SA banks’ governance ‘sound’

first_img13 May 2003The Reserve Bank is happy about the “positive” report from an independent review on corporate governance of the five largest banking groups in the country – Absa, FirstRand Bank Holdings, Investec, Nedcor and Standard Bank.Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Gill Marcus said the review, released in Pretoria on Tuesday, found that the corporate governance of the banking groups was “sound and that no serious breaches existed”.“It’s a very positive report. It points out that our banking groups’ boards are healthy and have a level of independence required to fulfill their roles,” Marcus said.The review was conducted by JK Myburgh and commissioned by the Registrar of Banks, Christo Wiese, last year. The review’s terms of reference were to broadly evaluate the standard of corporate governance applied by the banks, with the premise that corporate governance is an essential element of a healthy risk-management process crucial to the banking business.In this regard, the review found the banks to be committed to adhering to and applying high standards of corporate governance.“Acting on the advice of specialists on corporate governance, the banks on their own initiative from time to time review their corporate governance to ensure compliance with accepted governance principles,” the report said.However, vigilance was still required to ensure continued compliance with standards of governance, which were constantly evolving in South Africa and internationally, Myburgh said.Wiese said it was encouraging to note that risk-management processes in the relevant banks had become more quantitative, which reflected not only enhanced ability to process data, but also the application of improved techniques for the measurement and management of risk.Myburgh’s report recommended, however, that banks should reduce the number of board members, as “smaller boards are more cohesive and work more effectively than large boards”.He recommended that boards should consist of no more than 16 members instead of the current norm of 24 or 25 members.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Design of aircraft is rarely a crash factor

first_imgLoss of control in-flight and runway overruns, typically in bad weather –not aircraft design – continue to be the biggest factors in air crashes in the first six months of 2013.While last year was the safest year ever for flying according to the International Air Transport Association with only 15 fatal airline accidents with 414 fatalities the aviation industry is working on programs to reduce the rate further.*But this year –so far – is even safer with only 6 major accidents with 46 fatalities for airlines and charter operators.Commenting on the figures airlineratings.com Editor Geoffrey Thomas said that where once aircraft design was a factor this is rarely the case today.“This safety report builds on our ‘Best and worst crash rates’ feature published on June 18, 2013,” said Mr Thomas.“Relating to that report it is important to clarify that an aircraft’s crash rate has almost nothing to do with the design or quality of the aircraft.”“Intending passengers should look more at the operator’s safety rating and then how and where they operate the aircraft – not necessarily the aircraft itself,” said Mr Thomas “Take aircraft such as the twin-engine LET410 and Twin Otter turboprop which have been involved in some accidents over recent years but none were related to the design of the aircraft. In fact the L410 has not been involved in any incidents or accidents this year,” said Mr Thomas.“In fact the latest models the rugged LET410 UVP-E20 and L420, being in production since 1990 have an excellent safety record and have been certified by many authorities including those in Australia, the US and Europe.“These aircraft [LET410] have made a name for themselves on the continent of Africa with their remarkable “hot and high” performance, excellent Short Take-off and Landing capabilities, durable structure and their ability to operate under extreme climatic conditions,” said Mr. Thomas.“Crash rates for aircraft must be treated with extreme caution as aircraft such as the LET410 and Twin Otter operate where most aircraft cannot and provide critical lifelines to communities in rugged mountainous regions and jungles almost always onto grass or gravel runways.”It is also important to look carefully at the model of the aircraft. For instance the airline industry differentiates when major upgrades occur such as with the 737 and DC-9 designs that date to the 1960s.Early models of the Boeing 737 and DC-9 have a higher crash rates than later versions which have had extensive systems upgrades as technology improves and industry wide safety lessons are learnt.According to Boeing data the earliest 737 series has a crash rate of .88 per one million departures, while the next series upgraded models have a rate of .26, while the latest series the 737NG has a rate of just .15.“It is the same with the LET410 series,” said Mr Thomas“The latest models are not to be compared with earlier versions from the 1970s and the manufacturer Czech based Aircraft Industries is now developing the new LET410NG which features a glass cockpit and General Electric H80 engines.*IATA’s data is based on twin-engine turbine aircraft above 5,700kg for turboprops and 15,000kg for jets. Airlineratings.com adopts the same standards.last_img read more

Brand South Africa reiterates the call to fight against the abuse of women and child with a campaign #IAM

first_imgBrand South Africa reiterates the call to fight against the abuse of women and child with a campaign #IAM and continuously aims to encourage all South Africans to play their part towards progressive change, that promotes a free and fair society for all to live in.“This 16 day of activism against women and children abuse has reached unacceptable levels in Gauteng and South Africa as a whole” said, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane at the launch of the annual 16 Days of Activism campaign.The theme #HearMeToo follows from the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE), which calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts and share of knowledge and innovations.The objectives of the 16 Days Campaign are to:Encourage all South Africans to be active participants in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children, hence the theme: Count me in.Expand accountability beyond the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster to include all government clusters and provinces.Combine technology, social media, the arts, journalism, religion, culture and customs, business and activism to draw attention to the many ways violence against women and children affects the lives of all people in all communities around the world.Ensure mass mobilisation of all communities to promote collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children.Encourage society to acknowledge that violence against women and children is NOT a government or criminal justice system problem, but a societal problem, and that failure to view it as such results in all efforts failing to eradicate this scourge in our communities.Emphasise the fact that the solution lies with all of us.Brand South Africa reiterates the call to fight against the abuse of women and child with a campaign #IAM. The campaign is aimed to engage men to break the silence against sexual and gender-based violence in the country and drive this to be a reality for all.“We have recently seen men uniting in one voice to break the silence and showing unity in the fight for protecting women and children, for instance the #NOTINMYNAME movement. We commend these men for taking charge. This is why Brand South Africa found it important to support this campaign and charge men with the responsibility of their role in protecting their loved ones, hence the #IAM campaign”, said Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Marketing, Ms Sithembile NtombelaThe campaign calls on men of diverse ethnicity to participate. Filmed in black t-shirts, wearing red lipstick with the words #IAM highlighting their role of protecting women and children.“This campaign does not start nor end during the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence, it is an everyday reality that we need to face and mobilize community members, men and women to take a stand and report, stop abuse whether it is emotionally, physically or sexually. Let us all have a voice against this social ill and construct a nation that is peaceful and unified” adds Ms Ntombela.Call the Stop Gender-Based Violence helpline (0800 150 150).last_img read more

Developer Announces Plan For South Carolina’s First Near-Zero-Energy Home

first_imgHome Will Include Large Rooftop PV ArrayAIKEN, SC — Ron Monahan, a developer from Boulder, Colorado, has announced plans to begin construction this year on a home he calls “the first zero-energy home in South Carolina.” The home will be one of 75 Energy Star homes planned for Phase One of The Ridge at Chukker Creek, a green residential development near Aiken, South Carolina.The near-zero-energy home will be insulated with spray polyurethane foam and equipped with a rooftop photovoltaic array. If the market responds well, Monahan may build three additional zero-energy homes in South Carolina.Architect George Watt of Boulder, Colorado, is finalizing plans for the home. “The approach is to do it as an all-electric house,” said Watt. “We plan to use an air-to-air heat pump with a COP of 3.6 or 3.7 and an on-demand electric water heater. The house will include an induction cooktop and Energy Star appliances to keep loads down, along with a Lifebreath HRV. It will have a terrific building envelope, well insulated and well sealed, with R-20 walls and an R-40 roof. I expect that the house will need a PV system sized between 8 and 10 kilowatts.”According to the Aiken Standard, The Ridge at Chukker Creek “includes a 61-acre conservation easement called the Freeman Preserve, miles of walking trails and a spring-fed pond. … Builders plan to use recycled or recyclable materials, with low or no volatile organic compounds and locally manufactured components.” At The Ridge at Chukker Creek, existing three-bedroom homes without PV systems are on the market for $325,000.last_img read more