Issue 206 | 12 February 2016
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The President met the CEOs in Pretoria on 15 January 2016, ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting and also met with them in Davos, Switzerland. It was agreed that there should be a follow-up meeting in South Africa to reflect on the WEF meeting and lessons learned for the South African economy during the current negative economic climate and slow growth. 
President Jacob Zuma met with the chief executive officers (CEOs) of top companies in Cape Town on 9 February 2016 for a WEF/Davos review and to promote a more conducive investor climate in South Africa.

Government wants to use the opportunity to share with business the new InvestSA One Stop Shop Approach, which is designed to make South Africa more investor-friendly. The Department of Trade and Industry is to establish one stop shops throughout the country to promote the ease of doing business.

President Zuma recently established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Investment Promotion to further improve the investor climate and support. The IMC is chaired by the President, assisted by the Minister of Trade and Industry.
The PPP formed part of government’s ongoing efforts to connect directly with communities in order to enable and facilitate public participation.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, undertook a PPP on 5 February 2016 in Limpopo.  

The Minister visited schools and engaged directly with staff and learners. Education is one of government's priorities and a considerable amount of government resources are channelled towards ensuring that provinces improve their performance and contribution towards skills development.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s last PPP was held in December 2015 in Winterveldt, north of Pretoria, where she donated a house to a destitute family after having witnessed their dire living conditions during a prior PPP in the area.

The PPP took place at the Makanye Primary School, Makanye Village, Limpopo.
The indaba took place against the backdrop of a slump in metal prices amid China’s economic slowdown, which has led to oversupplies.
Local and international mining industry heavyweights descended on Cape Town for the 2016 Investing in African Mining Indaba which took place from 8 to 11 February.

The collapse in commodity prices has left many companies in the industry trading at all-time lows and with increased volatility.

The four-day conference programme provided extensive insight on how investors, governments and corporates could come together to take a close look at how they could improve operational efficiencies, evaluate how to best mitigate risks associated with investing in the sector and to identify the critical partnerships for ensuring the development and future sustainability of mining in the years to come.

According to Jonathan Moore, managing director of the indaba, it provided a platform for global and influential deal-makers that channel billions of dollars in capitalising the African mining value chain. Key industry leaders speaking at the Indaba included former Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Tendai Biti; Anglo American CEO, Mark Cutifani; and AngloGold Ashanti CEO, Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan. – Source: Fin24
The “heartbeat” of Eskom’s Kusile Unit 1 is nearing completion, signalling an important milestone in the coal power station’s journey to feed much-needed electricity into the national grid.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe likened the control and instrumentation facility at Kusile to “the heartbeat of the power station”.

“The facility is like an engine room where you can see every component of the power station ... It is equivalent to an aircraft’s black box and records everything,” he said. 

The 4 800-MW Kusile power station will comprise six units of 800 MW each and is under construction near eMalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga.

Power and automation company ABB recently said that it was on schedule to complete automation for Generating Unit 1 of Kusile “with successful factory acceptance tests of the balance-of-plant and the unit performed late last year”.

“With record timing as a key deliverable of such an intrinsically complex project, there is excellent cooperation between the Eskom and ABB teams with very strict monitoring on each element of the project to ensure that deadlines are adhered to,” ABB’s power generation business managing director, Kevin Kosisko, said in a statement.

Kusile power plant belongs to a new generation of high-pressure, high-temperature thermal power installations known as supercritical plants, which are more efficient than conventional coal-fired plants, featuring lower emissions and fuel costs.

Kusile will be the first plant in Africa to use wet flue gas desulphurisation technology in all boilers. – Source: Fin24
The investment is expected to help expand Travelstart’s presence in more African markets while also boosting its mobile offerings.
United Kingdom-based technology investment company Amadeus Capital Partners has injected US$40 million (R648 million) in Cape Town headquartered online travel agency Travelstart.

Travelstart was founded by Stephan Ekbergh in Sweden in 1999.

But Ekbergh, who is the current chief executive officer for Travelstart, then moved the business to Cape Town. Travelstart today has a presence in 16 countries ranging from Botswana, Kenya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

"Basically, what we want to try and do now is solidify our market leadership in South Africa and use this fund to break into other countries in Africa,” Ekbergh told Fin24.

“We do have footholds for some years back in Kenya, in Nigeria and also in Egypt. To some extent, in Turkey and the Middle East as well,” he said.

The funding injection, meanwhile, represents Amadeus Capital Partners’ first foray into Africa after mobile network MTN became one of Amadeus’ “cornerstone” investors in 2013.

Travelstart is further expected to tap MTN’s reach in Africa and the mobile network’s e-commerce channels on the continent.
– Source: Fin24
Addressing the media in Pretoria recently, Home Affairs Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni, said his department remained committed to easing the implementation of the amended immigration legislation and regulations.
The tourism sector in South Africa has expressed satisfaction with the amendments made in the immigration regulations by the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that tourists travel with ease.

The industry had raised concerns over the immigration regulations introduced by the Department of Home Affairs last year. Some of the regulations required parents or guardians travelling with minors to produce an unabridged birth certificate at ports of entry. At the time, tourism stakeholders said this would impact negatively on tourism.

“We are hard at work to fully implement these concessions, understanding this to be in the interest of the country, its citizens and other persons.
“The general consensus is that we are indeed on course, with notable progress being made,” he said.

David Frost, the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, commended Home Affairs over progress made to implement the concessions that Cabinet made last year to ease the implementation of the amended immigration legislation and regulations.

Frost said the new developments would end the differences that existed between the sector and the Department of Home Affairs.

In a bid to address concerns raised by the tourism sector, Cabinet appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to look at the concerns and come up with recommendations on how best to proceed in the best interests of all.

A briefing session with key stakeholders was held in December in Sandton, where the concessions were clarified, and timelines clearly outlined to ensure there was no confusion on the process.

The actions that were to be taken in the immediate phase, within the first three months that followed the Cabinet decision, were to:
  • implement the capturing of biometrics at ports of entry, starting with a pilot at OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town airports
  • look at introducing an Accredited Tourism Company Programme for countries like China, India and Russia
  • consider a long-term multiple entry visa for a period exceeding three months and up to three years for frequent travellers for business meetings, businesspeople and academics
  • ensure that principals issue letters confirming permission for children to travel on school tours
  • extend the validity of the parental consent affidavit to six months.
The implementation and capturing of biometrics at ports of entry took off successfully at OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, launched this pilot project on biometric capturing at OR Tambo International Airport on 15 December 2015.

This was after the Department of Home Affairs had developed, in November 2015, electronic Movement Control System Biometric fingerprint capability at ports of entry.

The pilot was implemented at Lanseria (using two counters initially, and currently five counters), King Shaka (five counters), Cape Town (four counters initially, currently eight) and OR Tambo (eight counters in the Transit Area). From January 2016, training has been provided to immigration officials by the department’s Learning Academy to ensure efficient use and management of the system. – Source:



It is the first time in its history that this award goes to a South African.


The 2016 Edinburgh Medal will be jointly awarded to Kevin Govender from the Cape Town-based Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on 30 March at the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival, to recognise their wide-reaching contributions to science.

It is awarded jointly for the creation and practical establishment of the IAU OAD, which integrates the pursuit of scientific knowledge with social development for and with those most in need.

The office, launched in 2011 by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, is hosted at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town, South Africa, in partnership with the National Research Foundation and the South African Department of Science and Technology.

Under the pioneering stewardship of its first Director, Kevin Govender, the OAD has successfully harnessed astronomy in the service of global education and capacity-building. The OAD was established as part of the IAU’s decadal strategic plan “Astronomy for Development”, which was initiated and driven within the IAU by the renowned astronomer Prof. George Miley.

The Edinburgh Medal is a prestigious award given each year to men and women of science and technology whose professional achievements are judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity.

Kevin Govender and President of the IAU, Silvia Torres Peimbert, will be presented with the Edinburgh Medal at the Chambers of the City of Edinburgh Council on 30 March, 2016. They will give the Edinburgh Medal Address: “Astronomy for a Better World” as part of the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival, in the presence of Lord (Martin) Rees, the Astronomer Royal. The 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will run from 26 March to 10 April.

2016 Edinburgh Medal co-recipient Govender commented: “Besides its technological, scientific and cultural contributions, astronomy fundamentally gives us the perspective we need to change the world, and it is amazing to see how this vision has rallied people and organisations from just about every continent. It has been, and continues to be, a journey driven by many with a shared passion for both science and society."




A 16-year-old South African ballet dancer, Leroy Mokgatle, has won a scholarship at the Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition in Switzerland.


“The first for South Africa in 28 years and the second in South African history,” Art of Motion, his dance school in Randburg, Johannesburg, said in a Facebook post. “Thank you to the world audience for voting our SA candidate as their audience choice.”

Mokgatle was given the “audience favourite” award following the finals held in Lausanne on Saturday, 6 February, and won a scholarship to further his studies at one of the 66 prestigious Prix de Lausanne partner schools or dance companies around the world.

The previous South African winner was Ann Wixley, who received a scholarship in 1988.

Mokgatle performed a classical and a contemporary dance at the event. According to Art of Motion, Mokgatle moved from to Johannesburg from Pretoria in 2013 to train with the company.

Last September, Mokgatle won a gold medal at the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition.

Art of Motion expressed gratitude to the organisers of the Prix de Lausanne, saying it was an "extraordinary experience, one that will remain with us forever”. – Source:

As an associated institution of the Department of Arts and Culture, the Market Theatre celebrates its 40 years of existence with a full gamut of theatre programming.
On 9 February, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, delivered an address to kick-start the first in a series of milestones marking the 40th anniversary of the Market Theatre. Minister Mthethwa spoke, preceding the opening performance of the first production for the year, “A Raisin in the Sun”, written by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by James Ngcobo and presented in association with the United States Embassy.

Established within weeks of the 1976 Soweto Uprising, the Market Theatre came to symbolise the struggle for freedom. During the dark days of the apartheid regime, the theatre represented a ray of hope and the microcosm of what South Africa could, and finally did, become. It was the creative crucible for indigenous South African work and artists.

For nearly two decades, the Market Theatre was a beacon of light that brought the story of South Africa to world stages and won many accolades for its courage, commitment and artistic integrity. Fearless in its stance, the Market Theatre stood for democratic principles, freedom of choice, dignity and self-esteem and gave a vitally important voice to the black community. Today, it is still viewed as a “theatre of the people”. 

The Market Theatre’s core business has been the staging of productions that break down the barriers of culture and race, thus fostering a cohesive society. From the early landmark plays of Athol Fugard, John Kani, Barney Simon, Zakes Mda and Matsimela Manaka, among others, the Market Theatre has produced plays of outstanding quality and content for both the local and international stage.

The Market Theatre has won 296 national and 39 international theatre awards for the artistic quality of the work it produces and the calibre of the writers, directors, actors and lighting, set and costume designers it engages with. As part of the 40th anniversary milestone of South Africa’s most iconic theatre in June 2016, the Market Theatre has lined up several key productions that will be staged throughout the year.
Team South Africa returned home recently from Turkey after an awesome win at the Eurasian Schools Debating Championship (ESDC) 2016.
The young South Africans won 9-0 in the Grand Final debate opposing Team Romania on the motion THBT (this house believes that) employers should not require employees to have university degrees.

Team Romania congratulated South Africa on winning #ESDC2016 and wrote on Facebook that it was “an exceptional performance from them and a pleasure for us to face off in such an engaging and high-level debate”.

The South African champs also scooped the top-five speaker rankings in the tournament with first place going to Steven Lochner, second to Rebecca Mqamelo, third to William Shoki, fourth to Katya Broomberg and fifth to Grant Fourie.

While in Turkey, the team kept their supporters updated on Facebook with their adventures, which included tasting Turkish tea for the first time, experiencing “angry Istanbul traffic” and being caught out by “sneaky” restaurant entrepreneurs. The debating team will now train for the World Schools’ Debating Championships to be held in Stuttgart, Germany, in July this year. – Source: www.sapeople
What started as an eight-week assignment for "Dance" magazine soon turned into a six-year obsession with the art and artists of pantsula.
Profiled in a recent New York Times (NYT) photo essay, South African photographer Chris Saunders says his love of the pantsula dance culture stems from its spontaneous and makeshift energy and the positive message the dance's champions are trying to spread.

"The guys are trying to spread a message of better living through the dance," he told the NYT. Everywhere you walk down a road, there's kids playing, people dancing, people barbecuing, it's (has) a vibe. It's street culture."

As described in the NYT article, pantsula is defined as combining "precise and technical footwork and house music, (while using) hectic city streets as their stage, surrounded by traffic, pedestrians and vendors". The dance moves are steeped in history, both cultural and political, and rooted in the African sense of community and the joy of freedom of movement.

Together with German writer Daniela Goeller, Saunders set out in 2012 to comprehensively document the real story behind the dance, intent on recording the art form's greater significance in modern South African youth culture. "There is no coherent documentation about this dance form, its history, where it comes from," Goeller said in the NYT article. "There is really an opportunity to gather this information so this culture can be recognised."

Goeller, Saunders and four of the most respected pantsula dancers in Johannesburg have since founded the Impilo Mapantsula collective. It unites over 50 pantsula troupes from around Gauteng, supporting their professional development and improving their personal circumstances.

Proceeds from Saunders' photography exhibitions around the world, as well as a book with Goeller that documents the history and culture of pantsula, will contribute to helping the dancers fulfil their dance dreams and personal goals. – Source: News24Wire/New York Times
South African chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, has received a Michelin Star for his restaurant in Nice, France.
The highest achievement for a chef is a Michelin Star. South African chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, who owns and runs his own restaurant in Nice, was awarded a Michelin Star on 1 February 2016. The announcement was tweeted while Van der Westhuizen received the star for Restaurant JAN as part of French Michelin guide’s 2016 awards.

The restaurant in the Côte d'Azur is one of 52 to receive a star for 2016. Last year, Restaurant JAN was voted as one of the best restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveller, which praised its “healthy modern cooking”. A meal for two at the restaurants is estimated to cost around R1 800.

The South African chef, who's cooking is inspired by his grandmother, wins customers' and critics' hearts alike with a menu that often features South African favourites like biltong, mussels, fish curry and Malva pudding, among others.

The “Oscars of the Food World”, the Michelin Stars are awarded annually for Michelin Guides, which are a series of annual guide books published by the French company Michelin for more than a century. The Michelin Red Guide is the oldest European hotel and restaurant reference guide.

The allocation of stars is done annually by Michelin, based on anonymous visits by their inspectors. The precise definition of what is looked for in a restaurant in order to gain a star is a closely guarded secret of Michelin. – Source: Food24
Cape Town's natural wonder of the world – Table Mountain – welcomed its 25-millionth visitor with the latest million achieved in just one year and two weeks.
Bafana Sibanyoni (28) thought a first-ever trip up Table Mountain would be the ideal way to celebrate his partner Mbali Ntanzi's 26th birthday, but the couple had no idea that their Cableway experience was about to reach entirely new commemorative heights.

The couple was delighted to learn they had won a luxury weekend in the Mother City, announced by the Cableway staff in proudly South African fashion.

For being the 25-millionth and 25-millionth + 1 visitors, the two were rewarded with a weekend stay at the Taj Cape Town Hotel, two more complementary Cableway tickets, a Cableway hamper, including Shop at the Top merchandise and a Table Mountain Cafe voucher, as well as vouchers for experiences at the Cableway’s fellow Cape Town Big 7 partners: V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Groot Constantia and Cape Point.

The growth of the Cableway has been exponential since the introduction of the new revolving cabins – doubling its 1997 numbers to reach 22 million visitors in November 2012.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway had a record December with 28% more visitors than in December 2014, reportedly because the weather was extremely favourable and they were open every single day in December.

From among a league of extraordinary attractions, Table Mountain was named a New7Wonder of Nature in 2012, adding to record growth in tourism numbers as the “wonder effect” took hold and visitors flocked to the mountain. – Source: Traveller24
Multi-platinum award-winning singer Zonke has carved out a distinctive position in the musical landscape.
Big Concerts recently confirmed that R&B/Soul singer Zonke would be supporting the iconic Lionel Richie on his South African tour dates in March.

She’s one of South Africa’s biggest stars and not only performs but also writes and produces her own material.

Zonke Dikana has long been one of the most accomplished songwriters on the South African music scene and has written and co-written hits for dance artist Winnie Khumalo, kwaito rapper Thebe, late R&B star TK and also worked with legends like Bongo Maffin and Oskido.

With three albums on major international labels under her belt, she recently won two acclaimed SAMA awards for Best Live DVD and Best African Adult Album. Her latest album, Work of Heart, has received three Metro FM nominations in the categories Best Female, Best RnB and Best African Pop album.

“I am looking forward to delighting audiences with all-time favourites and new soul hits off my latest album titled Work of Heart. And I am especially excited to be sharing the stage with Lionel Ritchie who I have admired for taking pride in his art. This is an opportunity for South Africans to experience a quality production,” she said. – Source:
Two of South Africa’s brightest refereeing prospects, Rasta Rasivhenge and Quinton Immelman, have been added to the match official panel for the forthcoming Super Rugby season, where a number of law variations will be in play.
SANZAAR, officially the new name of the organisation to reflect the inclusion of Argentina in the existing joint-venture between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, recently announced that nine of the 22 referees on the panel would get their first taste of Super Rugby this season.

Rasivhenge and Immelman will join their compatriots Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper, Stuart Berry, Marius van der Westhuizen and Jaco van Heerden on the Super Rugby panel.

“The inclusion of Rasta and Quinton on the Super Rugby panel is just reward for the hard work they have been putting in over the last few years and I can’t wait to see them make their debut in the best provincial competition in the world,” said Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s General Manager: Rugby.

“We’ve always produced referees of the highest calibre and the Super Rugby panel is further proof of that. Craig and Jaco are two of the most experienced referees in the world and will raise the bar even further this year, while Stuart, Marius and Jaco are three of the best up-and-coming match officials in the game.

“The work done by our very own referees department has not gone unnoticed and it’s great to know South Africa is still at the fore when it comes to producing the best match officials for world rugby.” – Source:
Former South African swimmer and Olympic gold medallist, Ryk Neethling, has been named the latest Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Ambassador.
Born in Bloemfontein, Neethling attended Grey College, where he excelled in swimming, earning a place in the South African swimming team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He has since been lauded as one of the most accomplished swimmers to come out of South Africa.

He currently holds the South African record in the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1 500-m freestyle events and up until August 2006 held the 4x100-m freestyle relay world record.

Chairperson of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation SA, Morné du Plessis, said: “We are really excited to welcome Ryk to the Laureus stable. Ryk has proved himself to be more than just a triumphant sportsman.

“He has been an inspiration to swimmers across the country, understanding the importance of nurturing talented sportsmen and essentially playing a vital role as a mentor to champion swimmers Chad le Clos and Cameron van den Berg.”

Responding to the announcement, Neetling said: “It’s a massive honour for me to be named a Laureus Ambassador – on par with the privilege of being an Olympian. Not every Olympic gold medallist is invited to become part of this elite organisation. It shows that you’ve achieved more than just a win but have done something significant with it, and it is my goal to use my influence for good.” – Source: Africa News Agency
South Africa's Shaun Norris survived early jitters on the final day to take the Myanmar Open, helped by a near-unassailable cushion built up the day before.
The one-time Asian Tour winner began the final day at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club in Yangon with a seven-shot lead over his rivals after Saturday's remarkable 11-under-par 61.

But a series of fluffed shots on the early nine left some wondering whether he had squandered that hard work as he notched up four bogeys in windy morning weather.

By the afternoon, the South African had recovered. A flawless inward nine saw him take the tournament with 264, four shots less than South Korea's Park Jun-Won and Japan's Azuma Yano who took second jointly. – Source:
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