2 January 2008It has taken more than three decades for South Africa to produce a young black international campaigner; 32 years for someone to follow in the footsteps of 1976 French Open winner Vincent Tshabalala and make it onto the European Tour circuit.For South Africans, the long wait is over. On 20 November, a humble young player from the Eastern Cape wrote a new chapter in South African golf history when he earned his passage to Europe with the 23rd card at the Final Stage Qualifier.On hearing the news that James Kamte had earned his card for the 2008 European Tour season, nine-time Major winner Gary Player was elated.“When I met James, I told him he had the ability to go all the way,” Player said. “James has the temperament, the personality and determination of a champion. He will be a wonderful ambassador for South Africa. His achievements will open a floodgate of talent among the next generation.”Vincent Tshabalala, who was ranked the number one long-iron player on the Sunshine Tour in 1976, agreed with his former sponsor, adding that Kamte has the game, the talent and the ability to listen and learn, which will see him count among the world’s best in years to come.“James came to me a couple of years ago at Gillooleys Driving Range in Johannesburg, looking for advice on a particular chip-shot,” Tshabala said. “I guided him, he listened and he has since executed that shot to great affect.“I also told him that a champion in the making has the ability to use all 14 clubs in the bag,” Tshabalala added. “Everyone can hit a driver, but only champions know when to settle for an iron.“Two years ago, he was hammering his driver around every course. Now we see him using a 3-wood, 1- and 2-irons, chipping with confidence and giving himself chances when the putter runs cold. That is the sign of a champion in the making.”Humble beginningsKamte’s road to Europe has been eventful, paved both with hardships and good fortune.From the obscurity of a Queenstown township, this former caddie has risen into the big time and with it, the glitz, glamour, sponsorships and pressure that come with being South Africa’s rising black star.But for “The Cobra”, everything is about right now . owning a title on the Sunshine Tour, owning a European Tour card, getting married to his long-time fiance Nicky – the wedding took place in December – and being a father to six-month old Tumi.Kamte travels with a signature smile that almost touches the corners of his eyes, and the unwavering faith that this journey is all part of his destiny.“I have kept my trust in God and I allow him to guide this journey,” says Kamte. “I have always maintained that, as long as you put in the hard work, God will do the rest.“The biggest lesson I’ve learnt this past year is that God picks the time,” says Kamte. “No matter how hard I work, how much I trust, I needed to learn that He decides the where and when.”Going proA protege of St Francis Golf Club and, later, the Ernie Els Golf Foundation, Kamte arrived on the pro scene in 2003 under the watchful eye of coach Gavan Levenson.“I was so out of my depth when I turned pro,” says Kamte, who ranked 138th after eight starts at the end of his rookie season.“You think because you’re hot on the amateur scene, you know what you’re doing, but it’s a wake-up call when you are suddenly thrown in the deep end with guys that can really play.“Gavan guided me along and the guys on the Sunshine Tour took me in, you know, they supported me and showed me the way. I got to 32nd on the money list in 2004. I think that was when I really knew I could go all the way.”In February 2006, Kamte rose to prominence when he challenged at the Telkom PGA Championship, but his lack of experience under pressure showed in the final round. He tied for third, then capped the season with a tie for eighth at the season-ending Vodacom Tour Championship at CCJ.Ranked a career-high 25th on the final Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, Kamte was also the highest-ranked black player for the season, a feat he would repeat at the end of 2006 when he climbed to a final ranking of 21st.“Vincent Tshabalala was 34 when he ranked 15th in 1976, and that is still the record. But I am edging closer all the time. Besides, I still have 10 years to catch up,” jokes Kamte, who ranks 16th on the current Sunshine Tour money list.That same year, Kamte became the first black South African to qualify for the Challenge Tour’s Peugeot Challenge in Barcelona.“It was fantastic to qualify,” he says. “I wasn’t thinking about winning or being the first black player, I just wanted a good finish among the stiff competition. That’s when you learn, when you can gain from the experience of playing with some of the finest golfers in Europe.”Aiming for EuropeAt the start of the 2007 season, Kamte was clear about his goals.“I’ve learnt a lot on the Sunshine Tour and I intend to keep on learning and improving so that I can campaign overseas on a regular basis,” he said at the time. “Mr Player told me last year that all I lacked was the belief that I could win.“My goal is to win on the Sunshine Tour this year and get my Challenge Tour card for 2008. Then it’s straight to the European Tour.”Little did Kamte know that not only would he achieve both goals, he would also pass GO.Having qualified for the 2007 French Open, Kamte faced a sea of media as the first round leader in Toulouse.“I had the flu and was struggling with my back, so I never expected to lead. I thought I was just playing well,” he said afterwards. “Then the putter went cold, my focus shifted and I let myself down. I lost my self-belief when things started going wrong.”It was back to the drawing board. Kamte came back strong, with a top-20 and back-to-back top-10 finishes in Europe and a victory at home.Kamte finished the 2007 Challenge Tour season ranked 38th after 14 starts and qualified for the Final Stage of the gruelling Qualifying School. Despite a busy season, he remained upbeat about his chances at San Rogue, emphasising that a card for the 2008 European Tour was not his main goal of the season.“I am still knocking and I probably need another season on the Challenge Tour, but I have proven to myself that I have what’s needed to compete after winning at Dainfern.“If things go my way, I might be coming home with a Tour card in my wallet. If they don’t, that’s the way things have to be.”Kamte shot rounds of 71-70-73-73-70-72, proving his growing confidence and consistency under pressure, in the face of adverse weather conditions and under attack from a balky, frozen putter.Card tucked safely in the back of his wallet, Kamte came home to prepare for his wedding.“I know I can shoot low rounds, I’ve learned when to hold back and not get ahead of myself, and I am learning how to handle the pressure when I get into contention,” he said.“And I believe I have what it takes to spring a surprise on the guys dominating the local and international scene – maybe in the not-too-distant future.”Source: Sunshine Tour
14 July 2015There is a fear that new scientific exploration into space might lead to “unhealthy forms of new competition”, the South African Brics Think Tank (SABTT) said yesterday.With an increasing interest in space research, it was important to “start working co- operatively rather than competitively”, said Professor Ari Sitas, the newly appointed head of SABTT’s council.“There is a fear that space is becoming a new area of intellectual property and trademark and [with countries] moving out there for resources, this might lead to unhealthy forms of new competition.“All [Brics countries] are involved in space research and all are using satellite technology. South Africa is one of the primary stargazers with the MeerKAT and the SKA projects,” he said.The South African MeerKAT radio telescope is currently being built in Northern Cape. It will be a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project in which South Africa, along with Australia, will host the world’s largest radio telescope.The SABTT released a statement yesterday on some of the key outcomes of the seventh Brics summit held in Ufa, Russia, on 8 and 9 July.In the original declaration following the summit, the heads of state said they recognised the benefit that the Brics countries could obtain from “opportunities for outer space co-operation in order to promote the application of relevant technologies for peaceful purposes”.“Outer space shall be free for peaceful exploration and use by all States on a basis of equality in accordance with international law,” it read.Furthermore, read the declaration: “The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development.”ICT securityThe summit also established a working group of experts to tackle security issues arising out of the use of information and communication technology networks.Sitas said the Brics countries had raised three main concerns around this. The first was the use of this technology by criminal syndicates.“Everyone, through Interpol and other means, [is] trying to get something going [in terms of transnational] organised crime.”The second issue was that the use of ICT technology for terrorism was “becoming very sensitive”.“There is a consensus that acts of terror are not on,” said Sitas. The summit had also affirmed the commitment of its members to create protocols regarding finances moving around the countries through ICT networks.In the original declaration, the heads of state also reiterated “condemnation of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular, the right to privacy”.At the next Brics summit, to be held in 2016 in India, the countries’ New Development Bank is expected to be launched.Meanwhile, over the weekend, President Jacob Zuma said the summit had helped “deepen co-operation between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa”.“There is no doubt in our minds that almost seven years after we joined Brics, the world’s geopolitics is changing and the Brics bloc of countries is having a significant impact, particularly on the developing economies,” he said.Source: News24Wire
A house is seen on fire in Gawduthar village, Maungdaw township, in the north of Rakhine state, Myanmar, on 7 September 2017. — Photo: ReutersMyanmar’s minister for religion on Tuesday said Rohingya Muslim refugees living in neighbouring Bangladesh are being “brainwashed” into “marching” on the Buddhist-majority nation, amid a diplomatic feud over the fate of the persecuted minority.More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the wake of a brutal army crackdown last August, UN agencies say, and are now living in crowded Bangladeshi refugee camps.UN investigators have accused Myanmar soldiers of carrying out mass killings, rapes and burning hundreds of villages with “genocidal intent”. Myanmar denies most of the allegations.Thura Aung Ko said Bangladesh was “not letting them return”, referring to the Rohingya as “Bengalis”, a term commonly used in Myanmar to imply that they are recent interlopers from Bangladesh. Rohingya say they are native to Rakhine state.“If [they] release them, the population will drop,” he said in a video shared by NewsWatch, a news website. “And then, they, at the camps, also feed and brainwash Bengali youths to truly march. They will march on Myanmar. The future goal of those over populated Bengalis is to march on Myanmar.”Plans to repatriate an initial group of 2,260 Rohingya from the camps last month were scuppered after none of the refugees agreed to go back, saying they wanted guarantees of safety and citizenship.Thura Aung Ko, a former general who was appointed to the cabinet by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi after she came to power in 2016, was expanding on comments he made at the funeral of a prominent monk last week. On 27 November, he expounded on birth rates among members of an unnamed “extreme religion” and the threat it posed to Buddhism in Myanmar.“While we Buddhists practise monogamy and have only one or two children, an extreme religion encourages to have three or four wives and give birth to 15 to 20 children,” he said in a video published by Radio Free Asia. “After three, four, five decades in this Buddhist country, the Buddhist community will certainly become the minority.”On Tuesday, he clarified: “In fact, ‘other religion’ means Bengalis.”San Aung, the chairman of an Islamic society based in Yangon, told Reuters by phone the comments were “very sad”.“As a minister for religion he shouldn’t speak irresponsibly,” he said.
It comes as no surprise to most that Google have been one of the largest buyers of renewable energy. Over 2017 alone, Google have purchased over 7 billion kilowatt-hour (kWh) from solar panels and wind farms designed especially for their electricity consumption. In light of the IPCC 6 Climate Change report which was released just a couple of days back, Google have also released a paper discussing their efforts regarding their 24/7 carbon-free energy initiative. What does the Google paper say In line with their promise of moving towards a future driven by carbon-free energy, Google’s paper discusses the steps Google are taking to reduce their carbon footprint. Key aspects discussed in this paper, aptly titled ‘Moving toward 24×7 Carbon-Free Energy at Google Data Centers: Progress and Insights’, are: Google’s framework for using 24/7 carbon-free energy How Google are currently utilizing carbon-free energy to power their data centers across different campuses situated all over the world. Finland, North Carolina, Netherlands, Iowa, and Taiwan are some of the examples where this is being achieved. Analysis of the power usage currently and how the insights derived can be used in their journey ahead Why Google is striving for adopting a carbon-free strategy Per Google, they have been carbon-neutral since 2007, and met their goal of matching all of their global energy consumption with renewable energy. Considering the scale of Google’s business and the size of their existing infrastructure, they have always been a large consumer of electricity. Google’s business expansion plans in the near future too, in turn, could have direct effects on the environmental footprint. As such, their strategy of 24/7 carbon-free energy makes complete sense. According to Google, “Pursuing this long-term objective is important for elevating carbon-free energy from being an important but limited element of the global electricity supply portfolio today, to a resource that fully powers our operations and ultimately the entire electric grid.” This is a positive and important step by Google towards building a carbon-free future with more dependence on renewable energy sources. It will also encourage other organizations of similar scale to adopt a similar approach to reduce carbon emissions. Microsoft, for example, have already pledged a 75% reduction of their carbon footprint in the environment by 2030. Oracle have also increased their solar power usage as a part of their plan to reduce their carbon emissions. Read more: Google, Amazon, AT&T met the U.S Senate Committee to discuss consumer data privacy, yesterday Google’s new Privacy Chief officer proposes a new framework for Security Regulation Ex-googler who quit Google on moral grounds writes to Senate about company’s “Unethical” China censorship plan