Issue 384 | 12 July 2019
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Nelson Mandela Month - 2019
Consular Awareness Programme
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) is a milestone that fulfils a dream crafted by the founders of the Organisation of African Unity 60 years ago when they conceptualised an integrated Africa.
President Ramaphosa was speaking at the conclusion of his Working Visit to Niger, where he attended the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) from 7 – 8 July 2019.

The summit marked the entry into force of the agreement and formally launched the operational phase of the African Internal Market.

“President Ramaphosa anticipates the agreement will catapult the economies of many African countries onto a higher growth trajectory and says South Africa stands to significantly benefit from being part of the world’s largest single market encompassing 55 countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of US$3.2 trillion.

“The President sees the implementation of the agreement as a platform for African countries to trade among themselves and reap the benefits of the tariff-free area,” said The Presidency's spokesperson, Khusela Diko.

One of the key spin-offs is expected to be greater focus and urgency for infrastructure development across the continent to support economic activities.
While at the summit, President Ramaphosa participated in the high-level meeting of the AU on Libya and the first mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities.

The President also held a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the Republic of Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangangwa; the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Felix Tshisekedi; Niger President, Mahamadou Issoufou; and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and AU Chairperson, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

During the visit, the President was supported by the International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor; Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni; and Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel.
The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU selected Ghana as the host country for the Secretariat of the AfCFTA.

The decision was announced on Sunday, 7 July, 2019, at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit after Ghana beat competition from Egypt, eSwatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal.

The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the AfCFTA.

n his acceptance speech, during the close session of the summit, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, thanked the Assembly for the decision, stating that “it is a privilege that, for the first time in our nation’s history, we have the responsibility of hosting an important pan-African institution”.

“We have, today, taken very important steps towards working with a common voice and a common purpose to exploit the abundant wealth and resources of our great continent for the benefit of all our peoples. Indeed, the ‘Africa We Want’ is achievable,” the President said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday, 5 July 2019, officially opened and addressed the first 4th Industrial Revolution SA - Digital Economy Summit.
The summit was hosted by the 4th Industrial Revolution South Africa partnership (4IRSA), an alliance between partners from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society.

The 4IRSA partnership seeks to develop an inclusive, coherent, national response to the 4IR for South Africa, based on research and to complement and support other national activities relating to the 4IR. Among these national initiatives, is the establishment by President Ramaphosa of the Presidential Commission on the 4IR.

Earlier this year, the President appointed 30 members of the Presidential Commission on the 4IR to assist government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital revolution and to identify relevant policies, strategies and action plans that will position South Africa as a competitive global player.

In showcasing the advancements in technology and immense opportunities of the digital economy, the first-of-its-kind, live holographic projection of President Ramaphosa’s address was transmitted to the Rustenburg Civic Centre in the North West.

“As the summit’s opening ceremony commences at Gallagher Estate in Midrand wherein President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to deliver the opening keynote address, a real-time simulation led by the Premier, Prof. Job Mokgoro, will take place at the Rustenburg Civic Centre,” The Presidency said.

“This will be the first live holographic broadcast of a Head of State, thus showcasing South Africa’s readiness to be a leader in the 4IR.”

According to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, a 3D hologram is a projection that exists freely in space and is visible without the need for 3D glasses.

It displays products, objects and animated sequences three-dimensionally and enables seemingly real objects or animations to appear to float completely freely in space.

“This method of using a 3D hologram opens up a completely new, revolutionary way of presenting products,” it said.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, on Thursday, 11 July 2019, briefed the media ahead of participating in a debate on her department’s Budget Vote in Parliament.
Minister Pandor said that through her Budget Vote Speech on Thursday afternoon, the department would confirm South Africa’s solidarity with countries enduring hardship.

“The people of Palestine, the people of Western Sahara and the people of Cuba have become accustomed to our statements of solidarity with them, as they face difficulties which must be resolved peacefully and through diplomatic means.

“We shall urge to do more to assist (sic),” she said.

Priorities for the year ahead

Minister Pandor said the mandate of the department was to work towards the realisation of South Africa’s foreign policy objectives as set out by the President.

This includes:
  • coordinating and aligning South Africa’s international relations
  • monitoring developments in the international environment
  • communicating government’s policy positions
  • developing and advising government on policy options and creating mechanisms and avenues for achieving objectives
  • protecting South Africa’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
  • contributing to the creation of an enabling international environment for South African businesses
  • sourcing developmental assistance
  • assisting South African citizens abroad.
“In this regard, we have directed all our missions to align their work to making sure they contribute to the seven key priorities identified by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address.

“We expect our missions to focus increasingly on Economic Diplomacy, through making sure they facilitate more foreign direct investment in support of the President’s drive to attract US$100 billion to South Africa. We want more opportunities for the export of South African goods and services, more tourist arrivals and more opportunities for South African youth to acquire skills,” she said.

– Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has expressed her sadness at the recent passing away of the former Ambassador, Dr Khorshed Ginwala. Dr Ginwala passed away on Friday, 28 June 2019, at the age of 90.
Posted to Rome from 1995 to 1999, the late Ambassador Ginwala was the first Ambassador of the post-apartheid South Africa to Rome and she was also accredited to Albania and San Marino.

Minister Pandor said the late Dr Ginwala was born in India in 1929 and came to South Africa as a child. She studied medicine in Dublin, Ireland. “Dr Ginwala was one of the pioneers in the fight for freedom in South Africa,” said Minister Pandor.

The Minister added that: “Within diplomatic circles, Dr Ginwala was also a torchbearer – one of democratic South Africa’s first women ambassadors. She represented our country with distinction and paved the way for next generations of women diplomats.”
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, attended the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting on 10 July 2019 in London, United Kingdom (UK).
The meeting was chaired by the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, in his capacity as the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.

The meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the mandates agreed to at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018), held in London from 19 to 20 April 2018, related to the strengthening of democratic institutions and the promotion of peace and security; boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and inclusive economic growth; achieving sustainable development; and the advancement of gender equality and youth empowerment, among others.

Other items on the agenda of the meeting included an update on preparations for CHOGM 2020, which will take place in June 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda. The UK will conclude its two-year tenure as Chair-in-Office when Rwanda hosts CHOGM 2020 and assumes the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office until 2022.

The meeting also considered the Board of Governors’ agreed recommendations on the governance and reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth by reflecting on what this association had achieved in the last seven decades.

South Africa re-joined the Commonwealth in 1994 and, in November 1999, hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban and assumed the Chair for the next two years until 2001.
Since its return to the Commonwealth, South Africa has contributed to the work of the organisation. South Africa and the UK announced on 5 March 2019 that they would jointly lead a Commonwealth initiative to boost digital connectivity among member countries. This initiative gives effect to the decision of the CHOGM 2018 to launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda, aimed at increasing intra-Commonwealth trade from US$560 million to US$2 trillion dollars by 2030. South Africa is also a member of the Commonwealth Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, which approves the Commonwealth Secretariat’s work plans and budgets.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent member countries, composed of 19 African members, seven Asian members, 13 members from the Caribbean and the Americas, three members from Europe and 11 members from the Pacific. Members work together through various initiatives and activities to pursue common goals, and promote development, democracy and peace.
The Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meetings was first established in 2002 by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in order to discuss matters of collective interest. These meetings have provided political oversight and direction with regard to the implementation of mandates agreed at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.
The BRICS Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) met on 5 July 2019 in Brasília, Brazil, to exchange views on the current situation in the MENA regions.
They expressed concern over continued conflicts in the MENA region, which undermine stability and security, provide fertile ground for terrorist and extremist activities and result in internally displaced persons (IDPs) and large movements of refugees and migrants. They agreed that the conflicts in the region should be addressed both through political mechanisms that include dialogue and negotiations and also through a prospect of social development and prosperity for the peoples living in the conflicted areas. They also opposed illegal use of force or interference by external powers in the region.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys reaffirmed their commitment to the basic principle that international peace and security should be achieved and sustained solely in accordance with, and in full respect of, international law, including the UN Charter and the role of the UN Security Council. They stressed the need to stand for multilateralism and oppose unilateralism and uphold the international order and international system with the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter with the aim of promoting peace, stability and development in the MENA region. Underlying their deliberations was the conviction that lasting peace could only be achieved with due respect for the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of each of the countries of the region.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys agreed that in each of the countries in the region, citizens had legitimate aspirations to enjoy full civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations from all quarters and in the name of any cause. They reiterated their countries’ commitment to supporting inter-BRICS and other evolving multilateral efforts under United Nations auspices in countering the global threat of terrorism. They stressed that the fight against terrorism, including counter-terrorism measures, must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the UN and relevant UN Security Council resolutions and opposing double standards. They called for an expedited adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN General Assembly.

The BRICS Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys, regarding the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the country. They expressed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They also reaffirmed their commitment to advancing a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UNSC Resolution 2254 (2015), which is to culminate in constitutional reform and free and fair elections. They expressed their support to the creation as soon as possible of the Constitutional Committee, in accordance with decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and welcomed in this regard the efforts of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, Geir Pedersen. While welcoming the Memorandum on stabilisation of the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area, they expressed deep concern with the escalation of violence in the region, continued attacks of the terrorist groups and called on all parties to fully implement the Memorandum on Idlib, including a sustainable ceasefire regime and allowing for unhindered humanitarian aid. They reaffirmed the international obligations to fight terrorism in all its forms and highlighted the importance of unity in the fight against terrorist organisations in Syria as designated by the UNSC. They emphasised the fundamental importance for post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation of Syria: such a commitment will build conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees as well as internally displaced persons and will provide ground for achieving sustainable and long-lasting peace. They also expressed concern with vulnerable populations, especially the religious minorities.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys expressed their serious concern about the political, humanitarian and security situation in Libya. They urged all parties to immediately cease all military action to avoid an escalation of violence and to engage with the Special Representative of the UN's Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé, the African Union (AU) High-Level Committee on Libya and relevant international and regional stakeholders, to ensure a peaceful dialogue and a political solution to the conflict through a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process in pursuance of the Libyan Political Agreement and the UN Action Plan for Libya. They reaffirmed their conviction that the absence of a political commitment undermined the security and stability of the neighbouring countries, leading to terrorism and transnational crime in the region. They expressed their support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial unity of Libya and stressed the critical importance of convening the Libyan national conference at the earliest possible opportunity, in order to promote national reconciliation and draw up a road map for Libya’s political transition and subsequent elections.

The BRICS Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys reaffirmed their full support for efforts made by the Iraqi Government towards national reconstruction and development. They acknowledged the importance of stability in Iraq for regional and international security. They further condemned in the strongest possible terms the heinous and inhumane acts of violence perpetrated by terrorist and extremist groups, such as the self-styled ISIL, in the territory of Iraq and reiterated the need for strong international support to the Iraqi Government and people in their relentless efforts to fight against terrorism, to revitalise their economy and to implement reconstruction and development projects.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys reaffirmed their grave concern about the ongoing conflict and consequent humanitarian crisis in the Yemen Republic and called on the parties to facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian personnel and supplies across the country. They recognised that the Yemeni conflict has a significant impact on the security and stability of the region. They welcomed the Stockholm Agreement and the establishment of the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) through UNSC Resolution 2452 (2019) and reiterated their support for the efforts being made by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict. They expressed their concern about the delay in the full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and urged all parties to refrain from measures that lead to ceasefire breaches and to an escalation of violence.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys were unanimous in their resolve that the conflicts elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa should not be used as pretext to delay resolution of the long-standing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys, guided by the international legal framework previously in place, such as the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, reiterated that the two-state solution will enable Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side, in peace and security. In this regard, they expressed, furthermore, the need for new and creative diplomatic efforts to achieving a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys expressed their serious concern about the ongoing crisis in the Gulf region, including one-sided actions. They reaffirmed their support for the resolution of the existing disagreements through negotiations and diplomatic engagement. They stressed the need for promoting a positive, constructive agenda in that part of the world, in which all countries of the region jointly respond to common threats and challenges.

Regarding the Republic of the Sudan, the Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys acknowledged the Sudanese people’s strong aspiration for social and political reform and the pursuit of a better life, and highlighted the importance of stability for peace in Sudan and the neighbouring countries. They emphasised the importance of the principle of non-interference and called on the Sudanese stakeholders to work together in good faith to develop an inclusive and consensual solution for political transition, which contemplates the swift implementation of a civilian government. They, furthermore, expressed their serious concern of the recent episodes of violence in the country and called upon all the parties to preserve peace and nurture national dialogue. The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys indicated their support for the role of the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in overcoming the current crisis. In this regard, they took note of the power-sharing agreement reached on 4 July 2019 between the Military Council and the opposition coalition to establish a sovereign council to be run on rotation during a three-year transition period until elections, as well as the launch of a transparent and independent investigation into the violence that began on 3 June 2019, and expressed their hope that it will lead to the sustainable stabilisation of the situation in the country.

The Deputy Ministers/Special Envoys took note of the recent political developments in Algeria. They expressed their hope that the ensuing transition would culminate in a social compact that addresses Algeria’s socio-economic and political aspirations.

The participants committed themselves to convene again at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers/Special Envoys of BRICS countries in Russia during its rotating Chairship in BRICS in 2020. They also agreed on the advisability of holding regular consultations on the MENA region at various venues, including the UN. They confirmed their support for the hosting of informal meetings of their representatives when required.
Newly graduated South African medical doctors, who were trained in Cuba, have been encouraged to drive change in their communities.
The 87 South African medical doctors graduated at the Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, on Friday, 6 July 2019.

This is the largest group to graduate under the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration (NMFCMC) Programme since its inception in 1996. Health Deputy Minister, Joe Phaahla, and Eastern Cape Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, presided over the 16th graduation ceremony.

The Rector of the University of Medical Sciences of Havana, Luis Alberto Pisch Garcia, conferred the degrees. The event was also attended by the deans of local medical schools, MECs and heads of departments of health, hospital CEOs and families of the graduates.

“Many doctors who have qualified through this programme have progressed to become specialists in various medical fields.

“One notable achievement is that of a doctor from the Eastern Cape, who made history when she became the first African female cardiothoracic surgeon in the country,” said the Deputy Minister in his keynote address.

This brings to 731 the number of medical doctors who have graduated from the programme and currently employed in various public hospitals around the country.

The Health Department said this was a major boost not only for increasing the output of medical employees and strengthening primary healthcare, but also for the success of the National Health Insurance.

The medical training programme was founded in an attempt to complement and increase the production of medical doctors in South Africa.

The rural under-served communities, where the Department of Health has always struggled to attract medical practitioners, stand to benefit from this initiative as the doctors are expected to serve the communities they come from.

The new doctors completed five years of medical studies in Cuba and one year of clinical training in the country’s universities as part of their integration into the South African health system.

– Source:
South African Airways (SAA) has signed codeshare and frequent flyer agreements with Brazilian airline Gol - Linhas Aéreas (GOL), which came into effect on Friday, 5 July 2019.
SAA acting Chief Executive Officer, Zuks Ramasia, said the airline was pleased with the agreement which is of strategic importance.

“We are extremely pleased with this agreement which comes at an opportune time and gives strategic impetus to our strategy of growing partnerships globally to offer our customers more travel options. It is an important step in the execution of our strategy and gives our customers, through our direct flights to Săo Paulo, a number of further travel options to explore Brazil,” said Ramasia.

Ramasia said the mutually beneficial agreement will offer GOL customers the chance to explore the riches of Africa.

The agreement will enable SAA to add its code on flights operated by GOL in the Brazilian territory, which will allow SAA customers to integrate their travel with easy connections on flights of both carriers.

With the codeshare being effective from Thursday, tickets can already be purchased through all SAA sales channels, including

The agreement makes it possible for SAA to add its code on 20 connecting flights in Brazil operated by GOL, including Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Florianópolis, among others. The codeshare with the leading carrier in the domestic Brazilian market extends SAA’s reach throughout Brazil.

Besides the codeshare, the signed Frequent Flyer Programme (FFP) agreement offers members of each airline’s programmes, Voyager from SAA and Smiles from GOL, the opportunity to accrue and redeem miles.

Customers from Smiles can accrue and redeem miles on flights operated by SAA to Africa, Asia and Australia, and Voyager members can accrue and redeem Voyager miles on flights operated by GOL.

GOL’s Director of Alliances, International Expansion and Distribution, Randall Saenz Aguero, said the partnership with SAA was in line with their commitment to offer a larger international connectivity, with quality of service and integrated products of each carrier.

– Source:
A four-seater plane built by 20 South African teens that left Cape Town six weeks ago has landed in Cairo, after successfully completing the 12 000-kilometre journey.
Pilot Megan Werner, 17, founder of U Dream Global, which assembled the Sling 4 aircraft, said she was thrilled by the accomplishment, telling the BBC: “I’m so honoured to have made a difference around the continent at the places we’ve stopped.”

The plane, which was accompanied by a second Sling 4 flown by professionals, landed in Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda to give motivational talks, the BBC said. The plane was not allowed to land in Kenya at the last minute because of routing issues.

Pilot, author and motivational speaker Werner from Krugersdorp, sparked by her passion to inspire, started U Dream Global to uplift, empower, equip and transform the lives of thousands of youth throughout Africa and the world by dreaming and achieving the impossible … as well as succeeding beyond expectations.

She and the others built the plane in three weeks from a kit.

They intend to fly the aircraft back to South Africa again.

Voluntary support for logistical aspects of the flight were provided by CFS, ExecuJet, World fuel and Mike Blyth, founder of The Airplane Factory – the enterprise that designed and built the original Sling plane series. The prototype of the Sling 4 was chosen because this type has already been flown twice around the world.

U Dream Global said: “The teens have landed in Cairo! Cape to Cairo Challenge accomplished! Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey!”

– Source:
A 21-year-old from Durban was the youngest out of 120 entrepreneurs named by Forbes Africa in its latest Top 30 Under 30 awards. Avthar Aniruth won in the Business Category.
An innovative, self-taught 21-year-old, Aniruth is founder of Epic Motion Pictures and Audience Networks.

“My obsession with making videos, prompted me to learn the required skills online from the age of 11,” he said. “Video is the future and I learnt everything I know online. During my visit to the NAB show in Las Vegas, I saw the opportunity in green screen technology and knew that this was the future of video production.”

At a newly built, state-of-the-art green screen studio in Umhlanga, he has produced shows for DSTV, SABC 1, 2 and 3.

Aniruth was named with the other winners at an event last week in Johannesburg. It was the fifth annual Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list. The 120 young African “change makers” – in the categories of business, sport, creatives and technology – are “in the driving seat of Africa’s next big start-up, creative concept, or rising business venture.” Most of the winners were from South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

In the Creatives Category, the youngest winner was the 22-year-old South African Menzi Mcunu, who owns Afrocentric Gentlemvn, an African lifestyle brand that merges European aesthetics and African elegance with suit measurement and creative consultancy services.

Renuka Methil, the Managing Editor of Forbes, Africa said, “The Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list has over the last five years come to be a highly respected and sought-after collection of tomorrow’s leaders today”.

– Source:
Tributes are pouring in for veteran actress Nomhle Nkonyeni, who passed away on Wednesday, 10 July 2019.
Film producer Anant Singh sent his condolences to the Nkonyeni family.

“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of film and television actress, Nomhle Nkonyeni.

“I had the privilege of working with Nomhle on our Truth and Reconciliation Commission film, Red Dust, in which she starred opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and Hilary Swank.

“Nomhle was extremely talented and was a role model and inspiration to the film and television community,” said Singh.

The 77-year-old actress, who has been in the industry for more than 50 years, acted in shows such as Igazi, Mzansi and Tsha Tsha.

In a tweet, the South African Broadcasting Corporation sent its condolences to the family, friends and fans of the legendary actress.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fans of the legendary actress Nomhle Nkonyeni. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” read the tweet.

Nkonyeni was recently bestowed the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver by President Cyril Ramaphosa for her work in the arts.

The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

– Source:
The Langa Methodist Church in Cape Town is on a high after its choir was handpicked as one of the opening acts at this year's Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in England.
"The church is very excited," church secretary Zola May told News24 after the choir performed on the famous Pyramid Stage, described by organisers as "the most instantly recognised festival stage in the world".

Artists who were in the line-up this year included Billie Eilish, Stormzy and George Ezra, with past stars, including the Rolling Stones and Beyonce.

After their performance on Sunday, 30 June 2019, they also sang at the St Just Miners Chapel in Cornwall on Wednesday, 3 July.

The town was once the heart of tin mining in the region, according to the Cornwall Guide, and the church's emblem includes a mineworker's pick.

The choir was met by the village mayor and escorted through the streets by the mayor and a local Scouts troop, according to the church's Facebook page.
May told News24 that it all came about quite unexpectedly.

Last year, they had been asked if somebody could come and listen to them sing.

“Only to find out there is a guy coming from London called Michael Eavis," said May.

Eavis is none other than the founder of the festival, where musical lovers trek to once a year to listen to and see some of the best live bands, singers and entertainers in the world.

The 2019 festival also made a big push to protect the environment after previous years, when fans left tents and rubbish behind. It included attractions such as a bee-powered art installation and woodturning classes to make your own magic wand.

Before Eavis' visit to the church in the sun-washed suburb east of Cape Town, the choir had already sung for a Shoprite commercial.

"He listened to them singing and then he went back [home]," said May.

Eavis, who is in his 80s, travelled to Cape Town a second time for another listen.

May said they had closed the church office as usual for the December holidays.

But when they reopened in January, there was an urgent email waiting in their inbox.

It contained an invitation to sing at the festival, with flights and accommodation to Worthy Farm in Somerset to be covered by the organisers.

– Source:
Ed Sheeran fans, get ready! The Grammy award-winning singer recently announced a string of pop-up stores worldwide to promote his latest album – and South Africa is on the list!
The muso made the exciting announcement in a special message on Instagram, to his South African fans.

"Hello to everyone in South Africa. To celebrate the release of my new record, No.6 Collaborations Project, I’m doing a pop-up store in Sandton City. So please, look out for that," the I Don’t Care singer said in his video.

The British muso, who recently performed in South Africa as part of his Divide music tour, will have CDs and vinyl records of his new album for sale at popular Sandton City in Johannesburg.

The store will be open on 12 and 13 July from 09:00 to 18:00.

– Source: Instagram, People
Celebrity chef Zola Nene flew the South African flag high after winning an award at the prestigious International Gourmand Cookbook Award, which took place recently in China.
The Celeb Feasts With Zola host took to Instagram to share her proud moment where her second cookbook, Simply Zola: The Journey Continues, won under the Best In The World Category.

"SIMPLY ZOLA – BEST IN THE WORLD!. It’s official, we won! My second cookbook has won an International Gourmand Cookbook Award . . . I’m so happy!," she wrote before thanking her team and fans for the support.

– Source:
The documentary film “STROOP – Journey into the Rhino Horn War” has just won two more awards against all odds – the Backsberg Encounters Audience Award back home, and a Genesis Award in Los Angeles … at a festival that included awards for international movie-making icons like Stephen Spielberg and Natalie Portman!
South Africa’s multi-award winning documentary scooped the Genesis Award in the Outstanding Brigitte Bardot International Documentary Feature Film category in LA.

STROOP presenter and filmmaker Bonné de Bod said on Sunday: “We are so thrilled! It’s wonderful that this independent, crowd-funded film on the heroes trying to tackle our rhino poaching crisis is being honoured in such a huge way and just shows me once again, that the world views this as vitally important.”

The Genesis Awards recognise excellent work in media with a special focus on outstanding reporting of animal protection issues.

“This massive recognition just keeps shining a global light on South Africa’s effort  to save our rhinos and that it can’t be ignored,” says De Bod.

The winners in only 15-categories included Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic World for tackling wildlife trafficking, Natalie Portman’s vegan film Eating Animals, Ellen DeGeneres for her television show that always highlights gorilla protection issues as well as iconic American institutions like The New York Times, 60-Minutes and Sesame Street.

– Source:
Thembinkosi Lorch scored on 85 minutes to give South Africa a stunning 1-0 victory over Africa Cup of Nations hosts Egypt after a pulsating last-16 clash in Cairo on Saturday, 6 July 2019.
After three woeful group performances, South Africa were rank outsiders against the record seven-time African champions, whose line-up included Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

A see-saw struggle was settled when a swift counterattack allowed Lebo Mothiba to send Lorch through and he fired past goalkeeper Mohamed Elshenawy.

The winners were unrecognisable from the team that struggled in the group stage as they displayed sharpness and desire not previously evident.

South Africa will face arch-rivals Nigeria, who eliminated defending champions Cameroon earlier on Saturday, in the quarter-finals.

South Africa made two changes, both in midfield, from the team that lost to Morocco and squeezed into the second round with the worst record of the best four third-place teams.

However, Bafana Bafana lost 2-1 to Nigeria in the quarter-finals. Coach Stuart Baxter said that despite his side's dramatic 2-1 defeat to Nigeria in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations they had shown they could compete with the best on the continent.

– Source:
Eight-times Wimbledon champ Roger Federer has confirmed he will play Rafael Nadal in Cape Town at a charity match that will benefit children in the area. Tickets will go on sale in September.
The match will take place on 7 February 2020 at 8 pm. (20h00).and apart from raising funds for Education Africa, the two tennis icons also plan to break a world-record for the most attendees at a tennis match ever.

And judging from South Africans’ reactions to the news, the sportsmen couldn’t have chosen a better location for their challenge. Within four hours of posting the news on their Facebook page, the post on Woodhill College Tennis Academy had received over 1 000 shares with locals saying “there’s no question, I’m there!”.

The event is certain to be entertaining, with not only the opportunity to watch two of the world’s best tennis legends battle it out … but there’ll be a celebrity pro-doubles match curtain-raiser featuring Federer and Microsoft’s Bill Gates versus Nadal and one of South Africa’s most famous expats, comedian Trevor Noah.

Another South African expat is sure to be at the match – Federer’s mother, Lynette (née Durand), who grew up in Joburg and was a top athlete at school in several sports.

Federer – who holds dual Swiss and South African citizenships – said to the ATP Tour: “This match in Africa is a dream comes true. I will play in my mother’s home country against my toughest rival and friend Rafa Nadal.

“We share not only the love for tennis but also for the good cause of giving children a better start in education and in life. I feel privileged to have other leading philanthropists on board to entertain millions of people in the stadium and on TV. It will be a once‐in-lifetime moment for my family and I.”

Nadal said: “Roger and I have shared so many magical moments on and off the court. Travelling with him to Cape Town and playing for the benefit of children is something I am very excited about. It will be my first time in the region with Roger as a tour guide – that will be fun.”
“Mr President,

"We congratulate Peru on its Presidency of the Security Council, and welcome today’s important discussion.

“We also thank the briefers for their insightful views on this subject.

“Mr President,

“Terrorism and organised crime, including transnational organised crime, are certainly some of the most pressing threats to international peace and security. We therefore welcome the opportunity of this open debate to further deliberate on the linkages between these threats.

“We are pleased by the continued evolution of attention to this subject, including its consideration in various Security Council resolutions such as resolutions 2195 and 2462. Based on my country’s experience, South Africa has always held the view that the link between transnational organised crime and international terrorism is context specific. We do, however, support Peru’s call, in its draft Security Council Resolution on this topic,which is currently under negotiation, for a comprehensive, up-to-date study of the inter-linkages of these threats, to be conducted by the UN. As Peru has proposed, this study should take place with the contributions of the UNODC as well as CTED, the UNOCT, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, and other relevant Global Compact entities.

“We are of the view that a study of this nature, and its concluding report, would provide member states with a solid basis for further refining our responses to these complex challenges, established from a common understanding of their global threat profile. We firmly believe that the study will also provide a comprehensive picture of the deficiencies that exist to deal with these threats, including the need to address the lack of capacity, especially when it comes to data collection

“Mr President,

"While we feel it is important to expand on our understanding of these challenges, we are nevertheless acutely aware of their severity, and adverse impact on states’ resources intended to maintain peace, security, stability and to pursue socio-economic development.

“Mr President,

"Those involved in transnational organised crime and acts of terrorism appear to be resilient, strategic and are adept in executing their operations globally, including targeting areas with weak law enforcement, endemic corruption and lack of resources to detect their activities.

"The ubiquity of the threats of terrorism and organised crime, including transnational organised crime, necessarily demands of us a collaborative, multilateral response. In this regard, we applaud the UN for its significant, ongoing efforts, spearheaded by the vision of the Secretary-General, and ably led by Under-Secretary-General Voronkov, in his stewardship of the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism.

“We particularly welcome Mr Voronkov’s “One UN” approach to addressing these common-challenges, which we feel is an essential element for a successful, multilateral response-effort that will assist to merge the focus of the large, complex, and often compartmentalised UN architecture that has developed around these issues.

“Mr President,

“As I conclude my remarks, allow me to offer some general observations on how we might jointly be able to improve our common efforts to address international terrorism and organised crime, and their complex inter-linkages. Firstly, we believe that it is of great importance that our efforts to understand these complex challenges are rooted in engaging with the local communities and individuals in affected areas, whose first-hand perspectives and nuanced understanding of the conditions that perpetuate crime and terrorism, is absolutely invaluable in ultimately addressing these issues.

“Secondly, that it is equally important that counter-terror and de-radicalisation programmes are community-led and driven, and are representative of the population that is affected by these challenges, and ideally, should incorporate religious and community leadership, in challenging poisonous ideologies, and narratives, and offering alternative views.

“These views are guided of course by certain fundamental principles which underpin South Africa’s approach to counter-terrorism, which are:
  • our firm belief in the importance of addressing the socio-economic, contributing- conditions that breed terrorism, as well as organised crime
  • the importance of ensuring that international counter-terrorism efforts are coordinated by the UN, as the most appropriate, representative structure, for coordinating our actions against this global challenge
  • the critical importance of ensuring that counter-terror efforts are conducted in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law, and do not result in unnecessary casualties, which can further deepen resentments, and hatred, and ultimately perpetuate a cycle of terrorism.
“Mr President,

"Allow me to conclude in reaffirming South Africa’s steadfast commitment to fighting the scourge of terrorism and organised crime, and its inter-linkages where these exist, in all of its various forms and manifestations, at national, regional and international levels.

“I thank you.”
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