Issue 137 | 16 October 2014
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Over 60 countries participated in the conference, including a number of regional and international organisations.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, concluded her visit to Cairo in the Arab Republic of Egypt, where she represented the South African Government in the International Donors’ Conference on Palestine, entitled “Reconstructing Gaza”.

The governments of Egypt and Norway, together with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, hosted the conference, aimed at securing financial pledges and other contributions required for reconstructing the Gaza Strip. This follows the Israeli bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza from 8 July to 26 August 2014 that resulted in large-scale human suffering, displacement and unprecedented material destruction in Gaza.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane stated that South Africa remained committed to the aspirations of the Palestinian people in their struggle to achieve freedom and independence. “The people of Palestine are looking to the international community to assist them to rebuild their infrastructure and create an amenable environment that would lead to a permanent and peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” said the Minister.

South Africa was among the countries at the conference that called on Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, so that much-needed humanitarian assistance and the rebuilding of Gaza could be undertaken without hindrance.

 “We are pleased that the Palestinians and Israelis have concluded a ceasefire agreement and we are hopeful that the ongoing negotiations would lead to a permanent resolution of the conflict,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

The Minister reiterated that South Africa stood ready to be of assistance if called upon to share its experiences on national reconciliation, nation-building, constitution-building and post-conflict reconstruction and development.

At the height of the recent attack on Gaza, President Jacob Zuma pledged US$ 1 million towards humanitarian assistance and further appointed special envoys to give impetus to the political track of this protracted political conflict.  

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the conference with her counterparts from Sweden, Algeria, Norway, Lebanon and Egypt.

During these talks, both sides shared their views on the Middle East peace process and on current regional and international developments, and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening bilateral relations.
As Chair of the Organ, South Africa is leading Southern African Development Community (SADC) election observer missions in Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, visited Gaborone, Botswana, last week for the launch of the SADC Election Observer Mission, on 10 October 2014.

The Minister represented President Jacob Zuma, Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. South Africa was elected at the recent SADC Summit held in the Republic of Zimbabwe to chair the Organ, which is responsible for the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

Botswana is scheduled to hold its General Elections on 24 October 2014.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: “The holding of regular democratic elections in the region is a positive development and one of the key contributors to peace, stability and development in the region.”
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has already initiated national consultations with different sectors with a view to submit inputs to the African Union (AU) by the end of October 2014.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted a Civil-Society Consultative Forum on Agenda 2063 in Pretoria on 9 October.

The continent is currently engaged in extensive consultations on its vision for the next 50 years, known as Agenda 2063, under the theme “The Africa We Want”. This vision, which is expected to be adopted by the January 2015 Summit of the AU, spells out the aspirations of African people across all sectors and the pledges of Africa’s leaders which are translated into a “Call to Action” comprised of a 10-year action plan that will contain flagship projects.

Each AU member state, including South Africa, is expected to contribute to this vision through inclusive national consultations by October this year. When the vision is adopted, member states will have to align their national policies with it through a process of domestication which, in South Africa’s case, will entail harmonising Agenda 2063 with the National Development Plan.
During the Working Visit, South Africa was officially confirmed as the next Vice Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period 2015 to 2017 and Chair in 2017 to 2019 following Indonesia.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, recently paid a Working Visit to Perth, Australia.

During the visit, the Deputy Minister led the South African delegation to the 14th Council of Ministers’ Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), from 6 to 9 October. The IORA is an organisation of 20 coastal member states which share the Indian Ocean.

During her address, Deputy Minister Mfeketo thanked on behalf of the Government of South Africa, the Government of Australia for its dedication and leadership of IORA during its Chairship. She said South Africa would build on the legacy of India, Australia and Indonesia as preceding Chairs, when it assumed the Chairship in 2017.

Deputy Minister Mfeketo said the changing geopolitical and natural environment of the past 17 years had launched the Indian Ocean region closer to the prominent position it held a few centuries ago. She emphasised the need for closer collaboration by member states and international partners like the African Union, particularly in the context of the African Integrated Maritime Strategy, the Gulf Cooperation Council, ASEAN, as well as the United Nations.

While in Perth, Deputy Minister Mfeketo also interacted with the South African expatriate community as part of government’s Public Participation Programme.
“The Government of the Republic of South Africa has also committed to send a number of medical supplies, medical doctors and NGOs to Western African countries.”
The Liberian Ambassador to South Africa, Lois Brutus, says various non-governmental organisations and governments from all over the world have been supportive of the continent since Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) broke out in West Africa.

She said African countries had also sent monetary and non-monetary donations to Liberia and other affected countries as a means of showing support.

Ambassador Brutus was speaking at a media briefing on 10 October 2014 in Kempton Park. She was joined by other ambassadors and South African Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, following a meeting they had on the Ebola Response Fund, which was set up by South Africa to mobilise the business community to make donations to affected countries in West Africa. She said the South African Government had been very active in making people aware of the virus.

The Guinea Ambassador to South Africa, Mamadi Camara, said his country had also received a lot of support from South Africa and other countries across the globe, including hospital equipment and monetary support.

Minister Motsoaledi said while South Africa had not banned people from travelling to countries in West Africa, they were closely monitoring developments around travelling.

“We have received about 869 applications and only two of them were declined. All the others were allowed to travel to these countries,” he said.

The Minister said there were still no Ebola infections in South Africa. He stressed, however, that healthcare workers stood ready to deal with any case of infection.

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting a number of countries in West Africa. Just over 4 000 people are reported to have been killed by the virus. – Source:
The South African Government is offering incentives to the private sector as a way of encouraging businesses to employ young people and reduce high levels of unemployment among the population group.
Speaking at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank discussion sessions prior to the annual meetings taking place in Washington, DC in the United States from 10 to 12 October, South African Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, said South Africa faced the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty and any structural reforms within the country had to take this into account.

Minister Nene was part of a panel of policy-makers discussing "Challengers of Job-Rich and Inclusive Growth: Growth and Reform Challenges". The panel included Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey; Indonesian Finance Minister, Muhammad Chatib Basr; and International Labour Organisation's Deputy Director-General for Policy, Sandra Polaski.

“But in the process, you have to go through is a painful process. Some of the decisions you have to take are tough decisions that might actually have an impact. Without the pain you are unlikely to address these problems,” said Nene.

However, in making these structural reforms or transformations, Minister Nene said South Africa was making sure the process did not have drastic effects on citizens. He said government was bringing on board the youth who were the actual victims of unemployment in the country.

“Businesses will get credit for employing young people and at the same time we are creating an environment that is conducive for the business to [employ young people]. Our plan is simple: reduce the cost of doing business while reducing the cost of living of the poor.”

The South African Government implemented the employment tax incentive scheme in January 2014 aimed at encouraging businesses to employ young people. The incentive reduces employers’ cost of hiring as the Government pays half the costs that the employer incurs in employing a young person.

Minister Nene said such schemes had to be implemented even though some quarters resisted them; they were part of the "painful decisions" the Government had to make. Some unions were against the implementation of the employment tax incentive, fearing companies would fire older workers in favour of younger ones. – Source:
Located 30 kilometres north of Durban, the Dube TradePort Industrial Development Zone (DTP IDZ) is a business entity of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government aimed at attracting investment in the province.
The official launch of the DTP IDZ reaffirms its role as an important investment destination not only for KwaZulu-Natal but for South Africa as a whole.

Considered one of South Africa’s top 10 investment opportunities, the DTP IDZ prides itself as the only facility in Africa combining an international airport, dedicated cargo terminal, warehousing, offices, retail, hotels and agriculture.

Speaking at the official launch of the IDZ, attended by top national and provincial government leaders on 7 October, chairperson of the DTP IDZ board, Zanele Bridgette Gasa, said the IDZ had attracted plenty of private-sector interest since it was designated an industrial development zone in July this year.

Gasa said the DTP IDZ was Africa’s first purpose-built aerotropolis with an international airport as its core. Over the past five years, the DTP IDZ has grown in size to 2 840 hectares and has managed to attract over R 900 million in private investment. During this time, it has managed to create an estimated 16 527 new job opportunities across the country and it is envisaged this number will increase with new development opportunities. – Source:
The salon is an extensive international forum that will embrace leading innovation technologies in the education sphere.
The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, attended the Moscow International Education Salon, held at the Expo Centre, Moscow, from 7 to 9 October 2014.

The goal of the event was to enhance the access to, and quality of, education through public-private partnership, promoting international best practices that will boost the personal and professional development of individuals.

Deputy Minister Manana and his delegation met with South African students who have been awarded scholarships to pursue their studies in Russia. He also visited the Moscow People's Friendship University and other universities offering programmes and courses focusing on Nuclear Technology, Applied Mathematics, Construction and Building Design as well as Aeronautical Engineering.
This year-long pilot partnership seeks to step up efforts to address, support and complement interventions to improve the situation of waste management of the Mahikeng Local Municipality.
On 10 October 2014, the Department for Corporative Governance in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the Mahikeng Local Municipality in improving solid waste management services.

Section 24 of the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being. As municipalities go back to basics, they have a responsibility to provide all sections of society with a clean and safe environment.
Kganyago will take over the post from the first female Governor of the country at a time when central banks are faced with a range of challenges.
South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor designate, Lesetja Kganyago, has promised continuity at the central bank, saying he is honoured by his appointment.

Kganyago, who is currently serving as one of the three deputy governors of the SARB, will take over the reins on 9 November 2014. This follows the announcement by Governor Gill Marcus that she would step down when her term ends on 8 November this year. – Source:
The African currencies made their debut on the JSE derivatives market, where they will be quoted against the rand.  
The first currency futures that track the exchange rate between the South African rand and and select African currencies was launched by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on 3 October, the JSE announced in a statement.

The three new currency futures track the exchange rate between the South African rand and the Zambian kwacha, the Kenyan shilling and the Nigerian naira. Currency futures allow investors as well as importers and exporters to protect themselves against the currency movement in the foreign country.

The three currencies will fall under the JSE’s currency derivatives unit, incepted in 2007, allowing them to be traded with Group of 10 currencies of developed economies, including the dollar, euro and the pound.

The new futures contracts will give market participants exposure on the JSE to the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Zambian, Kenyan and Nigerian currencies by trading against the rand.

To promote this cross-currency trading, the JSE will charge trading fees on only one of the foreign trade logs, not both. – Source:
The South African financial services provider is targeting prime real estate markets, particularly in West and southern Africa and hopes to raise the money from Swiss, Belgian, Dutch, Scandinavian and Luxembourg investors.
Africa’s largest lender by market value, FirstRand, is planning to raise US$500 million to invest in real estate across Africa.

Speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Boshoff Grobler of Ashburton Investments, the asset-management arm of Johannesburg-based FirstRand, says they will proceed with the investment when FirstRand’s existing US$250 million African property fund is 75% invested early next year.

"Investors are looking for growth in their portfolios. The markets where investors are finding growth has pushed them into Africa", says Grobler, adding that the planned property fund will offer greater access to developments in Angola, Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, and further grow FirstRand’s footprint in Ghana and Nigeria. – Source:
South Africa warmly accepts this recognition and gesture of undying friendship between its people and the people of Glasgow.
The Glasgow City Council recently unveiled a statue of former President Nelson Mandela in the City Chambers. This follows an announcement made by Lord Provost of Glasgow City Council on Mandela Day this year that the City had commissioned the bust.

At the time of making the announcement, Lord Provost pronounced that the bust would “act as a lasting legacy of former President Mandela and as a permanent reminder of Glasgow’s long-standing support for the people of South Africa”.

This ceremony marks exactly 21 years since the City Council awarded former President Mandela with the Freedom of the City on 9 October 1993.

The South African Government was represented at the ceremony by its High Commissioner, Obed Mlaba, and its Honorary Consul for the Scotland region, Brian Filling.
The collaboration would further develop, test and commercialise the wind-up Doppler Ultrasound Fetal Heart Rate Monitor, Philips announced in a statement recently.
A wind-up fetal heart-rate monitor that will help curb the high rates of preventable infant deaths in Africa is being further developed and commercialised in a partnership between PowerFree Education Technology, a South African non-profit organisation, and global technology firm, Royal Philips.

The ultrasound device is said to accurately count the fetal heart rate while the mother is in labour. This can prevent infant death and even brain damage by helping a midwife or delivering nurse detect a slowing fetal heart rate, which may indicate that a fetus is not receiving enough oxygen.

"Current methods to measure the fetal heart rate are either too expensive, too inaccurate or rely on replaceable batteries or electricity to run," the company said. "The Wind-up Fetal Doppler is especially designed to empower midwives and delivering nurses to give better care."

It is especially targeted at semi-urban and rural areas across Africa, where women and infants often die due to preventable complications during child birth. – Source: Royal Philips
The digitisation of the dictabelts or converting them into an electronic format will, among others, support innovative methods of research, including preservation of vulnerable, unique, rare and fragile heritage items or documents.
The official handover of the first batch of Rivonia Trial dictabelts to the French Embassy for digitisation took place on 10 October, at the National Archives in Pretoria.

Dictabelts were a sound-recording format intended for use in offices. The recording material was an endless plastics belt about 3,5 inches wide and 12 inches circumference. If a belt was stored sharply folded for a long time, it would become permanently creased and unplayable without special treatment, hence it was discontinued around 1980.

In South Africa, the Rivonia trial, named after the Johannesburg suburb where 16 leaders of the African National Congress were arrested, was recorded on dictabelt machines. About 200 Rivonia Trial dictabelts from a total of 562 dictabelts were identified as the first batch to be digitised in France and are expected to be back in South Africa in 2016.
After completing their studies, all fellows will travel to Washington, DC for a summit hosted by President Barack Obama and attended by leaders in business, government, and NGO communities.
The United States (US) Embassy in South Africa has announced the opening of applications for the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship invites 500 young African leaders to spend six weeks in June and July 2015 at a leading US university studying one of three tracks: public management, civic leadership, or business and entrepreneurship.

The training is supplemented by over 200 internship opportunities in the US and Africa, follow-on professional mentoring and over $1 million in seed money to grow new businesses and initiatives.

South Africa’s Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni are some of the best and brightest South Africa has to offer.

2014’s fellows include eTV’s Faith Mangope, KZN Science Centre CEO Candice Potgieter, and Zulu Chief iNkosi Sbonelo Mkhize.

They also include dozens of young South Africans making a difference in rural communities, including villages in Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

Those interested in taking part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship are advised to visit and apply for the programme.

Applicants must be aged between 25 and 35 and have a proven track record in leadership in their chosen field. The application period closes 5 November.  – Source:
The event was attended by prominent arts and culture stakeholders in the United States (US), featured South African musicians as well as the South African community residing in New York.
The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, spoke at the official opening of the Ubuntu Music and Arts of South Africa festival taking place from 10 October to 5 November 2014.The festival forms part of the 20 Years of Freedom celebrations.

“The Ubuntu festival is a strategic platform to promote South African arts and culture to international markets. The festival offers us an opportunity to enhance our cultural relations with the US while at the same time cultivating international markets for South African artists,” the Deputy Minister said.

Internationally acclaimed South African musicians and social activists, Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela, perform in a show titled “Sounds of Freedom.” The show is a musical journey reflecting the trajectory of South Africa’s liberation struggle, leading up to the dawn of freedom. The festival will also feature South African musicians like the Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Afro jazz sensation, Simphiwe Dana; classical vocalists, Pretty Yende and Elza van den Heever; as well as the popular acapella group, The Soil. There will be a performance of “A Distant Drum, a play based on the life of Nat Nakasa, the South African journalist who was reburied on home soil recently.
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