Issue 378 | 30 May 2019
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Africa Month, 1 – 31 May 2019
On 29 May 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the members of the National Executive who will give effect to the mandate provided by South Africans during the 8 May elections to “accelerate inclusive economic growth, act with greater urgency to tackle poverty, improve government services, fight corruption and end state capture”.
Speaking during the announcement at the Union Buildings in Pretoria last night, President Ramaphosa said that a capable, efficient and ethical government was needed to give effect to this mandate. The President also indicated that it was critical that the structure and size of the state was optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensured the most efficient allocation of public resources.

“In undertaking this review, we have been guided by the need to build a modern developmental state that has the means to drive economic and social transformation, to embrace innovation and to direct effort and resources towards where they will have the greatest impact.

“All South Africans are acutely aware of the great economic difficulties our country has been experiencing and the constraints this has placed on public finances.

“It is therefore imperative that in all areas and spheres of government, we place priority on revitalising our economy while exercising the greatest care in the use of public funds.”

To promote greater coherence, better coordination and improved efficiency, a number of portfolios have been combined, reducing the number of Ministers from 36 to 28.
  • Trade and Industry is combined with Economic Development
  • Higher Education and Training is combined with Science and Technology
  • Environmental Affairs is combined with Forestry and Fisheries
  • Agriculture is combined with Land Reform and Rural Development
  • Mineral Resources is combined with Energy
  • Human Settlements is combined with Water and Sanitation
  • Sports and Recreation is combined with Arts and Culture
  • Communications and Telecommunications and Postal Services had already been combined.
The President indicated that some portfolios received added responsibilities. Infrastructure was added to the Public Works portfolio and employment to the Labour portfolio.

“If we are to make effective progress in building the South Africa that we all want, it is important that we deploy into positions of responsibility people who are committed, capable and hard-working, and who have integrity.

“In appointing a new national executive, I have taken a number of considerations into account, including experience, continuity, competence, generational mix and demographic and regional diversity.

“The people who I am appointing today must realise that the expectations of the South African people have never been greater and that they will shoulder a great responsibility.

“Their performance – individually and collectively – will be closely monitored against specific outcomes. Where implementation is unsatisfactory, action will be taken.”

The appointments to the National Executive are:
  • The Deputy President is David Mabuza.
  • The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is Thoko Didiza.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Sdumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha.
  • The Minister of Basic Education is Angie Motshekga.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dr Regina Mhaule.
  • The Minister of Communications is Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
  • The Deputy Minister is Pinky Kekana.
  • The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Parks Tau and Obed Bapela.
  • The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
  • The Deputy Minister is Thabang Makwetla.
  • The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is Barbara Creecy.
  • The Deputy Minister is Maggie Sotyu.
  • The Minister of Employment and Labour is Thulas Nxesi.
  • The Deputy Minister is Boitumelo Moloi.
  • The Minister of Finance is Tito Mboweni.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dr David Masondo.
  • The Minister of Health is Dr Zwelini Mkhize.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dr Joe Phaahla.
  • The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology is Dr Blade Nzimande.
  • The Deputy Minister is Buti Manamela.
  • The Minister of Home Affairs is Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
  • The Deputy Minister is Njabulo Nzuza.
  • The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is Lindiwe Sisulu.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Pam Tshwete and David Mahlobo.
  • The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation is Dr Naledi Pandor.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Alvin Botes and Candith Mashego-Dlamini.
  • The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services is Ronald Lamola.
  • The Deputy Ministers are John Jeffery and Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa.
  • The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy is Gwede Mantashe.
  • The Deputy Minister is Bavelile Hlongwa.
  • The Minister of Police is General Bheki Cele.
  • The Deputy Minister is Cassel Mathale.
  • The Minister in the Presidency is Jackson Mthembu.
  • The Deputy Minister in the Presidency is Thembi Siweya.
  • The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
  • The Deputy Minister is Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize.
  • The Minister of Public Enterprises is Pravin Gordhan.
  • The Deputy Minister is Phumulo Masualle.
  • The Minister of Public Service and Administration is Senzo Mchunu.
  • The Deputy Minister is Sindy Chikunga.
  • The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure is Patricia De Lille.
  • The Deputy Minister is Noxolo Kiviet.
  • The Minister of Small Business Development is Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
  • The Deputy Minister is Rosemary Capa.
  • The Minister of Social Development is Lindiwe Zulu.
  • The Deputy Minister is Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu.
  • The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture is Nathi Mthethwa.
  • The Deputy Minister is Nocawe Mafu.
  • The Minister of State Security is Ayanda Dlodlo.
  • The Deputy Minister is Zizi Kodwa.
  • The Minister of Tourism is Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane.
  • The Deputy Minister is Fish Mahlalela.
  • The Minister of Trade and Industry is Ebrahim Patel.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Fikile Majola and Nomalungelo Gina.
  • The Minister of Transport is Fikile Mbalula.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dikeledi Magadzi.
The President said that these men and women were drawn from all corners of the country. It was also for the first time in the history of the country that half of all Ministers were women. A significant number of young people were also included.
The president expressed his appreciation to all the outgoing member of the National Executive who served the country so ably in the Fifth Administration.

“We continue to value their experience, skills and contribution, and will give them suitable responsibilities where they will be able to serve the nation.

“Allow me to express my gratitude to all the Members of the incoming Executive for making themselves available to serve the nation, and I wish them all the best in the execution of their responsibilities.

“We have all been called upon to serve the people of this country, and we will do so to the utmost of our ability.”
Cyril Ramaphosa has officially become South Africa’s sixth democratically elected President after taking the oath of office at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 25 May 2019.
"I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all law of the Republic. And I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will always promote all that will advance the Republic and oppose all that may harm it; protect and promote the rights of all South Africans,” he said.

President Ramaphosa, 66, also vowed to discharge all his duties with all his strength and talent to the best of his abilities and be true to the dictates of his conscience, as he took the oath administered by Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The crowd, gathered at the stadium, errupted in loud cheer as the President said: "So help me God!"

Representatives from the continent, regional economic blocks, former liberation movements, fraternal countries, the African Union, United Nations, members of the diplomatic corps and eminent persons, as well as over 30 000 members of the public, witnessed the inauguration.

Former Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and FW de Klerk were seated in the VIP area on stage, and the Heads of State from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Uganda, Lesotho and Eswatini graced the ceremony, which coincided with the continental Africa Day celebrations.

Before taking the oath, President Ramaphosa was honoured by a military salute from the South African National Defence Force who ushered the President to the sound of the National Anthem, a 21-gun salute and Air Force display.

Mr Ramaphosa was elected President by Parliament after the African National Congress (ANC) won the general election earlier this month.

Born on 17 November 1952 in Soweto, President Ramaphosa played an important role in the liberation struggle for a democratic South Africa.

The President was detained in 1974 for organising pro-Frelimo rallies that were held to celebrate the independence of Mozambique.

Two years later, after the Soweto student uprising he was detained again.

He became the first general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982.

In 1991, he was elected ANC Secretary General and subsequently became head of the ANC team that negotiated the transition to democracy.

Following the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, he was elected chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly, which wrote South Africa's new democratic constitution.

He moved into the private sector in 1996, and in 2001 founded the Shanduka Group, a diversified investment holding company.

He resigned from Shanduka in 2012 following his appointment as Deputy President of South Africa.

President Ramaphosa holds a law degree from the University of South Africa. He has received several honorary doctorates from local and international universities.

– Source:
Having taken his oath as the sixth democratically-elected President, Cyril Ramaphosa has said: “Yes, South Africa, Thuma Mina”.
“You, the people of South Africa, have sent them, and you have sent me, as your President. Having taken the oath of office I am saying yes, South Africa Thuma Mina,” President Ramaphosa said on Saturday, 25 May 2019.

“I pledge here today that I will serve you, I will work with you, side by side, to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve.”

The President said this in his address to the nation, and the world, after his inauguration at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium. He continued with the mantra Thuma Mina (which means send me) taken from a popular hit of the late jazz musician Hugh Masekela, which dominated the last months of the fifth administration, when the President took over the reigns from former President Jacob Zuma.

President Ramaphosa said despite the challenges the country faced, South Africans remained resolute, resilient and unwavering in their desire for a better South Africa.

“Through the irrefutable power of the ballot on 8 May, South Africans declared the dawn of a new era which saw the ANC winning the National and Provincial Elections.”

Despite the different political parties which contested the elections, the President said, they all shared the same hopes and fears, the same anxieties and aspirations for the country.

“This new government draws comfort from the knowledge that, that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us.

“They have chosen hope over hopelessness, they have opted for unity over conflict and divisions,” the President said, adding that the sixth administration was a defining moment for the young nation of 25 years.

“Today is the choice of history. It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny. South Africans want action and not just words.”

He committed to continue building a South Africa that was guided by values, defined by equality, solidarity and a shared humanity – a country that knows neither privilege nor disadvantage – which would be made possible by the mobilisation of the country’s resources and the working together of government, business and ordinary citizens.

In this regard, he said, the Constitution as the basic law of the land would be a guide as the country embarked on a new era.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged people on the continent to use the Fourth Industrial Revolution to develop Africa and create jobs for the youth and women as the continent commemorated Africa Day.
“On this Africa Day, on the day that our nation enters a new era of hope and renewal, we recall and celebrate that Africa is the birthplace of humanity. Africa is poised once again to rise, to assume its place among the free and equal nations of the world,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President was addressing the country during his inauguration as the sixth democratically elected President at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, in Pretoria, on Saturday, 25 May 2019.

“We recall that it was around 100 000 years ago that a small group of some of the first humans set foot beyond the continent.

“With them they took a sense of perseverance and a talent for innovation which enabled them to progressively occupy every corner of the world.

“Humanity has achieved a great deal over the intervening millennia and all by virtue of talents which evolved in Africa,” the President said.

He said Africans must use their talents for innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on 25 May to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963 and the African Union in 2002, which was created to promote unity in Africa.

The day, which is celebrated across the continent is used to acknowledge the progress that Africans have made, while reflecting upon the common challenges faced in a global environment.

South Africa has dedicated the month of May to celebrate Africa Month.

Government is using it to promote the African unity, deeper regional integration and recommit Africa to a common destiny.

The theme for the month is ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy: Building a Better Africa and a Better World’.

– Source:
Former International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, on 23 May 2019 welcomed the appointment of Nardos Bekele-Thomas as the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator to South Africa.
This makes Ms Bekele-Thomas the highest-ranking UN official in the country, who will be a direct representative of the UN Secretariat.

Her role includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the coordination of all UN operational activities for its development programme in the country and to facilitate the alignment and coherence of UN operational activities for development in line with national priorities and development objectives of the host country.

Prior to her appointment to this position, she was the Senior Director of the Office of the UN Secretary General.

Minister Sisulu congratulated Ms Bekele-Thomas, saying her experience will offer deep insight into the development challenges confronted by South Africa, the continent and developing countries as a whole.

“We believe that the relationship between the UN entities and our government departments will be elevated in order to maximize the mutual benefits of the relationship between South Africa and the UN system.

“It is important that the operations of the UN Country Team (UNCT) in South Africa are relevant and closely aligned with and supportive of South Africa’s national priorities such as job creation, education and skills development, healthcare and rural development,” added Minister Sisulu.

South Africa currently hosts 17 UN agencies engaged in activities and projects in support of South Africa’s national priorities and development objectives. These include UNICEF, UNAIDS and UNHCR.

– Source:
The battle for conservation of our oceans and beaches had a huge win last week when 20 new national Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were gazetted.
This increased protected oceans from 0.43% to 5%, and three of the new areas fall under the management of South Africa's National Parks (SANParks) – the Addo Elephant National Park MPA, Robben Island MPA (to be managed by Table Mountain National Park) and Namaqua National Park MPA.

For SANParks' national marine co-ordinator, Dr Ané Oosthuizen, this was a major achievement for conservation – a win that's been in the works since 2006, and planners and lawyers spent five years developing the shape, size and regulations with all the various stakeholders and communities.

“The new MPAs will contribute to the conservation of our oceans, islands and coastal habitats, protect threatened species such as penguins and rebuild overexploited species such as linefish, abalone and rock lobster. They will help secure ecosystem services, support recreational, tourism and educational activities, as well as subsistence, recreational and commercial fishing.

"MPAs help keep ecosystems resilient in the face of climate change,” says Oosthuizen.

– Source: Traveller24
The beauty of South Africa is being represented on the worldwide stage with SA Tourism's heartwarming Meet South Africa promotional video.
It's ranking at number 10 on the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals' (CIFFT) list of the world's best tourism films. Films receive points on how well they do at various tourism film festivals around the world, and at the end of the year the number one film is honoured at an event in Vienna, Austria.

South Africa's inclusion was a sensational success when it came out in 2017 – following the story of a traditional South African dressmaker travelling the country to find inspiration for a wedding dress. Since it was released the short version has been viewed 69 million times on YouTube, with the longer 10-minute film raking in two million views and the German version standing at 4.3 million views.

Another South African film that is on the ranking's list - sharing the 19th spot with a few other films – is called Andrew Bona. It was produced by Bruce Buttery of Panga, and follows a wildlife artist in his search for the perfect subjects in the bush.

CIFFT has been around since 1989 and provides support to festivals that focus on the audiovisual aspect of tourism marketing. The Grand Prix CIFFT Circuit is made up of 19 festivals from around the world that contribute to a film's ranking.

One of the members is the International Tourism Film Festival Africa, which will be launching in South Africa in November, and entries are now open.

– Source: Traveller24
Brand South Africa was proud to be part of recognising and honouring sportswomen and men at the annual SA Boxing awards alongside SA Boxing, the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and many other organisations in Sandton earlier this month.
“We are proud to be at the SA Boxing awards to acknowledge and celebrate excellence. Sport is instrumental to a competitive Nation Brand image,” said Brand South Africa’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Thulisile Manzini.

“Just as the former great statesman Nelson Mandela once said: ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.’”

The award ceremony was a true reflection of Mandela’s words as the event saw an array of guests which included American actor, politician and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Gauteng MEC of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Ms Faith Mazibuko and many aspiring boxers.

Boxing SA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tsholofelo Lejaka, said in the life of every athlete recognition and reward were crucial, because it served as a motivator but at the same time it was also a statement through which we inspire a generation.”

“Every country has to nurture its strengths. Similarly, South Africa is rated highly in the sports fraternity, continuously breaking records in the like of Caster Semenya, Kagiso Rabada, Wayne van Niekerk, Kgothatso Montjanelack and Kevin Anderson.

“Sport is the one vehicle through which the globe is quickly and easily integrating, so when our athletes go out to compete on the global arena, they fly our flag and sing our national anthem and become ambassadors for the country and therefore, it is very important that we support our athletes because their victories are the nation’s victories,” added Mr Lejaka.

The winners at the SA Boxing awards were:
  • Male boxer of the year: Tulani Mbenge
  • Female boxer of the year: Mellisa Miller
  • Male fight of the year: Mzoxolo Ndwayana v Shaun Ness
  • Female fight of the year: Asandiswa Nxokwana v Sherodine Fortuin
  • Male prospect of the year: Ayabonga Sonjica
  • Female prospect of the year: Simangele Hadebe
  • Media person of the year: Thabiso Mosia
  • Female ring official of the year: Siya Vabaza
  • Male ring official of the year: Alan Matakane
  • Most promising ring official of the year: Simphiwe Gceba
  • Knockout of the year: Zolani Tete v Siboniso Gonya
  • Trainer of the Year: Colin Nathan
  • Promoter of the year: Teris Ntutu (Rumble Africa Promotions)
  • Most promising promoter of the year: Xolani Mampunye of Last-Born Promotions
  • Manager of the year: Colleen McAusland
  • Special achievements: Zolani Tete‚ Hekkie Budler‚ Moruti Mthalane‚ Xaba Boxing Promotions
Lifetime achievement awards: Themba Zulu‚ Les Andreasen‚ Gladys Tsenene‚ Jeff Ellis‚ Mzoli Madyaka.

– Source:
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has confirmed that it will broadcast some of the matches during the upcoming Cricket World Cup.

This comes after the SABC came to an agreement with pay-channel SuperSport.

A press statement released by the SABC on 27 May 2019 stated that it would broadcast "some of these fixtures on a live basis and others delayed and via highlights programmes".

The announcement follows extensive negotiations between both parties.

The statement concluded: "The SABC will announce details regarding its broadcast schedule of the matches shortly."

The Cricket World Cup starts today, 30 May 2019 with a match between England and South Africa at The Oval in London. The final is scheduled for Lord's on 14 July.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed best wishes to the South African Cricket team, the Proteas, ahead of their 2019 World Cup opening match.

“We have a very strong and formidable cricket team and we hope they will continue to fly the South African flag high. On behalf of government and all the people of South Africa we wish them the best for the World Cup. May they perform to the best of their ability and make our nation proud,” said President Ramaphosa.

– Source: Sport24
“Mr President,

“I would like to thank Ms Ursula Meüller, Assistant-Secretary-General of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for her briefing.

“South Africa remains deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Syria.  We appeal to all parties to avoid bombings of infrastructure in Idlib and elsewhere in Syria and ensure that the civilians in the area are not used by non-state actors as human shields.

“As we have previously stated, South Africa is concerned that a number of aid agencies have suspended their operations in the northwest due to the increase in violence. The large numbers of people fleeing the area are adding to the already overburdened humanitarian response.

“In this regard, we call on all parties to cease hostilities and hope that the parties are able to take the necessary actions to allow for these agencies to resume their important work. Additionally we urge all parties to fully engage in the political processes currently underway as the situation in Syria cannot be solved through military means.

“South Africa urges all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. It is also important that the signatories of the September 2018 ceasefire memorandum adhere to its provisions.

“Attacks on education and health facilities are particularly disturbing, as they significantly impact the lives of the most vulnerable sectors of society, women and children.

“Mr President,

“While we acknowledge the threat and violence committed by terrorist organisations, it is also necessary to state that actions taken to counter terrorism activities cannot be undertaken at the expense of innocent civilian lives and any such action should only be taken within the parameters of international law.

“Mr President,

“The situation and conditions in Al Hol camp in northeast Syria is particularly distressing. The camp has expanded from 10, 000 in December 2018 to over 73, 000 currently, of which approximately 50, 000 are children. All possible effort must be made to assist all those who wish to return home, be they Syrian, Iraqi or third-party nationals.

“Turning to Rukban, South Africa welcomes the reports of increasing numbers of people leaving the camp, aided by the Syrian Government and overseen by UN agencies on the principles of voluntary, safe, dignified and well-informed returns. However my delegation also notes that while people remain in Rukban, there is a need for humanitarian and medical assistance, which is quickly diminishing. We reiterate our call for the necessary approvals, which would allow additional and essential humanitarian assistance to be delivered to Rukban.

“Mr President,

“It is important to note that presence of any foreign military forces operating in the country without the permission of the Government of Syria, undermine and violate Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We urge all UN Member States to identify their nationals, through relevant UN agencies and take them back to their countries of origins and utilise their local laws to deal with such individuals.

“In conclusion, South Africa is deeply troubled by reports of the spread of Islamic State affiliates from Syria and Iraq into the African continent, as the group seeks new areas of operation and recruitment following its territorial defeat in Syria. All possible action must be taken to ensure that these individuals are detained before they are able to incite violence and terror.

“I thank you.”
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