Soweto, heartbeat of the nation

first_imgInfused with the history of the struggle against apartheid and abuzz with the energy of the city of gold, Soweto is a must-see for tourists who are looking for more than sun, sea and the big five.Graffiti on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize laureates lived – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Image: South African Tourism)With heritage sites, restaurants, shebeens and budget accommodation options aplenty, Soweto is well worth visiting, whether on a day tour or for a longer period to experience the real Soweto – a place of friendship, vibrancy and contrasts.Soweto is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with Census 2001 putting its population at close to a million. Thanks to its proximity to Johannesburg, the economic hub of the country, it is also the most metropolitan township in the country – setting trends in politics, fashion, music, dance and language.Chilling at Chaf Pozi bar and restaurant at the base of the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto. (Image: South African Tourism)The making of SowetoSoweto may sound like an African name, but the word was originally an acronym for “South Western Townships”. A cluster of townships sprawling across a vast area 20 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, Soweto was, from the start, a product of segregationist planning.It was back in 1904 that Klipspruit, the oldest of a cluster of townships that constitute present day Soweto, was established. The township was created to house mainly black labourers, who worked in mines and other industries in the city, away from the city centre. The inner city was later to be reserved for white occupation as the policy of segregation took root.In the 1950s, more black people were relocated there from “black spots” in inner city Johannesburg – black neighbourhoods which the apartheid government then reserved for whites.It was not until 1963 that the acronym “Soweto” was adopted, following a four-year public competition on an appropriate name for the sprawling township.Soweto’s growth was phenomenal – but unplanned. Despite government attempts to curb the influx of black workers to the cities, waves of migrant workers moved from the countryside and neighbouring countries to look for employment in the fast-growing city of gold.The perennial problems of Soweto have, since its inception, included poor housing, overcrowding, high unemployment and poor infrastructure. This has seen settlements of shacks made of corrugated iron sheets becoming part of the Soweto landscape.Apartheid planning did not provide much in terms of infrastructure, and it is only in recent years that the democratic government has spearheaded moves to plant trees, develop parks, and provide electricity and running water to the township.Soweto is a melting pot of South African cultures and has developed its own subcultures – especially for the young. Afro-American influence runs deep, but is adapted to local conditions.Inside the Mandela Museum on Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Once the family home of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and their children, the house is now a major tourist attraction. (Image: South African Tourism)Rich political historySoweto’s rich political history has guaranteed it a place on the world map. Those who know little else about South Africa are often familiar with the word “Soweto” and the township’s significance in the struggle against apartheid.Regina Mundi Church became home to numerous anti-apartheid organisations and hosted the funerals of scores of political activists.Since it came into being, Soweto was at the centre of campaigns to overthrow the apartheid state. The 1976 student uprising, also known as the Soweto Uprisings, began in Soweto and spread from there to the rest of the country. Other politically charged campaigns to have germinated in Soweto include the squatter movement of the 1940s and the defiance campaigns of the mid to late 1980s.Soweto – melting pot of South African urban culture, rich with the history of the struggle against apartheid. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)The area has also spawned many political, sporting and social luminaries, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – two Nobel peace price laureates, who once lived in the now famous Vilakazi Street in Orlando West.Other prominent figures to have come from Soweto include boxing legend, Baby Jake Matlala, singing diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka and soccer maestro Jomo Sono. Others include mathematician Prof Thamsanqa Kambule, medical doctor Nthato Motlana and prominent journalist Aggrey Klaaste.The township has also produced the highest number of professional soccer teams in the country. Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows all emerged from the township, and remain among the biggest soccer teams in the Premier Soccer League.There are plenty of politically significant landmarks, including the houses of some world-famous anti-apartheid activists.Just a few kilometres drive from Diepkloof is Orlando, home to Nelson Mandela’s first house, not surprisingly a popular tourist attraction. Mandela stayed here with his then wife, Winnie, before he was imprisoned in 1961 and jailed for 27 years.The house is now a museum, run by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and contains memorabilia from the short time they lived there together before Mandela went into hiding. Mandela now lives in Houghton, a suburb several kilometres north of Johanneburg’s city centre, with his third wife, Graca, widow of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel.One can also glimpse the high-security mansion belonging to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in an affluent part of Orlando West.Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s house, the residence of ANC stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisula, and the Hector Pieterson memorial museum are in the same neighbourhood. The recently renovated museum offers a detailed account of the events of 1976, including visuals and eye-witness accounts.When you visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, you’ll see Nzima’s legendary photograph showing the unconscious Hector being carried by Makhubo, with Hector’s sister – now Antoinette Sithole – running alongside. (Image: Brand South Africa)Hector Pieterson, who was shot dead by police during the student uprisings which spread around the country and changed the course of history for South Africa, and the famous picture of his lifeless body being carried by mourning youths, have come to symbolise the 1976 Uprisings.In Kliptown, you can visit Freedom Square, a place where the Freedom Charter was adopted as the guiding document of the Congress Alliance – a broad alliance of various political and cultural formations to map a way forward in the repressive climate of the 1950s. The charter was the guiding document of the African National Congress and envisaged an alternative non-racial dispensation in which “all shall be equal before the law.”Soweto’s brightly painted Orlando Towers – once the cooling towers of a power station – are now connected by a footbridge and bungee-jump platform. (Image: South African Tourism)Mansions and ‘match-box’ housesSoweto is a place of contrasts: rows of tin shanties abut luxurious mansions; piles of garbage and pitted roads offset green fields and rustic streams.Soweto has the same vibrant, racy feel of Johannesburg, of which it is an integral part. Despite the high unemployment rate there is a cheerful energy, a bustle of activity, with informal traders plying their wares on every corner.From the footbridge of the world-renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, one has a panoramic view of Soweto. In the immediate vicinity of the bridge many people mill around – hawkers peddling a variety of goods, shoppers looking for bargains, and of course the ever-present commuters hurrying to board taxis.Further afield, the barrenness that comprises much of the old Soweto comes into view – the small brown houses of Old Diepkloof and Orlando townships, in stark contrast to the colourful shades and tree-lined streets of the newer parts like Diepkloof Extension, home to the relatively affluent.In Diepkloof the grey, four-roomed dwellings, cynically called “matchbox houses” by locals, abound. These are the original dwellings constructed to accommodate the first black migrants to the city. Although they are small, locals take pride in their houses, and put much effort into making them habitable and cosy.In contrast to these symbols of poverty, there are the various “extensions” that have been established to accommodate the relatively affluent. One example is Pimville Extension, home to the emerging black middle class. The suburb boasts beautiful houses, the roads are good, playgrounds and schools are in mint condition.Migrant hostels, squatter campsSoweto offers plenty of other less aesthetically pleasing sights for the visitor. For instance, there are the hostels: monstrous, prison-like buildings designed to shelter male migrant workers from the rural areas and neighbouring countries.These workers were used as cheap labour, and their stay in the city was considered temporary; historically, they always lived on the fringes of Soweto communities. The new government is busy converting the hostels into family units, but they remain unbending in their ugliness.Then there are the squatter camp communities, euphemistically called “informal settlements”, where poverty is palpable. These camps are home to many of the unemployed, who use corrugated iron sheets to build shelters. Despite their poverty, these shackdwellers have managed to build a strong sense of community. They remain in Johannesburg in search of the elusive “gold”.A place to partyRecent years have seen Soweto become a site of massive development projects and a major tourist attraction in the country.For those looking for a night out in the ghetto, Soweto offers some popular joints for relaxation. There are plenty of venues that offer a relaxed atmosphere, pleasant music (both dance and ballads) and a jolly good time.Perhaps the most popular of these joints is Wandie’s Place in Dube. It is a cosy restaurant-bar-lounge popular with tourists and it offers great service. Other taverns in the area are Pallazo Distella in Dube, Club 707, a restaurant and bar or Ubuntu Kraal, both in Orlando West.You may prefer to visit one of the popular shebeens of the township. Shebeens are local drinking joints. They have survived the attempts of the authorities to shut them down and the condemnation from the pulpits of local churches to become thriving informal social centres patronized by local socialites.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Can We Rely on DIY Air Pollution Sensors?

first_imgNew territory for a known technologyPollution sensors that measure air contaminants have been on the market for many years. Passenger cars have sophisticated emission controls that rely on data collected by air sensors inside the vehicles. These inexpensive sensors use well-established chemical and physical methods — typically, electrochemistry or metal oxide resistance — to measure air contaminants in highly polluted conditions, such as inside the exhaust pipe of a passenger vehicle. And this information is used by the vehicle to improve performance.It turns out these sensors can work outside of your car, too. But they have some important limits. They are often not designed to work in the open air, where conditions are much cleaner than in vehicle exhaust. And they can be affected by conditions such as varying temperatures or relative humidity, or the presence of interfering gases that they are not designed to measure.Sensor manufacturers sometimes provide limited information on these low-cost sensors, and it is very easy to use the devices improperly. This is because they are designed to work under very controlled conditions — for example, at fixed temperatures or with limited wind movement — and these requirements often are not communicated to consumers. Measurement accuracy is especially important when we are trying to understand how exposure to air pollutants can lead to health problems. If we rely on poor measurements and reach incorrect conclusions, we will fail to protect public health.In a recent commentary in Nature, British researchers Alastair Lewis and Peter Edwards highlighted many questions about using inexpensive sensors to measure air pollution. They conclude that these technologies must be better validated prior to general public use, and warn that academic investigators should not be gatekeepers for using them. Rather, what we can do is provide essential test beds to evaluate sensor performance through testing and calibration. We also can call on sensor manufacturers to explain these devices’ limitations more clearly to customers. By RICHARD PELTIERUntil recently, measuring air pollution was a task that could be performed only by trained scientists using very sophisticated — and very expensive — equipment. That has changed with the rapid growth of small, inexpensive sensors that can be assembled by almost anyone. But an important question remains: Do these instruments measure what users think they are measuring?A number of venture-capital-backed startup or crowd-funded groups are marketing sensors by configuring a few dollars’ worth of electronics and some intellectual property — mainly software — into aesthetically pleasing packages. The Air Quality Egg, the Tzoa and the Speck sensor are examples of gadgets that are growing in popularity for measuring air pollutants.These devices make it possible for individuals without specialized training to monitor air quality. As an environmental health researcher, I’m happy to see that people are interested in clean air, especially because air pollution is closely linked with serious health effects. But there are important concerns about how well and how accurately these sensors work. RELATED ARTICLES Richard Peltier is an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Supporting citizen scientistsMany users of these sensor platforms are citizen scientists who have little formal training in measuring air quality. People are rightfully concerned about degraded air quality in their communities, and they are taking matters into their own hands by downloading open-source plans, purchasing a few items and deploying their measurement systems.They can do this with the help of inexpensive, open-source microprocessors and a growing library of open-source software. Agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California, among others, recognize this growing interest. They also see the potential danger of empowering anyone to build and use tools that can produce highly inaccurate information.Miniaturized versions of expensive sensors still can cost thousands of dollars — far out of reach for most citizen scientists. So it is likely that market forces and consumer convenience are driving the growth of a do-it-yourself sensor market. Whatever the motivation, these sensors are being used now by many organizations, including concerned citizen advocacy groups, and to some extent by the regulatory community. Regulators are interested in these technologies because they can cheaply expand measurement capacity. But at the same time, they are cautious because of lingering uncertainties about measurements that do not comply with narrowly prescribed measurement methods.Vastly different air pollution levels observed in an image from a commercial aircraft in New York City and New Delhi, India. (Photo: Pallavi Pant)It is not hard to build a $30 sensor to measure carbon monoxide, although such a device probably will not be able to measure concentrations less than, say, one part per million. In many wealthy countries, where pollution levels are relatively low, such a device would not produce meaningful measurements. But on a busy street in New Delhi, or near a brick kiln in Nepal, it could be quite useful because pollution levels are significantly higher.Low-cost air monitoring does have merits. For much of the world, these tools could greatly increase understanding of pollution risks, especially in countries that do not have the financial resources or research infrastructure to produce sophisticated air quality measurements. Many environmental health scientists would like to expand the reach of these sensors to every corner of the world.Use of DIY air sensors will continue to grow as people around the world learn more about the health risks of air pollution. The key is to make sure they work as reliably as possible. By expanding sound research measurements, we can continue to educate the public on the risks of air pollution, and to lobby for better protection from this hazard in a more informed way. All About Indoor Air Quality Designing a Good Ventilation System Four Ways Bad Duct Systems Can Lead to Poor Indoor Air QualityMonitoring Air Quality at Home At their core, these devices rely on inexpensive, and often uncertain, measurement technologies. Someday small sensors costing less than $100 may replace much more expensive research-grade instruments like those used by government regulators. But that day is likely to be far away.last_img read more

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Get Those Wrists Ready: Samsung Reportedly Outing Smartwatch Sept 4

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … adriana lee The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Bloomberg reports that Samsung will indeed announce its own smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, at a press event on September 4.Not that smartwatches are anything new—see Pebble and Sony. And the rumor of a Samsung device has been going on for months. But if the wire service’s two anonymous sources are right, Samsung Galaxy Gear will be having its coming-out party next month—a week before Apple holds a similar launch event for its own new products.Apple has long been rumored to be working on its own wristworn smart device, unofficially dubbed the iWatch. Both patent filings and job listings strongly suggest Apple’s plans are real. See also: Arm Race: Samsung To Build A Smartwatch TooApple’s not the only company supposedly trying to make our wrists smarter. Others—including Google and Microsoft—are reportedly racing to bring their own smartwatches to market. The reason why is obvious: If any one of these companies can blaze this trail, it offers a substantial advantage. The market for smartwatches isn’t as saturated as tablets or phones, so the winner here has a better chance of standing out and locking even more users into its respective platforms.The wrist, in short, is viewed as virgin territory for gadgets. Though ReadWrite’s editor-in-chief may rail against wearable wrist-bound devices, he’s shouting at the waves. Smartwatches now officially seem to be the “It” thing in tech.According to this latest report, Galaxy Gear will be an Android device that makes calls, surfs the Web and manages email messages. It won’t, however, sport a flexible screen, at least not in the this version, though Samsung’s working on it for future devices.  Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Arm Race#mobile#Samsung#smartwatch#Wearable Computing#wearables Related Posts last_img read more

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As Internet Growth Slows, Tablets And Mobile Data Are The Industry’s Best Hope

first_imgowen thomas Related Posts Tags:#Internet#Internet usage#Kleiner Perkins#Mary Meeker#mobile#mobile revolution Growth in Internet usage on the whole is slowing, technology investor and analyst Mary Meeker warned in her latest Internet Trends report, an annual exercise in looking at the state of the industry that she’s done since her days as an analyst at Morgan Stanley and has continued at Kleiner Perkins, the venture-capital firm where she’s now a partner.While Meeker spent most of the report, which she published online and delivered at the Code Conference in Los Angeles Wednesday morning, looking at the Internet’s opportunities, the first line of the report should give people pause:• Internet Users<10% Y/Y growth & slowingfastest growth in more difficult to monetize developing markets like India / Indonesia / Nigeria  A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai... Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting • Smartphone Subscribers +20% strong growth though slowingfastest growth in underpenetrated markets like China / India / Brazil / Indonesia Tablets are surging, with unit shipments growing at a 52 percent annualized rate; tablets have now surpassed both desktop and laptop PCs in sales. And mobile data usage is growing even faster, at 81 percent.Yet if overall Internet usage isn’t growing, especially in the developed markets where it’s easiest to make money off of users, that suggests that tech companies are, to a large extent, just reshuffling deck chairs, shifting share around as consumer habits change.Or they’re looking to make more money off the users they have. Meeker pointed out that Google makes six times as much money per user as Facebook does, and twelve times as much money as Twitter.One area where Meeker sees growth is the continuing shift of video usage from linear television to on-demand, online video.See also: Goodbye, TV Channels—And Hello, TV AppsMeeker’s complete report is available on Slideshare:KPCB Internet trends 2014 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic... 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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AAP MLA Som Dutt convicted in assault case

first_imgA Delhi court has convicted AAP MLA Som Dutt for beating and assaulting a man during the 2015 Assembly election campaign. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal held Mr. Dutt, a legislator from the Sadar Bazar constituency here, guilty under Section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt without provocation), 341 (wrongful restraint), 147 (rioting) and Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.“There is no doubt that on January 10, 2015, around 8 p.m., Som Dutt, along with his 50 supporters, went to flat no. 13 where the complainant was present. The complainant was beaten and assaulted by the accused and his associates due to which he suffered grievous injury,” the court said. Grievous injury The maximum punishment for causing grievous injury is seven years. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on July 4.The court, however, said the offence of wrongful restraint (Section 341 IPC) is not made out in this case as the complainant was not going anywhere and he was not restrained from proceeding in any direction. “Further, Section 147 of the IPC, which punishes the offence of rioting, is also not made out considering that the intention of the accused was only to beat the complainant and no further. “It is not clear how many persons, apart from the accused, had assaulted the complainant and what was their common object, if any,” the court said.An FIR was lodged against Mr. Dutt in 2015 at the Gulabi Bagh police station in North Delhi on the allegation that the MLA and around 50 of his supporters, while campaigning in the locality, had come to the house of complainant Sanjeev Rana.The prosecutor had alleged that when the complainant objected, the MLA allegedly hit him on his legs with a baseball bat and his supporters dragged him out on the road and started beating him, causing grievous injury.Mr. Dutt’s counsel had refuted the arguments, saying the MLA and his supporters were peacefully campaigning in the society and it was the complainant who started quarrelling with Mr. Dutt in an inebriated state, on which a cross FIR was also registered by the legislator.last_img read more

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Froome on brink of fourth Tour de France crown

first_imgTrump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet 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 “It’s something special for me today. After the stage when I went alone I was thinking, ‘I have to do something nice again’.“Today I got more luck than the other stage, I’m really happy about this.”In what has been the closest Tour battle in years, the top three riders started the day separated by less than 30 seconds, building hope for a grandstand finale in the steamy southern port city ahead of Sunday’s procession into Paris.But any such romantic notions of Frenchman Bardet overturning his 23sec deficit to Froome had disappeared long before the end of Saturday’s 22.5km race against the clock, which began and ended in Marseille’s iconic Velodrome football stadium.Bardet started the day second overall but only narrowly escaped the double humiliation of being pushed off the podium by Landa and overtaken by a charging Froome, who started his time-trial two minutes after the Frenchman.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Froome reached the first time check after 10.2km in second place, two seconds behind team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski, with Bodnar third at 6sec.By then it was already clear there would be no grandstand finish as Uran was 23sec down on Froome having begun with a 29sec deficit, while Bardet had given up 44sec to the British leader.CrisisBy the second time check, Colombian Uran was starting to gain back a bit of time and looked certain to take second overall.But Bardet was in crisis, already 1min 17sec off Kwiatkowski, who still had the best time at the second check, although only fractions of a second ahead of Spanish veteran Alberto Contador, after 15.6km and the climb up to the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, with Froome fourth at 3sec.Spaniard Landa, who had started the day 1:13 behind Bardet, was now starting to threaten the Frenchman’s podium hopes.At the finish, Uran almost came a cropper, hitting the side boardings on a tight bend in a technical run-in to the Velodrome.It cost him a few seconds but disaster was averted as he stayed upright to finish 31 seconds behind four-time Polish time-trial champion Bodnar, whose strong final section took him a second ahead of Kwiatkowski, the 2014 world road race champion.“Coming second in this race is the most important result in my career,” said Uran, 30, who has also twice finished runner-up at the Giro d’Italia.Landa had finished 51sec back and as Bardet came into the stadium, fans were counting down the seconds to see if he would hang on to third place, while the looming yellow-clad figure of Froome lurked in his rear-view mirrors. Bardet finished 2:02 behind Bodnar to hold onto third by a single second while Froome crossed the line moments later, to claim third place on the stage and secure a fourth Tour title.“I’m at my limit, I’m tired, I gave everything,” said the 26-year-old.“I’m delighted to have given it everything and there’s a little bit of success in having saved a podium place.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ “It’s incredible, the atmosphere here in Marseille, it’s massive being here in the stadium,” said Froome, 32, who will nonetheless finish without a stage win this year.“It’s the Tour de France, you can’t always win everything,” said the Sky team leader.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We had to put in the effort over three weeks and that’s what we did.”For Bodnar, it was sweet revenge have come within a few hundred metres of a solo victory on stage 11, before he was caught by a charging peloton and Marcel Kittel took the sprint finish. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Great Britain’s Christopher Froome wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey competes in a 22,5 km individual time-trial, the twentieth stage of the 104th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on July 22, 2017 in and around Marseille, southern France. / AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOISChris Froome all but secured a fourth Tour de France title by finishing third in Saturday’s 20th stage time-trial in Marseille as Maciej Bodnar took the stage victory.Rigoberto Uran moved into second overall at 54 seconds, set to be the tightest winning margin of Froome’s four Tour successes, while Romain Bardet held on for third by just one second ahead of Mikel Landa.ADVERTISEMENT Gilas ‘has to finish strong’ as PH faces Iran in Jones Cup closer Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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