Issue 365 | 28 February 2019
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated his Nigerian counterpart, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, following his successful re-election to the position of President of the Republic of Nigeria as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In a statement released on 23 February 2019, the African Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria noted that: “Overall, the [Nigerian election] process was largely peaceful and orderly and in conformity with Nigeria’s legal framework.” President Ramaphosa said the Nigerian people should be commended both for their patience following the postponement of the election date by a week and the peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves during the election process.

South Africa and Nigeria enjoy good political, economic and social relations formally established in 1994, immediately after South Africa’s first democratic elections. The two countries have thus far signed 34 bilateral agreements covering various areas such as arts and culture, education, agriculture, trade and investment, mining, defence, policing, immigration, taxation, science and technology, health, tourism, environment and energy.

President Ramaphosa undertook a Working Visit to Nigeria in July 2018. During the visit, President Ramaphosa and President Buhari held fruitful bilateral talks and recommitted their two governments to deepening cooperation at bilateral, continental and multilateral levels.

In his congratulatory message, President Ramaphosa expressed his commitment to working closely with President Buhari’s government to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between South Africa and Nigeria, paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic cooperation.
Gamsberg will exploit one of the largest known, undeveloped zinc ore bodies in the world and will comprise an open pit mine and a dedicated processing plant.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday, 28 February 2019, officially opened Vedanta Zinc International’s Gamsberg Mine near Aggeneys in the Northern Cape.

Aggeneys is a mining centre located between Springbok and Pofadder in South Africa’s largest and most sparsely populated province.

Vedanta Resources Limited is a globally diversified natural resources company, the largest in India and sixth-largest in the world. The new mine is part of Vedanta’s Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operations and is located about 30km from BMM’s base at Aggeneys.

In the context of improved trade relations between South Africa and India and on the back of South Africa’s inaugural Investment Conference, President Ramaphosa said during the Business Forum on the occasion of South Africa’s State Visit to India: “South Africa recognises and appreciates Vedanta Resources’ investment of US$1,6 billion (R21,8 billion) in the Gamsberg zinc mine in the Northern Cape, of which US$400 million has already been spent. This investment by Vedanta has triggered a new wave of industrial and economic development in our country”.

The first phase of the zinc mine, which has an estimated lifespan of over 30 years, is an investment of US$400 million (over R5,5 billion), which employed more than 3 000 people at the height of construction.

Around 700 people will be employed permanently, once Gamsberg is in production.

A further US$400-million investment is planned for the second phase as part of a total investment plan, including future projects, estimated at over a billion US dollars.

The new Vedanta venture constitutes the basis for an economic node that will benefit the Northern Cape province as a whole.

The company has invested over R44 million in skills development, education, health and enterprise development and municipal infrastructure support projects in the area. Vedanta also supports and prioritises local procurement, creating positive spinoffs for small and medium enterprises in the area.
Jazz performer, composer and recipient of the National Order of Ikhamanga, Dorothy Masuka has passed away at the age of 83.
Mama Masuka passed away on Saturday, 23 February 2019, after more than 50 years of being feted globally as an artist whose performances directed the spotlight at the injustices of apartheid, said The Presidency in a statement on Sunday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described Mama Masuka’s passing away as a significant loss to the cultural heritage of South Africa and the continent and offered his condolences to her family and friends in South Africa and elsewhere.

“Another golden voice in the chorus line of our nation has been silenced with the passing of Mama Dorothy Masuka. She belonged to a generation of artists who transcended boundaries in art and politics long before we coined the concept of globalisation.

“Mama Dorothy was part of a cohort of performers – notably women – who were driven by wanting to create a better society and a better world. Mama Dorothy’s voice and poetry took us on stirring, uplifting and agitating journeys through the human experience.

“While the spotlight of stages all around the world were trained in her, she shone a light on the joys and struggles of life across the lines of race, class and nationality that were so starkly entrenched in the world and era in which she first emerged as an artistic force,” said the President.

Masuka was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for excellent achievement in and contribution to music composition and performance.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1935, she moved to South Africa with her family when she was 12 and needed treatment for health issues.

She started out as a performer at the age of 16 and developed into an accomplished songwriter and internationally acclaimed artist in the course of half a century.

The Presidency said her music challenged the apartheid state and she was outspoken offstage on a range of social and political issues in South Africa and around the continent.

President Ramaphosa called on South Africans to celebrate Mama Dorothy’s life and legacy and to emulate the resilience with which she conducted her life and career into the advanced years of her life.

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Take the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) into the future – that was the message from SANDF Commander-in-Chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa, to the men and women in uniform.
“To our soldiers, yours is a clear mission, to take the SANDF into the future; to uphold our constitutional order and the rule of law.

“To defend and protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity. And above all, to contribute towards the well-being, prosperity and upliftment of the people of South Africa,” said the President.

President Ramaphosa honoured the men and women in uniform and called on them to continue to uphold the laws of the country and drive the country into a new dawn at the annual Armed Forces Day in Cape Town on Thursday, 21 February 2019.

The President officiated at the wreath-laying ceremony at the SS Mendi Memorial Site at the University of Cape Town.

Armed Forces Day is the biggest event on the SANDF calendar and commemorates the sinking of the SS Mendi on 21 February 1917.

A total of 616 of South African black troops died when the SS Mendi steamship sank on its way to France, making it one of South Africa’s worst tragedies of the First World War (1914 to 1918).

Recently, week-long celebrations were held to marked Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day celebrations also seek to expand public understanding of the role of the SANDF and it further demonstrates the capability and contribution to society of the country's armed forces.

The SANDF is divided into four arms: South African Army, South African Air Force, South African Navy and the South African Military Health Service.

The mandate of the SANDF is to defend and protect the State, support government initiatives and ensure that the SANDF, which constitutes the armed forces of South Africa, is able to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

President Ramaphosa reflected on the work of the military, highlighting their efforts during their deployment to hospitals across Gauteng in 2017 after industrial action nearly paralysed services in the province.

“A year later, military health personnel were dispatched to Mahikeng Hospital in the North West, where their intervention averted the near collapse of health services in the facility,” said the President.

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On 25 February 2019, South Africa joined a growing number of states in submitting its Instrument of Ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to the United Nations (UN) in New York.
The historic treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 states in favour at the UN on 7 July 2017. On 20 September 2017, the Secretary-General of the UN Treaty opened the treaty for signatures. South Africa signed the treaty at a signing ceremony held on the margins of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

The treaty will enter into force 90 days after 50 states have ratified or acceded to it. As at 25 February 2019, 22 states had deposited their instruments of ratification with the UN.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, said: “South Africa's ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons sends a positive signal of our continued commitment towards the achievement of a world free from the threat posed by nuclear weapons and ensuring that nuclear energy is used solely for peaceful purposes.”
The treaty seeks to establish an international norm, de-legitimising and stigmatising the possession of nuclear weapons. It aims to contribute towards achieving the objective set out in the very first resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1946 to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.

The treaty complements other international instruments by contributing towards fulfilling the nuclear disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the objectives of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the various nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties, such as the Pelindaba Treaty, that already banned nuclear weapons in Africa.

Minister Sisulu added that: “Given its unique history, as the first country to have eliminated all its nuclear weapons, South Africa is proud to have played a leading role in this process together with a vast majority of states and members of civil society that actively contributed to the process and the adoption of this Treaty.

“While we celebrate this historic achievement, we are fully aware that much work remains to be done to achieve our goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Beyond the entry into force of this treaty and working towards its universalisation, we will not relent in our efforts towards securing the full implementation of the commitments made by state parties in fulfilment of their NPT obligations, particularly the nuclear disarmament obligations that have been neglected for too long.”
The South African Government has reiterated its commitment to working towards the strengthening and deepening of the multilateral system of global governance and a rules-based international order.

The commitment was re-emphasised by International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Luwellyn Landers, at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Segment of the 40th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

“Our abiding faith in the UN and the multilateral system of global governance is unwavering, despite increasing unilateralism and the growth of populist and ultra-nationalist forces in the world. We welcome the timely commitment by the UN Secretary-General to develop a UN-wide Global Plan of Action against hate speech and hate crimes,” Deputy Minister Landers said in his address.

The Deputy Minister said South Africa remained committed to the peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict and realisation of full rights for Palestinian people.

“Their inalienable right to self-determination must not be forgotten and their plight should remain our apex priority. We also remain steadfast in our support for the people of Western Sahara, whose suffering under the yoke of foreign occupation continues. The Saharawi people should attain their right to self-determination in our lifetime.

“The Government of South Africa believes that the Human Rights Council is one of the most important and effective institutions of the UN. We applaud the council for being responsive to human rights violations.

“As indicated by the President of the General Assembly, Madame Maria Fernanda Espinosa, we too value the link between the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. Our history of struggle against human rights abuses under the apartheid government was strengthened by the work of the General Assembly when other UN bodies were less decisive.”

South Africa, Deputy Minister Landers said, was also seized with addressing contemporary challenges within the realm of human rights.

“States cannot be the only duty bearers in this regard. Multinational corporations and international organisations are powerful institutions of global governance and must therefore be held accountable under international human rights law wherever they operate.”

Deputy Minister Landers used the platform to reiterate South Africa’s stance on issues that affect women, particularly in sport.

“It is in this context that I wish to raise an issue of particular importance to our country. Women and girls face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in sport and are subjected to discriminatory laws and practices based on their race and gender.

“This is a matter that affects women in the developing world more acutely, reinforcing the intersectionality between race and gender that pervades these human rights abuses, and that requires the attention of this council.”

With the country heading to the polls on 8 May this year, Deputy Minister Landers took the opportunity to thank the council for supporting and fully participating in the one-day commemorative event in April 2018 in honour of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late President Nelson Mandela.

“[He] personified human rights and the struggle for justice and equality for all. We wish to further thank the international community for joining us in marking centenary activities for our late struggle icon, Mama Albertina Sisulu,” he said.

He reiterated the Government of South Africa’s support for the work of the council and the Office of the High Commissioner.

“We continue to believe that this council will be judged by the extent to which it makes an impact on the lives of billions of people in the world. South Africa will not be found lacking in its contribution.”

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The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, delivered a public lecture, focussing on the priorities identified by South Africa for its two-year tenure in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday, 22 February 2019, in Cape Town.
The lecture was organised in partnership with the Southern African Liaison Office. Deputy Minister Landers contextualised South Africa’s work in the UNSC within the framework of the country’s broader foreign policy mission, i.e. “An African continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united, and which aspires to a world that is just and equitable”.

The event formed part of a series of other public platforms through which the Department of International Relations and Cooperation takes South Africa’s foreign policy to the people. Accordingly, among those who attended the public lecture were representatives of community organisations, NGOs, think tanks, the academia and foreign diplomatic missions.

Deputy Minister Landers said that the world today was unfortunately characterised by a rise in populism and nationalism, increasing geopolitical divisions and the pursuit of narrow interests.

“This has made it more difficult to respond to transnational challenges. States are interdependent and even the most powerful countries cannot achieve security, nor maintain prosperity and ensure sustainable development for their people by acting unilaterally or in isolation.

“South Africa thus continues to believe that multilateralism will continue to be a key aspect of international relations and that collective action is required to mitigate the geopolitical interests that threaten global sustainable development, good governance and security. A multilateral system based on international law that fosters greater interdependence and mutual cooperation is the only way in which we can successfully address these difficulties.

“It is for this reason that we have remained committed to the UN and its ideals and why we chose to put our name forward to be elected on the UNSC.

“We are grateful for the confidence that the international community has shown in our candidature for the Security Council. We were endorsed by our sub-region, the Southern African Development Community as well as our continental body, the African Union, before being overwhelmingly elected by the UN General Assembly to serve as an elected member of the Security Council.”


The Directorate: Internal Communication and Social Media within the Branch: Public Diplomacy hosted a successful DIRCO Open Day on Friday, 22 February 2019, at the OR Tambo Building.
The Open Day, which took place under the theme: “Information-Sharing is Key to Guiding the Youth”, targeted approximately 80 students from three senior secondary schools around Pretoria, namely: IR Lesolang High School, Jafta Mahlangu High School and Clapham High School. The invitation was extended to Grade 10 – 12 learners who are interested in studying International Relations, Political Science and related fields.

The purpose of the Open Day was to inform and educate students about the mandate of the department, the work environment and different branches within the department. Furthermore, this excursion exposed the learners to how South Africa’s foreign policy is implemented.

Among the amazing speakers was Ben Malan from Consular Services and Albert Geldenhuys who highlighted career opportunities available in DIRCO. The event was also honoured by the presence of Ambassador Martin Schäfer, the German Ambassador to South Africa, who took the learners through his journey to Diplomacy and left them eager to one day, if not soon, become South African diplomats.
South Africa and Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic Cooperation, which will provide a broad basis for cooperation between the two sister countries.
The MoU’s intention is to find new approaches and strategies of consolidating, expanding and deepening areas of economic development, investment promotion, industrial, trade and technical cooperation.

“The signing of this MoU is a key milestone in our bilateral relations and cooperation for a number of reasons: it is a new generation type of an agreement that is based on a couple of new departures. The first one is that it is very much detailed about the level of cooperation and specifically identifies a number of infrastructure projects that we will be collaborating on.

“Secondly, it is time-bound, as it will last for only five years, after which it can be renewed,” said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, at the signing ceremony.

The ceremony took place in Cape Town on Tuesday, 19 February 2019. Mozambique’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Ragendra Berta de Sousa, signed on behalf of his country.

Minister Davies said the MoU also fit in perfectly with the vision of the dti that is characterised by the investment-led trade into the rest of Africa. A unit, Trade Invest Africa, was established in the department to drive this initiative.

Mozambique is a significant trading partner for South Africa.

“We do not think that we are serving our relationship well just by practising the traditional way of doing trade.

“By building investment relations, we are creating the basis for a more equitable and more balanced pattern of trade, in line with our approach of positioning South Africa as a development partner on the continent. That is the basis on which we cement the whole of our sustainable and long-term trade and economic relations throughout the continent,” said Minister Davies.

Minister De Soussa said the MoU would go a long way in strengthening economic relations between South Africa and Mozambique, and contributing to increasing collaboration, partnerships, trade and investment between the two countries.

The MoU will provide a framework under which developmental projects, which cover a broad spectrum of sectors, can be pursued.

These projects will form a basis for deeper cooperation between the two countries.

Sectors that will be explored for cooperation under the MoU include agriculture and agro-processing; special economic zones and industrial parks; mining, processing and value-addition of natural resources; transport and communications infrastructure; pharmaceuticals; tourism; clothing and textiles; creative industries; and manufacturing.

Total trade between the two countries has remained strong over the past five years, increasing from R39,5 billion in 2013 to R50,8 billion in 2017.

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Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Bulelani Magwanishe, has showcased South Africa’s Black Industrialists Programme at the 22nd Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit in New York.
“Our Black Industrialists Programme is deliberate in the advocacy of black participation in the mainstream economy. Through this, the Black Industrialists incentive supports companies pursuing productive sectors of the economy.

“As we contest for liberty and economic empowerment, the South African Government has channelled its mandate towards developing black pioneers engaged in industrial sectors,” said Deputy Minister Magwanishe.

The Black Industrialists Programme is one of government’s instruments to encourage inclusive growth across all spectrums.

Deputy Minister Magwanishe said through the programme, government was actively engaging in partnerships that empowered black entities.

“I therefore urge minority groups, women and youth, to leverage on the opportunities available,” he said.

During the course of the four-day summit, the Deputy Minister highlighted trade and investment opportunities in South Africa, including instruments to facilitate investments.

“Invest SA, a one-stop shop service, is geared towards providing investors with services to fast-track projects, further assisting them with information, facilitation and aftercare. Thus, through the One Stop Shop, government aims to reduce red tape in areas concerning business registration, taxation, licences, visa and permit applications and other applicable services.”

Globally, the United States (US) accounts for 7% of South Africa’s total exports to the world and was ranked second as an export destination for South African export products in 2018.

South Africa will welcome a US international trade mission in August.

“The South African Government is ready to provide assistance in making the mission a success, as it [did] 25 years ago, when President Mandela and Senator Ted Kennedy coordinated the same mission,” he said.

The mission will foster strong relations and partnerships between entrepreneurs in both countries.

The US remains one of the key sources of foreign direct investment for South Africa, with bilateral investments at approximately R2,2 trillion in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Labour, iNkosi Phatekile Holomisa, who also attended the summit, said government was working hard to finalise reforms in key sectors across the South African economy.

“As part of this plan, we are taking immediate steps to finalise reforms in key sectors like mining, oil and gas, tourism and telecommunications – all of which are sectors that have great potential for growth and employment creation,” said Deputy Minister Holomisa.

The summit was held under the theme: “400 Years Later: Closing the Wealth Gap, Expanding Opportunity”.

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South Africa’s Consul General to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), David Magabe, has urged local companies to tap into the Middle East’s agro-processing sector.
“The UAE and the Middle East in general have always been a good market for South Africa in terms of export opportunities. The UAE is looking at increasing its volume of imports from countries that they are trading with, and South Africa is well-positioned to supply agricultural products covering the entire agro-processing value chain,” said Consul General Magabe on Thursday, 21 February 2019.

This as South African companies, led by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), were showing off their wares at the Gulfood Exhibition, which was held in Dubai.

Speaking at South Africa’s exhibition stand at the fair, Consul General Magabe said vegetables and agro-processing products were the third most imported products from South Africa and constituted a 12,17% share of the UAE’s total imports.

He reiterated that South Africa had the capacity to produce enough in order to supply the UAE market.

“I urge South African entrepreneurs and emerging farmers to make use of these opportunities and engage government on the support they offer, particularly to new companies that are keen on exporting into these markets,” said Consul General Magabe.

Gulfood is hailed as the leading food and beverage exhibition in the Gulf region, bringing together exporters, importers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, food producers and restaurateurs from more than 100 countries.

The exhibition draws about 5 000 exhibitors and more than 100 000 visitors from 120 countries annually.

Consul General Magabe said platforms like Gulfood gave South African businesses an opportunity to network and look for exports opportunities beyond the Gulf countries.

South Africa’s exports to the UAE grew from R11,7 billion in 2013 to R23,5 billion in 2017.

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The first real-time data from South Africa's ZACube-2 nanosatellite was unveiled on Tuesday, 26 February 2019.
The continent’s most advanced nanosatellite to date, the ZACube-2, was successfully launched into space in December. It is expected to provide cutting-edge remote sensing and communications services to South Africa and the region.

The satellite will help monitor ocean traffic as part of the oceans economy and also monitor veld fires and provide near real-time fire information ensuring a quick response time by disaster management teams.

The satellite was developed by some of South Africa’s youngest and brightest minds under a programme representing the country’s diversity, in particular black students and young women.

According to the Department of Science and Technology, the satellite is a technology demonstrator for Maritime Domain Awareness that will provide critical information for the county’s oceans economy.

It will monitor the movement of ships along the South African coastline with its automatic identification system (AIS) payload.

Weighing just four kilograms, the ZACube-2 is South Africa’s second nanosatellite to be launched into space and three times the size of its predecessor, TshepisoSat.

It is regarded as the continent's most advanced cube satellite and is in fact a precursor to the MDASat – a constellation of nine nanosatellites that will be developed to provide cutting-edge very high frequency data exchange communication systems to the maritime industry.

CPUT has already received useful AIS data from ZACube-2, which was fed into the National Oceans and Coastal Information Management System of Operation Phakisa.

The unveiling of the first data from ZACube-2 took place during the plenary briefing led by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

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Government is looking at developing the biggest tech hub in Africa, a coding and programming academy as well as co-working and co-creation spaces for the youth and start-ups in particular.
“Through the Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda), my department, in partnership with the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services, has started a conversation to develop the biggest Tech Hub in Africa …”, the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, said on Friday, 22 February 2019.

She was addressing an engagement session with the creative industry in Johannesburg under the theme: “Leveraging on Digital Platforms for 4IR Creatives”.

The session was led by Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, and Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana.

The one-day engagement focussed on broadcasting, audiovisual and new platforms, as well as the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Minister Zulu said the technological revolution must improve and advance the lives of South Africans.

It also becomes important that small, medium and micro enterprises and cooperatives embrace this radical reshaping of the relationship between technology capabilities and business opportunities.

“Incubators must focus on creating a new generation of South African start-ups that will drive the creation of disruptive technologies in the creatives industry,” she said.

The Minister said South Africa was well placed to benefit from the potential of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the future.

The Minister said the size of South Africa’s gross domestic product, its levels of per capita income and productivity gave it the advantage to lead in the ICT sector on the continent.

“If South Africa wants to build on its existing strengths, it must not wait longer with making meaningful, and sometimes bold, changes. It must overcome its current complacency, political complexity, and inertia to act.

“South African initiatives are likely to be successful only if they happen in an integrated manner and, importantly, create more scale and scope for growth across Africa and create the conditions that allow a greater role for consumers and businesses to drive the impact of new technologies through their effective use,” the Minister said.

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Kenyans will get a taste of South Africa’s culture and cuisine when they host the South African Cultural Season next week.
The weeklong session, which starts on Monday, 4 March 2019, is aimed at cementing and deepening the people-to-people relations between the two countries, promoting regional integration and supporting efforts towards expanded Cultural Diplomacy, which is part of government’s broader socio-economic agenda.

“The Cultural Seasons Programme in Kenya is crafted to pay particular attention to sharing experiences through various art forms, with a specific focus on forging unity and integration, as well as collaborations between South African and Kenyan artists through the master classes that are planned,” the Department of Arts and Culture said on Saturday, 23 February 2019.

The South African star-studded line-up will include musicians Amanda Black, Thee Legacy, Nelisiwe Sibiya, Madala Kunene, Natalia Molebatsi, the Poet and Hlubi Kwebulana, the creative and show director.

Under the theme, “Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy and Freedom”, South Africa will also showcase talented dancers from Ingoma while chefs, Nompumelelo Mqwebu and Lesego Semenya, will give the Kenyans a taste of local classics.

Movies telling the South African story and history will be aired. These include Long Walk to Freedom, Beyond the River, Khumba and Fanie Fourie’s Lobola.

Kenya is an important partner to South Africa in the advancement of inter- and intra-African trade and investment.

Economic relations are solid between the sister countries with total trade between South Africa and Kenya standing at over R9,7 billion in 2017.

Currently, over 60 South African companies are operating in Kenya and South Africa is the sixth-largest investor in Kenya after China, the United Kingdom, United States of America, India and Nigeria

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The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has signed new investment agreements, which bring the total number of signed investors to eight and investment value to over R3 billion.
These investors include international stakeholders from the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with the rest being local companies.

All these investors are investing in a variety of fabrication workshops for steel and other metals, equipment and marine repair facilities, oil lubricant and fuel plants, as well as specialised engineering services, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday, 19 February 2019.

The investors are targeting construction to start between March 2019 and March 2020, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, said.

“The investments signal a significant start of establishing new industrial value chains in and around the Port of Saldanha.

“The Saldanha Bay IDZ is part of the dti's Special Economic Zones Programme and is developing into a world-class offshore and maritime hub,” the Minister said.

Having established most of the major land-based infrastructure and some of the marine infrastructure, the zone’s partnership with Transnet National Ports Authority has already started some of the design and commercial work for expanding the infrastructure offering, with additional port facilities.

Minister Davies said the value proposition to the market also included a free port model for optimal operational ease in a sector where logistics efficiency and certainty were as valuable as quality engineering services.

“The Saldanha Bay IDZ’s investment pipeline includes at least five more investments that are close to conclusion.

“If these are realised, they will add another R2,4 billion of investment to the short- and medium-term outlook of the zone. The total investor pipeline includes around 40 additional interested companies in various stages of engagement,” the Minister said.

The Western Cape Government and the dti have partnered with the Saldanha Bay Municipality and larger companies in the West Coast to start building the ecosystem for localised procurement and small, medium and micro-sized enterprises support as a result of the opportunities posed by the new value chains

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The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Programme is making a significant impact on the economy, job creation, community upliftment, economic transformation and climate change.
The REIPPP is a competitive tender process that has been designed to facilitate private-sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy generation.

In a short, eight-year period, it has attracted R209,4 billion in committed private-sector investment, resulting in much-needed alleviation of fiscal pressure.

South African entities such as Old Mutual, Red Cap, Phakwe, Pele Green, and many others, including the Central Energy Fund and the Public Investment Cooperation, account for the majority of investment into the REIPPPP.

Renewable independent power producers (IPPs) have created 38 701 jobs years for youth and women from the surrounding communities.

“This means 38 701 people have had a full-time job for one year,” Energy Minister, Jeff Radebe, said at a media briefing in Pretoria.

The minister said local communities had benefitted from over R1 billion spent by IPPs on education by upskilling teachers, providing extra teachers and classrooms, as well as awarding over 600 bursaries to students from disadvantaged communities.

In the health sector, the programme has provided health facilities while contributing to social development through feeding schemes, supporting old-age homes and early childhood development.

Furthermore, it has helped to establish more than 1 000 small enterprises.

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O R Tambo International Airport, South Africa’s biggest and busiest port of entry, was recently named African Airport of the Year at Air Cargo Africa Conference and Exhibition.
This was the fourth time the airport has won the award.

The Air Cargo Africa 2019 event in Ekurhuleni attracted more than 80 international exhibiting companies and more than 3 000 trade visitors from 60 countries, including from 30 African nations.

The purpose of the annual Air Cargo Africa awards is to honour and recognise outstanding achievements by leading cargo logistics service providers. General Manager of the airport, Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana, says the management and staff are humbled by the award which underscores their drive to boost cargo volumes.

“We are extremely proud to have been named African Airport of the Year over the past few years. Winning this award demonstrates our commitment to deliver the best infrastructure for our stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to strengthen trade and commerce in our region,” says Ms Pityi-Vokwana.

Conference hosts, Messe München South Africa, say this year’s event was attended by about 20 CEOs of global airlines and air cargo companies. Organisers say that what was particularly different this year was the level of attendance by senior executives which is an indication of growing interest in facilitating air cargo-based trade with Africa. Ms Pityi-Vokwana says that 82% of South Africa’s total air cargo volume of about 400 000 tons a year is routed through OR Tambo International Airport’s Western Precinct Cargo Terminal with 92% of the total being international cargo. Most of the uplift capacity is provided by passenger airline networks that transport 70% of the total cargo in the belly of passenger flights.

Freighter traffic generates 30% of the total volumes. “The flow and destinations of air cargo are driven by the cargo community. Cargo airlines go where their customers are and the airline’s customers, the agents, decide on the routing. The local cargo community members are therefore essential to supporting the airport and its growth."

“Cargo plays a big role in the revenue stream of airlines. We continue to work hard to position the airport as a key player in the worldwide air cargo business with South Africa as the gateway for sub-Saharan Africa and a turntable between South America, Australia and Asia,” says Ms Pityi-Vokwana.

“We pride ourselves on remaining focussed on collaborating and supporting our stakeholders in the cargo value chain and it is really their hard work that made it possible for us to receive this award again,” says Ms Pityi-Vokwana.

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South Africa’s Bonang Matheba has joined National Geographic's (DStv 181) new ad-funded, global documentary series, “Activate”, which will highlight global efforts to change the lives of people living in extreme poverty.
Activate, sponsored by Proctor & Gamble, is a six-episode documentary series co-produced by RadicalMedia, set to broadcast later in 2019 on National Geographic in 172 countries around the world and will take viewers behind the scenes of major advocacy campaigns across the globe trying to drive change for the world's poorest people.

Film crews are already out in the field – in South Africa, the Philippines, Nigeria and Peru – to film content for Activate that will feature Bonang Matheba, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Gayle King, Hugh Jackman and others.

Each episode will delve into a different issue connected to the root causes of extreme poverty, with topics that will focus on clean drinking water and sanitation, racial bias and criminalisation of poverty, girls' education, responsible sourcing, plastic waste and disaster relief.

Together with the documentary series, the National Geographic magazine's September 2019 issue will include a 12-page sponsored print section for Activate.

"At National Geographic, we want to tell stories that matter and we're excited to work with partners like P&G and Global Citizen that share our values and want to tell those stories with us," says Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks.

"Through this multiplatform partnership, we will leverage our collective influence, audience and scale to raise awareness and drive action on some of the world's toughest challenges. Each episode of Activate will serve as a rallying cry, focussing on real solutions and avenues for their implementation – a strategic attempt we hope will move audiences around the globe from 'intent' to 'action'."

Jon Doran, managing director and executive producer at RadicalMedia, says: "We are proud to be partners in telling the story behind the passionate work being done to better the lives of others and hope to inspire a new crop of citizens who want to join the fight."

– Source:
South Africa's Trevor Noah was on the Oscars stage very early Monday morning South African time for the 91st Academy Awards in Los Angeles, when he, together with a diverse group of other stars, introduced the eight Best Picture nominees.
Besides Trevor Noah, Charlize Theron was also one of the presenters for this year's Oscars ceremony that was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Noah, Barbara Streisand, Serena Williams, Dana Carvey, Queen Latifah, Diego Luna, Mike Myers and some others introduced the eight Best Picture nominees during the ceremony.

The Oscars were televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

– Source:
Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, delivered the following statement during the Security Council Meeting on the situation in the CAR on 21 February 2019.
“At the outset, let me join others in thanking the outgoing Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Mr Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, and the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, HE Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, for their comprehensive briefings. Likewise, we express our appreciation to Mr Koen Vervaeke, the Managing Director at the European External Action Service.

“Last but not least, Mr President, we wish to thank Côte d’Ivoire, the Chair of the Sanctions Committee on CAR as well as Ambassador Omar Hilale of Morocco, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s CAR configuration, for their respective briefings.

“South Africa welcomes the signing of the new peace agreement on 6 February 2019, under the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR.

“In that regard, Mr President, we would like to pay tribute to President Omar Al Bhashir of Sudan and President Idriss Deby of Chad for their leadership role in the negotiations on the new peace agreement.

“We further congratulate the AU Commission for the role it played in facilitating and overseeing the negotiations together with all relevant parties, including close cooperation with the UN.

“South Africa encourages all stakeholders, including this council, to fully support the peace and national reconciliation agenda in support of restoring durable peace, security and development to the CAR, and to implement the above-mentioned agreement.

“In our view, the peace and stability in the entire Central Africa region is critical if we are to achieve the Africa we want as outlined in the Agenda 2063.

“The recently held elections in the DRC, which were relatively calm and peaceful, coupled with the determination of the CAR leadership during the negotiation of the peace agreement is no doubt a very positive and welcome development.

“Our role as the council and that of the relevant regional organisations is to support the two countries in their path towards stability and long lasting peace.

“We also, however, note with concern the dire humanitarian situation in the CAR, with over 25% of the population internally displaced and millions in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. We urge the international community to support the ongoing efforts aimed at addressing the desperate humanitarian situation in the country.

“South Africa wishes to underscore the importance of implementing disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation and security sector reform. South Africa calls on MINUSCA to continue to assist with the above and to develop quick impact projects that would allow for the reintegration of demobilised elements of rebel groups into CAR society.

“South Africa supports the concerted efforts by the international community through the AU, UN and regional and international partners to continue engaging in post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts in the country, particularly in support of establishing critical state and institutional capacity in support of governance, judicial and security sector reform.

“We remain concerned about the ongoing targeted violence by armed groups and criminal gangs perpetrated against the vulnerable civilian population in most parts of the CAR. This is giving rise to a climate of human rights violations and a burgeoning humanitarian crisis, which is of serious concern to South Africa.

“The scale of the challenge highlights the need for this Council to ensure that adequate funding and resources from UN Assessed Contributions is allocated to MINUSCA in fulfilment and expansion of its current mandate.

“South Africa would like to emphasise the importance of peacebuilding in order to ensure a sustainable peace and to kick start the CAR economy, which will prevent recourse to armed conflict.

“In this regard, we call on the Peacebuilding Commission to coordinate its efforts with the AU and regional mechanism to support the post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts.

“South Africa stands ready to assist in moving the peace process forward through the promotion of reconciliation and supporting the roadmap, including towards a new constitution.

“We aspire to stable Central African Region.”
On 25 February 2019, Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations (UN), stated South Africa’s position on the Africa Union/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) during a Security Council Meeting.
“At the outset let me thank you for convening this meeting today. Allow me to also express our appreciation to Ms Bintou Keita, ASG for Africa, for her comprehensive briefing on her recent visit to Darfur and developments regarding the situation in Sudan. We also commend the work being done by UNAMID.

“Ms Bintou‘s briefing highlights the intricacies and challenges of making peace. Accordingly, the journey of peacemaking in Darfur has not been an easy one, as we have all witnessed in the past 14 years.

“However, the tireless efforts of the international community and consistent support over the years, have resulted in the considerable improvement of the security situation in Darfur. The improvement of the security situation has even propelled the drawdown of UNAMID.

“In this regard, South Africa welcomes the continued improvement in the security situation in Darfur during the reporting period, as well as the absence of inter-communal violence as reported. We have also noted that the number of crime-related incidents and human rights violations have declined during this period.

“However, it is clear that we are not where we should be, there are still areas of concern particularly in Jebel Marra. The continued clashes between armed groups and the Government of Sudan, highlight that more efforts are required in this region. This insecurity hampers the lives of many vulnerable civilians.

“In this regard, we call upon armed groups, particularly the Sudan Liberation Army led by Abdul Wahid, to resolve their disputes through political dialogue avenues that have already been established.

“Furthermore, it is imperative that all parties continue to implement the outstanding provisions of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. It remains essential for all parties to continue their commitment to the negotiations process under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.

“Equally, as the international community, we should continue to support this process to ensure that we don’t reverse the gains that we have achieved thus far.

“South Africa remains concerned at the violations of human rights reported in the Secretary-General’s report. Women and children continue to be the most affected by sexual violence, which has also increasingly become a weapon of war and conflict affecting the long-term prospects for peaceful and prosperous communities. We would like to urge the Government of Sudan to combat sexual violence in conflict and to bring all perpetrators to justice.

“South Africa has noted the continued reduction of the military strength of UNAMID as well as the hand-over to UNAMID’s formed police units and the re-deployment of the police units. It is important that UNAMID provides adequate rule of law and livelihood services in terms of its mandate, to address security concerns of the local communities and Internally Displaced Persons.

“We further wish to stress the importance of humanitarian support and access to affected areas in Darfur. It is crucial that there is an eventual transition from humanitarian support to reconstruction and development in the Darfur area as UNAMID eventually exits Sudan.

“It is imperative for UNAMID to continue to provide technical and logistical assistance to the Sudan DDR Commission to assist with disarmament and demobilisation or armed combatants.

“In order to facilitate the implementation of the transition, including through the relocation of the Office of the Joint Special Representative to Khartoum, it is vital to involve the relevant local authorities and officials in Sudan in the process. This is to ensure an open dialogue and transparent processes that would lead to the engagement of the Sudanese Government.

“As the UNAMID mission transitions out of Darfur, we strongly support the SG’s observation, recommending the close partnership and continued engagement of the Government of Sudan, the African Union and the UN system. This partnership has been a key ingredient in the notable achievement in Darfur. This partnership will also be equally important in maintaining future progress and stability.

“Similarly, for any peace to be sustained, we need to harness our efforts in addressing economic development in the Sudan. Economic development will alleviate potential conflict triggers in the future.

“We should also guard against spoilers utilising the current socio-economic challenges in Sudan, to further their own narrow interests.

“Our efforts in making peace in Sudan have and continue to show signs of progress. We should remain steadfast and tireless in this trajectory.

“Making peace in Darfur will continue to positively affect the region as well as contribute to the African Union’s aspirations of silencing the guns by 2020.

“Lastly, Mr. President, we would like to express our appreciation to those working at the coalface in Darfur for their continued commitment to building peace.“
On 26 February 2019, Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, addressed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the Open Briefing.
“We are grateful for the informative briefing provided by Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Ms Rosemary DiCarlo.

"Mr President,

“The UNSC is the principal organ charged with maintaining international peace and security. Yet today, we are witnessing the cCouncil divided on the internal affairs of a fellow member state, with some even threatening to use force against the territorial integrity and political independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as a fellow member of the UN.

“This is inconsistent with the purposes of the UN, which was founded to maintain international peace and security among nations based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. Mr President, it is important to note that the UN Charter and international law proscribe the threat of force.

“For us in South Africa, this sets a very bad precedent. We, on the African continent, have suffered a great deal as external forces used undemocratic tools of regime change to solve problems on the continent. In principle, we are strongly opposed to this way of solving any problem. This approach takes away the basic rights of the people of the country to determine their own future.

“Let the people of Venezuela decide their future. All that we can do is to help them, but the decision remains theirs. We recognise the democratic processes followed by Venezuela in choosing a President, but we also recognise that Venezuela is currently facing humanitarian challenges.

South Africa draws from its experience in overcoming one of the most repressive and insidious racist regimes through dialogue, and believes that internal, inclusive dialogue remains the only viable and sustainable path to ending the political crisis in Venezuela.

“Political dialogue should seem obvious and the first logical port of call, yet the actions of some in the international community have not been conducive and encouraging to this approach.

“Isolating and vilifying one party, and calling for a specific prescribed course of action which would preclude dialogue will only forment possible recourse to armed conflict. I reiterate, this is inconsistent with the purpose of the UN Security Council.

“While South Africa does not believe that the situation in Venezuela poses a threat to international peace and security, the efforts of the Security Council on the situation in Venezuela should be framed by Chapter VI of the UN Charter where parties are encouraged first of all to seek a solution through negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement or other peaceful means of their own choice.

“Forcing the parties to accept a prescript to resolving their own crisis, including through ultimatums, will only encourage further antagonism and division. Therefore, we call on this council and all those truly interested in the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Venezuela to consider the question, ‘What is the alternative to dialogue?’

“The alternative, as we have seen in other cases where dialogue was ignored, will be a prolonged crisis and possible military entanglements. This will only be to the further detriment of the people of Venezuela.

“South Africa is deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. We are alarmed at the unrest and loss of life that has taken place over the past weekend. Instead of assisting the people of Venezuela, the politicisation and indeed weaponisation of humanitarian assistance has served to aggravate tensions in Venezuela that can only lead to violence and confrontation.

“It is of utmost importance that support to the people of Venezuela does not serve as a focal point for increased tensions, antagonisms or become a tool in the political dispute that is being coaxed on by external actors.

“We believe that humanitarian aid should not be used for the political ends of parties to the crisis, but should be delivered through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to ensure its neutrality and impartiality.

“This council cannot predetermine the will of the people of Venezuela. Therefore, the international community should promote a framework of inclusive internal dialogue in order for the people of Venezuela to determine their own destiny.”
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