By Dialogo August 03, 2012 LONDON – César Cielo advanced to the final of the 50-meter freestyle on Aug. 3, where he’ll try to claim his second straight gold medal in the event after earning his country’s first gold ever in swimming in Beijing in 2008. “I am here to swim fast – nothing more to talk about,” he told reporters. Cielo’s best time in the 50-meter freestyle this year (21.38 seconds) is two-tenths of a second faster than American Cullen Jones, who also advanced to the final. The other six swimmers who will compete for medals are American Anthony Ervin, Trinidad & Tobago’s George Bovell, South Africa’s Roland Schoeman, France’s Florent Manaudou, Australia’s Eamon Sullivan and Brazil’s Bruno Fratus. “My main goal is to represent my country in the best way possible and to get a gold medal in the 50,” Cielo, 25, told reporters. Cielo had no trouble in his preliminary race, winning in 21.80 seconds before tying Jones in the semifinals, with both touching the wall in 21.54 seconds. The duo posted the fastest times in the 16-swimmer field in which those with the top-eight times advanced to the final Cielo already is the most accomplished swimmer in Brazil’s history, as he’s won six world championships and the bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle at the Beijing Games. He’s also the world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle (20.91 seconds) and 100-meter freestyle (46.91), but Cielo failed to place in that event in London, taking sixth on Aug. 1. “Being the favorite counts for nothing,” he told reporters. “I am focusing on doing the best time of my life, whether or not it’s the best in history or the best in the competition.” A victory in London would add to what has been an amazing year for Cielo, who won gold in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly at the FINA World Championships last year. He also won two individual events at the world championships in 2010 and 2009. “Nowadays, the world knows that when a Brazilian is in a final, he’s there to win, not just to take part,” he told reporters. “Brazil is respected as a team.”
TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) — East Maine Fire Company talked brush fire safety tips after a blaze consumed several acres of land Monday. He highlighted the takeaway of the fire, saying, “if anything that should tell everybody out there, this is the dry season, I mean this stuff is tinder, it will take off immediately.” 6:30 P.M. UPDATE: TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) — Multiple emergency crews are responding to a brush fire at 1997 Farm to Market Road. TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) — According to the East Maine Fire Department, the brush fire started when the homeowner dropped a cigar while doing landscaping. Roe added a dry winter was part of the problem. State Police and the Broome County Sheriff’s Department also responded. 12 News has a crew on the way to the scene. “All outside fires, you just can’t do it, you just can’t burn anything at this time, because you can see with the wind today, the wind took this fire and made it 2-3 acres instantly.” Roe said it all started when a resident dropped a cigar on the ground while landscaping and required additional firefighters and water. Fighting the fire on Farm to Market Road, East Maine Firefighter Ken Roe said, “we had approximately two to three acres burning at the time.” —– There were no injuries. Dispatchers tell 12 News Maine, East Maine, Choconut Center, Union Center and Endwell fire departments are at the brush fire. And pointed out, “Anything that’s brown is going to burn…whether it looks wet, I mean it can look like a swamp, the top of it is still very dry and it will burn.” The blaze burned roughly two to three acres and damaged a nearby structure. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says the burn ban doesn’t go into effect until March 16, Roe had a stricter suggestion. 2:23 P.M. UPDATE: This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News for further updates.
Images of boardriders emerging from the surf on the Gold Coast form part of the new Tourism Australia campaign to attract working holiday-makers from overseas. Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker said the last period of decent home price growth in the state was between 2002 and 2008 when interstate migration was high and the economy was flourishing.“We haven’t really seen real price growth since 2008,” Mr Walker said.“The floods in 2011 and 2013 really halted our marketplace, whereas the southern states have definitely seen significant capital growth.” Houses and apartment buildings in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton. Image: AAP/Darren England.International and National Visitor Survey data reveals a record 22.8 million domestic visitors spent $17.6 billion in Queensland in the year ending September 2018 — more than 12.5 per cent growth in expenditure year-on-year.Local agents say affordability, lifestyle, Queensland’s improving economy and infrastructure investment are the reasons most interstate buyers are looking to the state to buy a home.Place Estate Agents managing director Sarah Hackett said she had been inundated with inquiries from interstate buyers since the start of the year.“I did my first open house on January 5 and thought no one would be there, but the numbers were massive,” Mrs Hackett said.“I had five families through, four were from interstate.“I was like; ‘What is going on?!’”Mrs Hackett said the majority of potential buyers were looking for a lifestyle change, an escape from the Sydney and Melbourne rat race and more bang for their buck.“One couple was telling me that for $1.5 million, they could only get a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom and not renovated (in Sydney),” she said.“The majority have sold houses before they move, so they’re in a cash position.”She said many were even moving to Brisbane and commuting to work in Sydney.Mrs Hackett said the influx of interstaters would help Brisbane house prices.“I think it’s a real opportunity for us as sellers in the area,” she said.“You won’t see prices dropping.” REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella. Photo: Claudia Baxter.Ms Mercorella said those projects were set to create nearly five per cent of the current employment levels in Brisbane during the construction phase alone, with flow-on employment upsides during the operating phase.She said that would likely result in a drop in the state’s jobless rate.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoThe REIQ cites tourism as one of the most promising growth industries driving the local economy.State government figures released in September show Queensland’s share of the cash international tourists spend in Australia grew more than all other states.Queensland tourism industry development minister Kate Jones said international visitor expenditure grew 11.5 per cent — more than double the national rate. “We also saw record highs in international visitor numbers, with 2,762,000 visitors spending $5.9 billion in Queensland,” Ms Jones said. Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker.But he said that could be about to change, with a period of price growth in the range of around 7 per cent on the horizon.“From now, we could start to see price growth for the first time since the last real cycle,” he said.“We’re relatively affordable now compared to everywhere else on the eastern seaboard and job opportunities are starting to arise, which should result in higher demand and higher prices.“Realistically, we’re probably looking at 5, 6, 7 per cent (growth). “Some years it could be higher, some years it could be slightly lower.”According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, major infrastructure projects are forecast to inject $17 billion into Brisbane over the next six years.“This sort of expenditure is boosting confidence, a key measure of market strengthening, among most property industry stakeholders,” REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said. Place Estate Agents managing director Sarah Hackett.But not everyone is as optimistic.New research by property firm, CoreLogic, reveals the nation’s combined capital cities are heading for their largest downturn since 1980 — although Brisbane looks set to get off lightly.CoreLogic analyst Cameron Kusher said that while Sydney and Melbourne had recorded substantial increases in dwelling values over recent years and were now seeing large falls, Brisbane never saw anywhere the magnitude of growth.Mr Kusher said Brisbane home values peaked in April last year and had since declined by one per cent.“To date the fall is moderate, however, with housing market weakness entrenched, values are expected to move slightly lower or, at best, hold firm over the coming months,” Mr Kusher said.Nerina Pratt recently moved from Sydney to Brisbane for work and is renting in the city, but looking to buy a home in the near future.Ms Pratt said she was enjoying the more “laidback lifestyle” and the affordability Brisbane offered compared with Sydney.“It’s definitely a change of pace,” she said.“I do think you can get more value for money here.” Brisbane is apparently “on the cusp of a boom”. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England.QUEENSLAND is on the cusp of a housing boom fuelled by Sydney and Melbourne’s property woes, with a leading analyst predicting interstate migration to hit a record high by next year — putting upward pressure on home prices.New research by Place Advisory provided exclusively to The Courier-Mail forecasts gross interstate migration to the state could surge to more than 120,000 by the end of June 2020, if current trends continue. That would surpass the level reached in 2002, which was a catalyst for double digit house price growth. Place Advisory projects gross interstate migration to Queensland will surpass 120,000 by June 2020. Source: Place Advisory, ABS.The number of southerners flocking to the Sunshine State is at its highest level in 14 years — and it’s not just because of our warm weather and world-class beaches.Queensland recorded a gross interstate migration gain of 105,938 people in the 12 months to the end of June 2018, according to the latest Bureau of Statistics figures, with almost three quarters of them coming from Sydney and Melbourne. Nerina Pratt has moved from Sydney and is looking to buy a townhouse in Teneriffe or New Farm. Picture: Tara Croser.
— Oct. 22: Reid refuses to put a timeline on Mahomes’ return despite a “best-case” diagnosis on his knee injury and a surprisingly quick recovery. “I think you just go off how he feels, and what the doctors say,” Reid says. “I know people want a time. I don’t think you can do that with this injury.'”— Oct. 20: NFL Media reports Mahomes is expected to miss 3-5 weeks, with the Chiefs expecting his return in Week 11 against the Chargers or in Week 13 (after the team’s bye week) against the Raiders.— Oct. 18: An MRI on Mahomes’ knee confirms a dislocated knee cap but no significant additional damage, according to NFL Media. Mahomes is expected back after “a brief absence.” (SN/Getty) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/22/c5/mahomes-injury-101719-getty-ftr_1e0g6b5e9s4q01ic5exz8w0flw.jpg?t=-595659563&w=500&quality=80 Mahomes was ruled out for Kansas City’s game against Green Bay. But the day prior, in an absurd development given what had appeared to be a serious injury just a week prior, there was legitimate speculation on whether Mahomes would play against the Packers. There was similar speculation ahead of the Chiefs’ Week 9 game against the Vikings before Mahomes eventually was ruled out.Kansas City plays at Tennessee in Week 10. When asked Wednesday whether Mahomes would play against the Titans, coach Andy Reid told reporters, “We won’t put him out there unless it’s safe to do so.”So how did the Mahomes injury go from a potential season-ending ailment to a minor tweak with which he’ll likely miss just a few games? Below are all the details.NFL QB POWER RANKINGS:Aaron Rodgers back to being the best; Mitchell Trubisky still isn’t the worst A little more than weeks ago, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes dislocated his right knee cap while attempting a QB sneak in the first half of Kansas City’s Thursday-night win over Denver. The injury appeared severe enough that observers wondered whether the reigning NFL MVP would be able to return this season at all.Yet, six days later, Mahomes was a participant in practice as the Chiefs prepared to play the Packers in Week 8. How long will Patrick Mahomes be out?A few days after Mahomes suffered the dislocated knee, NFL Media reported he avoided major surgery and was expected to miss 3-5 weeks, with his return to the Chiefs possibly coming in Week 11 against the Chargers or in Week 13 (after Kansas City’s bye) against the Raiders. So much for that.Mahomes’ participation in practice a week after the injury suggests he would have been able to play against the Packers or the Vikings had the Chiefs forced the issue. Kansas City plays at Tennessee in Week 10, and logic suggests he has a chance to return against the Titans.”We won’t put him out there unless it’s safe to do so,” Reid told reporters Wednesday ahead of the Tennessee game.”It’s surprising,” said Chiefs guard and medical school alumnus Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of Mahomes’ recovery (via ESPN). “But those injuries can go either way. When there’s no (ligament) damage and it’s been put back in right after it happened and he’s feeling good about it. … He’s a tough guy. He wants to get back out there and he knows we need him, so he’s going to do everything he can.”At the end of the day, if it’s safe for him to be out there, I’m sure he’ll be out there.”What is Patrick Mahomes’ injury?Mahomes suffered a dislocated right knee cap in Week 7 against the Broncos. An MRI later revealed there was no “significant additional damage” beyond the dislocated knee, according to NFL Media.This was considered the best-case scenario, as any damage to the ligaments in Mahomes’ knee could have meant season-ending surgery.Patrick Mahomes injury timelineOn Oct. 17, with the Chiefs up 10-6 over the Broncos on a Thursday night with 10 minutes left in the first half, a fourth-and-1 at Denver’s 5-yard line gave Kansas City an ideal chance to run a QB sneak. Mahomes took the snap, forced his body through a hole to the left of the center and picked up the first down. But his leg went limp, and he immediately removed his helmet in clear discomfort.Mahomes’ right knee cap had been dislocated in what Chiefs coach And Reid called a “freak” injury. It apparently looked as ugly as it sounds.”His knee didn’t even look like a knee,” tight end Travis Kelce told reporters after the game. “It was all out of whack. I couldn’t even describe it.”Added Duvernay-Tardif: “Everybody could have known something was wrong. (Mahomes) was saying, ‘It’s out, it’s out.’ Nobody really understood what he meant at that time and then we saw it. … That’s when we started panicking. Not panicking but seeing that he was not all right.”A member of Kansas City’s medical staff popped Mahomes’ knee cap back in place on the spot. He was able to walk off the field on his own power, immediately heading to the X-ray room at Mile High in Denver and eventually returning to his team’s locker room.After the game, Mahomes tweeted, “Everything looking good so far!” The team announced he would undergo an MRI the next morning to further evaluate the injury.Awesome team win! Love my brothers! Thank you for all the prayers! Everything looking good so far! #GodisGood #ChiefsKingdom— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) October 18, 2019On Oct. 18, NFL Media reported Mahomes’ MRI revealed no “significant additional damage” beyond the dislocated knee. This was considered the best-case scenario, and his return was expected after “a brief absence.”On Sunday, Oct. 20, a more specific timeline for Mahomes’ return was reported. According to NFL Media, the Chiefs QB was expected to miss 3-5 weeks, though Reid did not confirm the report.“I just know what I know, and that’s that the kid had the MRI, and we don’t have all the information,” the coach said. “That’s what I can give you. I’m trying to tell you what’s real. Once we get the information, we’ll give you everything that happened and what’s going on down the road.”On Monday, Oct. 21, Reid again refused to place a timeline on Mahomes’ return when pressed by reporters: “I think you just go off how he feels, and what the doctors say. I know people want a time. I don’t think you can do that with this injury. … When you’ve been around him enough, you know that nothing is impossible with this kid — he goes 100 miles an hour, and it’s important that he listens to the doctors and the trainers and that he works hard at the same time and gets himself ready to go.”Reid was right about nothing being impossible, because two days later, Mahomes participated in practice.According to ESPN, Mahomes on the Wednesday prior to the Green Bay game “stretched and jogged with his teammates and then went with the quarterbacks to make a few throws — including one after dropping back, which looked mechanical.” Mahomes eventually was ruled out for the Packers game.”He just wasn’t ready right now,” Reid said, via ESPN. “That was our decision, not his. He wanted to play right after it happened. He just needs a little bit of time here.”Mahomes missed his second game when the Chiefs beat the Vikings in Week 9, setting up a potential return against the Titans in Week 10. When asked Wednesday about the QB’s status, Reid told reporters, “We won’t put him out there unless it’s safe to do so.”Patrick Mahomes injury updates— Nov. 2: Mahomes is “on the cusp of returning,” according to NFL Media, but he is likely to sit against the Vikings. (Mahomes later is ruled out.)— Oct. 27: NFL Media reports Mahomes “has an outside chance” to play Week 9 against the Vikings and “a very realistic shot” to be on the field in Week 10 against the Titans.— Oct. 25: The Chiefs rule Mahomes out for Sunday night’s game against the Packers. Reid says Mahomes is “close” to being able to play.— Oct. 23: Mahomes participates in practice as the Chiefs prepare to play against the Packers. “We’re just going to see how he does and evaluate him from there,” Reid says before practice.
Richard Dunne has urged QPR to follow Hull City’s blueprint for success.The Tigers visit Loftus Road this weekend for the first game of the season, fresh from progressing to the next qualifying round of the Europa League, and Irishman Dunne knows they will provide a stern test.The no-nonsense defender knows a number of current Hull players, like Paul McShane and David Meyler, through the Republic of Ireland national team, and he appreciates the quality of new faces like Tom Ince and Robert Snodgrass, who were added over the summer as they look to build on last term’s success.“The players they signed [last summer] were what we’re trying to do, in terms of knowing the league and at a good age,” Dunne said.“They got them in early [last summer], played well and probably surprised a few people, but over the course of the season they did brilliantly.“They’ve got European football this season which might make it more difficult for them, but again the manager has strengthened with more British players coming in. They are going to be a good side again.” 1 Richard Dunne in pre-season action for QPR against Leipzig
JUST four people have complained to RTE over the showing of a 1970 Donegal documentary which featured the drowning of a dog, the station has said.The film – made on Gola Island – examined the declining population there. It was re-broadcast as part of RTE’s 50th anniversary.However six minutes into the documentary, it showed how a family pet was tied up and chucked overboard from a boat taking them to the mainland. The footage showed the collie pet struggling to stay above water before disappearing in a burst of bubbles as it perished beneath the tide.The film sparked huge controversy last week with complaints from some viewers about the programme, with some believing the scene should have been edited out.However RTE said the continuity announcer had warned viewers before the broadcast last Tuesday about possibly distressing scenes.“We have received four complaints,” said a spokeswoman. PREVIOUS ARTICLE HERE:https://www.donegaldaily.com/2012/01/05/horror-as-rte-show-footage-of-dog-being-drowned-off-donegal-coast/© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldaily Follow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comJUST FOUR COMPLAINTS TO RTE OVER DOG-DROWNING FILM was last modified: January 8th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:dog drowninggola island
Two of Europe’s biggest clubs go head-to-head in the second semi-final of the NextGen Series at Brentford’s Griffin Park on Wednesday night.The academy sides of Inter Milan and Marseille are competing for a place in the final of a new tournament which has been dubbed ‘the Champions League of youth football’.Tickets are £5 for adults and £2 for under 16s.Sixteen of the continent’s top clubs took part in the group phase which began back in August, with Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur representing England.Of those clubs, Liverpool went the furthest, getting knocked out in the first semi-final by Ajax.The winners of tonight’s game will face the Dutch team in Sunday’s final at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road ground.
Just a week after Brentford host Millwall in another London derby, the focus shifts to a far more localised affair. On 10 November, the Bees will visit Loftus Road for a second-tier match for only the eighth time, hoping to equal an all-time record of four consecutive visits unbeaten. Both sides have had indifferent first halves to the season and, while Brentford were once favoured in the betting for Championship promotion, they have since stumbled and former relegation favourites QPR could be looking to overtake them and push on.Last August, Brentford maintained their hoodoo over QPR with a 4-1 drubbing at Loftus Road in the EFL Cup.The last encounter here was certainly a memorable one.QPR 2-2 Brentford (27 Nov 2017)A midweek derby under the Loftus Road lights is always a spectacle to behold. After a goalless first half, it looked like it was going to be another damp squib, but a Danish dynamo would quickly change that. Whatever was said in the visitors’ dressing room at half-time clearly had a profound impact on Lasse Vibe, who opened the scoring just seven minutes after the restart.After Brentford weathered the expected QPR fightback, Vibe netted what appeared to be the killer second goal nine minutes from time. Rangers fans left in droves as their red and white counterparts partied in the visiting section, but on 93 minutes, QPR pulled a goal back. Matt Smith nodded home the goal that started the comeback, and then knocked down just a minute later, enabling Luke Freeman to pounce and equalise.QPR 1-0 Brentford (11 Nov 2003)With Brentford odds-on at most bookmakers to beat Millwall, prior to their meeting with the Lions on 3 November, there is clearly a lot of faith in Brentford when it comes to London rivalries. With Brentford also having odds of just 5/2 against their promotion prior to said clash, the informed neutral is currently far more inclined to use betting offers (such as a £30 free bet) to back Brentford rather than QPR. Fifteen years ago, however, there was no doubt at all as to which team had the greater standing.Back in November 2003, QPR were gunning for promotion, and hosted a relegation-threatened Brentford on Remembrance Day. While there was just one goal in this clash, the game was not short of passion. By this time, QPR were in the midst of their third season in the third tier of English football, and growing ever more adrift of its former heights. After an opening run of just one defeat in thirteen matches, QPR were on their own slide, having taken just five points from the previous twelve.It was Tony Thorpe who rose to the challenge, scoring two minutes before the break. Though Brentford put their hosts under immense pressure after it, the Hoops held out – and gained promotion six months later.QPR 1-3 Brentford (9 February 1946)With Brentford unbeaten in their last three visits to Loftus Road across all competitions, just one clean sheet on 10 November will be enough to see the club equal its existing record of four without defeat there. That record was set in February 1929, when both clubs occupied Division Three (South), which was then the third tier of the league system.Brentford also have the accolade of winning the only ‘hoops v stripes’ FA Cup derby ever played here, doing so back in February 1946. Gerry McAloon was in the midst of a heady season, and having turned around a 2-1 deficit in the second leg of the previous round with a hat-trick, scored the opener at Loftus Road. Fred Durrant and Dai Hopkins added the killer goals, with QPR producing only one in response. Brentford sealed progression to the sixth round after a 0-0 draw in the return leg. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebookby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksRecommended for youAspireAbove.comRemember Pauley Perrette? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowAspireAbove.comUndoLifestly.com25 Celebs You Didn’t Realize Are Gay – No. 8 Will Surprise WomenLifestly.comUndoUsed Cars | Search AdsUsed Cars in Tuen Mun Might Be Cheaper Than You ThinkUsed Cars | Search AdsUndoTopCars15 Ugliest Cars Ever MadeTopCarsUndoezzin.com20 Breathtaking Places to See Before You Dieezzin.comUndoFood World Magazine15 Fruits that Burn Fat Like CrazyFood World MagazineUndoDrhealth35 Foods That Should Never Be Placed in the RefrigeratorDrhealthUndoHappyTricks.comHer House Always Smells Amazing – Try her Unique Trick!HappyTricks.comUndo
The government has set itself the target of getting 80% of HIV-positive South Africans on antiretroviral treatment by 2011, while bringing the rate of new HIV infections down by 50%. 3 June 2009 President Jacob Zuma, in his state of the nation Address in Cape Town on Wednesday, said the government was concerned at the deterioration of the quality of health care, aggravated by the steady increase in the burden of disease in the past 15 years. During his budget speech on February, former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel allocated an additional R932-million to the Health Department’s HIV/Aids grant in 2009/10. He said the government had to work together with stakeholders to improve the implementation of its HIV/Aids treatment and care plan, which aims to reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% by the year 2011. “We have set ourselves the goals of further reducing inequalities in health care provision, to boost human resource capacity, revitalise hospitals and clinics, and step up the fight against the scourge of HIVAids, TB and other diseases,” Zuma said. These funds were expected to be used to screen more pregnant women for HIV and to phase in an improved drug regimen to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Comprehensive treatment Budget allocation Over 630 000 people are on government’s anti-retroviral programme currently, and the medium-term expenditure framework provides for an increase to 1.4-million people by 2011/12. Source: BuaNews
20 March 2013 Workers in South Africa can expect to see higher wage increases than their global counterparts in 2013, according to the latest Grant Thornton survey on international business trends. Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, based on interviews of 3 450 chief executive officers in November and December 2012, indicates that 68% of South African businesses will increase salaries in line with inflation this year. More than a quarter of South African businesses – 26% – will increase wages by more than the rate of inflation, while less than 5% will not increase pay at all, the report shows. Only 15% of BRIC (Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese) businesses, and 14% of global businesses overall, will offer increases higher than inflation in the year ahead, while approximately half the businesses in each of these geographical areas will offer increases in line with inflation. “South Africa’s labour unions and collective bargaining councils ensure that employees get salary increases every year, which sets the tone for the private sector,” managing partner of Grant Thornton Cape, Ian Scott, said in a statement on Monday. This was also reflected in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget Speech on 27 February, when Gordhan reaffirmed the government’s focus on poverty, unemployment and inequality eradication. “We applaud government for raising this concern so vocally in the Budget Speech 2013,” Scott said. “However, while pay rises are certainly a necessity to help eradicate poverty concerns, unrealistic wage hikes will only bring added pressure to an ailing economy.” Scott said another concern to deal with was a skills shortage epidemic, which is exacerbated by lack of qualifications and experience. “South Africa urgently needs to address the enormous dichotomy between the skills shortage and unemployment,” he said. “We need to find innovative solutions, for example, initiatives that allow a percentage of the total workforce to be treated more flexibly.” The report also showed, however, that 43% of the country’s businesses hired more people and that Gauteng province saw the highest employment increases – 48%. This was in line with BRICS countries, which averaged a 45% increase. Staff retention was also an area South Africa did well in. “When questioned about staff retention, more than a third of SA businesses (37%) experienced no staff retention problems, while only 7% of BRIC businesses claimed the same,” the report said. Grant Thornton’s International Business Report surveys listed and privately held organisations and provides insight into the views of over 12 500 companies annually across 44 countries. SAinfo reporter