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Sanral’s multibillion traffic plan

first_imgSanral’s ambitious freeway upgrade programme will help to ease congestion on Gauteng’s busy roads. (Image: Gauteng Provincial Government)Janine ErasmusFrustrated Gauteng drivers can look forward to new developments that will ease peak-hour traffic, which over the past 10 years has increased to three hours in the morning and evening respectively. The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has put forward the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, which will see freeways opened up to at least four lanes and in some cases, six in each direction. Other measures include improved interchange access, better lighting, traffic management strategies such as high occupancy lanes, intelligent transport management systems including live cameras and electronic signs that supply up-to-date information, and electronic toll collection.The portion of the N1 national highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria carries 180 000 vehicles every day and is just a small section of the 16 150km of major national roads overseen by Sanral. This well-travelled stretch is included in the 500km of freeways to be serviced by the freeway improvement project, which Sanral developed in association with the metropolitan areas of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, and provincial and national government.The resulting network of interconnected inner and outer ring roads around Gauteng, including a direct road link to Soweto, will optimise the movement of private and freight vehicles as well as road-based public transport.A feasibility study has established the project can be financed through a toll system. This, says Sanral, is a fair method of payment for a service that is used. However, the participation of the public will be required before toll collection points can be implemented. Tolls will be collected electronically, ruling out the need for construction of toll plazas and allowing motorists to travel unhindered.The bulk of the project is due for completion in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, according to Sanral, and there will be a break in work during the tournament so travellers won’t be inconvenienced. Final completion is planned for October 2010, with toll operations due to start that same month.Phase one, worth R11.5-billion ($1.4-billion) across seven contracts, will cover 125.5km of roads. Construction is already underway and is expected to take about 2.5 years. It involves boosting the capacity of existing freeways and new roads where necessary, while upgrades for the other sections are currently on the design board and are expected to go out to tender in the next few months. Environmental impact assessment studies are also in progress.More capacity for SA’s powerhouseGauteng is South Africa’s smallest province, but it is the economic and business hub of the country. According to the Gauteng Economic Development Agency, the province contributes 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the African continent and a third of South Africa’s entire GDP. Gauteng is also known as Africa’s financial services capital, with over 70 foreign banks establishing their regional head offices in the province.Statistics South Africa, in its 2001 population census, determined that 8.8-million people live in Gauteng – this is about 20% of the total South African population. Gauteng is also the fastest growing province in the country with a population growth of 20% between the 1996 and 2001 censuses.With such expansion, Gauteng’s roads infrastructure has failed to keep pace and traffic load is now more than what freeways can handle.There have been many motivations for the new road and traffic plan. Due to lingering peak-hour traffic, drivers now have to take extra road time into account, frustrating commuters and cutting into private time, says Sanral.Congestion also pushes up travel costs in terms of fuel consumption and wear and tear – another blow for motorists already hard-pressed because of rising fuel prices.Excessive road congestion affects productivity, adds Sanral, as hours are wasted sitting in traffic. It also says that insufficient capacity on Gauteng’s roads is a deterrent to development, forcing businesses to relocate or scale down. The agency also says increased gas emissions from overloaded freeways are a major environmental concern.Sanral says the scheme will benefit not only private and commercial drivers but also those using public transport through the implementation of high occupancy lanes, which will be integrated with bus rapid transport systems, taxi, bus and train routes. Plans also include transport hubs for public transport facilities.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Useful linksSouth African National Roads Agencyi-traffic information projectStatistics South Africa 2001 census informationGauteng provincial governmentlast_img read more

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South Africa highlights youth development

first_img28 September 2015Government wants to engage more actively with South African youth, using the pillars of the National Development Plan (NDP) to highlight and solve challenges in unemployment, education and social cohesion.Minister Malusi Gigaba during the Governance and Administration Cluster Media Briefing #GABriefing pic.twitter.com/oo77kpqfda— GCIS Media Liaison (@GCISMedia) September 27, 2015Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba stated government has partnered with youth organisations and business to make sure youth development is prioritised.At a media briefing of the Governance and Administration Cluster on Sunday 27 September 2015, the Minister said the partnerships were formed to alleviate the challenge of youth unemployment.Presidential Youth Working Group“President Jacob Zuma launched the Presidential Youth Working Group in June 2015, to promote youth participation in governance and policymaking and to mainstream youth development and empowerment in the work of government, to build a better life for young people,” Minister Gigaba said at the briefing.“In the work of the Presidential Youth Working Group, the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, the following work streams have been established: Economic Participation and Transformation Education; Skills and Second Chances; Health Care and Combating Substance Abuse; Nation-Building and Social Cohesion, and Effective and Responsive Youth Development Institutions.”The Minister’s statement comes after Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, accompanied by Deputy Minister Buti Manamela, signed the National Youth Policy in Khayelitsha, in the Western Cape in August this year. This policy framework, which was signed after a lengthy consultative process, also identified partnerships with all sectors of society as a way of advancing youth development.Minister Gigaba said that the strategies of the Presidential Youth Working Group’s work streams would form part of the Integrated Youth Development Strategy and progress will also be included in the MTSF for proper monitoring and evaluation.“The process to amend the National Youth Development Agency Act, 2008 (Act 54 of 2008), is ongoing, with a draft Bill currently with the State Law Advisors,” the minister said.Interventions to fast-track NDP implementationMinister Gigaba said interventions had been implemented to assist in fast- tracking several NDP imperatives, including growing the economy with an appropriate and healthy Growth Domestic Product (GDP) rate, as well as creating jobs and eradicating poverty and inequality.He said these were implemented using government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-19, which Cabinet adopted last year.“The current initiatives to stimulate growth include government’s Infrastructure Build Programme, the War Room on electricity, Operation Phakisa on the Ocean Economy and in Mining, and the Nine-Point Plan to boost economic growth and create jobs,” the minister said. He also stated that there were other reports showing success linked to the implementation of the framework.A recent report on education and skills development showed that tremendous progress was made in the education sectors which continue to be a priority area of focus.While with rural development and land reform, progress on land acquisition for smallholders has been slow, but government’s implementation of programmes are being reviewed and strengthened to resolve some of these issues.Health care, crime and social cohesionMinister Gigaba said in regards to health care, South Africa has received worldwide recognition for its HIV and Aids programme, which has over three million people initiated on treatment, contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.“Good progress is being made under safety and security, regarding the reduction of overall levels of serious crime,” he said, “the department is implementing Operation Fiela (Reclaim), to rid our country of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities.”“This multidisciplinary, interdepartmental operation is contributing to the safety and security of our communities,” the minister concluded.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Safety security of pilgrims top priority South 24Parganas DM

first_imgKolkata: The South 24-Parganas district administration is laying special emphasis on the safety and security of the pilgrims of Gangasagar Mela, which will be held from January 9 to 17. Apart from CCTVs and drones, the district administration for the first time will use helium-based balloons fitted with high quality cameras for surveillance.”The safety and security of the pilgrims have always been our top priority. There will be around 700 CCTVs, 20 drones and most importantly, 10 helium-based balloons for round-the-clock surveillance of the entire mela ground, as well as its vicinity,” said Y Ratnakara Rao, District Magistrate, South 24-Parganas. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe district administration has come up with an integrated mega control room that will encompass the entire stretch right from Babughat to the Gangasagar Mela ground. The control room infrastructure will effectively ensure data flow through all the surveillance equipment and 50 LED screens. Officials at Lot 8, Kachuberia, Chemaguri and Namkhana will be able to view real time crowd flow and activities of their cross-channel counterparts. He added that the district administration will also be putting up an automatic weather station that will be providing details about weather conditions on a real time basis. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThere will be a 20 km metal barricade for safe and disciplined passage of pilgrims, which will minimise the chances of any mishap like stampede amidst the huge crowd. “A super clean Gangasagar Mela is our motto this year, for which we have also strengthened our infrastructure of solid waste management system. This is for the first time that we will be using pollution free e-carts in cleaning operation. There will be 1,500 drums placed at strategic locations and as soon as they get filled up with garbage, our volunteers will pass on the message and the e-carts will collect the garbage and dump them at an earmarked area for disposal,” Rao said. 60 hand-pulled tricycles will also be used for the purpose of cleanliness and there will be 250 concrete vats in the area with modern toilet facilities from the state Public Health & Engineering department. The state government, in consultation with Eastern Railways, will have two circular train services from Majerhat to Namkhana during the Gangasagar Mela. The District Magistrate also informed that apart from the usual facilities of healthcare on the mela ground, a critical care unit will also be functional at Rudranagar.last_img read more

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Will Mobile Apps Change How We Interact With Ecommerce Websites

first_img 2016 has seen remarkable changes in how people view online shopping as a whole. Last year, physical stores were full of people swarming to grab the lowest Black Friday deals, but this 2016, we’ve seen tides change as people now turn to online shopping because of its hassle-free benefits.Even though sales were expected to go up, but that’s no longer the case. “In 2016, consumers can find most of those deals online over the course of a couple days, and they don’t have to brave massive crowds to do it,” Fortune concludes.Online shopping has indeed reshaped people’s buying habits. Before, Black Friday sales were anticipated as its date comes near. However, this 2016, Amazon dared to change the status quo as they started their Black Friday deals as early as November 1.TechCrunch has crunched the numbers for us, with a report on Adobe’s final numbers on Black Friday. They figured out that this year’s sales surpassed estimates, with $3.34 billion – 21.6 percent growth, year-over-year.Thanksgiving and Black Friday mobiles sales were over the top, with top online retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart releasing numbers that mobile has opened a new era of online shopping, with its tumultuous contribution on their online sales via exclusive mobile app deals.2016 is indeed the year of mobile ecommerce taking over ecommerce websites.They added that, “in 2020, mobile apps are projected to generate 188.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising.”Moving app: from web to appBinny Bansal’s gamble on going app-only earned mixed reactions. It did not take too long before Amazon India caught up with their growth.Flipkart has dared to go where other sites won’t try; an app-only ecommerce store in India. Despite the revenue and its ruling power in India, this only gave Amazon India the asset it needed to get ahead of the competition. Perhaps it was too soon to leave the desktop-only audience, however, Flipkart paved the way that it is possible to run a store that would reach any user from any part of the country (or the world) via a mobile app.While shutting down websites in favor of mobile apps hasn’t been a prerogative for most companies online, mobile apps has shown remarkable performance in this year’s sales report.A mobile app only environment does wonders for an ecommerce site, but as we’ve seen with Flipkart’s current condition, it is without its own cons as well.Data is consolidated in the app environment. We are used to tracking sales both in desktop and mobile. Through a mobile app, efforts are more targeted and user experience is consistent through and through. What you collect is raw data; no need to think of other common factors that are in conflict with desktop usage. Because people spend more time on apps than on a mobile website, you can learn more about their shopping behaviors; use this to your advantage.In addition to that, consider your mobile app as a direct marketing channel for your brand. It does not create friction since you solely own your audience’s attention. There are no distractions that may pull him out of the sales funnel.However, if a user cannot find what he’s looking for in your app, it is only natural that they shift their attention and use search engines to find other options aside from your own. Did you know that users browse 286% more products in apps than on the mobile web? A poorly designed mobile app can significantly reduce interest among its audience.Perhaps one of the main benefits of mobile app usage is faster loading times. Because a mobile app is considerably lighter than a desktop website, user experience can be improved. However, if fast loading times are countered by a poor interface design, bounce rates are still expected to increase due to audience’s disinterest.Why customers prefer mobile apps over mobile websitesOne of the biggest considerations if you are panning on setting up a mobile app to complement your mobile website is your users. Studies have shown that customers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites. Some of the reasons are the following.Using the features of smartphones, everything is almost automatic with mobile apps – especially with regards to payments and checkout. With mobile apps, it is much easier to pay whether it be by using mobile banking apps, scanning your credit card, or by digital wallets.Mobile applications are truly dedicated to make things easier for consumers to do their transactions.Mobile apps offer improved flexibility for its users. First of all, apps are way more responsive than mobile websites. Also, there are fewer connectivity issues – if you have a stable internet connection, your dedicated app would almost never have a problem working. Mobile apps can also make use of smartphones’ features such as Bluetooth, GPS, and the phone’s camera.Aside from that, mobile apps for ecommerce sites are far easier to navigate than mobile websites on a phone’s browser. So even when the user is moving, he can comfortably use the app to shop!Again, a lot of consumers are utilizing apps nowadays. They actually expect more known brands to have a dedicated app. That being the case, companies should see the need to come up with a mobile app to increase their reach and engagement, on a channel that is used by a lot of potential customers.Another beauty of mobile apps is the personalization that it offers. Mobile apps personalize the shopping experience of customers by sending push notifications (whether it be for news, or promos).With mobile apps, it will also be easier to collect data from the user for you to be able to understand their behavior better. With the help of mobile analytics tools, you can make use of these data to further personalize the shopping experience of mobile app users. ecommerce-aside, you can even use mobile apps for fundraising events, and more.That’s why you should see it beyond its icon – this is the closest you can get to be in touch with your audience, and your customers.Mobile apps will continue to change how shopping is doneTrue enough, these reasons are enticing consumers to utilize mobile apps instead of mobile websites. And this is not just a fad – it is seen as an actual change brought in by the development of mobile devices. And as we further dwell into the mobile era, it is expected that mobile apps will continue to change the way online shopping is done.Businesses need not to look further if they want to have a mobile app of their business. Should they want to use it for lead generation or sales, there’s a wide range of mobile app builders that they can choose from. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, look no further – Bizness Apps can take care of the work for you! This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps December 25, 2016 Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now 7 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feiferlast_img read more

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