Issue 271 | 20 April 2017
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is defined as a geographically designated area of a country set aside for specifically targeted economic activities, which are then supported through special arrangements and support systems to promote industrial development.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to launch the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) in Tshiame, Harrismith, in the Eastern Free State, next week.

The President will on 25 April be joined by Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, and his Deputy Minister, Gratitude Magwanishe, as well as Free State Premier, Ace Magashule.

Minister Davies said the launch of the 1038-hectare MAP-SEZ was another significant milestone in the implementation of the department’s SEZ Programme, which was aimed at accelerating economic growth and development in designated regions of the country.

“The Industrial Policy Action Plan identifies SEZ’s as key contributors to economic development. They are growth engines towards government's strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation. The SEZ programme has entered a full implementation phase. This is one of the critical instruments that the Department of Trade and Industry is using to accelerate industrialisation in the country,” Minister Davies said.

Furthermore the SEZ programme is a critical tool for the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI), creation of decent jobs, establishment of new industrial centres, as well as development and improvement of the existing infrastructure.

According to Premier Magashule, “the MAP-SEZ will create opportunities for manufacturing as well as a regional and international trade environment with added value chain within the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality.

“The social and economic benefits, as well as regional development, will be key and will be enhanced by creating a prosperous trade city and functional trade ecosystem (SIP2), which will enable the beneficiation of mineral and natural resources and attract foreign direct investment. The priority sectors for the MAP-SEZ are automotive, agro-processing, logistics, ICT, pharmaceuticals and general processing,” Premier Magashule said.

A number of incentives and benefits are available to ensure SEZ’s growth, revenue generation, creation of jobs, attraction of FDIs and
international competitiveness. These include a preferential 15% corporate tax, building allowance, 12I Tax Allowance and customs controlled area.

 – Source:
The week is principally a heightened period of engagements between Members of the executive and citizens through on-going dialogues.
Government has embarked on the 6th National Imbizo Focus Week of the current administration from 17 to 23 April 2017.

President Jacob Zuma has declared 2017 as the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo. The year marks the centenary of the late President and national Chairperson of the African National Congress, an international icon and hero of the South African liberation struggle. In celebrating his legacy, National Imbizo Focus Week will focus on the implementation of government’s National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030, which underpins the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019.

During the Focus Week, leaders across the three spheres of government will interact with citizens countrywide.

“Government encourages communities to participate in the izimbizo and engage with government officials across the country, in addressing public service challenges in order to improve and provide a better life for all,” said the Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, on 18 April.

The Minister further added: “The Imbizo Focus Week takes place during Freedom Month and before Freedom Day, 27 April 2017, where, on this day in 1994, South Africans from all walks of life celebrate the historical day when they first cast the vote for a free democratic country”.

According to the department, the opening of Imbizo Focus Week will see the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development Cluster led by Department of Rural Development and Land Reforms.

The Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster will focus on drug and substance abuse, while the Governance and Administration Cluster will focus on the success of public employment programmes and successes in fighting corruption.

The Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster Ministers will focus on social security programmes and social cohesion.

The department said the International Cooperation, Trade and Security Cluster will focus on the Life and Legacy of OR Tambo and a series of lectures on Freedom values partnered with freedom month activities.

– Source:
President Jacob Zuma on 11 April hosted the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The Emir was on a two-day state visit to South Africa
South Africa’s renewable energy policy was lauded at the business forum between South Africa and Qatar on 12 April.

“South Africa’s renewable power policy is impressive and ambitious. I commend the policy for not only the ambition but also the credibility that lies behind it,” Fahd Al Kuwari told SAnews on the sidelines of the meeting held in Pretoria.

Al Kuwari is a senior energy policy analyst at the Qatari Ministry of Energy. The policy analyst formed part of the Qatari delegation that was in South Africa on a two-day State Visit.

South Africa’s National Development Plan has stressed the importance of a greater mix of energy sources and a greater diversity of independent power producers (IPPs) in South Africa’s energy mix.

This has been made a reality through the Department of Energy’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

The renewables programme, which is seen as an example for other African countries, has resulted in over 6 000 MW of generation capacity being allocated to bidders across a variety of technologies, principally in wind and solar.

In November 2016, power utility Eskom said it had spent approximately R9,5 billion in IPP renewable energy, while some 2 000 MW was already connected to the grid.

The REIPPP is aimed at bringing additional megawatts onto the country’s electricity system through private-sector investment in wind, biomass and small hydro, among others.

“You have diversified your energy supply, you’ve diversified the electricity grid and you’ve managed to maintain a sense of environmental consciousness by allowing private companies to enter the market and distribute renewable energy. From a Gulf perspective, from an energy perspective, I commend South Africa for what it has achieved,” said Al Kawari.

Qatar, which established diplomatic relations with South Africa formally on 10 May 1994, has massive oil and gas reserves. The country is looking to deepen its relations with South Africa.

– Source:
South Africa and India had a deepening and maturing relationship with scope for expansion, said the guest of honour, the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.
Twenty years ago, the late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and HD Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister of India, signed the Red Fort Declaration, a strategic partnership agreement between India and South Africa. The High Commission of India in South Africa recently hosted a Music and Dance Cultural Extravaganza to commemorate this special friendship.

It is a unique and everlasting bond; a common cause that ties us together and makes us inseparable”, said outgoing Indian High Commissioner (HC) to South Africa, Ruchi Ghanashyam.

The HC said that she would forever have fond personal and professional memories of her time in South Africa as she bid farewell to take up a new position in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, India.

She paid tribute to the brave men and women of India who overcame colonial subjugation and stood up against the racist apartheid regime.

The incorporation of Indian and South African musicians and dancers expressed a multifaceted, vibrant and common connection that has enriched this fabric of kinship. It was a demonstration of a relationship that has blossomed from friends in adversity into franchise in opportunity.

– Source:
Unit 2 of Koeberg Power Station has set a new record, having reached 485 days of continuous operation since its last outage.
“The new record proves how reliable Africa’s only nuclear power station is. The record surpasses the previous record for Unit 2 of 484 days of continuous operation, which was achieved in March 2014,” said Eskom.

In August 2016, Unit 1 achieved 455 days of continuous operation, surpassing its previous record of 454 days, which was achieved in 2001.

Interim Group Chief Executive Matshela Koko said the power utility takes pride in the continuous operation of the Koeberg units, which are regularly maintained.

Winners will be selected in seven categories as well as the much-coveted ‘Overall Winner’ on 20 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The time to crown the African continent's best responsible tourism institution is drawing near, as the finalists for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards have been outlined ahead of Africa Travel Market.

A community-based camp located in remote Namibia, two backpackers and a mountain bike tour in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Area are among the organisations selected as finalists for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored by Wesgro and organised by Better Tourism Africa.

In 2016, Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya was named the Overall Winner of the African Responsible Tourism Awards.

A panel of 14 expert judges from across the industry shortlisted 14 organisations from across Africa, including Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya and Mozambique as contenders for the top spots.

South Africa, too, is well-represented with a total of seven tourism authorities listed as finalists.

According to Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa, "this year’s finalists are worthy examples of change makers who bravely use tourism to create positive change for Africa’s people and environments. From a music festival in an unlikely destination, a hard-hitting documentary and cultural tours that tells the stories of the residents of a beach town – the shortlist has a lot to say about where responsible tourism on the continent is, and where it is going next.”

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro agrees, saying "These forward-thinking and innovative organisations are true examples of how we can take the tourism industry to new heights in a sustainable and attractive manner."

The finalists are:
  • African Impact, South Africa
  • All Out Africa, Swaziland
  • Blood LionsTM, South Africa
  • Coffee Shack Backpackers, South Africa
  • Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Camp, Namibia
  • Ilha Blue Island Safaris, Mozambique
  • Isibindi Africa Lodges, South Africa
  • Maboneng Township Arts Experience, South Africa
  • MTN Bushfire, Swaziland
  • Serena Hotels, Kenya
  • Nedbank Tour de Tuli, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa
  • Uthando, South Africa
  • Wildlife ACT, South Africa
  • The Backpack, South Africa
The African Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa.

The responsible tourism programme includes three-panel discussions on market access for small businesses, responsible tourism and the sustainable development goals and the cultures and heritages of Africa, as well as a social media challenge for digital influencers, the media and travel trade.
South Africa was the most popular African destination for the super-rich last year, followed by Morocco, Botswana, Kenya and Mauritius.
About 15 000 multi-millionaires (individuals with net assets of $10 million or more) visited South Africa during the year, according to the AfrAsia Bank Africa 2017 Wealth Report published by New World Wealth.

Cape Town, Johannesburg, Umhlanga, Durban, Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and the Kruger National Park – mainly around Sabi Sands – were the major destinations for the super-rich within South Africa.

As for the African continent as a whole, it received about 48 000 multi-millionaire visitors in 2016 — up from 43 000 in 2015, according to the report.

Their major destinations on the continent, outside of South Africa, included Marrakech and Casablanca in Morocco; Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt; Nairobi and the Masai Mara in Kenya; the Serengeti in Tanzania; Livingstone in Zambia and the Okavango Swamps in Botswana. Gorilla safaris in Uganda were also popular.

– Source:
Sinazo Bali, 23, from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), has become the first black woman in Africa to earn an honours degree in biotechnology cum laude.
In a statement by the university, Bali said completing her honours degree was difficult as she was unable to secure funding for her studies.

"It's not easy to get funding because they [scholarships] score you according to your marks and you have to give feedback every now and then," she said.

Bali studied the physiological and biochemical responses of the plant Salvia hispanica L., commonly known as chia.

Her supervisor, Dr Ashwil Klein, introduced her and fellow students to the plant.

Chia, which is drought-resistant, is native to the mostly arid and semi-arid environments of southern and central Mexico. It is now, however, commercially cultivated in Australia, which has similar climatic conditions to South Africa.

Sinazo was among 635 honours graduates for UWC's autumn 2017 graduation season. She was also in the top three for biotechnology at UWC.

Sinazo is currently studying toward her Master’s degree in biotechnology at the university.

"I am looking forward to this new chapter of my life, but at the moment I am focussing on my Master’s," she said.

– Source:
South Africa’s top four triathletes, spearheaded by second-placed Richard Murray, recently finished in the top 10 at the World Triathlon Series (WTS) Gold Coast event in Australia.
Murray added the WTS silver medal to his two World Cup victories, while Wian Sullwald cracked the top 10 for the first time in his career when finishing in ninth place, one spot adrift of Rio Olympics bronze medallist, Henri Schoeman.

To add to the country’s success at the Gold Coast sprint event, Gillian Sanders also finished in the top 10 in the women’s race earlier in the day with her ninth place after clocking 58 minutes and 37 seconds.

After two WTS events, Murray is ranked second overall behind Spain’s Javier Gomez Noya with Schoeman lying in fifth place.

Schoeman once again produced a strong first-leg swim, getting out the water in first place after posting a time of 8:42 with, Sullwald not far behind.

The early advantage on the bike leg soon diminished with the chasing pack catching with a group of five athletes, including Murray.

Murray and Spanish training partner Mario Mola dominated the running leg, the Spaniard crossing the line four seconds ahead of the South African in a time of 52.39.

The silver medal signalled the end of Murray’s first block on the international circuit as he prepares to race in his first Half Ironman.

– Source: Sunday Independent
Stay Connected with us
facebook   youtube

For back issues of Newsflash, visit:
Editor: Michelle Greeff
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: René Marneweck


video button video button fina winners