Issue 305 | 7 December 2017
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The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, was recently in Niger where he participated in the Fourth African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade Meeting.
Progress made in the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations was among the issues that the two-day Ministerial Meeting considered in Niger's capital, Niamey.

The meeting in the West African country was preceded by the Eighth CFTA Negotiating Forum and a meeting of senior trade officials.

The CFTA negotiations were launched during the 25th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on 15 June 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The decision of the summit constitutes an attempt to fast–track the establishment of the African Economic Community (AEC) and to harness the benefits of an integrated and fast-growing African market of more than one billion people.

The aim of the AEC is to promote economic, social and cultural development as well as African economic integration in order to increase self-sufficiency and endogenous development, and create a framework for development and mobilisation of human resources and material.

Meanwhile, the third meeting of the AU Ministers of Trade held in Niamey, Niger, in June 2017 adopted the Modalities for Tariff Negotiations and the Modalities for Trade in Services Negotiations.

Earlier, Minister Davies said this would facilitate the exchange of tariff and services offers, as well as the finalisation of the CFTA Agreement. The Minister also emphasised the importance of enhancing intra-Africa trade and investment, and regional economic integration through the CFTA.

Minister Davies reiterated that South Africa was committed to a coordinated strategy that would boost intra-Africa trade and build an integrated market in Africa that will see a market of over one billion people and approximately US$2,6 trillion. – Source:
  South Africa has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The council is the Executive Organ of the IMO and is responsible for supervising the work of the organisation. The IMO itself is the global standard-setting authority for maritime safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping.

Voting to elect new member states of the council of the IMO for the 2018-19 period took place during the fifth day of the 30th Regular Session of the Assembly in London on 1 December.

South Africa's Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, has thanked all the member states that cast their ballot in favour of South Africa. She thanked the African Union (AU) for endorsing South Africa's candidature in the election.

The Department of Transport partnered with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, supported by the South African Maritime Safety Authority, Ports Regulator of South Africa and Transnet, to drive South Africa's re-election campaign.

"With South Africa being the only country from the Southern African Development Community elected to the council, the African continent will be fairly and fully represented in the affairs of the IMO Council," the department said.

South Africa has a long-standing relationship with the IMO since 1948 under observer status and the country became a member in 1995. The country has continued to actively maintain its relationship with the organisation and its members beyond this period.

Due to South Africa's continued diligence in IMO affairs and its role in the sub-Saharan region, South Africa continued to be re-elected to the IMO Council since 1999.

As a member of the IMO Council, South Africa served as vice chairperson from 2005 to 2015. – Source:
  On Monday, 13 November 2017, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, received letters of appointment of the regional directors of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Sharon Cooper; International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), Lorraine Mangwiro; and International Organisation of Migration (IOM), Charles Kwinin.
The UNHCR is the Refugee Agency of the UN. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of people who have been forced to flee. In this regard, it ensures that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another country.

The IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian organisation, providing assistance without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious belief, class or political affiliation or opinion. It carries out relief operations to assist victims of disasters and combines this with development.

The IOM provides secure, reliable, flexible and cost-effective services for persons who require international migration assistance. It therefore enhances the humane and orderly management of migration and effective respect for the human rights of migrants in accordance with international law. Furthermore, it supports states and migrants and communities in addressing the challenges of irregular migration.

Deputy Minister Landers welcomed the three regional directors and members of their families to South Africa on behalf of Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Government of South Africa.

In his address, Deputy Minister Landers reaffirmed South Africa's commitment to the multilateral system, based on the rule of law and respect for international refugee law and international humanitarian law.

The Deputy Minister further commended both the UNHCR and IOM for the critical role they played in facilitating the intergovernmental negotiations aimed at elaborating the Global Compacts on Refugees and Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Furthermore, the Deputy Minister assured the UNHCR, the IFRC and the IOM of South Africa's support in mitigating the effects of forced displacement within the region and South Africa in particular, as it hosts the largest number of asylum seekers.

In this regard, he also undertook to create a conducive environment for the three organisations to effectively execute their mandate, in providing technical support to the Government of South Africa.
The meeting was attended by World Food Programme (WFP) country directors from the region as well as by Elisabeth Rasmusson, WFP Assistant Executive Director for Partnership, Governance and Advocacy Department.  
The WFP Regional Office hosted a Leadership Meeting from 1 to 4 November 2017 in Sandton, Johannesburg, under the theme Looking Forward Beyond Crisis in Southern Africa – Positioning Ourselves for the New Agenda and Repositioning for Strategic Engagement.

Ambassador NKM Seleka was invited to be the keynote speaker at the event and addressed the meeting under the theme: The Humanitarian-Development Nexus and South Africa's Humanitarian Diplomacy.

Ambassador Seleka poignantly asked the question as to "How we make ourselves, as humanitarian agencies, fit-for-purpose in terms of making a meaningful and impactful contribution towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal One (SDG1) (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals)". He explained that it was only through the creation of a collective approach and not a silo mentality that the humanitarian and developmental divide could be bridged through a seamless transition from humanitarian assistance to developmental programmes. In this regard, Ambassador Seleka said that the WFP was exemplary, as the essential feature of its work was development and as such it had a meaningful role to play towards the attainment of the SDG Goal 2.

He further noted that the implementation of resilience-building programmes was a positive and ground-breaking step that was being taken by the WFP to ensure that communities were not simply assisted for the duration of a humanitarian crisis but were better prepared to avoid future crises by inculcating the spirit of self-reliance and providing them with the necessary wherewithal. South Africa was, as was cogently explained by Ambassador Seleka, a firm proponent of this positive shift from our international partners as they created catalysts for smallholder farmers/producers and emerging millers, to access markets and the roll-out of projects, which ensured that continuous intervention by individual countries and United Nations agencies was not required but rather that the over-all resilience to further crises could be strengthened and in so doing, communities became less prone to facing recurring crises such as drought and flooding.

The keynote address was warmly received by all country directors and the Assistant Executive Director. Lola Castro, Acting Regional Director of the WFP, also praised South Africa for its work in addressing humanitarian crises with special mention being made of the speed with which the country responded to calls for humanitarian assistance in Sierra Leone.
  It's official. Again! For the fifth year in a row, the greatest city in the world has been named as Cape Town! And that's according to over 90 000 people …
The 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards are selected according to votes cast by 90 000 readers of the United Kingdom newspaper.

The paper describes the winning city as "a coastal gem in the shadow of an iconic mountain, where fine wine flows and penguins roam. It could only be Cape Town".

Cape Town beat Canada's Vancouver and Japan's Tokyo to win the coveted travel award. Frustratingly for Vancouver, it's the fifth year in a row that they've come second. Tokyo, however, has shot up the chart from seventh two years ago, to fifth last year and third this year.

2018 is expected to be an even bigger year for South Africa's Mother City, as the country celebrates a century since Nelson Mandela was born.

Other cities in the top 10 include Venice (Italy), Sydney (Australia) and New York (USA). – Source:
Air travel, but specifically domestic air travel, is on the increase in South Africa, with King Shaka International in Durban and Cape Town International leading the charge.  
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has released its Quarter 3 Aviation Barometer for the period between July to September 2017 – indicating the current air travel trends in SA.

The Barometer is based on the count of passengers using the network of nine airports owned and managed by Acsa , with some 2,5 million arriving and departing passengers, resulting in a 5% increase in the third quarter.

Overall, King Shaka International Airport saw the biggest growth at 7,9%, while Cape Town International Airport saw an equally healthy 6,6%.

Acsa reports both airports saw good uptake in domestic travel at 8,7% and 8,3% increase, respectively. – Source:
Maputo will be a mere 90-minute drive away from KwaZulu-Natal thanks to a new road connecting South Africa and Mozambique.
Bongani Tembe from the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs says the new road will directly link Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal to Maputo in Mozambique.

"Currently, if you travel between Kosi Bay and Maputo, you spend about six hours. We have been told that once this road has been constructed, it will take about 90 minutes to travel. That is a huge achievement," Tembe told East Coast Radio Newswatch.

Currently, travellers can access Maputo from South Africa by car via the southern segment border post of Kosi Bay in the north of KwaZulu-Natal, or through Swaziland at the Golela Border Post, and then through Swaziland enter Mozambique at the Namaacha Border Post.

For access to the rest of Mozambique, drivers can go via the Komatipoort or Lebombo border posts, or the Giriyondo border post in the Kruger National Park.

However, the new road will make dirt roads a thing of the past according to Tembe, who adds that local and international visitors will benefit from its construction.

"If tourists from different parts of the province want to go to Mozambique, they go via the Kosi Bay Border Post. It's now going to be much easier for tourists to travel to Maputo," he says.

The road will also lead to development of the area shared by South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland, and Tembe says that it "will facilitate trade" between South Africa and Mozambique.

In addition to creating quick and easy travel between the countries, the new route will also "include the largest suspension bridge in Africa".

According to Letaba Herald, the new road will be 120 km running from Maputo over the largest suspension bridge in Africa, "which will span 680 m and stand 60 m above sea level across the Bay of Maputo", linking Catembe and adjoining roads to Ponto de Ouro.

The road was initially scheduled for completion in December 2017, but Paul Runge, Director of Projects and Development Finance at Africa House, says that the road is expected to be complete and ready for use by August 2018.

He says it is "expected to lead to a stream of international tourists" and that KZN exporters should be seeking opportunities to develop ancillary roads in Mozambique as the province stands to benefit from a tourism boom.  – Source:
This past weekend saw OR Tambo International Airport not only celebrate the service excellence of its service providers but also its improvement in global quality rankings for airports.
OR Tambo, South Africa's busiest airport, moved up some five spots to rank 24th in the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) category for airports with 15 to 25 million passengers.

The ASQ scores are based on independent passenger surveys administered by Airports Council International.

"This improvement is most pleasing and is a significant achievement over a relatively short time," said Bongiwe Pityi, General Manager of OR Tambo International Airport, who was speaking at the gala dinner of the Feather Awards.

Gauteng MEC for Transport, Ismail Vadi, was among the VIP guests and opened the proceedings by emphasising the importance of aviation service excellence.

"These awards demonstrate that no organisation can run successfully without strategic support from its key stakeholders and partners. As an airport operator, it is therefore vital for us to affirm each stakeholder and recognise how they are an integral part of achieving and maintaining service excellence at Africa's biggest and busiest airport," says Vadi.

An airport's ASQ score is determined by factors that enhance the passenger's experience, which include functionality of infrastructure, ambience, cleanliness, retail mix, food and beverage facilities, way-finding and user-friendliness, and Wi-Fi access. ASQ is the only worldwide programme that surveys passengers at the airport on their day of travel.

In the latest ASQ rating for the third quarter of 2017, areas that achieved significant improvement at OR Tambo International Airport were overall satisfaction, waiting time at passport/ID inspection and restaurant/eating facilities.

Areas that also achieved improvements include speed of baggage delivery, courtesy and helpfulness of airport and airline check-in staff, cleanliness of the airport terminal, and a feeling of being safe and secure. – Source:
Durban's popular Golden Mile is set to be extended by 750 m, beyond Ushaka Marine World all the way to the harbour entrance, as part of a R300-million project linked to the Durban Point Waterfront mega development.  
Durban Tourism CEO and acting eThekwini Deputy City Manager, Philip Sithole, revealed recently that construction on the new beachfront development would commence in January next year.

He was speaking at a media briefing at uMhlanga's Beverly Hills Hotel on catalytic tourism initiatives underway in Durban, aimed at taking the city's tourist appeal to a new level.

"The Point Waterfront Promenade Extension will be a key asset to our tourism sector. It is one of 25 catalytic projects being implemented and is a powerful demonstration of the commitment eThekwini has to transform the global and investor landscape of our city," says Sithole.

"Our city is evolving and transforming at a very rapid pace. The catalytic projects planned for Durban will have a huge economic and social impact. The promenade extension is a hugely exciting project that will set the scene for massive investment into the re-energised Durban Point Waterfront development.

"Construction on the promenade will take place from January 2018 through to September 2019. This new section will be 750-m long and 30-m wide. It will be followed by Phase 1 of the new Point Waterfront development plan, unlocking major investment, including a residential tower, retail mall and a hotel," he added.

Public amenities as part of the new promenade include change rooms, as well as ablution and staff facilities. A lifeguard facility is planned for the centre of the Point Waterfront Promenade, while new restaurant facilities will also be made available as part of the leisure mix. – Source:
  South African group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has scooped two nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards!
The group has been nominated in the Best World Music category, for Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration and in the Best Children's Album for Songs Of Peace & Love For Kids & Parents Around The World.

The South African group won their first of several Grammies in 1988 (for Shaka Zulu) and in 2014, they shared their fourth Grammy, for Best World Music Album, with the Gipsy Kings. It was the same year the band celebrated its 50th anniversary.

They first shot to worldwide fame when they collaborated on Paul Simon's Grammy-winning album Graceland in the 1980s.

The 60th Grammy Awards will be held in January 2018. Both Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar have been nominated for the most awards. Jay-Z will also be receiving the Icon award. Bruno Mars has received the third most nominations. – Source:
"Revolting Rhymes" won Best Animation at the BAFTA Children's Awards recently, beating off strong competition from "The Amazing World of Gumball", "Shaun the Sheep" and "We're Going on a Bear Hunt".  
The film was produced by Magic Light Pictures and was animated at Magic Light's Berlin studio and Cape Town's Triggerfish studio.

"It's an amazing honour to win at Britain's most prestigious awards," says Triggerfish CEO, Stuart Forrest. "We're so proud of the team. This was the second year in a row that we've been nominated for our work with Magic Light, so winning is further proof that Africa is producing some of the best animation in the world." 

This is one of several award nominations for the animation.

Revolting Rhymes is also nominated for three European Animation Awards on Friday, 8 December 2017 and Best Animation at the International Emmy Kids Awards, which will be presented in April 2018. The two-part special has already won the Cristal for Best TV Production at Annecy in France, the world's premiere animation festival; Best Animated Short at TIFF Kids; Best Animation at the World Banff Media Festival in Canada; Best Storytelling at Shanghai International Film and TV Festival in China; and the Children's Jury Prize at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.

  Directed by Jakob Schuh (The Gruffalo) and Jan Lachauer (Room on the Broom) and co-directed by Bin Han To, Revolting Rhymes is an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake's classic book of surprising fairytales. It's voiced by a stellar cast that includes Dominic West (The Affair) as The Wolf; Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) as Red Riding Hood; and Gemma Chan (Humans) as Snow White.

Magic Light Pictures' third collaboration with Triggerfish, The Highway Rat, is coming to BBC One this Christmas. An adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's bestseller, The Highway Rat is a swashbuckling tale of bandits and biscuits the whole family will enjoy. David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) leads an impressive cast in the title role.
Stick Man, Magic Light Pictures' previous Donaldson/Scheffler production animated at Triggerfish, premiered on BBC One on Christmas Day 2015 to record ratings of 9,3 million viewers, with an overall 41% audience share, the fourth highest-rated programme of the day. The film also won critical praise and a raft of global industry awards, including the Annecy Crystal and a BAFTA nomination. – Source:
  The Blitzboks have won the Dubai Sevens for the second year running, beating New Zealand in a pulsating final.
After a yellow card in the first minute to New Zealand's Joseava Rovouvou, the Blitzboks took full advantage of the extra man, running in three tries in as many minutes through Philip Snyman, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith with Branco du Preez adding two conversions for a 19-0 lead at half-time.

The second half saw Rosko Specman sent to the bin in the first minute of the second half and New Zealand immediately forced their way back into the match with two tries in two minutes through Andrew Knewstubb and captain, Scott Curry, one of which was converted to take the score to 19-12.

Tim Agaba put the match beyond doubt in the final minute when he crashed over to secure victory for the Blitzboks in the first leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Saturday sees the teams come to Cape Town with England looking to defend their crown in the Mother City. No fewer than three Blitzboks – Kwagga Smith, Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla – got the nod for the Dream Team selected after the final whistle.

Smith was named Man of the Match in the final.

The South African trio were joined by England's James Rodwell, Scotland's Darcy Graham, Samoa's Alamanda Motuga and New Zealand's Joe Ravouvou. – Source:
Dylan Frittelli sunk a birdie putt on the first extra hole to beat Arjun Atwal in a play-off to win the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, on Sunday 3 December.  
The 27-year-old South African carded a closing 67 at Heritage Golf Club to set the clubhouse target at 16 under par.

That left Atwal needing an eagle on the par-five closing hole for victory or a birdie to force a play-off, and the 44-year-old gave himself a chance by hitting an excellent second to 20 feet.

However, his eagle putt lipped out, and on the first trip back down the 18th, Atwal was unable to match Frittelli's birdie.

Frittelli, who also won the Lyoness Open in June, was quick to pay tribute to his closest challenger after the tournament, telling Sky Sports Golf: "Arjun Atwal – great payer, tremendous player.

"I played with him yesterday and it was one of the most fun rounds I've had in recent times.

"It's been a pretty good year for me. I've set some pretty lofty goals and achieved most of them so I can't wait for 2018 – set more goals and go and chase them again." – Source:
  Stellenbosch University and Tennis South Africa (TSA) have announced the signature of a strategic partnership agreement, with the aim of developing a new world-class national tennis centre at the university.
The project, which is currently in the early planning stages, will operate on a co-funding basis and will see the new tennis centre:
  • host selected elements of TSA's high-performance programme
  • act as a potential venue for local and international tournaments
  • deliver a platform for grassroots development in the winelands region
  • provide a local tertiary education solution for talented young local tennis players who want to study, while furthering their tennis careers.
"Stellenbosch University is excited about the potential of the partnership to contribute to the development of tennis in South Africa, and especially in our region," said Ilhaam Groenewald, Chief Director of Maties Sport. "This type of initiative aligns well with our strategic objectives, and we are committed to working with TSA to develop Stellenbosch into a high-performance centre for tennis."

Richard Glover, CEO of TSA added: "This project is in its infancy and our shared vision is some years from being fully realised, but it signals an important step forward for our sport. Stellenbosch University is a world-class institution and we believe our partnership will deliver a fantastic high-performance platform for young tennis players, from all communities across South Africa. This announcement is another exciting step forward for TSA." – Source:
Border batsman Marco Marais made headlines recently when he smashed the fastest triple century in the history of first-class cricket.  
The 24-year-old made 300 not out off 191 balls in a three-day match against Eastern Province in East London.

Marais' heroics saw him beat a long-standing record which stood for 96 years.

The record was held by Australia's Charles Macartney, who took 221 balls to reach his 300 for Australia against Nottinghamshire in 1921.

According to the DispatchLIVE website, Marais brought up his century off 68 balls, before going on to break the South African record for the fastest double century, reaching his 200 off 139 balls.

He hit 35 fours and 13 sixes as Border amassed 512/4 in 80 overs.

Eastern Province was bowled out for 212 in their first innings, while Border were 66/2 in their second innings when the game ended in a draw.

According to Netwerk24, Marais is a farmer from Stutterheim who travels 95 km to East London four times per week to practise.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Marais has played 34 first-class games, scoring 1 773 runs at an average of 37. – Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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