Issue 160 | 26 March 2015
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The inauguration ceremony coincided with the 25th independence anniversary celebrations of the Republic of Namibia.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, who could not attend the ceremony due to the funeral of the late Minister Collins Chabane, attended the inauguration of President-elect, Hage Geingob, of the Republic of Namibia, on 21 March 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The inauguration followed elections held on 28 November 2014.

Deputy President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.


The last Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2015, decided that the mid-year summit would take place in South Africa under the theme: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development Towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. The summit was originally scheduled to take place in N’djamena, Chad.
On 19 March, the AU Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, was in South Africa for discussions on preparations for the summit and its related meetings.

The talks started the negotiations on the Host Country Agreement, which will set out the roles of the host country, the AUC and other stakeholders.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is coordinating and facilitating an Interdepartmental Logistics Committee (IDLC), which is working on the logistics for the summit.

The IDLC is composed of the relevant government departments and the Office of the Premier (Gauteng).

The IDLC will report to the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Republic of South Africa, which is responsible for political oversight and guidance.

The important dates to note for the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and its related meetings are as follows:
  • Permanent Representatives’ Committee: 7 to 8 June 2015, (DIRCO’s Conference Centre)
  • 27th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council: 10 to 12 June 2015, (Sandton International Convention Centre)
  • 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government: 14 to 15 June 2015 (Sandton International Convention Centre).
The first BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting was held in Cape Town in 2014, in line with the decisions of the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan adopted at the Fifth BRICS Summit in March 2013.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, participated in the second Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) STI Ministerial Meeting, which was held on 18 and 19 March 2015.

The first STI Ministers' Meeting played an important role in concluding discussions towards the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for STI.

It was agreed at this meeting that cooperation would focus on, among other things, medicine and biotechnology, the exchange of information on STI policies and programmes, the promotion of innovation and technology transfer, food security and sustainable agriculture, high-technology zones/science parks and incubators, nanotechnology and high-performance computing.

The first meeting also decided to establish five thematic working areas, with each BRICS member providing leadership in one of them. South Africa will take the lead in astronomy, while Brazil will lead in the area of climate change and natural disaster mitigation, Russia in water resources and pollution treatment, India in geospatial technology and its applications, and China in new and renewable energy efficiency.

At the meeting in Brasilia, Minister Pandor and her counterparts of the other BRICS countries signed a MoU on Cooperation in STI. This agreement is one of the first thematic intergovernmental cooperation frameworks to be concluded by the BRICS members.

Speaking before her departure, Minister Pandor said: “The BRICS grouping is one of our most strategic alliances for international cooperation.

I look forward to engaging with my counterparts from these nations to ensure science and technology is put at the heart of not only the BRICS own economic partnership but that through our cooperation, we also harness research and innovation to optimally contribute to Africa’s development.”
The Action Plan 2012 – 2016 committed the ministers to promote agricultural cooperation and exchange information on strategies to ensure access to food for all, especially the most vulnerable populations of their countries, reducing the negative impact of climate change on food security and the adaptation of agriculture to climate change.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, and Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, participated in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development Meeting that was held in Brasilia, Brazil, on 13 March 2015.

The objective of the gathering was to look into what was agreed on in the Action Plan 2012 – 2016.

On the same day, the BRICS countries agreed on a Joint Declaration of the Fourth Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development.

The ministers have acknowledged that the BRICS countries have made a fundamental contribution to world food security, given that a sizable majority of the 209 million men and women who have been lifted out of food insecurity in the past two decades come from the BRICS countries as reported in the Food and Agriculture Organisation report of 2014, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World".

In his speech that he delivered at this meeting, Minister Zokwana said: “South Africa welcomes the proposal to increase our activities in relation to increasing trade opportunities and market access between the BRICS countries through promotional activities as well as reducing barriers to agricultural markets.

We strongly support the intent laid out in the declaration with regard to closer cooperation in respect to levelling the playing fields within the multilateral trade negotiation process at the WTO.’’
The WEF will provide an unrivalled occasion for senior decision-makers from industry, government, academia, civil society and the media to accelerate inclusive growth while bringing about sustainable development for the continent.
Members of the media are invited to apply for accreditation for the 25th WEF on Africa, taking place from 3 to 5 June 2015 in Cape Town. Convening under the theme “Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future”, the meeting will mark 25 years of change in Africa.

This year there is an increase in global efforts to agree on a new set of universal goals aimed at sustainable development.

The 25th WEF on Africa will therefore focus on the continent’s efforts to enhance competitiveness, invest in human capital, strengthen risk resilience and harness opportunities arising from technology adoption in all sectors.

Participants will help determine how to diminish vulnerability to commodity price fluctuations, capital market volatility, mounting public debt, youth unemployment, climate change and persistent development challenges.

All media wishing to attend the 25th WEF on Africa are requested to complete the online registration on the link before Friday 15 May.

As the number of accreditations issued is strictly limited, no late registrations will be accommodated.

No accreditation will be granted on site.
There is consensus that African Square Kilometre Array (SKA) partner countries should pool their resources in respect of infrastructure and knowledge in physics and astronomy, as phase one of SKA's construction is scheduled to start in 2016.
Africa's readiness to host some of the dishes of the SKA took centre stage as the ministers of science of the nine African partner countries met in Pretoria on Wednesday, 25 March 2015, to discuss future cooperation in radio astronomy and other related matters.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, addressed the meeting, which was attended by the ministers of Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana, Namibia and Botswana.

In their first meeting last year, the ministers agreed to establish an annual African SKA Ministerial Forum to provide political and strategic leadership to the SKA, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) project, and other initiatives.

The Ministerial Meeting was preceded by a working group meeting on 23 and 24 March.
Recently, government has been holding consultations with a number of nuclear vendor countries, the Department of Energy said in a statement.
Government is continuing to make significant progress in its engagement with various prospective nuclear vendor countries as part of expanding the nuclear new build programme.

Government has engaged with the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, France, Japan and China.

These are the countries that have Pressurised Water Reactor nuclear technology, similar to the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant in the Western Cape. South Africa has been safely using this technology for the past 30 years.

As part of the pre-procurement phase and preparation for the roll-out of the nuclear new build programme, government has entered into several negotiations with vendor countries and has signed intergovernmental framework agreements (IGFAs) with the Russian Federation, France Republic and People’s Republic of China.

The IGFA is a requirement for participation of countries in nuclear vendor parades workshops.

The nuclear new build programme is part of a sustainable energy mix that is being pursued to ensure energy security.

Government aims to add 9 600 Megawatts of nuclear energy to the national electricity grid.

The Department of Energy said that IGFAs with Canada and Japan were at an advanced stage of completion and were expected to be concluded soon.

South Africa has also signed similar agreements with the United States of America and South Korea.

Parallel to this work and as part of the preparatory phase, the department has been conducting nuclear vendor parade workshops with all the vendor countries that are ready and have accepted the invitation to participate.

The nuclear vendor parade workshops entail vendor countries presenting their nuclear technology offerings. The platform is created for vendor countries to showcase and demonstrate their capabilities on how, if chosen, they plan to meet South Africa’s needs. – Source:
In a highly competitive global economy, creating an enabling environment for local and foreign investments is paramount to business and economic growth,” said the Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry, Lionel October.
A total of 3 384 private-sector enterprises across all provinces have been assisted with projects to the value of R13,6 billion through incentive schemes and other programmes of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) during the 2013/14 financial year.

This came to light when the Director-General of the dti, Lionel October, addressed incentive beneficiaries and stakeholders at the Incentives Beneficiaries Profiling event, held at Cape Town City Hall.

Over the last three years of the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the department’s incentive and other programmes have impacted profoundly on corporate behaviour, with beneficial outcomes in terms of investment, growth and employment in sectors such as clothing and textiles, automotives, business process services, and film and television production.

“I am confident that our continued effort to bring about economic transformation is inclusive and contributing to employment creation,” said October.

Project beneficiaries included Eclipse Energy, Fabrinox, Film Africa, La Ric Mal, Baxter’s Auto, Solaire Direct and Spice Mecca.

Broadening participation was further achieved through the approval of 786 Scheme and Sector-Specific Assistance Scheme and 1 012 Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme emerging exporters to attend world-renowned exhibitions abroad, affording them the opportunity to promote their enterprises and showcase their products.
The week-long ITI, which started on Monday, 23 March, commenced with investment seminars, business-to-business meetings with potential importers and visits to
various business sites to learn how Russians
conduct their business.
A business delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is participating in the 6th Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) in Russia.

Welcoming the delegation, which consists of manufacturers and emerging exporters in the agroprocessing and food-related sectors, South Africa’s Ambassador to Russia, Mandisi Mpahlwa, said it was a good time for the companies to visit Russia.

He said Russia was looking to establish new relationships with suppliers of food products.

“We are taking the opportunities presented and are fulfilling the cooperation signed by President Jacob Zuma and President Vladimir Putin for South Africa and Russia to deepen relations and cooperate with each other,” said Amb Mpahlwa.

He said Russia was trying to boost its local production but at the same time attract new suppliers to ensure that the food security needs of its citizens are met.

Amb Mpahlwa encouraged the South African delegation to learn as much as they can about the market. The ITI has attracted huge interest from the Russian business community.

The Head of Investment Promotion at the dti, Yunus Hoosen, who is also leading the delegation, told the businesspeople that Russia is an important market in terms of its membership in BRICS. – Source:
The late Public Service and Administration Minister, Collins Chabane, was placed in his final resting place, on Human Rights Day, at the local cemetery near his ancestral village of Xikundu in Saselemani, Limpopo.
Minister Chabane passed away on Sunday, 15 March, in a crash on the N1 in Limpopo.

Two of his protectors, Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane, also died in the collision.

Following a beautiful and sombre funeral service at a specially-erected marquee earlier, Minister Chabane’s body, draped in the South African National Flag, was taken to the burial site where he was laid to rest. – Source:
Speaking at the official reburial of Marks in the North West, President Zuma said South Africa’s children and youth should be educated about Marks who hated racism and the oppression of people because of the colour of their skin.
Struggle stalwart John Beaver (JB) Marks worked with immeasurable commitment and dedication to ensure that the ideals of the Freedom Charter, which proclaim that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, were achieved, said President Jacob Zuma.

“We have come together to celebrate the life of a distinguished South African who was totally committed and dedicated to freedom, equality, justice and human rights for all,” President Zuma said on Sunday, 22 March.

JB Marks died in exile while living in Russia in the 1970s. He was buried in Moscow in the Novodevichy Cemetery with struggle hero Moses Kotane.

Their remains arrived back in the country earlier this month and a special reception to welcome them back was held at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

The official ceremony for the reburial of Marks’ remains was held at Tshing Sports Ground in Ventersdorp, North West, on Sunday. – Source:
21 March is the day set aside to celebrate human rights and to remind all South Africans of their human rights.
Hundreds of people, young and old, gathered in Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, to celebrate Human Rights Day on Saturday, 21 March.

The choice of location was to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Uitenhage Massacre that took place on 21 March 1985 and at the same time, popularise the national significance of the day to all citizens of the country.

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, represented President Jacob Zuma and officiated at the national Human Rights Day commemoration.

The theme for this year’s celebration was “Celebrating the Freedom Charter, Enjoying Equal Human Rights for All”.

As part of the celebrations, a National Social Cohesion Report Back Summit will take place in Port Elizabeth on 30 March.

The gathering is a follow-up event to the summit that was held at the Walter Sisulu Memorial Square of Remembrance in Kliptown, Soweto.

The summit will be attended by delegates from civil society, religious leaders and government representatives.

The purpose of the summit is to review progress and identify stumbling blocks to the nation-building and social cohesion programme as outlined by the resolution of the 2012 Summit.

It will also chart the way forward to speed up the nation-building project. –
This country document will provide guidance to companies on how they can promote and respect human rights in South Africa.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), together with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, has published a Business and Human Rights Country Guide (Country Guide) for South Africa.

The Country Guide provides insight into how business can relate with the labour, and land and property sectors.

This is to sensitise business to key events highlighting shortcomings between business and human rights, such as Marikana and labour brokering.

The Country Guide also canvasses challenges in the security and conflict area, which impacts on, among other things, the right to life and labour protests that, at times, turn violent.

The guide makes reference to and reflects on many cases the commission is involved with and further makes important recommendations to government and other stakeholders on issues, including the environment, such as: setting a minimum wage in sectors such as agriculture; improving monitoring of employment contracts; enforcing environmental obligations; and providing decent housing, among others.

The Country Guide is available on the commission’s website.
The aim of designating 2015 as the International Year of Evaluation is to advocate and promote evaluation and evidence-based policy-making at international, regional, national and local levels.
The Minister in The Presidency, Jeff Radebe, launched the International Year of Evaluation (EvalYear) on 19 March 2015 at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

This was part of international initiative championed by EvalPartners, the global movement to strengthen national evaluation capacities.

A number of activities are planned to celebrate the EvalYear, while also taking stock of where the country is in promoting and using evaluation evidence.
The signing was in terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two governments on Cooperation in the Fields of Wetland and Desert Ecosystems and Wildlife Conservation in 2013.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, and the Vice Administrator of the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China, Sun Zhagen, on Monday, 23 March 2105, sign a Wildlife Conservation Implementation Plan.

The Implementation Plan puts into action the terms of the MOU. It gives further impetus to the strategic cooperation between the two countries and will assist in aligning activities and potential projects under the framework of the MOU, including wildlife and biodiversity conservation as well as mechanisms for the sharing of information and exchanging ideas on demand reduction and cooperation on matters specific to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The action plan also promotes cooperation between the parties in the fields of law enforcement, compliance with CITES, technology transfer and other relevant legislation and conventions on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
The significant announcement was made at the “Global March for Lions” at Federation Square
in Melbourne on 13 March.
The Australian Government is taking action to protect African lions from the barbaric practice of canned hunting by banning the import and export of trophies made from these magnificent animals.

The tighter wildlife trade measures now in place under national environment law will act as a strong deterrent to discourage people from engaging in the unfair and unethical practice of “canned hunting”.

"Canned hunting is the practice where lions are raised in captivity for one reason only – so that those who are prepared to pay top dollar are guaranteed a 'kill'," said Minister Hunt.

"It is cruel. It is barbaric. And this is something that I, along with many other Australians, feel very strongly about. We want this horrific practice to be a thing of the past.

"These new rules mean that if you go overseas and engage in the appalling act of canned hunting, you can forget about bringing your lion trophies back to Australia. You don't deserve the right to celebrate the slaughter of these amazing creatures.”

The maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences is 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $170 000 for individuals and up to $850 000 for corporations. – Source:
The award was presented by the International Garden Tourism Network (IGTN) in Toronto, Canada.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden was recently announced as winner of the Garden of the Year Award at the 2015 International Garden Tourism Awards, the South African Botanical Institute (Sanbi) announced recently.  

The Garden Tourism Awards are presented to organisations and individuals "who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction," IGTN said in a statement.

In consultation with a global jury network, nine awards were announced by the IGTN, and garden tourism-related events from Japan, United Kingdom, Thailand, Brussels, British Columbia, Dubai, Netherlands, United States of America as well as South Africa were honoured.

"Scooping the Garden of the Year Award has once more underlined the important role that Kirstenbosch plays in contributing to the country's tourism figures and, having hit the one million visitors in a year in 2014, this award is a further boost for potential visitors," Sanbi said on its website. – Source:
The award, based on nominations by 1,56 million airport hotel guests worldwide, evaluated 12 key performance indicators of the guest experience, including hotel service staff standards, cleanliness and comfort of rooms and accessibility between terminal and hotel.

International airline quality watchdog, Skytrax has announced the World’s best airport hotels for 2015.

The 320-room Crowne Plaza Changi Airport took first place and is the first international brand hotel to open in the immediate vicinity of the world-class Changi Airport. 

While South African airport hotels did not feature in the overall global list, the 138-roomed InterContinental OR Tambo was named the best in Africa.

The Best Five Airport Hotels in Africa are:

  1. InterContinental OR Tambo
  2. Hotel Verde Cape Town
  3. Southern Sun OR Tambo
  4. Novotel Cairo Airport
  5. Radisson Blu Addis Ababa.
For the overall world’s best airport awards Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport claimed the 24th position, followed shortly by Cape Town International in 26th position and King Shaka International at number 28.

All three the local airports moved up between two and four positions from last year. – Source:
The new game will be available from Spring 2015 and will feature iconic landmark tokens and new gameplay – where players race round the board to visit as many locations as possible, collecting passport stamps along the way.
Cape Town joins 21 other world cities who are celebrating the announcement that they had been included in the Special Edition game of Monopoly Here & Now (World Edition) to honour the game's 80th anniversary.

Cape Town was the only South African city to make it onto the travel-themed board which is being developed by Monopoly makers Hasbro.

Says Cape Town Tourism Executive Marketing Manager, Velma Corcoran; “This is such a great way of getting people of all ages from all over to have fun while immersing themselves in the world of travel and tourism. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us and felt that Cape Town belonged in the game.” – Source:
Chardonnay-du-Monde is an international wine competition that has been held every year since 1993. It focuses specifically on Chardonnay wines.
Groot Constantia's 2013 Chardonnay has been judged as the best in the world at the recent 22nd annual Chardonnay du Monde competition, which was held from 11 to 14 March in the Burgundy wine region of France.

Beating more than 800 other entrants from across the globe to be judged best overall, Groot Constantia's 2013 Chardonnay proudly represented South Africa as one of only two Chardonnays from South Africa to feature in the top 56 and to receive a gold medal.

"Our Chardonnay has always been an overachiever," says Jean Naude, chief executive of Groot Constantia, who explains that Groot Constantia's chardonnay varietal has won a total of 16 gold medals over the past 10 vintages. – Source: Groot Constantia
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