Moyes names new coaching staff

first_imgNew Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed the arrival of three trusted members of his Everton backroom team. As expected, Steve Round will become Moyes’ assistant manager, Chris Woods is installed as goalkeeping coach, with Jimmy Lumsden named coach. “I have worked with Steve, Chris and Jimmy for a number of years and I am delighted they have decided to join me at this great club,” said Moyes. Press Associationcenter_img The trio replace Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele, who have all been released following Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to retire in May. Round, 42, has worked alongside Moyes since 2008, whilst former England keeper Woods had been at Goodison Park since 1998. Sixty-five-year-old Lumsden, meanwhile, has worked with Moyes since his days at Preston North End. Moyes added: “They bring great qualities in their respective fields and I know that, like me, they feel that this is a challenge to relish. I have great faith that together, we can build upon the success this club has enjoyed over many years.” Moyes arrived at Carrington at 8am for his first official day in charge, although his players are not due to report for duty until later this week. It is a huge day of change at United. In addition to Moyes’ arrival, the Red Devils’ plush training ground is officially known as the AON Training Complex as a result of a sponsorship deal announced last April worth approximately £150million. And David Gill’s exit as chief executive means Richard Arnold now takes over as group managing director, with London-based executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward assuming many of Gill’s responsibilities on the football side. “I believe with David and his new team in place, along with our current backroom staff, we can now start preparing for the new season ahead,” Woodward said. last_img read more

Lambert: I was close to Villa move

first_img Press Association With Villa desperate for goals they attempted a late raid on the Reds to prise Lambert away, going so far as to agree terms on a two-and-a- half-year deal, only for the 33-year-old to deliver a late snub. Explaining his decision to the Liverpool Echo, Lambert said: “I got a phone call from the gaffer about 4pm (on deadline day) saying Aston Villa had come in. “He said he didn’t want me to go, but basically offered me the chance if I wanted to play football, which is fair enough. “I spoke to my agent, my wife, to Aston Villa and it was close. It was very close. It was touch and go. We agreed everything. “But in the end there just wasn’t enough time to say ‘yes’ – to make a decision in the space of four or five hours for the next two-and-a-half-years. Not just for me, but for my family as well. “It was something I just couldn’t do. It was too short notice. It was too big of a decision to make in the short amount of time I had.” Lambert concedes he did not want to leave Liverpool so soon after realising his dream of playing for the Merseyside club. “It was nothing negative towards Aston Villa, it’s a great club,” added Lambert. “I just didn’t think it was right for me to leave here just six months into my Liverpool career. I didn’t want to go. “It was something I would have probably looked back at a few years down the line and regretted if I had moved too early. “It’s hard sometimes when you aren’t playing, but I’m at the club I love. I’m not willing to give that up easily.” Since joining boyhood club Liverpool from Southampton last summer for £4million, the England international has struggled to make an impact. In 26 appearances in all competitions, with only 10 starts, Lambert has scored just three goals, one of which was against Villa in a 2-0 win last month. Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert has revealed he came “very close” to signing for Aston Villa on transfer-deadline day, only to pull out at the last minute as he refused to throw in the towel on his Reds career. last_img read more

Empty seats sign of a larger trend

first_imgJake Davidson is a freshman majoring in accounting. His column, “Davidson’s Direction,” runs every other Monday. To comment on this story, visit dailytrojan.com or email Jake at [email protected] There is a very famous scene in the beginning of the movie Field of Dreams, when a mystical voice tells the main character, played by Kevin Costner, “If you build it, he will come.” Since the iconic sports film’s release in 1989, the quote has often been misattributed as, “If you build it, they will come.” And though it might not have come directly from the movie, there is no statement more emblematic of the USC rooting mentality than that one.Yes, Field of Dreams took place in the cornfields of Iowa while USC sports events happen in the bustling metropolis of downtown Los Angeles. Yet the principle of attending games only to see a polished, successful team rings true for the majority of USC’s fanbase.The phenomenon of lackadaisical attendance for average teams and impassioned support for championship caliber squads has long been in effect for the Trojan faithful. This year is no different. The USC-Colorado men’s basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 16 played out like most games this season. The Trojans kept it competitive for a while, until a prolonged scoring drought took them out of striking distance.Though this predictable pattern of gameplay was not unique, the Trojans-Buffs faceoff was the first USC home basketball game I had watched on TV as opposed to in person. I was struck by how empty the Galen Center appeared on television. Sure, it was a three-day weekend, but I doubt that the break led to such a staggering drop in attendance. I imagine most games appear like this on television, a beautiful state of the art facility struggling to just fill out the lower sections of the arena.The apathy of the overall Trojan fanbase this year was magnified after watching the North Carolina-Duke showdown on Thursday night. The amount of intensity and passion emanating from the stands in that battle made the cheering in the USC-Colorado game look like a high school affair.The previous statement is not a critical referendum on our fan base — far from it, in fact. It is just an observation. I think the atmosphere at USC games is so different from other elite athletic programs for one simple reason: location.One of the reasons USC is so popular nationally among recruits is its proximity to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. LA is a big city, with some of the most popular attractions in the world. Though these characteristics are great for attracting recruits, such an incredible town makes it difficult to develop a rabid fanbase.This isn’t just applicable to college basketball. Even here, where pigskin is king, we consistently fail to fill up the Coliseum when USC football is mediocre. Sure, everyone was celebrating on the field after that incredible Stanford victory. Yet I remember a different atmosphere back in the nascent stages of the season, in the dark days of the Kiffin era. That same Coliseum, as raucous as it was against the Cardinal, was silent for the majority of the Utah State game. Besides the occasional “boo” for another screen pass, one might have confused the stadium’s decibel level for that of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles down the street.Admittedly, that was one of the first noon games in recent USC football history, but the underwhelming attendance level is still proof that the Trojan fanbase only extends a full effort for a winner, regardless of the sport. The simple reason is that there are other things to do on the weekends in Los Angeles.This isn’t Tuscaloosa, Ala. or El Paso, Texas, where the college team is the best entertainment in town. A school across town faces a similar predicament. I grew up going to both UCLA and USC events. Much like USC in football, UCLA had tremendous attendance in basketball when they went to three straight final fours. Pauley Pavilion was electric during that period. Yet when the team struggled afterward, attendance decreased dramatically. It’s not a USC or UCLA thing; it’s simply a byproduct of the city we live in.Many East Coast analysts and even some USC beat writers use this “fair-weather fan” mentality as fuel to criticize the Trojan athletic program as a whole. And even though that notion will always be incredibly annoying, I now look at our fanbase’s attitude in a whole new light.I’ve had the opportunity to watch the second half of almost every sporting event this year from midcourt or the 50-yard line. That just doesn’t happen for students in Baton Rouge, La. or Lexington, Ky. When USC teams are “good,” the rooting experience rivals any other school in the country, for one simple reason. When USC fans get excited, we aren’t cheering for a first-round tournament exit or a Holiday Bowl berth. We are rooting for excellence, and anything less is unacceptable.I have full faith Andy Enfield and Steve Sarkisian will build powerhouse programs soon enough. Before long, the Coliseum and Galen Center will be rocking. Because when those USC programs are built, the fans will come.last_img read more

Mourinho hails ‘world best’ De Gea as United beat Arsenal

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho praised a “world best” display by goalkeeper David de Gea after his side’s hard-fought 3-1 win away to Arsenal on Saturday.Victory left United five points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, who will go eight points clear again if they beat West Ham on Sunday, ahead of next week’s Manchester derby. For Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has had an often fractious relationship with Mourinho, there was pride in the way his side recovered from a horror start but ultimately a sense of frustration at their failure to take anything out of the game.“I think we didn’t start well at all at the back and we are guilty of that,” Wenger told the BBC.“Despite being 2-0 down we should have come back — we had enough chances. We produced excellent quality, but were not decisive enough,” the veteran French boss added.“It was a mystery yes (not scoring more goals), but David de Gea was man-of-the-match by a clear mile.“We played well but there is nothing more frustrating when you have that quality of performance and nothing to show for it at the end.“The attitude was impeccable until the end. But you cannot make the mistakes we made at the beginning.”Share on: WhatsApp But the win was far from routine even though early goals from Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard put United 2-0 up at the Emirates Stadium as soon as the 11th minute.De Gea made several brilliant saves before Arsenal eventually pulled one back through Alexandre Lacazette four minutes after half time.But Lingard’s second goal in the 63rd minute eventually made the game safe for the visitors before United midfielder Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Hector Bellerin.It was De Gea, however, who Mourinho singled out for special praise, telling BT Sport: “I told him after the match, what I saw today was the best from a goalkeeper in the world.“You need the keeper to be there for you when the team needs,” the Portuguese boss added. “All the effort from the players was magnificent.”As for Pogba’s dismissal, which will rule him out of the Manchester derby, Mourinho said Arsenal had been fortunate not to go a man down as well following a challenge by Laurent Koscielny on Romelu Lukaku.center_img “I don’t know,” he said. “I leave for you the Lukaku situation with Koscielny, I leave for you the Arsenal players on the grass. The grass is absolutely beautiful — I think there is a desire to go onto the grass.”There was no hiding former Chelsea manager Mourinho’s joy, however, at an impressive all-round United display.“I loved the way my team played and fought,” he said. “Arsenal played in some periods amazing attacking football — creating difficulties for us.“But I have to say that my players deserve all the great words. I don’t know so many in English but amazing, phenomenal, fantastic. They deserved three points.”last_img read more

The JBJ Soul Kitchen: A Restaurant With a Heart

first_imgJon and Dorothea Bon Jovi were in Red Bank on Wednesday for the grand opening of their restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen. The community restaurant at 207 Monmouth S. serves tasty and delicious meals to all who walk in the door with the stipulation that those who can pay, leave a donation to support the restaurant. Those who can’t pay are asked to volunteer a few hours of their time in exchange for their meal. In the photo above, (L to R) Former Red Bank Mayor Edward McKenna, Mayor Pasquale Menna, Eugene Cheslock, M.D. and Board member Mimi Box surround Jon Bon Jovi at the podium. Read more about JBJ Soul Kitchen in the upcoming issue of The Two River Times!last_img read more

Red Bank Regional Looking to Community for Alumni Nominees

first_imgLITTLE SILVER – The Red Bank Regional High School, through its education foundation, has observed a warm tradition for the past 10 years of honoring its most distinguished alumni.The honor includes an invitation to visit the high school where they tour the facility with our principal and meet the faculty and students. The tour culminates in a special reception for the honorees when students celebrate their lives in prose composed from submitted biographies.A special luncheon also will be held in their honor. Diners and their guests will be serenaded by the VPA instrumental student majors.The 20012-2013 school year’s program will take place on Friday, April 26.Nearly 100 individuals already have received the honor including, successful business men and women, philanthropic community members, long-standing public servants, community leaders, exceptional Red Bank Regional educators and tireless volunteers. Their names are inscribed on a plaque hanging near the school’s entrance for posterity.The nomination for the honor has come to school officials primarily by word-of-mouth through networking among foundation committee members.School officials are hoping that members of the community may know of someone truly worthy of the honor and may choose to nominate that person for distinguished alumni consideration.The criteria for submission is that the nominee graduated from Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) at least 15 years ago or from its predecessor, Red Bank High School, which was located at the current Red Bank Middle School property. Nominees should be role models to young people and have distinguished themselves in their careers (making some unique contribution) and served the communities in which they live with honor and significant commitment.With a rich history that dates back to 1906 there are potentially many distinguished alumni to honor. Officials hope the public will aid in the endeavor.All nominations should be sent by the Jan. 4 deadline to the special assistant to the superintendent, Debbie Orrigo, by e-mailing [email protected], calling 732-842-8000, Ext. 1240, or writing to the Red Bank Regional School District, 101 Ridge Road, Little Silver NJ 07739, attention of Ms. Orrigo.If possible, please include contact information for the nominee, including address, phone number, and e-mail address.last_img read more

DONEGAL DISABILITY ORGANISATION SHORTLISTED FOR NATIONAL AWARD

first_imgFEATURES: The Donegal Centre for Independent Living (DCIL) have announced that they have been shortlisted in the National Better Together awards Competition. The winners are due to be announced at the official award ceremony in Dublin Castle next week. DCIL will be represented at the awards ceremony by their General Manager Rosaleen Bradley who submitted a short video that showcased some of what they do as an organisation of people with disabilities here in Donegal.The video has gained much support through social media and received enough both local and national online votes to secure a place on the shortlist.Can they lift the award – only next week will tell – but they’re certainly hopeful and are overwhelmed with the awareness this has raised of the impact and services of DCIL both locally and nationally.DCIL General manager, Rosaleen Bradley told Donegal Daily, “We are a Donegal organisation who is competing against large national organisations and to be shortlisted at this point is really a recognition award in itself. We would really appreciate everybody’s support in the lead up to the awards ceremony which take place in Dublin Castle next Wednesday 9th December.Why not have a look and hopefully you’ll enjoy. 🙂 DONEGAL DISABILITY ORGANISATION SHORTLISTED FOR NATIONAL AWARD was last modified: December 3rd, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:Disability OrganisationDonegal Independent Learninglast_img read more

Search for Evolutionary Trade-Offs Comes Up Empty

first_imgHusbands and wives know a lot about trade-offs, but according to Darwinian theory, all living things are in a constant tug-of-war between competing interests. In evolutionary terms, a trade-off is a compromise between competing forces of natural selection. For instance, “Simultaneously obtaining enough food to grow and reproduce while trying not to become someone else’s dinner is a pervasive trade-off faced by many organisms,” explains Mark McPeek (Dartmouth), writing in American Naturalist.1 How does this concept fit in with evolutionary theory?Trade-offs are central to our conception of how the natural world is organized. Trade-offs shape the choices that individuals make (Sih 1980, 1987; Krebs and Davies 1997), influence evolutionary trajectories and mold genetic diversity (Loeschcke 1987; Rose 1991; Stearns 1992; Roff 2002), and determine which species are able to coexist with one another in the long term (Levin 1970; Tilman and Pacala 1993; Chesson 2000). Trade-offs are presumed to be caused by some genetic or phenotypic trait or traits influencing two fitness components in antagonistic ways. Understanding the mechanisms that cause trade-offs is critical for predicting their consequences (Schoener 1986; Tilman 1987).So McPeek set out to test the evolutionary trade-off hypothesis. But when he looked for a trade-off among damselflies, specifically his prediction that activity correlates to mortality from predation, he was stumped: he couldn’t find it. McPeek studied two coexisting species of damselflies that inhabit freshwater lakes. One has larvae that are much more active than the other. The active ones presumably get more food but are more exposed to predation, and suffer higher mortality. What he found, however, is that both species actually obtain the same amount of nutrition, regardless of activity. “However, laboratory studies presented here show that the mechanism assumed by most theoretical and empirical studies to mediate this trade-off, namely activity simultaneously modulating foraging returns and predation risk, does not operate in this system,” he lamented with apparent consternation. In spite of no difference in the amount of food ingested or assimilated, I. verticalis larvae grew faster than Enallagma larvae because they were better able to physiologically convert assimilated food into their own biomass in the presence of mortality threats. From these studies we understand the phenotypic mechanisms determining the antagonistic patterns of relative growth and survival between these two genera, but why these patterns exist remains unclear.McPeek lays out his experimental data in exhaustive detail, but in the end, the principle he sought to verify was not found:If the growth/predation risk trade-off has influenced the evolution of these genera, the walk and production efficiency variables should display positive correlations across species’ phenotypes (i.e., for the “tips”) and in the evolutionary contrasts. The number of walks in the presence of dragonfly predators was correlated across species with the production efficiency and growth rate in the presence of predators, but correlations among the corresponding evolutionary contrasts indicated that these variables have evolved independently; correlations among contrasts for walking and production efficiency/growth variables were all not significant, and they were not even consistent in sign (table 1; fig. 6b).His ending discussion puzzles over this negative result, and compares it with findings of other studies on evolutionary trade-offs. He really expected the vigor of the one species to exhibit a trade-off:A trade-off implies that some character or set of characters, either phenotypic or genetic, antagonistically influence two fitness components. As this character (or set) evolves, one fitness component increases while the other decreases, hence the trade-off. Clearly, activity is not that character because activity does not influence growth rate, and they do not evolve in a correlated manner across species (table 1).A negative result is still a result, and McPeek has to leave it at that: “At present it is difficult to speculate what the underlying character modulating mortality and growth may be to generate the trade-off among the damselflies,” he concludes. “In fact, we must entertain the possibility that this is not a trade-off in the mechanistic sense at all. In other words, no mediating phenotypic or genetic traits may have shaped the evolution of both growth rate and predation risk,” he states with apparent surprise. In fact, evolutionists may have to propose an opposite principle:Perhaps the direction of causation is also opposite from what we usually assume; these differences between the genera may not have evolved because of selection pressures to allow them to coexist (Abrams 2003), but rather these phenotypic differences may have arisen for other reasons (e.g., drift or past selective agents that no longer influence them), and the fact that these phenotypic differences promote coexistence has allowed the ecology of the system to dynamically capture these two taxa and promote their long-term persistence with their present phenotypes.This seems to suggest a force for stasis, not evolution. It gets worse; he next points to other studies that show the same thing, such as with tadpoles. We need to find the mechanism for trade-offs, he implores, to understand organizations of species with each other and with other organisms, and to understand ecology. “Such differences in phenotypically mediated community dynamics cannot be correctly discerned or reliably predicted without a thorough understanding of the mechanisms shaping the phenotypes of the interacting species.” So – back to the drawing board.1Mark A. McPeek, “The Growth/Predation Risk Trade-Off: So What Is the Mechanism?” American Naturalist2004. Vol. 163, pp. E88-E111. � 2004 by The University of Chicago. 0003-0147/2004/16305-40010, Electronically published April 26, 2004.Notice his suggestion about “past selective agents that no longer influence them” as an explanation for why the evolutionary trade-off was not found. How is a past selective agent that no longer has any influence a testable scientific model? How is it different from a ghost? You have to feel sorry for Darwinists, hunting in vain for evidence of the mechanistic processes that they hope can explain the world. He couldn’t even find evidence that selection influenced the activity of the damselfly, let alone the damselfly itself, with its wings, muscles, eyes, and countless other engineering marvels (remember what Dickinson taught us about fruit flies? See 12/18/2003 headline for a reminder of the exquisite engineering Darwinism needs to explain). So another Darwinian principle has been tested and found wanting. Wonderful. Keep up the good work. (See 04/02/2004 headline for another recent example.) At this rate we can just stand back and watch the whole Darwinian edifice implode.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa: a building site

first_imgJustice MalalaFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialEveryone seems to have a Confederations Cup story to tell since the spectacular opening ceremony on June 14. Here is mine.It isn’t really a Confed story, as it happened weeks before the actual tournament. But I hope it will, in its own small way, illuminate the football matches and the festivities.My wife and I went out for dinner a few weeks ago. We ended up eating at the Troyeville Hotel, a shambling but charming hotel in Kensington, just east of Johannesburg. It serves brilliant rustic Portuguese cuisine and very cold beer. The bar is unusual and fun, with an eclectic crowd. But that is not the point of the story.On leaving the hotel we followed our usual route home. But it was unusual in one way: there were building works everywhere. The Troyeville Hotel sits right behind the Ellis Park and the Johannesburg Stadium.Already among the best stadiums in South Africa, both have now been refurbished so extensively they are hardly recognisable. They look and feel like international institutions – huge, glitzy, sleek and modern.We made our way through the warren of roads that encircle Ellis Park, just below the notorious Hillbrow flatland area and Bertrams. The roads were narrowed down, with massive ditches on either side due to digging and other roadworks. As we pushed along and emerged on the Hillbrow side, near the towering cone-shaped building called Ponte City, crowned with its massive neon Vodacom advert, we realised we could not turn left onto the motorway and on home.The road was closed due to road works.We inched along into the heart of Hillbrow. Now, Hillbrow became renowned the world over for violence, drugs and other crimes in the 1990s as its buildings – formerly reserved for whites only – started to accommodate blacks. It became known as the epicenter of Johannesburg’s tragic descent into crime.I know Hillbrow. I lived right in the centre of the Hillbrow flatland – at the Highpoint building – when I first moved to Johannesburg to start a job as a journalist at the Star newspaper in the very early 1990s.I watched as Hillbrow became overrun by dirt and grime and as it nearly collapsed under the burden of maladministration and failure to deal with its myriad problems. However, there have been spectacular new developments over the past few years.Young entrepreneurs started moving in and buying old buildings and renovating them. A new breed of tenant – professional and dedicated to the neighbourhood – can be seen in many parts of the flatlands.Plus, authorities came to the party. Parks, roads and all sorts of other public facilities are constantly being done up.But back to my journey. As we inched along the dark road I realised that the neighbourhood whose streets I had walked so long ago is being transformed. There were road works all over. New, glitzy, shiny bus stops to accommodate the new bus rapid transit system were being built. They were gorgeous, and in design and structure reminded me of the London underground stations.Then we turned up into the heart of Hillbrow. The works I had noticed continued on until we reached one of my favourite sites in this town: the Old Fort building, now known as Constitution Hill, the seat of the highest court in the land.Then on into Braamfontein and around the Civic Centre. Here too the roads were narrowed as the building work continued. The whole thing was astounding.The truth is that many parts of South Africa today mirror what I saw in Hillbrow that dark night. The country is a building site. The N1 route from Johannesburg to Pretoria is clogged – and makes many motorists angry – because the three-lane highway is being widened to make more lanes and accommodate more cars. I was in Cape Town recently and the whole Sea Point area is being transformed by the Green Point Stadium, one of the venues for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.As I write this piece, new GDP figures are out and we are staring recession in the face. Yet one looks at all this work – plus the R787-billion (US$97.9-billion) that is still to be spent by government on infrastructure development – and it becomes clear that, like many parts of the world, economically we are be in a bad state. But we could have been in a far worse state.The 2010 World Cup and all the associated activity around our roads, buildings and other infrastructure are probably the single most important factor for our economy as the global economic meltdown bites. The stimulus brought on by this spending means we will not be as affected as many of our neighbours and will most likely recover far faster than many economies across the globe.From an economic perspective, the southern tip of Africa looks like the best place to be as the world faces its most turbulent economic times in decades. And it is all there for us to see: men and women in blue overalls building a country, brick by brick.Justice Malala is an award-winning former newspaper editor, and is now general manager of Avusa’s stable of 56 magazines. He writes weekly columns for The Times newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, as well as a monthly media and politics column for Empire magazine. He is the resident political analyst for independent television channel e.tv and has consulted extensively for financial institutions on South African political risk. Malala was also an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3. Hard Copy I won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala’s work has been published internationally in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Institutional Investor, The Age and The Observer.last_img read more

Brand South Africa calls on all partners to reinforce the investment drive in order to restore business confidence

first_imgJohannesburg, Tuesday 02 April 2019 – Brand South Africa says that during quarter four of the 2018/2019 financial year, business confidence indicators took a distinct negative turn. This analysis stems from the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Business Confidence Index (BCI), which gathers input from 1700 business executives in South Africa.The BER BCI reasons that the weakening business confidence is wide-ranging, and can be attributed the following factors: Eskom and load shedding; strike action in certain sectors; revelations on State Capture from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry; as well as residual concerns regarding policy uncertainty – mainly due to the approaching National Elections in South Africa.The BER BCI covers five economic sectors that are most sensitive to cyclical up and down turns in the economy – namely: Building/Construction; Manufacturing; Retail; Wholesale; and Automotive/New vehicle sales.Dr Petrus de Kock, the General Manager for Research for Brand South Africa says the BER BCI points out that at a total level, strong business confidence in the SA economy was last seen in quarter 2 of the 2017/2018. “In addition to the influences mentioned above that contributed to weakening business confidence, it is apparent that fundamental economic activity indicators weakened substantially – thus contributing to weaker business confidence.“From our analysis, the BER BCI average activity indicators for 2019 are now at a similar level to the first quarters of Q1 2017 and 2009. This is a sobering picture of weak GDP expansion, and slipping business confidence, all of which impacts on the reputation of the Nation Brand negatively,” says Dr de Kock.However, Dr de Kock says that this outlook is expected to improve after the May 2019 general elections. “We welcome these findings as they provide us with guidance on strategic focus areas that we need to improve on. We as Brand South Africa call on all partners across all sectors to reinforce the investment drive in order to restore business confidence – not only among investors but also for our citizens. While there are internal challenges to the economy, South Africa also needs to pay close attention to weakness in the global economy, uncertainty caused by trade war dynamics, emerging economic nationalism in so-called advanced economies, and isolationist tendencies.“Brand South Africa will share with stakeholders a much more detailed analysis and will be working with stakeholders to establish focused efforts to implement measures that address the challenges highlighted in the document,” concludes Dr de Kock.last_img read more