Issue 107 | 16 April 2014
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South Africa enjoys a long-standing relationship with the Government and the people of Guinea, solidified by the unconditional support that the people of Guinea extended to the people of South Africa during the time of the struggle against apartheid.
On 14 April, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted her Guinean counterpart, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Guineans, Francois Lounceny Fall, for the Second Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between South Africa and Guinea.

Speaking at the conclusion of the JCC, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said that the meeting underscored the desire and the will of the two countries to trade, and exchange investments and skills with the view to unlock the potential for economic development and address the needs of our people.

“During our discussions, we agreed that there is great potential between our two countries that must be explored to further strengthen this relationship for mutual benefit. We are convinced that our efforts will produce tangible results for the benefit our people.

“In order to effect the decisions of this important meeting, we have decided that officials will meet at least once a year and make necessary follow-ups with the view to implement the decisions of this meeting.”
“Ubuntu Radio has made new strides in the developing internet media industry in South Africa and the African continent.”
The board of the Turquoise Harmony Institute will award this year’s annual Ubuntu Media Award for the successful launch of Ubuntu Radio. According to the institute, it is a visionary concept and idea, which has become an important part of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's information apparatus. “It’s a unique idea which aims at being a voice, not only of South Africa’s foreign policy, but also telling a South African and more importantly, an African story.”

This year, along with Ubuntu Radio, the Turquoise Harmony Institute will be awarding the following individuals and entities: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (Gulen Peace Award); Free State Education MEC, Tate Makgoe (Education Award); Prof. Adam Habib (Academic Award); Olando Pirates Football Club (Sports Award); SABC Religion (Interfaith Award); and Dali Tambo on behalf of his late father Oliver R Tambo (Posthumous Award for Human Rights and Freedom).

The awards will be presented on 30 April 2014 at the Hilton Hotel, Sandton.

The Turquoise Harmony Institute is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-gain NGO operating to promote inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogue and tolerance among people at grassroots level. The institute seeks to celebrate unity in diversity that South Africa enjoys through dialogue, understanding and tolerance by fostering common ties that bind South Africans together. It also celebrates common grounds in this diversity and to ensure cooperation through dialogue and understanding in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.
“As government, we believe this is a day which all South Africans should look forward to with positive anticipation and excitement, in a period in which we are celebrating 20 years of freedom.”
Government has called on all South Africans, especially the youth who will be voting for the first time, to go out in their numbers to cast their votes on 7 May in honour of the founding father of the democratic nation, former President Nelson Mandela.

“The best way to honour Madiba’s legacy will be for all of us to go out in numbers and exercise our hard-won democratic right to vote, which South Africans sacrificed so much for,” said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Leading a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster briefing on 14 April, Minister Mthethwa said government departments such as State Security, Police, Defence and Home Affairs, were ready for the fifth elections since the dawn of democracy.
This year’s general election is also significant in that it will be the first, since 1994, without Madiba, who passed away on 5 December 2013.

Minister Mthethwa said to ensure free and fair elections throughout the country, stringent measures had been taken by the departments in the cluster, especially in areas identified as hotspots.

He said police deployments in the build-up to the elections would be made according to risk assessments to ensure everyone gets a chance to exercise their democratic right at the polls.

He called on the public to report any cases of intimidation.

Steps have been put in place to deal with those who will be arrested for inciting violence during elections. Special courts will be operational to speedily resolve such cases.

Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said South African National Defence Force members wouldl be on standby to provide assistance and support to the South African Police Service.

Home Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor, who is also a part of the JCPS Cluster, said all Home Affairs offices throughout the country would be open from 7am on Election Day, to enable people to collect their identity documents.

According to Minister Pandor, there are 122 000 uncollected IDs and 23 000 uncollected smartcard IDs.

Home Affairs has 117 mobile offices to provide extra capacity to process applications. All border posts will be open and functioning on Election Day to allow South Africans to come home to vote.

Correctional Services Minister, Sibusiso Ndebele, said all 155 000 inmates in 242 correctional facilities across the country were registered to vote.

The IEC, working with the Department of Correctional Services, has made the necessary arrangements to ensure that inmates exercise their democratic right to vote.

Special votes will take place on 5 and 6 May. The deadline for applications for special votes is 17 April 2014.
The IEC says 25 390 150 voters are eligible to cast their votes come 7 May. Source:
South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was approved in 2008 and was further enhanced by the approval of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 – 2030, which stipulates that nuclear power will form part of the country’s energy mix to a level of 9 600 MW.
The Department of Energy will in the next two months make an announcement on South Africa’s nuclear build future, Minister Ben Martins said on 14 April 2014. Government is looking at the various aspects involved in the rolling out of nuclear energy. Minister Martins said that towards the end of last year, an interdepartmental team, tasked with preparing for the nuclear build programme, conducted study visits to a number of countries that had expertise in the nuclear field. The team comprises, among others, Energy, Public Enterprises and National Treasury.
Countries that have expertise in the nuclear field such as the United States, Japan and Russia were visited, while technologies available in this sector were also looked at, as South Africa proceeded with its own nuclear build, said Minister Martins.

Koeberg remains South Africa’s only nuclear station.
The initiative to hold this conference resulted from the coordination and consultation of efforts among the World Health Organisation (WHO), the African Union (AU) and the Angolan Government, in view of the need to find answers to new threats to the African population’s health and challenges of development for the implementation of the United Nations millennium development goals (MDGs).
From 14 to 17 April 2014, Angola is hosting the first meeting of African health ministers jointly with the WHO and AU Commission to discuss a proposal to set up an African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, among other matters.

The meeting, held under the theme “Let's Turn Africa into a Healthier Continent”, is attended by about 300 participants, including health ministers, experts and international partners.

The four-day meeting aims to identify the key actions needed to speed up the progress towards universal health coverage, mechanisms to face the risk factors of non-communicable diseases and to reach an agreement regarding the establishment of an African Agency for Medicines.

The event also aims to reach consensus on the two crucial processes – the creation of the African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, as well as mechanisms of joint accountability for the implementation of declarations and commitments assumed by the health ministers of the continent.

The purpose of the meeting was to deliberate on draft resolutions, decisions and recommendations adopted at the 37th Session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) 37th Biennial General Conference, which took place from 4 to 20 November 2013, in Paris, France.
The Department of Basic Education recently hosted a meeting of more than 150 government and civil-society stakeholders in education, science, culture and communication, which was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty, and Yousuf Gabru, Chairperson of the South African National Commission for UNESCO.

The conference in Paris was attended by delegations from UNESCO’s 195 member states and a 56-member South African delegation, which was led by Minister Angie Motshekga and consisted of representatives from both government and civil-society organisations.
The signing of the MOU between the two countries follows extensive negotiations, and less than a year since a bilateral meeting took place on 14 June 2013 in Maputo, Mozambique, between Minister Molewa and Minister Muária.
The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, and the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, Carvalho Muária, will sign an MoU in the Field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park on 17 April 2014.

Mozambique is regarded as a priority country for South Africa within the Southern African Development Community region and South Africa recognises the need for engaging with Mozambique on wildlife management.

This is particularly with respect to addressing the scourge of rhino poaching within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), as escalating incidences of poaching have become a major challenge within the GLTP to rhino populations.

It was acknowledged at the June 2013 meeting that a government-to-government MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management was required to assist in addressing wildlife crimes, including rhino poaching.
RCS chief executive, Schalk van der Merwe, said the company "looks forward to expanding its presence in the southern African consumer finance market through the scale, expertise and financial support that BNP Paribas Personal Finance will bring as a shareholder".
BNP Paribas Personal Finance, a subsidiary of French bank BNP Paribas, is to acquire South African consumer finance company RCS from the Foschini Group and Standard Bank for approximately R2,65 billion (US$255 million), the companies announced recently.

"The potential for growth of South Africa, combined with the quality of RCS management, allows us to consider with confidence our entry into the South African market," BNP Paribas Personal Finance CEO Thierry Laborde said in a statement.

"RCS is an important provider of retail credit cards in South Africa," Laborde said. "It is a well-capitalised, well-managed and profitable company with strong expertise in risk management that has shown consistent growth since inception."

RCS focuses primarily on providing retail credit card facilities, personal loans and insurance to the mass middle market, both under its own brand and in association with a number of retailers in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

The company employs a workforce of over 1 250, services approximately one million cardholders and has developed partnerships with 3 000 merchants for its general purpose card and exclusive agreements with 14 merchants for private or co-branded cards.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year. Source:
South Africa's National Development Plan calls for greater investment in research and development (R&D), which has prompted the Government to target a R&D spending figure of 1,5% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019.
South Africa's investment in R&D grew to R22,2 billion in 2011/12, an increase of R2 billion over the previous year that maintained the country's R&D spending at 0,76% of GDP, according to the Department of Science and Technology's latest National R&D Survey.

Announcing the results of the survey, the Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, said this indicated a bottoming-out of the declining R&D spend of the last few years, from a high of 0,95% of GDP in 2006. "We anticipate that we are turning the corner and starting to increase the level of investment in R&D once again in South Africa," Hanekom said in a statement.

Science and Technology Director-General, Phil Mjwara, said that such an ambitious target represented a clear recognition of the role that R&D could play in addressing the country's development challenges.

"R&D is pivotal for the development of new and improved products, the creation of new industries, improved competitiveness of existing industries and enhancement of infrastructure and improved service delivery," Mjwara said.

According to the R&D Survey, the Government has become the country's biggest funder of R&D, directly investing R9,5 billion (43,1% of the total) in R&D in 2011/12, compared to business funding of R8,6 billion (39%).

The survey also found that the number of people working in R&D in South Africa grew to 59 487 in 2011/12, an increase of 7% or 3 956 people over 2010. Source:
It is recognised as a leader in pizza delivery, with more than one million pizzas being delivered daily worldwide. This figure is expected to escalate once the first Domino’s store opens in South Africa.
Taste Holdings has signed an exclusive 30-year master licence agreement to develop the international Domino’s Pizza brand in seven southern African countries.

Domino’s Pizza, which was founded in 1960, has over 10 800 outlets in more than 70 countries.

Domino’s Pizza will become Taste’s leading pizza franchise and Scooters Pizza and St Elmo’s franchisees will be given the opportunity and assistance to convert to Domino’s Pizza.

Stores are expected to start converting during this year. Source:
Steyn is the second South African to be selected as Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World, after Jacques Kallis in 2007. In 2013, he was selected as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.
South African fast bowler, Dale Steyn, has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2013 in the Wisden Cricketers Almanack. Founded in 1864 and published annually ever since, the Almanack is highly regarded. 

Editor Lawrance Booth wrote in his citation: "South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World for 2013, a year in which he took 51 test wickets in only nine games at an average of 17. Steyn was scarcely less lethal in one-day internationals, claiming 27 at under 16.” Source:
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