Issue 235 | 12 August 2016
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National Women’s Day also marked the launch of the Women's Living Heritage Monument at Lillian Ngoyi square in Pretoria. The monument tells the story of women’s contribution to the liberation struggle and features four statues of the heroic stalwarts, Lillian Ngoyi, Sophia Williams-de Bruyn, Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa.
National Women’s Day, celebrated on 9 August annually, marked 60 years since the iconic 1956 women's march against the discriminatory pass laws, which had restricted the movement of black people in the country.

Speaking at the national celebration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, President Jacob Zuma said the women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 laid a firm foundation for the restoration of the freedom and dignity of women.

“It is because of their heroic achievements that today government continues to work at improving the living conditions of households, including those headed by women. They wanted a better life. The extension of basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity, education, health and others benefits to women and children.

“The struggles of women enabled the ushering in of freedom and democracy, so that these services could be extended to all.

“The achievements of the women of 1956 have also translated to the opening up of the leadership space for women. There is a marked increase in the representation of women in Parliament, government, the judiciary and other key positions in the public sector,” the President said.

Dignitaries included Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa; Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini; Minister in The Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu; Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa; African Union Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; and veterans of the 1956 Women's March. – Source:
The President stressed that deliberate attacks against hospitals were contraventions of well-established international human rights and humanitarian law and constituted a crime against humanity.
President Jacob Zuma has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, sent a message of condolences to President Mamnoon Hussain and the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, following a terrorist attack that took place on 8 August 2016, at a hospital in the city of Quetta, which left at least 70 people dead and over 100 injured.

President Zuma said: "The South African Government condemns in the strongest terms the inhumane and gruesome terrorist attack against a hospital in Pakistan. Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned. South Africa stands firmly with the international community in condemning all terrorism. We will continue to support regional and international efforts to address the scourge of terrorism in all its forms."

President Zuma added that: "The Government and people of South Africa extend deepest condolences to the Government and people of Pakistan and especially to the families of the deceased and wish the injured a speedy recovery”.
Sixty women have undergone training on Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings.
In honour of Women’s Month, the Gertrude Shope Dialogue Forum on Conflict Resolution and Peace-Making themed: “Women in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building”, took place from 11 to 12 August 2016 at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

The dialogue forum consisted of three discussion panels related to the Nordic, African and South African experiences in peace-building, followed by a graduation ceremony of the Women’s Capacity Building Training Programme on Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation.
South Africa is the current Outgoing Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, with Mozambique as the Chair and Tanzania the Incoming Chair.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, participated in the 18th meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, which took place in Maputo, Mozambique, from 4 to 5 August 2016.

The South African delegation included Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs;  and Thabang Makwetla; Deputy Minister of Correctional Services.

The MCO, which comprises ministers responsible for foreign affairs, defence, public and state security, and corrections/prisons from SADC member states, meets annually to review the political and security situation in the region, progress in the implementation of its previous decisions, and the operationalisation of its structures.

The objective of the 18th Meeting of the MCO was to receive progress reports on the implementation of the decisions made at the 17th meeting of the MCO and to deliberate on the achievements, challenges and strategic issues in relation to SADC cooperation in the area of peace and security.

The MCO considered the current political and security situation in the SADC region and received reports of both the Interstate Politics and Diplomacy Committee (ISPDC) and the Interstate Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC).

The ministers noted that the region had remained peaceful and stable due to the fact that SADC member states continued to adhere to democratic values and practices. The MCO commended the people of Tanzania and Seychelles for holding free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful elections in October and December 2015, respectively.

Among others, the MCO considered the following issues: the review of the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ; Report on the hosting of AMANI AFRICA II and the operationalisation of the African Standby Force;  assessment of the status of the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons; implementation of visa exemption among SADC countries; the SADC Strategic Plan to Combat Illegal Migration, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking of Persons; Cross-border Poaching, Rhino and Elephant Security; and the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The MCO also considered a preliminary study on the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence in the region.

The decisions taken at the MCO will be submitted for consideration and adoption at the SADC Summit scheduled for 30 to 31 August 2016 in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
EISA deployed a regional election observation mission (EOM) to observe and monitor the 2016 local government elections in South Africa following an invitation by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) said the 2016 local government elections were conducted in a transparent, fair and credible manner, which was in line with the constitutional and legal framework of elections.

Addressing the media at the Results Operations Centre in Pretoria on 4 August, EISA Executive Director, Denis Kadima, said the assessment of the elections was premised on the constitutional and legal framework governing elections in South Africa as well as international, continental and subregional norms, principles and standards on democratic elections as stipulated in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation.

“The 2016 elections were deemed to be the most competitive with the highest number of candidates since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1994 as South Africa continues to consolidate its democracy.

“They were also the first local government elections in which the born-free generation exercised their democratic choice of leaders in local governance,” Kadima said. – Source:
The meeting followed previous bilateral engagements that the two ministers held in recent months. It also followed the meeting at senior officials’ level between the two countries which took place on 20 July 2016.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, met Zimbabwe’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha, in Pretoria on
4 August 2016.

The consultation between the two ministers was aimed at finding an amicable resolution to the measures implemented by Zimbabwe on products of export interest to South Africa.

It sought to ensure compliance with Zimbabwe's commitments under the World Trade Organisation and the Southern African Development Community Trade Protocol.

The ministers, in their discussions, took into account Zimbabwe’s industrial development and balance of payments challenges.
The index, compiled by the Global Technology Report and published by the World Economic Forum, is a key indicator of how countries are doing in the digital world. It measures how well a country uses information and communications technologies to boost the health of
its economy.
South Africa's digital economy has jumped to 65th out of 139 countries surveyed in the Networked Readiness Index, a gain of 10 places from 2015. This makes South Africa one of the 10 most-improved countries, alongside Italy and Slovakia.

The index analyses environment, readiness, use and impact data. It also takes social influences on the creation of a digital economy into account.

The global top 10 is led by Singapore, Finland and Sweden. The United States is fifth, the United Kingdom eighth and Japan 10th.  

South Africa is not the only African country to improve in the last year. Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire also made significant jumps in the rankings.

South Africa’s leap in the rankings was driven by the private sector, and by upgrades to digital infrastructure and affordability, according to the report.

"South Africa’s digital transformation is mostly business-driven, as the country notably performs best in business usage (32nd), followed by individual usage (77th), followed by government usage (105th),” says networking firm Cisco, a sponsor of the report.

Individuals and businesses, says the index, are benefitting from a drop in mobile and broadband tariffs that is "reducing barriers to adoption also in terms of affordability".

However, the report stresses that more sustained infrastructure development, as well as more public and private cooperation, are needed to take advantage of South Africa’s momentum in the digital economy.

"In order for the impact to start materialising, significantly more buy-in from government will be needed across all areas of vision, promotion and efficient use." – Source: World Economic Forum /
Where spirits and wines are concerned, South Africa is punching above its weight, says founder of the Cape Wine Academy and international wine and spirit judge, Dave Hughes.
South Africa recently hit a trifecta at the 2016 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, bringing home no fewer than three trophies: for best worldwide brandy, best cognac and best vodka. It also took a surprise gold for gin.

"While Australia fields entries from around 30% of its wine producers, South Africa enters about 6%.

"They both win about 30% of trophies. So, both have the same number of awards, but Australia has a far bigger ratio of entries. It's a reflection of how good South African wine and spirit has become in the past decade or so,” says Hughes.

Hughes has been involved with the International Wine and Spirits Competition, known by many as the "great-granddaddy of international competitions", since its inception more than 40 years ago.

At this year's competition, where 400 global experts judged products from almost 90 countries over a seven-month period, the vodka trophy went to Count Pushkin, world's best cognac to Richelieu XO and it was a second consecutive win for Van Ryn's 12-year-old brandy.

Hughes, who has authored a number of books on South Africa's wine industry, said the vodka win for Count Pushkin was "a finger in everyone's eye". "People find it hard to believe, but it really is up there with the world's best."

Taking gold for gin was another bombshell. Stretton's Double Cut London Dry Gin, produced by a small distillery in Elgin, won gold in a market "where gin is the flavour of the month and there were a huge number of entries". – Source:
Makamo recently left for the southern town of Saint-Émilion, where he joined a number of other artists from southern Africa. He will also travel through the country to find inspiration for his art.
Artist Nelson Makamo will be in France for the next three months serving his residency with the Southern African Foundation of Contemporary Art. Some of his paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of rands.

Singer Annie Lennox and designer Giorgio Armani own his work. But he remains humble about his achievements. Now, the 34-year-old artist has been invited to complete a three-month residency in France with the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art.

Makamo and the other African artists will be following in the footsteps of some of history's greatest artists who have produced series of works inspired by the French countryside.

The work Makamo and his peers produce will be exhibited in a prospective museum for South African contemporary art in France. “They invite artists from South Africa and we all come with different concepts. We put together a body of work and they curate and show it.”

Makamo says he will use the countryside concept back in South Africa where he will look to create new works based on local rural communities. One of these ideas is a school mural project he wants to take to small towns across the country.

After the Saint-Émilion residency, Makamo will host an exhibition in Paris with artwork produced during those three months under the title An African in the south of France. He will also be using the residency to prepare for a solo exhibition of his larger works in Munich, Germany in 2017. – Source:
Cameron van der Burgh won South Africa’s First Olympic Medal in Rio.
South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh put Team SA on the Olympic medals table in Rio … just like he did in London four years ago. Although this time he won silver.

Van der Burgh pulled out all the stops in the final of the men’s 100-m breaststroke at the Olympic stadium, producing the second-fastest swim of his life – 58.69sec – which saw him chase home Adam Peaty, the British wonderkid who sped to his second world record in three swims, this time a 57.13.

Chad le Clos later took South Africa’s second Olympic Medal – Silver in the 200-m freestyle, taking his personal Olympic total to three – and counting.

“It was a crazy race”, Le Clos said of his 1min 45.20sec heroics that saw him touch for silver behind the 400-m and 1 500-m champion from London four years ago, the formidable Yang Sun.

It was the first time I have ever actually gone out that hard in any race, usually I come from behind,’ the South African said. He had reached the wall at 50 m under world record pace in 23.39, which was faster than the 23.91 he had taken in the semi-finals. – Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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