Issue 400 | 24 October 2019
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President Cyril Ramaphosa this week led a South African delegation to the first Russia-Africa Summit taking place in Sochi, in Russia.  
The forum, taking place on 23 and 24 October 2019, is focussing on key areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries.

“The summit is expected to deepen friendly relations between the Russian Federation and countries of the African continent at both bilateral and multilateral levels and forge closer collaboration on regional and international issues of common interest …” The Presidency said in a statement.

The summit is also expected to raise strategic dialogue between Russia and African countries to a qualitatively higher level and contribute to peace, security and sustainable development on the African continent.
  The Russia-Africa Summit will also contribute towards the overall objective of addressing the aspirations of African countries as encapsulated in Agenda 2063.

“The participation of South Africa in this inaugural summit is in line with the South African foreign policy pillar of encouraging South-North cooperation in various technical fields, as well as promoting economic development,” The Presidency said.

It said bilateral relations between South Africa and Russia were at an optimal level and continued to grow from strength to strength.

Diplomatic relations were established between South Africa and Russia on 28 February 1992.
According to The Presidency, Russia is a strategic partner for South Africa in terms of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement that was signed in eThekwini in 2013.

“One of the primary mechanisms for improving the bilateral relationship between the two countries and advancing South Africa’s development objectives is the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).

  “The ITEC is the foundation for mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between the two countries. Further substance was added to the growing relationship through the South Africa-Russia Friendship and Cooperation Agreement, which was ratified in 2008,” The Presidency said.

This agreement provides a framework for deepening the strategic partnership.

More than 38 bilateral agreements and/or memoranda of understanding that have been concluded, underpin the strategic nature of the relationship.

The Sochi summit was preceded by a Russia-Africa Business Forum.

The President is accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo; and Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. – Source:

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s programme of reviving the South African economy is beginning to bear fruit.
This was evident at the much-anticipated launch of the Mara Phone manufacturing plant at the Dube Trade Port in Durban on 17 October 2019. The plant is the first of its kind in South Africa.

The launch came 12 months after company chief executive, Ashish Thakkar, announced at the inaugural Africa Investment Forum in November last year that the company would invest R1.5 billion in a South African business venture over the next five years.

The Rwanda-based Mara group took the President on a tour of the modern state-of-the-art plant. The plant is anticipated to have an annual production capacity of over 1.2 million handsets of the Mara X and Mara Z cellphones.

A total of 200 people have been employed at the plant with 94% of them being youth, while 67% are women.  
Speaking at the event, President Ramaphosa said the Mara Phone’s venture was giving practical effects to government’s investment drive.

“It was described as a pipe dream. Today, we are reaping the fruits of what was promised. We are delighted about this great launch because it is going to instil a lot of confidence in other manufacturers that South Africa indeed is a place where they should all come and invest. We are delighted because Mara is a proudly African venture that is producing a South African product.”

He said the company’s effort represented a great advance in the technological and electronical sector.

“We are delighted that you are increasing our technological capabilities by bringing your company here and emboldening the skills talent that we have,” he said.
Dr Tshepo Motsepe, First Lady of South Africa, delivered the keynote address at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) International Council gala dinner in Cape Town on Tuesday, 22 October 2019.
  The event took place at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art.

The International Council is a global network of philanthropists who have a deep commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable children around the world. The council aims to advance the rights of every child through its combined investment, influence and expertise.

The council meets annually to interact with and learn from each other and guide the council’s strategic objectives.

The gala dinner showcased the work of UNICEF and the International Council in South Africa and beyond.

Dr Motsepe is Chairperson of African Self Help Trust, a non-profit organisation which provides early childhood development support programmes for home-based crèches in disadvantaged communities.
In her address, the First Lady commended UNICEF for partnering with South Africa’s efforts of promoting breastfeeding.

In the early childhood development sector, UNICEF partners with the South African Government through technical assistance to strengthen legislative frameworks, systems and programmes, and ensure that all children survive, thrive and develop from the start.

The programme includes a comprehensive focus on the first 1 000 days for mothers and their infants.

“One of the ways in which we witness how UNICEF is making a difference in South Africa is through its support of a nationally targeted breastfeeding advocacy and media campaign. Breastfeeding plays a significant role in contributing to the optimal health and development of a child, providing each child with the best and healthiest start to life,” said Motsepe.

UNICEF is also providing technical assistance for the monitoring and evaluation of South Africa’s implementation of regulations relating to foodstuffs for infants and young children and works with the country on capacity development in this area.

The First Lady congratulated UNICEF on convening the council meeting for the first time in South Africa, saying she hoped the organisation was able to witness first-hand the profound transformation the country had undergone in the past 25 years.

“As we continue our work to fully realise the Convention on the Rights of the Child, I thank you for being a vocal, active and supportive partner in our collective effort to leave no child behind,” she said. –  Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will lead South Africa’s delegation at the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the NAM to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 25 to 26 October 2019.
Held under the theme: “NAM Baku Summit – Upholding the Bandung Principles to Ensure Concerted and Adequate Response to the Challenges of the Contemporary World”, the Summit of Heads of State and Government (25 – 26 October 2019) was preceded by the Meeting of Senior Officials (21 – 22 October 2019) and the Ministerial Meeting (23 – 24 October 2019).

The NAM Summit of Heads of State and Government is the highest decision-making authority of the movement. The existing practice is to hold a NAM Summit every three years. Venezuela has been the Chair of NAM since 2016 and its three-year chairship will conclude when the 18th NAM Summit takes place in Baku and accordingly, Azerbaijan will assume the chairship until 2022.

It is expected that the NAM Summit will review the movement’s principled positions on global issues pertaining to development, human rights, peace and security, and the promotion and preservation of multilateralism, in line with the Charter of the United Nations and the Bandung Founding Principles of the NAM.
A meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the NAM on Palestine is also expected to be convened during the summit. South Africa is a member of the NAM Committee on Palestine, which has the mandate to coordinate the NAM's activities in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

Minister Pandor said: “South Africa will utilise the meeting to engage the NAM member states on issues that include the strengthening of the principles of multilateralism and consolidating the rule of law, as well as finding sustainable solutions to bring lasting peace to current situations around the world.”

The summit will conclude with the adoption of the final NAM Baku Outcome Document, the Baku Declaration and the NAM Ministerial Declaration on Palestine.
With its 120 member states, the NAM is the largest grouping of countries outside of the United Nations (UN), making it an important role-player in global and multilateral affairs. Since its inception in 1961, the movement has played a crucial and highly visible political role in representing the interests of developing countries, particularly in the eradication of colonialism, supporting struggles for liberation and self-determination, the pursuit of world peace and the search for a more equitable and just global order. NAM remains an important role-player in the multilateral system and continues to play an active role in issues pertaining to development, UN reform, disarmament, human rights, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, among others.

Minister Pandor will be accompanied by Deputy Minister Alvin Botes.
Preparations for the second South African Investment Conference are underway and over 1 000 delegates have already confirmed their attendance ahead of the meeting of investors in Sandton next month.
  Trudi Makhaya, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic adviser, said this on Tuesday, 22 October 2019, when she, alongside Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel, briefed the media on preparations for the conference at the Imbizo Media Centre in Parliament, Cape Town.
More than 1 000 delegates from across the globe, including leaders from local and international business, government and the investment community, are expected to attend this year’s conference.

The conference will be held from 5 to 7 November 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

“Facilitations have been underway to prepare for the second annual investment conference. As we speak, we have just over 1 030 confirmed delegates and we are quite close to reaching the registration cut-off point,” Makhanya said.

The Investment Conference supports South Africa’s investment drive, which seeks to mobilise R1.2 trillion in new investments by 2023.

The first South Africa Investment Conference was held in October 2018, during which R300 billion was committed for investment in South Africa by local and international investors.
The three main sponsors of this year’s South Africa Investment Conference, who also attended Tuesday’s media briefing, all made pledges at the inaugural Investment Conference in 2018. Naspers pledged R4.6 billion, Vodacom committed R50 billion and Anglo American made a pledge of R71 billion.

Makhaya said the conference would be themed across several key areas, with one of the themes aimed at positioning South Africa for investment. She said a document outlining South Africa’s value proposition had been created accordingly. 

While Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, headlined last year’s investment conference, Makhaya said an announcement about this year’s main guest speaker would be made at a later stage.

The President will host a dinner for investors ahead of the opening session, and several sessions and panel discussions have been scheduled covering several topics, including a session on impact investing.

Last year’s conference saw the President taking a walk in Soweto while interacting with local entrepreneurs. Makhaya said this year’s sidelines programme would take the same approach. However, instead of a walk, a session is being arranged between the President and township entrepreneurs at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus.

SA records best FDI inflows in five years

Minister Patel said, meanwhile, that ever since the first investment conference was held last year, some progress had been made as some pledges had since translated into work being done to either initiate, complete or expand projects in the manufacturing space.

This includes the Nissan Navara Project, with Nissan South Africa announcing a R3-billion investment that will see them build 30 000 Navara pick-up trucks per year from 2020.

This has led to investment inflows of R7 billion – the best in South Africa in five years.

Minister Patel said following the President’s State Visit to Japan in August 2019, an agreement was reached to establish a Japan-SA Investment Forum to allow government leaders and investors from both countries to engage in a meaningful manner. – Source:
Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has emphasised the importance of establishing a regional regulatory authority to enforce agreed harmonised standards.
“With 54 countries in Africa, over 109 international boundaries and 350 border crossings, it is indeed a tall ask to coordinate and have uniform standards but a tall ask is not an unachievable matter,” the Minister said.

Addressing the African Port and Rail Evolution Conference in Durban on Tuesday, 15 October 2019, Minister Mbalula said the Southern African Development Community region was at an advanced stage of establishing the Regional Rail Safety Regulator with the support of the South African Rail Safety Regulator.

“The potential of the transport sector to contribute more towards full integration of the region is constrained by serious operational and infrastructure inefficiencies. We must deal with operational delays and congestion at the border crossings, which add to the inefficiencies of the cross-border transport system in general.

“There is an urgent need to mobilise regional resources to modernise our ports so that turnaround times could be improved – there are serious infrastructure backlogs that hinder efficient cross-border transportation systems,” the Minister said.
The backlogs manifest in the many missing links on continental rail corridors and poor port infrastructure.

“With the investment and maintenance of infrastructure at low levels in Africa, the African Development Bank estimates that the continent has lost approximately 25% in potential economic growth over a period of 20 years.

“It could be argued that the losses are possibly worse when the foregone opportunities for job creation and other multipliers are taken into account,” the Minister said.

The African Union has designated South Africa as the manufacturing hub for locomotives, thereby underscoring the commitment of African leaders to increase the level of intra-Africa trade.

The Head of State of South Africa was also assigned the responsibility of championing the North-South Corridor, which is a multi-modal transport corridor, connecting the continent from the North down to the South.

“This is arguably an important intervention which brings to life the vision of our forebears of creating a Trans-African-Highway, which comprises a network of transport infrastructure and services from Cape to Cairo.

“Therefore, mobilising private-sector funding to deliver on the twin mandates of developing cross-boundary infrastructure and creating sustainable jobs is going to be one of the major tasks of the championing initiative.

“A call for the private sector is to realise Africa’s potential and a call for our governments is to seek partnerships with the private sector in a win-win situation, placing our people and the environment first,” the Minister said. – Source:
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is visiting China and Japan as the country intensifies efforts to grow arrivals from the Asia Pacific region.
South Africa is open for business and remains an appealing destination for both Chinese and Japanese travellers, offering abundant, diverse, world-class, accredited attractions supported by transport, services and communications infrastructure that compete with the best in the world,” the Minister said.

The visits serve as a valuable networking opportunity for creating and consolidating new business and trade opportunities.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane embarked on a roadshow to China from 21 to 23 October 2019, visiting Beijing and Shenzhen.

This will be followed by a visit to Japan from 24 to 25 October 2019 where she will also attend the third Japan Tourism Expo in Osaka. She will also attend the G20 Ministers of Tourism Meeting in Hokkaido.

The visits are also aimed at growing arrivals to South Africa.
This will be done by highlighting South Africa’s variety of tourism products and experiences, thereby re-affirming South Africa as a premium destination for both Chinese and Japanese travellers.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane also visited Tencent headquarters in Shenzhen, where she oversaw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between South African Tourism and Tencent – with specified commitments to work together to increase South Africa's awareness in the Chinese market and to ensure a superior visitor experience for Chinese travellers when they arrive in South Africa.

Tencent is a leading provider of Internet value-added services in China.

The Ministry said South Africa had enjoyed very healthy diplomatic relations with both China and Japan and the Minister’s visit demonstrated that South Africa was a "must visit now" quality destination. – Source:
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has won a bronze award for the implementation of successful youth empowerment policies. The announcement was made at the prestigious Future Policy Award 2019 ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, on 16 October 2019.
Subsequent to receiving the award on behalf of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet says this prestigious accolade means that the work of political leaders, administrative managers and officials, for developing and implementing policies that enhance the empowerment of young people in conjunction with communities, is evidently making a difference.

She adds that the EPWP will continue to explore ways to enable sustainable livelihoods through training and skills development, as well as through advancing entrepreneurial development by supporting cooperatives and small, medium and micro enterprises.
  “Youth unemployment remains a massive issue in our country where young people have so much to contribute and every effort must be made by government and the private sector to empower and give opportunities to young people. The EPWP’s Bronze Award is a recognition by the international community of South Africa’s role in the socio-economic empowerment and upliftment of young people in the country. The award also highlights proven policies that effectively promote and scale-up local, national, regional and international youth empowerment solutions,” Deputy Minister Kiviet said.

A total of 67 policies from 36 countries contested for the 2019 Future Policy Awards. The World Future Council, together with its partners, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations (UN) Development Programme, with the support of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation as well as Youth Policy Lab and Michael Otto Foundation and Jua Foundation sent out a call for nominations to over 10 000 experts and representatives of international organisations, academia, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and other noted experts
Eight inspiring and impactful laws and policies aimed at empowering young people to build a fair and sustainable future have been recognised at the Future Policy Award ceremony. The winners in various categories are: Rwanda, Estonia, Scotland, Nepal, South Africa, Europe, Los Angeles and Senegal.

The Future Policy Awards, now in its ninth year, recognise and reward the most impactful policies that tackle humankind’s most pressing challenges for the benefit of present and future generations. The aim of the awards is to raise global awareness of exemplary policies and speed up policy action.
  Flight Network set out to name the World’s Best Cities by asking the experts — a 1000+ travel writers, travel bloggers and travel agencies from all around the globe, who have seen and experienced the best the planet has to offer.
And Cape Town came in at number seven!

This extensive collaboration produced the most thoughtful and definitive list of the World’s Most Beautiful Cities — a guide that will inspire travellers not only in 2019 but for years to come.

The Top 10 most beautiful cities in the world according to Flight Network are:
  1. Paris
  2. New York
  3. London
  4. Venice
  5. Vancouver
  6. Barcelona
  7. Cape Town
  8. San Francisco
  9. Sydney
  10. Rome.
There were only two African cities who made the list, Cape Town at number seven and Marrakesh at number 46.

Flight Network went on to explain that Cape Town is a nature lover’s dream because it has mountains, many miles of coastline and plenty of biking, hiking, and exploring!

“One of the best places for an amazing view (and there are many), Table Mountain is hard to beat. While it might sound intimidating, you can take a cable car to the top without having to climb (although you can if you want) to get the best of the views. Around the mountain itself is the Table Mountain National Park, which is one of the richest floral regions in the world! Other visually stunning locations include the Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach (check out the local penguin colony here), and Lion’s Head mountain.

“Cape Town is a blend of distinct cultures and people groups, making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Thanks to its beauty, it also attracts a lot of foreign expats and immigrants as well, making it even more diverse. The ethnic and racial composition of the city is a holdover from the time of Apartheid. Ever since then the culture and social structure of Cape Town is fairly distinct with effects of Apartheid still being felt even after all these years. Despite being so far from the Mediterranean, the climate is still classified as the Mediterranean with dry, hot summers and mild and rainy winters. I’d recommend visiting in the spring or fall to avoid the heat or long periods of rain.” – Sources: Flight Network/
Fifty-four members of the Drakensberg Boys Choir recently performed on stage at "The Lion King" with legendary South African composer Lebo M.
The Lyceum Theatre, in London, bore witness to the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the stage production.

The boys formed part of a special surprise tribute to the creative team behind the show, during a performance of the show, which was attended by all cast members who performed in the show during the past 20 years.

Grade 9 pupil, Matthew Beuster, said about the once-a-lifetime experience: "That was the best thing ever. We went on, and it was nerve-racking, the audience went crazy when they found out we were there. It was like a million decibels high. It was insanity! When the gumboot squad came out to dance with Lebo M, everyone went crazy. This is the best performance I've ever had."

Before this performance, the Drakensberg Boys Choir had performed at several venues across London and outskirts – St George's Chapel (Windsor Castle), Great St Mary's Church, The Holiday Inn (in conjunction with the Barnsley Youth Choir), Emmanuel Church, SA House, and at King's College School. – Source:
The South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) recently announced an initial list of showcasing artists invited to perform at the 34th annual event and it includes six prominent South African musos.
The SXSW Music Festival will take place from 16 to 22 March 2020 in Austin, Texas.

South African artists invited to perform include AKA, Amanda Black, Cassper Nyovest, Moonchild Sanelly, Nadia Nakai and Samthing Soweto.

The festival is described as "a place where entertainment, technology, and media industries converge, creating a global platform for emerging acts, established artists and industry professionals to expand their horizons".

Every year, the SXSW Music Festival programmers present a genre-spanning and genre-defying lineup of artists from around the world, with established performers playing alongside bold new acts.
The result is a unique live music experience where industry pros and music lovers discover an unparalleled range of artists and styles.

A few other international highlights from this first round of artists include: ANAVITÓRIA (Brazil), Automelodi (Canada), Baker Boy (Australia), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Declan J Donovan (England), Hachiku (Australia), HTRK (Australia), The Jones Family Singers (Texas), Just Mustard (Ireland), Kælan Mikla (Iceland), SUMIN (South Korea), Taimane (Hawaii), and YAYOI DAIMON (Japan).

This is the first of several announcements revealing the wide array of artists who will perform for the international creative community at SXSW.

These showcases give attendees the opportunity to experience tomorrow’s headliners in small-stage performances at unique venues in downtown Austin.
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. – Source:
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has praised captain Siya Kolisi and No 8 Duane Vermeulen for their half-time team talks in Saturday's 26-3 win over Japan in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in Tokyo.
While the final score made it seem like things were relatively comfortable for the Boks, that was far from the case and their 5-3 half-time lead was indicative of that.

Japan dominated possession in the opening 40 minutes and was able to hold onto the ball for long periods while the Boks offered very little on attack during that time and gave the ball away needlessly.

The favourites were far more clinical in the second half and after the match, Erasmus was asked if he had resorted to the use of some harsh words at the break.
  "Normally if guys miss tackles or there is a lack of commitment, and there are effort errors, then harsh words can help," Erasmus explained.

"But when it is a bad pass, or a missed opportunity or a skill error, then it’s about getting the guys' confidence levels up.

"I guess that was the challenge at half-time, and that was more where Siya (Kolisi) and Duane (Vermeulen) did really well.

"I don’t think it was ever a lack of effort in the first half. It was more the pressure that Japan put on us with the amount of effort, tenacity and intensity that they put on us.

"We actually did really well in terms of intensity, but not as great with our execution.

"It wasn’t really harsh words, but more trying to calm the guys down and trying to execute better.
"Siya and the boys did most of the talking and sorted that out."

Kolisi then revealed what his message at half-time was.

"The message was just to be patient and trust in our plans. Our mauls and scrums were working, and we didn’t take our opportunities in that first half," he said.

"We didn’t want to change (what we were doing), but we needed to show more patience when we had the ball."

The Boks will now take on Wales in the World Cup semi-finals in Yokohama on Sunday. – Source:
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