Issue 117 | 12 June 2014
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Government is pleased at the number of African teams that will contest the FIFA World Cup and is confident that the teams will make the continent proud.
On behalf of the people of South Africa, government conveys its best wishes for a successful 2014 FIFA World Cup to the Government and people of Brazil.

Deputy CEO of GCIS Nebo Legoabe said, “On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, we wish Brazil all of the best. Football has the ability to unite people from different cultures and backgrounds. It is our hope that, just as we experienced this in 2010, a deep sense of pride and confidence will sweep over Brazil, as the world experiences its rich culture and vibrancy, and its hosting of this major event.”

“Africa’s participation in major sporting events is gaining momentum, and we will be supporting our continental teams,” said Legoabe.

Government encourages Brazilians to enjoy the tournament and the lasting benefits that will be in place after the event.

“Government also invites South Africans to use this occasion to reflect on the success with which our country hosted this event four years ago this week; we must hold onto this legacy as we move South Africa forward in the years to come,” said Legoabe.
The South African High Commission in London, United Kingdom, has launched its four-day programme as part of its celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of Freedom and Democracy. The celebrations encompass a series of discussion forums on education, sports and skills development; a trade and investment seminar; and a cultural workshop.

These exchanges in ideas between the SA-UK partners will ensure that meaningful targets can be developed once the formalities close on Friday, 13 June 2014. The celebrations will culminate with the fun day on 14 June 2014 at the Allianz Park during which South Africa’s Freshly Ground will entertain the crowds.
South Africa celebrated its 20 years of freedom and democracy in Algiers, Algeria, from 1 to 3 June 2014, with a view to pay homage to the Algerian Government which contributed immensely to South Africa’s democracy and freedom.

Algeria was the first international country visited by the late former South African statesman, Nelson Mandela, after he was released from prison in 1990. This was undertaken as a follow-up to the momentous 1961 tour to establish Umkhonto we Sizwe as the armed wing of the African National Congress.

The 20-years events were also held in celebration of unity for a common struggle as well as a call for the ultimate liberation of the people of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, which the South African Embassy in Algeria is also accredited to. The events were led by Ambassador Joseph Kotane and included a cocktail reception and South African cultural exhibition; a performance by the Saharawi Cultural Group and the Muffinz; as well as a mini soccer tournament.
This milestone development will go a long way towards advancing the Palestinian national reconciliation in particular and its struggle for self-determination.


President Jacob Zuma, has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, congratulated Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, following the formation of the Government of National Consensus that brings an end to the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

South Africa has consistently encouraged both Fatah and Hamas to end the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2007. The perpetuity of division among Palestinians could not be left unattended as it has and could have dire consequences for the broader national question and for the territorial integrity of the future Palestinian state.

President Zuma said: “South Africa supports international efforts aimed at the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side and in peace with Israel within internationally recognised borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, prior to the outbreak of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with East Jerusalem as its capital."

“South Africa calls on the international community to support the new Government of National Consensus that has been inaugurated in Ramallah that will ensure national cohesion and reconciliation among the Palestinians. On its part, South Africa will continue to render its unwavering support to the Government and people of Palestine as they strive towards nation-building and freedom.”
The results of the 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, which takes in the views of senior executives from 300 of the world's leading corporations in 26 different countries, were released last week.
South Africa has climbed two spots to become the 13th-most attractive destination for foreign direct investment, according to a recent survey by global consulting firm AT Kearney.

South Africa is the only country in Africa on the list of 25 and came ahead of Switzerland, Spain, Japan and Italy. The United States (US) maintains its first place position from last year, followed by China and Canada.

"The findings bode well not only for the US but for the global economy," the company said. "Nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago." 
– Source:
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba last week announced that his department would open visa facilitation centres in all nine provinces.
Centres to help the visa application process go smoothly are set to open across the country.

The Pretoria (Gauteng), Rustenburg (North West) and Kimberley (Northern Cape) centres were the first to open on 2 June. It is envisaged that the last office will be opened on 23 June.

VFS Global – a worldwide outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments – has been appointed to receive and manage visa and permit applications in South Africa.

Making the announcement in Pretoria, Minister Gigaba said VFS Global had been given the mandate to automate the application processes, develop a solution for biometric intake in line with the immigration regulations, manage dedicated permitting call centres and deliver outcomes to clients efficiently and timely.

Minister Gigaba said through the introduction of VFS in South Africa, clients would now be required to apply online, set up appointments and visit the visa facilitation centres for biometric intake. “This is a radical departure from the existing mode of manual application processes that are responsible for inefficiencies within the permitting environment,” the minister said.

Although VFS Global will be responsible for visa applications, the decision to either approve or reject applications will still lie with the department.

The minister also said that the current measures being introduced in the country add impetus to similar ones the department made in high-volume missions such as Nigeria, China, Ghana, DRC, Angola and Kenya.

According to Minister Gigaba, the new visa application system will also reduce corruption. – Source:
Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says her department will in this administration intensify its efforts to produce more scientists.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) aims to provide opportunities for 700 young and unemployed graduates to gain relevant work experience in science, engineering and technology institutions.

Speaking at a media briefing, Minister Pandor said in the coming years, the programme would grow to provide support to about 1 000 graduates and postgraduates at an annual cost of R80 million. The department intends to invest R400 million per annum to support postgraduate students.

 “The DST and its entities will therefore continue to focus on overcoming the challenges facing the South African science, technology and innovation sector, including human capital development and the continuous modernisation of scientific infrastructure such as laboratories and IT equipment, so that we can unlock the potential of science, technology and innovation to contribute to economic growth,” she said. – Source:
The session was also a culmination of the 90th anniversary of the organisation.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) recently announced that Dr Botlhe Michael Modisane, who was elected a member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Council two years ago, was nominated and elected to Vice-President of the World Assembly at the 82nd general session. Dr Modisane is responsible for Animal Production and Health at the DAFF.

The OIE 82nd general session, which took place from 25 to 30 May, was attended by over 850 participants, representing member countries of the OIE as well as numerous international, intergovernmental, regional and national organisations.
Maternal mortality in the country has dropped by almost 7% a year over the past decade – at 171,4 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births.
The Department of Health has welcomed findings that South Africa is one of the 16 sub-Saharan countries that stand a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on maternal mortality by 2015.

According to the findings of a study undertaken by the University of Cape Town’s Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, in conjunction with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the number of maternal deaths has dropped from about 376 000 in 1990 to about 293 000 in 2013.

The study showed that 30 countries had annual reductions in the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of MDG 5 pace or better from 2003 to 2013.

“Eight of which were in sub-Saharan Africa (Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Swaziland) and 10 in central and eastern Europe (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Russia,” according to the findings.

However, the study noted that despite reductions in the number of maternal deaths, only 16 countries, seven of which were developing countries, were expected to achieve the MDG 5 target of a 75% reduction in the MMR by 2015.

The findings were part of a study into maternal mortality across the globe over the past two decades. The study aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.

MDG 5 established the goal of a 75% reduction in the number of maternal deaths per 100 000 live births between 1990 and 2015. – Source:
SolarReserve said the two plants were together capable of powering more than 130 000 homes, and had each signed 20-year power purchase agreements with state electricity company Eskom.
United States company SolarReserve announced recently that two 75-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) projects had completed construction and were fully operational and providing renewable energy to South Africa's electricity grid.

The Lesedi and Letsatsi plants, situated in the Northern Cape and Free State provinces respectively, were chosen by South Africa's Department of Energy in the first round its renewable energy programme for private producers, which aims to add 3 725 MW of wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power to the country's energy mix.

According to the company, the two projects had provided a significant economic boost for their surrounding communities, with 2,3-million man-hours of work generated during construction, and a percentage of total project revenues having been set aside for local enterprise and socio-economic development.
– Source:
The Southern African Postal Operators’ Association (SAPOA) was created in 2001 by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as its regional body responsible for the postal sector.
The 2012/13 financial year has been a good one for SAPOA, which saw its financial services increasing by 81%.

The chairperson of the SAPOA management board, Thato Mosisili from Lesotho, presented the figures at the association’s 13th annual general meeting in Swakopmund. She said other services which also increased included agency services, which went up by 21%; the enhancement of access to services, which improved by 6%, as well as the parcels’ business, with an increment of 1%.

The annual meeting was attended by Namibia Post (NamPost) Chief Executive Officer Festus Hangula and SADC Secretariat representatives, leaders of the SAPOA as well as post-masters-general from the 14 SADC member countries.

They came together to deliberate on strategies and logistics for the postal sector. It also gave them a chance to share ideas on how to deal with opportunities, challenges and common aspirations, with the common aim of transforming the postal services in member countries.

The SAPOA member countries are Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Madagascar, Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
– Source:
The win in Medemblik marks the first major win for Jim and Hudson as a team, exactly three years after they raced there in their first regatta together in the 470 class.
London Olympics sailors Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim took a massive stride towards achieving their goal of qualifying for the Rio Olympics by winning their first-ever major international event at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in The Netherlands recently.

Going into the final medal race in fourth position, the duo managed to negotiate their way through the fleet to finish second and take the overall gold ahead of Britain's Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience and teammate Elliot Willis.

"We knew we had to perform and it seems that under pressure we seem to do really well. We had that pressure on us and we both love it," said a thrilled Jim afterwards.

"It's a big breakthrough for us and it's great," added Hudson.

"It's come at a really good time to motivate us and to keep us rolling with our project, which is obviously a four-year project going towards Rio [Olympic Games in 2016]. – Source:

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