ANC NEC sharpen their knives, ramp up efforts to dismiss Zuma

He may have had a reprieve earlier in the week, but Jacob Zuma can consider himself on the ANC NEC hit-list.

The party’s National Executive Committee are determined to force Mr Zuma out of his Head of State role, according to City Press sources. He may have stood down as ANC President, but he still remains the leader of South Africa.

Jacob Zuma living on borrowed time as President
However, the NEC are determined to completely oust him from leadership. It was widely believed that a committee meeting on Wednesday would table plans to force Zuma out, but they eventually decided against upsetting the apple-cart on the eve of the ANC’s 106th birthday celebrations. This was confirmed by an ANC insider:

“There was a view that there was no point in upsetting the January 8 events. It would also be seen as opportunistic on Cyril’s part, and there is no guarantee as to how Zuma supporters would respond.”

With the event in East London drawing to a close, no stumbling blocks remain in the way of the ANC NEC, who are reportedly ready to push ahead with ‘Zumexit’. Our Jacob was soundly booed by a large number of ANC delegates when his name was announced during Saturday’s proceedings.

JZ may have even bough himself a little more time by appointing Raymond Zondo as the lead judge in the state capture inquiry. A right hand man to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Zondo is seen as a progressive choice. But, as always with Zuma, there’s an ulterior motive.

When will the ANC NEC attempt to remove Zuma?
By appearing to comply with an ANC directive, it puts fuel in the tank of his defence to stay on. Had he delayed or tried to circumvent the order to appoint a fair and impartial judge, that certainly would’ve been stronger grounds for divorce.

The ANC NEC next meet at a lekgotla on Thursday 18 January, where the issue of Zuma’s future will most likely be discussed. The party’s top brass could decide to recall the President, or hammer out a resignation deal to help him out of the door, rather than booting him out of it.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


The 30 UK job markets that are almost ‘restriction-free’ for South Africans

If you’re an expert in one of these fields, you can work in the UK with barely any limitations.

If you watch a certain reality show, then you’ll already know that South Africa’s Got Talent. However, an exceptional set of skills can do more than impress a set of judges these days. It can earn you a Tier 1 visa for the UK and its job markets.

This is confirmed by Sable International’s blog. The ‘exceptional talent’ visa is a special qualification that allows the best and brightest to live and work in Britain with minimum fuss.

Areas like humanities, engineering, science, medicine, digital development and the arts are crying out for masters of their crafts, and South Africans are free to apply.

What is the Tier 1 visa?
The Tier 1 visa allows you to be employed, self-employed, or work as a director. It also lets you travel freely in and out of the UK, and gives you the privilege of bringing family members to the country too.

In fact, the limitations are incredibly specific: The only people who can’t apply for a Tier 1 are trainee doctors and dentists, or professional sports coaches. Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the government were doubling the amount of these visas available back in November 2017, creating a real opportunity for foreign workers to establish themselves in Blighty.

This exceptional talent visa gives applicants an automatic five-year stay. Once your five years come to an end, you can apply for an indefinite leave to remain – a perfect name for UK residency, in the wake of Brexit.

What UK job markets allow you to work on the Tier 1?
There are seven ruling bodies that will decide if you have what it takes to work on the Tier 1 visa. The job markets available all fall under the following’s jurisdiction:

Can you see your occupation on this list of 30 here? If so, you’re more than welcome to try your luck in the UK. As a change in immigration policy creates a potential ‘brain-drain’ scenario, you could be ushered in as a expert for the following areas…

Jobs available in the UK on the Tier 1 visa:

Active researchers in a relevant scientific field and have a PhD or equivalent research experience

* Mechanical engineering
* Process engineering
* Civil engineering
* Biomedical engineering
* Innovation and policy engineering
* Electrical engineering
* Information communication technology engineering

Humanities and social science
* Philosophy
* Anthropology and geography
* Economics
* Sociology
* Psychology
* Political studies
* Law

* Anatomy
* Clinical medicine
* Biochemistry
* Anyone who demonstrates exceptional promise in their respective field, or those who have already exhibited exceptional talent through research or innovation in the medical field

Digital work
* Programmers
* Developers
* Anyone involved in the business of digital technology
* The arts

* Dance
* Music
* Theatre
* Visual arts (including museums and galleries)
* Literature
* Combined arts

Any person whose work has been published, performed, presented, distributed or exhibited internationally and you are able to provide evidence thereof.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


Discover the magic of spectacular Zermatt in the Swiss Alps

We feel the train engage the cogs as it rattles its way up the steep incline. Outside the wide windows, we pass rocky canyons, pine-covered mountain slopes and wildflower-covered meadows. My wife and I are comfortable and warm but outside the snowy white peaks are wrapped with cloud.

The train crawls through tunnels and across high bridges then pulls into a station. This is the end of the line. We have arrived in Zermatt.

The Swiss mountain village of Zermatt is one of the great ski and climbing centres of the world. Nestled in a deep valley enclosed between steeply scarped mountains, it is dominated by the dramatic, gracefully curved pyramid of the 4478 metre-high Matterhorn.

I first ‘discovered‘ Zermatt 40 years ago and declared it one of my favourite places in the world. I have been reluctant to go back and must say that I am initially disappointed in what I see. I want Zermatt to be the same as it was but, of course, it is not.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

The village has grown enormously, the colourful horse and carts have been replaced by electric vehicles and there is construction going on everywhere. However, from the moment we step off the train and catch sight of the cobbled streets, the cute chalets and the towering mountains, we know we are in a special place.

The main street bustles happily with pedestrians but we delight in exploring some of the tiny (and romantic) cobbled alleyways off to the side, where we find ancient sun browned barns and traditional chalets.

There are cosy restaurants everywhere and menus with prices are normally posted outside. Despite Zermatt’s popularity, despite its growth, it is still only a village, open and friendly, where people from around the world seem to mix happily in the streets, restaurants and bars.

With over 13,000 visitor beds, this is very much a tourist town. It is here because of the mountains. The Matterhorn, standing alone at the head of the valley is overwhelming but Zermatt is encircled by a famous ring of mountains over 4000 metres high.

Zermatt is renowned as one of the best ski resorts in the European Alps and is the favoured place to ski by many skiers who come here from all over the world.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

There are mountain railways and cable cars to take you up into the high wilderness in summer then you can ramble back down to the village. Along the way, you will find numerous mountain restaurants where you can sip a cold drink or a hearty lunch and enjoy the spectacular views of the Matterhorn.

A highlight for just about everyone is the Gornergrat, a cog railway that winds its way up the mountain to an altitude of 3089 metres. It provides magnificent panoramas along the way.

Another is Glacier Paradise / Klein Matterhorn, the highest place in Switzerland (3883 m) able to be reached by a cableway, with a viewing platform and the highest glacier palace in the world.

You arrive at the glacier by lift directly from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise station. You then walk into the palace through an ice tunnel that is almost fifteen metres below the surface of the glacier. Adventurers and daredevils can return by walking through a glacier crevasse. Both the railway and the cable car leave from Zermatt village.

Summer visitors can explore Gorner Gorge where a footpath across narrow bridges takes visitors through the deeply scarped gorge. Also in summer you can mountain-bike ride over gravel and stones, through larch and Swiss pine forests, on single trails all with a magnificent mountain backdrop. Each trail covers an average of 1,000 metres of altitude.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

The best accommodation in Zermatt is probably the Mont Cervin Palace. It is in the heart of the village and stands out with its attractive south-façade and roof with numerous turrets. The hotel’s red horse-drawn carriage is an ever popular photo.

There is excellent cuisine at the restaurant-dining room, Grill Le Cervin, and the hotel has a large indoor swimming pool and an outdoor pool, sauna, and large patio. Expect to pay €600/night.

We stayed at Tasch about seven kilometres away where we could drive the car right to the hotel. We then took the Zermatt Shuttle train to Zermatt for the day. This worked well and good accommodation was only €100/night.

If we had more time we would have taken the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St.Moritz. We saw the train with its panoramic windows and silver service meals and were suitably impressed.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

It is an eight-hour trip through untouched mountain landscapes, glamorous health resorts, deep gorges, delightful valleys, 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges. Prices start from around €150.


Zermatt is ‘auto-free’ to prevent air pollution so you can’t drive into the village, but you can get here by cog railway train or taxi from the nearby village of Täsch, (7kms away). Trains also depart for Zermatt from further down the valley at Visp and Brig.

South African nationals require a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland.

There are flights from South Africa and the United Kingdom to Zurich in Switzerland then you can travel by train to Zermatt.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


Travelling? Here’s a list of visas you may need before you go

In order to ensure you can enter a country without any issues, here’s a breakdown of visas around the world which you may need at some point during your travels.

Depending on where in the world you plan to travel, you may need a visa. If that isn’t complicated enough, the visa you require varies from place to place, and country to country.

Travelling to the United States of America
The Visa Waiver Program and obtaining a USA visa is a process that confuses many. Most passport holders can obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme. This programme allows travel to the US for up to 90 days for journeys related to tourism, specific types of business visits and transfers to another country.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Travelling from the UK, you will more than likely qualify to enter the United States of America, providing your British passport describes your nationally as a ‘British Citizen’ and is an ePassport. You will also have to receive genuine authorisation from ESTA, and have not travelled to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Sudan since March 2011.

Travelling to the United Kingdom
Travelling to the United Kingdom is a bit less complicated. While citizens of most, if not all nations, receive a visa waiver upon arrival in England, it is unlikely you’ll need any additional documents –other than your passport, of course! But, if you wish to drive or rent a car in England, you must have your unique state-issued license with you in order to do so.

Travelling to Australia
Depending on the reasons why you want to visit Australia, you will need one of several different types of visa. But no matter what, there are a number of important things you should know, such as the requirements for the relevant via application, obligations and how to comply with the conditions of your Australian visa. If you want to study, work or even live in Australia there are additional different requirements that you will need to meet in order to do so, such as being employed in one of the approved professions on the Skilled Occupation List.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Business Travel Visas around the world
In some countries, you will require a business visa in order to travel to the country for business-related reasons. This is especially important for those who are seeking to travel to the US for a short duration for a business trip that doesn’t require actual labour to be carried out throughout the duration of their stay.

On the other hand, those wanting to visit the UK on business simply need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. It doesn’t matter whether the visit to the UK is for a meeting, conference or training purposes, if you visit the UK on business you need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa up to 3 months in advance before you travel.

Long-Term Visit Visas around the world
In most countries, if you are able to prove that you need to visit a certain country regularly over the next 2, 5 or 10 years you can apply for a long-term visit visa. Even though most long-term visit visas allow you to stay for a maximum of 24 weeks (or 6 months) per visit they are still expensive, in the likes of the UK a 10-year visit visa will cost you £767.00. And for a shorter 2-year long-term visit visa, you can expect to pay £337.00.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


Die storie van Chris Barnard – HARTSTOG

Vyftig jaar ná die eerste hart suksesvol van een mens na ’n ander oorgeplant is, kan jy nou in ’n nuwe dokudrama oor die menslike intrige rondom die gebeure van 3 Desember 1967 sien presies hoe dié groot mediese mylpaal bereik is.

Deon Opperman, die draaiboekskrywer, vertel in Hartstog drie parallelle verhale: Eerstens, dié van die Washkansky-familie, wat dringend wag op ’n skenkerhart vir Louis; die Darvall-gesin, wat as gevolg van ’n tragiese ongeluk ’n dogter aan die dood afstaan, en dr Chris Barnard en die span by die hospitaal wat die hart help oorplant

André Velts is die regisseur aan die stuur van dié dokudrama, wat ook ’n sterbelaaide rolverdeling insluit. Die bekroonde akteur Carel Nel staan in die skoene (en teaterklere) van dr Chris Barnard, terwyl sy vrou Aletta deur Quinne Brown gespeel word. Jacques Bessenger vertolk die rol van dr Barnard se sjirurg-broer, Marius.

As jy nog altyd meer wou weet oor die eerste hartoorplanting, maak seker jy kyk Hartstog op ShowMax. Dis ’n verhaal van hartstogtelike passie, gebreekte harte en hoop wat uiteindelik lig werp op ’n stuk trotse Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis wat die wêreld verander het.

Hier is ‘n voorskou vir jou wat jy kan verwag:

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


Nine reasons why a Table Mountain Cable Card is a must in Cape Town

You can dodge the tourist queues in summer, take up special offers at the top and even surprise a loved one with a magic green card that makes the iconic summit your own for a whole year.

Avoid the pesky tourists
Cape Town 101, right? From being decapitated by a huge, swinging camera lens to being poked in the eye by the corner of one of those massive maps – it’s a nightmare in peak season.

Even if you’re a tourist yourself, the R640 annual pass (R325 for a child) will allow you to walk past your fellow queuing travellers with an ill-gotten sense of superiority.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

It’s your dodgy weather safety net
So you’ve hiked up and are setting about a lovely wander around the mountain top, taking in those gobsmacking views of the Cape. Then the wind picks up, the clouds roll in and the end looks nigh.

But wait! Scramble to the cable station, flash your card like a pro and you won’t have to risk life and limb like Edmund Hillary on Everest.

See the sun set
Surprise your squeeze (or someone else of your choosing, if you must – we’re not judging) with a glide up to the summit and a glass of something nice while you watch the sun dip down into the Atlantic Ocean.

On your own? Well make it two glasses then.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

You’re supporting an iconic Cape Town landmark
Did you know the cableway has been running since 1929? And can you imagine what kind of terrifying contraption was transporting people up and down back then?

Anyway, getting on for one million people make the pilgrimage every year to scale of of the planet’s most recognisable summits. They can’t all be wrong.

There’s more chance to explore up top
When you’ve just clambered to the Platteklip Gorge summit with all the zeal of a broken down badger with bronchitis, you’re not exactly going to be up for exploring what’s on offer.

Zip up in the cable car, however, and you can wander about with your joie de vivre in tact. Try the trail to Maclear’s Beacon or take advantage of a guided tour of the flora and fauna.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

You’re saving precious water
As Cape Town runs dry every drop counts right now. No lecturing here, but put it this way: if your party of six saves on all that drinking water required by hiking up and down, you could pool that (wahey!) when you return home and share half a bath. You know it makes sense.

There are hidden bonuses to be had
Discounts can be yours at the Shop at the Top and at the Table Mountain Cafe (also at the top, but they didn’t want to overdo the naming thing).

“What are they?” we hear you ask. You’ll have to hit the summit and find out for yourself, otherwise they wouldn’t be ‘hidden bonuses’. Or just email them. They do email.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

All of the fresh air, none of the exercise!
Now some may call this negative, but let’s get real: loads of us just can’t be bothered.

While everyone else bounds up and down the mountain face shrowded in fluorescent running paraphernalia, you can nip up and down in your sandles and be back on Kloof Street in time for a thoroughly unhealthy lunch.

It doesn’t even have to be for you
Switch the Birthday card for a Cable Card and treat someone you care about to the trip of a lifetime, not as a once-off but for every single day of the following year. If they’d like that sort of commitment, obviously.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


South Africa vs India, 1st Test Preview: Live stream, session times, team news

Date: Friday 5 January – Tuesday 9 January.

Time: 10:30 (SAST)

Venue: Newlands, Cape Town.

Live Stream & TV: SuperSport 2 (South Africa), Sony Ten 1 & Sony Ten 3 (India), Sky Sports Main Event (UK).


India, the world’s number one Test team, are in town and ready to face South Africa.

After months of boring board room wrangling over dates, fixtures and who knows what else, we finally have a three-match Test cricket series to get our teeth into this summer.

The less said about the Proteas’ two-day, Boxing Day Test blitz of hopeless Zimbabwe the better.

Slightly more instructive for home fans were the two Test thrashings of Bangladesh last September and October.

Heavy runs and confident bowling aligned for stand-in skipper AB de Villiers’ side to wipe the floor with the men from the subcontinent.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

But Bangladesh’s Asian neighbours are a different prospect entirely.

Virat Kohli’s men haven’t lost a series since a 2-0 defeat in Australia back in 2014/15.

They come to the Cape off the back of a 1-0 series victory over Sri Lanka on home turf in November and December last year.

But South Africa holds vastly different conditions to those found in India.

Proteas’ swing king Vernon Philander has even described it as “a totally different ball game,” so the tourists should bring their tennis rackets and golf clubs, just in case.

Dale Steyn is back in the South Africa squad following a year out after shoulder surgery, but he is likely to be unwrapped later in the series with long-term fitness the priority.

Best buddies De Villiers and Faf du Plessis will also team up for the first time in yonks, as the Proteas approach something like full strength just in time for the visit of the world’s best.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

India have doubts over the health of Ravindra Jadeja, who has been under the weather.

Ravichandran Ashwin will likely play as the sole spinner if Jadeja doesn’t recover in time.

Shikhar Dhawan is fit for consideration at the top of the order following an ankle complaint.


Who knows.

Cape Town’s worst drought in decades has left people scraping around for shower water, never mind preparing the perfect cricket wicket.

The grass covering a day out from the toss is not an unusual sight and neither are a few cracks lurking from wicket to wicket.

Expect less pace than in Tests two and three at Centurion and the Wanderers, as well as a regulation amount of turn for the spinners later on.

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

The weather is set fair with sunshine, light winds and temperatures in the 20s (celsius).

All apart from day three (Sunday) that is, with showers and a brisk north-westerly breeze expected throughout.


South Africa Test match wins: 13

India Test match wins: 10

Draws: 10

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Predicted XIs

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aidan Markram, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Morne Morkel.

India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohamed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.

Session Times
Morning: 10:30-12:30

Afternoon: 13:10-15:10

Evening: 15:30-17:30

Looking for Cheap Flights or need a Room, Hostel or Hotel or Cheap Car Hire?

Enjoyed this post? Share it!