Issue 335 | 06 July 2018
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South Africa is chairing BRICS from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018
South Africa is chairing BRICS from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018
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President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday, 5 July 2018, hosted the President of the Republic of Ghana, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on the occasion of his State Visit to South Africa. This was the first State Visit that President Ramaphosa had hosted since he became President of the Republic of South Africa.
The State Visit strengthened the already good political, economic and social relations that South Africa and Ghana enjoy, which were formalised at the advent of democracy in South Africa. The two countries established in May 2007 a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC), as a structured bilateral mechanism to provide for political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries.

The PJCC essentially oversees the implementation of the existing 22 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding which cover various fields, including trade and investment, avoidance of double taxation, information and communication, transport, electricity, oil and gas, tourism, environment, science and technology, and arts and culture.

The PJCC has over the years deepened and solidified the relations between the two countries, and laid the foundation for increased bilateral political and economic cooperation, based on mutual respect, commitment to democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

South Africa and Ghana also enjoy strong economic cooperation as evidenced by the increasing trade and investment between the two sister republics. The major South African products exported to Ghana include nuclear reactors, boilers; vehicles other than railway or tramway; articles of iron and steel; electrical machinery and equipment as well as parts thereof; and plastics.

The major products imported from Ghana include natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances as well as wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal and rubber.

Some of the South African companies that have invested in Ghana include MTN, Anglo-Gold Ashanti, Goldfields, SABMiller, Woolworths, Engen, Hytech Engineering, Afripa African Explosives Limited, Multichoice, Alliance Media, Broll, Group Five Steeldale, Stanbic Bank, Shoprite Checkers, Sherwood, Steers, South African Airways, 3M and First National Bank.

The State Visit provided an opportunity for the two presidents to further strengthen and deepen the bilateral relations between the two countries, paying a particular focus on economic, cultural and scientific cooperation.

The two leaders also discussed issues of mutual interest and concern at continental and global levels.

One of the main features of the visit was the Business Forum, which brought both South African and Ghanaian business sectors together to explore further trade and economic cooperation.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the ministers of international relations and cooperation; defence and military veterans; energy; trade and industry; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; public enterprises; as well as science and technology.
On 3 July 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate at a Credentials Ceremony that took place at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.
The following Heads-designate from nine countries presented their credentials to the President: the Republic of the Congo, Republic of Korea, Republic of Austria, Malaysia, Republic of Angola, Oriental Republic of Uruguay, United Mexican States, Republic of Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Republic of Indonesia, Burkina Faso and Republic of Liberia.

The President said the new ambassadors would assist to strengthen relations between their respective countries and South Africa.

"Your presence here is a firm indication of the commitment of your respective governments to maintain and deepen relations with South Africa.

"We firmly believe in the indivisible unity of humanity and that we share a responsibility to continuously strive to settle differences between countries peacefully and permanently,” said President Ramaphosa.

In keeping with the spirit of growing the continental economy and boosting job creation, President Ramaphosa called on the ambassadors to use their appointments to support South Africa on its investment drive.

"It is an understanding that jobs will not be created and poverty will not be reduced unless we grow our economy. We have appointed four special envoys for investment, who are meeting potential investors both in South Africa and abroad.

"It is our wish that we will use the good relations between our countries as the basis for greater levels of investment and bilateral trade, which will promote economic activity and development in our respective countries,” said the President.
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently attended the 31st African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit taking place in Nouakchott, the capital city Mauritania.
The theme of the two-day summit was: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. The Heads of State Summit was preceded by the 36th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee, which took place from 25 to 26 June and the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council from 28 to 29 June.

The Presidency said the summit presented a unique opportunity to reflect on and address specific challenges related to the fight against corruption on the continent.

The meeting deliberated on a number of issues, including the institutional reform and financing of the AU; peace and security on the continent; developments related to the African Continental Free Trade Area; the African Common Position on negotiations of a new cooperation agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries and the European Union Post-2020; and the adoption of the 2019 AU Budget.

During the summit, consideration was also given to the appointment of four judges to the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, five members of the AU Commission on International Law, four members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the Vice-President of the Council of the Pan-African University.

President Ramaphosa also participated in a meeting of the AU High-Level Ad Hoc Committee on South Sudan on the margins of the summit.

He also participated in an event to mark the centenary celebration of former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The President was accompanied to the AU Summit by International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu; Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies; and Finance Deputy Minister, Mondli Gungubele.

– Source:
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the unveiling of Mandela Avenue in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, on Monday, 2 July 2018, during the African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit.
"We are humbled and applaud you for this great honour you are bestowing on Nelson Mandela. Madiba was an internationalist, a Pan-Africanist and an advocate of peace. This recognition confirms that he belonged to all the people of Africa," said President Ramaphosa.

"We're honoured and deeply touched that there are lots people across the globe that are honouring Mandela during his centenary. It confirms the unity of our continent and the diversity of our land," added the President, who was accompanied by Rwanda President Paul Kagame, the Chair of the AU.

– Source: African News Agency (ANA)
South Africa has signed the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement with the African Union (AU).
In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Kigali Protocol, indicating South Africa’s commitment to signing the trade agreement.

However, Pretoria failed to join 44 other African countries in signing, on the grounds that there were certain areas within the agreement that required further clarification in terms of South Africa’s constitutional and internal processes, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, explained in March.

The Government also signed two annexures on trading goods and services on the continent.

“We are very happy to be part of this club,” said Minister Davies. He said the dti would “without delay” present the proposal to Cabinet to send the agreement to parliament for ratification.

The signed agreement will increase intra-regional trade and further more complex levels of production on the African continent.

The AU Summit in the Mauritanian capital focused on four broad thematic areas: the fight against corruption, institutional reform of the AU, consolidating the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and Peace and Security as introduced by former Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, in 2015.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has told leaders that government and ordinary citizens should stand together in the fight against corruption. He said the money lost due to corruption on the continent could be used to finance improvements to people’s lives.

– Source: African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently attended the Sixth Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Summit in Gaborone, Botswana.
SACU is the oldest customs union in the world constituted of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The Summit of Heads of States and Government meets on an annual basis to discuss progress on the implementation of the agreed SACU Work Programme.

This year’s summit considered the progress made thus far by the Two Ministerial Task Teams on Trade and Industry and Finance, which were established in 2017 to facilitate the review of the 2002 SACU Agreement.

The summit also provided a strategic direction on the region’s development integration agenda, which aims to promote regional economic integration, industrialisation and economic diversification of SACU economies.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, and the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was re-elected in the June 2018 general election and will assume the role of Executive President and become both the Head of State and Head of Government in Turkey.
Turkey’s Supreme Election Council on Monday, 25 June 2018, announced that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won an absolute majority in the presidential elections held on 24 June 2018.

President Ramaphosa congratulated the Turkish Government and people on the successful conclusion of their election process and wished President Erdoğan well with the task lying ahead. President Ramaphosa assured the Republic of Turkey of South Africa’s continued support.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed Old Mutual Limited moving its headline listing from London to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The President attended and addressed the announcement gala dinner event on Monday, 25 June 2018.

Our congratulations to Old Mutual on this historic homecoming and I have no doubt whatsoever that with the leadership that you have got in Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Moyo, and a number of you as executives, you will be able to steer this ship through the various waters around the African continent, given the experience you have garnered," said President Ramaphosa, addressing the gala dinner.

The headline listing on the JSE took place on Tuesday, 26 June 2018, with a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange and secondary listing on the stock exchanges of Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

President Ramaphosa said Old Mutual Limited’s strategic move was an added boost to restoring the much-needed confidence to attract investment to the country and the continent as he envisaged in his State of the Nation Address.

“Old Mutual’s strategy sends a clear signal to investors that South Africa is more than capable of sustaining an advanced financial sector and reinforces government’s commitment to developing this sector,” said the President.

– Source:

The media briefing forms part of the monthly media briefings aimed at updating members of the public on the implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy. The briefings will also be used to comment on current affairs issues affecting the country’s foreign policy.
“During my first Budget Vote Speech as the Minister of International Relations, I committed myself that we were going to improve our communication with the media through regular interactions with members of the press. I indicated that we were going to have monthly media briefings which will afford you (press) the opportunity to interact with us on a number of issues affecting our foreign policy. I am happy to confirm that today is the day we are launching our monthly media briefings.

“From today henceforth, we will have these briefings and they will be hosted by myself or the deputy ministers. If it happens that none of us are available we will ensure that our Director General and Deputy Director Generals proceed with the briefings. Our main objective is to keep you regularly informed on what we are doing in relation to the implementation of our foreign policy and ultimately reporting back to all South Africans here and abroad who expect nothing but the best from all of us.

During the briefing, the Minister highlighted the Travel Smart Campaign, which seeks to educate South Africans of their roles and responsibilities when they travel to other countries. “We have been receiving a lot of cases from fellow South Africans who experience different challenges when they travel. Some of those could have been avoided if we had familiarised ourselves with the laws of the countries we intended to visit”.

She also reflected on, among others, South Africa’s election to the non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the period 2019 to 2020; South Africa’s readiness to host the 10th BRICS Summit later this month; and the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government, which took place in Nouakchott, Mauritania; and other regional and international developments.

Read the full statement:
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Reginah Mhaule, on Tuesday, 3 July 2018, launched the Travel Smart Campaign on Consular Service Awareness.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage South Africans to be informed travellers and raise awareness on non-financial services offered by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) for South African citizens in distress abroad.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister Mhaule said that DIRCO, through the Chief Directorate: Consular Services, was mandated with rendering assistance and support to the public, working closely in collaboration with its diplomatic and consular representatives abroad.

“Before boarding an aeroplane, South Africans should take time to learn about the financial, political, cultural and economic environment of their intended destination. We must of course encourage our people to learn at least a few key phrases of the host country's language. Even a modest command of the local language will go a long way. When travelling abroad, the laws of the receiving country applies to everybody and South Africans must understand that they will not receive special treatment.

“South Africans are encouraged to have the contact details of the nearest South African Representative office and to carry contact details of their next of kin at all times.”
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Reginah Mhaule, on Friday, 29 June 2018, addressed youth at the Mthimba TVET College, Masoyi, Hazyview, Mpumalanga, on the 10th BRICS Summit, scheduled to take place in Johannesburg from 25 to 27 July 2018.
The 10th BRICS Summit will take place under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

The purpose of the Deputy Minister’s engagement with the young people was to create awareness of the 10th BRICS Summit and provide exposure to unemployed youth to available business opportunities and careers.

The event took place as the country commemorated the 2018 Youth Month under the theme “Live the Legacy: Towards a Socio-Economically Empowered Youth”.
The Eighth Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) National Security Advisers (NSAs) Meeting was held on 28 and 29 June 2018 in eThekwini. The Minister of State Security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, presided over the meeting.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of the Institutional Security Cabinet, General Sergio Etchegoyen from Brazil; Secretary-General of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Patruchev; the National Security Adviser of India, Ajit Doval; and Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, Yang Jiechi.

The NSAs underlined that this meeting presented their collective commitment to cooperate in preventing, mitigating and combating security threats. They acknowledged the positive contribution of BRICS countries on issues related to security.

The NSAs deliberated on various international hotspot areas currently impacting on the global security environment. They agreed that international peace and stability remained fragile and regression was possible if the peace was not guarded. On this matter, the NSAs agreed to continue monitoring the current security threats and collaborate on issues of mutual interest.

The NSAs thanked and congratulated the working groups on counter-terrorism and the security in the use of ICTs on their deliberations and positive outcomes of their meetings, which took place in April and May 2018, respectively.

In relation to counter-terrorism, the NSAs reaffirmed the transnational nature of terrorism, which was evolving and necessitated a continuous reassessment of threats and sharing of perspectives among BRICS countries. They agreed that BRICS countries should continuously explore areas of convergence in the fight against terrorism and should act united in exploring opportunities to present a BRICS perspective on this matter.

With regard to the security in the use of ICTs, the NSAs acknowledged the importance of establishing a solid framework for cooperation among BRICS countries on ensuring security in the use of ICTs. On this matter, BRICS countries will work towards the consideration and elaboration of a BRICS Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation.

The NSAs also deliberated on peacekeeping and transnational organised crime and resolved that discussions would be held before the end of the year towards the proposed establishment of working groups on these topics.

Finally, the NSAs discussed the proposal to establish a BRICS Intelligence Forum, as proposed by Brazil. Further deliberations on this proposal are underway.

Minister Letsatsi-Duba expressed her appreciation to her counterparts from BRICS countries for their active participation and contributions in making the meeting successful.
The Third Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) TB Research Network has set its sights on joining hands to combat tuberculosis (TB) among the BRICS countries.
“We want BRICS to take the lead in a process that will contribute to the elimination of TB by investing in healthcare innovation, drug discovery and development,” says Health Department Director-General, Precious Matsoso.

Ms Matsoso was speaking at the BRIC TB Research Network meeting that took place in Johannesburg on Friday, 29 June.

The BRICS TB Research Network was established to develop robust research into new tools, diagnostics, vaccines and drugs and to inform and accelerate the best use of existing and new interventions in TB control and prevention.

The meeting was part of the multicountry vision to accelerate research and innovation in TB through the BRICS cooperation mechanisms.

This was a preparatory meeting in advance of the forthcoming BRICS Ministers of Health Meeting, scheduled to take place from 18 to 20 July 2018 in Durban.

The network is set against the backdrop of TB epidemic where in 2016, there were an estimated 10,4 million New TB cases globally, with BRICS accounting for about 40% of the global TB disease burden and mortality, and at least 50% of the global multidrug-resistant TB cases.

– Source:
Buffalo City Metro Mayor, Councillor Xola Pakati, says the BRICS sectoral meetings have presented the city with an opportunity to position itself as a tourism and an investment destination.
“The presence of over 500 delegates in our city serves to confirm Buffalo City Metro as not only an event, sports and tourism destination of choice but also a credible place for investment,” said Councillor Pakati.

The sectoral meetings, known as the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Urbanisation Forum, were held in East London recently under the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

The forum promotes engagement between BRICS states through cities and local bodies and at local government level.

For the Metro, the hosting of this major event was in line the Metro Growth and Development Strategy, Vision 2030, which seeks to create a well-governed, productive, spatially transformed, globally connected and green city.

Opening the BRICS sectoral meetings on Thursday, 29 June, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister, Andries Nel, said cities were deemed to be an integral part of development and required better planning, especially looking at the rate at which urbanisation was taking place.

“The main message from the delegates was that there was merit to grow and build sustainable cities,” said the Deputy Minister.

The outcomes of the meeting will be reported to the BRICS Heads of State/Government Meeting at the 10th BRICS Summit to be hosted in Johannesburg in July.

– Source:
Water and Sanitation Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, together with Japan Ambassador to South Africa, Shigeyuki Horoki, have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of water resource management between the two countries.
“Japan is known for its new technology inventions and that is what we need as South Africa as we are faced with the effects of drought and other challenges in the water sector.

“We welcome this partnership as a step in the right direction, particularly in our quest to develop, maintain and manage our infrastructure”, said Minister Nkwinti.

The cooperation between the two states will focus on the fields of infrastructure development and technical cooperation in water resource management.

The Department of Water and Sanitation in South Africa and the Department of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan will exchange ideas and knowledge on issues in the water sector to benefit both countries.

This is with the intention of forging a long-term cooperative relationship that will assist both countries to face the ever-changing dynamics in the water sector.

At the signing ceremony on Friday, 29 June, Minister Nkwinti said the agreement between the two countries was a catalyst to decisively deal with aging infrastructure in the country.

The cooperation between the two countries will include the following:
  • integrated water resource management
  • water-related disaster management
  • wastewater treatment
  • development, operations, maintenance and management of infrastructure
  • technical standards and new technologies.
“A joint Commission on Cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management will be established to ensure seamless working relations and technical workshops, training, study tours and seminars will be organised in each country,” said Minister Nkwinti.

This will not be the first time that the department has entered into an agreement with an entity in Japan.

Early last year, a MoU was signed with Japan International Cooperation Agency to find solutions to the lack of technical skills in the South African water sector.

– Source:
The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains have been inscribed on the prestigious World Heritage List‚ Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, announced on Monday, 2 July 2018. The decision was taken by the 42nd United Nations Educational‚ Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee‚ meeting in Bahrain.
“There are now 10 World Heritage Sites in South Africa‚ the most in Africa.”

"As the Government of the Republic of South Africa‚ we would like to make a commitment that we will do all in our power to protect the integrity and the authenticity of this natural property‚" the Minister said.

Sites that are deemed World Heritage Sites are recognised as having global historical or environmental significance‚ may signify a phenomenal achievement of humanity‚ or reveal ancient civilisations. The recognition allows the country to access funds for conservation from the World Heritage Fund and may increase tourism to the area. To be accepted onto the list‚ a country must meet stringent criteria and show how the site will be conserved.

The mountains in Mpumalanga are thought to be one of the oldest sites on Earth‚ with its volcanic rocks estimated to be between 3,2 and 3,6 billion years old.

The mountains are also believed to contain the oldest signs of life‚ with a micro fossil of bacteria discovered there that is estimated to be 3,1 billion years old.

The Minister said the mountains "have provided an unparalleled source of scientific information on the formation of the early Earth from 3,6 billion years ago. Along with their exceptional geology‚ the area is rich in wild plants‚ animals and beautiful scenery".

There are now 10 World Heritage Sites in South Africa‚ the most in Africa.

Prior to this‚ Minister Mthethwa said‚ South Africa was tied with Morocco and Egypt with nine World Heritage Sites each.

The inscription inaugurates Mpumalanga into the list of provinces that are home to World Heritage Sites‚ which are:
  • Robben Island (Western Cape)‚
  • Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (Western Cape and Eastern Cape)‚
  • Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (Limpopo)‚
  • Vredefort Dome (Free State and North-West)‚
  • uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park [Transboundary with Lesotho],
  • Isimangaliso Wetland Park (KwaZulu-Natal)‚
  • Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa (Gauteng ‚ North-West and Limpopo)‚
  • Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape and ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape (Northern Cape).
– Source:
As part of the centenary celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Mama Albertina Sisulu, government and various social partners will on 10 July 2018 host a national #100MenMarch to stop violence against women and children.
Both these stalwarts committed their lives to the fight for human rights, particularly women and children. The march in part celebrates their lives but also seeks to raise awareness on the scourge of violence against women and children.

Various formations will in the spirit of #ThumaMina heed the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa that all citizens should take a stand to stop violence against women and children.

The march will draw at least 100 men from various sectors of society, such as government, business, labour, faith-based organisations, non-profit and media organisations to stop the abuse of women and children.

Government calls on all men to join the #100MenMarch and boldly declare that violence against women and children will not be tolerated in their respective environment or communities. The #100MenMarch will be a motivating force to ensure that men break the chain of abuse.
The Gautrain extension project has the capacity to create more than 211 000 direct jobs, says Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi.
Delivering his Budget Vote in the Gauteng Legislature recently, he said R1,6 billion was the estimated potential spend on skills development, enterprise development and supplier development.

“Passenger demand for the Gautrain has exceeded projections, especially in the peak periods, and has resulted in overcrowding and stifled demand. It is therefore necessary to procure more trains and invest in the system so that these trains can run efficiently over the next 10 years,” the MEC said.

The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) has developed a business case within existing funding parameters for Gautrain and has partnered with the Development Bank of Southern Africa to arrange for the financing for 12 new trains.

“The capital expenditure for additional rolling stock and supporting infrastructure is expected to sustain about 10 000 jobs in Gauteng. The total government revenue is expected to increase by an estimated R542 million in nominal terms between 2019 and 2023,” MEC Vadi said.

The GMA has completed the feasibility study for the extension to the existing Gautrain network. The study was submitted to National Treasury for approval in April 2017. Since then, the GMA and Provincial and National Treasury have had engagements to discuss the project in detail.

A decision on the awarding of Treasury Authorisation for the project is expected in the latter half of 2018. Once approval has been granted the planning and Environmental Impact Assessment of Phase 1 will begin.

– Source:
Durban's King Shaka International Airport is joining South Africa's main international and regional airports by “going silent”.
From 1 July 2018, no passenger boarding calls will be made in the domestic departures check-in areas and boarding gates area, confirms Colin Naidoo, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs at King Shaka airport. Public address microphones at the domestic departures gates will be switched off and only limited use of the microphones will be allowed at international departures gates.

The decision ensures consistent service delivery to passengers following the trend of all Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA) airports.

The rule has already been in place at OR Tambo International since November last year, at Cape Town International since March this year, and ACSA's other six regional airports – Port Elizabeth International Airport, Bram Fischer International Airport, East London Airport, George Airport, Upington International Airport and Kimberley Airport – is also implementing the intervention to reduce noise levels from 1 July.

Naidoo says that the "silent airport concept" has been welcomed by passengers at the other airports. "The objective is not only to minimise background noise but also the sense of hurry at the terminal by reducing the number of announcements," he says, adding that the aim of the project is to improve comfort levels of the waiting areas and reduce travel stress.

The standard operating procedures for most domestic flights require that passengers start boarding at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time and one hour for international travellers.

Passengers must check their boarding passes and the flight information display boards for boarding times. "The only instances where centralised terminal announcements will be made will be for irregular operations such as gate changes, flight time changes, security matters, system failures, emergencies and customer service anomalies such as lost minors," says the airport, which recently secured a direct flight route to London's Heathrow Airport.

With passengers becoming self-sufficient, and in keeping with global trends, only limited boarding calls will be made at international departures boarding gates.

“ACSA's airports compete globally and we are adopting the global trend of silent airports. We have listened to our concerns of our passengers and are reducing the noise footprint within our airport,” adds Naidoo.

– Source:
Two South Africans were among a group of young people at the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders event, which took place at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, 26 June 2018.
The celebration, which honours the “incredible work” the youth are doing in their communities, hosted South Africans Siposetu Sethu Mbuli and Thamsanqa Hoza.

According to the Queen’s Young Leaders website, Siposetu was chosen “in recognistion of the work she is doing to develop new ways to end the stigma that surrounds albinism in South Africa.”

Thamsanqa was honoured on the night for developing a portable battery-operated shower head, which heats up water called the “Hot Nozzle”.

“As a result, he was recognised by the African Innovation Foundation as one of the top 10 young innovators in Africa,” the site explains.

In attendance on the night alongside The Queen was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

YouTube star Caspar Lee also made an appearance.

– Source:
South African computer boffins have claimed third place in an international high-performance computer competition in Germany.
The team, made up of Meir Rosendorff, Joshua Bruton, Kimessha Paupamah, Katleho Mokoena, Nathan Michlo and Njabulo Sithole, from Wits and the University of Limpopo, competed in the Student Cluster Competition.

"I'm very happy with placing third," team manager David Macleod told News24 from Germany.

The team from Tsinghua University in China won the competition, repeating their 2017 feat.

The South Africans were the only team from Africa, and were up against high-quality opposition from Europe and Asia.

Dr Happy Sithole, Director of the South African Centre for High Performance Computing, which supported the team, was very happy with the group's placement.

"This is a significant achievement from South Africa, as we bring a new team every year, while other teams repeat the students and even use postgraduates," Sithole said.

For the students, the competition focused them on working in the Linux environment.

"The biggest challenge was the speed at which we had to learn it to compete at this level. We're a new team every year and we have to compete with teams who have been doing this every year," Rosendorff told News24.

He said that much of the world's computer systems were based on Linux and the competition gave the team important skills to operate in that environment.

South Africa has a healthy performance record in the Student Cluster Competition, having entered for the first time in 2013, winning it that year and again in 2014 and 2016.

South Africa came second in 2015 and 2017.

"The significance for this is to ensure we can grow the numbers, and hence more students are trained. For the past six years, we have had 36 students who performed well at world stage," said Dr Sithole.

– Source:
The Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF) is set to once again delight music lovers from 6 to 15 July 2018.
The SICMF looks to provide some of the best young South African musicians with the opportunity to study and perform at an internationally recognised level. Over the course of 10 days, musicians from South Africa and across the globe come together in Stellenbosch to showcase and nurture young talent.

According to Stellenbosch University, the festival “facilitates the growth of young musicians” and creates opportunities to further their studies. As a result, it’s hoped that the event contributes to South Africa’s wide and diverse cultural heritage.

Every year, top national and international institutions are invited to send representative student groups to attend. Around 240 participants are normally selected and then divided into a number of chamber music groups.

The young talent is then given coaching from some of the best in the business as well as invited to perform throughout the festival. Plenty of eye-catching masterclasses and interviews also take place.

The ante has been upped this year with 29 artists, 300 participants and 30 different concerts taking place.

Some of the noteworthy acts this year include violinist Boris Brovtsyn, bassoonist Andrew Bradey and local composer Neo Muyanga.

– Source:
From 4 to 14 of July in Tshwane, the “Voices of the World” gather to sing in the world's largest choir celebration – the World Choir Games. Bearing songs and a dazzling display of cultural diversity, each of the choirs offer their vocal best in this keenly fought contest. But after all is said and sung, and as only music can, the victory goes to the harmony, respect and unity of newly forged global friendships.
Tickets are on sale for the competition concerts of the 300 participating choirs from 60 countries, including eight from Africa.

These can be bought for individual events or full day passes at R200 for concerts, celebration concert tickets and some of the award ceremonies.

The opening ceremony on 4 July and closing ceremony on 14 July are limited to attendees and VIP guests, but will be broadcast live on KykNET Nou.

During this ceremony, listen for the premiere of the new World Choir Games anthem, titled One Voice and composed by John Rutter. The closing ceremony will feature a massed choir event.

There are also a number of free friendship concerts planned with local and visiting choirs around the city, as well as open rehearsals and workshops.

Ali Mpofu, CEO of both the African Cultural Development Foundation and the Local Organising Committee for the World Choir Games, said he was excited by the prospect of internationally renowned choirs performing in South Africa.

Mpofu said the international interest in the World Choir Games bode well for the event, and South Africa as a host country and is testimony to the universal appeal of choral music. It is also appropriate that it is in the Mandela Centenary month.

There are choirs expected from China, Korea, Singapore, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania, Greece, the Netherlands, Jamaica and the United States.

“Anyone who is a fan of choral music will want to be part of this historic event”, Mpofu said, while those visiting South Africa could look forward to a great time.

The games are divided into the Champions Competition for choirs with international competitive experience or comparable credentials and the Open Competition, which allows them to gather valuable experience in international competition.

Celebration Concerts will take place at the University of Pretoria’s Aula Theatre as well as at the NG Kerk Universiteitsoord, and there are a number of other concerts arranged by embassies, schools and other bodies to look forward to.

The concerts at the Aula Theatre are on 5, 6 and 11 July and those at Universiteitsoord on 5, 6 and 12 July.

For details on the programme, go to

– Source:
The Sharks have announced that they will host Bordeaux Begles in a friendly at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban at the end of Super Rugby 2018.
The match will take place on Friday, 17 August and it will be the first-ever Sharks fixture hosted at the iconic 2010 Soccer World Cup venue.

Ever since, reports have suggested that the Sharks were on the verge of a permanent move from Kings Park to Moses Mabhida, but that has never happened.

Instead, the venue has hosted PSL football, international football, one international T20 cricket match and one rugby match between the Springbok A side and the French Barbarians in 2017.

In a series of tweets, stadium management confirmed the news.

The match is being dubbed the “Durban Challenge”, and there will be special ticket offers that include the Sharks match as well as the Springboks' Rugby Championship clash against Argentina at Kings Park the following day.

– Source:
South Africa’s Caster Semenya cemented her place as the world’s leading female 800m athlete with a blistering South African record at the Diamond League meeting in Paris
Unbeaten since September 2015, the two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion, won in a world-leading 1min 54.25sec, the fourth-fastest time ever by a woman.

The world’s best still belongs to Czech Republic’s Jarmila Kratochvilova who ran 1:53.28 in Munich, Germany, back in 1983, eight years before Semenya was born.

This was Semenya’s 37th consecutive race victory and she did it on her own.

Lining up in lane five, she shunned the services of a pacemaker and took the field through the bell in a quick 56.12sec.

From that stage on, there was only her and Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba in contention.

And from 200m to go, there was only one as Semenya simply put her foot down and opened the lead.

She won by more than 1.5sec as Niyonsaba was second in 1:55.86 with American Ajee Wilson rounding off the podium.

Before Saturday, Semenya’s world-leading time was 1:55.92, which she ran at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, earlier this year.

In the final event of the night, South Africa’s Commonwealth Games 100m champion Akani Simbine had to settle for fourth in the men’s sprint.

Still, he had a season’s best 9.94 to reflect on as American Ronnie Baker won in a world-leading 9.88sec.

Earlier, South African champion Luxolo Adams ended fourth in the 200m with a time of 20.21sec.

That was after visibly easing up over the last 10 metres.

There was another fourth spot for Antonia Alkana in the men’s 110m hurdles.

– Source:
Rikenette Steenkamp produced another breakthrough performance on Sunday, 1 Juy 2018, obliterating her own South African 100m hurdles record with a sterling performance at the Resisprint International Track and Field Meeting in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
After winning her heat in 12.70 seconds in the morning, with the benefit of a +2.2m/s tailwind, Steenkamp covered the final in 12.81*, with a legal wind giving her a new national mark.

She edged out second-placed Dutch athlete Eefje Boons by 0.10.

Steenkamp's performance bettered the previous South African record of 12.91, which she had set at a meeting in Prague a few weeks earlier.

"What a great and gutsy performance from Rikenette!" remarked Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa. "We are proud of her, the coach and support team.

"We urge her to continue to hoist the flag of the country and we urge her to remain focused so that she can ultimately achieve even better."

– Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
Design and layout: René Marneweck


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