Issue 200 | 02 December 2015
         
 
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FOCAC TO ENHANCE COOPERATION FOR A WIN-WIN RESULT
 
The summit is historic because it is not only the first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit on African soil but also a summit that will deepen China-Africa relations in every aspect.
 
 
On 4 and 5 December, South Africa will host to the historic event, the FOCAC Summit.

The Johannesburg Summit was preceded by a meeting of senior officials on Wednesday followed by the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of FOCAC on Thursday.

President Xi Jinping and President Jacob Zuma will co-chair the actual summit on Friday and Saturday.

African Heads of State and Government, representatives from the African Union (AU), heads of regional organisations and multilateral organisations will also participate in the summit, which will be held under the theme: “Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development”.

Established in 2000, FOCAC aims to promote bilateral ties and cooperation between China and Africa through dialogue.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the forum, and it's the first time the ministerial meeting has been upgraded to a leader's summit. This upgrade is seen as a reflection of the two sides’ developing relationship.

The summit will see the adoption of a new declaration – the Johannesburg Declaration – and a plan of action plan, which will outline specific measures aimed at consolidating the growing mutual partnership between Africa and China.

The summit will pick up on key areas of cooperation that the two sides have identified. These include economic cooperation; infrastructure development; beneficiation; debt relief; industrialisation; investment promotion; market-access expansion; cooperation in health, agriculture, science and technology; and education; as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za–Xinhua
 
 
PRESIDENT ZUMA HOSTS PRESIDENT XI FOR STATE VISIT
 
 
President Xi will meet President Jacob Zuma ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit, which starts on Friday.
 
President Xi Jinping has arrived in South Africa for a State Visit.

The two leaders are expected to use the State Visit to finalise the China-South Africa 5-10 Year Framework on Cooperation, which was signed in December 2014.

They will further engage in bilateral talks where they will look at the progress made thus far on the Strategic Programme with specific reference to the six priority areas identified. These priority areas include the alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation process; enhancement of cooperation in special economic zones; marine cooperation; infrastructure development, human resources cooperation; and financial cooperation.

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 cooperation.

China and South Africa first established diplomatic ties in 1998.

Over the last 17 years, relations have developed across the board, having upgraded from a partnership a strategic partnership and then a comprehensive strategic partnership. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za–Xinhua
 
 
PRESIDENT ZUMA ATTENDS PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE
 
 
“Having launched the negotiations that will conclude this year at COP 17 in Durban in 2011, South Africa has a special interest in doing all that it can to ensure the success of the Paris COP,” The Presidency said.
 
President Jacob Zuma attended the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) this week.

President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, at the conference, which is being held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December.

The President attended the Heads of State and Government segment on 30 November.

President Zuma said for South Africa, a fair and ambitious legally binding agreement would mark the successful conclusion of the mandate agreed to by consensus in Durban to enhance implementation of the existing convention.

“To be successful, the new agreement must be fair. Fairness would imply respect for the convention’s principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” he said.

South Africa also has the special responsibility of advancing the collective and shared interests of developing countries in the negotiations for the Paris Agreement.

South Africa chairs the Group of 77 and China. It is also an active member of the Africa Group of Negotiators as well as the Brazil, South Africa, India and China Group.

President Zuma said finance would be of central importance to the Paris outcome and had to be an integral part of the agreement itself.

“The reality is that without adequate, predictable and sustainable means of implementation, it will be impossible to reach our agreed temperature target.

“This is because key mitigation potential is in developing countries, such as South Africa, and these countries are not able to realise this potential on their own,” he said. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS URGED TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONS
 
During the ceremony, Heads of Mission-designate from 15 countries presented their credentials to the President, and reaffirmed the commitment of their countries to further strengthen the existing historic relations that their countries have with South Africa.
 
 
President Jacob Zuma says the lack of cooperation between international partners and the African Union (AU) risks a reversal of achievements that Africa has registered over the years.

Delivering his remarks during the credentials ceremony held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, President Zuma said it was important that international partners supported regional initiatives to bring about peace rather than imposing their own initiatives.

President Zuma received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate at the credentials ceremony.

“The AU Agenda 2063, which was adopted by the AU Summit in June 2015 in Johannesburg, is achievable. We need to strengthen partnerships between ourselves as Africans and work in collaboration with our international partners.

“We must forge ahead with efforts to find solutions to African problems. We have tested our capabilities to bring sustained peace on the continent in order to create favourable conditions for increased prosperity,” said President Zuma.

The ambassadors and high commissioners-designate came from the Republic of Mali, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Zambia, Federal Republic of Switzerland, Republic of Canada, Republic of Mauritius, Republic of Panama, Republic of Mozambique, European Union, Hellenic Republic, Czech Republic, Federation of Malaysia, State of Palestine, Federal Republic of Somalia and Republic of Sri Lanka.

They also thanked President Zuma and the South African Government for the support it had shown to their respective countries, and for contributing towards bringing solutions to challenges facing their countries. – Source:  www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA’S POSITION ON THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
 
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has noted the adoption by the Third Committee of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 25 November 2015, of a Resolution on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
 
 
The vote took place during the last day of the Committee work that spanned two months. During that session, a myriad of resolutions were voted on and South Africa participated in all of them.

This specific Resolution just like the others, was a subject of intense negotiations until the 11th hour.

The Africa Group had about 39 proposed amendments that were going to be proposed from the floor on the day of adoption. After last-minute efforts and attempts to adjust the Resolution to align it with South Africa’s concerns, the main sponsor introduced oral amendments without notifying South Africa and the amendments rendered most of our concerns redundant.

The twist of events and sudden introduction of oral amendments from the floor did not afford our delegates at the UN Headquarters in New York an opportunity to engage in a process of consultation with the department.

Nevertheless, the Resolution still has to go to the General Assembly for final adoption in December. The vote in the Third Committee is to a certain extent part of the process of balancing and fine-tuning the Resolution. That is why the main sponsor could introduce amendments as they did.

The Resolution will be presented to the General Assembly in the next few days and South Africa in general supports the main thrust of the Resolution. We remain committed to the protection of human rights defenders all over the world. Accordingly, South Africa will vote yes.
 
 
MINISTER MAITE NKOANA-MASHABANE LEADS SA DELEGATION TO THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEETING, MALTA
 
 
"Adding Global Value" refers to using the Commonwealth’s strengths in the international arena to influence and effect change globally on issues that the international community is seized with.
 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, led the South African delegation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2015) in Malta, from 25 to 29 November 2015 under the theme: "The Commonwealth – Adding Global Value".

CHOGM 2015 took place in the context of several prominent international developments and events, namely the commemoration on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the establishment of the United Nations (UN).

The CHOGM Agenda mainly focused on global developments and challenges, including climate change, violent extremism and radicalisation, migration as well as implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development goals, which was adopted by heads of state at the UN.

South Africa was a founding member of the Commonwealth but found herself expelled in 1961 due to the apartheid policies of the then government. South Africa re-joined the Commonwealth in 1994, shortly after first democratic elections.

In November 1999, South Africa both hosted the CHOGM in Durban and assumed the Chair for the next two years.
 
 
MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE HOSTS THE PRESIDENT OF THE BRICS NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK (NDB)
 
The NDB, which opened its headquarters in Shanghai, China, on 21 July 2015, together with its regional office in South Africa, the African Regional Centre, and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, constitute the first formal BRICS financial institutions.
 
On 1 December, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted the President of the BRICS NDB, Mr KV Kamath, in Pretoria where he delivered a public lecture at DIRCO on the theme: “From Concept to Reality: The BRICS New Development Bank”. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane delivered the opening remarks at the public lecture.

The purpose of the NDB is to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries to complement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.
   
 
 
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOPS AFRICITIES TALKS
 
Local government is increasingly being identified as the strategic enabler for national economic and development objectives, says South African Local Government Association chairperson Thabo Manyoni.
 
 
 
Speaking at the Seventh Africities Summit, held in Johannesburg this week, Manyoni said the most obvious impact of the current global economic system was rising inequality and its socio-economic impact.

“It is said that Africa and Asia will account for 90% of urban growth over the next 35 years. They have very young populations, which represent a massive potential expansion of the labour force and middle class.

This is a great advantage, if properly managed,” said Manyoni.

He said only 28% of the labour force in Africa occupied stable wage-earning jobs compared to 63% in vulnerable employment, with over 60% of urban dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa living in informal settlements presently.

“This means that potential tax bases of urban governments are relatively small, creating a serious financial imbalance to address the vast service delivery and economic infrastructure needs.

“This must inform a differentiated approach to tackling the development agenda in our context,” he said.

Manyoni said leaders should not forget to invest in the development of small towns and rural villages, which were often the bedrock of agricultural wealth, heritage and cultural diversity.

“We have a responsibility to fashion a uniquely African response to social justice, equality in opportunity and sustainable infrastructure development and resource use,” he said. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
 
SADC CALLS FOR A CODE OF ETHICS FOR MEDIA IN THE REGION
 
The call was made by the chairperson of the region’s Ministerial Committee responsible for public information, Christopher Dlangamandla, at the opening of the two-day meeting in Maseru, Lesotho, recently.
 
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has made a call for the development of a code of ethics for the media in the region.

“We are calling on member states to strengthen codes of ethics to boost the public confidence and professionalism in the public information subsector. This is the way to go, as the public needs to trust the media, and we need to ensure that a code of ethics for the SADC media should be developed.

“State parties need to take necessary measures to ensure the development of media that are editorially independent and conscious of their obligations to the public and greater society,” he said.

According to Dlangamandla, this has been a challenge as media still grapples with ethical issues and publications of what is deemed right.

“This is evident by the various litigations against these publications and retractions by the media. The state of media in the region needs to be looked into holistically and we need to learn how others have tackled such issues.

“While each member state has its own accreditation process, we are encouraging a harmonised regional accreditation system among member states, for ease of operation across SADC … It is time SADC adheres to that,” he said.

Dlangamandla urged member states to adhere to the SADC Road Map for Digital Broadcasting Migration, which has a common vision for the SADC region to have a smooth transition from analogue to digital broadcasting through a harmonised and concerted strategy.

“Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is going to transform the terrestrial broadcasting industry by enabling it to provide better picture and sound quality, more choices for the viewer with new innovative and value-added services on many platforms,” he said.
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA PLAYS A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN ICAO’S FIRST EVER, WORLD AVIATION FORUM HELD IN MONTREAL, CANADA
 
The conference is attended by various International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) member states as well as members of the aviation business community including international industry structures and associations. The programme boasts speakers from various countries amongst the 191 member states affiliated to ICAO.
 
 
South Africa, represented by the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, participated in the ICAO’s first-ever World Aviation Forum from 23 to 25 November at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada. The theme of the conference was “Aviation Partnerships for Sustainable Development”.

Minister Peters was the co-moderator of a panel discussion and also a speaker on the experiences and expectations of emerging economies and the development community. South Africa has positioned itself as a flagship African aviation state and to this end, Minister Peters confirmed the country’s commitment to supporting ICAO’s “No Country Left Behind” goals. According to Minister Peters, aviation safety has become a global issue that ranks as one of the most pressing matters facing society today.

“Considering that aviation remains a critical catalyst for development in terms of economic and social development, the South African Government took a conscious decision to identify aviation as one of the key economic drivers. This led to the establishment of the three autonomous entities, namely the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), responsible for Aviation Safety and Security; Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS), dealing with air navigation service provision; and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), in charge of airports management”, said Minister Peters.

The benefits enjoyed by the country through this model include the high rating South Africa consistently receives through the CAA in terms of ICAO compliance with the eight critical elements on safety and security. ATNS is regarded as one of the schools of excellence in terms of aviation training, and ACSA airports are rated among the top in the world.
 
 
SA ELECTED TO GLOBAL MARITIME COUNCIL
 
South Africa’s election to the 20-member “Category C” Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) comes as Deputy Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga led a delegation to the 29th Session of the IMO Assembly in London, in the United Kingdom.
 
 
South Africa views its representation on the IMO as a major step towards the realisation of the country and the African continent’s potential in the maritime sector.

Deputy Minister Chikunga said the voice of African countries on maritime would be strengthened by South Africa’s presence in the influential global council of the United Nations multilateral body.

“We stand to benefit immensely as the African continent from South Africa’s election to the IMO council. This is where critical decisions are made with regard to global maritime affairs, ranging from the Oceans Economy, rescue initiatives and safety and security matters at sea,” Deputy Minister Chikunga said.

About 80 000 vessels pass through the South African coastline annually of which a large number are laden tankers.

She said South Africa's election to the council came at a time when the country was embarking on a new ambitious chapter of unlocking the country’s maritime potential through the Blue Oceans’ Economy strategy and Operation Phakisa.

Through Operation Phakisa, South Africa aims to create one million jobs. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
TRADE AND INDUSTRY LEADS OUTWARD TRADE AND INVESTMENT MISSION TO KUWAIT AND QATAR
 
 
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the objective of the Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) is to create a platform for South African value-added products and services to establish themselves in the Middle Eastern market.
 
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) recently led a delegation of businesspeople on an OTIM to Kuwait and Qatar. The businesspeople represented companies that operate in agro-processing, chemicals, metals fabrication and built environment.

“The mission to Kuwait and Qatar will provide South African companies with an opportunity to make inroads into the Gulf States that have a propensity to consume large quantities of high quality niche products as well as enable South Africa to diversify its export basket. Taking cognisance of the increased trade deficit with oil countries like Kuwait and Qatar, it would be important to focus on higher value-added exports to the region,” says Davies.

Davies added that the Middle East was one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for manufactured products and services. He said the region held great potential for South Africa as an export market, and served as a potential strategic source of foreign direct investment.

“South African companies will also be able to introduce their products directly to their target markets, and also network and build relationships with potential importers that will benefit both these companies and the country in future,” adds Davies.
 
 
ARCHBISHOP TUTU RECEIVES ROYAL HONOUR
 
British High Commissioner to South Africa, Judith Macgregor said; “The Arch is now a companion in recognition of a lifetime service to peace, reconciliation and human rights all around the world and for his impact on the lives of many people, including in the United Kingdom.”
 
 
Prince Harry recently presented Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the insignia of an honourary member of The Order of the Companions of Honour on behalf of the Queen in Cape Town.

Harry met with Tutu to learn about the Tutu Legacy and its efforts to increase opportunities for less fortunate youths in South Africa.

On receiving the honour Archbishop Tutu said; “I have been very deeply touched. When you stand out in a crowd it's only because you are carried on the shoulders of others. Without them I would be nothing. This is their award as much as it is mine.” – Source: www.news24.com
 
 
 
V&A WATERFRONT ROOFTOP SOLAR INSTALLATION SWITCHED ON
 

The 7 500-m2 rooftop solar electricity system will power several key buildings, with an estimated total output of 1 640 000 kWh of clean energy per year. At present, 900kW have been successfully connected
to the grid on six roofs.

 
 
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, recently officially switched on the solar system at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Sustainable Power Solutions with its partners, SolarWorld Africa, SMA Solar Technology South Africa and Schletter South Africa, installed the rooftop solar system at the iconic property.
 
 
WORLD’S LARGEST ANTELOPE RE-INTRODUCED TO CAPE FLATS NATURE RESERVES
 
The Gantouw Pilot Project involves moving five eland (two males and three females) between nature reserves and nature areas to replicate their historical natural migration patterns, which will also play a vital role in the conservation of species and ecosystems, the City of Cape Town says.
 
 
The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET), has released endemic eland back into various nature reserves in the Cape Flats.

On Friday 20 November, the City of Cape Town and the CTEET officially launched the three-year Gantouw Pilot Project to re-introduce eland, the world’s largest antelope, to the Cape Flats, which was historically part of their natural range lands.

The antelope will remain at each site for a few months to browse, before moving onto the next site.

The project will initially be trialed at the Rondevlei Section of the City’s False Bay Nature Reserve.

Some of the other larger mammal species that can be found at Rondevlei include the Cape grysbok, hippo, porcupine, caracal, scrub hare, Cape hare, otter, and genet.

The absence of eland from these and other landscapes over the past few hundred years has led to an increase in the shrub component of natural areas in Cape Town. This has changed what should have been an open habitat into a closed dense thicket, resulting in the shrinking of populations and disappearance of certain plant and animal species that are adapted to the open habitat.

As Cape Town has some of the highest concentrations of endangered plants on earth, the re-establishment of large herbivores in the remaining natural fragments is vital for the conservation of species and ecosystems.
 
 
 
 
SCHWARTZEL WINS ALFRED DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
The 31-year-old South African won the opening tournament of the new European Tour season to record a first success in a year and 363 days.
 
 
Charl Schwartzel's victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship marked the end of a two-year drought for the former US Masters champion, and with some radical adjustments to his game starting to pay off, he hopes his demons are well and truly banished.

His previous victory came in the same event at the Leopard Creek Country Club. – Source: Reuters
 
 
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