Issue 146 | 04 December 2014
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REMEMBERING NELSON MANDELA: ONE YEAR ON
 
On 5 December, South Africa will mark one year since Nelson Mandela passed away at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, after many months of ailing health.
 
 
The commemoration of the first anniversary of the death of former President Nelson Mandela will start with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 5 December.

"Veterans of the struggle for freedom and those who fought side by side with Madiba against apartheid will be invited to lead the wreath laying," Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, told journalists in Cape Town.

"This ceremony will be open to all South Africans and members of the public are invited also to visit the site throughout the day to lay wreaths."

The wreath laying will start at 08:00.

Government is encouraging schools, factories and places of worship to ring their bells and sirens at exactly three minutes and seven seconds before 10:00 to "call the country to attention". South Africans are asked to observe a moment of silence up to 10:03.

"You will notice that the time lapse from the ringing of the bells to the end of the moment of silence is six minutes, seven seconds. This is symbolic of the 67 years Madiba spent in the service of humanity," said Minister Dlamini. "The moment of silence will be broken by the singing of the National Anthem at 10:03 across the country and anywhere that South Africans will be gathered."

Citizens are also urged to participate in the social media campaign and share their memories of Madiba using the hashtag "RememberMandela". This will include a "Where were you?" social media campaign through which South Africans will be invited to share where they were and how they felt during the key milestones of Madiba's life, including, for example his arrest in 1964, his release from prison in 1990, and his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of the country.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will also be organising several commemorative events. This includes an art exhibition at the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory in Houghton.

The Springboks are set to take on the Proteas in a cricket match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on 5 December, signifying Madiba's belief that sport could bring people together more than politics. Several other events are planned in the days following the official commemoration. – Source: Sapa
 
 
PRESIDENT ZUMA PAYS STATE VISIT TO PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC)
 
2013 marked the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the PRC.
 
President Jacob Zuma has accepted an invitation by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to pay a State Visit to that country from 4 to 5 December 2014. President Jinping paid a State Visit to South Africa in March 2013.
 
 
Some of the objectives of President Zuma’s State Visit to China are to:
  • review the status of bilateral relations to ensure that the strategic relationship already defined is further strengthened, focusing on the priority issues of development in South Africa and Africa

  • adopt the China-South Africa 5-10 Year Framework on Cooperation that will further entrench the implementation of agreements entered into since the conclusion of the Beijing Declaration in 2010 and expand on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

  • discuss ways of supporting South Africa’s industrialisation agenda by agreeing to invest in the development of science and technology, agro-processing; mining and mineral beneficiation, renewable energy, finance and tourism

  • review progress in the locomotive procurement project, particularly cooperation in equipment manufacturing and the localisation of procurement through joint ventures with South African companies

  • review progress with cooperation on infrastructure development

  • ensure that relations with China remain central to realising our developmental agenda through our foreign policy, as we increase our efforts to implement the National Development Plan, cooperating in the areas of agriculture, trade and industry and finance

  • continue to partner with China in addressing Africa’s developmental agenda through the co-chairship of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation or FOCAC until 2018.
Briefing the media on the visit on 27 November, International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said: “China regards South Africa as a key partner in advancing its relations with the African continent.

While the two countries are strikingly different in their cultural, political and socio-economic orientation, they are very close in the positions they take on key issues affecting mankind.

Both appreciate the importance of strengthening cooperation on the basis of respect for each other’s core values and interests.
 
 
PRESIDENT ZUMA ADDRESSES FOURTH PAN-AFRICAN YOUTH UNION (PYU) CONGRESS
 
 
The congress deliberated on the following themes: peace and stability, education and skills development, youth entrepreneurship development, international solidarity and the fight against HIV/AIDS on the continent.
 
South Africa hosted the fourth official congress of the PYU under the theme “Youth Moving Africa Forward” in Johannesburg recently.

Addressing the congress, President Jacob Zuma said the PYU was a necessary platform for an assertive youth voice that was able to galvanise the African youth to speak in unison.

“… we are calling upon you to take forward the African Renaissance and the regeneration of the continent. We have done as much as we can and we continue to try our best as the leadership of the African Union. However, we look to the youth of Africa to become more focused and more aware of the challenges facing this beautiful continent so that you can be ready to take Africa to greater heights.”
 
 
MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE LEADS SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC) ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS (SEOMs)
 
As Chair of the Organ, South Africa has led SEOMs to Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and Mauritius and will lead the upcoming SEOMs to Zambia and Lesotho during 2015.
 
 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, arrived in Windhoek, Namibia, on 28 November 2014, to join the SEOM, which observed the conduct of the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The SEOM to Namibia was launched by the Minister on 10 November 2014 in Windhoek. The SEOM deployed officials from SADC member states across Namibia to observe the conduct of the elections and assess the extent to which the SADC Guidelines and Principles Governing Democratic Elections were followed. The ultimate objective was to consolidate democracy and improve the quality of electoral processes in the region.

On 30 November, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane arrived in Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius, ahead of the launch of the SEOM that took place on 1 December 2014. Following the launch SADC election observers were deployed to all the districts in Mauritius in preparation for the elections scheduled for 10 December 2014.

Following the elections, the SEOM will, as practice, issue a preliminary statement on the outcome of the elections.
 
 
PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA CONGRATULATES PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA, DR HAGE GEINGOB
 
The successful elections in Namibia attest to the stability and strength of democracy in this southern African country, said President Zuma.
 
President Jacob Zuma has extended his profound congratulations to Dr Hage Geingob on his resounding election as President of the Republic of Namibia following the country’s presidential and legislative elections that were held on 28 November 2014.

In his message, President Zuma also congratulated the people of Namibia for conducting peaceful, credible and free and fair elections.

President Zuma further expressed South Africa’s readiness to continue to partner with the Government and the people of Namibia in the pursuit of the already existing mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

South Africa and Namibia enjoy strong, warm and fraternal relations that are characteried by regular and increasing interaction at all levels.
 
 
 
 
PARLIAMENT HOSTS RUSSIAN FEDERATION PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
 
Friendly relations between South Africa and Russia date back to the struggle for a non-racial and democratic South Africa and there have been a number of high-level exchange visits since South Africa’s first non-racial, democratic election in 1994.
 
A delegation of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation paid an Official Visit to Parliament this week.

On 1 December the delegation, led by the Deputy Chairperson of the council, Ilyas Magomed-Salamovich Umakhanov, met National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson, Thandi Modise, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NCOP and the Federation Council.

The memorandum seeks to broaden bilateral cooperation between the two states by formalising ties between the two legislatures. On 2 December 2014, the delegation paid a courtesy visit to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete.
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA PLAYS ITS PART IN THE FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA
 
South Africa is playing its part in the international fight against Ebola on a number of fronts – including diagnostic laboratory support in West Africa – in an multifaceted approach to ensure its citizens and visitors remain safe.
 
 
South African health and tourism experts met in Pretoria recently to discuss and evaluate the country's response to the Ebola outbreak. Convened by Brand South Africa and the Department of Communications, the representatives at the high-level discussion agreed that South Africa was at a low risk of having an Ebola outbreak.

South Africa has been running a diagnostic laboratory in Sierra Leone since August that assists with the diagnosis of Ebola. The laboratory is staffed by South African officials from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, with teams being rotated every five weeks.

The country continues to be vigilant, and had a robust plan in place, which includes:
  • the monitoring of travellers at all ports of entry (air, land and sea)
  • temperature screening of all passengers at airports
  • the use of health questionnaires
  • the preparedness of designated health facilities in the private and public health sector to manage a suspected or infected individual with Ebola
  • extensive training has been rolled out to frontline health professionals at ports of entry as well as designated health facilities. – Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA SIGNS BILATERAL CULTURAL AGREEMENT WITH SURINAME
 
 
The cordial relationship between South Africa and Suriname is based on historical ties of solidarity and friendship. Suriname supported the liberation struggle in South Africa and has shown a keen interest in developments on the continent and growing ties with the African people.
 
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, and the Ambassador of Suriname, Wilfried Ramon Roseval, signed a bilateral cultural agreement between South Africa and Suriname on 25 November 2014, at the National Library in Pretoria.

The signing of the agreement provides opportunities for cultural and artistic exchange programmes in the spheres of performing arts, cultural heritage, Africa Diaspora exhibition, books and publishing. Formal reciprocal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 3 February 1995. In 2005, Suriname participated in the South Africa, African Union and Caribbean Diaspora Conference held in Jamaica.
 
 
SA WRAPS UP NUCLEAR VENDOR WORKSHOP
 
The vendor countries sought to showcase their capabilities to a large South African contingent of senior technical officials from government, state-owned entities and academics, according to the Department of Energy.
 
 
Government has successfully concluded its second nuclear vendor parade workshop with China, France, South Korea and the United States. The nuclear vendor parade came as South Africa plans to implement 9 600 MW (9,6 GW) nuclear power capacity.

South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was given the green light 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 vendors made presentations on their offerings for the full nuclear value chain, including areas such as the technology uranium mining, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, localisation and industrialisation, power generation, safety and licensing, job creation, research and development, skills transfer and development.

To date, government has engaged all vendor countries with whom intergovernmental framework agreements have been concluded. Vendor parade workshops were held with countries which chose to and were ready to engage in this manner, having signed the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement as a requirement.

The conclusion of this vendor parade marks a significant milestone in the government pre-procurement phase for the roll-out of the nuclear new build programme. Going forward, government will design and launch a procurement process. – Source: SAnews.gov.za
 
 
AFRICA BECOMES INCREASINGLY ATTRACTIVE TO RETAILERS
 
 
CFAO will operate the sales outlets of these new partners in Africa under exclusive agreements that include franchises, brand and distribution concessions, and distribution agreements.
 
African-focused trading firm CFAO Group has created a "club of brands" – a network of international brands – that will target the rising African middle class.

The first members of the club are toy seller La Grande Récré (Ludendo), cosmetics brand L'Occitane en Provence, Beaumanoir's fashion brands Cache Cache and Bonobo, and Kaporal.

The club will ultimately include about 20 brands. The retailers will have outlets in CFAO's shopping centres in eight African countries: Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. L'Occitane won't be available in Senegal.

The launch of this club of brands coincides with the opening of CFAO's first mall in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in 2015.

The African middle class is expanding rapidly on the back of strong economic growth. According to the International Monetary Fund, seven of the 10 countries that will experience the strongest growth between 2011 and 2015 are in Africa. – Source: www.southafrica.onfo
 
 
SPORTS ROYALTY HONOURED
 
Hosted by the Department of Sport and Recreation, the awards are the premium event for the sporting world, with Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula jovially saying the awards were to honour “a bunch of winners”.
 
South Africa’s sporting royalty came out to celebrate excellence in the various sporting codes at the SA Sport Awards 2014 recently.

 “Today we will honour our pride and our heritage of the South African sporting [fraternity] for what they have achieved throughout the year and we will equally remember those who passed on,” said the Minister at the awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

There were over 12 categories of awards, ranging from Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Sportsman of the Year with a Disability to Federation of the Year, among others. Coach of the Year went to Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, who was appointed to the top post in July. His award came as South Africa thrashed Ivory Coast 2-0 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.

The award of Sportsman of the Year went to swimmer Chad le Clos, who was not at the awards, while Sportswoman of the Year went to Ashleigh Moolman Pasio. The Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability went to Justine Asher, while Sportsman of the Year with a Disability went to Ernst Francois Van Dyk.

Minister Mbalula also honoured athletes such as Portia Modise (SA Sports Star of the Year) and AB De Villiers with the excellence awards. Former Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen, who suffers from motor neuron disease, was also honoured at the glittering awards. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
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