the overseas-based players, Coach Debbah named Sam Johnson (in Sweden), William Jerboe (Portugal), Alex Nimely (England), and Baba Kar, a young Liberian who is playing in Italy, among others.He dismissed reports that South African based Anthony Laffor remains captain of the Lone Star. Reports have it that he has verbally resigned.Coach Debbah argued that a new coach has the right to retain or appoint a new captain, though he has not officially unveiled whether the ex-skipper would be among his 40 foreign based players.Meanwhile, Coach Debbah stated that his technical team has proposed that the squad camp in Ghana to acclimatize with the Ghanaian weather, recognizing that Ghana and Togo have similar weather.According to the fixture, the qualifying starts on the weekend of June 12, and Liberia will play Togo in Lome in the 2017 AFCON qualifier. Liberia is in Group A, alongside Tunisia, Togo and DjiboutiIn the Orange African Nations Championship in Rwanda 2016, Liberia will play neighboring Guinea on the weekend of June 19. The return-leg is scheduled between July 3 and 5. Liberia is in the group with The Gambia, Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Sénégal and Sierra Leone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Ariel Sibanda of Zimbabwe WarriorsThe first batch of players of the Zimbabwe national soccer team, Warriors trooped to camp Tuesday night (May 30) at the Yadah Hotel exclusive VVIP Suites in the Waterfalls area of Harare.The team begins preparations for the 2019 Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia at the National Sports Stadium on June 11.The Caps United duo of inform midfielder Ronald ‘Rooney’ Chitiyo, who made the Caf Champions League Team of the Week for the second round group matches after a starring role for the Green Machines against Algerian side USM Alger, was part of the group that went to camp.His teammate, defensive midfielder Devon Chafa, FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari and Ngezi Platinum wingback Qadr Amini and central defender Partson Jaure were also part of the group.Caps United defender Dennis Dauda, who needs treatment after suffering injury in that match against USM Alger, also checked in.Zifa President Philip Chiyangwa had earlier spent the better part of Tuesday inspecting the suits, where the Warriors will stay during their camp, having a taste of the food that they will consume and also looking at the state of the pitch which has been offered for some of the team’s training sessions.The Zifa boss spent virtually all his working day—from morning to late afternoon—in the company of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya who provided the accommodation, food and training around to the Warriors free of charge.“Everything has gone according to plan today (yesterday) and the Zifa President took a leadership role in all this, he was here from first thing in the morning and right until around 4pm, in the company of Prophet Walter Magaya, inspecting the accommodation facilities, the dinning places and the training ground,” Warriors acting team manager Wellington Mpandare said.“The Zifa boss was impressed with the state of the VVIP suits where the boys will be staying for their camp and he was also happy that the secluded environment provides the perfect place for the players to camp and concentrate on preparing for the big game.“He was taken on the tour of the facilities by the prophet and you know that the Zifa boss is a man who believes in elegance and when he tells you that he has been impressed with what he has seen then it means a lot.“We need to thank the prophet for opening his facility for a national cause, at no charge at all, and this is what is needed on their own given that it costs a lot just to prepare and host such a huge match.“Remember the association also has to foot the bill for the air tickets for the players, the bill for the referees, among others and it’s good that someone who has a passion for our football has come to the aid of our football leaders so that they won’t have to run the huge costs of paying for the team’s accommodation and food as we prepare for this big game.” (Zimbabwe Chronicle).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
By Pablo Gorondi THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BUDAPEST, Hungary – He scared off wolves with firecrackers in Mongolia and rescued his dog from hungry miners in Kazakhstan. After three years on horseback, Tim Cope has retraced the route of Genghis Khan and other Asian nomads who crossed into Europe over the centuries. The 28-year-old Australian arrived in Hungary on Saturday, ending a 6,200-mile trek through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, southern Russia and Ukraine. Cope, 28, traveled with three horses and a black hunting dog named Tigon that he received as a gift in Kazakhstan. Twice, he had to get his horses back from thieves. In the Kazakh steppes, it became so hot that he added a camel for a while. Cope, who speaks Russian, quickly learned to trust the wisdom of locals. “In Mongolia, the nomads always told me that wolves were the most dangerous things on the steppe and I didn’t believe them, at first,” he said. Then one night he found himself surrounded by howling wolves. “When you hear that howl alone at night in the forest, it’s one of the most frightening sounds you’ll ever hear,” Cope said. “After that I took their advice and threw firecrackers out my tent door every night to keep the wolves away.” In the Kazakh village of Akbakai, Tigon was snatched by unemployed gold miners looking for a meal. Villagers found Tigon seven days later, locked in a mine shaft and nearly frozen to death. He had to be nursed back to health with vodka and raw eggs. When he was ready to move on, the villagers tried to help with some directions: “Go left to the old well. Turn right to the red mountain. Take a right until you see an old grave, and then take the road to the old hut ?” “Problem was ? there were hundreds of red mountains, old graves, not to mention roads,” Cope wrote in a journal on his Web site. Cope brought gifts from Australia to exchange with his hosts and gave away many hundreds of photographs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I’m very happy to be here,” Cope said in the Hungarian town of Opusztaszer, surrounded by his traveling companions – his dog and three horses. “Sometimes I didn’t think I would ever arrive.” A former law student who decided to dedicate his life to adventure, writing and film documentaries, Cope was inspired to make the horseback journey during a bicycle trip from Moscow to Beijing. Trying to push his bike through the sands of the Gobi desert, Cope watched in frustration as nomad horsemen appeared out of nowhere and disappeared over the horizon. That got him interested in nomad life on the steppes and the journey made over the centuries by the Avars, Mongols and Huns, among other Asian groups. He set off from Mongolia in 2004 for a trip he thought would take 18 months. It ended up taking three years, and in late 2006, he had to return to Australia for several months when his father died in car crash. According to Hungarian tradition, Magyar tribal leaders arriving from Central Asia at the end of the ninth century met in Opusztaszer, 90 miles south of Budapest, to divide the land among themselves. “Here at the Danube River is where the Eurasian steppe ends, with its beginning in Mongolia and Manchuria,” Cope said. “So Opusztaszer is the perfect ending symbolically and geographically.”
WHITTIER – Mustering Superman-like strength, Officers Sergio Gutierrez and Carl Martin – with the help of several citizens – lifted a car off the body of a man pinned under its wheel. On Oct. 8, 2005, the man was riding a bicycle on Whittier Boulevard, near Whittwood Lane when he abruptly changed lanes and collided with a car. When officers found him, he was suffocating under the weight of the vehicle. At the 8th annual Silver Shield Awards Banquet on Friday night, Gutierrez was awarded a Meritorious Citation for helping to lift the car off the man, who survived the incident. “In some of these cases, these are people who do a really good job – not just heroic,” said Chief David Singer. “They’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty.” Many of the award winners had done heroic tasks, at times putting their own lives on the line. On June 7, 2005, Sgt. Bryan Ellis went to an apartment complex to arrest a parole violator. When he and other officers got there, the man was in the kitchen holding a knife in each hand and shouting profanities. Holding his gun at his side, Ellis talked to the suspect, trying to calm him. Officers fired a Taser gun at him, and he put down his gun, but threw plates at the officers. Ellis offered the suspect a cigarette if he surrendered, and he did. He was given a Meritorious Citation Friday for peacefully negotiating a potentially deadly situation. Officer David Yoshitake and Forensic Specialist Steve Gardner were each named Employee of the Year. Yoshitake is a field training officer who trains new recruits. This year, he has chased and arrested shooting suspects, arrested a grand theft auto suspect that ran away and climbed onto a roof, and arrested a Whittier gang member for keeping a loaded .45-caliber handgun under a child’s car seat. Gardner helped the department secure a $660,000 grant to improve evidence collection and processing. With that money, the agency bought a virtual-reality system to digitally walk through crime scenes, and a new digital-imaging photo system to replace 35-mm cameras. The Chaplain’s Award was given to Officer Dean Montgomery, who delivered a baby girl during a late shift on Sept. 16, 2005. Montgomery is a trained Emergency Medical Technician, and responded to a call that a woman was in labor. When he got to the apartment, there was no time to drive to a hospital: he saw the baby’s head. He delivered her, and held her as she took her first breath. Montgomery’s partner, a police dog named Brik, was also honored. A four-year department veteran, Brik once pursued a suspect hidden under a building for five hours. After finding the man, Brik apprehended him even though he punched, kicked and choked the canine, Singer said. “His drive has helped Brik to locate and apprehend suspects who ordinarily would not have been found,” said Singer. The Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the awards banquet, which drew more than 400 people, including officers and community leaders. Master of Ceremonies and Chamber representative Douglas Rowan said, “I really hope the world recognizes and respects the sacrifices these people make – even if they don’t know their names.” email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
As federal housing vouchers for victims of Hurricane Katrina are set to expire, Los Angeles officials announced a program Wednesday to provide reduced-rent apartments to Gulf Coast evacuees. Councilman Bernard Parks, who proposed the changes in the city’s rent-control law, said landlords will be allowed to offer reduced-rate apartments to hurricane victims for one year, then raise rents back to market level. “We think this provides clarity for the landlords and tenants and some immediate help to people who need it,” Parks said at a City Hall news conference. The councilman said officials believe thousands of people from the hard-hit Gulf Coast moved to Los Angeles, with most staying with family. More than 200 families registered with the American Red Cross and are receiving help, Parks said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “We think this could become a model for the city in future emergencies as a way for landlords to help but not be punished,” said Mercedes Marquez, general manager of the city Housing Department. “We believe it upholds the spirit and intent of the rent stabilization ordinance.” Parks said landlords provided 279 rent-free units after the hurricane and another 1,200 units at reduced rates. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 firstname.lastname@example.org HOW TO REGISTER Landlords who want to register for the program can call (213) 808-8405 or the city’s 3-1-1 line. Hurricane victims who want more information about the program can call the city’s pro bono counsel at (213) 385-2977, Ext. 401. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The One Voice Concert took place at the An Grian Theatre on Wednesday last with secondary schools from all over Donegal participating in the ETB organised event.The ETB Adult Choir were also on stage with the two choirs coming together for a brilliant one voice performance at the end of the night.The event was one of the biggest choral ensembles ever seen on stage in Donegal under well-known choral conductor, Ms Margaret McAteer, a music teacher in Errigal College. Brain McDaid was on-hand to capture some of the nights best moments.Director of Schools Martin Gormley from the ETB who was also the MC at the One Voice Concert at An Grianan Theatre. Photo Brian McDaid.Rachel Walker , Sinead Anderson with her children Kate and Rose and Laure Keogh. and the One Voice concert.Anne Mc Hugh CEO with fellow members of the Adult ETB Choir pictured before the went on stage on Tuesday night for the One Voice concert. Photo Brian McDaid.Anne Mc Hugh CEO with fellow members of the Adult ETB Choir pictured before the went on stage on Tuesday night for the One Voice concert. Photo Brian McDaid.Aine Marie Mc Bride in her solo supported by fellow students from Deele College at the One Voice Concert.Clare Houston, ETB and M.C. for the evening Martin Gormley Director of Schools at the One Voice Concert at An Grianan Theatre. Photo Brian McDaidAnne Mc Hugh, CEO, ETB with musical director, Maggie McAteer, Karen Mc Crudden and MC for the evening Martin Gormley in An Grianan Theatre for the One Voice Concert. Photo Brian McDaidA standing ovation at the end of the ETB’s One Voice Concert at An Grianan Theatre on Tuesday night. Photo Brian McDaidStudents from all over Donegal who made up the One Voice Choir pictured on stage on An Grianan Theatre for the concert on Tuesday night. Photo Brian McDaid.Julia Blaszczok from Errigal Collage on Stage at An Grianan TheatreMaciej from Abbey Vocational Collage on stage on Tuesday night for the One Voice Concert.Students from Gairmscoil Chu Uladh at the ETB One Choir Concert.ETB Board member Jeff Browne and Nicole Brown at the One Voice Choir.Fiona Temple Principal and Nicola Shiels, Molroy CollageShaun and Eileen Longain at the One Voice Concert.ETB Adult Choir members, Jim Mc Glynn Tom Bonnar,Tommy Kerr and Rodney Mc KeagueCanna College who opening the evening at An Grianan Theatre for the One Voice Concert. Photo Brian McDaid.Canna College who opening the evening at An Grianan Theatre for the One Voice Concert. Photo Brian McDaid.Cathleen Mullan and Anne Lynch at the One Voice Choir Concert.Patsy Liam Blake and their daughter Patricia Mc Granaghan.Rioghnach Rodgers for Killybegs Vocational School at AN Grianan Theatre.Finn Halligan from Mulroy Collage at the One Voice Concert.Members of the Adult Choir on Stage at An Grianan for the One Voice ChoirRich Group Rasta Cneasta for Colaiste Ailligh at the One Voice Concert at An Grianan Theatre. ETB choir find their voice at thrilling ‘One Voice Concert’ – Pic Special was last modified: March 17th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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:choirETB
Ryan Giggs’ third-minute penalty put Manchester United in the driving seat in the FA Cup fourth-round clash at Old Trafford.After Aaron Hughes’ handball in the box, Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer got a hand to Giggs’ spot-kick but could not keep it out of the net.The Whites were fortunate not to have another penalty awarded against them when Damien Duff handled Giggs’ chip into the area.And Schwarzer then pushed an effort from Wayne Rooney onto the bar as the home side continued to dominate.United kept pressing and Schwarzer produced another save from Rooney before seeing Nani’s shot flash wide of the post.Fulham’s best moment came when Sascha Riether shot wide late in the first half.Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Kacaniklic, Sidwell, Baird, Duff, Ruiz, Berbatov.Subs: Etheridge, Senderos, Petric, Karagounis, Briggs, Rodallega, Dejagah.Click here for our Man Utd v Fulham 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
All South Africans, at home and abroad, are encouraged to wear their supporters T-shirts on Fridays to show their support for Team SA.Athletes’ village Dubbed Victory Park, the athletes’ village in Stratford, East London, has a uniquely British feel. It’s open for business from 16 July, housing some 17 000 Olympic athletes, 6 000 Paralympians and officials from 203 nations. It covers 36 hectares, with comfortable living quarters and large areas of open space. Competitors dine in a huge 225m x 80m tent, which is large enough to accommodate about 100 double-decker buses. This facility, which can seat 5 500 at a time, is open 24 hours a day. The menu includes popular British staples such as fish and chips, as well as Asian and halaal food. There is also a McDonald’s on site. The social hub of the village is a pub called the Globe Centre which, while it boasts 10 pool tables, live music and karaoke, will not serve a drop of alcohol. After the Olympics, the village will be converted into residential accommodation. Source: Brand South Africa Drum up support for Team SA;Market and promote South Africa through showcasing its successes and venues such as stadiums as the preferred places to host international events;Inspire people to visit the country and experience the culture of ubuntu; andHost journalists both local and foreign, with the intention of profiling South African athletes, political principals and the country. 17 July 2012 Team South Africa, as well as those citizens going to London to show their support, will find a welcomed at the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre, a home away from home for the duration of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ekhaya Hospitality Centre will be run by a host of national government departments during the sporting spectacular – Sport and Recreation, Arts and Culture, Trade and Industry, International Relations and Co-operation, and Tourism – in partnership with South African Tourism and Brand South Africa. Noluthando Ngendane, Brand South Africa’s public relations officer, explains: “The Ekhaya Hospitality Centre has been created as a base for Team South Africa, its sportsmen and women, their friends and families and, of course, their supporters to gather.’ But it is more than that: “It is a place where the spirit of South Africa comes alive,’ she adds. Facilities at the centre will include wi-fi and internet connectivity, meeting rooms, a media and business centre, a business lounge, function facilities, full coverage of all sports events, and a South Africa bar. Ngendane says: “South African businessmen and women can use the facilities to network and showcase the success stories of our beautiful country to visitors from abroad and the rest of Africa.’ The 30th Summer Olympics begin on Friday, 27 July and end on Sunday, 12 August. Ekhaya Centre is at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, London. It will be officially opened and closed for the Olympics from 26 July to 12 August and for the Paralympics from 28 August to 9 September.Home away from home Ekhaya is a hospitality programme at overseas events presented by the Department of Sport and Recreation in collaboration with partner organisations. “Ekhaya Hospitality Centre is also intended to unite South Africans across race, gender, culture, geographical location, social status and class through sport, thereby promoting social solidarity and common citizenship,’ the department notes. South Africa is sending a team of 125 athletes to the Summer Games, with 13 names added to the initial 112 published in June. Blade runner Oscar Pistorius is among them. He will be making history as the first double amputee to compete in the Games. Pistorius will be running in the 4 x 400m relay with Willem de Beer, Ofentse Mogawane and Shaun de Jager. Among other activities, the Ekhaya programme will feature a daily cultural exhibition; Olympic and Paralympic events broadcast on big screens; meetings for London-based local businesses to network; and celebratory events for Team SA. The department describes the Ekhaya Centre as “a home away from home’ that provides an opportunity to:
This year’s survey makes for interesting analysis, not simply because South Africa has dropped two places in the rankings to 52 in the world, but for the fact that the country still remains the highest-ranking African country in the survey and third-placed amongst the BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). There is anticipation and interest for a much needed debate, stimulated by the report, amongst South Africa’s political and business decision-makers around our country’s strengths, weaknesses, comparative risks and opportunities within the BRICS and Next11 countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam).As the global economy is still grappling with slow growth and weak recovery, emerging and developing countries are growing faster than advanced economies. Acknowledging that the BRICS countries represent an astonishing 43% of the world’s population, these markets will remain a major source of global economic growth. This situation provides South Africa with both unprecedented opportunities and significant challenges as it looks to capitalise on this global trend. The real challenge is to fully understand South Africa’s position in the context of the BRICS and NEXT11 markets and to maximise the country’s strengths, whilst addressing some significant weaknesses that could hold the country back if measures are not taken to radically improve performance in key areas such as health, education, and labour market efficiency.When benchmarking South Africa against other BRICS nations, there is some positive news for the country. Its competitive strengths can be seen in financial market development where it ranks 1st amongst the BRICS nations and 3rd overall in global terms; business sophistication where it ranks 2nd amongst the BRICS nations and 38th overall; and goods and market efficiency where it ranks 1st amongst the BRICS nations and 32nd in the world. Other strengths included the Legal Rights Index, the Regulation of Securities Exchanges, the Efficacy of Corporate Boards, and the Strength of Auditing and Reporting Standards, where South Africa is placed 1st. Other strong performance areas included Availability of Financial Services (2nd place) and the area of Financing through Local Equity Markets (3rd place).It is worth noting that the high level of confidence shown in South Africa’s financial market development comes at a time when global market confidence is slow to return. The country is undoubtedly benefitting from the size of its economy and from the quality and accountability of its private institutions where it achieves a 2nd place global ranking.However, South Africa’s overall ranking was negatively impacted by its declining performance in critical areas for economic and social developmental growth. If South Africa is to improve its global competitiveness, it will need to significantly address a number of these key weaknesses. On health, South Africa was the worst performing of the BRICS nations and positioned 132nd out of 144 economies. Particular areas of concern remain the number of Tuberculosis cases recorded per 100,000 people in the country, where South Africa is positioned 143rd out of 144 countries. Other equally worrying statistics include the business impact of HIV/Aids where South Africa is positioned 135th, and the country’s HIV prevalence rate which positions it globally in 141st position.In the Life Expectancy Years pillar, South Africa ranks 133rd in the world. These results remain a matter of great concern and will continue to affect the country’s future growth if effective solutions are not found and attitudes are not changed. Ensuring high standards for health and education of the country’s workforce is critical to South Africa’s current and future economic and social development.Where South Africa’s performance decreased signficantly was in the country’s Macroeconomic Environment which saw a drop from 43rd place to 69th place overall. Although South Africa still remains the most competitive economy in sub-Saharan Africa, the country needs to address issues such as its Labour Market Efficiency where the impact of a dramatic drop from 97th place overall in the world to 113th place today is being clearly felt in the local economic environment. The country’s labour productivity reached a 46 year low in July this year with the report identifying restrictive labour regulations and poor work ethic as the most prohibitive factors for doing business in South Africa.The country’s rigid hiring and firing practices ranked it 143rd out of 144 places in the world; its lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies ranked it 140th; and significant tensions in labour-employer relations ranked it 144th in the world. These statistics require vigorous debate and a new approach if South Africa is going to achieve a sustainable growth and development path going forward.Another key area where South Africa can improve is in Quality of its Maths and Science Education, ranking at 143rd place out of 144 countries. The Quality of the Education System ranks 140th and 111th for Internet Access in Schools. If South Africa wishes to nurture a highly qualified workforce to meet the economic challenges of the future and to maximise the potential marketplace growth of the BRICS and NEXT11 nations, it has to rapidly address its failings in the education of its young people. Failure to do so will result in competitor countries taking advantage of South Africa’s weaknesses and boosting their own economies, ultimately at our cost.The negative impact of our education sector failings can also be seen in South Africa’s ranking of 122nd place for the Availability of Scientists and Engineers. This does not bode well for the future of our scientific research institutions. They require a continual pool of well-educated young people with an excellent grounding in maths and science if they are to continue to benchmark themselves in the global scientific marketplace. A world ranking of 143rd out of 144 countries for the Quality of Maths and Science Education is not going to advance South Africa’s ambitions in this respect, without significant intervention. In a positive response by Government, the National Development Plan, recently adopted by Cabinet, looks to address people development and job creation to foster economic growth and prosperity, with a target of creating 11 million more jobs by 2030 through higher investment, capacity building and greater labour absorption. This represents a positive new development in addressing education, training and labour issues moving forward.Finally, the report highlights obstacles to doing business in South Africa due to the high costs of crime and violence, recording a position of 134th in the world rankings with organised crime ranking South Africa at 111th. Government institutions negatively impact on business growth and development – South Africa is ranked 110th in the world for incidences of Favouritism in Decision of Government Officials, and 123rd for the Burden of Government Regulation on business development.On a positive note, if South Africa successfully addresses its challenges and continues to benchmark itself against its fellow BRICS members and the world in order to improve, it can hope for a better ranking in next year’s Global Competitiveness Report. South Africa remains open for business, but with an eye on making the changes needed to make it a genuinely global competitive player.While there may be challenges for South Africa in this year’s WEF report, earlier this year South Africa improved with two positions in the 2012 IMD Global Competitiveness Yearbook. South Africa improved its overall standing from number 52 in 2011, to 50 in 2012. In this year’s IMD competitiveness report the country improved its ranking in government efficiency 29 (up from 32 in 2011); business efficiency 37 (up from 40 in 2011); and infrastructure 54 (up from 56 in 2011).First published in the Sunday Independent, 16 September 2012.