Issue 131 | 05 September 2014
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“Our Heads of Mission should prepare themselves for vigorous marketing and trade promotion over the next five years,” President Zuma said.
President Jacob Zuma told South African ambassadors and high commissioners stationed abroad to continue telling the country’s good story of success, while marketing the country’s goods and services.

Given all the global and national economic complexities, he said, the country needed its ambassadors to work harder to ensure that South Africa became a preferred destination for any prospective tourist and also for business.

“We want more markets for South African goods abroad and we want more investments to flow towards South Africa. We want you to play your role in this regard,” he said on 31 August at the 2014 Heads of Mission Conference at the OR Tambo Building in Pretoria.

The new Government, he said, had continued to put the economy as the apex priority in the next five years with the growth target set for 5% by 2019. The efforts, he said, would be promoting a positive environment for economic growth and development in order to address poverty, unemployment and inequality.

He said missions should gear themselves to support the economic cluster and the country’s business community in opening up opportunities for engagement. The President said he intended meeting with business soon to discuss this matter. “Nothing is impossible if we work together, putting our country first.”
Joint Statement by the SADC Troika and leaders of the Coalition of the Kingdom
of Lesotho
The Chairperson of the Organ reiterated the Southern Africa’s Development Community’s (SADC) commitment to remain seized with the political and security development in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Following the recent political and security developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho, President Jacob Zuma, Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, met the delegation of the Coalition Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho consisting of the Prime Minister, Thomas Motswahae Thabane; the Deputy Prime Minister,  Mothetjoa Metsing; and Morena TJ Maseribane, Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, on 1 September 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. The SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, also attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the political and security situation in Lesotho on which the leaders of the Coalition Government highlighted that the political and security situation had deteriorated, which needed immediate intervention and support from SADC.

The meeting reiterated the commitment contained in the Windhoek Declaration in which the leaders of the Coalition Government committed to working together to restore political normalcy, stability, law and order, peace and security in the Kingdom. In this regard, the leaders of the Coalition Government agreed to expeditiously implement the declaration, by removing the Parliament prorogation, in particular. In this regard, they agreed on the Road Map with clear timelines on how to remove the Parliament prorogation, which shall be submitted to the King. The leaders further agreed to issue a joint statement appealing for calm and exercise restrain with a view to rapidly bring law and order back in the Kingdom.

The Chairperson of the Organ welcomed the joint commitment of the leaders of the Coalition Government and pledged to render the SADC Troika full support with a view to speedily restore the stability and security in the country. In addition, SADC agreed to send a SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho to work with the Coalition Government as they implement the agreed road map. SADC further agreed to deploy an Observer Team on Politics, Defence and Security as a matter of urgency.
"High Commissioner Wilson was a remarkable person, a true gentleman and Ambassador for his country."

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and people of Australia, following the passing of the Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Graeme Wilson.

High Commissioner Wilson passed away on 2 September 2014 in Pretoria.

"He left no stone unturned to strengthen relations between South Africa and Australia and will always be remembered for the passion he had for Africa and, in particular, South Africa, the country where he was the resident High Commissioner since January 2013.

"In this time of mourning, our thoughts are with the family of High Commissioner Wilson. We wish the family strength during this difficult time. He will be sorely missed.”

President Zuma added that: “The South African Government reaffirms its commitment to continue to strengthen its diplomatic relations and solidarity with the Government and the people of Australia.”
The publication consists of a compilation of 13 peer-reviewed papers by BRICS academics along with keynote addresses and full text of the recommendations of the Fifth BRICS Academic Forum, the Declaration on the Establishment of the BRICS Think-Tanks Council and the eThekwini Declaration of the Fifth BRICS Summit.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation jointly hosted an event with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on 29 August 2014, at which a BRICS publication was launched. All BRICS countries were represented.

As co-chairs of FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) over the next three years, South Africa and China also used the event to reflect on FOCAC affairs and implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan (2013 to 2015) of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, thereby injecting new impetus to the development of China-Africa relations and elevating the new type of China-Africa Strategic Partnership to a higher level.

The year 2013 marked the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the PRC. The evolution of the relationship between South Africa and China is characterised by the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998; signing of the Pretoria Declaration on Partnership in 2000; establishment of the Bi-National Commission in 2001; elevation of a Partnership to Strategic Partnership in 2004; a Programme for Deepening Strategic Partnership in 2006; as well as the signing of the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2010.

South Africa and China share a sound political relationship which can be used better to lay the basis for implementing South Africa’s economic objectives. As much as China has become South Africa’s single largest trading partner in the world and South Africa, China’s largest trading partner in Africa, there is a need to work towards operationalising critical areas that have been identified in achieving South Africa’s economic objectives.
IFAC is a platform for engineers and scientists to exchange ideas and expertise on topics related to automatic control, technology, science, research, cybernetics, control systems, automation and engineering.
South Africa could be counted among some of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, said the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, during her address to international and local engineers and scientists at the 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) in Cape Town on 24 August.

"Science contributed decisively in less tangible but nevertheless equally important ways. Winning the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, for example, filled South Africans with pride and did as much to foster national unity as did winning the rugby World Cup in 1995. 'Big' science is beneficial to any society in transition such as ours," said the Minister.

Minister Pandor said that science and technology played a decisive role in addressing the unacceptable inequality and division in country. The Minister further said South Africa would be one of the champions of the new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), adopted by African leaders at the July 2014 African Union Assembly.

STISA will focus Africa's science, technology and innovation investment in socio-economic areas, such as eradicating hunger and ensuring food security in Africa, preventing and controlling disease, ensuring human welfare in Africa, and improving intra-African communication through investments in physical and digital infrastructure.
The ministers also agreed that South Africa and Ethiopia should join efforts in supporting the implementation of the African Union’s new Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) adopted by African heads of state in July 2014.
Minister Naledi Pandor on 22 August 2014 received her Ethiopian counterpart, Minister Demitu Hambisa, in Pretoria for bilateral talks. The ministers updated each other on science, technology and innovation policy developments in South Africa and Ethiopia.

The two ministers accordingly agreed to expedite the finalisation of a bilateral South Africa-Ethiopia Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, which should be concluded before the end of 2014.

Possible focus areas of cooperation will include institutional capacity-building for research funding agencies; innovation support measures including initiatives such as the development of science and technology parks; research and innovation for the agro-processing industry; and cooperation between national academies of science. A fellowship scheme, which will provide for short-term training opportunities in South Africa for young Ethiopian researchers, is also envisaged.
Minister Davies says the business process service sector is key to attracting investment and creating new jobs, especially in the 18 to 35 age group, where jobs are most needed.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, has congratulated Webhelp SA on the launch of their Johannesburg Contact Centre which has thus far created 200 jobs. It is further expected that the contact centre will create a total of 570 jobs in the next four years.

Webhelp is a French-owned Global Contact Centre company which has contact centres in Algeria, Belgium, France, Madagascar, Morocco, Netherlands, Romania, United Kingdom (UK), and more recently South Africa. The Webhelp investment in South Africa is expected to rise to more than R220 million over three years.

“It is good to see the partnership between government and business working together to promote South Africa as a preferred location for outsourced business processes. Job creation and growing our economy are important objectives for the South African Government,” he added.

The Webhelp Contact Centre in Johannesburg will service the UK Cellular Phone operator Vodafone, providing Customer Services to their UK subscribers. The Contact Centre is the second operation launched by the company. The first facility was launched in Cape Town in March 2014 which created 350 new jobs. Webhelp SA expects to create a total of 5 000 jobs in South Africa by 2017.

The dti’s Business Process Services (BPS) incentive plays a supporting role in attracting new investment into the sector. The BPS incentive was introduced in 2007 with the purpose of making South Africa’s value proposition increasingly attractive when compared to other countries competing for offshore work such as India and the Philippines. The BPS incentive has been reviewed and the updated incentive for the industry will be launched in October 2014.
Most African countries are focused on increasing the quantity and quality of their agricultural exports and seek to better address market access and compliance issues they often have with new and existing export markets.
The governments of South Africa and New Zealand this week shared their expertise on food safety systems for export with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) counterparts.

The two-day workshop was co-chaired by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, and New Zealand High Commissioner to South Africa, Richard Mann, with participation of experts from Kenya and Uganda, among others.

The workshop aimed to share experience and expertise with southern African countries in agriculture and fisheries.

Key regional multilateral organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation, SADC, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the African Development Bank and the Global Food Safety Initiative also participated.

This trilateral initiative came as a result of last year’s meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and her New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully, where they agreed to cooperate in the field of agriculture, focusing on issues affecting the SADC region.

Both South Africa and New Zealand expressed the hope that the workshop would assist the region to increase agricultural exports as part of overall efforts to enhance Africa’s economic growth and social development.
"South Africa is widely known to have one of the best abalone and the best product in the world, all of which is exported to the Far East."
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has announced plans to develop a R2-billion aqua-farming facility on 300 hectares of land at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

This follows the completion of a feasibility study indicating that local conditions were well suited for the commercial cultivation of marine animals and plants, including abalone, finfish and seaweed, Engineering News reported.

"The CDC aims to dedicate 80 hectares to abalone farming by 2020, creating about 2 080 permanent jobs," CDC agroprocessing project manager Dr Keith du Plessis told Engineering News on 1 September.

Finfish farming on a further 120 hectares of the IDZ had also been proposed, Du Plessis said.

"Another species that could potentially be farmed is seaweed, which is complementary to abalone farming and can be used for abalone feed and various pharmaceutical uses."

He said the CDC was now advancing the relevant environmental impact assessments.

Last month, government unveiled a plan to unlock the economic potential of South Africa's oceans, as the first activation of a new initiative, dubbed Operation Phakisa, that seeks to fast-track the delivery of priorities outlined in the country's National Development Plan.

Aquaculture is one of four focus areas that the group, including representatives from the Government, business, labour, civil society and academia, is currently looking at as it seeks to deliver action plans for presentation to Cabinet. – Source:
The course comprises one year of Spanish and foundation courses; five years of medical studies and thereafter two years of medical study at a South African university to complete a degree in medicine.
In an effort to boost the number of medical doctors in the province, the Gauteng Department of Health has awarded 145 bursaries to youngsters to study medicine in Cuba.

The youngsters, who are leaving the country this month, were selected based on their Grade 12 performance and financial status, among other requirements. They will return to the province after six years to make a difference in provincial hospitals and clinics.

Currently, South Africa has 2 074 students from rural areas and disadvantaged backgrounds studying medicine in Cuba. The South Africa- Cuba Medical Training Programme started in 1998 as part of the Government's efforts to address the critical shortage of medical professionals in the country.
– Source:
This initiative, which will start in 2015 as part of the MasterCard Foundation Scholar's Programme, "will help reverse the effects of 'brain drain' on the continent", UCT's Kemantha Govender said in a statement.
A multimillion-rand project that aims to develop 300 "committed future leaders", drawn from economically disadvantaged communities across sub-Saharan Africa, is being launched by the University of Cape Town (UCT).

The MasterCard Foundation has committed US$23,5 million (around R252 million) over the next 10 years to finance the project. Around 60 South African students from disadvantaged communities, as well as 240 students from other sub-Saharan countries, are expected to benefit from the programme.

Scholarships will be offered to deserving candidates, who would otherwise not have the economic means to study at tertiary levels.

"The candidates will be educated at UCT, either as undergraduate or postgraduate students. They will then return to their home countries to apply their new skills towards contributing to social and economic progress on the continent," Govender said.

UCT will target "first-generation" students, those who will be the first members of their families to earn a university degree. Candidates in the programme will be required to sign a declaration that will commit them to returning home after completing their studies. "UCT will work closely with these students to help them secure internships during their studies and career placement after graduating," Govender said.

The call for applications is open until 30 September. – Source:

Heritage Month recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our historical inheritance, language, the food we eat as well as the popular memory.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has launched Heritage Month 2014 under the theme: “Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy: Tell Your Story that Moves South Africa Forward”.

This year’s Heritage Month will present an opportunity to reconnect the nation with our rich heritage through oral history narrations, exhibitions, poetry, music and dance as a tool to reinforce our collective memory and promote national identity.
The campaign is a collaboration with a range of partners with a view to share our unique stories as a nation, record our history and ultimately build social cohesion and nationhood.
As part of celebrating 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy in South Africa; the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) is initiating a Tell Your Story Campaign.

This campaign seeks to encourage South Africans from all walks of life to share their personal stories on what it was like growing up during apartheid, what changes democracy has brought – and their vision for the future.

The Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, said: “Many ordinary South Africans never had the opportunity to share the painful stories of the past or reflect on what changes democracy has brought for them. The Tell Your Story Campaign is a platform where people can share these experiences openly with others so that differences might be overcome. It is through this opening up that we will be able to begin to work towards building a socially cohesive South Africa where citizens are united. We can bridge divisions by sharing our stories.”

Government encourages all citizens, businesses, non-governmental organisations, civil society, religious and cultural groups to host “Tell Your Story” events or publish their stories.
The time of 6:05.36 they set was the best result in history at the global event by a South African crew, with Shaun Keeling and Vincent Breet also adding to the country’s successes by claiming the bronze medal in the men’s pair.
Olympic gold medallists James Thompson and John Smith realised a life-long dream after claiming first place in the lightweight men’s double sculls at the World Rowing Championships in the Netherlands on 30 August in a new world best time.

Thompson and Smith further etched their names in the annals of South African sports history as the country’s first world champions, only two years after they famously won gold at the London Olympic Games as members of the lightweight fours with Sizwe Ndlovu and Matt Brittain.

Brittain, who has since retired due to a persistent back injury, hailed the performance by his friends and former team-mates. “It is the first time that South Africa got two medals at the world championships, we’ve got medals across different boat classes at a world cup but it is a big deal to have two crews in the medals at the world championships.”  – Source:
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