In the entrance to the South African Parliament a remarkable piece of artwork winds its way along the wall, its 120-metre length reaching through the lobby to wrap around the exterior of the chamber.This is the Keiskamma Tapestry, an exquisite embroidery in the tradition of the famous Bayeux Tapestry and the work of over 100 previously unemployed women from the Eastern Cape.Along its length, the tapestry tells the turbulent history of the Cape frontier region, from the Stone Age San through the wars and tragedies of the Xhosa people to the peaceful resolution of the 1994 elections.The embroidery depicting the San Bushmen, the earliest inhabitants of the Eastern Cape, mimics the rock art the hunter-gatherers left behind (Image: Keiskamma Trust)The artwork’s presence in Parliament reflects the kinder, more vibrant and open nature of post-apartheid South Africa. Under the old regime, forbidding portraits of the 1961 Cabinet stared down from the walls of the austere lobby – including one of HF Verwoerd, the architect of grand apartheid.Interestingly, Verwoerd features on the tapestry, at the Rand Show in 1961 – the site of the first assassination attempt against him – and right next to an image of Nelson Mandela burning his pass book during the ANC’s 1959 defiance campaign.Nelson Mandela burning his pass book during the 1959 Defiance Campaign, and HF Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, in 1961 (Image: Keiskamma Trust)From craft to artThe tapestry is a product of the Keiskamma Trust, set up in 2000 as a skills development project in the impoverished Hamburg region of the Eastern Cape. The trust helps women of the region develop their traditional embroidery skills to produce craftwork of a scale and skill that approaches art – which has a higher premium.Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, created by Saxon women in 1067 to tell the story of the Norman invasion of England, the Keiskamma Tapestry follows the same form as that artwork, with a similar narrative structure.The first panel of the Bayeux Tapestry, created in 1067 (Image: Museum of Reading)It begins with the San Bushmen, the earliest inhabitants of the Eastern Cape, with embroidered replicas of the rock art images of animals and human forms the hunter gatherers left behind.It then follows the history of the Xhosa people in the region, to the arrival of the white colonial settlers, the frontier wars and the great cattle killing of 1856.In that tragic event Nongqawuse, a 15-year-old girl prophet, instructed the people to kill 400 000 of their cattle, leading to mass starvation and the end of effective Xhosa resistance to white encroachment.The great Xhosa cattle killing of 1856 (Image: Keiskamma Trust)Cattle are a dominant motif throughout the tapestry, reflecting their importance in the history and economy of the Xhosa people.The tapestry continues through the history of the Eastern Cape and South Africa as a whole, ending with the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. In creating the epic embroidery, the trust says, the women involved came to learn about their own history, which they can then disseminate throughout their community.The people of the Eastern Cape queuing to vote in the 1994 elections (Image: Keiskamma Trust)The Keiskamma Tapestry was created with funding from the Department of Arts and Culture and over 100 private donations. The Standard Bank bought the work for R500 000, and loaned it for a long-term exhibit in Parliament.It was unveiled by Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2006, at a ceremony attended, among others, by all of the Eastern Cape women who laboured to create it.View the full Keiskamma Tapestry on the Keiskamma Trust website.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
6 April 2008South African second landline operator Neotel has introduced its first set of products and services for individuals, with the company’s NeoConnect Prime bundle being introduced to its employees residing in parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria following a successful pilot phase.The company initially intends to address those consumers who had already approached Neotel and had registered for services during the pilot phase, though a formal announcement, with a wider range of bundle options, will be made during the course of this month.In a statement released last week, Neotel said that the bundle, which had undergone commercial testing since March, was designed after conducting in-depth consumer research.“We picked up a number of pain points for consumers during this research process, including the issues relating to the perceived speed and capacities for internet access, lack of voice quality and reliability, the complexity associated with obtaining and setting-up services and a lack of true value for the customer,” said Neotel MD Ajay Pandey.“We believe that we have addressed these points in the design of our offering to consumers.”The NeoConnect bundle uses a CDMA2000 EVDO network to handle a number of different tasks such as internet access, voice and SMS over a single connection and service, providing customers with high-speed internet access and combining the best of fixed-line and mobile technologies.The current peak speed offered is 2.4 megabits per second and Neotel expects an average user experience ranging between 300 to 700 kilobits per second, with future upgrades ensuring even faster speeds brought to the market.“A key differentiator in our product is its ease of use – it will take you next to no time to install and start using the service”, said Pandey.This first bundle introduced by Neotel includes 1 000 Neotel to Neotel voice minutes, 50 Neotel to Neotel SMS’s, an email account and free internet access up to 10 gigabytes of data for a monthly charge of R599, inclusive of all monthly fees such as device charges and service rentals, as well as VAT.The only charges that consumers will have to pay in addition to the monthly fee will be the out of bundle usage charges which are summarised in the table below.“This is just the first of a number of packages we will bring to the market and we believe that customers will not only find value in what we offer, but will be able to choose a package that best meets their needs,” said Pandey. “There will be packages that address lower usage and are therefore lower in price, and then of course there will be those packages that directly speak to high-end consumers.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
When a major storm is announced, retailers know that the first thing many people do is head to the store to stock up on the essentials: bread, milk, water, toilet paper. Typically, given only two to three days’ notice, retailers must ensure their shelves are stocked to meet the preparedness needs of the community, while also ensuring they are able to reopen quickly.Food Lion, for one, aims to reopen its doors within 24 hours of a storm impact. Retail Business Services is the services company for six major East Coast grocery brands in the United States, including Food Lion. Tina Sellers, former director of asset protection for Retail Business Services, knows the only way to achieve this 24-hour goal is with clear weather intelligence and a proactive emergency plan. “Prior to a storm’s impact, our company has made plans for recovery—including which stores may need generators and which associates in the areas surrounding the impact zones can be called upon to help reopen stores,” said Sellers. “As soon as the storm has passed, we are working to route trucks to stores to stock fresh supplies.”How to roll out your plan when weather rolls inThe surest path to recovery is to have an emergency plan in place well before a storm is announced. The plan should include drills that run through multiple emergency scenarios so your business and employees are prepared for what happens before, during and after a natural disaster, including outages or stoppages. Being prepared ensures employees have the chance to batten down the hatches while they and customers get to safety.- Sponsor – Most importantly, making sure your business has an early warning system can save not only your business, but the lives of your employees.As we all know, these types of events can be financially draining. Even a thirty-minute outage can cost a business $20,000. If you haven’t prepared for the possibility of an emergency causing your business to shut down, you’ll lose money, recovery will be difficult, and you might be forced to permanently close.No matter what protocol you put in place to deal with a weather-related outage, make the following considerations to construct the most well-rounded plan possible:1. Know what’s coming.It’s vital to have an updated, accurate understanding of what the season has in store. Meteorologists consider several global and regional factors when determining the outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season. StormGeo, a global provider of weather intelligence and decision support solutions, provides this forecast for 2019:Based on ocean water temperatures (which are impacted by the current El Niño in the Tropical Pacific and cold cycle in the Atlantic), wind shear, and analog years (a year in the past with similar oceanic and atmospheric characteristics leading up to the start of hurricane season), StormGeo meteorologists predict 11-13 named storms in 2019. Of those, 4-5 may reach hurricane intensity, with 1-2 of the hurricanes becoming intense (Category 3-4-5). There is a decreased risk of significant hurricane activity across the islands of the eastern Caribbean; however, the risk to the area from southeast Louisiana to Cape Cod may be close to normal or slightly above normal.2. Think immediate and long-term.Let’s say a storm knocks a tree onto a power line near your business, causing an outage. This will require an immediate short-term action, but may also require a disaster response plan that accounts for a longer outage.For short-term emergencies, have supplies on hand, especially emergency lights, a radio and/or TV, flashlights with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, water and snacks. Floods can make travel impossible, forcing customers and employees to stay inside a business for days.Stockpiling emergency supplies isn’t difficult; however, the forethought required to get it done is what separates the good plans from the bad ones.In case of a more significant weather disaster, such as a tornado, flood or hurricane, a long-term strategy is needed. Relocation might be necessary. All entrances and windows should be secured. Protect, back up, or remove important internal documents or items. If necessary, enlist 24-hour security to protect assets that can’t be moved. Before returning to the facility and entering, make sure a team surveys the damage and declares it safe.Put a plan in writing, practice it, and review it to give employees a sense of security. You can also use commercial weather services to inject “real” weather into the session to simulate realistic conditions and timelines.When Hurricane Katrina infamously hit southern portions of the United States, Mike Lamb, The Home Depot’s senior director of loss prevention at the time, supplied teams with hurricane kits and instructions on how to carry out a full-fledged disaster plan while keeping a small crew on 24-hour standby to help with storm support. The move proved pivotal, as all but two of The Home Depot’s stores in Katrina’s path reopened within a week of the storm.3. Know your surroundings.Because the main objective is to avoid interruptions to your business, it’s important to realize that even faraway storms can affect your operations by interjecting themselves into your supply chain. Vendors, suppliers, distributors, contractors, manufacturers and transportation firms all rely on readily available power, and if any part of that chain is cut short by an outage, it can ultimately affect your business.Outline how outages in surrounding grids will affect your business and how weather events elsewhere might affect your supply chain. It’s not unreasonable to have a conversation with your vendors to learn about their emergency plans and their ability to support you when they are in crisis.4. Look at alternate forms of communication.Nothing dashes hope like being cut off from the world, and having working cellphone service during a crisis is far from a sure thing. Landline phones, VoIP, two-way radios, and even social media should all be part of your emergency plan.Employees should know that in disaster zones, text messages stand a higher rate of success than voice calls. They should also have emergency apps on their phones to locate family members or to notify authorities. If the primary form of communication falters, your people should know the alternatives and how to use them.5. Know that you can do something about the weather.While a National Weather Service forecast can tell you to expect bad weather over the weekend, it can’t say exactly how your specific location will be affected. You need to know the likelihood that you’ll experience an outage or at what specific hours or days your area will most likely be hit the hardest.Having your own meteorological experts just a phone call away can be a crucial part of any disaster response plan. For some smaller companies, the cost may seem prohibitive, but it’s important to remember that by avoiding even a single weather-related shut-down, the cost of a professional weather service can be well worth it.If you want your employees and customers to be safe and your business to reopen as quickly as possible following a disaster, having a strong disaster plan isn’t just an option—it’s a vital step to take when owning a business. Whether it’s a storm or another type of major disaster, with a solid and well thought-out plan, you can safeguard your business and the lives of your employees and get back up and running posthaste. Get ahead of the storm with a strong disaster response plan, and you will recover more quickly and with confidence when disaster hits. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
One quarter of financial advisors say that implementing a document management system is a top priority for them this year. 1000 independent brokers were asked to rank their priorities of CRM, document management, practice-management tools, financial planning tools, client self-service tools and compliance integration/simplification.Here are the rankings for which technologies were considered ‘very important’:38.7% said compliance tools38.2% said CRM31.7% said Portfolio Management26.9% said Document Management26.1% said Financial Planning tools21.7% said Practice-Management tools12.4% said Client self-service tools64% of those responding said that they’d be spending more on technology this year compared to last year. About 45% plan to spend 3.9% of their revenues on technology, and another 45% plan to spend 4% to 8%, while 10% plan to spend more than 8% of their revenue on technology. Leave a Comment ‹ Cloud Computing: Goldman Sachs Sees Growth Records Management: Fast-Track Growth › Category: Document Mangement February 2nd, 2010
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market I think this video also points to arguments similar to those I make in favor of aggregate social web user data being made available for programmatic access and analysis: data about our world offers new opportunities to unearth injustices, shine light on opportunities and gain a new level of social self-awareness. Let’s set that data free! Tags:#news#web marshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The BBC will broadcast an hour-long special next Tuesday called The Joy of Stats and it looks great. Hosted by Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and Director of the Gapminder Foundation, the show will use some beautiful computer generated graphics to demonstrate the importance of data and data visualization.Unfortunately, the show is expected to be shown only in the UK, due to BBC licensing practices. (It’s on BBC 4, UK only.) That’s a real shame, because as is so amply demonstrated by the preview video of the show – statistics, data and data visualization are matters of global importance. As the world produces more and more data than ever before, every day, that will only grow more true.Thanks to Nathan Yau, author of the great blog Flowing Data, for posting this video in the first place we saw it. See also Rosling’s widely acclaimed TED Talk video and Emily Cunningham’s in-depth review of Gapminder’s DIY data desktop data visualization tool here at ReadWriteWeb from August. Related Posts
Last year’s tax reform created a new 20-percent deduction of qualified business income for passthrough entities, subject to certain limitations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97) created the new Code Sec. 199A passthrough deduction for noncorporate taxpayers, effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. However, the provision was enacted only temporarily through 2025. The controversial deduction has remained a buzzing topic of debate among lawmakers, tax policy experts, and stakeholders. In addition to its impermanence, the new passthrough deduction’s ambiguous statutory language created many questions for taxpayers and practitioners.The IRS released the much-anticipated proposed regulations on the new passthrough deduction, REG-107892-18, on August 8. The guidance has generated a mixed reaction on Capitol Hill, and while significant questions may have been answered, it appears that many remain. Indeed, an IRS spokesperson told Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting before the proposed regulations were released that the IRS’s goal was to issue complete regulations but that the guidance would “not cover every question that taxpayers have.”Wolters Kluwer recently spoke with Joshua Wu, member, Clark Hill PLC, about the tax implications of the new passthrough deduction and proposed regulations. That exchange included a discussion of the impact that the new law and IRS guidance, both present and future, may have on taxpayers and tax practitioners.The interview is presented as a three-part series running from Tuesday, September 11 through Thursday, September 13. Part I of the interview can be located here.Part II – Aggregation, Winners & LosersWolters Kluwer: How do the proposed regulations provide both limitations and flexibility regarding the available election to aggregate trades or businesses?Joshua Wu: Treasury agreed with various comments that some level of aggregation should be permitted to account for the legal, economic and other non-tax reasons that taxpayers operate a single business across multiple entities. Permissive aggregation allows taxpayers the benefit of combining trades or businesses for applying the W-2 wage limitation, potentially resulting in a higher limit. Under Proposed Reg. 1.199A-4, aggregation is allowed but not required. To use this method, the business must (1) qualify as a trade or business, (2) have common ownership, (3) not be a SSTB, and (4) demonstrate that the businesses are part of a larger, integrated trade or business (for individuals and trusts). The proposed regulations give businesses the benefits of electing aggregation without having to restructure the businesses from a legal standpoint. Businesses failing to qualify under the above test will have to consider whether a legal restructuring would be possible.Wolters Kluwer: How does Notice 2018-64 Methods for Calculating W-2 Wages for Purposes of Section 199A, which accompanied the release of the proposed regulations, coordinate with aggregation?Joshua Wu: Notice 2018-64 contains a proposed revenue procedure with guidance on three methods for calculating W-2 wages for purposes of section 199A. The Unmodified Box method uses the lesser of totals in Box 1 of Forms W-2 or Box 5 (Medicare wages). The Modified Box 1 method takes the total amounts in Box 1 of Forms W-2 minus amounts not wages for income withholding purposes, and adding total amounts in Box 12 (deferrals). The Tracking wages method is the most complex and tracks total wages subject to income tax withholding. The calculation method is dependent on the group of Forms W-2 included in the computation and, thus, will vary depending upon whether businesses are aggregated under 1.199A-4 or not. Taxpayers with businesses generating little or no Medicare wages may consider aggregating with businesses that report significant wages in Box 1 that are still subject to income tax withholding. Under the Modified Box 1 method, that may result in a higher wage limitation.Crack & PackWolters Kluwer: What noteworthy anti-abuse safeguards do the proposed regulations seek to establish? How do the rules address “cracking” or “crack and pack” strategies?Joshua Wu: Treasury included some anti-abuse provisions in the proposed regulations. One area that Treasury noted was the use of multiple non-grantor trusts to avoid the income threshold limitations on the 199A deduction. Taxpayers could theoretically use multiple non-grantor trusts to increase the 199A deduction by taking advantage of each trust’s separate threshold amount. The proposed regulations, under the authority of Section 643(f), provide that two or more trusts will be aggregated and treated as a single trust if such trusts have substantially the same grantor(s) and substantially the same primary beneficiary or beneficiaries, and if a principal purpose is to avoid tax. The proposed regulations have a presumption of a principal purpose of avoiding tax if the structure results in a significant tax benefit, unless there is a significant non-tax purpose that could not have been achieved without the creation of the trusts.Another anti-abuse issue relates to the “crack and pack” strategies. These strategies involve a business that is limited in its 199A deduction because it is an SSTB spinning off some of its business or assets to an entity that is not an SSTB and could claim the 199A deduction. For example, a law firm that owns its building could transfer the building to a separate entity and lease it back. The law firm is an SSTB and, thus, is subject to the 199A limitations. However, the real estate entity is not an SSTB and can generate a 199A deduction (based on the rental income) for the law partners. The proposed regulations provide that a SSTB includes any business with 50 percent common ownership (direct or indirect) that provides 80 percent or more of its property or services to an excluded trade or business. Also, if a trade or business shares 50 percent or more common ownership with an SSTB, to the extent that trade or business provides property or services to the commonly-owned SSTB, the portion of the property or services provided to the SSTB will be treated as an SSTB. The proposed regulations provide an example of a dentist who owns a dental practice and also owns an office building. The dentist rents half the building to the dental practice and half to unrelated persons. Under 1.99A-5(c)(2), the renting of half of the building to the dental practice will be treated as an SSTB.Winners & LosersWolters Kluwer: Generally, what industries can be seen as “winners” and “losers” in light of the proposed regulations?Joshua Wu: The most obvious “losers” in the proposed regulations are the specified services businesses (e.g., lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc.) who are further limited by the anti-abuse provisions in arranging their affairs to try and benefit from 199A. On the other hand, certain specific service providers benefit from the proposed regulations. For example, health clubs or spas are exempt from the SSTB limitation. Additionally, broadcasters of performing arts, real estate agents, real estate brokers, loan officers, ticket brokers, and art brokers are all exempt from the SSTB limitation.Wolters Kluwer: What areas of the Code Sec. 199A provision stand out as most complex when calculating the deduction, and how does this complexity vary among taxpayers?Joshua Wu: With respect to calculating the deduction, one complex area is planning to maximize the W-2 wages limitation. Because compensation as W-2 wages can reduce QBI, and potentially the 199A deduction, determining the efficient equilibrium point between having enough W-2 wages to limit the impact of the wage limitation, while preserving QBI, will be a fact-driven complex planning issue that must be determined by each taxpayer. Another area of complexity will be how taxpayers track losses which may reduce future QBI and, thus, the 199A deduction. The proposed regulations provide that losses disallowed for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2018, are not taken into account for purposes of computing QBI in a later taxable year. Taxpayers will be left to track pre-2018 and post-2018 losses and determine if a loss in a particular tax year reduces QBI or not.The third and final segment of the interview discusses how the proposed regulations may change and provides key takeaways for practitioners. The final segment will be released on Thursday, September 13.By Jessica Jeane, Senior News EditorLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
The Minister said the importance of airlift can never be overstated, as “we cannot build a viable sector without it”. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says expansion of airlift from the emerging markets of Germany and Latin America is guaranteed to take Jamaica’s tourism to levels never before seen in the entire region. Story Highlights Mr. Bartlett was speaking at the official welcome reception for the German-based Eurowings and Panama’s Copa Airlines at the Sangster International Airport in St. James on July 18. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says expansion of airlift from the emerging markets of Germany and Latin America is guaranteed to take Jamaica’s tourism to levels never before seen in the entire region.Mr. Bartlett was speaking at the official welcome reception for the German-based Eurowings and Panama’s Copa Airlines at the Sangster International Airport in St. James on July 18.The Minister said the importance of airlift can never be overstated, as “we cannot build a viable sector without it”.“Airlift is critical to our product. It is responsible for the numbers we are now seeing coming out of Germany and also from out of Latin America. Strategic airline partnerships have been a cornerstone of Jamaica’s tourism success,” Mr. Bartlett said.Mr. Bartlett further noted that the increasing number of visitors who are attracted to the destination, expansion of the tourism sector and linked services, and the increasing importance of tourism to the social and economic development of the island, demand “a reliable air-transport service”.Eurowings’ once-weekly nonstop service between Munich, Germany, and Montego Bay, arrived in Montego Bay at approximately 1:45 p.m. The return flight departed Montego Bay at 3:15 p.m.“This additional flight comes just one year after Eurowings launched two scheduled weekly flights between the German city of Cologne/Bonn and Montego Bay,” the Minister noted.Mr. Bartlett said the pot is now further sweetened with Copa having increased its daily service between Panama City and Montego Bay, bringing to 11 the overall number of flights weekly between both countries.“Flights arrive in Montego Bay at 11:22 a.m. each morning, with the return flight departing at 12:21 p.m. Prior to this, Copa operated four flights into Montego Bay and the same number into Kingston weekly. But as of today, Copa will move to seven into Montego Bay and the same four into Kingston weekly,” the Minister said.Mr. Bartlett said Panama City is Copa’s main hub with excellent connections to more than 70 destinations in North, Central and South America.He added that with the increase in the number of flights, Jamaica will see approximately 960 additional airline seats per week and access to robust Latin American markets, including Chile and Argentina.