“Illegally parked” cars take over Stabroek Market Square

first_imgThough the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has moved to rid the Stabroek Market Square of encumbrances to transform the area by removing the bus park, several private and hire cars have now occupied the area. This occupation comes despite the claims by City Hall that the area should remain clear after the Route 41, 45 and 46 mini-buses as well as several vendors were all relocated.Guyana Times attempted to ascertain two main concerns: if City Council allowed the occupation of the square by the car operators; and if the M&CC was obtaining fees from the operators. However attempts to contact Town Clerk Royston King to clarify these matters were unsuccessful as we were told he was unavailable.According to reports, the cars have been operating taxi services in the area. The new area allocated for the bus park was met with much criticism, especially from the operators of Route 45 mini-buses.When this newspaper spoke with a few of them, they related their frustration of the “unfavourable” parking system which currently has no demarcation lines. The buses were relocated to an area in the vicinity of a footwear store, opposite Demico House, where they had been in the past.“Whoever in charge of whatever going in, like they don’t have a plan because de buses went there, good, right now they congesting the traffic, they [City Council] doing a bundle of stupidness; they tek where me park and me money getting lil bit, I gat two children,” one minibus driver for 25 years told this publication.“That is de most stupidness I see in 25 years. They collecting revenue and they tear down de park,” the angry driver said in reference to the posts and chains which City Hall had removed after only installing them last year.“They put down post and chain and just pull out back all… taxpayer money going down the drain, they tell we they spend hundreds of thousands to do dat but check de big hole wah leff in deh now,” driver Mark Anthony explained.The Route 45 drivers further stated that the current parking system is endangering passengers as they would have to enter from the side of oncoming traffic. They also complained about the “hot plate” buses which would not observe the turn system. One bus conductor alleged that the hot plate system is facilitated by city police ranks would “allow their friends” to break the chain.Another bus driver, Jackie, said that all she wants to see is law and order in the area and City Council should “call a spade a spade” in reference to the “illegally parked cars”.Meanwhile Stabroek Market vendors who had protested their relocation to a vacant spot at Lombard and Hadfield streets told Guyana Times on Wednesday that while business is somewhat slow they are adjusting to their current conditions.last_img read more

Congratulations Pursuit captain John Woodrum

first_imgThis week’s winner in the Pot Of Gold halibut tourney at Long Beach Sportfishing is David Keil, Granada Hills. His fish weighed #37.3 pounds, the largest of the season, which earned him $250. Long Beach Sportfishing is reporting that the halibut are really biting with 20 fish over 20 pounds caught this last week. The giant squid or Humboldt Red Devils have been caught lately all the way up the coast to Alaska but none in local Los Angeles waters. Let’s hope they get here soon. Now that the squid are being caught in tremendous numbers there is a compassionate cry by not only environmentalists but also by me and my fishing group to use care in catching these magnificent creatures. There is no law controlling the bag limit of the squid and the angler tendency is to catch many more than necessary. One 40-pound Humboldt could feed a family of four for two months if they ate the squid every night. They have no bones and are one big chunk of meat. They are easily returned to the water so lets all not get greedy. On the freshwater scene at Santa Ana River Lakes, 14-year old Anthony Torres, Placentia won the Alaskan fishing adventure to Woxof Lodge. He caught a 25 1/4-pound rainbow the first week of the competition. Coming up in February, the beautiful Lightning Trout will be stocked three consecutive weeks, including trophy-sized Lightning’s. Plants of huge rainbows will join them. All of the fish will come from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms in Red Bluff. The live squid for bait is still available to all the local sportboats and is responsible for some terrific bass bites. All the local sportboats are consistently reporting outstanding sand bass and calico bass counts. Lots of sculpin and sand dabs are also being caught. Pierpoint landing had one boat of 11 anglers catch 18 calico bass, 26 sand bass and limits of sculpin. LA Harbor Landing caught 61 calico bass and 200 sand bass for 56 anglers. Mike Hudson of 22nd Street Landing extends congratulations to captain John Woodrum skipper of the boat Pursuit. His boat put on 52 yellowtail for 52 passengers last Sunday at Catalina. There wasn’t another yellow caught by any other boat according to the fish counts. Captain Woodrum has his secret spots that he stops at and they are really special because he has consistently caught the yellowtail all winter. Mike says that the ongoing winter yellowtail bite is now better than the summer bite. center_img The first Lightning Trout will arrive on Valentine’s Day night, Feb. 14, and they will be planted the following two Wednesday nights as well. If you’ve never caught these trout, you’ll fall in love with them during one of these three Lightning Trout weekends. The lightning’s are Hybrids with a solid golden color. There isn’t any trout going that matches the iridescent shimmering gold of this fighting fish. Corona Lake announces The Tundra & Lightning Fishing Tournament that will be held in the middle of the plants of Lightning Trout on Sunday, Feb. 25. The angler catching the largest trout during the one-day event will win a free, six-day, five-night all expenses paid fishing trip to Hotel Punta Colorado in Cabo San Lucas during the peak of the roosterfish season. All anglers fishing on Sunday of the tournament will be eligible for the big fish prize, and everyone will also receive five raffle tickets when they come through the gate for a massive prize drawing. Lake Wohlford announced its Whopper Contest winners for December: Clement Minor, Escondido, 6.3-pound bass; Douglas Wooley, Temecula, 9.5-pound trout; Larry Alvarado, Riverside, 2.10-pound crappie. Whopper leaders for January: Devyn Lovett, 10.5-pound trout and Mike Kostial 7.2-pound bass. Just a word reader, this lake has some extra large crappie swimming around as attested to by the 2-pounder being caught. I plan to chase them in one more month. Laguna Niguel Lake has had some fantastic fish takes the past few days. Remembering that no State fishing license is needed on the lake some large fish limits ended up in the bag. Jarad Fitzgerald and Parker Baffa, age, 11, from Laguna Niguel had a total of 14 trout while D. Bassiri and Nadir Yamin from Newport Coast had 9 fish. Lets not forget this lake also has some of the largest bass in Southern California swimming around and they really get fat feeding on the stocked trout. Irvine Lake reports the outstanding catches of the week. Les Golden of Arrowbear landed a 9.0-pound rainbow trout on power bait at the west shore. Raymond Heshmat, Laguna Niguel caught a 8.2-pound rainbow on a power mouse and the Romo family Anaheim, landed a 10-trout limit totaling 30.1 pounds. Most limit stringers were made up of 1- to 4-pound fish with an occasional fish in the 5- to 9-pound class. The duck and goose season really ended on a bad note at the public waterfowl hunting areas. The hoped for storms didn’t arrive in time to help the hunting in most areas and counts were well below average. Waterfowl season is officially over in the state and wont open again until next fall. The Long Beach Rod and Gun club announced their new officers for the coming year. They are President Jack Willson, Treasurer Wayne Shaw, and Board of Directors member Chuck Ponti. Other officers elected were Vice President Roland Monroe, Recording Secretary Mike Reed, and Corresponding Secretary Bud Klecker. Completing the make up of the Board of Directors are Alan Adam, and Fred Schiel, Jr. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

New York City fans ‘outraged’ at Lampard’s decision to delay MLS move

first_img Frank Lampard 1 Frank Lampard’s decision to remain at Manchester City until next summer has sparked outrage among supporters of New York City FC.The 36-year-old was due link up with the newly-formed side in January ahead of their inaugural Major League soccer season after agreeing a two-year deal back in July last year.But he has delayed the switch to extend his loan spell at their parent club, meaning the former England midfielder will be absent when New York City open their debut campaign against fellow new boys Orlando on March 8.While the deal has been anticipated for some time given Lampard’s impact at the Etihad Stadium, it has been quickly denounced by New York supporters’ group The Third Rail.“On behalf of the Third Rail, we would like to publicly denounce City Football Group’s and Frank Lampard’s decision to extend his loan to Manchester City until the end of the Premier League season,” a statement on the group’s website said.“Many fans, including our members, decided to support the team, committed to season tickets, and bought merchandise under the impression that Frank Lampard would be playing for New York City Football Club, not Manchester City. Many of those fans are rightly outraged by this decision, and we support any course of action they take to voice their discontent over this decision.“Our support for our ownership group has been unwavering until now, but this we cannot support. We reject out of hand any suggestion that NYCFC is in any way secondary to Manchester City FC, regardless of the source, and are disappointed that City Football Group would give such an appearance.“The Third Rail will forever act as a voice for the fans of New York City Football Club.”New York City are jointly owned by Manchester City’s parent company City Football Group and Major League Baseball franchise the New York Yankees, and Lampard’s move had already been criticised by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as a means of bypassing Financial Fair Play rules to sign the 36-year-old on the cheap.The former Chelsea star has proven his worth to City by scoring six goals in 17 appearances for the club, although he has only started three Premier League games.The deal can be seen as a snub for MLS, and has echoes of David Beckham’s numerous moves back to Europe on short-term deals while playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy.Alexi Lalas, the man who signed Beckham for the Galaxy, made clear where he felt the balance of power lay as he tweeted “The Mothership has spoken. #NYCFC” in response to the announcement.Lalas also retweeted The Third Rail statement, and an old tweet from New York City, sent in September, advertising season tickets on the back of Lampard’s signing.Former New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol said on ESPN the deal was a “disaster” for MLS due to the message it will send to fans.“Disaster, absolute disaster,” he said. “It’s a disaster for that new franchise, a disaster for MLS. I can’t wait to hear from (MLS commissioner) Don Garber.”In a short statement on the MLS website, Garber’s deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said: “Frank Lampard’s performance at Manchester City reaffirms that he is one of the world’s elite midfielders and we look forward to him joining NYCFC during the 2015 season.”last_img read more

USMA thrashing was a tough lesson- Polack

first_img0Shares0000Gor Mahia winger Boniface Omondi tries to put in a cross under pressure from a USM Alger player during their CAF Confederations Cup first round return leg match at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on September 29, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Gor Mahia head coach Steve Polack says their 6-1 aggregate thrashing at the hands of USM Alger last month has given his players tough lessons as they prepare to play Congolese outfit DC Motema Pembe in the play-off round of the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday at Kasarani.Gor lost the first leg 4-1 against the Algerians and could not overturn the deficit in the return leg in Nairobi, losing 2-0. “We picked some very hard lessons from that defeat. We know that at this you can’t do mistakes because you will get punished. We gave away cheap goals against USM and that is a mistake we cannot repeat. Sometimes individual mistakes are unavoidable, but it is always good to learn from them,” the tactician stated.For a third consecutive season, K’Ogalo has dropped down to the Confederation Cup play-off after failing to make it past the first round in the Champions League and they hope to continue playing continental football by progressing to the group stages with victory in this round.Two seasons ago, they reached the group stage for the first time and last seasons, they went one better and qualified for the quarter finals.The target this year is to do better and perhaps get to the last four. But Polack is embracing the ‘match-at-a-time attitude ahead of the Motema Pembe tie.“The most important thing is this game ahead of us and getting to the group stage. That is our primary target and we want to work hard and achieve it. We have a thin squad but again I trust all my players and I know we can work together and do well,”Gor Mahia head coach Steven Polack with his assistant Patrick Odhiambo during the CAF Champions League match against Algeria’s USM Alger at the Kasarani Stadium on September 29, 2019“The spirit in training has been great and everyone is working hard looking ahead towards the game,” Polack further stated.On Motema Pembe, the British coach says he expects a tough duel and has asked his charges to put in their 100pc for the game.“They are a pretty decent side and their play both home and away is similar. But we have done some analysis on their strong areas and where we need to be careful as well as how we can exploit their weak areas,” stated the coach.He will be boosted with the return of skipper Kenneth Muguna and defender Joash Onyango who missed last weekend’s 1-0 win over Kariobangi Sharks in a league fixture in Nakuru.The two were left out of the match day squad after they failed to return to training following international duty.“We have had a very long conversation with them and they explained why they didn’t get back training. I have told them my thoughts but that is now behind our backs and we focus on what is ahead of us, and that is this weekend’s game,” Polack noted.The only absentee for the game on Sunday will be defender Maurice Ojwang who has been sidelined for the last two weeks with injury.0Shares0000(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgA BALLYBOFEY man is “lucky he’s not going to jail today” a judge has said after he sped off from a vehicle check and drove on the wrong side of the road during a three mile chase.Ryan Harley, who is 22 and from Silverwood in the town, led gardai on the chase on Sunday, April 5 this year.Garda Michael Kilcoyqne said he had stopped Harley in his 15-year-old car on the Glenfinn Road after large amounts of black smoke were seen coming from the vehicle. When he was asking Harley why he had no NCT, Harley sped off.Gardai pursued the vehicle for the next three miles as Harley overtook cars on the wrong side of the road and drove at more than 100km/hr in 60km/hr zones.“As he approached Ballybofey he was on the wrong side of the road going into Donegal Street and onto the Donegal road forcing other vehicles to swerve out of his way,” said Garda Kilcoyqne.One one occasion an oncoming jeep was forced to take evasive action.The court also heard Harley admitted speeding out of the car park of Ballybofey Garda Station in December last year, spinning the wheels of his car and shouting abuse at gardai.Solicitor Michael Shiel said Harley had no previous convictions and had driven off from the April incident because he was due to start a new job the next day and was worried about losing his vehicle.Mr Shiel asked from the charge to be reduced to one of careless driving, but Judge Kelly refused, saying: “He has no chance. He’s lucky he’s not going to jail today.”Judge Kelly said Harley had shown “a cavalier attitude to gardai on more than one occasion.”He adjourned the case until January and ordered Harley to attend the Pro-Social Driving Course and pay €200 towards the costs and attend the probation service.MOTORIST WHO LED GARDAÍ ON THREE-MILE CHASE ‘LUCKY HE’S NOT GOING TO JAIL’ was last modified: November 16th, 2015 by John2Share 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:Ballybofeycareless driverdangerous driverdriverlast_img read more

Pizza shop owner stole €16,000 and lost it gambling on horses

first_imgA restaurant owner stole more than €16,000 from his ex-girlfriend and put the money on two horses at a local betting shop.Raul Andrei appeared at Letterkenny District Court in charged with theft from his ex-partner when she was out of her home. Andrei, aged 46, had invested €70,000 and opened up a franchise of Apache Pizza in Letterkenny which he ran for a number of months.However, he developed a gambling habit after visiting a local casino close to his restaurant.The court heard that on October 14th last while his partner was visiting friends in Dublin he gained access to the former house he shared with Oana Grigore at The Green, Ballymacool, Letterkenny.He stole the money and then went to his local branch of BoyleSport Bookmakers.He placed €10,000 on one horse and €6,720 on another in two different horses at two different race meetings but both lost.Solicitor Ciaran Haran said his client had lost a considerable amount of money the previous day and was trying to win the money back.The accused told a friend that he had lost the money and was feeling suicidal as a result.He also telephoned his ex-partner and told her what had happened.He was later admitted to a psychiatric unit locally and received treatment.Mr Haran said the money which the accused had stolen had come from the business and he had given it to his ex-partner.The court was told that Ms Grigore had hidden the money as she was aware of the accused man’s gambling habit.Mr Haran said his client was very remorseful and that he had attended Gambler’s Anonymous and was also attending church meetings and added that he no longer gambles.Andrei has tried to pay back some of the money but the victim had refused the offer.The couple has one child together and Andrei still pays his child’s creche fees and sees the child regularly.The court heard that the accused, of Sprackburn House, Letterkenny, is now working with a local company, earns €600 per week and is anxious to pay the money back to his ex-partner.He has no previous convictions of any kind.Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case to June 24th for a probation and community service report and also a to get a victim impact statement.Pizza shop owner stole €16,000 and lost it gambling on horses was last modified: April 29th, 2019 by StephenShare 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:Apache PizzaBoyle Sportscourt Raul Andreigamblingletterkennystolelast_img read more


first_imgBy Alan Martin, MacCumhaills: Having won the County Under 13 Championship, Sean Mac Cumhaills represented Donegal in the All Ireland Feil Na Peil that took place in Connacht last weekend.Our host club were Ballaghaderreen in County Roscommon.Our first match was against Shamrock Gaels on on Friday evening in Ballintober. The lads made a slow start and were two points up at half time. They settled well in the second half and won on a scoreline line of 4-07 to 1-03. Next up were Wexford champions Naomh Eanna. This time the boys started brilliantly and continued in the same vein for the rest of the match. Final score was 6-04 to 1-02. The lads returned to their host houses after the matches. Saturday morning saw us pitted against our host club Ballaghderreen. A win would leave us top of the table and automatic qualification into the Quarter Finals. Again the lads turned on the style and were comfortable winners, 6-06 to 1-06. The team returned again to the host houses to rest up for the evening quarter final.Our opposition were a much fancied team from Roscommon called Clg Oran. Mac Cumhaills got off to a great start and were 8 points up at half time. The second half was a joy to behold as Mac Cumhaills kept Oran scoreless whilst scoring at will themselves. Full time was 6-07 to 1-02.We returned to Durkins Hotel in Ballaghderrreen where the lads were fed and presentations were made to the host families. We were also treated to a wonderful Irish Dancing display by 4 times world Champion Ronan Kelly.Sunday morning saw the team travel to the Connacht Centre of Excellence were all the Semi Finals and Finals were taking place. Gac All Saints from Ballymena were the team drawn against us. We had a huge travelling support down from Donegal to cheer on the lads. We started brilliantly scoring three points on the trot. All Saints settled and scored two back. In the last min of the first half All Saints scored a goal which left us two points down at half time. The second half was very tight. Unfortunately it was one of those days were nothing fell right for us. The lads busted themselves trying to level the match but there was a goal between the teams in the end. All Saints 1-04 Mac Cumhaills 0-04. The lads can hold their heads up high as they have done the club and county proud, on and off the pitch over the weekend. Well done to all the lads and management. Mac CUMHAILL’S BOYS DO COUNTY PROUD AT FEILE was last modified: July 1st, 2014 by John2Share 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:BallybofeyFeile 2014GAAMacCumhaillslast_img read more


first_imgGARDAI are hunting a death driver who killed one of their colleagues after he escaped from prison tonight.Martin McDermott, PICTURED RIGHT, 26, from Raphoe, was serving a seven-year sentence for the manslaughter of Buncrana-based Garda Gary McLoughlin.He was reported missing from a ‘holiday camp’ prison this evening. The exact circumstances of how he escaped are not yet known. He was at Loughan Open Prison in Blacklion Co Cavan – dubbed a holiday camp by criminals sent there. There is already huge anger from colleagues that McDermott was jailed there. It takes around ten minutes to walk from the jail into Northern Ireland.McDermott was sentenced in July 2011. The prison system decided to send him to the open prison which is supposed to be for low-risk offenders. McDermott is a convicted burglar, drink-driver, thief and killer.He had led gardaí on a 30km high-speed chase, which ended when he crashed into a patrol car, killing Garda McLoughlin (pictured left).Garda McLoughlin died after suffering multiple injuries as a result of the crash on December 13th, 2009 at Lisfannon, Burt. An inquest just six weeks ago into the death of the 24 year old Garda, from Foxfield, Fenagh, Co Leitrim, heard how he was asked to assist detectives who were pursuing a car during a 30km chase.Detectives Noel Jones and Bernard Mullins had followed a red Opel Astra after it had sped off from The Grove garage at Bridgend earlier that night.The Astra, driven by McDermott, had reached speeds of more than 150 KPH as it tried to shake off Gardai.It travelled to the town of Manorcunningham before travelling back towards Bridgend with the aim of escaping across the border to Derry.Detectives Jones and Mullins alerted Garda Gary McLoughlin and his partner Garda Bernard McLaughlin that the car was coming their way. The uniformed Gardai asked if they would deploy the ‘stinger’ device to stop the speeding car but were told it was too dangerous as the Astra could lose control.Instead they were instructed just to get the registration number of the speeding car.Garda Bernard McLaughlin revealed how his partner had slowed down and was travelling on the hard shoulder to get the license plate.However seconds later McDermott came at them on his wrong side of the road. “I saw a haze of lights and Gary said “This is him.” I studied the car and realised instantly it was travelling towards us at phenomenal speed and I shouted that he was going to hit us. It was like a rocket.“Gary pulled left hard into the ditch and if he hadn’t it would have hit us straight on,” he said.After that Garda Bernard McLaughlin said he awoke to find his partner trapped in the car before he finally came through realising he was in horrific pain.“He was in a lot of pain and was calling for his mum and dad Noel and Una and his girlfriend Shauna,” he said.Such was the force of the collision that the engine of the Opel Astra was ripped from the car and thrown down the road.Martin McDermott, now 26, of Castlegrove, Raphoe, was also thrown out of the car and was fond 60 yards down the road by Gardai.The inquest heard how he told ambulance staff to ‘go f*** yourself.’Tonight McDermott is on the loose.MANHUNT AS CO DONEGAL GARDA KILLER ESCAPES FROM PRISON was last modified: March 16th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:GardaGary McLoughlinMcDermottlast_img read more

3*3 World Cup Qualifiers: Brazil ends Uganda’s dream

first_imgLumu in action against Brazil on Sunday. (Agency Photos)3*3 World Cup-QualifiersUganda 12-14 BrazilSan Juan, Puerto RicoSunday, 05-05-2019Uganda’s Women 3*3 National Women’s Basketball team, the Gazelles, will not be part of the 2019 World Cup.This was confirmed on Sunday night as the Gazelles lost to Brazil 12-14 at the quarter finals stage of the tournament that was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Despite putting up a good display by the whole squad of Claire Lamunu, Jamila Nansikombi, Rita Imanishimwe and Sarah Ageno, the Gazelles failed to find the cutting edge before falling to Brazil in overtime.Earlier in the day, Uganda had beaten up on hosts Puerto Rico 13-9, their last group game, to finish second of pool A.Uganda beat up on Puerto Rico in their third group game.The Gazelles had lost to Australia before bouncing back to beat Estonia in their first two group games on Saturday.Imanishimwe was Uganda’s best performer at the tournament with 17 points, Lamunu and Zama had 12 each while UCU’s Sarah Ageno managed 7 points in total.Uganda, ranked 21st in the world (3*3 Women Basketball), will miss world cup despite making two appearances out of the last five editions.The Qualified teamsUganda’s target was to finish among the top three teams in order to earn a ticket go the 2019 FIBA 3*3 World Cup which is due to take place from June 18-23 in Netherlands.In the semis, Australia beat Brazil 21-3 while Spain edged New Zealand 16-14, with the semis winner (Australia and Spain reaching the World cup).Brazil lost 5-11 to New Zealand in the losers match, for New Zealand to join Spain and Australia as the three countries that occupied the remaining slots.In the men’s category, Puerto Rico, France and Australia grabbed the last three tickets.Comments Tags: Claire LamunuFIBA 3*3 World CupgazellesJamila NansikombiRita ImanishimweSarah Agenotoplast_img read more

South Africa ranked 36th in Web Index

first_img12 September 2012 South Africa places 36th out of 61 countries in the inaugural Web Index, a new global survey of the impact of the internet on the countries and citizens of the world. The results of the survey, conducted by the World Wide Web Foundation and led by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, were announced at an event in London last week. The most comprehensive assessment to date of the impact of the internet worldwide, incorporating indicators that assess countries on the political, economic and social impact of the web, as well as indicators of web connectivity infrastructure and use. According to the study, Sweden is best in the world at putting the internet to work, beating the US and UK for the top spot, with Canada and Finland completing the top five. South Africa, in 36th place, is the second-highest ranking African country behind Tunisia (30), followed by Egypt (39), Mauritius (41), Kenya (42), Ghana (45), Senegal (46) and Nigeria (48).South Africa’s indicators South Africa ranked 27th overall for the social impact of the internet in the country (its affect on health, education and social activities), and 31st for economic impact of the internet (its affect on business and the economy) The country ranked 33rd for its web content, or the extent to which it makes relevant and useful content available on internet. For both institutional infrastructure (education, laws, regulation and censorship enabling internet access) and communications infrastructure (the state and availability of physical and communications infrastructure enabling access to the web), South Africa ranked 35th. However, the country ranked only 45th for the extent of internet use in the country.‘A largely untapped resource’ According to the study, the internet remains a largely untapped resource in much of the world, with only one in three people using it globally and fewer than one in six in Africa. The survey cautions that high broadband prices and trends toward censorship are major barriers to making the web useful to all, with almost one-third of the countries surveyed facing moderate to severe government restrictions on access to websites, and about half of them facing increasing threats to press freedom. “The web is a global conversation,” Berners-Lee said at the launch of the index. “Growing suppression of free speech, both online and offline, is possibly the single biggest challenge to the future of the web.”‘A luxury good in most countries’ Internet access remains a luxury good in most countries, the Web Foundation said, with broadband connections still costing almost half of monthly income per capita across the 61 countries surveyed. “The high price of connectivity is stopping billions of people from achieving their rights to knowledge and participation. Costs have got to come down dramatically,” said Berners-Lee. The survey also finds that the growth of successful web-based businesses remains “surprisingly poor” outside of the developed countries, “showing that the web’s economic potential is also going untapped in many countries”. Positive findings from the index include the spread of e-governance, in the form of government data and services being made available to citizens online, as well as initiatives to encourage online participation in decision-making. “Middle income countries are improving their e-governance capacities faster than the West, with Korea, Singapore and Colombia among the world’s top innovators in this sphere,” the Web Foundation said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more