Issue 161 | 31 March 2015
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The bilateral interaction between the two countries is centred on the following key areas: quality of life and human resources; people-to-people relations; energy and infrastructure; natural resources; defence, safety and security; and trade and investment.

President Jacob Zuma is undertaking a State Visit to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria from 30 March to 1 April 2015 at the invitation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

South Africa and Algeria enjoy excellent bilateral cooperation through the framework of the South Africa-Algeria Binational Commission of Cooperation (BNC).  President Zuma and President Bouteflika convened the Sixth Session of the BNC.

President Zuma was accompanied by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence; Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements; Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services; and Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry.

Algeria is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the region and bilateral trade has grown progressively over the last few years, thus providing great potential to further enhance trade and investment cooperation.

Algeria is a strategic partner in the North Africa region, accounting for 32% of total trade in 2014. Total exports to Algeria were valued at R1,8 billion, whilst total imports from Algeria were valued at R86 million.




South Africa and Egypt has enjoyed warm and cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in May 1994. The relations culminated in the creation of a structured framework of cooperation in the form of a Ministerial Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) in 1995.


President Jacob Zuma will undertake a Working Visit to Cairo, in the Arab Republic of Egypt, on 1 April 2015, for consultations with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

The Working Visit to Egypt presents an ideal opportunity to further strengthen and consolidate historic and strategic relations between the two countries and to discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern.

South Africa’s total exports to Egypt by the end of 2014 reached R973 million, whereas imports from Egypt recorded R659 million at the end of 2014. South Africa’s exports to and imports from Egypt are mainly mineral products and prepared foodstuffs.




President Zuma said: “We also extend our sympathies to the Government and the peoples of all other countries whose nationals perished in the crash."


On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all the victims of the Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 that crashed in France on 24 March 2015.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has been informed that no South African was on board.




“He was a great leader who spearheaded the transformation of Singapore from a tiny port city to the prosperous international financial, business and transport hub that it is today.”



The Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, represented President Jacob Zuma and the Republic of South Africa at the funeral of Singapore's founding father and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in Singapore.

Prime Minister from 1956 to 1990, Yew passed away on 23 March 2015 and was buried on Sunday, 29 March 2015.

“We once again extend our deepest condolences to the people of Singapore on the passing of their icon. We are reminded of our own painful passing of President Nelson Mandela recently and understand too well the pain that they are going through. We wish the Government and people of Singapore strength during this difficult period'', said President Zuma.




The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has committed itself to continue to assist the people of Lesotho in this process by making available expertise from member states.


SADC Facilitator and South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, visited the Kingdom of Lesotho on 30 March 2015, where he participated in a ceremony to close down the SADC Facilitation Mission.

The ceremony witnessed the lowering of the SADC flag and the official closing down of the SADC Facilitation Mission was addressed by the Facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa, Lesotho's Prime Minister, Phakalitha Mosisili, and SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax.

The closing ceremony marked the end of the facilitation mission, following the successful SADC intervention, which culminated in the recently held elections declared credible, free and fair by elections observers. The elections arose from provisions of the Maseru Facilitation Accord signed by all Lesotho's political parties as part of efforts to create political stability in the country.

On the other hand, the law enforcement agencies signed the Maseru Security Accord, which resulted in the taking of leave of absence by three senior Defence and Police officers which created a climate for the stabilisation of the security situation in Lesotho.

Even though the SADC Facilitation Mission offices was closed down, the SADC Double Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, held in Pretoria early this year, urged all Lesotho's political role players to focus their attention, post the elections, on constitutional and security sector reforms.




The issues agreed to by the various parties involved in the discussions include working together on the Big Data Africa Programme for Radio Astronomy to build capacity and skills that will position Africa for opportunities in the big data revolution.


The second annual SKA African Partner Countries Ministerial Meeting concluded with several key agreements having been reached, propelling the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) and SKA projects forward.

The African SKA Ministerial Meeting was recently convened to discuss and finalise the following issues:

•             the SKA African Partner Countries’ Memorandum of Understanding
•             the SKA African Readiness Strategy and Joint Implementation Plan.

This was in line with the resolutions of the first SKA African Partner Countries Ministerial Meeting, in March 2015, at which the ministers committed their countries to finalising the SKA Readiness Strategy and Joint Implementation Plan by the end of March, in preparation for hosting the SKA and AVN projects.

The parties also agreed to work on the human capital development programme, which is aimed at developing the requisite scientific and engineering skills for the SKA and AVN projects.

The ministers agreed to work towards a governance framework for radio astronomy initiatives, in particular the SKA and AVN projects, and to provide political and strategic leadership to SKA African partner countries on the AVN, SKA and other relevant astronomy programmes and initiatives.

The African SKA partner countries' ministers also committed themselves to participating effectively in the Joint Africa-European Union Strategic Partnership and the African-European Radio Astronomy Platform programmes and activities.




The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, welcomed the centre, saying that it was critical to developing broadband solutions in line with national policy to drive universal access.


A new broadband centre intended to support the work of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has been opened at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth.

"The centre is strongly aligned with the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) information and communications technology research and development and human capacity development objectives. It is also aligned with the National Broadband Policy for South Africa, which aims to ensure universal access to reliable, affordable and secure broadband infrastructure and services by 2020, and to stimulate sustainable uptake and usage," Pandor said.

Broadband is a key challenge for the massive science project that will be built outside Carnarvon in the Northern Cape and the Australian outback.

Around 3 000 radio telescopes will scan the universe, producing a flood of data that scientists have to be able to process as far away as the United Kingdom.

"As a leader in optical communication research, NMMU is delighted to be partnering with the DST and Cisco on the SKA project, toward networking with the stars," said Professor Tim Gibbon, who will head the university's new Centre for Broadband Communication. – Source:




The indaba, hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and held over two days in Midrand, Gauteng, aimed to engage and generate dialogue between the public sector and key private-sector stakeholders on black industrialisation.


A R1-billion incentive scheme to support the creation of large and competitive black industrialists was to be made available, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said at the closing session of the Black Industrialists Indaba, held recently.  

Davies said that South Africa's path to economic prosperity should continue to be anchored on the twin imperatives of industrialisation on the one hand; and economic inclusion, of which the Black Industrialists Development Programme is an important pillar, on the other.

The dti launched the Black Industrialists Development Programme in August last year and is aimed at creating more than 100 black industrialists within three years and put black industrialists at the forefront of South Africa's industrialisation efforts.

The programme promotes the participation of black industrialists as manufacturers for the key sectors identified in the Industrial Policy Action Plan as well as other sectors driving economic growth and development. – Source:




Minister Zulu said the Government's policy interventions aimed to ensure that small enterprises grew into thriving businesses: "They cannot remain small forever".


Small businesses were key to unlocking economic opportunities and achieving inclusive growth, Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, said recently at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Milan, Italy.

South Africa's high rate of unemployment, poverty and extreme inequality called for bold and far-sighted interventions, she said.

"As government, we remain open and receptive to new policy ideas that will help accelerate the formation of new businesses and sustainability of existing ones."

She said the Government would focus on providing financial and non-financial support to small businesses as it wanted to reduce obstacles to doing business wherever possible.

The GEC provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to explore business networking opportunities and to learn and interact with their peers across the globe. Around 4 000 delegates from 150 countries attended the gathering.

"We see the GEC as a powerful platform to learn what other successful nations are doing to promote and sustain enterprise development," said Zulu.

South Africa will be the first African country to host the GEC in 2017. The bid was awarded to Johannesburg as part of the opening ceremony at GEC 2015 in Milan.

Accepting the award on behalf of Johannesburg, Zulu said: "GEC 2017 will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders." – Source:




The DWS/WESSA Eco-Schools Water Project – officially launched at the Youth Summit on Water and Climate Change in July 2014 – encourages water conservation and the wise use of water resources at school level from grades R to 12.


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has won a UN “Water for Life” Best Practices in Water Award jointly with Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA).

The DWS/WESSA Eco-Schools Water Project was awarded in the category “Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices” and shares the award with Project India.

The award recognises outstanding projects that are working to ensure sustainable long-term management of water resources and to help achieve the water and sanitation targets of the millennium development goals, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The theme of the awards for this year was “Water and Sustainable Development”.

The 2015 awards were formally presented at the opening of the Water for Life Voices Exhibition at the UN Headquarters in New York City on 30 March 2015.




The new network addition will also see South African Airways’ (SAA) intercontinental reach expand significantly through the carrier’s onward codeshare partnership with Etihad Airways.


The first flight of SAA to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates departed on 29 March 2015, said SAA.

“SAA’s first flight, SA 278, to Abu Dhabi departed this morning [Sunday] at 09:30 and arrives at 20:25 local time in Abu Dhabi. The daily service sees frequencies between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi double with partner Etihad Airways continuing its seven weekly departures.”

 “Since first signing our codeshare agreement in 2013, the important partnership between SAA and Etihad Airways has grown positively. Our deepening relationship not only sees both airlines enjoy network expansion through code-sharing, but together we are exploring means to share knowledge and best practice across a wide variety of aviation-related and commercial matters,” said Acting SAA chief executive officer Nico Bezuidenhout.

More than 1 000 connections will also be offered each week over Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub to key markets, including the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and North and South East Asia, including China.

The airlines have also significantly expanded their codeshare agreement to include a total of 51 routes, more than double the previous number.

It is estimated that there are currently more than 200 South African companies doing business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and trade between the countries passed the R20-billion mark in 2013. South African exports to the UAE rose from R5,2 billion in 2009 to more than R11 billion in 2013 and it continues to grow. – Source:



The study was conducted and found that more than eight billion people visit national parks and nature reserves across the globe every year, and that the visitors to those protected areas generate more than an estimated R7 trillion for tourism (as calculated from $600 @ R12.02/$) annually

According to new information, "Walk on the Wilde Side: Estimating the Global Magnitude of Visits to Protected Areas," which was published in PLOS Biology, an open access, peer-reviewed journal, South Africa's Table Mountain National Park and Kruger National Park are part of the most popular parks and/or nature preserves in the world.

According to the study, the Table Mountain National Park (formerly Cape Peninsula National Park) receives around 1,4 million visits per year, making it the sixth most visited park on the face of the Earth.

The Kruger National Park receives one million visits per year, making it the eight most visited park.

Robin Naido, the World Wildlife Fund's lead wildlife scientist and a contributor to the study, told CNN that the study's authors analysed data from 556 parks worldwide to estimate the economic value of visits to the world's most popular protected areas. The study did not include Antarctica.

The most visited park in the world, with 14,4 million visits a year, is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco in the United States. – Source:




The team was chosen by a select group of experts who were given the task of picking a balanced side on the basis of performances in the tournament. Statistics were used but were not the sole basis for selections.

Following the completion of the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has picked the team of the tournament.

Brendon McCullum was named captain of the side. In addition to McCullum, the side includes four New Zealanders – Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Daniel Vettori – three Australians in Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith and Mitchell Starc; two South Africans, AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel; with Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara as wicketkeeper-batsman.

Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor, who finished with 433 runs in six matches, was named as the 12th man.

South Africa’s One-Day International (ODI) captain, AB de Villiers, has reached a new rankings milestone following the completion of the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In the ICC player rankings for ODI batsmen, De Villiers has become the 11th batsman overall, and second South African after Hashim Amla, to break the 900-point mark.

In ranking terms, 900 points marks out a player as truly great, the ICC’s official website reports. – Source:
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