Positive steps from government to boost SA tourism

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announcement that it will this month start the piloting process for an online e-visa system, had been lauded by travelers, traveling agencies and even opposing political parties. It is hoped  that this electronic self-service system would increase the speed of obtaining visas for low-risk travelers. More good news from the DHA is that the much maligned unabridged birth certificate requirement for minors traveling to South Africa (SA), had finally been scrapped. This is seen as a major step in the right direction to boost …

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Tornado in KwaZulu-Natal wreaks havoc

While the South African Weather Service (SAWS) could not confirm a tornado having hit parts of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday evening, they said there was a “high possibility” one would set in between Richmond and Pietermaritzburg. While SAWS worked on their carefully phrased statement, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal had activated its disaster management crews and volunteers to assist affected communities after a tornado hit New Hanover, Pietermaritzburg, late yesterday afternoon. Videos of the tornado went viral on social media. The tornado, according to the department,…

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3 Lilizela Tourism Awards for Mpumalanga

The seventh annual Lilizela Tourism Awards once again honoured South Africa’s tourism accommodation establishments. It also celebrated excellence with regards to visitor experiences, tour operators and guides. Emerging entrepreneurs were awarded alongside several industry luminaries. The Western Cape walked away with most of the prizes and Limpopo beat Mpumalanga this year in the categories for lodges and safari products. However, three of the province’s establishments won in their respective categories. Jackalberry Ridge in Marloth Park won in the category for Glamping Camping and Caravan. Jackalberry Ridge Welgelegen Manor in Balfour…

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Malalane resident hijacked at gunpoint in town

A Malalane resident was hijacked at gunpoint in town yesterday in the vicinity of the busy Air and Impala streets crossing. Two men told the victim to drive to the R570 crossing and robbed him of his personal effects and phone. The men could not succeed in taking his vehicle and fled on foot. The brave man was unharmed. Please be aware of your surroundings and take note of vagrants and loiterers. Source: Mel Preddy of Malalane Against Crime (MAC).

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Accident in KNP – visitors injured and giraffe killed

VEHICLE ACCIDENT INJURES FOUR PEOPLE AND CLAIMS GIRAFFE’S LIFE A vehicle with 13 day visitors on their way to Letaba was involved in an accident North of Mopani in the Kruger National Park (KNP).  Preliminary reports indicate that a giraffe stepped into the road and the combi hitting. The giraffe fell on top of a  rented safari vehicle with two occupants. The driver of the rental vehicle, a Swiss national was seriously injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries. Medical personnel rushed to the scene of the accident where the…

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More rain for Mpumalanga

According to the SA Weather Bureau, rain and thundershowers are still expected in the province today. From Wednesday, the sun would shine on and off with more rain predicted for the next five days. Very little wind is expected and the humidity would remain high. Rain is pounding KwaZulu-Natal and heavy downfalls in the Cape had been predicted. Heavy storms and flooding in KZN had already claimed lives and more thunderstorms are on their way in the province. Rain also started falling in Johannesburg and scattered downpours would continue for…

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Zim tries to save wildlife from drought – biggest relocation planned

Zimparks

In order to save the country’s wild animals, ZimParks are planning the biggest ever long-distance relocation in Zimbabwe. So far 200 elephants had already died due to lack of food and water due to an El Nino-induced drought. Natural animal habitats are gone and half of the population is in need of food aid. Zimparks and private partners are planning to move 600 elephants, giraffe, lions, buffalo, antelope and spotted wild dogs, from the Save Valley Conservancy in southern Zimbabwe to three other national parks over distances of 1000km. The…

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SA’s steel giant in Saldanha to close down

ArcelorMillar steel plant in Saldanha

ArcelorMittal (AMSA) in Saldanha would be retrenching 900 workers in the new year when it closes its steel plant. As a result of more expensive raw materials, price regulation such as power tariffs and a decrease in demand AMSA’s Saldanha plant cannot sustainably participate in export markets any longer. The real impact on the Saldanha community and the Western Cape would be huge with thousands more being negatively affected by the closure. The closure could have catastrophic consequences for local communities given that AMSA’s Saldanha plant is the area’s largest…

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Fitch upgrades Moz long-term default rating

Logo Fitch rating Agency

The upgrade of Mozambique’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR reflects the curing of the restricted default following the completed restructuring of its sole Eurobond (MOZAM – USD726.5 million, 10.5%, maturing in 2023), which had been in default since January 2017. On 30 October 2019, the bondholders exchanged MOZAM for a new USD900 million bond, covering arrears on principal and interest of the previous bond. The terms also include a maturity extension to 2031, a coupon of 5% until 2023 and then of 9% until maturity. In addition to the new bond, Mozambique…

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Mpumalanga master of court on trial in corruption charges

New court buildings in Mbombela

Fake Adocate Bina Masuku, master of the Mpumalanga Court, had been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption of almost R2 million. This coincided with the visit to the newly-erected court buildings in Mbombela by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Freedom Front Plus had now requested an investigation into the more than R1 billion spent on the buildings which would originally were quoted to be R600 million. The project had been shrouded in controversy with national high profile contractors being accused of fraud. To date, the project had not been finished…

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