First Lady Sandra Granger on Wednesday morning encouraged the delegates in the Mother and Daughter Pageant to be strong and confident and to push back against disrespect in their daily lives.First Lady Sandra Granger (centre); the founder and producer of the Supa-Stylistics Mother and Daughter Pageant, Ingrid Fung (left) and Dr Sulan Fung (right); and the delegates in all of the categories of the pageant, in the Baridi Benab at State HouseThe First Lady made these comments during a courtesy call the group and organisers paid on her at her State House office.“Every time you look around, you see the image of women being battered… “If we’re always afraid; we will always be battered and people will begin to believe that it is normal, so we have to begin to start pushing back,” the First Lady said.The First Lady also advised the delegates to stay true to themselves by holding firm to their values, educating themselves and by cultivating self-confidence so that they can fight against the negative stereotypes of women that are often publicised.“So, we have to start somewhere… I would like to see that when our young girls grow up, they don’t think of being somebody’s assistant or secretary, they look to becoming Chief Executive Officer, Presidents and the Ministers in charge,” she said.Meanwhile, Producer of the pageant, Dr Sulan Fung, said the organisers took the decision to arrange a meeting with the First Lady and the delegates because they view her as a role model for women. “We see her as the epitome of what a Guyanese woman should be and we wanted our mothers, our women, our children to have her as an example,” she said.
14 December 2011South African state company Telkom plans to issue a second multibillion-rand tender to build parts of a network for 8ta, its struggling mobile phone company, after the Chinese company contracted to do the work failed to meet deadlines.Launched in October last year, 8ta is expected to report an earnings loss of R2.2-billion for the year to March. It has just over 1.1-million active customers and a market share of 1,9%. It is targeting a 12%-15% market share by 2015-16.Although 8ta was expected to post losses in its first few years of operation, analysts fear its losses are rising and that it will not make its 2016 profit targets.Chinese company Huawei was contracted to build 8ta’s network in South Africa, but had not met some of the deadlines stipulated in the contract, resulting in Telkom withholding about R800-million in payments, industry sources said.Huawei won an “end-to-end turnkey” tender early last year to supply, install, integrate and operate base stations and associated network elements for 8ta, a deal worth more than R1-billion.According to an executive at a telecommunications network infrastructure provider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Telkom’s board had approved a resolution instructing 8ta to issue a second network tender to compete with Huawei and force the Chinese company to speed up its work and lower its prices.Huawei refused to comment on the claim it was taking longer than the contract stipulations to roll out the 8ta network. A spokesman said: “It would be very unprofessional and unethical for Huawei to comment in any way, directly or indirectly, about the business of its partners and suppliers.”Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty confirmed a second tender was being issued for the 8ta network. He said the 8ta network project began in January last year. To date, Huawei had built 1 560 macro base stations, 12 radio network controllers and 15 base station controllers across SA.Chetty said payment terms with Huawei were structured in such a way that payments were “effected as various projects meet specific payment milestones”.“While 8ta applies very stringent quality acceptance processes, many of the purported delays are also attributable to external factors, such as provision of power to the sites,” Chetty said.He said full payment for projects “is only made once Telkom receives full beneficial use of the deliverable and, as such, a number of partial payment milestones may not yet have been reached for those payments to be effected”.Chetty said Telkom’s board had resolved to issue another tender to contract a second vendor for the supply of radio access network equipment.“However, the process is to be guided by the demand, scale of network deployment, the dynamics of the industry and ease of integration,” he said.“In this regard, the formal sourcing process has been started, with the generation of requisite documentation and specifications having been completed.”Chetty said with Huawei as the main supplier of the “end-to- end turnkey network” for 8ta, tangible benefits such as bulk-order pricing and volume-based discounts were realised and leveraged to ultimately assist 8ta in “reaching and exceeding market and business objectives”.Local network service providers complained Huawei was squeezing subcontractors out of business by not paying them for services provided on the Telkom contract. They said this led to job losses and in some cases closure.Sapa
Manchester City midfielder David Silva says his current contract, which runs until 2020, could be his last at the Premier League champions and has ruled out a future move to any rival club in England.The Spain international has been an integral part of City’s success, scoring 61 goals and providing 115 assists in 346 appearances to help the club win three league titles, an FA Cup and three League Cups since his arrival 2010.”When I finish my contract with Manchester City I will be 34 years old, at that time I will probably want to do something different,” Silva told Sky Sports. “I don’t know yet but I won’t play for another club in England.”People always love me in England, it’s been eight years – very successful years, and the football we’ve played has been very attractive. English people love that type of football – those type of games. And that’s why I’m so happy here.”City have bolstered their squad further following their record-breaking exploits last season as they aim to become the first team to retain the league title since Manchester United in 2009.”It’s going to be very difficult, especially this year with the big teams Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea spending lots of money to get very good players,” Silva said.”To win consecutive leagues is going to be very difficult but we’re going to try. I’m sure this year we’re going to do it.”Following an underwhelming World Cup campaign, Silva could return to action for City in their Community Shield clash against Chelsea on August 5 or their league opener at Arsenal a week later.advertisement Sane not finished article: GuardiolaManchester City manager Pep Guardiola says the club have still to see the best of Leroy Sane.A surprise omission from Germany’s World Cup squad, Sane scored the opener in City’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in the International Champions Cup but Guardiola said last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year had room to improve.”It depends on him,” Guardiola told reporters. “He needs more minutes and he needs to regain his principles in terms of playing without the ball.”He has the talent to do that and we are happy that he scored. Still, he is far away from his best.”Guardiola also said his team’s performance against Liverpool showed there was a bright future for a young City squad.”For 75 minutes, it was incredible what we did with the players we have … Our personality was incredible. The average age of our players in the first half was very young.”City’s next game in the competition is against Bayern Munich on Saturday.
OTTAWA – Civil service unions vowed Wednesday to hold the Trudeau government’s feet to the fire after the Liberals pledged in their latest budget to replace the troubled Phoenix pay system with a “next-generation” compensation system that works.Federal employees rallied in at least a dozen cities across the country to mark the second anniversary of the disastrous launch of Phoenix.Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced a federal budget that included plans to spend $16 million over two years exploring options for building a new pay system while eventually scrapping the IBM-built Phoenix program.The system is clearly not delivering as it was supposed to, Morneau said Wednesday in a post-budget event at the Economic Club of Ottawa.“What we’ve said over the long term is that we need to find a new approach — a new approach that works.”While many workers said they were encouraged that the pay system will be replaced, their unions were determined not to let their guard down until the government delivers on its pledge.“I see this as a glimmer of hope in a long two years of constant stress and financial worry for our members,” said Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, at a rally in Ottawa.“We need a pay system that works, and we have the people to build it,” Daviau said, pointing to the government’s benefit distribution system, the NetFile tax filing system and border control systems as prime examples of what her members can do.“These are the same professionals who designed and built virtually every important computer system that the government relies on.”The Phoenix pay system has been a nightmare for tens of thousands of civil servants since it was formally launched two years ago.Fixing the problem, which has left many government employees underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all, is expected to cost upwards of at least $1 billion, with estimates that the final tally could go much higher.Tuesday’s federal budget also provided indications that it could take more than two years to develop, test and ultimately launch a new pay system.The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which organized the rallies, said it’s still concerned that the Trudeau government didn’t provide an exemption to ensure that employees who were overpaid don’t have to return the gross total of those overpayments.PSAC said its members complied with government instructions to report overpayments by mid-January or risk having to pay back more money than was deposited into their bank accounts. But thousands of civil servants could still be forced to pay back the gross overpayment amounts because of the government’s inability to process their reports, the union said.Too little, too late. That’s what I think about the budget,” said PSAC president Robyn Benson.The government has agreed to consider changing tax laws for the 2018 tax year to allow public servants who were overpaid to repay the net amount, rather than the gross amount.The budget allocates an additional $431 million over six years to address problems created by Phoenix, plus the $16 million to begin the process of finding a replacement, on top of the $460 million already committed to both implement the pay system and resolve subsequent problems.And the Canada Revenue Agency will get $5.5 million to conduct income tax reassessments for individuals affected by Phoenix.But the costs are likely to escalate under a government pledge to also work with the unions on compensating employees for mental and emotional stress caused by the Phoenix foulups.The opposition New Democrats had introduced a motion calling on the government to both compensate and apologize to civil servants, but that motion was defeated Wednesday in the Commons by a margin of 159-135.When it was approved in 2015 by the previous Conservative government, officials said the Phoenix pay system would save taxpayers about $70 million annually by streamlining and consolidating pay systems across dozens of departments and agencies.— Follow @tpedwell on Twitter