Issue 178 | 17 July 2015
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President Zuma said the Seventh BRICS Summit succeeded in deepening cooperation among BRICS nations and in bolstering the BRICS formation for a greater contribution to global political and economic affairs.
President Jacob Zuma has returned to South Africa upbeat and pleased with the outcomes of the VII (Seventh) BRICS Summit in Ufa, in the Russian Federation, where he led the South African delegation.

The Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit took place under the theme: “BRICS Partnership – A Powerful Factor in Global Development”. 

"… the world's geopolitics is changing and the BRICS bloc of countries is having a significant impact, particularly on the developing economies. We are pleased with the outcomes of the Seventh BRICS Summit," the President said.

Among other things, the BRICS leaders welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement the New Development Bank (NDB) signed during the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza. The leaders said the NDB should serve as a powerful instrument for financing infrastructure investment and sustainable development projects in the BRICS and other developing countries as well as emerging market economies.

The summit also noted the conclusion of the ratification process of the Treaty Establishing a Contingent Reserve Arrangement of the BRICS and its entry into force and the signing of the BRICS Inter-Central Bank Agreement.

President Zuma was accompanied to the summit by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Finance, Nhlanhla Nene; Energy, Tina Joematt-Petterson; State Security, David Mahlobo: and Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa: as well as business representatives from South Africa. 
The visit from 13 to 17 July focused on economic and trade matters, specifically, on how state-owned enterprises could be utilised to promote economic growth and address challenges of poverty and unemployment.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this week led a South African delegation on an Official Visit to China.

During his visit, the Deputy President paid a courtesy call on China's President Xi Jinping and met with Premier Li Keqiang. He also held bilateral discussions with his counterpart, Vice President LI Yuanchao, in Beijing, to discuss a number of issues within the context of the Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme.

These relate to trade and investment cooperation, financial cooperation, infrastructure development, energy issues, vocational training and South Africa's co-hosting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which will be hosted later this year in South Africa.

Deputy President Ramaphosa also visited the Chinese Academy of Governance to explore potential areas of cooperation, particularly in the area of skills development for middle and senior government officials. While in Beijing, Deputy President Ramaphosa addressed the South Africa-China State-Owned Enterprises Seminar and a Business Forum Lunch. – Source:


The SAFAHCR is a platform for former Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Chief Representatives to lend their extensive experience, expertise and institutional memory on international relations and diplomacy towards the execution of South Africa’s foreign policy interests.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) jointly launched the South African Association of Former Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Chief Representatives (SAFAHCR) and the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR) on Thursday, 16 July 2015.

Former Heads of Missions will be lending their experience to stimulate discussions on international relations and diplomacy so as to advance the public’s understanding and support for South Africa’s key foreign policy objectives. The association will promote the exchange of policy views and information, which will encourage greater understanding of global, regional and bilateral trends, as well as provide inputs for government policy formulation.

The association will also provide a forum for ongoing discussions and analyses pertaining to international political, economic and cultural matters, as well as issues pertaining to science and technology. The association will therefore function as a non-profit, independent, critical thinking and constructive analysis institution. It will have a constructive relationship with DIRCO and other government departments, mentor young diplomats, and serve as an institutional memory for South Africa’s foreign relations.

SACOIR was established by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in consultation with Cabinet. The council comprises members who were appointed by the Minister from academia, business, civil society and labour.

SACOIR will serve as a consultative platform for South African think-tanks, academics and other relevant representatives of civil society to interact with DIRCO on the development and implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.

Critical to the implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy recommendations embedded in the National Development Plan (NDP), SACOIR will build momentum and give effect, particularly to the NDP’s Chapter 7 proposals, in facing the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment through foreign policy engagements.
This historic agreement is testament to the success of a negotiated and diplomatic solution, to which South Africa had steadfastly and continuously lent its full support.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, recently conducted a media briefing on international developments at the OR Tambo Building, Pretoria.

She, among others, addressed developments relating to the sanctions on Iran.

“The South African Government welcomes the announcement on 14 July 2015 that a Final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was agreed to between the P5+1 and Iran on outstanding matters regarding the Iranian nuclear programme and supports the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“We further welcome the announcement that the International Atomic and Energy Agency and Iran had concluded a roadmap to resolve outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear programme by the end of 2015.

“In association with the position of the Non-Alignment Movement, we welcome the lifting of unilaterally imposed sanctions on Iran and further reiterate support for Iran’s inalienable right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

“We look forward to the resumption of normal bilateral economic and trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran once sanctions have been lifted.”
The idea of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Special Force was mooted in 2007 after regional countries resolved to contribute troops to defend member states from revolts and aggression.
A SADC standby force could soon be a reality, as a Special Forces Planning Conference in Kariba, Zimbabwe, looked into the final logistics of its establishment, according to a report.

Zimbabwe's The Herald newspaper reported that the conference, which was attended by 66 delegates from the region, was also looking at mapping training exercises set to start in August.

The exercises would help to mould a SADC Special Force, which would also contribute to the African Union Standby Force, the report said.

"The primary aim of training of this magnitude is centred on the need to build a highly trained and robust SADC Special Forces component that is capable of countering modern-day threats whenever it is required," Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, Chief of Staff Administration in the Zimbabwean army, was quoted as saying.

Training exercises had already been held in Angola and Namibia, the report said.

This comes as SADC tackles political problems in Lesotho, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As Africa moves to bolster its security, media reports in May said a continental peacekeeping force was on the way; and 54 African countries met in Zimbabwe early this year to assess progress made towards its establishment.

The military force would be responsible for maintaining peace and stability on the continent and to intervene in regional hotspots. – Source: News24Wire
South Africa reaffirms its principled position that inclusive dialogue and negotiations are the only means to resolve political problems.
The South African Government joins the international community in condemning the killing of the Egyptian General Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, in Cairo on 29 June 2015.

The South African Government wishes to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends for the loss of their loved ones and speedy recovery to the injured.

“We also condemn the attack in North Sinai during which the Egyptian security personnel were killed, with many more injured, including civilians. The thoughts of South Africans are with the people and the Government of Egypt during these trying times.

“The South African Government notes and welcomes the condemnation of these attacks by the various political and religious parties in Egypt.

“South Africa will continue to support regional and international efforts to address the scourge of terrorism in all its forms.”
The Speaker of the South African Parliament, Baleka Mbete, led the delegation to lay wreaths at the grave site of the first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Chief Albert Luthuli, and Zulu Monarch King Shaka.
More than 150 members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum recently visited the Chief Albert Luthuli Museum to pay tribute to KwaDukuza's fallen heroes.

Fourteen member states – Malawi, Mauritius, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe – took time off from the recent week-long Plenary Assembly Session to explore the history and heritage of KwaDukuza.

They were welcomed by the KwaDukuza Mayor, Ricardo Mthembu, and the eldest daughter of the first African Nobel Peace Prize winner, Albertina Luthuli.

“We pay tribute to these leaders because we understand their contribution to society and the leadership and influence they provided in paving the way to where we are today,” said Mayor Mthembu. – Source:
According to the Deputy Minister of the dti Mzwandile Masina, the Feira Internacional de Angola (FILDA) international trade exhibition will expose South African companies to trade and investment opportunities available in Angola and
other countries participating in the
annual multisectoral exhibition.
Twenty-four South African companies will showcase their products and services at the FILDA later this month, said the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

This as the department has organised a national Pavilion at the exhibition which takes place in Luanda from 21 to 26 July 2015.

The department will provide financial assistance to the companies through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme to participate and showcase their products at the exhibition with the aim of increasing exports of South African manufactured products to Angola.

The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

The companies include small, medium and micro enterprises; emerging exporters; women-owned enterprises: and large companies drawn from the logistics and infrastructure, civil construction, energy (oil and gas), mining and capital equipment, information and communications technology and boat-building sectors. 

Last year, more than 800 companies from about 40 countries participated in the exhibition, with more than 50 000 people visiting it.

Total trade between South Africa and Angola stood at over R33 billion last year, with a R10-billion trade deficit incurred by South Africa. – Source:
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signifies another important milestone reached in the continuous joint effort to build capabilities in the South African financial markets to better serve bilateral trade, investment and financial flows between China and South Africa.
The South African Reserve Bank and the People’s Bank of China recently announced the signing of a MoU for the purposes of clearing and settlement of Renminbi in South Africa.

Both central banks agreed to coordinate and cooperate on the supervision, oversight and clearing of Renminbi in South Africa and also to exchange information to facilitate the continuous improvement and development of bilateral trade.

China has become South Africa’s largest export partner and consequently, Renminbi clearing in South Africa will be immensely valuable as corporates will benefit greatly from trading and settling in Renminbi.

Opening a clearing centre in South Africa should boost trading in the Rand/Renminbi, which could make it easier and cheaper to trade in goods and services with China.
The London investment seminar formed part of Operation Phakisa, which is an initiative focused on driving the economic potential of the country’s oceans.
South Africa is on a promotions drive to generate interest in its oceans economy among European investors.

“We need potential partners on a win-win basis to support South Africa’s oceans economy strategy.

We extend an open invitation to investors to visit South Africa to further explore vast investment opportunities,” the Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, said at the event.

Research has shown that South Africa’s oceans economy had the potential to contribute up to R189 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product by 2033 and create about a million jobs.

Deputy Minister Chikunga welcomed European investors with maritime-related interests, including ship-builders, maritime transporters, and import and export businesses.

Presentations were delivered by a high-powered delegation, including High Commissioner Obed Mlaba, South African Oil and Gas Alliances’ Ebrahim Tokalia, head of Operation Phakisa in The Presidency, Ismail Akhalwaya, and Transnet’s Richard Vallihu. – Source:
There will also be education programmes for 200 South African candidates at Russian universities and educational organisations.
The Department of Energy announced in a statement recently that it had signed two memoranda of understanding with Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom at the Seventh Summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries in the Russian city of Ufa.

According to the first document, Russia and South Africa aim to implement several joint projects for education in the nuclear power industry.

The countries will cooperate to provide training for five categories of specialists for the South African nuclear industry: nuclear power plant personnel, engineers and construction workers, staff for operations not related to the power industry, personnel for nuclear infrastructure, students and teachers. 
This memorandum stipulates the development of educational material and scientific literature on nuclear power, student exchange programmes for students of various levels of training, organisation of internships and summer courses, student competitions and teacher training.

The second memorandum signed in Ufa stipulates joint efforts of the parties to promote nuclear power in South Africa, increasing the awareness of local residents of modern nuclear technologies used in the power industry and in other industries, and ensuring public acceptance of nuclear power.

In particular, the parties have agreed to work out a plan for the implementation of a joint communication programme to be launched in South Africa. This will involve the organisation of round tables and other events aimed at promoting nuclear power and modern nuclear technologies.

A nuclear energy information centre in South Africa is also under consideration. "The parties seek to exchange information and best practices in the nuclear industry by organising working visits and international conferences and exhibitions," said the Department of Energy. – Source:
In the 2014/15 financial year, the Coega Development Corporation contributed 14 623 direct jobs to the South African economy; it also has 29 operating investors with an investment value of more than R2,7 billion.
There is a lot of potential for investor growth at the industrial development zone in the Eastern Cape, says Deputy Minister of Energy, Thembisile Majola.

Speaking at a briefing about the Department of Trade and Industry's incentive scheme to support the creation of large and competitive black industrialists, Deputy Minister Majola said the money could spill over to fund other projects.

"Even though there is no allocation as to where the money will be spent in the country, what the Eastern Cape receives from this scheme will depend on how many entrepreneurs can be developed."

The Eastern Cape presents a lot of potential while there is also a need for skills development such as that conducted by Coega in training artisans, welders and electricians.

"The approach is not just about employment creation but to see where there is a gap in the industry and create opportunities for others." – Source:
Brand South Africa, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, recently launched the Play your Part for Madiba Campaign to encourage citizens to make every day a Mandela Day.
An app has been developed to encourage citizens to make everyday a Mandela Day by helping those in need.

“In support of this commemorative month and as part of its mandate to build pride, patriotism and a spirit of active citizenship, Brand South Africa, has also partnered with the GEM Project, which has developed a Play your Part app, which contains a number of organisations needing assistance from South Africans,” Brand South Africa Communication Officer Tsabeng Nthite said.

The organisations include those which provide clothing, assistance with homework, job shadowing and skills development.

Nthite said the Play your Part for Madiba month-long campaign sought to uphold the ideals, values and actions of Mandela’s legacy by encouraging South Africans to play their part towards the creation of positive change by building their communities and upholding a spirit of Ubuntu and social cohesion.

“The app is a social development drive that aims to mobilise communities within themselves so that they can help each other rise,” GEM Project Co-Founder David Shields said.

Once an individual has participated in assisting a cause, they are eligible to receive a reward via the app, termed “a GEM”, which can be converted into a number of products such as airtime/data, pre-paid electricity or even movie tickets.

“Volunteers are encouraged to donate their GEMs back to the needy causes during Mandela Month,” Shields said.

He said in order to ensure continuity and mobilise support even beyond Mandela Month, corporates were also encouraged to donate GEMs so that they could be allocated towards causes on an ongoing basis.

“Every day should be a Mandela Day. No action is too big or small. Active citizenship is an ongoing activity and we need to continue to embrace Madiba’s legacy,” Lead SA’s Yunus Mohammed said.– Source:
“These platforms are part of our efforts to create opportunities for our locally manufactured products and we must continue to open markets for our small to medium enterprises, including cooperatives,” the Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Elizabeth Thabethe, said.
About 10 crafters recently got an opportunity to showcase their art to buyers in Atlanta, in the United States (US).

The Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Elizabeth Thabethe, said her department had supported at least 10 crafters to travel to Atlanta to interact directly with the buyers and exhibit their art.

The Department of Small Business Development, together with the Department of Arts and Culture, as well as the Department of Communications form part of the Department of Small Business Development’s creative industry-led initiative to take locally manufactured craft products to international markets.

South Africa has a permanent showroom in Atlanta which primarily showcases hand-made quality products from all the nine provinces depicting the country’s diverse culture and heritage.

“Access to markets remains a fundamental challenge for our crafters, hence the partnership with the Department of Small Business Development. We can certainly achieve more if we leverage on each other’s strengths and resources,” said the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Joyce Mabudafhasi.

After the Atlanta trip, the team left for Santa Fe in the US, from 10 to 12 July.

About five artists participated at the folk art market in Santa Fe, which is one the world’s greatest art market and attracts thousands and thousands of people across the globe. – Source:

The international travel magazine hosts an annual survey, asking its readers to vote in various categories, including “Best Cities”, “Best Hotels”, “Best Airports” and “Best Spas” among others.

South Africa has once again proven itself to be a top travel destination as three local hotels, one city and a safari tour operator feature in the Travel + Leisure's World Best Awards 2015.

Here is a full list of South Africa's achievements in the survey

Best cities
A regular on top travel lists, Cape Town once again cracked the nod among Travel + Leisure readers, ranking in the ninth position on the Best Cities list. It followed Barcelona in 8th position and just beat Jerusalem, which came in at number 10. Japan's Kyoto was named the top city in the world.

Best hotels

Singita Sabi Sand
Featuring in the seventh position of Best Hotels, Singita Sabi Sand made it into the Travel + Leisure Hall of Fame, as it has featured on the list for 10 years in a row. Readers gave the ultra luxurious safari lodge a 96.47 rating, highlighting romance and eco-friendliness as its biggest drawcards, as well as the fact that it is all-inclusive and off the beaten path.

The Saxon Spa and Villas
The beautiful Johannesburg hotel took the 25th position on the list with a ranking of 94.75. Great design, great views, food and drink, local designers and products and popular with locals were highlighted as its distinguishing features.

Singita Kruger National Park
The lavish concession lodge was listed in 59th position, with special mention being made of its kids' safaris and tracking tutorials.

Best safari outfitters
Johannesburg-based Beyond Luxury Safaris was voted the fifth-best safari tour operator in the world. The company owns 46 lodges and camps across Africa and India, however Travel + Leisure picked the Bush Skills Academy at Phinda Private Game Reserve as their favourite among the lot.
– Source:Traveller24
It will feature five-pointed stars inlaid into the pavement, which will be inscribed with names of people who have distinguished themselves and have left their mark globally and locally.
An Afri-Global Walk of Stars, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was planned along Cradock Avenue, in the northern Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, the African Global Heritage Foundation said.

"The walk is set to be a huge resource for Rosebank," said Phineas Tichana, the Walk of Stars executive producer, "and a mega marketing tool for Johannesburg to promote tangible heritage as an open-air museum, and enhance the business, cultural, and civic well-being of South African and African achievement."

The walk has been dedicated to Nelson Mandela, as well as every other South African and African who has made an outstanding impact on the world.

A mock unveiling will coincide with Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July. "A formal inaugural induction will then be held in September to induct the first South African and African stars," reported the Rosebank Killarney Gazette.

Stars will be given to people who have excelled in radio, music, sport, film, television and performing arts, as well as to those who have rendered great service to their fellow citizens. Other categories will make provision for contributions from corporates, humanitarian organisations and special honourees.

The general public can nominate people, and the selection committee will make the final decision.

The South African class of inaugural inductees include:
  • Recording: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Oscar Mdlongwa aka Oskido, Jonathan Butler, Lerato Molapo aka Lira, Chicco Twala and Johnny Clegg
  • Theatre/live performance: Joe Mafela and  Sello Maake KaNcube
  • Sport: Lucas Radebe, Francois Pienaar, AB de Villiers, Gary Player, Ali Bacher and Caster Semenya
  • Meritorious: Imtiaz Sooliman, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, George Bizos, Desmond Tutu and Patrice Motsepe
  • Television: Rolene Strauss, Connie Ferguson, Siyabonga Twala and Bonang Matheba
  • Film: Leon Schuster and Terry Pheto.
The African class of inaugural inductees include:
  • Recording: Oliver Mtukudzi, Sade Aku and Salif Keïta
  • Film: Lupita Nyong'o and Genevieve Nnaji
  • Television: Alek Wek
  • Sport: Didier Drogba.
Frontline member-states champions include:
  • Kenneth Kaunda
  • Robert Mugabe
  • Joaquim Chissano
  • Quett Masire
  • Sam Nujoma
  • Samora Machel
  • Julius Nyerere
  • Kamuzu Banda.
– Source: Rosebank Killarney Gazette
The win, Minnaar's second of the season in four attempts, means that he moves one above Englishman Steve Peat on the list of all-time World Cup wins. It also means that Minnaar moves up to third place in the overall standings with three rounds remaining in the season.
South Africa's Greg Minnaar has rewritten the record books after he won his 18th Downhill World Cup crown in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Saturday, 4 July.

"I've never been so nervous on the hot seat," Minnaar told the UCI's official website.

"I'm trying to soak it up [18th win]. It was nerve-wracking watching [Loic] Bruni coming down. It's incredible because I didn't feel I had it in me this week to win and I just wanted to put in a solid run."

He added: "I think the conditions played a huge part, being so rough and tricky. I'm stoked to win my 18th World Cup, just a bit overwhelmed, really. I just tried to be safe everywhere and carry speed where I could.

I knew it was going to be super close and I didn't think I had it in me, but the team put in a big effort with bike testing all week and it paid off." – Source: News24Wire
Simbine follows in the footsteps of Olympic finalist Anaso Jobodwana, who completed the 100-200m sprint double in Kazan, Russia in 2013.
South African sprint records are falling left, right, and centre with Pretoria speedster Akani Simbine adding his name to the record books after equalling the men’s 100-m record at the World Student Games in Gwangju, South Korea recently.

Simbine posted a new Student Games record in a time of 10.00 seconds before winning the final in a time of 9.97s to share the national record with Henrico Bruintjies.

“I am very happy with the run, I just kept focused and told myself to get through all my phases and when I get to the 60 m to power through,” said Simbine, who is a Tuks-HPC sponsored athlete.

“I just told myself to stay relaxed and get through the race, and I didn’t focus on the time much.

“My goal was just to go and win the medal and I did that.” – Source:
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