Issue 183 | 13 August 2015
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The Heads-designate from 12 countries presented their credentials to the President.

President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, 11 August, received Letters of Credence from the newly appointed Heads of Mission who are to represent their respective countries in South Africa.

The diplomats’ representatives are from Denmark, Australia, Hungary, Bangladesh, Malawi, Mexico, Chile, Singapore, Germany, Kenya, Ecuador and Lithuania.

Speaking after receiving the Letters of Credence at a ceremony that took place at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse, in Pretoria, President Zuma said he hoped that by working together with the new Heads of Mission that this would strengthen the current existing relations between South Africa and the different countries.

“Your arrival in our country came at an opportune time. Our country had just successfully hosted the 25th African Union Summit. Our government is committed to continental obligations,” he said.

President Zuma told the new Heads of Mission that South Africa was open for business and was part of a growing continent.

The President also invited the new Heads of Mission to explore the country during their tenure. – Source:
A total of 12 countries presented their credentials to the President.
President Jacob Zuma received letters of credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate at a credentials ceremony at the Sefako M Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria on 11 August.

The diplomats are representatives from the Republic of Kenya, Kingdom of Denmark, Commonwealth of Australia, Republic of Hungary, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of Malawi, United Mexican States, Republic of Chile, Republic of Singapore, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Lithuania.
This year’s Women’s Day was celebrated under the theme: “Women United in Moving South Africa Forward.” Women’s Month is taking place against the backdrop of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter.
President Jacob Zuma says government is aware that there is still more that needs to be done to improve the lives of women.

Speaking at the Women’s Day celebration held in Sasolburg in the Free State on 9 August, President Zuma said the Government focus was now on economic empowerment of women. He also used the opportunity to praise all the women who took part in the 1956 march to the Union Buildings to protest against the pass law.

“Their sacrifices remind us that freedom was attained through blood and sweat. We pay tribute to all the South African women who paid for our democracy,” he said. President Zuma said if the country is to succeed, women should participate in the economy.

Also speaking at the same event was one of the leaders of the 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, who said the 1956 brave women should not be forgotten. De Bruyn said the march “was to show that women cannot be pushed”.

“Women stood against injustices since 1930,” she said, adding that women stood against the pass laws that controlled every aspects of their lives.

The African Union has also prioritised women empowerment by declaring 2015 as the “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063”. – Source:
The President was asked a question on progress that had been made among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) partners and other developing countries with regard to industrial cooperation and investment.
President Jacob Zuma says trade has increased by 70% between BRICS member countries over the past couple of years and that South Africa stands to benefit from the BRICS New Development Bank.
The President said this when answering questions for written reply at the National Assembly in Cape Town recently.

“The summit also affirmed the importance of BRICS in the global arena. BRICS presents an aggregate Growth Domestic Product (GDP) exceeding US$32 trillion. This marks a 60% growth since the formation of the grouping.

“BRICS also accounts almost 30% of the global GDP and produces a third of the world’s industrial products and half of agricultural goods,” he said. 

The President also said that further to this progress, trade among the BRICS countries had grown by 70% since 2009.

Also, BRICS countries attracted 20,5% of the global total direct investment in 2014, compared to only 16,9% in 2009.

The share of the BRICS capital investment on the global market had also increased significantly, the President said, from 9,7% to 14% since 2009.

“BRICS leaders also adopted as one of the key summit outcomes, a strategy for the BRICS economic partnership, aimed at further boosting trade and investment ties,” he said.

The President said the Ufa Declaration focused on a number of areas, including global politics, world finance, economy and trade, cooperation in social and humanitarian spheres as well among parliaments, business and civil society.

“The seventh BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, registered substantive progress. The key achievement was entry into force of the BRICS financial institutions namely the New Development Bank and the contingency reserve arrangements.” – Source:
The discussions focused on bilateral relations and the renewing of the Protocol on Cooperation between South Africa and Syria for another five years. Diplomatic relations between Syria and South Africa were established on 1 June 1994. Both countries maintain resident diplomatic Missions in each other’s country.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, recently met Dr Fayssal al Mekdad, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates for the Syrian Arab Republic for bilateral consultations in Cape Town.

The discussions also served as an opportunity for Dr Mekdad who as the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates for Syria has in many ways played an active role on the international stage, to provide a comprehensive overview of the situation in his homeland and the greater Levant region.

Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo in turn stressed that the South African Government viewed the unfolding events in Syria in a very serious light and condemned in the strongest possible terms the heinous criminal actions of the so-called Islamic State, the al Nusra Front and all other terrorist factions which amount to gross violation of human rights and ethnic cleansing. South Africa rejects any calls for regime change and external military interference or any action not in line with the Charter of the United Nations and South Africa remains convinced that in a complex and diverse society such as Syria, there can be no military solution to the conflict.

Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo further stressed that South Africa strongly believed that the solution to the ongoing conflict must be Syrian led and that it was essential that an inclusive, Syrian led political process be supported by a united, cohesive international effort towards a negotiated political transition aimed at establishing a democratic and inclusive society based on the Geneva Peace Process on Syria and as contained in the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012.

The Deputy Minister emphasised that the South African Government would continue to call on the international community to utilise all multilateral fora and bilateral mechanisms to bring about peace in Syria through negotiations, as well as called on all states to exert pressure on all non-state actors supporting IS and other terrorist organisations that were fuelling the insurgency through supplying financing and weapons, to desist, so as to bring the war and conflict in Syria to an end.
The department said it was making great strides in reviewing the entire approach to migration.
The Department of Home Affairs says it has noted the decision of the United Kingdom (UK) Government to lift visa requirements for holders of South African diplomatic passports.

“We believe it to be a step in the right direction, but what we would like to see, as a first prize, is having no visa requirements for South Africa citizens travelling to the UK, just as its citizens do not require visas to come to South Africa,” said the department.

It added that South Africa had made progressive changes to its visa regime to beef up security and improve immigration management, while ensuring economic interests are met and international obligations fulfilled. – Source:
Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the European Commission this week lifted the ban on the export of fresh ostrich meat into the EU, which will come into effect in late August 2015.
The EU has lifted the four-year ban on South African ostrich exports.

“This is excellent news which stands to grow the size of the ostrich industry, which contributes over R1 billion to the economy. The industry was initially severely economically impacted by the 2011 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak, but has since recovered somewhat through the export of processed ostrich meat. Processed meat will continue to be exported, parallel to the export of fresh ostrich meat. This will lessen the impact of any future incursions of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) in the industry.

“Resuming exports to the EU will play an important role in increasing the number of jobs in this industry, which currently employs over 50 000 residents.”

Minister Winde added that vets in the Western Cape conducted regular testing, ensuring animal diseases are detected early.

“Strict control measures are put in place to ensure that cases that arise are managed effectively,” said Minister Winde.
In making the award, the conservation group noted Zaloumis's inspirational conservation work and the economic turnaround of the nature reserve, once an apartheid operational zone with one of the lowest human development indices in the country.
Andrew Zaloumis, the long-serving chief executive of iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has been awarded World Wildlife Fund South Africa's 2015 Living Planet Award.

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa's third-largest protected area, covering 280 km of coastline, from the Mozambique border to St Lucia. The park is a Unesco World Heritage Site, recognised for its rich biodiversity and the unique variety of irreplaceable ecosystems contained within its relatively small area.

The park's sites include coral reefs, dune forests, wetlands and savanna grassland. It is home to a large wildlife population, including elephant, leopard, black and white rhino and buffalo, as well as whales, dolphins and endangered marine turtles.

The management of iSimangaliso, for which Zaloumis has been recognised by WWF SA, co-ordinates the administration and protection of the park. It also offers meaningful job empowerment and benefits for local communities. In awarding Zaloumis the recognition, the WWF highlighted his inspirational work over the last 30 years in making the area one of South Africa's conservation tourism hallmarks. – Source: World Wildlife Fund South Africa
The organisation’s personnel are South Africa's brand ambassadors abroad as they provide highly skilled medical assistance to those in need, the department said.
The Gift of the Givers has made an incalculable contribution to the upliftment of the under-privileged in South Africa and around the world, says the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The department has congratulated the organisation on its 23rd year anniversary for its humanitarian and disaster relief work.

“Outside of its extensive relief programmes in South Africa, Gift of the Givers provides aid to 40 different countries around the globe.  Its humanitarian services know no boundaries of race, colour, or creed,” the department said.

“Whether implementing feeding schemes in impoverished communities or aiding victims of natural disasters and conflict in far-flung regions: the premise upon which this organisation was founded in 1992 by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, a humanitarian and patriot, remains an inspiration for all who cherish the notion of a universal brotherhood.”

The department also thanked the many South Africans who have supported the work of the organisation throughout the years. – Source:
It was announced this week that the American pop star will perform as the headline act at ANN7’s (DStv 405) second South African of the Year Awards (SATYs) on 17 October.
US pop star, Christina Aguilera, is heading to Mzansi this October!

The American singer Jason Derulo and several other local artists like AKA, The Soil and ChianoSky will also perform at the 24-hour TV news channel’s awards show, honouring remarkable South Africans for their achievements.

While the first SATYs was held at the Sandton Convention Centre last year, the 2015 SATYs will be taking place at the Ticketpro Dome (formerly the Coca-Cola Dome) in Northgate in Johannesburg on 17 October.

Moegsien Williams, editor-in-chief at ANN7 says securing Christina Aguilera was a coup.

"While we are celebrating all things South Africa, our intention is at the same time to market the couontry and showcase the wide array of talented, innovative, industrious, high-achieving and successful people in our land and within all spheres.

This is why, strategically, we secure major international acts each year.

"The South African of the Year Awards is a prestigious event featuring and attended by the who’s who of South Africa. We are therefore proud to have an artist as talented and socially responsible as Christina Aguilera," says Williams. – Source: The Juice
Comedian and YouTube star Anne Hirsch along with comedian Donovan Goliath will present the show while Shirley Guy and Tjaart Walraven will judge the amateur bakers.
BBC Lifestyle has just announced the judges and presenters for their new reality baking show, the Great South African Bake Off.

Shirley is an established chef, baker, food stylist and cookery author with more than 30 years’ experience. She is the writer of 12 cookbooks, including The Barbeque Kettle Cookbook, and she also set up her own South African cookery school, the Dough Hook.

Chef Tjaart's baking experience includes working with Raymond Blanc in the pastry kitchen at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, and at The Raymond Blanc Cookery School under the directorship of Michelin-trained chef Stephen Bulmer.

Anne is well-known as host of the hilarious talk show The Anne Hirsch Show.

Comedian Donovan has performed at festivals all over the country and was also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing season 7.

"We're thrilled to announce such a dynamic and engaging group of local talent for The Great South African Bake Off. Shirley and Tjaart’s skill, knowledge and expertise make them the perfect fit to judge our twelve talented bakers and Anne and Donovan’s witty and cheeky approach will tie the programme together wonderfully," says Kully Kaur-Bains, Head of Programming for Africa, BBC Worldwide.
The 10-part show will air in October on BBC Lifestyle Channel 174. – Source:
The eThekwini Municipality was confident it would deliver a world-class Commonwealth Games in 2022, said mayor James Nxumalo.
In March, Durban submitted its bid to host the mega sporting event. "We are confident that we will successfully deliver a world-class Commonwealth Games should the CGF General Assembly vote for Durban on 2 September 2015," Nxumalo said recently.

"The regional clusters of Commonwealth Games Associations from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania have visited Durban to experience first-hand the venues, our world-class infrastructure, legacy projects and other components in the Durban bid in order for them to vote from an informed perspective and award the Games to Durban based on merit."

eThekwini has welcomed a recommendation made by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission that its General Assembly should vote in favour of Durban's bid to host the event.
According to the Durban 2022 website, a report commends and highlights the many positive impacts of Durban's bid for the Games.

"Durban's vision supports and contributes to South Africa's 2030 National Development Plan and is rooted in the desire to engage citizens (especially young people), athletes and the Commonwealth," it reads.

"The Games concept features a compact venue plan centred on the sporting super-precinct of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and adjacent coastline, providing excellent opportunities for innovative sport presentation and enhanced athlete experience. The Opening Ceremony would take place on Mandela Day, 18 July 2022."

Durban Bid Committee chairperson Mark Alexander said this was the first step towards bringing the Games to Africa, although there was still a lot of work that needed to be done. "We are now working tirelessly to ensure that there is a unanimous vote in favour of Durban on 2 September 2015."

Bid Committee chief executive Tubby Reddy added: "We have always maintained that Durban's bid and the subsequent awarding of the bid must be based on merit.

"We have demonstrated that Durban's proposition was indeed of a world-class standard and that the stringent technical criteria demanded by the CGF have been met by Durban."

The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport, international event for athletes from many territories that were part of the British Empire.

They were first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada, where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in six sports and 59 events. The Games take place every four years; the only years they skipped were 1942 and 1946 because of World War II.

From 1930 to 1950, the Games were known as the British Empire Games; from 1954 until 1966, they were called the British Empire and Commonwealth Games; and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. At the 1978 Games in Edmonton, the name was changed to the Commonwealth Games. Sources: – SAinfo reporter and News24Wire
His silver ended a good weekend in Germany for the South African team. Birkett also won the new short marathon sprint event, while teammates Greg Louw finished fourth in the same race, and Olympic sprint medallist Bridgitte Hartley won the women's race.
South African canoeist and four-time K1 and K2 Dusi marathon winner Andy Birkett won a silver medal at the season-opening ICF Marathon World Cup at the Brandenburg an den Havel regatta in Germany on 2 August.

Following a three-boat battle for first place between Birkett, Hungarian Adam Petro and Belgian Dries Corrijn, an unexpected wake from an official's boat helped Petro gain the upper hand by a boat length over Birkett at the finish line. But the South African was unperturbed, saying after the race: "I am chuffed with the medal."

Birkett won the national senior K1 marathon title in June and is a former under- 23 marathon world champion. He was happy with his time and placing in preparation for the Marathon World Champs in Gyor, Hungary in September, which will include several other major races in Europe.

The reigning world champion is fellow South African Hank McGregor. – Source: News24Wire
The championships started on 24 July and ended on 9 August, and was held in Kazan, Russia.
Cameron van der Burgh, the South African swimmer, has another reason to smile. He beat his own world record in the 50m breaststroke heats at the 16th Fédération Internationale de Natation (Fina) World Championships on 4 August.

Van der Burgh defended his title by clocking 26.62 seconds to shave 0.05 seconds off his own record he set at the 2009 championships. Back in 2009, the performance-enhancing neoprene suits were still permitted.

Van der Burgh also won silver in the 100m breaststroke.

South Africa’s Chad le Clos won gold in the men’s 100m butterfly final. Le Clos touched the wall first in 50.56 seconds for a new African record. – Source: News24Wire
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