READ: Ramirez defends WBC super lightweight belt without Roach in cornerThe fighter was taken to hospital with dehydration and possible kidney failure, the post said.O’Connor’s Twitter feed later carried a post showing a picture of the fighter in hospital, with a message.“heartbreaking to be rushed to the hospital and deemed medically unfit to fight the day before fighting for my first world title,” he posted. “I let the idea of being a world champion cloud my judgment of my personal health. Nothing is more important than my health.”In a second post he added: “As I rest and recover with my family I ask for privacy. Thanks for all the well wishes and your continued support.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ DeGuardia said O’Connor had been trying to shed a last two pounds (900 grams) to make the 140-pound weight limit.O’Connor, a 33-year-old from Massachusetts with a record of 30-3 with 11 knockouts, was preparing for his first world title fight.Ramirez, 22-0 with 16 knockouts, was to make the first defense of the title he won with a defeat of fellow American Amir Imam in New York on March 17.Since then Ramirez had parted with trainer Freddie Roach, and was to fight for the first time with trainer Robert Garcia in his corner.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew 1) heartbreaking to be rushed to the hospital and deemed medically unfit to fight the day before fighting for my first world title. I let the idea of being a world champion cloud my judgment of my personal health. Nothing is more important than my health. pic.twitter.com/uc8SEHTZQD— Danny O’Connor (@DOC_Boxing) July 7, 2018Jose Ramirez’s first defense of his World Boxing Council super lightweight world title was called off Friday as challenger Danny O’Connor was hospitalized with severe dehydration.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’The WBC said in a brief item on their website that the bout scheduled for Saturday in Fresno, California, had been called off after O’Connor “suffered various dehydration symptoms during the official weighing,” adding that he was taken to hospital.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins A post on the Facebook page of O’Connor’s promoter — Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing — said emergency medical personnel were called when O’Connor collapsed upon leaving a sauna Friday. MOST READ DeMarcus Cousins, on the Warriors’ potential: ‘Scary’ View comments
Dear Editor,The Regional Democratic Council of Region Six raised several issues of concern in order to hold the APNU/AFC coalition Government accountable to the Guyanese people, especially the residents of Region Six.The East Bank Berbice Public Road Project is being executed by the Works Services Group of the MoPI, and, to date, residents are still at a loss, since this project seems to be a “top secret “for the APNU/AFC Government. Nothing is being given to the RDC, or even being made public pertaining to the design, bill of quantities, cost etc. Who is the oversight body to ensure there is value for money? This project would be another fiasco, like the Indian Monument Site at Palmyra.The RDC would be grateful if the IDB could make a copy of the initial contract design available, so as to have transparency and to hold the Minister of Public Infrastructure accountable to his words that this project would be the same as the IDB design and would cost less than the actual cost of the IDB. It is critical to get hold of this information quickly, because millions of dollars intended for the Local Government Elections campaign are being diverted elsewhere — even in people’s personal pockets.The Minister of Public Security and the Minister of Public Infrastructure were at a meeting in New Amsterdam to launch the AFC LGE campaign. Lo and behold, only thirty-three persons were in attendance. And what was even more shocking is that both ministers were boasting about street lights’ installation when, directly above the location and beyond, about eight streetlights have not been functioning for over a year. This is the actual reality of the Government ministers, in that they are out of touch with the actual reality of the problems Guyanese confront across the entire country.The President visited Rose Hall Town to launch the APNU LGE campaign in Region Six, and was greeted by protesters, whom he tried to engage but was actually shunned because of his inability to help Guyanese to enjoy the good life. Only because children were given bicycles were their parents forced to be at the President’s meetings, but despite that, the meetings were poorly attended.The good lifestyle that was given to Guyanese people by PPP administration before 2015 is being snatched by this Granger Administration.Regards,Zamal Hussain
In support of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, the United States Government, through the U. S. Army Engineers, has completed its third Ebola Treatment Unit in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.Speaking at the tour of the new facility last Friday, Major General Gary Volesky, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, explained that, this is the first Ebola treatment unit built completely by the U.S. Army Engineers to help in caring for Ebola patients.Maj. Gen. Volesky explained that the facility has the capacity of 100 beds. The construction lasted 23 days with the materials being procured both locally and abroad.He expressed gratitude to the Own Your Own community for their collaboration with the U.S. Army and support in the construction of the Ebola treatment unit.According to Maj. Gen. Volesky, “Three of the Ebola treatment units have been completed, including Bomi, Tubmanburg city, Sinje in Grand Cape Mount, and this one in Buchanan, Grand Bassa. A total of 17 Ebola units are expected to be built across Liberia.”Also speaking, the Head of Ebola Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mia Beers, said they are currently working to ensure the first 15 Ebola treatment units are built across Liberia. She explained that due to the nature of the epidemic in Liberia, the U.S. Government is focusing on building the first 15 units but will make sure that ETUs are in all of the counties to support the fight against Ebola.“We want to make sure that these Ebola treatment units are built in the 15 counties to help access rural areas and make sure that we follow the transmission of the outbreak in all parts of Liberia and be able to fight it.”Ms. Beers said they are working with the Government of Liberia, especially with the new strategies of fighting Ebola with emphasis on rural areas on how to put in place mechanisms to contain the virus.She further explained that the most important thing is to have a rapid team out there working with county officials to ensure that every county can respond as quickly as possible to any outbreak in the area.She continued, “We have different ETU plans in the Southeast, including Fish Town, Greenville, River Cess, most importantly to look at health strategizes in the various counties in the fight against Ebola. Rapid teams can really help us in the process. We are chasing after the suspected cases also in the southeastern areas, because they are hard to reach. “We are getting the rapid team setups from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the various county officials, and other partners as well as air transport to handle these cases.”The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Brig/Gen Daniel Ziankahn, said they are working in collaboration with the U.S. Army in supporting the fight against the Ebola virus, including the construction of Ebola Treatment Units across Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Students of the Mae’s Schools Annex on Thursday raised their voices against social issues plaguing society through a Mashramani walk around the city.Commencing from Middleton Street, Campbellville, the parade continued through several streets until they were back in school where other activities were lined up.Dressed in colourful costumes to depict the Mashramani festivities, the students paraded with banners bearing slogans, which condemned acts of racism and child abuse among others. On the way, the children were also cheered on by passersby who looked on at the spectacle.One of the banners which demonstrated unityRevelers parading along the routeDirector of the School, Simone Nurse, gave a synopsis of their activities as she pointed out that child abuse, the use of drugs, child labour and violence were some of the areas where awareness was heightened for the Mash walk.She added that this was done to inform the public that the school recognises these issues and are committed to eliminating them. Through this initiative, the students were having fun while being enlightened about the social topics.“We’re excited because we’re on the road with our children to be a part of our Republic celebration for 2019. Our children are beautifully decorated and we’re celebrating the fact that we’re one people, one nation and one destiny,” said Nurse.“The things that we’ve depicted are things that relate to children, abuse of drugs, child labour so we’re highlighting it to the public to let them know that we’re concerned with all of those things,” she added.The Director noted that over 200 children from the preschool and primary levels were present, and more were expected throughout the day as it is customary for the school to participate in the Mashramani celebrations.“We have approximately 200 children here and some of them will be here later on. When we’re done and get back to school, the children will have a celebration there. This is an annual event. We do it every year and we try to do something different every year.”The official Mashramani celebration will unfold on Republic Day, this Saturday, after the flag raising ceremony at fmidnight on February 22.
…trafficking victims, gun, ammo unearthedRanks of the Major Crime and Trafficking in Persons Units of the Guyana Police Force swooped down on two popular business establishments in Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown, and conducted a raid.Police raided two popular night spotsGuyana Times understands that at approximately 02:00h on Friday, the ranks went to the businesses, located obliquely opposite each other at George and Princess Streets, Werk-en-Rust, and conducted a search, during which several persons were arrested.Among those detained were four adult female foreign nationals said to be employees, along with the two male proprietors, one of whom was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm with 15 live rounds.The females are suspected to be victims of human trafficking, and have since been placed into the care of the Social Protection Ministry pending completion of the investigation.This newspaper was told that at least two busloads of police officers pulled up in front of the establishments and barged inside, shutting down the party. The ranks then began search the premises of the club before stripping and searching the party-goers, who mostly were males.During the hour-long raid, the officers also searched several vehicles parked around the area, including hire cars and privately registered vehicles. This publication was told that a few of the party-goers were found with small quantities of narcotics and were taken into custody.
The mortgage market continues its slide, with no sign that we’ve hit bottom or that more homeowners won’t be swept up in the tide of foreclosures. According to the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge, 289 families lost their homes in August, when local foreclosures jumped an annual 398 percent. There were 632 foreclosures in the second quarter of 2007, and we’ll likely pass that number in the third quarter after September’s tally is counted, said Daniel Blake, director of the CSUN center. The quarterly record is 1,854 foreclosures, recorded from July through September 1996, in the fallout from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and a deep economic recession. “Temporarily lifting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s portfolio caps will inject necessary liquidity into a distressed market and help make financing more available and affordable for countless homeowners, especially those living in high-cost areas,” NAMB past President Harry Dinham said in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Increasing the limits for these conforming loans in high-cost areas, coupled with elimination of the Federal Housing Administration down payment requirement, could expand the opportunities for these entities to reach the first-time, minority, and low- to moderate-income borrowers their respective programs are intended to serve, Dinham reasoned. To that end, and to help try to stabilize the market, the association suggests: Requiring all loan originators to meet minimum education levels, pass criminal background checks and creating a national registry of originators governed by a federal agency. Requiring mandatory escrow accounts for taxes and insurance on all subprime loans. Strengthening enforcement of prohibitions against deceptive marketing and advertising of mortgage products. Clearly disclosing the role of the originator in mortgage transactions. Creating simplified, modernized, and consumer-tested mortgage disclosures including a revised good faith estimate and a loan-specific payment disclosure. Encouraging consumer financial literacy. The only problem with this is that it won’t unwind the past. And that’s where the problems are. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s obvious that people remain concerned about the ongoing problem. When the Daily News put a searchable database on our Web site (www.dailynews.com) allowing users to find out the foreclosure situation in their neighborhood or ZIP code, the link got about 6,000 hits in just 24 hours. Each fall for the past several years I’ve lamented the fact that the loan-guarantee limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – currently $417,000 – don’t help Los Angeles that much. And now the National Association of Mortgage Brokers is climbing aboard. It issued a press release last week urging Congress to take steps to enable Fannie and Freddie to provide help to homeowners facing foreclosure.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Andrew Hutchinson and Erik Cole also scored for Carolina, and Cory Stillman had three assists. Martin Erat scored a pair of third-period goals for the Predators. Steve Sullivan and Kimmo Timonen each added goals. Devils 3, Canucks 0: Martin Brodeur made 26 saves for his second consecutive shutout, leading New Jersey to a victory over visiting Vancouver. Brian Gionta scored two power-play goals in the third period and Viktor Kozlov also scored for the Devils, who won their fifth straight. Brodeur, who defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 on Monday, earned his 78th career shutout and third in five games. Kaberle hesitated as he took the puck to the left side and flipped it by Vokoun at 2:31 of the extra period. Rod Brind’Amour scored two goals for the Hurricanes, who won their sixth straight game and beat one of the Western Conference’s top teams for the second time this week. Carolina, which defeated Central Division-leading Detroit on Tuesday, moved into a tie with Philadelphia with an NHL-best 62 points. Thrashers 2, Blues 0: Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves and Atlanta beat visiting St. Louis for its fourth straight victory, tying a franchise record. Lehtonen picked up his first shutout this season and the second of his career. Patrik Stefan gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead that stood up from the first period until the third when Ilya Kovalchuk scored his NHL-leading 34th goal with 5:39 left on a power play. Lightning 4, Blue Jackets 2: Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist to lead Tampa Bay past visiting Columbus. Tim Taylor, Ruslan Fedotenko and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for Tampa Bay, which won for the fourth time in 12 games. The victory was coach John Tortorella’s 143rd with the Lightning, which moved him past Terry Crisp for most in franchise history. Blackhawks 4, Penguins 1: Andy Hilbert scored two goals, and rookie Adam Munro stopped 28 shots as Chicago defeated visiting Pittsburgh. Radim Vrbata and Martin Lapointe also scored for Chicago, which has won two of three following a 10-game losing streak. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Frantisek Kaberle scored on a penalty shot midway through overtime to lead the Carolina Hurricanes past the visiting Nashville Predators 5-4 on Friday night. Kaberle was awarded the chance when Scott Hartnell who was trying to stop a rush up ice by Carolina threw his stick along the ice to slow Kaberle as he skated in for a breakaway against Tomas Vokoun. Kaberle didn’t get off a shot then, but took advantage right after.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Group crafts, 9 a.m.-noon in Room A2. Computer training, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in Room A1. Chair exercise class, 9:45-10:15 a.m. in the dining room. Senior citizen lunches will be served, 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $2. Computer training for the visually impaired will be offered, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room A3. Canasta will be played, 1-4 p.m. in Room A2. Country-western line dancing will be taught, 2-3 p.m. in the dining room. Cost: $3. Oil painting class, 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Room A3. TUESDAY T’ai chi ch’uan class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. in the dining room. Bridge will be played, 9 a.m. in Room A1. Low impact aerobics, 8:45-9:30 a.m. at Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments in Saugus. Mixed media, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room A2. Country-western line dancing will be taught, 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $3. Yoga stretch, 9:45-10:30 a.m. at Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments in Saugus. Emotional support, 10-11 a.m. in the Modular. Grief support, 11 a.m.-noon in the Modular. Senior citizen lunches will be served, 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $2. Creative-writing class, open to all ages, 1-2:30 p.m. in Room A3. Cost: $4 per class. Santa Clarita Senior Hams will meet, 1-2 p.m. in Room A2. Tap dancing will be taught, 2-3 p.m. in the dining room. Watercolor class, 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Room A3. Duplicate bridge will be played, 6:45-10 p.m. in the dining room. Call Kathy at (661) 253-1105 or Rand at (661) 295-4644. WEDNESDAY Aerobics class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the dining room. Oil painting class, 9 a.m.-noon in Room A1. Archaeology & Anthropology, 9:30-11:15 a.m. in Room A3. Chair exercise class, 9:45-10:15 a.m. in the dining room. Arthritis exercise group will meet, 10:20-10:50 a.m. in the dining room. Blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Room A3. Senior citizen lunches will be served, 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $2. Calligraphy class, 1-2:30 p.m. in Room A3. Line Dance, 6:30-8 p.m. THURSDAY T’ai chi ch’uan class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. in the dining room. Low impact aerobics, 8:45-9:30 a.m. at Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments in Saugus. Bridge will be played, 9 a.m. in Room A1. Mixed media, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Room A2. Computer training, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in Room A1. Country-western line dancing will be taught, 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $3. Yoga stretch, 9:45-10:30 a.m. at Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments in Saugus. Senior citizen lunches will be served, 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $2. Ballroom dancing will be taught, 7-8 p.m. in the dining room. FRIDAY Aerobics class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the dining room. Caregiver support, 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Modular. Chair exercise class, 9:45-10:15 a.m. in the dining room. Food bingo will be played, 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Room A1. Computer training for the visually impaired, noon-2 p.m. in Room A3. Senior citizen lunches will be served, 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. Cost: $2. Live, Love and Laugh will meet, 1-2 p.m. in the Modular. SATURDAY T’ai chi ch’uan class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the dining room. Bingo will be played, 3:30-9:30 p.m. in the dining room.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The following events will take place this week at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall. For information, call (661) 259-9444. MONDAY Aerobics class, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the dining room. Bridge will be played, 9 a.m. in Room A1.
Councillor Jack Murray has confirmed he will move a motion before Donegal County Council calling on the council to do everything it can to support Celtic Park as a host stadium in the 2023 Rugby World Cup.The motions reads “That this council fully supports Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby world Cup, welcomes Celtic Park’s park inclusion in the list of host stadia, commends the unanimous decision of Derry City and Strabane District Council to support the bid and affirms the full and equal support of Donegal County Council.”Speaking in advance of the motion, Cllr Murray said he is delighted that Derry’s Celtic Park has been included in the latest shortlist in Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. “I commend the unanimous backing it received from Derry City and Strabane District Councillors.“I now feel that there is an onus on Donegal to weigh in and show our support for the bid. We need to ensure that Donegal is ready to host the massive crowd which would travel to the northwest if the bid is successful.“The 12 stadium shortlist can still be reduced further as this bid continues so we need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the northwest is included all the way.“Donegal showed its ability to host major crowds during the 2013 Fleadh in Derry as tens of thousands of visitors visited here. We need to showcase this again and help secure the rugby world cup bid.” Cllr Murray added that the restoration of the Dublin to City of Derry Airport route must also be reinstated.“I believe that it is also vital to restore to the Dublin to City of Derry Airport route with the government funding a PSO. This relatively simple step would ensure that overseas visitors who arrive in Dublin Airport could transfer and arrive in the northwest in a fraction of the time it would take by road.“I am confident that with all necessary bodies working together on this, we can ensure that the Rugby World Cup will come to Ireland and that the northwest will play a leading role in hosting the biggest sporting event ever to visit these shores.”Council to be asked to support Rugby World Cup bid was last modified: November 16th, 2016 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)
The South African government will giveincentives to companies that hire youngpeople. (Image: image library) South Africa’s minister of finance PravinGordhan delivered an applaudable budgetspeech. (Image: GCIS)MEDIA CONTACTS• Thoraya PandyCommunication UnitNational Treasury+27 (12) 315 5944 or +27 82 416 8416Thoraya.Pandy@treasury.gov.zaBongani NkosiMinister of Finance Pravin Gordhan announced a new, energised commitment to South Africa’s young people in his maiden budget speech, with education and job-creation programmes for graduates and school-leavers high on his list of priorities.Addressing Parliament on 17 February, Gordhan said the biggest slice of the national budget for 2010/11, R165-billion, would be ploughed into the country’s 27 000 schools, 23 universities and various colleges.“Education remains our largest item of spending, giving meaning to our commitment that it is our number-one priority,” he said.Some R12-billion from the allocation will go towards the country’s Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, and a further R1.3-billion will be used to improve the salaries of educators at these institutions.Government is working hard to position FET colleges as viable alternatives to universities to absorb as many matriculants as possible into tertiary education.The aims is to equip students, many of whom are there on bursaries, with practical skills to make them more employable.“Expanding and improving capacity at our FET colleges is a vital part of our growth strategy,” Gordhan said. “We have set ourselves ambitious targets to expand the number of young people studying vocational subjects.”Gordhan’s announcement was welcomed by several political parties. “The injection of more resources into the further education and training will assist in the skills development of our people and prepare them for future absorption into the job market post the current recession period,” said the ruling African National Congress (ANC).Treasury has also put aside a further R2.7-billion for the Department of Basic Education to provide school literacy and numeracy workbooks in all 11 official languages.Incentivising job creationAs President Jacob Zuma announced in his State of the Nation address on 11 February, government is committed to building strategies to encourage the private sector to hire inexperienced young South Africans, who currently make up the largest portion of unemployed citizens.Government is planning to subsidise companies that hire young people, making it more of an attractive option for employers.Gordhan said labour market data indicates that “employers are reluctant to hire inexperienced work-seekers”, and this denies youngsters the opportunity to garner “basic workplace competencies”.The Department of Labour will launch a campaign to inform young people about job opportunities and training, with the goal to get this up and running by early 2011.“The aim is to raise employment of young school-leavers by a further 500 000 by 2013,” Gordhan said.“Many South Africans, speaking from their own experiences on the streets of our cities, at factory gates and in rural communities, have urged us to take steps to make it easier for young people to find work.”The country’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), saw Gordhan’s youth job-creation plan as the “main thrust” of the budget speech, “particularly the detailing of a wage subsidy that will open up job opportunities for South African school-leavers”.“We believe wage subsidies can create real, permanent employment for thousands of young people in South Africa,” the DA said.Public worksSouth Africa is also planning to boost employment through the Expanded Public Works Programme, which has already provided jobs for thousands of people, albeit on a temporary basis.The aim of the programme is to create 4.5-million short-term jobs between 2009 and 2014. Gordhan allocated R52-billion over the next three years to strengthen this programme.“An additional R2.5-billion will go towards supporting labour-intensive projects in the social, non-state and environmental sectors, largely targeted at rural areas,” the minister added.Growth expectationsTurning to the recession, which led to 900 000 local workers being retrenched in 2009, Gordhan said: “Our people want action on jobs, growth and poverty. We must build a new common purpose so that we can use all of our talents, skills and resources to tackle our economic and social challenges.”The economy shrank by an estimated 1.8% in 2009, after five years of strong growth.However, for this financial year Gordhan said “things are looking slightly better” – he expects the economy to grow by 2.3% in 2010, rising to 3.6% in 2012.“Household consumption expenditure will improve during the course of this year as confidence improves and household debt levels abate,” he added.Consumer price inflation declined over the course of 2009 and is expected to remain at around 6% over the period ahead. “These are significant improvements in the economic outlook,” the minister announced.Talking tax, Gordhan said that as a result of the deterioration in the South African economy, “we now expect to raise R69-billion less in tax this year than we budgeted”.To boost revenue, government will introduce a 12-month amnesty period for non-compliant taxpayers. The Voluntary Disclosure Programme, to start in November, will enable tax evaders to “disclose and pay undeclared tax liabilities at a reduced interest charge and without penalties”.Health, welfareOther significant announcements in the budget address included a R105-billion allocation for health over the next year, and a further R3-billion to broaden access to antiretroviral treatment – especially for HIV-positive woman and children co-infected with TB who have CD4 counts of less than 350.“Presently, about 920 000 people are on antiretroviral treatment. The budget provides for the number to rise to 2.1-million in 2012/13,” Gordhan said.Government will spend R89-billion on social welfare in 2010/11, with the state old age pension and disability grant rising by R70 to R1 080 a month from 1 March.The child support grant, which has been extended to 18-year-olds, will increase to R250 a month. “The inclusion of about two million children … through the extension of grants up to 18 years … will radically push back the frontiers of poverty and improve the quality of life of millions,” the ANC said.