Issue 108 | 24 April 2014
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“South Africa – A Better Place to Live in”

This momentous occasion presents an opportunity for us to reflect on how our freedom and democracy were achieved, the progress we have made the past 20 years and on how South Africans will work together to implement Vision 2030.
The first democratic elections in South Africa were held on 27 April 1994. It marked the dawn of a new phase of building a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it.

In 2014, South Africa is celebrating 20 years of freedom and democracy. South Africa will celebrate Freedom Day on 27 April 2014 at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, commemorating the progress made in the past 20 years of freedom and democracy and reflecting on the significant developments made in transforming the apartheid state into a democratic one.
National Orders are the highest awards that our country bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and who have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.
The Chancellor of the National Orders and Director-General in The Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi, has announced the names of those South Africans and eminent foreign nationals who will be awarded National Orders at an investiture ceremony to be held on Freedom Day, 27 April 2014. This year’s ceremony will be held under the theme “South Africa - A Better Place to Live in”.

This is the 20th investiture ceremony since the inception of the new National Orders system, contributing towards unity, reconciliation and nation-building. President Jacob Zuma will bestow to deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support. The Order in Silver will be bestowed on:

  • Lord Richard Samuel Attenborough (United Kingdom [UK]): For his excellent contribution in the creative use of performing arts to highlight the plight of anti-apartheid activists who died under suspicious circumstances.
  • Professor Gwendolen Margaret Carter (Posthumous): For her excellent contribution in highlighting the plight of the majority during the period of minority rule. Her tireless work remains a historical treasure that gives testimony to the vast disparities during apartheid.
  • Jeanne Martin Cissé: For her excellent contribution in denouncing apartheid on the world stage of the United Nations and her stand against injustices that were happening in South Africa during apartheid.
  • Jerry David Dammers (UK): For his excellent musical contribution to the international Free Mandela Campaign and his involvement in the influential Artists Against Apartheid.
  • Danny Glover (United States of America [USA]): For his excellent contribution to the anti-apartheid movement in the USA and for using his art form to raise international awareness of the injustice of apartheid.
  • Quincy Delight Jones (USA): For his excellent contribution in the cultural boycott imposed on South Africa to press white voters in the country to accept fundamental political change.
  • Thomas Karis (USA): For his excellent contribution in recording the plight of the South African majority during the period of minority rule. His work remains a testimony to the vast disparities during apartheid.
  • Lord Neil Kinnock (UK):  For his excellent contribution in constantly speaking the truth during the apartheid period. He constantly fought for the release of former President Nelson Mandela and supported many who were in exile.
  • Alexander Moumbaris (France): For his excellent contribution in the struggle for liberation. His dedication and brave sacrifice for a just course is a remarkable testimony of solidarity to the oppressed people of South Africa.
  • Ruth Neto (Angola): For her excellent contribution in fighting for the liberation of southern Africa. She has also always stood for the empowerment of African women.
  • Alfre Ette Woodard (USA): For her excellent contribution in the fight for social justice and racial equality during apartheid. She used her artistic talent to pose a challenge to the regime.
The two parties noted with satisfaction the development of the cooperation between the two countries and renewed their commitment to do their best to achieve better results.

The Second Session of the Congo-South Africa Joint Commission for Cooperation was held in Brazzaville from 14 to 16 April 2014.

The Congolese delegation was led by Basile Ikouebe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and the South Africa delegation was led by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

During the proceedings, the two parties reviewed the issues relating to the following fields of cooperation: trade, small and micro-enterprises and crafts, agriculture and breeding, mining, hydrocarbons, tourism, transport and defence and security. Total trade between South Africa and the Republic of Congo was approximately R1 billion in 2013.

There are a number of South African companies operating in the Republic of Congo, including, among others, MTN, South African Airways, Sahara African Aviation, Distell, Exxaro, Apalia, and RRL Grindrod. South Africans are also involved in the Republic of Congo's agriculture, nature conservation and tourism industry.

The Third Session of the Joint Commission of Cooperation will be held in South Africa in 2016.

South Africa is committed to assisting the people of South Sudan to address the current conflict as well as the humanitarian needs.

Cyril Ramaphosa, Special Envoy to South Sudan, has concluded his second visit to South Sudan where he held discussions with President Salva Kiir and other stakeholders on the process to resolve the ongoing conflict.

On 21 April 2014, the Special Envoy travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to facilitate intra-party discussions involving the various sections of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM). The Special Envoy was facilitating the discussion jointly with the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The bank will host and manage the fund, created with a €4,7-million contribution from Germany, for an initial three-year period.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has created a key fund to tackle the growing vagaries of climate change on the continent.

Directors of the bank approved the creation of the Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF), a bilateral thematic trust fund to support African countries in their transition to climate-resilient and low-carbon development, last week.

The aim is to scale up to a multi-donor trust fund as soon as at least one new donor commits to join. Kenya, like other African countries, faces the vagaries of climate change resulting in erratic rains, floods and drought.

Future ACCF grant recipients will include African governments, NGOs, research and regional institutions, and grants will be executed either by the recipients themselves or by the bank on their behalf. Source:



The conference, being held from 23 to 25 April, seeks to shape and assess progress on the implementation of the 2004 Ouagadougou Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation.

The Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, is leading a high-level South African delegation to a special session of the African Union Labour and Social Affairs Commission in Windhoek, Namibia. The special session is held under the theme: “Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development”.

The three-day conference reflects on how to build consensus on the future challenges of labour markets and policy perspective at all levels. It also adopts the revised policy framework for the next decade on labour, employment and social protection and discusses modalities for preparation of the extraordinary session summit to be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in September 2014.

South Africa submitted its updated report on progress on the implementation of the Ouagadougou Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment creation and poverty alleviation in September 2013.

This award brings the number of awards the film has won to 13, both locally and internationally, since it started showing on the festival circuit in October last year. 

South African feel-good movie “Felix” has added to its long list of accolades by winning three more awards at international film festivals in March and April.

The film won the youth jury prize for best film at the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth in Vancouver, Canada; the best film award at the Kikife International Children's Film Festival in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany; and the adult jury prize for best picture at the Augsburg Children's Film Festival in Germany.



Van Dyk dominated the 42-km race from start to finish, winning in 1:20:36 to clock his second-fastest performance at the annual race.

Veteran wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk made history on Monday when he became the first athlete to win 10 titles at the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts.

Only in 2004, when he set the former course record of 1:18:27, did he complete the event in a quicker time. By the time he crossed the finish line, the South African had opened a 38-second lead over Kota Hokinoue of Japan, who was second in 1:21:14. Source:

The Proteas finished on top of the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table on the annual cut-off date of 1 April, and were also rewarded with a cheque of US$475 000.

The Proteas were recognised as the number one test team in the world recently when the Chief Executive Officer of Cricket South Africa, Haroon Lorgat, received the prestigious Reliance ICC Test Championship Mace on their behalf.

It was the second time, since the current ranking system was introduced in 2003, that South Africa had finished as the number-one ranked test team in the world.

At the presentation, Lorgat said: "I am delighted to receive the Reliance ICC Test Mace and prize money, not just on behalf of the players and the team management, but on behalf of all South Africans. Source:

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