* Shocking news is that acting CEO of SAA Nico Bezuidenhout has been moved back to head up Mango with immediate effect. No explanation for his sudden move has been made, and no announcement as to his successor made. The move may link to the media report which stated that Bezuidenhout had revealed that a deal with Emirates had been stopped in the 11th hour by a high-ranking Parliamentary official. Officially, the move is linked to a Bezuidenhout having completed his 90-day turnaround plan for the airline.
* Asian hospitality group Dusit International has signed an agreement with local eLan Property Group to manager two South African, two Mozambique, and one Mauritius property. What is interesting is that the agreement was signed in Franschhoek, intimating that one of the local hotels may be based in the village. Franschhoek already has attracted the hospitality investments of Mr Analjit Singh of the Leeu Collection, and of Sir Richard Branson.
* Van Ryn 12 Year Old Distillers Reserve received a Gold Outstanding award and was named overall winner of the trophy for Worldwide Best Brandy at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. Van Ryn has won the trophy four times. South African brandies won 22 medals at the Competition. (received via media release from Manley Communications)
* Innovative wine producer Audacia is adding a world-first ‘No Sulphite Added’ Rooibos-wooded white wine to its range, Western Cape Tourism Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde has announced. Adding honeybush and Rooibos wood chips removes the need to add sulphur to preserve wine. Audacia owner Trevor Strydom is patenting his winemaking method in 80 countries, and will share the technique locally on a licensing basis. He is also working on ‘low kilojoules, low alcohol’ wines. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* The estimate of the petrol price decrease next month looks more favorable than forecast earlier this month, the Automobile Association speculating that it will be 47 – 49 cents a liter, and a decrease of 70 cents a liter for diesel.