Daily Archives: October 6, 2016

Marriott International Rapidly Expands its Footprint across Africa

Leading hospitality company announces 6 new deals, 1 new brand, over 1100 rooms

Amdec Group Continues to introduce Marriott’s global brands into South Africa

Sheraton Mauritius is Marriott’s first signed deal since completing the acquisition

KIGALI, Rwanda, Oct. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Marriott International continues its robust expansion across the African continent with news of brand-new signings of new properties in Cape Town, Nairobi, Cairo and Mauritius. This announcement comes hot on the heels of Marriott’s recently completed acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which has created the world’s largest hospitality. The transaction has increased Marriott’s distribution in Africa, thus affirming the company’s number one position across the continent.

Marriott International, Inc. logo,

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160922/411014LOGO

“The past couple of weeks have seen an incredible transformation for our company, and I am proud to say that we are continuing the momentum with our expansion and development plans across the African continent,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.  “We officially opened the Kigali Marriott Hotel yesterday, under the patronage of His Excellency, The Honourable Prime Minister Murekezi, and today we announce six new deals across Africa, which when open, are expected to bring our total African property and room count to 205 and 37,000 respectively.”

These new signings comprise over 1100 rooms, and include AC by Marriott’s brand entry into Africa. The Cape Town deals are in partnership with the Amdec Group, Marriott’s long term partner and owners of the new Marriott Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, announced last year and currently under development.  The Amdec Group has been instrumental in bringing in Marriott International’s global brands into South Africa, as they were the first to announce Marriott Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments and now AC by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott into the market.  The AC Hotel Cape Town Waterfront will be located at the gateway to Cape Town’s waterfront, while Harbour Arch will be the site of the 200-room Cape Town Marriott Hotel Foreshore and the 150-room Residence Inn by Marriott Cape Town Foreshore.

The first deal to be signed since Marriott’s completed acquisition, and further consolidating Marriott International’s presence on Mauritius, the globally renowned Sheraton brand will make a landmark debut on the island with Sheraton Mauritius St Felix Resort and The Residences at Sheraton Mauritius St Felix Resort. Owned by Clear Ocean Hotel Resorts Limited, the resort will be a part of a mixed use development with a boutique retail mall and branded residences. Scheduled to open in early 2020, the resort will feature 152 well-appointed guestrooms and suites and 37 branded apartments and villas.

The first Element Hotels property signed in Egypt will be the largest Element Hotel in the Middle East and Africa. Situated in Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis district and scheduled to open in 2019, Element Cairo is developed by Abraj Misr Urban Development and owned by Middle East Real Estate for Development (MERED). A part of the iconic new smart and ecofriendly development, The Gate Project, the largest housing, administrative, commercial, project in Egypt and the Middle East, Element Cairo will feature 344 light-filled rooms and an atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance and on the move.

Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi, Hurlingham, is the brand’s second hotel in the city, strategically located in the upmarket suburb close to the city center and within easy access from the surrounding business areas of Westlands, Kilimani and Nairobi Central. Owned by Kamcan Properties Ltd, the 96 room hotel is a conversion from an existing hotel, will be operated under a franchise arrangement, and is expected to open in 2017.

“These news deals are testament to our combined development efforts going forward, as there are significant growth synergies between the brands and our newly combined company, with a focus on expending brands across the region, and looking for opportunities in new markets,” concluded Mr. Kyriakidis.

Continuing to capitalize on opportunities within the region, Marriott International has set a clear objective to be represented in all major gateway cities, commercial centers and established resort destinations while catering to a wide variety of market segments. Each of Marriott International’s brands, including those in the pipeline, target a specific segment and support the increased inflow of visitors within that segment.

About Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 5,700 properties in over 110 countries. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company’s 30 leading brands include: Bulgari Hotels and Resorts®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, Moxy Hotels®, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com and @MarriottIntl.

Note on forward-looking statements: This communication contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including expected future hotel openings and locations and statements about the benefits of the transaction, including expected synergies and enhanced revenue opportunities for the combined company, that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the “Risks Related to the Starwood Combination” and other risk factors that we identify in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q that we filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this communication. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this communication, and undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

South Africa: Police Committee Says Violent Incidents At University Campuses Require Restraint and Cool Heads

The Portfolio Committee on Police has noted with grave concern the increase in incidents of violence and damage to property at some university campuses.

According to Committee Chairperson Mr Francois Beukman, the Committee is disturbed by these incidents and calls on all relevant parties to act in accordance with the law and ensure conduct that is in line with democratic principles and non-violence.

“It is disconcerting to note that a small group of individuals, in some instances, want to escalate the conflict to levels that will require more drastic measures from law-enforcement agencies. This approach should be avoided at all costs and tertiary institutions should prioritise dialogue and conflict-resolution processes to address this trend,” said Mr Beukman.

The Committee also noted with concern the number of police officers who have been injured in the process. It also encouraged members of the public, including students, to lodge any complaints regarding the conduct of police officers with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Mr Beukman welcomed the assurance by the Acting National Police Commissioner that members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) will act with maximum restraint and minimum force to de-escalate conflict situations.

Equally, Mr Beukman said where there are breaches of the law and incidents of damage to property and where the lives of citizens are at risk, SAPS must act in line with its constitutional obligation to prevent and combat crime, to maintain public order, and protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property.

“There is a duty on all relevant role players to show restraint and act with responsibility to ensure that the SAPS can fulfil its constitutional obligation,” added Mr Beukman.

Mr Beukman further said the fact that SAPS resources have been redirected to deal with the campus incidents and away from visible policing and crime-prevention in communities, though not ideal, is an indication that violent incidents should not be tolerated.

Mr Beukman said that all sectors of the community have a contribution to make in ensuring that South Africa is a safe and peaceful environment for all its citizens. The National Development Plan is very clear, in that it says SAPS should serve the community, safeguard lives and property without discrimination, and protect the peaceful against violence and the weak against intimidation, and respect the constitutional rights of all to equality and justice.

The Portfolio Committee on Police therefore expects SAPS management to ensure that this approach is implemented. “Safer communities are only a reality if all citizens act in accordance with the law and act within the framework of the Constitution,” Mr Beukman said.

Source: Parliament of South Africa.

MEC Dan Plato attends Vredenburg cluster Policing Needs and Priorities consultation, 7 to 8 Oct

This weekend, Friday 7 October 2016 to Saturday 8 October 2016, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety will host the Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) determination consultation sessions for the Vredenburg policing cluster, in Hopefield.

Western Cape MEC of Community Safety will attend the second day, Saturday 8 October 2016, of the consultation process. This is in support of the key feature of the 2016/17 PNP process which sees the extensive training and workshopping with the Neighbourhood Watches and Community Policing Forums � the pulse of citizen-led safety interventions in our communities.

The communities of Eendekuil, Hopefield, Laaiplek, Langebaan, Piketberg, Porterville, Redelinghuys, Saldanha, St Helena Bay and Vredenburg have the opportunity over the next two days to determine their policing needs and priorities and to contribute to the Safety Plan, as a safety blueprint for communities which provides a shared ownership, responsibility and accountability to safety.

The consultative PNP engagements will include representatives of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Municipalities, Community Police Forums (CPFs), Community Safety Forums (CSF), non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, faith based organisations, Neighbourhood Watches (NHW), and other local safety stakeholders.

This weekend’s consultation sessions forms part of the annual determination of the policing needs and priorities in the province which will see the Department of Community Safety holding public consultation sessions for each of the 16 police clusters between May and October this year.

There will be an opportunity for photographs and interviews.

All media are invited.

Details: PNP: Safety Feedback, PNP Determination and review of Safety Plans

Date: Friday, 7 October 2016

Time: 8h30 � 16h00

Venue: Hopefield Thusong Centre, 575 Dwarsweg Street, Hopefield.

Details: PNP: Workshopping NHW and CPF partnerships, EPP support and CSA

Date: Saturday, 8 October 2016

Time: 8h30 � 14h00 � MEC Plato’s opening address at 9h05

Venue: Hopefield Thusong Centre, 575 Dwarsweg Street, Hopefield.

Source: Government of South Africa

Human Settlements to assist with student accommodation challenges

The Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, MP, has told delegates at the Inaugural Human Settlements Conference that her Department, working together with the Department of Higher Education and Training will develop a model to assist in increasing student accommodation around universities.

The Minister added that she would be meeting with Developers and Private investors and owners of buildings in the inner cities to work out a plan and model. “As Government we believe that some of the rundown buildings in our inner cities can be used for accommodating students, we believe this can be a chance for young developers to enter the property market. We are working on this as an urgent project, l have asked the Director General to work with the Director General of Higher Education and Training on how we can do this”

Addressing the conference the Minister confirmed that all submissions made on Catalytic Projects have been reviewed and independent assessment of projects is almost done and an announcement will be made before the end of the year after submitting the report to Cabinet.

Minister also challenged the University of Nelson Mandela to conduct urgent research on change of ownership in the Government subsidised housing sector. “I am very concern that initial results of our desk top research suggest that many of our beneficiaries are selling their houses, some illegally and legally, our legislation is clear, you need to live in the house for more than eight years”, she added.

The conference is reviewing policy launched in 2004 towards the finalisation of the National White Paper on Human Settlements. It is attended by political leaders, academic, practitioners, NGOs and

senior government officials.

The Minister also indicated that the National Department assisted by the Housing Development Agency (HAD) and the National Home Builders Regulatory Council (NHBRC) will continue to support all municipalities. “Our priority is ensuring that the grant transferred to Metros and Municipalities is used and accounted for, we also prioritise ensuring that all of them have skills and capacity”, she

added.

The two – day conference currently underway in Port Elizabeth is organised by the Nelson Mandela Metro University and the National Department of Human Settlements, the Nelson Mandela Metro, and all institutions.

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA SHARPENS ITS RESEARCH QUALITY

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says the launch of a South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap is significant, as it will give researchers access to world class scientific knowledge to help them produce quality research outcomes.

The Minister said this when she addressed scientists at the launch of the roadmap document at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday night.

The overall objective of the roadmap is to provide a strategic, rational, medium to long-term framework for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the provision of research infrastructures necessary for a competitive and sustainable national system of innovation.

The roadmap was also developed with the understanding that access to adequate and relevant research infrastructure is essential to promote the outcomes and quality of research.

In order to maximise the return from investment in research, scientists and researchers must have access to modern and appropriate infrastructure, she said.

The launch of the roadmap document took place on the sidelines of the International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI) 2016.

The roadmap is an initiative of the European Commission and South Africa through the two parties’ trade agreement.

It is expected that the roadmap will provide guidance to the Department of Science and Technology on the deployment of infrastructure to enable research, development and innovation.

It is also expected to allow the country to set national priorities and to earmark funds for development and participation in pan-European research infrastructure activities.

The Minister said world class research infrastructure is the basis for building competitive knowledge-based activities.

She said research infrastructure attracts the best scientists and innovators.

One of the strategies South Africa has pursued, with strong support from global partners, has been to develop big science infrastructure projects as a means of attracting scientific talent, the Minister said.

This includes the iconic Square Kilometre Array radio-telescope project, which brings together scientists in disciplines such as mathematics, physics, computer science and other fields working in Africa to build the largest scientific infrastructure on the continent.

The Minister said the success of South Africa’s bid to host the SKA was dependent on being able to demonstrate the country’s ability to capture, process and then disseminate data from the telescopes to the rest of the world.

Apart from the complicated mathematical and computer science skills necessary to achieve this, massive computational resources to process the images, high speed networks to disseminate the data and large data stores are essential.

For this reason, the department also invested in the key components of the national cyber-infrastructure system, namely, the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), the South African National Research Network (SANReN) and the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA).

All the national cyber-infrastructure system is implemented at the CSIR, she said.

She said the roadmap is the apex of a long and deep commitment by South Africa to infrastructure development.

The Minister said over the last eight years, the department has invested more than R2.7 billion in research and development infrastructure, R1.5 billion in cyber-infrastructure and R3.5 billion in the MeerKAT and SKA project.

The South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap signals South Africa’s ongoing commitment to invest in infrastructure development and support, complementing existing infrastructure and research equipment programmes, not replacing them, she said.

The Minister said as a consequence of long-term government support, South Africa has a comparatively well-established infrastructure base, including the National Facilities of the NRF, many science councils, and a significant scientific equipment base.

She said the department has signed agreements with international research infrastructures such as European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Joint Institute for Nuclear Physics (JINR), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), in terms of which South African researchers and students have access to such facilities.

Source: Nam News Network