Red Bull’s Verstappen wins Malaysian Grand Prix

first_img FERRARI’S LUCK Hamilton had failed to finish higher than fifth in practice, but found some speed in qualifying. Still, given his position – and where Vettel was – he might have expected to be further ahead. Vettel saved Ferrari’s blushes but, as if Ferrari’s luck could not get any worse, Williams driver Lance Stroll smashed into the side of his car on the warm-down lap, cutting it almost in half. “That’s impossible,” a stunned Vettel said. “Stroll’s not looking where he’s going. He’s shunted into my car.” Stewards investigated the issue, but no action was taken. In a light-hearted moment, the German driver hitched a lift back to the paddock the novel way – by sitting on the side of countryman Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber. Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix on his Red Bull debut last year, and became the youngest driver on the front row when he qualified second for Monaco. He was still 18. SEPANG, Malaysia (AP): Max Verstappen celebrated his birthday by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix in style yesterday, while Lewis Hamilton finished second to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel. Vettel started the race from last, but drove brilliantly to take fourth place behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and limit the damage to his own title hopes. Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen did not even start, despite qualifying second. Moments before the race, mechanics wheeled Raikkonen’s car back to the garage but could not get it ready. Hamilton secured the 70th pole of his career in qualifying, and his fourth straight in Malaysia, while Vettel failed to set a time because of an engine problem. The day after turning 20, Verstappen turned on the style, making a fine move to overtake Hamilton on lap four. “The whole race went well. Once I got past Lewis, I could focus on my tyres,” Verstappen said. “From then on, I could race my own race. It’s incredible to win.” His father, the former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, looked emotional as his son stood on the podium. Dutch fans poured on to the grid to join in the celebrations, with one fan applauding with a pair of clogs. Hamilton’s only win in Malaysia was in 2014. He led comfortably last year but retired with an engine failure. Vettel’s last win came at the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break, moving him 14 points clear of Hamilton. But the British driver has won three of four races since and now leads Vettel by 34 points, with five races remaining. “It’s a step towards trying to win this world championship, so every point counts,” Hamilton said. “Considering the issues we had with the car, it’s a good weekend.”last_img read more

Traffic Chief cautions motorists about rising death toll

first_imgCarnage on our roadwaysIn light of the recent spate of deaths on the roadways, the traffic department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has made a special plea to road users particularly motorcyclists to be keen in their operation on the road.The traffic department said it could not sit idly by while persons continue to lose their lives senselessly on the roadways.Over the past few days, three motorcyclists lost their lives among a total of five road deaths. Traffic Chief Deon Moore said there is really no reason for persons toTraffic Chief, Deon Moorebe losing their lives in this fashion. He said it is recognised that most of these accidents occur at midnight or any time after that hour. He said in three of the most recent deaths, the one at Goed fortune occurred at 3am while the one at Better Hope occurred after 11pm.On Sunday, 27-year-old biker Cleon Perreira of Buxton, East Coast Demerara (ECD), died on the spot after he collided with a car just after 23:00h on the Better Hope Public Road.Early Saturday morning, another motorcyclist was killed after he was struck by a minibus in the vicinity of the Goed Fortuin Public Road, West Bank Demerara (WBD).42-year-old Joseph James of Walter Terrace, West La Penitence, Georgetown, was returning home from a party when the accident occurred.On Monday, police were called in to investigate the death of 50-year-old Feroze Khan of Yarrowkabara, Soesdyke/Linden Highway, who succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident on the Land of Canaan Public Road, EBD that morning. Khan was pulled out of his vehicle after it had collided with another and was taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.“These timings are when the road is not too congested, not so busy. The weather condition was not foggy or rain was not falling so the condition was not bad”. He said motorists need to drive at a speed that could bring their vehicles to a stop if a situation should present itself.“At nights you should drive your vehicle at such a speed in accordance to the distance that you can see. If your vision is blurred, pull in a corner, if a light has blind you, pull in a corner”, the official pleaded. He said “it is better for you to wait a few seconds than to try to force to where you want to get and never meet there”.Moore said so far for the year, some 15 motorcyclists lost their lives. At the end of last year there were 23 motorcyclists who lost their lives. He said the police had committed at the beginning of this year to see a radical reduction in the amount of lives lost on the road by asking them to wear their safety helmets.“Many times you see them having the helmets, but having it strapped on the rear seat of the motorcycles. It is a dangerous practice. Motorcycle helmets afford you protection to your body in the event of any eventuality, for you to reduce the amount of injuries you would sustain”, the Traffic Chief said.Revealing the traffic statistics. Moore said there has been a decrease in all categories of accidents, with 62 fatal accidents as against 83 this time last year, a 23 per cent decrease. In terms of persons dying as a result of the road accidents, this year saw some 68 as against 88 this time last year, a decrease of 23 percent. Six children lost their lives last year. So far for this year there has been only one.last_img read more

Wanyama urges Celtic to refocus

first_img0Shares0000GLASGOW, Scotland, November 16 – Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama has urged his teammates to show that they also mean business in the Scottish Premier League after impressing on their European excursions this season.The Parkhead club have earned plenty of plaudits for their performances in the Champions League this term, none more so than after their 2-1 win over tournament favourites Barcelona two weeks ago. With rivals Rangers languishing in Scotland’s Third Division the Hoops were expected to run away with this year’s SPL title.However, Neil Lennon’s side have struggled for consistency on the domestic front and last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone means Celtic have collected just two points from their last three league games.Despite that, Celtic are second behind leaders Hibs, two points adrift with a game in hand, and face third-placed Aberdeen on Saturday.And midfielder Wanyama, who scored in the win over Barca, insists Neil Lennon’s men must replicate their European form on the domestic stage and approach every game in the same manner as they did against the Catalan giants.“It’s the best feeling in the world, beating the best team ever, but we must focus on the league,” the Kenyan international said.“I don’t want to think a game is won so I will approach all of them like it’s Barcelona I’m playing.”Hoops boss Neil Lennon cited fatigue as a major factor in his side’s slump in form in the SPL following the draw with St Johnstone, which came on the back of a draw with Dundee United and a loss to Kilmarnock.But the Celtic manager insists his most of his players will have benefitted from getting a break in midweek due to the international fixtures and said his side would be raring to go at Pittodrie.“It’s a game we’re looking forward to and with a week’s rest you will see a fresher, better Celtic,” said Lennon. “Aberdeen are going well, the atmosphere will be good and the players will thrive on that.”Aberdeen can go above the champions with victory against Neil Lennon’s men at Pittodrie on SaturdayAnd while Dons boss Craig Brown insists his side aren’t genuine title contenders he is confident they can defeat Celtic in a one-off situation.“We will be going all out to win the game against Celtic,” Brown said.“Seeing Aberdeen up towards the top of the table is a nice feeling and it’s our job to stay up there. But I’m being honest and realistic – in my opinion Celtic will win the league. Celtic might lapse but they will not collapse in the SPL campaign no matter how many Champions League games they play.“They beat Barcelona despite having six first-team players out – that shows you the level of their resources.“But they can be beaten in a one-off game, as Kilmarnock showed recently, and that is what we intend to do. We want to be up there competing at the top of the table.”Elsewhere on Saturday, bottom of the table Dundee host league leaders Hibernian at Dens Park and St Johnstone welcome Ross County to McDiarmid Park.Financially-stricken Hearts welcome St Mirren to Tynecastle with the immediate threat of closure averted.The Edinburgh outfit were issued with a winding up order over an unpaid tax bill of close to £450,000 but have since agreed an extension with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.Fixtures (1500 unless otherwise stated)FridayDundee Utd v Kilmarnock (1945)SaturdayAberdeen v Celtic (1200), Dundee v Hibernian, Hearts v St Mirren, St Johnstone v Ross CountySundayInverness CT v Motherwell (1245)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

End of the KPL road for Nakuru

first_imgAli Bai and former Gor Mahia forward John Kiplagat were on target in the first-half for Western Stima to ensure All Stars earned a swift return to the second tier to cap a nightmare season after earning promotion to the KPL.Western Stima opened the scoring in the seventh minute after All Stars failed to clear Kiplagat’s corner for Bai to slot home, before the latter netted his own in the 41stt.With the win, Western Stima displaced Leopards in eighth place on 36 points while All Stars remain rooted at the basement on 17.-Ulinzi march on-In Thika, after having a good first-half, the Soldiers had to wait until the 83rd minute to grasp their fifth successive win after Amwayi broke through from a counter attack to smash a Geoffrey Kokoyo long ball past keeper Hamzah Muwongo at the far right corner. Ulinzi could have gotten their opener at the stroke of half-time when referee Moses Osano awarded them a penalty after Jackson Macharia had a hard tackle on Mark Makwata in the box, only for keeper James Saruni to pass the ball to his opposite number Muwonge instead of going for his third goal of the season.The win saw fourth placed Ulinzi on 47 points, open a three point gap from Chemelil Sugar who welcomes AFC Leopards Sunday in Kisumu.With Ulinzi’s goal poacher Stephen Waruru missing the encounter after accumulating five yellow cards, John Nairuka failed to step in the former Harambee Stars forward’s shoes who has 11 goals in his bag.Nairuka pounced on several open chances but he failed to punish his former side with the first attempt coming in the third minute but easily gave it to Muwonge with his weak strike before seeing his free header go wide in the 33rd minute.Ulinzi mounted pressure on Thika’s defence with Simon Mbugua’s poor clearance finding Makwata at the edge of the box but the former Nairobi City Stars attacking midfielder blasted.The hosts’ first chance arrived in the 35th through Michael Olunga who beat Kokoyo from the right to swing in a cross that found unmarked David King’atua who failed to hit the target with his free header.Sammy Meja could have send Thika ahead six minutes later when Macharia did well to weave past two defenders to feed him only for the defender to waste the chance, moments before Olunga had missed his after heading wide from a set-piece.Thika were forced for the first substitution when they entered for the last period after Meja picked a knock to be stretched out for Vincent Nyaberi to replace him but that did not stop the John Kamau charges to pin their visitors on their edge.A good build up by Wycliffe Opondo from the midfield almost paid off when Olunga picked the pass to set substitute Allan Owiyo but Saruni was quick to come off his line to clear the danger in the 53rd.Ten minutes later Saruni could have been punished for his mistake when he parried Owiyo’s shot from the left if Michael Luvitsi’s connected home the rebound.On the other end Muwonge denied Amwayi’s thunderbolt, punching for a fruitless corner in the 76th but the Ugandan keeper could not stop the latter’s strike seven minutes later.The loss saw Thika United remain sixth on 37 points but could be leapfrogged by Sony Sugar or Leopards if they win their matches Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, October 25 – Debutants Nakuru All Stars became the first team to be relegated to the Super League after succumbing 2-0 to Western Stima in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium on Saturday.Elsewhere, at the Thika Sub-County Stadium, a last gasp goal by midfielder Kevin Amwayi livened Ulinzi Stars’ hopes of finishing third after humbling hosts Thika United 1-0.last_img read more

Indonesia spared catastrophe as water heads away from land

first_imgA 65-year-old woman, Asiah, felt weak when the earth started moving beneath her. “I was having difficulty breathing or walking,” she said. “I was afraid. My son grabbed hold of me and carried me out of the house. All I could do was pray.” A dozen houses were swept out to sea. Smaller waves were recorded farther down the coast. Two other powerful temblors – magnitudes 7.8 and 7.1 – followed on Thursday off Sumatra and two weaker quakes were felt later, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Several tsunami warnings were issued and later lifted. More than 30 aftershocks have rattled the region in the last day and many people refused to return to their homes, fearing a repeat of the 2004 tsunami. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths in that disaster were in Aceh province. Hundreds of residents spent Thursday night sleeping in parks or on sidewalks.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PADANG, Indonesia – The ground shook so hard Yulinar had to grab a table to steady herself. Minutes later, she heard a warning crackling over the speakers of the neighborhood mosque – a tsunami could crash into her fishing village on Indonesia’s Sumatra island at any minute. But despite the intensity of the shallow undersea earthquake, no waves lashed the beach and the family shack was undamaged. A quirk of nature sent the full force of the tsunami out to sea, preventing a repeat of the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster that killed more than 230,000 people – most of them on Sumatra. “We heard the mayor’s voice and then ran up a hill,” said Yulinar, a mother of five, of the 8.4-magnitude quake that shook Indonesia on Wednesday. “It was very bad. I was so scared a tsunami was coming.” A series of powerful earthquakes and aftershocks followed over a 24-hour period Wednesday and Thursday, damaging hundreds of homes, mosques and schools, and unleashing a 10-foot-high tsunami. At least 10 people were killed. But the huge mass of water spawned by the initial 8.4-magnitude quake was pushed to sea rather than land, said Mike Turnbull, a seismologist at Australia’s Central Queensland University. “It could have quite easily have been the other way,” he said, noting that pressure between the shifting Australian Indian and Asian plates has been building up over hundreds of thousands of years and was ready to explode. “It’s a quirk of nature that this is how it happened.” Though the 10-foot-high tsunami slammed into at least one fishing village on Sumatra on Wednesday, damage was not severe. Still, Rukhlan, a 43-year-old angler, said residents in Muara Maras were horrified when they saw the ocean retreat and then race back to shore. “I heard people screaming and yelling, `Tsunami! tsunami!”‘ he said. “I ran to find my children, but they had already gone to the hills.” last_img

Man United v Swansea live stream: Rooney starts plus Mata BOOST

first_img1 Manchester United will be hoping to move into the top four with victory over Swansea, LIVE on talkSPORT.Three points will move the Red Devils on to 67 points – and top-four rivals Liverpool do not play Watford until Monday evening.LIVE on talkSPORT: Manchester United v Swansea City: Tune in to the 12pm kick-off hereThe clash with relegation-threatened Swansea will be United’s ninth game in April and they have been handed a midday kick-off despite a draining Manchester derby finishing close to 10pm on Thursday night.Jose Mourinho will be without Marouane Fellaini, who is suspended after his red card in the second half of the Etihad clash, as they look to extend their unbeaten run which stretches back to October.Swansea, meanwhile, are 18th and running out of time to retain their top-flight status. A win at Old Trafford would move them above Hull on goal difference.Sunday’s clash kicks off at 12pm and can be heard live on talkSPORT. Check out the starting XIs below…Team newsMan Utd: de Gea, Young, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Ander Herrera, Lingard, Rooney, Martial, Rashford.Subs: Mata, Romero, Mkhitaryan, Valencia, Darmian, Tuanzebe, McTominay.Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Kingsley, Ki, Britton, Carroll, Ayew, Llorente, Sigurdsson.Subs: Amat, Fer, Borja Baston, Nordfeldt, Olsson, Montero, Cork.LIVE on talkSPORT: Manchester United v Swansea City: Tune in to the 12pm kick-off here Wayne Rooney: The Man United captain starts for talkSPORT’s live commentary last_img read more

John Barnes: Discriminatory society is ‘unconsciously biased’ and must be educated

first_img The Montenegro fans were particularly vociferous on the night Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card 3 Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Barnes is one of the most eloquent and composed voices in football when it comes to talking about racism and discrimination The former England international has called for education, rather than recrimination, as the answer to the ‘unconscious bias’ he refers to.Barnes continued: “We over-emphasise the validity, the worthiness, the morality of a certain group of people over another group of people.“And this has been going on for years, and that is what we have to challenge.“To get that perception of negativity of black perspective or a female perspective or a homosexual perspective. REVEALED Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ 3 3 Raheem Sterling responded to the Montenegro supporters in celebration of England’s fifth goal BEST OF REVEALED Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED “Because if we are going to go to war, who would you rather go to war with? A homosexual who is beside you or a skinhead who has got big tattoos?“Because of what life has wrongly taught us about who is worthy.“Or, let’s talk about Jurgen Klopp losing his job tomorrow and a woman went for the job and a man went for the job.“We had never heard of either of them, but who would we have more faith in?” Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? ADVICE “Now it’s very easy to come down on Harvey Weinstein and the two racist football fans and Montenegro, but what is more pervasive in society is the unconscious discrimination that people face because of the average person being unconsciously biased towards different groups of people because of what we have been wrongly told.“And this is what we have to challenge.“Not the idiots, not the obvious idiots – Harvey Weinstein and the two Chelsea fans – that’s too obvious and that is too easy to say ‘let’s get rid of them’.”Barnes has regularly been praised for his educated and composed response to incidents of racism in this country. Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions no dice huge blow Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won REPLY Former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes believes society is ‘unconsciously biased’ towards certain groups of people – and education is the only way to solve this problem.The issue of racism in football has resurfaced after Montenegro supporters abused Danny Rose, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Raheem Sterling during Monday evening’s Euro 2020 qualifier.Ross Barkley’s brace was complemented by goals from Michael Keane, Harry Kane and Sterling as Gareth Southgate’s men overcame the hosts’ early opener to seal an impressive 5-1 win on Monday night.But there was barely any football discussion after full-time as the fixture in Podgorica was marred by vocal racist abuse. Monkey chants were directed at Rose and Hudson-Odoi, with Sterling celebrating the fifth goal by pulling his ears as a sign of defiance to what he later called on social media ‘racists’.Rose was further abused towards the end of the match and UEFA is now set to launch an investigation into the incidents.After racist incidents involving Sterling and two Chelsea fans earlier in the season, former Liverpool forward Barnes demanded change has to come from our own society before we can educate others.He believes it’s all well and good to call for easy targets to be punished, but only by educating the general public will discrimination of all forms diminish.“We all suffer from unconscious bias, based on what we have been wrongly told about people,” he told talkSPORT’s Drivetime. “Laws can’t change anything, racism is an ideology. They need education.”“Football is part of society, until we tackle it in society, it’ll never change.”“Do we actually want to get rid of racism, or just not hear about it?”Must listen from @OfficialBarnesy 👏 pic.twitter.com/7tFmnppr7P— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 26, 2019last_img read more

Donegal ICT/FinTech working group to host information sessions for parents and school staff

first_imgThe Donegal ICT/FinTech Working Group is inviting parents, post-primary school Guidance Counsellors and Principals along to two upcoming information events to find out more about career, education and training opportunities for their children and students in the areas of ICT/FinTech in Donegal.The group is comprised of many leading international employers based in the county including Pramerica, Optum, SITA, Randox, Gartan Technologies, ERNACT, and supported by Donegal Education Training Board (ETB) and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT).Vincent Kennedy, (SITA) – Donegal ICT/FinTech Working Group Chairperson.A recent report published by the North West Regional Skills Forum identified the ICT/FinTech sectors amongst the fastest growing in the region with significant numbers of new high tech jobs being created in the coming years. The working group is hosting two events on the 11 and 18 October aimed at parents, teachers, Guidance Counsellors and Principals. The companies will highlight the career opportunities in a range of disciplines including IT, finance, business, marketing, engineering, law, design and sciences.LYIT and Donegal ETB will also promote their wide range of programmes that support the industry needs.According to Vincent Kennedy, Director at SITA and Chair of the Donegal ICT/FinTech Working Group, “The opportunity to have a career in the ICT/FinTech sector is increasing significantly in our region and we need to ensure we have enough people with the right skills to meet the demand. We cannot do this alone, and we ask for the support of parents and teachers to encourage more young people to make this career choice and reap the benefits of an international career while working in Donegal.”If you are interested in finding out more, come along to one of the upcoming events. • Thursday 11 October at 6pm in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny. Register to attend the Letterkenny event by clicking HERE• Thursday 18 October at 6pm in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town. Register to attend the Donegal Town event by clicking HEREAdmission is free and complimentary refreshments will be served at both events from 5.30pm.Donegal ICT-FinTech delivering a recent information session.Donegal ICT/FinTech working group to host information sessions for parents and school staff was last modified: September 24th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalDonegal ICT/FinTechinfo eveningslast_img read more

Africa’s biggest water project

first_imgPresident Thabo Mbeki and King Letsie of Lesotho have inaugurated the latest phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which delivers water from the highlands of Lesotho to South Africa’s Vaal River system and generates hydropower for Lesotho.Water is now flowing from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. (Image: Lesotho Highlands Water Project)Brand South Africa reporterThe project is Africa’s largest ever water transfer project as well as the largest ongoing bi-national construction project on the continent.The project aims to address the needs of South Africa’s rapidly expanding Gauteng province, which generates almost 60% of the country’s industrial output and 80% of its mining output, and where over 40% of South Africa’s population live. The province needs more water than its main source, the Vaal River, can provide.The Lesotho Highlands, with its high rainfall and surface area of high basalt mountains – the Maloti – is an outstanding catchment area.The Lesotho Highlands Water Project captures most of the excess water from rainstorms in the Orange/Senqu River catchment and transfers it to the Vaal River system, at the same time ensuring the sustainability of life forms dependent on flows downstream of its storage dams.Completion of the latest phase of the project – phase 1B – will solve Gauteng’s water problem for the immediate future and rejuvenate the Vaal River. For Lesotho, it provides valuable income, job opportunities, electricity and infrastructure on which tourism and industrial development can thrive.Construction on phase 1A of the project began in 1984, and the first dam, Katse, began delivering water in 1998.Construction on phase 1B of the project began in 1998, and comprises the 145 metre high Mohale Dam on the Senqunyane River, the 32 kilometre Mohale Tunnel linking Mohale Dam to Katse Dam, and the 6 kilometre Matsoku weir and tunnel, which diverts flood water from the Matsoku River into the Katse reservoir.Water transfer from Mohale Dam and the Matsoku River to Katse Dam has begun, and will gradually increase the volume of water delivered to South Africa from 20 to 26 cubic metres per second.While Katse Dam is the highest concrete arch dam in Africa, Mohale Dam is the highest rockfill dam on the continent, consisting of 7.8 million cubic metres of rock that was placed and compacted before the addition of concrete face. The dam features a flexible outlet structure that ensures high quality water for downstream releases to ensure the sustainability of aquatic life.Other infrastructure completed during phase 1B includes three mountain passes, 72 kilometres of tarred roads, 75 kilometres of power lines and over 100 construction houses. At the peak of construction, phase IB created more that 8 000 jobs for local and regional workers.The entire project is expected to cost US$8-billion by the time of its completion in 2020.Speaking at the ceremony at Mohale Dam on Tuesday, Mbeki described the Lesotho Highlands Water Project as a bi-national project to harness a natural resource, Lesotho’s “white gold”, for the benefit of both countries.“For South Africa, the project brings improved security of water supply for both economic and domestic use, and will undoubtedly help to meet the increasing water demand for many years to come”, Mbeki said.“Equally, Lesotho enjoys the benefit of new infrastructure, including roads, expanded communication and electricity systems, health facilities, job opportunities, improved water supply and sanitation to numerous communities, and many additional secondary benefits associated with a huge capital investment with its revenue streams.“The project not only sustains the development of both countries in significant ways, but provides a showpiece for the region and the rest of the continent of mutually beneficial co-operation.”The Katse Dam is the highest concrete arch dam in Africa. (Image: V)In November 2003, the South African Institute of Civil Engineering named the Lesotho Highlands Water Project “project of the century” for its “immense impact on the betterment of the lives of South Africans and Basotho, the benefits it brought to the economies of both countries, the manner in which the environmental impacts were addressed, and the effective and efficient overall management of the project”.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

SA tourism outstrips world rates

first_imgThe state-of-the-art Cape Town International Convention Centre. There are currently more than 1 700 conference centres in South Africa, each hosting about 860 events a year (Image: CTICC)Khanyi MagubaneGrowth in tourism to South Africa is outstripping world rates, with 9.7-million foreigners arriving in the country in 2007, up 8.3% on 2006.Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Martinus van Schalkwyk told parliament on Tuesday 4 March that “Destination South Africa” was well on its way to reaching the 10-million arrivals mark by 2010, the year the country hosts the Fifa World Cup.“Global growth over the same period was just over 6%, indicating that South Africa continues to outgrow global rates,” he said.Business tourism in particular is surging, with business travellers visiting South Africa in 2007 spending big money: R2.4-billion (US$305.7-million) of the total direct foreign capital spent in the country over the year.Speaking at the Meetings Africa Business Tourism Conference on 26 February, Van Schalkwyk said that those coming to the country on business generally spend more than leisure tourists.“Business travel is a lucrative sector of the market which ramps up tourism’s contribution to the economy in general,” he said. “On average, business travellers spend three times more than leisure travellers and up to 40% of them are likely to return.”Boosting business tourismSouth African Tourism, the country’s official tourism agency, has caught on to this windfall with its “business unusual” campaign, which President Thabo Mbeki used as his theme during his State of the Nation address at the opening of Parliament in early February. The agency says it’s crucial that the industry attracts large-scale international business conferences to the country, using all the best tourist destinations as a drawcard.There’s still room for growth in the business tourism industry, according to South African Tourism chief operating officer Didi Moyle. “We have now intensified our destination marketing driving to attract foreign delegates to our range of world-class, international convention centres,” she said at the conference.There are currently more than 1 700 conference centres in South Africa, each hosting about 860 events a year. The government, working with the tourism industry, is planning to attract more conferences to the country. Moyle said new ventures will include the offer of incentives to countries whose companies trade in South Africa.Plans are also underway to improve international travel. Airports Company South Africa plans to spend R5.3-billion (US$675-million) on additional renovations at the OR Tambo, Cape Town and Durban international airports. In Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, the new R2-billion (US$254.7-million) King Shaka International Airport is under construction. At the end of March, a new R45-million (US$5.7-million) airport terminal will be completed.Growth accross the boardIn terms of foreign arrivals generally, the UK was South Africa’s largest supporter with 441 000 visitors in 2007, followed by the US with 256 000.Van Schalkwyk said that the increase in arrivals from across all the regions of the world, in particular air arrivals, reflects not only the growing awareness of South Africa as a tourism destination but also the success of the Airlift Strategy.Cabinet approved the Airlift strategy on 26 July 2006, resulting in increased access to the South African market for foreign carriers. The strategy mainly addressed the air needs of the trade and tourism industry, enhancing the prospects for South Africa as a preferred air travel destination.Moyle said that the statistics are looking impressive, with leisure tourism destinations aiming to expand their market share of the business tourism market.“The growth in bed nights from 2005 to 2006 was 18%, and our 2007 estimates indicate that growth in bed nights will be approximately 19%.”Best in AfricaAs a sign of this success, Van Schalkwyk was awarded Africa’s Tourism Minister of the Year at the Africa Investor Tourism Awards on 25 February, beating his opposite numbers in Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Morocco, Ghana and Tanzania.The award was in acknowledgement of South Africa’s 10% increase in foreign arrivals between January and May 2007, as well as the minister’s efforts to encourage domestic travel. He led the process, which culminated in a National Tourism Skills Conference, to encourage the industry to invest in people.Van Schalkwyk has also helped communities benefit from tourism through the launch of the Tourism Charter. Tourism’s estimated contribution to GDP increased from 4.6% in 1993 to 8.3% in 2006.Related articlesTourism in South AfricaUseful linksSouth African TourismDepartment of Environmental Affairs and TourismSouth African Chamber of Commerce and IndustryBusiness tourism informationCorporate travel servicesSouthern African Tourism Services Associationlast_img read more