Issue 202 | 11 December 2015
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The agreements were signed at the Union Buildings, where President Jacob Zuma hosted his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, who was on a State Visit ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit.
Relations between South Africa and China were further cemented on 2 December when the two countries signed 26 agreements worth R94 billion.

The two leaders used their bilateral talks to assess progress made so far with regard to the implementation of the Five-10 Year Framework on Cooperation, signed in December 2014.

The Framework on Cooperation had identified six key priority areas that 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; as well as financial cooperation.

Among the agreements that were signed was an action plan on the strengthening of the relations between China and South Africa. This plan is set to accelerate bilateral cooperation in major projects such as locomotive procurement, investment in renewable energy and investment in industrial parks, as well as promotion of trade.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the joint building of the Silk Road Economic Belt was also signed. The project is expected to create opportunities for mutual learning, and integration of goods and technology. 

The ocean economy was also not left out, as an agreement on strengthening cooperation in this field was signed.

Other agreements include the waving of visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders; a MoU on health, which will see cooperation in public health; a MoU in cooperation and the development of science parks; the establishment of a cultural centre; anti-monopoly cooperation; customs units; as well as an action plan in higher education and training, which will assist in promoting personal exchanges between the two countries.

South Africa’s state-owned companies such as Eskom, Transnet, the Industrial Development Cooperation and the South African Nuclear Corporation also had their own share of agreements.

Speaking to media after the signing of the agreements, President Zuma said the volume of agreements indicated the amount of work that had been done in the past few months.

However, he said, more could and should be done to increase trade and investment figures.

President Zuma called for more inward buying missions to South Africa, which he believed would contribute to addressing the structure of bilateral trade with China, as well as the industrialisation of the economy.

Total trade between South Africa and China experienced an upward trajectory since 2009, growing from R118 billion to R271 billion by the end of 2013. – Source:
The National Orders were bestowed on people who have contributed immensely towards the advancement of democracy, those who excelled in various endeavours, as well as those who have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans in various ways.
President Jacob Zuma bestowed the highest honour of the country on local citizens and eminent foreign nationals in Pretoria on 8 December.

During the ceremony, President Zuma bestowed to deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery. The order was bestowed in Gold on Mpumelelo Washington Bongco posthumously for his exceptional contribution to the pursuit of equality and universal suffrage in South Africa.

The Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport, was bestowed on Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane (posthumous) for his excellent contribution to the development of African literature and the upliftment of African languages on the global stage.

The Order of the Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation. The order was bestowed in gold on James David Lewis-Williams for his exceptional and distinguished contribution to the field of archaeology.

The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.

The order was bestowed in silver to, among other recipients, William Frankel, for his excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid. He helped raise funds for those detained by apartheid security forces and those charged under apartheid legislation.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.

The order was bestowed in gold on General Hashim Mbita of Tanzania posthumously for his exceptional and gallant support of African liberation movements.

Brian Mulroney of Canada also received it for his exceptional contribution to the liberation movement of South Africa.

– Source:
The Prince was in the country for a four-day tour of South Africa.
Prince Harry of Wales met with President Jacob Zuma recently.

According to The Presidency, President Zuma was keen to hear about Prince Harry’s charity work, youth development and the importance of wildlife conservation.

Earlier, he visited the King’s Park Stadium in Durban and Addington Beach to visit children from the non-profit organisation Surfers Not Street Children.
The conference is expected to come up with a universal, legally binding agreement that will enable the international community to combat climate change effectively and boost the transition towards resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, is in Paris, leading the South African delegation during the High-Level Segment of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a number of simple messages that say that greenhouse gas emissions rose more rapidly from 2000 to 2010 than in the previous three decades, growing by roughly 1.0 Gigatonne (GT) per year,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report states that global emissions in 2030 will most likely be 14 GT above the level that would be consistent with a less than 2ºC temperature increase.

“The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report concludes that by 2050, Africa’s adaptation costs could rise to US$50 billion per year if global warming were to remain below 2ºC, and up to US$100 billion per year for a temperature increase of 4ºC,” the department said.

As part of the Africa Group, South Africa is negotiating for a Paris agreement under the convention that is ambitious, durable, fair and effective.

The department said the agreement must balance environmental and development imperatives and ensure that global emission reduction efforts are adequate to keep global temperatures well below 2ºC.

“The deal must have adaptation at its core and there must be an ambitious outcome on finance, technology and capacity-building to support the adaptation and mitigation efforts of developing countries.

“A key position of the Africa Group is that adaptation is a global responsibility,” the department said.
– Source:
South Africa and Botswana have a unique case where two Tshidilamolomo villages are situated on either side of the two Southern African Development Community neighbours.
On 8 December, the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, and the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs in Botswana, Edwin Batshu, launched the Tshidilamolomo Community Crossing Point on the borderline to facilitate movement of people in the area.

The launch of the Community Crossing Point will enable relatives to cross the international border for family visits without having to first travelling distances to a port of entry to do so.
The agreement was signed on the margins of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation, which was held at the Sandton International Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
President Jacob Zuma and his counterpart, President Alassane Ouattara of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, on 4 December witnessed the signing of an agreement on the establishment of a South Africa-Côte d’Ivoire Joint Commission of Cooperation.

The agreement, which was signed by the ministers responsible for foreign affairs from both countries, aims to further strengthen the significant relations of friendship and cooperation already existing between the two countries.
The forum brought together scientists, industry leaders, students and civil society from South Africa and the continent, and all over the world, on a platform to debate the interface between science, development and society.
The Department of Science and Technology hosted the inaugural Science Forum South Africa from 8 to 9 December 2015. It also showcased Africa’s capacity to do groundbreaking research, development and innovation which hardly features in national debates.

Under the theme "Igniting Conversations about Science", the Science Forum's programme comprised several parallel sessions with a special focus on how research and innovation can best be harnessed for the continent's growth and development.

The Science Forum also featured the first South African Science Diplomacy Awards to celebrate partnerships that have made a significant contribution towards making the world a better place.

There were delegates from more than 45 countries and a number of multilateral organisations, including leaders such as Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Prof. Sir Peter Gluckman (Chief Science Adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and founding co-chair of the International Network for Science Advice).
The Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, has described as a success the two-day SADC Information, Communications and Technology and Postal Services Ministers’ Meeting held in Lesotho’s capital Maseru.
The meeting gave ministers an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to improving communications in the region.

Minister Muthambi said they used the meeting as a platform to strengthen efforts to endorse communications that promote the SADC to the world as a region with many economic opportunities.

“As ministers, we expressed our commitment to improving communications in the region through several legal and other enabling instruments such as the SADC Protocol on Culture, Information and Sports; the SADC Declaration on the Role of Information; and SADC Declaration on Information and Communication Technologies.”
The meeting, which was scheduled for 7 to 10 December, will gave impetus to all stakeholders to work together to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women in and through media, including online platforms.
The Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, attended the International Development Cooperation meeting on Gender and Media, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland.

Minister Muthambi will gave an opening statement and chaired panel discussions on issues of gender and media at the conference.  

According to the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations (UN) Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Broadband Commission Report 2011, there are 200 million less women on the Internet than men. The percentage is even more worrying in regions such as Africa and Asia.

“While our country has done a lot on gender equality and representation of women in the media, more can still be done in an effort to create social balance,” said Minister Muthambi.

South Africa participated in the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, and signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action the same year and committed to undertake a comprehensive national review of the progress made and challenges encountered in implementing the Platform of Action for the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women.

“Women empowerment is critical for National Development Plan implementation,” added Minister Muthambi. – Source:
Mayor Tau and Ban launched the report together with Rio de Janeiro Mayor and C40 Network Chairperson, Eduardo Paes, and Mayor Erdenin Bat Uul of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, shortly after the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, held at Paris City Hall.
The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Parks Tau, joined the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to launch the first-ever State of City Climate Finance Report by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Group.

The report is designed to, among others, engage national governments to develop a financial policy environment that encourages cities to invest in low-emission, climate-resilient infrastructure and support the most economically advanced cities in developing frameworks to price climate externalities.

It also aims to strengthen financial management in other cities to help municipalities move.

The C40 supported the development of the report by feeding in expertise and city experiences, as well as coordinating focus groups of C40 cities to share challenges and solutions.

Ban told the local government leaders that the world leaders were meeting in Paris to adopt an ambitious, meaningful global climate change agreement and local governments were essential to this effort.

“We are here tonight to celebrate the tremendous leadership of mayors and local leaders from all regions, who are taking bold steps to build climate-friendly, resilient cities and provinces,” said Ban.

–    Source:

The City of Cape Town and Johannesburg have been named international winners for climate action at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21).

The City of Cape Town was presented with the C40 Cities Award for “Adaptation Implementation”, recognising the city’s Water Conservation and Demand Management (WCWDM) Programme, while Johannesburg was the winner in the Finance and Development category for its Green Bond initiative.

The two cities were Africa’s only winners.

The C40 Cities Awards spans 10 categories, all recognising cities demonstrating “climate action leadership”, this according to the awards’ website.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille was at the awards ceremony in Paris to accept the accolade on behalf of the city, and said: “We are extremely proud of the city’s WCWDM Programme, which has been instrumental in establishing Cape Town as a national leader in reducing water demand and losses.”

The WCWDM Programme began in 2007 and focuses on water conservation and water demand management, aiming to minimise water waste and promoting the efficient use of water.

It includes raising public awareness, free of charge plumbing repairs for low-income households, and the training of “community plumbers”.

Johannesburg’s award-winning Green Bond is a funding model for green projects which previously did not have any financing and could thus not be implemented.
The Department of Public works (DPW) has sent a 32-member delegation to the research base in Antarctica for maintenance and renovation of the base station.
DPW is the custodian of the research base, the South African National Atlantic Expedition (SANAE IV), which was completed by DPW in 1998. The original SANAE base, which belonged to Norway, was handed over to South Africa (DPW) in 1961, but it was snowed under. Thereafter, DPW built SANAE II and III and the most current – SANAE IV.

The DPW team is led by Hein Smith, a veteran who has been travelling to Antarctica during the same period for 34 years. He is the hub of information on the role of the DPW.
This year's Green Talents competition attracted over 550 applicants from more than 90 countries. The jury of experts selected 27 winners from this pool of talented researchers.
Two South Africans were honoured recently in Berlin among a group of 27 winning young scientists from across the globe by Wilfried Kraus, Head of the BMBF Directorate: Sustainability, Climate, Energy at the award ceremony of the seventh "Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development”.

From urban planning, biodiversity, renewable energy and resource management to the socio-political implications of new technologies, the winners covered an impressively broad range of academic research with diverse achievements.

South African PhD graduate Dr Kapil Moothi, whose field of interest encompasses Sustainable Technology and Nanotechnology Waste Water Treatment, and South African PhD candidate, Geraldine Brennan, whose area of expertise encompasses Clean Production and Management, Humanities and Climate Change, were both honoured as up-and-coming international scientists.

This year's awardees were invited to participate in the two-week Science Forum during which they visited top locations for sustainability research in Germany.

Against the background of the current Year of Science “City of the Future”, urban issues in particular were brought into focus. The Green Talents gained a deeper insight into the country’s innovation system, learned about state-of-the-art approaches and technologies and exchanged ideas with the country’s leading experts in individual meetings.

–   Source:
The awards were a first for Africa and served as a platform for recognising outstanding male leaders on the continent who are championing and supporting women empowerment.
Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Arts and Culture Minister, delivered a keynote address at the LWA Summit and Champions Awards on Thursday, 3 December.

The LWA Economic Summit and Exhibition 2015 aimed to showcase the contribution of women in the process of socio-economic advancement in Africa, promote engagement between development stakeholders and women of Africa, support the emergence of women as successful leaders in social, business and political spheres and build the LWA brand as well as to grow membership base.

LWA Champions Awards are distinguished and prestigious annual awards that recognise and applaud men who have played a significant role in unlocking the potential and the acknowledgement of women as equal partners in sustainable socio-economic development. By honouring men for their influential role in the socio-economic change in Africa through women empowerment, the awards encourage a culture of excellence and good governance in all African societies.

Some of the prominent men nominated for the awards include Senegalese President Sall, Mozambican former President, Armando Guebuza, Rev Bafana Khumalo and many others.
In an attempt to bridge the gap between cultures, the Chinese Government has signed a deal with one of South Africa's largest booksellers to promote its literature in the country.
Speaking at the launch of an exhibition on Chinese books at the Exclusive Books store in Hyde Park, north of Johannesburg, recently, China's Minister of State Council Information Office, Jiang Jianguo, told those in attendance that he hoped the books would "be seen as a bridge to enhance relations between China and Africa".

He also hoped the international community as a whole would understand China and its leader better, through its literature.

Yang Peidong, China's Acting Consul General in Johannesburg, said it was important for the world to get to know the modern China. He said the country's growth in its various sectors had created a sense of curiosity about the country across the world, including in South Africa.

The bilateral relations between China and South Africa developed very smoothly in every field, including politics, culture, science, agriculture etc. So for the people-to-people exchanges, cultural exchange is very important for us, and for the Chinese to know about South Africans and also for South Africans to know about the Chinese.

Exclusive Books CEO Benjamin Trisk said the agreement between the two countries was an important step.

–    Source:
One of the Western Cape’s biggest tourism attractions is reporting a dramatic increase in visitor numbers ahead of the peak summer season.
Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine-producing estate, recorded a remarkable 56% increase in visitor numbers in October and a 55% increase in turn-over from its tasting room.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the estate, which usually attracted in excess of 350 000 visitors annually, was on track for a record-breaking year.

“The latest figures from Groot Constantia are testament to the importance of wine tourism, which generates over R6 billion for the economy per annum, and to the rapid growth in numbers we're seeing. Last year, many of our tourism establishments reported their highest visitor numbers yet.

“If the November figures out of this key establishment are anything to go by, we're in for another great year for our tourism sector. This sector is a very important source of revenue and job creation in the province, and working with industry, we have plans to ramp it up significantly. The current exchange rate is also a major opportunity for us which we must maximise."

Marketing manager of Groot Constantia, Grant Newton, added: “Winning the Best Cardonnay in the World award at Chardonnay du Monde earlier this year definitely put us back on many international travellers bucket lists of must visit attractions".

The legendary South African singer joined personalities like actor Benedict Cumberbatch to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth II with the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Johnny Clegg recently received an OBE for his contribution to music, upliftment and the fight against apartheid in South African in a career that has spanned over three decades.

According to the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Judith Macgregor, the award is a “recognition of Johnny’s unique services to the arts, vulnerable people and children and to democracy in South Africa”.

In a message on Facebook, Johnny said: “It has been a long journey of more than 30 years, from when I first began to experiment with truly South African cross-over music, and at the same time becoming a culture activist in the struggle against apartheid.

Johnny Clegg continues to entertain, perform and inspire – he performed around the country in France, will be performing in the Eastern Cape in December, and has a North American tour lined up for 2016.

–  Source:
A 36-year-old mother from Cape Town has just won gold in the aerial silks world championships in Hong Kong and she's only been doing the sport for a year.
"There were some amazing women. I was blown away by the competition and incredibly flattered to win. Amazing women from all over the world – Russia, Ukraine, the States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Australia – some phenomenal women and some men too!" says Gabriella Sissons.

Juggling a full-time career as a photographer, two busy boys and circus performance requires dedication and some creative thinking.–
Sissons has a pole in her kitchen to squeeze in some training while dinner's in the oven and she's building a space in her home to hang her silks.

She says she can't believe how it's changed her life.

"I would have never pictured myself doing this in a million years after having two boys and I would say just go for it.

"Pursue your dreams and live your passions and you can't go wrong. And if you can dream it you can do it. As cheesy as that sounds, it really is true."
–   Source:
South Africa’s renowned wine estate in Stellenbosch, has just been crowned as the International Winemaker of the Year during the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) gala award ceremony in London.
South Africa produced the world’s best winemaker of 2015. Abrie Beeslaar, cellarmaster at Kanonkop,

Beeslaar also won the title in 2008. The IWSC is the world’s leading wine and spirits competition, with more than 5 500 products entered annually by some 50 countries.

Apart from the trophy for International Winemaker of the Year, Kanonkop was also named the South African Producer of the Year at this year’s IWSC event, as well as the winner of the trophy for Best Pinotage for the Kanonkop Pinotage 2012.

“To be named the world’s winemaker of the year for the second time is something you never expect or hardly contemplate in your wildest dreams, so the award hasn’t really sunk in yet.”, Beeslaar commented from London.

“I do know that the success can be attributed to the whole team that works in Kanonkop’s cellar and vineyards, as well as the people who ensure that our wines receive international attention. Nothing would be possible, however, without the nature Kanonkop has been blessed with. It is the soil types, aspect and climate that give me outstanding grapes with which to make wine.”

Beeslaar added that he saw the award as recognition of South Africa’s potential to be rated as one of the world’s premier wine countries.

–    Source:
The prestigious awards announcement took place at the World Travel Market in London on 4 November 2015.
Bushman's Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat was named “Best in South Africa” winner in the Country Awards category of the international Wellness Travel Awards 2015.

The award was founded in 2014 by Spafinder Wellness 365, which recognises the need for healthier travel in the form of hotels, resorts, spas and retreats all around the world.

A panel of 33 travel and wellness experts chose winners from 504 properties in 53 countries and regions – voted by over 10 000 travellers and agents.

There was a total of 20 different categories, some of which included awards for: Best "Wow" Factor, Best for Yoga, Best for Affordability/ Budget and Best for Outdoor Adventure & Activities.

Award-winning Bushmans Kloof is located at the bottom of the Cederberg Mountains surrounded by vast land, waterfalls and stunning wildlife.

The spa combines ancient and modern practices of luxury and healing – for guests to rejuvenate, balance and restore body and mind.

–   Source:


The team was chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by the ICC’s Cricket Committee chairperson and former India captain, Anil Kumble.
Three South Africans have been included in the International Cricket Council’s ODI Team of the Year.

They are skipper AB de Villiers, batsman Hashim Amla and leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

The qualification period ran from September 18, 2014 to September 13, 2015 and the selection panel included past greats of the world game, including former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop, ex-England batsman Mark Butcher, former Australian women’s captain Belinda Clark and G Viswanath, Deputy Editor of The Hindu & Sportstar.

De Villiers has been selected in the ODI Team of the Year for the fourth time in five years and for the first time as captain. Amla was also selected in 2013, while Tahir is included for the first time.

ICC ODI Team of the Year 2015 (in batting order):

Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL)

Hashim Amla (SA)

Kumar Sangakkara (SL) (wicketkeeper)

AB de Villiers (SA) (captain)

Steven Smith (Aus)

Ross Taylor (NZ)

Trent Boult (NZ)

Mohammed Shami (Ind)

Mitchell Starc (Aus)

Mustafizur Rahman (Bang)

Imran Tahir (SA)

12th man: Joe Root (Eng).

–   Source:
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