Gallery: South Africa’s roots lie in Western Cape

first_imgMention the Western Cape, and people immediately think of Table Mountain, V & A Waterfront and Stellenbosch. But the province is more than Cape Town’s attractions. It is a hodgepodge of natural and cultural delights.The iconic image of Cape Town and the Western Cape. The view of Table Mountain from the V&A Waterfront is always spectacular. Wherever you go in Cape Town, the mountain is always looming over you. (Images: South African Tourism, unless stated otherwise.)Compiled by Shamin ChibbaIt’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”. To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.It is the province from which South Africa was born and grew from. It is home to ghoema music and Table Mountain, the country’s winelands and Robben Island. It is the province where the Khoisan first came into contact with foreigners such as the Dutch, British, Malay and French immigrants.The Western Cape is a tapestry of historical, cultural and natural delights.Here, you will find vertiginous mountains begging to be hiked, caves with rock paintings and artefacts thousands of years old, and towns populated by people content with the simple life.Most of all, you will find South Africa’s roots.Cango Caves is situated at the foothills of the Swartberg range near Oudtshoorn. It is located in Precambrian limestone, which means it is from the earliest aeon in the Earth’s history, which dates back to over 4-billion years. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Stone artefacts and other cultural material indicate that people lived in the cave’s entrance during the Middle and Later Stone Ages. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Franschoek has become known as South Africa’s food and wine capital with one of the more popular restaurants being Reuben’s. This town of approximately 15 000 has a Bastille Festival which has been celebrated since July 1994. It coincides with France’s national holiday on 14 July.The Little Karoo town of Oudtshoorn is reliant on ostrich farming. Known as the ostrich capital of the world, its ostrich farming industry dates back to a feather boom in the 1860s.The Cederberg Mountains are noted for their dramatic, wind-carved sandstone formations like the Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch (above), as well as San rock paintings.The Model Shipyard in Mossel Bay has been designing and producing model ships for private collectors, companies and even Hollywood productions, the more recent being “The Adventures of Tin Tin”. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The Garden Route Wolf Sanctuary is situated between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. The semi-tame wolves can be petted. Wolves are not native to South Africa and it has been purported that they were brought to South Africa as part of a military programme. It didn’t work out. Those that remain are now being taken care of by the likes of this wolf sanctuary and others in the country. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The Knysna elephants are the stuff of legend. The beasts found at the Knysna Elephant Park are not part of the same herd. The park was established to take care of more than 40 orphaned elephants since 1994. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The Mossel Bay Maritime Museum, also known as the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, is a treasure trove for those interested in South Africa’s maritime history. Artefacts, artwork and information provide a holistic story of 500 years of ocean travel in the Cape. Make sure to check out the life size replica of Dias’ caravel, which had actually sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, in December 1987 and two months later, it berthed in Mossel Bay. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The quaint fishing village of Elands Bay is perfect for dolphin and whale watching and surfing. The Elands Bay Cave houses numerous rock paintings and quartz stone tools that date back 9 000 years.The Franschoek Motor Museum gives visitors the opportunity to check out vintage saloon and sports cars dating as far back as 100 years ago.The Knysna Lagoon is perfect for water sports such as water skiing.Known as the ‘diamond of the West Coast’, Lambert’s Bay is home to Bird Island with its numerous seabird species.Long Street is Cape Town’s nightlife hub. With numerous pubs, clubs and restaurants to choose from, a traveller in search of a vibrant party wouldn’t have to look further.The Wacky Wine Weekend in Robertson brings together over 40 wineries, boutique wineries and tourist establishments to showcase the valley’s award winning wines over the four days.The Stellenbosch wine route will satisfy wine connoisseurs and beginners alike. But if you’re not drinking, it doesn’t matter, the scenery is enough to make the trip to this university town.last_img read more

Listen to the Land – 5

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Des KellerProgressive Farmer Associate EditorOn a sunny fall day with just a bit of a nip in the air, Andrew Reuschel was piloting the combine, swallowing 200-bushel-per-acre-plus corn on the family farm, near Golden, in western Illinois. In parts of the field, there were remnants of green foliage low to the ground between the browned corn rows.“There were eight species of cover crop in there that have mostly winter-killed now,” Andrew said. Those species were a mix of oats, cowpeas, hemp, rapeseed, radish, buckwheat, flax and guar (cluster bean). He pointed out a still-vibrant green radish plant that’s a volunteer from the previous year.“I may plant cover crops three times a year on a field,” 29-year-old Andrew said. “I put down only a third of the fertilizer that (most other farmers) would use, and I might not apply chemicals at all. That’s my goal for most of the farm.” In 2018, the family had a soybean field on which they used an initial burndown but didn’t use any other pesticides for the rest of the season.Andrew chuckled. “That’s where I go beyond Dad’s comfort zone.”SOLD ON STEWARDSHIPHe and his father, Jeff, 57, farm 1,300 acres. Neither are strangers to cover crops, terraces and other conservation practices. Andrew’s grandfather, Louis Reuschel, now 89, garnered attention 40 years ago for his conservation work, and they’ve continued a stewardship tradition.The good-natured tug-of-war between Andrew and his father focuses on their level of experimentation and its potential effects on profitability for their operation, where every acre is important.“When Andrew came home,” Jeff said, “in terms of cover crops, he started blowing the top off the box like there are no boundaries. I had given up on cover crops generally a few years before but kept building terraces and using less tillage all the time.”The Reuschels stopped for lunch served in the field from the back of an SUV, courtesy of Andrew’s mom, Theresa (Teri). When Andrew came back to the farm three years ago, he had lots of ideas.“We just listened to him,” Jeff said smiling. “We let him go; we let him talk.”Said mom Teri, “We reminded him that we still have to pay the bills.”TWEAK THE SYSTEMObviously, they’ve been won over — within reason. “Andrew is fine-tuning the nutrients the cover crops can provide,” Jeff said. “I’m in them for their value preventing erosion. Now, he has us interseeding cover crops in the corn at the V4 stage.”Andrew and Jeff each initially had their own plots for this experiment. They interseeded a mix of buckwheat, oats and cowpeas. Andrew’s plot was 60 acres, and Jeff’s was only 10 acres. They’ve both been pretty satisfied with the results.“So far, I’ve liked the interseeding,” Andrew said. “The cover crops aren’t competing with the cash crops, and they provide erosion control and weed suppression.” He recalled going into the field in the middle of summer on a 100 degree Fahrenheit day.“I stuck the soil-temp probe into the ground at 3 inches under the canopy, and it was 77F and moist — at 3 p.m.,” Andrew said.LOOKING TO THE FUTUREJeff remains somewhat skeptical for different reasons. “You have to prove to me the nutrient value over time,” he said, acknowledging that he doesn’t want to stand in the way of the practices and techniques that can help additional generations of his family continue to operate.Andrew served five years in the U.S. Army after high school — including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan — before returning home and going to college. He and his wife, Emily, have a 2-year-old son, Everett, and a second child on the way. They also recently purchased and are renovating a home.Jeff and Andrew have also begun work on a new farm shop that has literally been in the planning stages for decades. The new facility will include a parts room and a fabrication station for Jeff, who has plans to design and build a planter specifically for interseeding. He is keeping his eyes wide open toward the future.“All my life I wanted a new shop,” Jeff said. “When Andrew went into the military, I didn’t know if he was coming back to farm. There was no use for just me to expand. Now, 20 to 40 years from now, we’ll look back and say we did a good job building a shop.”Jeff wants to be able to say the same thing about the techniques and ideas that Andrew is now fearlessly bringing to their farm.“If this (extensive use of interseeded cover crops) is part of the next big thing and really pans out, I want to be there with it,” he said. “I don’t want to be a laggard.”He motioned to what was a field of no-till soybeans prior to harvest. The soybeans had been planted into a green rye cover crop in the spring. They did the typical practice and sprayed a post-herbicide two weeks later.“I was thinking we didn’t need that herbicide,” Jeff said. “As it turned out, we didn’t have to do anything else in that field. The weed pressure was minimal compared to other farms, and it was all due to that rye, I know it was.”Back in the combine, Andrew acknowledged that with two families involved, they will always be on the lookout to farm more land, but that isn’t their primary goal.“We told our banker that we’re not trying to grow horizontally, we’re trying to grow vertically,” Andrew said. They want more out of the land they have, while not spending as much on crop-protection chemicals and synthetic fertilizers.“Once you stop judging everything based off of yield and base it off profit per acre, it changes the way you manage your risk and the way you market and the way you look at everything.”(ES/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Darjeeling unrest halts heritage train

first_imgAmong the numerous casualties of the violent statehood agitation that has swept the Darjeeling hills over the past 10 days has been the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) — an engineering marvel and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999.The services of the DHR from New Jalpaiguri station to Darjeeling along the 87 km route was suspended for an indefinite period from June 12. Officials of DHR said the pro-Gorkhaland supporters were not allowing station masters to function. However, shutting down services has not protected the heritage railway. “On June 15, miscreants tried to burn the Gayabari Station but the locals saved the heritage property from any major damage,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relation Officer of the North East Frontier Railway said. Two days later Ghum Station turned into a battle ground between the security forces and GJM supporters.last_img read more

Kemba Walker expects ‘crazy’ reaction as NBA All-Star starter at home

first_img‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes The 28-year-old Walker was named to the All-Star team for the third time Thursday, but it was his first selection as a starter.He becomes another big story line for the All-Star weekend, along with Stephen Curry returning to the city where he grew up, and former North Carolina college basketball star and current Hornets owner Michael Jordan hosting the game in his own state.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWalker didn’t win the fan vote, finishing third among Eastern Conference guards behind Kyrie Irving and Dwayne Wade. It was the media and his fellow NBA players — both picked him second, ahead of Wade — that got him over the top and earned him the start.“The respect from my peers is what means a lot to me,” Walker said. “The guys I go up against each and every night. You know, to have their respect, I think that’s huge. And that’s what I care most about, to have the respect of my peers.” US Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian has testicular cancer but still eyes Tokyo 2020 Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Walker is set to become a free agent after this season, but has repeatedly said he wants to return to the Hornets, where he is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.Walker is averaging a career-best 25 points this season along with 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds.His 3-point shooting has dipped to 35.8 percent — down from 38.4 percent last season — but he is still the man carrying the load for the Hornets night in and night out.“I feel very deserving,” said Walker, who is listed as a generous 6-foot-1. “I’ve been playing really well this season. Yeah, I feel like I deserve to be in the position I am today and I think that is why I am. I don’t think they would (give) a starters position in the All-Star Game to a guy who doesn’t deserve it.”Walker said he hadn’t even been thinking about being named an NBA All-Star starter the past few weeks.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) shoots between Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) and center Marc Gasol in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hornets point guard Kemba Walker can’t imagine what the atmosphere will be like when he’s introduced as an NBA All-Star game starter next month on his home court.“I haven’t given it any thought, but I’m sure it will be an unbelievable moment being that the game is in Charlotte,” Walker said. “I’ve been here for eight years now, so it’s going to be crazy.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga towncenter_img SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES He said a few family members had pointed it out to him that he was third in the voting, but Walker said his focus has been on the season and helping Charlotte get to the postseason.The man who once walked off the court early this year after a game-winning shot shouting “This is my city!” is now the toast of the town in Charlotte.“It’s up there,” Walker said of the accomplishment. “I don’t know where to put it yet, but it’s pretty high on the accomplishments in my career. This one right here is definitely top of the line, man. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment.”He said his first NBA All-Star selection in 2017 was special, but this one might be more important.“I don’t know if a lot of players can actually say they played in the All-Star Game in their actual city, their team’s city,” Walker said. “It is definitely up there with my first for sure.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrantslast_img read more

Swiss bank UBS on trial in France over tax fraud claims

first_imgParis, Oct 8 (AFP) The Swiss banking giant UBS went on trial in Paris on Monday over accusations it illegally helped wealthy French clients move their money out of the country and beyond the reach of tax authorities, charges which could land it with billions of euros in fines.After a six-year investigation, judges last year charged the bank and its French subsidiary with laundering proceeds from tax fraud carried out from 2004 to 2012, allegations the bank has denied.”UBS will finally have the chance to respond to what are usually unfounded claims,” the bank has said, vowing to “strongly defend itself.” Six bank managers and former managers are also on trial, including Raoul Weil, the former third-in-command at UBS, and Patrick de Fayet, formerly the second-ranking executive for its French operations.The inquiry was opened after a former employee alerted authorities over the bank’s alleged system of setting up dual bookkeeping to hide the movement of capital into Switzerland.France’s national financial crimes unit estimates at least 9.76 billion euros (USD 11.2 billion) was not reported to the French tax authorities.The bank’s staff allegedly approached French clients, from wealthy businessmen to sports stars, at receptions, golf and tennis tournaments or concerts to convince them to hide their money in Switzerland.If convicted UBS could face fines of up to half the amount of money laundered, or nearly five billion euros.Outside the courtroom a former American UBS banker turned whistleblower, Bradley Birkenfeld, offered copies of his book “Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy”.advertisement Birkenfeld brought to light a conspiracy by UBS to help some 20,000 clients hide billions of dollars from US authorities from 2002 and 2007, which saw the bank pay USD 780 million to settle to the case.All smiles, he urged his “instructive” book on a UBS lawyer, who said he hadn’t found the time to read it.”Of course, you’ve been too busy,” Birkenfeld responded.The whistleblower in the French case, Nicolas Forissier, was sacked by UBS in 2009 for alleged “gross misconduct”.”My honour will finally be cleared,” Forissier, a former internal auditing chief, said last year when judges ordered the trial after prosecutors and bank executives failed to reach a plea deal.According to documents provided by German authorities to French investigators, deposits from some 38,000 French clients with UBS amounted to a total of around 13 billion Swiss francs (11 billion euros, USD 13 billion), a source close to the case told AFP.Not all these clients are suspected of tax fraud, the source said.UBS has faced a series of fraud cases in other countries in recent years.Belgium has also indicted the bank for organised tax fraud, while it has also paid fines to US, British and Swiss regulators over alleged interest rate rigging.France has cracked down hard on tax evasion in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, not least after a former budget minister was found to have hidden money in overseas accounts.A court upheld Jerome Cahuzac’s fraud conviction this year, handing him a 300,000 euro fine and banning him from public office for five years.The UBS trial is expected to run until mid-November, barring any procedural delays. (AFP) SCYSCYlast_img read more