14 May 2015Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, another much loved South African struggle veteran, has died.The 89-year-old politician died in the early hours of Tuesday morning following a long illness, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.The party said it would would miss Mompati’s “unwavering determination in serving the nation”.“The African National Congress sends its deepest condolences to Mama Ruth Mompati’s family and friends. We thank them for having lent us this icon of the struggle of liberation of the South African people,” said Kodwa.“The ANC and South Africa as a whole has lost a towering giant and a mother to countless generations of activists. May her soul rest in everlasting peace knowing that her role in building our country’s future will never be forgotten.“As a people we owe it to her and generations before that our vision of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society comes to pass.”President Jacob Zuma sent his condolences to Mompati’s family. “The whole nation is mourning, in particular those who worked with Mme Ruth from exile to Parliament and various structures of both the ANC and government,” he said. “We feel an immense void.”Mompati joined the struggle as a young woman and continued to serve her country until her last days.Mama Ruth, as she was known, worked as a typist for the late former president Nelson Mandela and ANC stalwart Oliver Tambo in their law practice between 1953 and 1961, during which time she joined the ANC and was elected to the National Executive Committee of the Women’s League.Mompati was involved in the Defiance Campaign and was a founding member of the Federation of SA Women. She was one of the leaders of the historic women’s march on the 9 August 1956, which is commemorated every year on Women’s Day.ExileIn 1962, Mompati went into exile where she underwent military training and held office as secretary and head of the women’s section of the ANC in Tanzania.From 1966 to 1973, Mompati remained a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee. During this time, she also formed part of the president’s office of the ANC, also later heading ANC’s Board of Religious Affairs.In the early 1980s, Mompati served as the chief representative of the ANC in the United Kingdom. She became part of the delegation that opened talks with the South African government at Groote Schuur in 1990.One of her many career highlights included addressing the United Nations Special Committee against apartheid in New York in 1992, where she addressed the subject of women’s rights. The day was then declared an International Day of Solidarity with Women in South Africa.After South Africa’s first democratic elections, Mompati served as a Member of Parliament in 1994. Between 1996 and 2000, she was the country’s ambassador to Switzerland.On her return she became the mayor of Vryburg in the North West province and later served as an executive member of Umkontho WeSizwe Veteran’s Association.“She leaves behind a proud legacy of steadfastness, resilience and selfness for her exceptional and outstanding contribution and sacrifice to the liberation struggle,” said Kodwa.The South African Local Government Association (Salga) said it would remember Mompati as part of the leadership that established local government.“The Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality [formerly Bophirima District Municipality] in the North West, where she was born and later served as mayor, is named after her. This is also where a statue symbolising her contribution was recently unveiled.“We pledge our solidarity and convey our heartfelt condolences to the Mompati family and loved ones. We lower our banner to honour her life which she dedicated in the service of our people, and pledge to pick up the spear and redouble our efforts in advancing the quest to deepen local democracy, development and provision of quality services to our people,” said Salga, which marks its 15th anniversary this year.Read more: Statue of Ruth Mompati pays tribute to the past‘Selflessness’Mosiuoa Lekota, leader of the Congress of the People, described Mompati as “a paragon of selflessness and virtue”, likening her to Mandela.“Ruth was a mother, wife, friend, teacher, activist, warrior, negotiator, MP, diplomat, scholar, mayor and a bastion of morality. She was the complete human being,” said Lekota.“A year after the death of the great Nelson Mandela she asked publicly what she, Ruth Mompati, had done, what we had done, to move the struggle forward to achieve a better life for our people. This says all we need to say about her.”Source: SAinfo reporter, SAnews.gov and News24
One of the features in our new house that I’m most excited about barely raises an eyebrow with some of our visitors: the ventilation system. I believe we have the highest-efficiency heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) on the market — or at least it’s right up there near the top.I’ll describe this Zehnder HRV and its impressive specifications and features — but not until next week. This week I’ll provide a little background on ventilation. Ventilation optionsVentilation can take many different forms. Very generally, systems can be categorized into about a half-dozen generic types:No ventilation. This is almost certainly the most common option in American homes. There is no mechanical system to remove stale indoor air (and moisture) or bring in fresh outside air. In the distant past, when buildings weren’t insulated, this strategy worked reasonably well — relying on the natural leakiness of the house.It’s worth noting, though, that even a leaky house doesn’t ensure good ventilation. For this strategy to work there has to be either a breeze outside or a significant difference in temperature between outdoor and indoors. Either of these conditions creates a pressure difference between indoors and out, driving that ventilation. On calm days in the spring and summer, there might be very little air exchange even in a really leaky house.Natural ventilation. In this rather uncommon strategy, specific design features are incorporated to bring in fresh air and get rid of stale air. One approach is to create a solar chimney in which air is heated by the sun, becomes more buoyant, and rises up and out through vents near the top of the building; this lowers the pressure in the house, which draws fresh air in through specially placed inlet ports. The rest of this blog will focus on mechanical ventilation.Exhaust-only mechanical ventilation. This is a relatively common strategy in which small exhaust fans, usually in bathrooms, operate either continuously or intermittently to exhaust stale air and moisture generated in those rooms. This strategy creates a modest negative pressure in the house, and that pulls in fresh air either through cracks and other air-leakage sites or through strategically placed intentional make-up air inlets. An advantage of this strategy is simplicity and low cost. A disadvantage is that the negative pressure can pull in radon and other soil gases that we don’t want in houses.Supply-only ventilation. As the name implies, a fan brings in fresh air, and stale air escapes through cracks and air-leakage sites in the house. The air supply may be delivered to one location, dispersed through ducts, or supplied to the ducted distribution system of a forced-air heating system for dispersal. A supply-only ventilation system pressurizes a house, which can be a good thing in keeping radon and other contaminants from entering the house, but it risks forcing moisture-laden air into wall and ceiling cavities where condensation and moisture problems can occur.Balanced ventilation. Much better ventilation is provided through a balanced system in which separate fans drive both inlet and exhaust airflow. This allows us to control where the fresh air comes from, where that fresh air is delivered, and from where exhaust air is drawn. Balanced ventilation systems can be either point-source or ducted. With ducted systems, it makes sense to deliver fresh air to spaces that are most lived in (living room, bedrooms, etc.) and exhaust indoor air from places where moisture or pollutants are generated (bathrooms, kitchen, hobby room).Balanced ventilation with heat recovery. If there are separate fans to introduce fresh air and exhaust indoor air, it makes a lot of sense to locate these fans together and include an air-to-air heat exchanger so that the outgoing house air will precondition the incoming outdoor air. This air-to-air heat exchanger — more commonly referred to today as a heat-recovery ventilator or HRV — is the way to go in colder climates. A slightly different version, known as an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV), is similar but transfers moisture as well as heat from one airstream to the other, keeping more of the desirable humidity in the house in the winter and reducing the amount of humidity introduced from outdoors in the summer. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. RELATED ARTICLES Designing a Good Ventilation System GBA Encyclopedia: Ventilation ChoicesAre HRVs Cost-Effective?HRV or ERV?A New Way to Duct HRVsVentilation Rates and Human HealthHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need? Joseph Lstiburek: Just Right and Airtight Tight homes need mechanical ventilationI’ll focus more on HRVs in next week’s blog, especially our new high-efficiency Zehnder system. Following that I’ll address why commissioning an HRV is so important and how that’s done — or at least how it was done with our system.I’m a firm believer that all homes should have mechanical ventilation. With better-insulated, tighter homes, that ventilation is all the more important. But even in a very leaky house, one can’t count on bringing in much fresh air or calm days in the spring and fall when there isn’t a pressure differential across the building envelope.If budgets allow, going with balanced ventilation is strongly recommended, and if you’re doing that in a relatively cold climate, like ours, then providing heat recovery is a no-brainer. Mechanical ventilation always takes energy; with heat recovery the energy penalty of fresh air is minimized. Why ventilate?For centuries homes weren’t ventilated, and they did all right, didn’t they? Why do we need to go to all this effort (and often considerable expense) to ventilate houses today?There are several reasons that ventilation is more important today than it was long ago. Most importantly, houses 100 years ago were really leaky. Usually they didn’t have insulation in the walls, so fresh air could pretty easily enter through all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the building envelope.Also, the building materials used 100 years ago were mostly natural products that didn’t result in significant offgassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, flame retardants, and other chemicals that are so prevalent in today’s building materials, furnishings, and belongings.
Junior engineer Pabitra Majhi after his release The hostage crisis in Orissa ended on Thursday evening with the Maoists freeing Malkangiri collector R.V. Krishna, one of the mediators, Dandapani Mohanty, has said. Krishna, who had been abducted on February 16 along with junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, was released after nine days of captivity. Majhi, 22, was freed on Wednesday.Chitrakonda Tahsildar D. Gopalakrishna said Krishna was released by Maoists on Thursday evening and was on his way to his home in Malkangiri, which is about 90 km from the spot where the official was freed.The 30-year-old IIT graduate-turned IAS officer was released before a “people’s court” by his abductors in a forested area in Jantapai close to the area where he was abducted along with Majhi, eyewitnesses said.TV footage showed Krishna in a check shirt and a blue pant sitting on a boulder with folded hands appearing to be in good health listening as an unidentified man spoke about the problems faced by villagers. Malkangiri is about 650 km from the state capital. Krishna, who sported an occasional smile, was also seen eating out with his hand from a plate. Inspector in-charge of Chitrakonda Rajesh Chhatria said Krishna was released at Jantapai area.Meanwhile, social activist Swami Agnivesh, whose participation in the process was sought by the Maoists, said the collector had been handed over to the media before 6 PM. Meanwhile, Krishna’s father Rambabu said, “We have seen Krishna’s visuals.”Though Majhi was set free on Wednesday, the abductors had put forward new demands for the release of the 2005 batch IAS officer. They had demanded immediate release of five senior Maoist leaders apart from Ganti Prasadam, who has been granted bail by Orissa High Court.advertisementPrasadam was taken to Koraput on Thursday morning for his release on bail by the sub-divisional judicial magistrate there, but the process is likely to take more time.