Issue 150 | 5 February 2015
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The summit decided that South Africa would host the 25th Assembly and related meetings in Johannesburg, in June/July 2015.


President Jacob Zuma recently led the South African delegation to the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU Summit) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The summit was held under the theme: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.

The AU Summit focused on peace and security matters and the escalation in terrorism in parts of the continent; the endorsement and adoption of Agenda 2063, of which its 10-year action plan will be adopted at the next AU Summit; the AU’s coordinated response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa; as well as development- and administrative-related issues with regard to the African Peer Review Mechanism, the New Partnership for Africa's Development and on alternative sources of financing the AU and its programmes.

Zimbabwe was elected as the Chair of the AU for this year, and will have the double responsibility of leadership of both the continent and the subregion as chair of the Southern African Development Community.




President Zuma said infrastructure was the way to go towards sustainable development and Africa is on the right track.


President Jacob Zuma recently addressed the 32nd Summit of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Heads of State Governments and Orientation Committee as the chairperson of the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI). The event was held on the sidelines of the 24th African Union Summit in Ethiopia.

“With solid and efficient infrastructure, we can without doubt reach the much sought-after and almost magical 7% growth rate per annum – a good starting point for Africa,” said President Zuma.

He said while it was important to invest in regional infrastructure, governments should not lose sight of ploughing into national infrastructure, as this facilitated industrial production and national trade.

To close the infrastructure gap, the PICI aims to facilitate continuous dialogue and work to boost infrastructure development.

“The initiative has served to link political heads of state to specific infrastructure corridors to ensure strategic political leadership in the championing of cross-border infrastructure projects.

“These are projects that should ultimately unlock the economic potential of the continent and provide development opportunities for communities, cities and regions,” said President Zuma.

South Africa is involved in the North-South Corridor – a multimodal and multidimensional infrastructure corridor that includes road, rail, border posts, bridges, ports, energy and other related infrastructure – which passes through 12 countries. The 12 countries include Tanzania, Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

“Through this initiative, we are leading the charge in infrastructure development across the continent, and these projects form the nucleus of the implementation of the broader Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa,” said President Zuma.




The main objective of the commission will be to promote political, economic and social relations between the two sides.


In an effort to enhance and elevate the structured bilateral cooperation between them, South Africa and Sudan have taken a decision to raise the Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation to a ministerial level.

In this regard, the ministers of international relations and cooperation and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been tasked to work with speed to conclude an enabling agreement. 

This emerged after recent talks between President Jacob Zuma and Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir. President Zuma was in the Sudan capital Khartoum on a Working Visit.

Sudan and South Africa called for reinforcing economic cooperation and partnership establishment.

The two leaders reaffirmed commitment to reinforcing economic relations by encouraging both countries' private and public enterprises to further involve themselves in establishing partnerships to become a model for South-South cooperation.

Already the two countries have 16 bilateral agreements in a number of fields, including trade, agriculture, defence, policing, arts and culture, social development and scientific cooperation.

The two presidents also exchanged views on matters of peace and security on the continent, paying particular focus on the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

They called on all the parties involved in the conflict in South Sudan to show leadership and responsibility to bring an end to the conflict. – Source:




Professor Karim is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Director of CAPRISA, the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa.


President Jacob Zuma has congratulated South African Professor Salim S Abdool Karim, for receiving the African Union's (AU) annual Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award in the field of Earth and Life Science.

“He has contributed to 30 years of research on the continent, especially in the field of HIV and AIDS,” The Presidency’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, said.

Professor Karim received the award during the recent AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. – Source:




The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was established in 2003 under the New Partnership for Africa's Development and is an instrument that is voluntarily acceded to by African Union member states.


Bridget Mabandla, the former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, has been appointed as a member of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, during the meeting of the APRM in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 29 January 2015.

Ms Mabandla who has also served in Cabinet and the National Executive in other portfolios such as arts, culture, public enterprises and science and technology, replaces Baleka Mbethe who stepped down after being elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly in South Africa.

The mandate of the APRM is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards on democracy, political, economic and corporate governance as contained in the 2003 Abuja Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance.




The project falls under the Government's "blue economy" plans of its Operation Phakisa initiative, announced by President Jacob Zuma in 2014. The aim of the project is to clear infrastructure bottlenecks that may be constraining economic growth.


A R9,65-billion investment in infrastructure projects at Saldanha Bay, on South Africa's West Coast, was recently announced by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA).

These are aimed at enhancing the deep-water port's ability to service the offshore oil and gas industry.

TNPA, a division of state-owned entity Transnet, is mandated to control and manage all eight commercial ports on South Africa's 2 954 km of coastline.

The 330-ha Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone was designated in 2013 as a zone dedicated to serving the oil and gas industry. It has attracted strong interest, mainly from fabricators.

Saldanha Bay supports the export of the iron-ore mined in the Northern Cape province, which currently stands at around 57 million tons a year.

The TNPA said the projects would create an estimated 6 300 new direct jobs and 25 200 new indirect jobs, contributing an estimated R4,74 billion to South Africa's gross domestic product. The project is due to be completed by January 2018.




The inaugural event included policy dialogues, plenary discussions, technology exhibitions and demonstrations with up to 75 technologies from more than 30 publicly funded research and development organisations.

On 2 and 3 February, South Africa hosts a first-of-its-kind technology matchmaking initiative with technology-based companies, and industry and funding partners, showcasing their expertise under one roof.

The Department of Science and Technology initiated the Innovation Bridge Technology Showcase and Matchmaking event to allow local and international technology-based companies, entrepreneurs and financiers to scout for technology solutions and investment opportunities, among other things.






TechWomen is a mentorship programme that supports female leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem). "The idea is to bridge connections and encourage women and girls to pursue careers in Stem," said TechWomen representative Kelsi Ward. 


Promising young girl coders from Khayelitsha met the Twitter vice-president for engineering, Nandini Ramani, to discuss how to pitch a business idea and how to use social media to grow their success.

Ramani was among a group of 40 of the top women in technology from around the world at the gathering, which took place on 29 January at the Bandwidth Barn. The women, from TechWomen, were in South Africa to meet the country's leaders in information and communications technology and discuss women's roles in the sector.

About 60 girls and women joined the meeting, where the TechWomen shared their experiences of working in some of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world.

The young coders were from GirlHype, an organisation that aims to empower young women and girls with digital and media education skills. The Bandwidth Barn tests incubation models that work best in a community environment and that support the local community's needs.

The visitors included professionals from Symantec, Juniper Networks and Twitter.

Successful TechWomen outreach programmes also took place in Johannesburg and Pretoria, and the women met a team from Silicon Cape. "Cape Town is similar to Silicon Valley with the amount of start-ups it has," said TechWomen mentor Diane Manning.

TechWomen, a United States initiative launched by former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in 2011, empowers, connects and supports the next generation of female leaders in Stem from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. It provides them with the access and opportunity they need to advance their careers, pursue their dreams and inspire women and girls in their communities. – Source:




The system will allow secure credit card transactions to take place at any point and real-time positioning of any flight, anywhere, affecting fuel-saving interventions in-flight as well as providing full visibility of actual flight paths versus planned routing at any time. SatAuth is the first product of its kind, and was developed in South Africa.

South African Airways (SAA) this week became the first airline globally to install the Satellite Authorisation System (SatAuth), which will allow secure credit card transactions anywhere in the skies.

The system, first installed on the airline's cabin trainer for testing in May, would not only allow secure credit card transactions anywhere in the skies, but would also provide pin-point accurate aircraft tracking services for operational purposes, SAA said.

SAA installed the device on one of its Airbus A340-300 aircraft at the South African Airways Technical (SAAT) maintenance facility in Kempton Park, Johannesburg on 26 January. "SAAT engineers worked closely with the developers of the solution to ensure certification and engineering procedures, ultimately realising the usability of the product within an aviation environment," said chief executive, Musa Zwane.

SAAT, the driving force behind the innovation, develops testing and engineering procedures for airline maintenance facilities around the world.

SAAT will manufacture all major aircraft components required for installation of SatAuth in accordance with the international Aviation Certification standards required for installation.  – Source:

Economy class customers are allowed one bag plus one slim-line laptop bag, while in business class, customers are allowed two bags plus one slim-line laptop bag.
From 2 February, South African Airways (SAA) is implementing new hand luggage regulations.

Although other airline customers may take only 7 kg on board as hand luggage, SAA has an exemption from South African Civil Aviation Authority and SAA customers may take cabin baggage weighing up to 8 kg.

According to SAA, no bag should exceed 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm (total dimensions of 115 cm) or weigh more than 8 kg per bag.

“Handbags are considered part of a customer’s wardrobe and not as hand baggage.

Baggage capable of carrying other items such as documents and clothes are considered as cabin baggage and would therefore not be allowed if the customer is exceeding the allowance.

If hand luggage does not comply, the customer will be referred back to the check-in counters to check in the baggage as hold baggage. Extra fees may apply, as per SAA guidelines.

“Customers are also advised that the enforcement of these regulations may result in some delays at security check points. SAA urges all customers to check in well in advance and to stick to the cabin baggage regulations,” said the airline. – Source:



The annual celebration aims to, among others, raise awareness on the benefits and importance of wetlands as a natural resource in communities. The theme for this year’s celebrations was: “Wetlands for Our Future – Lets use them wisely, together!”


The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson, led South Africa’s World Wetlands Day 2015 celebration at the False Bay Nature Reserve, in Cape Town, on 2 February 2015.

World Wetlands Day is an annual event that commemorates the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, which took place on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian City of Ramsar. The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

The Deputy Minister handed over a Ramsar certificate to City of Cape Town for the designation of False Bay Nature Reserve as a wetland of international importance.




The international magazine places Cape Town's beaches behind Barcelona's "eight white-sand beaches that rim its Mediterranean coastline".


Cape Town has been ranked by National Geographic as the world's second-best beach city in their latest Top 10 list.

The South African city pips Hawai's Honolulu, Nice in France, Miami in the United States, Rio de Janerio in Brazil, Santa Monica in California, Sydney in Australia, and Israel's Tel Aviv.

Here is what National Geographic had to say: “The African capital of cool sprawls on a peninsula that divides the icy Atlantic from the warmer Indian Ocean, putting some 20 beaches within striking distance. The Clifton beaches, known for the posh homes that overlook them and stellar sunset-viewing, are sheltered from the region's strong trade winds by a mountainous ridge. Further north, the breeze is unleashed at surfing sweet spots Milnerton and Blouberg. Families favor the eastern False Bay coast for warmer water and tot-friendly tidal pools.” – Source:

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