Welcome to SouthAfrica.info – SAinfo, for short – the online gateway to South Africa.If you’re a South African at home or abroad, or if you’re interested in visiting or investing in the country, this site is for you!SAinfo is published by Brand South Africa.The website aims to:Provide an overview of the country’s myriad attractions and opportunities, particularly for investors, tourists, foreign diplomats and researchers. Provide a user-friendly guide to sources of public information across the national spectrum – from work permits to investor guidelines, golf courses to taxation, the education system to whale watching. Promote South Africa in all its aspects: form positive first impressions about the country, challenge ingrained misconceptions, and counterbalance prevailing “bad news”. For more information about the website, e-mail Brand South Africa.For more information about Brand South Africa, visit www.brandsouthafrica.com.
8 September 2008South African wine exports are soaring in defiance of the international economic slowdown, says Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch, with over 363-million litres sold offshore in the 12 months to July 2008, an increase of 27% on the previous 12 months.“This is way ahead of the originally anticipated target of 300-million litres a year we were hoping to achieve by 2010,” Birch said in statement a few weeks ahead of Nedbank Cape Wine 2008, South Africa’s biggest wine exhibition, taking place in Cape Town from 23 to 25 September.“The momentum appears to be continuing, despite even tougher trading conditions since the start of this year,” Birch said. “Export volumes are up 31% for the first seven months of 2008, thanks not only to a weaker rand and the continued strength of big brands in markets such as the UK, Sweden and Canada, but also the emergence of buyers in developing markets such as Angola and south-east Asia.”Birch said exports had also been fuelled by rising rose sales, up 60% on the previous year, as local producers successfully catered to the thirst for pink wines on international markets.Wider geographical reachIt was significant, Birch added, that sales had occurred across a far wider geographic reach.“Whereas in 2003, the UK and the Netherlands accounted for 72% of all South Africa’s packaged wine exports, today the UK and the Netherlands, together with Sweden, Germany, Denmark and the US, make up 72% of these sales. At the same time, there is growing interest in our wines from countries in Africa and the East.”The UK was still South Africa’s largest wine export destination, however, with growth resuming in that market. “Our exports of packaged wines are up 35% in the UK, and we have recovered market share lost in 2006,” Birch said. “That most of the key UK retailers are coming to Nedbank Cape Wine 2008 is also a very affirming sign.”The shift in the composition of South Africa’s biggest customers had seen Germany overtaking the Netherlands to become South Africa’s second-largest wine market.“South Africa is also the biggest New World supplier to Germany, measured in value,” Birch said. “Although the Netherlands has moved down to third-biggest export destination, local wines have assumed the biggest value and volume share of the New World category in that country.“The fourth biggest destination is Africa, where resource-rich economies are flourishing and traders recognise the cost-efficiencies of sourcing within the sub-Saharan region, as opposed to in Europe, its traditional source of wines.”South Africa was also the biggest volume player in Sweden, and the fastest-growing New World producer in most Canadian markets.Concern over bulk exportsSounding a note of caution, Birch said there was some concern about the high growth in bulk wine exports, that had risen over 50% for the 12 months to July, with many importers electing to bottle in Europe.“Our bottling costs are not always globally competitive, and this is being exacerbated by escalating input costs faced by producers. Wineries are now facing increases of up to 17.5% in the cost of dry goods, which encourages them to sell in bulk where viable.“This is not a good way to build brands, or to protect the employment of the countless families who depend on the packaging industry for their income.”She also stressed that while exports were expected to continue rising, it would not be possible to maintain such high levels of growth. “We were able to take advantage of the shortfall in Australian and certain European markets as a result of their poor harvest, but their current supply is returning to more normal levels.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Brand South Africa board member Anitha Soni shares what she hopes to be the outcome of the Global Diaspora Summit 2012 taking place in Sandton City, Johannesburg. She also relays what Africa Day 25th May means to her. Click arrow to play video.
23 September 2013 The South African government has condemned the terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya in which at least 68 people, including a South African, were killed and around 200 people injured. President Zuma, on behalf of the government and people of South Africa, on Sunday expressed his shock and dismay at Saturday’s attack. Zuma expressed his sympathy and deepest condolences to the family of the South African, as well as to the government and people of Kenya and especially the families of the many deceased, and wished the wounded survivors a speedy recovery. “South Africa continues to support Kenya’s and the international community’s efforts aimed at peacekeeping, stability, democracy and nation-building in Somalia,” Zuma said in a statement. “Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned, and South Africa stands firmly with the international community in condemning all terrorism, and this act in particular. We wish the Kenyan government every success in rapidly resolving this issue with as little further loss of life as possible.” The South African High Commission in Nairobi is closely monitoring the situation in close liaison with the Kenyan authorities. Consular assistance is being provided to the next of kin of the deceased South African. Meanwhile, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in charge of Internal Security, Joseph Ole Lenku, told journalists in Nairobi on Sunday that the security operation to free hostages who were still trapped inside the Westgate mall would continue. “Regrettably, the human loss in the attack also went up overnight,” Lenku told journalists on Sunday. “We have established the location of the criminals. It’s a delicate balance and we want to evacuate the hostages safely.” He said the police had managed to evacuate more than 1 000 people from the mall overnight, but that a number of others still remained. “The operation is in a very delicate stage. Our paramount responsibility is to ensure that our people still held in the mall come out alive.” Fierce gunfire was heard from the mall on Sunday as the hostage standoff in Nairobi entered its second day amid heavy security around the building. Militants from Somalia have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. An Al-Shabaab spokesman said in an audio message, “Either leave our country or live with constant attacks.” According to the latest reports, the slain foreign victims include Canadians, French nationals, Chinese, South African and Ghanaian people. The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) entered Somalia two years ago to pursue the militants, who often crossed the border to stage attacks. Lenku said the authorities believed there were 10 to 15 attackers still in the building. “We are grateful for all offers of support from individuals and friendly countries we have received. But by and large, this remains a national security operation,” Lenku said. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the terrorist attack as an act of cowardice and assured the country that its security forces were up to task. “We will not be intimidated. The act was intended to cow the people of Kenya, but the Kenyan spirit is strong,” Odinga told journalists in Nairobi on Sunday. He appealed to the international community not to issue travel advisories against Kenya, but work with the government to ensure return to normalcy. “This is not the time for grandstanding. This is not the time for partisan politics. It is a time to unite the country. This is a tragic moment in Kenya. It has been 15 years since the last terrorist attack that claimed 250 lives,” Odinga said. Source: SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua
The Accidental Geocaching CommunityAn accident inspires a Thank You from a Mom to the geocaching communityJuly of this year rates as the most memorable geocaching month yet for Chrissie and her kids. But it might not be for the reasons you think. Chrissie and her kids geocache under the name silvertipskids. The Washington State, USA family prepared for GeoWoodstock and Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration. The Mega-Events were not just in the same weekend, but within driving distance of one another in Chrissie’s home state. She expected to make wonderful memories but she never expected a single, terrifying moment would endear her family to the geocaching community forever.It all started late in the day at GeoWoodstock. Chrissie says they family was pulling their car over to explore a giant geocaching ammo can.Chrissie and RyanShe says,”Ryan was very excited and unbuckled and said he was going to see what was in it. Both his sister and I told him he needed to wait, but he took off running without waiting for [his sister] Kelci.” Chrissie then watched the next moments in shock and disbelief.She says, “Within seconds we saw a car hit Ryan and he flew into the grass on the side of the road.”Geocachers who were witnesses quickly jumped into action. Chrissie says, “By the time I got my car in park and ran across the street four people had jumped out of their cars and ran to check on Ryan.”She says the geocachers not only called for help but gave first responders the precise latitude and longitude of the accident scene. Chrissie says, “I know many people called 911 and were able to give coordinates. Thank goodness for these people and the fact that each one had a GPS unit, as I didn’t know where we were.”Chrissie says the geocaching community then united to transform the confusion after the accident into order. “A couple of nice ladies directed traffic around the commotion and my son was brought a blanket to put his head on. The very nice man who hit my son parked, and also stayed with Ryan the whole time. I don’t know any of these people, and I didn’t at the time think to get their names, but they all stopped to help out, offered kind words, and kept the chaos down to a minimum while waiting for the medics to arrive.”Ryan escaped the accident with little more than a bruise and a scrape on his ankle. Chrissie says she and her family are left with something else though — a heart-felt appreciation for their fellow geocachers. “I am grateful for each person that called 911 and told them the location using latitude and longitude. I am thankful for all who stopped to help Ryan that day.”She says that the next day Ryan was well enough to go to Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration. Chrissie says, “Ryan stayed a little closer to me that day and was more aware of his surroundings. Even if something had happened at the event on Sunday as well, I know that we belong to a community that cares.”Explore the good works of other geocachers. Read other “Geocachers Care” blog posts.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeoWoodstock IX 2011 – A Lackey Report from PennsylvaniaAugust 19, 2011In “Community”Geocachers make history at Geowoodstock 2018June 29, 2018In “News”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”
In a bid to overturn its fortunes in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress appears to be once again trying to woo the influential Brahmin community. Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada, who has often been projected as the party’s Brahmin face in the State, is touring U.P. to meet Brahmins who have lost their family members to murders or alleged custodial deaths in recent months.While the party and Mr. Prasada have not overtly projected his visits as being focused on Brahmins, the names of the victims reveal a definite strategy.‘Oppression, neglect’Moreover, Mr. Prasada also attended a meeting of the Brahman Chetna Parishad, a Brahmin outfit, in Lucknow on November 22. The “oppression” and “neglect” [faced by the community] were discussed, Mr. Prasada tweeted.On Sunday, Mr. Prasada met the family of student union leader Aditya Narain Tiwari ‘Kabir’ who was shot dead in Basti, while on Saturday he met the father of Satya Prakash Shukla, who died in police custody recently in Amethi. “He is a broken man, whose son died in police custody in Amethi. He deserves some answers and justice,” Mr. Prasada said, tweeting a picture of the meeting. Similarly, last week, he visited Mainpuri to meet the aggrieved family of Subash Pandey, whose daughter died under mysterious circumstances.No labelTalking to The Hindu, Mr. Prasada said he had identified at least a dozen such families be would visiting across U.P. He, however, was reluctant to label his visits as being focused on the Brahmin community, though he did not distance himself from the perception.“I am not saying it [is Brahmin outreach]. People are saying it. I am no one to stop them. I am going everywhere possible, where I can highlight the voice of people who are not being heard,” Mr. Prasada said. “I am going to people where there has been an incident of [custodial] death or murder. And we can call it a coincidence that most of them are Brahmins.”When asked if he was hinting that a particular community, the Brahmins, was being targeted under the Yogi Adityanath-led State government, Mr. Prasada said, “Certainly, the facts on the ground are.”‘Highlighting cause’“I want to highlight the cause by going there specifically; to ensure they are going to be heard; that the Congress party will take up the cause of those people who want justice, at every forum, be it on the ground or in Vidhan Sabha or Lok Sabha. Wherever possible and whichever avenue, we will not let it go until these people are satisfied,” Mr. Prasada said.One of the families on Mr. Prasada’s list was Anand Swaroop Mishra, a petrol pump manager who was recently shot dead in Gorakhpur. Taking cognisance, Mr. Adityanath met Mr. Mishra’s family on Sunday and ordered an ex gratia compensation of ₹10 lakh to the family, while also directing the police to take harsh action against the culprits.Mr. Prasada said the Adityanath government “has failed on the law and order front”.‘Propaganda’Bharatiya Janata Party U.P. spokesperson Chandramohan, however, dismissed Mr. Prasada’s Brahmin outreach and said “the Congress can only do propaganda”.“Congress has always promoted casteism. It keeps searching for casteist politics. But their attempts won’t deliver any results. Nobody is going to fall in the Congress’ trap now,” Mr. Chandramohan said.