Issue 214 | 17 March 2016
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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is the primary vehicle used by the sub-region to promote balanced and equitable integration among its member states, and to achieve sustainable development.
A South African Government delegation, led by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, participated in the meeting of the SADC Council of Ministers in Gaborone, Botswana, from 14 to 15 March 2016. The SADC Council of Ministers is a statutory meeting which convenes annually to consider the political and administrative work of the regional institution.

South Africa is one of 15 member states of SADC and currently Outgoing Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. Other member states include Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Some of the pertinent issues discussed during the meeting included the following: Progress Report on the Review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and Regional Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap, SADC–European Union Political Dialogue as well Measures to Mitigate Natural Disasters.
Through the event, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation aimed to raise public awareness relating to the achievements made by, and challenges facing, women globally, particularly in developing countries such as South Africa.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in partnership with the Office of the Premier, Limpopo, on 12 March 2016 hosted an event marking International Women’s Day at the Mokomene Stadium, Ga-Ramokgopa. The event honoured struggle stalwart, Mme Charlotte Maxeke.

The Minister reflected on the role women played locally and internationally in promoting South Africa’s national interests as well as the importance of education to disadvantaged communities.

The Minister took advantage of her presence in the community to donate school shoes and other necessities to disadvantaged schoolchildren.
The deputy ministers were accompanied by women activists who were involved in organising the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings.
International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, and Human Settlements Deputy Minister, Zou Kota-Fredericks, visited Joe Slovo Park on Tuesday, 8 March 2016, to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March.

In line with the United Nations theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, entitled: “Planet 50/50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality", the event sought to celebrate women who endeavoured to build institutions, systems and processes that promoted and protected democracy and good governance, business and human rights with the main focus on women’s rights and the protection of children.

The event encouraged women to work towards Agenda 2063, with a strong emphasis on aspiration six that seeks to create an Africa whose development is people–driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially women and youth, and caring for children.
A proudly South African-led rescue mission crossed the airspace of 10 countries into war-torn Yemen to save the life of a month-old baby.
Yazan Yousif Qade was in dire need of heart surgery, but the current civil war in the country meant the mission would be high risk. Yazan suffers from a life-threatening congenital coarctation of the aorta, which is the narrowing of the large blood vessel branching from the heart.

Medair chief executive, Bruce Johnstone, said they had been approached by Alliance International Medical Services (Aims) to tackle the evacuation.

Netcare 911 chief operating officer, Craig Grindell, said Aims South Africa decided that Netcare Sunninghill Hospital was the appropriate facility to provide the highly-specialised cardiac care.

Grindell said the mission required "meticulous planning and logistical support at every level".

According to Johnstone, who himself served as a military pilot for 10 years, flight clearances had to be obtained for every country's airspace to and from South Africa.

"Transporting such a young and critically-ill patient is an intricate process in itself, but this case was further complicated by the fact that permission had to be sought from the Saudi Arabian authorities to cross Saudi airspace, and we then had to wait for them to give us safe time slots for the flights.

"We were fully cognisant of the political sensitivities that needed to be negotiated for us to conduct a mercy flight in that part of the world. The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation provided considerable assistance in this regard," Johnstone noted.

The mission, which had to be undertaken in two legs, saw Medair pilots, Brendan Boraine, Curtis Griessel, Pieter van der Merwe and Wikus Strydom in action. Netcare 911's flight doctor, Dr Kevin Hjul, and emergency care practitioner, Craig Pyott, provided medical care for the baby throughout the flight.

"The return trip went smoothly from a medical perspective, and the air ambulance landed at Lanseria International Airport just after 5 am on Friday, February 12. The baby was transported directly to Netcare Sunninghill Hospital for the heart surgery he so urgently needed," Grindell said.

The infant underwent an emergency procedure the same afternoon that he landed. The procedure – performed by cardio-thoracic surgeons, Dr Hendrik Mamorare and Dr Izak de Villiers Jonker, and paediatric cardiologist, Dr Raymond Dansky – was a success.

Yazan, who returned home this week, recovered well in the paediatric cardio-thoracic unit at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital under the care of paediatric intensivist, Dr Saskia Coetzee.

According to unit manager, Sister Ina Kok, the team at the hospital waited more than 10 days for baby Yazan to arrive in the country for the life-saving treatment.

"This is a special little baby who crept deep into the hearts of the staff and doctors here at the hospital. We are so pleased that he has recovered so well.

"The family received tremendous support from their embassy and the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation."

Grindell said the teamwork between Aims, Medair, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Yemen embassy, Netcare Sunninghill Hospital and Netcare 911 was "nothing short of inspirational".  – Source:
The New Development Bank (NDB) was established by BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – countries to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects.
The NDB has commenced its recruitment drive from member states.

“With the signing of the Headquarters Agreement with the Government of the People's Republic of China and Memorandum of Understanding with Shanghai Municipal People's Government, the NDB is proud to announce that it has commenced the process of recruitment of talent from the member states,” it said in a statement recently.

The bank, which lends money to developing countries to help finance infrastructure projects, is seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The bank encouraged citizens from the BRICS countries to submit their applications in the careers section of the bank's official website at

“The new staff of the bank will have an opportunity to be a part of our evolving institution and contribute to establishing the 'next practice' in the field of development finance.

“The bank is committed to creating a diverse work environment built on the pillars of meritocracy, collaboration, result-driven orientation and organisational efficiency.”

The bank is expected to recruit around 100 positions by the end of 2016. All the job openings will be advertised on the bank's website, in a staggered manner.

Currently, the bank has advertised its 11 senior most positions at Director-General level for applications. The positions are in the field of project financing, risk management, African regional centre, administration, legal counsel, front office of the president, corporate secretary, compliance and human resources, among others.

The bank has also recently advertised positions at young professional and junior professional levels.

The headquarters of the bank is located in Shanghai, China. The first regional centre of the NDB is set to open in Johannesburg, South Africa. – Source:
The Joint Economic Commission (JEC) is an initiative to strengthen economic ties and to attract foreign direct investment from Saudi Arabia into South Africa in targeted sectors.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, and his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Twafeeq Al Rabeeach, co-chaired the Seventh Session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia JEC recently.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, the JEC aimed to promote sound business-to-business cooperation.

At the sixth session of the JEC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last year, Minister Davies said the level of investment between the two countries was far below potential.

The commission resolved that in order to improve investment between the two countries, South African and Saudi Arabian companies should explore investments and joint ventures.

Both sides agreed to enhance trade and investment through the exchange of high-level business delegations and participation in each other’s country exhibitions.

They also agreed to participate in priority investment sectors such as agroprocessing, the blue economy, mining and petrochemicals as well as investment in special economic zones.

In addition, the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business Council took place on the sidelines of the JEC.

The JEC, which took place in Cape Town, were attended by senior government officials and concluded on Tuesday, 14 March, with the signing of the joint communiqué by the two ministers. – Source:
South Africa has the potential to turn talent in Africa into new technologies, and science into life-saving and enhancing innovations, says Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor.
Minister Pandor was addressing delegates in Dakar, Senegal, who were gathered for the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering (GG2016) – Africa's premier global science and technology forum.

In a panel discussion called "Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Development Challenges and Opportunities", Minister Pandor said South Africa was investing heavily in initiatives to promote STEM, citing among others the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), which is now a R470-million-a–year project.

SARChI began with 21 chairs in 2006 and is now a strategic intervention with 200 chairs in diverse disciplines across the natural sciences, engineering, humanities and social sciences. Last year, 42 new chairs were established, all of which are headed by female researchers.

The initiative supports frontier research and innovation, while strengthening human capital development in research. The total cumulative public investment in this project between 2006 and 2014 amounted to R1,5 billion.

"The SARChI programme is a truly beneficial partnership between government, universities and industry.

"Addressing gender and racial imbalances in the make-up of our science and technology workforce is also a major priority. More than ever, international fellowships and bursaries are important in achieving our target of producing 5 000 doctorates a year," the Minister said.

NEF chairperson, Thierry Zomahoun, said increased investment in research and development in STEM fields was crucial for meeting Africa's development trajectory.

"We firmly believe the world's next Einsteins will come from Africa," he said.

NEF is global platform that brings together leaders in industry, policy, science and technology. – Source:
Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, says Unit 3 of KwaZulu-Natal’s Ingula Storage Pump Scheme has been successfully synchronised onto Eskom’s power grid.
Briefing the media at the Imbizo Centre in Cape Town recently, the Minister said this milestone would allow Eskom to continue with its maintenance programme and reduce the pressure in the power grid.

“Today, I would like to announce that unit 3 of Ingula was successfully synchronised to the grid on 6 March. This means an additional 333 MW capacity will be available to the grid as commissioning progresses towards the unit’s full commercial operation in January 2017,” the Minister said.

The Ingula Storage Pump Scheme, which is currently under construction in the escarpment of the little Drankensberg, consists of an upper dam (Bedford Dam) and a lower dam (Bramhoek Dam), 4,6 km apart and connected by waterway tunnels.

The underground powerhouse houses four 333 MW reversible pump turbines/units.

The construction of the lower waterways was completed in December 2015 and filled with the water from the lower dam.

Minister Brown said the testing of unit 4 before synchronisation had already started, while the major construction work on both unit 1 and unit 2 had also been completed. 

She said the delivery of subsequent units and the rest of the build programme were important in enabling the country’s economy to grow and attract further investments. – Source:
Taking place at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, on 14 March, the conference was held under the theme, “The Africa We Want”. The conference was aimed at building knowledge and projecting African voices in various disciplines and discourses about the continent and the diaspora.
Africa's Mathematics and Science graduates met at the 10th annual Africa Young Graduates and Scholars Conference in Limpopo recently to discuss topics like "Innovation and Entrepreneurship", “Biofuels and Rural Development" and "Scientific Food Security”.

It was organised by the Human Sciences Research Council, in partnership with the University of Limpopo, the Department of Science and Technology, the Academy of Science of South Africa and the African World Heritage Fund.
The German delegation was in the country on a three-day study tour. They discussed a number of challenges such as universal access and services as well as infrastructure roll–out in rural areas.
The Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services recently met with the Members of Parliament from Germany to share knowledge and experiences between the two countries regarding the sector.

“We outlined the Government’s action plan with regard to the broadband roll-out as outlined in the SA-Connect policy document,” said Mmamoloko Kubayi, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee. She added that the committee appreciated the fact that most of the challenges experienced by the country were similar to those of some of the developed countries.

The delegation also outlined the imperatives of the digital agenda, a central strategic document of the German Digitisation Policy. They covered a number of policies on economy, infrastructure, education, labour market, social, research, security, state organisation and domestic politics.

The committee, together with the delegation, has agreed in principle to develop a working relationship going forward.
Transnet National Ports Authority has allocated R7 billion to build new port facilities to grow South Africa’s ocean economy.
Two hundred jobs have already been created in new port facilities. Over the last 12 months, existing ports were refurbished and maintained, the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development Cluster said in a statement recently.

The cluster held a media briefing in Cape Town, which was chaired by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti. The cluster said work to grow the ocean economy was gaining momentum.

“Through the public-private partnership to establish Saldanha Bay as an oil and gas hub, an investment of R9,2 billion has been realised, which will be utilised over the next five years.

“With 14 licences issued for oil and gas exploration, drilling of two exploration wells for potential oil and gas finds will take place along the South African coast. The investment in gas infrastructure has commenced and will contribute to the energy security,” said the cluster.

Work on the offshore supply base has already commenced, which will see Saldanha Bay attracting oil rigs for maintenance and repair. This will create secondary job opportunities for surrounding communities.

According to the cluster, the boat-building sector has been revitalised, leading to 500 direct jobs and 3 000 indirect jobs.

“An amount of R353 million over the next three years has already been unlocked in the ports of Durban and Cape Town for boat-building infrastructure through incentives provided by government.

“Further investments in boat-building – catamaran production, workboat ferries for the navy, two offshore mining vessels and tugboats for the ports authority – and a fuel storage facility amount to approximately R3,6 billion,” the Economic Cluster said.

For the 2016/17 financial year, R80 million has been allocated for the rehabilitation and maintenance of proclaimed harbours in Gansbaai, Saldanha Bay, Struisbaai, Gordons Bay and Lamberts Bay, as well the establishment of three new harbours in Boegoebaai in the Northern Cape, Port St Johns in Eastern Cape and Hibberdene in KwaZulu-Natal. This will provide opportunities for local and rural economic development.

The aquaculture sector has unlocked investments of more than R400 million across 10 aquaculture farms, which are already in production.

The community of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape has seen its first harvest of dusky kob (kabeljou) and the Siyazama Aquaculture Cooperative in Hamburg has sold its first harvest of dusky kob to the Cape Town Fish Market at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

The cluster said the expansion of aquaculture projects to inland and other coastal areas in support of small, medium and micro enterprises would create 3 200 jobs and contribute R500 million to the gross domestic product over the next year.

The first two bulk carrier vessels have been registered in Port Elizabeth, and a third tanker in Cape Town, providing opportunities for South African cadets (trainees) boarding these vessels. – Source:
"People flew in from Belgium and France especially for the Brand South Africa Cocktail & Pam Golding Lunch, highlighting the level of interest among Africans in Europe in opportunities back home," said Homecoming Revolution chief executive, Angel Jones.
Almost 400 Africans living in the United Kingdom (UK) and the rest of Europe turned up for a meet and greet at London's Park Plaza Victoria to learn more about how Africans living and working abroad were able to return home.

Homecoming Revolution, a recruitment firm for global Africans, together with its various partners, including Brand South Africa, hosted the event on 4 and 5 March. It clarified the details and logistics of how Africans living and working abroad were able to return home, including information on careers, property trends, relocation services, education and immigration advice.

Attendees met representatives from top Pan-African employers, including Agco, Bryanston Consulting, Guaranty Trust Bank, Ipreo, Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital, Mace, MultiChoice and Africa Health Placements, to discuss career opportunities back home.

A presentation by Pam Golding Properties unpacked the intricacies and requirements of the current African property market. Advice and logistical details on repatriation and shipping were also presented by the White & Company international moving firm.

Schools such as Roedean School (SA), Kingsmead College, Hilton College and St John's College also exhibited, offering advice and information on schooling and education.

In addition to a performance by South Africa's only isiXhosa-speaking Jewish comedian, Nik Rabinowitz, who updated the expat audience – in his own unique, light satirical touch – on the challenges of living in Africa, the event also offered some enlightening homecoming testimonials and other expert insights into the continent.

Keynote speakers included Pumela Salela, Brand South Africa's UK country head; Bankole Cardoso, Nigerian "homecomer" and entrepreneur; and Eddie Mandhry, the director for Africa of the Yale Office on International Affairs. Salela called the event "exceptional", saying it was evidence of expats' "greater emotional connection to Africa".

Each attendee also received a Taste of Africa gift pack of uniquely African snacks and drinks, sponsored by Makro and AVI Brands. – Source:
He is also the first South African entrepreneur to collaborate with Chivas South Africa to create a limited edition packaging for Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Scotch Whisky, under the theme “Win the Right Way”.
Laduma Ngxokolo had his first clients when he was only 16 years old: his neighbour, a friend and a local artist from his neighbourhood. Today, he owns a premium fashion brand, Maxhosa by Laduma, and his designs have been displayed on catwalks in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and Paris, to name a few.

His late mother, who was an entrepreneur in the 1980s and a great promoter of the Xhosa heritage, taught him to knit by machine.

His older sister was "more enthusiastic about fashion", says Ngxokolo, while he was more of a "knitwear design specialist". "I worked on the machine and knitted, knitted, knitted! My sister used to make garments with my mom. She had magazines and I used to read these magazines for inspiration.

"In fact, I became more inspired by her passion for fashion design," Ngxokolo says.

Ngxokolo's brand was born out of his own need when he was an initiate; he looked for clothes but couldn't find anything except the "Western vibe type of designs" from international brands such as Pringle of Scotland and others. "So, technically, when I was ikrwala (a Xhosa initiate) I made myself clothes.

"I made a visit to a local museum which had the most beautiful beadwear collection of the Xhosa people, which dates back to the 1800s. I realised that the most distinctive patterns we have as Xhosa people are in beadwork. I then infused these patterns into my designs and modernised them. I also use buttons as embellishment on my designs."

When Ngxokolo's thesis project while studying towards his BA degree at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University required him to solve a problem through design, clothing for initiates came first. The initiates are expected to dress in a certain way, culturally, to demonstrate their new life of manhood. "The problem came organically to me." 

Ngxokolo's designs reflect his deeply entrenched Xhosa heritage and the patterns which are distinctive to his designs.

Ngxokolo is the winner of the Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa 2016 Design Indaba 2016. His iconic shawl earned him the prize.
Ngxokolo's designs are currently showing at Luminance in Hyde Park, Johannesburg; Merchants on Long in Cape Town; and his showroom in Newtown, to mention a few. Ngxokolo is soon to add socks to his design collection.
Abrahams is the first South African who has managed to be crowned Mrs World.
Candice Abrahams, the reigning Schwarzkopf Professional Mrs South Africa 2016, has been named Mrs World 2016 in a glamourous event held in China recently. Two years ago, former Mrs South Africa, Sarah-Kate Scott, was crowned first runner-up. At the time, it was the highest ever placing of a Mrs South Africa at Mrs World pageant.

Moments before her first press conference as Mrs World, Abrahams reached out to all her fans in a video posted on the official Mrs South Africa Facebook page. In it, an excited Mrs World thanked everyone for supporting her. She said: “My heart is just so happy. I’m so excited to represent South Africa.

“I’m looking forward to coming home, seeing you all and spreading the love.”

Abrahams was one of 36 of the world’s most beautiful women to take part in the pageant.
– Source:
“Eye in the Sky” has a brilliant cast – Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman (sadly, in one of his last films before he passed away) and Aaron Paul, among others – and an edge-of-your-seat story that also asks some important questions in a world faced with terrorism.
The new movie by “Tsotsi” director, Gavin Hood, opened in South Africa and the United States recently, and not only brings him back to Africa but ranks him with the world’s top action and suspense directors.

Mirren plays a colonel and Paul a drone pilot, and their target is a young radicalised British woman who is part of the al Shabaab terrorist group responsible for the horrific bombing of a Nairobi shopping mall. What starts out as a simple mission suddenly gets lots of twists and turns.

Variety calls it a “crackerjack” movie. Their reviewer, after seeing it at the Toronto Film Festival last year, said, “The messy complexities of drone warfare trigger command decisions, moral crises, collateral damage and cover-your-backside buck passing in “Eye in the Sky, a rivetingly suspenseful drama that deftly intertwines elements of ticking-clock thriller and tragic farce.”

The New York Times said it was one of award-winning Mirren’s “fiercest screen performances”.

Raves Rolling Stone magazine, that the movie is “a tribute to director Gavin Hood, who uses a tight script, by Guy Hibbert, to hold us in a vise and keep squeezing”. – Source:
Director and writer Donovan Marsh, responsible for bringing South Africa's favourite schoolboy to life on the big screen in the first two "Spud" films, has been chosen to direct his first Hollywood film, "Hunter Killer", starring legendary character actor Gary Oldman and action movie hero Gerard Butler.
Marsh is a fixture in the South African film, television and media industry, having directed a number of commercials and television productions, including the Class Act acting reality show. Feature films, though, are his first love and where he has gained his most success. His first film, the Safta-winning, Dollars and White Pipes, was an action-packed South African gangster drama. It gained a cult following in South Africa.

He also directed and scripted the first two Spud films, bringing John Milton, the lovable but awkward hero of John van der Ruit's popular book series, to wider local and international audiences.

Marsh's greatest international triumph so far, however, has been as director and writer of the critically acclaimed action drama iNumber Number, which earned selection for the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. It was also an audience favourite at the official Quentin Tarantino Film Festival.

He won a Best Screenplay Award for the film at the 2013 Africa International Film Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. The film also won Best Director, Best Writer and Best Editing at the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas).

And now Hollywood has come calling, selecting Marsh to direct Butler and Oldman in an action thriller about an American submarine commander sent deep into Russian waters to save the elected Russian President in the midst of a military coup. The film begins shooting in London in July 2016.

Marsh follows other prominent South African directors working in international mainstream cinema, including Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Wolverine), Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) and Jann Turner (TV's Castle, Teen Wolf). – Source: Deadline (USA),
South African Wayde van Niekerk has become the first runner to break 10 seconds for 100 metres, 20 seconds for 200 m and 44 seconds for 400 m, the world governing body IAAF said recently.


The world 400-m champion had previously broken the marks on the two longer distances before running 9.98 sec over 100 m in Bloemfontein on Saturday, 12 March. Van Niekerk was helped by a legal 1,5 m/s tailwind and the 1 300 m altitude at the track. Before that, the 23-year-old's 100 m personal best (PB) was 10.45s, although that was back in 2011.

His 200 m PB is 19.94s while he ran 43.48s in winning the world title in Beijing last year. He will, however, be running only the 400 m at the Rio Olympics later this year.

Van Niekerk is the recipient of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s 2016 Ubuntu Award for Sports Diplomacy. – Source:
South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, parred the first playoff hole on Sunday, 13 March, to defeat American Bill Haas and capture the United States (US) PGA Valspar Championship.
Schwartzel won his 15th professional title worldwide, his first since last month's European Tour Tshwane Open and his first in a US event since he birdied the last four holes at Augusta National to win his first major title five years ago.

South African Schwartzel came from five shots behind in the final round to card a four-under-par 67 before beating Haas with a tap-in par at the first extra hole. – Source:
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