Archive from April, 2019

Cape Town airport expansion ready for take-off

Tenders are due to go out soon for the R7bn (€441m) expansion of Cape Town International Airport, with construction scheduled to start in February next year and completion due in 2025, according to GM, Deon Cloete.
The work will include the realignment of the runway (due for completion in 2022), the simultaneous construction of a new domestic arrivals terminal and the redevelopment of the international departures terminal by 2025. Cloete said passenger process through the airport would be redirected during the construction, but CTIA would do its best to minimise impact on passengers.
He was speaking to TU on Thursday during a site visit of the planned upgrades by Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Beverley Schäfer, and City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos. This follows CTIA clinching the Skytrax Best Airport in Africa Award last week for the fourth year running and being ranked 22nd in the world.
Commenting to TU, Schäfer said: “It’s probably going to be a few years of headaches for passengers and we ask that they remain patient, but once the upgrade is in place, it will be of huge benefit to the economy, job creation and the tourism industry. A bigger airport will mean we can land bigger planes and process far more passengers, which will contribute to growing the tourism industry. Increased connectivity allows us to drive business, trade and foreign direct investment.”
Following a slow-down of 9% in tourism growth in 2018, she said the province was hoping for increased tourism growth now that the water crisis was over. “We certainly want to make sure that any blockages, which include visa regulations or queues at the airport, are mitigated to the maximum. I will be writing to the Tourism Minister because we want the visa regulations to be scrapped.”
Schäfer said the expansion plans would go a long way toward extending the success of the Cape Town Air Access project, which, since 2015, resulted in 13 new routes and 18 route expansions. International seat capacity has doubled by 1.5m seats, resulting in 20% growth or 2.4m more international passengers in 2017.

South Africa’s first ever e-visas are now available in New Zealand – visitors can now print visas at home

• The department of tourism said the first e-visas to South Africa will be issued in New Zealand in April.
• The new visas will allow prospective visitors to apply for a visa online, and print visas at home.
• The Western Cape investment agency said they have already seen New Zealand bookings increase by 7%, and is expecting that number to rise.

South Africa’s first ever e-visas will be issued in New Zealand in April, the tourism department’s communications director, Blessing Manale, said.
The new visas, first announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Union (SONA) address in February, will allow prospective visitors to apply for a visa online.
Once granted, the e-visa can be printed at home. Currently, tourists have to visit a South African embassy to be granted a visa.
Manale said the new e-visas will be piloted in New Zealand before a global rollout.
The new e-visas, alongside relaxed visa rules for minors in December, will hopefully help to grow South Africa’s international tourism industry, Manale told Business Insider South Africa.
The South African government aims to have 21 million tourists visiting the country by 2030, up from 10 million in 2018.
“South Africa is also finalizing the development of a new biometric movement control system which will be piloted at Cape Town and Lanseria International Airports [to improve passenger processing],” Manale said.
Other improvements include the introduction of long multiple entry visas for frequent and trusted travellers to South Africa, and simplified visa requirements specifically for China and India.
Cornelis van der Waal, Head of Research at the Western Cape’s investment agency Wesgro, said New Zealand bookings to Cape Town already increased by 7% from April 2018 to April 2019, up from 409 to 437.
He said the new visa rules will result in an additional increase of tourism numbers “over time.”
“Visa relaxation measures will take some time to make an impact. People don’t choose a destination for next week,” Van der Waal told Business Insider South Africa.
“Certainly not one with historical stringent regulations in place [such as South Africa].”

Migrant children in SA can’t be denied schooling

JOHANNESBURG – Migrant children living in South Africa without proper documentation can’t be denied access to schooling.
A ruling made by the Grahamstown High Court last year had threatened to halt the education of children whose parents are in the country illegally.
The Basic Education now says those learners must be helped to obtain the necessary paperwork.
They will be allowed to continue schooling as a Ministerial Task team appointed by Cabinet finalises a report into the matter.
In December, the Grahamstown High Court handed down a judgment that found that the right to basic education, could not be extended to children in the country illegally.
That ruling has was then overturned after the Constitutional Court granted applicants leave to appeal.

Thousands of Congolese ousted from Angola in days: official

In October 2018, Angola said about 380,000 illegal migrants — mainly from neighbouring DR Congo — had left the country in less than a month.
KIKWIT – Thousands more people from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been ousted from Angola in recent days, a local official said, joining more than 300,000 ejected under an expulsion order that has prompted UN concern.
In the last three days, more than 3,000 people arrived in Kahemba in the DR Congo’s western Kwango province, Kahemba administrator Severin Mubanga told AFP.
The group included pregnant women, children and infirm people, with very limited resources.
The Kahemba region is about 110 kilometres from the border with Angola.
In October 2018, Angola said about 380,000 illegal migrants, mainly from neighbouring DR Congo, had left the country in less than a month under a government operation against diamond trafficking.
An “indignant” Kinshasa, for its part, said at the time that the group included some 200,000 of its citizens, about 30,000 of whom were ousted “brutally” with methods that resulted in “loss of human life.”
When he visited Luanda in February, Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi urged the Angolan authorities to let his government know of any decision to expel its nationals.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in October expressed concern about a “fast-developing humanitarian situation” sparked by the mass returns of people from Angola in just a matter of weeks.
Most had been working in the informal mining sector.
“The Congolese are returning to a desperate situation, looking for safety and aid,” said UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch, and warned many would likely “face difficulties due to destruction caused by recent conflict in the area” of Kasai, also on the Angolan border.

Cape Town airport expansion ready for take-off

Tenders are due to go out soon for the R7bn (€441m) expansion of Cape Town International Airport, with construction scheduled to start in February next year and completion due in 2025, according to GM, Deon Cloete.
The work will include the realignment of the runway (due for completion in 2022), the simultaneous construction of a new domestic arrivals terminal and the redevelopment of the international departures terminal by 2025. Cloete said passenger process through the airport would be redirected during the construction, but CTIA would do its best to minimise impact on passengers.
He was speaking to TU on Thursday during a site visit of the planned upgrades by Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Beverley Schäfer, and City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos. This follows CTIA clinching the Skytrax Best Airport in Africa Award last week for the fourth year running and being ranked 22nd in the world.
Commenting to TU, Schäfer said: “It’s probably going to be a few years of headaches for passengers and we ask that they remain patient, but once the upgrade is in place, it will be of huge benefit to the economy, job creation and the tourism industry. A bigger airport will mean we can land bigger planes and process far more passengers, which will contribute to growing the tourism industry. Increased connectivity allows us to drive business, trade and foreign direct investment.”
Following a slow-down of 9% in tourism growth in 2018, she said the province was hoping for increased tourism growth now that the water crisis was over. “We certainly want to make sure that any blockages, which include visa regulations or queues at the airport, are mitigated to the maximum. I will be writing to the Tourism Minister because we want the visa regulations to be scrapped.”
Schäfer said the expansion plans would go a long way toward extending the success of the Cape Town Air Access project, which, since 2015, resulted in 13 new routes and 18 route expansions. International seat capacity has doubled by 1.5m seats, resulting in 20% growth or 2.4m more international passengers in 2017.