Issue 253 | 7 December 2016
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The Annual UBUNTU Awards 2017
The visit is aimed at deepening and strengthening the already existing good political, economic and social relations underpinned by strong historical ties dating back from the years of the struggle.
President Jacob Zuma will host President Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, for a State Visit to South Africa from 7 to 9 December 2016.

South Africa and Zambia’s economic relationship continues to grow, with the 2015 two-way trade statistics indicating that Zambia is one of South Africa’s top trading partners on the continent and is currently ranked as South Africa’s top 10 import sources in the world.

The two countries cooperate in a variety of areas including, among others, trade and investment, science and technology, defence, agriculture, environment, energy, as well as health-related matters.

There are over 120 South African companies doing business in Zambia in various sectors, including telecommunications, aviation, tourism, the banking sector, the property sector, the retail sector, the entertainment sector and the fast food sector.

Both President Zuma and President Lungu will address the Business Forum, which will be attended by more than 150 business captains from both countries.
The commemorations will be held under the theme “Celebrating 20 Years of the Constitution – Transforming Society and Uniting the Nation”.
President Jacob Zuma will on Saturday, 10 December 2016, lead the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, an important milestone of one of the most internationally acclaimed, progressive and transformative constitutions in the world.

This year marks 20 years since the signing into law of the Constitution by the late former President Nelson Mandela in Sharpeville on 10 December 1996. The signing of the Constitution was a commemorative gesture in remembrance of the people who died during a peaceful demonstration against the vicious pass laws on 21 March 1960.

“South Africa is renowned for its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, locally and globally. We should be proud of this important milestone and reflect on the gains attained by our constitutional democracy for the past 20 years. Our Constitution helps us heal the divisions of the past, and paves the way forward for a democratic open society,” said President Zuma

10 December is also International Human Rights Day.

The President added that the Constitution, which had its foundation in the Freedom Charter, proclaimed that South Africa belonged to all who live in it. “Our democracy is functional, solid and stable,” said the President.

The President will address the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa at the George Thabe Sports Ground in Sharpeville, Gauteng.
South Africa has been instrumental in negotiating peace to stabilise South Sudan through its participation in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Plus Peace Process, and the inter-party process led by the African National Congress and Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa held talks with President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan in Pretoria on 1 December 2016.

In his capacity as Special Envoy to South Sudan, Deputy President Ramaphosa said he was satisfied that peace was taking hold over the newest country in Africa. The East African country has been beset with conflict between government and opposition forces.

Deputy President Ramaphosa met with the First Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, on 13 September, where he was briefed on recent developments in that country, including the fighting that took place in July, which resulted in the death of many soldiers and the subsequent flight of Dr Riek Machar, the former First Vice President.

Briefing media after talks with President Kiir, Deputy President Ramaphosa said the discussions proceeded well. He said he was satisfied with the effort that the Government of South Sudan was making to stabilise the nation.

President Kiir was on a Working Visit in the country and met President Jacob Zuma on 2 December. The two heads of state reviewed bilateral cooperation between the two countries, as well as the latest regional political and security developments on the continent.

Earlier this year, Deputy President Ramaphosa visited Sudan for discussions to consolidate unity within the ranks of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM).

He has worked alongside the Secretary-General of Tanzania’s ruling party, Abdulrahman Kinana, for the restoration of unity within the ranks of the SPLM as a precursor to the creation of peace and stability in South Sudan and the formation of a unity government in the capital, Juba.

– Source:
In a statement, President Zuma sent his condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all the victims of the crash.
President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of condolence to the Government and people of Brazil after a chartered plane crashed over a mountainous region in Colombia recently.

The chartered plane, carrying players from a Brazilian football team headed to Colombia for a regional tournament final, crashed on its way to Medellin’s airport in Colombia, killing 75 people.

Six people are confirmed to have survived the crash.

The Chapecoense football team, and an accompanying entourage of staff and journalists, were among the 72 passengers and nine crew on board the aircraft.

“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish to send my deepest condolences to the Government of Brazil, particularly the families and friends affected by the tragedy. We wish the survivors a speedy recovery,” said President Zuma.
Speaking at the Africa Trade Week 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Secretary-General, Dr Mukhisa Kutiyi, praised South Africa for leading the global debate on Investment Policy Reforms.
South Africa has been commended for being a leader in investment reform by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, was among those attending the trade week, which was a new Pan-African platform for advancing intra-Africa trade dialogue among mutli-stakeholders.

Dr Kituyi applauded the South African Government’s decision to announce a sunset clause to its old stock of investment agreements.

“Everybody in the developing community knows that the stock of investment agreements that were signed particularly in the era of structural adjustment, were too unbalanced, promising the investor everything without obligations and tax payers carrying all the burdens,” he said.

Dr Kituyi stated that South Africa helped to create the movement towards the right direction for global investment policy-making.

South Africa was one of the first countries to initiate investment policy reforms that led to a decision to not renew the first generation/old style bilateral investment treaties that were unbalanced.

This, as it provided absolute protection to investors while placing no obligations on them.

These bilateral investment treaties were also not clear on the right of governments to regulate in the public interest.

South Africa has since developed domestic legislation that provides protection to both local and foreign investors while reaffirming the right to regulate in the public interest.

– Source:
The Department of Trade and Industry says Algeria is a strategic country for South Africa, with the North African country accounting for 43% of South Africa’s total trade with North Africa.
Speaking on the sidelines of the African Investment and Business Forum in Algiers, Algeria, the department’s Director of Africa Bilateral and Economic Relations, Lebogang Makoloi, said Algeria was South Africa’s largest trading partner in North Africa for the past five years from 2011 to 2015.

“South Africa has been championing a developmental integration agenda which rests on three pillars: market integration by promoting more intra-Africa trade, industrialisation by building more productive capacity, and infrastructure development. We want to see many South African companies investing in Algeria as the country is opening up for opportunities,” said Makoloi.

Algeria Ambassador to South Africa, A-EL-N Belaid, said there were opportunities for strengthening bilateral economic relations in all sectors and there was opportunity to effectively promote bilateral economic relations in Africa.

“The South African delegation is the biggest in this business forum and that is an indication of our commitment to doing business with South Africa,” said Belaid.

He highlighted that the Algerian Government wanted the South African businesspeople to participate in the business forum because of the historical relationship that the two countries shared.

Belaid also urged South African companies to maintain contact with the partners they would meet with during the forum and utilised the services of the embassies to do that.

“Algeria is historically committed to Africa. We are proud of belonging to this continent. You are our brothers and sisters, let us work together,” he added.

South African companies took part in the forum from 3 to 5 December.

– Source:
The first group of frontline tourism staff to be trained in Mandarin have completed the initial phase of their training and are heading to China for cultural learning experiences.
The 20 trainees were selected for the specialised training from establishments frequented by the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting South Africa.

Modules for reading, writing and speaking, situational role-playing sessions and the three-week visit to China will enable trainees to communicate in Mandarin, which is used by about 1 000 million speakers, mainly in the People’s Republic of China.

The trainees in this innovative course received certificates from the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, at a ceremony held in Johannesburg recently.

“The language training will enhance the experience of our Mandarin-speaking visitors and make their stay in South Africa even more memorable,” says Minister Hanekom.

“The frontline people will help Mandarin speakers with making arrangements for travel, accommodation and sites to visit. The tourist guides will be able to tell the fascinating stories behind our sites better, and the tourists will understand them better, and spread the word when they return home,” says Minister Hanekom. 

China is the world’s largest outbound market for tourism. Over 128 million Chinese tourists visited other countries last year.

South Africa has enjoyed spectacular growth in arrivals from China this year.  Arrivals between January and August this year were 64% better than the same period last year.

“The ability to communicate in the language of our visitors reduces their levels of anxiety when they arrive and try to find their way around a place they are not familiar with. It makes them more confident and they can relax and enjoy their stay,” says Minister Hanekom.

“The first group of trainees are pioneers in this field. They have opened a new pathway for many others to follow.

“This programme shows how the public and private sector can work together to sustain the growth we are experiencing in tourism. We thank the Chinese Culture International Exchange Education Centre, Air China, the Yangzhou University and the Hilton Hotel group for their contributions to this programme.

“We invite other partners in industry to become involved in the language training programme, so that we can take the concept to scale and extend it to other languages.

“The ultimate aim is to improve the experience of all our tourists at every step of their journey. This will grow tourism even further, and help us to support more jobs and economic opportunities in tourism and in the many other sectors which tourism relies on,” says Minister Hanekom.

The Department of Tourism is creating a database of the trainees, linked to SA Tourism’s websites to make it accessible to establishments who need Mandarin-speaking staff or guides.
History is being made in South Africa as a trial using the only vaccine in the world proven to offer some protection against HIV gets underway.
The HIV vaccine trial – known as HVTN702 – aims to have 5 400 people enrolled at 15 trial sites countrywide.

The vaccine is a modified version of a Thai vaccine that offered 31% protection to trial participants, and it is the only vaccine that has had any effect on HIV.

Scientists have been working for seven years to test the vaccine in a country with a high HIV rate to see whether it is robust enough to hold out, as HIV is not that prevalent in Thailand.

Half the trial participants will get the vaccine and the other half will get a placebo, but neither the scientists nor the participants will know who is getting the vaccine.

“Today is a day of hope, as we launch the HVTN702 trial of the vaccine that builds on the RV144 trial in Thailand,” said Dr Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS at the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The NIAID is the sponsor of the trial, which Dieffenbach estimates will cost around R1,68 billion ($120 million).

– Source:
The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital, an idea that began with a vision by Nelson Mandela as far back as his presidency in the 1990s, has become a reality.
The hospital, overseen by the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, along with various local and international partners, is dedicated exclusively to paediatric medicine and care. It welcomed its first patients on 2 December 2016.

The world-class hospital has had a difficult road to realisation, struggling to raise the $100 million (R1,4 billion) needed to complete the project in the midst of a tough global economic environment and, more crucially during the last stages of the project, without the guidance and vision of the hospital's patron, Mandela, who died in December 2013.

"It’s a miracle, or just short of a miracle. The children’s hospital was a dream," Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, told AFP during a media tour of the facilities in November 2016. "It was very difficult to do it without him … extremely difficult, but people were ready to hear us. People could relate to his vision. There is a number of ways that you can remember him; he was a statesman. You could build a statue … but at his core, he loved children."

Finally breaking ground at its site in Parktown, Johannesburg, in 2014, the hospital received financial support from a host of South African and international philanthropists and organisations, including the Bill Gates Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Islamic Relief Worldwide and industrialist Eric Samson.

Additional financing came from donations made by millions of ordinary South Africans via SMS and through various fundraising events held since 2009.

The three-floor facility, which is part of the University of Witwatersrand's medical faculty, specialises in paediatric cancer care, and kidney and lung treatment, as well as heart, chest and brain surgery, and a range of other children's medical needs. While Africa does have four other paediatric specialist hospitals – one each in Cape Town and Nairobi, and two in Cairo – the new Johannesburg hospital is the most advanced facility in Africa.

The hospital is equipped with the latest medical equipment and technology, including the most advanced operating theatres in the country, offering the best all-inclusive diagnosis and treatment regime on the continent.

– Source: eNCA and
Friday, 2 December, was opening day for a new specialty ice cream store at Canal Walk in Cape Town‚ from the world’s largest chain which offers a pink spoon to taste its flavours, including Pralines and Cream‚ Chocolate Overload and Green Tea‚ Earl Grey and Cookies.
Baskin-Robbins's Cape Town outlet will be operated by South African franchise holder‚ Grand Foods.

Cape Business News quoted Sean Dearham‚ chief operating officer of Baskin-Robbins South Africa‚ as saying that the demand for artisanal ice cream and a variety of flavours is on the rise in the local market.

Baskin-Robbins is best known globally for its "31 flavours" – a different flavour for each day of the month – but has what it calls "a library of over 1 300 different flavours to choose from".

Under the Grand Foods banner‚ Baskin-Robbins South Africa is the 51st country to offer the ice cream shop.

– Source:
South African rhino conservationist and global ambassador against rhino poaching, Cathy Dreyer, has been crowned the international Tusk Conservation Award Winner at the 2016 Tusk Awards ceremony, held in London on Wednesday night, 30 November 2016.
Cathy flew the South African conservation flag high and proud upon receiving the incredible accolade from Sir David Attenborough at London's V&A Museum.

According to the Tusk Awards, the title is given to “an individual who has emerged as a leading conservationist, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to, and considerable success in their chosen field”.

Other finalists for the conservation award included grey crowned crane advocate Dr Olivier Nsengimana and Rachel McRobb, who formed an anti-poaching and community conservation organisation in Zambia.

Cathy started her career over 17 years ago at the age of 22 with South African National Parks as a conservation student, assisting with the capture of black rhino. This became a turning point in her life as she developed a deep, lifelong passion for the rhino species, which has shaped her career in conservation.

"Coming from humble roots and starting a career at the bottom of the ladder, Cathy’s perseverance and focus built a career which graphically illustrates that being disadvantaged is not a barrier to achieving great heights, not only in conservation but also in life itself.

Cathy’s success has been totally through her own efforts and as a woman, she has faced greater challenges than most," the Tusk Awards say.

Nonetheless, Cathy has helped to bring people working in conservation together, principally in a number of national and international rhino trans-locations.

Her work has led directly to the establishment of new black rhino populations and in South Africa, the country with the highest population of rhino – yet facing the highest rate of poaching – and Cathy offers the potential to provide vital protection for this species far into the future.

– Source: Traveller24
During Oprah Winfrey’s whirlwind trip to South Africa, she received a standing ovation after inspiring a gathering of young South African women at an event hosted by the United States (US) Embassy on 2 December.
The US Embassy described it as a “day to remember” for the youngsters who were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the global media leader and philanthropist.

Oprah was in the country to celebrate the sixth graduating class of her Leadership Academy for Girls, but on Friday she attended the US Embassy event where she spoke to participants of the DREAMS programme, and alumni of US exchange programmes.

The event commemorated the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, said the US Embassy.

In a bit of a role reversal, rather than lead the interview, Ambassador Patrick Gaspard interviewed Oprah about her life experiences (including sexual abuse), influences, and how she had overcome challenges to achieve great success.

The Ambassador said Oprah “has been invested in women and in South Africa, and has been an incredible force in the world. There is so much love in this room and in this country for her. It is an honour to host her today.”

Oprah encouraged the audience to take control over their own futures and to “be the change they want to see” in their communities.

She said: “I love this country so much. From the very first time I visited and met Madiba, I said the way we need to change the world is to change the lives of young women. That is why I invested in the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.”

She encouraged the audience to remember that “excellence has a voice and if you do something better than everyone else, people will notice”.

– Source:
SA films continue to make an explosion overseas, with another flick set for an international debut at a popular foreign film festival.
It was announced recently that local film, The Wound, would get its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film, starring Nakhane Touré, depicts a story of Kwanda, a gay teenager, who travels from the city to a rural area of his family's origin to be circumcised in a traditional rites-of-passage into manhood.

The film is directed by John Trengove, who has worked on a number of TV hits, including Hopeville.

A documentary by a French filmmaker about Winnie Madikizela Mandela will also be premiered at the festival.
Four emerging South African writers in line to win top scholarship.
South Africans, Amy Heydenrych, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Nick Mulgrew and Bryony Rheam, have all been shortlisted for the 2016 Morland African Writing Scholarship, chosen out of a pool of over 500 entries, from 37 countries.

The scholarship, set up by Miles Morland after a career investing in Africa, aims to support emerging writers from Africa to write their first novel, knowing how difficult it is to write while also trying to earn a living. Each of the five winning scholars receive £18,000, paid over the course of a year, to allow them to take time off to write the first draft of the book they proposed.

The scholarships are open to anyone writing in English who was born in Africa or both of whose parents were born in Africa.

Miles Morland, the scholarship’s founder, said, “We have been blown away by the talent, imagination, energy and humour that characterises African writing. The standard of the shortlist is always high but this year we had an even greater depth of talent than before, making the choosing of a shortlist particularly difficult. We have two Caine Prize winners on it, and a number of writers who have received global recognition. We are pleased also to have writers early in their career who show terrific promise. Our only disappointment is that, although we had a number of non-fiction submissions, only one made it to the short list. We are actively trying to encourage non-fiction, Africans telling Africa’s story” says Morland.

The four South Africans shortlisted, are joined by 18 other writers: 11 from Nigeria, two each from Somalia and Kenya, and one each from Gambia, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

The judges, with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey from Zimbabwe in the chair, assisted by Femi Terry from Sierra Leone, and Muthoni Garland from Kenya, will meet on 12 December to select the five 2016 scholars. Their names will be announced shortly afterwards.

– Source:
Following their triumph at the Dubai Sevens, two Springbok Sevens stars were included in the Dream Team for the event.
The Blitzboks won the first tournament on the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series calendar when they beat Fiji 26-14 in Saturday’s Cup Final.

As is customary after every tournament, a Dream Team is chosen, with two South Africans – Seabelo Senatla and Werner Kok –- cracking the nod.

Senatla, World Rugby's Sevens Players of the Year, was also named Player of the Tournament after finishing top scorer with 55 points (11 tries) in Dubai.

Despite losing in the final, three Fijians –- captain Osea Kolinisau, Jerry Tuwai and Setareki Bituniyata – were included, as well as England’s Ruaridh McConnochie and Welshman Ethan Davies.

– Source:
South Africa’s two-time Olympic rowing coach, Roger Barrow, has been named 2016 World Rowing Coach of the Year.
According to the SASCOC website, it's a major honour for Barrow, who was in charge of the rowing team at Rio 2016 and London 2012.

South Africa secured a silver medal in the men’s pair in Rio through Shaun Keeling and cancer-survivor Lawrence Brittain, while they had four boats in finals on one particular day with no medals to show for their efforts.

Barrow was given the award by the World Rowing Federation in Lausanne.

He had been up for nomination two years ago but missed out back then.

"Roger Barrow has spearheaded the development of elite rowing in South Africa, which culminated in the first-ever Olympic gold medal in rowing for not just South Africa, but the whole of Africa," FISA said.

"This gold in the lightweight men’s four at the London Olympics was achieved using a small pool of athletes. Barrow has since grown the squad relying on the enthusiasm and dedication of athletes in the face of funding limitations.

"Instilling a winning credence, he took a squad of five boats to Rio – the biggest squad South Africa has ever fielded at an Olympic Games. All crews made the A-final with the men’s pair winning silver."

Barrow now has another date to look forward to next month when the award winners will be honoured on 28 January at a gala dinner during the 2016 World Rowing Coaches Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

– Source:
South Africa’s Jordy Smith claimed victory at the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach in Hawaii.
This is a first for the professional surfer from Durban.

The Vans World Cup of Surfing is one of the events that makes up the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, a prestigious surfing competition that takes place annually on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The other two events are the Hawaiian Pro (won by John John Florence from Hawaii) and the Pipe Masters, which started in December.
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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