South Africa will start producing second generation vaccines to better fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the South African-born billionaire, Patrick Soon-Shiong the vaccine production facility which opened here in the Mother City yesterday, would produce vaccines which would be far more capable in fighting the virus.

He says this new generation of vaccines are a lot more effective in disrupting the reproduction and further spread of the virus than currently available vaccines.

Soon-Shiong says the facility would also develop and produce therapies for the treatment of diseases such as cancer, HIV and tuberculosis.

Watch Dr. Soon-Shiong’s full briefing here.

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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.

The Western Cape has recorded a 55.6% percent increase in road accident deaths this past festive season.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula released the 2021 Festive Season Road Statistics yesterday and says the province, over the 2021 holiday season, recorded 207 road deaths.

This is an increase from the 133 deaths reported in the 2020 festive season.

The Minister says drunken-driving and speeding played a significant role in this increase in fatalities.

Read the Minister’s full statement here.

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A total of 1 685 fatalities were recorded on the country’s roads over the 2021 festive season.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula released the 2021 Festive Season Road Statistics this morning.

He says this is a 14% increase on the previous year’s festive season road fatalities.

Mbalula says authorities recorded an increase in road fatalities in seven of the country’s provinces.

Read the Minister’s full statement here.

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has committed R7 billion to be invested in improving train services.

The Minister says PRASA in the Western Cape has so far been able to re-establish 5 of the Mother City’s largest train services.

The Southern Line, the Retreat to Fish Hoek service and the Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town services have been in operation since last year.

Mbalula says the Cape Town to Bellvile and Cape Town via Pinelands railway service should be operational again by March.

Get the latest updates here.

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