Silence stuns race fans

first_imgSILENCE left punters dumbstruck in yesterday’s closing event at Caymanas Park, the 1820-metre Simply Magic Cup, winning under a hand ride at odds of 25-1. Though he had finished third a week-and-a-half ago after twice bumping into the rail, SILENCE was kicked out of the betting with three-kilo claiming apprentice Anthony Thomas, ignored by punters, who made TWILIGHT DREAMS the even-money favourite. However, the chestnut gelding won as though he was the fancied horse, stalking rivals from sixth position down the backstretch before pouncing on MALACHI, WONG DON and EL MAESTRO coming off the home turn. Pushed out by Thomas, SILENCE quickly opened up daylight on the early leaders and sprinted well clear from a furlong-and-half out, coming home a lonely winner at the wire. EL MAESTRO stayed on for second ahead of LADY FAYE whereas WONG DON finished fourth. TWILIGHT DREAMS, who prompted the pace as a quartet with MALACHI, EL MAESTRO, and WONG DON, started showing signs of distress from three furlongs out and failed to stay the distance after his encouraging run in the recent 2000 Guineas. HONOURS SHARED Jockeys Shane Ellis and Robert Halledeen shared riding honours with two winners a piece on the nine-race midweek card. Ellis opened the programme with LEEKOUT and returned to land the fifth with LUCKY STROKE. Halledeen piloted BALLON D’OR to an easy win in the third but had to repel a stretch challenge aboard SUPERLUMINAL to hold Ellis at bay astride WILL IN CHARGE in the eighth event. Racing continues on Saturday with the feature event being the 10-furlong Jamaica Oaks, which has been stripped of its star horse, SHE’S A MANEATER, who injured herself at exercise Sunday morning.last_img read more

Robbers pose as RCMP officers in Peace River

first_imgOn June 26th 2009 Peace Regional RCMP received a report of a home invasion that took place within the Town of Peace River.  The home owner heard a knock at her front door she opened the door as she believed that two police officers were at her front door but the two unknown males were posing as police officers.  Once the door was opened the two unknown males forced their way into the home.  The home owner was subdued and the males then searched the residence for valuables.  The first male is described as being a Caucasian male approximately 6 feet tall and around 220 lbs with a black mustache.  The second male is described as being shorter than the first male with a slight native accent.  One of the males brandished a handgun and threatened the occupant of the home during the incident.  – Advertisement -The two males fled the residence after taking an undisclosed amount of cash monies.  The victim in this occurrence did not suffer any physical injuries and the Peace Regional RCMP continue to investigate this occurrence.Although the latest incidents may cause some fear and concern to the public, the  RCMP urge the public to contact the local RCMP  detachment with any questions or concerns.  Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgMATCH WEATHER: It may be pretty miserable across Co Donegal today, with further snow on the hills overnight.But the weather in Belfast will be dry by the time the Match for Michaela event kicks off at 6pm.BBC Northern Ireland says the east of Ulster will dry up this afternoon. There will be a light south-easterly wind and temperatures of around 6C. UP FOR THE MATCH FOR MICHAELA – DRY EVENING FORECAST FOR BIG GAME was last modified: November 3rd, 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:UP FOR THE MATCH FOR MICHAELA – DRY EVENING FORECAST FOR BIG GAMElast_img read more


first_imgMagh Éne College transition-year students with ecologist Billy Flynn (far right), surveying the flora and fauna of the Bundoran seashore.A group of students from across Donegal are investigating their natural heritage.Transition-year students from St. Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties and Magh Éne College, Bundoran, County Donegal are exploring deep into what makes their local area tick. Alongside environmental experts Billy Flynn and Éanna Ní Lamhna students from each of the schools are being trained how to survey and record wildlife habitats as well as learning about the species of flora and fauna in their selected study areas.The heritage project entitled ‘Heritage and Habitat in Your Community’ is the first of its kind in County Donegal, and has been commissioned by the County Donegal Heritage Office in association with the County Donegal Heritage Forum, The Heritage Council and Donegal Education Centre.“This project gives the students involved a heightened sense of environmental ownership and a recognition of the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage” said Carol Dempsey, Heritage Research Assistant with Donegal County Council.“It also gives the students a chance to study outdoors allowing them to apply their geographical knowledge to specific wildlife habitats.” Pictured at the initial meeting of the ‘Heritage and Habitat in Your Community’ Initiative in the Donegal Education Centre, Donegal Town are (L to R): Carol Dempsey (Heritage Research Assistant, Donegal County Council), Éanna Ní Lamhna (Ecologist, Flynn Furney Environmental Consultants and broadcaster on RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Mooney Goes Wild’), Jacqui Dillon (Principal, Magh Éne College), Sally Bonner (Director, Donegal Education Centre) and Joseph Gallagher (Heritage Officer, Donegal County Council).In June of this year, there was an open call to all 27 secondary schools in County Donegal inviting them to participate in this heritage education initiative.Both St. Columba’s Comprehensive School and Magh Éne College were selected from the seven schools that applied to take part in this initiative based on their interest and enthusiasm as well as their ability to integrate this project into their planned study programme.The aims of the project include encouraging local heritage professionals and local teachers to work together to demonstrate the benefits of applied research to their students and to local communities, helping to introduce students to species identification and habitat classification and assisting in the development of transferable skills such as fieldwork, field recording, analysis, mapping and presentation.Ecologists Billy Flynn and Éanna Ní Lamhna, geography teacher Mary Martin and transition-year students from St. Columba’s Comprehensive School in Glenties discuss the wildlife found in a local bog.The project will also highlight the linkages between habitat surveying and the secondary-level curriculum by making guidance notes available to all secondary schools in the county.Transition-year geography students in St. Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties have been exploring the unique and protected wildlife of a blanket bog while their counterparts in Magh Éne College, Bundoran, have taken the opportunity to study the main animals and plants found along the Bundoran seashore.The ‘Heritage and Habitat in your Community’ project is ongoing with students completing their fieldwork this month. Ecologists Billy Flynn and Éanna Ní Lamhna along with geography teachers Mary Martin, St. Columba’s Comprehensive School and Geraldine Fox, Magh Éne College will produce guidance notes based on feedback from their respective transition-year students. The Donegal Education Centre will make these teaching resources available to all secondary schools throughout the county.DONEGAL STUDENTS GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY WITH THEIR NATURAL HERITAGE was last modified: November 17th, 2013 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:Donegal County CouncilDonegal studentsHeritageHeritage Officer Joseph Gallagherlast_img read more

Sixty-Three Bulldogs Named to PFL Academic Honor Roll

first_imgThe Bulldogs’ total was the second-highest in the league and marks the eighth-straight year that 60 or more Bulldogs have earned the honor. A total of 63 Drake University football student-athletes have been named to the Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll, the league announced Friday, Jan. 18. Since the honor roll’s inception in 2001, the Bulldogs have earned a total of 868 honors. The academic honor roll consists of student-athletes who participated in football at member institutions during the fall semester and posted a 3.0 grade-point average or higher during the semester while enrolled full-time in accordance with NCAA rules. Below are the Drake student-athletes named to the 2018 PFL Academic Honor Roll. Matthew Aceto, So., Chemistry Mark Bach, So., Business Studies Jacob Bacon, Jr., Actuarial Science/Finance Tyler Barrett, So., Marketing and Finance Alex Birchler, Fr., Finance and Accounting Brady Bjorkman, So., Entrepreneurial Management/Marketing Patrick Carr, Jr., Finance/Marketing Devin Cates, Sr., Psychology [Business] Alexander Ciszewski, Sr., Management and Marketing Zackery Clark, Jr., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology [Business] Nathan Clayberg, 5th Year, Accounting/Finance and Masters Business Administration Jared Defriend, So., Biology Zachary DeLeon, 5th Year, Accounting/Finance Austin Dismond, 5th Year, Marketing Daniel Donley, Sr., Marketing Steven Doran, Sr., Astronomy and Physics Brady Eckert, Sr., Physics and Astronomy [Mathematics] Jonathan Engle, Fr., Economics and Sociology Ryan Erickson, Fr., Undeclared Arts & Sciences Christopher Evans, Jr., Psychology and Computer Science Shane Feller, Jr., Kinesiology Armando Fitz, So., Business Studies Zach Genrich, So., Entrepreneurial Management Benjamin Gerdes, Fr., Marketing and Business with Law 3+3 Grant Gossling, So., Marketing Jacob Hardy, Jr., Health Sciences: Clinical & Applied [Spanish] Braeden Hartwig, So., Pre-Pharmacy Victor Jergens, Jr., Finance Ross Kennedy, Jr., Marketing Isaiah Kent-Schneider, Sr., Environmental Science and Secondary Teacher Education Zachary Kincade, Fr., Finance and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Kieran Kohorst, Fr., Law, Politics & Society and Business Studies Grant Kraemer, 5th Year, Marketing Ryan Kriceri, So., Undeclared Business Seth Krueger, Jr., Health Sciences: Clinical & Applied William Kulick, So., Finance and Business with Law 3+3 Justin Lamb, Fr., Business Studies Andrew Lauer, Sr., Information Systems/Marketing Jack Lehmann, Fr., Environmental Sustainability & Resilience Jordan Lewinsky, 5th Year, Management Jacob Lewis, Jr., Health Sciences: Health Services Management Sean Lynch, 5th Year, Politics Jorin McGuire, So., Pre-Pharmacy Nicholas Mertes, 5th Year, Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management Daniel Morales, Fr., Health Sciences Erin Morgan, Sr., Digital Media Production Taylor Murph, Jr., Management Jacob Mury, Sr., Finance [Biology] Cole Neary, 5th Year, Biology Benjamin Nienhuis, So., Biology Eian O’Brien, Fr., Health Sciences: Clinical & Applied Thomas Pugh, Jr., Economics and Finance Peter Read, 5th Year, Health Sciences: Clinical & Applied Parker Reynolds, So., Business Studies Zachary Rujawitz, Sr., Marketing Kieran Severa, 5th Year, Health Sciences: Clinical & Applied Collin Seymour, Jr., Kinesiology Andrew Shafis, So., Accounting and Finance Jayce Smallwood, So., Marketing Grant Snow, 5th Year, Finance Tyler Terveer, 5th Year, Accounting/Marketing and Masters of Accounting Terry Wallen, 5th Year, Finance and Marketing Connor Willis, 5th Year, Environmental Science [Business]   Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Ismail Watenga completes move to Ethiopian side

first_img Tags: Ethiopia BunnaIsmail Watengatopvipers sc Ismail Watenga (second right) posses for a picture with Ethiopia Bunna officials on Wednesday (photo by agencies)ADDIS ABABA – Former Vipers SC goalkeeper Ismail Watenga has completed a move to Ethiopian top flight side Ethiopia Bunna.The Custodian has signed a two year deal after agreeing terms with the Addis Ababa based side following weeks of speculation linking him with the move.Also read: Former Vipers SC custodian Ismail Watenga on his way to EthiopiaWatenga who was a free agent after running down his contract at Uganda Premier league defending champions Vipers SC, at the back end of last season, left the country last week ahead of the move.He joins a list of Ugandan goalkeepers that have featured in the Ethiopian top flight including 2016 CAF African-based footballer of the year-Denis Onyango, Robert Odongkara, Posnet Omony and Hannington Kalyesubula.He also joins up fellow compatriots Hamis Diego Kizza, Yasser Mugerwa (both at Fasil Kenema) and Robert Odongkara (St. George), who feature in the Ethiopian top flight.The Cranes international left Vipers after winning two league titles and several cups and will be hoping he can win further silver ware with his knew side.Ethiopia Bunna, also known as Coffee, has been a home to Ugandan midfielder Kirizestom Ntambi and Boban Zirintusa Bogere last season.The 2 time Ethiopian champions finished third on the league table last season behind perennial rivals St. George and the eventual champions Jimma Aba Jifar.Comments last_img read more

Donegal man scoops over €160,000 on Winning Streak

first_imgA B&B owner from Co. Donegal spun the Winning Streak Wheel on last night’s (Sat) show and won €100,000 bringing his total haul from the National Lottery TV game show to €163,000.Hilary Keller from Buncrana, Co. Donegal navigated the game show, on RTÉ One, to perfection, winning an impressive €60,000 in cash from the show as well as a holiday to Venice, Italy worth €3,000.Hilary’s luck did not end there as he ended up being the lucky player that got the chance to spin the iconic Winning Streak Grand Prize Wheel. The latest winner comes as the gameshow producers revealed that people from Donegal were the luckiest lot in the last season.His spin resulted in the ball landing in the €100,000 segment after it took a few bounces either side, as the RTÉ studio audience fell silent in anticipation.Hilary spoke of how last weekend, while watching the show, he was left with his head in his hands as his wife, Margaret danced around the sitting room in excitement last Saturday evening as they watched on as Hilary’s three-star scratch card was pulled from the drum by Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy to appear on the show. Hilary and Margaret run the Clock Tower B&B in Buncrana, Co. Donegal.The couple, who are well travelled people, have three children living all over the world and even welcomed their daughter and grandchild home from Abu Dhabi for the Winning Streak occasion.Their daughter Louise, who works in Abu Dhabi, was so excited at her dad’s Winning Streak appearance that she booked a flight to come home to cheer him on from the audience alongside her son, Oliver.Hilary’s two sons Declan and Gerard were watching on the RTÉ player from their respective homes in Cape Town, South Africa and Perth, Australia.Hilary also has five grandchildren: Oliver (who watched on from the audience), Niamh and Eamon (who watched from South Africa) and Lily who watched from Abu Dhabi and Mia who is only a few weeks old in Perth. As well as his own children spread across the globe he also has sisters (Margaret and Genevieve) in London and Florida.Hilary and Margaret have run the Town Clock B&B in Buncrana for the past 27 years which is hugely popular in the peak summer months. The couple met in London, with Hilary moving across when he turned 16 to work in London. The pair returned to Ireland in 1977 to live in lovely Donegal. Hilary spent six years in South Africa as a child where the family moved when his father, a chef, got a job in a town called Hermanus. As fate would have it, his own son Declan now lives just a few miles from that town with his family. Hilary was reared in a town called Downings in Donegal but was born in Belfast.With his winnings from the show, Hilary and Margaret plan to do some more travelling and think Route 66 in the US may be on the cards.The National Lottery game show is co-presented by Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy and features some perennial favourite games including Play or Pay, Roll for Riches, WinFall and Electric Dream – where one player will win an electric car worth €25,000.As ever, one of the lucky five players will get the chance to spin the wheel and win up to €500,000. An exciting element of the show is that one €100,000 segment will be added to the Grand Prize Wheel every show if less than that amount was won in the previous show, improving players chances to win a massive prize. A brand new-look Winning Streak scratch card is available in the 5,900 National Lottery retailers all over the country. In addition to the chance to appear on the Winning Streak TV game show if you get three stars, players will also be in with a chance to win some great cash prizes up to €5,000.The odds for those who purchase a Winning Streak to win is 1 in 1.86 to win a cash or three-star prize. All players who purchase a scratch card can send their stubs into the National Lottery using grey envelopes, available in all National Lottery agents, where each week on the show, a player will be drawn as the winner of a Luxury Cruise for two valued at €5,000.Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on Winning Streak and all National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage and the Irish Language.In total, more than €5.5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 32 years ago.In 2018 alone, more than €228 million was raised; the equivalent of almost €625,000 a day in support for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.Donegal man scoops over €160,000 on Winning Streak was last modified: October 8th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Alex Kerfoot explains why he chose the Avalanche over the Sharks

first_imgDENVER — Alexander Kerfoot, in his second season with the Avalanche, says he nearly signed with the Sharks in August 2017.Kerfoot, 24, was drafted in the fifth round by New Jersey in 2012 but elected not to sign with the Devils after four seasons at Harvard. He thus became a free agent on Aug. 16, 2017 and was reportedly targeted by a handful of teams, with the Sharks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks and Avalanche becoming his five finalists.Kerfoot, a Hobey Baker …last_img

Scientific Supporters of ES Stem Cell Research Fear Future Abuses

first_img“How would you know if a human brain was trapped in a mouse’s body?”  This frightful and intriguing question opened an article in Nature this week.1  More on that in a minute.    Last week, in the Oct. 14 issue,2 a Nature editorial on California’s Stem Cell Proposition 71 stated that “the proposal is less of an unalloyed blessing than it seems.”  Though most professional scientists are eager for funds to test embryonic stem cells, Nature feared that the proposition goes overboard.  It amends the state constitution, threatens a state economy that is near insolvency, and promises it will pay for itself, “But it is not clear that these analyses hold water.”  Worst of all, it prevents oversight by the state legislature, expecting the researchers to police themselves.  Surprisingly, Nature supports government oversight of scientific funding.  The NIH and NSF at the federal level, which operate under the scrutiny of Congress, perform a healthy role: “At these agencies, scientific merit is judged almost entirely by the community itself, but Congress ultimately ensures that the public good is paramount.”  No such policing comes with Prop. 71, however, and the money trail looks too tempting:Proposition 71, in contrast, would introduce a new model for the support of scientific research at the state level that would rely on mere transparency as a guarantee against abuse.  Although public meetings are promised, the oversight committee would consist mainly of people with close ties to the universities, institutes and companies that stand to benefit from the money spent.  Most of the rest are representatives of disease groups.  The committee makes the ultimate funding decisions and will be allowed to modify NIH rules of informed consent and human-subject protection as it sees fit.    The advocacy of such people as the actor Christopher Reeve – whose untimely death this week deprives biomedical research of one of its most forceful and effective lobbyists – has helped to elevate the promise of embryonic-stem-cell research, sometimes to unrealistic levels.  It is up to the people of California whether they want to approve Proposition 71.  But if they do, researchers must strive to ensure that no funds will be abused, and they must give full consideration to a wide array of ethical concerns.  Anything less risks damaging public trust in science.Yet how effective can self-policing by researchers be, when the temptations for grant money, prizes and lucrative pharmaceutical contracts threaten to make ethics take a back seat?  This was the subject of the editorials this week in Nature1 and Science3 about feeble first attempts in Washington to decide what is right or wrong.  The lack of clear guidelines on stem cell research occasioned the question about human brain cells in mice: how would anyone know?  If the researcher feels he has to experiment with chimeras (see BreakPoint commentary) to find a cure, on what basis will the scientific community claim it is unethical, and how could they stop it?    Erika Check wrote about prominent biologists debating such questions just in the last few days at the US National Academies, now that California’s Prop. 71 is already on the ballot and appears poised for an easy win, especially since the state’s popular governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has endorsed it along with Michael J. Fox and other celebrities.  Since no clear guidelines exist, and no federal policies have the force of law, the scientists have a free rein to create their own consensus about what is ethical.  The vacuum has allowed some already to charge ahead into areas that are blurring the line between human and animal:Researchers at the meeting agreed on a lot: that the use of human embryonic stem cells to produce a baby should be banned, for example, and that stem-cell researchers should adopt guidelines to reassure the public that their work is ethically sound.  But they differed on how to handle chimaeras, which mix cells and DNA from different species….    Scientists could even construct a mouse whose entire brain was made of human-derived cells….The article quotes Irving Weissman of Stanford who is already creating human-mouse chimeras with private funds.  Weissman claims the “yuck factor” is no reason to ban such research.  The fact that the government so far has not taken the lead in establishing guidelines puts the burden on the scientists themselves, but is this the fox guarding the henhouse?  “That leaves a hole for scientists, who are not sure what the law permits them to do, and lack guidance on their work’s impact on public opinion.”  How, then, can they “reassure the public that their work is ethically sound?”    Speaking for Science,3 Constance Holden provided more details on the meeting of scientists last week in Washington, DC.  The scientists seemed to agree on little more than the need for guidelines.  They admitted that there is no clear distinction between “stem cell research” and “cloning” even among biotech investors, though the public is usually reassured that cloning is bad.  And they could not answer such basic questions as, “what does it mean to accord an early embryo ‘respect’?”  It didn’t help to hear a legal expert confide, “much assisted reproduction is human experimentation in the name of treatment.”  The potential for deceiving a gullible public appears more powerful than ethical concerns, especially from the so-called religious right (see 09/27/2004 headline). EurekAlert reported that the UN is also considering talks about the ethics of therapeutic cloning, as ES stem cell research is called.  Dr. Gerald Schatten (U. of Pittsburgh) argues research first, ethics later as he admits that ES stem cells have no track record: “Will therapeutic cloning create immune matching?  It’s unclear.  At this point, we don’t even know if human embryonic stem cells are safe, let alone effective.  What’s important is that research be allowed to continue so we can find out.”    The bottom line: the race toward this potentially lucrative technology by states and other countries seems to be outpacing concerns about ethics, even though there is no evidence ES stem cells will cure anything (while adult stem cells already have plenty).  Now that they are on the verge of getting their way, the scientists are having one last twinge of conscience before charging full steam ahead.1Erica Check, “Biologists seek consensus on guidelines for stem-cell research,” Nature 431, 885 (21 October 2004); doi:10.1038/431885a.2Editorials: “California dreaming,” Nature 431, 723 (14 October 2004); doi:10.1038/431723a3Constance Holden, “Bioethics: Stem Cell Researchers Mull Ideas for Self-Regulation,” Science, Vol 306, Issue 5696, 586, 22 October 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5696.586].If anyone should have a voice in the ethics of stem cell research, it should be Joni Eareckson Tada, the advocate for the disabled who has spent the last 37 years in a wheelchair herself.  She has done far more than the TV celebrities to help the afflicted.  Her organization “Joni and Friends” has supplied over 25,000 wheelchairs to the disabled poor in Africa and other third world countries.  Moreover, she could certainly be expected to look with hope over any therapies that might allow her to walk again.  Yet she remains a staunch opponent of embryonic stem cell research, for good reasons, as explained on the bioethics page of her website    Joni has appeared on radio talk shows and TV interviews, such as in a debate last week on Faith Under Fire.  The clarity of her logic is unimpeachable.  Yet it is unlikely that she can overcome the tear-jerking, emotional commercials by celebrity actors that tug at the heartstrings with empty promises that embryonic stem cells might cure your grandmother of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, despite no track record and many problems (while adult stem cells are flourishing: for another example, see EurekAlert report this week about skin cells fighting brain tumors).  Meanwhile, beneficiaries of Prop. 71 stand to make a killing on taxpayer funds.  Follow the money trail: why don’t private investors support ES stem cell research?  Yet the taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill for a possible boondoggle that may take decades to show any results– maybe never, while a class of human beings will be created to be destroyed for scientific research (a good time to re-read John Durkin’s letter; see 09/03/2004 headline).  Since California voters never seem to find a bond issue they didn’t like, even when living in a state climbing out of near bankruptcy, the world is staged to see the next chapter in our brave new world opening on November 2.  Maybe the scientists will figure out how to be “ethical” while they’re laughing on the way to the bank.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mahindra set for SA expansion

first_img14 March 2007After just over two years of doing business in South Africa, Indian vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra has set its sights on expanding its dealership network, available models and sectors it competes in.According to Business Report, Mahindra, a US$4-billion company, has identified Africa as a key future market, and sees South Africa as an entry point into sub-Saharan Africa.The company is already selling more than 4 000 vehicles a year in SA, its range including the Scorpio sports utility vehicle and Bolero pickup truck. Now it is eying the country’s commercial vehicle market and agricultural sector, stating that it will sell tractors, trucks and tractor-trailers from May onwards.Speaking to Business Report last month, Mahindra South Africa’s chief executive officer Vijay Nakra said the company would launch a range of 30- to 80-horsepower tractors at the 2007 Nampo Agricultural Trade Show in Bothaville, the largest of its kind on the continent.Nakra said the company would be targeting farmers looking for smaller, more competitively priced tractors.“We believe the proposition we are talking about will take about 12 to 18 months to at least gain visibility. But I’m not able to talk about volumes and market share. We believe we’ll be able to gain a significant presence,” he said.Mahindra will also have a commercial vehicle range, with models ranging from a 3.5-ton medium commercial truck to tractor-trailers and even a 15- to 30-seater minibus.“Our approach is not to bring in a product specifically for the taxi market,” Nakra told Business Report. “We’re bringing in a people mover, and one of the segments in that market is the taxi market.”A Mahindra team from India will also come to South Africa in the near future to meet with domestic component manufacturers, as the company conducts a feasibility study into sourcing spares locally. The study is expected to take at least four months.“What we are looking at from at parent company level is to source globally competitive automotive parts from South Africa,” Nakra said. “It is not based primarily on earning motor industry development programme export credits.”According to Business Report, Mahindra SA would consider setting up South African operations once their sales reached between 600 and 700 units a month. It sold 340 vehicles in January.Mahindra are also looking into opportunities in various sectors in South Africa, through their subsidiaries. These include Club Mahindra, a time-share company, Tech Mahindra, which supplies telecommunications software solutions, and Mahindra Finance.“We’re looking forward to the future and the plans we have for this market,” Nakra reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more