18 June 2009Bafana Bafana’s second Confederations Cup match in Rustenburg on Wednesday evening was a must-win affair after a goalless draw against Iraq in their opening game. The team responded to the challenge, beating New Zealand 2-0.Striker Bernard Parker, who prevented a South African goal against Iraq by running into the path of a goal-bound header, was the hero this time, netting both goals.Steven Pienaar, who missed the match against Iraq after struggling with illness, was the only change from the side that drew with the Asian champions, but he was a significant addition to the Bafana team on Wednesday night. Pulling the strings in midfield, he delivered an assured and commanding performance to set the Kiwis on the back foot.Effective attacking combinationHis combination with left-back Tsepo Masilela proved to be among Bafana’s most effective attacking options; the Maccabi Haifa defender was responsible for setting up Parker for both goals.Afterwards, Pienaar lamented the opportunities South Africa missed out on. While the team’s performance was impressive, they could have won by a far greater margin; a number of commentators suggested that it could have been nearer double figures!Defender Matthew Booth echoed Pienaar’s thoughts, saying that despite the victory over New Zealand, a win against Spain would be necessary in Bafana’s next game.Matters tightBooth was overstating the case, but his statement indicates just how tight matters could be after the Spanish managed only a 1-0 win against Iraq, thanks to a David Villa goal.Spain is already guaranteed a place in the semi-finals after two victories. They’re on six points. South Africa is in second place on four points, followed by Iraq with one, and New Zealand is out of the running without a point after two contests.If, as expected, world number one Spain gets the better of South Africa in their meeting, and if Iraq beats New Zealand, then goal difference will come into play. At present, Bafana Bafana’s goal difference is plus-two, while Iraq’s is minus-one. There is little wiggle room, and a poor result will mean SA will miss the semi-finals.Beating Spain?Truthfully, it’s hard to see Bafana doing better than a draw against the Spanish, whose lead at the top of the Fifa World Rankings is the biggest by a number one since the rankings began in 1993. The European champions’ win over Iraq marked their 14th victory in succession, equalling the record held by Australia, Brazil and France.South Africa’s coach Joel Santana praised his team after their victory against the All Whites, complimenting all three aspects of his side’s play: defensively, offensively, and in midfield. He said they had played a “beautiful game”, but he too bemoaned Bafana’s missed opportunities in front of goal.Early on, in the second minute, Terror Fanteni was wasteful in front of goal when he completely missed a superb cross from Teko Modise with the goalmouth, just five metres away, beckoning.GoalSouth Africa continued to do the pressing, however, and after 21 minutes they were rewarded for their efforts. Masilela, on the left, knifed through the All Whites’ defence before delivering an inviting cross for Parker. The striker took his chance, putting Bafana in the lead, to the roar of the Rustenburg crowd.Parker came close to netting a second 11 minutes later. After a long run he opted to shoot, despite having an unmarked Siboniso Gaxa on his outside. New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss thwarted the striker, sticking out a foot to deflect the ball wide of the goal.The home team went into the break leading 1-0. While the lead was welcome, it could have been larger. However, Bafana didn’t have to wait too long to increase their advantage.Second goalSeven minutes into the second stanza, Masilela again laid on a chance for Parker after some nice passing in midfield. Parker once more made good use of the opportunity, and South Africa led 2-0.Parker was then denied his third when Moss saved his header from a Teko Modise free kick.With 83 minutes played, coach Santana substituted Parker, who received a standing ovation from the happy crowd.His replacement, Katlego Mashego, could have made an almost immediate impact, but within the space of a few minutes he missed out on three excellent scoring opportunities.Not long after that, the final whistle sounded and the the fans went home in a good mood after a 2-0 win.But the question remains: was it a big enough victory? The answer will be provided on Saturday, 20 June when Bafana Bafana face Spain in Bloemfontein, and Iraq takes on New Zealand in Johannesburg.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Another Greenbuild Expo is in the books, and based on the Twitter traffic (hashtag #greenbuild), people can’t stop talking about it, so I suppose it’s my turn to chime in. According to the USGBC, attendance was up slightly from last year. The show floor was huge, as always, although the arrangement did not feel crowded or even that big to traverse. Once again, I was disappointed with the lack of foam giveaways to add to my collection, although for the press corps there was, once again, a nice collection of jump drives given away, including a fine-looking plastic figure by Bluebeam with a removable head.The exhibit hallI saw few really extraordinary new products, although I heard about Calstar’s new brick that uses 85% less energy to produce and is made with about 40% recycled content. Looks like an interesting product that appears to be in distribution, unlike some products on display in previous years that have yet to make it to market. One of the most important features on the show floor was not a product—rather it was the announcement of an alliance between Pharos and GreenSpec, bringing two of the most respected groups in the industry together into a single information source on green materials for professionals. And, although I didn’t quite get the point, I did like the wood-frame bicycle on display.The education sessionsThere was so much to see and so much networking to do that I was only able to attend two sessions in addition to one that I moderated. Both sessions were disappointing, although for entirely different reasons. The first one on Life Cycle Analysis featured uninspiring speakers with dense, almost illegible slides, and a hot room. I believe that the information they were presenting was good; however, it was difficult to follow it, let alone stay awake. The other session covered LED lighting, and one of the speakers appeared to have excellent information, but due to time constraints, he was forced to rush through his slides so fast that it was almost impossible to digest the information.These sessions exhibit what I think is the biggest flaw in the Greenbuild model, as well as many other conferences. First, most speakers are volunteers, so the quality of the presentations varies widely. Not only are they speaking for free, but they must cover their own travel expenses, and they even have to pay to attend the event! Second, too many speakers are put together in sessions—the result being that none of them have enough time to adequately address the subject. Finally, there is little cohesion in the programs. Having served on the residential selection committee for this year, I have firsthand experience trying to create a solid program out of a random collection of submissions, many of which were eliminated before we even got to see them. I lobbied hard to determine curriculum goals first, then seek out the best speakers—rather than the current method—but this suggestion was pretty much dismissed throughout the process.Interestingly, a USGBC staffer told me that the NAHB did a better job with the education at their green building conference, and I have to agree. Industry professionals deserve to be compensated for their time presenting, and attendees deserve to hear consistently high-quality presenters. It’s time for Greenbuild to raise the bar on presenters and the overall curriculum. One side note: I am considering a new career as the PowerPoint Police. Armed with a paintball gun, I will shoot at either the screen or the presenter if the slides are illegible or otherwise useless.The tent revivalThe closing plenary had the feel of a tent revival, and I may have even heard the occasional “Amen!” shouted in agreement. The music, huge HDTV screens showing us every pore of the speakers, and Oscar-worthy mini-documentaries about the leadership award winners made me wonder how much money was being spent on the event. Mayor Daley gave a good, down-to-earth talk about making Chicago more sustainable. Shawn Donovan, the U.S. housing secretary, gave a predictably political speech, including a shout-out to LEED ND, which will be used as a criterion for future housing grants. I guess a little pandering for a good cause is acceptable once in a while.The session wrapped up with the Ray Anderson/Paul Hawken mutual admiration society. If they weren’t both such nice, sincere people, it wouldn’t have come off well. Hawken is a quirky, friendly guy who referred to Greenbuild as “lots of great ideas having sex,” only the first of several references he made to the act of reproduction throughout his talk. My favorite line of his was “There are no inconsequential acts, only consequential inaction.”Probably my favorite quote of the entire conference was from Ron Jones, who recently founded the GreenBuilder Coalition. After many years intimately involved with both USGBC and NAHB, he appears to have settled into the role of annoyer-in-chief of both groups. At a party he hosted, he said, “NAHB will throw you under the bus and let your bones bleach in the sun on the side of the road.” Guess he doesn’t like them as much as he used to.The overall winning moment for me was attending the Hanley Award dinner and seeing Alex Wilson being honored for his decades of dedication to green building. I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Overall, the conference was a success and, thankfully, it provided me with a few things to complain about. I look forward to next year in Toronto.
Airports like Bhuj, Rajkot and Aurangabad (categorised as Tier 2 cities) have lost out the most due to the closure of Jet Airways. They reported the highest drop of 85%, 55% and 42% in air traffic respectively, while sectors like Mumbai-Delhi that had a considerable share of Jet flights at its peak is back to nearly the same number of flights.After Jet Airways suspended flights on April 17, airlines have been quick to fill the slots by inducting aircraft and adding flights across their networks. There are some airports which have been hit harder than others. While Bhuj reported an 85% impact, Mumbai was impacted 23%.According to data released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Jet Airways operated four flights daily between Mumbai and Rajkot, while Bhuj and Aurangabad had two daily departures. Post April 17, Bhuj is now serviced by Alliance Air with four flights a week. Rajkot and Aurangabad similarly have a single daily flight by Air India.While airlines have taken up most of slots vacated by Jet Airways, Spicejet on Tuesday reported the highest loads for May. “For the 50th month in a row, Spicejet has flown with the highest loads in India. In May, our Passenger Load Factor stood at 93.9%. This is a feat unparalleled in global aviation industry and a huge milestone for Spicejet,” said Shilpa Bhatia, chief sales and revenue officer, Spicejet.Data analysed by aviation analyst Ameya Joshi shows the number passengers who departed from Rajkot in April was 12,896 down from close to 30,000 at the same time last year. “In Bhuj, the drop is steeper. It fell from 15,633 passengers in April 2018 to 2,269,” he said. Mr. Joshi pointed out that in the case of Bhuj, the impact is so serious that Nashik, Durgapur, Vijaynagar and Lilabari together had more passengers in April.Kinjal Shah, vice-president and co-head, corporate sector ratings, CRA, said that while the increased airfares have supported the profitability of airlines during the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-2019 and the first quarter of the current financial year, the impact on passenger growth did not bode well for the industry.