Issue 203 | 21 January 2016
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The event is aimed at recognising South African industry leaders and eminent persons for their distinguished service and contribution to promoting South Africa’s national interests and values across the world.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will host the annual Ubuntu Awards at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday, 13 February 2016. The inaugural Ubuntu Awards ceremony was held in February 2015.

Each award will be given to an organisation/individual, who has/have, through excellence, innovation, creativity, inventiveness, social responsibility or patriotism distinguished themselves as true ambassadors of South Africa.

Previous award winners include the former South African Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador Billy Modise and the late South African liberation struggle stalwart and diplomat, Ruth Mompati (OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award); the South African ace swimmer who is an Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion, Chad Le Clos (Ubuntu Sport Diplomacy Award); and the internationally recognised and highly respected South African singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher, Yvonne Chaka Chaka (Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award).
The WEF annual meeting brings together world leaders from business, government, international organisations, academia and civil society in Davos to discuss the global economy.
President Jacob Zuma is leading a South African delegation to the WEF in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The delegation to the meeting, scheduled from 20 to 23 January, comprises Cabinet ministers and business leaders. This year's theme is “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Critical current challenges such as security, climate change and the “new normal” global growth and commodity prices are among the issues on the agenda.

The meeting is also looking at multistakeholder efforts to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the face of slowing growth rates, increasing market volatility and looming global risks.

Another issue for discussion is geo-security, which will see public- and private-sector leaders meet with defence and intelligence experts in preparation for a rapidly changing security landscape.

The world leaders are also examining in depth the social and economic transformations occurring in all regions of the world through informal interaction with over 250 political leaders on trade- and investment-related issues in various national and regional contexts.

Industry and business matters are also on the agenda of the annual meeting. The delegates are working towards shaping the evolution of industry ecosystems and business models, particularly in the context of scientific, technological and policy innovations.

– Source:
South Africa participated in the meeting in its capacity as the outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
President Jacob Zuma led a South African government delegation to the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Double Troika, held in Gaborone, Botswana, on 18 January 2016.

The Extra-Ordinary Summit considered the political and security situation in the SADC region, paying particular attention to the situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The Double Troika is made up of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa participated in the Extra-Ordinary Summit in his capacity as the SADC-appointed facilitator working on the political and security situation in Lesotho.

President Zuma was accompanied to the Extra-Ordinary Double Troika Summit by the ministers of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; defence and military veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; and state security, David Mahlobo.
South Africa stands firmly with the rest of the international community in its condemnation of these senseless attacks targeting innocent civilians and reiterates its stance that terrorism, in whatever form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.
The South African Government joins the international community in strongly condemning the cowardly terrorist attacks that took place at a restaurant and a hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on  Friday, 15 January 2016, that resulted in the deaths and injuries of scores of innocent  civilians.

On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of deepest condolences to President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the Government and people of Burkina Faso, particularly the families of the victims.
In a ceremony held in New York recently, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, thanked the members for the support, guidance and assistance accorded to South Africa during its tenure and committed to support Thailand as it takes over. 
South Africa has handed over the chair of the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations (UN), the Group of 77 (G77) and China, to Thailand.

South Africa assumed the chair of G77 and China in January last year. Then, the country had vowed to strengthen unity, cohesion and the vision of a fair and equitable multilateral system. It also said it would continue to ensure an enhanced development agenda for the South.

Deputy Minister Landers said South Africa’s tenure was “momentous” as member states had negotiated and agreed on significant multilateral outcomes, which would guide economic, social and environmental development for the next few years.

He said some of the highlights included the 70th anniversary of the UN, where the G77 and China played a crucial role in pursuing the interests of the millions of people living in developing countries.

“The group was able to pursue significant outcomes that protected the interests of developing countries and advanced the development agenda of the South,” Deputy Minister Landers told member states at the handover ceremony.

Another highlight was during the Paris Climate Change Conference last December, which unanimously adopted the Paris Agreement and a package of supporting decisions covering climate action in the pre- and post-2020 periods.

He commended the strong solidarity within the diverse group, saying it ensured that developing countries remained central in the climate change negotiations until the very end.

Going forward, Deputy Minister Landers said the group would need to build on these achievements and ensure there was an adequately resourced UN system to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals and sustainable development in general.

South-South cooperation would remain an important pillar for strengthening the economic independence of countries of the South as a complement and not a replacement of North-South cooperation, he said. – Source:
The National Youth Work Indaba was a build-up towards the Second Commonwealth Conference in Youth Work, which South Africa will host in March 2016. The conference will build on the inaugural conference, which was also hosted locally in 2013.
The Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation in partnership with National Youth Development Agency, Commonwealth Secretariat and Unisa hosted the Commonwealth Youth Work Indaba from 19 to 21 January 2016.

The Indaba took place under the theme: “Youth Workers Creating Paths to Peace”. During the National Indaba, South Africa consolidated its domestic position on youth work professionalisation for the 2016 conference.
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, on receiving the 2016 Martin Luther King Legacy Award for International Service in Washington DC, in the United States recently.
The Presidency said the award recognised individuals who had demonstrated distinguished leadership and had made contributions that had a positive impact on the global community.

“I congratulate Ms Mbete for being honoured with this award, which is named after one of the outstanding leaders of the 20th century.

“This achievement does not only recognise her distinguished service to our nation; it is also an affirmation of the calibre of leadership that South Africa has always and continues to offer to the global community,” said The Presidency. – Source:
With the drought affecting the country’s agricultural output, South Africa might need to import between five and six million tons of both white and yellow maize.
“National conditions are generally poor in the maize triangle (Mpumalanga, Free State and North West), with Mpumalanga showing optimism on maize conditions … There is a possibility of five to six million tons import needs of both white and yellow maize."

“Combined with the predicted regional needs such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland, import needs will be at 10,9 million tons, covering other commodities such as soya and wheat,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, recently at a media briefing.

He said ports should be used as throughput areas, and not as storage points to ensure the creation of space.

“Transnet will allocate addition trailers to match the needed capacity … Industry already has a logistics coordinating team, which brings on board members from other (fields) and government is a player in that team.”

He said there was robust commitment between industry and government to work together to ensure better and effective relief and recovery from the drought situation.

“Public-private partnership is vital in order for the country to overcome this challenge. We are continuously monitoring the current drought conditions as well as spending of allocated funds by provinces and (we are) providing the necessary advisories to farmers,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reprioritised R305.3 million from the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme and Ilema Funds towards drought relief. – Source: Source:
The paid-for service, which started in 2007 in the United States, has since expanded across the world.
Online streaming of series and movies is a fast-growing industry and one if its leaders, Netflix, expanded its reach to an additional 130 countries, including South Africa, on 6 January.

"Today, you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network," said co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings at the launch in Las Vegas.

"With this launch, consumers around the world – from Singapore to St Petersburg, from San Francisco to São Paulo – will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously – no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers' hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device." – Source:
The Maputo-Catembe Bridge Project, set to be completed at the end of 2017, will replace the current ferry system and various fragmented road systems that transport goods and tourists from South Africa and Swaziland into Mozambique.
Maputo Bay is an inlet of the Indian Ocean on the Mozambique coast, with the capital Maputo on one side and the town of Catembe on the opposite side. The bay is over 90 kilometres long and 32 kilometres wide.

Currently, for tourists, driving is the best way to see Mozambique. But routes into the country are long and arduous, with much of the road system accessible only by 4x4 vehicles. If you do not take the ferry, trips from South Africa to the capital can take up to nine hours to complete.

The 3 km-long Maputo-Catembe Bridge – Africa's longest suspension bridge – will cut the driving time down to four hours. With a width of 680 metres, it will be able to carry high volumes of traffic comfortably in both directions.

Construction of the bridge began in 2014. It is a joint construction and management project between the Mozambique and Chinese governments. On completion, it is expected to become a significant gateway between South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community. According to tourism and business stakeholders, this will bring a major boost in trade and tourism.

The bridge and linking roads will have a great impact on tourism, says Ndabo Khoza, chief executive of KZN Tourism. Hundreds of thousands of people travel between the two countries through border gates every month, often taking up to 12 hours to navigate the 90 kilometres to Maputo on often hazardous and unmaintained roads. The bridge will change everything about the journey.

"This is truly one of the tangible legacy projects of the East3Route," says Khoza. "It will make it possible for one to have breakfast in Durban, lunch in Mbabane (Swaziland) and dinner in Maputo." – Source:
The 2015/16 festive season recorded a 5,3% increase in traveller movement compared to 2014/15, the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, said recently.
"From 1 December 2015 to 7 January 2016, a total number of 5 390 856 travellers went through our borders, much higher than the total earlier reported for 1 December 2015 to 3 January 2016, that is, 4 798 183," said the minister at a media briefing on 12 January.

He said 1 487 148 of the total were South African citizens, and 3 903 708 were foreign nationals.

"There were 2 003 509 arrivals of foreigners and 706 365 arrivals of citizens, bringing total arrivals to 2 709 874," said the minister. The increase in volumes in terms of arrivals was 7,6% for foreigners and 0,3% for citizens.

There was also an increase of 4,9% in travellers from Africa, 6,1% from Europe, 7,8% from North America, 15% from Asia, 2,5% from Australasia, 21% from the Middle East, and a decrease of 1% in arrivals from South America.

Gigaba said the top nationalities arriving in South Africa over this period were from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, United Kingdom, Germany, United States of America and Namibia.

Of the 2 680 982 departures, foreigners accounted for 1 900 199 and South African citizens numbered 780 783. – Source:
The Griqua currency became the first South African currency in 1815, according to the Reserve Bank. It also became the country's first decimal coinage and the world's first Christian Missionary coinage.
The Griqua Town 200 R5 coin, released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on 12 January, celebrates the 200th anniversary of the creation of the first coinage in South Africa.

As the first town to be established north of the Orange River, Griekwastad, or Griquatown as it is sometimes known in English, is one of the country's most important foundation towns. It was a stopover on the trade route and so was important for commerce throughout the history of the country. The town, 168 kilometres north of Kimberley, is also known for its abundance of semi-precious stones.

The town is considered an important missionary town, and was the home of Scottish minister Robert Moffat, who wrote the first Setswana translation of the bible.

The R5 coin features an image of the original 1815 Griquatown coin, engraved with the words "Coinage of Griqua Town 200. 1815 – 2015". The other side of the coin bears the South African Coat of Arms and the acronym, SARB. – Source:
Days before hosting the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, Ricky Gervais teamed up with PDSA – the United Kingdom’s leading veterinary charity – to honour a special dog in South Africa with a PDSA Gold Medal, the highest honour a civilian animal can receive for bravery and devotion.
The brave recipient – K9 Killer – is South Africa’s most successful tracking dog in the fight against rhino poaching.

In the past four years, his tracking skills have resulted in the arrests of 115 poachers in the Kruger National Park where he and his handler work.

PDSA said on their site that the award was in recognition of the five-year-old Belgian Malinois’ “extraordinary work” protecting rhinos from poachers.

British actor, comedian and animal welfare advocate Ricky Gervais announced the award in a special video broadcast.
PDSA asked social media users to “please watch and share this wonderful tribute film to Killer to help us celebrate this extraordinary boy” and thanked the South African National Parks for their support, and Stroop – die film for their “fantastic footage of Killer in action”. – Source:
The estate took the 2016 Global laurels after taking the top spot in both the Art and Culture and Wine Tourism Restaurants categories.
Delaire Graff Estate, situated in the Helshoogte pass just outside Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands, has been announced as the overall winner at the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards.

The other wine regions of the world are Bilbao in Spain; Bordeaux in France; Mendoza in Argentina; Porto in Portugal; Valparaiso or Casablanca Valley in Chile; Napa Valley in San Francisco; US and Rheinhessen in Mainz, Germany. The Best of Wine Tourism awards celebrate innovation and excellence in wine tourism throughout the eight greatest wine regions in the world.

In the regional leg of the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards, the following Winelands establishments were also awarded:
  • Villiera Wines for Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices
  • La Motte Wine Estate for Wine Tourism Service
  • Cavalli Wine & Stud Farm for Architecture & Landscapes
  • Boschendal Estate for Accommodation
  • Creation Wines for Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences.
Innovation was particularly lauded at this year’s competition, with wineries clearly responding to the challenge of higher expectations from tourists. More and more wineries are catering to responsible visitors, including designated drivers and children. – Source: Traveller24
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