Issue 371 | 12 April 2019
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The South African Government has handed over relief donations from South African companies, religious organisations and ordinary South Africans to the peoples of Mozambique and Malawi.
On 9 April 2019, members of the South African National Defence Force departed from the Waterkloof Air Force Base with various donated items which included clothes, blankets, water purifiers and dry food. Also included in the consignment was medical supplies donated by the Department of Health.

“Over the years, we as Africans have been known to join forces and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in times of need. As we come to terms with the unprecedented humanitarian disaster left in the wake of Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, we have once again come together to respond to the urgent needs of the brothers and sisters in our neighbouring countries,” said the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu.

“We remain indebted to all South Africans who have heeded the call for urgent relief donations. You have demonstrated the true spirit of Ubuntu. A large number of communities have been affected by this and continued assistance will be required for a while. We appeal to everyone to continue donating towards this just cause,” added Minister Sisulu.

Receiving the donations, Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs, Nicholas Dausi said: “We thank the people and government of South Africa for coming to assist in our time of need. These supplies came at the right time and will go a long way in assisting our people”.

The handover ceremony in Malawi was also attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps within the country. These included country representatives from South Africa, the United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Zambia, Tanzania and Norway.
A task team has been setup by government and members of the Diplomatic Corps to look into the sprouting of acts of violence against foreign nationals.
The development was announced by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, on Friday, 5 April 2019, at the conclusion of a meeting with ambassadors from African countries in South Africa. The meeting was also attended by Police Minister, Bheki Cele, and Home Affairs Minister, Siyabonga Cwele.

The meeting was a follow-up to the first meeting that took place on Monday, 1 April 2019, where the Ministers together with the members of the Diplomatic Corps committed to working together to find a lasting solution to issues relating to incidents of attacks between South Africans and foreign nationals.

On Friday afternoon, Minister Sisulu said the task team would comprise of officials from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Home Affairs, the police and representatives of the diplomatic community. They would put together a consolidated report on the issues raised during the meeting.

“The emphasis right now is on the sporadic attacks – their extent, source and how much it costs the taxpayer. In our next session we are hoping to deal with the socio-economic problems that give rise to some of the sporadic attacks,” she said.

The Minister emphasised government’s position that foreign nationals who entered the country legally were welcome and that they would be secured.

“We are grateful for the kind of interaction we had with the Diplomatic Corps …

“We had brought information at our disposal to assist the diplomatic corps to understand the problems we are dealing with and how are addressing them,” she said.

Minister Cele said the meeting had brought a better understanding of issues experienced by South African authorities.

“We accept that we do have challenges [and] that we together need to work to find solutions, including the agreement that bilaterals would be arranged. Several countries are already calling for them".

“The debate around the issue will continue because we are beginning to understand that these sporadic attacks are usually a reaction to some kind of activity on the ground – that was explained,” he said.

Democratic Republic of Congo Ambassador and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Bene M’poko, said the ambassadors appreciated the frankness of the meeting, saying it was important for the diplomatic community to get facts so that matters of concern were attended to and resolved.

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The South African Government has handed over the chairship of the BRICS Business Council (BBC) following 12 successful months at the helm.
Speaking at the conclusion of a two-day mid-term BBC meeting in Johannesburg on 4 April 2019, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, said South Africa welcomed the assurance from Brazil that the new Government was committed to BRICS and continuing the existing relationship.

BRICS is an acronym for the powerful grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Minister Sisulu assured the BBC of the country’s support as it navigated its way around the continent.

“South Africa will chair the African Union (AU) in 2020 to usher in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area. A vibrant and energetic council is a very necessary partner for this.

“Yesterday, the 22nd country signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, meeting the minimum threshold for the agreement to come into effect. It bodes well for Africa, for South Africa and for the Business Council as it opens up Africa for new business opportunities.”

Minister Sisulu said she was encouraged by the “exuberance” of the meeting.

“I hope you enjoyed your stay and hope you stay a little longer. We need you here for the long haul. The BRICS family is a very important one to us and we’d like you make sure that you give the necessary underpinnings of this very important association,” Minister Sisulu said.

Businessperson Busi Mabuza, who chaired the council for the past 12 months, said the South African council was confident Brazil would take the BBC to greater heights. Mabuza served in the council with Ayanda Ntsaluba, Bridgette Radebe, Stavros Nicolaou and Elias Monage.

She highlighted the inroads made in the enhancement of the relationship between the New Development Bank and the BBC, which she said was strengthened in the past year.

“We have started seeing the fruits of that on the ground in South Africa and we are very pleased. The Energy Dialogue that was held in November last year was a proud moment for us. We were pleased with the outcomes of the skills challenge and I believe it is the reason our colleagues in the Skills Development Working Group continue to advocate for us to continue with it,” she said.

Over the past year, she said the BBC had discussed infrastructure work that was being done.

“We are most excited about the opportunity that is offered around maritime activities and we’d request that Brazil picks up on this issue,” she said.

Mabuza expressed gratitude for the support received from Minister Sisulu; Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies; and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Incoming chairperson José Serrador said his country recognised the excellent work done by its predecessors, “especially South Africa, for the strict cooperation in the process of handing over the chairpersonship”.

“We encourage the debate of measures that will make the demands of the Business Council more efficient and more civil. We would like to emphasise the voice of the private sector with our governments. We count on all national sections to reach this goal,” he said.

Initially, Serrador said, Brazil would propose three main issues for debate in 2019: investment facilitation, trade facilitation and innovation and digital economy.

“The presentations of the working groups show these topics are already a part of our discussions, many of which have been very robust, and proposals that will be highlighted in our recommendations to our Heads of State in the 2019 summit.”

Serrador announced that this year’s BRICS Summit would be on 13 and 14 November in Brasilia, under theme “Economic growth and innovative future”

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The event was aimed at publicising and enhancing dialogue about the country’s foreign policy objectives and priorities.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, on Friday, 5 April 2019, delivered a Public Lecture focussing on the priorities identified by South Africa for its two-year tenure in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Among those invited to the Public Lecture, which was held at Durban City Hall, were representatives of community organisations, NGOs, think tanks, youth formations, the business community and academia.
The preferential trade agreement between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) has led to a steady increase of South African exports into Brazil.
This is according to the South African Foreign Economic Representative in Brazil, Shanaaz Ebrahim.

Speaking at the 12th Latin American Defence and Security Exhibition (LAAD) currently underway in Brazil, Ebrahim said that South African exports to Brazil for the year 2016/17 rose to US$43 million, and in 2017/18 they further increased to US$183 million.

South Africa is one of the member countries of the SACU.

“According to trade statistics, our trade deficit with Brazil has shrunk considerably in 2018. The deficit is now at US$700 million down from US$1.2 billion in 2017. This is thanks to the fact that we have increased our exports to Brazil by 37% from US$483 million in 2017 to US$663 million in 2018.

“Part of this was due to the ratification of the SACU/MERCOSUR preferential trade agreement which was ratified in April 2016 where SACU had offered MERCOSUR tariff line items of about 1065 product lines across 16 sectors of which 469 products are zero percent import duty free,” she said.

Mercosur reciprocated this agreement by offering SACU 1052 product lines of which 778 products were at 0% import duty free.

“This offers us a window of opportunity to penetrate the Brazilian market through these zero percent import duty free products. Negotiations of this agreement started in 2000,” said Ebrahim.
Ebrahim’s comments come as a delegation of South African companies are participating in the LAAD through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) Export Market Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA).

The scheme aims to increase exports of South African manufactured products.

The dti is hosting a pavilion at the fair where 21 companies are showcasing South Africa’s industrial capabilities with the intention of securing trade leads and business opportunities.

The purpose of the agreement is to integrate the economies of member countries through gradual and reciprocal liberalisation of trade and the strengthening of economic cooperation ties among member countries.

Both South Africa’s and Brazil’s membership to the BRICS multinational agreements was advantageous to both countries.

“This year Brazil will be chairing the 11th BRICS Summit which will be held in November, so there is going to be a series of working groups and meetings during the course of this year and we are looking forward to those agreements,” Ebrahim said.

She urged South African companies to familiarise themselves with the Brazilian market.

“I would also urge our companies to interrogate and familiarise themselves with the list of 0% import duty free products as that will orientate them on the viability of their products within the Brazilian market and it would also stand them in best position to draw instant benefits resulting from the SACU/MERCOSUR preferential trade agreement.”

LAAD is a leading Latin America and Security event that gathers international and national companies that provides technologies, equipment and services for armed forces, special forces, police, homeland security and security managers from large companies, service concessionaires and critical infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of black women-owned Floida Engineering Services (FES), Florence Musengi said the exhibition platform falls in line with her company’s strategic objectives of securing partnership opportunities in Brazil and the rest of the Mercosur trade bloc.

Floida Engineering Services is showcasing its flagship Short-Range Surveillance Radar system (SRSR) at the LAAD exhibition.

The company, which was established in 2015, is a multi-disciplinary engineering services company geared towards the provision of innovative solutions for the aerospace and defence industries.

“We were proud to showcase the development progress of our flagship product at LAAD since it was only in the concept stages when we here two years ago. The Latin American defence market is robust; the technology and operational requirements are typically advanced, so acquiring a customer in this market is critical,” said Musengi.

LAAD which started in the capital of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday concludes on 12 April.

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South Africa’s special economic zones (SEZs) have attracted over R16,8 billion in investments, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
Speaking at the first SEZs Investment Conference on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, Minister Davies said the total number of operational investors in designated SEZs had now reached 115 with a private investment value of over R16,8 billion.

“Since the introduction of the new SEZ legislation in 2014, the number of designated zones has increased, the investor confidence has improved, and the number of operational investments has increased and continue to increase.

"Support from various sectors of society, in particular, all spheres of government, state-owned entities (SOEs), the business community and labour has also improved considerably,” he said at the start of the two-day conference.

The Minister said the companies had created 15 716 direct jobs.

The Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone has managed to attract 35 operational investors with an investment value of R1,5 billion, creating a total of 3 246 direct jobs.

In the 2017/18 financial year, 429 new direct jobs and 974 construction jobs were created. As at 18 March 2019, 184 new direct jobs and a total of 2 020 construction jobs had been created.

According to Minister Davies, the Coega SEZ has become a best practice model for all SEZs in South Africa and across the continent, and it remains the biggest SEZ in terms of number and value of investments on the African continent.

“In 2012, the Coega SEZ had 19 investors with a total private-sector investment value of R1,13 billion, creating 3 778 jobs. As at April 2019, the Coega SEZ had grown to 43 operational investors worth over R9,93 billion worth of private investments. As a result, it has doubled its direct employment creation to 8210 jobs and 19402 including construction jobs since inception,” said Minister Davies.

To cement its position as a leading SEZ on the continent, Coega is now the subject of a global case study led by the World Bank which looks at best practice examples of SEZ development across the globe.

Minister Davies said this was an indication that the SEZ Programme in South Africa was on the correct path.

To improve and upscale the impact of the SEZ programme, Minister Davies said it was critical to look at new and innovative ways of supporting SEZs to achieve more and double investments in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mission to attract more investments to the zones.

Minister Davies said it was time to find tailor-made solutions that would support the SEZs and find solutions that would support investors in the zones.

To date, a total of ten SEZs have been designated. In 2018, the Atlantis SEZ in the Western Cape, a Green-Tech Hub as well as Nkomazi SEZ in Mpumalanga, agro-processing and logistic hub, were the latest designations under the programme.

“In addition, the designation of Bojanala SEZ in North West is at the advanced stage. Very soon I will be publishing the application for the designation of the proposed zone in the government gazette to afford the public an opportunity to submit written comments on the proposed development,” said Minister Davies.

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The year 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the commemoration of the execution of 22-year-old Umkhonto we Sizwe combatant, Solomon “Kalushi” Mahlangu, in recognition of his commitment to the struggle for liberation in South Africa and his unbreakable spirit.
Government together with the Solomon Mahlangu family, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the National Heritage Council (NHC) commemorated the 40th anniversary of the late Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu on Saturday, 6 April 2019, under the theme “The Fruits of Freedom on the 25th Anniversary of Democracy”.

Government legislatures and the Mahlangu family took the 52 steps to the Gallows, as they observe the re-enactment of Solomon Mahlangu’s final moments before execution.

Born on 10 July 1956, the second son of Martha Mahlangu and originally from Mpumalanga, although, he grew up in Pretoria. His mother a domestic worker took sole responsibility for his upbringing. He was tried and convicted of two murders and three counts under the Terrorism Act, after being arrested in 1977 upon his return from Mozambique and Angola where he underwent training to assist in the student protests at the time.

He was hanged on 6 April in 1979.
Travel and tourism in South Africa contributed 1,5 million jobs and R425,8 billion to the economy in 2018, representing 8,6% of all economic activity in the country and making South Africa the largest tourism economy in Africa, according to an annual review by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
For over 25 years, the WTTC, which represents the global private sector of travel and tourism, has compared the travel and tourism sector across 185 countries.

According to the review, the industry was primarily driven by leisure travellers (64%). About 44% of the tourism spend came from international travellers and 56% from domestic travel.

"South Africa has long grasped the potential of travel and tourism to drive economic growth, create jobs and promote social development, and I would like to acknowledge the leadership of the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom," said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the WTTC, in a statement.

She also welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's ambition to double the number of people directly employed in travel and tourism industry in South Africa.

"Looking to the future, I believe that travel and tourism are South Africa's greatest resources, and the country's strategy for expansion, which prioritises regional integration, environmental sustainability and putting the community at the heart of decisions, will make for a successful combination," she said.

A record number of more than 1 500 delegates attended the WTTC Global Summit, held in Seville, Spain, from 3 to 4 April 2019.

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Travel data provider OAG recently released its annual list of the busiest routes in the world, and the number of flights airlines operate between some destinations is simply astonishing.
Eight of the 15 most popular flights in the world are in Asia.

The route between Cape Town and Johannesburg was the 11th busiest route in the world.

The busiest route in the world is between Seoul and Jeju Island, South Korea with more than 79 000 flights a year.

With air travel growing at an impressive rate around the world, certain routes have developed into veritable highways in the sky.

With almost 34 000 flights over the past year, the route between Cape Town and Johannesburg was the 11th busiest in the world.

According to the OAG rankings, based on the total number of flights between two airports, routes in Asia take up eight of the top 15 spots.

The busiest route in the world is between Seoul and the popular vacation destination of Jeju Island, just south of the Korean Peninsula. In 2018, seven airlines combined to operate 79 460 flights between Seoul's Gimpo International Airport and Jeju International. That breaks down to roughly 201 flights per day, making it the most popular flight in the world.

The most popular flight in the US is between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Last year, five airlines operated 35 365 flights between the two Californian cities.

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On 4 April 2019, Google users in the United Kingdom, United States, South Africa and a few other countries, were treated to a doodle celebrating the late jazz musician Hugh Masekela’s birthday. The ‘Father of South African Jazz’ would have turned 80 on 4 April 2019.
The musician passed away last year on 23 January after fighting prostate cancer.

When Masekela revealed in 2017 that he’d been suffering from the illness since 2008, he implored all men to get themselves checked regularly, saying: “Ask questions, demand answers and learn everything you can about this cancer, and tell others to do the same.”

In the words of fellow music legend, Johnny Clegg, Masekela was a phenomenal South African ambassador – as both a musician and political activist – whose career spanned six decades.

“He was immensely bright and articulate and could speak on any number of subjects, including culture, music, politics and art.

“Most importantly, he was a road-opener for local musicians seeking to find their way to an international career. This was due to the fact he had developed his own unique trumpet playing style that drew heavily on South African jazz culture,” said Clegg last year.

Masekela’s biggest hit, “Grazing in the Grass”, went to number one for two months on the USA Music charts in 1968.

Masekela was born in Witbank and became known in South Africa as Bra Hugh. He got his first horn at the age of 14, and at the age of 21 left South Africa for New York where he spent the following 30 years in exile before returning to South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela.

Google said: “Today’s Doodle celebrates the world-renowned South African trumpeter, singer, bandleader, composer, and human rights advocate, Hugh Masekela.

“Masekela would go on to collaborate with the likes of Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder. In 1990, ‘Bra Hugh’ returned to South Africa in time to see his song “Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)” come true. When the ANC leader was released from prison and elected South Africa’s first black President, Masekela’s music was the soundtrack.”

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South African Tourism (SA Tourism), along with partners Travelstart and @SouthAfrica will collaborate in an exciting Instagram initiative that will showcase the best of South Africa through the month of April 2019.
Fifteen lucky local and international Instagrammers will descend on attractions and spots in all nine South African provinces to photograph the best 25 Instagrammable locations.

These pictures will be shared on all SA Tourism’s global social media platforms and will be driven by the @MeetSouthAfrica account on Instagram. In addition to this, content will be featured on @Travelstart and @SouthAfrica. This exciting Insta Tour is part of SA Tourism’s 25 Years of Democracy celebrations.

On 27 April 2019, South Africa’s National Freedom Day, the Insta Tour will culminate in the SA Tourism Instameet in the seaside town of Arniston in the Western Cape. “We live in a creative yet exciting world where images and visuals of beautiful places play a huge part in people’s decision making when it comes to choosing a holiday destination,” says SA Tourism.

“Having 15 Instagrammers scouting the entire South Africa for the 25 best Instagrammable locations will further highlight the beauty South Africa has to offer and will expose the world to some of our lesser known sights, but still worth travelling to see.” “And doing this at a special time in our history adds further significance to the Insta Tour.”

South Africa was recently voted in the top 5 most Instagrammable countries in the world following a survey by Big Travel 7 which featured 192 countries. Partners to the Insta Tour, Travelstart and @South Africa, are extremely excited by the potential and quality of the photos that will make the top 25 Instagrammable locations in South Africa.

“Travelstart is truly excited to partner with SA Tourism on this incredible initiative to showcase the most beautiful country in the world at this historic time. With Travelstart being predominately online, it only made sense for us to utilise our relationships with key online influential Instagrammers and further extend our footprint in the digital media space, together.

"We are also passionate about getting both South Africans and international travellers to the 25 most Instagrammable locations in our country,” explained Jerome Touze, MD at Travelstart.

“South Africa is one of the most photogenic countries on the planet, and I’m incredibly proud to help showcase the beauty of our country with the rest of the world. South Africa is one of the most Instagrammable countries on earth, and I love that we get to showcase 25 of our most photographic locations with the world.

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The biggest garden event in the world, and South Africa's got the best to represent its beautiful biodiversity on the global stage.
On Wednesday, 3 April 2019, Kirstenbosch and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) unveiled their stunning design for this year's Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London, themed “Mountains of Abundance”.

Inspired by the proteas that flourish on Table Mountain and Magaliesberg, the concept was dreamt up by the foremost garden designer in Africa, Leon Kluge, who won South Africa a gold at last year's show for the 36th time. He took over from Raymond Hudson and David Davidson, who passed away last year, who was in charge of the design from 1994 to 2017.

"Abstract waterfalls and streams will be created with bright traditional Ndebele hats against slate mountains. Around this mountainous theme, various species of proteas, aloes, disas, restios and fynbos will be arranged as they occur together on the wild slopes of our mountains," explains Kluge.

About one tonne of flowers for the display will hail from South Africa's botanical gardens, with Kirstenbosch taking the lead, and local growers like Bartinney farm in Banhoek Valley, who will be sponsoring the proteas and fynbos.

Some of the big challenges for Kluge and his team are making sure the plants stay in shape throughout the transport and the week of the show, as well as obtaining plant export permits, which needs a team by itself.

But it's not just about the plants' biology - it's also about the stories that come with each plant. One such story is about how protea got its name. It was actually named after the Greek god Proteus, a sea god known for his changing nature, because a protea is very different in the various places it grows.

These and other stories will be on display for the world at the Chelsea show, which has been held annually at the Royal Hospital in London since 1912 and will take place this year from 21 to 25 May.

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Formula 1 legend David Coulthard will be behind the wheel when the Red Bull Racing car thunders through the streets of Cape Town later in 2019.
After weeks of speculation, it has been confirmed that F1 racing legend David Coulthard will be the man behind the wheel for the 2019 Red Bull Cape Town Circuit event.

Coulthard is synonymous with the glitz and glamour of F1 racing and will add this iconic experience to an illustrious career which includes 13 race wins and 62 podium finishes.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, commented: "Formula One is a global sport, but with a finite number of countries on the racing calendar, it is down to our show car team to travel farther afield and share the speed and sound of our sport with as many fans as possible."

Red Bull Racing has taken the thrills of F1 to far-flung cities like Hanoi, Tokyo and Mexico City and returns to South Africa to excite more fans in 2019.

Horner said: "We received an incredibly warm welcome when we first took our show car to Cape Town back in 2011 and we are delighted to return this year, powering the car down Cape Town’s iconic Grand Parade on June 2nd.

"South Africa has a great heritage in F1, stretching back to 1962, and we look forward to seeing fans, old and new, turn out in force to witness the spectacle."

Speaking at the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix about the Cape Town showcase, Coulthard also shared his excitement: "I’m super excited to be in Cape Town in June for the Red Bull Circuit event. I’ll be driving the F1 car, demonstrating the power, energy and excitement that Grand Prix racing can bring. I haven’t been to South Africa since we were in Kyalami in 2011, so I’m delighted we’re bringing Formula One back to Cape Town. See you there, looking forward to it."

“We highly appreciate that you are presiding over this timely and relevant discussions on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), just a few weeks before the start of the third NPT Preparatory Committee on 29 April. Likewise, we thank the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr Yukiya Amano and the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, for their detailed and insightful briefings.

“Mr President,

“Allow me to reiterate South Africa’s commitment to the attainment of a world free of nuclear weapons. In this context, I reaffirm my country’s commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime.

“It is undeniable that the NPT plays a critical role in the maintenance of international peace and security. The three broad objectives of the NPT, namely nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are inextricable linked and mutually reinforcing. Therefore, in our view, efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons should be matched by an equal commitment by the Nuclear Weapon States to eliminate all nuclear weapons in a verifiable and irreversible manner. As such, the support of this Council towards the full and balanced implementation of all the objectives of the NPT is paramount.

“Regrettably, Mr President,

“We remain disheartened at the apparent lack of urgency and seriousness with which nuclear disarmament has been approached in the NPT context. This state of affairs places the Treaty, as well as its review process, under increasing pressure and falls far short of expectations. Continued reliance on nuclear weapons in security doctrines, the development of new types of nuclear weapons and qualitative improvements to existing arsenals have also not allayed the fears of non-nuclear-weapon States.

“After almost 50 years since the entry-into-force of the NPT, we cannot be complacent about the continued threat posed by nuclear weapons and the lack of implementation of the disarmament obligations flowing from Article VI.  We must respect the Treaty and the outcomes of its Review Conferences to maintain its continued longevity.  Measurable progress - in particular on nuclear disarmament - must therefore be a major determinant in achieving and in sustaining international peace and security.

“With this in mind, Mr President,

“South Africa believes that the 2019 Preparatory Committee should respect the agreements arrived at in 1995, 2000 and 2010 in order to strengthen global security. The 2020 RevCon should likewise not roll back or reinterpret previously agreed commitments, which constitute the current nuclear disarmament benchmarks. Whilst we are aware that some States are arguing for the creation of a so-called “special” environment for nuclear disarmament, it is our view that this was already established with the entry-into-force of the NPT on the basis of its “grand bargain”. We believe that the success of future Review Conferences will be determined by the extent to which these undertakings are implemented.

“Mr President,

“South Africa clearly demonstrated its commitment towards nuclear disarmament when deposited its instrument of ratification on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) joining 21 other Member States that have ratified the Treaty. We want to use this opportunity to encourage Member States that have not done so to sign and ratify the TPNW at the earliest possible time in order to ensure its early-entry-into force. For us, the TPNW is a positive and a bold step towards a world free of nuclear weapons. It compliments and reinforces the NPT.

“Mr President,

“It will be remiss of me not to commend the sterling role played by the IAEA in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is critical for the socio-economic development of developing countries, especially on the African continent. We therefore urge this Council to fully respect the inalienable right of the States Parties to the NPT to use nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes as envisaged in the Treaty. We further call upon this Council and the international community to continue to support the Agency’s Technical Cooperation (TC) projects and activities.

“The Agency furthermore continues to verify and monitor the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), which remains one of the recent success stories of multilateral diplomacy. We call upon this Council to continue to support and encourage these contributions to international peace and security by the Agency and reiterate our calls for the preservation of the JCPoA.

“Mr President,

“Nuclear Weapon Free Zones will continue to play an important role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In that regard, I pay tribute to the Pelindaba Treaty, which commemorates its tenth anniversary this year since its entry-into-force. In the same vein, my delegation calls for the early establishment of a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction as outlined in the 1995 resolution.

“Mr President,

South Africa strongly supports the full implementation of the NPT and its universality in pursuit of the goal of achieving and maintaining a world free from nuclear weapons. In this regard, we would do well to remember that the strength, credibility and utility of the NPT rests on a fundamental bargain, which all of us should uphold.

“I thank you".
"Mr President, thank you for giving me the floor.

"My delegation wishes to welcome the Secretary-General to the Council.

"We also acknowledge the briefings provided by Mr Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr Eduardo Stein, the joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants as well as Dr Kathleen Page, Researcher at Johns Hopkins University. We acknowledge the presence of Mr Mike Pence, the Vice-President of the United States of America.

"Mr President,

"The current situation in Venezuela requires a constructive and united approach by the Council in addressing the challenges facing the country.

"The political situation and continued economic difficulties in Venezuela is a result of a myriad of factors, including conflicting geo-political dynamics. This necessitates the Council’s focus on the resulting humanitarian situation in Venezuela and its adverse effect on its people.

"In this regard, I wish to reiterate South Africa’s position on three key areas:

"Firstly, the provision of humanitarian assistance must be provided in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and in full compliance with the UNGA resolution 46/182. These principles have enabled the Council to act in other difficult situations in order to support people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. This should be the central approach of the Council in this matter.

"Secondly, it is important that the effective and unhindered provision of humanitarian assistance takes place in coordination and cooperation with the Venezuelan government, acknowledging the fundamental principle of State sovereignty in the UN Charter. It is therefore necessary to acknowledge and work with established structures in Venezuela, so as not to create parallel structures that may also cause increased tensions.

"Mr President, finally,

"The provision of humanitarian assistance should be based on an adequate and accurate needs assessment of the situation in order to match these needs with the appropriate support, and steer away from the possibility of humanitarian intervention as a pretext for further increased tensions and possible military entanglements.

"Mr President,

"South Africa therefore urges all parties to respect the need for impartiality, neutrality and independence in the provision of humanitarian assistance to Venezuela.

"We also call on the international community to support the channelling of humanitarian assistance through the UN and its implementing partners as well as through other recognised international organisations, such as the ICRC, in order to promote the much needed neutrality and impartiality for the provision of humanitarian assistance in Venezuela".
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