Ray Maota Mamokete Mokoena Mncube, principalof Duzenendlela Primary School; Joshua Pule, Nedbank’s portfolio manager for CSR; Mlamleli Belot of the City of Joburg; and Antoinette Nicolaai, district director of Johannesburg South at the Department of Education, handing over essential school items to a pupil. Pule said that Nedbank strives tocontribute towards a strong, flourishing, knowledge based economy in South Africa, hence its involvement in education and the community. Schoolchildren performed a gumboot dance at the handover ceremony. (Images: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lesiba Sethoga Nedbank: Communications +27 11 294 2997 RELATED ARTICLES • Needy pupils kitted out for school • Career guidance initiative launched • Nedbank invests in water project • Nedbank branch runs on wind powerThe challenges in education and of poverty in South Africa are being tackled by Nedbank through its Back-to-School campaign, which is making sure pupils have all the resources needed to succeed at school.On 8 March 2012, Nedbank, the Department of Education and representatives from the City of Joburg met pupils and teachers at Duzenendlela Primary School, in Sweet Waters, in the south of Johannesburg. They were there to hand over essential school items such as uniforms, shoes, stationery, books, bags and sports kits to the underprivileged pupils.In return, the pupils sang, recited poems and danced for their visitors. The school choir sang the national anthem, a pupil recited Gift Mzingwa’s poem, The Black Badge, and some boys performed a gumboot dance.Duzenendlela, a no-fee-paying school, was one of four schools that received these essentials. The others were Inkululeko Yesizwe Primary, Itemoheng Primary and Govan Mbeki Primary. All are situated in and around Sweet Waters, a poor settlement on the southern outskirts of Johannesburg.More than 200 pupils are benefitting from the campaign.Kone Gugushe, Nedbank’s divisional executive for corporate social responsibility, said: “Education is one of our key corporate social responsibility focus areas and we are delighted to partner with government to ensure that all learners are able to focus on their studies rather than on school resources.“The Back-to-School campaign seeks to ensure that even those learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have an equal chance at being the best student they can be.”This year’s campaign was launched in January in Limpopo and has been rolled out in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga provinces. Nedbank is investing R2-million (US$251 000) in its 2012 campaign. Some 1 800 pupils across the country will benefit from the initiative.Antoinette Nicolaai, the Department of Education’s district director in Johannesburg South, said: “Just as President Jacob Zuma outlined in the State of the Nation Address [on February 9], education is vital for people to take their rightful place in society.”The school close to the roadDuzenendlela means “close to the road”, which is literally where the school is situated. The school is on the Golden Highway, the busy main road leading to Sweet Waters.It offers underprivileged children from the nearby informal settlements of Sweet Waters unpaid schooling with a nutrition programme and transport scheme to fetch and drop them off before and after school.Mamokete Mokoena Mncube, the principal, said: “The school appreciates what Nedbank has done for us. Our pupils are from poverty-stricken areas where the unemployment rate is high and these resources provided by Nedbank will go a long way in offering them a quality educational experience.”The vegetable tunnel donated by Nedbank would also help with the nutrition programme as vegetables would be used for the soup kitchen. They would also be sold, so helping the school with fund raising.Nedbank’s contribution in GautengThe bank, one of South Africa’s big four, has invested nearly R22-million ($3-million) in Gauteng over the past five years in education, health, community and socio-economic development programmes.It approaches education in a holistic manner, taking into consideration strong leadership, quality teaching, resourced learners, adequate infrastructure, community involvement and proper academic support. Nedbank has supported various educational programmes in Gauteng.These include: financial support to the tune of R7-million ($928 000) for orphaned and vulnerable children studying at Dominican Convent; funding extra tutorials in maths, science and English for R1.4-million ($186 000) through the Tomorrow Trust and Leap Maths and Science Schools; R700 000 ($93 000) for leadership development of high school pupils through Heartlines; teaching 9 000 pupils at 65 schools in grades 6 and 7 to play chess; as well supplying mobile laboratories and classrooms.Joshua Pule, Nedbank’s portfolio manager for corporate social responsibility, said: “We at Nedbank are passionate about contributing towards education and building closer relationships with our communities.“This we do to ensure that we enable access and opportunities for learners and improve educational facilities throughout South Africa to build a strong, flourishing, knowledge-based economy.”
Blackmagic updates will make BMCC & BMPCC better, but not perfect.A firmware update may be coming to your Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Camera. In an update posted on the BlackMagic’s forum, Kristian Lam of Blackmagic Design gave an overview of firmware updates coming to the two inaugural cameras. While the updates aren’t complete they definitely will make the cameras more useable.The UpdatesThe updates that are going to be released in the very near future are:New debayering for shooting directly to ProRes or DNxHD on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and MFTImproved MFT lens support on the Pocket Cinema CameraCompressed RAW support on the Production Camera 4KAutofocus support for EF lenses on Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and Production Camera 4KLam stated that he believes they are “very close” to releasing the update. A few beta testers have been selected to try out this new update and have been doing so for a few months now. He also stated an intent to add audio metering and a histogram display in future updates as well. Other features that are likely to happen either in this update or future updates are the ability to format cards in the camera and a time remaining indicator.The Black Sun EffectPhoto courtesy of NewShooterOne of the biggest problems facing Blackmagic users is the dreaded Black Sun effect. A big black spot is usually caused when shooting video of the sun and as Lam states, it “is a fundamental characteristic of CMOS sensors”. Lam states that they are trying to fix the problem but no fix seems to be coming in the near future.Some sensors have additional circuitry to try and overcome this and this was available in the Pocket Cinema Camera. Unfortunately, it is not in the 2.5K sensor. Also, black sun correct circuitry is also not an on/off switch and with some sensors, it may result in other unwanted artefacts so we have to be really careful about it. Another method of overcoming the black sun effect is via image processing after the image has been acquired and passed on from the sensor. This is basically running an algorithm to try and detect what looks like the black sun and just clipping the black areas. Again, this could result in false positives and if you have a pattern in the image that is similar to the black sun, it could mistakenly be “corrected” as well. As you can see, this is a tricky situation. We are not ignoring it, but working to see what is the best way to address this.We aren’t sure when the firmware updates are scheduled to be released, but Kristian Lam is hinting that it will be in the very near future. Keep coming back to the Premiumbeat blog to get the latest Blackmagic information.What do you think of Blackmagic’s update, update? Share in the comments below.
Two cousins are fighting it out as the candidates of rivals Congress and BJP on Rajasthan’s Bikaner Lok Sabha seat. Both the candidates have served the government as civil servants in the past, while the elder one is at present a Union Minister. The younger cousin has made a debut in politics after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service.Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal is contesting as the BJP candidate for the third time, while his cousin Madan Gopal Meghwal is a Congress candidate for the first time. Mr. Arjun Ram had entered politics in 2009 after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service and won the Bikaner Lok Sabha seat.Mr. Madan Gopal, who left IPS before the 2018 Assembly election and unsuccessfully tried for a Congress ticket from Bikaner’s Khajuwala seat, has received support from an unexpected quarter in the Lok Sabha poll. Veteran Rajput leader of the BJP, Devi Singh Bhati, who has quit the party in protest against the ticket being given to Mr. Arjun Ram, has extended his support to the Congress.BJP State president Madan Lal Saini accepted Mr. Bhati’s resignation on Friday. Mr. Bhati, a seven-time MLA from Kolayat, had alleged that Mr. Arjun Ram’s political activities had harmed the party and led to its defeat in the Assembly election.While Mr. Madan Gopal affirms that he respects Mr. Arjun Ram as his elder cousin despite differences in their political ideologies, Mr. Bhati’s supporters have disrupted the latter’s public meetings several times during the ongoing election campaign. On Thursday, Mr. Bhati’s supporters showed black flags and raised slogans at a meeting, after which they reportedly clashed with the BJP workers in Bikaner city.The Bikaner seat has been a stronghold of the BJP since 2004, when film actor Dharmendra won it on the party’s ticket. It was reserved for the Scheduled Castes in the 2009 delimitation exercise, after which the caste equations changed and the Dalits and the OBCs shifted towards the Congress.The upper castes, which are in a sizeable number in the constituency, are reportedly unhappy with Mr. Arjun Ram following his support to the April 2, 2018, agitation of Dalits against the Supreme Court’s ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Mr. Arjun Ram was accused of inciting violence in Bikaner district during the protest.