Call centre investment for Cape Town

first_img18 November 2009London-based firm Teleperformance UK, a leading provider of outsourced call centre services, has announced a major investment that will see the creation of over 2 000 new jobs in South Africa by 2012.The company, a subsidiary of international firm Teleperformance Group, announced on Friday that it would be starting work immediately on two new contact centres in Cape Town.The first facility, to be located in the city’s central business district, would “grow throughout 2010 to a potential of more than 1 000 seats”, while the second, planned for the city’s southern suburbs, was expected to start operating in 2011 with a capacity extending up to 2 000 seats.“We have chosen to further expand our facilities in South Africa as in our opinion it has the potential to become one of the fastest growing BPO [business process outsourcing] destinations,” Teleperformance UK CEO Jeff Smith said in a statement on Friday.“There is a real pool of talent that fits extremely well with our business needs in terms of both skill and culture,” Smith said. “South Africans have a justifiable reputation for their strong empathy with UK callers and for their excellent customer service skills.”Cape Town Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson, who was in London last week to help facilitate the deal, said that it “signalled investor confidence in Cape Town,” adding that the city would do whatever it could to enable investments that created more jobs for Cape Town’s residents.Also speaking from London, Mansoor Mohamed, Cape Town’s executive director for economic, social development and tourism, said the city had a strategy of “infrastructure-led economic growth and development”.The aim of this strategy was to make Cape Town “a globally competitive business and leisure destination, which will attract further investment and grow the economy,” Mohamed said.Cape Town has excellent capabilities in the call centre industry, including competitive real estate prices and a good choice of human resources.The city, named “Africa’s leading destination” at the World Travel Awards for two years running, is busy installing a mass public transport system and a municipal broadband fibre-optic network, and is one of the host cities for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South Africa gets new gem-polishing plant

first_imgMatla Diamond Polishing Plant opened anew plant in the Eastern Cape that willboost South Africa’s diamond industry (Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zwelakhe Sisulu Matla Innovation Company +27 11 245 7900 RELATED ARTICLES • Kimberley goes for gold • Mercedes-Benz SA tops for quality • Business school to expand in Africa • Record price for SA diamondNosimilo Ramela South Africa will soon be able to process more of its own diamonds, thanks to the new Matla Diamond Polishing Plant in the Eastern Cape province.Speaking at the launch of the East London-based facility on 28 July 2010, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said: “As a department, we want value added to our raw materials, making sure that our people get jobs and contribute to the economic activity of the country.”The R102-million (US$13.9-million) project is a partnership between Matla Beneficiation Company, the East London Industrial Development Zone, the Industrial Development Corporation and Gold Eastern Holdings of China.The automated plant is equipped with technology worth R35-million ($4.7-million) from China, and is expected to be eight times more efficient than a similar-sized manual operation.It will produce a maximum of 20 000 carats a month – this translates to R100-million ($13.6-million) in monthly revenue, according to the current market environment, said Matla Group executive chairperson Zwelakhe Sisulu.In 2009 a US news channel msnbc reported that India spent R73 ($10) per carat in polishing and cutting diamonds, while China spent R124 ($17) and South Africa R438 ($60). The new plant hopes to spend between R183 and R292 ($25 and $40) per carat in the first year, and match China’s figures in the next five years.Employment opportunitiesMatla Group CEO Chia-Chao Wu said the company plans to train 150 to 200 South Africans to become cutters and polishers. At the moment there are 25 previously disadvantaged individuals from the Eastern Cape employed at the plant. A further 120 skilled job opportunities are expected to be created over the next two years and more than 500 in the next five years.Shabangu said government welcomed the initiative to source and train employees locally.“I’d like to see this process of training translated into professionalism – a professionalism where these young people will be able one day to open their own factories,” she said.The Matla Group has employed 25 Chinese nationals on a two-year contract to train local staff in diamond polishing.“We really are going with great gusto into what we see as the knowledge economy, because in the world now, if you want to be competitive you have to have knowledge, skill and discipline as the basis,” Sisulu said.Plant to make SA more competitiveOnly 2% of local diamonds are currently processed in South Africa, with the remainder mainly being sent to non-diamond producing countries in the East. Sisulu said this was unfortunate.Mcebisi Jonas, of the Eastern Cape’s Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, agreed: “While South Africa remains a leading diamond producer, there is very little local polishing of rough stones. The bulk of these are exported for further polishing in countries such as India and China.”This joint venture, together with the latest technology, will go a long way in increasing the country’s competitiveness in the diamond-polishing industry, he said.last_img read more

Amazing Grace in fourth European win

first_img8 October 2012South Africa’s Branden Grace captured his fourth European Tour title of 2012 on Sunday with a two-shot victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, played at Saint Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.“I’ve really dreamt of this moment my whole life,” he said after securing victory.“I had goosebumps thinking this morning about Louis [winning The Open Championship at Saint Andrews in 2010] and the possibility of holding a trophy here myself.“It was a tough day, but the putter started working and that’s all I needed to do.”Select companyThe win puts the 24-year-old South African in select company, namely Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Miguel Angel Jiminez, Martin Kaymer, Bernhard Langer, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods and Ian Woosnam, who also managed to win four events in a single year on the European Tour.With his win on Sunday, though, Grace achieved something never before done: he became the first graduate of the European Tour Qualifying School to win four times in the year after his graduation.He also became the first South African to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and maintained an enviable record of always winning when leading or sharing the lead heading into the final round of a tournament.Four-shot leadHaving opened with a remarkable 60 on the Kingsbarns course, Grace followed that up with rounds of 67 and 69 to lead by four shots with a round to go on 20-under-par 196.In the final round, however, Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen managed to draw level with Grace with seven holes to go. The South African, though, responded superbly, sinking birdie putts of 10, 12 and 14 feet on the next three holes to pull clear.He went on to card a 70 and finish on a tournament record 22-under-par 266, two shots clear of Olesen. Sweden’s Alexander Noren claimed third on 18-under-par 270, with Joel Sjoholm in fourth on 16-under-par 272.Course recordSouth Africa’s George Coetzee was on fire in the final round, equalling the Saint Andrews course record with a superb 10-under-par 62, which moved him up to a share of fifth place with Fredrik Andersson Hed, Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher, Raphael Jacquelin, Lee Slattery and Danny Willett on 15-under-par 273.The winner’s cheque of €617 284 (approximately R7.05-million) was the largest of Grace’s career. It also helped to lift him up to third place in the Race to Dubai rankings, trailing only world number one Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.Just behind Grace is 2012 Open champion Ernie Els, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Louis Oosthuizen. Like Oosthuizen and 2011 Masters’ champion Charl Schwartzel, Grace is a product of the Ernie Els Foundation, and Els himself believes Grace will become the third former member of the Foundation to win a Major title.Meteoric riseHis rise in 2012 has certainly been meteoric. He began the year ranked 265th in the year and is now ranked 37th in the official world golf rankings.Grace’s other European Tour victories this year include the Joburg Open and the Volvo Golf Champions in January and the Volvo China Open in April.More recently, in September, he returned to South Africa to play in two winter events on the Sunshine Tour and won the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final for his second title of the year on The Links at Fancourt.Besides his third place in the Race to Dubai standings, he’s also a clear leader atop the Sunshine Tour standings, almost R800 000 clear of second placed Louis Oosthuizen.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Foam-in-Place Insulation

first_img[This blog has been edited to correct some information on Tripolymer Foam. I continue to wish for greater transparency in the manufacturing industry. -Alex Wilson]In recent columns, we’ve looked at cellulose insulation as well as fiberglass and other batt insulation materials. The other option for filling wall and ceiling cavities is foam insulation that is sprayed into the cavity. There are several such materials that are used for this application, all installed by professional insulation contractors.Polyurethane is by far the most common foam-in-place insulation material used for homes, but there are several quite different formulations. Closed-cell polyurethane has been around for decades, though the ingredients have changed considerably in the past 15 years as ozone-damaging blowing agents were replaced with safer chemicals. The polyurethane is sprayed into the wall or ceiling cavity as a liquid (much like spray paint), and as the components mix they instantly expand, foaming to create the insulation. The material fully cures in a few hours to form a quite hard, high-density (2 pound per cubic foot) material. In a wall cavity, enough material is typically used to expand to several inches thickness, but not so much that the foam bulges beyond the inner face of the framing. Closed-cell polyurethane insulates to between R-5.8 and R-6.8 per inch—a considerably higher insulating value than any other cavity-fill insulation.Polyurethane insulation is also available in an open-cell formulation. The Canadian company Icynene pioneered this material and is one of the leading producers; Demilec is another. The foam is installed in a similar fashion as closed-cell foam, except that the lower-density foam is usually sprayed so that it fully fills or slightly overfills the cavity—and then the extra is shaved off flush with the inner face of the framing using a specialized tool. The cured foam has a density of about a half-pound per cubic foot and insulates to between R-3.6 and 3.8 per inch. Open-cell polyurethane uses a lot less raw material than closed-cell polyurethane, and it is usually installed to fully fill the cavity, so the overall energy performance is often fairly comparable. It is also available in a more slowly expanding formulation that can be poured into a wall cavity—so it can be used for retrofitting uninsulated finished walls.Several manufacturers offer biobased formulations of polyurethane insulation in which a portion of one of the polyurethane components is derived from soybean oil, rather than petroleum hydrocarbons. Biobased materials are attractive environmentally because they are renewable, but they also have the unintended negative consequence of raising food prices.Spray polyurethane insulation, whether closed-cell or open-cell, provides an excellent air seal. If properly installed, it contributes to a very airtight house. In fact, most professionals feel that a separate air/vapor barrier is unneccessary, because the foam will block almost all air and moisture flow on its own.Besides polyurethane, there are several other foam-in-place insulation materials. One of these, known as Tripolymer foam, is used primarily to fill concrete blocks in commercial construction. It is made from foamed phenol-urea formaldehyde, so it may release some hazardous formaldehyde into the building—but apparently less than an older formulation of urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) that resulted in very significant formaldehyde offgassing.Finally, there is a foam-in-place, cementitious insulation, Air Krete, that is made from magnesium oxide (derived from seawater) and ceramic talc mined in upstate New York. Air Krete is totally fireproof, mold-resistant, and does not offgas any volatile chemicals, so it is popular among people suffering from chemical sensitivity. Unfortunately, there are few trained installers, so it may be expensive to use this alternative. (The closest installer to Brattleboro is Eco-Safe Insulation in Northfield, VT, near Montpelier; 802-485-9119.) Other than availability, the biggest problem with Air Krete is that the cured foam is fairly fragile; if exposed to frequent vibration, such as along a busy highway, the foam can begin to disintegrate, reducing its performance. The manufacturer is working to solve this problem.Whatever the type of cavity insulation used in a house, it is important to remember that it is part of a system. Next week we’ll look at rigid boardstock insulation that can be used along with cavity-fill materials to achieve extremely well-insulated walls and roofs.last_img read more

Learn How To Enhance Your Film with Ambient Light

first_imgIn this tutorial, learn how you can work with natural light to enhance the ambient compositions in your next film or video project.Natural light can be a real asset for interviews and narrative films. With careful blocking and framing, filmmakers can pull off amazing shots with minimal lighting gear. However, just dropping your camera someplace without any lights may not give you the best results. In this filmmaking tutorial, we look closely at using ambient light and how to enhance it to look natural.No Light, No ModifiersA filmmaker must be strategic when using interior natural light. It’s all about how you position your talent in relation to window light. However, since there are limitations to where you place your talent, if you move far away from a window (like we are), natural light just may not be enough to pull off an amazing shot.Add KeylightIn the initial shot, there was not much separation between the talent, Julia, and the background. Also, the natural light was not wrapping on Julia’s face enough to make her stand out. Adding a key light that can complement ambient light will give you the style you’re looking for. Just be sure not make the shot look unnatural.Negative FillTo shape light even further, we can add a black flag to absorb light and prevent light from bouncing off of the wall and back into our talent’s face. This will make the left side of Julia’s face darker.Motivated Hair LightTo keep ambient light looking natural, we cannot add light that doesn’t have a clear source. By turing on a practical lamp in the background, we can enhance the image by adding a motivated hair light. Since the lamp is warm, we can create color contrast by making sure the hair light is warmer than the key light.Looking for more filmmaking tutorials? Check out these links.How To Create A Sub Mix In DaVinci Resolve 14 – Video TutorialCreate a Clean Corporate Logo Intro with After EffectsCapture Live Events Like a Pro with These Simple RulesAnimate Your Text With Handwriting Motion GraphicsSpeed Up Your Sequences with The Jump Cutlast_img read more

Injury forces Saina out of Indian Open

first_imgAn ankle injury forced Saina Nehwal to pull out of the Indian Open badminton championships, which got underway in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The Indian ace experienced pain in her right ankle after a practice session in the morning and subsequently withdrew.Saina confirmed that she had experienced pain on Wednesday. “Everytime I stretched on my right side, I felt a slight pain. I consulted Kiran Kumar (physiotherapist) and Pullela Gopi Chand sir and they were of the view that I should pull out,” said Saina.Saina added she had experienced similar pain in the third game of the Hong Kong Super Series final on Sunday, where she emerged victorious. ” I had felt the same pain when I was leading 17- 14 against Wang Shixian. But I continued as I was so close to winning,” she said.Speaking to Mail Today, Kiran Kumar said the injury was not serious. “It is not at all a serious injury. But then, seeing the tight schedule that she has ivn the coming year, we thought it was better not to take a chance,” he said.Elaborating on the injury, Kiran said Saina’s subtalar joint was at the root of the problem. ” One needs some massage and rest. I saw her ankle and felt that she needed at least a week’s break. Conversely, had she played, the injury could have been aggravated. It would have also put her out of action for five to six weeks,” Kiran Kumar said.But the bigger issue is with that with five to six weeks being the recovery period for her, the Indian ace is certain to miss the Super Series finals that are slated to be held in Taipei from January 5.advertisementWhen asked whether Saina would be able to play in the Taipei event, Kiran felt her chances were ” not too bright”. For his part, chief coach Gopi Chand said Saina was keen to participate but was prevented from going ahead. ” We did not want to take any risk by playing her here,” he said.Meanwhile, C Punnaiah Choudhary, the tournament secretary, admitted that Saina’s pull out came as a big disappointment.”The organisers and local fans were all hoping to see their star player win.Unfortunately that will not happen now,” he said.He also said that Saina will be fined for pulling out after the tournament had started. ” She will have to cough up the penalty of $ 250 for withdrawing so late,” Choudhary said.last_img read more