Monday, 25 August 2008

City of Durban Exhibit at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

eThekwini Municipality has for the second year in a row won a Silver Gilt Medal for it's exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London of which it can be very proud. The theme of the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show was Gardening for Climate Change. Members of the eThekwini Municipality Parks, Leisure & Cemeteries Department went over to London to build the stand. Francois Lenferna, horticulturist with the Department, who was responsible for the design of the exhibit came up with a very innovative design.A modern gazebo, consisting of three tiers on a veranda area. Structures captured water that ran down living pillars, watering flower pots on the way down. This water then seeped into other flower beds, thus making full use of the trapped rain water, which finally drained down the pillars The deck of the gazebo was made out of recycled plastic and two chairs were created out of old car tyres. Both dry and tropical plants were used in the display, demonstrating the movement of plants from desert and dry areas to areas with lots of rain. All plants in the display were indigenous, which included five species of cycads, many aloe varieties from around KwaZulu-Natal with the main feature plant being Euphorbia Ingens. Raised beds created height within the design and allowed for isolated watering of specialised plants. The use of ferns, intertwined with Gloriosa Rothchildiana dripping down the pillars, softened the feature. Said Christo Swart, Deputy Head, Parks, Leisure & Cemeteries, "Once again our stand created tremendous interest amongst the exhibitors, with particular attention given to our selection of plants and the innovative design of the gazebo. We were honoured to have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visit our stand for the second year running. Durban can be very proud of it's achievements at this year's show."
The Durban Botanic Garden is a 15 minute walk from Gibela Backpackers Lodge. Leaving Gibela Backpackers Lodge, you will walk along Cowey Road, where you will pass L'Espresso Coffee shop, Woolworths Food Store, Fruit and Vegetable Market and Bread Ahead Bakery - all you need to stock up on some nice goodies to sit back relax and enjoy a picnic at the bird pond in the gardens. SEE YOU SOON !!!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Cape coast shark warnings.

VISITORS intending to use the ocean for recreational purposes are urged to exercise caution as the first Great White sharks of the season have been spotted off the False Bay coast(Cape Peninsuala). Although Great Whites are present in the coastal waters throughout the year and always pose a small threat, the period between mid-August and the end of November has seen the highest number of recorded shark-human interactions over the past five years, according the City of Cape Town.

The city urges recreational sea users to be extra vigilant over the next few months and take note of shark sightings. Kayakers and surf-skiers should keep a watchful eye in the area between Sunnycove and Glencairn Beach, while surfers and swimmers should take extra care in the area between Sunrise Beach and Strandfontein and in the Macassar Beach area. Shark spotters are on duty along the coast and people are urged to make use of them when visiting beaches where they are on duty. Shark-spotting programmes are currently in operation on the following beaches: St James, Muizenberg Corner, Fish Hoek and Noordhoek. Spotters are on duty seven days a week from 08h00 to 18h00, and until 19h00 from October.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

DURBAN - Tourism Career Expo

THE Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) will be hosting the first National Tourism Careers Expo at the Durban Exhibition Centre from October 14-16.

The expo will serve as a platform to encourage school learners, students and unemployed youths to pursue a career in tourism. Deputy Minister of DEAT, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, says: “Even though the tourism sector is one of the largest and most diverse industries in the world, it remains a largely untapped sector when it comes to attracting young individuals to choose it as a career. A key focus of the expo is to showcase to young people the vast potential, great opportunities and rewarding jobs within the tourism sector.”

The DEAT will undertake a range of activities to address skills development within the industry, which will be unveiled during the expo. These include the launch of a survey on the intake of tourism in schools, the launch of the Social Tourism Policy pilot project for South Africa, the introduction of opportunities for international placement, and awards and rewards for excellence in tourism education and training.

The expo will present employers with the opportunity to meet their future employees. Mabudafhasi stated: “An opportunity will be presented to industry players wishing to allocate bursaries and learnership opportunities to students.”

Cape Town water warning

The Cape Town City Council has warned residents to avoid contact with water that has flowed through residential areas, particularly informal settlements. An increase in E. coli and faecal coliform counts has been detected in 14 rivers and 10 wetlands in the Cape Town area. Warning notices had been erected in areas where stream water was deemed unsafe, city spokesperson Clive Justus said on Sunday. He said a clean-up plan and budget had been approved to address the problem, but for now residents and visitors have been urged to heed the warnings.

South African Airways

SAA’s new online facility has been well received by travellers as it further eases the travel experience, allowing customers to check in by using the airline’s website.

The facility, introduced earlier this year, allows customers to change the seat assigned to them or to select a seat.

Some destinations serviced by SAA, such as London and Germany, will further allow customers to print a boarding pass on a standard A4 page that will include a two-dimensional bar code that can be recognised through computer scanning facilities.

For destinations such as Johannesburg, where two-dimensional scanning is currently not allowed, customers can check themselves in online and then use the self-service kiosks at the airport to print a boarding pass.

Customers who travel with bags can now also use the self-service kiosks, and they can drop their bags at specially provided baggage drop-off facilities or counters at the airport.