The recent acts of criminality that resulted in the displacement of foreign nationals in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Limpopo Provinces are regrettable. Our government believes that no amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops. The Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security Cluster (JCPS) is working tirelessly on the issue of attacks on foreign nationals. To this end, three people have been arrested for the recent incidents in KZN and Limpopo and law enforcement agencies remain steadfast to bring perpetrators responsible for these crimes to book.
The government of South Africa strongly condemns the violent acts in the strongest possible terms. These attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially the respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu. Our country stands firmly against all intolerances such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism. We wish the injured a speedy recovery, and appeal for calm, and end to violence and restraint.
It is our view that criminal elements should not be allowed to take advantage of the concerns of citizens to sow mayhem and destruction. Any problems or issues of concern to South African citizens must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue. The police have been directed to work round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens, and to also arrest looters and those committing acts of violence. The government has urged communities to assist the police by providing information on the incidents that have taken place so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
Our government would also like to caution that the spread of misinformation, fake pictures and videos on social media, as well as fake websites may be fuelling tensions in the communities between South Africans and foreign nationals. Certain messages and images that appear on social media are old and unrelated to any of the reported incidents of alleged attacks on foreign nationals over the past few days. For instance, a message being circulated about foreign nationals burning South African owned trucks in Limpopo Province is not true.
Government has consistently condemned fake news websites masquerading as authentic news websites. We call for greater efforts of awareness in society about fake news and fake social media posts.
Government respects the right to freedom of press and freedom of expression, but fake news stories are a slanderous attempt against the brand of South Africa with no interest in respecting the Constitution of South Africa.
Accordingly, we urge everyone to be vigilant and not spread fake information and images that may give an impression that these are attacks on foreign nationals.
The engagement by the Minister of International Relations and Corporation, Hon. Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Police, Hon. Bheki Cele, Minister of Home Affairs, Hon, Siyabonga Cwele and the African Diplomatic Community in South Africa is a step in the right direction. This meeting has been convened twice already, on Monday, 01 April 2019 and Friday, 05 April 2019, to discuss the current spate of violence against foreign nations and their properties. Once a full report has been issued on the outcomes of these meetings , it will be shared accordingly.
Government calls on all community organisations to stand up and be counted among those who actively discourage attacks against foreign nationals or our citizens.
We call on organisations and individuals who have information regarding threats of violence to report to the police. South Africans and foreign nationals residing in the country are afforded the same protection under the Constitution.
The freedom Charter says there shall be peace and friendship. Our responsibility is to promote this legacy of peaceful coexistence and take it forward. To this end, the South African government reaffirms its responsibility to contribute to a better Africa.
Bobby J. Moroe Acting High Commissioner. South African High Commission. Abuja, Nigeria. Saturday, 06 April 2019.
South African Airways (SAA) Voyager has launched its own SAA Voyager Mobile Application. This means that the transactional experience for Voyager members is now in the palm of members’ hand with easy navigation whilst on the go.
The current SAA Mobile App only displays a customer’s status and balance of miles, whereas the first release of the SAA Voyager App includes additional transactional functions beneficial to the customers namely; update of personal details, PIN reset, award requests, claiming of missing miles, converting miles and, being able to donate miles.
The SAA Voyager App is an intervention aimed at enhancing Voyager members’ transactional experience with Voyager in the short term. It is envisaged that once SAA relaunches its Mobile App in the latter part of this year, there will be integration between the SAA and SAA Voyager Mobile Apps, whereby customers will be able to transact seamlessly with SAA, be it for check-in, printing of boarding passes, making and/or changing reservations or transacting on their Voyager accounts.
SAA Executive for Customer Loyalty, Suretha Cruse explains that one of SAA’s key strategies is to enhance the customer experience. “Customer insights were a key driver in the design and development of the SAA Voyager App with our Africa-based members in mind, where 80% access the internet via their mobile phones,” she says.
SAA Voyager was Africa’s first value-based airline loyalty programme, offering members miles based on the ticket price purchased, rather than the distance travelled. The earning velocity of miles in the SAA Voyager programme remains the best in class on the African continent whereby members receive one SAA Voyager Mile per ZAR 1.60 spent, which counts towards the status of members. The programme also allows members to spend miles on any available ticket price for flights operated by SAA. With more than 67 partnerships globally, including the Star Alliance global network, the programme gives members access to more than 1 300 destinations in 190 countries.
Not a SAA Voyager member yet, but want to register? Simply download the SAA Voyager mobile app onto your phone from the Apple App store or Google Play store, alternatively, contact the SAA Voyager Call Centre on 011 978 1234. You can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programme specific terms and conditions can be found on www.flysaa.com. SAA Voyager – Forever part of your journey.
In the business of travel, tour operators, DMC’s, travel agents, and online retailers play a significant role in attracting international visitors to South Africa. Most travelers across Nigeria & Ghana use the services and expertise of Travel Agents & Tour Operators to assist them with their travel arrangements from decision of the best destination to travel to specific travel logistics such as flights, accommodation, transfers, tours, etc. To this end, South African Tourism has consistently invested in Training & Development of Travel Agents & Tour Operators in the markets it operates in order to equip them (Travel Agents & Tour Operators) with the knowledge and experience of selling the amazing destination and providing professional services and memorable experience to their clients.
These objectives were part of what South African Tourism set out to achieve with the South Africa Travel Trade Specialist Hosting for industry graduates of the SAT owned SA Specialist Online Course winners during the 2018 Trade Training & Graduation Ceremony that took place between the 18th to 26th of November 2018 across Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja & Porthacourt) & Ghana (Kumasi & Accra). By working to support both local and international travel trade partners through education about South Africa, tools to assist with the marketing of South Africa and South African products, SAT strives to unlock opportunities for more business in the tourism value chain.
The 26 guest, representing various travel agencies, tour operators, wholesalers, media, and a Trade influencer to spice the group was an engaging mix of distribution partners, from Nigeria and Ghana who were treated to 9 days of lots of fun, food, and frolic! The team, led by Trade Relations Manager, South African Tourism West Africa, Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa departed Lagos and Accra on the 18th of November for Johannesburg; arriving at the O.R Tambo International Airport in the early hours of the 19th. Thereafter, the guests were taken to lovely Mount Grace Resort by Marriot Hotel Group, which is quite simply, a dream as they were warmly welcomed and treated to “Spa treatments” to calm their jet lag. Barely an hour drive from the O.R Tambo Airport to Mount Grace resort just outskirt of Johannesburg still within the Gauteng province, a picturesque heavenly countryside resort that boasts the perfect retreat to get away from the crazy hustle and bustle of Joburg vibrant city life.
The days after rolling out the robust itinerary filled with new adventures and experiences within the proximity of the resort for the guests specially curated to give them a chance to experience firsthand what they learnt from the online course in the most gratifying way such as meting the locals of South Africa who were extremely welcoming to them as foreigners who came to experience their rich culture and history. They further immersed themselves in the evolution of life by visiting the “Sterkfonein Caves” (where life is said to have begun) and at same location the “Cradle of Human Kind” museum to complete the historical experience back in time with lunch at the lovely Maropeng Hotel.
While the team lodged at Mount Grace, they got to visit the Lesedi Cultural Village which celebrates the diverse cultural traitions of Southern Africa. From Zulu people to those of Xhosa origin, Pedi, Basotho, and so on. South Africa has a rich diversity of people and cultures and 11 official languages. Lesedi Cultural Village allows visitors to really explore the glorious diversity of the people of this mazing land that is often referred to as the “Rainbow Nation”. While they dinned diversely enjoying great South African cuisines, the group dared their hearts on Zip Line at Ama Zwing Zwing Adventures and speed boat cruise around Hartebeesport Dam, the biggest dam in the Gauteng & North Western area supplying water for Johannesburg and surrounds.
From Mount Grace Resort in Gauteng Province, the team flew to “The Mother City”, Cape Town and got to soak themselves in the beauty of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. This waterfront is so incredible in the sense that it’s not just a canal city but the actual sea meets the city to create a natural convergence of land and sea, where the city is built around and on the ocean. The guests got to learn a lot about the history of the Waterfront and of Cape Town and enjoyed leisurely activities such as, riding the Big Wheel at the Waterfront for less than a R100 and walking through the mall, which is in itself, an experience which ended with a high as they settled in the magnificent Marriot Crystal Hotel at Century City in with its spectacular rooms and next to Canal Walk Mall providing opportunity for per minute shopping.
The days following included hoping onto the Red Bus for a detailed Tour of the Mother City all the way to the Table Mountain for an amazing view of the charming city from above 3500ft above sea level. As the group came down, there was an arcade of Side Cars waiting to take them on a thrilling race to Oudekraal Picnic Beach for a South African picnic with a lot of dancing and later another full on african dinner at the Gold Restaurant. The Wine Tram experience in the Franschhoek Wine Farm with a Champagne Sabrage. The evening was sumptuous dinner at the glamorous Southern Sun Cullinan with a surprise Jellof rice by the Chef and ended up at the popular Cubana to dance off the over feeding.
The day before departing Capetown, the group had a closer connection with the locals during a foot tour of Boakap Village and the Township which ended up with a typical traditional South African Shisanyama lunch at the “RANDS” lifestyle outdoor lounge, eating, drinking & dancing with the locals. Later that evening, it was a quick stopby at “Aarons Place” Nigerian restaurant for some pepper soup, Eba & others delicacies. The next day at the departure after one last sumptuous breakfast at the Marriot Crystal Hotel, the group stepped out hopping to jump into their regular luxurious bus only for them to find the iconic “Haley Davidson” bikes waiting to take them on the ride of their lives to the airport………. What a closing!
There is no doubt that the travel agents and media were astounded by the richness of this country. They used every sense: smell, sight, taste, sound, and touch, to really experience and appreciate the plethora of culture and history in South Africa. Their taste buds also got introduced to a variety of food and South Africa offers a vibrant cuisine that is sure to excite the palate!
“We really enjoyed every bit of the tour and the hosting and the Host are very very friendly and caring, in fact we are happy to be associated with such wonderful people & land (Musa Muhammed Tahir – Abeer Travels & Tours Abuja)
On the whole, the program was interesting, and the tourist sites are just superb. (Chidozie – The Afritraveller)
The participation and diverse category of the specialist hosting group, increased engagement amongst travel agents and stakeholders on the trip opening their eyes and minds to the beauty of South Africa.
There is something about South Africa that makes each experience worth the trip… the scenic beauty of its landscape, the ever welcoming people, their rich cultural heritage and the variety of wines and cuisines. Best believe it is the perfect holiday destination. Need extra proof?
South African Tourism in partnership with Inifinix Nigeria hosted, Nigerian Singer, Adekunle Gold, Nigerian TV Presenter and Influencer, Stephanie Coker, Ghanaian Actor and Actresses, Joselyn Dumas and Jackie Appiah, Mawuli Gavor critically acclaimed Nigerian Filmmaker, Kemi Adetiba, Bloggers and OAPs from Nigeria and Ghana, Tosin Ajibade, Noble Ezeala, Ono Bello, Ameyaw Debrah, Osi , Kemi Smallz, Lexis Bill, Eugune, and Francis Doku and Media Guru, Colette Otutesho on a 10 day trip to explore the offerings of South Africa.
One thing you are sure to experience in South Africa is luxurious accommodation with views that just starts your days right. From the Drakensberg Sun Resort in Drakensberg with the mountain views to Protea Hotels in Clarens with the swimming pools and the Davinci Hotel in Nelson Mandela Square – J’Burg which is perfect for shopping.
In South Africa – there’s something for everyone, you can relax, stay in beautiful properties, as well as experience wines and cuisines that will leave you coming back to South Africa again and again.
With South Africa only 6 hours away, the group arrived Johannesburg and set off on a road trip to ‘home’ for the next few days; Drakensberg Sun Resort. With fresh mountain air and awestruck views, the resort is situated high in the dramatic landscapes of Drakensberg also known as ‘the dragon mountain’.
After time spent on a plane and on a bus, rejuvenating spa sessions with complimentary drinks at the Champagne Sport Resorts was the perfect welcome to kickstart the vacay. After the pampering, came the food; the in-house cuisine at the Drakensberg Sun Resort was absolutely amazing and quintessentially South African.
What better way to take in the awe-inspiring and truly magnificent landscape of Drakensberg than going on a horse ride through the area. The group was definitely excited about the horse-back riding experience and was even more thrilled to go on a canoe ride on the Drakensberg’s lake.
Next stop for the group; Cathedral Peak Wine Estate. A must do when in South Africa is wine tasting, and when in Drakensberg, a must visit is the Cathedral Peak Wine Estate – the vineyards of this wine estate is simply magnificent, and the view is even more magical. The group got to sample some of the best of South African wine served with cheese and grapes over happy talks and bonding. For Adekunle Gold and Stephanie Coker, the wine tasting was the highlight of their trip.
This year being the Centenary of Nelson Mandela, the group took a long walk on the path to freedom as they visited the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. In 1952, Nelson Mandela was apprehended for his anti-Apartheid activism acts and a cultural and historical exhibition was set up at the site in his honor. The sculpture at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site comprises of 50 steel columns that were laser cut to form an image of Mandela when viewed at the correct angle. The walk to the capture site was a monumental moment for the group as they got a deeper insight on the fight of Mandela for the freedom of the people of South Africa.
Ready for another road trip, the group was back on the tour bus and it was goodbye Drakensberg and hello! Clarens. The small town of Clarens – just a 3 to 4 hours drive from Johannesburg- is situated at the foothill of the magnificent Maloti Mountian. Clarens welcomed the guests with beautiful sun kisses, and something to get the blood pumping – Quad Biking and Zip Lining at Clarens Xtreme. Dear adrenaline lovers, this has got to be your first stop when you visit Clarens and the best part of it is you do not have to break a bank. Most activities are as little as a half-/full day R250/350.
From a time of adventure, to a time with the people of the Basotho Cultural Village. The Basotho Cultural Village, located at the foot of huge sand stone mountains would take you through time, highlighting the lifestyle of the people of South Sotho from the 16th century to the present. The group was welcomed into the “khotla”, the gathering place of men and had a sip of the traditional beer offered as a gesture of the Basotho hospitality.
Ready to explore more, the crew hit the beautiful streets of Soweto, where Adekunle Gold couldn’t help but beatbox to the music of one of the locals… music is a universal and no matter your country, the music always unites us all.
Next stop was the Mandela House, also known as the Nelson Mandela National Museum. The Mandela family’s four-roomed Soweto home houses various memorabilia, artworks, awards and honorary doctorate conferred on Nelson Mandela and his family, as well as photographs of the family dating back to the 1950s. Mandela had lived here from 1946 to 1962, and the now museum houses the history on the life of Mandela featuring his works on promoting human rights, democracy, reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance amongst the people of South Africa. The group couldn’t help but feel the spirit of Mandela still lived on.
This year had been a long walk through history for the people of South Africa as it marked the 100th year of the birth of Nelson Mandela and to further honor his legacy, the Global Citizens Festival put together the Mandela 100 concert at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg as part of one of the biggest campaigns to end extreme poverty across the world. With Trevor Noah as the host and performance by A-list artists such as Beyoncé and Jay Z, Usher, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell, and our very own Wizkid, Femi Kuti, D’banj, Tiwa Savage and many more. The ever welcoming and hospitable people of South Africa hosted over 70,000 visitors from different parts of the world for the festival. The guests were thrilled to be a part of such historical event.
No better way to end a fun filled trip than a time out shopping at the beautiful Sandton Mall.
The beautiful moments and memories made on the trip were also captured on the Infinix Zero 6 and we are officially looking forward to seeing South Africa through the lens of the Zero 6 as this ground-breaking device is set to launch in Nigeria January 2019.
See all the adventure on Instagram @travel2Sa @infinixnigeria
South African Airways (SAA) celebrated Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary at the Arrows of God Orphanage in Lagos by donating food materials and goodie bags to the children of the home.
As part of the airline’s commitment to Nigeria and the less privileged, SAA donated customised cake, gift bags, drinks, noodles and other food stuffs to the Arrows of God Orphanage to ensure the children of the home are not left out of the celebration mood of the Nigerian nation as it clocks 58 year of Independence.
Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, South African Airways National Sales Manager in Nigeria led the staff of the airline to share the joy and hope of Nigeria’s Independence with the orphans.
“As part of our corporate social responsibility and giving back to the people, we are celebrating Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day with our long-time friends at the Arrows of God Orphanage. We are optimistic and committed to the Nigerian market and will continue to provide necessary support accordingly,” Kemi stated.
The National Sales Manager used the occasion to announce SAA will continue to prioritise the Nigerian market as it marks the milestone of 20 years of service in Nigeria this year.
The children and teachers of the Orphanage expressed their appreciation to the SAA team for their continuous support in putting smiles on the faces of the children always.
Recall that South African Airways began flight service between Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa in December 1998.
In support of Small and Medium Scale Business in the Travel Industry in Nigeria, South African Tourism (SAT) partnered with South African Airways (SAA) and the Sun International (SI) to give 9 small and upcoming travel agents (trade) executives an opportunity to explore South Africa and have their products at a Brand Expo which took place on 29th & 30th June 2018 at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The 9 travel agencies taken on the trip includes Crew Training Institute, Greater View Travels, Saffron Travels, Apeiron Travels, Vectra Travels, Foshizi Tours, Teeysz Tours, Akenn Tours and Nje Tours.
Taking off in the brand new South African Airways Airbus A330-300 series from Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos and led by Trade Relations Manager, South African Tourism West Africa, Mr Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa and Mrs Motunrayo Ajomale of South African Airways Nigeria, the trade executives were prepped ahead of the two-week power packed and exciting trip to South Africa. Arriving at the O.R Tambo International Airport in the early hours of the 2nd of August, the travel agents were whisked off on a 30-minute drive to the Maslow Hotel in the heart of Sandton.
While SAA was responsible for providing the flight to South Africa, Sun International provided the befitting accommodation at Maslow for the travel agents and SAT provided the experiences & ground logistics throughout their stay in South Africa. The experiences were specially curated to give the agents a chance to experience that culture and the variety of memorable attractions that South Africa offers in & around Gauteng (Johannesburg & Pretoria) & North West (Sun City) provinces which was the coverage area of the fam trip while they sell the beautiful country as a top travel destination.
Unaware of the many robust attractions and world-class locations in South Africa, many tour operators have been limited in offering South Africa as a potential holiday destination to their clients due to negative mind-sets about the country. Through the hosting, the travel agents who went on the trip were able to see a different side of South Africa and also experience the warmth and diversity of her people. From the visit to the Lesedi Cultural Village to the trip to Soweto, home of the legend, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the travel agents had an opportunity to interact with South Africans who welcomed them with warm smiles and were also eager to share their culture with them. At the Lesedi Cultural Village, less than one-hour drive from Jo-burg, they encountered people of Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Ndebele and Basotho origin. From listening to individual cultural stories of the people, to tours of the local houses, the travel agents received a fuller picture of the South African heritage.
While exploring top tourist destinations like Gold Reef City theme park and Sun City Resort, a world-class resort that offers a wide variety of hotels, attractions and events, including the luxurious Palace of the Lost City where they stayed, the travel agents were also able to witness, first-hand, the fun side of South Africa. Boasting of many top tourist attractions with exciting activities, South Africa is a place to go and let your hair down, either alone or with family or friends. Individually or in a group, South Africa has something for everyone. There are also a wide variety of activities from mountain climbing to zip lining to suit different interests and passions. The travel agents were able to take part in these activities as they continued to explore South Africa during their the one-week visit.
Aside from the places visited and the activities they were involved in, the trade had a taste of indigenous South Africa food bursting with flavours and richness in palate. At Maboneng, which boasts of a wide selection of restaurants and artistic stores for visitors to enjoy, the trade tucked into sumptuous meals and they also had an opportunity to experience foot tour of the artistic environment, South African style.
Seeing the beauty in the natural landscape in South Africa while taking a tour of Johannesburg, the trade was convinced that South Africa is the top travel destination which everyone should experience. Conversations throughout the trip was centered around building the capacity of the trade and giving inputs to help them scale their travel business and offer competitive services to their clients.
According to Victoria, MD, Akenn Travels, “This was a huge privilege given us even as a relatively new business, we have taken this with both hands and commit to delivering on the purpose for which this hosting was put together.” while Ms Tina Tinachi, MD, Nje Tours says “The trip was amazing, fun & informative”
On a similar note, Mrs Folasade Adegboyega of Apeiron Travel & Tours confessed “I have been to SA a couple of times, but this experience was exceptional. There was so much to do & see that time didn’t permit us. South Africa is an AMAZING destination. I will sure visit & sell again and again.”
With South Africa as a top travel destination in their minds, the travel agents now understand the key highpoints of the country that their clients must encounter. What better way to sell a location as a potential holiday destination than to have first-hand experience of the fullness of what the location has to offer? The travel agents ended the tripped equipped to increase and diversify their offerings to their clients and curate the best experiences in the travel packages they offer to them.
It was a delightful experience for all attendees at the 14th AKWAABA African Travel Market held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos from the 9th to the 11th of September 2018.
AKWAABA – African Travel market is the biggest Travel & Tourism Show in West Africa hosting exhibitors and buyers to meet with airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, state tourism boards, foreign trade and tourism sectors from over 20 countries in Africa and the UAE.
Making a mark this year at AKWAABA was South African Tourism, with its alluring and fascinating destination stand where it engaged with Trade, Consumers and Exhibitors alike, sharing information on the amazing offerings the destination has to offer in line with the focus of the event for this year 2018 which included; introducing and encouraging African tour operators who promote African destinations to Africans, growing future of Aviation in Africa, showcasing wining and dining as a key element of tourism through food fair, wedding destinations, SPA and Wellness across Africa and engaging youths in Africa Tourism & Travel.
At the opening, Trade Relations Manager: West Africa for South African Tourism, Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa received the DG, Nigerian National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Chief Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who declared the exhibition open alongside other top dignitaries from across the continent at the South African Tourism Destination Stand. The DG expressed his admiration saying “We are very proud of South Africa as they made the whole of Africa proud during the World Cup 2010 as the first African Country to host the World Cup”
One of the key game changer at Akwaaba Travel Market this year was the inclusion of the Local & Small scale Tour Operators & Travel Agents to exhibit as it attracted more foot fall from their own clients & followers.” Kwajaffa extended a huge appreciation to the founder of AKWAABA, Mr. Ikechi Uko for organizing a good event this year and also thanked Stakeholders from National Association of Nigeria travel Agency, Nigeria Association of Tour Operators & Tour Operators of Ghana who visited the stand to show their continued support and partnership “this gave us opportunity to showcase destination South Africa to more than the usual clientele hence reaffirming SAT’s commitment to supporting such initiatives & activities in the market. Congratulations to all the award winners of the Top 100 Africa Tour Operators and the organizers for a well-organized event – he further said.
Also in attendance, NANTA BOT Chairman, Mr Steve Isokarie, NATOP President, Hajiya Bilikisu Abdul, FTAN President, Alhaji Rabo Kareem, HATMAN President, Mr Badaki Aliyu Ajayi, NANTA National VP, Mrs Susan, NANTA VP Lagos Zone, Mrs Lola Adewale, NANTA VP Western Zone, Mr Dagunduro Tokumbo all of Nigeria and from Ghana TOUGHA President, Mr Kwesi Eyison, GHATOF Rep, Mr Ahmed Naaman, and celebrities such as Ghanaian famous actor, Van Vicker and Nigeria’s famous Singer, Producer, Actor, Banky W, resounding Nigerian Contemporary Vocalist & Chanter, Ire ‘D’ Stage Diva and many more who visited the South African Tourism destination stand.
AKWAABA was a valuable opportunity for the African Trade Market to network and discuss, trade businesses with others across the continent.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa held its 61st Regional Tourism Conference in Abuja, capital of Nigeria between June 4 and 5, 2018. The South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Andre Hanekom, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time, was one of the more than 20 ministers and 500 delegates from 34 countries who attended the conference.
On the 6th of June 2018, the minister, on his way back to South Africa, stopped by in Lagos and hosted some members of the media, trade &and other stakeholders to an exclusive dinner at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The South African Tourism Trade Relations Manager (West Africa), Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa, who stood in for the Hub Head, Mr. Hloni Pitso, who was on study leave at the time, welcomed the guests and introduced the Minister and his wife as well the Consul General of South Africa in Lagos, Ambassador Darkey Africa, who accompanied the Minister to the dinner.
The honourable minister, underscoring the pivotal position that Nigeria occupies in South Africa’s tourism marketing plan as well as the historical bond between West Africa and South Africa, opened the discussions. He requested for an open and transparent dialogue on the tourism sector with focus on the flow of traffic between West Africa and South Africa.
Guests enjoyed a savoury South African inspired three-course dinner, though the Minister had insisted on a local Nigerian dish. Going by the pleasant experiences and stories shared across the table that night, it was unanimous that South Africa is a world-class tourism destination, rich in taste, culture and experiences.
However, the major trust of contributions made by the majority of the media and key trade travel partners at the dinner centered on the recurring challenges that applicants encounter when processing South African visa.
Responding, the minister assured all present that considering the importance of the West African market to South African Tourism, a lot was already being done to address the issue.
He said: “We are fully aware of the situation and have set several things in motion to ease the processing of South African Visa in Nigeria. We are working towards eventually having an e-visa regime. We want to modernize the systems and ease the burdens. We are also working on a way of using the fact that someone has a valid visa of countries like USA, U.K. on his or her passport etc. as a criteria to speed up the visa application process for such a person.”
In his contribution, Ambassador Darkey Africa, said as a consulate they were also aware of the visa situation and on their part, they are working determinedly with their colleagues in the Home Affairs Ministry in South Africa to ensure that Nigerians enjoy better and more seamless regime of processing South African visa at the shortest possible time.
He, however, advised that applicants should always submit their applications on time and with the appropriate supporting documents as this will make it easier for the process to be more seamless for everyone’s good. The need for more socio-cultural exchanges between South Africa and the countries in West Africa was suggested by Mr. Obinna Emelike of The Business Day Newspaper and it was generally agreed that such exchanges will go a long way to strengthen the historical bond between South Africa and West Africa.
One of the major highlights of the evening was the appreciation expressed by Nigeria travel agents to Ambassador Darkey Africa for the open-door policy that he had operated since his assumption of office and the very kind gestures that he has continued to express towards the travel agents in Nigeria. The Nigerian tour operators also presented Mr. Hanekom with a Nigerian artifact.
In closing, Minister Hanekom called for greater regional cooperation and for Africans to work together to ensure ease of travel and the continued growth of tourism across the continent. He also promised that the short visa duration currently being given to frequent travellers will be looked into and reviewed. Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa gave a vote of thanks and the dinner was brought to an end, after which group pictures were taken with the ever cheerful Mr. Derek Hanekom and his wife.
South African Airways (SAA) Africa’s most awarded airline has urged corporate travel managers in Nigeria to take advantage of the airline’s incredible new Voyager – SAA frequent flyers’ reward system in flying from Lagos to Johannesburg, South Africa and beyond.
South African Airways recently held a Corporate Travel Managers forum in Lagos during which Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, National Sales Manager, South African Airways explained the new Voyager reward system to credit passengers with miles based on the amount of airfare and fuel levy rather than the travel distance or cabin class.
According to Kemi, “South African Airways is always prioritising the welfare of its passengers hence, our new Voyager reward is now based on the amount of airfare and fuel levy rather than the travel distance or cabin class. For every N48 you spend flying South African Airways, you are guaranteed 1 Mile.”
“In addition, South African Airways also offer corporate travel managers super corporate deals up to 14% with seamless upgrades, priority boarding, priority waitlist and lounge access as part of the many rewards attached,” Kemi added.
South African Airways opened its doors for corporate travel managers to leverage the incredible advantage of flying the airline through either a tripartite partnership which involves the airline, the corporate and a travel management company or otherwise a direct partnership between the airline and the corporates.
The airline reminded the corporates aside flying the Lagos-Johannesburg route with the new A330-300 aircraft with exceptional configurations in both the Business and Economy cabins, passengers do not also require transit visa travelling beyond South Africa to other Southern Africa countries including Mauritius, Maputo, Harare and more where South African Airways has route network.
Sulyman Akinwande of South African Airways Cargo, a subsidiary of South African Airways highlighted the functions of SAA Cargo to include the air freight of general, specialised cargoes and courier services from Lagos across the world.
Mohammed Kwajaffa, Trade Relations Manager, West Africa at South African Tourism showcased South Africa as a fun and adventurous destination rated as the 5th most beautiful country in the world by a recent international ratings report.
South African Airways presented amazing rewards to corporates at the forum which includes a Business Class ticket and free upgrade from Economy to Business Class from Lagos to any destination in South Africa.
Recently, a delegation from South Africa’s Kaya 95.9 FM visited Nigeria in what CEO Greg Maloka described as “a bid to know our backyard a little better.” Maloka and his team spent the better part of a week in Lagos where among other activities, they were hosted to lunch at the Lagos Motorboat Club, Ikoyi, by the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation’s ‘Tour Nigeria’ brand.
Kaya FM is the biggest independent radio station in Guateng, South Africa’s most populous province which includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and other cities, and reflects the experiences of the predominantly black, urban listener between the ages 25 to 49 living in the province.
The decades-long apartheid policy previously practiced by European minorities in South Africa meant the country was isolated from the comity of nations including neighboring African countries for years.
So despite over two decades of democratic rule, the process of assimilation for South Africa and its citizens into the international is still ongoing. Currently, many South Africans still say they are “going to Africa” whenever they step out of their borders and travel to neighboring countries.
According to Maloka, “To accept you’re part of a continent, you need to understand the continent not just by geography, but its heart.”
And rather than depend on Western media for news and happenings in Nigeria, the Kaya FM team decided to discover Nigeria by themselves and give first-hand information to their considerably large base of listeners.
With one million weekly views on Youtube, Kaya FM is in a great position to help advance South Africa’s integration with the rest of the continent.
“Our responsibility is to shape people’s opinions and where there is prejudice, to change people’s opinion as well. We are here in Nigeria to see things through our own eyes , I mean African eyes . We do not want to report from the colonial eyes which has been the order of the day and which is not only subjective, but only sees and magnifies the amenable negative occurrences in Nigeria.’’ Maloka revealed.
Already, there’s a healthy business relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, with many South African brands now household names in Nigeria. On the leisure front however, the trend has been for Nigerian travellers to explore the tourism attractions that the South African economy hugely benefits from. Our organisation was endeared to Nigeria by the professional approach adopted by the Director – General , NTDC , Mr Folarin Coker at selling Nigeria and placing her tourism potentialities on the international market with territorial finesse , African cosmopolitanism as regards identity appreciation and sincerity of purpose through its successful Tour Nigeria brand.
However, the visit of Kaya FM executives is an indication that South Africans are curious about – and willing to explore – Nigeria and its unique culture expressed through film, music, art, fashion, food and more. This coincides with a renewed drive by the Nigerian government to explore tourism as a vehicle for economic empowerment.
“We were able to venture out by ourselves. This is not such a structured visit,” Maloka explained against the backdrop of negative perceptions regarding security peddled by some sections of the Western media.
“A lot of South Africans are coming on a steady basis and are clued into the vibrancy of Lagos,” he explained going further to enunciate the team’s appreciation for Nigeria’s culinary offerings, including the sumptuous dishes on offer at the Boat Club.
There was a special mention for the Nok by Alara restaurant in Victoria. The team was so impressed, they had to go back for more.
Reflecting on the uniqueness of Africa’s most populous country, Maloka noted that “everything in Nigeria is Nigerian” and the citizens need to be proud of that. “If you ask a South African what is really South African, we struggle.”
Leading on from that, the team was asked to point out the uniquely Nigerian attributes that would attract a tourist from South Africa.
“I am no tourism expert but what I would say is that we have an opportunity to create a totally new way of selling Africa,” Maloka proffered.
“If we take the Western way which has always been in existence, we are not going to win because it isn’t our system and because it is infrastructure based, like selling a beach, selling a hotel, selling tangible things that people touch and feel.
Mr Maloka said that Kaya FM, South – Africa ‘Is creating an intra-continental business tourism unity and relationship which will be a win – win for the two countries
“It will be very difficult to sell infrastructure. What we have to sell is the soul of a place. How do you package the soul of a nation and present it? I don’t want to come to Nigeria to come and view the buildings, or drive on the highways but I want to come to Nigeria because I want to be Nigerian for a week.
“I want to leave with a new name like ‘Oga Chairman’. I want to leave with new clothes (I had these made here). I want to leave with new friends, new memories. If I meet anyone of you anywhere in the world, I need to be able to be Nigerian with you because I have lived with you, rather than visit your infrastructure.”
For him and the rest of the team, leaving with the conversations, with dance, with music, with culture, with artefacts, are the things that make memories indelible.
There is a thirst for more things Nigerian in South Africa, according to the delegation. So despite Nigerian music ruling the airwaves in South Africa, there’s room for more.
“We play a lot more Nigerian music now than we did before. We’ve played so much of it, we’ve started to want something else within the Nigerian space. For instance, I want the jazz scene of Nigeria. I don’t know it.
“If I represent a station like Kaya that has jazz as its essence, and someone from New York came to me and said, ‘tell me what the Nigerian jazz scene is like’, I would be lost. We would like to see other forms and other genres of music from Nigeria.”
The Kaya tour of Lagos could not have come at the better time, ahead of the Christmas celebrations which Lagos – the entertainment capital of Africa – is famous for. With conducive weather in December and a medley of concerts featuring Nigeria’s topmost entertainers (who also double as the continent’s leading lights), December is a great time for other African’s to feel the city’s pulse.
David O’Sullivian, a member of Kaya’s delegation to Nigeria said; “We are here on a voyage of discovery, a voyage of obtaining firsthand information for a better perspective. A voyage that will lead to perception modification and correction. We are committed to ensure a phenomenal rise, leap and increase in tourists’ traffic from South – Africa to Nigeria. We want to reverse the Nigeria – visit South – Africa without a corresponding positive story of South – Africans visit Nigeria . This is unbalanced cultural – economic scenario which cannot foster sustainable and lasting economic relationship and brotherhood hood between the two countries.’’
Brenda Modibane, the station’s Business Development and Marketing Manager, pointed out: “From my short stay in Nigeria, it is evident that South–Africans have a lot to see, to gain and to learn from Nigeria . Our incursion into this wonderful country is an eye opener to the vast opportunities open for South – Africans which we shall properly market to them.”
The Director General of the NTDC, Folorunso Folarin-Coker said “It takes a great mind to understand the socio-cultural international conspiracy against Africa which is being perpetrated through some intercontinental mega media. It is also a matter of great valour for another media giant to rise swiftly and embark on positive intra-continental perception reengineering that is of sustainable mutual benefit.
“On this, I give a warm African kudos and salute to Kaya FM 95.9 for rising stoutly in a rare Pan African information balancing stride between two most distinguished African countries,’’ he said.
He revealed that ‘Tour Nigeria’ was as a result of a painstaking deliberation and deep thinking of how best to enhance and add value to domestic tourism and thankful that Tour Nigeria has not only been embraced by Nigerians, but has been acknowledged internationally. I assure you of our impregnable and profitable support by opening and oiling the corridor of tourism business network , collation of meetings , facilitation of constructive interaction with sectoral leaders of thought and means , movers of the creative industry , leaders of night factories and those whose business and concerns will be of interest to South–Africans.”