Issue 376 | 16 May 2019
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s commitment to working with the international community as the country begins a new chapter after the recently held elections.
Addressing ambassadors after receiving their letters of credence at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Tshwane on Wednesday, 15 May 2019, President Ramaphosa said South Africa would forever be grateful for the support and friendship received during the years of struggle to end apartheid.

South Africa this year celebrates 25 Years of Democracy as it ushers in the sixth democratic administration.
The President said the ambassadors and high commissioners had an important responsibility entrusted on them by their countries. He expressed confidence that they would maintain and advance the solid relations between South Africa and their respective countries.

“It is our sincere wish that through your respective appointments, we strengthen existing ties and forge new opportunities for cooperation.

“This is no small responsibility and I would like to congratulate all of you on your appointments. I am honoured to receive your respective letters of credence,” said the President.

He told the ambassadors that the general elections on 8 May had been declared by the Independent Electoral Commission, as well as by international observers from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union as free and fair, with credible outcomes.
“The election has demonstrated the stability and vibrancy of our democracy, and the continued engagement of the South African people in the important decisions that affect their lives. This election holds special significance because it has taken place in the year in which we are celebrating 25 years of freedom and democracy,” President Ramaphosa said.

The ambassadors and high commissioners-designate have been designated by the governments of their countries to serve in diplomatic missions in South Africa.

In total, President Ramaphosa received credentials from 12 heads of mission-designates from the Ukraine, Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Botswana, Republic of Guinea, Japan, Hellenic Republic of Greece, Republic of Iraq, Republic of Italy, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dominican Republic, Argentine Republic, and the Republic of Serbia.

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“This election confirms that freedom does indeed reign in South Africa. It gives us the assurance that our people are the true custodians of our freedom and democracy.”
These were the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa after his party claimed a victory of 57.50% in South Africa’s sixth general elections.

Thanking the millions of South Africans who braved the rain and cold to cast their vote on 8 May 2019, the President said the elections were confirmation of freedom and democracy in action.

Prefacing the announcement of the elections, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, described this year’s elections, with 48 political parties vying for the shot to steer the country, as the most “complex and highly contested”.

While the African National Congress received the majority of votes, the Democratic Alliance clenched the title of official opposition at 20.7%, while the Economic Freedom Fighters came in third on the leader board.

The IEC announced the official results of the elections at its results nerve centre, the National Results Operation Centre (ROC), based in Pretoria, on 11 May 2019.

President Ramaphosa saluted the elderly, who had remained committed to their civic duty since 1994 and passed his condolences to those who lost their lives on their way to make their mark.

“We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Ms Susan Mohanoua Matona from Vanderbijlpark in Sedibeng and Mr Dirk Henry Osche from Elandspoort in Tshwane.

“We must honour their memories by deepening our democratic culture and defending, with all we have, the right to vote,” said the President.

Call for more young voters

While the President applauded young voters who participated in the elections, he called for more increased participation from the youth.

“We do, however, want that keen interest to grow. Many young people are outside the fold,” said the President.

The President also thanked the various political parties which participated in the elections, for ensuring that peace and calm characterised the entire election season.

Moving South Africa forward

Turning his focus to the work of building the country, President Ramaphosa said South Africans had given the elected leaders a firm mandate to build a better South Africa for all.

“Let us now work together – black and white, women and men, young and old – to build a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it, one which is united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous,” said the President.

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On 15 May 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa attended and participated in an investor conference in Johannesburg hosted by the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals.

The conference at the Four Season Hotel, Westcliffe, brought together chief executive officers, chief information officers, chief financial officers and chairpersons of leading companies and financial institutions across all industry sectors from South Africa and other parts of the continent.
The Goldman Sachs conference followed South Africa’s successful hosting of an investment conference in October 2018 where South African and international firms made a broad range of pledges to establish or expand operations in South Africa.

President Ramaphosa announced in the 2019 State of the Nation Address that a second conference would be convened later in 2018.

President Ramaphosa welcomed the Goldman Sachs platform as a welcome precursor to the second investment conference.

President Ramaphosa again highlighted government’s commitment to and plans for achieving inclusive growth that would benefit all stakeholders in the South African economy.
The international community has congratulated South Africa on its recently concluded sixth democratic national and provincial elections.
In a series of tweets, the international community commended the country on the elections that concluded on Saturday, 11 May 2019, with the announcement of the results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) at a ceremony at the National Results Operation Centre in Pretoria.

The IEC declared the elections, in which the African National Congress (ANC) claimed victory, as free and fair.

Australian High Commissioner to South Africa as well as six other southern African countries, Adam McCarthy, congratulated South Africa on a successful election.

“Congratulations to the people of South Africa on a successful election and good luck to democratic South Africa’s sixth Parliament,” said the Commissioner.

South Africans went to the polls on Wednesday, 8 May 2019, to cast their votes in the elections that saw over 17 million of the 26 779 025 registered voters cast their “X”.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa on the ANC’s win.

“As I said in South Africa last year, by working together as friends and partners, we will secure a more prosperous future for all our people. I look forward to continuing that work with you,” she said in her tweet.

The German Embassy in South Africa also congratulated South Africa on the strength of her democracy.

“What a tremendous journey, 25 years after the end of apartheid, we are celebrating freedom and democracy,” it said.

The same sentiment was shared by French Ambassador, Christophe Farnaud, and Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa, Astrid Emilie Helle.

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South Africa’s 2019 national and provincial elections are a prime example of how African countries can carry out future elections.


Speaking to SAnews, Zimbabwean observer who formed part of the African Union (AU), Lewis Matutu, described voting in South Africa’s sixth national and provincial elections as historical.

“We moved around different polling stations yesterday, witnessing people voting freely. We also saw people from different political parties mingling. This is a sign that the South African democracy is maturing,” he said on Thursday, 9 May 2019.

Matutu, who hails from Zimbabwe, added that South Africa was making the continent proud.

Matutu, who spoke to SAnews at the National Results Operations Centre (ROC) in Pretoria, praised the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for administering the elections.

He was also impressed by the number of young people who participated in the voting process.

“The IEC managed to accommodate a majority of young people in the election process itself. I’ve seen many young people being presiding officers and elections officers [and that is] a sign that the South African Government values young people and they understand that they are the future of this country,” he said.

Matatu’s delegation on Wednesday visited polling stations in Tembisa and greater Johannesburg as polls opened at 7am and were scheduled to close at 9pm.

Among the observers spotted at the ROC included former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, who was taken on a tour of operations at the centre.

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) also commended South Africa for its continued commitment to democracy and the conduct of a peaceful electoral process.

“South Africa, through these elections, met its obligations to a democratic elections, set out in the different international instruments to which it is party,” EISA President, Goodluck Jonathan, said on Friday, 10 May 2019.

He was addressing a media briefing at ROC on the EISA Election Observer Mission for the 2019 national and provincial elections.

The EISA observers visited 295 voting stations across the nine provinces.

“Overall, the 2019 elections were conducted within a strong legal and institutional framework that guarantees democratic elections. The key players in the process conducted themselves in accordance with stipulated laws and guidelines,” Jonathan said.

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On Sunday, 12 May 2019, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, addressed an Africa Month event at the Thabo Mbeki Sports Ground, Winterveldt.
The Public Participation Programme formed part of government’s ongoing efforts to connect directly with communities in order to enable and facilitate public participation.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), in partnership with the ISA and the Government of the United Kingdom (UK), are hosting a workshop on the ISA from 16 to 18 May 2019.
The objective of the event is to foster international and regional cooperation to promote the sustainable development of Africa’s deep seabed resources in support of the continent’s Blue Economy. It is also expected that the workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss capacity-building strategies that could help the African continent benefit fully from their blue economies.

The workshop brings together representatives from the Southern African Development Community, which will include South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. Two other African countries will also participate i.e. Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe.

The representatives from the Department of Mineral Resources and other stakeholders in the mining sector are also expected to make presentations at the workshop.
Hosting this event provides an opportunity for South Africa to showcase its innovative approaches and the different focus areas of Operation Phakisa.
On 13 and 14 May 2019, Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, attended the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in India.
The aim of the ministerial meeting was to exchange views and ideas on how to best address the challenges facing the Multilateral Trading System (MTS), as well as discuss issues of concern to developing countries.

The two-day meeting took place in New Delhi.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the exchange of views among participating countries on current developments in the MTS with a view to promote inclusive growth and development.

“We need to shape a multilateral trade environment that is conducive and supportive of industrialisation, and supports structural transformation and economic diversification. This includes recognising the necessity of policy space for developing countries, especially African countries to pursue our development objectives and promote regional integration,” said Minister Davies.

The Minister further highlighted that the meeting was taking place at a time when global trade was going through a period of uncertainty with an increase in protectionism in some countries and a backlash against trade agreements and globalisation due to lack of inclusive growth.

The Government of India expressed the hope that the meeting would provide a direction on how to constructively engage on the various issues facing the WTO.

These include the current challenges in the appointment of appellate body members in the build-up to the next WTO Ministerial Council Meeting that will take place in 2020.

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The Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, activated Africa Month at the Women’s Living Heritage Monument, Pretoria, on 4 May 2019
The month of May marks Africa Month – a moment for the continent to pause, reflect, commemorate and celebrate our Africanness, and to promote the African Agenda that embraces peace and stability, democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism, unity and prosperity. The month of May has been declared Africa Month to celebrate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963.

The month of May has also been dedicated to building a caring nation in pursuit of promoting lasting peace and prosperity in the country and the rest of the continent.

Minister Mthethwa activated the 2019 Africa Month celebrations under the theme, “Celebrating 25 years of Democracy: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”, on 4 May at the Women’s Living Heritage Monument in Pretoria following the successful celebration of the Africa Carnival and Festival, held on 1 May 2019 in Durban, which kickstarted the Africa Month programme.

Africa Month recognises aspects of African culture, which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our historical inheritance, architecture, language, food, practices and culture. Various events will be staged throughout the country to commemorate this month. The department will contribute to Africa Month celebrations through a variety of cultural activities.

“In this journey towards African self-renewal, I also wish to remind us of the brilliant thoughts and speeches of a pioneer, Pixley ka Seme, who already in 1906, called for the “regeneration of Africa”. The time has come for Africa’s renewal to be taken to a higher level”, stated Minister Mthethwa.
South Africa and South Sudan have signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement (EPSA) to explore oil in Block B2 of the landlocked East-Central African country.
“The deal, which is strategic for South Africa as an energy consumer, will see Block B2 operated by the state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), the Ministry of Petroleum and Nilepet, the national oil company of the Republic of South Sudan,” said the Department of Energy.

Under this agreement, which includes a six-year exploration period, the SFF alongside Nilepet will launch a comprehensive aero gravity survey exploration campaign, seismic acquisition as well as drill wells.

The B2 area includes productive parts of the Muglad Basin and is part of the 120 000-km² Block B, which was split into three in 2012.

South Africa’s SFF will also invest in capacity-building initiatives, training of South Sudanese citizens, social and community development projects and ensuring local content and the empowerment of women.

“The petroleum resources of Block B2 are vast. For South Sudan to reach its target of bringing back production levels of around 350 000 barrels of oil per day and beyond, we need committed new entrants like the SFF,” said the South Sudanese Minister of Petroleum, Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

“South Sudan has great potential, yet our country remains vastly under-explored, and we believe the entry of new players like the SFF will lead to new world-class discoveries very soon, given the aggressive exploration programme and great petroleum viability of Block B3. This will support South Sudan’s economic revival and improve trade with other African countries,” said Ambassador Gatkuoth.

Last year, South Africa’s Department of Energy pledged to invest $1 billion into South Sudan’s petroleum industry, with the aim of securing affordable energy supplies for South Africa.

The countries are in talks to set up a 60 000 barrel per day refinery to supply oil products to the local market in South Sudan, as well as to secure exports to Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the SFF, Godfrey Moagi, said the SFF was looking forward to making discoveries in Block B2.

“We believe there are highly significant quantities of oil in Block B2. Our work programme and acquisition of new seismic will reveal better information on various structures. We look forward to a few wildcats and appraisal wells in the near future. We are thankful to the Government of South Sudan for this opportunity,” said Moagi.

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The South African Government has welcomed the decision by the United States (US) Government to increase funding for the country’s HIV programme through the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme.
This follows negotiations between the Department of Health (DOH) and PEPFAR in Washington DC in April this year after the US signalled that they were considering reducing funding for the next funding cycle, which commences in October 2019.

During discussions, the DOH was able to convince the PEPFAR leadership that government was committed to initiating an additional two million people with HIV on treatment by December 2020, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2018 State of the Nation Address.

Having at least 6.1 million people on treatment and virally suppressed by December 2020 will enable South Africa to move towards epidemic control.

The US Government is one of the biggest international HIV/AIDS donors and has provided support to the country’s HIV programme since 2004 through PEPFAR.

According to the DOH’s Deputy Director-General for Health Programmes, Yogan Pillay, these successful discussions have resulted in an agreement that the department will work with PEPFAR to develop a detailed proposal that will assist the department to increase the number of people with HIV on treatment and to ensure that they remain on treatment.

“While the proposed total funding envelope is yet to be approved by the US Congress, there is every indication that there will be an increase in PEPFAR funding to South Africa to support our HIV response,” said Pillay.

The department thanked the US for its continued support, which will enable South Africa to move towards epidemic control.

Meanwhile, the department urged all South Africans to know their health status by testing regularly for HIV, and if positive, to start treatment immediately to ensure that they are virally suppressed and healthy.

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On 16 May 2019, South African Saray Khumalo reached the highest point on the planet becoming the first black African woman to scale Mount Everest, eNCA has reported.
The business executive reportedly reached the summit in the early hours of Thursday. This was her fourth attempt at climbing Mount Everest.

In a previous attempt in May 2017, Khumalo had to be rescued from Mount Everest by helicopter.

She had been injured during inclement weather while trying to reach the summit, Netwerk24 reported. Her previous attempts had been scuppered by an earthquake in Nepal and an avalanche.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay were the first people to reach the mountain's summit on 29 May 1953.

Since then, around 800 people attempted to climb Mount Everest annually. More than 296 people have died trying to climb it.

Early on Thursday morning, the Facebook page Summits with a Purpose posted: "A short while ago, Saray N'kusi Khumalo reached the top of the world.

Born in Zambia, with a Rwandan bloodline and now a South African, she has achieved her goal of becoming the first black woman from Africa to summit Mount Everest.

"In 2012, Saray summited Mount Kilimanjaro and in the process, raised funds for the Lunchbox Fund.

"The mountaineering passion took hold and she embarked on a journey to climb the highest peak on each continent, not for herself but the education of African children.

"She summited Mount Elbrus in 2014 and Mount Aconcagua in 2015.

"She became a Nelson Mandela Libraries ambassador and raised nearly R1m for school libraries. After being on Everest during both the Serac fall (2014) and the earthquake (2015), she reached the south summit in 2017.

"Through pure perseverance, grit and courage she decided to return to Mount Everest in 2019. During this expedition, she supports the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Foundation.

"From all of Africa - congratulations on your summit, Saray," Summits with a Purpose posted.

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South Africa has been named the best safari experience in Africa, at the Safari Awards Africa 2019.
“The importance of this award is that it sets us apart from all the other safari destinations, as we have the unique advantage of being able to showcase our world-class ocean safaris with our incredible land safari offerings. Being awarded this prestigious accolade is a true honour,” says Bradley Brouwer, Head of Global Trade for SA Tourism.

The awards are endorsed by Safari Guild, a travel buyer organisation run by its travel professional members, which has 6 500 buyers into Africa, and generates US$3.5 billion a year.

“The award is a massive endorsement for South Africa as it tells agents that the Safari Guild is saying they love the South African product and that the country is a great destination,” says Henry Hallward from Miranda Travel Group and non-executive director of – sponsor of the awards.

Entries were judged over a week, after agents and clients nominate and rate them online. “Only experiences with a rating over a set number become visible to the judges,” said Hallward.

The platform has worked closely with SA Tourism on Africa’s Travel Indaba, promoting it before and during the show.

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The inaugural Cape Town Coffee Festival will be held at The Castle of Good Hope in Darling Street from 1 to 2 June 2019. This coffee-loving event, which has taken over London and New York, will showcase exceptional coffee, local food, cocktails and live music.
The event will include over 65 innovative exhibitors. Taste your way through the vibrant Cape Town coffee scene with hundreds of different coffees to sample for free. Boost your coffee knowledge in workshops, be a part of interactive demos and meet the top African coffee companies, artisans and baristas. To top it all off, enjoy delicious street food, coffee cocktails and live music.

The two-day festival – split into morning and afternoon sessions to help manage the flow of foot traffic – will boast some of the most popular features seen at previous international events, with an added African experience. The line-up includes Latte Art Live, the Small Business Lab, the African Coffee Experience, the Coffee Cocktail Bar, a live music stage, a coffee art gallery and many more.

All profits will be donated to Project Waterfall, which partners with South African charities supporting local life-changing projects such as Woza. The Woza Coffee School is a charitable trust that trains the youth in South African townships to become baristas while connecting them to their first job. Since 2011, Project Waterfall has raised over $1.5 million – bringing clean water to more than 37 000 people across seven countries.

Speaking about this year’s South African debut festival, Allegra Group CEO, Jeffrey Young, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Coffee Festival to the African continent for the first time. Cape Town is a city of culture and creativity and coffee and food play a huge part in the fabric of the city life. The event is a celebration of the vibrant African coffee culture, the deep spirit of community that coffee fosters and the career opportunities that it generates.”

Tickets for the Cape Town Coffee Festival are now on sale at

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For the first time in the history of the Prix Benois De La Danse International Ballet Competition, there will be two representatives from South Africa at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow:  South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) founder Dirk Badenhorst takes his place as the first-ever South African jury member, and Soweto-born dancer Andile Ndlovu, now United States-based, will perform in the prestigious event gala on 22 May as one of this year’s 27 nominees for the Benois de la Danse Award as Best Male Dancer for his role as “Mercutio” in Washington Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet”.
The Benois de la Danse, founded by the International Dance Association in Moscow in 1991, is one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world. The prestigious jury panel that changes every year, awards statuettes to the winners in the categories of Lifelong Achievement, Best Ballerina, Best Danseur, Best Choreographer, Best Composer and Best Designer.

Says Dirk Badenhorst, “It’s like the Oscars of the ballet competition world, where the very best are considered for an uber prestigious and covered prize”. In 1992, the Prix Benois De La Danse International Ballet Competition succeeded in obtaining the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and French sculptor Igor Ustinov designed the award statuette. Ustinov is the son of the famous actor Peter Ustinov and a great-nephew of Alexandre Benois (1870 –1960) after whom the competition and prize is named.

Badenhorst, the first South African jury member at competitions in Russia, China, Cuba, USA and South Korea, also became the first South African jury member of the Benois de la Danse when he was recommended by the former director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Brigitte Lefevre.

The gala event will take place on 22 May 2019 and in addition to the nominees, dancers include the Prima-Ballerina of the Hamburg Ballet, Anna Laudere, who was awarded the 2018 Benois-Massine Prize, and soloists of Hubbard Street Dance from Chicago.

Andile Ndlovu relocated to Washington, USA, after being invited to a summer intensive by the then director of Washington Ballet, Septime Webre, who was a judge at the inaugural SAIBC in 2008. His time there was so successful that he progressed to the studio company before joining the main company where he is today.

Ndlovu returns to South Africa regularly to dance in numerous ballet SAIBC and Mzansi Ballet performances and to work with local dancers and organisations to inspire passion and a love of ballet in young South African dancers.
Everard Read London presents "Destructure", a solo exhibition of sculpture and paintings by celebrated South African artist, Lionel Smit.
In this new body of work, Smit continues to explore themes of identity through portraiture on canvas and bronze sculptures. For the artist, the human face offers an endless source of study and his work accentuates facial characteristics through bold swathes of colour and brush techniques, highly-textured bronzes and vivid patinas.

Smit’s portraits reflect the mixed heritage of the Western Cape communities in which he lives and works, and which have become central to his exploration of identity.

The subjects in his portraits exude strength and dignity; some have a meditative quality while others evoke a sense of vulnerability conveyed by the sitter’s averted gaze or melancholy expression.

Smit’s work is defined by a profound and ongoing dialogue between painting and sculpture. He grew up in a world of sculpture and his father’s sculpture studio played a central role in his childhood.

Smit explains further, “I started off with clay – so that’s my reference point … And that’s the way I approach painting. I approach it like sculpture, adding pieces until the image emerges.”

Smit began working in clay from a young age but later shifted his focus to painting, perhaps to claim his own artistic identity, separate from his father’s.

When he returned to making sculptures several years ago, it was his painting that deeply informed his sculptural works.

“I want the sculptures to mimic the paintings, I almost try to merge them in approach, to translate paintings in a three-dimensional form. In my head, I see the pieces of clay as brush strokes. At one stage while working on a sculpture, I found myself building the plaster of Paris with a brush because I liked to see the brush strokes and the drips.”

This is Smit’s second solo exhibition with Everard Read London.

The show is on from 10 May – 8 June 2019.

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Storming around the track in record time, the South African men's 4x200m team earned the country's first-ever medal at the IAAF World Relays, closing out the Rainbow Nation’s campaign in style in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday, 12 May 2019.
Consisting of Simon Magakwe, Chederick van Wyk, teenager Sinesipho Dambile and powerhouse anchor Akani Simbine, the South African quartet covered the two-lap final in 1:20.42, breaking the African record, which had been set by the national squad in the heats.

The United States held off a late charge from the South Africans to win gold in 1:20.12.

Earlier, the quartet of Jon Seeliger, Anaso Jobodwana, Dambile and Van Wyk had clocked 1:20.64 to win their first-round heat, smashing the continental record of 1:22.06 set by South Africa’s Marcus la Grange, Mathew Quinn, Josef van der Linde and Paul Gorries in Port Elizabeth in March 2002.

In the men's 4x400m final, the South African team took sixth position in 3:05.32, with Gardeo Isaacs, Pieter Conradie, Ranti Dikgale and Ashley Hlungwani doing enough to secure South Africa a place at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September.

They now join the national men's 4x100m team at the showpiece in Doha, with Simbine having led the short sprint squad to ninth place overall in the heats of the event on Saturday. Competing at the World Relays for the first time, the South African team earned 10 points to finish in 14th place in the final standings.

“We have achieved the goals we set ourselves, which was to reach the podium,” said an excited Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.

“Our silver medal will inspire all athletes who are looking to be selected to run the 4x400m for the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September.

“We are quite proud of all athletes, coaches and team management for a job well done, considering we were entering the World Relays for the first time. It is also a good story to tell that we have two relay teams who have qualified and set the continental record twice in one day.”

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South Africans Jaco Peyper and Marius Jonker are part of the squad of 23 match officials selected to take charge of the 48 matches at Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which runs from 20 September to 2 November 2019.
“Team 21” – the 21st tournament team – comprises 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four television match officials (TMOs) representing nine nations.

World Rugby said the team was strongly international and each member had been selected on merit after a comprehensive review of performances over the last four international windows. The group features a blend of experience and youth.

“Team 21” has 804 tests under its collective belt, as either referees, assistant referees or TMOs.

The match officials were selected by World Rugby’s Match Official Selection Committee following a comprehensive review of performances and fitness.

World Rugby Chairperson, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: “Just like for the players and coaches, Rugby World Cup represents the pinnacle of a match official’s career and I would like to congratulate the team of 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four TMOs who have achieved selection today through their hard work, commitment and dedication to excellence.”

Match officials are not permitted to officiate matches involving their host nation in addition to being passage neutral.

Rugby World Cup 2019 is set to attract the largest number of international fans in the tournament’s history with more than 600 000 of the 1.8 million available tickets expected to be held by fans making the journey to Japan to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

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