The City of Cape Town has confirmed that MyCiTi buses will return to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha next month. More than 6 000 commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha will benefit from the N2 Express service – it was suspended on 31 May 2019.
At its last meeting for the year in 2021, the City Council unanimously approved the Transport Directorate’s request to grant the N2 Company the right to use and manage the 34 City-owned buses to provide the N2 Express service.

Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “This is very important progress, and great for the city. We look forward to seeing the N2 Express service up and running as soon as possible. Capetonians urgently need safe, affordable and reliable public transport. With the return of the N2 Express service thousands of commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha will be able to board the blue MyCiTi buses to the Cape Town CBD. I want to thank the N2 Company, our partners who will be operating the service. Thank you for your commitment to return the service to commuters from the metro-south east. I also want to commend the City officials for their dedication and hard work leading up to the signing of the contract.”

The City of Cape Town also confirmed that it will be assessing the bus shelters along the four routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha for urgent maintenance and repairs. Many of the shelters have been vandalised or stripped by thieves during the time that the service was suspended.

Once operational, the N2 Express service will again operate along four MyCiTi routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha:
• D01 between Khayelitsha East and the Civic Centre
• D02 between Khayelitsha West and the Civic Centre
• D03 between Mitchells Plain East and the Civic Centre; and
• D04 between Kapteinsklip, the Mitchells Plain Town Centre and the Civic Centre

The buses will travel to the Civic Centre station in the Cape Town CBD via the N2 freeway.

The Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions hit Cape Town’s tourism sector hard but the recovery is underway.

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos says: “2021 proved to be yet another challenge for our hospitality and tourism industries. But thanks to the success of our collaborative campaign efforts to attract local tourists, this past December holiday was much more positive for the local industry. Judging by the demand that we saw, I believe that there will continue to be an upward trajectory for travel to Cape Town and South Africa.”

CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy says: “We’re delighted to see recovery in our visitor economy, with domestic and international tourists injecting some sorely needed capital into the city. We do understand that recovery will take a little longer than we had hoped but we are optimistic that this trend towards recovery continues in February, as we enter our ‘second’ peak season. While the numbers look better, we need sustained tourism to really impact our local small business sector and start turning the devastating blows dealt by Omicron-linked travel bans around.”

The V&A Waterfront reported a year-on-year percentage increase of 31% and attributed it to increased footfall and eased restrictions. They also reported a strong influx of domestic travellers that helped drive the improved figures.

Overall, the tourism sector contributed R5.8 billion to Cape Town’s economy in 2021. In December, tourism contributed R800 million to Cape Town’s economy and the domestic campaign resulted in bookings valued at just over R40 million.

Eskom has confirmed that it will shut down Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station for five months. The power supplier said in a statement: “After over 450 days of uninterrupted operation, Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station will on Monday 17 January 2022 be taken offline for a regular refueling and maintenance outage that is scheduled for five months. This will be the 25th refueling outage on Unit 2 since commissioning and will also see the replacement of the unit’s three steam generators. During this outage, the reactor pressure vessel head, which houses the nuclear fuel while the station is in operation, will also be replaced.”

Eskom also announced that Unit 1 will be shut down later this year: “The Koeberg Unit 1 outage, of a similar duration, will follow later in the year during which the Unit 1 steam generators will also be replaced; its reactor pressure vessel head was replaced several years ago.”

“This is going to be a long, but needed outage – the first of its kind for Koeberg. Our staff are prepared and committed to make history by ensuring success of this project,” said Riedewaan Bakardien, Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer. “Nuclear safety is the paramount factor. We will progress the outage work diligently, making sure nuclear safety and safety of plant, personnel and public is top of mind.”

The Koeberg units, at 920MW each, are the largest generating units on the African continent.

The Koeberg Alert Alliance said: “Firstly it is disingenuous to call this a “regular refuelling” outage. It is about as accurate as saying your car is going to the mechanic for refuelling, and by the way while busy filling the tank they will also replace the gearbox. The vast majority of the cost and the duration of the outage will be to do the refurbishment, so it is more accurate to call this a refurbishment outage.”

 

 

In a joint statement, The Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said they will create a new task force to follow up on those implicated in the Zondo Commission report.

The first part of the report was released and handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa and deals largely with alleged corruption at South African Airways, the SA Revenue Service and  the Government Communication and Information Service

Both agencies promised that they will be systematically reviewing the commission’s findings and recommendations, with a view to investigating and building cases for criminal prosecution against those who broke the law, be they from the public or private sectors

They added that this will include – where appropriate – the freezing of assets and forfeiture of the proceeds of crimes.

In the statement, the NPA said it’s well aware of the challenges it faces: “As the NPA ramps up the prosecution of those implicated in state capture, it is crucial that its actions are, and are seen to be, independent of any undue influence. Anything short of this will undermine South African’s trust and confidence in the rule of law and due process, which is, for various reasons, already at concerningly low levels.”

They added: “In response to the Commission’s first report, the NPA has created a dedicated Task Force, coordinated at the highest levels within the NPA. An urgent review of all cases covered in the report, including those already proclaimed by the NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID), will be conducted. The Task Force’s main focus is on progress and impact. It builds on the work already done within the NPA over the past few years, in collaboration with the Zondo Commission and other law enforcement partners.

 

The new internet sensation is an online word game called Wordle. In a similar vein as Sudoku, it’s an addictive take on a crossword puzzle that has a simple set of rules.

You have to guess the five-letter word with no clues and only a grid of empty blocks to inspire you. Once you start guessing, you’ll know if you’re on the right track by the coloured blocks of the grid.

Green means you have the correct letter, correct position. Yellow means you have the correct letter, wrong position, and grey means you have the wrong letter, and its not in your Wordle.

Let the colours guide you as you tackle your second and subsequent guesses. Every day a new word is loaded onto the site.

When you’ve completed the Wordle you can share your coloured grid on social media by clicking the share icon that pops up when the puzzle is completed.

The New York Times says the word game also has a love story at the heart of its origins: “Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, knew his partner loved word games, so he created a guessing game for just the two of them. As a play on his last name, he named it Wordle.”

The couple then shared the game on their family Whatsapp group and eventually made it public, inviting the rest of the world to play along.

So if you’ve seen the coloured grids on social media, stop wondering what all the fuss is about and start playing Wordle. You can play Wordle here