Issue 148 | 22 January 2015
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The inaugural  Ubuntu Awards will be held on 14 February 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre to recognise South African industry leaders and eminent persons for their contribution in promoting South Africa’s national interests and values across the world. Awards will be presented in the following categories:
  • Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy
  • Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy
  • Ubuntu Social Responsibility
  • Ubuntu Youth Diplomacy
  • Ubuntu Sport Diplomacy
  • Jonny Makhatini Excellence in Diplomacy
  • OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement.
Nominations will close on 31 January 2015. Please visit (LINK) for more information on the awards as well as the nomination form.
The WEF’s Annual Meeting brings together world leaders from business, government, international organisations, academia and civil society in Davos to discuss the global economy
President Jacob Zuma is leading a South African delegation of Cabinet ministers and business leaders to the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, from 20 to 24 January 2015.

The theme of this year's WEF meeting is “The New Global Context”, which, according to the forum’s organisers, reflects the period of profound political, economic, social and technological change that the world has entered, which has the potential to end the era of economic integration and international partnership that began in 1989.

“South Africa will use the opportunity to market the country as an attractive and reliable investment destination as well as a development partner, in the context of the National Development Plan and in celebration of achievements scored since the dawn of freedom in 1994, which brought about a better life for millions more citizens who had been excluded during the period of apartheid colonialism,” said The Presidency.

The WEF has invited a large contingent of businesspeople who will interact with global business executives in the pursuit of partnerships and opportunities. – Source:
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced because of torrential rains in Mozambique. Four people have died in Mocuba, one of two districts badly affected by flooding, while an estimated 5 000 have sought refuge in government shelters.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says the rescue mission in Mozambique is progressing well. This is after the Government of flood-stricken Mozambique asked for help from the South African Government.

SANDF personnel left the country for Mozambique last week. SANDF spokesperson, Lieutenant General Mabanga, said the team was expected to spend seven to 14 days in that country. The SANDF soldiers deployed in Mozambique include members of the South African Air Force, Navy divers and medical personnel.

Lt Gen Mabanga said no SANDF members had been deployed in Malawi, which was also hit by floods. The South African humanitarian group, Gift of the Givers, has distributed numerous relief parcels to families in that country, who were displaced by floods. 

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma attended the inauguration of the Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi recently.

South Africa and Mozambique enjoy strong historical ties based on geographical proximity and the role played by Mozambique in providing solidarity during the struggle against apartheid and colonial oppression. – Source:
In their discussions, the two heads of state reviewed the state of bilateral relations between Angola and South Africa and expressed their satisfaction with the growing cooperation as evidenced by increasing trade volumes.
President Jacob Zuma recently held consultations with his counterpart, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, in Angola. The two presidents also exchanged views on the state of peace and security on the African continent, paying particular attention to the matter of the disarmament of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

President Zuma and President Dos Santos further discussed cooperation within the context of the established trilateral mechanism between Angola, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this regard, the presidents emphasised the need to set up a permanent institutional framework to coordinate the work of the trilateral mechanism.

President Zuma was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
The visit was within the framework of the consolidation of solidarity, friendship and brotherly cooperation, which has always existed between the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of South Africa.
At the invitation of Professor Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, President Jacob Zuma undertook a working and friendly visit to the Republic of Guinea from 12 to 13 January 2015.

During this visit, the two presidents exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest. At bilateral level, the two heads of state expressed satisfaction at the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation existing between the two countries and reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce and consolidate them by regular holding of the Joint Commission of Cooperation.


Former President Motlanthe represented President Jacob Zuma at the funeral of Lieutenant-General Merafhe on 17 January 2015.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe recently travelled to Botswana as a Special Envoy to represent President Jacob Zuma at the funeral of the late Lieutenant General Mompati Sebogodi Merafhe, the former Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana.

Lieutenant General Merafhe passed away on 7 January 2015. He was the founding commander of the Botswana Defence Force. He served as the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration from 1989 to 1994, and then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 2008 as the country's longest serving foreign minister.

He held the position of Vice-President from 2008 to 2012 before retiring from office due to ill health.

Former President Motlanthe was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers. – Source:

“In discharging its mandate, the conduct of the Observer Mission will be guided by the SADC Treaty; the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation; the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections; and relevant legislation of the Republic of Zambia, and other continental and international instruments governing democratic elections.” – SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax.

On 9 January 2015 the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, welcomed delegates and observers at the launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2015 Presidential elections in the Republic of Zambia.

The SEOM was formally launched by International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing election observers and the media, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: "We note with great pride that election observation has become a norm in our region, and is very much in keeping with the democratic values which underpin and define SADC".

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Dr Tax wished the Government and people of the Republic of Zambia success as they turn a new leaf in the democratic life of their country.

Based on its observations, the SEOM concluded that the 2015 Presidential Election in Zambia on 20 January was peaceful, transparent, credible, free, and fair, thus reflecting the will of the people of Zambia in accordance with the national laws and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

South Africa will chair the G77 during the 70th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) at a crucial juncture in the global community’s efforts to agree on the development priorities and goals needed to take the work of the millennium development goals forward and to transform development beyond 2015. 

On 8 January 2015, at the UN Headquarters in New York, South Africa assumed the Chair of the Group of 77 (G77). The G77 is the largest coalition of developing countries in the UN, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic and development issues in the UN system, promote South-South cooperation and strengthen economic and technical cooperation among developing countries themselves.

Accepting the responsibility of chairing the G77, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, thanked the members of the G77 “most for placing its trust and confidence in South Africa”.

2015 is a critically important year for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a new legal instrument that contains commitments for both developed and developing countries, is expected to be adopted under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.

During its term, South Africa will be responsible for negotiating and speaking on behalf of two-thirds of the UN membership on key development issues.

Ambassador Mamabolo extended an invitation to President Kutesa to address and interact with the G77 +China.

Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations (UN) and Chairperson of the Group of 77 + China, recently met with Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly.

They exchanged views on the priorities of the General Assembly during this session and South Africa’s chairship of the G77 + China, including the Post-2015 Development Agenda and its implementation, climate change and cooperation between the UN and regional organisations.

President Kutesa congratulated the South African delegation under the leadership of Ambassador Mamabolo on assuming the chairship of the G77 + China and expressed confidence that the group would achieve its objective during 2015. He committed to working closely with South Africa to promote the African Agenda through leadership roles in both strategic organisations.

Ambassador Mamabolo echoed the sentiments of the President of the General Assembly (PGA) on the need to work together and emphasised South Africa’s readiness to coordinate and share information where relevant with the PGA.
The South African Government extended its deepest condolences to the Federal Government and people of Nigeria, especially to the families of the deceased and those displaced by the acts of violence.

The South African Government has joined the international community in condemning in the strongest possible terms the inhumane and barbaric attacks by Boko Haram against at least 16 towns and villages in the north and north-east of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, reportedly killing hundreds of people and thousands sent fleeing into neighbouring countries.

Deliberate attacks against innocent civilians are contraventions of well-established international human rights and humanitarian law and constitute a crime against humanity.

The South African Government reiterated its stance that terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter could not be condoned and South Africa stood firmly with the international community in condemning all forms of terrorism, and these acts in particular. South Africa would continue to support regional and international efforts to address the scourge of terrorism in all its forms.
The decision by government, which was effected on 12 January 2015, should be commended as it ensures that South Africa is able to honour its international obligations and consolidate its commitment to alleviate poverty and ensure social justice for all.

The South African Human Rights Commission has welcomed the decision by the South African Government to ratify the United Nations (UN) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

In the Statement of Declaration after the ratification, the UN expressed its hope that by ratifying the ICESCR, “the Government of the Republic of South Africa will give progressive effect to the right to education, as provided for in Article 13 (2) (a) and Article 14, within the framework of its National Education Policy and available resources”.

The commission believes that the ratification will enhance the ability of government to play a meaningful role as one of the key advocates for social, economic and cultural rights in the international arena and it will further enable the country to keep pace with those countries that have ratified the covenant and thus accelerate and improve the respect and observance of socio-economic rights in South Africa.
The last of 20 trucks carrying more than 700 metric tonnes (Mt) of maize meal – enough to provide daily school meals to 27 700 children for a school year – left a mill in Nigel on Wednesday on 14 January 2015, bound for Maseru, the capital of Lesotho.

The South African Government and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently delivered to needy people in Lesotho the final consigment of maize meal purchased from emerging South African famers as part of hunger-relief efforts in the Mountain Kingdom.

This initiative was made possible by the South African Government’s contribution of R180 million to the WFP in response to a major food crisis declared in Lesotho in 2012. These funds have since enabled the WFP to provide critical food assistance to some 263 000 vulnerable women and children. These include pre-school and primary schoolchildren as well as pregnant and nursing women who have been receiving special nutritional products for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition.

As part of its commitment to support smallholder farmers, in agreement with the Government of South Africa, the WFP has sourced 40% of the cereals needed for Lesotho from smallholder farmers in South Africa. To date, the WFP has purchased from this sector more than 4 300 Mt of maize and sugar beans, worth R 21 million.

This was the first time that the WFP has purchased commodities for its regional operations from smallholder farmers in South Africa. As part of the R180, million South African donation to Lesotho, the WFP also procured some 16 000 Mt of commodities, worth R117 million from commercial traders in South Africa.
Mining thought leaders and some of Africa's largest dealmakers are among the delegates – expected to number around 7 000 – from more than 110 countries
Graça Machel, the president of the Foundation for Community Development, joins the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, as the keynote speakers for sustainable development at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, taking place from 9 to 12 February in Cape Town.

The Mining Indaba unites investors and dealmakers from around the world with attractive mining opportunities throughout Africa. It has been running for two decades and is the world's largest mining investment conference.
The pact is signed under the Sister Twinning Programme and is specifically aimed at strengthening economic, trade and investment, scientific, cultural and human relations.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu has signed a cooperation arrangement with outgoing Governor of the State of Maryland in the United States, Martin O’Malley, to boost trade links between the two provinces.

As the agreement gets implemented, the two parties will develop joint practical programmes in tourism promotion, agriculture development and agribusiness, and education and training exchange. The focus will be on research and development, port collaboration and maritime exchange.

Governor O’Malley has been a key driver of this twinning arrangement, which is the last he signed before leaving office. – Source:
This year will be the first time in the race's 101 year history that a team from Africa will participate.
Top South African cycling outfit Team MTN-Qhubeka has received an invitation to participate in the 2015 Tour de France – the first African team ever to do so in 101 years.

The 22 teams riding in the race were announced recently by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO). Along with the 17 World Tour teams, five wild card teams also issued – including one to the South African team.

"To receive a wild card for the Tour de France is a dream come true for the entire MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team, while it is also a historic moment for world and African cycling," MTN-Qhubeka says on its website. "We are extremely proud to be able to represent South Africa and Africa on one of the biggest stages in world sport."

The other four wild card recipients are Europcar, Cofidis, Bretagne-Seche Environnment and Bora-Argon 18.

The 2015 Grand Depart will take place on 4 July, starting with a 14-km time trial in Utrecht. The riders will tackle 21 stages, covering 3 344 km in total before the 2015 Le Tour finishes in Paris, on the Champs Elysees, on 26 July. The ASO has also included the South Africans in the Critérium du Dauphiné, which starts on 7 June, and which is "vital in our Tour de France preparation", the teams says. – Source:
De Villiers enabled the Castle Lager Proteas to post an imposing 439/2, their highest team total in this format – beating the unforgettable 438 for nine achieved in March 2006 against Australia at the same ground.
South African batsman AB de Villiers wrote his name indelibly into cricket's history books when he produced one of ODI's greatest innings against the West Indies at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on 18 January.

De Villiers hit eight fours and 10 sixes to reach his century in just 31 balls, erasing New Zealander Corey Anderson's previous world best of 36 balls – also against the West Indies. It took the South African just 40 minutes.

The Proteas scored only four runs short of the record 443 scored by Sri Lanka against the Netherlands.

His second-wicket partnership with Hashim Amla (153 not out) came at the incredible rate of 17.19 runs to the over. It was his 19th ODI century and he finished with 149 off 44 balls (nine fours and 16 sixes – that's 132 in boundaries). His 16 sixes also equalled the world record number of hits out of the ground by India's Rohit Sharma. – Source:
For the Toyota Imperial South African Dakar Team this is the third podium finish in four years – third in 2012, second in 2013 and now second again in 2015. In 2014, De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz missed out on the podium but still brought the Toyota Imperial Hilux home fourth overall.
There was pure elation in Buenos Aires after the finish of Stage 13 – final stage of the 2015 Dakar – when South Africa's Giniel de Villiers and his navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz drove on to the podium to accept their trophies for second place overall.

The pair finished 35 min 34 behind Qatari driver Nasser al-Attiyah (Mini) for whom it was his second overall win.

A smiling De Villiers, who won the race in 2009, said from the final podium in the Argentine capital: “"It was a great Dakar for us. We were right there in the thick of the fight. Our Toyota Imperial Hilux ran without missing a beat and we’ve shown everybody that we are more than capable of taking on the biggest names out there."

The race car was designed and assembled in South Africa. – Source:
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