Issue 135 | 02 October 2014
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At last year’s General Assembly, President Jacob Zuma challenged the world body to reform and proposed a more inclusive, democratic and representative United Nations Security Council (UNSC) by 2015.
In an interview in New York ahead of the 69th United Nations General Assembly debate last week, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, expressed Pretoria’s unhappiness with the composition and functioning of the UNSC. She said the UNSC still mirrored the post-World War II global order and a change was needed in line with the current global challenges facing all UN member states.

This is not the first time South Africa has called for the reform of the UNSC. The body's composition of 15 member states – of which 10 are non-permanent and five permanent – remains largely unchanged.

South Africa served as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on two occasions, in 2007 to 2008 and in 2011 to 2012, and the country played a critical role in voting on various resolutions. But it appears that this has not been enough to strengthen the calls for a permanent seat for Africa.

“We believe the economic challenges that we are facing, we should look at them with the lack of peace across the globe and the lack of transformation of the UNSC.

“When we come back here in 2015, [we should say] at least we started some progress as to what do we do in moving forward in transforming the UNSC because we have so many security issues across the globe that need our attention. But we are still using instruments of 1945 to try resolve those issues,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.

“Yes, we should be debating issues around the millennium development goals but we should also be hearing a resounding yes to the transformation of the UN governing bodies, and in particular the Security Council,” she said.

South Africa is spearheading the motion that the UN includes at least two permanent seats for Africa on the UNSC, saying this would amplify the continent’s voice on global security issues, including those that affect Africa. The call makes sense considering that the majority of the issues the UNSC discusses involve Africa.  – Source:
In the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial collaboration, the ministers reiterated the commitment of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to comprehensive cooperation and a closer economic partnership.
The BRICS foreign ministers met on 25 September 2014 on the margins of the 69th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

The ministers congratulated Brazil for organising the VI Summit and noted that the Fortaleza Action Plan was being successfully implemented. They underlined that the decisions to establish the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement taken at the summit raised BRICS cooperation to a fundamentally new level. The ministers reiterated the need to promptly convene a meeting to advance intra-BRICS economic, trade and investment cooperation, as stated in the Fortaleza Declaration.

The ministers also discussed issues on the existing UN agenda. They, among others, also reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including the Security Council with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can adequately respond to global challenges.
Led by President Jacob Zuma, South Africa assumed the position of Co-Chair of the OGP Steering Committee at the High-Level Event.
As South Africa's Special Envoy to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, last week participated in a series of OGP events taking place on the margins of the 69th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The engagements included a High-Level Event for Heads of State on 24 September 2014, which marked the third anniversary of the partnership.

The OGP provides an international forum for dialogue and sharing ideas and experience among governments, civil-society organisations and the private sector, all of which contribute to a common pursuit of open government. It is a multilateral initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective and accountable.

The partnership was formally launched in September 2011 when eight founding governments – Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States – endorsed an Open Government Declaration, and published national OGP action plans with specific open government reform commitments. In just three years since its launch, the membership has grown to 64 countries, with hundreds of civil society-organisations participating in the OGP process at country-level. OGP countries represent one third of the world's population and have made more than 1 000 open government reform commitments.

To become a member, countries must first satisfy four basic eligibility criteria: fiscal transparency, access to information legislation, disclosure related to elected or senior public officials and citizen engagement. In line with the criteria, South Africa boasts world-acclaimed fiscal transparency consistently ranking first or second in the Open Budget Index and being the highest ranking non-Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development country. The country is also represented in the International Accounting Standards Board as part of new membership of the Board as of July 2014.
"The purpose of this SEZ will be to develop industries that use platinum as an input," Minister Davies said. "These include jewellery, catalytic converters and fuel cell technology."
An SEZ is to be established in the Rustenburg platinum belt in the North West, Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies announced recently.

Minister Davies announced the SEZ in his keynote address on reindustrialisation in South Africa and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) as part of the Japan Seminar held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg. The seminar was hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

Davies said his department had made "significant gains" through iterations of IPAP since its inception in the 2007/08 financial year. Achievements were made in the clothing and textile, automotive, agroprocessing and film sectors.

The theme of the seminar was “Local Industrialisation in South Africa and the Contribution of Japanese Businesses – Lessons from East Asia”.

Japanese foreign direct investments were steadily increasing in South Africa, the dti said. Japanese investments in the country have generated around 150 000 jobs. Companies such as Toyota are increasingly becoming involved in supplier development programmes, which are significantly raising the capacity of local manufacturers.

The dti said it had signed memoranda of understanding with JETRO as well as Japanese banks through its Trade and Investment Division.

The objective of the agreements is to support the increase of trade between Japan and South Africa and to assist Japanese investors entering the local market. – Source: The Department of Trade and Industry
The South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, and his Brazilian counterpart, Vinicius Nobre Lages, signed an MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism on the sidelines of the Brazil’s travel agency association, Associação Brasileira de Agências de Viagens (ABAV), Travel Tradeshow in São Paolo, Brazil.
The signing ceremony, which coincided with “Meet South Africa Week”, was preceded by the opening of the South African Tourism (SAT) office in São Paolo on 23 September 2014. SAT hosted their first Ubuntu Awards on the same day, in recognition of tour operators who had successfully promoted South Africa as a premier global destination.

The South Africa-Brazil MoU is the first in the field of tourism that the Government has signed with a South American country. It seeks to coordinate efforts for sustainable promotion of tourism, responsible tourism, and the expansion of tourism relations between the two countries. “The Brazilian market is very important to us. Our latest annual tourism arrivals statistics revealed 8% growth from South America in 2013. This was driven by arrivals from the Brazilian market, which grew at 5,6% last year. We look forward to working together with our Brazilian counterparts to promote and develop tourism,” said Minister Hanekom.
South Africa was unanimously elected by the 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of state and government to chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. The Organ is responsible for promoting peace, security and stability in the region.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, recently addressed the media on upcoming elections in the SADC region. He said that during South Africa’s tenure as the Chair of the Organ, it would continue to play a leading role in peace and security activities at regional and continental levels.

“In accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, three member states are envisaged to hold Presidential and Parliamentary elections between October and November 2014:

  • Republic of Mozambique, 15 October 2014
  • Republic of Botswana, 31 October 2014
  • Republic of Namibia, 28 to 29 November 2014.
“South Africa in its capacity as Chair of the Organ will lead the SADC electoral observation missions (SEOMs) to Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia to continue to consolidate and enhance democratic practices in the region.

“It is expected that the launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Mozambique will take place on 3 October 2014 in Maputo. The launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Botswana is scheduled for 10 October 2014 in Gaborone. It is further expected that the launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Namibia will take place on 13 November 2014 in Windhoek.”
The Department of Health (DoH) is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to coordinate and harmonise support for the response to the Ebola outbreak. The Government has already committed R32,5 million. 
The DoH, which has created the Ebola Response Fund, has set a goal of raising R250 million to coordinate and manage relief assistance for affected countries.

As such, the DoH is making an urgent call on South Africa’s private sector to donate to the Ebola Response Fund. The objective of the fund is to support South Africa’s drive to assist the affected countries to halt the social and humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in the region.

A number of major companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) have also pledged their support in cash and in kind to the Ebola Response Fund, at a meeting convened by the Director-General of Health on Friday, 19 September 2014, at the JSE.

“A pledge to donate money to the Ebola Response Fund will go a long way into helping Africa tackle this social and humanitarian crisis,” says Malebona Matsoso, Director-General of Health in South Africa.

Contributions in cash or in kind to the Ebola Response Fund will be managed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Faculty of Health Sciences and Right to Care) working in partnership with the DoH. The DoH will work with the WHO country office to coordinate all efforts. All funds will be audited and strict corporate governance will be adhered to.
The theme for the dialogue will be "Leveraging Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Socio-Economic Transformation through Smart Partnership Principles".
The International Smart Partnership Dialogue, to be hosted by President Jacob Zuma, will now be held in South Africa from 22 to 25 April 2015 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

The original dates announced had been 14 to 17 October 2014.

The Smart Partnership Dialogue provides a platform for heads of state, business leaders, scientists, academics and student leaders to exchange ideas and experiences related to science, technology and innovation.

The hosting of the dialogue will address the aims and objectives of the National Development Plan on improving science and technology for socio-economic transformation in South Africa and on improving our innovative edge in the region, the continent and the world.
A decision to strengthen this trainee partnership was made when the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, and the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fishery, Dan Jørgensen, met in Pretoria on Tuesday, 23 September 2014.
Fifteen South African agriculture students have left for practical training at a top agriculture school in Denmark. The learners, from the North West and
Free State provinces, will receive training at the renowned Dalum Agricultural College in Denmark as part of a partnership between the two countries.

The course runs until June 2015.

Dalum Agricultural College is Denmark’s largest and oldest agricultural college. It is regarded as a modern, international college for further agricultural education.

Said Minister Zokwana, “We have made a decision to strengthen skills among young people. After all, the sector in its entirety is in agreement that skills are the backbone of agriculture. During the very fruitful meeting, we stressed that South Africa’s challenges with unemployment need aggressive interventions, the Danish have understood this and are undertaking to allow our learners to learn from their very best. I hope our students will enrich themselves with this training and bring back the skills to build our country.”
The radar system should augment the work of Samsa (South African Maritime Safety Authority) which conducts real-time monitoring of the South African maritime environment.
South Africa may soon have a more effective means of protecting territorial waters from illegal fishers.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research recently announced a partnership with Space Commercial Services Holdings Aerospace Group to develop a wide-area maritime synthetic aperture radar (SAR).

SAR should give the country’s authorities a better tool to ensure that illegal fishers are identified so that they can be arrested.

While Samsa has an extensive surveillance system for monitoring the ocean from Somalia on the east coast of Africa all the way to Nigeria on the west, the system is designed to identify large ships which are obligated to carry satellite transponders.

South Africa has a young but rich space industry.

The country recently conducted a launch of a micro satellite in a programme managed by students at the French South African Institute of Technology located at Cape Peninsula University of Technology Campus in Bellville.

The programme is supported by the South African National Space Agency and the Department of Science and Technology.

The 1,2-kg satellite is a training platform and helps scientists understand how the sun interacts with the Earth's magnetic field. – Source:
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