Issue 132 | 11 September 2014
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
 
SPORT CAN BRIDGE THE CULTURAL DIVIDE
 
 
“This is the first karate world cup tournament on the African continent and it gives us a great pride to be able to once more showcase our ability as a country to host major international events.”
 
Sport has the ability to bridge the cultural divide and is an instrument of peace and social cohesion, President Jacob Zuma said at the opening of the Fourth Kyokushin Karate World Cup in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on 6 September.

The event was hosted by the International Karate Organisation (IKO) Matsushima Group on 6 and 7 September at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban. The tournament was held under three themes namely: self-defence, self-discipline and crime prevention.

The IKO Matsushima is planning to implement community projects focused on taking the youth from the streets and visiting prisons to organise Karate clubs among prisoners, transforming many of the prisoners into disciplined people.  

“This goes on to show the immense potential that sports has towards nation-building, and we are honoured this year to host this tournament,” said President Zuma.
 
 
MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE CO-CHAIRS THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SOUTH AFRICA-CHINA INTER-MINISTERIAL JOINT WORKING GROUP ON COOPERATION
 
The overall aim of South Africa’s approach is to use this mechanism to address inequality, poverty and unemployment, through enhancing our bilateral economic relations.
 
 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, co-chaired the first meeting of the South Africa-China Inter-Ministerial Joint Working Group on Cooperation from 3 to 4 September 2014 in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The objectives of the Joint Working Group on Cooperation are to monitor the implementation of cooperative projects, manage and solve challenges which may arise during the implementation of such projects and further elevate bilateral economic relations through the deepening of practical cooperation.

South Africa-China bilateral relations have enjoyed phenomenal progress in the space of 15 years and have grown from a Partnership to a Strategic Partnership and subsequently to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

South Africa and China have committed to building, developing and strengthening relations based on shared principles of friendship and mutual trust; equality and mutual benefit; coordination; mutual learning; and working together for development.
 
 
MINISTER MOTSOALEDI DELIVERS LECTURE AT UNIVERSITY OF
HONG KONG
 
 
The Minister demonstrated in detail, the role South Africa was playing in the fight against Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa and outlined the prevention preparedness in the country and the Southern African Development Community region.
 
The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, delivered a lecture at the University of Hong Kong on 8 September ahead of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Annual Meeting of the Champions 2014.

During the lecture, which was attended by, among others, government ministers, the Governor of Hong Kong, academics, captains of industry, decision-makers, students and officials from embassies, the Minister outlined the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa as it affected South Africa. This has been prompted by the uninformed travel cancellations by tourists and holiday makers to South Africa since the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

On 9 September 2014, Minister Motsoaledi held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart, the Minister of Health and Family Planning, Li Bin, with the aim of exchanging ideas and identifying areas of health collaboration as well as to finalise the Memorandum of Understanding on health between South Africa and China.  Minister Motsoaledi also served as a panelist at three sessions at the WEF’s Annual Meeting of New Champions 2014, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.
 
 
DEPUTY MINISTER MFEKETO MEETS WITH PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS OF THE UK
 
South Africa and the UK have extensive trade and economic relations, which continue to strengthen, despite the global economic challenges.  Foreign direct investment from the United Kingdom (UK) stood at R60 billion for the period January 2009 to April 2014, the highest from Europe in this period and creating 19 699 jobs.
 
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, met with James Duddridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK, in Pretoria on 8 September 2014.

The purpose of the meeting was to review bilateral relations, with a specific focus on supporting the economic priorities of South Africa’s National Development Plan. The meeting also served to discuss a number of Africa issues that were on the international agenda, including the most recent developments in the southern African region.

In 2013, the UK ranked as South Africa’s eighth-largest export market globally, and the second-largest in the European Union after Germany. In 2013, South Africa’s exports to the UK grew by 16% compared to 2012, and imports from the UK increased by 12% (Source: the dti). The UK is South Africa’s most significant source of long-haul tourists. In 2013, more than to 442 000 British tourists visited South Africa, an increase of 1% on the figure for 2012 (Source SA Tourism).
 
 

DEPUTY MINISTER MFEKETO HOSTS FIFTH MEETING OF THE SOUTH AFRICA-IRAN DEPUTY MINISTERIAL WORKING GROUP

 
 
The Deputy Ministerial Working Group follows upon the Joint Commission, which remains one of South Africa’s longest-serving and most successful structured bilateral mechanisms.
 
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, co-chaired the Fifth Meeting of the South Africa-Iran Deputy Ministerial Working Group with her counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in Pretoria on 8 and 9 September 2014.

Addressing the media, Deputy Minister Mfeketo said South Africa recognised that the Islamic Republic of Iran was a pivotal and influential player in the region as well as internationally.

“We had fruitful discussions with the Deputy Minister and his delegation on various issues of bilateral and multilateral concern, including on peace and security issues, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

“We reviewed the status of our relations and renewed our commitment to work resolutely for the identification of increased opportunities to enhance our cooperation across various fields for the mutual benefit of our peoples. The two sides agree that there is potential for the expansion of our relations.

“In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that South Africa recognises the important political and economic role that Iran assumes regionally and internationally, and we consider the Islamic Republic of Iran to be an important friend and partner. We look forward to our further engagement and the convening of the 12th Session of the Joint Commission for the consolidation of our bilateral relations.”
 
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM (UK) ANNOUNCE FUND FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
The UK-SA Newton Fund will fund joint projects in the areas of research into TB and non-communicable diseases, human capital and infrastructure development, weather forecasting and big data, among other things.
 
The governments of South Africa and the UK have announced a R500-million programme to fund science projects for socio-economic development in South Africa. The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, and the UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, launched the UK-SA Newton Fund in Cape Town on 9 September 2014.

South Africa and the UK signed a bilateral science and technology agreement in February 1995, focusing on areas such as climate change, biotechnology, astronomy and global change.
 
 
SINGAPORE A VALUED, IMPORTANT PARTNER FOR SA
 
During the 22 years since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, the relationship has grown in all spheres – political, economic, military and social. Seven bilateral agreements have been concluded covering cooperating in defence and tourism, among others.
 
Singapore has been described as an important and valued partner for South Africa in south-east Asia, by Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane. He was speaking at the 49th anniversary of the National Day of Singapore on 5 September. The day marks the passing of the Republic of Singapore Independence Act on 9 August 1965, which established the island as an independent and sovereign Republic.

“The South African Government wishes to place on record its appreciation and gratitude for the assistance that Singapore has offered over the years by sharing its developmental experience with South Africa, which has so far benefited hundreds of South African government officials,” said Minister Chabane.

Trade between Singapore and South Africa has grown steadily and reached R2,3 billion in the last financial year up from R2,2 billion in 2012. Investment flows between the two countries are also growing. Source: www.sanews.gov.za
 
 
 
18TH EDITION OF AFRICA HIGHWAY CONFERENCE
HELD IN GRAHAMSTOWN
 
The annual Highway Africa Conference is one of Africa’s largest gatherings of journalists, media practitioners and
media owners under one roof.
 
 
 
The Deputy Minister in The Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Buti Manamela, on 7 September addressed the 18th Edition of the Africa Highway Conference in Grahamstown.

The Highway Africa Conference was hosted by Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies in partnership with the Department of Communications (South Africa), Corporate South Africa, development agencies and media associations.

For 18 years, the Highway Africa conference has been at the centre of Africa’s debates on journalism, media and information and communications technology. The conference explored how social media have impacted on all aspects of lives in the past 10 years. Over 400 delegates from 36 African countries attended, including others from the United States of America, Bolivia, the Netherlands and Germany.
 
 
THE DTI TO LEAD OUTWARD SELLING MISSION TO INDONESIA AND SINGAPORE
 
South Africa is Indonesia's largest trade partner in Africa which accounted for 22,18% of Indonesia's total trade with Africa in 2011. Singapore is one of South Africa’s key trading partners in the south-east Asian region with a total bilateral trade that increased from R17,6 billion in 2012 to R28,5 billion as at end of 2013. Between 2011 and 2013, South African exports to Singapore increased by 248% and imports also increased by 132% in the same period. South Africa and Singapore’s total trade amounted to R28.5 billion in 2013.
 
A business delegation comprising 17 South African companies will participate in an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to Indonesia and Singapore. The mission, organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), will take place from 15 to 19 September 2014.

According the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the objective of the mission is to create market access for South African value-added products and services in the south-east Asia market.

“It is also an opportunity to profile South Africa as an investment destination. The choice of these two countries is informed by the dti’s diversification strategy which aims to leverage market opportunities and ensure that South Africa’s exports to dynamic high growth markets are facilitated,” says Minister Davies.

The dti has planned activities that will include trade seminars, business-to-business meetings and business site visits in both Indonesia and Singapore. Besides agroprocessing, which includes seafood, fruit juice, canned fruit, flowers, nuts, wine and processed foods, other sectors which will be represented by companies in the mission are cosmetics, automotive parts, as well as yachts and components.

”Other than creating market access for the South African value-added products and services, the mission will also promote South Africa as an investment destination of choice,” says Minister Davies.
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA TAKES THE LEAD IN STOCKHOLM
 
“The fact that South Africa is the recipient of two of the three awards indicates that we are moving forward towards realising a standard of excellence in access to clean water.”
 
 
Government has congratulated the eThekwini Metro for scooping the Stockholm Industry Water Award and Professor John Briscoe of South Africa for receiving the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize.

eThekwini Water and Sanitation, serving the Durban metropolitan area, received the award for its transformative and inclusive approach to providing water and sanitation; and Professor Briscoe was awarded for his unparalleled contributions to global and local water management, and his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people on the ground.

Government encourages all municipalities to follow similar initiatives and endeavours to constantly seek ways of improving the quality of services offered to the public. The method used by eThekwini is an example that could be implemented in South African municipalities and communities across the world that face similar challenges,” said Acting Government spokesperson Phumla Williams.

She said Government was equally proud of the learners from Taxila Secondary School in Polokwane, Limpopo, who were finalists at the global conference against other learners across the globe for inventing a method that uses sand filters to treat contaminated water and recover water for reuse.

The 2014 World Water Week, which closed on 5 September, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute emphasised the importance of water efficiency. The conference focused on the development and management of energy and water for the good of society and ecosystems – at local, national, regional and global levels.
 
 
“NEW URBAN AGENDA” FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
 
Preparations for Habitat III come at a time when South Africa is developing its Integrated Urban Policy Framework and commencing preparations for its Green Paper on Human Settlements.
 
Cabinet has approved South Africa’s National Report on Housing and Urban Development, which will be presented to the United Nation’s Conference (HABITAT III) in 2016.

The first UN preparatory conference will be held on the 17th and 18th September 2014. This report is expected to generate a “New Urban Agenda” for the 21st century to deal with challenges confronting developing and developed countries, acknowledging the increasingly important role of cities in global issues such as climate change, disasters, economic development and human rights.
 
 
 
SA AGULHAS II SAILS FOR GOUGH ISLAND
 
The long-term goal of the project is to eradicate Sagina at Gough Island by way of a dedicated two-person team with the necessary skills and experience.
 
The Department of Environmental Affairs’ SA Agulhas II embarked on her annual voyage to Gough Island on 4 September 2014, from the East Pier Quay, Cape Town. The voyage will be under the watchful eye of the SA Agulhas II Master, Captain Knowledge Bengu.

The Gough 60 over-wintering team will spend about 14 months in isolation on Gough Island and will be joined by a dedicated Conservation Officer appointed by the United Kingdom, through the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to work on eradicating the Sagina on the island. Sagina is an alien plant which was first observed at Gough Island, in the immediate vicinity of the South African meteorological station, in September 1998.

The team will be stationed at the island for extended periods of time. The Gough 60 over-wintering team will be joined by members from the Department of Public Works, Starlite Aviation, and officials from the Department of Environmental Affairs.
 
 
PROTEAS WINS TRIANGULAR SERIES IN ZIMBABWE
 
 
“Over the past 10 months they have enjoyed outstanding success with series wins over India and Australia, the two previously highest ranked sides on the
ICC ODI rankings table.”
 
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has congratulated the Proteas on their Triangular Series victory in Zimbabwe after they beat Australia by six wickets in the final at Harare on 6 September.

“There is no doubt that our ODI team is improving every day,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “The path is now set for them to grow in stature as they prepare for more tough away series in New Zealand and Australia in October and November.” – Source: www.vcricket.com
 
 
Stay Connected with us
 
For back issues of Newsflash visit:  http://www.dirco.gov.za/department/newsflash.html

Your comments are welcome and can be sent to thediplomat@dirco.gov.za