Enviro Automotive Dayun Yuehu

Weekly Travel News Recap, 24 May: Fuel Price Cuts in June, New Affordable EV Coming to SA, AU Passport Call Intensifies

Catch up on all the latest travel news with Drive South Africa.

Each week, our team scours the web for the most interesting, trending, and unusual travel news, conservation news, and motoring news stories. Here are this week’s biggest scoops.

Travel News

  • Push for African Union Passport Intensifies

The call for the African Union Passport is gaining momentum, highlighted by prominent figures like Raila Odinga and Aliko Dangote. Odinga criticized the need for Africans to fly to Europe to connect within the continent and the requirement for multiple currencies and visas. Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Dangote emphasized his need for 35 visas, contrasted with the unrestricted movement enjoyed by French nationals in Africa for example – underscoring the urgency for a unified passport to ease travel across African countries.

  •  Kenya’s Disaster Response  Impact of Floods on The Great Migration  

Concerns are rising that climate change is affecting The Great Migration, with significant flooding ahead of the high season from June to October. In response to the recent disaster floods in May, Kenya’s President William Ruto has restructured the National Steering Committee on Drought Response, now called the National Steering Committee on Disaster Response. This committee will handle emergency responses to natural disasters like floods, fires, and earthquakes. Additionally, the National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund has been renamed the National Disaster Response Appeal Fund to support relief efforts to be managed by Kenya’s Red Cross.

  • Cape Town’s FYN Ranked Among World’s 100 Best Restaurants

Cape Town’s FYN, the fine dining restaurant led by Chef Peter Tempelhoff, has secured a spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants extended 51-100 list, ranking 60th this year. Known for its unique blend of Japanese and South African cuisine, FYN has been recognized on this prestigious list for the fourth time. The restaurant improved its position from last year’s 75th ranking, making South Africa proud with this achievement.

Fyn Restaurant, Cape Town.

Fyn Restaurant, Cape Town. Photo: FynRstaurant.com

  • South Africa Wins Historic 38th Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower ShowSouth Africa has achieved a significant milestone at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, securing its record-breaking 38th gold medal. The exhibit, inspired by the Cape Mountains’ rugged beauty, also won “Best Exhibit in the Pavilion” and “Best New Design,” marking a first for the nation at this prestigious event.

Motoring News

  • Significant Fuel Price Cuts Expected in June

Petrol and diesel prices in South Africa are set for substantial reductions in early June, as Brent crude oil hits a three-month low. The Central Energy Fund (CEF) estimates a decrease of around 87 cents per litre for 95 unleaded petrol and a reduction of 87 to 92 cents per litre for diesel. Illuminating paraffin could see a cut of nearly 78 cents. South African fuel prices are primarily influenced by international oil prices and the rand exchange rate.

FUEL COST CALCULATOR: Work out your monthly budget with DSA’ cost calculator tool

  • Enviro Automotive to Launch Affordable Electric Car in South Africa

Pretoria-based Enviro Automotive will introduce the Dayun Yuehu, an electric car priced below R400,000, in South Africa later this year. This new model, featuring remote central locking, electric windows, and air conditioning via an app, will include a three-year/60,000km service plan and warranty.

The Yuehu, comparable in size to a Kia Picanto, stands out as one of the most affordable EVs in South Africa. In contrast, the smaller City Blitz EV is priced at R239,900 but offers limited size and range. The Yuehu offers a more practical size for four adults and a competitive price compared to the GWM Ora 03, currently the least expensive “adult-sized” EV at R686,950.

TAKE A LOOK: Drive South Africa has launched South Africa’s most comprehensive Electric Vehicle Charging Station Map

  • Jeep Unveils the Avenger 4xe with Enhanced All-Wheel Drive

Jeep has introduced the Avenger 4xe, combining distinctive looks, compactness, and versatility with an all-wheel-drive system for enhanced off-road fun and all-weather driveability. The 4xe features a Hybrid 48-Volt powertrain, exclusive Jeep all-wheel-drive technology, and a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Selec Terrain function allows drivers to choose the appropriate mode for any situation, and the new Multilink rear suspension offers increased comfort on rough roads. Orders will open by Q4 2024.

Jeep Avenger 4xe

The all-wheel drive Jeep Avenger 4xe. Photo: Supplied

  • Mercedes-Benz Unveils eActros to Electrify South Africa’s Trucking Industry

Mercedes-Benz has introduced the eActros, an electric version of its Actros range.  The Actros series has historically introduced pioneering technologies to the local market, and the eActros continues this legacy with electrification. While demand for electric passenger cars in South Africa  has yet to match the commercial users’ interest in its advanced data and control systems. The lack of available electric truck models has hindered fleet operators’ ambitions, but the eActros is set to change that.

  • London-to-Cape Town Doctors Reject New Car Offer Amid Journey Setback

Three doctors driving from London to Cape Town faced a major delay due to mechanical issues with their car, ‘Edna,’ but rejected an offer from Toyota for a new vehicle. The trio, whose journey has captivated thousands, emphasized their commitment to their specially modified car. “We cannot abandon Edna. She is our mother and one of the crew. We started the journey with her and aim to complete it with her,” they stated. A mechanic is confident that Edna can be repaired and back on the road in a few days. The doctors will keep their followers updated on their progress.

Aviation News

  • Qatar Airways Not Buying SAA, Confirms Interim CEO

Prof. John Lamola, Interim CEO of South African Airways (SAA), confirmed that Qatar Airways is not purchasing SAA, ending speculation about the potential acquisition. Speaking at the African Aviation Summit on May 22, Lamola addressed the aftermath of the failed private equity deal with the Takatso Consortium in March and outlined the qualities the SAA Board seeks in a strategic partner.

  • Zambia Airways Introduces Flights to Dar es Salaam and Nairobi

Zambia Airways, the national carrier of Zambia, is set to expand its reach into East Africa with the launch of new regional services. Starting June 27, the airline will connect Lusaka with Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya. The new routes will be available three times a week, with flights operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, stopping at both Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

White Rhino Kruger Game reserve South Africa

Above: White Rhino Kruger Game reserve South Africa

Conservation News

  • Ambitious Rhino Rewilding Project Begins in Africa

An ambitious project to rewild 2,000 southern white rhinos into protected areas across Africa has officially started. Forty rhinos are being relocated to Munywana Conservancy in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This marks the first relocation in the continent-wide effort organized by African Parks, called ‘Rhino Rewild.’ The initiative follows the recent acquisition of 2,000 rhinos previously owned by a multi-millionaire who aimed to deter poaching by harvesting and flooding the market with rhino horns.

  • Funding Shortages Threaten Africa’s Biodiversity Conservation

Africa faces a critical funding gap in biodiversity conservation, requiring nearly $950 billion annually to protect vital ecosystems, while only $121 billion is currently allocated. This shortage endangers the continent’s rich and diverse ecosystems. Bruno Mweemba, technical advisor to the UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative (UNDP-BIOFIN), highlighted efforts to secure necessary funds through collaborations with local communities, civil society, and various organizations. In Malawi, the BIOFIN program has identified a $93 million need to meet national biodiversity targets for 2020-2025 and is working on solutions to address this financial gap.

  • RMB to Launch Wildlife Bonds for Lion and Wild Dog Conservation

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) plans to issue five-year wildlife bonds worth approximately $233 million (~R4.3 billion) to support conservation efforts for African wild dogs and lions. Following the World Bank’s rhino conservation bond model, RMB aims to leverage debt markets to raise funds for these endangered species, with plans to issue the bonds between 2024 and 2025.

  • ATTA Launches Inaugural ATTA for Action Awards

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) has introduced the ATTA for Action Awards. This new program aims to honor organizations and companies across Africa that are making significant contributions to impactful tourism practices. The launch comes at a time when there is heightened global focus on environmental conservation and eco-conscious tourism practices.

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