Issue 143 | 13 November 2014
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PRESIDENT ZUMA LEADS SA DELEGATION TO G20 SUMMIT
 
As the only African member of the G20, South Africa has utilised its participation in the G20 to raise issues of particular concern to Africa and the South.
 
 
President Jacob Zuma is leading the South African delegation to the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia, from 13 to 16 November 2014. The President is accompanied by Nhlanhla Nene, Minister of Finance, and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

The G20 leaders will discuss the state of the global economy, against the backdrop of a disappointing weak recovery.

On 14 November 2014, the CEOs of major companies from G20 countries have been invited to engage with G20 leaders.

Prior to the official G20 Summit on 15 November 2014, Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, will host an informal retreat for the G20 leaders. The objective of the retreat will be to give leaders the opportunity to engage one another in a free-flowing, direct exchange about their current challenges and economic reform priorities, and to share views about how the G20 can help to address the implementation thereof.

A BRICS leaders meeting will be held on the margins of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. The meeting will afford BRICS Leaders an opportunity to reflect on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the 2014 Fortaleza Declaration, especially as it pertains to the establishment of the New Development Bank and its Africa Regional Centre.
 
 
DEPUTY PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ATTENDS FUNERAL OF ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT
 
 
In conveying the heartfelt condolences of the Government and people of South Africa to the Government and people of Zambia, President Jacob Zuma said: “President Sata belongs to the generation of leaders produced by Zambia during the colonial times and gallantly pursued the anti-colonial struggle”.
 
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa represented President Jacob Zuma, the Government and people of South Africa at the State Funeral of the late Zambian President, Michael Sata, on 11 November 2014. The late President Sata, who was 77 years old, died at a London hospital late last month.

“His death reminds the people of South Africa of the immeasurable sacrifice and the sterling leadership role that Zambia played in ridding the African continent of the yoke of colonial domination and apartheid rule,” said the President.
 
 
MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE LAUNCHES SADC ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION IN NAMIBIA
 
As Chair of the Organ, South Africa has led Southern African Development Community (SADC) Election Observer Missions (SEOMs) to Mozambique and Botswana and will lead the upcoming SEOMs to Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia and Lesotho during 2014/15.
 
 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, attended the launch of the SEOM, on 10 November 2014, in Windhoek, Namibia.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane represented President Jacob Zuma, Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Namibia is scheduled to hold its general elections on 28 November 2014.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: “SEOMs play an important role in observing adherence to democratic principles and practices in the conduct of elections in the region.”
 
 
MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE HOSTS RUSSIAN MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
 
 
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Donskoy co-chaired the 12th Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) between South Africa and the Russian Federation.
 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, on 7 November 2014, in Pretoria.

The ITEC is a structured mechanism aimed at improving trade and economic relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation, as well as investment, critical skills development and technology exchanges, among others.

Addressing the media, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said there was still room for improvement in trade relations between South Africa and Russia. “We say this while acknowledging the substantial growth in total trade between our two countries recorded between 2009 and 2013. South African exports to Russia increased from R1,4 billion in 2009 to R3,8 billion in 2013. Total imports from Russia amounted to R3.6 billion in 2013". 

“There is, therefore, great potential for trade gains with Russia, particularly in the automotive, agroprocessing and mining sectors, as well as food and citrus products.By facilitating increased partnerships between South African and Russian businesses through the South Africa-Russia Business Council and government-to-government cooperation, these gains can be realised sooner rather than later.”
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA AND ETHIOPIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
South Africa and Ethiopia's scientific relations began this year, with several other areas of mutual interest identified, including information and communications technologies, training of technicians, centres of excellence and the exchange of scientists and researchers.
 
South Africa will set aside funding to support science and technology initiatives with Ethiopia, to ensure the success of collaboration between the two countries.

Speaking in Addis Ababa on 6 November, the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said collaboration between the two countries would not materialise unless both countries were prepared to fund and seed some of the initiatives.

The Minister was speaking after signing a bilateral agreement with the Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology, Demitu Hambisa.

“We believe that such agreements bring us closer to addressing our common development challenges and to fully exploiting our scientific and technological capability. After all, science and technology is at the centre of knowledge-based activities,” said Minister Pandor.

The signing of the agreement will be followed by the development of joint action plans, detailing specific areas of cooperation to be implemented in the 2015/16 financial year.
 
 
CHINA AND SOUTH AFRICA SIGN AGREEMENT ON NUCLEAR COOPERATION
 
The agreement initiates the preparatory phase for the possible utilisation of Chinese nuclear technology in South Africa.
 
 
The Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has signed an Intergovernmental Framework Agreement on Nuclear Cooperation with her Chinese counterpart, Administrator of China National Energy Agency, Wu Xinxiong.

Government has reaffirmed its commitment to expand nuclear power generation by an additional 9,6 GW, in line with the Integrated Resource Plan 2010 – 2030, as a means of ensuring energy security and contributing to economic growth.

The agreement, signed on 7 November, builds on existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries, including in the field of nuclear energy.

“We have stated that the nuclear new build programme offers important opportunities for South Africa as it will enhance job creation, skills development and the revitalisation of our nuclear industry. We will be looking for significant localisation that can contribute to broad industrialisation and the development of a thriving knowledge economy in South Africa”, said Minister Pettersson.

The preparatory phase of the nuclear new build programme, which the Government has started, entails the signing of intergovernmental framework agreements with various nuclear vendor countries. These allow the Government to gain more understanding of the nuclear technology offerings of the different countries.
 
 
DENMARK SET TO IMPROVE TRADE WITH SA
 
Denmark is expected to improve trade relations with South Africa following a meeting between the two countries’ trade ministers.
 
 
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, held a meeting with the Danish Minister of Trade and Development Cooperation, Mogens Jensen, in Cape Town recently. Denmark is set to improve trade with South Africa by 50%.

Minister Jensen said they saw South Africa as a port to the rest of Africa with 27 000 Danish citizens visiting South Africa yearly. He also said that they would like to have a direct flight connection to Denmark.

South Africa and Denmark’s bilateral trade and investment relations are governed by the European Union and South Africa, Trade, Development, and Cooperation Agreement.

Total trade between South Africa and Denmark has steadily been on the increase with total trade at R2,9 billion in 2009 having increased to R3,4 billion in 2011. In 2013, total trade increased to R4,8 billion.

The ministers also discussed, among others, bilateral investment treaties and the Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA). On the Tripartite FTA, Minister Davies said that the approach was developmental and had three pillars, namely Infrastructure Development, Industrial Development and Market Integration.

He further added that the Tripartite FTA would be launched next month. – Source: www.SAnewsgov.za
 
 
DEPUTY MINISTER MFEKETO UNDERTAKES WORKING VISIT TO KAZAKHSTAN
 
South Africa’s participation in the bilateral consultations was informed by its national interests and priorities, its regional and continental commitments, as well as its aspirations for a prosperous world at peace with itself. South Africa is committed to strengthening its relationship with Kazakhstan, a key country in the Central Asian region.

 
Nomaindiya Mfeketo, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, co-chaired the Fourth South Africa-Kazakhstan Bilateral Consultations together with her counterpart, Askar Mussinov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, from 5 to 6 November 2014 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

During the bilateral consultations, Deputy Minister Mfeketo conveyed the priorities of the Government of South Africa as outlined in the National Development Plan, South Africa’s road map to build a more equitable society in South Africa by 2030. The bilateral consultations also prepared for the State Visit to South Africa by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2015.

South Africa and Kazakhstan, both emerging economies and key members of the South, share many similar views on multilateral issues, e.g. disarmament, regional economic integration and the development of the African continent.
 
 
COP NEGOTIATING MANDATE APPROVED
 
 
The primary aim is to work towards the environmentally sound management of chemicals in a sustainable manner.
 
Cabinet has approved the negotiating mandate for the South African delegation attending the Joint 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Vienna Convention and the 26th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol on Substance that Deplete the Ozone Layer (COP10-MOP26), 17 to 21 November 2014 in Paris, France.

The Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol were established by the United Nations Environment Programme with the objective of protecting the ozone layer.
 
 
SA’S FISCAL POLICIES LAUDED
 
The report showed that fiscal policy was very progressive in South Africa as it benefitted the poor.
 
 
The World Bank Report (South African Economic Updates sixth report, with a special focus on fiscal policy and redistribution) indicates that South Africa has achieved a lot in the last 20 years.

The South Africa Economic Update, released on 4 November 2014, found that South Africa’s fiscal policies were cutting the rates of poverty and inequality, and that tax and social benefits were effectively redistributing income from rich to poor.

The report also indicates that these fiscal policies have lifted 3,6 million people out of poverty in 2010/11.
 
 
ATLANTIS WIND TURBINE PLANT WILL SPUR SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY
 
 
The R300-million Gestamp Renewable Industries (GRI) wind tower manufacturing factory will produce 150 wind tower masts a year for the local and export market.
 
The opening of a new wind tower manufacturing plant in the Western Cape will expand South Africa’s manufacturing base, provide much-needed jobs and spur economic growth in the country.

“The opening of this facility is welcomed by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) as part of our drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry and to increase the country's industrial base. The Green Economy has been identified as a key focus area in the department's Industrial Policy Action Plan, and provides significant opportunities for job creation and economic growth," said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, at the official launch of the plant on 5 November.

Located in Atlantis, a town in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, the wind tower manufacturing plant will employ more than 200 people, some of whom will go through training in specialised fabrication processes.

Trade and Investment South Africa, a division of the dti, worked closely with Green Cape, a development agency established to support the growth of the Green Economy in the Western Cape, to provide a seamless investment experience for GRI. Davies said the development incentive grant received from the dti was put to good use in constructing the Atlantis facility which had become a landmark in the area.

GRI is the second wind tower investor in South Africa after DCD Dorbyl invested R300 million in a wind tower plant at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth. DCD Dorbyl used the former Manufacturing Investment Programme Grant from the dti to set up the Coega plant, which is currently manufacturing 110 towers per year. – Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA GRANTS CANADIAN COMPANY MINING LICENCE
 
The mining licence, given for an initial period of 30 years, authorises the Canadian mining company to mine and process platinum-group metals, nickel, copper, gold, silver, cobalt, iron, vanadium and chrome at its Platreef discovery, on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex.
 
 
Construction work at Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Project will resume after South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources gave final approval of mining rights for the development of the mine in Mokopane, Limpopo.

Announcing the finalisation of the granting of the mining licence on Wednesday, 5 November, Ivanhoe Mines’ Executive Chairperson, Robert Friedland, said the execution of the mining licence would enable the immediate resumption of preparations for construction at the Platreef site.

“With the shared, ongoing commitments of the Department of Mineral Resources, our Broad-Based, Black Economic Empowerment partners and our supportive co-investors from the Japanese trade and industry consortium, Ivanhoe Mines' Platreef Project is going to become a sustaining foundation of jobs and support serving the common interests of our host communities in Limpopo province,” Friedland said.

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, said the final approval of the Platreef mining licence showed the department’s commitment to ensure mining companies complied with South Africa’s mining laws, while attracting investment and growing the economy.

Under a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) structure announced earlier this year, the Platreef Project is now 26% owned by 20 host communities, employees and local entrepreneurs. About 150 000 people live in the 20 host communities that form part of the B-BBEE transaction and 187 local entrepreneurial companies, representing 333 individual shareholders, took part in the entrepreneurial subscription. – Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
JOBURG FACILITY MOVES SKA PROJECT FORWARD
 
The Stratosat Reflector Panel Manufacturing Facility is part of the Schauenburg International Group which won a tender to design and construct the 13,5-million Offset Gregorian deep-space telescopes for the MeerKAT Project.
 
Construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) took a definitive step forward recently with the inauguration of a manufacturing facility in Johannesburg.

The MeerKAT or Karroo Array Telescope will consist of 64 radio telescopes and will form the precursor to the mammoth SKA.

The SKA will be built in South Africa and Australia and will allow astronomers to gaze back 13 billion years in time to moments after the Big Bang.

It is estimated to cost around €1,5 billion.

In a boost for South African technology manufacturing, the MeerKAT Project requires that 75% of the components be manufactured locally.

"This is a good example of intellectual property transfer and creation of local job opportunities associated with the MeerKAT Project", said Dr Bernie Fanaroff of SKA SA.

The MeerKAT Project is slated for completion by 2016 and the SKA is scheduled to go online in 2024.
 
 
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA PUSHES FOR GRAND INGA HYDROPOWER PROJECT GO-AHEAD
 
 
The treaty, signed by South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in October this year, provides the framework for the facilitation of power generation from the Grand Inga Project and its delivery to the border between the DRC and Zambia.
 
The Grand Inga Hydropower Project may prove to be South Africa’s solution to the current and future energy challenges if the South African legislature ratifies the treaty on the energy scheme with the DRC.

On 5 November, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy made a recommendation that the legislature made an official decision on the hydropower project to be built on the Inga dams along the Congo River. The multiphase hydro power station has the potential to generate approximately 40 000 MW, sufficient to power half of Africa.

The ratification of the treaty will pave the way for the development of Inga 3, which will provide 2 500 MW of electricity to South Africa and contribute to regional integration, energy security and economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Two existing dams, Inga 1 and 2, have been in operation since 1972 and 1982 respectively, together generating nearly 1 800 MW. The next phase of the Grand Inga Project, Inga 3, is expected to cost in the region of US$12 billion and produce around 4 800 MW of electricity.

Subsequent phases, adding up to an eventual total capacity of 40 000 MW, will allow countries in southern Africa, north-east Africa and parts of West Africa to benefit from production at the site. It is envisaged that a new transmission line from the DRC to South Africa will be constructed after Inga 3. The transmission line will most probably go through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Briefing the committee, South Africa’s Ambassador to the DRC, Ntshikiwane Mashimbye, said the only concern at the moment was the security and financial situation in the DRC. However, in order for the committee to effectively deal with this, an oversight visit to the DRC will suffice. “This is a project that separates us as a generation that wants to change a continent to a different one,” he said.

Adding, Mashimbye said the project was not about generating electricity for the DRC and its neighbours, but about the industrialisation of Africa. “All conflicts will never come to an end until we have the requisite energy and industrialise the continent,” said Mashimbye. – Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
SA LAUDED FOR PROMOTING RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
 
South Africa continues to excel as a prime tourist destination. Several local hospitality and tourist attractions have received accolades at the 2014 World Responsible Tourism Awards held recently in the United Kingdom.
 
 
Founded in 2004, the awards are held each year to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry. They also aim to develop quality tourism products that promote cultural integrity and environmental protection.

The most coveted award on the day went to South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA) “for demonstrating that animal attractions can liberate previously captive wildlife and, without petting or exploitation, be commercially successful”, according to organisers. Along with World Animal Protection, SAASA scooped gold in the Best Animal Welfare Initiative Category.

Hotel Verde in Cape Town walked away with gold in the Best City Hotel for Responsible Tourism Category.

The V&A Waterfront, also in Cape Town, walked away with gold for Best Destination for Responsible Tourism and Mdumbi Backpackers in the Eastern Cape was a finalist in the Best for Poverty Reduction Category.

Congratulating the winners, the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, said the awards were significant for the entire tourism industry in South Africa. “It shows that South Africa is taking its place as a world leader in responsible tourism,” he said.

“Many travellers are now making decisions based on fair trade, community benefits and sustainable development practices. In response to this, more of our destinations are implementing sustainable principles like recycling greywater and reducing energy use. These establishments are an inspiration to others to follow suit.” – Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
WORLD'S MOST POPULAR CITIES FOR 2014 REVEALED
 
 
MasterCard announced the results in a press release, indicating an expected 4,3 million international overnight visitors for the City of Gold in 2014.
 
Johannesburg is set to be the most popular destination city in Africa for the second year, followed by Cape Town, according to the 2014 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.

It shows a 4,9% increase on last year’s 4,1 million visitors. Johannesburg also comes out tops in Africa in terms of international visitor expenditure, with travellers expected to spend a substantial US$3,2 billion in 2014 (about R35,6 billion at R11,14/$), compared to US$3,06 billion last year (about R34 billion at R11,14/$).

Trailing Johannesburg by a substantial margin, Cape Town is set to be Africa’s second most visited city. The Mother City is expected to receive 1,6 million international overnight visitors in 2014, who are likely to spend US$2,3 billion.

This is a 5,5% increase in visitor numbers and an impressive 10% increase in spend compared to 2013 (US$2,1 billion).

 “The City of Gold’s status as the most popular destination city among visitors to the African continent is significant for the economic prospects of the city. Visitor spend is an increasingly important source of revenue for the city’s hospitality, retail, transport, sports and cultural sectors,” said Mark Elliott, Division President, South Africa, MasterCard.

The 13 African cities ranked in the Index are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Cairo, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Dakar, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo and Tunis.

Most visitors to Johannesburg will again travel from London. This year, visitors from that city will increase in number by 3% (444 000 in 2013 compared to 458 000 in 2014).

Londoners will spend an estimated US$462 million while in Johannesburg, US$20 million less than they did in 2013.

Now in its fourth year, the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks 132 cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities.

It also gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2014.
 
 
CAPE WINELANDS CLAIMS EIGHT GLOBAL AWARDS
 
 
The awards seek out the very best the world's wine industry has to offers, looking specifically at the Great Wine Capitals (GWCs) of the world.
 
South Africa's Cape Winelands claimed eight global and 43 regional awards in the 2014 Best of Wine Tourism Awards that were announced recently.

These GWCs of the world are Rioja in Bilbao; Bordeaux in France; South Island in Christchurch; Firenze, Italy; Rheihnhessen in Mainz; Mendoza, Porto; the Casablanca Valley in Valparaiso; the Napa Valley in San Francisco; and most importantly for South Africa, the Cape Winelands in Cape Town.

The eight global awards South Africa received were won among five Winelands farms:
  • Waterford Estate: Wine Tourism Service and Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices
  • Vergelegen: Art and Culture and Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences

  • La Motte: Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and Art and Culture
  • Rust and Vrede: Wine Tourism Restaurants
 
 
 
CAPE TOWN INCLUDED IN WORLD'S 25 MOST-FUN CITIES LIST
 
The survey commissioned by GetYourGuide and GoEuro has found that Cape Town is ranked 24th out of a whopping 1 800 cities for being an “Ultimate Fun City”.
 
 
Cape Town has been lauded for its ultimate fun factor as a city.

The world's top three cities on the list are Berlin in first place, London in second and Paris in third.

The survey which looks at 11 different factors for its ranking saw Cape Town scoring particularly well for its “sport clubs”, while on a more unorthodox section, Bangkok came out top for adult entertainment, followed closely behind by Tokyo.

GetYourGuide confirmed a UNWTO report shows continued growth of international tourism, with the number of international tourists reaching 781 million between the months of January and August – 36 million more than the same period in 2013. – Source: www.traveller24.news24.com
 
 
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