Issue 367 | 14 March 2019
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On 12 March 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa co-chaired the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) with his counterpart, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The BNC was preceded by a Senior Officials’ Meeting that took place from 7– 8 March 2019 and a Ministerial Meeting on 11 March 2019.

The two countries conduct their bilateral relations through a structured BNC, established in 2015.

During the BNC, the two heads of state reviewed the bilateral cooperation between the two countries as well as reviewed progress made with the implementation of bilateral agreements.

To date, the two countries have signed 45 agreements, which cover a wide range of fields, including trade and investment, health, labour, migration, defence, taxation, tourism, scientific and technological cooperation, water and environment.

Trade cooperation between the two countries is at a high level to the extent that South African exports to Zimbabwe in 2018 amounted to approximately R30,8 billion, while imports from Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R3,6 billion, thus placing Zimbabwe among South Africa’s top trading partners on the continent.

South Africa and Zimbabwe have good bilateral political, economic and social relations underpinned by strong historical ties dating back from the years of the liberation struggle.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu;  Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Trade and Industry, Rob Davies; Home Affairs, Siyabonga Cwele; Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande; and the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, expressed his great sadness and sent a message of condolences to affected families following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane.
Flight ET302/10 was on its scheduled service from Addis Ababa to Kenya when it crashed shortly after take-off. The airline said the plane was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew.

President Ramaphosa said the thoughts of the South African people were with the sisterly people of all the affected countries, especially the people of Ethiopia and Kenya.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says government remains seized with the modalities of downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel.
The President said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, 7 March 2019.

He said government was in the process of giving effect to a resolution of the governing party that South Africa should downgrade its Embassy in Israel following concerns over the ongoing violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the refusal of the Government of Israel to enter into meaningful negotiations to find a just and peaceful resolution to this conflict.

“In implementing this conference resolution, we are mindful of South Africa’s responsibility to continue engaging with all parties to the conflict to see where we would be able to provide assistance.

“As such, the South African Government remains seized with the modalities of downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel and we will communicate once Cabinet has fully finalised on this matter,” he said.

This comes after the South African Government resolved to recall its Ambassador to Israel in May last year in protest against the Israeli attack in the occupied Gaza strip at the time.

At the time, the South African Government condemned horrific acts of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border. At the time, Israeli forces had opened fire on Palestinians, who were protesting against the inauguration of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.

Addressing Members of Parliament on Thursday, the President said Government was concerned about the resurgence of confrontation and conflict in the region. He also expressed concern about the grave humanitarian cost of further intransigence.

“Our approach is also informed by an appreciation of the constructive role South Africa is being called upon to play in the quest for peace in the Middle East.

“We are clear on our support for the achievement of the Palestinian State, alongside the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security with its neighbours,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has told an organisation of young global CEOs to use their influence to play a greater role to make a positive impact on society.
Addressing a gala dinner of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) Global Leadership Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Wednesday night, 6 March 2019, the President also encouraged them to explore business opportunities not only in South Africa, but also in Africa, which he said has “vast untapped potential and a huge appetite for investment”.

He said this on the back of a YPO Global Leadership Survey, released in January, which revealed that an overwhelming 93% of YPO affiliate CEOs believed that business must play a far greater role in making a positive impact on society for the benefit of all people.

“This perspective has led me to think of five tasks that I believe the YPO family needs to be preoccupied with, seeing that the majority of your members believe that business should make an impact on society for the benefit of all people,” President Ramaphosa said.

The YPO is a premier global leadership organisation for more than 27 000 chief executives in over 130 countries and the global platform for them to engage, learn and grow.

Its members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders to inspire business, personal, family and community impact.

Today, companies run by its members are diversified among industries and types of businesses and they collectively employ more than 22 million people globally and generate US$9 trillion in annual revenue.

President challenges global CEOs to five tasks

The President said the “business of business” should not just be business and that focussing on profits alone should not be the yardstick.

He said instead, business leaders should make stakeholder value the benchmark of a company’s performance.

“This talks to focussing on recognising the challenges that the people of the world face and crafting a shared future in which their challenges are addressed.”

He said the business of business should be to create value for society, which is a task that business leaders cannot ignore.

The second task, the President said, was for business leaders to be enablers of opportunities by leading a revolution of training and education amid the challenges that the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings.

“Here, both government and business must join forces to provide workers with the skills and qualifications they need to participate in the digital economy, for instance, by being able to tap the opportunities created by Artificial Intelligence,” he said.

Thirdly, the President said global leaders should encourage innovation to fuel economic growth on a continuous basis with new products and services.

He said the fourth issue that leaders should be seized with was to have the courage to address tough issues and tough questions.

“How can we secure the future of those whose jobs will be eliminated by machines? How do we create new sectors of the economy? How do we address the challenge of widespread unemployment?”

President Ramaphosa said the fifth task was for business to remain engaged with all the key stakeholders and especially government.

– Source:
Handing over the package, which consists of medical supplies, school stationary and other immediate personal needs, the ministers said the gift was from the people of South Africa to the people of Zimbabwe.
Following the successful two-day Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa, held in Harare, the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation and Transport, Lindiwe Sisulu and Blade Nzimande, handed over a humanitarian package to the people of Zimbabwe on behalf of the NGO, Gift of the Givers.

“On behalf of the Gift of the Givers, we extend this consignment to the people of Zimbabwe. We hope this little contribution of medical and other urgent necessities will assist families," Minister Sisulu said.

The Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperataion, Lt General Sibusiso Moyo, said: "On behalf of the Zimbabwean people, we welcome the gift; and this shows the strong bond of friendship that exists between the two countries. This is a true, lifesaving friendship between the people of South Africa and Zimbabwe”.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has welcomed progress made in returning the ashes of Ms Buhle Bhengu with the family to South Africa. Ms Bhengu is a South African who passed away in the Caribbean Island of The Bahamas.
Minister Sisulu thanked the Government of The Bahamas for its cooperation and assistance. The Minister also expressed her gratitude to the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government for all their efforts, working with the family of the deceased.

Minister Sisulu noted that the family had travelled to The Bahamas to view the body, and they had agreed to the body being cremated. The cremation was recommended by the local authorities in The Bahamas, citing health and safety concerns. Minister Sisulu has also extended her gratitude to the Bhengu family for their understanding that their daughter’s mortal remains could not be repatriated to South Africa due to international health standards to which both South Africa and The Bahamas subscribe.

Minister Sisulu once again sent her deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and said the South African High Commission in Jamaica (which is accredited to The Bahamas), would continue to ensure that the family is provided with the required consular support.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, wished all women a happy International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019, by calling on them to be at the centre of conflict resolution, mediation and peacekeeping. This came as the international community marked International Women’s Day on 8 March under the theme: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”.
In commemorating this important day on the international calendar, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) hosted the Women’s Colloquium in solidarity with the women of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara). The main objective of the colloquium was, among other things, to raise awareness about the plight of the women of Western Sahara as well as the struggles faced by women across the globe.

The Women’s Colloquium in solidarity with the women of Western Sahara came a few weeks before the Southern African Development Community Solidarity Conference with Western Sahara, scheduled to take place in Pretoria from 25 to 26 March 2019.

“While the international community is celebrating this important day, we are mindful of the women of Palestine who continue to suffer and fight for their rights. They have our full support in their struggle and we will use our tenure as non-permanent member in the United Nations Security Council to direct attention to their plight. The world has to find a solution to their suffering”, said Minister Sisulu.
“On this day, let us remember those women who are toiling under very difficult circumstances in conflict situations. Women are seldom the instigators of violence, but they suffer the most as victims of war and instability”, added Minister Sisulu.

”We therefore join hands with women across the world as we firmly believe that peace cannot be achieved without the participation of women in political negotiations for the resolution of conflicts and peacekeeping operations”, concluded Minister Sisulu.
The Minister in The Presidency: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, participated in the 2019 Forbes Women Africa Leading Women Summit (#LWS2019KZN) to celebrate International Women’s Day.
She formed part of an extensive speaker panel, focussing on the summit’s 2019 theme: “New Wealth Creators”, taking place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Friday, 8 March 2019.

The 2019 Forbes Women’s Summit brought together a community of inspiring and innovative visionaries whose ambitious actions are changing the world with unprecedented scale. Across industries and generations, the gathering spotlighted how leading women were navigating monumental change to re-architect industries, spark major movements and unlock opportunities for others. Featuring keynote conversations and dynamic panel discussions, the Forbes Women’s Summit convened a diverse range of female luminaries from the worlds of business, media, entertainment and politics.
South Africa has offered to provide the skills required to speedily conclude the investigation into the Ethiopian airplane crash that claimed the lives of 149 passengers and eight crew members.
Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said a task team, including the South African Civil Aviation Authority, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and the South Africa Search and Rescue, would work with Ethiopian authorities.

A total of 157 people passed away on flight ET302 from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, bound for Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

The crash happened on Sunday morning, shortly after take-off.

“The cause of the disaster is not yet known. However, the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa,” the Department of Transport said in a statement.

– Source:
South Africa is committed to support the Republic of Iran, says International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Reginah Mhaule.
“Despite all the constraints, we remain committed to continue to support the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is my firm belief that today’s meeting will add further momentum to our bilateral relations, such that South Africa and Iran will weather the storm together,” said the Deputy Minister on Friday, 8 March 2019.

The Deputy Minister made these comments at the start of the Ninth Deputy Ministerial Working Group Meeting between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the meeting in Cape Town, Deputy Minister Mhaule welcomed the opportunity to engage with Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abbas Araghchi, saying the meeting is opportune as it will better bilateral relations between South Africa and the Western Asian country.

The Deputy Minister said much had happened in both countries since the Seventh Session, held in 2017.

“I know this visit is being undertaken during a challenging time for your country and we are grateful that the Islamic Republic of Iran values its relationship with South Africa. Difficult times, however, bring friends together and I am delighted to have witnessed the increased interactions between the governments of Iran and South Africa during the last year.”

Deputy Minister Mhaule said it was regrettable that the United States (US) had withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Your visit to South Africa takes place in trying circumstances for your country and I would like to emphasise that we, as South Africa, regard the decision of the US to withdraw as regrettable,” she said.

In 2015, Iran and six other powers, including the US and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), agreed on the JCPOA, which speaks of the removal of sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme. The US in May 2018 announced its withdrawal from the deal.

“South Africa has always believed in diplomacy and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, as a matter of principle, and we consider the JCPOA as a significant achievement in this regard. We believe that it provides the necessary framework and confidence-building measures, under which your country is able to pursue its nuclear activities for peaceful purposes; a fundamental principle of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

The JCPOA was unanimously endorsed by the UNSC in Resolution 2231, which provides a binding legal framework to the agreement.

“We are heartened by Iran’s decision and those of the remaining parties to the JCPOA, to continue to uphold the commitments of this agreement.

"We believe that your country has adhered to its prescripts as reinforced by the various IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] reports that had been presented to the Board of Governors and General Conference.”

– Source:
South African companies who showed off their wares at the 44th Foodex exhibition in Japan are confident of trade leads that will help them grow their businesses.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) led 30 local companies to the exhibition, which is regarded as Asia’s largest food and drink fair, providing a platform for creating and expanding business opportunities.

Statistics from the exhibition indicate that over 6 500 people visited the South African pavilion over the course of the week. This resulted in 783 trade leads for South African companies from international traders, who showed keen interest in importing local products.

Export Marketer at Fruits Du Sud, Tania Alston, said the exhibition would boost the company’s objective of increasing their market share in Japan and rest of the Asian market.

As a result of her participation in the exhibition, Alston said she met very promising clients for her sun-dried raisins.

Peter Foulis from Naturezone was also impressed with the exhibition. He made contacts from countries such as Mexico, Korea, China, Japan and America, which he says could see the company exporting its products in the near future.

“The interest in our herbal iced tea and craft mixers was phenomenal,” said Mr Foulis.

Chief Executive Officer of the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, Anton Kruger, said the show yielded positive results.

“The show yielded positive results as the forum did not only receive enquiries from Japan, but from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and China as well. It is important to create more awareness about South Africa as a fruit production and export country of high-quality fruits,” he said.

The exhibition takes place over a period of four days and attracts thousands of buyers from the food service value chain, distribution networks and trading companies from across the Asia region and globally.

The show, which concluded on Friday, 8 March 2019, consisted of 1 360 exhibitors from 38 countries representing 14 sectors.

– Source:
Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, says positioning the country as a destination for investment is expected to be the agenda of the newly-appointed BRICS Business Council.
Minister Davies said this when he held a joint media briefing with the members of the Black Business Council in Cape Town recently.

The media briefing was held after Minister Davies held a meeting with the newly-appointed council members.

“We had a discussion at which we all agreed that the BRICS relationship is an important, strategic relationship for South Africa. It is the most significant grouping of the emerging economies in the world. It has the business council which has done invaluable work, in particularly in our estimation, in promotion of practical business to business relations.

“When we look at the relationship within BRICS, the most important relationship we want to build as government is the investment relationship, given that BRICS companies are looking into directing investment into South Africa and of course South African companies are also invested into those countries.

“We indicated to them as government that we want to have a strong ongoing conversation and coordination with the members of the BRICS Business Council as they identify practical business opportunities, and as they make recommendations, we want to make sure that there is a strong Team SA message that is finding its way through,” he said.

The new BRICS Business Council is made up of five members with extensive business experience locally and internationally: Busi Mabuza from the Industrial Development Corporation – who is the Chairperson; Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba from Discovery Ltd; Bridgette Radebe from Mmakau Mining; Dr Stavros Nicolaou from Aspen Pharmacare; and Elias Monage from Afrika Group

Speaking for the council, Ms Mabuza said they remained committed to taking the interests of the country through the council’s activities. The council is also committed towards supporting SMME participation and new business, thus contributing to an inclusive economy.

“We have had a minute to [engage] with the Minister, who has reaffirmed our mandate to facilitate investment-led trade between ourselves, and our continent with the other BRICS partners through practical projects.

“This business council is looking forward to engagement with the other chapters. We have already been on the ground for over a month now and we have already engaged with the global partners,” she said.

Through the BRICS Business Council, the five-member countries will, in the time ahead, focus on nine working groups in terms of areas of cooperation and business facilitation. These include agribusiness, deregulation, digital economy, financial services, energy and green economy, infrastructure, manufacturing, regional aviation and skills development.

Ms Mabuza also said that with the next BRICS Summit set to take place in Brazil in November, the local chapter of the BRICS Business Council, which currently chairs the global business grouping, will hand over its Chairship to the Brazilian Chapter of the BRICS Business Council at a meeting in Johannesburg on 3 April.

– Source:
Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has welcomed Microsoft’s investment in enterprise-grade data centres as they position South Africa as one of the leading information and communications technology (ICT) markets on the African continent.
“This investment is important particularly within the context of providing opportunities for small and medium businesses to access affordable data management and cloud services; as well as for digi-techs to leverage this infrastructure to provide new innovative digital services,” Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

Microsoft has announced a multi-million-dollar investment to create economic opportunities for South Africa through an Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP).

In addition to the EEIP, Microsoft also announced the opening of new enterprise-grade datacentre regions in Africa, ensuring world-class cloud infrastructure that will power emerging cloud, AI and edge computing innovations across the continent.

Microsoft Azure is available from Microsoft’s new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The announcement was made during a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

“The investment by Microsoft is therefore a step in the right direction, particularly as it will enable the adoption of cloud services by small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in general and support those enterprises that participate in the ICT sector access to infrastructure to provide new innovate digital services.

“I am further impressed by the Transformation Plan of Microsoft in terms of the EEIP which the department approved and recommended to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to approve as well,” Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

The Minister said the EEIP focussed on supporting entrepreneurs in the app economy and on building digital skills in the country which is commended.

Government, through the dti and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, will work closely with Microsoft to monitor implementation of the EEIP.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Azure Networking, Yousef Khalidi, said the combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa would increase economic opportunity for organisations in Africa, as well as connect businesses across the globe through improved access to cloud and Internet services.

With this announcement, Microsoft has become the first global provider to deliver cloud services from data centres on the continent.

The company has announced 54 cloud regions worldwide, which is more than any other global provider.

– Source:
Cape Town has the highest quality of life in Africa according to Numbeo's 2019 global “Quality of Life” Report.
Cape Town was recently identified as the city that provides the best quality of life in the whole of Africa on Numbeo’s 2019 global Quality of Life Index.

Numbeo allows people to see, share and compare information about quality of life. It surveys the following about quality of life in the cities: cost of living and purchasing power, affordability of housing, pollution, including air, water, crime rates, health system quality and traffic (commute times).

Only Lagos, Nigeria, Nairobi, Kenya, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town made it onto the list in Africa.

Out of 233 cities, Cape Town came in at 122. Cape Town eventually came out on top in Africa with a 149.59 quality of life index. Durban follows with 144.36 (and comes in with the lowest traffic commute time).

Pretoria follows with 131.29 while Johannesburg came in at 129.02. Out of all the South African cities, Joburg offers the cheapest cost of living.

– Source:
A Cape Town academic has won a global chemical engineering award for the innovative sanitation system he developed along with his postgraduate students.
The global Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Warner Prize was awarded to Dr Dyllon Randall. In winning the prize, Dr Randall has become the first African recipient of the prestigious award.

The IChemE hands out the award biennially to individuals who have shown “exceptional promise” in sustainable chemical process technology, nuclear technology or who have contributed to improving the accessibility of chemical engineering to a broader scientific community. Dr Randall said they would continue to make science accessible:

“It’s great that our work has been acknowledged internationally through this award, but more importantly, it shows us that people are open to the idea of reusing urine. We will continue making science accessible to the public while also creating paradigm shifts in the sanitation field.”

Dr Randall and his team developed two sanitation-related technologies capable of converting waste into sustainable products, one a waterless urinal that is able to produce fertiliser and the second a bio-brick that is grown from human urine.

The project started when Dr Randall, a Civil Engineering lecturer, asked four doctoral students to continue his work of making self-sufficient toilets. At the time, he explained that the bricks were created through microbial carbonate precipitation:

“Loose sand is colonised with bacteria that produce urease. The urease breaks down the urea in urine while producing calcium carbonate through a complex chemical reaction. This cements the sand into any shape, whether it’s a solid column, or now, for the first time, a rectangular building brick.”

IChemE is a professional engineering institution and has been in existence since 1922. The IChemE was awarded a Royal Charter in 1957. It has continued to work towards its aim of advancing chemical engineering’s contribution across the globe.

The IChemE boasts around 37 000 members from 100 countries. This award is one of many ways in which the organisation is able to support and develop chemical engineering professionals.

– Source:
The University of Cape Town (UCT) says it has moved up two places to reclaim its top 10 position in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject, placing the institution among the top 100 universities in a total nine disciplines.
The 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject assessed 1 222 institutions, ranking them across 48 disciplines in five broad subject areas.

According to the ranking assessed, for development studies, the university moved up two places from 2018 and now occupies ninth position. It is also the only university in the global South to feature among the top 10 for this discipline.

Eight other subjects at UCT were also ranked among the top 100 in the latest rankings. These include Anatomy and Physiology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture/Built Environment, Education, Geography, Social Policy and Administration, and sports-related subjects.

UCT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, welcomed the results as recognising UCT’s strengths in these areas.

“We at UCT pride ourselves on the impact of our research in combating the numerous issues faced by our continent – and more broadly, the global South. Our position among the top 10 for development studies, in particular, is evidence of the value of our research, and teaching and learning in this area at UCT,” Prof. Phakeng said.

UCT’s rankings in the five broad subject areas for 2019:
  • Arts and Humanities: 145
  • Engineering and Technology: 300
  • Life Sciences and mMdicine: 112
  • Natural Sciences: 223
  • Social Sciences and Management: 166.
At the end of last year, the university was ranked 72nd in the world for clinical, pre-clinical and health in the 2019 Times Higher Education Rankings by subject.

A further three subjects were ranked, Psychology was placed in the 101–125 band (only the top 100 are given specific places in the rankings), lLfe Sciences ranked 151–175, and Physical Sciences ranked 301–400.

Prof, Phakeng said that the rankings for the four subjects in November 2018 followed similar positive rankings announced the previous month, when Arts and Humanities was ranked in the 151–175 band.

UCT was also ranked in the top 100 in the world in a further three subjects: Law (77th place), Social sciences (89th place), and Education (95th).

In the education category, UCT shared the 95th place with Finland’s University of Jyväskylä.

– Source:
Government welcomes SA’s successful bid to host the 2023 Netball World Cup.
Government welcomes the news that South Africa has won the rights to host the 16th staging of the Netball World Cup in 2023, which will take place in Cape Town. Being the host country is a monumental moment for South Africa as it is the first time the Netball World Cup will be held in Africa. African countries play a leading role in the top 20 International Netball Federation world ranking.

The announcement showcases South Africa’s ability to host world-class global events across a number of sports and other genres, which also opens avenues for economic benefits. South Africa is committed to advancing the development of netball, as it is a growing sport worldwide.
The tournament is scheduled to run for a period of 10 days and will see 16 nations compete for the title. The 2023 Netball World Cup will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Netball, like any other sport, has the power to bring people together. It shapes many lives – instils a competitive spirit, demands teamwork and discipline. South Africans are urged to rally behind team South Africa as preparations get underway for the World Cup.
The Springbok Sevens team claimed their first Canada Sevens title in Vancouver on Sunday, 10 March 2019, when they beat France by 21-12 in the final of the sixth tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
The Blitzboks also moved back into fourth spot on the standings after their impressive showing in BC Place, where they secured wins over the United States of America and Fiji, currently first and third on log.

It was the first tournament win for the Blitzboks since June last year, when they clinched the Paris Sevens and subsequently the World Series.

South Africa lost previous finals in Vancouver in 2016 and 2017, but this time around, made sure they leave for home with the gold.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, was very happy with the outcome of the weekend.

"One could feel the team was getting together and bonding," said Powell.

"It was never about the potential of the players, rather the ability to play for and with each other. All week, I could feel the difference.

"I felt that the squad needed some time to combine and mould as a team and it happened this weekend. The players trusted our system and each other. It is amazing how 13 players, all from different cultures and backgrounds, can combine under one flag and for one jersey."

"It was a tournament where we really showed good defensive discipline, but our attack was equally impressive, especially against Argentina and Fiji in the playoffs earlier today.”

In the final, the French scored first when Pierre Lakafia crashed over for a 5-0 lead. Impi Visser scored for South Africa and with Selvyn Davids converting, they edged ahead 7-5.

That lead was extended in the 10th minute with a long run by Davids, who scored in the corner. He converted from that tough angle to extend the lead to 14-5.

Werner Kok also added his name to the scoresheet with a strong run down the line to add more pressure on the French.

The French came back with a converted try of their own with three minutes left, but South Africa's defence held out for a historic win.

– Source:
Two Springbok Sevens players have cracked the nod for the past weekend's Canada Sevens Dream Team.
The Blitzboks stormed to the title with a 21-12 win over France in the Cup Final in Vancouver.

Selvyn Davids and JC Pretorius were the two South Africans picked in the Dream Team for the event.

South Africa started the tournament fifth on the overall log, a point behind England in fourth.

But the Vancouver win pushed them nine points clear of England and back into fourth and Olympic qualification criteria.

– Source:
“Mr President,

“Thank you for facilitating today’s briefing by the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mr Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

"It is clear from the briefing that regional and sub-regional organisations dealing with issues of peace and security remain important for ensuring sustainable peace and security in their respective regions. The briefing has also illustrated the importance of support and cooperation from the United Nations, as the primary international organ tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security.

“Efforts to enhance the relationship between the United Nations and the OSCE are therefore welcomed.

“We wish to reiterate that cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations in the furtherance of Chapter VIII of the Charter is necessary to ensure closer coordination between our actions.

“We acknowledge, however, that each regional organisation is unique in terms of the challenges they face in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the manner in which they address these threats.

“We must be clear though that efforts of regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security does not absolve this Council of its Charter mandated responsibilities as the guardian of international peace and security. These efforts complement each other and it is for this reason that cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations is so important.

“Dialogues of this nature allow us an opportunity to share experiences and best practices between the UN and regional organisations such as the OSCE.

“Mr President,

“I wish to reiterate South Africa’s support for the work of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, which needs to continue to have unhindered access, in order to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk Agreements in terms of its mandate.

“Mr President,

“Similarly, my delegation believes that creating a conducive environment towards compromise, reconciliation and long-term stability in Kosovo is the responsibility of all relevant role-players, including the OSCE, as one of the largest field operations in Kosovo. This inclusive approach builds a strengthened foundation for support and bolsters inter-community trust-building efforts.

“Mr President,

‘I wish to conclude by reiterating that the Security Council, regional bodies, international partners and other actors, such as donors, civil society and youth organisations, should continue to engage in dialogue and cooperation, in the interest of the people as well as for the stability of the broader region.

“I thank you.”
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