Issue 136 | 08 October 2014
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All the political parties have agreed to hold elections that were due in 2017 two years earlier as a way to resolve political tensions after an attempted coup and subsequent battles between the army and the police in the small mountain kingdom of southern Africa in August.

In an effort to ease the political crisis that resulted in an attempted coup in August, Lesotho will hold its general elections in February 2015 and Parliament will be reopened in a fortnight. This was announced on 2 October by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Southern African Development Community (SADC) peace mediator for Lesotho.

“His Majesty King Letsie III will reconvene Parliament on 17 October 2014. The sitting of Parliament will be limited to the passing of a budget and all other related matters regarding the holding of elections,” Deputy President Ramaphosa announced at a press conference held in Maseru. He added that there would be no motion of no confidence or politicians crossing the floor. “National general elections will be held towards the end of February 2015 and on a date to be set by His Majesty."

”According to Deputy President Ramaphosa, Parliament will be dissolved in December 2014 to prepare for the elections – Source:
At the recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Zimbabwe, South Africa was unanimously elected by the 15 SADC heads of state and government to chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, visited Maputo, Mozambique, from 2 to 3 October 2014 for the launch of the SADC Election Observer Mission.

During its tenure as Chair for the Organ, South Africa will lead SADC election observer missions in several countries, including Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.

Following the launch of the SADC Election Observer Mission on 3 October 2014 in Maputo, SADC election observers have been deployed to all the provinces as of 4 October 2014 in preparation for the elections on 15 October 2014.

Following the elections, the SADC Electoral Observation Mission will, as practice, issue a preliminary statement on the elections.
The IORA is an organisation of 20 coastal member states who share the Indian Ocean.


The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, is leading a South African delegation to the 14th Council of Ministers’ Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), scheduled for 6 to 9 October 2014 in Perth, Australia.

The 14th Council of Ministers’ Meeting was expected to deliberate on key aspects such as the Blue Economy, as well as engaging in the six thematic priorities of the association, namely: maritime security and safety within the IOR region; trade and investment facilitation; fisheries management; disaster risk reduction; academic and science and technology cooperation; as well as tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.

While in Perth, Deputy Minister Mfeketo will also interact with the South African expatriate community as part of government’s Public Participation Programme.


During the meeting, ministers and heads of delegation discussed current global trends in international tourism, including the importance of travel facilitation, improved air connectivity and dealing with unexpected and unfortunate travel disruptions such as those related to Ebola.
The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, represented South Africa at the meeting of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, last week. South Africa is one of 32 members of the Executive Council of the UNWTO, the specialised UN agency for tourism.

In respect of the global response to Ebola, the Minister's message was clear: "Africa is open for business! It is unfair to paint all destinations with the same brush. Geographically, many European countries were in fact much closer to the epicentre of Ebola than southern African countries.

"All member states as well as the UNWTO were called upon to enhance their communication efforts in order to correct any misconceptions. Countries having to deal with the Ebola outbreak are already facing difficult circumstances. Containing the problem and then ensuring that travel and tourism recovered rapidly to pre-Ebola levels were important and shared imperatives."

In reporting on global tourism trends, the UNWTO highlighted that international tourist arrivals had thus far grown at approximately 5% in 2014, despite tough economic conditions that prevailed in some parts of the world. The UNWTO's long-term projections for growth in international arrivals remain unchanged at between 4% and 4.5%.

The Minister also chaired the UNWTO's Working Group on Official Development Assistance.
The event in Pretoria was one of more than 130 marches taking place globally to protest elephant and rhino poaching and canned lion hunting.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, led the Global March 4 Elephant, Rhino and Lion in Pretoria on 4 October 2014.

The march was hosted by the Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion Pretoria organising team and the Department of Environmental Affairs. Partners included the City of Tshwane, SANParks and Unite against Poaching.
“The commitment to invest in the rest of the continent is born out of a realisation that our collective success is premised on economic integration,” says Nhlanhla Nene, chairperson of the PIC in the corporation’s Annual Report tabled in Parliament on 2 October 2014.
The PIC, a South African government-owned financial services provider, plans to invest R2,5 billion in the African continent during the 2014/15 financial year.

Nene says the PIC has established two funds: the Africa Developmental Investments and Private Equity Africa, which will assist the corporation to discharge its mandate to invest in the rest of the continent. He says Africa’s economic outlook has been positively changing and over the last decade, the continent’s economic output has tripled with projections that sub-Saharan Africa will grow at an average of 5% over the next 10 years.

“This growth means that the continent will be the second-fastest growing region in the world after Asia. For this reason, the PIC will, in the new financial year, also focus on developmental investments in Africa with a minimum commitment of US$500 million for developmental investments in Africa and a further US$500 million towards private equity in Africa,” says Nene, adding that the African story presents the PIC with unique investment opportunities.
– Source:
T-EHA was recently in Cape Town to hold its first summit on the African continent; an economic conference which is equivalent to the World Economic Forum meeting that is held annually in Davos.
Italy’s captains of industry recently visited South Africa to explore investment opportunities in the energy, manufacturing and agro-industry fields.

Paolo Borzatta, the senior partner at The European House Ambrosetti (T-EHA) – a 50-year-old management consultancy firm – said about 100 CEOs from several Italian firms were in Cape Town on a fact-finding mission with the aim of establishing production plants in the country.

“We want to use the summit to analyse the [investment] opportunities we can get in South Africa.

"So, the purpose of this summit is to also create trust among the leaders of the two countries so that they can be able to do business together and build long-term relationships,” he said.

He said the sub-Saharan Africa was booming, and the gross domestic product in the region was expected to grow by 6% by 2015. Borzatta said South Africa was the hub and a land of investment opportunities. – Source:
The gathering brought together some 250 participants from South Africa and from around the world. These included government ministers and officials as well as representatives from a range of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations.
The 2014 Global Child Nutrition Forum – the world’s foremost event on child nutrition and school feeding – was officially opened by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, on 29 September 2014.

The event was organised by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and the World Food Programme’s Centre of Excellence against Hunger.

It was sponsored by the Brazilian Government through the National Fund for the Development of Education, Brazil’s Social Services for Industry and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development with support from the Government of South Africa.
The contract entails transporting coal from BHP Billiton's Mpumalanga operations to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal and from there to international markets.
Transport parastatal Transnet and coal mining company BHP Billiton recently signed a 10-year R24-billion coal transporting contract.

Transnet group executive Brian Molefe signed the contract with BHP Billiton asset president, Jon Evans. It was a "massive boost" for the transport parastatal's capacity expansion programmes on the export coal line, he said.

Over the next seven years, Transnet would add close to eight million tonnes of coal to the line, from the current 73 million to 81 million tonnes.

The agreement with BHP equates to a contract value of approximately R2,4 billion a year, or R24 billion over the 10 years, said Molefe.

In March, Transnet announced it secured a R3-billion loan for its rail contract to manufacture 1 064 locomotives. The money would be used to finance the recently awarded R50-billion contracts to build the locomotives. – Source:
The Solar Capital De Aar Project, the largest thin film solar farm in Africa, covers 270 ha in the Northern Cape.
A new 75-MW solar farm near De Aar in the Karoo has been officially opened.

The plant is made up of 203 948 thin film solar panels, which has an installation capacity of 85,26 MWp and has been fully operational since 15 August 2014.

The project is part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme and has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement to feed 75 MW in Eskom’s grid.

It supplies the Eskom 132 kV grid line and generates around 150 000 MWh per year – enough clean renewable energy to power more than 35 000 households. – Source:
South African soccer legend Lucas Radebe is a Beyond Sport ambassador, and chair of the host committee.
The annual global gathering of Beyond Sport, an international organisation using sport to for social change, is set to take place in South Africa in late October with a range of high-profile speakers.

Previous Beyond Sport Global summits have featured Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a patron of the organisation, as well as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali and football star David Beckham.

Speakers at this year's event include David Grevemberg, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, as well as Baroness Valerie Amos, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs.

This will be the second Global Summit to be hosted in South Africa, after it was successfully held here in 2011.
"I am excited that Beyond Sport’s flagship event, the Global Summit, is returning to South Africa," said Radebe.

"I am especially proud that for the first time it will be held in my hometown of Soweto. It seems like yesterday that I was welcoming the world to Soweto for the 2010 FIFA World Cup."

The three-day Global Summit will include activity sessions, in-depth workshops and main stage panels. It will be held from 28 to 30 October at venues across Johannesburg, including community centres, the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto and Vodacom World in Midrand. – Source:
The Bonhams London's biannual South African sale was dominated by Stern once again, with nine of her paintings on sale. "African Woman", in a replica Zanzibari frame, fetched the top price of £962 500.
“Still Life with African Woman”, a work by South African ​expressionist Irma Stern, fetched R17,6 million at an art auction in London recently.

The lot, comprising 128 South African artworks, fetched a total of £2,4 millon (about R44 million)​, including ​two paintings by Alexis Preller​.​ ​

“The Kitchen Table”, a work by Gerard Sekoto, South Africa's leading black artist, sold for £158 500 (R2,9 million). ​ In March 2011, Bonhams achieved a record auction price for any South African work of art when Stern's “Arab Priest” (1945) fetched R17,2 million.

Her “Two Arabs” sold for R21,1 million at a South African auction held by Strauss&Co in 2011, making it the highest price ever fetched by a South African painting. – Source:
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