South Africa opens new visa facilitation centres

first_imgEastern Cape – Port ElizabethFree State – BloemfonteinGauteng – Johannesburg and PretoriaKwaZulu-Natal -DurbanLimpopo – PolokwaneMpumalanga – NelspruitNorthern Cape – KimberleyNorth West – RustenburgWestern Cape – Cape Town and George 9 June 2014 South Africa is busy setting up 11 new visa facilitation centres, managed by international outsourcing and technology services specialist VFS Global, in order to streamline services for foreign nationals applying for visa extensions or changes in South Africa while tightening the country’s security. Speaking to journalists in Pretoria last week, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said the centres would efficiently implement the country’s new immigration rules, which came into effect last month, while making life easier for foreign tourists, business people, workers or students who need extended or altered visas within a short space of time. “This is a radical departure from the existing mode of manual application processes that are responsible for inefficiencies within the permitting environment,” Gigaba said. VFS Global, a specialist service provider for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, has been contracted to automate and run the application process, including managing the call centre and the 11 facilitation centres spread across South Africa’s nine provinces. Foreigners in South Africa who, for example, need to extend their temporary residence visas for study or work, will be able to apply online and set up an appointment before visiting the nearest facilitation centre to submit their personal biometrics (fingerprints and photographs). Handling and visa fees will all be paid electronically. Although VFS Global will be responsible for processing visa applications, the decision to approve or reject applications still lies with the Department of Home Affairs. “We will be able to exercise full control over the decision-making processes to ensure that our national interests and security imperatives are served at all times,” Gigaba said. The decision to set up the new facilitation centres and contract their running out to a private company had been informed “by none other than our commitment to improve efficiencies and turnaround times,” he added. The department has already introduced such centres in a number of its high-volume missions abroad – including its missions in China, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria – where it had previously struggled to cut down on long queues and long turn-around times, Gigaba said. “We have visa facilitation centres at quite a few of our high-volume missions abroad and they have been working fairly successfully … contributing, I might add, to the success of our tourism stats over the last few years. It is this good practice that we hope to roll out in South Africa.” According to the Department of Home Affairs, the 11 visa facilitation centres will all be open and fully functional by the end of June. They include two centres in Gauteng province and the Western Cape, and one in each of the other seven provinces, as follows: SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Details

HOW TO: Properly address disability accommodation when hiring

first_imgI was reading this federal court opinion over the weekend. It involves a disability-discrimination claim brought by a deaf man who applied to become a lifeguard at a county pool, but didn’t get the job because the county thought his disability would compromise swimmer safety. Plus, the town was not convinced that it could accommodate the deaf applicant because it couldn’t be 100% certain that he could safely be on the lifeguard stand alone, without someone constantly by his side. Folks, I’m guilty. I’ll admit, that when I started reading this opinion, I immediately jumped to the same conclusion as the county-defendant. How could it possibly be safe to employ a deaf lifeguard? {Then again, my anecdotal knowledge of lifeguarding requirements suggests to me that the real professionals run in slow motion or, at the county-level, have minimal tolerance for pubescent tonsil-hockey schemes} Well, did you know? A deaf man holds the record for most lives saved (over 900!) in his lifeguarding career. The ability to hear is unnecessary to enable a person to perform because distressed swimmers exhibit visual signs of distress, which a deaf person scanning his or her assigned area can detect. In a noisy swimming area, recognizing a potential problem is almost completely visually based.  Individuals who become deaf before age three have better peripheral vision than hearing individuals. According to the American Red Cross, there have been no reported incidents of drowning or near drowning of any individuals over whom a deaf lifeguard was responsible.  It turns out that if the county had made in an individualized inquiry regarding the applicant’s ability to perform the job — he passed all the lifeguard tests with flying colors — or engage in an interactive process to determine whether he could be reasonably accommodated, it could have avoided litigation that progressed to one step shy of the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s an expensive lesson to learn. Here are two ways for you to avoid the same mistake: 1. Conduct an individualized inquiry to determine whether an applicant’s disability or other condition disqualifies him from a particular position. Put simply: don’t jump to conclusions — unless, of course, you like defending lawsuits. In the case noted above, the County’s physician entered the examination room, briefly reviewed the applicant’s file, and declared, “He’s deaf; he can’t be a lifeguard.” This, from a physician with no education, training, or experience in assessing the ability of deaf individuals to work as lifeguards. An outside consultant further opined that the deaf applicant would be able to perform perfectly “100 percent of the time.” But that’s an impossible standard! Learn from these mistakes.  The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the individualized inquiry. Employers must avoid acting based on stereotypes and generalizations about a disability. Instead focus on the the actual disability and the effect that disability has on the particular individual’s ability to perform the job. And remember that individuals with disabilities cannot be held to a higher standard of performance than non-disabled individuals. Instead, have someone who is familiar with not only the applicant’s disability but also the requirements of the position conduct the individualized assessment to determine whether the applicant is otherwise qualified. 2. Engage in an interactive dialogue. We’ve talked about this before. Covered employers have a duty to engage in an interactive process with a disabled employee or applicant, which requires communication and good-faith exploration of possible accommodations. The purpose of this process is to ‘identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations. Unless providing an accommodation would cause undue burden to the employer, it must do so. So, talk with the applicant and get a sense of what will and won’t work to allow him/her to perform the essential functions of the job. You don’t have to accept the accommodation that you are asked to provide. However, you do have to provide an accommodation it is reasonable. Follow these two steps and you’ll not only cut your risk of disability-discrimination claims, but greatly expand your employee talent pool.last_img read more

Details

‘Quick adjustment’ for returning Blatche

first_img“We had practice earlier in the day and I’m pretty much comfortable with the offense, the defense, the players, and the coaching staff,” said Blatche, who arrived in the country early Sunday morning.“It was a quick adjustment for me.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBlatche was also visibly in great shape, a far cry when he arrived in the country for the last Fiba qualifiers in 2016.The former Brooklyn Net played for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association and his commitment with the club was the reason why he had just joined Gilas’ practices. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games Blue Eagles misfire, lose confidence in defeat to Tamaraws Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAndray Blatche may have been away from Gilas Pilipinas for much of 2017, and yet the big man felt like he never left.Gilas held a practice session Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in preparation for its game against Japan in the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifiers where Blatche is once again the team’s naturalized player.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Malditas save PH from shutoutcenter_img ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims “I feel great, I’m in good shape and this was because I was playing overseas in China,” said Blatche.He added that Fiba’s new home and away format does not bother him, and that the team is focused on winning in wherever country they’re in.“I’m just looking forward to winning, whenever where we at the main focus is winning,” said Blatche. “We’ll go to Japan and get a win, we’ll come back here and get a win, that’s the goal.”ADVERTISEMENT MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 View comments After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

Details

Read, think and avoid cliches: tips for children aiming to be sportswriters

first_img Twitter The best writing is clear writing. There are tricks to writing clearly. One is to write in short sentences. Another is always to use simple language. Even if the ideas are complicated, keep the language simple.5) Don’t repeat! features Share on LinkedIn The Guardian and Football School launch Young Sportswriter competition 6) Add context!Include relevant background. For example, if you are writing about a football match it is important to tell the reader what sort of match it is: is it a cup final, a relegation battle or a derby between your school and your rivals down the road?7) Don’t assume! 2) Think! If you are going to write about a match, choose an exciting one. If you are going to write about a person, choose someone you find fascinating. It sounds obvious but if you are not interested in the match or the person you will probably struggle to make the story interesting.3) Plan! Football Facebook You probably do this anyway, but spend time reading about sport, whether online, in newspapers and magazines, or in books. Not only will you learn lots of fascinating facts but you will also develop an understanding of how sports articles are written. In a match report, for example, you need to mention the result towards the beginning. The reader wants to know who won straight away. Share on Messenger Share on Facebook If you love sport then you have what it takes to enter the Football School/Guardian Young Sportswriter competition. You’re halfway there! In all writing, passion and enthusiasm for the subject matter is key. Here are 10 top tips that will help you develop into the best writer you can be.1) Read! You may be very well-informed about a team or a person but do not assume your reader is. For example, if you refer to a team’s “famous victory” you need to spell out what that victory was. You cannot assume the person reading the story will know what you are referring to unless you state it clearly.8) Avoid jargon!Jargon means language only a specialist will understand, such as “the low block”, a phrase used by coaches to describe teams who keep their defenders near their goal. Make sure every word you use would be understandable to a classmate who does not share the same interests as you.9) Avoid cliches!center_img Share on Twitter Harry Kane shoots at goal … but there are plenty of words you can use that are more descriptive. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Pinterest Share via Email Topics Reuse this content A cliche is a phrase that is overused, like “cool as a cucumber”, or “110%”. Cliches make the text feel predictable and boring. If you want to describe a player as happy, avoid “over the moon” and if you want to describe someone as sad, avoid tired phrases like “sick as a parrot”.10) Have a conclusion!It is always nice to end a piece of text with either a summary of what has come before or a final thought. Read more Share on Pinterest List the facts you want to have in your story and sketch out a structure. The best pieces of writing have a beginning, a middle and an end. If you are stuck on how to start the story that is fine. You can start writing the story in the middle and write the beginning later.4) Be clear! Share on WhatsApp We said don’t repeat! Avoid repeating the same words, since this will make your text boring to read. In football, for example, players are always kicking the ball, but rather than use the word “kick” all the time you could use a more descriptive word like curl, slot, fire, poke or hook.last_img read more

Details