Issue 151 | 12 February 2015
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The awards will be given to organisations and individuals who have, through excellence, innovation, creativity, social responsibility and patriotism, distinguished themselves as true ambassadors of South Africa.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation will host the inaugural Ubuntu Awards ceremony, aimed at recognising South African industry leaders and eminent persons for their contribution to promoting South Africa’s national interests and values across the world.

The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, 14 February 2015, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The awards are divided into the following categories:
  • Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy
  • Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy
  • Ubuntu Social Responsibility
  • Ubuntu Youth Diplomacy
  • Ubuntu Sport Diplomacy
  • OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement.
More information about the Ubuntu Awards is available on
The summit, among others, considered the state of peace and security on the continent; the escalation in international terrorism; as well as Agenda 2063 and its 10-year action plan.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, recently briefed the media on international developments, including the outcomes of the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU Summit), held from 30 to 31 January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.

Agenda 2063 is a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development on the African continent. It envisions that in 50 years, Africa will be a world leader, setting the standard for inclusive economic development, democratic governance and a humane and just social order.

Some of the decisions taken at the AU Summit include the following:

On “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”, the summit adopted the Framework Document and the Popular Version of Agenda 2063. The AU Commission was requested to conclude all consultations in order to finalise the First 10-Year Plan and to submit it for adoption by the June 2015 Summit.

The Executive Council took note of developments and progress on the flagship projects and requested the commission to present detailed road maps for implementation of:
  • the Integrated High-Speed Train Network
  • the creation of the Continental Free Trade Area by 2017
  • the African Passport and Free Movement of People
  • the implementation of the Grand Inga Hydroelectricity Dam Project
  • the Pan-African E-Network
  • the African Virtual and E-University
  • the establishment of an Annual African Forum for Policy Dialogue
  • the formulation of a Commodities Strategy
  • implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on the Unification of the African Air Space by 2017
  • Silencing the Guns by 2020
  • developing a Space Programme for Africa.
On the status of the Ebola virus outbreak, the Assembly urged member states to, among others, continue their assistance to the countries affected by Ebola. The Assembly recommended the extension of the mandate of the AU Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. 

On the situation in the Republic of South Sudan, the parties were urged to recommit to an unconditional end to hostilities as provided for by the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and to conclude consultations on outstanding matters with a focus on the establishment and structure of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

On the Boko Haram terrorist group, the AU reiterated its solidarity with the Government of Nigeria and other affected countries. The United Nations (UN) Security Council was urged to endorse the deployment of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) for an initial 12 months.  The assembly also authorised the establishment of a Trust Fund by the UN Secretary General to sustain the operations of the MNJTF and the international community was called upon to provide support to this Joint Task Force.

The summit decided that South Africa would host the upcoming AU Mid-Year Summit and its related meetings in June 2015.
The new heads of mission from Ghana, Nepal, India, Zimbabwe, Peru, Myanmar, Korea, Jamaica, Japan, Ukraine and South Sudan presented their credentials to the President.
President Jacob Zuma recently welcomed new ambassadors and high commissioners to the country at a special ceremony at the Sefako M Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.

President Zuma told the diplomats that they had come at an opportune time.

“It is our sincerest hope that through you, Excellencies, we will share best practices and opportunities with your countries to optimise the opportunities this sector presents,” said the President.

President Zuma said he was certain that the ambassadors and high commissioners would take bilateral relations to a higher level.

He was happy to accept credentials from state parties which are outside the traditional formations such as IBSA, BRICS and many others, which he said ensured a much broadened scope for international partnerships. – Source:


The coalition partners committed themselves to continue with efforts to create peace and stability in Lesotho.
President Jacob Zuma on Monday met with the Lesotho Government Coalition in Pretoria to discuss security surrounding the country's upcoming elections.

"The meeting received a briefing by the Lesotho Coalition Government about their current concerns regarding the security situation and violations of provisions of the Maseru Facilitation Accord as well as the Maseru Security Accord," said The Presidency’s spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa, in a statement.

The Coalition Government also requested the Southern African Development Community Troika, of which President Zuma is the chairperson, to provide more support during the Lesotho elections due to take place on 28 February.

"In this regard, President Zuma emphasised the need for the facilitator, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to return to Lesotho as soon as possible to address issues raised by the delegation of the Lesotho Government," Mamoepa said.

The Coalition was headed by Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane. It was also attended by Deputy President Ramaphosa, Lesotho's Deputy Prime Minister Mothejoa Metsing and Minister Thesele Maseribane, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo. – Source: Sapa
The arrival of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council will add impetus to current preparations and efforts by the Lesotho Electoral Commission to deliver credible, free and fair elections in which the people of Lesotho can express their democratic will as part of efforts to restore peace and stability in their country.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa recently welcomed the recent deployment of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council to Maseru as part of preparations for the forthcoming elections scheduled for 28 February 2015.

The holding of elections on 28 February in Lesotho as proclaimed by King Letsie III arose from the signing of the Maseru Facilitation Accord by all Lesotho's political parties and as facilitated by the SADC Observer Mission under the leadership of Deputy President Ramaphosa.
The missions were concluded successfully and the teams have returned to South Africa.
The South African Government sent a team from the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to Malawi on 22 January 2015 in response to the floods and resultant humanitarian situation in the country.

A joint command was established between the South African team from the NDMC and the Malawi Defence Force to coordinate air-transport requests from the Malawi Government and the United Nations relief agencies and international organisations for the relief and rescue operations in the southern region of Malawi that was severely hit by floods.

On the emergency situation in Mozambique, which was similarly caused by floods in January 2015, the Mozambican Government sent a request to the South African Government to assist with relief efforts.

The South African National Defence Force, in conjunction with the Mozambican Defence Force and the National Disaster Management Institute of Mozambique, took leadership of flood relief efforts. Two Oryx medium transport helicopters, South African Navy divers, medical staff from the South African Military Health Service and the South African Air Force with troops were deployed to the Zambezia Province.
The bodies were brought back to the country by a team of military health personnel and forensic pathologists. Some 81 South Africans were killed and 25 were injured when the multistorey building collapsed in Lagos nearly five months ago.
A C130 military aircraft landed in Pretoria in the early hours of Friday morning, 6 February, containing the bodies of the remaining victims of the building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria.

"The mortal remains of the outstanding 11 compatriots who perished on 12 September 2014 when the Scoan (Synagogue Church of All Nations) guest house collapsed in Nigeria are all back," Minister in The Presidency, Jeff Radebe, said shortly after the aircraft landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

In November 2014, 74 bodies were repatriated and a formal reception ceremony was held for the families of the victims. At the time, 11 bodies had not been positively identified and could not be repatriated.

"The mortal remains are now back … The families can now close the chapter as we are closing it today so that the last rites are performed so they can bury them with dignity," Minister Radebe said. – Source:
The South Africa Government condemns all forms and manner of terrorism. We believe that terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned.
The South African Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the barbaric and gruesome murder of the Jordanian pilot, Muath Kasasbeh, by the extremist terror group, ISIL.

The South African Government sends it deepest condolences to His Majesty King Abdullah II, the Jordanian Government and the people of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and in particular the Kasasbeh family.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) staff was seconded on 1 February 2015 to the BMA Project Management Office in the Department of Home Affairs, a national project with domestic, regional, Pan-African and global dimensions.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has welcomed 93 staff members of the SARS Collaborative Border Management (CBM) unit into the BMA Project Management Office, in Pretoria.

The Border Management Project Office was put in place to promote government’s vision and realisation of new, integrated border management, through the BMA. The BMA will be established as a single body under one accounting authority that has its basis in enabling legislation. The goal for integrated border management is to deliver excellent border management outcomes by planning and acting within one framework.

The vision of the BMA was endorsed by Cabinet at its meeting on 10 December 2014. Among other things, it would be outcomes-focused, simultaneously addressing various priorities, such as national security, the efficient facilitation of legitimate trade and travel and regional integration.

It will assume control of both ports of entry and borderline functions. Presently, the responsibilities for border management are split between various organs of state at ports of entry and along the borderline.

The target of submitting a BMA Bill to Cabinet by mid-2015 has been set.
Tourism has been identified as a key sector with the potential to contribute to economic growth and sustainable employment in the National Development Plan.
The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has announced the appointment of a Ministerial Review Committee to conduct an extensive review of SA Tourism, the entity responsible for marketing South Africa as a domestic and international destination.
The review will generate recommendations for the Minister and the SA Tourism Board to consider.

 “I am delighted that this group of eminent and experienced professionals have agreed to serve on the panel,” said Minister Hanekom.

“The tourism sector operates in a dynamic and constantly changing environment. Technology is developing rapidly and is changing the way that we communicate and market ourselves, consumer preferences are evolving, and source markets are shifting.

“Continual change in the operating and market environment requires us to review how effective our organisational structures are to deliver against their mandates.”

The committee will review SA Tourism’s institutional alignment and strategic focus in the context of the broader public and private-sector landscape for tourism marketing and tourism sector governance.
Yellow fever is a tropical virus disease that can affect the liver and kidneys, causing fever and jaundice and is often fatal. It is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Travellers from countries that have recently been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as "low-risk yellow fever countries" will no longer have to produce proof of the vaccination when they arrive in South Africa, the Department of Health said recently.  

Based on recommendations taken at the WHO's recent executive board meeting, all travellers to South Africa from these countries will not be required to produce proof of vaccination against yellow fever. "This provision is with immediate effect," the department said.

In accordance with international health regulations, South Africa requires all citizens and non-citizens over one year of age travelling from a yellow fever risk country, or having been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of such a country, to have a yellow fever certificate.

"As a result, South Africa implements measures for all travellers from yellow fever risk countries who are unable to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at the point of entry," the department said.

Travellers who fail to produce valid yellow fever vaccination certificates can be denied entry into South Africa; or they can be placed under quarantine surveillance until either their certificates becomes valid, or for up to six days if they do not have vaccination certificates and are from high-risk yellow fever countries.

"Travellers who are in possession of an exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be will be allowed entry, required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities, and be placed under quarantine surveillance," the department said.

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate requires a vaccine approved by the WHO and administered at least 10 days before departure to South Africa at a yellow fever-approved vaccination centre. The vaccine offers protection 10 days after administration. Source: –
The first of its kind at Africa regional level, the meeting brought together ministers responsible for youth affairs, senior government officials, youth representatives and other invited stakeholders from Commonwealth countries in Africa.
The Deputy Minister in The Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Youth Development and Administration, Buti Manamela, participated in the first Africa Region Commonwealth Youth Minister’s meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon, this week.

During the meeting, delegates focused on regional and global youth development challenges and opportunities, including new global development goals for 2015 and beyond.

“This meeting comes against the backdrop of South Africa's policy formulation process. The draft National Youth Policy was released in January 2015 for comment and consultation,” said The Presidency.

Deputy Minister Manamela gave a keynote address at the Minister's Meeting, focusing on the significance of National Youth Policy formulation and professionalisation of youth work.

The Deputy Minister was accompanied by a delegation of senior officials from government, the National Youth Development Agency as well as the South African Youth Council. – Source:
Government and its stakeholders showcased investment opportunities at the South African Pavilion and created a networking opportunity for investors and stakeholders in the mining industry.
Led by the Department of Mineral Resources, in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry and Brand South Africa, government promoted South Africa as a competitive investment destination of choice at the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba, which took place in Cape Town from 9 to 12 February 2015.

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, officially opened the Indaba on 10 February 2015.
The agreement will strengthen a collaboration that will facilitate a two-way exchange of high-level ideas on issues crucial to both continents, including urbanisation, infectious diseases, material science and data-intensive research.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a leading European university focused on innovation and natural sciences.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price signed the MoU with ETH Zurich in January, en route to the Global University Leaders Forum at Davos. He was the only African university head to be invited.

Both platforms have enabled Price to ensure that there is an African voice in global debates around issues such as health and urbanisation, and that international leaders inform research (and teaching) on the continent.

There are already useful collaborations in place between the two universities. For instance, in the study of urbanisation, ETH Zurich's Future Cities Laboratory has a similar interdisciplinary approach to UCT's African Centre for Cities. Both centres bring together environmental challenges, such as landscape resource consumption, with social development, such as inclusion and housing.
In total, 7,4 million people visited the warm East Coast city, with a total direct spend of R19,2 billion and 95 396 jobs created and sustained over the year, the municipality reported on 4 February. With indirect spend added, the tally was R32,4 billion.
Durban witnessed what is arguably its most successful tourism year in 2014, with an increase in visitor numbers of 12,8% over 2013, according to the eThekwini Municipality.

Durban proved to be a big draw card for domestic and international visitors over the festive period, which showed an average growth of more than 20% in visitor numbers, with 400 000 more tourists than the previous year. Over the six weeks of December to mid-January 2015, Durban had 1,45 million visitors with a total direct spend of R3,1 billion and 15 492 jobs created; some were sustained.

The hospitality industry employs 95 396 people.

In terms of market segmentation, Durban recorded a 15% increase in foreign visitors from the United States, 12% from Australia, 13% from Zimbabwe and 10% from Zambia. Gauteng was again a key source market, constituting 49% of all visitor arrivals.

Durban was named one of the New7Wonder cities of the world in December 2014, out of more than 1 200 nominees from 220 different countries. – Source:
The 4-Star rating which was awarded to SAA by Skytrax, the independent, global airline rating organisation, puts the airline in good company, with other international partner airlines.
National carrier South African Airways (SAA) has been awarded a 4-Star rating for the 13th consecutive year.

“This achievement which comes on the back of the airline announcing its financial results for the year ending March 2014 and progress with the 90- Day Action Plan implementation of its Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, further strengthens the airline as a world player in the aviation world. South African Airways, the flag carrier for South Africa, also celebrates its 81st birthday this February,” said the airline.

 “The 4-Star ranking signifies that the airline has achieved a good standard of product across all travel categories, with standards of staff service delivery in both the on-board and airport environments also being well ranked,” said Edward Plaisted, Chief Executive Officer of Skytrax.

The Skytrax Star Ranking audit examines more than 800 areas of product and service delivery, across both airport operations and the cabin experience, and this demonstrates that SAA passengers can look forward to a high quality of product and service. The Skytrax Ranking provides an accurate and independent guide for travellers around the world, and the 4-Star Airline status is a most respected category.

Last month, SAA was awarded as both “Best Airline in Africa” and “Best Business Class to Africa” from top United States travel magazine, Business Traveller. – Source:
Proudly representing South Africa, the musician recorded the winning album, "Winds of Samsara", with Indian composer Ricky Kej, which was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
South African flute player, Wouter Kellerman, won the Grammy for Best New Age Album recently.

Kellerman said: "It will just help us to be given more opportunity to do what I love.

"The message is of peace, love and tolerance about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi that’s the message we were trying to communicate with this album."

Winds of Samsara reached No 1 on the US New Age Album Billboard Charts in July last year.
– Source:

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