Issue 403 | 7 November 2019
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Diplomatic Fun Fair 2019
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The total value of investment commitments made at the second instalment of the South Africa Investment Conference tallied up to R363 billion, President Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday, 6 November 2019.
This, the President highlighted, was 17% higher than the R300-billion in investments made at the conference’s debut in 2018 where the President announced his intention to attract R1.2 trillion over five years.

With South Africa's unemployment rate sitting at a staggering 29.1% according to Statistics South Africa, President Ramaphosa said the newly announced investments were set to create 412 000 direct jobs over the next five years.

“We are immensely encouraged as South Africans by the investment commitments made. We believe that those investments will boost the economic growth of the country and will create many new jobs,” said President Ramaphosa.

He was speaking at the second round of investment announcements made on day two of the investment conference at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

“We have received indications of a further R8 billion in planned investments that are subject to either regulatory or company board approvals and therefore we have not named the companies here today,” said the President.

Exxaro CEO, Mxolisi Donald Mbuyisa Mgojo, announced a whopping R20-billion investment.

According to the mining company’s CEO, of the R20 billion worth of investment, R11 billion has been spent.

"With this a lot of jobs have been created. Approximately 10 000 direct and indirect jobs have been created. We have also spent about R500 million in community infrastructure with the local government,” said Mgojo.

National development finance institution, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) also threw its weight behind the investment drive, pledging R18 billion worth of investments.

IDC CEO, Tshokolo Petrus Nchocho, said the investments would be rolled out throughout the course of the next 12 months.

International brewer Heineken solidified its investment into the country with the announcement of a R1.48-billion investment. The beer brewing company will channel the investment into three projects, with the first being the extension of its brewer facility in Sedibeng.

“The second will be to buy land in order for us to build a solar plant. The plant will be operated by a local company and we, as Heineken, will enter into a power purchasing agreement with them,” said Heineken SA Corporate Affairs Director, Millicent Maroga.

Heineken said a share of the R1.48 billion would be used for the extraction of ground water. Maroga explained this would help to reduce the amount of municipal water used at the brewing facility.

Other investments were announced by:
  • French businesses, Total, Alston, Limagrain, Air Liquide, amounting to R20 billion
  • Corobrik, amounting to R800 million
  • Clover, amounting to R1.16 billion
  • Kerry, amounting to R600 million
  • Tera, amounting to R3.3 billion.
Winding up the second round of investment announcements, an elated President Ramaphosa said the investments demonstrated that South Africa was poised for growth in the future.

“The commitments made today are numerous and diverse. These commitments are a reflection of the diversity of opportunities in the South African economy.

“While there has been demonstrable interest in mega-projects, investors are also focussing on smaller, but employment-intensive projects. This is aligned with our broader strategic vision of catalysing economic activity in our districts, municipalities and provinces,” said the President.

He said the investment drive was taking place in tandem with a range of economic developments – from the opening up of special economic zones, to reviving industrial parks, to supporting community business centres, to creating digital hubs and small business incubators, and to supporting entrepreneurship activities.

President Ramaphosa said the investments were a clear vote of confidence in the South African economy and a response to what it could offer.

– Source:
Before they will be allowed to take some well-needed time off with their families, SA Rugby will take the triumphant 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok squad players on a whirlwind tour of the country to show off the William Webb Ellis Trophy to the proud nation.
The Boks kicked off their RWC Champions Tour in Gauteng on Thursday with the parade making stops in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto.

The RWC squad will also parade the Webb Ellis Cup in several other locations before concluding the tour in Cape Town on Monday, 11 November. Full details will be confirmed closer to the time.

The planned RWC Champions Tour stops are as follow:
  • Thursday, 7 November: Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto
  • Friday, 8 November: Durban
  • Saturday, 9 November: East London
  • Sunday, 10 November: Port Elizabeth
  • Monday, 11 November: Cape Town.
– Source: African News Agency
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, sent a message of condolences to the Government and the people of Japan following the passing away of Ms Sadako Ogata, former United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees.
Ms Ogata was born on 16 September 1927 in Tokyo, Japan, and passed away recently at the age of 92.

President Ramaphosa said Ms Ogata was a devoted international citizen who took the reigns as UN High Commissioner for Refugees during one of the world’s most difficult periods, following the end of the Cold War, a period characterised by the displacement of large numbers of civilians.

Under Ms Ogata’s leadership between 1991 and 2000, the UN High Commission for Refugees played an important role not only in relation to the resettlement of displaced persons affected by conflicts but also in broadly shaping the UN’s approach to the question of the management of international migration.

President Ramaphosa recalled that the late Ms Ogata was the recipient of South Africa’s Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in Silver, awarded for “her achievement in the eradication of apartheid, negotiated settlement and contributing to the development of post-apartheid South Africa and the development of the African continent”.

Ms Ogata came to South Africa at the end of 1991 to head the UN delegation to the Codesa multiparty talks that enabled a peaceful and orderly democratic transition in South Africa and where she was a permanent observer. It was during this time that Ogata met Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the anti-apartheid struggle.

In the early 1990s, as the leader of the UN Observer Mission to Codesa, Ms Ogata assisted in repatriating African National Congress cadres who were in exile.

President Ramaphosa said the people of South Africa would remember Ms Ogata fondly for the role that she played in South Africa and other countries navigating challenges associated with conflict.
While regional and global summits do not directly create jobs, they give South Africa a platform to promote investment opportunities, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.
He said this when he responded to oral questions at the National Assembly on Thursday, 31 October 2019.

“While these international summits do not directly create jobs, they can contribute to an improved environment for investment, trade and cooperation. They provide a platform for the South African Government and business to promote the investment opportunities in the country, to explore new markets and to forge strategic partnerships.”

Since May, the President has attended several regional and global summits to advance the country’s foreign policy and economic interests.

These include the recent G20 Summit in Japan; the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summit in Niger; the Southern African Development Community Summit in Tanzania; the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD) in Japan; and the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia.

For example, leaders reaffirmed their support for the necessary reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at the G20 Summit held in June.

“They agreed that action is necessary regarding the functioning of the dispute settlement system consistent with the rules as negotiated by WTO members,” said President Ramaphosa.

In addition, South Africa also participated in the Japan-South Africa business roundtable with businesspeople from each country on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

Among others things, the roundtable generated leads for possible investment projects in sectors such as minerals processing, automotives and battery production.

“Through this engagement, we were able to strengthen relationships with the Japanese business community. This is important as Japan is South Africa’s fifth-largest trading partner and one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment into South Africa.”

He said the AU Summit in Niger in July launched the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The summit directed that the outstanding work on tariff schedules, rules of origin and commitments on trade in services be submitted to their next session in February 2020 for adoption.

“The decisions of the summit are significant for the South African economy since the AfCFTA promises great opportunities for trade with other countries on the continent, broadening our manufacturing base and boosting employment.”

The President said TICAD, which was held in Japan in August, resulted in a commitment from Japan to contribute to economic transformation in Africa and improve the business environment through innovation and private-sector engagement.

“The Government of Japan undertook to bolster diversification and industrialisation, support Japanese investment in Africa and offer support to the development of regional agricultural capability.”

He said that the first Russia-Africa Summit, which was held in Sochi recently, focussed on forging economic ties between Russia and African countries, developing joint projects and collaborating in the humanitarian and social sectors.

“In addition to the discussion between government leaders, there were also productive engagements between Russian and South African businesses, which discussed cooperation in areas such as mining, information and communications technology and oil extraction," said the President.

– Source:
Acting President, Angie Motshekga, on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, expressed sadness at the passing away of respected broadcaster and public speaker, Xolani Gwala.
Mr Gwala passed away at the age of 44, following an extended illness.

President Ramaphosa learnt of Mr Gwala’s passing while en route Friday, 1 November 2019, to Yokohama in Japan.

Mr Gwala, who last served as a senior host on Talk Radio 702, established his reputation as a media professional during a career that took him from newsreader on Ukhozi FM to P4 Radio in KwaZulu-Natal in the mid-1990s, to various radio and television platforms at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

A decade ago, he was appointed news editor at a radio station based in Ramallah in the Palestinian territory.

President Ramaphosa extended heartfelt condolences to Mr Gwala’s family, friends and colleagues in the media fraternity in South Africa and abroad.

The President said: “We have lost a youthful veteran in an important sector in our country. As a professional who qualified in the mid-1990s, Xolani Gwala carried with him the values of our transition to democracy – the values of listening and being open to views that conflict with or offend your own, and a focus on solutions.

While he became a prominent public figure, he never placed himself ahead of the interests and needs of large numbers of South Africans who trusted his platforms as safe spaces for dialogue and engagement.

“He never shied away from tough questions and from holding people in public office to account, but he never let his cross-examination impugn the dignity of anyone with whom he interacted.

“At the same time, he understood that public education was not only about the cut and thrust of debate but also about unpacking, in easily understandable terms, the attributes of our democracy and the development of our economy.

“We will miss his voice, his insight and his love for our country but we will remain grateful that he gave a voice to thousands of South Africans who shared their joys and frustrations in life on the many platforms Xolani commanded with excellence.”
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, briefed the South African heads of missions abroad on 5 November 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre ahead of the Second Investment Conference.
“Welcome home for this brief visit and thank you for the work that you have done in identifying potential investors for the Second Investment Conference. I am pleased that we have found time to have a brief investment conference briefing.

“The Second Investment Conference takes place in the context of declining and inadequate job creation. The Government has been implementing an economic stimulus package that is targeted at sectors that could give us improved growth and job creation.

“The Investment Conference is linked to government’s economic strategy. It is directed at achieving the President’s objective of securing US$100 billion in Foreign Direct Investment and doing so in job- and business- creating sectors.

“The inaugural South African Investment Conference was hosted in October 2018. At the Inaugural Investment Conference, international and local investors pledged R300-billion worth of new investments. It is envisaged that a select number of private-sector investments will be announced at this conference, and updates provided on the progress of the commitments made at the Inaugural Investment Conference of 2018.

“For DIRCO, the strategic importance of this conference is at the heart of our Economic Diplomacy work as highlighted in the White Paper on South Africa’s Foreign Policy (2011).

“Economic Diplomacy is an essential part of DIRCO’s collective efforts to help South Africa meet national development objectives, as set out in the National Development Plan as well as in the seven priorities of the Sixth Administration. It is essential for DIRCO, as a frontline key enabler and partner, to mainstream and coordinate the economic objectives of South Africa into its programmes and processes (both at missions and at Head Office).

“Our focus on Economic Diplomacy means using the full spectrum of tools at the disposal of the State to pursue our national interests. As you are aware, DIRCO is not an implementing or delivery department in the common meaning of this term. However, its ability to create and identify partnerships places it in an excellent position to promote trade and investment. This potential means we in DIRCO must provide effective support to you to ensure we successfully use the opportunities you identify. Our missions can host trade events and seminars, attend local trade shows, visit potential investors and proactively market the attributes of our country. Success in this endeavour requires knowledge of the business process, our needs and strategic interests, the economy of the country in which you serve and continuous interaction with relevant institutions.

“South Africa has many positive attributes that make us an attractive investment destination:
  • South Africa is one of the most sophisticated and promising emerging markets, offering a  unique combination of highly developed first world economic infrastructure with a vibrant  emerging market economy.
  • South Africa is one of the world’s 26 industrialised nations.
  • South Africa has one of the largest economies on the African continent, accounting for approximately 25% of the continent’s GDP.
  • Advanced financial markets infrastructure, with the JSE Securities Exchange being Africa’s largest and most developed.
  • South Africa has the most advanced Information and Communications Technology infrastructure in Africa.
  • Internet and personal computer penetration is the highest in the region.
  • South Africa’s Internet infrastructure is the best in the region, with upload and download  speeds much higher than other regional economies. This helps to make South Africa an ideal location for investment in software and IT, data centres, creative Industries and other activities involving high Internet usage.
  • South Africa has the highest number of secure Internet servers in the region.
  • South Africa has by far the largest road and rail transport system in Africa. As a result, the country hosts the largest cluster of air transport and water transport companies in Africa.
“According to Ernst and Young’s 2017 Africa Attractiveness Index, South Africa ranks second on the African continent (tied with Kenya) and ranks 61st out of 137 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2017/18, ranking relatively well in business sophistication (37th) and innovation (39th). In addition to this, the cost of doing business in South Africa is a significant “pull factor”, underpinned by factors such as:
  • availability of key inputs (e.g. skilled labour, electricity supply)
  • logistics (e.g. time to import/export etc.)
  • supportive operating environment (e.g. sound banking sector).
“If we are to succeed in what we are doing, we must always take into account these factors. We should also include the region of the Southern African Development Community and our entire continent in conceptualising an appropriate strategy for exploiting these advantages.

“I am aware there are several missions where such an economic focus is vigorously pursued and that we have secured progress in investment, business creation and jobs growth through the efforts of our ambassadors. We are considering improving our ability to support you in your efforts to ensure we take up opportunities speedily and liaise more closely with the Department of Trade and industry and related economic departments. Since you are at the coalface, it would be helpful to hear your thoughts on proposed future improvements so we derive maximum value from your presence in different countries.

“In conclusion, the Investment Conference provides a great opportunity for networking with both the private and the public sector. The Investment Conference also provides for investors to interact with the President and ministers on issues such as policies, accessibility of our markets etc. Heads of mission will be strategic in facilitating meetings/introductions of investors to relevant ministers at the conference.

“Beyond the conference, I request the heads of mission to provide support to investors by regularly engaging with them and encouraging them to expand the investments. I encourage heads of mission to continue to attract and source new investors for future conferences as this is a five-year initiative.”
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, officially handed over the role of Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to her United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart, Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the 19th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting on 7 November 2019 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Minister Pandor also used the opportunity to present the AUE Minister and Incoming Chair of the IORA with a copy of the “Handing Over Report”.

The report outlines the progress that South Africa has made as Chair of IORA, particularly in the areas identified as priorities, which include enhancing trade and investment, maximising opportunities in line with South Africa's Operation Phakisa, advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality and establishing the Core Group on Tourism.

The 19th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting was held under the theme: “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”.

South Africa assumed the role of Chair of the 22-member intergovernmental organisation in October 2017, guided by the Cabinet-approved overarching theme: “IORA – Uniting the Peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East through Enhanced Cooperation for Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development”.

IORA is an economic cooperative community of countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

It was established through the vision of former President Nelson Mandela when 14 member states founded the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) in March 1997. During Australia’s Chair (2013 – 2015), the association changed its name from the IOR-ARC to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), signifying the renewed vigour in the work of the association.

South Africa will remain part of the IORA Troika for the next two years, which will be constituted as follows: UAE (Chair), Bangladesh (Vice-Chair) and South Africa (Past-Chair).
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes, on Tuesday, 5 November 2019, co-chaired the inaugural South Africa-Ireland Joint Commission for Cooperation with the Minister of the State for the Diaspora and International Development of Ireland, Ciarán Cannon, in Dublin, Ireland.
The Joint Commission is aimed at strengthening and expanding cooperation in line with the priorities of the two governments, particularly in the areas of agriculture, science and technology, education, arts and culture and development cooperation.

Since 2004, bilateral relations between the two countries have been managed through the biennial meetings of the South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum, which met at the level of Deputy Minister. The most recent Partnership Forum between South Africa and Ireland was held on 31 October 2017 in Pretoria, co-chaired by the former Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Luwellyn Landers, and Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon.

The Joint Commission in Dublin was preceded by bilateral meetings with Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Investment and Development Agency.

Deputy Minister Botes also paid a courtesy call on Tànaiste Simon Coveney, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Deputy Minister Botes concluded his visit by attending a roundtable discussion with the Kader Asmal Fellowship programme students studying in Ireland.
The central theme of the seminar was to discuss and strengthen cooperation among developing countries to accelerate implementation and achievements of the ICPD Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals).
In preparation for the upcoming Summit on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and the Minister in The Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, on Monday, 4 November 2019, hosted a preparatory seminar under the theme: “South-South Collaboration for Sustainable Development”.

The year 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD, held in Cairo in 1994. The conference coincided with the dawn of a new democratic era in South Africa and culminated in the ICPD Programme of Action that, among others, called for the strengthening of the social sector and the importance of the integration of population policies/concerns in development strategies, planning and programmes.

The Programme of Action also called on countries to exchange experiences in population and development policy at regional and international levels. At the time, Partners in Population and Development (PPD) was established as an intergovernmental forum by 10 developing countries, including South Africa, to promote South-South collaboration to contribute to achieving ICPD goals on population and development, and reproductive health.

In the last 25 years, PPD has increased its membership to 26 countries, which represent 60% of the total world population. Through advocacy, policy dialogues, exchange of information, best practices, research, training and technical cooperation, PPD member countries collaborate with each other and many non-member countries to implement the ICPD Programme of Action, currently within the broader framework of Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals).

The conference brought together representatives of government, civil society, private academia, foreign missions based in South Africa, including representatives of the United Nations development agencies, to discuss and agree on South Africa’s policy recommendations ahead of the ICPD25 Summit in Nairobi.
The Khoi-Khoi and San communities are set to benefit from the industry-wide benefit-sharing agreement (BSA) for traditional knowledge associated with rooibos.
This follows the launch of the BSA for traditional knowledge associated with rooibos by the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, on Friday, 1 November 2019.

“Today is an auspicious day in the history of our country as we witness the signing and approval ceremony for a unique agreement – one that benefits the Khoi and San communities of South Africa. I am convinced that this agreement will serve as a base and example for many similar settlements to be reached with local communities in future,” said the Minister who was speaking at Yzerfontein in the Western Cape.

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries was approached by the South African San Council in 2011 on behalf of the San people of South Africa, expressing concerns about inadequate acknowledgment, recognition, and protection of their interests.

A subsequent consultative study concluded in 2015 found that the San and Khoi-Khoi hold the traditional knowledge for rooibos and honeybush.

The outcome of the probe meant that as the rightful owners of these rights, these communities would receive benefits from the commercial utilisation of species in the development of new products such as tea, medicines, food flavourings and cosmetics in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (NEMBA) and the Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing (BABS) Regulations.

“What the negotiations have produced is a one-year pilot through which the Khoi and San communities will receive 1.5% of the farm gate price from the processors of rooibos in the form of an annual levy.

“The farm gate price, which does not include VAT, is the price that is paid by the processors of a product to the farmers who grow, harvest or ferment and dry rooibos. This money is being paid for the use of the traditional knowledge associated with rooibos,” said Minister Creecy.

At present, the overall value of the 1.5% benefit amounts to around R12 million per year.

“To reach that amount, we calculated that if 15 million kilograms of rooibos is harvested and sold at R60 per kilogram it would come to around R12 million – all to be paid by the rooibos industry to the Khoi and San communities,” she said.

The Minister said monies received would be paid into trust accounts opened by the San and Khoi communities to ensure that it is properly managed.

“Benefits include the creation of jobs and the upliftment of some 160 small-scale farmers who belong to the Wupperthal cooperative in the Western Cape and the Heiveld co-op in the Northern Cape,” she said.

Meanwhile, the pilot phase of the BSA will allow government to gather accurate data on the dynamics of the rooibos industry.

“This includes information on opportunities for transformation, the composition of the farmers and other role-players across the value chain, and market and trade information related to the sale of rooibos at local and international levels.

“During this phase, government will also monitor the management and distribution of financial benefits received by the Khoi and San communities, as well as any benefits for the conservation and sustainable use of rooibos species,” she said.

– Source:
A group of South African companies from four provinces are showcasing their products in China where they are participating in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) that is taking place in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November 2019.
The group’s participation is organised and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services, and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

The CIIE is part of the Chinese Government’s initiatives to support trade liberalisation and economic globalisation by actively opening the country’s huge market to the world. The CIIE is an open international cooperation platform provided by China for countries to showcase their products. It is also an international public platform provided by the Chinese Government for all the countries in the world to discuss major issues of foreign trade, world economy and global economic governance.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nomalungelo Gina, China is expecting to import products and services valued at more than US$10 trillion and this will provide a massive opportunity for enterprises across the world to enter the huge Chinese market.

“Our continuous participation in the CIIE will contribute significantly in helping us to increase the export of value-added products to China. Since 2009, China has been South Africa’s number one trading partner globally as well as in the Asian region. Total trade between South Africa and China grew from R271 billion in 2013 to R332 billion by the end of 2018. However, 86% of our exports basket to China is concentrated on primary products. There are concerted measures underway to promote value-added goods and services by broadening the export base and increasing South Africa’s market share in China,” says Deputy Minister Gina.

South Africa was among the 12 countries which were invited as guest countries of honour in the inaugural CIIE, which was successfully held in Shanghai in November last year. More than 172 countries, districts and international organisations participated in the event. Products and services from more than 3 600 enterprises and companies were exhibited. South Africa’s participation in the first CIIE also formed part of the South Africa-China 20-Year Celebration of Diplomatic Relations. South Africa had the biggest representation of all countries from Africa and had the largest footprint at the event.

Deputy Minister Gina added that South Africa’s participation would also contribute in strengthening both political and economic bilateral relations between South Africa and China. It is also expected to increase trade between the two countries in general, and South African exports of value-add products in particular.

“As a fellow member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) grouping, participating in exhibitions like these will boost intra-BRICS trade and investment,” says Deputy Minister Gina.
Procter & Gamble’s investment in a new Always sanitary pads manufacturing plant, which has created 300 jobs, has been welcomed by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nomalungelo Gina.
The R300-million plant was launched in Kempton Park on Friday, 1 November 2019.

Deputy Minister Gina said the commissioning of the new Always manufacturing facility, which is an additional line to the existing facility in Kempton Park, was a giant step forward.

“Today [Friday], we are giving practical implementation to our investment mobilisation drive. I am pleased that we are now seeing the fruits of our investment mobilisation drive and that throughout the year, there have been a number of projects completed and launched,” said Deputy Minister Gina.

The P&G investment was a testament to the company’s continuing and increasing investments into South Africa and the region.

“This investment demonstrates the commitment of P&G to continue to grow and contribute to the growth of our country and region in addition to over R1 billion that has already been invested by P&G since 2009.

“We are seeing a new additional manufacturing facility being introduced for the Always sanitary pads, and we are also witnessing an additional line being added to the Pampers production line, bringing the latest in the innovation and technology to South Africa,” she said.

The Sixth Administration is committed to working in partnership with the private sector, labour and civil society to unlock growth, create jobs and build an inclusive economy.

“In demonstrating government’s commitment, National Treasury this year announced zero VAT rate on sanitary pads, which P&G advocated strongly for and through the robust and dynamic partnership between government and industry.”

The Deputy Minister was pleased to see the commitment of P&G to the empowerment of women and girls.

"As the Department of Trade and Industry, we are pleased to see that there is a strong focus on women entrepreneurship, investing in SMMEs and a partnership with WEConnect to empower women entrepreneurs, the backbone of the South African economy,” said Deputy Minister Gina.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Gina also welcomed the release of the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index, which indicates that South Africa’s overall ranking improved from 67 out of 140 nations in 2018 to position 60 out 141 nations in 2019.

– Source:
South African Airways (SAA) has procured four new Airbus A350-900s in an effort to improve the airline’s customer offering and commercial prospects.
On Thursday, 31 October 2019, SAA took delivery of the first of the four new Airbus A350-900s.

“We welcome the first A350 home on South African soil. The introduction of the A350s offers a new beginning for the airline and will contribute to the airline’s operational efficiencies, and get SAA back on track.

“It is an important step-change as we continue to make progress to transform our business and return the airline to financial sustainability in the shortest time possible,” SAA Acting CEO, Zuks Ramasia, said.

SAA said the first aircraft arrived amid much excitement with employees welcoming the new acquisition as the latest arrival to boost SAA’s fleet with modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, which presents a superior customer experience.

“The aircraft will operate on one of SAA’s ultra-long haul routes between Johannesburg and New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, replacing the Airbus A340-600 on this route and will still be operated on a non-stop basis. As additional aircraft are introduced, more routes will be operated by the Airbus A350-900s,” SAA said.

Business and Economy Class customers will enjoy the quieter cabin and a more relaxing environment during flight.

The Airbus A350-900 is configured with a maximum of 339 seats, of which 30 are Business Class seats and 309 are Economy Class seats, with the first six rows in Economy Class offering extra legroom to provide a more comfortable experience, especially on longer flights. The Business Class cabin has lie flat beds.

The aircraft also offers a modern in-flight entertainment system throughout the cabin.

– Source:
The Springboks have through their victory in the 2019 Rugby World Cup united South Africa, says Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.
“The most important lesson we can take from our Springboks is that … they were single-minded and their unity was unity of purpose. They affected people off the field which [are the] 57 million people in South Africa,” said the Minister.

Their win covered the country with glory and brought the nation closer to each other as South Africans.

The national heroes thumped fellow finalists England 32-12 to grab the coveted title of Rugby World Cup winners on Saturday, 2 November 2019.

The national team, along with Captain Siya Kolisi and Coach Rassie Erasmus, touched down at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday evening, 5 November 2019, where throngs of South Africans dressed in green and gold, carrying the national flag and singing and blowing vuvuzelas had gathered to welcome them home.

The Minister, addressing the media as the Springboks arrived back in the country, said this moment should be a firm base to unite in confronting the challenges faced by the country, such as unemployment.

“Let’s ensure that we build our country, let this not be a momentary win but forever we build on it to confront the challenges of gender-based violence,” Minister Mthethwa said.

Kolisi said the team won because they had been motivated to win.

“The people also gave us another reason to fight hard … we knew what was going on at home and it reminded us we have the privilege of giving hope to the people,” he said.

Kolisi encouraged young children in rural areas to work hard towards achieving their dreams and not allow people to tell them that their dreams are impossible.
“Anything can be overcome with opportunity and hard work. When I was younger I trained every single day. I was preparing myself for the opportunity just in case it came and when it came I was ready,” he said.

Erasmus said the team trained hard for the World Cup and the team was determined to win the Webb Ellis Cup for South Africa.

“After the first All Black test match which we lost … I felt we had a terrible week leading into that game with New Zealand.

“After that we sat down and discussed what pressure meant for us. We asked ourselves how we can be nervous when there’s so many other things that we can be nervous about … pressure in South Africa is not what people in New Zealand experience, it’s different in England, it’s different in France – when we play we shouldn’t play under pressure,” Erasmus said.

– Source:
South African motorcycle-racing sensation Brad Binder claimed his fourth victory of the year at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Binder had already demonstrated that he was one of the fastest riders this weekend in free practice and took the lead at the very first corner. The South African set an extremely strong pace, riding quicker than the previous race lap record at Sepang.

In spite of dropping to third place on lap six, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider did not lose his focus and he soon regained the lead, a position he would defend to the finish line, to secure the 14th Grand Prix victory of his career. The result sees Brad move into second place in the general standings, with 234 points.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team will conclude the 2019 season at the Valencia GP, which will be held at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit from 15 to 17 November and will race in the elite MotoGP class in 2020.

Binder will become the first South African to race MotoGP in the four-stroke era and the first to compete in the premier class since 2000.

– Source:


“Madam President, allow me to begin by thanking Mr Valentine Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, for his briefing and report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ms Selma Korjenic, the Head of Programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina for Trial International, for her statement.

“Madam President,

"As evidenced by the High Representative’s briefing and report, the continued disagreements by the political parties have negatively impacted the fulfilment of the 5+2 agenda established by the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB). Additionally, the divisive, provocative and nationalist rhetoric contributes to undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State.

“South Africa, therefore, calls on all parties to recommit to the formation of an inclusive government without delay and in line with previously agreed commitments. In this regard, we also call on all parties to respect the rule of law and the legal instruments that underpin the political structures in the country. This includes swiftly taking the necessary steps to harmonise the constitutions of some cantons together with the national constitution.

“Madam President,

"As my delegation has stated before, direct political dialogue between parties is critical in order to resolve outstanding issues. We call for constructive and open dialogue between all the communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to these engagements, continued cooperation and talks between the various Bosnian structures and the High Representative are also of great importance. This is the only way to make progress in finding agreement on matters vital to all communities.

“Madam President,

"I would also like to commend High Representative Inzko for his continued dedication and efforts in ensuring that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina retain ownership of the political processes in line with the work of the Peace Implementation Council.

“In conclusion, South Africa encourages all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to recommit themselves to the full implementation of their obligations under the various peace accords and agreements. Political will and national ownership over this process is essential in making progress towards long-term peace, stability and reconciliation for all people and communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“I thank you.”
“Madame President,

“At the outset, I would like to congratulate the United Kingdom on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of November; please be assured of South Africa’s support for your efforts this month. On a slightly different note, I would like to congratulate the English rugby team for their performance at this year’s Rugby World Cup and final. In all sports, our teams have historically had a healthy competitive spirit, and this was again illustrated at this year and the past weekend’s Rugby World Cup.

“Madame President,

“We would like to thank the Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) for her briefing as well as Ambassador Fatima Mohamed, the Permanent Representative of the African Union. We commend the joint visit to Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia by Ms Amina Mohamed with the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Ms Bineta Diop, and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Mr Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. The focus of this joint UN-African Union trip on women, peace and security and the international commitment in pursuit of peace, stability and credible elections in these countries, was important.

“Madam President,

"South Africa would wish to commend the role that the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as international partners have been playing in facilitating state-building and peacebuilding processes in the Horn of Africa.

“As we said in the recent past, the winds of positive change are blowing in the Horn of Africa. The frontiers of peace and peaceful neighbourliness are expanding and, in the process, touches many nations and ordinary people. Those still fragile, auger well for silencing the guns by 2020.

“It is in this context and peace overtures ahead that South Africa appreciates you Madame DSG and Ambassador Fatima Mohamed and your colleagues both at the UN and AU for your extensive visit and numerous engagements held with policymakers, activists and ordinary people during your just-ended trip to the Horn of Africa.

“We also acknowledge the role played by Prime Minister Abe together with IGAD, in facilitating the Sudan peace agreement and transition process.
“In terms of the peace process in South Sudan, we would like to note the progress made to date towards the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement to Resolve the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

“We wish to highlight the need for the parties to strictly adhere to the deadline of 12 November 2019, to form the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity and emphasise that there can be no delay or postponement of the set deadline.

“My delegation further wishes to underline in this regard the importance of ensuring that the political processes in the Horn of Africa is sustained. South Africa reiterates that the gains achieved can be strengthened and sustained only through continued dialogue and cooperation between the countries of the region. We reiterate that the steps taken so far are a major milestone in Africa’s endeavours to Silence the Guns by 2020 and to promote deeper regional and continental integration in line with Agenda 2063.

“We agree with you DSG that “women’s inclusion contributes to the development of responsive decision-making processes that ensure sustainable development. We also share your view that “in situations of conflict, and in preventing violence, women’s mediation and peacemaking efforts have been proven to be more effective”.

“Madame President,

"The involvement of women in UN peacekeeping roles within the military, police and civilian components in conflict remains negligible despite the adoption of UNSCR 2242 (2015), which calls for the doubling of the numbers of women in military and police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations over the next five years.

“We are encouraged, however, with the Security Council’s unanimous adoption of Resolution 2493 (2019) on 29 October 2019, under our presidency of the Council, urging states to recommit themselves to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, including by creating safe environments for women leaders, peacebuilders, human rights defenders and political actors around the globe.

“Madame President,

“In conclusion, we must continue to support the narrative that women, including young women, are agents of change. As we have heard today, and we have seen in many examples across the world, they have the greatest transformative effect on societies, including peacebuilding and nation-building.

“Let’s avail resources for elections, implementation of peace agreements and similar processes taking place in the Horn of Africa.

“I thank you.”
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