Issue 251 | 24 November 2016
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The Annual UBUNTU Awards 2017
“Our thoughts are with the people of India in the aftermath of the derailing of the Patna-Indore Express near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.”
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolences to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Government and people of the Republic of India following the fatal train accident in northern Uttar Pradesh recently, which has claimed the lives of scores of people and left many injured.

“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish to send my deepest condolences to the Government of India and to everyone affected, particularly the families and friends of those killed and injured,” said President Zuma.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Mozambique in the aftermath of the explosion of the fuel tanker in the town of Caphiridzange in Tete province.”
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique following the deadly explosion of a fuel tanker in northern Mozambique on Thursday, 17 November 2016, that claimed at least 73 lives with over 100 injured.

“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish to send my deepest condolences to the Government of Mozambique and to everyone affected, particularly the families and friends of those killed and injured,” said President Zuma.
Relations between South Africa’s and the People’s Republic of China are at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), facilitated through the BNC – a mechanism established to regulate bilateral relations between the two countries.
On Tuesday, 22 November, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, LI Yuanchao, for the Sixth Session of the South Africa-China BNC at Tuynhuis, Cape Town, aimed at consolidating bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries.

The BNC reviewed progress made since the last BNC held in 2013 in Beijing and received reports from the sectoral committees on foreign affairs, trade and investment, energy, mineral resources, science and technology and education. The BNC also endorsed the creation of two additional working groups on the Oceans Economy and Agriculture.

During his State Visit in 2014 to the People’s Republic of China, President Jacob Zuma took an important step in signing the Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation with clearly established targets that seek to take relations between the two countries on a higher trajectory.

On the other hand, President Xi Jinping signed agreements with South Africa worth more than R94 billion, thus deepening bilateral cooperation between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China.

During the Sixth Session of the BNC, more bilateral agreements in the areas of special economic zones, industrial parks and production capacity cooperation were signed.

Bilateral trade between the two countries grew from R118 billion to R293 billion by the end of 2015, making the People’s Republic of China South Africa’s biggest trading partner.

Deputy President Ramaphosa was supported by Ambassador Dolana Msimang, Ministers Naledi Pandor and Mosebenzi Zwane, Deputy Ministers Nomaindiya Mfeketo, Enver Surty, Thembi Majola, Mduduzi Manana and senior government officials.
Representatives of South Africa and Russia say while there has been progress made to upscale trade between the two countries, focus should be on implementing the agreements that already exist to realise mutual growth objectives.
Delegations from the two countries met on Friday, 18 November 2016, in Pretoria for the 14th Session of the South Africa-Russia Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, commended the work undertaken by the ITEC subcommittees to further trade links between the two countries, who are both members of the BRICS bloc of emerging economies.

“We have been pleased with the work of the ITEC subcommittees. We can all see the benefits of the contributions of all the sectors that are engaged in ITEC. Thus far, we have signed more than 38 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs),” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

The Minister co-chaired the session with the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Sergey Donskoy.

The session reviewed progress made in trade relations, especially in the subcommittees which include trade and investment, minerals, water, science and technology, higher education and communication.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said officials in government and business from the two sides had their work cut out for them, as they had to pick up the pace of implementation.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, hence we have put in place an action plan to track our progress. Our people cannot eat agreements and MoUs.”

ITEC remains the main structured bilateral mechanism between South Africa and the Russian Federation. Since 1999, it has proven to be an effective instrument in contributing directly to improved two-way trade and investment, as well as critical skills development and technology exchanges between the two countries.

Minister Donskoy echoed Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s sentiments, noting that trade and economic relations between the two countries were growing.

“We are happy with the dynamics of the growth but we need to implement those bilateral relations to their full scope. We still need to put a lot of effort into expanding our relationship.”

Between January and July 2012, South Africa’s exports to Russia were estimated at R2,4 billion, which included vegetables at R1,1 billion, iron and steel at R503 million, and mineral products at R369 million.

There were also 15 000 tourist arrivals from Russia in 2015. This is a significant increase from 10 410 in 2014.

Both Ministers described the discussions as fruitful.

“In our discussions, we continued to impress upon our partners the need for more progress on the platinum-group metals, skills development, agricultural cooperation and science and technology,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

The meeting called for the need to match political partnership with strong economic and commercial relations in terms of substantive trade and investment in high value-added products and technology sectors.

South Africa and Russia will next year celebrate 25 years of official relations. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said the occasion would not only be dance and song, but would be used to take stock of relations, make notes of where to improve and enhance cooperation across the board, especially in the economy.

– Source:
As the international community marked World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the South African and United Kingdom (UK) departments of health last week hosted a regional conference on the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The two-day conference was held at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg on 17 and 18 November 2016. It brought together Southern African Development Community countries to discuss the challenges of AMR surveillance, as well as the resources and regional collaborations available to support improvements in laboratory and surveillance capacity.

AMR is a global threat that requires urgent action by governments and society as a whole. It threatens development and the achievements of modern medicine.

British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Judith Macgregor, said that building on their current memorandum of understanding, the UK and the South African departments of health were working in close collaboration to tackle the problem of AMR – a health priority for both.

“Co-hosting the AMR conference is an example of this joint alignment and effective partnership,” said Macgregor.

At the October United Nations General Assembly, a historic declaration was agreed by member states to combat antimicrobial resistance. The agreement follows a worldwide campaign to highlight the threat posed to modern medicine by antimicrobial resistance.

Every signatory has agreed that drug-resistant infections must be tackled as a priority.

The nations have committed to:
  • develop surveillance and regulatory systems on the use and sales of antimicrobial medicines for humans and animals
  • encourage innovative ways to develop new antibiotics and improve rapid diagnostics
  • raise awareness among health professionals and the public on how to prevent drug-resistant infections.
The South African national Department of Health has been driving the country’s response to AMR since 2013.

In 2014, the department launched the AMR National Strategy Framework 2014 – 2024 to address the concerns and actions required for tackling AMR.

Since then, much has been done to generate surveillance data for both the public and private sectors on resistant organisms in order to visually represent how the country is performing against other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries and between provinces.

“Much effort has been made to understand antimicrobial consumption in both the animal and human sectors. Efforts are now underway to assist provincial departments of health to implement interventions to combat the increase in antimicrobial use and AMR,” the Health Department said.

– Source:
According to Xavier d'Argœves, Consul of France in Cape Town, the French Tech Labs will be a conduit between the French IT sector and local start-up companies to tap into and promote digital skills.
French Tech Labs, a R11-million investment in the Western Cape, was launched at its new premises in Century City, Cape Town, recently.

It is dedicated to innovative business incubation, development and plans to offer a range of services to the local tech sector.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, said at the launch that the French Tech Labs was a milestone for innovation in the region.

"In the Western Cape, our number one goal is the creation of opportunities for jobs, grow investment and grow the economy. We believe partnership is key in the process. To achieve this, we launched a focussed growth strategy, called Project Khulisa," he said.

"We want entrepreneurs in the IT sector to develop new programmes for the three sectors identified by Project Khulisa as of great importance for the province, namely oil and gas services – especially in the Saldanha Bay area – agriprocessing and tourism."

Winde said it was about developing an inclusive economy while making sure an enabling environment was created.

"The Cape is the fastest-growing green economy in Africa and that is another area where tech entrepreneurs can provide support," said Winde.

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, said the city had the best tech skills pipeline on the African continent due to the number of quality tertiary institutions in and around the city.

"The city is in the incredible position to leverage skills from the developed and developing world in its midst."

– Source:
The Dawn Park house where Chris Hani was shot will be turned into a museum.
The house of slain struggle stalwart Chris Hani, where he was gunned down in his driveway more than two decades ago, will be turned into a museum to depict the life of the anti-apartheid hero.

Ekurhuleni metro has purchased the property in Dawn Park, Boksburg.

Ekurhuleni spokesperson, Zweli Dlamini, said the property had been in the hands of private owners after Hani’s death.

“Chris Hani is a free person of the City and each year in April we commemorate his life and legacy. It has always been our wish to purchase the property so that we can ensure that people are afforded a greater opportunity of getting to know him better,” said Dlamini.

“We have already built a monument and a liberation trail for Chris Hani at the Thomas Nkobi Cemetery, and now we are just adding another essential feature to the programme.”

Hani, who was leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, was assassinated on 10 April 1993 by Polish immigrant Januz Walus.

– Source: African News Agency
Editors of "National Geographic Traveler" magazine have released their picks for the best destinations of 2017, giving shout-outs to places like Banff, Chengdu, Seoul, Madrid and Georgia, United States of America.
For their annual Best of the World list, editors chose a total of 21 destinations they deem to be “must-see” places to visit next year.

The selections fall into three categories: cities, nature and culture.

South Africa's Cradle of Humankind features in the culture category with National Geographic's website promoting the UNESCO World Heritage site as a "sprawling 180-square-mile boneyard that provides a subterranean window into human evolutionary history".

– Source:
The most beautiful country on the Planet, home to the most incredible people on Earth, our lovely Mzansi, is doing us proud again.
This time, for being voted by Conde Nast in their Readers' Travel Awards for being the Fourth Best Country in the World for 2016.

Greece, which continues to capture the imagination with crowd-pleasing scores across the voting board, takes the crown jewels this year.

Italy comes in second place while the United States beats South Africa with just one spot to claim third prize.

However, South Africa has many more awards up her sleeve, with 15 top spots across various categories.

The awards, for example, also revealed that Mzansi's Mother City was the second-best city in the world, beaten only by the ancient city of Rome in Italy. Cape Town dusted out the likes of New York, Venice and Barcelona to claim the second spot.

Earlier this year, Lonely Planet named Cape Town as the second-best city in the world too. Lonely Planet praised the Mother City saying, “Cape Town’s deceptively laid-back folk have been working hard to add cultural and culinary cred to the Mother City’s famous natural charms, cementing its reputation an as African city with a global outlook”.

Apart from South Africa's incredible cities, the country’s resorts, hotels and entire hospitality industry aren't lagging behind either.

South Africa claimed a spot in the overall Top Resorts list with Richard Branson's Ulusaba resort named the Top Safari Camp.

Three of South Africa's lesser-known restaurants, spots in Cape Town, the Garden Route's Knysna and KwaZulu-Natal's Umlazi, also made Conde Nast Traveler's global foodie guide earlier this year.

– Source:
The Airline Excellence Awards have just been announced, and South African low-cost carrier, kulula, flies the South African flag high for winning for the best low-cost airline in Africa and Middle-East.
In the same category, the team gave the honours to Virgin America for the Americas, Norwegian in Europe and Scoot in Asia and the Pacific.

"The four airlines are leaders in their markets with innovations and they are consistently delivering an excellent value proposition. They may not always offer the lowest fare but what they almost always do is deliver by far the best value,” Editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Thomas, says.

"And these airlines open new routes and bring travel to millions who could previously not afford to fly."

For the fourth consecutive time, Air New Zealand was named the 2017 Airline of the Year in the Airline Excellence Awards.

– Source:
Joburg is king when it comes to business and leisure travellers to the African continent – this for the fourth year in a row, according to the "2016 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index".
The city is expected to welcome 3,6 million international overnight visitors in 2016, a 6,2% increase on last year’s 3,39 million visitors. Cairo in Egypt is the second-most visited African city with 1,5 million international overnight visitors, followed by Cape Town (1,4 million visitors), Casablanca in Morocco (one million visitors) and Durban (831 000 visitors).

– Source:
Visitors to Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront were recently treated to an extremely rare sighting of a Dwarf Sperm whale – the smallest whale species in the world.
V&A visitors often spot marine animals like Cape fur seals frolicking in its harbour, but this was extra special as Dwarf Sperm whales are very seldom sighted at sea. They prefer the deeper mid-levels of the ocean, mainly feeding on squid and crab. And the majority of information about these whales comes from the study of stranded carcasses.

Simon Elwen, a Research Fellow at the Mammal Research Institute, located at the University of Pretoria, says it’s quite rare to see a live free-swimming animal so close to shore.

This Dwarf Sperm whale was spotted swimming in a basin in front of the Quay Four restaurant.

They are quite small – smaller than a dolphin – growing up to about 2,7 metres in length and weighing in at approximately 250 kilograms.

– Source:
Airbnb unveiled what it said was the most significant development in its eight-year history recently, as it moved beyond accommodation with the launch of Airbnb Trips.
Airbnb Trips now focuses three key areas – Experiences, Places and Homes – offering restaurant bookings, bespoke experiences offered by locals as well insider guides across 12 launch cities, including Cape Town – with plans to bring on flights and additional services as it becomes more of an online travel agent than just an accommodation listing site.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, said they realised Airbnb needed to create an holistic experience, as the launch of Trips was celebrated at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles recently, while streamed via Facebook Live.

Trips will see Airbnb extend its transformative approach to accommodation towards a people-powered hospitality that also provides hosts with a way to make money from their passions and interests.

– Source:
South Africa's luxury establishments are flying the Mzansi flag high, as three iconic lodges have just been crowned global winners at the Luxury Hotel Awards.
Rhulani Safari Lodge in the North West province, Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge in Mpumalanga and Fancourt in the Western Cape were named the world's best luxury bush lodge, best luxury game lodge and best luxury golf resort, respectively.

It was a true battle of the great South African game lodges in this year's awards, as Chitwa Chitwa unseated Emdoneni Lodge, who held the title for the 2015 Luxury Game Lodge.

Rhulani Safari Lodge was voted the best luxury bush lodge again after claiming the title in 2015.

Fancourt is a new addition to the South African global award winners, and also represents a new category for South Africa on the global winning list.

– Source:
A new exhibition at Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery, titled "Africans in America", is an exploration of the cultural and contextual parallels between the continent and the United States (US).
The exhibition also formed part of the academic conference, "Black Portraiture[s] III. Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures", held for the first time in South Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, from 17 to 19 November 2016.

"Black Portraiture[s] III" was a collaboration between the US Department of State and Patrick Gaspard, the US Ambassador to South Africa, as well as Harvard University, New York University and the Institute for African American Affairs. The forum offered an opportunity for artists, activists and academics from Africa, the US and the rest of the world to share ideas and perspectives on the African political and cultural identity within a global context.

Emphasising that overall theme, the Africans in America exhibition runs until 17 December, presenting works at the Goodman and the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Artists featured include Ghada Amer, Theaster Gates, Alfredo Jaar, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Odili Donald Odita and Kehinde Wiley.

The exhibition is curated by Goodman director Liza Essers and Hank Willis Thomas. The work of the American visual artist and photographer has been widely praised for consistently challenging perceptions of identity, history and symbols, while igniting dialogue about African and diaspora identities, particularly in global political and pop culture contexts.

– Source:
Chanel, the luxury French perfume house, recently chose South Africa’s Hermanus, Cederberg and Steenbras Dam as locations for the filming of their adverts.
To advertise their Allure Homme Sport cologne for men, Chanel chose the South African outdoors, teaming up with Brazilian Olympic diver, Hugo Parisi, American actor, Luke Timothy Grimes (American Sniper and Fifty Shades of Grey), and downhill skateboarder, Adam Crigler (going at speeds of 90km/hour).

– Source:
Move over Batman. South Africa's superheroes are ready to take over. A group of comic writers in Cape Town are giving their characters an African makeover.
While many comic book enthusiasts admire characters like Superman and Batman, these Cape Town-based creatives are trying a different approach, introducing superheroes locals can identify with.

A bigger dream is to help disadvantaged youth discover the potential hero in themselves.

Illustrator Nicole Leonards says, "These are people I can relate to because I see how they live and I have experienced how they live as well."

They are producing the first edition of Khazimla's Adventures, partly based on the life of adventurer and mountain climber, Monde Sitole.

Sitole has climbed various mountains, including Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Denali in Alaska, which is North America's tallest.

An adventurer of note, he also organises expeditions to inspire young people.

Publishers are hoping to test the stories' appeal among young South Africans.

While the ultimate plan is to distribute the comic book to schools and libraries nationwide, this group of sketchers are showing that superheroes can be right on our doorstep.

– Source:
The highly controversial canned lion documentary, “Blood Lions”, has been named the Best Documentary Feature Film at the 23rd International Environmental Film Festival (FICMA), recently held in Barcelona, Spain.
To add to the prestige of the international recognition, the FICMA is the oldest International environmental film festival in the world.

Pippa Hankinson, producer of Blood Lions, says she is "immensely honoured and proud to accept the special award" on behalf of the entire Blood Lions team.

The award serves as a beacon of hope in a conservation journey that has been plagued with backlash in the canned lion hunting industry over the past year.

Blood Lions is a feature documentary that exposes the captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry in South Africa.

 – Source:
South African 400-m gold medallist, Wayde van Niekerk, and women's tennis champion, Monica Puig, received global awards recently for their performances at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Van Niekerk won for best male athlete of the games and Puig for best female athlete in the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) awards.

Van Niekerk, running in lane 8, won the 400 in a world-record time of 43.03 seconds, breaking Michael Johnson's 17-year-old mark of 43.18.

The two picked up their awards at a recent ceremony in connection with the ANOC general assembly in Doha.

– Source:
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Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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