Issue 190 | 01 October 2015
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UNGA is the main deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN. Comprising all 193 members of the UN, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the UN.
President Jacob Zuma led a South African delegation to the 70th Session of the UNGA70 under the theme: “The United Nations at 70 – the road ahead for peace, security and human rights”.

The General Debate took place from 28 September to 3 October 2015 and was preceded by the Sustainable Development Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda outcome document, titled: “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The new development agenda builds on the millennium development goals and will serve as the guiding global development framework for the next 15 years. South Africa participated actively throughout the drafting process, primarily in its capacity as Chair of the Group of 77 and China.

South Africa used her participation in the 70th Session to continue the work to achieve reform of the UN, specifically the Security Council, as well as to ensure that the selection and appointment process of the UN Secretary-General was brought in line with democratic practice.

In addition to the Sustainable Development Summit and the General Debate, South Africa participated in the following high-level UN events on the margins of UNGA70:
  • Summit of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), chaired by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as President of the AUPSC for September (26 September 2015)
  • Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – A Common Commitment, chaired by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (27 September 2015)
  • Meeting of Selected Heads of State and Government on COP21 co-hosted by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, President François Hollande of France and President Ollanta Humala Tasso of Peru (27 September 2015)
  • Informal Working Lunch of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (29 September 2015)
  • Ninth Regional Oversight Mechanism Meeting of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (29 September 2015)
  • Leaders’ Summit on countering the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL and Violent Extremism, hosted by President Barack Obama of the United States (29 September 2015).
South Africa also commemorated and celebrated the support of the UN for the country’s struggle for liberation and the participation of many eminent South Africans in UN platforms during the struggle, including liberation hero and icon, ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo, and eminent musician Miriam Makeba.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane conveyed in person the well wishes of the South African Government and people to Mr Noah.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, took advantage of her presence in New York for the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to visit the studios of The Daily Show, which premiered on 28 September under a new host, South African comedian Trevor Noah.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: "We want Mr Noah to know that the people of South Africa and indeed the entire African continent are proud of his achievement and that they support him fully as he takes the first steps of what we believe will be a rewarding journey."

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane added that: "Mr Noah is assuming an important global platform through which he will be flying the South African flag high."

“We are hopeful that many people will look at Mr Noah’s success and take greater interest in the abundance of talent that we have in South Africa in a variety of fields, including entertainment, sports, arts and culture, science and technology, for example.”
“South Africa endorses this transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda without any reservations.”
South Africa has endorsed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of bold new global goals, President Jacob Zuma told world leaders at the 70th Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York, on 27 September 2015.

“The triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality that the development agenda seeks to address is the primary focus of the South African Government and people.

“The goals are also aligned to South Africa’s National Development Plan as well as to the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” he said.

President Zuma said the outcome document represented a victory for developing countries as it affirmed that the 2030 Agenda should build on the unfinished business of the millennium development goals.

While the 2030 Agenda is universal in that the goals apply to both developed and developing countries, President Zuma said there was a clear recognition of the Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities.

“We are also pleased that the 2030 Agenda contains a specific goal on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

“All the 17 goals, including those on poverty eradication, education, health, job creation and inequality contain specific references to addressing the challenges that confront women, the youth, people with disabilities and other vulnerable sectors of our society.

“We are also pleased that the 2030 Agenda contains a stand-alone goal on the means of implementation. This is to ensure that adequate attention is placed on the achievement of the goals,” he said.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, hailed the 2030 Agenda as a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.

“The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is an agenda for people to end poverty in all its forms – an agenda for the planet, our common home,” he said. –
“The future of developing countries lies in a strong and robust multilateral system, based on the principles of international law. We must secure the restructuring of international political and economic systems in order to rectify the inherent asymmetries of power,” said the Minister.
A strong and robust multilateral system whereby international political and economic systems are restructured to rectify power imbalances is necessary to ensure the future of developing countries, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

The Minister was speaking at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China‚ at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters, in New York, recently.

This would safeguard developing countries, which made up the majority of countries across the globe, having a voice in global governance, she said.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said the Group of 77 and China had made notable contributions over the years to the effective functioning of the UN.

“As the largest grouping of states within the UN system, the Group of 77 and China, has played a fundamental role in crafting international economic policies and relations, narrowing the gap between developing and developed countries,” she said.

The group, she said, could claim a large part of the credit for advancing the interest of marginalised people of the world within the UN system.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said that it was disappointing that there was little in the way of new funds to fill the existing development financing gap.

“While the Addis Agenda emphasises the importance of financing for development, it is disappointing that there is little in the way of new funds to fill the existing development financing gap. Developed countries merely repeat their 45-year-old commitment to allocate 0,7% of their Gross National Income to Official Development Assistance. The problem is that only a handful of developed countries have ever met this target,” she explained.

Minister Nkoana-Mashababe said that South Africa welcomed the work carried out by the Ad Hoc Committee on Debt Restructuring Processes.

“South Africa within the Group 77 and China will continue considering improved approaches to restructuring sovereign debt, taking into account the newly adopted Basic Principles and work carried out by the international financial institutions in accordance with their respective mandates,” said the Minister. – Source:
This year's Heritage Day had the theme "Our indigenous knowledge, our heritage: towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South Africa's living heritage".
Living heritage could help to promote a positive African identity in a globalising world, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the official National Heritage Day celebration held in Limpopo on 24 September.

"We are called upon as a nation to embrace each other's cultures, to practise each other's cultures, to learn and understand each other's languages, so that we can speedily increase the cohesion that we are trying to build," he said.

"We have rich diversity and culture. Let us display to the world that indeed we are a cohesive, one nation," he said.

Heritage Day was observed with colourful traditional clothing and performances. – Source:
The seminar brought together South African, the Japanese business communities and public entities. The seminar was aimed at promoting trade relations between South Africa and Japan.
On 22 September, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Third Japan Seminar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Johannesburg. The seminar was organised jointly by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), the Japanese Embassy in South Africa and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa.

Deputy President Ramaphosa recently visited Japan to consolidate existing bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Japan. As part of his official visit, Deputy President Ramaphosa paid a visit to the headquarters of JETRO in Tokyo, among others as part of efforts to reassure Japanese investors that South Africa is open for business and investment.
Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko is also the Chair of the Group of 77 and China for Climate Change.
On 24 September, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, Deputy Director-General of Global and Continental Governance in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), as one of the seven new members of the Advisory Group of CERF, the UN’s global emergency response fund.

The Advisory Group’s 18 members provide policy guidance to the UN Secretary-General and advise on the use and impact of CERF, through the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, who manages the fund on behalf of the Secretary-General.

Furthermore, the Advisory Group members serve in their individual capacity, and not as representatives of their countries or governments. They include government officials from contributing and recipient countries, representatives of humanitarian non-governmental organisations and academic experts.

According to the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, the CERF has since its inception in 2006, allocated more than $4 billion in support of humanitarian operations in 95 countries and territories facing natural or man-made disasters, ranging from the victims of earthquakes and tsunamis to survivors fleeing war and atrocities in their own homelands.
The OGP is a multilateral initiative to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
It was recently announced that South Africa would take over as Lead Chair of the OGP. South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, United Kingdom and the United States of America are the founding members of this initiative.

During its tenure as Lead Chair, South Africa undertakes to raise the political profile of the OGP to ensure participation and accountability at the level of heads of state. South Africa will also focus on mainstreaming the OGP in the international multilateral agenda at the United Nations General Assembly, the Group of 20 and other platforms.
A Cabinet meeting was held on 23 September and included some key decisions.
Cabinet supported that South Africa hosted the Second Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work in March 2016, on request from the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will partner with the Commonwealth Secretariat, University of South Africa and the National Youth Development Agency in arranging the conference. This conference is an investment in the development of South Africa’s increasing youth population, and will provide a platform to professionalise the development of youth workers and promote them as primary providers of services to youth.

Cabinet approved the Guidelines of Good Business Practice for South African Companies Operating in Africa. These guidelines are a voluntary set of principles consistent with laws and internationally recognised standards that promote responsible business conduct on the African continent. They provide a guiding framework for South African companies to promote sustainable economic development in Africa. They also encourage South African companies to align their involvement and practices with government’s integration and development objectives in Africa and to build mutual confidence, trust and benefit for the companies and the societies in which they operate.

Cabinet approved the ratification of the Annex on the Institutionalisation of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Summit. The summit, which comprises heads of state or government of each member state, will provide political and strategic direction to SACU. All SACU member states need to sign the agreement so that the summit can become the highest decision-making institution of the SACU.

Cabinet approved the issuing of a Letter of Support to the African Union Commission for the Internet Service Providers’ Association in the application process for the hosting of the Regional Internet Exchange Point. This contributes to regional integration and the building of a secure, reliable infrastructure network and services to meet the demands of the established information and knowledge society.

This forges stronger partnership and cooperation between African entities and also positions South Africa as a global leader in the development, roll-out and use of information and communications technology.  

Cabinet approved for South Africa to co-host the second Ministerial Forum for China-Africa Health Development under the theme: “Promoting the Availability of Healthcare Service in Africa, Improving China-Africa’s Cooperation in Public Health in a post-Ebola Era” from 4 to 6 October 2015 in Cape Town. This initiative is a result of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which places health as an important part of the China-Africa cooperation. Recently, China pledged significant resources to help stem the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The trip was aimed at exploring the tripartite cooperation on agriculture, motion animation and aeronautics between the North West University, Hanseo University and the North West Provincial Government.
The Premier of North West, SOR Mahumapelo, recently visited South Korea with a delegation he led from the Bokone Bophirima Provincial Government.

The trip was also intended to study the South Korean model of food production with a view to expanding the existing Lokaleng project and increase food-security prospects in the area as well as to discuss the possible areas of collaboration and establish an in-principle agreement for the signing in February 2016.

“I am satisfied that this trip was successful and will go a long way in contributing positively in our efforts to grow the economy of the province through agriculture, which constitutes a significant backbone of the economy of the province”, Premier Mahumapelo said.
The mission was part of the dti’s objective to create and identify export markets for South African value-added products and services. The mission also served to promote South Africa’s product and service offerings in high-growth Asian markets.
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) led a delegation of South African businesspeople on an OSIM to Makassar and Jakarta in Indonesia from 28 September to 2 October 2015.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina, said the mission would serve as a platform to facilitate networking and obtaining more information on the dynamics of the industries, as well as availability of investment opportunities in Indonesia.

“There is significant room for South Africa to increase its share of the export market to Indonesia, and achieve an increased number of exports to that country,” he says.

According to Masina, in order for South Africa to leverage on global growth for the development of the economy, the establishment of collaborative agreements with existing trading partners and dynamic fast-growing emerging markets was of utmost importance in all areas of trade.

Indonesia and South Africa have enjoyed a steady annual increase in trade during the last 10 years. South African exports to Indonesia totalled R4 billion in 2014 with a contracted 17% from 2013. Imports from Indonesia rose from R8,4 billion in 2013 to over R9,1 billion in 2014. South Africa has always been a net importer of goods from Indonesia and this has led to the trade balance to be in Indonesia’s favour over the past decade.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), the United States Government’s development bank, will invest up to $400m (approximately R5,4 billion) in a solar thermal plant in South Africa.
The Redstone solar project is being developed by Santa Monica, California-based SolarReserve and ACWA Power, a Saudi Arabian electricity producer. It will be located in the Northern Cape.

The funds from Opic will be used as an investment guarantee to build and operate the solar plant.

The project is financed by R5,6 billion ($422 million) in debt and R2,4 billion in equity from both local and international lending institutions, according to SolarReserve’s website.

Opic is part of Power Africa, an initiative founded by President Barack Obama in 2013 to support the growth of energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The financial institution has pledged to provide $1,5 billion of financing and insurance to energy projects across the region by 2018.

South Africa has set a target to build 3,7 GW of clean energy under its Renewable Energy Independent Producer Programme.

The Redstone solar project will provide electricity to over 200 000 homes during peak demand once complete. – Source: Fin24
South Africa is getting its first Marriott-branded properties next year.
Marriott International has signed two new properties in South Africa in partnership with property developers, the Amdec Group.

The 150-room Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and the 200-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch will be located in the Melrose Arch precinct.

It is expected to open by February 2018.

"We are excited to announce the first Marriott-branded hotels in South Africa. It is very important for a company like Marriott International to have our core brand in core markets like South Africa," Neal Jones, chief sales and marketing officer for Marriott International in the Middle East and Africa, told Fin24.

"South Africa and actually the whole sub-Saharan Africa is very important to us, because of its huge potential. Sub-Sahara Africa has a rapidly growing middle class with more disposable income.

“As they begin to travel, we would like them to experience and understand what Marriott is all about and we hope they would use us when they travel all around the world."

Marriott became the largest hotel operator in Africa following its acquisition of South Africa’s Protea Hotels in 2014.

Over the next five years, the company expects the Marriott international brands, including the Protea brand, to expand from 10 African countries to 18, involving the development of an additional 38 properties across 7 brands.

According to Jones, Marriott is looking at a number of different sites for expansion in key South African markets like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban and also further into the South African provinces.

Internationally, the Marriott group has 4 300 hotels in 81 countries covering 19 brands. The group is expanding globally, but according to Jones, apart from a focus on African expansion, it is also seeing good expansion growth in Asia, especially in China and India.

Three new Protea Hotels have opened in Africa over the past year, namely the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn in Pretoria, the Protea Hotel Mowbray in Cape Town and the Protea Hotel Select Takoradi in Ghana. Construction has also begun on a new Protea Hotel in Zambia. – Source: Fin24
Speaking at an imbizo for artists and crafters in Mofolo, Soweto, the Deputy Minister said the innovation and creativity of the artwork of artists was amazing.
The world is hungry for South African art, said Small Business Development Deputy Minister, Elizabeth Thabethe, recently.

“The world is hungry for South African art and we are here at Mofolo because we want to come and celebrate Heritage Day,” said the Deputy Minister, adding that the venue had been selected because two artists from this area had successfully showcased their wares at Santa Fe art market in the United States.

“Kenneth Nkosi and Pauline Mazibuko did very well at the market,” said the Deputy Minister, of the South African delegation that went to the market in July. The department had sponsored a total 12 artists who attended the art market.

The department, through the imbizo, also imparted information with regards to opportunities that are available to them in order to access international markets.

Deputy Minister Thabethe told the artists that government wanted to assist them to succeed in their respective field. “As government we try by all means to assist artists,” she said.

The Deputy Minister also expressed pride at the work of South African artists. “People are excited about our art,” she said.

Speaking of her experience in Santa Fe, Mazibuko said that her artwork was well liked as she managed to sell her pieces. “Art is taken very seriously there; they like the work of South African visual artists,” she said.

Her sentiment was also shared by Nkosi who appealed to other artists to take advantage of the opportunities that government was presenting. Nkosi makes portraits using pieces of material ranging from Seshoeshoe to nylon. – Source:
Captains of industry, African professionals, celebrities and media met for the two-day event, which started with a VIP Heritage Day dinner at the trendy Kaia Wine Bar in Manhattan on 24 September. This is followed by a full-day interactive networking event at the Thomson Reuters headquarters in Times Square on 25 September.
This Heritage Day, Africa's myriad cultures were celebrated in New York City when brain gain company, Homecoming Revolution, hosted its annual Speed Meet in the Big Apple. The gathering was held in affiliation with Brand South Africa.

Among the invited guests were South Africa's Consulate-General, Thulisile Nkosi; media executive Alex Okosi; Brand South Africa board member Thebe Ikalafeng; Paralympic footballer Ibrahima Diallo; artist Ibiyinka Alao; and fashion designer Farai Simoyi.

Angel Jones, the chief executive of Homecoming Revolution, said the Speed Meet aimed to inspire Africans living in the United States to come home. It would show them that the continent was full of opportunity. "We feel incredibly privileged to be playing such an important role in building our continent's prosperity. The 'Africa Rising' dream can only be fulfilled if there is a significant brain gain on the continent."

"There are amazing opportunities on the continent, from jobs to investments to entrepreneurial ventures. Now is the time for global Africans to fulfil their destiny of success and significance."

The gathering in New York followed Speed Meet Jozi, which took place in August. At that event, former South African President Thabo Mbeki called on the African Diaspora to return.

Brand South Africa has entered into an agreement with Homecoming Revolution to leverage opportunities for its Global South Africans (GSA) Programme.

The agreement, which consists of a number of engagement platforms, including the Speed Meet, will provide exposure for the GSA Programme, and assist with growing the network. – Source:
The movie, from first-time filmmaker Ernest Nkosi, is set in Joburg's north-eastern township of Alexandra. Its gritty plot follows the story of two siblings, Zanele and Thulani, who try to escape tragedy and poverty, and build a life together.
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has named the indie drama Thina Sobabili (The Two of Us) as South Africa's entry into the 88th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

The movie has an all local cast. Emmanuel Nkosinathi Gweva plays Thulani and Busisiwe Mtshali is in the role of Zanele.

The movie has already made an impression. It won the Audience Choice awards at two film festivals: the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the 2015 Jozi Film Festival.

It was also named Best Feature Film at the 2015 Rwanda Film Festival and made the cut for a screening at the 2015 Urbanworld Film Festival, taking place in New York City from 23 to 27 September.

If Thina Sobabili does get the nomination nod, it'll join the ranks of other South African entries: Yesterday, which was nominated in 2004, and the 2006 Oscar winner, Tsotsi.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will only announce the nominations for the 2016 Oscars on 14 January. The awards ceremony will take place on 28 February at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. – Source:
A celestial event such as this last occurred in 1982 – and will not be repeated until 2033.
In the early hours of Monday morning, 28 September, South Africa was one of only six places in the world where moon-gazers were able to see one of the rarest astronomical events in years.

Both a lunar eclipse and a supermoon took place, meaning the moon was darkened by the Earth's shadow during one of its brightest phases known as a perigee moon – this is when the full or new moon comes closest to the Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter.

The supermoon was visible on Sunday night, reaching its brightest state early on Monday morning as the lunar eclipse took place at 04:51 on Monday morning. – Source:
The former prison for criminal and political prisoners, used during the colonial and apartheid regime in South Africa, is a heritage site and international tourist attraction.
In less than 18 months, travellers will have the opportunity to spend the night on Robben Island, with the world heritage site announcing it will soon offer overnight accommodation on the island.

The new accommodation prospects were discussed as at a recent Heritage Day celebration.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the authentic accommodation at the former governor of the island’s residence – overlooking the walkout point and the island's famous pool area.

The rooms are spacious and will be decorated with a Victorian flair. No price point for the overnight stays have been disclosed by the island yet.

The overnight offering forms part of an project that aims to overhaul the ailing visitor experience of the iconic South African heritage site.

Traveller24 reported in April this year of ambitious new plans for the improvement of Robben Island.

Some of these improvements, for example a new smart phone application for the island, has already been launched successfully. – Source: Traveller24
A selection panel has nominated nine drivers and nine co-drivers to take part in a five-day training and assessment programme in Doha, Qatar, from 2 to 7 November.
South African Sandra Labuscagne has been chosen to join a prestige cross-country rally initiative run by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycling Federation.

One driver and one co-driver will then be chosen to team up to compete, courtesy of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycling Federation, in the 2016 Sealine Cross Country Rally.

The highly experienced Sandra has been competing in the Donaldson Cross-Country Championship for a number of years, and was one of 85 applicants from 39 countries.

Sanora chief executive officer, Richard Schilling, said: “Sandra’s selection is fully deserved, and we are delighted for her. It is also a massive boost for the Donaldson Cross-Country Championship and for all women competitors in South African motorsport.

“There is no doubt Sandra will be a great ambassador for South African motorsport and cross-country racing.” – Source: Wheels24
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