Issue 393 | 6 September 2019
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Consular Awareness Programme
  President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to desist from fuelling tensions in the wake of violence that has gripped the country in the last two weeks.
“I am calling upon each one of us to desist from fuelling a climate of fear and confusion,” said the President.

President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday evening, 5 September 2019, through a national broadcast on radio and television on matters of public and gender-based violence that have gripped the country.

Addressing the public violence, the President said the country had been deeply traumatised by acts of violence and criminality directed against foreign nationals and South African citizens.

“We know that at least 10 people have been killed in this violence, two of whom were a foreign nationals. No amount of anger and frustration and grievance can justify such acts of destruction and criminality.

“There can be no excuse for the attacks on the homes and businesses of foreign nationals, just as there can be no excuse for xenophobia or any other form of intolerance,” he said.

Equally, President Ramaphosa stressed that there was no justification for the looting and destruction of businesses owned by South Africans.

“The people from other countries on our continent stood with us in our struggle against apartheid.

“We worked together to destroy apartheid and overcome the divisions it created, where we feared each other and our differences were exploited,” he said.

The President called on South Africans to work to strengthen political, social and trade ties in an effort to develop the country’s economy and that of its neighbours.

He also called on communities with genuine grievances to address these through engagement and dialogue.

In the same breathe, the President warned that no stone would be left unturned in addressing criminal activity.

“But where people act with criminal intent, irrespective of their nationality, we will not hesitate to act to uphold the law and ensure order and stability,” he said.

The President commended law enforcement and security agencies for their swift action to restore stability in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

“The violence has largely subsided and police have increased reinforcements and visibility in priority areas to ensure the safety of all within South African borders.

“The criminal justice system is ready to deal with perpetrators of violence, looting and lawlessness,” said President Ramaphosa.

Since Sunday, 423 people have been arrested for violence-related offences in Gauteng and 21 suspects have been arrested in relation to truck violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Fake news

With several fake videos, photographs and messages, swirling on social media amid the violence, President called on citizens to act responsibly.

“We must act responsibly and stop disseminating fake videos, photographs and messages, especially on social media, with an intention of negatively portraying our country and its people.

“This misinformation is also being disseminated in neighbouring countries and throughout the world, causing panic and putting lives in danger,” said the President.

Work together to end violence

Calling for calm, President Ramaphosa said this was time for all who live in the country to confront challenges directly and earnestly, not through violence, but through dialogue.

He called on all religious leaders and communities to lead the country in prayer and contemplation this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“In all churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, let us humble ourselves and bring healing to our nation. As a nation, we have endured moments of uncertainty before,” he said.

President Ramaphosa called on the nation to work together to end all violence including the violence against the women and children of the country.

“Let us build the South Africa we want, and which all our people so richly deserve,” he said. – Source:
  President Cyril Ramaphosa has on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa expressed his sincere condolences to the people and Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the passing of Founding President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
President Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence President, has passed away in Singapore at the age of 95.

Paying tribute to President Mugabe, President Ramaphosa said: “South Africans join the people and Government of Zimbabwe in mourning the passing of a liberation fighter and champion of Africa’s cause against colonialism.”

“Under President Mugabe’s leadership, Zimbabwe’s sustained and valiant struggle against colonialism inspired our own struggle against apartheid and built in us the hope that one day South Africa too would be free.

“During the decades of our own struggle, Zimbabwe’s liberation movement supported our own liberation movement to fight oppression on multiple fronts. After Zimbabwe achieved independence, the apartheid state brutalised and violated Zimbabwe as punishment for supporting our own struggle.

“Many Zimbabweans paid with their lives so that we could be free. We will never forget or dishonor this sacrifice and solidarity.”

Early in his life, President Mugabe won a scholarship to Fort Hare University where he obtained the first of his seven academic degrees.

President Ramaphosa also acknowledged the role President Mugabe had played in advancing regional solidarity, integration and development through Zimbabwe’s participation in the Southern African Development Community.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the South African delegation to the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), taking place from 4 to 6 September 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The delegation comprises Deputy President David Mabuza; and the Ministers of Finance; Health; Trade and Industry; Small Business Development; International Relations and Cooperation; Human Settlements; Higher Education and Training; Communications and Digital Technologies; Transport; Public Works and Infrastructure; Environment, Forestry and Fisheries; and Public Enterprises.

Held under the theme “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the forum is attended by heads of state and government from the continent and the world, as well as global leaders from business and civil society.

Delegates engage in and share best practices on various ways to grow their economies.

“South Africa is once again honoured to host this globally important gathering and we look forward to learning from partners and counterparts how best to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth that creates employment and enables us to improve the living conditions of all South Africans,” President Ramaphosa said.

“Now more than ever, South Africa needs to create opportunities that will empower young people.

“At the same time, the forum allows South Africa to showcase the broad range of programmes we have put in place and actions we have taken to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality.”

The forum is a platform for South Africa to profile the ways in which the country has embraced the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and has begun to prepare for challenges arising from the interplay between technology and people.

South Africa is also learning from countries that have excelled in using technology and the 4IR to advance their economies.

A wide range of issues are being discussed at the meeting, including the future of state-owned enterprises, infrastructure, promoting female leadership, investing in mental health and achieving universal health coverage, Africa's climate change challenges, fighting financial crime, trade, education, energy, building Africa’s digital economy and contributing to inclusive growth, and reskilling workers for the 4IR.
Team South Africa’s objectives at WEFA 2019 are to:
  • position South Africa as a destination of choice with a large presence of successful domestic and multinational investors who benefit from the country’s location, infrastructure and logistics

  • profile investment opportunities in diverse sectors of South Africa’s economy.
The President and his delegation is further highlighting that South Africa has prudent macro-economic policies; is restructuring its state-owned enterprises to position them to grow the economy; is striving to improve its competitiveness through a commitment to create an enabling environment for trade and investment; remains committed to innovations and technologies that will advance the country and the continent into the 4IR, and is also strongly committed to the African development agenda.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, 3 September 2019, held discussions with The Elders, an eminent group of global human rights and peace campaigners and former heads of government.  
Talks centred on South Africa’s introduction of the National Health Insurance (NHI) as part of achieving universal health coverage.

The Deputy Chair of the Elders, Graca Machel; Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and Director-General of the World Health Organisation; and Ricardo Lagos, the former President of Chile, visited South Africa as part of their now three-year-old global campaign in support of universal healthcare.

The WHO defines universal healthcare as meaning all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, which ought to be of sufficient quality to be effective. At the same time, the use of these services should not expose users to financial hardship.

The Elders were founded by the late former President Nelson Mandela in 2007. Since 2016, the group has visited countries, including Tanzania, Indonesia, India and the United States to advance their belief that publicly-funded healthcare is the best way to meet the United Nations’ overall Sustainable Development Goal on health, particularly to improve the health outcomes of women, girls and adolescents.

The Elders met with Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, and will engage with stakeholders, government leaders, health sector leaders and civil society in an effort to understand South Africa’s journey to universal health coverage in relation to the introduction of the NHI.

Parliament is currently engaged in public consultation on the NHI Bill, which envisages access to healthcare based on the values of justice, fairness and social solidarity.

On 3 September, the delegation met the Portfolio Committee on Health in Parliament and had discussions with President Ramaphosa on how best South Africa can introduce health reforms that would lead to universal health coverage. – Source:
On 29 August 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa successfully concluded a Working Visit to Japan where he participated in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) in Yokohama.  
TICAD VII was hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from 28 to 30 August 2019 and was convened under the theme “Advancing Africa’s Development through Technology, Innovation and People”.

The summit sought to further deepen trade and investment, capacity and skills development, networking and people’s exchange between African nations and Japan.

The President, as part of the activities ahead of the opening of the TICAD VII, visited the Nissan Motor Corporation headquarters in Yokohama where he also engaged with business leaders at a South Africa-Japan Business Forum and encouraged potential investors to collaborate with South Africa and the African continent to establish their businesses in the next frontier market in the world.

President Ramaphosa invited investors to attend the South Africa Investment Conference, which is scheduled to take place in November 2019. “South Africa has been a good partner to Japanese businesses over the years, and we have been able to address the challenges and constraints that were raised; we seek to be an entrepreneurial nation and our objective is for business to succeed,” President Ramaphosa said.

With South Africa hosting Japanese investments of more than R90 billion, President Ramaphosa called for expanded interaction between South African companies and Japanese counterparts in both markets.

During a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the two leaders agreed to cooperate in the maritime sector and in the protection of the marine environment; to investigate a possible expansion of access to the Japanese market for South African citrus producers; and to expand training programmes for South Africans in both countries.

President Ramaphosa also addressed the TICAD Science and Technology in Society Forum, which plays a role in forging international partnerships to enhance the role of technology in the development of society. The President, on behalf of South Africa, endorsed the focus of science, technology and innovation as a priority theme for TICAD VII, given its great potential to accelerate African development through mutually beneficial partnerships with Japan.
“Such investment and expansion is critical if we are to achieve the priorities set out in our continent’s platform for action Agenda 2063. After all, it is science and innovation that produced vaccines that save the lives of millions of children on the continent.”

The President said partnerships between governments and business enabled innovation to thrive and innovation should give rise to solutions across sectors such as health and agriculture and should encourage the location of research infrastructure in Africa.

The President co-chaired summit plenary sessions on accelerated economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private-sector engagement with the Deputy Prime Minister of Japan, Taro Aso. The President implored that for Africa’s economy to grow and attract foreign direct investment to increase the potential for job creation and poverty alleviation, all nation states had to review their existing laws to lessen risks, tackle corruption and strengthen public accountability institutions.

President Ramaphosa also addressed the Japan-South Africa Business Expo, which was hosted by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and was attended by 150 Japanese exhibitor companies and business people from Africa. JETRO announced that 57% of Japanese firms currently based in Africa were planning to expand their businesses in the forthcoming future.

At the thematic session on climate change, chaired by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, President Ramaphosa said that South Africa was working towards implementing the Sendai Framework while ensuring its appropriate integration with the broader climate change and sustainable development agenda.

The African continent contributes less than 6% of global greenhouses gas emissions and has often been disproportionately affected by more frequent extreme weather and climate events. The President acknowledged that climate change hold a serious potential threat to Africa’s development and prosperity and this called on all nation states to develop future-proof economic growth models.

President Ramaphosa had bilateral meetings with President Mummadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda, President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Vice President James Wani Igga of the Republic of South Sudan.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied at the TICAD VII by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel; and Minister of Higher Education and Training, Science and Technology, Dr Bonginkosi Nzimande.
The Minister of International Relation and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has expressed her disappointment at having to take the decision to support the closure of the South African High Commission in Abuja and the Consulate in Lagos.
  Both offices were closed on Tuesday, 3 September 2019, following concerns reported to the Minister by officials at both these missions. This followed the receipt of threats against the mission staff as well as the property of South Africa. After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders as well as a security assessment of threats, the Mission and the department took the decision to close the offices.

At this point, there has been no direct physical threat to any of our diplomats and citizens, however, we view their safety as a priority and have thus taken the precautionary measure of closing, while the situation remains somewhat unpredictable.

The Minister expressed displeasure at misleading reports circulating on social media about a direct physical attack on the acting Head of Mission. These reports are totally false, as are reports of vandalism at the Commission in Abuja and the Consulate in Lagos.

Our acting Head of Mission is in constant communication with the department and with the authorities in Nigeria, who are providing extra security at South African offices. The department has received reports of marches by demonstrators to South African companies as well as attempts to attack them. We are commutating with businesses that have branches in Nigeria and have requested their senior managers to remain in close contact with the department and the Ministry.

“It is established tradition in foreign policy that diplomatic missions should enjoy protection from the host country and while we remain perturbed at the threats directed at our missions, we are grateful to note that the security forces and the government of Nigeria are upholding this long-established practice of foreign policy.”
The Minister confirmed that her directive to the Mission that links should be encouraged between the youth of South Africa and Nigeria and that the Nigerian student association should be invited to visit South Africa had been acted upon. Meetings have been held at the mission with the student organisation and a committee was established to continue the dialogue and work on the detail of the proposed visit.

The department and the Ministry will remain in constant contact with our representatives and will continue to assess the situation on the ground and provide feedback as new information becomes available.

The Minister is planning to meet the African Heads of Mission to South Africa as early as next week.

The Tourism Department says it will leave no stone unturned in its quest to grow tourism and attract tourists to its shores and boost domestic travel.

This is according to Tourism Minister, Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, whose department launched Tourism Month recently.

In growing tourism, South Africa hopes to revitalise the economy and create much-needed jobs in the country.

South Africa celebrates Tourism Month in September, which coincides with World Tourism Day – hosted annually in the same month on 27 September.

“We remain confident that tourism will contribute to our country turning to positive economic growth desired by our government and also contribute to more jobs to its maximum potential,” said the Minister.

The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism and Jobs – A Better Future for All”.

The theme highlights the tourism sector’s vast capability to create jobs and therefore reduce the country’s unemployment rate.

The total consumption of tourism through domestic and international tourism for 2018 directly accounted for 2.9% of the country’s gross domestic product, and accounted for 4.5% of total employment.

In 2018, domestic tourism contributed R26.4 billion in revenue.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said her department believed with aggressive marketing this figure could double.

With a target to attract over 21 million international tourists by 2030, the department highlighted three core areas to achieve this target.

The first is to continue to work closely with the Department of Home Affairs on visa facilitation to increase access to the country by tourists.

Secondly, work closely with the police to address the concerns of safety.

Lastly, the department will drive an aggressive marketing campaign for both domestic and international markets.

“This will involve target marketing to countries with potential for our international market and focussed campaigns, for example, to millennials in the language they understand and by the people they can relate to,” said the Minister.

In an effort to drive international marketing in the coming months, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane will lead a delegation that will unlock more potential to the Asian markets, focussing on China and India, as well as unlocking potential in the Middle East and North American markets.

“We will continue to work extensively to sustain our current markets so that there is still balance and we don’t lose our current numbers while pursuing new markets to expand and grow,” said the Minister.

On the domestic front, the Minister said her department was working on a mechanism to ensure that people with low household income know of their options for travelling.

As part of promoting domestic tourism, Standard Bank has offered to sponsor five individuals who will spend a weekend with the Minister of Tourism during the month of September.

The individuals will be selected by the Minister and preference will be given to people who fall in the category of auxiliary services such cleaners and security guards.

“I am deeply encouraged by the support of the private sector and other stakeholders to walk this journey with us.

“A journey of a people united by the resolve to leverage off our country’s rich cultural diversity, our wildlife, our national parks, our heritage, our beaches, the breathtaking scenic views of our beautiful country,” she said.

The Minister called on all South Africans to be ambassadors of their country, to travel and experience its length and breadth. – Source:
  Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, launched the 2019 Heritage Month on Monday, 2 September 2019, at the National Library of South Africa in Pretoria.
This year’s Heritage Month is celebrated under the theme, “Celebrating South Africa’s Literary Classics in the Year of Indigenous Languages”. The theme is in line with UNESCO’s declarations of 2019 as “The Year of Indigenous Languages” to afford the international community to develop, promote and, to collectively celebrate indigenous languages.

During the activation, Minister Mthethwa outlined a month-long programme of activities aimed at addressing challenges pertaining to the development and promotion of South Africa’s indigenous language and systems; as well as promotion and preservation of the country’s rich and diverse heritage, national identity, nation-building and social cohesion.

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) said farewell to the “SA Agulhas II” and the Gough 65 expedition team, as they departed on this year’s Relief Voyage to Gough Island on 2 September 2019.

The department’s Deputy Director-General of Environmental Programmes, Dr Guy Preston, will lead the team that constructed the test hut, which will be stationed on Gough Island during the annual relief voyage in September 2019. The hut is mainly comprised of wood-plastic composite material, poplar and gum wood, produced from the invasive biomass cleared under the department’s Working for Water Programme.

The aim is to test the potential of using these materials for future island infrastructure, and particularly the scope to withstand the harsh weather conditions on Gough Island, and potentially Marion Island and Antarctica.

South Africa’s use of Gough Island is primarily to operate a full year weather observation station, one of three important weather stations globally. The quality of South African and international weather forecasts relies on the availability of data inputs from the Gough Island region. Gough Island is a volcanic island rising from the South Atlantic Ocean to heights of over 900 metres above sea level with an area of 91 km².
Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) was named Africa’s Leading Airport for the third consecutive year at the 26th World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony held in Mauritius recently.
CITIA is managed by the Airports Company South Africa, is the third-largest airport in Africa and global travellers continue to regard Cape Town as a destination of choice.

Over the past few years, CITIA has shown sustained growth in international passenger numbers with a 9.6% increase in 2018. For the first time in December 2016, the airport exceeded the 10 million passenger-per-year milestone.

This was repeated again in December 2017 and 2018 when passenger numbers significantly exceeded the 10 million passenger mark. Through partnerships such as Cape Town Air Access, the airport has seen 15 new routes and 19 route expansions since 2015, and a doubling of international seat capacity by 1.5 million seats.

The airport will focus on key infrastructure projects planned over the next five years. – Source:
  MSC Cruises will be building a R200-million cruise-ship terminal in Durban.
The company has also added a second cruise ship, meaning it will be moving 50 000 new passengers through the Durban and Cape Town harbours.

The new Durban Cruise Terminal will be built by the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium (KTC).

“This multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world,” said Ross Volk, MD for MSC Cruises South Africa.

This follows “significant growth” in demand, Volk said. Last year’s cruise season saw a 25% increase in guests compared to the same period in 2017/18.

Cruises, he says, are increasingly becoming an appealing holiday choice for South Africans as they offer an affordable all-inclusive vacation. 

The planned terminal is a vast improvement from Durban port’s N-Shed, which has served as a makeshift cruise terminal for several years.

"All the partners in the initiative will shortly sign off the final design of the terminal and ground-breaking is scheduled to begin in November this year,” said Volk.

Volk said the design phase took a little longer than anticipated, but it was now expected to be operational by January 2021.

MSC Cruises also said it was in conversations to improve traffic flow from Cape Town’s harbour terminal entrance, located in the V&A Waterfront.

From December 2020, MSC will be bringing two ships to South Africa’s shores: the MSC Opera (which can host 2 500 guests at a time), which will be homeported in Cape Town, will join MSC Musica (3 200 guests) homeported in Durban. – Source:
The world's largest 3D printing machine, right here in South Africa, is looking to enter the commercial market.  


The towering machine, dubbed the Aeroswift, sits at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria and was completed in 2017.

Now, the Aeroswift team is looking towards the full commercialisation of the machine.

During a briefing at the CSIR recently, the council's Dr Ntombi Mathe said that while the Aeroswift, which cost more than R100 million to build, was a research and developmental tool, there had been a lot of interest in the use of the 3D printer for commercial purposes.

Mathe said they were looking to secure a few contracts with international suppliers that wanted large parts built. The Aeroswift currently focusses on the printing of parts for the aerospace industry.

One such part that the Aeroswift project has already created is a throttle grip for an aeroplane. Made from titanium, it's more durable than the current plastic throttles made, but still just as light in weight.

Londiwe Motibane, a CSIR candidate researcher working with the Aeroswift programme with a focus on thermal stress management of applications created by the 3D printer, said the technology would benefit South Africa.

The Aeroswift will allow South Africa to export semi-finished and finished goods as opposed to just raw materials, making it a competitor in the 3D printing economy worldwide.

"Worldwide, there is a lot of 3D printing going on, using different materials. What we have here is the material that then is able to shift your aerospace type of manufacturing," Motibane said.

The Aeroswift programme mainly works with titanium.

Motibane said the advantage of the large Aeroswift machine was that they were able to build larger parts and build parts faster. – Source:
Until about the 1400s, millions of elephants roamed most of Africa except its arid deserts. Today, most of the few who remain are in designated refuges, owing mostly to the ivory trade.
Many others are in captivity, in zoos and other small, often private enclosures.

In Hermanus on 6 September, elephant specialists from around Africa will take part in a conference, Taking Elephants out of the Room, to begin the process of dealing with issues of their captivity, welfare and the ethics of their confinement.

A respected veteran Ambroseli elephant researcher, Dr Joyce Poole, will discuss who elephants are and why they are not suited for captivity.
The conference follows the Geneva meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), which ended on 28 August where the trade in live elephants and ivory sparked off furious debate.

In an historic victory for elephants, a two-thirds majority of member parties voted elephants may not be removed from their wild habitats except under exceptional circumstances.

Extracting elephants from the wild for human pleasure in zoos was now internationally unacceptable, according to the agreement.

Elephants are in crisis with at least 20 000 being illegally killed each year for their ivory. On average around 55 elephants are poached every day in Africa - that is roughly one every 26 minutes.
The Cites Congress was petitioned by renowned conservationist Jane Goodall as well as celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, Judi Dench, Brigette Bardot, Pamela Anderson, Joanna Lumley and Bryan Adams, to uphold the ban on the capture of wild baby African elephants for export to zoos and circuses.

A "hidden" statistic is the number of elephants being kept in small enclosures or used for elephant-back rides, a practice that requires using leg chains and sharp bull-hooks.

Topics under discussion at the Hermanus conference will be the importance of neuroscience in elephant conservation; the capture and sale of young elephants in Zimbabwe; the way in which elephants are financially exploited; the state of zoos; the myth of "acceptable destinations" for translocated elephants; problems with sustainable use; welfare and stress in captivity; and elephants' importance in nature.

The conference will be opened by Khoisan leader Chief Stephen Fritz and delegates will include Dr Joyce Poole of Elephant Voices; Dr Marion Garai and Dr Yolanda Pretorius of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group; Lenin Chisaira of the Zimbabwe People and Earth Solidarity Law Network; Professor David Bilchitz of Animal Law Reform; Dr Gay Bradshaw of the Kerulos Centre for Nonviolence in the United States; advocate Jim Karani from the High Court of Kenya; conservation biologist Keith Lindsay; elephant reintegration specialist Brett Mitchell; and Kenyan animal welfare specialist Kahindi Lekalhaile.

The aim will be to create a framework within which to assess the "imprisonment" of captive elephants and to set standards for their ethical treatment. – Source:
The Ndlovu Youth Choir put their twist on to the classic “Higher Love”, and it paid off! The proudly South African choir have made it to the finals!!!  

The proudly South African Ndlovu Youth Choir have made their way to the next stage of America’s Got Talent 2019. The group announced on Twitter early that they had made it all the way to the finals!

The choir from South Africa has garnered international attention for their performances and for the semi-finals, they put their spin on “Higher Love” by Whitney Houston and Kygo’s Steve Winwood. The choir got a standing ovation from all four of the judges and the entire house as well.

The judges couldn’t help themselves and danced with great excitement along with our choir. – Source:

For the first time in its history, the John Christie Award for most promising young singer of the year (named after the founder of the Glyndebourne Opera Festival) has gone to a non-British artist – none other than South African soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu.
A graduate of the UCT Opera School, Port Elizabeth-born Mpofu is still digesting the magnitude of this honour.

“I couldn’t believe (the news) then congratulations began pouring in and I shared the news with my family,” Mpofu said of the accolade, which she received news of shortly after returning to South Africa after the 2019 Glyndebourne, in which she made her debut last month.

While the success has been unprecedented, Mpofu admitted that the road to her present triumph had not been smooth.

“After I won second place in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in 2016, I hoped for offers and went for auditions, but to no avail. I was told my voice was difficult to place as I can manage a variety of roles in the lyrical soprano register, and I think there was a preference for a more definite, limited range. I wondered, ‘what next?’ I had no clear direction at that time.”

Demotivated, she concentrated on finishing a postgraduate diploma in Performance Opera at the end of that year. An uninspiring role as Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen did little to boost her confidence, despite a meeting with staff of the Opera School designed to encourage her not to give up on her dreams of a singing career.
  “That was a low point for me. Then out of the blue came the chance of auditioning in Europe through funds made available by the 2017 Nedbank Campaign and I was accepted for the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy. I appeared in Il Viaggio a Reims, which fortunately I knew well as we’d done it at the opera school here.

“At the end of that year (2017), I had some luck with other auditions and was accepted to sing Cunégonde in Candide with Bergen Opera. Then came my chance to participate in the Glyndebourne Opera Festival thanks to Pol Moe of the Bayerische Staatsoper.”

She is now due to join the Glyndebourne autumn tour singing the lead role of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto.

“I have sung it before, which makes the vocal challenge of the part less demanding. I have more time to devote to interpreting the character. I’ve already met the director, Christiane Lutz, and she was very welcoming. I think she’ll be easy to work with. I was introduced to her by her husband, Jonas Kaufmann.”

Kaufmann is one of Europe’s leading tenors and it says much for the progress of this young singer that she now rubs shoulders with top operatic artists in Europe.

Back home, she is doing vocal training with Sarita Stern and anticipates singing in Cape Town next year. – Source:


Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi is set to take New York Fashion Week (NYFW) by storm as her first international trip after being crowned.

The 25-year-old beauty queen was crowned a month ago. NYFW kicks off this Friday, where fashion labels such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Brandon Maxwell, Michael Kors, Jason Wu and Jeremy Scott will debut their latest collections.

Rocking her signature short natural cut, Tunzi’s sartorial choice while in the fashion capital will include proudly African designs from Mozambican designer Eliana Morargy as well as local knitwear designers Laduma Ngxokolo.

Ngxokolo has made a one-of -a-kind Mpondoland-inspired gown for the Eastern Cape-born beauty. Aside from the fashion, during her stay in New York Tunzi will rub shoulders with South African export and Daily Show host Trevor Noah.

Zozi is also scheduled for a seat down with American women’s magazine Essence.

“It is a huge adventure. I am thoroughly looking forward to my time in New York, and, of course, to the entire year of my reign as Miss South Africa,” she said. – Source:
Steve Harvey is bringing "Family Feud", a popular American game show, to South Africa.  
The well-known author, actor, comedian, radio personality, television host and producer, said: “This was all my idea. I have great partners with Freemantle, who is the production company of 'Family Feud' that’s gone digital, globally.

"I was in Botswana last November and Africa has been on my vision board for eight to nine years now. I wanted to come home and do something in my homeland.

“Yes, America is my home and I have a great family there, great friends and great relationships. That’s home but it’s not my homeland. Africa is my homeland. I’ve always wanted to come here and own land. Do something meaningful. And since 'Family Feud' was so popular, I thought, you know what would be great: ‘If African families played against African families and I hosted that'.”

Harvey added: “Eventually my goal is to have South Africa play against Ghana, Joburg against Durban ... My goal is to have it that way. And to have it so massive, almost like a soccer game.” – Source:
  “Building confidence as a freediver is about becoming aware of the innate abilities we have as humans," says South Africa's freedive champion Beth Neale, as she continues to breathe much-needed life into ocean conservation.
The continental record holder has once again defied the odds by breaking her own existing freediving record, and taking the South African Freediving Championship for the fourth time, all in the name of ocean conservation.

On Sunday, 25 August 2019, the South African-born Master Instructor broke her 47-meter no fins freediving record in Bermuda by a further three metres, using nothing but a nose clip. Beth set the previous no fins freediving record in Sodwana Bay last April.

"As humans, we have the ability of mammalian dive reflex", says Beth, "Which allows us to experience life underwater. These physiological responses allow us to relax, lower the heart rate, conserve energy and move blood flow to the vital organs when holding the breath. It is truly magical!”

Her latest daring attempt is raising funds for ocean education programmes, which teach the next generation of Ocean Guardians about the importance of conservation. This is being done through corporate donations and her GoFundMe Campaign – the largest freediving GoFundMe Campaign in history.

“Conditions couldn't have been much better! I had a 20-person support team out on the water with me 12 miles offshore of Bermuda. This was the most relaxed performance of my career, despite having a wardrobe malfunction at 50 meters!”

She explained that the velcro band on her leg, which holds the bottom tag she needs to present to judges on completion, slipped right off her leg because of the compression at depth.

“I had then tucked the tag in my wetsuit, which fell out again at 40 meters,” she continued. “According to my dive computer, these incidents added 15 seconds to the dive, which was a total of 2 minutes 50 seconds.”

“Freediving allows you to connect not only with the ocean, but the body on a deep level, without the cumbrance of gear and distraction of technology,” explained Beth.

Her freediving journey started a decade back in London when, during a particularly low point in her life, Beth happened to watch the film, The Big Blue, and immediately started searching for freediving courses.

Two weeks later, she started on what would become her underwater journey. – Source:
South African high jumper Mpho Links won the only gold for Team South Africa in the athletics at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco.

  Links sailed to victory in 2.20m, while 19-year-old Breyton Poole earned bronze with a height of 2.15m to secure another bronze for South Africa.

Earlier in the day, Ischke Senekal took silver to the discus throw with a heave of 16.18m, while compatriot Meike Strydom landed the shot of 14.64m to claim the bronze medal. Nigerian athlete Oyesade Olatoye won gold with a 16.61m throw.

Sprinter Anaso Jobodwana bagged the bronze medal in the men's 200m final, crossing the finish line in 20.56.

The national men's 4x400m relay squad took second place in the final. The quartet, consisting of Ranti Dikgale, Ashley Hlungwani, Derrick Mokaleng and Thapelo Phora, completed the four-lap contest in 3:03.18.

The South African athletics team closed their campaign at the African Games with a total of 17 medals consisting of one gold, six silvers and 10 bronze.

"We wanted to hear the South African anthem after the gold medals have been elusive in the first four days of competition and we finally got one through Mpho Links," said President of Athletics SA, Aleck Skhosana.

"It becomes for us to struggle at this level to take the higher step of the podium, but this competition has proved that you can’t win them all. We are very happy though that we continue to display great depth in track and field in the absence of several top athletes.

"We congratulate all athletes who finished with honours for their contribution to the overall count of medals for Team South Africa which is managed by SACOC." – Source:
Thirteen years after first donning the South African kit, Bridgitte Hartley got to walk out in it as flag bearer for her country at the closing ceremony of the African Games on Saturday, 31 August 2019.
  "For me it’s a great honour," Hartley, a veteran of three Olympic Games and hoping to extend that run to four in Tokyo next year, said after finishing a successful campaign in Morocco, where she teamed up with Donna Hutton and picked up gold in the K2 200 and 500m events as well as being part of the K4 500m team which also won gold.

"After all these years, it’s the first time that I've been selected as a flag bearer for my country. It’s an honour and something that I will always treasure. This is my second African Games and although I’ve competed in many African Championships in canoeing itself, taking part in a multi-code event like this is special.

"I always wear my national kit with pride and to see us lining up against other African nations is also a proud moment. As an athlete, one can never taken anything for granted and after I won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics there was never any guarantee that I would carry on canoeing at the highest international level. But here I am, seven years later – and loving it. – Source:
The Springboks left for Japan on Friday, 30 August 2019, after around 2 000 South Africans had gathered at OR Tambo International to send them on their way.  

The mood surrounding this group is one of optimism and positivity, and there is a genuine belief that the Boks can challenge for their third World Cup title.

That much was reflected at the departure, where captain Siya Kolisi addressed the vocal group of supporters who had arrived to say their goodbyes.

The Boks had a 25-hour journey to Seki, where they were based before moving to Kumagaya for their warm-up fixture against hosts Japan on 6 September.

"We’d like to say 'thank you to South Africa' for the support and best wishes they have shown the Springboks this week," said coach Rassie Erasmus.

"It has been a busy week and a tiring one at times to be honest. The boys had two hard field sessions as well as morning to night activities with our commercial partners, media and public.

"The support people have shown to the team has been really humbling and inspiring. We’re just a rugby team that is going out there to do our best on the rugby field but we know that when the Springboks are doing well, it gives the country a lift or, at least, I hope it does."

"To have so many people behind us, really gives the boys a lift but, I’ll be honest, the expectations make me nervous.

"But, this is our job and when we are in Japan we’ll be focussed on the main thing, the rugby."

Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, was also present at the airport to send the Boks on their way.

"Each time the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup, they bring confidence to the entire country," he said.

"We want them to be the first team to win the RWC on three different continents and we wish them well for the tournament in Japan."
– Source:

  Tickets for the much-anticipated Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal “Match in Africa”' went on sale at 09:00 on Wednesday, 4 September, via Computicket, and were sold out in minutes.
The match, to be played at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday, 7 February 2020, will help raise funds for the Roger Federer Foundation's educational programmes in Africa.

"This Match in Africa is a dream come true," said Federer.

"I will play in my mother's home country against my toughest rival and friend Rafa Nadal."

Nadal added: "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."

Organisers have confirmed that there will also be a celebrity curtain-raiser match, but stopped short of confirming those participants. – Source:
“Mr President,

“We thank you for convening this meeting. My delegation also thanks the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr Nickolay Mladenov, for his briefing.

“Mr President,

“At the outset, South Africa would like to remind the Council of the UN decisions and its own decisions taken in resolution 242 of 1967 calling for Israel to withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict. South Africa would like to express its unwavering support for the two-state solution, and the agreed peace processes aimed at ensuring two viable states with the possibility of coexisting side by side to the mutual benefit of all peoples in the region. We also express our grave concern about the continued disregard for the prevailing and long-standing Middle East Peace Process, such as the systematic foreclosing of the final status issues particularly with regard to the borders, and the status of Jerusalem.

“Mr President,

“South Africa believes that the continued expansion of settlements violates international law, undermines the prospects for peace, and contravenes the decision of the Security Council, effectively damaging its credibility. If the Council cannot uphold its own decisions, it begins to lose its effectiveness of purpose. We, continue to call on the implementation of Resolution 2334 (2016), and note that overt violations of UN Security Council Resolutions usually evokes stricter measures on the party responsible for the infringement.

“Mr President,

“South Africa believes that the Council ought to work towards restoring the trust in the legitimate peace process that has been pursued for decades, and prevent the further development of antagonism between the parties. The rockets fired into Israel from Gaza in recent days and the deadly Israeli responses are clear indications that as long as the impasse continues, instability will be perpetuated and more lives will be lost.

“We further call for written reports by the Secretary-General on this matter, in accordance with Resolution 2334 (2016) and we look forward to the circulation of a written report ahead of the next reporting period in September. Furthermore, we also express our concern at the continued human rights violations in the occupied territories, and emphasize those violations only contribute to the festering hatred between the Palestine and Israel. We believe instead of antagonistic gestures such as the building of further barriers and walls, closing of schools and killing of civilians, the Council should encourage gestures of hope and building of trust between the parties, which have long since been lacking.

“Mr President,

“South Africa proposes that the Council should also re-consider its long delayed visit to the region. In this regard, Should some members of the Council be unwilling to participate in the visit, the Council should consider a ‘mini-mission’, which could include those members interested in being part of the visit. We believe a visit to the region will be a clear indication that the international community has not washed its hands of the core and oldest conflict in the Middle East. Similarly to the Council’s other field visits, it will also offer Council members an opportunity to meet relevant actors on the ground, including government and civil society role-players.

“In conclusion Mr President, South Africa remains firmly convinced that dialogue is the only viable option that can effectively address the issue of self-determination for the people of Palestine and call on this Council to implement its own resolutions, including resolution 2334. For South Africa, we remain hopeful and would continue to urge both sides to resume the peace process, for a comprehensive, just and lasting resolution of the Palestinian issue. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and simultaneously the 75th anniversary of the UN Security Council, we should recall and implement relevant Security Council resolutions, establishing the state of Israel, which we did and the state of Palestine which we are failing to establish.

“I thank you.”
“Mr President,

“I would like to thank Mr Ghassan Salamé for his briefing on the situation in Libya. I also thank the Chair of the 1970 Committee, Ambassador Jürgen Schulz, for his briefing on the work of the Committee and Ms Marwa Mohamed as the Head of Advocacy and Outreach of Lawyers for Justice in Libya.

“Mr President,

South Africa commends the UN Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr Ghassan Salamé, for their tireless efforts in bringing together all the Libyan parties and stakeholders with the aim of reaching an agreement and a permanent ceasefire. In this regard, we welcome the SRSG’s three-step proposal to bring an end to the conflict.

“Mr President,

“Eight years since the start of Libya, the country remains deeply divided and on the brink of a civil war. The failure by the Libyan parties to reach an agreement in ending the conflict has dire consequences for the Libyan people as well as for wider regional security. Furthermore, this crisis has exacerbated the current migrant crisis. South Africa wishes to echo the sentiments of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council which stressed “the need for a peaceful and consensual solution to the Libyan crisis which continues to impact negatively on the security and the stability of neighbouring countries”.

“Mr President,

“I wish to utilise our interaction today to focus my intervention on three key issues; one, there can be no military solution to the conflict in Libya. As such, South Africa calls all on parties to agree to a permanent ceasefire and return to political dialogue. South Africa will continue to support the convening of a Libyan National Peace and Reconciliation Forum, preceded by a National Dialogue Conference in order to unify the people of Libya. In this regard, we commend the role played by UNSMIL in supporting these processes.

“Two, my delegation remains convinced that the resolution of the Libyan crisis lies in the close consultation and cooperation between the United Nations, African Union, European Union and the League of Arab States. Equally Mr President, we call on neighbouring countries and those with influence on the political stakeholders, to promote a negotiated settlement.

“Three, South Africa emphasises that there should be full implementation of the arms embargo. The arms embargo is important in not only curbing the flow of arms into Libya but also stemming the illicit flow of arms into the Sahel Region and beyond which fuels conflicts and causing instability.

“Mr President, “South Africa supports the observation of the Secretary-General that the rule of law be restored throughout Libya. This should be accompanied by the full restoration of state control, including a holistic security strategy built on professional, accountable and unified security institutions.

“South Africa wishes to impress on this Council that for as long as there is conflict over Libya’s resources, a resolution will be difficult to reach. As such, we call for a comprehensive dialogue that includes agreement on resource sharing by all political stakeholders for the sake of reaching lasting sustainable peace for all Libyans.  De-escalating the Libyan conflict necessitates resolving this longstanding financial dispute.

“Finally, Mr President we wish to implore on the SRSG to ensure the inclusion of women in the processes to resolve the crisis.  Women form an important constituency in Libya; as such their involvement in the formal and informal political processes remains critical. This is in line with the number of resolutions adopted by this Council that advocate for the full and equitable participation of women in public life, to build and sustain a strong and vibrant democracy.

“I thank you.”
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