Issue 112 | 15 May 2014
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
South Africans on Wednesday, 7 May, participated in the fifth democratic elections, which took place as the country celebrates 20 years of freedom.
Government has commended all South Africans for making the 2014 national and provincial elections a success.

“The sight of millions of South Africans queuing to vote demonstrated a vibrant and maturing democracy. 

“The elections have served to renew and strengthen our democracy. We are pleased by the great turnout, in particular first-time voters. Statistics from the IEC show that more people than ever before have chosen to exercise their right to vote,” said Acting Government Communication and Information System CEO, Phumla Williams.

The remarkable turnout of young voters bodes well for the South African democracy, said Williams. Government applauded all the political parties for the spirit of national unity that prevailed during the elections.

“The elections were hard fought and contested with remarkable political maturity and tolerance and now that the divisive political battles have come to an end, government calls on all South Africans to unite behind a common goal of moving the country forward in line with Vision 2030, as mapped out in the National Development Plan,” Williams said. –
There are 400 seats to go around in the National Assembly and every percentage point garnered by a party translates into how many members a party can send to Parliament.
With the conclusion of South Africa’s fifth democratic elections, a total 13 of the 29 parties that contested the 2014 elections received enough votes to have representation in the National Assembly in Parliament.

The ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), garnered the most seats in the National Assembly acquiring 249 seats out of a total 400 seats.

In the 2009 elections, the ANC obtained 264 seats. For a political party to obtain one seat in Parliament it needs about 0,25% of the national vote, or between 37 000 and 50 000 actual votes, depending on voter turnout.

The second party to obtain the second-highest amount of seats in the National Assembly was the Democratic Alliance (DA), which obtained 89 seats in the 2014 elections. In the 2009 elections, the DA obtained 67 seats.

In third place, in terms of seat allocation in the National Assembly, is the Economic Freedom Fighters with 25 seats. Coming in fourth place was the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which secured 10 seats.

In the 2009 elections, the party had 18 seats.The National Freedom Party (NFP) – which is a breakaway of the IFP – had the fifth-highest number of seats in the National Assembly, garnering six seats.

The United Democratic Movement garnered four seats, while the Congress of the People got three seats – the same as the African Christian Democratic Party.

Newcomers Agang SA and the African Independent Congress got two and three seats respectively and the African People’s Congress and the Pan-Africanist Congress one seat each.
The kidnapping of children in particular is condemned in the strongest terms and the South African Government calls on the perpetrators of this heinous act to release the persons immediately and refrain from harming the kidnapped persons.
In a statement released on 13 May 2014, the South African Government expressed its concern about the fate of the schoolgirls kidnapped from a school in the town of Chibok, in northern Nigeria.

“The South African Government reiterates its condemnation of all forms and manner of terrorism. South Africa believes that terrorism, in any form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned. The South African Government also calls upon the African Union member states and the international community to support Nigeria in their fight against terrorism,” the statement said.
Releasing the report to the media in Pretoria, the deputy head of the mission, Ibrahim Fall, who is also a former assistant secretary-general to the United Nations, said they were pleased with the general political and electoral environment.
The African Union's (AU's) Election Observer Mission has declared South Africa's 2014 national and provincial elections as free, fair, transparent and credible. "The elections were also peaceful and reflect the wishes and aspirations of South Africans," the mission said in its preliminary report on 9 May 2014.

The mission will release its final and comprehensive report two months after the elections.

Officials from the 54-member strong observer mission were deployed in all the nine provinces. Led by former Ghanaian President, John Kufuor, the mission was made up of representatives from the Pan-African Parliament, human rights groups and civil society from over 25 African countries.

Fall said the mission noted that the parties conducted themselves in accordance with the electoral law. "The general political and electoral environment was generally peaceful across the country, with voters being able to exercise their right to vote.

"There was also a high level of tolerance between the contesting political parties and their supporters. The mission also noted the professionalism of the security forces," he told journalists at the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC's) national results centre in Pretoria.

Regarding the preparedness of the IEC, the mission observed that the commission's personnel were adequately trained in all aspects of the electoral process and demonstrated high levels of professionalism, competence and understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Kufuor congratulated South Africa, saying the mission had taken lessons. "We commend the IEC and the people ... They have shown commitment in their own processes ... South Africa has set the bar high for other countries who have upcoming elections." – Source:
Themed “Africa: Open for Tourism Business”, the session afforded African ministers and key tourism industry players a platform to discuss and debate the current state of tourism in Africa and collectively devise solutions to the growth and development of tourism in Africa.
The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, hosted an inaugural ministerial session with fellow African tourism ministers at the 2014 Tourism Indaba on 9 May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The session was the first ministerial level policy dialogue held at the Indaba.

The keynote address was delivered by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, followed by a ministerial panel discussion on the following topics:

• visas and travel facilitation
• travel advisories
• airlift in Africa
• improving intra-African travel.

Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three "must visit' events of its kind on the global calendar. It showcases the widest variety of southern Africa's best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.
"Africans have benefited from China's growth, especially from the strong demand for Africa's products." – Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.
Africa has benefited from the economic growth China has registered, Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, said recently.

Speaking to Chinese journalists in Addis Ababa, Mwencha lauded China's role in Africa's economic growth registered over the past decade.

"Africans have benefited from China's growth, especially from the strong demand for Africa's products," said the deputy chairperson.

Through the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, China and Africa are engaged in dialogue on furthering their cooperation in different areas, said Mwencha.

"It is through this dialogue and cooperation that we have made significant progress in a number of areas. We are now addressing … regional programmes in the continent that China is supporting."

He also stated that dialogue was still ongoing between Africa and China on how to address issues of industrialisation and infrastructure and also employment and poverty eradication on the African continent.

He said China had also continued to play a big role in addressing peace and security challenges facing those countries already in conflict. – Source:



Based at the University of Johannesburg's (UJ) Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis, or Cimera, draws on the expertise of two world-class economic geology research units: UJ's Paleoproterozoic Mineralisation Research Centre and the Economic Geology Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand.

A new National Research Foundation centre of excellence, launched in late April, is set to give fresh direction to South Africa's minerals and mining industry by guiding policy decisions, bringing more black people into high-level mining jobs and ensuring smarter exploitation of the country's "cornucopia" of underground resources.

At the launch of the centre on 25 April, its director, Nic Beukes, said Cimera's main focus would be to train skilled economic geologists through postgraduate research studies on mineral and energy resources, with a particular, although not exclusive, focus on Africa.

According to Beukes, research at Cimera is especially relevant to South Africa, as the country is one of the most valuable pieces of mineral real estate in the world, ranking top in resource concentrations of gold, chromium, manganese, fluorite, aluminosilicates, vanadium, zirconium and the platinum-group elements, as well as enjoying world-class deposits of iron, diamonds and coal.

"However, it is also highly relevant to Africa as a whole," he said, "because the continent is moving into a new era where the demand for utilisation of its large resources of bulk commodities like iron, manganese and bauxite is rapidly rising, but sufficient knowledge to ensure long-term economic viability of extraction is lacking." – Source:
Global Growth Companies "are fast-growing companies with the clear potential to become global economic leaders," the WEF said in a statement. "The 16 nominated African Global Growth Companies ... share in common a track record in exceeding industry standards in revenue growth, promotion of innovative business practices, and demonstration of leadership in corporate citizenship."
Six South African businesses are among 16 dynamic, high-growth African firms named as "Global Growth Companies" by the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently. 

Making the announcement on the eve of the WEF on Africa Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, the Switzerland-based organisation described the 16 companies as "trailblazers, shapers and innovators that are committed to improving the state of the world".

The six South African companies on the list are property investment holding company Growthpoint Properties, low-cost retail bank Capitec, law firm Webber Wentzel, black-owned fuel reseller KZN Oils, technology firm Net1 UEPS Technologies and shoe retailer Tekkie Town. – Source:
The programme offers 10 scholarships per annum over a period of three years and will be funded by the Swedish Institute. This is in recognition of the centrality of education and skills development for the economic prosperity of both countries.
This week, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation hosted South African students who were selected for a Swedish postgraduate scholarship programme.

The students will be travelling to Sweden to commence their studies in August 2014. These young students from across South Africa will pursue their Masters studies in a wide range of fields, including Sustainable Energy, Entrepreneurship, Global Health, International Human Rights Law, Child and Gender Studies and Sustainable Development.

The scholarship programme was agreed to at the Eighth Session of the South Africa-Sweden Binational Commission (BNC), which took place on 11 October 2013 in Pretoria. The commission is co-chaired by South Africa’s Deputy President and Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister and takes place on a biennial basis.

At the BNC, it was agreed that the Swedish Government would offer a fully funded scholarship programme for 30 South Africans to pursue postgraduate studies in Sweden as a concrete deliverable and in pursuance of promoting South Africa’s national priorities, especially in the area of skills development.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Sweden are excellent and have a strong historical basis with Sweden supporting South Africa’s struggle for freedom and democracy. Present-day relations cover a wide variety of areas.
Stay Connected with us
For back issues of Newsflash visit:

Your comments are welcome and can be sent to