Thursday, May 28, 2009

SABC Crisis March

As you all know, the television industry is staging a peaceful protest action against the SABC on 4 June 2009. The response to our call for companies and individuals to join us has been well received and our numbers are growing. Many unions, actors and musicians are on board and we will also be putting out a call to the public to get involved.

What can you do to make the protest a success?

1. Spread the word. Forward this mail to everyone you know who might want to join in the protest.

2. Dress in red. Turn up at the protest wearing red to signify the red tape that is strangling our industry.

3. Make bright, loud, witty banners and placards. Some of the slogans we are putting out there include: We Can’t Survive On Air; Save Our Shows; South Africa Is Watching You; Pay Up: It’s The Right Thing To Do; Roll Tape, Not Red Tape; Programs, Not Perks etcetera. Use your imagination and wit and tell the SABC what you think.

4. Send an SMS. We will be calling on South Africa to send an SMS that tells the SABC what people think of the current crisis. We will collate these comments and deliver them to the powers that be as well as the media. The number to send to: 31970. Your SMS must start with the word TV. SMS’s are charged at 50 cents.

5. Contribute to logistics. We are still asking for people to volunteer to serve as marshals at the protest. We are also still in need of loud hailers and of luminous bibs for marshals to wear. If you know of any suppliers who can donate these things for the protest, get in touch with them.


· Date: Thursday 4th June 2009
· 10.30: Joburg - Gather at Atlas Studios in Milpark for rally
· 12.00: Cape Town - Gather on grass in front of SABC
· 12.00: Joburg - March to SABC
· 13.00: Joburg and Cape Town - march and picket at SABC
· 13.45: Joburg - Hand over memorandum


The action will be a peaceful protest and will be controlled by marshals. It is important to stress that we are adopting a positive tone. The TVIEC is fighting FOR the SABC – for a transparent, fair and sustainable SABC that upholds the values of a credible and responsible public broadcaster, respectful of the South African public and its key partner in content supply – the local production sector, their casts and crews. Once again, please forward this communication to your employees, colleagues, members and industry acquaintances.

This letter is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition) which consists of: IPO (Independent Producers Organization), SASFED (South African Screen Federation), TPA (The Producers Alliance), DFA (Documentary Filmmakers Association), WGSA (Writers Guild of South Africa) as well as the CWU (Creative Workers Union).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Riding high in the recession: how you can have fun at home

`How can I have more fun at home?'

Shoot: You can eat. Interestingly, gun and gold sales are up, so is wine (the cheaper vintages) and chocolate and running shoes. I could do with more of the last two in particular.

YAHOO: The number of home vegetable gardens is predicted to jump more than 40 percent this year, compared with two years ago, according to the National Gardening Association. Sales of vegetable seeds such as green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and lettuce climbed 30 percent as of March at W. Atlee Burpee, a large seed company in Warminster, Pa. It organized a basic training course called "root camp" for hundreds of would-be gardeners this month outside Philadelphia.
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's not all doom and gloom in the U.S. economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves.

Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven't stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages.

Chart for Dollar Tree, Inc.

Gold coins are selling like hot cakes. So are gardening seeds. Tanning products are piling up in shopping carts; maybe more people are finding color in a bottle than from sun-worshipping on a faraway beach.

Strong sales of Spam, Dinty Moore stew and chili helped Hormel Foods Corp. post a 6 percent increase in first quarter sales in its grocery products unit.

Consumers have trimmed household budgets and postponed buying cars, major appliances and other big-ticket items. Yet they still are willing to shell out for small indulgences and goods that make life more comfortable at home, where they are spending more time.

Recession shoppers also are drawn to items that make them feel safe, both personally and financially.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to solve world's problems? How to get people to care? Global community spirit needs to be cultivated

In future decades, Rifkin thinks power generation will become decentralised, with citizens sharing the electricity generated by their own small-scale power plants much the way that internet users share information and files online.

Success does not just depend on surmounting the technical barriers to building such a system, though, says Rifkin. "What's missing is changing human consciousness."

He thinks there needs to be a global community spirit if buying and selling power across international borders is to succeed, and science could justify that spirit. He cited the 2007 neuroscience work that provided the first direct evidence for mirror neurons in humans, which are believed to underpin empathy.

"The science shows we're predisposed to empathy," says Rifkin.

SHOOT: Important project. One of the major flaws in people today is that they don't care about themselves or others, much less the environment. Respect, empathy and caring needs to be discipled back into communities.

Steering humanity away from its seemingly inexorable course towards climate catastrophe rests on learning how to exploit our capacity for empathy as much as any political or technical breakthroughs. That's what delegates heard at the Research Connection conference in Prague, Czech Republic, last week.

Jeremy Rifkin, founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends think tank, says changes in perception across all societies will be needed if we are to make our technology cleaner. As a result our future lies as much with discoveries in neurology and genetics as it does with chemistry and engineering, he argues.

He summarised centuries of history like this: In the past, religious teachings provided society with the
prevailing ideas that held it together. In the 18th century the Enlightenment arrived and reason replaced faith as the social glue - resulting in the industrial revolution.
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Tsunami Trucks on South Africa are serial death threats on wears

SHOOT: One of the consequences of the recession are safety checks and maintenance are done less and less. On vehicle and air fleets. The result: crashes like these. Make sure your vehicle is up to date in terms of tyres, brakes and all the rest. Your life is worth the extra expense!
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Four die in horror crash that destroys trees, cars, shops

The runaway truck hit trees and other vehicles before landing inside a sweets shop on Annan Road, killing four people, including a pupil.

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Three people died and four were injured after a horse and trailer plunged into pedestrians and a hotel in central Pretoria yesterday.

Six pedestrians were walking past the Lulli Lulli Hotel when they were hit by the runaway truck.

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A man yesterday described his heartache after arriving at an accident scene on the N3 highway to find his friend of 30 years had been burnt beyond recognition.

The pile-up at about 7.30am near the Van Buuren off-ramp also left another woman with serious burn wounds. The accident involved nine vehicles, including two trucks.

“When I got here the body was still in the car. It was completely burnt (and) I was not able to recognise her,” he said.

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A tow truck driver is in a critical condition after a 20 ton truck carrying bricks drove over his vehicle in Douglasdale
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Houghton golf estate has high hopes

I don't know why South Africans can't accept integration," he says. "In London and around the world, you have wealthier suburbs up against poorer ones with no effect on price. - David Nagle, the publicity-shy Anglo-Irish developer

SHOOT: Maybe South Africa is slightly different to London. For example, crime is a problem in South Africa. And crime is associated with low income housing/property. You may be prepared to pay millions for a swanky pad until you find its residents are raped, murdered and the contents pillaged. After that, the perceived value drops precipitously. In this context Melrose Arch remains streets ahead of the conventional (read: Old Hat) single purpose urbanism of The Houghton. Melrose Arch has a multidisciplinary approach that is sadly lacking throughout Johannesburg, South Africa and the rest of the world. It's alos known as New Urbanism. Go to Wikipedia to find out more.

My prediction is that unless the developers radically change their concept to a more affordable solution, the hulking monster on Osborne Road will be around in its present shape for quite some time.

The skeleton of what is intended to be Johannesburg's most dramatic residential development looms over Houghton golf club. The project was halted four months ago. It's likely to stay that way until next year, as will many more properties starved of credit.

But David Nagle, the publicity-shy (he refused to be photographed) Anglo-Irish developer, has quietly been at work finishing off the new Jack Nicklaus-designed course and the R40m clubhouse. They should be ready by the end of the year. He's been visiting SA for some years and this is his first development in the country.

"It's a matter of pride," says Nagle of the millions he and his fellow investors - PG Glass's Ronnie Lubner and Softline CEO Ivan Epstein - are paying from their own pockets to support the commitment of their development company, Asvid. They've already poured R500m into the development.

But Nagle sees no reason to change his concept.
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