Cape Town events bring R3bn for local economy over 8 months

Cape Town events bring R3bn for local economy over 8 months
Apr 19 2018 – Fin24

Cape Town – Over the past eight months events tourism in Cape Town has contributed an estimated R3bn to the local economy and enabled the creation of more than 20 000 temporary jobs.
Cape Town has been recognised four years in a row as the leading events destination in Africa, according to Leonora DeSouza-Zilwa, manager of events at the City of Cape Town.
The Mother City secures key international and national events, she said at World Travel Market (WTM) Africa on Thursday.

“Events tourism is a crucial economic driver in Cape Town and we are aware that success is based on partnerships,” she said. “Cape Town is open for business, especially for events business.”
In 2012 the City of Cape Town started its dedicated events strategy. At the time the City was only supporting eleven events financially compared to almost 200 today. Most of the City’s financial support for events is for cultural events and only about 12% for conferences.
“People laughed at us at the time. Today we have a dynamic events calendar boasting a number of high-profile international events,” she said.
These include the Volvo Ocean Race; the HSBC World Sevens rugby series; the FIA World Rallycross Championship; the Design Indaba; the ABSA Cape Epic; the Cape Town Cycle Tour; the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon; the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon; World Travel Market (WTM) Africa; the Mining Indaba; and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
“Events form a platform for us to build inclusivity, create jobs and develop skills. It is also about supporting community events,” said DeSouza-Zilwa.
“We live in a global village and must continuously strive to build new events into our events strategy. This should happen come rain or come no rain.”
She said the City wants to work with event organisers to boost the events industry even more, especially during the Cape winter months of June to August.
“We aim to create stability in the events industry and made it easier to host events in Cape Town by creating a one-stop shop. We adopted an outside-in approach by looking at the needs of the industry and then align to meet these needs,” she said.
She admitted that the industry faces challenges, like the water crisis, but emphasised that the events industry was one of the first in Cape Town to put water saving mechanisms in place.
In response to a question from the audience, DeSouza-Zilwa said the goal is also to establish and encourage the use of local small businesses in the events industry. She invited local SMEs to contact her in this regard.

HOME AFFAIRS FACES NEW CASE OVER FAILURE TO OPEN REFUGEE OFFICE IN CT

HOME AFFAIRS FACES NEW CASE OVER FAILURE TO OPEN REFUGEE OFFICE IN CT

EWN – 11 May 2018
CAPE TOWN – The Home Affairs Department’s failure to open a Cape Town Refugee Reception office is being challenged in court.
It’s not the first time.
Home Affairs says it’s still waiting on the Department of Public Works to find suitable premises for the office.

In December, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the department to open an office by the end of March.
The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, the Somali Association of South Africa and the Legal Resources Centre have launched a new case to get the department to comply with an order to open a Refugee Reception office.
Scalabrini’s Miranda Madikane said: “We want to affect the court order and not to punish those responsible for not obeying the law. We’ve asked the High Court to appoint a special master to arbitrate the process.”
The organisations are also seeking a judgment relating to the renewal of asylum permits in Cape Town in cases where applications were lodged in other parts of South Africa.
The Cape Town office has been closed for almost six years and, currently, new asylum seekers cannot apply at Customs House on the Foreshore.
Home Affairs says it’s still waiting on the Department of Public Works to find suitable premises for the office

Spotlight on travel facilitation and security

Spotlight on travel facilitation and security
Apr 18 2018 – Fin24

Cape Town – The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on Wednesday issued its support for the outcomes of the meeting of G20 tourism in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This includes recognition that the use of technology, such as biometrics, for travel facilitation and security was vital to sustain the growing numbers of travellers. It could result in the number of jobs created by tourism increasing by more than 7 million over the next ten years.

The “T20″ meeting of tourism ministers of the G20 countries was hosted by Argentina in Buenos Aires around the theme of “Future of Work – sustainable tourism as a driver of employment”.

Speaking at the meeting, Gloria Guevara Manzo, president and CEO of WTTC said: “Given its impressive growth forecasts and high levels of job generation, travel and tourism is a sector which will play an increasing role in inclusive and sustainable development. As the private sector, we want to maximise job creation and are working hard to ensure we have the right engagement, training and career development programmes in place.”

However, WTTC is concerned that the combination of infrastructure capacity constraints and more stringent security requirements for travellers will result in huge inefficiencies across the system and impact tourism growth and job creation in the future.
Research shows that current and future capacity constraints could mean that between 8% and 21% of forecast growth in air travel cannot be supported. According to WTTC data, if this situation is addressed between 7 and 19 million jobs can be created.

Guevara said WTTC is delighted that G20 governments, by means of their delegations at the T20 meeting, have recognised the opportunity of technology to address such constraints, and consider the utilisation of biometrics as a starting point.
“Biometrics has already been identified by the UN as a recommended means of improving security by identifying terrorists and the technologies currently in use have already been seen to increase efficiencies and improve the customer experience. It is by making travel easier that we will meet the future demand for travel and ultimately increase the number of jobs created by the sector,” she said.

Across G20 countries travel and tourism contributes $6.3trn to GDP (9.1% of GDP) and generates 208 million jobs, 1 in 11 of all jobs. The G20 countries form some of the largest inbound and outbound tourism economies, and altogether account for 76% of the world’s travel and tourism GDP.

‘Computer says no to court order’

‘Computer says no to court order’
Orphans in limbo as documents unable to be issued due to IT glitches
– 11 May 2018 – The Herald
The Department of Home Affairs has admitted that a computer problem does not allow it to issue the correct paperwork for undocumented children – even if a judge orders them to do so.
In a heartbreaking case, the matter of two orphans, whose mother brought one of them to South Africa from the Congo and then died here, was once again heard before Judge Glenn Goosen.
The children had been stuck without paperwork for 511 days by yesterday – meaning they cannot be placed in foster care.
In legal documents placed before the court yesterday, officials said that despite being compelled by a court order to do so, they had not been able to assist as their computer system would not allow them to do so.
Counsel for the children, Advocate Lilla Crouse SC, from Legal Aid SA, said the department’s conduct was reprehensible and not in line with its values.
Crouse said: “It is 23 years since the law has changed and the department still has a programme problem.”
Legislation on South African citizenship, residency and travel documents changed in 1995 to amplify, among other things, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Crouse said: “The answer they gave was dismissive to the extreme. [They] hide behind this defective computer programme.
“We have a court order that is now meaningless because it cannot be carried out.”
She asked that Goosen order the department to update its computer programme to bring it in line with the law within three months.
She wants the court to add Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and director-general Mkuseli Apleni to a possible application for contempt of court.
Crouse, assisted by Liesl Fourie from the Refugee Rights Centre at Nelson Mandela University, said documents before the court showed that officials were protecting the minister and director-general, assuring them that they “were safe and they were not in the immediate reach of the court”.
“The highest-ranking officials in the department should be held liable for these human rights abuses,” Crouse argued.
She said as the children had nowhere else to go they were being held in a place of safety alongside children in conflict with the law. “Their lives could be in danger,” she said. Advocate Nazeer Cassim SC, representing the Department of Home Affairs, said he could not quarrel with the frustration of the children’s legal team.
“We are all South Africans here. We know the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba has been giving citizenship to people with the surname Gupta.”
He said he agreed the children should receive emergency exemption status. He said the department had complied with the court order as far as it was able.
The children’s Congolese mother died of Aids-related complications in Port Elizabeth, but social workers have been unable to place the six-year-old boy and his 13-year-old half-sister in foster care, or in a children’s home, because they are undocumented. Following a previous attempt to force Home Affairs to help the children, Judge Elna Revelas declared the failure by the department unconstitutional.
Abraham Hayman, a social worker from the ACVV, said in court papers he had been appointed as the case worker for the children.
Hayman said the girl had been born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when her mother was only 14.
The two travelled to South Africa to look for the mother’s sister, a child soldier who had been forced to flee the DRC.
Hayman said while the mother thought her sister had come to South Africa, she was in fact back in the DRC.
The mother then became involved with a Zimbabwean man and they had a child, the 13-year- old’s half-brother.
The mother was given a handwritten, unabridged birth certificate that did not include the identity of the six-year-old’s father, who died on June 10 2013.
The mother fell ill in 2016 and died of HIV-related complications in August of that year.
Goosen will give judgment within 14 days.

Woman had to buy fake permit to get child into school

Woman had to buy fake permit to get child into school

10 May 2018 – Groundup
No place at school without a study permit, but no study permit without a place in school, complain Zimbabwean parents
Zimbabwean families caught between the departments of Home Affairs and Education are resorting to buying fake documents in order to register their children at schools in South Africa.
Some schools will not accept immigrant children without a study permit from Home Affairs. But Home Affairs will not issue a study permit without proof of acceptance from a school, say immigrants.
Stuck between the two departments, families are buying fake study permits for about R300.
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer, said schools were required to issue a letter to foreign learners who had been provisionally accepted. This letter should be sufficient for Home Affairs to issue a study permit.
But some schools are not doing so. “I visited four schools in Retreat trying to register for grade 1 for my child but I could not,” said one Zimbabwean mother, who has been in South Africa since 2008.
“All the schools required the child’s study permit or asylum seeker’s document. The two government departments are ruining our children. The requirements are pushing our children out of school,” she says.
The mother, who is on a Zimbabwe Special Permit, which she renewed last year, says she bought fake asylum-seeker documents for her child, and used these to get a document from the school. Now she is planning to visit Home Affairs with the legitimate school documents, get a study permit, and throw away the fake documents.
“Though I am planning to get a proper study permit it will take time because again I have to produce R1,350 for the study permit. I need to work for months for that money. I could take my child back home to Zimbabwe, but I cannot stay separated from my child,” she says.
She works as a childminder.
Another Zimbabwean mother, who did not want to be named, tried to register her child for grade R, without success, though she has been in South Africa since 2009 on a Zimbabwe Special Permit.
Her five-year-old was born in South Africa but has no birth certificate.
“After visiting several schools I resorted to a fake study permit which I submitted to one of the schools,” she says.
She is planning to apply for a visitor’s visa for her child.
Thabo Mokgola, media liaison officer at Home Affairs, said parents should apply for study permits for their children while they are still in Zimbabwe. The parents of Zimbabwean children born in South Africa should get a birth certificate from the department, then a passport from the Zimbabwean Embassy, and then apply for a study permit.
Parents should contact the District Office for assistance if schools are not complying, said Shelver.

Organisations across the board can thrive in the smart technology era, and lower the probability of being disrupted by competitors on multiple fronts.

Organisations across the board can thrive in the smart technology era, and lower the probability of being disrupted by competitors on multiple fronts.
Register now to attend Meeting of Minds: ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018 at The Forum, Bryanston on 1 and 2 August. Jacques Ludik will join other industry leaders in discussing their experience of the best practices for artificial intelligence, machine learning, IOT and robotics.

Moreover, implementing end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can lead to myriad business benefits, including increased productivity and revenue, lowered risk and costs, and enhanced customer experience.
So says Jacques Ludik, president and founder of the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, and CEO and founder of Cortex Logic, who will present on “Solving strategic and operationally relevant problems through operationalising AI, data science, IOT and big data and analytics”, at Meeting of Minds: ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018, to be held at The Forum in Bryanston, on 1 and 2 August.
“Properly implemented AI-based solutions address business value drivers that lead to an optimised business, a satisfied, growing customer base, productive employees and smart systems, which in turn help accelerate decision-making, innovation, collaboration and growth,” he adds.
In addition, smart technologies help businesses that are dissatisfied with their speed or inability to unlock value from big data, IOT and data science, allowing them to tap into state-of-the-art AI to solve strategic and operationally relevant problems.
No roadmap
Speaking of where businesses are going wrong when it comes to harnessing these technologies, Ludik says many businesses don’t have a practical big data and analytics, IOT and AI roadmap, and they don’t appear to measure return on smart technology solutions.
Businesses are typically not focused on implementing end-to-end smart technology solutions, and have divisions that operate in silos, meaning that all of the data available to the company isn’t being harnessed, he says. “Also, many businesses don’t have a solid, scalable data infrastructure and smart data layers.”
Another problem, he says, is that organisations typically struggle when it comes to attracting top talent as well as cultivating the best possible environment for that talent.
Too many organisations, he says, when implementing AI solutions, only do so in a narrow way, such as only offline and not having automated AI which is integrated into the business. “They are not focused on end-to-end full-stack, integrated, scalable and secure solutions, and are not using state-of-the-art AI.”
Also, they are not adaptable and agile, and don’t use all available structured and unstructured data. They are not using an automated champion-challenger approach, and are not collaborating with AI/smart technology partners that can help them to accelerate the operationalisation of smart technology solutions.
Better perspective
Delegates attending Ludik’s talk will discover how end-to-end AI solutions can unlock value from all available structured and unstructured data to increase operational efficiency, effectiveness and revenue, and create strategic value via faster, better and more proactive decisions, enhanced scalability, new business models and revenue growth opportunities.
They will also learn how these solutions can enhance customer experience via real-time, on demand, digital, personalised service delivery, assistance and advice which is enabled via 360-degree insights about the customer, and enable more targeted sales and marketing.
Ludik will also discuss specific solutions and their applications, including strategic business transformation, intelligent virtual assistants, robo-advisors, process optimisation, predictive maintenance, fraud detection, churn prediction, advanced risk scoring, cyber security, medical risk prediction, precision medicine and many more.
Finally, he will discuss working collaboratively with innovative AI partners, and how that can help companies thrive in the smart technology era and be agile, innovative and adapt quickly to remain relevant given the swift pace of change, and disruption to business and society.

Britain’s immigration scandal reveals a lack of humanity

Britain’s immigration scandal reveals a lack of humanity
May 05, 2018 – Arab News
It has become customary for politicians to eventually lose their jobs, not because of their incompetence, not even because they preside over sinister policies, but because they have been found to be untruthful about their work. The phrase they usually roll out in such cases, and which Amber Rudd dutifully employed earlier this week when she was forced to resign as Britain’s Home Secretary, was that she “inadvertently misled Parliament” over targets for removing illegal immigrants – the emphasis being, of course on the “inadvertently.” In a matter of days, Rudd misled her fellow legislators, and by extension the electorate, then on being found out became defiant and evasive about it, only to end up eating humble pie, and lots of it, in her resignation letter to the prime minister.
Last week, when Rudd appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions concerning whether she knew about targets to remove illegal immigrants, she gave a disingenuous picture. In her subsequent resignation letter she claims to take full responsibility, admitting that the information about those targets was available in her department but somehow she was not aware of it. How come this rising star of the Conservative Party, who in a matter of less than a decade was elevated from obscurity to hold one of the most important and complex departments of government, was oblivious to a policy which is at the heart of her party’s creed and electoral promises?
It took a leaked memo, published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, from Rudd to Prime Minister Elizabeth May, in which she set a clear target for increasing enforced removals of immigrants by more than 10 per cent, not only to expose the inaccuracies in her presentation to Parliament but also her party and government’s mentality when it comes to immigration. Her memo leaves little room for doubt about how keen she was to impress the prime minister with her robust approach to tackling illegal immigration. She committed herself to pursue this policy through encouraging officials to concentrate on “arresting, detaining and forcibly removing illegal migrants.” Not only was she was promising to “ruthlessly” uproot these migrants, but also to prioritize Home Office resources to execute that program.
On the face of it, who could argue with a member of Cabinet who is doing nothing more than fulfilling her duty to the public to end the presence of people who reside illegally in the British Isles? Moreover, as she says in her memo to the prime minister, the policy was targeting “organized immigration crime,” to “make sure that we target the gangs and criminals profiting from people trafficking and smuggling.” One can almost hear applause all around for a Home Secretary fighting those nasty criminal traffickers: who wouldn’t like to see them kicked out of the country, or even better, put behind bars?
These people arrived at the shores of this country at the invitation of the British government, due to the severe lack of labor in the years following the end of the Second World War. They helped to put the country back together again. Then the country turned its back on them.
Yossi Mekelberg
It sounded almost plausible, until the scandal of the legal status of the Windrush generation, who were welcomed to Britain as immigrants between the late 1940s and 1971, hit the headlines. Then it became crystal clear that the Home Office is not only trying to remove gangs of outlaws, but also innocent people who have made an immense contribution to their adopted country. These men and women, who arrived in the UK from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and elsewhere in the West Indies and the wider Commonwealth, and their descendants, have been caught up in a Kafkaesque immigration bureaucracy that, after all this time, suddenly demands that they supply proof of their legal right to reside in the UK, even though it was the Home Office who did not keep proper records of their settling in the country, and even went as far as having many of those records destroyed. Many of them were not provided documentation by the British government, and consequently it is difficult, to almost impossible, for the Windrush arrivals to prove they are in the UK legally, even if they have lived and worked here for 70 years. These people arrived at the shores of this country at the invitation of the British government, due to the severe lack of labor in the years following the end of the Second World War. They helped to put the country back together again. Then the country turned its back on them.
In the current anti-immigration atmosphere in the UK, when immigration officers set targets to remove anyone without the correct documentation, the ageing members of the Windrush generation are the softest target. Outrageously, those officers, instructed by their political masters, are lumping together loyal and hard-working migrants with gangs of criminals, and depriving them of their basic rights. It is all done to massage immigration statistics to make them more palatable to right-wing nationalist backbenchers and their allies in certain quarters of the British media. And it is being carried out with a complete lack of humanity.
In their retirement, nearly 60,000 of the Windrush generation who are still non-UK nationals have faced a rude awakening to the fact that they are now without legal rights to stay in the UK and without any right to state benefits, including medical insurance. This is the result of the “hostile environment” policy put in motion by the anti-immigration school of thought led by none other than May in her previous role as Home Secretary. But thanks to the exposure by the media, followed by pressure from Parliament, the Windrush generation has now not only received an apology from the Prime Minister and the outgoing Home Secretary, but also the process of recognizing their rights to remain indefinitely in the country, and with it access to public services, has gathered momentum.
However, the Windrush affair has left a bitter taste in the mouth. It could have been, and should have been, resolved a long time ago, had it not been for the callous and arbitrary approach of politicians and civil servants in their constant attempts to appease and sedate those who are a-priori anti-immigration. There is also a lingering suspicion that this kind of treatment has befallen probably many more who simply accepted their fate and “voluntarily” left the country or were deported, not even knowing their legal rights.
If the government is interested in learning any lesson from this sorry episode, it should learn to treat people who come to work and live in the United Kingdom as human beings and not as numbers. Changing the discourse to one that values the contribution of migrants, instead of regarding them as a burden, might be a good start.

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