Daily Archives: March 28, 2017

SA still a favourite with international tourists

Pretoria � South Africa has once again proved to be a firm favourite among international tourists as the sector in January recorded an increase in the number of visitors compared with the same month a year ago.

Figures released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Monday show that overseas tourist numbers rose from 14% to 245 074 in January 2017, compared with January 2016.

Visitors from France (34.1%), Sweden (28.6%) and China (28.3%) contributed to the rise.

Tourism contributes about 9% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and was allocated an extra R494 million in the 2017 Budget to help the sector grow.

In March 2016, there were 1 435 879 foreign arrivals to South Africa. In January 2015, visitor numbers fell 6.8%, with many citing the introduction of the new visa regulations as the reason for the dip. Home Affairs introduced the regulations in an effort to curb child trafficking.

After strong objection from the tourism industry, Home Affairs relaxed some of the regulations in February 2016.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has welcomed the growth in tourist numbers, saying it was a positive start to 2017.

According to the Department of Tourism, during the first months of 2016, up to R39.3 billion in foreign direct spend was achieved in South Africa.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SA to promote Special Economic Zones in China

Pretoria - South Africa will embark on a roadshow in China to attract investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs).Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies oversaw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Trade and Indu...

Somaliland Hospital Cares for Malnourished From Drought

ERIGAVO, SOMALILAND � As the breakaway republic of Somaliland grapples with a severe drought, medical workers are struggling to aid people left weakened by malnourishment and hunger.

A 70-year-old hospital in Erigavo, the capital of the Sanaag region, is operating beyond full capacity to treat people affected by the drought. And it's the only hospital in the region.

The drought has left tens of thousands of children acutely malnourished. In desperate need of treatment, they are checked as they lie on the beds in this stabilization center ward.

Ismail Saleban Bowkah, the hospital's director, said most of the children admitted for care come from rural areas.

"The drought forced most pastoralists to move from one area into another.Some came to the cities. But most of the malnourished children admitted here, are from the rural area," Bowkah said.

Aydarus Salah, a 14-month-old boy, weighed just over six kilograms (13 pounds) when he was brought to the hospital from the Darar IDP camp. His mother, fighting back tears, said her son was suffering from severe diarrhea and malnutrition.

Dr. Abdishakur Saleban Warsame said Aydarus is improving and now weighs 7.2 kg (15.8 pounds).

"He was very weak when he was referred here. His weight and height were too low, we put him in the stabilization center as he was in the severely malnourished cafeteria," Warsame said. "The initial phase, he could not take the feeding or the milk, so we inserted the NG tube to increase his feeding, now he still has the NG tube."

Medical officials said some families in the drought-stricken area cannot afford to bring their children to local medical centers. But doctors encourage parents to make the trip if they can.

"In rural areas, sometimes families with malnourished children are not able to bring them to hospitals," Bowkah said. "So, for example, if a mother has 10 kids, and five of them are malnourished, we beg her to bring the sick children to a hospital."

The United Nations has said more than 6 million people across Somalia and Somaliland are in need of help due to the extended drought, which shows no signs of ending.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Thulas Nxesi leads small harbours and state of coastal properties development discussions, 29 Mar

The Department of Public Works, which is responsible for proclaimed small harbours in the country, is starting a consultation process with a number of municipalities across the country as part of its Small Harbours and state coastal properties developm...

SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS SECTOR WANTS PRESIDENT TO EXPLAIN RECALLING GORDHAN

JOHANNESBURG-- South Africa's business sector has urged President Jacob Zuma to swiftly provide more clarity on his decision to recall Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from his international investment promotion to Britain and the United States just as ...