Issue 311 | 16 February 2018
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  On 15 February 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as the fifth democratically elected President of South Africa.
In a packed Media Centre in The Presidency precinct at Tuynhuys, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng officiated at the swearing in of the President following his election in the National Assembly earlier in the day.

The President took his oath of office during a live broadcast as proud family members looked on.

"In the presence of everyone assembled here, and in full realisation of the high calling I assume as President of the Republic of South Africa, I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic …" the President vowed.

He further undertook to promote all that would advance the Republic, and oppose all that may harm it; protect and promote the rights of all South Africans; discharge his duties with all his strength and talents to the best of his knowledge and ability; and be true to the dictates of his conscience.

The event was attended by various Members of Parliament, MPs from the opposition benches, Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers.

Guests erupted into song as he left the venue with the media contingent scrambling for space to ensure they captured the historic moment.

The President will deliver his first State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on Friday night, 16 February. As he takes to the podium tonight to deliver his speech, President Ramaphosa will no doubt face a nation full of hope for the future of the country, following days of political drama and anxiety.

He has served as the country's Deputy President since 2014.

President Ramaphosa is a respected politician whose political activism can be traced back to the early 1970s when he was detained several times, including during the Soweto student uprising. He is known for his rare leadership qualities and negotiating skills, abilities many say he developed in the course of his multifaceted life in the labour movement, as the Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC), as well as a successful businessman.

  He is viewed as a leader with a deep business acumen, who will help stabilise political uncertainty and help lobby for investment for South Africa at a time the country is in need of an economy that supplies jobs, and funds education, healthcare and many other needs of the people of South Africa.

People will be expecting President Ramaphosa to make some statement tonight about what government and other social partners plan to do to ensure that the country moves forward swiftly in ensuring economic recovery and build on the successes of the outgoing administration.

The phrases economic recovery and growth appeared in almost every speech President Ramaphosa had given since he was elected President of the ANC in December. At the recent World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, President Ramaphosa, as Deputy President, led the country's delegation in spreading the message that South Africa is open to investment and committed to economic recovery.

During an interview with BloombergTV, he reiterated the emergence of renewal, hope and opportunity.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) during a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces) on 16 February 2018 at 19h00.
The 2018 theme is: "Making your Future Work Better – Learning from Madiba".

During the speech, the President will talk about government's achievements of the past year and look to the future by presenting a programme for the coming year. This programme sets out government's plans to address various key government programmes. The President will address the nation in his capacity as Head of State, not only as Head of Government.

The SoNA is important for all South Africans because it tells us what government's Programme of Action is for the year ahead. The Programme of Action is government's plans for the country and people of South Africa.

By being aware of what government is doing, everyone can become involved and also take part in government's plans to build a better life for all.

The SoNA will be broadcast live on: DStv Channel 408, SABC TV, eNCA, ANN7, SABC radio stations and Parliament's YouTube Channel.

  • SoNA is divided into three parts. The first is the important public participation role in the ceremony when the Civil Guard of Honour welcomes the President and his guests as they walk along the red carpet. This is followed by a state ceremonial, which includes a
    21-gun salute and the South African Air Force flypast and finally the official address by the President.

  • Members of the South African National Defence Force line the route that the President takes to Parliament.

  • The Military Guard of Honour participates in the ceremony and the military band plays South Africa's national anthem.

  • The State of the Nation Address is one of the rare occasions where the three arms of State, namely the Executive represented by the President, Deputy President and Ministers; the Judiciary, represented by the country's Chief Justice and the Judge Presidents; and the Legislature, represented by the Members of Parliament gather in one place.

  • The provincial and local spheres of government are also represented.
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has learnt with sadness of the passing on 14 February 2018 of Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T).  
On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, President Ramaphosa has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Tsvangirai, the Government and people of Zimbabwe on this sad loss. He assured the Tsvangirai family and the people of Zimbabwe of the solidarity and compassion of the people of South Africa.

President Ramaphosa further said that Mr Tsvangirai would be remembered for his profound role in the Zimbabwean politics and his prominence which saw him serve as Prime Minister from 2009 to 2013 in the Government of National Unity, during which period the current constitution of Zimbabwe was developed.
Government has conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and the people of the Russian Federation following the plane crash that occurred in Moscow on Sunday, 11 February 2018, killing all passengers and crew members on board.

"We extend our condolences to His Excellency President Vladimir Putin, the Government and the people of the Russian Federation. The South African people stand with the Russian people, particularly the families of the victims, during this time of mourning."
  The Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu, as the responsible lead Minister for Human Settlements and Housing, recently led the South African delegation to the Ninth World Urban Forum (WUF 9).
The WUF was established by the United Nations to ensure that member states and the world respond to ensure proper and sustainable management of urbanisation in towns and cities across the globe. The matters which receive attention include eradicating the ill effects of urbanisation, including poverty, unemployment and inequality as well as managing the negative consequences of climate change on communities.

The forum, held from 7 to 13 February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sought to bring together government leaders, ministers, mayors, diplomats, members of the national, regional and international associations of local government and non-governmental organisations to examine one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today, rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies

WUF 9 was held under the theme: "Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda".

"After the adoption of the New Urban Agenda by the United Nations, we resolved as a country to create our own Implementation Framework for the New Urban Agenda to ensure that we tackle urbanisation collectively", said Minister Sisulu.

South Africa's preparation process for WUF 9, which included the hosting of the Human Settlements Development Summit and the Urban Conference in 2017, paved the way for the improvement of the South African Integrated Urban Development Framework. The establishment of the National Forum on Human Settlements and Urban Development also provides a platform for the continuing engagement and collaboration with role players and actors to respond to the global debate on human settlements and urban development.

"As a developing country, we are attending this forum to share with the international community our success and challenges in dealing with problems of rapid urbanisation, this will help us to better plan our programmes around the urbanisation", added the Minister.
The Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of the Republic of Niger, represented by its Minister of Mines, Hassane Baraze Moussa.  
The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, which was held in Cape Town.

The agreement is on cooperation in the fields of geology and mining, focusing across the whole value chain, from exploration through to beneficiation.

"The signing of this MoU is significant, as it kickstarts a process of greater collaboration between our two countries as we seek to advance our economies and in the broader interests of the continent at large.

"We have over the past year undertaken working visits across the continent to strengthen bilateral relations and in all instances, issues, including investment, infrastructure and skills development have been paramount," Minister Zwane said.

Technical teams from the two countries met during the Indaba to map a way forward on the implementation of the MoU. – Source:
  The Department of Labour recently hosted a two-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) workshop on youth unemployment in the region.
South Africa, as Chair of SADC, hosted the gathering under the theme "Addressing Youth Employment in the SADC Region" from 13 – 14 February in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

Youth unemployment is defined by the United Nations as unemployed young people between the ages of 15-25 years of age, who do not have a job but are actively seeking work. However, youth unemployment within the SADC region includes unemployed persons between the ages of 15-35 years old.

The objective of the workshop was to establish a forum for employment services practitioners within the SADC member states to share experiences and challenges, as well as come up with best practices on how to approach youth unemployment. – Source:
As the country recently marked the 28th anniversary of the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison, the Department of Tourism says it has kicked off initiatives that will commemorate and celebrate the global icon.  
Had he lived, Madiba would be turning 100 years old this year and a series of events to mark the centenary are also lined up.

"The importance of today is [that we are] reliving the epic moment of our history by bringing in those who were at the forefront of Mandela's release, to tell those untold stories that will inspire our communities," said Tourism Minister, Tokozile Xasa.

On Saturday, 10 February, the Department of Tourism, in collaboration with the National Heritage Council (NHC) and the Nelson Mandela Museum, launched initiatives, celebrating what would have been the former statesman's 100th birthday in July this year.

At Saturday's event held in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, some of the surviving members of Mandela's Reception Committee reflected on the times of that historic day. On 11 February, the then 71-year-old Madiba was released from the Victor Verster Prison in Paarl.

The launch of the "Release Mandela Historic Memories" initiative on Saturday saw former political prisoners like Saki Macozoma, Bulelani Ngcuka and Whitey Jacobs, among others, reflecting on that day that eventually led to a democratic South Africa.

Speaking to SAnews, Minister Xasa said the historic memories initiative would not only open up dialogue but help in the building of future leaders.

Last year, government announced an Inter-Ministerial Committee to plan for the celebration of the Mandela centenary.

"We have a whole host of activities planned starting today with the launch of the historic memories. This is part of the conversations that we are opening. On top of that, we will be getting out into the rest of the country to identify 100 places that have got connections with Mandela," explained the Minister.

These sites, she said, would become "must visit" places during the course of 2018 both for domestic and international visitors.

All the provincial tourism authorities have been requested to submit their Mandela travel places or experiences, building on the 27 sites already shared on the SA Tourism Mandela App.

NHC Council Chairperson, Dr JT Mbuli, said the agency would continue to support heritage initiatives.

"Today marks 28 years of Mandela walking out of jail. Today also marks the eve of the 18 years of the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Museum; this year would have been 100 years of Mandela's life. This is a rare opportunity to do something unforgettable," he said.

Mandela opened the museum on 11 February 2000.  The museum has three sites in Mvezo, Qunu and the Bhunga building in Mthatha.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism Coastal and Marine Tourism Implementation Plan, approved by Cabinet in 2017, seeks to grow a world-class sustainable coastal and marine tourism destination that leverages South Africa's competitive advantage.

Within this, three initiatives have been identified, namely: the Blue Flag Beaches Programme, the Boat Based Whale Watching and Shark Cage Diving as well as Off Road Vehicle 4x4 Beach Driving.

The projects will be taken forward in the department's first phase implementation plan.

Six nodes have been identified for the first phase (0-5 years), with two of these located in the Eastern Cape, one being Port St Johns to Coffee Bay and the East London, Port Elizabeth and surrounds.

Minister Xasa said the launch of the Eastern Cape Six-Day Hiking Trail in 2018 is also proposed as a Mandela Centenary Project. The R9-million nodal project is located in the Port St John Local Municipality. The project entails the establishment of a six-day hiking trail from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay and will provide, among others, ablution facilities and huts for overnight accommodation.  – Source:
  The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will launch commemorative banknotes to honour Nelson Mandela's centenary, it said in a statement recently.

Commemorative notes will be made for all existing banknotes, in addition to a new R5 coin, which will be circulated by the South African Mint. The commemorative banknotes are expected to be circulated from 18 July, the day of Mandela's birth.

"Nelson Mandela represented the best version of ourselves as South Africans. We unveiled the current Mandela series of banknotes in 2012 to honour him," Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said.

"While preserving the value of money is our main mandate, our purpose is to be a bastion of institutional strength, contributing to a stable and prosperous economy that serves the well-being of all South Africans, and guided in part by Madiba's values."

The notes and coin will be circulated alongside existing notes and coin, the Reserve Bank said. Further details, including what the notes will look like, will be communicated to the public at a later stage.
A rose been named after former liberation struggle icon and President Nelson Mandela.

The rose was named after the icon as part of the year-long celebration of the centenary of Mandela's birth.

Mandela, who passed away on 5 December 2013, would have turned 100 on 18 July 2018.

The Nelson Mandela rose was released to launch the Nelson Mandela Foundation's year-long centenary programme.

Foundation CE Sello Hatang said the Nelson Mandela 100 programme centred on the values embodied by Mandela, of resilience, service and care.

Horticulturist Keith Kirsten, who led the rose's development, said the idea for the plant came to him in 2000, while on a flight to New York when he happened to be sitting next to Achmat Dangor, the then CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The disease-resilient rose is a tall, orange-vermillion, prolific floribunda which grows to more than a metre in good conditions and is suitable for "any sunny position", Kirsten said. "I'd like to see us plant lots," he said. – Source:
  The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) welcomed back the "SA Agulhas II", as she returned from Antarctica on Tuesday, 13 February 2018, at the East Pier Quay, V&A Waterfront Cape Town.
Aboard the vessel were the SANAE 56 expedition team, DEA's supporting team, members from the national Department of Public Works, as well as scientists and researchers from various tertiary institutions.

The DEA, University of Cape Town and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research together with their collaborators from various international research institutes, were also able to collect data, deployed and recovered gliders which were at sea for 13 months. These gliders remotely collect long-term data such as sea surface temperature, oxygen and carbon measurements, which are instrumental in further enhancing our understanding of present day global climate change.
  Charlize Theron has teamed up with Kweku Mandela, Nelson Mandela's grandson, to launch a new project in partnership with GenEndIt called #100conversations.

In a video on Instagram the South African actress announces her pride in the launch of the programme "created to honour the legacy of Kweku's grandfather, Nelson Mandela".

Joined in the video by Kweku, Charlize praises the late Nelson Mandela for believing in the "power of youth".

GenEndIt is a collective movement which aims to encourage the youth to stand up against HIV/AIDS and prevent it from spreading. – Source:
  Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, walked her very first New York Fashion Week runway show recently.
The 22-year-old South African beauty walked for American fashion designer Sherrie Hill in New York City.

Demi-Leigh turned heads in a feather embellished dress, and was joined by Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach. – Source:
London will host a new World Cup event later this year featuring eight top nations, including the United States and Jamaica, British Athletics announced recently.  
Britain, the United States, Poland, China, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa will compete at the London Stadium from 14 to 15 July.

The tournament follows last year's world athletics championships in the British capital, which also hosted the Olympics in 2012.

The competition format will feature all field events and track events up to and including the 1 500m, with just one man and one woman from each nation in each event.

Each nation will be competing for a $2-million prize pot over two evening sessions of athletics under the lights.

"It's great to see such an exciting head-to-head event confirmed to be taking place in London this summer – the concept is one that will excite everyone in athletics and is sure to attract new fans to the sport," said Olympic and world 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk.

Sebastian Coe, president of athletics' world governing body, the IAAF, hailed the "innovative" event.

"We have eight lanes, eight top nations, eight teams and a host of world-class athletes lining up in each event to win the trophy and prize pot. This will be a fast-paced and exhilarating experience for athletes and fans." – Source:
  Fancourt in the Garden Route was recently honoured as Golf Resort of the Year at the 18th annual International Association of Golf Tour Operators Awards, and now The Links – a privately-owned club at Fancourt – has improved its ranking in the 2018 Golf Digest World Top 100 Golf Courses.
The Links has gained kudos as the Golf Digest World 100 magazine (US edition) ranked this challenging golf course number 38, from number 43.

Other golf estates across the country that made the prestigious list are Leopard Creek that's situated on the border of the Kruger National Park and ranked at number 65, and KwaZulu-Natal's, Durban Country Club ranked at number 96. – Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: Gladwin Komane


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