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Tag Archives: south
Posted: February 22, 2017 at 4:43 am
There may therefore be a need to broaden the tax base and take a hard look at parts of the economy where the government is not getting its proper due.
Dealing with the trade in illegal cigarettes, for example, would be an easy place to start. It has cost the fiscus an estimated R4bn to R5bn in lost revenue each year, and about R24bn in the past five years.
Costing on average about R12 per pack and in some cases as little as R7 (compared to about R35 for the most popular brand on the market), it should be no surprise that the illegal trade is flourishing and accounts for a staggering 24% of the South African market. Growth in illicit trade can only serve to erode the tax base.
So, why does this matter? Some would argue that the legitimate tobacco sectors loss to illicit traders is no big deal. The production and sale of illegal cigarettes, however, is not a victimless crime. Not only does the government lose out on substantial revenues that could be used to deliver vital public services, but the proceeds from the sale of illegal cigarettes are often used to fund drug smuggling, human trafficking and other crimes that blight communities.
Some smugglers even have links to terrorism. Combined, this “double whammy” of tax losses and increased crime (which requires yet more expenditure on police to tackle it) is having serious consequences in SA.
In theory, correcting this should be relatively easy. Tobacco products are manufactured or imported in a limited range of brands and excise is levied at a specific rate per thousand cigarettes (R662), due for collection at the point of manufacture or import into the country.
An embossed diamond marking on the bottom of the pack is intended to provide a physical indication that tax has been paid.
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Posted: at 4:36 am
In a near repeat of last year it was again Dane Bird-Smith (Australia) and South Africas Lebogang Shange from Tuks HPC who took the top honours at the Oceania Race 20km Race Walk Championship in Adelaide this weekend.
The bronze medallist at last years Olympic Games in Rio, Bird-Smith, won in a time of 1:19:37 with Shange second in 1:21:00 and Quentin Rew (New Zealand) third in 1:21:12.
Another local athlete, Wayne Snyman from Tuks HPC, finished sixth in a time of 1:21:26.
Shange had sort of mixed feelings after the weekends race. In light of the fact that he has been diagnosed with an iron deficiency while he was at a training camp he considers his second place finish as not to bad. He was told by the Australian medical team who treated him not to get his hope up for a good result.
The HPC-athlete said it was a matter of pride that led to him pushing himself deep into the red.
There is no way that I could train in Australia for two months and then come back to South Africa empty handed. The fact that I doubted my own physical abilities led to me starting the race quite conservatively. Once I realized that I am actually feeling quite good I started to up my pace which led to me catching and passing the early race leaders, he said after the race.
His disappointment sprouts from the fact that according to the official qualification standards set by the IAAF he would have qualified for the World Championships in London but according to qualification standards set by Athletics South Africa he has not done so. The South African qualification standard is 1:20:30 while the IAAFs standard is 1:24:00. According to the IAAF qualification standards Snyman has also qualified to represent South Africa in London.
Last year Shange set a new South African record when raced to a time of 1:20:06.
It would have been nice to have had the qualification for the World Championships out of the way so that I can just focus on becoming a stronger and faster as I am driven by a hunger to make South Africans proud every time I race. Instead my coach, Chris Britz, and I will now have to identify another race to try and qualify. To meet the ASA standard is going to be quite a challenge as I would have to walk near SA record pace to do so. In most international races a time of 1:20:30 will be good enough for a podium finish, Shange concluded.
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City Council to look at removing zoning restrictions on gambling entities – Watertown Public Opinion
Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm
A section of a Watertown city zoning ordinance pertaining to gambling establishments could go by the wayside.
The Watertown City Council is set to conduct a first reading amending Title 21 of Ordinance 17-02 removing zoning restrictions on those entities on March 6. The potential revision would put the city in compliance with a 2011 South Dakota Supreme Court ruling that municipalities could not regulate gambling institutions, including casinos and video lottery establishments.
The proposed amended ordinance was put forth by City Attorney Justin Goetz, who has been busy in working with the Plan Commission and City Council in updating the ordinance book since assuming his position last summer.
Under the current ordinance, gambling establishments are confined to commercial zoning areas under a conditional use permit, similar to restaurants, motels, and other businesses.
However, in 2011, the Supreme Court sided with the South Dakota Department of Revenue over the City of Sioux Falls as the Department of Revenue argued that the City of Sioux Falls ordinance on gambling establishments was invalid because it infringed on the sovereign prerogative of the state.
While the proposed ordinance wouldnt be able to explicitly restrict gambling establishments in commercial districts, that doesnt mean that those establishments are going to be able to pop up anywhere in the city.
Goetz noted to the Plan Commission last week that in issuing the ruling, the Supreme Court said municipalities such as Watertown could effectively enact restrictions on the placement of gambling establishments.
There is still the ability of the city to determine locations of alcohol licensees. The gambling license is effectively attached to the alcohol license it is a certification attached to the alcohol license. That allows the city to be able to regulate placement, Goetz said.
According to Goetz, the proposed amended ordinance would allow Watertown to get out ahead of any potential legal challenge against the current ordinance brought forward by either the state or another party.
No lawsuits against the City of Watertown on the issue are pending or currently underway, which left Plan Commission member Dennis Arnold questioning the timing of the proposed ordinance.
(At any given time) there are a lot of court cases and things around the county where organizations are challenging something and it gets changed, Arnold said. I think the residents of Watertown have liked our (gambling locations) ordinance the way it is, or at least thats what I assume. Nobody has challenged it. Why do we have to change it if nobody has challenged it?
While Goetz said he empathized with Arnolds point of view, he also said that the proposed ordinance reflecting the court ruling is an extension of the state establishing its authority back in the 1980s when the original law cited by the court was written, thereby not leaving it up to different interpretations by municipalities.
In interpreting the courts ruling, Goetz said, If localities were allowed to determine where gambling establishments could be in South Dakota, there would be a lot of dry communities, if you will, for these kind of establishments These forebears at the state level saw that writing on the wall and saw that municipalities would have issues certain municipalities more than others. In order to ensure that this was provided statewide, municipalities couldnt butt in and occupy the field of state regulation that they had set for themselves.
After the first reading of the ordinance amendment occurs on March 6, a second reading, and possible approval, may occur at the following City Council meeting scheduled for March 20.
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Posted: at 7:40 pm
South African Airways has announced a new codeshare route with Air Seychelles from Seychelles to Durban.
Air Seychelles will be introducing direct services between SEZ-DUR effective 30th March 2017. The flight will operate twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The codeshare partnership between South African Airways and Air Seychelles was established back in October 2013 with SA as a marketing carrier between Seychelles Johannesburg and Seychelles Praslin Island operated by HM.
As South African Airways, we value our current relationship with Air Seychelles. We look forward to strengthening this partnership and creating a seamless travel experience for our customers travelling to various destinations on the African continent and the Indian Ocean subcontinent, says Aaron Munetsi, SAA Acting Chief Commercial Officer.
Air Seychelles has been a marketing carrier on the following domestic services operated by South African Airways: Cape Town (CPT), Durban, Port Elizabeth (PLZ) and East London (ELS).
The ties between South Africa and Seychelles are strong and evident for everyone to see, linking leisure, trade and commerce and visiting family and friends opportunities, saysRoy Kinnear, Air SeychellesChief Executive Officer.
Building on these strong ties and the existing five weekly services between Seychelles and Johannesburg, Air Seychelles has taken the commitment to start the twice weekly operation to Durban on 30 March, 2017.
Our codeshare relationship with South African Airways is an incredibly strong partnership and we are extremely pleased to work with South African Airways team in developing our codeshare relationships even further, for the mutual benefit of both airlines. We are confident these air links will bring our countries closer and contribute to the development of our respective economies and tourism industries.
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Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:46 am
In the introduction to Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?, the anthology of conservative thought he edited for publication in 1970, William F. Buckley memorably declared: Blindfold me, spin me about like a top, and I will walk up to the single liberal in the room without zig or zag and find him even if he is hiding behind a flower pot. Which reminds me.
As a young lawyer new to private practice but fresh from a clerkship on the Eighth Circuit, I was asked to work with South Dakota attorney Larry Piersol as local counsel on an appeal pending for one of Larrys clients in that court. Larry worked in private practice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and was a South Dakotan through and through.
In late 1981 or early 1982 Larry came to town for the oral argument of the appeal in St. Paul. We had Larry over for dinner and got to talking about matters political. Larry had served in the South Dakota House of Representatives as Democratic minority whip and even for a term as majority leader. His success in politics was no accident; he was both likable and intelligent. Indeed, his legal skills and political service resulted in his appointment to the bench as a district judge by Bill Clinton in 1993. (Judge Piersol took senior status in 2009.)
In the course of our conversation Larry told me that he was an old friend of South Dakota native Tom Brokaw. Brokaw, he confided, is an interesting guy. You really cant get a good handle on his politics, he told me.
I disagreed. Hes a liberal, I asserted.
You really cant tell, Larry responded.
I can tell, I said. Hes a liberal.
How could I tell? I cant remember. Im not bragging; its not hard to tell. Bill Buckley would not have had to exert his great analytical powers to find Brokaw out. You can just tell.
If youve heard any of Brokaws brief commentaries served up in recent years as An American Story, or heard him opining on any of the NBC/MSNBC gabfests, you know hes a liberal, and an earnest one at that.
I love the tagline he uses for his American Story commentaries. This is Tom Brokaw reporting, he says. Hes still deep under cover. Its almost funny.
Reading Brokaws New York Times column yesterday about the opportunity he was offered to serve as President Nixons press secretary in late 1969, I thought back to my conversation with Larry. Brokaw writes in the Times column:
White House press secretary to Richard Nixon? I had been raised in a family of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman Democrats. My parents were skeptical about John F. Kennedy, but my wife and I were generational enthusiasts.
I worked hard at keeping personal beliefs out of my work, but there were limits. My first job, in a deeply conservative Omaha newsroom, was a test. Most of my colleagues thought I was a crazed liberal for supporting Medicare and the voting rights and civil rights bills.
Not a crazed liberal, Tom, just a liberal. A decent liberal, a patriotic liberal, but a liberal nevertheless, of the Democrat variety.
This is Scott Johnson reporting.
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Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:41 am
Republic of Minerva Micronation
Motto:Land of the Rising Atoll
The Minerva Reefs (Tongan: Ongo Teleki), briefly de facto independent in 1972 as the Republic of Minerva, are a group of two submerged atolls located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji and Tonga. The reefs were named after the whaleship Minerva, wrecked on what became known as South Minerva after setting out from Sydney in 1829. Many other ships would follow, for example the Strathcona, which was sailing north soon after completion in Auckland in 1914. In both cases most of the crew saved themselves in whaleboats or rafts and reached the Lau Islands in Fiji. Of some other ships, however, no survivors are known.
It is not known when the reefs were first discovered but had been marked on charts as “Nicholson’s Shoal” since the late 1820s. Capt H. M. Denham of the HMS Herald surveyed the reefs in 1854 and renamed them after the Australian whaler Minerva which collided with South Minerva Reef on 9 September 1829.
The Republic of Minerva was a micronation consisting of the Minerva Reefs. It was one of the few modern attempts at creating a sovereign micronation on the reclaimed land of an artificial island in 1972. The architect was Las Vegas real estate millionaire and political activist Michael Oliver, who went on to other similar attempts in the following decade. Lithuanian-born Oliver formed a syndicate, the Ocean Life Research Foundation, which allegedly had some $100,000,000 for the project and had offices in New York City and London. They anticipated a libertarian society with “no taxation, welfare, subsidies, or any form of economic interventionism.” In addition to tourism and fishing, the economy of the new nation would include light industry and other commerce. According to Glen Raphael, “The chief reason that the Minerva project failed was that the libertarians who were involved did not want to fight for their territory.” According to Reason, Minerva has been “more or less reclaimed by the sea”.
In 1971, barges loaded with sand arrived from Australia, bringing the reef level above the water and allowing construction of a small tower and flag. The Republic of Minerva issued a declaration of independence on 19 January 1972, in letters to neighboring countries and even created their own currency. In February 1972, Morris C. Davis was elected as Provisional President of the Republic of Minerva.
The declaration of independence, however, was greeted with great suspicion by other countries in the area. A conference of the neighboring states (Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, and territory of Cook Islands) met on 24 February 1972 at which Tonga made a claim over the Minerva Reefs and the rest of the states recognized its claim.
On 15 June 1972, the following proclamation was published in a Tongan government gazette:
A Tongan expedition was sent to enforce the claim the following day. It reached North Minerva on 18 June 1972. The Flag of the Tonga was raised on 19 June 1972 on North Minerva and on South Minerva on 21 June 1972.
Tongas claim was recognized by the South Pacific Forum in September 1972. Meanwhile, Provisional President Davis was fired by founder Michael Oliver and the project collapsed in confusion. Nevertheless, Minerva was referred to in O. T. Nelson’s post-apocalyptic children’s novel The Girl Who Owned a City, published in 1975, as an example of an invented utopia that the book’s protagonists could try to emulate.
In 1982, a group of Americans led again by Morris C. Bud Davis tried to occupy the reefs, but were forced off by Tongan troops after three weeks. In recent years several groups have allegedly sought to re-establish Minerva. No known claimant group since 1982 has made any attempt to take possession of the Minerva Reefs.
In 2005, Fiji made it clear that they did not recognize any maritime water claims by Tonga to the Minerva Reefs under the UNCLOS agreements. In November 2005, Fiji lodged a complaint with the International Seabed Authority concerning Tonga’s maritime waters claims surrounding Minerva. Tonga lodged a counter claim, and the Principality of Minerva micronation claimed to have lodged a counter claim. In 2010 the Fijian Navy destroyed navigation lights at the entrance to the lagoon. In late May 2011, they again destroyed navigational equipment installed by Tongans. In early June 2011, two Royal Tongan Navy ships were sent to the reef to replace the equipment, and to reassert Tonga’s claim to the territory. Fijian Navy ships in the vicinity reportedly withdrew as the Tongans approached.
In an effort to settle the dispute, the government of Tonga revealed a proposal in early July 2014 to give the Minerva Reefs to Fiji in exchange for the Lau Group of islands. In a statement to the Tonga Daily News, Lands Minister Lord Maafu Tukuiaulahi announced that he would make the proposal to Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. Some Tongans have Lauan ancestors and many Lauans have Tongan ancestors; Tonga’s Lands Minister is named after Enele Ma’afu, the Tongan Prince who originally claimed parts of Lau for Tonga.
Area: North Reef diameter about 5.6 kilometres (3.5mi), South Reef diameter of about 4.8 kilometres (3.0mi). Terrain: two (atolls) on dormant volcanic seamounts.
Both Minerva Reefs are about 435 kilometres (270mi) southwest of the Tongatapu Group. The atolls are on a common submarine platform from 549 to 1,097 metres (1,801 to 3,599ft) below the surface of the sea. North Minerva is circular in shape and has a diameter of about 5.6 kilometres (3.5mi). There is a small sand bar around the atoll, awash at high tide, with a small entrance into the flat lagoon with a somewhat deep harbor. South Minerva is parted into The East Reef and the West Reef, both circular with a diameter of about 4.8 kilometres (3.0mi). Around both reefs are two small sandy cays, vegetated by low scrub and some trees.[dubious discuss] Several iron towers and platforms are reported to have stood on the atolls, along with an unused light tower on South Minerva, erected by the Americans during World War II.
Geologically, Minervan Reef is of a limestone base formed from uplifted coral formations elevated by now-dormant volcanic activity.
The climate is basically subtropical with a distinct warm period (DecemberApril), during which the temperatures rise above 32C (90F), and a cooler period (MayNovember), with temperatures rarely rising above 27C (80F). The temperature increases from 23C to 27C (74F to 80F), and the annual rainfall is from 170 to 297 centimeters (67117 in.) as one moves from Cardea in the south to the more northerly islands closer to the Equator. The mean daily humidity is 80percent.
Both North and South Minerva Reefs are used as anchorages by private yachts traveling between New Zealand and Tonga or Fiji. While waiting for favourable weather for the approximately 800-mile (1,300km) passage to New Zealand, excellent scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing and clamming can be enjoyed. North Minerva (Tongan: Teleki Tokelau) offers the more protected anchorage, with a single, easily negotiated, west-facing pass that offers access to the large, calm lagoon with extensive sandy areas. South Minerva (Tongan: Teleki Tonga) is in shape similar to an infinity symbol, with its eastern lobe partially open to the ocean on the northern side.
The Tuaikaepau (‘Slow But Sure’), a Tongan vessel on its way to New Zealand, became famous when it struck the reefs on 7 July 1962. This 15-metre (49ft) wooden vessel was built in 1902 at the same yard as the Strathcona. The crew and passengers survived by living in the remains of a Japanese freighter. There they remained for three months in miserable circumstances and several of them died. Finally Captain Tvita Fifita decided to get help. Without tools, he built a small boat from the wood left over from his ship. With this raft, named Malolelei (‘Good Day’), he and a few of the stronger crew members sailed to Fiji in one week.
Coordinates: 2338S 17854W / 23.633S 178.900W / -23.633; -178.900
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Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:40 am
Goodbye government: Six guys who started their own micronations
The South African
Australia has a surprising number of people who ditched the government and started their own micronations. There are about 100 micronations across the world, most of them happens to be in Australia with 35 currently in place. A Micronation is an entity …
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