* The South African Reserve Bank announced today that it will increase the interest rate by 0,25 %!
* The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will close for its annual maintenanceon Monday 27 July until 9 August. Maintenance work will be undertaken, and the cable car cabins will be upgraded too. The maintenance work is overseen by Swiss engineers, to meet the global cableway safety standards of the Swiss Governing Body for Cableways.
* The price of petrol will increase by R1,60 per litre in the Cape at midnight tomorrow, unfortunately not an April Fool’s joke, driving the price of petrol to R12,46. The higher price reflects the higher oil price, the weaker $/Rand exchange rate, and the increase in the Road Accident Fund levy announced in the 2015/16 Budget last month.
* Well-known UK wine writer and judge Jamie Goode has selected his top 10 South African wines: Sadie Family Pofadder Cinsault 2012, Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2013, Rall White 2012, Iona Chardonnay 2013, Savage Red 2012, Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Mullineux Semillon Gris 2013, Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact 2011, De Morgenzon DMZ Reserve Syrah 2012, Beeslar Pinotage 2012, and Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2008.
* Cape Town harbour does not appear to be able to cope with the influx of tourists coming off cruise ships. Earlier this week about 2000 passengers on the MSC Opera were stuck on board as there were only four customs officials to deal with the passengers who wanted to go on land to explore Cape Town, and those that wanted to board for the next leg of the cruise. Provincial Minister of Tourism Alan Winde described the incident as a ‘major setback for cruise ship tourism in the city‘. The departure time of the ship was delayed by two hours.
* Minister Alan Winde will petition Parliament tomorrow to suspend the new Immigration Regulations, coinciding with the start of Tourism Month. The new regulations are already leading to booking cancellations or reduced business, with a number of international tour operators no longer marketing our country as a result of the regulation requirements. The Western Cape economy will be badly affected due to the drop in tourism, Minister Winde says. A 12 month delay in implementing the Regulations will be requested. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* Fox recommends seven things to do in Cape Townthat will make you feel like a local: understanding the struggle by visiting Robben Island; meet the people of Cape Town in the townships; get to know the Cape Malay culture and cuisine in Bo-Kaap; shop at the V&A Waterfront, Chandler House, Merchants on Long, Olive Green Cat, the Woodstock Exchange, and Old Biscuit Mill; chill at the beach in Camps Bay or Hout Bay, and eat there; do a wine tour in Franschhoek, including La Petite Ferme, Haute Cabriere, and Môreson; and eat out at The Test Kitchen, the Pot Luck Club, Bizerca, and Charly’s Bakery.
* Bruwer Raats wines have scored well in the Tim Atkin Report, due to be launched on 1 July: the MR de Compostella 2012 scored 95 out of 100; Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012 and Family Cabernet Franc 2012 scored 93; Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2012 and Family Red Jasper 2012 scored 92; and Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2012 scored 91. (received via media release from Peridot Communications) Continue reading →
* The price of petrol is to drop by 22 cents a liter from Wednesday 4 June, in part due to a stronger Rand, good news for Tourism. (via Kfm news)
* Just when SA Tourism is looking to position South Africa’s tourism product more broadly than just as wildlife and safaris, the Lonely Planet has named our country as the world’s best Wildlife Destinationfor the third year running!
* MasterChef Australia, for many South Africans the benchmark of MasterChef programs, is facing the threat of being closed down if audience numbers don’t improve in its sixth season.
* The ANC is taking the City of Cape Town to court over its new logo, claiming that there was no public participation process for its approval. The City had previously announced that the new logo would not be implemented until after the election on Wednesday, but it is being used on all new communication material already! The cost for its design is also being disputed by the political party, for being exorbitant!
* A Canadian wine writer chose Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (no vintage revealed) as one of nine Rosé wines from around the world, and a (KWV) Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2012 for one of his four white wine recommendations.
* Franschhoek has been named as our country’s favourite Winelands destination, and the third most popular Continue reading →
* To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Amarula brand, Distell is launching a new spirit Amarula Gold this month. The new 30% spirit is described as ‘aromatic and vibrantly fruity with intriguingly spicy notes and a very smooth texture’.
* Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk is attending the second World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank in Switzerland this weekend. This year the focus is on ‘Infrastructure and Investment’, with attention on financing tourism and travel infrastructure.
* The Franschhoek Literary Festival will be held between 16 and 18 May, and 170 authors will speak on various topics. Speakers include poets Adam Small and Breyten Breytenbach; heavy-weight writers Damon Galgut and Mark Gevisser; and controversial writers Andre Brink, Max du Preez, and Tim Noakes. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho, as well as former FNB MD and now Mxit Chairman Michael Jordaan will also participate in the pregramme.
* The 4000 strong penguin colony at Betty’s Bay is under threat from a diesel spill Continue reading →
* The BRICS nations’ Ministers of Science and Technology will meet in Cape Town on 10 and 11 February, to discuss matters of mutual interest regarding innovation, science, and technology. Derek Hanekom, our Minister of Science and Technology, will lead the discussions. A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed too, reports The New Age.
* Beer sales are down in Germany, a trend which has been evident for the past seven years, and have reached the lowest level of sales in the past 25 years! UK beer sales by contrast have increased in the past two quarters, for Continue reading →