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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Communities warned to be aware of flooding – do not cross rivers and dams

The Mpumalanga Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) had warned communities about possible flooding. The department’s warning follows a flood warning issued by the South African Weather Service (SAWS). Although the Lowveld is not considered a risk area by the SAWS, especially rural communities should be careful of rivers and dams which could overflow. “Between November and January is a season for heavy rains. Our roads will be slippery and bridges are likely to be submerged under water. Our rivers and dams are likely to overflow if the…

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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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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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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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SA investors invited to invest in Mozambique

Port in Beira Mozambique

Mozambiques Prime Minister, Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, had invited South African potential investors to familiarise themselves with the country’s development projects and to invest. Rosario had addressed the African Investment Forum (AIF) in Gauteng yesterday. The AIF provides opportunities for heads of state to discuss continental politics and investment opportunities. This is the second annual meeting to be held. Rosario told attendees that the country’s main goal was to uplift its residents and improve their quality of life. He highlighted Mozambique”s development plans for the next few years. This would…

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Eskom still under strain – The latest on Monday Nov 11

Power station blow up

No matter the wording used, nothing had changed. South Africans are still at the mercy of a “constrained Eskom.The exact media statement wording reads: “the electricity systems remain constrained and vulnerable.” That is Eskom speak (and in severely constrained English as well) for buy enough candles and if you can afford a generator, invest in one. Alternatively it means going off the grid altogether and settling for solar. In a media statement, Eskom’s spokespersons said the respective generating plants perform at very low levels of reliability, with a probability of…

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