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Before launching his shoe business, isicathulo, in 2020, he also faced bouts of homelessness, unemployment and depression.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the tourism industry has undergone various levels of restrictions, which for many establishments in the sector dealt a final blow to their business.
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says she is pleased that discussions are underway to find ways of getting the country and the continent out of the pandemic and revive the tourism sector. I am glad that we are having this African Travel and Tourism Summit, hosted by South Africa, to rethink, recalibrate and find our way out of this situation we are in, where the pandemic has strangulated the tourism industry, Sisulu said. Addressing the African Travel and Tourism Summit on Monday, Sisulu said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on tourism activities in the first half of 2020 than anticipated. Sisulu said although recovery has begun, even though the pandemic is continuing to spread, many countries have been slow to re-open, with some reinstating partial or complete lockdowns to protect susceptible populations. It is befitting that the launch of the Africa Travel and Tourism Summit is taking place during Tourism Month, when South Africa celebrates tourism and heritage. This summit enjoys the participation of the African community delegates, who aim to understand how tourism has shifted in the African continent and identify new opportunities. This summit unpacks the four main themes of Best Practice for Brand Africa, Sectoral Transformation, Leisure and business Opportunities, and Strengthening and Enabling Economic Capabilities, Sisulu said. Sisulu said before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dream and narrative around Africas tourism sector was inspiringly vivid. It was a dream of a continent rising and freeing itself from the shackles of stigmatisation of us as unsafe, uncouth and unwelcoming. Today, we celebrate the rising giant that is Africa. We celebrate her natural vast wonders, ranging from the plains and woodlands of the Serengeti, to the arid Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park, to the beach elephants of the greater St Lucia and the Pyramids of Giza, Sisulu said. Sisulu said the summit affords Africas tourism leaders a platform to create solutions for Africa and contribute to global solutions for the industry in efforts to awaken a new beginning for Africa. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) indicated that Africas tourism industry was robust. It reported that tourism generated in excess of US$200 billion (approximately R3 trillion), accounting for 6.9% of Africas GDP, whilst supporting 24.7 million jobs. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the WTTC statistics showed a decrease of US$83 billion (or R1.2 trillion) and a loss of 7.2 million jobs. This downturn trend was experienced by all tourism sectors across the globe.
According to Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) Executive Finance Manager Tumi Sefolo, the department had divided the support into two different packages for informal and formal businesses.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, has announced the opening of the Request for Information (RFI) process for the Photovoltaic and Water Savings on Government Buildings Programme. The programme aims to save government billions of Rands in water and electricity consumption costs through the procurement and use of renewable energy and resource efficient measures for public buildings. This programme will be largest for the procurement of renewable energy and resource efficiency for public facilities. The RFI is aimed at testing the market for additional ideas and information which comprehensively looks at ways to deliver mutual values to through strong partnerships between government and the private sector, she said. The request for information process will also allow the department to obtain a high-level understanding of optimal technical solutions that are available in the market in relation to the capacity of private sector to deliver such solutions. Minister de Lille said with this programme, government aims to be a champion for innovation and new technologies while expanding governments energy use mix. The programme is part of governments infrastructure investment plan and is expected to involve national, provincial and local government buildings across the country for the next 30 years. The Minister said the first phase of the programme has received approval from the National Treasury with the private sector responsible for both the technical and financial aspects of implementing the programme. To help spur on South Africas private sector investment, government is also currently engaging with a number of local and international partners on various funding mechanisms that will be identified as potentially catalytic," she said. According to the Minister, the projected benefits of the outcome will be: Savings and revenue worth over R401 billion by 2050 Over R253 billion direct contribution to the GDP 3 800 new small businesses will be developed, the majority being black-owned Skills development opportunities for more than 117 000 people An estimated 146 000 jobs created A reduction in energy use of between 22% and 45% A water use reduction of between 30% and 55% A reduction in waste and diversion of 50% of current waste from landfill sites, saving 12m tons A reduction in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions by over 54.5 megatons We are very excited about the possibilities presented by [the request for information] phase in our quest to scale up innovation in government. The programme is also an example of putting the Infrastructure Investment Plan in action and contributes to our goals of achieving the reconstruction and recovery plan to the revival of our own economy, she said.
Jerry Phakathi was the only person who still had hope that Emfuleni local municipality can be turned around when Sowetan visited the area.
Chinese transportation giant DiDi Chuxing has launched operations in Egypt, beginning at the Alexandria governorate. The company will operate 'Wasalny' or 'Wasalny +' services in a move that rivals competitors Uber. Didi offers transportation services across 17 countries globally, making Egypt its second African market after its earlier entry into South Africa. DiDI's Head of Government relations in North Africa and the Middle East, Moanis Amin, confirmed the limited entry in Alexandria as part of their initial plan. The project will also involve the participation of women, with eight from Alexandria already working for the company. In the first hour of operating, the company had already made 2000 trips. DIDI looks to remain at the forefront of the region's smart mobility services after launching in Alexandria with competitive offers befitting both drivers and passengers alike. DiDi's passengers celebrate the start of its Egyptian businesses with great offers while assuring its users of safe, inexpensive travel devoid of expenses while seeking to help the captains accrue greater profits and safer experiences. Despite its formation in 2012, DiDi acquired Uber China in 2016. Felipe Contreras, the head of International Expansion Communications PR at DiDi has revealed a plan aimed at extending services to the New Administrative Capital. Options for renting electric bikes will be available in addition to the traditional delivery cars. Contreras described Egypt as a large and promising market going further to reveals plans of offering electric cars manufactured by BYD for DiDi.
Local edtech Ambani Africa has scooped several top awards at the 2021 MTN business App Year Awards. The app has received the title of Best educational, Best Gaming Solution, and Best South African solution, winning a $68000 prize money. Ambani Africa was founded by Mukundi Lambani who previously emerged winner in the winner of the third cohort of the I'M IN accelerator. The edtech operates a mobile app offering an educational learning portal catering to children who can speak in South Africa's indigenous languages. Featured within the app are games, series, and songs for children aged two to eight. The app offers learning in Setswana, isiZulu, Tshivenda, English, isiXhosa, Sepedi, and English. Ambani Africa also offers online tutoring through conversational classes for children between the ages of six and above. Based in Johannesburg, the edtech also offers a wide range of books children can view through the apps Augmented Reality (AR). The Ambani Africa app can be readily accessed in Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Huawei AppGallery
Mastercard has launched a new Sustainability Innovation Lab that will spearhead the development of its portfolio of environmentally conscious digital products and solutions. The lab specifically focuses on ways to empower both businesses and consumers in the transformation of their production, distribution, and purchase processes. The global lab will be based in Stockholm, Sweden, as an endorsement of the EU's Green new deal and reputation for sustainable innovation. Chief Sustainability Officer at MasterCard, Kristina Kloberdanz, described the role of Sustainability Innovation Lab's intent to " co-create a robust portfolio of environmentally friendly solutions." Mastercard is working towards reimagining the future of commerce through collaborative digital solutions aimed at empowering businesses, governments, and billions of customers across its network in turn preserving the environment. The lab will narrow its focus on solutions that enable sustainable spending where more consumers plan on taking action for the environment. This in turn also generates visibility and traceability across the value chain resulting in products that deliver a positive impact for people and the planet. Mastercard has a track record of building partnerships with startup innovators operating in the Nordics, a good example would be the recent partnership with Doconomy (a Swedish fintech) to create the Mastercard Carbon Calculator . The new Lab will act as a research and development center for climate-centered digital products and solutions while supporting impact-driven startups. It aims to further build on the experience MasterCard provides in impact-driven innovation particularly in the areas of financial inclusion, exploration of new technologies such as 5G, advanced AI, and quantum, which can all be applied towards addressing environmental challenges.