Issue 102 | 13 March 2014
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“In the next five years, we will continue to promote the quest for African solutions for African problems.”

South Africa will continue to lend a hand to African institutions to ensure that the dream of a better Africa is realised, President Jacob Zuma said on 6 March.

Speaking after receiving letters of credence from ambassadors and high commissioners designate at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, President Zuma said South Africa would continue to forge bilateral relations with their countries and others to ensure that Africa becomes a developed continent. This, he said, would advance the African Agenda of peace and political stability.

Ambassadors and high commissioners designate from Sudan, Palestine, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Ethiopia, Thailand, Oman, Pakistan, Haiti and Lesotho presented their letters of credentials to the President.

President Zuma said after South Africa’s May 7 elections, government had plans to participate in all relevant institutions to make Africa a better place to live in.

“We are committed to multilateral relations and cooperation, from matters related to world security to issues of climate change and solidarity with progressive movements and countries.

“We will continue to promote the reform of the United Nations Security Council so that it becomes more accountable, democratic and representative …

“We will continue to advocate for the reform of other global governance institutions, such as the financial institutions so that their decisions promote equity and fairness.

“There is a lot that we will be working on with respective countries to take forward these and many other international cooperation objectives.

“We will be continuing with the good work we have done on international relations since the dawn of freedom,” President Zuma said. – Source:



The South African Government views these allegations in a serious light. The matter will be brought to the attention of the Mozambican authorities for further investigations.

The South African Government has taken note of media reports alleging that South African female prisoners in Mozambique are subjected to sexual abuse and related conditions of hardship.

“Officials from the South African High Commission in Maputo make regular visits to prisons in Mozambique to monitor the conditions of South African inmates. During the last visit, the prisoners complained about general prison conditions such as poor medical treatment and food. Our information is that these conditions apply to all prisoners and are not exclusive to South African prisoners,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement released on 10 March 2014.

It said the South African Government would continue to render regular Consular Services to the prisoners and their families, part of which was to ensure that their basic human rights were respected.

“The South African High Commission in Maputo would monitor the progress of the envisaged investigation until the matter was brought to its logical conclusion.”
During her visit to Chile, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane met with her counterpart, the new Chilean Foreign Minister, Heraldo Muñoz, and also led the opening ceremony of the new Chancery of the South African Embassy in Santiago.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, represented South Africa at the inauguration ceremonies of the new Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet.

The Presidential inauguration ceremonies took place on 10 and 11 March 2014 in the cities of Santiago and Valparaiso, respectively.

South Africa and Chile enjoy cordial bilateral relations. The South Africa-Chile Joint Consultative Mechanism, established in 1998, continues to serve a constructive purpose in the ongoing political dialogue between the two countries at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

South Africa remains one of the largest foreign investors in the Chilean economy. South African companies regularly participate in large international mining exhibitions that take place in Chile.

Although South Africa is a modest market for Chilean exports, South Africa remains by far Chile’s largest African trading partner with 37% of Chilean exports to Africa destined for South Africa.

The trade balance between the two countries is currently in Chile’s favour. To address this trade imbalance, a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a Joint Bilateral Trade and Investment Commission was signed in July 2012 between the two countries.
The SADC Council of Ministers Meeting is a statutory meeting of the regional body which convenes twice annually, usually in March and in August.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, led a South African delegation to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers meeting, which took place on 10 and 11 March 2014 in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The Republic of Malawi is the current Chair of the SADC.

The meeting considers matters from different sectors for decision and for noting. It also examines the performance of SADC institutions and approves its work programme and budget for the next fiscal year.

SADC continues to serve as the primary vehicle for South African foreign policy to achieve regional development and integration within southern Africa.

SADC strives for balanced and equitable regional integration as a fundamental condition for sustainable development in the region.

South Africa is one of the 15 member states of the SADC, which includes Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of independent and equal sovereign nations bound together by a shared heritage of history, tradition, language and culture. A very strong characteristic and strength of the Commonwealth, is its rich diversity.
As a symbol of their solidarity, Commonwealth countries celebrated Commonwealth Day under the theme “Team Commonwealth” on 10 March 2014.

In this regard, South Africa will be joining the rest of the Commonwealth family in participating in the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August 2014.  The 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games is not only a major highlight on the 2014 sports calendar but also has a very symbolic meaning for South Africa as the country celebrates 20 Years of Democracy in 2014.

South Africa will also establish a hospitality centre known as the “Ekhaya Centre” (Home away from home) in the host city, Glasgow, to drum-up support for “Team South Africa”. At the same time, it will showcase South Africa as a member of the Commonwealth family and highlight its cultural diversity, humanity and traditions.
According to a joint statement, China has proposed an agreement, still under consideration by both parties, which covers the supply of nuclear energy products, infrastructure funding, supplier development and localisation, skills development and research and development.
Energy Minister Ben Martins and the vice administrator of China's National Energy Commission, Tan Rongyao, met in Cape Town recently to discuss China's interest in participating in South Africa's nuclear energy projects.

In 2006, South Africa and China signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy, covering design, construction and operation of nuclear reactors. The two countries followed this up in 2010 with the signing of a general cooperation agreement in energy, covering oil and gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency and skills development.

"Since the signing of these agreements, the two countries have continued to exchange information and knowledge," the joint statement read. "China has started training South Africans in the renewable energy sector, and there are plans to expand this to include capacity-building in the nuclear energy sector."

Vice administrator Tan, accompanied by a high-level delegation, participated in the South Africa-China Nuclear Energy Cooperation Seminar in Johannesburg from 25 – 26 February 2014.

On the second day of the seminar, the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa signed a skills development and training agreement with two Chinese state nuclear energy corporations, the China General Nuclear Power Corporation and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.

The agreement will create opportunities for young South Africans to further their studies in nuclear energy and other specialised areas of energy at Chinese universities, with funding of up to 95% from Chinese institutions. – Source:
The biennial COP11 brings together ministers of environment from 22 nations which are covered by the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern Africa Region.
The Department of Environmental Affairs will host the 11th Conference of Parties (COP11) from 17 to 21 March 2014, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, under the theme: “Promoting Blue Growth in Africa: Towards Sustainable Management of Marine Resources”.

The 2014 conference will review activities and decisions executed during the 2012/13 period, the budget for 2014/15, and rule on action needed to implement the Convention and its Action Plan. It will also determine how parties can embrace the “Blue Growth” concept as a way of sustainably managing marine and coastal resources.
“Since 1994, German arrivals to South Africa have grown from a total of 105 000 to over 266 000 tourists in 2012, representing a growth of 153% in less than 20 years. Importantly in 2012, we recorded more German tourists to South Africa than ever before.”
South Africa participated in one of the world’s leading travel trade shows, the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB), in Berlin, Germany.

The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, represented the country, where he shared the South African tourism industry success story with other participants in the trade show. 

As South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom this year, Minister Van Schalkwyk thanked the trade show and media for their ongoing support and contribution to the continued good growth in arrivals from this all-important market.

“Germany is our third-largest source of overseas tourists. It’s been an incredible journey in which South Africa has emerged from a wildlife destination, serving primarily a domestic market, to one of the most visible, exciting, culturally diverse and varied global tourist destinations in the world today,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk.

In total, nearly 50 companies were represented on the South African Tourism stand at this year’s ITB event.

 “The strong South African support at ITB 2014 is indicative of the confidence that the South African tourism industry has in the German market at the moment,” the minister said. – Source:
This is 2,2 million more voters (a 9,5% increase) than were on the voters' roll for the 2009 national and provincial elections, and 7,2 million (a 39,72% increase) more than were on the voters' roll when it was established for the first time for South Africa's 1999 elections.
Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya has certified South Africa's voters' roll, setting the stage for 25,3 million (25 390 150) voters to cast their ballots in the country's national and provincial elections on 7 May, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced recently.

An analysis of the voters' roll shows that South Africa is still a relatively young population, with 49,57% of registered voters under 40 years old. The biggest segment of voters is those aged 30 to 39 (6,18 million), followed by 20- to 29-year-olds (5,7 million) and 40- to 49-year-olds (five million).

Women make up 54,9% of the voters' roll, outnumbering men (45,1%) by 13,94 million to 11,45 million.

"Gauteng province has the highest number of voters with just over six million, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 5,1 million, the Eastern Cape with 3,24 million and the Western Cape with 2,9 million," the IEC said. Between them, these four provinces make up almost 68% of South Africa's voters. – Source:
The documentary was screened during the first in a series of three Mandela/Fidel Legacy Dialogues at the University of South Africa in Pretoria recently. The second will be held in Cuba later this year, and the third back in South Africa.
The deep respect and affection shared by Nelson Mandela and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro is the focus of “Mandela and Fidel”, a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Estela Bravo.

“Mandela and Fidel” begins with Mandela attending Namibia's independence celebrations in March 1990, only a month following his release. Meeting with top Cuban officials, he says: "We have never doubted that in Cuba, we have a dependable friend".

The documentary follows their relationship for several more years, including Castro's attendance at Mandela's presidential inauguration in May 1994. – Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation,
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