Issue 218 | 22 April 2016
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The research survey indicated that DIRCO was perceived by other professionals as a desired place to work due to aspects like international exposure, training opportunities and travelling.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has received the third place, according to 23 000 professionals, in the recent UNIVERSUM-Most Attractive Employers Awards for the category: Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education.

The department is proud of this award seeing that DIRCO was only surpassed by organisations such as Google.

UNIVERSUM is the global leader in employer branding and delivers a full range of services in research, strategic consulting and communication solutions that enable employers to better understand, attract and retain top talent.

The work done by the whole department, particularly DIRCO’s branches: Corporate Management; Public Diplomacy; and Diplomatic Training, Research and Development, contributed to DIRCO’s strong Employer Brand.
The consultations took place from Monday until Friday, 22 April. They were a follow-up to discussions held by the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Heads of State and Government during the inauguration of the new SACU headquarters building in Windhoek, Namibia, on 12 November 2015.
President Jacob Zuma travelled to Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland this week to hold consultations with the heads of state and government of member states of the SACU.

“The discussions will also focus on progress in the implementation of the SACU work programme, as adopted by the 2011 SACU Summit. The deliberations will also consider regional, continental and global economic and trade developments and their impact on SACU,” said The Presidency.

SACU, one of the oldest customs union in the world, is 105 years old and consists of five members: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

President Zuma, who is the current chair of the SACU Summit, was accompanied by the ministers of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; trade and industry, Rob Davies; and Finance Deputy Minister, Mcebisi Jonas.

Meanwhile, consultations with Lesotho are ongoing to find a suitable date for President Zuma’s visit to Maseru. – Source:
Japan was struck by a series of massive earthquakes in southern Japan, near the regional capital of Kumamoto on the Kyushu Island while a deadly earthquake also struck Ecuador's central coast.
President Jacob Zuma, has, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, extended the country’s deepest condolences to Japan and Ecuador, following the deadly natural disasters that struck both countries recently.

President Zuma said: “I wish to extend our condolences to HE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, HE President Rafael Correa, the Government and the people of Japan and Ecuador, respectively. The people of South Africa share the pain and loss of the loved ones, their homes and property, and our thoughts and prayers go to all the affected families. We also wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
The NDB has approved its first set of loans worth US $811 million, which will go towards supporting renewable energy initiatives.
“The NDB announced today that its Board of Directors has approved its first set of loans involving financial assistance of USD811 million to be disbursed in tranches, supporting 2 370 MW of renewable energy capacity,” the bank said in a statement on Friday.

The NDB, which was established by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects, said the appraised projects were presented at the fifth Board of Directors’ meeting in Washington on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Spring Meetings.

“This is an important milestone for the bank and we are delighted to have met the goals and the time schedules envisioned by the leaders of the BRICS countries. With this, we embark on a journey to provide speedy assistance to projects across developing nations.

“We are pleased that the projects deal with green and renewable energy and hope they will act as catalysts for development in our member states,” said the bank’s president KV Kamath.

In accordance with its core focus, this first set of projects being financed by NDB is in the area of green and renewable energy. It is estimated that the projects will collectively provide additional generation capacity of 2 370 MW of clean energy. This will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by nearly four million tonnes per year.

Each loan modality is different, based on project-specific features and borrower preferences. Government approvals, where necessary, will be sought as part of follow-up procedures. – Source:
South Africa and the People’s Republic of China met on 14 April 2016 in Pretoria to launch the Structured Dialogue on Human Rights, to reaffirm their commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to look at ways to enhance cooperation and solidarity.
The two delegations will be meeting regularly in this regard. The two delegations further agreed on ways to enhance their cooperation, ensuring future dialogue in this context.

To this end, the next meeting of the SA-China Structured Bilateral Dialogue on Human Rights will be held in 2017 in Beijing.
In a statement on Friday, the dti said interested companies had until 22 April to submit their application forms for the trade fair that would take place from 21 to 26 July.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is inviting companies and exporters to apply to participate in the Feira Internacional de Angola (FILDA) taking place in Luanda, Angola, in July.

The main sectors that the international trade fair will focus on include agriculture, automotive components, agro-processing, logistics, infrastructure, mining and capital equipment.

“The dti will set up a national pavilion at FILDA and will provide financial assistance to qualifying companies through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme to participate and showcase their products at the exhibition with the aim of increasing exports of South African manufactured products to Angola,”  said the department.

The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

The assistance offered by the dti will cover exhibition space and booth rental costs, freight-forwarding of display material, as well as a daily subsistence allowance and air travel assistance to small, medium and micro enterprises and black-owned entities only.

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Mzwandile Masina, said FILDA would expose South African companies to trade and investment opportunities available in Angola and other countries participating in the annual multi-sectoral exhibition.

Last year, nearly 1 000 companies from about 40 countries participated in the exhibition, with more than 50 000 visitors passing through its turnstiles.  – Source:
The two-day meeting was a bilateral forum which meets biennially, alternately in South Africa and in Hungary, on dates mutually agreed upon by the co-chairs. The first session of the committee was held in South Africa in 2013.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina, recently co-chaired the Second Session of the South Africa-Hungary Joint Economic Committee in Budapest, Hungary.

The Deputy Minister said the committee had been tasked with reviewing the state of bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.

It is responsible for identifying potential areas of mutual benefit in trade and investment, cooperation in the small and medium enterprise development, skills development, integration of the black industrialists in the Hungarian global value chain as sub-contractors, and also for discussing other policy issues of common interest.

“The two countries are expected to assess the state of bilateral trade and investment flows since 2014. High on our agenda will be the National Development Plan, update on the new Protection of Investment Act, as well as the investment policy,” said Deputy Minister Masina.

Hungary, he said, presented opportunities for growing trade and investment for South Africa.

South Africa’s total exports destined to Hungary increased significantly from R746 million in 2014 to R953 million in 2015.
This places Hungary, in terms of South African exports ranks, on the 69th position globally and 14th within the European Union. In contrast, South Africa ranked third as a supplier of goods sourced by Hungary from the African continent. – Source:
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa recently attended a high-level segment of the Sixth Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Cairo. 
The special session was held under the theme Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement: from Policy to Implementation in Africa.

The meeting provided an opportunity for ministers and experts to deliberate on how to move forward with regard to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the 193 members of the United Nations (UN).

The department said the global climate deal reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change last year, and its implications for Africa, featured prominently on the AMCEN agenda.

The special session offered an opportunity for governments on the continent to deliberate on what the Paris Agreement meant for the region and its people. – Source:
Increased investment in research and development by both the public and the private sectors will enable South Africa to secure a greater share of global markets in the big data industry.
Speaking at an information and communications technology conference at the Gert Sibande Technical Vocational Education and Training College in Secunda, Mpumalanga, recently, the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said that, with the right interventions, there was great potential for South Africa to compete in the big data industry.

Mobile devices, online activity, commercial transactions, traffic cameras and remote sensing instruments, among others, are continuously collecting data at rates far larger than can be processed. The datasets collected often are semi-structured and new innovative techniques are needed to collect, curate, transmit and analyse these resources to make sense of historical patterns.

With astronomy, it has become increasingly clear that the old ways of working with data no longer apply. Precursors to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope have ushered in an era of data-intensive astronomy.

With South Africa's MeerKAT and the Netherlands' Apertif (APERture Tile in Focus) telescopes both expected to come online this year, the scale of data collection is poised to increase significantly. Data at these scales present unique challenges not just for managing the collection, but also for how researchers extract their science.

The two countries last year signed an agreement towards unlocking the hidden secrets in the immense amount of data generated by SKA. The agreement on data science establishes data centres for astronomers around the world to access large-scale data infrastructure and associated high-performance computing needed to make sense of the data.

Minister Pandor said it was clear that the current big data challenge required a wide range of new skills, policies and practices, technologies and legal frameworks. In addition, fast broadband networks, trusted repositories and nationally accepted practices were required.

"We have a lot of science programmes to work with – the SKA, bioinformatics programmes, Earth observation data initiatives, the SA Research Infrastructure Roadmap and others," said Minister Pandor.

A big data Africa programme is also being proposed for the African countries involved in the SKA and African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network. The focus is to develop high-performance computing capabilities in these countries, through training researchers, students and scientists.
The process of registering a company in South Africa is now a simpler, seamless process says Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the partnership between the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) – which is an entity of the Department of Trade and Industry and Nedbank, which sees the bank joining other major banks in offering CIPC Online.

The CIPC Online initiative makes it possible for potential business owners to apply for a company registration and a business bank account through Nedbank’s online system.

“It now means that a small business or a large business can go to any of the major banks in South Africa and open a business bank account and simultaneously, through the online process, you can register with the CIPC and also you can get a South African Revenue Service tax number,” said Minister Davies.

The partnership will assist in broadening the footprint and reach of the CIPC and will also offer a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs.

“All of those processes are now combined, it’s a seamless process for customers who are registering companies. That is an enormous step forward for businesses. Assuming that you’ve done everything right, this process can be done in four hours,” said Minister Davies at the launch in Sandton.

The application fee for qualifying applicants is R175 to register a company. Those interested in registering their businesses can do so at the 800 Nedbank branches across the country or access – Source:
The Deputy Minister was invited by the South African Embassy in Qatar to participate during the Freedom Day celebrations and to lay the groundwork for further cultural engagements with her Qatari counterparts.
On 14 April, the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, participated in the Freedom Day celebrations hosted by the South African Embassy in Doha, Qatar.

“This year marks 22 years since the demise of the inhumane apartheid regime in South Africa and the birth of the democratic South Africa, the rainbow nation. The dawn of freedom and democracy in 1994 also heralded the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the State of Qatar,” said Mabudafhasi.

“The South African Department of Arts and Culture and its Qatari counterpart have finalised the Memorandum of Agreement on Arts, Culture and Heritage to be signed soon. The Memorandum of Agreement seeks to consolidate and strengthen the ties of friendship and of reciprocal understanding between their peoples.

“It also forms part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen cultural relations between South Africa and Qatar, and thus promotes greater people-to-people contact and deepen our bonds of friendship and solidarity”, remarked Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi.

The Department of Arts and Culture’s participation during the Freedom Day celebrations in Qatar also served as a platform to showcase South African dance and music and further assess their appetite for South African music and dance. This initiative was in line with the department`s objective of creating opportunities and exploring markets for South African culture and products in the Middle East region.

“It is for this reason that we brought the Garage Dance Ensemble from O`okiep in the Northern Cape to participate during the Freedom Day celebrations. The Garage Dance Ensemble is a group of youth from a rural and underprivileged community.” The whole month of April is dedicated as Freedom Month. It provides South Africans with an opportunity to strengthen solidarity, tolerance, national identity and promote social cohesion.
The Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa is the sponsor of the United Nations (UN) World Wildlife Day 2016 (WWD2016) poster design competition and South Africa is the host country of the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Three winners, 10 finalists and five works by children chosen from over 300 entries to the WWD2016 poster competition were announced recently by the Secretariat of the CITES and the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa.

The CITES Secretariat is the UN General Assembly-designated facilitator for the global observance of World Wildlife Day.

CITES Secretary-General, John E Scanlon, said: “The World Wildlife Day poster competition has helped to raise awareness about wildlife conservation, particularly the challenges facing elephants, in a very creative way. People from right across the globe have used their artistic talents to graphically express their support for wildlife, which is a great inspiration to all of us.”

Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, said: “The Government of South Africa is pleased to sponsor the World Wildlife Day poster competition to help raise awareness of wildlife conservation. We look forward to welcoming the three winners to Johannesburg to witness CITES CoP17, where crucial discussions will take place around the regulation of the international trade in wild animals and plants.”

The Government of South Africa will provide return air tickets to the winners to fly to Johannesburg in September to attend CITES CoP17.

With 182 parties, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, housing, healthcare, ecotourism, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35 000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.
On 18 April, Freedom Park commemorated International Day for Monuments and Sites.
The day was established by the International Council on Monument and Sites to celebrate the diversity of heritage throughout the world. The theme for this year’s celebration was: The Heritage of Sport.

“The 18th of April is a day which finds its purpose of having a reflexive ambience of cultural heritage worldwide.  Furthermore, sport has been a strong activity, which has successfully aligned itself towards nation-building and gives a platform for all cultural diversity to partake in,” said Freedom Park.
One of the major factors that will see the value of the CBD grow, is the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has released their annual The State of Cape Town Central City Report: 2015 – A year in review, which highlights the continued strength of investment confidence driving the Cape Town CBD, an area that accounts for over 25% of the metropole’s economy and 30% of its workforce.

During the 2013/14 financial year, the City of Cape Town placed the official nominal value of property in the CBD at R23,725 billion (up from R6,127 billion in 2005/06). With the developments that have been completed since 2014 and those now on the cards, this value has been estimated, conservatively, to rise by another R8,21 billion within the next five years, the report found.

R832 million will be spend expanding the CTICC. This will see the centre grow with 10 000 m2 of multipurpose conference and exhibition space, and 3 000 m2 of formal and informal meeting space. The improvement hopes to see even more business travellers flock to the Cape Town City Centre for conferences, which has seen a major cash injection into the city over the past year.

According to the Cape Town CCID figures, the CTICC contributed R3,4 billion to the national gross domestic product over the 2014/15 period, and R1,20 billion of total foreign exchange earnings. It creates 8 058 direct and indirect jobs for South Africans.
The survey, which is reportedly based on the responses of 75 000 people, named Cape Town as readers’ favourite city in the world – for the fourth consecutive year – followed by Venice and Vancouver. South Africa came in third as a favourite country destination, after New Zealand and the Maldives.
Cape Town was voted the favourite city in the world and South Africa the third-favourite country in the Telegraph newspaper’s annual travel awards, based on what it calls the most comprehensive, wide-ranging and reliable travel survey in Britain.

The country and city categories were the most-watched, while other categories included best airline, best hotel group and best ferry service. – Source:
“I came, I saw and I was totally conquered by the love at Coachella,” he wrote on his Instagram account.
South African DJ Black Coffee killed it on stage at the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival last weekend.

Black Coffee took to the stage on the first day of the annual music festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

The 40-year-old DJ had a busy week. He was off to Mexico on Monday, New York on Wednesday before returning to Coachella on Friday again for his second set.

Headliners at this year’s festival included Guns N' Roses, LCD Soundsystem and Calvin Harris.

In February, Black Coffee was a recipient of the Department of International Relations and Cooperations’ Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Contemporary). – Source:
South African presenter and actress Pearl Thusi and local supermodel turned actress Nicola Breytenbach, have both landed major roles in the upcoming international heist film, "The Blue Mauritius".
The film is about five international thieves hired by a mysterious person from Mauritius to steal the most valuable stamps in the world.

Breytenbach is set to play the role of Claudia, a talented antiquities curator at a prominent museum and the love interest of the director of the museum where the Blue Mauritius stamp resides.

Thusi is set to play the part of Makeda, a sexy, gun toting, motorcycle-riding femme fatale, who works for a German art dealer who is also out to steal the precious stamps.

British director Charles Henri Belleville will direct. He just completed his second film with superstar, Oscar-nominated actor, Tom Hardy.

The Blue Mauritius stars an array of international talent from France, Brazil, Germany, Egypt, South Africa and the United States.

The film will be produced by New York-based D Street Pictures and Cape Town’s Kaapland Films. – Source:
“The coach will need a lot of support and I urge all South Africans to support their team and its coach in both difficult and good times. Mr Coetzee has my unreserved support,” said Minister Mbalula.
Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has welcomed the appointment of Allister Coetzee as coach of the Springboks.

“The appointment of Mr Coetzee is historic and I congratulate and wish him well on his tenure as the coach of our Springboks. Mr Coetzee has an impeccable experience record on the field as a player and off the field as a coach,” said Minister Mbalula.

Coetzee will be head coach of the Springboks for the next four years.

The 52-year-old former Springbok assistant coach succeeds Heyneke Meyer at a time when a number of veterans of the 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph have gone into retirement.

“Allister’s appointment marks the changing of the guard at the top of Springbok rugby and is an exciting new departure for SA Rugby,” said Oregan Hoskins, president of SA Rugby.

The new coach has been involved with rugby since 1974, first as a player and then later as a team manager, assistant coach and head coach. – Source:
The qualification also underscored the regularity in which South African national teams are beginning to qualify for major tournaments on the continent and globally, and becoming a major force to be reckoned with.
Banyana Banyana qualified for the 2016 Cameroon Women Africa Cup of Nations (WACN) tournament in scintillating style after dispatching Botswana 3-0 to give them a 5-0 aggregate over the two-leg match at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa recently.

The in-form South African Senior Women’s National Team is one of the two African teams, together with Zimbabwe, going to the 2016 Rio Olympics – and the qualification for the WACN cemented their claim as one of the fastest-rising women’s teams.

At the break, the home side led 3-0. With such a massive cushion, Banyana Banyana predictably took the foot off the pedal as they ran rings around the visitors.

Apart from qualifying for WACN, it was a night to remember for record-setting Banyana Banyana captain, Janine van Wyk, who was playing in her 127th match for the national team.

Since their first participation in the tournament in 1995, the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana has been ever present in the WACN. – Source: AFP
Stealing the show from a reigning world champion, Caster Semenya won national titles in the 400, 800, and 1 500 metres and ran Olympic qualifying times in the first two events at the South African championships on Saturday, 16 April. 
Looking sharper than she has in years, the former 800-metre world champion set world-leading times in the 400 and 800. Finishing with the 1 500, Semenya became the first athlete to win all three titles at the championships, and did it within about four hours.

"The legs don't feel too much pain. I'll pay tomorrow," she said.

Even though it's early in the Olympic year, Semenya's performance in her favoured 800, which came less than an hour after her 400 race, suggested she may again put a list of struggles behind her to challenge in Rio de Janeiro in August.

The competition may not have been strong, but her times in both the one and two-lap races were: A personal best 50.74 seconds in the 400, and 1 minute, 58.45 seconds in the 800.

"I'm quite impressed with the performances of tonight. I didn't expect to run like this, fast times like this," Semenya said. "The 400 and 800, it was just marvellous."

Her 1 500 victory was in 4:10.93, outside the Olympic qualifier.

In between Semenya's first two victories, world champion Wayde van Niekerk retained his 400 metre title in 44.98 seconds, also going under the South African qualifying mark for the Rio Games.

Van Niekerk cruised through the first 200 to win easily on the final day of the two-day meet in Stellenbosch.

Despite her quick time in the 400, Semenya said the 800 was her focus for the Olympics. – Source:
Branden Grace fired seven birdies in a five-under par 66 on Sunday to surge to his first US PGA Tour victory at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
South Africa's Grace, owner of seven European Tour titles, finished with a nine-under total of 275, two strokes ahead of Scotland's Russell Knox and England's Luke Donald.
It was a good turnaround for the 14th-ranked Grace, after he missed the cut at the Masters last week.

He said putting was the difference, but it wasn't until he had rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at 12 and a nine-footer at 13 that he really felt he had a victory in sight.

"When I got to 12, 13, when I made a couple of nice putts, I knew I'm in there with a chance," said Grace, who finished equal fourth at the US Open last year and third at the PGA Championship. – Source:
Following their third place finish at this past weekend’s Singapore Sevens, two Springbok Sevens players were named in the Dream Team for the tournament.
South Africans Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith cracked the nod for the Singapore Dream Team, which also included Fijians Jasa Veremalua and Kitione Taliga, Kenya’s Willy Ambaka, France’s Virimi Vakatawa and Argentina’s Axel Muller.

The Blitzboks defeated Argentina 28-0 in the Bronze Final after suffering an agonising semi-final loss to Fiji on Sunday.

The Fijians scored two late tries to break South African hearts with a 26-21 win.

Kenya, who lost to South Africa in pool play, stunned Fiji in the Cup Final, winning 30-7 to claim their maiden World Rugby Sevens Series title.

South Africa’s quarter-final win over New Zealand secured them second spot (139 points) as it moved them past the Kiwis (135 points).

The Fijians are still leading on 147 points, with two tournaments in Paris (May 13-15) and London (May 21-22) left. – Source:
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