first_imgMEDIA CONTACTS • Siobhan McCarthy Head of communication Department of Home Affairs + 27 82 886 6708 USEFUL LINKS • Department of Home Affairs • Department of International Relations • South Africa Travel Advice RELATED ARTICLES • SA passport made more secure • UK promise visa flexibility • Expats allowed to vote overseas Khanyi Magubane South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has introduced an innovative new system that will help speed up the processing of identity documents (IDs).According to the Identification Act of 1997 all South African citizens aged 16 years and older are required to carry an ID book as a positive form of identification. A citizen cannot vote or do certain banking transactions without a valid ID.The department’s new system enables officials to scan photos of ID applicants on to a computerised system, which then prints the image directly on the document.This will save officials time, as they no longer have to manually stick an applicant’s photo on his or her new ID.Until now home affairs has only used the digital system to process new South African passports, as a means of meeting international standards.The system, known as live capture, is part of the department’s turnaround strategy, which involves a complete overhaul of document-processing methods.Some 20 home affairs offices in the country have now been fitted with live capture workstations. Each unit is valued at about R250 000 (US$31 000).The government plans to equip every home affairs office with such a workstation by the end of its turnaround drive in March 2011. The drive kicked off in April 2008.The live capture system is also able to digitally capture applicants’ signatures and fingerprints.This will dramatically reduce the department’s admin duties and mass of paperwork, as until now copies of all citizens’ fingerprints and ID photos have had to be manually collected and filed.The system is linked to the department’s headquarters in Pretoria, which means that once an ID applicant’s details have been logged at a regional home affairs’ office, it can instantly determine whether the applicant is on the South African Population Register.This will enable IDs to be processed at the home affairs office where the application is made, as opposed to forms being transported and processed in Pretoria and then returned to the regional office. Such a method will reduce the waiting time for a new ID.Moving to an online systemProblems with inaccuracy in the past have strengthened the department’s need to capture details electronically.For example there have been gender glitches where a male is erroneously registered as a female, or vice versa, and in some cases home affairs has declared a person dead when he or she is still very much alive.The new Minister of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is adamant that the department needs to move in line with global standards. In many overseas countries citizens are able to apply for documents online.“It is very clear that home affairs does need to ensure we can capture data electronically,” she said, quoted in government’s online news publication Bua News.“Of course with the global economic situation we may not be able to move as fast as we would like, but we will be moving to greater online services,” she added.The minister said the goal is to digitise most of the work that’s currently done manually.“We would eventually want to move towards becoming a paperless department. This is our ultimate objective,” she said.But changing from the old to the new system has not been without glitches.In May 2009 home affairs offices in the process of changing over were beset by IT problems.At the time Home Affairs Director-General Mavuso-Msimang acknowledged that the temporary setback was an inconvenience to the public, but said the changeover was necessary.“Home affairs is moving from some very old technology to new, improved systems. It is the interfacing of these systems that has created some delays in the production of passports,” he said.“The technology upgrades are imperative to the department’s programme to improve service delivery and the security of the passport,” he added.Speeding up the processThe department is confident that it will be able to achieve a number of its goals by 2011.One of these is to reduce the time taken to issue valid documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates. In 2007 the process took between six and eight weeks. By 2011 the department hopes to issue the documents on the same day people apply for them.The time taken to grant temporary passports and other emergency travel documents such as diplomatic passports and crew member certificates – issued to airline pilots and cabin crew staff to facilitate travel –will also be reduced to one day by the end of 2009.Permanent and temporary citizenship certificates will take one month to issue by 2011, as opposed to the current six-month waiting period due to sluggish document processing.Part of the department’s strategy includes the 2009 launch of a campaign that will run for the next two years. Under this campaign the department will ensure that every child in South Africa up to the age of 14 has a birth certificate.Thousands of children born in deep rural areas in South Africa go without birth certificates because their parents are too far away from a home affairs office.The department’s turnaround strategy will also have a strong human resources component, as its ultimate success is dependent on well-trained, disciplined and competent staff.In the past this has not been the case.According to a strategy document issued by the department, “the current employees’ capacity in terms of numbers, competencies and utilisation are not at the levels required to meet service delivery demands”.“The department is also not able to attract and retain the critical skills it requires. It is thus important to be proactive in planning for future resources in line with service delivery requirements.”As a means of addressing these problems, the department’s human resources division is embracing a new leadership model.This entails an increased delegation of authority to line mangers, who will work directly with staff in processing documents and liaising with the public.The new model will go a long way in reducing tedious bureaucratic processes, as immediate managers will have the power to take decisions and resolve issues without having to consult a long line of senior staff.last_img read more

first_imgSouth Africa’s future is in good hands, President Jacob Zuma said as he joined Britain’s Prince Edward in recognising the achievements of 130 young people from across the country at the President’s Award for Youth Empowerment ceremony in Cape Town on Thursday night.President Jacob Zuma presented the awards together with Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the Countess of WessexPresenting the awards at the Table Bay Hotel together with Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the Countess of Wessex, Zuma paid tribute to Mandela, the awards’ founding patron-in-chief, who passed the role on to him in 2010.The awards form part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme, which takes place in 144 countries.Zuma praised the 300 award recipients and 1 500 youngsters from schools, community youth groups and correctional centres that took part in the awards programme through various projects – including a pre-school literacy project in the Eastern Cape, a clothing project for those in need in the Western Cape, and a desk refurbishing project for a needy school in Gauteng.“We always say that the youth are the future of our country, but it takes coming to an event like this and to see the determination to succeed and to contribute to building the country, that we become convinced that indeed, this country will be in good hands.”Zuma was encouraged to hear about the joint collaborative projects that the youth are involved in through the programme.“In fact, we are particularly pleased by the participation of youth from correctional centres, as our view is that their lives must change for the better,” Zuma said, pointing out that the introduction of the award programme in correctional centres was Mandela’s initiative.The awards form part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme, which takes place in 144 countries (Images: The Presidency flickr stream)He said he was also encouraged to learn that, as part of the awards’ 30th anniversary year, three regional workshops were held with the support of Brand South Africa, the National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Arts and Culture.Part of each workshop involved award participants being informed about the National Development Plan (NDP) and how they, as young people, could help to realise the plan’s Vision 2030.“We want the youth to own the NDP and to be part of its implementation, as it is designed to make this country a better place for them.”Zuma added that the awards programme played an important role in promoting relations between South Africa and the UK.Last month, during the 10th session of the SA-UK Bilateral Forum, a youth empowerment dialogue was held to discuss youth employment, skills and entrepreneurship.South Africa and the UK both recognised that, in tackling social transformation, it was crucial to create “platforms in which youth development in all its forms can thrive and translate into meaningful contributions to the economy”, Zuma said.Jason Caldicott, a prison inmate and drug addict who joined the Presidents Awards programme and took part in making a film and in various community projects, said the programme had helped change his perspective on life, such that he was “ready to contribute to a better South Africa”.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is critical to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring. Look for replicated dataDon’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations. Replications in testing increase the reliability of the data.For strip plot data, was a “tester” used?Strip plots planted on farms can cover large areas of a field. In many fields in the Eastern Corn Belt there are several soil types. If a plot crosses several soil types how can you be sure it is accurate? By planting a “tester” variety between each entry in the plot, you can calculate adjusted yields based on the variability of the tester yield across the plot. This ensures more accurate data. Look for consistencyAccording to Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension Agronomist, “Documented consistency in yield performance is still the key to success in selecting hybrids that will perform well in your farming operation.” When choosing a variety based on plot data, it is important to look for consistent performance—across several plot locations and between multiple years. Choose varieties that consistently performed well in 2012 and 2013, in multiple locations, and different growing conditions. Statistical significanceOn published plot data look for footnotes that indicate the least statistically significant yield difference, or LSD. In many plots, the performance of the top five or 10 varieties may not be statistically different. Although there are small differences in yield, statistical analysis of the data indicates that all varieties within the LSD have an equal chance of winning the plot.While plot data can be very useful in making decisions, some plot data is significantly more accurate and reliable. The key to getting the most out of yield data is having the ability to sort through the large amounts of information to identify the data that most accurately and reliably represents crop performance.last_img read more

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#search#web Microsoft is so confident that its search engine Bing outperforms Google that is has created the Bing It On Challenge. But an academic study released earlier this year suggests that the best engine for you depends on the terms you’re searching.The marketing campaign (tag line: “Break The Google Habit”) was announced Thursday on the Microsoft blog, and it is modeled on the 1980s Pepsi Challenge.Like the Pepsi Challenge, this challenge pits two market leaders in a blind, head-to-head test. Then it was Pepsi and Coke, now it’s Bing and Google.You can go to a special site to conduct five searches and get two blind lists of results. You rate each list for how it satisfied your search. Microsoft is wagering that a lot of Google users will be surprised to find out they like Bing results best.When I took the challenge, Google won 3-1 with one draw.I half-suspect that I picked Google’s results because I habitually use Google, and its results somehow feel more familiar to me when they are presented alongside Bing results.More comprehensive tests done by Microsoft, results of which were announced yesterday on the Bing blog, found that people preferred Bing results over Google by a margin of two-to-one in a blind test.But recent research indicates that I preferred Google results more because of the actual search terms I used than any other factor. The study, by Indian researchers and published in January in the journal International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering suggests Bing and Google have complementary strengths based on search terms themselves.For example, I used simple and short terms: Dave Copeland, Boston restaurants, social media in the classroom.The study by Tauqeer Ahmad Usmani of Kumaun University, Durgesh Pant of Uttarakhand Open University and Dr. Ashutosh Kumar Bhatt of the Birla Institute of Applied Science, found that Google outperforms Bing on simple one-word queries. Bing generally delivered more precise results for simple, multi-word queries and complex multi-word queries.Google Remains More RelativeIn addition to measuring the precision of simple one-word, simple multi-word and complex multi-word search queries in both Google and Bing, the researchers measured the relative recall of each — that is, how many of the sites returned were relevant.In all three categories of search terms, Google returned more-relative results than Bing.That means that in simple multi-word and complex multi-word queries, Bing may give the site you’re looking for as a top result, but Google will more often give a wider range of relevant results to your search. center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… dave copeland 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

first_imgLATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James said keeping Curry from a breakout game is imperative for the Cavs to have any chance at making the first comeback from a 3-0 deficit in NBA playoff history.“Our key is to limit certain guys,” James said. “You can’t take away everything from great players and Steph is one of those players. Just try to make it tough on him. He’s going to make shots. He’s going to make plays not only for himself but for his teammates. Just try to make it tough on him and you can live with the results.”Bringing defensive help against Curry leaves someone else open for a pass and scoring opportunity, Durant warned.“We got two on the ball, that means that somebody’s open,” Durant said. “Steph was doing a good job of taking on that double team and trying to find a pass and we just tried to make plays after that.”Lue says the Cavaliers have few options.“When he’s open, he’s going to make shots,” Lue said. “And when he’s playing free and you don’t bring physicality, he’s able to roam and do whatever he wants offensively. He’s one of the most dangerous guys in our league.”Warriors coach Steve Kerr said falling behind decisively early made it tough to free up shots for Curry.“They did a good job on him,” Kerr said. “Hardest thing is playing from behind. There are some things we can do to free him up and we’ll try that.”Curry would love to celebrate the title in front of home supporters by winning Monday.“It would be a great night to get it done,” Curry said. “We just got to play with more force, energy and just lock in defensively.” “When I have the ball in my hands, I’ve just got to be a little bit more aggressive than I was in game four, try to get in the paint, make plays, and not let them try to take me out of it,” Curry said.The Cavaliers would sometimes double-team Curry to ensure he found no rhythm while still containing Warriors star forward Kevin Durant and guard Klay Thompson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He’s dangerous so we just wanted to limit his shots, take the ball out of his hands,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “We did a good job of that in game four. We have to try to do it again.”Much of the work on that will fall to Cavs guard Kyrie Irving. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Bolick, San Beda ‘not satisfied’ with win over Nambatac-less Letran What ‘missteps’? WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage “It was definitely a conscious effort on my end to make sure that we limited Steph and Klay to just some tough shots,” Irving said.“They’re some special players, and they make some unbelievable plays. But you just have keep a body on them as much as possible and try to make their shots a little bit more difficult. We did a good job of that. Hopefully we can do that going forward.”Curry’s heroics in finals matchups against Cleveland the past two years have taught some valuable lessons.“He does a great job of just affecting the game on both ends of the floor so you just try to keep a body on him, understanding that he can get hot in a matter of a second,” Irving said. – ‘Make it tough on him’ –ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 09: Stephen Curry #30 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors look on in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPTwo-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry promises more aggressive play in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals after being kept to half his playoff scoring average.The Golden State sharpshooter went 4-of-13 from the floor for only 14 points as the Warriors lost 137-116 at Cleveland in game four, still leaving Curry and his teammates ahead 3-1 in the best-of-seven title series.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide 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 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

first_imgDehradun: The Congress and the BJP have urged the Uttarakhand government to take action against the officials responsible for allegedly issuing misleading sex-ratio figures for Uttarkashi, saying it had ruined the district’s image throughout the country.Official sex ratio data released for Uttarkashi recently said between April 1 and June 30, there were 216 deliveries in 133 villages of the district and all of them were boys. In a statement on Thursday, state Congress spokesperson Pradip Bhatt said it seemed from the data that there were only 133 villages in the district. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Bhatt pointed out that the same data also spoke about the birth of 180 girls in 129 other villages of Uttarkashi, which he said was ignored by the district administration. If the data is viewed in totality, he said it revealed that there were 961 deliveries in the district during the three-month period, out of which 468 were boys and 479 were girls, whereas 14 died. The Congress leader said the improvement in the sex ratio was completely lost sight of by the authorities while releasing the data. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KBhatt urged Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to immediately dismiss the officials for releasing only one part of the data, which he alleged was misleading. BJP state executive member Lokendra Bisht has also demanded stern action against the officials responsible for issuing the “misleading” sex-ratio figures for Uttarkashi. In a memorandum to the chief minister on Wednesday, Bisht said the sex ratio data, which showed that not a single girl child was born in over 100 villages, was misleading and ruined the reputation of the district in the entire country.last_img read more

first_img09Jun Rep. Jacobsen encourages local residents to cast a line during Free Fishing Weekend Categories: Featured news,News Tags: #SB, Free Fishing Weekend, Jacobsen, June 11-12, MDNR center_img State Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford, announced today that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is sponsoring a free weekend of fishing this Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12.“This free weekend of fishing provides an experience that families and friends can share together at no cost out of pocket,” Rep. Jacobsen said. “It encourages Michiganders to get outdoors and enjoy our state’s pristine lakes and rivers in hopes of catching a few fish and exploring all that Pure Michigan has to offer.”Residents and tourists across the state can enjoy Michigan’s premiere freshwater fishing at no out-of-pocket expense. The MDNR will waive the fishing license requirement and open the state’s waters to anyone looking to cast a line.During the Free Fishing Weekend all other fishing rules and requirements, such as size and species limits, apply.For more information about free fishing weekends, please visit the MDNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.######last_img read more

first_imgThe European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has signed an occasional use capacity deal with SES for contribution and distribution of the 2011 Pan American Games taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico.The EBU is using over one transponder of C-band capacity on SES’ NSS-806 to bring the international sporting event to fans across Latin America and parts of Europe. It is also using uplink services at SES’ teleport facility in Manassas, Virginia, as part of its global distribution strategy behind the Pan American Games.last_img read more