* Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Tourism Alan Winde will launch three wifi hotspots next week, in Atlantis, George, and Robertson, with Delft to follow two months later, connecting 50000 residents in the province to the internet. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown is talking about ‘collapsing’ SAA, SA Express, and Mango into one airline, which would have one Board of Directors, and create a ‘leaner and meaner‘ airline. Privatisation is not being considered.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has issued a media statement regarding the new Immigration Regulations and their effect on Tourism for the first time. Acting on feedback from hoteliers, travel agents and tour operators in the province, he has announced that he will petition Parliament to ‘suspend’ the new Regulations, which are already leading to tourist cancellations, so that a Regulatory Impact Assessment can be conducted, and a plan formulated for the implementation of the Regulations. He pointed out that the South American region is an important growth market for the province, and will be affected by the need for translation into English of unabridged birth certificates. He also stated that the Johannesburg-Beijing route is already operated by SAA at a loss of over R300 million a year, and that the new Regulations could lead to a 70% decrease in bookings after the Regulations come into effect on 1 October. The Business Tourism sector could also be impacted, in that conference organisers avoid destinations for which they would incur additional costs, such as those for biometric visas. (received via media release from Mr Winde’s office).
* The Cape Leopard Trust Charity Lunch and Auction, held at Leopard’s Leap and organised by Opulent Living, raised R592000 in celebration of the Trust’s 10th anniversary. (received via e-mail from Opulent Living)
* Gielie Beukes is the new winemaker at Doolhoof Wine Estate, working closely with its winemaking consultant Rianie Strydom. He has extensive international winemaking experience. (received via media release from Waterford Communications)
* Grande Provence has added tasty tapas treats, costing R55 each and big enough to share, to a new late afternoon Sundowner menu, served from 15h00 – 18h00. (received via media release from GC Communications)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage