Issue 289 | 17 August 2017
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While South Africa continues to celebrate women for their contribution towards the country's freedom and democracy during Women's Month, Africa's first elected female Head of State was recently in the country on a State Visit.

President Jacob Zuma recently hosted Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Her visit came two days after a National Women's Day commemoration that was held in Galeshewe, Kimberley. Speaking at a media conference at the conclusion of the official talks on 11 August, President Zuma said President Sirleaf was not only an inspiration to women throughout the African continent, but to everyone irrespective of gender, race or any other form of description. "The confidence which the people of Liberia and the rest of the continent have in you, and the fact that you have successfully completed your two terms as the President and Head of State with excellence, is a sure sign and proof that Africa is on the right path," President Zuma said.
South Africa and Liberia have a long-standing relationship dating back to the years of the liberation struggle.
"We shall never forget the role that your country and other like-minded states played in ensuring that the people of South Africa enjoy the freedom they have today," President Zuma said.
President Zuma said the two countries agreed to deepen cooperation across a number of fields and take these relations to a higher level. He added that the visit "has afforded us an opportunity to review a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest".
"It is pleasing to note that we are of the same mind in relation to how and what our continent and, of course, the world should look like," he said.
Although the economic activities between the two countries are still at a relatively low level, there are ample opportunities to further expand economic relations.
In this context, the presidents recalled the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Technical Cooperation that was signed in December 2015, which has the potential to enhance trade relations.
Currently, the major South African businesses that have large investments in Liberia are MTN and DSTV. President Zuma encouraged more private-sector companies to invest in Liberia. "Given the abundant business opportunities that exist between our countries, we have agreed to look into improving an enabling environment to ease the manner of doing business in our respective countries.

"We agreed to finalise the signing of a Visa Waiver Agreement for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports soon.
"We have also agreed to speed up discussions and finalisation of other bilateral instruments on agriculture, tourism, health, energy, water and sanitation, among others.
We are determined that our countries should continue to work together to take our relations to greater heights," he said. President Zuma wished Liberians well as they prepared for their upcoming elections and committed to provide technical support and assistance in this regard.
  The election victory will see President Kenyatta serve a second presidential term, having ascended to the office for the first time in 2013.
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, who has won the Kenyan presidential elections, held on Tuesday, 8 August 2017.

President Zuma extended his congratulations and best wishes to President Kenyatta and the people of the Republic of Kenya.

President Zuma recalled the historic State Visit he undertook to Kenya in October 2016, during which he held fruitful bilateral talks with President Kenyatta. It was hailed as a remarkable success following the signing of several new agreements. The signing of these agreements was a demonstration of the determination of both countries to further strengthen bilateral relations.

South Africa and Kenya share a long historical relationship and President Zuma said South Africa looked forward to working with Kenya under President Kenyatta to consolidate relations and implement existing agreements.
  The visit, on Wednesday, 9 August 2017, took place against the backdrop of the 3 June 2017 general elections in the Kingdom, which saw the inauguration of a new Coalition Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in his capacity as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, recently paid a Working Visit to Maseru.

Deputy President Ramaphosa, accompanied by Retired Justice Frederick Wereme, Chairperson of the SADC Oversight Committee on Lesotho, consulted with the new Government, leaders of opposition parties, and chiefs and civil-society stakeholders in the Kingdom, charting the path for the full implementation of SADC decisions on constitutional and security sector reforms.

The Working Visit by Deputy President Ramaphosa formed part of preparations for the Facilitator and the Government of Lesotho to provide reports on the reform process to the SADC Double Troika Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, on 17 August 2017.

Upon concluding his multisectoral consultations, Deputy President Ramaphosa said he was encouraged by the various stakeholders' commitment to peace and stability in the Kingdom and said the consultations would enable SADC to develop appropriate support for the country.

During the visit, Prime Minister Thabane indicated that planning was underway for a multiparty dialogue that would complement a national multistakeholder dialogue which enjoys the support all major constituencies in Lesotho and is expected to frame the reform process in the Kingdom.
  The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has confirmed the appointment of National Treasury Director-General, Dondo Mogajane, to the bank.
"The BRICS NDB has confirmed that the Director-General of National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, has been appointed as the new director representing South Africa," National Treasury said recently.

Mogajane's appointment follows the expiration of former Reserve Bank Governor, Tito Mboweni's, term of service as Director of the NDB in early July.

The former governor commenced his term as South Africa's director at the NDB on 3 July 2015 for a two-year term, which ended on 2 July 2017.

Treasury said the nomination of Mogajane by the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and subsequent appointment would ensure that no additional costs were incurred by government in remunerating an appointment from outside the Public Service. The move will also enhance strategic alignment and collaboration between the Government of South Africa and the NDB.

The NDB was established by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

The bank, which lends money to developing countries to help finance infrastructure projects, is seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, in accordance with articles 11(a), 12(b) and (c) of the NDB Articles of Agreement, the NDB has also confirmed the following appointments:
  • the Deputy Minister of Finance, Sfiso Buthelezi, has been appointed as the Alternate Governor of the NDB for South Africa
  • the Deputy Director-General for Economic Policy at National Treasury, Monale Ratsoma, in his capacity as Acting Deputy Director-General for International and Regional Economic Policy, will continue to serve as alternate Director of the NDB for South Africa.
These appointments are in line with the practice from the other founding members of the NDB, whose representatives are from their countries' ministries of finance and treasury departments. – Source:
  The Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship was visiting South Africa to acquaint himself with Canada's visa services provided in South Africa.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Hlengiwe Mkhize, hosted her Canadian counterpart, Ahmed Hussen, in Pretoria on Monday, 14 August.

"Minister Hussen is visiting South Africa to acquaint himself with Canada's visa services provided in South Africa and gain knowledge of the immigration context in southern Africa," said the Department of Home Affairs.

As part of his visit, Minister Hussen undertook a tour of the Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Centre and met with Minister Mkhize to discuss issues of mutual interest. – Source:
A R1,2-billion facility near Saldanha Bay is set to alleviate South Africa's gas shortage and broaden its energy mix.
Sunrise Energy recently revealed its new Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) import and storage facility in a move that is likely to boost the gas' availability in South Africa. The facility received its first load from a LPG ship in May and facility manager William Bopape said his port had been busy ever since.

The facility is in many ways a pioneer in the gas sector, with South Africa owning only one significant other import facility in Richards Bay. Pieter Coetzee, CEO of Sunrise Energy, said establishing the plant was not an easy venture, because the industry was still in its infancy. He said Sunrise had to take full market risk, but he believed the facility would open up the LPG market, especially in the Western Cape.

Worldwide, countries use an average of 20% of gas for their energy needs, but in South Africa, it is only 3%. Energy Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, said at the unveiling of the facility that LPG was underutilised in South Africa.

She said unlike other years, there had been no emergency briefing this year due to a shortage of LPG. "I believe this facility contributed to that."

She said LPG should be promoted to the same level of other energy sources, adding that government was investigating the deregulation of LPG pricing as infrastructure such Sunrise develops.

Sunrise's significant enhancement of the market will bring competition to the gas market and bring prices down, said the Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel. He said gas was cleaner and cheaper. "Potentially, this facility could bring down cost of production of business and household spend." – Source:
A South African student's poster was selected as part of an international design project to raise global awareness about the dangers of extensive plastic pollution in our oceans.
University of Pretoria (UP) student, Sascha Saddul's, work was one of 10 selected for the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference exhibition in New York. His was the only South African contribution.

The poster project, curated by renowned communications designer and design educator, Professor Helmut Langer, is an international design project in which 33 universities on five continents participated.

As part of the Green Bauhaus Communications Project 2017, 10 posters were selected to be exhibited at the UN Ocean Conference in June at the UN Headquarters in New York.

An Information Design student, Saddul (21) is passionate about creating unique and interesting visuals – in film, photography or design. Saddul said he was surprised when he found out his design had been selected but excited and honoured that his work was being exhibited for such an important cause.

Established to stimulate local and global sustainable development, the Green Bauhaus Foundation is a multicultural global communications project with universities and academies from five continents.

The theme for the Green Bauhaus Project was "Save the Oceans – Stop Plastic Pollution".

Saddul's poster, titled: Killer Fashions, was inspired by couture fashion. Saddul said he tried to show a concept that had been seen and heard of many times in an interesting and unexpected way. "I had this visual in my mind of a fish getting caught in a net [and] thought it would be interesting to display it as a fashion statement, as if they fish is wearing the plastic net," Saddul said, "almost aestheticising something that is awful yet happens daily".

According to the UN Environment Programme, up to 80% of all litter in the ocean is made up of plastic, and eight million tonnes of plastic lands up in the ocean. Source:
Former Independent Media photojournalist, Phando Jikelo, was recently named a co-winner in the Top News Category of the prestigious Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest.
Jikelo, who now works for Independent Media's sister company ANA Pictures, won the prize for his photo series, entitled: Grabouw Housing Protest. He shares the prize with Alejandro Martinez Velez from Spain who won for his heart-wrenching series, Migrants in Belgrade, the Rossiya Segodnya media group said recently.

Independent Media and ANA Pictures are both part of the Sekunjalo Group headed by Dr Iqbal Survé. Dr Survé congratulated Jikelo and said this award was an acknowledgement of his excellent work.

"We must not forget the reasons why he was in Grabouw on that day, and how dangerous the situation was. I commend him for being a fearless photojournalist. As an ardent news follower, I have, over the years, been able to identify the styles of many of our photojournalists, Phando being one of them. He has the eye and the fearless heart of a photojournalist."

Jikelo, 33, said he had not expected to win the category. He said the award was confirmation that excellence came with passion and hard work.

The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest aims to support young photographers and draw public attention to the challenges of photojournalism in today's world. It is a platform for young photographers who draw our attention to the people and events around us.
  Boasting a fresh rebranding of its cable cars, Table Mountain Cableway reopened recently after a two-week annual shutdown for maintenance and upgrades.
Exciting new changes to Cape Town's popular tourist spot – and one of the official new 7 Wonders of Nature – include an exit and entrance switch at the top station and resurfaced pathways. The Café and Visitor Centre also have new looks after a few changes.

"Work done during the annual maintenance period ensures we meet the highest global cableway safety standards set by the Swiss Governing Body for Cableways," says Cableway's Managing Director, Wahida Parker.

"Delivering a world-class offering is something we constantly strive for, so during this year's shutdown, we took the opportunity to make some important changes that will further enhance the visitor experience," she adds.

Parker says that the changes made are based on feedback from visitors and suggestions or ideas from staff. – Source: Traveller 24
  South African actor John Kani is reportedly joining the cast of Jon Favreau's live action remake of "Lion King".

According to TheWrap, the actor – who will be reprising his role as King T'Chaka in Black Panther – is said to be joining as Rafiki, the wise baboon who acts as Mufasa's royal adviser.

Other cast members who have been confirmed for the remake include Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa and John Oliver as Zazu and Billy Eichner as Timon.

In addition, Entertainment Weekly has also confirmed Captain America: Civil War's Alfre Woodard will be joining as Sarabi, Mufasa's wife and Simba's mother.

The film is set to release in United States theatres on 19 July 2019. – Source:  Channel24
International rap trio Migos is making their way to South Africa!

The rappers, well known for their hit Bad and Boujee, are set to hit South Aafrican shores in October as part of their Culture Tour.

Local record label Mabala Noise, who is behind the massive concert, made the announcement on their social media accounts. According to the label, the rap group will perform in Durban on Friday, 20 October, at the Durban ICC, and again in Johannesburg on Saturday, 21 October, at the Ticketpro Dome. – Source:
Two young South African choirs have brought chills to the world stage recently with Tuks Camerata bringing the house down in Spain, and the Drakensberg Boys Choir doing the same in Japan.

Tuks Camerata's performance – at the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona – was so brilliant that Choral Stream has pinned it to the top of their Facebook page, and said: "The University of Pretoria's Tuks Camerata absolutely brought the house down with this glorious performance of Schmidt and Barrett's arrangement of Indodana". Who else is inspired?"

Meanwhile in Japan, the Drakensberg Boys Choir School has made South Africans very proud with their tour of the country.

KwaZulu-Natal teacher Pamela Couzyn says: "The Drakensberg Boys Choir School is in the final week of a six week tour of Japan. The tour has been a phenomenal success and the Japanese have been all embracing of our unique and truly South African brand. The Drakie boys are brilliant brand ambassadors. – Source:

Paralympian Ntando Mahlangu has broken a world record.
The teenager was competing at the 2017 World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.

The men's 200-m Silver medallist at the Rio Paralymics, Mahlangu set a new world mark in the T42 (amputees) 100-m event.

His winning time of 12.01 seconds meant he improved on a four-year-old record which belonged to Germany's Heinrich Popow. Mahlangu clipped 0.10sec off the old mark.

It was 15-year-old Mahlangu's second Gold medal of the championships, having won 200-m Gold earlier.

"I'm very happy about the world record," said Mahlangu. "I'm here to do my best. I wasn't expecting a world record, but definitely a fast time. I wanted to run below 12 seconds, but I cannot complain; it's wonderful for me to achieve this at such a young age."
  South Africans Benji Daniel and Alex Burger recently sailed their way to victory in the World 29er Championships in California.
It was a phenomenal achievement for the young pair, considering they have only being sailing together for six months.

It wasn't all smooth sailing, however. Going into the final day of competition with the worst result of a fifth place during the series, the duo looked to have wrapped things up for the title. But a 33rd place in their penultimate race meant they could take no chances in the final one. They responded in style – taking the front from the start and holding on until the World Championship was secure.

"We've had worse days", Daniel told World Sailing afterwards. "We wanted to end it in style", he added after the South African team finished ahead of Benjamin Jaffrezic and Leo Chauvel of France, and their French compatriots Theo Revil and Gautier Guevel to take top spot.

Burger added that the 29er was a fun and exciting class, while also being extremely competitive. "This is not a kid's race; it's physical and it's competitive," he said of the class that is considered a feeder to the Olympic 49er skiff class.

"This is a major achievement and we would like to say a massive congratulations to Benji and Alex for bringing the world 29er title home", said SA Sailing chairperson Peter Hall.

"What is even more exciting, is that these are two young guys with a great future ahead of them. This, together with the excellent results of Asenathi Jim and Sibu Sizatu at the Olympic 470 class pre-world and world championships, bodes very well for elite sailing in South Africa in the years to come. This is the result of a very well-structured development programme being managed by double Olympian Roger Hudson."

A total of 129 teams from 17 countries competed in the 29er World Championships over six days of competition at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, California. – Source: Sascoc
South Africa's top female referee Aimee Barrett-Theron celebrated Women's Day on a memorable note as she took charge of the opening match of the Women's Rugby World Cup (RWC) between defending champions, England, and Spain in Dublin.
It is an honour to be named as the referee for the opening match of the World Cup and to be part of this fantastic showcase of women's rugby," said Barrett-Theron.

"It is also a special way to celebrate Women's Day.

"I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to officiate matches between some of the World Cup teams in New Zealand earlier in the year, and that was the perfect preparation going into the tournament."

Barrett-Theron and Cwengile Jadezweni, who was also a member of the referee panel at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester last year, have been in Ireland preparing for the international spectacle, which runs from 9 to 26 August.

Jadezweni has been named an assistant referee for the match between France and Japan after being called up as a late replacement to the referee panel.

Barrett-Theron's appointment as the referee for the opening match follows on an incredible two seasons in which she officiated at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the Women's Six Nations and the HSBC Women's Sevens World Series, while she also took the whistle in Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in New Zealand in April.

Her other notable achievements include becoming the first female referee to take charge of an U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week match in July and in the FNB Varsity Shield, presented by Steinhoff International.

Barrett-Theron, who has become an inspirational figure for many young female referees, also offered advice to young women with aspirations to follow in her footsteps and said: "The last few seasons have been an incredible journey for me, and I encourage anyone who wants to take up refereeing to believe in themselves and do their best. If you give everything, anything is possible in life". – Source:
  Caster Semenya capped a superb 2017 IAAF World Championships campaign for South Africa by capturing the team's third Gold medal in London on Sunday night, 13 August.
The two-time Olympic 800-metre medallist was a consummate winner of the two-lapper as she clocked a personal best and world-leading 1min 55.16sec.

American Ajee Wilson and Semenya's fellow Rio Olympic medallist, Francine Niyonsaba, tried their best to make the pace quick to blunt Semenya's final efforts.

Her victory margin was a hugely convincing 0.76 sec over Niyonsaba as Wilson hung on for Bronze in 1:56.65.

Earlier, Lebogang Shange had walked the race of his life to end fourth in the men's 20-kilometre walk on the final day of the championships.

South Africa thus won six medals at these World Championships, with Semenya winning two of them, Bronze in the 1 500 m and then Gold in the 800 m.

She last won World Championships Gold in Berlin, Germany, back in 2009.

That put them into an incredible third spot on the medals table, with Semenya's Gold medal being joined by Wayde van Niekerk's 400-m and Luvo Manyonga's Gold. There was also 200-m Silver for Van Niekerk, and two Bronze medals for Semenya (1500 m) and Ruswahl Samai in the long jump. – Source: Sascoc
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: Gladwin Komane


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