Issue 144 | 20 November 2014
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The arrival of the bodies signals the end to a harrowing two-month wait for the families of the victims.
The mortal remains of 74 South Africans, who died when a guest house collapsed in the Nigerian economic capital of Lagos in September, arrived home on Sunday, 16 November. The bodies touched down on South African soil at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria at 9:45 am.

Later, a poignant and emotional reception ceremony was attended by relatives of the deceased, which took place in a hangar at the Air Force Base.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who addressed the formal ceremony on behalf of government and the people of South Africa, said the people who died were not mere statistics but people who lived among us.

“They were people who had hopes and dreams for their children … they were our brothers and sisters, our compatriots and fellow South Africans.”

The Deputy President said the families should take solace in the fact that all South Africans shared in their bereavement and that the dead could rest in peace in the land of their birth.

“As a nation, and as a people, we share in your grief and your sorrow. Your pain is incalculable, we know.”

He added that the people of South Africa and Nigeria were united in sorrow.

Governments from both countries will make sure the bodies that are still in Nigeria are brought back without further delay.

The Deputy President thanked all those involved, including Minister Jeff Radebe, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, officials in the Inter-Ministerial Committee and medical experts involved in the repatriation process.

Minister Radebe, who travelled to Nigeria last week to meet with authorities to expedite the process, said the repatriation process had been traumatic, especially for the families of the 11 victims whose remains were still in Nigeria.

At the end of the formal reception ceremony, the bodies were transported to the closest government forensic pathology services mortuaries in the different provinces.

From there, they will be transported to the government mortuary closest to the place of burial where they will be received by their next-of-kin.

Individual families will proceed with their own private funeral arrangements. – Source:
The main outcome of the Leaders' Summit was a commitment to lift the G20's gross domestic product (GDP) by at least an additional 2% by 2018 with a view to significantly increase job creation and enhance investment and trade, as well as development and inclusive growth. G20 leaders further pledged to fully implement this growth strategy with the aim of reducing inequality and poverty.
President Jacob Zuma has concluded his visit to Brisbane, Australia, where he led the South African delegation to the G20 Leaders' Summit, which took place from 15 to 16 November 2014.

President Zuma stated that: "This year's G20 Summit was organised differently as it focused mainly on measures to achieve economic growth globally and to create jobs by lifting the world's GDP by 2%. Australia, as the current chair of the G20, has kept the agenda of the summit focused on issues related to the global economy, development, growth and trade".

President Zuma added that during the summit, leaders from G20 member countries briefed their peers on the current developments in their respective regions and that South Africa provided an African perspective on a number of issues such as the global economy and trade, infrastructure development, inclusive growth, the global financial situation and combating the scourge of Ebola, among others.

On addressing the current global economy, President Zuma stated that: "In order to sustain global growth, we need to, among others, accelerate infrastructure development, especially in Africa. This will help lift intra-Africa trade and contribute immensely towards enabling our continent to industrialise and create jobs in high-value sectors, so that Africa can produce value-added manufactured goods”.

In this context, South Africa welcomed the establishment of the G20 Global Infrastructure Hub, which would help develop a knowledge-sharing platform and network between governments, the private sector, development banks and other international organisations.

The President has welcomed G20 commitments to modernise the international tax system, saying that this was critical to ensuring fairness, and to secure countries' revenue bases.

South Africa was among 51 countries that signed the Agreement on Automatic Exchange to Financial Information in Berlin, in October 2014.

"We restate our commitment to begin exchanging information in 2017, which will be underpinned by legislation currently before our Parliament. We feel strongly that we must continue to contribute towards strengthening tax administration capacities of developing and low-income countries to fully participate in this reform agenda" said President Zuma.

In conclusion, President Zuma announced that South Africa and Senegal made a presentation on the need to work together in addressing the serious challenge posed by the Ebola epidemic. It was agreed that Ebola was a global problem and not only limited to Africa.

"The G20 leaders pledged to contribute more resources in curtailing the outbreak of Ebola and thanked international organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank, IMF and others, for their support and contributions," said the President.

G20 leaders recognised the need to support international efforts to contain and control the epidemic and adopted a separate, stand-alone statement on Ebola. This is unprecedented in the G20 and reflects the readiness of the group to respond to such serious challenges.
The leaders commended Brazil for the successful Sixth Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit and noted progress in the implementation of the Fortaleza Action Plan.
The BRICS leaders met on 15 November 2014 on the occasion of the G20 Summit in Brisbane.

They underscored that the signing of the agreements establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) brought BRICS cooperation to a fundamentally new level with the creation of instruments to contribute to the stability of the international financial system. They expressed their commitment towards the expeditious ratification of both instruments.

The leaders were informed about the progress in implementation of the Work Plan for the establishment of the NDB. They asked their finance ministers to designate the President and the vice-presidents of the NDB well in advance of the next BRICS Summit in Russia. The leaders also announced the setting up of an Interim Board of Directors that will lead the next phase establishing the NDB.

The leaders asked their finance ministers and central bank governors to ensure that, by the next BRICS Summit, the CRA Working Group concludes the procedural rules and operational guidelines of the Governing Council and the Standing Committee of the CRA. They also asked their central bank governors to ensure that the Inter-Central Bank Agreement foreseen in the CRA be concluded by the Summit in Russia.

As agreed at the Fortaleza Summit, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce full-fledged intra-BRICS cooperation, in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, particularly in the economic and financial domains and look forward to the formulation of a long-term economic cooperation framework to forge closer BRICS partnership.
Operation Phakisa 2 is the second segment of the Operation Phakisa delivery programme designed to fast-track the implementation of government priority programmes.
President Jacob Zuma, on Tuesday, 18 November 2014, launched the Operation Phakisa: Scaling up Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance Programme at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House, in Pretoria.

Through Operation Phakisa 2, the public health sector seeks to improve the quality of care provided in 3 500 primary healthcare (PHC) facilities, which consist of government clinics and community health centres (CHCs).

This work entails transforming the existing clinics and CHCs into Ideal Clinics, which will be proudly utilised by all South Africans, out of choice, due to the enhanced quality of services they will provide.

Operation Phakisa 1 focuses on Unlocking the Economic Potential of South Africa's Oceans. It was launched by President Zuma in August 2014 in Durban.
The World Leaders’ Dialogue explored the causes and effects of illegal wildlife trade, and new approaches and investments to combat it.
On 17 November, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, participated in a World Leaders’ Dialogue, entitled “The Nature of Crime – Extent and Impact of Illegal Wildlife Trade”.  

Illicit wildlife trade ranks among drug, human and arms trafficking as one of the most lucrative syndicate crimes worldwide. This crime has been recognised as contributing to the extinction of species, disrupting critical ecosystem functions, undermining sustainable economic development and threatening communities, livelihoods and human health.

Minister Molewa explored the issue of rhino poaching in South Africa, the need to develop and implement integrated actions that include community partnerships and collaboration across all spheres of government, nationally and internationally.

The theme of the 2014 Congress, held at the Sydney Olympic Park, was “Parks, People Planet: Inspiring Solutions”.

On 12 November, South Africa officially handed over the torch for the World Parks Congress (WPC) to Australia as the hosts of the Sixth WPC, which was held in Sydney recently.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, led a South African delegation that included the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson, government officials, representatives of conservation- management authorities, SANParks and the People and Parks Programme, NGOs, universities, the business sector and local communities.

Delivering an address on behalf of South Africa, Deputy Minister Thomson said the management of natural resources in a megadiverse and developing country was a tremendous responsibility.

“It requires innovative solutions, youth-centred policies, sustainable financing as well as harnessing strategic partnerships to unlock opportunity – all the while mindful of the need to balance the developmental needs of that country with conservation,” she said.

The congress was an opportunity to learn from each other and to work in partnership to sustain, protect and conserve the natural wonder of our home, Planet Earth, for  future generations.

“On behalf of my government, allow me to salute all of you here for your dedication, resilience and commitment; often in the face of significant challenges,” she said, appealing to the more than 5 000 delegates from more than 160 countries not to fail the planet as the sustainer of life.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's WPC is a landmark global forum on protected areas held every 10 years. The fifth congress was held in Durban, South Africa, in 2003. The Durban Action, adopted at the end of the 2003 Congress, was accepted by the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference as the Programme of Work on Protected Areas.
The Minister also delivered an address at the event which was attended by, among others, former Olympic athletes, Ato Boldon, Jackey Joiner-Kersee and many other influential individuals in sports and the business of sports. 
On 14 November, the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, attended the Inaugural Global Athletics Conference (GAC) that was held in Durban, at the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom.

The GAC is a platform where the world's most experienced athletes share their knowledge and insights with African stakeholders to build capacity and improve the standard of athletics as a part of building the foundation to develop world-class athletes, events and businesses.
This is the first time since the late 1990s that South African fish will be exported to Russia on a commercial basis, said Felix Ratheb, chief executive of Cape Town-based Sea Harvest, one of the South African companies granted a licence.
South African will begin seafood exports to Russia after the Eurasian country granted 12 seafood companies licences to supply canned and frozen fish.

The other 11 companies granted rights to supply seafood are Abagold Ltd, Compass Challenger, GSA Trades Pty Ltd, Harvest Atlantic Peace, Irvin & Johnson Limited, Kaytrad Coldstore, LAVERNE, Marine Products, Pioneer Fishing Pty Ltd, Sea Vuna Fishing Company Pty Ltd and Viking Fishing Co Pty Ltd.

Speaking to Reuters, Ratheb said Sea Harvest’s first exports to Russia were expected in early 2015 and would begin at about 500 tonnes a year, worth between R25 million to R40 million. South Africa's total fish exports in 2012 were valued at R3,5 billion but this figure could increase if Russia becomes a major importer, according to Ratheb.

South Africa is a leading Russian foreign trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Russian Embassy. Bilateral trade in the January to November 2013 period increased by 22,1% to US$998 million, compared to US$817 million from January to November 2012.

Russia's exports increased by 59,1% to US$260,5 million, from US$163,7 million in January to November 2012, and imports grew by 12,9% to US$737,5 million. Mutual investments between the two countries are also massive. Russian investments in South Africa reached over US$1 billion in the last year. – Source:
South Africa is to hold its second nuclear vendor parade this month with four other countries.
“The second nuclear vendor workshop will be held during the course of November 2014, and will be with the following vendor countries: China, France, the United States of America and South Korea,” said the Department of Energy recently.

It added that these countries had confirmed their readiness to participate.

South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was approved in 2008 and was further enhanced by the approval of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 – 2030, which stipulates that nuclear power will form part of the country’s energy mix to a level of 9 600 MW.

The department said progress was being made with the engagement of various prospective nuclear vendor countries.

The nuclear vendor parade workshops entail vendor countries presenting their nuclear technology offerings.     
“The National Development Plan enjoins us to do thorough investigations on various aspects of the nuclear power generation programme before a procurement decision is taken. The vendor parade workshops form part of the Government's technical investigation in preparation for a procurement decision,” said the department.

The department has planned to hold nuclear vendor parade workshops with all the vendor countries that are ready and have accepted the invitation to participate.

South Africa has already held one workshop which was held in October with Russia. – Source:
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in collaboration with the Institute for Global Dialogue associated with the University of South Africa, the Open Society Foundation South Africa, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the South African Defence and Security Management Network this week hosted a symposium on “The Blue Economy and Maritime Security Challenges for South and Southern Africa: Leadership Dilemmas in Promoting a Global South Dialogue on Governance in the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans”.
The symposium intended to explore maritime economic, strategic and security dimensions, highlighting convergences in defence, foreign policy and economic diplomacy.

Experts and scholars from both the global South and North highlighted the challenges and solutions, including presenting a tool box of policy recommendations to policy-makers involved in sectors associated with the Blue Economy.
The Department of Social Development launched the centre in March this year. It allows social worker agents to provide telephonic support and counselling to victims and can direct the victim’s case to a social worker close to them.
Government’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre was recently awarded the Changing Lives Award at the 2014 AfricaCom Awards for providing telephonic support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence.

The department said the awards were presented under categories which celebrated the breakthroughs and most influential players shaping the telecoms/ICT sector.

The 2014 AfricaCom Awards focused the categories on innovation and relevance to market needs.  

The Gender-Based Violence Command Centre operates through the toll-free number: 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

In August, the centre was awarded the Best Technology Innovation Award by the Contact Centre Management Group, in recognition of it being the first integrated technology of its kind in terms of social service delivery in South Africa and arguably in the developing world. – Source:
A non-profit organisation that works with teachers in the Western Cape's poorest areas to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Maths and Science is getting international recognition.
The Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP), with over 30 years’ experience in the field, received the Global Best Award for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in Africa from the International Education Business Partnership Network (IPN).

It was the second consecutive year PSP received the award, given for its professional development work with teachers. The organisation presented its work at the 12th IPN Conference, held in Brussels in September with the theme, “Youth Employability”. Delegates from around the world shared their ideas, experiences and efforts to improve youth employability through partnerships between business and education.
The study looked at nearly seven million customer reviews on to see which destinations had the highest rated hotels.
The Mother City has once again proven herself to be an international travel powerhouse, as it came out tops in a recent hotel survey.

Overall, Cape Town, South Africa took the number one spot with the highest-rated hotels of any destination, scoring an average of 8.43 out of a possible 10. 

While the Mother City topped the list, Durban also performed well, slipping in at the 23rd position, just making the top 25.

Interestingly, leading urban destinations like London, New York and Paris did not make the top 25.

Cape Town was followed by Maldives in second position with a score of 8.33 and Zermatt, Switzerland in third place with a score of 8.29. – Source:
The index ranks Johannesburg 29th out of 40 cities, ahead of Nigeria’s Lagos at 38 and Egypt’s Cairo which lies at number 35. Johannesburg is the only South African city that appears in the 2014 Networked Society City Index released on Monday, 10 November.

South Africa’s Johannesburg is the highest ranked city on the Africa continent in international communications technology company Ericsson’s global ICT Index, despite slipping a few places down the index in the past year.

The index measures 40 global cities’ levels of ICT maturity, and how these cities leverage ICT to solve the social, environmental and economic challenges (the triple bottom line) that they face. The top five cities in the index are Stockholm, London, Paris, Singapore and Copenhagen.

On its online profile of Johannesburg’s ICT ranking, Ericsson says the city performs better in the triple bottom line index than in ICT maturity. – Source:



The Colchester Film Festival is an international film festival dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best filmmaking talent, where finals took place at the end of October 2014.

At the 60 Hour Film Challenge 2014, which took place in Colchester, Essex in United Kingdom (UK), South African team “The City Slickers”, led by writer/director Yolande Botha, was chosen as finalists out of over 600 teams.

Their 5-min film, “Every 6 Months”, is an offbeat comedy drama about a woman who finds herself locked in a room full of taxidermy after a night she can’t remember.

The competition was judged by industry leaders, including Martin Ruhe and Benjamin Caron.

The festival showcases the best new short and feature films from the UK and around the world, as well as offering a programme of workshops, master classes and panel discussions from top film industry professionals.

The 60 Hour Film Challenge is one of the biggest competitions of its type with over 600 teams registered this year.

The challenge is accessible to all filmmakers, because it is free to enter and is open to filmmakers of all skill levels, whether they are shooting on a smart phone, DSLR or cinema camera. The challenge aims to nurture the next generation of filmmaking.

South African creative, Yolande Botha, is an independent scriptwriter and director who is breaking into the film industry after 13 years in advertising as a copywriter and conceptualiser.
Last weekend, South Africa’s national football, rugby and cricket teams made their country proud.
Bafana Bafana qualified for the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 tournament by defeating Sudan 2-1 on Saturday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durcan.

This is the first time South Africa qualifies for the event since 2008.

The Springboks put in a powerful performance full of passion and pride to beat England 31-28 in front of a packed Twickenham Stadium in London.

A brutal onslaught by AB de Villiers and a career-best five-wicket haul by Morné Morkel set up a three-wicket win for South Africa against Australia in the second One Day International (ODI) at the WACA in Perth on Sunday.

South Africa finished on 157 for seven in 27.4 overs.

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated De Villiers on becoming the fastest player ever to score 7 000 one-day international runs.

"Mr De Villiers has done the country immensely proud with his sterling achievements and we wish him all the best going forward," said President Zuma in a statement issued by The Presidency.

De Villiers has also been named the International Cricket Council's ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Playing his 172nd ODI for South Africa against Australia on 14 October, he brought his total to 7 019 runs from 166 innings at an average of 51.23.
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