Issue 234 | 4 August 2016
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The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meetings are aimed at reinforcing the historical solidarity of friendship through win-win cooperation that exists between the governments and people of Africa and China. This refers, in particular, to large infrastructure programmes that complement those identified within the African Union’s vision for the next 50 years, Agenda 2063.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, concluded her visit to the People's Republic of China on 1 August, where she co-chaired the Coordinators' Meeting of the FOCAC, which took place in Beijing. The meeting assessed progress in terms of the implementation of the commitments made at the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC, held in December 2015.

The Minister held bilateral discussions with her Chinese counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, and Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng. The meetings were aimed at reviewing the status of South Africa-China bilateral relations, as well as the implementation of the 23 agreements signed during President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to South Africa in December 2015.

Following the FOCAC meeting, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane joined the other African delegations in a guided tour of the Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province. After the tour, the delegations held meetings with the leadership of Suzhou, where they exchanged ideas with Chinese officials on cooperation between China and Africa in the field of industrial development.

Minister Nkoana-Mashanane also held a meeting with the President of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), Kundapur Vaman Kamath, in Shanghai. The meeting focussed on the work of the NDB, with particular emphasis on the operationalisation of the African Regional Centre of the BRICS NDB, to be based in South Africa.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane proceeded to Jakarta, Indonesia, where she delivered a special address on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, at the Opening Session of the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) on 2 August 2016 under the theme: "Decentralising Growth and Empowering Future Empowering Future Business”.

President Zuma was invited to participate in the forum to promote South Africa as an investment destination and as a country with a strong and dynamic Islamic community in a secular and multicultural environment. Since the forum coincided with South Africa’s local government elections, the Minister represented President Zuma at the opening of the WIEF.
The meeting was requested by Ambassador Marcus Conaro, who is the head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of South Africa.
The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Des van Rooyen, recently held a fruitful meeting with the 23 EU resident ambassadors in the country.

Topics discussed included:
  • current challenges in intergovernmental relations in South Africa
  • role of traditional leadership in shaping domestic politics
  • municipal elections scheduled for 3 August 2016.
The meeting reflected on the relationship of the EU and the Department of Cooperative Governance, which has largely been around development cooperation or donor support.

The discussions also included the support that the Ministry of COGTA will receive under the EU Multi-Indicative Programme, which will make a total of €242 million available to the South African State to “build a capable state”.

COGTA, the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will serve as lead departments that will be funded to undertake catalytic projects that seek to strengthen the capacity of the state at national, provincial and local government level. The Minister also appraised the ambassadors on, among other things, the key objectives of the local government sector that the country set itself within the National Development Plan.
South Africa is a State Party to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) that was established in terms of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Adv Thembile Joyini has been elected as a member of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) of the Council of the ISA with effect from 2017 to 2021 during the 22nd Session of the ISA held from 11 to 22 July 2016 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Adv Joyini is well equipped with a wealth of experience accompanied by his academic and professional qualifications respectively. He holds five degrees, namely LLM, University of South Africa (2007); LLM, University of South Africa (2000); LLB, Walter Sisulu University (1995); B Juris, Walter Sisulu University (1992); and BA, University of South Africa (1989). He is also armed with his admission as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa since 2007.

Adv Joyini served as Principal State Law Adviser (International Law) in the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser (International Law) from 2008 to 2013. He is currently serving as Legal Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations in New York.

Adv Joyini is responsible for, among others, for international law including various aspects of the oceans and law of the sea issues. At ISA meetings between 2013 and 2016, he has served as Deputy Head of Delegation, including participating in various types of negotiations including the one on the elaboration of a mining code in preparation for the exploitation phase and regulations on prospecting for ferromanganese crusts and polymetallic sulphides. South Africa has been an active member of ISA since its establishment in 1994. Also, as a net exporter of the minerals which are also found on the seabed, South Africa keenly participates in the work of ISA. As such, Adv Joyini’s election to the LTC will benefit Operation Phakisa, in particular and the Blue Economy being part of it.
The revitalisation and the upgrade of the park is intended to make the park a more supportive business environment which will encourage more businesspeople to come into the facility and conduct their business more effectively and create local employment.
The R21-million upgrading and revitalisation of the Seshego Industrial Park will provide a business-friendly environment that will enable an efficient way of doing business and attract new players, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Speaking at the official launch of the first phase of the Seshego Industrial Park revitalisation project in Limpopo, Minister Davies said the upgrade would attract industrial activity on a larger scale from new players.

“Currently, there are more than 1 600 people that earn their livelihood by working in enterprises within the Seshego Industrial Park. I think the possibility of expanding the number of people working here is very evident. We are going to be developing a specialised programme on agro-processing because the sector offers huge opportunities for people in this province,” explained Minister Davies.

According to Minister Davies, the province has the capacity for producing agricultural products that can be transformed in agro-processing activities.

He further added that phase one of the revitalisation programme focussed on professionalising the industrial area, improving the physical security and eliminating the non-business-related activities that were taking place in the park.

The revitalisation of the park is part of the R189-million invested in covering six prioritised parks. This is under the Department of Trade and Industry’s Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme aimed at promoting industrialisation and increasing the contribution of the parks to job creation and the country’s economic growth.

Phase two of the Seshego revitalisation programme will focus on refurbishing the buildings and some of the physical infrastructure beyond security. – Source:
Speaking during the event, MEC Zikalala said the Customs Controlled Area (CCA) signalled the readiness of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) to conduct business and attract even more investors to Richards Bay.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, recently unveiled a R16-million CCA Gate Complex at the IDZ in Richards Bay.

“The CCA boasts a CCA with dedicated RBIDZ staff and South African Revenue Services (SARS) officials to provide support for access and customs controls as well as VAT requirements,” he said.

MEC Zikalala said the RBIDZ was tailored for the manufacturing of goods and production of services to boost beneficiation, investment, economic growth and the development of skills and employment.

“The CCA is the backbone of the IDZ programme, as it ensures full compliance to all SARS requirements and allows locators to benefit from incentives such as VAT-free transactions, no import/export duties and expedited customs procedures,” he said.

During the event, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, Belinda Scott, performed a sod-turning for a Technology Hub in the region.

MEC Zikalala said the Techno Park was essential for the research that would influence the type of industrial development and innovation that could be pursued in the local economy.

“In view of Richards Bay’s ambition to become the leading heavy industrial node, it is inevitable that the RBIDZ should introduce the techno parks in its portfolio, as these would be catalysts in wooing different businesses in diverse sectors of the economy,” MEC Zikalala said. – Source:
By 25 July, one million taxpayers had already submitted their tax returns in the 2016 tax season, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
“South African taxpayers have submitted one million tax returns in 21 days,” said the revenue service on Monday, 25 July. The tax season opened on 1 July.

At least 611 453 submissions (60,16%) came through via eFiling and 404 603 (39,81%) through SARS branches.

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane said the trend towards eFiling marked a significant development.

“SARS made a commitment to making the filing of a tax return an easy experience. Since the start of tax season, we have emphasised the use of eFiling as it is the quickest and easiest way to submit a return, and is available 24 hours,” he said.

The revenue service has made it possible for tax payers to no longer stand in long queues to file their tax returns.

“We have also improved supporting tools such as Help-you-eFile. These figures show that taxpayers are responding positively to the changes and are working with SARS to collect the required revenue to meet South Africa’s development agenda,” said Moyane.

The revenue service also thanked those who submitted their returns early.

“This achievement confirms that South African taxpayers are compliant and are committed to working with SARS. On behalf of the more than 14 000 SARS staff, we would like to thank taxpayers for their willingness to meet their tax obligations and responsibilities,” said Moyane.

The deadline for taxpayers, who submit their tax returns manually by post or by dropping them off in a SARS drop box, is 23 September 2016.

The deadline for all non-provisional taxpayers via eFiling or at a branch is 25 November 2016. Non-provisional taxpayers are the majority of employed individuals, who submit a tax return and who earn an income from one or more employer.

The deadline for provisional taxpayers, who submit returns via eFiling, is 31 January 2017. – Source:
The three-day ESOF is one of the world's leading platforms for showcasing research and promoting dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy. This year saw over 600 speakers from more than 55 countries.
Two South African researchers from historically disadvantaged institutions were among the thousands of scientists attending the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF 2016), which was held from 23 to 27 July in Manchester, United Kingdom.

With financial help from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), researchers Dr Moliehi Matlala, of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, and Dr Nontuthuko Ntuli of the University of Zululand, attended the conference, exchanging knowledge with their counterparts on topics such as antimicrobial resistance and the importance of indigenous plants for health.

One of the biggest ESOF themes was healthy populations, covering antimicrobial resistance, personalised medicine and humanitarian medicine, among other topics.

Commenting on the significance of the forum, the DST's Deputy Director-General: Socio-economic Innovation Partnerships, Imraan Patel, said ESOF was a perfect opportunity for local researchers to debate and explore how science and technology could be used to transform lives. – Source:
She is also one of the 16 global finalists for the annual awards, to be held at the Google headquarters in the United States of
America in September.
Using orange and avocado peels, a 16-year-old South African could hold the solution to the country's water woes.

Kiara Nirghin, who is from Johannesburg, has won the Google Science Fair Community Impact Award in the Africa/Middle East region with her entry, "No More Thirsty Crops".

Kiara, a St Martin's High School pupil, admitted she had a natural curiosity and questioning nature, which had led her down the path of science.

"I have always had a great love for chemistry since I was young," she told the Google Science Fair. "I vividly remember at the age of seven experimenting with vinegar and baking soda solutions in plastic cups."

Food and chemistry were linked in the intertwined science web, she added. "I love molecular gastronomy and the application of scientific principles in food creation."

It seemed natural then that she could have found a possible solution to South Africa's drought in, what else, but food.

Kiara created an absorbent polymer from orange and avocado peels that was able to act as a water retainer in soil.

According to the Google Science Fair website, it should be able to "to retain large amounts of water and combat the effects of drought on crops by retaining soil moisture, while still recycling waste products of the juice manufacturing industry".

She hopes because it is low cost, it will be able to help farmers save both money and crops.

If she won the competition, Kiara said she would be wonderfully elated. "With the prize I will hope to continue my studies in science, but also further the scientific development and application of my idea, and in addition extend scientific progress in elevating the problems that South Africa faces in food security and sustainable agricultural development," she said. – Sources: Google Science Fair /
The South African Red Cross Society is a member organisation of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which is the largest volunteer-driven organisation on earth. The Red Cross Society has 100 million members and a presence in 189 countries.
Princess Charlene was officially named patron of the South African Red Cross at an event in Monaco recently.

The function – on the eve of the Monaco’s annual Red Cross Gala – was attended by Constance Motshumi and Derick Naidoo from the SA Red Cross society, and entertainment came from South African singers, Cenestra Male Choir (who also performed at Charlene’s brother’s birthday in February).

Her brother – Gareth – was at the event, as well as her father, Mike Wittstock.

The princess and her husband, Prince Albert of Monaco, also brought their 19-month-old twins – Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella – to the garden party … wearing African-inspired footwear (Charlene has publically expressed her wish for her children to grow up knowing their African roots and culture).

The following evening, the prince and princess attended the glamorous Red Cross event at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club.

The evening began with a minute’s silence for the victims of the recent truck attack on Promenade des Anglais. – Source:
Emirates currently uses Boeing 777 aircraft for each of the four daily flights between the two cities, making it the busiest route in the airline’s African network with over three million passengers carried in the last five years.
Emirates will be upgrading one of its four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg to an Airbus A380-800, come February 2017.

Among other things, this would mean a total of 516 seats in a three class cabin configuration, with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 mini pods with lie-flat seats in Business Class and 426 more spacious seats in Economy Class.

The A380 service will be operated as codeshare with South African Airways as with all other Emirates’ services to South Africa.

Once the Airbus A380-800 flight is launched, Johannesburg will join more than 40 destinations in Emirates’ global network that is served by its flagship A380 aircraft.

The aircraft will be deployed on the first flight of the day, code EK761, departing Dubai at 04:40 and arriving in Johannesburg at 10:55. The return flight, code EK762, will depart Johannesburg at 13:25 and arrive in Dubai at 23:45.

The Emirates A380 is renowned for its on-board lounge on the upper deck for First Class and Business Class customers, while those in First Class enjoy the added benefit of exclusive use of the on-board shower spas to freshen up during flights. – Source: Traveller24
World Ranger Day is supported by the International Rangers Federation and is marked annually on 31 July to acknowledge game rangers.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, thanked the men and women who protected South Africa’s wildlife and natural heritage as the country commemorated World Ranger Day.

“In South Africa, our rangers are faced with a daily battle to protect our rhino, an iconic member of the Big Five, an important contributor to our economy through job creation and tourism, and a key part of our natural heritage.

“Were it not for these brave men and women who risk their lives daily to protect species in our natural world, many species would face extinction,” said Minister Molewa.

Minister Molewa also acknowledged the rangers who were killed in the line of duty.

“The attacks on rangers, by man and animal, are a reminder of the daily threats they face from poachers and the dangers they face when working with wild animals on any given day.

“While many of us sleep soundly at home every night, it is the ranger who is at the forefront of that battle line,” Minister Molewa said. – Source:
Previously announced to perform at the festival are Mi Casa, De La Soul, Arrested Development, Elements of Life featuring Louie Vega, Lisa Fischer, Josh Milan, Anané Vega, Monique Bingham, Adeva, Bucie, Kaylow, Luisito and Quintero.
American soul and jazz singer Macy Gray, renowned for her raspy voice, is set to perform in South Africa.

The I Try hitmaker will take to the stage in Johannesburg on Saturday, 8 October, at the upcoming DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival.

Local jazz maestro Hugh Masekela has also just been added to the line-up, taking to the stage at the two-day festival on Sunday, 9 October.

For Sunday, the line-up includes The Jacksons, Elements of Life, Roy Ayers, Lira and Judith Sephuma. – Source:
Rabada is the first player to win six individual awards – both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla had previously won five – and at the age of 21 years 62 days, is by far the youngest to have won South African cricket’s premier accolade.
Kagiso Rabada hit the record books for a six when he was named South African Cricketer of the Year and in all received a total of six awards at a glittering Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards banquet in Sandton recently.

The other eight players to have received CSA’s most prestigious award are Jacques Kallis (2004 and 2011), Makhaya Ntini (2005 and 2006), Hashim Amla (2010 and 2013) and AB de Villiers (2014 and 2015) who have all won the award twice with the other previous winners being Shaun Pollock (2007), Dale Steyn (2008), Graeme Smith (2009) and Vernon Philander (2012).

 In addition to the main award, Rabada was named Test Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year, and was honoured by his peers by being named SA Players’ Player of the Year and by the fans on being named SA Fans Player of the Year. He received his sixth award for bowling the Delivery of the Year to England’s Jason Roy in the T20 International at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium.

His international statistics are remarkable with 24 wickets in only six matches at an average of 24.70 with a strike rate of 39.6 and 37 wickets in 20 ODIs at an average of 21.45 with an economy rate of 4.78 and a strike rate of 26.9.

The only awards he did not win for which he was eligible were the T20 International Player of the Year award that went to Imran Tahir and the KFC So Good award that went to Temba Bavuma. – Source:
The Lions advanced to this year's Super Rugby Final after claiming a deserved 42-30 victory over the Highlanders in Johannesburg on 30 July.
In a memorable all-round performance, in which they stayed true to their attacking roots, the Lions dominated for large periods and outscored the Highlanders with Elton Jantjies leading the way with a 22-point haul thanks to a try, four conversions and three penalties.

The result brings to an end the Highlanders' reign as champions and the Super Rugby tournament will have new winners as the Lions and their opponents in next weekend's final, the Hurricanes, haven't won the competition yet.
The sport got its first official recognition when the Olympic Council of Asia accepted tent-pegging as an official event in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games. Thereafter, India as well as other countries has been hosting international tent-pegging events regularly, which have seen participation of countries across different continents.
The South African Junior Tent-pegging team arrived at OR Tambo International recently after winning the Under 19 Tent-pegging World Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The team prevailed despite tough international competition from other riders and bad weather conditions. The award ceremony and handover of the trophy was attended by High Commissioner Mpendulo Jele, South Africa's High Commissioner to Pakistan.

The sport of tent-pegging, formerly known as gymkhana, involves swords and lances, with which the rider has to strike an object at a full gallop. 
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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