Issue 166 | 30 April 2015
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
“The South African High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is in contact with authorities in Nepal and is on standby to assist South African nationals.”
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, following a massive earthquake on 25 April 2015 that claimed thousands of lives.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal and neighbouring countries in the aftermath of the earthquake that has struck the Kathmandu Valley. On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I send my deepest condolences to the Government of Nepal and to everyone affected, particularly to the families and friends of those killed and injured," said President Zuma.



The SADC Industrialisation Strategy is anchored on three pillars, namely, Industrialisation, Competitiveness and Regional Integration, and premised on a three-phase long perspective covering 2015-2063. The Industrialisation Strategy is aligned to the Continental Vision, Agenda 2063, a global strategy aimed at optimising the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans.

An Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was held in Harare, Zimbabwe on 29 April 2015. President Zuma, who led the South Africa delegation, briefed the Summit on the recent attacks against foreign nationals, including those from SADC Member States, that occurred in parts of Durban and Johannesburg.

While condemning the attacks, the Summit commended the measures that the Government of South Africa had put in place and resolved to work together to deal with the situation and ensure it never recurs.

The Summit approved the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap and reaffirmed the importance of industrial development in poverty alleviation and the economic emancipation of the people of the region.

It underscored the critical importance of infrastructure in support of industrialisation and the need to explore appropriate funding mechanisms to support the implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy. A costed Action Plan to facilitate the urgent implementation of the Strategy and Roadmap will now be finalised.

The Summit also approved the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2015 – 2020) that would guide the implementation of SADC programmes in the next five years, with four major priority areas, namely, Industrial Development and Market Integration; Infrastructure in Support of Regional Integration; Peace and Security Cooperation as a prerequisite or regional integration and Special Programmes of regional dimension.

The SADC Leaders discussed preparations for the upcoming Third COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Summit (Egypt, June 2015) and launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area, as well as preparations for the launch of negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Area.

South Africa is one of 15 Member States of SADC and currently chairs the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. Other Member States include Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
South Africa marked 21 years since its first democratic elections, held on 27 April 1994. This year also marks the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter, the historic road-map to the country's struggle for freedom and ultimately the achievement of democracy.
Hundreds of people descended on the Union Buildings’ southern lawns in Pretoria to mark Freedom Day on 27 April 2015. The theme for the celebrations this year was “Celebrating the Third Decade of our Freedom through Accelerating Radical Economic Transformation”. 

Addressing the crowd, President Jacob Zuma recommitted government to the vision of building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

"We recommit ourselves as government to ensure that all policies and plans that we develop and implement, build a better future for our children and the youth," he said.

The president said the country was in a much better place than it was 21 years ago, despite its challenges.

“Millions of people now have access to education, health care and water which they did not have in 1994. We continue to explore ways to improve quality education. We continue to implement programmes which will lead to economic freedom."

The government would use the National Development Plan to achieve the type of society South Africa wanted in 2030. The government had also put in place other programmes to reach these goals, such as Operation Phakisa, the massive industrialisation and infrastructure programmes. These were set up to include in the economy previously disadvantaged people, women, youth and people with disabilities.

"We are still learning but we are determined," President Zuma said. "We are working to build a future where every citizen of our country lives in a community with proper infrastructure, be it a road, school, clinic, recreational facilities, a community hall, electricity, water and sanitation. We are building communities that have effective and responsive police stations and community policing forums, and where the people and the police work together to fight crime."
The President called the meeting to hear the concerns of foreign nationals through their organisations, communicate government efforts to end the attacks and discuss possible solutions to ensure that these attacks did not happen again. 
President Jacob Zuma held fruitful discussions with leaders of organisations representing foreign nationals resident in South Africa at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria on 24 April 2015.

The meeting was attended by over 50 representatives from various organisations representing foreign nationals in South Africa. “As government we believe in dealing with the challenges we face together. Therefore we called this meeting so we can discuss and involve organisations representing foreign nationals in South Africa in finding collective solutions so that these attacks do not happen again.

We have to ensure that permanent solutions are found, so that all our people can continue to live side by side together like we have done for years,” said President Zuma. The meeting was unanimous in acknowledging and commending government efforts to stop the attacks.

The attendees also relayed their experiences in their everyday lives in South Africa but committed to work together with South African authorities to address the challenges. The President informed the meeting that government took the matter seriously and it would work on a long term plan that addressed all the concerns and ensured that the attacks did not take place again in South Africa.
President Zuma said the challenges of underdevelopment that were forcing people to embark on the risky journeys across the Mediterranean Sea needed to be urgently addressed.
On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolences to families of the hundreds of migrants from the African Continent who perished after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya.

President Zuma furthermore extended South Africa’s sympathies to the governments and the peoples of the countries whose nationals died in this unfortunate tragedy, which was considered to be among one of the most deadly disasters seen during the migrant crisis in the southern Mediterranean.
The Forum was one of the events that preceded the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. Other events included the Africa-Asia Summit from 22 to 23 April in Jakarta and the 10th anniversary of the New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership, in Bandung on 24 April.
Deputy President Cyril Ramphosa says trade between Africa and Asia need to increase to ensure the realisation of its respective economic development agendas. The Deputy President was addressing the Asia-Africa Business Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia on 21 April 2015. He said there were many valuable lessons that Africa could learn from Asia’s success.

“We are therefore delighted that a platform of this nature exists, allowing us to share best practice and explore opportunities for greater economic cooperation. This gathering allows us to look at ways to grow value added exports, increase investment flows, improve trade facilitation mechanisms and create more conducive trade and investment environments,” the Deputy President said. He added that the current trade imbalance needed to be addressed. 

The Asian region grew by 5.4% in 2014 compared to the world average of 3.3% in the same period. Trade flows between the two continents have increased significantly over the years, totalling US$ 423 billion in 2013. However, as of 2014, Asia accounted for only 26% of Africa’s trade flows.

In addition, all of the top 10 Asian imports from Africa were commodity-based, with crude oil and gas accounting for 58% of imports and ores and metals accounting for a further 20%. Africa’s imports from Asia were more diverse, comprising of machinery, vehicles and electronics, which accounted for 30% of imports.

The Deputy President outlined a number of reforms required to place Africa-Asia trade on a higher trajectory of growth. He also outlined the progress made by a number of African countries to implement the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, which would add impetus to Asia’s involvement in Africa.

“Soon we will begin work, under the leadership of the African Union, to create a continental free trade area, bringing 54 countries together into a massive single market.

“By strengthening South-South cooperation, we can begin a new era in global trade – one that will be driven and sustained by two of the world’s fastest-growing regions,” the Deputy President said.

The Bandung Conference, which was held in 1955 in Bandung, laid a firm foundation for the Asia-Africa solidarity against colonialism and apartheid. South Africa was represented at the 1955 Conference by African National Congress leaders, the late Moses Kotane and Maulvi Cachalia. 
The commission celebrated and applauded the great bilateral relationship between the two member states.
As the South African Department of Water and Sanitation continues to harness its relationship with the neighbouring states through various bilateral agreements, the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, last week met with her counterpart, Botswana’s Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Onkokame Kitso Mokaila, furthering the programme on shared watercourses.

The two ministers met for a joint commission on the cross-border water supply project to benefit mainly the Middlepits cluster of villages in Botswana. The afore-mentioned project is already complete and neighbouring communities in the two countries started enjoying the fruits of this partnership in 2014.
Ms Akisheva succeeds Mandiyaye Niang (a national of Senegal) who, in September 2013, was appointed as permanent judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, on 22 April 2015, received credentials from Zhuldyz Akisheva, the newly-appointed Regional Representative for Southern Africa’s United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime.

Deputy Minister Mfeketo was joined by Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Thabang Makwetla, and Deputy Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla.

The UNODC-ROSA (Regional Office for Southern Africa) was formed in 1997 and covers 11 countries in the region, namely; Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The mandate and functions of the UNODC-ROSA include, among others, addressing issues related to international drugs, the combatting of transnational organised crime, as well as international terrorism.

Although the UNODC receives its funding from the regular budget of the UN, the sheer scale of its mandate and operational activities are such that most of its funding comes from extra-budgetary resources provided in the main, by the donor community.
“The programme represents the first phase of an extensive programme which hopes to draw students from South Africa’s tertiary institutions in the near future.”
Fifty South African trainees have left for China to embark on a four-month nuclear power plant operations training stint.

Department of Energy spokesperson Johannes Mokobane told Fin 24 the first group comprised employees from the South African energy industry, including the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa), Eskom nuclear energy supplier Koeberg, Eskom and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

“In the next phase we plan to send 250 participants to China to be trained at various levels,” he said.

The training will take place at the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Tsinghua Universities, following a skills development cooperation agreement signed in support of South Africa’s nuclear new build programme between Necsa and Chinese State Nuclear Power Technology Company.

According to the Department of Energy the training will be in the form of lectures as well as tours to some of China’s nuclear facilities.

Trainees will receive lectures in a variety of topics, including nuclear safety regulatory system, nuclear island system equipment, codes and safety oversight, steam power conversion system, material science, conventional island system equipment, thermodynamics and basis of reactor thermal hydraulics, radiation protection, instrumentation and control theories, water chemistry, operation theories, and nuclear safety culture. – Source:
Spur Corporation is a multi-brand restaurant franchisor group listed on the JSE.
Spur has signed its first Ethiopian Spur Steak Ranch franchise agreement with Cucina Trading, based in Addis Ababa. The Spur Steak Ranch, which will be situated at Abyssinia Plaza in the capital, is expected to be operational within six months.

A second franchise, Panarottis Pizza Pasta, is expected to open within a year.

“Ethiopia is a dynamic, productive country with one of the highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates in Africa. It holds many opportunities for entrepreneurs like our new partners," said Pierre van Tonder, CEO of Spur Corporation in South Africa.

"Spur International plans to have 100 restaurants in Africa outside of South Africa within five years, so it makes sense for us to have a presence in one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies."

Spur International currently has 39 restaurants in 12 African countries north of South Africa, and will soon be opening another two in Arusha, Tanzania, as well as one in Kenya and one in Zambia.

At present the only international eateries in Ethiopia are offered by a few branded hotels. There are no international franchises in the country. The Spur Steak Ranch at Abyssinia Plaza will be the first. – Source:
“The achievement of this milestone is in line with the commitments made by Eskom in terms of both time and cost and the result of successful interaction between Eskom and our contractors.”
Eskom’s Sere Wind Farm near Vredendal in the Western Cape achieved its full commercial operational capacity of a 100 MW on 31 March 2015.

Mr Brian Molefe, Eskom’s Acting Chief Executive said: “Sere is Eskom’s first large-scale renewable energy project, and forms part of our commitment to renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

The Sere plant adds 100 MW to the national power grid and contributes to saving nearly 6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over its 20 years expected operating life, with average annual energy production of about 298 000 MWh, enough to supply about 124 000 standard homes.”

“The unwavering commitment of the project team to drive the target dates set out and address issues timeously is something we can indeed be proud of as an organisation,” added Molefe.

All 46 wind turbines have been erected and energised, and the construction of the new Skaapvlei substation and a 44 kilometre 132 kV distribution line has been completed.

The first wind turbine at the farm was erected in December 2013. The project took the first step towards the goal of synchronising the wind turbines to the grid when the first string of 7 turbines were energised on 6 October; 2014.

Although Sere had been completely energised and feeding power to the grid since 30 December 2014, the first quarter of 2015 was used to ensure that the milestone of commercial operation is achieved.

The Sere Wind Farm is Eskom’s first utility scale renewable energy project. “The project is one of the largest wind energy projects in South Africa and is important in showing Eskom’s commitment to the growing role that renewable power will play in the future,” Mr Molefe said.

The World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and Agence Française de Dévelopment helped fund the project.
The 3 133 square metres of blankets claims to be the largest area covered by a blanket. The previous record was 1 020 square metres.
The gardens of the Union Buildings in Pretoria were recently covered with thousands of handmade blankets recently as part of a Guinness World Record attempt by 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.

The blankets – crocheted and knitted by South Africans and other supporters around the world – were collected by 67 Blankets, an initiative set up by Carolyn Steyn to support the 67 minutes for Mandela Day campaign, held in July.

Volunteers worked late into the night on 20 April 2015 to ensure the blankets were laid out and presented correctly for the judging of this record-breaking event.

Steyn told News24 that 67 Blankets started after Zelda La Grange, the late President Nelson Mandela's long-time assistant, challenged her to make 67 blankets for Mandela Day in 2014.

"I don't have 67 friends to help and I can't do it on my own, so I turned to Facebook and created a group at 03:00 one morning in desperation. The next day I woke up to hundreds of members and now we are thousands and thousands."

The goal was to collect 21 000 blankets by April 21. "The fact is we can't really say how many blankets we have, as more and more keep pouring in," Steyn said.

South Africans from all walks of life got involved in the project: school children, people in old age homes, rugby players and prisoners.

"The deeper message is that we are binding our nation together with colourful threads and I think it's so powerful, especially at this time," she said, referring to the recent attacks on foreign nationals.

"I think we are putting out a very powerful statement that we are anti-xenophobia in every form, that we are knitting together our society, that we are knitting together our nation, and that we are all Africans." – Source:
This year's World Book Day celebrations' theme in South Africa is “Come read with me”.
World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Day) is a yearly event celebrated on 23 April, initiated by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Catalonia, Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day.

This became a part of the celebrations of the Saint George’s Day (also 23 April). In 1995, UNESCO decided that World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on this date because of the Catalonian festival and because the date is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare.

The World Book Day (WBD) national celebrations in South Africa were coordinated by the Centre for the Book, an Outreach Unit of the National Library of South Africa, mandated to promote a culture of reading, writing and publishing in all local languages and easy access to books for all.
"It is exciting to bring the World Responsible Tourism Awards to Cape Town and Africa," said Harold Goodwin, the chair of the judging panel. "There are many world-class winners being announced today. Since 2004, African businesses from 14 countries have won awards, 20% of the awards winners have been from Africa."
Gansbaai is the overall winner in the African Responsible Tourism Awards, beating 21 other finalists from around the continent in taking gold.

The community of tourism businesses in the small Western Cape town work together to make better places to live in and great places to visit.

The awards were handed out on 16 April during the World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town.

They were sponsored by Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

More than 100 tourism professionals, media, ministers and officials attended the event. Heidi van der Watt, the managing director of Better Tourism Africa, pinpointed what made the award winners the leaders in responsible tourism in Africa.

"Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the well-being of local communities and the longevity of their environments.

They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won't undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism.

They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa," she said.

Tim Harris, the chief executive of Wesgro, handed out the awards. "We are pleased to recognise the vision of the award winners for providing leadership in their respective sectors throughout Africa, and effectively contributing to growing tourism in a sustainable manner," he said.
– Source:
As part of this project, Google Maps will also develop teaching notes on Robben Island for educators who will be using this interactive tour as an educational tool.
Google Maps released the first­ever street view imagery of Robben Island, as well as an audiovisual tour hosted on Google Cultural Institute, on 22 April, five days ahead of South Africa’s Freedom Day.

In an effort to marry history with the future, Google and Robben Island Museum partnered to make this global heritage landmark virtually accessible to the world via the Internet, the Museum said in a statement.

The newly launched guided tour of the island includes a virtual visit to South Africa's first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela’s prison cell and activist Robert Sobukwe’s house.

The imagery and tour provides glimpses into the story of the Island and some of its more famous prisoners.

The partnership hopes to involve and educate younger generations, especially, by using the Google app and new technology to infiltrate classrooms, and social spaces with educational matter.

Former anti-apartheid prisoner Ahmed Kathrada says: “Not being able to see or interact with children for 20 years was possibly the most difficult thing to endure during my time on the island ... There is therefore a kind of poetic justice that children in classrooms all over the world will now be able to visit Robben Island using this technology.”

The Robben Island interactive tour can be accessed on mobile phones, from desktops and from Google’s Cultural Institute, where Robben Island Museum will host five exhibits depicting the history for the Island.

The app can be downloaded at
– Source:
Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia have accepted invitations to compete in the event with the other participants being the 12 CSA Affiliates as well as Associate Member, KZN Inland.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) recently launched the 16-team Africa T20 Cup which will be the curtain-raiser to the 2015-16 season.

The tournament will be a World Cup-style competition, consisting of four pools of four teams each with the winners of each pool advancing to the semi-finals and eventually to the final.

Easterns (Willowmoore Park), North West (Senwes Park), Griquas (Diamond Oval) and Free State (Mangaung Oval) will be the venues for the four pool matches and some of these venues will also host the semi-final and final depending on which teams advance and based on an assessment of the quality of venue hosting during the pool stages.

The tournament will run from September 4 to October 4.

“This tournament is an exciting new concept for our cricket,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “It should provide impetus at the start of a season with exciting and competitive playing opportunities plus revenue generating potential for each team.

“We are keen to lead the way in developing an Africa-wide competition.”

CSA has also announced the appointment of Makhaya Ntini as the Africa T20 Cup Ambassador.

“I am both delighted and honoured to be invited to fulfil this role,” Ntini said. “The development of African cricket is something that is very close to my heart and I welcome this important initiative.” – Source:
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced details for its first exhibition in Africa.
The NBA will stage an exhibition game in South Africa on 1 August. Luol Deng of the Miami Heat will lead Team Africa against a Team World, captained by Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The game will be at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg.

Basketball is more popular in West Africa than southern Africa, but South Africa’s main cable TV network shows live NBA games, and the NBA has visited the country regularly recently to hold training camps and charity events. The NBA opened an office in South Africa in 2010.

The NBA said it’ll also bring over coaches for the game, including coach of the year Mike Budenholzer of Atlanta. – Source:
Stay Connected with us
For back issues of Newsflash visit:

Your comments are welcome and can be sent to