Issue 322 | 12 April 2018
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness at the passing away of Zola Skweyiya, a former Cabinet Minister and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
The President has extended condolences to his family, friends and comrades. The former Minister passed away at the age of 75 after a period of hospitalisation.

“Our thoughts, as colleagues and comrades, go out to the family and friends of Dr Skweyiya who served our country with great passion and distinction during his time in Cabinet and the diplomatic service.

“Dr Skweyiya’s endearing engagement and his contribution to our society – especially his role as the first Minister to lead the Public Service in a democratic South Africa – will be greatly missed and honoured,” President Ramaphosa said.

He served as Minister of Public Service and Administration from 1994 to 1999 and later as Minister of Social Development before retiring as a Member of Parliament in 2009.

In the same year, Dr Skweyiya was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland – a position that acknowledged the long period Dr Skweyiya had spent in exile during the apartheid era.

The Presidency said details of memorial events would be communicated in due course.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has also extended her condolences to the family of Dr Skweyiya.

“He crafted the ethos of Batho Pele. He lived them and insisted that the Public Service was professional and all public servants served the people with the same commitments and dedication. He also extended his professionalism and commitment to the diplomatic family when he was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Young people learnt a lot from him”, said Minister Sisulu.

“He has left us with a lot of intellectual inheritance. We were very fortunate to have him in the diplomatic family”, added Minister Sisulu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sincerest condolences at the passing away of veteran diplomat, Ambassador Sipho George Nene, on Friday, 6 April 2018.
As a member of the African National Congress (ANC), Ambassador Nene served the organisation during exile in Lusaka, Zambia, before joining the diplomatic service of a liberated South Africa in 1994. He was appointed as South Africa’s first High Commissioner to the Republic of Nigeria and later served as South Africa’s Ambassador to Switzerland. During his tenure as Deputy Director-General: Multilateral Affairs, Ambassador Nene advanced South Africa’s interests in a broad range of international fora.

“We have lost a special patriot and career diplomat who flew our flag with distinction and dedicated during his period in exile to mobilising our region and continent to secure the liberation of our country,” President Ramaphosa said.

“Through his leadership in our diplomatic service, Ambassador Nene was instrumental in preparing South Africa’s emerging diplomatic representatives for the dynamics and demands of a rapidly changing world. His contribution therefore lives on in South Africa’s regional, continental and global relations.”

Ambassador Nene retired from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) two years ago.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has also extended her condolences and those of the DIRCO family to the family and friends of Ambassador Nene.

Minister Sisulu said Ambassador Nene ranked among the top diplomats of the ANC and the Government of South Africa ever deployed across the world. “South Africans must celebrate the contribution Ambassador Nene made to the fight against apartheid and his role in the development of our relations with various countries across the world. We have lost one of our best diplomats at a time when we still need their experience and wisdom,” said Minister Sisulu.
It is reported that at least 257 people died in the crash, including 26 members of Western Sahara’s Polisario Front. The Algerian Government has declared three days of national mourning.
On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed messages of condolences to the governments and the people of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, and particularly to the families, friends and colleagues of all the victims of the military plane that crashed near Algeria’s capital, Algiers, on Wednesday, 11 April 2018.

President Ramaphosa said that many people in Algeria and Western Sahara were grieving the loss of their loved ones. The people of South Africa share their pain and loss and extend their most sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, congratulated Julius Maada Bio on his election as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
President Ramaphosa also commended the outgoing President, Ernest Bai Koroma, after serving two five-year terms and stated that the peaceful and democratic manner under which these elections were conducted signified yet another positive step towards the deepening of democracy on the African continent.

President Ramaphosa concluded by assuring President Bio of his commitment to strengthen bilateral relations between South Africa and Sierra Leone.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his warm congratulations to his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, for his re-election as President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
This follows the announcement by the Egyptian National Election Authority of the outcome of the Presidential elections, held from 26 to 28 March 2018 that saw the incumbent re-elected to the high office for a second term.

President Ramaphosa said he was committed to working with President Al Sisi to forge closer strategic cooperation between South Africa and Egypt, focusing in particular on economic and security cooperation. The President said further that the two countries needed to continue working together in pursuance of continental integration, peace and security as well as the fight against all forms of terrorism and extremism.
South Africa and Egypt enjoy cordial relations dating back to the days of the liberation struggle against apartheid.
Family, friends, government officials, the Diplomatic Corps and ordinary South Africans came in their numbers on Wednesday, 11 April 2018, to bid the woman who became known as the face of the South African liberation movement, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, goodbye in song and praise at an official memorial service held in her honour at the Orlando Stadium.
Those who knew Mama Madikizela-Mandela spoke of her as a selfless leader who was always ready to lend a hand.

In his keynote address at the memorial, Deputy President David Mabuza said Mama Winnie, as she was affectionately known, gave without expecting anything in return.

“Her activism cuts across race, gender and class. Hers was to serve humanity in its totality. She gave without expecting anything in return,” said Deputy President Mabuza.

The stadium, which is a stone’s throw away from the home of Mama Winnie, erupted in song as mourners celebrated the life of the fallen heroine.

Her daughters, Zindzi and Zenani Mandela, grandchildren and former first Lady and wife to the late Nelson Mandela, Graća Michel, were among those present.

Government officials, including ministers, deputy ministers, leaders of various political parties and high-ranking officials such as Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi were also present to bid farewell to the mother of the nation.

Political party members and supporters also came out in their numbers, donning their varying regalia and singing in unison to celebrate the struggle stalwart.

“In the past few days, Mama Winnie’s sense of universalism was echoed by millions across the world, and the visits to her home by various leaders and people from different political persuasions is testimony to her status as a global freedom fighter,” said the Deputy President.

Making reference to a social media campaign that erupted in celebration of Mama by young women who wore all black and donned doeks, the Deputy President said the family should take comfort in the idea that the youth would take forward Mama Winnie’s baton of freedom.

“May you be consoled in the knowledge that across the length and breadth of our country and the world, young people are opening their eyes and proclaiming that Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela did not die, but she multiplied,” said Deputy President Mabuza.

The Deputy President thanked the people of Orlando who since hearing of Mama Winnie’s passing paused their lives to accommodate the celebration of her life.

Mama Winnie will be laid to rest on Saturday, 14 April 2018, in a Special Official Category 1 Funeral. This was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa following the passing of the struggle stalwart on Easter Monday, 2 April 2018.

A Special Official Funeral will see military honours displayed in tribute to Mama Winnie.

Heads of State, such as the likes of Namibian President, Hage Geingob, and others are expected to be in attendance. United States civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson, is also expected to attend Mama Winnie’s final send-off.

The 10-day period of mourning, which was declared by the President, will also draw to a close on the Saturday evening after the mother of the nation is laid to rest.

– Source:

Deputy President David Mabuza, on Friday, 6 April 2018, led government’s 39th commemoration of the late Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.
The Deputy President visited the Gallows at the Kgoši Mampuru II Correctional Facility in Pretoria.

The year 2018 marks the 39th anniversary of the execution by hanging of Mahlangu, an African National Congress’ military wing, uMkhonto weSizwe, combatant. He was hanged by the apartheid regime at the Pretoria Central Prison on 6 April 1979. Before he was executed, Mahlangu said: “My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the struggle”.

The execution provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa’s apartheid policy. In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral, the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville. On 6 April 1993, he was reinterred at the Mamelodi Cemetery.

In 2005, a statue of Mahlangu was unveiled in Mamelodi. In the same year, Mahlangu was posthumously awarded The Order of Mendi for Bravery in Gold for his bravery and sacrificing his life for freedom and democracy in South Africa.

The Deputy President, together with Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and the Mahlangu family took the 52 steps to the Gallows, as they observed the re-enactment of Solomon Mahlangu's final moments before execution.

Later in the day, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, delivered a memorial lecture in honour of Solomon Mahlangu at the Vista Campus in Mamelodi.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, on 6 April 2018 paid a courtesy call on the King of Lesotho, His Majesty King Letsie III, to discuss among other things, the challenges at the Maseru Bridge, a border between South Africa and Lesotho.

On the margins of the recently held Southern African Development Community Council of Ministers, Minister Sisulu received a briefing from her counterpart, Minister Lesego Makgothi, about the unfortunate and regrettable incident at the border in which His Majesty the King was affected. In her response to Minister Makgothi, Minister Sisulu undertook to travel to Lesotho to personally convey an apology to His Majesty the King for the inconvenience caused.

In her meeting with His Majesty the King, Minister Sisulu conveyed the message that the South African Government was working on increasing capacity at the border post and also finding a permanent solution geared to managing the travel movements of the King and eminent persons travelling between South Africa and Lesotho. This will also positively affect frequent travellers between the two countries.

"We have come here to convey our apology to His Majesty the King, the Lesotho Prime Minister and to the entire Basotho nation for the inconvenience caused and also to explain to the King what we intend and are committed to do. We are happy that our apology has been accepted", said Minister Sisulu.

"The Minister of Home Affairs, Hon Gigaba will not be alone in solving these challenges. We are all, including the Free State Government, fully committed to urgently attend to matters of migration between the two countries. The Basotho did not discriminate against us during our struggle for freedom, we are effectively one people", added Minister Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu also paid a courtesy call on the Lesotho Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, who conveyed his condolences on behalf of the Lesotho Government to the people of South Africa as they mourn the loss of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Prior to a meeting with the King, Minister Sisulu visited Home Affairs officials at the Maseru Bridge to receive a briefing on the operations at the border. She also used the opportunity to interact with travellers.

Minister Sisulu was accompanied by the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela; South African High Commissioner to Lesotho, Ambassador Sello Moloto; Free State MEC for Health, Butana Komphela; MEC for Sports and Recreation, Mathabi Leeto; and MEC for Public Works, Dora Kotze.


Freedom Month (April) commemorates the historic occasion in 1994 when South Africa achieved freedom and democracy, where all its citizens became free from discrimination and oppression, moving away from hatred, divisions and a painful history to build a common future together.

The celebrations coincide with the centenary of the late President Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, a heroine of the liberation struggle. South Africa also remembers the recent fallen outstanding figure of the liberation movement, a freedom fighter who fought ferociously against the apartheid regime and all kinds of injustice, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The theme for the 2018 Freedom Month celebrations is “The Year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: “United for Radical Economic Transformation”. This month’s celebrations provide an opportunity for South Africans to work together and unite around a common agenda to build a united and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in the National Development Plan.

Freedom Month recognises and celebrates the strides South Africa has made since 1994. The majority of the people have increased access to a wide range of basic services. More opportunities have been created for the vast majority to participate in the economy. Although significant progress has been made, challenges still remain.

The celebrations also present an opportunity to reflect on the 22 years of the Constitution, to re-examine the challenges and consolidate the gains made thus far in transforming the South African society, especially the disadvantaged.

Freedom Month provides an opportunity to strengthen solidarity, tolerance and acceptance, national identity and promote social cohesion.
“Although we have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, the country continues to witness racial hatred from those who are opposed to the social democratic project and the nation-building agenda in particular. We need to build from this universal law of our country to outlaw racism and its related bigotries,” said the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.

The National Freedom Day celebrations will be held on 27 April 2018 at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Rocklands, Bloemfontein. Government would like to encourage all South African to participate in the celebrations, including business, traditional leaders, organised labour, the religious fraternity and party political formations, among others.
Mama Winnie was not only a South African icon but an international one, who was well-known around the world because of her indomitable fighting spirit.
This is how a delegation of ambassadors remembered the late struggle stalwart, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela, as they paid tribute to her.

About 70 ambassadors from all over the world visited Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto, on Tuesday, 10 April 2018, to pay their respects and also extend condolences from their respective countries.

Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa, who came in his capacity as the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Bene M’Poko, said Mama Winnie was very unique in that from a very young age, she sacrificed everything to fight a war, one that was extremely difficult.

“Her life needs to be celebrated because she won the battle. Today, South Africa is free because she contributed a lot among other leaders of the world and Africa. We are here to celebrate that victory. Her life needs to be celebrated.

“The image she leaves with us is that of a defiant fist and the beautiful smile she carried during the struggle period. I am hoping as an African that one day, the continent will build a monument of what Mama Winnie Mandela depicted. It must stay there for future generations to see what she stood for [and] what she accomplished,” Ambassador M’Poko said.

Speaking on behalf of women ambassadors, Senegalese Ambassador to South Africa, Safiatou Ndiaye, said Madikizela-Mandela was a leader for all women on the continent and the world.

“Today, we are paying tribute to her and great respect for her. She showed us the life, and we will follow her spirit. We want to send our sincere condolences to the whole family and to her daughters, who are also ambassadors,” Ambassador Ndiaye said.

– Source:
The purpose of the discussion was to engage issues related to the implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy and also reflect on salient issues identified in the book, “South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Foreign Policy: Security, Diplomacy and Trade”.
The Branch: Diplomatic Training, Research and Development hosted, in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, a successful round table discussion on South Africa’s foreign policy post-apartheid. The discussion took place on 10 April 2018 at the Multipurpose Centre, OR Tambo Building.

Participants in the discussion included Senior Management and Middle Management of the department who have contributed to the definition and conduct of South Africa’s foreign policy following the democratic breakthrough of 1994. The editors of the book, Adekeye Adebajo and Kudrat Virk, also participated as panellists.

Session one dealt with an overview of South Africa’s foreign policy and was moderated by Thandiwe Fadane, Chief Director: Latin America and the Caribbean.

Session two dealt with South Africa’s key bilateral relations in Africa. The session was moderated by Lindi Mminele, Director at the Chief Directorate: Southern Africa.

Session three dealt with South Africa’s key multilateral relations and was moderated by Dr Rachel Morake, Director: National Office for the Coordination of Peace Missions.

The discussion reviewed and identified areas of strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy. To this end, the discussion used concentric circles in unpacking South Africa’s foreign policy implementation. It pointed on the overlapping circles that prioritise domestic priorities. The discussion emphasised, among others, that South Africa’s bilateral relations have always been aimed at advancing the African Agenda and contributing to the both regional and continental stability. 
National Treasury on Tuesday, 10 April 2018, announced it had appointed the head of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) for the African Regional Centre (ARC)
Monale Ratsoma, Deputy Director-General (DDG) of Treasury’s Economic Policy Department, will lead the regional arm of the bank. His appointment is with effect from 16 April, Treasury said in a statement.

“Mr Ratsoma’s role will be managing the bank’s African regional operations and leading the bank’s African efforts in project preparation, project implementation and regional portfolio management,” Treasury said.

Last year, former President Jacob Zuma opened the ARC in Sandton. It is the development bank's first regional centre.

The bank is meant to provide resources to drive infrastructure development by accelerating investment in energy and transport.

Treasury’s DG, Dondo Mogajane, has thrown Treasury’s support behind Ratsoma, saying Treasury will provide him with the “necessary support” to realise the bank's vision for South Africa and the continent.

Ratsoma joined Treasury in 2011 as Chief Director of Liability Management. He was appointed DDG of Economic Policy in 2015.

Dr Duncan Pieterse will act as DDG of Economic Policy from 16 April until the position is filled. Pieterse is the Chief Director of Microeconomic Policy at Treasury.
In an effort to address wildlife trafficking, governments in southern African countries have diversified and expanded their capabilities to meet the escalating threat, says Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa.
Addressing the Fourth Multilateral Meeting of the Defence and Security Chiefs on Anti-Poaching on Wednesday, 4 April, Minister Molewa said countries in the region adopted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Law Enforcement and Anti-poaching Strategy (LEAP Strategy).

“The illegal killing and trafficking of our wildlife undermines our investments in the protection and conservation of our natural heritage. It is for this reason we, as the southern African countries, have, after much deliberation, adopted the LEAP Strategy, which now needs to be implemented,” she said.

According to the Minister, the strategy will boost efforts to combat poaching and trafficking in wildlife by introducing a common approach to combat illicit transnational trade in wildlife.

“It has been almost a decade since rhino poaching started intensifying and increasing in the subregion. Through our efforts to combat the scourge, we have learnt lessons and have developed best practices that we can share with each other,” she said.

Minister Molewa said as rhino poaching escalated, South Africa had to adapt and enter into a number of collaborative agreements to ensure wildlife is protected and properly managed.

“The South African Government, at Cabinet level, approved an Integrated Strategic Management Approach for the protection and management of rhino in the country.

“This approach is implemented through a joint collaboration within the Security Cluster comprising the ministries of defence and military veterans (chair), justice and correctional services, police, environmental affairs as well as state-owned entities, such as the State Security Agency, South African Revenue Service, National Prosecuting Authority, South African National Parks (SANParks) and the provincial conservation and security authorities,” she said.

The integrated approach comprises specific interventions aimed at increasing rhino numbers by expanding the range, which also involves sharing animals with other range countries as well as strengthening law enforcement and anti-poaching capabilities.

Other objectives include working with communities adjacent to national and provincial parks and broader awareness programmes.

“These have delivered a number of significantly satisfying results – most significantly, an established downward trend in the number of rhino poached in South Africa since 2016.  It is an approach that is now being utilised to curb elephant poaching in the Kruger National Park,” Minister Molewa said.

The anti-poaching meeting was first held in Botswana in 2014, with subsequent meetings in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Defence and service chiefs from the Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe defence forces, as well as officials in the departments of police, justice, environmental affairs and intelligence, attended the three-day meeting.

– Source:

Government launched a provincial InvestSA One Stop Shop (OSS) in Gauteng on Tuesday, 10 April 2018, in a bid to attract investment in the province.

Its objectives include providing professional service to all investors to reduce regulatory inefficiencies and red tape for investors looking to invest in Gauteng.

The Gauteng InvestSA OSS was launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, together with Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, in Sandton.

The InvestSA OSS is a presidential programme to promote and facilitate investment in South Africa.

Minister Davies said that the provincial One Stop Shop investment centres that were being rolled out in all the provinces would be used to coordinate and incorporate the special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing matters.
"Gauteng province is an economic hub for South Africa’s investment opportunities abound in a number of sectors of the economy and hosts major multi-national companies that are increasing their investment in South Africa.

"The launch will strengthen coordination in the three metros and economic corridors in the province together with other departments and agencies under one roof."

Gauteng is a leading sub-national destination for foreign direct investment into the African continent.
This programme is a partnership between the Department of Small Business Development and the European Union (EU) delegation to South Africa.
The Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, launched the Employment Promotion through Small, Micro and Medium Enterprise (SMME) Support Programme for South Africa at Riversands Incubator in Diepsloot on Friday, 6 April 2018.

The programme seeks to contribute towards inclusive economic growth and employment creation through support for SMMEs. The programme will support SMMEs through business development services, assist them with access to markets, improve their access to finance and help ease the administrative and regulatory burden on small businesses.

Minister Zulu said. “We are proud of our partnership with the EU. This programme is aligned to our National Development Plan, which articulates a vision of an economy that is inclusive, equitable and fast-growing, with the SMME sector contributing 90% of all new jobs by 2030”.
The WTM Africa will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 18 April to 20 April 2018.
WTM Africa 2018 hosts several tourism products from around the continent in the hotel and travel industry, as well as services in luxury travel.

WTM Africa is one of six shows in the WTM portfolio, with other exhibitions taking place in London, São Paulo, Dubai, Penang and Cannes. These expos place the focus on regional products and services while giving them a global reach that will boost the industry, and as such are the perfect platforms to exhibit African businesses to the world.

Organised by Reed Exhibitions Limited, this year’s annual meeting is expected to attract more than 7 500 attendees, showcasing the inbound and outbound travel markets from over 45 countries.

Attendees will get a chance to access unique business opportunities and top quality contacts from around the world.

Through pre-scheduled appointments and on-site networking, guests can drive their commercial success with all-year-round connections and updates on industry news, developments and technologies.
Nathii Mthethwa, the Minister of Arts and Culture, on Wednesday, 4 April 2018, launched the book, “Jazz Epistles, The Living History” in partnership with Touch HD.
The book is a historical account of the story of the legendary Jazz Epistles. It is written by Nandi Molefe, whose dream is to reignite the dialogue of the importance of the preservation and promotion of South Africa’s heritage and arts. It was born out of the group’s reunion concert, The Jazz Epistles Reunion in 2016, which was co-produced by Touch HD CEO, Tbo Touch.

Since the time that the Jazz Epistles split in 1960, the group had never performed together until in 2016. Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa mesmerised the sold-out arena as they teleported back into the jazz golden era. They agreed to perform together as a special tribute to the 16 June 1976 Soweto Youth Uprising on its 40th year anniversary.

This book details the story of the Jazz Epistles and the musical journey they travelled together in an innovative and intimate way. This jazz band is an all-star team of the greatest talent in African jazz and South African traditional music. The Jazz Epistles comprised young men in their 20s who had no idea what the world had in store for them and yet blew the jazz world over.

The book has been endorsed by another celebrated icon Abdullah Ibrahim, the late Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa. Proceeds will be donated to their respective charity organisations.
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope has scored an impressive observational victory with the publication of its magnetar study in “The Astrophysical Journal”.
The journal gave a description of the study, conducted by the radio telescope array in the Northern Cape, which observed a rare burst of activity from the exotic star.

"The first scientific publication based on MeerKAT data is a wonderful milestone," said Professor Roy Maartens, SKA SA research chair at the University of the Western Cape.

"Although MeerKAT isn't complete yet, it's now clearly a functioning telescope. We've been training a new generation of researchers, and soon our young scientists will be using what promises to be a remarkable discovery machine."

Magnetars are rare stars that form from neutron stars, which have powerful magnetic fields.

"Neutron stars are the very dense remains left over after the supernova explosion at the end of a massive star's life. When the star reaches the end of its nuclear burning phase, and there is no more fuel available for burning, the star explodes in an extremely bright supernova explosion, blasting off its outer layers and leaving a very dense core behind," Dr Rosalind Skelton of the South African Astronomical Observatory told News24.

Skelton's research field focuses on galaxy formation and how star formation influences the growth of galaxies

– Source:
The new Redstone Solar Thermal Power Tower in the Northern Cape will be 27 metres higher than the Carlton Centre, making it the second-highest concrete building in South Africa. It will provide enough electricity to power
200 000 households.
It joins 26 others renewable energy projects in South Africa, which will add 2 300MW of electricity to the national grid.

At 250 metres, the Redstone Solar Thermal Power Tower in Postmasburg, Northern Cape, is set to become the second-highest concrete building in South Africa.

It will be 27 metres higher than the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, which is currently the place second place, but still short of the 269 metre tall Hillbrow Tower.

The project will join 26 similar renewable energy projects across South Africa, which will add 2 300 MW of electricity to the national grid over the next five years.

The Independent Power Producer agreements between the South African Government and the electricity providers were signed on Wednesday, 4 April 2018.

The tower will feed the South African power grid with electricity 17 hours a day in order to meet peak energy demands, construction consortium head SolarReserve says.

"The project’s electricity price is set to be the lowest of any solar thermal project awarded in the country to date," SolarReserve's Esta Lissimore told Business Insider South Africa.

It will be able to reliably supply a stable supply of clean electricity to the equivalent of more than 200 000 South African homes each year.

– Source:
The Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) “SA Agulhas II” embarked on a logistical and scientific voyage to Marion Island on Thursday, 5 April 2018.
Aboard the ship was the Marion 75 expedition team, as well as a host of researchers and scientists from DEA and tertiary institutions who will be doing research in the ocean and on the island.

Marion is a volcanic island that forms part of South African territory and was proclaimed as Special Nature Reserve Status in 1995. The Marion 75 expedition team will occupy the island for a period of 14 months.
A new airline called Joon made its first flight to the Mother City on 1 April, adding a trendy vibe in the aviation industry.
Under Air France KLM, Joon will operate three weekly flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Cape Town. The airline has also been operating the Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Cairo route with a daily flight since 25 March.

While targeting a millennial market, Joon offers unique travel experiences and flexibility by providing a variety of travel choices to flyers of all tastes.

According to Air France KLM senior VP for Africa, Frank Legre, Joon airline is a perfect fit with the culture and vibrancy of the Mother City.

“There’s a good fit between the destination and airline,” says Legre, explaining that Cape Town is open to innovation, which is what the airline is striving towards constantly achieving.

One-way flights from Paris to Cape Town start at €279 (R4075.90 @R14.61 /€), and include taxes and fees but do not include any checked baggage allowance.

There are three types of seats to choose from – Business, Premium Economy and Economy – and each class comes with perks fit for well-travelled and tech-savvy flyers.

At the airport, business customers travelling with Joon have access to many Air France services. Air France takes care of check-in, assistance and boarding.

Business flyers get a unique culinary experience on board and enjoy fine dining with two meals on long-haul flights, prepared by French chefs such as Joël Robuchon, Guy Martin, Michel Roth, Olivier Bellin or Anne-Sophie Pic.

Business customers also enjoy an aperitif, an appetizer and a full menu served in a new collection of tableware designed by Jean-Marie Massaud. In addition, Joon offers its business customers a wine list drawn up by Paolo Basso and a cocktail created by the Experimental Cocktail Club.

There’s also a seat bed close to two-metres long, electric sockets and USB ports, new 15.6 inch HD touch screens and streaming with “YouJoon”

– Source: Traveller24
South African comedian Trevor Noah has launched his own foundation – The Trevor Noah Foundation – in South Africa, following in the footsteps of fellow South African expat celebrity Charlize Theron.
Trevor launched the new foundation on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. He was in South Africa – from his home in New York – for a two-day special television event NationWild, taping some of South Africa’s funniest young comedians.

Trevor’s new non-profit organisation aims to equip orphans and vulnerable youth with the education, life skills and social capital necessary to pursue further opportunities upon graduating high school so that they do not slip through the cracks. His goal is to provide an environment where children have the best chance, which in turn gives society the best chance.

Trevor said it’s always more inspiring to help those who are already pushing … and that’s what the foundation will do. It will look for people who are already pushing, to help get things jump-started so they can continue on the journey to reach their dreams.

The foundation is investing in three priority areas: psycho-social support, skills development, and career guidance and will partner with government schools.

– Source:
By Thursday, 12 April, South Africa was fifth on the medal table with 32 medals (11 gold, nine silver and 12 bronze).
Team South Africa got off to a golden Commonwealth Games start as Henri Schoeman won the men’s triathlon event on the first day of competition at Gold Coast, Australia. The tiny Durbanite dominated the 750-m swim, 20-km cycle and 5-km run from start to finish, winning in 52:31 – seven seconds clear of local favourite Jake Birtwhistle.

Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Snyman and Elma Davis took silver for South Africa in the women's fours bowls final against Australia, adding Team SA's fifth silver medal of the competition.

Chad le Clos outclassed a quality field to win his third straight 200m Commonwealth Games butterfly title, breaking the event record in the process and ensuring he becomes part of Games folklore.

And on a truly memorable evening for South Africa, Tatjana Schoenmaker produced the performance of her life to claim the gold in the 200m breaststroke. The 20-year-old from Pretoria has planted herself well and truly on the international swimming landscape and her 2:22.02 performance was an African record. It also sliced some 1.55 seconds off her personal best and she left England’s Molly Renshaw trailing in her wake.

South Africa hasn’t been as excited about a female breaststroker since Penny Heyns ruled the world – and here at the Commonwealth Games, Schoenmaker has gone faster in both the 50 and the 200m than the legendary Heyns ever did.

It was raining gold for Team SA on day five of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as Akani Simbine, Cameron Van Der Burgh, Chad Le Clos and Tatjana Schoenmaker all took gold, which saw South Africa surge up to fifth on the medals table with eight golds.

Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies took gold and silver in the men's 100m final with a time of (10.03) and (10.21) respectively -- with a particular Usain Bolt showing acknowledgement to Simbine, who could possibly be the heir to his 100m throne.

In the pool, the trio of le Clos, van der Burgh and Schoenmaker all took gold in what was an impeccable display in the pool for the South Africab swimmers. Le Clos took gold and made it a golden treble as he broke the Commonwealth Games record that he'd set in 2014 with a 50.65 performance in the 100m butterfly.

Van der Burgh took gold in the 50m breaststroke beating world record holder Adam Peaty to win in 26.48.

Schoemaker smashed the African record for the 200m breaststroke and won her second gold of the Games with a time 1:06.41.

South Africa rounded off a hugely successful campaign in the pool by adding another two Commonwealth Games medals to their total on Tuesday night.

That took their combined total in the pool to 12, after Le Clos had won four individual medals, Schoenmaker had claimed two golds, Van der Burgh a gold and bronze and a medal each for Ryan Coetzee, Christian Sadie and Brad Tandy. Le Clos and Van der Burgh were also part of the relay team which took bronze in closing off the swimming programme at the Games.

During the week, Le Clos became the most decorated Commonwealth Games swimming medallist and his haul of five took him to 17, one behind Australian shottist Phillip Adams.

Another duo of Dyan Buis, who took silver, and Charl du Toit, who took bronze for the men's T38 100m, made it a phenomenal day five for South Africa.

Caster Semenya dedicated her spectacular 1 500m Commonwealth Games gold medal to her country after the South African smashed Zola Budd's national record by more than a second on Tuesday, 10 April.

The middle-distance star was never in trouble on a track that had been dampened by rain on Australia's Gold Coast and she powered to the line to grab a slice of history.

The 27-year-old, the reigning double Olympic and world champion over 800m, clocked a Games-record time of 4mins 00.71secs to demolish the South African mark of 4:01.81 set by Budd in 1984.

Luvo Manyonga and fellow long jumper Ruswahl Samaai, Sunette Viljoen (javelin) and Reinhardt Hamman (shot put) had a field night as they added four more medals to the rainbow nation’s tally with Manyonga winning gold in the long jump with a Games record of 8.41 metres with his sixth and final jump.

South Africa’s Alan Hatherly won bronze in the men’s mountain bike cross-country event.

According to the Team SA website, it is South Africa’s first Commonwealth Games medal in this event.

– Source: /

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