Ousted Fianna Fail county councillor Enda Bonner has vowed to return to local politics after being ousted at his party’s convention to contest the upcoming local elections on Friday night last.The well-known accountant lost out by two votes to local woman Noreen McGarvey at the Fianna Fail convention in the Burtonport Community Centre.Speaking in the wake of the defeat, the sitting county councillor and former Senator said he is disappointed but vowed to get back on the Fianna Fail ticket. “My initial shock and disappointment is being replaced more and more by the comfort and knowledge that so many people have expressed their support for me.“It is, without doubt, a difficult time for me, knowing the efforts some people went to in order to topple me at convention but I am extremely hopeful that I will be shortly added to the ticket,” he said.He revealed that he is to submit an appeal to be added to the party’s ticket and this will be lodged on Monday morning.He added “I have spoken to senior party figures over the weekend and I am optimistic that I will shortly be confirmed as a candidate.” He thanked all those who have sent him messages of support saying they have lifted his spirits immeasurably and given him great heart.“I am far from finished my friends,” he concluded.‘It’s difficult knowing the lengths some people went to topple me’ – Enda Bonner was last modified: March 12th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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:county councildonegalelectionEnda Bonner
The DC3, designed before the Second World War, is still in service in many parts of the world, including the cold white continent. While recording patient details into his laptop, paramedic Richard Mulder enjoys the sunshine despite the -24º temperature. (Images courtesy Richard Mulder) Queen Maud Land, Antarctic territory claimed by Norway, is the region of Antarctica closest to South Africa.Jennifer SternAntarctica is the end of the world. It’s so far south that, in winter, the sun never rises above the horizon. It’s separated from the nearest permanently inhabited land by thousands of kilometres of wild and stormy ocean.Nothing grows there. There are no insects, and even bacteria can’t survive outdoors. It’s cold, white and unutterably beautiful. And the scientists who spend a few weeks or a few months or even a year there are – in the truest sense of the word – isolated.It’s not as bad now as it was in the days of Scott and Shackleton, when the families of intrepid explorers would not hear from their loved ones for a good couple of years, not knowing whether they were alive or dead, and simply living in hope that they’d turn up on the doorstep one day.We’ve come a long way since then. With email, satellite phone, radio, GPS and a host of electronic wizardry, communication with the rest of the world is relatively easy. So now, if someone gets sick, or is injured in the cold white wilderness of Antarctica, it’s not the death sentence it would have been 100 years ago.About 30 countries are signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, most of which have permanent or summer stations on and around the frozen continent.People who spend a year, or even just the summer, in this isolated part of the world have to be pretty special – and healthy. While every station has a doctor, or at least a paramedic, there is only so much that can be done out there on the ice.That’s why, in November 2008, the 11 countries with stations on Queen Maud Land – the part of Antarctica closest to South Africa – arranged with South Africa’s Netcare 911 and the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town to provide emergency medical care when needed. It seemed a sensible precaution, but no-one expected this understanding to be acted upon a mere six weeks after its signing. But that’s exactly what happened when Walter Seeberg suffered a heart attack on 17 December at the German Neumayer 2 Base on the Antarctic ice shelf in the northeast Weddell Sea.Seeberg had only been in Antarctica eight weeks, working as a technician on the base’s ventilation system, when he collapsed with chest pains. It was clear to the resident doctor that he had had a heart attack, and would need more sophisticated treatment than was available at the base.“They realised that he was in dire need of surgery, and then immediately called the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” says hospital manager Chris Tilney.As Dr Stephanie Fischer, a cardiac anaesthetist, was preparing to go to Seeberg’s aid, the hospital got news that Nikolay Rassalov, a crew member on a Russian ice breaker, had fallen and broken his ankle. It was decided to send Richard Mulder, a Netcare 911 paramedic, along as well.Mercy flightBy the evening of the 18th of December, only a day after receiving the first call, Fischer and Mulder were strapped in to their seats in an Ilyushin 76 cargo plane en route to Antarctica.“We landed at Russia’s Novolazarevskaya base in the Antarctic about six hours later,” says Mulder.“From there we were transferred to a smaller DC3 plane that is used to fly between the bases run by various countries on Antarctica. After a two-and-a-half-hour flight, we finally arrived at the German Neumayer 2 base.”Seeberg had been treated by the resident doctor and was in a stable condition when Fischer and Mulder arrived.“All the people at the German base were delighted to see us and they were most helpful. They helped us to keep him comfortable in order to attend to him,” says Fischer.It was fortunate that both Fischer and Mulder are fluent in German, which made communication at this critical time so much easier.“It was really just lucky that we were picked to go on the rescue mission, but it certainly made a difference,” says Mulder.Mulder and Fischer spent two days at the German base waiting for Rassolov to be moved from the Russian icebreaker to the nearby Norwegian base at Troll, about an hour from the German base.“We finally loaded Seeberg in the DC3 plane and flew to pick up Rassolov, who was suffering a great deal of discomfort. There, we had to communicate with hand signals because of the language barrier,” says Mulder.“It was really quite unusual, but we gave him pain medication, and made him as comfortable as possible. From there we headed back to Novolazarevskaya where we boarded the cargo plane once again for the return journey.”It was only after they had taken off that they realised how difficult it was to monitor Seeberg in the noisy cargo plane, which is not soundproofed like passenger planes.“We couldn’t hear the heart monitors, so we had to look at the movement of Seeberg’s chest and the colour of his face. But, fortunately, we were able to keep him stable until we arrived at the hospital,” says Fischer.They landed on Sunday 21 December 2008, and both patients were immediately admitted to the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Rassolov was operated on for his fractured ankle the next day, and Seeberg underwent a five-hour heart bypass operation two days later, on Christmas Eve.While Seeberg was obviously not at his best, he was well enough to express his appreciation of the view of Table Mountain from his hospital bed.A wonderful experience“We were exhausted, but it was a most fulfilling and enriching experience,” says Mulder of the trip.“It was really a wonderful experience,” agrees Fischer. “The lowest temperature we experienced was -38º. And it was unbelievable to see that the sun never sets there in summer. We called it ‘no-man’s-land’ because it is so extremely quiet – in fact there are no animals that make any sounds.”Both patients have been discharged and repatriated to their respective home countries.Related articlesHealthcare in South AfricaScience and technology in South Africa Saving albatross, on sea and land South Pole adventurers return Useful linksChristiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital Antarctic Treaty Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research South Africa’s Antarctic Programme Jobs in Antarctica (in case you’re inspired)
22 April 2010South African mobile provider Vodacom has launched its Metro-Ethernet network, a super-fast “last mile” fibre-optic connection offering businesses in the country’s metropolitan areas cost-effective, scalable, reliable bandwidth.Dubbed “Metro E”, the new fibre-optic network offers South African companies service speed options from 2Mbps to 1Gbps, control over how much bandwidth they need, and flexibility as to when they need it.The network allows for easy, rapid transfer of large amounts of data and is ideal for services that require smooth data provisioning, such as video conferencing.“Companies are facing increasing bandwidth requirements as they deploy more high-bandwidth applications, such as voice, video and networked storage,” Vodacom Business managing executive Ermano Quartero said in a statement this week.“But in order to deploy these applications, companies need a high-bandwidth, low-cost, reliable last-mile service. Vodacom Business is able to now meet these needs with its Metro E service.”According to Quartero, Metro E is targeted at the enterprise and large business markets, which require high-speed and reliable transmission links supported by stringent service-level agreements.Wide Area NetworkMetro E will connect businesses to a wide area network, such as the internet, and enable large companies to use the Metro E network to connect branch offices to mission-critical applications, as well as linking offices in different metropolitan areas.It is based on Vodacom’s extensive, high-capacity optical fibre infrastructure, which is centred on Vodacom Business’ Service Hubs in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.The promised benefits of Metro E network include super-fast connections, evenly matched upload and download speeds, the option to buy data in increments of 2Mbps, easy one-device installation, and efficient service.Quality of serviceThe Metro E fibre network has been laid along the routes of large businesses, which makes for easy access to the Vodacom Business fibre termination point – only 50 to 100 metres from their premises.“Metro E provides companies with more control over their information and communications infrastructure, supported by the latest optic fibre solution. And as Vodacom Business owns the last mile, there is no need for third-party suppliers – ensuring a guaranteed, managed quality of service.”Metro E is available immediately to all businesses based in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
15 February 2012Opposition MPs, in a National Assembly debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address on Tuesday, welcomed the focus on infrastructure development while urging Zuma to focus more on developing skills, implementing labour reforms and tackling corruption in the country.Debating the address delivered by Zuma in Parliament last Thursday, Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota said South Africa needed to focus more on developing and training its people if it wanted to do away with unemployment and poverty.“Unless we address it, we won’t be able to address the economy and help our people find their way out of the backwardness and squalor that face them,” Lekota said.Infrastructure development would only be effective as a short-stop solution, but would not address the unemployablity of South Africans, he said.Lekota also wanted to know what had happened to the R5-billion youth-wage subsidy that the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had mooted in last year’s Budget Speech.Earlier, African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Mathole Motshekga said the development and refurbishment of cultural icons and heritage sites such as memorial sites could help support small businesses, create jobs and back an African cultural renaissance.Lekota agreed that something needed to be done about setting up cultural heritage sites, but questioned the timing of these developments, particularly in a time when South Africa had a large budget deficit.Corruption ‘leading to a dysfunctional state’Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosutho Buthelezi welcomed the creation of a Durban-Johannesburg trade corridor outlined as one of five regions by Zuma in his State of the Nation Address.But, he said, KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Transport had ceased all road projects, while the City of eThekweni (Durban) had run up R1.2-billion through bad spending.Buthelezi said Eskom’s build programme should not have been funded by tariff increases, but rather through foreign direct investment, and added that Zuma also made no mention of how to assist small businesses and the declining mining and agricultural sector.Buthelezi said increasing levels of corruption in South Africa meant the country was on the verge of joining the world’s dysfunctional states.He singled out Transparency International’s 2011 report, which revealed that South Africa was becoming more corrupt, and a briefing last year to the justice portfolio committee by former head of the Special Investigating Unit Willie Hofmeyer, who revealed that R25-billion to R30-billion or 20% of all state procurement is lost to corruption every year.South Africa’s economy ‘remains uncompetitive’Leader of the opposition Lindiwe Mazibuko detailed several initiatives to tackle education and the economy that her party would implement if it were in government.She said South Africa’s economy remained uncompetitive, particularly in key sectors such as mining, manufacturing and farming through labour regulation.To boost the economy, the Democratic Alliance (DA) would introduce voluntary exemptions on labour regulations for certain sectors, a youth-wage subsidy and a one-stop business registration office for those looking to set up businesses.Mazibuko said the current black economic empowerment (BEE) model had only succeeded in creating a small elite who had access to finance over and over. Her party wanted to incentivise share ownership across the economy to allow workers to partake more in BEE initiatives, she said.The DA would not choose to focus on particular sectors, as the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) does, but rather help new businesses to start up by creating targeted incentives and venture capital funds.In education, the party would give schools the “maximum resources” for the first three grade years in schools and carry out assessments on pupils in grades 3, 6 and 9.It was also necessary to limit the ability of teachers to strike and only allow them to go on strike after consulting with the government, Mazibuko said.Minister on Planning in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said it was clear that there was little disagreement on the content of President Jacob Zuma’s speech, but urged the President, who was in attendance, to heed remarks made by opposition members.Manuel said the National Planning Commission was currently getting comments from South Africans on the National Development Plan, which was released in November last year, and added that a final version is expected to come before the President in June or July.Source: BuaNews
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