Issue 205 | 4 February 2016
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We leave Addis feeling very satisfied following successful deliberations at the summit on all the substantive issues,” President Zuma said.
President Jacob Zuma has welcomed the outcomes of the 26th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), in Addis Ababa, describing the summit as having been a success with regard to the substantive issues discussed.

The summit took place under the theme “2016 – African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on Women’s Rights”.

The summit considered a number of matters, including the efforts already underway to realise the continental vision for the next 50 years of the existence of the AU, known as Agenda 2063, the status of peace and security on the continent, financing and governance of the AU and its programmes as well as AU programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) projects and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The summit noted with satisfaction that the first 10-year implementation plan was being rolled out and that member states had begun the process of linking their national developmental plans with Agenda 2063.

President Zuma, as chair of the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative, which is a NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee project, presented a report on the progress made in infrastructure development. The President also made a special input on the decision to integrate the APRM into the AU, which will assist to reinvigorate and mainstream its work within the organisation.
The summit also discussed the security situation in countries such as Burundi, South Sudan, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.

“We welcome the decision to revive the AU High-Level Panel on Libya, which had worked effectively a few years ago. We are also pleased with the appointment of former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, as the AU Special Envoy to Libya. With such interventions, the AU will be able to make an impact with regards to getting the parties in Libya to resolve matters and work towards normalcy in the country,’’ said President Zuma.

The President is also pleased with the AU decisions on Burundi.

“The decision to send a delegation to Burundi to assess the political and security situation and to discuss the proposed deployment of the AU peacekeeping force with the Government of Burundi is a step in the right direction,” he said.

The AU Summit also discussed Africa’s growing concerns with the manner in which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has conducted itself in relation to African countries. In a discussion on the ICC and the Rome Statute, President Zuma also expressed South Africa’s concerns and announced that “our strongly-held view is that it is now impossible, under the circumstances, for South Africa to continue its participation in the Rome Statute. South Africa is seriously reviewing its participation in the Rome Statute and will announce its decision in due course”.

President Zuma has warmly welcomed the new AU chairperson President Idriss Deby of the Republic of Chad, who was elected at the summit, and acknowledged the successful tenure of the 2015 chair, President Robert Mugabe of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council, which met from 27 to 28 January 2016 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa ahead of the AU Summit, took the decision to re-elect South Africa to the PSC.
President Jacob Zuma has welcomed South Africa's re-election to the AUPSC.

The PSC was established as the standing decision-making organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

President Zuma said: "We welcome the decision of the AU to re-elect South Africa to the PSC. We commit ourselves to continue working with the other members of the PSC and the rest of the AU membership in pursuit of peace and stability on our continent.”

“The maintenance of peace and stability in Africa is key to realising the vision as contained in Agenda 2063 of a peaceful and secure Africa that is strong, united and an influential global player and partner”.

Some of the PSC’s core functions include conducting early warning and preventive diplomacy, facilitating peacemaking and recommending intervention in member states to promote peace, security and stability. The PSC also works in support of peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction as well as humanitarian action and disaster management.

Member states of the PSC are elected by the AU Executive Council and endorsed by the Assembly. The PSC is composed of 15 countries, of which five are elected to three-year terms, and 10 to two-year terms. Retiring members of the PSC are eligible for re-election.
The African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Awards are given annually to African scientists who have distinguished themselves in the fields of science, technology and innovation. Through the awards, the AU seeks to acknowledge the importance of science and technology in the development of the continent.
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated South African scientist Prof. Tebello Nyokong following her winning on 30 January 2016 of the AU Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the AU meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Zuma said: "It is through investment in science and technology that African governments will nourish the potential of our people and find home-grown solutions to the many socio-economic and developmental challenges facing our continent."

President Zuma further said: "The AU acknowledges that Africa's most important resources are her people. South Africa will continue to invest in the fields of science and technology and skills development and support innovation."  

Prof. Nyokong is Distinguished Professor at Rhodes University and director of the Nanotechnology and Innovation Centre (NIC), a national science facility established by the Department of Science and Technology in 2007.

Among other things, the NIC's work includes research and development in various scientific fields, aimed at driving South Africa's transformation from a resource-based economy towards a knowledge-based economy using nanotechnology.

Prof. Nyokong is also a recipient of the National Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze, awarded in 2004 for her contributions in the field of science.
The award was presented and received by President Jacob Zuma during the ALMA meeting for heads of state and government of the African Union (AU).
South Africa has been awarded the 2016 African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for achieving the Malaria Millennium Development Goal target.

In South Africa, malaria cases have decreased by 82% while deaths have also decreased by 71%, since 2000.

The decrease in malaria cases is attributed to a sound malaria vector control programme, where the country has used dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT odourless insecticide for indoor residual spraying, coupled with other World Health Organisation-recommended interventions.

"We are honoured to receive this 2016 ALMA Award, which recognises the efforts that our programme in South Africa has made, not only in the past decade, but also investments we have made to fight malaria since the 1940s,” said President Zuma.

President Zuma also noted that while South Africa was delighted at the country’s successes, government would not be complacent in tackling the disease.

“In this regard, we have committed to eliminate the disease from within our borders. We are also working with our neighbouring countries to also fight the disease in our neighbourhood,” said President Zuma. – Source:
Maloka, who is an adviser to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and South Africa’s special adviser to the Great Lakes region, will become the first permanent CEO of the APRM in eight years.
South African diplomat and academic Eddy Maloka was appointed to head the secretariat of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The forum is currently headed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who chaired the meeting on Friday, 29 January, which decided on several measures to try to breathe new life into the APRM.

He told the forum, which included South African President Jacob Zuma, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, that the APRM had been launched in 2003 with great enthusiasm because it embodied the promise to achieve good governance.

But it had recently “lost its vitality”, he said. The pace of accession to the voluntary APRM had slowed down and only half of the 35 countries which had joined it had submitted to peer reviews.

Payment of membership dues had dwindled and so foreign donors had also reduced their funding.

Yet, if Africa was to achieve its potential and realise its programmes, such as Agenda 2063 and the United Nations' sustainable development goals, improving governance was critical and therefore the APRM had to be revitalised and strengthened.

After the forum summit, President Kenyatta said the leaders had committed to revitalising the APRM, and ensuring its independence and mobilising the necessary resources to enable it to do its work.

The APRM leaders had also committed themselves to try to persuade other countries to join, so that all AU members were ultimately members also of “an African mechanism, developed by Africans, driven by Africans”.

Maloka said he looked forward to taking up his new job. “But I know it will be a big challenge. Fortunately, member states want a strong and vibrant APRM. Our task will be to help make sure that happens.” – Source: African News Agency
The meeting took place following a request of Prime Minister Ghwill to brief President Jacob Zuma on the latest developments in Libya in light of the signing of the Agreement to establish a government of national accord, negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations.
President Zuma received a delegation from the National Salvation Government of Libya, led by its Prime Minister, Khalifa Ghwill, on 27 January.

President Zuma reiterated South Africa’s deep concern over the prevailing political and security situation in Libya, which has gravely affected peace and security in the Sahel region.

President Zuma noted with satisfaction, the recent positive developments regarding the agreement to establish a government of national accord in Libya. In this regard, President Zuma urged Libyan people and its leaders to set aside their differences and unite to put the country on a path of peace, unity and prosperity.

President Zuma reiterated South Africa’s readiness to assist the Libyan people by sharing her experiences on the democratic transition and reconciliation.
With just a week before President Jacob Zuma takes to the podium to deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA), Parliament’s presiding officers say their preparations are at an advanced stage.
President Zuma is set to deliver his address to a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament, the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces at 7 pm on 11 February.

NA Speaker, Baleka Mbete, said recently that preparations for the event had already begun last year.

“This is an annual event and our preparations started last year already around September as this is the single most important activity of the country.”

The SONA is important for all South Africans as it outlines government’s Programme of Action for the year ahead and also gives the President a platform to provide an assessment of the country’s current political and socio-economic state.

Parliament’s presiding officers, led by Mbete, meet with the Diplomatic Corps in Pretoria recently.

The meeting, according to Mbete, focused on various issues of mutual interest and the diplomatic community responded positively and with eagerness to them.

Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Speaker and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Amb Bene M’Poko, said the meeting was important as it gave them clarity on South Africa’s parliamentary role. 

“This type of interaction was long overdue. We have learned a lot. The exchange was dynamic.” 

He said the ambassadors and high commissioners were interested in knowing how South Africa had consolidated its young democracy.

“South Africa is a young country, 21-years-old, but if you look at the road it has travelled, we have noticed that it has made a lot of progress.

“So, there was a question on how did you manage to move together, how did you reconcile with people coming from different backgrounds and deal with issues of democracy,” said Amb M’Poko.

The Diplomatic Corps, he said, was also interested in the training of new members of Parliament in order to cope with the new rules and roles.

The two sides have committed to hold similar and regular engagements of this nature annually. – Source:
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, recently announced that the Lesotho Special Permit (LSP) application process would start on 1 March 2016.
The LSP dispensation will commence with the cooperation of the South African and Lesotho governments and is similar in nature to the Zimbabwe Special Permit.

Initially, government had announced that the process would commence on 1 February.

Addressing the media in Pretoria, Minister Gigaba said during the LSP application process, the department would not be deporting or arresting Lesotho nationals who were in the country illegally.

It is estimated that there are about 400 000 to 500 000 Lesotho nationals who are residing in South Africa.

The purpose of the LSP is to regularise the stay of Lesotho nationals currently residing in South Africa illegally as well as to document Lesotho nationals who are working, studying or running businesses in South Africa, without appropriate documentation.

The special permit will be valid for four years – expiring on 31 December 2019.

Minister Gigaba said Basotho nationals who qualified to apply for the LSP were those people with illegal documents and those who were in the country illegally.

To qualify for the special permit, the applicant must have a valid passport or travel document, be registered on the Lesotho National Population Register and have police clearance from both Lesotho and South Africa.

Applicants must also provide proof of employment in the form of an affidavit from the employer to be issued with a work permit.

Applicants must ensure they have a business registration with the South African Revenue Service and CIPRO to get a Business Permit and registration from an educational institution for a Study Permit.

To ease the process, more visa application offices will be established in the Free State and in Lesotho. – Source:
Minister Pandor recently launched the marine research and exploration forum, marking the successful implementation of one of Operation Phakisa's initiatives
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, recently launched the South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) – an initiative to exploit research opportunities in offshore oil and gas exploration in South Africa.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding to establish SAMREF.

The forum will enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors and improve the exchange of information and data on a voluntary basis between all stakeholders. Its daily activities will be managed through a secretariat established within the National Research Foundation, one of the DST's entities.

SAMREF will include representatives from government, state-owned enterprises, research institutions, oil and gas industry associations and other private-sector stakeholders.

The launch marked the successful implementation of Operation Phakisa B3 (exploiting the broader research opportunities presented by offshore oil and gas exploration). President Jacob Zuma launched Operation Phakisa in 2014.

The unlocking of marine resources has the potential to increase its contribution to South Africa's Gross Domestic Product by more than R20 billion over five years. The four critical focus areas of Operation Phakisa are marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, and marine protection services and governance.

Speaking at the launch in Cape Town, Minister Pandor said the South African coastal and marine environment was one of our most important assets. "It plays a major role in regulating our climate, has tremendous natural biodiversity and supports numerous communities through fishing, tourism and mining."

The establishment of SAMREF will facilitate new collaborative offshore studies that will increase South Africa's state of knowledge of the offshore marine environment, the benefits of renewable energy, marine biodiversity and ecology, climate change and ecosystem functioning, and it will go some way towards mitigating the policy conflict between developing the oil and gas sector and the development of a low-carbon economy.

It will also increase opportunities for publically funded research institutions and individuals to gather data and information that will allow better informed management decisions relating to the marine ecosystem.
The flight departed on Tuesday, 26 January, at 11:55pm from Johannesburg (via Lagos) and landed at 7:30am in Abuja.  The aircraft was greeted with a traditional celebratory and welcoming water salute as it taxied into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
South African Airways (SAA) has introduced flights to Abuja as a second gateway to Nigeria. 

“The inaugural flight, with a contingent of senior government officials and media guests on board, carried a substantial number of passengers, proving the popularity of the route,” said the national carrier recently.

SAA’s introduction of a second entry point in Nigeria, besides the long-established daily flights to Lagos, forms part of the airline’s Long-Term Turnaround Strategy.

SAA said a second gateway to Nigeria strengthens the company’s position in West Africa, where it plays a significant role in enabling the movement of goods and people between southern and West Africa.

“What better way to celebrate the new year, which promises to be a great year for continued growth on the continent, by adding a second point in Nigeria – one of the most popular and profitable routes in the SAA African route network.

“Introducing Abuja adds more travel options for our customers, especially for the business community, and enhances our footprint on the continent,” said SAA Acting Chief Commercial Officer, Aaron Munetsi.

Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing air travel markets in sub-Saharan Africa and will be well served with SAA’s additional services to Abuja.

SAA said expanding air travel links showed the growth in bilateral relations between South Africa and Nigeria. Historically, the two countries have had strong diplomatic, social and fraternal ties as the two economic powerhouses of Africa.

The three weekly non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Abuja will operate with modern Airbus 330-200 aircraft, offering SAA business class luxury and economy class comfort, with the latest in-flight entertainment content. – Source:
This year, the competition, held from 18 to 22 January, focused on the issue of crimes against humanity during a time of war.
Team South Africa has won the 2016 International Schools Moot Court competition, held in The Hague in Holland. The city is home to the United Nation's International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.

Out of the 11 other countries that participated in the competition – namely, Argentina, Bulgaria, Germany, Mongolia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, St Martens, United States of America (USA), and Venezuela – South Africa triumphed over Team USA in the final.

The South African team comprised pupils from various schools ranging from rural to former model C schools. The successful team members were: Nthabiseng Mbatha, Simon Motsheweni, Paseka Selinyane, Claire Rankin, Clara-Marie Macheke, Katelyn Chettle and Shandre Smith.

"Contestants were given an opportunity to argue both as defender and complainant using international criminal law and treaties that are relevant to the International Criminal Court," said the Department of Basic Education.

"We take the opportunity to congratulate Claire Rankin and Clara-Marie Macheke from Springfield Convent in the Western Cape for taking the top spot at the International Schools Moot Court Competition at The Hague, after toppling Team USA."

The competition is usually presided over by the judges from the International Criminal Court. This year, Judge Howard Morrison and Judge Raul Pangalangan chaired the debate. – Source: Department of Basic Education
South Africa’s unique tourism attractions and innovative operators continue to garner global recognition.
The Garden Route was recently named as one of the 10 best walking routes in the world by the Telegraph, an influential newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Children in the Wilderness (CITW), a non-profit organisation that arranges bush and wildlife experiences for young people to inspire Africa’s future environmental leaders, was a runner-up in the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) awards for sustainable tourism in Madrid recently.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said these latest accolades proved that South Africa’s tourism sector was a world leader on many fronts.

“This allows us to maintain our advantageous edge in a very competitive global marketplace,” said Minister Hanekom. “We are delighted that we are being increasingly recognised as one of the top global destinations. It gives us pride as a nation, and it inspires the tourism sector to continue working together.”

The Telegraph said the trails of the Garden Route tour covered some of the best coastal trails, forests and gorges in South Africa. The 16-day trip starts from Table Mountain and includes the Alexandria Trail and the Addo Elephant National Park.

The inclusion of the Garden Route in the top 10 list puts it on par with well-known walking routes in Italy, France and Costa Rica.

The UNWTO awards are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector. The award for sustainable tourism honours people and organisations who work for the benefit of host communities and protect their country’s environmental and cultural heritage for future generations.

CITW was named as second runner-up for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organisations. CITW takes the novel approach of hosting camps and establishing eco-clubs for children and adults, and aims to develop future leaders who have a sound understanding of the links between conservation, tourism and community development. 

CITW runs annual camps and eco-clubs in seven African countries, focusing on programmes that develop leadership, sustainable environmental education and recreation. Over 5 600 children have been on CITW camps and over 2 500 children participate in Eco-Clubs annually. CITW is also involved in community development programmes to reduce poverty.

Minister Hanekom congratulated the leadership and staff of SANParks and CITW on their achievements.“These two awards are the latest in a string of accolades which have been bestowed on South Africa by the international tourism community recently,” said Minister Hanekom. “We are strengthening the collaboration between government and the private sector to further enhance our facilities and standards.” 
It was Sithole's second Grand Slam title following his win at the US Open singles final in 2013.
South African Lucas Sithole and playing partner David Wagner from the United States beat the British/Australian combo of Andy Lapthorne and Dylan Alcott 6-1, 6- 3 at the Australian Open held in Melbourne recently, to claim the top spot in the wheelchair tennis quad doubles final.

"I enjoyed the match very much," an excited Sithole told News24 after the game.

"It was great to play with David Wagner again." The partners have been playing together and against each other since 2013, developing a healthy rivalry vying for the top ranking and building a solid friendship along the way.

Sithole, who is triple amputee, lost both his legs and his right arm in a childhood accident. He started playing tennis professionally in 2006, representing South Africa at a tournament in the Netherlands, considered the de facto home of wheelchair tennis. The 20-year-old, who grew up in the small mining town of Dannhauser in KwaZulu-Natal, has won seven titles and risen to become the one of the best singles players in the world.

He is now setting his sights on the Rio Olympics, hoping to earn himself and South Africa a gold medal. – Source: News24Wire
Following their heartbreaking loss to New Zealand at the Wellington Sevens, three Blitzboks received some consolation after being included in the Dream Team for the tournament.
South Africa suffered an agonising 24-21 Cup Final loss after the hosts scored a try after the hooter had sounded.

South Africa led 21-7 deep into the second half, but a yellow card for Rosco Specman cost the Blitzboks dearly as the Kiwis used their one-man advantage to get back into the contest.

It was nevertheless a good tournament for Specman who was still included in the Dream Team, along with team-mates Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla.

Despite their final loss, the Blitzboks still moved to the top of the World Rugby Sevens Series standings.

They collected 19 valuable points and now have a two-point lead on top of the standings after collecting 54 points in the three rounds so far. Fiji (52) and New Zealand (47) are behind South Africa heading into the fourth round in Sydney this weekend – Source:
South Africans can be proud of the fact that the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada held in Blouberg in Cape Town recently successfully set a new world record.
After three hours of kitesurfing, the world record was smashed – with a total of 415 kitesurfers completing the one mile course between Dolphin Beach and Doodles.

The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada record for the “Largest Parade of Kitesurfers” was previously set in Spain in January 2015 when 352 kitesurfers came together on  Los Lances Beach, Tarifa.

Director of the Kitesurfing Armada, Dan Charlish, said," We always hoped the Kitesurfing Armada in Cape Town would be spectacular – and it didn’t let us down. It was an amazing day, the wind couldn’t have been better and the view of hundreds of kiters together in front of Table Mountain was awesome. A huge thank you to everyone who came down, got involved and made the event such a success!"

The  Virgin Kitesurfing Armada was supporting three charities, including local Cape Town organisation the SAVE Foundation, which supports township children through education and sports development – and many of the young people they work with were helping on the beach and landing kites.

Local promoter Andre de Wet said, " After 18 months of planning and preparation, with an amazing team of sponsors and supporters, it’s a fantastic feeling to know we did it! Now, we just need to retain the record every year!"  – Source:
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