Issue 123 | 17 July 2014
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Minister, Deputy Minister and the Diplomatic Corps do 67 minutes on Mandela Day
To mark International Nelson Mandela Day, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Deputy Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo and members of the Diplomatic Community participated in a clean-up of the City of Tshwane’s Bloed Street Taxi Rank.
The cleaning was line with President Jacob Zuma’s call to South Africans to honour Madiba’s memory by beautifying their surroundings as part of the campaign to promote a cleaner, safer and healthier environment for all.

The participation of the Diplomatic Community in the clean-up campaign signified the international community’s honour and appreciation of Madiba’s example of selfless service.

Speaking at the occasion, Minister Nkoane-Mashabane said: “On this day, we are called upon to acknowledge and celebrate Madiba's contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.”

“In our own humble ways, like we are doing here today, we can walk in Madiba's footsteps and emulate his exemplary life.”
President Zuma: BRICS huge for business growth
"We have started the journey of forging strategic cooperation relations through embarking jointly on tangible projects with key deliverables that will impact positively on our growth and development," said President Zuma.
Speaking at a summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma said he believed the agreements signed between the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – nations would produce "tangible results" which would change the lives of people in the challenge to address inequality, poverty and unemployment.

President Zuma said the theme of the summit found resonance in the National Development Plan Vision 2030, "which is based on our shared understanding that our economy needs to be more inclusive, more dynamic, with the fruits of growth shared equitably".

Turning to the BRICS' New Development Bank, President Zuma said it was agreed that all BRICS members "will have equal equity at its launch".

President Zuma also said the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation among BRICS export credit insurance agencies would improve the support environment for increasing trade opportunities among the BRICS countries.

"We also recognised the huge potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to break new ground and pool our capacities," said President Zuma. "We have also agreed to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard as reflected in the Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan."

The proposed BRICS Africa Council could add a new dimension to augmenting trade and investment between the BRICS and African countries, said President Zuma.

"In light of Africa now featuring as the fastest-growing region, there are many opportunities which the business sector within BRICS should continue to explore. The future is filled with great promise for business-to-business linkages within the BRICS family."

President Zuma led a South African delegation to the Sixth BRICS Summit, hosted by the Federative Republic of Brazil, on 15 and 16 July 2014 under the theme: “BRICS: Inclusive Growth, Sustainable Solutions".

President Zuma also attended the closing ceremony and the final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil in Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, on 13 July 2014, at the invitation of the Brazilian President, Her Excellency Dilma Rousseff.

President Zuma was accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation (Maite Nkoana-Mashabane); Finance (Nhlanhla Nene); Trade and Industry (Rob Davies); State Security (David Mahlobo) and Energy (Tina Joemat-Pettersson) as well as a business delegation.

During its tenure as chair, South Africa fully implemented the eThekwini Action Plan that the five BRICS leaders tasked the country with carrying out at the Fifth BRICS Summit in Durban last year.

Over the course of last year following the summit, South Africa inaugurated the BRICS Business Forum, establishing its operational procedures and identifying its priority focus areas. The BRICS Think-Tanks Council was also established to provide critical analysis and policy advice to the BRICS leaders.

South Africa also hosted key ministerial meetings, including meetings of the BRICS National Security Advisers and of the BRICS ministers of trade, finance, agriculture, education, health, social security and science. – Sources: and
BRICS Development Bank to be based in Shanghai
The emerging-market bloc of BRICS on Tuesday announced plans that will see the envisaged Development Bank being based in Shanghai, China. Plans are also in progress for a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).
The five members of the BRICS group ( Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) laid out the designs of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the CRA in a declaration released, following their Sixth Summit in the Brazilian city.

The NDB, to be headquartered in Shanghai, will have an initial authorised capital of US$100 billion, and its initial subscribed capital of US$50 billion will be equally shared among founding members, according to the Fortaleza Declaration.

The five countries decided that the first chair of the Board of Governors should be from Russia, the first chair of the Board of Directors from Brazil, and the first President of the bank from India.

They also agreed to set up an African regional centre of the NDB in South Africa, which will be established concurrently with the headquarters.

The bank, said the declaration, was aimed at "mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging and developing economies".

"Based on sound banking principles, the NDB will strengthen the cooperation among our countries and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to our collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth," read the document. – Source:
President Zuma attends retreat in Brasilia
The retreat offered an opportunity for like-minded countries, especially Africa and South America, to strengthen relations and forge a stronger partnership that is based on the common determination to ensure sustainable economic growth, issues of development and peace.
President Jacob Zuma joined BRICS leaders at a special retreat with the heads of state and government of South American states, organised on the sidelines of the Sixth BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil.

President Jacob Zuma said the session was helpful as the country aimed to increase regional solidarity and cooperation on issues of economic cooperation, trade and investment as well as global peace between Africa and South American nations.

“The possibilities of increased cooperation between BRICS and South America are also immense. We are grateful to President Dilma Rousseff for organising this retreat on the sidelines of the sixth BRICS Summit,” President Zuma said. – Source:
The objective of the National Youth Consultative Forum is to consult with South African youth on the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 continental framework, as part of the vision for Africa in the next 50 years.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, delivered the keynote address at the National Youth Consultative Forum under the theme “Together Moving Africa Forward”.

The Agenda 2063 Framework Document will be presented at the AU Summit in January 2015 where the first 10-year Implementation Plan will be adopted. Outcomes of the National Youth Consultative Forum will be collated and form part of South Africa’s input into the Draft Framework Paper and into Agenda 2063 itself.

Addressing the South African Youth Consultative Conference, Deputy Minister Landers said young people were the main players in the development of the continent.

“It is only by harnessing the energy and dynamism of our young people that we will achieve our objective of an Africa that is flourishing and at peace with itself.

“For these reasons, we seek a firm commitment from young people, both in our country and throughout the continent, to the vision of a prosperous and peaceful Africa by 2063,” the deputy minister said.

The purpose of the youth conference was to get input from South African youth on what should constitute Agenda 2063.

“Our objective is to draw out the key issues and proposals that the youth of our country perceive as critical for Agenda 2063 to succeed.  Your [youth] input into this agenda is highly sought and appreciated,” Deputy Minster Landers said.

He said the agenda should be about the improvement of the lives of the African people and an African continent that was self-reliant, self-sustaining and at peace with itself and the world around it.  

The South African consultative process marks the start of preparations for the country’s input into the AU process. The consultation will be followed by other similar consultations with academia, business, women, civil-society and the cultural sector. – Source:
Deputy Minister Mfeketo conducts PPP in Sri Lanka

The lecture was attended by the Diplomatic Corps, academia, students, civil society, human rights activists, South Africa businesspeople in Colombo, and other invited guests.

Between 7 and 11 July 2014, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindia Mfeketo, undertook a working visit to Sri Lanka. The purpose of the visit was two pronged:

  • To support the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa (also President Jacob Zuma’s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka), in his engagements with the Government of that country on issues of common interest and mutual benefits, particularly human rights issues.
  • To deliver a public lecture at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies, Colombo, under the theme, “Celebrating 20 Years of South Africa’s Democracy: A Good Story to Tell”, on Thursday, 10 July 2014. The Deputy Minister’s message was well received by attendants.
These outreach events, which emanate from a Cabinet instruction, serve as a two-way sharing of information that demonstrates responsiveness to needs, a basis for sustained dialogue between government and people, a mechanism for fact-finding by government to align services with needs, and a direct response to community issues and concerns, and reinforces a key pillar of a participatory and consultative democracy.

During his visit, the Deputy President met with President Mahindra Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and other stakeholders to engage on how the two countries can share experiences on matters of reconciliation and constitutional review. South Africa’s truth, reconciliation and nation-building processes are of great interest to a number of countries in South Asia, including Sri Lanka.
The Minister spoke to more than 100 local and international scientists about palaeontology's bright future in South Africa.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, addressed the opening session of the 18th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg last week.

The Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa was founded in 1979 and is organised exclusively for educational and scientific purposes. Its main objective is to advance the science of palaeontology in southern Africa, and it is particularly concerned with the conservation and preservation of fossil sites and the promotion of heritage awareness.

The Department of Science and Technology’s Ten-Year Innovation Plan identifies palaeontology as one of South Africa’s key focus areas. The department has established a Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences and has partnered with major national museums to understand the roots that bind all the people on this planet.
The meeting that brought together ministers, government officials and representatives of employers and workers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states also provided an opportunity to ministers to conclude national and regional consultations of the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015/20.
South Africa’s Labour Deputy Minister, Inkosi Patekile Holomisa, led a South African delegation to the regional body’s extraordinary meeting that brought together ministers and social partners responsible for employment and labour.

The SADC Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers and Social Partners took place from 10 to 11 July at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Some of the issues under discussion included the Report on Implementation of the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan, consideration of the Draft SADC Labour Migration Policy Framework, consideration of the Draft Code on TB in the Mining Sector and Implementation of the SADC Decent Work Programme 2013/19: Draft SADC Decent Work Monitoring and Evaluation Tool, and youth employment promotion, among others.

The meeting followed up on the council’s directive of August 2013 taken in Lilongwe, Malawi, that the revised RISDP be finalised and cleared by the respective policy structures of SADC.
AMS is mainly used for the radiocarbon dating of biological, geological and hydrological material, as well as historical artefacts. It also has important applications in biomedicine  including Alzheimer's and cancer research, as well as drug discovery – and in climate and environmental research.
Africa's first AMS facility was unveiled by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, at the iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences at the University of Johannesburg recently.

Pandor said the new facility would help to achieve the vision, spelled out in the National Development Plan, of "turning South Africa into a vibrant knowledge-based economy ... driven by the quality of the human capital we develop ... our research and development infrastructure, and the enablers we have put in place to bridge the chasm between research and socio-economic outcomes".

According to Pandor, over 300 items of state-of-the-art research equipment have been acquired and placed at various South African universities since 2005, attracting foreign scientists, increasing postgraduate student numbers and boosting local and international collaboration.

"The facility is going to be particularly valuable for purposes of human capital development, and we see it being used to train scientists and students from a variety of scientific disciplines in the use and application of rare isotopes."

Dr Simon Mullins, who heads iThemba Labs' Gauteng facility, said that while there were accelerator facilities in Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria, iThemba Labs was the only facility on the continent to host its own AMS lab.

The new facility is funded by the Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation and the International Atomic Energy Agency. – Source:
Key to the agreement is a programme to upgrade bridges and border posts connecting the two countries, starting with the reconstruction of the Rammotswa Bridge, which crosses the Notwane River where it borders South Africa and Botswana.  
South Africa and Botswana have signed a memorandum of agreement that will see the two countries improving cooperation to promote increased cross-border trade, economic growth and regional integration.

Speaking to journalists in Pretoria after signing the agreement, the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, said preliminary designs for the new bridge had been completed, and that South Africa had already committed R20 million to the project.

"Key to our agreement is that it will enhance regional integration as well as economic development," Peters said. "It will also enhance the free movement of people across our two countries."

Botswana Transport and Communications Minister, Nonofo Molefhi, said: "As South Africa is an economic hub in the region, it remains an attractive trade partner for most of our products and services."

"The road and bridges project will go a long way in terms of strengthening regional integration, as envisioned in the Southern African Development Community protocols." – Sources: and reporter
Ratification of the Ban would ensure that human health and the environment are protected for future generations, and that socio-economic development is promoted sustainably.
Cabinet approved that South Africa ratify the Ban Amendment under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

The Basel Convention is an international treaty that regulates the transboundary movement of hazardous waste, while the Basel Convention Ban Amendment was adopted to protect developing countries from receiving imports of hazardous waste from developed countries.

This would make a significant contribution to reducing Africa’s problems with dumped hazardous wastes.
The R600-million truck assembly plant is based in the Coega Industrial Development Zone at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in Port Elizabeth.
President Jacob Zuma launched the First Automotive Works (FAW) South Africa assembly plant in the Eastern Cape last week.

It is part of government's interventions in manufacturing as an important pillar of the economy, and will help further shore up foreign investor confidence in South Africa.

“The plant will initially assemble 5 000 trucks annually for the sub-Saharan African market, where FAW plans to entrench itself as a leader in the local commercial vehicle market among the manufacturers and importers of Chinese-origin vehicles,” said The Presidency in a statement.

The plant is funded jointly by the China FAW Group Corporation and China-Africa Development Fund.

The major investment is one of the outcomes of the good trade relations between South Africa and China.

The Presidency said the plant would contribute significantly to national goals for socio-economic development, enshrined in the definitive government policy on development, including the National Development Plan, New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plans. – Source:
Wiki-Solar is a leading authority on the deployment of utility-scale solar power-photovoltaic (PV) power stations of 5 to 10 megawatts (MW) and above.
South Africa has now connected more than half a gigawatt of utility-scale solar power, moving into the world top 10 of countries harnessing renewable energy from the sun, according to figures released last month by

The United States tops Wiki-Solar's list of the top 10 markets for utility-scale solar power, with 349 solar plants together generating 6 498 MW, followed by China (4 607 MW), Germany (3 428 MW), India (1 897 MW), Spain (1 680 MW), the UK (1 523 MW), Italy (875 MW), Canada (714 MW), and France (677 MW).

South Africa is in 10th spot, with 15 solar plants now contributing 503 MW to the country's electricity grid.

Most of these plant were built under the first round of the Government's renewable energy programme for private producers – and with several solar projects still under construction, and contracts for further projects having been signed, South Africa is likely to climb still further up Wiki-Solar's rankings.

In November, the Department of Energy signed agreements with 17 new preferred bidders in the third round of the programme, following the signing off of 47 projects in the first and second rounds, bringing to 64 the total number of renewable energy projects approved by the Government since December 2011.

Once they are all operational, the 64 projects – representing foreign and domestic investment of over R100 billion – will add around 3 900 megawatts of wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power to South Africa's energy mix. – Source:
State film distributer China Film Group Corporation will release “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” on more than 1 000 screens in China – the first time that a South African film will have such a wide release that country, on the same terms as Hollywood studio films.
Internationally acclaimed film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” will be released in China on 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day, producer Anant Singh announced recently.

Singh said in a statement that the release was timely, as it fell on the anniversary of Madiba's birthday "and will be the first year that the world will commemorate this special occasion after his passing".

"The film will provide an opportunity for Chinese audiences to celebrate Madiba's life and pay tribute to him as a global icon and leader who is revered and respected in China."

The release will also coincide with the formalisation of a two-year cultural exchange programme between South Africa and China that was launched in Beijing in April.

Also on 18 July, the film will be screened at the Isola del Cinema in Rome, at the Ischia Global Fest on the Italian island of Ischia, and as the finale to the Rwanda International Film Festival. – Source:
The Proteas claimed their first one-day international series win in Sri Lanka in emphatic fashion on the weekend, thrashing the hosts by 82 runs in the series-deciding third ODI in Hambantota
It was an important win, South Africa's captain AB de Villiers said after the game. "It sends out a statement of what we can achieve as a team, not just for everyone out there, but more importantly for ourselves," he said.

"In all kinds of sports you have to get the confidence going within before you can start proving people wrong or right. For me, the biggest step was for us to start believing in ourselves as a team.

"We never gave up," he added. "The difficult part was when the nonsense hit the fan, we didn't run away. We were there as a team sticking together and that is what it is all about."

Hashim Amla was named man of the series for scoring 258 runs at an average of 86. De Villiers lent strong support with 212 runs at 70.66.

Ryan McLaren led the South African bowlers with nine wickets at a miserly average of 13.11 per wicket and an economy rate of 4.91 per over. Imran Tahir was the most economical of the South African bowlers, conceding only 4.44 runs an over in snaring 6 for 120 in the 27 overs he sent down.  – Source:
South Africa is sending a 187 strong member team to participate in several sporting codes from aquatics to wrestling.
The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula hosted send-off events for  Team South Africa which will be participating in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland from 23 July to 3 August 2014. The Deputy President also officially handed over the South African flag to the Team SA Flag Bearer on 15 July.

Later the same day, Minister Mbalula, together with President of SASCOC, Gideon Sam, hosted a dinner for Team SA.
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