Issue 303 | 23 November 2017
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Calls for SADC to play a monitoring role in Zimbabwe

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Luwellyn Landers, says he believes that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should play a monitoring role in Zimbabwe following the resignation of its long-serving President Robert Mugabe.

The Deputy Minister said this when he briefed the Portfolio Committee on International Relations in Parliament on Wednesday, 22 November, on the latest developments in Zimbabwe.

Following a 37-year reign as President after ushering the country into official independence as Zimbabwe in 1980, the Speaker of the Zimbabwean Parliament confirmed on Tuesday that the liberation leader had tendered his resignation following a military intervention, which saw the then President Mugabe being put under house confinement by the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF).

The Deputy Minister said following the resignation of former President Mugabe, the people of Zimbabwe should be given space to determine their way forward and that no solutions should be prescribed to them from other countries.

"SADC should play its monitoring role and monitor things as they happen to ensure that the proper processes are followed all the time and that they are in line with the Zimbabwean Constitution.

"From their past experience with the people of Zimbabwe, we have to allow the people of Zimbabwe to do what is expected of them without interfering," Deputy Minister Landers said.

The statement follows an eventful week that saw the ZDF moving in to seize control of the country on 14 November.

On 15 November, ZDF spokesperson, Major General Sibusiso Moyo, announced that the military had taken control of the country and called for calm.

He also assured the nation that President Mugabe and his family were safe and that the military intervention should not be viewed as a coup, but as a "bloodless correction".

On the same day, President Jacob Zuma, as Chair of SADC, issued a media statement expressing great concern of the political situation in Zimbabwe and appealed for calm and restraint and further called for dialogue to take its course.

Thereafter, President Zuma sent the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and State Security Minister, Bongani Bongo, as special envoys to Zimbabwe, where they had separate talks with Mugabe and the Military. On 21 November, the Summit of the Organ of Troika plus Chairperson of SADC was held in Angola, which took a resolution that both leaders of the Organ (Angolan President Joao Lourenco) and the Summit (President Zuma) should visit Zimbabwe on 22 November.

The Presidency later issued a statement announcing that in light of Mugabe's resignation, the trip had been postponed until further notice.  

Most Members of Parliament expressed a view that while the military intervention in Zimbabwe must not be celebrated, the people of Zimbabwe should be commended for a peaceful transition.

They agreed with the Deputy Minister Landers' view that there should be no political interference from any SADC member states. The Deputy Minister said SADC member states were on standby to assist in the Zimbabwe situation if and when the people of Zimbabwe request assistance. – Source:


The South African Government extends its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident and further wishes the injured a speedy recovery.
The Government and people of South Africa wish to convey a message of condolences to the Government and the people of Nigeria following a suicide bomb blast on 21 November 2017 that has left over 50 people killed and many injured.

In addition, South Africa reiterates its principled and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism.
  South Africa and Botswana meet annually at the level of the Heads of State within the framework of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) to review bilateral cooperation and discuss issues of common interest.
President Jacob Zuma undertook a Working Visit to participate in and co-chair the Fourth Session of the South Africa-Botswana BNC, held in Gaborone, Botswana, on 17 November 2017.

The BNC was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting on 14 and 15 November 2017.

South Africa and Botswana enjoy cordial relations which are informed by cultural ties and geographical proximity. The two countries cooperate on a wide range of areas, including transport, trade and investment, health, education, environmental issues, water, science and technology, agriculture, justice, immigration, energy, finance, culture, security, sport, etc.

Regarding economic cooperation, South Africa remains one of Botswana's major trading partners. Many South African companies operate in Botswana in various sectors.

President Zuma was accompanied by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology; Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation; and Tokozile Xasa, Minister of Tourism.
Africa is forging ahead with the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa, said recently.  
"Despite geopolitical uncertainty in the global climate change space, I would like to emphasise that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and will not be re-negotiated. We are resolute in ensuring its implementation. As Oliver Tambo said 'to go back means defeat'. We are therefore forging ahead with implementation," said the Minister.

Addressing a high-level segment of the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, Minister Molewa said the recent unprecedented hurricanes in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, floods and droughts in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia and fires in California, reminded the world of the dangers posed by climate change.

She further added that the dangers of climate change were in the process of increasing exponentially, and that countries could not delay action any longer to some point in the future. 

"Furthermore, slow onset climate change will have severe impacts on southern Africa, with shifting rainfall patterns, more frequent droughts and flooding causing devastating health, water, food and energy security impacts," said the Minister.

The Minister said the impacts of climate change would adversely affect the poorest South Africans the most.

"Therefore, we are investing heavily in taking adaptation action. Now is the time to act for the greater global good and future of generations. All countries have to transition to an inclusive and just low-carbon and climate resilient development pathway. The faster we transition, the less damage will result at lower cost, and with maximum benefits," she said.

She said the global transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future was bright and full of opportunity to finally achieve equitable, inclusive and just development.

The Minister stressed that South Africa's pre-2020 actions and its post-2020 Nationally Determined Contribution were designed to make a fair contribution to the global effort to tackle climate change.

For example, the accelerated roll-out of renewable and clean energy plans, in partnership with the private sector is among the many climate actions South Africa is implementing. This roll-out is designed to coincide with the progressive reduction of coal-based high-carbon emission infrastructure.

"To empower South Africa to further ramp up our levels of ambition in the context of a just and equitable transition, international cooperation enabling access to climate finance and technologies will be essential."

Minister Molewa also told those attending the session that there seemed to be little appetite to accelerate pre-2020 action, as exemplified by the fact that the Doha Amendment had not yet come into force and means of implementation support to developing countries was declining.

"The ramping up of ambition in the pre-2020 period by all actors is a crucial signal to our people that we are serious about fulfilling our commitments," said the Minister who urged all developed countries to urgently implement their pre-2020 pledges and increase their ambition, including the provision of additional, new and predicable support to developing countries.

"We want to stress that the success of next year's Talanoa Facilitative Dialogue is essential towards raising ambition in the post-2020 period. It is also essential for developed countries to honour their pre-2020 commitments," she said.

The 23rd COP23 to the UNFCCC started its meeting in Bonn on 6 November under the Presidency of Fiji, with the High Level Segment taking place from 15 to 17 November 2016. – Source:
  A South African delegation participated in the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Session of the Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Communication and ICT (CICT).
The meeting was held from 20 to  24 November 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The first Ordinary Session of the STC on Communication and ICT (CCICT-1) took place from 3 to 4 September 2015 at the AU Headquarters. The Ministerial CCICT was preceded by a meeting of senior officials from 31 August to 2 September 2015 in Addis Ababa.

The AU STC on CCICT-1 replaces the AU Conference of Ministers in charge of Communications and Information Technologies (CITMC). South Africa has served on the Bureau of the CITMC since its establishment in 2006.

South Africa was elected into the Bureau of the CCIT as the Rapporteur, representing the southern African region. – Source:
A United Nations (UN) peacekeeper from South Africa was recently awarded the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year in Vancouver, Canada.  
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, presented the award to Major Seitebatso Pearl Block as part of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial taking place from 14 to 15 November for her outstanding work on the frontlines of UN peacekeeping.

Created in 2016, the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

"Major Block is an inspiration to us all and a strong example of how peacekeeping is about our personnel taking personal initiatives and interacting with local communities to help find solutions to their problems, better protecting civilians and, in turn, saving lives," said Mr Lacroix.

Serving as an Information Operations Officer with the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) from July 2016 to July 2017, Major Block developed a mission-wide SMS campaign on conflict-related sexual violence to reach communities who would otherwise not be easily accessible.

Based in the eastern city of Goma, Major Block interacted extensively with Congolese women, men, girls and boys to better understand their concerns. She invested her personal time to train fellow staff officers and troops to be more aware of gender dynamics within the peacekeeping mission. This led the military component to develop more inclusive community engagement projects as part of the Protection of Civilians strategy combating illegally armed groups in Eastern Congo.

Upon receiving her award, Major Block said she was "honoured and privileged" and hoped the award would encourage other women to serve as peacekeepers. "I knew I had to take action from the many conversations I had with women's groups. As a peacekeeper, and as a woman, I think we have much to contribute to making the UN more inclusive and in tune with the communities we serve," she added.

The UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial brings together defence ministers and other senior representatives from more than 80 countries and organisations to discuss the challenges facing UN Peacekeeping, including the under-representation of women, and how to work together to find solutions.

Major Block is 32-years-old and married to a fellow South African army officer. They have two daughters and are based in Pretoria.
  President Jacob Zuma launched the third InvestSA One Stop Shop in KwaZulu-Natal on 18 November 2017. It is the third one in the country to be launched by President Zuma.
The launch took place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

The aim of the provincial Invest SA One Stop Shop is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said the value-proposition for the provincial one stop shops was the coordination and incorporation of the special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing matters.

"South Africa has excellent investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy and a host of investment incentives and industrial financing interventions that are aimed at encouraging commercial activity and, trade rules that favour a further expansion in South Africa's burgeoning levels of international trade," said Minister Davies.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu, said the facility would go a long way in facilitating foreign direct investment.

"Our long-term vision is to become a prosperous province with a healthy, secure and skilled population and acting as a gateway to Africa and the world. As guided by the Provincial Growth and Development Plan, we are focusing on different sectors of the economy such as maritime, drilling of oil and gas and chemical manufacturing.

"We continue to invite potential investors representing these sectors, from other parts of the globe, and directing them to all corners of the province, including the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone and the Dube Trade Port," said the Premier.

President Zuma launched the national Invest SA One Stop Shop for investors at the premises of the dti in Tshwane in March. This was followed by the launch of the provincial One Stop Shop office in the Western Cape in early September.

The InvestSA One Stop Shop is a government programme that aims to prioritise and promote investment in South Africa. – Source:
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign is taking place between 25 November and 10 December 2017. This is the 19th year of the campaign in South Africa and it will continue under the theme: "Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward".  
President Jacob Zuma will launch the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in the Eastern Cape on Saturday, 25 November 2017.  It will focus on the continued roll-out of national dialogues, which encourage people to talk about the scourge of gender-based violence.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will undertake the second community radio campaign under its Let's Talk Justice series, which brings government services to people by providing listeners with an opportunity to engage with officials on topical issues. The launch of a Sexual Offences Court during the campaign will also ensure better access to the justice system.

All people in South Africa are urged to wear a white ribbon as a symbolic pledge towards eliminating this scourge from our society. – Source:
  A South African university professor has won a prestigious award for her wide-ranging contributions to child health.
Heather Zar, a physician and scientist, has been declared one of the 2018 L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Laureates.

Zar has been recognised for her work on child health in Africa and triumphed above several other opponents from the Middle East and Africa.

The prestigious award is awarded annually and contestants are chosen from Africa and the Middle East, Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean – one contender per region.

This is in recognition of her wide-ranging contributions to child health, which have improved – and saved – children's lives across the globe, as well as helping to shape international policy.

Zar is the Head of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Director of Paediatric Pulmonology and the Director of the South African Medical Research Council Unit on Child and Adolescent Health at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She has conducted extensive research in child lung health, ranging from pneumonia and asthma to TB and HIV-associated lung diseases.

In a statement issued by UCT, Zar said it was humbling to be counted among such amazing women scientists, and a wonderful acknowledgement of the work they have been doing in child health over many years.

"The award reflects the extraordinary teams and people I am fortunate to work with and the strong collaborations that we have built," said Zar.

Respiratory illnesses are a few of the major causes of mortality and are incredibly debilitating illnesses affecting children worldwide. These illnesses are also considered serious complications in HIV-infected children. Zar has made invaluable contributions in epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention and management of respiratory illnesses, which has resulted in reductions in childhood mortality around the world.

Zar won the American Thoracic Society's World Lung Health Award in 2014 and is also known for her innovation in the development of a low-cost alternative for asthma spacers – using a simple 500-ml plastic cold drink bottle.

Possibly her most important work has been establishing the Drakenstein child health study. This unique birth cohort study is among the first in Africa to investigate comprehensively the early life determinants of child health and the link between early life illness and development of chronic disease. The information obtained from studies like this provides new knowledge to inform strategies for improved prevention and treatment of childhood illnesses.

This body of work has had a big impact on child health, improving management and prevention of childhood illnesses, and changing policy and international practice guidelines, including those produced by the World Health Organisation.

Zar now joins the likes of past laureates Valerie Mizrahi, Jennifer Thomson, Tebello Nyokong, Jill Farrant, and Quarraisha Abdool Karim – the only other South African women in science who have won the prestigious award. – Source:
Thanks to awesome talent, and the support of friends and strangers, South Africa fashion designer, stylist and photographer Lebogang Motsagi is living the dream in London at the moment… exhibiting at The Brick Lane Gallery.  
Before setting off on his exciting adventure, the artist and orphan – originally from Kimberley – thanked everyone who helped him by sharing, donating and retweeting his messages so that he could afford to travel to the United Kingdom, after receiving the prestigious invitation to show his work to a new international audience.

Lebogang was adopted by a church at the age of 14 after he lost his whole family. The story of his dream and determination to be a fashion icon made news in South Africa a couple of months ago, as he campaigned to raise the funds for his trip to London.

He is so grateful to all who "literally made my dream come true. If we can continue supporting & showing one another love in the same way you guys did to me, surely we will grow to not only become better individuals, but a better and prosperous nation as well".

Speaking to SAPeople from his exhibition – Thoughts In A Suitcase (The life of a wandering man) – Lebogang said: "I didn't really know the depth of my work or what my art was capable of doing to people, until opening night".

Thoughts in a Suitcase is part of the Photography Now exhibition – it's the most powerful body of work Lebogang believes he's ever produced and consists of seven images and two short films.

"It has been a very painful journey, but I am proud to say that I have no regrets whatsoever.

"Even though I miss my family, creative partners, business partners, homies and the old people back home. The day when you realise that other people's lives depend on your art/creativity/work/calling etc. is the day you will stop being mediocre, and start creating art that has more substance." – Source:
  "The Children's Monologues" is a spoken-word performance piece of soliloquies and testimonies of South African children about their country, performed by some of the biggest names in international film and television. The show had its New York debut on 13 November 2017.
The show, first performed at London's Old Vic theatre in 2010, features a host of Hollywood and British acting royalty performing the monologues. Previous performances featured stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman.

For the New York show, held at the famous Carnegie Hall, performers included Anne Hathaway, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Trevor Noah. The once-off show, a benefit for Dramatic Need, an international NGO that develops the arts across Africa, was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire).

The New York show also featured South African music and dance, including the international debut performance by South African pantsula dance troupe Via Vyndal.

A production of the show was also performed in tandem in South Africa on the same day. Acclaimed local theatre director James Ngcobo presented the South African performance with an all-female cast of top South African actresses, including Pearl Thusi, Fiona Ramsay and Lesedi Job, at Johannesburg's famous Market Theatre.

The monologues were written by South African children about their experiences of living in the country. The stories are both harrowing and joyful: ranging from cherished moments of youthful exuberance to indelible accounts of young people's struggle against violent crime and detached patriarchy. The monologues are comic and tragic, real and imagined, poignant and traumatic.

"The monologues are a vehicle for audiences and actors to connect with the children and to almost see inside the children's hearts and provide a voice of assurance that their future is not bleak and that their circumstances do not define who they are," Ngcobo said in the run-up to the performance.

Critics reviewing the New York show were impressed. Roger Friedman from Hollywood 411 wrote that it was "a five-star night that beautifully captured the spirit of South Africa [and its people]". The Hollywood Reporter called it "a powerfully emotional presentation". A particular highlight for the Carnegie Hall audience was the energy of Via Vyndal.

The New York performance was the first time the troupe, from Alexandra in Johannesburg, travelled overseas.

They were personally selected by Boyle following auditions across South Africa earlier this year. Boyle said he wanted a group that exemplified the spirit of South African youth culture and he felt the Vyndals possessed an authenticity that could not be recreated, in the same way Indian street performers in his award-winning hit film, Slumdog Millionaire, had done.

Via Vyndal artistic director, Sicelo Xaba, told TimesLive that the group was proud to represent South Africa in New York. "This is not just important for the guys going; it's also important for pantsula as a culture and a dance form."

Lead dancer, Sandile Ngqulunga, hoped that the international exposure would show global and local audiences that pantsula was a positive, nation-building art form, as well as led to more opportunities for South African dance troupes at home and abroad. – Source:
A musical based on the early life and revolutionary awakening of Nelson Mandela, "The Mandela Trilogy", was performed at the Dubai Opera House in November 2017. All three shows were sold out. Brand South Africa partnered with the organisers to reach out to South Africans living and working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  
The musical, The Mandela Trilogy, (formerly known as African Songbook: A Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela) was first performed by the Cape Opera in 2010, followed by sold-out performances in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Written and produced by composers, Peter Louis van Dijk and Mike Campbell, with librettist Michael Williams, the musical uses original South African music, fusing traditional Xhosa songs, classical music, jazz and modern songs, to complement the three-part journey of a young Madiba's early years maturing from a rural farm life to lawyer and freedom fighter.

In an interview in 2014, Williams spoke about the high international standard of musical theatre the show upheld, while remaining uniquely African. He called the show "a bright, bold and brassy show that pulls together all the musical traditions of South Africa".

In 2016, The Guardian newspaper called the musical – which had a run at the Royal Festival Hall in London – a "successful and original retelling of a story told many times before … using compelling storytelling techniques and powerful cast".

The musical has been popular with many South Africans living abroad. The idea behind its debut in Dubai, in particular, was spearheaded by the Dubai Opera CEO, South African-born Jasper Hope, who saw an opportunity to bring the story to the relatively large South African community in the UAE.

Hope told the Gulf News website: "I'm delighted Dubai Opera is able to collaborate with the fantastic Cape Town Opera to share the story of Nelson Mandela's heroic and inspirational life, presented in this brilliantly colourful production with its intoxicating mix of opera, jazz and Xhosa sounds and rhythms".

Following discussions with the Opera House, for Brand South Africa, the three performances – held between 9 and 11 November 2017 – were a perfect occasion to promote the nation brand and engage with the South African Diaspora in the Gulf.

The Mandela Trilogy performances were used to strengthen brand advocacy for South Africa's brand identity, image, competitiveness and value proposition. – Source: Gulf News website, Cape Town Opera House, Brand South Africa
  South African actress, Lara Lipschitz, has won the award for Best Actress at the New York City Web Fest, which was recently held in New York. "I'm bringing that trophy home!" Lara wrote excitedly on her Facebook page.
Lara entered with her series, Chin Up, a mockumentary-style series on the web about the life of an actress struggling to make it in Cape Town.

She said: "Thank you so much for the opportunity to showcase Chin Up in New York. It was truly amazing to be in the mix with such high-quality web series from around the world. A big thank you to my main man Devin Toselli for his support along the way."

She thanked her director Devin Toselli, cast and crew, including Julia Anastasopolous (known to many South Africans as Suzelle DIY).

Lara revealed on her Facebook page that it had always been her dream to go to New York with a project, film or play.

"So one day I decided to submit my web series to a festival in NYC and it got selected as the only one from South Africa!" In fact, according to local reports, Lipschitz and Toselli are the first South Africans to ever be selected as finalists in the NYC Web Fest. – Source:
Pearl Thusi has bagged a lead role the fifth installment of the "Scorpion King" franchise.  
The Quantico actress will star alongside Zach McGowan in Scorpion King: The Book of Souls.

The original production from Universal 1440 Entertainment, which is directed by Don Michael Paul (Tremors 6, Death Race: Beyond Anarchy) began shooting in Cape Town recently.  

According to the official synopsis, the Scorpion King (McGowan) teams up with a female warrior named Tala, who is the sister of The Nubian King. Together they search for a legendary relic known as The Book of Souls, which will allow them to put an end to an evil warlord.

Thusi will play the princess warrior. Other cast members include Katy Saunders (Law and Order), Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road), Mayling Ng (Wonder Woman), Peter Mensah (Spartacus) and fellow South African Brandon Auret (District 9). – Source:
Olympian Stephen Mokoka ran his way into the history books on Sunday, 12 November.
According to Team SA website, the South African edged Kenya's Ernest Ngeno by three seconds to defend his title at the 18th edition of the Shanghai International Marathon in China.

Mokoka's success in a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 35 seconds saw him enter the record books for winning the title for the fourth time.
Until then, Ethiopian Gashaw Asfaw had won the race three times consecutively in 2008, 2009, 2010.

Mokoka has never finished outside the top four in his six previous appearances in Shanghai.

Ngeno's fellow Kenyans, Asbel Kipsang and Edwin Kangongo, were third and fourth in 2:09.02 and 2:09.12 respectively with Ethiopian Wale Debas fifth in 2:09.40. – Source:
Chad le Clos (RSA) and Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) collected winners' cheques for $150 000 as they were crowned series champions at the Fina/airweave Swimming World Cup in Singapore, on Sunday, 19 November.  
Both entered Sunday's finals session at OCBC Aquatic Centre as champions, after their closest pursuers Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN) were unable to gain enough points in the morning's heats to extend the battle into the evening.

The Chad 'n' Vlad show got the night under way in the 100m free style, the Russian winning the duel in 45.56, and Le Clos touching home second in 46 dead.

When Morozov (23.85) finished sixth and 1.03 sec behind Pavel Sankovich (BLR), it left Le Clos needing to swim 48.25 in the individual finale, the 100-m fly, to win the cluster.

However, he only just held on for victory in 49.49, as runner-up Zhuhao Li (CHN) set a world junior best of 49.53.

"This year was the best World Cup, not just because I won but because it gave everyone a fair chance with the rule change to the number of races, and some of the things Fina laid on for fans. If they can just keep on improving it and making it more exciting, that's the key," said Le Clos. – Source:
The Stormers will break new ground when they face the Bulls in a pre-season encounter in Los Angeles on 3 February 2018.
The match will be played as a curtain-raiser for the clash between the USA Eagles and an Argentina XV at Stub Hub Centre, which forms part of the Americas Rugby Championship.

The pre-season match will see Super Rugby make its United States debut, as the two South African teams take their rivalry to a new continent.

Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks, commented: "This is a great opportunity to share the success of the Stormers team and brand with a new and growing market. The world is continuously becoming a smaller place, so exploring new and growing areas of the game forms part of our vision, as we strive to become a truly high-performance organisation with global appeal."

President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Thelo Wakefield, said that he was looking forward to showcasing the brand and team and winning the hearts of rugby supporters in the USA, while helping grow the game.

"The Stormers are one of the best supported franchises in Rugby Union and we are very excited to be able to showcase our brand, team, athletes and style of play, to the growing number of faithful in the United States," he said.

Stub Hub Centre in Los Angeles will host the two fixtures as part of USA Rugby's long-term strategy in the region, leading to the Summer Olympics in 2028. Southern California has in fact been the fastest-growing High School and Youth region over the last decade for USA Rugby. The event is collaboration between USA Rugby commercial arm, Rugby International Marketing, and AEG Rugby. – Source:
Hayley Nixon became South Africa's latest world champion when she conquered tough conditions and a strong field to win the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships on a day that saw the SA team scooping up five medals in Hong Kong.
Nixon (Euro Steel/Carbonology Sport) led home a team charge that yielded four of the top six senior women, a silver in the Under-23 women and two junior medals, with Sabina Lawrie becoming the new junior world champion.

Nixon, who came to canoeing and surfski racing from a rowing background, finally realised a lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, after having won the Surfski World Series title.

"World champion – I think I'm going to cry,' she said on the finish line. 'I've been waiting to hear that all my life. It just feels like I have ticked this massive box!'

"I couldn't be more proud. I've finished next to a previous world champion (New Zealand's Teneale Hatton), and Michelle Burn, who was almost a world champion. I couldn't be prouder, but I'm exhausted."

Nixon said that the tough flat and windless conditions combined with the very humid weather had made the race particularly taxing, which played into her hands.

"I'm really efficient when it's long and hard. For me, the harder the better. That's where I really get to thrive.

"I think a lot of these girls come from surf-lifesaving and big wave backgrounds, so they're really lethal in the runs. That's where they're efficient.

Amanzimtoti star Michele Burn claimed the silver medal for South Africa, with London Olympics bronze medallist, Bridgitte Hartley fourth, and Nikki Russell taking sixth place.

In the junior race Sabina Lawrie was all smiles as she climbed to the top step of the podium after winning the U18 girls title, ahead of Australian schoolgirl Georgia Sinclair, with fellow South African Zara Wood claiming the bronze medal.

South Africa scooped a fifth medal when Durbanite Kyeta Purchase finished second in the U23 race won by Swede Linnea Stensils. – Source:
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