Issue 338 | 26 July 2018
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South Africa is chairing BRICS from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018
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President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the South African Government in hosting the 10th BRICS Summit that is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from Wednesday, 25 July, to Friday, 27 July 2018.
This is the first occasion on which President Ramaphosa is hosting the summit, following his election as President in February 2018.

Under the theme, “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the summit is attended by Heads of State and Government from Brazil, Russia, India and China.
BRICS is an association of five major emerging national economies, in which South Africa began participating in 2010. Cooperation among BRICS members spans formal diplomatic engagement between the national governments; engagement through government-affiliated institutions, such as state-owned entities and business councils; and civil society and people-to-people engagement.

The summit is focused on the need to strengthen the relationship between BRICS and Africa. In this regard, BRICS leaders will also interact with African leaders on how best to bring about inclusive growth and shared prosperity through heightened collaboration.

In this context, leaders of the republics of Namibia, Gabon, Angola, Senegal, Uganda, Togo and Rwanda will participate in the BRICS-Africa Outreach session.

Invitations have also been extended to all Southern African Development Community Heads of State and Government.

President Ramaphosa will also Chair the BRICS Plus initiative that includes Heads of State and Government of the republics of Turkey, Argentina and Jamaica.

The summit commenced yesterday with BRICS leaders attending the BRICS Business Forum. President Ramaphosa also hosted the leaders at a welcome dinner and entertainment programme at the Teatro, Fourways, Johannesburg.

On Thursday, 26 July 2018, President Ramaphosa will Chair two meetings of BRICS leaders who will then embark on a special retreat.

The last day of the summit will see President Ramaphosa chairing the BRICS Outreach programme with African leaders in attendance. The President will also chair the BRICS Plus interaction and engage in a number of bilateral meetings with BRICS leaders.
Inclusive growth, the trade wars and their resultant impact dominated much of the discussions of the BRICS Business Forum, which kicked off the first day of the 10th BRICS Summit.

In light of the summit’s theme, President Cyril Ramaphosa in his welcome speech urged delegates to look at the various opportunities presented by Africa and its newly signed African Continental Free Trade Area. The agreement provides access to a market of over one billion people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$3 trillion.

“In the past decade, Africa has grown at a rate of two to three percentage points faster than the global GDP, with regional growth predicted to remain stable above 5% in 2018.
“In addition to this, Africa’s working age population is expected to double to one billion in the next 25 years. The value of this free trade area will only be fully realised through massive investment in infrastructure and skills development,” said President Ramaphosa.

Ahead of the summit, the imbalance of trade, with South Africa on the back foot, dominated discussions. President Ramaphosa called for a shift to complementary trade as the world looks to the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“There is also much scope to expand the value of trade between BRICS countries. As a country that is primarily an exporter of commodities to its BRICS partners, South Africa supports a shift towards complementary and value-added trade.

“Linked to the trade agenda, we need to increase investment between BRICS countries, particularly in the productive sectors of our economy.

“We also require a strategic roadmap regarding the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the measures required to mitigate its disruptive effect on industry,” said President Ramaphosa.

With the world feeling the pinch of the global trade wars, BRICS leaders acknowledged that they operated within a multilateral world.

“We are concerned by the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organisation rules and we are worried about the impact of these measures, especially on developing countries. These developments call for thorough discussion on the role of trade in promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth,” said President Ramaphosa.

“Addressing the demands of both the present and the future requires the same unity of purpose that brought BRICS into existence and which has sustained it over the last decade.

“We look to you, our distinguished business community, to be at the centre of our collective efforts to forge a new economic path.

“We look to you to be ready to realise the vast potential that exists for investment and trade, and to be our partners in building inclusive economies that create shared prosperity.

“I wish you every success in your deliberations.”

Follow the BRICS Summit live on or follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube - #BRICS, #BRICSZA
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, 24 July 2018, hosted the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, on a State Visit to South Africa.
The State Visit took place within the context of strengthening the strategic and historic political, economic, social and international cooperation partnership between South Africa and China.

The two heads of state used the State Visit to engage in bilateral talks and evaluate the progress achieved by the two countries on the Strategic Programme with specific reference to the six priority areas identified in 2015, which include, among other matters: the alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation process; enhancement of cooperation in special economic zones; enhancement of marine cooperation; infrastructure development; human resources cooperation; as well as financial cooperation.

President Xi met President Ramaphosa ahead of South Africa’s hosting of the 10th BRICS Summit in which Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are participating.

President Ramaphosa will also pay a State Visit to China ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit, which President Ramaphosa will co-chair with President Xi, to be held in Beijing in the latter part of this year.

South Africa’s relations with China are at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). The Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership encapsulates all facets of South Africa’s relations with China, where China has committed to the respective developmental objectives.

Total trade between South Africa and China experienced an upward trajectory since 2009, growing from R118 billion to R271 billion by the end of 2013. While there is a trade imbalance between China and South Africa, both countries have implemented various mechanisms to address these discrepancies.

These mechanisms include: the Inter-Ministerial Joint Working Group (JWG), RSA-PRC Bi-National Commission, Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation and the Strategic Dialogue.

Both parties have since agreed to state visits, following re-election of President Xi as leader of the People’s Republic of China and President Ramaphosa’s election to the position of President in February 2018.
The State Visit saw the signing of several agreements between South Africa and China, including an investment commitment from China to the tune of US$14,7 billion.

“President Xi Jinping has indicated that China is ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors, such as infrastructure development, the ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment and finance,” President Ramaphosa told a packed media briefing after their official talks.

Some of the agreements signed are in trade and industry, agriculture and science and technology, including a visa agreement.

Several South African state-owned companies also benefitted. These are Transnet and power utility Eskom.

The power state-owned company bagged a US$2,5-billion loan agreement with China's Development Bank.

Eskom CEO, Phakamani Hadebe, told the media that the US$2,5-billion loan agreement is strategic both for investment and capital growth.

President Xi, who was accompanied to the visit by his wife, Peng Liyuan, used the occasion to acknowledge the close and high-level exchanges and fruitful practical cooperation across the board. He described South Africa as a “good brother and comrade”.

Speaking through an interpreter, President Xi said the two countries needed to start a new chapter of elevating their relations.
South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, has urged fellow BRICS countries to strengthen and deepen their relations in a time when the world’s trading systems are in turbulence.
“It is no secret. We are living in a time of enormous turbulence and crisis for the global multilateral system. We need to strengthen and deepen our relations,” said Minister Davies on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.

Speaking at the BRICS ([Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Business Forum Opening Session at the Sandton Convention Centre, Minister Davies said the current environment posed an enormous challenge.

“What we’ve seen is a number of stronger economies, particularly one, showing great scepticism to the multilateral trading system, which is not good for any of us. We are in the midst of trade wars – South Africa is not a major protagonist [but is hit by] collateral damage,” said Minister Davies.

The Minister was referring to the United States (US) decision to impose Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duties. US President Donald Trump signed proclamations granting permanent country exemptions to a select number of countries and extended by one month the Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duty exemptions for some.

The proclamation followed the 8 March proclamation signed by President Trump to impose a 10% ad valorem tariff on imports of aluminium articles and a 25% ad valorem tariff on imports of steel articles. This excluded select countries, namely: Canada, Mexico, the European Union, South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

At Wednesday’s session that brought together captains of industry and government officials, among others, Minister Davies said South Africa was not given exemption from the tariffs, adding that the US decision was affecting the country.

“Institutions like BRICS become very important to promote investment-led trade,” he said, adding that the bloc should work on identifying complementarities with one another.

He said that last month’s trade ministers meeting identified complementary trade as a future mechanism among the BRICS countries.

Minister Davies said it was important for South Africa to move from exporting primary products as the technology revolution unfolded.

He said BRICS countries, which accounted for more than a third of the world’s population, should invest more in each other.

“In the recent past, BRICS countries have been a disproportional source of global economic growth,” he said.

South Africa as the only African member of the bloc is also keen on helping to bring about development on the continent.

Integrating the African continent

“As South Africa, we have taken important steps forward to promote integration, beyond regional economies and move towards integrating the continent as a whole,” he told those gathered at the session.

Minister Davies said South Africa, as like other countries, was in the process of preparing to ratify the recently signed African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

South Africa, he said, was not only seeking to increase trade with the continent, which was paltry, but that it wanted regional value chains to industrialise the continent.

Trade facilitation

“We need to support investment in other countries,” he said, adding that South Arica believes in the path of investment and trade.

As a form of facilitating investment, South Africa has set up Invest SA One Stop Shops to assist investors.

“Our approach has been that we will offer investment basic guarantees through the One Stop Shop,” he said.

Progress made by Business Council

Meanwhile, South Africa is pleased with progress made by the BRICS Business Council, which will present its annual report to Heads of State on Thursday, 26 July 2018.

Chair of the Business Council, Dr Iqbal Survé, said the trade barriers had led to much anxiety but that since the inception in 2013, the council had made several achievements. These include the Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank on closer cooperation that was signed in 2017 as well as the e-commerce platform to service BRICS countries.

The recent sixth meeting, which was held in Durban, was attended by over 400 delegates from all BRICS countries.

This, said Dr Survé, was the largest gathering in the history of the bloc, adding that trade barriers not only killed business but were harmful to people.

The long-term key recommendations made by the council include making provisions for long term visas and harmonising the recognition of qualification among BRICS countries.

He urged BRICS countries to roll back red tape and roll out the red carpet for business.

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Deputy President David Mabuza has delegated the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, to lead the South African delegation to the 22nd International AIDS Conference taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 23 to 27 July 2018.
The Deputy President’s delegation came as he joined President Cyril Ramaphosa as South Africa hosts the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.

“Through Minister Motsoaledi, the Deputy President has conveyed his sincere apology to the conference and especially to more than 500 South African delegates consisting of AIDS activists, researchers, scientists, government officials, HIV/AIDS ambassadors as well as premiers, deputy ministers and MECs who are in attendance,” said The Presidency in a statement.

South African Ambassador to the Netherlands, Bruce Koloane, has welcomed all members of the South African delegation to Amsterdam on Monday, 23 July, urging them to be positive ambassadors for South Africa and to make a strong country impression to this global gathering.

South African delegates have already taken part in some of the AIDS 2018 Conference sessions, including ones on HIV Prevalence and Prevention as well as on Key Populations in Africa.

The International AIDS Conference takes place under the theme “Breaking Barriers Building Bridges”. It is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world.

First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an effective response to the HIV epidemic.

The 2018 conference provides 18 000 conference delegates with the latest HIV research, as well as an opportunity to reflect on key issues facing both the HIV sector and the broader global health community.

The conference is hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners, and public health and community practitioners.

As South Africa and the world mark the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela this year, South Africa’s exhibition stand reflects and honours their significant contributions to the HIV and TB response.

The stand has been dubbed “Vilakazi Street”, the Soweto street where the homes of two Nobel Peace Prize laureates – South Africa’s first democratically elected president, the late President Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – are found.

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The Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, participated in the Fifth OGP Global Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, from the 17 to 19 July 2018.
The OGP is a multi-national initiative dedicated to strengthening the principles of open and transparent government, enhancing co-creation and citizen engagement, fighting corruption, as well as fostering innovation in public service delivery.

The Minister addressed a high-level panel on "Rebooting the Public Service" during which she focused on the successes of South Africa's innovations, which are designed to bring the Government closer to the people and improve public service delivery performance.

"The OGP is an important platform to gain meaningful citizen engagement strategies that bring citizens closer to government and to also include them in important government decision-making platforms, from local to national level. The people's Government must be open, it must be transparent and it must be inclusive for it to truly be a government by the people for the people", Minister Dlodlo said.

The Minister was joined by the CEO of GovChat, Eldrid Jordaan. GovChat is South Africa's largest civic engagement platform, which enables citizens to speak directly to government and their elected public representatives at no cost, while also allowing government to receive critical service delivery-related feedback in real time. This platform is uniquely an OGP partnership, which the Government is pleased to be a part of.
The New Development Bank (NDB) plans to lend as much as R8 billion (US$600 million) more to South Africa this year in an effort to level the playing field among its five member states.
The lender, backed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, started operations in 2015 to support infrastructure projects and sustainable development initiatives in emerging economies.

"Our aim is to be equitable among our five members,” NDB President, KV Kamath, said in an interview. “If you look at the US$4 billion we will be doing this year, we should be lending around US$800 millionin each nation," he said. "I hope this year, we will hit that number."

The NDB in May announced a US$200-million loan to Transnet, the state-owned ports and freight operator, to rehabilitate container terminals in Durban on the country’s east coast.

It will ramp up efforts to grow sustainable infrastructure in the continent’s most industrialised economy with two further loans, Kamath said. One of these will go to a bank, which will then in turn lend these funds for use in renewable energy developments,he saidn. The second will be made available to critical infrastructure, Kamath said.

Separately, the NDB activated a US$180-million loan to Eskom that had been dormant since 2016 and which will be used to build transmission lines and a substation for the Soweto area to integrate renewable-energy projects from independent power producers, Prof. Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa, told reporters in Johannesburg.

The Shanghai-based bank will also begin raising money and lending in South African rand to help insulate its clients from currency risk, Kamath said. It already does this in China.

"It took us a little time to understand how to go about getting projects in South Africa, but I think we are slowly going up that learning curve," he said. The lender last year opened the African Regional Centre to assist in identifying projects in the country it can support.

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As a member of BRICS, the South African Government, through the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), is hosting the Third BRICS Film Festival from 22 to 27 July at Playhouse in Durban. The festival is taking place during the Durban International Film Festival.
Hosted through the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of DAC, the BRICS Film Festival is aimed at celebrating world-class film productions from the BRICS countries, with the objective of inspiring more collaborations from these nations. The format of the festival consists of screening two feature films from each country in the competition category and three feature films in the non-competition category. A total of 25 films will be screened during the duration of the festival.

The films in competition will compete for the Golden Rhino Award, inspired by the history behind the golden rhino that was discovered in Mapungubwe, the significance of the place, and the linkages with other countries in earlier centuries.

The Third BRICS Film Festival will recognise the following categories: Best Film, Best Producer/s, Best Director, Best Scriptwriter/Screenplay writer, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editor, Best Cinematography/Director of Photography, Best Composer/Music, as well as a special Jury Award.

“The Department of Arts and Culture is resolute in working towards the elevation of the cultural industries and we see the audio-visual sector as an important platform from which to continue the efforts of looking forward to harnessing the knowledge and experiences generated by this festival”, stated the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.
The opening night films honoured Nelson Mandela’s centenary. The films were five, five-minute short films produced by the respective countries under the facilitation of a South African production company, Via-Vollenhoven and Appollis Independent. The theme for the short films was, “Mandela”, and the film from each country reflected the uniqueness of the country, as well as how each member country related to Nelson Mandela and the impact he had through leadership, politics, humanity, culture and unity.
Former Deputy Chief Justice Judge Dikgang Moseneke says he is optimistic that appropriate solutions would be found for the political and security challenges currently facing the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Justice Moseneke was recently appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the leader of the Lesotho mediation facilitation team, following a recommendation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika that he appoints high-level personalities to support him.

The SADC Double Troika, held on 24 April 2018 in Luanda, Angola, agreed that President Ramaphosa should continue to facilitate the political national dialogue and reform processes in Lesotho since the President was appointed by the SADC Heads of State and Government as a SADC facilitator, following the country’s security and political challenges in September 2014.

The mediation team consists of three deputy ministers: Mohamed Enver Surty of Basic Education, Makgabo Reginah Mhaule of International Relations and Cooperation and Ellen Molekane of State Security.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a meeting with the Lesotho mediation facilitation team, held at Mahlamba Ndlopfu Residence in Tshwane on Friday, 20 July, Justice Moseneke said he was humbled by the appointment, and emphasised the need to find peace and stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

“I think we should continue to try and find appropriate solutions. I’m making no promises at this stage, but we have to find peace and stability, proper governance and hopefully constitutional changes that Basotho themselves will want to see happening,” Judge Moseneke said.

He said that since the appointment, the team had come up with quite active plans to provide support, and the leadership of Lesotho was very welcoming of his appointment.

As part of his first assignment, Judge Moseneke said he would pay a courtesy call to the Lesotho King, including Prime Minister of Lesotho, Cabinet, security structure, as well as various structures of SADC, which are already deployed in the country, including a small military force.

“I’m going out to try and find peace in the Kingdom, to try and facilitate constitutional amendments and to return to normality at the behest and request of SADC. Our President being the one who plays the role, I’m acting in his place instead, to try and achieve those outcomes in relation to the Kingdom of Lesotho,” Judge Moseneke said.

He also emphasised that the members of the facilitation team were only facilitators and nothing more.

“We are not replacing any of the authority of the people of Lesotho, we are going to try and help. SADC Heads of State believe I can make a difference,” he said.

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Brand South Africa partnered with the South African High Commission in Kenya to commemorate International Nelson Mandela Day.
Hundreds of children in Kenya gathered with diplomats, government officials and business leaders at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) to celebrate the life and legacy of the late former President Nelson Mandela.

Led and hosted by the South African High Commissioner to Kenya, Koleka Mqulwana, the Mandela centenary events included a mass held at the All Saints Cathedral Church on Sunday, 22 July, and a visit to New Life Children’s Home, where 400 learners from various primary schools to university students were hosted with the UN and celebrated a signing of a declaration.

During the ceremony, the students delivered a declaration that expressed the future that they envisioned for themselves in which they would experience safety, food security, education, peace and prosperity.

High Commissioner Mqulwana also remembered and celebrated the life of anti-apartheid stalwart Albertina Sisulu, who lobbied for the education and equal rights of women and children.

Mama Sisulu was widely regarded as a mother of the South African nation due to her motherly role and maternal instincts as a nurse and caregiver.

High Commissioner Mqulwana said the legacies of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu were about making a positive impact on people’s lives through selfless actions, particularly for children and those that were disadvantaged or disenfranchised.

“As an important East African ally to South Africa, it is fitting that we are commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in Kenya, while also taking to heart the message of the life of Albertina Sisulu in 2018,” said High Commissioner Mqulwana.

She said the admirable collaboration with South African businesses operating in Kenya in celebrating the centenary had been inspiring.

“Ploughing back into Kenyan communities by South African companies, through their corporate social responsibility initiatives planned throughout the year, is in line with Nelson Mandela’s core values of humility, selflessness and passion,” High Commissioner Mqulwana said.

Additional Nelson Mandela centenary events planned for July include a Mandela Lecture at the University of Nairobi on 26 July 2018, the unveiling of Nelson Mandela and Dedan Kimathi busts at the Heroes Garden of the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology; reconstruction of Zia Ra Wimbi Primary School in Kilifi; the donation of Mandela books to the Kenya National Library Services, and a visit to Kakuma Refugee Camp for the benefit of young women and girls.

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The German Post and the South African Post Office have joined forces to spread the Madiba magic.
The two institutions had a bilateral stamp issue on Wednesday, 18 July 2018, to commemorate the 100th birthday of the first former statesman and global icon, Nelson Mandela.

The photograph for the South Africa stamp is from the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) Blue Media archives and the stamp was designed by Rachel-Mari Ackermann of the SA Post Office (Sapo).

The German stamp photo was taken by Paul Weinberg, a South African who was active in the anti-apartheid resistance movement. The stamp was designed by André Heers and Annette le Fort.

The images and “stories behind the stamps” on both stamp issues are quite different from each other. The format and sizes are also not the same, the SAPO said.

According to Ackermann, the NMF's slogan for the Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018 celebrations: “Be the legacy”, influenced her decision to portray him at a late stage of his life as “He will forever be a ‘father’ to the South African nation and inspires us to invest in the future of our children”.

The warm colours reflect his personality; the gold lettering accentuates his status as a treasure of the country, said Ackermann.

The German stamp features a photo of a relatively young Mandela taken three days after his release from prison. It shows Nelson Mandela in profile, looking upwards into the light with an expression of relief.

“The image captures a range of emotions, mainly hope and faith. His strength and optimism are palpable. We think it is a beautiful image that aptly encapsulates Nelson Mandela’s life,” said André Heers and Annette le Fort.
They chose the colours of the flag of the democratic South Africa, for their symbolic meaning. “The vivid colours stand in sharp contrast to the stamp’s black-and-white background.”

Another interesting feature of the stamp is the bold font used, known as “Knockout”. It was selected as it evoked feelings of warmth and also comes in Featherweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight, among others.

The terms are used in boxing and Nelson Mandela was a keen boxer in his young days.

The stamps are available from major post office branches and can be ordered from

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African National Congress veteran, Andrew Mlangeni, received the prestigious Freedom of the City of London in person on Friday, 20 July 2018.
In January 2016, the 93-year-old was unable to join the late Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg alongside their Rivonia Trial legal representatives, George Bizos and Joel Joffe, to receive the award.

According to then Lord Mayor Jeffrey Mountevans, the honour was a "tribute to the noble and fearless fortitude" of the men in recognition of their fight for freedom and racial equality.

The ceremony was held at Guildhall, the civic and ceremonial centre of the city. The historic venue has hosted many important ceremonies, including Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday celebrations.

The late statesman Nelson Mandela received the Freedom of the City at the same venue on 10 July 1996.

Mlangeni was hosted by the South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Nomatemba Tambo.

He had a busy week during his visit. Accompanied by his granddaughter Mpumi and nurse Mashoto, he put his sightseeing cap on and posed at the Nelson Mandela bust next to the Royal Festival Hall. The bust was unveiled by the late ANC president, Oliver Tambo, in 1985.

He also attended the opening of the Mandela Centenary Exhibit at the Southbank Centre on Tuesday, rubbing shoulders with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

On Thursday, during celebrations for what would have been Mandela's 100th birthday, he was part of the official launch of the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Centre UK.

The June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation said it was delighted that Mlangeni was receiving the Freedom of the City.

"For over 27 years, Dr Mlangeni has been separated from his family and imprisoned as a result of his role in the struggle for freedom. The foundation is truly grateful," said spokesperson and founding trustee of the foundation, Sello Rasethaba.

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Since 1999, the Skytrax World Airline Awards have been providing insights into passenger satisfaction and recognition for the efforts of various stakeholders in the commercial aviation industry.


Celebrating its 18th anniversary, Skytrax has released its annual independent and impartial World Airline Awards. Travellers across the world voted in one of the largest passenger satisfaction surveys and the resultant data was used to recognise winners in certain focus areas of the industry.

With over 100 nationalities having participated in the 2017/18 survey and 335 airlines featured in the survey result, the Skytrax Awards, when received, are quite impressive and worth celebrating for players in the commercial aviation industry.

With an ever-expanding database of 24,45 million customers completing the online surveys, the awards are an inclusive and expansive representation of customer sentiment.

African airlines have made significant inroads and have risen in the ranks of the World’s Top 100 Airlines 2018 with Ethiopian airlines taking the top spot as best African airline according to Skytrax.

Ethiopian Airlines has moved eight places up from last year's 48th position to 40th this year while South African Airlines (SAA) has moved up four places from last year's 49th place to 45 this year. South Africa is also well-represented in a number of other categories, including best low-cost airlines and best airline staff in Africa.

The awarding of the best airline staff to SAA recognises service excellence covering a spectrum of front-line customer service touch points and passenger's onboard experience. Under the category of Best Airline Staff in Africa, SAA also won Best Business Class Lounge in Africa, Best Cabin Crew in Africa and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Africa.

According to Skytrax, CEO Edward Plaisted: “The South African Airways brand of service continues to delight customers across their network. This award, which is voted for by SAA passengers, is excellent recognition for the dedicated frontline staff.”

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali, commenting on the awards said: “We’re exceptionally pleased to be rated as having the Best Airline Staff in Africa for the sixth time; this speaks to our level of consistency with regards to service excellence throughout our customers travel journey. It’s a significant pat on the back for us to see our employees’ hard work being recognised on such a global scale, particularly in light of strong competition from other African Airlines.”

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In Travel + Leisure’s 2018 reader’s poll, Cape Town has been named number one favourite city in Africa and the Middle East for the 17th year.
The global travel publication cited a favourable exchange rate, the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, its world-class hotels and the fact that it’s a regional hub for business and leisure travel among the reasons for the city’s ongoing success.

Cape Town’s tourism offering is well known, but the achievement is considerable given the region’s challenges with a water shortage during the period.

“We’ve maintained an 'open for business' approach throughout our efforts in driving sustainable tourism, and this accolade reveals that this strategy has worked.

"We remain an unparalleled destination on the continent, and one whose multiple initiatives in saving water has ensured that we can continue to attract visitors. We’re honoured that so many travellers remain confident in our ability to offer fantastic attractions and experiences,” said Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy.

According to South African Tourism’s CEO, Sisa Ntshona, “This accolade is testament to South Africa’s rich and varied travel offering for travellers from the continent and the Middle East and an affirmation of our 5-in-5 goal of attracting five million more tourists by 2021.”

“The water shortages as experienced in Cape Town and other parts of the country have certainly placed us at the forefront of leading the drive towards sustainable and responsible tourism in a meaningful way.“

Through the country’s #WaterWiseTourism drive in action, Travel + Leisure readers have given a stamp of approval that South Africa remains very much open for tourism, with responsible tourism practices becoming entrenched as the “new normal”.

“South Africa has become a benchmark for how world-class cities respond to future climate threats associated with water, it is our responsibility to share our learnings and encourage others around the world to help adapt to the new normal," concludes Ntshona.

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Celebrations for Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday has reached peak fever, and South African Airways (SAA) is also taking part in honouring the father of our nation.
SAA, in partnership with SA Tourism and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, revealed new livery for three of its planes – an Airbus A320-200, A330-300, and an A340-600 – with a special Mandela centenary logo. Alongside the logo, the official “Be the Legacy” will also be flying the skies, representing the country all over the world.

Besides the new threads, the national airline will be launching special headrest covers and paper cups on all their planes that travellers can take with as a keepsake. On international flights, SAA will be screening the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the documentary Mandela's World Cup. Mandela's face will also be on the cover for the July edition of their in-flight magazine Sawubona, focusing on all the sites where you can walk in the footsteps of this icon.

“As an African carrier with global reach, it is only natural for SAA to celebrate what would have been Tata’s 100th birthday, by sharing his values with South Africans and people around the world. We hope that through these small gestures we can inspire others to strive for his ideals and continue his legacy,” says Tlali Tlali, SAA spokesperson.

Voyager miles passengers can also donate their points to the Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund in his memory, and a big surprise for later in the year is being planned that will further cement Madiba's legacy in the skies.

“We hope these gestures show our gratitude and recognise his selfless contribution towards the freedom and democracy we enjoy today,” concludes Tlali.

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The Nelson Mandela centenary is being celebrated all around the world. In London on Tuesday, 17 Juy 2018, the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex took their turn to remember Madiba and his legacy.
Harry and Meghan visited the London exhibition and met friends of Mandela as well as his granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela.

The Prince’s last formal visit to South Africa came in 2015 when he met Madiba’s widow, Graca Machel, and saw the archives at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre (NMF) of Memory in Johannesburg.

During that visit, Harry described the Mandela organisation as “empowering the next generation of engaged South African citizens”.

In London, the Royal couple met Lord Peter Hain as well as 92-year-old Andrew Mlangeni, who spent almost 30 years in Robben Island during the years of apartheid.

The exhibition at the Southbank Centre has travelled around the world and carries special weight now that it is in London.

“London was both South Africa’s colonial metropole and the headquarters of the international anti-apartheid struggle. It was also the venue for some of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring speeches,” Said Sello Hatang, CEO of the NMF.

The exhibit famously includes the Robben Island Bible – a copy of Shakespeare plays that was disguised in order to not be confiscated by the guards.

Prince Harry and Meghan also enjoyed a performance from the South African Ubunye Choir.

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A proudly South African team is planning an epic trek to Everest Base Camp and Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for iconic – and endangered – big cats.
During the month’s trek, the three South African conservationists – who are all qualified safari guides – will be wearing very realistic custom-made cat mascots, representing the lion, leopard and tiger (and making the expedition more fun, to attract the attention of both adults and children to the plight of big cats who face extinction in our lifetime).

The team will start in Nepal, in the home of the snow leopard, climbing to the Everest Base Camp over 14 days; before heading to Tanzania for a seven-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world. This summit will represent the African lion and leopard.

The movement was founded by Durbanite Gareth James Legg. Gareth – who attended Kearsney College and later did a diploma in nature conservation – spent 13 years working as a safari guide, before moving to the United Kingdom (UK) almost two years ago.

It was while working in the bush that his love for the big cats and conservation were ignited. And once in the UK, he realised that “these iconic big cats are fast facing extinction if we don’t do more conservation and create more awareness around their plight.”

He told SAPeople the “proudly South African team” comprises himself, Tracey Bruton and Tim Van Vuuren.

“We are all qualified safari guides and all have a deep passion for conservation and would like to leave behind a legacy of ensuring our environment is handed over pristine for generations to come,” he says.

All funds raised will go directly to the Born Free Foundation to fund their big cat projects; and Trek for Big Cats and the Born Free Foundation have collaborated on the campaign to ensure its success.

“Big cats play an integral role in the environment and keep ecosystems healthy and balanced,” says Gareth.

The expedition begins on 1 November 2018.

For more info about this epic trek, visit:

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The International award-winning South African actress has been announced as the new lead actor in new international feature film “Faces” – directed by British-Nigerian film director-writer-producer Joseph Adejuwon Adesunloy.
The movie features high-profile actors Shingai Shoniwa, Aki Omoshaybi, Suzette Llewellyn and Matthieu Charneau.

Speaking to Drum, Terry says it is always great to work with incredible actors and talented filmmakers from all parts of the world.

“I don’t take it for granted what a privilege it is to grow my global footprint with such amazing storytellers.

Faces is a movie that addresses universal issues that will resonate with all,” she shared.

Since her debut on the award film Tsotsi in 2005, the actress has starred in Goodbye Bafana; Catch a Fire, The Bold and the Beautiful, A United Kingdom and the Madiba TV series.

Faces had its exclusive world premiere in South Africa at the 39th Durban International Film Festival on Sunday, 22 July 2018.

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Commonwealth Games long jump champion Luvo Manyonga continued his fine form with a meeting record victory at the IAAF Diamond League event in London on Sunday, 22 July 2018.
Manyonga led South Africa 1-2 as fellow Commonwealth medallist Ruswahl Samaai took silver.

Manyonga won his third consecutive London long jump contest with the season’s best 8.58-metre effort he produced in the fourth round.

It was a super series of jumps as he soared further than 8.40 with five of his six jumps. His first effort was 8.16m.

“I feel like I am the main man at this stadium," said Manyonga. "Coming back into a great atmosphere with these fans means so much."

Samaai’s season-best also came with his fourth attempt.

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South African football team Mamelodi Sundowns is bidding farewell to one of its players, Percy Tau, who will be joining the English Premiere team, Brighton.
The official announcement of Tau’s four-year contract with the English team was announced recently. Tau will be playing on loan for the coming season.

Tau said: “I would like to thank the Mamelodi Sundowns family, the President, the Board, management, staff, supporters and the players for the incredible memories and experiences, which we shared throughout my time at Sundowns. Thank you! Ka Bo Yellow!”

Mamelodi Sundowns tweeted a farewell image to Tau and said: “Keep roaring young lion. We see you, ibhubesi. Hamba Kahle! #Sundowns #FarewellPercy”

After sealing his move to the Seagulls, Tau said: “Hopefully, I can make some great memories here – I love making memories and I’m so happy to be here.”

According to AFP, the 24-year-old striker is the first South African in the English Premier League since Steven Pienaar, who left Sunderland in 2017 after spells with Everton and Tottenham.

Brighton manager, Chris Hughton, said, “Percy is a player we have highlighted for the future, and there’s no doubt of his talent, having been voted South African player of the season.”

Tau was named the South Africa’s best footballer of the season for 2017/18.

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The Blitzboks had to settle for third place at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco on Sunday, 22 July.
The Springbok Sevens side defeated Fiji 24-19 in the bronze medal match, having earlier suffered a disappointing 29-7 defeat to England in the semi-finals.

New Zealand defended their title when they thumped England 33-12 in the final.

In the match against Fiji, the Blitzboks outscored their opponents by four tries to three.

South Africa led 17-7 at half-time, after which Siviwe Soyizwapi dotted down early in the second period for a 24-7 lead.

Fiji fought back with two late tries but it proved in vain.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, said they were happy with the medal, although not the colour.

"What is most pleasing for me is the fact that, after that disappointment against England, we came out firing against Fiji and outplayed them to finish the season on a very strong performance.

“We have lost against them six times during the World Series, so to be able to beat them here, was a huge effort from the players. We will never be happy with anything but first place, but the bronze medal does help to justify the efforts and sacrifices a little bit."

Powell congratulated New Zealand on winning the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

The Blitzboks arrived back in South Africa on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.

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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Delien Burger
Design and layout: René Marneweck


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