Issue 113 | 21 May 2014
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International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, joined other Cabinet ministers to update the media on the arrangements for the Presidential Inauguration on 24 May 2014.
Members of the public will be able to follow proceedings via live television and radio broadcasts and public viewing areas at 47 sites throughout the country.
The Presidential Inauguration 2014 will be held at the Union Buildings on 24 May. The inauguration is expected to be attended by thousands of people, of whom 4 500 will be accommodated in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 11h00.

Remaining guests will be accommodated on the Southern Lawns below the Union Buildings.

The guests in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre will include Members of Parliament, representatives of provincial governments and municipalities, representatives of communities of faith and civil-society organisations, former heads of state, heads of state in government and eminent persons.

Following the conclusion of the formal proceedings, guests will be entertained by a cultural event which will take place on the Southern Lawns.
South Africa and India enjoy strong historical relations that have been formalised through various bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.
On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the Prime Minister-elect of the Republic of India, Narendra Modi, on his successful election.

President Zuma said: "With India under the leadership of Mr Modi, the Government of South Africa looks forward to consolidating the strong bilateral political and economic relations that exist between our two sister republics".

The two countries share membership of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) and the G20, among other multilateral groupings.

President Zuma also paid tribute to the outgoing Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Manmohan Singh, for his progressive leadership of India. President Zuma said Prime Minister Singh played a vital role in consolidating relations between South Africa and India.
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.
President Jacob Zuma has expressed concern regarding the activities of certain armed groupings in various African countries and called on the African Union (AU) to activate requisite measures aimed at ensuring long-lasting peace and stability on the continent.

President Zuma said: "The Government and the people of South Africa condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of schoolchildren in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the armed group, Boko Haram, and calls on the kidnappers to release the children without further delay".

Regarding the bombing and maiming of innocent civilians in the Republic of Kenya, President Zuma said the targeting of unarmed and innocent civilians is deplorable. The President said the AU needed to urgently activate its peace and security architecture to bring to an end the activities of the armed groupings that were responsible for a series of attacks targeting civilians.

President Zuma has also called on the people of the Central African Republic (CAR) to work towards peace in their country. "The people of the CAR have endured enough strife and conflict. We urge all leaders in the CAR to unite the people behind a common vision of peaceful co-existence and national unity." He reiterated his full support for the AU International Support Mission to the CAR and called on all parties in the CAR to cooperate fully with the Mission.

President Zuma said the worrying developments highlighted above threatened to undermine the progress made by the continent in the economic and other fronts, adding that these challenges underlined the need for the AU to move on its previous agreements to operationalise the African Standby Force.

"It is crucial to build a stronger and a well-resourced African Union to take forward the promotion of peace, security and the socio-economic advancement of the continent,” President Zuma said. "Part of the capacity needed by the AU is the establishment of the African Standby Force for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays.”

South Africa as a member of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) looks forward to the next meeting of the AUPSC to discuss the security situation of all these sister countries and collectively find solutions to the challenges they are confronted with.
Speaking at a media briefing, the minister described the kidnapping of the more than 200 girls by the Islamic militant group Boko-Haram as “unfortunate, heinous and unprecedented”.
The South African Government was in constant communication with the Nigerian Government, as calls for the release of the abducted girls in Nigeria continued, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said recently.

“The South African Government – first through DIRCO (Department of International Relations and Cooperation) and the statement made by The Presidency two days after their abduction – has come out unequivocally condemning this heinous act of using girl children as weapons of some mysterious action by these abductors,” the minister said.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa joined the global community, firstly as an African country, to support the efforts of the Nigerian Government and its people.

“We are in constant communication with the Nigerian Government through our High Commission in Nigeria and also the Nigerian High Commission here in South Africa.

“The responses we’ve been getting from the Nigerian Government have been positive and we remain seized with the kind of support that the Nigerian Government would be requesting from us,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

She also welcomed the initiatives of civil society across the world as well as those by other governments to pressure the abductors to release the girls. – Source:
The survey, released in Johannesburg and London recently, also found that intra-African investment was on the rise, and noted an investor shift from extractive industries to consumer-related sectors on the continent.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise, with the continent's share of global FDI projects at its highest level in a decade, and sharply improved perceptions making it the second-most attractive investment destination in the world, according to Ernst & Young's 2014 Africa Attractiveness Survey.

Ernst & Young's latest survey combines an analysis of international investment into Africa since 2003 with a 2014 survey of over 500 global business leaders about their views on the potential of the African market.

The data shows that while there has been a decline in African FDI project numbers, from 774 in 2012 to 750 in 2013, primarily due to ongoing uncertainty in North Africa, they remain easily in excess of the 390 projects per year the continent was averaging before the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

At the same time, the report points to a noticeable divide between FDI trends in North Africa compared to sub-Saharan Africa. While FDI projects in North Africa declined by nearly 30% in 2013, projects in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 4,7%, reversing the subregion's decline in 2012 while further widening the gap between the two subregions, with sub-Saharan Africa's share of FDI projects exceeding 80% for the first time.

While the United Kingdom remains the lead investor into the continent, intra-African investment continues to steadily rise, according to the report.
– Source:
Observations were made with the Southern African Large Telescope and the Infrared Survey Facility, both at the SAAO site at Sutherland in the Northern Cape.
South African astronomers have found the first known stars in the flared disk of the Milky Way galaxy, the SA Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) announced recently.

The five stars, known as Cepheid variables, were situated on the far side of the galaxy, 80 000 light years from the Earth and beyond the galactic centre, said SAAO spokesperson Thembela Mantungwa.

They changed their brightness every few days and had characteristics that allowed their distance to be measured accurately.

"The discovery is important because stars like these will allow astronomers to test theoretical ideas about how galaxies, like the Milky Way in which we live, formed," she said.

"In particular these stars ... will help astronomers trace the distribution of the very mysterious dark matter."

The stars were discovered by Prof. Michael Feast, Dr John Menzies and Prof. Patricia Whitelock from South Africa, and Dr Noriyuki Matsunaga from Japan. – Source: SAPA
The implementation of the MoU in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management, which was signed last month, is expected to be finalised by the end of July 2014.
South Africa and Mozambique are in talks regarding the strengthening of enforcement mechanisms to ensure rhino poaching is nipped in the bud.

As part of a draft Implementation Plan of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), fund-raising projects to address the scourge of rhino poaching, have been discussed by both countries.

Other identified projects to assist with the implementation of the MoU include wildlife trafficking in general, community development issues and raising awareness about the plight of the rhino.

The meeting between the two neighbouring countries following the signing of the MoU, came as the number of rhino poached for their horn since the beginning of 2013 increased to 376.

A total of 106 people have been arrested for rhino poaching-related offences since January this year. The governments of South Africa and Mozambique have agreed that the ministers responsible for the implementation of the MoU will meet annually to discuss progress and identify areas for further cooperation and additional attention.

Among steps being taken by the two countries since June 2013 to address the menace of rhino poaching have included:
  • immediate maintenance and erection of fencing along the eastern boundary of Kruger National Park with Mozambique
  • strengthening the buffer zone in Mozambique through the establishment of the Greater Lubombo Conservancy
  • creating an intensive protection zone in the Limpopo National Park
  • deploying a well-trained and armed anti-poaching unit for joint collaboration with the Kruger National Park team
  • synchronisation of operational plans between the Limpopo and Kruger national parks.
South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime Line on 32211. – Source:
The solar photovoltaic plant, in the Sol Plaatje Municipality, is one of the first large solar farms in South Africa built by an independent power producer, Droogfontein Solar Power.
The Department of Science and Technology says the new R1,5-billion solar power plant near Kimberley will contribute immensely to the country's rising energy demands.

Arising from the Government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, the plant has been built on a 100-hectare site on which there will be more than 165 000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in operation. The project will supply the Eskom 132 kV gridline and generate 85 458 MW per year. This is sufficient electricity to supply approximately 19 000 average homes each year.

This power generation plant, privately owned by Globeleq, has signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom, as well as an Implementation Agreement with the Department of Environmental Affairs. The facility has benefited the local community, creating approximately 500 jobs during the peak of its construction.
International arrivals between January and March totalled 230 722. This is up from 223 047 over the same time period last year.
Total arrivals for the first quarter stood at 1, 107 319 an increase from 1, 092 339 last year.

Tourism figures for 2013 were also encouraging. Between January to September 2013, the Western Cape received 1,048,450 tourist arrivals and reached a total foreign direct spend of R12,7 billion across the same period. The tourism industry employs 150 000 people.
Cannes International Film Festival included four South African films at the festival market to coincide with the 20 Years of Freedom Celebrations.
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) presented iNumber Number, Miners Shot Down, One Humanity and Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival.

Another key objective of screening South African films was to expose South African talent and films to international sales agents, distributors, funders and other global players attending the festival.

Apart from the four NFVF-selected films, the foundation also hosted a South Africa Showcase where films looking for international support were presented.
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