Issue 344 | 7 September 2018
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for investment-led trade between Africa and China.
This will help promote the industrialisation of African economies and position the continent as a global competitor. Such investments will also allow China to reap the benefits of a massive continental market.

“We should seek inward investment that enables industrial development and the export of more value-added products.

“We urge Chinese investors to take advantage of the great opportunities that will be created through the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” President Ramaphosa said on Monday, 3 September 2018.

The President was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The President co-chaired the two-day summit under the theme: “China and Africa: Toward an even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation”.

The summit brought together 52 African countries, the African Union (AU) Commission and the People’s Republic of China as partners in cooperation. It aimed to explore seven areas of cooperation over the next three years.

With the increasingly uncertain global environment, President Ramaphosa said the economic value of FOCAC – to both Africa and China – was particularly important.

Global economic volatility and heightened concerns about peace and stability render developing countries particularly vulnerable.

There is a renewed threat to the rules-based multilateral global trading system, which although imperfect, does provide stability, predictability and a greater degree of fairness.

FOCAC reaffirms shared commitment

“We should be using platforms such as FOCAC to reaffirm our shared commitment to multilateralism, a fair and transparent system of international trade and a global economic architecture that promotes the interests of the developing world.

“Africa is the next frontier growth market in the world,” said President Ramaphosa.

FOCAC was established in 2000 as a multilateral platform for exchange and cooperation between China and African countries.

It serves as an effective platform for South-South cooperation focused on the tangible improvement of the quality of lives of all the people of Africa by covering various aspects of politics, trade, economy, society and culture.

The President said the progress that had been made over the last 18 years demonstrated the tangible and lasting benefit of FOCAC to the people of Africa and China.

“The relationship that we have forged through FOCAC is premised on the fundamental and inalienable right of the African people to determine their own future. It is premised on the AU’s Agenda 2063, a vision that has been crafted in Africa, by Africans.”

In the coming decades, President Ramaphosa said the FOCAC should be used as an instrument for youth development, to invest in building their capabilities and exposing them to the great possibilities that the world has to offer.

“Our objectives extend beyond the peoples of Africa and China. Together, we are working to build a community of shared future for all humankind. This requires leadership, vision and partnership."

Eight major initiatives for Africa

President Xi Jinping used his address to announce that China would implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation and green development.

On industrial promotion, President Xi said a China-Africa economic and trade expo would be set up in China and Chinese companies are encouraged to increase investment in Africa.

China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programmes, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (US$147 million) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.

On infrastructure connectivity, President Xi said China would work with the AU to formulate a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan and support Chinese companies in taking part in Africa's infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models.

With regard to trade facilitation, China will increase imports, especially non-resource products, from Africa and support African countries in participating in China International Import Expo.

The least developed African countries will be exempted from paying exhibition stand fees, he said.

On people-to-people exchanges, President Xi said China would set up an institute of African studies and enhance exchanges with Africa on civilization. China welcomes Africa's participation in the Silk Road International League of Theatres, the Silk Road International Museum Alliance and the Network of Silk Road Art Festivals.

On peace and security, he said China would set up a China-Africa peace and security fund and continue providing free military aid to the AU. A total of 50 security assistance programmes will be carried out in the fields, including United Nations peacekeeping missions, fighting piracy and combating terrorism.

– Source: - Xinhua
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently concluded a State Visit to the People’s Republic of China with whom South Africa has entered into several agreements that will enable economic growth and educational opportunities, among other benefits.

One agreement alone – on investment and trade promotion between the two countries – carries a monetary value of approximately R14 billion.

The State Visit took place in Beijing on Sunday, 2 September 2018, at the invitation of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

During the State Visit, President Ramaphosa and President Xi witnessed the signing of various memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and agreements at a ceremony held at the Great Hall on Sunday, 2 September. The agreements included commitments to cooperation in the fields of climate change, water resources, transport-related infrastructure and refurbishments of a number of technical and vocational training (TVET) colleges.

The Department of Higher Education and Training exchanged letters of commitment with the Chinese Embassy on the upgrading and refurbishment of Tshwane North and the Tshwane South TVET colleges. This will entail the construction of student-support centres, teaching buildings, workshops, a multipurpose indoor facility and an enclosing wall.

The agreements further include a MoU between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China to cooperate on international investment promotion for South Africa’s special economic zones (SEZ) and industrial parks. The following projects within the Musina-Makhado SEZ have been prioritised for implementation – a 4600-MW coal-fired plant, a cement plant and other metallurgical projects.

The projects will see the investment, planning, constructing and operation of coking, ferromanganese, ferrochromium, silico-manganese, stainless steel, supporting administrative service centre and living areas, highways and a shipping integrated logistics centre, among others.

The two presidents also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the dti and the Bank of China on promoting trade and investment relations, with a special focus on SEZs and industrial parks. This will include capacity- and institution-building and investment facilitation. This project has a monetary value of US$1,1 billion.

Most of the agreements are aligned to the commitments made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit, held in Johannesburg in December 2015.

President Ramaphosa has called on South African companies to work in partnership, consolidate South African interests on the African continent and collaborate with China on projects in line with South Africa’s development and integration objectives.

“At the centre of our engagement with China is the task of creating jobs for South Africans,” said President Ramaphosa. “We have made great progress but there is huge potential that remains untapped.”

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, says the time has come for China and Africa to make the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) a transformative tool to change the lives of people and future generations for the better.
Speaking at the luncheon of the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, in Beijing, China, on Sunday, 2 September, Minister Sisulu said they needed to utilise FOCAC as an important mechanism to strengthen efforts to address the various emerging challenges besetting the world today, specifically the rising nationalistic ethos, populism, unilateralism, protectionism and the emergence of global trade wars.

“I believe that Africa as a continent on the rise, has a lot to learn from the Chinese experience and that FOCAC, as a platform for our continued closer cooperation, provides us with an opportunity to share these experiences to chart a path for Africa’s sustainable development and future prosperity.

“We have seen the successes of this relationship; with African countries becoming more integrated and connected through the continued assistance of the People’s Republic of China.

“We also continue to see an increase in exchanges of businesspeople, students, academics and scientists between China and our various African countries, which not only contributes to the development of skills but also validates further the enormous value of our relationship,” Minister Sisulu said.

She said the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan (2019 – 2021) that both countries had adopted and proposed for the summit’s consideration was a further true reflection of the growing comprehensive strategic bonds of friendship between them.

“We believe that we should continually strengthen these bonds through the sustained deepening of political and economic relations within the China-Africa FOCAC framework,” the Minister said

– Source:
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Reginah Mhaule, on 3 September 2018 honoured an invitation from the Mpumalanga MEC for Education, Sibusiso Malaza, to officially hand over school assembly shelters to Inkambeni and Kamajika primary schools in Mpumalmaga.
The shelters were donated to the schools in response to a plea made by Deputy Minister Mhaule during her tenure as MEC for Education in the province.

Deputy Minister Mhaule and MEC Malaza were joined by the Executive Mayor of the City of Mbombela, Sibusiso Mathonsi.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will over the next few years focus on supporting companies that are actively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Workplace Challenge Programme, hosted by the dti and Productivity South Africa in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, Deputy Director-General (DDG) of Special Economic Zones and Economic Transformation at the dti, Sipho Zikode, said the department would support these companies.

At the recently concluded 10th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit, leaders stood united in their cause to secure their spots in the imminent Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Preparation for the revolution, also dubbed as the digital age or revolution 4.0, dominated discussions among the leaders of the bloc at the summit held in Johannesburg.

DDG Zikode said the programme was part of government’s strategy to empower entrepreneurs in order to grow the country’s economy.

“As a department, we have witnessed the impact that the programme has had on hundreds of companies that we have supported through the programme. The productivity, profitability and competitiveness of many companies have been increased by the programme,” he told those gathered at the celebration in Mpumalanga.

The programme is part of government’s strategy to achieve economic growth and empowerment of entrepreneurs.

The programme is a two-year government intervention implemented among South African enterprises to improve their productivity and competitiveness, thereby ensuring sustainability of jobs.

The department has been offering the programme to small, medium and micro enterprises since 1998. More than a 1 300 companies have benefitted from the programme.

The programme is an integral part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, which is national government’s blueprint for the industrialisation of South Africa.

– Source:
On Tuesday 24 July 2018, the World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, presided over the opening of the UN Regional Office in Sunninghill, Johannesburg.
The Regional Office houses the WFP as well as six other UN and African Union agencies.

Further to the official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, a commemorative plaque was unveiled with the following words:

The Executive Director of the World Food Programme
David M. Beasley
and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,
Her Excellency Lindiwe Sisulu
inaugurated the United Nations Regional Hub for Southern Africa
on 24 July 2018”.

Ambassador Seleka, who participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and unveiling of the plaque on behalf of Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, said that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s vision was to position South Africa as a hub of the UN agencies, and most importantly as the humanitarian capital of the African continent. The hosting of a Regional Office of this calibre greatly enhances South Africa’s efforts to achieve this goal. The Regional Office will cement South Africa as a gateway of humanitarian goods and services into the rest of the continent, and confirm the country as a responsible member of the international community and a critical location for humanitarian work that promotes the sanctity of life and the alleviation of human suffering.

This approach derives its inspiration from the philosophy of Ubuntu and is consistent with the South African Government’s position of “creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world”.

This event, especially the high-level attendance of the Executive Director, is indicative of the close relations which the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the WFP enjoy and is a testament to the importance South Africa places on multilateralism as a tool for bettering the world and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
South Africa took home the Best Exhibitor Award in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region at the conclusion of the 54th Feira International de Maputo (FACIM) Trade Fair on Sunday, 2 September 2018.


The South African Pavilion at the FACIM was hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) wherein 23 businesses with expertise in the energy sector, air conditioning, textiles, agro-processing, jewellery manufacturing and built industry were showcasing locally produced goods and services.

South Africa’s High Commissioner to Mozambique, Ambassador Mandisi Mpahlwa, remarked that the award was a welcome confidence booster. He added that South Africa had made various improvements over the years with regard to its participation in the fair.

“Our track record is fairly impressive. It is also important to recognise that we have been improving our performance and position with each successive year. In 2015, we were crowned the third overall exhibitor.

“In 2016, we came second and last year, we won the Overall Best Pavilion at FACIM. This year, we romped home with the Overall Best Exhibitor for the SADC region,” said Ambassador Mpahlwa.

He added that the organisers of the fair were getting better in the selection of companies that best represent the spread of sectors, products and services that speak to Mozambique’s immediate needs.

“As follow-up to this achievement at FACIM, it is important to mention that in November of this year we will embark on a trade mission to Pemba and Palma in the north of Mozambique, where gas fields have been discovered.

“What makes this upcoming mission significant is that this year marks the beginning of a phase of investment and development of those gas fields towards the eventual goal of exploiting the gas underneath the soil.

“We do believe that the scale of investments that are going to be required there, the amounts of inputs and the levels and the volumes of services present scores of opportunities for South African companies,” said the High Commissioner.

FACIM is Mozambique’s biggest annual fair which caters for a variety of products and services, attracting the attention of companies from Africa, Asia and Europe.

– Source:
Local companies are to explore trade and investment opportunities in Peru as part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) Outward Selling Mission to that country.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said the mission formed part of the dti’s efforts to strengthen bilateral trade relations and increase trade and investment between South Africa and Peru.

“This is the fourth mission to Peru the dti has organised since the technical scoping mission that the dti undertook to Peru in 2013. This was aimed to scope the market and identify trade and investment opportunities for South African products and services,” said Minister Davies ahead of the mission.

Previous missions to the western South American country have been successful in creating awareness about South African products and services.

“It has also sparked market interest in complementary products and services in the region. The last mission, which took place in 2016, resulted in 84 positive trade leads that were generated by the companies which participated in the mission,” said the Minister of the visit to Lima.

The mission will see local companies in the sectors of agro-processing, capital mining equipment and mining services seek out opportunities in that country.

The companies’ participation in the mission is funded by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investments into the country, aligned to the President’s investment drive.

“The mission to Peru will provide the South African companies with an opportunity to penetrate not only Peru but the Latin American market, which is not only about Brazil, but more about the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc that includes Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. The bloc offers greater export and investment opportunities.

“Although Peru is smaller in comparison to Brazil, together with Colombia and Panama, present the best growth and market expansion opportunities in South America and the Caribbean,” said Minister Davies.

The programme of the mission will include a trade and investment seminar, business-to-business meetings and site visits to Lima-based companies operating in agro-processing, capital mining equipment and the mining services sectors.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Peru increased from R827 million in 2016 to almost R1,5 billion in 2017.

The mission concluded on 6 September.

– Source:
“Big Three” global credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has assigned its AA+ long-term and A-1+ short-term issuer ratings with a stable outlook to the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB).
The AA+ is the rating agency’s second-highest ranking, behind only a AAA rating. “The ratings reflect our opinion that the NDB will establish itself as a catalyst in reducing the infrastructure deficits faced by its BRICS members,” S&P said in a press release.

The NDB was founded by the BRICS member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2014 and formally opened in Shanghai in July 2015. The goal of the bank, with an initial authorised capital of US$100 billion, is to fund sustainable development infrastructure projects in emerging economies.

Overall, the NDB has 23 projects costing US$6 billion, including US$1,7 billion in China and US$1,8 billion in India. Each member country has a 20% shareholding and voting rights.

The agency has assessed the bank’s financial profile as “extremely strong,” acknowledging robust shareholder support as a key factor.

– Source:
The Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, led a South African Government delegation to the Annual Africa Under (ADU), that took place in Perth, Western Australia, from 29 to 31st August 2018.
Minister Gwede Mantashe, among other activities, addressed the ADU delegates and hosted the South African Mining Investment Seminar under the theme: “Ensuring Competitive, Sustainable and Transformed South African Mining”. The seminar provided a detailed update on South Africa’s investment climate and opportunities as well as other relevant mining-related topics.

The seminar reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to growing and sustaining the mining industry and further confirmed the country as a preferred investment destination.
South Africa has won the bid to host the 2024 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) – the first on African soil in its 105th year of existence.
The decision was announced by newly-elected IAU president, Professor Ewine van Dishoeck, at the association's General Assembly in Vienna.

The IAU was founded in 1919 with a mission to promote and safeguard science of astronomy through international cooperation. It has 12 557 individual members in 90 countries.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, congratulated the bid committee on their sterling work.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said securing the bid was proof that Africa was the next big hub for astronomy with mega projects, including the MeerKAT, Square Kilometre Array and African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network.

"I am delighted that the international community is recognising the investments and concerted efforts that South Africa has been making in growing the discipline of astronomy in Africa.”

The Minister added that the occasion would give a voice to Africa in the global astronomical endeavour and would bring attention to the "excellent science and education conducted on the continent".

Held every three years, the IAU General Assembly is the biggest international meeting of the astronomy community.
On 1 September 2018, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, officially launched Heritage Month at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal.
September marks the annual Heritage Month in South Africa. Heritage Month recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, historical inheritance, language, the food people eat as well as the popular memory.

In line with government’s programme to celebrate the centenary year of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, Heritage Month 2018 will be commemorated under the theme “The Year of Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela: Advancing Transformation of South Africa’s Heritage Landscape”.

At the centre of the 2018 Heritage Month celebrations will be the transformation of the heritage landscape, and in particular, the contribution made by the former President Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela.

During the launch, a month-long programme of activities aimed at addressing issues of transformation, promotion and preservation of South Africa’s rich and diverse heritage, national identity, nation-building and social cohesion will be unveiled.

– Source:
Friday, 31 August 2018, marked the 50-day countdown until the centenary celebration for Mama Albertina Sisulu, the fearless champion of democracy and human rights.
Government announced 2018 as her centenary celebrations under the theme: “Albertina Sisulu: A Woman of Fortitude” in recognition of her courage, discipline, integrity and love for her country.

MaSisulu, as she was affectionately known, was born on 21 October 1918 and died on 2 June 2011. She would be 100 years on 21 October, had she lived.

MaSisulu played a leading role in the struggle for the liberation of her country and was one of the  leaders of the historic Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956 alongside, among others, Lillian Ngoyi, Sophie de Bruyn, Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa.

Although many associate her political struggle with her husband, Walter Sisulu, the veteran African National Congress politician, who died in 2003, was a leader in her own right.

She spent almost half a century fighting for the liberation of South Africans, in the face of detentions, banning orders and harassment.

But she refused to be intimidated and never wavered in her commitment to the struggle for freedom and non-racialism.

A series of commemorative events such as women dialogues have been running the whole year to celebrate the life of this struggle stalwart.

In October, the MaSisulu Centenary Month will be officially launched during which several activities, including the celebration at the Orlando West Anglican Church, will take place. The packed programme will also see the MaSisulu biography being launched, as well as a memorial lecture in her honour taking place.

– Source:
The birth of the world’s first in vitro fertilisation lion cubs marks a pioneering moment for the conservation of big cat species.
Developed by a research team at the University of Pretoria (UP), a study into the reproductive physiology of the female African lion has led to the birth of two of the world’s first lion cubs to be born by artificial insemination.

The cubs were born to a lioness at the Ukutula Conservation Centre and Biobank in the North West province.

Professor Andre Ganswindt of the UP Mammal Research Institute, said this could combat the threat of extinction facing several big cats around the world.

“There are tremendous threats to wildlife due to loss of habitat and anthropogenic pressures which also affect big cats. That is why a number of species are listed as vulnerable or endangered.”

This study examined artificial insemination protocols for the female African lion, but could be used as a baseline for other endangered large, wild felines. Ganswindt said this was a pre-emptive measure to ensure techniques were developed before a species was critically endangered.

“To have the opportunity to stabilise populations even with artificial breeding, you have to have the necessary techniques well ahead of the time when it is necessary.

“That is why you cannot develop these techniques on a critically endangered species. In South Africa, we have a relatively stable lion population and that allows us to use lions as the forefront species to collect the knowledge for techniques that can be used on big cats that are critically endangered.”

The project’s main researcher, Dr Isabel Callealta, said: “The next step is to continue looking for the right protocols for the large feline species. This information will be used to develop protocols for artificial insemination for this and other endangered feline species.”

– Source:
While it has been two decades since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) concluded, bringing to a close South Africa’s cathartic period of reckoning with its violent history of racial segregation, director Roland Joffé’s new film returns to that time to grapple with the terrible truths of apartheid and its legacy.
Based on Michael Ashton’s play, The Archbishop and the Antichrist (the playwright collaborated on the screenplay with Joffé), The Forgiven is a fictionalised account of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s efforts as the Head of the TRC to confront the atrocities of apartheid in an attempt to heal and unite South Africa.

Explaining the reasoning behind the film, Joffé says: “This is a subject that’s both social and political but also rather personal, because let’s be honest, we’ve all done things in our lives that we need forgiveness for, that we haven’t come to terms with. We’re all prisoners of our history, whether it’s social, cultural or family.”

Two-time academy nominee Joffé has gained a reputation for hard-hitting political stories and The Forgiven, like his 1984 cinematic breakthrough, The Killing Fields, is cerebral and unflinchingly violent in its depiction of South Africa’s recent political history.

The drama follows Archbishop Tutu, masterfully portrayed by Forest Whitaker, and his struggle – morally and intellectually – with brutal murderer and member of a former apartheid-era hit squad Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana), over redemption and forgiveness.

– Source:
The “Stay With Me” hitmaker will perform in Johannesburg and Cape Town during April 2019.
British singer Sam Smith has announced that he’ll be touring South Africa next year as part of his Thrill of it All Tour.

The singer will perform in Johannesburg on 13 and 14 April at the Ticketpro Dome. The tour will then head to Cape Town on 16 and 17 April where Smith will perform at the Grand Arena.

Smith’s album The Thrill of It All has already sold four million copies. He worked alongside close friend and long-term collaborator Jimmy Napes as well as the likes of Timbaland, Malay, Jason ‘Poo Bear’ Boyd and Stargate.
Lewis Pugh arrived in Dover on Wednesday, 29 August 2018, at lunchtime after swimming for 49 days.
British-born and Cape Town-based endurance swimmer, Pugh, completed his challenge to swim the length of the English Channel in support of cleaning up the oceans.

The 48-year-old finished the 560-km (348 mile) gruelling swim from Land's End in Cornwall to Dover in Kent in 49 days.

He was greeted at Shakespeare Beach by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The environmental campaigner and United Nations Patron of the Oceans began the challenge on 12 July, swimming 10 to 20km (six to 12 miles) every day.

Pugh said he felt "relieved and exhilarated".

"It's been very, very long, we've been going for 49 days and I'm exhausted, physically exhausted, mentally exhausted, so delighted to be here."

He is estimated to have made 500 000 to 750 000 strokes along the journey.

Pugh completed the challenge despite being told he had tendonitis just 10 days before the end and being advised to rest by his physiotherapist.

Speaking to the BBC, Pugh described the challenge  ̶  the equivalent of swimming 16 English Channels back to back – as the "Everest of swims", and said it had been one of two halves.

"The first half from Land's End all the way to the Isle of Wight was wonderful. Warm seas, flat seas.

"The second half we've had storm after storm after storm," he said.

His campaign, called The Long Swim, aims to raise awareness of the threat to the United Kingdom's (UK) coastal waters from climate change, over-fishing and plastic pollution.

"We have this one opportunity now to protect the waters around the UK.

"If we don't do that, there simply won't be any fish left for our generation. Forget about future generations if we don't take action right now."

– Source:
Caster Semenya produced another superb performance on Sunday, 2 September 2018, winning the 1 000-m Women at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Berlin, Germany.
Semenya covered the two-and-a-half lap race in 2:30.70 after opening a massive gap on the rest of the field, with Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda taking second position in 2:34.88.

The South African star, who won Commonwealth Games, African Championships and IAAF Diamond League titles over various distances this season, broke her own national 1 000-m record of 2:31.01, which she clocked in Rabat, Morocco, in July.

In the process, she inched closer to Maria Mutola's long-standing African record of 2:29.34, set in Brussels in August 1995.

"Caster has been incredibly consistent and focused throughout this wonderfull season she’s been having. We congratulate her for her outstanding performances and for clipping yet another national record," said Aleck Skhosana, the president of Athletics South Africa.

"A pat on the back to all those who have been working with the athlete, including her coach, management and other backup staff."

– Source:
South Africa was among the winners as 16 Diamond League champions were crowned at the final on Thursday night, 30 August 2018.
Luvo Manyonga and Caster Semenya successfully defended their titles with victories in the long jump and the 800-m finals, respectively.

Semenya said she had done whatever she could to maintain her good season.

“It was a great race – it’s just to try your luck all the time,” she told City Press after she completed her hat-trick of Diamond titles.

Semenya showed her strength by opening up a huge gap in the closing third of the race to win in 1:55.27, more than two and a half seconds ahead of Ajee Wilson of the United States in second place (1:57.86) and Jamaica’s Natoya Goulein in third (1:58.49).

“The rhythm was great. It’s towards the end of the season and we’ve been running hard throughout the season. We always try to keep up the pace and push a bit harder and see what happens.

“I’m consistent and that’s what the coach needs,” she added.

In the sandpits, the long jump decider had turned into a South African show and Ruswahl Samaai looked set to walk away it with an 8.32-m leap but Manyonga snatched the contest with his last effort at 8.36m to unseat his compatriot.

“I came to win but there can only be one winner. I did well today but Luvo showed up when it mattered the most,” said a rather disappointed Samaai, who had defeated Manyonga at the African Senior Championships in Nigeria just three weeks ago.

“It’s sport – you lose some and win some. And the end of the day, you go back to the drawing board and see how you can still improve. At the end of the day, I’m glad a South African won it.”

Manyonga said it was a great honour to win another Diamond crown.

– Source:
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Editor: Delien Burger
Picture Editor: Yolande Snyman
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