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22 December 2011

SAWDIS Holiday Alert 2011/2012

Sodwana dispute: latest

Isimangaliso authorities are standing firm on the new beach parking permit system at Sodwana Bay.

They say adequate notification was given ahead of the festive season via the media and through flyers.

The new parking regulation only allows 200 vehicles per day onto the beach because of conservation laws.

Visitors blocked the area between camp sites and the beach for around seven hours on Sunday to show their anger.

Eight campers have since been issued with eviction notices.

ISimangaliso's Terry Castis says Sodwana Bay is among the few areas in South Africa where vehicles are allowed beach access.

She has explained the decision wasn't made lightly as environmental laws had to be considered.

"When bookings are made, all accommodation providers have a caveat that certain things are subject to change, and I think there is an onus as well as a responsibility on members of the public to advise themselves of changed arrangements. If I apply to travel to Thailand and suddenly there are visa provisions, the airline doesn't phone me and tell me there are visa provisions. It's my responsibility to find out," she said.

"I must emphasise that we have a zero tolerance approach to loutish and thuggish behaviour, because it impacts negatively on the experience of other visitors to the park."

- East Coast Radio

Tips for holiday travel

MOTORING NEWS - The countdown is finally over, it's time for leave - to pack the car, lock up the house and head on a well deserved holiday. But when driving to a destination there are a few things to remember to ensure you get there safe and sound.

"Last year alone we have had over 1 million crashes on SA roads," says Gary Ronald, Head of Public Affairs at the AA. "All our roads are dangerous, some due to their condition and others due to the terrain through which they pass. Be especially aware of changing weather, road works and the inevitable slow moving vehicle. As the driver, start the holiday journey with the correct frame of mind and accept any delays encountered without frustration."

Ronald shares 10 key points to remember when taking to the roads this festive season:
To save fuel - try fill up as close to your trip as possible, make sure you check your tyre pressure as under-inflated tyres have more rolling resistance. This means you need to burn more fuel to keep your car moving, consider shutting off the air conditioner, opening the windows a little and enjoying the breeze and accelerate with care.

The day before the trip, inspect the car - check all the lights - head lights, brake lights, tail lights and indicators, check the windscreen for chips and cracks and make sure that the windscreen wipers work and are in good condition. Fill up the water reservoir, check the condition of all the tyres, including the spare wheel.

If it is due, have your vehicle serviced before you leave. Alternatively take your car to a DEKRA centre for a safety check
Purchase an AA Road Atlas of South Africa or an AA map to assist planning the journey. These can be purchased at Travel Experience stores, leading book shops, news agents or large retail outlets.

For peace of mind, try to travel on major routes or toll roads that have continuous traffic moving or route patrols. If you do break down, you can be assured of assistance. Keep your AA membership card in your wallet for easy access.

Check the AA website for toll roads and fees, ensuring that you have enough cash or a petrol card to pay.

Plan rest stops along the way - identifying the filling and rest stations en route. It is important to plan where to fill up with fuel, let the kids stretch their legs and enjoy some refreshment. Fatigue remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. A short rest every 200km or after every two hours of driving is recommended and if you're tired, it's simple - don't drive.
Make sure all passengers are buckled up.

If stopped by Traffic / Police Officer you have the right to ask for identification - particularly if they are not in uniform. If uncertain ask them to accompany you to nearest police station.

A wet summer is expected. "Driving in the rain is a safety hazard and drivers must be aware of the precautions they need to take, not only can they save their lives but the lives of others," continues Ronald. "We share the road with thousands of motorists and we all need to be courteous of each other," he says.

- Oudtshoorn Courant

Fuel shortage continues

Shell South Africa on Wednesday said all grades of fuel have been affected by a shortage gripping some parts of South Africa.

On Friday, operations at its Alberton depot in eastern Johannesburg were suspended due to an oil leak.

Oil company Engen said it has improved supplies to its filling stations.

Sasol also acknowledged a sudden increase in demand that created sporadic shortages.

Shell's spokesperson Elton Fortuin they were doing all they could to address the matter.

“We do hope that by later this week, we will be able to resume operations in Alberton and that should help alleviate the current supply shortage.”

Meanwhile, the fuel shortage at the Kruger National Park has been resolved.

Earlier, motorists were told to fill up before heading into the nature reserve.

The park's William Mabasa said they had a lot of fuel delivered over the past 24 hours.

He said the only place that faced a shortage was at the Letaba Camp.

- EWN