Issue 278 | 02 June 2017
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The theme for Africa Month 2017 was “The Year of OR Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”.
On Thursday, 25 May 2017, President Jacob Zuma hosted the national 2017 Africa Day celebration at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on 25 May on the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963 and the African Union (AU) in 2002, as well as chart the progress made by the continent since then to advance democracy, peace, stability and socio-economic development.

South Africa used the day to reaffirm support for the AU’s Agenda 2063 and committed the country to playing its role within the AU to ensure the successful implementation of the vision and plan to build a better Africa.

The 2017 Africa Day also marked the celebration of 23 years since the country’s reintegration into the OAU/AU and the international community, following the dawn of freedom and democracy in 1994.

“Africa Day affords us an opportunity to celebrate our African identity. Our country was isolated for decades from the rest of the continent due to the evil system of apartheid colonialism. We are now a full member of the African continent, and since 1994, our continent is correctly the primary focus of our foreign policy,” said President Zuma.

The President said the celebration of Africa Day also provided an opportunity to raise awareness about the contribution of the African continent to South Africa's struggle for liberation.

“Through the establishment of the OAU in 1963, the Africa continent became a pioneer in being the first continent to focus on and encourage nation-building through unity and freedom from oppression. We can never forget the refuge provided by many countries on the continent to South Africans who went into exile and provided material, social, political and military support. Africa Day thus provides an opportunity to celebrate that African solidarity and to continue expressing it through the ongoing support for many on the continent who are caught up in conflict. It is a day for us to celebrate African solidarity, friendship, a common humanity and destiny,” said the President.

South Africa continues to contribute to peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-war reconstruction and development efforts on the continent. South Africa also plays a key role in the economic development of the continent through growing private-sector investment in many countries within the continent.

The Africa Day celebration was attended by ambassadors and high commissioners from Africa and abroad as well as stakeholders from various sectors.
At least 28 Coptic Christians have been killed and dozens more wounded by armed men who attacked them while they were travelling to a monastery in Egypt's Minya province.
President Jacob Zuma has, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, extended the country’s deepest condolences to President al-Sisi and the people of Arab Republic of Egypt following attacks on the Coptic Cathedral on 26 May 2017 that left scores of people dead and others injured.

The victims were reportedly headed to the Saint Samuel Monastery, located outside Minya city, when the attackers opened fire on them.

President Zuma reiterated the position of the South African Government, saying: “Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned. South Africa stands firmly with the international community in condemning all terrorism. We will continue to support regional and international efforts to address the scourge of terrorism in all its forms.”
Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus was the endorsed African Union (AU) candidate and becomes the first African to lead the WHO since its establishment in 1948.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has extended South Africa’s congratulations to the Ethiopian Government, on the election of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as the next Director-General of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, on 23 May 2017.

He is an experienced diplomat and health expert, having served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012, and has played leading roles in a number of national, regional and global processes and organisations dealing with sustainable development, financing for development as well as health and health emergencies.

The election of Dr Ghebreyesus comes at a crucial time for the WHO, in view of the impact of public health on the overall achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Societies’ ability to deal with health challenges facing them is a key component in realising socio-economic development. African states in particular face numerous health burdens, which Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus have experienced firsthand and played a leading role in addressing.

South Africa believes Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ election will not only support Africa’s development, but global development in general, leading to a more equal, healthy and prosperous world.
This event formed part of the broader celebrations which mark the commemoration of 30 years since the 1987 Dakar meeting between the African National Congress (ANC) and a delegation led by the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (IDASA).
On Monday, 29 May 2017, a workshop on “talks about talks” was held at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s OR Tambo Building. Two delegates who formed part of the original 1987 talks, namely former Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad and Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation, Theuns Eloff, were present and provided perspective and insight. Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo addressed the event.

Political dialogue played a significant role in South Africa’s transition towards democracy. In this regard, the 1987 Dialogue in Dakar stands out as a crucial and courageous moment in the country’s history. The ANC delegation consisted of members in exile, while the IDASA delegation was drawn from the academic, professional, cultural, religious and business fields.

The meeting was given wide publicity at the time and eventually came to be recognised as the catalyst that broke the ice for the negotiations to take place two-and-a-half years later between the former government and the ANC. The Dakar Conference made an important contribution by crafting a vision of what a post-apartheid South Africa could look like. In doing so, the meeting heralded the creation of conditions conducive for future negotiations to become increasingly imaginable.

The conference itself was organised around four principal topics:
  • strategies for bringing about fundamental change in South Africa
  • the building of national unity
  • perspectives with regard to the structures of the Government of a democratic South Africa
  • the future of the economy of a democratic South Africa.
For the government and the press at the time, the participants all engaged in a potent act of dissent. The discussions, however, took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and a unity of purpose arising from a shared commitment towards the removal of the apartheid system and the building of a united, democratic and non-racial South Africa. The 1987 conference ultimately broke the ice for future negotiations and the participants unanimously endorsed the goal of a negotiated settlement leading to a non-racial democracy.

Today, such critical political dialogue remains a crucial feature of societies transitioning towards democracy. Moreover, constructive dialogue and its practical outcomes remain an imperative for the long-term maintenance and deepening of democracy and the nurturing and broadening of constitutionalism.

The workshop, therefore, not only celebrated the commemoration of the Dakar Talks, but was also a moment of learning, looking forward.
On Friday, 26 May, the Deputy Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Nomaindiya Mfeketo and Luwellyn Landers, conducted PPPs in Cape Town, following the tabling of the department’s Budget Vote in Parliament the day before.
Deputy Minister Mfeketo hosted an Africa Day Public Lecture at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Bellville in celebration of 54 years since the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, which was re-launched in 2002 in Durban as the African Union.

Deputy Minister Landers hosted a Post-Budget Vote Lecture at the Imbizo Media Centre, Parliament, during which he unpacked the department’s plans and programmes as delivered during the departmental Budget Vote speech by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
South Africa recently hosted the inaugural Joint Administration Committee (JAC) for the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) and the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) in Johannesburg.
During the recent meeting, the parties agreed to jointly consider opportunities to use various channels to promote the MERCOSUR-SACU Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by including their trade promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, private sector, and their respective embassies and foreign missions.

The PTA aims to promote trade between the MERCOSUR and SACU regions. It offers preferences on over 1 000 tariff lines from each side at the Margins of Preference ranging between 10% and 100%.

“The PTA covers products such as agricultural and agro-processed products; mineral and chemical products; plastic and rubber products; textiles and clothing products; precious and metal products; machinery and electrical products; transportation products; and miscellaneous products,” said MERCOSUR and SACU in a joint statement.

The agreement was signed on 15 December 2008 in Salvador, Brazil, by MERCOSUR member states, and on 3 April 2009 in Maseru, Lesotho, by SACU member states. The ratification process was concluded in February 2014 and December 2015 by the SACU and MERCOSUR member states, respectively.

In accordance with Article 36 of the PTA, the agreement entered into force on 1 April 2016.

“The entry into force of the agreement marks an important milestone in South-South cooperation and provides an opportunity to enhance bilateral trade between the parties.”

The inaugural meeting of the JAC was co-chaired by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Deputy Director-General: International Trade and Economic Development on behalf of SACU, Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, and Ambassador Roberto Salafia, National Director for Economic and Commercial Issues of MERCOSUR in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina, on behalf of MERCOSUR.

The responsibilities of the JAC are to ensure administration and full implementation of the agreement.

At the meeting, the JAC assessed progress towards full implementation of the agreement and noted various opportunities presented by the agreement, challenges encountered by the parties to operationalise the PTA, and further agreed on the timelines for completion of outstanding work.

The next meeting of the JAC will be held in MERCOSUR in 2018.

– Source:
South Africa continues to be the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on the African continent, Brand South Africa said recently.
Brand SA said South Africa also continued to be the largest source of intra-regional investment, in addition to having recently made a comeback in the top 25 most attractive global investment destinations.

This was evidenced by findings from the EY Attractiveness Programme Africa 2017, the AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, as well as Brand South Africa’s Investor Perceptions Research.

The EY 2017 Attractiveness Programme Africa measures FDI attractiveness of 46 African markets. It indicated that South Africa experienced an increase of 6,9% in FDI flows to the market in 2016. The sectors that dominated included consumer products and retail.

“South Africa continues to attract the bulk of FDI projects destined for the continent with a share of 20,6%; Egypt at 11,7%; Morocco at 12%; Nigeria at 7,5%; and Kenya at 5,9%. Notable in this regard is that EY indicates investment flows favoured Africa’s more diversified markets,” said Brand SA’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock.

He said the EY Programme results meant that South Africa’s economic profile and diversification remained a key attractiveness feature.

The EY 2017 Attractiveness Programme Africa further notes that even as its economy remains under pressure, South Africa retains its appeal as a launch-pad for growth across the continent.

Dr de Kock said the findings on South Africa’s FDI profile underlined the fact that global investors had confidence in the market and that they saw the country as an attractive investment destination.

– Source:
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, celebrated Africa Day in Pretoria on Thursday, 25 May, with the launch of a book, “Science in Africa”, celebrating outstanding researchers in Africa.
The book showcases over 50 scientists whose work on the continent is contributing to addressing the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

At the Africa Day event, the Department of Science and Technology and the University of Pretoria demonstrated the Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub, a portal that will be used to track the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the African Union's Agenda 2063, towards informing policy decisions in Africa.

The hub will collect and disseminate relevant research to enable the achievement of the SDGs locally – a good illustration how science, technology and innovation assist in socio-economic development.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, has welcomed the agreement signed between South Africa and Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceuticals company.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed recently between Novartis, the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in Cape Town.

The department said the MoU would be implemented within the framework of the Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP).

Minister Pandor said the agreement would boost the volume and quality of clinical trials and build research capability on the continent.

SHIP is the department’s project implemented by the MRC to coordinate the development of new or adapt existing drugs, vaccines and other biologicals, diagnostics and medical devices for priority diseases or medical conditions in South Africa.

According to the DST, the agreement will allow for joint research programmes in selected communicable and non-communicable diseases, improve South African patients' access to innovative medicines and build the country and continent's research and development (R&D) capabilities.

The Minister said international cooperation such as the partnership with Novartis had been a consistently important aspect of national research and innovation programmes and strategies.

Dr Thomas Kowallik, Novartis South Africa CEO and Country President, said the company had made significant investments in R&D in the South African healthcare and pharmaceutical space in recent years and was firmly committed to continue doing so.

"As a global leader in R&D, employing 20 000 scientists worldwide and investing US$9 million in R&D every year, this ongoing collaboration has the potential to lead to breakthrough innovations stemming from South Africa.

– Source:
The R42-million project is part of the Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, launched the refurbished Babelegi Industrial Park in Hammanskraal on Tuesday, 30 May.

Minister Davies said the main objective of the programme was to accelerate economic development in the lagging regions by attracting business investments to locate in these areas. It is also aimed at supporting job creation in manufacturing and related sectors.

“The dti has forged strategic partnerships for the implementation of the programme on a national scale, working with the provinces, their agencies as well as municipalities.

“In the case of Babelegi, the department is working with the North West Development Corporation, who is also the owner of the park. The City of Tshwane has also played a strategic role in ensuring the smooth implementation of the programme,” said Minister Davies of Tuesday’s launch.

The Babelegi Industrial Park has approximately 261 developed units which are available for leasing, while 188 of the units are occupied by firms operating in textiles, engineering, construction, light manufacturing, warehousing and distribution houses.

– Source:
The South African Department of Health says it is on high alert following the reported outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On Friday, 12 May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that nine suspected cases and three deaths of persons with Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported from a remote forested area in the Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the DRC, bordering the Central African Republic.

“There is a low risk of transmission to South Africa. However, South African emergency departments and clinicians are advised to be on the alert for cases of fever and/or haemorrhagic symptoms among returning travellers from the area,” the Department of Health said.

South African port health authorities have been informed and continue to screen persons, who enter via airports, for fever. However, no travel restrictions are in place.

As of 20 May, a total of 37 suspected EVD cases and four deaths have been reported, giving a case fatality rate of 11%. The reported cases are from five health areas, namely Nambwa (12 cases and three deaths), Muma (four cases and no deaths), Ngayi (16 cases and one death), Azande (three cases and no deaths), and Ngabatala (two cases and no deaths).

The DRC Ministry of Health, WHO and various partners are working closely to rapidly control the outbreak through strengthened epidemiological surveillance, and implementation of a comprehensive logistics plan, including the deployment of teams comprising experts in epidemiology, clinical management, social mobilisation and risk communication.

This is the eighth EVD outbreak in the DRC since 1976. The last outbreak occurred in 2014 with 66 cases and 49 deaths.

– Source:
The Department of Tourism will use its R2,1-billion budget to ensure that the tourism industry continues to grow and improve the lives of South Africans.
“Marketing takes the largest component of this budget at 53% or R1,1 billion. This R1,1 billion will be deployed towards increasing our global market share and growing the domestic tourism market in a manner that promotes inclusive growth,” the Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, said.

Addressing a pre-Budget Vote media briefing in Cape Town recently, she said the department’s goal was to attract five million additional tourists to South Africa within the next five years.

“With SA Tourism’s budget at 53%, it is our strategic intent to drive government imperatives through our entity. These include contribution to job creation and radical economic transformation.

“A targeted approach to positioning black enterprises in SA Tourism marketing efforts is a critical part of the fulfilment of that mandate,” Minister Xasa said.

She said the value of travel and related services consumed by organs of state annually was estimated at about R10 billion.

“This presents a transformation lever through state procurement. Furthermore, government controls allocation of other opportunities such as licensing of tour operators, gaming operations (including casinos), duty-free stores, car rental parking bays at strategic hubs, accommodation and retail facilities at state-owned facilities that are concessioned to operators.

“These areas further present the opportunity for accelerating radical economic transformation and we will work with partner departments to pursue this goal,” Minister Xasa said.

The tourism sector is already contributing to South Africa’s economy by supporting over 1,5 million jobs in total and bringing in about 9% to the gross domestic product.

“The growth in the international market will be driven through the establishment of a Bidding Fund to a tune of R90 million over the medium-term period; strengthening our marketing and conversion mechanisms in traditional markets; expanding to new markets, which include Asia, Iran, the Middle East, the African continent and its Diaspora,” she said.

Minister Xasa said the department’s approach moving forward was that all strategic events should be held in the country, which would allow the host city, provincial and industry partners to plan their investments with greater levels of certainty.

The department has allocated R110 million for attracting more businesses and delegates to South Africa and R224 million for infrastructure investment.

The remainder of the budget (R1 billion) will be distributed among Tourism Incentives, the Expand Public Works Programme (including skills development), Destination Development and Enterprise Development.

– Source:
Two years into its launch, Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy is making inroads and growing the aquaculture sector.
To date, 450 direct jobs have been created and 2 000 additional tons of fish have been produced. This is a 35% increase for the sector, while a contribution of R500 million has been made to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

This was announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, during his recent Budget Vote speech in the National Assembly.

The Oceans Economy is one of the three streams of Operation Phakisa and takes the country closer to unlocking the potential of South Africa’s oceans, which have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the GDP and create over one million new jobs by 2033.

The focus on the oceans economy has meant a new wave in aquaculture, making it one of the fastest-growing food production sectors.

Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish.

“The sector presents a good opportunity to diversify fish production to satisfy local demand (import substitution), food security, export opportunities, create jobs and contribute towards GDP,” the Minister said.

The Minister said the new growth in aquaculture presented an enormous opportunity to bring new entrants in the sector as it grew and expanded. It also presents an opportunity to bring in the youth, women and historically disadvantaged people into the sector.

“The sector can accommodate new entrants because of the nature of activities that are diverse from small scale to commercial, as well as different technology, methodologies and species.”

– Source:
The Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, has called on citizens to be patriotic and sell the country to investors by not only focusing on the negative, but to also tell the good South African story.
Delivering her maiden Budget Vote at the National Assembly recently, the Minister said through Brand South Africa (SA), the Ministry would work with all sectors of society to promote the country domestically and abroad.

The Minister said the work of Brand SA remained crucial in bringing together the country’s socially diverse nation by striving to unite people through the love of the country.

To manage the brand reputation, Brand SA conducted research and analysis of domestic and international perceptions of the national brand, the Minister said.

“Recently, South Africa took second place in the Africa Competitiveness Report and the country’s global ranking for 2016/17 improved with nine places from 56 in the 2014/15 report to 47 out of 138 countries worldwide, according to Brand SA.

“This work is vitally important and we all have a role to play in building our nation. Now is the time for a new spirit of patriotism and optimism.

“Now is the time for all South Africans to play their role as conscious Brand Ambassadors. All too often, outside investors only get to hear the negative stories about our great nation. It is up to us to highlight the many positive things about our nation and our people,” she said.

She said Brand SA would conduct various domestic and international multimedia campaigns on both TV and radio to better profile the image of South Africa locally, on the continent and abroad.

“This message will be further amplified by Brand South Africa in collaboration with National Treasury and departments in the Economic Cluster to position South Africa as open for business at international platforms such as the World Economic Forum,” she said.

– Source:
“The value of culture and the arts cannot be underestimated as we struggle to maintain our individual and collective identities and build our respective communities.”
Delivering his Budget Vote in Parliament recently, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, said that in light of this, South Africa and Brazil would host a cultural season to promote people-to-people relations. South Africa and Brazil face similar challenges in relation to socio-economic difficulties.

Based on the principle of reciprocity and the agreement on cultural exchanges between the two governments, Russia and South Africa, the Russian Federation hosted a departmental delegation, which included South African artists during the official opening and launch of the SA-Russia Seasons from 29 November to 4 December 2016. In that same engagement, the National Library of South Africa initiated discussions on future collaboration with the Boris Yeltsin Library.

The Cultural Seasons opened opportunities for artists, including the Mzansi Youth Choir, which have been invited to participate in a choir festival in China in 2018.

April 2017 also marked the launch of the South Africa-China People-to-People Exchange Mechanism. This started a new chapter in our relations with China.

The department, through its agency, the National Film and Video Foundation, will also showcase their best films at the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) festival in China in June 2017. This the second edition of the festival, which was initiated under the auspices of the BRICS Cultural Agreement signed in 2015.

“In an effort to foster people-to-people relations within our own continent and to heighten socio-economic and political relations, we hosted cultural seasons with Algeria and Gabon last year.

“We believe that through internationalism and multilateralism, together with our partners, we shall build a world characterised by greater inclusivity and equality.”
The South African civil aviation industry has been under the spotlight recently as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conducted an audit of the country’s competence in relation to aviation safety oversight systems.
Travellers flying across South Africa’s skies and using one of the 13k+ aircraft on South Africa's aircraft registery should feel safe and secure.

That’s the message, following the release of preliminary results as South Africa’s performance and improved safety measures have seen it rated as the number one safest country in Africa when it comes to aviation.

Overall, the 2017 report shows safety and aviation standards in South Africa have improved by more than 3,43%. Before the audit, South Africa was at position 41 globally in relation to ICAO’s Effective Implementation and at position two in Africa.

On Monday, 22 May it was announced that South Africa’s ICAO audit results had risen from 83,83% to 86,71%, with South Africa’s level of Effective Implementation of ICAO’s Critical Elements significantly higher than the world average of 60%.

This also currently puts South Africa at position 33 globally. The SACAA says completing an audit without a significant safety concern is crucial for a country. ICAO may identify what is referred to as a “Significant Safety Concern” for the audited country with regard to its ability to properly oversee its air operators/airlines and airports, which could effectively result in a decision to ban airlines and other operators from flying into or out of a country.

The programme is achieved by assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of eight critical elements of a safety oversight system by member states as detailed by ICAO.

The elements are as follows:

  • primary aviation legislation
  • specific operating regulations
  • state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions
  • technical personnel qualifications and training
  • certification and approval obligations
  • technical guidance, tools and the provision of safety critical information
  • surveillance obligations
  • resolution of safety concerns.

– Source: Traveller24

Dr Andre Schulz, Lufthansa Group General Manager for Southern Africa, says they are proud to have played a "major role in connecting South Africans to the world, and the world to South Africa over the last 55 years".
Sunday, 14 May, saw the European airline celebrating 55 years of successful operations in the country, since launching its first scheduled operations between Germany and South Africa on 14 May 1962.

The airline has seen major growth from its first days of offering two-weekly flights from Frankfurt to Johannesburg through a series of intermediary stops in Africa using the Boeing 720B – the industry’s best long-haul aircraft at the time – with four connections via Salisbury (Harare), Nairobi, Khartoum and Athens, which took about 16 hours to complete.

Today, the airline boasts 24 weekly flights, serviced by the Lufthansa Group’s airlines non-stop flights, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Edelweiss from Johannesburg and Cape Town to various European destinations through the Lufthansa Group’s Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich hubs and five additional flights per week between Frankfurt and Johannesburg using the Boeing 747-8.

Cape Town is currently serviced by three weekly flights from Frankfurt, using a newly refurbished Airbus A340-300. Dr Schulz says the airlines will extend its frequency to five weekly flights from October 2017, using an Airbus A340-600.

“In addition, the Lufthansa Group is also proud to announce that a new airline will commence its European winter seasonal service to the South African market. Eurowings, the Lufthansa Group’s low-cost fully owned subsidiary, will commence its Cologne – Cape Town direct route from 5 November 2017," says Dr Schulz.

“The next 55 years for the Lufthansa Group’s South Africa service is extremely exciting," says Dr Schulz.

"We look forward to continuing our growth in South Africa by providing and improving on our best in class travel experiences to travellers, as well as our best-practice industry processes and products. With the objective to continually improve our products and provide a better travel experience for our passengers, the next 55 years will no doubt see further investment and innovation.”

– Source: Traveller24
Atterbury Property’s iconic Mall of Africa secured its place among top honourees from around the world in the highly coveted international VIVA (Vision, Innovation, Value, Achievement) Awards, announced in Las Vegas, United States of America, on Sunday, 21 May 2017.
Atterbury’s Mall of Africa holds the honour of being the only mall on the African continent to achieve a place in the awards in this category this year.

The VIVAs are an initiative of the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) and are the most recognised achievement for professional excellence in the global retail real estate industry.

Each year, the VIVA Best-of-the-Best Awards honour the most outstanding examples of shopping centre design and development, sustainability, retail store design and marketing, worldwide. They have been claimed by the world's best companies and shopping centre professionals.

But, the finalists first have to go through a rigorous regional round before they can be considered for the awards. As a gold winner of the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ (SACSC) Retail Design and Development Awards, the ICSC's regional awards programme, Mall of Africa was automatically entered in the prestigious VIVA global awards.

Mall of Africa is South Africa's largest shopping mall ever built in a single phase. With over 130 000 m² of retail space, it is home to over 300 shops, restaurants and services. The mall’s unique architectural appearance is inspired by Africa’s geological features and iconic landscapes, leading the way for its achievement in the VIVA design and development category.

– Source:
The Cradle of Humankind is hosting the first display of the new Homo naledi fossils.
The exhibition is the largest collection of ancient fossil hominids ever put on display to the public.

It will include the skeleton of Neo, a remarkably complete adult skeleton dubbed one of the greatest fossil finds of the 21st century.

A few weeks ago, scientists revealed the world-famous Homo Naledi likely existed alongside early humans.

The exact age of Homo Naledi has been a mystery so far, and a source of controversy since the 2015 announcement of his discovery.

– Source:
A Western Cape Chardonnay has been named as the world’s best.
Paul Cluver, an Elgin winery, received the Platinum Best in Show Award for its Seven Flags Chardonnay 2016 by the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017, which were announced recently.

Another Western Cape winery, Klein Constantia, received a Platinum Best in Show Award for its Vin de Constance, one of the estate’s well-known sweet wines.

More than 200 experts started the judging process for this year’s awards in London last month.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, congratulated both establishments for their wins at the Decanter World Wine Awards, which is one of the world’s largest wine competitions.

“Over 17 000 entries were recorded for the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards. Winning top awards at this competition, speaks to the high quality of Paul Cluver and Klein Constantia’s wine offerings. Their wins are excellent promotion of our wine industry.”
South Africa has won Gold again at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London and scooped the prestigious President’s Award, which goes to the President’s favourite exhibit at the show.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) team at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show were jumping for joy recently when they learned that they had won South Africa’s 35th gold medal in 42 years of exhibiting at the prestigious show.

Designers, David Davidson and Ray Hudson, the SANBI team, staff and volunteers were on tenterhooks since the judging process and a visit by Queen Elizabeth who toured the exhibits after the judges had made their decision.

“The waiting is so difficult,” said Lihle Dlamini, SANBI’s Director of Marketing and Communication, who was part of the team at the show. “But this makes all the hard work worthwhile. We are so proud to be receiving another gold medal as well as the President’s Award for South Africa. It is just fantastic!”

The euphoric designers, Davidson and Hudson, said that receiving the President’s Award was beyond their wildest dreams. They could not stress enough that this win was a team effort and it would not have come together without the help of the wonderful group of SANBI staff and volunteers.

With its theme, Windows on Biodiversity, the circular exhibit with its stunning backdrop of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is a rich and varied voyage of discovery.

On display were plants that represented all 10 of South Africa’s national botanical gardens: Free State, Hantam, Harold Porter, Karoo Desert, Kirstenbosch, Kwelera, Lowveld, KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria and Walter Sisulu.

“The richness of our biodiversity is one of South Africa’s greatest natural assets,” said Dr Tanya Abrahamse, SANBI CEO. “South Africa is home to nearly 10% of the world’s plants and contains three regions that have been declared global biodiversity hotspots, so it is fitting that we celebrate this heritage this year at Chelsea.”

A win at Chelsea has a far-reaching effect. The SANBI stand is one of the “must-see” attractions of the Chelsea Flower Show, drawing many of the over 150 000 visitors to the grounds of the Royal Hospital over the five days of the event.

– Source:
Two South African cities have earned places in a Top 26 List of Major Cities with the Highest Quality of Life in the World. They are Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The list, compiled by Deutsche Bank, forms part of their annual Mapping the World’s Prices Report, which for the first time this year includes a ranking of the quality of life in 47 international cities.

The list took into consideration: Purchasing Power, Safety, Healthcare, Cost of Living, Property Price to Income Ratio, Traffic Commute Time, Pollution, and Climate.

Johannesburg was included at the 25th spot. Deutsche said its inclusion was largely due to its great property price to income ratio helping its overall tally.

Cape Town is in the Top 20 – at number 17 – thanks also to its high score in good property price to income ratio, as well as climate.

Wellington in New Zealand clinched the top spot, with the least pollution of any of the ranked cities, and top 10 scores in four of the other categories.

Edinburgh was second with best traffic commute time, second best healthcare (Vienna in Austria ranked highest for healthcare and came in at third position overall), and third best pollution ranking.

– Source:
Due to exceptional public demand and sold-out shows in the first phase of the world tour, Johnny Clegg has added additional South African and #London shows to his "Final Journey World Tour", according to his management team.
There will now be a second show at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on Friday, 30 June; a return season of three extra shows at the Teatro at Montecasino from 10 to 12 August; and a second show at Eventim Apollo Apollo in London on Friday, 18 August.

For the Johannesburg fans, there is a Dinner Package for Saturday, 8 July.

The Johnny Clegg Final Journey Tour schedule is:
  • 30 June and 1 July – Grandwest Arena, Cape Town
  • 6 to 9 July – Montecasino, Johannesburg
  • 29 July – Durban ICC Arena, Durban
  • 10 to 12 August – Montecasino, Johannesburg
  • 18 and 19 August – Eventim Apollo, London
  • 2 September – Dubai Opera, Dubai.
Tickets for the South African dates are available through London tickets are available from and Dubai tickets are available from

“Tickets for this unmissable event are selling fast as fans ensure they don’t miss this South African on his Final World Tour,” said Real Concerts manager, Jeanette Gombert Odgers‎.

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South African writer and anti-apartheid activist, Breyten Breytenbach, received the 2017 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, named after the anti-communist Polish poet and philosopher, at a ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, recently.
"Staying true to your ideals is a challenge, but the life of this year's laureate demonstrates that it is worth it to be faithful," said Katarzyna Herbert, the poet's widow.

Born in Cape Town in 1939, Breytenbach left South Africa for Paris in the early 1960s after becoming an opponent of apartheid.

He married in France but since his wife was of Vietnamese descent, he was unable to return to South Africa, where so-called mixed-race marriages were illegal.

Breytenbach, however did, return to his homeland in secret to engage in the anti-apartheid struggle, but was discovered and jailed.

French President Francois Mitterrand helped secure his release in 1982. He then returned to France where he became a citizen.

Breytenbach has published some 50 books, including The True Confession of an Albino Terrorist and numerous volumes of poetry, written mainly in his native Afrikaans.

Breytenbach read his poetry at the Warsaw ceremony and also spoke of his affinity with Zbigniew Herbert's work.

Nominated for the Nobel Literature Prize in 1991, Herbert was a potent symbol of Poland's struggle for national independence against the oppressive intentions of its neighbours to the east and west. He died in 1998.

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South African music icon Brenda Fassie is one of the women featured in the comic book anthology, “Femme Magnifique”.
These comics “celebrate women who crack ceilings, take names, and change the game”, reads the Femme Magnifique Kickstarter website.

South African author Lauren Beukes wrote the comic and Anja “Nanna” Venter drew the artwork.

“I was approached by US comic book editor Shelly Bond to write on a South African for the Femme Magnifique anthology,” said Beukes. She worked with Bond previously on graphic novels Survivors’ Club and Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom.

Both Venter and Beukes work at the same office, but had not collaborated before. “We’ve been dying to do something together for ages,” said Venter. “She received an invitation to participate and immediately cornered me to do art.”

Beukes said Fassie had an incredible voice, both in her singing and in how fearless she was in being herself. “Her songs made the personal political, from Black President to Too Late for Mama, she sang about the lived black experience.

“Nanna and I pitched Brenda Fassie, because we thought she would be the most fun to do,” explained Beukes.

It was a way to introduce Fassie to an international audience along with other female heroes, from astronaut Sally Ride to Nina Simone and Michelle Obama, all featured in the anthology.

Venter said she felt pressure to do justice to an icon such as Fassie. “Brenda was the first person to say that she ultimately ‘belonged to the people’. She had an immense celebrity which has always been well-documented, and part of the public domain in South Africa.”

The story is a biographical look at Fassie’s life and cultural legacy. “Like the rest of the comics in the anthology, it’s only three pages long, so it was hard to condense it,” said Beukes.

It will be released in September and the team at Femme Magnifique are working on international distribution.

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South African tennis star Lloyd Harris is one of 14 players from 12 countries who have been selected to receive the first-ever International Player Grand Slam Grants financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF).
The new programme will provide total funding in 2017 of US$650 000 (R8,6 million) to selected players from around the world as a contribution towards their competition-related costs with the aim of helping them to develop as professional tennis players and compete in Grand Slam tournaments.

The GSDF committee has awarded grants to players who meet specific age, ranking and regional representation criteria and show exceptional potential.

The following six men and six women will receive US$50 000 (R660 000) grants: Lloyd Harris (RSA), Christian Garin (CHI), Ilya Ivashka (BLR), Jurabek Karimov (UZB), Duckhee Lee (KOR), Elias Ymer (SWE), Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA), Ons Jabeur (TUN), Rebecca Peterson (SWE), Sabina Sharipova (UZB), Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) and Renata Zarazua (MEX).

US Open chairperson Katrina Adams said on behalf of the Grand Slam tournaments: “This important new initiative will provide necessary support to players that we believe show the potential to rise to the top of the game, ensuring that more nations are represented at the highest levels.”

The GSDF was originally established in 1986 to encourage and increase competitive opportunities in developing tennis regions. With annual contributions from the four Grand Slam tournaments, the fund has become an effective means to develop competitive tennis worldwide.

The fund has contributed over $45 million to tennis development since its inception, with over US$3,1 million available for distribution in 2017.

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The SA Rugby Sevens Academy on Sunday, 28 May, won the Howard Hinton Sevens in Tours, France by defeating a New Zealand Select 22-7 in the final to round of a great week for SA Rugby’s sevens programme.
On 21 May, the Springbok Sevens team were crowned HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions and later the feeder system proved efficient as well, with the Academy side winning in Tours.

SA Rugby Sevens Academy Manager, Marius Schoeman, was pretty pleased with the performance and determination of his squad.

“We played against a very good team from New Zealand in the final and won well, so it was pretty pleasing, even more so because we did it with such a young squad. It was their first tournament of the year, so they had to learn quickly,” Schoeman said.

Schoeman believes that a number of the players will be able to contest for places in the Blitzboks squad in future.

– Source
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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