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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.

Home Affairs queues get ugly

Aside from the usual inconvenience of a repeatedly crashing or offline system the continuing woes and long queues at Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs office were aggravated by last week’s load shedding.
This was because the back-up generator — which broke down in January — had not been fixed.
However, manager Xolani Maphumulo said a team of technicians arrived on Friday to repair it and it was up and running by that afternoon.
Maphumulo attributed the delay in fixing the generator to the workload of the service provider, stating that only one service provider was available to all Home Affairs branches across the country.
“The technicians were only able to attend to our offices today [Monday], they have been busy throughout the country,” he said on Friday.
He said normally due to the limited uninterrupted power supply the office receives from Msunduzi Municipality during load shedding — which helps power the computers — they tried to work through the planned outages.
But with the generator also out of order the system was extra slow.
Maphumulo said now that the technical problems with the generator have been fixed he did not foresee further disruptions to services this week.
One frustrated resident who had stood in queues repeatedly from 7 am last Wednesday, said she managed to get her application done on Friday.
She said on Wednesday, while the doors were opened at 8 am, only people requiring marriage and birth certificates were allowed in.
“This went on for most of the morning and they kept saying that their systems were offline. The security guard said the biometrics system had crashed, and that IT was working on it. I stood there the whole of Wednesday and nothing happened,” she said.
She said when she went back again on Thursday nothing happened because of load shedding.
The resident went back again on Friday and eventually managed to get in and process her passport application.
“While I was standing in the queue it got so ugly and people were very angry. The guards didn’t have control over the crowd.”
She said at that stage, whoever pushed the hardest managed to get in through the door.
While she was inside, the resident said she and other patrons were locked inside because the crowd outside was banging on the glass doors demanding to be let in.
“It was the most traumatic experience of my life and I never want to go through that again,” she said.
More than 100 people, including the elderly, pupils and women carrying newborns, complained on Friday that they had been waiting since 3 am that day to be helped.
The outraged residents from Pietermaritzburg and the outskirts, who were desperately trying to get official documents had hoped that after spending over 10 hours in the queue they would be seen to, but by 2 pm they had not been helped.
Several said they were tired of leaving their homes before dawn to wait outside the Home Affairs office, only to be turned away in the afternoon without having been served and forced to return day after day.
Some complained that the employees at the office should extend their working hours to compensate for the backlog created by load shedding.
A woman from Mountain Rise, who asked to remain unnamed, said she was applying for a Smart ID card for her son who is in matric.
“I got here at 5.30 am. Besides the load shedding, they are slow and inefficient.
“The queue is always long and its just pointless to wait but where else can we go? It’s the same everywhere,” she said.
She said it was frustrating to stand in the queue the whole day only to be turned away.
“If my son doesn’t have his ID, he will not be able to write his final exams. Nobody has even come out to inform us that they had load shedding,” she said.
Another parent, who also asked not to be named, suggested that Home Affairs should revive its mobile service units for schools.
“We can’t keep taking leave from work for nothing. The last time I was here I got as far as the door only to have the security guard close the door in my face.”
Gillian David said she had been standing in the queue from 5 am on Friday. “I left here at 12 pm when they had load shedding and went to New Hanover. There I was told that their systems have been offline from Tuesday.”
David said she also required a Smart ID card and passport for her son.
“This is a government department servicing many people daily. They should have a functional generator and back-up for load shedding. It’s really not fair.”
Ntombenhle Buthelezi (54), from Swapo informal settlement near Copesville, said although the power was restored around 12 pm, the queue was still moving at a snail’s pace. “You are lucky if you get in.
“Every two hours, only 10 people move, at times you are lucky if the 10 even move.”

African migration: Five things we’ve learnt

More than one in three Africans have considered emigrating, researchers for Afrobarometer say.
Their continent-wide survey also found that young and educated people were more likely than others to want to leave their home country.
For those who do leave, it is not to Europe or North America that most go to, but another African country.
Here are five key things we have learnt from the report.
Why do people want to leave?
“Looking for work” and “escaping poverty and economic hardship” were the biggest factors for wanting to emigrate in almost all of the 34 countries surveyed, accounting for 44% and 29% respectively.
Having family and loved ones abroad could influence that decision too.
Afrobarometer found that one in five depend at least “a little bit” on cash payments sent to them from another country. A quarter of those surveyed say someone in their family has lived in another country during the past three years.
Where do they want to go?
The most popular destinations are not in Europe or North America but within Africa.
People who say they are considering emigrating mostly want to stay within their region (29%) or go elsewhere in Africa (7%).
Image copyright .
But researchers found some interesting differences.
People in southern African indicate the strongest preference for staying in the region (58%) while this feeling was weakest in North Africa (8%).
For those saying they want to leave the continent, Europe (27%) and North America (22%) were the next biggest destinations.
Who is most likely to leave?
Around half of all young adults and highly educated citizens say they have considered leaving their country at least “a little bit”.
Young adults are most likely to consider emigrating
Source: Afrobarometer profile of African migration, 2019
Most educated are most likely to consider emigrating
Source: Afrobarometer profile of African migration, 2019
“Thoughts of moving abroad are about equally common among the relatively well-off and the poor”, according to Afrobarometer’s report.
More men (40%) than women (33%) say they are considering emigrating, and researchers found the desire to leave is stronger among people living in town and cities (44%) than rural areas (32%).
Which countries are people wanting to leave most?
One of the survey’s most striking findings is that 37% – more than one in three Africans – have considered moving abroad. Just under half of those say this is something they have thought about “a lot”.
When it comes to actually moving, 7% of people in Zimbabwe and Lesotho say they are currently making preparations to go, compared to an African average of 3%.
Image copyright Getty Images
Countries where more than half of people say they considering leaving at least “a little bit” are Cape Verde (57%), Sierra Leone (57%), The Gambia (56%), Togo (54%), and São Tomé and Príncipe (54%).
But this does not paint the full picture. South Sudan, which does not feature in the Afrobarometer survey, has seen more than 2.2 million people flee into the wider region since the outbreak of civil conflict in 2013.
Nor does the survey include Eritrea, from where the UN says around 2,500 refugees cross the border into Ethiopia every month.
What barriers to travel do people face?
Freedom of movement across international borders within the local region should become a reality, 56% of survey respondents have told Afrobarometer.
But the same proportion say they find it difficult to cross borders to work or trade in another country.
In recent years Namibia, Mauritius, Ghana, Rwanda, Benin and Kenya have all loosened travel restrictions for other African nationals, and now either grant a visa on arrival or allow for visits of up to 90 days with just a passport.
But citizens of African countries still need a visa to travel to more than half of the continent’s 54 countries, protecting borders drawn up by European colonisers more than a century ago.
“Somebody like me, despite the size of our group, I need 38 visas to move around Africa,” complained Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote in an interview in 2016.

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