Young South African golfer swings to success

first_imgRay Maota Lwazi Gqira from Duncan Village in EastLondon is making waves in the world ofgolf after competing at the 2011 ToyaPolish Junior Championship in Poland. East London Port Manager JacquelineBrown, Gqira and Millie Zim of SAGDB,showing off the new kit.(Images: Transnet National Ports Authority)MEDIA CONTACTS• Terry TaylorTransnet National Ports Authority:Corporate Affairs manager+27 43 700 1200 / +27 83 284 1786RELATED ARTICLES• Sun City golf courses still top notch• SA to host world’s richest golf event• Ernie Els joins golfing legends• Hi-tech help for future sports stars South Africa’s Lwazi Gqira, 18, is swinging his way to golfing success after recently competing in the Toya Polish Junior Championship, which ran from 22 to 25 June 2011.To get there, the young sportsman from a poverty-stricken squatter camp in Duncan Village, East London, took his first flight in an airplane.“It was my first flight and I was nervous, but I really enjoyed watching TV in the sky,” he said.Once in Poland, another first for Gqira was being able to tee-off with a set of brand new clubs. Until now he has had to borrow second-hand equipment from his coach and teammates.As a member of the East London Golf Club, Gqira was selected by the Border Golf Union to represent their under-18 squad in Poland.He was joined by Armandt Scholtz and Kim Daniels, who also represented the Border Golf Union at the championships. All three belong to the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) programme.Gqira held a nine-iron for the first time when he was nine years old and now, almost a decade later, he has got the chance to play in a major junior championship with his peers from other countries.“The first time I started playing golf, I didn’t enjoy it,” Gqira said.“This was coupled by the fact that I was the only child in my neighbourhood who was playing golf while the other boys played soccer. I decided to play soccer as well, but then after two months I decided it was not for me and I picked up golf clubs again,” he added.The opportunity for Gqira to play overseas was made possible by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which invested R30 000 (US$4 366) in Gqira to enable him to get his first new golfing kit and clubs.Jacqueline Brown, East London Port Manager, said: “Despite the hardships he has experienced in living in an impoverished area, his determination and zeal to succeed has placed him right in front.“TNPA is proud to be able to play a part in Gqira’s journey towards his planned pro golfer status. We will support him all along the way in achieving both stardom in golf and in attaining top academic honours.”Gqira said he’d like to walk in the footsteps of some of South Africa’s golfing greats like Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.“I strive to be like my favourite pro golfers, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel,” said Gqira.Golfing rootsGqira started out as being a caddie for Richard Dikileyo, who later became his coach after seeing his potential and enthusiasm for the sport.“Richard taught us that we should not smoke, abuse alcohol or use drugs. He taught us that through golf, we can rise above our circumstances.” said Gqira.“Those words have stayed with me and motivated me. The SAGDB taught us the basics well and moulded us into the golfers we are now.”Gqira was also a member of the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation until he opted to leave as his school work was taking a knock.At the foundation he met his current coach Michelle de Vries, who works with Dikileyo to nurture golfing talent in East London.De Vries said: “Lwazi is a pleasure to coach. We call him pro because of his mannerisms and practice ethic.“He comes from a difficult background, but he has the will to overcome his obstacles and I will do anything to help him achieve his goals if he is willing to overcome adversity.”Gqira describes De Vries as being like a mother, while De Vries, who has no children, recognises him as a son.The Poland experienceGqira, who competed with more than 90 other players in his category, came 25th, which is quite an achievement for a first-timer playing in a major championship.“I was a bit nervous in the first round, but after that I said to myself I need to relax and play my game.”Gqira said Poland was a beautiful country with beautiful architecture and that he will cherish the memories of taking part in the tournament even though communication with the other golfers was hard due to language being a barrier.last_img read more

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SMA Solar opens state-of-the-art factory in Cape Town

first_img11 December 2014A multimillion-rand manufacturing facility will be opened in Cape Town by SMA Solar Technology, a German manufacturer of solar inverters, on Friday, 12 December.The facility includes a production line and quality test centre for SMA’s Sunny Central inverters, warehousing, as well as the African branch of the SMA Solar Academy training centre.This is the third renewable energy manufacturing facility, supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to open in the country in the past four months.The factory would contribute to the drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry and to increase the country’s industrial base, the DTI said.Green economyThe green economy has been identified as a key focus area of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, and provides significant opportunities for job creation and economic growth.Minister Rob Davies said that Trade and Investment South Africa (Tisa), a division of his department, had facilitated investments to the value of R3-billion in the manufacturing of equipment and components for the renewable energy industry since the 2013/2014 financial year.“Investment in the green economy therefore contributed significantly to Tisa’s 2013/14 investment pipeline of R60-billion. The current pipeline for the 2014/15 financial year is at R27-billion, with a significant contribution from the green economy [at R10-billion],” he said.Supply chainSMA said it had made the decision to invest in South Africa’s manufacturing capacity in response to the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP), through which 1484 MW of solar photovoltaic projects have been procured.Thorsten Ronge, the managing director of SMA South Africa, said the group chose to set up its manufacturing base in Cape Town as it was close to the existing solar supply chain.The company has already supplied inverters to the recently completed 40MW Linde PV plant in Northern Cape province, as well as to the 75MW Kalkbult project, also in the Northern Cape.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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The Reservist Travel Expense Deduction

first_imgBy Carol ChurchReservists in the military play an extremely important role, but it can sometimes be more difficult to find information about the benefits and special programs that are especially for them. Reservists definitely deserve to be fully informed about these measures.One such benefit is a special tax deduction available to all members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States. This deduction is designed to help reserve members offset the sometimes-significant costs that come along with travel associated with reserve membership, including mileage, food, lodging, and more.Army Reserve photo by Master Sgt. Michel SauretThis reservist travel expense deduction is what is called a “top line” deduction, meaning that there are no hurdles to clear—it can be taken even by those who do not itemize deductions, and costs do not have to add up to a certain amount in order to be deducted. (Normally, business expenses have to add up to more than 2% of AGI in order to be deductible, a bar that is hard to clear for many.) Instead, the costs are an adjustment to income—they actually reduce a reservist’s adjusted gross income on his or her taxes.What Are the Rules?First of all, in order for travel expenses be deductible, they must have been incurred on a trip that was solely taken to perform service-related duties. The reservist also needs to have traveled more than 100 miles away from his or her home. And as is probably obvious, the reservist cannot deduct expenses for which he or she has already been reimbursed by the military.Expenses that can be deducted include all work-related travel and lodging, as well as 50% of the costs of travel-related food. This would include hotel stays, transportation (so, plane, train, and bus tickets, car rentals, etc.), mileage on a personal vehicle (at the standard federal mileage rate), tolls, and parking fees. Keep in mind that you cannot deduct the full cost of the Hotel Grand Ritz here—you are limited to deducting the federal government per diem rate for lodging in the area.It’s important to keep records just in case you get audited, so retain receipts of expenses. For meals, it is easier and acceptable to use 50% of the per diem rate, which can be found here.The mileage deduction is the one that is likely to be most valuable to be many reservists. For instance, a reservist who drives 120 miles each way to drill 10 times per year could claim an adjustment to income of $1296, which is significant.Altogether, this little-used deduction can save reservists some real money. It is even possible to amend past years’ tax returns if this deduction was owed to a reservist but not taken.For help with this often-overlooked deduction, visit the links below. It may be particularly useful to speak with the experts at MilTax.References:Internal Revenue Service. (2016). Publication 3 (2016), Armed Forces’ Tax Guide. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/publications/p3#en_US_2016_publink100049678Lear, J. (n.d.) The secret National Guard and Reserve tax break you might not know. Retrieved from http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/secret-national-guard-and-reserve-tax-break-you-might-not-know.htmlSteber, M. (n.d.) Tax considerations for reservists. Retrieved from http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/tax-considerations-for-reservists.htmllast_img read more

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