Implications of nation-wide lockdown

Implications of nation-wide lockdown

On 23 March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020 to midnight on Thursday 16 April 2020.  

This means that all South Africans will have to stay at home.  There are however categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown.  This include, amongst others, people involved in the production, distribution and supply of food, as well as supermarkets.

Read more at and see the full statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This decision should be seen against the backdrop that the number of COVID-19 cases has escalated from 160,000 to over 340,000 confirmed cases across the world.  In South Africa, the number of confirmed cases has increased six-fold in just eight days from 61 cases to 402 cases.  According to the President, the nation-wide lockdown will be enacted in terms of the Disaster Management Act and will entail the following: 

  • From midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020 until midnight on Thursday 16 April 2020, all South Africans will have to stay at home. 
  • The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic. It will also include those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products. A full list of essential personnel will be published. 
  • Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant. 
  • Temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people. Sites are also being identified for quarantine and self-isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home. 
  • All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers. 
  • Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open. 
Take a look on a map

Take a look on a map

Coronavirus is a fast-moving infection originating in China. It has spread to more than 145 countries and claimed more than 6,400 lives.

There are now more cases around the world than there are inside China, where the spread of new cases has slowed down in recent days. Italy, so far, has the highest number of confirmed infections outside China.

This map helps us to understand whereto it has spread thus far

A rise in the number of daily confirmed cases of the new coronavirus internationally has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare its spread a global pandemic.

This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.

In response to the virus’s spread, countries around the world are ramping up measures to try to slow it down.

Governments have halted flights from virus-hit nations, locked down towns, urged people to stay at home, and suspended major sporting and social events.

So far, the official numbers seemed to suggest that sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, had been lucky. The interactive map of reported COVID-19 cases run by Johns Hopkins University shows big red blobs almost everywhere except sub-Saharan Africa.


But now the numbers are rising quickly. South Africa, which had its first case 10 days ago (8 March 2020), now has 61. According to Ramaphosa, the virus has begun spreading inside the country. And just yesterday, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, and Namibia all reported their first cases, bringing the number of affected countries to 23. Some scientists believe COVID-19 is circulating silently in other countries as well. “My concern is that we have this ticking time bomb,” says Bruce Bassett, a data scientist at the University of Cape Town who has been tracking COVID-19 data since January.

How to protect yourself

How to protect yourself

Coronavirus has spread to more than 145 countries or territories and claimed more than 6,400 lives.

The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water since Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets – packed with the virus – into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on then you touch face, accidently transmitting the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. Thus, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, washing your hands often and avoiding close contact with infected people are important for limiting the spread.


  • wash hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel
  • catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
  • throw away used tissues
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell


What are the coronavirus symptoms?

Coronavirus infects the lungs. The symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough, which can lead to breathing problems.

It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, scientists have said, but some people will get symptoms much later than this.

The incubation period lasts up to 14 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. But some researchers say it may be up to 24 days.

SA Tourism supports measures to combat Covid-19 Pandemic

SA Tourism supports measures to combat Covid-19 Pandemic

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Address to the nation yesterday, 15 March 2020, on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has confirmed that the tourism industry will play its role in effecting these measures.

The first measure is to postpone Africa’s Travel INDABA, which was scheduled to take place from 12 to 14 May 2020. This step supports Cabinet’s decision to encourage social distancing by prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism says, “We are in full support of the Minister’s decision and are duty bound to protect our nation and industry.”

South African Tourism, through its National Convention Bureau (NCB), will be contacting participating exhibitors about the postponement. Further, the organisation will consult with the broader industry on workable future dates for INDABA. 

The newly instituted travel bans on foreign nationals from high-risk countries, including the cancellation of visas, will have a profound impact on the tourism sector. South African Tourism in conjunction with tourism industry stakeholders will collectively explore measures to ensure the sector’s recovery and to protect the sustainability and attractiveness of travel and tourism going forward.

“We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for our industry as the repercussions of the virus reverberate through the entire value chain. We should use this opportunity to collaborate to find solutions beyond the current crisis, which will have long-term benefits for our country as a travel destination of choice”, says Ntshona.

Stakeholders are encouraged to visit for regular updates.

For media enquiries, please contact: Altaaf Kazi at South African Tourism         

Tel: +27 11 895-3046 or 082 553 9595       



SA Tourism launches its brand campaign

SA Tourism launches its brand campaign

It is time for SA to shift its tourism brand focus beyond built and endowed features to include its true magic…its people said Sisa Ntshona, CEO SA Tourism.

In a bold and emotive first step in its global brand journey, SA Tourism will today launch the first phase of its brand campaign work with a ninety second advertisement. SA Tourism has been developing its strategy to achieve the arrivals targets announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa at SONA 2019 through a combination of creating demand for tourist travel to and within South Africa and simultaneously influencing the removal of barriers to travel to South Africa.

“It was important for us to start this brand journey by firstly reminding South Africans of who we are, of creating conversation and of re-invigorating the national psyche. At the same time, we have created this initial work to be true to our essence and identity so as to connect with international and domestic audiences based on what they have been telling us through their experiences of our country and through our insights and analysis, says CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona.

SA Tourism is of the firm belief that advertising alone will not solve our challenges or create sufficient travel to South Africa. It will instead, require the mobilization of all South Africans to drive the country’s tourism efforts, inspired by bold and integrated communication that awakens all of us towards action, by travelling our country.

The advertisement, produced with the support of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), will be shown across mainstream TV channels at 18h00 and then during advertisement breaks throughout SONA. It will then be on rotation for the next three months on TV and digital platforms in South Africa. It features images of everyday South Africans, narrated by an emotive script that delves into the diverse, colourful and textured nature of who we are as South Africans and is accompanied by an inspirational, home-composed soundtrack.

 “It is the first in a series of communications in the brand re-awakening journey designed to call South Africa to collective action. It is our way of starting the decade boldly and with a strong focus on inspiring South Africans as an integral part of delivering the tourism brand promise,” concluded Ntshona.

SA Tourism will unveil the second phase of the global brand campaign later this month.

It was like a white cloud

It was like a white cloud

It was time for the annual migration of the The Pioneer White butterfly

We have all seen the white butterflies flying through our Village. But where are they going? Where are they coming from?

Professor Marcus Byrne from the school of animal, plant and environmental sciences at Wits University’s said it is an annual migration and the white butterflies are called Belenois aurota which means beautiful gold dusting referring to the colour on their wings.

They migrate from the Kalahari area north east across the continent but where exactly they are going to is not clear or whether they do a return journey. On average, they live for about a month and these butterflies can travel quite far with the wind. With the massive decline in insect populations over the last few years we can rejoice in this natural event taking place during midsummer every year. 

They have a massive distribution spreading over most of Africa towards India and even as far as Sri Lanka. Depending on climatic conditions like rain and drought their numbers differ each year. The annual migration of the Brown-veined White Butterfly in South Africa takes place during midsummer every year.

Award-winning goat’s cheese from Baris

Award-winning goat’s cheese from Baris

Award-winning goat’s cheese from Baris

After teaching herself cheesemaking, Estee van Aswegen entered her Baris cheeses at the South African Dairy Championships and won top of class.

The artisanal Baris cheeses are sold at the farm’s deli and restaurant, Baris Monger. She also supplies the Cheese Gourmet in Linden, Johannesburg. The Baris range consists of eight cheeses, including Camembert, Brie, feta, halloumi and the award-winning Vliedermaus, judged top of its class in 2018 and 2019 at the South African Dairy Championships.Van Aswegen describes it as a rich, soft, creamy, ashed, bloomy rind cheese that is bold in flavour.

The Baris Camembert was awarded second place in 2019 and third place in 2018 in the category for goat’s milk bloomy rind cheese, with or without condiments. It has a buttery yet milky taste, and she says it makes a superb baked Camembert.

The halloumi, which gained third place in 2019, is made using the traditional style of folding, and contains mint from the Baris garden.

“Developing our range of cheeses has been a mind-blowing journey. Since we developed our own recipes, it took a lot of experimenting. It was important not to replicate other cheeses on the market, but to develop a range with its own identity and flavour.”

The most charming towns and small cities in South Africa

The most charming towns and small cities in South Africa

Recently the online Travelmag published a lovely story about places to visit in South Africa. (

South Africa is home to a diverse landscape that comprises everything from pristine beaches, rugged mountains and craggy cliffs, to dense forests, crystal-clear lagoons and lush winelands. Interspersed around this varied topography are a vast number of towns and cities, each boasting their own unique character and cultural identity...”

About Clarens…

Clarens, Free State

“Perched in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, the small town of Clarens has been dubbed the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State” – and for good reason. As an artistic haven, many creative types come here to gain inspiration from its breathtaking scenery. This is at its starkest in the nearby Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which takes its name from the shades of gold and orange cast by the sun on the sandstone cliffs at certain times of day. There’s no shortage of gift-buying opportunities too, thanks to the town’s myriad arts galleries and craft stores. Additionally, cycling, game driving, trout fishing and birding offer plenty of outdoor recreation options.”

SA Tourism welcomes decision to waiver Unabridged Birth Certificate

SA Tourism welcomes decision to waiver Unabridged Birth Certificate

South African Tourism (SA Tourism) acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, has welcomed the news that international minors travelling to South Africa no longer require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents.

The announcement made by the Home Affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, yesterday comes into effect immediately.

All ports of entry as well as the airline and maritime industries have been informed following the signing of the waiver by Minister Motsoaledi on Friday.

“The news will certainly be welcomed by all in the tourism industry, both in South Africa and around the world,” commented Dlamini.

“In all our markets, family travel is a key driver for arrivals and we compete with many other destinations for the share of family travel. The waiver announcement will allow us to proactively and aggressively market South Africa as a family friendly destination again.”

“Following our recent roadshows to UK, Central Europe and North America, some of the feedback received was that we were starting to lose ground on the family travel market as families were choosing other destinations ahead of South Africa due to the regulations around travelling with minors. With this changed, we can now work on regaining this market,” explained Dlamini.

South Africa is an ideal family destination with convenient long haul connections from all parts of the world. The country is also malaria-free making it an attractive option for families wanting to experience safaris and wildlife without having to take medication. Accommodation establishments across the country also cater for the needs of families. “There is an abundance of fun to be had in South Africa for families travelling with children of all ages and certainly enough experiences to leave lasting memories in both parents and children. As we look to achieve the goal set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of 21 million arrivals by 2030, waiving the Unabridged Birth Certificate for international minors will certainly prove to be a catalyst for us to achieve the goal,” concluded Dlamini. For media enquiries, please contact:

Altaaf Kazi at South African Tourism

Tel: +27 11 895-3046 or 082 553 9595         

Email: OR

Pinotage on Tap

Pinotage on Tap

Pinotage On Tap, or “POT” as it’s fondly become known, started off (15 years ago) as a simple little party on the farm in honour of our fabulous (and famous) Coffee Chocolate Pinotage, (the Original one) produced by the award-winning wine estate, Diemersfontein Wines in Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa. 

The idea was to celebrate the new vintage and involve and spoil the people who enjoyed it. 

Well… never did we imagine what would transpire from that in years to come! POT grew like Jack’s beanstalk – and so did the fans! Today we can proudly say that not only has this event established a reputation and following (second to none) but in 2014, Pinotage On Tap also received the coveted award for the “Best Wine Event in the World” by Drinks International.

From then on it’s only been upward and forward! Every year the festival is held in 4 key locations, namely Durban, Joburg, Cape Town and Clarens.

The nature of the event involves the following criteria – and possibly in this order too: Phenomenal wine, (Pinotage of course) pouring abundantly from the barrel taps (hence the name), mouth-watering food, top-class live music entertainment, fantastic company and the best wine fest experience you can possibly have!

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