Issue 288 | 8 August 2017
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South Africa and Zambia have good bilateral political, economic and social relations underpinned by strong historical ties dating back from the years of the liberation struggle.
President Jacob Zuma undertook a Working Visit to Lusaka, Zambia, on 5 August, where he officially opened the 91st Agricultural and Commercial Show as a Guest of Honour, at the invitation of President Edgar Lungu of Zambia.  The show was organised under the theme: "The Promotion of Green Economy".

President Zuma also paid a visit to the first President of the Republic of Zambia after independence, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, at his home in Lusaka. The 93-year old Zambian statesman was released from hospital recently.

President Zuma found President Kaunda in good spirits and expressed his wishes for good health and many more years of a peaceful and enjoyable retirement for this highly regarded selfless freedom fighter and humanist who made Zambia the home of thousands of South African exiles during the struggle against apartheid. 

South Africa and Zambia have signed 21 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) over the past years. An MoU concerning cooperation in the field of agriculture, which enables the two countries to share agricultural development experiences, capacity-building and skills development programmes, among other areas of cooperation, is among the MoUs signed.

President Jacob Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana.
President Jacob Zuma has, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, congratulated the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, for winning the Rwandan Presidential elections held on Friday, 4 August 2017.
President Zuma has reiterated South Africa's commitment to continue working with the Rwandan Government under the leadership of President Kagame to consolidate the political, economic and trade ties between South Africa and Rwanda.
The Gertrude Shope Annual Dialogue Forum was formed to serve as an institution of women discussing issues related to African peace-building and development.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted the third Gertrude Shope Annual Dialogue Forum on Conflict Resolution and Peace-Making from 2 to 4 August 2017.

The forum serves as the South African chapter of an African association of women involved in conflict resolution and peace-making. At the event, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also launched the first Gertrude Shope Peace Publication.

The launch of the Gertrude Shope Annual Forum was a result of the need to assist in establishing a database of all South African women involved in peace-making and capturing their experiences to inform and assist communities to address conflict and build peace.

It was furthermore envisaged that the Gertrude Shope Annual Dialogue Forum would form an important foundation, as a resource base for the newly developed DIRCO Mediation Support Unit. 

The 2017 Gertrude Shope Forum was again pre-empted by a Capacity-Building Programme on Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation for South African women from different communities. This programme was hosted from 28 July to 1 August 2017.

The event was organised as part of the call to make every day a Mandela Day. To this end, the event took place under the theme for the 2017 Nelson Mandela International Day: "Take Action Against Poverty".
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, visited the Mpumalanga province on Saturday, 5 August 2017, where she joined Premier David Mabuza in donating much-needed goods to two charities situated in Mshadza, outside Hazyview, Uthando House and Mshadza Special Care Centre.

Uthando House was established in 2000 as a place of safety that cares for orphaned and displaced children. The Mshadza Special Care Centre caters for children with special needs.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Premier Mabuza were joined by representatives of various diplomatic missions accredited to South Africa.
South Africa continues to attract investment, despite global challenges, with foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country increasing.
In a recent statement, the International Cooperation, Trade and Security (ICTS) Cluster said South Africa's total trade with the East African region amounted to R25,5 billion in 2016, up from R23,6 billion in 2015 – representing a 7,92% increase.

The cluster was reporting on work done in the first quarter of 2017.

Through several bilateral engagements, South Africa continues to see growth in regional, continental and global trade and investment. This has resulted in increased sales of manufactured value-added exports from the Industrial Policy Action Plan priority sectors by R62,2 million. This has brought total sales for the year to R4,2 billion.

"The ICTS Cluster's work of targeting emerging and traditional markets, and our product and market diversification strategy, have led to an increase in FDI inflows of R15,3 billion during the fourth quarter (January to March 2017), particularly in the energy and chemicals sectors. This brings the total investment pipeline to R50,2 billion," said the cluster.

The investment pipeline consists of investment projects that have been committed to by project owners. Every year, a target amount is determined. The target amount for this year is R45 billion.

InvestSA, which was launched by President Jacob Zuma earlier this year, will engage in a range of activities to identify potential investment opportunities, targeting potential investors and assisting and supporting them until the potential projects are turned into investment commitments. The amounts will then be added to the investment pipeline.

"These figures follow the recent announcement by the United Nations that global FDI has fallen by less than previously thought in 2016, and is expected to grow again this year and for 2018. This implies that, contrary to challenges often referred to around the world, as investment risk in the developing world, we continue to attract foreign investment," said the cluster.

The cluster said work was continuing to advance the country along a development trajectory that was sustainable and prioritised integration.
"Continental integration is the foundation for Africa's socio-economic development and a prerequisite for building stability, prosperity, peace and unity," the cluster said.

A key element of the Implementation Plan of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Action Plan is the development of regional value chains, which will contribute to SADC-wide industrialisation and investment.

SADC countries continue to collaborate on several issues, including food security and agriculture.

South Africa is actively involved in the Tripartite Free Trade Area negotiations and the Continental Free Trade Area.

These negotiations are aimed at promoting a developmental integration agenda that combines market integration with industrial and infrastructure development. These arrangements will ensure an integrated regional market and address the challenges of small and fragmented markets, improving Africa's proposition as a viable destination for investment.

Work is also underway to promote active participation of the private sector in the regional integration agenda in order to promote intra-Africa investment and the development of regional value chains.

To further South Africa's contribution to the socio-economic development of the region, the 37th SADC Summit will take place from 9 to 20 August 2017 under the theme: "Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industrial and Regional Value Chains".

South Africa takes over from Swaziland as the chair of SADC from August 2017 to August 2018.

"During our tenure as chair, we will ensure that we harness the participation and involvement of the regional private sector in the implementation of the SADC Regional Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap," said the cluster. The summit will be held at the Department of International Relations in Cooperation's OR Tambo Building in Pretoria. – Source:
South Africa will participate in the upcoming Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit, which will take place in China in September.
Reporting on work it had done in the first quarter of 2017, the International Cooperation, Trade and Security (ICTS) Cluster said the country would participate in the summit scheduled to take place in Xiamen from 3 to 5 September.

"We look forward to assuming the chair next year (2018). During our tenure, we will focus on deepening BRICS cooperation for common development, enhancing of global governance to jointly meet our shared challenges, carrying out people-to-people exchanges to support BRICS cooperation and institutional improvements, among others," said the cluster.

The cluster said South Africa's role in the BRICS forum continued to grow.

"At the same time, we are alive to the changes in governments of some of our BRICS partners, such as Brazil, and continue to assess how this could affect the cohesion of the forum."

Turning to the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), the ICTS Cluster said it supported the formation of the bank as an alternative and effective funding mechanism to finance infrastructure development and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries.

"We wholly support its formation. As it is well known by now, South Africa is the proud host of the BRICS Regional Bank. To date, the NDB has extended loans worth US$1,5 billion towards funding suitable projects in BRICS countries, mostly in the renewable energy space. Included in this amount is a US$180-million loan to Eskom to assist with investments in renewable energy projects."

The operationalisation of the African Regional Centre is one of the key priorities of the NDB. South Africa is working with the NDB to complete the process of setting up the bank's regional office, which is expected to be in operation by year end. – Source:
Issues related to trade and investment promotion were discussed at the Seventh Meeting of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Ministers of Trade in China.
"The trade ministers established collaborative mechanisms among BRICS countries, which are aimed at encouraging information-sharing and capacity-building, through activities such as expert dialogues and workshops, and building a common understanding on, among others, an e-port network, investment facilitation, trade in services, e-commerce and intellectual property rights," said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

In a statement following the two-day meeting in Shanghai, the dti said the key objective was to promote a better understanding of the regulatory framework, share best practices and promote practical cooperation with a view to enhance trade and investment.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said cooperation would be strengthened between the investment promotion agencies so as to promote exchange of information on investment facilitation measures to encourage peer learning.

Consideration will be given to organising investment promotion activities on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit with a view to enhance intra-BRICS investments. The summit will take place in China in September.

BRICS countries have also agreed to promote technical cooperation and capacity-building, and BRICS cooperation in multilateral forums such as the World Trade Organisation.

At the meeting, Minister Davies emphasised the need for practical cooperation among BRICS countries, rather than rule-making.

"Cooperation among BRICS countries must be underpinned by development and the need to promote inclusive growth," said Minister Davies, who also spoke of the need to promote complementary value-added trade so as to ensure that BRICS cooperation contributed to the industrial development agenda of its members.

On the sidelines of the Seventh BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting, Minister Davies met with his Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan, and agreed to enhance bilateral trade relations between the two countries, including promoting value-added trade. – Source:
South Africa will commemorate National Women's Day on 9 August 2017 at Galeshewe, Kimberley, in the Northern Cape under the theme: "The Year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward".
The 2017 National Women's Day celebrations pay tribute to women and their role in the liberation struggle. This year's celebration coincides with the centenary of struggle icon OR Tambo.

This year's event also takes place against a backdrop of a poor performing economy. Invariably, women will be most affected by the economic decline and bear the brunt of its resultant negative economic and social effects.

The 2017 celebrations will build on the announcements made by President Jacob Zuma with regard to women economic emancipation, addressing issues of gender-based violence and give more impetus to government and society's efforts in this regard.

This year marks the 61st anniversary of the Women's March to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956. On that day, up to 20 000 women of all races, class and religious pesuasions protested against the extension of pass laws. The march was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and our society at large.

The national celebrations will also include the National Dialogues on Violence against Women to help combat the continued scourge of violent attacks and abuse against women. The dialogues are a platform for deepening democracy while ensuring safer and crime-free communities, especially for women and children.
As South Africa celebrated World Ranger Day, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, paid tribute to game rangers who dedicated their lives to the protection of South Africa's rich biodiversity.
"Rangers in certain parts of South Africa face daily hardships in their efforts to protect many of our species, such as the elephant, rhino, cycad and abalone, from unscrupulous poachers. Our country's natural beauty derived from our enormous biodiversity is a key income generator and thus an important contributor to our economy through job creation and tourism.

It is through the actions of these brave men and women, who risk their lives daily to protect our natural world and our many species," said Minister Molewa.

World Ranger Day is supported by the International Rangers Federation, and is marked annually on 31 July to acknowledge game rangers as dedicated guardians of the world's natural heritage.

The Minister, in updating the successes linked to the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros in South Africa earlier this month, highlighted the importance of the Department of Environmental Affairs' community rhino ambassador's programme, saying emphasis is being placed on enhancing the community ranger model with a national career and roll-out plan.

In line with the decisions of the Rhino Conservation Lab, the Anti-Poaching Unit ranger training curriculum is being finalised to improve the ability of rangers to deal with any situation that befalls them.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, launched the 2017 National Science Week (NSW) at Nelson Mandela University's Missionvale Campus in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 5 August.
NSW is an annual celebration of science, engineering and technology, attracting thousands of learners and members of the public to workshops, science shows and lectures, which are held at universities, schools, science centres and public facilities countrywide.

This year's NSW is held from 5 to 12 August under the theme "Advancing Science Tourism", in recognition of the United Nation's International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

At the Nelson Mandela University's Missionvale Campus alone, more than 80 exhibits are showcasing the value of science to society in line with the theme. A comprehensive list of all the NSW activities across the country can be found on
A recent scientific discovery in South Africa, ancient fungi-like fossils, have once again put the country on the map in the palaeontology field.
A group of international researchers have discovered fungi-like fossils in rocks dating back 2,4 billion years in South Africa. This latest development once again displays the country's central role in global scientific research.

The fossils were found in the Ongeluk Formation in the Northern Cape, which was under water at the time the organisms were alive.

"Unless they represent an unknown branch of fungus-like organisms, the fossils imply that the fungal clade is considerably older than previously thought, and that fungal origin and early evolution may lie in the oceanic deep biosphere rather than on land," reads the researchers' paper, published in the journal, Nature Ecology & Evolution. "The Ongeluk discovery suggests that life has inhabited submarine volcanics for more than 2,4 billion years."

During a routine microscopic study of the lava, Professor Birger Rasmussen, from the Western Australian School of Mines at Curtin University, found the microfossils.

"I was looking for minerals to date the age of the rock when my attention was drawn to a series of vesicles and when I increased the magnification of the microscope, I was startled to find what appeared to be exquisitely preserved fossilised microbes," he said.

"It quickly became apparent that cavities within the volcanic rocks were once crawling with life.

"The new discovery has implications for the evolution of life on Earth, representing the earliest evidence of possible fungi by 1 to 2 billion years, and the earliest evidence of eukaryotic life by at least 500 million years," Rasmussen said.

He hopes this research will be able to answer fundamental questions about evolution on Earth, and beyond. – Source:
Excitement is in the air as Graskop Gorge Lift Company started work on the glass elevator project – a first for Africa – that's set to boost tourism in Mpumalanga.
The glass elevator that "will cost in excess of R40 million to construct", is situated near the Panorama Route.

Graskop Gorge Lift Company, that is heading the operation, says that people travelling on the R533 between Graskop and Hazyview in Mpumalanga can already see the machinery and construction in place, adjacent to the Graskop Big Swing.

"Work is going full steam ahead on a project that will add to the tourism offering of Graskop," says Graskop Gorge Lift Company, adding that the lift should be open by December 2017.

The elevator will allow tourists improved access to Graskop Gorge and waterfall, all while providing scenic views and giving visitors an adrenaline-fuelled experience.

"The development includes a glass lift that will transport guests down into the gorge where they can experience the forest via a 500-m elevated boardwalk and interpretation stations," says Graskop Gorge Lift Company. – Source:
Commemorating 10 years of welcoming guests to South Africa's malaria-free Eastern Cape province, Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve has announced a series of new developments, including new flights.
Iain Buchanan, Director of the reserve, says for a number of years, Mount Camdeboo was the family holiday spot, from there it grew into a vision of developing the property for conservation and eco-tourism.

To improve access to the Graaff-Reinet area for international visitors in particular, in partnership with PlettAirSafaris, Mount Camdeboo recently launched a new six-day weekly scheduled flight from Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route to the Graaff-Reinet airstrip.

"This new flight route will reduce travelling time to the area and makes an ideal Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay (with Cemair) – Graaff-Reinet (with PlettAirSafaris) flight route for those who don't have the time or inclination to drive," says Mount Camdeboo.

Added to this, in partnership with Fly Karoo, guests staying at Mount Camdeboo can now also discover some of the most spectacular spots on the reserve's mountain tops for an unforgettable sundowner with scenic helicopter flights.

Additional flight options include scenic flights over the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, Spandau Kop and the Valley of Desolation, with ground tours available as an add-on. While guests are currently able to explore this area on foot, Mount Camdeboo says additional developments will include the Milk River Gardens coming to life, creating a demarcated 1,6-km circular walking/ running trail for those wanting to get more active. – Source:
Pretty Yende has been bestowed with the ECHO Klassik Newcomer of the Year Award and is on her way back to South Africa to perform Mozart's "Requiem".
The opera star made the announcement of her win recently in a Facebook post in which she writes: "This is truly a dream come true for me, I am beyond honored to receive the Newcomer of the Year Award from ECHO Klassik. I am thrilled that my debut album A Journey has afforded me the thrilling luxury to be recognised by ECHO Klassik. I receive it as a deep encouragement to pursue my #prettyjourney joyously sharing this precious gift I have been entrusted with on the global world operatic stage. I am grateful to all my fans for their immense support and heartfelt thanks, especially to Sony classical international, to ECHO Klassik, to the ECHO KLASSIK Award Committee, and to all my fans in Germany."

The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, 29 October, in Hamburg, Germany, at the Elbphilharmonie.

Pretty will perform Mozart's Requiem with opera legend Sibongile Khumalo at Gold Reef City on Saturday, 12 August 2017. – Source:
Leading local promoter, Showtime Management recently announced on Tuesday that after recordbreaking runs in New York, London and Asia, The Illusionists Direct from Broadway will be in South Africa for the first time ever.
The show will be opening at GrandWest on Wednesday, 7 February 2018, for a limited season ending on Sunday, 11 February 2018. The show then moves to Montecasino's Teatro from Valentine's Day, Wednesday, 14 February to Sunday, 11 March 2018.

This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth. The Illusionists have shattered box office records across the globe and dazzled audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.

Audiences will witness stunning acts of grand illusion, levitation, mindreading, and disappearance. This group of world-class performers take their cue from the showmanship of the great illusionists of the past such as Harry Houdini and pair it with a new and updated contemporary aesthetic, whose set and costumes design lend the genre theatricality and artistry that has rarely been seen before. Collectively these performers have been seen by millions of people around the world and this production showcases their incredible talents together on stage for the very first time. – Source:
Luvo Manyonga has leaped to the gold medal in the men's long jump at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Manyonga, who had to settle for silver at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics, took the gold with his second round jump of 8.48 m.
American Jarrion Lawson finished second with 8.44 m.

Manyonga's compatriot Ruswahl Samaai took the bronze with a jump of 8.32 m.

Athletics South Africa has welcomed the two medals won by Team South Africa. Aleck Skhosana, the president of ASA, said that they were proud of what they had achieved so far.

"Congratulations to Luvo and Ruswahl for their outstanding personal achievements and putting South Africa on the map as lead players in the event. They are on top of the world and no one can take it away it from them.

"We also applaud the work put in by their respective coaches and Team SA support teams for all work done to make the environment possible for the athletes to achieve what they have.

"We also recognise the spirited performances of most of the athletes to keep the flag flying high, but in competition anything can happen. We are obviously hoping that athletes who are still in competition will contest fiercely to reach podium positions because what we are celebrating is not enough. Good luck to all remaining athletes," Skhosana said. – Source:
Cabinet has approved South Africa to submit its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC), says Communications Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo.
"Cabinet has approved the overall proposed package for this tournament, which is an economic bid that would minimise the demands on the fiscus as well as stimulate economic activity employment and empowerment," Minister Dlodlo said on Thursday, 4 August, at a media briefing in Tshwane on the outcomes of a Cabinet meeting.

According to the Minister, the tournament is expected to stimulate the country's economy by supporting government priorities, especially as it relates to preferential procurement and adherence to the Sport Transformation Charter and the sharing of the profits derived.

An independent Economic Impact Assessment commissioned by the South African Rugby Union (SARU), indicates a direct, indirect and induced economic impact of R27 billion over the two months of tournament related-activity.

The assessment further states about 38 600 jobs with a payroll of R4,4 billion, R5,7 billion to low-income families, R11 billion direct spend, about 200 000 foreign tourists to arrive for the tournament and estimated tax benefits to government of R1,4 billion.

"A successful bid by South Africa would consolidate its track record of successfully hosting mega events as well as positioning the country in the global mind-set as a winning nation and a leading sport tourism destination – with tourism having being identified as a national economic priority for job creation," Sports and Recreation Minister, Thulas Nxesi, said.

SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said that South Africa had a very competitive bid and it was technically superior.

"We will be able to host probably one of the best World Cups ever because we have the legacy of the stadiums that were built in 2010".

The outcome of the bid will be announced in November with Ireland and France being the other bidders.

Minister Dlodlo said Cabinet had approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on RWC 2023 and it would direct the bidding process for the RWC 2023, as well as ensure the country benefits economically from this event.

"Sports is said to be one of the most effective drivers of nation-building and the rugby sports programmes would enhance social cohesion. The programmes to be rolled out throughout the country leading to 2023 will leave a lasting legacy for the development of rugby in underprivileged communities," Minister Dlodlo said. – Source:
Crashing to the ground at the line, South Africa’s Caster Semenya came close to gatecrashing one of the greatest women’s 1500-metre finals at the IAAF World Championships in London on Monday, 7 August.
Semenya clocked 4min 02.90sec to snatch the bronze medal from the host nation’s Laura Muir by 0.07sec at the Olympic Stadium.

The race was won by Kenyan and Olympic 1500-m champion Faith Kipyegon in 4:02.59 followed by America’s Jenny Simpson who ran a superbly judged race to snatch second in a frenetic finish.

One of the highest-quality fields ever assembled lined up for the final track event of day four of the championships.

Semenya was just 0.06 sec outside her season’s best, set earlier in the competition and she’s still threatening Zola Budd’s SA mark of 4:01.81 set 33 years ago in Port Elizabeth.

The bronze medal boosts South Africa’s tally to three at these championships to go with Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai’s gold and bronze respectively in the long jump.

That puts South Africa fourth on the medals table behind the United States (nine), Kenya (five) and Ethiopia (also three but with a silver medal compared to South Africa’s one gold and two bronze).

That tally already equals their medal haul at the last championships just four days into the 10-day competition.

And with Semenya’s specialist 800-m event still to come and Rio Olympics 400-m champion Wayde van Niekerk still to go in the one-lap final and already into the 200-m semi-finals, things are looking good for South Africa. – Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: Gladwin Komane


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