71 entities interested in GuySuCo’s assets – Harmon

first_imgGuySuCo’s divestmentOver 71 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) have been received by the State for assets of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) as the Government forges ahead with plans to divest and minimise the sugar industry.Minister of State, Joseph HarmonSpeaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, explained that Government would move forward with these EoIs only after completion of the valuation of GuySuCo’s assets, which is currently being carried out by the United Kingdom-based firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).“That valuation will actually give us a good sense of what prices you’re actually looking at for the equipment, for the land, and all of these assets that belong to GuySuCo. So it’s an important step in the process to have these valuations done. So while some companies have actually made applications [and] expressed interest, what we are saying is: ‘Let us get the proper valuation and know exactly what it is that we’re doing’, so it is not done in a (piecemeal) manner,” he stated.According to Harmon, Government wants to ensure that this divestment process is done is an orderly and transparent way, especially since this is going to be one of the largest local transfers of State lands to private ownership.“So you don’t want allegations of favouritism, price-gouging and all of these things. We want to ensure a very smooth process, which will ensure that everyone gets a clear understanding and equal opportunity to purchase,” the State Minister posited.Sugar workers in line to collect severance payGovernment last year announced plans to minimise the local sugar industry and divest the corporation’s assets. To this end, a Special Purposes Unit (SPU) — which falls under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) — was set up to oversee the divestment plans by way of either selling off or restarting factories with minimal staff to attract investors, both domestic and foreign.Room for improvementNICIL’s Special Purposes Unit (SPU) Head, Colvin Heath-London, has recently confirmed that, over the next few months, special emphasis would be placed on transforming GuySuCo’s economic misfortune into a situation wherein a fully self-sufficient, viable and competitive enterprise operates.However, asked about the performance of the three remaining estates – Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion — Minister Harmon has said they continue to function, but he believes there is room for improvement with the performance of these estates.“There is, of course, the need for some of these estates to really push themselves a little bit more; and I think that is something which we should look at. You’re also aware that DDL (Demerara Distillers Limited) had to actually import molasses because of a shortfall in their production, and these are things that we need to get right… These are what you call ‘low hanging fruits’ that are there that we should take advantage of,” he opined.Guyana Times reported earlier this week that the Albion Estate on the Corentyne Coast in East Berbice has vacancies for some 600 workers of various categories, and as such, may not be able to meet its target for the second crop, which is expected to commence within a few weeks, if most of those vacancies are not filled by then.SeveranceGovernment’s plan to minimise the sugar industry has seen the closure of the Skeldon, Enmore and Rose Hall Estates, making more than 5,700 workers redundant and putting them on the breadline. Before this, the Wales Estate was also shut down in 2016, leaving in excess of 1000 workers jobless.While the Wales workers are yet to be paid their severance, some of the more than 5000 dismissed workers who were entitled to $500,000 or less were paid in full. Those who had accumulated more than that amount received only half of their severance, and were promised by Government to be paid the remaining 50 per cent in the second half of the year.The Minister of State has assured on Thursday that Government is still committed to fulfilling this promise.“The Government had committed to paying the sugar workers the [remaining] severance, and I had said the time which was stipulated by the Government – in the second half of the year. Somehow, persons took that to mean immediately or shortly… but I wanted to clarify that I said ‘in the second half of the year’, and we are going to do that,” Harmon posited.As part of efforts to sustain the minimised GuySuCo and bring it into a state of profitability and financial stability, the SPU has secured $30 billion in the form of a syndicated bond to support the industry.Since this announcement, concerns have been raised about Government’s vision for the industry and the genuineness of its actions thus far, since that very $30 billion could have gone into restructuring the industry while keeping all of the estates open and GuySuCo’s workforce employed and engaged.Meanwhile, the Private Placement Memorandum for GuySuCo’s $30 billion bond has received much criticism from Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. He recently said he was shocked by the contents of the agreement, which now leaves more questions than answers.last_img read more

Three things we learned from Ajax v Tottenham

first_img0Shares0000Lucas Moura’s hat-trick fired Tottenham to their first Champions League final © ANP/AFP / Koen van WeelAMSTERDAM, Netherlands, May 9 – Tottenham staged an incredible fightback to reach their first Champions League final with an astonishing 3-2 win over Ajax in the semi-final second leg on Wednesday.Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Johan Cruyff Arena clash: Lucas writes his name in Spurs’ historyWhen Lucas Moura played kick-about with his one-year-old son on the pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after his hat-trick against Huddersfield in April, it seemed the Brazilian forward’s season had reached its high point.But the 26-year-old’s treble in that low-key 4-0 win was just the start of a remarkable end to the season for the unsung hero whose incredible hat-trick broke Ajax hearts.Unwanted by Paris Saint Germain, who sold him to Tottenham in January 2018, Lucas was a bit-part player for much of his first season in north London.In a testimony to his strength of character, he refused to be marginalised again this term and quickly proved his worth with a brace in Tottenham’s win at Manchester United in August.By the time injury sidelined Harry Kane in the Champions League quarter-finals, Lucas was primed and ready to seize his chance.However, even Lucas would have been forgiven more pinching himself if he had learned how his trip to Amsterdam would turn out.With Tottenham two down on the night and three goals behind on aggregate, all looked lost.But Dele Alli’s clever turn and pass into the area sent Lucas sprinting through for a cool finish past Andre Onana to give Tottenham an unexpected lifeline in the 55th minute.Four minutes later they punished more nervous defending from Ajax to strike again as Lucas spun around to drive into the corner after Fernando Llorente’s close-range effort was pushed out by Onana.It was Lucas’s fourth goal in the competition this season, his latest priceless contribution coming after he also scored the late equaliser in Barcelona that ensured their progress from the group stage.And with just seconds left in Tottenham’s semi-final escape bid, he pounced on Alli’s pass to drill a fierce winner into the far corner.Alongside Danny Blanchflower, Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne and Ricky Villa, Lucas will now forever be enshrined as a Tottenham legend.Confident Ajax pay the priceAjax’s Dutch defender Joel Veltman reacts after their stunning loss to Tottenham © AFP / EMMANUEL DUNANDWith just 45 minutes standing between Ajax and their first Champions League final since 1996, the Dutch club were engulfed by a fatal wave of arrogance.As the half-time whistle blew, Ajax players, including Hakim Ziyech, could be seen grinning from ear to ear as they contemplated their surely inevitable progress to the Madrid showpiece.They were leading by three goals on aggregate after scoring twice in the first half to leave Tottenham on the brink.Such was the confidence pumping through the raucous arena that before the second half began, the entire crowd, including Ajax great Patrick Kluivert, engaged in a mass singalong to Bob Marley’s ‘Don’t Worry About a Thing’.The chant continued into the opening seconds of the half, but that rock-solid belief was quickly shattered as Lucas struck twice in a matter of minutes to send shock-waves through the Ajax team and their now less boisterous supporters.The panic was palpable and Ajax couldn’t recover as waves of Tottenham attacks culminated in Lucas’s dramatic winner.It was a bitter end to a breakthrough campaign for Ajax’s young guns, who had beaten Real Madrid and Juventus en route to the last four.Pochettino’s dream comes trueMauricio Pochettino celebrates Tottenham’s remarkable victory at Ajax © AFP / Adrian DENNISSpeaking on the eve of the second leg, Mauricio Pochettino uttered a prediction that will rank among the most prescient in Tottenham’s history.Asked if his side would go for broke right from the start as they tried to overturn that one-goal deficit, the Tottenham manager replied: “We could win it in the first minute or the last minute.”Pochettino’s gambit was spot on as Lucas’s stoppage-time strike fired Tottenham through to an all-Premier League final against Liverpool in Madrid on June 1.It was a tour de force for the emotional Pochettino, who turned the game in Tottenham’s favour by sending on Spanish striker Fernando Llorente at half-time.The Argentine wept uncontrollably at the final whistle as Tottenham celebrated becoming only the second team to reach the final after losing the first leg at home.Tottenham’s first European final since they won the 1984 UEFA Cup also offers Pochettino a chance to win his first trophy as a manager.Pochettino made the staggering admission this week that he would consider quitting if Tottenham were to lift the Champions League.Surely Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wouldn’t let him get anywhere near the exit door after this miraculous triumph.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

BANNED DRIVER CLAIMED HE WAS GOING TO HAVE HIS CAR SCRAPPED

first_imgA Donegal man who was arrested after a number of near crashes during a 100kph chase told Gardai he was driving to have his car scrapped.Raymond Hepburn, 40, of Drumbeg, Raphoe, was already banned from driving for 10 years when he met a Garda checkpoint on October 12th, 2011.He fled the scene and led Gardai on a high-pursuit chase through several villages before abandoning his red Seat car in the middle of a road. Along the way several cars had to drive into ditches to avoid Hepburn.Letterkenny District Court was told that a truck even had to take evasive action to prevent being hit by the Hepburn.He was charged with seven cases of dangerous driving and driving without a license.The court was told that the accused already had 20 previous convictions for various offences including drink driving and forging a driving license.Solicitor Frank Dorrian said his client was only taking the car to the scrapyard as it was worth just €200.He accepted it was probably the end of his driving career for the moment.Judge Paul Kelly ordered a probation and community service report on the father-of-two and adjourned the sentence until October 15th.BANNED DRIVER CLAIMED HE WAS GOING TO HAVE HIS CAR SCRAPPED was last modified: July 21st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bannedHIGH SPEED CHASERaphoeRAYMOND HEPBURNlast_img read more

Gallery: Constitutional Court

first_imgThe Constitution Hill precinct, located just west of Hillbrow in Johannesburg, is the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the highest court in the country in terms of matters relating to the Constitution. The Constitutional Court building on Constitution Hill in the Johannesburg inner city is now 10 years old. (Image: South African History Online)Formerly a fort and then a notorious prison, the precinct is full of history and it’s fitting that a light, airy and altogether public court now resides on the premises.The theme of the precinct in “justice under a tree” and refers to the age-old African practice of people gathering under a tree to discuss important matters. This theme is carried through the building in a number of different ways.Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image. The building which houses the judges’ chambers, the courtroom, the law library and the art gallery.• Download high-resolution image As with the front of the building, the words “Constitutional Court” in all eleven official languaes can be seen on the side.• Download high-resolution image The Angry Godzilla, a three-metre-high statue carved from a single leadwood tree by artist John Baloyi, stands guard at the northern end of the court building.• Download high-resolution image The Great African Steps lead up to Constitution Square and the entrance to the main building.• Download high-resolution image Constitution Square was built on the site of the old awaiting trial block, which dates back to 1928.• Download high-resolution image Three of the staircases from the awaiting trial block have been preserved. Bricks from the building were preserved and used to build the courtroom and the Great African Steps.• Download high-resolution image The words “Constitutional Court” in all eleven official languages.• Download high-resolution image “History” by the late Dumile Feni is often mistaken for a slavery statement, but the artwork actually depicts people moving forward by carrying each other.• Download high-resolution image The eternal flame of democracy burns in one of the old awaiting trial stairwells.• Download high-resolution image The word “freedom” is inscribed on the bowl’s rim. Before it arrived in Johannesburg, the flame was lit in 2011 by former president Nelson Mandela at his Eastern Cape home, and the flame passed through the hands of all the judges before it touched the bowl.• Download high-resolution image The doors to the court building feature the 27 fundamental themes of the Bill of Rights in all official languages, plus sign language.• Download high-resolution image The magnificent doors stand nine metres high, and are a work of art in their own right.• Download high-resolution image High above the doors, each of the judges presiding when the building was constructed inscribed the words equality, dignity and freedom in their mother tongue into the concrete.• Download high-resolution image The foyer continues the theme of “justice under a tree” and is built to resemble a stand of trees where people would traditionally gather to discuss problems.• Download high-resolution image The foyer is airy and welcoming, with tall tree-like pillars and delicate silver wire chandeliers, designed to look like the leaves of the forest canopy.• Download high-resolution image The phrase “A luta continua” (Portuguese, meaning “the struggle continues”) is written in neon on the wall. It refers to the ongoing process of transformation, but was also the rallying cry of the Mozambican Frelimo freedom movement in the 1960s and 70s.• Download high-resolution image The foyer is designed to make the most of natural light, and gives a welcoming feeling to those who enter.• Download high-resolution image Inside the courtroom, which is always open to the public, the judges’ seats are covered with hide from the hardy indigenous Nguni cows – each one is different, symbolising the different characteristics that each judge brings to the bench.• Download high-resolution image  The panels in front of the window, as well as the South African flag, were made by hand. The flag is beaded and was crafted by unemployed women from a rural beadwork workshop. The panels symbolise clouds in the sky, and their theme is echoed in the carpet, which looks like the shadows of clouds on the ground.• Download high-resolution image The digitally-woven tapestry is by Marlene Dumas, one of the country’s most distinguished artists. Titled The Benefit of the Doubt 2, its themes are law, justice, innocence and freedom.• Download high-resolution image Justice under a tree – the symbol of the Constitutional Court at the entrance to the courtroom.• Download high-resolution image While the art gallery houses many fine pieces, one could also argue that the entire building is a work of art.• Download high-resolution image The bulk of the collection was assembled by former Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs, over a ten-year period.• Download high-resolution image The square brass nosings on the steps leading down to the judges’ chambers were designed by Jabu Nala, a resident of the high-density suburb Hillbrow in Johannesburg, using patterns of traditional beer pots.• Download high-resolution image Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Dutch telco KPN has increased its TV market share

first_imgDutch telco KPN has increased its TV market share to 19% after adding 89,000 IPTV subscribers in the second quarter.The telco ended June with a total of 741,000, up from 416,000 a year earlier. However, KPNs DTT platform, Digitenne, continued to lose subscribers, dipping below the 800,000 mark for the first time to 771,000. That compares with 868,000 a year earlier.last_img