Issue 381 | 20 June 2019
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
State of the Nation Address - 20 June 2019
Youth Month 2019
Consular Awareness Programme
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli, says preparations for this week’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) are at an advanced stage.
Tsenoli said this when presiding officers briefed the media on the readiness of Parliament to host President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

“The preparations for SONA, which provides the President an opportunity to share government’s comprehensive plans for the coming period, are at an advanced stage.

“SONA also provides Parliament with an opportunity to interrogate the plans of government – through its oversight function – and to facilitate public involvement and put in place legislative interventions to realise the delivery of services, where necessary.

“The President’s address, therefore, will be followed by a debate by a joint sitting of both houses on 25 June and the President’s reply to the debate on 26 June,” he said.

Tsenoli said, meanwhile, that various features that had traditionally characterised the preparations and the actual SONA ceremonies had been modified for the June SONA. The occasion will, however, still preserve the decorum and solemnity of a key state event of such magnitude.

“In making these modifications, the prevailing economic hardships that continue to face most South Africans and the expected unfavourable weather conditions have been taken into account,” he said.

Some of ceremonial aspects of SONA that will be affected by these include the junior guard and the civil guard, who form a guard of honour for the State procession and the eminent persons, who are usually selected from provinces on the basis of their outstanding achievements in their respective fields of work. Tsenoli said these aspects would both not be part of the event.

A total of 1 200 guests have been invited. These includes surviving Rivonia trialists Denis Goldberg and Andrew Mlangeni, as well as Gertrude Shope and Sophie de Bruyn – who both were among those who led the iconic 1956 Women’s March.

“As has occurred before, there will also be a mounted police escort and a military ceremonial motor escort and the lining of the President’s route to Parliament by the military.

“Due to the expected weather conditions and the scaling down of certain aspects of the ceremony, the President’s walk to the National Assembly building, where the address is delivered, will be shorter than usual,” he said.

Tsenoli said a budget of R2 million had been set aside for the event and indications were that Parliament would spend less than the budgeted figure.

“For the February SONA ceremony, we budgeted just over R2 million but closed with a total spending of R1.6 million. Parliament has been tightening the SONA budget in the last few years, which has, despite the price inflation, come down from R9.2 million five years ago to R2 million for this SONA ceremony,” he said.

The speech will be broadcast live on Parliament TV, DStv channel 408 and Parliament’s You Tube channel from 19:00 this week Thursday. It is also expected to be carried live on other news channels

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday 16 June 2019, delivered the keynote address at the National Youth Day event held at the Peter Mokaba Cricket Club in Polokwane, Limpopo.
The month of June has been declared Youth Month and it is a period set aside to pay tribute to the youth of 1976 for their activism.

It is also a time to reflect on the progress made and address the challenges identified in order to drive the youth development agenda in South Africa.

This year’s Youth Month coincides with the commemoration of 25 years of Freedom and Democracy and it takes place under the theme “25 Years of Democracy: A Celebration of Youth Activism”. The theme seeks to encourage young people to join the ranks of active and responsible citizens by participating in democratic processes.

President Ramaphosa commenced the day by engaging with the youth in a Youth Development and Career Expo at a venue within the Polokwane Cricket Club.

The day culminated with the President delivering a keynote address to the nation at the National Youth Day event at the Peter Mokaba Cricket Club.

During this month of youth, government and its agencies such as the National Youth Development Agency will host a number of engagements, including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people. A list of Youth Day build-up events can be accessed on
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the ID4Africa Movement at Emperor’s Palace, in Boksburg, on Tuesday, 18 June 2019.
Hosted by the Department of Home Affairs under the theme, “Identity Ecosystems for Service Delivery”, the meeting was attended by over 1 500 participants, ranging from government identity authorities from around Africa and representatives of international agencies, among them, the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa, UN Development Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, African Development Bank and UN Children’s Fund.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) hosted the Ninth Bi-annual Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) from 19 – 20 June 2019 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
South Africa is Chair of the 22-member IORA for the 2017 – 2019 period. The CSO comprises senior government officials of member states, which is tasked with the implementation of the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers. The CSO works in cooperation with the Working Group on Trade and Investment, the Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum and the Indian Ocean Academic Group.
The historic shipment of 5 200 tons of citrus in a breakbulk vessel has arrived at Shanghai Port in the People’s Republic of China.

The Baltic Summer reefer vessel carrying citrus from South Africa to the People’s Republic of China arrived at the Shanghai Port on 10 June 2019.

The first shipment was launched on 6 May 2019 at Maydon Wharf Port in Durban.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the reefer vessel was cleared upon arrival in Shanghai without any sanitary and phytosanitary challenges.

The vessel was received by the South African Consul General, Mpho Hlahla, and the department’s attaché to the People’s Republic of China, Mashudu Silimela.
Silimela and the team in the plant health and inspection services directorates played a significant role in the negotiations for the use of breakbulk vessels instead of containers.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has congratulated the department for the successful negotiations that resulted in the approval of the breakbulk vessel shipment. She also thanked all parties and the industries that were involved throughout the process since its inception in 2006.

“This signals growth to the South African citrus industry in South Africa and will result in the creation of more jobs. The use of breakbulk vessels at the port will clear the congestion at the port due to some challenges currently experienced,” Minister Didiza said.

– Source:
South African parks have dominated the Best Safari Parks 2019 list, with 14 parks in the top 50 list.
Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve and Phinda Game Reserve came in at 18, 19 and 20th place, respectively., an online marketplace for safaris on the continent, conducted its annual study to unequivocally determine the 50 best African safari parks of 2019.

A detailed analysis of almost 2 400 reviews from safari-goers and African travel experts was carried out. The winner was the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which is renowned for the sheer volume of animals to be seen there.

More than 25% of the top 50 were South African parks. South Africa also has two parks – Mala Mala Game Reserve and Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the top 10.

South Africa’s strong presence on the list has partly been attributed to the sheer number of protected areas in the country and the high visitor numbers they receive.

The number of parks creates a high level of competition, and this means that the wildlife watching experience is generally of a high standard, according to

“Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is Africa’s best safari park, according to our analysis. Deserving of this accolade, this stunning park impresses with the sheer numbers and variety of wildlife contained within its borders.

“The abundance of predators and spectacular wildebeest migration are two more big drawcards to the Serengeti,” the organisation said.
Rating second is the pristine wilderness of Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.

This sublime park appeals to the adventurous, with canoeing a popular way to see the animals.

Rated as Africa’s third-best park, privately-owned Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa has a reputation for outstanding wildlife viewing, heavenly accommodation and first-rate guiding.

The fastest climber was Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, which came in fifth. The park, which mirrors Mana Pools across the Zambezi in Zimbabwe, has magnificent landscapes and canoe safaris which add another level of excitement to viewing its prolific wildlife.

A total of 1 363 reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 72 countries. The remaining 1 010 park reviews were written by industry experts.

– Source:
Several new picnic spots, a cultural village at Masorini and new bird hides and ablution facilities at several hides are all on the agenda.
A new entrance gate in the Giyani area, a futuristic tourism centre at the entrance to the park at Phalaborwa Gate, a new tented camp at Punda Maria, and numerous other developments form part of the Kruger Park’s five-year multimillion-rand development plan which was compiled recently, reports Letaba Herald.

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism allocated R396 million to SANParks, of which R195 million will be used for the Kruger National Park’s upgrades.

Several new picnic spots, a cultural village at Masorini, and new bird hides and ablution facilities at several hides are all on the agenda for the short term.

Although some developments at Bergendal, Lower Sabie and other parts in the southern region of the Kruger Park are also planned, the focus is clearly on the northern part.

For years now, visitors, tourists and other role players all agreed that the southern part of Kruger was overdeveloped and commercialised while the northern part was underdeveloped and really offered more for discerning tourists.

Blake Schraader, Head of the Department of Technical Services, said in a statement on the Kruger National Park’s website that the designs for upgrades of tourism facilities at Punda Maria, Shingwedzi, Letaba, Satara, Orpen, Roodewal, Lower-Sabie, Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop were almost finalised.

“Our aim is to address the age of structures and to achieve star-grading,” said Schraader.

Staff accommodation units in villages will also be upgraded to en-suite units, and additional units will be built.

Part of the upgrade will include increasing the height of the Crocodile Bridge, to mitigate flooding to less than 5% a year. A number of gravel roads will also be replaced and stabilised. Roads will be upgraded with stabilising products currently being tested by the Council for Science and Industrial Research, Schraader explained.

The shop at Mopani will be turned into a conference centre, and the current cafeteria will be turned into the shop.

With regard to entrance gates, Schraader said all commercial activities would be concentrated in one area. A swipe card system will be introduced at all gates to facilitate fast lanes for Wild Card holders. All southern gates, as well as Phalaborwa and Orpen, will also be upgraded, and Crocodile Bridge camp will receive a new bridge and road to ensure it becomes an end-destination. Roads will therefore no longer pass through the camp.

Water and sewage facilities will also be receiving an upgrade, including main bulk water supply lines between Balule and Satara Camp and between Malelane and Berg-en-Dal Camp. Hybrid power supply systems at Sirheni, Shimuwini and Bateleur will also be upgraded, in addition to lapas and swimming pools, which are set to be built at these camps, as well as at Biyamiti.

– Source:
South Africa’s double Olympic 800 metres champion, Caster Semenya, won the 2 000 metres at the Meeting de Montreuil just outside Paris on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, even as she continues to fight the IAAF to be allowed to race her strong suits.
Semenya is fighting a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision that supported the IAAF’s rule that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development, like Semenya, can only race in distances from 400m to a mile if they take medication to lower their testosterone levels.

At this stage, she has not been entered for races of distances not covered by the IAAF rules and her win at Paris adds to a 5 000 metres national title this year.

Semenya is also slated to run the 3 000 at the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California, on 30 June 2019.

She was recently announced as being included in South Africa‘s preliminary team for this year’s world championships in Doha, though it is dependent on the outcome of her appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.
South African kitesurfer, Ross-Dillon Player, came out on top in an extreme international competition on a wild day in Zandvoort, Netherlands, 9 June 2019.
After a two-year wait, wind and waves finally aligned to create perfect conditions for the extreme kitesurfing competition Red Bull Megaloop, with the young South African claiming the 2019 crown.

The event was only confirmed on the Thursday before, when the weekend weather forecasts predicted winds of over 40 knots would hit the Dutch coast at Zandvoort. This gave the invited field of 16 international kiteboarders just 48 hours to make their way to the venue.

The participating athletes this year came from France, South Africa, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Over 8 000 fans defied force-nine gale conditions to turn out to watch the action, with riders boosting up to 15m vertically and 50m in distance.

The final heat saw two South Africans, Ross-Dillon Player and Oswald Smith, pitted against local favourite, Lasse Walker, and Spain-based Liam Whaley.

Player laid down a strong early marker and held on to top spot throughout what was an extremely close finale. He eventually finished with a 7.90, just 0.3 points ahead of compatriot Smith.

Speaking after the event, a clearly emotional Player said: “Coming from the first round I thought I was going home, but after that I won every heat. That’s four heats. I can’t believe it, it just went so well.”

– Source:
South Africa's Akani Simbine and reigning world 60m indoor champion Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast won 100m titles on Sunday, 16 June 2019, at the Boston Games athletics meet.
The unique event's feature races were contested on a portable 200m straightaway strip installed at the finishing area for the Boston Marathon.

Simbine, the reigning Commonwealth Games 100m champion, won his specialty in 9.92 seconds, 0.11 ahead of American Kendal Williams.

"A 9.92, that's good on this track," said Simbine, whose effort came following afternoon showers dampened the track.

Ahoure won the women's 100m in 11.09 with American Aleia Hobbs 0.02 back.

World 2017 100m champion Tori Bowie, who tore a quadriceps muscle last year, was third in 11.22.

– Source:
“Mr President,

“We thank the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mr Martin Griffiths, and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Mark Lowcock, and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Mr David Beasley, for their briefings.

“We wish to express our full support for the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Mr Martin Griffiths, and commend him on all the efforts he is undertaking to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Yemen. We further urge all parties involved in the war in Yemen to cease hostilities. Progress on the political process is hampered by continued fighting, which is not conducive to building trust as the first step in creating a negotiated settlement.

“My delegation would like to address the following three points in our intervention today, namely: (i) the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement, (ii) the humanitarian situation and (iii) the impact of the conflict on women and particularly children in Yemen.

“Firstly, on the Stockholm Agreement, we believe in order to achieve sustainable peace in Yemen, differences among the parties cannot be solved militarily and will only be further aggravated by military activities. In this regard, we call on all sides to carry out their respective obligations as per their undertakings in the Stockholm Agreement. Implementation of this agreement is of paramount importance as it would assist in building confidence among the parties and improve the chances of reaching a broader political agreement. It is vital that both sides withdraw their forces from Hodeidah to enforce the Stockholm Agreement. Steps that have already been taken in this regard are encouraging, which include the redeployments that were carried out between 11 and 14 May.

“Secondly, on the humanitarian situation, South Africa calls for the full implementation of Resolution 2451, which deals with the need for the unhindered flow of humanitarian supplies and humanitarian personnel into and across the country. It also addresses the need for all parties to the conflict to comply with applicable international law and to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law, including to respect and protect medical facilities and personnel and to allow and facilitate safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian and medical personnel to all those in need. To assist in alleviating the humanitarian plight of the Yemini people, it would be important for the international community to pledge adequate funding for the United Nation’s Yemen humanitarian response programme.

“South Africa wishes to reiterate that it is critical that the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) is fully capacitated and its mandate is conducted swiftly. We also note with concern that many Yemeni’s do not receive the aid that they so desperately need, as it remains very difficult for aid organisations and actors to get permission to provide humanitarian assistance in some areas.

“Thirdly, on the impact of the conflict on women and children, we note with regret the escalation of violence in the past few weeks, which is imperilling the Stockholm Agreement. We continue to call on all the parties to refrain from excessive use of force in civilian areas and to spare the lives of women and children. Recent reports paint a bleak picture of the humanitarian situation in the country. The rate of deaths and injuries caused by land mines has doubled, with the average number of civilians wounded and being killed each day rising by a third, with more than 500 people killed.

“This Council must support Yemen to ensure that it is safe to inhabit again when the conflict is resolved. Statistics from the UN High Commission for Refugees indicate that Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world with three million people having been forced to flee their homes because of increased violence in the country – and more than 22 million vulnerable Yemenis are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance.

“These include women and children who are mostly affected by the conflict. We call on the parties to sign and implement  a time-bound action plan to end and prevent grave violations, pursuant to Resolution 1460 (2003), as the formal and only path for delisting from the annexes of the SG’s annual report on children and armed conflict. Furthermore, we encourage the Secretary General to list all parties on the basis of credible and UN-verified patterns of violations in Section A of the annexes of his annual report for all relevant violations.

“In conclusion, Mr President, South Africa continues to call for the cessation of hostilities and de-escalation of tensions which will bring lasting peace and stability to Yemen and the broader region.

“I thank you.”
“Mr President,

“We thank Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, African Union (AU) Peace and Security Commissioner, Ambassador Smail Chergui, and Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), Chairperson of the Burundi Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, for their insightful briefings on the evolving situation in Burundi and for their unwavering commitment to the process.

“South Africa fully supports the continued facilitation process led by the East African Community (EAC) in the spirit of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, with the support of the AU and the UN. We welcome the designation of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the mediator of the process, with the support of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President John Magufuli of Tanzania. In this regard, the work of former President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania was invaluable. We also acknowledge the critical role played by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, former President Kafando, as well as the Burundi Configuration of the PBC, under the able leadership of Ambassador Lauber.

“Mr President,

“At this juncture, however, South Africa considers it prudent to highlight the need for the Council to continuously coordinate the Council positions with those of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), when dealing with African issues. Africa has very clearly defined regional organisations, which deal systematically with issues related to African peace and security.

“In the case of Burundi, the EAC is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the Burundi process. South Africa had hoped that there would be greater appreciation for allowing the processes of the region to run its course that would then enrich discussions in the Security Council. Allowing for regional processes to unfold is a key factor in Africa owning solutions to its own problems and enduring peace. We therefore look to the direction of the leadership of the EAC and the AU in charting the course on Burundi, with the assistance of and in coordination with the UN.

“Mr President,

"South Africa maintains that it is only through an inclusive dialogue that we can address any political impasse in Burundi, which requires the international community to lend support to the initiatives of the EAC. In this vein, we also call on the Government of Burundi to create a conducive environment which facilitates dialogue with the key stakeholders of the EAC led process.

“As a guarantor of the Arusha Agreement, and as part of Mandela’s legacy, South Africa always stands ready to support the Government and people of Burundi as they democratise their country, open more political space for all political parties and allow the media to play its role of informing society and spreading tolerance.

“With regard to the political developments in Burundi, we continue to be encouraged by the stable security situation in the country. We congratulate the Government of Burundi on initiating a number of preparatory process for the elections, especially the establishment of an Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), which is now operational. We welcome the adoption of the Burundian Electoral Code and their commitment to the 2018 Kayanza Road Map, which lays the foundation for peaceful elections in 2020.

“We commend the decision of the Government of Burundi to finance the elections with their national budget and we encourage Burundi to work closely with the EAC and the AU to create an environment conducive to free, fair, peaceful, democratic and inclusive elections, in the spirit of the Arusha Agreement.

“Mr President,

"South Africa also welcomes the commitment by President Pierre Nkurunziza not to stand as candidate for the Presidential election in 2020, and look forward to the Government and the political parties working together to hold inclusive and peaceful elections. Burundians must be the beneficiaries of democratic elections that can deliver democracy and development with the assistance of the region. All parties must be permitted to canvass support countrywide, without hindrance. There should be no no-go areas for any politician and political party.

“South Africa commends Burundi’s contribution to international peace and security through its deployment of more than 6 000 Burundian men and women in various peacekeeping operations, mostly in the Central African Republic and Somalia.

“We call on the international community to support Burundi in strengthening their peacekeeping capacity, as it is of critical institutional value to the county. As a member of the AUPSC, Burundi is congratulated on remaining committed to the promotion of peace and security by contributing to silencing the guns in Africa.

“Mr President,

"South Africa is gravely concerned at the dire humanitarian situation in Burundi. We urge the Security Council and the international community to do more to alleviate the socio-economic challenges and humanitarian situation facing the people of Burundi and call on its partners to support the implementation of the 10-year National Development Plan for the benefit of the Burundian people. In this vein, we reiterate the call by the AU during it 32nd Summit for the European Union to lift the unilateral sanctions imposed against the Republic of Burundi.

“We are encouraged by the ongoing voluntary repatriation movement of Burundian refugees, which saw 67 710 refugees voluntarily repatriated to Burundi, mainly from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and the DRC, between August 2017 and May 2019. The increased return of refugees is a manifestation of a return to peace and stability in the country. We urge the international community to support these efforts and call on them to provide assistance for the repatriation and reintegration of returnees.

“Finally, we appeal to the Security Council and the international community to support the Government and the EAC mediation process to lay the foundation for an environment that is conducive to the holding of democratic elections, to support a peaceful transfer of power, in order to ensure peace and stability beyond 2020.

“I thank you.”
Stay Connected with us
facebook   youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners