Issue 317 | 15 March 2018
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President Cyril Ramaphosa received a courtesy call by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of the Republic of Zambia on Tuesday, 13 March 2018.
President Ramaphosa, Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), hosted President Lungu in Pretoria for a meeting that formed part of President Ramaphosa's current round of consultations with leaders of SADC member states. President Ramaphosa recently visited Angola, Namibia and Botswana.

Zambia is the incoming Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

President Ramaphosa and President Lungu committed that South Africa and Zambia would continue to work together on the region's common agenda relating to, among others, peace, security and economic integration.

Earlier in the day, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, met her Zambian counterpart, Joseph Malanji, at OR Tambo Building in Pretoria.


Historic relations between South Africa and Zambia were concretised when the African National Congress established its headquarters in Lusaka during our shared struggle for liberation. This led to the existing deep and solid bonds of friendship between the peoples of South Africa and Zambia.

Structured bilateral cooperation between South Africa and Zambia formerly took place under the framework of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), which was signed on 18 October 2005.

During the Second Session of the JCC, held in Zambia from 9 to 11 October 2017, the two countries agreed to elevate the JCC to a Bi-National Commission (BNC) which would be chaired at the level of Heads of State.

South Africa is expected to host the inaugural session of the BNC in 2018.


"We regret that the Australian Government chose not to use the available diplomatic channels to raise concerns or to seek clarification on the land redistribution process in South Africa. Those channels remain open and available for all governments to engage with the South African Government."
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has released a statement, saying that it was engaging with the Australian Government on this matter.

This followed reports attributed to Australia's Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, who said they were exploring how to bring white South African farmers to Australia on humanitarian grounds due to the land redistribution process and the violence on farms, which they said was racially charged.

"It must be stated again that the South African President, President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, have said on a number of public platforms and also when engaging with different stakeholders that the process of land redistribution would be orderly, within South African laws and taking into consideration both the social and economic impact.

"We call on organisations such as AfriForum that are spreading incorrect information, sowing panic and fear to refrain from doing so. The South African Government has been very clear and transparent on the land reform process and the matter is now before Parliament. All stakeholders will be consulted and they are also encouraged to engage with Parliament. There is no reason for any government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected Government. That threat simply does not exist."

Answering questions in Parliament on 14 March 2018, President Ramaphosa reiterated that the consultations aimed at mapping out how land expropriation without compensation would work must be inclusive and handled in the most responsible manner.

"It is critical that this is an inclusive process, in which all South Africans are actively involved in finding just, equitable and lasting solutions. It requires responsibility and maturity from all leaders.

"Let us engage in this debate as a nation. I invite all those who are angry, anxious, uncertain, excited and inspired to be part of finding a solution on this issue," the President said.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Luwellyn Landers, hosted the Secretary of State and Executive Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, Ambassador Barry Faure, for the Second Session of the JCC between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Seychelles on 9 March 2018.  
The meeting reaffirmed the close friendship and common interests and values that are the foundation of the strong relationship between South Africa and Seychelles.

Noting that 2018 will see the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, both sides agreed to work together to commemorate this important anniversary and strengthen ties between the two countries.

During the meeting, the parties reviewed bilateral political and economic relations, expressing satisfaction on the progress achieved in various areas of cooperation since the last session of the JCC in 2014. They further agreed to explore other areas of cooperation over the coming years, including in trade and investment; agriculture and fisheries; education and human resource development; environment and the blue economy; youth and sports; defence and police; tourism and culture; health; science and technology; maritime and air transport; higher education; and social development.

The parties further exchanged views on regional and continental developments as well as multilateral cooperation.

At its conclusion, both parties expressed appreciation for the JCC, which has provided an excellent platform for dialogue and cooperation since 2014. The parties demonstrated their commitment to increase cooperation and agreed to hold the next session of the South Africa-Seychelles JCC in 2020, in Victoria, Seychelles.
  The Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation supports the proposed reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The Chairperson of the Committee, Siphosezwe Masango, said: "The reform of the UN architecture to make it reflective of new global dynamics, such as new nation states, the end of the Cold War and demographic realities is long overdue, 72 years after its conception in 1945."

The committee received an update briefing from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation about progress on the reform of the UN in general, and its Security Council (UNSC) in particular.

The African continent's position is based on the Ezulwini Consensus of 2005, in terms of which the continent demands two permanent seats on the UNSC, with a veto right.

The committee expressed its gratitude for the African Union's endorsement in January 2018 for South Africa's candidature for a two-year, non-permanent membership on the UNSC. It believes that South Africa will use this platform to champion the African Agenda 2063, peaceful resolution of conflicts and a celebration of the progressive ideals of the late former President Mr Nelson Mandela.
South Africa was bestowed with the rare honour of hosting and chairing the DCG on 28 February 2018 at the DIRCO Head Office, Pretoria. The meeting was graced by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General's Humanitarian Envoy, Dr Ahmed Al-Meraikhi, and the Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle-East and Central Asia, Rashid Kalikov.
A number of donor governments and agencies, the Department for International Development (DFID), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid operations (ECHO), United States of America International Development (USAID), Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany and Development Financial Institutions (World Bank – WB, African Development Bank – AfDB, Africa Risk Capacity – ARC) participated in the inaugural meeting. Other key members such as Canada, Saudi Arabia, the African Union and the Islamic Development Bank remain committed to the DCG, although they were not able to attend the meeting.

Deputy Director-General for Global Governance and Continental Agenda at Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, delivered welcoming remarks on behalf of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. The inaugural meeting, aptly so, coincided with the centenary of the iconic Nelson Mandela who, in the spirit of humanitarianism, dedicated his entire life toward advancing the course of humanity. Ambassador Nkosi said that South Africa's humanitarian diplomacy was firmly rooted in the philosophy of Ubuntu, the indomitable spirit of Pan-Africanism and international solidarity. Ambassador Nkosi reaffirmed the full commitment of South Africa to doing everything in its power and means to ensure lives were saved and suffering was alleviated by rendering much-needed humanitarian support timeously.

UN Assistant Secretary-General Kalikov presented the current state of play on drought and famine, wherein he emphasised that timely interventions by donors and development partners contributed towards the aversion of famines in 2017 in the Horn of Africa. He further informed the participants of the risks and outlook for seven key countries: Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad. He emphasised that the situation in southern Africa attracted particular attention as the outlook was eerily similar to the 2015-16 El Nino induced drought. Lack of rainfall has caused irreversible damage to crop production and damage and indications are that 2018 might be a challenging year with humanitarian consequences exacerbating the prevailing situation of food security and malnutrition.

Dr Ahmed Al-Meraikhi expressed his gratitude to the Government of South Africa for hosting and chairing the inaugural meeting of the DCG. He said that the DCG was a unique platform to bring humanitarian and development actors together and also stated that the group should seek to alleviate suffering, both through immediate humanitarian relief and long-term planning for resilience.

Ambassador NKM Seleka, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Inaugural Meeting of the DCG, underscored that sharing information on risks, projections and consequences early with DCG members would enable them to respectively plan for targeted and prioritised interventions at the country level and use risk and needs data for decisions of support and resource mobilisation and allocation. Ambassador Seleka further highlighted that the DCG was a microcosm of the new way of working by virtue of its composition, purpose and collaborative spirit. The presence of development financial institutions (DFIs) according to Ambassador Seleka was a unique opportunity to align and deliver humanitarian aid more effectively, thereby making DCG a force multiplier.

The DFIs (WB, AfDB, and ARC) presented their initiatives and financing models related to drought and famine prevention and options for building long-term resilience. Development partners felt that an important role for the DCG was to promote innovative financial solutions and advocate for context specific risk finance solutions.

Towards the end of the meeting, the participants reflected on the proposed Terms of Reference of the DCG. Overall, there was consensus on the DCG serving as an information-sharing, coordination and advocacy platform triggering early action for drought and famine response and promoting a set of good practices and policy measures for building long-term resilience.

Besides South Africa as the host and Chair, Qatar, Kuwait, USAID, World Bank, African Development Bank and Africa Risk Capacity reaffirmed their membership and would henceforth be known as the Core Members as well as the African Union. Saudi Arabia, Canada, and the Islamic Development Bank expressed their interest in becoming part of the Core Group.

South Africa was requested by the meeting to continue as the Chair of the DCG until the next meeting, date to be confirmed at a later stage, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs acting as the Secretariat.
  The Republic of Indonesia has extended South Africa's recognition status, which enables the country to export horticultural products through Jakarta Port of entry until 11 April 2021.
The initial recognition was granted by the Indonesian Authority on 11 April 2016, and is due to expire on 10 April 2018.

The extension follows an application by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, on 27 July 2017 for an extension of the recognition of South Africa' food safety control systems.

His counterpart in Indonesia, Minister of Agriculture, Amran Sulaiman, decreed the extension.

Minister Zokwana made the decision to apply for an early extension to avoid interruption of South African export of horticultural products to Indonesia.

The extension granted is in respect of 14 horticultural products, namely: apples, apricots, cherries, citrus fruit, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, pomelos, plums and prunes.

Minister Zokwana noted that the extension would translate into the mentioned exported agricultural commodities being subjected to monitoring only, instead of the conducting of verification inspections and checks on each and every consignment exported to Indonesia.

Furthermore, exporters will be allowed to use the Port of Jarkata, Tanjung Priok, which is closer to the main Jarkata market, thus reducing transport costs and preventing a loss in quality of the exported produce.

"Expanding exports is one of the department's strategic priorities in both the regional and international arena. Forging good relations with international counterparts plays a vital role in achieving this strategic priority. We want to encourage exporters to make the most of this opportunity," the Minister said.

The Minister thanked the industry and the continued cooperation received from the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation.

The Indonesian Authority also expressed its appreciation of South Africa's continuous efforts to guarantee that horticultural products exported to Indonesia are safe and fit for human consumption.  – Source:
  Minister Hanekom was responding to a question on the State of the Nation Address (SoNA), in which President Cyril Ramaphosa alluded to doubling jobs in tourism from 700 000 to more than half a million.
"Whatever we do in tourism, regarding increased arrivals, translates into a large number of jobs as it is an employment-intensive industry. It is not difficult. If we do the right things, it is achievable," said the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, during the Power Lunch interview with CNBC Africa on 9 March 2018.

Minister Hanekom also referred to the call by the President during his SoNA to grow the economy by removing regulation barriers. He stated that if South Africa could make it simpler for international tourists to visit South Africa, the country would increase tourist arrivals.

"Our challenges are: intensified marketing and making it easier for tourists to get to South Africa. This will translate into a large number of jobs, which will make a huge difference in (tackling) our unemployment," said Minister Hanekom.

He emphasised the importance of discussions between the departments of tourism and transport on good airlinks and direct routes between South Africa and other African countries as part of making it easier and more affordable for people to visit South Africa.

As part of reducing barriers for travellers, the Minister also stated that engagements with the Department of Home Affairs were critical to focus on three areas: the regulations impacting on minors visiting South Africa; ease to obtain a South African travel visa; and reviewing the countries which need visas for travel to South Africa.

"When the visa requirement for Russia was waived, we saw an increase of over 50% of travels from Russia to South Africa. By contrast, when a visa was introduced to New Zealand, we saw a 17% decline. The only reason for the decline in the numbers from New Zealand was the visa requirement. So, therefore the engagement with the Home Affairs Department is critically important," stated Minister Hanekom.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) in its capacity as Secretariat to AAPSComs hosted the Fifth General Assembly of the AAPSComs held from 13 to 15 March at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park.
AAPSComs was established on 9 April 2008 with a membership of 20 African public service commissions representing 15 countries. The primary purpose of AAPSComs is to collaborate and share experiences and best practices among public service commissions on the continent in order to promote good governance and improve service delivery.

The Fifth General Assembly was held under the theme: "Building and Strengthening the Capacity of Public Service Commissions to Meet the Challenges of Public Administration and Service Delivery in Africa". Delegates from Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Uganda and Zambia attended.

Some of the topics discussed included:
  • Continental Challenges on Public Administration, Management and Service Delivery
  • Promotion of Effective Leadership and Good Governance in Africa
  • The Role of African Public Services Commissions in Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Information and Communications Technology as a Means and Tool for the Modernisation of Public Service Management and Administration in Africa.
The Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, delivered the keynote address.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, launched South Africa's national science festival, Scifest Africa, in Grahamstown, on Friday, 9 March.
Scifest Africa celebrated its 22nd anniversary from 7 to 13 March, to promote public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation in South Africa.

The theme for 2018 was "Innovation 4.0", with reference to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which attributes technology advancement and transformation.

Dr Tiisetso Lephoto from Wits University – one of the country's youngest PhD Graduates –  delivered the annual Brian Wilmot Lecture to hundreds of learners attending about her work in biological and molecular sciences.

At the age of 26, Dr Lephoto is already leading in her field and is one of South Africa's brightest young researchers who is passionate about science, agriculture and innovation, and mentoring youth.

Her area of research focuses on isolating and identifying biological control agents (natural insect pest controllers), which may be used to control problematic insects in agricultural industries instead of synthetic chemical pesticides, which have been reported to have bad consequences in human, animal and plant health.

Guests were also be taken into the world of innovation in South Africa with Professor Mike Bruton, talking about his "awesome South African Inventions".

With continued support from the Department of Science and Technology, Scifest makes science accessible to the public, encouraging parents and schools from across the country to bring learners to the event.
Submarine cable operator Seacom has deployed 100 gigabit per second ethernet technology to bolster the growth of the Internet in Africa.   
The company made the upgrade at its data centre core PoPs (Points of Presence) in Teraco Johannesburg and Teraco Cape Town, as one of the first deployments of the technology in sub-Saharan Africa.

By upgrading its core routers and switches at these Teraco PoPs to 100Gbps ethernet technology, Seacom has activated up to 400Gbps of routing and switching bandwidth at each facility.

The upgrade enables Seacom to scale up the capacity it has acquired on the West Africa Cable System undersea cable to provide alternate traffic paths in the case of a Seacom subsea cable system outage.

Mark Tinka, Head of Engineering at the company, said that the investment would enable Seacom to grow its network and customer base.

"We will be able to provide a reliable and consistent experience to African businesses, service providers and consumers. Africa is becoming an important global player in the digital age and we are committed to investing in the best technology to support the growth of Internet access across the continent," Tinka said.

Last year, Seacom began a roll-out of high-speed fibre Internet access services to some business and home users on the East Rand. 
Seacom plans to extend the reach of its fibre network to more parts of South Africa, including areas currently underserviced by last-mile fibre operators and partnered with various resellers to address the home, retail and business markets. – Source:
  Ensuring that standards are high across the board has been the Airports Council International (ACI), which surveys more than 600 000 passengers annually to understand which airports are getting it right.
For Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the Garden Route's George Airport and Durban's King Shaka International have excelled – as Africa's best airports serving over two million passengers and under two million passengers award categories respectively.

ACI announced that George Airport came out tops as Africa's best airport in the category under two million passengers per year.

While Morocco's Casablanca Airport took first place in the Best Airport by Region over two million passengers per year, this was followed by Mauritius in second place and Durban's King Shaka International in third place.

King Shaka International Airport exceeded the 5,5 million-passenger mark in 2017, in a record year boosted by excellent domestic passenger growth and a consolidation in international numbers, according to the ACSA aviation barometer. The milestone means the airport has increased passenger numbers by over a million since opening in May 2010.

Africa's most improved airport for service quality was Kenya's Nairobi Airport.

All of this bodes well as aviation and its macro-economic impact on the continent take centre stage this year, with the African Union (AU) officially approving a Single African Air Transport Market Policy to open up African skies at the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa in January. It stems from the Yamoussoukro Resolution, which has been almost a decade in the making and would see an estimated $1,3 billion increase in gross domestic product for the continent and create about 155 million much-needed jobs across Africa.
The Fifth Ungasali International Annual Storytelling Festival took place at Freedom Park on 10 March 2018. More than 11 storytellers participated.  
The aim of the festival is to contribute to the basic education curriculum by offering educators skills on teaching through storytelling; educate the public about history and art; showcase storytelling talent; identify new talents in storytelling; and demonstrate to local communities the opportunities for job creation through storytelling.

The main event was preceded by interfaith prayers and a carnival. Some of the artists who participated were: Masoja Msiza, Michelle Erasmus, Nozi Ngomane, Ntumbateka Matshatsharaga and Bongiswa Kotta-Ramushwana.
The Mother City has ranked as one of millennials' favourite cities to visit. Coming in at number 104, Cape Town is officially one of the cool cities, given a youthful stamp of approval by millennials.   
Nestpick, a furnished apartment search engine, has released a study revealing the top 110 cities for millennials. The study was based on factors such as the startup ecosystem, housing affordability, immigration tolerance and quality of nightlife.

Since the premise of Nestpick is to help users find accommodation, the company says that it witnessed first-hand that young professionals display clear migrational patterns.

This is the second year in a row that the company has conducted this study. They've conducted it, according to their press release, as a means "to pinpoint which cities are successfully attracting this generation, and therefore a core future workforce".

According to Ömer Kücükdere, Managing Director of Nestpick, the reason for this study was also to find out the needs of younger people in order to build a thriving economy and brighter future. He says that because of how vastly different and technologically advanced the world is, the way we view residency and what home is has changed.

"Millennials grew up in a shrinking world, where the Internet opened doors their parents never could have dreamed of, and budget airlines made those avenues real possibilities.

"It's now possible to live and work anywhere in the world, and these opportunities are shaping how our planet will look to future generations." says Kücükdere.

"We believe that this ranking offers valuable insights to those cities looking for regeneration from a younger demographic." – Source:
  "Meerkat Maantuig" ("Meerkat Moonship") is a movie that's making South Africans' hearts swell with pride. It is filled with magic and whimsy and it's winning over audiences all over the world.
The local film was inspired by the youth novella Blinde Sambok by renowned South African author Riana Scheepers. Writer-director, Hanneke Schutte, decided to use the book as a point of departure and turn it into a cinematic story set in the majestic forests of Magoebaskloof, South Africa.

The theme of the film is clear – go out there and face your fears, that's the only way you'll live a rich and inspired life.

It is a beautiful story about a fearful, young girl who is convinced her name is cursed. She gets sent to live with her grandparents and makes a new friend, Bhubesi, who is busy building a Meerkat Moonship in the forest. Life opens up to her and she learns that she doesn't have to fear everything.

The first screening of Meerkat Maantuig took place at the annual Silwerskerm Fees in Camps Bay, Cape Town, where the film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Director. The cinematographer, Willie Nel, walked away with the prize for Best Cinematography.

In November 2017, Meerkat Maantuig had its North American premiere at the prestigious Austin Film Festival in Texas. The director, Hanneke Schutte, attended the festival and she was overwhelmed by the positive response.

"After one of the screenings in Austin, a lady came up to me crying – unable to speak, she gave me a note telling me how much the film had meant to her. The note had me in tears! It was one of the most special moments of my entire filmmaking career," says Schutte.

The film garnered so much attention at the festival that it was given an additional encore Buzz screening and it also received some rave reviews.

Meerkat Maantuig was also listed as the number one film on United States (US) film critic Jesse Knight's list of Top 10 Undistributed Films in the US.

The film has also landed on US Film Bloggers and Film Festival critics Bill and Bill Movies' list of top films of 2017 alongside an impressive list of blockbusters and Oscar nominees.

Meerkat Maantuig has been officially selected to screen at a list of prestigious international film festivals, some of which include:
  • Austin Film Festival
  • Oxford Film Festival
  • Sedona Film Festival in Arizona
  • The Kids First Film Festival (the biggest kids' film festival in the world)
  • Omaha Film Festival, Nebraska
  • Cleveland Film Festival
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, Ohio
  • Giffoni Film Festival, Italy
  • Afrykamera Festival, Poland
  • Calcutta International Cult Film Festival
  • GUKIFF International Kids Film Festival, Seoul, Korea.
The film will be released in selected South African cinemas on 16 March. – Source:
Tickets to Africa's first Comic Con to be held in Johannesburg have gone on sale.  
Comic Con Africa will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre from 14 to 18 September 2018.

The conference, based on the international event of the same name, is expected to showcase comic books and science fiction/fantasy-related films, series and similar popular arts.

VS Gaming, Reed Exhibitions Africa and ReedPOP, who are hosting the event, announced that the first phase of tickets for Comic Con Africa would be available through Computicket from 09:00 on Friday, 9 March.

Tickets exclude additional add-ons such as autograph or panel sessions, which will be made available once the talent and guest line-up is confirmed.

Organisers said hospitality and VIP packages would also be made available at a later stage.

Comic Con Africa was officially announced on 20 February at an event attended by Connie Chiume and Dr John Kani, stars of the blockbuster superhero movie Black Panther.

During the event, organisers said they expected celebrities to attend the African event, and negotiations were taking place with stars of TV series Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory. – Source: www.news24,com
  The epic R260-million budget fantasy series "Troy: Fall of a City" was shot exclusively on African shores.
It is BBC's most expensive drama, costing R32,7 million per episode. There were 71 cast, 647 crew and almost 2 000 extras from South Africa.

Viewers can look forward to spotting the Cape's Noordhoek beach, mountain passes outside Stellenbosch, and the open plains and vineyards of Boschendal.

The Cape's vegetation matched the Mediterranean scenery, except for the pine trees.

South African couch potatoes can look forward to spotting local locations and thousands of their neighbours when the epic R260-million budget fantasy series Troy: Fall of a City comes to Netflix on 6 April.

In 2014, South Africa competed with countries like Croatia, Turkey and Spain to convince UK producers to shoot the drama here.

Luckily, Cape Town was a good stand-in for the Mediterranean, says Rudi van As, director of South African-based producer Film Afrika.

"The vegetation was perfect except for the pine trees."

The Mirror newspaper in the UK says it's no wonder that the Western Cape caught the cast and crew's attention; "It's home to spectacular scenery including picture-perfect beaches, awe-inspiring mountains and lusciously green forests."

"Everywhere you turn, there are jaw-dropping beautiful backdrops on offer whether you're taking a stroll along the sandy shores of beaches like Llandudno or Milnerton, taking in the sweeping landscapes of the winelands, or exploring the craggy cliffs including the Cape of Good Hope. No doubt ideal when you're filming epic battles and armies of soldiers making their way across desert landscapes."

The bright local skies also make Cape Town an ideal location for shooting. South Africa is a popular double for Middle Eastern locations and settings, and the city has recently hosted the UK-produced drama Tutankhamun and the US-made series Of Kings and Prophets, reports The Sun newspaper in the UK.

The UK production teams were also seemingly impressed with the South African can-do attitude. "Working there is a joy because they are welcoming and friendly and know what they are doing," show runner Derek Wax told the Daily Express newspaper.

Filming started almost exactly a year ago and interior shots were filmed in a local production studio. – Source: www.news24,com
Rooibos has become part of popular culture. South Africa's popular tea has made it into one of Marvel's comic strips in a scene where psychiatrist, Flo Mayer, offers Jennifer Walters (also known as She-Hulk) a cup of Rooibos to calm her down.
A depiction of the fictional Marvel character, She-Hulk as per vol.2 #7, cover art by Greg Horn. She-Hulk has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire, the Defenders, Fantastic Force and S.H.I.E.L.E. A highly skilled lawyer, she has served as legal counsel to various superheroes on numerous occasions.

Rooibos received the mention in the most recent edition of She-Hulk.

Adele du Toit, spokesperson of the SA Rooibos Council, says it's a testament to how increasingly popular Rooibos has become worldwide.

"Global consumption of Rooibos is at around 15 000 tons per annum and the demand for the product continues to grow. It's fast becoming a popular choice among a variety of herbal teas around the world.

"The fact that the author has Mayer offering Walters a cup of Rooibos to calm her nerves, after the confrontation with a villain, called The Leader and his pawn, Professor Robyn Meiser Malt, is right on the money. Research done by several academic institutions, including Stellenbosch University, proved Rooibos tea's ability to alleviate stress and anxiety levels. – Source:
  The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has provided its 182-member Commonwealth Games squad incentives for the Gold Coast.

SASCOC promised to award all gold medalists in Australia R55 000 with an extra R12 500 going to their coaches.

Silver medal winners will earn R25 000 with R7 500 for their coach, while bronze medalists will receive R15 000 (R5 000 to their coach).

South Africa will do battle across 17 codes, including para-sports athletics, lawn bowls, swimming, table tennis and powerlifting.

Sporting codes with South African participation in Australia are the following: athletics, badminton, bowls, boxing, cycling (mountain bike, road, track), gymnastics, hockey, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.

Team South Africa finished seventh overall at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, earning a total of 40 medals, including 13 golds.

The Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast will run from 4 to 15 April. – Source: www.news24,com
Caster Semenya, the Rio Olympics gold medallist and reigning world 800-metre champion, broke South Africa's oldest track record at the Liquid Telkom Athletix Grand Prix at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Thursday, 8 March.  
She won the seldom-run 1000-m race in 2min 35.44sec to beat the old mark of 2:37.2 by close on two seconds.

Co-incidentally, the old 1983 record was set in Bloemfontein by Ilze Wicksell, now 58 years old, and a sports manager at the High Performance Centre in the same city.

Visiting Ugandan athletes Halimah Nakaayi and Winnie Nanyondo were second and third in 2:37.55 and 2:37.98 respectively as Olympic 400-m hurdler Wenda Nel performed early pacemaking duties.

Semenya told SABC afterwards: 'It was a tough race. The pacemaker went too quickly so I was a little disappointed.'

"The main job of a pacemaker is to guide me, not kill me. But at the end of the day, I got a new national record so I couldn't ask for more. It's fantastic."

Semenya's fine form means she's set up well for a great performance at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which will be staged in Australia next month. – Source:
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