Looking south and east for growth

first_img This year alone, South African President Jacob Zuma has paid official visits to India, Russia, China and Brazil. Earlier in 2010 China became South Africa’s largest two-way trading partner and, in August, China became the world’s second-largest economy after the US.Leadership position in Africa Visiting China earlier this year, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana- Mashabane announced that South Africa was lobbying China to become part of the global club of high-growth developing markets known as BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India and China. This underscores South Africa’s significance as a leader in Africa, a bridge between the industrialised and developing worlds. That the much smaller South African economy could join four mega-economies in BRIC reflects growing global investor interest in Africa, the last frontier of the global economy. With a population near 1-billion, Africa is the world’s third-largest market after China (1.3-billion) and India (1.1-billion) and is rich in mineral and natural resources.Shifting export priorities While South Africa aims to maintain its substantial trade and investment links with the US, Japan and the European Union, the reality is that these markets’ growth has been severely slowed by the global economic crisis. High-growth developing economies and the next tier of emerging markets – such as the Civets (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa) – are likely to lead growth in the medium to long term, with slower growth in developed economies. At a UN conference in Beijing in September, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said South Africa would prioritise China and India for exports as the two countries were now its biggest markets. He said “sluggish growth” in the US and the European Union, South Africa’s traditional trading partners, was a factor in shifting export priorities. Two-way trade between China and South Africa grew to US$16.8-billion (R116-billion) last year, according to South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, while South Africa’s exports to India reached $700-million (R4.8-billion) and imports totalled $280- million (R1.9-billion), in favour of South Africa.Looking to China Zuma’s statements during his China visit reflect this shift in trade. He said the country would look to China for investment in infrastructure projects such transport, renewable energy and mining, as well as in agriculture and car manufacturing. China’s pace of investment has been slow so far, but it has been strategic, paving the way for accelerated future investment. In 2007, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China bought 20% of South Africa’s Standard Bank for US$5-billion (R35-billion) – China’s largest foreign investment to date. China is currently in talks with South Africa’s government to build a $30-billion high-speed rail network between Durban and Johannesburg. The growing relationship with China is likely to both boost South Africa’s global trade and accelerate African development. Since Deng Xiaoping began opening its economy in 1979, China has lifted 400-million people out of poverty with growth close to 10% for more than 25 years. South Africa’s world-class financial sector and deep experience in African markets make it well- placed to lead similar miracle in Africa. John Battersby is UK country manager for the International Marketing Council of South Africa. This article was first published in South Africa Now, a six-page supplement to the Washington Post produced on behalf of Brand South Africa. Download South Africa Now (PDF, 2.12 MB). 15 October 2010 As the shift in global economic power gains momentum, South Africa’s trade is moving eastwards and southwards in a pattern that both reflects the worldwide trend and helps drive it.last_img read more

Zuma calls for nuclear terror vigilance

first_img27 March 2012South African President Jacob Zuma, speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea on Monday, stressed the importance of remaining alert to the risks posed by nuclear terrorism.“We should remain vigilant of the continued risks posed by nuclear terrorism, the illicit nuclear network and criminal acts, and the use of nuclear or other radioactive material for malicious acts,” Zuma said during a Leaders’ Working Dinner at the summit.“We can, through a cooperative approach in the relevant multilateral organisations, effectively deal with these risks.”‘Elimination ultimately the only prevention’Zuma noted that the leaders were meeting at the summit with the common aim of achieving a world free of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.“In our desire to create a forum to raise awareness on nuclear security, we cannot ignore the reality that only the verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons will ultimately prevent the use of such weapons.”Zuma also noted the need to fully implement the relevant international legally binding obligations on nuclear security and nuclear safety.Such an approach had proved invaluable when South Africa hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Zuma said, thanking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US government for their assistance with nuclear security measures at the different World Cup venues.Highly enriched uranium ‘for peaceful uses only’On the issue of highly enriched uranium (HEU), Zuma acknowledged that HEU and separated plutonium required special precautions, adding that South Africa had taken such precautions.“Our international legally binding obligations on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation allow for the enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes only, irrespective of the enrichment level,” Zuma said. “In this connection, South Africa has adopted a policy on the beneficiation of our mineral resources, including uranium.”South Africa believed the focus on minimising the use of HEU to peaceful applications – which represented a tiny fraction of the HEU used for military purposes – should come to fruition in the long-outstanding negotiations on a fissile material treaty, Zuma added.These negotiations should commence in the Conference on Disarmament without further delay.“Going forward, we believe that the best approach would be to address the issues of nuclear safety and nuclear security in a coherent manner,” Zuma said. “Therefore, our future emphasis should be on supporting the work on nuclear safety and security undertaken by existing multilateral organizations such as the IAEA.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Urban Rustic: Ventilation Baffles

first_imgMaking ventilation chutes on siteWhen I realized the AccuVent wasn’t right for our project, it was a moment of, “Uh-oh, now what the hell do I do?”I assumed there must be a sturdier plastic baffle, but I never found one. Instead, I came across this article by Martin Holladay. As usual, old reliable — GBA — had already addressed the issue.It was nice to have a solution, but I also knew it would be time-consuming and back-breaking (also neck-straining) — the only thing worse than working with sheet goods is working with sheet goods above your head on a ladder. Nevertheless, I would sleep better knowing it was panels of OSB rubbing up against two feet of blown-in cellulose insulation rather than sheets of flimsy plastic. Long-term solutions do wonders for peace of mind.I used 2×4 blocks as a base for each ventilation chute — first, screwing the blocks to the roof trusses, then after putting the OSB into place, screwing through the OSB and into the bottom of each block. The image at the top of this post shows the first chute after I had put it into place and sealed the perimeter with OSI Quad Max sealant.There weren’t always sizable gaps where the OSB chute met the top of the Zip wall sheathing, but they did occur. When there was a gap, caused by a bend in the OSB chute or unevenness in the top of the wall sheathing, it looked like Image #3, below. These gaps could be fixed with narrow strips of OSB and OSI sealant, in the end looking like Image #4.I showed up on one rainy morning to continue installing the chutes. Image #5 shows the dramatic difference in before and after — light spilling into the interior through the soffits without chutes, and with chutes installed and sealed on the right. Image #6 shows the top of the wall from the outside with an air gap that will allow air to flow from the soffit into the attic, and then out at the ridge vents.Once the chutes were installed, I was finally ready to put the Intello membrane on the ceiling, which thankfully I didn’t have to install by myself (Image #7). I’ll describe that process in my next post here at GBA. Our structure was designed with a “cold roof,” or ventilated roof assembly. By having continuous ventilation in our north and south soffits, with a ridge vent on the top of our roof, outdoor air can freely enter the soffits and exit out the ridge vent. The benefits of this set-up are explained in this article by the Building Science Corporation, plus the first two articles you see listed in the “Related Articles” sidebar below.We plan on using Cor-A-Vent in the soffits.In order to make this kind of roof assembly work, ventilation baffles (also called ventilation chutes) are necessary, especially if the attic is going to have a significant amount of insulation, in particular blown-in insulation, that could potentially move around and block off the soffit ventilation from the attic, thereby short circuiting air flow from the soffits through the roof’s ridge vent.When it was time to install the ventilation baffles, I assumed I could just go to one of the big box stores and (thankfully for a change) just buy something off the shelf. It didn’t work out that way. Home Depot had Durovent (a foam-based ventilation baffle) and an AccuVent baffle (black plastic). Both were a disappointment.I didn’t buy the Durovent — when I saw it on the shelf and handled it in the store it looked cheap and unimpressive. It was hard to imagine it holding up under the pressure of any significant amount of blown-in insulation pressing against it. RELATED ARTICLES All About Attic Venting A Crash Course in Roof VentingSite-Built Ventilation Baffles for RoofsFans in the Attic: Do They Help or Do They Hurt?Q&A: Is Soffit Venting Necessary With a Vented Rainscreen? BLOGS BY ERIC WHETZEL Up on the RoofA Light Down BelowKneewalls, Subfloor, and Exterior WallsLet the Framing BeginDetails for an Insulated FoundationThe Cedar Siding Is Here — Let’s Burn ItAn Introduction to a New Passive House Project The AccuVent product that Home Depot carried only worked in a straight line (no curve to wrap over the back of the Zip sheathing at the top of our wall assembly), which would be ideal for a cathedral ceiling application. After looking around online, I found another AccuVent product described in a company video that looked like it would work (see Image #2, below.)Seeing the video made me think it would be an easy installation, but once I had the product and tried to install one, the realization hit that they would be a pain to air seal properly, and again, I had concerns about how it would do over the long term with blown-in insulation pressing up against it. Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project; a list of Eric’s previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut.last_img read more