WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Tim Harris has been appointed as the new CEO of Wesgro, the trade, investment and tourism promotion agency for the Western Cape, for  three year period Minister Alan Winde announced today. Harris currently is the Investment Officer of the City of Cape Town, and will replace Nils Flaatten from 1 January. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   Despite doom and gloom, South Africans enjoy eating out at restaurants and buying food at take-away outlets, according to a survey by Statistics SA.   October was the third best month in respect of food and beverage expenditure in the past four years, with a total expenditure of almost R4 billion.  R1,8 billion was spent at restaurants and coffee shops, and R1,5 billion at take-away and fast food outlets.  Catering made up the balance.  The food and beverage industry grew by 11,5% year on year, with the take-away/fast food side growing at 15%.  Total expenditure on the food and drink industry was R43 billion in the past year.

*   Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has requested Eskom to communicate its loadshedding schedules more effectively to the public, especially the poorer communities. The schedules are posted on municipal websites, which are not accessible to those residents without internet access.  Eskom has indicated that our country could face loadshedding for another 18 months!  Many were spared loadshedding yesterday, but the probability of it for tomorrow and Friday is ‘high’, Eskom states.

*   SAA is considering closing down some of its unprofitable routes, including Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Beijing, and in selling off a share of its business to Etihad Airways, according to a plan presented by acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.

*   Boland Cellar has released its Reserve No.1 Chenin Blanc Unwooded 2014, which has already won Champion Chenin Blanc at the 2014 SA Young Wine Show, receiving the General Smuts Trophy for overall SA Champion Young Wine. (received via Hatch Communication)

*   The City of Cape Town is to call for an emergency meeting with Eskom about loadshedding, and its impact on its residents, and on the City economy.   Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said: ‘As an administration that uses all the resources at our disposal to build an economically enabling environment and a city that creates and facilitates opportunities for our residents, the current load shedding demands made by Eskom significantly thwart our efforts to make progress possible for business owners, residents and visitors to our city’.  He said in a statement that the City is at ‘the mercy of Eskom, and sometimes receives notice of load shedding just 20 minutes before it must be implemented’.  Pumping of sewage to wastewater treatment works and of fresh water is affected by loadshedding.  The City has acquired back-up generators at the most critical pump stations, at a cost to its income from ratepayers.  Using candles during loadshedding increases the risk of fires.  MyCiTi Bus stations are affected, even though they have Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) for an hour after loadshedding commences.  About 350 out of 1500 traffic lights can continue working without power for 6 hours.  ‘Eskom is also ignoring the fact that tourist season, which is critically important to the Cape Town economy, is upon us. Disruption to hotels, restaurants, theatres and other facilities in the evening and on weekends is as important as disruptions to manufacturing during the week. It is thus incorrect to load power cuts into these no longer ‘out of work hours’ periods’.  The City wants to rotate the load shedding schedule with the blessing of Eskom.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Tel (021) 433-2100, Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook:  click here
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