Issue 397 | 3 October 2019
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President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Mr Muhammadu Buhari, for a State Visit on Thursday, 3 October 2019.
It was the first incoming State Visit hosted by South Africa under the Sixth Administration.

South Africa and Nigeria share sound political, economic and social relations that were formally established in 1994, immediately after South Africa’s first democratic elections.
Formal relations have been conducted through a Bi-National Commission (BNC), established in 1999 as a structured bilateral mechanism to provide for political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.

The State Visit is marking the 20th anniversary of the BNC, which was elevated in 2016 to be presided over at heads of state level.

The BNC has over the years recorded remarkable achievements, and provides a useful platform for enhancing bilateral relations, notably on the economic front.

There are more than 30 agreements which have been negotiated and signed since the establishment of the BNC, and which are at different stages of implementation. These include the Bilateral Trade Agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Technical Cooperation and an Agreement on Cooperation in Defence.

There is a significant footprint of South African companies currently doing business in Nigeria in various sectors, mainly in telecommunications, banking, retail, hospitality, mining, tourism, agriculture, construction and tourism.

The total value of trade between South Africa and Nigeria amounted to R50.8 billion in 2018. The major South African products exported to Nigeria include machinery and mechanical appliances, mineral products and chemical products.

Major products imported from Nigeria include mineral products, products of the chemicals or allied industries, base metals and articles, plastics and articles (rubber), vegetable products, machinery and mechanical appliances, etc.

One of the main features of the visit is a Joint Business Forum with a focus on trade and investment.

The State Visit not only provides an opportunity for the two presidents to strengthen and deepen political, economic, social and cultural relations between the two countries, but will also create space for deliberations on issues of mutual interest and concern pertaining to the continent and global governance.

President Ramaphosa was supported by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Defence and Military Veterans; Minerals and Energy; Trade and Industry; Police; State Security: and Home Affairs.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, received a courtesy call from Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Wednesday 2 October 2019, at the official residence, Mahlamba Ndlopfu, in Pretoria.
The visit concluded the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first tour as a family.

The meeting between the President, First Lady Dr Motsepe and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, followed a courtesy call paid by President Ramaphosa on Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace during the President’s Working Visit to London in April 2018, when he participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Upon arrival at the Mahlambu Ndlopfu President’s Residence, Britain’s royal couple posed for a photo with the President before heading to  private meeting.

Before meeting with the President, Prince Harry and Meghan went to Tembisa to learn about Youth Employment Services (YES). YES is an initiative launched by President Ramaphosa aiming to tackle the critical issue of youth unemployment in South Africa by creating one million new work opportunities in the next three years.
The Duke of Sussex not only visited South Africa but went to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Angola and Malawi where he followed the footsteps of his late mother, Princess Diana, and raised awareness for HIV.

The Duchess of Sussex remained in Johannesburg where she was on the ground, discussing, among others, violence against women and children.

South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) enjoy strong bilateral relations, covering a range of areas of cooperation linked to the two governments’ respective priorities.

The UK was South Africa’s sixth-largest global trading partner in 2017, with total trade at R79.5 billion. The UK also remains the key source of long-haul tourism to South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has received a preliminary report from the team of special envoys dispatched to deliver messages of solidarity to a number of African countries following from a spate of public violence incidents in South Africa in September 2019.
The team comprising former Cabinet member, Jeff Radebe, and the President’s Special Adviser on International Relations, Dr Khulu Mbatha, visited a number of West African states from 14 September 2019.

President Ramaphosa has expressed his sincere appreciation for the generosity of spirit with which heads of state and government of Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Niger received the Presidential special envoys.

The special envoys delivered a message from President Ramaphosa regarding incidents of violence that had recently erupted in some parts South Africa and which had manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property.

They further drew the attention of heads of state and government to the sincere public apologies extended by President Ramaphosa about the unfortunate events in South Africa, expressing government’s view that such acts of criminality and violence represented neither South Africa’s values systems, nor the sentiments of South Africans, particularly against foreign nationals living in the country.

South Africa remains a multicultural society that promotes interaction among people of different backgrounds, and remains an integral part of the African continent as it advocates for a peaceful, vibrant and sustainable Africa. The country remains deeply committed to the values of progressive internationalism and the ideals of Pan-African unity and solidarity.

South Africa further reaffirms the country’s commitment, shared by our sister countries on the continent, to foster peace and greater continental unity, and that South Africa remains committed to helping to a build a prosperous and peaceful continent.

Leaders of the countries visited welcomed the South African delegation, and expressed appreciation to President Ramaphosa for taking time to explain the situation in South Africa, which had generated concern in a number of countries.

The heads of state noted with concern the irresponsible use of social media by certain individuals to create confusion and tension in the public mind. They also raised their concern about the reported causes of tensions between South Africans and migrants.

A number of the countries agreed on the need to adopt a common approach to deal with criminality, irrespective of the national origins of the perpetrators. In Nigeria, for instance, the point was emphasised that, in addition to the law-enforcement operations that the South African State had been implementing, it was necessary to strengthen systems in prison facilities to deal with challenges arising from some of the prisoners conducting their illegal activities from the prisons, even beyond the borders of South Africa.

In this regard, it is necessary, across the continent, for law-enforcement agencies, including intelligence agencies, to work together to deal with these challenges.

The heads of state have welcomed the apology expressed by President Ramaphosa and pledged that the relationship between their countries and South Africa would be solidified, while describing the attacks as very unfortunate.

The President believes this positive reception provides a basis for building closer relations and addressing the situation in South Africa. The special envoys will be dispatched to more countries over the next couple of weeks, including the African Union.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council with effect from 1 October 2019.
The council was announced by President Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address to ensure greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy and ensure that government and society in general is better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances.

Comprising local and international economic thought leaders, the council will advise the President and Government more broadly, facilitating the development and implementation of economic policies that spur inclusive growth.

The council is a non-statutory and independent body chaired by the President and brings together prominent economists and technical experts drawn from academia, the private sector, labour, community, think-tanks and other constituencies. The members, who will volunteer their time and be compensated for subsistence and travel, are appointed to serve a three-year term.

The council constitutes expertise in international economics; macroeconomics (including fiscal policy and monetary economics); labour economics; economics of education; the economics of poverty, inequality and urban development. Other areas of insights entail microeconomics with a focus on network industries, regulation and competition, trade, energy and climate change.

It is expected that the council will serve as a forum for in-depth and structured discussions on emerging global and domestic developments, economic and development policies, and to facilitate socialisation and diligent execution thereof.

The council will meet quarterly at first and will in due course decide on timelines that will best enable deliberations among council members and the council’s interface with the President.

This operating model is intended to enhance the work being undertaken to build a capable state, as demanded by the National Development Plan. The council will also be instrumental in building a knowledge base of policy and implementation lessons, best practices and field-tested success stories.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, hosted her counterpart, the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Wednesday, 2 October 2019, in Pretoria.
The two ministers  co-chaired the Ninth Ministerial Session of the BNC between the two countries.

In her opening remarks, Dr Pandor said South Africa considered Nigeria a great friend and strategic partner.

“Although located in two geographical locations, far apart from each other – one in the West of Africa and the other in the South, Nigeria became the only West African country to become a member of the ‘Frontline States’ and indeed occupied the trenches of struggle with us.

“The historic bonds established during the liberation struggle continue today, now focussed particularly on addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment in our two countries. I wish, at the outset, to thank you for the assistance you gave to us during the recent outbreak of violence against some foreign nationals and many of our own citizens. We have expressed regret at these terrible events on several occasions personally as well as through our President and his special envoys. I was most appreciative of your openness to discussing these challenges with me and the assurance you gave and acted on in support of our missions and South African businesses that faced retaliatory attacks.
I hope that our deliberations today and beyond will be the beginning of the further strengthening of our ties, just not between ourselves as Government but between our parliamentarians and our people.

“We meet here today in challenging times as our economies are faced with huge but not insurmountable challenges. South Africa is determined to continue to implement and development strategies directed at ensuring economic growth, socio-economic development and inclusive prosperity for the mutual benefit of all our people and the people of Nigeria. I hope the tasks we will agree on today will create a solid base for expanding economic cooperation and achieving increased levels of prosperity.

“This Ninth Session of the BNC is clear evidence of our intentions to further deepen ties. I am encouraged to note that since the signing of the BNC Agreement in 1999, we have been purposeful in pursuing tangible outcomes aimed at ensuring real change.”
On Tuesday, 1 October 2019, a gala dinner was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UAE and South Africa at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria.
The event was addressed by the Ambassador of the UAE, HE Mahash Alhameli, and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor.

Minister Pandor said that the partnership between the two countries was premised right from inception on the notion of leveraging on both their economic potential to create a better world for the two peoples in a manner that would benefit those that share close ties with them.

“It is crucial to recall that the firm foundation that carries this strong partnership was laid by the close ties of friendship and trust enjoyed by the founding fathers of our two nations, the late President Nelson Mandela and His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The two statesmen, both born in 1918, not only shared a special bond of friendship, but also remarkable characteristics seen through their spiritualism, vision, determination and hard work, as well as generosity at home and abroad, which in turn ensured that they devoted their lives to the service of their peoples and the creation of a better world for all.

“It is those ideals that continue to serve as a compass in the development and growth of our relations.

“Our bilateral relations during the period 1995 and 2011, witnessed a significant number of high-level interaction between the leadership of our two countries that in turn enabled us to forge closer trade and investment relations. The UAE opened itself to South Africa as a strategic export market in the Gulf Region, thereby creating space for our business to trade and establish partnerships that on the other hand elevated our bilateral economic partnership to a new high.

“Total trade between our two countries stood at about R507 million in 1995. The period that followed witnessed rapid growth between our two sides. As of 2018, our total bilateral trade stood at R44.5 billion.

“This growth in bilateral trade relations is a result of the firm and unwavering support provided by the leadership of the two sides. The frequent high-level contact between our leaders has been key in ensuring that the bottlenecks that could otherwise frustrate our cooperation and partnership are swiftly identified and addressed accordingly.

“It is for this reason that we both saw it fit to establish a mechanism that would serve as a platform to monitor, gauge and guide our relations in November 2011, by the conclusion of the South Africa-UAE Joint Commission. Our relations have since that time become more focussed, better structured and thereby allowing our two sides to coordinate and cooperate more strategically on key sectors of our economies.

“The UAE participated in the first Investment Conference hosted by President Ramaphosa in 2018. We sincerely hope that another delegation of your investors will avail themselves to participate in the 2019 second Investment Conference, which we trust will result in tangible outcomes. I wish to assure Ambassador that my Government stands ready to extend the much-needed support to those investors in ensuring that they are able to actualise undertakings made during the conference.

“South Africa is indeed grateful for the USD10-billion investment pledge announced by the UAE during the State Visit of President Ramaphosa to the UAE in 2018.
“I look forward to the third sitting of the SA-UAE Joint Commission, which we hope could take place in early 2020.

“We furthermore are excited and keen to participate in the Dubai Expo in the coming year.

“As we move forward, we do so determined to strengthen cultural and people-to-people interaction with the UAE, which in turn we hope will present South Africa as a top global tourism destination. My Government’s recent decision to introduce a visa waiver for ordinary passport holders from the UAE is evidence of our commitment to promote such cooperation.

“We remain committed to engaging further on how to develop a programme of action targeted at enhancing people-to-people exchanges as well as tourism flows between our two sides.”
Intolerance, which has recently been experienced in South Africa, is one of the biggest obstacles to a world free of poverty and inequality, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor.
“One of the biggest obstacles to building a world free from poverty and inequality is intolerance. This includes intolerance of other nations, intolerance of our fellow human beings as well as inadequate care for the natural environment that sustains us all,” said Minister Pandor on Saturday, 28 September 2019.

Addressing the General Debate of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Minister Pandor said South Africa had not been immune to this.

“Our country has not been immune from evidence of intolerance and division in some parts of our nation; the incidents of violence and looting that erupted in parts of our provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were regrettable and shameful for a nation with such a proud history of struggle and international solidarity support,” she said.

While not only condemning the incidents seen in recent weeks, government is also working to address security lapses and intolerance that led to the violent incidents.

South Africa also remains committed to tackling crime and lawlessness while also ensuring that criminals are arrested and face the full might of the law.

The country is also addressing immigration challenges while also working with countries on the continent.

“We are also committed to addressing the inadequacy of our immigration administration in order to curb illegal migration and to make sure everyone who comes to South Africa is documented and safe. We plan to work with all countries of the continent to ensure that we implement our development strategies and use them to create increased economic opportunities for all our people so that we diminish feelings of resentment and antipathy.”

In addition, South Africa does not condone racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.

“South Africa has embraced millions of migrants and refugees from all over the continent of Africa, and the majority of our people have warmly embraced their brothers and sisters from Africa. We are determined to ensure it becomes a national embrace and not one limited to some communities.”

Peace and development

She also assured the world of South Africa’s commitment to work with the rest of the continent in ensuring peace and development.

“We will continue these activities even as we work to address the inadequacies I have referred to. Our country, South Africa, has enjoyed democracy for 25 years and in that time, the leaders and the people of South Africa have consistently acknowledged the immeasurable contribution the people of Africa rendered in support of the struggle against apartheid.”

Gender-based violence (GBV), multilateralism

In her address, the Minister also referred to GBV as a gruesome form of intolerance with South Africa now taking urgent steps to address the matter.

“All of us need to act urgently to ensure that we all enjoy full access to human rights and bodily security. We also face an existential threat due to our intolerance, disrespect and veritable violence we inflict on the planet which we all depend on.”

Minister Pandor said the UN remained a crucial institution in the fight against intolerance.

“This organisation, however, is a manifestation of the rejection of intolerance. It was created in the aftermath of a devastating world war as a global forum where nations of the world can address differences and work together for the common good of all people,” said the Minister.

South Africa also reaffirmed its backing for the multilateral trading system.

“We strongly believe that a purposive system of multilateralism is necessary to deal with the global challenges we face. We are all interdependent in an ever-globalising world, and can ill afford the pursuit of narrow self-interests,” she said.

South Africa’s address to the UNGA fell in the first year of the Nelson Mandela Decade for Peace (2019 to 2028), which was agreed upon last year.

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South Africa has been recognised for its move towards universal health coverage for all citizens.
President Cyril Ramaphosa warmly acknowledged the Universal Health Care Award given to South Africa by the New York-based non-governmental organisation, The Access Challenge, in recognition of his leadership in this regard.

President Ramaphosa said the recognition by The Access Challenge would serve as further motivation for government to continue working with all sectors of society to achieve universal health coverage in line with the vision of the National Development Plan.

“This award is both a personal and collective honour shared by the social partners in South Africa who are united in our effort to build a healthy nation in which all citizens have access to healthcare and services regardless of their ability to pay for such services.

“This is a critical part of eradicating inequality in our society and building the South Africa we want,” said the President.

Led by former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, Access Challenge works with national leaders to advocate for equal access to healthcare and education for the world’s most under-served populations.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, received the award on behalf of President Ramaphosa on Monday, 23 September 2019, in New York.

The Minister was part of the South African delegation to the annual United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

The recognition of South Africa’s plan to achieve universal health coverage enabled by National Health Insurance coincided with the adoption by the UN of the UN Political Declaration on UHC, which commits countries to advance towards full coverage for their citizens in four major areas around primary care.

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Illicit financial flows continue to pose a risk to the development and economic stability of the world, more so for African countries, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor.
“Illicit financial flows, including trade mis-invoicing, pose a serious challenge to the development trajectory and economic stability of our countries, particularly in Africa, as it has a debilitating effects on our efforts of domestic resource mobilisation,” said the Minister on Friday, 27 September 2019.

Minister Pandor was speaking at the 43rd Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 (G77) at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

The G77 is the largest intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the UN and provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the UN system.

The Minster said the G77 being a large group within the UN system, stood well placed to make a difference to the development trajectory.

Minister Pandor said since the first G77 meeting in 1964, equality remained a challenge.

”The world remains even more unequal than before and the pushback that we are seeing on multilateralism is affecting the development agenda most severely.”

She called on the group to back multilaterism and reform of the international organisation.

“A rules-based, fair and equitable multilateral system is in the interest of developing countries. It also improves the efficient and effective functioning of the UN, in particular through adequate resources to deliver on its mandates. Key to the reform of the global governance system is securing an enhanced voice and representation for developing countries in the decision-making structures of international organisations,” she said.

In addition, she urged the G77 to guard against concerted efforts to erode the gains and interests of developing countries in the development outcomes adopted in 2015.

“The focus of our group should be on ensuring the reversal of this disturbing trend and on renewing our collective commitment to the full implementation of these development outcomes.”

The Minister said these outcomes, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Development Financing were key for development.

“Without their full implementation, all of these remain hollow promises and undermine the credibility of the multilateral system,” she said.

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While commitments have been made to help fund African Union (AU)-led peace-support measures, the financing of such operations has been slow, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor.
“A key area pertaining to strengthening this relationship is the financing of AU-led peace-support operations.

“It is unfortunate that despite commitments to this effect, there has not been much progress on the predictable and sustainable funding for AU-led peace-support operations from United Nations (UN) assessed contributions,” said the Minister.

She was speaking during the UN Security Council briefing on Peace and Security in Africa: Partnership to Strengthen Regional Peace and Security, at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York.

Minister Pandor said Thursday’s meeting afforded countries an opportunity to reflect on efforts to resolve conflicts in Africa, by including African countries themselves, as well as through partnerships with continental and external role-players.

The Minister acknowledged the positive strides made by African countries in realising the AU’s aspirations to silence the guns by 2020 and in pursuing African solutions to problems in Africa.

Strides made to reduce conflict

“The continent has developed a strong and effective framework for addressing security challenges and threats to Africa. These frameworks have cascaded to sub-regional levels, creating a synergy between the AU and the regional mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution.

“Through the success of these initiatives, the continent has made significant strides in reducing violent and armed conflicts guided by the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity between the AU and the sub-regional organisations,” said Minister Pandor.

The Minister highlighted the need for effective measures to be undertaken in post-conflict situations.

“Another area of importance that deserves more attention is the need for effective measures for transitions and drawdowns from peacekeeping to post-conflict reconstruction and development. It is important that efforts are coordinated and harmonised by all relevant stakeholders to ensure that peacebuilding activities are effective, and that the peace dividends of these operations are consolidated,” she said.

Poverty, marginalisation, inequality, unemployment and the scramble for natural resources, among others, have historically been contributing factors for instability on the continent.

In addition to an upsurge in terrorism, violent extremism and inter-communal violence have perpetuated instability in some parts of the continent, taking advantage of the vacuum created by continued conflict, poverty and inequality.

The Minister urged the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Framework to work together to provide assistance to post-conflict countries as requested by these countries.

“National ownership and leadership are pertinent for the success of peacebuilding efforts, and most importantly to prevent countries from relapsing back into conflict,” she said.

South Africa would also like to see more women involvement in peace and security processes.

This should not only be limited to countries in conflict but include all UN member states, in order to ensure the prominent role of women in issues discussed in the Security Council.

The inclusion of the youth in these processes is also necessary, said Minister Pandor.

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South Africa’s re-election into the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is an affirmation of its contribution in shaping the evolution of aviation, says Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula.
“South Africa’s re-election onto the council is an affirmation of our contribution in shaping the evolution of international civil aviation to respond to modern challenge. We have pronounced our commitment to continue working together with the progressive world in the advancement of civil aviation,” said the Minister on Saturday, 28 September 2019.

South Africa’s re-election into the specialised agency of the United Nations took place at the agency’s 40th Assembly in Montreal, Canada.

South Africa was standing for election in Part II of the 3 Part Council. Voting for the new council got underway on Saturday morning with South Africa receiving 148 out of 167 votes cast.

This latest re-election is a continuation of South Africa’s unbroken service since the 34th Assembly in 2003.

Minister Mbalula affirmed that South Africa continued to provide expert air-traffic control and management solutions for 10% of the world’s airspace.

The Minister said the election was an affirmation by the international community of South Africa’s contribution to the development of civil aviation. This confidence was earlier demonstrated by the election of South African Civil Aviation Authority’s Director of Civil Aviation, Poppy Khoza, as the second vice president of the 40th Assembly of ICAO.

The ICAO was established in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world.

It meets at least once every three years and is convened by ICAO’s governing body, the council.

The assembly, which started on 24 September, concludes on 4 October 2019.

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South Africa is one of the world’s top tourism destinations owing to its diverse offering, world-class infrastructure and positive global reputation.
The country’s unique offering is that it boasts a range of exciting experiences, including active outdoor adventure, wildlife safari, city lifestyle, scenic outdoors, cultural and heritage sites and beaches. This contributes to the global attractiveness of the tourism sector which creates important opportunities for economic growth and job creation in the country.

As part of the Tourism Month 2019 awareness programmes, on 19 September 2019, Brand South Africa joined the South African Embassy in Qatar, South African Tourism and Qatar Airways at the South African Tourism Trade Workshop in Doha, Qatar, to unpack ways in which the Qatar tourism trade can contribute to the growth, development and continued success of the South African tourism sector.

Speaking at the workshop, South African Ambassador to Qatar, Faizel Moosa, said: “Tourism is one of the key drivers of the economy and it can increase the gross domestic product significantly”.

“Tourism is a big contributor to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product. Every tourist that visits South Africa, sustains 12 jobs” added Sadiq Dindar, Manager: Middle East and Turkey, South African Tourism.

The success of the tourism sector depends on the positioning of the Nation Brand as a globally competitive destination that is welcoming and culturally diverse. One of the ways that the country can ensure this, is by enhancing the ease of access for international partners seeking to visit South Africa.

In light of this, in August 2019, South Africa announced that Qatar passport holders were visa exempted and could stay in the country for up to 30 days. Likewise, Qatar relaxed its immigration laws and South Africa became one of 80 visa-free countries. This facilitation of easier travel will enhance cooperation and trade between South Africa and Qatar.

In conclusion, Jimmy Ranamane, Programme Manager: Global Markets at Brand South Africa, said: “Connecting with global markets and diversifying the country’s global collaborations create opportunities to showcase the country to a wider range of strategic potential investors and tourists.”

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The Department of Arts and Culture as delegated by the South African Government attended the Göteborg Book Fair that took place in the last week of September 2019.
The delegates from the department attended as observes and to learn especially from South Korea, a country with a splendid culture and body of literature who is the 2019 focus country.

South Africa will serve as the Guest of Honour at the 2020 book fair.

Göteborg Book Fair is one of the biggest book fairs in Europe, a four-day long celebration of literature and is the largest cultural event in the Nordic countries. It gives access to the Nordic market and provides a meeting place for publishers, literary agents, media, institutes, organisations, writers and readers. Some 1 000 accredited journalists cover Göteborg Book Fair, generating approximately 7 000 articles, TV and radio spots.

The Göteborg Book Fair welcomes a guest country every year, which presents its literature and culture at the fair and gives it a new face. Guest of Honour participation contributes to the establishment of international cultural relations and promotes cultural exchange, dialogue and tourism. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know new authorships from different parts of the world and it is also a great opportunity for buying and selling rights.

The 2020 book fair and South Africa as a Guest of Honour will serve an important educational purpose by making South Africans aware of the key international book trends through seminars, panel discussions and presentations. The South African Government will bring together acclaimed African authors, scholars, writers and readers, who will have a platform to share their personal and professional experiences as a way of promoting African readership and supporting the growing book markets in South Africa and on the African continent.

South Africa being the Guest of Honour in 2020 will provide South African artists with a golden opportunity to connect with the world, initiate dialogue, celebrate their literary work and raise awareness for their cause.
South African businesses and municipalities have signed up for a new global initiative – the Alliance for Climate Action – to push for accelerated climate action.
According to a statement from the World Wildlife Fund South Africa (WWF), these businesses and municipalities were part of a "global groundswell of businesses, cities, regions and civil society role-players taking action in the face of climate change challenges and positioning themselves to lead in a low-carbon world".

The South African Chapter was announced at a side event of the United Nations’ Secretary-General's Climate Summit in New York. The summit formed part of Climate Week NYC, which brought together players from across the world to accelerate climate action.

The South African businesses and cities, which signed the climate declaration, committed themselves to working hand-in-hand with the South African Government to accelerate the implementation of its pledge to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The following entities joined: Vodacom, Virgin Active, Liberty Holdings Limited, the City of Cape Town, Ethekwini Municipality, Intelligent Transport Society South Africa, Pinpoint, MISER Hybrid Technologies RSA, Mellow Cabs, electric vehicle manufacturers, the Sustainable Energy Society Southern Africa and Thorny Bush game lodges.

"While the national Government has made climate change commitments, real action comes from those with the power to shift economies such as businesses and local authorities," said WWF South Africa CEO, Morné du Plessis.

"Those who have agreed to join Alliances for Climate Action to work toward a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 lead by their actions and will inspire others to follow."

The Alliance for Climate Action South Africa will form part of a global network that aims to build domestic constituencies for climate action, working with national governments to accelerate progress toward Paris Agreement targets.

The first country-level alliance was launched in Japan in 2018 followed by Mexico. Others who have joined include Argentina and Vietnam.

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The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) recently led a visit to Europe on a study tour to help inform South Africa's response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The European Union (EU), a long-term partner of the department, is expected to help South Africa identify relevant opportunities in 4IR and form relevant partnerships in research funding, business and the public sector, among others.

Led by Beeuwen Gerryts, the DSI's Chief Director for Technology Localisation, Beneficiation and Advanced Manufacturing, the study tour began in Brussels on Monday, 23 September, where the delegation participated in an informative business roundtable on ethics policy in artificial intelligence.

In Berlin, the delegation had direct exposure to people and institutions relevant to the understanding of policy responses to 4IR, in meetings with representatives of various institutions, the private sector and establishments such as Plattform Industrie 4.0, as well as of the Federal Ministries of Economics, Research and Education.

In order to gain tacit knowledge about advanced production environments that use 4IR technologies, the delegation visited 4IR facilities such as the Mercedes Benz and Siemens factories.

In Finland on Monday, 30 September, the delegation visited a Nokia technology centre, and Forum Virium Helsinki, a centre for smart cities.

The study tour, which ended on Tuesday, 1 October, followed the approval of the new White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation. Among other things, the White Paper emphasises the need for South Africa to understand the likely impacts of the 4IR. Preparing for these impacts collectively and strategically will be key to the country's socio-economic development.

Disruptive technologies are affecting many of the sectors that underpin South Africa's relations with the EU, such as automotive manufacturing, mining, ICTs, agriculture, health, public sector service delivery and digital industrial policy.

In order to strengthen and help inform aspects of the White Paper's 10-year implementation plan, the DSI has contracted the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to help develop policy options and map 4IR activities for the National System of Innovation.

This contract included the SA-EU Strategic Partnership Dialogue, held in Pretoria last December. The study tour and the subsequent report will be the final activity of the contract.

The study delegation consisted of representatives of the HSRC, the SA National Space Agency, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the Technology Innovation Agency and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

This group forms part of the DSI's internal 4IR group, established to help disseminate information and coordinate 4IR-related activities at the entities.
The sixth edition of the South Africa-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Engineering Conference featured an introduction to coding for high school learners and advanced coding for postgraduates, researchers and industry, as well as expert offerings related to high-performance computing.
Taking place at North-West University's (NWU's) Mahikeng Campus from 23 to 27 September 2019, the week-long conference brought together role-players from various engineering fields to discuss opportunities and challenges and propose strategies South Africa could adopt to develop relevant and future-oriented capacity and capabilities.

The conference was a collaboration between UNESCO, the Department of Science and Innovation and the Engineering Council of South Africa.

This year's event was held under the theme "Decolonising the 4th Industrial Revolution in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals", and was filled with activities ranging from educational outreach events to a session on young women in engineering.

The event included activities and workshops for learners, presentations by NWU master's and doctoral students, and parallel sessions focussing, among others, on youth in engineering in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), infrastructure for the 4IR, advanced manufacturing, and sustainable engineering and energy.
News24, the Daily Maverick’s Scorpio and amaBhungane have scooped the global gong for investigative journalism when the team was announced as a co-winner of the Global Shining Light Award of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, the world’s most prestigious investigative journalism award.
Announced in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday, 28 September 2019, the team won for #GuptaLeaks, the story of how the patronage network run by the family engineered the system of state capture.

Rappler, the renowned media platform from the Philippines was a co-winner with the South African team for its work on extrajudicial killings under the regime of Filipino strongman, Rodrigo Duterte.

The win was announced before an audience of 1 800 of the world’s leading investigative journalists. The prize honours investigative journalism conducted in developing or transitioning countries, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions.

The awards drew from a record 291 entries from around the world that were published or broadcast between in 2017 and 2018.

The small outlets category for teams of under 10 people was won by Peru’s IDL-Reporteros for Lava Jato/Lava Juez (Car Wash and White Collars) the two sets of stories in Brazil and Peru, which exposed systemic corruption in government and in the judiciary. Kenya’s Africa Uncensored team won for a documentary series called The Profiteers about how Sudan’s elite plundered their country.

"The judges were impressed with the tenacity, courage, skill and integrity demonstrated by this year’s winners of the Global Shining Light Award," said Sheila Coronel, Academic Affairs Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The #GuptaLeaks series is recognised as having turned the tide on state capture in South Africa and is one of the foundation stones of the installation of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

– Source:
The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) recently announced that two of its programmes, the Wildlife and Energy and Wildlife and Transport programmes, were recipients of the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation International Stewardship Award for their innovative and holistic approach to tackling the impacts of linear infrastructures, such as roads and power lines, on wildlife in Africa.
“The EWT has worked tirelessly for over 45 years to save wildlife and habitats, with our vision being a world in which both humans and wildlife prosper in harmony with nature. From the smallest frog, to the majestic rhino; from sweeping grasslands to arid drylands; from our shorelines to winding rivers: the EWT is working with you, to protect our world.”

The International Stewardship Award is presented to agencies or organisations that demonstrate, through the results of their actions, a cooperative effort to maintain or restore ecological function amid transportation above the regulatory requirements.

Lourens Leeuwner, EWT Wildlife and Energy Programme Manager, and Wendy Collinson, EWT Wildlife and Transport Programme Manager, received the prestigious award on behalf of the organisation.

– Source:
Nineteen-year-old Kgaugelo Neville Ngomane has won a prestigious environmental photographic competition.
Ngomane's powerful image of a rhino dehorning, titled Desperate Measures, was picked from more than 4 000 international entries by the judges who commended its storytelling and photographic merit.

The judges said: "When his photo flashed up on screen, there was a sharp intake of breath around the judging room; it's such a powerful image."

The Young Environmental Photographer of the Year Award is run by the international Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (Ciwem).

On learning that he'd won, the unemployed teenager from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, said: "Winning this competition means a lot, because I love photography. But I don't just want to win, I want to make a difference. It is not easy to watch such an iconic animal being dehorned. I hope this picture will make a lot of people see what we have to do to save our rhinos and then support conservation."

Ngomane is a graduate of Wild Shots Outreach – a Hoedspruit-based non-profit organisation that teaches wildlife photography to young people from poor communities.

The programme prioritises high school students from government schools and unemployed young people bordering the Kruger Park.

"Despite living right next door to a national park, 99% of these young people have never had access to their natural heritage and have never seen Africa's iconic wildlife," said Wild Shots Outreach founder and director, Mike Kendrick.

"This award is a fantastic accolade for Neville, for Wild Shots Outreach, for the communities and all the young people I work with," added Kendrick.

"They have developed pride in their images, pride in their stories, pride in themselves and a pride in their natural heritage – a natural heritage which has previously been hard for them to access."

"Can we hope that images like Neville’s will capture the imaginations of communities like his, which border the greater Kruger Park? And can photos like this bring people a better understanding of the drastic measures being used to conserve the iconic wildlife, which we hold so precious?" asked Kendrick.

Kendrick said that Ngomane's award winning photo was made possible by a rhino conservation charity, Rhino Revolution, which had the "foresight and vision to invite Wild Shots Outreach students to attend and document the dehorning of their wild rhino on a private reserve outside Hoedspuit, in Limpopo".

The presentation of CIWEM's Young Environmental Photographer of the Year Award coincided with the World Youth WildLife Summit, hosted by the Southern African Wildlife College in the Kruger National Park

Before the summit, 20 young people from rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were selected to take part in a National Geographic Photo Camp in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Park and other Project Rhino reserves, including Somkhanda and Manyoni. They learned skills from world-class photographers while immersed in the wilderness.

– Source: GroundUp
A Harambee contact centre agent has become the first South African to win the Genesys Global Award.
Helping young work-seekers change their lives for the better is all in a day’s work for Harambee contact centre agent Thapelo Kwenane, but his dedication and amazing results have seen him awarded international recognition and the title of CX Hero at the Genesys G-Summit Europe in Amsterdam. The event took place between 10 and 12 September 2019.

Kwenane, a call centre agent at the not-for-profit Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, is tasked with helping young work-seekers find suitable jobs and work experiences.

“We make calls to candidates all day long, sometimes not realising the impact we make in the candidate’s lives,” he says.

But finding a job – particularly the right job – is life-changing for the successful candidates. For example, one of Kwenane’s assignments saw him matching a 27-year-old man in rural Bizana with an international job opportunity.

Genesys CX Heroes is an international award programme highlighting the importance of the human touch in customer service. The accolade CX Hero is bestowed on Genesys customer agents who go beyond the norm to deliver excellence in customer service.

Kwenane’s CX Hero Award is the first to a South African, but it is not the first Genesys Award for Harambee. In 2018, Harambee was awarded the Genesys Customer Innovation Award for ‘CX Game Changer: Best Story of Making a Difference with CX Technology’ at the Genesys Conference, CX18.

– Sources: Harambee | Genesys global award | Genesys global award
A 15-year-old teenager born and raised in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, is a young girl reaching for the stars. Oratilwe Mashigo is set to represent South Africa at the renowned Miss Teen Global beauty pageant due to take place from 14 to 20 October 2019 in Brazil.
This is a lifetime opportunity for young Mashigo as she seeks to fly the South African flag high, promoting our diverse cultures and tourism to the world while showcasing her beauty and talents.

Not only is she Miss Teenager SA 2019 first princess, she is also the founder of the Sandpaper Victors Campaign, a non-profit organisation with a focus on alleviating teenagers’ emotional challenges. She was recently tasked with the responsibility of co-facilitating support group workshops with New York University volunteers.

This collaboration will extend the Sandpaper Victors Campaign’s footprint while drawing international learnings. Oratilwe is a high performer academically and has earned numerous merit awards.

– Source: Brand South Africa
Two-time champions South Africa recorded one of their biggest Rugby World Cup wins when they beat Namibia 57-3 to move towards the quarter-finals on Saturday, 28 September 2019.
Five tries in the first half and another four in the second swept Namibia aside as the Springboks briefly threatened to eclipse the 87-0 win, the heaviest they have recorded at World Cups, over the Welwitschias in 2011.

After Japan's sensational 19-12 victory over Ireland earlier on Saturday, any hopes of another upset were quickly snuffed out at a packed City of Toyota Stadium as South Africa attacked relentlessly from the outset.

The Springboks next face Italy in a match that will go a long way to deciding who qualifies from Pool B, which also contains defending champions, New Zealand.

"We will build from this and now we've got this big Italy game which probably will determine if we go through to the quarter-finals or not," said Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.

"And I think this game will give us a nice springboard to go into that game."

Scorers for South Africa:

Tries: Bongi Mbonambi (2), Francois Louw, Makazole Mapimpi (2), Lukhanyo Am, Warrick Gelant, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Brits

Conversions: Elton Jantjies (6)

– Source:
“I would like to thank the briefers for your insightful briefing. It is always beneficial and valuable for the Council to be briefed by young people who are passionate and determined about the future of their countries.

“It is an honour for South Africa to preside over the Security Council under the theme 'Continuing the Legacy: Working for a Just and Peaceful World'. This is the embodiment of the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The principles he stood and fought for remain relevant to prevailing conflict situations and furthers the objective of Silencing the Guns on the African Continent by 2020.

“Conflict affects young people negatively in many ways; it violates their basic human rights, namely the rights to life, liberty and security. There are increased risk of being killed, injured, internally displaced, abducted or raped in conflict. They are sometimes forced into roles that make them more vulnerable such as: providers of sexual services, child soldiers, violent extremisms, arms smuggling and illicit trade in mineral resources, to name a few.
“Our remarks will focus on the following key points:

"i) Youth have an important role to play as agents of peace. The African continent has the fastest-growing population in the world, and it is important that the continent takes advantage of the demographic dividend from its youth bulge. South Africa believes that we all need to double our efforts at the global, regional and national levels to harness the potential of youth. As recognised previously by the Security Council, member states have the responsibility to create enabling environments for the youth to participate fully and substantively in the development of their respective countries and peace processes.

“At this juncture, allow me to emphasise that issues of inclusion remain critical. As important stakeholders in peace processes, we cannot continue to talk about peace without the full involvement of the youth and women. The youth should be represented in political negotiations, peace processes and transitional justice and reconstruction efforts because they have knowledge, ideas and can harness intergenerational interaction in the entire peace continuum. Including youth in peace-building processes, as stakeholders and decision-makers allows them to gain ownership of the policies that affects them as much as all of us. Therefore, political will and leadership is needed to allow meaningful engagement of youth in conflict prevention, peace-making and peace-building.

“ii) The African Union (AU) implementation of the Youth Peace and Security Agenda

"The African Youth Charter serves as the strategic framework for youth empowerment and development at the continental, regional and national levels that addresses issues affecting youth. The Commission of the AU is in the process of appointing African Ambassadors for Peace, one from each of the five regions in Africa. They will promote the actualisation of the five priorities of the Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security.

“A stronger AU/UN partnership for peace, security and development remains critical to Silencing the Guns on the African continent. South Africa is encouraged by the UN and AU’s resolve to mainstream youth participation in peace and security which places young people at the core of initiatives for preventing or stopping activities that lead to war.

“iii) Recommendation on how we should advance the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda

"It is important to provide the youth with training opportunities to take an active part in peacebuilding. With their youthful energy and capabilities, and the ability to adapt to new technological trends such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, youths should be considered as equal partners in mediation, conflict prevention and resolution.

“As we have heard from the briefers earlier, the youth are mediators, community mobilisers, humanitarian workers and peace brokers. Activating African youth peacebuilders cannot be the responsibility of any one organisation. African governments, non-government organisations and corporates have a role to play.

“In order to achieve sustainable conflict prevention and resolution, the Security Council, regional and sub-regional organisations and relevant actors need to institute mechanisms to involve youth in the promotion of a culture of peace, tolerance and intercultural and interreligious dialogue and develop, as appropriate, an understanding of respect for human dignity, pluralism and diversity.

"In conclusion, I would like to underscore the importance of bringing about a pragmatic shift in the concept of the role of youth in conflict, which transforms them from being victims or agents of violence to being agents of change and peace-building. They need to be seen as the valuable human capital that they are as this will help the continent to collectively achieve sustainable peace and Silence the Guns.

“Thank you."
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