Issue 120 | 26 June 2014
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The National Development Plan (NDP), also known as Vision 2030, is the country's 30-year framework for growing the economy while tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The South African Government is set to launch an initiative – inspired by the "Big Fast Results" methodology successfully applied by Malaysia – to fast-track the delivery of priorities outlined in the country's NDP, President Jacob Zuma announced in Cape Town last week. 

Responding to the debate on his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in Parliament, President Zuma said government officials had held discussions with their Malaysian counterparts on a South African adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology.

He said the initiative, dubbed Operation Phakisa, would be launched in July. "We want to find methods that work, that will deliver results, and we believe Operation Phakisa may provide the key."

Minister in The Presidency, Jeff Radebe, speaking during the debate on the SoNA, said using this methodology, the Government of Malaysia had been able to register impressive results within a short period.

The first implementation of Operation Phakisa – the economic sector "laboratory" – will initially be led by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and focus on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's oceans.

Radebe said there was massive untapped economic potential related to the country's oceans, in the areas of marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services and governance.

"It is estimated that unlocking the economic potential of our oceans can contribute up to R177 billion to the gross domestic product by 2033 compared to R54 billion in 2010," Radebe said, adding: "This sector has the potential to employ one million people by 2033 compared with 316 000 in 2010."

– Source:
The theme of the summit is "2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, Marking the 10th Anniversary of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme".
President Jacob Zuma is leading the South African delegation to the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly (AU Summit), from 25 to 27 June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Agriculture has great potential to enable sustainable development, food security and job creation in Africa.

The summit is considering, among others things, the status of peace and security in Africa, the implementation of NEPAD projects, the African Peer Review Mechanism, the African Common Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda as well as the report of the Committee of African Heads of States and Government on Climate Change.

President Zuma is accompanied Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (Minister of International Relations and Cooperation), Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Minister of Defence and Military Veterans), Collins Chabane (Minister of Public Service and Administration), David Mahlobo, (Minister of State Security), Jeff Radebe (Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation), Senzeni Zokwana, (Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) as well as Ayanda  Dlodlo (Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration).
The Executive Council Meeting was at Ministerial level and took place ahead of the African Union (AU) Summit, from 25 to 27 June 2014.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, participated in the 25th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 22 to 24 June 2014.

South Africa reaffirms its commitment to the development of the agricultural sector and celebrates 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.

The Executive Council also considered, among others, the adoption of the Agenda 2063 framework; peace and security issues on the continent; Africa's common position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda; as well as NEPAD-related issues.
Left to right: Eyal Yifrah (19), Gilad Shaer (16) and Naftali Frenkel (16)
“South Africa condemns the kidnapping for whatever reason possible in the strongest possible terms, and more so if vulnerable groups such as children and women are involved.”
The South African Government has condemned the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, and has added its voice to the mounting calls for the immediate release of the teenagers.

Naftali Frankel (16), Gilad Shaer (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19) went missing on 12 June in Gush Etzion in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that they had been kidnapped by Hamas. They were last seen in the Gush Etzion area, hitchhiking to their homes.

“The South African Government calls on the perpetrators of this heinous act to release the teenagers immediately and unharmed,” said International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Clayson Monyela.

 “The South African Government also calls upon all parties involved to exercise restraint, including a halt to the arbitrary arrest of Palestinian citizens and the use of collective punishment of Palestinians and the disturbance of their social and economic rights.”

South Africa has urged both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to cooperate and focus on the recovery of the three teenagers.
South Africa will continue to support the efforts of the Kenyan Government to fight terrorism and promote inter-ethnic harmony and national reconciliation.
The South African Government conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Kenya and especially to the families of the victims in the ongoing terrorist attacks in Kenya. 

The South African Government reiterates its condemnation of all forms and manner of terrorism. Terrorism, in any form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.

Accordingly, South Africa strongly condemns the recent cowardly attacks in the coastal resort town of Mpeketoni. These heinous acts of terror against innocent civilians don't serve any purpose and will only contribute to further instability and ethnic animosity.
The Kingdom of Spain remains South Africa’s strategic partner and we look forward to continuing our cooperation to promote trade and investment, and preserve peace and prosperity in Africa and the world.
President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of the South African Government and the people of South Africa, congratulated His Majesty, King Felipe VI, on the occasion of His Majesty’s investiture as King of Spain, and wished the very best to His Majesty and Queen Letizia as they assume their new roles.

President Zuma also expressed his sincere gratitude to His Majesty, King Carlos I, for steering Spain from military dictatorship to democracy and for his personal contribution and mutual support to the further advancement of South Africa-Spain bilateral relations during his reign as King of Spain.
The partnership between the Department of Home Affairs and the UNHCR dates back to 1993 following the signing of a watershed Memorandum of Understanding aimed at institutionalising the refugee regime in the country in accordance with international law.
The Department of Home Affairs and the UNHCR on Friday, 20 June 2014, commemorated the World Refugee Day (WRD) under the theme: “Share your Refugee Story, Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy”. 
On 4 December 2000, the General Assembly of the UN adopted a resolution declaring 20 June WRD to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

WRD is thus celebrated annually to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threats of persecution, conflict and violence. On this day, the international community seeks to draw attention to the plight of refugees and celebrate their courage and resilience. 

South Africa is committed to securing legal protection of refugees as provided for under international law, and also informed by the rights in the country’s entrenched Bill of Rights.
London-listed Petra Diamonds, the owner of the Cullinan mine outside Pretoria, recently announced that it had unearthed the diamond, saying in a statement that "the rarity of a blue diamond of this magnitude sets it apart as a truly significant find". 
An exceptional 122,52-carat blue diamond discovered at the Cullinan mine could fetch a record price, an analyst with United Kingdom broker FinnCap told The Telegraph.

Blue diamonds are more valuable than their white counterparts, and both, once cut, are worth more than their rough (uncut) originals.

Martin Potts, a mining analyst at FinnCap, told The Telegraph: "So far, the highest price on record paid for a rough (uncut) diamond was £20 million [US$35,3 million], in February 2010 for a 507-carat white stone, also recovered from Cullinan. We think that this stone may break that record."

It is the largest blue diamond the company has recovered since its 2008 acquisition of Cullinan, one of the world's most celebrated diamond mines.

Located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 37 kilometres north-east of Pretoria, the Cullinan mine earned its place in history in 1905 with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3 106 carats.
A total of 14 companies will participate in the 38th edition of the fair that will take place from 28 June to 8 July.
South African companies will for the first time participate in the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair, in Tanzania, this week.

“As a department, we recognise the importance of increasing trade between South Africa and other countries on the continent with the aim of boosting intra-Africa trade,” Trade and Industry (dti) Minister, Rob Davies, said.

Minister Davies said the dti responded positively to the invitation by the organisers of the trade fair because it believed that the fair would provide a platform to strengthen bilateral trade between South Africa and Tanzania with the expectation of promoting intra-Africa trade, as well as economic integration of the continent.

“We are confident that the group of businesspeople that we have assisted to participate in the multisectoral international trade fair in Tanzania will not only showcase the best of the products and services that this country can offer, but will also find markets in East Africa to export their products to, and identify opportunities for investment and joint ventures,” said Minister Davies.

Tanzania is South Africa’s 13th-largest trading partner in Africa. Trade between South Africa and Tanzania currently stands at R4,67 billion.

During the past year, South Africa remained the fourth-largest exporter to the Tanzanian market. The main products exported to Tanzania last year included base metals and articles, machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, sound recorders, mineral products, prepared foodstuffs, beverages, spirits and transport equipment. – Source:
The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is an open platform to debate science and a showcase for global research. It also aims to promote dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy.
Two young researchers from South Africa were among thousands of scientists and researchers attending Europe's largest science conference, which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 21 to 26 June.

Takatso Semenya, a physiotherapist at the University of Limpopo, and Prof. Mamello Thinyane, who is an associate professor at Fort Hare University's Department of Computer Science, accompanied the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, and the newly appointed President of the Medical Research Council and leading HIV/AIDS specialist, Prof. Glenda Gray.

Prof. Gray was scheduled to make a presentation on how health diplomacy drove business and innovation.

Themed "Science Building Bridges", the conference was aimed at raising the public's awareness of science and strengthening the "bridges" between science and society.

Denmark has a deep-rooted scientific tradition and a strong commitment to scientific and technological innovation, which play an important role in translating knowledge from science to society.

South Africa remains one of the most successful participants from outside Europe in the European Union (EU) Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, with major participation dating back to the fourth framework programme. Under the seventh, more than R400 million in EU funding was allocated to South African organisations.
The Olympiad – hosted in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) – will run from 3 to 13 July.
High school students from over 100 countries will test their acumen in the 55th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

This is the first IMO to be held on African soil.

The Olympiad started in Romania in 1959, with seven countries taking part. Today, more than 100 countries participate, representing over 90% of the world's population.

The IMO is the oldest, biggest and most prestigious of all the international science olympiads. It is a problem-solving contest for high school students, and is perceived as the “World Cup of Mathematics”.

The event is endorsed by the DBE and the Department of Science and Technology. This year’s edition is presented by the SAMF. – Source:
"This momentous occasion happens exactly 50 years since Nakasa left South Africa, and on the 20th anniversary of our freedom and democracy."
The remains of exiled writer and journalist Nat Nakasa are to be repatriated from the United States (US) for reburial at his home in South Africa, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, announced during the annual Nat Nakasa Awards for Bravery in Journalism in Cape Town last week.  

"… I am proud to inform you that we have now obtained permission to exhume and repatriate Nat Nakasa's mortal remains back to home soil," Mthethwa said. "The Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Westchester, issued a court order granting us permission a few weeks ago".

Nathaniel Ndazana Nakasa, better known as Nat Nakasa, was a South African short story writer and journalist. He was awarded a Nieman Fellowship in 1964 to study journalism at Harvard College in the USA. However, the apartheid government rejected his application for a passport. As a result, he was forced to leave South Africa on an exit permit, which meant that he could not return.

His death by suicide was an apartheid tragedy, and a tragedy of exile. As it was not possible to bring his body home, he was buried at the Ferncliff cemetery in upstate New York.

Also speaking at the awards ceremony, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said Nakasa was more than a reporter and a storyteller. "He was an activist, intellectual and opinion-maker – one of those few individuals of whom could be said that without him, we would have been infinitely poorer."

Ramaphosa said the repatriation of Nakasa's mortal remains to South Africa would stand as a victory over those who had denied him the right to return to the land of his birth.

Minister Mthethwa said the South African and US authorities were still finalising the logistics for Nakasa's remains to be returned to South Africa. He said plans were being made to rebury Nakasa in Heroes' Acre in Chesterville, Durban, adding that the reburial date would be announced at a later stage. – Sources:  and 
According to the NFVF, “Hard to Get” is the first of a slate of films that Ahmed and Spring are producing to showcase the talent of previously marginalised black filmmakers in South Africa.
New South African movie “Hard to Get”, a love story set in Johannesburg's crime underworld, has been chosen to open the 35th Durban International Film Festival on 17 July, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) announced recently.  

Directed by first-time feature director Zee Ntuli and produced by Junaid Ahmed and Helena Spring, the film tells the story of TK, a handsome young womaniser from a small community who falls for a sexy, reckless thief nicknamed "Skiets". Thrust into the big city's underworld, TK decides his best bet is to trust Skiets – and hang on for dear life.

Ahmed praised the work of Ntuli and co-writer TT Sibisi, saying “Hard to Get” "heralds the arrival of exciting new voices in South African cinema".

Durban International Film Festival manager Peter Machen described “Hard to Get” as "a beautifully made film that works on every level and will satisfy commercial and art-house audiences alike. – Source:
Africa's "Bike City" has already hosted many different world-class Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) events and the new announcement has been warmly welcomed by the local and international para-cycling communities.
Pietermaritzburg has been awarded the rights to host the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.

Cycling South Africa's Para-cycling Commission Director, Mike Burns, said in a statement: "The World Championship event is an extremely important final event in which nation points will be earned ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"Riders are very excited about coming to South Africa. It will be a first for most of the competitors.”

Cycling South Africa's President, William Newman, said: "We are very happy to be awarded yet another prominent World Championship event in Pietermaritzburg. It is fantastic for our para-cyclists, and it is the first time that the Para-cycling Track World Champs will be coming to Africa. We are very proud to be hosting the event.” – Source:
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