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Thu, 07 Dec 2017
Travelstart buys Cape Town’s SafariNow

Two of the biggest players in online travel in Africa are hooking up. Travelstart said on Wednesday that it is acquiring a majority stake in, which it said is South Africa’s largest accommodation booking website.

The value of the deal, which will see Travelstart taking on SafariNow’s 40-person team, has not been disclosed.

SafariNow, which was founded in 1999, will stick to its core business of selling accommodation and retain its current brand, CEO, Tom Williams, and team, Travelstart said in a statement.

Travelstart and SafariNow both started operations in South Africa in 1999 and are established players in Africa’s online travel booking industry.

“We want to supercharge our accommodation offering and with more than 23 000 listings on SafariNow, we can give our customers much better choices,” said Travelstart’s founder and CEO, Stephan Ekbergh, in the statement. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media


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Thu, 07 Dec 2017
SA committed to reducing pollution

South Africa remains fully committed to reducing all forms of pollution, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

“As a responsible global citizen, South Africa is committed to addressing pollution at the international, regional and national levels,” Minister Molewa said.

Addressing the High Level Segment of the Third Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, she said South Africa’s Constitution provides a legal obligation for government to ensure that the environment is safe and clean for all.

“This obligation is a core pillar of our National Development Plan (NDP) that sets sustainable development targets to be achieved by 2030.

“In line with the NDP, we have developed legislation, policies, strategies and action plans to address air, land, water and marine pollution,” Minister Molewa said.

The country has also established an Academic Researchers Forum focused on priority pollution problems such as plastic pollution, as well as emerging pollutants of concern.

“In line with the country’s commitment to concretely address the global challenge of environmental pollution, I am honoured and pleased to announce that South Africa will be joining the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Clean Seas Campaign on Marine Litter aimed at fighting marine plastic litter,” she said.

South Africa has recently partnered with Rwanda and Nigeria for the Africa Alliance on Circular Economy. This alliance will collaborate with the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy initiative. –


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Thu, 07 Dec 2017
How to build valuable networks

If you dread the thought of approaching strangers to grow your business, focus on how you can add value to others.

Networking is vital for entrepreneurs if they are to grow their businesses.

Unfortunately, many people feel uncomfortable approaching strangers.

Here the experts provide some tips on how to emerge from your shell and expand your influence.

Building social networks may sound easy, but a host of skills is necessary to do so.

Many business owners find the thought of “networking” quite daunting.

Some shy away from it altogether and hide behind the excuse that they are introverts.

TJ Malamule, professional speaker and brand and business strategist, says networking is every entrepreneur’s currency.

“The saying goes that your network equals your net worth,” he says.

You could be offering the best product or service, but if you cannot connect with people, they will not buy it.

People do business with those they like and who make an impression on them. They find you “worthy” to be in their network.

The more you network, the more you create opportunities for people to do business with you, he says.

Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of CB Talent, says networking is interaction with a purpose. It is about building relationships that become useful later.

Impressions count and when people meet face-to-face in an informal environment, such as business lunches or at meetings organised by business groups, they are able to form such an impression.

“We tend to think that building relationships or networking depends on whether we are introverts or extroverts. For me, it is all about being a person of value. In whatever you do, you need to be valuable,” she says.

What you can offer is of importance, not whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

The question you need to ask is why you need to build a network.

“If you are unable to answer this, your efforts will be wasted, no matter whether you are an introvert or extrovert,” says Gcoyi.

Malamule says networking is about serving and not selling.

People are tired of having things sold to them, but they are quite happy to receive anyone who is ready to serve them.

“Every business is supposed to be serving in order to make profit,” he says.

How to network

Powerful business networkers hook people by identifying what it is the network needs.

They position themselves as a solution to satisfy the need, he explains.

“Think about it like your first date. You certainly do not start talking about all your achievements if you want the second date. You have to show you are genuinely interested in them for them to be interested in you,” Malamule says.

It is important to be approachable, sincere, authentic and polite.

Gcoyi says naturally charming people find it easier to network.

“Not everyone can naturally be a good networker. Simply dishing out business cards at events to anyone who is willing to take them is really meaningless.”

One of the best traits of an introvert is their ability to listen. Use it.

It is important to make eye contact and ask open-ended questions that allow the conversation to flow.

Be conscious about the person in [...]

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