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Tshepiso Moche
Prince Harry may find home in Canada’s royal city
24 January 2020, 1:04 PM

Prince Harry and wife Meghan have settled, for now, into a seaside home near the most royal of Canadian cities – Victoria, British Columbia (B.C.)- named after a queen who reigned until 1901, during a great expansion of the British Empire.

In the summer, tourists pile onto red double-decker buses like the ones that criss-cross London. Every afternoon, hundreds flock to tea at the magnificent Fairmont Empress Hotel, or one of the city’s many other tea rooms that fly the British flag.

“Victoria is probably more British than (the) British,” said resident Bill Bray.

Indeed, thousands of British pensioners have chosen to retire on Vancouver Island, part of the province of B.C., which has a milder climate than the rest of Canada.

Prince Harry, 35, arrived on Monday, just a few days after reaching an arrangement with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth and other senior royals that will see him and Meghan, 38, quit their royal roles to seek an independent future.

Their move has led to questions about what it will mean for Canada. If they settle on Victoria, local residents said they would feel at home and enjoy more privacy than in Britain.

Victoria has often been a stop for members of the royal family who visit Canada, a former British colony whose head of state officially remains the British Sovereign.

George VI, who was Queen Elizabeth’s father and Harry’s great grandfather, hosted a dinner for 250 guests at the Empress in 1939, according to the hotel’s website, and in 1951, a year before she became queen, Princess Elizabeth stayed at the hotel.

In 1966, the queen’s mother visited Victoria and dedicated the cornerstone of the city’s most important museum, the Royal B.C. Museum. In 2016, Harry’s brother Prince William brought his wife, Kate Middleton, and their children to the city during an official visit to Canada.

“When I was a child… we used to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ before school started every morning,” said Helena Isherwood, who works in a boutique shop at the Empress.

Harry and Meghan, with baby Archie, will like Victoria because “it’s beautiful and I think they’ll get some privacy here, and space,” Isherwood said.

That would probably be a welcome change for the couple who on Tuesday issued a warning over harassment by paparazzi photographers after the Sun newspaper published images of Meghan taking a stroll through a park near Victoria.

“We don’t have a big paparazzi culture in Canada, so I do think they will find some contrast to what they’re familiar with coming from the U.K.,” said Mischelle vanThiel, a royal expert at the Royal B.C. Museum.

Local resident Bray said Prince Harry would be “just another bloke on the street” in Victoria.

Unions optimistic SAA problems will be resolved
22 January 2020, 5:42 AM

The National Transport Movement (NTM) president, Mashudu Raphetha, says they are optimistic that the problems at South African Airways (SAA) will soon be resolved.

The Department of Public Enterprises says it is still talking to National Treasury on the need to urgently raise funds for South African Airways (SAA).

South African Airways has cancelled 28 local and 10 international flights.

The affected routes are return flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town as well as Johannesburg to Durban between the 20th and the 24th of January.

The cash-strapped SOE was placed under business rescue in December, requiring R4 billion to kick start the process, led by practitioner Les Matuson.

NTM president Mashudu Raphetha says, “Funding will be made available before the end of the week and we were also assured that workers will even receive salaries on time.”

“We have passed the stage where [we] blame anyone at the current moment. We are looking at government to ensure that the 10 000 direct employees at SAA, not only them but even 45 000 of those who are in the borders of the republic [are not negatively impacted],” explains Raphetha.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says those responsible for the SAA crisis should be held to account.

“We certainly disagree with the notion that we have passed the stage of blaming. We need to ensure that those who brought us to this disastrous situation are held to account. Government has consistently failed at all levels. They failed SAA; they failed workers first and foremost when they refused to support the turnaround strategy … that still has not happened,” adds Hlubi-Majola.

SAA defends its decision to ground 28 flights
21 January 2020, 1:09 PM

South African Airways (SAA) has defended its decision to cancel some of its local and international flights.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, the struggling national carrier says the move is aimed at conserving cash and optimising the airline’s position ahead of further capital injection.

Among flights affected are those linking Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and Munich in Germany.

According to the statement, the flights will remain suspended until the 24 of January.

Also read | Unions call for accountability, want the entire SAA board to resign
Numsa together with Sacca have called for the immediate resignation of the entire South African Airways Board.

 

SAA says it will continue to review flights schedule over the coming days.

It says changes will be communicated with its travel partners and customers at the earliest opportunity.

The cash strapped airline is still awaiting a R2 billion capital injection to avoid liquidation.

Government has promised that it will pay the money to ensure the survival of the airline.

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SAA cancels 28 flights
21 January 2020, 12:29 PM

South African Airways has cancelled 28 local and 10 international flights.

The affected routes are return flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town as well as Johannesburg to Durban between the 20th and the 24th of January.

The cash-strapped SOE was placed under business rescue in December, requiring R4 billion to kick start the process, led by practitioner Les Matuson.

The national carrier says these cancellations represent a responsible strategy to conserve cash.

It says it will re-accommodate passengers on its services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt.

Locally, SAA says it is working with its sister airline Mango to re-accommodate passengers to minimise disruption.

The company says this is in line with its policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand.

SAHRC, Mpianzi family to visit Brits lodge
21 January 2020, 11:38 AM

The South African Human Rights Commission and the family of Enoch Mpianzi, will on Tuesday go to the lodge in Brits where their son drowned.

The Mpianzi’s family has threatened to sue both Parktown Boys’ High School and the Gauteng Department of Education.

The Human Rights Commission says it will provide legal assistance because such an intervention is needed due to a number of parties that are allegedly implicated in Mpianzi’s death.

The 13-year-old learner drowned during a school orientation camp last week.

SAHRC Gauteng provincial manager, Buang Jones, says the family has requested a full probe into their son’s death.

“The family believes there may be more to the story. That is why we have asserted in very strong terms that we will pressure other role players. These are not limited to the lodge and the individual educators who were in charge of this camp. We will be going with the family to Brits today and the family would want to ensure that those who are responsible are criminally prosecuted,” explains Jones.

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