Issue 238 | 1September2016
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The summit elected King Mswati III as Chairperson and President Jacob Zuma as Deputy Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The closing ceremony of the 36th Ordinary meeting of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of was held at Lozitha, Royal Palace, Kingdom of Swaziland on 31 August 2016.

The summit also elected Dr John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, respectively.

King Mswati III thanked the Excellences and delegates for attending the summit and the opportunity to experience the culture and tradition of the Kingdom of Eswatini. The King stated that the summit had deliberated on key regional issues, which required attention as heads of state and government, and that they should pride themselves in the milestones that were achieved in some sectors.

“There is need for the region to intensify resource mobilisation efforts in order to become a strong economic bloc. To have such a bloc is important if our continental vision of creating infrastructure that will enhance cooperation and integration is to be realised,” he said.

In his closing remarks, the newly elected SADC Deputy Chairperson, President Zuma, thanked King Mswati III for hosting a successful summit.

He reiterated the commitment by the Government of the Republic of South Africa in supporting SADC to achieve its envisaged agenda.

South Africa will assume the position of chairperson from August 2017 to August 2018. – Source: SADC
The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD VI) was significant, particularly as it was the first TICAD Summit to be hosted on the African continent.
President Jacob Zuma recently travelled to Kenya to participate in the Sixth Summit of the TICAD, which took place in Nairobi, from 27 – 28 August 2016.

The TICAD process was initiated in 1993 as an advocacy platform for African development specifically aimed at mobilising humanitarian aid and Official Development Assistance. TICAD is a partnership between Africa and Japan.

Since 2008, the partnership has focussed on reinventing itself to become a more dynamic, results-oriented mechanism, reflecting the positive developments and progress being made across the African continent.

The focus of TICAD VI was on advancing Africa’s development agenda by bringing together heads of state and government as well as leading industrialists, top business executives and heads of business associations from Africa and Japan to promote high-level policy dialogue between these leaders and to mobilise support for African-owned development initiatives such as the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.

President Zuma and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, also held bilateral talks prior to the summit. Bilateral relations between South Africa and Japan remain cordial and continue to strengthen, with regular exchanges of high-level visits, an increase in Japanese investments in South Africa and a wide range of technical areas of cooperation.

South Africa is currently Japan’s largest trade partner on the African continent. It is estimated that about 140 Japanese firms, employing over 140 000 South Africans, are operating in South Africa. Bilateral ties between South Africa and Japan are multifaceted and include a broad range of areas of cooperation, which contribute to the transfer of technologies.

Japan has been a major Asian project sponsor in Africa over the past 10 years, with the amount of Japanese project finance commitments since 2005 totalling US$33.5 billion.

President Zuma also attended the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum Meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the TICAD VI Summit. The APRM is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the AU as a self-monitoring mechanism.

The mechanism’s primary objective is to foster the adoption of policies, values, standards and practices of political and economic governance that lead to political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development.

President Zuma was accompanied by the ministers of trade and industry, Rob Davies; health,  Aaron Motsoaledi; science and technology, Naledi Pandor; public service and administration, Ngoako Ramatlhodi; and the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo. – Source:
The goal of the conference, organised jointly by the United Nations, the African Union, the World Bank and Japan, was to boost trade and aid to Africa.
Japan would pour US$30 billion of investments into Africa by 2018, including US$10 billion in infrastructure development, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Kenya, Nairobi.

"When combined with the investment from the private sector, I expect the total real amount to be US$30 billion," Prime Minister Abe said. That figure includes US$9 billion yet to be spent from pledges made at the previous TICAD conference in 2013.

"This is an investment that has faith in Africa's future," he said.

Some 30 African heads of state participated in the conference and around 70 agreements were expected to be signed. – Source:
The South African Government extends its most sincere condolences to the Government and People of Singapore in this moment of sadness and grief.
The South African Government was deeply saddened to learn on 23 August 2016 of the passing of Singapore’s sixth President, SR Nathan.

Mr Nathan was the President of Singapore from 1999 to 2011, having been elected in 1999 and 2005. This makes him Singapore’s longest-serving President. He started his career in the civil service in 1955 as a medical social worker and transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1966 as Assistant Secretary and rose to be Deputy Secretary.

He also served in the ministries of home affairs and defence before his return in 1979 to the Foreign Ministry to become its First Permanent Secretary until 1992. President Nathan is credited with launching Singapore’s "President’s Challenge" charity initiative in support of his vision of a compassionate Singapore.
“The people of South Africa share the pain and loss of the loved ones, their homes and property, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the affected families.”
President Jacob Zuma has recently extended, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, the country’s deepest condolences to the Republic of Italy following the earthquake that struck central Italy, in the regions of Lazio and Umbria, which resulted in the deaths of tens of citizens and extensive damage in several towns.

President Zuma said: “I wish to extend our condolences to HE President Sergio Mattarella, the Government and the people of Italy. We also wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
The meeting followed the one that was convened earlier this year in Russia and which was attended by Deputy Minister for Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Obed Bapela. The April meeting concluded with the signing of the St Petersburg Declaration on 20 April 2016.
The Minister for CoGTA, Des van Rooyen, in his capacity as the Minister leading the National Disaster Management Centre in South Africa, attended the second meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Ministers of Disaster Management in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, from 22 to 23 August 2016.

The meeting deliberated on areas of cooperation with respect to floods risk management and forecasting of extreme weather events in the context of changing climate among the BRICS countries and increased frequency and intensity of disasters, both natural and man-made.

In his address to conference, the Minister emphasised the strategic importance of BRICS as it provided economic benefits such as increased trade an investment opportunities and assisting South Africa to increase its voice internationally. “South Africa can play a leading role BRICS by helping to facilitate deeper integration of relations between African states and other BRICS member countries and focussing on other niche advantages,” said Minister van Rooyen.

The Minister’s attendance of the meeting in India was in line with the South African Disaster Management Act, 2002, which calls for the establishment of arrangements for cooperation in international disaster management and the establishment of joint standards of practice.
The purpose of the seminar was to sensitise public opinion and prevailing media coverage on the peace processes and to enhance dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The South African Government, in partnership with the UN Department of Public Information and with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria, is co-hosting the UN International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East from 31 August to 2 September in Pretoria.

The discussions are focussing on a variety of issues, including the prospects for a political solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict; the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory; the Israel-Palestine story expressed through documentaries and films; political satire as a peacemaker; virtual reality as the next frontier in storytelling; and the power of animation to communicate complex issues about the situation.
Participants reflected on the current status of implementation and compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the region, with a particular focus on the theme: “Protection of Persons and Property in Times of Armed Conflict”.
State representatives from 15 African countries gathered in Pretoria from 23 to 26 August 2016 for the 16th Annual Regional Seminar on IHL, co-hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Government of South Africa and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In plenary meetings, the participants explored the challenges facing IHL worldwide, including the deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate attacks against healthcare facilities, the intentional destruction of cultural property and heritage as well as persistent attacks against humanitarian aid workers.

Convening in expert groups and panel discussions, the representatives explored how the occurrence of similar acts could be effectively prevented in eastern and southern Africa. They considered the legal framework and humanitarian consequences of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas; how to enhance the protection of cultural property and heritage in armed conflict; as well as emerging steps to strengthen the protection of healthcare personnel, equipment and facilities during armed conflict.

The representatives reaffirmed their commitment to existing international laws and norms governing the protection of persons and property in times of armed conflict. They pledged to identify domestic, regional and continental approaches that could be utilised to realise the full implementation and enforcement of these obligations.

The 2016 edition of the seminar brought together government representatives from Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives from the Pan-African Parliament, African Union Commission and Southern African Development Community Secretariat.
The public lecture was followed by an exhibition of 90 rarely known photographs of the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro
On 30 August, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Cuban Embassy in South Africa co-hosted a public lecture and exhibition entitled “Fidel Castro at 90”.

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, delivered a public lecture and co-hosted an exhibition to mark the 90th birthday of former Cuban President, Fidel Castro, and the end of Women’s Month.
The public seminar, hosted by the university’s Department of Political Sciences and the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, provided an opportunity for students, think-tanks, the Diplomatic Corps and the media to interact with Ambassador Nkosi regarding South Africa’s relations with international and regional organisations.
Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, the Chief Operating Officer of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, addressed a public seminar at the University of Pretoria on Friday, 26 August 2016, under the theme: “Multilateralism and South Africa’s Foreign Policy”.

Ambassador Nkosi said as a concrete demonstration of South Africa’s conviction to multilateralism, the country had hosted a number of multilateral conferences, most notably, the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in 1998, the Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1999, the World Conference Against Racism in 2001, the first Summit of the African Union (AU) in 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP17/CMP7, in 2011.

“Due to its reputation as a bridge-builder and problem solver in multilateralism and the success of the above-mentioned meetings, South Africa continues to be entrusted with hosting major multilateral events. For example, the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) will take place in Johannesburg from 24 September to 5 October 2016, which has key issues to address related to the management of endangered species.

“South Africa is firmly committed to multilateralism. Multilateralism is particularly important today because of increased global and regional economic interdependence, the emergence of new transnational challenges, major systemic changes affecting the global distribution of power, domestic change and democratisation, and the expansion of global civil society.

“We remain of the firm view that multilateral institutions, whatever their weaknesses, can make fundamental transformations legitimate and peaceful. We are alive to the fact that multilateral institutions are under increasing pressure to move beyond some of the age-old principles, especially from non-intervention to non-indifference, as a part of a transformative process in world politics. Having said this, we should guard against the normative evolution being used as a pretext for politically motivated intervention.

“As we enter a new, dangerous era with geopolitics once more rearing its ugly head, we have a duty to restrain the powerful from engaging in acts that could trigger wider conflict and undermine global peace and security. We believe that acting unilaterally through the projection of hard power will undermine efforts to preserve stability in this time of flux. The best safeguard for our security and prosperity is to consolidate rather than erode the rule of law, and embed the principles of cooperation over conflict and collaboration over confrontation. The challenge therefore is to expedite efforts to transform global politics from a power-based hierarchical construct to a rules-based system of international society.”
With eHomeAffairs, you can download and fill the e-application form, make an electronic payment and book an appointment to complete the application process at your nearest participating bank, assured of peace of mind and personalised service.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has confirmed that the eHomeAffairs portal service has now been extended to accommodate citizens, 16 years and above, who want to apply online for the new Smart ID Card and passports.

The system was launched four months ago to citizens between 30 and 35 years old and as of 24 August 2016, a total of 35 751 applications had been submitted through the system, of which 50% had been finalised, Minister Gigaba said.

"Online applications are making a huge difference in the time spent in queues. In April, in the first month following the launch, we were at 4 088 online applications."

The system is now open to all citizens who bank with the four participating banks: ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank. Currently, 12 branches of these banks are connected to the system in Gauteng, with one branch in Cape Town (Canal Walk Standard Bank), Gigaba confirmed.

The department says plans are in place with the participating banks to increase its footprint by October 2016.

Those who experience problems in the application process should call the Home Affairs Toll Free number – 0800 60 11 90. – Source: Traveller24
Amb Petrakov first met with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Venda in an effort to explore collaboration with the universities in Russia. The Ambassador later interacted with students of the University of Venda.
The Russian Federation Ambassador to South Africa, Mikhail Petrakov, recently conducted a public lecture on Russia-South Africa trade relations. The two counties are members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Amb Petrakov was on an Official Visit to the province from 22 to 25 August 2016. The purpose of his visit was to interact with the business sector in Limpopo. South Africa and Russia have the same goal of promoting trade and industry as it is one of the items on their BRICS agenda.
The Tshimologong Precinct lab will focus on three areas noted as being of national importance by IBM: data-driven healthcare, exploring the universe and digital urban ecosystems.
Computer engineering giant IBM launched its second research location in Africa at the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, recently.

Solomon Assef, director of IBM Research Africa, said the company had partnered with the best universities in opening research facilities in other parts of the world.

"We have chosen to partner with Wits as it is the number one university on the African continent," he said.

"The Tshimologong Precinct is in a developing area of Johannesburg and we want to be an agent or seed for change and a catalyst for innovation in Braamfontein," he added.

IBM’s first research lab in Africa was opened in Kenya in 2013. Assef, who would now oversee both projects, said the centres would work in conjunction with one another.

“Southern Africa is definitely different from Eastern Africa, but we have noted that the challenges remain the same,” he said.

Assef added: “The labs will definitely work together and through this we will also create other partnerships.” – Source: Fin24
This initiative is part of Hilton Worldwide’s Open Doors commitment, which aims to create opportunities and "Open Doors" for young people. Open Doors is one of the three pillars of Travel with Purpose, Hilton Worldwide’s global corporate responsibility strategy.
Hilton Worldwide’s local hotels in South Africa, in conjunction with the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), recently awarded internships worth almost R3,5 million to 60 university students from across the country.

The initiative is aimed at creating sustainable careers for the youth by way of learning and development opportunities to train them in the skills they require for potential future positions in the hospitality industry.

In attendance was South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, members of CATHSSETA, as well as inspirational guest speaker Tankiso Motaung.

Alexandra-based Minerva High School Choir also made a special appearance and celebrated the 60 beneficiaries in true South African spirit.

Addressing attendees at the event, Minister Hanekom said that boosts in tourism meant more opportunities and jobs for the industry at large. He encouraged the youth, who would one day make up the future workforce of the hospitality industry, to take full advantage of their internships and the opportunity to learn from Hilton’s world-class offering.

"The focus of the Hilton Internships and Work Integrated Learnerships is to provide a consistent high-quality model that not only meets the requirements of providing participating students with work experience, but also to expose them to the industry and all that it has to offer." explained Jan van der Putten, Hilton Worldwide’s Vice President Operations: A&IO

Hilton Worldwide has more than 4 700 hotels around the world with a key focus being on the expansion of its footprint and presence across the African continent. – Source:
Once completed, all four units of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme will produce a total
of 1 332 MW.
Unit 2 of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme came into commercial operation recently. The pumped storage scheme, which is located on the border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, is one of government’s flagship infrastructure projects.

Ingula’s Unit 4 was the first of the pumped storage scheme’s four units to come into commercial operation on 10 June 2016 – six months ahead of schedule.

“The two units have added 333 MW each to the national grid and their commercial operation marks a key milestone towards the full commercial operation of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme,” said the power utility.

Ingula’s remaining two units – Units 1 and 3 – have been synchronised to the national grid and are on track for commercial operation within the first half of 2017.

Repairs on Ingula’s Unit 3 are progressing well with the unit expected to come into commercial operation in January 2017 as scheduled.

“Ingula will be Africa’s newest and largest pumped storage scheme and the 14th-largest in the world upon completion.” – Source:
The site will be a testing centre for high-power traction converters and electrical cubicles and will become the headquarters for Bombardier Transportation in South Africa in October.
The first locomotive propulsion and control manufacturing facility in Africa was officially opened in Johannesburg recently.

Speaking during the ceremony, Public Enterprises Director-General, Richard Seleke, said Bombardier set up the local locomotive propulsion facility as part of its commitment to supply 240 electric locomotives out of the 599 for Transnet.

In April 2014, Transnet awarded Bombardier a contract for the supply of diesel and electric locomotives as part of a R50-billion contract. The majority of the locomotives are being built at Transnet Engineering’s plants in Koedoespoort in Pretoria and Edwin Swales in Durban.

The new 6 000 square metre facility in Johannesburg will produce Bombardier Mitrac high-power propulsion equipment for use in the state-of-the-art Transnet Locomotives project.

The propulsion facility currently employs about 100 people and this number is expected to increase to 200 by 2017.

“Transnet’s successful partnership with Bombardier ought to position our country as a regional hub for further development and growth so that we can expand our businesses into the rest of the African continent,” Seleke said.

Transnet CEO, Siyabonga Gama, said the opening of the propulsions and controls manufacturing facility was a boost for manufacturing in South Africa.

“Bombardier’s production facility is an integral step in driving localisation, transformation and economic empowerment.

“The successful partnership with Bombardier serves a crucial purpose in enhancing and embedding our Market Demand Strategy and the role Transnet plays in growing our economy,” Gama said. – Source:
Gauteng has the largest share of the population with approximately 13,5 million people living in the province, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 11,1 million people.
South Africa’s population is estimated at 55,91 million, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said recently.

Releasing the results of the 2016 Mid-year Population Estimates at a media briefing in Pretoria, Lehohla said South Africa’s population grew by 1,62% between 2015 and 2016.

According to the report, the black African population is in the majority with 45,11 million people and constitutes approximately 81% of the total South African population. The white population is estimated at 4,52 million, while the coloured population is estimated 4,9 million with the Indian/Asian population at 1,39 million.

The report found that 51% (28,53 million) of South Africa’s population is female. – Source:
The programme targets Grades 9-11 learners who identify problems related to water in their school and community, conduct research and come up with innovations recommended to solve the problems.
South Africa is gradually making its mark in water conservation issues and models that are designed by the youth at international level.

Driaan Lou-Kemp (16) recently departed for Stockholm, Sweden, to represent the country at the annual Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. He competed against students from 90 countries who all vied for the coveted international prize.

The Bloemfontein science student at Hoërskool Jean Fouche won the SA Youth Water Prize in Pretoria in June this year after presenting a riveting water conservation project before a panel of adjudicators. He beat peers from eight provinces and won himself R8 000 cash and a tertiary bursary in any of the 25 universities in South Africa to study civil engineering or a water science subject. He also won R11 000 cash for his Sweden trip.

The competition was hosted by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

The second prize of R7 000 was won by Abigail Murphy of George High School in Western Cape and the third prize of R5 500 went to Nondumiso Mkhize, Nolwazi Sithole and Nonduduzo Mbhele of Mehlokazulu High in Pietermaritzburg, Natal Midlands.

Driaan was part of a South African team led by Minister Nomvula Mokonyane to Stockholm for a Water Week event in which water scientists and engineers debated all things water and sanitation. The Stockholm Junior Water Prize gathers imaginative young minds from all over the world, encouraging their continued interest in water and sustainability issues. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is the Patron of the event. This year, the Scandinavian country celebrates the 20th jubilee of the competition.

Each year, around a 100 000 young innovators participate with their bright ideas. The programme also exposes and advances the interest of youth in science and technology, and motivates them to pursue water and sanitation careers.

Driaan developed a cost-effective model that allows cold water to be diverted to a container and only allow water to flow out of the shower head when it is at the desired temperature or above. The saved cold water can then be used in other chores such as watering plants, washing dishes or for drinking.
She will receive a certificate from Queen Elizabeth II, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at a formal awards ceremony in London next year. She will also be treated to a week of cultural and educational events.
A Durban schoolgirl has scooped the grand prize for the 2016 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

Seventeen-year-old Inessa Rajah of Durban Girls’ College (DGC) was named overall winner in the senior category, beating about 13 500 entrants from around the world.

Out of the list of four topics, Inessa chose “The Wealth We Have In Common”, and wrote a short story inspired by last year’s xenophobic violence in the country.

“I wrote about a car guard who is a refugee and how this girl and her brother interact with him on a daily basis but never take the time to think about his story and who he is,” she said.

“Last year, when there was the trouble with xenophobia in Durban, it made us realise the wealth people have in common, and that we’re all human and have universally human qualities,” she said.

The essay, titled Dr Congo-man, reflects on the trauma experienced when being forced to live in another country.

“My mom was telling me about how many of the refugees that come here may be qualified professionals, but because they lack the paperwork to prove it, they might work menial jobs.

“And because my mother's a doctor, I was wondering, what if that happened to us.”

Every year, pupils at DGC are assigned the Commonwealth competition’s topics to write an essay for English.

Inessa’s teacher submitted the essay to the competition on her behalf. It is the first time she had entered a writing competition.

The thousands of submissions are evaluated by over 130 individuals, who whittle them down.

The best essays are then looked at by a team of judges, all themselves professionals or academics in the areas of writing and media. – Source:
The tiger was being taken to the Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. He will roam in a 10 000-square-meter enclosure where he will be able to enjoy swimming and climbing, said Amir Khalil, who led the Gaza mission for Four Paws. The facility already holds 90 big cats that have been rescued from around the world.
A Bengal tiger rescued from what activists have called "the worst zoo in the world" arrived in South Africa for a new home recently, after living in a small cage in Gaza alongside another tiger's stuffed corpse.

The nine-year-old male, known as Laziz, arrived by plane. His handlers said he was in good condition and calm.

The Four Paws charity launched a rescue effort at the Khan Younis Zoo in Gaza.

After the zoo asked for help, Four Paws removed 15 animals, including five monkeys, a porcupine and an emu. Most were destined for an animal sanctuary in Jordan. – Source: Traveller24:
South Africa is also set to launch its first-ever wine tourism strategy at the conference, to be opened by Minister Derek Hanekom. 
Stellenbosch is set to host the Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference on 1 and 2 November 2016. The conference is set to focus on the enormous potential of South Africa's extraordinary wine-producing regions.

“Stellenbosch has the potential to become as significant as the Napa Valley,” says Clay Gregory, President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley. Gregory, who will be a headline speaker at the conference, believes South Africa already has the skills and assets but currently lacks the investment. 

"You have the wine, the people and the natural beauty to rival any wine tourism region of the world. But, South Africa first needs to spend more on marketing and getting the region top of travellers’ minds,” he says. – Source: Traveller 24
A celebration of South Africa’s living heritage and indigenous knowledge systems, the event, which is a partnership between SANParks, WILD and the Sesiyakhula Njalo organisation, involves an exploration of ancient African traditions and spiritual beliefs.
SANParks is set to roll out a series of cultural and spiritual experiences that it says will allow visitors to make the most of the richness and diversity of these sites.

SANParks says that while it is most renowned for the protection of the biodiversity of flora and fauna in its 22 parks, a key part of South Africa's heritage is made up of African spiritual, historical and cultural aspects. 

SANParks says several of the parks under its management have significant spiritual, cultural and historical status, with several boasting archaeological and heritage sites.

The inaugural of these planned experiences is the “Weekend of African Spirituality” to be hosted at Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

Participants will, under the guidance of traditional healers, experience spiritual invocation, divination, visits to sacred caves, traditional drumming as well as interpretive medicinal plant trail walks. This weekend of cultural immersion promises to be an authentic once-in-a-lifetime experience that will broaden perspectives and create a deeper appreciation of and respect for African spirituality.

The Weekend of African Spirituality will be held from 16 to 18 September 2016 at the Basotho Cultural Village at Golden Gate. – Source: Traveller24
The British-based airline, together with the Western Cape Provincial Government, the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Air Access, Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro and the private sector, worked collaboratively to ensure the future success for this new direct route.
Thomas Cook will operate three direct flights from London's Gatwick Airport to Cape Town with an Airbus 330 starting on Friday, 16 December, and running until Monday, 20 March 2017.

The new direct flight route is believed to be a project for economic growth in the Western Cape. It forms part of the Western Cape Government’s Project Khulisa, which ultimately translates from isiXhosa as “Project Grow”.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, said that, “Direct flights into the city are like pipelines of money into the economy”.

Currently, Project Khulisa is working closely with the tourism industry to improve this (tourism) sector.

The focus areas of the project is to develop cultural and heritage tourism and to boost local business tourism. This is to ensure that the Western Cape becomes an all-year destination.

The tourism sector of the Western Cape is the best performing sector in the province. According to the Minister, It is currently growing at 7,9%. – Source: Traveller24
Started 30 years ago by activist, writer and United Nations environmental award winner, Carlo Petrini, the global movement aims to draw attention to the politics of food based on the principles of "good, clean and fair".
The chilli of Soweto is the latest uniquely South African product to make it onto the international "Ark of Taste" catalogue.

This collection of indigenous products and recipes includes mokopana, the oval-shaped, African horned cucumber; the Zulu amadumbe, a robust herb with large "elephant ear" leaves and corms that are harvested like potatoes; karri, a honey wine brewed by the Khoisan and believed to be one of the oldest alcoholic drinks in the world; and the mottled black and white Venda chicken from Limpopo.

With the addition of the chilli of Soweto, the list of South African Ark of Taste products has reached 45, and joins food items and dishes from more than 170 countries where the Slow Food Movement is active.

The Ark was created to point out the existence of small-scale quality products  ̶  heritage food items that are unique and possibly at risk of extinction. The aim of the Ark is to "rediscover" these products and promote them internationally. More than 2 500 products have been listed.

Melissa de Billot, coordinator of the South African Ark of Taste Programme, says Slow Food South Africa aims to have 100 products on the list by the end of the year.

"Some of these products are so rare that we are struggling to find even elders who have proper information," she says, citing Zulu tea as an example. – Source:
The park has a unique design and special features, such as a scented garden and acoustic way-finding to assist children with limited or no vision to orientate themselves in this outdoor space.
Cape Town recently announced the opening of its first blind-friendly park ahead of World Tourism Month, celebrated globally in September and this year centring on Universal Access.

The park is within walking distance of the Athlone School for the Blind and has just been given a test run by kids in the area, receiving their vote of approval.

The city announced that over the past five months, Transport for Cape Town, the city’s transport authority, had used approximately R1,1 million from its budget for non-motorised transport to transform this square of sandy land into an inviting playground.

"All children can play in the park. However, what makes this playground different is that we have used the same elements that you would find in other parks and implemented them in such a way so that children with limited vision or no sight can find their way between the different play areas.

Thus, we have designed the park with special needs in mind and with the intention of giving these children the opportunity to interact with other children who are not visually impaired,” says the city’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

Apart from the input that was received from five community meetings, officials also engaged with the local ward councillors, the Athlone School for the Blind and a mobility expert on how those with limited eye sight "read" public spaces.

"First of all, we have divided the park into smaller play areas. To assist with navigation, we have created a scented garden with indigenous plants such as lavender, wild garlic and rosemary where the park borders on Beroma Crescent. Once the garden is established and the plants fully grown, they will release a fragrance as legs brush past, stimulating the smell organ," said Councillor Herron.

Low-seating walls, cutting across the park, assist with acoustic way-finding – the echoes enable one to determine your location through hearing as the sound of feet and walking sticks reverberate off the walls.

An extensive relief mural has been installed on the seating walls.

Added to this, the goal ball court, enclosed with a fence and seating walls, is situated in the north-eastern corner of the park for a game played by blind people in particular. The court can also be used for other activities. Opposite the games court are trees and a lawn for picnics and informal games. – Source:
This is the first time the Fisherman's Friend StrongmanRun will be held outside of Europe.
The world's biggest obstacle race is coming to Paarl in October.

The event known as the “strongest race of all time”, has participants face obstacles like wading through mud and swimming through streams.
The MTV Africa Music Awards will be held in Johannesburg in October.
The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) are back! And for the first time in its history it will be held in Johannesburg.

The glitzy ceremony will take place at the Northgate Ticketpro Dome on 22 October and will feature some of the biggest artists from the continent.

The award ceremony, popularly known as the MAMAs, has previously been held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

The decision to move the event from the coast to the heart of South Africa, was announced at a press conference in Johannesburg, attended by the likes of Babes Wodumo, Tresor, Khuli Chana, Kwesta, Mafikizolo and Nasty C.

Speaking about the decision to move the event to Johannesburg, rapper Kwesta said that the city was a special place for artists to draw inspiration from.

"The city affects pretty much every single thing we do. There's not a lot of places in the world that you find such diversity, such diverse food and culture. These are the things that artists draw from. The city has directly impacted on my career – every good song you've heard from me is from and inspired by Joburg. It's a beautiful thing," he said.

But eager fans will have to wait a little longer to find out which stars will be gracing the MAMAs stage this year.

The event's organisers have promised that they will reveal the performers over the next few weeks, with the announcement of nominees to be held in Johannesburg and Lagos, Nigeria. – Source”
The judges will be in Joburg to host an event in aid of Stop Hunger Now SA.
MasterChef Australia judges, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston, will be appearing together for the first time in South Africa and it's all in aid of a good cause.

The trio will host the Longest Dinner Table in aid of Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, which takes place at Sandton City Shopping Centre on Wednesday, 7 September, from 6.30 pm to 8 pm.

Members of the public are invited to be part of the Longest Dinner Table – there is no charge – and assist in packing meals for homeless and hungry children. The wildly popular MasterChef judges will mingle with packers, share their cooking secrets and give away spot prizes during the evening.

Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa was established in Johannesburg in the same year as MasterChef Australia made its debut. Under the guidance of chief patron, Graça Machel, it provides nutritious meals and life-saving aid to the country's destitute and hungry children.

Says Calombaris: “As chefs, we have a role to play in focussing attention on world hunger and helping eradicate it. It’s not just about eating well but ensuring that everyone has enough to eat.” – Source:
Several of the champions and medalists from the Olympic Games travelled to Paris-Chartres for this first leg of the World Cup series.
Hot on the heels of the Olympic Games in Rio, South Africa’s silver medalists, Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh, have both raced to gold in their respective races recently at the 2016 World Cup series in Paris-Chartres.

Le Clos won the Men’s 200-m butterfly for the 19th time! Only two male swimmers have ever won a specific individual event more often (both 21 times). Le Clos finished in a time of 1:51.25.

And less than an hour later, Van der Burgh won the Men’s 200-m breaststroke for the second time in his career, in a time of 2:05.12.

The first time was nearly nine years ago when he won the gold medal in this event on 19 October 2007 in Durban.

Soon after his win, Le Clos won gold in the Men’s 50-m butterfly (in 22.17) for the 10th time, equal to Geoff Huegill (Australia). Only South Africa’s Roland Schoeman has won more – 19. Le Clos has won the last seven men’s 50m butterfly races.

Van der Burgh was last year’s overall men’s winner of the World Cup series, scooping $100 000 for his achievement.

The total prize money on offer for the series – which is divided into clusters in Europe, the Middle East and Asia – is $2 million. – Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: Kamogelo Lekganyane

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