Issue 219 | 26 April 2016
         
 
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PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA ON STATE VISIT TO ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
 

The President’s State Visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran served to cement the strong fraternal relations between the two countries that originated during the apartheid era when Iran refused to oil the apartheid machinery and cut ties with apartheid South Africa.

 
 
President Jacob Zuma led a high-level delegation on a State Visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 24 to 25 April 2016. The President was accompanied by various Cabinet ministers and a high-level business delegation.

In 1994, with the advent of freedom and democracy in South Africa, Iran lifted all sanctions and the two countries re-established diplomatic ties. Since then, the two countries have enjoyed mutually beneficial, fraternal and strategic relations.

The re-establishment of bilateral relations brought about an increase in trade relations between the two countries.

The State Visit of the President to Iran was an important structural catalyst in elevating bilateral and economic relations into a substantive strategic partnership and served as evidence of the friendly relations between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran based on mutual respect.

During the visit, South Africa and Iran signed several agreements and committed to take economic and trade relations to greater heights.

The Presidency said President Zuma and President Hasan Rouhani of Iran witnessed the signing of agreements such as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Trade and Industry; MoU on the Establishment of an Investment Joint Committee; MoU on Agricultural Cooperation; MoU on Cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management; Programme of Cooperation in the fields of Arts, Culture and Heritage for the Years 2016 – 2019; and MoU on Cooperation between Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PETROSA) and the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry.

They also witnessed the signing of the MoU between the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Financial Intelligence Centre of the Republic of South Africa concerning cooperation in the exchange of Information related to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing; and MoU on Insurance Cooperation between Bimeh Markazi Iran (Central Insurance of the Islamic Republic of Iran) and Financial Services Board of South Africa.

The Presidency said President Rouhani accepted an invitation from President Zuma to undertake a State Visit to South Africa.
 
 
PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA BESTOWS 2016 NATIONAL ORDERS AWARDS
 
President Jacob Zuma will on Thursday, 28 April 2016, bestow 2016 National Orders on distinguished local citizens and eminent foreign nationals.
 
The National Orders are the highest form of acknowledgement that South Africa bestows on distinguished and foreign nationals to recognise the sacrifices and contributions that they have made towards building a free, united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in the Constitution.

The awards also celebrate achievements and sacrifices, and also contribute towards unity and nation-building.

During the ceremony, President Zuma will bestow to deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery.

 
The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The Order of the Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation.

The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.

The Order of Mapungubwe is awarded to South African citizens for achievements that have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic of South Africa.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an Order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.
The order will be bestowed in Silver on:
  • Noureddine Djoudi (Algeria): For his steadfast support of the South African liberation movement during the hard times of oppression. He stood in firm solidarity with the stalwarts of the liberation struggle and sacrificed to support the realisation of democracy.
  • Maria Petronella Adriana Kint (The Netherlands): For her excellent contribution to the liberation movement and her courage to challenge policies that violated human rights. Her commitment to the liberation movement contributed to the democracy we enjoy today.
The order will be bestowed in Gold on:
  • Her Excellency President Michelle Bachelet Jeria (Chile): For her exceptional contribution to the fight for democracy on the global stage. She was imbued with a deep sense of justice and the courage of her convictions, which drove her from Chile to exile.
For a full list of recipients, visit: http://www.gov.za/speeches/president-jacob-zuma-bestows-2016-national-orders-awards-28-apr-20-apr-2016-0000
 
 
 
OPERATION PHAKISA UNLOCKS MULTI-BILLION RAND PROJECTS
 
The Minister in The Presidency responsible for Planning, Morning and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, says government’s Operation Phakisa projects have unlocked investments worth billions of rands.
 
He said this when he briefed the media ahead of tabling the department’s Budget Vote in the National Assembly recently.

“… Investments amounting to about R17 billion in the Oceans Economy has been unlocked.

“Over 4 500 jobs have been created in the various projects of the Oceans Economy,” he said.

Minister Radebe said over R7 billion had been allocated by the Transnet National Ports Authority to improve ports.

On the health sector Operation Phakisa, the Minister said the sector had been successful in creating 280 ideal clinics in 2015/16, within the group of 1 139 clinics identified for the financial year.

He said in order to be declared an ideal clinic, there were standards to be met.

The number of clinics scoring over 70% have increased from 139 to 445.

“The number of clinics scoring less than 40% have decreased from 213 to 90 within a period of one year,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the Delivery Lab Reports for Operation Phakisa in Basic Education and in galvanising growth in the Mining Sector had been finalised.
 
 
SA SIGNS PARIS AGREEMENT
 
 
 
The Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted by Parties to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015. The adoption of the Paris Agreement was the culmination of the historic and bold decisions taken in 2011 in Durban when South Africa served as President of COP17/CMP7.
 
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, was in New York recently for the high-level signature ceremony of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Minister Molewa led the South African delegation to the ceremony, hosted by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on 22 April 2016. The signature ceremony was a confirmation that states intended to be bound by the Paris Agreement and was an affirmation that they remained committed to addressing climate change. Minister Molewa signed the Paris Agreement on behalf of the Republic.

While the agreement itself will come into force in 2020, the Parties also agreed to accelerate and enhance climate action in the pre-2020 period. This is particularly important to developing countries, especially those on the continent who are already experiencing the effects of climate change, such as the current drought that South Africa is experiencing.

Within this pre-2020 period, developed countries have commitments to provide support in the form of financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building support to developing countries to assist them to meet the climate challenge. Under the Paris Agreement, these commitments will continue post-2020.
 
 
DTI INCENTIVES LEAD TO R57 BILLION INVESTMENTS
 
Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, says government’s incentives have helped to leverage R57 billion in investments over the past year.
 
 
The Minister said this when he tabled the department’s Budget Vote at the National Assembly recently.

Addressing members of Parliament after briefing the media earlier in the day, the Minister said tax incentives amounting to R10 billion had resulted in long-term investments that had saved struggling factories.

“Across the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) main incentive schemes, R57,1 billion in private-sector investment is being leveraged as a result of the dti having provided incentive support during the last financial year of approximately R10 billion.

“This support is provided to a wide range of local and domestic companies, 1 770 in the last financial year to be exact,” he said. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
SA TO EXHIBIT WARES IN ZIM TRADE FAIR
 
The companies, which hail from four of South Africa’s nine provinces, will exhibit their wares at the trade fair that will run from 26 to 30 April 2016.
 
 
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is assisting 26 South African companies to exhibit their products and services at the 57th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

The dti is assisting the companies through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services, as well as to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

This is done through the provision of marketing assistance to develop new export markets and grow existing export markets, and the identification of new export markets through market research, among others.

The exhibitors will be the second group of businesses supported by the dti to visit Zimbabwe following the successful Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) that was led by Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina last month. The ITI comprised business seminars and site visits in Harare, Gweru and Bulawayo.

The Deputy Minister said the ZITF had a strong international orientation that would afford South African exhibitors an opportunity to gain regional and international business contacts.

He said assistance provided to South African companies to participate in the ZITF was part of the dti’s integrated national export strategy aimed at developing markets for South Africa’s value-added and manufactured goods and services, with an emphasis on Africa and the emerging markets.

This year’s exhibition will be held under the theme “Innovate, Integrate, Industrialise”. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS RECEIVE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (SEZ) TRAINING IN CHINA
 
The training is part of a five-year agreement signed by South Africa and China in 2014.
 
A group of 20 government officials has depart for Tianjin, China, to participate in a month-long capacity-building programme on SEZs. The group comprises officials who are involved in the planning, development, management and operations of SEZs in South Africa.

The intention of the agreement is to train a maximum of 30 officials per annum on SEZs. Project executives and sector specialists attended the first two instalments of the training in 2013 and 2015, respectively. For the current financial year, project officers from various industrial development zones and SEZs are afforded an opportunity to receive the training.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, the purpose of the programme is to equip policy-makers, development practitioners and operators with the technical know-how on the planning, development, management and operations of SEZs.

“The programme is important to ensure that all stakeholders have the technical know-how required for the successful development of the SEZs in South Africa. One of the major challenges that government has identified in relation to the development of the SEZs as part of the implementation of our SEZ programme is the capacity constraint across the three tiers of government,” says Minister Davies.

“Despite the strong and mutually-beneficial political and economic relations that we have with China, the country is regarded as one of the best in the world when it comes to the implementation of the SEZs model. Our officials will be greatly empowered by being exposed to the zones in China and how they are managed,” stresses Minister Davies.
 
 
BRAND SA’S NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPOINTED
 
President Jacob Zuma has appointed new members to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Brand South Africa Trust for a period of three years, says The Presidency.
 
 
The Presidency said Brand South Africa’s key mandate was to develop and implement proactive and coordinated marketing, communication and reputation management strategies for South Africa to contribute towards economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and social cohesion by encouraging local and foreign investment, tourism and trade.

The Presidency said the board would be chaired by Khanyisile Kweyama, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Business Unity South Africa and a former executive director at Anglo American South Africa.

Kweyama’s deputy is Babalwa Ngonyama, who is the CEO of Sinayo Securities and a chartered accountant who holds directorships on other boards.

Other members are Thembi Kunene, Mpho Makwana, Kuseni Dlamini, Janine Hills, Lehlohonolo Bonoko, Muditambi Ravele, Arthur Mafokate, Given Refilwe Sibiya and Rashid Lombard.

Some members were reappointed to the Board of Trustees, namely Stavros Nicolaou, Mzimkulu Malunga and Pumla Ncapayi, the Deputy Director-General responsible for trade and exports at the Department of Trade and Industry.

“The new team will join the only current serving member, Geoffrey Rothschild, consultant and former head of government relations at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“President Jacob Zuma wishes the new trustees well in executing their duties,” said The Presidency. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
KENYA AIRWAYS LAUNCHES DIRECT FLIGHTS TO CAPE TOWN
 
In yet another direct Cape Town route announcement, Kenyan Airways is the latest airline to do so, with a thrice weekly flight between Nairobi and Cape Town coming into effect in July 2016.
 
 
Last month, the airline announced it would be increasing its flights offering to Johannesburg, taking its current offering of three flights a week to four flights a week.

The direct Cape Town flight will be linked with the city to Livingstone in Zambia, the gateway to Victoria Falls. Flights will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The Kenya Airways flight will depart Nairobi at 07:20 to arrive in Livingstone at 09:30, departing Livingstone 10:20 to land in Cape Town at 13:25.

The return flight will take off from Cape Town International Airport at 14:15 to arrive in Livingstone at 17:10, departing Livingstone at 18:00 to touchdown in Nairobi 22:00.

Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mbuvi Ngunze, said, “We are excited to add a new destination to our network. We continue to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa. Cape Town via Livingstone will offer our guests two holiday destination on one route.”

The added direct flight route access is undoubtedly convenient for travellers, and also represents economic spin-offs for the city. In February, Wesgro, the Investment and Trade Promotion Agency for the Western Cape, officially launched Cape Town Air Access – aimed at international air route development in the province.

A collaboration between the Western Cape Provincial Government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro and the private sector, the body has been working together since 2015 to link Cape Town to major global hubs.

Additional successes to date include:
  • Ethiopian Airlines started a six times a week direct return flight from Addis Ababa, plus two additional direct flights by Ethiopian Airlines on a 787-8 from 1 February
  • Turkish Airlines has connected Cape Town to Istanbul on a non-stop daily connection since the end of October 2015
  • KLM to increase its frequencies to a year-round daily flight from Amsterdam
  • SA Airlink flight to Maun Botswana – five flights a week, which started on 11 March
  • Thomas Cook will operate three direct flights from Gatwick to Cape Town with an Airbus 330 in the next summer season.
– Source: Traveller24
 
 
 
SOUTH AFRICA MARKS QUEEN'S 90TH WITH KRUGERRAND
 
The world's most famous gold coin, the Krugerrand, is commemorating Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday with a special limited edition.
 
This is also the first time the South African Mint is celebrating a royal birthday.

"With an extremely low mintage of only 260 coins worldwide, this special edition … Krugerrand features a unique “QEII 90” Mint Mark that will only appear on this special issue of gold Krugerrands," noted the London Mint office.

"This means that this coin will become a 'one year only' type, never to be released again."
It features:
  • Obverse: bust of Paul Kruger by Otto Schultz
  • Reverse: springbok antelope by Coert Steynberg, also highlighting the unique "QEII 90th" Mint Mark.
  • Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
COMMEMORATIVE COIN DESIGNS APPROVED
 
Various 2016 commemorative coin designs have been approved by Cabinet, at its ordinary meeting last week.
 
The National Geographic Coin Series Big Cats Initiative: “The Cheetah” and the Sterling-silver crown and tickey coin series South African inventions: “Dolosse” were approved.

The Minister in The Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said the coin designs, together with their proclamations, would be printed in the Government Gazette and would then be manufactured and sold through the normal channels. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
GOVERNMENT TELLS THE UNIVERSITY OF FORT HARE STORY
 
Government is telling the Fort Hare story on the following platforms: YouTube on the channel GovZA, twitter on @GovernmentZA and on the webpage: www.gov.za.
 
 
 
Government calls on Fort Hare University Alumni and members of the public to share their Fort Hare stories for the Tell Your Story Campaign using the hashtag #MyFortHare. This forms part of the commemoration of the university’s centenary celebrations.

Alumni and members of the public can join the #MyFortHare Tell Your Story campaign by e-mailing pictures, videos and audio to: electronic@gcis.gov.za with the subject line: My Fort Hare.
 
 
 
CHARLIZE THERON ONE OF TIME’S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL FOR AIDS WORK
 
Charlize Theron has been named one of Time’s Most Influential People of 2016 for her contribution towards AIDS awareness, while South Africa-based anthropologist Lee Berger was also on the list.
 
In a tribute written by Blake Mycoskie, founder of the philanthropically oriented Toms Shoes, he wrote: “A lot of celebrities know how to raise awareness. Charlize Theron is different. First, she is deeply, deeply involved in the actual work of her foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project; for the past nine years she has spent a lot of time in southern Africa with young people, helping them protect themselves from HIV".

Theron was under the division Artists, which also included actor Idris Elba and Melissa McCarthy. On the other lists were Hillary Clinton, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan (under the category Titans), German President Angela Merkel and United States President Barack Obama. Under Icons were names like Leonardo DiCaprio and singer Adele.

Under the list of Pioneers was Berger, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Witwatersrand. Said Time: “One way scientists know they’ve had an impact is if they’ve gotten their peers talking. A better way is getting them arguing. By that measure and others, Lee Berger, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, has had a huge year.

“Berger rocked the fossil world with the news that he had found a new type of pre-human that lived perhaps 2,5 million years ago. The species, dubbed Homo Naledi, may not have qualified as a missing link, but it was certainly a strange new one. Just as important was the state of the fossils — 1 500 bones representing 15 individuals, one of the biggest collections of all time. They were found in a deep chamber, which, according to Berger, suggests that the species buried their dead, a trait associated only with Homo sapiens.

“Other researchers have questioned both the age of the fossils and the burial theory. What no one doubts is the enormity of the find and that there’s a lot to learn from whatever species left it behind.” – Source: www.sapeople.com
 
 
SA ASTRONOMERS DISCOVER ALIGNMENT OF BLACK HOLES
 
South African scientists have discovered an unexpected alignment in the rotating axes of supermassive black holes in different galaxies millions of light years apart.
 
 
Prof. Andrew Russ Taylor and PhD graduate student Preshanth Jagannathan, both of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town, published their discovery in the Monthly Notice Letters of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Their discovery came about as a result of their advance research for the MeerKAT and Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescopes, which are being built in South Africa. The SKA, to be spread across South Africa and Australia, is set to become the most powerful radio telescope in the world and one of the biggest scientific instruments ever devised.

The authors conclude that the alignment is unlikely to be a coincidence. The presence of alignments and certain preferred orientations can shed light on the orientation and evolution of the galaxies, in relation to large-scale structures, and the motions in the primordial matter fluctuations that gave rise to the structure of the Universe.

It can be expected that this discovery will be a prime focus for the MeerKAT and SKA once they become operational. – Source: www.sapeople.com
 
 
SA PUPIL SCORES “HIGHEST MATHS MARK IN THE WORLD”
 
A 17-year-old from Somerset College in the Western Cape has achieved what is being regarded as the highest Maths mark in the world.
 
 
Dario Trinchero scored 100% for Maths in the International Cambridge AS levels. He wrote the exams in Grade 11.

According to the school's executive head, Meg Fargher, thousands of students across the globe write the AS levels, including many South Africans. A handful got 100% for the 2015 exams, but Trinchero's accolade of being "first in the world" was because of the "quality of his answers and the depth of his answers".

"It feels a little bit unbelievable, but I guess I'm altogether very happy about it," Trinchero told News24.

"I could say that Maths, out of all my subjects, comes easiest to me. But it's not because I think that I am inherently gifted. I think it's because I am so passionate about it.

"When one is incredibly passionate about something, you tend to be thinking about various problems all the time, you tend to do extra reading, whether or not you are trying to do it in order to improve your Maths." – Source: news24.com
 
 
SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN MAKE HISTORY AT NORTH POLE MARATHON
 
 
Nicknamed the “World’s Coolest Marathon”, it occurs at a time in the North Pole – in April – when there is continuous daylight.
 
 
Leonie Stander Delport and Sonja Viljoen Stall, both doctors from Kroonstad, have successfully completed the challenging #NorthPoleMarathon (NPM) … and thus joined the #GrandSlamClub, making history as the first South African female athletes to become Associate Members of the prestigious Club.

The two women, who are both 50, finished the marathon in joint eighth place, in 7 hours, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.
This year’s race attracted 52 competitors – of whom 21 were women – from 21 countries and six continents.

The 42 195-km race is run “on” water – the frozen ice floes of the Arctic Ocean. Using long range Russian choppers, paratroopers find the most suitable ice floe and then tractors and fuel are parachuted in to build the runway.

According to the NPM website, polar bear guards marshalled the route to ensure the safety of runners. – Source: www.sapeople.com
 
 
BOXING HISTORY IN LIMPOPO
 
For the first time in the history of Limpopo sports, four international boxing titles will be defended under one roof in one night, according to Matiti Ayanda of African Promoters.
 
 
Briefing media at the Jack Botes Hall in Polokwane recently, Ayanda said promoters would join hands with SABC Sport, Boxing South Africa, Polokwane Municipality and Limpopo Provincial Government to host the boxing match on 29 April 2016.

The boxing match will take place at Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Arena in Seshego, outside Polokwane.

He said the event formed part of celebrating the 22 years of freedom and democracy in style this year.

SABC General Manager, Tshamano Makuya, said: “We know that there is a great talent in our province and we want to bring back the love of boxing. We are also fighting crime because our youth and fans will be kept busy with this sporting code.”

She said the athletes would need support in order to make the province proud.

Athlete, Tsiko “Cruel Junior” Mulovhedzi said he was excited to defend his title on home soil. He will be defending his IBO Welterweight World title against Mexican Jesus Gurrola.

Gideon “Hardcore” Buthelezi will be defending his IBO Junior Bantamweight World title against the Argentinean Diego Luis Picherdo and the WBA Junior Lightweight title will be between the province’s very own Malcom Klassen and the Mexican Leonilo Ruiz Miranda.

WBO Junior Flyweight is betweenLimpopo’s Bongani Silila and Namibian Japhet Uutoni.

IBF Featherweight Africa is between Prince Ndlovu and Sydney Maluleke. Norman Tshisikhawe will be defending his Limpopo provincial title against Tshifhiwa Munyai, Balangani Ndou and Tendani Munyai will fight for the Junior Featherweight title. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
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