Issue 122 | 10 July 2014
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At its Sixth Summit, the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will emphasise social inclusion and sustainable development. The debate will be informed by the theme "Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions". The summit will inaugurate the second cycle of BRICS. Each member country has hosted one meeting of leaders.
Brazil will host, on 14, 15 and 16 July 2014, the Sixth Summit of Heads of State and of Government of BRICS in Fortaleza and Brasília.

Addressing a media briefing on 8 July, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said it was worth reminding members of the media and South Africans in general that South Africa joined BRICS with three objectives in mind, namely to:

  • advance our national interests as outlined in the President’s recent State of the Nation Address
  • promote our regional integration programme and related continental infrastructure programmes
  • partner with key players of the South on issues related to global governance and its reform. 
“The forthcoming summit will be the first to be hosted in the second cycle of BRICS summits and provides an opportune moment to reflect on the priority areas for cooperation. Since its first summit in 2009, BRICS has consolidated its position as a positive force for the democratisation of international relations and for the enhancement of existing institutions of international governance. It has also forged an impressive partnership, carrying out cooperation initiatives in more than 30 areas between its members.

“It is worth noting that the South African Government has fully implemented the eThekwini Action Plan and will present a hand-over report on sectoral cooperation during its tenure as BRICS Chairperson. The report highlights the progress made by South Africa during its tenure as Chair of BRICS in relation to the high-level meetings of BRICS leaders chaired by President Jacob Zuma and Ministerial of BRICS Foreign Affairs Ministers, which I chaired.

“During South Africa’s tenure as Chair, substantive progress was achieved in anchoring the new BRICS mechanisms that were launched at the Fifth BRICS Summit, i.e. the BRICS Business Council as well as the BRICS Think-Tanks Council and reports will be submitted to the BRICS leaders on the work undertaken by these structures.

“Among other topics, the leaders will discuss issues regarding global governance and peace and security as well as the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and receive reports on progress towards the establishment of the BIRCS-led New Development Bank (NDB).

“The CRA is an additional line of defence available to the BRICS countries in scenarios of balance of payment difficulties. 

“The issue of the venue or domicile for the BRICS-led NDB is on the agenda for discussion. The BRICS leaders indicated at their last meeting held in St Petersburg in September 2013 on the margins of the G20 Summit that they expected tangible results by the time of this summit. We are confident that the leaders will not be disappointed. Our finance ministers will meet the day prior to the summit to finalise recommendations to the leaders in this regard. The development bank will finance, among other things, infrastructure and sustainable development projects.


The purpose of the meeting was to consider the political and security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), especially in the eastern part of that country, following the defeat of the M23 and the beginning of a process of voluntary disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
During the media briefing on 8 July, Minister Nkaona-Mashabane also gave feedback on the Joint Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Ministers' Meeting, which took place on 1 and 2 July 2014 in Luanda, Republic of Angola.

“The meeting formed part of a process agreed to during the first and historic Joint Summit of the SADC and ICGLR held in November 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. The political and security situation in the eastern DRC is the principal reason why the SADC and ICGLR held their historic, first joint summit in Pretoria, with a view to bring about long-lasting peace and stability in the DRC in particular and the Great Lakes Region in general.

“The Ministerial Meeting in Angola made a number of recommendations to the Heads of State and Government of the SADC and ICGLR, which include the following, among others:
  • enhance the established mechanism for evaluation and implementation of disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, reintegration and resettlement of those willing to disarm and be repatriated to Rwanda involving the United Nations, African Union, ICGLR, SADC, Rwanda and DRC
  • voluntary surrender and disarmament which must be done within the timeframe of six months from 2 July 2014 with verifiable review after three months
  • demand the FDLR to fully surrender within the given timeframe and also making them aware of military consequences of failure to comply with the agreed timeframe.
“South Africa welcomes the steps undertaken by the Government of the DRC since the defeat of the M23 to implement the commitments it made since the signing of the Nairobi Declaration and Communiqué, to facilitate and to accelerate the definitive demobilisation of the M23, which includes urgently addressing the issue of amnesty and their eventual reintegration.”


A key component of South Africa’s foreign policy for Africa is support for the establishment of peace and political stability in order to create the foundations for democracy as a necessary prerequisite for sustainable social and economic development. The recent attacks in Kenya are therefore diametrically opposed to our vision and our efforts for peace and political stability in East Africa and the wider African community.
Minister Nkoane-Mashabane also reflected on the recent developments in Kenya and Somalia.

“The Kenyan Government has shown renewed determination not to let terrorism deter them from having peace in their country, nor from supporting democracy, development, peace and security for their neighbourhood.  

“In this regard, the South African Government will continue to express its strong condemnation of all forms and manners of terrorism. Furthermore, we will continue to support the efforts of the Kenyan Government in promoting national harmony and national reconciliation, as South Africa is of the view that political stability, reconciliation, democracy, nation-building, good governance and socio-economic development are crucial to lasting peace in the East African region.

“Regarding Somalia, over the last number of years, South Africa has invested in efforts to support democracy and peace initiatives as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development in Somalia.

“South Africa remains determined to work with our partners worldwide, and specifically in Africa, to improve our continent, to create a more peaceful, democratic, politically stable, well governed and economically vibrant place for all its people. In this regard, South Africa will continue to support all efforts that enable Somalia to find lasting solutions to its many challenges through the provision of capacity- and institution-building, socio-economic support, and specified training in key government sectors.”
The mandate of the IMCs is limited to the matter that they are established to execute.
President Jacob Zuma has appointed IMCs that will form part of the new government system of the fifth democratic administration. The announcement came after the President’s pronouncement of the Ministerial Clusters, which will improve government performance.

The IMCs are appointed by the President (and in certain instances by Cabinet) for specific purposes that require the attention and dedication of a team of certain ministers. For more info, visit:
President Zuma will as a next step, transfer the administration of legislation, powers and functions to the relevant ministers in terms of section 97 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996.
President Jacob Zuma has signed a Proclamation to establish or abolish national departments as well as to designate such departments and their heads, following the announcement of new portfolios of ministers that the President made on 25 May 2014.

The departments are as follows:

  • Department of Small Business Development (new department)
  • Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, which will replace the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Department of Water and Sanitation, which will replace the Department of Water Affairs
  • Department of Women, which will replace the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
  • Department of Communications, which will replace the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS)
  • Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.
This year's commemoration service was of particular significance, taking place against the background of the re-interment of the remains of Private Myengwa Beleza, one of the first South Africans and a member of the African Native Labour Corps to perish during World War 1 in France.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, recently attended the commemoration of the battle of Delville Wood in France. They were accompanied by Ramaphosa's wife, Tshepo Motsepe, and Deputy International Relations Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo.

Beleza's remains was exhumed from the civilian cemetery of Seine-Maritime near Le Havre and reburied at Delville Wood Memorial as part of honouring all South Africans who were involved in the battle.

Due to segregation at the time, black South Africans who had perished during the war were buried separately in different civilian cemeteries across France, while their white counterparts were buried at the Delville Wood Memorial.

The reburial of Beleza will go a long way towards the restoration of the dignity of black South Africans who participated in the war.

After the visit in France, Deputy President Ramaphosa proceeded to Sri Lanka for an official visit from 7 to 8 July to meet the Government, the President of Sri Lanka and a number of other government ministers. During his visit, he also met opposition parties and travel to the north where conflict in that country is at its fiercest.

In February, President Jacob Zuma announced that Ramaphosa has been appointed as South Africa’s special envoy to Sri Lanka and South Sudan. His appointment came at the request of Sri Lanka and South Sudan for assistance in bringing about peace and reconciliation. – Source: Sapa
Deputy President Ramaphosa was pleased to have met Solberg, whom he last met at the memorial service of former President Nelson Mandela in December.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa met with his Norwegian counterpart, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, last week. Solberg – who was attending the Partnership on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Forum at the Sandton Convention Centre – paid a courtesy call to Deputy President Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings.

“I attended the conference yesterday. It’s a very important conference and we are pleased that over 1 200 people from around the world are attending it. The best thing is that they chose us to be the hosts…,” Deputy President Ramaphosa said, referring to the Partnership on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Forum, which he addressed the day before.

He said due to Norway’s unwavering support and strong solidarity then, a special and unique relationship existed between the two countries.

For her part, Solberg said the long history of cooperation that the two countries shared should serve as a “good reminder that we should continue with our cooperation”.

To date, trade relations between South Africa and Norway are governed by the Southern African Customs Union-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement. In 2012, exports between the two countries amounted to R1,915 million, with an annual growth of 13,4%.

Norway is South Africa’s 41st export destination. In 2012, imports amounted to R735 million, thus showing a trade surplus for South Africa.
– Source:
As a panellist, the Minister made a presentation during the Ministerial Dialogue on “Long-Term Measures to Make Poverty Eradication Irreversible and Reduce Inequalities”.
The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, was one of several panelists who participated in the United Nations (UN) High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

The meeting was held at the UN headquarters, New York, from 30 June to 9 July 2014, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.

The meeting was held under the theme, “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and Charting the Way for an Ambitious Post-2015 Development Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals”. – Source:
Bilateral cooperation between South Africa and China has made commendable headway since the first formal military contact in January 1995. Subsequently, further agreements to pursue closer military cooperation, especially in the field of intelligence exchange, have been endorsed by both countries.
On 8 July 2014, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula met with a high-profile Chinese delegation led by General Chang Wanquan, Minister of Defence and State Councillor of the People's Republic of China, and a general in the People's Liberation Army.

The purpose of the meeting was to consolidate the existing strategic cooperative relations between the South African and Chinese defence forces. Topping the agenda for the meeting of the two ministers were matters relating to, among other things, military education; training and development; regional security; and cooperation in peace and support operations.

The warm and friendly military diplomatic relations enjoyed by both South Africa and China should be viewed within the context of the signing of the Pretoria Declaration of April 2000, which provides for the establishment of a Binational Commission between South Africa and China. The aim of this strategic partnership is to develop, safeguard and incorporate the political, economic, scientific, technological and cultural relations between the two countries.
South African missions abroad, and government offices at home, opened condolence books for people to pay their respects to Mandela following his passing away in Johannesburg on 5 December.
President Jacob Zuma was recently presented with 4 850 books of condolences for Nelson Mandela, sent by South African embassies around the world and government offices around the country – and the books, along with thousands of message cards, are still coming in.

Zuma paged through some of the books as Mandela Month got under way in South Africa, where July is dedicated to national humanitarian service in honour of the great man.

Mandela's birthday, 18 July, has been designated by the United Nations as International Mandela Day, when people around the world are urged to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to doing work in service of humanity.

"I wish to thank all the people of South Africa and also the people of the world for taking their time to sign condolence books and to pay tribute to our beloved world icon, Tata Madiba, and to comfort his family," Zuma said in a statement. – Source:
A consortium led by Spanish company Abengoa was chosen to build the plant during the second round of the South African Government's renewable energy programme for independent power producers, which aims to add 17 800 MW from renewable sources to South Africa's energy mix by 2030.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$142-million loan to help fund the construction of a $908-million, 100-megawatt (MW) concentrating solar power plant in the Northern Cape – the bank's first loan for a renewable energy project by an independent power producer in South Africa.

Abengoa is currently building two other solar plants in the Northern Cape: a 50-MW solar tower plant near the town of Upington, and a 100-MW parabolic trough solar plant, dubbed KaXu Solar One, near the town of Pofadder.

Abengoa said in a recent statement that Xina Solar One would produce sufficient clean energy to power approximately 90 000 households while reducing South Africa's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 315 000 tons annually.

Announcing its loan approval last month, the AfDB said it would "play an important role by providing much-needed long-term finance, enforcing environmental and social standards and working to enhance the development impact of the project".

Construction is due to start this year, with the full cost estimated at $908 million (about R9,5 billion), to be financed by the AfDB along with other development finance institutions and three of South Africa's commercial banks. – Source:
South Africa is one of seven countries working on European aircraft manufacturer Airbus's A400M programme.
Denel Aerostructures, a subsidiary of the state-owned Denel Group, has won its fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, the company announced this recently.

Denel Aerostructures, the only tier 1 supplier of parts for the A400M outside of Europe, is already responsible for the design, engineering and fabrication of the giant airlifter's wing-to-fuselage fairings and fuselage top-shells, as well as for the manufacture of the ribs, spars and swords that make up the inside structure of the A400M's distinctive tail section.

Under the new six-year contract, worth more than R260 million, Denel Aerostructures will manufacture ISO locks for the A400M's cargo hold.

According to Engineering News, the ISO locks "are a combination of aluminium rails and cross tracks which serve to guide the movement of ISO containers within the cargo hold. The containers are then secured in their positions by a comprehensive system of locking mechanisms".

Denel Group chief executive Riaz Saloojee said in a statement that the new work package confirmed Denel Aerostructures' reputation as an emerging player in the global aerospace environment. "It is a vote of confidence in the South African engineering and high-tech manufacturing sectors."
– Source:
The competition, which focuses on high performance computing, showcases expertise at solving complex problems and the South African team made history as the only team to win consecutively as well as the youngest winners.
Students from South African universities successfully defended their title at the International Student Cluster Competition, held in Leipzig, Germany.

The South African team members were Eugene de Beste, Nicole Thomas, Warren Jacobus and Saeed Natha of the University of the Western Cape; Pieter Malan of the University of Stellenbosch; and Ellen Nxala of the University of Fort Hare. The team supervisors were David Macleod and Nicolas Thorne of the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and Vernon Nichols of Dell.

The team, which comprised only undergraduate students, practised at Dell headquarters in Texas before facing formidable opponents from South Korea, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and China.

South Africa's CHPC is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and implemented by the CSIR. – Source:
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