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Dlodlo to appeal over Oppenheimers’ private international terminal

Dlodlo to appeal over Oppenheimers’ private international terminal
11 December 2017 – Business Live
Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will approach the Supreme Court of Appeal to challenge the Oppenheimer family’s court victory in October to run a private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
On Friday the department lost the second round in a battle that has pitched the Oppenheimers against the Guptas when the High Court in Pretoria dismissed its application for leave to appeal against the October judgment.
The conduct of Dlodlo’s predecessor, finance minister Malusi Gigaba, has also come under the spotlight.
Judge Sulet Potterill found there were no prospects of success on appeal but Dlodlo disagreed, adding to delays that have already cost the project R373m.
“We have noted the judgment and still believe that a higher court could come to a different conclusion,” her spokesman Mava Scott told Business Day on Sunday. “We intend petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal according to the uniform rules of court.”
Oppenheimer aviation company Fireblade wants home affairs to allow it to offer immigration and customs facilities at its luxury private terminal so passengers using private jets do not need to be processed at OR Tambo’s main terminals.
The court had previously accepted Fireblade’s argument that it was common practice throughout the world for private jets to use private terminal facilities called fixed-base operators (FBOs).
Potterill said several state entities had already approved the project. The decision by home affairs to withhold approval had resulted in accumulated losses of R373m because Fireblade’s business model is premised on being able to service international flights.
She cited a missed opportunity when luxury car maker Porsche chose to host a global event at Fireblade in November.
“The event generated over 1,400 international passengers which could have been processed through the FBO,” Potterill said. “All the private aircraft that came in for the event could not use the FBO because it was unable to offer the [customs and immigration] services.”
In court papers Fireblade accused Gigaba of reversing his approval in 2016 following pressure from the Guptas. He was home affairs minister at the time.
Fireblade argued Gigaba had approved its application at a meeting in January 2016 and should not be allowed to change his mind without good cause.
In her ruling in October Judge Potterill agreed, saying Gigaba’s approval “is of force and effect and may not be renounced or revoked without due cause and may be implemented and relied on by the applicant”.
The ruling was suspended pending the outcome of the appeal process.
The court heard that Gigaba reversed his approval just five days after granting it when he received a letter from Denel chairman Dan Mantsha saying it could not go ahead for security reasons. Denel, which leased the premises to Fireblade, had previously warmly endorsed the project.
Fireblade argued Denel’s “security concerns” were a ruse to disguise the Gupta family’s bid to muscle in on the airport, and that when this failed they had induced Mantsha to block approval.
Denel and Gigaba have denied the Guptas played any role in their decisions.
In its appeal application home affairs argued the court should have accepted Gigaba’s version that he hadn’t granted Fireblade final approval.
But in her judgment on Friday Potterill lashed out at Gigaba, calling his arguments “disingenuous, spurious and fundamentally flawed, laboured and meritless, bad in law, astonishing, palpably untrue, untenable and not sustained by objective evidence, uncreditworthy and nonsensical”.
“A court does not readily make findings that a minister’s version is untenable and palpably untrue,” Potterill said. “In this matter it had to be done. There are no prospects of success that another court will come to another conclusion.”
Home affairs said the court also failed to consider the argument that it was beyond the minister’s powers to designate a port of entry for exclusive private use by the family and unconstitutional to do so without a public tender.
But Potterill dismissed these arguments as meritless because the Oppenheimer terminal was located inside an airport that had already been declared an entry port.
Providing a private facility with ad-hoc customs and immigration facilities was “nothing new”, she added, citing Kruger and Lanseria airports as examples.
No public tender was needed because Fireblade was not rendering any goods or services to the state and there was no evidence of “favouritism” or “behind closed doors negotiations”.
“I cannot imagine a more transparent negotiation than the four years herein,” she said, citing “multidisciplinary meeting upon meeting, fulfilling requirements from various ministers and their departments and from many stakeholders”.
Fireblade leased the premises from Denel “with the specific purpose to run the FBO” and could not be expected to undergo a tender process afterwards, she said.
Potterill also rejected a submission by Denel to strike out sections of Fireblade’s application that accused the state arms firm of doing the bidding of the Gupta family by reversing its approval, saying she had not relied “on such evidence” to reach her conclusion.
The Gupta family have not publicly commented on the case.
Earlier in 2017 the so-called Gupta leaks exposed how Mantsha had played a key role as the Gupta family’s fixer in a R100bn arms deal they wanted to clinch with India while they wined and dined him in Dubai, Mumbai and New Delhi. He has not commented on the allegations.

Family caught up in home affairs nightmare

Family caught up in home affairs nightmare
11 December 2017 – Times Live

When Florette and Nsongoni Mulowayi renounced their Democratic Republic of Congo citizenship, it was with the promise of a new life in a country they “want to serve”.
Their eldest son had already been granted citizenship, having been born in South Africa in 2011, and they thought awarding the same status to them and their baby would be a formality.
But despite meeting all the requirements to be naturalised, the former refugees were left out in the cold when the Department of Home Affairs told them they would have to be permanent residents for 10 years – double the period stipulated in the Citizenship Act – before being considered for naturalisation,
As a result the parents are stateless but South African permanent residents. One child is a South African citizen. Another is stateless and without any status in South Africa.
The couple, who received permanent residency permits in 2011, are now seeking clarity from the High Court in Cape Town over what they believe is an incorrect application of the law by home affairs.
Their lawyer, Stefanie de Saude-Darbandi, said the Citizenship Act required only five years of “continuous” residency before a permanent resident can apply for naturalisation.
Home affairs was incorrectly applying a regulation of the act which stipulated that the period of ordinary residence referred to in the act is “10 years immediately preceding the date of application for naturalisation”.
De Saude-Darbandi’s assessment was confirmed by home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni, who said: “There is no number of years [prescribed for being a refugee]. Once you are granted permanent refugee status you can apply for permanent residency. [Then] you must meet the five years as a permanent residence holder. Once you finish the five years you can apply for naturalisation.”
This contradicted the reasons for rejection his department gave the Mulowayis, and De Saude-Arbandi said: “Home affairs don’t stick with the law and [if] they do it’s when it suits them, even if the law is wrong.
“Incompetence, inconsistency and constant policy flip-flops by [home affairs] are causing chaos among foreigners seeking residence and citizenship in South Africa.”
Florette and Nsongoni – a biochemist and medical doctor respectively – fled to South Africa as asylum seekers in the early 2000s amid civil war and political instability. They struggle to get work, and Nsongoni is forced to take short-term contracts in neighbouring countries to provide for their family.
“The way we are treated is as if we are beggars,” said Florette. “We consider South Africa as our home and we want to use our skills to serve here.”
Lotte Manicom, advocacy officer at the Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town, said restrictive immigration and birth registration laws were creating a pool of people at risk of statelessness: “Groups of undocumented people are not conducive to a functioning state. Statelessness is therefore not only a problem for the individuals involved, but an issue the South African state has an interest in resolving.”
The Mulowayis’ case is due to be heard in March.

SA September arrivals increase ─ Brazil, France continue to perform

SA September arrivals increase ─ Brazil, France continue to perform
Tourist Update – 10 December 2017

A year-on-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 for Q3 shows that the number of overseas tourists increased by 5%.
September arrivals increased by 2,1% year-to-date, from 1 273 734 in September 2016 to 1 300 502 in September 2017. A month-to-month comparison indicates a small drop of 0,1%, from August 2017’s figure of 1 302 312.
In September this year, the distribution of overseas tourists was:
• Europe: 52%, 115 148 arrivals;
• North America: 18%, 38 535 arrivals;
• Asia: 13%, 27 083 arrivals;
• Australasia: 7%, 15 031 arrivals;
• Central and South America: 4%, 8 565 arrivals;
• Middle East: 2%, 4 358 arrivals.
The ten leading countries visiting South Africa in September 2017 accounted for 75% of all tourism:
• US: 32 551 arrivals (16%);
• UK: 28 904 arrivals (14%);
• Germany: 26 282 arrivals (13%);
• Australia: 13 296 arrivals (6%);
• France: 13 102 arrivals (6%);
• The Netherlands, 12 246 arrivals (6%);
• China: 9 142 arrivals (4%);
• India: 7 676 arrivals (4%);
• Canada: 5 984 arrivals (3%);
• Brazil: 5 493 arrivals (3%).
The year-to-date stats show that the number of tourists has increased for seven of the ten leading countries; Brazil, France, Canada, Germany, USA, Australia and the Netherlands, but decreased for China, UK and India.
Brazil had the largest increase of 60%, from 3 425 tourists in September 2016 to 5 493 in September 2017. They were closely followed by France, which increased by 51%, from 8 673 tourists in September 2016 to 13 102 in September 2017. China had the largest decrease of 10%, from 10 160 tourists in September 2016 to 9 142 in September 2017.
A year-to-date comparison for the ten leading SADC countries travelling to South Africa shows that the number of tourists increased for eight of the ten leading countries; Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Angola, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia, and decreased for Namibia and Lesotho.
Mozambique showed the largest increase of 17%, from 94 207 tourists in September 2016 to 110 076 in September 2017, while Namibia showed the largest decrease of 2%, from 16 636 tourists in September 2016 to 16 258 in September 2017.
In September 2017, 88% (183 344) of overseas tourists arrived in the country by air, while 12% (25 293) came by road and less than 0.1% (83) arrived by sea.
Tourists from SADC countries, on the other hand, came predominantly by road, 94% (568 973), with only 6% (39 030) arriving by air.
Quarterly and annual trends
Between Q2 and Q3 of 2017 the number of overseas tourists increased by 15%, from 545 208 in Q2 to 628 751 in Q3.
A year-on-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 for Q3 shows that the number of overseas tourists increased by 5%, from 600 420 in 2016 to 628 751 in 2017.

344 547 foreign nationals overstay visitor visas in 2016 – Mike Waters

344 547 foreign nationals overstay visitor visas in 2016 – Mike Waters
03 December 2017 – Politics Web

Zimbabweans are main culprits, followed by Mozambicans and Malawians
Minister Dlodlo must immediately resolve dire inefficiencies at Home Affairs
In a reply to a DA Parliamentary question, Home Affairs Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, revealed that at least 344 547 foreign nationals failed to leave South Africa before or on the date their visas were set to expire.
The reply also revealed that more than 15 million people entered the country during 2016. Thousands of them are seeking to find refuge in our country. However, without proper checks and controls, the government will not have an accurate picture of how many foreign nationals stay within our borders illegally.
If this is the case, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will not be able to identify undocumented immigrants, and will ultimately fail to process those individuals who are eligible for a permit.
While the DHA have an Inspectorate Unit tasked with tracing persons who remain in the country illegally, the DA is concerned that the Unit might be under-resourced.
For years the DA has consistently supported greater investment in immigration services and this Parliamentary reply is exactly what the DA has been warning for a long time.
Given the scale and potential ramp in numbers, this reply is an indictment of the DHA’s deeply rooted inefficiencies to carry out its mandate which is to ensure that immigration officers at the border post execute their directive efficiently.
The DA is seriously concerned that if this is what happens in a single year, it must mean that over time, millions of people have entered the country illegally.
The DA will submit more questions to ascertain the staffing and budget of this unit as an under-resourced unit will not be able to trace 340 000 people each year.
Minister Dlodlo must show political will and re-assure the public that she will immediately resolve this unacceptable state of affairs.
Text of reply:
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO. 3517
DATE OF PUBLICATION: FRIDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2017
INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER 41 OF 2017
3517. Mr M Waters (DA) to ask the Minister of Home Affairs:
(1) What number of foreign nationals in 2016 (a) entered South Africa on (i) visitor visas and/or (ii) holiday visas, (b) departed on or before the date on which their visas expired and (c) of each nationality (i) did not depart and (ii) applied for asylum;
(2) what (a) plans does her department have in place to find the foreign nationals who did not leave the country and (b) what steps have been taken against the specified persons;
(3) what (a) procedures and/or (b) programmes does her department have in place to ensure that visitors depart when their visas expire and (c) is the success rate of the specified procedures and/or programmes in each case? NW3944E
REPLY:
(1)(a)(i-ii) 15,256,170 (total recorded movements for traveller arrivals in 2016 on visitors and /or holiday visas.
(1)(b) 14,988,933 (total recorded movements for traveller departures in 2016 on visitors visas.
(1)(c)(i) The top five nationalities who’s movements indicate they have not yet departed the RSA are:
1. Zimbabwe: 210,067
2. Mozambique: 47,909
3. Malawi: 44,818
4. Lesotho: 36,244
5. Nigeria: 5,509
(1)(c)(ii) The total number of asylum applications for 2016 was: 35,377
The top five nationalities that applied for asylum during 2016 are:
1. Zimbabwe: 7,964
2. DRC: 5,293
3. Ethiopia: 4,754
4. Nigeria: 3,276
5. Bangladesh: 2 834
(2)(a) The Inspectorate Unit of the department is tasked with tracing persons who remain the country illegally. They conduct regular inspections of places of employment and other institutions. They also undertake tracing projects to locate persons who have overstayed in the country.
(2)(b) Such persons are either charged criminally or deported from South Africa.
(3)(a-b) The department does not allow such persons to apply for change of status in the country. Travellers who overstay the number of allocated days are declared undesirable for a period of 12 months or up to a maximum of a 5 year prohibition depending on the number of days overstayed in terms of s30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act. The determination of the sanction is derived from the Enhanced Movement Control System (EMCS).
In terms of the prohibition, a traveller cannot under any circumstances re-enter the country unless an appeal for upliftment of the sanction is considered and accepted by the department.
(3)(c) For the period 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017 a total of 39,894 persons were declared undesirable. Due to the department only collating overstay data from 1 April 2016, it is not possible to provide a year-on-year trend analysis. For the period in question the most common reasons cited for overstaying are based on medical grounds or applicants awaiting temporary residence visa extensions.

SA September arrivals increase ─ Brazil, France continue to perform

SA September arrivals increase ─ Brazil, France continue to perform
30 Nov 2017 – Tourism Update

A year-on-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 for Q3 shows that the number of overseas tourists increased by 5%.
September arrivals increased by 2,1% year-to-date, from 1 273 734 in September 2016 to 1 300 502 in September 2017. A month-to-month comparison indicates a small drop of 0,1%, from August 2017’s figure of 1 302 312.
In September this year, the distribution of overseas tourists was:
• Europe: 52%, 115 148 arrivals;
• North America: 18%, 38 535 arrivals;
• Asia: 13%, 27 083 arrivals;
• Australasia: 7%, 15 031 arrivals;
• Central and South America: 4%, 8 565 arrivals;
• Middle East: 2%, 4 358 arrivals.
The ten leading countries visiting South Africa in September 2017 accounted for 75% of all tourism:
• US: 32 551 arrivals (16%);
• UK: 28 904 arrivals (14%);
• Germany: 26 282 arrivals (13%);
• Australia: 13 296 arrivals (6%);
• France: 13 102 arrivals (6%);
• The Netherlands, 12 246 arrivals (6%);
• China: 9 142 arrivals (4%);
• India: 7 676 arrivals (4%);
• Canada: 5 984 arrivals (3%);
• Brazil: 5 493 arrivals (3%).
The year-to-date stats show that the number of tourists has increased for seven of the ten leading countries; Brazil, France, Canada, Germany, USA, Australia and the Netherlands, but decreased for China, UK and India.
Brazil had the largest increase of 60%, from 3 425 tourists in September 2016 to 5 493 in September 2017. They were closely followed by France, which increased by 51%, from 8 673 tourists in September 2016 to 13 102 in September 2017. China had the largest decrease of 10%, from 10 160 tourists in September 2016 to 9 142 in September 2017.
A year-to-date comparison for the ten leading SADC countries travelling to South Africa shows that the number of tourists increased for eight of the ten leading countries; Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Angola, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia, and decreased for Namibia and Lesotho.
Mozambique showed the largest increase of 17%, from 94 207 tourists in September 2016 to 110 076 in September 2017, while Namibia showed the largest decrease of 2%, from 16 636 tourists in September 2016 to 16 258 in September 2017.
In September 2017, 88% (183 344) of overseas tourists arrived in the country by air, while 12% (25 293) came by road and less than 0.1% (83) arrived by sea.
Tourists from SADC countries, on the other hand, came predominantly by road, 94% (568 973), with only 6% (39 030) arriving by air.
Quarterly and annual trends
Between Q2 and Q3 of 2017 the number of overseas tourists increased by 15%, from 545 208 in Q2 to 628 751 in Q3.
A year-on-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 for Q3 shows that the number of overseas tourists increased by 5%, from 600 420 in 2016 to 628 751 in 2017.

#LoveSA: Why you don’t need to spend those precious rands overseas

#LoveSA: Why you don’t need to spend those precious rands overseas
2017-12-03 – City Press
Kate Turkington does country style in luxury in Dullstroom; battles a gale in Wakkerstroom, one of the world’s best birding spots; and catches a tiger fish on Jozini Dam – in one week.
Mpumalanga may be one of our smallest provinces, but it’s packed with beauty and things to do. And you don’t need lots of time, foreign exchange or finicky visas to travel to some of its amazingly diverse destinations.
Dullstroom in the Mpumalanga highlands is South Africa’s top trout fly-fishing area. A leisurely three-and-a-half-hour drive from Johannesburg will carry you up into misty mountains past sparkling lakes and green fields dotted with fat cows and munching sheep.
A steep paved road of hairpin bends lined with ancient trees finally brings you to the gates of one of the province’s most plush properties, Walkersons Hotel & Spa.
Stay in one of the comfortable suites at the main hotel or take your family off to a remote self-catering cottage that overlooks a river and a waterfall, where the real world is a million miles away. If you’re not a fisherman, now’s your chance to try it. Children, beginners and experts are all welcome, and there’s always someone around to give you a helping hand.
Come hungry because the food is excellent. A rare steak, stripped pork, grilled trout, tempting veggie dishes and luscious desserts are served up with fine wine every evening in the comfortable restaurant themed in Scottish country house style. If you’re too tired and want some privacy, order a gourmet burger, a cheese or Highland platter, or panko prawns from room service.
There are walks and trails winding between freshwater dams and along rivers for every level of fitness, and even the 1.8km trail to the top of the mountain is paved most of the way.
You can also go horse riding, mountain biking, putter along in a golf cart or go to gym. The Highlands Gate Golf Course designed by Ernie Els is only a few fairways away. When the exercise is over, spoil yourself and have an indulgent treatment at the friendly spa.
From Walkersons to Wakkerstroom, one of the world’s top birding spots and headquarters of BirdLife SA on the southern border of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. It doesn’t look like a long drive on the map – unless you get lost, which my companion Coral and I did. After meandering for miles among seemingly interminable coalfields and country roads scattered with deep potholes, we arrived in the middle of a downpour at this historic, beautiful village in the internationally renowned Wakkerstroom Wetland in the Grassland Biosphere Reserve.
Birders come from all over the world to spot many of the village’s globally threatened bird species, such as the African marsh harrier, the grey crowned crane and the yellow-breasted pipit. BirdLife SA runs an important conservation centre here, and trains and employs local people.
Whether you’re a beginner birder or a twitcher, be sure to use the services of one of the knowledgeable community bird guides. On a previous visit, Lucky Ngwenya showed me birds I had only dreamt about.
There was an excited party of Europeans staying with us at Wetlands Country House & Sheds, one of the best B&Bs I have visited anywhere in South Africa. Rita and Phil, who own and run it, have repeat guests from all over the world who are thrilled not only by the surrounding birdlife but also by the luxurious accommodation, hearty country breakfasts, library, sitting room and more than 280 different types of roses.
Our determined fellow guests left at 4am in driving rain to spot the elusive red-chested flufftail. We braved two of the hides in a gale, but the birds had more sense than us and kept their beaks down.
But another exciting find was still to come. On our second evening, we dined at The Bistro, a tiny, quirky restaurant in the middle of the village. The fusion food was superb, as was the fabulous collection of African art sponsored by Chef Lizzie and partner Paul.
On display were the thrones created by Sicelo Ziqubu, winner of the Spier Contemporary Art Award and beneficiary of the National Arts Council travelling exhibition grant. Ziqubu uses recycled media and his thrones are a mixed marvel of colour, texture, fantasy, mythology and symbolism. You can also sit in them. The work of other local artists adorns the walls and shelves, including bird carvings made of alien wood by artist Muzi Makhubu.
Wakkerstroom brims with other things to do and see. Take historic walks where the Brits and Boers battled; visit the historic church and cemetery; try your wheels on 4×4 trails; or walk across the narrow 1893 Paul Kruger Bridge, which is particularly interesting because the first black Zionist baptisms in South Africa took place there on May 24 1904.
On the road again … now to Shayamanzi Houseboat on Jozini Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, the only place in South Africa where you can catch a tiger fish. You’ll stay on a luxurious houseboat that drifts along the shores of the Pongola Game Reserve, which was established in 1894.
Watch hippos, elephants, rhinos and lots of plains game as you dangle your rod over the side of the small launch that takes you into the middle of the dam.
One of my companions very politely said: “I think you’ve got an enquiry on your line,” and my fishing rod suddenly bent at a 90-degree angle. After a fierce fight, I pulled in a 2.2kg tiger fish. Minutes later, our houseboat captain, Alan Ndlovu, who has been with Shayamanzi for more than 10 years, pulled in one weighing 3.8kg.
Don’t spend those precious rands on overseas destinations when there are so many (much more affordable) places to explore at home.

Cape tourism bucks up for grabs

Cape tourism bucks up for grabs
2017-12-03 – City Press

Capetonians, bless them, have been a little smelly recently. The water-deprived residents have been walking about with unwashed hair as they’re restricted to two-minute showers – and that’s on a good day – and their town doesn’t smell so good either, City Press noted on a trip last week.
Despite the water crisis that has seen residents of the country’s oldest city limited to using 81 litres a day each, the Western Cape provincial government is going into overdrive to save its tourism industry, which is also suffering in the drought.
Fearing that the crisis will put tourists off, the province’s tourism, trade and investment agency, Wesgro, has gone into partnership with CapeNature and Airbnb to distribute 2 300 low-flow shower heads to guesthouses and Airbnb hosts to save water (by 70%) and electricity (by 30%). This, it is hoped, will help save 70 million litres of water a year, and “forms part of our campaign to help tourists and small accommodation establishments make a measurable difference in the midst of the worst drought in recorded history”, said the provincial government.
But MEC Alan Winde is stepping this up a notch in a truly Capetonian way.
“We’ll be distributing around 20 000 hand sanitisers, branded with water-saving tips. We will be welcoming tourists into our province and making sure they are aware of the water crisis,” he said.
Cape Town is not the only water-scare tourism destination in the country. Reports this week that water levels in Durban’s largest dam have dropped to their lowest in 20 years have also sparked concern ahead of the holiday rush. Despite recent heavy rains along the coast, the Albert Falls Dam is 20% full and the entire Umgeni system is only a little over 50% full.
A spokesperson for Sihle Zikalala, KwaZulu-Natal’s economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC, said he couldn’t speak about the province’s tourism plans ahead of the holiday season because a formal announcement was due next week.
“All I can tell you at this stage is that KwaZulu-Natal is optimistic that the number of visitors will grow exponentially this festive season.”
The spokesperson added that the province had launched its “spend wisely” and “responsible drinking” campaigns, which were intended to “empower visitors”.
Tempting attractions
In the midst of the crisis, which has the country’s tourist meccas in its clutches, other provinces are lining up to tempt tourists to their attractions instead.
North West Tourism MEC Desbo Mohono said her province would see an increase in the number of visitors this holiday season.
With the “shapa round” (come around) festive campaign in place, Mohono believes their tourism industry will do well.
“People are already starting to flock into North West,” she said.
Some of her province’s tourism offerings are the Mahika Mahikeng Cultural Music Festival and the annual DJ Nation bash, as well as the Sun City and Hartbeespoort Dam destinations.
In Limpopo, tourism spokesperson Mike Tauatsoala said they had a good number of tourists who travelled up from the Western Cape, and they expected these numbers to rise.
When asked if Limpopo was taking advantage of the drought in the Western Cape, Tauatsoala was diplomatic: “We are not pleased by the water crisis in the Western Cape, and it should be emphasised that we are not in competition with any of the provinces in the country, as we complement one another.”
His province offers culture, heritage and “megaconservation” at the Kruger, Mapungubwe and Marakele national parks.
Limpopo is also hoping to attract a few sports tourists to watch the Premier Soccer League match a few weeks before Christmas, between SuperSport United and Baroka FC.
“We are also pleased by the fact that our province is doing well on the sporting front, and we believe this will boost our sport tourism profile,” said Tauatsoala.
In addition, there is the Mapungubwe Arts Festival, which kicked off with a street carnival on Thursday and ends with a jazz concert next Saturday.
“The festival brings a lot of revellers and tourists from many parts of the country and beyond to our province, and this grows tourism, which creates direct jobs and grows the economy of the province.”
“Visitors want value for money”
Gauteng, meanwhile, believes it has an ace up its sleeve ahead of the holiday season with its “spring into summer” campaign, which includes Soweto’s Makhelwane Festival between 16 and 17 December, and the Afropunk festival on 30 and 31 December at Constitution Hill.
Provincial tourism spokesperson Barba Gaoganediwe said: “The Afropunk Musical Festival is the biggest draw card for the province, with thousands of tickets already sold for the New Year’s Eve event. We are expecting visitors from all over the continent, including Mozambique and Angola.”
Although it appears that Cape Town locals also want to get out of town this festive season – they have bought the most tickets to Afropunk so far – Gaoganediwe said the drought wasn’t chasing them away.
“People want to avoid crowded areas and they no longer want to see the ocean and mountains,” he said.
“Visitors want value for money, especially in these tough economic times.”
The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency has recently launched its festive season campaign to encourage financially savvy domestic tourists.
Xolani Mthethwa, the body’s head of tourism, said: “With the 29% decline in domestic trips to Mpumalanga from 2.2 million trips in 2015 to 1.7 million trips last year, the campaign aims to showcase the affordability of travelling to the province.
“The decline in domestic trips has not only affected Mpumalanga, but the country as a whole, although Mpumalanga was hit the most and this is mainly due to the economic conditions,” he said.
The agency’s spokesperson, Kholofelo Nkambule, said: “The intention is really to advise travellers that it is not that expensive to travel to Mpumalanga, as there are packages available to suit any pocket.
Mpumalanga’s unique offerings include diverse wildlife, scenic beauty, outdoor adventure, culture and heritage.
“We are in close proximity to Mozambique and Swaziland. With such different offerings, anyone who intends to visit us has a lot to experience,” she said.

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