Georgia Still Sending Mentally Ill People To Homeless Shelters

first_imgTransforming a historically troubled mental health system has been a slower process than perhaps anyone envisioned when state and federal authorities put together a plan. Already, a judge extended the deadline for compliance once, from 2015 to 2018. For Whom The Bell Rings The state has spent millions of dollars and reorganized the bureaucracy that oversees the hospitals and community treatment. It also closed two state hospitals, in Rome and Thomasville. All that’s left of Central State Hospital, the notorious facility in Milledgeville that once warehoused as many as 12,000 people, is a unit for people committed through the criminal justice system. This is the system that Georgia, under pressure from the federal government, pledged seven years ago to radically overhaul. But with a court-enforced deadline fast approaching, the state increasingly seems unlikely to fulfill its promises. Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility The agency said it welcomed the monitor’s “reflections and recommendations.” It is “absolutely essential” that the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability “act with urgency to meet its obligations,” the monitor, Elizabeth Jones, wrote in late March in a report to U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell. “Although there has been noteworthy progress in certain discrete areas of implementation, the reform efforts require additional diligent and effective actions if compliance is to be achieved within the anticipated timeframe.” A court-appointed monitor credits the state with making many promised improvements, especially regarding crisis intervention and other services for people with mental illness. As officials try to comply with the agreement, they also are investigating an alarming number of deaths in community-based treatment: about 350 since 2014. Those apparently include five dozen suicides. ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party Share In a statement, the agency did not say whether it expects to meet the deadlines next year. But the department said it is moving at “a reasonable pace” to move. “Transitions are carefully and individually planned to meet the unique needs and preferences of each individual and to provide the best opportunities for success in the community.” Like us on Facebook The Justice Department began investigating Georgia’s psychiatric hospitals in 2007 after a Journal-Constitution series, “A Hidden Shame,” exposed a pattern of poor medical care, abuse, neglect and bad management that had caused dozens of unnecessary deaths. But the state continues to discharge patients with mental illness to places where they are unlikely to get psychiatric treatment: extended-stay motels, for instance, and even the massive Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter in midtown Atlanta. All patients with disabilities are supposed to be moved into group homes or other community-based facilities, but at the current rate of progress, the state might not meet that requirement for another 10 years. But from 2016 to 2017, according to the monitor’s report, the hospitals cut discharges to homeless shelters by half. At the same time, however, the number of patients placed in extended-stay motels quadrupled. In past years, the state hospitals, especially Georgia Regional Hospital/Atlanta, sent scores of newly discharged patients to locations where continued treatment seemed unlikely: homeless shelters, street corners, even an abandoned van on a street in Atlanta’s West End. Department officials declined to be interviewed. Georgia has less than 14 months — until June 30, 2018 — to comply with a settlement it reached with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010. The agreement followed an investigation that concluded the state had systematically violated the rights of people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Related Stories Still, a grim picture emerges from the monitor’s most recent report, as well as from interviews and documents reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mentally ill patients often left Georgia’s state psychiatric hospitals with just a bus token and directions to a homeless shelter.For people with disabilities, these same institutions became places of permanent confinement. Add to My List In My Listlast_img read more

Man faces 20 years for attempted $750 million COVID-19 PPE scam

first_imgnatasaadzic/iStock(ATLANTA) — An Atlanta, Georgia, man was arrested for attempting to defraud a federal agency into paying $750 millions for phantom orders of over 125 million face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), federal authorities announced on Friday.Christopher Parris allegedly misrepresented to the Department of Veterans Affairs that he could obtain millions of 3M masks from domestic factories when he knew that fulfilling the orders would not be possible. The agency provides services to veterans including health care.Face masks, gowns, gloves and other PPE equipment have been extremely limited as health care workers are on the front lines aiding COVID-19 patients. To date, over 1.7 million people worldwide were diagnosed with COVID-19, including over 500,000 positive cases in the U.S.“COVID-19 scams divert government time and resources and risk preventing front-line responders and consumers from obtaining the equipment they need to combat this pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney General William Barr in a statement. “We will vigorously pursue fraudsters who exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to make money.”Parris, 39, is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for a wire fraud charge.“During this time of crisis, fraud or attempted fraud impacting services for veterans, who have selflessly served this country, is unconscionable,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea for the District of Columbia, where Parris is expected be extradited and face a judge.Parris also allegedly made similar false representations to other entities to enter into other fraudulent agreements to sell PPE to state governments, authorities said.“We are committed to protecting the integrity of taxpayer funds and ensuring the delivery of medical supplies necessary to provide quality healthcare to our nation’s veterans, and any attempt to exploit the current global COVID-19 pandemic for personal gain will be dealt with swiftly,” said Inspector General Michael J. Missal for the Department of Veterans Affairs.If convicted, Parris faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Attorney information was not available as of Saturday.Federal authorities are urging the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline 1-866-720-5721 or by e-mailing the NCDF at [email protected] © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Calls to Vermonters misrepresenting as DFR

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) has received several reports of callers claiming to be conducting surveys on behalf of DFR’s Insurance and Banking Divisions. DFR is not conducting any surveys at this time.Callers have targeted insurance agencies around the state requesting agents’ opinions in an eight-question survey regarding the insurance industry. So far we do not believe personal client information has been requested. Caller ID shows the phone number as 802-321-8055.Some agents are being contacted by callers claiming to represent DFR’s Banking Division with a survey on “banking questions.” These calls appear to originate from 802-235-5834.The callers, both male and female, sound as though they are being made from a call center and are not well-versed in insurance or banking matters.Commissioner Michael S. Pieciak wants to stress DFR is not involved in these surveys.“We want Vermonters to be aware these callers are misrepresenting themselves and are likely perpetrating a fraud,” he said, “We urge individuals receiving these calls to hang up and call DFR.“We do not know the scope of the audience but we want the general public to be warned of this possible scam,” Pieciak said.If you receive one of these calls, please call DFR at 802-828-3301.  Source: DFR 3.30.2017last_img read more

Pattaya Sports Round up – Friday 11 – 17 March 2011

first_imgFriday9.30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Aqua Aerobics at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: 300 baht per session. Tel. 038-425611 ext. DFiT.1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at 1pm at the Bowling Green, Soi Fuengfa (Soi Xyte). Visitors of all standards are welcome and we will always find you a partner.  Details are on the website – or call Terry on 038 422 924.1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Backgammon League (PBL) meets every Friday at Somboons Restaurant in Jomtien Beach for a tournament. For further details go to www.pattayaback 2:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Bowling at Pattaya Plus Bowl (north of Big C), Second Road. Contact La at P.S. after 1:30 p.m.8:30 p.m. Mickey Mouse Darts League takes place at the following venues: OK Corral, Devonshire, Cheers, Drum and Monkey, Helicopter, Londoner, Palmer’s, Rising Sun, Stars in your Eyes. For further information please call Denis on 047794050 or E-mail [email protected] Everyone Welcome!SaturdayPattaya Archery Club meets every, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at the Pirates of Pattaya Shooting Club in Hua Yai. Beginners of all ages are welcome, and equipment and coaching are free. For more information call Eric on 089 535 1193 or visit www.pattaya-archery-club.comOcean Marina Yacht Club invites experienced sailors and learners for racing weekends and funsail/training weekends.  The club has 5 star clubhouse facilities and a fleet of 25′ racing yachts available., phone Kev Scott 087 825 0011.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: [email protected]:00 a.m. – noon & 2 – 6 p.m. (Sat & Sun – Also Monday to Friday) Horseback riding at the Horseshoe Point Riding Academy, the biggest equestrian center in South-East Asia.  Show jumping, hacking, trail, dressage and classical dressage.  Training courses from beginners to advanced riders with English speaking instructors.  Leisure trail riding, group and private classes.  All levels of riders welcome.  Over 100 horses and ponies available.  Located on 1,500 acres of beautiful tropical garden land just outside Pattaya.  Free shuttle service available.  For more information: phone (+66) 3873 – 5050 (ext. 4016-18), fax (+66) 3873 – 4973 or email: [email protected]:30 am. -10:00 am. International Players Academy meets every Sat. morning for Jr. Intermediate level Tennis at Ambassador City Tennis Courts. Visitors are welcome, just bring your tennis racket, ages range from 10-16. For more details call CJ on 086 086 212111 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Yoga at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya for beginners and intermediate: 300 baht per session. Tel. 038 425611- DFiT.3.00 pm – Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. All ages and abilities welcome.  Please contact Simon at [email protected]:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: [email protected]:30 p.m.  Pattaya Sports Club Softball plays at the fields of Pattaya Sport Flying Club.  The fields are situated as follows: follow Sukhumvit Road in the direction of Sattahip and turn left just past Greenway Driving Range.  Follow the road for about 5km till you see a sign saying Pattaya Sport Flying Club on your left hand side.  Turn in the sandy road for another 3/4km till you see the fields on your left side.  For more details contact Dirk at: [email protected] or phone at 015754528 or Alan at 061574795.3:00 p.m. Pattaya Jungle H3 meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and departure is from the Lek Hotel on 2nd Rd at 3pm.  For more info please call Kai on 01 863 5095.5:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Lawn Bowling Section.  Fun roll-ups on Sunday nights at 5 p.m. that will be instructional, build camaraderie, and fun.  Teams will be drawn for matches, with beginners and experienced bowlers mixed together.  Very generous discounts are offered for PSC members, just show up with your PSC card and flat-soled shoes if you have them.  Equipment is for hire at a modest cost if you don’t have your own.  Contact Bowling Green – Pattaya on 038 720 741 or email [email protected] or just call at the Bowling Green located on Soi Fuengfa between Soi Buakow and 3rd Road.Monday1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets at the Bowling Green, Soi Fuengfa (Soi Xyte). Visitors of all standards are welcome (a suitable partner if necessary) and the venue is non-smoking. For all the latest information, times, location map etc. visit: – www.pattayabridge.com3:00 p.m. Pattaya Hash House Harriers: The club for drinking people with a running problem meets every Monday at 3.15 pm at the Lek Hotel, (between Soi 12 & 13 on 2nd Road). The bus leaves at 3.30 pm, and the run starts at 5pm. Call Patrick 081 687 2410 for details.6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Yoga at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya for beginners and intermediate: 300 baht per session. Tel.  038-425611 ext. DFiT.8:30 p.m. The next Monday Quiz Night is on March 14.  The fixtures are as follows: Legends v Cheers, Nom’s Bar v W. Tankie, Offshore v Londoner, Palmers v Nervous Wreck, Rising Sun v Bowling Green.  Everyone is invited to test your knowledge and join the fun. Email: [email protected] a.m. – 12 p.m. Yoga at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Tel. 038 425611 ext. DFiT.Chess and Scrabble Club: every Tuesday 12pm – 5pm at Hoek-Van-Holland in Jomtien. Take Thappraya Road to intersection with Beach Road. Dong Tan Police sub-station is right there. Walk back towards Pattaya 10 meters along walking path. Hoek-Van-Holland is on the right, before the parking lot. Bring your own chess set and/or scrabble board. For more information please see website – Everyone welcome.The Pattaya Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. onwards at Brauhaus on 2nd Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8. Learners and anybody who would like to play chess are most welcome. Boards and clocks are provided.Wednesday9.30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Aqua Aerobics at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: 300 baht per session. Tel. 038-425611 ext. DFiT.11:00 to 12:00 pm. Salsa Aerobics at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Baht 100 per session. Tel. 038-425611 ext. DFiT.1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets at the Bowling Green, Soi Fuengfa (Soi Xyte). Visitors of all standards are welcome (a suitable partner if necessary) and the venue is non-smoking. For all the latest information, times, location map etc. visit: – www.pattayabridge.com3.00 pm – Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. All ages and abilities welcome.  Please contact Simon at [email protected]:30 p.m. Yoga at DFiT fitness centre, Dusit Thani Pattaya for advanced levels: Tel. 038 425611 ext. DFiT.Thursday11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Pilates at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya:  Great workout for the abdominals, bottom and thighs along with some stress-relieving stretches: Tel. 038 425611 ext. DFiT6:30 p.m. Yoga at DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Tel. 038 425611 ext. DFiT.7:00 p.m.  Pattaya Panthers and Panties (mixed) Touch Rugby every Thursday night at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. New players are always welcome – we are a very sociable team! Please contact Paul Crouch on 089 902 6286 or [email protected]:30 p.m.  PSC Thursday Darts League.  Participating teams include Pleasure Dome, Fishermen, Roxy, Queen Vic, PSI, Helicopter, Rising Sun, Londoner and Crazy Eddie’s.  For details, contact Len Banfield, PSC Darts chairman, phone 038 420 432.last_img read more

Smithson smooth as silk

first_imgThe Bunker Boys Golf SocietyMonday, Nov. 28, Pleasant Valley (blue tees) – Stableford1st Keith Smithson (2) 38pts2nd Gerry Cooney (19) 35pts 3rd Mike Brett (20) 33ptsNear Pins: Gerry Cooney, Mike Brett, Keith Smithson, Mike Lloyd.Bunker golfer of the month Ross Schiffke with his caddy at Crystal Bay.A smaller field than normal on Monday as this course has unfairly been labeled difficult, but this is not the case the presentation on this day was good with just a few greens undergoing maintenance work, which did not detract from the enjoyment of playing.Keith Smithson made it look almost easy, beating his handicap by two shots and playing the last 6 holes in 5 under par, including an eagle on the last.  Gerry Cooney is warming up for his assault on our club championship and we need to watch his progress closely.  Mike Brett, who has made Pattaya his new home, played consistently and we expect to see his name often in the results.Wednesday, Nov. 30, Khao Kheow B & C (yellow tees) – StablefordA Flight (0-16)1st Keith Smithson (2) 36pts2nd Keith Norman (14) 34pts3rd Geoff Parker (14) 33ptsB Flight (16.1+)1st Peter Allen (31) 36pts2nd Gerry Cooney (19) 36pts3rd Gordon Melia (17) 35ptsNear Pins: Mike Lloyd, Jimmy Carr (2), Keith Norman.You cannot keep a good golfer down and Keith Smithson proved he was no flash in the pan by coming out and winning his second game in a row with a fine level par score, edging out Keith Norman who is also enjoying some form by two shots.In the B flight Peter Allen won again for the second time in two weeks, beating Gerry Cooney on a count back.  Gordon Melia, after his two wins last week crept into third.This being the last game of the month we were able to crown the golfer of the month, Ross Schiffke, who notched up an impressive 50 points by the 22nd of the month and no one was able to catch him, even with three games still to play.  Ross can collect his trophy when he returns but in the meantime we enjoyed a round of drinks to celebrate his win.Friday, Dec. 2, The Emerald – StablefordA Flight (0-16.2)1st Gez Williams (14) 36pts2nd Les Cobban (9) 33pts3rd Geoff Parker (14) 32ptsB Flight (16.3+)1st Gordon Melia (17) 40pts2nd Keith Hemmings (19) 37pts3rd Ken Davidson (24) 35ptsNear Pins: Les Cobban (2), Colin Gregg.We arrived at Emerald to find the course busy with a couple of 5-balls holding up the field.  Greens were hard and lightening fast, even faster than any local course over the last few years.  Unfortunately they hadn’t cut new holes for some time and the holes were very ragged and worn.  The rough in a number of places close to the greens was very long and this made things difficult with the hard greens not holding and shots running into high rough.Many of our players like this course but they described it as scruffy, with buggy riders complaining of the lack of brakes on the downhill sections.Scores in A flight were not so good, with only Gaz Williams making it to 36pts.  B flight scores were much better with an outstanding round of 40pts by Gordon Melia.last_img read more

Gary Lineker offers Claude Puel a ‘special’ welcome as Leicester boss

first_img Brian Owen CEST Former Premier League champions Leicester City on Wednesday named ex-Southampton boss Claude Puel as their new manager following the sacking of Craig Shakespeare last week, and Gary Lineker joked about it. “Upon meeting Claude, his attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realise it were extremely impressive. “The opportunity to help the club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one and I’m looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success,” he said. “When we began the process of identifying a new manager, the board quickly established the profile of candidate we needed to take the club forward and Claude Puel was a perfect fit,” said Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha. IN SPORT.ES The Frenchman, who was dismissed by Southampton in June after just one season in charge despite finishing eighth in the Premier League, said it was a “great privilege” to become the new Leicester manager. Lineker ofrece su especial bienvenida a Claude Puel RELATED STORIES @Brian__Owen Puel will be supported by Michael Appleton, who retains his role as assistant manager. Leicester shocked the football world two seasons ago by seeing off the Premier League powerhouses to secure the title, with the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez stealing the headlines.center_img Upd. at 16:14 This season has been another struggle, with just two wins in their first nine fixtures, although they eased the pressure at the weekend with a 2-1 victory at Swansea City, which lifted them to 14th in the table. “He quickly emerged as the outstanding candidate and I am delighted we will have the opportunity to reinforce our long-term vision, aided significantly by his expertise.” Puel also has European pedigree, steering Lyon into the Champions League finals semi-finals in 2010 — masterminding a 2-1 aggregate win over Real Madrid along the way. Puel, 56, also a former manager of Monaco, Lyon and Nice in France, will take charge of his first game on Sunday when the Foxes host Everton at the King Power Stadium. But despite reaching the Champions League quarter-finals last year, Leicester struggled in the league until a late-season flourish lifted them to 12th in the table. 26/10/2017 “Claude Puel, really?” tweeted the former Leicester and Barcelona player, which he tweeted when Claudio Ranieri was appointed. Shakespeare, 53, was promoted from his role as assistant coach on an interim basis following the shock dismissal of Ranieri and in June he was handed a three-year contract. Leicester won the title under Ranieri in 2015-16 but parted company with the Italian in February and despite a good recovery under Shakespeare at the end of last season, they are only a point above the relegation places this term. Southampton confirm appointment of Mauricio Pellegrino as new coachlast_img read more

Support for families in ‘ice’ battles

first_imgA support group for methamphetamine users and their families is holding a public information session. The Ice Meltdown Project (TIMP)…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Dele signed a new six-year deal at Tottenham… but not to win trophies

first_imgDELE ALLI says he has signed a new Tottenham deal to further his career — and not necessarily to win trophies.The England star this week put pen to paper on an improved six-year contract worth £150,000-a-week.4 Dele Alli has signed a new contract at Tottenham – but not to win trophiesCredit: PA:Press Association4 Dele has put pen to paper on a new £150,000-a-week six-year contractCredit: PA:Empics SportSpurs last won the title in 1961 and the FA Cup in 1991. Their last triumph was the League Cup in 2008.Dele, 22, believes the club are on the verge of ending that drought — but insisted that is not the reason he has committed to them.He said: “As a young professional, I had to think about what is best for my career and where I can improve.“It’s not all about winning trophies for me yet at my age.Most read in footballPicturedHARRY’S HEROES Kane says goodbye to Tottenham team-mates Vertonghen and VormLive Bloggunners newsArsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordLive BlogTRANSFER NEWS LIVESalah admits he could LEAVE Liverpool, how Sancho will fit in Utd XILive Blogblues newsChelsea transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from Stamford BridgeRevealedFORTUNE TELLERIncredible Hawkeye blunder saved Villa’s lives – but Smith says it was karmaNEXT SEASONAaron Connolly says ‘see you next year’ after scoring goal to end seasonLive BlogJU BEAUTYJuventus vs Sampdoria LIVE: Stream, TV channel, kick-off time, team news“I want to keep improving and trying to become the best player I can be. I think I’m at a great place to do that.”Dele joined Tottenham from MK Dons for £5million in 2015 and has scored 48 goals in 154 matches.He said: “It’s a great moment for me and my family but, at the same time, nothing changes.“I want to keep working as hard as I always have done, keep improving.” View this post on Instagram Delighted to have signed a new contract until 2024. Would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the club – chairman, manager, all my teammates and the fans for their constant support. I’ve loved my time at @spursofficial so far and I’m very excited to see what the future holds! ⚽️ #COYS A post shared by Dele (@dele) on Oct 30, 2018 at 4:11am PDT4 The former MK Dons midfielder is the latest of Spurs star to sign a long-term deal at the clubCredit: PA:Press Association4 Tottenham’s last trophy was won in 2008 when they beat Chelsea after extra time in the League Cup finalCredit: Times Newspapers LtdHe is the latest in a string of Spurs stars, including star striker Harry Kane, to sign a new deal, with Christian Eriksen also set to follow suit.Dele said: “You can see we all want to be part of this journey together. We all want to achieve something great.“We want to keep improving and this is a great place to do that. The feeling around the place is positive.”Dele starred for Tottenham as they booked their Carabao Cup quarter- final place with a 3-1 win at West Ham on Wednesday.I DARE YOU Jose Mourinho dares FA to appeal abusive language verdict as he insists he was ‘100 per cent’ not guiltyThey have made their best-ever start to a Premier League season.But they have been slammed for delays with their new £850m stadium and not making any summer signings.And Spurs are also on the brink of exiting the Champions League after just one point from three matches.Dele said: “People can have their opinions but as players, as a club, we all need to stick together.It’s match week 11 of the Premier League as Arsenal take on Liverpool and Chelsea welcomes Crystal Palace “We know it’s difficult. It’s a journey we’re on together.“When we move into the stadium this will all be forgotten. Hopefully the fans will love it.”Tottenham now face arch-rivals Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.Dele added: “It’s a big game. We want to win, for the fans as well. We have to be ready and prepare like we would any other game.”last_img read more

International call centre opens in Durban

first_imgThe launch of the R200-million CCI Call Centres building in Umhlanga took place on 30 January 2015. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies was one of the speakers at the launch.More than 200 people will be housed in the CCI Call Centres building in Umhlanga, Durban. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThe expansion of skills remains vital to the support offered by the South African government to investors, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Davies, who was joined by King Goodwill Zwelithini, was speaking at the launch of the R200-million CCI Call Centres building in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, on 30 January.His ministry’s partnership with private sector companies like CCI illustrated the government’s commitment to work closely with all companies to create an enabling environment to attract investors.The R200-million investment in the building, which will house more than 200 employees, demonstrated a commitment by CCI Call Centres to the South African business process services (BPS) sector. The company benefited from the department’s BPS incentive, which aimed to attract investment and create employment in South Africa through offshoring activities.CCI Call Centres set up its operations in the country in 2005 and has grown from 50 seats to over 3 000 seats operating from Umhlanga. The group has also participated in the Monyetla Work Readiness Programme, which prepares people who are under 35 and previously unemployed for the workplace through training and development.Mark Chana, CCI managing director, said support from the South African government through the BPS incentive had made the South African value proposition cost competitive when bidding for international contracts against other offshore destinations such as the Philippines.Davies said the business process outsourcing/business process services (BPO/BPS) incentive had been hugely successful in terms of meeting the department’s objectives. Over 9 000 jobs had been created and the sector was key for attracting investment and creating new jobs, especially in the 18- to 35-year-old age groups, where job creation was most needed.King Zwelithini encouraged CCI Call Centres management to also consider setting up offices in rural areas, other provinces and other Southern African Development Community countries. He called on those who would be employed at the call centre to take their work seriously as it was not a right but an opportunity and privilege.CCI Call Centres is an international call centre group that provides outsourced customer contact services. It specialises in the operation of outbound, inbound and blended multi-channel contact centres. Some of the UK’s leading brands, primarily in the mobile, technology, telecommunications and financial industry sectors, are supported by CCI from the 2 000-seat purpose-built contact centre and head office in La Lucia, Durban.The company has over 4 000 permanent employees and has three fully functional sites in South Africa, with the capacity to grow to 5 000 seats.Source: South African Government News AgencyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Facebook Platform: The Road to IPO?

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting This week the Wall Street journal published an excellent piece on the upcoming Facebook Platform, which Josh also covered for Read/WriteWeb. The WSJ article outlined a Facebook platform that will allow companies to offer their products and services to Facebook users, enabling them to tap into Facebook’s large network. With widgets (which can plug into networks like Facebook) getting more popular, this is welcome news to many startups – and probably e-commerce giants too.But what’s in this for Facebook? Could they end up eating Yahoo’s lunch?If the rumors are true, this hot startup has decided to fight off the billion dollar acquisition offers and make a run for the holy grail of the (still recovering) tech world – the IPO. Certainly Facebook has got the audience and everyone’s attention. Still, to appease Wall Street there needs to be rapid and continuous revenue growth. The current 150M ad revenue is a good start, but to beat the 1B offer reputedly made to them by Yahoo, Facebook needs to reach Web Giant size – billions of dollars of market value. Since two years is a very short time, every move that Facebook makes needs to be geared towards the IPO. Could the platform play be a major revenue generator? It seems like this will be the case.Beyond Facebook’s Current MonetizationAs described in the WSJ article, the major source of today’s Facebook revenue is advertising. While this is a great source, there is a problem. Advertisers are paying for impressions and clicks, but there is only so much space in the pages and only so many page loads that can be expected from each user. In short the advertising revenue model for a single web site does not have great scale.What else can be done to leverage Facebook’s audience? Either Facebook can open its audience and try to take it outside of the wall, or it can bring more services to the audience. Taking the audience elsewhere is not an option because of the nature of Facebook. So the company needs to figure out a way to bring more services into the network. In a way, this puts Facebook onto a collision course with Yahoo!. And if this is the case, Facebook could be onto a winner – because it appears that Facebook is planning to leverage its platform to bring in external services, instead of having all services homegrown. This is a very smart strategy and here is why.Facebook Platform Play In a word, this play could turn Facebook into a pipe. Being a pipe that gets a cut in all transactions that occurs between a lot of Facebook users and a lot of outside services would make Facebook into a gigantic marketplace. The key thing about this play is that the platform ensures that Facebook is in control. To understand why, consider the current situation in the widget market. Providers make them, users love them and the networks (think MySpace) hate them. This is because there is no way for the social networks to derive revenue from the widgets. They simply have no control over what goes on inside the widgets. So the problem is not spam, it’s revenue (or lack thereof). Why should the social networks give up their space and user eyeballs to something earns them no revenue? They do not want to do that.But there is a way to turn the problem into a win. The very space that widgets bid for can be monetized by the social network. An obvious monetization is to charge rent – or an advertising fee. A more interesting play is to do a revenue share model, because this has a potentially much larger upside. In the current state of the widgetsphere, there is no way to execute either model. The rent cannot be charged because it is the users that place widgets into their profiles. And revenue sharing is impossible for the same reason.To fix the problem, there needs to be an API. A contract between the provider of the widget and the social network that ensure the identity of the widget provider – and then allows a way for the social network to get paid. If Facebook could figure out how to do this in a way that makes the retailers happy and keeps the users from screaming, then this is a huge win for them. Consider a scenario where Amazon rolls out something as simple as books and Facebook gets a cut of each transaction. That could happen in many verticals, from books and movies to electronics and travel. And as Facebook is growing beyond the college population, and as its current college population graduates, there seems to be potential for a big upset brewing here – in the sense that Facebook could significantly eat into Yahoo’s business.ConclusionWSJ states that Facebook does not plan to tap into the revenue of companies who build services around the platform. If that is true, it would be a shame. Why would they go into the exercise of building a platform that they do not plan to monetize, if they would like to go the IPO route? More likely than not, there is a really big plan to make money on the platform – but I guess we will have to wait at least until Thursday (when Facebook makes its official announcement) or possibly longer to understand what it is. Tags:#Analysis#web alex iskold 1 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more