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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
Sulky kids and broken hearts: Help your kids deal with rejection with these...

If we don’t encourage our kids to open up when they’re feeling rejected, it might have negative effects on the way they deal with things later in life.

If you were to ask a little girl or boy, sulking on the soccer field or at home after a horrible day at school, “What’s wrong?”, they’d probably shrug their shoulders and pull away, unable to put into words what they’re feeling.

They’re sitting there, defeated, with a broken heart after not getting chosen as prefect or for the soccer team, or after getting bad grades, or getting rejected by the girl or boy they’d been crushing on the entire year.

But it’s important that we do get our kids to talk about how they’re feeling, especially when those feelings are disappointment and rejection.

What happens when we bury our feelings

We often hear that traumatic childhood experiences come back and haunt you later in life. And children are more prone to developing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) than adults, as their brains are still in development. Local studies revealed that as much as 20% of young people and clinic patients in South Africa had been diagnosed with PTSD.

And although a broken heart may not seem like such a big deal to you, the way you teach your child to deal with whatever they may be feeling, well, that’s something they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.

As we’ve written before, if our kids tell us they’re sad about something seemingly small and we respond with, “There are kids with bigger problems”, our children may feel less inclined to share their feelings when they’re experiencing real trauma, and they’ll learn to cope with whatever they might be feeling on their own. This could eventually lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, from cutting themselves to bullying others.

In some cases, they might bury their feelings of rejection altogether and have these manifest later in life when something triggers them again, and in extreme cases it could result in them dealing with it in aggressive ways.

Consider the staggering stats around domestic abuse, or the number of mass shootings all over the world. Peter Ross, a writer for the Observer, traced the circumstances surrounding these. He explained that for the most part, the shootings tend to happen just after the shooter received bad news “they clearly couldn’t process”.

He continues, “It’s also clear that an increasing number of men are not able to manage their feelings, frustration and anger in a healthy manner. So many of these cases show a man at the end of his tether, had one too many setbacks, and finally snapped.”

We can help to avoid and prevent these horrific incidents by teaching our kids how to deal with rejection from a young age. Katherine Prudente, a licensed therapist and counsellor, shared 5 useful tips on how we can help our kids do just that on Child Mind Institute.


“Comfort and validate their experience”

It’s important to acknowledge what our kids are feeling and not dismiss it because we might not remember just how badly our first [...]

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Thu, 07 Dec 2017
Yes! South African dads are getting paid paternity leave!

Yesterday a bill was passed in Parliament that will allow fathers to spend 10 working days at home with their new families. Here’s what you need to know.

On Tuesday 28 November, Parliament gave the thumbs up to a bill that will give fathers in South Africa the right to 10 days’ paid paternity leave.

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill was passed in the National Assembly in Parliament and will now be reviewed by the National Council of Provinces.

The bill also includes provisions for 10 weeks’ parental adoption leave if the baby is under 2 years (applies to one parent only) and surrogacy leave, and increased UIF and maternity benefits.

It places a bigger burden on the UIF chest, but will ultimately lead to healthier families.

Kenneth Meshoe, ACDP party leader, said they welcomed and encouraged initiatives that facilitate the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives, especially “in a country where fathers have historically been separated from their families and survival necessitated an acceptance of not being able to bond and be hands-on in their day-to-day upbringing.”

Matthew Parks, parliamentary co-ordinator for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), is quoted by Business Dayas saying: “This bill will see billions of rand released from the UIF into the pockets of workers, and thus help them take care of their families and spur local economies. It will also help fathers play greater roles in taking care of their newborn children.”

Wessel van den Berg, from Sonke Gender Justice, was quoted in a Sonke tweet:

VERY important to note with regards to the landmark Labour Laws Amendment Bill passed yesterday in the National Assembly: it is a PARENTAL leave bill, not a paternity leave bill. @HuffPostSA @TimesLiveNews@mailandguardian @dailymaverick

— Sonke (@SonkeTogether) November 29, 2017


What does the law currently say about paternity leave in SA?

At the moment, dads who want to stay with their baby and its mother still have to take family responsibility leave, which is limited to 3 days per annual cycle, or put in annual leave. They’re only entitled to family responsibility leave once they’ve been employed for 4 months and for at least four days a week. The current law also makes no provision for paternity leave for adoption or surrogacy.

A mother is entitled to unpaid maternity leave of 4 months, while her position is reserved for her. However she may claim from UIF for 17 weeks, at 38% to 58% of her salary (the salary ceiling is R12 478), tax-free. Some employers do pay their employees in part or full.


How we stack up against the rest of the world:

This new bill will bring SA more in line with other countries, many of which offer 1 to 4 weeks’ paternity leave. Some give parental leave which may be taken by one parent or split between both parents. And some offer incredible benefits for dads. Here’s a snapshot:

In Canada, dads have several options. They may take 5 weeks of maternity leave at 70% pay, or 3 weeks at 75% pay (up to a certain maximum), paid by social security. Alternatively either parent may take 32 weeks: 7 [...]

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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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