Issue 276 | 25 May 2017
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The South African Government condemns in the strongest terms terrorist attacks in any form and from whichever quarter and in particular against innocent children and youth.
The South African Government joins the international community in strongly condemning a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena in Manchester on Monday, 22 May 2017, resulting in the unfortunate deaths and injuries of numerous children and youths.

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has extended his heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of the UK, in particular the families and loved ones of the deceased and wished the injured speedy recoveries. Acts of violence and extremism have no place in society and constitute a threat to peace, security and development.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Consular Services division is in contact with the South African High Commission in London following the attacks, should any South African citizens have been affected.
The election victory will see President Rouhani serve a second presidential term, having ascended to the office for the first time in 2013.
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, who has won the Iranian presidential elections held on Friday, 19 May 2017.

President Zuma extended his congratulations and best wishes to President Rouhani and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

President Zuma undertook a State Visit to Iran in April 2016, during which he held fruitful bilateral talks with President Rouhani and witnessed the signing of several agreements covering the fields of energy resources, finance, trade and industry, water and sanitation, education and research and arts and culture.

South Africa views Iran as a strategic trading partner within the Middle East and Central Asian regions. In the bilateral sphere, South Africa and Iran share a long historical relationship, with Iran having stood with and supported the struggle for liberation in South Africa. South Africa has also stood with Iran in the face of unilaterally imposed sanctions.

President Zuma said South Africa looked forward to working with Iran under President Rouhani to consolidate relations and implement existing agreements
The visit was in line with South Africa’s aim to expand bilateral cooperation with the Sultanate and deepen both political and economic relations.
International Relations and Cooperation, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, this week paid a Working Visit to Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, where she met representatives of the Government of the Sultanate of Oman as part of efforts to strengthen relations.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Oman were first established after South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994. Since then, relations between the two countries have expanded in various fields, aided by the exchange of high-level visits, the negotiation of bilateral agreements and greater people-to-people contact.

In 2010, South Africa and Oman signed an Agreement on the Establishment of a Partnership Forum, aimed at facilitating cooperation in the fields of politics, arts and culture, justice and constitutional development, higher education and training, agriculture and trade and investment.
The Minister focused her address on how the South African Government was partnering with its international trade and investment partners in Africa and abroad, making use of laws and policies, to bring about radical socio-economic transformation.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, on Friday, 19 May 2017, addressed the Leadership and Transformation Seminar organised by the Black Management Forum Student Chapter of the University of Limpopo in Polokwane.

On the same day, Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers addressed students and other stakeholders at a symposium at the North West University, Mahikeng campus, under the theme: “Promoting Internationalisation and Social Cohesion”.
Government will implement ocean economy projects, which are expected to contribute more than R20 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019.
“Going forward, delivery units have been established in the lead departments to drive the implementation of the detailed delivery plans. We will achieve the growth and the jobs we need in the economy,” President Jacob Zuma said.

He said progress on the ocean economy initiatives would be monitored on a weekly basis by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

President Zuma was speaking in Durban during the open day of Operation Phakisa, which promotes economic growth and job creation in line with the goals outlined in the National Development Plan.

The open day was an opportunity for the President to release the results of weeks of exploratory work of unlocking the country's ocean economy. Operation Phakisa has four priority areas, which include marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture as well as marine protection services and ocean governance.

The operation is an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology that was successfully applied by the Malaysian Government in the delivery of its Economic and Government Transformation Programmes.

President Zuma said the oceans had the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the GDP and create just over one million jobs by 2033.

The work stream on offshore oil and gas exploration has set a target of drilling 30 exploration wells in the next 10 years.

“Over the next 20 years, this work could lead to the production of 370 000 barrels of oil and gas per day. The result would be 130 000 jobs and a contribution of US$2,2 billion to GDP,” said President Zuma.

South Africa’s coast and adjoining waters have possible resources of approximately nine billion barrels of oil.

The aquaculture work stream underlined the high growth potential of South Africa’s aquaculture sector due to an increasing demand for fish.

Eight initiatives that could spur growth in the sector have been identified.

One of the initiatives includes implementing 24 projects across South Africa, which are expected to grow the aquaculture sector’s revenue from about R500 million today, to almost R1,4 billion in 2019.

President Zuma said the marine protection services and ocean governance work stream had undertaken the task of developing an overarching, integrated ocean governance framework for the sustainable growth of the ocean economy.

“The plan entails the protection of the ocean environment from all illegal activities and to promote its multiple socio-economic benefits with results by 2017.

Another target included increasing the amount of minerals exported on South African ships, which would create more than 4 000 direct jobs.

President Zuma said some of the progress made included the process of establishing a National Shipping Company in partnership with South Korea. He said Operation Phakisa represented a new spirit of moving faster in achieving a growth target of 5% by 2019.

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The Minister of Home Affairs, Hlengiwe Mkhize, says her department will put more emphasis on the modernisation of Home Affairs systems, processes and human resources to improve its service offering.
Addressing the media in Cape Town ahead of her department’s Budget Vote, Minister Mkhize said a major task in this regard was to replace the old National Population Register with a new National Identity System.

“The modernisation programme has also entailed replacing around 38 million green-barcoded ID books with secure smart ID cards. A total of 6,8 million cards have been issued,” the Minister said.

The Minister said Home Affairs would complete the refurbishing of infrastructure at the major land ports of entry, as these were strategic for risk-based immigration management to make South Africa friendly for business, travel and related activities.

“We will strengthen our all-out fight against corruption, bribery and fraud and motivate officials through the Moetapele (Leadership) initiative,” the Minister said.

Under the Moetapele Leadership Initiative, launched by then Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, the department will improve the performance of officials who serve the public directly to ensure that they serve efficiently and effectively, with courtesy and good manners.

With regard to the mooted Border Management Authority (BMA), Minister Mkhize said work was underway to finalise its establishment. The BMA will allow for better integrated management of ports of entry and the borderline.

The BMA Bill is currently being processed by Parliament. Government wants to establish the agency to ensure coordination of and cooperation among the departments operating at land, sea and air ports of entry and along the country’s borders.

The agency is expected to enhance national security and public safety and to enable the efficient flow of legitimate travellers and goods.

Minister Mkhize said Cabinet approved the White Paper on International Migration in March this year.

“The new 2017 White Paper replaces the outdated 1999 White Paper, which doesn’t speak to the current challenges of globalisation, migration and national priorities set out in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030.

“The new White Paper is important, as it will provide a policy framework for amending immigration and refugee legislation to better align them to our goals of using migration for development,” the Minister said.

According to the Minister, the new policy will guide on how best to manage labour from the Southern African Development Community region.

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The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) SA team has presented the first Array Release (AR) 1.5 images taken with MeerKAT 32, to the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.
Minister Pandor recently toured an exhibition at the Iziko Museum in Cape Town, where SKA SA joined other exhibitors for a showcase. The Minister visited the exhibition prior to delivering her department’s 2017 Budget Vote Speech in Parliament.

During the Minister's visit to the exhibition, SKA SA Chief Scientist, Dr Fernando Camilo, and SKA SA Head of Science Commissioning, Dr Sharmila Goedhart, released to the Minister the recent AR1.5 results, images achieved by using various configurations of the 32 antennas currently operational in the Karoo, where the SKA is situated.

This milestone of the integration of 32 antennas with a single polarisation correlator was achieved on schedule by the end of March 2017.

The 32 antennas are part of the eventual 64 instruments that are being built at the Losberg site in the Northern Cape.

In her Budget Vote Speech, Minister Pandor announced that the Research Development and Support Programme would transfer R693 million to the National Research Foundation to ensure the completion of MeerKAT as a key priority for 2017/18.

"The SKA will be the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Key economic benefits from this investment will be the leveraging of foreign direct investment from the SKA Organisation for constructions costs of Phase 1 of the SKA," Minister Pandor said.

The theme for this year's Budget Vote was: “The Oliver Tambo Legacy: Positioning the National System of Innovation for the Future”.

"Government announced the celebration of OR Tambo this year, as it would have been his centenary had he lived. OR Tambo wasn't just a luminary of our struggle for freedom. He was also an outstanding Mathematics and Science teacher," said Minister Pandor.

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The meeting in Mexico will be important for countries like South Africa as it will go a long way in ensuring efforts of responding to emergencies and disasters in a prompt and well-coordinated manner and geared to restoring the dignity of those affected.
The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen, has joined United Nations representatives, delegates from other countries, disaster risk reduction partners representing various sectors, organisations and disciplines at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, being held in Mexico from 22 to 27 May 2017.

“It is our sincere submission that this platform remains one of the most important gathering of member states and all disaster-related organisations and stakeholder to check the pulse on our commitments to reduce disaster risk and build the resilience of communities and nations”, said Minister van Rooyen.

Like many other developing countries, South Africa also faces increasing levels of disaster risk and it is exposed to a wide range of hazards, including drought, fires, cyclones and severe storms that often trigger widespread hardship and devastation. The negative impact of these disasters leaves the country to deal with issues such as loss of lives, damage to infrastructure and the environment, disrupted livelihoods, schooling and social services.
Eskom is open to doing more business with the African continent, the utility said recently.
Speaking at the annual African Utility Week in Cape Town, Eskom Chairperson, Dr Baldwin Ngubane, said that over the last 18 months, the power utility had managed to turn its business around to a point where today it had surplus electricity supply.

This, he said, served as an indication that Eskom’s five-year design-to-cost strategy to achieve financial and operational sustainability continued to bear fruit.

“This means that South Africa has a new commodity on offer ‒ energy security ‒ and we are also saying that Eskom is open to do more business in Africa,” said Ngubane. He added that the utility was open to doing business with large and small energy-intensive businesses, be it other African utilities, mining, manufacturing or new business development.

Dr Ngubane said Africa’s energy industry ought to consider what the fourth industrial revolution meant for it as a continent and how it could leapfrog this wave of change to the benefit of individual economies.

Around 7 000 delegates attended the 17th annual conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
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Africa’s Travel Indaba 2017 recently wrapped up as “an outstanding success” after the three-day show saw interaction between 7 000 delegates – including
1 449 local and international buyers – and more than 1 000 exhibiting businesses from 18 African countries, showcasing diverse travel and tourism offerings.
The show, which took place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 16 May to 18 May 2017, had more than 20 000 confirmed meetings being held over the three days – an increase of over 20% compared to last year – and 692 registered media representatives attended, an 8% increase since 2016.

There were a number of exciting developments at this year’s event, including the re-branding and re-naming of Africa’s premier travel trade show to Africa’s Travel Indaba.

“The new positioning reflects the ownership of the trade show by the entire African travel industry and re-emphasises South Africa’s commitment to furthering tourism and economic development on the continent,” a statement from SA Tourism says.

Indaba’s African focus was reinforced by President Jacob Zuma who, in officially opening this year’s show on Tuesday, 16 May, referred to it as “a wonderful way to celebrate Africa Month and to showcase the beauty of our country and our continent. This week we bring Africa and the world together at this home-grown trade show, where Africa markets itself to the world".

President Zuma also announced that following a comprehensive bid process, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and Durban had been selected as the successful bidder to host Africa’s Travel Indaba for the next five years.

This year also saw the launch of South Africa’s “I Do Tourism” marketing campaign, which aims to highlight how tourism has the potential to change people’s lives for the better by making a contribution to inclusive economic growth.

“South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, invites all South Africans to become tourism ambassadors for their own country, hailing I Do Tourism as a movement that will show the social and economic value of tourism in people’s day-to-day lives,” says SA Tourism.

The Minister also launched the National Department of Tourism’s campaign to achieve 30% of women in executive management and board directorship positions in tourism in the next five years. The campaign, dubbed “Women in Tourism (WiT) 30in5”, will be chaired by Tourvest chief operating officer, Judi Nwokedi, in collaboration with the private sector.

The trade show’s first-ever Business Opportunity Networking Day session for exhibitors took place on Monday, 15 May.

“It allowed the sharing of international best practice in the area of marketing and communications for the benefit of exhibitors, who were also given a platform to network and interact,” says SA Tourism.

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The cultural heritage of the Phabeni area in South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park (KNP) has been given a fresh breath of life.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Honorary Rangers officially handed over the Phabeni Interpretive Centre to KNP Management on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, at the Albasini Ruins Cultural Heritage Site.

The project, which began in January 2015, saw some 500 person hours at a cost of R125 000 to build the centre. Key refurbishments of the centre included re-fencing and preservation of the Albasini Ruins and the grave sites at the Interpretation Site.

The centre, which is found at Phabeni Gate, boasts the newly designed display structure as well as the re-fenced Albasini Ruins and the two grave sites; which reveal the interesting history of people who stayed and worked in the Phabeni area in the past.

“KNP is best known for its rich biodiversity such as animals, plants and vast wilderness, however, what many people do not know is that the park also boasts more than 627 cultural heritage and historical sites and only a few of them, including the Albasini Ruins where we are unveiling the centre today, are open to the public”, said Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips, at the event.

Phillips recognised the families of the Nkuna and Mavundla who stayed in the area in the past and had family members who were buried in the Phabeni area.

The East Rand Region Honorary Ranger, Ralph Davey, expressed his appreciation to Lance Corporal Willie Nkuna, for his contribution to the history of the Phabeni Interpretive Centre.

Specifically, 94-year-old Willie Nkuna, one of the living and original family members of the Nkuna clan who stayed at the site and is a KNP retired Ranger – Lance Corporal, was present at the hand-over. He heard how his family and that of the Mavundla were praised for their contribution to the rich history of the centre.

The park's 2022 Responsible Tourism Strategy has outlined the need for cultural heritage interpretation to be improved within SANParks.

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The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) received the International Public Transport Strategy Award at the UITP World Summit in Montreal, Canada, recently.
The summit draws mobility professionals from all over the world, and the UITP awards recognise successful projects that are implemented around the world which place public transport at the heart of the urban and local mobility system.

The winning projects must be ambitious, innovative and implementable in other cities and regions. The strategies should integrate land use and transport planning, be sustainable, and encourage more residents to shift to public transport.

Cape Town was presented with the international “Public Transport Strategy” Award for its Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Framework, on which was adopted by the council in March 2016.

The TDA was shortlisted with the transport authorities of Chennai, Moscow and Munich.

“I am elated that we came out tops on the world stage where we competed against the best transport authorities across the globe,” said the City’s Transport and Urban Development Councillor, Brett Herron.

“This award is confirmation of the city’s innovation and forward thinking in eradicating the legacy of apartheid spatial planning by placing public transport at the centre of all new public investments and developments across Cape Town.”

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Lehlogonolo Msuma recently represented South Africa at the Broadcom Masters (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) International programme in the United States for her research into marula seedlings.
Thirteen-year-old Lehlogonolo “Nolo” Msuma’s inquiring mind led her to question why there were only old marula trees in her community, in Phalaborwa in Limpopo.

“We only know that big trees are being eaten by elephants, goats, cows and I wanted to know [what] the small seedlings of marula were being eaten by; I found out that they were being eaten by rodents,” she told the national broadcaster, the SABC.

“Marula trees, which are seeing a decline worldwide, are important for Nolo’s community because they provide fruit and are home to many birds as well as larger animals,” reads the Broadcom Masters Facebook page.

Nolo was in Los Angeles from 14 to 19 May “for a week of fun and engaging hands-on science and engineering activities”.

Nolo said she found that the Bushbuck gabble and the Namaqua rock rat were eating the marula seedlings daily. In her project, she outlines various ways in which this can be curbed to allow the trees to grow.

The fruit from the tree is used in many ways in her community: to ferment alcohol, and to make soap and jam.

Nolo would like to become an environmental scientist because she believes South Africa can make positive contributions to global research.

According to the Broadcom Masters International website, each delegate is chosen for “their excellence in science, engineering and leadership”.

“They are rising stars who come together to represent their nations for this international exchange.”

Participants came from Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Puerto Rico and many more countries.

Nolo is a Grade 8 pupil at Gerson Ntjie High School and an ambassador for the Bush Babies Environmental Programme.

School principal Vivian Kganyago said she hoped other students would follow in Nolo’s footsteps, despite the school not having a lab in which to work. “I hope Gerson will be known not only provincially, nationally but internationally,” she said.

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Dr Ian Little of South Africa’s Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has won an international Whitley Award in London recently. The awards are popularly known as the Green Oscars as they are presented to individuals who’ve achieved excellent results in nature conservation.
Through the EWT, Ian works with farmers and tribal leaders in South Africa to protect grasslands, one of the most threatened habitats in the country.

He has been involved in introducing simple changes in management practices, such as altering burning and livestock grazing regimes, to decrease pressure on grasslands.

UK-based charity, the Whitley Fund for Nature, has been presenting the Whitley Award/Green Oscars since 1984.

This year, the award recipients included six conservationists chosen from a pool of over 166 applicants from all over the world. Each of these conservationists have spent years trying to devise innovative ways of protecting species at risk of extinction and securing critical habitats.

At an awards ceremony held at the Royal Geographic Society in London, each winner – including Ian – received £35 000 in project funding to help scale up their work.

Ian was born and brought up on South Africa’s Great Escarpment – which is one of the country’s vital sources of fresh water, distributed to urban areas like Joburg and Cape Town. As a biologist, he now strives to conserve the area which is threatened by poaching, fracking exploration, livestock farming and coal-mining.

His fieldwork is already changing the fortunes of endangered wildlife in the area, and with his Whitley Award prize, Ian is determined to establish an extensive system of legally protected grassland, defending its water from the threats of industrial pollution.

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Jacqueline Grobler’s handcrafted gin‚ infused with a smattering of African botanicals used in traditional healing‚ has won her four international awards.
Her craft labels, Ginifer and Westcliff, were recently recognised at the American Distilling Institute’s Crafts Spirit Competition in Maryland in the United States. The competition is devoted to judging craft spirits globally every year.

A panel of experts who evaluated the South African gin brands in a blind tasting included a mix of distillers‚ journalists‚ bar owners‚ importers and bartenders.

Ginifer won silver in the international contemporary grain-to-glass gin category. Ginifer Chilli scooped two accolades and Westcliff got bronze in the best international contemporary gin category.

Grobler launched her own alcoholic beverage company five years ago‚ first with AngelHeart – a spicy liqueur – followed by Ginifer Gin‚ of which there are two variants‚ and later Westcliff. From a business that started in her garage with her husband‚ Jaco‚ she now has her own distillery.

Grobler uses 13 gin botanicals‚ the bulk of which are sourced from Europe‚ combined with African botanicals used in traditional healing.

“A few of these unique botanicals are sourced from the Faraday Muthi Market in the Joburg CBD. The inclusion of these local botanicals gives our gin a distinctive taste and smell.”

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As excitement builds for his performance at The Zakifo Music Festival in Durban, Damian "JR.Gong" Marley has announced that he will be treating Jozi fans to a show as well.
The show will be taking place at The Groove Live in Newtown on Friday, 26 May, at 19:00. The support artist at the venue formerly known as The Bassline is Lesotho hip hop act Kommanda Obbs.

Damian is also set to play at The Zakifo Music Festival, which is taking place in Durban from 26 to 28 May. He performs on Sunday the 28th at 20:00 at the festival that over the three days features Thandiswa Mazwai, Ray Phiri, Bongeziwe, Baloji, Petite Noir, Bombino, Jojo Abot, The Soil, Nova Twins, Tiggs Da Author and more.

Damian is currently in the studio working on his upcoming album Stony Hill. Medication, the first single off the album, featuring Stephen “Ragga” Marley is out now.

Damian Robert Nesta Marley, also known around the world as “Junior Gong” and more recently as “Gongzilla” was born in 1978 to parents Bob Marley and Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976. As a young adult, he developed a passion and a gift to speak for those who cannot always speak for themselves. A self-proclaimed "Spiritual Revolutionary", Damian has worked assiduously to carve his own niche in music history and to add a new perspective to the Marley legacy for the 21st century.

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The 27-year-old “Harry Potter” star will head to South Africa in 2018 to begin the filming of the movie based on white activist Tim Jenkin's autobiography “Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison”.
Popular British star Daniel Radcliffe will star in an anti-apartheid film based on Tim Jenkin’s account of his dramatic escape from the notorious Pretoria Maximum Security Prison in 1979.

The 27-year-old Harry Potter star will head to Mzansi in 2018 to begin the filming of the movie, which is based on Tim's autobiography Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison.

The breakout thriller tells the story of how Tim escaped one of the maximum prisons in South Africa using a device made from a broom handle and a mirror he had hidden in his cell.

It narrates how he planned and executed the prison break where he freed himself and his prison mate Stephen Lee. Tim, who is now 68, had been arrested and sentenced to 12 years for handing out leaflets supporting the then banned African National Congress.

The film, titled: Escape from Pretoria, will be produced by David Barron, who also produced the magical school series Harry Potter.

HDO reported that the film would be directed by Francis Annan and Daniel would play the lead role.

"Escape From Pretoria
is a rare combination of genre and drama and I am delighted to bring together the potent combination of Daniel Radcliffe and Francis Annan," said producer David.

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Filmmaker Akin Omotoso’s latest film, “Vaya”, recently scooped 11 nominations in all the top categories of the 2017 Africa Movie Academy Awards (Amaas) – the most of any film on the continent. It was followed by a period film “76” (Nigeria); the Lupita Nyong’o gem, “Queen of Katwe” (Uganda); and Ebola crisis film, “93 Days” (Nigeria).
“Since its premiere in Toronto last year, it’s been building up speed and now it’s becoming a runaway success on the film circuit,” said Omotoso, best known for his romcom, “Tell Me Sweet Something”, and his anti-xenophobia classic, “Man On Ground”.

Of the other South African nominations, another recent classic, Noem My Skollie: Call Me Thief, picked up six nominations, including for best film and best director; Dora’s Peace starring Khabonina Qubeka as a sex worker attracted five nods, including a best actress nomination for Qubeka; Zola Maseko’s The Whale Caller received two; while Happiness is a Four-Letter Word and Funny Enough each received one.

Traditionally dominated by Nigerian films, the 13-year-old Amaas have increasingly recognised South African projects. As in literature and pop music, South Africa and Nigeria are constantly vying for top spot in competitions, a sweet irony as Omotoso was born in Nigeria but lives and works in South Africa.

Asked which country he considers home, he quipped, “Home is where I pay my taxes, so South Africa”. Omotoso was brimming over with praise for his cast and crew. Vaya was written by professional screenwriters working with four homeless men and it tells three stories of migration to the city, which intersect dramatically.

Vaya has been allowed to grow organically. This is an acknowledgement of eight years of working on something.”

The film, which is heading to the Sydney Film Festival in Australia next, has been touching hearts around the world as audiences share their experience of migration and immigrant life.

South African audiences are going to have to be patient because Vaya is only scheduled for a cinema release on 27 October.

The Amaas will be held in Lagos on Sunday, 18 June.

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Two South Africans, Chris Dry and Rosko Specman, have cracked the nod for the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team.
The rest of the team comprised two Fijians, Kalione Nasoko and Jerry Tuwai; two Americans, Danny Barrett and Perry Baker; as well as England’s Dan Norton.

Scotland won the final event on the calendar when they upset hosts England 12-7 in the final at Twickenham, but South Africa (192 points) won the overall series, finishing well clear of England (164) and Fiji (150).

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South Africa’s No 1 wheelchair tennis men’s player, Evans Maripa, bagged both the singles and doubles titles of the Israel Open in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, recently.
Maripa overpowered world No 18 Ezequiel Casco from Argentina in straight sets to claim his first Israel Open singles gold, without dropping a set in the tournament. The 26-year-old dominated from start to finish in the final of the International Tennis Federation level 2 event to win 6-1 6-4.

It was a double delight for the world No 13 from Limpopo as he began to accomplish his mission to target an ever higher seeding in the world rankings.

“The last few days were so exciting, so great to feel the enthusiasm and to play great tennis," said Maripa, who was born with a congenital birth defect that meant both his legs had to be amputated beneath the knee.

“It was a perfect week for me … My main focus now is to up my ranking and I will be heading to Europe this week in high spirit and just play my best game."

Maripa and doubles partner David Dalmasso from France teamed up and went on to win the men’s doubles title, beating Argentinian pair of Ezequiel Casco and Agustin Ledesma 6-3 6-3 in the final.

“Nothing beats the feeling of ending a tournament with a win, so winning the doubles as well and taking home two titles makes me really happy,” Maripa added.

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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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