29 April 2013South African hotel and casino group Tsogo Sun is to invest $100-million (about R900-million) in projects in Mozambique and Nigeria as part of its African growth strategy.The Southern Sun Maputo in Mozambique will get a $30-million (R270-million) revamp of the existing 158-room hotel, as well as the addition of 110 rooms and conferencing facilities.“The Mozambican economy has shown encouraging signs of growth in recent years, and Tsogo Sun has benefited from a strong trading at the Southern Sun Maputo,” Tsogo Sun chief executive, Marcel von Aulock, said in a statement last Wednesday.“The group has for some time been planning to utilise the additional land owned next to the hotel and believe that this exciting expansion programme will cement the Southern Sun Maputo as the destination hotel of choice in the city.”Approximately $70-million (R630-million) will go towards the Nigerian project. It involves the acquisition of a 75% stake in Ikoyi Hotels Limited, the holding company of the Southern Sun Ikoyi hotel in Lagos.The hotel has been managed by Tsogo Sun since it opened in 2009, but the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. Shareholders will be notified once the acquisition has become effective.“This acquisition will cement our presence within the fast growing and progressive Nigerian economy as well as provide a base from which to expand our operations in Nigeria,” Von Aulock said.The Southern Sun Ikoyi hotel is centrally located with access to prime business nodes in Lagos and has additional land available for expansion.Tsogo Sun currently operates hotels in seven African countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and the Seychelles.SAinfo reporter
It will take a few more matches for teams to strike the right balance as the Indian Premier League gathers pace.The sooner they do it, the better it would be.Often it has been seen in this format that a bad stretch could be just around the corner. A team like Rajasthan Royals, who made a promising start against Kings XI Punjab, will be eager to build momentum while a combination like Kolkata Knight Riders, who suffered a loss in their inaugural match against Delhi Daredevils, will be desperate to log their first points.Knight Riders, one of the fancied teams in the competition, did reasonably well under Gautam Gambhir in the previous season.However, it was not the kind of start they were looking for at home. As Gambhir pointed out, their batsmen faltered in not being able to build partnerships. The top order collapsed in the face of some fine seam bowling by South African speedster Morne Morkel.They could manage 97/ 9 in 12 overs which Daredevils easily overhauled.A line up that has Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan has enough firepower in its batting ranks.If the first match at Sawai Man Singh Stadium is any indication, the pitch looks a batting paradise where Kolkata can prosper on its batting prowess. The 4pm match means there will be no dew factor and fans can hope for a scorcher of a game.”It is very difficult to set a target in a rain-curtailed match. Our top three batsmen were out early against Delhi. We are looking forward to a good game tomorrow,” Laxmi Ratan Shukla said on the eve of the match.advertisementAs Kolkata prepare to take on the Rajasthan Royals, they would take heart from the fact that they won both their matches against them last season. The team hit the nets in the afternoon and had a long practice session. Bowling coach Wasim Akram spent a lot of time in action. Gambhir, in particular, batted against different bowlers.Rajasthan looked in great touch against Kings XI Punjab and new captain Rahul Dravid marshalled his resources well.Dravid, who is also the mentor of the team, has pointed out that he is there to guide the young talent and that’s what he looked to do while opening the batting with Ajinkya Rahane.The Mumbai opener was a treat to watch in the opening match and flourished in the company of the veteran.”Rahane was very impressive against Kings XI Punjab. He is a good player and we will do everything possible to stop him from giving Rajasthan an explosive start,” Shukla added.The Royals bowling, too, looked good. Kevon Cooper, their new recruit, took four wickets on his IPL debut.Cooper, an unsung all-rounder from Trinidad, impressed with his controlled bowling. He will have to do it consistently to become a match-winner in the big league.