Issue 199 | 26 November 2015
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Disability Rights


zuma visit angola
The two leaders discussed matters relating to peace and security in the Southern African Development Community and the continent.
President Jacob Zuma visited the Republic of Angola on 24 November 2015 at the invitation of His Excellency President José Eduardo dos Santos.

The President held talks with President dos Santos aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries at social, political and economic levels.

South Africa remains committed to bringing Israeli and Palestinian groups together to find lasting peace in the Middle East, says President Jacob Zuma.


Last year, President Zuma appointed senior former ministers Zola Skweyiya and Aziz Pahad as special envoys to the Middle East Peace Process. The President says the envoys have criss-crossed North Africa, the Middle East and Southern Europe, soliciting and exchanging views to find a way forward in the impasse.

“We shall, in the future, invite to our shores different groups that are involved in the Middle East Peace Process so as to share with them our past experiences and to also exchange views with them,” President Zuma said recently.

He was speaking at the South African Jewish Board of Deputies Biennial National Conference, held under the theme “Gathering Voices – Combatting International Racism and Anti-Semitism” in Johannesburg.

President Zuma said the key to peace in the Middle East was the establishment of a free and sovereign Palestinian State, co-existing in peace with the State of Israel, based on the borders of June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“That can only come about through genuine and peaceful negotiations by all affected parties without any pre-conditions,” said the President.

The South African Government, he said, held the view that a free Palestine was in no way against the existence of the State of Israel and the safety of the Israeli nation.

On the contrary, President Zuma believed that the establishment of the State of Palestine would lay a solid foundation for lasting peace in the Middle East.

President Zuma urged the Jewish community to remain seized with these efforts and to also make their contribution to bringing about a peaceful Middle East, saying South Africa has something to offer in the promotion of peace and tolerance in the world. – Source:

President Jacob Zuma says without peace and stability, it will be difficult to achieve development and prosperity.
Speaking in Durban at the ACCORD 2015 Africa Peace Award on 21 November, President Zuma said the pursuit of peace was paramount for the realisation of Africa’s developmental goals. ACCORD is a South African-based organisation involved in conflict resolution, peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy throughout the continent of Africa.

President Zuma said the organisation should be commended for the good work it was doing on the continent.

“The Africa Peace Award has since its inception in 1993 honoured the remarkable work of individuals, communities, nations and institutions that have shown an unwavering commitment to peace in our beloved motherland, Africa.

“The ACCORD leadership and staff working in South Africa and its various offices in some parts of our continent are reflective of this dynamic organisation's pan-African roots. Your work in such areas as conflict resolution, mediation, peace-making, peacekeeping in capacity-building, research, training and advocacy makes ACCORD an important member of Africa's vibrant civil society,” President Zuma said.

He said the Africa Peace Award was a significant contribution to the continent’s objective of silencing the guns by 2020, in line with Agenda 2063, the continental blueprint for development.

President Zuma said the African Union Commission, in its remarkable work in promoting peace and security, had continued to encourage member states to strengthen the African Peace and Security Architecture and its various elements.

“Although we still have areas of conflict and strife on the continent, such as the challenges we continue to face in Somalia, Central African Republic, Mali and the Sahel, Libya and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, our collective efforts at promoting peace have yielded significant successes as evidenced by the successful recent conclusion of free, fair and credible elections on our continent,” he said.

“Peace on our continent will go a long way towards ensuring that our people continue to contribute to the future of our continent. It means we lessen the chances of our young people perishing in the stormy waters of the Mediterranean Sea as they seek greener pastures elsewhere,” the President said.
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The South African Government strongly condemns the use of force, violence, intimidation or threats to address socio-political issues or towards the resolution of political disagreements.
The South African Government notes with concern the attack by terrorists at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Bamako, Mali, which has claimed innocent lives while other people, including staff of the hotel and guest, were held hostage.

South Africa stands firmly with the rest of the international community in its condemnation of attacks targeting innocent civilians and reiterates its stance that terrorism, in whatever form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.

South Africa further condemns any act of violence which seeks to undermine the Mali Peace and Reconciliation Agreement signed between the Malian Government and the Tuaregs rebel leaders in May and June 2015 respectively.
visit to itali
The Minister held bilateral talks with her counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, with a view to renewing political and economic relations between the two countries.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, concluded her Working Visit to Italy on Friday, 20 November 2015.

The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual concern, which included discussions on further enhancing trade and investment, and exploring further areas of cooperation such as the development of small, medium and micro enterprises, infrastructure and the ocean economy, among others. The migration crisis, peace and security issues, as well as the scourge of terrorism were also discussed.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane extended an invitation to Minister Gentiloni to visit South Africa during the course of 2016.

Bilateral relations between Italy and South Africa are sound. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2003 to establish a framework for regular bilateral consultations at ministerial or deputy ministerial level. Areas of cooperation under this framework include science and technology, police, defence, tourism, arts and culture, and agriculture, among others. Bilateral trade between the two countries increased remarkably in 2014 by reaching a six-year high after increasing by almost R7 billion (from R33 billion in 2013 to R40 billion in 2014). This includes an increase of South African exports by almost R2 billion.

Trade figures are expected to increase following an announcement this year that South Africa was among three countries identified by the Italian Government as potential strategic suppliers for products such as raw materials, semi-finished and intermediate products in metallurgical, steel, alloys and foundries.
visit to neatherlands  
The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) is the management oversight and legislative body of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
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The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, concluded a successful Working Visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Thursday, 19 November 2015, where she led a South African delegation to the 14th Session of the ASP of the ICC, which took place in The Hague from 18-26 November 2015.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane delivered South Africa's opening statement during the General Debate of the ASP. The Minister outlined the legal and political challenges faced by a country like South Africa that was engaged in peace efforts throughout the continent, while also trying to balance its legal and political obligations and duties in accordance with Articles 97, 98 and 27 of the Rome Statute of the ICC.

In this regard, South Africa requested that the ASP deliberate on these challenges in order to reach an understanding. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane stated that: "As a State Party to the Rome Statute, we want to make sure that the ICC lives up to the purposes it was created for. This is our court and we have a responsibility to interrogate whether this institution is still reflective of the principles and values which guided its creation."

While in The Hague, the Minister also held meetings with organs of the Court and other dignitaries on various aspects relating to the ICC. They included the President of the ICC, Judge Silvia Fernandez; and the Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, among others.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane met with the Organisation on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague. The Director-General praised South Africa’s contribution to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, noting in particular the strong support of South Africa to the OPCW’s Africa Programme.

Prior to her departure from The Hague, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane held bilateral consultations with her counterpart, Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The ministers discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual concern.

Following the bilateral talks, the ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation that would provide structure to the cordial, strong historical relations that exist between South Africa and the Netherlands. The MoU covers all areas of cooperation such as water management, energy, logistics, maritime skills development, education, science and technology, arts and culture, and trade, among others.

A Cabinet Meeting was held on 4 November 2015. Various key decisions and announcements were made.
President Jacob Zuma will host his Chinese counterpart President, Xi Jinping, for a two-day State Visit from 2 to 3 December. The visit aims to finalise the China-South Africa Five-10 Year Framework on Cooperation that will further entrench the implementation of our agreements since the conclusion of the Beijing Declaration in 2010. It will further deepen and expand on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that the two countries share.

South Africa’s relations with China remain central to realising its developmental agenda through its foreign policy as it increases efforts to implement the National Development Plan; and collaborate in agriculture, environmental affairs, trade and industry and finance as the country continues to drive the agenda of moving South Africa forward. It also provides an opportunity to review progress on existing areas of trade and cooperation between the two nations, and to expedite and finalise new areas of collaboration.

President Zuma will lead a delegation to the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th Session of the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris, France.

The international negotiations for a new legal agreement will frame the response to climate change, which will come into effect from 2020 onwards. In line with South Africa’s national interest as an African and developing country that will require post-2020 support, South Africa will continue to defend the UNFCCC’s core principles of equity and differentiation.

At the Group of 77+China meeting, South Africa will seek to maintain and strengthen the unity of developing countries to obtain a Paris Agreement that is fair, ambitious, science-based and that produces the development space of developing countries.
norway visit
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, is undertaking a Working Visit to Norway and Ireland respectively.
The visit to Norway took place within the context of the South Africa/Norway High-Level Consultations (HLC). During the visit, Deputy Minister Landers and the Norwegian counterpart, Tone Skogen, co-chaired the Third Session of the HLC between the two countries in Oslo from 23 to 24 November 2015.

South Africa and Norway have a history of working together in the promotion of democracy, good governance and human rights, social, environmental and climate change and have supported and worked with each other in bilateral and multilateral relations. The two countries further discussed cooperation related to the maritime sector, in light of South Africa’s fast-tracking of the Blue Economy.

In Ireland, Deputy Minister Landers will co-chair the Fourth South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum on 26 November 2015 in Dublin. The Partnership Forum is the structured mechanism to manage and monitor bilateral relations between South Africa and Ireland. It was established in 2004 through the signing of a Declaration of Intent aimed at placing bilateral relations on a coherent and structured footing. The forum is conducted at deputy minister level and meets every two years.

The Partnership Forum in Dublin will be an opportunity to reconfirm good relations between South Africa and Ireland which stem from long-standing friendly ties. During the forum, discussions will also cover a general overview of the Irish Aid Programme to South Africa, as well as exchanging views on the current European and African issues of mutual concern. It will also present an opportunity for the two countries to update each on domestic developments in their respective countries.
A South African business delegation recently visited Uganda on an Outward Selling and Investment Mission (OSIM).
The investment mission aimed to increase trade and deepen bilateral relations between South Africa and Uganda.

The mission, which took place in Kampala, also served as an ideal opportunity for South Africa to find opportunities to export value-added products and services to Uganda.

The business delegation participated in various business-to-business meetings, site visits and trade and investment seminars.

The High Commissioner for South Africa to Uganda, General Lekoa Mollo, said the Ugandan business community was keen to do business with South Africa and had shown interest in collaborating and working in different sectors that could benefit both countries.

“The OSIM will also link the private sector in South Africa with the private sector in Uganda with the hope of increasing trade and investment opportunities between the two countries,” said General Mollo.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry was also leading a delegation of businesspeople on an OTIM to Chile.

The aim of the OTIM was to create a platform for South African value-added products and services to enter the Latin American market and encourage investments and joint ventures between South African and Chilean companies.

“The mission to Chile will provide the South African companies with an opportunity to penetrate the Latin American market, which is not only about Brazil but more about the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc that includes Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. The bloc offers greater export and investment opportunities,” said Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The programme for the mission will include trade and investment seminars, business-to-business meetings and site visits.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Chile totalled R2,3 billion in 2014. – Source:


The agreement will allow for the import of United States’ (US) bone-in-chicken portions.
South Africa and the USA have signed a poultry veterinary trade protocol.

According to a joint statement issued by the departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries and frade and industry the “Protocol for Poultry Meat and Day-Old Chicks” was signed on 13 November.

In June, South Africa and the USA agreed on an annual quota of 65 000 tonnes of US chicken to be imported into South Africa. The countries had been at loggerheads over the inclusion of US chicken imports into the South African market.

This follows several months of technical discussions between South African and US veterinary experts.

“The United States and South African veterinary authorities have been negotiating a Poultry HPAI Trade Protocol in the event of any new outbreaks of Avian flu (HPAI) in the United States to secure the continued exports of poultry from those areas in the US that are not affected by Avian flu,” said the departments on recently.

Almost 20 states in the USA experienced outbreaks of Avian Flu this year.

Negotiating an appropriate trade protocol and health certificate that secure market access for the USA and also ensures safety for animal and human health was a challenging task for the veterinarians from both the USA and South Africa.

The departments said the agreement signalled another significant milestone in the process of securing the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) for South African exporters into the US market.

AGOA is a preferential agreement that has been in place since 2000 between the USA and sub-Saharan African countries. – Source:
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, hailed the establishment of the GEO in 2003 as visionary.
She was speaking at the Fourth GEO Ministerial Summit held in Mexico City on Friday, 13 November.

GEO was formed by governments and international organisations as a direct response to the call made at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 for cooperation on Earth observation and the coordination of global observing systems.

The Minister said that over the past 10 years, GEO had made significant progress in building the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). South Africa, as one of the co-chairs, had helped to lead this extraordinary global undertaking.

"This year, GEO comes to the end of its 10-year mandate and we are here to endorse a programme for another decade," she added, thanking all the leaders and support and working groups that had contributed to the enterprise.

She explained that the GEO Strategic Plan 2016 – 2025: Implementing GEOSS would improve our understanding of the Earth system, markedly enhancing global policy- and decision-making abilities to promote human health, safety and welfare.

Minister Pandor said that, to achieve its goals, GEO required an unequivocal commitment to international cooperation and collaboration in improving systems coordination, addressing gaps in observations, supporting interoperability, sharing data and critically facilitating the delivery of information to users.


The agreement was signed in Moscow, Russia, recently and includes areas such as general education, educational policy strategy, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and higher education.
The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, has signed a joint agreement with BRICS education ministers to develop a solid framework for future cooperation in education.

It also commits the BRICS partners – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – to support joint research projects, and encourage more collaborative programmes at postgraduate, doctorate and postdoctorate levels and co-publishing of scientific results by BRICS universities.

Minister Nzimande said a process was already underway to nominate 12 South African universities to participate in the BRICS Network of Universities, which will be anchor universities for collaboration.

“The department has established a national coordinating committee comprising government and members of the academic community to play an oversight role on the establishment of the BRICS Network,” Minister Nzimande said.

Significantly, Minister Nzimande said, the agreement stressed the role of TVET colleges in attracting young people to the labour market.

“We want to collaborate to improve the quality of teaching and teachers’ education. The collaboration means that we recognise the establishment of the BRICS Working Group on TVET to develop national reports, and share concepts, methods and instruments of analysis, matching workforce demands and supply for BRICS member countries.

The agreement follows a meeting in Brazil earlier this year, where member states agreed to promote the strengthening of internationalisation of higher education and academic mobility, vocational and technical education, as well as to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. – Source:
Jamaica was the second country in the Caribbean with which South Africa formalised relations in S&T (Cuba was the first).
South Africa's relations with other countries in the South continue to be strengthened in line with the strategic importance government places on South-South partnerships.

As part of this focus, the Department of Science and Technology convened the Second South Africa-Jamaica Joint Committee (JC) Meeting on S&T recently to consolidate its relations with the Caribbean nation. The Second JC meeting was coupled with two parallel workshops from 18 to 19 November 2015 on indigenous knowledge-based natural products (nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, traditional medicines and herbal beverages) and water. Some members of Jamaica’s delegation also participated in the METHODS 2015 Conference from 22 to 25 November.

At the First South Africa-Jamaica S&T meeting, held in Kingston last year, it was agreed that the two countries would cooperate in, among others, the areas of the bio-economy and ocean science, as well as on popularising S&T.

The Second South Africa-Jamaica JC meeting reviewed the programme of cooperation and planning ahead. Future cooperation will continue to include the popularisation of S&T, and looking into possible business ventures in the bio-economy, specifically indigenous knowledge.
The Department of Science and Technology formalised its bilateral relations on S&T with the Netherlands, with the signing of an agreement in Pretoria recently.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, and the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Martijn van Dam (standing in for Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker) signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

This was done during a trade mission to South Africa aimed at forging closer ties between the two countries. The mission, which involved 75 companies, was led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Minister Pandor said the signing of the MoU with the Netherlands presented a great opportunity for strengthening and deepening S&T relations between the two countries. Officials from both countries will now draw up a plan of action to implement the MoU.

Among other activities, key science institutions are partnering to bring astronomers closer to understanding the volume of data that will be generated by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

SKA South Africa and the University of Cape Town (UCT), through the newly established Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA), are cooperating with ASTRON (the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) and IBM, in groundbreaking research that will be used to manage the immense amount of data that will be generated through the SKA.

Data centres will be established in each country to provide astronomers around the world with access to the large-scale data infrastructure and high-performance computing needed to make sense of the data.

"We assume that there will be at least two astronomy-focused sites, one in South Africa and one in the Netherlands," said Prof. Russ Taylor, IDIA founding director and SKA Research Chair at UCT and the University of the Western Cape.

Dr Jasper Horrell, General Manager: Science Computing and Innovation at SKA South Africa, says: "The activity, combining both operational and research components, is an important step on the path towards being able to extract major science value efficiently from the massive astronomical datasets that will be collected by the SKA."

With South Africa's MeerKAT and the Netherlands' APERTIF telescopes both expected to go online in 2016, the scale of data collection is set to increase significantly.


“This investment is testament to the important partnership that exists between business and government and the role that business is playing in the development of the economy.”
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The Minister of Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, has welcomed BMW Group South Africa’s decision to invest R6 billion in its plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria.

“We are excited at the prospect of the BWM Rosslyn plant as home to the next generation of BMW X3 vehicles. For us, this is a boost to our industrial policy objective of positioning South Africa as a manufacturing hub for high-valued consumer products,” said Minister Davies.

The investment is one of the biggest in the local automotive industry and will enable the Rosslyn plant to produce the next generation of the BMW X3. The vehicles will be sold locally and exported to various countries.

The production of the next generation BMW X3 at the plant will replace the BMW 3 Series Sedan, which will now be allocated to other plants within the global BMW production network.

BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina in the United States of America will also continue to produce the next generation BMW X3.

The Managing Director of BMW Group South Africa, Tim Abbott, said the potential for Africa as a future market for exports as well as the current Automative Production and Development Programme enabled South Africa to play a significant role in the manufacturing industry and production of high-quality cars.

“We are excited about the future prospects of the Rosslyn plant and cannot wait to start with the production of the next generation BMW X3,” said Abott.
– Source:
South Africa is the second most preferred investment destination after Nigeria. The other countries making up the top four list are Kenya and Uganda.
South Africa is the second most preferred investment destination by Gulf companies, which have invested as much as $2,7 billion into sub-Saharan Africa during the first half of the current year.

Companies from the Gulf region, whose investments into the region surged to $9,2 billion between 2005 and 2014, are mostly interested in sectors such as financial services, retail, tourism and logistics, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a report released recently.

The report says joint investments with private equity funds, purchase of private equity businesses, and direct buyouts were the “most significant modes of foreign direct investment entry for Gulf investors” interested in sub-Saharan markets.

Africa is attractive as an investment destination because of its projected population boom and massive room and scale for development and improvement in various sectors such as infrastructure, services, logistics and manufacturing.

“Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda have attracted the largest number of Gulf investors – between 10 and 25 firms each. Although a few countries – such as South Africa, Senegal, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire – have more prominent manufacturing sectors, they are still smaller than the global average,” according to the report. – Source:



South African Airways (SAA) introduced flights to the East African country on 25 October 1995, with the route growing from three flights per week to the current offering of twice daily flights between the two African cities.

SAA says it is proud to celebrate 20 years of flying between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The lifting of visas requirements in 2013 for South African passport holders wishing to visit Tanzania for holiday or business (for up to 90 days) further contributed to stimulating travel between the countries, according to the national carrier.

“Dar es Salaam is one of the key destinations in our extensive African route network and we are proud that as an airline we contribute to the growth in bilateral trade and tourism between South Africa and Tanzania. The strong historical ties between the two nations enabled them to create an environment where business, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges could flourish,” says Aaron Munetsi, SAA Regional General Manager for Africa.

Johannesburg – Dar es Salaam flights are operated by SAA’s new A320s, or A319s. The A320 offers a superior product in business class, which has also been well accepted by Voyager Frequent Flyers.
It is the policy-making world's only continuous programme of its kind. Meetings take place three or four times a year and focus on different regions. Attendance is free to members and non-members pay a small fee.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa will be hosting the International Institute of Communications (IIC) Telecommunications and Media Forum 2015 (IIC TMF) from 8 to 9 December in Johannesburg.

The IIC TMF programme serves to enhance the telecomm unications, media and technology sector's knowledge and understanding of emerging policy and technologies on a fast-track basis.
ant and craft
The theme for the 2015 South African Art and Craft Exhibition was “Jika Jika”, meaning to change or give direction, to turn, to explore, to share, to learn, to revolve mentally, to ponder and to dance in wonder.
On 18 November, the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, officially opened the 2015 South African Art and Craft Exhibition at the Souk Waqif Art Centre in Doha Qatar.

The Department of Arts and Culture and its Qatari counterpart finalised a draft agreement on arts and culture in 2014. “The art and craft exhibition is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen cultural relations between South Africa and Qatar, and thus promote greater people-to-people contact and deepen our bonds of friendship and solidarity”, said Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi.

“South Africa’s arts and culture are as varied as one might expect from such a diverse nation. The country’s people produce a remarkable range of arts and crafts, working from the pavements and markets of the big cities to deep rural enclaves, with every possible form of traditional artwork”.

At least three crafters, namely Nathi Shongwe, a fashion designer based in Mpumalanga, Nkosingiphile Ncube, Ilala grass basket weaver from Hlabisa in KwaZulu-Natal, and Zizipho Poswa, ceramist from Western Cape, participated in the exhibition.

This unique exhibition formed part of the collaboration between the Department of Arts and Culture, Nandos and the South African Embassy in Qatar. More than 11 000 pieces of South African art are on display in all Nandos restaurants around the world. With seven restaurants, Nados Qatar is home to 150 art pieces of which 40 were on display at the South African Art and Craft Exhibition.

Another integral part of the Deputy Minister’s visit to Doha were the bilateral discussions to lay groundwork for further cultural engagements with Dr Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Qatari Minister of Art, Culture and Heritage.

The exhibition ran from 18 to 22 November 2015.


The Nation Brand Index is the result of 20 342 interviews in 20 countries.
Brand South Africa, in partnership with the Business Report, recently released the results of South Africa’s performance in the 2015 Anholt Nation Brand Index.

South Africa ranks 38 of 50 countries assessed in this index.

Although South Africa has dropped one place – from 37 in 2014 to 38 in 2015 – the country’s overall reputation score has improved 0.17 points from 2014. In addition, South Africa has improved on the pillars of people and tourism and held steady on the pillars of exports and governance.

Reflecting on South Africa’s performance in the Nation Brand Index, CEO Kingsley Makhubela said, “South Africans can be proud of our country’s performance in a range of indices in the past year. The Global Competitiveness Index produced by the World Economic Forum ranks us 49 among 140 countries and number two in Africa. The Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governance places us at number four among 54 countries on the continent and now, the Nation Brand Index places us at number 38 of 50 countries. A country’s reputation is collectively built by each citizen and Brand South Africa salutes you for your efforts to build a globally competitive country with a positive reputation”.

“There is, however, work to be done to improve in certain areas of our competitiveness and the National Development Plan must guide national efforts to achieve this. Improvements will impact positively on the reputation of and perceptions about South Africa. Brand South Africa urges all citizens to become part of this endevour.”

The Nation Brand Index recognises among South Africa’s strengths, sports – particularly football – pristine landscapes and game reserves. Participants in the survey also indicated that the citizens of South Africa were among our biggest attribute being described as, among others, desirable friends, good employees, hardworking and skilful.
Gordimer, who died in July 2014, was one of South Africa's iconic anti-apartheid crusaders. She won the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature for her epic but thoughtful works that dealt with the moral and racial complexities of South Africa in the 20th century.
Nadine Gordimer was "a powerful voice for change in South African politics, (who) moved untold thousands with the pathos of her sparse, penetrating narratives", Google wrote in its tribute to the writer on its corporate website. Gordimer is the focus of one of its popular doodles to mark her 92nd birthday on 20 November 2015.

The doodle features Gordimer labouring in her study, where she typically worked from early morning into the late afternoon, as imagined by artist Lydia Nichols. In a style befitting Gordimer's prose, Nichols exercised restraint by using only three colours, layered to create texture and subtle variation.

Gordimer, who attended just one year of university, was once asked how she had developed such a sophisticated command of the language in the absence of any formal training. "From reading," she said. "And living, of course." – Source: Google


Three South African writers have been nominated in what has been called the "world's richest literary prize", the International Dublin Literary Award.
Zakes Mda's Rachel's Blue, Mandla Langa's The Texture of Shadows and Imraan Coovadia's Tales of the Metric System are in the running for the €100 000 (about R1,5-million) prize money.

Fans and organisations have congratulated the authors on social media.

The annual award is in its 21st year. Nominations come in from libraries across the world.

"The nomination process for the award is unique as nominations are made by libraries in capital and major cities throughout the world," reads the Dublin Literary Award website."Participating libraries can nominate up to three novels each year for the award. Over 400 library systems in 177 countries worldwide are invited to nominate books each year."

The winner will be announced on 9 June 2016. The three South Africans are among 160 titles in the running this year.

The South African novels have already been given the nod on the local literary scene.

Rachel's Blue won the 2014/15 University of Johannesburg Prize, The Texture of Shadows was long-listed for the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Award for Fiction, and Tales of the Metric System was shortlisted for the 2015 Barry Ronge Prize. – Source:
Monopoly made its debut in 1935 – and since then has been played by more than 500 million people. Today, it is played in 111 countries and is available in 43 different languages.
As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, Monopoly launched its Cape Town version of the popular board game at the V&A Waterfront in the Mother City on Friday, 13 November.

Monopoly Cape Town is the first in an expected long line of regional South African boards. Notable attractions made it into the game, including the Taj Hotel in Cape Town, Boulders, Muizenberg and Camps Bay beaches, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and Robben Island, among others.

"We have been looking forward to bringing a Monopoly Cape Town edition to South Africa for a long time, and we knew that there was a big board-gaming community and many loyal Monopoly fans, but we have been overwhelmed by the passionate and enthusiastic responses we've received," said Dan Taylor of Winning Moves. –   Source:
In terms of the agreement, Famous Brands will open five restaurants over a five-year period in three trading formats. The first flagship PAUL restaurant is scheduled to open by the end of 2016.

After two years of negotiations, Famous Brands recently announced it had signed an agreement with French bakery-café chain PAUL to become its South African licensed partner for a 10-year period.

PAUL is a 126-year-old family-owned French chain of bakery-cafés with an international presence in 41 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, America and the Middle East. PAUL serves over five million customers a month in its 400-plus bakeries across France.

According to Famous Brands Group CEO Kevin Hedderwick the partnership is aimed at enhancing Famous Brands' premium-end offering.

"While PAUL's product offering is classically French, it also brings innovation and continuous development of new products," he said.

Hedderwick said PAUL's authentic offering would have enormous appeal for discerning local consumers who were increasingly aligned with international trends and choose to associate with brands with style and status that were popular in Europe and the United States of America.

“Research confirms the continued growth in this country of the higher LSM and middle-income market, with consumers constantly looking to indulge in premium brands that offer quality.

"Buying into an international brand of this calibre will afford us access to all the global learnings and best operating practice that has been developed," said Hedderwick. – Source:

Val de Vie is set to welcome royalty and honoured guests to its premises – and to the scenic Paarl-Franschhoek Valley – as the official host of this esteemed event, which was conceptualised by Prince Harry in 2010.
It has been officially confirmed that Prince Harry will be playing in the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, which will take place for the first time on African soil, on Saturday, 28 November 2015 at Val de Vie Estate – a leading polo, lifestyle and residential estate set in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Now in its sixth year, the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup is the largest one-day charity polo event in the world, and is specifically held to raise money for Sentebale – a charity founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso to assist Lesotho's vulnerable children. To date, the event has raised over R60 million (£3 million) for Sentebale and once again, all proceeds of this year's polo cup will go to the charity.

Van Niekerk walked away with a Mercedes Benz C-class as well as a R500 000 cheque after he saw off stiff competition from cyclist Greg Minnaar and swimming sensation Chad le Clos.

Top sprinter Wayde van Niekerk reigned supreme at the South African Sports Awards in Bloemfontein last weekend, winning the sportsman of the year award and the people's choice accolade.

The 23-year-old sprinter has had a sensational year, beating the reigning Olympic and world champions Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt respectively in the 400 m at the World Championships in Beijing in August .

He crossed the line in 43.48 seconds, the fourth-fastest time ever, and claimed South Africa's first sprint gold at a major championship in more than a century.

He is currently the only South African athlete to be regarded as the world's best in an event.

For winning the sportsman of the year award, Van Niekerk walked away with a Mercedes Benz C-class as well as a R500 000 cheque after he saw off stiff competition from cyclist Greg Minnaar and swimming sensation Chad le Clos.

Van Niekerk will be handed an additional R500 000 to donate to the charity of his choice.

Cyclist Ashleigh Moolman Pasio won the sportswoman of the year award, beating cricketer Shabnim Ismail and canoeist Bridgitte Hartley.

In the other categories, Lucas Sithole won the sportsman of the year with a disability award, while Illsle Hayes won the women's version of the same award.

The Springbok Sevens were named team of the year, while Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, 20, won the newcomer of the year award. Graham Hill was named coach of the year and basketball the national federation of the year.

Rowing SA's Virginia Mabaso was named sports administrator of the year, KwaZulu-Natal's Dibeke Team won the indigenous games team of the year award, Indigo Skate Camp was named the recreation body of the year, St John's College junior men's pair school team of the year and Montshiwa Primary School the developing school team of the year.

With the exception of the sportsman and the people's choice awards, all the other winners were each presented with a cheque for R130 000.
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