South Africa, home to almost all of the world’s rhinoceroses, said the number of the animals killed by poachers plunged by 25 percent last year as it stepped up efforts to save the endangered species.
With 769 rhinos poached, it was the first year since 2012 that less than 1,000 of the animals were killed illegally, the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement. The animals are targeted for their horns, which are believed in Asia to help cure cancer and boost male virility. The horns are made of keratin, a hair-like substance. The number of rhino deaths peaked at 1,215 in 2014.
The fight against rhino poaching in South Africa has become emblematic of the global struggle against wildlife traffickers, with national awareness campaigns ranging from documentaries to the sale of plastic horns, which are attached to people’s cars.
The decline in rhino deaths is “a confirmation of the commitment and dedication of the men and women working at the coalface to save the species,” said Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, who is also known as Mama Action.
More than half of the rhinos were killed in Kruger National Park, a reserve the size of Israel that lies on South Africa’s border with Mozambique. Poachers frequently cross the border and hunt the animals with automatic weapons and night sights before sawing off the horns.
During the year, 365 alleged poachers were arrested countrywide along with 36 horn traffickers, the department said.
Zimbabwe's government continues to explore avenues of attracting lines of credit from neighbouring South Africa after the continent's most prosperous nation rebuffed an earlier request by Harare for a R16 billion (US$1,129 billion) rescue facility, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has revealed.
South Africa has emerged as the only hope for President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration for a financial lifeline after several countries, including China, spurned its approaches, citing Harare's tendency to default on debt repayment.
Ncube confirmed in an interview this week that several meetings he held with his South African counterpart Tito Mboweni have so far failed to convince the regional economic giant to commit itself to rescuing Zimbabwe.
"There is no commitment, but we have ongoing discussions," Ncube said, adding government would welcome any form of financial assistance from south of the Limpopo.
"We are in constant talks with South Africa, they are our neighbour, biggest trading partner and we have a bi-national commission. So we have been interacting with them, to see whether they can be of help and support us whenever we need it," he said.
The Treasury boss said government remained hopeful in the face of shrinking sources of credit.
Although there remains a possibility of South Africa extending a US$7 million credit facility to clear part of Zimbabwe's World Bank arrears, the neighbouring country appears reluctant.
Mnangagwa told private media journalists a fortnight ago that: "We started engaging South Africa earlier this year when we had the cooking oil shortage. Then because of the nature of relations between us and South Africa, we said to South Africa can you give us lines of credit. So this is why discussions between the South African minister of finance, our own finance minister and the governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe started."
"Talks are therefore underway for a line of credit from South Africa Botswana has also given us line of credit worth 70 million Pula. What it means is that Zimbabwean businesses can get goods from those two countries worth that amount. We are then given a grace period and then we could be able to repay the credit within an agreed period of time, say to or five years. It is different from a bailout package in that it does not come with certain conditions attached to it," he added.
While critics in South Africa say lending to Zimbabwe would be a waste of money, President Cyril Ramaphosa has over the past week said there is need to support Harare.
However, he has not qualified the kind of support he would prefer.
Zimbabwe is desperate for lines of credit which could go a long way in fixing a tattered economy, which is on the verge of total collapse. Foreign currency shortages continue to haunt industry while the cost of living has soared.
To worsen the situation, Harare's biggest Western cheerleader Britain pulled the plug on Mnangagwa's re-engagement drive when London dissociated itself from the regime last week following the killing of an estimated 17 people during the suppression of violent protests which rocked the country last month while 78 others were injured and more than 1 000 were arrested.
Britain, a key Mnangagwa ally after the toppling of former president Robert Mugabe in the November 2017 coup, had also emerged as the only Western power supporting Zimbabwe's re-engagement with IMF, World Bank and re-joining Commonwealth.
Although Mnangagwa has denied that the country is seeking a bailout package, former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed on a trip to China last year that government was seeking a rescue package of US$2,5 billion to support the productive sectors which include tourism, mining and manufacturing.
Acting Chinese ambassador Zhao Baogang said that they will not give Zimbabwe a bailout package, focussing instead on sponsoring infrastructural development.
Source - The Independent
Local online secondhand marketplace OLX has released several statistics about secondhand car sales in South Africa that took place in 2018.
According to a press release we have received the platform had 4.14 million ads placed on it last year with cars making up just over a quarter of that.
The first big piece of news here is that around VW and its Polo and Golf models, which top the charts as the most secondhand cars sold nationally.
The next bit of important info is about Ford as their Ranger and Fiesta models, which were the fastest selling cars nationally, nabbing first and second place in this category respectively.
“It was so amazing to watch, the moment a Ford Ranger was posted, it would be gone in few hours and marked as SOLD,” Says Nicole Depene-Sander, Marketing Manager of OLX.
The top 10 fastest selling cars in South Africa were as follows:
In addition to this OLX has also revealed which cars were the fastest selling in Each province. In Gauteng, for example, the Audi A4 was the fastest selling with the most replies and listings, but the Fiat Uno was the fastest selling with less listings.
You can view the full release in Google Docs here where the breakdowns for each province are available in full. You can also see this summarised as a pair of infographics at the bottom of this story.
Looking over all of these results it’s important to note that they’re quite limited. They are restricted to transactions that happened on OLX, so private and dealer sales are not included, and neither are those which take place on other similar sites such as Junk Mail and Gumtree.
The press release we received also didn’t mention specific numbers such as total cars sold in each category or the exact mathematical definition of the term “fastest selling cars”.
Still, it’s interesting to see what a certain selection of South Africans are buying when it comes to cars.
South African archaeologists have rediscovered what the “lost city” of Kweneng looked like, using LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) technology.
The researchers have been studying the site for decades.
South Africa is popularly known by tourists as the Adventure Capital of Africa and quite possibly, the whole world.
Tourism in South Africa increased after they successfully hosted the World Cup in 2010 but it’s the attractions and beautiful sites that bring in millions of tourist into the country every year.
Regardless of the kind of adventure you’re looking for, South Africa has a lot to offer for everyone. If you’re into extreme sports, there are quite a number available such as Bungee Jumping, Shark Cage Diving, Kite Boarding, Sky Diving, and so much more. The exciting wildlife including the big five - Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant, and Cape Buffalo are equally thrilling.
The beautiful country is ever-evolving, and with new developments come new opportunities and risks. Here we highlight a few tips that travelers should pay attention to in 2019.
Stay away from Airbnb
If you’re on a budget, you might be considering staying at an Airbnb. It’s usually more economical and they blend you right in the city if that’s your thing. This, however, might be a risky move you are in South Africa. According to the Municipal Planning By-Law and Zone Restrictions in South Africa, some Airbnb lettings may be illegal. In Cape Town, for example, letting out flats and apartments in the City Centre is illegal without the proper approval and licenses. The property would also need to be appropriately zoned.
You definitely do not want to get caught in the middle of all of these legalities while you’re on vacation, so it’s advisable to stick to a traditional bed and breakfast, a guest house or a hotel and stay away from Airbnb if in doubt.
Got Change? Keep them
Now that your vacation is over, don’t be in a hurry to change all of your South Africa Rand into your local currency. If you’ve got some change in rand, keep them.
The South Africa Rand has been the world’s strongest currency against the dollar over the past three years. The currency is really good and the economy is continually getting better. So, keep the change for a later date.
Stay safe on public Wi-Fi
The City Walk is the best way to discover cape town. It gives you a look into Cape Town’s Central Business District and an opportunity to experience some of the sights and sounds in Cape Town. It also boasts a free public Wi-Fi available along the entire walk.
One thing to note however is the lack of security on public networks. You put yourself at risk of a particular type of eavesdropping attack known as Man-In-The-Middle attack, where a hacker in proximity can interception your unencrypted traffic and get access to your usernames, passwords, and credit card details - just about everything you send through the internet. It is up to you to keep your digital information safe and private online, especially in the land of a foreign government. To mask your data from snooping, connect to a VPN’s South Africa VPN server for a speedy connection while also encrypting your data for privacy and security.
Don’t miss shows from home
If you have a favorite show that you can’t wait to watch, getting geo-blocked on the go can get quite frustrating. Again, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to overcome geo-restrictions. To change your IP, you can set your location online to your home country by connecting to a server location at home. This gives apps and websites the false sense that you are logging in from home, and that’s how you can gain access to cloud services and entertainment content as usual.