Entries tagged with “Malusi Gigaba”.


imageMore than a year since the introduction of the first onerous Visa Regulations in June last year, an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to the regulations, tremendous news for the Tourism industry.

The new improved revised Visa regulations: (more…)

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*.   Noma owner Chef René Redzepi has announced that he is closing down the tasting menu Noma on 31 December 2016, moving to the Christiania suburb in Copenhagen, where he will build a glass house over a derelict skating park for a new restaurant, and create an urban farm. The produce served as well as the place settings will change as the seasons change.  In January next year Noma sets up a pop-up restaurant in Sydney for 10 weeks.

*   The Western Cape Government’s Tourism department has made a detailed analysis of the new visa regulations, and their (more…)

PassportAlmost daily we see a new report about the damage that the new Immigration Regulations are causing to our country’s Tourism industry, with drastic reductions in the number of tourist arrivals despite a very favorable exchange rate. Interesting too has been the defensive reaction of the Department of Home Affairs to the criticism raised by the Tourism industry, its Minister Malusi Gigaba not wishing to admit to ‘the unintended consequences of South Africa’s new visa regulations‘.

Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to chair a meeting between the two departments, welcome news if he is able to quickly find a solution to the Tourism disaster. The meeting was due to be held today, but has been cancelled as it does not suit the Deputy President’s diary.

Earlier this week Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted to the South African Association for the Conference Industry congress that the visa regulations ‘have had an impact on tourism’. He referred to the Ministerial committee which was appointed to ‘consider and review the unintended consequences‘, and requested the conference industry to commit to work together ‘and make the best of the growth opportunities emerging around us’. He added: ‘I am confident that we will approach that meeting with an intention of finding solutions. I don’t think we should downplay the impact that this has had on our industry‘.

Minister Hanekom suggested that the industry focus on Domestic Tourism, to compensate for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Conferences should be used as a marketing opportunity for promoting leisure tourism to business delegates attending conferences. He referred to the 177 association conferences which will be held in our country in the best five years, to be attended by more than 250000 delegates.

Home Affairs Minister Gigaba has denied that the visa regulations have affected tourist arrivals, as we reported last week. The Tourism industry has been disappointed that it has taken Minister Hanekom so long to publicly take a stand about the visa regulations, and their effect on Tourism, referring to the worrying drop‘ in tourism numbers. He highlighted the 40% decline in tourist from China in the first quarter of this year. The Minister has become bolder in criticising his Home Affairs colleagues, accusing them of using over-inflated numbers to dramatize the ‘child-trafficking‘ problem. He said: ‘Trafficking is a problem, it [the numbers] probably was exaggerated. Some of the figures mooted were not very accurate’.

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PassportsDespite the tourism industry being up in arms about the implementation of the Immigration Regulations pertaining to children travelers, which are effective from today, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has been silent about the matter, which he was asked to address twelve month ago already when he became the Minister of Tourism.

The new regulations prescribe that children under the age of 18 years have to travel with an unabridged birth certificate, which must specify the names of both parents. Travelers (adults and children) from countries for which visa applications have to be made, such as India and China, must apply in person, so that biometric details can be (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Kleine Zalze has won the accolade of Best White Wine for its 2013 Family Reserve, a bush vine Chenin Blanc. at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.  The winning wines were evaluated by more than 320 judges from 50 countries.

*  Actors Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are to wed in South Africa, in Soweto in August, it is speculated (more…)

Cape Town Stadium and Table MountainThe DA-run Western Cape government appears to becoming embroiled in a political battle with the ANC government about the Immigration Regulations.  Earlier this week the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba demonstrated his arrogance when he was called to appear before a Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture Standing Committee.

After having failed to appear before the Standing Committee in September, Minister Gigaba was sent a summons to appear earlier this week.  The Minister dismissed the Standing Committee’s request to delay the implementation of the Immigration Regulations, particularly the requirement that tourists have to apply for the visa in person, saying that he had not been given any (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde has slammed the national Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba for the Immigration Regulations, at Public Hearings on their impact on the tourism industry held today and which continue tomorrow.  The media release from the Minister’s office says that ‘… Home Affairs had stuck the band-aid far from the wound: It became immediately clear to all that tests had not been done into the impact of these rules on law-abiding businesses and private citizens, versus those who do defy the rules. While the former are being pushed away, it appears the latter are unaffected. I have called on the National Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba, to retract his new rules in toto until a  full investigation into their impact has been conducted, and until such time as we have the systems in place to back them up. He also needs to find the right mechanisms to address our problems’.  The cost to the economy of the Regulations is R10 billion and 21000 jobs, and contradict efforts to grow the tourism industry, he added.  The call-centre and film industries are severely effected too.   (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   Four Nobel Laureates have cancelled their trip to Cape Town to attend next month’s World Summit of Nobel Laureates, in reaction to the Department of Home Affairs refusing to provide the Dalai Lama with a visa to attend the Summit. The (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   It is unbelievable that, after almost three months of pressure on Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, he has relented today, and agreed to delay the implementation of the unabridged birth certificate until 1 June 2015, just two weeks before the new Immigration Regulations were meant to apply from 1 October.  The requirement of the permission of the other parent for the child to travel with one parent has also been delayed to June. On Friday the Minister announced at a media conference that the Regulations would be retained, and that a task team would evaluate the most effective implementation of them! One wonders what swayed the Minister to change his mind, after having been so stubborn for the past ten weeks!  The personal application of biometric visas remains in place from 1 October.

*   Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has been quick to welcome Minister Gigaba’s announcement, but demands more:  ‘It is my intention to ensure that a full impact study is conducted on them and handed to Minister Gigaba prior to them being reintroduced.  The regulations that have already been implemented are threatening livelihoods in the sector. I will continue to push for their postponement too, until such time as a regulatory impact assessment has been conducted.  Gigaba has now shown a willingness to work with other government departments and industry to mitigate the effects of his legislation on our economy and jobs, and I hope he will continue to take positive steps in this regard. The decision to place these two regulations on hold opens the door for South Africa to explore ways of becoming cutting edge. Through the use of smart technology, such as electronic visas, we can solve the problem of illegals while at the same time making our region more attractive to business and leisure tourists’. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   The 2014 Unilever Food Solutions Senior Chef of the Year is Germaine Esau from Delaire Graff, while the Junior Chef title went (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The introduction of low prices by domestic airlines when FlySafair takes off next month will not be permanent, its competitor Mango has stated.   Prices of all airlines may be lower for the first few weeks, but these are not sustainable in the long run, the competitor spokespersons have said.

*   ‘At the present moment, the clock has not stopped’, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told a media conference on Friday, meaning that the new Immigration Regulations will be implemented on 1 October.  There is no timeframe for the completion of the work of the task team, which will be appointed to evaluate how the regulations can be better implemented.  The Minister confirmed on Friday that the Regulations themselves will not change.

*   When asked about the sudden resignation of Jan Hutton, Chief Marketing Officer at SA Tourism, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said there ‘are many sides of a story’, and said that he did not want to interfere with the SA Tourism’s Board handling of (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*   Cape Town Film Studios is likely to expand to meet demand for its facilities for the increasing use of Cape Town as a location for movies and TV commercials.  It is working at full capacity, and has had to reject 32 productions in the past year due to capacity restraints.    Two new studios are planned to be ready by next year, and to double its capacity by 2017.   Not only the location beauty, but also the wardrobe and set building services offered in Cape Town are highly regarded.  The Western Cape film industry was worth R 5 billion, and more than 7000 film permits were requested in the past year.

*   Tough new packaging and marketing guidelines protecting children under 18 years are being considered by the Department of Health for marketing ‘unhealthy foodstuffs to children‘, including those which are high in sugar, fat, and salt, and ‘nutrient poor food and/or non-alcoholic beverage‘.  Advertising, promotions, and TV sponsorships for unhealthy foodstuffs aimed at children will be prohibited, as will be the use of cartoon characters, celebrities, puppets, and computer animation in their marketing of foodstuffs to children.

*   The 40th Nederburg Auction yesterday generated R7 million is sales. The Nederburg Auction website has not yet been updated to reflect this result. (seen via Twitter)

*   Department of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced on Friday (less than 3 weeks prior to implementation) that a task (more…)