7 November 2003The department of home affairs is to revamp its information technology systems in an effort to fully computerise the department’s operations.The department will also re-launch the National Identification System (Hanis), which will be called Hanis Reloaded. Hanis, approved by Cabinet in 1995, enables the cross-reference of fingerprints and identification information.Hanis Reloaded and the Integrated Client Service Console (ICSC) will be the department’s fully integrated system, linking all regional and sub-offices to the Pretoria head office’s database.The system will enable South Africans anywhere in the country to have their identity document applications processed electronically and their fingerprints, photographs and signatures recorded digitally. The information will be checked immediately against a database and 48 hours later, a person will have their ID.Briefing the media in Johannesburg on Thursday, Home Affairs director-general Barry Gilder said the new system will arrest the potential for fraud that is prevalent in the department.He said the old HANIS was plagued by mismanagement after key personnel in the project resigned, leaving a void in the running of the system.“This revolution is based on our dream of a fully computerised department, in respect of both our internal processes and our interface with our clients,” Gilder said.He said the introduction of the integrated database system will lay the basis for the issuing of a new ID card.“Our preliminary estimate is that such a system will allow us to issue an ID within 48 hours,” Gilder said.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Team South Africa excelled at the 2011 precision flying champs, which were hosted here. The country came second in the team landing category, with squad member Hans Schwebel being named the runner-up for the landing trophy. (Image: Nicky Rehbock)Team South Africa put in an impressive performance at the 20th Precision Flying World Championships, recently held in North West province, demonstrating how accurately and safely local pilots can handle aircraft without the aid of modern technology.South Africa came second in the team landing category, with squad member Hans Schwebel being named the runner-up for the landing trophy. This was the first time the event has been hosted in the country.Precision flying competitions test the fundamental skills of pilots flying solo in single-piston engine aircraft. Armed with just a compass and map, participants have to follow a precise flight path while sticking to a tight time limit, complete observation tasks from the air to the ground while navigating the plane, and make inch-perfect landings on short, narrow airstrips with trees and other obstacles on the approach.The sport is the aerial equivalent of orienteering.With ever-increasing automation in modern planes such skills aren’t put to the test in everyday commercial flight, meaning that those who compete in precision flying “represent the cream of the crop in terms of good, solid aviation practice”, says director of the 2011 champs Antony Russell.This year’s championships included host team South Africa, as well as participants from Norway, France, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, New Zealand, UK and Germany.Poland was named the overall team winner, with member Michal Wieczorek being crowned the individual world champion for 2011. Czech Republic came second, France third and South Africa fourth.‘Felt proud to be South African’South Africa’s Hans Schwebel has been competing in the sport since 1994, with 2011 being the 18th time he has represented the country at the world champs. He’s a private pilot living in Brits, North West, and has his own business, which gives him the flexibility to practise as often as he can.He started preparing for this event three months ago, flying as often as three times a week. “But there’s always stiff competition from overseas – a lot of the competitors are commercial pilots who fly and get to practise every day. There are also far more precision flying competitions and events in Europe than here,” he says.Schwebel believes precision flying has made him a better pilot.“Today with all the modern GPS systems, you press a knob and it tells you exactly where to go. But when there’s a failure in the airplane, most of the pilots don’t know what to do anymore. With precision flying you do it the old way – you have a map and a compass and you follow the road,” he says.“The highlights of this year’s competition were coming second and the camaraderie from the South African team – it made me feel very patriotic. It’s a very special feeling. It’s also a way of giving back to the country. I want to encourage more youngsters from this country to join the sport – and I hope that my performance this year serves as an example to them that it is possible to excel.”The next precision flying world champs will be held in two years’ time, probably in Europe, and Schwebel says he’s going to do all he can to make the national team again.‘I love this country’One of the youngest competitors at this year’s event, 30-year-old Michal Wieczorek is a commercial pilot working for a charter airline in Poland. He’s been flying for 11 years and participated in his first international airsport event in 2003 at Sun City, also in North West.He attributes his love of flying and talent for precision flying in particular to his father, who also used to compete and excel in the discipline.“The flying conditions in South Africa are very different from those in Europe. Because it’s so hot, you have to fly at higher density altitudes, which decreases the performance of the aircraft. Navigation in South Africa is also completely different – there’s bush everywhere. The first few days of practice here were very hard for me,” he says.It was determination and cool-headed landings which clinched the 2011 title for Wieczorek. “After the second navigation stage I thought I had no chance of even coming in the top three, but the landings stage on last day of the competition changed everything.There’s a lot of pressure to make the perfect landing and if the nerves catch you, it’s over – but I felt less pressure because I didn’t expect to win. When I thought the game was over for me, I just wanted to end it off with good landings – unlike Czech Republic’s Jiri Filip, who did well in the first stages and the pressure was on for him. But I can say I fought ‘til the end.”He says competing in South Africa this year was like coming home. “This is my third time in South Africa. I really enjoy being here – I love this country. South Africans are very hospitable and helpful – I’ve got many friends here and I feel at home.”Wieczorek believes one of the reasons why former Eastern bloc countries do well in precision flying is because of a familiarity with older planes and less advanced automatic navigation systems.“We don’t have that many aircraft with modern avionics. We train in old planes. Although they’re in very good condition, they don’t have GPS systems – we have to use a map and conventional navigation techniques as you have to do in precision flying.”But it’s also Poland’s coach, Andrzej Osowski, who primed the team for this year’s champs.“Andrzej gives us a hard time and trains us well. He’s being doing it for more than 25 years and is very good at what he does.”Wieczorek says his aim now is to defend his title at the next world championships and participate in the sport for as long as he can.
RELATED CONTENT With any house, there are so many variables that influence the decision to choose one particular mechanical system over another: climate, house size, cost, local availability and cost of fuels and materials, and the lifestyle and preferences of the occupants. There is no “one-size-fits-all” system that we can reliably prescribe for all projects. Phil and I sat down over a good winter cocktail to share our views, anecdotes, battle scars, and wisdom on this important subject.The Highlights:The Bobby Burns Cocktail: “We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne.”Demand: Let demand be your guide. After climate, the peak load demand of your home is probably the most important thing to understand and define. (This means you’ll have to perform some energy modeling or at least a heat-loss calculation.) The chart developed by the Portland Building Science Discussion Group should help you identify the systems to consider.Climate impact: Let your conscience be your guide. For some people, it’s not all about cost efficiency. It’s also about limiting emissions and the ecological footprint of the system itself. You may rule out oil and propane altogether. PODCAST: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 1PODCAST: Biomass BoilersGBA Encyclopedia: Green Heating OptionsHeating a Tight, Well-Insulated HouseAir-Source or Ground-Source Heat Pump?Ground-Source Heat PumpsRadiant-Floor HeatingIs Radiant Floor Heat Really the Best Option?Heating Options for a Small HomeA ‘Magic Box’ For Your Passivhaus TRANSCRIPTChris: Hey, everybody, welcome to the Green Architects’ Lounge podcast. I’m your host, Chris Briley.Phil: And I’m your host, Phil Kaplan.Chris: We should start with an apology. Hey, everybody, sorry — we haven’t been recording much.Phil: We’re going to pretend that people have been missing us?Chris: Yeah. Sorry, folks. Today we’re doing how to choose a mechanical system. This is a conversation we have a lot with our clients. They want to know what the best one is for their house.Phil: And there is a logical way to choose one. Chris and I have our systems — they’re not foolproof — but we’ve talked to some smart people and we’ll talk you through it.[The guys jaw about Chris’s new partnership with Harry Hepburn, the possibility of having Bill McKibben on a future podcast, the NESEA conference, and this episode’s cocktail, the Bobby Burns.]Phil: So how do we start choosing a mechanical system?Chris: Let’s start with a chart. Imagine a building science discussion group filled with architects, raters, and builders. When asked to choose a mechanical system, each person chimes in with the best one. If you get anything from this podcast, it’s that there is no one solution.Phil: Logic is only a small part of choosing a mechanical system.Chris: “If that, then this” just doesn’t happen. So the building science discussion group decides to make this chart that shows when we consider the different systems based on the peak heating load — we’ve divided it up into 0 to 25,000 Btu, 25 to 50,000 Btu, 50 to 75,000 Btu, 75 to 100,000 Btu, and 100,000 and over — there are certain systems you look at, depending on peak heating load. Ductless minisplits for 0 to 25,000 Btu are a great choice. If it’s 75,000 or more, possibly you’d consider ground-source heat pumps. The chart has solar thermal, a woodstove for point-source heating — so you’d have to design for this one source of heat.Phil: An open plan, compact.Chris: And the downstairs communicates with the upstairs thermally. You’ve also got air-source heat pumps, which are fantastic for the lighter loads, and electric in general — electric boilers, baseboards — and of course, oil and gas boilers and furnaces.I was talking to Marc Rosenbaum today, a mechanical engineer at South Mountain, and asked him how he chooses a mechanical system. Now that climate change has entered the conversation and has become a priority, let’s get away from fossil fuels. So, for Marc, it’s either electric or biomass. It’s a matter of heat load. If the heat load is rather high, 50,000 or more Btu, you’re looking at biomass. But some people may not want to schlep logs of wood to their wood boiler of woodstove, or they may not want to deal with pellets, which may not be available in their area. With lighter heating loads, you’re looking at electrical heat pumps — ground-source heat pumps or air-source heat pumps.Phil: So, that’s it, we’re done! Cheers!Chris: Well, with the ductless minisplits, it’s easy to take care of a lighter load house. Martin Holladay had a fantastic article in Fine Homebuilding.Phil: Heating Options for a Small Home.Chris: We recommend that everyone read that. It also covers the system in a passive house — UltimateAir has a combination unit.Phil: A hot water coil off the ERV.Chris: We’ve talked about a cold water coil for cooling. The thing is to trick the ERV into activating when there’s a demand for heating or cooling, not just fresh air.Phil: We’re talking about a really low heating load: 10,000 Btu or even lower.Marc has his ideas of what’s important, and so do we. Marc does not believe in sacrificing energy for looks. Aesthetics are important to architects in a different way than to engineers.Chris: Clients are the same way. If they walk by a ductless minisplit cassette and think, “I hate that thing, the way it sits there on the wall and mocks me,” then it’s not worth it; it’s not going to work.Phil: We all decide what’s most important for us.Chris: Clients might just be looking at operation costs. They’re not trying to save the planet; they’re trying to save money. They’re trying to be the smartest kids on the block and have a really efficient house.OK, Phil, let’s say a client comes to you and says, “I want a ground-source heat pump.”Phil: Let’s go through the logical reasons about why we don’t use them. And the client says, “Yeah yeah yeah, but I still want one.”Chris: And it’s not out of the question, but the conditions have to be right for that to be a smart choice. That does happen, but increasingly less.Phil: We had another client who wanted electric baseboard. And it wasn’t a passive house. Close to it, but…Chris: Just electric baseboard?Phil: Just electric baseboard because they wanted a silent system. They were going to buy enough PV to offset it. But it wasn’t a great idea in terms of energy use.Chris: I’ll share a battle scar. In the Redfern house — a little LEED Platinum house with 40 grand of hardware on the roof in PVs and solar thermal, and demand is really, really low — we cheaped out on an electric boiler. It’s a hot water heater, essentially, for the boiler. It really bothered me. Why at that last moment did we cheap out? I understand the economics. It’s really not going to be on that often. It’ll be offset by solar. But we could have put three more panels on to get to net-zero.Phil: Remember, panels were a lot more expensive then — 8 or 9 grand per kilowatt. It’s less than half that now.Chris: Well, we could have gone with one ductless minisplit and spent only a couple thousand more than with this electric boiler. And yeah, if you compared the two, would the minisplit ultimately have paid for itself based on how little it would be used? But the efficiency of it would have been worth it for the planet. To go that far and then cheap out… But the happy ending is there’s now a woodstove in the house and the boiler never comes on.Phil: So one of the things that bothers you about a house is the climate damage, the CO2.Chris: That’s a big part of the metric.Phil: But for some people, number 1 is cost. That’s always a conversation.Chris: That’s right. You did this passive house for $135 per square foot, and still people said, “My God, that’s expensive for a little house.” We’re competing with houses already on the market.Phil: If we can reduce the cost of mechanical systems, we can put the extra dollars into the envelope. At 15,000 Btu, you can get yourself an HRV and a pre-heater. Eight to ten grand for that system; that’s pretty awesome. If the Btu go up to 25 to 30,000, can we stay below 10 grand?Chris: That’s really hard. You need something in there to handle the load. A ductless minisplit.Phil: Minisplits work even when it’s 0 degrees outside. If you’re real disciplined and have a tight, compact house, you could do it. It would be ductless and cost 9 to 12 grand. That’s assuming you have an electric resistance water heater.Chris: What if I’ve got natural gas right out there on the street?Phil: A combo hot water tank and air handler — a ducted system, but the gas is right there. Ten to 12 grand. When would you use a hot water heat pump? Probably around loads of 50,000 or more.At fairly low loads, if aesthetics are important, you go to ducted minisplits. You’re adding a good 10 grand, maybe not that much. People spend a lot of money on pretty. Minisplits still stay off of fossil fuels, which is nice.Chris: What if my house is way bigger?Phil: Then you go to the gas boiler. It’s still not a bad system when you have a big house that’s an energy guzzler.Chris: The gas boiler can be 94 to 98 percent efficient. And still cleaner than oil.Phil: In the higher loads, wood pellet boilers make sense. Ground-source heat pumps.Chris: They’re still there.Phil: We didn’t talk about radiant.Chris: The more robust the envelope gets, the more costly the radiant system — the hundreds of feet of tubing, the circulator pumps in every zone, the computer components to monitor things…Phil: A complex system, locked in concrete.Chris: You’re talking about a $25,000 system, depending on the load and the size of the house. You’re talking about buying a lot of hardware for radiant floors. And if your house is really well insulated and the demand is so low — let’s say 15,000 Btu — then you have a boiler pushing fluids through a slab…Phil: They break all the time. And it’s rarely going to get the call.Chris: If the computer component is smart enough, it’s tweaked the temperature to be in the comfort zone, which is below your body temperature.Phil: And then it’s going to be cold underfoot.Chris: Or not warm. You won’t even notice it’s on. But if you have a really leaky house, radiant might be a great system.Phil: It comes down to what’s important to you. We advocate staying off fossil fuels, keeping loads down real low, keeping it simple.Chris: We’re trying to get rid of this component.Phil: The best mechanical contractors try really hard not to take your money.OK, time for a 6-digit idea: the Magic Box. It’s a combination appliance with an HRV, a heat pump and a water heater. Zehnder makes them. But we can’t get them here yet.Chris: What about the Lunos? They look like dryer vent type penetrations. It’s a way to handle the ERV without an ERV. It’s two holes in the building with ceramic filters in them. The filter is the temperature of the air. One opens up and breathes in. Then the other hole in the wall lets the breath out.The better our buildings get, the more we need better and better technologies to run those better buildings.[The episode closes with A.C. Newman’s song “I’m Not Talking.”] Cost: Then, of course, there’s the cost of the system to consider. In the podcast, I mention the statistic that for most buildings (not just houses), the initial construction cost represents only 11% of the building’s total cost. I had a chance to chase down where the statistic is from: Solutions for Energy Security & Facility Management Challenges by the Association of Energy Engineers. (By the way, the calculation only considers operating costs for the first 40 years.)That makes the efficiency of your system highly important. But the consideration of the initial cost is an inescapable reality. To help with this, we’ve provided a chart that shares some rule-of-thumb numbers for the systems mentioned. Of course, costs vary widely among different regions and installers. With time, this chart will become meaningless as the market changes.Cost offsets: Remember, the goal here is to shrink the mechanical system in order to save money to offset the added cost of building a robust envelope.GSHPs and radiant floors: Do they still make sense? Sometimes, maybe.Six-digit idea: Let’s start importing (or better yet, manufacturing) the Magic Box here in the States.Hot Zigg!: The Lunos e2 looks like a cool product that is approaching active ventilation in a whole new way. This is not an endorsement, as Phil and I haven’t used them yet, but something we’re keen to explore.Phil’s pick: The song of the episode is “I’m Not Talking” by A.C. Newman. It’s a great album for the studio.Don’t forget to register and attend Building Energy 13, a conference hosted by NESEA. Phil and I will be leading a Sprout Follies session in the Fundamentals Track on Thursday, March 7th at 2:00.Thanks for listening. Cheers. Subscribe to Green Architects’ Lounge on iTunes—you’ll never miss a show, and it’s free!
I have spoken to Yogi Adityanath ji Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh about attack on African students in Greater Noida. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 28, 2017 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj intervened on Tuesday after a group of African nationals faced a mob attack in a neighbourhood of Uttar Pradesh near Delhi. The Minister took to the social media and announced the steps she has taken to ensure safety of the African students staying in Greater Noida.“I have spoken to Yogi Adityanathji, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh about the attack on African students in Greater Noida. He has assured that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident,” Ms. Swaraj said on her official Twitter handle.The attack on Monday evening, coincided with a protest that was organised by online groups who blamed the unexplained death of a teenage resident on the African community.Following the attack, which took place in a shopping complex where some African nationals had gone for a meeting, African students reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs and urged Ms. Swaraj to intervene. In response Ms. Swaraj said, “Government of India is seized of the matter. We are taking immediate action.”The attack in Greater Noida is a reminder of the summer 2016 attacks on Africans in India, which included the death of a Congolese national in Delhi. The incident prompted African diplomats posted in India to skip official celebrations, casting a shadow on India’s ties with African nations.Sadiq – Government of India is seized of the matter. We are taking immediate action. https://t.co/SRdS2QGuj1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 28, 2017 He has assured that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident. /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 28, 2017