Issue 281 | 22 June 2017
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SACU, the oldest customs union in the world, is constituted of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.
President Jacob Zuma will attend the fifth SACU Summit to be held on 23 June 2017 in Swaziland.

The Summit of Heads of States and Government of SACU meets on an annual basis to discuss progress in the implementation of the agreed work programme. The summit also follows high-level consultative meetings undertaken by President Zuma in 2016 to discuss the SACU work programme.

Swaziland as the current Chair of SACU has successfully led a process that facilitated discussions within SACU on its transformation towards a developmental integration agenda. The summit will receive and consider a report from council on its activities with the purpose of providing strategic direction on development integration in SACU and to ensure that the SACU Agreement facilitates the implementation of this agenda.
President Zuma said the people of South Africa shared the loss of the German people and stood with them in this time of grief and mourning.
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and people of Germany following the passing on of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

President Zuma recalled former Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s momentous role in the reunification of Germany during the end of the Cold War. He will also be fondly remembered in South Africa for his invaluable support for South Africa’s own transition after 1994, especially also during his highly successful Official Visit to the country in September 1995, during which he was also accorded the honour of addressing the South African Parliament, as well as during the highly successful State Visit by former President Nelson Mandela to Germany in May 1996.
The Presidency said Deputy President Ramaphosa extended his profound congratulations to the people of Lesotho and commended them for conducting peaceful elections while urging all stakeholders to accept the outcome of the elections.
South Africa’s Deputy President and Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator, Cyril Ramaphosa, recently joined regional and international leaders in Lesotho for the inauguration of the Prime Minister-elect of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Dr Tom Thabane.

The inauguration followed the recent general elections that were overseen by SADC and African Union election observer missions and were seen as largely peaceful.

The Deputy President reiterated his view that the holding of democratic elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho underlined the determination of the people of the region and the continent to ensure good political and economic governance as part of the building blocks towards the renewal of the continent and the achievement of Agenda 2063.

Deputy President Ramaphosa has been mandated by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Swaziland, working with the support of the Oversight Committee, to convene a multistakeholder dialogue forum to build consensus for the implementation of SADC decisions, including the constitutional and security sector reforms and recommendations of the Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry. – Source:
The People’s Republic of China assumed the rotational chairship of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Forum for 2017 on 1 January and will hand over the chairship to South Africa on 1 January 2018. 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, recently participated in the meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations, hosted by the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, in Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said that BRICS had nourished Africa’s economic emergence.

“The historic ties of solidarity, which were forged at the Bandung Conference of 1995, have indeed created a new template for global affairs, as BRICS is increasingly being called upon to show demonstrable leadership on global issues, notably as we set new regimes for guiding our future global engagements.

“Our foreign policy envisions exactly the same aspirations for our domestic, regional and global agendas. South Africa believes that a people-centred development agenda based on the recently adopted sustainable development goals should be the basis for addressing the myriad of challenges that confront nations across the globe, including those of peace and security."

The Minister said that the United Nations (UN), with its near universal membership and vast agenda, remained the primary multilateral institution and the centre of global governance.

“Our key priority is the advancement of the reform agenda in order to make the UN more representative and to further strengthen it. In its current state, the UN has failed to curb unilateral actions by powerful nations who undermine its founding principles, very often with disastrous consequences.” 

Referring to the recent terror attacks in the world, including in BRICS countries, the Minister re-emphasised that terrorism in all its forms and from whichever quarter could not be condoned.

“We join the clarion call for the total isolation and eradication of all terror groups. They have no place among the community of nations.”

“Further to this, the prevalent pockets of instability and insecurity scattered throughout the world, including our own African continent, remain a challenge. In order to overcome this, it is essential that we identify and consider an alternative narrative capable of tackling the complexity of these challenges.

“It is up to us as the BRICS collective to provide solutions for common challenges, to challenge the status quo where it is not benefitting the masses of our people, and to constantly seek justice, equity and development in order to combat the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”

The BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations will meet again as per the established BRICS practice on the margins of UNGA 72 in New York in September 2017.
The meeting, which was held in the West African country, among others, discussed preparations for the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and agreed to have a dedicated informal session of African Ministers of Trade to engage and coordinate Africa’s position on the WTO.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, recently attended the third African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade meeting in Niger.

The Ministerial Meeting, which was preceded by the Sixth Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Negotiating Forum and the third meeting of senior trade officials, adopted the Modalities for Tariff Negotiations and Trade in Services.

Minister Davies said this would facilitate the exchange of tariff and services offers, as well as the finalisation of the CFTA Agreement.

The Minister further emphasised the importance of enhancing intra-Africa trade and investment, and regional economic integration through the CFTA.

The CFTA negotiations were launched by the AU heads of state and government during their Assembly in June 2015 in Johannesburg.

The President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, who is also the Champion of the CFTA, has been mandated to report on the outcomes of the AU Ministers of Trade and progress made in the CFTA negotiations to the AU Summit next month.

The trade ministers further welcomed Togo’s offer to host the 16th Session of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in August this year and agreed to assess future United States-Africa relations in line with the new USA Administration’s Trade Policy, released in March 2017.

The 15th AGOA Forum was held in Washington last year under the theme “Maximising US-Africa Trade and Investment: AGOA and Beyond”.

During the US-Africa Business Summit held recently in Washington DC, African ministers requested the US Government to provide clarity on its policy approach to US-Africa relations.

This was the first engagement that was held with President Donald Trump’s Administration. – Source:
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors concluded its June week-long session on Thursday, 15 June 2017, under the leadership of Ambassador Tebogo Seokolo, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in Vienna.
One of the main highlights of this session was the adoption of the IAEA’s two-year Programme and Budget for the period 2018 to 2019. Negotiations for the budget started in early January 2017.

In welcoming the adoption of the budget, Ambassador Seokolo thanked member states for their cooperation and flexibility, especially during this period when most countries were facing financial difficulties. In this regard, he stated that the “adoption of the budget is an expression of the commitment of member states to the work of the organisation in keeping with its motto of “Atoms for Peace and Development”.

The adoption of the IAEA budget will enable it to continue to discharge its mandate, which, among others, is to support its members to utilise nuclear science and technology to meet their developmental needs and priorities. In this context, the IAEA assists developing countries, including those on the African continent, in efforts to eradicate malaria, diseases associated with tsetse flies, and Ebola, among others. Additionally, the IAEA, using nuclear techniques, plays a prominent role in detecting and treating animal diseases (zoonotic), which impact directly on human health. Furthermore, the IAEA contributes greatly to harnessing the power of the atom in advancing food security, industrial applications, agricultural production and water resource management.

Other key outcomes of this session of the Board included the adoption of the IAEA Annual Report for 2016. This report highlights, among others, the contribution of nuclear energy to electricity generation. It is indicated in the report that there are currently 449 nuclear power reactors in 30 countries and the installed nuclear capacity is now the highest it has ever been at 392 gigawatts electrical. Twenty new reactors were connected to the grid in the last two years, the highest number since the 1980s, while 60 power reactors are being built around the world, mostly around Asia. These advanced nuclear reactors are safer and more reliable and will assist to meet the energy needs of countries as well as further reduce greenhouse emissions.

The Board of Governors is the major policy-making organ of the IAEA between its annual general conferences. Ambassador Seokolo was elected to Chair the Board of Governors of the IAEA on behalf of South Africa for the period October 2016 to October 2017. South Africa is an active and highly regarded member state of the IAEA due to the development of its peaceful nuclear programme. Through the power plant in Koeberg, the country generates 5% of total electricity supply from nuclear. South Africa is also the second-largest producer of medical isotopes, which are used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Through its research reactor, SAFARI-1, which has for over 50 years operated safely, securely and reliably, South Africa exports this life-saving treatment to over 60 countries the world over.
The conference was aimed at promoting Madagascar as an investment destination and further profiled the country’s economic opportunities, particularly the Presidential Priority Projects available in the market that South African investors and development finance institutions can take advantage of.
The Madagascar Investors Conference was recently hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa at the OR Tambo Building.

The conference was addressed by the President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

South Africa remains Madagascar’s largest African export market, while Malagasy imports of South African goods accounted for approximately 5,7% of the country’s global import basket, reflective of both countries’ ability to exploit the natural advantage of geographic proximity.

Madagascar’s exports to South Africa have seen a steady and consistent growth in the previous five years from R588 million in 2012 to over R1,6 billion in 2016.

Both countries are keen to facilitate investments to each other’s markets, hence the convening of the Investors’ Conference for sharing of investment opportunities in Madagascar with the South Africa private sector.
A total of 27 local companies in the agro-processing, automotive, infrastructure, built environment, mining and capital equipment, chemicals, plastics and cosmetics sectors will be part of the mission that will get underway from 26 June.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will lead an Outward Selling and Investment Mission to Kenya and Tanzania with the aim of increasing trade and investment between South Africa and the two countries.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said the mission would strengthen the already existing cordial relations between South Africa and both Kenya and Tanzania, respectively.

“Furthermore, the missions will honour commitments made by President Jacob Zuma during the state visits to Kenya in October last year, and Tanzania last month, to strengthen relations and explore investment and trade opportunities in two countries,” said Minister Davies.

The Minister further added that the investment mission was also in line with the dti’s strategic outcome-oriented goal of building mutually beneficial regional and global relations to advance South Africa’s trade, industrial policy and economic development objectives.

Of the 27 companies that will partake in the investment mission, 20 have received assistance from the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme.

One of the objectives of the scheme is to increase export market access for South African products and services. The programme for the mission will include business seminars, site visits, mini exhibitions and business-to-business meetings.

The other seven companies are funding themselves on the trip to Nairobi in Kenya, as well as to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The mission, which will conclude on 30 June, will also enable South African companies to identify trade and investment opportunities in Kenya and Tanzania. – Source:
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, and the Minister of Natural Resources of the Republic of Rwanda, Dr Vincent Biruta, have signed an environmental cooperation agreement between the two countries.
Ministers Molewa and Biruta met in Kigali, Rwanda, on 16 June 2017 to discuss the significance of sustainable development in the protection and enhancement of the environment, as well as the importance of a clean environment for the health and well-being of the peoples of the two countries, and the African continent.

In signing the Letter of Intent, the ministers have agreed to share the commitment to implement the principles set at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, and the UN Conference on Environment and Development’s Agenda 21, developed in 1992. The ministers have also undertaken to work towards the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda through the 17 sustainable development goals signed at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. 

The agreement notes that South Africa and Rwanda are aware of the regional and global nature of environmental issues and the need to find cost-effective and long-term solutions in addressing these issues through international cooperation and the importance of coordinating joint activities of the two parties.

“South Africa and Rwanda share the common concern and responsibility to enhance cooperation in the fields of environmental protection and sustainable development for present and future generations,” said Minister Molewa.

In terms of the agreement, South Africa and Rwanda will cooperate in the fields of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable utilisation of biological resources; protected areas management; the illegal wildlife trade; environmental monitoring, compliance and enforcement; sustainable consumption and cleaner consumption; the development of the green economy in both countries; and other areas mutually agreed upon.
South Africa will assume the role of Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August 2017, taking over from the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The country will host the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government from 9 to 20 August 2017 in Pretoria. The summit will take place under the theme: “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains”.

The summit, which will take place on 19 on 20 August, will be preceded by the Senior Officials’ Meeting from 11 to 14 August, Ministerial Meeting on 16 August and the Double Troika on 18 August.

Members of the media are invited to apply for accreditation by filling out the form in the following link

All fields in the template need to be completed for successful accreditation. The deadline is 14 July 2017.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) followed the opening of the Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation offices by Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, in March.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed an MoU for strategic collaboration in the implementation of programmes of the Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation.

The centre, which is located in Pretoria, is intended to strengthen regional integration through dedicated research to support Africa’s integration processes. It is also aimed at building the capacity of Africa’s trade negotiators in the ongoing Tripartite Free Trade Area and Continental Free Trade Area negotiations. The key objective is to promote the development of regional value chains to encourage diversification and structural transformation of the African continent.

“The main role of the centre will be to facilitate the implementation of the development integration approach that aims not only to promote trade but also regional industrialisation and infrastructure development. This implies that the centre will promote industrialisation on the African continent, thus supporting the continent’s drive to enhance productive capacity,” said dti Director-General (DG), Lionel October.

The MOU was signed by DG October and the UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa, Gana Fofang.

DG October said the continent’s reliance on exports of primary products was unsustainable and there was a need for a dedicated effort to promote value-addition.

Fofang said the partnership between the dti and the UNDP would ensure that the centre undertook and facilitated applied research and analysis, and collected evidence on policies and good practices in developmental regionalism, among others.
 – Source:
The country’s largest maize crop is expected later this year, says the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
The yield of maize is expected to be just more than 15 million tons, 101% higher than the 2016 crop, despite the drought.

“The three main maize-producing areas, namely the Free State, Mpumalanga and North West provinces, are expected to produce 83% of the 2017 crop,” said the department.

The bumper harvest is expected to have a knock-on effect on food prices, by bringing them down.

Despite the recent drought in southern Africa, caused by the El Niño climate phenomenon, there was more than double the average recorded rainfall in January and February, according to local weather services.

Surplus maize would most likely be exported, said Grain South Africa. “Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, those are three countries that have ordered a lot of maize from South Africa,” Grain South Africa CEO, Jannie de Villiers, told Reuters.

South Africa’s domestic consumption of maize was approximately 10,5 million tons, he said. Anything over that could be exported, showing the resilience of the country’s agriculture sector. – Sources: DAFF, World Health Organisation, Stats SA
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has welcomed the approval of the Garden Route as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
“The positive response to the application to declare the Garden Route a biosphere reserve is most encouraging, not just for us, as a country, but also for the people of the region,” said Minister Molewa.

Biosphere reserves are learning places for sustainable development whose aim is to reconcile biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) members voted in favour of the inclusion of the Garden Route as a biosphere reserve at a meeting in Paris, France, recently.

“The Garden Route, one of South Africa’s prime tourism regions, is an area rich in terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems where conservation of the rich biodiverse region is ably reconciled with sustainable use practices,” she said.

The UNESCO states that biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognised.

The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) is the ninth such reserve to be declared in South Africa.

“The GRBG is located within the Cape Floristic biodiversity hotspot region along the southern coast of part of the country.

“With a total area of 698 363 ha and a population of 450 624 people, the area includes the Tsitsikamma, Goukamma and Robberg marine protected areas; Wilderness Lake Ramsar Site; Garden Route National Park; and two components of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage site: the Nelson Bay Cave and the Langkloof Valley, the latter being critically endangered,” the department said.

The official launch of the GRBG will take place later in the year. – Source:
In what has been hailed as a world first, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) launched the country’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI) HIV Plan in Durban recently on the penultimate day of the Eighth South African AIDS Conference.
A beaming Steve Letsike, chairperson of the SANAC Civil Society Forum, told delegates and guests at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre that the plan would see South Africa as the first in the world to produce an LGBTI national framework.

“I am excited today, this has taken us 10 years,” said Letsike, as she recounted a meeting she attended at the organisation in 2006 when there was no LGBTI sector.

“Many people and organisations have fought and negotiated and influenced to get LGBTI on the agenda.

Letsike said that the plan was telling the world that South Africa was starting to be inclusive and that at a local facility level that included schools and courts, it was telling people that the LGBTI community wanted services.

“This document leads us to that journey,” she said.

The plan is part of the South African National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, TB and STIs for 2017 to 2022.

According to the plan, its goal is to provide guidance to reverse the burden of disease from HIV, STIs and TB and to promote a rights- and evidence-based environment for the country’s LGBTI people.

The plan has five objectives and targets in the areas of health, empowerment, psychosocial support, human rights and evaluation.

Health targets include reducing HIV by 63%, TB by 30% and increasing the detection of STIs by 70% over five years.

The plan also looks to reduce internalised and external stigma and discrimination against LGBTI people and to offer or refer for counselling and harm reduction.

It follows a peer-led approach to identify high-risk individuals and provide them with relevant information, psychosocial support and information on available services.

Studies have shown that the exclusion and discrimination of LGBTI people leads to, among others, high rates of school dropout, separation from home and families, resulting in absent familial and social support and unemployment due to having less stable home lives and fever job options. – Source: African News Agency
Hisense South Africa recently produced both their one millionth television set and one millionth fridge at its local manufacturing facility in at Atlantis, Western Cape. This coincided with the factory marking its fourth year of operation in Atlantis outside Cape Town.
The 27 000-m² high-tech manufacturing facility, situated in the Atlantis Industrial Park, has contributed significantly to the local economy and employs employs over 500 people on a full-time basis.

Hisense South Africa said the production milestone was a culmination of commitment, dedication and hard work that helped grow the high-tech facility to what it was today.

Hisense's factory is a much-needed boost to the local community of Atlantis, where poverty and social issues have plagued the local community. It has invested considerable resources into training and social upliftment projects in the community, contributing to the well-being of approximately 2 000 people in the community.

Albert Li, Head of Manufacturing at Hisense South Africa, said achievements by the Atlantis manufacturing facility could be attributed to the commitment of all the staff.

“To be able to celebrate not only the production of a million television units but also one million fridges, is a rare occasion indeed. It speaks of the dedication that all our loyal staff members have, not just towards the brand, but also to a job well done,” Li said.

The Atlantis facility produces 1 500 Hisense televisions and 1 200 fridges daily during an eight-hour shift, translating into an output of 22 seconds per fridge and 20 seconds per television, on average. It produces seven different fridge models currently, while capital expenditure deployment plans are in place to manufacture more high-end products. 

Apart from the South African market, the factory also exports to 13 other African countries, including Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Lesotho.

“Hisense’s export strategy has certainly been a success as sales have grown from 5 million USD in 2014 to 29 million USD in 2016,” said Jessie Ma, Head of Export at Hisense South Africa. – Source:
Coega, which is the operator of the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Port Elizabeth, has reported a double-digit growth in new investment in the year under review, resulting in it being lauded as the “best investment destination in Africa”.
At a time when business operations are struggling to keep and maintain a healthy balance sheet due to the tough economic environment, the Coega Development Corporation has posted impressive performance figures for the 2016/17 financial year.

Its financial performance report released recently shows that revenue generated amounts to R532,77 million against a budget of R451,2 million. The corporation also bagged 16 new investments worth R11,69 billion, describing the performance as “beyond expectation”.

“Coega for the first time in 17 years hit half a billion rand in revenue generated. Investors increased from 36 to 40 within a year – a milestone given the tough current economic environment in South Africa,” says Coega Chief Financial Officer, Lionel Billings.

During the year under review, Coega spent R776 million on small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), of which R17 million went to 11 SMMEs based in Nelson Mandela Bay. It created 16 500 jobs and 5 886 benefited from its training and skills development programme.

“Of particular interest, in line with Coega’s vision of being a catalyst for the championing of socio-economic development in the Eastern Cape, and South Africa as a whole, is the number of jobs created during the financial year under review,” said Coega’s Head of Marketing, Ayanda Vilakazi.

“The cumulative jobs created since Coega’s inception 17 years ago increased from 94 732 to 102 794. This includes the 16 500 jobs created this financial year.”

“These results,” said Billings, “show that Coega continues to be a pillar of hope in the Eastern Cape, and through its projects countrywide, the impact has reached more than six million people.”

The Chinese Vice President, Li Yuanchao, on a recent visit to the Coega SEZ, said: “I have been to many developing countries and SEZs in the world – the Coega SEZ is by far the best of them all.” – Source:
The world's biggest social networking website, Facebook, opened its new African office in Bryanston, Johannesburg, recently. The new building was custom-designed for the popular networking platform.
Nunu Ntshingila, head of Facebook Africa, said its continental operations had expanded considerably from its initial five staff members and that the company needed bigger premises, which catered for Facebook's special needs. The social network giant had previously rented office space in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg.

The new building in Bryanston houses local Facebook employees, and boasts meeting rooms that enables staff to connect with Facebook's international team.

The office even caters for young moms returning to work, with a unique mother's room. Each of the building's three floors are adorned with local artwork. – Source:
iSimangaliso Wetland Park's CEO, Andrew Zaloumis, says the “the future of our oceans and of our natural heritage as a whole is ultimately dependent on our youth".
This past World Ocean Day, which took place on 8 June, saw local schoolgirl, Buntu Sibiya, representing South Africa's very first World Heritage Site Park in New York.

The 14-year-old Sibiya joined a group of young people from 13 of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) Marine World Heritage Sites around the globe to launch a campaign called #MyOceanPledge.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York as one of three youth selected to address the assembly on behalf of young people globally, Sibiya's message to over 2 000 delegates, 40 heads of state and royalty highlighted the importance of the ocean.

“As one of the 49 UNESCO jewels of the ocean, iSimangaliso is important to our community as a source of recreation and employment, protection of animals – like nesting turtles – and resources such as fishing,” says Sibiya. “People need to realise that plastic pollution is killing our oceans and turtles, overfishing damages our food source and ocean mining threatens our heritage.”

According to iSimangaliso, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco spearheaded the signing of the #MyOceanPledge. He was joined by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, as well as Adrian Grenier, UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment. 

Each of the 32 participating youth from 13 World Heritage Sites in 11 countries also signed their personal pledges.

Accompanying the Grade 9 learner from Mtubatuba Christian Academy, who also shows gratitude for being part of an event like this, was her father, Park Operations Director Sizo Sibiya.

“What an experience," says Sibiya. “This trip presented me with an extraordinary opportunity as a first-time overseas traveller. My dad made it clear to me that we were travelling for work but I had fun. 

"I was in New York for the first time, yet I had an exclusive opportunity to set my foot in the UN Assembly Buildings, giving a talk to a number of the world’s heads of state and over 2000 delegates. I never knew I could do this, but UNESCO’s marine programme, together with iSimangaliso and my school, made this a reality.” – Source:
Geologist Tshiamo Legoale has made history by being the first South African to be crowned the FameLab International Champion for a project which researched a method of using wheat to harvest gold from mine dumps.
“Not only am I the first South African … but I am the first African to win the international award. It’s a very humbling experience because when I was in Cheltenham, I realised how much pride I had given South Africans,” Legoale said.

Legoale recently won the award at the Cheltenham Science Festival, which was held in the United Kingdom.

The 27-year-old woman said the competition enabled scientists to have a platform where they could discuss the work they did and how it impacted the environment, society as well as the economy.

FameLab is a communications competition designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three-minute presentations.

Legoale did her research project with Mintek on phytomining.

She said phytoremediation, which is a method that uses plants to remove heavy metals or unwanted elements from oil spillages or any polluted subtracts or soils, has been studied by many scientists in the past.

“About three years ago, we decided at Mintek that if we can use vegetation to take out elements that we don’t want … can’t we do the same to extract elements and minerals that we do want? So, we looked at the translocation and hyper accumulative capabilities of certain plants and we arrived at wheat.

“Also because in the Free State area, there are a number of gold [mine dumps]. Wheat grows very nicely and is able to handle the climatic conditions of the province. We decided to bring the gold dumps and wheat together and do a phytomining project, using wheat to hyper accumulate gold,” Legoale said.

She encouraged young people who want to be scientists to pursue their dreams, as it is possible to achieve.

She is a beneficiary of one of government’s bursary programmes as well as a geologist and researcher at Mintek’s small-scale mining and beneficiation unit.

Mintek is a science council reporting to the Department of Mineral Resources, which is responsible for, among other things, research and development in mining skills development. – Source:
For the first time in the South African theatre history, the country’s six state-funded performing arts institutions (PAIs) have come together at the Market Theatre in an inaugural Arts Incubator Trade Fair that is shining the spotlight on their arts development programmes
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, officially opened the Incubator Trade Fair at the Market Theatre on 19 June 2017.

The weeklong Arts Incubator Trade Fair showcases a diverse offering of theatre, poetry and dance produced and presented by Artscape, the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs), the Durban Playhouse, the South Africa State Theatre, the Windybrow Arts Centre and the Market Theatre. In addition, the Market Photo Workshop is presenting a new exhibition and documenting the Trade Fair.

Over the past two years, each of the six PAIs has received a grant from the Department of Arts and Culture’s Incubator Fund to unleash the economic potential of the creative sector through a structured programme of skills training and development of locally produced content in the performing and visual arts sectors.

The Incubator’s Trade Fair is bringing them altogether under one roof at the Market Theatre from 19 to 25 June 2017.
Trevor Noah is set to dazzle the BET Awards stage as one of the superstar presenters on the night.
The comedian will join the likes of Yara Shahidi, Jaime Foxx and La La Anthony who will all be presenting awards at the show.

Local stars will be flying the South African flag high at this year’s awards with Yvonne Chaka Chaka being honoured by the BETs, as well as musos Nasty C, Babes Wodumo and Amanda Black who have all received nominations.

“The rich performance line-up certainly lives up to the prestigious nature of the annual ceremony and Africa is undoubtedly well-represented with 12 African personalities being honoured across three different categories. It is also exciting that Africa’s own Trevor Noah, an acclaimed international star, will be presenting an award,” Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Viacom International Media Africa, Alex Okosi, said. – Source:
Beauty queens from around the world will gather in KwaZulu-Natal this year as the Mrs Universe pageant makes its way to the African continent for the first time.
Durban is set to dazzle by hosting the Mrs Universe 2017 pageant on 2 September. The event, the first time on African soil, will take place at People’s Park, Moses Mabhida Stadium, attracting contestants from 84 countries.

In keeping with the theme, “Empowering Women. Creating Change”, the pageant recognises married women between 25 and 45 who are doing amazing work to uplift their local communities.

Besides getting the chance to show off what Durban has to offer, the pageant will also showcase local artists, dancers and entertainers to an international audience.

And while contestants will be engaging in various CSI initiatives around the province, there will be plenty of time for them to enjoy the beautiful sights KZN has to offer as they will be involved in a week of activities prior to the pageant. – Source:
Junior Springbok No 8, Juarno Augustus, was named the World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Tournament as the curtain came down on the three-week tournament at a glittering function in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Augustus, fondly known as “Trokkie” by his teammates, crossed the tryline in each of the team’s five matches in the international spectacle to finish the tournament with a grand total of seven tries. This marked the most tries by a player in the 2017 tournament.

Augustus touched down twice against France in their opening match of the tournament, with his second try being the vital try to draw the match, while he scored once against Georgia and Argentina, twice in the semi-final against England and added another in the bronze playoff against France on Sunday.

He went up against England captain Zach Mercer and his teammate Gabriel Ibiotye, and New Zealand’s Tiaan Falcon and Will Jordan for the prestigious award.

“It is a surreal feeling to win this award,” Augustus said. “I didn’t think I would win it.

“It is an honour and privilege for me, and certainly a highlight in my career.

“I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches and the public who voted for me. I’d also like to thank my family for their unwavering support throughout my career. This is a very special moment.”

The Junior Boks finished third in the tournament after beating France 37-15 in the bronze playoff.

New Zealand’s Baby Blacks were crowned champions after thumping England 64-17 in the final. – Source:
South Africa scored four tries to beat France 37-15 in the second Test at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday, 17 June, to wrap up the series with a match to spare.
South Africa's tries were scored by Jan Serfontein, man-of-the-match Siya Kolisi, Coenie Oosterhuizen and Elton Jantjies in what turned out be a good day in the office for the improving Boks.

Jantjes scored four conversions and three penalties as he continued to impress with the boot and France’s tries were scored by South African-born Scott Spedding and Damian Penaud with Baptiste Serin scoring the conversion and Francois Trinh-Duc the penalty.

The final Test takes place at Ellis Park on Saturday where the Boks will be looking for a white wash. – Source:
Versatile athlete Caster Semenya extended her advantage in the IAAF Diamond League season race in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, 15 June, storming to another convincing win in the women's 800-m race at the fifth leg of the series.
Semenya chased down Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi to cover the two-lap distance in 1:57.59, with Niyonsaba holding on for second place in 1:58.18.

In the pre-programme, Rynardt van Rensburg won a closely contested 800-m “national' race.

Van Rensburg led at the bell and held on to cross the line in 1:48.98, with Norwegian athlete Andreas Roth taking second place in 1:49.17. Another South African, Henco Uys, grabbed third spot in 1:49.56. – Source:
Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai secured a one-two for the South African contingent on Sunday, 18 June, dominating the men's long jump discipline at the sixth leg of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.
Manyonga earned victory with a best leap of 8.36m, while Samaai took the runner-up spot with a jump of 8.29m.

Former Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena finished sixth with a 7.98m attempt.

National champion Pieter Conradie was in fine form in the men's 400-m B race, taking the win in 45.88.

Compatriot Rynardt van Rensburg, competing in the 800-m national contest ahead of the main programme, grabbed third spot in a season best of 1:45.73.

The seventh of 14 legs in the Diamond League series will be held in Paris, France, on 1 July. – Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: Gladwin Komane and René Marneweck


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